Two weeks ago I road a 100 miles plus gravel road ride. Last Sunday was a 56 mile epic MTB race. Now for the last 5 days I’ve been roofing a building. And the roofing is by far the hardest of the 3. It’s not like I’m not trained for manual labor. The MTB race should have been pretty good training. Plus, all that cutting and splitting wood should have helped. But, if that was training, it wasn’t nearly hard enough or for a long enough duration.
It’s been 14 hours, plus, a day for 5 days. Mainly stripping tar and gravel with a snow shovel and a pitch fork. We’ve filled a 40 cubic yard dumpster. The dumpster is going to cost a small fortune to dump. I get charged after 5 tons. 5 tons isn’t the tip of the iceberg.
This building is 130 years and the wood is harder than hard. I don’t have too much decking to repair, but when I do have to cut the wood, it is amazing. It almost smokes a saw blade with every cut. A Paslode nail gun will barely shoot a nail through the 1 X 8 decking. That’s crazy.
So, I have 5 more days before rain is forecast. That might not be enough.
On bike racing news, I saw that my MTB race buddy from years ago, Cadel Evans has just signed with Trudi’s team, BMC. Maybe John LeLange can help Cadel HTFU. That also means that the BMC program for riding the Tour has just been accelerated. Trudi has done the Tour a few times with 7-11 and Motorola, but not recently. That should be fun.
Trudi flying her BMC colors for the roofing project.
Portrait of the instigator, Michael Fatka, with Trudi and I.
Full project from above. Notice Catherine, far left, having trouble keeping her pants up.
Today was a bad day for the home team. The weather was supposed to be great for the next week, but sometime this morning, it changed. These isolated showers moved in around noon and then it was on and off again rain until night. I ended up buying a ton of 100 ft. rolls of plastic, since there is nothing on the roof deck itself. Tomorrow I’m going to put down felt over the whole thing. It doesn’t do anything for a rubber roof, but it is cheap insurance against these freaky fall weather changes. It’s supposed to be nice until next Tuesday. Have a deadline then. It’s going to get ugly. It is already ugly. I got up this morning at what I thought was 5:50. I wanted to be working at first light. Turns out it was only 4:50. This daylight savings thing sucks big time. For roofing and riding. So, just another 7 days. We’ll see if I hold up.
is official (USAC license required now I think). So, if you’re anywhere near Emmaus, Pa. (or not near Emmaus, PA) and want to have about as much fun as you can, you should go to Fifth Street Cross any Thursday night until sometime in December. Nightime cyclocross on a weekday night. Perfect. Check it out below and at FifthStreetCross.com.
I’ve done a weeks worth now. I seem to be getting by on 5-6 hours sleep. That is one very cool thing about being fit from racing bikes. You can work at an accelerated pace for quite sometime.
It is strange getting up at 5 for such a long duration. Driving in the dark with the moon up and being at Lowes at 6am. I then stop at Starbucks for a Venti coffee. I see the same people there everyday. And they are buying nearly the same stuff everyday. I would hate being in such a routine. I am in such a routine, but not forever for sure. This “project” is like Groundhog’s Day. It never seems to progress. Everyday I find something new that I wasn’t expecting to do that takes another day. There is no way there is going to be a roof on this structure before it is predicted to rain next Monday. So, I bought enough roofing felt to cover the whole thing and make it pretty water tight. It was a few hundred dollars, but it is good insurance. So, three more days of nearly 70 degrees and then, I don’t know.
There is a Cyclo-X in Topeka at Heartland Park at night. I’m going to go and watch, but I haven’t ridden forever it seems. I thought my hamstrings needed a break, but I cramped in bed at 3 am this morning, so I thing that this time off the bike isn’t quite the rest they were hoping for. Okay. I should get going if I want to keep up the schedule.
I was going to haul my espresso machine down, but had this instant espresso from Europe. It is pretty much the only way to get through the day. I am drinking enormous amounts of coffee.
Yesterday was my record, lifetime at that, for working for one day. Over 20 hours straight. It might have been 21, but is anyone really counting? It was supposed to rain today so we worked well into the night, last night. Into the night enough that I had to have a little chat with the local police about the project. He was pretty cool about the whole thing. I explained that there was 5000 square feet of exposed roof and there was almost nothing he could say or threaten me with to make me stop making noise. It’s not like it’s in the middle of a residential area or anything.
Anyway, around 3 am, I decided that I wasn’t being too effective, so I decided to wait until sunrise. So, today started once again at 6 am door opening at Lowes. Things were going great. The rain didn’t look like it was coming. Everything that needed to be done was getting done. And then we had a huge weather change. Within a half hour, some crazy unpredicted thunderstorm came. We had started putting felt down, but weren’t very far along. Normally it would of taken less than an hour. But, it started raining. And, it rained and rained. There were 6 of us and we weren’t getting anywhere. There was lightening. It was virtually dark. I lost at least 5 utility knives. I even lost my hammer for 10 minutes of so. I resorted to using a stapler, but it also broke ( I dropped it 30 feet onto concrete). The weather got worse (could it?) and eventually turned into a complete deluge. It was like the scene in Forest Gump where Lt. Dan was up on the mast of the shrimping boat challenging the Lord. But, more rain.
Pretty soon, I was the last man standing. Everyone else froze. So, we finally called uncle. It is pretty water tight. Tight enough that I am not going there again tonight. I’m ready for the insulation and rubber membrane. I need a break. I’ve put something over 200 hours into the roof in last two weeks. I haven’t gotten sick yet, but my regular life is a wreck. More than a wreck. I don’t think a day will fix that, but maybe it will give me a chance to step back and access the project with a fresh mind. And body. Might ride my bike awhile tomorrow. That would be the best thing I could do for myself.
Current look. New walls, bare decking etc. Before the deluge.
I was driving to finally order the insulation and rubber to be roof delivered tomorrow and got this photo. I have been watching from above as the Topeka Police bike patrols ride in mass up and down 6 Street. I was thinking that it was just for training, but no, it was for official arrests. Not sure what these guys had done, but it took 4 police to round them up.
I ordered and received the insulation, rubber and all the other necessary additions to install a fully adhered edpm rubber roof. For a not so nominal fee, a crane roof top deliver the rolls of rubber and insulation. Everything was going pretty quickly until we started laying the rubber. It had been kind of windy all day and that really slowed the process down. Anyway, I’d hope to get about twice as much membrane down as much as I did. Maybe it will go faster tomorrow. It’s not something to do under the lights. This has been the longest I haven’t ridden a bicycle for a decade. But, it seems like I’m losing weight and getting stronger. Stronger at lifting stuff at least. The weather is going to go south in a couple days. I’ve had pretty great luck with the weather really. But, it is November.
So, I’m gonna make this building weather tight. Go somewhere warm and ride my bike until Cyclo-X Nationals, go ride a stage race in China a couple days after Christmas until the first week in January and think about doing Master’s Cyclo-X Worlds in Begium in January. At least that is the tenative plan right now.