Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SS 26" ride

Date: Dec 31 Wed
Weather: 31F, breezy
Mileage: 20
December mileage: 232
Year to date: 3273(+2 for that Kroger run the other night)

I'm all tapped out on all these damn blog entries. Time to get a life. Well, right after I load some pics for this morning's mtbike ride in Cherokee and Seneca. To build from yesterday's experience, the first and best to report is that I found my wallet. At school. Just like the wise wife suggested . That certainly was a glorious way to start the day, wallet in hand and the need to go all the way down to Otter Creek removed from my torn, ravaged, idiotic psyche.

Today's mtbike ride was really quite interesting and quite fun. After doing some trail riding on the LHT, the Crosscheck and mostly on the C'dale 29er, today I got the Redline Monocog out of the stable. I am an idiot and seem to collect bikes for a variety of reasons and the Monocog fits a certain experience, or a need at that time. I sold the previous C'dale mtbike and had stopped trail riding, instead choosing to 'cross. I then decided that I wanted to dabble on the trails but was never going to go full-on aggro. Hence, I found the option at C'Ville in the guise of a $400 singlespeed, stripped-down Redline. I've used it rarely since buying it, but occasionally it is the bike to use for the situation. To wit, last winter during the 9" storm the Monocog with big, beefy tread was the only bike to use in those conditions. Of course, anyone can/could say that having a whole bike for 1 "big" event per year is ridiculous, and they are/would be right. And yet today the Monocog is the bike I grabbed for a spin through the parks. Here are a couple mentions for those who might want to inspect things a bit more:

Cherokee Park Trails reviews
Bicycling article

What I really enjoyed about today were first, that I did just about every single trail in the park. Because the Monocog has platform pedals, the ability to jump off and walk what I need to encouraged me to do everything I could find, whether rideable for my skill level or not. If not, I just jumped off and walked. Secondly, the bike just did it right today. Yes, the C'dale 29-er has huge tires to clear trees and a big-ass front fork to help with drop-offs, but on the rigid SS Monocog I think I cleared about as much today. Because of its upright position, super-stiff frame, and smaller tires (26"), I was in tune with the bike the whole day; it felt just right on the tight and twisty trails that Cherokee/Seneca provides. With no injuries, no broken things, and a multitude of trails ridden I would say that I finished the year in 4-star fashion (with 5-star reserved for epic days, which this was not).

And I've decided I'm too lazy to post more pics. My dear readers will have to be deeply satisfied with my scintillating narrative style. And for the year of 2008 I rode 3275 miles, my best by just about 500 miles.


Looks like an upwards trajectory. I think the one goal, 'er, resolution is to ride 4000 miles for '09. Of course, it would help to not be so fat, so some sensible food intake would help that effort. And actually riding in the Spring would too. We'll see how this next portion of life unfolds.

Happy New Year and a Year of Peace for all my readers!!

Otter Creek

I write this entry (quite early) with twinges of remorse colliding with pleasant memories of yesterday's family activity. I'll discuss all the good stuff, then descend into self pity and madness afterward.

With a forecast for mid-50s and a free afternoon in the holiday calendar, I hatched the plan for a family hike, one which the wife heartily supported, 'Z' begrudgingly acquiesced to, and 'L' wanted no part of. With arrangements made for 'L' to visit a friend we embarked on the 45-minute drive to Otter Creek for a sunny afternoon of trails and nature.

Arriving there, we found that the front entry sign had been taken down and that many of the directional signs in the park were also gone. For those who don't know, the city of Louisville owns Otter Creek even though it's almost 40 miles south of the city. Apparently it was gifted to the 'Ville after the wars with the one stipulation that no hunting be allowed. Since then the city has run it at a loss even though it gets 500,000 visitors a year. In my youth I attended church camp at the YMCA camp Piomingo. With the budget crunch, the city has decided to close Otter Creek, not temporarily but permanently. We're all asking. How do you permanently close 2,600 acre park? For years the city has been trying to get the State to take it over, but that's been a no go. The recent website Save Otter Creek is certainly the best source for the latest news, but it's just a crying shame. Having had experience with Michigan's state parks, I say create a daily user fee with the option of a yearly sticker and that'll do the trick or most of it. The most recent news, though, seems quite dire. Although we haven't hiked there lately, as a family we've attended 3 different school camping outings there at the w lodges and we had our summer college reunion there a few years ago. The park offers camping, an observatory, trails for hiking, biking and horses, fishing in Otter Creek, and some of the best views in the state overlooking the Ohio. I'm just ill, but we had a great afternoon taking in parts of the Otter Creek Trail, the Red Cedar Trail (open to horses) and the VCT, but I don't remember what that stood for.

Home to someone I'm sure.

Flat portion of the Red Cedar Trail

Horses on the RCT

'Z' clambering back up at North Point, which is a connector from the OCT at the top of the cliff and the RCT extension at the bottom. Neither the wife nor I clambered.

Sun and Shadow and Sycamore overlooking the Otter Creek Valley (that's right. VCT is Valley Creek Trail)


Ohio River Bend looking south. That barge, laden with coal, was moving very slowly. Apparently in its early days the Ohio varied greatly in depth. This bend was a common crossing due to occassional shallowness.

Forks. Trident.

River bend looking north

Bucolic farm in IN across from the park. From any direction this looks like a place to live, except for floods of course.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Iroquois Ramble

Date: Dec 29 Mon
Weather: 5(sic)5F, sun
Mileage: 31
December mileage: 212
Year to date: 3253

Fabulous sunset from Sunday night

helicopter passing atop Iroquois Park

Grass path atop Iroquois. If I had a farm I would have this exact feature. I love it!

Horse hoof "damage" on grass path. It made for some rocky riding.


more grasses

A little more mixed-terrain riding, in this case on the graveled horse path at the bottom of the park. It goes for perhaps .5m.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday ride

Date: Dec 24 Tues
Weather: 50F, rain
Mileage: 16
December mileage: 158
Year to date: 3199

Date: Dec 28 Sun
Weather: 47F, sun
Mileage: 23
December mileage: 181
Year to date: 3222

I don't have too much to say other than that LithoDale and I had an excellent 23m ride this afternoon in the sunshine. He escaped from kiddies, and mine were otherwise busy, so we did the Indian Hills Loop, going Downtown and back via Shelby and Audobon Park. My average was right at 15mph, which is a bit brisker than my usual commuter average, so that's good for me. I remember today while playing on Flickr that I never posted from my Xmas Eve post-storm ride. I rode that afternoon right after a deluge and encountered high water in Cherokee and some wacky skies. Here are a few pics from that ride, in the wrong order as usual.

Sun shining, but you can still see the dampness on the road and sidewalk

Nice blue skies to the NW.

Scenic Loop under water.

Another along Scenic Loop, this standing atop bridge with the high water lapping up practically on the road.

Usually a field used for rugby, soccer, and jousting. No, seriously.

Panda, in full winter growth. Scary, no?

I think this is just an amazing photo, and it has nothing to do with me. To the north, looking over Frankfort Ave. you have a jet-black skey. Backlight, though, from the south is a warm bathing sunny glow. The juxtaposition of these two is really interesting.

bike not walk

I have regularly regaled my dear readers of many pleasant cycling experiences I've had at the in-laws in Maysville, but for our quick trip this year I didn't have the chance to bike. With a short trip leaving Friday and returning Saturday, and with that time filled with either functions or forecasts of heavy rain, I chose to not take the bike with me. Without a mount, I awoke Saturday morning with no precipitation and temps of almost 70F. Damn! Although I did not have the fortune, nor the hardware, to put together a 2-wheeled romp, I did alight on foot for a local 4.4 miler on roads that I jogged way back in the day when I jogged. The only 2 things of note where firstly, that a strong, warm, enveloping wind pounded me from the south. It provided resistence training while walking south and certain comfort on the northerly portions of my route. Secondly, I had on a pair of cheap, old, holey socks, ones of no consequence, but ones that would contribute to not one but two blisters on my left foot, the larger being a blood blister. Tasty! I have weak feet and blister easily, but come on. I enjoyed the jaunt and had the chance to listen to both a Sound Opinions and part of a Radiolab podcast.

It still would've made for an amazing bike day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Xmas goodies

I intend on doing a more thorough photo write-up of the latest Bleriot. Maybe I'll post it on Cyclofiend's site or make it part one of the yahoo or google pic groups. Today, though, we have a quick pic in the rear of the house of the Bleriot with a couple fetching Xmas additions. First and foremost I added a Big Loafer on the rear rack. I first added that rack to support a Carradice saddlebag, but now I have the Big Loafer, courtesy of my mom (thanx Mom!). The next bit of chi chi is a bell I added to stem. Future pics will show how nicely that bell dresses things up.

More to come. More rides, that is.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter viewing

It's 6F, so I'm in front of the box looking for ways to re-explore summer. I used to read smasher on the old computer, but lost the link when it died. This a.m. via another message board I found a post from smasher, and in the ensuing readage came across this excellent little video of his doing the D2R2 this summer in VT. Damn, what glorious country that looks to be. You should take a look to help while away the cold morning hours.

Wasting a little bit more time brought me this YouTube video (6min+) of the D2R2. It all seems so epic. Great stuff.

el fin de semana en deportes

Yes, dear readers, the weekend has passed and sports did take place. I didn't watch much, but took it in while wasting time on the computer like I often do. And such:
  • Real signed a new Diarra, in this case, Lassana Diarra from Portsmouth. With Mamadouh Diarra's long-term injury los Merengues needed a new, strong defensive mid to prowl the field and clear out everyone in his path. All season long, with Diarra I's injury problems, Real's defense has been, frankly, terrible. I think it's a good signing on face value, but I don't know L Diarra's quality. The Marca poll has 61% against the signing. If he can play it seems good to me. This goes with the Huntelaar fichaje to replace Ruud and the return of some young mid named Parejo who has been playing in England. I know even less about that one. Oh, and they defeated Valencia 1-0 on Saturday. !Vamos Merengues!
  • The 'Cats easily won Saturday as well, defeating Appalachian St. 93-69. Aside from a big win, the bigger news was Jodie Meek's 46 point. It's the 6th highest total ever for a Wildcat. Impressive stuff.
  • the Cowboys lost at home and hurt their playoff chances. It's hard to root for a team that has T.O., don't 'cha know.
  • Lars Boom outsprinted Sven Nys for a the W.C. win in France this past weekend. I think I could easily get enthused for some Euro 'cross. Beer, sausages, wind, cold, snow, more beer. It's more problematic in the States b/c we very likely have to drive to our venues wherein the Euro courses are (probably?) in the center city, so they can just stagger home.
that's it, I guess. I'm out and off to do something productive on my break...Or not.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


River City Clydesdale Cycling Society

It's an idea I've had of late, especially after riding with David a few weekends ago. I give many props to the Louisville Bicycle Club. Those lycra-clad warriors do many, many miles, put on great popular Tours and offer tons of rides of all persuasions. That said, they don't fill every niche in the Louisville cycling spectrum. I can't deny that after reading about Hiawatha Saturday rides and their 3-Speed rides and the whole RBW, No-Cal mixed-terrain milieu, I'm just feeling the need to enjoy this vibe in the 'Ville with like-minded cyclists. I'm thinking about folks with and without clips, folks with and without classic steel, ones with and without a need to "train", to see interesting vistas, to explore back alleys and back roades, to find a destination and not feel the need to "make time". I'm jealous of others and want the cycling experience I enjoy to be one I can share with other cyclists. Maybe I'm the only @#$@# person in Louisville who wants to take an adventure ride with mixed terrain, stop for pie, take pics, camp out, and lazily enjoy the countryside on a bike without the need for the heart-rate monitor, clipless pedals or a paceline. I'm damn sure many in the LBC would put their $$s worth that they also are these things, but you go to the club rides and it's mano-a-mano, dog-eat-dog, pace pace pace. That's great for them, but not for stopping and enjoying those roses, at least like I want to do. In a way, I don't think the "Clydesdale" portion of the title is necessary, although I fit well within that category. You don't have to be "Clydesdale"; you just have to want to ride and that's all, with nothing to prove.

I'm not so sure I have the cojones to do anything more than make up a name, but a posse of laid-back folk on the bikes taking pics and living the dream certainly conjures up fun. David had the same observation I have had, and I've heard others as well. We're too slow for the "pace" crew, but too fast for the "slow" crew. We of the RCCCS need to unite to further enjoy our bikes on our terms.

Blah blah blah! If anyone has a comment, feel free to put it down. I know of two or three Louisville cyclists who read this (Dennis, another Riv owner, I might add) but only David has left a comment. Opinions 'Ville riders? Are you up for this?
My favorite namesake, Tim Johnson

Date: Dec 21 Sun
Weather: 23F, sunny
Mileage: 13
December mileage: 142
Year to date: 3183

What is fun is that I googled a "sunny cold" pic and the flickr account happened to be from one Mathowie, someone who also took some pics 'cross pics from this year. I certainly appreciate the serendipity of that. I used a random 'cross pic instead of the "sunny cold" pic b/c, well, isn't it obvious?

I skipped church today and took a short one in the cold. I dressed pretty well for 23F and windy, with 2.5 layers on the legs, 3 on the torso, lobsters on the hands, 2+baggies on the feet and 1.5 on the head. I took the LHT b/c I wanted to go flat pedals so as to expand my shoe- and henceforth- warmth choices. My route took me to Seneca for some roads/trails and then home early b/c the good wife is going to Cincy with friends to see OTR on a free tix. It wasn't relevatory, but the combo of cold, sunny skies, exertion, and "Mindful Speaking" in the ears made for an innocuous-yet-enlightened experience. I shall try it again tomorrow.

Better said than I

Please, take a look at this little haiku. It bright a smile to my face and hopefully one to yours as well.

"Summer Haiku"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Warm Rain Commutes

Date: Dec 14 Fri
Weather: 60+F, rain!!
Mileage: 14
December mileage: 129
Year to date: 3170

I hadn't commuted since last Tuesday, so today I decided to mirror last Tuesday afternoon's rain ride and commuted this morning in a driving rain storm. Strange stuff. From the I started listening to public radio this morning at around 5.30, the temp changed from 41F all the way to a work temp of an amazing 65F or so, and this increased is all in 1.5 hrs. I was SOAKED! I did have the work gear reasonably bagged so it wasn't of too much consequence. Like last year on the same day, I rode by Schulz's for flowers for the missus. This is #16 and amid the travails of a union we're still chugging. FWIW, last year I was on the Redline fixie with flowers lashed in the basket. This time I rode the Trek SS wiht flowers resting in the long pannier pocket.

It was great to ride through whatev conditions, but it helps to have 60F instead of 33F and freezing rain. Oh well, happy weekend.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mas Real, Menos Bici

So, I haven't been on the bike in forever, but I've had some really good morning meditation sits, so it's a "push". I'm not too stressed; I'll be on a sporty steed in the near future.

As for futbol, Real has made another signing after the December Huntelaar fichaje. While Huntelaar was signed to expressly to replace Ruud for the rest of the spring campaign, their newest fichaje is one Lassana Diarra, who was signed expressly to replaced Mahamadou Diarra, their previous butch defensive midfielder. This has been a huge problem with los Merengues defense this season, and hopefully the newer Diarra will fill void. His CV includes stints with other big clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, so it's a bit of a mystery why he went backwards to Pompey and now forwards again to Real, but with our..

(sic- entry gobbled up by insane computer. I cared last night. I don't now)


Monday, December 15, 2008


My dear readers have noticed that all of a sudden I've stopped riding. I don't know why. We've been busy with school, church christmas concerts, gutter cleaning and general laziness. We're mired in the 'Ville with an ineffectual winter storm incident where nothing much is happening.

This past weekend Real lost somewhat nobly. The 'Cats beat the Hoosiers, which is always good, and I got the rear gutters cleaned out which is the best victory of all. Peace happiness to all and maybe I'll be on the bike again someday.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

El Clasico

I know ALL of my loyal readers are salivating at the chance to watch the clasico this afternoon @ 4 p.m. Let's see. Barca beats everyone 4-0. They have Messi, Henry, Eto'o, Xavi and a nifty Bojan coming off the bench. Real has a new manager, a mediocre record, and a host of missing starters: Van Nistelrooy, Diarra, De la Red, Torres, Pepe y Heinze all injured and 2 more sanctioned (cards) in Robben y Marcelo. As for Marcelo not being there I'm pleased. I hope he never plays again save some random match vs. Almeria or somebody.

What I celebrate today is the starting opportunity of one Christopher Metzelder. You can't claim he's a terrible player; he started for Germany in the Europ2008. That said, he's one of the most lumbering, untalented, oafish futbolistas I've seen in my few years of watching the juego bonito. And due to the aforementioned issues, he's starting vs. Barca in the Camp Nou. Oh how rich! Sergio Ramos got moved to the left wing as a mano a mano deterrent vs. Messi. From what I've seen of SR this season on his wing play, they might have well used VanderVaart out there. Sergio doesn't have a chance. But again, let's just think of what a beautiful experience it can be have the 'redwood' in the middle, falling down and missing any marking possible vs. Henry or Eto'o. As they say, though, you never know in a rivalry game.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


If I'm lucky, I'm buying one of these in the New Year. It seems like Acorn's stuff is nice but hard-to-get. Options aren't substantial for these types of front bags, so I'm really interested in this product. Particularly attractive in the map pocket and multi-pockets. It just screams, "Long-ass century epic foolishness", and that's something I want to be a part of.

Monstruous V.O. comment link

Damn, you should read this VeloOrange comment thread originally about bags. It's all over the place, but inherently pretty fun to read and informative to boot. Our little commuter/randonneur/fancy bike lifestyle that many of us ascribe to has a global impact just as buying toothpaste or a new car. I've moved my riding from plastic clothes/sporty tires to wool clothes and fat tires (for commuting), but my clothes can still come all the way from Asia and my bikes from Asia too. It's worth pondering. Good for Doug for supportin the local builder, but can we all afford that?

Damn, sometimes I just want to be a buy local/locavore ultra-hippy and just live off the land and ride my homemade DIY bike in my homemade DIY house. Tain't gonna' happen, but it's worth considering. You never know. Peace (and I didn't ride today)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Por Fin

After being a big Loser last week, one of my teams, in this case Real Madrid, finally come up with a decent win. Yes, the Cats also won Sunday vs. some random JUCO team, but this was a Champions match, albeit one at home vs. an already-defeated team. Well, los 'Merengues' gifted Juande Ramos his first Real win 3-0 over Zenit. Aside from completely dominating a natty looking Zenit, particular note goes to both Robben and Raul for sick flick goals over the top of the portero. I can't deny it was enjoyable to watch. Also of note was the gigantic sloth Metzelder playing right back in the 2nd half. I assume Juande was being nice and giving him clean-up minutes, as did Dudek get tonight as well.

As for Saturday's Clasico, I'm scared, mucho miedo.

early Xmas

Just took advantage of the 30% sale at RBW. My mom is buying me a Big Loafer for Christmas. I also made a few other purchases, mostly odds and ends that I've been looking at. How can you avoid taking advantage of a 30% sale? Too bad it doesn't go for bikes.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Belgian Commute

Date: Dec 9 Tues
Weather: 50F, rain
Mileage: 22
December mileage: 111
Year to date: 3152

Forecasts were dire, but I couldn't pass up 50F in December, especially after the latest cold snap. The a.m. commute on the TrekSS was a breeze. The p.m. leg met me with 50F again, but this time the addition of big rain. I came prepared though. All my goods were wrapped in a trash bag and I dressed for the part:

head- Rivendell hat, which has become my fav rain hat
torso- thin wool and Wal-Mart rain jacket. it works well.
legs- wool tights and nylon shorts
feet- wool sox and newspaper bags
hands- neoprene gloves.

With this setup I was downright comfy. Tomorrow's call is for 40F and rain again, so that'll call for some modifications, about which I'll think through tonight.

BTW, while waiting on the 4-lane Cannons/64 interchange, I was taking my lane and someone passed me on the right by going through the shoulder. He didn't make a menacing look at me, but golly gee I would've liked to give him a piece. But the moment passed and away I went home.

Peace and be careful of the dumbasses out there.

Monday, December 08, 2008

'Nuttin Fancy

Date: Dec 8 Mon
Weather: 30F/50F
Mileage: 26
December mileage: 86
Year to date: 3130

Mostly simple and straightforward commute on the Trek today. It's looking completely ghettofied with 1 silver crankarm and the replacement one a fine plasticized Black. Ugly! This morning was a smidge interesting b/c I rode to work with the roads covered with fine pellets of sleet. It seemed like traction should've been compromised, but it was fine. 'BB' rode for the firs time in a long while. I actually got to our point a bit late but saw her just up the road. The afternoon provided mellow temps around 50F and the long way home via the West End, Shawnee, Riverwalk and Beargrass Trail. I ran across cyclists both next to Chickasaw and on the BT, in that case mtbikers heading to Cherokee.

The forecast is looking for big rain the next 2 days, so grocery bags will be in order. I must flay myself for being lazy last W,TH, and F.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

ima Loser!

  • Real loses today in the final minutes.
  • Kentucky loses to a real opponent on Saturday (#21 Miami, OH)
  • Dallas loses to Pittsburgh today after being ahead.
Guess I shouldn't follow sports.

Charlestown w/ David

Date: Dec 2 Tues
Weather: cold
Mileage: 13
December mileage: 28
Year to date: 3069

Date: Dec 7 Sun
Weather: 22-30F
Mileage: 35
December mileage: 63
Year to date: 3104

Following up on a comment on his blog The Fat Guy, I rode today with David from Charlestown. He gained minor celebrity here in the 'Ville for a fun piece discussing him on one of the local news channels. David sometimes/regularly commutes from Charlestown to Louisville and back for a 32m commute. Great stuff there! As a further note, David has lost something like 70lbs in the last year. I daresay he's my hero! I joined him in Charlestown to explore some lesser known roads on my end. I always love to explore, so David agreed to ride lead.

We left Charlestown at 22F, so both of us were quite bundled up. I especially liked his black leather coat. You can pull that kind of thing off on a 'bent, which in his case is a Baccetta. Our route today, seen below on the map, took us up north of Charlestown and back south via many twisty, curvy, windy, hilly, rural roads. The biggest challenge this a.m. was gauging the condition of the road. After yesterday's flurries and sometimes icy conditions- in certain parts of the city- the IN roads challenged us with some black ice, white ice, snow and slush. The conditions improved after an hour's worth of sun, but it made the early descents into shaded creek valleys a bare-knuckle event.

David chose a nice route, with many emtpy roads and one that avoided any real traffic save the final miles back in Charlestown. I thank him for the effort and hope to ride again in area.

Nice rural riding with a bit of snow thrown in. We saw a deer cross the road as I took this pic.

Bleriot on side, and David with Baccetta

I forget the name of the road, but I certainly enjoyed this descent into the creek valley. David is almost at the bridge in the distance. and check out the strange orange/red splash in the bottom left corner. Spooky.

Ridiculous juxtaposition in field near Charlestown, that of the new McMansion quite near grain silos. As best as I could tell, they were serviced by the same drivewway.

Pema Chodron

I left a comment on the Blasphemous Bicycler's post yesterday about a Buddhist reading selection by Pema Chodron. The googling I did for that title led me to an interview between her and Bill Moyer, found here. Reading something like this gives me the sensation that Buddhim has such an elegance, and yet, such a logic to it. It is emancipatory, but without the rigidity found in the other faith traditions. She also alludes to the issue of fundamentalism in Buddhism as well, so that "hard-core", prejudicial mind exists throughout humanity, and is certainly at the forefront of our modern cultural and political wars.

I've been reading selections from "Uncomfortable with Uncertainty”. I enjoy it very much as a means to be mindful before sleep. I don't know if the outer me appears to be any more at peace, but I think, sometimes, that the inner me is becoming moreso. Of course, Buddhism says there is no me, right? Grin.

Friday, December 05, 2008


I haven't ridden the last few days. Wednesday I just didn't want to. Wednesday evening I had a weird sudden heart rate increase, not quite the flip-flop of a usual Afib episode, but unsettling. It's also been very cold (high of 28F today), so the combo of laziness, cold and concern have made for no-ride days.

The purpose of this whinefest is a find on Drivemybike via UrbanVelo of an early-90s article from I/Grant, one which Sheldon scanned on his own website. All of us should read and soak in. Riding with LithoDale some has made me more concerned about speed- Who's got the biggest pair, right?- than I have been in years, but I've had more enjoyment from just riding these past few years than at any other time. Just ride! And that's what I'll do tomorrow.

Peace and be nice to those around you this weekend.

Monday, December 01, 2008

$&#$% Bikers!

Date: Dec 1 Mon
Weather: 35/32F, sleet, snow, rain, windy
Mileage: 15
December mileage: 15
Year to date: 3056

Heckuva commute. Both legs it was cold, windy and sleety. I didn't tell the wife, but I almost got hit today, and it was my fault. I was coming through Germantown towards an intersection with a downhill stop sign and the perpendicular street a through street. I usually roll through the sign and do my best to look for cars, knowing that I see a car there, perhaps, 1% of the time. This morning was cold and I was actually pushing the pace to keep warm in addition to the fact that I had good legs. I didn't really slow down and suddenly I saw a van to my right. I clamped on the brakes and moved rearward to slow down like a mtbike move. Well, it had been sleeting all morning so instead of stopping I speed up and start to fishtail. "Eeks! this could be bad." I try to collect myself and regrip the brakes or something or another. At this point it was "stop, stop, stop...". I sort of turn sideways, leftward, in the same direction as the van. He slowed a bit to avoid me. I don't really know how close it was b/c I was about to @#$@ myself.

Oddly enough, I was actually very calm the entire time, both during and afterwards. Very calm. No fear-or-flight. No quickened heartbeat. It just happened, I assessed, and then I moved on.

Stupid cyclists! Live and Learn.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Belt Drives

Article in local CJ about belt drive bikes. Locals are throwing in their 2cents. Trek seems to be prime mover, but another I found was Spot cycles. They have several nice models.

That said, no new technology for me at the moment.


568 is my November total, my highest monthly mileage to date, beating the old record by some 80 miles. I'm even more impressed with those folks who do 700-800 miles a month. I was too lazy to go out today in the cold and wet, but I'm pretty dang satisfied. I also topped 3,000 miles for the year. I'm pretty dang pleased with that too. It makes me excited for 2009 that I can do even more miles, not just b/c it's more miles but b/c it is so great to be out on the open road.

Peace to all and hope those injured mend soon enough to get out on the road themselves.

Maysville Dowtown Loop

Date: Nov 29 Sat
Weather: 40F, windy
Mileage: 21
November mileage: 568
Year to date: 3041

After the going-into-Maysville ride Friday, I took a morning 21m loop from the house and into downtown Maysville hard along the great Ohio. It wasn't earth-shattering like this ride, but it was as pleasant a 1.5hr that I could spend. Simply marevelous.

Morning view south towards Lewisburg.

South Fork of the Licking River along Strodes Run.

2 dead horses...Just Joking!

The Adams farm, according to my fatherinlaw

Telephotoed Adams farm pic. I like these 2 as much as any pics I've taken.

The famous Magee's Bakery. Word is, George Clooney, from nearby Augusta, still orders their transparent puddings (chess pie) for mailing. I stopped and bought the good wife a dozen tea cookies. I also arrived at Magee's a bit taxed after a mile-long chase with a young, healthy and exuberant black coon dog.

Maysville bridge down the river.

One of Browning factories. It's pertinent to you cyclists b/c the famous Wald baskets, given the seal of I/Grant approval, are made here.

Maysville bridge again.

2nd Street in Maysville. Like so many others, downtown is fighting a losing battle vs. the Wal-Mart sprawl from up the hill. As I understand it, Maysville is one of the oldest few towns in KY, and was its capital at some point.

Maysville and Ohio River.

I finished off the Maysville portion of this ride by climbing the infamous Old 68 Buffalo Trace hill. I had driven the car up it before, but had never climbed in on 2 wheels. Not unlike some of the climbs yesterday, the Buffalo Trace- and yes, the road was originally carved by bison- provides a near mile-long climb peppered with gradients anywhere from 7% up into the high teens (according to mapmyride). It's a colorful elevation display. It was a fantastic 2 days of riding.

Maysville TDay Ramble

Date: Nov 28 Fri
Weather: 45F, sunny
Mileage: 37
November mileage: 547
Year to date: 3020

We went to the in-laws in the country on Friday and Saturday for that portion of the TDay festivities. With that in mind, I hatched a plan to have the family drop me off on the way to give myself a fun and rural Friday ride. Originally I had planned a 50-miler leaving from Millersburg. We left quite late and I had concerns about lighting in the latter reaches of the ride. I could've taken the LHT with its SON, but I wanted Bleriot miles. As a compromise I took the the helmet with the Princeton light and a rear flashie for those last few moments of light and ended up doing 37 miles on the Forest Retreat/Maysville ride. I won't go into a long ride review because fundamentally it was a very rural ride with several roads that didn't really even have homes on them; it was the true "sticks". The ride was also punctuated with several short, sharp hills, all of which I cleared without walking. Below are the 3 memorable ones, including data gleaned from All 3 have have portions that ascend in the teens, as far as gradient goes. It was fun.
  • 1029 near Blue Licks climbing up to a short pitch at 18-20% and several at 7-10% in the .6m climb- 203ft ascension in .6m
  • 5 Lick Creek Rd was a .4m climb straight up side of hill into Sardis with a quick 20%, then flattening a bit then up a steady 7-10%- 100ft ascent in .3m
  • Lowell Rd. up to 596 out of Smith Creek valley was another .6m climb with a quick 20% followed by some 6%, then more 20% then leveling off before finishing at 5%- 210ft ascent in .6m
I did finish in the waning light, with both front and rear light blazing. I finished relatively strong and was wishing for 15 more miles to ride. Here are some images of said ride:

The ride started near the Forest Retreat Tavern. This portion looks classically Bluegrass with the gentle fields and black fences.

Barterville intersection. It took me a second to find the 1244 sign at the corner of the building.

Ridge top view on Bald Hill Road. This was as good as riding gets on this ridge.

Country bike leaning on country gate. I stopped here to take off first layer of wool short-sleeve shirt. Later in the shadows I wish I had kept it on.

Blue Licks Lodge no.495- You can see the Grange symbol on the front.

Old Blue Licks bridge. It's closed to cards, but bikes and walkers can sneak by.

Lovely Licking River.

Beginning of Old 5 Lick Rd. Mostly the entire road was this dark and claustrophobic.

"Bridge" on Lowell Rd. These are pretty common. When it rains alot, the water just goes over the bridge.

Bleriot on Brandywine Rd. Although not a great pic, it brings memories and thought. Firstly, the Brandywine divides the Shire from Buckland. Secondly, my parents' home in PA was very near the Brandywine. These areas- PA and KY- @ the Brandywine couldn't be more different save the name.

Very close to the house, I saw this ass and his troop of goats and sheep. I think there were 3 asses in all.

FS Bridgestone RB-1-DONATED

*Donated to a young bike-hungry friend. Good luck!* And to acquaint yourself with the Cult of the RB-1: