Perfect weather for a bike ride . . .

October 25, 2005

I've crossed over

Well, it's official -- I've crossed over: I ordered my first Brooks saddle today.

Hopefully the UPS man will arrive in good stead and with relative haste, and I will see firsthand what the fuss is all about. I get the solid impression that I will not be disappointed.
No matter who I've talked to; large riders, small riders, mountain or road, racers or tourers -- everyone I've talked to that runs a Brooks says the same thing: It's the best saddle I've ever owned.

There HAS to be something to that, so I've finally bitten.

After practically 27,000 miles logged on my trusty Selle Italia Flite Trans Am, it's time for a new one anyways, as I think I've finally destroyed the minimal padding that was once there, and the thin leather cover is beginning to show signs of wearing through. Since Selle Italia tends to run with the trends, it's a model that I can no longer get. Considering the way I've evolved as a cyclist, and how constant Brooks has been since their inception, it's safe to say that this is not only the right choice, but something I can easily replace in another 5-10 years when (or IF) I wear it out. The Brooks B17 going away would be like taking the turkey out of Thanksgiving. It just isn't going to happen.

So, with held breath, I wait, patiently for my new arrival, along with a tin of Obenaufs and a bonnet for the rain. Yes, this saddle will require a little more care and feeding than I'm used to, but the payoff is huge. The only serious complains logged with the B17, referencing a popular website, come from a lady that was experiencing mild discomfort about 350 miles into a long brevet. I can live with that, considering my Selle often gives me problems much sooner than that. Like the cell phone and the microwave, I have a feeling that once I have a few miles on the Brooks, the extra care involved will not bother me at all. I won't be able to ride without one.

That only means I'll end up getting a Brooks for each of my bikes. Ugh. The wife will LOVE that justification! I have a feeling, however, that will take care of itself -- the good, multi-geared bike will probably maintain it's fairly new Flite saddle - decidedly racy. The nasty-weather bike will maintain it's nasty saddle, so I don't have to worry about it when it turns really foul outside. But, for the fix, I've been converted -- I've crossed over -- buying a Brooks is a rite of passage, of sorts, a return to cycling as it should be. Comfort and enjoyment first, weight second. The fact that this new saddle weighs nearly double the one it replaces doesn't bother me at all.

I'll be submitting my resume to Rivendell later this week.

As the evil emperor once said, I think in Return of the Jedi, "now your transformation is complete."

Of course, I think he was talking about something else. Whatever.

October 22, 2005

Down with the big "D"

Well, I have to be honest -- as important as family *IS*, this trip to Texas is a little bittersweet: I was SUPPOSED to be riding in the Tejas 500, if all things had gone to plan this year. There is always next year, I suppose, but hey - I can moan a little. Even though plans were initially cancelled for financial reasons, we somehow managed to muster up the cash to drive down here after all, but stopped short of Cleburne and ended up in the northern suburbs of the big "D", Dallas. Ugh. My favorite town.

You all know how I feel about overcrowding, suburban sprawl, SUVs, seas of pavement choked with traffic, and complete lack of shoulders, ridable side-roads, and any semblance of cycling culture, right? If you've read ANY of the stuff I've posted, you know: this is my hell.

It's not neccessarily Dallas in particular, but Dallas makes for a pretty good representation. Yep. Sure as my hair is missing, I guess I'm a small town guy - and as much as I complain about it, I suppose Overland Park and Olathe, KS, are still "small" towns - but dang. I'm glad I left the bike at home. I think that * I* have it bad having to ride a few miles south to get to the 'good roads'? I get the solid impression that, here, you'd have to drive to ANY ride no matter what the start location. How do these people DO IT? I never caught up with anyone to ask, unfortunately, and not once, on any road I happened to be on, did I see a cyclist, casual or otherwise (save for one, that I'll mention later). I don't think the whole 'ride to work' thing would fly down here.

This is the kind of thing that only strong advocacy and good planning can prevent. Kansas City, although decades away from being this BAD, is certainly on the fast track to "Dallas-ness", and that's not good. With GKCBF and MoBikeFed on the case, however, there is still hope for us. Dallas, however, might well be a case-study for the proverbial "lost-cause"; The interstate collector roads, the maze of highways, the flawed road designs, apparent lack of trails, apparent lack of bike lanes, and apparent lack of apprisal of most of the drivers makes this one nasty city from a bicyclist's perspective. Dallas readers, if any, and Texas hard-cases will probably have a problem with this assumption. Too bad. Your city is a nightmare, man. It's pretty clear that it's too late to do anything about it, too. That's sad.

If I hear anyone in the KC area complain that Mission Rd is too narrow, I'm dropping you off in Coppell, TX. Good luck with that. I'll give you odds that you won't be pulling your bike out from under a Hummer within the first day.

Ok, ok, ok -- it's all relative; it's all acclimation. A few rides down here, and yeah - I'd probably get it. But, would I be happy, knowing there was something better? Doubt it. My bike handling skills and traffic-tolerance would be honed to a fine edge by the time I was done, though. That's for sure. Even the skill-level of the downtown bike messenger would be taxed out here in the sprawl -- these drivers don't live by the same set of rules the downtown driver does. Can you actually scitch off of a bus that's doing 45MPH and weaving in and out of traffic? Ok, I know people that would try, but geez. Texas suburbia SUCKS.

I either need to move downtown, or move out into the central rural counties to feel safe. Down with suburbia!
Boo!!! Hiss!!! The only three things I can think of good to come outta Texas: My dad, Shiner beer, and Pantera.

The best and most ironic part of this trip to Dallas: The ONLY TIME I saw a bicyclist on the road (and only real life is better than fiction): The intersecion of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Malcolm X. Avenue, just outside of Fair Park. Seriously. The two roads that Chris Rock warned us all about, and there's a cyclist. I don't know how that guy sits on his saddle with a pair that big.

So, back in vacation-land amid the EIGHT children, the TV re-runs, the guest bedroom, and the bad Italian food, I find solice and a silver-lining:

I don't live here.

I get to ride to work every day with relative ease, on clear roads with wide lanes and shoulders. If traffic gets too nasty, I have access to a bike trail that actually goes somewhere. And, shockingly enough, most KC drivers are lucid enough to actually afford me a little bit of room. While most people go on vacation to find out what they've been missing in life, I managed to find out some pretty good things about 'back home' on this trip.

We'll see how long after I get back that I start complaining about Johnson County again.

October 19, 2005

out, like plaid pants

I'm on hiatus for a few days -- but I'll update next week. I know, I know -- but I figured you were hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for an update...figured I'd let you off the hook. So... WHY ARE YOU READING THIS SLOP? GO RIDE!

I'll be back next week...

October 17, 2005

Cidermill, HO!!!

This weekend marked the annual Cidermill ride, and it was a terrific showing -- nearly 50 people rode out southbound for adventure. Fortunately for those enamoured with the fringe counter-culture, there were only two single-cogs present, one being me. The other was a fab-looking Bridgestone RB1 (I think), refinished, fitted 48x16 free, and rolling with moustache bars -- very cool ride, and comfy-looking. It was refreshing to see SOMEONE else on a single-cog whatever - it gets lonely in the fringe sometimes, ya know.

Still, present was new-found friend and fan-o-the-site Bo, plus Badgerland who rode in from the great north territory, and Krishna, and 47 other wrapped up riders braving the (sorta) chilly fall air, with visions of hot cider dancing in their heads. Awesome good times.

At 8-bells, we rolled out into the traffic stream, and headed out for a social spin - for once things didn't instantly degrade into a fever-pitched smattering of pacelines and mayhem. With the fresh sunrise in our faces, it was nice just to be riding along, chatting it up, and discovering the route together, instead of alone.
About 4 miles in, I managed to pick up a nasty bit of glass, but thankfully it didn't start a leak - roll on! I got lucky that time, but it reminded me how finicky these thin race tires can be. This is fast becoming NOT the time of year to run them anymore. Might have to hang them up for spring before long.

After my glass incident, I was back in the pack and enjoying the morning's sights. Long shadows, birds in flight, endless fields just south of town - awesome. Bo and Badger were talking it up, comparing heartrate numbers, and others of us were talking about the leaves and their colors revealing, negotiating the ever increasing SE headwind as we went. Before long, we were strecthing out a little, as always happens. Eventually we ended up in Spring Hill, and figured out exactly where the pavement on Woodland Rd ends (oops!) - a little backtrack gets us the unexpected treat of a jaunt thru downtown Spring Hill, and a few of its neighborhoods -- it was like a snapshot of yester-year, honestly. Very cool archetecture, the typical old-school downtown district with its wide way, and the pot-holes that time forgot.

We got back on the main drag, eventually, and then ended up on the southside of town and the designated breakfast stop, which was not ready for us. This is what blogs are for: Curly Brown's in south Spring Hill, KS. -- DON'T GO THERE. We got the king-size shaft, and they don't deserve the business. Barely worth going into here, so I'll spare you. Trust me: I don't black-ball much, but when I do it's for keeps. This restaurant makes the dark list of doom.

From there, Krishna, Badger and I decide it's best to find out coffee fix elsewhere, so we motor out, along with a large portion of the rest of the bunch, to Old KC Road and Hillsdale, KS, instead. I'd rather have gas-station coffee than anything that Spring Hill joint was serving up after that episode. We hit the BP station at 255th and served ourselves up some java, cheap, and pulled up some curb to while-away a few dozen minutes. Mmmmm, tasty. But not as tasty as the cider that awaited us only "five" miles away. YEah - shock, the dude makes a blunder estimating the mileage to the cidermill, which was actually like 10-12 more miles away. Nice job, dude. :) As Badger said, "just out for a nice Sunday ride, it doesn't matter" True, true.

A few hundred miles (kidding) later, we were at the 'mill -- mmmmm, boy. I ordered up two large cups of the sweetest nectar this side of Tillamook Creek (whatever) and swilled one down while I chatted again with the other single-cog rider, met up with Bob Burns (local RBA and rando-GOD-guy) and discussed all nature of craziness while the cider seeped into our tired legs. But, unfortunately, with a noon-deadline looming, and ten-till-eleven already showing on the wrist-watch, it was time to motor serious. I dumped the rest of the cider into my waterbottle, and Krishna, Badger and I mounted up for the return leg.

The ride back was pretty nice, as I managed to have a ton of reserve left thanks to the sub-mach lesure-pace outbound. It was time to use it all up now, if any hope of retracing the next 26 miles was to be done within the hour and ten I had left. Time to see what I was worth...but not before snapping the obligitory headshot from the highway:

Yeah, yeah.... in a bigger format, and without my obtrusive noggin in the way, this shot was pretty cool... the big valley of K-68 headed down towards the ridge that US-69 sits on in northern Miami County. And look at that... just enough shoulder to not get killed on! Wheoooo!!!!

I was pretty happy with myself, considering: I managed to catch Bob and 'friend' on the return leg, and they had left something like 15 minutes before I had, plus after short 2-mile detour on Renner Rd, which is gravel by the way, I was home only 10 minutes late -- not too shabby, dude. I guess a little summer fitness is left in the pipes... good thing I have all winter to forget about it! AHHH!! So, the tally: a single-speed, me on the fixxie, 48 "other" bikes, 1 botched breakfast stop, 1 gas-station coffee, 40 oz. of hot cider, and 48 miles of pavement, and 2 miles of gravel = a fall ride that will not soon be forgotten! Excellent stuff! You shoulda been there -- and if you WERE, you know what I mean! See you next year, Cidermill! (ok, maybe... that cider is so good, I might just have to reprise this thing next month... hmmmmm.......)

October 11, 2005

Tape yer bars.

Welp, that'd be me in a nutshell: Never satisfied. I'm a tweak. I like to change stuff, just for the sake of changing it. Bar tape is the only truly cheap, easy modification you can perform on a bike, and not be completely commited.

First off, black is right out. Everyone has black bar tape. Don't be scared of color.
Bright orange? Why not? Celeste Green on a purple bike? Boo-yah... do it up.
Just make sure you have everything on hand for the perfect bar-taping session.

I mean, if you're gonna do it, do it right. Get loose. Personally, for this particular session I invited my good friend Sam Adams over. Some tunes on the box, and I'm good to go. This time, a little Prodigy. Good stuff. Begin winding the tape, carefully maintaining tension all the way around the bar, navigate around the brake hoods, and finish clean and neat, about 2" from the stem. Finishing tape - done. Flip the bike around and do side #2. Gorgeous. And, for under $15.00 you have completely changed the look and feel of the bike. Hopefully for the better. Unfortunately, this time, the image I had in my head at the bike store is not quite right now that it's on the bike and in front of me. Figures... I'll ride it for a week and see if it sticks. I shoulda stuck with bright orange. Oh well. At least Sammy was good. Hang up the bike, and re-think your entire existance as a cyclist, you obsessive freak!

Good, positive self-talk always closes out a good wrenching session, you know.

He,he. Until tomorrow --- may your bars always be wrapped in something squishy.

October 10, 2005

U.B.U.

Well, this marked the beginning of a new week, and the end of weekend #2 off the bike. Ah, burnout prevention. Well, it DOES work -- I had almost zero guilt as I slept in for the second Sunday in a row, and simply enjoyed not doing much of anything. Well, ALMOST not much of anything -- between a birthday party and a lot of pre-winter house cleaning and yard work, I think I still ended up getting something of a workout, but it didn't involve the bike. Weird.

But, yeah - the anti-burnout thing is working, and it's essential to keeping the passion fresh; by the time next weekend gets here, I'll be more than ready to mount up and pound out 50 miles or more. Which really sounds nasty if taken out of context.

ANYways.... we are knee-deep in the fine days of early fall -- lows in the 40's, highs in the 60's, just like nature intended. Ahhhhhh...... bliss. Logistically complicated, from a clothing standpoint, but still blissful.

Ah, clothing issues - how to dress warm, and not look like a freak. You know -- I've tried it; I've tried to keep things simple by sticking to a standard, street-clothes type of bike-wear for commutes, but I guess I just know what things COULD be like. I have something to compare, and that makes it hard to keep things simple.

What am I talking about???

Talking about those ultra-cool messenger types that are able to log mileage in jeans and a t-shirt. Baggies, hoodies, Chuck Taylors. You know the type -- I admire their style, but no matter how I try I can't pull it off. I blame the 'roadie' culture -- I started out wearing what I was 'told' to wear, from marketing, TdF videos, and following the lead of every other road cyclist out there when I started attending group rides. Basic black lycra shorts, with pad. Jersey. Some sort of headband or doo-rag. Gloves. Whether or not that makes me a 'joiner', one thing is true: technical fabrics SPOIL you. When you know beyond a shadow that wearing a ridiculous, tight-fitting jersey with the corporate logos actually DOES keep you dry and cool when it's 95ºF outside, you will never ride wearing a t-shirt AGAIN. Trying to go back to that t-shirt, simply to satisfy some sense of belonging to a group that you clearly DON'T belong to cannot be done! NOR should you try -- you either start out that way, or you don't; and true legacy members of that group can smell you a mile away. "hey, didn't he used to be a roadie?"

I tried once, wearing a pair of camo baggies on a ride -- it was a short coffee ride, so it was the perfect distance. Not only did I end up with a saddle sore in a weird location, it ended up raining on that ride -- really hard rain. I was SOAKED and COLD. The Lycra that I was used to never made me feel that way -- wet, yes, but never cold, and I never got that feeling like I was losing my pants, either. I felt warmer before the rain started, and I felt a little less self-conscious when entering the coffee shop, but that's about the only things I got out of it. I'll probably never wear them again.

I'm very much function before fashion, which puts me in my on special group, I suppose. I ride a fix, but I don't dress like I ride a fix. I like to ride competitively, but I don't race. I carry a messenger bag, but I'm not a messenger. I have one bike with 9-speed STI which has a drivetrain you could eat lunch off of, and I have another bike with fenders and stickers which hasn't been cleaned since I built it up. Do I have a problem with any of this? Not really: not being able to be pigeon-holed is one of my defining characteristics, I suppose.

The point is, no matter how you end up as a cyclist, be your own cyclist. If you stray from yourself (like I did with those pants) you pay the price. If you wanna run a Brooks saddle on a bike with full Dura-Ace, go for it. If you want to wear baggies and ride your titanium Seven on a week-long tour that way, do it.

Smile about it.

They will stare, and mumble.

Let them. Ride like you do, and make no apologies.

October 7, 2005

Let the acclimation begin!

Well, fall is defintely here, and that ain't no lie. In fact, winter wants to get an early taste of things, apparently -- leaft the house this morning and headed north into a brutal and unforgiving headwind, and 39º showing on the mercury. Oh, how quickly the body forgets what 'cold' feels like! Eyes watering, nose running, and toes slipping into numbness, I'm back in black. Tights and thermal headcap, that is.

Couple mornings like this, and I can stop cursing the cold. There is this whole "I've done this before, and it was worse" mentality, but when it comes right down to it, the body takes time to adjust - same with hot weather, too.

So, too, come the questions from co-workers -- they haven't started quite yet, but the smokers out in front of the building today had looks on their faces that indicated a mix of confusion and commendation as I made my way to the bike rack. It's a good feeling.

COFFEE!
It's time to break out the French press, and start the time-honored routine of replacing the sports drink in my morning water bottle with hot, fresh coffee. Hmmmm, BOY... nothing tops off a brisk ride to work like a little internal warm-up, eh?

The weekend is coming, and I'm still in the midst of my two-week vacation from riding (on the weekends) -- next week, the annual Cidermill ride --- I can't WAIT.
Hot apple cider at the turnaround of a near-50-mile ride? Hoo-rah. Nothing quite like that!
Well, ok -- I have a FEW ideas what might be -- but that's just wrong.
And unsafe.
nevermind.

Link 'o the moment:
http://nordicgroup.us/bikecoff/

Show them my motto!!!

October 6, 2005

Splashes of color and mud

Another attempt by summer to hang on is thwarted by a strong cold front from Canadia (yes, I know I spelled it wrong.)

With the wicked north winds blowing, I left work yesterday - and it was colder in the afternoon than it had been that morning. Arm warmers at the ready, I notice that the trees are JUST beginning to change colors. This is what it's all about: that last breath of life... it's as if they've waited all summer long to blow out the remainder of their fuel in one, last, spectacular blast of color.

Yeah, I know: it's a phyto-chemical process brought on by the slow decay of chlorophyll due to reduction in sunlight, which reveals carotenoids and anthocyanins that are present in the leaf. Fun-killer. It's still pretty freakin' cool looking.

It brought a smile to my face, as I mounted up and steered into the flow of the northerly breeze for my ride home. I decided to stay on the bike trail, take a break from traffic, and see how much things back in the brush were changing. The trail was nearly invisible due to the covering of smushed leaves and junk, and there were hints of bright red from recently fallen Dogwood leaves.

Then, to throw in a little contrast, each time the trail passes underneath an overpass, MUD -- lots of it from recent flooding of the creek. Still mucky and wet, I slide and shimmy thru, coating the inside of my fenders as I go. Love it. I swear, I shoulda been born Belgian.

Gimme fall colors, cold rain, a little slop, and I'm good to go.

October 5, 2005

We are wimps.

As hearty as I pretend to be as a cyclist, apparently I'm pretty wimpy as a person. Our A/C is broken at the house, and while normally in October it's not a very big deal, because it's gotten cooler outside, you have to remember: this is Kansas. There are no rules with regards to weather pattern.
It was 50-something last week: A/C worked fine THEN!
It was 89ºF yesterday - so the inside of the house felt AWESOME.
There is nothing quite like a vigourous ride home, followed by a nice hot shower -- afterwhich you can't dry off because you're still sweating. It's too hot to even sit down on the couch, so we're all standing in the middle of the room in front of a fan. Basically, the fan is only there to keep the 60% humidity moving over your body. It cools nothing. I promised I'd never complain about the heat again after the 2005 Tinbutt 12-Hour in Oklahoma, but it's kinda hard not to when those of lesser tolerance will not let you forget how hot it is.

"Daddy?"

"Yes, boy?"

"I'm hot."

"You should save that line for college, son."

"Can we go outside?"

...good idea... so, we all head to the backyard, where it's just as hot; but you don't complain as much - because you're outside where it's SUPPOSED to be hot. Better.

Our salvation comes in the next 12 hours in the form of a strong cold front from our friends in hockey-ville (eh.)

I can hear myself now, 50 years down the road when the ozone layer has officially gone away, and we all live in gigantic 80 SPF domes which will (of course) be air-conditioned;

"you know, back in aught-five we didn't even HAVE air-conditioned back yards... those were simpler times, where people were heartier...blah, blah, blah....,"
at about which time the kids will wheel me back down the hall to my "comfortable, shared community" dorm room for my afternoon tapioca snack. Later, I would scold my daughter for not 'holding her line' while wheeling me back to the lounge for 'Jeopardy'.

Hearty, huh. We have to face it -- when times get tough, we are wimps.
It's those that stop complaining long enough to get the job done that survive.

October 4, 2005

career change

I think I want to work for the NACP. Not the NAACP, but the NACP -- the North American Coffee Partnership. Purchase, NY 10577.
I can see my resume now...
Objective: to work in a fast-growing, technically-oriented field where I can practice excellent customer service and drink all the freakin' coffee I want.

Anyway, today marks one of the last great summer rides to work -- morning low of 73, and a blistering south wind at nearly 20 MPH sustained, and I was here a full ten minutes faster than normal. Like a smooth slap of Skin Bracer to the face, I'm awake and ready for Tuesday, punk.
I may not even NEED coffee this morning -- (that's a dumb thought) --

Blogs are supposed to be random, so here's random for you:

If you cook oatmeal long enough, you can eat it with your hands.
It's like a gigantic biscuit. I dunno about Quaker or anything, but this Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal hardens up almost like biscotti -- which is conveinent, because I just so happen to have a monster mug 'o java here for dipping.

Of course I find out later that, unlike biscotti, overcooked oatmeal tends to rehydrate pretty fast, so now I have a double-shot columbian oatmeal smoothie. No whip.

Enjoy the day, fellow riders. More non-sense later.

October 3, 2005

The Apple has it.

Last week, when I thought about starting this blog and then realized that I had zero time, I was in the middle of my usual late-summer lunchtime routine, which involves riding the fix over to the Whole Foods store and grabbing a few simple things. Friday's episode of lunch involved two veggie spring rolls and two apples. Normally not a while lot to write home about, the Whole Foods version of both of these were particularly spectacular; either I was really hungry, or they truly WERE excellent.

For those of you that are NOT really 'crunchy' people, you're missing out - as I was. This was only the second or third time that I'd purposely chosen fruit as part of my lunch. Let's see: I've been all over the board, with slim-fast style stuff, ramen noodles, and other random junk here and there, but never fruit. So, I had an apple - big deal? It seemed like it at the time, but it brought to mind all sorts of things, metaphoric and significant all at once. And, for the first time in a long time, the thoughts were recorded in my mind and I was inspired to write again.

These little red-delicious apples were from Colorado (my favorite state, probably, for a ton of reasons) and were organically grown. They didn't look like much on the rack -- not shiny, not large -- not like the usual grocery store fodder, that's for sure. Still, I grabbed a couple of the better looking ones and headed for the checkout. (a few of the better looking ones, you notice, as I like most others tend to judge apples by their skin, to my discredit) There are a dozen or so metaphors I can pull from here, with regards to how the shiny, mass-produced and waxed commercially-grown and engineered fruits look so appealing, but once you dive inside they leave a lot to be desired? I won't be so trite as to bore you with that dreck, however -- we all know it's true.

After riding back over to work, I grabbed a park bench close to the fake lake, sat down, and took out one of the apples. "Sad looking little bugger", I thought to myself, and took a bite. DANG! This was probably the BEST APPLE I'd ever eaten, seriously. It was crisp, and there was so much juice it was nearly obscene. Flavor was perfect, texture outstanding. Ok, ok,ok -- why such fuss over an apple? It reminded me of so many things, all of which came washing over me in an instant -- fall. The way it tasted, combined with the cool, upper-50º air, the slight nip to the breeze, the wind in the trees that day, the small waves on the lake -- this apple completed a perfect picture of fall in my head as I let each sumptuous bite linger in my mouth. Even the sound of the apple's skin breaking between my teeth and that first sucking sound as the juice squirts over your tongue and palette -- ugh, sheer heaven.

Don't tell ME I take taste for granted -- yeesh, this was overpowering, and it punctuated the fact that all around me, my favorite season was coming into it's own. There is something beautiful about fall, which is why it's my favorite, tied closely with early spring. The first bite of Canadian air, long sleeves coming back out, jeans, boots, fenders on the bike again, and the way the sky and trees seem to come alive -- the heat of summer is gone, and like an apple that's been baked just right, the long session of heating has left it darker; bronzed and full of flavor -- summer's oven has left behind a masterpiece of flavor, color, and sensation.

As I finished off the last of the apple, I smiled to myself and took perhaps the deepest breath I'd taken in weeks - relaxed. The park bench, the sky, the apple, the rustle of leaves not yet fallen -- I was at peace for one short moment, even during an otherwise busy workday.

I mounted my fix, and took a lap around the lake for good measure, and took my time heading back upstairs to my box. Sometimes all it takes is an apple to unplug a little bit. I highly recommend it. Yeah, it's only Monday back here in reality, but I went over there again on lunch and got a few more apples. If you find something that gives you that kind of feeling, you tend to hang onto it, ya know? Kind of like riding a bike.



Oh yeah -- updates on a few other things -- the MS-150 2005 writeup will likely be posted on the website with it's own page, similar to previous years, so stay tuned for that action -- part of the reason I started this blog was to have a place to more readily record thoughts, give quick updates, vent, rant, whatever comes to mind -- it will NOT neccessarily replace the actual commuterdude.com webpage -- at least not in the forseeable future. So, please check back there often -- it's still the main source, baby!

Ride on. [/<(-]

The cDude Archive Link List


In order to keep the right-hand frame of the main webpage shorter and cleaner, the large link-list of "c'Dude Rando Posts" has been modified to show only the 8-most-recent links. To keep an easy-to-navigate list of the Rando-tales in place, they've been copied into a separate post... this one!

The List below is a complete catalog of commuterDude.com posts on randonneuring, dating back to my first RUSA/ACP event in 2002, and listed in reverse order by date:

(hey, follow @RUSAdude on Twitter, too!

Enjoy!

2014.06 (203k) "MegaPost; Archie 200k"
2014.05 (220k) "Aliceville"
2014.05 (111k) "Afternoon Awesome"
2014.04 (400k) "Bike to Iowa?"
2014.03 (100k) "Old KC Road"
2014.03 (200k) "Perspectives"
2014.02 (200k) "Five Years Gone"
2014.01 (217k) "Going Though the Motions"
2013.12 (200k) "Into the Grey"
2013.11 (216k) "That's odd..."
2013.10 (225k) "Something's in the Water . . . "
2013.09 (210k) "Two Years Later"