Saturday, May 31, 2008

Free is good

Date: May 31 Sat
Mileage: 20 (Bleriot)
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 598

Today's miles were beautiful free miles, found miles, without insistence of training or of necessity. I'm hot and sweaty and hacking hairballs or something, but I wouldn't trade today's miles for just about any others. My plan, there is always a plan, was to get out and do a couple hours this morning. 'L' awoke a little earlier than expected and mutually we decided to go to the farmers' market via 2-wheels. 'L' is so much more game to take these jaunts than his lazy older brother. He was downright enthusiastic. I took the 9.2.5. fixie to use its veggie-appropriate basket. I knew it would be a good day when we hit our first hill, a steep little pitch going from Trevilian in front of Lakeside up to near Kroger. 'L' hit is hard and kept plugging away, making the "summit" just a half wheel ahead of me, grinding my best on the fixie. Good for him and a great way to start the morning. We took a look at the farmers market, which was at its social best while not fully stocked with yet-to-ripen veggies. We picked a locally-produced havarti cheese, one of the boys' favorites, some salad greens and a quart of strawberries. The fresas are all very much in season, so that seemed the best option. The family loves them. I'm a little more ambivalent for some unknown reason. On the way home we stopped at Breadworks: scone for 'L', coffee for me, scone for 'Z' and danish for good wife. I also ran in next door to the hardware to grab some gutter drain covers. Now that some of our drainage goes underground I want to keep the pipes clean.

The second ride was also 'L' related, and also quite serendipitous. He was playing baseball about 2m from the house, so I took the LHT again. My dad and my half-brother arrived part ways through the game from Detroit, so we all decided on ice cream after the game, only that meant they were in the car and I on the bike. They gave me a bit of a head start and I time trialed it to Diary Kastle. If watermelons, tomatoes and thunderstorms are summer, then the DK is more so. Cheap, soft serve ice cream, homey atmosphere. Americana at its best. From the helado stop I then wandered north through Germantown and had intended to circle through the parks and home. Instead, I ran into the morning coffee guy from Sunergos. We had a very amiable chat, one that wasn't too different on bikes than what we have at 6.45 in the a.m. We both agreed that the bike is the way to liberate the day. After turning up towards Lexington Road I eyed another chap on the sidewalk . From the back it looked like a church softball friend, and once I approached my observation proved correct! I then rode with him a bit on his way to the bank. He doesn't ride much, but $4.00 is changing his mind. For years he has been almost chastising me to be careful; he's a bit paranoid about cycling on the road. After my 2nd serendipitous one-the-bike conversation I headed home, almost giddy at a superb day of urban errand cycling.

Friday, May 30, 2008

slow-n-steady

Date: May 30 Fri
Mileage: 32 (Bleriot)
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 578

I surely didn't set any speed records today, but I inched up and over the 2 hour mark on today's slow and flat road ride on the Bleriot. My route took me through Seneca, down the Beargrass Creek Trail, along the river through Portland and back home via the Riverwalk and through the Highlands. I felt slow, went slow and am perfectly satisfied. My avg speed was around 13mph, but that is a speed including lots of stop signs and lights. After about 30min my ass acclimated to the seat- seat time is well-earned, right?, and I resigned myself to having no real legs. Instead I just poked along. Now that I'm home, I have not one single insight nor observation of the ride other than the fact that I actually rode. I am/was pretty shocked to find that today's 32-miler is my longest ride of '08. I had a commuting week with 2 30s the first week of January, but nothing longer until today. Strange.

Beargrass Creek Trail in summer foliage.


Blue ped/bike sign. These are cropping up in more spots. Maybe more dedicated paths will crop up with them.


Shawnee Park meadow. 50 years ago this would've been covered with baseball diamonds in the "hey day" of Shawnee. It's pretty sparse these days.


Gratuitous Bleirot pic. Please note the fender dent. I sort of like it. Would I/Grant call it "beausage"?

I did spend my ride today listening to various NPR podcasts. I find today's kind of ride- no partner, low traffic, low scenic appeal- to be a nice time to catch up. I took in 2 episodes of 'Studio 360', one which included discussion of the new super collider in Switzerland.
Another interviewed an architect who gained inspiration from the lawlessness of punk rock, thusly helping him buck "the man" paradigm of corporate architecture. Unimportant but interesting. I finished listening to our local NPR gardening show, Homegrown, a personal fav. Homegrown dealt extensively with the growth, no, the figurative explosion of farmers' markets. Tomorrow is Saturday, so I'll be trying to buy some locavore fair. I'll be taking the bike too, of course.

And lastly:

5 Precepts

Do not take another life


Do not take what is not given


Do not consume intoxicants


Do not use harmful speech


Do not commit sexual misconduct.





I find it helps, even a little.

toolin' around

Date: May 28 Wed
Mileage: 2 (LHT)- errand to grocery
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 529

Date: May 29 Thurs
Mileage: 2.5 (925)- errand to Bearno's
Mileage: 15 (C'dale)- Cherokee/Seneca
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 546

I'm getting reacquainted with the 2-wheel mode but I'm spending more time right now getting the yard back together. A full Spring of neglect of all home projects has left me much to do, so the last 2 days have been filled with planting, moving, mulching, reconstructing and the like. I did managed both days to use the bike, but I haven't pulled off a nice 2-hour toodle that I need.

One goal for all summer is to make as many local rides as possible. Put differently, anything ridable in the neighborhood- to the grocery, coffee, hardware, etc- I want to bike it. After a spring of trucking I need to give back, so to speak. Wednesday we had yet another full complement of evening activities, so we decided to grill out for lunch, giving us our comida for the day. I rode the LHT to the store to stock up on provisions. Thursday (yesterday), the fam wanted local pizza (Bearno's), so they undertook the "journey" by 4, but I decided to take the fixie over for the brief 2.5-mile trip. Riding home on a full stomach wasn't the most graceful, but it worked.

Not much later after dinner I took another mountainbike ride in the park. I don't understand the allure of the dirt over the road right now, but redundantly I state that the updated trails in the parks are just plain fun. I wore my Princeton ledlight on my helmet for a little bit of help and put in about an hour in both Cherokee and Seneca. I give last night's quickie high marks. Short, sweet, fun and non-injurious.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mixed-media ride

Date: May 26 Mon
Mileage: 17 (LHT)
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 527

I made full use of the LHT's capabilities today, using it both on road and trail. I originally left on the Trek. The forecast and radar indicated big rainstorms at some point, and the Trek (with fenders) is the nominal "I don't give a crap if it falls apart" bike. Something, though, is quite wonky with the pedals and/or crankarms. You can't imagine the creaking. Yes, the pedal threads are greased and should be functional, but I turned around and came home b/c I didn't want to listen to that for hours. I grabbed the LHT b/c it was close, I don't mind it getting nasty, and the pedals were appropriate for my Keens.

I started through the neighborhood and linked over to St. Matthews, feeling the need for some pedestrian terrain. After that it was towards the park where I had to take a quick pit stop at Seneca Pks facilities. Rewinding, I found myself feeling like a car for a change. A group of 3 roller bladers (sic) had turned right into the path (well, at the stop sign in the path) of a truck, with me behind the truck. It was a case of the argument for "2 abreast". They took up the whole street and did so for several blocks. I'm not sure if they were tentative about traffic and just felt they owned the whole damn street. They eventually turned, but I hope I personally am not that obnoxious in traffic. You certainly see complaint after complaint about peletons taking more than their due in virtually every town.

While in Seneca/Cherokee I saw lots and lots of roadies and mtbikers. Almost, no every, one seemed to be in that lycra/training mode. I'm as glad as anybody that there are more cyclists, but I hope some of these same folks are hitting the errand and commuting road too.

Once in Cherokee, I threw in the "mixed use" portion, taking in 2 of the excellent trails there, in fact the same ones as I did yesterday on the C'dale. On the LHT I went more slowly, or more deliberately, but was still able to have just as much fun. If you're in Louisville, give the improved Cherokee trails a try. After that I headed towards home and at some point just ran out of gas completely. I don't have many miles in the legs, and after a previous hard day, I guess se me acabo. I crawled home, where I found 'L' ready to play some tennis. I gladly obliged, and we had another good session. A prodigy in the making? My 1 goal with that would to NOT become a psychotic tennis parent like those I've dealt with all season.

All miles are good miles.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To the trails

Date: May 25 Sun
Mileage: 15 (C'dale)
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 510

Now that the near summer has begun, it's time to hit the road, or trails today as it were. I took the C'dale 29er out for about 1.5 hrs through the Cherokee trails and along the Beargrass Trail (paved) for a little extra. The local trail riders have really improved the trails and I took another new segment today. They twist without being too twisty, climb without being too steep, have interesting "trails" sections without...you get the picture. I had the good fortune of falling while waiting at a corner while still clipped in. I hadn't done that in a while, but it's always nice to know you still have the ability to embarrass yourself. Otherwise, I had fun and didn't injure myself nor tear the bike up, so anytime I can do that on a mtbike ride, I call a success.

Lo hemos hecho

Well, for all the bitching and complaining and whining on my part, my tennis team pulled off the amazing feat of winning the state tennis title yesterday. I've stated on this blog numerous times that the whole tennis thing was driving me mad and stealing my life, but it sure doesn't hurt to put a big, fat goal out there of winning it all and then achieving said goal. I'm tired but very satisfied. Look like I need to make some of my own goals and set to achieving them. Mileage anyone?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Grocery

Date: May 20 Tues
Mileage: 6 (LHT)
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 494

Ran around doing health and tennis stuff. Got a sleep apnea machine today. don't want to talk about much anymore, but it may be that i sleep much better with it. if that's the case, i'll report. otherwise, case closed. had tennis afterwards and then pittered. i finally needed to go to the store for the distilled water for the machine and made it a LHT trip, both panniers filled with a gallon of water. extended the trip home a bit. short, sweet and much better than driving the car.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Active Day

Date: May 18 Sun
Mileage: 13 (Bleriot) + 4.5 walking
May mileage: ??
Year to date: 488

What a great 2 days we have had this weekend. You can't do better than 75F, breezy and azure skies greeting you all day long. Today began by walking the boys to Sunday school. Church is a little more than 1 mile away, so I try- sometimes in vain- to use the feet instead of the car. They were game this morning, so that was the first leg of the day. I stayed at Breadworks and graded papers for about 2 hours and then walked home. Shortly thereafter my work friend- we'll call him Marco on account that he's almost completely nuts and Pantani is one cyclist I can think of who fit that bill- came by for a bike ride. He recently bought a Marin hybrid-like bike for errands and possible commuting. Knowing him, he'll never stick with commuting, but I hope he does. He only lives 1 mile away, so maybe next year we'll see him on the route like I had with 'BB'. We took a meandering neighborhood ride, mostly on super-flat streets. We ended up through the park and on the Beargrass Trail. I figured 'Marco' could handle its flatness. During our ride we saw signs for an Israel 60th anniversary ride that wound through the park, police guarding the turns. We returned via the park and up through Seneca Garden, giving us 13m total. 'Marco', relatively thin fellow, proved you could be pitifully out of shape while being think at the same time. I'm glad he gave it a try, though.

A little later in the afternoon, the good wife and I took a walk as we did yesterday, both days totaling 2.5m. My goal, aside from my own mileage ambitions, (sic). Yesterday included an errand ride, a walk and some great grill out food in the evening, and today was just as good. It's not hard to enjoy the near perfect. And even better, only 1 week of school- and tennis- to go.
I fell upon this website- Chris and Margo's Cycling Pages- today, don't remember where from, but this quote perfectly encapsulates mid-day in Spain. Bread, cheese, cafe con leche, and in my case, Fanta Naranja instead of Limon, but all great stuff. I spent some time looking at Spain pics; it makes me year for a little adventure. Maybe an overnight is in store this summer. Wouldn't that be fun?
Falling into a comfortable routine, we stopped for mid-morning café con leche at bars, bought local cheeses and bread for lunches on park benches or shady roadsides, and on the hottest days we started early and drank lots of Fanta Limón.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

more errands

I'm slowly climbing out of my tennis stupor. We had our big tournament and finally defeated the 'evil empire' (Laura, that's St. X for you), the team that hadn't lost regionals for 26 years.

That said, the schedule is slowly freeing up for me and us time instead of school and tennis time. 'L' had his 2nd-to-last soccer game today and played great, scoring a really nice goal at the start of the 2nd half. He then went straight to baseball where he arrived in time to have 1 at bat before the end of the game, an at bat where he got a single up the middle. And then he had snake time!

It's nearly perfect here, 75F and sunny, so after some front stoop time I took the LHT on a circuitous route to the grocery store for some supper grill out fixins'. With $4 gas and a lack of miles in the legs, I want to make this summer a car-free/car-reduced one here in the 'Ville. Although I have no numbers, anecdotally it sure seems there are more bikes on the streets these days, many of which are functional ones instead of sport lycra rigs. I might go back out for something a bit more substantial, but what I did felt great.

5m/475yr

Friday, May 09, 2008

Errand

Well, I can use a bike for purposeful riding after all. I wanted to look into some new tunes, so I took the LHT out for a quick little errand to the local CD store. It's been a soggy day, so the fenders came in handy and the nighttime made great use for the SON/Lumotec. Short and painless but very satisfying.

5/9/08
7m (LHT)

Odds-n-Ends

Let's see:
  • Real wins La Liga. And Barca loses Champions. That's good.
  • It's interesting that Real has had a reputation for being racist, but on the banner above, most of their "players of color" are highlighted. From left: Drenthe, Julio Baptista, Robinho, Diarra, Marcelo. I hope they keep Diarra, but I've heard he's moving to Inter.
  • The 'Cats have been in the news for taking verbal commitments from 8th graders. This is the kind of stuff that makes the greater nation hate my idiotic 'Cats. I mean, C'mon Billy G!
  • No, still not riding much, but the tennis season/school year is ending soon and I'm coming on strong in June!!
  • The health thing is in stasis. Meds, limited booze. I had a first sleep study and had no apnea, but the subsequents numbers showed it. I'm now supposed to go for a follow up, but I'm also thinking that dropping some weight would be better, albeit more long-term, solution. Sleep apnea is mostly weight-marked. How about I do something proactive instead of ridiculously American? Technology over health.
  • I'm more and more tired of the tennis stress. This will be my last year.
  • We're in the final throes of 'L's' soccer season. My it's been topsy-turvy. He has tryouts for next season in a couple weeks. I'm curious what happens. Does he try out? Does he make the team? Does he want to? Do we want him to?
Soccer this weekend. Regional tennis next week. Last week of school and State tennis the week after. Summer, gardening, cycling, pool and life after that. Peace and I'll be blogging miles before long.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Best Ride

It didn't set any records for distance, but I had the best kind of ride yesterday, a little 2.5 jaunt out in the perfect weather w/ 'L' (el segundo). I've been away alot of late and I'm catching up on some dad time. L had a soccer game first. When we got home, I stated "I'm going for a ride!" and he jumped in whether he could go. Yes, I was thinking of a 15-20 miler, but I surely couldn't say no. We had a nice time until he had to go to the bathroom, cutting short of expedition. The 75F/blue sky provided a glorious backdrop for what I'll label the best kind of ride of all.

Friday, May 02, 2008

"Score one..."

This is a must-read. I only wish I were so competent while on the road.

"Most Improved"

The 'Ville got some props from that venerable rag of mediocrity Bicycling in a recent issue. To be fair, it's a nice article. It highlights efforts to make Louisville more bike-able. Linked are some local on and off-road rides, a few I've taken and others I might have to try this summer.

Tennis is getting closer to its dreaded end. Joy and anticipation mount.

On a health note, I did a sleep study last night, which meant sleeping in what looked like a hotel room, but at the same time connected to 150 (seemingly) different wires. Results...No sleep apena last night. That's a good thing b/c that's one less trigger for the Afib. 'Course, with no apnea what becomes of the wine possibility? Yikes.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com