Biking with little sister

So it turns out that my sister Amy was available to go mountain biking with me on Saturday. We went to Dawson Forest north of Atlanta not far from where we grew up. It is a nice area, even though you have to share it with horseback riders. My sister made it through a fairly tough 10-mile ride with me. It was only the second time she has been on a mountain bike, so I was pretty impressed.

She actually fell down a stone waterfall at one point but managed to keep going. Here’s the proof:

Amy's first Georgia mountain bike ride

Shimano steps up to the plate

My fears were confirmed when I took my bike in for the guys at Outback Bikes to see it. The rear derailleur is toast. Apparently, the brand new Shimano chain snapped at the assembly link in such a way that the link end came through the chain drive path like a grappling hook and ripped by rear derailleur to shreds. They say they are going after Shimano for the warranty. I will need a new Deore XT rear derailleur and, obviously, a new chain, which will be a Sachs chain. Avoid Shimano chains. The service manager at the shop has actually seen this same thing before, and refuses to ride with Shimano chains. I think his own personal episode of being stranded by a Shimano chain may play into that.

The bike is officially broken, as well as broken in

Okay, so I had mentioned earlier this week that I would take my new bike for one more ride to finish breaking it in. I head out to Yellow River this evening and take the River Bike Loop. I suppose I am about twenty minutes into the ride when I get off to cross a big log. As I roll forward beyond the log, I hear something fall past my spokes with that light, echoing sound they make when struck. It’s not an organic material, though. I am moving through sand, with only twigs and vines to get caught in my wheels. I immediately stop and look down to find the following:

Look mom, no brake pad

For those not familiar with bikes and/or v-brakes, there should be a pad mounted just off that black arm beside the wheel. I managed to find everything but the retaining nut right away, then I spent 40 minutes beside the Yellow River trying not catch yellow fever as mosquitoes ate me alive while I searched for the nut.

I eventually gave up on the nut and decided this would be a good exercise in learning front brake control. So I headed back toward the trail entrance, annoyed that this happened on only the third use of the bike. But, hey, I figured it could have been worse, right?

Yeah, it could.
Continue reading The bike is officially broken, as well as broken in

Tapestry as an MVC framework

I don’t know how I feel about Tapestry just yet.

Howard Lewis Ship, the creator of the Tapestry framework, spoke at AJUG this evening. Tapestry indeed seems far more streamlined than Struts as far as J2EE web frameworks go.

I asked Howard to tell us some characteristics of Tapestry as an MVC Model 2 framework for J2EE applications from an architectural perspective that differentiate it from the other MVC Model 2 frameworks like Struts, Spring MVC, Veloctiy, etc. In his response, he seemed to be saying that all of the components were playing the role of model, view, and controller at different times. He followed that with saying that he believes that Tapestry’s MVC Model 2 implementation is one of the most pure implementations of the pattern. Perhaps that is so, but what it sounded like to me was that separation of concerns had been redefined, thus tying the view more closely to markup languages than I would care to do.

I don’t have the bandwidth to take a close look at Tapestry right now, but I don’t currently think that it would be my first choice for the presentation tier of a large J2EE project.

Howard’s notes and an MP3 of the meeting will eventually be available on the AJUG site.

Reid is not totally correct

For those who may have seen the recent post regarding a comment from a Delta Airlines employee named Reid, I have an update. Emergency exit rows in some planes do indeed have the same structure as a bulkhead seat. While taking Delta Flight 775 home from LaGuardia, my wife and I noticed that the exit rows in the rear section of the plane (a Boeing 767-300) do indeed have the bulkhead row type of wall in front of them.

Homework, Reid, homework before issuing the blanket authoritative statements.

Ray’s Pizza on 6th Ave. in SoHo

My wife and I popped into Ray’s Pizza at 319 6th Avenue in New York today. We were in that period between hotel checkout and the flight home, when you are functionally homeless for several hours. Although the restroom door had a makeshift “Out Of Order” sign, folks kept coming in and out of it. Since one of my main drives for going there was to be able to use the restroom (second only to eating), I decided to see what was behind the door.


The restrooms at Ray's Pizza - Unisex?

Surpisingly, the toilet seats themselves were clean. The most pressing issue is that you have to be a contortionist to use the clean seat without hitting anything surrounding it with part of your body. I chose the one on the left; I think it was the lack of large holes in the door that sold me on it:
Continue reading Ray’s Pizza on 6th Ave. in SoHo

Wow, a non-spam comment on the weblog!

Well, it turns out someone actually read this weblog other than a friend or family member! Reid, my first non-associate commenter, was apparently ruffled by my entry from my D.C. trip and its allegations toward the airline.

I think he may be correct about the emergency exit row thing; I just don’t know that I care enough to check it out. Just the same, it is neat to know that somehow folks are ending up here and actually reading this stuff.

Sid’s Bike Shop in Manhattan must not be a Gary Fisher dealer anymore

I went by Sid’s 2nd Avenue Bike Shop in Murray Hill today to see if I could score some little piece of Fisher gear as a Manhattan souvenir. They had shown up as the Fisher dealer closest to my hotel. If they are still a Fisher dealer, you would never know it.

They have Specialized, Rocky Mountain, Cannondale, Giant, and Bianchi bikes all over the racks, and the door is equally-adorned with decals from those vendors. There’s not a shred of Fisher anything that I could see. I sent in a notice to Fisher from the website; somebody needs to either check up on their dealers or keep the website listing up to date.

Sid’s does seem like a good shop, though.