Monday, April 21, 2014

It's the work

Yesterday was Easter, of course, when submarine church-goers such as myself rise up out of the abyss for a day of atonement. We were regular church attendees some years ago, but somewhere in there I claimed Sunday morning for a different type of spiritual experience, a claim most questionable given the number of scones consumed.

It was nice to go and see many friendly faces, folks who seemed to welcome us even with our commitment issues.There were a few man hugs even. It was nice. The morning was made meaningful, to me at least, with Derek's sermon, an exposition which related to the day, but in a way that I feel could be applied to any facet of life. I guess that's the point. He intimated that while many Christians revel in the tomb and in the symbolic importance of the tomb and the ensuing resurrection, the Biblical story instead explicates that the members of the story did not dawdle over the empty tomb, did not make it an instant tourist attraction, did not fetishize it. They simply went to work spreading the Word. They got to work. In Derek's eyes, the tomb is not the point. The Work is the point, God's work. Yes, symbols, bauble, and gaud  help to uplift, but the Work is the true message of the Church, at least in Derek's eyes. We do (occasionally) attend a church that is active in social justice, you know, all that feeding the poor and guiding the downtrodden stuff. It's not much of Prosperity Gospel, to say the least, so his message did make sense in the context of our church's mission, one commonly espoused now by the new Pope interestingly. Derek used two other anecdotes, one of having his first job with new suits and a new pen. Those weren't the point, the profession trappings. Also, he had purchased a new computer, again, a technological carcass meant for work, not for digital fetishizing. They were just tools, the suits and the computer. They are just tools.

Being someone who has amassed a plethora of two-wheeled objects over which I have slaved, now, for some 25 years, I couldn't help relate Derek's message of Easter, not of the symbolic tomb but of God's true work beyond that, to my stupid bikes.  It's not about the bikes; it's about the work. My friend Dale (who, mind you, does have more than 1 bike) monetarily has a bike collection far inferior to mine, but he certainly has internalized the work and has put his miles in. I have a lot of bikes, but do I have a lot of miles? Hmmm.

What I really liked about the sermon, though, was how it can be applied to life in so many ways. It's not talk; it is acts. It's the work, hopefully good work, work that helps people and helps yourself.  Thanks Derek.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Interestingly, Dave and I took a ride today, around 27 miles worth of steady pedaling. We're not in top shape, but we also didn't spend the morning on the couch eating donuts. I leave you with a couple images of Spring springing.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mileage thoughts

Mileage thoughts:
2014- 381
2013- 1010
2012- 712
2011- 1103
2010- 615
2009- 758
2008- 425

 Data on since '08. As seen, this has been my worst year of cycling so far in history. In '08 I had 22 commutes at this point. As of yesterday, I have 2. The weather hasn't helped, but the non-commitment is deeper than that. I think I need to accept my inner solo ride ethos and ride. Just Ride!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Longleaf/Point Washington SF

My "real ride", doing a the Longleaf Greenway and some trails in Point Washington SF. I'm gonna be honest. What should be easy wasn't. It's flat, but the sand requires power and the bogs require more power. My original plan was to do the lollipop back to the car all on trail, giving me 20+ miles of dirt. By the end of the Longleaf and the entry into Point Washington, I was pretty bushed and resigned to returning via the road, where ironically enough I had a slow leak and twice had to add air to the rear tire. It was a good day, but not a relevatory one.

Morris Lake @ Topsail SP

Jazzed from Sunday's taste, I went full bore and spent a couple hours exploring the west and central portions of Topsail SP, especially along the Morris Trail, which was some of the best fatbiking I've ever done. Dunes, sand, water, exploration, more bogs, birds. Delightful morning on the bike.

Sunday beach

Sunday morning along Miramar and Topsail beach east of Destin, FL. Yet more fatbiking, but this time in low-60F, sand, breeze, calm. Ventured into Topsail S.P. to find muddy trails and bogs to ride through, along with dunes to explore. Highlights include beach riding for first time, mud-bogging on fatbiking, what's around the next corner, almost waist deep hoping too cold for alligators.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


It's that time of the year, the tennis time of the year.  This past weekend on Saturday I arranged to ride with someone but he couldn't answer the bell, so I did a nice solo 21 miles on Seafoam under some sunny skies. I topped it off with a coffee at Quills where I people watched as revelers prepared for the St.Patty Day Parade. Green and beering it up at 10am. Mmm good.

Sunday I met PJ at his place, this under much more questionable conditions, what with the 35F and gale force headwind from the east. Brrr. We plodded over to Sawyer park and explored the trails a bit (looking for a stealth camp spot. Shh.), took the Anchorage Trail for the first time, and then to Anchorage Cafe for coffee, quiche, and lots of man talk. The return, fortunately, involved more tailwind. That said, I was really glad that I wasn't on a metric that day.

That's Seafoam peeking from behind the trash can. Noodles and different seatpost have transformed the Atlantis.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Squelching the Stir-Crazys

Yet another snow day due to icy road conditions. With the amount of black ice I saw this morning, I decided to not ride and instead took a couple different walks to keep myself occupied.

The first was some mid-day walking and birding. I started at Caperton Swamp, my favorite spot (along with Loop Island). Things seemed quiet at first but over time picked up, especially I approached the meadow which gets so much action in the summer:

Pileated Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker (male and female)
White breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Dark-eyed Junco
Turkey Vulture
Song Sparrow
*other sparrows
*damned raptor I didn't ID. I had a good look and just didn't get enough info. Brown and striped like all the others this time of year. Probably not a red-tail, though
Surf Scoter (across from C.S. in Ohio)
White-winged Scoter ((across from C.S. in Ohio)

I moved on to roam around Thurmin-Hutchins Park a bit but other than some C. Geese and 2 Mallard Ducks there wasn't much going, so I moved on down to the EvaBandman Cyclocross Park. As is often the case, there are usually some interesting things happening down at the confluence of Beargrass Creek and the river:

American Coot
Common Merganser** a first for me
Double-breasted Coromorant
Ring-necked Duck** another first
Killdeer- one hanging out next to the road as I left

I headed over to S.Indiana to see if I could find the long-tailed ducks folks have been writing about, but to no avail. I saw more Buffleheads and some Mallards. Oh well. I'll live.  Once I returned home I eventually headed back out for a 4-mile walk behind the zoo and through Joe Creason. Now I'm home, ready for some supper, and will probably sleep soundly after a day well-spent taking in the sunshine (albeit temps that barely topped freezing).

Hopefully work tomorrow

Monday, March 03, 2014

More snow, More fat

Another 2-4" of snow, sleet, ice and stuff. Another snow day out of school. Another lost day of summer.

Another snow ride, this about an hour. I didn't have good legs, good mojo. It was very windy out of the north and the snow had a mashed potatoes vibe. It wasn't easy, and I didn't get out for an "epic" ride, but I did get 70 minutes of exercise, which is better than the couch.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Optimum Yes, Optimum No

David and I rolled out for a coffee this morning, both of us needing to stretch the legs with this crazy winter. Yesterday was a very nice one in Louisville, with temps above 50F, and a mild, Spring-like feel. Instead of riding I dithered and dathered, finally ending up with a nice walk with the wife in Joe Creason Park. Nice.

This morning, though, we are awaiting Snowmageddon III or whatev, with ice and heavyish snows coming our way. Or not. The Ohio River has an interesting and profound effect on weather, and often spares us the winteriness that S.IN. experiences. That said, while waiting for Dave at Breadworks, God began crying in earnest. By the time of our roll-out, it was a nice 33F and raining heavily. We were cold.

We wynded out way through the 'hood and Cherokee a bit before stretching into the faint mud along the Beargrass Trail. Amid the gloom only the Mallards made an appearance. We shortly made a decision that more coffee would be much more satisfying than more wet, cold miles, so our attention was turned to the new Gralehaus, a cafe behind the popular Holy Grale beer heaven. I had an Americano, Dave a pour-over, whatever that is. The pic below shows my egg and biscuit. I believe Dave an an egg crepe. It was a fun change of pace, but I think my advanced age and mundane lifestyle did not contribute to the ambiance of what might be the hippest place in Louisville. Trying so hard. That said, it was packed and we were lucky to be just in front of 12 or so visitors, some of which were turned away due to lack of seating.

We parted ways to look for dryer options. Once home, I cleaned off the chain, rims, and pads of the Sogn, thinking all along that the cSogn, as it stands now, is about as good an all-rounder as I can imagine. I'm sorry, but I like the fit and fortitude of it better than the Atlantis. I just seem to trust it more, and care about it less, which is to say care less about nicks and scratches and such. It has been great with 35s and drops, great with Jones' and 2.2"s, and now great with 2.0"s and alt-drops again. Perched atop the fire-engine red mount, I imagined myself barreling through any and all manner of terrain and situations, loaded to bear. It's nice when a mount works, and the cSogn, for me, is working indeed.

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