Wrong Wheel Drive
@Wrong Wheel Drive
Best posts made by Wrong Wheel Drive
I've made it in!
I have made it to the hyphen. It has taken me a few days to get this account creation thing to work but I am now here. Hoping to see more Oppos over here as time goes on. I shared my drive/hike from yesterday on Kinja but here are some more recent pics I have.
Thanks to the Veterans day holiday being midweek, I have utilized some vacation time to get a nice chunk of time off. Miata is getting a full head job done and I am leaving shortly for another hike and bike adventure. Lovely Socal fall weather right now with temps in the 60s and sun for days. Hoping next to do a coilover review for the Subaru since I have finally had some time to really drive the car since the install.
Adventures with Wrong Wheel Drive
I enjoy how I have my roof rack on the Subaru set up for two activities at a time. It's either ski and bike or surf and bike. I doubt ski and surf would both fit but I haven't tried since that's kind of an odd use case. Either way though, no I am not going on a cool adventure like that, just moving into my new place and had to get a picture of this. But I did just get back from a different adventure to the snowy North!
It snowed over 100 inches at the peak and I've got a season pass (ikon pass) so I spent three days enjoying the festivities. Friday night I camped in Lone Pine, enjoying the heck out of my new self-inflating sleeping pad. Slept warmer than ever even though it was around 30F. Saturday was an absolute shit show but worth it for freshies plus Sunday and Monday were infinitely better.
Full on Disneyland almost the entire day on Saturday. Lifts were slow to open in the morning so lines were a plenty even at the 0830 opening bell. After multiple 30+ minute waits, I grew tired of it and had a lunch break confined to the car. I normally eat back at the car anyways but in Corona times I sit inside windows up no matter the weather. It sure was warm though with sunny skies, no wind, and a high around 35. I continued the day all the way until closing bell on a last chair at 1615, with that being just about the only run all day I didn't wait on a line. I made every damn run count at least, taking only fresh tracks when I could and finding the most challenging and rewarding paths with no groomer laps to cool off. End of the day though, the traffic was horrendous and even after hanging out for an hour to cook dinner and put away camp gear, it was still a slow moving 30+ minutes just to get to town. All worth it though for the POW.
Sunday and Monday were pure joy. I wait on the ocassional line Sunday morning but after lunch it was nonstop lapping no matter where I went. Monday was like that all day plus it even snow flurried for a bit. Here are some videos from the weekend:
Despite the crazy wind there at the top, the run was absolutely amazing. Perfect wind blown powder with a good 6 or 7 turns worth to ski without any trepidation. The whole rest of the run was great too but required at least a little bit of navigation to avoid chopped up parts. I was sad to head home Monday night but the good news is I have a hotel booking again for this coming weekend Friday and Saturday night. So I'll camp out Thursday again, ski hard Friday, hate Saturday but do it anyways, and then enjoy the heck out of Sunday while people go for their superbowl superspreader parties.
$10 Well Spent
I'm in Utah for Christmas because I couldn't justify flying across the country to see family and staying home in California is just too damn unsafe right now. So off on the road my girlfriend and I went to a lovely Airbnb near Park city in Heber City, UT. Skiied a day at Deer Valley and enjoyed these amazing cookies. Peanut butter goodness packed into a box full of diabetes. Sure we could make Christmas cookies as I have a full kitchen in this 2bd suite but oh man were these just perfect.
This whole winter thing is certainly different for me. Hasn't snowed a whole lot but it sure does feel like Christmas here at least! I'd have taken photos of the lovely mountain views from the ski day but my phone shut off and refused to turn back on due to the cold. My goggles repeatedly froze over and my fingers went numb a couple times when I had my gloves off too long. So yeah it's been a bit cold! Finally got to drive in some snow here too so the Subie is serving its purpose.
Test results are in...
Negative test for Covid 19! Well my results didn't come in yet but my girlfriend did get hers and considering we've spent every minute together for the last few weeks, it's a shoe in for mine to be the same. Not that we were really worried since we've taken all of the precautions. But you never know with this virus and with the traveling weve done and many roommates at home, it was always a concern. Just one big sigh of relief for now though! It's a damn racket for testing. She is getting on an international flight tomorrow so she needed results in 24 hours. To achieve that, cost was $175. I did a free test since I can wait a week no problem. Just another pay to win model!
Best way to spend Saturday at a ski mountain is to not ski
I'm spending three days at Mammoth Mountain for another ski trip (back to back weekends). Friday was a pretty great day. Snow is getting a little bit old and it was like 40F by late afternoon, but otherwise very fun. Very limited crowds that day but considering tickets sold out for Saturday I knew it was gonna be a short day. I got up there early, got first chair, and lapped one of the least busy chairs on the mountain. Around 10am, the lines built up even there so I left for the day and spent some time hiking instead. The short time on the ski mountain was pretty good though, found some nice trees to ski at least.
But anyways, I took a break back at the hotel and last minute planned to go rent some snow shoes and try out a new activity. Unfortunately the spot I wanted to go rent from was an absolute zoo with no parking (and I forgot my wallet) so I headed to a different trail head and simply hiked through the snow. It was a popular sledding area and the surface was decently packed down so hiking was manageable. I hiked a few miles and just enjoyed the sun and the scenery. Relatively easy hiking but any time I attempted to climb a small hill, it was knee deep steps. Feet were a bit wet by the end but with how warm out it was, it was fine. Car read 60F when I returned so I'm sure it was at least 50 out there.
Definitely went through moments of "damn I wish I had snow shoes right now" but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Either way far better than standing in 40 minute lines with a bunch of people who think their nose doesn't need to be inside the mask. I kind of wish the mountain would actually enforce the "no mask, lose your pass" policy. But it seems to just be empty threats. Every day other than Saturday has been fine but yeah as is typical, Saturdays at a ski mountain are a bad idea. Hoping the big game tomorrow draws down the crowds as it should be cooler out so a good day for skiing.
Also, bonus shots from my free campground on Thursday night on the way up here. I think I'm gonna make that a very regular thing!
Y'all can keep your seasons!
With a high in the mid-60s on Monday and a completely empty trail since not everybody has the holiday off, it was a perfect day for some mountain biking. I am in the middle of moving at the moment so I havent really had the time to get out and ride. But I am so happy that I finally found a few hours to get out on a trail and get a good 10 miles or so in. Seeing posts on here and articles around the web about the wild winter conditions going on in other parts of the US sure makes me feel lucky right now. Yeah everything lights on fire because it never rains and pre-pandemic the traffic was horrendous. And not to mention the absurd housing costs. But for the short term, I sure am happy to be here.
Bike was on the pillar to keep it off the glass. Cool spot to ride to but right at the top the entire ground is COVERED in glass. So I wanted to try to lower my risk of a flat.
The only unfortunate part for me is that the summer really is unbearable around here for doing non-water stuff outdoors midday at low elevations. Its fine up above 8000 feet but thats a bit of a drive to do too often for me. So that means winter time is both mountain bike and ski season. So it is always competing for my time.
Scene from last weekend:
And then a couple days later on a short walk from home:
Good luck to anybody out there dealing with actual winter. Sure it may be normal for Northerners but it really is rather dangerous for Houstonites or others along the Gulf Coast. The infrastructure there probably isnt too different from here in Socal. So its gonna wreak havoc and cause some headaches.
Anybody else use cruise control in 25mph zones?
I find that I often end up using cruise control when driving my Subaru in 25mph zones that I frequently drive through. Usually these roads are plenty wide enough and certainly intended for 35mph speed limits but high pedestrian traffic or hungry police budgets necessitate the lower limit. In order to stay a law abiding citizen in my hood scooped gold wheeled vehicle, I usually just get to 30 in 4th gear and flip on cruise so that I dont have to hawk over my speedometer the whole time. It just occurred to me that I might be an outlier in this department but was curious if others do it. I almost always use it when on a highway for the same reason, ticket avoidance. But long stretches of 25mph always seem to stick in my mind more. I never do it on 35/45 roads as the gearing doesnt work out as nicely for one gear travel mostly. Plus for whatever reason people seem to speed more in 25 zones. While sure, Ill do 10 over in a 35+ in most places, thats just way too much for a 25. Yahoos in minivans always passing me doing 40+
Sweet, Miata is getting towed for free!
I have thrown in the towel on finishing the Miata project. Cant figure out the electrical gremlins preventing it from starting and dont have time between work and moving (and of course skiing is more important too). So I am paying a shop to finish it up for hopefully not crazy money, we shall see what is causing the blasted no start. To get it there, I have to have it towed and I was worried since the shop is 19 miles from home and I only have 10 miles of towing coverage through USAA. Thankfully though, its actually going to still be free because the actual policy is distance from car's location to the nearest shop + 10 miles. And the nearest shop to home is 18 miles so I am fully covered! Considering the towing coverage is $1 per month per vehicle, my $24 per year is well spent on even 1 tow every few years. I had to use it for a tow of a rental in 2019, used it once last year, and now once this year. So even if I dont use it again for like 5 or 6 years its still worth it. Much cheaper than AAA and while its limited, its not like I am using it all the damn time to justify AAA.
Skiing during Covid - A review
Anybody curious how alpine resort skiing is during Covid 19? Even if you're not, I'm going to write about it anyways right now. Sorry I don't have any "covid specific" photos but I'll just include random shots of the mountain that I took during the couple of days on the hill. I skied Saturday and Sunday from open until about one hour from close both days. This was at Mammoth Mountain which is one of the busiest weekend skiing destinations in California. There were about 1/4 of the total ski lifts open serving probably 1/10 of the terrain. Pretty big mountain with multiple base areas but early season conditions relying on man-made snow really limited the options available to work with.
So, going on a ski trip during a worldwide pandemic. How safe really was it? Well to start the day, there are no window sale of tickets for the day. Would this mean no ticket line? No, not really as they moved to a mobile/Internet order system but you still have to wait in line to pick up the ticket. Thankfully I have a pass which was mailed a couple months ago though so I was able to go direct to the lift. The lift riding and waiting system is extremely organized and safe though. Longer queues than normal due to the spread of waiting area with proper spacing. Plus no singles line since all singles ride alone. The biggest thing that was present was a swarm of lift operators dedicated as mask police. Anyone in line who had their nose poking out was IMMEDIATELY approached and corrected by the workers. While some may find this obtrusive, I found that it made me feel rather safe in a crowd of people, even if there was plenty of space for distancing.
Out on the hill, skiing was fantastic, most people already wear masks for the cold, and it was super easy to feel safe and distanced. The upper chair lifts away from the base area had zero lines and so I spent most of the days up there. So really it felt even less risky than going to the beach or taking a hike near home. I could see ski areas with gondolas/trams being VERY dangerous though. Mammoth has a gondola but it's not running to the top anyways so I didn't try it out. I had used it for biking in the summer but honestly I don't think an enclosed space like that is safe at all at this time. Open air lifts, spaced out lines, and then not using the facilities really made it feel safe.
I include a picture of the car because this was the lodge for me. And really going to the car is absolutely the only safe way to go about it. I got to the mountain about 30-60 minutes before open each day to ensure a prime parking spot where I could easily go for lunch. The most unsafe thing I saw all weekend were people on Saturday partaking in Apres ski at the outdoor bar at main Lodge. Sure they are outside but with nobody wearing masks and alcohol flowing plenty, I'm sure some covid spread had to happen there. Same goes for the lunch areas or even in the parking lot as people gathered with seemingly little care. I avoided all of this being cocooned in the car and masking up 100% of the rest of the time. But I see Apres ski and restaurants outside of the ski day being what could get the ski season shut down. They seem to have a clear handle on the actual skiing part in keeping it safe.
And that brings me to the last thing to review, lodging and traveling. Lodging was fine, the hotel had no amenities to use and the room was seemingly way cleaner than hotel rooms I usually see are. Plus it was cheap relatively thanks to people not traveling as much. I brought all of my own food which I painstakingly prepared at home to avoid even using the grocery store in the resort town. Travel to and from the mountain involved gas stations as my only interactions and I avoided public bathrooms by using the facilitrees and bottles when needed. I could not imagine trying to fly somewhere to ski so that is probably out this season. But road trips are pretty safe assuming you plan ahead and stay self reliant.
My next ski trip will be in January so we shall see how the pandemic continues to unfold and I am sure hoping for more snow too! It is definitely going to be a weird season though so honestly I'd be kinda sad if it really snows a ton. Hoping for just an "average" season so I can enjoy the days I get out there but not cry when the mountain is closed on a perfect powder day. Anyways, if anyone else is considering skiing in the pandemic, I'd say do it. Just make sure to avoid all of the normal ski vacation things. That is normal for me but I know not everyone likes the ski bum lifestyle of ski, sleep, ski.
Latest posts made by Wrong Wheel Drive
RE: Bringing politics back to the front page
@wrong-wheel-drive 100%. If a plain cheese pizza can stand on its own, you know you've got something special.
Do we not have proper shitty Chinese shops over here? Forgive the ignorance, I've never been to the east coast! Next time you're around I'll introduce you to teriyaki. We can do the standard fare, or go to what I genuinely think is the best spot in Washington
I've found that you can definitely find much more authentic Chinese food everywhere on the west coast. Especially in cities like LA, SF, and Seattle. Theres something about how its just greasier in NYC. Plus if the health code rating is better than a B and cooked by anyone other than Mexicans, STAY AWAY. Ive had chinese food I enjoyed more in LA than the crappy ones in NJ. But theres some real quality spots near and in NYC that just make you feel like youve taken time off of your life span. Best of all its cheap as hell.
RE: Bringing politics back to the front page
@aestheticsinmotion The number one reason why I am mad that Covid canceled my christmas trip back home to NJ to see family was missing out on pizza and bagels. While I love putting toppings on my pizzas, you know a pizza is special when a plain cheese pizza is perfect as is. I miss being able to order by the slice at $2 a piece for a casual lunch for under $5. Also, every local pizza joint is an amazing sandwich shop as well. Going to Subway is fucking stupid when I can get a real sandwich for cheaper! If I could have a proper NY pizza shop, a real bagel shop, and a real shitty chinese food shop on the West Coast I would be so damn happy.
RE: Lesson learned from biking to work all week: Wind sucks!
@wrong-wheel-drive I don't know why but wind is psychologically killer, just the worst mentally. I don't mind climbing and hills, kind of like it actually. Up to a point! At least that gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Oh absolutely, that was by far the worst part. I felt like I was biking uphill in terms of difficulty but no amount of "just pedal it out" made me feel better. I think it was absolutely in my head because visually it was 100% flat but I had dropped like 15 gears just to be able to keep moving forward. There were definitely "runners high" moments that kept me going plus the direction change for the latter half helped me mentally for sure too. It felt outright dangerous at times though since I could barely keep the bike going straight and not into the ditch with every big gust.
The ride goes East 5 miles, South 3 miles, and then West for somewhere around a mile.
RE: My roommate scored a free flatscreen
@wrong-wheel-drive ha! I actually removed my projecter to put up this TV. The roll-down screen was fine, but the projector itself was old, and was more of a PowerPoint projector than a home cinema one...
Ahh yeah the one ive got is at least 1080p and its got very good color representation when its dark out. Ive never even used it on a screen so ive probably never even used it to the full potential with it always just on a white wall. I can definitely tell the difference when looking at a nice 4k tv plus in daylight without proper room darkening, I loose some image quality. But Ive been most impressed that its done great when moving since its small enough to fit in a shoebox and it has lasted so long (bought in 2014). Lamp is only like 60-70% through its hour rating as well. New lamps run for like $150 which was the main selling point as well. I should probably pick one up and then its good for another 6 or 7 years for sure.
I know plenty of people that spend $4-500 on a new tv every couple years just because they dont last that long. At $700 I got my moneys worth for sure. And 1080p is still plenty good to me.
RE: Lesson learned from biking to work all week: Wind sucks!
@aremmes If I was gonna sail, I might as well avoid the roads entirely. Its probably half the distance to work traveling via water. Although I'd be dodging the gate to the base and be an unidentified vessel in restricted waters so I might get shot at.
RE: My roommate scored a free flatscreen
That's hilarious, I scrolled way too long. Now, in my defense we wanted to mount it in a way that would also work well for Wii games where you stand up. It's tilted downwards at a pretty good angle too...
Still by far the best one:
I'd rather my screen be on the ground just so that I dont have to look up at it. But I have gotten used to using my projector and achieving a 100 inch screen that just takes up the entire wall of whatever room its in.
Sad I cant use it in my new place but itll sit in storage and get used again some day.
RE: Lesson learned from biking to work all week: Wind sucks!
@wrong-wheel-drive !!! yike!!! I like the wind forecasts to be below 15mph before I got out. What doesn't kill you though...
Haha yeah I guess it would kinda be like being a bike commuter in Seattle and saying "I will only ride when it isnt raining". Wind is about the only weather we get around here. But generally in the future I think a day like that will be when I decide to just drive in lol. It was just one of those oops I didnt look up the weather moments. In the old place I lived in, there was no "not knowing about the wind". My room shook like an earthquake when it was that windy. Now on a ground floor in a building thats actually solid and has thick doors, weather is just a thing that happens outdoors.
At least now I know what its like on the worst possible day. And that I can make it without dying. It sure was an unexpected workout though. And Semi trucks blowing by every once in a while made for an interesting wind gradient.
Lesson learned from biking to work all week: Wind sucks!
This week I finally decided to take biking to work seriously and managed to bang out three days in a row of biking the 8 miles each way to work. Now I feel like a real bike commuter and the biggest thing I have learned is that wind is the devil. In the above image shows the wind right about the time I left home to head to the office on Thursday. I should have noticed the palm trees blowing sideways outside and maybe decided not to bike. But I aint no quitter so once I got outside and realized how bad it was, I just committed to it anyways. As you can see, sustained 35 mph winds with 53 mph gusts were recorded coming from ENE. And you want to guess which direction my morning commute goes? EAST. It felt like I biked uphill the entire way even though elevation gain is less than 10 feet in total. Thankfully the wind did not change direction much at the end of the day plus it was down to a "mild" 10mph so it was a light cruise in comparison. Otherwise I would have understood the concept of "traveling uphill both ways" far too intimately.
The view sure aint bad on the ride either. I've gotta take some time to stop and appreciate it sometime. Especially in the summer time when its warmer out, I am sure that taking a minute to rest will be worthwhile. Without the crazy wind of Thursday, I can easily do the whole ride without stopping door to door and maintain a nice ~15mph most of the way. With the wind it took an extra 15 minutes in the morning so I am sure it was much slower. The only upside though was that near the office, I have to change directions for the last stretch so I had that 30+mph as a tail wind and so the radar sign reported that I was speeding at 32 in a 30. Today it only read 17 though so that wind was quite the boost. Plus I knew that I was moving along so I might have extra hoofed it to amp up my numbers right there lol.
I could probably use more lights, I need to start carrying at least a small toolkit, and definitely more snacks. I dont ever intend on riding in the dark but visibility is always a good thing regardless. A good half of the ride is road with a wide shoulder and near zero traffic but the other half is a road with a 45mph speed limit and a fair bit of traffic. Still a wide shoulder as well but I've seen some fantastically shitty Socal driving around there enough times to at least worry about my safety.
Dont want to end up like that or looking like a strobing alien space ship. But a blinky light on my helmet and maybe one on the front would be a good addition to the single flashing light at the rear below the saddle.