Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Muscatatuck/Crosley MT

I have Apertome to thank for introducing me to such a great cycling area, the Muscatatuck NWF just east of Seymour, IN. He lead us on a 48-miler back on a cold February morning in 2011 (pic here and here). I've been back a couple of other times to the area, including June '11 with Michael again, April '11 (here too) w/ Dave and a bit south in March '12 with a crew. Today's route followed Michael's original, but shortened things a bit on the far end, giving us 38 miles on the day. Muscatatuck is a blessed location, with lots of open space, ponds, lakes, woods, gravel and sparse humanity. I enjoy it immensley.

Today Dave, Asher and I met early and drove up for a morning of gravel, VitaminG goodness. It was pretty nippy at around the freezing mark when we started, so each flush of sunshine warmed the body and the soul. We found Muscatatuck as empty as ever, but very chunky. I had forgotten that my headset had previously loosened, and by the end of the main stretch of chunkachunk I had to vigorously hand-tighten it.  We made our way through the "not road" and then onto the benign, bucolic roads to the east and SE of the Muscatatuck River. As an added bonus, we hit an early gravel stretch including a bombing downhill and a steady flat spot to warm things up.

W CR 500S (for future reference. This was under water in mine and Dave's ride around here in April '11)

After a due east run with some fun rollers, we headed north along the graveled CR200W. At some point I began to see a few narsty orange arrows that looked like cycling Dan Henrys as much as anything, including the pic below. Like last time, the textured 10E/25E/10E run north sheltered us with excellent forest (and "US Marshal Hunting club signs on either side) and a variety of dips and descents. We took a left onto the service road of the Crosley Fish and Wildlife area, with its bombing descent and river run before the green bridge. Just after that, we stopped for our lunch break and soaked in some sunshine and calories before the climb out.

The area south gave us most of our gravel, so our return just north of the river was a combination of bumpy roads and pancake flat river plain runs. The sprightly legs of the eastern stretch gave way to slight headwinds and a bit more road lumps to deal with. Stops were made to jettison layers as the temps slowly rose. It was damn fine.

The previous times in M.NWR I used the same "not road" to exit the area to the south. Several maps include another entrance, W CR200S. We found a similar gate and a way to pass, along with a generally passable route back into the WR, so of course, we took advantage. "not road South" is pretty much grass, this one a more varied combo of gravel, grass, briers, logs, and wily vegetation. At the latter end we found a gazebo overlooking one of the lakes and took advantage to view the lake, some birds and generally chill out. From there at my exhortations, the crew agreed to take another tour of the lake route so I could birdwatch bit, which successfully added a few catches to my list.

My final bird list for the day, based on passive viewing and a few stops:
Sharp-shinned hawk (a 1st)
Northern Shoveler (a 1st)
Tundra Swan (a 1st)
great blue heron 2x
red-tailed hawk 2x
turkey vulture- group munching on a dead 'coon
Canada goose
**innumerable small birds that were quicker than I/eye. The birders with their big 'scops were out at M.NWR

Coffeeneuring #4

Controle #4
3.2 miles
Sunergos @ Preston St.

On face value this appears to be a short-n-sweet coffeeneuring trip, a weekend jaunt to earn a cup and treat. In reality, this was a very well-earned effort for a relaxing post-ride repast. The sun indicates that this visit took place during the afternoon, which it did. What is not evident is that we began the day at Sunergos with a pre-trip cup at 7.00 before our drive up to Muscutatuck NWF for a morning of gravel and country riding. Both Asher and I needed to get a coffeeneuring entry in the for the weekend, so after 40 miles of rough stuff, he, Dave and I remounted for a stroll through G'town, exceeding the minimum by a solid mile, and loosening the legs with our 5K coffee stroll. I refortified myself with a cafe au'lait, a preferred drink when I feel like cutting the bitterness of a full cup o'joe. The cookie I threw in as well to replace some calories.

On the drive home we had hemmed-and-hawed as to whether we preferred doing a coffeeneuring trip, instead wanting a full meal to replace our 3-hour calorie burn. Mid-5k, we all agreed that amid the sunshine and relaxed pace, it was the perfect post-ride descanso. And the cup hit the spot.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Well, today I with some great bike friends did a great Fall bike ride on some great rural roads. The leaves are falling, the temperatures crisp, the legs behaving, the camaraderie excellent. Please take a look and enjoy as I did. Route at the bottom.
Descent down Chandler/Martini Ln. in Trimble Co.

Martini Ln.

Sulphur-Bedford road along Little Kentucky River valley. Cemetery, brick farm house, Fall foliage.

Riders yon along the valley.

Hardy Creek Rd. out of Bedford under Fall foliage. Spectacular.

The opening of Georges Creek Rd.

At the bottom of the long, shallow descent of Georges Creek. I stopped to soak in the sun and spy a bird.

Hawk doing his thing.

Limestone rock wall. Very KY.

The gentle ascent up Mill Creek Rd.

Amish brethren up the road a bit. They waved when they turned.

Coffeeneuring #2 and #3

Coffeeneuring Controle 2
19/10/13 Saturday
15 miles
Highland Coffee
Last week I visited Quills first, giving me #1 on the day. Yesterday morning I braved the dank, gray, windy skies and did a little toodle on the Blueridge, through the parks and then to OYLC for some magazine reading. Afterwards, it was a short roll up to Highland Coffee for a short cup and a french toast biscotto, which really wasn't half bad.  The ride was what it needed to be, a not-to-ambitious spin to get the legs moving and get out of the house after a morning of rain. I had the added bonus of seeing a friend and her daughter in the coffee shop; it's nice to make those social connections by happenstance in our small/medium/big town/neighborhood thing.

Controle 3
20/10/13 Sunday
2 miles (the minimum)
This morning held the promise of a vaunted VitaminG(ravel) ride, so my coffee foray was quite a bit different from my previous. I was to leave mid-morning, so today I jumped on the Ute and visited Breadworks for a morning start-up before the "real" riding was to commence. Fact is, this is a coffee run I do constantly on the weekends, the quickie minimum-distance jaunt up to BW for their cup of neutral, solid, unsuspecting coffee and sometimes with some food. This morning is was only coffee, with an extra KleenKanteen thermos full for the extended morning. Inelegant, but fulfilling all the more.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coffeeneuring, Controle 1

In keeping with the 2013 3rd annual CC, I'm now at 1/7. This past Sunday, after a brisk Saturday tempo ride, I rambled and ambled to Quills and then Highland in the same morning, giving me one "check" at my first control. Per rules, I'm going to have a problem with the lack of photo documentation. I did have a g+ check-in at Quills, so that will have to suffice. As to details:

11.4 miles
Ambling, ramling tour with some bird watching and easy miles.
Quills (930 Baxter Rd. location): 1/2 caf au'lait + pumpkin bread. Sat outside and enjoyed the cooling temps.
 Highland Coffee (1140 Bardstown Rd.): small decaf, bacon/parmesan quiche plus a little NYT to pass the time. Busy and found one of the few open tables.

I think some of the rules might put me in a spot of bother, but I will survive. As such 7 different locales could demand a bit more creativity, as I often take advantage of Quills and Highland Coffee. I think I'm up for it, with 6 more trips up until the 11/17 cut-off.

3rd-annual Coffeeneuring Challenge

I'm not sure of my present math status, as just now I learned of the 3rd annual Coffeeneuring Challenge, but this seems right up my alley. It could be a bit tricky in that I have some graveling on the plate in the weekends to come, but I think I can integrate that in with some coffee trips.

I would consider it a perfect weekend to take a Saturday morning tempo ride, a Saturday late morning coffee stroll, a Sunday early coffee stroll and a Sunday morning graveling. Damn! What I need to get out of the rut!

Monday, October 14, 2013


Saturday involved another tempo ride with MachoMan DrewH (not to be confused with OYLCDrewH, but he enters the story later). We took in Jefferson Hill for his first time and then looped back through Iroquois and up the hill, again Drew's first trip up on two-wheels. While taking a looksie at the overlook who but OYLCDrew and Bart rolled up as well, taking advantage of a beaut of a Saturday morning. Great ride, and one felt in the legs later as well.

Fancy bike

Combo of bad pix and haze makes for a really bad image.

Saturday's effort (in addition to some tennis with L; I don't sprint much) had the legs feeling a little gimpy, so Sunday morning meant a free and easy ramble on Seafoam. I feel like the fit is a little better with a better saddle angle and slightly higher bars. I think high bars/low pace is something I have to come to terms with, much like the LHT. I took the east-of-Maple trail and stopped at the Nettleroth Bird Sanctuary within Cherokee and proceeded to hear lots of bird call and saw a total of two freakin' birds. The whole understory forest bird thing seems beyond me. I then rolled down the Beargrass Trail for some more birds and up to Quills for morning coffee. Oh, then to Highland Coffee a .5m away for more coffee.  It was a seriously chill morning.

Later in the afternoon I happened to see Lithodale post a pic of his minions riding at the CycLouvia, which I had completely forgotten about. While his pics seemed a little barren of peoples, but the time I got there it was really, really hopping, more so than last year. Like last time I spent the spin worrying about small children taking perpendicular paths across the roadway, but I saw lots of people I knew, stopped and chatted, and generally had a great time people watching and spinning the QB. I even made use of my Wald basket for the first time on the QB with a fresh 6 of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. The day's total after the two very chill rides was close to 20 miles. Not bad considering.

Looking north just aside St. Francis of Asissi

Jazz band at BooknMusic Exchange. Saw them twice. Fun!

Big-time crowd at Cumberland Brews/ZAs
A little lighter down by Molly's

Monday, October 07, 2013

A sunny, black mood

How better to describe it, a black, obsessive mood, dwelling on this and that, bric-a-brac. The Sogn with its enormous 2.0 Contis felt like I was pulling a stone, maybe even a cement block or three. Ugh! Simply, ugh!

I eventually rolled towards Caperton Swamp where I saw a Downy Woodpecker working on some hanging branches. The swamp is drying up, so no good waterfowl, but the sun shone brightly and the recent rains made for an energetic getaway for our feathered friends in Fall.

As soon as I came home, I traded out the Contis for the Soma Xpress 35s. They're not as bomb-proof, but they're also not as bomb-proof.

A little Vitamin D helps.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Orange and White leave a bite

MachoMan Drew (cancer survivor, #FKYH!) and I spent the morning popping along at tempo for an early 50, fortunately as it were, as the 'Ville area filled with torrential rains that cancelled the very popular St. James Art Show. We did a nice Levee Loop loop, link Audobon, Southern Parkway into Iroquois and then parts SW touching JeffMemForest before a store stop on the southern end. Once on the Levee Trail (which links to the Riverwalk closer to town) we enjoyed a slight tailwind and some spiffy legs, spinning at around 17-18mph, enjoying the effort. Along Can Run Rd. we passed two chaps who seems to have problems steering or something; they were a bit crooked, Mrs. Orange and White. (Mr.& Mr.??) We took the sinuous approach to MillCreek gingerly with the wet surfaces and reappeared onto Lee's Ln and turned up the tempo along Campground, doing a steady 18-20mph, feeling good. Passing through Shawnee we noted the good tiredness in the legs, now 40 miles in. I decided to forgo Bank St. for more Riverwalk roll and in a misty rain decided for a quick M&M (the chocolate and peanut kind) break. Not long after, Lo and freakin' Behold, Mrs. Orange and White reappear, Orange on his hybrid, White on his 80s Schwinn. Oh, the cheek! At this point we couldn't exactly spring around them, so we decided to bide our time and seethe in the inhumanity of the defeat. I even made a little spurt along the right leg of the walk near I64 just to put some pressure on, as I had seen White peeking back. Battle.

Then it happened. About to reconnect with O&W, I looked back to take stock of Drew and there was no Drew. Gone. I backtracked to find him walking, and we know why, don't we? I used my surplus experience to show him the finer nuances of tube changing, only this time using his CO2, which I proceeded to spray about like a fire hose. Oops. Guess I should find a bit more nuance to that cut-off valve. We pumped using my Lezyne until a doughy plumb, adequate at best. Upon removing the Lezyne's valve hose I then proceeded to remove the valve core as well. Er, uh, oops. Nice try, the second pumping. Drew used his second cartridge and got pumped up in about 5sec. Old school loses again.  And speaking of losing, O&W were long gone, reveling in their victory, keeping pace on a gd hybrid and 80s shitty steel. Still smarting now these 5 hours later.

We finished up with 51 miles at a nice 15.1mph pace. A great Saturday morning spent with a hawk or two, a BG Heron, an Eastern Bluebird (Drew's first), the Blue.Jay. and some unattractive drivers who tried to pinch us along Manslick.

As for O&W, next time I use the big ring.

A grand morning, although as often said, red sky at morning, cyclists take morning, this looking west. Rain acoming.

JoeCreason with a variety of textures.

Farnsley-Moorman at the southern end


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: