Sunday, February 27, 2011

Muscatatuck-Crosley 1.1

Playing with GarminConnect and 60cx. Here's the course from last week (or was that 2 weeks ago? Time flies). In using the GPS just for the brief time I've found that I'm juggling the following sites:

  • Connect.Garmin-the most recent find. It's a generalist site that can be used to look at data after-the-fact. I'm sure it's a one-stop shopping experience for both preparing gps usage, i.e. planning routes/tracks, and for looking at what you did.
  • MapSource- which is Garmin's map manipulation software to prepare maps for loading onto the unit. Two different users have know suggested to me that they use for initial route preparation, but they then use MapSource for pinpoint route prep including turns, etc.
  • Garmin Training Center- which gives you more specific information- like lap splits, pacing at different points, etc.- about training. I think this is just more stratified data than GarminConnect, but similar. I guess.

With so many, "I guess"es, you can tell that this is all early guesswork as to how to best use all these tools. It's primarily info overload. Unless I'm TRAINING, I can't envision the many usages of the data available, but certainly for maps and routes it seems like interesting, at least.


While my RCCS brethren have a big day (just found out it's cancelled due to family illness. Godspeed) on the calendar today, I have numerous family plans and henceforth limited ride time. Due to my inability to sleep in past, say, 6.30, I was up doing nothing for about 45min before getting out the door a bit after 7.00. While my recent rides have been on other mounts (more to come there), I've needed to get the LHT de-winterized and decided to do that yesterday. All that really meant was swapping out the studs for the well-used ContiTravelContacts and remounting the rear blinky. The LHT was a good choice this morning b/c all the forecasts suggest rain, and lots of it, at some point. Fenders are a blessing, as are stout, all-weather mounts like the Trucker. Because I had done a brisk one hour yesterday (at a speedy 16mph, which is speedy for me) I wanted to roam, to JustRideAround as Lithodale puts it. I think it might be racer jargon for riding one's bike instead of training on two wheels.

The parks were a good opening. Beargrass Creek was quite swollen and I saw evidence of flooding with all the detritus and driftwood on the side of the main road.

New front light, a IQ CYO-R+. I got out too late to give it a darkness test, so more later.

More IQ CYO-R+, courtesy of Jim at Hiawatha Cyclery

Perhaps I should've considered my next choice because Beargrass Creek Trail was a muddy mess, at least in parts. I hit one particular spot and had trouble staying upright. Unfortunately it was at the same exact time that a probably vagrant was walking up the opposite side. I missed him by a fishtailing foot at best.

early morning sunshine

Early on I decided that my destination would be Quills for a cup o' crack and a plate o', well, crack. A half-caff au'lait and cinnamon scone is quite the morning starter. My happenstance my cycling brother Lithodale showed up to grab a cup and we had a good, quick bike chat, until his eldest got antsy, so off they went. Shortly I was away and heading for home, a tidy 14 miles in the bag and ready to hit the rest of the day.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Es quimica

It is chemical, the search for that placidity, that hilltop view o'er the trees and valleys. Or even a sense of calm and measure while at the desk grading yet another paper on yet another day. I prefer getting it from movement, from a long day in the saddle when you get past the initial pain and discomfort of barely-controlled breathing. I can stand to get it in other natural ways too.

What I don't get it from is food, although the hand is constantly reaching for something that might fill that chemical vacuum. I can feel it, the empty spot right there above my eyes, craving something. And I prefer the something to be a spin of the legs, a deep focused gulp of wind, the texture of challenge. But life doesn't always present that, does it? Things happen. Life. Choices you, yourself have made. And you don't have the opportunity to stretch and banter with the body. Instead you reach for some other chemical filler, a formed mound of sugar and fat. Or a quickener of the senses. And the void is filled, albeit for a fleeting moment. And the vacuum gorges if only, but is ready again only a short time. No solution.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vernon return

After rolling through the interesting roads of Crosley, our route took us into Vernon for a store stop. We found no comestible establishment but did find a liquor store with enough salt and sugar to take care of enough for the 2nd half.  On the westward return what we didn't find in gravel we did find in some of the best roads I've taken in. Flow, variety, (tailwind), some interesting side-shoots to explore next time out. It was fantastic in every respect, especially with the really adventurous, fine company of riders we had in Dave, Michael, Kathy and Kirk.

If we do another Seymour ride, you should make it a priority; you won't leave unhappy with your decision.

Muscatatuck River outside Vernon

Vernon hill.
The shapes of the tower, barn, barrel and church tower make for an interesting contrast.

Vernon court house

S.C.R. 800 W, beckoning...

Spot them. Sandhill Cranes dotting the field.

Muscatatuck-Crosley I

Five of us had a big time this past Saturday on a RCCS ride just outside of Seymour, IN. It's now Wednesday, four days past, but I'm still reliving this excellent day on 2 wheels. Michael designed a course which incorporated gravel, pavement, incredibly broken pavement, dirt, a strange gooey flattened clay and as much blue sky and fresh air as a person could ask for. Both Dave and Michael have posted some pictures, as well as I throwing a few group shots up on the RCCS site. It's been busy and I don't really have the time to artfully compose an appropriate post to such a great day, but take a look at the pics and soak up what you missed. There will be a next time.

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

Open road south of the Muscatatuck River.

Entering the southern portions of Crosley (IN) Fish and Wildlife Area.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ute Commute/Garmin 2.4

I used the bicycle yesterday to pick the car up in the afternoon after servicing. I was very very fortunate to have a 3/4 tailwind instead of a headwind because I never would have gotten there. I ended up with 17m on the day and increased my morning avg speed by more than 1mph with the tailwind.

Today I used the Ute to tennis commute, and ended up with a pretty good (temporary) solution. I loaded a large paper bag of tennis balls and put those in the long bag, along with my racket and some cones. As usual, I had my personals in the smaller left bag. On top I bungeed a metal hopper with the handle facing me, clearing the seat and allowing the taillight to do its job. I'd call it a 'B' effort. I did 14.5m worth of commuting that I wouldn't have otherwise, and felt pretty good given the 4 11-hr days in a row, in addition to a 10-hr day Monday.

Garmin Update: I converted the "route and loaded that. It shows on the unit and is "usable", whatever that means. The problem is that I need a larger SD card to fit the large North America map series, so my base map blows. I guess that's my problem, the inability to load the downloaded map that isn't the unlocked map, the one that still doesn't work with the new code they sent me. Bleh!  I'll keep chugging I guess. Now I'm thinking that I should've bought the SD maps, as now I'll be out the $$ to buy a new card. Bleh!

We're going country riding tomorrow near Seymour IN, so I need to charge one of the good camera batteries. Lithodale is riding the 200K tomorrow; good for him. I think we'll both be satisfied.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Garmin 2.3

It's not 1.3 b/c I have an older model that doesn't/didn't work well. I found a nice forum discussion which ostensibly helped.

  • create route in ridewithgps
  • translate route from a .gpx to a .gbd (or whatev the Garmin Connector filename is called) using GPSBabel freeware.
  • open the new .gbd (GBV?) in MapSource
  • import new route from MapSource onto the 60cx. I haven't done the last step, but if that doesn't work we're screwed b/c it's the software that came with the unit.
We'll see.

"Free Upgrade"

So I never "unlocked" purchased map, which is now sitting in the MapSource queue. After registering something or other, Garmin offered me a "Free Upgrade" whereby I got the same map for free, but the upgraded one although I purchased the previous one a week ago. Huh? Huh?

Now I can play with MapSource, which seems sketchy. I'd rather use ridewithgps, which is what all normal people use since it's amazing. I downloaded/imported the ride file I need for the awesome ride we're taking Saturday. Ridewithgps "how to's" suggest to place .gpx file, which I have, in the Garmin60cx folder, which I don't. It's plugged in to the usb ("drivers found") but I see no means of placing the .gpx in the folder. Blah.

And I woke up at 4.00. Blah. But at least it's going to be 70F and I can ride. It'll all work out somehow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Playing with recently purchased Garmin 60cx. Having no luck "unlocking" the effing DVD City Navigator map upgrade, even though I bought it last week, being an "already consumed code". Bollocks!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday Coffee Ride

The three of us- yo, Dave y Patricio- got out for a Sunday morning ramble, all under sunny skies in the mid40s to 50s. It was glorious! Patrick was premiering his new AHH, his new road ride to augment his off-road/touring Bomba. Quite!!! It was a great-looking rig and he did an excellent job on the build, in my opinion (which is all that matters on my blog). With previous discussion, I was on my own RBW product, the QB and Dave had re-shod the LHT with non-studs. Did I say it was glorious to have escaped the throes of winter in the sunshine?

Dave's route basically had us north to the river and then west to downtown, out around Churchill Downs and into Woodlawn for a coffee stop and home via Eastern. I had family commitments so I curled off in Cherokee while they they out Westport to Patrick's 'hood. I'm pretty sure that Dave ended up with 50m+ of urban riding on the day. The QB performed perfectly for me save the when we finally turned N and NE with the brisk tailwind. Dave decided to wind things up on Eastern Pkwy and Floyd St. and the QB does not have the gearing to pound a big downwind effort. Well, actually it does in the guise of me hamstering along at 130rpm. That becomes very tiring very quickly. I paid him back with a peppy climb up the 1 EstPwy hill, that even on the QB SS. It just felt *right* today! I think Patrick would say the same of the AHH. Aside one vicious pedal strike he seems very confident and comfy on the new rig. And it looks great! In fact, the color and pain job embarrasses the QB, making it look very bland and pedestrian. A great day, and one hopefully of (warm) things to come.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Longer this time, doing a total of 26 with an eastward loop down to Indian Hills and then home. I had to stop by OYLC and Black Springs and told Skiles the massive tailwind was making me feel macho going down River Rd in a big gear. 'course, once on top of the bluff and through the park fighting through the headwind made me feel like crap. I think I even had an Afib episode precipitated by the combo of difficulty and the chill generated by the wind. It went away after 10min or so. Good.  I saw the wife driving in Seneca Pk. She later  regaled us with a story that she had briefly fallen asleep not a minute or 2 before. Fate was such that I was 2 minutes from being potentially run over by my spouse. Sketchy I think.

Today no rides there will be, as the Dauphin and I, along with 2 other freshmen, are off to Cedarville, OH for an indoor track meet. It'll be the Dauphin's first; he'll be running the mile and 800, I should say significantly faster than his old man.

I'm hoping to join the boys tomorrow morning for a coffee ride. It seems the right thing to do with temps finally climbing back into the normal, i.e. not freakin' frozen all the time. Hope you're having the same change of pace.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I almost didn't ride this morning, as the 17F wasn't too motivating. None-the-less commute I did on the Crosscheck. What a great commuter it's become; it needs some kind of photo review at some (warm) point.

On the way home I stopped by OYLC to discuss with Drew how to spend more money. The massive early 2011 bike project is coming to a close after which the project $$ will be all dried up. Until then I'll keep putting things together. At some point I guess I'm going to have to do an unveiling of some sort of the various doodads and much bigger notjustdoodads.

Great to be cold on the bike instead of warm in the car.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


  • use Livestrong/MyPlate again. It's an effective means of monitoring all this @#$% I put in my mouth. When I stray, the extraneous calories slip in too easily.
  • somehow exercise on days I don't commute. My commuting miles have really dried up this year with le Dauphin at school and the boys in so many activities. It's life and I'm not complaining. I just need to get something going like on days like today when I had to drive and didn't do anything before or after work.
  • not be too much the grump at the fam, in particular those members not maximizing themselves in the classroom.
  • eat lean proteins, fruits, nuts and vegetables. The rest is garbage.
  • get more sleep.
  • work more at my job. I have a feeling I'm in a funk on several levels, even with a nice batch of fun rides this past weekend. There's more to life than bike rides, and must be more to my moods than bike rides.
  • to not need. "Desires lead to Suffering". It's true, whether you like it or not.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


I've experienced 3 days of great riding. No pics but some good stories. Now the desktop won't boot and someone in the house will *not* be happy about this b/c she can't access her OutlookExpress.

More to come in future about fun rides, but booting desktop in first order.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I commuted today. It wasn't that fun. Both legs it was about 28F with an insane 20-30mph wind whipping up WSW. I almost got stopped in my tracks climbing the little hill under the viaduct on Hill.  I don't want to live in South Dakota and have to ride when it's 28F with a wind chill much lower. I want to ride my bike in southern Spain where it's usually pretty warm. Or maybe Texas hill country. Is it regularly warm there? Africa (sans civil and tribal warfare)? 15 miles. I did it.

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: