Black Eyed Peas

This morning was the first time I've ever listened to music on my commute. Normally, my commute time is a time of solitude and silence. I need that to get my day headed in the right direction early on. But I didn't sleep much last night. Abe, my youngest, was up in the middle of the night with lots to say.

There was a strong need for some extra motivation... Enter: Black Eyed Peas. Now, it may come as a surprise that I'd be a BEP fan but it's a great beat to keep your legs turning when you're trying to talk yourself into driving the car.

It was a fun experience. I really liked listening to music while I was riding. I just kept one earbud in so I could still hear traffic coming (which isn't an issue since most of my commute is on a bike path). I wouldn't want to totally give up my time of quiet, but occasionally a podcast could really get the day started off well.

Anyone else listen to music?

Get out there.


iPhone and the Outdoors

I was really pleased with having my iPhone on me for this last camping trip. Lots of times when I go camping, I don't get good enough service (or none at all) to actually utilize any capabilities of the iPhone.

What I did love was the map capabilities. There were lots of times I lost myself in the water or on the MTB trails. It was simple to just tap the screen and get my orientation.

I also enjoyed the ability to reach in my pocket or into the drybag and have a camera, video camera, GPS and other fun stuff all in one device. This way, everything was centrally located.

Do any of you use an iPhone or other digital device in your outdoor lifestyle?

Get out there.



Well, it was my first day with gloves since winter. I was waiting with my daughter at the bus stop this morning, trying to convince myself I wouldn't need them. But logic won that battle. And I'm glad it did.

It was a foggy day and I was wearing full pants, a warm Gore cycling jacket and gloves. I had picked the perfect attire for today's brisk weather.

It was definitely a two-blinkie day with the dense fog. I have about three miles to share the road with cars before I hit the bike path. And fog is the biggest deterrent for me to ride. But two Planet Bike Superflashes do the trick.

I was happy to see they added these posts on the entrance of the bike paths. I wrote earlier about how they had posted signs. But you still occasionally see some idiot driving his car on the path. He won't be able to squeeze through here. To be honest, I wonder if my Xtracycle with WideLoaders will make it through. Worst case scenario, I'll just cut through the grass if not.

I'm glad fall is here. My favorite rides are the ones I can just hop on the bike in whatever I'm wearing and ride. I love riding. But I don't love the prep work that comes with year-round bike commuting. It is worth it though.

Get out there.


Weekend of Paddles and Pedals

I would say that this weekend's trip with Jeff was an absolute success. The plan was to pack up the tandem kayak, two mountain bikes and a night's worth of gear and head into the woods and water. We headed out Thursday morning with some great water on our minds.

The Elkhorn Creek is a great little slice of Kentucky. There's not really any kind of serious whitewater... but that didn't matter to us. There's a great flow of current that is interesting enough to occupy several hours over a couple of days... so we thought.

After unloading our stuff into our camp site, we made a call to the local shuttle and water sports outfitters. "Due to the lack of rainfall this year and the low water levels, we've suspended operation on the Elkhorn Creek. We are still offering tours on the Kentucky River."

What? No water? Perhaps this is something I will check before I leave next time. We didn't want to throw in the towel, so we gave it a go anyway. Things started out okay...

The water level was obviously low, but we could do it.


Before we knew it we were out of water.

We could paddle for about 30 yards, then we'd have to portage for about 50 yards. There were a lot of creek rocks taunting us as we made our feeble attempts.

Eventually, we turned around and headed back. On the way back, though, we found a creepy vulture hang-out. There were hundreds of these things in the trees and on the ground. The air wreaked of death while they stared us down as we paddled by. The pics really don't do it justice.

Discouraged, we made another attempt at a different location to drop in and paddle. No luck. At least we tried. And, at least, we got some decent pics.

Two failed attempts left us with sore arms and disheartened spirits. We headed back to the camp with heads hanging low. I love camping. And if anything is going to cheer me up it's going to be sitting around a campfire with a buddy. Knowing this, we stopped to grab some fire wood on the way back. Across the counter an elderly man spoke more heartbreak into my ears. "Too dry, son. We're on a fire ban. You ain't allowed to build no fire... unless its charcoal on a grill."



No kayaking. No fire. We headed into town for 49 cent McDonald's ice cream cones. It didn't feel right. But what were we to do?

We laid our heads down that night on a sugar high, but our spirits were low. See, when you have three kids at home, it's a big deal to get out and camp. When you have a job that you love, it's hard to walk away for a couple days. This was our time. This was our chance. And it seemed to be falling apart.

Okay, I'm being dramatic. It wasn't that bad. We were both thankful to stand in the water. I love sleeping in a tent. If that's all the experience I got I would have been satisfied. But things definitely turned around in the morning.

We woke up with mountain biking on the mind. There was a mountain bike park nearby, and we were going to attack it. Could pedals offer what paddles couldn't? We were determined.

After we arrived, things quickly turned around. It. was. AWESOME. I'm not a mountain biker. I would say darn near everyone enters the world of cycling with a mountain bike. So I'd ridden knobby tires before. But this was intentional time on the trails. It was great to test my technical ability. And this time it was different than when I'd tried mountain biking before. My endurance is high from road riding. So my fitness level never stood in my way. I had the energy to do what I wanted. I just had to learn the technical end.

Jeff forgot his helmet. I wore mine. Don't yell at me. :)

We rode for hours. One of the fun parts of this park was all the deer we saw. I guess they're used to seeing guys and girls out here riding. They didn't think twice about us. They just stood there.

We also had a great time with all the sink holes.

Capital View Park from Derrick Purvis on Vimeo.

After a few hours of riding we headed back with sore legs, a few cuts and a twisted ankle. It was time to make another attempt for water.

We thought it would be worth it to give the Kentucky River a try. There's a big difference in the Elkhorn Creek and the Kentucky River. Obviously, one factor is size. But with that size comes an intimacy that the river can't offer over the creek. It's more about cruising on the river, less about adventure. But we had packed the boat and we were going to paddle it. It was worth it.

As I took off my MTB shoes and put on my Keens, I noticed this line. That's not a tan line. That's a dirt line. Where the trails dirtied me, the river was going to clean me.

The river offered enough interest and nice views that we felt like it was well worth it. I was limping on a twisted ankle and the lack of use was good for it. We paddled upstream for over an hour and let the water eventually pull us back to the Subaru.

In the end, the weekend was perfect. We laughed a ton and walked away with great stories. I extend thanks to my wonderful wife Angie for letting me go and to Jeff's Emily for gifting him the time. It was great to get out and smell the woods and feel the dirt. We made a great discovery in a town that offers such great outdoor activity and it's merely 30 minutes away.

It was an awesome trip.

Get out there.


Heading Out

While I would prefer to do a camping trip by bike, this time the Subaru is getting the call. A buddy and I are headed to a nice little campground with great paddling and a mountain bike park very close by. It'll be a great trip. I'll get a trip run-down up here when all is said and done.

Have a great weekend!

Get out there.



I'm amazed at the amount of litter I see along my ride into work. I'm not a big "go-green" kind of guy (not that I'm against it at all, either), but it does get a little annoying. We have a beautiful backdrop of farmland and country out here in Kentucky. Yet, it's junked up for the entire 11 miles of riding from my house to my work.

I've thought about stopping and picking it up occasionally. I don't think I'm that good of a person, nor do I have the time. Perhaps I'll work it into my schedule someday. Until then, I'll just keep whining about it on the blog, here.

Get out there.



I must have bumped something a little harder than I noticed the other day when I was hauling three kids with the Xtracycle. When I got on it this morning I noticed it felt a little sluggish. Upon inspection I realized that the rim was completely rubbing my brakes.

My rear wheel has needed to be trued for good while. Now I can't push it off any longer.

For now I'll ride it with the rear brake unlatched. A front brake is plenty of stopping power when it's just me on the bike. I've got a busy week ahead, though. So I'm not sure when I'll get to fixing this thing. I may have to ride other bikes until the weekend.

It's always a good reminder that maintenance is a part of any hobby. And when cycling moves from being a hobby to a tool used for transportation, it seems harder and harder to find time to do it. Even though the priority of it all moves up the list, I always feel like I can't seem to get it done. Hmmm. Now I think there's some kind of additional life lesson in there somewhere. Unfortunately, I don't have time to figure it out.

Get out there.


Snake Bite

Another injury. Not a bad one, but a bit painful, nonetheless. This was a random act of comedy that led to a bloody mess. Here's what went down...

Every morning when I come in the doors to my office I hit the handicap button that opens the door. This allows me to swing around and enter the building without ever dismounting from my bike. The door usually stays open for about five seconds, which allows plenty of time for me to go through.

Well, this time it was a different story. The door only opened halfway before it immediately began to close again. As my front wheel went through I could tell that a bad experience was eminent. I stood up to mash on the pedals but it was useless. There was no time.

The door shut and caught my pannier on my rear rack stopping me in my tracks. As I pushed down on the pedal, it flew out from underneath me, swung around and cracked me on the shin. Anger. Shame. Blood.

It was one of those injuries that bleeds more than it hurts, actually. It was painful for a few moments, but looks worse than it is. I was due for an injury, anyway. It had been a while.

Get out there.


Beautiful Day

It was quite beautiful out this morning on the way in. The unfortunate truth was that I was entirely underdressed. During summer months, I can easily assume that t-shirt and shorts are the only thing I'm going to wear. It doesn't matter if it's raining, blistering heat or a cooler summer day... t-shirt and shorts cover it all.

I need to get back in the habit of checking the temperature on my phone before I leave. This morning I was shivering as I pedaled. I welcomed the warm exhaust of a dump truck as it spewed poisonous fumes into my lungs. It just felt so cozy.

This little guy was cold, too.
I'm guessing he had walked out onto the warmer asphalt to get some heat in him. He was the tiniest snapping turtle I've ever seen. I ran into his mom a while back... she was a bit on the larger side compared to junior, here.

But, no complaints about the temp. It was my fault. I'll dress better next time.

Get out there.



Today was a rainy commute into work. That's nothing out of the ordinary. What was strange, though, was this weird sudsy film all over the road.

I didn't want to have my phone out in the poring rain too long, but I did snap this quick pic. There were sections of suds built up to a couple inches high. It was like riding my bike through my kids' bubble bath. Really odd. Anyone know what it could be? It was down an entire seven mile stretch of road.

Get out there.



Right now is the time of year that I'm a little cooler in the mornings on my commute. When things get too cold, my knees begin to ache a little. That means, yes, I'll throw on my cut-off capri pants.

I get made fun of when I walk in to the office pushing my bike with my short pants on. But it's worth it. I don't sweat like a hog yet my knees stay warm.

Looking silly is an easy sacrifice for a serious bike commuter.

Get out there.


Lexington's Legacy Trail

Yesterday was the opening of the Legacy Trail here in Lexington. From all that I can tell, this is a huge deal for our city. And I would say that they totally did this one right. The trail goes from downtown Lexington to Georgetown, KY. It totals 12 miles of riding from one end to the other and includes some beautiful scenery along the way.

We're hosting the World Equestrian Games (believe me, I didn't know what they were either) beginning this month and the city was lighting a fire under the crews to get this thing done. Apparently the whole world will have an eye into our fair city throughout the games and Lexington wanted to be known for something beautiful. I applaud that effort.

Georgetown is the home of The Kentucky Horse Park, which will host a great deal of the games. Lexington wanted to get this finished in time so that the guests visiting us would have a quicker option than waiting in traffic to get from one event to the next. Good thinking, Lexington. You're right.

I was hauling two boys on the Xtracycle and I could tell that the trip is quick. It's faster than the roads you could take to get there. And with the games bringing traffic, these fancy horse people better be packing their bikes, too.

Being that today was the opening day, there were lots of people out. I knew I was at the mercy of the attention spans of a three year old and a fourteen month old. So I was moving at a pretty good clip to try and get the whole trail in. It was rough maneuvering in and out of everyone. But, hey, lots of people on this trail is a good problem. I'm not complaining.

There were probably nearly a dozen of these pretty wooden bridges throughout the trail. I'm guessing they were built for aesthetics and to eliminate big dips in the route. Really, none of them passed over significant water or ravines. But they look quite lovely.

The countryside is nice. There are some industrial feeling passages that have lots of buildings around. But it doesn't detract from the experience at all. Most of it is pretty farm land.

The boys loved it. The shot above is the end of the trail at the Horse Park. They (although I don't know who "they" are) had kindly set up refreshment tents with water and bananas. My boy, though, wanted to carry is own juice box in his backpack. So he was proudly strutting in front of the other kids while they sipped on their flavorless Evians.

And lastly, they had lots of fun stuff set-up midway through the trail. We didn't stop long. But we did get to see some interesting stuff. A couple bands were performing and they were giving away freebies. Clive scored his very own big-boy water bottle.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I saw some people on their Segways. I think they were from the future.

I'm very pleased and excited about the new trail. It's going to mean a lot for Lexington. Personally, I'm excited for the family camping that it's going to offer. There's a campground at the Horse Park and I could get the family easily loaded up and safely on the trail from my house. It totally changes the dynamics of getting on a busy road with your kids. This is going to be great for us... and all of Lexington.

Get out there.



As the mornings and evenings are looking a bit darker, I thought I would take another look into visibility (pardon the pun, there). The Xtracycle, being my primary ride now, has the most reflectivity. The FreeRadical has two reflectors on it. I wrap two reflective bands between the V-Racks and the Schwalbe tires also have reflective sidewalls. Below you can see what it does when the camera flashes.

Some mornings (and most nights) I throw on the dorky reflective vest, too. All this reflective gear paired with a blinky light clipped to my waist make me pretty visible.

I would say that if someone doesn't see me, it's because they're not looking. I used to underestimate the value of reflective stuff. I thought it had to be done with some sort of light emission, not reflection. Obviously, this works. I don't like covering my bike with reflective tape (for aesthetic reasons), but these bands, Schwalbe's tires and Xtracycle's built-in "tail lights" make a huge difference.

Get out there.


My Awesome Wife

I can almost promise you that this is the only time you'll see running shoes on this blog. I'm no runner. I did a triathlon last year that nearly killed me. I can handle it, and it's something I do often enough out of physical necessity, but I would never choose to discuss my embarrassment that is called "running."

My wife, on the other hand... I could talk about her all day long. She's a born runner. She's one of those freaky people that will lace up her shoes, head out the door and return home hours later with miles and miles behind her. She's always been that way.

Well, now she's taking her running to the next level. She's done lots of races before. But now she's doing a race that is raising money for a cause. She's racing to raise some cash for the Refuge for Women. The Refuge for Women provides a one-year residential healing experience for women and their children desiring to leave the adult entertainment industry.

For some of you reading that, it may sound a little cloudy. I'd encourage you to hit their website to learn more. But what I can say is that my wife has had the awesome opportunity to work with some of the women who have needed a place like the Refuge. She spends time sharing a meal with them a few times each month. It's a lifestyle and a culture that leaves many women and children hurting in it's wake.

Angie is training for a full marathon on October 10 to support the work being done at the Refuge. I'm proud to say that this race will have an impact on something other than blisters on her feet. This race means that women and children will have warm meals. Each step will represent a dollar amount that will go towards little boys' and girls' birthday presents and school clothes. Her 26.2 miles worth of strides will bring awareness to people that are in need. This race is important.

Check out Angie's blog if you'd like to know specifics. She goes into greater detail there. But know that I am proud of her. I'm proud that she's chosen to use something she loves to change lives. 

Get out there.


Another Xtracycle/Boat Excursion

Our house was overrun with sickness for the last few days. I decided the kids deserved to have a great time since they suffered through the yuckness of a virus.

I had to come home early from work yesterday to help Angie who had gotten the bug. Three kids and a stomach virus isn't something any mom should have to do. My plan was to load the bike, put the baby down for a nap and head to the water with the big kids.

As soon as Bliss stepped off the bus we were ready to go.

The Xtracycle plus 16' boat is quite the load. I'm borrowing my dad's tandem for a while, so these trips aren't always possible. That's one of the reasons I wanted to do it while we can. But his boat is looong. Wide cornering yesterday!

We unpacked the boat, put on the kids' life jackets and slid the vessel in. The giggles were non-stop.

I just can't seem to say how much I love this bike enough. This is the type of adventure that I'd never do if I had to load the boat on the car and drive somewhere. It seems like everything's better when the experience begins as soon as you pull out of the driveway instead of once you hit the water. It does everything well. It's easier to prop the boat on the trailer than lift it on the car. The bike ride isn't too affected by the extra load. And, like I always say, the kids love riding the bike. A car ride is a chore when you're three and five. But a bike ride to a boat ride... now that's a memory.

Get out there.