This was a short but satisfying and satisfyingly muddy lunch gravel ride. I should do this more often.

My gravel bike "Battle Cat" in front of Trier's city scape

I miss the 2nd generation butterfly keyboard of my old 2016 MacBook Pro so much. Best keyboard I’ve ever used and while the mechanism is similar on the iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and damn good for a keyboard of this type, it still feels much less precise.

Turns out that I’ve been riding my bike(s) every day for the past two weeks in some shape or form. Some longer rides, some shopping rides, some just going to the local coworking space. Still, it makes me very happy to get some pedaling in daily.

The first piece for the gravel cassette project has arrived.

Is it ever too late for a cup of hot Earl Grey tea?

I just realised that I haven’t sat down to just listen to an entire orchestral soundtrack/classical album/any album really in a few weeks. I need to make time on the weekend to get lost in some good music.

Just ordered an Ultegra 12–25 cassette and a Wolftooth 18 tooth cog replacement. I’ll try to combine this with my existing XT 11–40 cassette to create a cassette with very tight high gears and sensibly even spacing in the lower gears: 12-13-14-15-18-21-24-27-31-35-40

First ride impressions: Salsa Cowchipper gravel bike handlebar

When I built up my gravel bike, Battle Cat, I decided to stick with the Canyon H17 Al Ergo handlebar at least for a while because I wasn‘t keen on re-wrapping a new bar and I had, up until then, been pretty happy with it. Recent longer outings with more singletrack sections made me curious about the flared drop bars that have become increasingly popular among gravel and cross cyclists. After quite a bit of research, I decided to buy the Salsa Cowchipper Deluxe.

Yesterday I went out for the first proper ride and the route I picked was a mix of gravel tracks, forest and wine yard paths, and some broken asphalt roads. All of it wet, slippery, loose, and muddy from three days of nearly constant heavy rain.

On the first kilometre everything felt strange. The suddenly angled hoods and brake levers, the flare of the bars (24°), the different transition from the flat bar to the hood to the drops, and all of it combined with the Tune Dahu Skin bar tape.
This completely evaporated once I went up the first singletrack climb. The path was parts muddy, parts wet slippery slate pieces that required careful line choice going up and equally careful weight distribution so as not to lose traction riding on 700×40c Donnelly X’Plor MSO tyres already at 3.5 bar.
The flared bars allowed me to get into a wide and low stance, staying seated the whole time. The first fast decent on a muddy path increased the feeling of control on the bike and sections that I would have typically ridden with my hands on the hoods, I took in the drops because the reduced distance between hoods and drops, combined with the overall different shape of the assembly had me riding less hunched over.

So far so good. I’m going for a longer gravel ride on the weekend that will hopefully be less wet and I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel about the handlebar after 40+ km in the saddle compared to a quick 16 km ride.

I have made a grave mistake.
Prepared a tea post bike ride, a sample pack that I still had laying around. Looked at the packaging, deemed it interesting, made a cup. After the first few gulps I took a closer look at the ingredients: … guarana … green tea …
It‘s 20:57. 🤦🏻‍♂️

I had an amazing Sunday:
Slept in, went for a long, rainy hike with my partner and our dogs, fitted a new handlebar and new bar tape to my gravel bike, ate really tasty lasagne soup (yes, that exists), and watched “Raising Dion” on Netflix curled up comfortably on our couch.

Cooked some curry and listened to “The Whiteness Album” by Nato Green (standup comedy). Really worth it. Check it out if you can.

I’m rewatching the 6th season of Downton Abbey ahead of catching the movie in the cinema. Every time Dame Maggie Smith appears on screen, I cannot help but cheer. This woman is an incredible actress.

Hmmm… 🤔
Thinking about replacing the crankset and 36/46 chainring I have with a 30/46 combination and then going back to a 11–30 Ultegra cassette from the 11–40. I found recently that I appreciate having smaller steps between gears.

It’s disappointing how few backpacks (including Peak Design’s packs) and even fewer proper hiking backpacks have a good place to attach the Peak Design Capture Clip. I missed having my camera clipped to the molle on the left shoulder strap on my Goruck GR0 so much.

Mika is such a gentle dog. She’s afraid of rivers and streams. While Bijou drank heartily from a stream on yesterday’s hike, I fetched water in a bowl for Mika who waited a good 10 m from the stream. She drank her fill and when she was done, gave me a “thank you” lick on my hand.

It’s become increasingly clear to me, using my X-Pro2 with the XF23mmF1.4 (my favourite), that if Fujifilm were to release a X100F successor with a slightly better lens (f/2 or just better sharpness at close distances) and weather resistance (!), I would purchase it instantly.

Has anyone seen this kind of behaviour?
iPhone 7+ with a new Apple-installed battery (100% health) set down at 01:00 in Energy Saver Mode at 85% charge. Woke up at 09:30 to find the battery at 15% charge. No info on runaway processes during that time and no apparent data usage.

Wie war das? Unser Geruchssinn hat eine direktere Verbindung zum Gedächtniszentrum des Gehirns als die anderen Sinne? Denn als ich eben eine Grünkernbratlingmischung für vegetarische Burger angesetzt habe, hat es mich gedanklich zurück zum Küchendienst im Kindergarten versetzt.

Turns out, Chuck the coworking space dog is a very patient photo subject. This is anthropomorphization par excellence, I know, but he looks so pensive in these pictures.

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“Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” with something I really didn’t know about lesbians. 💍🤯😂

Hint: Amber Ruffin and Henny Hagel are excellent, as always.

I do enjoy it a lot when I reach my daily calorie goal on a long morning walk with the dogs.

Oh this is just delicious.
Instagram just sent me a spam email because I’ve been away for so long. The email also included a “You have 1 like.” line to entice me to check who graced one of my photos with social affirmation.

Bijou is such a very good girl.
She just let me scale her upper jaw’s teeth without even so much as flinching. We’ve been using a toothpaste/balm after each evening’s tooth cleaning and it really helped soften the calcular deposits.

What an amazing capture by photographer Dick van Duijn.
That’s either the product of a lot of time and patience, or incredible luck, or both.

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This just came up in my recommendations in Deezer and I’m sitting here dancing in my chair, banging my head: The Struts — Body Talks
song.link/i/1435805…