Saturday, December 31, 2011

out like a...

Ending the year with a bit of a whimper. It's been busy and I've been unwilling to sprint from activity to activity to ride to activity, so the riding has dried up. I have gotten a couple good walks in, 1.15hr on Thursday, but I won't be making 4.5k on the year and I won't beat last year's December total. And worst of all, I might not care.

Three of us are riding 30 this morning to finish the year out in style. Again I'll be sprinting from ride to activity, as we're driving to Lexington shortly thereafter for the UK/UL game (except for El Clasico, is there any other?), but it'll be worth it to shot the shit and get a good spin in.

Feliz nochevieja!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Getting close

Mileage pondering will probably commence within a few days. Mycyclinglog says that I need 56 miles to cross the 4.5k Rubicon. We're on the road Tuesday and Wednesday, but during the the remaining days of '11 I guess I should force myself out the door to have something to accomplish.

Today after a nice 1hr walk (partly with Mom), I commuted on the QB to run down some local beans from Sunergos and Quills for a Detroit Xmas gift. It was a peaceful 13 miles with Dave partly in tow. And the Acorn Rando hauled 2lbs of coffee admirably.

Certainly a better physical days than Xmas day, which was a nice-but-wasted 50F and sunny.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Uh, a little too cold?

I convinced Dave to meet me for a very early Nochebuena ride. As expected, I have shopping, wrapping and stuff to do today to prep for tonight and tomorrow, so our 6.00a.m. time gave me a window to ride and drink plenty of coffee before the day's proceedings.

What we realized pretty early on is that the listed 33F felt colder and that neither of us was properly dressed. He had (very?) cold toes and a damp torso. I had cold everything. We/I chose to go shorter, turning westward towards Indian Hills instead of a longer loop out Lime Kiln or Prospect. Our descent down Totem had us both braking so as to avert some of the cold pummeling us as we dipped into the river valley. Towards the bottom we ran upon a deer to the right. Not 10 yds. further down the hill on my left side of the road I and another large forest rat almost came to blows. As I said to Dave, "my senses are awake now!"  We turn onto River Rd. and made our way through the dark.

At some point along RR I happened upon a significant problem, a first for me. My warming mechanisms were insufficient for, you know, there. I used a paper map I had as a wind block to little effect. We turned towards B'town Rd. and coffee options and I hit the climb up Payne hard to warm up. And my insufficiently warmed area was colder, colder and colder. By the time we got to Highland Coffee I was a bit concerned, but some spent eating, coffeeing and, well, warming up to get me out of the danger zone. Yikes!

We then stopped by Breadworks for more coffee and then it was time to head home for the day. Feliz Nochebuena and thanks to Dave for the cold ride companionship!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Saved by the Dale

For a variety of reasons, today was a bit of a black day. And that's that. Later this evening LithoDale suggested a nighttime ramble, which I agreed to. And I'm glad I did. We left in the cover of a brisk night and tooled around the neighborhoods of the lower Highlands before venturing into the parks. The first 10 miles were a nice 15+avg (good for me, easy for LD). The next 5 I backed down a bit as we hit the golf course hill and I a bit of general tiredness. We parted about 1m from my homestead and maybe 1.5 from his, still in the cover of a brisk night, but both feeling a bit more energized, or at least physically alive. A well-deserved effort, much appreciated.


Monday, December 19, 2011


Not a banner way to start the holiday break, at least, the first "official" day after the weekend. We had a very nice Xmas concert last night, one in which I didn't screw up my solo too much. After the concert we traditionally have a tasting party with tables upon tables of goodies to feast on. I was too interested in the sweets so instead ate numerous party sandwiches. At some point I noticed being a little (lot) on the full side but ate a bit more and Lo and Behold the ticker started flopping. Damn!

I took a flecainide at 8.00 hoping that it would do the trick. Alas, it was still bumping around when we went to the after-party, where I had 2 small glasses of wine, although I know that isn't the best course of action with Afib. The way we treat ourselves. Once home I hit the bed and assumed that it would go away.

Which it didn't. I woke up at 7.30 with it still flopping away.  I took another pill around 8.00 and then proceeded to waste the day lounging, lethargic, and blah! A long Afib episode takes it out of me and makes me feel quite tired, so today was nothing but that. The couch. The TV. A nap. More.

Tomorrow will be better! Right!?!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Many Turn 'Ville Ramble

The boys met at 7.00 for a Louisville neighborhood ramble, designed by me to fulfill several goals. I wanted miles. I wanted easy miles. And finally, I wanted to see some new roads without excessive travel. Dave, Asher and Patrick were kind enough to join in for an early Sunday, "pre-life" ride. Generally the mileage was unremarkable but very pleasant. Dave and I rode singlespeeds, Asher his road bike which turned into a SS due to a broken rear mech cable, and Patrick on his AHH. Our path took us through Hikes Point and down into Fern Creek via some neighborhoods. At some point in FC Asher peeled off to head for church, but the remainders crossed the Snyder on Seatonville Rd., one of the few traffic-laden roads of the day. From there we worked west on some semi-country roads which were nice and empty- and COLD- before turning north into Okolona. We ventured across Jefferson Mall safely; thankfully it was closed, and then touched the Newburg area before passing by Male HS and under the Watterson into Camp Taylor. By this time I was pretty cooked but having a great time, especially after the crud of he past few weeks, much less the truncated gravel ride last week. We pulled into the Loop just barely short of 40 miles, although I had an extra 3 due to commuting to and from the Loop. I'm thankful the guys were willing to meet up and take in a somewhat goofy course, but I think everyone enjoyed such a Sunday morning activity, even with the cold. Perhaps now I can enjoy 2 wheels a bit during the holidays.

And I think my phone doesn't like to take pics in the cold. These are even weirder than the ones yesterday.

Old church off Preston Hwy near the airport
Pat needing a foot correction after suffering yet more cold toes.

Dave, Raleigh and AHH

QB in all its pixilated glory

Saturday, December 17, 2011


As I've documented, I've felt like crap lately, so with sunny skies and no activities in the afternoon, I dragged Dave out for some restorative JRA. We swung west on the Riverwalk, visited McAlpine Locks and Dam via the bridge and then roamed around the West end before coming home via Broadway. A short stop at  Highland Coffee finished the day before I had to attend a soccer game. I didn't feel fresh, but 24 unfresh miles is certainly better than eating crap lying/laying on the couch like a beached whale. Tomorrow we JRA some more via a nutty urban course visiting many a new neighborhood. Should be curious.

A little bit o flash!
bridge over McAlpin Locks, which we visited for first time

"Down by the River...."

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Feed a Cold..."

I'm just now leaving the veil of mucous that has shrouded me for almost a month. And if one goes by the adage to "feed the cold" (never did have a fever), then I've fed myself extra for 3 weeks. And what has it gotten me? My cycling mates are all dropping lbs; I'm at my heaviest, having shot up 6lbs in just a couple weeks.



Monday, December 12, 2011



We left early to get in 55 mixed-terrain miles so we could get back and do family stuff the remainder of a Sunday. Everything was set, bikes, plans, stops. It turned a little colder than expected at around 18F on departure, but nothing we haven't done before. We also anticipated beautiful clear skies, a real change-up from the endless spit we've had. When we hit the road I took a turn on the first little rise and it was O.K. Shortly thereafter we encountered another little mini-hill, maybe 200metres, and...nothing. No gas. Nothing. My legs were stone, or even worse, painful stone. I had nothing. "I'll warm up." We worked out way to towards Yellowbanks Recreation Center where we encountered our first gravel. "Feeling better. Legs warming up."

Yellowbanks Trail looking south

Up the road. I think Dave is practicing a cyclocross dismount.

Our turn onto Yellowbanks Trail Rd. was a nice one, a pretty run of gravel through fields and wood. Noticing all the tires with "Keep Out!" to our left, we encountered our first snafu at mile 7 when our route was to go west, only we were met with not only "keep out" but a gate as well. No go. Dave and I consulted our digital toys and we decided to re-route up the road a ways. I lost touch a bit at the top of a 1k climb before rejoining on the downhill of S.C.R.900E, a road we've been on a few different times. I lost touch again climbing up to Old64. We turned left down Old64 towards Stendal, the ominous town where Dave decided to sit (for 45min) last winter. We pulled into town after an easy 1.5m climb and  gained our bearings, using a westward gravel road to link up to Haul Rd., which was our original destination before the 'KeepOut' situation.

Haul was was an excellent run, nice gravel through forest lands which now comprise Sugar Ridge FWA. We saw hunters' truck and some stations, but nothing too busy on this cold morning. I held pace a bit here but towards the end the road bucked a long false flat. Patrick powered away as he did all day; he had legs to spare. Dave distanced as well. We turned left and I fell a bit further behind before stopping and walking a short hill. At the top I used the time to move the camelback inside my jacket since the tube was frozen solid (yes, I blew water back in). Dave waited for me and Patrick realized what was up. We marshalled on.

After a short rise up to a crossroads (where Dave and I ran into the mtbike crew on the snow ride) I stopped and told the boys I was done, finished. no mas. I implored them to continue the loop and I would meet them at the car. Really, really I wanted them to get their mileage in after driving an hour out of town. Make it worth your while. But they didn't budge. If I was going back they were to. And I was going back. I was empty. Completely.

The return trip was some of the same. Any roller at all- and there were several- I came straight off the back, some of them on which I walked instead of pushing the 36x32. They humored me and kept me generally in sight. It does need to be mentioned that I won the Dubois Co. sign sprint in Zoar, "sprint" being used liberally. We met our last bit of fun with a right turn onto CR850, which was a dirt work road along the powerlines. Fortunately it was still pretty frozen so we didn't run into too much mud. I walked some more. We turned left and met our last stretch of rollers before ending in Holland.
Dave descending 850 from the dirt side

Dave and PJ in the distance leaving me on yet another hill, an unpaved, ungraveled on at that. Bad day. Good road.

Patrick on his new F2 and Dave at the top of a rise after having waited for me. We look cold. It was cold.

Freakin' death warmed over.

We celebrated our shortened ride with some Waffle House in Corydon, at least after Patrick and Dave warmed up their frozen toes in the car. To a certain extent, the "capitulation" on my part helped them cut short a potentially frozen-toe situation. The waffles made much of it all better.

**One good note of today's ride was the performance of the Happy Mediums. I ran them at a relatively low 55psi and found them *excellent* for the surfaces we rode. They had good roll on pavement but also good bite on the gravel sections at that pressure. A definite keeper, and one fat-tire folks should look at for something like a 700c LHT.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


We'll be doing some of this today, 55 miles out of Holland, IN with much of the route gravel. And the weather has turned interesting for us. Right now Holland is listed as 19F. The forecast forced me yesterday to mount some gaudy flat pedals onto the Crosscheck a la true winter riding. Otherwise I'm intrigued whether/how the CC will meet terrain demands today. It's certainly faster and/or more comfy than the C'dale over that kind of distance, but we may hit heavy conditions and we certainly will have 3500ft of climbing. If it's *heavy* climbing, I may be missing my ol' gravel grinder. It will also be maiden voyage of the 40c Kenda Happy Mediums.

 Report to come.


Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I learned this term from PJ, informing me that it's used in the musician community. Do you know what it stands for? Anybody? Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Buying more shit. And more. And more. I totally get it on their end. Musicians are known for buying more pedals, more amps, more cords, more boxes. You know, gear.

PJ accused me of having G.A.S., of the bike nature. The immediacy of the reaction shocked me. "Yeah, you're exactly right!". I buy shit, especially around this time of year in the birthday/Xmas zone. I think early winter is also the start of the "winter project" season, when you have time to analyze all the reasons why your gear didn't take you to new heights, notwithstanding the issue that fitness accounts for the other, oh, 97%. Many factors have contributed to my GAS, including a generous father, constant disappointment with my weight (which can be remedied with schwag, right?), the internet, RBW and BQ for fostering philosophies of GAS, bike shops who know a sucker when they see one, a consumer frivolity which seems to be encouraged. "Celebrate America. Go shopping!"

I came oh so this close to buying one of these a few weeks ago. I could have swung it barely, and hemmed

and hawed for several days, only to not do so. GAS. Ultimately, would I use the Pugs much? Do we have snow? Do we have endless sand? Do we have endless river flats? Yes, a river, but no flats. I didn't pull the trigger.

Golly Gee, it would have been cool!!

Instead of one big gassy purchase, I've been futzing with many smaller "improvements".  A new cassette and rear. Fenders here-n-there. New handlebars. Yet another set of tires. I spent numerous days debating having a custom rack for the IF made but quit slightly dissatisfied. GAS does that to you. The pommes frites go down yummily, but what do they give you?

And, BTW, I commuted today, some 14 miles or so. Finally. The good wife even needed me to stop by the grocery on the way home, so into the long Ute bag I put a gallon of milk, a 1/2 gallon of OJ, a six-pack of Schlafly's Winter ESB (#2 almost gone), berries, a salad, and a box of Cheez-itz. Great bike, the Ute.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Productive, fun tempo ride in the parks during Z's track practice under nice conditions- 48F with some sun. Warmed up efficiently and then kept on the gas while doing a reasonable mix of flats with some hills spiced in. The wind was definitely assisting on the Seneca to Cherokee swing. Now it's time for some Xmas lights, given that I'm too spastic to watch the UK/UNC game. No team I dislike more in the universe than UNC. Cocky bluebloods (who back it up).

Thursday, December 01, 2011


  • 556 miles, second highest of year
  • one 100k race
  • one century on birthday
  • one 100k+ gravel training day with compatriots
  • some 'cross viewing
  • plenty of steady, uneventful days
  • not one but two bikes improved (CC and BR)
Good month.

(and December started with a 15m commute)

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: