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.

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: