Monday, December 31, 2007

SS Last Ride

Date: Dec 31 Sun
Mileage: 21 (Trek400)
December mileage: 275
Year to date: 2777
iPod: shuffle

  • Last ride of 2007. 2007's total is 2777. To compare, 2006 gave me 2648 by blog count, 2573 by Duc's Excel count. I trust the math on Excel much more than mine, so I'll take the 2nd number. I'm pleased to beat last year's total. 2005's total was only 1418, so I'm making progress.
  • Longest single-day ride this year was 46 miles on 2 different occasions. The largest day total was 53 in November during the epic Riverwalk excusion.
  • Last year's last ride was on the Trek on a semi-rainy day. Today's ride was nice and sunny and upper 40s, but I took the Trek out again. ironic? synchronous? And for some reason, I decided to ride single speed, staying in my 4th cog the whole ride. I would say the combo is something like a 40x17 or so. It was sort of fun actually.
  • It's the rough 1-year anniversary of getting the Bleriot. My good wife accuses me of being a generally dissatisfied person, and I think she's right. That said, I am 100% satisfied, very much so, with the Bleriot. I wouldn;t change one thing on it, although I may jump back to the CdlVs just for fun. The Grand Bois are great though.
  • My high month was 454 miles (Nov.) and low month 72 (May, height of tennis season).
  • I sometimes blog about my beloved UK Wildcats. The team is SO so terrible right now. A total disaster. Guess we Cats fan got it coming to us after the Tubby incident.
  • Real is at the top of La Liga standings, with a clasico win over Barca @ the Camp Nou.
  • I'm still "Buddhish", but seemingly too undisciplined to take the next step. Monkey mind/Habit energy hard to neutralize.
Peace to all beings. Hope you leave our arbitrary 2007 designation happy, successful and satisfied. Hope next year's arbitrary 2008 designation leaves you even more. Thinking of you friends and cycling acquaintances alike.

Really Cheap Windfront Tights

I've been meaning to do this for, oh, 8 yrs. At my first 'cross race I won the C division, finishing 1st out of 3, yes, 3 contestants. I later found out that one of them, the DNF, was the dad of one of my son's friends in preschool. Anyway, I won some nice schwag/shwag for finishing first, one thing being some nice C'dale windfront winter tights- size L. They didn't fit then when I was 30lbs lighter and surely don't fit now. I'm offering them up for sale or trade to any of my interested cyclist readers first before selling them on ebay or somewhere like that. I bet they're nice and work pretty damn well. They're black and as stated have that nylon windfront stuff and if I remember correctly aren't padded.

If you're interested, leave me a comment and we'll work something out. At this point, I want someone who rides to enjoy their benefits instead of taking up space around here.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Westward Ho!

Date: Dec 29 Sat
Mileage: 23 (Bleriot)
December mileage: 254
Year to date: 2756
iPod: Plant/Krauss, Bobby Bare Jr., Neil Young

Given my enthusiasm for Thursday's ride, today's was a more subdued mood. I just couldn't get a good groove, but tried to realize my lack of pep and take it for what it was. Today's temps weren't bad, 32F or so, but I must have underdressed b/c I was cold most of the time, especially my legs and hands. I only rode with 1 layer of tights, and on the hands I wore a new pair of gloves I bought at Kohl's last week for $20. They made my hands sweat last week at 42F, but 10 colder today they lasted about an hour and then icicle time. Below are a few pics from the ride, mostly of downtown. I did the normal westward loop towards Shawnee and then worked home via Market and Baxter. Mediocre miles are better than no miles, right?

First time seeing these in the 'Ville although I think I blogged about the press release earlier in '07. Don't know if anyone is using them, but I haven't seen any in use in my occasional forays al centro.



Main Street Facades. It's some kind "most in the U.S. iron ....". That's a curious Daniel Boone sculpture there.


Kentucky Center for the Arts. I did a presentation on it in high school. The front facade glass is supposed to mirror the street's architectural heritage. The roof-line represents a wave, as in a wave from a barge on the Ohio, I guess. The redid a bit of the facade a few years ago, adding green, blue and red squares to the lattice work. I think you can barely see that.


Ghost?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

& the Country

Date: Dec 27 Thurs
Mileage: 32 (Bleriot)
December mileage: 231
Year to date: 2733
iPod: Kusula Bikshu- LMU Extension class

I might have forgotten my Xmas day ride, but I haven't forgotten today's. I had a 4**** ride today leaving from the in-laws in Maysville. A very common activity in Maysville is eating, so these rides help to fight that, as well help to give me the opportunity to experience empty country ride riding at its best. Today was one of low grey skies, very windy conditions and no sun to speak of, but I won't complain one bit. I had good legs and a positive attitude on the Bleriot. It was just one of those days when it all came together. Sometimes I wish I could find some fun companions to go out and put miles in around Mason Co. It's just great for riding.
Don't guess the Pencam captured the image here all that well. I found the green-roofed farmhouse intriguing.

A severe downhill onto Johnson's Creek Rd. Coming out the other side wasn't as steep nor as long. I use the brakes quite a bit on this drop.


Yes, that's gravel. Progress in Ky means that most of the roads are now paved, but I found one that isn't. After reading all those reports from New England and from Cali about famed rough roads just built for "country riding", I finally found my own. You can't get much more isolated in that part of the woods than this stretch of nowhere.

The other direction, towards the only dwelling I saw on Johnson's Creek.

This is the "paved" stretch up towards KY-68. What I later decided is that this is probably the original 68, before improvements took it over the ridge to the right. It had been paved at one point, but all that is disintegrating. I enjoyed this portion. It was utterly empty and made for scenic climbing out of Johnson's Creek.



Old farmstead off Weaver's Rd. Spooky as hell. I'm always surprised how many empty old homesteads there are in this area. The good wife found a bound atlas from 1876 in her grandparents' house today. It lists several homes near her parents' that bear no evidence to speak of now. Buddhism says it's all impermanence, and I'm bound to agree.

Frankly I doubt know, but I like it. The drapes of the house and some accents on the porch mimic this. I can't imagine someone expressing overt gay pride in this neck of the woods, so it needs to be studied more literally. This is found on the same road as where the brother-in-law lives, on Old Sardis Pike. Sure is happy, isn't it?



Great moment here. These fuzzy young colts/yearlings came up to greet me, I'm sure looking for a handout. They're all pretty aren't they? Shortly after they bounded off enthusiastically.


And below is the ride.



Xmas

Date: Dec 25 Tues
Mileage: 22 (Bleriot)
December mileage: 199
Year to date: 2701

Frankly I'm all a little confused. Fact is, I forgot about my Xmas day ride in the afternoon. I went out late afternoon for a parks spin. Here are a couple pics from that. Since dropping my AIPTEK Pencam I think the pic quality has suffered significantly, but it's superlight and easy to carry, and it's what the coolkids use.


Looking down Beargrass Creek in Seneca. If the pic didn't suck it'd be a lovely view.


Little park along Gladstone Ave. and KingsHwy near Taylorsville Rd. We should all have greens such as these. Yes, that's my shadow. There isn't enough definition to see the winterberry bushes. You may be able to discern the dad in the background playing with his sons on the green. So Xmas.


My wife's anniversary flowers still in good shape after a week. This is looking into new room. If we survive we may have to have a kick-ass party.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Good Mud

Date: Dec 24 Sat
Mileage: 15 (C'dale 29er)
December mileage: 154
Year to date: 2679

I procrastinated and procrastinated and procrastinated, but finally got out late this afternoon for a spin before nochebuena celebrations on the mountain bike. I did the Seneca loop and a tiny bit of Cherokee, but it was an efficient hard-working mudfest and it worked to a 'T'. I even tried out a new spur trail running downhill from the Cherokee tennis courts. I was antsy and stircrazy before, but now I'm relaxed and feeling good. 'course, we're running 45min late going to my mom's house, so that's a bit of an issue, but we'll all make it, right?
I stole this from a site I really like, real.theoffside.com. It's a nice English-language Real Madrid blog. I think they stole the map from another source, but it's fun for us novices. Size of crest indicates average attendance. Interesting idea. And there is Barca in 2nd and Real in 3rd. They love their futbol, don't they? Click on the image for a more-viewable version.

REAL y otra cosa

Random musings on this Xmas eve, or as the Spanish call it, la nochebuena.

  • bought one of these today from REI, a Princeton Tec EOS. It's similar to the BikeLight, but I had some dividend $$ to spend, so it's a better options. I've read that it can be zip-tied to the helmet, so I'll be using it as a backup for the commuter or for the trails as needed.


  • had a great meal at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, courtesy of dad/pawpaw. great stuff. Apps included osso buco ravioli and ahi-ahi. for an entree a NY strip with some kind of crapcake/sauce concoction, mashed potatoes, sweet potato and asparagus, and for dessert a chocolate thing that I can say was one of, if not, THE best dessert I've ever had. To be honest, I would rather donate the $$ to a charity, but I'm not going to bitch at the generosity. my dad told me that this morning leaving the hotel he gave a homeless guy a Benjamin, a $100 bill. We joked that it would buy a whole bunch of booze, but you give unconditionally, right?
  • I'm sure I'm the only one of my dear readers that watched the Superclasico yesterday. It worked great that dad took the boys shopping, so I stayed home and watch the big Real Madrid/Barcelona clasico. Even more heartening was the fact that Real won 1-0 on a golazo by "The Beast" Julio Baptista. Damn, I've become a real futbol fan, and there's nothing better than watching Real beat Barca at the CampNou.
  • We finally found furniture for the new space. I bet we looked at 7 or 8 different furniture stores, and a couple days ago we visited Smith's and found a table/chairs that we both like. As a bonus, we also eyed up a big L-shaped sofa for upstairs. We'll be dropping some big dimes later this week, but it's the first "adult" furniture we've really purchased; up until now it's been all hand-me-downs from parents.
Merry Christmas to all those readers out there. My Christian leanings seem just about gone now, but everyone deserves safety, comfort and a moment's peace.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wanderin'

Date: Dec 22 Sat
Mileage: 17 (Bleriot)
December mileage: 139
Year to date: 2664

Mile 2.5 roadies
Mile 4.5 Matt
Mile 5.5 Mud on Beargrass Trail
Mile 7.5 train in Crescent Hill
Mile 9.5 emotional about "This American Life story"
Mile 10.5 learned about Louisville history at sign describing 'Spring State', build in 1792
Mile 13.5 Saw woman trying to push her son up hill on his bike, as though he didn't have proficiency. Seems like the worst place to learn the starting process, uphill
Mile 14.5 Decided to take new Taylorsville/Seneca spur
Mile 15.5 really pleased listening to Wilco on sunny, warm officially winter day

Lots of things to ponder, and bike ride a good place to do them. Great friend's wife has malignancy in breast (he reads this blog. It'll happen be good. It just has to.). Good friend from work's mother died yesterday morning. Another co-worker's dad died on Wednesday in MN. Life is fleeting and should be enjoyed thoroughly, living as we want and not as we should. Of course, we should want to live as we should, if that makes sense.

Powerful story today that I listened to on This American Life from an episode 'Ties that Bind' about Lucas and Sarah. Lucas was killed and Sarah got his donated heart. Powerful and personal stuff, one of generosity, 2nd chances, and expectations. I encouraged you to listen or read the synopsis. I love listening to T.A.L. on the ipod while riding. Music can be conflictive with the sensations of riding, but listening to TAL, no. In fact, I just donated $10 b/c I like it so. Really I should donate a couple hundred bucks b/c I like it so, so maybe I'll give more in the future.

Peace, really, Peace. everybody deserves it in whatever time of bounty or difficulty.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Date: Dec 19 Wed
Mileage: 19 (9.2.5.)
December mileage: 122
Year to date: 2647

I took full advantage of the bicycle lifestyle to make 2 extra trips that most folks in society would've done in car, notwithstanding the bike commute to work. Z had a band concert at school today, so I got someone to cover and away I went in khakis, workshirt and dress shoes on the fixie downtown for the show. It's only 2 miles there, so it didn't take long and I was able to put the bike in the back of the auditorium. Mission accomplished.

Today is also year 15 of matrimonio. I always try to do flowers, b/c they're a fresh thing to have in a sometimes wintry time of year. After work I went by the favored florist to pick them up, and made use of the Wald basket on the fixie along with a bungee to take care of storage. I made it the 6 or so miles home with no probls. #2 accomplished as well.


Ratty pic of the fixie. The back yard is full of shit from the construction job. No they're not finished. Honey-brown Brooks is covered up front the previous moist-ish ride. This pic does include the RBW Banana bag, cork grips and basket


Not-very-good pic of the flower storage job. The florist, Schulz's, did an awesome job packing them in heavy-duty Xmas paper. On my end, the bungee up top did the trick. The bag below is the general trash bag I use to haul stuff in to/from work.

2 days left before Break. And after scandal after scandal, I need it!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Commute

Date: Dec 17 Mon
Mileage: 13 (LHT)
December mileage: 103
Year to date: 2605

Cold commute today. Didn't enjoy it that much, although at least I achieved something. Didn't dress warmly enough on the legs, and the double-wool glove thing didn't work either. Tomorrow is calling for 50F in the p.m., but today's forecasted 45F missed by 10 degrees. I'm going on the Bleriot tomorrow b/c the LHT had some wacky chain/rear mech thing. It stopped after I did nothing more than spin the cassette back a few rotations, but it's too cold to deal with a nastily skipping chain.

Oh, and amidst the griping about unethical evil students and cheating I've found that we made the evening news. I'm sure we'll be in a big ass uproar, but that our fearless leader will obfuscate and sweep on any rug she can find. No guts to face the problem. Only to avoid at all cost.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scattered Musings

Haven't been riding much, and fortunately not blogging either. I figure I should earn my entries with miles, and since I've been too "lump" to ride, then too "lump" to write. The last 2 weeks have been rain and 45F followed by rain and 40F followed by rain and 45F. After a while I just stopped riding, only to be bitten in the ass by sunny days while I was at meetings and such.

This is finals week, which of course leads to the break, so I'm going refortify the effort. I would be remiss to finish '07 with a whimper instead of a bang. It seems, though, that everything is stagnating at the moment. To wit:

  • Billy G's Mildcats are terrible. They're mired at 4-3, with limp losses to biggies UNC and IU. More troubling are 2 losses to near-nobodies Gardner-Webb and UAB. UAB, though, is something like 6-3 vs. UK in the last X years. It all sucks. I can barely watch the games.
  • Real Madrid is pretty mediocre too, although their record reflects much more than UK's. Given the first half of La Liga, they will enter '08 at the top of the table, but so many victories, like today's vs. Osasuna reflect lots of ebb and not much flow. I would think that, the way they've been playing of late, they'll lose ground to Barca and certainly in the Champions League.
  • In many ways, these 2 teams parallel each other. Both dominated play in the 1950s, but their modern reputations lie primarily on the past. Real is not as good a modern team as Man U. or AC Milan and UK is not as good a program as UNC. Frustrating.
  • Dallas lost at home to Philly today, and may have compromised their home-field advantage. They'll have to win out to keep ahead of Green Bay, and I don't like their chances at Lambeau. Frustrating.
  • The kitchen project is slightly forward, but it will still be weeks before it is ready for flooring and painting, and we've yet to line up those 2 projects b/c of a lack of knowledge when it's all going to be ready. And there is stuff all around the house. It's a disaster zone. And I'm tired of eating out; I want to cook a meal at home and sit down normally. Frustrating.
  • A huge cheating ring was busted at school. It involves website and facebook sites where students trade stolen tests and answers and such. And some teachers had their computers raided. Their "my documents" files were copied and available. As importantly, some of the "best" students were those involved. If my students, many of which are the "best" students statistically on SAT/AP/ACT, represent the modern young person, I would posit that modernity has created an extremely cynical greedy entity void of ethics. And can you blame them? A mixture of sexually unethical lying president and everything else unethical lying president has created a void, an unctious void. My teacher neighbor posited that it all began "in 1963 when prayer was taken out of school". I in turn suggested that the modern unfettered "market approach" meritocracy has created conditions where anything goes and those with less are losers. So either Republicans are to blame in their more recent behavior, or godless Dems are to blame for fomenting the '60s anti-establishment revolution. Whatever the case, I hate looking at 30 different young people and not being able to trust even one. Frustrating.
  • After having a great Sept/Oct losing 15lbs, I feel anti-momentum coming on. The ice cream, the snacks, the junk. I want, want, to eat well, feel good, and keep losing, but the "monkey mind" sure does interfere. I sit shaking my head but offering not solutions other than ride the damn bike and stay away from the damn junk.
And finally, it's the holidays, but it's all been so crazy that we have no tree and no decorations. I don't feel like receiving gifts nor shopping for them. Our house is too full of shit in the first place. A week ago or so I listen to a Rev. Kusula Bikshu podcast of "Voluntary Simplicity". I think more than weight loss, career ambition or home remodeling, what I would like is the Simplify, and I'm not an empty-nester. I'm 38 and want less stuff. Perhaps that should include bikes too. The fam, though, deserves to get shit if they want shit. I would like a bike ride and the ability to prepare a simple healthy meal for the family, with good talk and laughter. Some Day.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Light and Mist

Date: Dec 11 Tues
Mileage: 13 (Crosscheck)
December mileage: 90
Year to date: 2592

As much as I want to wax poetic about my ride this morning, I instead will do other things to develop myself instead of blabbering at the computer this p.m. That said, I woke up too early- 4.45a.m.- to visit the WC and couldn't go back to sleep. I had to pick the boys up from school, so I couldn't commute. Solution? I got on the Crosscheck at 5.20 and took a 1-hour-ish spin in Cherokee/Seneca. I unfortunately don't have words to describe the ethereal fog and mist that I rode through. You can imagine a scene out of LotR, with backlit woods and fog, making each and every tree pop out like sentinels. I could imagine a Black Rider or Aragon on horseback on the ridge preparing for battle. At my fav Dog Hill I couldn't see the trees across the vallecito. Visibility for cards at least was maybe 1/2 mile. It even rained on me towards the end, but I didn't mind. A great ride and great time to reflect, w/ no traffic, no iPod, no interference but the turning of the wheel(s).

I also visited the LBS, but that's for another day. Peace.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Seattle-esque

Date: Dec 8 Sat
Mileage: 4 (6-pack Project)
December mileage: 53
Year to date: 2555
ipod: Kusula

Date: Dec 9 Sun
Mileage: 24 (Bleriot)
December mileage: 77
Year to date: 2579
ipod: Kusula

My many dear readers have been pining for pics, so I took the camera with me today under conditions that I can imagine in Seattle or in jolly ol' England. I've never visited either, but 48F, mist and rain, tome at least, evoke those locals. After yesterday's coffee ride, I needed to stretch the limbs out today for a "real" ride, and it was the perfect time to try out the Bleriot's fenders. I'd never taken a good rain ride on the Bleriot- gotta keep it nice, right?- but today was a great opportunity. I give today's ride 4/5, with slights marks off only b/c I went 24 and not 54. It was great otherwise, and I hope the pics do a good job demonstrating such an evocative landscape amidst the grey.

Looking into Seneca Pk along Pee Wee Reese Blvd. That's the road on the right (duh!) and the walking path on the left. This pic does a pretty good job showing today's foggy conditions.

There's a nice little waterfall at the intersection of PeeWeeReese and Seneca Pk Rd. In another location it would be quite the bucolic draw. As it is, most folks probably never look at it. Today there were 20+ ducks floating around. I like the contrast of the white ones the most.

Winterberries. I bought a winterberry bush for our yard, and a male one too to fertilize. Instead, the birds eat up all the berries before we can enjoy them. I don't mind. That's ultimately what they're for, right?

I hope this pic achieves an appropriate response. That's a barge barely visible in the midst along the river.

Nature preserve along the river as well. They drained the lake for some reason.

Preserve path with my tire tracks as visitor.

Bleriot in rain mode. I attached the little Planet Bike flashie on the front, with a rear blinkie too. What I prize most is the bag protecting the Brooks.

Forest Rat along River Rd. down near soccer complex. There were 2 just eating lunch at 12.00p.m. I don't like deer. With no natural predators any more they're just a nuisance. Oh to bring back cougars and wolves.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Filter

Yes, it's 6.45a.m. and I'm up. Why? It's an unfortunate but obvious circumstance that I had 3x wine last night and fell asleep at 9 or so. Hence, the body wakes up at it's usual before-6a.m., giving me a rising time of an amazing 5.45 on a Saturday morning. Come mierda.

I came across an interesting post from Sconnyboy this morning, and it alludes to factors from my own life and behavior. The original post concerns some idiot mayor (ex?) in WI who said cyclists riding in the snow should be shot. Sconny does a nice job elucidating the actual events and subsequent responses. Obviously, this mayor unit needs a good swift kick in the ass. I was heartened that the Madison community- radio, TV, etc.- seemed to support that the guy's a jackass. Here in the 'Ville, I'm afraid that, if a prominent public personality (sorry for the alliteration. unintentional) came out and encouraged the shooting of cyclists, there would be an uproar of support. So, we have a 'Filter' problem.

The event further stems from a comment made by a teacher on a right-wing website- boots&sabers- praising Columbine shooters for offing no-good teachers. Yes, a present teacher supporting the killing of teachers. The teach was subsequently fired. What is all the more interesting is that this teach was a former union rep, and most people think he made the comment sarcastically, not at face value. The public's inability, or refusal, to read the sarcasm got him fired! I bring this up b/c I'm pretty sarcastic. I've been told by colleagues, folks I would count as friends, that sarcasm is immature and has no place. Do I disagree? Well, yes. We could all talk like uptight automatons, but I think a little color is nice. I think you should be respectful, compassionate, with your sarcasm, but it can help communicate with a bunch of jaded, ironic teenagers in good measure.

I get myself in trouble, though, with my lack of filter. One time I caught a girl cheating on a test. The previous week she had been misbehaving, talking or goofing off or something, and I told her I was going to "have my henchmen drag her to the guillotine and have her beheaded". Yes, now that I think on it, it was a misguided comment, one lack tact, compassion or filter. But it was obvious hyperbole, and one that endeavoured to send the desired message- "Shut Up!"- but in a wry way. I guess I...no, I was wrong. Well, once she got caught cheating she claimed I had "threatened her with bodily harm" and her redneck parents were LIVID!! It was explained to them by me and by administration that, in fact, I had no henchmen and there was no guillotine and it was a ridiculous comment that was better than receiving a disciplinary referral. I can still remember her dad's big, bushy redneck moustache and bulging eyes like it was today. As recompense for having "threatened her", she was allowed to retake the quiz instead of getting a zero and a disciplinary action as well. In this battle, I had "lost". It was a long time ago, but Filter is what it's all about, at least for us extroverted folk who often don't.

Looking at the course nature of public discourse these days, tact and respect would be the need, not unfiltered idiocy. I am to blame as well.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Commute

Date: Dec 7 Fri
Mileage: 19.5 (LHT)
December mileage: 49
Year to date: 2551
ipod: Weezer

Rode with 'BB' this morning with 36F temps. This afternoon was grey but pretty windless and warmer at 43F. I was surprised to see that normal temps this time of year are 35/48F, which seems pretty warm. Instead of coming straight home I did a detour down Logan, Washington, Spring to the Beargrass Trail. From there, instead of coming through the park I went up Grinstead and cut over to AltaVista. I did cut through to Millvale. At Seneca and Trevilian, I undertook the new .5 section of off-street path along Taylorsville. What a mudpit at the moment. From there I cut through Kingsley ("ish", I don't know exactly what that neighborhood is called) and behind Gardiner Ln. to home. Nothing extreme, but a pleasant way to round out Friday. We have drywall now, but we're fighting with the contractor b/c he covered up our leak problem. The rest of the job is alright, but the stress of the leak situation is taking its toll on everyone. Never cover up water problems, right?

Life...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold Commute

Date: Dec 6 Thurs
Mileage: 13.5 (LHT)
December mileage: 29.5
Year to date: 2531.5
ipod: Kusula "Why Meditate?", Gil Fronsdal "Engaging in the Path"

Damn, it was cold today. I have certainly ridden in much colder weather, but I didn't quite layer properly, so I was cold both going and coming home. This morning's weather gave me 21F with a stiff wind. The strange part, though, was the misinformation supplied to me by the local faithful NPR station. At 5.30a.m. they reported 28F. At 6.05 25F. By the time I arrived at work weather.com listed 21F. I don't know about you other bikies out there, but there is a substantial difference between 28F and 21F/windy- different gloves, feet, headwear.

For today's 21F I wore the following:

head-thin polypro balaclava, thin Craft beanie
feet- thin sock, Sealskinz neoprene sock, thick wool, Lake sandals. You can put quite a bit of sock in the sandals, so they're preferred at these temps
hands- PearlIzumi lobster glove- unwearable above 30F
torso- thick Smartwool top, thin Smartwool top, Performance goretex jacket
legs- thin Smartwool tight, thickish REI loosefitting tight

The head was relatively comfy. The hands and legs too. I could've used a warmer torso ,but it wasn't too bad. The legs, though, presented big probs. Well, the 'legs' weren't the prob. As a by-product of incorporating the RBW kit instead of the club/pro lycra one, I've stopped using cycling-specific shorts. The Brooks B-17 is almost always preferable to the crotch discomfort I had with padded cycling shorts. Given this sartorial change, I failed to take into account a most important benefit cycling short have afforded me: the last layer of defense against Mr. Cold. With only 2 layers today, the unmentiontable, i.e. 'unit', was way too cold this morning. I would say I've never experienced such a temperature discomfort. If I remember, I wore a well-placed sock during last year's teens adventure. It had me thinking about some of those wind-front undershorts you see in the Performance catalog.

I survived and suffered no most indelicate frostbite. This afternoon it warmed up to 35F, but again I had only boxers (from work) and the REI pants. I should've worn the tights instead. Today's ensemble didn't quite work. I called 'BB' this morning and she had just woken up. I'll be curious to see how her commuting goes. Once you get below 30F you have to have both hardware (or softwear, as it were) and gumption to get rolling out the door. And tomorrow supuestamente 'Sheryl' is riding her new KHS urban bike to school for the first time. Gotta take a good look at that.
I'm not quite sure this is the model, but I think it may be. Jack of some trades, master of none. An aggro urban ride just isn't my taste. It doesn't have the flexibility of a road bike, nor the comfort of a hybrid. She shouldn't bought a Crosscheck, but it's not my money. If she's happy, that's all that matters. 'Course, we are under a "winter advisory" for tonight, with freezing rain and ick moving in through the night. We'll see if she's willing to make the maiden voyage in 35F soup.

Oh, one more thing. Did anybody else check out that nice crescent moon with a Venus above in the east this morning. Yet another reason to ride, aside from the freezing member.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Commute

Date: Dec 5 Wed
Mileage: 16 (LHT)
December mileage: 16
Year to date: 2518

First time I've ridden since last Wednesday, for some odd reason. Thursday we had family business right after work. I could've made it happen, but it would've been rushed and stressful. Friday I went out with friends after work. I should've ridden. Saturday and Sunday I am some stomach distress. Never fun on the bike. Monday...yadda yadda.

I've not been too inspired to write. I don't think anybody reads the blog that much, save a nice person in Philly, a good mug in Bowling Green and some other interesting bikers out and about, all who do more mileage than I.
  • been trying to get back into some Buddhism a bit. a couple mornings of sitting. some podcasts and reading.
  • house is stressful but better. insulation and siding in place. drywall coming soon. we still have a leak that going to have to be dealt with. We paid them $1800 to fix it, so they'll fix it hood or crook.
  • LHT is still great.
  • weight has been steady for a month. I lost about 15lbs in Sept and Oct when all the health issues hit, but November was a push. I have to get back to keeping my food journal and keeping away from the pinche galletas y helados.
  • I hate to shop for furniture, and even more, flooring.
  • Xmas time is coming, and the good wife and are aren't exchanging this year. We're buying flooring and furniture instead.
  • work is busy. I often wonder if other jobs- noneducational in nature- experience the ebbs and flows that teaching does.
  • I'm considering giving in to the man and starting the administrative track. More than anything I'm motivated by a $25,000 pay raise, and as importantly, I can now see that another 17 yrs in the same classroom situation will get pretty boring. I'm not a thrill-seeker, but I've probably done mostly what I can accomplish in the classroom, so a new challenge was come. I'm not so sure I can do the admin thing though. Many principals (assts too) seem so, I don't know, so bureaucratic and disinterested in education. Paper-pushers ad infinitum.
  • I didn't make my November 500mile goal, but I'm pretty far along towards breaking my 2006 mileage. December better be time to get enough miles in to do that.
Today was quite strange. The forecast was rain/snow and low 30s all day. Instead, I rode to school with neoprene sox and gloves ready for wet and it was dry and 43F. This afternoon, as regions 200miles from the 'Ville received snow we stayed dry but the temps dropped to 32F with a 20-25mph wind coming in from the north. I just put my head down, got in the drops and rode hard to stay warm. mission accomplished, though.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

!Que Olor!

Date: Nov 28 Wed
Mileage: 29(LHT)
November mileage: 453
Year to date: 2502

I'm still shocked at the extent of the foul odors that I encountered on today's commute. I had a similar title some months/years ago, but that mostly dealt with Monday morning trash service. Today's robust olfactory attack almost took down 'BB' and me on our afternoon loop near Rubbertown. She hadn't seen the newish part of the bike path off of Algonquin Pkwy, so we ventured that way before turning towards home via the Riverwalk again. Once on Algonquin again after viewing the trail spur, a great insidious cloud of death descended upon us. I hyperbolize, but not really. We both were not far from being sick or having headaches. It was NASTY. The Buddha says "Life is suffering", and boy is was for those 5 min. Even more strangely, I noticed foul smells the rest of the ride: brass foundry, cars and trucks, probable weed coming out of hoopties, city buses, MSD workers (trucks), you name it.

It was still a nice ride, although I think I wore 'BB' out. She kept going slower and slower, but hey, she was game. That's about 50m for her in 2 days, certainly more of a distance workout than her spin classes. Tomorrow's commute could be tough; we have family pics at 4.00, so I don't know about timing. If I can get a mega-Friday in I can top 500m for the month. I like that thought.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Commute

Date: Nov 27 Tues
Mileage: 29(LHT)
November mileage: 424
Year to date: 2473

Afternoon distance with 'BB'. We went out Oak/Virginia to the Riverwalk and then made our way back Beargrass Trail and through Cherokee. I didn't have good legs this morning, and this afternoon I eventually woke up after about 10m. 'BB' is a fit 56, but she's not as experienced on the bike, so I feel relatively strong riding with her. I guess I should ride with 'lance' sometime. I have no clue what his fitness is these days. Making progress on the overall yearly mileage though. I need 175 to supersede last year's totals. I feel confident I can do that by the end of December, but you never know. A ear calamity or another heart afib and all dreams are dashed.

Take advantage of what you have and appreciate each moment. Hard to do in times of stress, but salient nonetheless. Peace.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bowling Green?



These are two maps which are supposed to represent the 19th best place in the U.S. to raise your children, Ft. Thomas, Ky. I'm really confused, though, at the fact that the little push pin seems to indicate Bowling Green in SW KY, the college town of Western Kentucky (WKU) and home of my friend LuvDug. Ft.Thomas, por otro lado, is a bedroom community of Satanic Cincy, home of more KKK and race riots than any place I can think of.

#18 is Jamestown, KY. I know my geography pretty well, and I've NEVER heard of Jamestown. The googlemap indicates that it's in the middle of absolutely nowhere. That's a good place, right? Away from anything and everything?

And finally, a significant number of the "best places" include towns in Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee. I would rather live in rural Mexico than any of those states. Ohio, from personal experience, is terrible. It smells and the people there are rude. TN is KY's rival, so that's a given. And Nebraska, give me a break!


Vexing, don't you think?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Trails

Date: Nov 25 Sun
Mileage: 20 (Crosscheck)
November mileage: 396
Year to date: 2444

A very satisfying ride this afternoon on the 'cross bike under threat of rainy skies. I needed to do a non-epic ride, but a ride nonetheless. It seems that I often get little mileage on the weekends b/c of other commitments. Today I took the Crosscheck out for a meander and some actually 'cross riding, although I didn't ride that hard. The first trail I took on was one of the Cherokee Trails leading towards the Presby Seminary towards Maple. I like that one. It leads uphill in a circuitous path, but isn't too terribly difficult. After that I took on the paved Beargrass Creek Trail. I seem to have spent alot of time on that lately. After passing by the riverfront and city boat dock, I turned my attention towards the RiverRoadCC, which is the site of the previously blogged Nat'l 'Cross Cup. They're apparently gearing up for the State Chmps next weekend, so there seem to be a myriad of path/trail/obstacle options. I approximated my mileage, but I took full advantage of the many paths and sandtraps found there. I only undertook 1 run-up. As I said, I wasn't "training", so I chose to avoid any ankle-turn potential. I spent a good while there and came home via Mockingbird, Pennsylvania and Stilz. I did one more trail, the one leading from Seneca across the bridge and towards the golf course. I thought I heard ghostie bike sounds behind me on that path but attributed it to my own bike. Only when I was exiting did I see taht another mtbike dude has been following me. Hope I didn't slow him down too much, b/c I was on the 'cross bike and wasn't exactly attacking the trail.

Got home. nothing broken on me or bike and November mileage creeping up. Feeling some fitness in the legs, to be honest.

peace

Maysville

Date: Nov 24 Sat
Mileage: 46(Bleriot)
November mileage: 376
Year to date: 2424



No pics on this longish country ride, but I've added a map to who my adventure. This is the kind of country ride that we all should have the opportunity to do occasionally. Beautiful, sparse countryside, empty roads, challenging hills and miles of personal contemplation. and a great bike to do it on. I would give Saturday's Turkey Ride 4**** if I were to do so. My original plan was to loop down and through some hilly country down towards Blue Lick State Park and then loop homewards through Alhambra, as a reverse of a trip I'd done in the summer. The summer trip had been a failure in many ways- loose wheel spoke, conditioning and heat being the triple threat- so I wanted this ride to take in part of that route as a kind of comeuppance. What I didn't figure in was the country's way of changing best-laid plans, in this case via the lack of road signs. I should've know this nugget, but seemed to ignore it. In times past when I've undertaken a Mason Co. "adventure" I've had a map backup with me. This time I only had a routeslip, so when the turn lacked a sign I had to rely on the direction of the sunlight to ensure that I was in the right spot. Hence, I did a short extra loop around mile 7 that changed my intentions for the day. Once I passed that I chose to stay on my original path, but that I would shorten it towards the most southern areas that I don't know. Adding to my self-doubt was my fingers. I have a pair of Manzella gloves that do me pretty well in the 30s. The prob this time was that the gloves were still damp from Thursday's ride. To start a windy, 30F ride with dampish gloves is just no good, so that curtailed my adventuring spirit again. I marshaled on, past my in-laws' farm in Helena towards Elizaville. From that point I used a mental picture of the area to plan a return home. Just west of Elizaville I found the quaint town of Ewing, where I found a store to warm up in and to stock up. I know exercise is important and fruits and veggies the key, but I also love SwissCake rolls on rides. They're pure sugar, so I get that tiredness bump I need. I included a gatorade and... hunter-orange gloves. It's deer season, so I thought it only reasonable to join the crowd.

The wardrobe needs further mention as well. I came prepared with the usual cycling clothes I tend to wear these days, but 1 thing I forgot was my jacket. In the 30F/windy conditions I would have to have a windbreaker, so off I went to Wal-Mart- that new corporate cathedral of smalltown America- and found myself the closest thing I could. It's a lightweight raincoat with nary a vent to its name. After the trip I valued more than ever the quality that is wool. Underneath the WallyWorld raincoat I wore my baselayer wool with arm warmers and on top of that my thick wool. Once I got home I was completely soaked, but b/c of wool's properties I was still warm and cozy. Amazing stuff! And I have a new raincoat. and not 1 pair of new gloves, but 2. At WallyWorld I also found a pair of all-wool gloves with palm dots. They're nice and thick and should nicely augment my old, holey army surplus woolies.

After my lunch stop I made my way back to the house. Of note was brief climb around mile 28.5. Steep, steep stuff. I wasn't close to making it to the top. It's the beauty of wearing flat shoes instead of cycling shoes for such an endeavour. I added a little extra loop which passed by my brother-in-law's house (trailer) and made my way back up the 3 climbs which almost always face me in leaving the Maysville house. I noticed, thought, that the climbs weren't so bad. Fitness? Bleriot?

A great, albeit cold and windy, day and a well-earned 46m effort.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Jozy III

Yet another Altidore article from as.com. according to the article, Jozy's agent is open and excited about the potential prospect and los blancos sent 2 scouts to do further footwork on this. i saw a little bit of Football Fone-in on Fox Soccer the other day and they were commenting on the questionable decision of going to a club like Real. they instead suggested that he start small, say in Portugal or the Netherlands, and then go big when his skills catch. they also mentioned a possible loan out to a smaller club once the original fichaje is completed. crazy stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pavo! er.... Guajalote!














Date: Nov 22 Thurs
Mileage: 22 (Crosscheck)
November mileage: 330
Year to date: 2378

Yes, we know it as the "turkey". In Spanish it's commonly called el pavo, but there are also other terms. In Mexico, the nahuatl guajolote is commonly used, and that seems sensible to me. If the guajolote is a native North American/Central American species, then why not call it one of the most original terms? In doing some extensive research, I also found that it's known as the chompipe (chohm-pee-peh), a funny name that's sort of fun to say as well. And even moreso, field&stream presented me this nice pic of turkey asses, so I couldn't but help share it with you.

Oh, and I took a Turkey Day ride too on the Crosscheck. I didn't even change wheels, just doing some macho mileage on the relatively slight knobbies on the Ritchey Crossmax tires. It was quite a weather event of a ride. The temp stayed a constant 41F or so with a stiff breeze, but I started in the semi-sunny, semi-cloudy skies. Those quickly turned to very grey, slate skies which then turned to rainy skies. There's no better feeling than a bike ride at 40F with rain. It's fortunate that I had the gore-tex jacket on for the first time in a while. And in my last 3m or so, the sunny began peeking out from behind the clouds giving the wet, leaf-ridden streets a nice healthy sheen.

Oh, and I saw a Kingfisher along Beargrass Trail, similar to last year's early winter siting. and then the fooding commenced.

Peace

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Turkey

Date: Nov 21 Wed
Mileage: 30 (Blueridge)
November mileage: 308
Year to date: 2356

It was important to get out today and clear some calorie space for the Turkey Fest tomorrow. I don't know how festive it's going to be; little L came down with a stomach thing much like he had 2-3 weeks ago. If it doesn't hit us all we'll be fortunate and thankful for not catching it. Or it could get worse.

We were off from work today, so I took a road ride on the Blueridge, quite a departure from so many miles on the Bleriot or moreso the LHT. The Blueridge, purchased I believe in '99, was to be a do-it-all bike for me, one I could ride centuries, tour and commute on. Litespeed hadn't too much experience with non-racing bike geometry, because even now I feel like I'm flying, with my hands very far in front of me all super-stretched out. And this is on their "touring" model, mind you. I know I could swap stems out and go for the more upright RBW position, but that's what the Bleriot is for. If I had to take 10 rides, I would pick the Bleriot for 9 of them, with the 1 being a ride such as today. I took a brisk training ride, not something I do too often, going fast for the sake of going fast. In Seneca/Cherokee I managed to hit 7 hills pretty hard and occasionally pushed it on the flats as well. In the first hour I averaged 16.5mph and finished at 15.5 after I back off some. For lots of cyclists these numbers aren't impressive, but for my big, slow commuting ass, they're great. My legs feel it right now. I'll be taking a long ride in the country Saturday, one with lots of Maysville hills. The logical choice would be the much lighter Blueridge, but no way. The Bleriot will definitely be the one I'm riding.

And I received a small shipment from Hiawatha today. I had to address the burned-out bulb on the LHT, so I received 2 bulbs and a new Topeak frame pump for the Bleriot/LHT to boot. I won't ride the LHT this weekend probably, but I'll be ready for next week's commutes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shorts!

Date: Nov 20 Tues
Mileage: 36 (Bleriot)
November mileage: 278
Year to date: 2326

While some of my commuting brethren in the Great White North are affixing Nokians to their commuter bikes, I rode to and from school in shorts today. strange. the morning brought 63F, which was great weather for short and a windbreaker. in the p.m. i rode in short sleeves and shorts, with temps around 68F or so. i rode the Bleriot to enjoy its nice position in a longish afternoon. today i was experimenting on the Bleriot with saddle position. i had previously had the RBW "saddle-back tilt", but that seemed to make me fall into my bars a bit. last night i adjusted the Brooks to a flatter position and today i tested such a postion. it did help upper-body position quite a bit. i felt much more comfy up top, but i also seemed to squirm a bit more. i noticed that in certain positions i could more greatly feel my sit bones, and I would say i have a little extra nether-region tenderness that i usually have on one of the Brooks saddles. i would call it a slight draw, but the nether regions are more important in the end.

i took the long Riverwalk/River Rd./Indian Trail afternoon loop. i had a nice tailwind for parts of River Rd. and had a good game holding off a roadie for a while. he eventually caught me- and in true roadie form didn't acknowledge my existence- but I thank him for the motivation to a bit of big-gear speedwork.

great weather, but the rains come tonight, so we'll be back in wool tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jozy II

Hubo un tercer articulo tratando del Jozy y un posible fichaje en el futuro. Ahora dice el joven de 18 anyos que queria esperar hasta cumplir unos 21 anyos, pero ha de aprovecharse de estas oportunidades cuando pueda. y yo comparare un jersey de Real con el 'Altidore' el primer de que estaria disponible.

'Bent Commute

Date: Nov 19 Mon
Mileage: 14 (Rans Rocket)
November mileage: 247
Year to date: 2291

Commute on the Rans today. I felt good in the a.m., riding part of the way with 'BB'. This afternoon I was plum tired from a Monday kind of day, so 'BB' and I came mostly straight back. The 'bent is always an interesting experience after lots of miles on a 'wedgie'. Don't know why i didn't get more miles in this weekend. busy, really. flooring, furniture, a festive gathering at mom's. Holiday week, so we'll see if we can stave off the turkey/pie/bread gluttony that tends to ensue.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

U.S./South Africa 1-0

Didn't watch it b/c i was running errands and being a good husband (and she as ever a good wife), but I found a blogcommentary. Haven't gotten the full scoop, but aside the Cowboys and the schizophrenic UK athletic department, these futbol things are holding my interest.

Jozy

Sitting here killing time on a Saturday morning- ripping some tunes too- when I come across an article off the as.com website. Since I know Spanish, and since the Spanish love their soccer, I take advantage of that site and marca.com as well. this morning i found quite the bombshell, not one but 2 articles discussing Real Madrid's possible fichaje, er singing, of Jozy Altidore. Wow! That's quite big. The first, which was one taking larger font size on the site, discusses Altidore's potential as Real's 3rd excomunitario spot. Euro clubs can only have 3 foreigners, which is why the Ronaldihnos of the world become "Spanish" citizens. Ridiculous. Futhermore, one of the columnists discusses Jozy's potential as a new Kanoute, the Sevilla striker. This is heady, amazing stuff, a premier Euro club wanting to fichar our youngest futbol star and a comparison to one of the best strikers in Europe, or at least one of the most productive.

and whither Freddy Adu? it sucks topping out at 5'6" and 150lbs if he's lucky.

Commute

Date: Nov 16 Fri
Mileage: 28 (Bleriot)
November mileage: 233
Year to date: 2277
ipod: 'Burnside on Burnside', Howlin Wolf, Bobby Bare Jr.

With the LHT needed a quick washing, lube and a new bulb for the Lumotec, and with 1 commute on the fixie and an unhappy ankle (they seems to not agree), I dragged out the Bleriot for a rare commute. One advantage was that I had no papers, and my pants were already at work, so no problems for the Carradice. I added the Niterider Trailrat and was surprised how much brighter it was than the Lumotec or the old Vistalight I've been using on the fixie. The morning brought chilly temps- the radio said 33F and weather.com 28F, so I can't quite come to terms with who is right, but I was adequately dressed:

thick wool top/Capeline long-sleeve shirt/LLBean Anorak
thick polypro tights/MUSA long pants
thick wool sox/plastic baggies/Target shoes
Descente beanie
warm gloves, the ones I wear in the 30s

I list these kinds of things as much for myself as for you dear readers. It helps to remember for future rides. in the p.m. i rode west towards Shawnee and the Riverwalk. Instead of a boring straight Hill St. trip, I jogged through a couple side streets and first ended up going by my 6th-grade school, Lyman T. Johnson Middle School. We had busing in the Louisville back in the day, so my last name meant I was bused in 6th grade. Busing in Louisville meant lots of white flight, especially to private schools and to Oldham and Bullitt Co. Johnson is in the middle of a crappy neighborhood, but I had a great year there. The classes were small, maybe 15, and you got lots of attention. It was great save the 1hr+ bus ride each way.

I continued the meandering and found Algonquin, Shawnee and the Riverwalk. I think we still have 1 or 2 weeks of color before the leaves are completely gone, and with clear skies and clear view of the river it was nothing but nice. The Bleriot was doing it for me too. I might need to adjust the saddle angle a bit, b/c it seems like I slide forward or down a bit too much but it sure is a comfy machine, and one I think I'm going to ride in a bit.

Right now at the computer I would say the temp is no better than 55F. The contractors, in true form, have stalled out. All the appropriate walls are removed, and a big sheet of plastic partially covers the new kitchen space. In the end, though, it's cold as hell in the back of the house. I'm hoping they get motivated and on the ball. We need our kitchen back and certainly need it for Xmas.

I've done good miles this week and hope to get some more in around the holiday. I'll be in Maysville for part of a couple days, so maybe a big country ride is in the air. I tend to hype those trips too much and leave disappointed as not doing mega miles, so I'll take things as they come this year. But that's next week.

Peace

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Commute en el cumpleanyos

Date: Nov 15 Thurs
Mileage: 15 (9.2.5.)
November mileage: 205
Year to date: 2249

After 3 days of mega-adventure commuting, today- the birthday i might add- proved to be more mundane and casual. The LHT needed a rest after 3 big days...and it's missing a Lumotec bulb now, one I need to replace this weekend. So I got the basket bike out- the fixie- and commuted on it instead. really, the a.m. provided nothing new save a substantial temp drop. wed. evening i stopped riding at the bus stop at around 60F and drizzle. this a.m. is was maybe 45F with a stiff wind. it was also one of those strange days when the p.m. temp was cooler- 42F and even windier. i tend to not like those, but i had a good ride in the p.m. too. and today is my bday, so i'm pleased to have a big-mileage week. tomorrow's forecast is for moderate temps, so i'm thinking Bleriot and a long afternoon. why shouldn't i finish the week with a bang?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Contretemps

Date: Nov 14 Wed
Mileage: 33 (LHT)- 6m a.m/27m p.m.
November mileage: 190
Year to date: 2234

I've been trying to think of a witty title for today's commute, but in the end this one is apt. Today's ride was a continuation of yesterday's epic. Yesterday I lost my glasses (fell out of pocket not well zipped), so today i retraced my path in hopes of coming across said $300, 5-month old glasses. Piss! While ayer's route was one into the unknown, today's felt a bit more slog-like, but I thoroughly enjoyed up until the bitter end. And I took pics. I'll narrate the new Riverwalk/Levee Trail connector with images, and maybe throw in a few asides concerning my good fortune and there lack of it.

New markings on Algonquin under 264/Shawnee Expswy. This led me to initial look for other new work on the connector.

New off-street path on Bell's Lane. So pristine and devoid of glass and trash!

This little short portion proved interesting both yesterday and today. Ayer, I almost didn't find this. It sits somewhat behind an old switching station or something. B/c it's so new all the signage isn't complete. Once on it, though, it's a delightful little foray along the train tracks, but with woods full to the left. Oh, and hoy this is where i noticed my tire going soft! It was the first flat I've had in 2 years (commuting), resulting from a tiny piece of glass. I'm going to comment to Conti that it's bullshit to get a flat on their big, band super flat-protection tires with nothing more than a sliver. I change it with a fresh tube, and will have to patch the other as the new spare.

This is actually a pic of Rohm&Haas, but I'm standing in the entrance road of DuPont. My papaw (grandfather to you non-rural Kentuckians) worked here for years and years, my eldest uncle does not. It lies in an area of the 'Ville called "Rubbertown". What at one time was a boon of solid, well-paying blue-collar jobs now is a blight of modern enviroterrorism. There have been SO many articles of the health problems in Louisville's West End. That said, it paid my mom's bills and mine too when I stayed at their house from 1st-6th grade. The new path is a widened shoulder along Campground Rd. It's sort of a shitty stretch, but better than nothing. My uncle can perhaps commute from Southwestern Louisville to his job in "Rubbertown" b/c of the new connector, so I'm supportive rocks and all.
Once past 'Rubbertown', this is the first glimpse of a non-industrial river. I found this by following Lee's Lane past the bike path and to the river. It's obvious something else was there at some point, with it's previous roadbed. Gotta like the Fall color.

The Lee's Lane connector trail. I really like this pic, with the LG&E plant to the right, with its steam trailing in the wind, and the foliage to the left providing balance. I don't know if it's a "good pic", but I like it. And, yes, the winds from the west were quite pesky today. This is near where, on the return trip today, I learned that the bulb had burned out in the BM Lumotec. Oh mierda, miles and miles from home in impending darkness with no headlight. Not good.
"Tenedor". Or actually, bifurcacion. Yesterday I didn't know which to take, but I decided that the right seemed to go downhill towards the river, and I wanted to continue further along the path. (and non-Spanish people may miss the joke. Tenedor is a dinner fork, not a fork in the road. play on words. ja ja. geeky Spanish humor.)

This fuzzy pic doesn't do justice to my favorite new stretch of cyclingness. This section is found just off the levee trail. It's helped by the foliage. It's just a peaceful, pretty stretch of path.

The Bridge. Others locally have also commented on the quality of this puente. It traverses a bizarre large-looking drainage, with innumerable tree trunks. It's sort of in the middle of nowhere, but it's great.

Well, this is the 'Ville too. More southern industrial nightmare. This is the same LG&E plant on the southern side after the 'pretty stretch'. I sort of like this pic too, in all it's ick. The combo of the leaden skies, wires and smoke remind me of those Dickensian pics of England.
That's not a hill, per se. That's a mound of coal for the plant. At the base a most bizarre feature. Apparently it's the cemetary where the University organ/body donors are laid. Ayer, when I first saw the "hills" I thought it was across the river in Indiana. Little did I know.


The river view from Riverview Park. The hills are Indiana. I've heard there are some nice climbing hills, but I've never been over there to ride save a couple club rides a while ago.

More calamities. Ayer, this is where the wallet and ipod case fell out. I heard them and learned that I wasn't good and closed up. I held out much hope that I would find the glasses in the grass today, but to no avail. Big Bummer. I guess I'll get the adult bday+Xmas gift of more new glasses. Let's be clear that this episode- the glasses episode- is a huge learning experience. Back in June I had a perfectly nice pair of glasses. I lost my temper and broke them, so I paid good $$ for new ones. Now, with further responsibility issues- although more accidental- I've screwed another pair up. So that's $600 in 6 months, both situations being completely avoidable. Calm and controlling emotions. Responsible and taking care of appropriate task. Ugghh. Oh, and my front brake decided to magically rub here. the left arm wasn't releasing well. I think it was probably gunk built up on the rim, but this was my furthest point today.

So the tally for 2 days is 86 miles, 1 $300 pairglasses lost, 1 flat, 1 wonky brake, 1 dead bulb (with no replacements), 1 pack Swisscake survival rolls, 1 bus ride home. And a whole lot of fun.

I think I'm getting my legs though. I find that I can still cruise a pretty good speed even when I'm tiring. No, not super speed, but functional speed.

And I finished the evening off with a bus ride home. Down in the West End at dark, tired, wet, and with no headlight, I gave in and availed myself of another of the 'Ville's offerings, buses with bike racks. So I paid my dollar and road across the county back to my neighborhood and to Wednesday night church, where I had spaghetti, salad and more than 1 piece of bread. Thusly quite the adventure. Damn those glasses though.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Southern Strategy

Date: Nov 13 Tues
Mileage: 53 (LHT)- 8m a.m/45m p.m.
November mileage: 157
Year to date: 2201

It's too late and too much going on to fill in on the big adventure today. I didn't have a camera, but it would be impossible to duplicate the mist, fog and rain that enveloped everything today. Needless to say I set a personal record for commuting miles in a single day, 53!, with the bulk coming from a 45m epic this afternoon. It had it all, intrigue, lost things, SwissCakeRolls, new paths, new terrain, new experiences in the dark night on the LHT commuter special. Great stuff except for lost things. I'm reriding part of my route tomorrow to see if I can find the lost thing. Otherwise, that $300 will hurt. Hope the good wife doesn't see this until after I look tomorrow.

I am going to take some pics tomorrow and do a thorough report. Big Day, and thanks to those other bloggers out there for the inspiration to push the limits and seek new experiences.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A+ redux

Date: Nov 12 Mon
Mileage: 29 (LHT)
November mileage: 101
Year to date: 2149

Hmmmm, post below is ride report, but map is screwy. gonna try fixing it here.


View Larger Map

A+

Date: Nov 12 Mon
Mileage: 29 (LHT)
November mileage: 101
Year to date: 2149

What a great commute today, especially this afternoon, No, the whole day. We having a nice window of very clement temps in November, giving me a 57F commute this a.m. and near 70F this p.m. There wasn't a dose of those brilliant fall blue skies, but that's alright b/c the warm, comfy temps made up for it. This a.m. wasn't anything special, but i added a mile or so. the p.m. proved to be the A++ experience. It's supposed to rain most of the rest of the week, probably the back edge of this warm front we had today, so I knew it was time for a little mileage. por otro lado, we had to do some house stuff this evening. my route took me over to 15th street and north towards the river. I think it's one of the best areas of the 'Ville to view the old, hulking remnants of our industrial past: warehouses, grain elevators, old factories with Art Deco office buildings all broken and shattered. Great stuff. Once at the river I turned east along River Road bringing myself to Mockingbird Valley rd. Once there, the route became more interesting. Below is a map of the route I took. To the north of the interstate (I71) you can see a sharp verticle line running in the same direction as the road. This is now an abandon road/path/??. It's always been too wet and muddy to undertake, but today's weather and situation provided me the opportunity to explore this cut-through, brining me first to the back of one of the local parks, and then further to Indian Trails rd.


View Larger Map

I pushed a little further, entering a nature preserve which has a nice lake. Today the lake was empty, strange, and along the path there I got within 20feet of a deer frolicking about. The service road path seemed to dissipate, so I looped the lake on the path and reentered the Indian Hills area, heading towards home through Seneca. Once dude in a too-snug Skittles jersey made a point to rocket ahead of me at the light at Shelbyville/Willis. Ooo, I was impressed!

Great day, and I hope my other fellow commuters had one as well. Sure as hell beats driving the damn car. Tomorrow is calling for rain, but I think wool, a water-resistant jacket and plastic shopping bags can

Friday, November 09, 2007

I do NOT heart Huckabee

I just heard a brief snippet of an NPR interview with Janet Huckabee, wife of Republican candidate. She's one of those psychotic archtypes that Osama Bin Laden loves to recruit when he needs dirty work done in the Middle East. To wit, she believes in miracles, and believes that her husband is going to receive the blessed divination of the Good Decider in the sky, that he's going to experience the "miracle" of being the Republican nomination. I get so tired of these deluded religious types "believing" that God is going to side with them. It's not a question of whether she or Christians should exist or should prosper, but rather their delusion that the Bearded White Dude above somehow cares about Mike Huckabee. He cares enough to enact a miracle to have him be president, but chooses to let people starve, die of cancer, be molested as children, yadda yadda, yadda. Can't they just be satisfied the 'God' created the miracles of their personhood and leave the public shere alone. Ggrrrrrrrr!

TARC

Date: Nov 9 Fri
Mileage: 11 (9.2.5.)
November mileage: 72
Year to date: 2120

While it wasn't a mega-mileage day, I had a great commute none-the-less. This afternoon, Z had a program after school, but L did not. Therefore, it would either take 2 different trips from the good wife, or I would have to come to the rescue, which I did. As I have 1 other time, I rode down to school to meet L at 2.45ish, which is his "escape" time. We then waited for the 21 Chesnut/Bashford bus, which comes by shortly after school. Then, L and I rode the 21 home to be let off quite close to our house. The good wife prefers that not too many details be used about boy issues, but this is enough to get the pic. Picked up quite close to the departure and only 10min of waiting, and let off just a hope/skip/jump. No, I didn't get big miles in, but I wouldn't trade those for a great, peaceful ride home with L, dad and son time. And fortuitously, I first lost my helmet mirror only to have it found on the bus floor by an elderly woman. I have a cold, or at least that nagging sore back-of-throat, so this week has been very low-key. I'd rather sleep than ride, but it was 48F this morning and 60F and sunny this afternoon, so a good day. Oh, and I commuted in on the fixie, using the Wald basket to haul crap. It's a great setup. Once I put the bike on the bus carrier I just lifted (well, actually before) the basket and took it with me on the bus.
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