Thursday, January 29, 2015


Another batch of "exercise". What began as a 54F afternoon has turned into 40F with gusty winds from the north. I rode right at an hour and that was plenty. I even got poor Precious slightly mussed in the rain/sleet. Hardman, I am.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I was waiting for someone to mention my stupid template for the blog. John who is snowed in wins the booby prize, so now I can change back to something normal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Post-work today was the third "training ride" in a row on the fancy bike. The Compass Stampede Pass 32s are soaring along and the bike feels great. Today I ran into one of the proprietors of fav shop OYLC and he dragged me along for a solid 40 minutes of tempo action. We discussed wine, food, girls, rides, bike nerdabilia, and I have a great ride, all of it intentionally in the small ring. I was getting my spin on. Yesterday TS and I did a spirited 35m of tempo through Iroquois and the West End. For all three rides, it felt great to be cyclist-like and hope to do more of it in 2015. Last year was a pretty mundane year for miles; this year I intend on it being banner one. Last year I only did 11 rides on the IF; this year I already have 4.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter S24O

We even remarked that, for some reason, we don't do S24O's as much when it's clement; instead we wait until the dead of winter for a grin-and-bear-it experience.  Our Friday meet-up happened post-work, but we did sneak in a pint at Great Flood to send us on our way. It was good to have Asher along, as I personally hadn't ridden with him in some time.

Our roll out presented the usual travails: pee break, dead battery break (combined), crappy slow legs (fortunately not mine), impending dark and cold, even more cold (definitely me!), and finally the slow, steady slog up Holsclaw Hill. That was after we lost Asher and Dave for a bit, as they went straight while Timothy and I went left; they didn't see us amid some traffiky traffic.

Timothy at top of Holsclaw after a 1k loaded climb. I was happy to climb because it warmed me up.

Big props, ShoutOut, and adoration to Timothy for his camp skill once we arrived, as I was really cold and the only real thing that interested me was adding layers and eating. While the rest of us chose prime camp spots and starting heating water, he got a fire going using a hatchet technique to make many small slivers of firewood. It worked well and the fire remained toasty the remainder of the evening. As to the food, it seemed like no one went for camping food chic, so all of us dutifully inhaled our salt-laden, freeze-dried meals.  Asher went to bed rather early, so I used that as an excuse to do the same. Ultimately, I was cold. Not long before leaving I had thought to grab an extra, thin fleece layer, but my ADD kicked on to the next topic, and I suffered being a torso layer down pretty much the entire trip. Duh!

Funny, camping. Doug from MN, who now has a twitter but no blog, has often waxed poetic about sleeping better outdoors. Pondero seems to do pretty well for himself. I, to the contrary, have had about 2 good nights sleep in my many years, and Friday was no different. After a previous cold S24O, I purchased an Alps Mountaineering 25F bag from somewhere. I've used it before and didn't particularly like it, and this trip was, again, no different. To call it a 25F bag is disingenuous or even farcical. The temps hovered in the upper 20's, but I was COLD, even though I had on 2 leg layers, 1 torso layer, 2 sock layers, a boggin (check this out for more "knitted hat" info), and eventually gloves, a full body layer. The bag isn't warm and I can't get the last 4" to zip for some reason, so there is an absurd draft that comes in from time to time. It's time to spend some $$ and do better for myself.  On the other hand, I did try out the new tent to much success. More on that to come, perhaps after a second usage, but the Nemo Galaxi 2p set up super easily and has much more room than my Alps coffin.  I suspect it's a bit too large to pack for a bikepacking situation, but for road touring and car camping I think it'll do well.

Both Asher in orange and I in green were trying out new tents. Success.

Dave's 2-man Alps.

It was cold on rising, but there was coffee. I'd say the 30min of coffee experience was my favorite part of the trip. It was cold but not too much. We were greeted with a nice sunrise. The air was crisp. And the coffee exceeded the Starsux via routine.I'll do both a tent  and a coffee set-up review sometime in soon. I promise.

Eye of Sauron!

Sogn in touring mode. I sold Seafoam for several reasons, but ultimately I like the cSogn better. It seems to carry the weight more solidly, the positions available work well, and increasingly 650b tire selections are more interesting. I fought a bit to get the OMM on the front, but it was adequate for this trip. In the time to come I will remount the Noodle bar and will brake post-mount the OMM. The Sogn will cease being a stripped-down gravel and mixed-terrain machine and will go into commuting/touring mode for summer. It's a great bike.

This pic encompasses what I like most of the Horine campground. It's only gravel for .1 mile, but once you enter the pines and gravel it's a slightly different place from when you came.

Can't have the public knowing that there are portopots out here!!

Our return leg was a relaxed one, as some of us didn't sleep as well as others, less pep in the step. Asher bade adieu near his house to attend other events, but the remaining 3 Stooges plodded to our usual Twig-n-Leaf pancakes and assorted proteins. I was SO cold and slept SO poorly, but it was a really fine time. Sometimes you need a little #microadventure.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Bike Usage

Damn I've had some turnover. I wish I still had the LHT. I don't regret any other sales and generally like the status of the stable at the moment.

 In the words of Eddy, I want to "ride lots" in 2015.


**I'm numbers retarded, so I take ownership of the problems here. As I see it, some rides were put into mycyclinglog but were not marked with a bike (which is circumspect). My totals don't match between this table and mycyclinglog, but dammit, Jim, I'm a Spanish teacher!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mexico and Bust

We visited the in-laws in Maysville and the wife gave me a free pass to do some exploring yesterday morning. Yesterday's route was an extension of an effort I did in April, '10 on the Quickbeam. I can't imagine how much I walked, because it's a sawblade of sharp hills and creek valleys.  I woke up typically early, got my nasty McDonalds coffee and drove the 25min to Blue Licks Battlefield SP, all while being entertained with some nice morning light.

Stupid smudge on lens.

Sogn along closed Old 68 bridge in morning light.

This is listed as Stoney Creek Rd. among others, but for all intensive purposes, it's a closed road that still exists. The forest rats use it more than any car.

Stoney Creek at the top because a mostly impassible tractor road.

The day took the second of its many twists at this intersection, as best as I can tell, actually,  I don't know what this intersection is. The first gaffe of the day was having my newish Garmin eTrex30 without my previously loaded track. Mr. Crowell had helped me load some additional maps, and in that process the track disappeared. Gaffe#1. Therefore, I'm doing my route from memory and map usage. At this intersection, gaffe#2 took place when the batteries died. It was my fault for not ensuring I had sufficiently charged batteries and extras. I own it, but it still put me deep in the boonies without navigation. Because I'm (overly) confident of my skillz, I decided to venture on.

I had seen this store one time while doing some research, so I stopped at Myers and spent my requisite $5 (for my card) on batteries, chocomilk, and assorted sugar. Thanks to Myers for improving my day.

After the initially hilly out, the day then segued into the mixed terrain portion with a second trip along Mexico Rd. Even cold, this is a great, rough gravel road along the Licking River. I was very good at this point.

Interesting that WMA don't allow bikes, but do allow hiking. Enter at your own risk.

The texture of Mexico reminded me of scenes from DBNF, of rough roads with short, steep portions that I sometimes rode and sometimes walked.

BOOM!!!!! Did you hear that? I thought at first some hunter shot me. Then I noticed my bike wasn't moving anymore. I've done other rides on the Soma Cazaaderos, but for some reason, the rear just BLEW off the rim, quite suddently. BOOM!!! I was only marginally prepared in that instead of a 27.5" tube, all I had was a 29x2.2. Not optimal. Not. After quick snack I changed the tube somewhat slowly, and not easily with temps below 30F at this point. From this point on the rear wheel made me nervous. This blowout on a downhill would create some problems. And I had no more tubes. Patchkit? Ha! Please.

Let's see...I was well onto Gaffe#3 (track, batteries, flat) when I happened upon this creek crossing on Tea Run Rd. It looked like a decent surface, but I imagined my luck having me fall over into the rushing water, all with temps below freezing. I was having a good time, but wasn't the most optimistic at this point. I cross with a couple damp toes but no damage. Neat feature actually. And TeaRun ended up being a highlight of the day, with its smoother surface along a creek valley. It would be doable (with current conditions) with a variety of bike tires; Mexico requires some meat.

I found KY32 and headed towards the barn. The decent along there was *cold*. At the base, in "Pleasant Valley", I found a great proliferation of chasing dogs and then a steepie to get the heart racing. I was feeling the effects of the numerous climbs on the day, but the pavement allowed me to enjoy Abner Mill Rd, again along the opposite side of the Licking River.

I've never seen anything like this. It appears to be a normal house, but it's second floor balcony abuts the railroad. I really don't know what it is. Way station? Resupply? Weird. Just like "Pleasant Valley".

Abner Mill Rd. after a half-mile, 10% climb. At this point I was tired.

Gaffe #4. At the site of this abandoned house, my first set of purchased batteries died. I don't know if they were old it it was cold or the eTrex has a issue, but fortunately I had one more set. Abner Mill seemed reasonable straightforward, but had many little turns off of it. I stayed the course, experiencing a couple more steepies before returning to one more sharp, short climb to the car. It was a fun day, but not the smoothest nor the fittest. I returned safe-and-sound, which I guess is the goal.

Happy New Year and I hope your 2014 was blessed in whatever way you see fit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fatbike Fest

Dave and I went fat-biking a few weekends ago and I forgot to finish the post. Suffice to say fun was had, especially by me. My Mukluk and Dave's Fargo were quite equal to many tasks, but once down along the river, the extra 1.5" of footprint made a difference. Fatbikes were made for such riding, although Dave was able to clear most obstacles.  The pics below tell of a really nice morning spent rambling.

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