Monday, December 31, 2007

SS Last Ride

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

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

Really Cheap Windfront Tights

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

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

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Westward Ho!

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

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

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



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


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


Ghost?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

& the Country

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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



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


And below is the ride.



Xmas

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

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


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


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


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

Monday, December 24, 2007

Good Mud

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

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

REAL y otra cosa

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

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


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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wanderin'

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

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

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

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


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


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

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

Monday, December 17, 2007

Commute

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

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

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

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scattered Musings

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Light and Mist

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

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

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

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Seattle-esque

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preserve path with my tire tracks as visitor.

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

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

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Filter

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 07, 2007

Commute

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

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

Life...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Cold Commute

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

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

For today's 21F I wore the following:

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Commute

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

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

I've not been too inspired to write. I don't think anybody reads the blog that much, save a nice person in Philly, a good mug in Bowling Green and some other interesting bikers out and about, all who do more mileage than I.
  • been trying to get back into some Buddhism a bit. a couple mornings of sitting. some podcasts and reading.
  • house is stressful but better. insulation and siding in place. drywall coming soon. we still have a leak that going to have to be dealt with. We paid them $1800 to fix it, so they'll fix it hood or crook.
  • LHT is still great.
  • weight has been steady for a month. I lost about 15lbs in Sept and Oct when all the health issues hit, but November was a push. I have to get back to keeping my food journal and keeping away from the pinche galletas y helados.
  • I hate to shop for furniture, and even more, flooring.
  • Xmas time is coming, and the good wife and are aren't exchanging this year. We're buying flooring and furniture instead.
  • work is busy. I often wonder if other jobs- noneducational in nature- experience the ebbs and flows that teaching does.
  • I'm considering giving in to the man and starting the administrative track. More than anything I'm motivated by a $25,000 pay raise, and as importantly, I can now see that another 17 yrs in the same classroom situation will get pretty boring. I'm not a thrill-seeker, but I've probably done mostly what I can accomplish in the classroom, so a new challenge was come. I'm not so sure I can do the admin thing though. Many principals (assts too) seem so, I don't know, so bureaucratic and disinterested in education. Paper-pushers ad infinitum.
  • I didn't make my November 500mile goal, but I'm pretty far along towards breaking my 2006 mileage. December better be time to get enough miles in to do that.
Today was quite strange. The forecast was rain/snow and low 30s all day. Instead, I rode to school with neoprene sox and gloves ready for wet and it was dry and 43F. This afternoon, as regions 200miles from the 'Ville received snow we stayed dry but the temps dropped to 32F with a 20-25mph wind coming in from the north. I just put my head down, got in the drops and rode hard to stay warm. mission accomplished, though.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com