Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Create your own microclimate!

Since purchasing a cheap waterproof cycling jacket several years ago, its uses have been limited. On a rainy day with the temps above 45, it is oppressively hot and rain-forest-like. However today was perfect for its use. Wearing a wicking t shirt, stretchy long pants, a warm cap and gloves, today's weather (dry, breezy, mid to high 30's) suited the jacket fine. No sweaty arms, which is usually the first sign of discomfort.
I'll definitely use the jacket more in the future, weather permitting.

The creek and river which run along our greenway were full from the rain we got yesterday. Water was over the path at several points but I didn't have to turn back until I was about 1/2 way to Cason Lane. The water appeared deep but crossable until I got in the middle of it, at which point crossing seemed a bad idea. Turning around, I had to put my foot down into frigid water. Luckily I only had about 4 miles to ride home.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New addition/sobering stats

For my 4 year old son's birthday, he got a 16" Novara Stinger bike. His first 2 wheeler (actual 4 including the training wheels). He was frightened at first sitting so high in the saddle compared to his Radio Flyer trike, but he's getting used to it quickly. Just yesterday he learned the joy of getting up to speed and slamming on the coaster brake, leaving a skid mark on the sidewalk. Our son is hardly a hellion but seems to enjoy this bit of wildness.

3 pedestrian deaths in Murfreesboro since August. We are a relatively small community, this number is unacceptable.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I'm still simmering over the report yesterday concerning Martin Joel Erzinger running down a cyclist, then getting his charge reduced to a misdemeanor because a felony charge conviction would have "pretty serious job implications". Well, duh.

ANY of us would be afraid of losing our job if convicted of a felony and I don't see how the _quantity_ of dollars in someone's paycheck should affect a D.A.'s decision. Could I pay restitution if I lost my job? No. So I guess I have a pretty strong case against having to go to jail for any serious crime I commit against another individual, if I use D.A. Mark Hurlbert's logic.

Dr. Steven Milo, our thoughts and best wishes are with you. I hope this tragedy can somehow make obvious the deficiencies we have in prosecuting crimes in which automobile drivers strike cyclists and pedestrians. An auto is a lethal weapon, and crimes committed with cars should carry the same penalties as crimes committed with guns.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I went out for a ride yesterday on the mountain bike. The temp was in the middle 50's with a steady rain. I was dressed appropriately, I thought, with wicking shorts, shirt, windbreaker and sandals. It was pretty chilly, though. I remember bike commuting several years ago in similar conditions and with similar clothing, and not feeling as chilled. Guess I'm getting old. Time to buy those waterproof socks and maybe wear the waterproof jacket, as stifling as that is.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Fall has come to the 'Boro and we've had about a month of excellent weather. Cool nights in the 40's and daytime highs approaching 80. One thing we haven't had is a lot of rain.

We did a family camping weekend 2 weeks ago and had an excellent time of it. Our site just off the Natchez Trace parkway looked very inviting on paper. When we arrived, this location was having an arts and crafts fair and the place was overrun with RVs. (We camp in a tent.) The other campers were courteous, however, observing the curfew on noise, generator usage, and we had a nice weekend of it. First time camping for our almost 4 year old son and I think he appreciated the family time in the tent and during the little bit of hiking we did.

This trip included canoeing down the Buffalo river and though the water was cold, the mild aair temps made for a great (voyage?). The water was low in a few spots, and we had to drag the canoe over some rocks, the noise of which sort of freaked our son out. After about 3 1/2 hours, though, he was getting comfortable and had a great time overall.

Friday, October 1, 2010


After riding the cheap mountain bike with my family for a week, I've come to a realization: I get just as much pleasure riding this bike as I do when on the "better" Lemond. Price has nothing to do with the amount of pleasure derived from riding. Even on an inexpensive bike, the shifters work, the brakes work, the derailleurs work just fine.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I had tried unsuccessfully to increase the utility of my Lemond. The best addition I made was the Carradice bag, but it is still not the handiest thing to carry bulky items. I started looking for a bike to which I could add racks and baskets and a better way to pull my son's Trail-A-Bike; the classic cheap (craigslist)mountain bike was my choice. I may eventually Xtracycle this, but want to first see how much utility I can add with conventional racks, etc. I do go quite a bit slower on it, which makes the bike better for family rides.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Traveled to Tybee Island, Ga for a week of R&R. The bicycling is easy on this small island, but its size makes putting in serious mileage difficult. Riding 15 miles on my longest day required inventive meanderings on bike routes. Very enjoyable, relaxing vacation, however.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New Stuff

Birthday items: Salmon Koolstop brake pads, Road ID with updated address, new red gloves to replace shredded yellow ones, nifty cotton cycling cap with "World Champion" striping and was treated to homemade fish tacos followed by homemade key lime cheesecake. Nice!

I've also added an adjustable stem to the bike so I can ride it into my old age, raising the bar as necessary. :)

Yesterday I was almost run down by a lady in an automobile who ignored a yield sign in our town square. I memorized the tag number and went to report the incident at our local police station. Results we less than satisfying but at least they noted her tag number but cannot make a case without witnesses.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More Bike. Less Couch.

Just wanted to say it.

Riding to the in-laws to cut their grass I passed a young couple apparently walking to the laundromat. The lady was at least 100 pounds overweight. As I passed she shouted "oh, _that's_ not dangerous!". As if riding on the road obeying traffic laws were a death defying feat. I guess she does not consider heart disease and diabetes dangerous.

New "skinwall" 700c x 28 Panaracers on the bike:

I liked the reflective sidewall of the old Armadillos but with 4500 miles on them, they had to go. Installing the Pasela tourguard tires was my first experience with folding tire installation. I am not a fan of the install process. My thumbs are still sore.

I am quite proud that I ride the bike more than I drive the Miata. I would like to eventually convert it to electric.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wheels and tubes

New wheel installed, we've done a family ride and I took the bike out for a quick 11 miles yesterday.

My LBS after admitting the wheel that was supposedly on order was actually _not_ had the owner intervene on my behalf to give me a good deal on a 105 hubbed unit they had in stock.

While preparing to ride yesterday, I heard an ominous "pwooosh" sound from the garage. It was the tire on my wife's bike deflating. Problem is the cheap plastic rim tape that came with her wheels. It does not cover properly around the valve hole and that sharp edge bites into the inflated tube. I'll be putting Velox tape on her wheels tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Took a ride out Woodbury Pike, which is what Main Street turns into if you go far enough east. So hot that the mongrels on the porch would not get out of the shade to chase me.

I had intended on doing a 20 mile out and back, then hitting the Greenway for another 10. Got caught in a thunderstorm on the way back and headed home. I haven't put my fenders back on, and the thought of all that water under my B17 made me stop.

My front wheel is one borrowed from my wife's bike; I called my bike shop today to get an ETA on my new wheel. Last week they told me it should be in Tuesday or Wednesday (today). The person I spoke to said the wheel was back ordered and would be in next Tuesday/Wednesday. Arrgh. Would it be so hard for them to pick up the phone and give me a call when they found out the wheel was back orderd?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Last night, I was thinking back to the time 4 or so years ago when I used to commute to work in the town of Roswell, Georgia. Here in Murfreesboro the terrain is extremely flat, with very few challenging hills. In Roswell I had this killer hill, short but very steep, to ride up just as I came out of work. Also, throughout Roswell were rides that would challenge the most dedicated hill climber. I was thinking that there would be no way I could ride those hills now, not without a few months' training. My commute to work here would be a breeze compared to Roswell; less mileage, less challenging, with less traffic. I just have to push myself on my off-day rides to increase fitness.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Not so much physically as financially. We were cycling on the Greenway Wednesday when I noticed a sign an a trailhead stating "Greenway monitored by cameras" "Hmm" I thought, "I've never seen cameras here". As I looked back to my direction of travel I realized we were headed straight into a bollard. Swerving into the bushes we went down in a jumble. I wondered if this was caught on video?

The only upside is my new wheel on order has a 105 hub, an upgrade from the stock Tiagra.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Latest

Catching up the blog a little, I haven't been riding as much as I would like lately. We've done a couple of jaunts on the Greenway, my son and I traveled to the square for a little free music last Friday.

The Trail-a-Bike comes with a pretty aggressive-treaded mountain bike tire which tends to add a good amount of drag. I purchased a 20" smooth tire from the my LBS yesterday and installed it on the TaB. Hopefully when the rain relents I can put the boy on and we'll go for a test ride. While I was at the shop I also picked up a nifty brass bell for my bike (my son had taken my compass/bell for use on his trike).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


With another coat of shellac I think the bars with be very close to matching the B-17

Retro look with the natural tape. And yes I know the stem dust cap is crooked. Who cares.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Handlebar taping/twining

Inspired by Kent Petersen of Rivendell Bikes and Velouria of Lovely Bicycle! I decided to twine the ends of my new bar tape to dress up my "cockpit". To protect the twine I applied amber shellac, and today I shellaced the "natural" color bar tape. Pictures to follow. The bar tape on its own had a slight pinkish cast I did not like, the amber shellac took care of that. I fashioned champagne corks to fit as bar ends, a single twist of twine and a second coat of shellac will finish it off.

By the way, if you want a serious bike that is more versatile that the boy-racer variants the big names are pushing, you could do a lot worse that buy from Rivendell. I have no connection to the company, but appreciate their cycling philosophy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nine days Nice

I'm taking a little vacation time from work. This is day 1, and I've decided to get my tasking out of the way first. I've cut the grass and weed ate the yard. I use a manual reel mower for grass cutting. It is just as easy to push as a non self propelled gas mower, uses no gas, requires minimal maintenance and does not spew burned and unburned hydrocarbons into the air. One drawback, however, is that it does not cut any grass or weeds longer than say, 6 inches. I use the electric weed eater for that. My 3 year old son enjoys helping me push the mower on occasion which is pretty safe since every time we stop pushing, the blades stop turning.

He and I rode through town and over to the "Kid's Castle" playground at Old Fort Park. This is connected to our Greenway system as are 2 other playgrounds. The kid has it made.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Using the bike for around town tasks the last few days. Cycled to the in-laws Tuesday to do some grass cutting, and went to the big box retailer for plumbing supplies this morning to do final hookup of our new sump pump, replacing the loaner we had going.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Morning Speed

Had to squeeze in a quick ride this morning before work. My son rode in the trail-a-bike to provide entertainment and additional resistance. ;)

We have great conversations while riding together, such as (when referring to a previous incident: "why did you fall off your bike and hurt yourself, dada?"

On our return from the Cason Lane trailhead a train blocked our path and we had to use an improvised underpass to continue our ride. My son has a love/hate relationship with trains. He loves Thomas the train and likes to watch big trains on the computer and iphone but a big train just feet away is a little overwhelming for him.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jazzy Jazz

Jazzfest in the 'Boro this evening. We biked down all of 1 mile each way and had a great time. They were featuring mostly high school jazz ensembles tonight, my son enjoyed a couple of James Brown tunes whereby he could "dance" with the girls. Food vendors were serving various treats. Lobster rolls were our choice. Tasty.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Water water everywhere, not a drop to drink

Flooding in the Nashville area this past weekend has kept us busy at work. Putting in O.T. leaves little time to ride. Our greenway was impassable on Monday and Tuesday.

Unless you happened to be pedaling a paddleboat.
Both pictures show what used to be a concrete paved path, now turned to river.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Around Town

I've been sneaking in a few rides through town the last few days. My wife and I went on a nice ride Wednesday morning, though I had the misfortune to hit one of the only muddy patches on the greenway at an angle and *Ka-Wham!* went down. No major damage done, just a scraped knee and 2 elbows.

My bike riding since then has been to my in-laws for a nice dinner, and over to my brother in-law's to help with his packing to move. No distance of real significance but it's kept my legs limber.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Atrocious weather the last few days have kept me off the bike. I can feel sluggishness building up in my bones. Day off tomorrow, so I will squeeze in a ride no matter the temp.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Leisure time thoughts

The previous picture was taken at the Stone's River National Battlefield, which is on a short extension of our greenway. A detailed account of the battle is here. There are historic markers related to this battle all along the length of the Murfreesboro Greenway.

Our family went for a ride last evening down The Chason Lane extension. Our son had to, as is customary, stop at the playground near the terminus. This area is usually pretty calm, but there was a kid's birthday party happening and the kids were going nuts.

There seems to be a mini fitness boom overtaking Murfreesboro. We see increasing numbers of people walking, jogging, biking on "our" greenway. If this disturbing trend continues you'll hardly be able to maintain 10 mph for the length of the path. Dang it. Why can't folks just stay at home and use their Wii Fits and frag on their Playstations? If folks really want to get radical, they can auction off their electronic devices and buy bikes to ride downtown. I'll be the first to give them safe riding classes.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ride at Dusk

I'm working the night shift for a few days at work. We are revamping my department and this can't happen during daytime hours. This makes working in a ride more challenging.

Went out at 6:30 this evening after a delicious meal featuring tilapia cooked by my wife. The greenway was busier than I expected, but still not bad at all compared to a Saturday or Sunday. Put in 13.5 miles including a trip through town. Cool this evening, perfect for riding, temps in the low 60's.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Catching Up

Had a family ride last evening. Good weather starting out, but it got chilly when the sun went down. I had to buy a new blinkie and some batteries in expectation of this ride, We put in about 10 miles.

I rode solo this afternoon. I thought my son would trail-a-bike with me, but he preferred going shopping with his mommy. What?!

Put in 20 miles, but had to stop a few times for various reasons:

There was a minor obstruction on the path early in the ride

but also a way around it

I saw a turkey

Then a couple of eldery ladies who thought they could drive on the greenway.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cool Morning

I realize as I write this that these blogs are more of a journal for recording of ride mileage and conditions. Oh well. If anyone finds this the least bit interesting, it would be surprising to me.

I did 10 quick miles this morning before I had to go in for work. There were quite a few joggers and runners on the greenway, I know some of them are in their taper down phase for the Nashville marathon and half. I always give pedestrians a wide berth, but it can be irritating when people walk/jog 3 abreast and take up the whole path. Our greenway regulations explicitly state that no more that 1/2 the path should be occupied by one group of people or bikes. I actually had a group thank me for shouting "on your left" as I approached from behind. Did they think I would just run them down? I'm not a barbarian.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Night Quickie

8 miles this evening. There was some political event ending at the town square as I passed through. I didn't see a single person on a bike. I know most of these people live 5 miles or less from downtown.

The past 2 days

Doing a bit of catch up on the blog. My wife and I rode a little Wednesday A.M. before I had to go to work. Our child was at playschool so that gave us some time to ourselves. We put in about 8 miles.

Yesterday we went on a family ride down the greenway, about 12 miles total. It was another cloudless warm day here. 1 1/2 miles into the ride while crossing a set of railroad tracks our son's trail-a-bike came unhitched from my bike, leading to a crash on the tracks. Much panic ensued. He had a scraped arm, but was otherwise ok except for the mental trauma. While hooking up the trail-a-bike I did not slide the hitch in far enough, and the locking pin did not connect. I guess I was still bleary from working the late shift Wednesday night, but you can bet I will always double check that hitch from now on.

Later on into the ride my wife and I got separated and did not meet up again until we got home. Overall it was a kind of frustrating afternoon, or at least as much as it can get while you're enjoying a ride on a nice spring day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Off

Beautiful day for a family outing. We rode to the terminus of the greenway extension at Cason Lane this morning then had a tasty lunch at a Mexican restaurant conveniently located next to the path.

A huge Dos Equis for each of the adults and equally huge and delicious shrimp cocktails were our reward for our cycling. I had to make an additional trip to (try to) fix my mother-in-law's trunk latch, bringing my daily total to 28 miles.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Quiet Night

A 6 mile ride around downtown Murfreesboro this evening. Our square area is woefully underutilized at night. We have a few restaurants, but for the most part our night life is scattered widely throughout Mboro proper. Now, if we can convince many more people to cycle downtown instead of car cruising through the square, that would be a beautiful thing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Family Time

A little 8 mile recreational ride this evening with the family, pulling the trail a bike. Even after several months of ownership, the TaB gets oohs and aahs from other cyclists and walkers on the greenway. Or maybe it's just my exceptionally handsome 3 year old son.

Perfect clear warm weather for a ride, marred only by swarms of (gnats? whiteflys?) in the shady parts of the path.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crosstown Traffic

After getting out of work and making the 40 minute drive home, I was able to bike over to the in-laws for dinner Only 5.5 miles each way, but it was very enjoyable, especially the return trip. Cycling at night is one of my favorite activities. My route passes a small hospital, a cemetery, and catches a corner of the college campus before heading out a major "pike", Tennessee's term for a larger roadway. Many of the pikes around here have wide shoulders for your cycling pleasure. They do get their share of debris, but I'm equipped with Armadillo tires, to lessen the flat potential.

Most drivers around here give cyclists a good berth, but you have to be forthright (without being stupid) and take the lane when necessary. No driver could use the excuse that they didn't see me at night; I'm lit up like a Christmas tree.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Welcome to the blog. I am a one time commuting cyclist, who after a move to a new location, is determined to arrange his life so that cycle commuting is once again possible. My distance from work, at 32 miles, limits my current commuting ambitions.

In the town where I live, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, we do have a decent cycling culture based on students of the local college, quite a few recreational cyclists and the occasional person for whom biking is a necessity because they have lost their driver's license. We have a nice greenway system that is continually being expanded for off street cycling.

My wife and I, along with our 3 year old son, enjoy cycling (trail-a-biking) through the community and down the greenway.

I try to use my bike around town as much as possible, to eliminate small trips in the car.