Bikes Daily Ride

Monsoon season : 74/100

This last weekend we had a heat wave pass through the area. Temperatures were above 90F for at least 5 days straight. Yesterday was by far the warmest day of the heat wave. Then, just as the sun was setting, we had a few small rainstorms roll in.

Today was cloudy and a little stormy all day. It was glorious. The air cooled and the sun was obscured by the clouds. The Monsoon season has begun, and it could not have come at a better time for the area.

Its been a hot dry summer this year, and the snowfall wasn’t great last winter. Southern Colorado and 73% of the western states of the US are in Drought conditions. Here is a drought map of Colorado with Mancos. Most people in Colorado haven’t had Air Conditioning in their homes in the past. That is changing with more homes adding AC to handle the warm summers. Rather than change our habits to deal with climate change we are just doubling down on what causes it. Grrrrrr.

Hey, at least we aren’t in Phoenix anymore!

Workout detail

After work ended Kate mentioned going for a bike ride and I was game. There were storm clouds all around but it still felt like we weren’t gonna get poured on. We got a good 45 minute ride in and then I rode fenceline backwards for the first time. It is also a lot of fun!

Bikes Off the Bike

Rattlesnake : 65/100

Today marks the first time I have seen a rattlesnake on our land. It was more than 500 feet from where we live and spend most of our time. I am not thinking about relocating it but it is a good reminder that we have company out here.

The great news is that rattlesnakes love rodents and help keep their population in check. The other good news is that I have a name for the area I saw it in: Rattlesnake Alley.

In other news that fenceline trail is ready for riding. Total lap length from the new cabin entrance is 0.82 miles. I ran a few laps this afternoon and am getting in just under 5 minute laps. Riding it has helped me see a few things I can adjust to make the ride a little nicer. Overall I am very happy with the trail. It can be ridden by anyone but is still challenging enough to be a workout.


Sketchup : 47/100

When we lived in Phoenix we redesigned the kitchen and laundry room. Since we bought the land in Colorado we have designed: a highway entrance, half a mile of road, 2 rv pads, a septic system, and a cabin with shed.

To do all of those designs I have used Sketchup. When I first used Sketchup I enjoyed how quick and easy it was compared to Auto CAD. There is some learning curve but the ability to connect lines and build things is easy and fun.

It has been helpful to watch YouTube videos to see how others use the tool. There are so many ways to build your floor plan. Then you just pull the floor up 8′ and you have your walls. If you remembered to cut out doorways then those are already built.

The web based version is free and works in the browser. Watch a few tutorials and you can start building in no time. From creating first drafts quickly to highly accurate building plans you can use Sketchup to do it all.

Currently I am playing around with some layouts that have a large central living room. Its been fun to see what works and what doesn’t. I find that with Sketchup I am too quick to start building walls and the roof. First I need to get the floor plan figured out.

Sometimes it takes building the walls and roof to see the earlier mistakes. Depending on how bad the mistake is I may undo a few times or I may just start from scratch. The copy and paste capabilities make iteration fast and easy.

One additional tool that Sketchup has is the warehouse. This is where people can upload their Sketchup models for other people to use. I pulled down someones King size bed to scale.

Workout detail

Got up and on a 30 minute bike ride this morning. The smoke from the forest fire was still pretty strong then. The rule of thumb is that if you don’t have 5 miles of visibility then you should not exercise. I could see at least 5 miles but the air still stunk with smoke.

The ride was pleasant and made me feel great all day.


Easy Sunday ride : 38/100

Last weekend we hung drywall all weekend, which means we didn’t get a long weekend ride in. The long weekend ride is particular because there are almost no time constraints on the ride. You can take your time, go further, or spend some time having a coffee.

Today was also a pretty windy day and was still coming from the southeast. Our initial plan had been to ride northwest to Dolores but that would mean there would be a headwind on the return. So we changed plans and rode southeast towards Mancos and then south of town through some of the farming roads.

We fought the wind all the way out and then got a nice push back to Mancos. We stopped at the local bakery for some coffee and baked goods. I also had taken 2 apples with me from home to snack on during the ride. I find that 1 apple per hour is good for 2 hours or riding. More than that and I add peanuts and dates to the additional apples.

There isn’t much better for clearing your head than going for a nice bike ride. When the wind is howling makes it better cause you have no time for day dreaming. Its about pushing your legs and getting over the hill.

Workout detail

Went for a bike ride with Kate and Bill.