Boulder

Rode my Rans

Rans recumbent bicycle

My Rans Stratus XP recumbent bicycle on the bike rack on my carLabor Day weekend was simply gorgeous in Boulder. Lots of sun, not too hot, blue skies. It was a perfect weekend for getting to know my new Rans Stratus XP.

Earlier in the week, I picked up a Thule rack and a RockyMounts R4 rack that could handle the 65" wheelbase of my Rans.

The bike fit perfectly. I took off the seat for the drive from Ft. Collins to avoid catching a bunch of bugs in the mesh.

Assembly

All I had to do was put on the front wheel and the seat. Within a few minutes, I had it all together.

There was a bit of trickiness when it came to the wireless odometer computer. I just couldn't get it to pair up! Turns out, I had failed to properly reset the thing. It works fine now.

My Rans Stratus XP recumbent bicycle

The First Ride

I had no trouble riding from the start. That's why I chose the Rans Stratus XP over the various short wheelbase and other long wheelbase recumbents. But I was still a little wobbly at lower speeds. It was nothing too bad, but it did take me a couple of rides to get truly comfortable at lower speeds.

I started conservatively, doing a little 2-mile loop around my neighborhood. But that was too easy! So I did another larger loop, and ended up with a 6-mile ride.

I marveled at how comfortable the entire ride was. I don't know about you, but when I ride a regular bike, I get saddle sore. My wrists get sore. My fingertips go a little numb. And my back gets stiff. Maybe it's age. Once upon a time, I used to ride and ride and ride without these problems.

But the Rans changed all that.

The Rans Stratus XP is the Harley of bicycles.

No, it's not loud. It's comfortable.

It's a cruiser.

My Rans Stratus XP recumbent bicycleYou sit mostly upright, feet in front of you.

If I were to encounter someone coming the other way on a Rans, I'd wave low, left hand by my hip, like the Harley folks do with each other.

Okay, maybe I'm being silly.

But the thing is that the only limit is fatigue from exertion, without the fatigue from having to be in an awkward, unnatural position like you are on a regular bike.

That counts when you have had the chance to vote for more than three people for president.

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

For my second-day ride, on a whim I rode down Jay Road, and turned towards the airport. There's a really mean hill there, and I almost didn't make it. I kept telling myself to go just a little bit more, and I would rest at the top of the hill.

But when I got to the top, I found I was able to rest while still riding. I just pedaled lightly and cruised while I caught my breath.

Any advice on recumbent bicycles, and where to buy one in the Boulder area?

So I'm thinking about getting a recumbent bicycle for sports touring and some commuting to the office. My regular mountain bike is just a bit hard on my back and wrists, so part of my motivation is looking for comfort. But I also want something that I can use for longer rides. And, of course, this being Boulder, I don't want a tank -- I'll be climbing hills and riding some dirt and gravel trails.

Any buying advice?

Any suggestions where I can go in the Boulder area to test-ride some of them, maybe buy one?

It snowed in Boulder before it stopped

We were supposed to get a few inches of snow today. We got alerts yesterday. We got alerts last night. We got more alerts this morning. It did in fact start snowing around 8 or 9, but none of it stuck, and now it's a sunny, if rather cold, day, with the fall colors complementing the greenery rather than set off against white blankets. Beautiful nonetheless.

Congratulations to Lijit!

Kudos to Boulder start-up Lijit for winning in the Internet category for showing innovation and creativity in the Boulder Valley.

And they were up against some well-known competition: Me.dium and Collective Intellect.

If you don't know what Lijit is about, scroll down and look at the sidebar here. It's the green search thingie. Don't be fooled! It's not just any search thingie!

Steak and a movie in Boulder

The Railyard

Until today, The Railyard has been one of the great secrets of Boulder. Simply put: They have the best steaks in Boulder. Forget the way overrated Boulder Chophouse -- that place may have been good once, but now it's just a fancy joint serving sub-par Sizzler-caliber steaks -- The Railyard is the place to go.

The Railyard

My only real quibble is that they have these blue-daylight-colored energy-efficient bulbs lighting their dining area. Warmer colors would definitely improve the atmosphere.

Otherwise, their staff is very friendly -- and it's clear that they are proud of the food they serve, for good reason!

The reason The Railyard not a great secret any more is that it is located in the 29th Street Mall, right next to the the new Century Theatres complex, which opens today. These pics are from Wednesday.

Century Theatres in Boulder

Nice design, I think.

Century Theatres in Boulder

It's been a long long time coming, a modern movie theatre in Boulder. I'm looking forward to checking out movies there.

Century Theatres in Boulder

So in Boulder now, steak and a movie, that's the way!

Kasa: the best sushi in Boulder

People in Boulder are fairly blessed by a number of sushi bars, all of which are at least on the high side of good ... which is surprising, considering that we're more than a thousand miles from the nearest ocean port. I've tried them all. (Yes, I'm something of a sushi fiend!)

Kasa, the best sushi in BoulderKasa, one of the newest additions, started off by positioning themselves as a Japanese grill, but quickly realized that Boulderites have a definite yen for sushi. Their sushi was good, often very good.

Then they hired the (apparently) renowned sushi chef Kitazaki Kuichi, and wow!

Now the sushi is simply sensational!

And I say this knowing how good sushi can be in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and New York.

Now I fully admit that I may be subject to a bit of a local bias. After all, the place is just two blocks from my office, and it has not yet been discovered by the popular mob that swarms a couple of the other establishments in town.

But you really should try it out.

Really!

Kasa interior

Just another gorgeous day in Boulder

On days like this, it's hard to stay inside, working.

Pearl Street Malltulipsflower

Great wine, great food, great company at Cafe Blue

Last night Kate and I went straight from the office to a wonderful gourmet dinner and wine tasting at Cafe Blue (which is one of Boulder's best-kep secrets ... which makes it a good thing nobody reads this blog)....

What was funny is that one of the first people we met was a Joomla developer, Tom. Of course we immediately started talking shop. Maybe it's an occupational hazard of being a business owner, but I find that most potentially social occasions end up becoming informal business networking events. What's more, I enjoy it!

Fritz wine bottles

What makes it easy is when you can enjoy some truly wonderful wine at the same time. I'd never had Fritz wine before, at least as far as I know, but who knows for sure, right? Owner Clay Fritz told us about how his father started the winery some decades ago, and how it took him some ten years to get the business into a sustainable state. It's a fascinating business.

With Tom we talked about Open Source and how we got into working with Drupal -- which he had not heard of, surprisingly (for an open source LAMP developer) -- and he talked about his working with developers in India and Lima, Peru.

When we all sat down, the wines continued and the food began. The conversation never stopped.

Cafe Blue special menu

Kevin Middleton, the chef and co-owner (with wife Leslie) of Cafe Blue, is a true genius in the kitchen. Every course on this menu was fabulous!

For dessert, we had truffle chocolates with raspberry sauce and late-harvest zinfandel. As Kevin made his rounds to greet the 25 or 30 guests, he stopped by our table and I remarked upon how the wine changed as I ate the dessert. He smiled a big smile and explained how he's really into taste profiles and how food can draw out the flavors in the wines. It certainly worked in this meal.

On a day-to-day basis, Cafe Blue is an excellent restaurant, but on occasions like this, it's a true delight. I can't wait until the next tasting.

Cafe Blue on Urbanspoon

Snowing again

March snow in Boulder

-15 degrees in Boulder this morning

If the groundhog lived here, he would have seen his shadow, because the sun is shining -- but it's just too damned cold and he probably would have rather stayed indoors.

Happy Groundhog Day!

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