Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Commuting Again

So, the weather is cooling off a bit, and the crazy work schedule I've had the last few weeks has eased up some. Put those together and it means I can start riding to work again.

This afternoon I rode the normal route in, but decided to get some extra miles on my trip home. I followed a route I've only taken a few times, and made a wrong turn at one point. This led to a fun downhill run before I realized I was going the wrong way. So I turned on the next street only to face this:

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This is Merrick Street. I plotted this little stretch on Bikely.com, and found that, at least for a small portion of the climb, it was a 40% grade. I'm not sure I believe it's quite that steep, but yeah, it was steep. It was the first time I ever needed the lowest gear in the back and the small chainring in the front. And even then, I barely made it.

But it was worth it. The reason I like this route is it takes me to the western end of West 7th Street, high above downtown. The downhill run into downtown Fort Worth is great.

I stopped just shy of downtown though, jumping onto the trail through Trinity Park, then following the Trinity Trail south toward home. There was a stiff headwind out of the south, but at least the heat isn't so stifling these days.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Rock Bottom

Ocean Rock redux

So today Mrs. Doohickie and I went to lunch at Ocean Rock... er, I mean Rock Bottom. It's a bit confusing; Rock Bottom just opened recently.

Before that, it was Ocean Rock.

We liked Ocean Rock. One of the things Mrs. Doohickie liked is they had a good Key Lime Pie. After checking out the menu for the new Rock Bottom, we saw they have Key Lime Pie on the menu and decided to try lunch there.

Rock Bottom has a decor very similar to the previous tenant; if anything there is a bit more pandering to the TCU crowd, both in what hangs on the walls and in menu items. The service was good- very attentive and several servers asked us if we needed anything even though we weren't their table. It was prompt too and the food arrived quickly. I had the Baja Fish Tacos.

They were excellent, with a great blend of flavors. Mrs. Doohickie had the Santa Fe Veggie Wrap, but had regular ranch instead of the jalapeño cilantro ranch dressing and a spinach tortilla instead of the jalapeño cheddar.

She liked her lunch a lot. The staff was totally cool about substituting for milder flavors.

Overall our experience was excellent and the food was great. I have two minor criticisms though: They were out of Key Lime Pie! That was the reason we decided to try them in the first place. (Oh well, I guess we'll need to go back for that another time.) Also, they had neither a lunch menu nor lunch specials. I usually don't pay $10.99 (not including drink) for lunch. The fish tacos were good, but equivalent level of food can be had elsewhere for less.

I mentioned the lack of a lunch menu to our server; I hope she passes the idea on to the management.

With just a little tweaking I can see Rock Bottom becoming one of our regular stops.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

When it Gets Too Hot to Commute

I'm sorry, but I just can't get enthusiastic about a 17 mile commute each way when the temps are easily over 100. Call me a wimp, but I just don't wanna do that. So how to get some miles in? Well, find a group that rides at night, of course!

I found such a group locally. They start at a pub. I rode my bike up there and had a pint at the pub before the 7:00 pm meetup time. I found out they meet up at 7:00 but don't usually start until 7:30. That gave me time for a second pint. ;- )

Some pictures of the ride follow (and also a video). I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, mostly. But first, the video.

Fearless Leader consults with Mark Twain

Waiting for the train crossing gates to go up

Sure beats riding in the afternoon sun!