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March 24, 2003

arizona updates.

happy birthday, sweetie!
Yesterday was Peter's 27th birthday. We celebrated by playing Laser Tag, my skills at which are abysmal. I came in second to last out of our friends plus a huge group of eight year olds.

finally, a chatterbox report.
After owning the Chatterboxes for only, oh, about five months, Peter and I finally used them on a ride together.

They worked really well on city streets; less so on the freeways. During the first part of the ride, Peter's mic was too close to his mouth, so I tended to hear things like "MMMMmmmpph ststststst Mpppppg?" After readjusting the mic, it got a lot better, but there was still a lot of static and road noise covering his words on the highway.

I think they worked really well as a general communication device between the person riding lead and the person riding sweep, though, which is exactly what we were doing. I wouldn't have wanted to have an in-depth conversation at any point during our ride, but it was great for things like "do I need to slow down?" or "did you make it through the light back there?" or "I need gas!". The faster you're going, the more you really need to slow your speech down and enunciate, to the point that you feel pretty stupid. There's really no way that the other person will understand you otherwise.

Both of us used the "push to talk" buttons on the Chatterbox unit itself -- on our next ride, though, I'm going to use the external PTT button that velcros around the handlebar. I found it distracting to have to find the button on the side of my helmet, especially since it was mounted too far back. I had to bend my wrist back every time I wanted to push the button, which made my arm sore by the end of the day.

the ride itself.
A couple of weeks ago, Kim and I realized that, since we're throwing a bridal shower for our friend Laura, we'd probably have to address bridal shower invitations. Never content to do things the easy way, we decided it'd be fun to ride somewhere pretty and address the invitations outside. After tossing around some ideas, we decided to ride to the coast on Saturday. Mark and Peter tagged along, making it a veritable party.

We all met at Nini's Coffee Shop in San Mateo, which is my favorite meeting place. It's right off the freeway, near a gas station, and has great food. After gossiping and eating, we geared up and headed west on Highway 92 over to Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean.

We headed towards San Gregorio State Beach, since, well, it's a good location and has a historical marker. Priorities!

Kim and I found a picnic table to address the invitations, allowing us to check that particular duty off the "eternal bridesmaids" list.

After we finished the invitations, we all hung out on the beach for a while and played amongst the huge driftwood shelters.

I put the camera mount back on the bike, and took some pictures of Mark, mostly, as we rode up Highawy 84 towards Alice's. You can see the yellow speck that is Kim in some of the shots, and even sometimes Peter way off in the distance. The camera mount is working out really well -- I think the blurry pics are from me accidentally covering the lens during the split-second of auto-focusing.

Up at Alice's, we bought some water (do I ever remember the three bottles of water in my fridge? No, I sure don't) and kicked tires for a while. We parked next to a guy named Dave who recognized Mark and I from Helimot last weekend, so we talked to him for a while. Kim enjoyed the chickens that always hang out across Highway 35 from Alice's.

After kicking the tires, we continued down east Highway 84 to Woodside, where it intersects with 280. I particularly liked this shot of Mark on the way down.

All in all, it was a pretty fun ride. I hadn't ridden down 92 towards the beach in a long time (which explains why I didn't put the camera mount on until after that stretch -- it's really gorgeous). I have no good way to end this entry, and, sadly, I have to go to dinner now.