Bike Lexington Family Fun Ride

Yesterday was Lexington's big bike event for the year (the biggest, as far as I know). The community shuts down city streets as cyclists take over and ride a ten mile loop around some great areas of Lexington.

Last year, over 3000 people showed up to ride. It seemed to be about the same for this year's event.
We got there early enough to catch all the festivities around. They had bands, concession stands and lots of eye candy for the kiddos. They were having a great time.
I was back to pulling the trailer with the Xtracycle. (Big news... my wife is pregnant again!) I didn't want her, in her condition, pulling the trailer in the intense summer heat. So I had two big kids on the back of the Xtra and the little guy (who's not so little) in the trailer. It's easily over 100 lbs of extra person to haul.

I had lots of comments about pulling all the weight. Honestly, it's not the weight that makes it hard. It's navigating this semi-truck through thousands of cyclists that makes it difficult.
The ride itself is pretty straight forward. We weave through Lexington by all the fun landmarks. The kids have plenty to look at and stay pretty well entertained. The little guy fell asleep in the trailer after about 15 minutes in. That's always a good sign of contentment.

The heat was a contender, though. I saw several people go down and it wasn't because of the ride. When the temp hits the 90's and there's too much humidity, its tough for people to stand it. We made it through just fine. We just had to end with a little ice cream before heading home :)
Always a crowd pleaser.

Get out there.



All of my biking and camping stuff has sat in a box in my closet for the last several years. Convenient, yes. But it wasn't very organized. Last night I hung a new shelf and organized everything. When stuff is easily accessible and quickly attained, it makes riding more often a reality.

Hopefully this little tweak will help. (Please excuse the  glare in the photo. There's lots of reflective hear on that shelf!)

Get out there.



I was running a bit late for work this morning so I hopped on the road bike. Shortly after leaving the house there was a fantastic tailwind that assisted my efforts to make it to work on time. The result? I matched my record time on the commute and got to the office eight minutes early.

Not bad.

Get out there.



This morning's ride was so beautiful. The summer greens are back and the air was cool and slightly breezy. I can't think of better conditions.

That's probably why I saw these guys out riding. They were on some sort of training ride. I could tell they were hammering it.

Get out there.


Almost a Bike

I've been collecting all my parts from my junk boxes in the garage to build up a mountain bike for some riding this summer. I got the bug to ride dirt here recently and decided that it wasn't worth sinking any money into.

So here we go. Short of some cables, I'm almost finished. I think I'll be pleased with all the cash saved. We don't have enough MTB action around here for a large investment.

I should be on the trails soon enough.

Get out there.


Dry Box

I got a new dry box for my iPhone. I figured it would be great for rainy commutes and the occasional kayak trip. It's sized just right so it's not too bulky. The cool part is that it's transparent. Underwater video? Yep.

Get out there.


Bike Camping Recap

Last Thursday, five of us at work embarked on an adventure through downtown Lexington and out the Legacy Trail for some good times biking and camping. Angie was out of town and the grandparents were watching our three kiddos. That meant I was craving something more than manly movies from Redbox. This was exactly what I needed.
Typical with this type of thing, we left much later than anticipated. The plan was to scoot out of work a bit early. What actually happened? We left well after work was over. It was no big deal though. It gave us time to perfect our plan.
Most of the cargo was on my Xtracycle or being pulled in the kid trailer. The other guys shared responsibility of pulling the cargo inside... which we referred to as "Baby Ethan." When you're weaving in and out of busy traffic with a child carrier and calling it Ethan, you're bound to upset some overprotective grandma in her SUV.
The downtown section wasn't that bad at all. They're used to seeing bikes and it was over pretty quickly. Once we hit the trail, it was smooth sailing. Look how chill Justin looks in the above picture. Actually, Justin always looks that way. Man, Justin is cool.

This is Dan. He's smiling because he's happy. He's also smiling because this was his longest bike ride ever. You'd be smiling, too.
The campground was great. They let us crash on one site though the rules stated that we needed two. And we had lots of tree cover. At this point, the weather had settled in the mid 60's. It was perfect camping atmosphere.
The guys made fun of me for getting excited over my reflective sidewalls. To be honest, I don't ever see them when I'm on the bike. Seeing them from a distance got me all jazzed up.
Night time was fire, hotdogs, ramen noodles and great conversation. No complaints from me. Weather was so nice, we slept with the fly off of the tent.

Justin's tent. I actually slept in here with him. My tent was a bit longer, so Jeff (who's a tall glass of water) slept in mine.

The morning went fast. We woke up, packed up our stuff and left. Before I knew it I was back home. But not for long...
I pulled the bike in the garage, grabbed a snack, and loaded the kayak on top of the Subaru for a little more adventure. Like I said earlier, when the wife and kids are occupied, I wanted to suck the most out of my time. My buddy, Mike, met me at work and we headed to Elkhorn River.
Does it look like I'm enjoying myself?

What a great time. In exactly 24 hours I did nearly 60 miles of loaded bike riding, camping with some guys and three hours of paddling and fishing. I seriously can't think of a better way to spend my time when I have the opportunity like this. I love spending time with the kids. But when no one is home, I'll be doing this again.

Get out there.


Camping Trip

I'm still on the road from a kayaking trip. But the picture above is what I saw when I woke up this morning. The weather was so nice for this bike/camping trip that there was no need for the fly on the tent. Just open sky and trees above.

I'll upload the other pics and write a post soon. But everything was great. As soon as I pulled the bike in the garage I loaded the kayak on the roof. So there's more fun to be had. No time for typing :)

Get out there.


Ready to Go

This morning I rode in the loaded Xtracycle. After work, five of us are leaving by bike to hit the Legacy Trail. The trail will lead us all the way to the Kentucky Horse Park campground. Should be a blast. It's been a long time since I've camped with a bunch of guys... and this will be my first bike/camping trip that isn't solo.

Get out there.



I had company on the ride this morning! My buddy, Justin, rode his new bike to work with me today. We live right by each other, so we'll probably be seeing each other a lot more on the bike path.

Good to have you, Justin!

Get out there.


Tent Maintenance

I've got a S24O coming up this week and needed to do a little work on my tent. The last time I used it, I had three days of torrential downpour and the water began to creep in. Yesterday, I broke out the seam sealer and laid everything out to do the work. I finished with about two minutes to spare before the rain started falling in my own back yard... ironic.

My wife is headed out of town so I asked if the kids could go to the grandparents for a night. I'm taking that opportunity to leave town on a bike and sleep outside for a bit. My brain needs that every once in a while.

Hopefully, everything will stay sealed after yesterday's efforts. But I'm doing this rain or shine. Timing is too perfect to pass up.

Get out there.


Pedal Powered Rain Cover

Photo from www.pedalpoweredfamily.com
Reuben and Heidi over at Pedal Powered Family have just finished a pretty impressive rain cover for their Xtracycle setup. I've got to say this this looks incredible. I've seen others like this one and was discouraged by the complexity. This one, though, looks like I could actually pull it off.

Next year we're going to have three kids in three different schools. And unless I get back in the car to haul kids, I'm going to need something like this to manage foul weather commutes. Who knows... this could be the next big thing on my DIY agenda.

Great job, PPF. It'll get used soon! Those of you out there that aren't reading their blog, get tuned in. They'll leaving for their big trip this month and it'll certainly be worth the follow.

Get out there.



Today's bike commute was, again, exploratory. I tried a new road with no actual knowledge of where it headed. I figured I could always turn around and head back out if things got dicey. It didn't take long before I hit gravel.

This is why I love riding a bike like the Cross Check instead of a standard road bike. It allows diversity in my riding. The wider tires mean that I can ride where skinny tires won't go. But the aggressive position of a cross bike means I don't lose too much on speed.

But, man, this gravel was big and loose. I really could've used a much bigger tire. I did get nervous a couple times when I was really moving.

Eventually the road dead-ended at a water tower. I played with the thought of camping here. It was really remote and I doubt anyone would catch me. I'm not much of a rule breaker, though. So I'm not sure that I could ever pull it off mentally. At the least, it would be a great spot to sit and drink coffee on a morning commute.

Get out there.


More New Roads

I took the long way in again today. With some research, I found a route that didn't mix up my mileage but gave me some new scenery. It was a great choice. Taking new roads really refreshes the ride experience.
It was also one of those days that made me extremely "pro-Xtracycle." Someone at work needed to borrow a dome tent. Two years ago, I would have been stuck dring to work without any other option. I don't even think about it with the Xtracycle. You can barely see the tent in the FreeLoader bad in the pic above. The Xtra laughs at such a small load when my other bikes are rendered useless.

It's good to be out in the heat and back at regular bike commuting. I've ridden every day this week. It's been a while since I was able to do that.
Plus, I found a place to buy goats if I ever need one.

Get out there.


Long Way Home

Yesterday I got lost on my commute home. I know what you're thinking. "How could someone get lost on their commute?" The truth is, I didn't really get lost. I knew exactly where I was the entire time. But I did miss a turn and ended up on a 16 mile ride when I had planned about 9. It was no big deal, though. I needed to be alone and out for a bit.

I was also able to see some great new scenery. The flooding still has a major presence...

The entire area pictured above doesn't normally have any water. But this stuffed spanned for over an acre.
This house is pretty typical for this area. My normal commute is on the edge of civilization. This route is more removed. I'm guessing this is the area where people build their dream house on their dream lot and stay until they die. Not a bad plan. It's really beautiful out this way.

My normal view is of horses. Yesterday was llamas. Why would someone want a llama? Do they provide wool? Can you ride them? Milk them? It seems rather large to just be a pet.
I passed a bunch of cows in this pond. I guess I spooked them because they went nuts and a stampede ensued. I forgot how fast cows can run! But I suppose it's been a while since I've seen City Slickers.
The ride ended with a view of a cemetery. Shortly after this I reconnected with my regular commute path.

It was good to get lost. I had a full week with lots of social interaction last week. I'm not anti-social, but I can only take so much of people before I start to lose it. 16 miles wasn't much, but the feeling of being lost felt good to my psyche.

Get out there.


Family Ride

This Saturday, my lovely wife requested that we mount the bikes for a family ride. We wanted to mix it up a bit so we hit up the multi-use path that I take nearly every day on my commute. This required that I load the bikes up on the car and drive a bit, though. I feel 100% safe on my bike by myself. But drivers and kids are a little too unpredictable to risk a family ride. So the first two miles were by car, while we followed up with about fourteen on bike.
Since we started by car, of course we forgot something... this time it was my helmet. That wasn't going to stop us from a good time. My daughter's hair looks great here, too. That's the "wind blown" look you get when your parents to choose to ride bikes instead of in cars.
Lots of horses were out. The kids thought that was awesome. It was cool for them to see my regular ride, too. They enjoyed it.
I've never seen geese on the path. Saturday they were everywhere. On two occasions I nearly hit one. This one kept his line long enough for me to whip out my phone and snap a pic.
We had an awesome time. My wife is a major trooper, too. She wasn't feeling well and she was pulling a screaming baby nearly the entire time (we think he hates his helmet). But through it all we had fun and love riding as a family.

Get out there.