Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall

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?

Friday, September 18, 2009

ick and the random pic

I'm descending into one of "those" moods. Perhaps some of you understand. Perhaps some don't. I know Dave does. Instead of letting it go too far I'm going to be proactive and head it off at the pass. I've had too much media floating around of late, with blogger being the first, but then metastasizing into mycyclinglog, then dailymile, and off late, twitter. I don't use metastasize lightly; in this case it's an intended choice. I don't think these media really accentuate or improve any standard of living. It's just noise, static. I'm going to keep mycyclinglog b/c it's the best present record of mileage given the death of the former harddrive and the DucDo chart that died with it. I have date up until mid-2008 on an old DucDo spreadsheet, so I may re-enter info at some point, but I'll use mycyclinglog as my date choice at the moment.

As for the blog, I've bitched and moaned, even recently, of having little to say, poca novedad. That said, without the biking blogosphere, I wouldn't gotten to read and swap cycling stories with the likes of Dave, Doug, Michael, Chris, or Pete. Reading normal people do both normal and extraordinary things on the bike is motivating, so I have to do my part, just because.

School/work is *very* busy, as it is for many people. My "adventure" bike time has really shrunken, but I've also been lazy ("the funk"?), so that's something to be mindful of. To be mindful, another thing to be mindful of. To not shovel sugary garbage down my pie hole, something to be mindful of. Gotta fight it. So onto the bike somehow, and to treat those around me with a sense of decency, however edgy I might be.

maybe not many blogs, but blogs none-the-less, about the two-wheeled world.

p.s. I don't think I posted this, but I bet it's the first RBW ever locked up at Oxmoor Mall. It's not exactly a RBW kinda' place. Never know, though.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ol' Blue

Mostly commuting these days, although I did jam on the SSFrankenTrek yesterday during soccer practice. Today it was mundane to work, and then equally mundane home, but mundane in a great way. I came up the Beargrass Trail and caught site of my favorite bird, Ol' Blue the Great Blue Heron, that I see occasionally on the BT. I really enjoy those quiet moments. With that on the brain, I then "threaded" some mtbike trails in Cherokee, all in own LHT pace. That was fun to. I poked home from there, but pretty satisfied to have done that on a commute home instead of sitting in traffic and wishing for anything else. Peace out.


Not a good picture of a SS Bianchi locked up at my building. Some college students are using rooms in the afternoon due to flooding at UL, so I assume it's one of their's. Ugly rack, but nice otherwise.


Trail leaving Cherokee today

Friday, September 11, 2009

Funny story

Pack. get on SSFrankenTrek. start to pedal down driveway. freewheelin' going forward. that's a problem! get off to find that i had mounted the rear wheel with the chain off the cog. brilliant. switched to the LHT shaking my head at the same time. i saw a thread recently about whether it was a good idea to have 2 bikes. case in point? tired, but it's Friday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quickie Bulge

I hemmed-n-hawed but fortunately got on the road this morning on the SSFT for the commute. I barely, scantly noticed a "feeling" in the handling but I got to work fine. The "feeling" was more perceptible rolling down the very-smooth marble (?) floors of school. To my surprise, when taking a look at the front wheel, I found this:

This is a barely-used Conti gatorskin, one I mounted yesterday. I don't know how old it is or where I bought it, but the tread wear is just about nonexistent. The tired has separated from the bead, at the greatest point where the bulge presented itself, but also another 6" or so down the bead of the tire. Very surprising for a almost new tire. I stopped in OYLC and picked up 2 Conti Ultrasports for a rich $20 a piece. Guess I should've read some reviews before biting b/c, boy, do these things have bad reviews. I won't reserve judgement yet, but I had as hard a time mounting the rear tire as any i've ever done. I actually used a bit of soap to ride the 2nd bead onto the rim. Imagine having to fix a flat on the road. Yikes! If these flake it'll be the end of my Conti tire usage; after many a year I had a pair of dogs in some city tires I stopped using due to flats, then the wacked gatorskin. If these are bad, I guess it'll be Schwalbe or Panaracer. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

SSFrankenTrek rises

Like a Fenix (spelling intentional), the SSFT has risen from its dormancy to ride again, supporting my vast girth on its knifeedge tires. =) I stopped by OYLC yesterday and picked up tubes for new skins on the SSFT. I pulled the tired 30c on the front and replaced it with a Conti Gatorskinz 25c. I couldn't find the 25c twin and could only find standard 23c Contis, so the rear is still shod with the old 30c one that came with the Blueridge nigh these 10yrs ago. I'm gonna have to find something for the back too, but can't imagine wobbling around on 23c's. It was great to go SSing on the Trek today, with this morning providing abundant fog to carve on the commute. This afternoon the legs were a bit slow, but I have to consider the SSTF as a "do not sell" on the bike list. Great Stuff all round!

Monday, September 07, 2009

kinda 'cross

I spun my wheels for a good while today...in the garage. First I went about changing the front tube on the Bleriot, which meant changing from the GBs to the CdlVs as alluded to yesterday. The trick with both kinds of tires is to get them set correctly because they often end up lumpy on the rim. The ensuing blown tube probably took another 10% of my hearing from my left ear. Ouch. Once I got both the CdlVs on, I then had problems with the front fender. I have a nice beausage dent in the front, and apparently haven't had any CdlVs on since then, because the tire scrapes the fender at the dent. Crap! The fender de-denting will have to wait for another day. Then I tried to change tubes on the front tire of the SSFrankenTrek b/c that tube expired around the valvestem. Crap. The tire on there looks like crap so I looked into changing from a veryoldandbeginningtodryrot 700x30c to a 25c Gatorskin I had sitting around, but no 700x30ish tube. Crap. Finally, I got the Crosscheck off the hook and went about changing tires, from the present Vittoria Randos to the Ritchey Crossmaxs I've had for a while. The Vittos were very challenging to remove and I had to use a metal tire lever to do so, but finally I managed to get 1 thing done in the garage, so from there I took off for a road/'cross ride on the Crosscheck.

The local 'cross scene is hotting up, and I'm a smidge intrigued to get back into some racing. Puh-leeze! There are local races here in the 'Ville in early October, late October and the finals in early December. I could care less about results, but it might be fun. And this year some of the normal folk are taking it on, including Jimmy and PrestaSchrader. Lithodale wants to get in on the action too, so he's working on putting together a frankenbike for said purpose.

That's alot of talking. I rode, didn't feel that great, but did some turns down at River City Country Club. My lines weren't that bad, but boy did they build what seemed like a high barrier. I'm sure it's regulation, but I would need a ladder, or a much smaller ass, to get over it. Don't know if it was enough to inspire me to do 'cross, but maybe I can make myself do a bit of training, especially hill climbs, to give the December race a whirl.

Carmen Creek Rd.

As I am wont to do, I took a ride during Family Camp weekend, post-nap but pre-supper, a perfect window if you ask me. My route would comprise 2-3 sections of gravel on these empty Casey Co. roads. For this purpose I brought the country bike, the Bleriot, one I hadn't been on since early August before the commuting season started.

Rather early on, the whole nature of my ride changed with a big "Pang!". Once the noise and rattle started, I stopped to find that the front fender screw had removed itself, rendering the front fender nothing more than a flapper in the breeze, or as it were, a banging metal dinner pot against the frame of the bike. Talk about noisy. I looked in my loafer to see if I had anything suitable to jerryrig it, but nope, I did not. Assessing the situation, I decided that, while noisy, it wouldn't create any long-term damage, so I went forward, into the void.

the culprit



A sign on this building read 'Walltown', and it's listed on the map as such, but there isn't much to Walltown.



Once on top of the hill, I had the biggest pains of indecision and frustration of the ride. I really wanted to take the downhill down Phillippe Rd. towards Fishing Creek. I would find some nice gravel in the middle of nowhere, just the kind of experience I like. But, the fender thing would make it an almost painful experience, so I head down 837 and a way back to the camp.

After some map study and hemming-n-hawing, I chose to suck it up and take Carmen Creek Rd. back towards home. I just had to have some mixed-terrain, come hell, highwater, or a broken fender. As pictured below, Carmen Creek Rd. looked pretty heavy, in gravel terms.

the turn


Aaahhhhh!

Carmen Creek turned out to be an A+ cycling road. As pictured above, there were some tires ruts which smoothed out the gravel some, and my direction provided a smooth, controllable downhill for perhaps a couple miles through the woods. It would be just as great an uphill as downhill, rideable but scenic. I rattled down and down, occasionally finding patches of pavement amidst bigger patches of gravel, passing a 'baccy patch and a couple groups of dogs.Tobacco patch, for you non-Kentuckians.

I finished out the ride passing 2 sheriffs dealing with a disturbance at a trailer and otherwise took the downhill ride on Bastin Creek Rd. that I had climbed earlier. The total was only 16m+, but it was a nice 16m and only wetted my whistle for more mixed-terrain in Casey Co.

p.s. As a side note, Sunday morning I was actually in cycling clothes, on the Bleriot, ready to do another 1-hr ride during breakfast (believe me, you can miss a meal at Family Camp b/c the other meals are so tremendous!) and before the rest of the morning's activities. About 15ft out I realized that my front tire was flat, even though the rear was worrying me yesterday. That's the official end of the GrandBois' on the Bleriot. They're a velvety-smooth tire, but were some of the most short-lasting I've ever had. Quality over Quantity. It'll be back to the ColdlaVies until the new Pascentis come into play. And I didn't bother changing it. It was morning watch and breakfast time! Family Camp may be my most favorite time of the year. It's just a peaceful time in the middle of the whirlwind that is modern life. And the food is great. The company, better.

Random Pic2


@ Harmony Landing Country Club

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

la muerte del blog?

Is this blog dead? Do I have anything interesting to say? I'm not so sure. I'm not doing anything adventurous on 2 wheels save some regular commutes, but either those are mundane near-shortest possible. My work is quite busy these days with a new AP prep and plans for NBPTS certification. I was only able to ride T and W, with dentist trips, family trips and Open Houses got in the way. Today was to be the 'Family Camp 110', as we're going to Yosemite (KY) this evening and the ride would've been pretty great, but the real world got in the way and I have no regrets for that whatsoever. I have decided to take the Bleriot and do a 1.5hr exploration ride tomorrow afternoon, but the point is "family" camp instead of "me running off and doing my own thing" camp.

RCCS hasn't done anything since our late June 50ish ride. Again, August/life got in the way and that's how it goes. I'd like to do a mixed-terrain and a S24O this Fall, if they can be scheduled around soccer, school, NBPTS, marriage, oh, you know, life. I also notice that a side group of the LBC, "Team Bag Balm", does rides in the same spirit as intended RCCS rides- classic steel, textured roads, conversational pace, etc. I don't know if our little race/roadie specific cycling culture can aguantar both. I also hear that TBB is invitation only. I'm sure it's a great way to keep the troops in order, but it's not really the show-n-go attitude that I personally envisioned when Dave and I cooked up at the start of the RCCS. It may be that both the Mixed-Terrain and S24O become November trips after soccer if over with. And November is the birth month, so maybe a bike adventure on the birthday (40th, you know) would be a great "party".

It's a holiday weekend, so let's all not labor; let's rest, ride our bikes, enjoy the family, and hope that all those assholes at the health care town halls would just crawl back into their trailers and shut the hell up. Oops. political content. Sorry. Peace.
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