Archive for January 2012

Is the hammer about to fall?

January 31, 2012

This certainly has not been a typical January.  You only have to look at this morning to understand why.  Pam and I ran in shorts, then I rode to work with just a light, single layer.   And sweated.

As evidence of how nice this weather is, take a look at the entrance to our locker room in the picture above.  Three bikes!  We’re about to have a parking problem!

God bless….


Gas Guzzlers

January 30, 2012


I hate these things.  To me, they’re just the epitome of wastefulness in addition to being butt-ugly.

Unfortunately, we’re the poorest people living in a fairly affluent area, so sometimes it seems like all I see are high end SUV’s. 

Those things are not for me.  Just sayin’.

Now, I’ll get off my soap box.

God bless…


January 28 Bike Ride

January 29, 2012

across the valley

Toward the middle of the week, Mike and I agreed that if Saturday was a halfway decent day we were going for a ride.  Well, yesterday was about that.  Halfway decent.  We had sunshine, but coolish temps in the low 40’s and a southwesterly wind of 10-12 mph that was just annoyingly cold.

Mike on Farm Road

Unlike our last ride, where I did a good job planning our route to take advantage of the wind late, I didn’t today.  We went out past Strafford, which meant that we were generally fighting the wind the entire way back.  Unfortunately, Mike ended up fighting a cramp from Strafford back to my house, and my legs weren’t up to par after yesterday’s hard effort, so we were pretty much dragging back with our tails between our legs.

Our goal was to just get out, but I decided I wanted to ride a few hills, and it had been a while since I had been down on Farm Road 229 east of Strafford.


Our route took us down the big hill on Farm Road 112 to the intersection with 229.

we came up that

In the picture above, 112 intersects 229 at the bottom of the hill.  That’s a 15% grade to come up from a dead stop, so it’s always a killer.  I personally don’t think the 112 hill is quite as steep, but you’ve also got to attack it from a complete stop so no matter which direction you ride that from, it’s bad.  One of these days I want to ride on around the corner pictured above and follow 229 until it dead ends to see what the rest of the road is like.

In the summertime, this stretch is gorgeous.  The picture at the top of this post is looking out across one of the valleys, and there is something of a lake surrounded by pine trees at one point.

Mike Up Sparklebrook

From 229, we rode back up SparkleBrook Road toward Strafford.  There are a couple of really huge houses down in the valley along the creek.  I suppose that creek is the namesake of the road, but I’m not sure.

round bales

We passed a couple of fields with some round bales spread around back in the corner.  It looked like one side of the field (to the right) and the foreground had been picked clean, with just those back in that corner remaining.  With the price of hay this year because of last summer’s droughts across Texas and the west, guys with that much still in storage are making money.


As we were approaching Strafford, Mike hollered, “Holy cow!  There’s a tombstone in the ditch!”.   No way.  We were sure it was probably a toy, but finally decided to turn around and make sure it wasn’t a real one that had been swiped from a cemetery some place.  Luckily, it was just someone’s discarded Halloween decoration.

We pulled back into my driveway with 31.5 miles under our saddles.  Not bad for a Saturday in January.  At least we got to ride.

Here’s a link to the GPS track.

God bless…


It’s good to know

January 27, 2012

This morning started with a longer than normal weekday run of 5 miles, which delayed my departure for work by a few minutes.  Then, before I could leave, we had to stop and clean up a mess from a broken water line in our refrigerator.  

The net result is that I had to really haul to get to work on time.  It’s good to know I still can!

God bless…


Shoulda Worn Raingear

January 26, 2012


After yesterday’s washout, I was pleased to see nothing on radar this morning and 40 degrees on my backyard thermometer.  While Pam and lifted this morning, the local weather dudes kept talking about drizzle, but I pretty much discounted their chatter.  When I got on the bike, however, I realized that I would probably call it a light rain instead of a drizzle.  By the time I got about two blocks away, I was debating turning around and swapping out a pair of pants and jacket for raingear, but decided to just go with it.

In the end, it probably wouldn’t have made much difference either way.  My commuting pants and jacket had enough water repellency to keep from soaking through, and I was overdressed enough to be sweating pretty good on the inside anyway.

I kind of like riding in conditions like today.  Even though it was gray, foggy, drizzly and just downright fugly, it was relatively calm and peaceful out there.  At one point, I was riding along through a residential neighborhood, and I heard this bright and cheery voice calling out, “Good morning!”.  It was a young lady who had come out of a house and was walking down the driveway.  I gave her a wave and just grinned.  It’s interactions like that one that make me appreciate the ability and opportunity to ride…even on fugly mornings like today.

God bless…



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