Another Wasted Weekend

This was a three-day weekend for me due to the holiday.  I had intended to take advantage of it with a mix of bike riding and yardwork.  The weather was hot and sunny.

I spent the entire three days laying bed.

When I woke up Saturday, my right shoulder/neck/upper back/right arm area was extremely sore.  I thought maybe I had just slept wrong.  Just thinking about riding a bike made me hurt.

As the day went on, it got worse.  I had been up moving around the house.  I took a shower.  I continued to get worse.  It was major pain that made doing anything impossible.  I couldn’t sit in a chair.  I couldn’t stand up for long.  Laying in bed with my right arm over my head was the only thing that eased the pain a little.

I had little sleep on Friday night.  Laying in bed during the day naturally led to falling asleep.  Sleeping though agonizing pain is a great thing… when you can do it.  I slept most of Saturday.

When evening came, I knew I’d be in trouble.  I figured I wouldn’t be able to sleep.  I was wrong.  I slept though the night and into mid-morning Sunday.

I had been taking an anti-inflammatory to combat the pain.  It had a limited effect.

Sunday was slightly better, but I was still mostly bed-ridden.  I didn’t sleep the day away, but read several books on my Kindle.

Sunday night sucked.  I was in too much pain.  I kept my wife up with my bitching and moaning.

Today (Monday) started bad, but got better toward the evening.  I read another book on the Kindle.

By evening I was able to sit at the computer for brief periods.  I hauled my recumbent bike out of the basement and prepared it for tomorrow’s commute.  Riding an upright bike is out of the question right now.

What caused this?  I have a few ideas.  I have arthritis in my right shoulder.  I have an mostly-constant stiff neck.  The two are probably related.

Last Saturday (the 21st) I rode 94 miles on my LHT to Danville.  My neck had been bothering me before the trip.  On Sunday I rode another 42 miles.  I also commuted on an upright bike every day.

When riding a road bike you actually have to tilt your head backward to see straight ahead.  I think I strained a muscle in there somewhere.  I believe it’s causing a pinched nerve.

I have an appointment with my doctor in about a week.  In the meantime I’m going to try to see a chiropractor.  I’ve never been to a chiropractor before, but this is way beyond what a massage therapist can handle.

Last-Minute RCCS Ride on Sunday

Ohio River

Ohio River

Tim and I invited Ian to join us last Sunday for a coffee ride going to Floyd’s Knobs.  I meant to write about this earlier, but I’ve been busy.

This was not an advertised ride.  We planned it at the last minute via email.  Tim devised a route that meant climbing up Edwardsville Hill, going into Floyd’s Knobs, stopping for coffee, then coasting downhill into New Albany.

It was fun to watch Ian ride his Big Dummy that he normally uses to deliver soup with.  He had no issue keeping up with us, even on the long climb.  I was the one that fell back.

I was sunburned from my Danville trip the day before.  I failed to put on sunblock yet again, so I added to the sunburn.

I didn’t take many pictures.  I didn’t take any of us or our bikes.

Through the Trees

Through the Trees

It was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.  I had 42 miles by the time I got home.  Then I did yardwork, again without applying sunblock.

Saturday Ride to Danville

Life has been a little crazy.  That’s part of the reason for not posting much recently.  I needed a change.  Saturdays are normally spent doing things with my wife.  My wife was going to Danville to spend some time with family and wanted me along.  I decided to ride there and meet her.

I had intended to leave by 4:00am.  I wanted to leave myself plenty of time to get there.  I’m notoriously bad at getting up in the morning, so I didn’t roll out until 6:30.

I was wearing unpadded baggy cycling shorts and a short sleeve jersey.  It was a bit chilly heading out the door.

When planning a group ride, I avoid busy roads as much as possible.  I enjoy riding along side other riders, and I can’t do that on the shoulder of a busy highway.  This was a solo ride, so although I prefer quiet roads, I chose the busier roads when they saved distance.

Leaving Louisville was pretty tame due to the early hour on a Saturday.  Once out on Rehl Rd, I saw a peacock on top of a house.  I had no idea we had peacocks around this area.

It was a bit hazy in the morning, but it made for enchanting scenery.

I joined back up with Taylorsville Rd near Fisherville, and noticed this amusing sign.

I turned south on State Road 2278, which was a beautiful green tunnel.

It inspired me to attempt some nature shots.

I had to fit the bike into a shot as well.

I continued to Wilsonville where this derelict building caught my eye.

I kept reminding myself not to dawdle.  I wasn’t feeling strong, and wasn’t making good time.  I didn’t want to hurry, I wanted to just enjoy the ride, but I also didn’t want tension with my wife for not being on time.

I was now over three hours into the ride.  I stopped to move a turtle out of the road.  I saw two more turtles later.

Again, I was running behind, but the Kentucky countryside wanted to be photographed.  This was Elk Creek Rd, which just was stunning overall.  I didn’t take as many pictures there as I should have.

I stopped in Taylorsville to refill water and get more snacks.  I quickly left town and was enjoying the countryside again.

When I first spotted this road, I thought I’d need to remember it for a future mixed-terrain ride.  I love the gravelly, hilly, twisty road.  Unfortunately, it’s a dead-end.

This cow was unconcerned with my presence.

There was a store stop in the tiny town of Willisburg.  I guess it’s relatively well known by some cyclists.  I’d never heard of it.  I spotted five bikes parked along the side.

I had never heard of Kirk bicycles, but they appear to be a custom framebuilder.  Check out the curvy seat stays.

This bike was an odd one.  It’s a Rivendell Rambouillet.  The bladed spokes and threaded to threadless stem adapter look very out of place on this bike.

The owners of these bikes were inside eating.  I was in a hurry, and I’m an introvert, so I didn’t try to talk to them.  I’m sure they saw me through the window taking pictures.

I grabbed more liquids and a snack and headed back out.  I was definitely going to be late at this point.

Just outside of Willisburg, I ran into Perry.  He’s touring the Trans-America from Virginia to Oregon.  I didn’t get a picture, and I was quickly on my way again.

One of the better roads on the route was White Hall Rd.  It was a wonderfully rural stretch.

I planned my route ahead of time and put it in the GPS as a series of tracks.  Then it was simple to follow the line on the screen.  I used RideWithGPS to plan the route.  The mapping data comes from Google maps, which like all maps isn’t always correct.

I was approaching a left turn, but there was no road to turn unto.  I was almost to Danville, but not having this turn meant I would be turning away from Danville, and I’d have to backtrack.  It would add several miles to the ride.

At this point I called my wife to let her know I was going to be late.  I was surprised to learn she hadn’t left Louisville yet, so I could still beat here there.

I continued southwest on US68 toward Perryville.  This detour worked well.  There was a corner store/gas station.  I was feeling weak and needed food.  I intended to buy more junk food, but they had real food there, made to order.  It was almost like a restaurant.

I took some time to eat and drink before heading east on US150.  The last stretch of road to Danville was not the most pleasant, but at that point I just wanted to arrive.  I was exhausted.

I rode 94 miles for the day.  It was a good day, but I was glad I could drive the truck home later.

Bike to Work Day

Okay, everyday is bike to work day for me, but today was the city-sponsored event.  I managed to get my daughter out of bed early so we could get to Seneca park by 7:00.  There were two TV stations there and several dozen people, including Mayor Greg Fischer.

I didn’t bring a camera and I avoided the media crews.  I introduced my daughter to many of the people I know.  It made me realize just how many people I have gotten to know over the last few years because of bicycling.

The group eventually headed toward downtown with the mayor near the front of the pack.  I hung back with my daughter.  We went to Fourth Street Live and regrouped there.  There were quite a few people there, as there were several other meeting spots that all rode to the same downtown location.

I went to work while my daughter ran errands downtown.

We met back up for lunch, and were joined by David Morse.  After lunch there were some give-aways.  My daughter won a Donkey Boxx from On Your Left Cycles.  I installed the Donkey Boxx on her bike before she left.

I’m preparing to ride to Danville Kentucky in the morning.  I’ll be meeting my wife there.  She’s driving there for a family get-together.  I’m keeping this post short.  I need to get the bike ready and get bed.

Never a Dull Moment

Three Amigos

Three Amigos

Early Morning Meeting

I was up at 3:30am.  I had time to do some bike maintenance, yet I put it off again.  I had an early appointment before work.

I headed out while it was still dark.  I was riding the single-speed.  About half way to work, the chain came off.  Rather than loosen the rear wheel to fix it properly, I managed to get the chain back on.

I got to work, and changed clothes.  I then grabbed the folding bike that I hauled to work yesterday and carried it across the street to Java Brewing Company.  I was meeting Chris aka Pondero and Tim.

Chris lives in Texas, and I’ve only known him via his blog.  He has a couple of really nice bikes, and some wonderful Texas Prairie roads to ride them on.

He is in town for a conference.  We arranged to meet up.  I thought it would be a good idea to let him borrow my folding bike to check out town.  I don’t know if he’ll have much time to ride, but I’d hate for him to have the time and not be able to take advantage of it.

The visit was brief, but it was nice to chat and drink coffee.  Chris pedaled off to get back to work.  Tim and I sat around and talked bikes a bit longer before I went back to work.

The picture above was shamelessly stolen from Chris’s blog.  There are a few more there.

Should Have Fixed it Right

After work, I had an appointment to donate blood.  I headed out and quickly regretted not fixing my bike properly.  I dropped the chain again while riding 20mph in traffic.  I managed to safely move over and fix it.  While pulled over on the sidewalk, Asher rode by, then turned around to check on me.  I talked briefly to him.  One of his co-workers was hit by a car.  I don’t know the guy, but I guess his injuries are minimal.

Oops

After donating blood, I was on a less-familiar road trying to get home.  I ended up hitting a concrete median and going down.  Yes, it was stupid.  I was looking behind me at traffic instead of where I was going.  Nothing was damaged, and I wasn’t hurt.  Mostly I just pulled a muscle while trying to (unsuccessfully) prevent myself from falling.

Food!

Once home, my wife wanted to go out to eat.  Part of me said “Yay! Beer!”.  Another part said “and I was doing so good today”.  We went somewhere without beer.  I had a small salad and a piece of fish.  I still did okay.

Time to Fix The Bike

After dinner, I properly fixed my single-speed.  Drew at On Your Left Cycles had mentioned that the chain probably needed a link removed.  I didn’t want to spend the time or the money, so I passed.  So, I have a chain tool.  I removed the chain and cleaned it thoroughly.  I shortened it, and reinstalled everything, then re-lubed the chain.  It should be good for a while longer now.

I’m having issues with the freewheel on the single-speed.  It works okay, but it’s now noisy and the chain tension varies.  The right answer is a new, better quality freewheel.  Drew has some nice looking ones from White Industries, but I’ll ride this one until it’s non-functional.  If it happens on a ride, well, I’m running a flip-flop hub, so I can flip the wheel over and run fixed until I get a new freewheel.

A Good Day

Even with the minor wreck and mechanical issues, I had a good day.  There was good company in the morning.  I enjoyed spending time with my wife and eating healthy at a restaurant.

Beautiful Monday

I did head out last night for a wander after dark.  I explored a few streets that I hadn’t been on before.  I cruised through a couple of alleys.  I eventually found my way to Cumberland Brews for some Red Ale.  If I had known about the Red Hot Mocha Porter, I might have tried that.  That’s alright, I’ll save it for next time.

I sent a text to Tim, and he rode his Ute up to join me.

We talked bikes.  We watched the people walking up and down Bardstown Rd.  We couldn’t stay long, we both had to work in the morning.  I had a few more beers than he did.

Waking today was rough.  The fact that I showered, rode to work, and made it on time despite the hangover is a testament to it being a great day.

The beautiful Spring weather is here, possibly temporarily.  It was sunny and in the mid-60s when I left this morning.  I was wearing my work clothes and didn’t immediately notice that I forgot my helmet.  I didn’t bother turning around for it when I did realize it.

Human power?

Human power?

I went for a walk at lunchtime.  The 21C Hotel always has some interesting art out front.  Now, it appears to be some bizarre human-powered transportation with Cuban license plates.

The commute home was pleasant.  It was clear and warm.  People were friendly.  When I was nearly home I saw my daughter riding her bike the other way.  We stopped and talked.  She was riding to the library to check out some books.  She invited me to come along, but I had things to do at home.

There is rain in the forecast, so I wanted to get the lawn mowed.  I needed more gasoline for the lawnmower.  I grabbed the gas can and walked a couple of blocks to the gas station.  At $3.89 per gallon it cost me about $10.50 to fill up the can.

There was a rumor at the gas station that the price would be $4.01 by tomorrow morning.

$10.50?

$10.50?

I’m glad I rarely buy gas.

My daughter called me from the library.  She was approached by David Morse, from CART (and he helps Bicycling For Louisville).  He’s photographing bicyclists in town.  He grabbed a couple of photos for his project.  He did share them with me later.

Dawn - still new at this cycling thing

Dawn - still new at this cycling thing

Later when Dawn got back from the library, the two of us took the dogs for a walk down to Sunergos.  It was really too late (and a bit warm) for me to want coffee, but I did have an iced drink.

My dogs are overweight and out of shape.  The last stretch on the way home really did them in.  They’ll sleep well tonight.

Overall it was a good day.  It was better than many and great for a Monday.

Tomorrow will be a different adventure.  There is a 50% chance of thunderstorms.  I actually enjoy riding in a storm as long there’s no hail and the temperature is warm enough.

Weekend Rides

Wandering possum in someone's front yard

Wandering possum in someone's front yard

Saturday was the Kentucky Derby.  I’ve been to a few horse races at Churchill Downs, but I really don’t want to get into the craziness or expense of the Derby.  I won’t even go near there during Oaks Day (Friday).

A local bike shop had the idea to ride to Churchill Down early on Saturday.  Tim let me know, and I joined him.  Apparently one of the bike shop owners had too much to drink on Oaks day and wasn’t prepared to get up for a 6:00am ride.  So the ride was just Tim and I.

The bars were open until 6:00am, so riding down Bardstown Rd at 5:30 was interesting.  I nearly hit a pedestrian who probably had tunnel vision.  The people-watching was fun.

Tim and I headed out to Churchill Downs.  There was quite the crowd trying to get in the gate.  Traffic wasn’t too bad yet, but we knew it would get worse, and didn’t want to hang around.

Sunrise over Churchill Downs

Sunrise over Churchill Downs

I managed to stick the front of my camera through the fence and get a shot of a horse.  I don’t follow horse racing, and have no idea which horse it was, but he was not happy.

Unhappy horse

Unhappy horse

We continued on with a thought of climbing the hill at Iroquois Park, but decided against it.  Tim wasn’t feeling well, and I needed coffee.  We eventually ended up at Sunergos for coffee and carbohydrates.

After a little more riding we ended up at Breadworks, which is better know for their baked goods, but have reasonable coffee also.  At this point Tim headed home and I did a little more wandering.

Tim managed to take better pictures.

Today, Sunday, I slept a little later.  I eventually rode to Quill’s Coffee for some excellent coffee and a muffin.  I’ve since found out Quill’s has a few bicycle connections.

Tim met up with me at Quill’s and we headed out for a leisurely ride through Cherokee Park.  He later complained about my route choice.  :)

The weather was beautiful and the park was full of young women jogging.  It doesn’t get much better.

I did end with a flat on my single-speed.  A small, really small, absolutely tiny, piece of glass found it’s way through the tire and punctured the tube.  I’ve been running the Panaracer Pasela tires on this bike.  They’re not flat-resistant like the Schwalbe Marathon tires on my LHT.  The Paselas do ride nicer though.

My Paselas have seen some miles.  The rubber at the tread had gotten rather thin, therefore easy to puncture.  I have had several flats in the last month, so it’s time to do something about it.

After changing the flat, I rode up to Vic’s, because I figured he might have the TourGuard version of the Pasela in stock.  He did, and I rode out with two new tires.

These new tires are cheaper than the Marathon.  They ride nicer than a Marathon.  They still aren’t as tough as a Marathon, but should be an improvement.  I have the old Paselas in my basement now to use if needed.

After leaving Vic’s I wandered home.

Now it’s evening, and I’m planning another in-town ramble.  I’m going solo, but I just feel the need to stretch the legs and let the stress loose.

Cleaned The Commuter

My single-speed has become my commuter bike.  It was supposed to be my light and simple bike.  It has since sprouted fenders, rear rack, lights, handlebar bag, small saddlebag, and a bigger pump.

At some point I’ll add tougher tires and dyno-hub powered lighting.

I did some work on the bike a few days ago.  Yesterday I cleaned the bike again and adjusted everything.  I thought it was a good opportunity for a photo.  I’ll clean the wheels next time.  :)

Sunday Ride and Bike Issues

Tim invited me out for a Sunday morning ride.  I didn’t ride on Saturday due to yardwork responsibilities.

It was raining on Sunday morning, but we waited until about 10:30 to meet, and the rain had mostly stopped by then.

I don’t know where we went.  I didn’t have my GPS to track the route.  I was riding the single-speed.  We did stop for a sandwich at some place near downtown.  I had to stop multiple times to tighten my left crank arm.  I’ve been having that issue for a few days.

At one point we rode across what appeared to be mud… then we smelled it.  It smelled like sewage.  We turned around.  I was glad to have fenders on the bike.

We ran into Ian (from SoupByCycle) and his wife at a neighborhood event.

I put in just over 20 miles.  When I got home, I hosed the sewage off the bike and carried it inside.  I then noticed a slow leak in the rear tire.

I pulled the left crank and cleaned everything.  I greased the threads on the crank bolt and thoroughly tightened everthing.  I changed the tube in the rear tire.  I replaced the brake pads.  I wiped down the parts of the bike that were still wet.

I rode it to work today and the crank bolt was still tight when I got home.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

A Nice End To A Rough Week – Century Ride

Last week was grueling.  Tim apparently had the same issue and decided a century ride would be a good way to stay sane.  Being on the edge of sanity myself, I joined him.

Heading out through Cherokee Park

Heading out through Cherokee Park

After heading out through St. Matthews (and stopping at an ATM) we took Westport Rd out to Freys Hill Rd and through EP Tom Sawyer State Park.  We eventually made our way out to Reamers Rd via Old Lagrange Rd.

Tim on Old Floydsburg Rd

Tim on Old Floydsburg Rd

We had the wind at our backs and we kept up a pretty good pace for a while.

Chapel with well manicured lawn

Chapel with well manicured lawn

The sky looked like it could rain.  I was a little chilly in a short sleeve jersey and cycling shorts.  Tim had prepared for the weather better than I.

Blues and greens

Blues and greens

As we continued the clouds broke up and the sun warmed me.

Just a little gravel

Just a little gravel

At one point on the route Tim’s GPS disagreed with mine.  We stopped and looked, but my GPS had us turning down a gravel road.  It was Tim’s route, and he was free to choose the direction.  He was riding his “fast” bike which isn’t necessarily ideal on gravel, but he was adventurous enough to try it.  The gravel was actually rather smooth.

Brashears Creek Rd was pleasant

Brashears Creek Rd was pleasant

We stopped in Shelbyville for water and snacks.  The gas station we stopped at had pork chop sandwiches.  That was a nice change.

Cockpit view

Cockpit view

Brashears Creek Rd took us to Taylorsville.  We stopped first at a Dairy Queen for a burger and a Blizzard.

Brashears Creek?

Brashears Creek?

I also refilled my water bottles again in Taylorsville.

Tim getting passed

Tim getting passed

Leaving Taylorsville meant heading northwest, into the wind, and a 1.2 mile climb up Elk Creek Rd.

Blue, Brown, and Green

Blue, Brown, and Green

Along this stretch we were getting tired.  Tim said it was his legs.  My legs were fine, I just felt exhausted.

Tim shows us how he really feels

Tim shows us how he really feels

I was still in good spirits.  This was a great way to spend a Friday.

Moving self-portrait (don't try this at home)

Moving self-portrait (don’t try this at home)

Rolling along 155 wasn’t peaceful, but at least the shoulder was wide.

Traffic on Taylorsville Lake Rd

Traffic on Taylorsville Lake Rd

It wasn’t long before we were back in Louisville.  On road had changed to one-way since Tim had last ridden it, but we were too tired to re-route, so we carefully rode the wrong way for about two blocks.

Once we were near his house, Tim peeled off to go home.  I went out for a beer.  I was tired, sunburned, and covered in salt, but I felt good.

This wasn’t the hardest ride I’ve ever done.  It was interesting to do a century with almost no planning.  I rode 109 miles.  That’s my 2nd highest mileage day yet.

Tim’s write-up
All the pictures