Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today has been 45F and sunny and I had grand plans to do mega-brevet training. At one time Dave and I even posited a 70-miler with a lunch stop. Instead I've chilled all day, talked with the wife, watch some Real Madrid (who subsequently lost while not viewing), washed both filthy, month-worth-of-salt cars and provided futbol taxi.

Now it's off to family pizza night and some excellent Dowton Abbey. We are complete British TV nerds.

And more interesting bike news to come, including pics of some recent pick-ups and upgrades.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Yet another snow ride

Another 2" snow. Another lame snow day. I got out early and spun the parks. To say "spun" is absurd b/c I wasn't feeling it too much; eventually at around mile 5 I decided to just plow on however low the gearing and just ride. Like last week, instead of firm, dry snow I found lots of mush, which yet again gave the BB area an attractive gooey brick kind of quality. My route took me downtown and back to Quills for a truly transcendent cup of coffee, and it was only half-caff, nothing fancy. Actually I was *gifted* a cup o' joe by Drew who entered as I was "locking up" (the helmet lock method) the 29er. A big thanks goes out there! Afterwards I went to the shop to shoot the shit and discuss the project. And then an easy spin home. If I lived in more miserable climes I would buy a Pugs and single-speed it ala Vito and be done with it. I hate all the mushy shit.

If I were a real photographer I would've made more of an effort here. The pic below captures a bit of all the little cones of snow stuck amidst the grass. I hate this self-seeding monster, but it provided a nice view today.

Be nice if they actually came and took the tree away. It's been 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More "training"

No time for fun today, so 35min of more "training" quickly between home and supper. Pray, pray, I pray that tomorrow will provide a commute and mileage afterwards.

**I should clarify that when I say "training", I mean affixing a bicycle to the hamster wheel and spinning in the same place for 35 minutes without looking at anything save my front wheel or the walls of my creepy basement. "Oh, look, another cobweb to vacuum! My how I love to make such observations while 'riding' my bike!".

Monday, January 24, 2011


Got on the trainer for the first time in a *long* time this morning. The day's schedule didn't foretell a ride, so I was up at 4.30 and on the bike at 4.40. Why did I stop riding the trainer and instead riding outside all winter? This morning affirmed, reaffirmed and confirmed that riding a cycling trainer is one of the worst hells a cyclist can go through. Hated it. A lot.  But 'tis better to move a bit than none at all.

And this afternoon while waiting for le dauphin to finish track I walked and jogged stairs for another 30min. Boy, you know you're old when it hurts more to descend the stairs than run up them. Again, 'tis better to move than none at all.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Holland Frozen Hell

We did an RCCS ride yesterday out of Holland, IN with the intent of doing 50 miles deep into gravel territory, but with the added wrinkle of 5" of snow on the ground (Group pics here). I was as nervous about this ride as any; the conditions scared me with thoughts of plowing through deep snow and of the inability to keep up with a group of joiners from another local club. Those guys turned out to be great fun. I had a really good day and felt strong up until the last couple miles. I cleared all the hills using a variety of granny and middle rings on the 29er and didn't have any hand discomfort until the bitter end. The Jones Loop is a solid bar and I liked using it for the outer leverage fighting snow lines. I'm still searching for that exact angle to keep the hands fresh for longer. It'll get there.

Aside feeling really good all day another success was my layering for the weather. We started out around 15F and finished in the high 20s. I nailed the layers, only getting a bit chilled mid-ride but didn't stay that way for too long. Of note was the first use of my new boots, Oboz Yellowstone IIs. I'll do a further review later, but these with a wool sock and chemical foot warmers kept my feet comfy for the entire time out. As much as I fight cold feet, I was pleased for this result. I wouldn't want to do the foot warmers all the time but for such a specialized ride I didn't mind it. I chose to not buy the too large size just for sock room b/c with the money I spent, I wanted a full-time boot to use and I think I have one.

Much of the day was ideal. We found sun on the first half of the ride and it perked up the attitudes significantly. It was just beautiful to see the sun coming off the deep, bucolic snow. The first portion of the ride went due north picking our way through farm roads- presumably gravel ones. Our full group rode generally together in this section.

At the northern point of White Sulpher Springs we turned due west and the terrain changed a bit as we approached part of Ferndinand State Forest. I don't know that topography was much different, but instead of fields we tended to be surrounded by more trees (duh!) and the roads felt a little more hemmed in. By this point the SIW boys headed out at their own tempo while Dave and I road ours. Dave struggled all day riding more narrow 700c tires instead of mtbikes like everyone else, so a different tempo was appropriate. The forest was a nice ride, with pine and other trees, sunshine and a generally empty feeling.

into the SF

At a 'T' at CR 650E we decided to roll south- left- while the 50m route went right. By this point Dave had had enough of fighting with his machine and cutting off the northern most loop was a good decision. Soon after our turn we found this interesting bridge and landing over the Patoka River.

"Iron Bridge"

At the top of the hill at the entrance to the SF we had a bit of a hiccup because the road out, CR 650E is shown in google maps as a substantial one, but we found one of the most rustic roads of the day. That was a tough few miles there fighting the deeper snow on a very rolly road.

Firetower in the distance

crappy surface

former strip mine

Once we hit "civilization" at IN64 Dave *really* wanted off the snow and ice, so we took IN64 for a few miles up the road until I convinced him to take the side road 257 south. We would have to go south at some point and as much as he wanted clean road I did *not* want high-speed traffic. We turned south and eventually we find our other group, coming just up behind us at Bethel Rd. I laughed out loud at running into them again. By the time we reached Stendal Dave was cooked, so he chose- not heeding our exhortations to keep moving- to stop and wait for a ride. With that I joined in with the SIW boys. We cleaned our last couple  gravel, snow roads and ended up back in Holland in one piece. After a quick change and chocolate milk purchase, Jim and I went back and picked Dave up, who was "cold". It was an amazing day.

Winter Gunk

I took these 2 on my Thursday afternoon ride after school was let out early. The first is from the restroom of Seneca Park, the second along the footbridge in Cherokee. The key feature is the amount of crud which accumulated in the bottom bracket and seatstay bridge areas. Once it started to freeze it was like riding on a trainer or something, with my own bike providing resistance. Wet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow ride

We experienced one of our WINTER SNOW STORMS!!!!!!!!!!!! yesterday, which ended up being a measly 3" of wet, gunky snow. I guess it could've been more, but who knows, because it was melting, mushing and smushing as soon as it came down. Schools let out early, but I had driven perhaps to help move my children, but they got home just fine, so my bike ride waited until late afternoon. Because of a potential of a long gravel ride Saturday with the RCCS I wanted to try the status of the 29er and Jones Loop bar. Earlier in the week I 'loc-tited' the bar shim to help affix the bar and prevent it from slipping, as it had done on the Bloomington ride back in December.  My 1.5hr ride seemed to say that tighening the shim worked. I was comfortable with the hand positions and I think, maybe, that the bar didn't slip.

As for the ride, more than anything it was sloppy. I stayed out for 1.5 hr in the parks and mostly spent time looking for less sloppy lines. By the time I got home the entire bottom bracket and seatstay bridge areas were completely mucked up. As a ride it worked out alright, but I'm hoping it's not a harbinger of what's to come Saturday on our RCCS ride in Holland, IN. If so, could be a soupy death march.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

2 Titles

Had a great commute on the Crosscheck, on which I mounted new PlanetBike Fenders last night. After having lots of crap sprayed on me this wet winter every bike worth shit gets fenders if possible. 2 experiences: 2 possible titles.

Amanda rocks the Cat 6

On the way home I ran into a woman on a commute- nice reflective best- on Payne. I'm pretty sure it's local advocacy pro Amanda. I was already feeling spritely today so I was rocking the bigger gear than usual heading down towards Spring and the Beargrass Trail. Amanda on what looked like a comfort, commuter hybrid stayed pretty close. She's Cat 6. I'm an amateur.

Tyranny of the Majority

As I turned onto the Beargrass Trail up the hillette towards the underpass I saw a disturbing sight. I-64 was completely stopped, pairs, masses of red taillights shining in all directions. I thought of all the poor morons in their cars getting madder and madder at being absolutely stuck. I was on 2 wheels feeling the winter chill and moving to stave off all things bad. What a contrast!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Louisville Loop

Dave and I rode early at 7.00a.m. Sunday b/c I had a day full of family plans. He's been tri-training at 5.00 for a while now, so he's old hat to getting up earlier than necessary. My morning was further "enhanced" by having gotten in late from an excellent Times New Viking/Guided by Voices show, which I personally and unsatisfactorily bailed on earlier than needed. Blah. Age.

The plan was for a 36-miler or so in the 26F temps. Both of us realized relatively earlier that we had quite not pegged the temp requirements, especially for our feet. Ah, the feet again. We both were on single speeds, making for an easy roll until the hills in Iroquois and goofy littler rollers on Manslick. Once we crossed the tracks on the 2nd Manslick we happened upon what was for me a new site, a new parking lot next to Pond Creek and the big mound of rubble that's been there a while. An asphalt path rode into the distance, and so did we. You always have to be up for exploring, right?  I assumed, and still do, that it's a newly-opened extension of the Louisville Loop (more on that at bottom).

Dave rolling in the parking lot. Reflective gear works, doesn't it?

Once on the trail it became very reminiscent of areas found both around Shawnee and parts of the Levee Trail around the Mill Creek LG&E plant. It nicely followed the creek bolstered by some obvious juvenile plantings. As with portions of the Shawnee Riverwalk, I think it's too close to the creek and will suffer flooding issues, but either right-of-ways or ignorance keep the LL folks from learning from past mistakes.

New Bridge

More bridge. I guess it's been there long enough to collect falling leaves, so that puts the section in place mid to late Fall. 

More reflectiveness

Nice view of path along creek

The initial portion of the path ended at a parking lot just of a small subdivision between 3rd St. Rd. and  Greyling Rd. This sub happened to be just south of the church I attended in my youth, so I knew exactly where we were, and at this point we could've joined our route, but we saw more path, so, more exploring we did. This section was even lower than the previous and showed signs of mud run-off and some water pooling, not enough to make the trail unusable but bad enough for me to want to slap around the bozo who built the path. It came to a sudden dead end and we had a decision to make, turn around or find a way through the houses to our right. As a side note, the trail ended right next to an ugly ravine off the side of the creek and just down from railroad tracks. I think the next extension could be challenging.

We wound our way along a drainage easement so as to not scare the residents, the sight of 2 strange cyclist-dressed strangers in their back yards. I unfortunately didn't take a pic of the partial deer leg Dave found. Hmmm, good. Once back in the sub we were cold and ready for the return. We used Manslick and Iroquois again to bridge to the Woodlawn Sunergos. A cup and scone refreshed us for the last 6ish miles home where Dave carved off and headed home via Seneca Gds for a very satisfying, albeit early, 33-miler to start the day.

Below is a master planning map of the area we were in. If you were to follow the orange path from its northern most tip on this map above the letter "A-rea", that's where we found it. It continued a short portion west until the little hook around the subdivision above "STUDY". My complaint has always been that it's a recreational trail but doesn't go anywhere. How does it contribute to transportation infrastructure? Minneapolis and Portland, real bike towns, build bicycle highways that move people among significant residential and employment areas. The LL moves people along the perimeter and intentionally keeps folks detached for the purposes of the safety, I guess. I had a good talk with my friend Carolyn about this. This nugget of trail Dave and I found only perpetuates the notion, that we're putting all our eggs in the recreation basket and not in the transportation basket. Oh well.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Cycling

Having thrown the 200K concept out there, I'm trying to grab miles here-n-there from the busy schedule. I moved the indoor trainer to a more usable spot the other morning but haven't used it yet. Yesterday after work I ran out for an 20m ride before darkness fell. After a run by OYLC to check on a shifter issue I decided to make a run down the Beargrass Trail. Oops. Not the best idea on a road bike.

I made it, though, without too much trouble. I also found a couple very sketchy sections of the park, especially on the scenic loop. One must take Berringer Hill instead of the low road.

Today during Z's track practice I went out again on the BR. After yesterday's experience I decided to modify it (this morning at 7.00) into a more appropriate winter training. I added:

  • seatstay light. It's the Portland Design Works and I like it a lot. I'm prolly going to buy another in fact.
  • MountainFeedBag up front for long distance. I spent some time looking at Carradice seatbags today, but I'm not in the mood to spend that $$.
  • mini-pump
  • SKS mudguards. I remounted these after taking them off a while ago. Doh! I found some hardware from an old pair of Zefal fenders and so don't have to use zipties to affix the stays; I was missing hardware for 3 different stays. I still suffer from toe overlap bumps, which is why I took them off the first time. After kicking up an obnoxious amt of crap on Friday, I'll take the TO over grimy spray.
  • It's a bit, I don't know, gaudy to use a Ti frame for winter duty, but again it's the perfect winter duty mount. It won't rust and the salt won't have as much an impact on it. I'm riding 32c Paselas, which are excellent for the muck, branches and winter pot holes. I like the interrupter levers up top for an extra hand position. I think it'll be the bike of choice for the Feb200K if the rear mech shifter works out. The STI is going out and missing about once every five shifts. I inquired yesterday about using a downtube shifter (used) which is my next preference. Again, I'm not in the mood to sink $$ into it. It's the winter trainer. I'll keep riding it STI for a few weeks, but it's time to go ahuntin' for an appropriate lever just in case.

Pleasantly so, I averaged 15.5 today on the ride this morning. Turtle pace is great when you have the time to do turtle pace. With less time to "train" for the 200K, I'm wanting to pick the pace up a bit and it seems to be working.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rides and Pics

The first couple sunset pics from December 29 cannot capture the real essence of what a spectacular sunset that was on our way home from the in-laws. I was wishing for 20 miles that I was a real photographer with real equipment. This was the best I could do jumping out of the car with my Canon S90 at a dead sprint before losing any color remaining.

Between barn and tree in Shelbyville, Ky

Between trees

Sunday I took a mid-afternoon ride in the parks which I thought would be uneventful. What I found, instead, was some precarious footing, especially in Cherokee. The temps and sun seemed warm enough to melt away any remaining precip from Saturday. What I found was sheets of snow and ice along Beargrass Creek. I aimed the BR for the whiter, more snowier portions, where the Paselas dug in nicely. I did experience some rear slippage climbing uphill, but it was a novel experience in a way, to ride surfaces rarely encountered, at least by me. The snow in the brakes and on the chainstay bridge and seat tube attest to the situation.

Today my plans were answered. I arose at 5.30 to find indecision as to whether school would be cancelled. The word finally came based on radar and not on the lack of precip on the ground. It became a good decision when steady snow began to fall around 7.00, at almost the exact time I was dressed and out the door. I rode for the next 3 hours all in a steady snowfall which made things more interesting as I went along. At one time I had grandiose notions of doing the full 57m Riverwalk/Levee Loop. My feet got cold after only 10m. I was playing with layering and missed that important surface. I made it to the end of the trail at Campground Rd. and turned around, knowing from there I could get in a bit more than 30m, sufficient for me in the conditions. On the return I took the old Riverwalk portion downhill from Shawnee Golf Course. It is officially closed and non-maintained, but it's certainly the best, or at least most scenic portion of the trail. I took a rest under the interstate at Portland Park and then turned my trip in towards city streets in Portland towards downtown. My route delivered me to OYLC where I had Derek tighten my loose right shifter. After shooting the breeze about the weather, politics, health care, fast food, organic food and cross training I left for Breadworks where I had a coffee and a choco milk.

  • rei base layer, pearl izumi long sleeve "tshirt", Marmot jacket. I got cold sitting at OYLC, but not at all during the ride. I'll use that combo again between 25F-35F.
  • combo of Assos windsock, Sealskinz, Lake shoe and new Pearl Izumi shoe cover. I only used this combo for a few miles, but it felt water tight and warm. I still find it slightly unsatisfying to spend that kind of money on feet for adequate but not brilliant performance.
  • Pearl Izumi lobsters. 'nuff said.
  • Performance fleece pants with compression shorts. They'll do between 25-40F.
  • Smith goggles worked well. I'll need to work with helmet retrofit a bit, but as far as eyes went, they were primo. 
  •  Nokian Bump-n-Grind 1.95" or whatev the name is. They were great in ice and snow and I'm super, duper glad Apertome was willing to sell them to me at a reasonable price. 
Didn't work:

  •  head combo of North Face headband, think polypro balaclava and RCCS hat along with goggles. It was fine, but not, if that makes any sense. Too bulky and awkward.
  • Epic Fail- combo of wool sock, Assos wind sock, shoe and toe cover. My feet were frozen by mile 10. Toe covers were soaked. I changed into the Sealskinz combo later and bought the new shoe covers there of.  It's always the feet.
  • Clif sweet and salty bar- I ate 1/2 of it, but it was frozen brick hard. What do people eat in the cold? 
Portland Canal beacon in the grey, wintry skies. On the return loop you could barely see that bridge span to the right.

Portland Canal

Snowy LHT at Riverwalk barrier. I crossed it and traversed forbidden lands on the return, and glad I did.

ice 'stache

Now closed portion of Riverwalk along Shawnee golf course. It's hard for me to express how much I liked the textures along this portion, as a gardener at least. The grasses along the left and weeds/heathers along the right contrasted so nicely with the snow. My batteries were mostly dead here so I couldn't take more pics. Fact is, all day I encountered interesting images in the snow: lights cascading and reflecting, IN disappearing in the fog, eskimo-esque numbers of varying snow qualities, the linear spatiality of I-64 above the Great Lawn. Never noticed that. Many things I hadn't noticed, including this patch of weeds along the golf course barrier. Take a look sometimes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Optimum Tuesday morning

1.1 Wish came true. Snow day with very little snow on the ground but more on the way. I'm almost dressed and off for some snow mileage on the studs. I'm taking an extra set of gloves and socks to test as needed; it seems like a good time to try different combos to see what works in these kinds of conditions, however moderate they might be.

They're calling for 2"-4" overnight/tomorrow. In an ideal world, I wake up at 5.30 and see that school is cancelled. I change into snow ride clothes. I ride to Breadworks or Quills for 6.30 coffee and then hit the road on the LHT with Nokian studs. Then, I do the full Riverwalk/Levee Loop, giving me 60ish miles on the day, but back home just after lunch. A man can dream, can't he?

Sunday, January 09, 2011

200K Brevet

This is the time of year folks talked about goals, GOALS. The turning of the Gregorian calendar implies that one should turn the page, temporally speaking, into a new earthly orbit. I fear so many resolutions fail because we are such creatures of habit, that to change one's habit energy is to change one's being, to get out of our rut.

I'm babbling.

2010 was the year of the First Century for me. It is understood that all "real" cyclists ride a century at some point, no different than those runners who must run a marathon to be self-realized in their avocation of choice.

I'm still talking mystical verbose shit.

Michael recently expressed an interest in riding a 200K Brevet during this new year at some point. Last year he rode centuries for the first time, as did I, and rode RAIN, which is to me a monumental achievement, all 160 miles of it. He did the early research to learn that the closest RUSA Brevet series- and 200K- is in February here in Louisville/Shelbyville, one sponsored by the LouisvilleBicycleClub (Brevet Series), of which I've been a member off and on through the years. Another possibility is in early May in Carbondale, IL. Both he and I liked the idea of 122 miles in May instead of February, but the first Saturday in May is a holiday here in Louisville, the Kentucky Derby. A gentle, reasonable discussion with the good wife put any Derby ride plans to rest. Therefore, the next best options reverts to February 19th, the first brevet in the Louisville series. The entire series has been pushed early in the calendar so riders can take in the full 200/300/400/600K series in order to qualify for the famous Paris-Brest-Paris being held in August of this year. I personally approach this with trepidation. I achieved my solo century in September after a productive-but-not-amazing August. The weather, though, in August is much better for being on your bicycle for such periods of time. Training for 200K in February will required mental feats of endurance, the cold wind bitterly biting the face and numbing the fingers and toes.  Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

A GOAL, none-the-less, seems like a fun, invigorating way to start the year. I finished '10 very positively after losing some weight and enjoying such an excellent cycling experience at Big South Fork. This 200K can be a means to kick-start 2011 and to provide a base for future 2-wheel adventures. And adventure is what it's all about.

Friday, January 07, 2011

East Loop

Wednesday brought a westwar 27. Today, another 25 in sleety, snowy skies. I stopped by OYLC for a quick lube in the pm; it had been driving me crazy but I forgot to in the a.m. The boys did so with a smile. We commiserated that I had 2 legit pairs of clear safety glasses and a new pair of goggles at home, all for snow and such, and I had nothing on me for the cold and falling precip. Duh!

Mellowed presented me with a tailwind, which I used to link to Cox's Park and Indian Hills. Up Indian Hills I first noticed some interesting frozen low-lying areas and suddenly a rather large Blue Heron took flight. Love that, especially since I hadn't seen Ol Blue for a while.

I saw the fam in St. Matthews on the way to b'ball prac but they didn't seem to see me. After a stop at the bank I ended up at home pretty comfortable for 32F. The ticket was the Marmot Windshirt. Everybody should.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

West Loop commute

After some days of brick-n-brack, I finally commuted, taking in the longer west loop for the first time in a while. I felt frisky for the first 10m of the afternoon commmute and then backed off some. At about mile 23 (of the total loop) I started getting quite cold, having dressed in 2 layers for the expected 41, when instead it stayed around 35, not terrible, but the hands got cold even with decent gloves. Later I warmed a bit but my hands got tired and achy from the 'stache bar. I think it's an excellent in-town, short bar, but for longer trips I say, "meh!".

I slowed a bit and made my way through the flat parts of Cherokee and took it easy up Millvale. Yesterday I ran some stairs with the tennis boys for the first time in several years, but today I can feel it in my quads and calves. We have conditioning T/Th and I would like to do *some* running with them, but nothing shocking. No, I repeat, No pulled muscles, that's the goal.

Sunday, January 02, 2011


The quickie year-end summary:

  • '10- 3024
  • '09- 3631
  • '08- 3273
  • '07- 2777
  • '06- 2573
  • '05- 1418
I didn't realize that I also rode more in '08. Hmm.. makes me ponder a bit. 
  • My highest month total (July) was 421, which isn't too impressive. In general I rode more consistent mileage all year long- even during tennis season in the Spring- but had fewer big mileage months. Previous years indicate a lot more 30-milers, probably as long commutes. I didn't do one long commute all Fall; the family schedule is just busier and that's life.
  • I rode my first century, a solo, unsupported one. Interesting that I had what I would call an average mileage year but managed my first "real" ride.
  • I had 13 rides of at least 50 miles or more, which I have a feeling is a record. 
  • While the century was great, by far the best bike experience was the Big South Fork trip with Dave and Michael. That was just fantastic all around. Looking back at those pics makes me want to do that again.
  • I'm down about 20lbs from my high in August and down about 15lbs from my initial health issues in October. While the holidays have been tough on the waistline, I'm still feeling very positive and am ready to get down more in '11. I have no "resolution", but a healthy intake of lean proteins and lots of fruits and vegetables makes the body feel better.
  • The bike with the greatest number of trips in '10 was the Kona Ute with 53 trips. Surprising but not. It's a a great city bike in every way. The Bleriot, with half the rides as the LHT, was the mileage champ with 692. 
  • I did 19 mixed-terrain rides, my favorite kind.
  • The biggest loser was the Rans. I rode it twice-2x- for 44 miles. I need to sell it. Have I said that before?
  • According to mycyclinglog, I made 170 trips on the bike this year, which means I rode fewer than half of the days in the year. 
2011 Goal- Ride at least 200 trips on the bike and ride at least 4000 miles.

Finishing 2010

I finished 2010 needing a 40-miler to supersede 3000 miles for the year. Once we established that we were going to Lexington for New Year's Eve, it seemed only logical to do some of that mileage en route. Once the forecast showed 60F with sun, it certainly seemed the way to finish strongly and to make the mileage goal.

While the sunshine and pleasant temps helped reduce the layers needed (and my cold weather complaints), I encountered a new variable very early on, the northerly wind which brought the amazing December temps. I hoped and assumed that it would be a side wind at worst, but with my general SE direction I faced a 3/4 headwind very early on; it became the theme of the ride.

I did my usual route out of town via Taylorsville Rd., which now sports a "bike lane". I rode to the right of it where there was less glass, rocks, plastic, screws, metal shards, etc etc. Once I cleared J'Town I used Rehl, S. Pope Lick and English Station to deliver me to the "country".

Manse playing peekaboo.

Floyd's Fork Creek valley

I took the pic below while descending what should have been a nice hill to deliver me to 25mph or so. Instead I found myself pedaling to maintain 15mph, downhill. The flags indicate a SSE wind direction, which was highly, highly unfortunate. That's the direction I had to turn, directly into the teeth.

I detoured briefly off 148 to investigate Clark Station Rd., which obviously followed the railroad. It was a nice diversion.

I love this pic, the spookiness of the gnarled, low-hanging trees and grizzled fence and gate.

Clark Station, I presume, from days gone past.

After leaving Clark Station I faced the drag up 148. This is a route I took often when my parents owned a home in Finchville, Ky, which was 27m from my house. I remember making it in about 1.40 (16mph). This day I made it barely under 2hr. I looked at some data and found that I was riding during the prime windy time of that day, and it happened to be either in my face or on my front shoulder for the first 32 miles of the ride. I wanted very badly to turn around and ride the windy wave back home, but, nope, that wasn't the plan.

This building is unremarkable except that I had to hide behind it for 5min or so to get away from the wind.

The route shifted NE up 44 and 714, and with that some wind support and some dippier climbing. This ridge top portion lasted 5 miles and gave me some respite. I did encounter an interesting menagerie of homes along this stretch.

The post-modern geodesic dome was on the right of the road.

The crumpled remains of glories past were on the opposite side of the road.

I began my third portion of the ride at mile 37 when I turned right onto Scott Pike. These were new roads deep into the more scraggly portions of Shelby and Anderson Counties. I found roads that dipped into creek beds and along the crags under the hills. Road surfaces were full of rock and cinders from previous snows. I was very glad to be riding the 35c 650b Soma tires.

Goats at the turn of a steep section on Scott Pike

I walked this section; I just needed to.

Ditto Rd. was much like Scott except a bit spookier and more remote.

At the turn from 1472 onto Cox Ln. I came across this delightful church and graveyard. It provided a nice place for a snack, swig and snaps (sorry, cheesy alliteration)

Cox Ln turned into Avenstroke at the tracks. After a climb out of the valley the road ran ridgetops for a while and provided some fantastic views of the surrounding terrain. Maps indicate a creek running to my left, one which must have carved out the surrounding valley. I may have been this way before, but it didn't matter. I felt much better during this stretch, but my goal of riding a good tempo for this ride was long gone. It was pedaling squares and taking pics.

The lump centered behind the fence post is, in fact, a trash dump. Way to wreck the great visual lines of this vista!

I made the decision at some point in this area that I was finished for the day. My plans were to reach Frankfort, cross the KY river and curl south a bit and back out of the river valley, arriving at the eastern interstate stop where the family could pick me up. That plan would include a total of 66 miles or so. At some point I had had enough. My legs were honestly tired. I'm sure I could have reached the 66, but I had passed my 3k goal and I wanted to end the ride in a non-negative, miserable state. We were going to a friends' house. Why arrive wasted?

I turned north at Old Lawrenceburg Rd. and crossed I-64 without difficulty. I knew of both a Starbucks and a Panera and stopped at the Panera, where I had a sandwich and a few more snacks. I enjoyed the hour or so of reading about the UK beatdown of UL (always nice- Go Cats!!!) and even read a bit of a book I had brought for this contingency.  Ol' Mother Nature had defeated me on this day, but it was still 57 miles in 60F temps on the last day of '10. Not bad. 

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: