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Today was a gorgeous sunny spring day, not too hot and not too cool, the kind of perfect day you long for and that seems so rare. I fully intended to spend a lot of time outdoors in the garden but the day did not go to plan. I had laundry and other chores to do. I also had to give Carter a good cleaning after last weekend’s gravel race. I also had to repair her front tire because it turned out it had a really slow leak. I found this out when it was completely flat Monday morning. I am amazed I got through the race on it. It is a good thing I did because the tubes I bought to repair a flat were the wrong size. And, the epoxy in my tire patch kit I have been carrying was dried out. So if I had had a blowout I would have been in big trouble. Lucky!

The leak in the tube was so tiny I had a hard time finding it. Had to use water and soap bubbles to locate it and even then I couldn’t see it, which made patching it really hard. I am pretty sure I got the patch on in the right spot. I will find out by morning!

At the 31 mile pit stop

While I am talking about cycling, yesterday Astrid and I had a Fulton Gran Fondo all day adventure. It was 102 miles/164 km of fun! Did I just hear some groans? Yes, this is what I do for fun. We had a mass group start of 500+ cyclists. First a fire truck led the way until we got to a bike trail and then we had Fulton ride leaders keeping us in check until we hit the open roads in the suburbs. The route eventually made it out of town completely into the rolling countryside. There were so many people I got to ride in various bunches and had to wait in line for water and nature breaks at two of the three pit stops.

I also got to meet a Zwift friend whom I’ve cycled with online and lives in the east metro. He’s a really nice guy and we got to ride together and chat for a while at the beginning before he joined a bunch of his friends who were also riding. He finished the ride in just over five hours. I finished in a little over six. I was hoping to be closer to six than I was, but I am still really pleased with how well I did. And when I finished I still had plenty of oomph left, a good thing because Bookman was working and I had to ride home. Home was only an additional 7 miles/11 kms at an easy pace.

So today, in addition to taking care of Carter, I had Astrid to take care of too. She performed beautifully and looked quite nice in her new silver handlebar tape. Her old tape was white and looking pretty dirty and it was tearing in places. The silver tape is shiny and snazzy. This was the first time I have ever changed handlebar tape so I had to watch YouTube videos and learn how to do it. Not a hard thing but it still took me a long time because there is an art to wrapping it so there are no gaps and wrinkles.

Walter in crabby glory

Even though I didn’t get to spend time in the garden this weekend it is definitely springing up all over. Walter the crab apple burst into bloom a couple days ago and looks absolutely gorgeous. The other apples will be flowering in a few days.

Future grapes

Last year I planted a table grape. I have not been successful with grapes in the past, they never make it through winter. I planted this grape on the south side on the house and put trellising on the side of the house for it to climb. The grapes that didn’t live were all out in the exposed garden. I checked on the new grape in early spring and it looked like it had survived. I checked on it today and it is leafed out and has what I assume are flowers on it! The vine is still young so I don’t expect there will be many grapes this year, but even a few is very exciting. Success!

The week ahead looks to be even more springy. Friday is the big plant sale Bookman and I always go to. We haven’t quite finalized out shopping list yet, but we are close. That means next weekend will be full of all kinds of garden news because plant sale weekend means garden frenzy. The Dashwoods will not be pleased when they learn they don’t get to help. They will get a consolation cabbage so that’s something at least.