Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not-Training Ride

Grand plans to get up at 4.15 and get a training ride in before work since the afternoon/evening schedule looks dim. Didn't do it. Terrible night's sleep. I admire and envy all those freaks with the passion and stubbornness to regularly do so through adversity.

And I'm back to monitoring intake via Livestrong/MyPlate. I used it successfully for 6 months before a crazy tennis schedule did me in, so I can use it successfully again. The other recourse is to go Taubes and kill every living animal in sight.

But they're still freaks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Last night involved a late-ish night and good wine at a good friends' house in Lexington. In turn, the plan to get up at 5, leave at 5.30 and meet Patricio at 6.00 for a Sunday-in-the-dark ride was daunting one. But we did it, we had a great ride, and that's what counts. We decided that we needed a "tempo" ride, a hard ride with some hills thrown in and do so on our road bikes- no racks and fat rubber- with him on his A.Homer.Hilsen and me on the IF (with white "pro" shoes, mind you).

A few observations:

  • Patricio is a strong dude on the flats. He would regularly wind it up in the 20mph+ range, which is a decidedly fresh tempo compared to our usual meanderings. The 24mph flourish on the Lexington Rd. return almost popped me, but I hung in there.
  • I went way too macho on an early climb up Indian Hills and blew like tea kettle.
  • On subsequent climbs I went hard too early and couldn't sustain the tempo. I separated from Pat b/c I had a smaller, spinnier gear, but invariably he caught back up when the grade flattened out. 
  • We visited the start of the swim of the Louisville Ironman. Lots of thin, muscular people in small suits. 
  • I had plans to ride all the way out to Pat's and looping back via River Rd. to give me 40m+ on the day, but the lack of sleep and non-lack of tempo meant I was done for the day at the finish at Heine's.
  • That said, my 2 best splits of the day were the last two first leaving the "finish" and looping back via Rudy Ln  and then into the parks over to Norris. Tailwinds are awesome, aren't, they?
  • The IF is one sick climbing machine. I'd hate to see a real rider on it, or love it. One or the other.
  • 'Z' the crosscountry/soccer player and I rode over to my mom's on Friday, I on the (slow) Ute and he on the SS Monocog. When we got to the short, steep Lakeside hill he literally danced away from me, like a rocket. I'd be interested to see him on the IF doing a real hill. It would be a thing of beauty, a skinny fit dude dancing on the pedals. But he doesn't like to ride much.
  • It's too bad Patricio lives in "McCafe World". Some people make such poor decisions.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A few more from east of Orleans

Apertome appreciated my blurry-but-evocative pics, so I have a few more here.
Michael, Timothy and Dave carving. Should have waited another second, should I?

Crew going up the road on River Rd. Little did we know that this would be one of the longest gravel sections of any of our normal rides, Big South Fork notwithstanding.


I see the pro boys are getting into the mixed-terrain spirit. Good to see. This is from the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, in case you didn't know. And thanks to Jonathon Devich for letting me borrow it until he finds out and hits some kind of magic "picture forbidden" button.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I commuted today on the LHT. I had plans in the afternoon of doing 24 total to go out to Westport Rd. to the bank where I left my debit card. Doh! I was 4m in to the afternoon commute when I decided happily to go home and pick the car up instead. It was about 95F with a nasty headwind coming from somewhere. I'm glad I commuted, and equally glad I didn't do the trek. I had to get back to go to a soccer game and it would've been a nerve-wracking, miserable couple hours. But I did get my 15.3m in.


I'll first point you to Apertome's write-up, because it does a nice job covering the bases and his pics are much clearer. Apertome and I had discussed doing a "road tempo ride" for some time, given that so many of our rides end up finding the rough stuff.  I based the route mid-way between Louisville and Bloomington to make travel easier. Near time fears of storms and further route inspection mutated the ride from the original intent into what it became, yet another great day of mixed terrain on the rough stuff bikes. David posted it on the RCCS site and we were joined by Patrick and Barturtle, both from the 'Ville. A merry band were we.

The first portions were classic mid-IN rolling terrain, ripe with green corn, fences laden with flowers and weeds

Boys busting down the road early

Morning Glory, purple/magenta form

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We stopped a couple times for me to play with my front fenders, which was rubbing on the tire. By Campbellsburg I was disgusted, pulled the fender off and slung it in the grass by an old, decrepit warehouse. It didn't match anyway! Soon we turned north onto NW Washington School Rd. where we found the terrain a bit lumpier, in a good way. Eventually we encountered our first climb of the day on N.Rush Creek Rd. where I had to stop and pick my glasses off after they had fallen. Dumb. Maybe I needed a breather.
Cloud. I took 3 or 4 of this for some reason.

Things got particularly interesting when we turned onto N. Reynolds Rd. to find what we always seem to find, Gravel. A short portion there lead us to a divebomb of a descent. Excluding Patrick, who took off like he was on a dual-suspension bike, the remainders of us took it cautiously. Fun was had.
Patrick entering sector #1

Michael and Timothy before the descent

Patrick before the disappearance down the flume.

Dave either happy at not falling, having a bright red jersey on, or thinking about beer post-ride.

After gravel portion our ride normalized for a while through a nice valley along, get this, W Buffalo Bottoms Rd and later a right turn onto, get this, Goat Hollow Rd. These were fine rural routes. Just fine!

The ride improved even more after the short, intense climb up to 135. After a quick rest in the shade we turned onto old 135 and began one of the finest descents I've done, really, I've ever done. It had this just right combination of flow, curves to carve, switchbacks to weight, speed but not flying speed, no traffic, shade, everything! We stopped twice for views and pics but at this point my camera lens wasn't opening fully, so I had to toss some pics. The remainders for a while are foggy with fingerprints. I don't need mementos, though. It was an awesome experience and I would go back just for that section of road.

Michael, Timothy and part of Dave through a lower curve.

Patrick carving the turn. Terrible picture, but fun carving the turn.

Tres Amigos at the bottom of the descent. Dave had stopped to look at cats. I don't like cats.
Shortly thereafter we were to cross the Muscutatuck (said Michael. I thought it was a branch of the White). We found the bridge "closed", but who cares? We were on bikes. After a hop, lift and jump, we admired the river briefly and kept going.

BR in fine, roadie/gravel style. The new fork and wheels have made this a new bike. Couldn't be more pleased, and I don't have to beat the IF to death either.

This next portion wasn't that long, but I sure did become enamoured of the fields and farm homes along this section. Not far down the road we hit our 2nd section of gravel. I hit the gas and felt good. That was fun!

The first portion of S.CR600W had a discernible path, but later on, as often is the case, the ground got a bit chunky. I slowed down to admire the view of the river and to wait for the crew. First in sight was Timothy and later Michael. We waited at the stop sign for Dave and Patrick, who wanted to take a breather. We then went to inspect the Medora covered bridge, which seems almost completely rebuilt and not so historic, although it did have a nice path and parking nearby. Shortly after that we hit our half-stop at Medora.


Timothy with Michael shortly behind and the bridge

Medora proved an amiable stop with the necessary ice, water, sandwiches, seats, and a giant fan which I could barely pull myself away from. We started slowly after that, bellies full, and find a variety of flattish roads following the railroad. What I noticed more than that, though, was heat. Heat, sun and headwinds. The return leg was still fun but becoming a little tougher. We started to stretch out a bit as each of us was running our own pace, and then later we would yo-yo back together for a while. Like our "out" leg, we ran across another closed bridge near Sparksville, with the new one right down the road. No crossing this time. Shortly thereafter we hit more gravel on River Rd., which turned left onto Tunnel Rd, our longest stretch of the day at 8.5m.

Dave on River Rd.
My camera ran out of memory at this point, so no more mediocre pics to capture our day. I might not have taken too many more b/c the sun, length and heat were taking their toll. The Tunnel Rd. section really took it out of us. From there I think we were each doing our own ride, as much together as possible, but more apart than usual. To be honest, I felt as strong on this ride as an distance ride ever, so I sort of set the pace and kept pushing out front so we made reasonable time. I would stop at somewhere key, let the crew catch up and take a breather, and then push again. I did this 3 or 4 times until we got to our final southerly road where Michael, Patrick and I rode roughly together while Timothy and Dave were not too far behind. I think we were all well-spent by the time we returned to Orleans, but what a ride, especially that first half! Yet again I have another spot to visit again down the road, hopefully with such a good group of ride mates.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Lithodale has the drive and insanity to get up, I guess, one day a week at 4.15 to go ride a couple really hard hours before work with a group of like-minded Type Aers. A friend, David (not Dave), does the same, riding 40m in 2 hrs with his slightly older group of Type Aers. Do the math.

This morning I also did the same. I can't ride to work due to parent taxi, so I got up at 4.10 and just got back from a 16m ride. I felt a little tight and a bit crooked in the saddle, so no hammering for me. Instead of groveling in the gutter I enjoyed Orion rising just below a plump crescent moon while the Pleiades hung from on high. I need to move the light angle up just a bit on the BR. The bike is great. I didn't feel great but the ride was awfully nice.

Hope I can stay awake this afternoon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Orleans 70 tomorrow

The cloud has been fraught with bike love OCD over tomorrow's Orleans 70, although that was never the intention. The original seed was a good, long, steady road training ride, specifically on *road* bikes and not necessarily one of our sloppy, meandering junkets. I laid the course out based on some interesting looking roads and even borrowed a bit from Puddle's Journey to Orleans, from I found our course and that one to be similar upon later inspection. So a road ride we had. The forecast, though, has vexed us a bit. A cold front and rain is coming through tonight and may- or may not- linger tomorrow morning. Several of us have more than one bike and I personally would rather drag the fendered "mud" bike through the junk over the shiny new bike with the really expensive Campy cassette. So now a decision ensues. Further muddying the waters is a hunch and some closer inspection of some of our route. While googlestreetview can't help us, I have the distinct impression that we'll be hitting some gravel along the way. We like out-of-the-way roads, and in rural IN those are often gravel. I guess I wasn't thinking, "more major roads, appropriate for 25s, we're not Rapha Continental with a sag van". A "tizzy" may be a bit strong, but I for one am vexed. Apertome is definitely unsure- pretty, blue fast bike or "dog" LHT (his words). Barturtle is thinking "which tires?" or for that matter, "which sized wheels, 26" or 700c?" and PJ is brooding over 33s, 38s or 42s. FatGuy is best placed, as Dammit, he's riding his Schwalbes whatever they are in whatever conditions there may be.

Ultimately, I'm going to be happy b/c my two 700c distance rigs are rolling really nicely for me and I can't go wrong. I like the compact double gearing and sprightliness of the IF, but the stability, fenders, and luggage of the Blueridge do me well too. Under different circumstances, these seems to be a perfect ride for the 650b Bleriot, but compared to the others, it's not in the same sentence any more (well, except for here in this paragraph). BR it's going to be, but a fall project might have to be some nice fenders for the IF. It's time.

But isn't that what muck bikes are for?

1.1 I had a further spat of bike decision angst last night after choosing the BR over the front wheel. I'm rolling a very nice SON front hub. I also have a standard front hub wheel I can use as a back-up in place of the generator hub. Quandry: which to use? It's sort of annoying to take off the generator hub, but not that difficult. BUT the standard wheel has a Kenda small-block 8 on it, which proved for me to be a fast comfy tire, but a delicate one. And there's no need to push small knobbies for 70m for a bit of gravel. And the Pasela 35c may not fit under the front fender. Get my drift? Keep the SON. It's not featherweight carbon.

1.2 It's 6.40 and I should be getting ready. The rain seemed to have gone to the south of Orleans and Louisville both, so I think we'll get dry conditions. Considering the gravel possibilities, I'm still pleased with the BR. Now it's whether the legs do the trick.

Sawyer East

I'm sort of giddy. Must have created a good endorphin buzz on the ride this morning. Big One had cross country practice at Sawyer, so I planned a ride during practice and invited Dave for some Saturday morning miles. I've only done a few rides in that area so I charted a course that, for me, had several new roads, really mostly new roads. I knew that we would face some suburban traffic, but all-in-all it was a very pleasant route with very few critical traffic issues.

The entirety of the route was bucolic and still riding that "country/'burb" fence, but Johnson Rd./1531 was particularly nice as it skirted the steep hillsides above the creek. We enjoyed a thrilling dive down to the creek before climbing to US60. The short segment of Poplar Ln., with a sign for No Trucks, was also a nice, empty diversion. In the course of our ride we saw cyclists on almost all the roads we encountered, although never en mass. I had an original route going through Middletown, but using the "bike route" button on ridewithgps I found that Avoca Rd. was dashed with green, meaning a bike route, lane or something. The first part of that stretch was lined with quarries and heavy industry, hardly a bike route. Once it crossed Old Henry signs pointed to a local route with no through-traffic. At the train crossing guardrails had been positioned to allow bikes and walkers but no cars. Honestly it was all a bit odd, but for that short mile stretch we found cool shade devoid of cars. Nice.

Once back in Anchorage I mentioned to Dave that I wanted to maintain a total pace above 14, as we had been above 15mph for most of the ride and then slowed. He pushed it a bit and I pushed it some more, finished with 14.8mph for the day. Dave did great too, first riding the 12m there and then the 29m with me. A great day and a great precursor for tomorrow(RCCS message here), our 70m out of Orleans, IN. If you're interested, see you in Orleans at 9.00EST.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


ol' Apertome just did a nice pictorial review of his commute. My commute is usually quite dark in the a.m., so pics aren't so easy to take. I have no excuse for the afternoon; I'm just tired.

Today I upped the ante on the commute, especially in the afternoon when for the majority of the time I felt pretty frisky. I'm pretty sure I had a tailwind pushing me along, but I took advantage and took a low position on the Loop bar and pushed the big ring. I felt good all the way to the uphill drag on Grinstead where I slowed a bit. I rallied afterwards in Seneca but on the far end of Cherokee I blew on golf course hill and crawled in from there. Of my 1.03 afternoon commute, I pushed a good pace until about minute 37 when I turned the gas down a bit.

I'm promising to do a review of the Jones Loop Bar in the near future. It's a keeper. I'd also like to do something with the Garmin Edge500, understanding that I'm not techno-geek enough to do a full in-depth. Maybe a review from a layman is worth something. Point is, both of these cycling products are fulfilling their purpose and then some these days. The LHT is downright fun right now, almost like riding a new bike.

We have below my morning and then my afternoon commute. One complaint is that the Edge500, after a long rest, wants to "save" a previous trip and start a new one, thereby dividing my commute into 2 distinct rides when I consider it one loop. Perhaps there's a fix to that. I know these little plug-ins aren't of great interest, but I like maps, and these are certainly my maps, made with my own legs.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday Carnage

This is what we ended up doing Sunday. We had had plans of doing a 50m country ride out in Shelby, but the storm and subsequent power outage left me spooked at disappearing all day. Instead we roamed around, riding a nice tempo down River Rd. Of course, after that I was shelled and felt like crap, for whatever reason. It had to be quite a site, though, 2 LHTs and a gigantic Bombadil rolling down RR at 20mph. 

Monday, August 15, 2011


Big storm Saturday. Power out. Nice to ride with big boys yesterday, but didn't feel too good afterwards. More of the same today.

Now back to our scheduled programming.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Point St. George + Fog

I awoke considerably before my brood while in Crescent City, so I revisited the Point St. George area from the previous night's sunset. It provided a completely different perspective. Not many words, but lots of pics and cool as heck!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


As the world turns. Monday I was a total grump and today I'm a giddy man-child. The temp this afternoon/evening was about 78F with sun and no humidity, just like the weather we faced in Portland. It was sublime. I had a nice 13.5m commute with 'Alberto' (I think I called him that at another time on this blog). His mother died recently and I encouraged him to get out and stretch the legs as a means of escape and distraction. He did well going into work this morning. This afternoon he suffered a bit more, but he made it home and I enjoyed helping him along. We even stopped by OYLC where I picked up the Mad Alchemy Gentlemen's Embro I ordered and Alberto decided to spring for a new helmet as his was *old* and stretched out.

The afternoon then proceeded to Z's soccer game, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Z played well and played the entire game, one of 4 players to do so. The remaining spots rotated heavily in this first JV scrimmage. Afterwards, the boys and I partook of some Papalino's while the good wife/mom had choir practice. The feta cheese and capicola pizza on my end hit the spot, as did the 2 Brooklyn IPAs. Mighty fine day. Might fine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Not really training, unless I'm training for more riding. Sunday is the next LBC Populaire, but I'm undecided. After bypassing opportunities yesterday I promised myself I would hit it this morning before going to Holiday World. Then at 11.30pm last night I told myself that I wouldn't get up. Then the body woke up at 5.45am already in sync with the school year (not the mind nor heart though), so a-training I went, putting in 30 miles in the parks and the IH/MockingbirdValley loop. I felt so-so, but good enough. It was a good morning too, a cool 71F with fog, mist and a general dampness *without* the oppressive humidity that has dogged us. Too bad I can't go to work at 9.30 every day.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Point St. George

We spent parts of three trips to Point St. George, which is a few miles from Crescent City. I'm sure there are many attractive features along the California coast, but I saw a mention that this area has some of the best to offer.

In the afternoon after our Stout Grove stop we stopped and goofed around. The boys ran in the surf a fair amount and we listened to the occasional bark of something, which we later learned was sea lions just off the coast. This first series is along Pebble Beach, although I didn't see Tiger shaking anything along here.

I learned later that this is Castle Rock Nat'l Wildlife Refuge, created primarily to protect bird nests. When I returned with binoculars I saw hundreds of white birds flying along the cliffs. Furthermore, if one looks at that chain of small islands in front, the one to the left is dotted with lots of little rock things, which binocs reveal to be sea lions, on what is known as "Sea Lion Island".

Z throwing a rock. I like this.

L doing tai chi. I like this.

Later that night we returned, only this time up the coast to Point St. George proper for a sunset, which we had read would provide an excellent vantage. Notwithstanding earlier shots of the boys in shorts and tshirts, the temps in heartily in the 50s with the wind blowing sideways. I think the pics are self-explanatory. I can look at flowing fields of grasses and wildflowers pretty much all day long. Sorry if you get bored, but it's your fault. The scenery is this amazing and it's a real treat to look through it again via the pics.

More waves in this shot.

L and the good wife. Nice colors.

The wind-blown good wife. She's a private person for blog purposes, but I love this pic too much not to post. If she gets mad at me I'll have to remove it.

How do you like this one? I like it a LOT! Also, if you know your art history, it's got a Friedrich "Wanderer over a Sea of Fog" vibe to it. (title may not be precise).

Strange sightings of this entity spurred me to research it later. It's the Point St. George Reef Lighthouse, the most expensive- or one of- lighthouse ever in the U.S. I suggest you read a bit. It's a cool and morbid story.

You can just see the reef lighthouse to the right.

Colorful windblown crew returning to the car.

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: