Thursday, August 27, 2009

=)

Commute No.12, but don't be too impressed

Rode yesterday- 13m commute- but this morning is the first of the school year when I didn't answer the bell although I had opportunity. Long story I'd rather not go into, but I'm driving in about 5min.

Saw this review of a Dutch citybike on Slate. Take a look.

This evening, stay tuned to my take on the very active cyclists rights/road laws brew that is stewing, at least here in the 'Ville, and I have a feeling, all over the place as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

commute No.11

Did a quick there-n-back commute this morning. Nothing too special except that I took the QB for a change. I meant to take a pic of my packing solution, but did'nt. Not too into that right now, for some reason. Had the 'lil loafer filled with underwear and stuff. On top I lashed my shirt (pants still there from Monday) and another bag with lunch. I had to tuck my shirt and jacket in to use the good rear blinkie, and relied on my princetontech headlight. As ever, the QB was smooth, smooth, smooth.

The afternoon was less eventful as I was running late and had to zoom home (relatively "zoom"). The ride seemed a little bumpier this afternoon and I heard a potential BB click. Gonna have to get that worked on.



This pic is for Lithodale. He wants to cultivate that macho mileage/speed thing, but still keep his indie soul. This pic shows some dudes who I think do that, the 120m D2R2. Looks fun, and it's fun to be fit too. Thanks to "An hour is the same.:..."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Commute No.10- The Blinkies

A nice, easy commute today with a couple "blinkie moments." Crossing Taylorsville, no, I need to begin appropriately. My wife woke me up at 4.40a.m., accidentally and I fault her not, but it was only 30min until the alarm, so I got up and out the door pretty early this morning. Crossing Taylorsville, I see a pair of blinkies travelling west- towards town- and I gave chase. He turned by the carwash and threaded towards Woodbourne and I followed. I could've pulled up next to him on Woordbourne but felt weird, so I turned and paralleled on Douglass. When I got to the B'town intersection, he went by going N on B'town and I followed again. At Eastern Pkwy, he ran the red while I did the responsible thing and he distanced me, until I dropped a cog and almost caught him again near Grinstead. Don't know who he was, but his double blinkie did a good job.

I then encountered a blinkie far ahead on 1st, but didn't feel like chasing. I thought it might be 'Lance' from work, but the blinkie just sort of lingered there, where I found it to be the rear left flasher of a semi. Blinkie UFO.

The double blinkie/yellow shirt commuter showed up again on my commute home, on Taylorsville again, a mere .2m from our first encounter. Strange. I wouldn't mind finding out his story now, but you never know. Down the road maybe. 15.5 good miles today. Better than work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Greg

Excellent article in this month's Bicycling magazine about Greg Lemond. Yes, Lance won more, but Greg is human, and that's worth an awful lot. And the author of the article was Mike Magnuson, whose "Heft on Wheels" I read a few years back. It's a great read too.

Absurd and Frightening

Check this post out at EcoVelo. More head shaking. Ridiculous! I've gone for several years without getting too angry at societal stuff b/c it's not worth the energy or emotion, but I feel like some FoxNews crank, "This country's going to hell in handbasket!". How on earth can we dissuade people, kids, from doing the healthy thing, the cleaner thing, the right thing? So fucking stupid.

Our sons go to an urban magnet school here in Louisville. It's the only school in the county without bus service and stands downtown among the city buildings much like one would in NY or Chicago. Yes, my poor wife has had to act as taxi for these many years, but the setting is unique and the atmosphere diverse, one of the big reasons we wanted this for them. Now, the school is slowly being taken over by petite bourgeoisie , much like those I can imagine from the EcoVelo article, those yuppies hell bent on bending the will of society to their every selfish need. Now, instead of going to and from school like you would imagine in an urban setting, you have them wanting to construct false senses of security with surburban-like drop-off lines and control, control, control. I tell them, if you want a suburban, pick-up line with cute little number cards in each SUV or minivan, go to the surburban school that provides that. If you want a diverse school in an urban setting, the boys' school provides that different experience. It makes me grumpy, as you can see, just like the dumbasses trying to outlaw walking and biking to school. Fucking ridiculous.

Meanderings

Not many posts of late, or at least those of significant content. I'm just not feeling it, but happy to be back on the commute:
  • Long-term project for LHT is to acquire a new stem; the ones from VO look very promising. I like an angled stem for the LHT b/c it gives me a more upright view for around town, but I need more length. I find myself riding way out in the hoods. I would also love to acquire a Pass&Stow rack for the LHT. My preference would be to load the panniers on the front and keep the rack deck open for loads. They're expensive ($200+), so it's more an Xmas present kinda thing for me.
  • I got laid low with massive lower GI issues, so I'm off the bike today. Too bad, 'cause the air is cool and fresh.
  • Started twitter not long ago @TransyTex, if you wanna' know. I think I'm spreading myself too thin on the digital front: blog, twitter, FB. You end up living through the screen instead of living. And it's all so strangely voyeuristic, but still interesting, or something.
  • We've dealt with lots of computer issues of late. Hard drive on year-old HP died, with two different people informing me that it was hardware failure. Of course, after the computer debacle of 2008 I still hadn't done a backup- IDIOT!- so I had to buy a new hard drive and back up (WD MyBook- hope it's good). The neighbor has been helping 'cause I'm not *that* into computers. The broken harddrive is now at Cornell Univ. with a genius former student. He's going to try and fetch what he can, if anything. He likes the challenge. And now the neighbor has the old harddrive from the Dell so that we'll have everything pre-summer of 2008 but he's having issues too. And I just installed the new WDMyBook and I'm getting an error message for its software b/c Windows Vista doesn't have that file and it isn't online. The drive will work, but I'll have to use a 2ndary software back-upper. =(
  • I just looked up a bit of info on the WD MyBook and it's reasonably well-rated, but apparently all these external backups have a tendency to fail, but of course, the internal (apparently a nice one) on the original HP failed too. Eye rolling.
  • La Liga starts soon, so it will be fun to see how the new Galacticos fare. Kaka has been impressive in the pre-season, but CR9 has been relatively quiet. Ole! Vamos!
  • I didn't see any of the match, but Jozy Altidore got his first play with Hull yesterday and assisted on the winning goal and received accolades for his dynamic play after coming on in the 2nd half.
  • I fully intended on going to church this a.m., but my stomach still has has a rock in it, so I'm home reloading thousands upon thousands of songs into iTunes, starting anew. Shaking head. Eye rolling.
  • I'm also "wasting" time putting blog favs back into my bookmarks. One reason for not writing many interesting blog entries of late is that I've not been reading any. It's just school and soccer, school and soccer, with commutes. And that's alright. But however narcissistic blogs may be (according to some), reading about adventure motivates me to have adventure.
  • Listening to newer U2 while doing all this computer work. I like U2, and have for a long time.
I'm done for the moment. I didn't mention Calipari, Memphis and UK, but what can you do. I didn't mention work either, but why would you?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Commute No.8

blue skies and a very stiff headwind blowing me east towards Indian Hills. I'm in the big ring and drop it a sprocket or two and just push. really, really good. in every way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Commute No.6

Dang, I haven't had much to say on the ye' ol' blog of late. I guess I'm like everybody else, working for a livin' and gettin' paid.

Sorry, I digress.

I rode Thursday but needed to lug a computer to work. I rode yesterday and today and that's the extent of my riding in August. With soccer and school, long days have been few, but it does feel good to use those 2 wheels to get to work. As is the case often with teachers, we're out of money at the moment, so the commute feels even better. When I drive, I tend to buy coffee too, so it's more savings that it seems. I've read lots of bike-related media, such as this one from Slate today on bike parking. Because I work in a building where I can store my bike, and the neighborhood seems to have adequate posts and racks, I don't think of such a thing, but it's of obvious issue.

The 'Ville has been doing better lately with bike projects. Check out BikeLouisville for an update. I perceive a growing anger with local 2-wheelers at the same time that riding %s are up and more efforts are being made to make the 'Ville a cycling city. Another fun local discussion has revolved around the LBC's ride structure. I was going to put you onto the kycyclist listserve site, but it shows it as broken. I might just chime on this in the coming days, because the content of that is something LithoDale and I have discussed at length.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Commute No.3

Need I say more? The only adventure was the rear pannier getting stuck in the wheel this morning. I almost went down. I guess I need to affix a piece of plastic or alum to stiffen up the pannier body against the rack so it doesn't fold into there.

Also, I'm thinking of buying a small, waterproof dry-bag for the commute, something to just put keys, phone, wallet,etc. in. I use Kroger bags but would like something more permanent. If anyone has some wisdom out there, let us know.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Commute No.2

A quickie to and from work today, with afternoon business. Seems that our hard drive on our year-old HP died.'Course, the warranty ran out about 3 weeks ago. Of course, I being a dumbass, didn't back anything up, so 1 year's data/pics/songs/email/etc. is gone, at least for now. I rode up to Staples to buy a new harddrive and a new external harddrive for backup, which the neighbor is helping to set up. Stress-inducing and horribly annoying. The ride(s) were the highlight of the day, save the nice meal with the fam. Once advantage I've noticed is that I can push a bigger gear on the LHT after my summer of riding. Makes me think I need to take advantage and not get lazy.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Commute No.1

Although the kids were not in school today, I went in for some meetings and didn't get much done. We have 2 more days of school opening and then it's off to the races with kids on Thursday. I liked numbering my commutes in the Spring, so this new year gets a new list going, with the first today.

To be fair, I've been busy, undermotivated or both of late. After some great July mileage, I just can't seem to get going in August. Lately I've been hoping for commuting time b/c I know it will give me steady miles. I almost- Almost- did a S24O last night, but some lower GI issues waylaid those plans. I have more gear ready and really intend on doing one of those sooner than later. I've also been reading lost of crazyguysonabike journals, especially from two specific ones.

The first is Jeff Kruys' A Few Years in North, Central and South America. He began his journey in his native Canada, but I've read his Central and South America portions with great eagerness. He has a very humble, unassuming style, but it makes his epic days all the more epic. Of particular note, not culturally, but geographically are his entries from the Andean countries. I just can't imagine more stark, glorious and frightening terrain. It makes my silly musings about "mixed-terrain" seem childish, but allthemore compelling. And if you're a bird nerd, he provides many an image of our hemispherical avian neighbors.

Another of great interest has been A Honeymoon to Remember, from Sam and Erin Arnold Barkley. They're a Utah couple that, yes, got married and have spent it on the bike though Asia. Again, the vistas and entries from the high mountains are of great interest, altough both of these journals do a great job coloring, comparing and contrasting the local cultures and terrain.

I doubt I'll do anything so, again, epic any time soon, but it sure does look fun, in a 3rd-World misery kind of way. As for my own recent riding, I need to get some August miles in if I'm to do my Family Camp 110 during Labor Day weekend. I haven't felt the great urge of late, but some nice, long, hot afternoons on the commuter will get the juices flowing again. Peace out!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Deja Vu

I've been here before. In 1999 after my solo 85-miler to Lexington I found myself unmotivated to push myself further. I was satsified and I wound down. This week after my 80-miler Tuesday I've been very unmotivated to ride much. I didn't ride Wednesday. Thursday was a restorative, slow 10miler on the QB, Friday a mtbike ride. Yesterday although I had opportunity, I didn't bother. Today, with a beautiful morning facing me, instead of mastering my domain (not in the Seinfeldian way) I just toodled, going through Audobon Park and then to Sunergo's. After coffee and a donut- a relaxing coffee and donut, mind you- I ventured home via a snaky route that involved Winter, B'town, Spring, Lauderdale and Seneca Gds, nary "raising a pedal in anger". I think the impending return to school is on my mind, as are the variety of activities that need to be accomplished with that renewal. I'm ready to commute. I'm ready to start the routine again: 5.15, suit up, 6.15, 7-8m, work, afternoons await. ???
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