Thursday, March 30, 2017

A full month at home!

No kidding: It's been an entire month since I returned from Germany on the last day of February. It was winter then, well, kinda, and now we've already experienced our first summer days with the thermometer hitting 93 F about 10 days ago. The first day of spring has come and gone, and Lubbock is greening up. It's a good time to be home.
Home-cooked meals for most of the month!
Of course, "home" doesn't exactly mean that: Since returning I have left town on two road trips, both of them cycling related. The first one came just 48 hours after making landfall. I received an e-mail from Bonnie, our USA Cycling representative for Texas, asking me whether I'd be available for the La Primavera road race just outside of Austin, that very weekend. Somebody from her officials' crew had had to bail out at the last minute. And so I fired up the Beemer, dropped the roof, and drove more than 750 miles to work a race that I had always been too scared to participate in thanks to the numerous high-speed descents and the ubiquitous deer at Lago Vista that routinely take out a racer or two. After two days of officiating I was back in Lubbock, in time to receive the new memory foam mattress that I had splurged on and had ordered from Christelli. Adieu, waterbed! You were a faithful companion for many years, but your time had come.
The new bed unfurls itself
The new look of my bedroom
Two weekends later I was back in the car, this time to chief the high school mountain bike event in Troy. Originally this race had been scheduled for the weekend before but had to be postponed thanks to torrential rains in that part of Texas. Since Troy is just a few miles north of Temple I got a chance to stay with Martha and Alan, and so the weekend took on a second purpose and meaning. The race came off without too many problems, and the drive was as beautiful as can be expected during this time of the year as the bluebonnets and other wildflowers were out in full force in central Texas.
Panoramic shot of the Sacket family's beautiful spread in Troy
All this left me with ample time to reclaim my house as well as try to regain some sort of fitness. Almost daily riding, cleaning out the thatch in the front flowerbed (if one can call it that), ripping out some old vines in the backyard, cooking decent meals (and sharing some wine with my neighbor Janet), and having dinners with various friends kept me fairly busy. The main focus of the past few weeks, however, has been getting ready for my upcoming trip to Argentina, which will commence less than a week from now. Getting my Ritchey ready for what will be a bike-packing trip has been a fun challenge. At this point I have packed all the gear that I will take along on my three-week adventure, and on today's schedule is dismantling the bike and somehow fitting it in its travel case. This will be more challenging than usual since I am using different wheels for this trip (more spokes = stouter = more difficult to pack) as well as two small luggage racks. We'll see how that comes along.
One of this month's highlights: Dinner at my place with the Everetts
This upcoming weekend I was supposed to head to Dinosaur State Park for the fourth high school race of the season, but just yesterday I learned that it has been postponed for two weeks, again because of heavy rain in the past few days. Dang, I'll have to miss that one, but that will give me more time to get the house in ship-shape before I leave.
Riding on Lubbock roads is not always a pleasure
I hope that I'll be able to write occasional updates from Argentina. Since I will not be traveling with my laptop but only a Kindle and a folding keyboard, things may be a little more challenging. So, stay tuned!


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