Well, our unseasonably warm and wet autumn has lasted into Thanksgiving week. The weather for this morning’s ride was around 58° with fog. I took a longer ride this morning, because it wasn’t raining, rain is predicted for tomorrow and Wednesday, and I actually managed to get out of the house before 8:00am.
Last Friday I took another ride on my mountain bike, with its new Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tires, to finish the break-in period for the tires. Considering that they’re studded, the tires ride pretty well on dry pavement. They are 1.75″ tires, slightly smaller than the 1.95″ Kendas I use on this bike during warm weather. This works out great, because there’s more clearance between the tires and the fenders, making it less likely that the fenders will clog with snow and other kruft. Looking forward to trying these tires out under “real” winter conditions.
I finally got around to winterizing our swimming pool this weekend. The most important thing to do when winterizing a pool is to blow as much water out of the circulation pipes as possible, then plug the lines to trap air inside. This protects the pipes against freeze damage. For the past 10 years, I’ve used a small air compressor to blow air through the pipes. This year I decided to try something different, and used my wet/dry shop vac instead. I was amazed at how good a job the vac did. Air compressors are designed to deliver a small volume of air at high pressure. This is great if you happen to be running a pneumatic nailer, but it’s not ideal for blowing out pool plumbing. That calls for a large volume of air at relatively low pressure. It turns out that a shop vac, even a small one, is perfect for doing this. The compressor would always blow in fits and starts as it struggled to keep up with the demand for air. The shop vac blew a steady, strong stream of air through the lines, and I’m sure it did a better job. Not only that, the shop vac weighs a lot less, and is generally much easier to deal with, than the compressor. Looks like I’ve found a better mouse trap.