Weekend S24O

Last week, Tim suggested a weekend overnight bike camping trip.  He met me at my house on Saturday afternoon, where we took a route through Utica and Charlestown to Clark State Forest.

Loaded ‘bent

I’ve been limited to my recumbent recently due to more back issues.  The cervical (neck) issues continue, and the lumbar (lower back) issue is recent.  Getting older sucks.  On the other hand, riding the recumbent more has gotten me comfortable on it again.  It had been my primary bike from late 2008 until early 2010.  It’ll be my primary bike again.

Luckily the ‘bent has a decent rear rack and can easily haul my camping gear.  I’m currently missing the rear fender – as the old one broke after five years.  The gripshift shifters have started to deteriorate, and need replacing.  They still function, but I get a gooey, rubber-like mess on my hands from them.

We intended on enjoying pizza and beer at Charlestown Pizza company, but we were unaware that it was the weekend of the Founders’ Day celebration in Charlestown, and the pizza place was closed.  We tolerated food from Subway instead.

Just north of Utica, we could see where the planned east end bridge will soon (?!) be constructed.  They’ve cleared trees on both sides of the river.

East end bridge path

As the ride progressed, we considered bailing.  The weather was sketchy.  There was a chance of rain.  It might even storm.  The temperatures were cooler than forecast, and we weren’t dressed for cool temperatures.  Tim was using a bivy rather than a tent.  I had my new-ish tent, and felt that I could handle rain – but I was worried about cold.  We decided to stick to the plan.

In Henryville we bought a little beer (cheap, nasty stuff) and ice.  We poured the ice in a dry bag with the beer containers.  This would get them cold enough for camp.

The campsite was roomy and we mostly had the campground to ourselves.  There were distant sites that were occupied, but nobody close by.  This was our first time at this campground.  It would have been much better without the nearby freeway.  We weren’t going to haul firewood, so we did without a fire.  We sat and drank beer well into the night before going to bed.

Bike camping!

It was warm, as forecast.  It never rained.  I initially slept on top my sleeping bag.  I never put the rainfly on the tent, so I just had a mesh shelter to keep the bugs out.  I woke up about an hour into my sleep because I was cold.  I crawled into the bag where I mostly slept well until 7:00am when I woke to hearing Tim moving around camp.

It was time for coffee and oatmeal on the Esbit stove.  After enjoying breakfast, we packed and headed out.

Southern Indiana scenery

Tim’s original plan had us heading through some hilly terrain on the return trip.  Neither of us was feeling up to it.  So we exited the beautiful country roads and made our way through exurban and suburban sprawl on somewhat busy roads.  One of the roads, that I used to ride all of the time when I lived in southern Indiana, was now under construction.  It made the ride less pleasant.

We wanted to get home.  We dealt with the traffic and lack of good scenery.  Although I didn’t take a picture, we saw the path of the pending downtown bridge also.  There’s a McDonalds and a Waffle House that are now closed and awaiting demolition.  There was a row of empty houses with the windows boarded up.

We rolled into Louisville and celebrated the trip with food from Twig and Leaf before we each headed home.  It was in that final two miles home that I got rained on.

Tim’s write-up is here.

It’s Been A While…

I’m still here, and I’m still riding.  I’ve been busy.  I spend time with Diane, I have social gatherings, and I ride my bike.  Having Diane around has been a positive to my bike commuting – as in she pushes me to ride instead of driving me to work.  She did drive me to work today though.  I wasn’t feeling well.

Here’s some random things since my last post.

Heavy Hauling

I hauled a kitchen table on the Big Dummy to my daughter’s house.  This was a four mile trip down Preston Highway.  I got some weird looks.

Heavy Haulin’

The hardest part was strapping the thing down securely so it wouldn’t slide off.  It was a bit wobbly, but I made it without dumping the table in traffic.

Part of the ride was a rather intense downpour.  Somebody took a picture of me while stopped at a traffic light.

Diane’s Bike

Diane has her own bike now.  We met somebody at volleyball getting rid of a bike.  We got it for free.  It needed a tune-up, tubes, a brake cable, and a water bottle cage.  I put my dyno-wheel on the front.  Since the picture was taken I’ve added a rear rack and dyno-headlight.  I’ve still got less than $100 into it.

Diane’s bike

It’s a Specialized Crossroads Sport (step-through version).  It’s a size small, so it fits her well.

She doesn’t want fenders on it.  She may change her mind once she gets a “skunk stripe” up her back.

June Populaire

The Louisville Bicycle Club (and Timothy) put on a 100K Populaire on June 2nd.  It was leaving from Charlestown Indiana.  Tim, Asher, and I left from Louisville and rode to Charlestown (21 miles).  Tim had other obligations, so he rode back rather than participate in the Populaire.

rSogn cockpit

Asher and I rode with another dozen people.  The route took us to Hanover Indiana for a lunch stop before going back to Charlestown for the finish at Charlestown Pizza Company.  – 64 miles later.

Diane met us there, and Asher and I enjoyed the comfort of a motor vehicle for the trip back to Louisville.

That was 85 miles for the day – more than I’ve done in a while.  Although I was slow, I felt like a cyclist again.  The rSogn is a wonderful bike.  The weather was gorgeous.  The company was pretty good too.


Diane is effectively living with me, it’s just not official yet.  We’ve found the things that irritate each other (that’s what it’s about, right?)  Relationships can be a challenge, but I’m optimistic about ours.

She’s decorated the house a bit.  She keeps it clean.  She loathes the dog hair, but keeps it clean as she can.  Yes, I help with housework, but I basically just take direction from her.  She’s the expert.


Diane and I have entertained company a few times at the house now.  She had her family over for dinner.  She cooked a large meal (with dessert!).  Everyone was pleased.

My mother and my niece came to visit.  They’re actually at my house for a few more days yet.  I’ve had a week of visiting with my mother.  I hadn’t seen her in person since 2009.  I hadn’t seen my niece in about ten years.  Diane and my mother seem to like each other.


Diane won’t give up her car.  I don’t expect her to.  It did break down on her on Thursday.  It was about fifteen miles from my house, so it was several days before I got out to look at it.

She spent those days riding her bike around for errands.  I guess she got a bike just in time.

I fixed her car on Sunday.  She still rides with me on errands though.  She has a potential job downtown.  If she gets it, she’s talking about riding to work, weather permitting, to avoid paying to park.  She doesn’t want to ride in rain, cold, or hot weather, but it’s a start.