Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Copenhagen Cycle Chic - Bike Advocacy in High Heels: The Retrovelo Balloon Bike

Copenhagen Cycle Chic - Bike Advocacy in High Heels: The Retrovelo Balloon Bike

CJ says this is what I am looking for in a riding partner. How could she think such a thing? I mean, really. Ok, well, maybe.

Oh, Joy

512k DSL!!! Just got it hooked up. WOW. What a difference. We have been struggling with dialup for too long. Ok, so it's a bit pricey, given there isn't any competiton. We have a privately owned phone company, and they won't let anyone else in. We can't get cable out here, either, but man, the internet actually works. There are PICTURES, there is SOUND, by God, there are even VIDEOS!!!!

We even got WI-FI, so the WII and DS can do their things. When the oldest comes home from college on the weekend, her laptop will work. She says now all she needs is a little refrigerator in her room, and she'll be all set.

No ride tonight, gonna surf instead.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In the Evening

I was planning on riding indoors tonight and doing the time trial Spinerval. On the drive home I noticed how high the sun was in the sky and decided I could probably squeeze in a road ride before it got too dark. I was right. I got in 10.44 miles and averaged 17.2 mph(!). It was a little cloudy, so it got dark earlier than usual. That's not a bad thing because this time of year my route always takes me directly into the setting sun. I worry about that a little, since I figure if I can't see, then it's unlikely anyone coming up behind me can see either. So, less time torturing myself on the evil trainer. I still plan on doing the technique Spinerval, though, because those one leg drills seem to help.
I got the Bicycling Magazine buyers guide. There are a lot of nice bikes in there. Many in my price range of $1200 to $1800. I keep leafing through it and wishing I knew how long I have before my job goes away, or I when I might find another one. Not much out there right now. It would be nice to get a new bike.

Monday, February 25, 2008


With more daylight hours, weather consistently moderate, and gas prices over $3.00, I ought to ride my bike to work. It's only three miles. I can't in the morning, of course because of taking a child to high school, but I sure can in the afternoon. I came close today, but decided, instead, that I'd save some fuel by taking the motorcycle rather than the car. Motorcyles didn't start, and by that time it was too late to ride the bicycle, so I took the car. Didn't save a thing. Somehow I have to convince myself that riding the bicycle to work is the right thing to do. Maybe tomorrow?

Share the road? - Cycle-Licious

Share the road? - Cycle-Licious

Bikes belong, and it's great to see what others are doing to get the message across.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Price of gas today is $3.09. Has anyone else noticed that whenever gas is over $3.00, the roads are empty of motor vehicles on the weekend? I bet that I didn't see 20 cars on my 40 mile ride today, except right in the center of town. It's kind of nice. Does that just happen here in NC, or is it nation wide?

On the Road Again.

Maybe there is something to this recovery week thing, or maybe it was all those trips up and down the ladder, I don't know, but Saturdays ride felt a lot better. My legs felt great, and my average speed for 40 miles on the road was 17.1. For most of the ride it was 17.5, but I slacked off toward the end.That's the best since September 10, 2006 (that was a 17.2). That 17.2 was shortly after my move into an office space where I experienced a building related illness that caused serious breathing problems, and today marks three weeks since my return to my former office space. There were a lot of 17 plus mph rides before 9/10/06, and I have some hope now that there can be more, since I can breath again. Management doesn't believe it, of course. Doesn't really matter what they think. I am getting faster and riding is more enjoyable.

The last couple of rides I've noticed frogs chirping in all the little ponds and brooks. They aren't big enough to croak yet. It's strange to hear them the second and third weeks of February. I saw buds on the plum and peach trees in the yard too. The day started out about 41 degrees with dense fog, so I postponed my ride until afternoon, when the sun came out. It got up to 67 degrees. Great day for a ride. Oh, Sweet Pea came out to play. I hadn't seen her for a while. She beat me, again, but barely.

This blog isn't going to accept anonymous comments any longer. If someone doesn't think their comment is good enough to put their name on, I sure won't.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Not lazy, exactly -

Haven't been on the bike since my 30 mile ride last Sunday. I got ordered to the new facility to run network cables and phone line for the office staff on Tuesday. You might think that would have been done before they moved there, what, three weeks ago? RIIIIIGHT. It took me until today to get it finished. Since I had to run the cables overhead, about 10 feet off the ground for a distance of more than 100 feet, and I was working alone, the trips up and down the ladder wore me out. You know, climb ladder, pull cable, unclimb ladder, move ladder 6 feet, climb ladder..... seem to use different muscles from cycling for that. Plus I got home a lot later, and just didn't feel like getting the trainer out.

I may put the scoop on the new place on the other, invitation only blog. The place needs some exposure.

The weekend looks like it might be nice. I plan on being out there again.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Cyclist at fault

Typical. The bike rider was at fault because his bike was in the path of a car.

A Crawfordville man was badly hurt after he veered in front of a car on Spring Creek Highway in Wakulla County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Clarence Farmer, 59, was taken by helicopter to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. It happened about 4:35 p.m. Saturday. Farmer and a Toyota Yaris driven by Amber Edwards, 23, of Tallahassee, were both northbound on the highway. Farmer was hit after his bike went into the path of the car.Edwards and a passenger were unhurt. The crash is still under investigation.

The article is here . Read some of the comments on the page. The readers think it's the cyclists fault too.


CJ saw the picture of the bottle tree and asked me if I knew what it was. If she has to ask, then it must be obvious that I don't. Now I do. The short explaination below was found here . It seems that now it's become a southern garden decoration. I am all for tradition. I keep learning (and forgetting) that things tend never to be what they seem. Now that I understand the bottle tree, I think it's pretty cool. And if it traps a few evil spirits - all the better.

Once a common site in the Southern landscape, the bottle tree is now an increasing rarity as ancient folk beliefs and customs fall from common usage. The origins of the tree go back to the 9th century Congo where hand-blown glass was hung on huts and trees as a talisman against evil. The practice consists of removing the foliage from a tree (preferably a cedar because all the branches point heavenward) and placing the tree in the yard of the house. The bare branches are then covered with colorful glass bottles that attract any evil spirit that may be lurking near the house. The spirit becomes mesmerized by the play of sunlight through the colorful glass and becomes trapped inside the bottle. When the wind blows past them, the moans of ensnared spirits can be heard whistling on the breeze


What's with tbe Versus tv schedule for the Tour of California? Nothing on until 11:00 pm EST, and then only an hour? I'll have all the info from the 'net long before that, so there's no point in even recording it to watch the next day. No, I can't stay up 'till 11 anymore, not every night, anyway.

Yesterday, they at least had it on at 5:00. I planned on recording it, since I was watching the Daytona 500 (way to go, Penske). I forgot to press the record button, so I didn't even get to see that show. Guess I'll have to wait for the TDF.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Year to Date

My training log for this year. Don't know why I keep track of this stuff, I just do.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

You don't see this every day

You don't, but I do. Every day. I pass it when I take my son to school, and on most of my rides. There are no words....

You would think that at some point along a 40 mile loop the wind would be at your back. Me too. Wrong. It always felt like a headwind today. Still, though, another 60 plus degree day in February. Can't get much better than that.

Yield to Life

I think most all enthusiast bikers (is that ME??) know who David Zabriskie is. I think all of us, every single one of us, who rides a bike on the road, has been cut off, intimidated, frightened, and harassed by someone in a motor vehicle. Many of us have been hit. I have not, exactly, but I have been touched by a mirror. I have also been run off the road and, one time complained to a corporation whose truck nearly hit me (see this post). I never got a response. We all know when we leave the house that we may not be coming back. We all are aware that our lives are in the hands of strangers. Dave has started this web site, Yield to Life to advocate safer cycling for us all. Thank you, Dave we all support you. I hope it works, but I'm afraid it will only be seen by cyclists. I still believe we need to somehow get a campaign going like the seatbelt and drunk driving public service ads to inundate the public with the message. It has worked for those issues, it would for cycling.

There is a TV ad by an insurance company, I think it's Allstate, that shows people in the road and stresses that is the reality of what traffic is. People, not vehicles.

It's Saturday. I'll be out there. The ride is always the first thing on my "to do " list. Everything else gets squeezed in around it. Got the races at Daytona to watch, too. Good thing the DVR was invented. That would be right behind the mp3 player and, of course, cell phone, in must have tech wonders.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Collier-Keyworth Cycles

A couple of years ago I got this picture in the mail from someone in England. Since the company I work for (at the moment) is named Collier-Keyworth, and the name on the tricycle is also Collier-Keyworth, he was wondering if I might have some information for him. I didn't, because CK was out of the bicycle business long before I was hired, 37 years ago. They were still making baby strollers, car safety seats (the first company to make them, I believe), and carriages, though. Chances are, if you were born before, say 1975, you spent some time in a CK stroller or carriage. They got out of that business too, in the '80's, concentrating on office furniture components. They were, in fact, the largest manufacturer of those components in the country at one time. I came across the picture while deleting things from my computer. While there is some wrangling going on over what is now happening to CK (the latest definition being shuffled around being "liquidated"), the bottom line is a company that in some way touched the lives of millions of Americans is going away, and because I still work there, I can't really say why. Jobs lost, lives disrupted, a profitable piece of American history going away... It's a shame.

If you are ever in Massachusetts, you might want to go here . There is an exhibit on CK, as well as the other manufacturers that made Gardner, MA, a very wealthy city, once. Too bad large corporations have no sense of the history they are entrusted with.

I had never really thought about the fact that I worked for a company that used to make bicycles, even though there was a failed attempt to re-enter the market in the 1970's. Kind of fitting. Maybe I should get the name and make bikes when this place is gone.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I can ride because.....

I have a cell phone. Really. It's what let me start again in '04. I hadn't ridden in years, but it was always something I loved to do. I was afraid to. I have this minor heart problem called paroxysmal atrial tachycardia (PAT). It isn’t considered serious, nor is it fatal (in and of itself, but they never tell you the whole story - I won't get into it). Anyway, it causes my heart rate to jump to 250 bpm, sometimes staying there for nearly an hour. It's extremely uncomfortable, I have heard it feels somewhat like a heart attack, and can be scary. Since it's not predictable, I was always afraid of going for a ride, having an episode, and being unable to continue, or get home. In '04, with my blood pressure consistently so high there was no way I could continue to avoid medication, I decided to do some sort of exercise to bring it down. We had just gotten our first cell phone, and, in a short fit of intelligence, I thought -why not ride my bike. If I got in trouble, I could stop and call CJ to come and get me. So the old Fuji that had been sitting for nearly 10 years, unused, in my shed got pulled out, and away I went, rotted tires, rust, and all. I haven't looked back. The health bonuses - no blood pressure meds. I went from consistent 170/110 to consistent 120/70 with no changes to anything I was doing, just riding. I lost, over the first two years, 40 pounds without changing my eating habits - well, I actually eat more now. An additional benefit is the PAT has nearly disappeared. That first year I called CJ two or three times. The second, once. Since then, I haven't had to call her at all, and I no longer even think about it. If I had known cycling would make it go away, I'd have been on the bike all my life.

Now the cell phone is used for flat tire pick ups, and to let CJ know I'm still ok when I'm gone too long.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Outside, anyway...

The wind is as strong today as the Weather Channel claimed it would be. Being blown all over the road was not on my list of things I wanted today so I pulled out the trainer and was getting ready to set it up in the bedroom. Then I noticed the temperature was about 58° outside, so I thought, "why not ride on the deck?". So I did. With the wind blowing over me, and Emerson, Lake , and Palmer on my mp3 player, it was pretty comfortable. Whenever possible, I think I'll put the trainer on the deck. If I could figure out how to put the Spinerval dvd on my mp3 player, I could do that on the deck too.

I rode 25.6 miles and averaged 17.1 mph. It seems to me, though that riding at, say, 19 mph on the trainer takes a lot more effort than riding 25 mph on a level road. Is that my imagination or is that the way the trainers work?

I was fooling around with my heartrate monitor and discovered that, since February 17, 2006 I have ridden 260 times, for 468 hours and burned 345581 calories. I didn't know it was keeping everything.


Ignoring the fact that this article is even more poorly written than my posts (I think, maybe), the thought of that happening is a little scary. I got stopped in the middle of nowhere, once, and asked for money by two guys in a car. Since I had just made it to the top of a long, steep hill, I had to stop. I convinced them that if I'd had any money, I'd be driving, not riding a bike. At least they didn't want the bike. The roads I ride are rural and mostly deserted, so, you never know what might be out there.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Mo' Miles

I bumped up the mileage today. Not many more, just six, but ya gotta start somewhere. Up to 41.34 from the 35.9 I've been doing on Saturdays.

Went out earlier today, left about 9:20 because there was this list of other things I wanted to do today, so I figured if I got the ride out of the way I'd be able to; take the sixteen year old out for a driving lesson (I don't want to talk about it); take CJ shopping; work in the yard; other stuff that I don't remember right now, and, if I am lucky, never will, so I don't have to do them, oh, and start the income tax thing. I only got in the ride and the driving lesson before the 19 year old took the car. I'm going to go LOOK at the yard and hope for some motivation. Or inspiration

Temperature at the start was a very un-February 50°, and about 60° when I finished, not a cloud in the sky, and very little wind, even though the Weather Channel says it's blowing at 10 to 20 mph. Tomorrow the wind is supposed to be 20 to 30 with gusts to 40, so think I'll drag out the trainer and maybe just do a recovery day on it.

I saw two other cyclists today, but they were going the opposite way, so didn't speak to them. Still, there are a lot of them around here, so getting a group together shouldn't be impossible. It would be nice to ride with others once in a while.

On the advice of CJ, who, like most people, is much smarter than me, I am going to move the work stuff here, and try to keep this blog for bikes and fun stuff. So, now I have two blogs to babble about things on.

NASCAR season starts, so there's some races to watch again. Can't wait for Indy cars (and it looks like both series could finally merge this year), and F1.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The time trial Spinerval that I endured tonight calls for seven 90 second intervals in the big chain ring, and the 15 on the back. For me, that's 50/15. I could never do it, having to stay in the 50/18 instead. Until tonight. I didn't do the whole thing in the 50/15, but I got through first interval, then about 60 seconds in each of the next four before shifting down to the 18 for the last 30 seconds. The last two intervals call for the 50/13, and I tried those , but ended up finishing in the 18. So, I guess that means even old guys like me can get stronger. Heart rate topped out at 176, again, not bad for someone 54 years old. But man, those intervals are tough. It won't be long until it's light enough after work to ride, then the trainer can go in the closet.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


Ok, I'm a little behind. You'd think I'd be right on top of this one seeing how Groundhog Day is my favorite movie. I just found out that Phil saw his shadow. Well, to be perfectly honest, six more weeks of this winter won't be too hard to take. Maybe there is an upside to this global warming thing, especially with propane costing what it does.

Perfect Bike

I was whining to Stan about how much my Fuji weighs. He sent me this

All bikes weigh 30 pounds.
If you have a 30 pound bike that’s all you need.
If you have a 25 pound bike you need a 5 pound ‘U’ lock to keep it.
If you have a 20 pound bike you need a 10 pound lock and chain

So, my bike is perfect. Don't have to add a thing.

Still want that Roubaix, anyway. I'll buy the chain.

The Week Ends.

Got a late start today. Had to go to the big city and spend a small fortune on groceries. Good thing food and energy costs don't count toward inflation. If they did we'd all be in big trouble. Economies just fine. Ask King George. Maybe he'll give me a job, too, ya think?

Another 75.6 miles this week. I only rode 3 times, once on the trainer, twice on the road (yeah!). I skipped the time trial Spinerval this weekend only did the technique one. Sixty degree February days, like today, are terrific, and there wasn't much wind, either. I did the 35.9 mile loop today, and averaged 16.3. Not bad for this time of year. Stayed in the 50, too, up ALL the hills. It should get even better. I need to start making the rides a little longer.

I noticed that all the farm ponds are full again, and the creeks are upto the top of their banks. Maybe the water table is coming back up.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sixty six. I'll be out there.