Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ride

Date: Mar 31 Sat
Mileage: 21.5 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 172
Year to date: 611

Got out early before the boys' soccer games. the fenders did a nice job keeping the spray off the Bleriot and off my feet this a.m. saw some nice homes in Indian Hills and did some nice tempo through the park. too a sidetrip down to the river to see that the lowlands are filled with marshy water this time of year. It's sort of primordial. I thought I had gone a little further, but I guess my speed is not explosive at the moment. :-)

What I'm most pleased with is that during March '06 I had ZERO miles, 00, nil, zilch. This March a not-dramatic 172. But so much better than zero. I'm almost a couple hundred ahead of last year's pace, even with last year's incredibly mild February. Onward Ho!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Cosa

Lo que he decidido es escribir una entrada solo en espanol porque he tomado a lo suficiente para llegar al proposito que necesito hacer esto. Desafortunadamente, no tengo nada que decir. La semana me canso, asi no quiero hacer mucho. Nos paso bien la noche cenando afuera con unas fajitas hechas a mano. Es bueno cenar en el patio en este tiempo del ano porque no hay bichos ni bochorno. vale, cenamos que me tome unas copas y estoy aqui diciendo nada. Vale, manana por la manana pienso andar en bici, pero vamos a ver porque seria una buena onda descansar bien. Vamos a ver. Para los muy pocos que leen este blog, lo siento por la grosera molestia, pero uno a veces tiene que kick out the jams.

Bueno. buenas noches y que les vaya bien.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

5-Star RBW Style

Date: Mar 28 Wed
Mileage: 21.5 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 149.5
Year to date: 589.5

I though of a variety of different spiffy titles for the entry today, but allinall I enjoyed a kick-ass ride in incredible weather. I couldn't have had a better time. The fam head to church, so in the interval I head out on the Bleriot, fully be-decked in I/Grant style. That is to say, I wore a white T-shirt. I guess that isn't RBW style, but I did have on MUSA shorts with a liner and my Teva's held in by my Powergrips. I didn't have the lycra shorts. Nor did I have the matching lycra jersey or the Sidi $250 shoesoftheyear. I did have a damn good time getting my time in in and around Seneca, Cherokee and the neighborhood. There wasn't anything overtly different about any of it. The Bleriot is an excellent, excellent machine. The Teva's did fine. The MUSAs did fine. The weather was perfect (upper 70sF). The park is awash in the brilliant color of green, green and more green. Many of the trees are past initial flowering and are growing legitimate leaf buds. It was all damn good. One time I just had to sit up and clap to myself b/c it was exactly what I wanted to be doing at the time. Did I mention the Bleriot? I have numerous mounts in the stable, all of them looking to find the niche, fill the void. The Bleriot is just a bike, and a near-perfect one at that. It's for riding, goofing, exploring, commuting. I leave the Carradice mounted for errands and such. It's just IT.

Most fun moment of the day was heading- yet again- up dog hill in Cherokee. I've alluded to it 5 or 6 times on this blog. This time, no, explanation. Dog Hill is part of the scenic loop, wherein the left half of the road is closed to traffic and is marked for pedestrians, et. al. I guess it functions like mostly any other multi-use trail. The right side is for cars. I'll sometimes straddle the dividing line, not quite car, not quite leisure. Today, on my left, somewhat veering in and out of the pedestrian traffic passed by two little dudes, maybe 12 or 14, both on Motobecones and fully kitted up. They were moving pretty well. Obviously, they have a much higher strength-to-weight ratio that this lard-ass.
Their initial burst subsided some so I geared down and took after them, catching and passing them right at the apex. They smiled and seemed like nice little dudes, perhaps twins. Shortly thereafter came a man and daughter, her maybe 15. What a family! all on their road bikes doing the park thing. Me, I would rather be on the Bleriot in my Teva's, but I sure as hell would be proud of my boys in full road style! The whole fam made it up Hogan's Fountain hill more efficiently than I, but in the ensuing slowdown I caught back up a bit. They then headed up Chauffer's rest, so of course I had my carrot in front of the burro. Dad daughter and 1 boys stayed ahead, but I caught the 2nd, smiling and greeting him as I went by. It was all in good, good fun and doing what we all loved. A great moment and one I'll remember for a while. Good for me to be on the road. Good for them to be doing something fun as a fam instead of playing videogames or something more nefarious.

I made my way, on the Bleriot, to church for choir practice and then returned home via Seneca Gds. with the blinkie lights on. I used to love more riding in the dark, but pretty much all my morning commutes are rides in the dark. This one was very satisfying. Damn good and I hope those others in the country can enjoy as good a Spring spin as I did today.

Monday, March 26, 2007


This is it, the pump to replace my 20 year-old Zefal floor pump. I'm quite sad that the Zefal died, b/c I know this one won't last as long. Can't last as long. It's much lighter and feels flimsier. Perhaps it will, but I have my strong doubts. It carries a life-time warranty; how easy will that be to enact? Puh-shaw.

Por otro lado, at least I'll be able to get the GrandBois' at the appropriate pressure and will be able to get enough air in the 2" Serfas. Times change, but this time I fear for the worst.

And I'll get back out there on the road soon enough. I forgot yet again how physically challenging it is to work from 7.00 a.m.-6.00 p.m. Even though the activities vary in the course of the day, it's still draining. Had a good 10-minute meditation this morning. Now that I've been practicing here-n-there, I find that 10 minutes is like a blip. Extremely short! Again, though, it's the business of life that makes it challenging to get in once or twice every day. If I don't make it up before the boys, then I have no chance to "take my sit" before the legos, toys, videogames and internecine warfare begins. Oh well, part of the challenge of developing the appropriate view and intention, right?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

GrandBois

I've written Saturday off as a total loss save two nice futbol games that the boys played; Z scored and his team won big. L's team lost late, but he played well. The rest of the day sucked.

Today I had a much better attitude, but still didn't get on the bike through unfortunate reasons. Right around the time I was going out my dad called and we chatted about house stuff. Then I spoke to my mom about house stuff and before you know it my window closed. I did mount the GrandBois' on the Bleriot, but didn't get them on in time to ride. They mounted somewhat similarly to the CdlVs, in that the looseness of the tire makes it challenging to stuff the tube up underneath. Then it doesn't seat right and leaves a bump. And finally, as maybe previously reported, my faithful Zefal seems to be giving out after 20 years of service. It doesn't pump much, the gauge seems completely wrong and parts seem unavailable. Might have to give in and buy a new one. 20 years is pretty damn good for a tool such as that. you and i both know the new Chinese-made ones won't last near that long or with such reliability.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mr. Perfect

Seems Tubby's "agent" has been in conversation with the Gophers for several weeks, weeks including the SEC and the NCAA tournament. Mr. Perfect/good guy/consummate pro compromised his team's chances with his wandering interest. Now, exclamatorily (is that a word?), I support Tubby getting the hell out of Dodge if was too burned out to give his best. AND if he's burned out, then he's not that different than the rest of us; we are not all turning cartwheels every day at work, right? BUT he's also not Mr. Perfect; he's as much a free agent modern mercenary coach as the rest of the coaching community is. It makes me batty that DickieV can sit there and laud and laud and laud how wonderful Orlando and drag 'Cats fans through the mud when his guy is playing the field as good as the rest.

Face it, he found a job that pays him phat bucks and where he has almost no expectations whatsoever. Wow Mr. Perfect!! What a perfectly mediocre situation for a top-40 coach!

More to come on this whole situation. I know you're excited.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Well, it happened

Orlando seems to be heading to Minnesota, the land of many cool cyclists and lakes. The result of all this is very much dependent on the outcome. That seems oximoronic, or no, obvious. It depends on who they hire. If it's an exciting one, then UK basketball will be better for it. Tubby is a good top-20 coach, but isn't one to compete with the best: Williams, Calhoun, Shishefski. If the hire doesn't 'Pop', then Woe (sic- wifely sic) is me! A bad hire could REALLY sink the 'Cats to a depth unknown. Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Commute

Date: Mar 21 Wed
Mileage: 19 (LHT)
March mileage: 128
Year to date: 568

Another commute today. Nothing to report of any great note except that it's great to be on a bike. My morning was all screwed up b/c I woke up at 4.45 to take a leak and couldn't get back to sleep. Damn, I've been up for a while. The morning was made better by all the birdsong out there. dulcet tones of true music. The afternoon brought no complaints; you can't complain when it's 73 and sunny, right? Windy, yes, but great! And to boot, I just got back from a 1-mile walk from church where I left the family.

Tomorrow, tennis. Uhgg!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Good wife find

This is from Thoreau, which I guess practiced some type of Christianity, but this is a "Buddhist" as it comes. In the moment, not running "thither". Of late I notice that only while cycling can I listen to Buddhist podcasts. Otherwise, the mind is too busy with other things. On the bike, turning revolutions, the mind is clear enough to concentrate, while being empty enough to listen. Well, as long as I'm not checking my mirrors, right?


From Walking
By Henry David Thoreau

When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods: what would become of us, if we walked only in a garden or a mall? Even some sects of philosophers have felt the necessity of importing the woods to themselves, since they did not go to the woods. … Of course it is of no use to direct our steps to the woods, if they do not carry us thither. I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head and I am not where my body is – I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods? I suspect myself, and cannot help a shudder, when I find myself so implicated even in what are called good words – for this may sometimes happen. …

Henry David ThoreauAbove all, we cannot afford not to live in the present. He is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in remembering the past. Unless our philosophy hears the cock crow in every barnyard within our horizon, it is belated. That sound commonly reminds us that we are growing rusty and antique in our employments and habits of thought. His philosophy comes down to a more recent time than ours. There is something suggested by it that is a newer testament – the gospel according to this moment. He has not fallen astern; he had got up early and kept up early, and to be where he is is to be in season, in the foremost rank of time. It is an expression of the health and soundness of Nature, a brag for all the world – healthiness as of a spring burst forth, a new fountain of the Muses, to celebrate this last instant of time.
--"Walking" was published in the Atlantic Monthly after Thoreau's death.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was an American essayist, poet, and practical philosopher, renowned for his masterwork,
Walden
(1854), and for having been a vigorous advocate of civil liberties, as evidenced in the essay “Civil Disobedience” (1849).
--Encyclopedia Britannica online

Commute 4.0

Date: Mar 20 Tues
Mileage: 14 (LHT)
March mileage: 109.5
Year to date: 549.5

snuck out for a commute today on what was supposed to be a tennis day. to my benefit, the forecast was for rain. that would unfortunately cancel tennis practice (can you hear "aaww"?) and would mean a driving commute to work would be useless. henceforth, the LHT, with newly-festooned LHT.

The morning commute brought nothing of note except that I got up quite early and hit the road at 6.00 a.m. The afternoon became night in effect. For the first time that I can remember, I actually stayed through to attend a meeting at 7.00 p.m., thereby putting me at work from 7.00a.m. to 8.00p.m. I then mounted the LHT for the nighttime ride home. It's so funny/strange that I ride in the a.m. all the time and am very comfortable in the dark. The evening holds a different pace, though. All scurrying, drinks, home, impatience, and even darker. I had the good opportunity to christen the guardamarros on the LHT, the skies giving me a healthy llovizna, never a deluge but enough to be called rain. Like a "T". Stolen fun amidst the burden that is "professionalism". Last year I had no, NO, March mileage at all. At least I'm doing better than that right now. More good to come.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Well, it's over, and that's good for my dear blog readers. They (all 3 of them) don't care about the 'Cats, and instead want bike content.

I can't pass up posting this from a column from Gene Wojciechowski from ESPN.com.
...except at Kentucky, where, said Wildcats junior guard Joe Crawford, "people expect us to be in the Final Four every year." Those expectations, no longer realistic in an age of Winthrops and George Masons, ARE why Smith should think long and hard about a change in hoops venue.

Hmmm, the expectation of the Final Four every year isn't realistic. I totally agree with that. There is no team since Duke of the early '90s and UCLA of the '60s-'70s that has visited the Final Four every year. Kentucky fans don't expect a FF every year; they expect a FF on a similar rate as that of the Big-5: UK, UNC, Duke, UCLA, and KU. Those are the 5 winning-est programs and Kentucky should perform on par with those programs. I found this on good ol' Wikipedia , records for total FFs:
  • 16 North Carolina, UCLA
  • 14 Duke
  • 13 Kentucky
  • 12 Kansas
Ah, the Big 5. Tubby's, no UK's, last FF was in 1998, using Rick Pitino's recruits. UNC was also in the FF that year. Since then:
  • UNC- '00, '05 including Nat'l Championship
  • UCLA-'05
  • Duke-'99, '01 including Nat'l Championship,'04
  • KU- '02, '03
I guess 'Cats fans have too high an expectation. UNC has 2 with a Championship, UCLA 1, Duke 3 and a Championship, and KU 2. And Tubby? None. Are expectations are just too high? We should be satisfied with making the tournament, right? It's '07. This year's is over for UK. We have 2 more this decade.

I did a little more research:

1990s:
  • UK- 4 Final Fours/2 Championships
  • UNC- 4 Final Fours/1 Championship
  • UCLA-1 Final Fours/1 Championship
  • Duke-5 Final Fours/2 Championships
  • KU- 2 Final Fours
1980s:
  • UK- 1 Final Four
  • UNC- 1 Final Fours/1 Championship
  • UCLA-1 Final Four
  • Duke-3 Final Fours
  • KU- 2 Final Fours/1 Championship
1970s:
  • UK- 2 Final Fours/1 Championship
  • UNC- 2 Final Fours
  • UCLA-7 Final Fours/4 Championships
  • Duke-1 Final Four
  • KU- 1 Final Four
1960s:
  • UK- 1 Final Fours
  • UNC- 3 Final Fours
  • UCLA-6 Final Fours/5 Championships
  • Duke-3 Final Fours
  • KU- 1 Final Four
1950s:
  • UK- 2 Final Fours/1 Championship
  • UNC- 1 Final Four/1 Championship
  • UCLA-
  • Duke-
  • KU- 3 Final Fours
1940s (+ '39):
  • UK- 3 Final Fours/2 Championship
  • UNC- 1 Final Four
  • UCLA-
  • Duke-
  • KU- 1 Final Four
As college sports have become more important the Big Programs have had even more success. Their tradition and focus lead them to get the best coaches and best players. Right now UK doesn't have the best players and the results show. He also has no recruiting class to speak of, and after these last two weeks, has no chance at gaining good late-year pickups. It's all bad!

Guardamarros

Pic of the LHT against the garage. Notice that it needs painting, not one of my favorite activities. Notice the shadows as well. Not much of a fotografo am I. The package looks good though, no?

Rear guardamarros looking well-installed, with Nashbar Mt. panniers attached to Blackburn rack. Again, a nice setup. I feel like I could do a meaty tour with this bike as it is.


The front fork setup. I have the Lumotec brace mounted on the front of the fork, with the fender to the back. Depending on the amount of spray I get, I might have to move them both up front. We'll see, but I like the two not braces not having to intermingle.


For any wrench out there (I know a few read this occasionally), don't I need some spacers here? It seems I usually see them taking up lots of space when the fork is left long like this. It's not bothering me, so "Why worry?" (5pts if you get the reference)

Now that it's a "super-commuter", I have to drive tennis crap. Stupid, stupid, but $3000 is what it is, right?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Falls last Sunday

The 'Ville from downriver, Indiana side


Sort of muddy, no?


Ville through railroad bridge. River's up.

Pretty. Shiny. Ooo.


Footwear of choice for this ride. Not too supportive, but certainly functional and own personal style points too.

Schwag and 'Cats

On the bike end, I've received a couple of packages recently to help refine two different machines. Firstly, I extended some patronage to Hiawatha, buying some large SKS (I linked to SB for pic purposes) guardamarros for the LHT. They should do nicely, and I think I'll put them on this afternoon. I also obtained a GillesBerthoud leather mudflap for the Bleriot. That's two bikes tweaked and improved. Next, again from Hiawatha a cheap Panaracer 700c tyre for the Bianchi project. Don't know yet if it's going to be fixie or what, but it needs two new tyres and I only have 1 functional. Jim gave me a good deal. Last week I received a nice pair of the GrandBois 650B tyres from JanHeine. Yummy! I had them stored i the bathroom (still do in fact) and they gave off the best new-tyre smell. I will probably wait until Spring Break to mount them, as I've been enjoying the CdlV's so far. Most, maybe all, comments I've seen about the GBs have been quite positive. I think I'm done for a while buying bike stuff. I've been on a spending spree since the Bleriot, and maybe since the LHT in '05. I have all the bike I need, and at present very much enjoy the set-ups on the respective machines. Long-term I would rather scale back than speed up. At present the LHT is a fine commuting machine, especially when the guardamarros are mounted. And the Bleriot is turning out to be a really nice ride. After that some of the machines are niche machines, but most are reasonable in cost. I wouldn't mind finding a good home for the RB-1, as I'll never get real miles out of it again, I'm afraid. Some may be said for the Blueridge, but I'm more inclined to keep that one, as I can still get good miles out of it. Maybe in needs guardamarros and a Mark's Nice Rack and turn it into an all-purpose machine that it needs to be.

On another, and equally positive note, the 'Cats beat the 'cats last night, staving off some Tubby misery. Good or Bad, if they beat Kansas tomorrow all would be forgiven, I think. Can they? Unlikely, but you never know with this team. They're random good components of a mediocre total product, BUT if the good components came together one night...

And finally, L and I went to see TMNT this morning on some free passes. It was pretty good computer animation and the story held attention. I suggest it for all those folks out there who have children, especially boys, between the ages of 6-12. Outside of that, well, why not?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mayor Jerry

I've not been riding much, but things are looking a bit brighter here. Hizhonorforlife Mayor Jerry recently gave the keynote speech @ the Nat'l Bike Summit. That's a pretty big deal I guess. At least we, or at least Mayor Jerry is thinking in the right direction. Time will certainly tell though.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

More non-cycling

I've stated before that once tennis starts, cycling becomes difficult, so no cycling this week. I'll have to wait until the weekend to sneak some rides in.

On a basketball note (it is March Madness!!), the nat'l media-compiled by JohnClay- have a couple articles pertaining to the Tubby situation, one from USAToday chiding 'Cats fans as usual and another in Yahoosports summing up many points that many 'Cats fans agree with. Sometimes I get tired of hearing national commentators rip on UK fans for having too high a level of expectation. Would I love to go back and link to lots of articles from the MattDoherty/UNC era when the 'Heels sucked ass and I'm sure TarHeel nation went berserk. It's easier to pile on a bunch of rural, not-quite-as-monied-as-the-research-triangle rubes and non-rubes that comprise Big Blue Nation. Sorry, but we've had as sustained a period of excellence as any program in the country, winning titles from 1949 or so to 1996. The 'Cats have been good the whole time. We've won the most games ever. We've won the 2nd most titles ever, and over a longer-sustained period than UCLA. We have a strong basketball legacy and Orlando is getting paid $2 million to win, not to be a "nice guy" who has a mid-major level team. High expectations? Yes, sorry but Notre Dame isn't allowed to suck and neither is Kentucky basketball.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cats, Cats, Cats

This is the kind of thing you work on when you want to avoid showering or doing other work. The first is performance summaries of Tubby's teams. These stats were mostly gathered from bigbluehistory.net :

  • 06-07..........21-11.......... (so far)
  • 05-06..........22-13 ......... L 2nd round vs. Connecticut

  • 04-05.......... 28-6........... L Elite Eight vs Michigan St.

  • 03-04.......... 27-5........... L 2nd round vs. UAB

  • 02-03.......... 32-4.......... L Elite 8 vs. Marquette E8

  • 01-02.......... 22-10 ......... L Sweet Sixteen vs. Maryland

  • 00-01 ..........24-10 ..........L Sweet Sixteen vs. USC

  • 99-00.......... 23-10.......... L2nd round vs. Syracuse

  • 98-99.......... 28-9 ............L Elite 8 vs. Michigan St.

  • 97-98.......... 35-4 ..........National Championship

The second batch of useless information only runs up to 00-01. I think this is a pretty good indicator of the continuing excellence- and there lack- of the UK program. This has the year, the final ranking and the highest ranking in parenthesis. If also contains those years with lack of rankings. This info. comes entirely from sportsstats.com, but that runs out at the end of the 00-01 season. The audacity of such a person to not continue so I can complete this useless project!

Hall
  • 76-77'...... -- (6)- 12 weeks unranked
  • 77-78'...... 1 National Champs
  • 78-79'...... -- (6) 9 weeks unranked
  • 79-80'...... 4 (2)
  • 80-81'...... 8 (1)
  • 81-82' ......15 (2 for 4 weeks)
  • 82-83'......12 (2)
  • 83-84'...... 3 (1) Final Four vs. Georgetown. UK shoots 3/33 in 2nd half that game.
Sutton
  • 84-85' ...... -- (18) 16 weeks unranked
  • 85-86'...... 3 (3)
  • 86-87' ...... --(9) 9 weeks unranked
  • 87-88' ...... 6 (1 for 3 polls)
  • 88-89' ...... -- "death sentence year"
The Eddy Sutton years were marked by his alcoholism, the FedEx payment scandal and the Eric Manual ACT scandal. And all-round mess

Pitino
  • 90-91'...... 9 (8) 2 weeks unranked
  • 91-92' ......6 (6 "Unforgettables" and GGoAT vs. Duke)
  • 92-93'...... 2 (1)
  • 93-94' ......7 (1)
  • 94-95'......2 (2)
  • 95-96' ......2 (1 for 5 polls) National Champs
  • 96-97' ......5 (3) Final vs. Arizona

Smith
  • 97-98' ......5 (4) National Champs
  • 98-99' ......8 (3)
  • 99-00' ......19 (11) 2 weeks unranked
  • 00-01' ......9 (9) 11 weeks unranked
  • 01-02' ...... 16 (6)
  • 02-03' ...... 1 (1)
  • 03-04' ...... 2 (2) Really, there were a high 10s, low-teens team all season and jumped late.
  • 04-05' ...... 7 (3)
  • 05-06' ...... -- (4!)
  • 06-07' ...... -- (20) 11 or so weeks unranked- This season is unfinished, but the Big Blue faithful see little hope.
So far Tubby's reign certainly isn' the disaster that was Eddie Sutton. He is wearing a Championship ring, courtesy of Rick Pitino's stash of studs. His peformance has been more up-and-down. The 02-03' season was one that really hinged on Keith Bogan's ankle injury in the NCAA tournament. In this realm he's getting grief for multiple seasons of double-digit losses, this year (high likely) setting/tying a mark for most seasons between the Final Four, and for the last two years of not even ending with a ranking. He's the anti Joe B. Hall of the 70s and 80s. Joe B had LOADS of talent but couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper bag. Tubby can coach Xs and Os, but can't recruit or at least asses for shit. He has numerous players playing regularly in the NBA: Tayshaun Prince (Pistons), Rajon Rondo (Celtics), Chuck Hayes (Rockets), Keith Bogans (Magic), Nazr Mohammed (Pistons), Jamaal Magliore (Trailblazers) and Scott Padgett (Nets). Some of these guys are pretty serviceable players, but the Tubster didn't win at the highest level as other coaches.

Yes, we're living the dreams of Rupp, Hall, and Pitino (all with rings, Pitino with 1.5 from Tubby's assistance), but UK isn't Ole Miss. It isn't Iowa. It isn't Clemson. It's the winningest program ever in college basketball, and trails only UCLA in championships, but has done it over a much longer span than did UCLA and did it with 3 different coaches. It's the only positive tradition the state of Kentucky has. Bourbon, smoking and gambling aren't good for you. It's wake-up time Orlando.

God, what a waste of time. I would've been better off meditating all the time it took me to write this.

The Falls

Date: Mar 11 Sun
Mileage: 21.5 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 95.5
Year to date: 535.5

Another great day for a ride, with sunny, sunny skies and a crispness in the air. Morning temps were in the mid-40sF, so I dressed appropriately in layers so I could peel off the warmth at some point. I decided to explore a bit of Indiana today as my destination. At some point I guess I need to do more mileage, but right now I'm pretty satisfied with these exploratory rides in the city. Of late there has been debate about the various bridge issues here in Louisville, several of which include cyclists' issues (or don't) and how they can use new or updated infrastructure. Since I crossed one of them today, I'll give a quick run-down:
  • 2nd-Street Bridge- that's the one I crossed today. It's 4-lane, so seemingly adequate for cyclists, but there have been complaints of tire-eating joints and today I almost experienced that. I thought these folks were just weenies on 20C racer tires, but wow, those joints look like the teeth of the dragon. I hit the front rim on one, but the tire held sway. That's the 2nd time I thought I would get a pinch flat on the CdlVs, but they've held up. Right now this is a cyclist's only option to cross the river on bike.
  • Big-4 Bridge. This is a disused railroad bridge that's connected to the Louisville Waterfront Park. The plans are pretty firm that this is going to be made into a pedestrian/bike/etc. walkway that crosses the river. Major complaints are that this will be very non-transportation oriented. It will be a pedway built for recreation and will not be in the least bit conducive to commuting. Many fear that, with this, cyclists will be barred from the Second Street Bridge.
  • K&I Bridge. This conjoins the Riverwalk in Portland, but presently is closed to all traffic (non-train I guess). The long-term hope is to create a riverwalk loop on the Kentucky side and Indiana side to be able to cross the river at this point on foot/bike/etc. It's also somewhat less busy than the downtown bridges (it's perhaps 3 miles west).
  • New Eastern Bridge. The Big Deal the last several years is to build two new bridges in Louisville, one downtown to help traffic on the I-65 corridor, where it's most needed, and to also build one in the east end of the county closing an outer ring interstate. This one, of course, is massively championed by the forces of Development, Development, Development to open up lands far and wide to $@#$ subdivisions and their soul-leeching powers. This is one of those political boondogles that may never happen. Point is, at one point it was supposed to have pedestrian/bicycle access on a major interstate bridge.
All this is speculation. Very recently there was a big to-do because some monies were taken away from providing bicycle access on the one of the "real" bridges and moving that money to the Waterfront Park bridge. Most "real" cyclists see this as a step backwards, b/c no body will commute in what amounts to a park with a bunch of dumb-ass non-transportation elements.

Well, here are some pics from today:

(I lied. I'm too lazy to load the pics. Maybe later)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Buddhish

This entry from thinkBuddha.org fits me to a Perfect "T" at this point in my study. It could be a wankerish way to non-commitment, but it does the trick. It's better than calling myself a "Christian" but only going to church at Easter and Christmas and following almost nothing of what Jesus actually preached. Sometimes I wish I could see all these mega-church Christians at the gates and see what an ass-kicking they're going to receive. Well, if I believed that was actually possible to take place.

It's why I don't get to wrapped up in karmic reincarnation. Once I'm "dead", I can't really know what "happens", so I live in the present, mindful of decreasing my own suffering in the moment, and especially mindful of practicing more loving-kindness. I've been a bitter ass for 37 years, so the next 37 should instead be the converse, don't you think?

Oh, and I had a great bit of Walking Meditation this morning. A little rain, the smell of rain, birdsong, woodpecker rattles, others walking, spring peeking out from leaves and from branch, more birdsong, fresh breeze and wind. Good Stuff.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Bernheim

A spectacular extension to an already great day. This morning's ride was sublime, but pleasant. This afternoon's visit with the family to Bernheim Forest was inspiring. I don't know if I've described it here, but BF is a local treasure, an Arboretum, nature center, preserved forest and all-round wonderful outdoor oasis about 25 miles south of the 'Ville. It's my wife's favorite place to visit and hike, being close enough to not be a "trip", but distant enough to take in Kentucky nature at its finest. With such glorious weather (70F, sun and perfect skies), we decided to do a brief hiking trip to loosen up winter legs. We especially needed a respite from the ugly drama that had limited our enjoyment of the early afternoon. It's what we deserve for being in on such a nice day.

Once there, the first amusement came from running into a pack of 10+ students from my school, all of them out for a full day's hiking. One had sprained an ankle, so their day was coming to a close. That was humorous enough we suddenly I ran into my aunt doing the same thing with my 3 cousins (ages 15 and 12, approx.) They had never been to Berheim before, even though it lies perhaps 15 miles from them, being in the southern portion of the county.

We sorted out our plan, choosing a trail we hadn't been on, the Guerrilla Hollow Trail. This one was short enough for us to exit, since the back portion of the Forest was closing @ 5.30. Following are some images of that trail:

Aunt Pam holding a little snake. We find him right on the trail. I'm surprised the boys didn't actually step on him. He was cold to the touch and I guess just leaving his winter slumber.

This is the just the best tree. Even my crappy pic technique can't mess this one up.


Z (in white) and a friend up the trail, with cousin Andrew in Red.


The good wife saw this one first. Another beautiful found natural wonder, the rhythm of these three tree "holes" (do they have a name?).

I did the best I could trying to find the contrast of the low sun splashing against the landscape. I like the line on the front tree with the swale below.

We, being Aunt Pam, her boys, and well, us, We then ventured over to the lake for a walk around it, all taking in the setting sun reflecting off the water. I particularly like their efforts to rebuild a natural prairie meadow on the northern side. These were once very common in KY, but most have been tilled under. I have a thing for grasses and meadows. When I win the lottery I'm buying land and having one. That's clinging though, so my Buddhist-ish side makes me consider that statement. Here are pics from that portion:

Obelisk. Why not?


This is much better live. I think the camera focused on the iron weed in front. Behind in the centerish is a gleaming silver water tower from the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Ky. Slightly right/center is a nature/garden house pagoda thing, but you can't really see it. Just below the iron weed is one part of the rejuvenated prairie.

Best shot of the day, aside the two trees. Can't really do much better. Geese. The setting sun with double images on the lake. The lake.



Another off the lake. I have more, but these are great.


A great, great, great Day, even with the unmentionable of the mid-afternoon.


Wheels

Date: Mar 9 Fri
Mileage: 16 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 74
Year to date: 514

Hombre, what a great ride! A 5-Star ride, and all in only 16 miles. The weather has turned decidedly springish today, with temps at or near 70F. How can you not love the first shorts-only ride of the season and especially with a warming, invigorating sun bathing you with spring sunshine? I chose the Bleriot with its Longflap Nelson for an errand trip to Goodwill. I've had a bag of old shirts and shorts in my bathroom for months, so today's journey was a brief, spectacular one to dump those off. What was so great about such a trip was how pleasant it was without the trappings of mega-miles or panoramic vistas. It is what it was, a city errand trip on a great bike in great weather.

On my trip today I got to thinking of the Dharma Wheel. It is a visual representation of the Buddha's primary teachings. In the center, the a hub representing mediation practices. There are 8 spokes, each a tenet of the 8-Fold Path (Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Concentration, Right Mindfulness). The rim, I think, represents Mindfulness.
I can't help but like this symbol, that of the wheel. For me it symbolizes both my interest in "cleaning up my act", and also the pleasure and freedom in the wheels turning down the road. If one is the freedom of my spirit, then the other is the freedom of body. I'm sure you could shoot holes in that metaphor, but who cares? It's mine and I like it. Just as existence and life are ever-turning, we on our bikes are ever turning, but turning in a good way, down the open road.

It also connects with a Buddhist metaphor of the journey that is life, the "Buddhist Path". The first is that of a path that has a start and an end. You walk down the path in order to arrive at your destination. For Buddhist, this would be achieving Nirvana/Nibbana. For Christians, yours is the entry into Heaven. The other approach is the Path as an ongoing journey. It's stopping and smelling the flowers, seeing the sunset, viewing wildlife or finding interesting trees along the way. Mindfulness teaches to be in the moment. For cyclists these two metaphors obviously apply. We leave a site and make an effort to arrive elsewhere, a coffee shop, bakery, another town or just want to complete the loop. We also want to stop or slow down and see what's in our view, our perspective. Reading blogs such as Doug's, Pete's, Jim's, or Kent's have all made me want to slow down more and realize what is along the journey instead of just getting from A to B, hammer hammer hammer. The Path can have many positive impacts if you allow yourself to venture down it.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Things that Make me say "Hmmm...."

1. Billionares- all that money, and for what? All the people without health care, without an adequate education, without food (in Africa), only able to afford shit food (US), those with little or no resources to speak of, and Bill and Warren need $56 billion? These and others are worth that much more $$ than other human beings?

2. Newt- Slick Willie was a codger and a scam artist. No, he was a weak-hearted libidinous pig, I guess. But he was/is a man interested (seemingly) in the common good. During the Clinton Witch hunt, Newt Gringrich was diddling around while leading the witch hunt. How can someone do such a thing in good conscience? with a logical mind? Under such Delusion?

I think Religion as a human construct was created in society to deal with such conundrums. How do you come to grips with the unexplainable? Yes, the skies and stars are massive and unfathomable, but Human behavior, to me, is even more vexing. I could get extremely pissed off about this kind of thing, but my studies have helped me let go, and these nuggets are definitely worth letting go. The converse is lunacy.

"Have you replaced Reason for Madness?" (or something awfully close) Gandalf

Luavull Bikes

A very interesting article, perhaps one of the best, reflecting a potential change in mindset for my fair burg. The CJ today had an article about Louisville becoming a city involved with the CompletetheStreets program. This looks exciting. It's not just constructing or striping bike lanes. Rather, it's a "holistic" attempt at changing a city's culture to reflect transportation that isn't just cars. New road are designed for bike lanes and for greater use of pedestrians and wheelchairs, as well as bikes. Bike lanes are added when possible. No, I'm not a proponent of bike lanes per se. I've commuted for many years without them. But I think a city that is willing to make a statement to become one of only 22 cities in the U.S. to do this. What I like is an emphasis not just on "bike lanes" as added chump change. It's a bolder and more pro-active step to be more. Perhaps another step in the right direction for Luavull and for us at large. "It takes a village beeyatch"

Blog Choices

I started this entry pondering whether to create a new blog that reflected my burgeoning interest in Buddhism, as well as my garden jones that will be firing up pretty soon. I then quickly reflected and realized that those are part of me just as much as cycling or the 'Cats. I like this blog and I like to blog b/c it reflects who I am just as much as it reflects an "activity" or an "interest". It is better in life to not compartmentalize, so why do so in this sphere? Now, some may like to compartmentalize in life, but a person is not a sum of different parts; good nor bad we are a complete whole, however messy that product maybe. Yes, I try to transition from a "work" state of being to a "home" state. Or even transition from a "husband" state to a "dad" state, or a "friend" state. So I choose to not carve off different blogs to reflect different facets and interests. No, I have one blog which represents who I am. Or, as the Buddhists might say, represent the processes that I am. I am not really anything but the collection of perspectives and perceptions of my"self" and of those around me. This Blog is me, the me is a constant state of flux. So bring on the Buddhas and the Buddleia, the Brooks and the Brooklyn.

Orlando revisited

Two tidbits of late have made me see the light on Orlando "Tubby" Smith, coach of most-high-exalted-best-of-all-time UK Wildcats. First Tubby was on my fav sports show PTI last night. Fact is, the guy comes off as a humble, down-to-earth, head-on-straight man. You couldn't find a person to better represent the university. I like just about every one of his answers. Immediately I came away thinking that you cannot fire this guy, no matter what. He has earned the right to prowl the sidelines, and here's hoping he re-rights the ship.

The second is an illustrative blog entry from the H-L's John Clay, one I've alluded to before. It's a very apt comparison of many of the top programs since Tubby has been at UK. No, he hasn't been to as many Final Fours as, say, Michigan State or to as many Elite Eights as Connecticut, but there has been a consistency of performance in the UK program, just not at the last two games. Tubby needs a Final Four and UK Fans would shut up for another 6 or 7 years. I think a title is even unexpected. I've changed my tune. Yes, I'm frustrated with the wins/losses, but UK couldn't come up with another coach who could engender such a long run of excellence.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Anger + MADLESS

M-Motivation to not just diffuse anger, but to release from it. Free from clinging.
A- Attention to what is causing the anger, both internally and externally.
D- Defuse the Anger somehow, so way. This one is both difficult and easy for me, in that my dense anger defuses quickly, but my attachment to that Anger simmers and lingers for a long time. It's a slow uncomfortable burn.
L- Learn from the situation
E- Empathy for others who may have "angered" you or empathy for yourself
S- Substitution of your anger with something else- Meditation, Walking, Riding, Mindfulness. It's not unlike D I guess, but I might have to listen again.
S- Speaking/Action- Do something about it.

"Studies say" that there is a correlatin with respects to long-term anger management that those who carry the most hostility and anger also are those who seem the most self-absorbed, those who use the most "I, Me, Mine" statements. Absorbed on yourself instead of on the well-being of those around you. Nutritive food for thought.

"Angry" Commute

Date: Mar 7 Wed
Mileage: 14 (LHT)
March mileage: 58
Year to date: 498
Ipod- zencast.org-Anger

Well, the "Anger" theme didn't help too much, but I did ride today. After yesterday's tennis debacle, I decided to ride instead of drive the truck to work just to pacify the spoiled brats that comprise my tennis team. No, they're not all spoiled brats, but some are and I've had it. I would just rather ride and they can do whatever, or not whatever, kind of practice they do. The modern successful student is a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. No commitment.

I would like to just forget it all, but at the present I can't. I did ride and the afternoon was pretty pleasant albeit windy. I guess a lifetime of Anger can't be "remanaged" in a month.

Monday, March 05, 2007

La Brava

Had an interesting and advantageous morning in the truck on the way to work. This week is "big trash week", the time when you put out all your crap that they won't take in the regular trash. I turn the corner and am literally .2 miles from the house when I spy a bike laying on the side of the street in somebody's trash pile. Hmmm... Gotta look, especially at 7 in the a.m. Much to my surprise, what I find lying on the side of the road is an old-school black Bianchi. It was pretty trashed, but still had all appropriate components and parts; they're just trashed.


This is what I put in the truck. After a little websearch, I've come to assume this is a late 80's Bianchi Brava. Interestingly, I immediately placed the bike at the same exact time as my old C'dale b/c both have those shitty-ass Biopace chainrings. Would I rather have a fully celeste green Bianchi? Hell yes, but you can't ignore those celeste moments on this here bike, bottle cage included. It's probably a size larger than I ride. Should I keep it? I'm going to play around a bit before I make any grand decision, but it just screams SingleSpeed/FixedGear. Fact is, it's been done before with this here machine:


This one is obviously ridden by some dumb-ass and much more nimble 24 yr-old. Check out how low the bars are compared to the seat. The Bleriot is a 57, so this one is probably a 58 at least. Too big? I can't ignore the celeste green seat and cables. Did I mention Celeste green accents? How cheaply can I turn it into a fixed-gear? Remember that I bought the 9.2.5., so I'm not completely enmeshed in the fixie ethos. If it's ridable, it's going to happen.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

6 en seguida

6 in a row to Florida, first ever. Longest stretch ever out of Final Four. Multiple losses in a row to Vandy (4?). first time to not beat a seeded team since '74. haven't beaten UNC or Kansas since the '03/'04 season (3 yrs). A #8 seed last year ('06) and most assuredly no better this year. They're a #4 seed from the Eastern Division in the SEC tournament!

I stated recently that the media is picking up on Tubby's woes, the latest coming from the Lexington Herald-Leader, the 'Cats home rag. It sums up everything else that has been said, that Tubby is un-fire-able. John Clay, the lead H-L columnist, also chimes in, stating that of course Tubby deserves a chance, or multiple ones, to get the program back to where it needs to be. This things are true. They don't mitigate, though, the fact that it's a second-class program at the moment; that's a fact not likely to change. It's a boring offensive set that doesn't attract the better recruits, and that's the ticket there. It's ALL about talent. No, coaching comes into play too, and those 'Cats just don't have it right now. And I don't think Tubby has the fire to change. He is what he is.

Ride

Date: Mar 4 Sun
Mileage: 16.5 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 44
Year to date: 484
Ipod- "This American Life" and zencast.org

A nice leasurly ride in the parks on the Bleriot. Really very pleasant.


This was taken at Gardencourt, an old mansion now on the property of the Southern Presbyterian Seminary. It is unfortunately backlight, and henceforth washed out. I'm going to try this pic again in the future b/c it's a worthy spot.


Along the same wall at Gardencourt. I like the line and the vines.


I beg to differ!





The best of all, the foam-rubber, sword-fighting, swashbuckling Renaissance reenactors that inhabit Cherokee on Sundays.

Sunday Morning

  • Cafe.
  • Homegrown
  • Heine Bros. "Breaking New Grounds"- the irony is that I am much more partial to Sunergos' sweet bean, but Heine's is quite active in the local area. Sunergos is active in Jesus. A conundrum, no?
  • Monteverde, Costa Rica- perhaps heaven on earth as long as the gringos don't ruin it.
  • Re-figured Powergrips.
  • Jan Heine's Grand Bois tyres.
  • Developing Skillful thoughts (and hence actions).
  • Om Mani Padme Hum- Though I would consider that my Buddhist studies are not centered in the Tibetan tradition, this mantra none-the-less invokes a warm and generous feeling.
  • As someone studying Buddhism, I can't decide whether I'm insulted or whether I should giggle that George Lucas was brazen enough to name one of central characters- and a very badly acted one at that in Natalie Portman- after part of a Tibetan religious prayer. Maybe somebody else should insert part of the Christian "Lord's Prayer" as the title of a shitty Hollywood release. Sexy, though, that Natalie Portman's name means "lotus". I'm just envisioning all those Georgia O'Keeffe vagina flowers.
  • Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky"- I was too sleepy to stay up and listen to the stream last night. Oh well. It'll come in good time.
  • Hmmm, was going to ride, but other things commenced, such as most of this mierda listed above. Well, had a good meditation session so the Buddha stuff isn't shit per se, but...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bike Jog and Bluebirds

Date: Mar 3 Sat
Mileage: 11.5 (Bleriot)
March mileage: 27.5
Year to date: 467.5
Ipod- urbandharma.org

I could have gone out for a mega ride this morning, as the boys weren't basketballing until 12.00. I instead enjoyed the comforts of home: hot coffee, blankets, toast, garden shows, good company. Late in the a.m. I sprinted out for a "bike jog", eschewing cleats and tights for sweatpants and Target shoes. It was a wonderful morning in the mid-30s F, with big, fat, fluffy snowflakes dancing around. A couple times I sat up and put my arms out and sort of swept it all in, the cold, the wind, the snow, the essence of the moment. Damn good!

Another highlight of the ride was the view of an Eastern Bluebirdin and around Beargrass Creek in Seneca. Wow!! How brilliant was its blue plumage against the greys and neutral browns of the late winter landscape. Isn't it the case that every bike ride has some insight like that, some peek of the real world that you would miss in a metal coffin. I admit to driving more of late b/c of tennis, but I relish the stolen, no, found moments like a beautiful bluebird in a creek-side thicket.

On the listening end, I enjoyed two parts of podcast from Reverend Kusala and urbandharma. Today's discussion included that of the 8-Fold Path. What struck me was his presentation of one aspect of the path. (The problem I have sometimes with Buddhism is that I simply forget within what "list" I heard something). This concern Skillful Thoughts as part of #5 Right Effort. He frames intentions or thoughts NOT as 'good' or 'evil', but rather 'skillful' or 'unskillful'. That encourages the notion that ALL people can turn it around, so to speak. No one is inherently evil, but rather each person has within them the possibility of changes by becoming 'skilled'. Now, many a folk would say a Hitler, a Jeffery Dahmer is an inherently Evil person. O, don't forget Saddam Hussein who is blamed for having gotten our nation where it is at the moment, no the other imperialist who actually should take the blame. I won't worry about them but rather about myself and my own thoughts, where my own mind is.
Right effort implies a simple category of the mind:
  • Unskilled or Skilled
  • Anger/Hatred or Compassion
  • Lust or Love
  • Greed or Generosity
  • Delusion or Wisdom
Can our decisions be so simple as to be categorized according to these simple dichotomies? Do I dislike the driver that cut me off or do I show them compassion? Do I lust after that hot chick or do I show her the love of the Buddha as opposed to objectivizing her? Can I give freely instead of hording whatever it may be, food, bikes, clothes, stuff? These are so simple, but these dichotomies touched me. I think it IS this simple. Now can I adhere to such simplicity? That isn't such a simple question.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh Orlando

The Media are starting to notice the "Tubby" situation. Tony and Michael discussed it on PTI the other evening. Given the links above it's definitely on the mind of the 2 biggies, ESPN and SI. There were 2 articles in the CJ the other day as well, one by the columnist, the 2nd discussing how to turn things around...AGAIN, and today's one of Billy Donovan singing Orlando's praises. You can't fire Tubby b/c some of his numbers are grand: winning percentage, cleanliness of program (can't ignore that one), several high seeds in tourney ('03 very good but for Bogans' injury), etc. BUT he won with Ricky's players. He can't win the biggie or make it even to that level. He can't get real talent anymore. His teams are NOT at the consistent level of UNC, UCLA or Duke these days. (well, Duke isn't too pretty right now). I love the fact that UK fans have too high a level of expectation, but Tar Heel Nation doesn't seem to have to acquiesce to terrible teams. Is Matt Doherty still there? The most cogent comments for Seth Davis (Devil Dukie). He recognizes the expectations that arise from one of the top-5 historical programs, having come from one himself. The Nat'l media can bitch all they want about Cat fans, but UK isn't friggin' New Mexico State. It's Kentucky b'ball. The traditional historic powers are ranked as follows right now: #2 UCLA, #3 Kansas, #8 UNC, #14 Duke (before the Maryland loss- they're not any good either). Are the 'Cats going the way of St. Johns? As of 2004 they were #5 on all-time wins, but they haven't been a player since the days of Chris Mullins and Walter Berry, nigh 20 yrs. ago.

Frankly, this shit is unimportant but fun to discuss, as long as they aren't so damn bad. Another good find is this site about the 2003 team. (Junk) Food for thought.

Que viento me soplo!

Date: Mar 2 Fri
Mileage: 16 (LHT
March mileage: 16
Year to date: 456

First commute in a while. the p.m. "breezes" blew me home at a healthy 16mph+ clip, with the winds blowing between 22mph and 30+mph, steadily. One time I was slowing down for a stop sign and actually felt the wind pushing my back and accelerating me towards the sign. I'm really glad I canceled practice on this sunny afternoon and rode. Then the boys and I played some 21 until L got mad, oh, and then Z later. Oh well. Life is tough medicine. I probably could have gone out on an epic 40-miler, but I'm glad I instead got some boy time in.

The LHT ran smoothly today. I hadn't ridden in a while, so I pumped up the tires to relatively full pressure and that helped the roll. Good ride. I'm going out tomorrow a.m. before basketball to grab some "tennis season" miles. DAMN, piche puta madre! I just looked at last March and I did not ride ONE time in March in 2006; I beat last year's record with just today's ride! That's a good start.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mindlessness

An overarching premise of Buddhism is "Mindfulness", the quality of being in the moment and aware of that which is around you. The notion of 'Mindfulness' keeps you grounded in the here-and-now and allows you to develop a mind that is not distracted by all the transient bullshit that normally fills the day. In being mindful, you just accept that this moment of 'anger', 'frustration', 'greed', 'lust', will move on and our moment will become a new one very soon. I've found that my efforts to meditate have helped me. Well, actually they were helping until the work shit flew so dramatically as to hit the very large fan. It's just been so busy and occupied and molestoso and just "sharp". The meditative states and desires (well, not desired per se as they'rea No No, right?) to become centered and not so wound up went out the damn window. I'm bent out of shape with tennis, teenagers, co-workers, responsibilities, you name it. Home is good except for some cold and strep throat, though not on my end. Appropriate preparation and study should lead to a greater awareness and capability to withstand the brunt of the frustration; instead the study leads me to feel even less capable, more diminished, for not being able to cope.

No bike time of late. The tennis kids pissed me off so much today that I'm riding, practice is canceled, and I don't really care if they're inconvenienced. I'm supposed to relieve their suffering, right? Well, I'm going to relieve my own with some potentially wet miles. That will bring a centered feeling!
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