Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Love my Bilenky/Litespeed

Cara Cara
I really love my Bilenky/Litespeed mountain bike. I took it with me on our Christmas trip to my wife's family. I was able to undo the S&S couplings and cable splices in a matter of minutes, remove the wheels and put it in the trunk of our small car. Assembly time is less than 5 minutes and its ready to ride! I woke up early each morning and rode about 30 km while at the in-laws.

Christmas in Venezuela

Christmas in Venezuela is a unique experience. It is celebrated with family, noisy fireworks, and hallacas!
I am sure my mother-in-law makes the best hallacas in Venezuela!
Hallacas are best compared to Mexican tamales but not picate (spicy hot).
The masa (dough) is made with corn meal, water, salt, and pig fat. Once that is made then it is flatten on an oiled banana leaf. The meat filling (a spicy soup-like mixture of pork, chicken, vegetables, and spices) is added on top of the masa, then onion, bell pepper, 3 raisins, 1 or 2 green olives (with the pit), potato, and finally boiled eggs (eastern Venezuela version). Finally the masa is folded over this pile of goodies, and the banana leaf is folded over the masa to compress it and hold it together. The banana leaf is then bundled together with string. The hallaca is now ready to be cooked by boiling in water.
Traditionally this is served with "pan de jamon" (ham bread; which is a tasty bread baked with ham, olives, and raisins inside), casabe (cassava bread), and washed down with a soft drink; usually Pepsi or Frescolita. It is all very tasty!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Urban Riding

I was riding in Lecheria Sunday morning and came across this neat grafitti.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Camera Part II

Camera arrived...
Slight larger than my old camera, but has more resolution and more options.
It'll work.

Monday, October 23, 2006

New Camera

Ordered a new camera; a Canon A530. Hopefully it will arrive in a few weeks with a friend who is coming down to visit.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Camera is Frito!

My Canon S-230 camera died after 3 years of steady use. I see this as a major weakness of the electronic age products. They do not do too well in extreme environments. One too many kayak trips did it in...even keeping the camera in a waterproof bag (designed for cell phones or GPS recievers). I need to get another digital I am thinking cheap...not small. My blog seems empty without photos.


Other news...Tania, my wife of 5 years, has been feeling pain in her left breast. We went to the doctor the other day and the doctor referred her to get a mammogram. We went this morning and the mammogram showed a "mothball"-sized (in her words) growth in her left breast and smaller ones in her right. I am worried...we are worried. Now what do we do? She'll get results back on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sea Kayaking

My sea kayaking takes a distance second to mtn biking, but when do go out and paddle, I really enjoy it.

Yesterday I went out with a teacher friend in the double. It was his first time out, but he's young and strong and figured he could handle some open water paddling.

We set out for an island 3 miles off shore, due north. The waves were coming in from the west, so were perpendicular to the boat.

A school of about 20 dolphins swam about 10 meters to our port side. We tried calling them over, but they weren't interested.

We reached the island but there was no place to land, so turned due east and we paddled another mile and 1/2 to my favorite island in the area, Isla Cachicamo (armadillo island), which is only about 200 m long and 50 m wide. Cachicamo has a couple of great features; one a barrier reef that protects the beach and doesn’t allow boats to land. There is one narrow pass through the reef which a kayak can pass either high or low tide. The second feature besides the nice beach is a great shady acacia tree on the east end of the beach (the only tree on the island…the rest is covered with cactus, thorny shrubs, and aloe plants.

Being the only people on the island, we pull the kayak above the high tide mark, get our coolers, and walk to the tree where we spend a couple of hours, eating our lunch, and watching boats pass. In my cooler was a Gatorade, a couple of sandwiches, and a 6-pack of Solera (premium beer) 250 ml cans. Those were probably the best beers I’ve had in Venezuela! What a place to enjoy them!

About 1:00 or so, we decide we need to head back, so we get back in the boat, and paddle about 2 nautical miles SSE to the east side of Isla de los Monos. We follow the shoreline of Isla Mono and round Punto de Oro, head WSW back to the marina were we started.

The total paddle was about 13 nautical miles.


Its been a while since my last post...actually I forgot I had this blog. Update in a nutshell, I returned to Venezuela in late July, in mid August, my wife, my 13-year old brother-in-law, and I went to Merida in the high Andes. I took my bike and did a couple of good rides including riding to Los Nevados from El Morro.

In Los Nevados, we scheduled a trip over the mountains on mule back to the tramway station #3 (4043 meters or 13,220 ft). The trip over was wet and rainy and Oscar got hypothermia. I gave up my horse and gave it to the Andean guide so they could get to the tram station faster. I walked in relative solitude over the pass at 4100 meters (13,410 ft). Fresh snow was above at about 4300 meters.

Once back down in thicker air of Merida (1700 meters or 5560 ft) Oscar warmed up and was feeling much better.

Work started again in late August. I've been riding my bike on weekends, including a short race where I placed 4th in my category (Clydesdales [90 kg or more]).

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Road Tripping Part II

I spent some time with my friend Mike. He is a really neat guy. His wife is a wonderful person as well. Mike is the recipient of a heart transplant. He looks great, and he is extremely happy to be alive! I like Mike! He should be an inspiration for everyone.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Road Tripping

I've been on the road since Wednesday. I spent a few days in Albuquerque and Corrales, NM. I spent one day mountain biking with friends in the Jemez mtns.

On Sunday, I headed west to Gallup, NM. On the way I got off the Interstate and drove to the "Rez" to say hello to some Navajo friends and a former student of mine. The grandmother remembered me as the beligana [sic] on the bike. She wanted to see my bike, so I had to pull it from the car's trunk. She enjoyed that. I still miss the rez. So quiet and beautiful out there...

In Gallup I stayed with a friend and we went mountain biking on the High Desert Trail system this morning. The smell of the sage brush and juniper trees was incredible! Lunch at Jerry's Cafe! Yeeha! Chile rellenos (red). Tasty!

I am now in Flagstaff, AZ visiting with an old friend and his wife. I havn't seen Steve in at least 6 or 7 years. He was hit by a truck in October and is currently a parapalegic (but improving daily). The guy is tough! Now he rides an "arm bike" which is an incredible piece of engineering made by Gary Helfrich (any cyclist should know who he is...).

Anyway, did another ride on the Flagstaff Urban Trail system this afternoon. Lots of fun! Alot different than the riding in Gallup in the morning. Today I really enjoyed my new Litespeed. Its a fun bike to ride.

Heading towards Phoenix tomorrow to see another friend, then back to Silver City.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Today I went hiking with my two nephews from Hawaii. We climbed Gomez Peak (about 7,200 ft.). They were hot and tired but seemed to enjoy the experience. I offered to take them to Sonic burger afterwards, but they wanted to go back to their grandmother's house. They didn't want to get spoiled by their uncle...go figure.

Mountain Biking

Went up to the SPC race course for some fun with friends. Geez Louise did they set a fast pace! I was the old man of the group and it showed. I brought up the rear the entire ride, but I still enjoyed myself.

Friday, June 30, 2006

This is Mimbres Man. I'm rested...I'm tan...I'm back.