Tag Archives: rb-1

Four months in

YTD – 870.62
MTD – 131.46
Friday – 16.66

I “celebrated” four months of riding with a cold, hard ride to Corydon Pike via Budd/Highwater lane. I reviewed Tim’s map of this ride and decided I liked how he dealt with the wacky intersection of Hwy 111 and Indiana 62. He went around it. Me too, and I liked the result. One of the surprising things that eluded me in four months of riding was a dog chase. Granted, that was fine by me but considering the amount of Indiana back roads I ride it’s surprising. I panted to the top of the first rise on Budd Road and there it was – some sort of Husky looking dog who came haul-assin’ out into the street to give chase. I dropped gears, stood up, and stomped it. I am pleased to report that I quickly lost his interest. I actually saw another one about a mile later that looked the same. It wisely yielded to its still marked electric fence.

This ride can be a tough one for an hour and I was definitely feeling the impact of the cold and the wind. From Highwater Road to the Edwardsville climb is a slow steady climb and my speed fell into the range of 11-12 mph. It is a little daunting that the climb begins around 7 miles in and I thinking – I’m already a little tired and it’s all in front of me.

I made it up and around just fine. As I descended I even went into the drop portion of the handlebars to see if I could get some of the wind out of my eyes. I find it hard to keep my eyes from watering and I even wear glasses. I had gotten pretty hot by the time I reached the top of the hill, but the ridge line ride cooled me back down and I never recovered any warmth. By the time I made it back I was quite ready to hit the hot shower.

So here’s to my longest exercise regiment ever. Hopefully for many miles to come.

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So…its gotten pretty cold here.

YTD – 853.96
MTD – 114.81
Tuesday – 16.06
Thursday – 18.08

Well winter is here for sure in the ‘ville. Against skeptical looks from co-workers I have headed out both days that were available to me this week. I have been reaching into the archives of my wardrobe to fill out the needed elements of cold fighting (or at least cold reducing) clothing. I have generally been successful – nice wool socks here, silk long underwear there. I filled in the bare spots with gloves and an ear covering under helmet hat. All in all I was comfortable both days. I think I should have heeded the advice of Chris at Clarksville and went for the full balaclava hat. I doubt I’ll make it through the winter without one. All I can think of when I see those hats is “urban ter’rist”. I can only imagine rolling through the back hills of Southern Indiana in that hat – they are likely to call John Ashcroft on me. My get-up overall is kinda dorky looking due to its cobbled together approach but when faced with looking dorky or not going out its a pretty easy choice.

I set out tentatively on Tuesday knowing I would be testing my layering strategy. It worked pretty well at about 40 degrees. I opted for a flat route that did not include any screeching downhill runs that water my eyes so I can’t see too well. I headed out to the Howard Steamboat museum in Jeffersonville. It is a good flat 16 miles that can be lengthened if needed. I stuck with 16 miles and turned in a time a little over 16 MPH which is a good speed for me.

On Wednesday night my friend Tim blogged about On Your Left Cycles – a little shop in the Phoenix/Irish Hill area of town. It looked pretty interesting so I mapped it out real quick and it looked like a good lunch time ride. A little long and involving the 2nd street bridge but that’s OK. It was a good opportunity to test my mettle and get more comfortable with riding in the street. I was actually pretty warm by the time I made it to the bridge and over. I had a pretty good ride up Market Street which contains some of the limited precious bike lane. Of course the opportunity for meeting open car doors is pretty high so it requires ample diligence. I made it to the shop, looked around a bit, and inquired if they might have any more rides scheduled for this year. They said probably so. Another guy who appeared to work there walked in and gave me immediate props on “My” Bridgestone. That was fun – thanks Tim!

I decided to head back to the bridge a different way and rolled up Broadway and down 2nd street. Both of these roads have suspect traffic patterns and it was a lot of stop and go. I had a nice ride back especially past the bridge. I rode the sidewalks of the bridge again and the interfacing of the sidewalk back to the road pretty much sucks both ways. By the time I got back my right foot was quite cold and it felt good to get in that hot shower. That and two cups of hot tea left me feeling good.

Today may well be the ‘ol Edwardsville climb probably from the Budd road approach.

A slow start to November

YTD – 819.82
MTD – 80.66
Monday – 16.50
Friday – 14.66

I went into last week knowing I would have limited chances to ride. I was scheduled to head off to Chicago for a 3 day jaunt to call on my favorite customer, hit a trade show, and have a vendor take me/us out to dinner for a change. I haven’t driven to Chicago since well before the twins were born but I’m pleased to report that I still recall the way. My iPass still works too which is good.

Monday morning I hit Clarksville Schwinn to pick up some cold weather supplies. I settled on some clearance gloves and a superbly expensive hat. I am really trying to scrimp and only get what I think I need. A few cold rides have left my hands quite cold and I can not stand to have air rushing into my ears. I have also loaded my bag for this week with wool socks and perhaps more importantly some silk long underwear. Sounds a little funny but it should really help. I remember wearing it when I attended U of L and had to walk around a lot. It is my understanding that polypropylene is intended to be synthetic silk. I look forward to the results.The forecast indicates I will get a chance this week.

I had a lot on my plate trying to get ready to be out of the office for 3 days so I didn’t think too hard about a route and decided to take my standard route to Edwardsville. It offers two good climbs and a good distance for lunch riding. I had a good ride out and for the first time made it all the way to the top entirely in the saddle. No jumping up when it really started to burn. I got close a week or two ago so I thought I would see if I could do it. Really the only victim was my unpadded arse. Out of saddle climbing does give you a bit of a break on the backside. I am not convinced this is really the best way to climb but it felt like an accomplishment to make it. The new cold weather gear was an improvement. My feet were still quite cold which reminded me it was time to fix the sock situation.

Friday found me antsy to get out and ride but was complicated by a visit to a prospective elementary school. It really cut into my time for the day but the weather had taken a nice turn into the high 60’s and I really couldn’t help myself. I thought I would go for short and tough. I had tried an “up and down” route before but thought I could make it better. The four hills are Valley View/Capt Frank, Old Vincennes, Cherry Street Hill, and Camp Road. The last two are short but very steep. Map My Ride indicates 6-8% grades. The RB-1 has no “granny gear” it only has tough guy options for climbing. Here is the route:
14 Miles 4 Hill ZigZag Through Silver Hills
Find more Bike Rides in New Albany, Indiana
I tacked on some extra distance out Corydon Pike mostly to give myself some extra recovery for the Cherry Street Hill climb, it is a real beast. When I headed back towards the Camp Rd hill it was quite a daunting look. I should have taken a picture, I will try to the next time. I have gone down that hill many times but never back up.

In the end this made for a great technical workout. I wanted to hit it kind of hard and I felt good afterward. I took the bike home for the weekend but alas, did not make it out. I am going to hit this week as hard as I can. After a great October this month is looking like it will be a struggle to hit 200 for the month. We’ll see.

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.

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:
HPIM0250_edited.JPG

It was a great day and I great ride

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.

A Little Chilly….

YTD – 689.79

MTD – 208.01

Today – 16.38

There was definately a chill in the air today not seen yet this year. NWS says we topped out at 48 today…I believe it. Although I have been meaning to for some time I have not rotated cool weather clothes into my workout bag. I walked out to get a bead on the weather before I left and thought – oh boy. There were only two choices – stay or go unprepared. I chose to revel in another of the Rivendell Tips for Happy Riding that states “Go for a one-hour ride underdressed sometime, because it’s good to be really cold on a bike every now and then”. Mission Accomplished. As I left the office my friend TD offered me his jacket, I declined and so he said I’d be back. I left with two polypro shirts and basketball shorts on. It didn’t feel too bad when I walked out, but as soon as I took off the wind and the cold came on strong.

I went out toward Edwardsville as I often do. The route gives me many options and when I take it to the top it offers some great post-climb relief. The first hill up went fine and I went through Silver Hills and down a freezing Camp Rd. headed to Indiana 62. The wind was absolutely punishing on the steady pre-climb. I was really feeling it on my bare forearms and tumbling into my ears. The hill climb itself was a minor relief from the wind. I was able to make it further up than ever in the saddle before standing up. It was a good climb, and a nice ride across the ridge back toward town. The descent was very cold and uncomfortable, I rode back into town and took the most direct line back to work, no extra through town riding. I was ready to hit the hot shower. This was also the first real test on my lungs for sucking in all that cold air. It takes some adjustment for sure.

I got a call from Tim after I got home and scored a tire for the Bridgestone to replace the marred rear tire. He showed up with a surprise pair of size L Cannondale pants that were a race win prize. I said “oh, hey, great”. “Actually I rode today in 2 shirts and shorts”. The reply – “dude, get real”. Anyway – Thanks Tim. It is nice to have a benefactor.

I clipped my mileage target today with three legit riding opportunities left for the week. maybe I’ll get 250 which would be pretty sweet.

Tomorrow I think I will stretch out for a long, flat one.