Showing posts from June, 2013

Heather Glen, Balgriffin, and Ballantrae

Today we promised the kids we would take them to the spray park at #5 Ballantrae Park. It was supposed to be right after lunch, but things got pushed back and we weren't able to leave until after dinner. The weather was looking pretty ominous:

But we rode on. The dark clouds continued to gather, so we stopped by #25 Heather Glen to spend some time and see if they would blow over.

Heather Glen has a little gear driven race car track that is pretty unusual among playgrounds:
And I was happy to see that they had a little trainer for a manual car transmission:

A three way slide gave us a chance to set up a race:

Which Henry won in a photo finish:
The skies were lightening up so we headed towards the splash park, past #4 Balgriffin Park. They have a frisbee golf course here:

But then things got dark again so we stopped at the playground:

Yet another three way slide:

We started to head for home, but rode past the splash park to think about what to do. Turns out, you can't go near a …

Shannon Glen Park (again)

Back when I was still a rookie blogger, we made a visit to #44 Shannon Glen Park and left without pictures. To rectify this issue, we returned tonight, camera in pocket. I had my Globe, Kate in the trailer, Henry on his bike, and Sam on his Strider. I think the Strider is cute when it's leaned up against a tree like this:

The unique feature of Shannon Glen is this sliding trolley:

The kids like it, and I have to admit that I do too! Not just fun, it's good for the abs too. Yeah, that's it... it's just good exercise.

We stopped to check out some ants that were feasting on a sucker stick:

Then we were on the way back home. We made one quick stop to check out the lightning struck tree in Avery park:

Some thoughtful park worker carved a viewing hole in the tree:

Then it was on to exploring the creek:

None down, still 30 to go.

How many bikes do you need?

One of my favorite writers is Peter Egan from Cycle World, and one of my favorite articles of his is, "How many bikes do you really need?" In the article, he settled on five: a sportbike, a sport touring bike, a dirtbike, a great big hog, and an old crock. Similarly, I spend an irrational part of my waking hours trying to determine the correct size and composition of my bike fleet. I'm currently at an uncomfortable seven. They are (oldest to newest):

1. Surly Cross Check:

I've the CC about four and a half years, and it's done most everything: fixed gear, touring bike, cyclocross bike, town bike, etc. It's not perfect--I'd like to drop the bottom bracket, lengthen the head tube, and lighten the tubing up a hair, but it's so versatile and fun that it's earned its spot in my constantly churning fleet.

2. Soma Juice:

I've had the Soma only over a year, and it's mostly been a rigid/single speed mountain bike, with a brief foray into bike campin…

Indian Run Meadows with the Cousins

Cousins Greyson and Jackson are staying overnight with us, so right after dinner, we hit the road:

There's still a lot of construction along the Avery road bikepath, so we cut through the Trabue Nature Preserve. Of course, we had to stop at the pond:

Loading up, Sam said his favorite part so far was relieving himself in the pond. I won't show that picture! But that boy sure has some range.

We were quickly on the road again, heading for the evening's destination, #28 Indian Run Meadows Park.

This is one of the kids' favorite playgrounds, mostly because it has two well-separated play structures that make for an exciting Monster game. This time, we also played with swords. And jumped off stuff:

Is it wrong to ask your kids to jump off something for a good blog photo? I didn't realize blogging would present such ethical conundrums.
Another issue I wrestled with was a Krampus frame going for only $425 on ebay. A great price, but it has some issues that I'm not sure …

Twins and Park Place

I got home later tonight so we only had time for a quick spin. Henry is at my parents (with his cousins, he may never want to come home), so it was just me and twins. We headed out on a mission to find a new playground, that I kinda sorta remembered was on Park Place, maybe out near #39 Post Preserve. I was riding my Globe, trying to decide if the aluminum frame "planes" at all for me at all, so I didn't mind the extra time wandering around the neighborhood. Sam and Kate encouraged me shouting, "faster! faster" as we sped along:

(it's really hard to take a picture of your trailer while riding hard)

After some time, we gave up and circled back to Post Preserve. Sam had been there, but not Kate, so he showed her the ropes:

This is really a pretty nice playground:

Kate, as always, loves to rock:
But we were already past our usual bedtime, and I wanted to make one more stop before home, so we didn't stay long here. We ended up at #38 Park Place park, which…

Bike #64 Intro: OS Blackbuck 29er

Just to be clear, I don't currently have 64 bikes. Even my ever-patient wife would be giving me the evil eye way before that point. The Blackbuck is my 64th bike since I started biking as an adult (since 1990, basically), but "only" the 7th I have in the garage currently. Even at seven, I'm getting itchy to start unloading... but there's always one more out there, isn't there?

Anyway, after my less than enthusiastic reception of a Canfield Nimble 9, I was ready to try something different. Where the Canfield has a notably slack front end, the Blackbuck is notably quick. Blackbuck offers three forks lengths, and this is the shortest (I think of it as the "baby bear") fork available: at 435mm axle to crown, it's a touch shorter than most 26" forks, and it has more rake to boot. All of this will reduce the trail and sharpen the front steering. More on this later.

Oddly, this is the second Blackbuck I've had. I bought an early arrival of the…

Coffman Park and Frog Jump

Today was the day of the annual Kiwanis Frog Jump at #13 Coffman Park. Trying to beat the heat, we packed up the bikes at about 9:30 and were on the road. Henry led the way, as usual:

Jodi brought up the rear on her Trek:
Once there, we met the Big Frog:

I don't envy the guy in the frog suit today, it was about 90F and humid out. I can't imagine it's too nice to be the third or fourth guy to climb in that suit today, either. Yuck.

Next, we hit the rides, starting with the obstacle course:

Then the big slide:
Then the bounce house:

What's a guy in a Subway suit have anything to do with frog jumping? I'm not sure, but we got a coupon for a free sub:
Then it was time for the front jump. We carefully selected our frogs and got ready:

And then the frogs were off!

Or maybe not:

I'm not sure any of our frogs made it to the outer circle finish line. But Henry can still show off a winner's pose:

Of course, we stopped by the playground:

The playground has a music the…