Bike & Build

July 10th - Supporting the Walls

The girls working the saw made a sign today!

Quite frankly, I forget what we did today. I only transferred these five pictures from my camera, and none of them ring any bells. We made more progress on scaffolding the across-the-street house, at least. 

Oh! I remember! I spent most of the day adding sports between the walls and the roof trusses. I cut a bunch of wood chunks down to 22" and installed them in between two roof trusses. Then I nailed down through the new support into the wall below. These supports reduce the amount of wobble in otherwise floating walls and reduce future drywall damage. 

July 9th - Food Rescue

Can you believe that all this would've gone to a landfill?

Today I hung back at the church for the morning. A local food rescue organization was providing lunch and I wanted to help them cook. 

Their schtick, as they explained it to me, is being a pair of wheels. Groceries and restaurants throw out expired food all the time, even if the expiration is just a number. They act as a middleman, finding grocery stores that discard food and delivering it gratis (via bike!) to low-income areas and food pantries. 

We had an assortment of fresh produce and some desserts from Trader Joes - all expired by a day or so but otherwise fine. After chopping the onions, peppers, potatoes, and whatever else we had, we cooked up a stir fry sort of dish. I suggested using the sweet potatoes on their own, and prepared them mashed with a little cinnamon. 


July 8th - Divide and Conquer

Habitat says out our hard hats in the morning. The front of each has our name, and the backs have a picture that describes us. A doodle, really.

We left the ranch early this morning to return to the build site in Fountain. Along the way, we saw some mile deer (correct me if I'm wrong) and some really nice views. 

We split into a few smaller groups today to work on installing riding trusses on one house, house wrap on another, and a fence around a third. 

The pictures have captions again today, so click and browse!

July 7th - At The Ranch

The horses pi grazing in the back pasture

Today was a day off, and I got almost two days of for the price of one. Helen's parents picked us up from the build site yesterday after helping out for a few hours. The four of us headed up to the ranch for a light dinner and a night in a real bed. 

The next morning, we slept in. Helen read a book while I worked on the broken refrigerator. After taking the whole thing apart, defrosting everything, and checking the defrost timer, I found infinite resistance across the heater coils. Infinite resistance means no heat. 

I looked for a local replacement, but failing that ordered a new one online. Until it's installed, we can defrost the thing by hand. 

Helen's cousin Micah came over for a while in the afternoon. We hung out with the horses and chatted amongst ourselves for a while. 

All in all, a very good day. 

July 6th - Walls Up

This Habitat affiliate has some cool equipment including this whatever-it-is, some big earthmovers, and an old pickup truck.

This was the second day of the Blitz Build. We polished off the framing work and stayed to install scaffolding. The scaffold will let us work on installing the roof trusses and sheeting safely. 

This is working out to be a nice site, albeit a little slow-paced. 

July 5th - Blitz Building

Bike & Build sponsored a whole house. How cool is that?

This whole trip, we've been talking about how SC2SC is unique among Bike & Build trips since we have this Blitz Build thing, where we work on the same site for a whole week and get a ton done. 

It starts today. 

The NC2SD route spent two days on the site before we arrived. They worked on the initial framing work, and maybe the basement. I'm not really sure. 

We took off from there, spending six days building on three houses. 

The regular volunteers were friendly, and the Habitat organization was surpassingly organized. We had a schedule for the whole week, ahead of time. That's unprecedented. 

July 4th - Independence Day!

Happy Independence day! It may have been three weeks ago, but I'm writing about it now. 

I'm going to skip captions today. The photos mostly run in the same order as the text below. Enjoy!

We started the day with a very patriotic van: overnight, a few riders filled the van to the brim with red, white, and blue balloons. When the leaders found out, they made us clean the thing out (after laughing quite heartily). Watching 20-somethings running around with pointy things trying to burst balloons wandering off in the morning breeze is ... something. 

July 3rd - Speeding Down Highway

Pulling over for a bit during lunch

We had two choices of route today: either ride 116 miles through back roads (maybe mountains, maybe plains) or ride 54 miles on highway 25 (riding on the highway is legal in some sections). As a group, we voted to take the highway and be careful riding. It wasn't an especially pretty day, but the low mileage was nice. 

Since we were on the highway, I didn't take my camera out much. Meeting carefully across entry ramps was enough to pay attention to.

My group accidentally missed the exit for lunch so the three of us pulled over for some snacks instead. 

July 2nd - Cuchara Pass

Sunrise in Trinidad. The sky caught fire.

My head broke 10,000 feet today. But only my head. It's a little stunning to think I've climbed that entire way.

 Cuchara pass brought us out of Trinidad on a roundabout route into Walsenburg. The pass was much longer than the direct highway route but avoided highways and traffic. Views were stunning the whole day.

The climb up Cuchara involved lots of up and down. Every hill crest I'd hope for the pass's sign. It's a little frustrating to climb every vertical foot two or three times. But the views were worth it. 

July 1st - Day Off #2

Our trailer overlooking some of Trinidad's mountains

Even though we had the day off, we kept ourselves busy today. In the morning we went out for breakfast at a cafe downtown, then hooked a few miles up to Simpson's Rest. After a brunch up on the mountain, we meandered over to the bike shop (Ultimate Sports) for new tires, bar tape, and patch kits. Finally, we headed back towards the host, the Trinidad Community Center, stopping for dinner at a Chinese place along the way. 

It doesn't sound like so much, but we walked about 7 miles in the day. I think. 

And I got snazzy new tires for my bike. Hopefully that's it for the flats for a long while.