Cross Check for Sale

Well, I've officially made the decision to sell my Cross Check. For info on it, hit the Craigslist ad.

Yes, it's my favorite bike. Yes, I'll be sad to see it go. But I'm selling it for a good reason. The money is for something important to me... more important than having a nice bike, for sure. If interested, just contact me through the ad.

Get out there.


More Time on the MTB

Yesterday, a few buddies and I took a half day off of work to head into the woods for some time on the mountain bike trails. Capitol View Park is a great destination, within a thirty minute drive, that has plenty to offer in a few hours of riding.

It didn't take us long to realize that the day was going to be perfect. It had rained the day before, but the ground was so dry everything just ran off. It was muddy enough to get interesting at times, but nothing that slowed us down at all.
Here we are crossing over a massive downed tree. This was the only place that we had to dismount to cross. Other obstacles were at least attemptable on two wheels (I say "attemptable" obviously because we attempted them, but not always cleared them:)). You can see Jeff in the background carrying his bike over it. This picture was taken shortly after I went down. We'd only been riding for about five minutes before I wiped out. After laughing about it, we realized I do this every single time I mountain bike... I bite it about five to ten minutes in. I think it's because it takes me a while to get acclimated to the bike. It takes one good wipe out to realize my limits... then I'm all good.

Here's Jeff and TD. Jeff flatted out and was riding a squishy tire for nearly the second half of the day. We patched it, but must have missed something. TD was rocking a lender bike since his is in storage in Chicago. Though he had not a bike, he was our boy scout of the trip... very prepared. He was the only one with tools and pump, which we found we needed.
That's me standing with Jason right before we left. We looked clean from the front, but there was mud to be seen on the back side of us all.
I didn't really get any good action shots. We pushed it fairly hard all day with very little time to stop. It's more fun that way. Having a blog tempts you to stop a lot and gather material. I didn't want to stop. Getting a day off of work to ride is too valuable to spend fiddling with a camera.

All in all, we had a blast and got in a great workout. I was more than tired last night when my head hit the pillow. I told Angie that mountain biking makes me feel old. I remember a day when my bones didn't rattle on the trail. It looks like that day has passed.

Get out there.


Bike Fixins'

In the last week, we've sent out another 25 bikes into the community to be ridden for transportation and recreation. I'm not a part of the team that actually gives the bikes away, but they say it's the most fun thing they do. They distribute beds, clothes and food, as well. But they say the bikes bring more joy and make the party more fun than anything else.

I love getting to do it!

Get out there.


Windy Morning

This morning I was tempted to listen to that wind advisory and say that the "wise choice" would be to park the bike and drive in. Fortunately for me, I don't listen to wisdom like I should. I hopped on the bike and it was an awesome morning... with 25-35mph with 45mph gusts... and they were at my back. I could have coasted the entire way to work if I had liked. It was awesome.

There was also a beautiful sunrise this morning. It's such a great time of year to bike commute. I spent 45 minutes with purple skies above me and a cool breeze at my back. What a great way to start your day.

Get out there.



There's lots of things that you miss when you're driving your car 55mph down the road. That's one of the reasons I love riding my bike. I have an understanding of the landscape that those car commuters can't appreciate. Take those painted arrows and lines on the road, for instance. They're perspective is quite skewed when you're buzzing by. But at 16mph, you see how distorted they are.

There's lots of fun things like that you pick up along a bike commute. Personally, seeing the world at a slower pace has really benefited the way I think. It seems to take you back to a time when your day wasn't filled with meeting to meeting, text message to email, rush here to there mentality. It causes an adjustment to who you are, not just how you get to work.

Give it a try. Ride to work. Heck, even walk to work. I had a buddy do it recently. It's a great way to gain perspective.

Get out there.


Tis the Season

This is the time of year that everyone starts looking at the morning temperature and asking, "Did you ride in today?!" I continue to steal Doug's line when they ask me. "There is no bad weather, only bad clothes." There is part of me that wants to whine about the adjustment of temps. But in all reality, a month from now I will have forgotten all about the nice warm summer weather. My routine of getting out all my clothes the night before and keeping track of individual gloves and trying to remember what temps need what gear will have taken over. After the whining has run it's course, I've submitted to the frigid temps. It's really not so bad when you get used to it.

Get out there.


Fun Finds on the Bike

This guys has seen better days, I'm sure.

Get out there.


Chilly Bike Commute

We're back to the chilly bike commute weather. This is the stuff that separates the men from the boys. I'm hoping I still see some cyclists out there in the coming months, but the road typically gets lonely after October.
Well, lonely as far as bike commuters go. There's still plenty of these creatures out there. They really do amaze me. You can see their intelligence as they interact with one another. Today I pulled over and spent a few minutes watching them and playing with them. Steam was coming off their huge bodies. It looked just like power radiating from them. You forget how strong they are until you're face to face with one.

It's a blessing to have the commute that I have. I hope I never forget that.

Get out there.


Scout Night

Last night I had a really fun opportunity to hang out with some Cub Scouts and talk about bike safety, maintenance and use. A buddy invited me to come into the troop and share what I use my bikes for and how I take care of them. It was a really enjoyable night. The boys had lots of fun questions and observations, and by the end, lots of the parents were asking about cycling as well.

I was surprised by the general interest of the parents. "Where should I buy a bike?" "What kind of seat is the best?" "Where are the safest roads in town?" They were as interested in cycling as the boys. It was really encouraging to hear.

The highlights of the night were the Xtracycle and the free Bike Lexington blinkie lights I gave the boys. Big thanks to Bike Lexington for sharing the love and hooking me up.

The ride home was great. It was the perfect temp for some night riding. I love riding at night!

Get out there.


Legacy Trail

The entire family headed out onto the Legacy Trail for a nice little ride this weekend. I love taking the kids on a designated bike trail versus open roads. I'm not at all uncomfortable on the road. It's just nice to completely eliminate the threats that cars bring when you're hauling your little ones.

We were able to take a little picnic moment together. Who doesn't love a good juice box and granola bar halfway through a ride?

I love my girls. The boys eat it up. But it would be justified if the ladies scoffed at our desire to sweat and get stinky. They don't. They love it. I really appreciate Angie for the kind of woman she is. And she's the perfect woman for Bliss to model herself after. I'm blessed to have them!

Angie's bike had a flat so we opted for the Cross Check as her ride. It was the first time she had ever ridden it, but adjusted pretty quickly. Her Kona is more of a hybrid geometry, so this thing made her feel quite Armstrong-ish. Within minutes, through, she was totally used to the feel. Man, she's beautiful... sorry. I digress.

And lastly, here's a lot of family in one shadow. Yep, that's five of us riding together, laughing together and genuinely enjoying our time together. A bike ride is such a great tool for family health... physically and mentally.

Get out there.


Awaken the Beast

It's been weeks since I rode the Xtracycle. I had some brake/wheel issues that were keeping me from forward momentum, so it escaped my choice of bicycles for too long. This morning, though, I needed it to get a repair stand into work with me. I woke up early and tinkered in the garage until it was back in working order.

It was a beautiful, chilly, windy morning on the Xtra. But it felt nice to be back on it.

Get out there.


Race Weekend

Not  my race, my wife's. This past weekend Angie ran a marathon in northern Ohio. I chose to bring the Cross Check to do my exploration and race support while she was running. It was a great choice.

It was a beautiful area to explore by bike. Near the river, it was completely flat and gorgeous to pedal around. The race was actually on the Towpath Trail, a multi-use trail that stretches for miles and miles.
We started the day at a ski resort. Obviously, with no snow, the slopes look a little greener than usual. But this gives you a little bit of an idea of the climbs I had to get around. As soon as I would leave the river, I'd be climbing or descending. I enjoy climbing when it's on a joy ride. If I can casually climb a hill without worrying about time or agenda, it's a fun challenge.
This is Ang on mile one. She was truckin' by (hence the blurry photo). The morning was cold and I was in need of some warm refreshment. Enter... the Java Truck.
Being that we were in a pretty remote area, I wasn't sure if coffee was going to be an option. These guys saved the day. For the first few minutes of the race, I was resting against my bike, sipping coffee while Ang was setting off on a 26.2 mile journey. I almost felt guilty.

I could see the trail from lots of different places, as you see in the pics above. Actually accessing the trail was another story. Because the Towpath is such a popular place for cyclists and runners, they were patrolling it like crazy. I got the stink eye several times by the volunteers. I had to explain over and over that I was a spectator looking for my wife, not just a rider trying to get in a joyride.

Along the way I was able to see some great sites...

There were several occasions that I did make it to the trail. I was able to find Angie at mile 14, 16, 20 and the finish line. She kept a great attitude the entire time. It was fun to watch her along throughout the race.
She was amazing. She is such a gifted runner and this race was dear to her heart. She was raising money for The Refuge for Women, a local program here in town that helps women and their children in need. We happily walked away from the race celebrating the ability to have such an experience. I was celebrating not only her, but the fact that I brought my bike. The views were welcomed and the bike was the perfect tool to experience them.

Get out there.


Lonely Roads

I love that my bike commute is through the country. I love the beauty and isolation... most of the time. This morning, though, I was thinking about how it would be nice to have an occasional conversation or two on the commute.

I've never really seen any regular bike commuters in the four years I've been doing this. There are seasons that I see people grab onto the idea for a week or so. But no one has stuck with it. I do think that the new bike path is going to encourage more bike commuters. My hope is that one day I'll get the opportunity for a friend... heck, I'd settle for a head nod.

Until then, I'll be keeping my head down and trying to enjoy the solitude.

Get out there.


Cyclocross in Lousiville

Louisville (my home town) is building up a new cyclocross park to go along with their huge initiative to make itself a cycling town. I'm excited to get the CrossCheck out there for some fun.

I'm very proud to come from a town that is really investing in cycling. It's a great place to ride.

Thanks, Jason, for linking up the video. It was fun to watch.

Get out there.


Top Ten Cyclists of All Time

This is the list off the top of my head, isn't really in any order and is, in no way, very legit.

Pee Wee
Wayne's girlfriend Stacey
Kermit and Ms. Piggy
Karate Kid
Napoleon Dynamite
Wicked Witch

Get out there.



Now that the seasons are changing, I'm being forced to remember lights on all my rides. This shot may not look like I was lit from behind, but I had a blinkie on my backpack for this trip to the library last night. The sky was lit when I left the house, but this shot was taken on my way home. Within a thirty minute timeframe, the lights were a necessity.

It looks like I need to dig through all my boxes and find my headlight and blinkie for each of my bikes. Bring on the time change.

Get out there.


Man in the Mirror

The building I work in is a quarter mile long and mostly glass on the outside. That means I get to see myself riding next to myself for the last tiny bit of my commute. I'm always friendly to myself. I wave as I go by :)

Get out there.



For me, this cold weather means that my knee starts to ache. I'm not sure what the medical reasons might be, but every time the gloves get busted out and the long pants are thrown on, the knee pain hits.

Anyone know why?

Get out there.



How long does a sign have to be posted on a tree before the tree completely swallows it? You have to admit, this is impressive.

Get out there.



One of the best habits I've gotten into with outdoor sports is making lists. Whether I'm camping, predicting appropriate attire for foul weather or making repairs on a bike, a list keeps me in line.

There are so many options and opportunities when you make an adventure out your front door, it's easy to miss them because you aren't prepared. Above is a screenshot of my stuff I needed for last week's camping trip. I get so exhaustive that I list "Boat." But hey, how bad would it be to get to the river and look up to see that there's no boat on the roof?

Organization is the easiest way to avoid such mishaps. I keep a running list of repairs that I need to do on the bikes, too. It gives me the opportunity to categorize by time and need. There may be a couple jobs that will only take ten minutes to finish. If they're on my list, I can seize the opportunity when it arises.

Same thing with tools. Getting my tools out and putting them away is a hassle. When everything is out, I look at my list and say, "What else needs to get done while I've got the bike on the stand and the kitchen is already a mess?" It's a great way to keep the efficiency up.

I use the Simplenote app on my iPhone. But a notepad would do the job just as well.

The reality is that organization keeps you outside more. No one wants to get to the MTB trails and realize they don't have their front wheel. It's totally worth it.

Get out there.