Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Que Bueno de Paseo!

Some days just come together a little better than others. Some rides "click" and some "scrape and thunk", whither the weather, the body, the mind, the bike. Who knows? All cyclists experience the vagaries of form. This afternoon, for my paltry 9m home it came together. As I was waiting to turn onto 2nd St. I saw and was perpendicularly passed by a fit looking dude low slung on his Felt TT bike. It looked sorta fun, to be honest. Shortly after TTdude came another guy on an interesting rig, one I got to see the next light fortuitously. It was evident that commuterdude was giving good chase to TT dude, but he was caught at a light, where I got to look over his steel Fuji fixie road bike with slim-line panniers and colorful rims, and he with a rasta man helmet. What I enjoyed was that he had to have been close to my age on the plus or minus. Yes, gauche, but blithe.

TTman and Rastaman left me in the dust as I turned off of 2nd, but their cat-n-mouse spurred me to click into the big ring and down a few sprockets for my own TT across Smoketown and down Logan. At Broadway I saw a nice girl on a black Crosscheck with bit ol' fatties. "Like". From there I curled onto Washington and then the Beargrass Trail. It was such a good day I saw my friend ol' blue doing some fishing before I continued to push hard up the hillette. Into Cherokee I cut the hills and continued my pace until arriving at the Millvale hill. I knew the heart rate wouldn't let me push much more so I backed off and rode easily up and homeward and now I write about a great 9m of 2-wheel action. Everybody needs some.

On a very different note, today saw the passing of Laurent Fignon, Greg Lemond's nemesis in the famous '89 Tour de France. For us 'murknis, Fignon was the bad guy, the effete French ride in black with his wire rims who was set to conquer our rehabilitated rider-on-his-white-horse Lemond. To lose such a long race by 8sec (9?) was both thrilling and amazing. What was lost to 99% of the American viewing public was what a great rider Fignon was during the '80s:

2 Tours de France
1 Giro d'Italia
1 French Championship
2 Milan-San Remos
1 Fleche-Wallone
2 Criterium International
1 Tour of Holland

His palmares don't quite equal that of Lemond, but not by much. They won the same quantity of Grand Tours and about the same quantity of smaller French races, with Lemond winning his 1 Dauphine, a race of slightly high class than that of the C.I. Lemond is ahead in world road titles (2), but he could never quite lasso (get it? horse metaphor?) himself a classic, while Fignon won Milan-SanRemo twice. Fignon easily won more stages of random races, something Lemond never stooped to in his singular pursuit of the Tour. Ultimately it's quite strange to have a rider that I watched not terribly long ago- that of only 2 generations ago if one counts the Armstrong and before the Indurain generation- who is already dead. Merde!! He was 50; I'm 40, not that far off, eh?

This is how he should be remembered, defeating an in-his-prime Hinault in his preferred mountains. Honestly, I'm sure the pro cyclists today are faster, fitter and more refined, but the generation of Fignon, Lemond, Roche, Delgado and Herrera was the last romantic cycling generation. It's been all dope, all PR, all plastic all prefab since.

"Ah, those were the good old days!"

Sunday, August 29, 2010


  • Yesterday (Saturday) Dave and I sprinted out for a 10-miler before he had to pick his wife up from work. He's been ruminating on single-speed road biking, so I gave him the opportunity to ride the SSFrankenTrek. While still a bit small for him, it's closer in size than any of my other bikes, and gives him an idea of what SSing is. I had been preparing for a trail ride to a new spot the boys are putting down at GeorgeRogersClarkPark, so instead of grabbing a road mount I took the monster'CrossCheck, and boy, that was challenging. Dave hammered me to death for the first 6 or 7 miles, dancing away on the 25c's while I plodded on my tractor tires. It was all good, brief fun, though.
  • Just got back from a 3m coffee ride with the dauphin. I'd give it 5*****, and why not? Got to ride. Got to hear and stay in touch with the teenager. Got to drink coffee and read the NYTimes. Got to get my butt kicked on a short climb by the 14 yrold who's been running cross country now for a month plus. What's not to like? Right, I could've gone aggro and taken the 50-miler, but I'll take some chat time with the elusive teenager over that any day.
peace out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Commute pics

I didn't commute this morning, but I did take these yesterday en route on the a.m. I get sort of jealous of Pondero's beautiful morning snaps, so I did my own. They're aren't as nice, but they're not bad.

This is the rising sun along Dog Hill in Cherokee, a spot I always find interesting, even climbing at 8mph. This morning was heightened by the mist settling over the creek valley, with this sunrise above.

More sun from my work door.

Pics can't capture it, but my senses were also overwhelmed on the way home, in this case my sense of small. Traveling along East Main next to the Fischers meat plant, I was almost stopped dead in my tracks by the stench, the worst I've encountered. I just gritted my teeth and survived the .2m before escaping. You gotta take the good with the bad when saving the world from cagers.

Commute #7

I commuted. The morning was a bit cooler, which was nice. In the afternoon I took the extra loop down Logan/Main to the Beargrass Creek Trail, where I'm pretty sure I saw a car in the distance. My hope that is was a Metro Parks vehicle and not some Yea-hoo (I really can't spell that).

The weather seems to have broken a bit. Good Times.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

no commute

Didn't ride today, but just posted a write-up of our gravel fest on Sunday. What a great ride, maybe the best of the year!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Commute #6

This morning was pretty tough, and the afternoon tougher. Dave and I via the RCCS pulled off a great 80-mile mixed-terrain ride yesterday in S.Indiana, so the legs didn't respond too well today. I poked along on Ute, mostly to give the arms and arse a different feel from the Bleriot. This afternoon I was particularly wasted and barely moved on some short climbs, but I didn't walk. Tomorrow I've decided to take a different tack and drive; I'm bushed and it'll give everybody in the house a bit of extra sleep.

I'm going to do the mixed-terrain write up on the RCCS site. I should have it up a couple days, and it'll be worth the look. We found 3 or 4 sections of gravel that I rate as some of best I've ridden. I'm ready to do a Fall ride in the same general area.

Glad I rode today, though. It was better than driving.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tour de Farms


Tour de Farms:
Our Future Local Food Economy
Awareness Bike Ride to Farms in Floyds Fork

SATURDAY, AUGUST 28, 8am-noon
(or 1pm)
(Short Ride- 5 miles.... Long Ride - 13 miles)
Begin at Blackacre Nature Preserve- 9 AM
3200 Tucker Station Road, Louisville, 40299

A Healthy Garden

Sign up at:

To CARPOOL with bike racks or to BIKE to Blackacre, meet at the
Bike Shop 2132 Frankfort Avenue at 8 AM.

Bring a HELMET, WATER and a SACK LUNCH, and have fun!

GREEN. ...... not concrete.

*Use our tax money to develop a livable, healthy Louisville,
not to destroy our future local economy farmlands.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Commute #5

And I commuted today, but it was part of a larger, Kafka-esque tale of modern health care intrigue. But it worked out alright.

New Rubber

Don't you think it's a truism that non-believers don't understand the nature of multiple tires and how they influence a bike ride? I did a post a good while ago about all the extra tires I have in the garage, ones I guess I should sell, although I don't have an eBay acct. As some of you know, I'm sure you have several tires with different qualities. As an example, I discuss the RBW Bleriot started with Col de la Vie 38c tires. I initially found them too squishy, especially in turns. Ademas, the straight groove tread made for a slow, ponderous, albeit comfy ride. In response to my less-than-glowing option, I sought out and purchased the highly rated 32c Gran Bois Cypres from Vintage Press/Bicycle Quarterly. I read numerous reviews extolling the buttery virtues of this tire, so I was excited to see. Surprisingly, it mostly met the hype as the most comfy, smooth and secure tire I've ridden. It did/does everything right, except... As a soft and comfy tire, it also wore down quicker than any I've ever had after maybe 1500m tops. Actually they didn't bother me until I had several sudden flats. A visual inspection showed obvious significant tread wear and led me to remove them and return to the CdlV's if for convenience.

Above we have a driveway pic of the latest, and GREATEST, 650b option, the Soma New XPress 650b. RBW has a nice description and comparison to other 650b offerings. They're not mounted, but if I can talk Dave into a Sunday morning ride we'll test them out. Marketing suggests a tire about the same size as the CdlVs (wider than the Cypres'), but with a tough, no-flat casing. I've yet to have a flat on the CdlVs', but they're hell to mount, so maybe these will be a bit better, although I've heard that the first run of wheels that came with the Bleriot offering had a diameter slightly too small, rendering loose tires even looser.

Happy Hour Brew Cruise tonight and a busy day tomorrow, but it's the weekend. Vamos!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Commute #4

Whew! That 5.11a.m. alarm rang early today. I got up, motivated only by the reality that I had planned to meet 'BB' for the morning commute. The afternoon commute I rode home alone and felt good for about 20min when I sort of ran out of gas. I don't know if it was the heat, tiredness, Afib, or what, but now home, I'm ready for a rest. Tomorrow is Freitag, so I'll have to ride, especially b/c after work the RiverCityCyclingSociety will be holding an impromptu Happy Hour BrewCruise from 5.30-8.00 or so. I'll post plans over at that site if you're interested.

I also got a small RBW package today, nothing fancy, and I'll post and pic about that this weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Commute #3

Knocked it out, with the freshman catching a school bus for the first time (not on a field trip). The morning was very calm riding with 'BB'. The afternoon, for that fact, was too. She didn't seem to be feeling it on the home leg, so after I dropped her off I punched it for a few miles on the LHT, and felt good doing so.

p.s. He apparently did not catch the bus at the original stop on our street, but cut a parking lot and picked it up in an unauthorized spot later in the route, where the bus driver "informed" him was *not* a stop. Live-n-learn the tough rules of life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bikie news

Saw a brief mention about the furor over unpaving roads. Ah, more mixed terrain! Some un-gnashing here. I can only hope that KY finds a way to unpave many of its mostly empty, very rural roads. 'course, what will the lycra crowd do? Buy fatter rubber?

The NYTimes had an article on the google bike app this past Sunday. So far I haven't needed it in the 'Ville, but it would be an interesting feature to search while traveling.

While reading the first article about the perils- or not- of unpaving, I found this link to an article about Vermont's dirt roads. Boy, it would be fun to ride those.

Ahhh!!! Mixed Terrain!!!

I've incorporated some pretty bleak, black comments on the blog of late. Summer has obviously been getting to me and yet I haven't been able to stretch the legs, although I know that all the science and good sense extol the benefits of the sertonin produced during exercise.

Dave was finally back in town, and with a window before the start of school, we embarked on a hot and humid 63-er on Sunday. I arrived early with the Bleriot, and he on the LHT and we headed NE using a portion of his CliftyFalls route on Tunnel Mill Rd., which after a steep climb early on planes out to a delightful bit of flattish IN country riding.

Old stone gate with barely visible hinge

mixed Morning Glory

We stopped briefly in New Washington to refill although only into the 2nd hour of the trip. While only 9ish, it was already humid and sunny, heading for a hot one. I elected to go ahead and buy and extra bottle for the Big Loafer. A good decision it was. Not long after New Washington stop we found ourselves beginning a nice bit of mixed terrain on S Country Rd. 850W, which by the way was travelling due north/south (not W). This portion lasts about 2m, and although brief, for me it made my day. Gravel in our area is rare, so one must drink it up for all it's worth.

The opening chapter of gravel, Dave looking good here on the LHT.

A more rolling view of 850W or S.Sharon Hill Rd.

Towards the latter stages with a little different colour and light.

There seem to be a variety of little turn-offs in this area, giving me the notion of exploring the many nooks and crannies in lieu of making a larger loop. In this general area, we decided to exit the cue sheet and take advantage of an unknown gravel stretch, this later found labelled as W Co.Rd. 650. It took an extreme right and helped us arrive at W New Bethel Rd, which would provide us a nice westward reconnection with our cuesheet.

Beginning W Co.Rd. 650

Down a small slope on either S900W or a continuation of 650W. Confused? I'd love to find an IN road site like KY has with its Division of Planning website.

New Bethel Rd. with its church traffic led us into Lexington, which apparently had a 4-wheeler party happening, but no pics. After a ceremonial lap around the town square, we consulted the map (again) to verify cue sheet directions with random map names that we certainly find in both KY and IN. Do other states have so many random road names that don't correspond on map sources?

Lexington town square

Updated Lexington house

As we made our way westward from Lexington the heat began to take its toll a bit, although a dark rain cloud did help occlude some of the brightest rays. E Kinderhook provided some cloud cover, shade and the meeting of a small, little friend, somehow spied by Dave on downhill at reasonable speed. At some point on Kinderhook, I would say we were mildly awry (not lost, but also not sure) but eventually our way into Underwood where we had stopped on the RCCS ride last April.

Small ride friend

Bigger ride friend just west of Underwood

As soon as we stopped, Dave knew that I had to have yet another picture of grass. I love my meadows!

Once in Underwood, we procured some water, choco milk, snacks and facilities. At this point the heat was getting to both of us. I would like to plug Nuun tablet at this point. I started using them on the 3rd bottle and the seemed to keep me a little fresher than I had expected to be. Please file this nugget for later (**). Dave was rather hot, so we mutually agreed to shorten our trip through Clark State Forest, as we would meet a very large climb or two and I, at least, wanted to finish the ride positive and not miserable. We head back towards Charlestown, resting a few times in the shade, but ultimately finishing with 51 miles (my, the Bleriot computer is really off now. It was registering 56m.) and 2 sections of mixed terrain, just what my black soul needed. And to top it off, Dave and Kristy offered me an excellent home-cooked lunch, one which I couldn't refuse! My thanks to both of them for their generosity.

**I read about Nuun tablets on Kent's blog in his discussion of his Great Divide effort. They're sugar-free, non-sweetened electrolyte tablets, ones which easily dissolve in a water bottle. There are several flavors, sometimes sold in mixed flavor packets, but I began with the lemon-lime. They provide this bizarre mild flavor while in your mouth, but have almost no after-taste. I used one for bottles 3 and 4 and I found myself feeling relatively fresh. Perhaps I ate well or just hydrated adequately, but I found them building confidence in the 93F, humid conditions.

**While the ride was good, I proceeded to have a really horrible Sunday afternoon, evening and Monday morning. I had another Afib sometime late afternoon. Even after taking a pill it didn't really stop and I ended up taking another pill around bedtime; basically my heart spent 10hrs or so jumping around. While it had stopped by the next morning, I was completely wiped out and anxious that it might start again. I attribute it to four factors in no particular order: 1. tough effort in the heat, 2. heavybooze Saturday night, 3. heavy booze Thursday night, 4. lbs. I'm very heavy right now- which is probably THE contributing factor to my Afib. Add to that 2 excessive booze events and some heat and, Presto!, Afib.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ay!! The streets are mean out there for cyclists.Take a gander at this.

Commute #2

First "official" school opening day, sans kids. Rode with 'BB' in the a.m. at a nice brisk pace; she does spin classes so she can knock out a steady tempo. In the p.m. I needed to hustle home for supper plan so, for me, I put the pedal down in the 100F heat and humidity and rode home about as hard as I could under the conditions, averaging mid-14s on the LHT, which for me is lightening fast. It would've been more fun on the RB-1, but you can't have everything.

Thursday, August 12, 2010



Mas Gravel. You going?

GRAVEL WORLDS 2010 from nocoastfilms on Vimeo.


Fargo sighting yesterday at Seneca golf 'T'. Didn't have a chance to stop and accost him for a pic. Boy, those wheels sure did look big with the slope of the top tube! Completely stripped down, so don't know purpose. mtbiking?


Commuted for first day of new school year, a work day for me but no students. Not much to say than when I faced near100F of the afternoon, the actual temp was just below 90F with much humidity. So much for warnings of epic heatoclypse. LHT rode well after cleaning save a noisy rear brake. Looking forward to year with new high schooler and middle schooler. Time marches on.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I don't deny that my attitude isn't all that great. Right now 2010 is online for the worst mileage year in a while, and I think it's making me cranky. I can't remember that last time I had a really exhausting, declarative, emphatic ride. To wit, yesterday evening I took the car to the dealership for servicing (free the first 30k or something)and rode the mammoth 10m home, some of it in the dark. I'm just not riding, although I am jogging a bit and feeling the legs come around ever slightly. I'm the heaviest I've ever been- whine, moan, complain. I'm just grumpy!, although not necessarily depressed; I know how that feels and I don't feel that.

I threw this pic in from littlecircles because it makes me happy. I love the colors, the foliage, the mixed-terrain, the sense of adventure. What I'm craving is adventure!!!!!! Mixed-terrain! Roaming! Mileage! Rough Stuff! Pain! You get the idea.

Un dia, quizas, un dia.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


At one point I had a 40-mile ride from Blue Licks State Park via some nice gravel to the in-laws planned, but time and Mother Nature caught up to me. Given our need to be at a visitation by 5.00, I didn't have enough time to do the mixed-terrain loop. Bummer! I mentally change tack to still leave from BLSP but proceed directly to the in-laws. As we approached, things resulted much stranger. Temps in the 'Ville and towards the NE hovered around 100F, for which I had brought a cooler, 3 bottles and plans to visit a store in Ellisville. Approaching BLSP, we encountered an impressive lightening storm just in our path, followed shortly by gale, sideways winds. I'll ride in rain, but not in lightening like we saw. More bizarrely, in about one half mile, temps dropped from around 100F to 80F; I could see it drop on the car thermometer. Within about 2 miles, it had gone all the way from 101F to the lowest temp of 73F. That's what I call a cold front!!

I decided to ditch the BLSP ride entirely, head to the in-laws and catch whatever miles I could, in this case a very truncated 13m loop. Given the lack of epic nature of the ride, I'll just let a few images tell the story of a peaceful, rural bike ride. I could be frustrated, but why bother? I rode a little harder than usual and even descended a bit to climb some more. The clouds from the storm to the south were very cool, so here they are:

Country bike, in the country


Cloud and soybeans

Cloud and tobacco. Bet you don't see that much?

storm clouds to the south along Key Pike


Cloud and old house

Intertwining field, I think of more soybeans and grass

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Mas limpio

I didn't do any riding yesterday, but I did spend a good while thoroughly cleaning the LHT and Blueridge for further duty. Both were foul, especially the drivetrains, so those along with the wheels took most of the attention. School will be starting next week, so the LHT needed the most (the Bleriot is pretty clean, so I kept it for later). I did get about 1.20 worth of jogging/walking this morning at E.P.'Tom'Sawyer Park where the elder had cross country practice. I love to ride, but I've had better weight-loss results in the past with a mixture of jogging, lifting and riding, oh, with less eating too.

Tomorrow I might be doing the ride below. Our plans aren't finalized, but we're headed the in-laws way, so perhaps I'm returning the the mixed-terrain area I visited in April, that time like an idiot on the mostly signlespeed QB. This time I plan on the Bleriot for the tires and gears. My only concern is heat, as temps around here are forecasted closet to 100F, which is a little warm to be out in the boonies. Looks like I need to start freezing bottles tonight.

**the previous ridemygps route did not happen, so I deleted it for another day. More to come

Monday, August 02, 2010

August anew

We returned Saturday from a Florida beach vacation with out good friends, in his father's penthouse condo in Destin, FL. I tried to jog Monday on the beach but all I got was massive, sand-papered blisters on each foot, rendering walking painful. All I did all week, seemingly, was eat and drink. It was fun for the family- me included- but I start August with a weight disaster. I'm impressed people can announce their weights and all that, but my own shame at my bigness keeps me from publishing such a large number.

Time to get moving- and more importantly- and not eating so damn much! School starts very soon, so a schedule will help, as will commuting miles. The boys' activities won't make commuting as easy, but I have to, have to, have to get into the gym and turn some fat into muscle. Gripe, moan, complain.

I did finish July with my highest mileage total month of the year, 421, but it's hard to see all these blogs around me with mileage that is double and triple mine. Blah!Gripe, moan, complain.

Oh, and a mostly disastrous canoe trip dunked my new Canon S90. I hold out faint hope, but it's resting in a desiccant bag, so we'll see. Blah.

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: http://superissimo.com/the-cu...