Saturday, June 5, 2010


Sure is an awful lot going on around here. Even when I don't go to work...

I took a personal day to miss a round trip on the Saratoga Express yesterday. I'm pretty burned out from the endless RR insanity. There comes a time when I know I've had enough and need a break and this was one of those times. As I've said before, it's a good thing I like what I do or I'd never put up with it. An old buddy of mine said, "It's a good thing they pay really well or nobody would work there." Very true.
What wears on me the most is the almost universal view among some of the higher-ups of T&E (Train & Engine) people as liars and thieves. Just for example; last week I was accused by one of our "partner" railroads of lying about an engine defect and using it to hold up their operation for a couple of hours while I fixed it. Let me think about this for a minute...I'm on the homeward leg of my trip so I'm trying to make it as short and painless as possible...I'm making a bunch of extra work for myself since no one from said partner RR was available to assist...I still managed to get the train where it was supposed to go even with one unit dead...and oh by the way, I happened to be right. What kind of idiot would put himself through the hassle if it wasn't legit? Not me but for some reason, they wanted me disciplined for it. Luckily, there was some of our own guys who stepped up and stepped on the whole mess before it got too ugly. The only thing damaged was my serenity but as the saying goes, "It's the principle of the thing."
There's been a whole series of minor crisis' lately, mostly with junk engines but I just got to the point where I couldn't think straight and thats when I know I've got to miss one and just de-stress without the phone for a couple days.

For therapy, I dragged out the old Trek 1400 yesterday and pushed 72 miles around the countryside while the kids and spouse were at school. I'm trying to figure out if I can do 100 by the end of the month when we're riding the Tour de Cure all the way around Seneca Lake. I think I'll be alright as I could have kept on going yesterday if I hadn't run out of time. The last big climb almost did me in but hey, it's NY not Iowa so there's hills, deal with it. I normally don't try to find flat routes when I'm out and about anyway, I just go and if there's hills, there's hills. It's kind of tough to plan a route in this neck of the woods that doesn't have at least some climbs somewhere even if you wanted to. Pretty good practice for the jaunt around the lake.
Very soon I've got to come up with some new tires though. The front end has developed a tendancy toward a serious speed-wobble and I'm getting tired of tip-toeing around like I'm riding on marbles. The only cause I can come up with is tire wear setting up some kind of harmonic at just the right speed and road condition. Unfortunately, most of the town roads hereabouts are surfaced by drizzling tar out of a truck and spreading crushed stone on it. This makes for pavement that's basically filled with grooves so sailing down a hill at any kind of velocity has a feel like those miserable steel deck bridges. Very twitchy. The skinny road tires hunt back and forth in the ridges and the bike rides like its got flats front and rear. There's enough roads around like that that unless you ride on the main drags all the time (which I can't stand), it's going to happen. I never noticed it that much until recently which leads me to believe something has changed on the Trek ie., tires but I'm not even sure that's where the problem is coming from. None of the local bike guys have any really good ideas that I haven't already checked so it's got me a little puzzled. Oh well, I need new skins anyway so I'll give it a try.

The other part of the plan that involved missing a trip was to take Chris and the boys up to the Erie Canalway Trail and ride a while Saturday. That's what she asked for for her birthday and it sounds like a good idea to me. Off we go to try out a new path.

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