Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day 210: Shout Out To The LBS

Update: 208.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 10 lbs to 60 lb goal.

It's funny how the internet can connect people. My self proclaimed 'biggest fan,' on my less-oft travelled music site is from Hong Kong, or Korea, or somewhere I've never been to out in the big, big, world. Makes me laugh...I get an email about once a year from him...or her, I can't tell by the name.

Anyway, I'm out at the LBS (local bike shop) yesterday, having my derailer (or derailleur, for Le' Mick) looked at because it's been slipping gears a little, and they're the folks who can make it go away. (And they did, got it up on the rack, turned some magic knobs, and got me back on my way.) Before I even get in the door the owner says "Hey, you can't be blogging about how your gears are slipping on a bike you bought from me!" Ha! Wow, I had no idea he was one of the 4 people who has been reading this here blog -- and actually turns out he wasn't. Another customer, who has been kind enough to become a reader here mentioned that he read it on my blog, and that's how he knew before I got there. Here I was thinking I might actually hit double digits in readership before end of the year.

So in my little effort to throw some blog-loving back to the LBS, (lest you think I was complaining about mine) here's a little plug post for South Salem Cycle Works and local bike shops in general. As Nick once texted me, 'support your local bike shop.' You won't get the most screaming deals on bikes or equipment - they are definitely not a Walmart or Target in terms of how much product they can move. But you should be able to find an LBS where you connect with the staff that work there. When you do, you should find a place where they take the time to help you understand your needs, and then help you purchase the right product to fill those needs. Once you make a purchase they should also support the products they sell and continue to provide service to you, the customer, long after you've laid down the cash.

I can say that I've purchased bikes at WalMart, and they are what they are. I've also purchased bikes at other shops here in town and they were most interested in getting my $$$ and then moving on to the next guy behind me. Mike at South Salem Cycle Works has been a good guy to deal with. He walked me through the bike options that might work and helped me select the one that made the most sense, and has been helpful with each newbie question I've had since then. Almost 5 months and almost 1000 miles later, I'm still making the 40 minute round trip drive out south to take my bike business there. As a local business owner myself, I can appreciate supporting those that make their living here in our town, as long as they can provide the service needed.

As David Wilcox once sang "go to East Asheville Hardware before you go to Lowes....before it disappears." I doubt Mike's bike shop is going anywhere soon, but if you need some cycling assistance head on down there...and tell them Paul sent you.

Hasta, Miguel!

ps - for those of you that are a little more ecologically-minded, they also recycle everything and haven't had dumpster service in a million years. Apparently, eveything they can't recycle, they just eat.... :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 208: Stone Cold at Stone Creek

Update: 208.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 10 lbs to 60 lb goal.

No, this isn't a post about me going hogwild at an expensive ice cream shop in the great outdoors. It's the sad tale of a beautiful golf course that got the better of me.

Stone Creek Golf Course is a crazy pretty course somewheres out in the vicinity of Oregon City, and was a course I hadn't even heard of before last week. Not sure when I'll be going back to play again after the showing I had today, but they had a great deal for 18 holes - $29 before 7 am, with a cart, for 18 holes. A 6:25 tee time means getting up at 4 to grab a shower, grab stuff for the day and heading out by 5 to avoid a rushed start. Yeah, I know...that's a little ridiculous, I won't argue that.

The course is easily the most picturesque course I've played all year long. It's also the most make-me-play-like-a-little-girl-esque course I've played as well. From the sand on the first hole that I bladed out of, and across the green, (the first of 6 sand holes) to the bad putting on the rock hard greens, I logged an adjusted 98. I should also mention that I took a BIP out there (Ball In Pocket) on one hole after hitting out of the sand, across the green on a par three, into the crap. Found the ball, but there was a foursome waiting to tee behind us, so I pocketed it while the others putted out, and carded a 7 - the maximum the club allows me to score on a hole right now.

Here's a shot of one of the par three hole greens, looking back to the three tee box areas. You shoot across a gully/canyon/raveen to a narrow green, which is heavily shadowed. Missed the birdie putt, but was really ok with getting a par after so much ugliness on one day of golf. I won't go on and on about the round as most of you are probably not too interested, but I wanted to put up a couple pictures because it is pretty enough that even most non-golfers can appreciate the beauty!


ps - Rarely do I Allow myself to get Yanked into chain-blog surveys, polls or Tag You're It Middle Name Games.