I'm still "bach'ing it" as Jeannie is back east on her annual 'girls vacation' (which we both have decided July is a good time for her to do that, as she can't STAND to hear P&P, and for 21 days that's all we have here in July!) So this works out best for both of us...I have unlimited TV time w/ the boys, and she is out having fun w/ friends and family and MISSING the entire Tour...it's a good system!
For a bit of catch up, Cal Fire has our local fire totally under control...I think they're calling it 95% contained, meaning they still have some crews putting out/watching for hot spots, but the rest of the OVER 2 THOUSAND 'boots on the ground' crews have been moved to other fires (about 30 to 40 miles south east we have the Whittier fire which is still going like mad....it's down by Lake Cachuma). On Friday afternoon I could see the huge smoke plume from that fire when I drove out to the base to pick up my muffins n stuff (it was my 'every other Friday off, and I'm still fundraising for World Bicycle Relief so needed to gather my goodies and put them in the refrigerators for the weekend, and then go to get groceries at the commissary). On the Alamo fire (the CLOSE on) they had all those ground troops, 5 aerial 'slurry' bombers, and 5 water-dropping helos. It was the biggest fire in California for a few days. I rode my bike on Friday morning on Santa Maria Mesa rd (runs east/west just below the base of some of the scorched hills)...they hadn't yet opened up Tepesquet Canyon Rd (which the fire crossed before they got it under control) but it is back open to the residents to start moving back in.
OK..enough on the fires. This weekend I DID manage to replace the entire suspension on my old 2003 Jetta wagon...it has 260,000 miles on it, and the suspension was still stock (meaning that it was LONG GONE). I didn't realize how bad it was as it slowly degrades over time and you really aren't aware of it until you put in new stuff. HOLY COW! I'm suddenly NOT bottoming out on small rocks and dips in the road anymore! But I have to say, what a huge PAIN changing out those McPhearson Struts are in my garage without a lift and a full professional set of special tools (I was able to 'borrow' the spring compression clamps from Auto Zone thankfully, instead of BUYING them). But I got it done..whew! The rear shocks and springs were rather easy in comparison (did those on Friday afternoon). But it's all good now, and I installed a nice Koni set w/ lifetime warranty (not sure Koni realizes that I may take them up on that in another 10 to 15 years when they get a letter asking for free replacement struts/shocks as I hope to STILL have my car!)
Weather is pretty good here of late (summer time).I was able to get in a nice road ride yesterday morning w/ my local Cycle Star crew (Cycle Star is a local bike shop about a 1/2 mile from my house). Scott Clark is the owner and he hosts a Saturday morning ride every weekend right from his shop, where he welcomes riders of all abilities. He really caters to the newer riders, teaching them the basics of group rides as they increase their skills and learn how to ride in a group. He's a FANTASTIC rider (used to race, and is STILL one of the stronger riders in the entire area). The more advanced riders always get plenty of time to 'play' on all the climbs and descents, and we frequently regroup so nobody is ever left in the 'wind'. ON longer rides he always has shorter loops available for the newer riders that aren't capable of the longer distances. Anyway, here's the group photo one of the guys took on top of "Rim Rock", a local 20% grade section (after the stage where Froome lost the yellow the other day he wanted everybody to realize how HARD a 20% grade is, so he took the group on this loop....NICE!).
And that's a wrap from here. Time for me to go watch the current Stage (15). Go Bardet and Martin!!
Viva le Tour!