Sunday, November 29, 2009

'bent



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 ridewithgps.com. 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

fi'ty

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.


road


Johnson Creek mixed terrain

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Celos

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

SS50

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

Quickie

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

Issues

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.

Real!!


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

mini-Commute

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



Dave




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.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com