May and June Donations

Slowly but surely I am catching up to my monthly charitable donations. My May Donation is for the ASPCA. I am sure we have all seen the commericals with Sarah Mclachlan in them that tear at your heart strings (i might just cry typing this). As I have said before I am a sucker when it comes to caring for animals. The ASPCA seems like an obvious choice.

My June donation is for the Garfield Conservatory in Lincoln Park. Last year they suffered a devistating blow when a hail storm knocked out a large portion of the windows at the conservatory. 

The Convervatory has always been one of my favorite places to visit whenver I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo. I have always found greenhouses and conservatories incredibly calming. So warm and quiet inside. I often times went to the green houses at University of Illinois when I was there during the winter just to escape the cold and drab weather and the stresses of the school. They were an incredibly meditative place in all of thecrazy that is sometimes a college campus. 

Ridelog: 05/20/12 - Road & Track Riders of Chicago

View 05-20-12 Ride Log in a larger map

The weather finally cooperated this weekend and I think just about everyone was able to get out for a ride. I finally had a change to ride with RTRC. We met up initally in Schaumburg and then road north to have breakfast at a resturant called The Full Moon Family Resturant. It seems to be quite the biker hangout. The ride continued on throught he Highland Park area where we at one point stopped at a nice beach on Lake Michigan. 

Hard work and a bit of disappointment

It has been a couple of weeks since I have had the opportunity to get out and ride. Last week I posted a status update on some of the upgrades I have been working on for the ZR-7. It was around that same time that I had been looking at the Powerbronze fender eliminator for the bike. To just my unluck I found this kit exactly one week after the manufacturer had decided to discontinue it. THe timing was truly remarkable and after following up with two different US distributors it seems I missed the boat. So in order to avoid a similar future fate I decided to bite the bullet and purchase the Competition Werks fender eliminator. 

Now this kit is stainless steel compared to the fiberglass of the PB kit. It has some advantages and disadvantageous over the other, but it seems it was my only option. It arrived this past week and I was not completely planning on installing it for a while, but I was planning for a nice bike ride up to Lake Geneva on Saturday (more on that in a bit) so I wanted to get it installed for the big ride. 

So Friday afternoon I went at it. Overall the kit was fairly easily to install once you figure out how it goes. The biggest problem was the instruction manual was absolute garbage. If anyone plans on getting this kit themselves, my advice is to just look at the photos and work your way from front to back on putting all of the screws in. I spent probably a good thirty minutes trying to figure out where the signal panels went before realizing that they went on the outside of the kit. Overall though the end results turned out pretty good. 

So the point of getting that thing installed as quickly as I could was to get ready for a large ride up to Lake Geneva this weekend with the Road & Track Riders of Chicago. Unfortunately my neighborhood got nailed by thunderstorms and I couldn't get out to meet up with the group and I was left with another weekend of no riding. Needless to say I was very disappointed.  

May 2011 Reading List

Cranked out two books this month, well two if you consider and audio book a book. I “read’ hunger games about a week ago listening to it through Overdrive from my public library. I normally don’t do a lot of library reading since I can never read the books fast enough. Two weeks generally just is not enough time for me. I figured though that I should be able to crank through the Hunger Games though pretty quickly as an audio book and I have to say I really enjoyed it. 

The other main book I read this past month was Cordelia’s Honor. It is an omnibus of two books by Lois McMaster Bujold. Quite a good read actually that features a very strong and well written female main character. I finished that yesterday just as the month is ending. Next up on my list is N.K. Jamisen’s “A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms”.