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Time Trial

“It’s a study in brinkmanship, really. One has to concentrate on a few things. Keeping the stroke round, keeping the cadence adequately high, relaxing into the straightest line. But holding oneself as close to the limit as possible, for an hour, without going over the limit, that’s the bigger challenge.”

“And there is always music in your head?”

“Always, and never pre-planned. Upbeat, obviously. But I’ve never pre-planned it, and I can’t really recall specifically what’s popped into my head in the past. The La’s probably. Maybe Zeppelin. Maybe I should pre-plan.”

“That would be unlike you.”

“I plan every other aspect of it. The psych prep. The bike prep. Not always well, but I’m not oblivious to planning. I pre-ride the courses.”

“Plan a soundtrack then. How do you think that will go?”

“You know me a bit too well at times.”

“I know how earworms work, and you’ve brought up your earworm issues many times.”

“I have no recollection of whether I’ve had a song in my head prior to blast off or whether they just come to me.”

“Well,  start paying attention to that in place of some other aspect of your psych prep.”

“I hear you. I still wonder how much closer I’d have come to Baker if I’d been more aware of gearing. I still remember feeling complacent, just for a moment, when we crossed after the turnaround. He hadn’t taken much out of me at that point. Maybe a little. And I thought about my fifty five, and I thought I had an advantage, even on my vintage bike.”

“Tell me again,” she said smiling.

“He had the new compact drive…well, new to me. So I knew he had no bigger than a 52 up front. Lots of gentle downslope after the turnaround. I never considered the rear end. Lack of prep. I rode it on the edge all the way home, but I still think I’d have gotten another half minute on him if I’d felt more desperate.”

“Or crashed trying.”

“Considering that I’d expected him to pass me, I was pleased at first that he hadn’t. Fifteen years younger, fit and a bit crazy? I’d suggested a four minute interval at the start, hoping to hold him off, but he wanted two. My ancient reputation?”

“Could be.”

“Crossed the line and started counting. One thousand seventy when he hit the line. Fifty seconds out of me. I went from happily un-passed to a bit disappointed, and fairly quickly.”

“And then you did the math.”

“Not for about a week, but I did it. With the fifty two up front and an eleven in the rear he had almost a one hundred twenty five inch gear. My fifty five thirteen left me with just under one twelve.”

“You know that now. You won’t forget.”

“Never should have thought about it on the course. It was a lapse.”

party favor

Remove the dark
from your night doings
fold it double
hand it over
just opacity
for me please
hold the light
out with the sound

Think what you will.


Acrylic and Gorilla Glue on canvas, 16×20″


Working Freezer!

But what made the thermistor blow?



4 track, with track bouncing

In the spirit of RR‘s Picosong releases (minus the acapella, which is a special kind of bravery) here is a ditty from 23 years ago.

start relay drama


1.5″ x 1.5″ x 1″


The Old

Had an upright freezer breakdown and spent a few hours trying to solve the problem. With practically zero knowledge of freezers (I did muscle it out the door before the frost thawed) and finding no “reset” button, I took to the web. Found the basic go wrongs and first learned to test the compressor windings (w/meter). They seem pretty good, not perfect, but maybe my meter isn’t sensitive enough. Next noted that the wiring diagram on the freezer indicated the existence of an overload protector, so I image searched that term, discovered what one might look like, and extracted mine from the circuitry. It had many numbers on it, and I eventually located an image of it and then an Amazon listing. About six bucks -none in stock. Could not find for sale anywhere else but persistence (may have) paid off. I found a comment on a discussion board indicating that my part (which has three connecting pins) was impossible to find, but giving detailed instructions for a work-around. It said I needed to pry apart my start relay and remove the blown (it was clearly blown) disc fuse, being careful not to damage the case. I needed to purchase a widely available (single pin) QP2-4R7, pry IT apart to obtain a new fuse, and transplant it into my old case. Ordered the QP2-4R7 from Hong Kong on Feb 6, due to arrive Feb28-Mar 7. It came, return address Hong Kong, on Feb 13, total cost including shipping: $1.87. Disc transplant is complete, but I haven’t wired the relay back in yet. I fully expect that when I power up it will instantly destroy the fuse.

Dust/mud/paint control