Wednesday, October 31, 2007

La Noche Bruja

Date: Oct 31 Wed
Mileage: 24 (LHT)
October mileage: 447
Year to date: 2048
Temps: 43F a.m./70F p.m. sunny

A beautiful day on the this "Witching Night", as they called it on one of the Spanish sports daily websites (title not there anymore). I both rode to and from school with "BB". She's quite a character, 55 and very bitchy, but with a tender side if you can get through it. We took a longish loop home, I wanting to build the last of my October miles. This month was my biggest this year, something I'm glad to say. I'll have to have both a good Nov and Dec to equal my 2006 output, but I'm going to try. Don't know if I can put Doug kind of miles in, but I think I may be able to do 1 good ride per week (meaning long) and keep commuting. This afternoon we were passed by something like 6 or 7 roadies, with none of them acknowledging our existence. No "hi" or "on you left" or anything. 'BB''s comment was that they all "fucking think they're Lance Armstrong". She may be right. Don't know, but all I can do is wave or say hello and move on. One of them passed us on Mellwood, he looking like a commuter with a C'dale aggro hybrid and lights and such. I said "hi" and he waved. Maybe 10sec later, 'BB' said, "That was my ex-husband". I laughed and laughed. It's a small world, isn't it?

This evening the fam headed to Hillcrest Ave. in Crescent Hill for a "Noche Bruja" party. Hillcrest is one of those streets that goes all out for H'ween. We went early to t-n-t and have some chili. The decorations were quite impressive and it's mostly likely that I was on the 6.30 news on WAVE3 with John Belksi, which is our favorite newscast. I wore a demon mask and gloves that the boys didn't want, and I obviously both impressed John and scared numerous toddlers. No pics, though. Duh, no camera. Once we left it was a friggin' madhouse, with literally Thousands of people. We escaped safely, and are glad of it.

Peace and have a great November.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Commutes

Date: Oct 29 Mon
Mileage: 15 (LHT)
October mileage: 409
Year to date: 2010
Temps: 42Fa.m./58F p.m. sunny, breezy and beautiful

Date: Oct 30 Tues
Mileage: 14 (LHT)
October mileage: 423
Year to date: 2024
Temps: 38F a.m./64F p.m. sunny, breezy and beautiful

The only difficulty today was the large range of temps. I was well-dressed for the morning, but really had too heavy a clothes for the afternoon. I ended up wearing the long-sleeve Smart Wool. Even though it's the heavier model, as is often extolled, the wool did the trick. Not much to report on the biking thing other than that the weather is simply perfect right now, but I have too much going on to take advantage of it. Yesterday I rode to work in the dark at 6.30 and rode home in the dark at 8.00. I don't do that very often. This afternoon presented me 64F with azure skies, but I didn't have the legs and I had to come home to help with house stuff. They're ready to tear more crap apart, so more cleaning and storing for us. Stress.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Derby City Cup III-Pics

The whoop-di-doo section including sand pit. This is in the first lap, and Katie Compton was already distancing herself form the field.

Another Chris Horner- 15th in 2008 Tour- sighting. He raced today in a Pedro's jersey, and he was rather middle of the pack.

Sand portion. I wanted to show some of the crowd too. This was a fav area. I swear there were more people here, but the leaders had gone through so some of the crowed moved.

Crowd area including beer, pizza, and numerous bike booths, along with booth from local fav LBS. They finally saw my Bleriot. Oops. I seemed to have bought that elsewhere.

Fans. Need I say more?

Tim Johnson, today's winner, over barriers.

Men over "Green Monster". It was pretty steep.

Ryan Trebon, all 6'5" of him. Giant. 2nd on the day but Johnson was too strong late in the race. If I were to guess winner mid-race, I would've said Trebon. Johnson was looking spent, but obviously I was wrong.
Podiuim, withe Jeremy Powers 3rd.

And lastly, some videos taken on the camera. I've never added these before, but bike race pics seem appropriate. The quality ain't so good, but that's alright;

video video video

Locust Grove

An addition to a beautiful ride today was coming across a Revolutionary War re-enactment at Locust Grove.

Up the gravel front drive of Locust Grove, with tents near the house and the walk full of folks.

Out on the battlefield, or just staging field, with some of those dreaded "redcoats" and a few modern coats to boot.

Tent city on the field. Very Pretty.

Sunday pics- Bikes

This is a 'cross bike made by the Vanilla Cycling shop and Sascha White. This is certainly more utilitarian than his usual works of art.



John Paul's Dutch city bike. That on the back, the one with jumper cables visible, is his stereo system. He didn't have it playing today. Interesting buy, JP. Shimano Nexus 7-sp to boot.

Dude's Surly Pugsley, with full XTR and disc brakes, along with some type of Australian panniers. He works at a local bike shop- one I do not shop- and sold his car to make this project happen. Da' Man! It got lots of attention amid the cavalcade of carbon 'cross. This pic is for you, Doug.

You may recognize this ride against scenic wooden fence. Quite the ride, if I might say so. It also received plenty of compliments, especially Jim's weave wrap on the bars.

Derby City Cup III- Bella!

Date: Oct 28 Sun
Mileage: 20 (Bleriot)
October mileage: 394
Year to date: 1995
Temps: 58F/sunny, breezy and beautiful

Had a WONDERFUL time at 2nd day of the Derby City Cup today. Got a bonito ride on the Bleriot, and had the chance to see both the men's and women's pro races. Also got many good comments on the Bleriot. Most of the racy types hadn't seen such a strange thing, at least in the 'Ville. One guy seemed to derisively comment that I had it "all Brooksed out", as though his wanna-be carbon special was better. Maybe for him it is, but for me the Bleriot is near perfect. I'll have a picture extravaganza, but blogger doesn't seem to be happy. Great day, though!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Derby City Cup II

Date: Oct 27 Sat
Mileage: 19 (LHT)
October mileage: 374
Year to date: 1975
Temps: 57F/overcast and damp

Well, L is better but Z has come down with "it". Now, which of the parents is next? That will be the question of foreshadowed doom the rest of the this weekend and the start of the week. I changed the 'disposal dishwasher hose' this morning; it the easiest fix I'd done in a while. After that I finally got out after a week of sloth and rain. Yet again I chose the LHT b/c I seem to really be comfy on the Rando/B-17 setup it provides. My goal was to take an easy loop down towards the RRCC area to watch some of the 'Cross Gran Prix taking place today and tomorrow. If it works out, I'll be able to take in the pros tomorrow, but today was more a brief stop to check out the course and the ambiance. It looks like they did a great job with the course and the general feel, but I didn't see many fans there. I'm sure much more of the general public shows up in places like Portland and in New England. Hopefully the racers will be satisfied enough that they want to come back, even if the fanbase is less than "Flanders-esque".

It was motivating to see 'cross like this, though. I raced 'cross for 2 years back when I was in "racing" shape- '99 and '00. Now I only have a vague notion of how much I was lifting, running and biking. I bet I had as many miles as I do now, but I was lifting 2/3x a week and jogging too, with some hill running thrown in for 'cross purposes. It WOULD feel good to feel like that, but now I'm much more involved in tennis in the spring, so I just don't know. I would have the summer to get lots of base miles in, and I do like the muddy off-road feel of 'cross, so we'll see. Below are a few crappy pics of today's ride. Buddhists aren't supposed to cling, so I guess it's not important that my camera sucks, but it sucks.
You can see from this pic that, with all the rainfall this week (9"+), Beargrass Creek flooded the BC Trail in places. Yummm, wet gooey mud to dance through.

This seems to be elusive Mr. Blue Heron that I've seen 2 or 3 times on the BCT. He stopped for me to take a not-that-clear pic.


One view of the 'cross course today. This is a view down a former fairway.


This is a shot of River Road looking East. They closed it down for the race!! I'm loving that. This obviously is the start/finish, not the most exciting part of the course, but rock on NoCar!

A better pic that I though in hindsight. This is none other than Chris Horner in Lotto kit. For those 2 readers who don't know, he finished 15th in this year's TdF, higher than I thought. And he played runner-up Cadel Evan's right-hand last-man-standing in the mountains. And he's right here in the 'Ville at a cross race. This portion of the course is a tight chicane through trees.



Shitty pic, but the Kona duo of Trebon and Wicks is an impressive sight. these boys are both something like 6'4" or taller, monsters in a sport of dwarves.

Apparently they were not tall enough today b/c cyclingnews reported that they finished 3 and 4 behind Jeremy Powers and my hero Tim Johnson. Tomorrow they go off again and I'll be there for full race report. I might even take the video cam and see what I can do. Or maybe not. I'll just clear out the digicam.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Derby City Cup

I'm a little disgusted. I was totally soaked Monday afternoon and haven't been on a bike since then. We've had almost 9" of rain since, and the transition from 75F/sunny to 55F/raining like hell hasn't done well with me. And last night poor L was up and down with stomach flu/food poisoning- he barfed again this evening- and that's just hard hard hard. So no bikes, @#@#$.

On a different note, the 'Ville is hosting one segment of the biggest 'cross series in the U.S., the U.S. Gran Prix. This is big stuff here in the heartland. We have a pretty active 'cross culture, one that I participated in night many 6 or 7 years ago. Now I'm fatter, intentionally slower, and have an ankle that can't hold any appreciable explosive movement. This weekend, though, the best American racers (excluding Belgianish Jonathon Page) have descended here to partake of our future "Champions Park". This is the area I blogged a month or so ago. The course is set up on the old River Road CC, and it's going to be table-top flat, with lots of run-ups and dismounts in and around the old greens, tees, and sand traps. It could be spectacular. I'm going Sunday and am hopping to catch the UCI big boys race. There's going to be a "Belgian" beer tent, so whether I get home is another issue, b/c of course I'll ride there on the Crosscheck.


This smallish pic to the right is of Tim Johnson, he of a junior silver medal at the 'cross worlds, and he who nicely answered my Qs a few years ago via website. I'm rooting for him. Since the start of September I've lost around 13lbs, so doing 'cross next year, aside from an epic century this summer, is something I could aspire to achieve, aside winning the @%@#@# state tennis title.

Tomorrow the bike? Vamos a ver. Z has a game, and we have flooring and lighting to shop for, aside from the good wife going to a social engagement or 2. And L is still puny. Life, my friend, Life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Cantaros

Date: Oct 22 Mon
Mileage: 12 (LHT)
October mileage: 355
Year to date: 1956
Temps: 60/mega-rain in p.m.

Damn, that was as hard a rain I've been in lately. I'm mostly a fair-weather commuter, in that I don't usually ride TO work in the rain, but will gladly do so going home. Today's forecast was rain in the a.m., but temps warming to mid 70s. By the time to ride home, it was only 60F, the same as the morning, but raining buckets, and I was very unprepared. Riding home in those cool temps I had cycling shorts, shoes with not-heavy wool sox (pretend bellweather wool), a REI jersey and a thin windbreaker, no gloves, no hat. I did end up wearing a grocery bag under my helmet, which helped a bunch. I got home utterly soaked to the core. I think the muscles were tightening up toward the end there. I would have benefited enormously from a rain cape and some gloves of some type, but alas.

Tomorrow is calling for more of the same. Sitting here tonight I'm not so sure I'm ready for fully-soaked battle tomorrow a.m. On top of that, there's lots of home remodeling stress. It hasn't rained for 4 months in KY, but of course the 2nd week they start our kitchen project it rains, no, pours and pours. Part of the new roof is now shingled, but the other smaller portion is just board and felt paper. Yes, that felt paper can hold for a bit, but I'm really afraid there is underlying water damage on our new roof. Damn, that sucks SO much. The good wife is double stressed b/c she's got more stuff to clean up and we lose appreciable use of our kitchen any day when they begin to take the old ceiling down. Exhaustion for all just around the bend.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Las Colinas

Date: Oct 21 Sun
Mileage: 53 (Bleriot)
October mileage: 343
Year to date: 1944
Temps: 50-70 a.m. sunny

Finally I broke the 2-hour mark and did a longish ride. It seems that, with commuting, I'm so often stuck in a short frame-of-mind. I got up extra early today so I could accomplish my task before afternoon soccer and such, but found that the sun didn't rise until almost 8. Strange that I'm at work by 7 most days, but that's on the LHT with the SON light and blinkies. I waited and left when I felt comfy. From Louisville you have 3 or 4 options for general riding areas: Oldham Co., Spencer Co., Southern IN, and finally southern Jefferson/Bullitt Co. Most club rides take advantage of the first 2 areas, and don't often ride in the last listed b/c it's the farthest from the middle and upper-middle class folks who make up cyclists in the area. Most of my family lives in the "South End" or Valley Station, so I've often done rides in that general area. Yes, it means more pick-up trucks and dogs, but also much less traffic and fewer soccer moms ready to run your ass over.

I stopped by Breadworks to pick up a muffin for a mid-ride breakfast. The Carradice came in handy on such a ride In it I had: muffin, camera, cell phone, pump, sunglasses, extra tube. I used the side pockets for tools. As the temps rose I used it for storing my jacket and gloves. My route took me out Eastern Pkwy, Strawberry Lane and New Cut to get to the emptier rural roads. I only took this route b/c it was an early Sunday morning. I also have an ADD thing about repeating roads on rides sometimes. I know people who bike or jog the exact same roads every time. Not me, I need variety. Once in the Fairdale area I chose to attack the more country roads via Jefferson Hill. On this road I first came to what's know as the Jefferson Co. Memorial Forest.
Jefferson Hill Road cuts across the Siltstone Trail, as seen here on the marker. Jefferson Co. Memorial Forest is one of the largest of its types in the country. It has numerous hiking trails, and today's bike ride crossed the longest trail 3 different times. No bike trails though.

I could never quite capture the essence of the forest on film today. It was a little dark and early, so low light means questionable results. One thing to note is the leaf change that can be seen here. It's really a delightful area of the county. I'm afraid it's mostly used by rednecks to dump trash and to grow pot.

Jefferson Hill is a classic short but tough climb that includes 2 classic switchbacks as well. It's pretty too. The local club, and its excellent webmaster Duc, maintain a site of the local hills, "100 Steep Ones". Most local climbs in this area of KY are short- less than a mile- but also steep, running up and down the knobs. I also heart my triple when riding climbs such as Jefferson. That portion of the ride took me to Knob Creek, which is a pleasant rode that cuts down through the valley towards the Fort Knox area and into Bullitt Co. Although many people commute from Bullitt to Louisville, you could be a world apart into rural KY. Next I chose to take on Barrallton. This is an infamous climb in the area, said to be one of the toughest. I'd never climbed it before, so I was excited to take it on. It's listed as somewhat comparable to Jefferson, but I found out that it's MUCH more difficult. The first portion rises up quite steeply, and then levels off a bit. After that, it kicks up very severely. It wasn't so much the inability to find a gear, but rather that I had problems keeping the front wheel down. I got off the bike. Yes, I tried to do it, but I sucked it up and walked a bit, really from a lack of bike skills as much as fitness and whatev. This pic is at the top of the steep pitch looking down. I know pics don't convey steepness very well, but my was it bad. Barrallton has a similar average gradient as that of Jefferson, but I think JH is steeper over a longer period. This is something like .2 miles at 17-20%. I don't know. After that I made the circle of Bearcamp/Pendleton/Medora/Blevins Gap, which is a classic loop for many cyclists, and certainly for me. I stopped at the train tracks at Medora and Blevins Gap and had my muffin.
Shiny Bleriot at breakfast stop. It really rode well today.

Ferrocarril, por supuesto!

At that point I was feeling the legs a bit. I cut across Scott Gap to Bearcamp and began working my way home. My route home took me on Manslick and into Iroquois Pk. At this point I stopped to call home, b/c I was about to be late for soccer. From Iroquois I knew it to be a minimum 40min ride, so I put my head down and pedaled. Really, I was tired and had no climbing legs, but the route was mostly flat except for a couple small hills. I was quite proud to finish with some strength, and in time for the game. And they WON finally!! It was fun to see some enthusiastic boys out there. And on top of that, their coach didn't show (nobody knows why), and he wasn't there to see their first win in a long time.

First ride this year over 50 and the first since last summer some time. Lots of fun, great weather and color, and the legs felt great. Now for another week of commuter miles.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Found Miles...and Social to Boot

Date: Oct 20 Sat
Mileage: 18 (Crosscheck)
October mileage: 290
Year to date: 1891
Temps: 65 p.m. sunny

Weekends have been quite the undertaking this fall. L has had a minimum of 1 game a weekend, and sometimes 2 with his club soccer. Z has now had 5 or so with his Rec soccer. On top of constant soccer games, we've been clearing out the house for the construction project- pics to follow. And inevitably there have been other family commitments. Yikes! Today involved a 9a.m. game, a brief break, a 1.00 game across town, a break and then a 4.00 Halloween party hosted by one of the soccer families, a nice family I might add. That left little time for a bike ride. I devised a fiendish plot wherein I would ride to the party and back, getting in some miles, but contributing to the family thing as I need to do. The route was part of the LBC classic Tuesday night Blankenbaker route, which usually runs from Cherokee, out Rudy Ln to Blakenbaker, down River Rd and up Mockingbird Valley to the park. The house I visited was just off Rudy Ln, so it was a course of which I was well accustomed. B/c I was socializing, I chose to wear my MUSA shorts and a REI shirt. Both articles looked reasonable enough, but both also proved to be appropriate and comfy cycling clothes. The good wife and fam brought me some Keens to wear- thereby not needing to wear the Shimano btbike shoes-, and my glasses. The ride there was okey-dokey.

After beers, chili and a mostly losing UK effort, I headed back home, hustling to beat the impending darkness. I'm so accustomed to riding in the dark in the mornings, but this time I was traveling with nary a light, front or rear. I actually intended to bring a rear blinkie, but forgot. Oops. Henceforth, the first half of the return leg involved me hauling ass on the Crosscheck, even using the big ring for a while. I knew that if I could reach the neighborhood streets instead of the busier painted, divided streets I could get home safely. And that's exactly what I did. I even had time, in the dark, to do a couple extra miles in St. Matthews on the flat streets. My closest margin of error was but a mile or so from the house in Seneca Gds. I saw a car at the 4-way stop ahead of me and let off, knowing they would pull through. As I approached, with plenty of room, the headlights instead began bearing down on me. Mierda! The lights then swung directly in front of me and into a driveway right next to the stop sign. It was a 180 from the sign. Strange.

I just finished prepping the Bleriot for tomorrow a.m. I'm getting up early and hitting the road for a longish ride before another 1.00p.m. game. It was quite strange being on the Crosscheck today. So many of my miles of late have been on the refigured LHT that I missed the interrupter brakes and upright feel. I'm hopping the Bleriot feels natural tomorrow; I think it will.

And oh well, the Cats lost gamely. As usual.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gatos

Lots of coverage of the Cats/Gators showdown tomorrow. John Clay of the Herald-Leader has lots, so I don't feel the need to link it as well. Interestingly, though, is the article out of the New York Times. That's weird. I'm used to reading Yankees news and avant-gard modern dance reviews. UK wins this one and the season is a HUGE success. They lose this and the pressure will be on to win vs. Tennessee at home the last game of the season. For a life-long football loser, I have some faith. These guys hit and play football.

Riding a Bike

Part of my ipod lesson this morning was on the function of mediation. In Buddhism, there are 2 types of meditation- Insight (Vipassana) and Tranquility (Samatha). Many early practitioners begin with Samatha and move to Vipassana. When I was meditating somewhat regularly in the Spring, I worked on Tranquility meditation. It really works, and I think it's indicative of a monkey mind, a frazzled mind, that I don't make time for it in the daily habit. The point of this morning's lesson is that there really isn't one without the other. His analogy was as such: In order to ride a bike, you need to know how to both pedal and balance. Pedaling without balance with let you fall over. Balance without pedaling will..let you fall over. So Vipassana and Samatha must be approached in the same capacity- they interrelate to create the complete picture of 3 of the 8 Path factors: Right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. I'm very mentally pure. Actually, I'm pretty impure, but I sure do like this analogy, much less the concept of the dhamma wheel. The wheel keeps turning.

And we all should as well. Peace.

"A Conflict Ensued..."

Date: Oct 19 Fri
Mileage: 18 (LHT)
October mileage: 272
Year to date: 1873
Temps: 67 a.m./64 p.m. overcast
ipod: Urbandharma Loyola Marymount class #2/2

A non-descript but but really pleasant commute on all accounts today. I started groggily, for a while thinking it was going to be "one of those days". The legs started to loosen a bit, and I chose to listen to the ipod and the urbandharma podcast. Reverend Kusala always puts me in a good mood- plain talk from a plain, real person. Yes, work/school is always a bit challenging on Fridays, but I persevered like the rest of my brethren out there. The afternoon held the interesting experience of "puppet show". L has been attending puppets after school and today was the final production, and what a production it was. Imagine 5-9 yrs.-old performing black screen puppet show skits, with the youngers making NO sense whatsoever. The puppet organizer was quite game, and kept the narration and action moving with such utterances as that listed in the title.

After the show, I looped over to the Beargrass Trail and then through Cherokee. And a strange day to boot too, with the temp in the p.m. cooler than this morning's. Mid-60s, for me, are those exact temps hard to dress for, neither warm enough with something else, but with something else too stuffy. Oh, and more soccer this weekend. Surprise!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

5 Precepts

Do not take another life

Do not take what is not given


Do not consume intoxicants


Do not use harmful speech


Do not commit sexual misconduct

Reminders help.

Catchy Title

Date: Oct 17 Wed
Mileage: 18.5 (LHT)
October mileage: 254
Year to date: 1855
Temps: 74F Muggy

We're working on portfolio writing in class these days. Tomorrow we go to the orchestra and I'm teaching them to write an evocative review (in English), and they're supposed to capture the audience's attention with a catchy and evocative title. Hence, I've provided one to my many readers. LHT rode great today, and aside from a little perspiration, I rode 18.5 easy miles to and from work. Wow! A little crappy purple Ford or Chevy burned my left elbow about as close as I've had in a while. That car was RIGHT THERE! Hope they arrived on time at their very important destination.

Co-worker "Tommy XXX" doesn't like "rude people", and apparently I am one. It's like that basic geometry axiom (or whatev those are called). If A is true, and B is true and A+B=C is true, then C is true. You know, those things we language people don't aspire to understand. "Tommy X" says I'm rude/He doesn't like rude people/He doesn't like me. If he's rude about being so judgmental and sharp in his criticism of human nature, doesn't that mean he doesn't like himself? I'm over it. His best line, in response to an apology note I wrote (apologizing in case I might have disrespected his wife a few weeks ago, which apparently I didn't), he ended with "Let's leave it at that". Great ending and I concur.

These are pics from the long loop I did last week:
Sandy bar with cottonwood leaves along Ohio.

Cockpit of LHT with two-tone cloth tape. I never shellacked it or (nor) twined it, so I'm not sure I'm supposed to display such a half-done job. Love the bars, the int.levers, the tires and position though. Dear reader, do you like the 2-tone? I do.

Trail leading from Riverwalk to riverside. This is mostly used by local ruffians on their dirt bikes and 4-wheelers. It's been very dry, so the surface was quite sandy. I seriously could've used a Pugsley.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mas ride

Date: Oct 15 Mon
Mileage: 5 (LHT)
October mileage: 235.5
Year to date: 1836
Temps: 74F Muggy

A bonus trip out tonight to drop off some bills (late) at the Post Office. This trip required, first, that I take the LHT with all the lights blazing. I also wore my reflective vest, something I don't do often. The roads scare me much more at night with tired folks after work, booze, and general day-end grumpiness. The PO is about 2.5m away (gmaps-pedometer.com). The one difficulty is crossing a Watterson/264 interchange. If there is one gaping whole in the cyclist infrastructure of this city, it's the need to risk death going through these intersections. I'm glad for the ContactSecurity tires, b/c I barreled through the wide shoulders that were littered with all sorts of road detritus. Got home safe and sound, and I was able to add 5 cheap miles to the day's total.

Commute

Date: Oct 15 Mon
Mileage: 14.5 (LHT)
October mileage: 230.5
Year to date: 1831
Temps: 75F Ovecast

I don't know if it was the mtbike ride yesterday, Monday malaise, or lack of vitamins or something, but I had sore, tired legs today. I felt it moreso in the p.m. Uck. That said, a day of tired legs is better than a day of driving, no?

I have some pics I've been meaning to load, and the builders have started on the kitchen re-do, but I can't quite manage to get it together. Too busy.

Rain forecasted tomorrow. I really want to ride unless it's torrential downpour at the door tomorrow a.m.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ouch!

Date: Oct 14 Sun
Mileage: 20 (C'dale "Caffeine")
October mileage: 216
Year to date: 1817
Temps: 70F Sunny

After not getting out yesterday (soccer duh!), I decided on a mountain bike ride this mid-day. The original plan was to get out on the Bleriot for a substantial road ride, but whether it's mental block or what, I instead decided to stay closer to home and doing some trail riding on the 29er. I hadn't been out 'crossing or mtbiking for a good while, and the near-perfect weather of late made it good reason to hit the trails. I started with what I'll call the Seneca Golf Course trail. It climbs up the side of the hill, snaking along instead of what used to be a straight-up-the-hill divebomb. I encountered several walkers in this area taking advantage of the nice day. I also came across the first of several cyclists on the day. That trail dumped me out onto the Seneca trail which leads to the Seneca Loop. At this point I felt very fresh and I had cleared several obstacles, ones I sometimes chicken out on. After a dirt loop around Seneca, I then headed over to the 2nd portion of the Seneca section for some more fun, twisty singletrack. I came across 4 more cyclists as well. This section of trails is intentionally full of numerous logs, and the combo of fat rubber on the 29er along with my willingness made for easy clearances.

From there I headed into Cherokee, bypassing the Big Rock trail. It's so lumpy with rocks and roots that I find it no fun. I then headed into the Presbyterian trial- it's downhill from the Presby Seminary. I ran across what looked and sounded to be a German/Dutch/Swedish/etc. family; they were all strikingly blond and dressed modishly (whatev that means). I cleared that portion easily and then entered the newer trail leading up to Maple Rd. I like that section very much. The trail has been routed to go up the hill in such a way that it's both challenging and much easier than the old trail that went straight up/down. After crossing Maple that put me on the GayManinWoods Trail. I'm laughing as I type that b/c, in fact, that portion of the park is pretty famous for Gay men in the woods. Fact of Life. I didn't see any covert scampering today, but that downhill is the funnest part of the whole park. I want to give many kudos to the trail-building crew that has improved these different trails. I started riding Seneca/Cherokee in '93 or '94, and the modern trails are much more fun than the older versions.

The Ouch came in on the newer Dog Hill South trail. It's a short steep uphill whach includes several "rock gardens", which are drainages I think. Another chap on a silver C'dale passed me at a very rapid pace. I'm too slow and easygoing to hammer in the woods. Right after that, though, I hit my right handlebar and took a hard fall in the woods. No blood or broken things, so I'll consider it minor, although I have some attractive scraps on my left leg. After that I'd lost my mojo. I find that confidence and speed are what's necessary when mtbiking. Once you lose those, you go too slowly and tentatively to really succeed. From there I took it easy, going through the bottoms on the paved path and then walking the bike through a newly-designed No Bikes trail, one that had informative nature placards every so often with info about local flora and such.

From there I exited and head home via Bonnycastle and Bardstown. A good ride, maybe a 3.5 star ride. I didn't break myself or the bike, so I have to consider it a success.

Friday, October 12, 2007

good miles

Date: Oct 12 Fri
Mileage: 30 (LHT)
October mileage: 196
Year to date: 1797
Temps: 52 a.m./60ish p.m. Sunny

Another nice weather day. In the p.m. I ventured the Algonquin/Riverwalk/BeargrassTrail/Cherokee loop. It's a good one for flatish miles, which to me are the best after a long day at the office. Another trip on the LHT. I'm loving it. I'm going to try and venture at least 1 trip out on the fixie this weekend, and hopefully 2 on the Bleriot depending on soccer. It's been SO BUSY, but we'll try anyway. A stressful week over, and a more peaceful weekend to come hopefully. Peace to all.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Commute + 1

Date: Oct 11 Thurs
Mileage: 15 (LHT)
October mileage: 166
Year to date: 1767
Temps: 49 a.m./60 p.m. Sunny

Nothing special about the commute today except that another member of the work crew- we'll call her "BB"- joined the commuting world today. She spent about $100 getting her mtbike commuter suitable: road tires (prob 1.75" or even 2"), rear rack, front and back blinkies, and a brake and shifter tweak. On face value her chain isn't particularly well-lubed, so I don't know how much work they did. It's fascinating to ride with someone who isn't "road savvy". 'BB' sort of randomly turns, changes lanes and weaves around. She's not a bad cyclist, but not an experienced urban commuter. She seemed to enjoy herself and she'll get better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

'Sheryl''s Lost Ride

I didn't ride today. The workers started on the kitchen renovation, so I had to haul some tennis stuff back to school, and carrying a tennis hopper full of balls with anything less than an Extrabike would be impossible.

I also had tennis after school, and this proved fortuitous for 'Sheryl', b/c she had a mega-flat on her commuter; it was too gashed and torn to boot, so she needed a lift, and our schedules corresponded. Also, the boys had after-school activities and needed picking up, so the confluence of the three situations created a vortex of interesting events. I'm getter there; Bear with me. About 2 months ago 'sheryl' had her "Biketown" bike stolen from her backyard. This bike was from a program run by Bicycling magazine (I'm not putting a link in. It's a terrible rag), in which people write/wrote an essay how and why they needed a new hybrid Trek bike, and the winners received one. 'sheryl', being slightly insane, won and that became her long-time commuter. It's a basic Trek hybrid, hers with a rack an fenders, but for many regular cyclists it would be unassuming, and even more so unimpressive. That said, 'sheryl' has put in more commuter trips the last 3 years- not miles mind you- than 'lance' or myself. They had to jump an 8-ft wooden security fence to fetch it. No mean feat.

I'm almost there.

We 4 were returning to our respective neighborhood, the Highlands, when it a vociferous tone 'sheryl' exclaimed, "There's my bike!! My bike!! That woman is on my bike!!". That part of Broadway is mostly 'Hood. There are some public housing projects close by, numerous eateries shucking fried nastiness, and lots and lots of bars on windows. According to her appearance, this woman certainly belonged in the area. Now it all gets a little racist. 'sheryl' was sure, so I turned around the truck in pursuit. She went down a side street, but we finally caught up to her. 'sheryl' jumped out and confronted the woman, well, sort of confronted her. By this time we were directly in front of the projects with all the homies out and about in the street, sidewalk and stoop. I think 'sheryl' wanted to take her on; it WAS her bike, but how do you confront a mean-looking tough-livin' woman directly in front of her housing project with all the peeps looking on. Disaster was imminent. The woman took off into the project with the bike leaving 'sheryl' to decide "Pursue or don't Pursue". I took the liberty of finding some references on Shepard Square. See for yourself: 1, 2, 3, 4.

We drove around the corner and found her again. She didn't give a rat's ass. 'sheryl' had filed a police report, so she was going home to call, but do you believe they'll find her again? that they'll take time from finding murderers and gang-bangers to fetch her $300 hybrid? Lightening can strike twice, you know.

Did a little projecting on the 9.2.5. You're gonna like it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tommy

7.45 in senior cafeteria. approaches "Thomas XXX". have a speaking and reasonably positive affable relationship with said "Thomas".
"Hey 'Tommy'".
"Don't call me Tommy!". It's a name, not a racial pejorative etc.
"Why can't I call you 'Tommy'?"
"I'm tired of your shit. You're a fucking asshole and always have been!".

Hmm, hell of way to start the morning. I've always gotten along with the guy. I respect him and think he's a great teacher. One of his kids attends my kids' school. An "acquaintance" but a good guy. Yes, I'm caustic. A Smartass. A fat kid who had to sharpen the wit to keep from being beaten up and eaten alive. But this is a person I've gotten along with. I'm traumatized. Went to lunch with some other "friends".

"Yea, you're an asshole."

Said "in jest" and "with affection", but I guess I'm an asshole, at least to those with whom I'm close. Do YOU care if you're an asshole to those random non-existent pod people? But your "friends"?

Confused and bothered.
Date: Oct 9 Tues
Mileage: 26 (LHT)
October mileage: 151
Year to date: 1752
Temps: 71F Sunny

Another great day on the bike. In the a.m. I had to dive into Kroger (supermarket) to get an extra bag. It was sprinkling and the first thing I covered with the bag I already had was the Brooks. That left no protection for the work clothes, so I made a quick stop. My morning trip ended up being 9, which is on the longish side for me. The afternoon weather was finally nice- and not steaming- so I meandered down 4th street, across Market and eventually on Frankfort, though the parks including a few hills and then home. I have nothing but nice things again to say about the Rando setup. The right brake lever is a bit loose, so that'll have to be something to deal with, but I find myself using the Tektros on the top bar quite a bit. Great stuff.

Monday, October 08, 2007

'Lance' Kicks @$#@!

Date: Oct 8 Mon
Mileage: 35 (LHT)
October mileage: 125
Year to date: 1726
Temps: 91F Sunny

Whew! Just got back from a big afternoon with 'Lance' after Parent Conferences today. And Damn, I sure did enjoy the new RandoBar setup on the LHT. REALLY liked it! The Contis also seem to roll much better than the Serfas even though they still give me a stout-but-cushioned 1.75". Too much to do this evening, but big mileage commute in the heat. 91F in October. Ridiculous. Supposedly things will change tomorrow evening, but I have my doubts. It's been hot since June. 'Lance' BTW, has really improved his fitness. I was the one hauling ass and sucking wind and he seemed to always be comfortable. Good for him. He's been getting those 30-36 mileage days in and I most certainly have not. Great bike, great ride and good company.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Errands

Date: Oct 7 Sun
Mileage: 9 (9.2.5.)
October mileage: 91
Year to date: 1691

After a busy day with soccer (L's team finally didn't lose- they drew with a big local club. they actually executed a perfect corner kick and B just missed the ball, through no fault. It was an exciting game). I worked on the yard a bit, getting one portion prepped for grass. It's been so dry the front yard is completely dead save the wild violet and crabgrass. Later the fam need to go feed some friends' cats, so I jumped on the fixie for a brief commute there. Then we decided to supper at Dittos, and finally I rode home from there too, in the dark but using the NiteRider and rear flashie. A surprise ride but a good ending. Tomorrow a commute- Parent/Conference day, UGGHH!- on the updated LHT. pics to come, maybe.

LHT project

The pics I took of the LHT update suck. The light isn't great, and more importantly there's shit all over the driveway. Guess they accentuate life in full instead of in "great photo heaven". Oh well.
LHT with Rando bars mounted. I added my Tektro interrupters as well with fresh cables and housing, and remounted my cheapie Cateye computer. I like the outward flare/flair of the bar. I was going to switch stems, but instead decided to keep it for the moment and see how it goes. Being a 2-screw front-face stem, I can switch out pretty easily. This is the only pic worth anything, but it sucks. Shit I can identify includes wash bucket, basketball goal base, work stand, hose, neighbor's old sandbox and spiderman thing. I spent 30min or more just washing this morning. Man, the chain was nasty and it had soiled anything on the bottom plane of the bike: chainstay, bottom bracket, fender, crank, etc.


New Rubber. Conti Contact Security 1.75" They're a good bit svelter than the Serfas, and were MUCH easier to mount.

Local cat roaming back yard. I like how 1 eye shines green and the other yellow.

B/c the rest of my pics sucked, I inserted this one outside the Cathedral of Sevilla. The outer gates reflect the mudejar/muslim influence.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday mornings















Date: Oct 6 Sat
Mileage: 21.5 (Crosscheck)
October mileage: 82.5
Year to date: 1682.5
Is there a better feeling in life than Saturday mornings? Well, I can think of 1 or 2, but we won't go there. I went to bed last night early enough that I could get up this morning fresh and ready for a super-busy day. I and the Crosscheck were on the road by 7.30 for a quickie through the parks and the neighborhood. The rest of the day is a mess. 1. pick LHT up at shop 2. 12.45 Z futbol game 3. 3.00 L futbol game 4. 5.00 Z bdayherenthere on the ride today, mixing that up with some slowneasy when I need too. There were lots of people out, including preparations for the Highlands 5K run this morning. I had to dodge some barriers, but the bigger obstacle I had to avoid was the mass of runners/joggers in Cherokee. I experienced what I guess frustrates car drivers so. Right in front of me was a phalanx of 6-7 joggers completely blocking the entire right lane and side jogging lane, and this with others runners in the left lane! Mind you, this wasn't during the official ride but just morning time. I don't begrudge these folks one bit for taking up some extra space. But if 1 bike can't get through then you have a courtesy issue. Sounds familiar? A little later I ended up behind some of the local racer boys from Papa John's Racing team. These guys were just tootling along and I felt a little awkward b/c it was slower than I was cruising at. That said, the idea of fat me "blowing by" these guys was sort of ridiculous. Get a grip. So I inched up along side and made a joke about "blowing by" them. They were quite jovial and nice about it and said "get him back in line!". It was fun and certainly a rare occurrence, to show a pair of wheels to the best racers in the area. Oh, they were on the their 'cross machines, and I as well, except I wasn't using 'cross tires.

I just got back from the shop and now have prep work to do on the LHT. It's time for a cleaning, the new rubber and the new tape. Pics will ensue. Yummy!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Envy

I'm not moving anytime soon, but these kinds of pics make me think there's a better world out there. I just sit imagining these smooth endless paths to ride sans horns, rednecks and soccer moms.

Stuff

We were off today from school, courtesy of St. James' Art Fair. It's supergrande in the 'Ville, so they just gave up and let us loose (officially PD day). I spent the morning preparing for my physical. I still find it so very strange that my idea of having a physical, the first since I was 30, corresponded 2 days later with my Afib. Life is damn strange. Today's experience was allinall positive. My blood numbers were better than expected: Sugar-80, HDL-57, weight- down 5lbs since last visit 2 weeks ago, PSA- normal. My total cholesterol is high, but not HIGH. I attribute my good HDL to wine and biking, and I Love both.

After my doc visit, the afternoon proved nebulous but comfortable. Having thoughts of a ride- I'd ridden every day since last Thursday- I instead napped in the chair and did little except talk occasionally with the good wife (when she wasn't doing) and drift along. It was nice, to be honest. Oh, bike related. I took the Surly over to Clarksville, fav LBS. for bike stuff:
  • exchange Nitto Moustache for Nitto Rando.
  • move brake levers and bar-cons and cut appropriate housings and cables as needed.
  • add Tektro interrupter levers to the mix.
I also picked up the Conti Contacts. I thought I was getting the TopContacts, but I think I instead have the ContactSecurity. The CSs are prob a good bit heavier, something I was hopping to avoid changing from the Serfas. That said, they look like a nice tire, and as a commuter, the extra puncture protection will be good. They're narrower than the Serfas, and I'm tired of the mondo-tire thang. Sure if I was doing the Pugsley thing it would suffice, but it's still 90F here and I don't see any snow or sand in sight. I sure do like my LBS, so I'll give them a break even if it's not exactly the product I was looking for. In the grand scheme of things, small potatoes. Henceforth, the LHT will have new bars, new tires, and will get a thorough de-greasing on Sunday. It's filthy, to be honest. I'm debating the wrap job for the bars. I'm thinking 2 layers of cotton. I'd love to do the weave like Jim did for my Bleriot, but I know deep in my heart I couldn't pull it off. I have both black and blue cotton laying around, so I'm going to play around with that. Afterwards, I have a potential connection for some hemp twine locally, and will finish the job with that. I've seen tutorials and they're not too bad. And being a good LBS, the ride will be ready tomorrow 9a.m., so I'll have time to wrap and clean Sunday before the workweek Monday. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Commute por la noche

Date: Oct 4 Thurs
Mileage: 15 (9.2.5.fixie)
October mileage: 61
Year to date: 1661

In my typical commute I face morning darkness and afternoon high light. Today was quite different, in that I had my morning usual, but his evening I experienced the full evening darkness that many of my commuter companyeros face daily. After school today I attended a Dutch Still Life PD @ the Speed museum put on by a fellow teacher (art). It was informative and I certainly know more about Dutch are then I did beforehand. Lots of flies and pissy squirrels. Seriously. Afterwards a work crew from said PD went out for a drink and a salad, and I did so on the fixie. I think I commented last time that I really like the fixie when I ride it. It was the perfect commuter today, with Nitelite headlamp and 2 flashies in back. I locked it up reasonably; nobody stole the headlamp although it would've bee easy to do so. At 10.00 I returned home amidst the traffic on B'town. Unfortunately I didn't run across the big pack-o'-flashie fixies that I saw out the window- through the screen, we were outside- 30min earlier. It was grand. I felt great and the fixie was even greater. Good stuff and good fun and good commuting. Tomorrow is St. James' and my 11.15 physical. I plan on riding to and from that as a sign of protest, or at least a declaration.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

more bike shit

this has been floating around the bike blogosphere of late- $179.99!. it's cheap and enigmatic enough to get some interest. it probably rides not too well, but if Ken is riding foldables, then we can ALL ride foldables. I'm not taking the bait, but don't you love bikes?

Commute a pierna suelta

Date: Oct 3 Wed
Mileage: 13.5 (LHT)
October mileage: 46
Year to date: 1646.5

Didn't really have it again today. Rode conservatively but adequately this morning. This afternoon was the first session of "Fall Intramurals", which means all the kids who won't make the tennis team come out and play. They're mostly foreign, which means their parents don't come very efficiently to pick them up. I basically came straight home after that, tired.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Commute

Date: Oct 2 Tues
Mileage: 15 (LHT)
October mileage: 32.5
Year to date: 1633

a.m. i stopped by Sunergos and bought some decaf. once i detoxed off the stuff on the fateful weekend, i find that i like the flavor and ritual of coffee, but don't need nor really want the caffeine. life's strange that way. slow and easy in the p.m. things are in the works for the Conti Top Contacts (LBS). i'll work with them on anything pertinent on the bar changeover as well, me being incongruously mechanical as all the webcyclefiends.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Date: Oct 1 Mon
Mileage: 15.5 (LHT)
October mileage: 15.5
Year to date: 1606

Date: Oct 1 Mon
Mileage: 2+ (Trek 400)
October mileage: 17.5
Year to date: 1618 (This is the # from Duc's Excel program. It's better at math than I)

What a great day on the bike! I almost didn't get out of bed for the a.m. commute. Mondays, you know. I forgot that I was supposed to meet a first-time colleague, first-time that is for her to commute to school. She, let's say 'Tawanda', is a former marathon runner who of course ruined her knees in such a ridiculous endeavour. She didn't show this a.m., but promised yada yada. The morning commute aside from that was just fine. I rambled through the Shelby Pk area a little more today. Really it's da hood but I don't mind in the morning. The afternoon was even better for no particular reason. I felt strong, sort of strong, on the LHT, able to push a slightly bigger gear and able to attack a few hills a little better. Today was my blood tests for my physical this Friday, so I fasted all day. Maybe that's the key. Maybe I just need to eat less and cleanse the system. And I'm being serious about that. I took the LHT to the post office to pick up my package. I'll be adding before and after pics of "the" project. I'm reconfiguring the LHT with drop bars, in this case Nitto Randonneurs purchased off-line from Vik in Canada. Thanks Vik. They're seemingly nice and shiny and I'll be jumping in to that soon, although we're not talking anything extraordinary.
  • Bars- losing the 'Stache and going with Randos. Changing from black cork tape to color undetermined of cloth tape, 2 layers and shellacked.
  • mounting the Tektro interrupter brake levers. The Randos are not overly wide, so we'll go pretty tight to the stem.
  • Stem- that'll be the biggest. I'm going to have to go with something longer than the present so I'm not sitting completely upright. I want a smidgy smidge of bend. At the same time, I want to keep a nice high bar. I have a sneaking suspicion that the LHT is one size too small in the long view, but it's NOT too small, and I'm not complaining.
  • Tires- more and more I think I'm going to try out Conti's new Top Contact, which replaced the Top Touring. They're 1.75", which seems like a good compromise from the enormous 2" Serfas mega tires that are on there right now. Not yet decided, but thinking very strongly.


Finished off the night with a short ride with L to my mom's. She made supper b/c Z is celebrating his 12th. Freakin' Wow! 12 years old. It seems so long ago and so quickly passed by. It was a great meal by mom, a great ride with L and the hope that Z feels loved on his bday.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com