Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Short Commute

Date: May 29 Tues
Mileage: 6 (LHT)
May mileage: 74
Year to date: 822

Not much of a commute, but it was one. It was closing day, meaning getting at least part of the year-end crap arranged, and it was the last opportunity to get a commute in. I'm going to count total ## of commutes for this school year in a day or two and see my results, at least those before tennis started.

The afternoon leg didn't happen. Teacher-friend threw a deck party and he lives quite close to school, so i got a lift home. once the foggy head lifts this a.m. I'm heading out. I have just a few days before leaving for Spain so the summer training has to start sometime.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

RBW Ride

Date: May 20 Sun
Mileage: 22 (Bleriot)
May mileage: 66
Year to date: 816

After a very satisfying morning of coffee and backyard, I jumped on the Bleriot for a toodle. Yet again, I didn't even bother putting on anything "cycling" save a helmet and away I went. One thing I became accustomed to last week in Maysville was the feel of flesh on canvas. that's the say I think I like going glove-less on the Bleriot. The cloth tape has a soft, comfy, solid feel that gloves interrupts. Plus, I even out my arm and hand tan. Things are important, right?

I managed to get a cold a couple days ago, or perhaps it's allergies, but the only thing I had trouble with today was hill climbing. The one significant climb of the day was coming up Indian Trail, and I felt like I had emphysema, not to make light of those who in fact have emphysema. My chest is still bordering on seizure. Otherwise, a great day on the Bleriot (as usual?), and lots of cyclists out. How many would do more of what I did today if they didn't have to go full-on lycra? In looking around, you have the lycra crowd, the fixie hipsters, and the masses on various inexpensive hybrids. And me.

The Moment

I can't find anything better than your own backyard garden, hot coffee, 75F w/ blue skies and no humidity, a alternative local paper, breakfast with the good wife. The Buddha teaches that there is no past, no future, only the processes in the moment. And I choose to appreciate the bounty that is the moment.

I hope your find yours as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Sky Blue Sky"

These are various people's opinions. My opinion is that it's already one of my favorite Wilco albums. Breezy but edgy. Fun, melodic and musical. Great, and I don't give a rat's ass what Pitchfork thinks. I'm beyond needing to be cool. I like what I like and I like this Wilco album very much, Thanks.

Rolling Stone
Chicago Tribune

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Such a long week

no, no miles this week. after some nice country miles this past weekend this week has been one of the more busy of late. the good wife and Z left Monday for a 3-day school trip to Cincy. They visited the art museum, underground railroad museum, took an evening cruise, and biggest of all did "Science Day" at Kings Island. that's a lot packed into slightly fewer than three days. L and i stayed home, single men. it's changed my morning commutes quite a bit b/c I have had to drive L, and this morning the whole crew, to school, race to my own, and hopefully find a parking spot before our own and UL's students steal all the spots. The afternoons have been uncontrollably filled with the regional tennis tournament. it's the 'post-season', so it's all vim and vigor and inspiration. we lost all our semifinal matches today to the dreaded evil empire, St.X. now that we didn't meet the big challenge i wish it all hadn't happened and that i'd ridden all spring. Buddhism says to be in the moment, b/c there is no past or future, and i can accept that. But mierda, i'll have to refocus and move forward on not regretting.

i'll be picking L and the good wife up tomorrow from their 2-day trip to Mammoth Cave. More field trips!! and eventually the stupid-ass tennis (and school year) will be finished and i'll start doing more miles. the promise land of summer is nigh around the bend.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Date: May 12 Sat
Mileage: 13 (Bleriot)
May mileage: 29
Year to date: 779

Date: May 13 Sun
Mileage: 15 (Bleriot)
May mileage: 44
Year to date: 794

My math might be wrong; I really don't care, and that's why I'm not an engineer.

We had to do a quick trip to Maysville to celebrate Mothers' Day and my suegro's bday. We only left mid-Saturday, but I threw in the Bleriot on the off-chance I would get a ride in, and as you can see, I stole away for 2. The first was quite by chance. We were approaching the area and I knew of a country road way to get to the house, so I had the good wife stop. I jumped out and away I went, regulary underwear, standard tshirt, sandals, full RBW style. I was so relaxed from not having "expectations" that I had a wonderful 1-hour ride to the house. This time of year everything is quite green, with large fields tall with the first hay crop. The temps too were near-perfect, maybe 80. I suspect the middle ring on the Bleriot provides lower gearing than that of the Blueridge, b/c I climbed with relative ease. No speed mind you, but comfortable ease on the many rollers and occasional .5m climbs in the area.

Today I did some gardening for my suegra as a way to help the good wife for Mothers' Day. Afterwards I need to transport myself the 6 miles to my yerno's house. I consulted the maps and came up with a couple doable routes and again I went. My only disappointment is that I didn't extend today's ride b/c it couldn't have been more pleasant: 70F, sunny, windy, clean, green, lush, alive. I only did 15m, but wish I had doubled that. That's fine though. 2 stolen rides in a busy weekend. And later the afternoon was spent eating cook-out food and eating bday cake. Excellent.

And the Bleriot, as ever, proved itself to be such a great bike for what I want in a ride bike. in fact, I took the "country bike" out on country roads for a country ride. Damn good.

Oh, and I saw a roadie on a carbon bike passing by my wife's parents' house. 10 years ago they were "way out" in the country, but like so many they are experiencing the slow and steady encroachment of suburbia with its roadie fitness buffs. Great day for it.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Joy Ride

Date: May 5 Sat
Mileage: 16 (Bleriot)
May mileage: 16
Year to date: 766

Damn, I just jumped on the Bleriot in my yardwork clothes and rode the damn bike. No agenda. No training. No destination. Nothing more than pedaling. And I really enjoyed myself. Goofed through the parks and in the neighborhoods checking out the houses with big parking lots and obvious Derby parties. Hit a couple hills just for kicks. Looked like a massive Fred with my Target shoes, tie-die C'dale shirt circa '92 and some Gramicci shorts that almost don't git b/c I don't ride enough. Good stuff and damn pleasant.

First meal of the day, before yardwork, was homemade berry pancakes courtesy of the good wife. 2nd meal of the day was fresh-grilled steaks, asparagus, cornonthecob, bread a a few beers. Damn good!

Ed. I failed to add, but am now doing so the visual highlight of my ride this afternoon. Those of you who follow professional, drug-laden cycling may know Danilo DiLuca, recent winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He rides for Liquigas, an Italian team with a pretty damn ugly "kit", as they like to say.If you take the image of the lime green and blue thang, and paint the same kit on a pasty, tubby white guy with nary the muscle but all the uncomely folds a fat old white buy could bring to such an outfit, then, well, you have the site of the day. I think, in fact, it was a kit from an earlier year b/c there was much less blue in the shorts and much more lime green. I admire his audacity and bravery to look SO bad in lycra, but I just shake my head, not sure how to react. It WAS a site. He was sporting one of those really nice-looking Bianchi San Jose singlespeeds, so he is slightly vindicated, but damn, get some clothes that will impress the ladies more than lime-green lycra. C'Mon Man!

Friday, May 04, 2007

YTD & Bianchi Strata

I haven't ridden today, but I'm abt 250m up on last year's total. I had the great barren Spring last year with very little mileage. Except for the last couple weeks I've done a little better. Now that my batteries are a little more charged (from a day of sloth and yardwork) I'll be back on it tomorrow. Which bike though?

Also, I took a ride a few ago to find that the foundonthestreet Bianchi is too big. Before I tried to upload it here in the 'Ville, I'll offer any takers out there in the blogosphere if they're interested in a classic, steel lugged Bianchi, the last of its kind. The left crankarm seems to have threading problems; I can't get a pedal to thread. Otherwise it's crying out for a restauration or fixieation. I would say it's a 58C or so, maybe a 60C at the largest, but the first seems more likely. I'm 5'7" with a 29" inseam and a PBH of 76 and the top tube just snugs the nether regions. It's really long in the cockpit with stem, but somebody must want to baby this one. I took pics a few months ago too. I'm too lazy to look, but they're there.

If you're interested on a great project, drop me a comment.

It's all about the Tennis

No entries for a couple weeks. I went from the Paducah tournament to matches to an even bigger Nashville tournament to more big matches and now, today, I have a moment to breathe. It's Oaks Day in the 'Ville, the day before Derby. Just as other cities have that public crescendo, whether it be a music festival or sports playoff, Louisville has the Kentucky Derby, a 2-week extravaganza of events, parties and races. I stayed in bed until almost 9.30 this morning, finally catching up from last weekend. I hope to sneak a ride or two in this weekend, but today it's quite stormy. I don't mind some rain, but the thunder and lightening are obvious deterrents. I haven't cycled or meditated now for weeks, although I think of those things fondly. I find that I can still regain moments of mindfulness at different points of the day even though I'm not meditating regularly. Another tennis coach with whom I get along pretty well stated that I seemed very "Zen" at the tournament in Nashville. I took that as quite a compliment, that I can remain calm and collected in those stressful moments of "success" or "failure". The (not) problem with my tennis team is that we're certainly one of the top 5 teams in the state, so it's not like it's shits-and-giggles "tennis club". From a competitive standpoint there IS something on the line, but that I can be more patient is important for me and for the boys. There ARE boys- even at the age of 14-18. They want to be men, but still have learning to do. If I can attain a kind of "Zen" state to help them in that path, then I consider that quite a benefit.

And boy, I'm feeling fat. Those weeks of non-exercise weigh you down, even if you don't pick up weight. Uck!

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: