Perfect weather for a bike ride . . .

March 27, 2015

Milepost 1445


Nope, not even GB is immune. I call this "Rapha-izing" Berthoud, as the classic Solonge look is waved through the smoke of modernist functionality with the addition of a vertical sport stripe in constrasting light grey, which happens to be reflective. Inside, additional pockets for smaller items have been added, as well as pass-thru grommets to allow for a more stable attachment to the front rack, without compromizing quick-release capability. All applied with extra care and patience befitting GB's high standards of construction. GB owners welcome to email inquiry on costs. #dudefab

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

Milepost 1445


143rd and Pflumm, looking SE. This heavily-travelled 4-way stop sign controlled multi-lane funnel will soon be altered forever. The silo dates back at least 90 years, if not more, and - as has been practiced around Olathe - may remain in place after construction is finished, which I appreciate. But, the horse ranch has moved out, the cattle here are pretty rare and will likely be gone soon, too, as utility relocation, surveyance, and recent lane closures foretell the ultimate goal of widening 143rd from Pflumm to Quivira; Overland Park's last segment of old, rural 2-lane. Last year's construction was postponed, but, work has resumed. Nearby, it likely won't be long until Pflumm itself is widened south to 151st. Shortly after, expect new homes to be erected. 3/2015

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 26, 2015

Milepost 1445


Proud to have authored another piece for American Randonneur magazine, talking up one of the terrific catalog of routes we're continuing to grow in and around Kansas City. Can't wait to get up to St. Jo and ride this one again! #kcuc #RUSA

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 25, 2015

Milepost 1445


I promised a while back I'd be writing a review of this lube I've been trying out. Ummm, I'm still waiting for the initial application to wear off. More to come.

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

Milepost 1445


Cedar Creek farmstead, at 153rd and Lone Elm, Olathe, KS. Unsure if this is legacy-ish park land (very close to Cedar Creek Park) or, if this is soon to be western expansion... But, every time I pass it still catches my attention. I've been chronicling a few local intersections and fields that seem like they're undergoing rezoning, or that have utility relocation nearby. I love those Kansas City Then and Now books... This is sorta me making my own.

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 21, 2015

Milepost 1445


Heading back into town after finding my limits on some great, loose-packed gravel hills south of town. I don't think riding DK will happen this year (crewing for sure, if not) but I'm training for it anyhow, because this training is fun, worthwhile, and is melting my winter midsection off. The bike is dialed, I'm feeling strong and happy, and the weather lately feels great! Green is returning to the fields, and there's a chance of thunderstorms starting tomorrow night... Spring, baby!

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 17, 2015

Better Late Than Never

Working title, perhaps, for Saturdays 209km ride, "A Mere Two-Hundred," from Liberty, MO. to Avenue City, MO. and back.  What a great ride; and MAN, how comfortable a booth at Perkins can feel after a day in the saddle.

After last summer and my long hiatus from riding after rotator-cuff repair on my left shoulder, aside from my successful run at "Archie Bunker" back in December, well, it feels really good to be back in the game.  I haven't really been riding much, not even commuting - mainly the result of a mind over weather failure.  We've had a dry, but cold, winter; no real excuses not to ride long other than the thought of enduring the cold itself not sounding like much of a good time.  Once out of a habit, it's very difficult to pick it back up.  The same can be said on diet, where two solid weeks of pain meds and doing essentially nothing, back in July, had turned into a subconscious choice to eat everything not nailed down, despite my affirmations to the contrary before surgery.  From the best shape of my adult life in June last year, to a heap of slack by the end of August.  Yeesh, I fall hard.

I'd even thought about yanking the plug on the blog and social media, also.  I think in some ways missing a summer of riding, my coping mechanisms lifted and facing work and its stresses without much of an outlet, left me a bit depressed in a clinical sense: unmotivated, giving up or showing a lack of interest in the activities I enjoy, and somehow restored to both, as if I'd determined and accepted the outcome and couldn't be bothered to question why.  Seems legit, as my son might say with tongue in cheek.

Yet, even unloading some of that here, in a few hundred words so far, I feel a small sense of renewal.  Spring showed up about this time last weekend, and I have taken to riding to work again - and preferring it over driving, as before.  I have been back in the gym for a couple months now, and while my body weight isn't where I'd like it yet, inches are gone, and core strength has transformed my riding already.  I felt strong, engaged, and able to push and dictate my own pace, instead of struggling to stay latched to a wheel.  Something has been working, and my level cruising speed is up a few notches.

This will be a good year, I can feel it.
I'll go ahead an call this a new streak:  I'm confident.

So, the ride? 
Well, that post is in the works.
Seems I still like to write about these things, too.  Maybe the break did me some good.


Stay tuned. . .

March 16, 2015

Milepost 1445


Heavily modified, almost watercolor-like image of what appears to be a bunker or storm shelter of some kind, maybe an old root cellar, but the barn or house it belonged to is long gone now. Along highway Y north of Plattsburg, MO. Without the HDR imaging, this has been just a sea of beige, but somehow this feature grabbed my attention, on a day where I'd, later, somehow miss an entire bridge against the dull backdrop.

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

Milepost 1445


Plattsburg Rd., dawn-patrol.

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 15, 2015

Milepost 1445


More bright skies over NW Missouri, along highway NN in rural Buchanan county, as Glen R. continues east toward the penultimate control on Saturday's 209km permanent. Dubbed "a mere two-hundred" by its designer, it's hardly a cakewalk, this route. Lots of climbing, and then more climbing... Having a restaurant at its end isn't an accident: it's necessary. Especially on 3/14/15, the menu contained Pi. Er, pie. Ride to eat!

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 14, 2015

Milepost 1445


It felt like spring, but the fields are still brown, and the skies streaked with cirrus while we're blown home with 18mph tailwinds, earned after a difficult 65 miles of headwind in the first half. Terry here, takes a break from climbing and enjoys the push. A tough route, but I love it on days like this. Feels good to be back out there!

from Instagram via IFTTT and Twitter @RUSAdude

March 7, 2015

When RUSA speaks, riders listen . . . update on reflectivity for 2015

Do I need reflective gear while I'm riding?

Lately, the answer is a definitive & resounding "yes."  Yes, even in daylight, you'll often see me donning the reflective vest, or at least something in a hi-viz color.  Think about it... even in the middle of a summer's day, if you pass a road construction site - what do you see?  Bright neon colors, reflective ANSI-approved striping, flags and cones, etc.  All high-visibility, not just at night.  This is designed to protect the workers and prevent accidents. 

 We live in an age of transition, technologically speaking.  The devices many of us have begun to take for granted are truly modern-age wonders.  I mean, for someone like me who remembers the day the janitor (before anyone knew what "AV tech" meant) wheeled in the first Apple 2C computer, and to think of it compared to any modern wireless device or the popular Raspberry Pi computers... good lord, it's simply staggering what these things that fit into our pockets can do.  They are, to put it lightly, quite distracting as a result.  

Why do I say "transition"?  Well, while these devices are amazing, the things they do for us and specifically how we interface with them hasn't kept pace with the technology itself.  Voice control, truly hands-free usability, and eyes-off hands-off intuitiveness hasn't reached mainstream yet.  I know... we have Siri (ick) and Google's comparatively remarkable voice controls... but, few have had the patience to set them up in a fashion where you - literally - don't have to look-at or touch the device itself while walking or driving.  None of the solutions I've played with haven't generated at least a little bit of genuine user-frustration, ultimately requiring me to physically intervene, and most casual user will simply not bother.  They will text, surf, and talk while driving - it's what people do, but it needs to stop - right now.  

This is where the problems begin.  We all know about "distracted driving," and locally, we all know at least one life which has been negatively affected (to put it lightly) by this current problem.  The more we do to protect ourselves as cyclists -- regardless of whether or not we should have to -- the safer and better off we will be during our rides.  

Simply put - yeah, it sucks.  Yeah, it's too warm.  Yeah, we will look silly.  Personally, I'm beyond all that.  We need to just wear the freaking vest and ankle bands, and slap the yellow triangle on the seat bag.  Any arguments against this sort of personal policy just fall flat.  Don't come at me with statistics, or scoffing, how reflective stuff  isn't a force-field, or how it just won't matter in the moment.  I have a family to get home to - I'm wearing the dang vest.  I hope you choose to, as well. 

The following is copied the KCUC webpage, which I also manage, so you may have already read it.  Things have indeed changed recently, so if you're not yet familiar with RUSA's new reflectivity guidelines (effective 2015) please read this
To aid in planning you next big ride, knowing Civil Twilight times can serve as a good guideline for what to bring when you're not sure what conditions might be like when you start or finish a ride; check it out here.  Personally, I think preparation for rides longer than 100km should involve simply packing the reflective gear, whether you think you'll need it or not.  One never knows - delayed by a mechanical issue, whatever.  Have the stuff packed, and don't worry.  This stuff doesn't take up that much space - certainly not enough to generate excuses on why you can't bring it along.  
Finally, remember; civil twilight or "30-minutes before sunset and after sunrise" is ONLY a guideline:  RUSA's rules override all other considerations, and when that doesn't apply, default to the good ole Thomas Paine solution:  Common Sense.  Think "safety first" whenever there is any question:  Is it foggy?  Is it especially overcast?  Is the sun in front of me?  Will it rain?  Can they see me?  Can I see them?

Be safe, ride smart & be prepared!

Let's have a great, un-eventful, 2015 riding season, eh?  
See you out there!