It's always exciting when one of your bike commute roads gets paved. The smoothness and new paint make you feel like you're going 45mph. One of the roads on my long route was paved recently. It's been so nice having it done.

Yesterday, there was a new development. They've cut out divots a good 12" from the edge of the road. These things are impossible to ride on. It would jar your teeth loose. But there isn't enough space on the right side of the divots to safely cruise the bike.

Solution? Ride further into the road.

But it's a narrow road to begin with. These little divots aren't going to make people very happy when they ride up behind the guy on the bike. Let's hope they exercise good patience.

Get out there.



Yesterday's ride home helped me to realize how spoiled I am on this bike path. It's incredibly rare that I see anyone on the path. In the warmer months, I may see two people a month. In the cooler temps, there is absolutely no one. Not the case, yesterday...

Within the first mile I rode up on another guy on a single speed Huffy cruiser. He had a bunch of folders under his arm and asked where the court house was. I slowed down, gave him directions and he asked how much longer it was going to take. Unfortunately, at his pace, I told him about an hour and a half. He wasn't pleased.

Soon after that I was buzzed by a lycra-clad roadie coming from the opposite direction. She was CLOSE when she passed. But it wasn't her fault. It was mine. I was just pedaling along, not looking where I was going, taking in the views of the farmland. At that point I realized I needed to pay more attention. And boy, did I ever have to.

For the remainder of my ride, there was some type of cross country or track team running on the path. There seemed to be about 30+ runners, running on this side and that, that I had to dodge for a good five miles. It was like playing a video game. I came up on them faster than they expected and they were more sprawled out on the path than I expected. It was quite the ordeal.

As I said, it made me realize how spoiled I am. I love the solitude of my commute and I didn't like sharing it. But that's okay. My last three miles were remote and alone. The serenity and rural vibe from the photo above is what I normally experience. I just didn't get my normal dose of normalcy yesterday.

Get out there.


Bike Parking

The rumor is that I'll be changing offices here soon. I don't really care where my office is. There's better things to be concerned about. But I'm currently in, what I believe to be, the best office in the building.

There's a little nook outside my actual office that was intended for an administrative assistant. Being that I don't have an admin, that little nook has been used for bike parking. From time to time, for one reason or another, I end up with a couple extra bikes parked at work. And this area is especially helpful when you've got a big ol' xtracycle that needs a place to rest during the day. Also, I meet with a lot of people that may not want to have a greasy, wet bike in their lap.

But, alas, I'll be forfeiting the best office in the building for something new. On the plus side, when my bikes are parked right in front of my desk, I'll be able to daydream about them as I work. Perhaps the new tenant in here will allow me to leave the bikes laying around :)

Get out there.



Yesterday, as I pedaled home in the rain, I noticed a lot of golfers out in their slickery rain get-ups swinging away at the tee. I thought to myself, "Sheesh, those guys are nuts. Who would want to play golf when it's poring down like this?"

Then it hit me.

They're looking at me wondering the same thing. "Who would ride their bike in the rain? This guy must be a lunatic."

The truth is, I love to ride my bike in the rain. It's a unique experience. It changes the mundane into a new adventure. And for the fair-weather golfer, I suppose that playing in foul weather is a fun change for them, as well. They're dedicated to golf like I am riding. I'm a better person when I ride and I suppose they are better when they play. I solute you and your dedication, rainy golf guys. Way to stick to it.

Get out there.


Corn Field

Sometimes I totally miss parts of my commute. Yesterday, for the first time, I noticed this awesome little section of old broken fence up against a corn field. To be honest, I've never even seen this field. Seriously, I must get distracted by the golfers on the other side of the road. But I'm glad I stopped. It made for a great picture.

Get out there.



Today's commute clocked in with a 43 degree windchill. That's Kentucky weather for you. I took this exact same shot on Tuesday in shorts and a t-shirt. Today was full on gloves and warm jacket.

It does feel great, though. I prefer riding in the cooler weather like this. You can control your temperature with the right garments. This morning I wore the warmer jacket and unzipped the front and arm pit vents as I got warm. It felt perfect the whole time.

Now is a great time to start experimenting with bike commuting if you never have. The weather is so nice for it.

Get out there.



I've recently been riding the drop bar Cross Check quite a bit more often. It's more aggressive positioning and gearing offer quite the paradox for bike commuting. I love the feeling of mashing the pedals and having the cold morning air race across my knuckles but, to my regret, an 18mph commute just doesn't last long enough. Perhaps some longer routes should be discovered?

Sounds like a plan to me.

Get out there.


Recon Mission

As we cleaned out our minivan on Sunday morning we realized a shoe had gone missing. The shoe belonged to my two year old who happened to have his window open on our trip to Walmart Saturday night. This is the child who likes to throw things out of that very window. Therefore, we deduced that that little show was sitting somewhere on Hwy 27 between our house and Walmart.

What's the best tool to slowly comb the streets looking for a tiny sneaker? That's right. A bicycle.

I took a ride yesterday that was dual purpose. My wife wanted me to have a little mental break and I was looking for a shoe. My mental hiatus was great, but, alas, after riding up and down the open lane I never found the shoe. Looks like we're headed back to Walmart tonight for another pair... this time, with the windows closed.

Get out there.



Last night I went whitewater kayaking with my buddy, Curt. I’ve done whitewater before in my rec boat, but last night wasn’t a great idea. It’s been raining constantly for a few days and the water was moving fast. I sunk my boat once but filled it with water several times. Whew. It truly was an adventure. 

But as I sit and type today, I’m not really thinking about my trip. I’m thinking about the person that allows me to take trips like this. I’m thinking about my best friend, Angie, who supports me, laughs at my jokes and enjoys my adventures like last night. As I drove home in my soggy clothes and achy body, I reflected on how blessed I am to have a wife like her. 

I thought about this photo of her from three years ago. It’s one of my favorites. It captures the beauty, joy and humility that she evokes in every interaction I have with her. Her life is full of sacrifices and trials, but she continues to love her Maker, her husband and her children with grace. She makes me a better person every day without fail. I wouldn’t be able to paddle boats or pedal bikes without her support. But more importantly, I couldn’t fulfill my role as a dad or pastor without her. Her strength and grace hold me up when I stumble and her smile and beauty make me laugh when I’m down.

As I sat, exhausted in our living room late last night, telling her of my bumbling and flailing in the water, I felt bursts of energy as I saw her laugh and smile back at me. I can’t help but be energized in her presence. I’ve never known another person to do that for me. It is rare that a guy with three kids and one on the way could fill a blog like this with pictures and words from his adventures. But it has less to do with me and more to do with a great wife. Many of my readers are people I’ve never met. So it’s right to direct the attention where it’s due, at times. And that’s the purpose of today’s post.

As I drove home, I thought about the sacrifices Angie makes for me and I pray that I offer the same to her. She truly is amazing. If you ever see this beautiful face out and about, chances are she’ll have a kid on her hip and wrangling some others. But you should stop her, give her a pat on the back and reflect on how great she is. She’s an amazing woman and I’m humbled that she’s chosen me.

I love you, Ang.

Get out there.


Faster Than Ever

Yesterday was my fastest commute yet. I'm not sure why. It was one of those rainy days when the you're underprepared and those little rain pellets sting your face and fingers the entire way. Perhaps the discomfort motivated me to pedal harder than usual. Perhaps it was because I was on the Cross Check and my body is adjusted to pushing the beefier, more semi-truck-like, Xtracycle up those hills. Either way, it was a fun, fast ride with two full panniers. You can't beat that.

Get out there.


Goodbye Dan

My buddy, Dan, is moving to Seattle this weekend. He's following his heart to greener pastures and we decided the best way to send him off would be a man trip on the bikes for a night of camping. In the end, we had eight guys riding on two wheels to the Kentucky Horse Park. It's my second trip by bike to the Horse Park. You really can't beat the Legacy trail and the options for getting there. It's pretty peaceful, scenic and about 30 miles from my front door.

It was a quick trip. We opted to leave after work and be back before work the next morning. But it was plenty of time to ride hard, sit by the fire and say nice things about Dan (We never actually said nice things about him. I just assumed we were all thinking nice thoughts, though).

I did have a major hiccup during the ride there. One of my Ortlieb panniers had a little snafu and got caught in my rear wheel, completely obliterating it. I don't think I can repair it. But I've heard good things about Ortlieb's customer service. I'm hoping they'll smile on me with grace. I'm absolutely positive that it should not have happened. As little as I've used those bags, I really feel like they should cover me here. I certainly haven't gotten my money's worth out of them.
I was incredibly pleased with my Eno Hammock. This is my first overnight trip in the hammock. I really didn't expect to sleep well through the night. I'm a terrible sleeper but sleeping in a tent somehow offers better sleep than in my own bed. I felt like I was at risk of losing one of those awesome night's sleep in the tent. Not so, though. I slept great in the Eno. Perhaps it isn't tent sleeping that my mind and body love so much. Perhaps it's just sleeping outside. Either way, the Eno was great. Super cool on a pretty warm night and totally comfy for my back.

All in all, it was a great trip. Dan, you will be missed greatly. It's fitting to send you off with a bike trip. You're going to a bike friendly world and we'll be envious.

Get out there.


Long Haul

This morning I had the trailer hitched to the Cross Check for my commute. Some buddies are borrowing it to haul gear on a camping trip and the best way to get it to them was to pull it. Normally, I'm just pulling the trailer in the small neighborhood streets throughout my little town. Rarely do a reach high speeds on narrow roads with this long hauler.

It handled fine. I think it's a mental thing... the trailer usually means there's one of my beloved children behind me. So it's a chilling feeling when cars are buzzing by it at 70mph. But I made it in with no hang-ups. No worries at all.

Get out there.