Tuesday, January 31, 2006

.04 mile

Date: Jan. 31
Mileage: 15.5
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 35 a.m./46 p.m. windy
January mileage: 289.5
Year to date: 289.5

had a good commute today with...more nice weather, 35 in the a.m. and 46 in the p.m. this is weather you don't really need special feet/glove wear or too many layers. great stuff. my morning was further enhanced by the fact that i found a missing glove this morning at the office. i feared it gone, and w/ post-xmas there is NO $$ for extras at the moment, but found it was. a positive mojo to the a.m.

i had meetings after school today putting me 1.5 hours later than usual, so i decided to punch it home since i was going to be late. i also had had a very headwind kind of morning, so i expected to have the same tailwind home. i tried to keep it at 17mph or so for most of the trip home, understanding the occassional stoplight/stopsign. i also tried to punch it up the few hills on this flatish route home. very invigorating actually. the .04 reference is to the fact that my bike computer still seems a little long, abt .04/mile. i can obviously do the math to get the correct mileage, but it's annoying. i'm going to change the value again in the computer to get it closer.

tomorrow i'm going to try and do another long day with 'lance', especially with forecasts of 57. 57 on February 1st. Ridiculous.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Long Day with 'Lance'

Date: Jan. 30
Mileage: 26 (8am/18pm)
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 42 a.m./48 p.m. windy
January mileage: 274
Year to date: 274

today was the first time i've been out with 'lance' in a while. it was a nice enough day, so i planned to get some mileage in in the p.m. for some reason, i woke up and got it going, putting in 8 miles in the a.m. by cutting through Cherokee. as usual i had a nice experience on Dog Hill, this time b/c it was early, my legs were dead, and i put it in a VERY easy gear and poked up the hill- not quite as slow as humanly possible but not far off.

in the p.m. i head out with 'lance'. we have our big, flat West 'Ville to East 'Ville loop, going across Algonquin Pkwy, through Shawnee Pk, up Northwestern Pkwy working over to the river walk in the non-river spots (to avoid mud). we went through downtown and out Spring st. 'lance' headed home to Crescent Hill. i curled off, going up Lexington to Cherokee again, avoided any hills until the final one up to Seneca Gds. it's a good loop for pure straightforward miles, albeit flat as a board. i'll try to hook up again Wednesday. i'd felt good about my mileage until 'lance' told me he did 150 just last week. makes my monthly look pretty sad.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Holy Sheet

Freakin' Wow,

i was doodling with my mt.bike post when i pulled up Pete's blog Velocipete. much to my dismay, he's got a wild-ass tale about a motorist/bike messenger fracas, documented with several pics and a link to even more pics at citynoise.org. people are puta madre jodido. i mean really nuts. i CANNOT imagine that being me on that bike. i'm sort of a pussy, but i figure that if i ever DID get in that kind of situation, i would try to break as many noses and bust as many balls as i could. at least they're Canadians. in the US everybody would just break out the AKs and the Glocks and let it roll.


Is that my Mountain Bike?

Date: Jan. 29
Mileage: =18
Ride type: Mt.Biking
Bike: Redline
Temp: 58 p.m.
January mileage: 248
Year to date: 248

Wow! A new experience, or at least a renewal of one long past practiced. it was yet another great day- yet another freakin' great, warm, sunny day in the 'Ville in the dead of winter. i had fallen asleep in the chair when my little one- 6 year-old L- woke me up with some type of goofy grunt/bark etc. at first i was mad b/c it startled me, but it was in fact the impetus i need to hop up and get a ride in.

i've been pretty regular on the road lately, so i decided to do something different and get on the Redline mt.bike. back in my 20's i did quite a bit of mtbiking on several Cannondales- black (stolen), purple (stolen), Orangish (sold). i bought the Redline from Clarksville on the cheap for $400. what's interesting is that it's a singlespeed with stout Avid brakes and an aluminum frame, the lightest bike i own and pretty fun to ride. i've used it to good in the neighborhood and to the grocery, but rarely take it on the trails. in my more recent years, the notion of falling on a big rock or log just didn't appeal. But today was different.

i've extolled the virtues of road riding in Cherokee/Seneca, and this time i took to the trails. they were more muddy than i anticipated, but i eventually used that to my advantage by making a mess in the puddles. another funny thing is that i put center slicks with side knobs b/c most of my riding on the Redline is in the neighborhood. this made for a whole day of slipping and sliding. after a while i got into a groove and slid around, but i never went down. an advantage of wisdom is that now i walk over obstacles that i don't feel like hurting myself on, whereas in the olden days i just went over or through them and acquired the bruises to show.

Cherokee's trails were in good shape allinall. it seems the KYMBA (i think that's their name) has done some interesting trial building, with a mixture of rock, root, open, curvy, fast, muddy, dry, down/up etc. i ended up sampling most of the trails in Cherokee and never went over to Seneca, which has fewer trails but the ones there are more open.

i stayed out for almost 1.5 hours (i just lost some post at this moment, and the boys are fighting, so this is about all).

1. a great 1.5 hrs
2. a great sunset (can't rival Jill's in Alaska articglass.blogspot.com) but good enough for me)
3. no bruises or falls
4. 2 more houses viewed through the trees to add to the great houses tour

great stuff!

"Happy trails to you, until we meet again..."

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Date: Jan. 28
Mileage: 17
Ride type: Road
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 61 p.m.
January mileage: 230
Year to date: 230

the first part of the p.m. i spent cleaning the Litespeed Blueridge. i can deal with having dirty bikes, as i've had plenty, but i figure my dad spent as assload on the Blueridge when he bought it for me back in the day, and the least i could do is keep it cleanish.

the day began with bike stuff. i took the LHT over to Clarksville Schwinnn, my by-far-fav shop to work on the stiff link. Billy over there fixed it in like 20 sec., he having skills with a chain tool that i can only imagine. i then mention to Chris @ Clarksville the need for a front wheel to replace the generator Shimano NX-20 which seems to suck ass. he, of course, appeals to my weakness and sells me a nice Shimano LX/Mavic rim wheel for $70. a fair price for a weak individual me.

for Velocipate el.al., today sat around 63 freakin degrees on Jan 28. 63!! all my plants are going to die. the tulips and crosus are budding, the rose bush is budding, the various succulents are much less dead than they should be. the ratibida have green growth. all this is going to die when it gets really damn cold at some point. and it has to, i hope. otherwise nature has gone astray.

i spent the p.m washing the the Litespeed and fixing the roller wheel on the Rans. i'm better with respects to bike health than i was at 1.00. the LHT is ready to go. the Blueridge is slightly shiny. the Rans seems functional. i'm primed.

after getting things cleaned up i took a late afternoon spin in the park, hitting a couple flats hard and a hill hard. my avg was 15.4, and i spent a good part of the time above that. good ride, and temperatura ridiculosa!!!! boo yaa. tomorrow forecasts rain, but i'm riding. mileage es la respuesta ese.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Spokes and Llamas

Date: Jan. 26
Mileage: 14
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Cannondale
Temp: 27 a.m./42 p.m. sunny
January mileage: 213
Year to date: 213

Yes, Llamas. don't see those every day on the 'ole commute.

the LHT still has the stuck link, which i'm going to attack tonight. if not, i'll prob miss tomorrow's commute. i cleaned it well yesterday and today tried some Tri-flow to no avail. next is shaking it some more, and then the chain tool, which i admit i haven't used much. in fact, i suck at working on bikes. i usually takes things apart and then can't put them back together. or i lose the parts of the things i'm working on. or i break the parts that i need to work on. or i just can't fix it. what i really need is a good class or some personal show-and-go. i don't think i'm completely inept, but i'm NOT one of those mechanically minded, so it's trial and error and error and error.

today's commute took place on the 'Dale. i had prepped it a while ago but never used it. this time, i even charged up the old Vistalight system. it's a two light system with a 10W and a 15W. the battery case hangs from the top tub, but it's pretty damn heavy and i lost some of the hardware for the 15W. i was pleased that it charged up nicely after being dead for more than a year maybe. don't know how long it'll run, but it gave me a perfectly good 30min this a.m.

i forgot abt the 'Dale setup, but it's classic roadie on a converted hybrid- seat post high, almost up my derriere, and a stretched-out stem that puts me quite forward. by the p.m. i was harkening back to the good old days of the LHT. my setup has definitely shortened, perhaps more in line with the Rivendell philosophy. i sure as hell am not a racer, so more for comfort. the aluminium 'Dale is much lighter and more nimble than the LHT, so that was sort of fun.

pretty shortly after leaving work i though that my tire was flattening. i look down and, lo and behold, i'd popped a spoke, the rim having that classic wobbble. i slowed way down and took my time so i didn't have a total rim implosion. i meandered through Audabon Pk. for those who don't know, this was a turn of the century planned garden sub, which great houses and trees and gardens and a general vibe. the road along the golf course is one of the best in Luavull, which stately but classic, tasteful homes with interesting non-cookie-cutter architecture. i stopped going in that general direction after being attacked by a BigRed from a Camaro a few years ago. when i have a functioning bike, i think i'll toodle through, and maybe take a pic or 2.

the day ended interestingly. there is a path along a drainage creek behind the Louisville Zoo that i've taken before. not wanting to deal with too many hills without a back brake, and certainly not wanting rearwheelfailure, i went along this trail. to my left at some point was a field of llamas behind a hearty 3-wire fence. now, if you pass cows or horses, they're somewhat trepidatious. these llamas, though, looked at me and then herded over to fence looking for a handout or something. i'm certainly going to try it again to get a pic, 7-10 llamas hanging out look at said biker. this is in a very urban area on perhaps 5 acres or less. strange.

it's supposed to be clement again tomorrow- much to 's dismay- so we HAVE to get some wheels going.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The 5 stroke Thunk

Date: Jan. 24
Mileage: 13.5
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 29 a.m./53 p.m.
January mileage: 199
Year to date: 199

had a pretty normal a.m. until i managed to bang my knee of the right shifter at a stop sign. there was no apparent prob until a mile or so later when i began to experience a "thunk/chunk/thwack" somewhere in the drivetrain. the kneetotheshifter had made for one of those big, fat drivetrain fuckups- pardoned my french- so i didn't know if i stretched the cable or bent the hanger or what.

at work i looked at the chain and decided that i had a stuck link, which was moving through the derailleur and "missing" on occassion. i tried the "flexing side to side" thing, hoping that would work.

on the way home i did the side to side thing again, but never quite got ride of it. once home, given the clement conditions, i set out to clean the chain well and see how that went. after some degreaser and dawn and such, i still never got ride of the one stiff link. i'm riding the 'Dale tomorrow and am going to have to work on it again tomorrow. don't know? glad i'm not lost in Montana somewhere b/c i would have to put up with it since i can't seem to get ride of it.

any suggestions out there?

p.s. i've decided i really like the 'Stache bars in the p.m. when my body's feeling more flexible. in the morning i'm a little less supple, so they're just alright. in the p.m. they're great.

and both wheels are outoftrue now. time to experiment with the spoke wrench. always an adventure with my pathetic skills.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Headband

Date: Jan. 23
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 37 a.m./47 p.m.
January mileage: 185.5
Year to date: 185.5

nothing special, but had a rewarding commute today, starting the week off right. the a.m. brought a 7.5 route which included some dappled rain, not enough to really soak anything but certainly enough to bead up on the Performance jacket and dampen the feet. the morning temp (37) made it such that i broke out the new Descente skull cap. it was a first time wearing. first reports are good. it was maybe a little warm but nice.

the bigger Q is what to do with gloves. does anybody have some insight about gloves from the 35-45 range? i have 25-35 gloves, under 25 lobster mitts, and a variety @ the upper 40s and warmer, but i can't seem to get anyting comfortable, dry and warm @ 40. if you have thoughts, let me know.

the p.m. i rode partly with 'sheryl', who's her same, nutty self. took the Baxter/Bardstown route all the way home, though i didn't pound the big gear as much as i had done. i followed a Honda Pilot more or less the whole way. i love showing that bikes and cars are comparable in the city, and i get the exercise.

oh, the headband. on the way home i tried my new headband (i lost both a polypro balaclava and a fleece headband over the fall, so i bought some new stuff). it was really too warm for 47. it has some kind of "windtek" or something so it felt like i was under water. i bet it would be perfect at 40ish.

tomorrow they're predicted another run in the 50s. ridiculous. i'm afraid for my plants, that they'll wake up and then die in a huge, nasty freeze.

pics coming soon of the LHT. i'm liking the 'Stache bars more and more.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bike Jog

Date: Jan. 21
Mileage: 15.5
Ride type: BikeJog (road)
Bike: Blueridge
Temp: 46 and sunny
January mileage: 170.5
Year to date: 170.5

today's ride was a BikeJog. this isn't a term i invented, but one that aptly characterizes my mood and effort today. this past week feels like one of the busiest ever, with the last two days spent in all day seminars, including some time on the road. after today's seminar ended @ 3.30, i felt a strong need to get out and stretch the legs, but not the grand desire to make myself suffer. besides that, it was eventually going to get dark, so i decided a quick bikejog would do the trick. if i got 30min in great, if longer even better.

i was going to take the LHT out, but decided on the Blueridge and headed toward the parks. i took things at a moderate to easy pace, but decided to challenge myself by taking in few hills, those at a steady pace as well. the end result with this laissez-faire attitude was a full hour, all in the parks with a total of 7 hills. the one in the park(s) that is still troubling me is "chaufer's rest". it seems that just at the top i run out of gas, and have yet to gauge my effort to complete the hill in good form...one day...

an idea that cropped up today was the idea of taking pics of the many fine homes in and around Cherokee Park and putting some on the blog. around the turn of the century- and before- the Cherokee area was THE PLACE to have a stately home. now there are several very impressive, older mansions tucked in the trees, now surrounded by newer homes when the land was sold off. winter is the only time to really see some of them b/c they're hidden behind hedges and evergreens. maybe some sunny day this winter i'll steal a few pics of the best ones and post them for you non-Luavull folks to see. it's a great area.

after a stressful and busy week, today's bikejog was perfect. let's hope this week will bring some riding time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Roller Time

Date: Jan. 18
Mileage: 9.5
Ride type: Rollers
Bike: RB-1
Temp: '03 Liege-Bastogne-Liege II
January mileage: 155
Year to date: 155

VelociPete appropriately called me out yesterday for whining about "inclement" weather when it was 40 degrees in Louisville, but only 14 or something in the Twin Cities. Point taken. a cold rain, though, is pretty unpleasant to ride through.

this a.m. brought more "unpleasant" weather, in the form of some slightly frozen roads here in Luavull. There was a little snow- no biggie- and i was ready to ride. i subsequently found out that underneath that was a nice, thin layer of ice, and I'm not riding on ice. I like reading the discussions about all the folks up north with studded Nokian tires, but I could only use those something like 2 days a year. So no commute this a.m.

this p.m. i was going to hit the road but i instead got on the rollers for a second time this season, this time continuing '03 LBL. I promised myself last time on the rollers to extend my time, which i did by 10 minutes. i remember further that, when you tire on rollers, you can more easily fall off. I wish I could set up both the rollers and the Turbo trainer downstairs, but alas, Legos take precedence.

i did my time though and will have better commuting opportunities tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Date: Jan. 17
Mileage: 14.5
Ride type: CommuteRoad
Bike: LHT
Temp: 55+rain a.m./39+rain p.m.
January mileage: 145.5
Year to date: 145.5

After the sloth of the weekend, wasting two good riding days, i stand resolute to do better this week. yesterday i started with a good 2 hour ride, and today i promised myself to ride whatever/however. this morning i awoke to rain, as the forecast claimed. this a.m.'s temps were moderate, and i had no students today- the "Gold Day" opportunity for taxpayers to pay teachers to sit around in meetings- so i decided to make a go of it, rain or no rain. this afternoon proved slightly more interesting however. they had forecasted 55 dropping to 45 this afternoon. well, by the time i left work it had dropped all the way to 39. 30's and rain are pretty inclement, especially for someone who cobbles together appropriate clothing instead of having a professional team kit handed to me like Lance would.

Por otro lado, 39 and rain are good times to comment on clothing, as i will do now.

Head- i wore a standard polypro headband, but augmented today by an interesting find/idea. i've had a Bellweather helmet cover laying around forever but never use it b/c the elastic is worn out and doesn't really stay affixed. this a.m. i perched it on an old Giro helmet, and it worked pretty well except for the one time i had to stick it on there again. this p.m. Wa La ( french Ouilah? who knows. never seen it in print) i put in UNDER the helmet like a head cover. it actually did a very nice job keeping the head warmer and dryer. definitely a find.

torso- Capeline long sleever with standard cotton turtleneck. i though i had brough another shirt but didn't. the turtleneck worked fine. and on the outside a plastic rain jacket, not the fancy kind but standard shower liner material. worked well in the cold though. i preferred to keep all the heat in.

bottoms- shorts and medium weight tights. cold but alright.

feet- shoes and toe booties and Sealskinz sox. they worked well in 39 and rain. definitely in their element.

they're calling for more of the same tomorrow. with students, we'll see ,as i hate to keep soaking wet and have to look more presentable than a meeting day like today

Monday, January 16, 2006

Third Time is the Charm- Iroquois Pk.

Date: Jan. 16
Mileage: 30
Ride type: Road
Bike: Litespeed Blueridge
Temp: 55 and windy- p.m.
January mileage: 130
Year to date: 130

my 3rd post of the day contains the content i care about the most. i took advantage of the warm, sunny day and got some mileage in. there was pretty strong wind coming in from the SW, so i did what they say to do and rode into the wind for the first leg so i would have a tailwind coming home. from where live that puts me at heading towards Iroquois Park. As stated in the Title of my blog, Louisville has a great park system, the central part of it designed by Frank Law Olmstead, . The three central parks of the Olmstead system are Cherokee, the one near my home. Cherokee was envisioned as a greensway along a meandering woodland creek, which it is in following Beargrass Creek. Shawnee in the west was planned as a broad, expansive lawn, much like the great lawns of Central Pk. in NY. Finally, Iroquois was to be the Forest, teaming with trees and mystery, etc. etc.

Today i meandered towards Iroquois, taking in Floyd st. next to Cardinal stadium, and later Strawberry Ln. both of these were a bit dicey in that i was riding into a direct headwind, which i knew i would have to do. i angled over to Iroquois, around the back, and up the hill. It's a mile-ish climb, though not too steep. By the time i was there i was feeling the head winds though. i stopped at the lookout to get a nice very of downtown and Churchill Downs. On the return, I hoped for the tailwind that earned, and was paid with a brisk trip down Southern Pkwy doing abt 20mph. The plan was to follow Eastern Pkwy home, but i had an ominous feeling about a little hill on Eastern that always gets me, this time @ 4.00 or so with traffic. i decided to cut through the N. Audubon area, by Joe Creason Pk and then home.

i'm a little whooped, but a well earned tiredness instead of a lethargic tiredness.

much better!

** concerning changes to the blog, i added a few links and put them in rough descending order- general/schwag/cycling racing/blogs.

**i also tried to put a cool little WeatherUnderground gizmo on the site, but that didn't work. I'll have to try again, although my html is lacking.

Too warm

you may be able to tell that it's MLK Jr. Day, and therefore a holiday because i'm posting and playing.

the weather is quite warm outside (55+sun), so i was checking the flower beds. i came upon this sight in the back bed. it's a snowdrop, in case you don't know. what is interesting is that snowdrops are a late February/first of March flower that signal a waning of winter and a harbinger of spring. the problem as i see it is that it has been quite warm the last three weeks- in opposition to the first of December when it was MUCH colder than usual. the concern is that all this warm weather is going to fake the plants out, having them bud too early. then a good, hard feeze could finish them off. that would be terrible.

i tried to get a good angle of the flower bud, but i couldn't without casting a shadow. it's there to see though, a good month or 1.5 months early.


pinche, que me jode, i hate being FAT.

i was checking out "FatCyclist" @(i've tried 3x to insert his link, but to no avail) He was gifted this sweet Brooklyn jersey- the famous one from Roger DeVlaminck's team in the '70s. it's perhaps the sweetest design ever. in fact, here is another version, this one mine:

(and yes, those are my toes. had to get on top of the bed to get the longitudinal look)

My good wife bought me this Brooklyn jersey several years ago. it's an expensive-as-shit wool replica. GORGEOUS!! well, it will go on my body, but looks like shit. and it's STRONGLY not the good wife's fault, in that she didn't get the wrong size. i'm just too fat for it to look like i'm not a total lardass. Seeing FatCyclist's and mine as well have put me in a mierda mood.

the last few days are the standard story of my life. both Saturday and Sunday were rideable, but somehow it just didn't happen. i'm not blaming anyone. it just didn't happen.

me siento perplejo.

today's temps prove good, so i'll be out this afternoon, but you never know.

y se que me jode. YO me jodo pinche pendejo

Self-Loathing is a powerful state of being, not easily overcome.

My i'm in a state this morning, aren't I?

And the spies are watching me, nutty boys! and this time in only underwear??

Friday, January 13, 2006


Date: Jan. 13
Mileage: 7
Ride type: Rollers
Bike: Bridgestone RB-1
Temp: '03 Liege-Bastogne-Liege (to replace outdoor weather)
January mileage: 100
Year to date: 100

dammit, i hate it went technology goes awry and i lose my post (or part of it). after having a good ride wednesday, yesterday's schedule just didn't hold a commute in the cards. i intended to ride inside when i got home, but i'm bad at that. today i intended to commute. they instead forcasted nasty rains, which were evident on the radar this a.m., so i packed it in.

fact is, unless it's pouring at the moment, i really should just ride. i could've gotten poured on this a.m., but i also could've squeezed through. this p.m. would've been wet too, but it was never truly pouring when i drove home.

so, after this and that, i got on the rollers for the first time in a LONG time. my parents gave me a Cyclops Turbo trainer a few years ago. that' the one i generally ride inside, given that it's more stable and the resistence theoretically does some good. today's roller ride was pretty refreshing, in that i managed not to fall (1 close call). also, i forgot about how constant rollers are- don't stop pedalling or...you'll fall off. i pussied out and only did 25min. the bike computer registered the 7miles and 16.5avg. that's fine. next time i'll definitely reach 30, and maybe 35, and build up from there, or i can throw the bike on the trainer.

i also did my first batch of crunches in a long while. i started tennis conditioning this week, so i'm feeling guilty that i'm making all those schmucks suffer while i sit around fat and sassy. i'm beyond doing everything they do in conditioning like a did several years ago, but some of it certainly wouldn't hurt. hell, i remember my early years coaching and i ran the same ## of hills more or less. i also realize that i was 35lbs lighter and a good bit more nimble.

this weekend, plus MLK day will allow me 3 good days of rides and i will get them in hellorhighwater.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Los Bigotes"

Date: Jan. 11
Mileage: 18.5
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Surly LHT
Temp: 48 a.m./46 p.m.- windy
January mileage: 93
Year to date: 93

Spanish for 'moustache', you know. i debated whether to make it plural or singular. in English, you would say 'moustache bars' plural, but i'm too lazy to look up handlebar in Spanish at this moment.

first commuter ride on the LHT with Moustaches attached. the 1 day verdict is that i like them very much. they give you several interesting positions. in the outside-to-inside order, on the outermost flair, this provides an upright position for climbing and for relaxing. this would be like on the tops of a road bar. the next is tucked just outside of the curve. i found that i liked that one quite a bit for general riding. the next is deep in the curve to access the brakes. this is nice and aerodynamic, but safe. finally you can drap atop the brake hoods. this is the most aerodynamic. all of these are comfortable, and much more useful than a straight flat bar like that which was on the LHT before. i think in the longrun, these will suffice better than a road bar, at least for commuting, b/c all four positions are accessible, given that i'm not going in the full drops anytime soon on a commute.

this bar position business has gotten me thinking about the bar on the Litespeed. i've wondered several times why the justupfromhood position on my RB-1 is more comfortable than that on my Litespeed. if you read promos at "rivendell", they discuss ramp position, which is that spot just up from brake levers. apparently, they have Nitto design bars that have more of a flattish profile before going into the drops. this gives you a more comfortable spot to cruise before going into the levers. on the ITM bars on the Litespeed, the top of the curve is rather pronounced, tweaking the wrist a little. an eventuality- a LONG eventuality- is to trade out bars for the Litespeed to give me more cruising comfort. little things that can help build long-term mileage.

I hate teenagers' loud non-muffled Hondas. loud assholes. not all teenies; just the ones with no mufflers.

I hate people who buzz cyclists even though they have room. makes me want to put a scratch all the way down their car.

was on the Beargrass trail looking for beaver today. the girl scout parking lot is emptying mud onto the trail, although they DO have a couple straw bales there to stop it. hope they can inconvenience themselves a bit for their campfires to take care of that.

and finally, i think the ECHO computer is abt .05 off per mile. now, that's a mile every 20, if my pathetic math skills are correct. i'll have to tweak that, but the mileage up top is a pretty good calculation. a good commuting day all round.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Playing hookey

Date: Jan. 9
Mileage: 22.5
Ride type: Road
Bike: Litespeed
Temp: 47 p.m.- windy
January mileage: 74.5
Year to date: 74.5

actually, i didn't cut school, per se, today. i had to take a sick day b/c i had an appointment to the ear/nose/throat guy this a.m. i arrived early after dropping off the boys. it was supposed to be a 9.30 appt., but i was out of there by that time after seeing the doc and the audiologist. on the latter, i can hear, but somewhat impaired as if i had been exposed to repeated noise....like loud music. i'll take that badge of deafness with honor. as for the ears, they're not infected now, so the guy basically told me i was an ass. no, not really. it's just that there was nothing wrong with my ears at this point, as opposed to several weeks ago.

from now on, if i feel a cold i'm going to drop humibid at the drop of a hat and keep my head cleaned out. hope it works.

the rest of the day i goofed somewhat. i went to the coffee shop, watched a Spanish movie (Y tu mama tambien!), ate vegetarian asian at Zen Garden with my blushing bride (xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx[sic- i always wanted to use one of those, although i don't know what it is-ed.]) and finally rode.

nothing too special abt the ride, which i did through the parks. seems that it should've felt warmer than it was, at 47 degrees. it was still breezy from yesterday, so i think that was the variable that reared it's ugly mug on occassion. surprisingly, i ended up with an avg of 15.7, which is brisker that i've been riding. i even through in a few hills for good measure, so i'm pleased. i'll be back in commuting mode tomorrow, this time with the LHT bedecked (except for Lumotec- we won't go there). i have to start tennis conditioning, so some of my commutes will be shortish given that i'll be leaving school later, but i'm hunting mileage!

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Date: Jan.
Mileage: 14
Ride type: 'Cross
Bike: Surly Crosscheck (added variable)
Temp: 63 p.m.
January mileage: 52
Year to date: 52

i've title this post "Cross" b/c i went on cross ride today, but only a semblence, a caricature of "cross", for to see, i really CANNOT CROSS for SHIT! that is further to say that i'm too damn out of shape to really punch it cross style, and too out of practice to style it with cross skilz. sin embargo, i got out on an incredibly warm January day and headed over to the Seneca/Cherokee complex. seems that much of the rest of the city was there too, b/c it was packed. i saw people, especially families, on trails that i'd never seen anyone on before (hardly). my patter today was to put in a good effort, like climb a good hill or punch a trail section, and then take mega amounts of time to recover. about 40min in, i was toast enough that i stuck the rest of the way to roads, even with the slightly treaded cross tires.

observations as ever include:

1. i just love all the old, historic homes surrounding the park. i wish we could step back in time to when those were the large estates surrounded by hundreds of acres of wild and farmlands. i belittle not the folks who have an opportunity to live around there.

2. another is that alleyways tell can tell alot abt the nature of the homes inside. you see an impressive home, like those along Douglass Blvd. you go around back and every 5th one is dump, garage rotting, weeds taking over, trash laying abt. i assume those are of older folks who can't keep things up, but who knows?

3. did i mention i can't handle trails anymore? really it's related to conditioning, b/c the pounding and finesse of trailriding put a premium on my back, and it has to work hard to hold up my massive beergut. and whose fault is that?

4. the nature of the wind was almost fun today. according to weather.com, it's gusting at 17-37mph. i would find really FAST tailwinds, and headwinds that would drive me to standstill. more interesting were the sidewinds that would allofasudden catch you in a wierd spot on your back or shoulder. then you would physically have to correct and maintain your balance, rollercoaster style. makes my appreciate Belgium a bit. i fear my ability to form an echelon at the moment is poor.

5. lastly, this is something i was thinking about somewhere early on, when i still had brain cells. i decided to invent some kind of theory of an obstacle equaling perceived effort in combination with actual fitness, or some type of crap like that. point being, when you're out of shape, you can't do things as easily, regardless of mph or heart rate or something. it's mental as much as physical. i think i thought of this after i climb a stout hill on the cross bike and thought i was going to puke.

tomorrow to the ear doc. don't know if it's still infected, but certainly i would like some kind of theory as to why they plug up every winter like i'm some kind of 2-year old. let's hope.
Date: Jan. 7
Mileage: 2
Ride type: Errands
Temp: 47 p.m.
January mileage: 38
Year to date: 38

i didn't quite manage a "real ride" today. we drove out to Shelby County to look at a piece of very crappy property. by the time we got back, i was ready for RnR, and that doesn't mean Ride-n-Recovery.

so i got the LHT out with the bike lock to head up to the "BEER DEPOT" as it's labelled on the sign. it's got one of those great walk-in coolers. 4pack of Guiness and 4pack of Boddingtons. i also stopped by Walgreens to find small batteries for an old Echo bikecomputer. one of the travesties in the whole LHT projects is that i managed to get the wire from the LHT's Cateye wrapped up in the front wheel, and i subsequently snapped the wire. i'm in no position to spend more damn $$ on this project, so into the bike box i went. i rooted around and found the ECHO computer that i think was on the Bridgestone at one point. i even found the box and instructions. i also tried to find the components for a Nashbar cordless that i own. unfortunately, i never mounted it on anything, nor can i find the fork gizmo, nor the box either.

so batteries for the ECHO. and a whopping 2mile errand ride. i like the 'Staches though, at this point.

**i'm trying, at this very moment, to figure out how to post this to a Saturday post (1/7). i'm too limited though.


perhaps a volcano erupted somewhere, b/c we're getting good sunrises/sunsets in the OhioValley here. Follows is this mornings':

i'm also in the process of ripping some music from discs to load on my Rio mp3. fact is i hate dealing with these different music programs. at any given time they seem like they're always or incipiently locked up or F@#$*d up. on this computer we have Musicmatch, which worked great until i loaded an update a while ago. now, at random times it just locks up. we also have Kazaa, which is dead. i want to uninstall it, but my good wife found lots of songs on it at one point, so she doesn't want it messed with. what else? RealAudio, which is what the goodwife uses now, and i gave up and now i use Windows Mediaplayer. i know, it's giving in to the the evil empire, but it plays the music and doesn't lock up. good for me.

it's supposed to be incredibly warm today, so i'm definitely riding this a.m. (when the fam is at church) or this p.m. in the warmth. vamos a ver.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Project LHT even closer

although my health has been complete garbage for something like 3 weeks now, i hope to make progress with a trip to the ear/nose/throat guy on Monday. maybe some relief will come.

On the bike front, i'm also getting closer to having project LHT finished up as well. i picked the bike up from Clarksville Schwinn today, with bar-ends, diacompe levers, moustaches wrapped. i didn't have too much time for a try-out, but intend to tomorrow depending on how i feel. i do know the prelimenaries are promising. i spend an unfortunate huge wad for this all.

i also mounted the Nelson Longflap form peterwhitecyles. got it nice and snug on the saddle tabs. I think the extra room will be the key, and if not, then the hell with it. it'll have to be!!

NOW, with much concern and confusion, i hesitate but have to mention that the latest Lumotec, this time a halogen SensoPlus has the same F@#$ing problem that the other one does- it won't turn off with the wheel in motion. this p.m. i've turned my mind back to the first Shimano light that was on there. I know for a damn fact that it turned off, so there is an obvious mystery at hand. i am also hampered by my lack of electrical knowledge, but hey, i'm learning. before i make any electrical statements, i'm going to spend a smidge of time doing a little studying and thinking. i'm also going to take the old light apart and looking at the switch design.

There has to be a reason, and i'm going to find it, b/c i refuse to send another light back due to my incompotence.

i will prob takes pics this fin de semana to post. Chris @ Clarksville said it was moreorless an ugly damn bike, which i appreciated. i think it's one of a few in Lou. with this type of usage. lots of typical roadbikes, mt.bikes, and a few 'bents, but none like this.

at some point, i think i'm going to get a smaller Carradice bag for the Litespeed. i reallly intend on ramping my mileage up this summer, and a decent bag to hold essentials, in my mind, is a good idea.

more to come.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

progess, un poquito

you may notice, and i certainly do no mileage is mentioned yet again. still dealing with ear thing. tomorrow, friday, i WILL get turbo set up and get minutes in. that will get me through the weekend and to my ear/nose/throat appt on monday. after that we hopefully will be able to get some REAL progess.

on the bike front, Project LHT is coming along nicely. today i received my 2nd package from peterwhitecycles. sent were a Nelson Longflap, which will provide more space for commuting, and a 3W halogen BnL generator light, Plus Senso. i pray to whatever diety that will listen that it works fine. if you read this, which at this point may only be the wife and Chris, pray for me as well. also, with the bag, i bought a couple straps to do things right. i think strapping excess/extraneous clothing is a good way to free up some space in the bag.

another Chris at Clarksville tried to call me b/c i'd typically screwed something up. i ordered 8speed thumbshifters, when i have 9 speed cassette, and a relatively wide gear spread as well. he ordered the 9s, which i'll have to pay a little more for. BUT, my tomorrow afternoon i should have the LHT with moustache bars, diacompe Vbrake levers, 9speed shifters, the Carradice bag, and the dynolight. everything should be mounted by Saturday. in the long term, the only other thing that i will eventually do is buy some better wheels, but that will be down the road, as the ones now suffice.

given the $$ i've spent on the extras, i should've just had Clarksville build the pinche bike in the first place. ebay seemed like such a good deal at the time.

when everything is mounted (and working gracias a Dios), i'll take some pics.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Crap, Ears again

Date: Jan. 2
Mileage: 6
Ride type: Commute
Temp: 44 a.m.
January mileage: 36
Year to date: 36

i may have an explanation for why i ran out of gas on my Monday 1/1 ride, but first i'll have to get to Tuesday. tuesday a.m. i set out for a standard commute. it was pretty warm, so i didn't have to layer too much. since the LHT is still awaiting parts, i fixed the C'dale back up to do the task, adding a taillight, pannier and Niterider headlight. i was good to go. i went straight to work b/c this week after the holidays is a busy one. well, during the day i began to feel like crap, especially mid-afternoon when it was time to start thinking about the commute home. longstoryshort, i hitched a ride with neighbor J, who lives quite close, and left the bike and everything else at work. fact is my left ear was pounding; the "ear thang" had come back in force. whatever the case, i was still sick/sick again and pissed.

Wednesday, yesterday brought another batch of serious BS, as i found out the state of KY, which is now processing insurance, managed to not get me in the system, though i DID enter the info in October like i was supposed to, so in effect, we didn't have any insurance, and therefore i couldn't/can't go the the doctor without paying out of pocket. F@#$ing B2#$@#t, no good F@$@#ing, @#$@#$. boy, what a pain, and in pain to boot.

today, thursday, the fine fellow with whom i spoke with the state of KY, made some calls, and fixed the insurance thing for me. i also got some info about an ear/nose/throat guy that i'm going to for this ear thing. until that's resolved, i'm not going to be getting much cycling done.

on a bike level, the shifters and diacompe v-brake levers are in, so the LHT will be nicely tricked soon. it's in the shop at Clarksville with compotent mechanics, and i'll happily pay for that opportunity.

and finally, i stole an idea from "VelociPete", who apparently stole it Jill @ from "arcticglass.blogspot.com". it's the daily thing that i do some, but adds the total mileage thing which i like. something slightly new.

Monday, January 02, 2006


interesting day today. Luavull hit 71, which beat a high of 66 set in 1895. it's downright bizarre to have temps so warm the 2nd day of January. i had various family commitments, so i couldn't get our early and enjoy, so i had to wait until late afternoon. around 3.00, a nasty Tstorm hit, creating a tornado about 50 or so miles south of here, and creating lots of wind and rain in the area. it was a thin storm, though, so i set out afterwards @ 4.30 for a ride. the storm had created "interesting" road conditions with lots of twigs and branches. it also had dropped the temp 15 degrees in 1 hour. i mounted the detachable front and rear fenders on the Litespeed and set out. long story short i knew i didn't have too long b/c of light and conditions, so i took in 4 good climbs in Cherokee, the first being "King" Hill. i call it that b/c i know some folks at the top who, golly gee whiz, are name "King". after that i headed out around the Cherokee loop and chauffer's rest. by that time, i was wiped out for some reason. i headed towards Seneca on the flat route and instantaneously ran out of gas. to do something quite different, i headed up one of the newly-paved cart paths on Seneca golf course and headed home via PeeWeeReese. i ended up averaging 13.5 and it felt that slow. i guess three straight days of riding after 3 weeks of naught does that to a fat, outofshape body.

i got out though. work starts back up tomorrow, so i'll be re-putting my commuter hat back on. the spring brings lots of conflicts, so commuting becomes a challenge. i'm committed to do better though with my exercise overall, instead of letting it dry up March/April/May like usual.

11.5m/50min/13.5avg/55 breezy and wet

Sunday, January 01, 2006

An Incredible First Day

A First Incredible Day! i think about syntax a fair amount given my profession of teaching language. This is one of those tricks that you can pull off in Spanish too. the Title implies that the first day of the year was incredible. the first sentence implies that this was the first incredible day of the year, although it could perhaps be February 29th for all we know. i pondered this and several other things today while taking a ride today on the first day of the year. Following is a rundown of a few things ruminating in my feeble, limited mind:

1. one of my most favorite roads in Louisville is the bottom portion of Indian Hills (if the road has another name, i don't know it). forested, verdant, lush, sort of scenic and moody in the shade. not too many houses but a good road surface. too bad it's only .5m or less. the climbs off of it are sort of fun too, provided you have a bit of fitness. i've seen before on the listserve that IndianHillsRd (whatev the name) has a grade of about 7%, although it's pretty damn steep for my fat ass. then i think of all those climbs in the major tours that are 8-9% for kilometers on end. amazing!

2. if this city, which aspires to be more than it is- 2nd rate compared to local others like Indy, Cincy and Music City, had any cojones, they would make a major statement preserving the parks for what they are and making traffic difficult. i get the sense every time i'm in Cherokee/Seneca that so many of the cars are there just to cut through and having NOTHING to do with actually using them for their intended purpose. make them one way. close off some entrance/exits. close off a lane or two to car traffic. do something big that says "THESE ARE PARKS. USE THEM AS SUCH." Hizzhonerferlife kicked off some kind of health campaign for the city. What better way to prioritize health over traffic.

3. it'll be curious to see how the Lance effect plays out with the roadie vibe in the years to come. there are definitely more roadies out there, and they're generally better dressed. i saw some guys from a local team today lookin' fine in their kit, but more importantly others just as decked-out. the Q is to whether these same guys (mostly) will still be riding in 10 years, or will they move on to the next fad like TiBo or yoga or crosscountry pushup running or something? furthermore, over the years to come will they work at all to improve car/bike relations? you know many of them are the same demographic that hates cyclists. you know, the yuppie soccermom with too much to do and just wants to guy in the lycra to GET THE HELL OUT OF HER WAY!. as for me, i more and more want to see cycling as a means of transportation and as a way of life and not just some kind of recreation. that said, i put my 19miles in today in my lycra for purely recreational purposes.

4. a further Indian Hills note, and including Mockingbird Ln. for that matter is the fact that winter is a great time to ride through those areas b/c you can just glimpse the mansions dotting those hills, those palatial estates that are normally out of view due to all the trees. i don't always respect the rich, usually b/c they're paid far more than their value compared to average workers. BUT i do like big houses and the grounds to go with them.

5. i felt today on my ride like Paul Sherwen of TV commentary fame would say "He is really fighting his machine, trying to find every ounce of power!". i lowered my saddle a little which helped keep me from being so stretched out, but i'm not used to the B17N on the Litespeed, given that i've put very few miles on it. and with all my commuting i've really spent little time on road bikes; most of my riding has been on the Surly Crosscheck (which has a short reach), the 'Dale which is quite close, and the LHT which is even closer. i've lost that laid-out bike fit that you really need to put in more miles. i really want to finally do a century this year. the closest i got was going 85 from Lou to Lex back in '99. to do so i need to start getting in a long weekend ride, and that ride needs to be done on the Litespeed.

6. i've been watching and watching and watching bike videos. '05 Paris/Nice was fun, with Julich winning and the first stages going off in the now. the '04 Vuelta was fun to, and there is lots of climbing. you get the impression, though, that an in-form Lance, Jan, or Basso could easily beat these guys, mauling them in the timetrials and performing well in the mountains, not unlike Hinault and Merckx did back in their day.

7. the weather today was simply fantastic for the first day of the new year, 58 and mostly sunny. i got warm with a shirt and a lightweight jacket on, and not warm in a "i'm cold but sweating" way. just warm.

8. the Ohio is always fun to ride by. it's big and flowing.

i'm sure there were some other things in there, mostly relating to my bad fitness at the moment. i put 19.2m down today through the parks, across St.Matthews to IndianHills, the riverwalk, up Mockingbird, across Stilz and home through the parks and Seneca Gds. i also came up the curvy climb to chauffer's rest. that's a tough little climb.

a really good way to start '06. let's hope it's a better one for all.

19.2m/1hr 16min/14.9avg/58 breezy and partly sunny- great Jan.1 weather!

Feliz Anyo Nuevo

well well well, 2006 ha llegado. F@$%#K, another year gone. i swear that each year accelerates more than the previous. Einstein was right; Time is relative.

I have no great pronouncements or resolutions. Once you make them, you break them. I just need to ride more, exercise more, eat less, be more patient, be a better husband, father and person, and fulfill a more appropriate destiny on this earth. If you strip the dogma (and the afterlife/recycled life thing), you find that we're here to be good, treat others better than yourself, and make a positive impact. I guess that's my resolution. :-)
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com