Thursday, November 29, 2012

Commutes y libras

A quick note that the TexLuavullCycling House has been properly ambitious and diligent this week after a seemingly long grey period. Work is no different. The difficulty that is parent and family life is no different. Economic well-being is no different. (no $550 powerball for us)

What is different is a willingness to not eat like a pig and an equal willingness to *move*. After a long westward commute on Monday, I did the same yesterday. And sandwiched in between was a 1-hour brisk walk Tuesday during soccer practice. There has been activity on google+ with both #NotasFat2013 and #FatBastard circles, folks using social media to motivate and focus on being healthier and hopefully thinner; I have a feeling most of these folks need to drop some pounds. These aren't anorexic/bulimic yoga instructors how are already bottoming out the BMI charts. It's like on-line WeightWatchers. Weird.

But hopefully ambitious, beneficial and supportive over the long run. It takes a village?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Hmmm, seems that today's entry is a bit of a "thought dump", given that I've not really achieved much of late. So:

  • Trying to refocus on some weight loss. Yesterday I hit the same weight I was January 4, 12. I guess it could be worse; I could be heavier. But not good enough.
  • With that, I want to redouble my workout efforts, both mileage and gym. With our schedule getting into the gym is not easy, but again, some things in life aren't easy
  • I've been a Negative Nancy of late. I need to be inspired in some way and things are dull.
  • I switched from the Dirt Drops to the Noodle on the Sogn. I'll be riding that mount tonight, so I'll be able to give my thoughts.
  • I took the westward commute yesterday afternoon, I believe, for the first time this present school year. I rode the Troll hard. It's not the easiest bike to tempo with, but it is comfy. I had some deadness in my right elbow, part of my on-going tendinitis there. I was passed by a roadie on the Beargrass Trail but chose to not Cat6 chase him. I ran across an old man on a hybrid in Seneca Gardens. I did decide to Cat6 dominate him, as a point of pride of course.
  • Pondero doesn't blog terribly often, but when he does it hits the spot. My thanks to him.
  • The RCCS boys did Gravel Grovel this past Saturday. I was at the in-laws house and chose to not brave the 29F for a morning ride. Emblematic. Symptomatic.
  • Fortunately I've got no projects cooking. Perhaps 2013 will be the year of "Ride the One you're with".
  • "All I wanna do, is take a tour." No, really.


Sunday, November 18, 2012


Warning: I'm still wallowing in an anti-miles state of being.

After working from 7-11 volunteering at the dauphin's soccer club tourney, I skipped his afternoon game- the horror!-, took a nap, and then hit the road for a chilly hour and change. I'm still miffed that I can't find my Garmin Edge500; it's small and has fallen behind something and will play hide and seek with me for a few more days. I looked for a while before knocking myself in the head to get moving and not dither, so I dressed and got going. My Precious had a flat, so I change the tube quickly and took her out for a quick roll. As is usually the case, the engine woke up a bit on the superbike. Yes, it is often *the bike* when on that very fresh set of wheels. Why don't I ride it more?!?!

 With no computer or HRM I just rode how I felt, warming up a bit with some flat spinning and then goosed it a bit more in the parks. I'm battling a chest cold, so after 35min I dialed it back a bit on the return loop, but still kept a spunky tempo. I'm not sure I can actually do a 12mph "scenary" ride on My Precious. As the sun lowered I took on a bit of chill with temps at around 60F- for me, tights weather- but kept a bit of pace to keep warm.  My Precious kept me motivated and I spun home with a final avg of 16.4, which is not too far off a "hard" ride when I actually try to ride fast. Food for thought, there.

Why am I frowning?

I am frowning, in fact, because Pondero is putting on a gravel ride and I can't go. He's smiling because he gets to put one on and have some of his bike friends roll 50 miles of Texas gravel bliss. It happens to fall on the closing weekend of the school semester and on the same weekend as our church choir concert, so no Pondero-ing will I make.

I'm also frowning because the rides have been fewer in 2012 and fewer of those rides have been those soul-cleansing, out-in-the-country get lost rides.I'm feeling a it penned in bike-wise to be honest, and that makes me frown a bit.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

USGP 'cross

I decided over the weekend that I want to become a ride whore. I don't actually have the time to be a mileage whore, which is the preferred means of expressing a cycling obsession. Instead, I'm going to try and ride as many days as I can, whether it be a century or a 2m coffee run. Just Ride! After getting back from a soccer tourney in Evansville I hopped on the Sogn and went down to the USGP Derby City Cup, where I met up with Timothy and later Patrick. We roamed around and took in as many of the hot spots that we could. I took a lot of pictures, most of which suck, but that's alright. It was fun and a teeny bit motivating, seeing all those fit bodies out there. Below are a few images. Enjoy!

Katie Compton using some mojo to keep up straight on the nasty tight downslope turn.

Suffer Face amid the trees of Eva Bandman Cyclocross Park

Canadian Emily Batty is a very talented rider.

Old man Tim Johnson leads through first sand run on first lap. I think he finished 4th.

Rawland Sogn along the Butchertown Greenway

Thursday, November 08, 2012

My wife's bike philosophy

I think the wife is irritated with my bike doings in 2012. I went through a very long period of acquisition, but '12 has been a bit more of a "thin" the herd year. I sold the Redline SS and the Bleriot. I passed the Crosscheck down to the 13 yr-old. I tried my darndest to sell the Troll frame but to no avail; basically I did nothing more than spend $ to break it down and set it back up. Stupid, although I'm pleased with the front-load ride test of this past weekend. I bought the Rawland to replace the 650b Bleriot, so really the garage proper is only a net -1.

The intransigent low-trailer Jan Heine recently wrote an article that I find intriguing. I think the title says it all- "Ride the bike you have." Yes, he's in the bike selling biz, or at least the parts selling biz, but it's as good a take as any on the silliness of constantly churning through bikes when miles and happiness can be attained with what is already sitting on your doorstep.

I should take heed.

But first I need to adjust the bars on the Sogn a bit, maybe with some new tape.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Troll the 2nd

Well, if I learned anything from the S24O, it's that the Troll is a perfectly stable ride for touring if, IF, I ride with a balanced load. I know. I KNOW. This is logical and doesn't seem debatable, but it's easy to get roped into a "low-trail, high-trail, rear-loader" caterwaul of a tour load argument. My experiences with the Troll at some measure of load were based on:

  • commutes and errands- only rear load- Troll performed admirably
  • June tour- pretty much rear load- Troll performed adequately
  • August tour- primarily rear with a front bag lashed to the bars a la bikepacking-Troll performed scarily
I considered the third to be the most important, one based on lots of hilly miles and the mixed terrain I cherish. The bike had developed a nasty shimmy which scared me from riding it. I was finished.

Well. I tried to sell the frame and had some suitable suitors, but none bit the bullet so I decided to rebuild and get some use out of it. This time, to test the "balanced load" theory I borrowed Patrick's OMM low-rider rack to share the lbs. wealth across front and back. Results?

Nothing short of shocking. Shimmy? Gone. Wiggles? Gone. Fear? Gone. This bike likes a balanced, low load and rides predictably with one. I feel sort of stupid for not having gone through some further testing before taking the damn bike apart, but live and learn. I will have to beg and plead for a Xmas gift of one of the low-riders. It mounts easily and seems solid with the triangulating brace. I'm a fan.

I wish the frame were one size bigger, but that may have negative impact as well. I'll take it as it. 

Front and balanced-loaded this time.


After doing no bike camping in my entire life, I've now accomplished my 3rd S24O in addition to 2 different tent-bound mini-tours in 2012. I've been complaining of late that 2012 has not offered the best of cycling- fewer miles, fewer distance rides, less gravel, less fitness- but on the camping end I personally have run the gamut from intense heat to cold rain, freezing temps and decidedly non-zombie raccoons.

I'd like to break down last night's endeavour in three stages, as now I've come to realize is the fundamental structure of a S24O.

Stage I- La Abertura- We were to meet at the Loop at 4.30 for a slightly earlier depart. I had some errands to attend to so I showed up early, with Dave shortly thereafter. We waited around for Patrick and proceeded to watch our phones at the big clump of red, yellow and green on the radar. Auspicious.

Pat called/texted and was running late, but this fact change the tenor of Stage I, and perhaps the weekend. While waiting the heavens opened and "rained down with furious anger". Had we left on time the evening would have been a wet and cold one (45F or so). Instead, we waited a bit more and things cleared up. Stage I also included our only mishap, a roofing nail solidly through Patrick's Dureme Impressively the tire held air and we only noticed based on the "tic tic tic" rhythm of the nail hitting the pavement. Once fixed we made steady progress towards our usual destination, Jefferson County Forest. A separate discussion is Louisville's lack of reasonable S24O destinations. For another time.

Stage 1 is the preparation and leg 1. This seems obvious, but this stage is pretty key, what with clothing, food and bike choices. Effect stage 1-ing frames the remainder of the trip. For me, Stage 1 was pretty successful this time out.

Fuzzy pic with the evident downpour
Stage II- Campsite-  So far in my S24O experiences, I think I place too much emphasis on Stage 2 at the expense of 1 and 3. Yes, we arrived, set up, made a fire (Pat actually), wrestled with the demon stove and then ate some crappy food (and a beverage or two). The fire is the best of it all, the sloppiness post-beverage the poorest, I think. It is interesting to refine tent and set-up technique, much less cooking and the like. I decided this morning that I'm finished with pre-packaged sodium bombs. Reasonable food needs to be more of a focus during Stage 2.

Stage 2 also includes "the night's sleep", which for me is total crap shoot. My pad has a small hole, so as was the last time, I awoke at 6.00am with a very flat pad, a need to pee, gas, and train whistles. From there on it was fitful roiling, a podcast, and basic waiting until it was light enough to get up. Just as I've decided that I need to revisit the food thing, I also have to either make sleeping modifications or ride 70 miles to each camp, b/c I sleep like crap in tents.

Stage III Morning Return- Stage 3 is the one that leaves wanting on my part. I think of S1 as the way to get to the event, S2, thereby not appreciating S1. And then S3 is nothing more than returning from S2, thereby negating some sensorial pleasures from S3. Therefore, I pledge to better manage and focus on S3. This morning we woke up quite cold (34F or so?). I was up first so I get some coffee water ready and then started breaking down. The other two rallied shortly thereafter and we broke camp at a leisurely pace.

The descent off Holsclaw was chilly as expected. Making our way through the Iroquois corridor we noticed how aggro drivers were this morning. Really? At 8.30 on a Sunday?

We made our way to Twig-n-Leaf for closing pancakes and coffee. Cold, sweaty, tired, but satisfied.

Damn! I don't do many of the blog posts anymore, so this one is a stilted mess.

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: