Shopping Ride!

The weather has been a bit cold and windy.  We had some snow accumulation, although the roads are clear for now.

Dawn, my youngest daughter, is struggling financially and could really use some new clothes and shoes.

She lives with her boyfriend just a short distance from my house.  They don’t have a car either.


She rode her bike over today.  She seemed slightly disappointed that I didn’t call a cab or make bus plans.  She was willing to ride, and we headed off down Preston Highway.  I bought her some pants and shoes.  I bought a sheet set and shirt for myself.

Locking up

The sheet set is for a new bed I ordered that will be delivered on Monday.

After shopping we rode to Four Pegs for dinner and a beer.  She turned 21 earlier this month and can have a good stout with her dad now.

Double Chocolate Stout – she has good taste

She’d like to have fenders and possibly even a dynohub on this bike.  She did on her previous bike before it was stolen.

This was my second time taking her out for food and alcohol.  She only had one beer this time.  Last time, we were walking back, which is a good thing.  She overdid it.

So This Is Christmas

Christmas is a time to be with family.  Christmas is also a time for depression.  My only local family is my youngest daughter and my second ex-wife.  The ex-wife was working today.  My daughter was spending the holiday with her boyfriend’s family 40 miles away.

I did make plans with my daughter to take her out for dinner tomorrow evening.  I haven’t seen her in a while, so it’ll be nice.

I did talk to several people on the phone.  I had text messages from a few more.  I also interacted with a bunch of people over on Google+, although most of them were just taking a few minutes from there in-person holiday celebrations.

I have mixed feelings about Christmas.  I hate the commercialization of it all.  I hate the expectation of gifts.  I see financially strapped families go into debt to buy gifts for everybody.  I find that sad.

I’m not going to cover the religious aspects of the holiday.  We each have our own beliefs. I think the community and family aspects of Christmas are a good thing.  Many people have the day off work.  Families get together and actually interact (for better or worse).  This is part of what made me depressed today.  I just had my dogs.

Sandy sharing the bed with me

I did give a couple of gifts online, to people I’ve never met in person.  They’re people I’ve conversed with online.  I consider them friends.  I received a rather nice gift of a bag of coffee. Somebody was paying attention.  I had casually mentioned this particular brand of coffee months ago.  I then forgot about it until the package arrived.  There was a card enclosed.  It’s nice to have friends, even if you’ve never met them.

Due to my laziness yesterday, I had few groceries in the house today.  I had bacon and eggs.  Yep, that’s it.  That’s what I ate.  I drank copious amounts of coffee.  There is no alcohol in the house.

I decided to bury myself in a book for a few hours.  Two hours into that, I got a text message from Tim asking if I’d like to go for a ride, JRA (just riding around).  This would mean not too fast, not too long, ride around town.  It was just the cajoling I needed to get out of the house.  It’s nice to have in-person friends too.

I rolled out on the rSogn and headed to The Loop where I met him.  He’s been under the weather and still hasn’t fully recovered.  We rolled around some neighborhood streets, then into Cherokee Park.  It was fully dark, but both of us were riding bikes with dyno-powered headlights.

He ended up with a coughing fit, and we wandered back toward his neighborhood.  He gave me his Big Loafer bag for the front of my bike.  I’ll give it a try and see how it works.  If I like it, we’ll discuss a price.

Big Loafer

I took a wandering route home and ended up with 16.2 miles.  It’s not a lot of miles, but it looks like I’ll make 300 miles for the month.

I’m not drinking today.  I’m going back to work in the morning.  There’s the potential for snow accumulation overnight.  I’m considering putting the studded tires on the Fargo tonight, just in case they’re needed.

I’ve had four days off work.  I’m a little frustrated that I didn’t get the housework done that I wanted to.  I did go for the 78-mile ride on Sunday, so it wasn’t totally wasted.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Festivus Ride!

I had floated the idea of a 75-mile ride to the usual suspects, but everybody else had commitments.  I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I headed out on the rSogn just after 5:00 am this morning.

I hadn’t pitched this ride as a Festivus ride.  I didn’t think of that until already riding.  I was ready for my “Airing of Grievances” pretty early on.

Let me back up to last night’s preparations.  I replaced the broken shifter.  Shifting is good.  I wanted to travel light, so I removed the rear rack and put on a small saddlebag on the saddle, and a tiny “wedge” bag on the front rack.  Any items that wouldn’t fit there would have to be carried in my pockets.

Due to this, and a weather forecast that showed the temperatures starting out just above freezing and heading to 50, I figured I’d underdress a bit and be cold in the beginning.  This way, as it warmed up, I wouldn’t have to figure out where to stash extra clothing items.

Rolling through the urban landscape before the sun comes up on a Sunday morning is quite peaceful.  Traffic was nearly non-existent.  I made my way north and crossed the Second Street Bridge over the Ohio River and into the State of Indiana.

My 5:00 am start time was ideal for traffic, but not ideal for temperature. It was 31, just below freezing in the metro, and a bit cooler as you moved out.  I was a bit chilled at first.  I worked harder to generate heat.

Passing through New Albany Indiana, I stopped at a gas station for Combos and a candy bar.  I ate the candy bar immediately.  The Combos were shoved in a pocket.

West of Louisville is an escarpment, locally known as The Knobs.  This is mostly within Indiana.  My route would take me through one big climb, and later allow me to descend back to the plain.

Timothy had mentioned yesterday that a mountain biking group he rides with was riding to New Albany for The New Albanian Brewing Company, to hang out and drink beer.  They’d be arriving around 1:00pm today.  I wasn’t sure if could make it on the return trip.

Heading out of New Albany I turn on Budd Rd.  It was still quite dark, and there was no traffic.  There was a bit of a climb before it leveled out.  I spotted a new small park, and I stopped for a picture.

Park on Budd Road

I eventually come to Blunk Knob Rd.  This road is often closed in the winter.  There’s a sign at the intersection saying so.  We haven’t had much snow and no ice yet, so the road is open.  I climbed this a couple of years ago with Tim.  I’ve climbed steeper locally, but this is still steep, and goes on for two miles.  The first mile probably averages 8 or 9%.  The second half isn’t so bad.

Sign at Blunk Knob

While stopped for this picture, I managed to drop my spare AAA batteries in the grass.  I used my headlamp (I had that in my pocket) to find them.  I was only able to find five of the six.

My feet were getting quite cold.  There was an angry dog barking at me across the street. It was still quite dark.

I continued on.  During my slow ascent up the first half of Blunk Knob Rd the sky got lighter.  I could see the road without my headlight, though I left it on to be visible to cars.  Once the worst of the climbing was past, I stopped for a picture.

Looking North-ish from Blunk Knob Rd

Once done with the climb, the rest of the terrain is rolling hills.  I expected to feel strong than I did.  Being cold didn’t help.

As the sun rose, I expected it to warm up.  Instead it got windier.  My feet were painfully cold.  I suffered through it and continued on.  I passed through the tiny town of New Middletown where Tim, Patrick, Dominic and I rode through in March 2010.

I started to find familiar roads as I approached Corydon.  I quickly found a little breakfast cafe and went in for coffee and an omelette.

When I was done eating and headed back east, the temperature had risen about 10 degrees.  That was a welcome change.  The cloud cover had begun to dissipate.  The only precipitation on the radar was passing safely to the south.

Clearing skies

I realized the even with my painfully slow riding, I would be able to make the New Albanian meet-up, even going the intended, longer route.

So, instead of continuing on Corydon Ridge Rd, I turned north on Yenowine Ln and wound my way around, skirting the town of Galena.  I eventually turned south-east on Old Vincennes Rd, which was rather busy.  I went by Floyd Central High School and eventually went by my boss’s neighborhood before making my way to Paoli Pike in Floyd’s Knobs.

Ever since I started riding a bike in 2008, I’ve wanted to ride down Paoli Pike.  I did ride it with Tim and Ian some time ago.  It’s a high-traffic road, but interesting in it’s own way.

Riding it today, on the rSogn, without a care in the world was sublime.  I rode to the right, until I gained enough speed to merge with traffic.  Then I rode with the cars, at car speeds.  I gently squeezed the brakes whenever I saw brake lights ahead.

It was over too quickly.  I still had plenty of speed when the road widened to multi-lane and I cruised through a green light and a freeway overpass.  I’m back in New Albany, Indiana, a de-facto suburb of Louisville.

I cruise over to the New Albanian, which is hopping busy.  There are already several dozen bikes parked there, but I don’t see Timothy’s.  After a few minutes, Asher shows up, which was a complete surprise.

After a bit, Timothy does show, we find a table and have beer and food.  I did limit myself to one beer and a glass of water.  I was dehydrated, and would not want to over-do the beer.

Rather than following my planned route back to Louisville, I followed Asher and Timothy.  They had rode over with a mountain bike group (KYMBA).  They had an interesting route, that involved paths through the woods, old railroad grades, and two unused bridges.  It was interesting to ride on the rSogn set up as a brevet bike, but nothing bad came out of it.

Download file: 2012-12-23.gpx

I have some thoughts about it all.

I need bigger luggage for a brevet bike.  I’ve been intending to get some kind of a front bag.  True brevet bags require more hardware to attach, and may have interference issues with my v-brakes.  If I would have had a proper bag, I could have dressed appropriately and not been so uncomfortable.

The rSogn fits.  This is my longest ride on this bike.  It fits well.  The reach is right.  I never felt too crunched up or stretched our, and I have a pretty normal length stem.  My LHT was a great bike, but even with a short stem, it seemed the bars were just a tad too far away.

I’m still going to have stiff neck issues.  I have a physical problem.  It won’t just magically go away.  My neck is stiff from today’s ride, but it’s tolerable.  I’ll be on the ‘bent for what little commuting I need to do in the next week.

I’m still slow.  On flat ground, I was perfectly happy with my speed.  I expect to go slow up 8+% grades.  I did notice I spent a lot of time on 3% grades going 7mph or less when I was tired.  This isn’t acceptable.  I used to push harder.  I had the same issue during Gravel Grovel.  I need to work on that.

The dyno-hub on the rSogn doesn’t put out as much power as a SON28.  On slow climbs (or stop and go traffic) the hub can’t keep the standlight capacitor charged.  This leads to low-speed pulsing.  I’ve been planning to switch the SON on there anyway, once I get a wheel built with it, but this just cemented that decision.

The rSogn carves a great line on a fast descent.  This is still a bit dangerous in the dark, when the road surface isn’t visible due to the curve.  The decreasing radius curves in the dark this morning were great for white-knuckle, think-you’re-gonna-die riding.

Anyway, I suffered a bit.  As usual, once it’s over, I’m glad I did it, and I’ll begin planning the next adventure.


I’ve never been big on gifts for Christmas.  I have (now grown) children, so it was necessary to buy stuff before, but it was limited to immediate family.

I did buy a couple of things for an online acquaintance recently.  I also received a bag of really good coffee in the mail.

I don’t mind gifts.  I mind the expectation of gifts.

I’m not close to my daughters anymore.  Even the youngest, who lives nearby, rarely calls.  Her phone is currently shut off and I never know when she’s home.  I haven’t spoken with her in a while.

I’ll be spending another holiday alone.  I still have my dogs.

It’s not all bad though.  I’m planning a 75-mile solo bike ride tomorrow.  I’ll do a shorter group ride on Monday.  I haven’t figured out Christmas day yet.  It just seems a waste to have a four-day break from work and not do something.

It’s times like this that I’m reminded of the downsides of being single.  However, taking off on a bike ride for 8+ hours without much planning ahead is difficult in most relationships.  Maybe being single is okay.  I don’t have to justify my habits at home, rather it’s being gone for bike rides, or peeing in the shower.

Warm, Cozy, and Lazy

I was supposed to go camping last night with two other guys.  We were all going to ride our bikes to Jefferson Memorial Forest, which came out to a mere 16 miles for me, a bit more for Asher, and Timothy was planning 50 miles to get there.

I spent Thursday evening packing the gear.  The new sleeping bag and pad pack quite a bit smaller than what I had before.  I found I could put the pad and bag on the small front rack of the rSogn.  Everything else would fit in a single Arkel pannier.

Loaded rSogn

I woke up yesterday morning not feeling well.  Well enough to ride to work, but it was cold and windy, and the whole camping thing just didn’t appeal to me.  I figured I would fee better later, and just tough it out.

I decided to ride the rSogn to work, with the camping load.  I squeezed the laptop in, and headed out.

I didn’t make it far.  The defective shifter gave up the ghost and wouldn’t stay in gear.  I turned around, and headed home.  I swapped out pedals on the Fargo so I could use my normal shoes, and moved my laptop over to that bike, and went to work.

Throughout the day it remained cold and windy .  It didn’t take much to convince the other two to save the camping trip for another time.  We’re tentatively planning on January now, which will hopefully allow Tim and Patrick to attend.

Oddly enough, the wind had died down by evening, and the camping trip probably would have been tolerable.  Probably.

The Woodchipper bars that came on the Fargo just weren’t cutting it for me.  Riding in the drops would hurt my wrists.  Patrick gave me a set of bars that he had tried on his Fargo. They were too narrow for his huge size.  He had also hit his knees on the bar-end shifters, so he cut the bars a bit shorter.

I installed them on my Fargo a few days ago.

New bars on the Fargo

My short test ride was fine.  I liked them.

Riding a bit farther to work and back yesterday, well, they’re too narrow for me also.  I also don’t like the odd shape of the tubing at the tops.  That’s a feature that’s supposed to make them more comfortable, but it wasn’t for me.  I’ll need to buy a different set of bars.

On the way home from work, I stopped and bought another shift cable, so I can swap out the shifter on the rSogn.  That’s on my to-do list for today.

It’s warm and cozy here at home.  I’m drinking good coffee (a gift – more on that later).  Going outside in the cold, even on a nice-looking day like today, for a bike ride just isn’t appealing to me.  I know I need to ride.  I need to get some miles is, lose some weight, and train for longer and faster riding.  Maybe tomorrow, maybe.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the new sticker on the Big Dummy.


Camping Gear

I’ve complained about my 13-year-old sleeping bag long enough.  It actually works well enough at 50+ degrees, but not so much for camping during October – April.  It’s also big and bulky.

I fixed that.  I bought a Big Agnes Encampment bag and Air Core pad.  It wasn’t cheap, but it should last years, and keep me comfortable.

As an added bonus for bicycle camping, it packs a lot smaller that the old one.  The inflatable pad also packs smaller than the foam pad I’ve been using, and I won’t wake up on the ground instead of the pad, because the pad slips into a sleeve on the bottom of the bag.

Tim has the same pad, and his has developed a slow leak.  They include a patch kit, but if you can’t find the link, Big Agnes has a repair program.  It’s not free, but it’s reasonable.

I also ordered a headlamp so I set up a tent in the dark without drooling all over a flashlight held between my teeth.

I’ll be bike camping again this Friday.  It’ll be quite cold, so I’ll really get to test out my new gear.

Next up:  A better tent!

Sick Dog

Sandy the Psycho had some raw venison on Thursday of last week.  I used to raw-feed the dogs, so I didn’t think this would be an issue.  I was wrong.

Candy the Lovable is normally the dog who gets an upset stomach, but this time Sandy started squirting vile liquid out the rear end uncontrollably.  This started on Saturday morning, and she quit eating.

Sandy the Psychodog

Saturday night, I made her sleep outside.  It was a mild night.  I put water out for her.  I let her back in during the day Sunday, but she still wouldn’t eat.  She was drinking water, and occasionally squirting again.  It seemed to have tapered off by Sunday night, so she stayed in overnight, and made a mess.

Monday, I woke up sick, so I stayed home from work.  That was good.  It allowed me to keep an eye on her, and let her out often.

She was lethargic, still wouldn’t eat, and appeared nauseated (not eating, licking her lips, etc).

I decided to call the vet if she still wouldn’t eat on Tuesday morning.  As expected, she still wouldn’t eat Tuesday morning.  She did seem slightly more energetic though.

A call to the vet got a 9:30 appointment.  I figure she should get used to the bike trailer, rather than deal with getting a cab driver who doesn’t want dog hair in his car.

She tried to get out of the trailer as we first left, but after being put back in, she stayed in for the rest of the ride to the vet’s office.

Doggie cab?

Since I was riding the Big Dummy and pulling a trailer, I just parked in a car parking spot.  Nobody said a word about it.

Sandy was given some fluid under the skin (which dribbled out of her a little making me laugh).  She was given some anti-nausea medicine to induce her to eat.

They supplied several different pills.  She actually ate a pill wrapper with pills in it before we left the vet’s office.  Success!

They suggested I cook a bland meal of boiled chicken breast and white rice for her first meal.  I dropped her off at home and went to work.

After work, I went to the grocery store, so that I could cook dinner.  I expected to come home to dog messes on the floor, but there were none.  I cooked the dinner, and my dogs and I all ate the same thing.  Yes, Sandy ate her whole bowl full.

About an hour later, I heard a loud WHARRRRRRRRRRRRG noise.  I expected Sandy to be sick, but no, it was Candy, vomiting up the chicken and rice.  I let her out where she continued emptying her stomach.  I cleaned up the mess and later let her back in.

The vet called me today at work.  They ran the blood work, and everything looks fine.  Sandy should be fine.  She’s acting normal again.  I still need to provide them with a stool sample, but Sandy needs to provide it first.  Her system is probably still pretty empty.  Maybe tomorrow.

Although I spent a couple of hundred dollars at the vet, it was worthwhile.  I also know I can get the dog there by bike.  Both dogs at once would be more of a problem.


Last Friday I rode out to Parkside Bikes after work for the Light Up Alley Cat put on by Bicycling for Louisville.  I was riding the rSogn.  I had my commuting load, including my laptop.

An alley cat is generally a race put on by bike messengers.  There are checkpoints to go to, usually requiring proof that you were there.  The routing is totally your choice.  Alley cats often involve unsafe riding.

This one was different.  Louisville doesn’t have many bike messengers.  This was less race, and more fun ride with activities.  The checkpoints were:

  • Unmanned candy stops (two)
  • Hot chocolate with Joe Ward (a semi-famous gentleman who has written a couple books about bicycling in the area)
  • A Chubby Bunny contest
  • Play through level one of the classic Star Wars videogame at a downtown bar
  • Get photographed under the mistletoe
  • Bring peanut butter (could require another stop to buy it) to Jake’s house for a charity food drive
  • Sing Christmas carols to Jimmy
  • Finish up at The Monkey Wrench for socialization and adult beverages

I hadn’t been at Parkside it quite some time.  They have a bigger shop now, and carry Linus city bikes.

Parkside showroom

Turnout was about 50 people.  Extra bike parking was supplied at Parkside.

Bike parking

Some of the bikes were well-decorated.  I didn’t bother with Christmas lights this year.  I wish I had.

There was a minority of people who truly wanted to race.  They took off first.  Once that group had cleared, I headed out alone.  I wanted to ride with a group, but I didn’t want to race, or wait around any longer.

At the first stop, an unmanned candy stop, I met up with a group on mountain bikes.  I rode with them for a while.  The guy leading the group took us on a shortcut through mountain bike trails in Cherokee Park.  I was riding my brevet bike and carrying a laptop.  It wasn’t ideal, but I kept up and didn’t wreck.

I followed them up the steep, brick, Peterson Dr. to our next stop.  They left quickly, I finished my hot chocolate.  I managed to catch them along Frankfort Ave, but they started filtering through traffic and running lights.  I wanted nothing to do with that, so I hung back.

Another group came up on me.  They were college-age and not very bike savvy.  They also didn’t know the streets very well.  They were more than happy to let me lead.  We stopped at a store for peanut butter that we would need later.  We continued on to the Chubby Bunny contest, then to the downtown bar with the videogame.  I quickly beat the first level, and was back with the mountain bike crew.

We continued to Old Louisville for photographs under the mistletoe.  There was nobody I wanted to kiss.  This was the one stop where the bikes were brought inside.  It was a neat  little place.

Onward to my part of town where struggled a bit to find Jake’s house.  We eventually did, and dropped off peanut butter.  Then to Jimmy’s house to sing Christmas Carols.  There was a large group there, and we all were leaving at the same time.  Most were going to skip the last stop – an unmanned candy stop.  One of the women from the mountain bike crew and I were the only two that went there from the group at Jimmy’s.

We then headed back north to The Monkey Wrench.  I had a few beers and some food.  Because none of my good friends were there, I basically meandered around temporarily joining different groups for a short while, then moving on.

As things were winding down, I was talking to Jimmy.  He mentioned going to a nearby bar to meet up with his girlfriend.  We both rode there, and things got fuzzy for me.

I generally drink beer.  For some unknown reason I did shots.  I don’t how many.  I also continued to drink beer, but I have no idea what beers I drank at the second bar.  I have no idea how much money I spent there (although I know Jimmy’s girlfriend paid for one round of shots, and I paid for at least one).  I do know by the time I made it home, I had a lot less cash than I started with.  I’m glad I don’t generally carry more cash than I can afford to lose.

As I was leaving the bar I thought I was fine.  I carried my bike down stairs with no issue.  Once at street-level, it quickly became apparent I wasn’t going to ride my bike home.  Somebody, I have no idea who, said they’d take me home.  They put my bike in the back of their car, I crawled in and gave them my address.  My GPS mounted to the handlebars was tracking us as we continued on.

My memory and the GPS don’t agree on what happened.  They didn’t know where I lived. They knew what part of town it was and drove around a bit.  I remember being dropped off  on Ellison Ave.  I was feeling sick, and told them so.  I told them I could walk home.

The GPS track shows we were not on Ellison Ave, but in front of the Nachbar (which I’ve never visited).

I remember stumbling about a block down the sidewalk on Ellison before laying down in the grass.  The GPS shows I walked substantially further – the wrong way!  If I had been going the right way, I would have been home instead of laying down in the grass.

I fell asleep for probably 30 minutes (based on GPS track) before a passing motorist and his wife saw me on the side of the road and thought maybe I was hit by a car.  They woke me up.  After talking with me for a bit, they called a cab for me and tried to give me money.  I waved the money off, as I had my own.

I think I dozed again waiting for the cab, but the couple was still there with me when the cab arrived.  Luckily, I had finished puking by the time the cab got there.  I was still really drunk, but felt better.

They loaded my bike into the trunk of the cab, and the driver took me home.

I woke up Saturday morning with the worst hangover I’ve had in many years.  I cursed my stupidity many times.  To add insult to injury, Sandy, my brown psychodog, got sick and was making messes all over the house.

I still had my wallet, phone, bike, GPS, keys, laptop, and some cash, just much less cash than expected.  For all I know I was throwing money at people.

Nothing was damaged, other than some scrapes on the skewer on my rear wheel.  I think this was from dropping the bike, when I realized I couldn’t ride it, or it may have been when I laid down in the grass.  I don’t really know.

I’m thankful for the helpful couple that called a cab for me.  I’m glad they found me instead of the police or someone wanting to rob me.

Yes, I had given up beer for a while.  This was a hell of a way to come back to it.  The beer wasn’t really the issue though.  The real issue was the hard liquor.

I’ve had enough of this kind of stupidity.  I’m still going to keep beer consumption under control.  I’m also cutting out hard liquor.  Even in small amounts, it tends to give me a hangover the next day.  At least I only had a hangover instead of a legal issue.  I’m glad I recognized I couldn’t ride my bike.  However, I’d gotten to the point when walking, even when leaning on the bike, wasn’t working.

Weekend? New Bike? You Betcha!

On Saturday I met Tim at Breadworks.  I had a cup of coffee and a snack before we headed out into the hills of Cherokee park, Indian Hills, and Mockingbird Valley.  I’ve ridden these areas before, but it had been a while.

I was on the rSogn, of course.  Tim followed suit, and rode his somewhat new (to him) Sogn.  It was interesting to compare the two Rawland bicycles.

I hadn’t wrapped the bars yet, and forgot my gloves.  My hands were uncomfortable, but this was more than made up for by the liveliness of the bike.  It felt wonderful.  I sprinted up hills.  I bombed down descents.  It’s just a great bike.

Tim and I went our separate ways.  I stopped at Cumberland Brewery and had one beer and some sweet potato fries.  Not diet healthy, but it just seemed right.

I ended the day with a somewhat hilly 31.6 miles, at a decent pace even.

I went to bed early Saturday night and slept a blissful 12 hours.

Sunday morning I tinkered with the bike.  I ended up installing the small rear rack from the single-speed.  I also put on the white bar tape that was included with the bike.

I’m not a fan of white bar tape.  It gets dirty too easily.  It supposed to look “pro”, so in other words, makes me look like a “poser”.  Then again, when have I ever cared what others’ thought?  This is free bar tape!

The bar tape is temporary.  Saturday’s ride showed me that the bars are now at the right angle.  I may need to change the cable housing once I have a new handlebar bag.  Until then, white bar tape is where it’s at.

In the evening I went out for a spin.  It wasn’t long, and I stopped for more beer and food, not helping my weight loss any.

I added a measly 10.4 miles for the day.  I did spin at 22 mph in traffic on Bardstown Rd for a while.  That felt good.  I hit the traffic lights green for the entire stretch.  Then I pulled over panting, feeling like I was going to lose my lungs.

It’ll take time to get my lungs and heart where they were.  This is the right bike to do it.

Maiden Voyage

I didn’t go far, but I took the rSogn out for it’s first ride… well, my first ride on it.  I did buy most of it used.

I spent all evening getting it put together.  I installed the fenders before heading out.  I’m glad I did, it was pretty wet outside.

The maiden voyage was only about a mile.  I just wanted to make sure everything was rideable.

Before I ride it again, I want to adjust the saddle and handlebars.  I still have other plans for it (bar tape would be nice), but those will have to wait.

Rawland rSogn


Yep.  I had beer.  Not a lot, but some.  I also went out to eat for dinner twice this week.

The return spring for my Big Dummy’s kickstand broke this morning.  I had to remove the kickstand to safely ride the rest of the way to work.  I was a little late to work because of that.

After I got home from work, I installed the rear brake on the rSogn.  I also ran the cable and housing for it.  It went well.

The right shifter will need to be replaced.  The ratcheting mechanism isn’t working.  I sent an email to Velo-Orange.  Hopefully it gets resolved quickly.

I may or may not install the chain tonight before I go to bed.  If I do, I could temporarily throw a rear rack on it, and ride it to work tomorrow as a single-speed.  It’s doubtful I will though.

I didn’t take any pictures of tonight’s work.

It Looks Like a Bike!

I hauled a load of parts home from On Your Left Cycles on the Big Dummy.  Here’s what I bought:

A Brooks B-17 Special saddle in the Honey color.

The B-17 is the most popular Brooks saddle.  I find them quite comfortable.  The Special version costs a little more, but has hammered copper rivets instead of the machine-pressed steel ones.  I’ve owned two of the standard B-17s, but I’ve wanted a special for a while.

Shimano Deore V-Brakes and rear Derailleur.

The Deore line is nothing fancy, but this isn’t a race bike.  If it stops and shifts, these will do.  Why V-brakes on a road bike?  The frame is really meant for cantilever brakes.  V-brakes are easier to set up and are pretty powerful.  It did require long-pull brake levers, but those were provided with the bike purchase.

Cheap stem, spacers, chain,  12-36 9-speed cassette, two King Cage water bottle cages.

It may take me some time to get the bike set up where it’s comfortable.  I may have to try various stems.  I chose a cheap one that does the job.  I’ll switch to a different one if necessary.  The spacers were just to make sure I had enough to get everything put together.

The 12-36 cassette is quite a wide range, and working in tandem with the Sugino 34/48 compact double purchased with the bike will give me plenty of gear for the hills.

The King Cage bottle cages are a bit pricey, but they’re hand-made in Colorado.  They also fit the aesthetic I’m shooting for with this bike.

I also bought cable and housing for this build, but that’s not worth taking a picture of.

I will initially be using the existing wheels.  I cleaned them up, including scrubbing the gumwall tires clean.  I got the saddle and bars mounted.  I installed and cabled the front brake.  I installed the derailleur and cassette.  It really looks like a bike now!

There may be a small issue with the front rack and clearance with the front brake cable.  I’ll have to ride it to find out if it’ll be a problem.

It might be hard to see in the picture, but the middle section of cable is just barely touching the rack mount.

I still have more to do to the bike, but I’m done for tonight.  I may get to take it around the neighborhood by tomorrow night.

I have most of the tools I need for this job, and make do without the ones I don’t.  I really wish I had a workstand though.

More Bike Parts

My second shipment of bike parts came in today.  This shipment was from Rivendell.  Both items are manufactured by Nitto.  The first is the Noodle handlebar.  It’s a popular drop-bar.  I’ve ridden a borrowed bike with the Noodle bar before, but never owned one.  The other thing in this shipment is the Nitto Mini front rack.  It’s a small rack, mostly to help support a handlebar bag.

New parts!

I attached the brake levers that were included with the bike purchase to the bars with no issues.  I then installed the bar-end shifters that arrived from Velo-Orange yesterday.  VO has a reputation for pretty stuff with some quality control issues.  One of my shifters has an issue.  The hole for the cable does not go all the way through the lever.  I’ll need to drill it out.

I can’t actually put the bars on the bike yet, as I don’t have a stem.  I was able to attach the new Nitto rack.  I also took the pedals off of the unrideable single-speed and put them on the rSogn.

Getting closer

I’ll be picking up a large load of stuff tomorrow from On Your Left Cycles that I ordered last week.  This should give me everything I need to make the bike rideable.  It won’t be quite done, but at least I’ll be able to ride it and get things adjusted.

Training Failure

Sunday’s training ride didn’t work as planned.  Four of us met as planned and headed out on a windy morning.


The first part of the ride had us heading into the wind.  I tried to keep up, but just kept getting farther behind.  So I did something I almost never do.  I stopped, sent a text to Tim, and turned around.

I went back to Sunergos for another coffee and a snack.  While I sat stewing, I played chess on my phone and generally was anti-social for a while.  Eventually it began to rain, so I headed home.


It was a short ride home.  Instead of the 50 miles planned, I managed about 18.  On the bright side, heading back north after the turn-around, my speed was above 20 mph due to a tailwind.

Skinny-tire mountain bike

I’ll try again soon.  Hopefully the rSogn will be ready for the next one.

Road Bike?

The rSogn, which I just ordered a bunch of parts for, will be my go-to bike for long or fast rides.  It’s not a race bike, but it’ll be lean enough for spirited riding.

Tim is planning a spirited training ride for tomorrow, but my rSogn isn’t ready yet.  What to do?  Well, the Fargo has proven to be a reliable race machine.  Unfortunately it’s a mountain bike with 2.2″ knobby tires.  I swapped out the tires for 700×32 Paselas and cleaned up the bike a bit.  It looks weird, but it should do the job.

There’s a 40% chance of rain.  I wish I had fenders on this bike.

I had intended to head out today for a solo ride on the ‘bent, but I really had housework to do.  I also worked on bikes.  I’ll make up for it tomorrow.

For Real This Time

As I mentioned before, I intend to reach my goal weight of 175lbs by the end of 2013.  I’ve got 65lbs to go, so that’s only 5lbs a month.

I’m no longer counting my previous 100lb weight loss.  I’ve gained 40 of that back and I haven’t lost weight in a long time now.  So, today, I start from 240.8lbs.  I’ll will be weighing regularly again, but not daily like I used to.  I’m considering only doing it monthly.

I gave up beer, but then I had some at Car-Free Happy Hour on Thursday.  That’s okay, Once a month won’t hurt.

I ordered parts for the new bike yesterday.  It could be rideable within a week.  I look forward to putting thousands of miles on it next year.

I want to ride at least 6000 miles in 2013.  I’ll race Gravel Grovel again in November.  I might race The Death March.

I’m probably going to hold off on buying bikes for a while.  I have five again, and I’ll spend money and time getting them set up the way I want.  The single-speed is a mess.  The rSogn is waiting on parts.  The Big Dummy and recumbent could each using dynamo lighting.  The Fargo could use different handlebars.

I’ll re-do my weigh-in page here on the blog soon.  I’ll start updating it again when I weigh.  I’m still not tracking everything I eat, but cooking at home has been a huge help.

Once I’m done here at the computer, I’m going to head out for a solo excursion into Indiana.  I have no destination in mind, but I’d like to crank out 40 or 50 miles.