Sunday, December 31, 2006

Adios '06

Date: Dec 31
Mileage: 22
Ride type: Road
Bike: Trek
Temp: 50-60F rainy->sunny
December mileage: 421
Year to date: 2648

Final ride of the year, and a great ride at that. We had lots of rain earlier, so I took the Trek out for the last-of-year stroll. With all the water on the ground, you can really tell a difference on a bike w/out fenders- spray going everywhere, but mostly on my lower legs. I was in no mood to set speed records, so I strolled through Seneca and Cherokee, over towards Mockingbird Valley, along the river, back up Indian Trail and through Seneca again. I find that, with the bare trees and low-light conditions, that the color contrast really stands out in the parks and along the water- hues of red, orange, brown, green, grey, occasional splashes of others. It makes for a very pretty scene, and one that rivals summer if you just look at it all differently. I also saw a different kind of bird along Beargrass Creek, one that I hadn't seen around here. Based on some quickie research, I think it was a Belted Kingfisher, as seen to the left. Too bad I didn't have the superquick camera to snap a pic. I'm not birder, but I like to find new things on my journeys. As the temps warmed, I also found misty fog rising up from the dampened streets and puddles, especially in the lowlands near the river. It was just a really enjoyable casual ride, getting rained on early on, but then warming up to 60F and the sun coming out all in the span of an hour and change. I was 10x wetter on the inside of the cheap Performance rain than I ever was outside of it.

I found myself pondering feet and tires, the tires being the CdlVs, and the feet with respects clips or no clips. I've had several people respond to the CdlV issue. Apparently they don't always seat well, and a combo of liquid detergent and extra inflation help them "pop" into place. I spent some time this a.m. adjusting the front fender to my satisfaction. I also did the 'super inflation' trick on the front CdlV tire, but not with the detergent. That will be the next step. I'll get there (hopefully). Concerning pedals, I'm still not sure what my opinion is. Today I was in the Lake shoes and clips. I like the advantages of clips, but my feet have often bothered me with clips (well, clip-less as it were). In contrast, yesterday's ride of 36m gave me not one instance of foot soreness. During today, I probably stretched my feet and ankles 3-4x.

Final mileage for 2006 is just over 2,600. December was my heaviest mileage month of the year @ 421. November was 2nd with 404. This month's total supersedes that of March, April, May and June combined, with a 4-month total from that period reaching 312 (NO miles in March). It's pretty silly to have far greater mileage in the "cold" months of the yr. like Nov, Dec, Jan than in the "sunny" months like late spring and summer.

I don't have a specific mileage goal for 2007 as of yet, but I want to do a century; my longest ride has been 85 miles. I want to ride to family camp in early September, which is about 100m, and I want to ride to Lexington again to visit friends, which is around 80ish, depending on route. I just have to figure out how to get mileage in in the heat of tennis season, when every day becomes a 12-hour day, and most of those are spent driving the truck around w/ a bed full of balls, hoppers, and crap. And I have to get mileage in the summer instead of sitting around watching the pinche Tour or tennis matches all summer.

Great finish to '06 though.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Maiden Voyage of Le Bleriot

Date: Dec 30
Mileage: 38
Ride type: Road
Bike: Bleriot
Temp: 45F
December mileage: 399
Year to date: 2626

First real ride on the Bleriot today. Yesterday was spent in Lexington watching the victorious Cats put the nasty beat down on Clemson. It was also a day filled with cheese dip and "puppy chow", which is what some of the school kids call a mix of cereals, M&Ms, and whatev covered in white chocolate. Game was great and time with friends even better. Now to today's ride.

Before I get to Bleriot talk, I want to say that I wimped out a little. I had planned a ride of more than 40m (according to googlepedometer). Once I got to the top of Holsclaw Hill, I wimped out, turned around and returned roughly in the same path. I wanted the first voyage on the Bleriot to be a statement, in that I really want 2007 to be the year of the bike, and justify me owning all these damn bikes in the first place.

My route took me across Eastern Pkwy(ish), down Southern Pkwy, and through Iroquois Pk. From there I worked my way over to Fairdale and Holsclaw Hill. The original intent was to go to Brooks Rd. and come over the back of Mitchell Hill, but one big climb was adequate for the day. I must say I could never, EVER, go back to a 2-chainring setup like on the Bridgestone. I'm fat, slow, and love small gears to get over very steep climbs. I find myself pretty tired for some reason, perhaps the cheese dip, but here are the first-ride impressions of the Bleriot:
  • I really like the upright, comfortable geometry. Right away you sit on the bike and it feels like a comfy chair you've used for a good while. I have the bars set pretty high. I may lower them a bit, but overall, the geometry really pleased me.
  • I find the Bleriot stable, but not "sluggish" as some have called it. Yes, it's sluggish compared to a carbon fiber racing bike, butit was perfectly lively for my standards, every bit as much as the Blueridge or even the RB-1.
  • The Brooks saddle was comfortable right away. I originally wanted a B-17 in Honeybrown. Jim @ Hiawatha threw in an upgraded B-17 Ti in antique brown. It's great looking and instantly comfortable. I've found, though, that my Brooks saddles are almost like moods, happy one day, pissy the next.
  • I fiddled a couple times with handlebar angle. I first moved it down b/c my wrist were titled a little sharply. The adjustment needed a readjustment b/c they had ended up too low, not unlike a standard roadie placement. Third time was the charm though.
  • The biggest concern right now is the Col de la Vie tires. I removed and remounted both front and back, but the front seems to have a lump in it, with the requisite bump bump bump with every revolution. I checked the bead to make sure it was evenly set in the rim, and that there is no tube stuck up in there. Funnily, the sidewalls of the CdlV are very soft and supple. That's good for road feel, but strangely difficult to work with as far as most efficiently mounting the tire on the room; they sort of wiggle. I'm going to address this again this afternoon, but this is a concern. I don't know if it's defective, if it's my imagination, my mechanical skills, or just part of its "personality". The back seems to have a similar issue, but I didn't notice the "bump bump" or "hop hop" like on the front. The pillowy smooth ride was nice...if there weren't such a pronounced hop to it.
  • I still have more tweaking needed of the front fender. I got it adjusted so that it didn't rub normally, but it was a bit when climbing. It wasn't too bothersome.
I really enjoyed the ride, and am ready to put more miles in tomorrow a.m. In the end, it's the engine that matters, but it helps if the engine is comfy.

Full pic of the Bleriot with mostly everything mounted. Up front Jim's good-looking wrap job on the bars. On the back, the Carradice Nelson Longflap supported by the Nitto rack. The 2 further changes would/will be #1 gotta get a couple cool bottle cages, which are on the way and #2 to Computer or Not to Computer? That is the Q.

This is from the top of Holsclaw Hill. At first I didn't like the power lines in the shot, and now I sorta do. The most-distant ridges are Indiana.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bleriot build

Here are some pics of the build. It mostly shows how jumbled with shit my garage is- bikes, grandma's table, garden shit, boys' bikes, more crap.

Shortly after out-of-box. Jim @ Hiawatha had it pretty simple, w/ brakes, derailers, bars, and whatnot attached.

I really like this image of the brown nose of the Brooks peeking out. It's an upgraded Ti model. VERY nice!!

No one's fault, but the styrofoam block protecting the chainrings managed to self-destruct. The first 15 minutes was spent wiping away tiny styrofoam balls, which are now excessively littering the garage floor. They were everywhere!

Nice pic of the Brook, with special large rivets. I think it's a competition model or something; I don't exactly remember, but it's an upgrade of a standard B-17.

Shitty pic of Jim's handiwork. I asked for a nice bar treatment & this is topnotch.

Last pic from tonight. I ran out of light for any good full-bike images, but this is from further down the street, with the sunset just above the shiny Nitto Noodles. Yummy!


Date: Dec 28
Ride type: Errand
Bike: Trek
Temp: 50F
December mileage: 361
Year to date: 2590

A beeyootiful day in the 'Ville, but it ended up being a day of much technological wrenching. As stated, I spent the morning reconstituting the AV equipment. then, lunch with some former students, all either graduated from college or seniors this year in college. A great group of guys (nice alliteration, no?). Oh, that's where the riding came in. all morning i had planned to take the fixie up to our lunch location, forgetting the front flat (more alliteration). instead, i jumped on the Trek and used the German military 'man purse' to cart my lock and stuff. the long way home afterwards gave me 7 total miles for the day.

Then the bike building began ( get it). I'm slow, non-methodical, and have no real skills, but the build was pretty straightforward. i had it riding just around dark and only went out for a mile or so, maybe a little more. early returns are VERY promising. tomorrow a more thorough update including pics. but first tomorrow a.m., a ride. VERY promising (and notice the Bleriot blue font)

"The Bleriot is in the building. I repeat..."

It's here, still boxed in the garage. I retrieved it from the good neighbors this a.m. First I had undertaken a monstrous realignment of all the home TV/AV/DVD/CD/DVDR/etc. Had to quickly run out and grab a longer video coax from Target, one exactly like I proceeded to immediately find on the floor right in front of the area in which I had just been working. That project seems well underway, so after a reunion lunch with some former students (college srs. and grads), it's Bleriot time. And it's perfect and sunny here today!


Date: Dec 26
Mileage: 12.5ish
Ride type: road
Bike: fixie 9.2.5.
Temp: 40F
December mileage: 337
Year to date: 2566

Date: Dec 27
Mileage: 16
Ride type: road
Bike: LHT
Temp: 42F
December mileage: 353
Year to date: 2582

the fixie ride was a quickie before we left for the in-laws. after days and days of troughing and festivizing, i just had to get out, even briefly. 11m into it, i felt the unpleasant reality of the softening tire. b/c i had jumped on the fixie for a quickie, i had no gear w/me. oops! i made it to perhaps 1+m away and by then was riding on mostly rim. we had to leave shortly for said in-laws, so from there it was jog/ride to get home asap.

yesterday made for a nice-but-short ride in Maysville, home of said in-laws. b/c of the flat tire, i didn't have time to prepare the Blueridge or another, so i just threw the LHT in the back with some sweats and other less-roadie gear. it was a sunny and nice day, albeit a little windy and made for nice riding weather, although the northerly wind (coming from the south, right?) made part of the route quite tough. I've done a good job scouring many of the roads around the house, but didn't have time nor gear to do an "epic" ride, so i settled on exploring a road that would put me within reach of a reasonable ride and i could still make the movie that the crew was seeing at 2.30. as ever, Maysville's topography made for a challenging ride with its steep rollers and occasional climbs. i had fears of using the LHT b/c of its weight, but interestingly it proved to be a great mount for the area. the gearing provided me lots of tiny little gears to help get up the steep pitches, and the big, fat tires were the perfect antidote versus all the country mud and gravel. i might just have to try it again. i also managed to have a perfectly good ride performed in sweatpants and Target $20 shoes (s/Wool sox). i did have some "cycling" upper-body gear, but these Rivbike people might be on to something in the feet department. you can be a "real" cyclist w/out cleats. these pics are in order:

This is humdrum except for the fact that this is a new cut through (you may be able to discern that the guardrails are shiny) on a road with scant population. Somebody must have friends in high places at the court house.

My favorite pic from this trip. I really like the line and the red roof of the farm house/ The climb out of this was rather steep.

Cujo and his sidekick Bart. Pics can't capture the ridiculous time I had with this dog. I'll explain more below.

Surprise!! TX Longhorn in KY.

This, my friends, is coal, King Coal as it's known in KY.

Train trestle in Lewisburg, Mason Co., KY

This is a Surly Long-Haul Trucker next to trestle in Lewisburg.

The pond across from in-law house at dusk.

Many efforts to capture pretty sunset. don't think i have enough camera to really do so.

p.s. Dog story. I was coming out of the river/creek valley and was faced with a very steep short pitch when that stupid-ass hounddog came to harass me. Every account of KY cyclist from the AdventureCycling group comments on KY dogs and their substantial quantities. Well, I stopped and yelled a bit and he turned, tail between legs, and trotted off. As soon as I started riding, he would come up in dog fashion and start trying to menace me trying to bite my left leg. I walked up the hill, on opposite side of bike away from dumb-ass dog. When I remounted at the top, he came charging and nipped my sweatpants. I stopped and yelled some more and he again trotted off. "Come on! Fight like a man!" Finally I had some downhill so I built up speed; he had speed too and came a-chasin'. I swerved left herenthere to slow him down and I finally lost him perhaps a quartermile down the road. As all this took place, his sidekick "Bart" was a-yappin' and a-yappin'. It was most certainly like a Warner Brothers cartoon with the little yap dog jumping around his big bulldog buddy. Ridiculous!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

So close, yet so far

we're back from the in-laws, but i'm faced with a most-difficult situation. i'm here, and my new Bleriot is 4 doors down the street. given the UPS shipping date, the bike was to arrive yesterday, Tuesday. i left a note on our front door for "Brown" to deliver it Thursday afternoon, when i knew we would be home. i then called some neighbors down the street to see if they could take the note off the door after supper, so as to note have a large hand-written note advertising to the world that we were out of town.

coming home from Maysville today, we get cell-phone service and find a message from said good neighbors. apparently, when one of them went down to our house to remove the note, a very large box was on the porch. Yikes! fortunately, they did the neighborly thing and carried it down to their house. now it's 10.25 and they're not at home. So, a bike i've been planning, purchasing, and waiting on since mid-November is stuck 100yds down the street, and i have no way of retrieving it.

quite the conundrum.

had a good ride earlier today. will post country pics tomorrow.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The One True Godfather

Sad Xmas day news for true musicphiles. The 'Godfather of Soul' James Brown died today. He was a titan, THE Titan, of soul and R&B music through the 60s and early 70s. For every big saccharine Motown hit by the Supremes et. al., there were 5 huge ass-movin' soulfunk hits that James grunted and grooved out. You can never hear James and not wanna' shake that thang. He was a mess, what with getting high on PCP and shooting at people, oh... and beating the hell out of his wives, but he was the Godfather. I'll take 1, any 1, J.B. song over every song in every catalog from today's hip-hop features. They all steal from him anyway.


Well, I've had good fortune and I've given in. My mom bought me an ipod Nano for Xmas; we celebrate Xmas eve traditionally. I was quite surprised b/c she bought the family some other nice things too. It's 2.42 a.m. Christmas madrugada and I'm on the damn computer fiddling with it. Hostia! Really it's pretty nice, but I'll have to find a way to be current but not hip. I find that the kids at school respect me more if I act my age. Most of the I'mnotthatyoungbutI'mtryingtobehip types are just ridiculed, justifiably.

It's now 3.05. I wish that when I had previously uploaded all my tunes I had had itunes as the time. Manually editing many different songs sucks rocks. Ah the price for on-demand music in a hip little digital package!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Got this from Misanthrope Cyclist today. It's a link to a film, but one that has LordoftheRings, Carl Orff-type music. Big!! Bold!! foreBoding!! name is Clorophilla . I don't really know anything else to say except that it's pretty wack as far as bike video stuff goes. It's worth a peek, I guess.

O'Reilly and I agree...

This blog is mostly bikes, a little Green Living, a smattering of Wildcat basketball, and finally a mishmash of random thoughts.

Today's randomness arrives from doing some reading on my part in this Xmas season. My wife is a regular church-goer. She takes the boys to various programs, sings in the choir and participates on a variety of levels. I, on the other hand, am something else: agnostic, skeptic, athiest, recovering former Southern Baptist. You name it. I grew up in the Souther Baptist tradition, attending with my mom's family what would be now called an Evangelical church, with my other grandmother also attending a more moderate S.B. church. By the age of 16 or so, I had had enough of "devil music", "burning in the fiery depths", and "Satan". I left the church and didn't attend again until with my wife in our 20s. She attends the Christian Church Disciples of Christ, which was founded in KY in the mid-1800s. Of the many sects of Protestantism, I can say I like the DoC approach. It's a rational, intellectual approach to Christianity, one that could be called "progressive", less dogmatic, and more open to logic. Still, since my experiences in my youth, I just cannot give in to Christian teachings.

I find myself reading- I don't know I would call it studying per se-a fair amount of Buddhist material and literature. It seems that of the major religious theologies, Buddhism is the least laden with guilt and patriarchy. Much of it appeals although my skeptical nature doesn't allow me to fully give in to such teachings; my appreciation of it grows, but haltingly.

The reason for today's blog is more a link I found today in my readings/surfing concerning an interview between Bill O'Reilly of FoxNews fame and Albert Mohler, who is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary located here in Louisville. I can't imagine two people with whom I agree less. O'Reilly is your run-of-the-mill media blow hard, but one that helps keep our substantially ignorant populace- red staters if you will- that much more ignorant. He's something of a "thinking man's Rush", if you can imagine such a bizarre statement actually coming from a human's brain. Mohler is worse. He's an American mullah, the worst possible kind of prejudicial religious ape. Occassionally you will see bumper stickers deriding the "American Taliban". As much as I get all hot under the collar about these people, they're usually not bombing stuff, except for abortion clinics. A term like "American Taliban" may be hyperbole, but if it has any legitimacy, then people like Mohler are bad enough to be mentioned in the same vein.

The link to which I referred was from an interview earlier this year between O'Reilly and Mohler. These foxnews types usually agree on much, hence the red-state party line that has been so effective since 1994, but in this O'Reilly calls Mohler to task quite firmly for claiming that Buddhists, Hindus and the like are possessed with Satanic powers. The quote:
Well, I would have to say as a Christian that I believe any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of satanic power.
Wow!! One of the leading religious figures in this country, tied so often with members of this administration of evangelicals, says that Buddhists are influenced by "satanic power". Wow!! He must be reading different texts than I, b/c everything I read makes me feel that Buddhists are the least judgmental, most peaceful people I can find. It's just blatantly irresponsible, and O'Reilly seems to say just that.

This isn't the kind of thing that should take emotional and spiritual energy in this time of year, but rational and spiritually-honest people of all religious ilk should rise up and be willing to squelch this kind of comments. Worse though, I sat through a very pleasant family gathering last night, on my Mom's side, and listened to a 20 minute bitch session about "how much blacks are favored" in so many forums of jobs and economy. Are these people, my relatives, so damn retarded as to make the claim that the most profound representatives of our underclass are somehow "favored"? I've never felt more out of touch with this group of blood relatives. My cuz, A, with whom I spent lots of fun time with in '06 at baseball and softball games, is going through the KY police academy, and he's no better. He seems fixated at looking at life an society through an ugly 'racial', maybe 'racist' lens. These people are much more devoutly "religious" than I. They, family and Albert Mohler, can quote scripture right and left, but how can these teachings lead them to such ugly views? I sometimes which Christ would in fact return and rebuke these ignoramuses.

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Bodhi Day, Happy Wesak, and Peace above all else.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"The Circle of Life"

Date: Dec 23
Mileage: 4.5
Ride type: Mixed
Bike: LHT
Temp: 48F
December mileage: 324.5
Year to date: 2553.5

Quick ride with boys this afternoon, in between breakfast w/ Dad and this evening's get-together w/ my Mom's family. Yes, I have time and weather to do a bigger ride myself, but it ain't gonna happen. The boys were both dragging a bit. I have or have always had the mental intention of turning them into active, sporty young men who prefer the rugged outdoors to mind-numbing video games. Instead, they spend much more time on various levels of "Madden '07" than they ever do on their bikes. These pics are quite disparate, but do sum-up the interests of today's trek.

Notice the dead animal in from of the LHT. Our power went off abt 10.15 this a.m. The LG&E worker found this poor little creature at the base of this pole about 11.00. My neighbor and his wife had just been healthily debating the causes of said power outage when the worker held it up in the air by the tail. The timing certainly made for a hearty laugh, with T giving the endless "I told you so" that K will never live down. That's the LHT with the re-mounted rack, the SON, and the new Nashbar panniers. When the fenders are in (and maybe the new tires), I'll do a more thorough pictorial, not that anybody cares.

I've made mention of the in-progress Zoo trail. The boys and I took this as a safe and non-threatening way to ride. You can tell from the pic that this fork of the Beargrass is horribly filled with big-rain trash, this smiling green tiger being a more-colorful-than-usual example. We had a good laugh at this as well.

Finally Z and L heading back from the dead-end point, both on bikes slightly too small, as least for a cyclist's taste. L has to ride standing alot b/c I don't think he can go full stroke with his legs bunched up. Z will get a new bike in the spring, one with 26" tires and a miniframe; it should last him until he's closer to full teenagerdom. L, of course, will get handmedowns.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Cats' Power Ranking

The latest SI "Power Rankings" came out, and I find this depressing. Following are candidates for #17 and up, which is to say these teams aren't even in the top 16:
Again, Kansas and Florida (just waiting for them to earn their way in with a good win, that's all), Pitt (best win is ... Florida State), Washington, Gonzaga, Boston College, UConn, Clemson, Dayton, Illinois, Washington State, Missouri State, Maryland, Drexel, Nevada.
So based on this list, the Cats are below teams such as Dayton, Washington St., MO St., Drexel and Nevada. Granted, power programs such as UConn are scraping for crumbs too, but Cats Fans do NOT except being held in lower esteem than Drexel. Unacceptable. Tubby Smith is a great guy, and this year's team may surprise a bit, but by March it will be the longest drought ever between Final Four appearances for UK, and it all falls on Orlando's shoulders.


Date: Dec 22
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Road
Bike: Trek 400
Temp: 58F and wet
December mileage: 320
Year to date: 2549

Nothing more to say than a nice, quick road ride this a.m. My dad is coming in today, and we'll do this and that, including visiting the cemetery to honor my grandparents; my grandma- his mother- died last year Xmas Eve. It was time, but it's still sad. The roads were damp, but quite empty of traffic. I rather enjoyed myself, rolling along comfortably and contemplating the day and the time.

The Bleriot seems as though it's going to arrive the day after Xmas. We'll be en route to the in-laws, so unless they show bright and early, I won't get to take it into the country to ride. That's alright, a little disappointing, but alright. Lest I forget, I have others to ride in its stead.


I'm sitting here surfing around when I find an N.Y.Times article about Chris Carmichael of Lance and CTS fame. The only reason it garners any mention is that, on this 2nd page, he mentions building satellite "Training Centers" in several hip and up-and-coming 'outdoorsy' towns like Asheville, Tucson; Santa Barbara, Calif, Lehigh Valley (Trexeltown velodrome) and... Louisville, Ky. Wow!!! That's VERY surprising, that we would be included in this list of very fit, forward towns. Maybe the 'Ville is moving up in the world.

Thursday, December 21, 2006



simple fact, Greg Lemond, during his "reign" had to contend and supersede a great generation of cyclists. During his time, numerous riders had significant impacts on racing, both in stage races and in single-day classics. I'm thinking of "Larry" Fignon. He won 2 Tours (83,84), but also a Giro (89), and don't forget that he won 2 Milan-SanRemo (88,89), now a bastion of the 'Ale-Jet'-style sprinter. Next we have Stephan Roche. He is mostly known for his magical 87 year when he won the Giro, Tour and Worlds in the same year. He was quite good, but it certainly helped to have an injured Lemond and Fignon. Next is 'Perico' Delgado. He is most famous for sort of failing a drug test during the 88 Tour (probenicide- a masking agent). He also won 2 Vuelta de Espana (85,89). Finally, during the '80s, we have the real reign of Sean Kelly. He won too much to list, but it's certain that he not only won many classics and SuperPernod trophies, but more importantly was an excellent stage racer, with 7 or so Paris-Nice to his credit and a Vuelta from 88 or so.

Who, in reality, did Lance race against? Mr. Michelin- Bibendum- Jan Ulrich, the most wasted talent of all time! ? Basso's great yrs have coincided with a declining and older Armstrong. Who else? Zulle was in decline when Lance came aboard. Ivan Mayo? He may be the one great loss of this generation, but climbers are like that, aren't they? Vino may be the greatest allrounder of this generation, with tours and classics in his palmares. i've followed Lance very closely, since he was a "phat" amateur @ the Tour duPont, but his competition doesn't inspire. He will go down as LANCE, but Greg the World will always stick w/me as the true champion, and a champion eau'claire at that.


i had a bottle of SelvaMaggio '01 or so. It's good Chianti, but relatively vague, so no good link. found some links the are of interest:
This is a really nice site of LHT lore. In my covetous moments, I wish I had a wine-colored LHT, or even a blue LHT, but I'll get over it. My Bleriot will be a pretty blue.

Kogswell owners also have a nice site. KOG.

Bleriot pics.

My older son is Evil!!

Fixed Flahute

Date: Dec 21
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Road
Bike: 925 fixie
Temp: 50F and raining
December mileage: 305
Year to date: 2534

Ater sitting around feeling lazy and fat the last few days, I got out of my pinche lazyboy and took a ride this afternoon, albeit in conditions less than clement. 50F and raining isn't really all that bad. I decided to get on the fixie, as that would require less cleaning and it has PlanetBike fenders attached. Whilst riding, I decided that it's a good idea to take at least 1 fixie ride a week. It's really a different sport from standard, geared riding. I've had the 9.2.5. long enough, and am just a bit more fit enough, that I need to change out the rear cog. Right now I'm running a 42x19, which gives me a gear of 59.2", according to SheldonBrown's site. The original was a 16, which I think still is a bit big for all the hills in this end of town. To make the change worthwhile, though, it would be useless to go less than 17.

The LHT project is coming along nicely. Here is/was the ToDo list:
  • mount huge Serfas tires. Done!!
  • mount new Serfas taillight. Done!!
  • mount SON wheel and Lumotec Oval Plus Senso. Done!! finished this afternoon.
  • remove present fenders, as they don't fit fat tires. Done!!
  • install black SKS fenders when they arrive from Hiawatha.
  • remove Carradice and Bagman. they're being moved (well, the Carradice is) to the Bleriot when it arrives. Done!!
  • install Blackburn rack already in possession. Done!!
  • gerryrig/fix C'dale panniers. need to sew a portion of often-used left bag, and fortify broken plastic part. Done!! (sort of)
Two, no three, aspects of the LHT makeover are being revised, no two revised and one postponed.
  • SKS fenders, black, aren't in stock at @ Jim's at the moment, so that will have to wait until I guess mid-January. Hopefully it won't rain a ton in early enero, else I'll end up wet or taking advantage of the fixie.
  • Concerning Pannier, I got greedy. Admist my webbings, I came across a really nice deal on Nashbar's "ATB Panniers". What's a guy to do? The C'dales have a broken internal frame, and I found a $35.00 savings. I installed them today, after them arriving in some amazing time of 2 days or so. They're fine, not great, but may work better. The C'dales, together, were quite large. These are a bit smaller each, but have means to add stuff on via built in straps. And with these I still can mount a basket if I want.
  • Lastly, I know it's wasteful, but I don't know if I can regularly commute on the 2" Serfas. They're amazing for roughhousing around the city, through all the nooks, crannies, alleys and wastelands of my fair berg. Por otro lado, I have a feeling they're heavy as they come. The Seras website claims a weight of 630g for the 2". To compare, the Panaracer Pasela TG 1.75", a reasonably comparable commuting tire weighs in at 440g. I don't know the road ride difference of 380g, but I perceive it as being sizable. I don't know. Maybe I'm being a wussy. The Col de la Vie 650B that I'm getting on the Bleriot weighs in a 430g, so maybe the Serfas are monsters. I may just change.
Riding tomorrow a.m. rain or shine!


I love the fact that dynohubs and their respective dynolights are becoming much more viable options as the development of commuter mounts grows. What we have here is an attractive Bianchi CastroValley (stupid name) set up for commuting purposes: fenders, Shimano hub and light, 28C "Randonneur " tires, multiple braze-on rack mounts. yes, i would personally prefer a triple instead of a low-geared double- if i perhaps were to tour-, and would prefer a higher position, but it's a nice package set for urban riding.

I haven't been riding much, although I can't put my finger on the exact reason. Those may include: shopping and errands, rain, cold, wife@work and me with boys, etc. etc. I've had a couple opportunities but have passed them by. Last Sunday would've been a great day to ride, but instead I took a nap ( refreshing one at that). I by-passed a 35F ride yesterday morning, thinking I would ride in the p.m., but "rain" excuse cropped up. This a.m. I was awake early enough before the good wife had to go to work, but it was raining and dark. If it had been a commuting day, I would've ridden, but alas. This is what happens in the summer. I'm better with a schedule. W/out one, I dither and dather and make mental excuses and it doesn't happen so readily. Hostia!

(I learned that one reading a book abt a journalist's travels through Spain. It means "body of Christ", and is a general interjection)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The whole Floyd saga, I must admit, has me rooting for the "underdog". Down deep, he's probably the 2006 version of "All-American, Whiter-than-snow, Neverdoanytingwrong" Tyler Hamilton, but time has shown that Tyler was, by all accounts, a liar. Is Floyd? He just might be, but his cantankerous and off-kilter upbringing makes me root for him. The doubts, more so, really creep in. He contemplates retirement. He says he will never clear his name. What if he's innocent? He announces that he might compete in the Leadville 100, just like Lance announced a week or two ago.

These guys are doped dogs, probably, but damn I like (watching) bike racing. I watched the 2003 LBL just the other day, and I found it just as exciting knowing Tyler was on the juice. With the kind of $ floating around in pro sports today, who isn't junked up?

Vive le Tour!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I've been added to the list of the cool kids, with Doug tagging me. To be honest, I write not sure what to say, but feeling that I've been a smidge more included in the blogomunity.

5 things, on a site some friends and my wife read...

1. I've been to Spain 5 times- '89, '90, '92, '00, and '03 (those last 2 are approx.)- and I'm going for a 6th time summer of '07. It's a Perk, or a penalty, of being a Spanish teacher. I've also been to Costa Rica twice- '99, '01- and Mexico once-'05.

2. I've been singing in various choirs since age 13: 2 yrs middle school, 2 yrs PRP high school, 2 yrs Atherton Chamber Singers, 4 yrs Transylavnia U., 3 yrs Bach Society, and remainder in DBCC church choir. I'm good enough to sing solos on occasion but not good enough to really go any further. I like singing and it's the one thing I would say I'm better than the average Joe at doing. I'm adequately smart and a pretty good- but not great- teacher, but I do sing pretty well.

3. I've lived in numerous large metropolitan areas in the Eastern U.S.: Dallas, Houston (Sugerland), Louisville (not "large"), St. Louis (Chesterfield), Philadelphia (West Chester), and have visited my dad in Detroit (Northville) numerous times. Ranking them, according to experience:
#1 West Chester- beautiful and underdeveloped area, who knows now?
#2 Louisville- slow and staid, but comfortable
#3 Northville- only from reaping the benefits of the Tigers and Pistons
#4 tie Dallas/Houston- to young to remember
#6 St. Louis- hated every minute of it.

4. I saw the 2nd-to-last show of Uncle Tupelo, which begat Wilco and Son Volt. Wilco, my favorite band, has grown to become one of the most respected indy-rock bands around these days and I've seen them perhaps 6 times. Son Volt was the original offspring of the U.T. sound, but poor Jay Farrar sucks ass now.

5. We have, perhaps, 1500 or more CDs. To think now that it could/should all be on the hard drive. The whole collection is a good mix of 'alternative' rock, 'classic' rock, jazz, blues, classical, classical choral, bluegrass, country. Fav acts include: Neil Young, the Roots, Wilco, Beethoven, Miles Davis, Tallis Scholars, Pavement, REM, Otis Redding.

6. Bonus. I've come to realize that I like to list things. My mind is relatively disorderly, maybe dis-functional, but lists provide me relatively simple organization, however useless they may be.

I'll tag the following, but really I don't visit that many blogs who haven't already been tagged:

Chris (which seems to be out-of-order at the moment)
Ed ('Ville connection)
Joe ('Ville connection)
Matt (only b/c he's disappeared) (hey, i doubt he reads my blog, but he's got some great pics from Guatemala)

Monday, December 18, 2006


Date: Dec 18
Mileage: 18
Ride type: Errand
Bike: LHT
Temp: 48F p.m.
December mileage: 290
Year to date: 2519

went out this afternoon first to run a Xmas errand and then to take the long way home for a bit of mileage. the good wife had to work today, so i had the boys for the morning. tomorrow i'm going out for a longer road ride (hopefully) first thing in the a.m. nothing too great or not great to report. again, as the sun set early i enjoyed the benefit of the SON. Right now the LHT is damn heavy. I re-mounted a Blackburn rack, while still keeping the Carradice for now. After the Bleriot arrives, I'm mounting a basket on the back of the LHT, with 1 pannier underneath. Heavier even still, but I have other bikes for lightness, right? I actually checked out buying a Surly Nice Rack for the LHT, but was surprised at the $120ish price tag. Wow, that's alot of dough for a rack. I can live with much-less-expensive Blackburn until I decide to tour through South America.

Some of my slowness on the LHT may be due to a little front brake rub. I messed around with it this afternoon after the ride. The prob is that the brakearm adjustment screw- as I call it- can't be tightened any more, so i can't get the left brake arm further out from the rim, even though I loosened the right arm a bit to help. I need to ensure that the rim is perfectly seated. With the tire size, it's a little difficult to see exactly whether it's centered; it's rather unlike a skinny road tire in that respect. It's also the case that the locking (for lack of a better term) axle on the SON is a bit more difficult to finesse than the ease of a quick-release skewer.

I took in a very short climb near Frankfort today that had to be 20%. I moved all the way forwards to keep the front end of the ground. I would love to know the actual percentage, just for comparison sake. Here is another "epic" steep climb.

The Koppenberg of Ronde Van Vlaanderen fame. (courtesy of

Sunday, December 17, 2006


switched over this a.m. not sure why. guess it's better. probably not. i wanted to sleep in but body woke up at 6.30. Bollocks!

Cats won!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mixed Up

Date: Dec 16
Mileage: 24ish
Ride type: Mixed/'Cross
Bike: CrossCheck
Temp: 61Fp.m.
December mileage: 272
Year to date: 2501

Another warm, nice day for a "winter" ride, albeit with more cloud cover. The UK/UL game was on @ 1.30, and I just couldn't bring myself to watch it; I had to avoid the disappointment if the Cats lost. So, I decided to venture and and amble. I had my mind of goofing around at the River Rd. CC on the 'cross bike, but but began the ride by first wandering over towards the zoo to check out the progress on the path. Someone had installed attractive wooden fences around the entrance, and had mounted big, yellow posts in the middle to keep out vehicles, but the dumb thing still ends in the middle of nothing behind the zoo.

From there I took a turn through lower Creason on the paths, and then cut through Bellarmine and towards the park. I was working from path to path, and the next were the trails in Cherokee. Most of the trails in that park had either "Trail Closed" or "No Bikes", so that made it a little discouraging. The next trail was the one bordering Seneca's golf course. I then had to work through Crescent Hill Reservoir. The next path was a small-but-curious find in between two neighborhood streets off Mockingbird Valley Rd. Frankly, it's almost impossible to describe with my limited vocab., but a pic must ensure b/c it was indeed a quaint little find. Finally, I descended to the river and to the 'cross course. 'Cross is hard. 'Nuff said. Had fun. Got muddy. At that point, the tiredness was working itself in, so I came home paralleling Story and Baxter.

The final pleasure of the day was a slight "interaction" with a dualie pickup truck on Bardstown. I was hugging between the parking lane and the car lane, and at some point he seem to be trying to squeeze me a bit. Didn't work. He got hung up in traffic and I moved on. It took him another 1.5 miles to catch up to me again. He wasn't antagonistic, but I do take satisfaction in out-dueling vehicles.

A good mixed day. Now the wait begins for the Bleriot. Got a message from Jim, and the new steed should be very close to being shipped. Apparently, there were a couple paint chips to be dealt with, but Jim is going to be very reasonable with me and compensate me for a slightly, slightly defective paint job. It may come in the guise of a Brooks saddle upgrade to one with Ti rails.(this pics isn't the exact one, but it sure is purty) Yummy!!

I just hope it can arrive before the cold comes. If not, though, there will be more warm, and cold, days to ride.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Loaded commute

Date: Dec 15
Mileage: 12.5
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 58Fp.m.
December mileage: 248
Year to date: 2477

nice-but-sweet commute today. first commute with SON, and a good one it is. i'm going to adjust the light a little higher, but i love the generator hub action in this small sample. the standlight (Oval Plus Senso) option was a smart one; i like it.

this afternoon was more the adventure. being the last day of the school semester, the nice students and the grade-grubbers bring lots of gifts large and small. i also had a sizable collection of CDs that i wanted to bring home. i also received, literally, a 2ft. chocolate santa that wouldn't fit in ANYTHING. the longshort of it is that i sent a bag with the CDs and the Santa home w/ a neighbor colleague, and i completely filled the Carradice down to the last strap hole with breads, papers, clothes, stuff and more stuff. since it was the last day, the crew stopped by Check's, a local watering hole. since i wasn't going to do mega mileage with the "load", i stopped by a had 1 or 4, then headed home. a good, long week completed.

the Holidays have begun!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

LHT makeover

Date: Dec 14
Mileage: 16
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Trek
Temp: 60Fp.m.
December mileage: 235.5
Year to date: 2464.5

shortish but sweet commute today. the shortest 6m possible in the morning. in the p.m., w/60F it was nothing but pleasant. boys start basketball tonight, so i had to do a quick afternoon. headed towards river, then back up towards Phoenix Hill. stopped in "On the Left" bikeshop today for a tube. it's a tiny place, but relaxed. inquired about owner's expected business. he's mostly a mechanic, and seems to specialize in mountain bikes more than anything. now, in L'Ville, we have:

  • Clarksville, which has the best service
  • On the Left, which seems to be a mechanic and mt. bike shop
  • CyclistCafe, the racer shop. Slow, fat guys need to apply.
  • Bicycle Sport, a yuppie shop with alot of wood finish
  • Schellers, which i think makes more $$ off treadmills, etc than bikes. they're the only branch though, with 2 locations here and another in Lexington, so treadmills make buck.
  • Bardstown Rd. Bicycles- not sure the niche. the owner's kids go to school with mine, but i've never really like the environment, and they seem to rook people on price.
  • Highland Cycles- the original, but Gil died and his son right before him being hit by a car (while on foot). it's on its last leg. if it were a good shop, it would be ridiculously convenient (2m away), but it's NOT a good shop and has little inventory.
  • St.Matthews- the old Bridgestone dealer nigh many moons, Goose Creek, and a few more....
But no real commuter/country bike shop. Maybe i should open one?. no, i don't think so. I think that's a terrible idea.

The LHT has been, and is getting a makeover. following is the plan:
  • mount huge Serfas tires. Done!!
  • mount new Serfas taillight. Done!!
  • mount SON wheel and Lumotec Oval Plus Senso. Done!! finished this afternoon.
  • remove present fenders, as they don't fit fat tires.
  • install black SKS fenders when they arrive from Hiawatha.
  • remove Carradice and Bagman. they're being moved (well, the Carradice is) to the Bleriot when it arrives.
  • install Blackburn rack already in possession
  • gerryrig/fix C'dale panniers. need to sew a portion of often-used left bag, and fortify broken plastic part.
It'll be a mean machine when all completed. fact is, it's good to go right now, and i'll commute on it tomorrow to initiate the SON/Lumotec.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Que Dia!

Date: Dec 13
Mileage: 26.5 (8a.m./18.5p.m.)
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Trek
Temp: 60Fp.m.
December mileage: 219.5
Year to date: 2448.5

perhaps THE perfect commute today, with perfect weather and perfect utility. i found myself thinking towards the end of my ride that my commuting in these circumstances is highly functional, but fortuitous as well. i'm on the road at abt 3p.m. If i get in a ride like today's, i'm able to do 15-25 miles before the sun significantly sets. i see riders in the park who seem to be just starting, racing to get mileage in before dark. i also get the full warmth of the sun, while it's up, instead of those drafty breezes of nighttime darkness.
"because it's there..."

the fact is, it was 61F in the middle of December with beautiful sunny skies. i left school with 'lance'. he's basically had the last 2 months off from riding, but it was good to have brief company. i headed towards River Rd, where the tailwind allowed me to put it in the big ring of the Trek and feel some speed. at Indian Trail i did some minor exploration in the nooks and crannies of the area's big homes. i crossed over the Blankenbaker, made my way to Rudy Ln and crossed through the Seneca to home.

"Did i mention large homes?"

the day was further improved by an arrival and a success. the good wife called me this a.m. with news that a big box from Hiawatha had arrived. from the description, i knew it was my new SON generator hub for the LHT!!! the experiences was futher improved my insights, the success. First, i finally realized the damn wires hanging out the bottom of the Lumotec are for the hub. Don't laugh. the previous generator setup with the old Shimano NX20 and cheesy Shimano light had alternative wiring that i now recognize as being superflous b/c the bad light didn't have integrated wiring, but you rather had to use the alternative posts that i usually kept for backup lights and taillights.

the second good fortune was hitting up my neighbor E for some help; damn it's good to have an HVAC guy with all the tricks to the trade. He (not I) got me set up with the connectors for the SON. an informal mounting on the front proved things operational, so now it's just properly wiring, mounting the light, and generator hub I'm bound.

and the Bleriot can't be too far away...

Monday, December 11, 2006


Date: Dec 11
Mileage: 33
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 60Fp.m.
December mileage: 193
Year to date: 2422

man, what to do when it's mid-December and you get a 60-degree day? ride, of course. i knew going in that it would be a good day, so i woke up early and did just a bit extra mileage this a.m., going through Cherokee. i heard a funny song on golf-course hill, but know i don't remember.

this p.m. i briefly rode with 'sheryl' until she pulled off. after that i headed west towards Shawnee to do a big, flat afternoon route. ventured up NW Pkwy, through parts of Shawnee, back the Riverwalk, through Washington St., up the Beargrass Path, through Cherokee and towards home. felt right frisky going west, moving at a healthy 15+mph (nice to have a tailwind). once i turned east, my going was slower with the headwind and the legs tiring a bit. toes and ears felt a wee bit chilly by ride's end, but how can you not be comfy at 50 in December. i did experience, as often, a bit of saddle wonkiness. i think my butt is big, and on occasion it just sits wrong on the the saddle. some days the B-17 is the best thing ever, others it just rubs me weirdly in weird spots. hard to describe. i think it's my big butt's fault, so the solution is to ride a bunch and decrease my ass.

A great alley off an old industrial area in Portland, original settlement of what is now Louisville. As its name says, it was the original "port" around the falls.

I like this white door against the red and brown of the bricks. the symmetry of the side boarded-up windows is a bonus.

Further down the alley. How apropos, the "NO DUMPING" sign in what looks like a wasteland. I half-expected a body in there somewhere....I didn't look too hard.

Nice jet 'trails' against a great, warm December sky. so much better than gunmetal grey.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Sunday, December 10th. Good color.

Lightness of Being

Date: Dec 10
Mileage: 16
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 51F
December mileage: 155
Year to date: 2389

a quick road ride today in the parks. the temps make for very nice weather, but this time of year is also filled with family ventures, like going to church, buying and preparing trees, and dealing with lights. yesterday it was quite cold in the a.m., so i hoped for afternoon road time. instead, i cleaned the gutters w/ Z. today, i went out to the parks knowing i had limited time. therefore, i went hard in the park's many hills, clearing 8 in all. average 15.6mph w/ the climbing. a good, well-earned effort.

(pic removed per wife request-editor)
this is L, with the most-funny 'bones' pjs. even more, i like the hunter-green baseball cap topping it all off.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Flickr is being stupid. I'm much better suited to earthly pursuits than technical ones (read Gardening). I'm going to try and post some 'Cross pics, but not from Flickr b/c the quality sucks and half of them didn't post. Why? I'm sure it's my technical fault.
Here we have a cool little descent.

The sand run/run-through-former-golf-bunker. It got pretty heavy by the end of the short run.

Here's the topish of a run-up. This guy attends the Saturday morning LBC rides that I've been going to, and will in 1 hour.

here's the bottom of the run-up, jumping the crossties first and then a quick sprint to the top, which is actually an old green.

generally bad pics, so that's all i'll post. good day though, last Sunday.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Worst Driver

Date: Dec 8
Mileage: 23
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 12Fam/29Fpm
December mileage: 139
Year to date: 2373

i wish i were savvy enough to install some type of on-line survey on the site, with the most pertinent topic being "who is the worst driver?". my vote goes for yellow school bus drivers. they are VERY bad. VERY! usually if they're near, i'm glad to survive with my bones intact. close buzzes. blatant road hogging. devil-may-care attitude. why is it that the public buses, TARC in our case, seem downright pleasant compared to those ghastly yellow missiles of death? other votes go to:

*soccer moms in SUVs. i think they're worse and more self-absorbed than the minivan-driving ones.
*rednecks in monster trucks. sometimes they're nice, sometimes evil. very hit-and-miss.
*various forms of the underclass in nasty jalopies. if i had their life, i would probably be a danger to the road as well.
*any and all cellphone users obviously.
*workers driving company trucks. for as slow as they arrive to do their contracted work, they sure seem to be in a hurry to run my ass of the road.

it was cold this a.m., 12F with a 2F windchill. for such a trip i wore:

HEAD- fleece balaclava with a thin headcap underneath- A
FEET- very technical here- Assos windsock/wool sock/plastic newspaper sack/wool sock/walking shoe/toe warmer. i have cold feet, so this worked pretty well.- B
LEGS- lycra workout short (for lack of better term/thickish lycra tight/loose-fitting running tights.- B...i'm been dealing with legs-of-stone, and i think i just need to have more on the legs, i guess.??
TORSO- fleece jersey/REI base layer/Bellweather Coat- A
HANDS- Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves. beautiful creations- A

i though at length about my latest slow leg situation, which is to say i seem to be cruising around at 10mph and i don't really want to. i think it's the confluence of numerous factors including:

cold-ass temps
change to standard shoes instead of clips
2" Serfas tires. love 'em, but they're slow
not enough worn on legs

i know it doesn't matter that much, but it takes me longer to get places and i feel like a grandparent cruising around Hilton Head.

pretty good afternoon. found a couple interesting things at Thurman-Hutchins Park including a woodpecker of some sort. haven't taken pics lately b/c, well, it's cold and i don't feel like undoing stuff. we'll have to do better there.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Date: Dec 7
Mileage: 19
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 33Fam/26Fpm
December mileage: 116
Year to date: 2350

slightly strange turn of events today. started mid-morning in mid 30s. forecasts were to stand pat. well, by the p.m., the temp had dropped to mid 20s and lo a great wind had rolled in from the NW. hence, my a.m. clothing didn't really have enough muscle for the 20degree colder wind chill. i did "mcguyver" myself just a bit, adding an extra headband (that i happened to have brought) to my thin balaclava, and throwing in a layer of newspaper in between my 2 too-thin jerseys under my coat. the biggie was only 1 layer on my legs, when the wind chill called for 2. and my gloves were great at 30, but i needed my lobster gloves for this next level of cold. brrrr. i've acclimated perfectly fine to being in the cold, but i can't seem to turn a gear over. had a good afternoon ride, but much of it was working north INTO the wind so i could enjoy the tailwind, but the enjoyable tailwind never seem to come. almost 20 miles in. but i do NOT see how others are doing significant mileage in the rather cold. a leaning curve it is.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pulled Pork

didn't ride. long and complex story, but simply put i almost affixed the Burley trailer to one of the bikes and carted 6 big aluminium containers of leftover Cuban food to school. just didn't do it, although i really wanted to. ended up carrying food in truck, along with LHT. took LHT by shop to make sure i didn't FUBAR anything with that nasty broken chain the other day. unlike my readers, i have no mechanical skills.

found this today via Tuco and apparently Dave. this (Winter Challenge Series) looks rather apropos for Doug, Pete and Jim who all live in cold-ass places. even though the 'Ville is less so, i think i'll start scoring my commutes. tomorrow won't get out of the 20s, so i deserve a little credit, right?

Monday's commute of 18m total would like sort of like this:

70 (total) - 15 (lowish wind chill)= 65x1 (hour)= 65 points for the day
no social points/no fixie points

i'm looking at some of the those weekly totals and they're quite amazing! hours and hours of suffering in the extreme cold. i 'll just do my small share.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Date: Dec 5
Mileage: 12
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Trek
Temp: 28Fam/43Fpm
December mileage: 97
Year to date: 2331

quick commute today. took shortest route possible both times. afternoon meeting and we have to be somewhere in mitad hora. slight mistake this a.m. of wearing North Face ear/headband thing instead of balaclava or headcover. i could feel the cold through my helmet mostly all of the trip.

forecast for upper 40s tomorrow. gonna try to stretch the miles, but, My, it that sun goes down quickly this time of year!

Monday, December 04, 2006

More Tekkie issues

this is pissing me off. downloaded McAfee Internet Security some-or-another, mostly b/c wasn't updated with Firewall and know that it's more an issue with DSL 24/7. well, computer is F@#$D up! or, that's to say, if you actually try to use the product, it takes up 70-100% of CPU space and renders machine useless, AND never finishes "assessing...". machine DOES work if you turn it off. Great product. and Techno Chat is experiencing difficulties. Go Figure! and can you imagine the joy that will be uninstalling this steaming pile and getting a refund.


The missing Link

Date: Dec 4
Mileage: 18
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 20Fam/29Fpm
December mileage: 81
Year to date: 2319

had an adventurous ride today...not in a good way. this a.m. the temps were 20F, which is a bit chilly for my 'Ville riding. i did a good job bundling up and had no real problems getting to work via my usual 7m course. big prob was that i couldn't seem to get going, which is to say i think it as one of my slowest rides ever, maybe averaging 10mph or so. damn slow, but the legs didn't seem to want to move.

oh, and my room didn't have any heat today. boiler down. and the good wife's store didn't have any either. obviously we need to deal better with our cold weather preparation here in Kantucke.

the afternoon proved, well, challenging. the temps were better and i was comfortable. the big and positive step was riding in my cheap Target "outdoor" shoes- ones i bought for yardwork- with 3 pairs of socks on. my feet were adequate in the a.m. and warm in the p.m. i took a little extra mileage up and around Frankfort going through alleys to avoid the wind. somewhere in there my rear derailer (Sheldon Brown spelling). i stopped perhaps 4 times trying to adjust the barrel, and finally the Solution. Bent link. actually, broken link sort of stuck in one of the pulleys. dicey repair job at 29F. i was close enough that i jogged/walked/coasted home; no harm done. but i'll have to use those magical mechanical skills of mine to replace the link or deal with the chain.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December Cross

Date: Dec 3
Mileage: 16ish
Ride type: Mixed
Bike: Surly CrossCheck
Temp: 30F
December mileage: 63
Year to date: 2301

a fun day doing a little bit of everything on the bike. the last race of the local 'cross scene took place today, so i hopped on the CC and away i went. i briefly tried mounting the Trek rims on the CC- they had road tires- but the gearing was off, so i just went with the 'cross knobbies. my path took me through Cherokee and on to the Beargrass Trail, where i intermittently followed a blue heron. i worked my way down towards River Rd., traveling along the Butchertown Trail as well. my trip got ever slightly more interesting when i came upon a path leading into the scrub; i had to take it, of course. it crossed railroad tracks and ended on some gravel roads that looked like they're used for services billboards. delightful! there seemed to be other offshoots, and the area may need further exploration in the future.

i then arrived at River Road Country Club, which is the open tract being debated in city gov. concerning its use. as a cyclocross venue it's Ideal. they had set up a course with many traditional characteristics of 'cross: sand, off-camber turns, run ups, mud, more mud, asphalt, everything. i was glad i wasn't racing, but enjoyed getting muddy doing some practice circuits. by the end of my time there, i had covered much of the course in bits and pieces. the most impressive aspect of the day, aside from the course, was the large number of kids racing. they had several age groups, from tricycles up to teenagers, and many, many raced. that's great in my eyes, to have the next generation taking in an active, entertaining and demanding sport. many raced on their normal bikes (no 'crossies necessary).

Following are some highlights of a "mixed adventure" day, perhaps the best kind. to be honest, i wish i had the fitness to have raced today. i have little interest in the roadie set, but 'cross still feels fresh and fun.

A shot of the Beargrass Trail. Too bad there aren't more like it. I like it. It's secluded and nature-ish. And I saw a blue heron (the same one) numerous times today.

This pic is the most sobering of the day. This is the remnants of the old Prospect interurban rail line. This moved commuters back in the day but was really only functional between the years 1905-35. People found buses more appealing. Why i haven't a clue. I've always heard that the car companies bought out the rail companies and closed them down to limit competition. Don't know. But i can envision all the yuppies that fill up River Rd. each day hopping on the interurban rail heading downtown. It would HAVE to be more pleasant. or not. who knows.

this is the "secret" path, as viewed from the railroad tracks. it led from River Rd., and interestingly, its entrance was marked by 2 old bicycle frames. I took that as a good omen.

Nice rail pic. Crossed this from "secret" trail.

the CC leaning against the entrance fence of the service road. i'm going back to that spot, preferably on the LHT with its 2"ers.

i'm going to post some 'cross pics in a separate entry. i like my "mixed ride" pics better.


This has to be one of the best cycling quotes of all time, courtesy of Kent's most excellent blog. It can apply to 28C, 2.0", 38C, studded Nokians, or just about anything not rated 23C racy.
Some folks worry about the rolling resistance of big studded tires, but I'm happy with the way these tires resist. They resist the urge to stay inside, to say "I'll wait until a nicer day."
Beautiful! well put and a call to all.

i'm off to watch some 'cross (and maybe take some pics). oh, and i'm most certainly riding there. in reference to the local 'cross scene, there was a good article in the CJ about 'cross uses at the park at which the race will be held today. it's an old country club- with land leased from the city- and now is in a state of being. it's a great place, really. i think i've commented on it here before. i hope they keep it as such. it's great for 'cross, cross-country, being, dogs, hiking, nature.
i fear it will be homogenized and turned into yet more soccer fields for more soccer moms and dads. i say there is enough space for multiple users, 'crossers included.


instead of spending the early Sunday a.m. surfing and organizing my growing list of cycling sites and blogs, i instead have spent the morning dealing with computer issues. it seems something is amuck, of course not knowing what it is. we've been using McAfee Virus Scan for a while, with good results. with adding full-time DSL, i've been meaning to update the Firewall mumbo jumbo. i know just enough about computers to have them frustrate me- enough to know better, but not enough to actually fix anything. so programs and packages have been purchased and reboots booted and we'll just have to see. i have more concerns, and am feeling very pessimistic.

right now, i have this strange little box in the middle of the screen that seems to want me to click 1 of 2 IDs, but it's otherwise inert. instead, i'm going to get the boys to church and ride my bike.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I stole this link from Pete. It's one of those amazing things a high-speed internet connection will do for you. I estimated today's trip at around 32. I put in the trip to and it spit out 32.6, giving or taking several turns. Pretty frickin' amazing. I'm satisfied with my guesstimate. good ride, but super good technology we're talking here. Now that i know i can use this, might have to use it all the time.


Date: Dec 2
Mileage: 32ish
Ride type: Road (LBC)
Bike: Trek 400
Temp: 30F
December mileage: 47
Year to date: 2285

a great casual road ride on the LBC's Saturday morning ride. it's was a brisk 30F or so, rising perhaps 5-7 degrees in the course of the mileage. again i rode down to the ride, took the loop around to Shawnee and back down the Waterfront Pk. this time, with out the spoke break of last week, i followed the group up towards Iroquois Pk., peeling off at Central Blvd. next to Cardinal Stadium and heading home. the pace was casual, the company very pleasant, the sun and breeze exhilarating, and a great way to start the weekend. on the other hand, this group is interesting in that i can tell it's a combo of single people and kidsoutofhome folks. i notice few or no parent-age riders. it got me thinking to the fact that most Saturdays of the year i'm at soccer and baseball games. the boys will be starting basketball soon too. it's fine. i will always go first to one of their games instead of a ride, but it has been a really nice change of pace to ride with other cyclists in a nice and casual way. 2007, Year of the Bike? i'm motivated.

Friday, December 01, 2006

4th Time's the Charm

Date: Dec 1
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 50am/30pm
December mileage: 15
Year to date: 2253

i've tried to post this 3 different times. The first, the DSL started giving me funky messages. i'm blaming the downstairs, non-filtered phone, but who knows? The second, the computer just locked up, mid-function. the "controlaltdelete" didn't even work. who knows? the third, locked up again. i'm now blaming blogger's photo thing. it locked up both times right around trying to load pics. but who knows?

well, had a good commute under interesting conditions today. a.m. 50F with 25mph winds gusting to 40mph+. almost fell one time from wind gust. another time, i was pedaling downhill going 8mph at one point. had to laugh.

p.m. temps had fallen to 30 with a stiff breeze. went prepared and had no problems. took an intentional detour of abt a mile down an old, brick alley. love those 2" Serfas. i beginning to believe they're the perfect urban commuting tire. also helps me understand the appeal of the Pugsley as well. go anywhere!

gonna add some pics, but gonna save first. :-) Gremlins!

this is first a pic of the tag "ECAS". muy interestingly, this is the tag of 'lance's', yes 'lance's' older son. he got caught last year some time (2005), had to do service hours and pay restitution. i don't know if this is one of the documented tags. i hope it is, b/c otherwise Mr. "ECAS" is back in business and that's disappointing. i appreciate creativity, but vandalism ain't the answer.

i like this shot of one branch of the Beargrass, this taken from the Butchertown Greenway. it's, perhaps, a good example of how the Beargrass could've been used throughout the city if it hadn't been channeled all over the place. it's only .5 long, but it's a pleasant diversion. too bad it's so short.

and finally another pic of the Beargrass under the old River Rd. bridge. not particularly appealing, nor even a good pic, but the Ohio is right head. really this is a pretty bad pic now that i look at it. oh well.

maybe this will actually post in its present form.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Commute 2.0

Date: Nov 30
Mileage: 21
Ride type: Commute/Mixed
Bike: LHT
Temp: 65 and falling
November mileage: 425
Year to date: 2238

last commute of a very-warm November. good times. i woke up early, so i took the longer way through Cherokee Pk., up golfcourse hill, and on to school. 65 degrees for a morning commute the last day of November! the afternoon proved fun as well. i went down Logan (the northerly road i never remember the name of, but gracias a Dios for googlemaps), along Washington and up the Adams St./Spring St. biketrail. i could fell the effects of the brisk tailwind when i proceeded to travel at 18.5mph on the LHT slightly uphill. the BeargrassCreekTrail was in good shape, and over to Cherokee. i sort of cheated in that i didn't go up golfcourse hill, but instead went trail riding again, going up the old mtbike trail to Hogan's Fountain. I hadn't done that trail since before selling the orangish Cannondale oh so long ago. (after thinking about it for a sec, i remembered that I sold the C'dale to a guy in OK to help raise the funds for the Surly CrossCheck. i had had enough of "hardcore" mtnbiking and the Surly has done me much better).

i toodled through the park and Seneca Gds, bringing me near to home. after all the good mileage of late, i didn't want to come home and finish with only 19m, so i extended to the streets behind Farmington. that's where the day got a smidge interesting in that the radar has shown rain ALL day long just ot the west, but it never seemed to get here. well, if i had come straight home, i wouldn't have had the experience of receiving a little cleansing shower the last 2m. and i was close enough to home not to worry too much about dropping temps and wetness.

the 2.0 in the title refers, of course, to the 2" Serfas. i really like them. they seem to be able to handle any situation, and my commute is seemingly easier with the ability to plow through random street holes and cracks. and i get to go offroad safely when needed. good November on the bike.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 404
October 135
September 319
August 245
July 290
June 138
May 97
April 77
March 0
February 136
January 290

Mileage totals so far in 2006. These total 2131; the "year-to-date" totals 2203, so I'm 72 miles off somewhere. I'm not anal enough to go through every single day again. If someone else volunteers, please "comment" as to where I diverged. I'm taking the 2203 b/c that's how it is. Actually, now that I'm here thinking about this, I probably WILL go back and find the difference.

My totals reflect:

    • I get no mileage in the Spring during tennis season. There are only so many hours in the day and I am often just too tired. A big goal is to continue riding in some capacity during the season, thinking of late about a 1 hour ride each morning from 5.15-6.15 a.m. That could give me, let's say, 200 miles conservatively. and if I add a weekend here or there, I could get 300 w/out taxing my schedule too much. Damn I'm busy in the spring, though!
    • My summer riding mileage is ridiculous considering that I'm a teacher and am "off" various parts of the summer. Simply stated, I garden alot and watch too much TV. In order: French Open, Wimbledon, Tour de France, and in '06 the added bonus of lots of World Cup games. gotta ride first and watch later. and i even have TIVO. what an idiot.
    es hora de cenar.

    Ya vendra el Bleriot!!!

    well, today, miercoles, had all kinds of mixed-but-wonderful cycling news and events coming my way. to help facilitate some childcare/child bus, i drove today so i could pick the boys up after school. i could've ridden and then bused, but i ended up late and the good wife agreed to release me for an afternoon ride after work (and releasing me from some homework duties). today called for outstanding weather, so it was an opportunity lost for lots o' november-end mileage, but...

    getting home, i did a little thisandthat measuring and ORDERED THE BLERIOT from Jim at Hiawatha. this is a VERY big deal. i know that my LHT is not that old, but i think the Bleriot will complement was it going to be the 2007 year of the bike. i'm VERY excited!! according to I/Grant's PBH and SH, interestingly i ended up ordering a 57, which is larger than some of my others. for example:

    Trek 400 57
    LHT 54
    Bridgestone RB-1 54
    Blueridge ??

    My PBH ended up 84, which puts me squarely in the middle of the 57 category.the Bleriot will be more like the Trek, but you know, i think that's a good thing b/c it's the most comfy ride-around bike of the many. nothing racy but rock solid, only the Bleriot won't be on 20 yr-old rusty rims, specious hubs, and a mostly-tired drivetrain. Big Stuff!! I'm tricking it out with a Nitto rear mini-rack for the Carradice Nelson Longflap that will be moved from the LHT. It (the LHT) is getting the rack re-installed, maybe with a Surly-made rack in fact. also, the Bleriot will get Jim's cloth and twine job, a honey brown Brooks and Berthoud fenders. Big Stuff!! Jim is also building me a new SON hub for the LHT to go with the Lumotec Oval that I already have in my possession. Jim will have to baby me through the electrical wiring, and that will "shiny" up the LHT too. I feel like i'm going to do 2 bike makeovers at once, with the LHT getting newer, larger SKS fenders to fit the monster 2" Serfas on right now. it will turn into a monster commuter.

    and finally, after spending lots of $$, i got out for a quickie. i really wanted to get over 400 for the month, and did it today with a quick "mixed" ride in Seneca and Cherokee. i say mixed b/c i took the LHT with the monster Serfas on some of the trails, as well as on the road. good "mixed" ride, and with the tire size, hope to do more herenthere. tomorrow the weather changes, but i'm on the bike anyway as a means to celebrate. gotta get all the miles in possible until tennis starts in the spring.

    Date: Nov 29
    Mileage: 14
    Ride type: Mixed
    Bike: LHT
    Temp: 72!!
    November mileage: 404
    Year to date: 2217

    last year, i had approx 900 in the 2nd half of the year, having started the blog in August. this year, for the same time i have 1175 and that totally doesn't include December. Can i have another 400mile month? I think so. to be wary, in '06 i came down with a nasty ear/throat infection thing in december, laying me low for practically 2 weeks. i'll have to practice better hygiene this time.

    Good Times!

    FS Bridgestone RB-1-DONATED

    *Donated to a young bike-hungry friend. Good luck!* And to acquaint yourself with the Cult of the RB-1: