30 Days of Biking – Day 30 – Soggy

Notice the flooding coming up on the sidewalk
Notice the flooding coming up on the sidewalk

I rode to work and then back home in warm weather.  The afternoon sky smelled of rain, but I never felt a drop.  The 7.7 mile round-trip was my normal route.

After I got home and took care of the dogs I rode out to Baxter Jack’s to watch Robin play volleyball.  It started raining on the way.  Once I locked up and got to the covered deck the skies opened up.  It was really raining.

Once the storm passed, the volleyball games began.  I watched her team lose (ouch).  She had things to do, so we went our separate ways.  I didn’t want to come straight home.  It was raining, but not the torrential downpour we had earlier.  I was still dressed for work, business casual, not the ideal wet weather gear, but I didn’t care.

I continued to Cumberland where I stopped for a beer and burger.  I took the long way home from there, adding another 7.8 miles for the day, and completing my 30 Days of Biking project.

My mileage total for the month was 300.3.  That’s not a great month for me, but considering how poorly this year has gone with my neck issues, it is an improvement.  Here are the miles numbers for the year so far:

Month Miles
January 160.6
February 164.0
March 240.3
April 300.3

I forced myself to ride every day of the month, even if it were a very short ride, to get back in the habit of riding everywhere.  Earlier in the year I took a bus, cab, or hitched a ride too often.  I think I’m back on the bike for good now.  I won’t be posting about every day’s ride, and I may not ride if I’m not going anywhere.

 

30 Days of Biking – Day 28 – Bricks

Asher mentioned that he wanted to get out on a ride Saturday.  He also mentioned some beast called Peterson Avenue, which I’d never heard of.  I basically said that I can handle any in-town terrain on my single-speed.  We met up and headed out.

We did a couple of warm-up climbs on Eastern Parkway, and in Cherokee Park.  I fell behind because I’m out of shape, and I was riding a single-speed, but I did as I expected and just kept going.

When we made a turn on to Peterson Ave, I then understood the challenge.  It’s a steep, if short climb.  No problem there.  The problem is the surface.  It’s a very bumpy brick road.  I made it about 1/3 of the way up before dismounting and walking.  Asher rode to the top.  Walking on cleats on a brick road was not my favorite way to do this.

We eventually worked our way to River Road and stopped at The Black Spring, a very unique bike shop.  After looking at cruiser bikes (just for fun), we ate some BBQ from a new business that shares space with the shop.

Once fueled again, we headed toward downtown, where we passed a lost-looking guy on a hybrid bike.  We passed him at a good clip, then I noticed he caught up with us easily and stayed right behind me.  Asher and I chatted with him a bit.  Ed was here on business and rented a bike after arriving in town.  He’s a serious cyclist.  He used to be a full-time commuter in San Diego, and currently is a part-time commuter in Salt Lake City.

We gave him a tour of Portland, the West End, and part of the Riverwalk before he headed back to his hotel.  He mentioned how flat the area was.  Although Louisville is flat compared to where he’s from, he missed the hills we were on earlier.

I ended the day with 35.6 miles and still had time to get a bunch of yardword done then wander around the neighborhood with Robin for the Schnitzelburg Beer Walk until a thunderstorm with hail chased us to shelter.

30 Days of Biking – Day 26 – Birthday

On my way home from work
On my way home from work

Yes, Thursday was my birthday.  I rode my normal 7.7 mile commute.  After I got home, Robin treated me to dinner at Za’s Pizza.  We were joined by my daughter and her boyfriend, and Robin’s daughter.

I drank beer and ate too much pizza, just like most days.

Not much else to say.  I had a good time, but I didn’t “ride my age” or anything like that.

30 Days of Biking – Day 25 – Eventful

I had a busy day.  I had to take the Big Dummy to the bike shop after work.  I needed transportation after dropping it off, so I rode the Big Dummy to work, towing the single-speed.  I’ve often called my Big Dummy a gravel truck.  It was more of a tow truck today.

Tow Bike
Tow Bike

Riding the bike like this was fine.  It handled better than expected.  Moving it around while not riding it was problematic.  When I got to work, I had to leave it in the hallway.  I also couldn’t turn it around, so at the end of the day I went out a different set of doors.

I rode this contraption to On Your Left Cycles and unhooked the bikes.  I dropped off the Dummy and rode the single-speed to Popalino’s Pizza for Car-Free Happy Hour.

There was a chance of strong storms around 5:00pm, but they never materialized.  We just had light rain.  That seems to have scared off some of the CFHH crew, as there were only about ten of us there this time.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I have plans to spend time with Robin and my daughter.  Robin surprised me by having a cake at Popalino’s when I got there. She had other plans for the evening and couldn’t be there.  The cake was a really nice touch.

Cake!
Cake!

After things wrapped up, I headed home, but had to stop at the gas station… for a picture.

$3.99
$3.99

30 Days of Biking – Days 22, 23, and 24

Sunday – Day 22

I met up with Tim for a Coffee ride.  We started at Heine’s, had an urban ride around town, and ended at Quill’s.  I then walked across the street to Vic’s Classic Bikes and looked around.

At Vic’s I met Emily.  She moved to Louisville recently from Minneapolis.  Louisville’s bike scene doesn’t compare with Minneapolis, but I told her about car-free happy hour.  She won’t make this month’s event (Wednesday), but maybe next month.

Quill's is good!
Quill's is good!

Monday – Day 23

Monday was my normal 7.7 mile round-trip commute.  I then rode in a car with Robin to a Maker’s Mark event where we learned about the Mint Julep.

Maker's Mark
Maker's Mark

After this event, I went with Robin where she played volleyball.  I drank beer and had a burger.  I was stuffed and feeling a bit ill by the time I got home, but not enough to keep me from playing with my new Kindle that arrived.

Kindle Touch
Kindle Touch

My old Kindle was the model with the keyboard.  It was damaged when the Big Dummy fell over while unloading groceries.  I replaced it with the Kindle Touch.  I’m not sure if I like the touch screen more than the old keyboard or not.  I did get a leather case for it this time to protect it from my stupidity.

Tuesday – Day 24

I had trouble getting up after consuming too much on Monday and staying up too late reading, but I did manage to drag myself to work on the the bike.  Again, the 7.7 mile commute.

Once I was home, I wanted to fix the flat tire on the Big Dummy.  It took me a while to find the tiny piece of glass in the tire that has repeatedly punctured the tube, but I feel more confident about the tires now.

I also discovered that the Big Dummy will sit happily on the kickstand without a rear wheel in place.

Hover Dummy?
Hover Dummy?

I’m not getting a ton of miles in, but I am riding every day.  That feels good.  The first three months of the year have been hellish with my neck issues.  The problems aren’t gone, but things have improved enough that I feel like myself again.

30 Days of Biking – Day 21

I went for a short ride in the light rain early this morning to get coffee.  It was only 2.1 miles, but I’m leaving town for the day.

Today is Thunder Over Louisville.  The event can be fun, but it’s also a crowded hassle.  Being one hundred miles away won’t bother me a bit.

I got paid yesterday, so I’m paying bills.  My LG&E bill is the second lowest since I’ve lived in this house.  That’s a benefit to the mild weather and living alone.

I ordered some camping stuff, a replacement Kindle, and some bike stuff for the Big Dummy.  I’ll have updates on that later.

30 Days of Biking – Day 20

Haulin'
Haulin'

I needed to buy dog food, so I rode the Big Dummy to work.  After work, I rode to Feeder’s Supply.  After my last fiasco hauling dog food (bike fell over breaking a brake lever and my Kindle), I loaded the dog food on top the deck instead of in the freeloader bag.

I got in 8.5 miles for the day before going out for pizza and beer with Robin.  It was a fine way to end the week.

30 Days of Biking – Days 18 and 19

Yesterday was just a simple commute.  My normal 7.7 mile round-trip route.  The morning was quite cool, so I wore a hat, gloves, and jacket.  The jacket was too much.  I started getting sweaty before I got to work.

I took the same way to work today, but had an appointment to donate blood after work.  My normal route is not necessarily the most direct.  Going by the Red Cross is actually more direct, and I ended the day with 7.3 miles.  Going “out of my way’ saved me 0.4 miles.

It was cool again this morning, but I skipped the jacket, and just wore the hat and gloves.  I still managed to take a few pictures while riding.

Touring in June

Last year, I did a five-day (four of riding, one of rest) tour to Indianapolis and back.  It was in March, so I stayed in hotels.  I’ve had two overnight trips since then, but not a multi-day trip.

I’ve now got the time off work starting June 2nd for a four-day tour.  Debbie, who joined me on half of last year’s tour, is planning to ride this one.

Below is a preview of the tentative route.  We’re riding four days, which means three nights of camping.  Total distance is approximately 230 miles.

Tentative route
Tentative route

Camping is planned at Clifty Falls State Park, Spring Mill State Park, and O’Bannon Woods State Park.  The entire tour is in Indiana, but the start location is just across the river from Louisville.

My plan at this point is to ride the Big Dummy, assuming I can get the handlebars dialed in where it’s comfortable.  Failing that, I’ll try to figure out how to carry everything on the recumbent.

30 Days of Biking – Day 17

It was a chilly ride to work this morning.  I spotted a fellow commuter (a woman who recently had a bike stolen, but I don’t remember her name) and gave chase.

Why did I have to chase?  Maybe it’s natural competitiveness.  I did catch her, and chatted briefly, but the extra exertion left me sweaty.

It was a bit warmer for the ride home, so I didn’t wear a jacket.  I left work a bit late, so traffic was light.  I pushed hard again, although there was no one to chase.  I cruised at about 22mph on my single-speed down third street barely making the lights.  That’s about as fast as I can go on flat ground for any length of time.  Once I hit a red light, I took it slower after that.

So, a 7.7 mile commute – my normal route – and that’s it for the day.

30 Days of Biking – Day 16

Today’s weather forecast called for thunderstorms.  I was getting ready for work this morning when the storms rolled through around 7:00am.  It was mostly just wind and rain.

I left home about 8:30.  The rain had tapered to a drizzle, but it was windy.  I wore bike shorts and a jersey and had my work clothes packed away in a plastic bag to keep them dry.  I changed at work.

I had a lunchtime appointment across the river.  The skies had cleared and it was quite pleasant.  Heading north across the bridge was easy with a tailwind to help out.

After lunch, I had to fight that same wind heading back across the bridge.  These two trips over the bridge in good weather were done wearing my work clothes.

After work I went to the drugstore then home, capping off a 13.5 mile day.  I only got wet once and overall it was quite pleasant.

30 Days of Biking – Days 14 and 15

Not a whole lot to say about day 14.  I rode about a half mile, just so I could say I was on the bike.  I did spend the day with Robin, and that was a fair trade-off.

On Sunday, day 15, I goofed around the house a while.  I had intended to take off on a long ride on the recumbent.  I couldn’t seem to force myself out the door.  After several hours of working on PHP, HTML, and CSS, I decided I needed a bike ride.

Another bike pose
Another bike pose

I scaled back my plans and took off for an urban ride on the single-speed.  It was warm, about 80 degrees, but quite windy.  I meandered through neighborhoods and eventually made it to Mellwood Ave.  I took that out to Mockingbird Valley, down to the trail along River Rd.  There were many people out a Carrie Gaulbert Cox Park.  Some were cooking on the grill.  Some were putting boats on the river.  A few were flying kites.

Ohio River through the trees
Ohio River through the trees

I then started climbing through the Indian Hills neighborhood.  Eventually crossing Brownsboro Rd at Country Ln and riding through the parking lot and bike path at Chenoweth Elementary School.

Pretty climb
Pretty climb

Being a Sunday, the bike rack was empty.  I’d like to see how many kids use it during a nice day.

Empty bike rack
Empty bike rack

The path is a very short path that goes from Sprite Rd to the school.  It allows the kids to get from the quiet neighborhood streets of Brownsboro Village to the school without having to travel on the busy Brownsboro Rd.  This may be the only utilitarian bike path in town.

Bike path
Bike path

I then wound around through St Matthews.  Normally the next part would be through Seneca Park, but i wanted something different, so I hopped on Lexington Rd where I managed a brisk 20mph into a headwind (but going downhill).  I turned off on the Beargrass Creek Trail and stopped to rest and take a picture of the signage.

Slippery when wet
Slippery when wet

The warning is no joke.  It was dry for this ride, but I’ve ridden the trail when it’s wet.  There are several bridges over the creek, and they are especially hazardous.

Around this time, I heard from Tim.  He wanted to get out and burn off some of the food he had consumed.

I finished the trail, and worked my way to Baxter Ave then Bardstown Rd where I met up with Tim.

He was on his QuickBeam, so we both enjoyed the simple-ness of a single-speed.

He led us through Cherokee and Seneca Parks.  It was getting to be evening and the bugs were out in force.  When I wasn’t inhaling them, they were bouncing off my glasses.

I followed him off-road twice.  It was an interesting ride.  Both of us have to be back to work today (Monday), so we eventually parted ways.  I headed straight down Eastern Parkway, taking advantage of a tailwind and a hill to spin out at 35mph for a bit.

I had 30.7 miles for the day.  I’ll take it.

30 Days of Biking – Day 13

Yesterday was Friday the 13th.  I’m not superstitious, and it was an uneventful bicycle commute.

I had intended to get out early and ride the LBC populaire this morning, but once I got up, I changed my mind and went back to bed.  I still have the rest of the day to get on the bike.

30 Days of Biking – Day 12

Porter
Porter

My round-trip commute to work and back was a measly 7.7 miles.  It was an easy ride on the single-speed.  After arriving home, I made a grocery list, and headed back out for a whole 1.5 miles to the local grocery store.

A porter is someone or something that carries stuff.  My bicycle was my porter.  I had a gallon of milk, snacks for bike rides this weekend, veggies, meat, bread, peanut butter, and a six-pack of Bluegrass Brewing Company Dark Star Porter.

I’m spending the evening being very domestic.  I’m trying to keep my housework manageable.  I want to spend the weekend on the bike.

I mentioned in previous posts that I’ve been depressed.  I think a weekend of bike riding is just what I need.

30 Days of Biking – Day 11

I didn’t ride to work today, Robin drove me.  I slept poorly and woke feeling bad.  I did get a half mile in after work, but that was mostly so I could say I was on the bike.

I accidently left my refrigerator unplugged overnight and all day today.  I threw away a few things, but there wasn’t much in there anyway.

I’m in a mental funk.  I haven’t eaten poorly today, but my trip to Four Pegs last night was a bad idea.  I ate dinner with Robin tonight, and I helped cook.  Now I’m back home and still feeling down.

I think my blog issues are solved.  I’m going to give it a few more days before calling it a success.

My neck continues to improve.  It’s a gradual change.  It still hurts, but my range-of-motion is better.  It doesn’t hurt to ride a bike, even with drop bars.

It annoys me to no end that I had to sell bikes to pay taxes.  Tim and Timothy rode a hilly 62 miles today.  I could have probably gotten the day off work and joined them, but I don’t have a bike that fits that kind of riding.  It would have been possible on the recumbent, but not ideal.  I know there’s a new bike in my future, when I can afford it.

30 Days of Biking – Day 10

Ready for the commute
Ready for the commute

I had hoped to ride at least ten miles today.  I only rode 7.7.  Taking the long way to work would have done it.  Taking the long way home would have too.  I could run an errand and hit the goal too, but I have no motivation.  I rode to work and back that’s enough.

The ride to work was uneventful.  The trip home was interesting.  There must be some convention downtown.  Police were working the intersections and letting huge groups of pedestrians through while holding back traffic.  I sat in traffic as did the other bicyclist in this photo.

Downtown
Downtown

I’ve been feeling fat and lazy.  I’m running low on cash, so at least I’m eating less.

I miss my LHT.  I no longer have a decent bike for hilly gravel rides.  There are two awesome rides this weekend.  Both are possible on the ‘bent, but neither is ideal.

 

30 Days of Biking – Day 9

I spent some time with Robin and her family on Easter.  I’m glad I got my early morning ride in, as by evening, I was feeling ill.  I went home and tried to sleep it off.

This morning was bad.  I didn’t ride to work.  I didn’t go to work.  I spent much of the day sleeping.  When I couldn’t sleep anymore, I wanted to read, but my Kindle is broken.  I bought a Kindle book anyway, and read it on my phone.

I did ride my bike less than a half-mile to go over to Robin’s and get some food.  She wasn’t home, but she told me what I could eat.  That 0.4 miles was my day 9.

I started feeling better toward evening.  I tackled the huge pile of papers in my home office.  I can now use my desk again.  I set up my laptop there and worked on migrating this blog to a new server.  Once DNS propagates, you should be able to read this.

Hopefully I’ll break the 10-mile mark for day 10.

30 Days of Biking – Easter Edition


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BRIGHT Headlight
BRIGHT Headlight

I got up at 4:30am, had coffee and and oatmeal and prepared for an early ride with Tim.  He sent me a message that he wasn’t well, and wouldn’t be at the ride.

I was going to ride anyway.  My (abbreviated) ride took me through Smoketown, Downtown, across the river to Indiana, then back through Old Louisville and home.

I didn’t spend any money, as it’s Easter, and nothing was open.

30 Days of Biking – Days 5,6, and 7

On Thursday, I rode to work and back, 7.5 miles.  That’s it.  Nothing special.  No extra errands.  After arriving home Robin and I went to Rich O’s Public House for pizza and beer.  We took her car.  I over-indulged in both food and libation.

I have put the clipless pedals back on the single-speed.  I’m still trying to decide whether or not to leave them there.  I’m typing this while wearing my SPD shoes….

Friday morning was rough.  I had a hangover and I still felt full.  Robin drove me to work, and picked me up after work.  We went out for a light dinner (it is possible) at Wick’s Pizza and met some of her friends.  I had a salad.  Afterwords, I ran some errands on the bike, totalling a measly 1.5 miles, but I was on the bike.

I got a lot of housework and yardwork done on Saturday.  Some of it at my house, and some at Robin’s.  Later in the day, I had planned to meet back up with Robin, but instead went for a 5.7 mile spirited ride on the single-speed after dark with the new DiNotte lights. They are bright.  That’s the bike with the dyno-lighting, so add in a Planet Bike Superflash, and I had two headlights and three taillights.  I was quite visible.

I intend to get up early for a 6:00am ride with Tim.  Then I’ll spend the day with Robin going to Richmond KY to meet family.

30 Days of Biking – Day 4

Commute through Old Louisville
Commute through Old Louisville

I had an uneventful ride to work this morning.  It had rained overnight, but skies had cleared before time for work.

At 5:00pm the rain was coming down hard, but I worked late and it was barely raining by 6:20pm when I headed home.

I invited Robin out to dinner at Cafe Amici in Old Louisville.  I ate a bit too much, but limited myself to one beer.

 

30 Days of Biking – Day 3

Bike Pose
Bike Pose

My DiNotte lights that I bought back in 2008 show signs of wear.  The cables were fraying.  The batteries don’t last as long.  DiNotte has a reputation for good service.  I have them a call yesterday to see what my options are.

The headlight I have, the 600L, is no longer made.  They’re selling me a new XML-3 which is substantially brighter and throwing in a free refurbish on my 140L taillight.  Works for me.

So, this morning I rode to the post office on the way to work to mail the old stuff to them.  Now it’s time for “the wait”.  Nobody likes the “the wait”.

After work I took a meandering ride home.  There was a risk of rain today, but it hasn’t materialized yet.  Overall a nice day.