|I play two flutes these days, a really nice Muramatsu AD series suprano flute loaded with options that has a head joint second to almost none and a Yamaha Alto flute (with a straight head joint), the only alto worth having by all accounts and after playing it I believe 'em. I also had a bass flute made for me by Eva Kingma, which I played almost exclusively for about 9 months after I first got it, however when my lung capacity became fairly limited due a lung disease I had to stop playing it, it takes a tremendous amount of wind. I then went back to the alto I had at the time, a Gemeinhardt piece of junk, and found much to my surprise that it was fun to play. You see, although the bass has untouchable tone it takes so much wind (for me at least) that expression is almost nil. The Gemeinhardt soon pissed me off (it doesn't take too much playing before it's limitations become too irritating) and I didn't have the Yamaha yet so I started playing the Muramatsu suprano again. I had forgotten what a truly superb instrument it is and I was lost to it, ah, the joy, I never thought I would love it again. . .|
| These days I commute to work on a
'bent, a recumbent bicycle. For years it was one like the
top one, now it's one of the speed demons below. I happened
to have to go to Ajo Bikes (in Tucson, where I live) for an unusual part for
another bike and noticed that they had a bunch of recumbent bikes and having always been
fascinated by them went back to test ride a few the next day and wound up bringing
a Vision R40 home.
The weather is so infrequently inclement here that I was starting to feel a
bit guilty driving 5 miles to work and so have managed to assuage my conscience
on that issue at least, and riding a 'bent is fun.
Not to mention the novelty of the thing, it fascinates almost everyone, every
day I get at least one "Cool bike, dude" called out to me.
All of which is pretty interesting given that the doctor that repaired the spiral fractures of my tibia and fibula when I was eighteen predicted that I'd be in a wheel chair by the time I was forty. Well, he got the wheel and chair part right but I suspect he meant wheels parallel to each other and not in line. . .
|Then one day (after about 12000 miles) the old R40 was needing a major overhaul so I trekked off to see what sort of damage I would be up for. Frank at Ajo Bikes just happened to have gotten the R64 in that I'd expressed interest in months and months ago and by the time I got up to $1000 in parts alone to refurbish the R40 I figured to hell with it, go for the new beast and damn the consequences. Having two equal sized (and narrow as hell) wheels sure is a new sensation. And it's 25% faster than the old one, comfortable cruising speed is up to 19 or 20mph, the sensation riding it made me think that it was like riding a guided missile. Nimble too, never had the guts to ride through the garage door before but it's not a problem here.||
Then a year later Eric asks if anyone
is interested in riding El Tour de
Tucson as team and I foolishly indicate that I'd be happy to help him
out if he's a rider shy but 109 miles is more than double the longest ride
I'd ever gone on. So I start lengthening the weekend rides and find
much to my surprise that this is indeed a doable thing. And I also
rationalize that if I'm going to be riding centuries I'm now in the
enthusiast bracket and am therefore allowed to have two bikes (the R40
didn't count, it was quietly aging in the shed) -- and besides that ripping
all the commuter gear off the R64 each weekend is starting to get old.
So I wind up with this custom R65 (which is probably the last R65 Vision
ever made actually, damned shame they screwed up and went out business),
basically the same bike but with much nicer components on it and here I am
riding my third El Tour crawling up
Rattlesnake Pass trying to convince my cramping legs not to seize up
And as if I hadn't just dropped enough money on the R65 I have to find out about the Rotor system crank which makes the thing even better, easier to spin, less wear and tear on the knees, really, quite impressive.
|With El Tour done our team (called Megahurtz) continues to ride each weekend and with my penchant for mapping my routes out and now having to communicate said routes to the other riders I now have the rides we do posted on the web. They're unpolished MapPoint output so the directions can get a little daft and they occasionally use odd streets because the map data isn't up to date (the west end of River being the prime example) but if you're after some good Tucson rides they're free for the taking.||
|Besides the relatively tame and these days rather common practice of overclocking celery I build myself custom home appliances like the Gong Clock when the need arises. This little gem was started years ago and it was only after much tweaking that it finally reached a state where I felt I could divulge the details behind it's creation.|