Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec 31 notes

  • 18-miler this afternoon on the Blueridge. I can't deny that I'm liking the BR right now. It's comfy (35c Paselas), secure, waterproof (titanium and mudguards) and a little quicker than the RBW products. I was thinking downtube shifters, new bars, and new brake levers today, making it a bit more of a rando bike with a front bag. I have no clue about low/high trail issues, but it certainly doesn't feel like a RBW machine. Thoughts...
  • '09- 3631
  • '08- 3273
  • '07- 2777
  • '06- 2573
  • '05- 1418
  • I'm liking the upward trajectory of the mileage. I had a much better Spring/Summer than '08, although I backed off a bit in the Fall of this year, giving me a total some 358m more than last year. Not bad. 4000 seems like a good number to strive for, but more importantly, interesting rides with interesting folks, along with committed commuting seem like better goals. I feel good when I ride. Now if I could just feel good for not eating so fucking much.
  • The LHT wins both the distance and times ridden award. '10 will see a new seatpost and stem for the LHT.
  • This year's New Year's Eve was spent goofing, riding and wrenching, quite different from last year's family hike at Otter Creek . The good wife said she wanted to go hiking more. We *will* go hiking more, whether those 2 rascal offspring like it or not.
  • Tomorrow the RiverCityCyclingSociety has a quickie ride planned. What that really means is that Dave and I have a ride planned, as the RCCS isn't a force of cycling just yet. We plan on doing 40 or so miles deep in Hoosier Nat'l Forest on many miles of gravel. I'm hoping the conditions aren't too bad. I spent some time: mounting non-SON front wheel with slight knobbie, checking brakes, remounting former seatpost and seat, waxing Brooks Conquest, tidying up rear pannier w/ appropriate tools, helping 'L' with Nerf gun.
It's been an interesting year, and more so, a really, really, really quick decade. 10 years ago tonight we were in Detroit ushering in the new Millenium. My parents were still married. My children were very young. I was, well, thinner, as I had lost a lot of weight in '99. Maybe a good goal would be to not be so large. Maybe a good goal for '10 and the teens would be to live a good, noble, gentle life and take care of those around me. And to ride the bike as much as possible.



Nice relaxed Quickbeam ride yesterday. I'll let the pics do the talking:

Sludge leaking into Beargrass Creek. Yuck! This area reeked of sulpher as well.

Quickbeam on Beargrass bridge

new arena making progress.

2nd Presbyterian, but tower only. The rest burned down last year. The new location will be in the former Krogers to the left.

looking east down Riverwalk w/Ohio River

Riverwalk in bottoms. I really enjoyed the sparse, bare look of the flora in winter. Take a look through the barren trees. Nothing fancy, just nice lines.

Funnily, when the waterfront park was built this was an inlet from the river. Now, instead of looking at water you have the reformation of land and flora. Nature does its own thing.

BEAVER!!!! I took several pics, but this is the one I chose. He was roaming around just off the bridge (of previous QB pic). It's also the same spot I saw remnant of beaver last winter

My old friend Ol' Blue, in a tree this time instead of wading in the creek. yes, broken record, but I always like seeing ol'blue.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


After hatching a plot to pull off a semi-epic mixed-terrain ride in Maysville on Tuesday, my plans had to be adapted to fit the family needs, in this case a trip to the local cheap multiplex to take in Avatar . To be *very* fair, I wanted to seee Avatar too, so it was a win/win for all.

With blustery conditions and 27F, I bundled up and elected to bring the LHT instead of another mount, as I didn't want tire issues with a fixed time schedule. I used the initial portion of my original course and just cut west, towards my brother-in-law's house, to meet up with the movie crew. I can't say there were many epiphanies on the ride. It was just a good country ride, albeit a bit cold. If anything, the highlight of the day was a somewhat strange site, one I bet my many readers have never seen. I saw a cyclist from afar and thought to myself- "real" cyclist or "Mexican" (i.e. migrant agri worker), especially with the less than ideal conditions. Who *chooses* to ride in this cold? To my real surprise, it was a young teenage girl wearing her Amish best: black pants with appropriate dress over top, not much of a coat, gloves?, headkerchief but no helmet. I was fully decked out in the latest wool and plastic and this girl was riding with purpose in virtually nothing for the conditions. Impressive!

I'll have to leave my epic ride for another, but I'll take the satisfaction of a quiet one in the country.

Owen Pike after a tricky descent avoiding slick spots

LHT on fence post. You may notice adjustable seatpost. It has confirmed that I need one with more setback, but it won't be this finicky, heavy monster ($15 is a pretty good tester price).

Abandoned homestead

Amish buggy in front of red hay barn. The Amish school was just to the left of this and had 5-6 bikes out front. More Amish commuters on a cold day.


Whilst wasting away my morning drinking my beloved coffee and pining for fresh road, I came across Randy (gleaned from "about") travels the highways, byways and gravelways of eastern Kansas visiting historic sites and ofthebeatenpath roads. Haven fallen in love with the prairie on our trip this summer, I'm really enjoying visiting((the MW, the prairie) again via dirtbum's entries. Have a look.

Donde he visitado

Found this little ditty via fivetoedsloth's page. As you can , there is a decidedly eastern bent to my USA explorations. I also just noticed that I have *not* been to North Dakota. I guess I'll have to visit to count it on the map. You can have fun yourself at DouweOsinga'sProjects.

visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

As you can see, my world traveling has been more limited, albeit not numerically. I've been to Europe something like 8 times, but aside from a fine honeymoon in France, they've all been Ibero-centric (Spanish teacher, you know)

visited 8 states (3.55%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ol' Blue

Not one but two!! After a nice morning and and our traditional Xmas breakfast, I sneaked out for some two-wheel meditation. I can't say it was comfortable, as 36F with drizzle, a bit of sleet and blustery winds don't make for "comfy" conditions. And yet, you just hunker down a bit and ride. As I understand, those folks throughout the Midwest aren't probably thinking that the snow and sleet they're receiving is "comfy" either.

My three memories that'll stick this year of my quaint 17-miler are Ol' Blue, Big Blue and the Killer. To wit, I had not one but two sightings of my friend Ol'Blue along the Beargrass Trail. For whatever reason, I really like these sightings. I don't even care to explain; it's just great. I made my way down to the riverfront where the Killer made an appearance, in the guise of a raptor of some point. As I approached he took off, but shortly later he crossed my path perhaps 10ft above me. And finally I took in Big Blue down by Eva Bandman, the upcoming 'cross site. While lighting on the old River Rd. bridge I saw a much larger, much bluer version of my Beargrass friend quite close to the confluence of Beargrass Creek and the Ohio. A bit of research doesn't really differentiate variations of Blue Herons, so Big Blue is just more blue than the other, but 2 sightings is great (a 3rd added on the return via the Trail again). From the river I made my way home, even walking a bit on Milvale because I wanted to. I would give the physical effort 2-stars, but as a tonic it was the perfect salve for such a day. Peace.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

La Nochebuena

no ride today. too many errands, wrapping and parenting. Yesterday was a nice one with a sudden ride with Lithodale in the a.m. having been indecisive all morning, I eventually undertook the search for phone. as I was looking for it upstairs, the texting noise popped and Lithodale was looking for a quickie. I ran over there and we put in 17.5m. Later in the day the boys, especially 'L', were looking for pool time so we went to Lakeside. There I did 30min on the elliptical and a set of weights (push, pull, tri, squat). Boy it felt great to do some weights again. We'll see what the rest of the week brings with 2-wheel time. Let's hope something good.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mixed-Tierra Musings

Staring out at the grey ick , I came across a nice post and a nice new site extolling the virtues of non-pavement riding.

Give them a glance.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Cross corrected

I stand corrected on previous complaints about Metro Parks tooling over the rivercitycountryclub 'cross course for a damn dog run. From Jimmy I picked up a recent video shot by Metro Parks of the initial work underway for the development of the a new 'cross area. Included is some discussion of uncovering existing features around Beargrass Creek and the Ohio River for future run-ups, as well as potential sand-traps courtesy of local neighbor Nuget Sand.

At the very end of the video is preliminary course map- I'm sure as an idea- which includes a fly-over, run ups and significant time spent along the river. Yes, the course will be under water once every 5 yrs, but who knows? It seems like Metro Parks is holding up their end of the bargain.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


rode yesterday, 10 degrees colder in the p.m. from the morning commute. I didn't feel that well nor do much save go to work and home.

Sunday did a great ride with RCCS. Write-up to come.

got up plenty early this morning and just don't feel that well. Ick! Bleh!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

'cross brakes

I found a very, very interesting discussion of 'cross canti brake issues on VeloNews via Leonard Zinn. The tenor of the article corroborates the fears that took hold of me on the DDRamble back in November, when frankly I thought I was going to die on a steep downhill while the cantis on the Crosscheck shuddered uncontrollably. Zinn's basic explanation deals with fork flex and cantis, implying that it's quite difficult to avoid, even for seasoned 'cross mechanics. His solution is to run a V-brake on the front and a canti on the back.

I don't think it helps the here-n-now, but it makes me feel a lot better than there are experienced bike folks out there with the same problems. The QB and Blueridge both have cantis, but with many miles in the BR never game me any problems, but I don't have enough experience with the QB. The LHT has direct-pulls and the Bleriot dual-pivot

Ready Freddy

Tomorrow's plan is for a 60-miler over country roads in Henry, Oldham, Trimble and Carroll counties. In that 60 are 4 sections of gravel- I think- and some gnarly climbing. I futzed with the Bleriot today to take the lump out of the bike tire, but to no avail. I'll ride lumpy and deal. Below is out flyer.

On a very different note, I picked up a link from wandering around today, so I don't remember to whom I should give credit. It's quite amazing some of the subway infrastructure being built in other countries while we just can't seem to get anything done in the good ol' U.S. of A. anymore.

Friday, December 11, 2009

cycle of death...well, not of death exactly

Yes, it's 4.53a.m. and I'm on the computer, all of which is highly unfortunate. I've been battling a cold all week and it's wreaked havoc with my sleeping cycle. That said, I'm up early enough to get a commute in, as I've done W and TH this week. Today is a little colder, even, but the afternoon is supposed to warm up a bit. 'Ville did not get snake-bit with a mega storm as so many others did, just a cold front to cool my feet at the computer desk.

For my own purposes, and yours, I wore this yesterday on a 21Fa.m./27Fp.m. commute, both legs having a brisk wind and certainly near single digit wind chills:

Head: craft beanie/North Face thick earband. (couldn't find balaclava)
gloves: lobsters. What else for the under-30F set/
feet: thin wool sox, SealSkinz sox, plastic baggies, old Target shoes (no clips)
torso: thick wool top, Biemme thick jersey, gore-text jacket
legs: compression shorts, wool tights, fleece pants

Really I had it dialed in quite nicely. This morning at 19F I might go to a slightly heavier tight under the fleece. That's if I can get ride of a headache in time for the commute. Ugh!

Yesterday's ride brought a great moment of clarify as to how the mind and its perceptions can negatively impact our actual, real situation, all compounded by 3 different bike/car interactions. First was that I was on B'town approaching the Eastern Pkwy interchange, in my own lane, when a car almost turned left into. I was there. I was obvious. I had the generator light on for extra clarity, and she still almost turned into me...but she did wave a little wave of regret. Later, near the Douglass Loop on Dundee I came to a stop sign to turn left and joker behind me crept up along my right, rather close, so he could continue straight. It wasn't anything dangerous, but certainly asinine. Lastly I came to a 4-way stop and the car opposite me was obviously a blacked-out 'plain brown wrapper'. I stopped and went through and then proceeded for the next .5m to create this police arrest fantasy concerning my rights and badge numbers and "jack-booted cops". All of a sudden I just told myself to SHUT UP! In all three of these exchanges, none of the cars was out to get me. None threatened me with malice. The girl turning left just didn't see me and was contrite in her own way. Should she have seen me? Yes, of course. The car to my left, a businessman showing his toughness, his disregard for a cyclist? Probably, but he wasn't close and there was no chance of danger unless I swerve heavily to the right. The cop? He didn't mess with me at all. My perception, my monkey mind, created a scenario which was working me all up about the car v. bike society and "all those damn drivers out there!". We face many interactions, some negative, but how much is it paranoia and how much reality? Do cyclists create conflict? We know rednecks in big trucks (more so school bus drivers and distracted soccer moms) do, but how much are we as cyclists at fault? I got no answers, but food for thought.

Monday, December 07, 2009

not much

haven't been posting much b/c I haven't been riding much, due to a variety of factors. Now I've managed to contagiarme a good old cold, so the straw poll is:

Do you ride with a cold in the cold and wet? I'd love to know thoughts. If it were dry that's one thing, but Cold+Wet don't seem the best of conditions. Give me your 2cents.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


After doing several rides with Dave (he not of his 'bent) this holiday weekend, and after riding every day since last Sunday save Monday (does that make sense), it was time for a slightly tweak of plans ans so a 'bent ride ensued. Observations:
  • I think holiday indigestion is catching up with. Sometimes it felt like I couldn't breathe. Congestive heart failure? No, just post-holidays indigestion.
  • Coffee isn't always my friend if one is discussing bodily functions.
  • the 'bent uses such different leg muscles that it felt like I hadn't been on a bike in forever, although I've done 150+ miles this week.
  • I took a route that was as flat as possible, and my plan worked.
  • Not necessarily on the bike at the time, I encountered two bicycling groups, one at the Loop this a.m. and another at the park en route.
  • I might try to do a ride a week on the 'bent, maybe. Frankly I'd rather ride the QB, Bleriot or LHT, but it's an option for something different.
  • I got mad like 2 months ago and detached myself from multiple computer "fixes", such as Twitter and extra blogs, blah blah! Of late (this weekend) Dave turned me on to It's a neat site and one worth exploring, although Dave states that the cuesheet function isn't as good as bikeroutetoaster, which will download in xml. Of particular note is the elevation function. That's good stuff.
  • UK lost- AGAIN- to UT. sux ass.
  • Real will win today's Superclasico to Barca. actually, they prolly won't but it's wishful thinking.
I'm out. Peace.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


As a way to brush off the post-Turkey gorging, Dave and I did a cold, windy 50-miler in southern Indiana, one which included a first-time climb of the 11% Jackson Rd. I personally complained about being cold almost the whole ride, and want to apologize to Dave for said bitching. I particularly enjoyed the leg through Clark State Forest along E. North Honey Rd and Flatwoods Rd. Dave had the camera, and so has some pics, as well as a map generated from a site I've never used- ridewithgps. Aside the bitching and complaining, it was a great day on the bike and certainly worth the cold.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Country Ride

A little mixed-terrain action on today's pre-turkey ride. Report to come, but empty rolling country roads are good for the soul.

Really nothing too mind-bending about the quickie country ride yesterday, save wind and rollers and more wind. It started well enough- well, not quite well enough b/c I forgot my bottle and directions- with about 1m worth of creek holler gravel. At the end of Johnson Creek Rd. I actually had to walk for 15yds or so; the pitch was too steep for me without a triple. From there it was lots of rolling ridgetops and creek crossings into Mayslick, with the only memorable things being the stiff-ass wind from the west. And I've been across those roads enough to now remember that on 161 at the crest of the 2nd hill lives a pack of 3 pissed-off dogs who always give me grief. If I ride that way again I'm going to have to plan ahead. From there I crossed through Mayslick where I helped a gentleman with a very different dog experience. His spaniel wouldn't mind and he came across the road to lavish me with attention before fleeing his master some more. I road on down the road and the poor little thing started following me, much to the dismay of said master. I, in turn, turned around and lead the little lovedog back to said master. It was my Thanksgiving gesture of kindness.

From there it was across a tough, in-the-wind Laytham Pike and then by the in-laws place on Old Sardis and up that climb. Speaking of climbing, I took quite a few more out of the saddle than usual; it felt good to get out and pound a bigger gear up and it seemed like I dealt with the climbs better than I have in the past. Fitness? I climbed again up Clift Pike and again up 419 out of the creek valley, using an extension on 419 to ensure 20+. From there it was up one more climb up Key Pike and home I was after an invigorating but tiring 20. I took the Crosscheck again after some brake work and I finished satisfied with that job. As for the Crosscheck's stability, I'm just not sure. Being a 'cross bike, its shorter wheelbase makes for some twitchy behavior, and right now with the 35c Paselas I think the tires exacerbate its twitchiness. I think I'll go back to the Bleriot for the road, but like shoes, it's good to change up sometimes. Pictures (I forgot that blogger loads pictures backwards, but I'm too lazy to reload them; hence, these are last to first):

Try to focus on the skies in the distance. "holes" of light were more impressive than fotografo trying to capture them.

Down and Up, shot reminiscent of whole region, with quick downs into creek valleys with short-but-steep climbs back out.


Johnson Creek mixed terrain

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Yes, I know you're jealous. I did a nice 27m commute today, mostly in the p.m. to go to C'Ville LBS to pick this up. Of course I got the model with cute flashies front and rear. It'll be the dedicated commuter lid, while the old commuter with its stretched out straps and beat=up exterior will resort to backup duty. Great ride today, and hopefully more the rest of this holiday weekend.

Oh, and we'll be eating some serious dead cow/steer/bull here in about an hour or so. The holidays commence!!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Dave and I rode out early this morning and got in a nice 50-miler through SW Jeff this morning. I rode the Quickbeam, and with like spirit, Dave decided to do the same, singlespeeding it on his commuter. We used Audobon Park to link up with Floyd, which put us in the Beechmont area and 3rd street. From there we went on New Cut out to the famous Penile Rd. Having used many of those roads, I was thinking of a variety of options for our 50, but Dave didn't care so we kept to plan, first doing Blevins Gap. Finally we got a taste of climbing a bit via singlespeed. I was pretty impressed that Dave stayed the course (I had to). We stopped by this by an area that looks like a new Metro Parks property off Blevins Gap, but also looks to be off limits for some reason or another. Nature Preserve perhaps? We continued to our store stop off Blevins Gap and then rolled on towards our first big encounter, Weaver's Run. Pauley's Gap, just before Weavers, gave us a warm-up climb and gave me an excuse to perform a first, in this case moving the QB from the big to small chainring. At first I was quite put off because it appeared that the chain was too long to make it happen. Duh! It wasn't mounted on the rear sprocket. With that adjusted, I was able to use the new combo, but 2 things presented problems. First was that the axle had to be tightened down right at the end of the dropout. I don't know if it's typical; perhaps the chain can lose a link? Perhaps that's how it works? I don't know, but I need to do a little research. The 2nd was more bothersome, in that the rim adjustment made the rear brake rub. Again, with more experience perhaps I can make things click a bit better. The gear change didn't help greatly as Weavers is a nasty short climb; LBC lists it as .38 at 9.8%. I made it most of the way up going SS but had to walk the last bit. Once at the top I readjusted the rear gear and prepared for our return loop. We ran into a nice sized peloton of racers that had just crested Pendleton, which is about the same % but longer. They commented that we had taken the "easy" way- very nicely- and I thought to myself that Weavers wasn't that easy, especially on a SS. Our descent down Pendleton told me yet again that after my near-wreck in the Knobs I have no taste for fast descents anymore. Hate 'em. I get clammy and the adrenaline pulses when the road goes supersteep. Oh well.

From there we returned via Bearcamp and Manslick, which put us in Iroquois Pk where we ran into another peloton, this time remnants, well, most of the Saturday Yellow Lot Slow-n-Easy with the LBC. I've done that route a few times and it's nice. Today's group looked to be near 30 or so. One pack of them headed out ahead of us on Southern Pkwy, another caught us by Cardinal Stadium and we never saw the rest. By the time we hit B'town we were both pretty leg tired after a nice batch of mileage on the SS, or my 2speed and Dave's makeshift 2speedsortofwith a couple extrashifts. It sure was a good day on the bike.

Friday, November 20, 2009


After a non-week, the boys and I rode out for a quickie 5-miler this afternoon, down to Cherokee and back. We hit one trail once in Cherokee, and Z did the same coming back, but L chose the road. He struggled a bit on his first real trail ride, but we all got back in one piece w/ nothing broken. Nothing ventured; nothing gained.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Had a great bday ride and great bday meal, but things have been tough since. I'm pretty sure either the stomach bug or food poisoning was in motion Sunday night at Mom's even during her fabulous meal. We all understand the ramifications of stomach bugs, so that laid me out Sunday night. Monday I reported to work but went home thinking I was going to die. I slept much of the day Monday and am now back at work, but my system is all off. I'm up and posting at 5.40 b/c I'm wanting to commute but my system is, well, off and it's frustrating. arrrggghhhhh!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Double-D ramble

To help celebrate a bday, Lithodale worked up a route in the countryside of Oldham and Dave and I joined him for the planned 53m or so. I put some fat Paselas on the Crosscheck for a different kinda ride (the Bleriot sure is "slow") and Dave brought the 'bent. All-in-all it was a very pleasant ride, with some livelier tempos than Dave and I experience and some especially nice scenery down by the river in Westport and along Pattons Creek Rd. I spied a particularly promising mixed-terrain in the guise of Kidwell Pike (pic to come later). After our store stop we headed back home with Dave's ankle bothering him, but even with the short cut we achieved a solid 45m, 5 more than my age. I like that tradition and think I'll try to do that in the future.

I did experience one (really 2) unsettling moment on the ride, with a bad batch of brake disease. Ever since a near-miss in the Indiana Knobs this summer I've been a bit skittish on screamer downhills. Our first big descent occurred descending into Wesport, KY. For some dumb reason I took the lead without thinking that Dave also out-descends me. Well, as I neared the first key lefty bend I feathered the front brake- the rear pad was basically toast, which may have contributed to my problem- and the front end started to shudder prominently. Without any rear power I was balancing slowing down enough to make the turn while at the same time trying to keep the front end under control. I made the bottom but it sort of freaked me out. I guess I have visions of large SUVs in the front of my mind, right at the apex of a tight turn. Yikes!

All things being cyclical, we found ourselves later on 1488/CovingtonRidgeCutoff, which as a rather straightdown steep descent. This time I experienced the same front end brake shudder. And still, the rear brake was useless. It seems as brake pad or rims started heating up, or maybe just as applied more pressure to keep from careening out of control, the front pads started grabbing. Now I had shudder and grab. At one point the pads actually locked up while I descended at at least 30mph. I let go just in time but by this point I was ready to piss myself. I was also unenthused in general with the squirrely nature of the Crosscheck on a longish road ride. I guess the wheelbase is rather tight due to its 'cross nature and I wasn't comfy with how twitchy it was. I was wishing mid-ride that I was on the Bleriot, even though it feels like a pig for "Dale" rides. A great day on the bike, but w/ Dave's ankle and yet another near-death experience on a descent I'm going to have some demons to conquer.

p.s. I took the Crosscheck into C'ville for a brake check. I usually futz around with brakes myself, but I want a professional answer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paul's Cross Levers

If I every re-do the checkerboard cloth wrap of the Bleriot, I might have to add these. I like the interrupters on the LHT, and those bars are quite narrow compared to the ample noodles on the Bleriot.


There is something I find captivating about this pic. The huge stadium. The perspective of the players vs. the space. Kaka's passion, hair tussled with sweat and energy. To me it looks antiquated, although it's of course 2009.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Westward Commute

I commuted. I guess I had other stuff to say but I don't. SSFrankenTrek rode prettywell. I felt in the flow a few times on Algonquin going on a westward swing. Hit a big rock near the end of the sunken Riverwalk portion and the tire held, but later it seemed like it was going soft. I stopped at BikeCouriers on Market for a "fill up", but honestly I'm not sure I needed it. I have to drive tomorrow, so we'll watch it for Thursday. 27m. I keep taking advantage of this wild weather. At some point it has to get cold, but right now it's blissful.

Monday, November 09, 2009


After Saturday's fun mtbike-fest in Cherokee/Seneca and yesterday's excellent IN adventure, I was motivated today to pop out of bed and do the commute, this time on the SSFrankenTrek. Really I need to clean the LHT thoroughly before using it again but haven't gotten around to it.

In the p.m. the good wife needed some transpo assistance, so I biked down to school and guessed on an appropriate bus route home. A year or so ago they changed our schedule and we lost our good route time. So today I guessed and hope that the 21 would get us close enough to walk. I don't know if it was my error or if they changed the route again, but we got on at 3.05 and it let us off .1m from home at 3.35. This route was actually 5 min earlier than the previous! I think it's time these boys learned a little transportational independence and saved their mother a few trips a week in the afternoon. (their trip doesn't have bus service)

**As an aside, my trip down Brook had me riding at the pace of traffic in town. It felt great to put on a 3 or 4 block burst of speed, but the ticker was seriously thumping by the time I was able to slow it down at a red light. Eat that LithoDale! Interval training with my commuterfreakflat proudly unfurled!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

"Beauty is not the primary goal today..."

Well, in fact it was the primary goal, on this blissful A+, *****, primo ride this morning through the Indiana countryside, hosted by Dave out of Charlestown. I'm going to let the pics do most of the talking.

Dave up ahead in a nice little valley

New Market is looking pretty old, but loads of character

Nasty little climb up into New Market


Crossing creek, with old bridge in distance (we crossed it before the turn)

School house? on New Washington/Bethlehem

The Ohio R. in Bethlehem. I think there is a LBC ride to Bethlehem in December to have Xmas cards stamped appropriately.

Vicious climb up Charlestown/Bethlehem Rd.

Barge on the Ohio R. along Orchard Rd. I should've taken a pic of the miles of fences from a particularly big cattle operation all along this road.

Old buildings seem to be the theme today.

And another, just before the last vicious climb of the day, up Tunnel Hill Rd.

I don't know what to say, other than that this is a legit cinder-block castle house. Best as I can tell, somebody lives here. Far out man! Or better, get ye gone ye swarthy wench!

We did 45 miles with 3 distinct tough climbs, but the rest flat to rolling in November weather that is pretty much unbelievable, 60s with sun and more sun. Yes, we battled a little wind on the way back and our avg speed wasn't too hot, but who cares? I thank Dave for laying it out and for being an excellent road companion today. Everybody should have such a great day on the bike!!

2.0 In looking at the LBC 100 Steep Ones, Dave and I added 2 (should've been 3) to the list today. The more impressive on paper is listed as 'Bethlehem to South' as part of Charlestown/Bethlehem Rd. It gives stats as a .5m climb at 10%. Dicey!! The 2nd climb, near the last point of our day, was TunnelHillRd. (west), with numbers of .3m at 9.8%. They're listed under 'Indiana/Clark Co. East' on the list. They can also be found on the googlemap of the hills in the area. Another climb not listed but deserving of such status was Bull Creek Rd. It wasn't that long, but there was a nasty steep stretch near the top that made it taxing, and in fact it began with a steep pitch too. It was as challenging as Tunnel Hill Rd.

Monday, November 02, 2009

"You want some mixedterrain? I got yer mixedterrain right here!!!"

I'm going to write the grand adventure up at some point, but suffice to say it was the toughest, longest 40-miler of my career. Crazy stuff. details to come over at RCCS.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Wednesday and Thursday's commutes were noted for their inherent brevity, but commutes they were. Wednesday a.m. was particularly noted for the light fog and coolness found in Cherokee, with a kind of layered cake effect on golf course hill, as the rolling fields gave way to fog-shrouded trees bedecked with a gay hat of stars.

It's been raining, alot.

I've been reading a few interesting titles: Morbo, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I would probably place them in this order as well. Morbo, by Phil Ball, is the history of Spanish soccer by the excellent columnist from ESPN/Soccernet. I have nothing but very positive things to say about this volume, both as a discussion of soccer and more so as a 20th century window into Spanish history and the substantial autonomy in which the Spanish autonomous regions planets separately revolve around the hated sun, Madrid and Real Madrid. I'm almost finished, but I give it 5*****. Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue is a linguistic history of English, more specifically a discussion and analysis of the transition between Old and Middle English and how we arrive at our modern version. The central premise is that during the key "mutt" years of English (language) history during the early Middle Ages, Viking, Celt and Norman (French) invaders adapted the Germanic Old English into this mishmash mutt that we use today. Being a language geek and a linguistics fan, I give it 4****. As for Between...., this is the autobiograpy/memoir of the guy- climber- who cut his arm off to save himself. I'm halfway through but started reading the other two after the halfway point or so. Reading the memoirs of these climbers is sometimes difficult because it's very challenging to put oneself into their place, their perspective. They've willfully and scarily Type A- ACHIEVE ACHIEVE ACHIEVE-, but at same time, like, dude, you know, it's so beauuutiful, like, in nature with the sky and the flow, man, you know? I'll finish it at some point, but the reviewer who stated that his style is better than Krakauer's is an idiot.

Basketball is starting.

Real has lots their mind.

I'm supposed to pick up the truck today. I think the saga, much of my own doing through the efforts of trying to buy locally, will have cost me 3 weeks of headache and an extra $450 on top of the full cost of what seems like $45,992,232. IF I pick it up today, it will facilitate a nice ride on Sunday.

The RCCS is going to try the mixed-terrain thing again this Sunday. In July we suffered a rash of tire issues, so let's hope this time we're a little luckier in that. I also completely ran out of gas last time, so let's hope I apportion my efforts a little better, even though I'm fat as a sumo right now.

It's early, I'm out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


"What are you working on?"

"I'm working on talking to you."

Consider this very carefully...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Commute

I got word that the truck is headed for an expensive but nonetheless final conclusion. It'll cost a bundle, but I feel like I made a $350 mistake, but then again the problems it had were not anything anyone could avoid.

On a commuter note, I did short turns both going and coming today. The afternoon provided me those wonderful 55F and raining qualities, great for cycling, right? Fact is, I had wool on top and on the feet so I wasn't too bad. I'll be on the bike W and TH but I hear that I'll be playing taxi Fri a.m., and that's alright.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Really slow commute, especially this afternoon. Could barely lift a pedal, but I got through it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

USGP Derby City Cup

I'm tired and have other stuff to do, but I did want to did want to throw in that I got some miles and some good times on the QB today. After a family morning and early afternoon, I sprinted down for the last 2/3 of the mens' Pro race at the USGP Derby City Cup. I met Dave there and we looked at a few nice spots, included on nasty, muddy tight turn with run up and another mega-mud ditch. I have a pic of that but need to download it. For pics, take a look at LithoDale's site or Jimmy's. I saw Jimmy later giving dudes some shit at the end of their 60min sufferfest. Tim Johnson won Sunday's race as he did last year; he looked completely in control. I thought there were fewer fans at the site today, but the course was very curvy, so you never know.

After the race Dave and I ambled around through Indian Hills, Seneca/Cherokee, the Beargrass Trail and downtown before he went north and I south. It felt great to stretch the legs on the QB and I'll see if I can get some consistency going on the commute this week, truck condition be-damned.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It's been a tumultuous October for riding, ass several things are holding my riding back:
  • logic would say that with a broken car/truck, I would ride more miles, but that's not the case. The logistics of dropping off and picking up and negotiating family activities has made commuting very inconsistent.
  • a bum ankle is not a good thing. I can walk and ride, but it's been slow and steady.
  • I've had some meetings away from school for Nat'l Boards, so that's gotten me out of my routine as well. I rode one time, but with distance, time and other responsibilities, again it has complicated things as well.
  • Children, sports and school activities (theirs and mine) make it complicated too.
Enough complaining! I got in 25m yesterday via an interesting commute to and fro. It rained on me in the morning again, but I was well-prepared and took it in stride. I co-worker passed me about 2m from work and offered a ride in the truck, but I said "no way". I'd rather ride wet than be stuck in the vehicle. The afternoon provided more miles, dry ones, as I headed west via Oak/Virginia. It was first made doubly interesting by a chance and almost unpleasant encounter with a 12-ish yr.old. I was on Oak when he sort of approached from the left while crossing the street. I figured he was just not paying attention and I guess I was slowed some too by both the heavy winds and by the fear of running him over. He got closer and closer and finally I felt a tug on my rear rack; the little shit had come over to pull on my bike! I yelled, "You need to be courteous!". I guess it was the teacher in me, as opposed to random angry white man in an all-black neighborhood. I yelled again, "Be Courteous!" and strangely enough, the little guy sort of stood there, shocked! No harm, no foul, but disconcerting.

I shook it off and continued towards Chickasaw, but bent north along Shawnee but not through it as usual. I moved eastward via Vermont/Madison into downtown. I'm going to do a photo tour on this stretch sometime, as one street spans varied types of housing, 2 elementary schools, and an old brick factory. My primary destination for the afternoon was Cumberland Brewpub on B'town, where I met several former students. They're all mid-20s and we get together for a meal occasionally, and this time we had food of the liquid kind. It's a very good group of solid guys, so after some good banter and a few, I headed home a little tipsy on the trucker. Other than falling over on the side of the road one time, it was a nice afternoon and evening and a good batch of mileage to boot.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spewing Vomit

The latest saga on the truck is as follows. I rode to pick it up last Wednesday, the chain saga day. It was fine through weekend in Cincy up until Sun afternoon. 'Z' and I were returning from soccer game when the light came on and it starting bucking like a bronco during certain shifts. I kid you not. I put it in local shop Monday and their diagnostic is that, #1 they flushed the nasty tranny fluid hoping that might do it, but #2 the code that comes up usually calls for new computer in truck, i.e. the truck and tranny aren't communicating correctly anymore. Can you believe that @#$@#?

I guess this is my "no car/All Bike" manifesto time, but that is clouded by multiple children in multiple activities. Aarrgggghhhhh!

rode 17m today commute on TrekSS while OYLC is playing with chain. Gonna ride some more now, I guess. AAARRRRRRGGGGHGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009


I stole this from Erik at CosmicCountryNoir. What a great site! Hope he doesn't mind the theft, b/c this pic captures a moment that I really enjoy, for whatever reason.

It's got a BladeRunner-esque feel, for some reason. Like the mothership is about to land, or depart.


I can be hopelessly indecisive. I have my theories, but I don't think this is the best forum. That said, Kent, Russ and Doug have all extolled the virtues of this garment. These two colors are "discontinued", and thusly $30 cheaper than the standard. I'm going to buy one of them. Green like the LHT? Blue like the Cats?

My viewing public has 24hrs to place your vote. Tomorrow night I pull the trigger.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I had a rough week for cycling after twisting my ankle last Saturday. With the help of beer and adrenaline I was able to finish FuckGas's Jimmy's 40oz-er, but things were pretty bad most of the rest of the week. My physical reality coincided with a rash of very unpleasant cycling weather- 45F and rain just about every day. Those are tough conditions to easily plan for. Per my last post, I did ride Wednesday to pick up the truck but that was a mechanically inauspicious trip and didn't inspire much. The past two days I've commuted in the sweet confines of my megagasguzzler with a still-tender ankle. What else?

I was given free tix to a Louisville Orchestra The Music of the Eagles: A Rock Symphony, a part of the WOW! series. Now, this whole thing can be analyzed on a variety of levels. I do like classical music- musica del concierto as it were. I like teaching about classical music. I also like taking 'L' to new music experiences. His mom (my good wife) and brother were busy with other plans, so free tix in hand we chose to attend this "interesting" event, just for kicks if anything. I also liked the Eagles back in the day. Except for dyedinthewool punkers, who didn't? Like everyone else between the ages of, say, 30 and 60, or anybody with a diet of classic rock growing up, you know every word to every song, good or bad. The Eagles had a nice quality of harmony, melody and 'tude to be perfectly listenable. so last night, when these two elements combined- the LO and a de facto Eagles cover band- for a "rock symphony", I just took it in for what it was, a big pile of baby boomer entertaining shit. The crowd was overwhelmingly 50+ with pressed blue jeans and "dress" shirts. You could tell the normal LO crowd was there b/c their tix said they had to be, but their noses were as high in the air as mine. Tonight the LO is playing Haydn and Shostakovich; last night they received thunderous applauses for playing parts more appropriate for a middle school orchestra. I did everything I could the whole time to take in the entertaining and to not be too hateful, and I succeeded. I provided a wholesome (save 1 Fbomb. nothing he hasn't heard before) musical experience for my musically-minded son, and it cost a grand sum of $3.50. No complaints. I just beg and beg an beg that a significant band from my youth, say U2 or REM doesn't end up played on the same circuit. Could that happen? You bet. I can already imagine those "lush"arrangements accompanying cheesy Bono impersonator. OK, you get the point. Enough hate. As a music involved with music, I couldn't help over and over imagining those poor LO musicians, trained on a diet of Mozart, Elgar, Berlioz, Beethoven, Stravinsky, etc., having to play such infantile garbage, and all to pay the bills because the only people who support classical music are all dead or very near it. Depressing. Enough more hate.

Truck in hand I went over to Clarksville to pic up the Monocog, new BB installed. If the ankle were better I would go shred some very muddy trails, but I can't envision anything else but pain if I tried that right now. I also picked up, for a fair price, some Cannondale LE winter gloves. Chris gave me a good deal. After having close to complete failure with the old Performance neoprenes on Wednesday, I decided to try for cold and wet glove. I have things covered for dry, but hopefully these will fill that niche, b/c unlike some other folks, properly dressed I don't mind inclemency.

Full weekend of soccer, so not sure I'll be on 2 wheels. Maybe Sunday late afternoon? Hopefully you all are.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I'm too worn out (and happily full of chili) to go into it all too much, but today was a tough bike day. To wit:
  • 6m commute this morning, 45F, windy and a true pouring rain. I had everything bagged up nicely but that was as soaked as I've been getting to work.
  • Spent a reasonable amount of mental energy "strategerizing" how to get my clothes dry enough for the afternoon. The air register helped alot, although I don't know if it was heat or cold.
  • I had relatively big plans this afternoon: Ride to Oxmoor Toyota, Pick up truck, Drive to SnS Transmission, Ride home from Buechel. The problem with this was not mileage but traffic. Oxmoor lies just outside the Watterson on Shelbyville and I can't imagine any less fun a road at rush hour. Then coming home from Buechel means a straight shot down the equally busy B'town through the Watterson interchange again.
  • The afternoon offered 45F and windy again but no rain. I did a reasonable job drying things so I was good to go, but I considered stopping by the house for different headwear.
  • Around mile 10 this afternoon, my chain broke along a quiet street in St. Matthews. I've never fixed a chain on the fly, and in fact, had never ever fixed a chain. I see, though, that the problem before was the cheesy chaintool. The Park today was much better. I fixed the chain sort of, but couldn't get the pin to sit. I gingerly pedalled for a while and it lasted maybe 1m. I stopped again along Browns Ln and tried it again. This time it worked, although the link was stiff and I was scared.
  • I carefully negotiated the whole Mall/S'Ville/Wt'son/Oxmoor thing and didn't get hit, nor did the chain break. That was good but too stressful than I would've liked.
  • Picked the truck up and the transmission engine light is off, but who knows? I refused to pay the dealer 3x what a local shop charges for a diagnostic, so the truck is in the driveway and we'll see what comes next.
I earned those 20m today and don't need that stressful a commute soon. I'm doubly cross b/c I didn't dress well this a.m. I considered using the sealskiz sox but didn't and paid for it in very wet feet. What was I thinking? And with 2 wool bike hats (one with flaps) I choose a RBW cotton one and paid for it in a cold head all day. ??? Gonna have to do better next time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

40oz. Fun

I'll have to say that I had an experience yesterday on the bike that I'd never had before. I'm not sure it was safe or smart, but it was alot of fun. I began the day with an earlier ride from Oxmoor Toyota, where the Tundra sits waiting to be "fixed" whilst at home I'm bent over waiting, well,... I had the truck in the local shop for some stuff and an engine light, but their efforts on the transmission warning came to no avail (long story and I don't want to start Sunday as such). So to the dealer it went for another assessment, and from there I rode home via St. Matthews on the QB.

'L's soccer tourney had been rained out, but the team had a pizza&play at the indoor club, so away the family went to that, where we hung out for 2.5hrs. The boys played soccer, the adults chatted (a few folks played cornhole too) and eventually the pizza arrived. As the boys were eating, I decided to go out on the field and shoot a few goals against the now-tall 14 yr-old and had some fun for maybe 10 minutes until the fateful-but-oh-so-typical. Basically I twisted by ankle, yet again, and that hobbled me for the rest of the evening. My ankles are just bad, and of course I'm carrying too much weight on them, so it's such a typical response but so irritating! We'll see.

So, we got out of there at 7.30, instead of 7.00, and I had to call Dave b/c we were to meet and head to Jimmy's 40oz. Ride out of Iroquois and I was running late. We ended up leaving about 8, with me on a hobbled left foot, but one still rideable, or at least we would see. Dave and I had a pleasant ride through Audobon, down 4th St., and S.Pkwy to reach Iroquois, where the search commenced. No knowing where the soiree would be, we searched around the Ampitheater before heading to the top. En route, a couple high-school kids acted like they were going to jump out and attack Dave, but it was in jest. Stupidass teenagers! We got to the top and headed towards the north lookout and lo and behold!, Cyclists! I would put the number at around 25, maybe more, maybe fewer. Having arrived a bit before 9, it seems that the grill had been spent and the 40ozers mostly guzzled, but there were 3 left, so Dave and I split it, him drinking from his bike water bottle. Classy! Spoke with former student/newer bike activist Brent, Derek from OYLC, Chad from our RCCS outings, and the drunk host.

I'd say we chilled out for a solid 1.5hr in the steadily chilly night, finished our brew- and yes, cold Miller out of a paper bag can be pretty tasty- and headed out. The ride down Iroquois Hill was eventful, at least for me, when fixie boys commenced skidding/braking down the hill. It's a crazy thing to see somebody hopping around and skidding sideways in the dark at 15mph. We were held up for a while when somebody apparently went down and another broke a chain.

Once we were on the road, the group split pretty quickly, with 1 fixie boy off the front and a group of 4 consisting of Dave, me and 2 fixie boys. These Jimmy rides are unpredictable b/c you don't know how people are going to deal with lights. At some point, the 2 fixie blew through one and Dave and I took the more cautious route. We rode a steady pace down 3rd/2nd St. towards the river and hit the bridge at a good pace. I can say it was quite surreal, moving through UL traffic and downtown city traffic at 11.00p.m. on a Saturday night. We meet up with the 2 front-running fixies and waited the rest of the crew...and waited...and waited. Eventually host Jimmy and a friend showed, but the rest of the entire crew bailed! Crazy stuff. We remaining 6 rode down the ramp to the river where the other 4 set about drinking a bit more brew. At that point, I was finished. My twisted ankle was bothering me and I was further done from the brisk pace down to the river..and the Miller High Life sloshing in my stomach. I posited to Dave that I was the only member of this randy band who was experiencing heartburn during the ride from the beer intake.

At that point we meandered back towards the Highlands, me running on fumes. As a further "bizarre evening" note, we ran across 'Alberto', my friend from work across from his house. He was walking home from a friend's after his own birthday 1 or 2. And this at 12.45. After getting home I had that "been active late at night" awakeness. I iced the ankle and headed to bed around, which for me is a half-year record. Interesting all round.

p.s.- Found this eco-oriented site while goofing: TransitionKY. It's worth the look.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Cap but no Cape

He's not quite as guapo as I am, but we're wearing the same new cap, a fetching blue number from embrocation cycling journal. That's an awfully nice site that's 'crossish in nature when a dose of easternUSA thrown in for good measure. My fine wife asked, "Did you get another cap?"(eyes slightly-but-deftly rolled). "Yes, I did!" (grin evident). It's a comfy one too.

As for riding, I got caught in some massive rain after work today. Unfortunately, the afternoon commute coincided with an off-site meeting about 4m away from work, so I arrived wet, wet, wet. Normally I wouldn't care but I also did a horrible job preparing for today's deluge. I knew it was coming but *didn't* wear any wool as I had done this week and *didn't* take a rain cape; my thin Nike windjacket did virtually nothing. My ultimate saving grace was a modified rain cape I wore underneath my jacket, one McGuyver-ized from a work trash bag. Classy! Monsoons are forecasted for tomorrow as well, but the wool, raincapes and neoprene Fox gloves will come out for that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Random Pics

Venus and Mars above the parking lot

'Ol Blue barely visible on the opposite shoreline. A good bird is he.

D.Runge's 80's Specialized Expedition. As D stated, this is certainly a forerunner of the '90s RBW ethos. D. Runge is further famous in the Louisville area as a long-time club member who was/is fond of roads "with texture". I've seen and heard his name often but this was the first to run across him, in this case in Cherokee on my commute. He was riding with whom I assume was his Mrs. and they were sporting excellent style. He states that it's still running original wheels and Phil Woods across the board. Great stuff, isn't it? I'd love to pick Mr. Runge's mind about those "roads with texture" some time.

Irony of ironies, a full-on Prius with requisite Obama sticker in front of Wally World. Never the twain shall meet, or will they?

Been riding some, including mtbike loop in Cherokee on Sunday and commuting on the LHT this week. I found out this morning that the truck needs $900 in maintenance, mostly routine, but dang!! Another preoccupation is figuring out how to rig the LHT to my further needs. I'm doing a school/work project which requires me to carry lots of files. The idea is to bungee a file box on the rear rack (no prob), but that occludes the rear blinkie and the panniers have no strap for that AND I don't want to have to rely on lashing to my clothes. So, I guess I'm gonna have to sew on a light strap but I'm so uncrafty. Oh well. Another option is to pick up a new front rack, preferably a Pass&Stow, but the recent truck bill no squashes that idea. And that had issues as to how to deal with the front SON light. Ah the problems we bourgeoisie face

Friday, October 02, 2009

Now for a PSA

Whatever you think of ol' Lance, his politics sometimes correspond with mine. To wit, I signed his petition today for better health care coverage for all Americans. Feel free to vote your conscience and do the same. Or not.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is was the first longpants commute of the school season, requiring a wool T, jacket, wool sox for the Keen sandals and RBW knickers. Yes, MUSA knickers. I have a pic to the left. I'm gonna put a couple hundred in 'em first before I review them, but on first 24m ride they were about as good a riding article as I have. Nice fit. Comfy. Highly useful for a wide temp range (I guess, today's only ranged from 54F-57F).

I've got things to do but I hope everybody else got out there for a commute. It was worth the tiredness this a.m.

Monday, September 28, 2009

QB rollin'

After not getting my lazy butt out of bed to commute today, I made a beeline home after work to jump on the QB for some requisite groove. Imagine: perfect sky, perfect sun, stiff breeze, nascent Fall temps. Simply luscious. A nice hour and the 15m it provided.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Black Hills

SPEARFISH, SD from RAPHA on Vimeo.

I watch this and just smile, beam, nod my head in satisfaction. These Rapha video of Spearfish and the Black Hills mimics our family travels this summer. Mount Rushmore, Mickelson Trail, red rock Nat'l Forest fire roads, the mixed hills prairie. I would drive there right now, Right Now, if I had the opportunity. Love it!

Rapha Mixed Terrain

These dudes do have it, whatever it is. Check out the mixed-terrain at the end of this short video.

MUSE, OK from RAPHA on Vimeo.

A Fine Effort

Tuesday was World Car-Free Day, so I made the most of it and remained car free for the course of the day. Amidst busy times I commuted both Monday on the SSFrankenTrek and Tuesday on the LHT. Tuesday I stretched my commute home to give myself my first 30m day in quite a while. Boy, the riding has dropped off since school started. Once I go home that day, the fam was chomping at the bit to eat early, so I jumped back on the LHT and meet them at Impellizerri's. Fact is, I didn't feel at my best at the start of the week; 'L' was home from school with a virus so maybe it was messing with my mojo too. Wednesday's meetings and Thursday's after-school programs made menace with my commute, so no riding. In fact, I didn't ride Friday either. I'll just the "rain" excuse for that day. All three days give me a sense of healthy respect for those more consistent commuters. Sometimes you just have to make sacrifices. Yesterday should've brought a little time, but after 'L's 2 soccer games and 'Z's 1 game (all losses. great to be in our household), instead of riding I took a nap, a refreshing nap, and that sent me off to mom's for a very good supper combined with some *terrible* football games. Go Cats!! Straight to Basketball season!!

All of this brings me to today's little a.m. hammerfest, courtesy of LithoDale. His schedule is every bit as crimped as mine, maybe more, but he's intent on becoming a Rapha cycling beast, and for that I applaud him. The plan was to head out from 5.30-7.30, before soccer and parenting and life. Last night's heavy rain concerned us a bit, but both answered the bell this a.m., with me wearing a heartrate monitor for a change. I don't usually ride hard enough to worry about it, but I knew Mr.LongFemurs would take me at a nice uncomfy clip. Last night I prepared the Blueridge because I figured fenders might help with the rain. I charged the Niterider and off I went, only to feel a very slight "thump thump thump" on the way to Atherton, very slight. Survey said broken spoke, so once we found me we quickly returned to the house for another bike. It's nice to have those, you know. I chose the RB-1, rain be damned, changed the light and off we went, only to find that the spd cleat combo for the RB-1 didn't work, although the spds on the Sidis *do* work. GGgrrrrr, and all this happening at 5.30a.m. I offered to bail so LD could get his ride in, but he encouraged me to look for another option, and so to the Crosscheck I went if only b/c it was the only bike left with the right cleat combo. Mind you, the Crosscheck is shod with Ritchey SpeedMax tires, not the best combo for a fastish road ride with LD. OK. Breathe in. Ride.

From there our route involved Cherokee, Lexington, and River Rd, with me rolling in the big ring. Once we climbed up and out of Glenview, I had to drop to the small ring and find something more reasonable. B/C LD is a glutton for miles, we went across Chenoweth and used Mockingbird Valley to link back to the river area on Mellwood and it was here that I made my fatal mistake. LD's rear tire looked inviting for a good drag. Unfortunately, LD, having seen me in the slipstream, ramped it up and we rode a reasonable pace down Mellwood, one that by our turn onto Story, would be my downfall. I was cooked. We went up to Baxter and toward home, but I had nothing left. LD carved off, I'm sure, for some last-minute hammering but I dawdled back up B'town and home, all the while feeling it.

Neither of us had a computer, but the distance on gmap combined with the time on my HRM gave us an avg in the mid-15s, with that being certainly higher until that Mellwood stretch. I sometimes dread LD rides beforehand b/c I know I don't have the pace or fitness for hard riding, but afterwards I'm usually satisfied with the effort. I might even venture out later for a spin on the QB. It's been calling me. Happy roads, tailwinds and peace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"School of Cross"

Please take a look at this. BikePorn at its best.

SCHOOL OF CROSS from Dave Christenson on Vimeo.

mixed meanderings

Went 'crossing a bit last night, using some pre-cross mileage across St.Matthews to RCCS for a warm-up. Then at RCCS I did a hot lap, a cool down, another hot lap and then some roaming. On the cool down I rode on the concrete paths where, ironically, I biffed turning too sharply into a corner and went down, giving myself some attractive road (path) rash on my left leg and arm. I'm actually pretty pleased 'cause it's been a while. My 1st hot lap was definitely more aggro than my 2nd, although the 1st was stymied by some attacking dogs. Fuckers! Having noticed the really nasty black skies over southern IN, the way home via a hard push up Payne St. provided a complete deluge for most of B'town. I was wet and concerned about getting slammed from behind (aren't we all? je je), but it did helped clean the mud of the Crosscheck. Today I did a commute on the SSFrankenTrek, assuming more deluge, but it didn't sprinkle save a 3sec moistening on 1st this morning. This afternoon I met the fam down at Waterfront Park to view replica versions of La Nina and Pinta from Cristobal Colon fame. As expected, they were pretty damn small. Take a look and imagine 120 people traveling on one of those. Oh, the filth and stench. The good wife took the boys down after school and I met them there before heading home via the Beargrass Trail.

The BT was a mini-adventure in its own right, with yesterday's deluge and subsequent flooding covering the path with a thin layer of mud. I didn't go down, but with memories of going "THUD!", I traversed quite lightly, meeting a fixie boy along the way, he trodding more lightly than I. Dang, I'm skilled!!

One through the park I actually walked a portion of Millvale. 'L' has a fever and I hope I'm not getting it. To ward off evil I imbibed on two BBC Amber Ales, assuming the alcohol would kill any critters in the blood stream. That works, right?

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: