Group Commute

There were three of us on the commute in this morning. Neil lives in my neighborhood and my buddy Derrick met me at my house, borrowed the LHT and had his first ever bike commute this morning. So the three of us rocked our way trough Jessamine county on skinny tires in the rain. I took the single speed Cross Check since the weather appeared to be a bit more dismal.

But the rain wasn't bad and the temps were cool enough to never make you overheat and warm enough to never make you cold. I love riding in this weather. And tip of the hat to Derrick, who made his first ride a rainy one. It's a great way to start the day.

Get out there.


Long Ride on the Longtail

I did a lot of meandering on the route in this morning. I had some time and the weather was in my favor. So I slowly made my way across the landscape with out a direct route in mind. The Xtracycle was the ride of choice today. There's a guy at work (who has four kids like me) and is thinking about entering the realm of longtail riding. So I'm letting him borrow the Xtra for a day to see what he thinks.

The Cross Check is at the office. I'll just ride it home today and grab the Xtra tomorrow. Looks like rain is in the forecast for the ride home.

Get out there.


Not Totally Back

Yesterday I wrote about how great it felt to be back on the bike. That still holds very true, even after a long commute in this morning. What's not totally doable, yet, is mountain biking.

Over my lunch break yesterday, I rode some trails with Jason on the Troll. Without getting into the medical details, I'll just say this; it hurt. Riding on the roads doesn't give me any discomfort. It'll be a couple more weeks before I'm floating fat tires over rough terrain. I had to take it too slow and easy to have much fun in the dirt. But after being out for the last couple weeks. I'll take what I can get.

Get out there.


I'm Back.

After two weeks off of the bike, I'm finally back in the saddle. I had a minor medical deal a couple weeks ago that mandated at least 14 days of rest. Yesterday was my first opportunity to be out there riding again and, boy, was it perfect.
I headed out under beautiful blue, cloudy skies. There was no agenda or map. I was going to ride until I  started to not feel well or perceived that I should turn around. I anticipated four miles or so. I went almost 13.
I explored several new roads. My goal was to stick close to the creek, for the sake of a nice view. It was a good choice. It kept me curious and engaged in the new landscape I had never seen.

Always cows and horses in Kentucky.
Congrats to the Sawyers... whoever you are.
At one point, I checked Google Maps on my phone to get oriented and try to find a loop back home. It sent me down a little road that was paved, but barely one lane. My bike path on the way to work is wider than this little road. I descended for a mile or so and then saw this. The road ended right in the creek. At first I thought my map was wrong and I'd be turning around. But upon further inspection, I realized the road continued on the other side. At only a few inches deep, the creek was meant to cover the road and you could drive (or pedal) right on through it.
Here's a pic from the other side. It was really a fun little novelty to find. I was worried I might cross some slippery moss and go down. But it wasn't bad to ride through at all. I took it slow and enjoyed the beauty of a new opportunity.
Shortly after my creek crossing I headed up another gnarly climb. As I pedaled closer to this tower, I saw two strange figures hanging from the metal bars. It appeared to be a couple monkeys, but that couldn't be right. Well, it was two monkeys... just of the plush variety. If you enlarge the photo, you might be able to see them in their splendor, hanging high above the Kentucky landscape. Someone went through a great effort to get them up there and I greatly appreciated it. It made me laugh a lot during a sweaty climb.

Creek crossings and monkey sightings. What a great first ride back.
I was using an app called Strava for this ride. I'm not really into tracking my rides at all. But it's fun to experiment with the latest and greatest technology out there. This app does a fantastic job of tracking a lot of data and presenting it in an easy-to-use interface. It even allows you to virtually compete with other riders out there. It really is useful if you're into tracking your stuff. Was it for me? Nah. I don't like all that data in my head when I'm riding. It distracts me from why I like to ride. I stopped tracking mileage and times a long time ago. Don't get me wrong. I understand why others do it. But my capacity to turn my brain off is fairly limited. So, for me, it's just easier to crank the pedals and get more miles without this type of thing in my head.

It was a huge opportunity for thanksgiving as I rode yesterday. That was my longest period off the bike in years. So I was antsy to get back on. Yesterday's weather and route could not have been better. I was extremely grateful.

Get out there.


Family Rides

I've been having a great time riding around the neighborhood with the kids the last couple weeks. Right now I'm recovering from a minor medical procedure (Nothing serious... but it'll have me off the bike for two weeks :( You may have noticed the lack of posting.). But I'm really missing rolling around the neighborhood with my kiddos.

My daughter has never shown much interest in riding her own bike until this summer. I think that the Xtracycle has delayed her desire to ride. Why pedal yourself when ol' dad will take you all over town? But as soon as I'm all healed up, the training wheels are coming off permanently. It's time to roam free.

Get out there.


Loaded Up and Truckin'

For one reason or another, I had quite a load for this morning's commute. Both panniers were filled pretty well and the weight was much more than a usual ride to work. Big deal? Nope. Just one more ride that had me in awe of the Long Haul Trucker.

Some of this difference is due to minor things like tire size and adjustments. But 95% of the noticeable handling difference is the bike itself. This frame wants you to load it up. It just holds it's line smoothly and trucks up and down hills like a... well, like a loaded down semi truck. Perhaps I'll bootleg some Coors down to Georgia on this bad boy. Anyone want to get a snazzy fast road bike and be my blocker?

Get out there.


Kickin' It

I just put a kickstand on the LHT. I'm a big fan of having one, but they just don't seem right on my other bikes. They're a little clunky and a little dorky, but when you need one, you love it. And it will totally help getting a variation of bike photos for the blog.

This is a cheapo kickstand. But I'd really consider a nice double-legged stand if the finances were available. Anyone else running a kickstand on their bike? Recommendations?

Get out there.