Monday, April 28, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wheeling around Stevens Creek Trail

Took my 29" unicycle out for a spin this afternoon and collected a nice sunburn on my arms.

This is the route I took.


View Larger Map

Had a nice lunch at Michael's Restaurant in the middle.

I think I'll stick to shorter routes in the future though, this was quite a distance!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The price tag

Gas mileage for the trip. Dollar values in american.

Winnipeg to Fargo: 386km, 240 miles
8.287 Gallons, $3.499/gal, $29.00. 31.37 Liters.
28.94 mpg, 8.13 l/100k
12.1c/mi, 7.51c/km

Fargo to Bismarck: 314km, 195 miles
6.672 Gallons, $3.479/gal, $23.21. 25.26 Liters.
29.24 mpg, 8.04 l/100k
11.9c/mi, 7.39c/km

Bismarck to Glendive: 317km, 197 miles
5.509 Gallons, $3.449/gal, $19.00. 20.85 Liters.
35.76 mpg, 6.58 l/100k
9.65c/mi, 5.99c/km

Glendive to Billings: 381km, 236.74 miles
9.014 Gallons, $3.439/gal, $31.00. 34.12 Liters
26.26 mpg, 8.96 l/100k
13.09c/mi, 8.14c/km

Billings to Livingston: 185km, 114.95 miles
4.945 Gallons, $3.439/gal, $17.01. 18.72 Liters.
23.25 mpg, 10.12 l/100k
14.80c/mi, 9.19c/km

Livingston to Dillon: 227km, 141.05 miles
4.573 Gallons, $3.499/gal, $16.00. 17.31 Liters.
30.844 mpg, 7.63 l/100k
11.34c/mi, 7.05c/km

Dillon to Pocatello: 326km, 202.57 miles
6.981 Gallons, $3.299/gal, $23.03. 26.43 Liters.
29.02 mpg, 8.11 l/100k
11.37c/mi, 7.06c/km

Pocatello to Twin Falls: 188km, 116.82 miles
5.004 Gallons, $3.399/gal, $17.01. 18.94 Liters.
23.34 mpg, 10.08 l/100k
14.56c/mi, 9.05c/km

Twin Falls to Battle Mountain (incomplete fill): 401km, 249.17 miles
5.527 Gallons, $3.799/gal, $21.00. 20.92 Liters.

Battle Mountain to Valmy (top off): 24km, 14.91 miles
3.577 Gallons, $4.199/gal, $15.02. 13.54 Liters.

Twin Falls to Valmy: 425km, 264.08 miles
9.104 Gallons, $3.957/gal, $36.02. 34.46 Liters.
29.01 mpg, 8.11 l/100k
13.64c/mi, 8.48c/km

Valmy to Sparks: 324km, 201.32 miles
6.586 Gallons, $3.799/gal, $25.02. 24.93 Liters.
30.57 mpg, 7.69 l/100k
12.43c/mi, 7.72c/km

Sparks to Mountain View: 435km, 270.30 miles
8.463 Gallons, $3.899/gal, $33.00. 32.04 Liters.
31.94 mpg, 7.36 l/100k
12.21c/mi, 7.59c/km


Winnipeg to Mountain View: 3508km, 2179.77 miles
75.138 Gallons, $3.584/gal, $269.30. 284.43 Liters.
29.01 mpg, 8.11 l/100k
12.35c/mi, 7.68c/km

Tomorrow is a bit behind schedule

Ok, so I'm a bit late on this blog post. It turns out that the place I rented wasn't nearly up to my expectations with regards to cleanliness and clutter in the common areas, and it really bummed me out. Also, I've been having difficulty accessing my money at home in a useful way that translates into paying rent.

Things are kind of slowly working themselves out on both counts, but it's still a work in progress.

Back to the travelogue though. The drive through Nevada was fairly uneventful, though a tad bit on the cool side. There was a thin dusting of snow to be seen in the ditches most of the way, but nothing like the weather problems of the day before.

I also picked up and/or just noticed another stone chip, over on the right hand side of the windshield again. Oh woe and despair, my poor windshield, how scarred you've become in such a short time on this verdant jellybean.

I really can't overstate how uneventful driving through Nevada was, especially considering what happened when I hit Reno, right next to the California border. You see, something strange happened here; all the cars grew California licence plates, and all the drivers turned around in their seats and started driving with their ass with a cinderblock on the gas pedal.

This transformation was not alone. The road itself even changed its nature. Gone was the freshly sealcoated asphault and carefully doweled concrete of the I-80 in Nevada, replaced by (I swear I'm not lying) *rutted* concrete absolutely riddled with cracks. Arnie very much hasn't been wasting any taxpayer money on road repairs.

I also had the lovely misfortune of passing through Sacramento right at the peak of rush hour... Here's a hint: don't do that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Oh I've seen fire and I've seen rain...

I lie of course, all I saw today was snow. Miserable, mucky snow. When it wasn't blinding me in a curtain of white, it was melting on the road, then spraying up on my car and freezing on contact, turning every vehicle on the road into an ugly brown icecube.. and if it wasn't doing that, it was melting and evaporating with such vigour that it created a nice layer of fog just on the highway.

Also I got a small stone chip in the upper right of my brand new windshield.

Had Arbys for lunch, a delicious Reuben with a side of curly fries.

I had to take a detour through Rigby before going through Idaho Falls, since the interstate was closed for some reason.

Staying in a Motel 6 tonight in Twin Falls, ID. They charge $3 for internet! The nerve.


View Larger Map

Tomorrow I'll hopefully roll into Mountain View.

Edit: Forgot to mention this: Twin Falls is really beautiful. They've got this big canyon thing and all, definitely worth taking pictures if you're the picture-taking type (I'm not).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'm in ur country, stealing ur jobs!

So, I'm in Glendive, MT for the evening. Customs went very smoothly, the border official that issued my Visa seemed more concerned about filling out the forms correctly than figuring out if I was a terrorist or not.

Some things of note:
  1. I passed someone riding a bike down Pembina Highway that looked an awful lot like Tyler. I'm not sure why Tyler would be riding his bike down Pembina on a Saturday morning, so I'll just assume it was his evil twin.
  2. The Hardees Jalapeno Thickburger is divine bliss, though not quite as good as the chili cheeseburgers I had with Bob on Friday.
  3. The curbs at gas station entrances have a sneaky way of hiding in shadows when you're tired from driving. No damage done, thankfuly.
  4. Someone west of here is making a whole lot of money selling boom lifts to someone east of here.
  5. The Theodore Roosevelt park looks like it would be really pretty at sunset. Sadly it was mostly cloudy by the time I got there.
  6. Strong tailwinds make for awesome gas mileage.
Today's journey:


View Larger Map


I think tomorrow I'll try for Twin Falls, Idaho. It's a few more hours driving than I did today, but I'll be on the road earlier and I won't have to spend an hour waiting at the border.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Good things come in threes?

So today I get an email from my Calc prof telling me that he changed how he's calculating the marks to match the other prof, and is subsequently bumping my B+ up to an A-.

Next I got an email from AIPT informing me that my DS-2019 has been issued, which is the last piece of paper I need to take to the border in order to get my J-1 Visa.

Lastly I get an email from Tyler telling me that he won the lottery, so everyone make sure to email him and shake him down for some cash! (never mind that his share is only $2500)

Good news all around.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Well that was close

It was windy yesterday, very windy indeed: Gusts up to 70kph.

As it turns out, that's slightly above the rated wind speed of one of the neighbour's trees. I'm just glad it didn't fall on my car.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I can see clearly now

My lovely jellybean now has a new windshield, and all is right with the world... except it's supposed to snow on Friday: I'm not terribly thrilled about that.

Can you hear me now?

Yes, but only if you stand to the left of me.

So this morning I decided to remount the tire on my 29, since it had been installed backwards. It wasn't a big deal, since the tire is mostly slick, but the tread was technically directional so I wanted to flip it while I had some spare time.

I deflated it, popped it off, popped it back on again, and went to re-inflate it. I didn't bother turning the compressor on since I had been using it yesterday and it hadn't completely run down yet. I filled the tire, and it felt mostly hard, but I figured it could use a bit more. I looked at the gauge and it only showed 60lbs, so I flipped the compressor on to jack it up to 100lb since I was pretty sure I remembered it being rated for that much.

BOOOOOM!

Re-reading the sidewall, I noticed that it was in fact only rated for 60lb. Oops.

So while my right ear was figuring out how to hear things again, I took a trip down to Bikes and Beyond and got a new tube and tire as well as some proper rim tape instead of the silly rubber rim strips that always seem to slide around uselessly. My poor Big Apple tire had snapped the bead cord so there was no saving it, so I got a somewhat smaller Bontrager tire instead (which I carefully noted was rated for 80lbs).

I installed it all, paid my money, and went back home to reassemble my uni, only to discover that the tire exploded with enough force to bend the rim! Back again I went to Bikes and Beyond and they were nice enough to true the wheel for me while I waited rather than having to leave it with them until Tuesday - for some reason this time of year is really busy for them.

So now my lovely uni is as good as new again, with a slightly slimmer tire (which honestly suits me just fine). I took a picture of the new setup, so you can compare with the old.

Monday, April 7, 2008

It's a monster!

I just got my new Torker AX29, and it's sure big! I took a picture of it next to my Nimbus 20 and another of it standing all alone.

It was a bit of a bear trying to get it assembled, since both the frame and the seat post are aluminum I ran into a bit of galling when I first tried to insert it. A bit of sanding, filing, cutting the seat post a bit shorter (I have short legs, sue me) and it was all good.

It's very different to ride compared to my 20s, especially since I ordered it with the shorter cranks (same size as my 20s, but it usually comes with ones an inch longer). It takes a lot more force on the pedals to mount or when things get a bit out of sorts.

All in all, though, I love it!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

More car fun

I managed to get a stone chip in my windshield the other day. I was driving down Gateway when I heard the ominous "thwack" of a stone hitting the windshield. I took a quick look to see if I could see a chip anywhere, but none was to be found.

So today I'm out grocery shopping and I pull into the superstore parking lot, and I see this odd glint on the windshield. I get out to take a closer look, and I finally see a stone chip right on the shaded part of the windshield just behind the rear-view mirror, and a nice big crack going half way down.

Oh well, good thing I got the low deductable with the cheap windshield replacement option. It was getting kind of sandblasted anyway. I'm going to see if I can get the body shop to do a few rust touchups around the windshield while they're replacing it too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wheels, wheels, wheels

So my lovely jellybean was giving me some trouble this past week, ever since I got the tires rotated. Basically I was getting a pretty heavy shimmy coming though the steering wheel, leading me to believe that one of the wheels was bent.

But, as it turns out, they weren't! I dropped of my car at Winnipeg Wheel Works with instructions to check, straighten and paint all four wheels, and when they were done they informed me that all my wheels were straight, but due to some balance and tire wear issues, the tires just needed to be remounted in a different position to straighten things out.

So only $120 later (for the paint, balancing, etc) I've got a smooth rolling car once more. I'm happy.