This morning I had a meeting that required me to ride a different route than my usual. It's actually my old route that I used to have to take everyday... and it ain't pretty. But as I was riding over a bridge I caught a  glimpse of the train tracks below and thought to myself, "Hey, that does add some visual appeal." Really it was kind of nice, so I slowed down and took a quick pic.

So I continue on my way, unstimulated by the lack of beauty... still hanging on to what I had seen on the overpass. I thought about how Kentucky is neat, with it's train system and what it offers as it cuts through the countryside. At one point in my daydreaming I realized I needed to pick up the pace to make it to my meeting on time. I cranked on the pedals, no longer thinking of my quaint little railroad scene. I only thought about the disappointment of the other guy as I would pull in late. Then I saw this...

My how the mind can take a turn. I was so mad at these stupid trains for cutting through our countryside and making us late for our appointments. :)

Maybe I could stop blaming the trains and leave a little earlier.

Get out there.


Community Bike Shop

Last week we had a great time at Al's Bar discussing what a community bike shop in Lexington might look like. There was a lot of ideas being thrown out with lots of potential to back them up. My presence there was more about how it can offer cycling as transportation to those who don't know it or can't afford it. My hope is to partner with something like this in the future.

For now, it looks like the general idea is twofold. They would like to sell bikes and bike gear for under $200 and they would like to serve the community through cycling. I have no passion for retail. Although, I agree that a sub $200 offering is a better price than anyone would find anywhere else. I'm more inclined to get excited about a bike consignment shop than a retail store. Either way, I've got less interest in that side of the discussion.

But a centralized location that does offer bicycle maintenance, training and even free bikes to those that need it would be really cool. The program I'm working with now does a stellar job getting bikes out. But we do have callbacks when guys get flat tires or even major mechanical failure.  I'd love to have a place near them. We could easily hand them a bike and say, "If you need help let us know! We're here!" This meeting made me think that this could be the place.

For now, I'll keep an ear on the meetings. Only time will tell if this thing is going to work out in a way that would make a great partner for what is already going on.

Get out there.



As you've probably noticed on this blog, my commute is way out in the country. I don't spend much time sharing the road with anyone but farm trucks. Well, yesterday a coworker and I had planned to explore an area that we have a lot of interested in. The place I work is currently in negotiation to buy some property on the other side of town. As of now, we are somewhere on the line of rural and city. The new property would put us right on Main Street.

Since we're looking into making a huge effort in a new area, I thought exploration was needed. And since exploration is best done a low speeds, a bike was the sensible way to do it. It was fun to get out and see all the potential with this property. Slowly passing by all the culture of the area helps me to better understand how we'll support it.

This is one of the two medical clinics we opened up. This is the Lexington location that gives free healthcare to people without insurance that are under the federal poverty line in the area. In one year of operation, this clinic gives $950,000 of free healthcare. Think about that. That's money that doesn't have to come from government or people's pockets. It's awesome to be a part of something that cool.

From the possible new location, we can easily get to the heart of Lexington in just a few short minutes. It will be a huge opportunity to reach a whole different group of people. It was a great hour out on the bikes and will help us to really see what we're getting into. I'll look forward to more exploration as the journey continues.

Get out there.


Short Day

Today was a "short" kind of day. First off, I rode a short bike. The Cross Check got the call for the first time in over a month. To be honest, I'm considering selling it. The more and more I get comfortable in my cycling, the more I realize that I can survive on very little. As a guy that uses his bike as transportation more than recreation, a $1200 bike freaks me out to leave locked outside of a building. That's a long story, though. What I'm getting at is this; it was a short ride on a short bike. I've gotten used to the slower and beefier Xtracycle. Today felt like a dash to work.

My next "short" experience came when I arrived to work. I had forgotten a towel and was forced to use this short little wash rag to dry off. So the joy of my short ride was cut short by the disappointment in my short towel. No harm, though. Sometimes things don't go as smoothly as you hope. Things could get worse.

Get out there.


House Cleaning

Well, really it's garage cleaning.

Last night I picked up my dad's tandem kayak for a trip I've got in late September. A buddy and I are joining a few other canoe campers for a long weekend trip. I could use my newly acquired kayak, but we'd have to figure something out for Jeff. That makes dad's two-man boat a great option for us to share. 

Well, since we were already meeting last night, I went ahead and picked up his boat. The thing I didn't consider was storage. Our garage is getting pretty ridiculous. With two kayaks, four bikes, a van and a whole lot of kid crap there's not room for anything else.

We've got a couch and love seat in here that we need to get rid of. That's the big issue these days. Anyone want a free couch? (By the way, I made a failed attempt to remove these by bike. I kept that story to myself. :)

Until I get this sorted out... well... I just need to get this sorted out. Having all this stuff is becoming quite annoying.

Get out there.

Tonight in Lexington

There are some of us getting together with BikeKY to discuss a community bike shop tonight. Here's what's on their website.
A community bike shop is in the process of opening up behind Al's in the old Chaosome/CPR space. Last week a group of about 15 folks met to start workingon the infrastructure and to basically have a big brain storming meeting. Next step is to clean out the space and continue the brain storming. If you are interested in brainstorming we are meeting on Thursday at 6 pm atAl's. If you are interested in helping to clean out the space (lots of junk in there) then we are meeting on Thursday at 7 pm (after the brain storming) inthe space. Be ready to get dirty and then get refreshed with draft PBRs at the sidecar.
I'll be there tonight and anyone who wants to get dirty is welcome. The entire concept is based around providing bikes and bike service to those in the community who cannot afford it yet depend on their bike for transportation. It'd be cool to see you there.

Get out there.


Two Places

Other than a gas station, there are only two places of business on my entire commute.

Here's the first. It's a vet clinic in the middle of nowhere. The road/path I ride used to be one to the most used roads in the area. Recently, they've moved that road about a quarter of a mile over, leaving this vet abandoned in an unseen land. And I doubt they're fond of me riding by everyday. It makes the dogs go wild.

The other place of business I pass is a golf course. I'm not really into golf. And by that, I mean I've never held a golf club in my hand. (That's not entirely true. One time I played a golfer at a murder mystery party.) But there's guys out there every morning in their pleated pants swinging away.

I was thinking about these two lone businesses this morning and realized how much my commute is literally on the outskirts of town. There's very little to see other than green grass and blue sky. That's quite different than most bike commutes out there. It does mean that my commute is probably longer than a more urban scenario (11 miles one way). But that doesn't bother me at all. The more time on the bike, the better.

Get out there.


Black Fence

Literally, probably 99% of my commute is lined with black fences. Being that I bike through Kentucky horse and farm country, it's something I can't escape. For the most part, it's nice. I'd choose it over busy streets and buzzing cars any day. Recently, though, I noticed that it really is everywhere.

Get out there.


Only in KY

I had a meeting in unfamiliar territory today. As I scouted out a place to lock my bike, I found only one option... a horse. How many people have locked their bike to a horse? Probably not many.

Get out there.


We always have geese in our parking lot. They play chicken with me every day. Geese playing chicken. That's kind of funny.

Geese from Derrick Purvis on Vimeo.

Get out there.


Derailleurs and Fog

Last night was a great night with Jeff working on bikes and talking bike stuff. He's got an old mountain bike that needed a little work. We replaced the cables on it a few months ago but never got around to really tuning in the derailleurs. Last night it finally got finished. Now she's a smooth shifting machine.

I love bikes like this. Yes, it's old. Yes, the paint on it is extremely mid-90's. But it serves it's purpose without fail. It's a mountain bike that gets ridden several times a year. It works exactly as it should. No flash needed.

On another note, this morning's commute was fahhhh-ggy. Really foggy. Fog is the biggest deterrent for riding my bike. When visibility is low, I hate the feeling of riding so close to cars driving 55mph.

Fog also gets me all soggy. I was almost as wet from the thickness of riding through it as I get in a downpour of precipitation.

All in all, it's always worth the ride. But the fog means that the rear blinkie is not an option and I've got to be a little more cautious that usual.

Get out there.


Mid-Day Bike Commute

Our building where I work is literally a quarter of a mile long. To go from one end to another is quite a haul. In my old role, I found myself having to travel back and forth often. There are a couple electric carts that drive some of our facilities staff to and fro with great efficiency. I prefer a different set of wheels.

It's no big deal for me to hop on the bike and pedal that quarter mile down to the other side of the universe. I love it. It offers me a nice little detour past all the email and phone messages I get in my office. Just yesterday, I had a big project that required me to spread out over a big table. I threw everything into my bag and made the journey.

No interruptions. No distractions. And I even got in a little mini bike commute. Sounds like a good option.

Get out there.


Running Late

It seems like more and more recently I'm running late. And never is it because I slept in or I watched too much Tyra in the morning. It's usually got something to do with my family.

Today, for instance, it was my daughter. As I was walking out the door she wanted to tell me what would happen if she missed the bus. I'm sure the conversation could have been executed in a mere three sentences. But she chose to take about eight minutes to explain every detail. I think at one point she even included a joke that had something to do with a Sasquatch.

Anyway, it often leaves me with a very little option on the bike other than pedaling hard. I do have this route that shaves off a couple minutes.

There's a bike path that runs parallel to this road almost my entire way to work. But the zigging and zagging of the path does add nearly an entire mile. So on days like today, I forfeit the solitude, silence and safety of the path to ride this shoulder.

It's not unsafe at all. In fact, compared to my route before this road was recently finished, it's a dream. But until I get into a good rhythm with school back in session, I might be hauling tail down the shoulder for a while. I can handle it... and it's worth the extra family time.

Get out there.


Flying Xtracycles

Found this awesome pic on the interwebs this weekend. It's from The Gear Exchange. I'm pretty sure I'd like to hang out with these guys if I ever got the chance.

Get out there.



Riding my bike is always enjoyable. But often enough I get pulled into my car for one reason or another and I'm reminded of how cost efficient transportation cycling is. To be honest, I don't see the needle pointing to empty very often. I fill up my small gas tank about once a month. But the forty dollars cash that I hand that gas station clerk certainly reminds me why I love riding my bike... it's cheap.

But it's way more than cheap. It's an experience every time. It's an adventure every time. It's worth every bit of the resources that go into it.

Get out there.


I Lucked Out

Last night I was working on about 50 bikes with some really great people. We had been fixing flats and adjusting parts for a while when I realized I had forgotten a headlight for my journey home. Everyone had driven but me and they were all offering me a ride. But I was determined to pedal home. I'd been counting on it all day, and didn't want to give it up.

What's funny is that I usually keep a headlight on all my bikes. But recently, my style of riding has been one that's had me out well after sunrise and home well before sunset. So I had just removed all my lights to prevent any unnecessary theft. It caught up with me.

Luckily, in the last batch of bikes being fixed, I looked down and saw a headlight attached to one. With one flick of the switch, it proved to be in working order. Amazing. After seeing over 100 bikes come through this place, I've never seen one with a light on it.

So I purged it for the evening and will return it today. But this cheap little Wal-mart light certainly saved my tail last night. Obviously, I made it home. Thanks to a bit of luck.

Get out there.


New SnapDeck in Action

Always a good time! Sizing worked out perfectly.

Get out there.

Bike Night!

Tonight's the night that about a dozen of us will attack the rust and seized parts of over 50 bikes out in the barn on the back of my work's property. This morning I rode the Xtracycle in with all the bike tools, pump and repair stand I could fit on there.

We'll come together, chat about bikes and then get to work. It's an awesome thing to be a part of. Next Tuesday night the bikes will be loaded into two big trucks and taken downtown to give away. If anyone wants to help with the repair tonight at 7pm or even distribution, let me know. It's such a cool thing to be a part of!

Get out there.


Xtracycle Kid Seats - Finished!

Well, I've been thinking about it and working on it over the last couple weeks. And finally, the folding Xtracycle SnapDeck seats are finished!

Again, all I wanted was some support via a backrest for my kids and something that would fold flat when not in use. Here's what I came up with...

When they're unfolded or "up," they depend on the straps' tension to keep them upright. You can adjust the straps at the buckle to offer more reclining angle if the kids choose to chillax a bit. I wanted something like this that would offer different support for different sized kids. It's also the same mechanism that holds the backrests down when it's time to haul some cargo.

Just drop the seats and pull the straps tight. You virtually have a regular SnapDeck for all intents and purposes. You could toss on some cargo or another adult passenger without having the clutter of bulky kid seats. I really like the final product. I made the straps with buckles to facilitate another option for strapping down cargo if I wanted to. Now that it's there, I'm not sure it's really necessary. But it certainly won't hurt anything.

If I changed anything I think it would be the thickness of the wood. One inch thickness is overkill. It doesn't make a difference in functionality. But I do have an unfounded desire for this kids' seat to look exactly like an original SnapDeck when folded down. Using half inch board would have come a bit closer. Maybe I'll try it on version 2.0.

Now the only thing left is to disassemble, paint or stain, then put it back together. I'm going to take some time to decide on color finish. In the meantime, we'll get some great use out of it. We used it for the last five days and everything has been great. I'm glad I took on the DIY challenge.

Get out there.


Full Weekend

This weekend had a lot going on. As Angie gets more comfortable hauling that baby in the trailer, she's wanting to ride more and more. I'm always really impressed with my wife. She's currently training for a marathon, yet still has a desire to ride. This weekend was a "lighter" weekend for her (her words). It was only a ten mile run.

Everyone wanted to head out on Saturday for a ride to the library. She was awesome to want to come along, with tired legs and all.

Once again, I'll say that her pulling the baby makes a huge difference. It makes my ride so much more enjoyable to only have the two big kids on the Xtracycle. I'm so proud to have such an awesome lady as my wife. This was one of those weekends that made me really appreciate how incredible she is. Those of you that know her are probably reading this and nodding your head.

While she was riding, though, we noticed that the front derailleur needed some adjustment. She couldn't get off of the middle chainring. Fixing it was a nice little bike addition to the already full weekend.

During our regular "weekend slip-n-slide/sprinkler" time that night, I got everything adjusted. It took more time to carry the repair stand and tools to the back yard than it did to fix it. But it's good to know she's got her granny gear back for when she's pulling our over-sized baby.

That closed out our Saturday, but there was more life to be lived.

We woke up Sunday morning, packed up the bikes and headed out again. This time it was a picnic, playground and play-in-the-creek day.

The creek is such an awesome experience with three little ones. We had come here the day before without "creek" shoes and it was torture. We decided it was a great idea to let them come back and have at it.

It was a good idea. They had a fantastic time. And I, once again, fell in love with Angie. She's a cool mom to embrace the idea of her kids going nuts in a creek. She's a cool mom because she thinks these pictures are better than the usual fake woodgrain backdrop you can get at Sears for a family picture. And, once again, she's a cool mom because she'll pull baby Hulk around on a ten mile ride with even more tired legs than the day before.

Great weekend, obviously. And as usual, I've got to make a plug for this awesome bike that does it all. I took it through a little bit of single-track to get it down to the creek. It takes every challenge I throw at it. Very few machines could offer as much versatile service as the Xtracycle.

Get out there.


Dew Run

Just made a Mountain Dew run on Angie's bike. I figure the balance between exercise and drinking poison was a pretty close trade-off.

Gotta indulge the craving sometimes, right?

Get out there.


Morning Treat

I love coffee. I really love it. And there's nothing better than pedaling into work, hitting the shower and grabbing a hot cup of coffee fresh off the bike.

Well, the one thing better than doing that now is doing that during a winter commute. Being a year-round bike commuter means that I spend a lot of time shivering on a bike. It's a beautiful thing to sip a steamy cup when temps are in the single digits and snow is on the ground.

Any other post-ride drinks of choice?

Get out there.


Another Awesome Bike Move

New SnapDeck Kid Seat

Well, my idea for a collapsable SnapDeck seat is almost finished. I'm not really a handyman. I tend to be mechanically inclined. But regular practice with woodworking is what makes perfect... and I'm far from perfect.

I do think that these are going to work exactly as planned, though. I want something that will drop down and fold into itself so that it will effectively work just like the original SnapDeck.

Angie is gone tonight. So it looks like I'll have the time to finish this thing up. All I need to do is throw on the straps and drill for the SnapHooks and I'll be done. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Get out there.


Big Step

Last night I rode home in the triple digit heat index only to arrive in the air conditioning and hear the family request, "Can we go on a bike ride?"

Well, I'm not one to pass up some quality family time on two wheels. But I was a little more pooped than normal from the heat. Angie has been saying for a while that she'd like to try pulling the trailer. The set-up has always been me on the Xtracycle carrying two kids while pulling a trailer carrying one more. It's completely doable. But I didn't really feel up to it yesterday. So I suggested maybe this be her first run with the trailer.

She was nervous to haul such precious cargo. But with a little encouragement and some controlled practice around our little street, she was ready. She immediately felt comfortable. The fear melted away and she was left with nothing more than the lag caused by our giant baby. She loved the experience and I think it even made her love me a little more. She got a better picture of my rides with 100+ pounds of kid slowing me down.

I'm excited to do all of our "around town" action with two kids on the Xtra versus three. It's gonna make my life quite a bit easier. And she is pumped to have the ability to do some rides alone with the baby while the big kids are at school and I'm at work.

We're getting better and better at this family bike thing. I'm looking forward to the future!

Get out there.


In My Office

This poster hangs in my office. I love it. I genuinely believe (and have had lots of discussions about) that Jesus would totally ride a bike if He were around today. Nothing beats the efficiency and stewardship of a bike.

Get out there.