Monday, February 27, 2006

Happy Monday

Date: Feb. 27
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 28 a.m./55 p.m.
February mileage: 136
Year to date: 425

Given the tennis meeting today in lieu of practice, i jumped on the LHT for a well-deserved commute this a.m. really there's nothing to report greatly on this commute other than i detoured through the park today for a couple hills, and that i can't officially find/fix the damned "tick tick tick" i'm experiencing on the LHT. i'm pretty sure it's the Brooks B-17 saddle, but you know who you can't quite find a "tick" on the bike, since it feels like it could be eminating from anywhere.

nice afternoon though, and i'll be on the bike- one of them- on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's all about the mileage

Date: Feb. 26
Mileage: 2
Ride type: 'hood trip
Bike: Redline SS
Temp: 40 p.m.
February mileage: 121
Year to date: 410

just returned from another of those morethansatisfying bike rides wiuth Z, L and neighbor boy J. yes, it happened to be 2 miles, but i took the boys to an extremely short trail, their first, and further around the 'hood. nice & sunny, a little nippy, but great. little L, who is 6, turns and turns those crankarms. he taught himself to riding standing, and he does it all the time so he can keep up with the bigger boys. good for him. they'll be ready for some longer routes this summer.


San Jose

no, i don't need this, nor am i going to buy it. i just like it and want it. for me bikes are like shoes. yes, a few people get by with one or two pairs of shoes. many others, though, need various shoes for various tasks. sports shoes. road cycling. mt.biking. touring. commuting. winter shoes. work boots. gardening shoes. dress shoes. casual shoes. sandles. cowboy boots. hiking boots. do you get my drift? bikes can be as such. commuting bike. city bike. mountain bike. downhill bike. 'cross bike. racing road bike. touring bike. yes, a few bikes do several of these quite well. i think my Surly Crosscheck does a nice service as 'cross, road, commuter. if i had bought an extra set of wheels and that it had both rack and fender mounts, i could've forgone the LHT. but it didn't. and no, i have no need of a singlespeed road do-it-all. but it WOULD be cool.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Big Houses

Date: Feb. 25
Mileage: 10
Ride type: Bike Jog
Bike: LHT
Temp: 55 a.m.
February mileage: 119
Year to date: 408

i got out this a.m. for what i call a 'bike jog', a term certainly NOT created by me. i hadn't ridden since Monday, so felt the need to hit the road. at the same time, i was in no mood to hammer. instead, i took the LHT out for a bike jog and finally took some pics of some of the grand manses that dot the hilltops surrounding Cherokee Pk here in Lousville. it's obvious these were originally estates that byinlarge are now surrounded by other nice homes after the land was sold off who knows when. it was a pleasant and rather easy day. had i paid more attention to the forecast, i would've learned that a cold front has moved this evening, so i wasted a warm morning and now will be stuck with a couple cold ass days. in the days to come, i'll introduce these pics, but now all at once. frankly, it would take me a week to load them all as slow as my computer is. no broadband or DSL you know.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Nice Sights

as it happens every damn year, once tennis starts my non-tennis activity drops to shit. i hit some today, actually for a good while, but no bikes and no jogs. once my days go to 10 hrs long i just don't have the damn will to get up at 5.15 and jog. and by the time i get home, damn, i'm whooped.

this morning began in a most excellent way. standing on my driveway, directly in front of the house was a low crescent moon. it was so dark and clear though, that you could see the outline of the dark part too, a perfectly round, floating orb in the black morass. to the left, maybe 15 degrees or so was venus, luminescent in the dark as well. and to the west a good measure and a little north another planet. i would assume it's Jupiter give the color and brightness- too white for Mars and too bright for Saturn. what a great sight. wish i were in the boondocks somewhere to better enjoy instead of here in the city.

finally, received the Rivendell reader yesterday and now i'm coveting yet another bike. don't think the funds are going to show for this one, but the new Bianchi San Jose singlespeeder is sweet. road and yet dirt worthy SS with nice lines and space for good tires. the singlespeeders, like my Redline, are attractive b/c without the extra parts, they're priced nice. this San Jose is around $550. nice....but i WON'T be buying...yet. and for that matter, their Castro Valley looks like a nice offering too. can it be that the nascent interest in these multi-purpose, non-racing, non-"mountain biking" bikes are making an impact?? are bikes slowly being seen as viable and not as toys? i can't say here in Louie-ville it's necessarily the case; i don't see these on the streets much, but the offerings are a positive step.


Monday, February 20, 2006

The Birds!!!

Date: Feb. 20
Mileage: 15
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 21a.m./27p.m.
February mileage: 109
Year to date: 398

today was a good commute day, a little chilly in the a.m., a little chilly in the p.m., but a nice vibe. the a.m. brought nothing unusual, the typical flat route with the "side extension" and the "north extension", for 8 miles instead of 6. the p.m. brought a decision to not push too hard. the temp really hadn't changed much morning to afternoon, so i was in mostly the same clothes sans one top layer. the computer advertised 27, but i really think by the time i arrived at home, it was closer to 32. i intended on going into the parks and plugging in some mileage. instead, i was inspired to goof around and return home via various alleyways and side streets. one other time i had used this particular alley which parellels Bardstown, the major thoroughfare. this time, i extended the alley notion and spliced and diced alleys and small streets for much of the way home. the "Birds" reference came in one alley where to the left were/are several shrubs or vines with red winter berries. i apparently disturbed a huge flock of robins, so when i passed, they all flew in a frenzy. i'm surprised A that they didn't hit me and B moreso that they didn't take a birdie dump on my cycling jacket. shortly thereafter or before i heard somebody playing bongos in their apartment. gosh, i wish i was their neighbor!!!!! can you imagine? i think i outgrew any chance of enjoying bongos when i was 21. in fact, i went to a party one time with lots of hippies playing bongos (i certainly cultivated the dirty partier/neo-hippie thing). all i could do is shake my head at how White they were, no racial negativity intended.

today was also successful b/c i figured out that the "tick tick" from a few days ago is NOT the BB but rather the Brooks saddle. this saddle made noises on the old bike. i hoped the seatpost would help, which it did for a while. now it's "tick ticking" again. things i've read say to NOT TIGHTEN the adjuster screw, but how do you get rid of the tick? the rails fit quite nicely into the LHT's seatpost, so i'm at a loss. i'm encouraged, though, but a confidence that the BB isn't going to explode into 1000 pieces at 6.20 in the a.m. when it's 20 degrees.

i almost didn't ride today, but my wife mentioned those "people in MN whose blogs i read". i think she was challenging my manhood (personhood? Jill in AK is WAY tougher than i could ever be). ride i did. the rest of the week is tennis though. looks like a.m. jogs. JOY!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

i'm really Canadian

totally refined, sublime and serendipitous moment this afternoon. NBC had the Daytona 500 on- ensuring them much better ratings i'm sure than the Olympics with all the Bubbas and Mrs. Bubbas- so i found curly on CNBC or one of those. at first i thought "stupid", but if you watch it a little, it's sort of interesting- darts+shufflebard+bowling+bocce+Jarts+kitchen cleaning+...Beer. from what i gather abt this sport, its origins lie in Canada. is that true? and from what i've heard, the Canadians LOVE to go to curling halls, watch curling, and drink enormous quantities of Beer whilst cheering for curlers. i went down to the kitchen and, lo and behold, i had one Labatt's left. i've picked up "Blue" and "White" as a drink of choice after visiting my dad in Detroit, where it's served at games as prominently as Budweiser.

in my chair, drinking a Canadian beer, and watching Curling. the small pleasures of life.

Like a Phoenix

Date: Feb. 19
Mileage: 3
Temp: 18 (a.m.)
February mileage: 9
Year to date: 9

as stated here this a.m., i really was struggling with activity amidst the pleasant weather. don't know what did it, but for some reason i jumped up around 11.15, got dressed, and took a run. i've stated, and will continue to state, that i don't like jogging, BUT it does seem to be an effective antidote against the brisk (18 at run time) temps. the correspondence of cold and jog bring to light another interesting note, in that my most effective single piece of athletic apparel, something my mom & dad gave me for xmas one year, is a Nike winter running jacket. now, i'm not a big fan of McShoe empire, and their hype of figures such as Lance, JoinBode and Be Like Mike make me sort of sick. This jacket, though, is perfect for under 30. it's not cut conducively for biking, but it never fails. if it's under 30, you wear one piece of base- varying thickness for the temp- and the jacket and it's just that, perfect. today i wore this spandexy baselayer i bought from REI at some point and the jacket at 18 degrees and i was totally, totally comfortable. wish i could get appropriate shoewear.

i have a feeling i'm going SLOW on these runs...oops...jogs, but i do feel some accomplishment from them. today, for example, i was actually out for 39.00, with some walking thrown in there for good measure. in a way, i hope i'm not running 13.00/mile, b/c a one-legged grandma with a walker could do that, but hey, who gives a shit. "Just Do It!". and my toes don't freeze.

The Man

10.49 so far, image of the a.m. was the dude with larger stones than mine. i took the boys to sunday school and on the way, i spied to my distant left someone on a bike. now, with temps of 12 or whatev, my interest was piqued as to whether it was a "cyclist", or one of those many unfortunates who HAVE to ride due to circumstance. my answer was given when i was taking a left at a a green light. he was there, to my left, and didn't seem to be stopping. pasty, white, frozen face. he looked sort of Russian in a way. no helmet i'm pretty sure, but head covered with various layers. blue cannondale touring rig with front and back racks. i'm pretty sure he had back panniers on. interestingly, he almost hit the side of the truck b/c he didn't stop for his red light. he just kept on motoring down the road, swerving around the back as i turned. i didn't really get much more of a view than that. more stones has he, albeit cold ones. i keep on looking outside and trying to decide whether the extra layers are worth it. i rode yesterday when it was 17-18, so 5 degrees less doesn't sound too nice. i'm impressed with all these cold-weather fiends in Minneapolis (MN weather) and in Alaska. me, warm coffee sure do seem more appealing albeit less epic.

Tour of California starts today Amgen Tour of California. i heard somewhere that ESPN2 was going to have some coverage. gotta looks that one up to verify. sure hasn't gotten any press with the mainstream, unlike if Sir Lance were riding. gotta love the Americanization of the name. like it's the "Coca-Cola Tour de France". geez.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

" 'Crossing"

Date: Feb. 18
Mileage: 14.5
Ride type: 'Cross
Bike: Crosscheck
Temp: 19 p.m. (4windchill)
February mileage: 94
Year to date: 383

there are two facts we can verify concerning today's ride. the first is that it was the coldest i've probably done in a while. i might've commuted in the teens back in december; i might have to look that one up. otherwise, i don't really remember taking a ride this cold for a while. the second is that the aforementioned mileage from today is pure guestimate. the computer on the Surly starting acting funky within the first mile or so, so i don't really know. in fact, i'm pretty sure it wasn't 14.5, but it felt like it, and i worked about as hard as a 14.5 miler, so that's the mileage i'm crediting myself.

mid-afternoon the good little woman warned me not to gripe if i didn't go out and ride, so i finally just jumped into my layers and layers and headed out on the cross bike. wardrobe was:

fleece base layer/2nd layer/old LLBean Anorak which i love for cross b/c it's old
shorts/thick tights/thin tights
base socks/Sealskinz/plastic bags/Sidi winter shoes
fleece balaclava/nike winter gloves

as usual, my feet were the issue. my mom bought me the Sidis for xmas a few years ago, but they haven't solved it. the best answer is to get some flat pedals and powerstraps and just wear some boots with several layers of wool socks. that's really the best. my feet are wide, so i don't usually have the extra room for extra socks. only now are they beginning to not have that post-freezing tingle. BRRRR.

really i didn't cross that much. we live next to a school with nice grounds. this past school year they mowed a path for the cross-country team in the grass and along a wooded fence area. it also incorporates some short steep hills, so it's a nice 'cross course. i took that in and then head over to another park nearby- Joe Creason- which has some other cross-country paths. it snowed abt 1/2" this a.m., so there was frozen residue from that, but mud underneath making for a slimey, slick surface (like the alliteration?). from there i sort of just rode around here-n-there. the heavier wind was coming from the east-northeast, so the trip home was drudgery.

one of those rides i'm glad i did, but didn't enjoy, and wouldn't want to do tomorrow. got out, though.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

a real ride

Date: Feb. 16
Mileage: 2
Ride type: Neighborhood
Bike: Redline
Temp: 65 p.m.
February mileage: 79.5
Year to date: 368.5

given that i've gotten very little riding done, i decided to make sure and give myself every possible mile ridden. so this late afternoon we have gorgeous weather in the 'Ville for February, so Z and L and I went out for a neighborhood jaunt. it won't get me enough training for the Tour, but i'll take it for the company.

morning sprint

Date: Feb. 16
Mileage: 3
Temp: 60 (a.m.)
February mileage: 6
Year to date: 6

it was one of those tennis days. i had had a funky night's sleep, and lo and behold woke up at 4.55. at first i was committed to try to catch another hour, but then bounced up and made myself doing something with my "good fortune" and catch a run before work- my lauded goal this spring during tennis season.

since i don't like to jog, there's nothing to report save listening to Outkast and GBV and getting in around 3 slow miles. it was great weather, at 60 or something this a.m.

of course, with the warmth and the wind it rained this afternoon, hence forth cancelling tennis. FBS. could've ridden after all. tomorrow is a teacher-only day, so i'm on the bike, hands to Jesus!

Monday, February 13, 2006

"tick, tick, tick, tick"

Date: Feb. 13
Mileage: 14
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 25a.m./37p.m. + sunny
February mileage: 77.5
Year to date: 366.5

that's what i heard both ida y vuelta today. i finally get back on the horse after missing a whole week (last commute last Monday). it was a brisk 25, but i was well-dressed and comfortable. i noticed part of the way in that i was hearing a chrip/tick from somewhere below- bottom bracket, wheel, brake pad, chain, etc. i had it on the way home too, and it seemed to be getting worse. i also heard the chirp if i peddled backwards too. strange, although in the end i fear it's a loose bottom bracket. why is it loose, i have no freakin' clue. in fact that's pretty damn frustrating, as i've had other bikes that have NEVER had a bottom bracket probl. i'm wondering if it's a ramification of the ebay purchase, in the it came with some shit BB. that's certainly an easily-hidden crap part.


really, while being sort of cool today, it was nice weather- 25 going and 36 coming with plenty of sunshine.

i don't know now whether to ride or what, given that i KNOW i can't fix a BB on my own. i'll either convert of to the Rans or the Crosscheck for the moment or just ride the damn thing until something breaks. then i'll know the true answer!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

a "run"

Date: Feb. 12
Mileage: 3
Temp: 32
February mileage: 3
Year to date: 3

as i've stated here, i didn't have a good cycling week this past week. why? don't know. yesterday was a perfectly appropriate day and i spent it coach potatoing watching the pinche Juegos Olimpicos. freakin' stupid.

this a.m. i maybe could've squeezed a ride in amongst family activities related to church, and yet again didn't quite get out. about 11.15, with my morning time disappearing, i made a bold move. since i didn't have time to ride, i did the unthinkable and took a "run". i call it "run", b/c it actuality it's lots of slow jog. sin embargo, i was actually pretty pleased that i got through 3 full miles with just a smidge of walking. now, i might be super sore like i was when i did stairs the other day, but i'll take it. more importantly, in past springs, as tennis gets in gear, my exercise tends to fall dramatically off b/c i'm driving all the time to school and my time is really pinched, so no workouts. jogging can let me grab some time in the a.m. so i don't just give up. i would rather ride, but i think some 3-4 milers this spring would be a great way to give me some activity during the week. and the on the weekends, grab some miles on the bike. tomorrow was a step in the right direction.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

more ugghhh

don't know if i've had a virus, or just have been too damn busy, but this week i've been exhausted. I'm making sure to go to bed reasonably, but i feel really lethargic. It may just be the colder weather. I've been prone to SAD in previous years, and i think perhaps the transition from 50s to 30s just hit me.

frankly i don't know. i'll get back out there eventually though.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Date: Feb. 6
Mileage: 17.5
Ride type: Commute
Bike: Trek LHT
Temp: 23a.m./39p.m. + sunny
February mileage: 63.5
Year to date: 352.5

got out today for a commute. legs still feel like crap. no stairs tomorrow when the tennis crew convenes. it's really a nice day today, close to 40 with very sunny skies. this a.m. was a smidge chilly, and had to get some of the cold weather gear out to deal with 23degrees.

really the most striking observation of my ride today was the unfortunate decision to go by the sausage/bologna/whatever company on Main/Mellwood. i don't think i'll lose the sound of those squeals and the smell of burnt pig skin any time soon. i tried the Buddhist veggie thing a while ago, and right now that seems appealing. those squeals weren't meant to be.

boy, that game sucked last night. what happened to the old Steelers, 49ers, Cowboys and Patriots? i'll take a dynasty anyday over two teams who deserved to lose. looks like the refs deserve some credit though. 14 point swing with that terrible interference call and then the Rothlessburger (like that spelling?) non-score. throw in all those dropped passes and Wow, what crap!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


in the words of ET, "ouch..." in that long drawn-out style of his. now, let's explain that they're not sore from the ride yesterday. Nay, i failed to mention in bikeriding terms that, Friday, instead of riding, i did some conditioning with the tennis team. each year my participation in this diminishes, mostly b/c my left knee's patellar tendonitis is pretty bad and i would rather save my knee for bikerides. Friday though, i ran some stairs and did some other footwork drills with them. Subsequently, yesterday and today i can barely get down the stairs. it's not the UP that hurts. that quad push-off mimics climbing on the bike. it's the down that hurts so much. rarely used muscles there. i should jog some, as it's a good all-body workout and good in the cold, but i just HATE jogging. so extremely sore quads it is.

saw an EXCELLENT Son Volt show last night at Headliners (here's a link to the band website: i've been pretty bored in recent concerts with Jay Farrar- snoozefests with too much earnest folkie stuff. i'm a rock guy and a harmony guy, so the band vibe does it for me. with his new line-up, they really rocked out, especially Brad Rice on guitar. i'd say in fact that the band actually rocked harder than his original sonvolt line-up, and he really played mostly upbeat rockout tunes. i haven't been to a show in a while, so it was good to get out and stay up at an hour past my usual 10.00 fallasleepinchair time.

StuporBowl tonight. anybody care? not i. my friend Chris- and another friend Chris- are big Steelers fans. so for them a steeler win would be nice, but i'm pulling for the KY boy Shaun Alexander and the Seahawks. i'm a lifelong Cowboys fan, so any Steeler failure can only be a good thing. Rothliesberger (sp?) is tough though. vamos a ver.

if i can extricate myself from the house, i might ride today. depends on whether i can actually walk to garage though. it'll be good practice (temps in 20s right now) for my commuting clothing setup this week. back to the winter real world!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Frozen Tundra

Date: Feb. 4
Mileage: 16
Ride type: Road
Bike: Trek 401
Temp: 31 + snowing
February mileage: 46
Year to date: 335

after having blown off jueves and viernes, i knew that i had to make something happen today. the weather wasn't exactly cooperating, in that the temps are in the low 30s, with regular snow and a reasonable northerly wind. it didn't take me long to decide to get outside for a road ride, given that rollers would be a cop-out for two days of sloth. Penance. after reading jill's exploits at 5 degrees in Alaska, and all the cold-ass crap the Minneapolis folks deal with regularly, a 31 degree, snowy road ride is cake, right?

the decision then comes to which bike. yes, titanium won't rust, but how can you treat the #1 steed like that? and the LHT, well, i like that for commuter duty- snow or rain, etc.- but not for a weekend jaunt. so i decided to drag out the now 20 year Trek 401 Elance. this is the first road bike i had, before i sold it to my uncle ( and subsequently bought back). i outfitted it with some clip-on fenders and a back light, adjusted the saddle, and away i went. in some ways, rides on the Trek are fun b/c it's so damn old and unpredictable. this a Reynolds steel bike with 6-speed cassette (prob not a cassette actually) with a narrow range. the brakes are long-reach calipers that frankly i like better than brakes on other bikes i have now. they are strong but somewhat feathery, oddly enough. i have some leftover SPD pedals from some bike, who knows? and to top it off some classic cloth bar tape. it makes lots of creaks and pings, like a crankarm is going to fall out or that a hub is just going to disintegrate. most likely, what will happen is that a 20-year old Wobler rim (sponsor of 7-11 back in the day) is going to dicumbobulate (sp?) and there i'll be.

the ride was pretty uneventful, but sorta cold. the hands got wet after a while, and the feet too in the Sealskinz. i'm thinking the best footwear is good wool socks and booties, but i hate booties. one good though was the appreciation to my wife for a gift from this xmas. she bought me the '05 Paris-Nice with American Bobby Julich as winner. the first three stages are exactly like what's outside today- some snow, some wind, and some cold. i like seeing the cyclists all bundled up in every piece of kit they can find, only to roll it up (the jacket/jersey etc.) at the finishing sprint b/c they're too hot in the 25 degree cold. i'm SURE i looked just like that today. :-)

below is the Trek leaning on my garage on top of a hydrangea 'annabelle' that will look better in May. (it's below if it will actually upload, but it's being quite slow)

Bah humbug

i'm not THAT grumpy. i tried to update the blog last night from the laptop, but as usual it gave out. it has a short in the charger/battery/plug area and it just won't hold an electrical flow. therefore is will work until it feels like NOT working, and immediately turns off. so, i was mid-update when i heard the respective whirring down of the non-spinning harddrive.

it's finally snowing here in KY. yesterday it was 55 and today 34 with snow. it won't really amount to anything b/c of the temps, but the kids are happy. i wasted two warm days Th and Fr with a dentist appt and a meeting. i probably couldv'e ridden Fr but didn't. my bad, and by the looks of the Feb month of 20s and 30s, i'll regret the decision. i knew all along the warmth was going to break at some point. last night i saw that for the next 2 weeks, nothing was forecasted out of the 30s. Oh well.

i am going to ride later today in some guise, rollers, mt, road, cross, something. it may not be 2 hours worth, but i'll get something in.

and tonight we're seeing Son Volt, a (former) fav band that hasn't done much of late. Mr. Farrar has been busy making noise instead of records, so we'll see how the concert goes. i'm looking forward to getting out though.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

el primero de febrero

Date: Feb. 1
Mileage: 30 (7a.m./23p.m.)
Ride type: Commute
Bike: LHT
Temp: 31 a.m./60!!!!!!!!!!p.m. and nicely sunny
February mileage: 30
Year to date: 319

nice rima there in the title. i had to go back and change some totals. my long day a few ago with 'lance' was shorter in actuality. i was remembering the total daily mileage instead of the one leg down along the river. therefore my totals overestimate. sort of interesting playing with the monthly and yearly. i want to get that Y-t-d up this year.

concering today i had to play around with my seat angle. the back had moved down, so i adjusted too much and put the back up like a ramp. it put the weight too far forward and made my hands hurt. fixed it mid-ride. went the west-to-east loop with 'lance'. all you can say is 60 degrees on the first of february. freakin' ridiculous. great ride though with good company. i rode a little extra to get my daily to 30 total. REALLY nice ride, even with early seat irregularities. tennis will be starting soon, so i have to find a way to keep the miles going, b/c i feel like the legs are coming around a little. good for me.

saw several roadies bedecked in their kit in the park. there they are in their 18lb carbons an their matching kit- while probably not winning a damn thing- and there i am on the LHT with the British saddlebag and the 'Stache bars with the day-glo jacket attached with a leather strap. oh, and dressed in a long sleeve shirt and another tshirt. not exactly a matching kit. and they wouldn't have it any other way, and i the same.

but i would take some of their fitness.

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: