Misty morning

River Valley view - Austin TX

Amazingly enough, the rains have continued here in Austin. Is this July or what? This year we’ve already received our usual entire annual quota.

Sunday the clouds parted for awhile though. The result was a bit like a sauna, but hey, at least the roads were dry even if the air was heavy laden. I got out for a ride. Between work and being couped up I was really sucking wind though. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was the late night before. Maybe all three. Regardless, I looked down while climbing Big View and I was going all of 3.3mph. Not so good.

This morning, much better, and really pleasant out. I snapped this photo at the top of the hill looking down over Lake Austin (the Colorado River south of Mansfield dam). Click for a larger version. I had neglected to bring my camera on my ride and the view into the valley was even more impressive when I initially crested the hill. I returned later after showering up and some breakfast and on my way to the office to snap this picture. Still was quite misty and scenic. Very interesting to descend into.

Chicago for a change

Cycle Smithy in Chicago

Been awhile since I’ve posted. Not much riding. Between a busy work schedule, some travel and – if the weather man is right – today is the 26th out of the last 29 days we’ve had some rain.

If you’ve ever spent any time in the summer in Texas you’ll know that it just doesn’t rain that much. This is weird. And that stat above doesn’t count all the rain in May and June. I don’t mind so much though because the alternative at this time of year is brutal and unrelenting heat. Still, all this rain is driving me nuts.

Since my last post I took a short break away from Austin the weekend before this last one and sampled a little life in the big city. Chicago that is. Just a whirlwind trip, joining K on a visit to see her son.

I caught the above picture at a bicycle shop there named Cycle Smithy. They had some great old bikes hanging throughout the store.

More specifically, we spent our time in Lincoln Park. Brian lives in a cool tree-lined neighborhood that’s walking distance to just about anything you need.

Would have loved to say we got a chance to rent some bikes and tool around the city but we opted instead for some extended wandering by foot. Got over to the lakeshore that Sat morning and joined what seemed like the rest of the city trying to catch a breeze at the beach. Tons of cyclists, skaters, runners, volleyball… Nice weather to get out. Just no one in the water. Apparently a ban on swimming at the moment.

Of course we managed to also watch just a bit of the Tour, which started that weekend. Great sprint finish on that first day and some good racing to watch since as well.

Had some great food in Brian’s neighborhood. RoseAngelis, a nice little Italian place is close by. We were fortunate to get a table outside. Our eyes were a bit bigger than our stomachs even after all the walking. We got some ravioli, talapia and some other filled pasta dish. Plus, an order of calamari and some caprese salad and a tasty chianti. There were plenty of leftovers.

Later it was over to Wrigleyville and a concert in the street by a U2 cover band, followed by a visit to a backyard birthday party that Brian had been invited to. We packed a lot into the day.

As if we could possibly be hungry again, we made the short walk over to a very cool little place called Sweets & Savories for brunch on Sunday morning.

Here’s a nice shot of the city I got on our walk:

Chicago lakefront

Flashback – NZ tour ’05

New Zealand Tour Group - Wanaka, NZ

The new PedalTours catalog arrived in the mail this week and had me longing for another tour in New Zealand. I had a great time there in ’05. It had me digging out my old photos and reminiscing about that trip. Thought I’d post a couple of them.

Yes, that’s me with the SpongeBob jersey on. And as you can see, it was chilly there that morning even though it was summer when we did the ride. (Their summer that is.)

Maybe another year in the not too distant future I’ll go again.

The second picture was one of those rare moments on the west coast of the south island when it didn’t look as though it were just about to rain.

New Zealand - south of Punakaiki