Sunday, November 24, 2019

What a shrimp!

8:15 am - Sunday - November 24th - Ramona, CA - 40° F, 86% humidity, wind - CALM.....clear, blue, chilly skies today with a forecast high of 73° F.

Over the past few weeks I have been tossing one item after another into the trailer, shutting the door, all the while thinking I would spend some time the 'next' weekend putting things away, and straightening up the trailer, but 'next' weekend never seemed to arrive, and it was getting difficult for me to maneuver around the interior, and especially difficult to get my new MTB in and out.  The last straw was the large bike box (the box in which the new MTB arrived) I threw in there a couple of weeks ago.  That combined with everything else was making me look like a 'hoarder'......the space was no longer usable.   So, inevitably, 'next' weekend finally arrived Saturday.  After posting my latest missive I walked up to the trailer to do the deed.....I had to pull a couple of my bikes out and move the bike box just to get out the Honda 2000i generator to power up the to have plenty of light, and some XM Radio tunes to get the job done.....for sure.

I next identified several boxes, and other items which needed to find of their way to the dumpster, and put them outside.  Then I proceeded to break the large bike box down, and fold it up so it could be stored out of the way in the very back of the trailer with the other items which see infrequent use.  Why am I saving the bike box?  Well, I am going to attempt to sell the Intense 5.5 and if  I am successful, and need to ship it I will need a box in which to pack it.  After that I just spent time putting stuff away, and then turned my attention to removing the well used Continental 27.5" x 2.4" front tire from my Haibike SDURO MTB so I could install the brand new Schwalbe Smart Sam 27.5" x 2.6" folding (matches the almost new rear tire) tire I purchased on eBay in its place....there is not much in life that makes me happier than working on a bicycle.....even something as mundane as changing a tire.  I've never worked with tires, and tubes this large before, plus the rims on this bike are wider than any I've ever had, so it was not surprising to me that it took a was almost like (exaggerating here for effect) changing a motorcycle tire.  

My current UST (tubeless) tires on my Intense 5.5 are only 26" x 2.1" tires, and the Mavic rims are not that wide......I ran them at around 30-35 PSI.  Once I had the new tire mounted, and put the front wheel back on the bike I checked the inflation, which was recommended to be set at a paltry 20 PSI for best results.  I checked the rear tire and found it was already at 20 PSI, so that confirmed the instructions.  

Next up I began to work on getting the air pressure in my front and rear shocks set so I could benefit from the maximum amount of travel (travel is the amount distance a shock will compress from its fully extended position to the point where the compression stops.  In other words I want to be able to utilize as many of the 6" of travel possible when hurtling downhill over rough terrain to smooth out my ride a much as possible. Once I was satisfied with with my adjustments I took the bike out for a test ride to.....where else?....the microwave tower where the downhill begins.

Combined with the very low 20 PSI of pressure in each tire the shocks performed quite well, and even though I was pleased on my initial couple of downhill rides right after I got the bike, I was even more pleased with the results after my fine tuning efforts.  This time it felt like I was riding on a cloud.  Words are inadequate to convey how happy I am that I am able to return to my beloved sport of mountain biking at age 70, and enjoy the sense of accomplishment when I summit a long, tedious climb, and the thrill of descending downhill at speeds approaching 25-30 mph once again.  With each successful downhill run I can feel the confidence, and skill returning.

I was back home a little after noon time.....while I was riding TLE sent me a text message asking if I 'was still alive', since she had not heard from me in a few hours.  When I was younger and heading out on a Saturday with my friends to mountain bike she would send me on my way with a question......."Is your life insurance paid up to date?" was her way of saying "Be careful".

I took a nice, long nap in the afternoon during the annual USC vs. UCLA crosstown rivalry game.  It was close for a while, but USC pulled away at the end winning 52-35.  There were several good NCAAF college games on Saturday with a couple of upsets....a perfect Saturday for me.

As the sun began to dip below the eastern horizon once again TLE informed me 'we' were going to grill shrimp for dinner.  I've grilled a lot of protein over the years on our Sea-B-Que, but never shrimp.  After I had lit the Sea-B-Que I began to 'grill' TLE about how to BBQ the shrimp. She told me to use our stainless steel grill rack we use when grilling delicate, flaky fish, to let it heat up to 'MEDIUM', then put the shrimp on and let them cook for 10 minutes without turning them over.....just shut the lid and wait 10 minutes.  When I pulled the shrimp off the grill after 10 minutes I was still unsure if I had succeeded in grilling perfect shrimp.....the doubt was short lived........

.....the shrimp came out perfectly!  TLE added some caramelized veggies as a side.....the spicey shrimp were amazing, and I am still thinking about them as I finish today's blog post.....yum!

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