Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nashbar Trekking Handlebars are back

Once again, I need to say how great the Nashbar Trekking handlebars are. They make such a difference on long rides on The Roadley.

After a three month hiatus, I see that Nashbar has brought them back, so I have ordered a set for my son for his mountain bike.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Keira has H1N1

The kids were going to come up from southern Arizona this morning, Sunday, and stay through Monday, 10/19/09. But Justin, my son, was antsy; wanting to get to Phoenix so he could get a jump on a number of things he wanted to get accomplished. So he and Shannon piled 7-week-old Keira into the car, along with their laundry and everything else they needed, and came up last evening. In retrospect, it was an excellent idea.

Our little granddaughter had a rash, but during her regular visit to the pediatrician last week they had looked at it and felt it was minor and Shannon was treating it topically. Then, last night, Keira's rash got worse and she started running a fever.

One of the advantages of living where we do is that Phoenix Children's Hospital, one of the premier children's hospitals in Arizona --- if not the nation --- is literally just down the street. Justin and Shannon bundled Keira into the car and went over to their emergency room.

After a whole battery of tests, including blood tests, urine samples via a catheter, and a spinal tap, the results came back this morning. Keira has the swine flu, the rash she has on her bottom is a yeast infection which could be what compromised her immune system and left her more susceptible to serious disease. The good news is that the doctors at Phoenix Children's are confident they have caught the illness soon enough to avoid any complications like pneumonia and Keira should recover fully and very quickly.

That is not the case with some other patients at Phoenix Children's who presented symptoms for just a day or so longer than Keira did. Some of them have contracted pneumonia. Some of those have responded favorably to antibiotics. The other, more serious cases have all been successfully treated via a procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, where a special machine is used to oxygenate the blood. Phoenix Children's has the capability of treating four patients at a time with this procedure, so even though it appears it will not be needed in Keira's case, it is comforting to know she is in a facility where such care is available.

Hey, folks, for the sake of all your babies and grandbabies, and everybody else, know the symptoms of H1N1:

. Fast breathing or difficulty breathing.
. Inability to drink/keep down fluids.
. Fever with a rash.
. Flulike symptoms that subside, only to return with a fever and cough.

. Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
. Pain or pressure in the chest.
. Sudden dizziness.
. Confusion.
. Severe or persistent vomiting.

At-risk Groups:
. Patients who are pregnant, obese, have diabetes, asthma, high-blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, lung disease or a neurological condition should call their physician at the onset of flu symptoms.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Luxury Bike Parking

Recently, I've read some horror stories about bike commuters who are losing their bicycles to theft or damage as a result of being forced to park them outside in an unsecured area. I realized that I have it extremely lucky with the arrangement I have with my employer.

Here's my EZ Sport, Bluetiful, parked at my office, in my ...

Luxury Bike Suite

This room used to be an office, but it was too close to the exit door to the hallway for anybody to get any work done (it is a main route to the restroom, and people are coming and going constantly past this opening). The door is just to the right of a wall which is seen as that white triangle on the right side of the picture.

So this room has been converted to a sort of meeting room by removing the desk and putting in a small, round conference table and chairs (on the left side of this picture) and that mobile white board you see right behind Bluetiful.

Since the door to the hallway is always locked to anyone but company employees, and since the room is used very infrequently, and since our company is big on promoting alternative modes of transportation, I have struck a deal with our office manager to use this room to park my steed. There is enough space here for another employee to park their bike next to mine. The room is so comfy, it even has better carpeting in it than I have in my own office!

An added bonus to this setup is that I empty my panniers into the black stuff sack you see on the seat of Bluetiful, exit out that door to the hallway, walk another hundred feet and I'm at the showers of my gym.

What is bike parking like for all you other commuters?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stem Extension

I promised a picture of the handlebar stem extension on The Roadley:

You can see that the extension adds literally twice as much height to the butterfly bars, another 3 inches. An added benefit is that the bottom velcro connection of the handlebar bag now reaches and connects to the stem. It had just been able to reach the cables and was loosely held to them before.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Good Weekend for Riding

Rode almost 30 miles this weekend.

Had a chance to thoroughly use The Roadley with the new stem extension. The bike is even more comfortable now with the more upright riding position. Dropping down on the forearms on the butterfly bars does not feel like that aggressive a position now, but more relaxed and enjoyable. (Still haven't seen the bars back on the Nashbar site, hope they actually do bring them back.)

Looks like the weather this upcoming week will be perfect for riding.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Too Busy to Ride ... Again!

Has it ever been a tough couple of weeks.

The kids were up from southern Arizona with the new baby. She just gets cuter by the day.

Monday, September 28th, we had a corrupted index on one of the main data drives at the main office, so I spent Monday, Tuesday, and some of Wednesday recovering all of the files on that SAN drive.

Friday came along, and my head started to get stuffed up with the same cold my wife has. Yesterday, Saturday, October 3rd, I was so miserable I didn't get a thing done around the house, let alone get a chance to ride.

One thing I did get a chance to do Saturday was get the 3-inch stem riser on The Roadley. The wrenches at the Bike Barn put it on and all I had to do was adjust the angle of the handlebars. It took me twice as long to do as a result of the sneezing and nose wiping.

The installation of the Expedition saddle and the Butterfly handlebars resulted in the seat being higher than the handlebars, so I ordered a black, 3-inch stem riser to bring the handlebars higher. The regular position in the saddle is now much more upright and "touring comfortable." When I drop down to my forearms on the Butterfly bars, I no longer feel like my butt is way up in the air. When I get back to riding, I'll get a picture of the stem riser.

I'm hoping to get back in the saddle tomorrow morning. I'm taking the week off so maybe I'll get a lot more riding in if I feel better.