Perfect weather for a bike ride . . .

December 30, 2014

Milepost 1445


It never takes me long to figure out my own way of integrating or modifying things to better suit my specific needs, and the recent Photon light purchase is no exception. Took apart one of the swivel-mount clips which came with the light, drilled a few tiny slots to accept zip-ties, and used a hunk of taillight mount rubber shim for a non-slip base. A little filing and shaping the underside and fashioning the zip ties just-so, and there you go: a perfectly-aimed night vision map light for future night rides. The quick-release feature remains intact, so battery swaps or swapping out the whole light to change colors is a snap. The existing Blackburn Flea 1.0 white headlight is at left, aimed higher to get driver's attentions and to light up reflective roadsigns for navigation. The helmet is road-ready!

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Milepost 1445


The old rail depot at Parker, KS., heading back north after pre-riding a section of a new 200km route I'll be submitting in early 2015. Oh, yes... it's bigger, badder, and scenically wonderful! Can't wait to ride the whole thing!

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December 29, 2014

Milepost 1445


Hey, randonneurs: the old Photon squeeze light has grown up; not in size, but in features. $15 is a lot for a tiny, U.S. quarter-sized flashlight, perhaps, but these are far and away superior to those dollar-bin lights that pop up from time to time. Waterproof, USA-made, replaceable battery, 12 colors to pick from, constant on, squeeze on/off, fully variable brightness, multiple flash modes. Comes with a magnetic swivel-head clip and lanyard. For reading cue sheets on long night rides, fixing a flat, checking roadsigns, or standing in as a backup taillight, these definitely aren't throwaway lights. Small enough to stash and forget in a seatbag, get ready for the 2015 brevets and grab one!

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December 27, 2014

Milepost 1445


December skies: the southwest winds create wild streaking effects in the skies above Spring Hill, KS., painting an alien vista from a faraway world as the sun struggles to punch through. Winds this day gusted to over 40mph, turning my impromptu run at the Old KC Road 100k into a dichotomy of work and reward. First, leg-searing headwind work yields a whopping 9mph average, then turning north uncorks an average of 31mph. An awesome ride, and enjoying 50°F+ temps in December was the icing.

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December 22, 2014

Milepost 1445


If it hadn't been so foggy and misty, this might have turned out better. Long steady climbs heading toward Everest, MO. along highway "W" during yesterday's ride. The fuzzy blips are Steven W., Paul T. and new rider Robin. She hadn't ridden in two months, but coulda fooled us: this would be one of the last times I'd see her or Paul that day, both fast and strong.

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Milepost 1445


Glen returns the favor after I take his photo, and gets me climbing up onto the highlands of Amarugia... which is fun to say because it sounds downright Middle Earth or something. All the better with the weather, which was downright Scottish; thus completing the illusion. Great day, great weather (no really!), and great scenery. Surprisingly, I don't have much to report after this one - not sure what that means, aside from I shouldn't have waited so long to come back. Today, no real pains, no adjustments needed. No more excuses, apparently I still got it.

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December 21, 2014

Milepost 1445


Light fading, the last dozen miles back toward Martin City take place on this old road which runs behind what used to be Richards-Gebaur AFB, now a giant KCS intermodal facility. Here, right before arriving at the railroad overpass, a switching engine (probably an EMD SW1500 or a MP15AC) crosses over while shuffling containers. The sky begins to get all purplish as the suns light fades, and our headlamps come on. The cap of a great day in the saddle.

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Milepost 1445


Glen R. and I approaching the Amarugia Highlands at mile 50 on today's 202km (125 mile) timed tour.

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December 18, 2014

Yes, it's all "social"

   It shouldn't be a mystery at this point that the whole "Milepost 1445" thing is really just a cheat code for me, in the hopes that I can bring more consistent posting, more consistent content across platforms, and more exposure to the joys of commuting and randonneuring to a larger audience.  The cross-pollination started with Facebook, then Twitter, and now the ever-popular Instagram service.  You can choose to follow me on one, a couple, all, or - yes - none.  I really do hope, however, you'll stick around.  

     The content, no matter how it's provided, will have the same flavor you've come to appreciate all these years - only in easier to digest (and cook) bites.  Occasionally, however, even my own rules must be broken:  there will still be the odd "mega-post" here and there, as some of the goals I have in mind which I hope to uncork over the last half of this decade will likely require more meaty content, far beyond what Insta's 2,200 character post limit provides.  (Yeah, I've already hit it a few times... but this is a GREAT exercise for me, as a person, a speaker, and a writer.) 

     Big goals - but no big announcements.  Not until I'm trained, registered, and possibly standing at the start line.  No false drama, no huge promises to myself or anyone else.  I'm done with that malarkey.  

     Vacation!  Vacation!  Finally, vacation from work is here!  The annual hiatus!  Wheeeew, what a rough, busy, hectic, stressful year.  I wish I'd taken some photos with a bit more foresight to prove this, but, I've noticed a LOT more grey hair infiltrating my Scottish-red goatee lately.  Age and stress, anyone?  Ugh.  Best combatant, though, remains a good diet and regular exercise.  Lately, I've done neither.  

Crap, I can't even think straight.  I just tried to spell "neither" with a "gh".  I don't think that's olde English, is it?  Made-up ye olde English, perhaps...  "neighthour, my liege!"

Hazzah, you muther#$%^$@

     I digress... par usual.  

    Yeah, yeah... it's all about the social media.  (and the "bass", apparently)  I think I like the way things are progressing in that realm - but, I'd really like to see more growth.  I don't think, however, I have the time to devote toward that.  Too many other things I should be doing, and I refuse...  reFUSE... to stoop to the plaguesourcing techniques of some of the "get more likes!  Click here!" crowd.  I don't know if this multiplatforming I'm doing is the solution either, because I can't seem to get the if-this-then-(do five things) Rube Goldberg sorta routine nailed to prevent duplicate posts and general confusion from happening.  I need to get back to class at Google University and study up.  The only thing I can think of worse than bot-followers are noobs (like me) that don't know what they are doing when they suddenly blast out five of the same post.  I feel like that guy right about now, but I'm working on it.  Maybe none of this matters... I mean, I don't NEEED a zillion followers; yet, at the same time I am watching a lot more YouTube shorts lately which convince me I can do a lot better than I have been.  If more hits = more riders, then my motivation checkpoint remains valid thus far.

A December from the past, you know - back when I rode a bike.

     Finally breaking the ice in grand style this coming weekend, fresh on vacation, fresh from a return to the gym, weights, cardio ... and chock full of carbs from a still-crappy diet, THIS dude is headed outdoors, ya know.  My old lady, she's kinda funny and all about it.  The other day, I was leaning up against a lightpost and she had the nerve to tell me that she didn't believe I was even looking for a job - can you believe that?  Geez, lady.  About that time, my mouth was getting pretty dry, so I rode down to my local bar - you know, people.  

One bourbon.

One Scotch.

One beer.



George Throughgood (hey, look a "gh"!) had no idea he'd actually composed the makings of a pretty good EDM remix.  More to come on that front.

Yeah, so, 200km ride on Sunday.  Archie Bunker route.  Hey, that's the LAST route I rode, six months ago.  Nice!  Almost literally picking it up right where I left off.  I'm sure to have some interesting posts coming from that activity, so stay tuned.  

Later on, you half-crazed screaming teenage fans!  



ri-iiight, dude.... definitely.




December 17, 2014

Milepost 1445


Chain-L gets a shot for winter duty: Okay I'll bite. After reading all the interesting reviews, decided to make a totally unprompted purchase. I've been a ProGold ProLink user for 12 years with no complaints, but I'll try anything for 1,000 miles. The way I go though chains, that's nearly one application per chain! I'll report back - but, I have a feeling this sort of lube only rewards me and my fellow graduates from the OCD-U school for bicycle drivetrain cleaners.

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December 13, 2014

Milepost 1445


The Firehouse: station #2 for Johnson county's expanded "northwest consolidated fire district", which serves most of Lexington township while also being contracted for nearby Sunflower Army Ammunition plant. Located at 127th and Gardner Rd., with a newer garage building standing a few yards south. It is difficult to age this building, but one could imagine it has been part of the landscape here for quite some time. Behind the camera stands an old farmstead, perhaps quarters for early fire volunteers. While 127th crumbles into a minimum maintenance road if one heads east from here, and Gardner road is largely a dead end to the north, traffic still passes at a slow, yet consistent rate. Cut off from nearly every major throughway, a vague zigzag of backroads are the only passage between Gardner, Eudora and Desoto. Today's tour retraces an old DSR route, loaded with treasures like this one all along the way.

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Milepost 1445


West-Central JoCo: heading out toward Clearview City, KS., this is Moonlight Rd. heading north. I often head either south or north of town, but this time I headed west instead, past the rock quarries and aggregate plants, past the rail corridors, past the US highways that divide the county in two, and past the airport into that forgotten part of Johnson county where old rural flavor, horse ranches and an abandoned ammunition plant meet. Only recently have the opulent raised their dream homes, but most of the area remains as it had for decades: quiet, unassuming Kansas life. The counties biggest hills live here near Olathe lake, and the Kansas Prairie visitors center sits right between them at Cedar Niles road. Today, keen on scenery and blowing the dust out of the climbing legs, I cover them all under chilly, cloudy skies. December cycling, prairie-style.

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December 6, 2014

Milepost 1445


More metalwork: Front rack headlight bracket mark-2, before the final polish. I guess I can already see the reflections from the shop lights... maybe that's good enough for this morning, considering I now need to make three more just like it for a potential dual headlight setup. This is in AL instead of steel, so it's lighter (which doesn't matter) and the knurled locknuts will bite better when mounted (which does) - especially with the M5 drillings instead of borrowing the giant chainring bolt holes like I had on the mark 1 version. Plus, this puts the light 1cm down and forward from the current position, making it impossible for the front bag to make contact with it. Barely an issue with the existing setup, so today's work is mainly for catharsis after a hectic week. It's a small step closer to possibly offering these for sale if the interest continues... but, yeah: you can make your own easily, too. I've got riding to do, so I'll not 'waste' any more of today's rare December weather in the shop. Always feels good to get my hands busy on something other than a keyboard, though, I'd rather get the bike dirty instead.

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December 1, 2014

Milepost 1445


Flashing back to Knob Noster, February 2014, mile 115, Terry pulling the train.

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