Thursday, November 28, 2013

Feliz Guajalote!!

The enduring image from this morning's Turkey Ride. We were greeted with temps in the low 20s. Brrr! Asher fought through some front brake troubles with help from Dave and NavyDrew experienced his initiation into super cold weather riding. Poor Barturtle didn't find us until late- and cold- in the ride. I think all of us had some kind of frozen digit complaint, but we endured for an hour+ of riding and post-ride camaraderie at Heine's. Good stuff.  

Feliz Guajalote!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I've gotten FAT

Well, last week I had nothing. The winter blues, SAD, work stress, life stress, it sort of piled on to the undersized running back at the bottom of the linemen heap. Last night we had a good TurkeyDay meal with my dad at Ruth's Chris; a manly steak from there can cure much.

On the bike front I'm pretty pleased that some mileage has started trickling back in to the routine. Mid-week I told myself I would ride myself out of my doldrums, and 4 straight days on the bike has helped, including a nice hills ride with Dave and Barturtle on Saturday morning. Yesterday before dinner and amid some sax clinic taxiing I tested out a new toy (let it be said, my father, however complex, is generous with his capitalist pile) that I picked up last week. I've wanted a fat back for a few years, not really as a "snow" bike but as a fun bike. I see one more as a gravel, adventure, bikepack, muck, goof, snow steed, a fun bike, you know?  I started doing some research recently and pretty easily narrowed it down to a Surly or a Salsa, given the local options of shops to work with and price point. I really thought I was going to buy a Surly Pugsley or Pugs Op from my lbs, OYLC, but then I ran across some info of frame cracking, or at a minimum, powder-coat cracking. After my Troll experience, it just wasn't that hard to turn me on to something different. A sort of new-ish shop in the area, Main Street Bikes, in Shelbyville about 25 miles away (hometown of my grandmother), had not 1 but 2 Mulkluk2s in stock a S and a M. I decided to head out and test the Salsas, and if that didn't float, then I still had a Surly product as an option.

After testing both, I decided on the S, even though the overly small frame on the Troll was a questionable factor. Fact is, my back has been a little tweaky lately, and the M made my back hurt, so S it was.

This story is longer than expected. Yesterday (Sunday) I grabbed my window and gave the Mukluk a spin in Cherokee, a bit on the trails and a bit in the slop. As read, the Mukluk steers pretty straight- supposedly for snow carving- and requires some mojo as a pure trail bike; most of the webbage suggested that the Pugs was much more "mt.bikey". That being said, it was goofy fun on the trails, and I found myself clearing some stuff with ease that gives me pause on the front-suspended 29er. I sit here at 6.35am believing in all my heart that I'll go out to find a flat front tire, because I slammed that sucker hard a couple times, and the concept of tire pressure is like astrophysics with a fattie.

I'll do a more appropriate review of some type at some point, but suffice to say it was very fun and I look forward to my next ride. Bikepacking adventure, anyone? DBNF?

And finally, amid my recent blackness, I bring you to a post and quote from Frontage Roads. I read it and for some reason, it clicked measurably.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the day to day crap and get lost. I’ve been a victim of that lately. Worrying about the small things, makin’ them bigger things than they need to be. I’m tryin’ to work through that. Pushing through the monotony and looking ahead. What’s that called when you are on the bike? Target Fixation, that’s it. Try to avoid the rock, but you stare at it and your run right into it and boom, fall down. Look where you want to go and not where you are. Focus on the horizon ya dingus!

 Yes, for sure.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

A Coffeeneuring#7/Bird/'Cross Ramble

9/11/13 Saturday
Location: Please & Thank You, 800 E.Market St. Louisville 40206
Miles: 22

Today was a vastly rambling ramble, all with the sub/con/pre/uber-text that I felt like crap, rode like crap, and give my own half-empty reality 2 stars, but in the end it was a pretty decent way to spend a Saturday morning. The fam had activities, so I loaded up the QB for some spotty bike-related activity.

Caperton Swamp
Birds were on the menu first. Actually I intended to do a kind of bike-n-bird at several locations, but we'll get to that. Starting off was a bit chilly at 38F, but the sun did a nice job warming things up. Once at Caperton I parked the QB and used the glasses for a while:

Northern Cardinal (otherwise known as a gd "cardinal")
Carolina Chickadee
Carolina Wren
White-breasted Nuthatch
Tufted Titmouse
Black vulture
Mallard Duck
Great Blue Heron (@ Eva Bandman)
**flycatcher of some kind
**warbler of some kind
**fuzzy mammal tail of some kind. Red n bushy. Didn't look like a squirrel's

Have I mentioned that I'm really not very good at all those damn little brown birds in the bushes?

This weekend is the Derby City Cup, of which I forgot while planning my bird-n-bike ramble. I fought a stupid wind coming down River Rd. and stopped to gander for a while at the 'cross races, although it was early, so only the midget children were racing. Too bad their 50lb bodies are still faster than mine. I might venture down tomorrow for the pros, but I'm sitting here today planning my nap instead.

Once I left I looped downtown to visit the downtown Sunergos for my coffeeneuring stop. It first led me to find that the downtown Sunergos is no more than a coffee stop, not really shop. More so, it's closed on the weekends. Hmm. One gent came out of an adjacent building and informed me of the Atlantic 5 cafe (which serves Sunergos), which I couldn't find. It looks nice in the pics. I think I missed it because I was arguing with some old, drunk-looking crackhead from IN who almost took me up speeding up the right side basically halfway in my lane. I yelled and he retorted something about "downtown". I encouraged him to take his talents back to IN.

After strike #2 I decided to toodle back towards NuLu where I stopped at Please & Thank You, which is a twee little shop that serves lots of goodies including coffee, which I bought a nice Kleen Kanteen of.  It's nice enough that the tables were pretty much filled, so I sat outside and ate my "egg slider", which was a perfectly good egg n cheese sandwich on a bun. I suspect the preciousness of the established is counterbalanced which what apparently are outofthisworld cookies. I wish I had known. NuLu is sort of hip now, so you should probably check it out, I guess. It has a record shop somewhere in there.

The rest
The coffee was good and hot, so I departed and with my hot thermos and went up to OYLC where I basically the next 1.5hrs. I drank, read, yapped, yammered, and twerked. They had just ordered lunch from Molly Malones (black bean burgers) so I added one on and enjoyed Derek's fine bicycle delivered vegan fare. Jimmy and I talked a fair amount of youth soccer and 'cross and I just whiled away some time not being at work and not raking leaves.

I arrived with a sore back, sore legs (Whew!! 22 miles!), and a generally grumpy disposition. I don't really know how people live in super-windy locales, because the 55F, 25mph wind gusts whipping in from the west weren't high on the list of fun.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

E County Road 250S

January 2011

October 2013

Holland-Patoka RiverNWR MT

It's Tuesday morning and I'm still tired from this ride. I have a niggling cold that is taking the edge off of my sleep efforts, but fundamentally it was 45 tough miles of gravel, rollers, or a combo of the two. This course was very similar to the RCCS ride out of Holland in early '11, but the again, that ride was in 5" of snow and began in single digit temps. Sunday Bartutle, Asher and I had clement, clue Fall skies with temps eventually nearing 60F.

The pre-stage, though JoeCreason on the way to meet my ride at Sunergos.

Early rollers

First gravel

"Road". We don't get many dirt roads around here.

Lake Helmerich, which has a gated, security-carded community surrounding it. A wrong turn led us to a discussion with a nice jogger lady about how to get through, but we eventually turned around.

Tree tunnel along IN64

Patoka River running a little frisky

We entered the PRNWR at the eastern end, which is smartly almost cut off in this finely framed pic.

My fav, "not-roads"

puente cerrada, an excuse for a water stop

We entered the Pike State Forest/PRNWR area again and found a long stretch of gravel, abruptly interrupted by Asher's flat tire.

Our "coffeeneuring coffee without walls" stop, where Asher and I had some coffee I had carted all the way from Sunergos. It was still warm-to-slightly-above-warm. Yeah Kleen Kanteen!

Back down towards the bridge across the Patoka. We had a short, nice convo with a hunter there as he and his buddy took their small boat out. They had been bow hunting deer from the small boat. I can't even imagine a deer fitting in it with the two of them.

Dave won't remember, but this roller-y stretch in the snow convinced him to turn south and towards the car back in '11. He was on 700x42s on the LHT, probably a good decision.

Somewhere in the general return I began to legitimately trail. I was pretty cooked. I had done a burst of speed coming due east on CR250S in some gravel and that was a really dumb decision. I tailed along this open stretch for a while before their slackened pace allowed me to catch up.


Our last gravel run. I walked at the top of that little kicker there, and was mostly out of gas at this point. Better food/drink management would have helped, but the rollers had taken their toll.

Really dumb property entrance at that gravel turn.
Not far from the end of our last gravel turn I again got tailed off on IN64. When we made our turn south I eventually caught up and informed the motley crew that I was cutting things a couple miles short and they complied. We eventually a couple mile turn along the slightly busy 161, but traffic was courteous and gave us space. Asher took both the town sprints and we celebrated by taking chowing at Waffle House in Corydon down the road a bit (after the old man feel asleep for a short turn). I love that area and have thoroughly enjoyed myself the 3 or 4 times I've visited. At more than an hour, the transpo leg is a little long to go more than once or twice a year, but it's well worth it, especially in Fall.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Coffeeneuring #6

Control #6
45 miles of mixed-terrain
coffee, black

My Coffeeneuring Challenge in nearing its close, and today Asher and I added a coffee stop with the "Shop without Walls" with an excellent cup o' joe along the Patoka River in the PatokaRiverNWR during our 45-mile mixed-terrain ride today. It was perfectly place along the northern boundry of the ride, the sun shining along the banks provided a welcome respite for our tough, satisfying route up to that point. Prior to the ride we met at Sunergos where I purchased a nice, hot Kleen Kanteen thermos of regular, black coffee which I carried with me for those 30 bumpy, hilly miles. We sat by the bank and shared a thermos and rested the legs a bit while having a snack.

As to rules, fug 'em. We had coffee. We used the bike to reach said coffee. It was great.

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: