Archive for the ‘bicycle’ category


September 17, 2013

There is a tea house down in Ozark that is very popular with women!  It’s almost impossible to get a table on Saturday at the Spring Creek Tea Room unless you get there just as they open.  Needless to say, Pam likes it, so by proxy, I enjoy it also.   And…they make some of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten!

Since it was kind of cool on Saturday morning, we decided to hang around the house until about 9:15 or so, then ride down to Ozark for an early lunch (is it brunch?) followed by cake!  We figured the 30+ mile round trip would afford us a pretty good sized piece of cake!

We made our way to Ozark over the newly re-opened Riverside Bridge, and made our way to the tea house.  This is what we found!


Aargh!  I guess we planned that one wrong!  Oh well…we had an alternative.  There is was another tea house just off the square, so we headed in that direction.  When we got there, wouldn’t you know it, it was gone!  Replaced by a coffee shop, but we saw that they had sandwiches on the menu so we went in and ordered.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well.  The two barista’s didn’t seem to have a clue.  They spent their time talking, and attempting to get orders straight for a bridal shower over in the corner.  We sat there for quite a while, then when it became apparent they hadn’t even thought about starting our order, we politely let them know we were moving on.

We found yet another coffee shop around the corner advertising sandwiches, so we made our third attempt at getting lunch!  We were successful this time.  Their sandwiches were really good, but we had to laugh at how bad their baked items were.

When it was all said and done, we still didn’t get our cake!


You can click the map for the GPS track.

God bless…


Solo Century

September 16, 2013

There is not doubt I’m a true introvert!  The more I ride my bike, the more I realize how much I enjoy the times of solitude out there.  Friday was one of those times that just makes my heart sing!    I took the day off with the intention of riding the solo century that I had planned and cancelled when the grandson was born.  The planned route was a conglomeration of several different destinations pieced together to equal 100 miles beginning and ending at the house.  I pretty much “live tweeted” the entire day, so if you’re a follower, I apologize in advance for the re-tweets!



I actually planned my nutrition for the day for a change.  My plan was to set an alarm for 45 minutes time and make sure I ate something within 15 minutes of that regardless of whether I was at a convenient place to stop or not.  That plan worked really well.  Between the 4 Honey Stinger waffels, the Peanut Butter & honey on a thin bagel, the two protein cookies, and lunch at Subway, I felt really strong the entire day and finished with lots of gas still in the tank.


My original plan was to get out of the house about 6:30, but Pam convinced me to give her an extra hour of sleep.  I ended up leaving around 7:45, which was OK except that it put me at my planned lunch stop at 1:10 instead of noon.  Not a big deal, but it did get me home an hour later as well.


The really nice thing about doing this ride on my day off was the complete lack of traffic all day long!  It sure was a different experience from riding on a Saturday.


My first real rest stop came at Sparta where I stopped at the c-store for some Gatorade.  The temperatures were perfect for riding, but with a long day ahead of me I didn’t want to overlook the need to replenish my electrolyte supply.  I drank half the bottle and kept the second half for later.


I couldn’t help but stop to photograph this sign between Sparta and Rogersville.  Someone obviously wasn’t happy over the loss of some cattle!  I suspect they probably had a good idea of who took them!

Shortly after this, I realized the wind was picking up and that it was probably going to be against me most of the way to Fair Grove.  It wasn’t bad, but it did slow me down a little.  The saving grace was that if it was against me all the way out there, it would help push me the final miles home.


As I planned the ride, I realized that I had NEVER ridden my bike to Fordland!  I’m not sure why, but it is just someplace we’ve never ridden to.  I knew it was just about a skip and a jump from Rogersville, so I set out to add that destination to my ride list.  I’ve got to admit, now that I’ve ridden there, it’s not gonna be the last time.  I especially liked PP Highway between Fordland and K Highway.  It really seemed isolated and quiet out there!


For some reason, I’ve got a propensity for getting myself on gravel roads by seeking out and mapping routes I’ve never been on before.   I knew that my passage over Lon Road would have about a quarter mile of it, but this one caught me by surprise.  Luckily, it wasn’t more than a mile long, but on the skinny tires of my road bike, it was a very annoying mile!


As I started getting close to Strafford, I realized it would be after noon before I hit town.  A quick calculation of my mileage told me I would be there at around 65 miles, which made me briefly reconsider my planned lunch at Fair Grove.


In the end, I decided to keep to the original plan so I just grabbed another Gatorade at the c-store and continued on!  To be honest, the reason I decided not to eat in Strafford was the fact that the Subway there is in a truck stop and I just didn’t want to deal with that!

At this point, I was doing some quick calculations of mileage and realized I was probably ahead of the game by a couple of miles so I started thinking about whether the final loops toward the end would be necessary or not.  I was still feeling good, so I decided to go over the top of Radio Tower Hill on the way to Fair Grove rather than an out and back over the Ugly Sisters.  I think the climb is just a bit harder going north over Radio Tower, so I had originally bypassed it.


I pulled in to Fair Grove’s Subway about 1:10 and I’m telling you that sandwich hit the spot!  As I finished up and headed out for the final leg, I couldn’t help but think that I had this one in the bag.  I was feeling good, I knew I was as close as 21 miles from home and I had the wind at my back!

It was during this final stretch that I started feeling a little discomfort in my back.  I attributed it to the fact that we had added a dead lift to our weight routine on Thursday, and kicked myself for not thinking ahead.  Luckily, the discomfort never got to the point where it bothered me much at all.


My on the fly calculations had turned out to be pretty darn accurate.  I crossed the 100 mile mark less than a mile from my driveway with a rolling time of 6:05:39.  I had set my goal at 6:15, so I was plenty happy with the effort.  I got home at 3:00, celebrating an awesome day on the bike!


You can click the map for the full GPS track.

God bless….


Taper Time

September 11, 2013

Sunrise 09-11-2013


Man!  I sure love my commute!

This morning was the beginning of a two day taper for me.  I’ve got an adventure planned for Friday!

God bless…


The longest way

September 10, 2013

Sunrise 9-10-2013

The single most asked question I get about my bike commute to work is, “How far do you ride to get to work?”.  I mean, sometimes it seems like I get that question multiple times every week.  My answer is always, “It depends.”  Because it does…

The shortest route I have to work is about 8.5 miles.  The longest is 17, with a myriad of options between, depending on:

  • My mood.
  • How much time I have.
  • My energy level.
  • How much I’ve already ridden during the week.
  • How much I think I might want to ride over the weekend.

This morning, I had plenty of time.  We lifted weights, and for some reason moved along pretty quickly.  Some mornings, we can’t agree on how many sets of a particular exercise we’ve done.  I usually think we’ve done a lower number than Pam does…but Pam had the strongest argument this morning, so it didn’t take as long as it might have if I had come out on top of that discussion.  Anyway, I managed to get out of the house early enough to make a loop down through the Nature Center.  That’s my 17 mile ride.  The pic at the top is the view as I start down the hill to the river.  You can see the nice sunrise building…

nature center

Down by the river on the Greenways Trail, wisps of fog hung in the air waiting to burn off.  I usually see a lot of deer along this path, but today a couple of ladies on bikes had passed before me so I guess they spooked them all back into the brush.

That ride gave me 63 minutes of pedal time on the way to work.  Not a bad way to start your day.

God bless…


Stuff I see – Clydes

September 9, 2013



Yesterday afternoon was a hot one!  I had spent a little over an hour suffering through our painting project, but when Pam had to leave for a prior commitment, I jumped on my bike since I was sweaty anyway.  I planned to spend two hours in the saddle, and timed it pretty perfectly.

There is a family out east of town that breeds and raises Clydesdale horses, and they have them pastured several different places as you head out of town.  As I approached this particular group, I noticed some really odd behavior.  What attracted my attention in the first place was the amount of dust they were raising, but then as I came to a break in the bushy fence line, I could see the three on the right walking a tight circle, one after the other.  I’m not sure what they were up to, but they were lined up and circling in an intentional behavior.

I could see a clearer break in the brush as the road curved around ahead of me, so I decided to pedal over and get a video.  Unfortunately, they noticed me stopping and stopped their circling to watch me.  I waited a couple of minutes to see if they would start again, but we seemed to be in a Mexican standoff in the heat, so I mounted back up and continued my ride.

I ended up with almost 35 miles for the day, but there was enough of a breeze that it kept me riding pretty slow in the heat.  In spite of that, I enjoyed myself and accomplished my purpose of getting the good endorphins flowing to counteract the grumpiness that was building from painting!

Here’s the GPS track if you’re interested.

God bless…




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