Monday, January 28, 2008

Pinche NPR

Date: Jan 28 Mon
Mileage: 25 (Trek)
January mileage: 269
Year to date: 269

Damn I'm tired. I don't know if it's rest, exertion, diet, Monday or what, but in the course of building some nice base miles on a mild day today I ran out of gas on the commute home. While I can't say it was ever grave or even the least bit epic, By the time I reached Portland I was done and would've been glad to grab the bus home. I didn't and suffered through tired legs the last 8 miles, crawling into the driveway as the family was leaving for b'ball. I certainly didn't mean to get home so late. I'm bitching and complaining while others are preparing for 100-mile winter epics, but, Hey, we all proceed from our own individual place. Good for them and good for me for toughing out a longish commute today.

  • My afternoon ride took me through some of the West End's nicest and poorest portions. I think I've had a subconscious macho "I'm a white guy riding in the black West End" kind of vibe about me. I'm usually not too worried, but a few streets I went down today were pretty damn rough. I also went down a few streets near Chickasaw Pk that were delightful and would've fit in in the Highlands, the "progressive" area in which we live now.
  • afternoon temp was 48F with a bit of wind. Pretty nice for this time of year. Even with that, I got cold before the end. I used the thin wool today and it might've been not quite enough, although not far, for the wind.
  • Yet again NPR burns me this morning. Better said it was WFPL, our local NPR news outlet. He reported a temp of 35F. The first time I descended down into Cherokee Pk and my beard moisture froze (from the shower), I knew it was a good bit colder. At work it was 27F. That's a big difference. Proves I've acclimated a bit. I rode in 27F with 1 pair of tights, a lighter jacket with 2 thin layers and nothing fancy of my feet save wool socks and Targhees.
  • I'm changing to pedals on the Trek. They're flat pedals I stole off of some bike, but I hate them. They're flat, but given the contours they're 1-sided, which I think is utterly useless. I'm installing the MKS touring pedals that were on the Bleriot.
  • I think I need to raise the Trek saddle just a bit. My left ankle got tired from being at more of an angle than usual with my other saddle positions.
  • I have entertained thoughts- maybe serious ones- of making the Trek into a single speed. My hard ride home this afternoon made me rethink this position. Those extra few gears sure were nice in times of need.
  • Finally, the forecast is for lots and lots of rain tomorrow, so we'll see. The next step in my commuting is the willingness to ride to work in the rain, something I've rarely done. I know Wednesday I have lots of goofy after-work meetings, so if I ride then it will be one of my most committed days.
Vamos a ver, but I'm happy I dug through some of those extra miles today.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ride+Mas Schwag

Date: Jan 27 Sun
Mileage: 28 (Bleriot)
January mileage: 244
Year to date: 244

While the temps aren't quite balmy just yet, with the sun shining and the mercury rising above freezing, I had a pleasant albeit windy ride today on the Bleriot. Sitting here at home I find that I'm a little more taxed than usual for some reason, but it was a nice ride and certainly nice to get slightly more mileage in than my usual shorter commutes. With temps at around 32F for most of the ride I had the wardrobe perfectly dialed in.
Head: skullcap, helmet
Hands: Manzella gloves
Feet: RBW stripey socks, Targhees
legs: wool underwear, REI exercise pants
torso: zipper wool, Gore-tex jacket

I was comfy throughout even with my wool top being a little damp at the end. Today ends my holiday Schwag review. In all I got moderate orders from 4 locations. Here are my purchess and stars for review purposes. Some things I haven't used yet, so I'll withhold rating.
  • twine- N/A
  • soap-***- Just used it yesterday. My top smelled good and I think the container will last a good while. Is it "newly oiled and rejuvenated"? Beats me.
  • Grip King pedals-****- I experienced a little weird foot pain on the first day, but since then they've been great. Smooth, light, supportive, aesthetically pleasing. Worthy high marks.
  • wool beanie-****- more high marks, even though I've misplaced it here somewhere in the house. It's surprisingly soft for 100% wool, and that earns the extra star.
  • Striped wool socks-****- The combo of these and the Targhees have made for my winter riding preference. They're warm and soft enough. The long-term is to whether they hold up. Let's hope they do. I would rather go out at 30F in these socks and shoes than in cycling shoes and shoe covers 99/100 times.
  • Targhees II-***-I haven't mentioned these much, but these were a gift while visiting Detroit. I've had very good luck with Keen "school" shoes and sandals and I've wanted more of a hiker for a while. I was inspired to buy this pair as much from Kent Peterson as much as anything. Not long ago he wrote a nice entry, as always, about his wardrobe for the dampish Northwest. He mentioned using Targhees and wool and it lighted the fire for me to try the same b/c the sandals are what I wore for summer riding quite a bit. I only give them 3 stars b/c the last is a bit narrower from the others Keens I have, so they're comfy enough, but not great. I honestly don't know how they'll do on a 6-mile hike, but we'll find out at some point.
  • "Lady Boots"-***1/2- These are the surprise purchases from the winter. Officially listed as Side Zip Ankle Boot, I found them on sale at Target. Let's be clear that I wasn't on the prowl for women's shoes. I thought they were mens, size 11. I was buying up to allow me to fit a thick sock in this "fur"-lined winter boots. I ought to give them an even higher mark, in fact I just changed them to a 31/2 star, mostly because I bought them for the fantastic price of $6.34. I've been telling people of what a fantastic deal they were. I've used them twice for cold commutes and they performed admirably. No, they won't go on club rides, but I don't really do club rides, so that's taken care of.

I also recently purchased a Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle. After reading recent articles about plastic leeching I bought a 27oz-er with a cool loop top. I really like it so far and used it today on the ride. I can see the surface getting beat to hell, but who cares? I may even cover with outside with some type of clever twine/leather/cloth tape thing to keep it from rattling and to preserve the exterior.

Grip Kings, shiny style. I like them so far.

Keen Targhees II sitting atop Grip Kings.

27oz. Klean Kanteen inside very fetching Nitto cage. I like the peeking out Mr. Bleriot too.

"Lady Boots". Two cold trips and great performance for $6.34. I'm pretty proud of myself, to be honest.

Oops. I was moving stuff around in the garage one day and Z's snowboard fell from the rafters. I didn't know what it had landed on. Now I do, off the front fender of the Bleriot. I could be bothered, but really I consider it the wear-n-tear of life. I just don't mind, for some reason.

These remaining pics are from today's ride. I did the standard Massie Ave./Rudy Ln./Lime Kiln route towards River Rd. This time I took a few spins through Glenview, the original Big $ neighborhood of Louisville. I assume that newer money has moved to other areas of the county, but I've stated on this blog that I have a soft spot for big houses with even bigger yards. I figure is somebody is going to save some trees from cramped subdivisions it might as well be the Old $$ folks to do so.
Big House with Big Yard

The quaint Glenview Post Office, with winter patriotic bunting up.

Glenview's main drag coming up from River Rd. and the river. This would be known as an allee, in French terms.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Schwag Pics

I posted earlier this month about receiving a RBW package. Here are a couple purchases. I still have to take a pic of the new Grip Kings on the Bleriot. I also can't find my wool beanie. It's here somewhere, probably under the pile of clean clothes in the bedroom. I threw in a couple from our January Detroit trip too.

Short striped sock. These inside the Keens are good down to 30F or even lower. Love 'em so far.

Obviously wool wash. Haven't used it yet b/c my wool doesn't stink too bad. It'll probably get some usage this weekend.

Hemp twine. Duh!

No, not a bike pic, but here's Tayshaun, KG and Paul Pierce from our Detroit trip.

The infamous Scott Pollard (crappy pic). I had some fun yelling "Scott Pollard, Do Drugs!" at him a few times. Why would I do that? Please read and see why.

Last one. Hope the wife let's me keep it on here. She's wary of kid pics on the web, and that's fair. They're so cute in their new hats, though. This is from the truck back seat on the way home from Detroit.

Snow Pics

For those who have "real" winter weather these pencam pics will be horribly underwhelming. I rode to work Tuesday a.m. in about 1" of snow, which is the most we've had in a while. I'm still wanting and waiting for "real" snow.



Panicum 'Heavy Metal' on right, but I don't remember what's on left. 'Dallas Blue', but is it a Miscanthus too?

Monocog in hall. I had left it downstairs to drip dry. Our custodian would've been pissed if I let it dry upstairs all over the hall. She's particular like that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I admit. I was comfortable

Date: Jan 24 Thurs
Mileage: 14 (Trek 400)
January mileage: 214
Year to date: 214

Date: Jan 25 Fri
Mileage: 2 (925)
January mileage: 216
Year to date: 216

I'm writing Friday, but the experience most in my mind is that of yesterday's afternoon commute home from work. I think it's the first time I can say that I was "comfortable" at 19F. BB rode with me both to and from, and the afternoon commute proved perfectly agreeable. For the afternoon I had:

head: fleece balaclava
torso: baselayer or unknown quality (it's a running top I believe), wool long-sleeve, winter jacket
legs: wool underwear, wool tights, fleece pants
feet: thin wool, thick wool, lady boots (more on that)
hands: lobsters

Today i didn't ride b/c i woke up with a headache after a fitful night's sleep. this afternoon i rode up to Dundee Tavern for a beer with workmates. not sure whether that counts as mileage, but i am counting it as such. we'll see what the weekend brings, but temps are warming. Might have to ride in shorts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deportes y Nieve

These are the fichajes for Real this year, all discussed in an article in concerning how many bajos there have been- injuries that is. I won't list, but you can read here. From left to right are Robben (Dutch), Saviola?? (Arg.), Pepe (Portuguese), Heinze (Arg.), Metzelder (Ger.), and Sneijder (Dutch). Why do you care? You probably don't, but I like keeping up with something that's not Kentucky losing, steroids in baseball, fat oafish football, dopaje in cycling, or loutish behavior in the NBA. I don't know. It sure is fun in Spain.

And speaking of los 'Cats. I'm sure my faithful readers saw that result last night, UK defeating #3 Tennessee by6. Gotta love it!! Maybe Billy G is finally molding them a bit into the unit he wants. They play MissSt. and Florida close on the road, so we'll see. I'm not, repeat NOT, a fair-weather fan, but when they're playing badly it destroys my innermost being.

I'm going to list the numbers from the last few days, but I'm not ready to blog them really. It finally snowed, a while 1"!! I know the northern crowd is damn excited. I rode in the snow to work Tuesday. I later experienced lots of black ice on driveways and parking lots and such Tuesday night, so I didn't ride today. I feel good about that decision too. Pics to come, though I don't know the quality.

Date: Jan 21 Mon
Mileage: 2 (9.2.5.)
January mileage: 188
Year to date: 188

Date: Jan 22 Tues
Mileage: 13 (Redline Monocog- aka 'Snowbike')
January mileage: 200
Year to date: 200

Sunday, January 20, 2008

dedos de pie helados

Date: Jan 20 Sun
Mileage: 11.5 (9.2.5.)
January mileage: 185.5
Year to date: 185.5

Pues, I did it, I would say I enjoyed it. We have balmy 15F here, albeit with beautiful blue sunny skies. It is also listed as a 3F windchill, but I noticed very little wind, so that # is a bit overrated. Yesterday I tweaked the fixie (got it tweaked as it were), going with a 17 in the back insted of the 19 on there. After today's ride I'm further decided that it was a good decision. I originally moved from a 16 to a 19 b/c the area around the neighborhood can be hilly. At the time, though, I had no experience with fixies and didn't know of the concept of balancing the ability to climb with that of the need to descend without spinning out. I also had thought of moving the flip-flop to a comparable size that the 20 that's on there. They didn't have anything much in stock, so I left it. Who knows if the chain length will jibe or not, but I've never not had it as a fixie.

Today's uniform for said temps:

head- Descente skull cap, Performance fleece balaclava. Good choice on both parts. I forgot my helmet.
torso- C'dale fleece baselayer, Smartwool zip top, Bellweather winter jacket. Almost a bit warm but in the long run perfect.
legs- wool undies, REI black pant thigns, Performance fleece pants. Again, good choices all round. Comfy the whole time and not terribly bulky.
hands- Peal Izumi lobsters. Hand hands sweating at 15F, but warm the whole time too.
feet- Ahh, the winkest link as usual- smarwool sock, newspaper baggies, Sealskinz sox, thick wool (mostly) sox, Target cheapass shoes.

My toes were pretty red and uncomfy by the time I got home (out an hour, maybe with pic stops). i think the inner layer of wool sweated too much inside the baggies, so the wind cooled the moisture off. I remember riding to work in this type of setup, but with Lake sandals instead of the shoes and it was better.?? If I were out for longer than an hour, I would have to rethink the feet thing entirely. I don't know how the cold-climate people do it. Maybe fewer layers and a different shoe? I don't have a hiking boot capable. Really I had good luck @ 25F with the new Monkey sock and Targhees, but that's 10 degrees warmer.

I've previously expounded on my preference for winterberry. This is one, with bird nest barely visible, in Seneca Gardens.

Berry close up. Pretty nice pic.

Damn, Bamboo!!! It's a crazy plant (grass), and I think this is a runner. The left side of the house is quickly disappearing. The neighbors must love it, the thought of that weed jumping over into their yard. This is obviously a hearty cold-China cultivar.

9.2.5. fixie, including Brooks honey B-17, Banana bag and Wald basket. The front fender is still mounted by the back one not from yesterday's project. I've decided to move the fenders to the old Trek b/c it's a better beater rain bike.

New drivetrain setup. 42x17 with new thicker chain (I'm not versed as to the 2 sizes. This one is the 3/8". Is that correct?) to fit both fixed freewheel.

The pencam is portable, but it mostly sucks. The button is sensitive, so I get 5x as many pics of the inside of my pocket and such instead of those I take. It also has that washed out quality. Oh well, it was 15F and my standards low.


I will now put on many layers and will embark on a not-too-long adventure. Glad I'm not Doug up there in that pinkish/purplish area.

Friday, January 18, 2008

It could be you...

or me. Apparently Aaron Copland. Open meadow or field. Dapper suit. A dame by your side. A fetching steed on which to roam.

Road Focus

Date: Jan 18 Fri
Mileage: 18 (Bleriot)
January mileage: 174
Year to date: 174

Another commute on the Bleriot today. I'm trying not to make it too habit forming, but damn I love the Bleriot. It's proven to be a great commuter this week since the shifting on the LHT went kaput. I need a warm day to flush out the drivetrain on the LHT, but it's only getting colder. I don't know what my winter bike friends do to keep drivetrains clean. Actually, I do. They ride minimally-geared bikes instead of using 24x. This morning was about 23F or so. I was slightly underdressed and chilly, so I busted ass and rode hard all the way to work. It worked like a charm. I managed to warm up and get a good workout in. I guess we're all looking for those fleeting good-legs days. This afternoon, at 37F, was pretty clement in the sun. I can't seem to get my layering quite right, always underdressing and keeping myself too cold. Bitch bitch. As you can see, I'm not Doug who relishes below 30F. I got 4 days in this week, though. I'll take that.

I did notice on my afternoon commute that the cold brought me a certain meditative focus. B/c it's not so nice to look around and take it all in and relish the bunnies and flowers, I found myself pedaling and not much more. I wasn't negative, but just focused on pedaling and the rhythm of it. No extraneous enjoyable distraction. Just riding. sorta liked it actually.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Team "Clean" Slipstream

There's a pretty amazing front page cover story on about Vaughter's new bumped up Team Slipstream. As much as I've seen plenty of Lance coverage on the majors, I've never seen something like this. It's in-depth, includes an extensive article and interviews, and has lots o' pics from the first camp. Really I'm sort of shocked. As a cycling fan since Greg's '86 win- truth be told, I actually picked up Renault team hat from when Greg was on that team circa '84- I'm pretty delighted at positive cycling coverage that's not dopaje, dopage, nor doping. Granted, the undercurrent of the whole damn article is to be successful without doping, but it's not the latest about Vino or DiLuca. We'll see if there's success in the future for Slipstream, but more power to them.

Late entry

Date: Jan 16 Wed
Mileage: 15 (Bleriot)
January mileage: 156
Year to date: 156

I commuted yesterday but am only blogging it today b/c I'm forgetful. Some good folks can take a week's worth and do so all at once, but I would forget most of the days. Yesterday I rode the Bleriot again and had a nice afternoon at 37F or so. Today I didn't commute b/c I was observed for a teaching award and wanted to be as cleanly pressed as possible. It went super fantastico, so I'm happy with my decision. The 33F rain/snow combo this a.m. didn't hurt the ganas to ride. Tomorrow I'm back, although it's going to be muy frio.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cold Commutes

Date: Jan 14 Mon
Mileage: 14 (LHT)
January mileage: 122
Year to date: 122

Date: Jan 15 Tues
Mileage: 19 (Bleriot)
January mileage: 141
Year to date: 141

I can't say I've overly enjoyed the last 2 commuting days. Yesterday it was brisk at 28F and I slightly under dressed. I'm having problems with NPR giving a different temp on the 6.30 report than what has once I'm at work, and I'm inclined to believe the report. I'm also having some shifting problems on the LHT. Yesterday afternoon it misshifted on an uphill switch and I almost bit the dust. I did some strange maneuver and ended up running uphill with the bike between my legs. I bashed my shin a bit, but it could've been much uglier. I took the Bleriot today. As ever it was a great ride. This afternoon ended up being pretty nice at about 33F and sunny. Again I experienced the disparity of the NPR report at 25F and at 19. That's a decent sized difference for the low temps. I brought out the heavier artillery this morning w/ the Bellweather winter jacket and Pearl Izumi lobster gloves (that sounded like a cheesy ad out of the "Truman Show" movie).

I think I'm just behind on sleep some and need to rest. I don't feel spritely and it's affecting my riding. I'll still blame the wine and lethargy from Sunday.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


It's 1.15p.m. The fam is at various church-related activities and I now have time to ride. Por otro lado, afuera provides me 39F and rain. Damn. The right side of my brain says "no", the left "yes". Which side shall vanquish the other? And Real is on TV right now (almost getting scored on by bottom-of-table Levante) and the Cowboys a bit later. Modern life is a bitter pill taken of options.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I want to be hugely enthusiastic about a thrilling 2-overtime win today vs. Vandy. The more rational side of my brain is asking why I'm excited about beating Vandy, of all teams, at home in front of a full house. Many moons ago, around the time of the Tubby saga, I stated that Cats fans don't expect perfection and don't expect championships every year; we do expect to play on par with the other great programs (UNC, Duke, IU, Kansas, UCLA). Tubby's teams were pretty good- top 20- but rarely top 5, if Final Fours bears that statistic. So now Orlando is doing well vs. weak competition at Minnesota and making mint while doing so. He's even getting some press while doing so. In UK's zeal to have a dynamic new coach they hired what many are saying is a partyboy drunkard who is working without a signed contact. It's just all bad. 7-7 at this point in the season is easily the worst team since Ricky P's first in Lexington, and that was a team on big-time NCAA sanctions. It all sucks ass. This all the more annoying, frustrating, grating, riling, infuriating...that at the top of the polls we have UNC undefeated at #1 and Kansas undefeated at #3. That's what the great programs are supposed to do somewhat often. Instead I'm supposed to soothe my wounds with a win over former doormat Vandy. It reminds me of the saying that the players from Duke and Vandy can say to other teams, "You might have won today, but someday I'll be your boss." Now they'll be the bosses and they're better b'ball teams. Damn.

At least Cats fans are "making it rain" with apparel purchases. Still 2nd to UNC. You know, I just reread that article on (based on a Forbes list) and it's a good example about how much the national media has a bias for Tobacco Rd. and against my fellow toothless, barefoot Kentuckians. They spend the first 4 paragraphs discussing UNC and Duke, with a 5th thrown in about NCState (#13). Yes, UNC is #1 and Duke 5th. Too bad UK is #2 and Louisville #3, with hated Indiana #6. So let's do some Tex69 Sabermetrics analysis of this.
  • 3 teams on Tobacco Rd. (1,5,13) gives an average placing of 6.3
  • 3 teams in Kentuckiana (2,3,6) for an average of 3.67. Hmmm, guess toothless rednecks win that one.
And while we're at it, let's compare number of national championships (NCAA, although we could add some NIT ones in there back when it was equally prestigious).
  • Tobacco Rd. (UNC-4, Duke-3, NCState-2). That gives us a total of 9.
  • Kentuckiana (UK-7, IU-5, UL-2). Hmm, a total of 14. We supersede the vaunted Tobacco Rd. again. Looks like we're doing pretty well, don't you think. The Wizard of Westwood is still king, but I'll take this as the actual hotbed of basketball. I would say super strongly that the one thing they very much defeated the locals in is the number of players sent to the pros. UNC was the most underachieving program of all time with respects to the number of future pros that only brought Mr. Forever Dean Smith 2 championships, one by luck. Some of Coach K's magic seems to have diminished, but he's still filling the NBA with first-teamers.
This is why I didn't watch the 2 overtimes today. I take it all too personally and that makes me a loser. Didn't ride today either, but I did fill 4 bags full of leaves and another 2 trashcans full too.

I'm still going. Looked up some results comparing traditional powers. Here are the years and the 'Trads' involved in the Final Four, with UL thrown in to boot.

2007 UCLA (3/4)
2006 UCLA (3/4)
2005 UNC-CHAMP, UL (3/4)
2004 DUKE (3/4)
2004 KANSAS (2ND)
2002 KANSAS (3/4), IU (3/4)
2000 UNC (3/4)
1999 DUKE (2ND)
1998 UK-CHAMP, UNC (3/4)
1997 UK (2ND), UNC (3/4)
1995 UCLA CHAMP, UNC (3/4)
1994 DUKE (2ND)
1993 UNC-CHAMP, KANSAS, (3/4), UK (3/4)
1992 DUKE-CHAMP, IU (3/4)
1991 DUKE-CHAMP, KANSAS (2ND), UNC (3/4)
1990 DUKE (2ND)
1989 DUKE (3/4)
1986 UL-CHAMP, DUKE (2ND), KANSAS (3/4)
1985 none
1984 UK (3/4)
1983 UL (3/4)
1982 UNC-CHAMP, UL (3/4)
1981 IU-CHAMP, UNC (2ND)
1979 none
1977 UNC (2ND)
1976 IU-CHAMP, UCLA (3/4)
1975 UCLA-CHAMP, UK (2ND), UL (3/4)
1974 UCLA (3/4), KANSAS (3/4)
1973 UCLA-CHAMP, IU (3/4)
1972 UCLA-CHAMP, UNC (3/4), UL (3/4)
1969 UCLA-CHAMP, UNC (3/4)
1967 UCLA-CHAMP, UNC (3/4)
1966 UK (2ND), DUKE (3/4)
1963 DUKE (3/4)
1962 UCLA (3/4)
1961 none
1960 none
1959 UL (3/4)
1956 none
1955 none
1954 none
1950 none
1947 none
1946 UNC (2ND)
1945 none
1944 none
1943 none
1942 UK (3/4)
1941 none
1939 none

So in the 69-year history of the NCAA basketball championships, the big 6- UK, UNC, Duke, UCLA, IU and Kansas- haven't been in the Final Four only 16 times, and since 1961 it's only been 3x. It's an amazing streak, and one that UK hasn't participated in in spurts. The late Rupp years, the Hall years in the 80s were pretty fallow. The Sutton years of the 80s were a disaster. Really, though, Tubby led us to the longest FF drought, and fans really really love that. All this bullshit being said and listed, I've rarely seen Kentucky teams so bad as these of Gillespie. They're horrible and everyone should be very angry.

Mas Schwag

I'm not sure if I need one of these or not. No, I don't need one of these, but I find it inspiring. Somewhere during the break I read an article about the relative safety of the various bottles- reusable, lexan, stainless. I wish I remembered where. It also discussed whether to reuse those grocery store disposable bottles like from Aquafina. Apparently no. So this stainless seems intriguing on multiple levels. Someone else at work has a Swiss version and it's quite elegant. I don't know. Seems greedy given the multiple resources and bottles around here. It sure as hell doesn't jibe with some notion of simplicity. Pues, no se.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Southside Ramble

Date: Jan 10 Fri
Mileage: 31 (Bleriot)
January mileage: 109
Year to date: 109

After a lame non-start yesterday I wanted to make up a bit of mileage to end a tough week of work. To be honest my legs haven't exactly been there this week, b/c that's alright. Instead of the same ol' Riverwalk ride I headed south towards Iroquois Pk., the old stomping grounds of my 22 yr-old self and older neighborhood of my father in his youth. I winded around Churchill Downs, Wyndotte Pk and near Iroquois H.S. into Iroquois Pk, where I headed up to the top. I love, love, love the top of Iroquois. I took some pics of the meadow in Oct of '06 about the same time of year- earthen tones, grass crackling, barren denuded trees standing sentinel in open meadow. Love it! I decided today that if I were to come upon mucho moola and bought my hermitage spread, part of it would like this below. I think this pic was taken more in fall and doesn't quite capture the winter desperation and solitude, but today's trip engendered in me a need to revisit and to evoke such a great place via new pics.

The trip home included snaking through the original 'South End', across towards UL/Cardinal Stadium, through the Fairgrounds and finally through Audabon Pk. I wouldn't say I was fresh through the 2nd portion today, but I'm satisfied with my 31miles today and it probably was my best accomplishment of the day.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Date: Jan 8 Wed
Mileage: 16.5 (LHT)
January mileage: 78
Year to date: 78

Temps were a little cooler this morning, so I traded the shorts for some tights, well, with shorts. I also used the heavier wool for the 45F morning. 'BB' didn't get up in time, so I was on my own and redirected through Cherokee. As I climbed 'Dog Hill' in Cherokee- my fav ?What is the state of being? locale in the area- I found that I just didn't have any legs. I think it's the transition to 5.15 mornings after the sloth of the holidays. The afternoon proved a bit more social. First I ran into 'Sheryl' on the way out, so we rode towards the neighborhood bitching about all the crap about our jobs. Doesn't everybody do that? More strangely, as I turned onto Cherokee Pkwy from Highland I saw a day-glo figure up in front and to my surprise, I recognized 'BB'. Apparently she had dropped her car off with a goofy radiator, and was traveling home via the 2-wheeled beast. It made the return trip home a bit more bearable after a tiring, defeatist day. Tomorrow some rain maybe, but that just means the rain jacket.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Warm Commute II

Date: Jan 8 Tues
Mileage: 16.5 (LHT)
January mileage: 61.5
Year to date: 61.5

Another superwarm day in the 'Ville- 68F a.m./68 p.m. They forecasted big rains in the afternoon, but I got home by 5.15 w/nary a drop. Really nothing to report. I wanted to wax poetic about the weather and January and freedom of the road- all true- but it's was just a good, solid commute. I did fail to mention yesterday that I saw a young hipster lady on Cherokee Rd. (sidewalk) straddling her Surly while talking to a chap. It was green with tan bar tape. I would assume it was a Crosscheck, but I'm not up on my paint schemes; they change so much. I didn't have the camera either, so no pic.

On a slightly different note, I received my Xmas Rivendell package today. My fine suegra gifted my some $$ instead of a gift, so I used her beneficence to procure some fine Rivbike schwag, none of it top-drawer $$ though. I think I'll take a few pics and share later. But much of it relates to sheep. Peace.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Warm Commute

Date: Jan 7 Mon
Mileage: 30 (LHT)
January mileage: 45
Year to date: 45

Life is a strange thing with a January commute temp of 64F in the a.m. and 68 in the p.m. Amazing stuff really. Last week I eked out a brief ride in cold 24F conditions. I worried about keeping my toes and hands warm. Today, I worried about getting too sweaty on my morning leg, and ended up taking off my windbreaker.

This afternoon I and 'BB' basically did the Portland loop where we encountered gooey mud on the Riverwalk and a barge traveling through the locks. The very warm weather was, of course, brought in by very blustery conditions with solid 20-30mph blowing us to and fro. My knees are aching a bit for overdoing the gearing into the headwinds. I should know better.

Interesting way to start the semester though- near 70F in January. Global Warming anyone?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Date: Jan4 Fri
Mileage: 15 (C'dale 29er)
January mileage: 15
Year to date: 15

First ride of the year this morning. NYday we were in Lexington with friends the whole time. The last 2 days have been busy with errands and such. The workers are nearing completion with their portion of the kitchen project, so I've been working around them some. Wednesday was lots of errands and Thursday I had the boys while the good wife was at work. I took the over to Cherokee and did trails for about an hour. The trail conditions were good, in that everything was very frozen thereby giving me no mud problems. With the temp around 24F, I had warm everything except feet. My Lake shoes didn't quite have enough room for the toe warmers I bought, so I went with a base wool layer and the Sealskinz over the top. It didn't really work; I had cold toes the whole time.

I wasn't in an agro mood, and if you don't have the fire in the belly then it's hard to really attack the trails. I mostly puttered around and took in the half-frozen creek and the quiet calm that is winter in the a.m.

We're off to Detroit Rock City to see the Pistons and Celtics tomorrow night. Should me a quite a matchup.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

I love this quote, one that begins Micheal Pollan's latest NYTimes article. I've been impressed with his foodie worldview since reading An Omnivore's Dilema a couple summers ago. I will definitely ascribe my food goals to Pollan's notion of what is "food" and what isn't. I'll put such long-term goals on that shelf with compassionate Buddhism, 100% cyclo-commuting, 100% renewable energy usage. These are things for an ideal world that some people have the cojones achieve. Me, I don't know. Maybe a little some days.

Moved some Brooks saddles around today. I mounted a recently purchased dark-brown Conquest on the LHT. This one pictured was listed for $94.00 at Ben's Cycles (home of the orange Milwaukee SS). I got mine for a sweet $50 "under the table". I even found a review on a mtbike site. Next I moved the B-17 to the Blue Ridge. That one needed a new saddle after soaking the last one and sending it decidedly leftward and way crooked.

I really wanted to ride today, even with or because of the 15F temps, but alas. The workers were here trimming the windows and I ran multiple errands mostly pertaining to the house. There's always tomorrow, hopefully.

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: