Monthly Personal Best

I rode my bikes 671 miles for the month of August.  I can live with that.  🙂

I had another doctor appointment after work today, so that got me about 33 miles.  I needed a few more to put me over my old record of 665.6.  I wandered around parts of town that I’m not familiar with.  I eventually ended up in the Mockingbird Valley area, then on River Rd.  Then I went out for a beer.  That made it all worth it.

This new personal best tells me that my neck is “good enough”.  I can ride whatever bike I want for as long as I want without any more discomfort than I get sitting in a chair.

I also had a 130-mile weekend with camping.  I’ll write about it soon.

Camping Tomorrow?

I am tentatively planning on leaving for O’Bannon Woods State Park west of Corydon IN in the morning.  Calling it a tour might be an overstatement, but I’m loading my LHT with camping gear and heading out.  I’ll stay one night and come home Sunday.

I’m not bringing cooking supplies, I’ll eat prepared cold food.

If you have the time, a tent, a bike, and the ability to ride 80+ miles over two days, let me know and you can tag along.

Sunday, 8/21 RCCS Ride

I’ve been putting off posting this because I’ve been busy, depressed, frustrated, and drinking too much beer.  However, last Sunday was a wonderful ride that Tim & Michael put together.  Patrick and Timothy joined us for the fun.

Strangely, this was initially planned as a “fast” road ride.  I’m the one without a fast bike (or a fast engine for that matter), so I was resigned to falling behind while riding my LHT.

As the event loomed, further research showed that there would probably would be gravel.  Tim opted to ride his gravel-ready Lightspeed Blueridge.  Michael chose his LHT.  Patrick chose his most excellent double-top-tubed Bombadil.  Timothy chose a modified Trek mountain bike with a Surly fork that he calls “Beast”.

I felt much better at the beginning of the ride, when we all had sturdy, hardy bikes.  Maybe I wouldn’t be the slowest after all.  That was wishful thinking.

Download file: 2011-08-21.gpx

The ride started out pretty typical – paved country roads.

We didn’t let the gravel and hills get in the way of our fun…

… or camaraderie

We certainly weren’t going to give due to a simple obstacle…

…because we would have missed views like this…

… and this.

Tim got a picture showing some of the “chunkier” gravel…

…and the chunky guy.

Michael got this awesome picture of me being chased by two friendly dogs.

The weather was warmer than expected.  We did have a brief sprinkle, but not enough to cool us down.  It was a great ride.

Michael’s has a good write-up.  Tim has two write-ups.

3000 Miles

According to MyCyclingLog, I hit 3001 miles for the year on my ride today with Tim.  My spreadsheet actually shows 3031.7, but I still crossed the 3000 mark today.

I’m a bit behind schedule compared to last year.  At the end of July lat year, I was at 3202 miles and ended up with 5087 miles for the year.

Now that my neck isn’t preventing me from riding and I’m living the car-free lifestyle (even though I haven’t yet sold the truck) I expect to surpass 5000 miles for the year again.

So what should my goal for 2012 be? 6000?  7500?

30 Miles of Utility Riding

I rode 30 miles on the single-speed today.  I bought a new smaller set of panniers that are just big enough to put the laptop in one, and clothing in the other.  This makes the single-speed a less awkward rig.  It was silly with the huge touring panniers on it.

I rode to work in the rain.  It actually felt nice.  I had an appointment to ride to and had to leave work early.  It was out by Shelbyville & Hurstbourne, not exactly a bike-friendly area.

I managed to stay off of Shelbyville Rd by traveling out Brownsboro, Westport, Lyndon, and an exploratory jaunt on Whipps Mill because I had time to spare.

I rode a similar route back into St Matthews, through the parks, then Eastern Parkway to get home.

Riding a bike around Louisville has taught me much about getting around this city.  I still have more to learn.

I still have neck pain.  Riding a bike doesn’t seem to be an issue at all anymore.  Sitting in a chair sometimes is though.  Sitting in a reclining chair helps, but then I get to look lazy at work.

I did go out for pizza with Kristy after I got home (she made me shower first).  We drove, as that’s the only way for us to travel together.  She is moving out soon, but we still enjoy spending some time together.

I don’t have any pictures from today’s ride.  I’m not posting the GPS track.  I’m mostly just rambling and enjoying riding my bike.

Sunday Post-Storm Ride

We had a fast-moving violent storm rip through on Saturday evening.  It knocked out power to me and 120,000 of my closest friends here in Louisville.

Tim, Patrick, and I had planned a 50-mile road ride in Shelby and Oldham counties for Sunday morning, but we weren’t sure how passable the roads were in rural areas so soon after the storm.

Tim and I met near Bardstown Rd.  We headed toward St. Matthews to meet Patrick.

Storm damage
Storm damage
We worked our way through the parks.

Beautiful morning in the parks
Beautiful morning in the parks
Everywhere we went, there were more trees in the road.

Tree down on Rock Creek Rd
Tree down on Rock Creek Rd
In some cases, houses were damaged.

Damaged house on Dayton Ave
Damaged house on Dayton Ave
We eventually made our way to the Heine Brothers location in St Matthews.  Luckily they were open and we had coffee while waiting for Patrick.

Once Patrick arrived, we talked bikes for a while before heading out.

Tim and Patrick
Tim and Patrick
Patrick didn’t miss out on the storm damage on the way either.

We eventually wound around to River Rd, including me riding on some mud that was pretty much un-rideable.  It later required me to wash the mud from the fenders.

We ran a paceline of three down River Rd at 19-21 mph.  That’s fast for me, and it was my first real paceline with rotating leader.  I still wouldn’t want to ride like that on a regular basis.

We wound our way back toward the parks again.

Traffic light outages were quite common during the ride.

No power - no traffic lights
No power – no traffic lights
We saw a large tree that had succumbed to the wind.

Poor tree
Poor tree
When we rolled back into the park, there were a lot of people there.

Nice day at the park
Nice day at the park
I’m guessing that many people didn’t have power at home (as Tim and I didn’t), and were enjoying being outdoors.

Hogan's Fountain
Hogan’s Fountain
I was taking pictures while riding, thanks to my handlebar bag.

Tim shows how much he wanted his picture taken
Tim shows how much he wanted his picture taken
We met up with another cyclist going around a downed tree.  Before this picture was taken, he pulled off a neat trick by diving down into a cement drainage culvert and riding down it.  It reminded me of bobsledding.

Another tree
Another tree
The park really did seem to get a lot of damage.

Yet another tree
Yet another tree
It really was a nice day.

People enjoying the park
People enjoying the park
I split off at Douglass Loop and meandered toward home.  I, of course, saw more trees down along the way.  Bonnycastle Ave was completely shut down between Norris Pl and Fernwood Ave.  There were power lines on the ground, and a tree service busy working.

Tree and power lines
Tree and power lines
The clouds were rolling back in by this time.  It never did storm again, but it did get windy and a few splatters of rain came after I made it home.

It was far short of the 70-mile day I originally imagined.  It was to be a 50-mile road ride, plus 20-miles round-trip to get to the ride and back.  Instead it was an urban ramble of 38 miles.  I can’t say I was disappointed.

Download file: 2011-08-14.gpx

Over the Hump?

I just had a spam comment for electric toothbrushes.  Do I have bad breath?  Probably, I just came home from a few beers.

Although I can’t complain about the weather compared to what Pondero has gotten in Texas recently, we’ve still had a heatwave.  It seems to have ended this week.  We won’t be seeing 90 again for a while.  It’s been in the high 70s on the ride into work.  I love it!

Kristy signed a lease, and will be moving out soon.  This is both a relief, and scary at the same time.  I thought I spent enough time living alone after my first divorce, but I guess not.  Living alone will be hard, but necessary.

I’ve been riding the recumbent a lot.  It’s my main commuting machine due to my neck issues.  I still ride my other bikes though.  I pulled the single-speed out of the basement today.  It’s got issues with the freewheel, so I flipped it over to fixed gear.  The short ride I took felt very different.  I may commute on it that way a few times.

I’m in a strange spot.  I was ready to look for a new job a few months ago.  Now, I tolerate the job, and need to cope with everything else.  I’ve been more productive at work, and less productive at home.  <sigh>  I wish it were easier.

I do feel like I’m getting closer to being in control.  I also know that something else could come out of the blue….  I guess I cope my riding.  It’s my escape.

Busy Sunday

Sunday is day 3 of my 4-day vacation.  I slept in a bit.  I eventually headed out for a ride with Tim.

After riding the recumbent for 70 miles the day before, I decided to ride the LHT.  I’m glad I did, as Tim took us through the somewhat hilly Indian Hills area.  Then we were on a flat stretch of River Rd doing 15mph into a headwind.  Tim was riding strong, but I was beat.  I eventually fell behind, but Tim waited for me.

At that point I was cooked.  When back on Baxter Ave, we parted ways.  Tim to do another loop in the parks.  Me to stop at O’Shea’s for food and drink.

O’Shea’s has a nice shady outdoor dining area.  I was able to bring my bike up near the table.  I hadn’t brought a lock with me, so that worked well.

Saddle eye view - saddles don't have eyes!
Saddle eye view – saddles don’t have eyes!

I ordered a beer (Southern Tier 2xipa), water, and a chicken wrap.  After finishing the first beer, I ordered an Avery IPA.  Both of these beers were new to me, and quite good.  I like a hoppy beer on a hot day.

Mmm... Beer!
Mmm… Beer!
After a while, I took the neighborhood streets home.

Part of the point of my vacation is to get some stuff done around the house.  I mowed the lawn, washed dishes, and started re-organizing my computer/office/bike storage room.

I’ve thought about creating a “beer” category for my blog posts, but then it’ll just point out how often I drink it.

I ended up with over 20 miles for the day, and rather enjoyed it.

Download file: 2011-08-07.gpx

Hilly Saturday

I took a couple of vacation days so that I could have a four-day weekend.  I need to get housework and yardwork done, yet I also want time to ride my bike.

I spent Friday running errands and doing housework.  I was determined to get a good ride in on Saturday.

I didn’t get up early on Saturday.  Once I was up, I spent a lot of time nursing a cup of coffee.  I finally decided to ride the LBC ride out of Crestwood at 3:30.  It’s a hilly 25-mile ride.  The challenge?  It’s over 20 miles away, and I didn’t want to drive.  If I’m going to live without a car, I should get used to it now.

There was a chance of rain, and the sky often looked as if it would rain.  The LBC will often cancel for rain.  I decided to ride to Crestwood, and risk having the ride cancelled, as I would still have the round-trip to Crestwood either way.  It never did rain.

I decided to take a rather direct route.  I headed out Brownsboro Rd until I was “outside” the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265).  I then cut down Chamberlain Ln to Westport Rd.  Next time I’ll take Westport directly.  The 4.5 miles of Brownsboro between the Watterson (I-264) and the Snyder was quite unpleasant.

Closed restaurant along Brownsboro Rd
Closed restaurant along Brownsboro Rd
Westport Rd wasn’t bad.  It eventually took me to Rollington Rd, which is a peaceful low-traffic road.

A break along Rollington Rd
A break along Rollington Rd
Rollington Rd dumped me back out onto Ballardsville Rd, or Hwy 22.  This was the worst stretch of road I’ve ridden yet.  Many cars passed way too closely.

After a few miles, I came into Crestwood and to Bluegrass Bicycle where the ride starts.  I arrived early, so I spent some time looking around the shop.

Tom was there, but wasn’t riding.  That meant I would be the only recumbent rider.  I met James, who would be the ride captain.  That means James gets to stay back with the slowest rider.  I’m often the slowest rider on this ride, but sometimes a rider will show up who is even slower.  That didn’t happen this time.

The ride starts with a nice downhill, so I had a strong start.  Once I had to fight gravity, I fell toward the back of the pack.  James took my lack of climbing ability with good grace.  He’d pull ahead on the climbs, waiting for me on the long climbs.  I’d race him on the descents, sometimes winning.  Then we’d attack another hill at 30mph, but my speed would drop off much quicker than his once we really started up the hill.

When I first fell back toward the back of the pack, there was a woman keeping about the same pace.  She seemed quite fit, and was a runner.  She was struggling to keep up.  James noticed her tires were low.  We pulled over and inflated them to the proper pressure (with my pump – no need to waste co2).  She left us behind once she wasn’t held back by squishy tires.

I struggled on, and as I neared the end of the ride, I was really going slow uphill.  At the final climb, I finally had to get off and walk.  That was embarrassing.  I’ve ridden that hill before.

We arrived back at Bluegrass Bicycle and I contemplated my options.

  • Ride back to Louisville and find food
  • Get food in Crestwood
  • Call my wife for a ride home

I was quite tempted to call my wife, but I really wanted to continue riding.  I had a different route planned to get home, so at least I wouldn’t have to face the same stretch of Hwy 22 again.

I opted for the Mexican restaurant there in Crestwood.  I had one glass of beer (Dos Equis XX), four or five glasses of water, and a large burrito.  I felt much more prepared for the ride back to Louisville, if a bit sloshy from too much liquid in my stomach.

I headed north on Hwy 146, then north-east on Glenarm Rd.  Glenarm Rd was a quiet rural road.

Glenarm Rd crossing I-71
Glenarm Rd crossing I-71
Then I ran across a rather odd collection of animals.

Young goats
Young goats
They were guarded by dogs.

Dogs, goats, and a llama?
Dogs, goats, and a llama?
I took Glenarm Rd to Old Zaring Rd, then to Covered Bridge Rd, which I had ridden on during the 100k populaire.  It seemed to have more traffic this time.

Calm stretch of Covered Bridge Rd
Calm stretch of Covered Bridge Rd
By this time, it was getting to be evening.

Evening clouds
Evening clouds
This is the obligitory timed shot with the camera sitting on a fence post.

Ugh - I don't like pictures of myself
Ugh – I don’t like pictures of myself
Covered Bridge Rd took me to US 42.  It’s 4-lane highway, so I took the right lane.  I didn’t have any close passes, but several drivers let me know of their displeasure that I was on their road.  Luckily, I was on US 42 for less than a mile before turning on River Rd.

Almost sunset
Almost sunset
River Rd is another somewhat-busy two-lane road.  I tried to keep to the right.  I didn’t have nearly the problem with drivers as I had earlier in the day on Hwy 22.

Almost home
Almost home
I continued downtown and had another beer (Bluegrass Brewing Company APA) and several more glasses of water.  Then it was a short ride in the dark (I have lights) home.  I slept well.

Download file: 2011-08-06.gpx