Sunday, March 29, 2009

Whew!

If yesterday was affirmation that I feel better on and after having been on the bike, then today was affirmation that, while I love being on the bike, it can be pretty difficult at times. I was only out for 17m, but they were miles well-earned. The combination of the singlespeed (FrankenTrekSS) and some blustery conditions made for a slow slog through St. Matthews. The original plan was to do some flat miles there and then head down towards the river via Frankfort, maybe as a means of hunting some cobble/brick ways for the Paris-Redux. Instead, my big ass was tired after 13m of so of the 20-30mph cold winds out of the west. It's typically in the 60s this time of year; today it's been in the upper 30s and I didn't dress as well as I should have. Oh well, it was fun and I'd do it again, maybe with some warmer clothes next time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

8664

I mostly deal with bike issues here, well..., because I like bikes. That said, there are some other valuable transportation movements afoot here in the 'Ville. Broken Sidewalk has two posts with 2 excellent video renderings (I, II) made by the 8664 group, which is a group working very hard to keep the State from building a 23-lane highway monstrosity which would engulf the entire area just east of downtown. Instead, they envision tearing down I-64, which cuts across the face of downtown at the riverfront, and instead building a ground level boulevard, one which is well-integrated into the existing Waterfront Park. Their videos are persuasive.

If you're a 'Ville resident or not, it's worth a look.

Yes

(Yehuda Moon 'Bloomington Ride')
I haven't had much to say of late b/c this is primarily a bike blog and I haven't ridden, especially since tennis started. To that end, I haven't been on a substantial bike ride since the RCCS Clark State Forest ride 2 weeks ago, but today was a new day, and now I've made it a better day with a solid 30-miler in the morning, Spring rain. We began early esta mananya, with 'Z's soccer team holding a pancake breakfast fund-raiser at the Monkey Wrench, meaning that he and I were out of the house just a bit after 7.00. After some flapjacks and the arrival of the other 50% of the clan, I darted out, knowing that weather be damned, I was ready to ride. A quick check of the radar found the coming rains, so I departed on the mudguarded and fattie-shod Blueridge. My route took me west via Oak and then down a mud and limb-strewn Riverwalk, an experience I will chalk up as near "mixed-terrain", although nothing like Apertome's recent adventures. By the time I reached Bank St. in Portland it was coming down pretty good, but my choices of wool feet, wool top and wool cap made for a pleasant time. Once I pulled though downtown and onto River Rd. I decided to make an adjustment to my saddle height. The last several times I've been on the BR I've experience right knee pain; having surrendered almost completely to flat pedals, the clip/seat angle of the BR just isn't doing it for me. When I stopped along the Cox's Park path to my dismay I found no patches, no levers, and no hex set. Darn! Yet again bag maintenance strikes me. But alas, I was having too good a ride to let it get me down. What are we talking? $30 max? I finished up via Indian Trail and through Seneca before slowly climbing Valetta, wet, slow and mentally devising means of corralling the floppy fabric of the MUSA pant against the front chainrings. I arrived home to find, in a pile on the garage floor, patches, levers and a hex set. Genius! And a great way to spend part of the day.

**On a "busy schedule" note, I had a moment of insight when reading Little Circles up in NE. I'm whining about the hours of the day when he stated, amidst the treatise on 'cold', that he had been rising at 4.30 to get miles in. I guess other people do it, so maybe I should shut up and do so too. No judgment, just an idea.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

'BikesareTraffic dot Org'

Although I was unable to attend (tennis, soccer, yada, yada), yesterday beheld the 2nd meeting of another cycling group in town, this one focused- as I gather- on advocacy issues here in the 'Ville. The bikesaretraffic.org group has met twice with the purposes of raising consciousness about our 2-wheeled companions. Jimmy went and was underwhelmed, as he states in his entry. Not having attended, I have no opinion, but much like of RCCS, I say it's worth some kind of effort. I'll be on the look-out for the next meeting.

As for my own riding, it's been non-existent of late, but Spring Break is coming tomorrow so I may be able to sneak in some miles.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Get it when you can

The fam had a fine day today, at least from an activity standpoint. We began w/ 'L's' soccer tournament game this morning in Versailles. It was an unfortunate pounding, but we arrived at home at 10.30 with nary an official activity dictating the rest of our day. With our time, I did the following:
  • a fair amount of yard work-- leaves ornamental grasses, sticks, etc. 'L' volunteered to help and did an excellent job.
  • went to Lowe's a got a near yard trash can. I proceeded to fill it immediately.
  • the boys and I worked on the tennis gear filling up the back of the truck, all protected by the re-installment of the lid last week.
  • defeated 'Z' in 21, 21-5. He's as tall as I am now and had longer arms, so my time is coming to a close.
  • took a 4m bike ride with 'L', delivering some clip-on fenders to Lithodale.
  • 'L' did a great job with the new brake levers on her borrowed Trek 6-speed on our ride.
  • played tennis not once but twice w/ 'L', before a nap and after the bike ride.
  • took a 40min nap.
  • just now ate some in particular for supper. We're out of food
I call the day a success and wish more were like them. Alas, they're not. The good wife's car is in the shop tomorrow for a turbo check (it could be bad), so the next few days are a wash of car borrowing, tennis matches, soccer practices and such. Spring Break approaches.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Clark State Forest and a Slice

We successfully, if a bit crookedly, pulled off the 3rd RCCS ride, putting in a 47.5m day over some luscious country terrain in southern Indiana. I won't get to much into the ride detail, as that will be done to a fuller extent on the RCCS site. My own personal impressions, though, are as follows:
  • I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the performance of the Bleriot today. I hemmed and hawed whether to ride the Rans as I had told Dave, only to find that there wasn't one but three 'bents to start the ride. Utimately I decided on the Bleriot b/c it's my favorite country bike but I finished the day unsure. It felt sluggish compared to many of the rigs there and surprisingly, the Brooks bother the backside today, something I hadn't experienced. I attribute it to some fast riding in portions of the day and the Bleriot is just not that fast.
  • I didn't dress as well for the day as I could have, but neither did anyone else. Highs of 55F or so became highs near 60F, but with sunshine, so it was a warm day. I didn't wear gloves, but I had wool socks and the Keen Targhees and, henceforth, hot feet all day long. A further foot fact is that with all the climbing I would have been better served clipless, I/Grant be damned. 'course, I didn't experience big foot pain.
  • With the steady ups and downs, it surely would be easier if I were down pounds. I feel like if I were down pounds, I have the necessary power to ride a good pace, but I'm SO slowed down by the extra cartons of milk I carry up every incline. I'm 39 and I can remember dealing with this for as long as I can remember. Skinny people don't understand.
  • I shifted the right bar-end so much that I wore a callous on my right hand. I was sometimes wishing for STI. I/Grant again would be upset.
  • I did get to experience some magic 'mixed-terrain', and the ColdlVies performed swimmingly. I can complain about the Bleriot's performance, but everyone else was bitching up a storm at the gravel and I sailed through.
  • I had to take the front fender off the Bleriot before the ride, as it was rubbing against the CdlV tires. The fender issue must be taken care of in the future.
  • Mix-ups, dropped riders (not I), confusion and elevation be damned, it was a great day on the bike.

Busy


No bike action of late. Just too busy: work, tennis, soccer, extra duties. It just keeps coming. I had a blog idea earlier in the week about how everybody seems to be losing weight but me, but I'm not in the mood to wax pathetic this morning. On the more positive side, the RCCS has its 3rd ride today, this one taking in the S.IN countryside. Dave wants me to go 'bent for it, but I'm undecided. I can't get the Bleriot out of my mind. It'll be at tough decision.

As for the above pic, I would love to partake of some Rough Stuff Fellowship, although that name could be misconstrued as a gay sex organization, which is certainly their interest and not my own.


And I guess these places actually exist outside of movie sets.

Monday, March 09, 2009

'Crossish

It was another rushrushrush kind of day; that's what my life has devolved into of late, both for good and ill reasons. I had tennis after school today, but 'Z' also had 6.00 soccer practice. My brilliant mind concocted an "I'll help." plan which also included a ride. If that's the only way to get a ride in, then I'm all for it. I sprinted home (recurring theme...), dumped the Crosscheck into the truck and sprinted (recurring theme...) to MVSC where 'Z' and his friend 'M' practiced. Heart rate monitor affixed I embarked on an hour of reasonable hard work, an hour which ebbed between hard work and decidedly not-hard work too. I did have the grind and grit in the legs, so when I felt strong I spun hard and went for it, and during the rest times I lolligaged with the best of them.

I warmed up on the Cox's Park path, took a quick log-strewn sidetrail through Caperton Swamp and then hit it reasonably hard up Indian Hills, taking the less vicious Totem Rd. After a Duc Do sighting coming down the steep Arrowhead, me dirigi hacia the 'cross course at Champions Park. What I found there, to my dismay, was more logs and sticks. Yes, the course so gooey and soft from rains, but more difficult b/c of the detritus. In fact, the paths were pretty unrideable. As such, I doddled around a bit but left and looped back for a climb of Mockingbird Valley/Green Hill Ln before swooping down and back up the short-but-steep Mockingbird Ln. It was an effective workout and a pleasant 1hr on the bike and I'll take what I can get.

**In doing the mileage for this ride, I came to the realization that I've been on the Bleriot only 2 times in '09. The tight and hectic schedule is making for more 1-hour "bangers" and the Crosscheck has been the banger steed of choice. That'll change this summer, as it gives way to long, langorous rides on the 650b.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Nighttime lurk

After being *very* busy all day with: morning "Spanish Academy", a 1.00 game, soccer shopping, and a 5.00 game, I finally just put on clothes and did it, a nighttime lurk around town from around 7.00-8.30. I stopped by Lithodale's for a talk and to receive a gift, pic to come. I then turned northward through Audobon Pk, G'town and Phoenix Hill onto the darkbutnotthatdark duetolightson64 Bluegrass Trail. At one point I entertained a stop at Old Town for a 6-pack of something good, but I didn't have my wallet and it's better anyway. After that I finished through the park and home for a solid 15-miler. Whew, I needed that.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Soccer Practice Sprint

'L' had outdoor practice tonight, so I went from 3.00-4.00 tennis practice to home, picked 'L' up and deposited him a bit before his 5.00 practice. His 1.5hr practice was my only "personal" window, save a 5.00 a.m. start that I'm having difficulty making. Yet again, making like Lithodale, I heated up the engine and went full-bore for about 30min to start, weaving in and out of the neighborhoods along Taylorsville between Hurstbourne and Browns Ln. My one concern amidst my charge was having to ride in the filth-ridden shoulder, but I credit my excellent handling skills and the Ritchey Crossmax for keeping me clean and safe. All this huffing and puffing was to be memorialized, analyzed and data-ized with my Polar, but I forgot the receiver/watch while bringing the transmitter/strap, so no data did I have.

My first session lasted around 30min, which was lesser than expected. I stopped for a bit at practice to take a look and talk to a compay parent. After a chat and a view, I headed out again, this time using the adjacent golf course path for some curvy time, looking regularly to make sure the golfers weren't out on the back 9 in the dimming light. From there I headed to the gravel road @ Thienamens, treating my 2nd stint as another fartlek session. My 2nd stint lasted about 20min, with gmappedometer giving me 12.8 miles total. If those numbers are true-ish, my avg speed was close to 15mph, and I consider that a reasonable estimate b/c I hauled ass and big gears through the session.

I enjoy wandering the country at a neighborly pace more, but my time is precious and short these days, so the weeks will be filled with occasional, short, violent bursts of cycling activity. Then the summer will awake and many a slow, ponderous ride will ensue.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Commute No. 15

I first and foremost apologize to all those out there who don't give a rat's ass how little I have to say that enlightens the world. It's a Monday and you'll have to cope with banality of the vacuous existence of my blog.

Oo, there, I feel better. Anyway...

I did nothing of any great import today save riding my bike to work and back for a grand total of 13m. That was time better spent than driving, sitting, staring, grousing, whining, eating, chafing, coercing, cajoling, acquiescing, or even gesticulating for that matter. I rode, rode slowly, rode coldly and have returned with a "check, I accomplished that and I'm the better for it" pat on the back. It's unnecessarily cold here in the 'Ville, with this morning at 19F and this afternoon at 30F an windy. To be honest I was more comfortable this morning. It's dipping to 14F tonight, which is ridiculously cold given that the avg temps this time of year are 53F/33F. Oh well, layering it is.

I'm about to sent the LHT off to the for some derailer work. I fiddled with it this weekend but it does this dramatic "thunk!!!!" when I leave a light. I adjust the bar-end shifter in motion and it stays reasonably secure, but I swear I'm going to break a chain or shear off a derailer at some point. I wish I were mechanical, but I'm not and I'd have to talk it to C'Ville anyway. The rest of the week I'm either up at 5 to ride before work (due to tennis) or I don't ride; we'll see what gremlin wins the battle.

And speaking of gremlins, I decimated some Girl Scout Cookies today. I mean savagly. It makes me want to be bumilic. Just Joking (I guess).

There, the fetid stream has been dammed. Peace to the rest of you, because this Monday sucked balls.

**Editor's note: 'L' the #2 and the old man went our for our first jog tonight, 1.2 miles. I don't really like to jog, but like to be in the shape after jogging for a while. I'm really proud of 'L'; he got through the mile and change with nary a pause. I guess all that soccer is having some kind of reasonable effect.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Paris-Redux Recon

With sunny skies and some coolish winds, I got out today with Dave in two for some recon for our April RCCS cobblestone ride (early draft). I've been mentally planning for this ride for while but never put the various brick alley segments together, so today Dave and I wandered around for more than 2 hours looking at and riding different alleyways, all for the purpose of putting together a fun 'Paris-Redux' ride in April for the RCCS. Aside from my back being a little tired it was alot of fun today, and we found 3 or 4 different portions that I hadn't previously know of in both the Highland and in Old Louisville. Our only misstep was when a stick caught in Dave's fenders and just mangled it to death; he'll need a new front one as the old one was toast.

We thoroughly covered the Original Highlands, Shelby Park, Old Louisville and Downtown before coming back via the Beargrass Trail and Alta Vista Rd. I'll do a Crescent Hill recon ride next and should be able to cobble together a bit more than 30 bumpy miles. And it certainly was a great way to start March.

A stick mangled Dave's front mudguard, so I took a pic on Dave's camera. Man of Action he is!

St. James Court south.
You can barely see the Pink Old lady in the distance to the left.

St. James Court north, including fountain.
This was a stretch of asphalt, but we soon threw ourselves back into the brick-paved maelstrom.
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