Thursday, September 30, 2010

commute #18

Family issues made it tough to commute M and T, but I made it yesterday and today even though I'm not sleeping enough.  Observations:
  • Just saw a new local 'Ville blog, UofLCycling. This one is being partially captained by Ben, who has been on several of our RCCS rides. Looking forward to college-age adventures.
  • Saw Ol' Blue today on the Beargrass. Always a plus.
  • It was quite windy from the NE, meaning that for half my p.m. commute I had to ride in the drops on the LHT and trudge forward. It was a good challenge.
  • We have a three-day weekend with all of us out of school tomorrow. The boys have Monday off too. Hope everybody is rested by Tuesday morning. Dave is riding the Harvest Homecoming Tour singlespeed. I don't know what Sunday brings, but I might be a late entry. Or I might not.
  • Slate has a blurb post about bogus NY bike fashion. Hey, bikes are in the news!
  • Alberto Contador tested postive, minutely positive, for the 2010 TdF. What a great sport! I'm glad I'm metamorphosed (?) into a commuter phred.
Tomorrow the big one turns 15. Time flies!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

#29 Amsterdam
3mile ride with the Z man to Dundee, and a spirit sprint up Lakeside. I beat him, but only through guile and luck. I'll take it, though.  Commutes have been sparse this week, but tomorrow might be in play.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Commute #16

  • Commuted all 5 days this work week. I know this is mere mincemeat for many an uber-commuter out there, but I'm always proud of not bailing that one difficult, "don't wanna get up" day.
  • thanks to mom for asking me to let her dog out yesterday afternoon. That put me over 20m for the day. I can't seem to do the long-out-west commute home these days. Too busy.
  • Got out today for a short bike trip to meet Dave for libations and snacks. Pleasant. Very.
  • Helped out at 'Z's crosscountry meet this morning. I like being around the CC/running vibe. It's much like the cycling vibe in that it's about self maximization and will. Who can suffer the most? As always, 10m of jogging would do me wonders this week.
  • Plans are afoot for a big weekend in October with maximum Vitamin G. More to come, but prolly not a flyer.
  • Had other topics to discuss, but not feeling it now. Some day.
Peace and 2 wheels

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

World Car Free Day

I'm amused that the WCFD site has crashed, er, "being maintained" on WCFD. So far I've done my portion, doing the 13m to work and back. I don't know what the evening holds, but I'll try to get it done on 2 wheels. Last night the boys and I rode up to Dundee Tavern and on the way home I must picked up some glass b/c my tire on the Ute was mostly flat by the time I got it in the garage.

Looking at local resources, here's a nice local post from cyclingproject365. Take a look. And go Alice!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Commute #13

Second day on the SSFrankenTrek. Met up with 'BB' on her newly tuned-up Fuji, of which she was waxing ecstatic about having a bike that finally shifts. Other than 1 guy who needed to comment on us taking a full lane at 6.40 in the morning, all while having his own late, it was a nice, almost cool morning.

In the p.m. I stopped by OYLC to pick up a more suitable mirror for the Ute; I hope it works. Drew, Derek and I discussed possibilities to gussy up the SSFrankenTrek, as the long top tube and old skool deep drops have me rarely in the drops or in the hoods. Above is a newish bar from Civia that seems like a possibility. I like the flattish section like I have in the tops now, and the bend isn't too much (50degrees). After some shop talk I came straight down B'town and into the homestead, sweaty from the constant heat but satisfied.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Commute #12

I commuted on the SSFrankenTrek today after some spiffy easy maintenance. I'm curious to see how the Trek's gearing inches/rise (oh, sounds sorta homoerotic. need to tread lightly here) measure up to Dave's new ride. It's certainly a bigger gear than the QB provides. I rode through Cherokee withe designs on a long afternoon to put me over 30 for the day. Instead I found myself knee deep in preparing to teach the "Yuuts" and didn't leave work in time for big mileage, so a 19m day had to suffice. And it did.

And a much stranger note, below is a pic of a LHT locked to a sign. This bike was locked in the same place all weekend in a rather conspicuous spot. Frankly, I don't understand why it's there and hope the owner hasn't come to ill favor. It was out there at least from Fri to Sun, but I don't know if it's gone now. I think I'll check in the a.m. It's an obviously cared-for LHT and a good commuter selection. What legit LHT owner would leave their prized rig locked up in such a shitty spot for so long? It begs to be stolen. Here's hoping for the best.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


  • got 'L' up at 7.30- his choice- and went to the farmers' market, where we bought apples, plums, greens, garlic, coffee and a muffin. Nice, nice trip.
  • watched 'Z' run cross-country. As much as I think he can run faster, he's doing it and I'm not, so who the @#$ am I to question?
  • veggin' at the homestead when 'L' called from a friend's house looking for a certain videogame after their soccer game. It set up the perfect excuse to ride: run by there and then to OYLC to pick up a tube for 'L's front tire.
  • ran in to Dave and Dom at Spinelli's next to OYLC. First I purchased: tube, 20" road-worthy tires for 'L', new cheap pedals for SSFrankenTrek, new ULock to replace 15+yrold one prone to pen tops. 'L's bike has massive knobbies, but he doesn't really ride trails, so roadies it is.
  • After purchases (cheap for my normal trips), joined Dave and Dom for 2 slices, 2 PBRs and 1 relaxing time. Was going to go home but Dom invited us to roll through Cherokee, which we did, extending to Seneca and St.Matthews.
  • Dave and I stopped at that beer place in St.Matthews, but Dave had to clarify key thing, and more importantly, I had stealthily disappeared for afternoon and needed to return for parental supervision while girls went out.
  • 'L' was/is sleeping over at friends, and 'Z' decided to go to neighbor buddy for Halo Reach bruhaha. I was left home alone. What did I do?:
  • cleaned parts of the garage to better access bikes
  • mounted 'L's tires. I think he'll like the new ride alot.
  • removed bottle cage from Crosscheck for potential 'cross runups.
  • mounted wonky rhodegear mirror on Ute by drilling out cork grip. It'll serve, but not great. Need one that's 90degree up elbow mirror.
  • mounted new cheap pedals on SSFrankenTrek and adjusted non-existent rear brake. It'll get some 'bidness' next week. Just realized I should have adjusted LHT set. It's set a little downward tilt for my tastes.
  • drank beer: Schlafy's APA and Leine's Summerweiss, or something like that.
  • listened to The National and the new Bobby Bare Jr. CD on the really beat up CD player in the garage.
I need a shower.


Patching 'L's front tire so we can go to the farmers's market. The Ute makes a nice secondary wb, and the Schlafy's makes tire changing a bit easier.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Commute #11

I needed a bike change so I took the Ute to work. I had intended to take the SSFrankenTrek but it was behind too many other bikes. The Niterider went dead about 1/2 way through so I relied on the small helmet blinkie. It worked out. The home trek was succinct , as I had to go to 'L's Open House. Straightforward, but I still feel weird. maybe a dr trip in the future.

You know, the Ute might be the bike that brings the greatest calm. It's just "chill".

Monday, September 13, 2010

Commute #9

Nice weather today, with a wide range of 58F in the a.m. and 92F in the p.m. 'BB' and I went long this afternoon, using Hill to get to Chickasaw and then back eastward. We were even blessed with a nice tailwind on the eastern turn, all the while watching what looked like a large coal barge sitting whopper-jawed in the Portland canal, with part of its front end seemingly run aground. I'll be curious whether that's the case.

And to top it off, a sighting of Ol'Blue on the Beargrass. It was good stuff for the first western home commute.

Below is a pic I took 20min ago at Kroger. Upon study I It's a Trek Bellville, with an obvious influence from the latest batch of urban bikes coming out of interesting small makers. This one was set up with an ample front rack, dynohub with l.e.d front light,rear internal IGH and apparently comes with some kind of "eco" label. All bikes are "eco" when ridden adequately to replace petro guzzlers. It looks like a nice package, but I mostly hate Trek, so I reserve judgement of what is probably a nice ride.

Here's a reasonably comprehensive look from BikesfortheRestofUs. That's a pretty cool sight I just found looking for info on this unfortunately attractive offering from GM, er, Trek.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not mine

Commute #8 + Cross

How's that for post title? Sort of ridiculous, if you ask me. On the Friday afternoon commute I was to meet some work types for a post-salt mine libation. Instead of leaving immediately I had to tidy up a couple things and left a bit later than planned. In turn, while on the LHT fat hog I put my head down and rode about as hard as I can on the hog. No, it wasn't a LithoDale 18mph avg for an entire century, but moving the hog down the road in full commuter mode at a 16-18mph clip takes some work. I maintained on the route between work and the bar and was surprised that I had gotten there first. Beers were drunk. Frites were engulfed. The weekend began.

Yesterday Dave and I futzed around with some kind of ride amidst our schedules and finally we agreed to do a 'cross ride of some sort, with him borrowing my Monocog. After a saddle adjustment off we went via Creason over to GeorgeRogersClark park, where Jimmy and his hood rat gang had painted some new 'cross trail markings. We found some obvious markings on the Poplar Level Rd. side, but after that we just rode around the cross country trails, some of which somebody had mown in to the park grass. We even tried a run-up at one point, which quickly became a walk up. We futzed around there for a good while, somewhat limited by our single-speed action (I stayed in the same approximate ratio as Dave for the entirely of the ride) before heading over to Vic's Classic Bikes for a looksie. From there, back home via Cherokee and a nice couple hours spent on the bike in the 'hood.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Century Sensaciones

Jefferson/Bullitt Co.

I began the day excited but a little wary of what I had decided to undertake. The fact was, a very busy week had made me tired and a little frantic. I knew, though, that being by myself also made for a more flexible schedule, where I didn't have to worry about other people's pace, strength, fatigue or mood. After a shitty breakfast decision at MickeyD's, I rode to the bus stop at B'town and waited, becoming a little anxious when it didn't arrive on time, but it did. And it had plenty of bike room. After an easy ride I talked to the driver about letting me off at my start on Brentlinger Rd. I felt really good once I got moving, as the temps were reasonable and after fidgeting a bit, I settled into a good steady pace and enjoyed some new roads that the club uses (I think). Early on I committed by one mistake of the day, not trusting my computer (which is measuring wrong even after a roll-out Thursday) and turning left onto Dawson Hill Rd. instead of straight. I was fortunate that I still had cell service there and was able to cobble together a route that didn't require backtracking. The lack of navigational confidence meant that my first couple hours were certainly more scattered than they should have been.

Bleriot ready for a bus ride, with cup o' joe on the trash can. The picture below does better capturing how dark it was. This pic certainly doesn't.

Early morning on Broad Run Rd.

Wild Turkeys on Broad Run. Rd.

Serendipitous misturn, as my ride up Brush Run/1819 was quite pleasant. It's worth a return.

Spencer Co.

The portion through Spencer Co. got me thinking of "sensaciones", as the vapid pros like to discuss in their interviews. Mine, at this time, weren't exactly clicking. What I had put on a pedestal as an "uber-ride", to be honest, was a little glum. As some later pics show, I was being chased by a cloud cold front that would take an early sunshine and squelch it like a blanket. Yes, everyone says, "great temps", but I also like brilliant skies, and I lost them over the course of Spencer. And as for the topography, the general nature of Spencer, it didn't do much for me. It seems like both the roads and dwellings were haphazard, thrown down without though or flow. On more than one occasion I though of the lack of "flow". Maybe it was my legs or my irritation with the missing turn, but I wasn't enjoying myself as much as I should, on my "uber-ride". This wasn't helped at the shitty gas station stop in Taylorsville. It was inhabited by pissed off Indians/Middle-Easterners behind the counter and- to be frank- white trash in the parking lot. Again, the sensaciones weren't positive.

Barn which provided both cell coverage for map reading and a tree for, well, you know.

Random small cemetery on side of road, not even marked. Blah Spencer Co.

Cloud blanket following me into river valley near Taylorsville.

Leaving Taylorsville by the old bridge.

"Gladstone Acres"
If you know us, you'll get the idea.

This pic as much as any characterizes the gloom that was chasing me across Spencer, and this at the top of the steady 1m climb out of Taylorsville.

Nelson/Washington Co's.

The turn from the busy 55 to 458 towards Chaplin proved to be an instant game changer. As soon as I swooped downhill from the bigger road my attitude changed. Gone were the house-strewn roads of Spencer, and while the cloudy gloom still followed me, it seemed to be taking a more northerly track, giving me glimpses of sunshine in my path. A stop at Chaplin let me use the facilities and food up for the next portion along 1754/Willisburg Rd. I think this was my favorite portion of the ride, a tree-lined rural road devoid of traffic which winded its way along a ridgetop all the way to Willisburg. I held a pretty good pace here, helped by an occasional tailwind and fun topography and also spurred on by the chances of lunch in Willisburg.

Willisburg provided the the exact half-way point, an excellent time for lunch, in this case cheeseburgers of which I found mention of on the site. I rode up and back a bit in town, not seeing any kind of cafe and eventually deciding on trying the gas station at the crossroad. What I did find was a bustling local gas station/diner with lots people waiting for...cheeseburgers. I ordered one and waited maybe 10min for it to be cooked. From there I retired to a local church picnic area for a quick lunch and a halfway call home. After lunch I found more of the excellent Washington Co. via 433/Mackville Rd. before turning towards Mercer via Deep Creek/442. The entire Washington Co. stretch was very pleasant riding, helped by a tailwind none-the-less, but the sensaciones were improving. The legs good, skies clearer, traffic non-existent, and terrain interesting. I did have some more cuesheet v. map issues as I exited Mackville, something I'll discuss later.

458/Chaplin Rd. Nice.

Salt River

1754/Chaplin-Mackville Rd.

Old bridge in the underbrush. I happened to see this b/c the road pitches at around 10% here and I was going slow enough to see it. With its wooden trestle, I wonder how long ago this was used.

Sky begins to open up.

Savage attack! I've never been so scared during a dog attach. Look at those ferocious teeth! Look at that snarl!

He and his buddy. I barely survived!

Deep Creek Rd. approaching Mercer Co and Perryville Battlefield., right at the top of a short climb with some double digit pitches.

Mercer Co./Boyle Co.

The terrain shifted ever slightly once in Mercer Co. once I turned from Deep Creek to Battlefield Rd/1920. It seemed that instead of spending time in and out of creek bottoms, with the subsequent climb up, I instead rode higher up on ridge tops with a series of challenging rollers that brought me to and past Perryville Battlefield. This stretch was the one that told me I was out all day on the bike, and that I would have to grind myself to the finish. As I was getting leg-tired, I still maintained a positive frame of mind, as the rolling hills and blue skies brightened my mood from the morning gloom in Spencer Co. Perryville provided a food and drink stop, where I sat on a church bench and watch some odd man in solider fatigues, I don't know, sort of act like an idiot at the gas station. He just didn't seem to have any purpose, but his carriage suggested that he enjoyed being in his fatigues. ??

I left and crossed Boyle Co via Webster Rd., which for me was the hardest stretch of the day, although the elevation guide only shows a series of small rollers. Crossing miles 69-78, this was a distance that I had done before, so in that respect I should have had confidence, but the rollers sapped my legs and the wind was playing games whether it be head, side, tail or whatnot. I have a feeling Webster Rd. is nice for cycling, but I was trudging here, even more so on Alum Springs Cross Pike. This was one of those, "How am I moving so slow?" roads, assuming that traveling due south put me more directly into the wind. I also encountered my first traffic in this area, really for the first time since Taylorsville. Boyle, while pretty, was a march, nothing more.

Stewart No.1 in Mercer.

Stewart No.2

Stewart No.3. I wished I could remember the name of the church, but nice sky.

Perryville Battlefield, site of a Civil War skirmish. We visited the reenactment back in a few years ago.

bustling downtown Perryville

Webster Rd., pretty but shitty, in you ask me.

Lincoln Co

As I used the downhill on 300 to speed into Junction City, I knew that, #1 I was heading down the homestretch, and #2 I would make it. The JC/Yosemite route is the one I used in '08, so I knew what terrain I would encounter and how much energy I needed to finish. After a choco milk and a call to the fam at the gas station, I headed south. Miles 83-88 was basically a 5m false flat climb, during which I almost rode in a bubble. While on typical rides I look around and appreciate the scenery, during this section I barely looked 10ft in front of my wheel; I just didn't. Head down. Regular breathing. Tap out quick enough rhythm to get me to my destination. While the riding wasn't fun per se, I knew I was getting closer, AND knew that I was riding distances I had never done, passing the low-80s mark in JC. Approaching Moreland I made a fateful decision that had no real impact on my riding, but certainly on my psyche for the last. Moreland has a mom-n-pop ice cream shop, and I was craving a treat to finish my journey. Up the road, though, in Middleburg near my destination was an ice cream place just a few miles from the end, so I chose to by-pass Moreland. You can only imagine the later result.

After diving into Hustonville, I did the final climb out of the creek valley. I knew all along with would be the final challenge, and it wasn't as bad as I remembered. It was the first stretch all day where I used the granny ring, and I plodded up to get the view of the day, mostly b/c I was near the finish. I waxed enthusiastic about Mt. Salem road last time I rode it, and at the end of the solo century it was every bit as good a batch of scenic ride riding as ever. The sensaciones had improved completely, even as the physical shell was tired, spent. From the summit at 91m, it was a series of big downhills with a couple nuisance climbs. I would finish on my own terms.

Delirium suggested this was an Indian mound, not the remnants of a farmhouse on the top of the hill.

A view of the knobs to the west along Moreland Rd. I was fighting fatigue and 3/4 headwind at this point.

The well-earned view atop Mt. Salem Rd.

The western view atop Mt. Salem Rd.

Panda. Tired.

Horseman. He was actually in the road for a while while I was getting my camera out, but turned into his driveway.

Casey Co.

I was only in Casey for the last few miles. Good fortune smiled on this relatively flat portion along the creek valley. I didn't have much left, especially after finding that the Middleburg Tasty Freeze had closed. That was a bitter pill!! That broke my spirit, and my stomach, and from there I limped the 2 miles to my destination. I even passed it by and added a few tenths as insurance that I completed the full 100. With my .6m commute to the bus stop, I ended with 102.4 via ridewithgps.

First time in triple digits for one ride. I'm pretty proud that I nailed it so spot on while in motion.

I hit 100 at almost the exact spot crossing into Casey Co.

.1m of mixed-terrain, on the entrance road to camp

Final total=105.8, in contrast with the 101.8 on ridewithgps. Whatever, it's over 100. =)

Final Thoughts
  • I finished satisfied, but I've had more "fun" on other rides. The morning cloudy gloom mixed with the Spencer Co. terrain made for a very mixed first 30m. I did feel a real sense of accomplishment after cresting the final big climb onto Mt. Salem. Perhaps the comradery would help the miles go by better, but I'm also pleased I pulled off the first as a solo.
  • I've got to get better with cuesheets and maps and such. I'm pretty good mentally piloting, but I can't use cuesheets worth a shit. And as stated on this blog, the road names on googlemaps often don't correspond out in the country. They use numbers instead of names, so in the future, I need to doctor my cuesheets to reflect that. It would help to have a computer total I trusted.
  • I ate and drank very little after JC. It's rare in life, but I was actually tired of nibbling and drinking by that point. Future long-distance explorations warrant much more effective calorie intake.
  • For the day I ate: 2 McDonalds sausage griddle things (terrible idea), 2 bags M&Ms (PB and Pretzel- I didn't like the pretzel), 1 Willisburg cheeseburger, 1 bag combos, 1/2 bag peanuts, 1 chocomilk, 1 G2, 3 Nuun tablets, uncountable waters.
  • The wind was devlish, stiff all day, so one minute it was a tailwind pushing me along and the next a 3/4 headwind that stopped me in my tracks.
  • I had no bad or butt pain for the entire ride. I did end up with a slightly dead right shoulder, although it felt fine later.
  • The next day, Saturday, the only ache was stomache in nature. I battled stomach issues all weekend, but the legs and the rest felt fine.
  • Family Camp was great. The weather was perfect and the vibe as positive as ever. I even took the world's most perfect 2.5hr nap on Saturday afternoon.
  • I've caught myself not once but twice looking at the map and thinking of alternate routes for the future. I guess it wasn't too traumatic.
  • My route was excellent. It had numerous store stops, which made keep my fluids up a cinch. I could've had other "real food" options as well. The climbing wasn't too challenging and the traffic very, very mild.
That all. I'm shutting up now. Can I imagine doing the RAIN? Not really, although with some weight loss it may be feasible. I'm feeling another century in the legs come Fall.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Pan Tostado

104.5 on my computer, but even with rollout I think it was reading long. No calamities save a wrong turn @ mile 6.5. Idiot. More to come, but I've joined the club.


It's 6.04 on a Friday. I took the day off and am preparing to catch the bus in about an hour. The TARC#17 w/ bike rack will take me out of the city past the JeffersonFreeway (old name) where I'll pick up my first road. I'm hoping I don't hit the snag of both bike racks being full. If so, my plan is to ask to take it on board. If not, then I turn SE and ride out. I printed my maps and cuesheet at work yesterday (better printer), plus I'll have my phone although it won't pick up any service. The course provides stops at 25, 37, 50, 65, and 80, which is also around the "bail spot", but in '08 I rode from the bail spot to camp, so I know aside on wicked little climb it's an easy ride from there, so I'm feel good about that last bit. I also read that the 50m spot in Willisburg has famous cheeseburgers of some sort, so I have to search those out. Time for breakfast and we're outta here!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Maybe Friday

I didn't have time last night to wax poetic on this plan/dream/folly/nightmare, but as I sit here this morning (after having wrangled the teenager out of bed), I express concerns about my plot. Simply put, we've been going to WakonDa'HO (something like that) Family Camp for 7 years and I've grown to really enjoy it. It's a peaceful 2 days full of "chill": food, cards, softball, naps, and a little religion for those inclined. For those 7ish years, I've stated, "I want to ride to FC", and for 7ish years, I haven't done so. Just two weekends ago Dave and I pulled off a 79-miler, which aside a rough patch from 50-60 due to food issues, was high doable. After that I got it in my head to finally pull off the Family Camp Century. I have this route, which would include several store stops and a city bus ride to that gets me to the outskirts of L'Ville and around morning traffic. It also gets me, as you can see, to just over the century mark. My attitude says, "Hell Yeah!!!", but my concerns say that yesterday went from 5.30-9.00 literally without a break, and today will be 5.30-9.00 without a break. I'm tired and won't be able to catch up. So what does that mean in mile 70 when the sinew snaps? I don't know. When texting @Lithodale last night I was an enthusiastic 95/5, but I have to come home after work/supervision work/OpenHouse to prep the car and pack my own crap, all so I can get on the road by 7.00 or so. Hmm...

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: