Saturday, October 29, 2011


  • First commute (16m) for a while yesterday. It's turned cool since I last commuted, but I stuck my hand in and found something warm to wear. Somehow I managed to hit a head wind while riding all four cardinal directions. Go figure.
  • Two miles this morning to Breadworks for a cup and some scones for the crew. Mellow, brisk start to a beautiful day.
  • Met Dave and we took a road ride to get the legs moving. He didn't feel great, so we kept it flattish and at a moderate to easy tempo. Every now and then I goosed it just for fun, but we have big plans for tomorrow, so moderation was the key today.
  • Today's was the first time in a LONG one for the IF. I never blogged about it, but I had some crazy bottom-bracket issues a few weeks ago pertaining to water. Seems that the IF didn't come with a BB shell drain hole. Odd. OYLC took care of the BB and drain hole issue and today it rode 'like butta'. Today's was also the first ride on some Challenge Paris-Roubigi 27s. As some may have noticed, I'm not too good at doing reviews. In fact, I never did a full pictorial IF redux. The word on the street was that the PR's were/are soft, smooth, and flat-prone. Today, no flats and an amazing ride. More to come.
  • Tomorrow we have 55m of road and gravel to explore in Henry and Owen Co. The skies will be completely clear and sunny with leaves changing, so it should/could be a great day. Get out there!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

el Peso

I'm struggling with weight again. Again. It's been right at one year since my last batch of heart/health episodes and since then I've lost 20lbs and gained exactly the same 20lbs back, within a half  pound. I'm the perfect example of the classic American yo-yo, right?!?! I'm not going to beat myself up though; time has shown that such thinking only makes things worse.

So, where to? Back to basics. Using MyPlate. Weighing every day. Putting down the junk food!!!! Sometimes I think, "what's the right plan? how do I do this?". No, that's scurrilous thinking. Eat moderately. Eat fruits and veggies. Eat salads. Don't eat cookies, ice cream, and snack crackers if at all possible. Minimize the booze. Take a dose of Dr. Oz below. Middle Path. Moderation.

**Cut out Soda
**Don't eat after 8.00 p.m. (or 3 hours before bedtime)
**Move 10min a day
**Don't eat snacks larger than your fist
**Track your weight every day

I was looking at my weight graph from this past summer, having weighed myself sparingly. What jumped out was the 5lb weight gain in June while having my highest mileage month every. Sorry LD, no ectomorphic body here. Probably the best kind of cycling for me is 1hr a day with no big mileage days. They make me eat too much.

But we'll try to throw some longer cycling in there. Life has to provide some treats, right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunset 'cross

I spent all weekend in a rotovirus-induced haze. Full on "bleeehhhhhh". Today I took a restorative nap at work from 1.40-2.20. I'm sorry for all you taxpayers that I spent 40 tax-supported minutes asleep, but it was better than $80 or whatever they're paying subs these days. With nap in hand, I convinced Dave to meet me for our usual Monday night 'cross ride, although this was to be a bit more relaxed than our usual "hot laps". We rolled around RRCC a bit and then linked to the Eva Bandman course which has been ridden in recently in preparation for the Storm the Greens race there this weekend. So far for this Fall I'm 0/2- no camping and no cross. Now I have to get extra-focused for Gravel Grovel. The EB course has a nice mix of steep short ones, sand, twisty turns, grass drags and a few steps thrown in. Given my present fitness and health I'm glad I'm not racing, but I think I'll have to head down this Sunday for some pics.

My hero, Dave, 'crossing it up in work clothes on a LHT.

A crew doing crew on the Ohio at sunset.

Another first century (L.B.)

I'm mired in a loop of sneezing, sniffling, aching and blahing, so in lieu of any real cycling, I wittle the day away vicariously cycling through others. What brightened my day the most was the recounting of Lovely Bicycle's first century report. While usually designing and facilitating georgeous bicycles in MA, she's in Germany for some reason, and decided to undertake her first century ride, in this case solo (not unlike my own in '10; I've yet to do a group century). Hers gets more interesting with her sense if panache in completing such a ride. In typical cycling terms, a century would entail lots of Lycra, carbon and non-food gels. LovelyBicycle, though, pulls off a sense of Euro styling, riding her first hundy in woolens on a steel city bike. Stylish and invigorating. Interesting too, just as the rest of us "mortals" face dark times on long rides, she also hits her bad spot somewhere in the second half, but a little tea and food reinvigorate her spirit. A great blog, a great ride, and certainly great style!

Near Tulln
© 2010 Lovely Bicycle

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Puny JRA

Puny. My early week misery turned into a sore throat/ick/quack/uck yesterday and today. I left work a bit early yesterday, came home, and napped for a couple hours. Today after some morning teenager drama Dave and I took a very easy ride, he on his new (to him) Big Dummy and I on my reciprocal cargo bike Ute. We mostly roamed, eventually reaching the 'Cross park down on River Rd, where we went cargo 'crossing for a few minutes. Pretty funny, if you ask me. After that we stopped by the shop where Dave ordered a new stem and I picked up a fresh tube for the IF. Dave followed me home where we checked out the new drilled bottom bracket drain hole on the IF. I guess I should blog about the general experience, but I'm not up for it yet. After that, Dave helped me mount some Paris-Roubagi tires on the IF. I bought them when I got the bike but hadn't tried them out. They were the most difficult tire I've ever mounted, but they're supple. I'll try them out tomorrow if I can.
Dave 'cargo 'crossing' on the Dummy. Schweet!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nothing good

I have nothing good to report. The IF has a sketchy issue with the BB after a brief batch of rain riding. We have our camping weekend coming up in a couple days and Michael is sick. That's no good. The weather is changing and I'm not adapting. I haven't had a solid, long ride in weeks. Yes, Sunday's 42m was great; we got out. But I don't feel like the fitness is any better. This week I've been playing taxi driver in the afternoons, but then I've been unwilling to get back out after work for a workout. Henceforth, this week has been binge eating and no activity. It's a fucking joke.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What was lost

Friday afternoon meant no soccer, no cross country, and no excuses to stretch out the commute. I rode the Bleriot again for said purposes and encountered a blustery afternoon, but with gorgeous temps and skies. As I head west I felt fortunate that the extremely stiff wind (gusts to 40mph) was straight in my face on the way out. Knowing so wet the whistle for a good effort to get downwind and let 'er rip. In and around the Shawnee Park area I decided to spend a brief moment solving, or at least attempting to solve a puzzle from last week's long Friday commute. Last week I slopped through the remnants of the Riverwalk Trail, which is now being reclaimed by the river unfortunately. On the far side, perhaps in Portland or along Lannam Park, I noticed that while my fancy Garmin Edge500 (an awesome product, btw) was still tabulating, my nice cateye mini was, in fact, incommunicado. Or inexistencio. Or just plain missing. Apparently it had fallen off somewhere in the bushwacking, and I didn't have the gumption to retrace 10 miles worth, especially through the muck. TWS strikes again! Right up there with the lost glasses from '09 or so.

So yesterday I determined to re-trace a small portion of the closed, muddy path, right along the golf course where I had to hurdle a few trees and barriers. After a slightly muddy run from Thursday's rain I finally came to the most likely spot, right next to a low-slung tree trunk that caused me to clamp down firm on both brake levers. I dismounted and almost immediately the first spot I looked there she lay, my Cateye mini ever so slightly covered with grime and leaves. It was sleeping in a slightly inconspicuous spot, but one I fear that would have swallowed the mech up in another week or so, perhaps with the next rain. I picked it up and threw it in my bag b/c my handlebar was already full of doo-dads and went on my way, hoping for that tailwind.

Once I turned onto Bank Street the effect was immediate. I immediately hit the 20mph mark and held that all along Bank Street through Portland, even hitting 24mph at some point. Once I turned onto Market I maintained the pace up until downtown where traffic slowed me. I was mired in bridgemania traffic for a while before dismounting, walking through the 2nd Street intersection and remounting on the other side. A stop by OYLC brought me a new Planet Bike Gas Tank (not even on their site yet!), one of the new top tube bags made perfectly for gravel grinders and adventure rides. From there it was directly home, although it might have been fun to catch a bit of the Halloween parade along Baxter. A fine afternoon, and for a change luck found me with respects to find lost things.

And the Bleriot did just fine, again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


no further insight. I commuted slowly and I'm pleased to have done so.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday 'cross

The pattern changed a bit this evening with the inclusion of Dave, who traveled down to RRCC after work for some 'crossing on his LHT. He removed the pannier and a few blinkies but still crossed with his rear rack and SON, which I think is awesome. I just realized that a better bike for the RRCC course might be his RaleighSS with some nice 30s. I rode the CrossCheck again, but with a tire change. I have been running monstercross Panaracer FireCross, 45c behemoths which weigh 10lb each, but which also engender an extreme amount of confidence. Not long ago I picked up some new Clement PDXs, which are marketed as mud tires but which have a nice raised center ridge for the pavement, so I mounted those up and pumped them to 60psi, right in the middle of the suggested range. A boy my size is *never* going to run 40psi true cross style, so be it. 

 Dave met me at the vehicle to stow his pannier and we followed my usual pattern. We rode over to RRCC and took an easy warm-up lap to introduce Dave to the course. We then hit our first hot lap in 6.53 for a 15.2avg. Not bad in the grass, albeit hard, beaten-down grass given our lack of rain. We then did a nice, easy cool-down swing before diving in to the next hop lap, this one at 6.58/15.1. The times are mas o menos, b/c the start and end points are ballpark but not exact. This time we took a little longer cool-down out towards the end of RRCC before taking in our last hot lap of the evening. We/I decided to do the course backwards for variety, but this put us (Dave) in a perilous situation of which I will elucidate. The western end of the course has a cross tie run-up, which also has a little worn path up the right side which I usually use; I can't remount for shit. In doing the course backwards we come at it from the high side of the steps. I knew roughly where it was and took the path descending and thought of whether Dave would remember as he was a bit behind me.  As I rounded the tree and looked I saw Dave descending and thought, "cool", and motored on, finishing the last lap in 7.00/15.2avg again.  Eventually I saw Dave moseying towards me through the field where he began to regale me of the fact that he did *not* descend via the path but had come straight down the cross-tie steps, but had managed to stay up. His bars rotated a bit down and he though the wheel was out-of-true, but that turned out not to be the case. They're Big Stairs! And I told him that if he could handle those then any mtbike obstacle was within his skill level.

We took an easy final cool down via the Cox Park path before returning to the car after a bit more than an hour of riding, well, for me. Dave commuted home as well so he's got me on mileage in spades for the day. I had a really good day on the bike, though, and the PDXs at a medium psi made for a nice tire for the conditions. I'll have to ride them when it's a bit more soupy after some rain and make a long-term review. They're a hell of a lot more supple than the FireCross's, that's for sure.


Sunday, October 09, 2011


I've been struck with a dash of lazy on this excellent weekend, but coffee and egg products motivated me enough to get out of the house this morning. I eventually met Dave at Highlands Coffee, a shop I don't visit as much as others, but one that does probably have the best selection of goodies in the city. After some breakfast, we ventured for some JRA. Sorry, LithoDale, no training or HRM today. We just rode around, me on the Quickbeam- DAMN, that's a nice ride, especially on a lazy Sunday morning- and Dave on a BigDummy he's borrowing/test-riding. It's a cool rig and I hope Dave can work a deal b/c that bike is right up Dave's alley. I also give thanks for having both the good fortune and good taste to assemble such a nice stable of bikes. At present I have several bikes that provide a spectacular ride for their given purposes. Today it was the QB. On Friday, the Bleriot. And on. And on. I'm very lucky, and descending out of CherokeePk this morning on the smooth-as-silk QB that realization of good fortune came to me. I'm lucky, for that and in so many other ways.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Long ramble commute

Two days in a row with no taxi service. I knew I had a distance window this afternoon so I pulled off a first (or near first) and rode the Bleriot as my commuter rig. I don't have enough luggage for a full commuter experience, so I left some papers to grade at home, planned for lunch out (a burgeoning tradition with teacher friends now that we have a Papalino's and a Qdoba close-by), and packed judiciously. I used the Big Loafer for clothes and tools, including the use of bungees and the top rings for extra clothes. My personals went in the bar bag. The addition of a front Blaze 1W and a rear PB made me good enough.

This afternoon I warmed up pretty quickly and intentionally rode a hard tempo up Algonquin. At some point in the mix I had a strong suspicion that I had a nice tailwind b/c my computer (non-GPS) was reading 18-19mph, which might be a bit brisk for the Bleriot. Or I was just feeling gooood. At Shawnee I took a turn down to the Riverwalk for a change in speed before jumping back onto Northwestern Pkwy. The sight, though, of the 'Path Closed' sign drew my attention. I had tried one other time to guerrilla ride the flooded path but last time was immediately swamped by mud. This time things appeared to be a bit drier. The portions along the golf fence were bushy and rutty but rideable. At some point I almost ran into not one but different different limbs which were hidden by brush. The first I saw quickly enough to stop easily and walk around. The second, though, was lower to the ground and it took a full two-handed power grab to stop. However I landed, it jerked my right shifter a bit, but there were no other visible signs of damage (foreshadowing...)

Once I lowered down off the golf course portion I found lots of dried mud, but it was passable. Other vehicles, I assume 4-wheelers, were taking advantage of the terrain, and I saw one pair of mtbike treads. Progress was slow-going and I had to walk a few times. I even ran into a couple walking, when they inquired from me if the "mud was going to end?". Well, sort of.

It's sort of sobering that this portion of the Riverwalk, by far the most interesting section, was being given back to nature. Wonder if there are any lessons learned for Louisville famed future Louisville Loop. I have no confidence.

After the off-road portion I reconnected with the Riverwalk proper and vacillated between spirited tempos and periods of rest. I snaked through Waterfront Park with thoughts of maybe going all the way to Indian Hills, but turned towards home and OYLC where I was going to ask them about a front end creak I've been experiencing on the Bleriot. They were super-busy so I re-directed towards the Beargrass Trail and Cherokee, where I took in three frisky hills. No, the first, golf course hill I took at a friskly pace. I rested a bit on Hogan's Fountain and Chaufer's Rest was a push. It was a beautiful day for a ride, one which included tempo riding, mixed-terrain riding, urban riding, park riding and neighborhood rolling. What's not to like on a Friday such as that?

Thursday, October 06, 2011


First commute in a while (records show first in last couple weeks!). This morning I couldn't imagine going any slower. After seeing my present weight on the scale I rode in depressed, morose and general blah. This afternoon I had to play crosscountry taxi a bit later so I had a finite window to make haste on the ride home.. I punched it as much as I could on the LHT, giving myself two hills to climb (Illinois Ave. and Valley Vista). I maintained a good pace until I ran into L who was walking home from the bus stop and we chatted a bit before finish. It turned out to be an average day, pretty slow in the am, but peppy in the pm. Bag it. I'll take it. An (interesting) aside, I wore the HRM this afternoon to monitor my efforts. It's interesting that you can be in breathing and leg difficulty but your HR rolls along at a moderate rate. I slowly begin to understand why the Tour guys have to ride tempo for an hour so their hearts are actually ready to work enough. My average was pretty suppressed for much of the ride, but it was only 27min worth. And I punched it, especially on the Illinois Ave. hill but my HR got nowhere close to the rates seen while 'crossing. I know you readers *really* don't care about my HR stuff. I'm not sure I do either, but again I do. I've got a goofy heart and I think it pay to pay a little attention to it.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

historical PBP

Long, informative account of a Seattle Rando's PBP. I don't remember where I found it, but as the original link stated, this account is much more positive than the many "hardest death march of my life" accounts.

Monday, October 03, 2011


Went out for a damn easy spin during L's practice, my now-ritual Monday evening ride. Of late it's been cyclocross, but after yesterday's adventure I needed to take it really, really easy. In fact I've been a little body sore all day after 4 hours of mtbike pounding. The IF hadn't been out of the stable for a while, so it was the weapon of choice. Ironic, right? The fastest steed in the stable going on a veritable walk? I also used the HRM to stay within that 60% they tout as easy/fat-burning, yada yada. Early-to-mid-ride I noticed some creaks coming from the bike. Odd, really. As I went on they became more and more prominent. My primary guess is that I gave the IF a good washing recently and must not have relubbed the chain. As soon as I came home I did the deed, so soon I'll take it back out for a test run and hopefully the creaks will have stopped. Very mellow. And in the end I averaged over 13mph, which is about what I do on the LHT or Bleriot. Context, speed is. The day. The bike. The riding partners. The premise. It's a bit in the eye of the beholder.

BCS #2

Some observations:

  • That was a hard day in the saddle. Ride time a bit short of 4hrs, total a bit more than 5hrs. And while the BC trails are primo, they're still mtbike trails, so lots of roots, rocks, trees and features to maneuver around. I forget what a full body workout mtbiking is, especially if you're working the downhills and not just coasting.
  • BCSP is mighty substantial. We rode every trail in the joint except for Schooner, which begins and ends with the nastiest looking rock gardens I've seen. Generally the trails are laid out really logically with features around every corner, but in a way that keeps things "flowing" (borrowing their terminology). Well, except for ThunderGulch or whatev it's called. That trail (the upper half) was just shitty. Too many rocks and off-camber crap. It might have helped if we didn't run into probably 20 bikers along there; it was the only crowded spot the entire day.
  • I didn't really have my climbing legs much- helped by Michael setting down a *furious* pace in the opening couple hours-, but, MAN, I felt great on the downhills. I've never "shredded" like that. I'm pretty sure I found the purpose of the C'dale F29er/Caffeine, the bike with the dumbest name ever. It's never been a great bike in the twisty stuff close to the house in the parks, but here at BC where you can open up the throttle a bit, the C'dale performed wonderfully, especially on the downhills. I just read the review of the aforementioned link and they mentioned it being a stable machine with a somewhat long wheelbase and I couldn't agree more. I bombed down the hills and felt really secure. I've probably never had the opportunity close to home to really let loose. That said, the rear end is a bit tight (hmm?), so it wore down by back end after the day. I was thinking "Thudbuster" at some point as a way to take the edge off.
  • Michael and Dave couldn't have been better ride mates. Everybody stayed together the entire ride and was really supportive. Dave knows the trails like his own yard- he helped build some- so his observations were really helpful for a newby. Michael, setting a hard pace early on, set the day up for what it should be, an honest attack in every good way. 
  • I'm ready to go back already, not just yet, but soon enough to take in the trails a bit more and help make some decisions as to my favorites. To be honest I like the *Easy* ones b/c you can open it up the most, but some combo of North Tower, Aynes and/or Green Valley was worth the price of admission for sure! And Hesitation Point. Can't forget that climb/descent down through the PawPaw and Hickory.
  • Due to how my family schedule shook out, I had the time and we ended up getting a table in busy Nashville, IN at Big Woods Brewing. I was quite impressed with the nachos and the Stout. Again, worth another return down the road, and a hell of a way to finish the day.
  • It's Monday am and I'm still a bit bone tired

Michael, representing early on after putting me in difficulty on the early climbs.

Dave. Dave's a baller, but the most mellow one around.  I just got the feeling that he could take off whenever he wanted, but that he enjoys the camaraderie more.

Black, white and red woodpecker on right side of left tree.

Terrance Malick?

Abandoned homestead

View from Hesitation Point

Nice rest after a tough climb.

Rock garden along Walnut Trail, where both Michael and I lost our edge.

Bridge blur

I have a new-found respect for all those idiots out in Kamloops and such with miles of these things.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

mas 'cross

It's a smidge busy, no, I lie. It is busy, but that's not the only thing dictating my riding. Yesterday morning I had a great window to do lots of mileage. Instead I hung out and relaxed and eventually went for coffee with 'L', which I *always* enjoy. That gave me 3m for the day.

Later that evening after lots of driving children around I got antsy and went out on the Blueridge with the SON and did a bit more than an hour, totalling 16m. I felt pretty good, although early efforts had me slow some in the second half. At some point I heard something and later noticed that I had popped a rear spoke. OYLC will have to attend to that. (no camera, no computer, so no data save using the HRM again.)

Today is 'Z's bday and we had 2 soccer games as well, so it was a quickie 'cross session with Lithodale from 3-4, my only window and his as well. Wow! Riding with LD makes for an interesting time b/c he's *way* stronger/faster than I am, so it was great to push me, but in pushing me I fell over, metaphorically speaking. I warmed up a bit and then did a hot lap for myself, which was him warm up. He dropped it down a gear or few the second time and I spun a bit and joined him at different parts of the course where I could cut. From there we went west to Eva Bandman to take a look at the future (maybe) World's  course, which at the present is taller, bushy, wet and generally no fun. We headed back to RRCC for a few more laps, the last of which I tried to do at some kind of pace. Looking at my final data stuff I noticed that I hit 179 as a maxHR, which mathematically is as high as it should be, 220-41. Yikes! Actually somewhere during that last lap I felt a little something and backed off a bit, although I looked at my HRM and I was in the 160s, so who knows. It was great to get out and fun to ride with LD, something I haven't done in a while.

Tomorrow is a big day up at BrownCo. I'll have the camera with me for that one, and certainly some stories to tell afterwards.

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: