Friday, June 23, 2017

Sideways on Sidewinder

Binging isn't just for college kids. The middle aged, middle class guy with kids also finds himself binging, though in my case, it is on two wheels. So little extra time during the week can turn in to a binge of miles on a Saturday morning. Example, last week. I got some time on Saturday and headed on on my mountain bike. I packed enough food for 4+ hours and roughly planned a route that we allow me to refill water bottles about half way. I ended up riding out to Lake Hope on as much back road as I could fit. Once I arrived and looked at the time, I figured I had enough time to do a quick loop of some trails before turning around and heading back home. I did not bother to adjust my tire pressure, instead just thought I would take it easy knowing that I had a couple more hours riding ahead of me. About a half mile in, I rolled over a root that was across the trail, a root I have rolled over dozens of times. Except, this time, it pitched me sideways a bit. Now, not only was I moving slowly, so momentum wasn't working for me, I also had new tires with too much pressure. This turned in to a foot dab. Problem, there wasn't any ground under my foot. Some recent rains had eroded some of the trail, leaving a web of tree roots with nothing below them. Parts of me fell through the web leaving me scrapped and bruised. I ended up taking a connector out to the road and heading south.

Maybe I could totally blame the air pressure. But while it was a factor, a bigger part is that I haven't spent a lot of time on the trails this year so my skills are a little rusty. And too few miles on the legs mean they are a little tired on long days.

We salvaged the day with a trip to Athens for some tacos and walking around the green. Uptown is pretty OK during the summer when it isn't focused on college aged bingers.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


May, that month each year with so many hopes: big races, end of school, longer days, mother's day, birthdays. And like each year, that list has too many things when combined with normal stuff like working, mowing, church, family stuff. Not saying that these things aren't good things. I wouldn't want to skip mother's day or boy #1 or boy#2's birthdays. We have been working really hard at the office to get a new development program going and with the last layoffs, this meant me pulling double duty many days. We even got to celebrate and friend's wedding. Good things, but all this did put a big hurtin' on bike time. At the time of year when my weekly/monthly totals/goals are increasing, I lost 100 miles this May to April instead of gaining. And, it all ended with a sinus infection and respiratory distress following a week of allergy problems from grass pollen counts that were higher than the rating system they use to count the pollen. I still can't get through a night without waking up to a coughing fit however, I no longer feel like I have been kicked in the head, so that is positive.

Isn't the saying that April shower's bring May flowers? It sure seems like it rained a lot in May. But hey, rainbows.

Double rainbow with lots of wires.

And there was great weather for the Ohio State Road Race p/b Team Athens Cycling out at Lake Hope State Park. I worked registration and did not race. Here the afternoon classes were staged to head out. And as cool as this is, even cooler were the two junior racers, both girls, one U10 and one U12 that headed out for a full lap of this 20 mile course with two big climbs. Bravo ladies!

A whole bunch of grown men with shaved legs.
Did I mention it rained? Trails really struggled to dry out. Most of them were in great, tacky shape. Until it wasn't and became a big mud hole.

This was a very brave moth as three cats sat on the porch with their eyes locked on kill.

Not all mud. This road is so cool. One lane, grass growing up the middle. Cows on one side and hay field the other. Out here, gravel riding isn't a fad. It is just riding the roads.

Hay and grass pollen.
The wedding was held at the Wagnalls Library in Lithopolis, Ohio. Really cool place. The bride did a a lot of fun stuff like table assignments on library cards, old books stacked on the tables, an old register used as the guest book, a food truck outside to order eats, and so on. It was also great to see some friends that we haven't seen for too long.


Love your family and friends. Cherish your time regardless of political bents. Life can be short.