Tuesday, November 29, 2005

@#$!@# OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

i hit the tarmac for the first time in a good while on my a.m. commute today. i'm motivated to get back into a groove and get some good work done, so it was up pretty early @ 5.10 and on the road at maybe 6.00. i've stated that i've had a run of back bike luck of late, and it continued this a.m. with a noticible 'click' in the bottom bracket area of the LHT. simply stated, a two month old bike should have ANY bottom bracket issues, esp all those proficient sealed units out there now. so at 6.10 in the a.m. on the way to work i'm worried about my BB discombobulating. well, i continue in the cool but reasonable temps. i travel down...again i'm forgetting a word..the Oak extension. i was fiddling with my handlebar or something when I either thwacked the bar left or got caught up in my light wire. I jerk left, regain some type of control, and then careen left again, and BOOM, the elegant feel of hard tarmac all over the right side of my body- shoulder, knee, hand, hip, OTHER hip?? really i'm very lucky b/c i ended up more left than i should've and could've been very run over if a car had been behind me, but no, that part of luck played out.

i very gingerly got up, leaned my bike against a pole and proceeded to amble up and down the alley for a sec and collect myself. nothing overly injured. bike in tact. for the record, three 'strawberries' on right knee, bruise on right hip, bruise on right shoulder- and small hole in good REI jacket, and bruise on left thigh. OUCH!!

and the bottom bracket click was still with me.

while the forecast called for similar or warmer temps, it actually got colder in the p.m., from 45 down to 39 or so. i happened to catch 'sheryl' and headed out for what i'll call a brisk ride home, heading down Lexington, through Seneca for 3 hills, and across Seneca Gds.

a good mileage day, and hopefully an end to this crappy luck.

17m total/7.5 a.m./9.5 p.m./14avg p.m./45temp a.m./39 and breezy p.m.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Monday Muckier

i carefully studied the Sunday p.m. forecasts and saw that we were in for a deluge today, so i neglected to commute today. the a.m. looked clear, but the p.m. was full of 'straight-line winds' and 'heavy rains' and 'stone-cold weather shit'. and as forecasted, the majority of today, Monday, was miserable, funnily (sp?) enough brought on by unseasonably warm weather. the a.m. commute probably would've been great. i just knew somehow that 'sheryl' was riding though.

which brings me to the 2nd part of the story, which is the image of 'sheryl' heading out, bike in hand, with 'lance' after school looking for a ride in his van. seems she didn't want to complete the deal and pussied out for some dry accommodations home. i guess if i'd known that pussying out in the p.m. was an option, then i would've driven too.

well, i've been closely looking at things, and i've just about decided on a Carradice Longflap/shortflap something or other bag, with the appropriate Bagman support. that's a "Lowsaddle Longflap Saddlebag" off of peterwhite's site. i'm just worried that the next size down is going to be a bit small for me, in case the shoes or 6-pack needs to go in there as well as the commuting gear. the two pieces juntos will cost be $150, but what can i do? oh, and i'm going with one of the new lights. the whole package will get me for well over $200, but you only live once. over the long term, i'm going to tweak the LHT to perfection, eventually going with moustache bars or road bars instead of the flat ones. it'll mean some brake lever swapping, but i see the package in the end as one having road bars. do i need this Carradice bag? hell no!!, but i think it will make for an asthetic set-up. i think i've accepted that i have NO aspirations for racing. since my greatest mileage, and cycling mojo, come from commuting and various errands, then that's the direction my attention needs to lie. eventually, for the LHT, i'll have new bars and probably lighter wheels, but hte bag and light right now.

have i listed all the wheels?? in order of approx age:

'86 Trek 410 Elance- black and red- Clarksville Schwinn- repurchased from my uncle
'88 Cannondale criterium road bike- blue- PA bike shop
('91 C'dale mtn bike-black- turned into great commuter- stolen)
('94 or so C'dale mtn bike- purple- stolen)
'93 Bridgestone RB-1- yellow and white- used personal
'94 or so C'dale hybrid- marroon- tricked out for commuting pleasure- Clarksville
('94 C'dale mtn bike- orange- sold to law student in OK)
?? Trek hybrid- white- piece of shit originally for baby hauling
'99 Litespeed Blueridge- titanium- Clarksville
'00 Surly CrossCheck cross bike- darker puke green- Clarksville
'93 Rans Rocket recumbent- Danville Bicycles
'94 Redline singlespeed mtn bike- Clarksville
'95 Surly Long Haul Trucker- puke green- ebay

the ones i couldn't part with are, in order, the:
1. Litespeed
2. Surly cross
3. Surly LHT
4. Rans
5. Redline single speed

I used to be in love with the Bridgestone, but i can't push racing gears anymore. the C'dale commuter is tired but functional. the original C'dale road is aluminum rung out. the original Trek is too big.

Oh, given the rain, I took a walk today, 35 minutes total is the dark. i like the skeletal nature of the trees against the shadows and the glow of the sky, shadow, cloud, glow. on the bike tomorrow for sure!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

sunday muck

in some personal discussion over the weekend, i ultimately decided that i would do myself a world of good if i got some daily exercise, and i mean daily like every day. now, the average type-A endomorph Adonis gets his (her) daily workout, and that's one reason they're 'adonis-like'. they get it. i, on the other hand, am lazy and fat, so i don't get it. i KNOW that i should get my lazy ass out of the chair and workout, but do i? not really. i DO ride to work, with varying degrees of regularity. when it's somewhat clement i do so pretty easily, but if the cold really snaps, or i get out of a rhythm, then it's straight to hell. this fall has been a terrific example of how to F2#$K up a good thing. throughout August and Sept i rode very regularly. then in October, we had a quick but sturdy cold snap. one of two days of that i elected to roll out of bed into the confines of a warm vehicle, thereby going by my fav Sunergos for some warm coffee. STRIKE NUMBER 1. later i decided to do a little time on the Ran's, just to not loose the mojo. somehow i really screwed things up there, wrapping a chain around the wrong flywheel and bending a tab and breaking another tab on hte little mini light i use. who knows, but STRIKE NUMBER 2. the next week or so i had a morning flat on the LHT. fortunately i had left early enough not to be late, but again, is got me out of sorts. STRIKE NUMBER THREE. instead of 4-5 days of riding and losing 7 lbs without thinking, now i'm riding 1-2 days a week as the days get cold and dark and picking the lbs back up. being fat sucks.

so this weekend i told myself that, to stave off the terrible winter blues that i've had the last few years, i would get daily exercise. and today i did or varying types.

firstly, i walked to church. nothing revolutionary. 1 free mile of activity.

second. i finally got the cross bike out after a LONG WHILE. that is to say, if you remember, i have over the years used the CrossCheck for commuting purposes. in fact, it still might be my favorite commuter mount. after i switched to the LHT i hadn't been out on the CC since. so today, amidst a balmy but wet Sunday i took 'er out for a spin, going over to Seneca. first i tried out the nice little path along PeeWee Reece dr in Seneca. it's not really that useful for riding, but for walking/jogging it's excellent. i then head up the hill next to the golf course, a trail that's been a traditional mtnbike/cross training route. to my surprise, the original 'halfpipe' has been replaced by a very windy, circuitous trail across the hillside. with my relatively smooth cross tires i was useless and ended up walking/jogging/loping for most of it. also, that trail at the end near Seneca #3 (or 4) has been dramatically changed, the creek crossing long gone and a new bridge in its place. hell, i don't think i've been on that route for a year from the looks of the foliage. all that part of the trail was made difficult by the slimy mud and leaves and i walked much more than i would've liked. i then went across the horse bridge and over to the loop for a few laps by meandering over to Cherokee, and then home. my total miles went too impressive, but i did get :55 in.

and finally after eating thanksgiving leftovers at my mum's son #1 and i walked home for another .75 walk.

all told, better than doing nothing. we'll have to see how the commuting thing is going to go with the rain forecast that it is.

55minutes/55temp and wet.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

lights and schwag

well, monday proved the apex of the early week, as i completely pussied out the last two days. no rain, temps 30-45, and i just didn't get my fat ass out of bed. i love all the folks who speak of invigorating rides in the cool (read frigid and bonechilling) a.m. air, but i just don't like it. as stated, i'm a pussy.

given that the shimano lightbulb burnt out, i've been researching options, mostly through Peter White's site. he's prone to old-school virtures and parts. he told me point blank that the shimano was crap. now, i would normally approach this with trepidation, that any businessman wants to sell crap. BUT, research on the shimano seems to lead to the damn thing being a european product which really isn't found in the states. the only website hits were in german, and one in czech. seems the ebay guy i bought the Surly from knew something about getting rid of unwanted/crappy stuff, much like the cheesy brakelevers. i won't gripe though. the rest of the LHT/Deore package (now with a Brooks B-17) is great. looks like i'm probably going to buy a new light from peterwhite, in the $50-60 range. i have the perfectly functional rechargable niterider, but that generator light sure is nice for commuting purposes. we'll see.

also in perusing offerings i've developed a hankering for a Carradice bag. i'm not overly nor underly enamored of my C'dale panniers. the left-side one, the one i use the most by far given it's relation to road traffic, has an unstitched zipper (which admitedly can be sewed/sewn). i think more than anything i'd like to unload the tail end a bit. the rack with the bulky panniers makes for a heft load. the prob is that the Carradice bags seems pretty damn big. i need a mid-sized one since, if there were a need of a megaload, i could put the detachable pannier rack on and just load up full. ultimately, i don't need one, but i think bikers, and in particular commuter types, are always looking for the edge, whether it be new panniers, a better light, new saddles, etc.

total price for new light/carradice bag/support rack would be 55+90+40 or so. that's practially $200, which is frankly excessive. but a generator light would be gravy. in fact, online i've decided that i'll go only with the light and pick up the bag down the road.

following is a pic of our Cumberland Falls trip. the digital camera went caput on the trip (bad lens?), so i finally got them burned to a disc. this is a straighforward pic of the falls, with a little foreground foliage for fun (how's that for alliteration). my dial-up makes uploading these images take for freakin' ever. i'd like to add a few here and there. if i can get the pics thing going, i'd like to do a little bike story of the different mounts i have. i wish my figure matched all the damn hardware i have. one day...one day

Monday, November 21, 2005

no title. nothing exceptional.

7m a.m. @ 33 degrees. i wore:
fleece pants with shorts and lightweight tight
rei base layer, tshirt, and blue/purple waterproof rei jacket
thin socks nad Assos winter socks and toe warmers
warm gloves (not hte Nike ones nor the lobsters)
heavyweight ear warmer

the afternoon was forecasted at mid 50s, so i felt one layer down was going to work, but lo and behold it ended up mid 40s. the one thing that ended up compromised was my hands, as the winterweight gloves were damp and the longfingered PI were too cold. not bad tough.

had a late meeting today (pizza included) so no afternoon mileage

13m total/7m a.m./6m p.m/33 a.m./44 p.m.

**one thing i am going to look into is a small extra light that i'm going to mount as a side light to add some extra protection. schellers didn't have anything while i was out in middletown. i'll check bob and susie's next.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday crud

first, this is the first post since last Monday, which as usual implies that i did ride much this week. a ver, monday p.m. big meal/wine, tuesday hangover, wednesday storms, thursday lazy. all of which brings me to friday.

nothing special a.m., though i left a little late. really, the news was a low of 24 going to school. for these temps, i wore the following:

shorts/lightweight tights/fluffy pants (damn, what's that stuff called?? soft pile stuff? ubiquitous?)
fuzzy (too small) base layer/2nd base layer/tshirt/heavy weight REI jacket
lightweight sox/neoprene windproof sox/toe covers
balaclava/Nike heavy gloves

I was pretty bundled, but expected some mid 40s temps, so i tried to do the layering thing instead of bringing out the big coat etc.

afternoon was payday, so a side trip to the Granville, for beer and burgers. a funny anecdote after the beer trip. 'sheryl''s helmet had fallen to the ground so i bent over to pick it up. while over, her bike fell, with the end of the handlebar hitting me square in the forehead. i now have an attractive red mark as a memory.

home was mid 40s, so i had the fuzzy pants, one baselayer, the jacket, and lighter neoprene gloves, along with some wool sox that i had brought.

total for the day was a decent 16 or so miles

16m/6 a.m./10 p.m./24temp a.m./45 temp p.m.

Friday evening we were treated to a rousing performance of Beethoven's 7th directed by one of the orchestra's guest/try-out conductors. i felt that the performance was passionate and very engaging. i enjoyed it thoroughly and hope this guy gets a 2nd look.

further frivolity included cards with P in Lex, beer, doritos, brownies, and chick/dressing. a weekend of friends, food, and fun.

and now some week miles to ward off the holidays to come

Monday, November 14, 2005

torrents

well, as ever i started my Monday out with a commute. in looking at the last several weeks, there exists a pattern that M,T,W have rides, and then Th-S have nothing. so i guess i have a goal.

the morning was chilly, so i made some different decisions, wearing the Performance jacket which is a little heavier than the other. It also has a waterproof/water resistence. the a.m. trip was straight forward as can be.

the p.m. prove more interesting. the skies were pewter grey and somewhat heavy, although rain was forecasted for later in the evening. i hung around work for a bit when the drip, drip pitterpatter began, quickly escalating into torrents of rain. the moisture came on top of mid-50s temps, making for a classic Belgian day. i went somewhat directly home, but ended up with 14 or so for the day.

the p.m. wardrobe was as follows:
**shorts + lightweight tights- i could've had warmer tights, but even wet they kept me comfortable
**capeline longsleeve with Performance rain jacket- i was impressed that the jacket kept out most of the rain.
**lightweight wool socks with toecovers- this proved the weakest, as the covers did nothing to stop my shoes from filling with water. the wool did keep them somewhat warm, but my feet were getting cold by the end of the commute.
**ear warmer and fleece gloves. i have two different neoprene gloves that would've worked better, but the fleece actually didn't take on too much moisture.

allinall a repectable adventure

14m commute/6 a.m./8 p.m./45temp a.m./55temp p.m.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

fall surprises

Shit! i erased 10 minutes of blogging just like that. What a friggin' idiot. well..

number one (again): indian summer temps. can you believe i rode to work today in shorts and short-sleeves. this a.m. the temp was a balmy 70 degrees, on the 9th of Nov. do doubt. GREAT weather. and the afternoon was just as good with a pleasant 76 with dappled sun and a good, fresh breeze. sort of makes you love Global Warming, doesn't it? and let's hope some of this weather will stave off those predicted 4x natural gas prices this winter.

number two: leaves. and when i'm discussing leaves, I speak to that really tactile cruch and snap that you get riding over leaves in the fall. i noticed it specifically this a.m., wherein, in the dark i think i noticed that kind of thing a little more. more interestingly, this p.m. i forgot about the experience but was reminded on the BluegrassDitch trail where there are PLENTY of leaves under tire. of course, these 'crunchy' leaves in dry conditions become nightmare in the wet, so i'll take them when i can.

number three: i saw a nice scene today right around Hogan's fountain on the way home. i had come up the hill and looked to my left in the field after the fountain and saw hundreds of blackbirds. these looked too small to be crows, but blacker than starlings. maybe that's what they were, but my guess was Grackles, if that's the right term. what really jazzed me was when a flock took to flight. imagine an image of 100 black, black birds in the foreground with the browns, oranges, reds, and yellows of fall as a backdrop. Great contrast and a summary of every Halloween color scheme ever presented. too bad i have no pic.

well, more good mileage today. i left early, for some reason, where my a.m. commute took me through Cherokee and across Oak. in the p.m. i took ?that damn road parallel to Shelby sort of?, gotta get the name of that, down to Market, right onto the BeargrassDitch trail coming out at the park. a spin through Cherokee and home via that great street of Casselberry and through Seneca Gds. Really nice ride and pretty good speed too, given my sloth of late.

18.5m total/8 a.m./10.5 p.m./14.3 avgp.m./75 with a stiff SW wind but great fall images.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

yet another return

well well well, as RL used to say back in the day, i have returned (paraphrasing McArthur). i jumped on herr bikemount today for a straighforward commute after yet another weeklong absence. let it be known that i hate myself. hate. self-loathing is a powerful downer (i tried to spell barbiturate/barbituit/barbiturate/??). so many of those days i just couldn't pull my fat ass onto the bike, pussy.

well, today i did, pulling in latish but with a very typical a.m. trip. something is still jingling herenthere on the bike, and frankly it irritates me some, but i endeavour.

the p.m. proved nice. first of all, 75 degrees for mid-November is ridiculous. we've only had 1 coldish week so far all spring, with most days still lurking in the 70s, or upper 60s at worst. i also, for some strange reason, felt pretty good, so i pushed it. the route is as follows: shelby/Lex/what's that hill up to Frankfort????/Frankfort/across to Seneca/up that other hill and through Seneca Gds. why in the hell can't i remember ANY street names. no obstante, i averaged a nice 14.6 in the p.m. for my 10.7m effort. pretty good for something like 6 days effort for a month-long period.

i'll be back on the horse this week and hopefully incur no flats, jingles, wrecks, chingado parts, etc.

maybe my prob is that i haven't ridden with lance nor sheryl in forever. lance is too good for me now with his fancy new Bachetta. 'sheryl' is just pissed in general. oh well, the rocknroll lifestyle is like that

16.5m/6m a.m./10.5 p.m./14.6avg/75 and breezy but nice to boot

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

thump, jingle, whack

for such a noisy title, my commute was pretty good today. the a.m. brought temps right at 40, good enough for fuzzy pants (polartec) and an extra shirt layer. fact is, the only thing that annoyed me in the a.m. was that i didn't have one of those velcro straps to tighten down the fabric on my pants, so on occassion they snagged the chainring. annoying but acceptable.

the p.m. brought the jingle, dingle, which ended up being a loose hex bolt. no biggie. i finally had some legs today and had a decent 14.7 avg for the p.m. great great weather too, with sun and temps in the high 60s/low 70s

15m total/6.5 a.m./8.5 p.m./14.7 avg p.m. / sunny and indian summer warm

gonna look into new tires at some point, b/c those contis just aren't getting the job done. might look into some avocet crossKs from the olden days. those were great tires.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Morning strikes again

with the temp a balmy 56, i headed out for the a.m. commute, a few minutes early to get my 7m in instead of the shorter 6. well, 2m or so into it i noticed some strange handling, but it was over a bumpy section. only later did i find out that i had the dreaded FLAT. now, on a road ride it's one thing, but on a commute when you must sign in by 7.25, it's entirely another. fortunately i had the requisite new tube, pump etc. the previous morning flat a few years ago was much more the disaster. this time i took care of it, the only prob was a handful of chain grease after it jammed by the front chainring. i fixed it and off i went, but still it was the 2nd bad day of luck in a row.

and more afternoon family dealings, so stress, business and not a whole lot of riding, but some at least.

12m total/6mx2/ a cool afternoon in low 60s, after some rain moved through midday
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com