Archive for August 2010

Intriguing shades

August 31, 2010

On the way home last night, Carter caught up with me.  The first thing I noticed was the unique looking visor/shield he had on his helmet.

The reason I’m intrigued is that I can see some practical application of something like that for winter commuting.  The problem I have with my shades in the winter is fogging.  The first time I stop for a light, they fog up and become completely useless.  I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a pair of ski goggles for cold morning rides, but 1) I’m a cheap sucker and don’t want to spend the money until I’m sure they wouldn’t fog up, and 2)  I’m not sure how high the dork fact0r would be with me riding around Springfield, MO with ski goggles on.  Carter sent me the link for these, so I might give them a try later this year. 

We rode together quite a ways yesterday.  One thing is for sure…you don’t get much of a draft off his recumbant trike!

One thing you do get, however, is a wide berth from drivers when you’re riding with him.  He’s got a pretty wide footprint on that bike, and as you can see in the picture above, takes an appropriate lane position that encourages a wide pass from cars.  You might also notice, however, that I’m riding slightly left of his position, taking even more of the lane than he does!

I intended to walk through the construction zone again on the way home last night, but there was simply too much activity going on to feel comfortable crossing their barriers.  They had a crane there lifting materials up to the bridge above,so I went on down to Battlefield to cross the highway.  In the process, I ended up catching Carter a second time at Sunshine.

Based on that experience, I decided to bite the bullet and take that route to work this morning.  Instead of my usual 8.75 mile ride, it ended up being a 10.25 mile ramble.  As I passed the construction zone on Catalpa, I noted that people were gathering, but no actual work was started yet.   I’m betting that I could reasonably walk through in the mornings, but will need to avoid that area in the afternoons.

Thanks for stopping by….

God bless…


Back in the saddle again…..

August 30, 2010

I hate it when I do that!  I thought it once as I headed to work on my bicycle, then found myself wanting to sing that old Gene Autry song all the way to work.  Aargh!

Except for a little residual pain, I’m starting to feel like I can begin seriously working toward regaining my fitness after that stupid surgery.  To that end, I went for a run this morning, and felt pretty darn good.  I ran for 3.22 miles at a 9:46 pace, which put me faster than I normally run with Pam.  I wasn’t shooting for any particular goal, but just settled into an easy and comfortable pace that I felt I could sustain for quite a while and that’s what I ended up with.

From there, I jumped on the bike for my first bike commute in two weeks.  And discovered this…..

Yep, that would be a closed road at Catalpa where I pass under Highway 65 on the way to and from work.  To avoid this will probably add 1.5-2 miles each way, and to back-track this morning would have cost me more than that.  In spite of several workers there this morning, I didn’t see a lot of real activity, so I pushed my bike over the pile of soft, crushed limestone and went on through.  I’m sure they’ve got it closed for work on the 65 bridge, since there was a crane parked over to one side. What was there this morning looked mostly like equipment and supplies storage, so I guess I’ll probably keep walking through until somebody says something to me.

Other than that little surprise, it sure felt good to be “back in the saddle again”.

Oh…I had my first flat on the Surley last night.  Ten months and 2,600 miles after I got it, the front valve-stem failed as I was filling the tires last night in preparation for this morning.  Hopefully it’s not the beginning of a slew of flats!

God bless….


A runner’s domestique

August 28, 2010


Our marathon training plan called for a 20 mile run today.  I am obviously not ready to embark on such an adventure yet, but I could help Pam with it by riding with her as she ran, providing light and handing off water bottles, gel shots and support!

We hit the Willard Trail about 5:20 this morning while the trail was still pitch black.   I rode in the front to cast a little light on the trail and break the spider webs that had materialized overnight. 


We had the trail pretty much to ourselves until we reached Willard.  Actually, we did share it with two women we’ve seen out there one other time who are obviously training for long runs as well.  We keep seeing their water bottle drops along the way.  We met them this morning in the pitch black dark.


About the time we hit Willard, we started seeing quite a few people and by the time we finished, it was downright busy out there!  At Cotner’s corner, I parked my bike and locked it to a pole to join Pam for a while.

019 020

021 I ran with her for four miles, which is the farthest I’ve gone since surgery less than two weeks ago. 

The paved trail ends at Cotner’s Corner.  Beyond that, it’s crushed limestone and can get pretty soft at times.  Horses are allowed on it out there, and they keep it pretty chewed up.  It’s hard to run out there without getting a lot of gravel in your shoes!  Luckily, there is a nice rock bench right before the pavement begins on the way back so you can stop to empty your shoes!


As we passed through Willard the second time, I thought Pam was still running pretty strong and had this run well in hand.  We decided I would park the bike again at the 17 mile mark and finish the run with her.


I pedaled ahead of her to get enough time to lock my bike up and change shoes before she caught up.  I locked my bike at the self-storage place along the trail and rejoined her just as she arrived.  Unfortunately, she started having some stomach distress about that time, and really struggled to finish. 

In all, I ended up running between 6 & 7 miles at marathon pace and didn’t fill any ill effects, so I felt pretty good about my efforts.

God bless…


Hey! That’s me!

August 26, 2010


Hey, that’s me on my bike! 

After an entire week of absolutely gorgeous weather that has sparked droves of cyclists on the roads, I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I mean it’s as if every cyclist I saw was taunting me, just like I used to tease my sisters (Oops!  Didn’t mean to let that slip.  Sorry sis’s).    So, ten days after my  surgery, I got out on the bike for a while this evening.

I wasn’t sure how far I would go, and certainly  didn’t intend to go fast, but I wanted to know how capable I was of riding at this point.  I took the Surly, knowing it would offer a much more cushy ride than the Giant, and I purposely left the tires just a tad under-inflated as well.

Surprisingly, I felt pretty good as I tentatively headed up the hill from our subdivision.  I found out fairly quickly that it was uncomfortable to stand out of the saddle, but as long as I stayed seated and cranked away in low gears, I made it up the hill just fine.

After a tentative lap around Catholic High School, I decided I was feeling good enough to head out toward Turners.  I figured that I could simply turn around before heading down to the river if it began to feel like I needed to do so. 


As I approached the Clydesdale farm, I noticed several horses out in the pasture, so I turned up the road running alongside for a picture.  After admiring them a few minutes (and failing to call them over to the fence), I debated whether I should turn back or keep going.  At that point, I was still feeling pretty good so I decided to forge ahead.

After crossing the river, I turned to climb the back side of Turners instead of the steeper side of the hill at the store.  The climb actually felt pretty good, and I felt like my legs were getting stronger as I rode.  At the top, I decided to play it safe and turn for home instead of continuing out toward Rogersville. 

Up on the top of Turners, I decided to take a detour down a road where I know a co-worker is building a house.  It’s coming along nicely, but my curiosity was rewarded by a dog chase.  Actually, it wasn’t much of a chase, because I refused to run.  After a while, it got tired of barking at me and left me alone. 

Just before the dog, I saw a couple of deer, and shortly afterwards, came upon a herd of at least a dozen more in the pasture.  They let me stop and get my phone out, but before I could get a good picture, they had enough and bounded off.  You can almost make out half of them in the pic below.


The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, and I made it back to the house with 15.86 miles on my computer and an average speed of 12.4 mph.  For the first ride, I’ll take it!

I did, however, decide that even though my incision isn’t where one would normally use chamois butter, that the next time I ride I’ll use it liberally over the scar where it’s still pretty tender.  My apologies if that’s TMI…..

God bless…


1/2 Mile

August 26, 2010


Just a little over 1/2 mile.  Nothing to brag about, but enough to guage the pain level and tell my recovering body to get ready for more.

Now, if I can just find the other 25.7 miles necessary to run that marathon……

God bless….



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 233 other followers