Election Day Ride to the ‘ville

I was able to vote first thing in the morning – arriving at the polling station at 5:45 to cast my vote. It was shaping up to be a no ride day because we had parent teacher conferences at 10:40 in the morning. By the time I attended that and returned to work there would be no time for a ride. Then the brainstorm hit – why not ride to the conference? I did a quick mileage check and determined in was 9.5 miles to the school in the Highlands. I did a quick run by the boss and he agreed it would be cool even though it would cost me about 10-12 minutes per leg. This would be my first ride that could really count as a “CO2” ride or what ever its called. It was a pure substitution for a car ride

I set out using my most direct route to the river and made it to the first major hurdle – the 2nd Street Bridge.
Second Street Bridge Photo by Jonathan W
This bridge has had some biking fatalities and is really the only way between southern Indiana and Louisville. After the last unfortunate death the city marked the bridge a little better and painted what they call “sharrows” on the two outer lanes. A month ago I surveyed some riders and heard universally to use the sidewalk. I like the idea of better roads and routes for bike riders but not enough to die for. It was a little clumsy to navigate back onto 2nd street after the cross but I eventually made it. 2nd street is a main thoroughfare and was recently converted to two way traffic. It really was easy to ride as far as traffic but the lights are not timed well and there was a lot of stopping and waiting. I swung left onto Broadway and may my way to the Highlands. A woman in a Neon kept honking at me – at least five times! Broadway is at least 3 lanes plus a parking row wide in this stretch. She apparantly wanted me to ditch into the parking area so she pass me. I did not cooperate. She had two clear lanes multiple times to get around. Finally at a light she went around. Just 4 blocks later she turned right – about 15 feet ahead of me. That is what interests me the most about riding in the city – it is really not any slower to do. As she passed I made no gestures, said no words and barely made any eye contact. Her problem really.

The rest of the ride there went pretty smooth. I did have some signal problems at Broadway and Baxter but eventually it changed. I made it to the school with about 5 minutes to spare and was able to stash the bike and help my wife get all of the children in.

We walked to the local Jimmy Johns at Highland and Baxter and soaked in the sun sitting outside and having a great lunch on a beautiful day. There can’t be too many of those days left this year.

Heading back to work I thought I would try to take Market Street to work back the bridge. I recall a bike lane on Market and I thought I would try that. It turns out that the bike lane only goes the other way. It was kind of a slow grind to make it back to Indiana. The bridge sidewalk was nerve wracking again but not too bad. Once I hit Indiana it was all familiar roads and I rode back feeling great.

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New Albany Handmade Book



New Albany Handmade Book, originally uploaded by cdale.

I listed a new book for sale on Etsy. I didn’t have any luck before but I am hoping this one catches someones eye. The listing can be found at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=17002798

The picture is one that I took in my work town of New Albany. This statue is outside of the public library. It is clearly the best piece of public art in town. I think the book turned out really good and we’ll see if draws any interest.

Election Day Blogging

As I drove to work on Tuesday morning I was listening to Morning Edition as usual. Louisville has a pretty funny, snarky news person on in the morning. His name is Todd Mundt. The national person Renee Montagne says “We will be reporting all day here at NPR and NPR.org featuring constant blogging”. Todd chimes in “Yeah….constant blogging…just what everybody wants…” in this flat disaffected tone. I don’t know why but it really cracked me up. I even sent him an email telling him so. He sent me a nice note back saying he just couldn’t help it.

It turns out he has a pretty good internet profile including a twitter stream that is updated pretty often. It sure is easier to find people when they have a slightly unusual name.

Check him out in the morning.

A new Front End to Edwardsville

Over last weekend my friend Tim headed out to get a taste of the Knobs of Southern Indiana. We talked a little on Thursday night about the best way to return to New Albany from the Knobs but we did not talk about how to get there. Tim found a different way to get to Corydon Pike via Budd Road/Highwater Road. This requires spending some time on Indiana 111 which is reasonably crowded just outside of New Albany. Tim recommended these roads for the scenery aspect so I thought I would give it a shot. It did not disappoint. I came upon this area and could not help but stop and take a picture:HPIM0250_edited.JPG

Right after this picture it was straight down a nasty gravel strewn road then across some tracks and to Corydon Pike. This was good for me to mix up a relatively rote portion of this regular ride and improve it. As I rode across the Quarry Road ridge line I was stopped in my tracks by a large 10-12 point Buck standing in the road. I stopped and was trying to reach around to the back to grab the camera but he hit the trail. Meanwhile I snapped this pic to show off the foilage in its finest:
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It was a great day and I great ride

Rock and Roll Means Well

About a month and a half of anticipation finally came to fruition last Thursday night October the 30th. The Drive-by Truckers and the Hold Steady choose to kick off their month long tour right here in Louisville, KY. I told people about the show and talked it up for some time. By the time the day rolled around I had commitments from my friend Ian and his GF Chelsea with Tim on the fence. I gave some pep talks on the way home and it was finally looking good.

I headed home to take care of my obligations at home. Leaving early is always a strain on the other to get three little ones to bed including infant twins. To make it worse as I looked into the times it showed that the doors were to open at 7 and the show was to start at 8. Kinda early. I had the feeling that both bands could play 2 hours plus and I was concerned that the show would in fact start at 8. Tim called back and confirmed he was going, that he could drive me there, and that the box office confirmed it was going down on time.

We headed down to the bar formerly called Coyote’s now referred to as City Block for the show. Spirits were high as we lined up to get in. I heard a girl come out with a smallish camera bag and tell someone they wouldn’t let her carry her camera in. As at most shows I go to I had mine in my back pocket. It is one of my favorite things about the shows.

We got in around 8, grabbed some beers and sure enough the DBT’s came out shortly thereafter. This was my first time seeing the band live and it was impressive. It is great to see people play who are clearly so comfortable together. It absolutely rocked. They have a guy how took Jason Isbell’s place playing the lead guitar fills but does no singing. This seems to greatly free up Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley to just do their thing. And they played “Zip City” A little into the show a burly security guy informed me that if I took any more pictures he would take my camera. That’s weak. I am not really for sure why this happened – the band, the venue, or the beginning of the tour? It doesn’t seem characteristic for either band but who knows. I did manage to get these snapped prior to the “ban”:
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After a quick break The Hold Steady took the stage. We made some good moves towards the front (not as good as we could have with Ms. Tim) during the break. Then some other bike nerd overheard us talking about bikes and joined on in.

As soon as the music started I felt locked into the tractor beam and pulled close to the stage. The kids were going wild and it was tons of fun. There did not appear to be any trash cans at the City Block and there quite a lot of loose bottles and busted bottles on the floor. It made me think of “Kicking and a’ gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer”. It left my shoes looking like this:DSCN1267_edited.JPG
This was a rawk show at its finest – crowded, hot, loud, with everybody jumping around dancing and singing. Here are a few pictures I took from my new position and increased courage – not to mention everybody else was doing it:
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Tim bailed around 11 which I understand. I’m sure he intended to ride his bike to teach school the next day.

My good friend Ian hooked me up with a ride home – quite nice since it was certainely not on his way. I had to laugh because Chelsea indicated that Tim used to be one of her high school teachers. I don’t think I have been to one show with him where we have not encountered former students.

It was a great night and really recharged my battery. I made it to work on time (6:45) and really felt fine even though I didn’t get to bed until around 1:00. I made my ride the next day and life was good.

End of the Month

YTD – 739.16
October – 257.38
Thursday – 14.86
Friday – 15.72

Coming into the last two days of the month I had already surpassed my mileage goal of 200 for the month and I was looking to break 250 instead. I had two good days to do it in as the temperature had climbed back in to the lower 70’s.

On Thursday I went for a new route to fill in some more of the area in the northwest Knob areas outside of New Albany. In an interesting turn I went up a big hill climb I had previously only come down. I went through my normal small climb of Capt Frank/Valley View and went right to head out Old Vincennes Road. It doesn’t make the list of 100 steep climbs but it is no joke. It also offers a few choice vistas of downtown Louisville of which I did not take a picture. I made it to the top with out stopping so I was pleased with that. I have found that it is easier for me to clear these hills if I am familiar with them, something about knowing when it will be over helps. I headed over to Old Hill Road which was not as it sounded. It was not a steep climb, instead it was a short stretch of up and down on just average asphalt. This led me down Paoli Pike for a short bit and then back into the country. I had a dump truck coming up behind me and pulled into a driveway like a wimp! Oh well… I ended up in the Spickert Knob area hoping to revisit some of the glorious riding from a few weeks ago when I “lost” in this area. It did not disappoint. The only drawback to heading this way is that unless you loop back the way you came the only real option for return is Green Valley Road. As I did last time I rode the main stretch back (including a bridge over the interstate) on the sidewalk. The road is peppered with large wheel killing rocks, dips, and expansion joints. It was close quarters a little but I made it back fine.

By this time I was feeling very excited about the evenings festivities. I was headed to The Rock and Roll Means Well Tour featuring the Drive-by Truckers and The Hold Steady. I had one friend committed to go and one on the fence. More about the show to come.

Friday was a pretty pedestrian ride to the Falls of the Ohio that I do quite often. The big news for me was surpassing 250 miles for the month. I set my goal per month at 200 since I mostly ride at lunch alone. So to get that many miles logged for the month was very satisfying. Of course I benefited from a beautiful month of very mild weather. Up until the end most days were an absolute pleasure to ride in.

Swing State Polling – N’albany Style



DSCN1263_edited.JPG, originally uploaded by cdale.