Sunday, September 13, 2009


We rode in the third annual BikePhilly for the third year and had a great time. We met up with Denine early on but she rode with the fast riders and we stuck with the "leisurely" riders. We met Terry in that group but separated from her almost at the chaotic beginning of the ride. It seems like everything conspired to make sure Annie and I rode by ourselves, as usual. We were slowed a bit going through the city by a fire truck that interrupted the otherwise car-free ride. there seemed to be more of the city blocked off to cars and the ride through town was really nice, though I find it nerve wracking because of the crowds and the novice riders,not to mention the obviously not novice riders speeding by as if they were in the Tour de France. Once we exited the city streets and entered the Fairmount Park area I relaxed and we had a great ride.

This year, for the first time, we rode the 35 mile ride. After the rest stop in Fairmount Park we exited into traffic. The ride took us the Oak Park, Merion, and other places in the near Main Line. Lovely riding and not too much traffic. We were certainly not among the first, but not among the last either...yet. When we arrived at the next rest stop past Merion we had a nice break for food, water, facilities and conversation. As we turned to leave we found our bikes had fallen and The front wheel of Annie's bike had become wedged so that the handle bars were stuck facing the wrong way!I actually can't quite explain what happened. But there was a repair tent set up so we just walked it over there. Unfortunately we were fourth in line and the mechanic, a lovely guy, really took his time with each person, explaining what the problem was and how they could avoid it next time etc. He was actually very nice but by the time he got to me I must have waited some 20 minutes. The "repair" took about 2 seconds and we were on our way but I'm sure we were now among the very last on the ride. We negotiated the cue sheet ourselves successfully, there was no one in sight to follow, and we made it back to the start safely and happy. We spent a little time at the finish line festival, picked up our T shirts from Sarah of the Bicycle Coalition and headed home. All in all a great morning! thank you Bicycle Coalition.

Annie and Denine at the start!

Sarah at the end.

The Mechanics Tent

Rest stop

Monday, September 07, 2009

The Long Shadow of Autumn

The first week of September is gone and our mileage continues to build. We rode a good deal this weekend but the long shadow of autumn is upon us and the time for riding more than a loop, and even that, is dwindling. With the Fall holidays all falling on weekends and with my weekday schedule hitting full steam ahead this week, riding will diminish and blogging even more so. In fact, since I can't seem to find much of interest to say these days, I am planning a blog hiatus. I will leave the blog page up because of what I think are the many interesting links it may provide some people, especially novices. And I may write from time to time. I will try to keep the mileage chart updated, but that's about it for regular posts for now. I will write next after BikePhilly and then take an indefinite break. I will thank you all for your interest then.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The End Of Summer

Rode a brisk 13.5 loop today plus a couple of extra miles doing errands to end August with just over 429 miles. My year to date total is, as expected, way down from the previous two years. Riding tomorrow should put me over the two thousand mark for the year. Still not too shabby, I guess.

It was cold this morning. Well, I guess 62 degrees isn't cold, but it sure felt different. We were dressed in long sleeves and the unmistakable reality of summer's end and autumn's approach was in the air. I'm sure there will be plenty of hot days yet to come, but the change is coming. As I may have mentioned, we are already using lights in the morning when we go out.

A week from Sunday is Bike Philly. It will be the first and only organized ride that we've done this season. Strange, after so many rides the past two years. But it has been that kind of year. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tough Day - Late Ride

I officiated at a funeral for a 24 year old man who took his own life. It was a long and draining day. I did not ride this morning having been out working too late last night to get up early. So after the funeral I came home and changed and rode 22 therapeutic miles. I actually didn't ride well. My legs felt sluggish. Maybe tired, maybe not used to riding late in the day, maybe the heat; but the ride felt great.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Catching Up

The summer heat and humidity has been here for real this past week and I love it. Annie and I continue to ride regularly but nothing out of the ordinary so I haven't felt much like blogging. We had a great ride Sunday morning and then drove to New York to visit our kids. We spent some time walking through Central Park and I got a nice photo of the pedicabs at work, but lost it. We rode Monday and Tuesday as usual
but I took Wednesday, traditionally my long ride day, off. Didn't get on the bike at all. I really needed the break and felt much better. Yesterday and today my riding was much stronger and faster.

While we were in NY on Sunday the annual Lancaster Covered Bridge Metric Century was going on. We've done that ride the last two years but chose not to this year for a bunch of reasons. Sadly this week I read the following article.

Bicyclist Killed During Ride Through Rural Pa.
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) ― A cyclist participating in a bicycle club ride died after a collision in Lancaster County.

Lancaster Bicycle Club spokesman Ed Gower says the crash happened about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday during the club's Covered Bridge Metric Century Ride.

Police would not release the victim's name or any information about the incident.

Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said the 60-year-old man died of traumatic head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gower said 4,100 riders participated in Sunday's 63-mile ride. Now in its 31st year, the ride winds through some of the county's rural areas and passes through six covered bridges.

A real shame.Later articles explained that the man lost control of his bike on a descent and went over some kind of embankment.

Hope the weather holds for the weekend. Lots of rain predicted.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bikeways Meeting

An off day riding-wise. Even though it is Wednesday, my usual day for a long ride, other obligations interfered. And Annie was home, which she usually is not on Wednesday. So we were up early and did our usual loop together.

But tonight I am writing from a public hearing about the proposed Center City Bikeway plan - to replace one lane of car traffic on Spruce and Pine streets with a generous bike lane. The meeting is just getting started, so more later.

Later: A great presentation by the city with theusual strident responses by those against on the one side and those for on the other. Either way the city is going ahead and then we'll see.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Long Ride To Nowhere

I rode close to 50 miles today, though when I went out I hadn't really intended to. Reports continued to suggest that parts of the trail to Valley Forge were still in a state of disrepair from Sunday's storm and I didn't want to deal with it. So I just went around the loop and kept going and going. I only stopped briefly at Logan Hall for a cliff bar and to refill my water bottle after loop 3. This photo was taken near the end of loop 4 when my foot was hurting and I took another break. I sat at a picnic table for 10 minutes or so surrounded by the geese. Not exciting but a decent way to work off my stress.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Hazards Of City Riding

With summer weather finally here we had a lovely morning ride...except for the realization that it is already getting darker when we leave the house a few minutes before 6 AM! Not quite needing lights yet, but I can see the day coming and I'm not happy.

Switched to the Brompton for a day riding around the city. Only as I prepared to come home did I notice that a friendly pigeon had left me proof of his existence on my saddle. Nobody talks much about that particular hazard of city riding.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This Time The Rain Won

It seems like we've been racing against the rain for weeks. Up until today we've been lucky, getting our various rides in before or between storms. No such luck today. We were out at 6 AM and were caught in a torrential downpour around 6:30 coming up the end of Kelly Drive, over the bridge and (then it really started to come down) along West River Drive. We were soundly soaked, but it had abated by the time we reached the museum and we continued along our way. Not so bad.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Back Home

We had a lovely and brief trip to Vermont. Mostly our attention was taken up with our grand kids and we only got to ride the one day I wrote about. Too bad, its a beautiful place to ride. We returned late last night and rode a double loop this morning along with Annie's sister who is visiting for a couple of days and brought her bike.

So with this morning's ride and a few errands on the Brompton today, I am ringing July out with over 500 miles. Not bad in this otherwise less than stellar year.

Monday, July 27, 2009

In Vermont

We woke up late on vacation schedule and went out for a later than usual ride. It was a shorter ride than usual, only 11.5 miles but we scaled some pretty impressive hills so the effort was equal or more than usual. Annie did great on the hills and I did well enough. Maybe tomorrow will go a bit farther. The scenery is magnificent. This photo doesn't do it justice (taken from the farm we are at.) I couldn't afford to stop and shoot pictures from the tops of the hills, the view that is really spectacular.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Around Town - Race Update

Strange day so far. We were up at regular time and started out for our regular ride. Annie was back on the Fuji now equipped with a new back rim and hub. By the time we reached Logan Hall Annie just didn't like the feel of the ride. Having suffered through a couple of flats last week she wasn't taking any chances. So we went home and after a bit of a break I went for a ride she headed for the bike shop for two new tires. It was time. With the little extra ride back and forth my ride was up to 18.3. Then, after some quick errands, I set out to meet a friend for lunch near U Penn on the Brompton, shown here at Cosi's. Didn't get to watch the race but have it one the DVR for this afternoon.


In a surprising finish to stage 19 today Mark Cavendish tuned the unexpected bunch sprint at the end into his 5th stage win of this tour. He is simply unstoppable when he gets into the right position. This looked like a stage where the break-a-way would have stayed ahead and someone in the break would have won the stage. But, seemingly, because Robobank didn't get anyone into the break and wanted to set up Freire for a possible victory, they rode hard in order to reel the break in thus setting up a bunch sprint at the end. Once that happens it is almost impossible to stop Cavendish. I think he still cannot win the Green Jersey having been relegated to last place on a previous stage for bumping Thor Hushovd. Otherwise he would have won it for sure.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lance Climbs Back

The all important "race of truth," the individual time trial at the Tour de France was won by Alberto Contador, cementing his almost certain Tour victory. Only a catastrophe over the next two days could change that. Andy Schleck has certainly shown himself to be a worthy opponent and will in all likelihood take second place on the podium in Paris. But that is not quite as certain, and even less so is" Who will be third? Bradley Wiggins, who has had an incredible and entirely unexpected tour still has a slight chance as does Astana teammate Andreas Kloden. But by riding an impressive time trial for a 37 year old returning to the sport after over 3 years, Lance Armstrong has returned to third in the overall standings and could well hold it over Mount Ventoux on Saturday. I think that would be pretty amazing.

Meanwhile, as the Astana soap-opera drags on, Lance and Johann Bruyneel will go their own way next year. It was announced today that they will ride for team Radio Shack, which will be a new American pro tour team. Where everyone else will be will be interesting to watch. Certainly Levi will go with them, but who else. Don't bet on Alberto.

I went out early and rode a double loop; a little tired after yesterday's ride, but I did fine. Today's 22+ miles made July the first over 400 mile month of the year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Valley Forge II (updated edition)

A great ride out to Valley Forge this morning. I did not want to put up with the tow path again so I chose to take the hill on Umbria. It was a challenge but I made it. Lost a bit of time in Manayunk when I saw some friends having coffee and stopped for a chat. Lost much more time in Conshohocken when a railroad crossing guardrail had fallen across the path. Managed to move it off the path with the help of other passing riders and then took time to call SEPTA and notify them. Now writing from Valley Forge and after a bite and a break I'll head home and check in again. This is the first time I've actually posted the blog from the road. Neat.

These are the Schleck brothers. Frank won today's TDF stage with Andy right behind. They moved into second and third place in the general classification, dropping Lance to 4th and Kloden to 5th while Wiggens tumbled a bit further down. It seems that while Contador made sure to stay well ahead of Andy Schleck, his seemingly unnecessary acceleration at the end dropped his own teammates. Clearly he is as afraid of his own team as of his rivals and the dissension on team Astana is starting to matter. Still, the Schleck's are not good time trialists so the Astana contingent and Wiggens for that matter can make up time tomorrow. I think it will all come down to Mt Ventoux and there may be some real fire-works and excitement.

Monday, July 20, 2009

On Vacation - Final Week Of The Tour

Happily I plan to watch the final week of the tour in peace. Most years I actually have vacation for the entire tour, but this year it didn't work out that way and its been a bit of a challenge. But now that the tour has turned up into the Alps, with the most exciting and potentially important stages ahead, I'm happy to have the time to watch. I will DVR the races early each morning, do my regular rides and come home and watch while fast-forwarding through the commercials.

Yesterday's first mountain finish in over a week ended, as everyone should have expected, with Alberto Contador in the Yellow Jersey. My dark horse pick to win the tour, Andy Schleck couldn't quite stay with Alberto and came in about 40 seconds behind. Watching Contador accelerate in the mountains is truly amazing and it is difficult to think that anyone can defeat him. But the Alps can produce strange events and Schleck is not out of it yet. the favorite of the media, Lance Armstrong, probably is, although he too is well within striking distance if Contador proves to be human. And Bradley Wiggins has turned out to be this year's sentimental favorite, taking over from his teammate Christian Vandevelde. It could be an exciting week.

Annie and I had good riding over the weekend, nearly 50 miles all told. Today she went out early for the usual loop and I slept in on vacation schedule and then went out for a lovely 30 mile ride.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

And Again....While I Take My First Long Ride

There's that picture again. That must mean that Mark Cavendish won today's Tour de France stage, his 4th which along with last year's 4 tie him for the most Tour stages won by a Brit. He is back in the Green Jersey and I wouldn't bet against his taking it home.

Meanwhile I finally got out for a long ride on a gorgeous day. Rode to Valley Forge and back. Met up (unplanned) with Jake just after passing Norristown and we rode into the park together, rested and ate together, and rode back much of the way together. He turned off to head for Forbidden Drive while I went straight through Manyunk and home. Great ride and great to have company.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There He Is Again

There he is again! Mark Cavendish won his third stage of this year's Tour De France with another blistering sprint across the finish line ahead of Tyler Ferrar and Thor Hushovd. All the talk of the tour today was about the lack of radio communication between the cyclists and their team cars as the UCI tried to roll back progress and insist on the old fashioned race conditions of yesteryear. Personally, I think its a bit silly, but the riders rode a bit slower than usual (not because of the lack of radios they say) still caught the break-away and set up an exciting sprint finish. Cavendish is electrifying to watch.

Annie's Fuji is back at the shop. The flat didn't take much to fix, though it did turn out there was glass embedded in the tire which is what caused the second flat. But she is awaiting a new wheel and hub and doesn't expect the bike back until the end of the week at the earliest. So she rode the Tiket and wasn't happy with how they tuned it. After holding it for three weeks it didn't shift right etc. It goes back to the shop tomorrow. Yikes! What luck. Still we managed to ride and get home for the first time in three days.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Flats, Rest Day And BIG NEWS

Today is the first of two rest days for the Tour De France. Good for them, good for me.

Well, my mechanical skills remain suspect. I fixed Annie's flat last night and all seemed good, bu she flatted again just as we neared the Falls Bridge. Much further along the route this time and once again I flew home (I'm guiltily getting in some good speed riding as she waits) to bring back the car to pick her up. Of course, the verdict is not in: There could have been something wrong with the tube; there could be something wrong with the tire (I did check it for anything sharp inside but still it could just be past its prime. After all, I put on new tires last year and Annie is still on the originals.); or I could have pinched the tube somehow when I put it in. We may nver know, but I'm not sanguine about changing another flat. Anyway, this time it will go to the shop. There are a couple of other issues that need to be looked into anyway. Meanwhile I managed a shortened ride of 10.9 miles.

And now for the Big News this just in from the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia's website:

Coming Soon - Bike Lanes for Spruce and Pine
Our January 10th post - Dreaming of a bike friendly Spruce and Pine presented a long talked about 'what if' scenario, especially in light of the Bicycle Coalition's documentation that bicycling in Philadelphia doubled between 2005 and 2008. Thanks to the pro-bicycle Nutter Administration, the City of Philadelphia has adopted this vision and is planning to make it a reality. Not sometime in the future, but this summer!

Our understanding is that a one way buffered bike lane will be installed in both Spruce and Pine Streets along most of their lengths, made possible by the dropping of a travel lane. Clearly, when implemented, it will be the most significant bicycle friendly improvement in busy Center City since the opening of Schuylkill River Park Trail and street level crossings in 2003. It will also be the City's first (but we hope for additional ones north of Market St.) "river to river and east-west connector" set of bicycle friendly streets.

The reduction of travel (for motor vehicles) lanes may be a concern to some, however more road space does not necessarily mean smoother traffic flow. Delivery vehicles, utility trucks and double parkers already cause Spruce and Pine to function as weaving single lane streets. A great example of less is more would be the closing of Broadway in Manhattan, which actually improved north south traffic flow by eliminating Broadway's angled cross street interference.

6 foot bike lanes with a 3 foot buffers on Spruce and Pine Streets will finally make the concept of a Center City bikeway a reality.

The project, overseen by the Mayor's Office of Transportation and carried out by the Streets Department, will be a simple and inexpensive line painting operation; construction could begin as soon as August. Over the next 9 months or so the streets will be evaluated, and if the lanes are proven to be beneficial, then permanent striping will be added when the streets are repaved in 2010.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


We were having a great ride this morning, with both drives closed for a triathlon we were whirring around and on our second loop when Annie flatted. first time in a long time. I tried to change the flat and actually succeeded for the first time. But I had some trouble with the mini pump and it "ate" the little twist top on the Schroeder valve and when I disengaged the pump another tube was gone. So I had to high-tail it home to get the car and come back to pick up Annie and the bike. Shame, but I was happy that I'd managed to change the flat. Now I just have to figure out how to use the mini pump better. In fact, I changed the flat again at home with our regular large pump with no problem and in only a few minutes. Managed 15 plus miles for the day.

Not much going on in the tour. Considering that both today and yesterday were mountain stages there were surprisingly few attacks. The GC standings remain unchanged with Rinaldo Nocentini enjoying his days in yellow. There will probably be no change now for a few days as the race turns to the flats again. The interest will be in the Green Jersey between Cavendish and Hushovd. But starting next week the race will go into the Alps and that's where it will all happen.

Friday, July 10, 2009


That says it all! He's not quite in Yellow, but what an acceleration, what a finish. With Lance 6 seconds behind its far from over, but don't bet on anyone beating this guy.

Wonderful morning for riding in Philly to boot.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The God Of Thunder

What a great race today and what a shame that David Millar the Scot from Garmin couldn't hold on for the win after a superlative ride. But the sight of Thor Hushovd storming to the line after a pretty grueling uphill finish was truly breath-taking. Exciting stage for a usually boring flat stage of the tour. The GC contenders did not change again, so tomorrow the shake-out should begin as the riders begin to wrestle with the mountains.

As for me, another morning loop and a couple of miles on the Brompton for good measure on a simply magnificent day. Tonight, the first Phillies game of the year!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No Change

In the GC standings after today's fifth stage of the tour.

As for me, I couldn't get out for a ride before the funeral, but did a double loop afterward. Good ride, though not what I'd hoped for today.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

It's Almost Lance

Tour de France 2009 Stage Four - Team Trial

Stage 4 of the Tour de France saw the Astana team blow away the competition in an exciting team time trial. Having moved up into third place by virtue of his performance yesterday Lance Armstrong Astana needed to beat Saxo Bank by 40 seconds in order to put Armstrong into the Yellow Jersey. Which the did...exactly. Leaving Armstrong and Cancellara in a dead heat but separated by a fraction of a second. Cancellara stayed in Yellow but with Armstrong breathing down his neck, Contador right behind him and much of the top ten made up of Astana team members things are indeed getting interesting. Of course, everything can change in the mountains.

We rode our regular loop this morning and then I took the Brompton for a day of extended errands and meetings which helped build up some miles. Tomorrow I do indeed have a funeral so will not get in a very long ride. I had hoped to make my first foray out to Valley Forge, but if I wake up early I may still get in a double or triple loop.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Cavendish Redoux

Ok, technically this is a picture of yesterday's stage win by Mark Cavendish, but I told you to get used to it. Today he actually beat out Thor Hushovd not Tyler Farrar, but what does it matter? He is unbeatable in the sprints. But of more interest in today's stage, Columbia picked up the pace unmercifully near the end of the stage, just as the crosswinds made the going very rough, and split the Peloton, leaving the likes of Alberto Contador in the second group while Lance Armstrong ended up in the first group. Thus as of today Armstrong has moved up from 10th to 3rd, dropping Contador to 4th. This could get really interesting.

Meanwhile we got back on the bikes today and did a regular morning loop. Perfect day. It was hard to not just keep on riding. The weather promises to be good all week and I'm hoping to get a good ride in on Wednesday, though I am waiting on the possibility of a funeral. Could be any day this week (already had one today) so we'll see.

Finally, for you folding bike fans, here's a great video of the Smithfield Nocturne Folding Bike Race. I found it on Eco-Velo (listed in the sidebar) but it looks to have originated with, a Spanish language folding bike blog. enjoy,

Sunday, July 05, 2009

They're Off And Running

Get used to the scene above. It is Mark Cavendish crossing the finish line in today's second stage of the Tour de France. If all goes well the scene could be repeated 5, 6 or more times over the next three weeks. The tour is off to a great start. That Fabian Cancellara won the opening time trial yesterday was no surprise. Alberto Contador was right behind him and therefore in better shape than anyone for the eventual victory. But the time gaps were not great and it is very early. The fact that Levi Leipheimer was in 6th place was a bit further back than I would have predicted, but not bad. And of course, Lance Armstrong in 10th place puts him close enough to be considered very much still in the mix. Much will change over the next week or two before the real leaders emerge. It looks like it is going to be fun.

Watching the riders was about as close to a bike as I got this weekend. Too bad - beautiful weather and all, but we were hosting our granddaughter for the weekend. We had a great time, but man is that hard work! Hopefully we'll get to sleep early tonight and back into the routine tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Off And Running In July

The new month began with a beautiful day. I slept in a bit and managed a nice double loop of 22.2 miles before adding a few more on late day errands with the Brompton. Maybe by next Wednesday my schedule will be easy enough to attempt a longer ride out to some destination. But I was happy to get the month off to a pretty good start. This weekend promises to be difficult as far as getting time to ride even in the morning as we will have our granddaughter staying with us. But that's even better than riding. And the Tour de France this weekend. I am looking forward to following as closely as I can given that unlike most years I won't be on vacation for its entirety.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Mileage

I finished June riding today with a regular loop in the morning and over 5 miles of errands and hospital visits during the day. My total for June was 390.1. the first respectable total of the year. It was a lovely morning but the weather has turned more and more overcast throughout the day. I hope I can ride some tomorrow.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tri-ing Days

This was triathlon weekend in Philly. Both Saturday and Sunday there were events and both days we managed to get out early enough to beat the congestion on the Drives. In fact, today both drives were closed to cars so we really made great time doing a double loop with almost no interference, no pedestrians to watch out for. Perfect weather, in case you were wondering!

The 43.4 miles of weekend riding finally brought my mileage total for the year over 1000. Way below previous years' pace, but starting to creep up there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Stretching It Out

Took my longest ride of the year, believe it or not only 31 miles. And I was bushed. I'm glad I forced myself to stretch it out, though I'm a bit depressed at how far I've fallen from previous levels.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spring Today Summer Tomorrow

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.” —Elizabeth West

Thus begins a really nice posting over at EcoVelo by Alan. Read his reflection on this quote and on bicycling speed here

Meanwhile the weather was beautiful this morning. Still a bit overcast and remarkably cool, a day that felt like spring. A month or two ago it would have been wonderful. On June 23 it was just weird but welcome. By this afternoon the temperature was approaching summer and tomorrow, when I want to take a longer ride, it may well feel like summer. Its ok by me.Hopefully, I can stop talking about the weather so much.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Enough Already

After our ride of 22 miles yesterday it rained all day. Good timing. Today we added another 22 miles in drizzle. Enough already! Happy Father's Day to all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sun Day

For a few minutes as we rode the Drives. Perfect really, but the sun doesn't look like its planning to stay around much yet. Weekend could be iffy. We'll see. Meanwhile Annie's Fuji is back for the shop (still no tiket!)but I was still on the Brompton. Pick up my Fuji today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Between The Drops II (III,IV,V....)

It rained yesterday. This morning it was beautiful and I rode the Brompton 21.5 miles in a double loop before going off to a day of seminars. It is raining again and is supposed to continue through most of tomorrow. Will I get in a ride? Stay tuned to the summer that wasn't in Philadelphia.

I rode the Brompton for my morning ride because both Annie and my Fuji's are in the shop for their yearly tune-up. We both need new brake pads and we both need new chains and cassettes. This is the second time I've replaced the chain and cassette, but that isn't surprising when I ride 5,000 miles a year. This is Annie's first such replacement and that makes sense. Hopefully the parts will come in by tomorrow and we'll have the bikes for Friday or at worst before the weekend. Annie couldn't ride with me since her Bike Friday Tiket is still in the shop. We had the folders tuned almost two weeks ago and mine was back in a day. But Bike Friday put out a recall on her steering post and we've been waiting ever since for the part to come in. Very frustrating.

Today's ride gave me a mileage total over 200 for the first time in 2009! That represents an incredible reduction in my usual total, but I'm happy to be riding pretty regularly again and I'm not worrying about the total. Clearly one thing missing is the time to take longer rides, but there looks like a window of opportunity a week from today of the weather cooperates.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Between The Drops

It rained Friday. I rode a 13.5 loop in the afternoon. It rained yesterday. We rode early enough to stay dry. It looks like rain today but we rode again, as always enjoying especially the closed West River Drive. That just makes the ride so much more fun and faster. I will be traveling today and away for tomorrow so will not get to ride again until Tuesday at the earliest. It will probably be glorious weather tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Between Storms

Yesterday Annie and I had a lovely morning ride until we had to wait, and wait, and wait, for a train to cross the Locust entrance. By the time the train passed the storm had arrived and we returned home soaked. The rain only got worse and no more riding was possible the rest of the day. This morning I rode alone and the weather was a bit foggy but fine. Another batch of storms is predicted overnight, so will see how tomorrow turns out. I sure would like a normal hot and sunny Philadelphia summer already, but it doesn't seem to be happening.

You might enjoy this article in the Interbike Times about folding bikes (pictured below) at Normandy on D-Day. I did.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Philly '09!

After an early ride with Annie this morning in beautiful weather and with clear sailing on both drives, closed for the race, I returned to watch the race. I don't think I got any photos as good as the one I took last year and then framed, but these will give you an idea of today's activities. The one prize though is the one below. It comes out a bit too small on the blog but the rider near the front on the right as you look at it is Floyd Landis. I must admit I didn't actually see or know I was seeing Floyd until I came home and downloaded the photos, but there he is as if I'd set out to get his picture (which I really did, but didn't hope to actually do.)

After watching I took another spin up and back on West River Drive to bring my total for today to 25 miles, 12.5 on the Fuji this morning and 12.5 on the Brompton later this morning.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I rode. It rained. It was nasty. I didn't enjoy the first 6 miles, then I got into it and was fine. A good ride.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In The News

A big news day for cycling leading up to the big Philly race, I guess. First, in this morning's NY Times this article of Bicycle Fashion. Quite interesting and entertaining.

Then, in this morning's Philadelphia Inquirer this nice piece on a foundation setting up cycling teams for disadvantaged youth. Check it out.

Meanwhile, it was lovely this morning. Nearly 70 degrees, overcast and a bit humid. My favorite riding weather. I did a double loop. It's not much, 25 miles on the day, but definitely an improvement.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

I Get My Ten Degrees

Another great ride, but this time we started out in 61 degree temperature. It makes all the difference.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Where"s The Warm

We rode a beautiful loop this morning: blue skies and plenty of sun, but no warmth. June 1st and the temperature holding at 53 degrees. Still long sleeve and jacket weather. Unprecedented. I know it won't be long until the heat is oppressive, but right now I'd really like to ride without starting out shivering.
After cleaning and lubricating all the bikes yesterday afternoon, I took Annie's folder in for a tune and to replace a latch that broke on our last trip. It is a plastic latch the holds the handle bars in the folded position. They now make it of stainless steel which is a lot smarter and will be a lot better. I'll take the Brompton in for a tune later in the week and then the Fujis next week.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Slow Spring Continues

My slowest spring in years continues. I am still riding, but missing more days than ever. I last rode on Tuesday, I believe, then again on the Brompton just for a couple of miles on errands and then this morning a nice loop at a good clip, but only once around. I continue to be plagued by minor health issues that discourage me from getting up at 4:45 AM. My back is still day to day. Part of the problem is that it feels ok most of the day but is badly impacted by sleeping positions so the morning is the worst time. Last night I discovered I could sleep sitting up and wake up almost pain free. So I rode. Plus I have some virus (finally diagnosed yesterday as Pityriasis Rosea) which is the cause of major skin rashes all over my back and various hidden parts of my body. Luckily it doesn't show up in public areas! But as the day wears on the itching is almost unbearable. None of this augers well for enthusiasm for anything, let alone bike riding. The doctor says there is no treatment but that it should run its course in 8 weeks!! I can't remember the name of the virus...pedarayisis or something like that. Despite all this I really enjoyed the ride today and felt stronger than I have in awhile. I may have enough time to do a longer ride later this week, the first of the year, amazingly. We'll see.

Next week the Peloton comes to Philly. I have been trying to get excited about the Giro, but something just hasn't clicked. I might have been more engaged if Levi had stayed in contention. I have an engagement next Sunday afternoon, but should be able to hang out at the race for a bit in the morning.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Good Weather Weekend

The Memorial Day weekend has already yielded two days of good summer-like days and promises another before its finished. We've been able to ride consistently and, while my back is not perfect, it isn't interfering. No events have been planned on either side of the drives so the ride was really nice and we were able to keep a good pace.Only the occasional goose slowed us down. To get an extra day of late riding tomorrow will be wonderful. Too bad they don't keep the drives closed for the holiday.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back In Time For The Ride Of Silence

I've been off the bike (and the blog) for two weeks. Two weeks ago Friday I lifted the folder into the trunk of the car for transport to New Jersey for the weekend, and my back just caved in. Today was the first day that I was relatively pain free so I took a chance and rode the Brompton to my chiropractor appointment. It felt very good and I decided to stretch it out a bit by going on the Ride of Silence. I would have hated to miss it. This evening was also the first time I had to go back to work after my sabbatical so I rode the Brompton to the office in my suit and tie and finished up in time to ride over to the meet-up. I took off my jacket and tie and put them in the S-Bag, but was still over-dressed for the event! This year the riders wore black armbands (a suggestion I made after last year's ride) to try to signal more effectively to folks along the route the meaning of the ride...a memorial for those cyclists killed by motorists during the past year. The ride wove its way through Center City into West Philly and back again, all with police escort and closed streets. Aside from the sadness for the reason we have the ride, it was great. For me especially after not having ridden, not having been able to take my bike to LA last week. Hopefully, the worst is over. The lower photo shows the reading of the names and biographies of those killed this year.The upper photo show some of the riders wearing the armbands.

Friday, May 08, 2009


And a comfortable 57 degrees without the predicted humidity. It was a lovely loop this morning. We passed Denine on the way home. Lot's of folks out, but the trafffic was bearable.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Break In The Weather...Not

I thought I'd sneak out this afternoon when the weather seemed to finally break. The rain had stopped and I took a 22 mile ride, only to end up riding the last 2 or 3 miles in the rain. After such gorgeous weather in Seattle, Philadelphia has been dispiriting. But it was a good ride.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Seattle Day Two and Three

I had no time to blog on Friday, but it was another absolutely gorgeous day and I rode about 25 miles on the Burke Gilmin Trail in the direction opposite of Thursday's ride. Really nice, which I know is a boring exclamation but there really isn't that much more to say about it. The rest of the day was spend visiting friends and preparing for the weekend's programs. Saturday the weather turned typically Seattle: rain, wind, yuch. That was fine since I couldn't ride anyway. I did speak and teach for a good part of the nasty day and had a good experience. Then awoke this morning and the good weather was back! An old friend had aranged to meet me at 7 AM and we rode about 16 miles chatting along the way. Back early and cleaned up I am now preparing for today's programs that will last all day and through dinner. Home tomorrow, no ride, alas. From what I'm hearing about the Philly weather I may not get much riding in for the rest of the week! Hope that's not the case.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Seattle Day One

Fabulous riding weather! I rode the Burke Gillman trail out to Ballard. Unfortunately my odometer was misplaced in transit so my mileage report is approximate but I'm guessing 20 miles round trip. I didn't stop for photos, but maybe tomorrow. The Brompton traveled well again and the ride was a tonic for my soul.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer and Schleck

The heat is definately on in Philadelphia. It won't last and it shouldn't last ince it is way too early in the season. But I must admit I love it. In the noineties today and already in the high sixties when Annie and I rode this morning. The sun peeking through as we finished tempts me to stay on and ride forever. Alas, a busy day ahead and all I can do is look forward to another ride tomorrow. The heat is predicted to pass after some rain tomorrow night. But on Wednesday I head for Seattle, problably with my Brompton in tow, and who knows what the weather will be? Acording to the forecast I should have enough days without rain to make it worthwhile to bring the bike, but who knows. Either way, if the temperatures get out of the fifities I;ll be happy.

I managed to set my DVR via the web yesterday when I was in New Jersey and so was able to watch Andy Schleck's truly histric victory in Liege-Bastogn-Liege. This is definately someone to watch in July in the TDF. He can accelerate on a climb as well as Alberto Contador. Luckily for Contador his time-trialing is certainly better than Schleck's (for now.) It was a great race to watch.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Glorious Morning

Not much time to blog today, but hopefully I'll get back to keeping this more interesting in the near future. Meanwhile, today was/is absolutely perfect. Sixty-four degrees when we went out at 6:30. A perfect ride, with little interference from people on the trail. Now off to the grandkids to celebrate my daughter's birthday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finally...A Great Weekend

The weather does not sound to be promising for the next few days, but the weekend has been gorgeous. We went out later than we should have yesterday and had to negotiate a very crowded Kelly Drive, crowded with walkers for Parkinson's. Today we went out early and missed most of the building traffic for the usual Sunday High School Crew race on Kelly Drive and some kind of walk and run on the West River side. But both days were very satisfying.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Establishing A Rhythm

That's what I hope to do. This has been a rough period, weather-wise, holiday-wise, health-wise, and I'm hooping that the arrival of spring, which now appears real, will help greatly. Annie and I rode a lovely loop this morning. The sun was bright, the blossoms were beautiful and though we began our ride with the temperature at 40 degrees and are still wearing winter-like gear, by the time we rode home the temperature was 51 and all through the ride the sun counteracted the air temperature. Funny how 40 degrees in the winter feels so much colder than 40 degrees on a lovely spring morning. My April mileage remains abysmal, and there are not enough days left in the month to make a big change, I hope that the trend will be upward.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Opening And Closing Day

Opening Day for the Phillies 2009 campaign, that is, and the first weekend closing of West River Drive. Thankfully the weather cooperated, which it mostly hasn't this year so far, and Annie and I were out for a loop early before all the work we have to do getting ready for the Passover holiday. By the way, the holiday will also inhibit riding and blogging in what is turning out so far to be a very light biking year and blogging year. But Spring is really here, despite the fact that the 45 degree temperature and 39 degree wind chill didn't feel all that much like spring today. The sun was shining brightly and the cherry blossoms were beautiful. So hopefully things will get back on a regular track soon.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Real March Wind

Greeted us this morning. The temperature was back in the mid-forties but the wind was stiff at 15-20 mph with gusts to 40. It was quite a ride, but the sun was out, which has been a rarity, and it was a good work-out.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Wet Sunday Ride

It wasn't quite raining, but the mist was thick enough to cut. I really needed the ride and Annie and I went out about 7:15 for a good spin around the loop. While West River Drive won't close weekends until next weekend, it was closed this morning for a bike race. Not sure who was racing, but we stayed on the path and out of their way. This afternoon the sun has come out and it is warming up quickly. It is beginning to really feel like Spring.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Eight days since my last ride. Shameful! Should I bore you with the excuses? Grandkids, writing, late nights, lousy weather, whatever. Finally, today it felt a bit more like spring. Not a glorious day, mind you, but plenty good enough. I couldn't ride this morning (see above list and pick, seriously, had an early morning doctor's appointment. Still getting follow-up treatment for the sinus crisis of January) aqnd after the doctor's visit I wrote for about three hours. For those of you interested, I've now finished the first draft of the entire manuscript from my Introduction to the end of the commentary. Now i am working my waqy through it all again editing and re-writing. It is going well. Much easier the second time through! Anyway...this afternoon I went out for a ride. Just below 60 degrees, hazy, neither sunny nor really overcast, bit of a March wind, but not terrible, plenty of people along Kelly Drive, but not impossible as an afternoon ride will soon become. A very pleasant ride and though I'm not in great shape I felt good and if it were not getting on to time to prepare for Shabbat, I might have down a second loop. The forecast is not good for the weekend, so we;ll have to see what happens.

Meanwhile, for those interested in the world of sport cycling, aside from Lance Armstrong breaking his collarbone it has been a good week. American Taylor Phinney won the track cycling world title. He is about 18 years old, son of two American great former Olympians and promises to be a sensation when he turns Pro. And in the Pro world, my favorite American Levi Leipheimer won Castilla y Leon race, while Alberto Contador also of team Astana came in second. good chance you will see these two on the Podium in Paris come July. In what order will be the question.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

In Progress: New Entrance To the SRT

Cloudy but relatively mild this morning, somewhere in the low 40's and a very nice morning to ride. I felt sluggish starting out as compared to yesterday, but came home feeling strong. Along the Schuylkill Banks portion of the trail, just as it passes under JFK Blvd there has been a small construction project going on. Today the trail was blocked at that point and I had to dis-mount and walk around a truck. This gave me the opportunity to ask what they were doing. Perhaps others of you know this already, but I was pleased to learn that the new bridge that is being finished that is JFK Blvd will have an entrance to the Schuylkill Banks, both a stairway and a bike ramp. Nice. It won't make a big difference to us, but will help, for example, if I want to ride to the train station. Anyway nice to see that they included bicycles in the planning.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The March Wind

The fact that Spring is officially two days a way was bolstered by today's weather. Not unseasonably warm, that would be an illusion bound to disappoint. Rather just a lovely, sunny coolish day, temperature just peeking above 60 at its high point. But warm enough to ride without an outer layer beyond my jersey and to wear half-gloves. I couldn't ride early today and might have chosen to skip it but for the gorgeous looking day. So I went out after 2 PM and thought I might do a double loop, but didn't. The time and the wind dissuaded me. Despite the lovely look of the day, the feel of it was also perfectly right for the season: windy. Very windy, in fact. I don't know what the official numbers were, but coming back along West Side Drive was like riding uphill all the way. Wind in my face. where I had zipped down Kelly Drive at 15 mph, I couldn't muster more than 10 in must spots coming home. No matter. A great ride.

I stopped and took a couple of photos that I've been wanting to take for awhile now. The construction along the West Side is just about finished and, lo and behold, they were building a fish ladder.

This is a shot of the viewing bleachers they've constructed for watching the fish climb the ladder.

This is a view of the mechanism itself, not that I know exactly what it is supposed to do.

I don't think the ladder in this picture is the fish ladder. But if you look at the very bottom of the photo you might be able to see the water.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Back In The Dark

Annie got me to wake up at what had been our regular time before my Sabbatical. So we were on the road before 6 AM in the pitch dark. The temperature was 41 degrees, damp, with a stiff wind. I wasn't thrilled to be riding in the dark again, but it turned out (as it always does) to be a lovely ride. Now I can take my new hp mini and repair to a local coffee shop to write for a couple of hours.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another Sunday Ride

Seems like we're becoming weekend road warriors. After a week of schedule and weather problems Annie and I got out on the road this morning nice and late. Didn't go out until 9:30 AM in 41 degree overcast skies, a bit of rain and fog, and generally damp. But it was a great ride and it felt great to be out.

I've really been too focused on my work (that's a good thing)to be following the early road racing season, but I am aware that Alberto Contador continues to shine, this week in the Paris-Nice. As the season moves toward July, I'll be getting more focused on that (and as my manuscript moves inexorably toward completion!)

And after all, astronomical Spring is only a week away. Things have to be looking up!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another Touch Of Spring

Will it last? Who knows, but we've had a perfect spring weekend and managed to ride 27 miles wearing merely a long-sleeved jersey. The path, as expected was more crowded, especially since the combination of a late night last night and daylight savings time had us out later than we normally go, but it was manageable and felt great. The possibility of continued warm weather is down right exciting, but I'm trying to be realistic, we have a long way to go until we can settle in and expect it.

The photo above was take on Friday afternoon as I shamefully rode around town in my car. I will be trying harder to stay on the bike for errands assuming this weather is for real. But I thought it was a cool picture of the growing number of businesses springing up arund town that are using cycling as part of their strategy.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Little Things Big Differences

The difference between, say 32 degrees and 44 degrees doesn't seem like much, but what a difference! We had our first ride since Sunday and it was a beauty. 44 degrees felt positively balmy, but I won't make the mistake of thinking Spring has really arrived again. But I'll enjoy the day while we have it. And then there is the bike itself. As I reported on Sunday I spent the afternoon cleaning the chains, the brakes, the tires and filling them (which I do weekly - the tires not the rest - but I should) and the difference in the ride was super palpable. I rode much faster, smoother and with more energy. It made me realize (as I remarked to Annie) that if just cleaning and lubricating the chain makes such a difference, imagine what it is like to have way better components. Unfortunately new bikes are not in the plans for the foreseeable future. Anyway, it was a beautiful ride and while I didn't bring my mileage totals anywhere near the pace of precious years I inched February close to 200 and after around 30 something in January that isn't too bad.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wet And Worth It

Not much to report, but a nice ride with Annie in the rain. Temperature 38 degrees and almost no wind. The rain was not falling too hard and was not a hindrance. Off to teach this morning and then clean and lube the bikes this afternoon while watching the last stage of the Tour of California.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Practical Pedaling

Stopped by Traders Joe's this afternoon and saw this bike with trailer carrying a huge payload. Inspiring, really. Not the best shot, but you may get the idea.

Cavendish Out Front, Levi On Top

This is a picture we are going to see a lot more of this season. Mark Cavendish beats out Tom Boonen by millimeters at the front of a bunch sprint ending a stage of a race. And probably we'll see more of Cavendish starting to celebrate before he actually wins the race. His cockiness is part of what endears him to fans. He doesn't think he can lose, and mostly, he can't. Great finish and a good day of hard racing leaving Levi Leipheimer still leading the overall race.

I'm kind of treating today like a day off. Yesterday was very busy as was yesterday and actually Monday as well. Despite being on Sabbatical I'm beginning to feel stretched thin. I didn't feel like sitting down and writing all day today, so I went out a bit late and rode a bit longer. I'll try to get in some writing later in the day. 23.1 miles today. 41 degrees, overcast with an occasional drizzle. Nice ride.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Levi's On Top!

In a spectacular ride yesterday Levi Leipheimer came over the mountain and smashed through to take the leader's jersey in the tour of California. It will be a hard week of racing to come, but it will be difficult to take the jersey off Levi's back. Armstrong incredibly holding 4th place! Great racing in horrific weather.

As for me, just an ordinary ride in 22 degree temperature. The sun was brilliant and the ride invigorating. Don't know if I'd want to face that cold in the dark, so a few days this week are in doubt.

Monday, February 16, 2009


The temperature was 30 degrees and the wind chill was 20 when I went out this morning. But managed a good ride none the less in the continuing sunshine. Compared to what the guys had to ride through in California I'll take it. With all the twitter updates coming from the race yesterday, it didn't matter that the TV guys had no idea what was going on out on the road since the weather prohibited their cameras from transmitting. Nice.
After my regular 13.5 mile loop, I took out the Brompton for a couple of errands giving me 15.1 for the day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sun Doesn't Warm

Photo by Richard Masoner at Cyclelicious

Yes, that's the Governator and Levi Leipheimer on the podium after the Prologue at the Amgen Tour of California. Levi took second behind the phenomenal time trialer Fabian Concellara of Swizterland and Saxo Bank. It was an exciting day of time trialing. Especially getting to watch Lance for the first time since I started following racing. He looked mighty good and a 10th place finish puts him near the top of performers after 3 years off and at 37. Not bad. Levi looked great and so did a number of other riders. Floyd, who I've always believed was innocent, was nice to see back, but didn't look ready.Anyway, really glad that Versus decided to televise every stage live and I'm looking forward to watching tonight. Nice to have the time difference working in this direction as opposed to watching the TDF at dawn.

Annie had an all-day conference today and I had to drop her off around 8 AM so I got out a bit later than I'd have liked. Not until around 9:15 or so. But the sun was shining brightly and the prospect of the ride was inviting. Except for the 30 degree temperature and the stiff wind coming of the river. I was laboring again for a while but slowly began to feel a difference over the past few days, a little intuition that the riding form was beginning to come back. So when I turned back down the west side and the wind miraculously wasn't blowing in both direction as usual, I really started to move and by the time I came around the museum I was determined to go around again despite the cold. so I did and felt stronger and stronger as I rode. Managed 23.5 miles, my longest and most satisfying ride of the new year. Felt more comfortable on the bike than I have in awhile.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pitchers And Catchers Report

I know this is a bicycle blog, but come on, the World Championship Philadelphia Phillies begin the long road to a repeat performance this weekend when pitchers and catchers report. As you can see from the photo Cole Hamels, along with many of the regular position players are already in camp. This team is still hungry, I can feel it. And although it will be a lot more fun to watch the Tour of California for now, and the Tour de'France come July, by September all eyes will be on Philadelphia again.

Another nice day. spring has certainly not arrived yet, the temperature was down in the high thirties but still very much riding weather. The wind was nowhere near as dangerous as yesterday, but was still up. And my fitness certainly hasn't miraculously returned as I struggled with the wind and even the smallest of hills, It will take awhile, but it will come.

My experiment with getting more familiar with twitter is going well. Especially since I found a desktop program that brings me instant updates from both facebook and twitter. The twitter part really connects with the larger cycling community. I was able to get updates from the Tour of California Press Conference, for example, from Cyclicious. And a tweet from Lance Armstrong when he arrived in Sacramento. Cool

Thursday, February 12, 2009


First of all, I rode my Brompton to a meeting and very nearly got blown off the bike. Not good.

However, the real reason for this update is that my son commented on this morning's post supplying the link to his Lincoln reading and I wanted to supply it here for those of you who don't follow the comments.
Here it is Enjoy!

Finally, you can now follow me on Twitter. See the sidebar.

I Hate To Complain...But

For those wondering: Here is a view of what used to be the south Street Bridge. The roadway is gone. I will try to get closer next time I get west of the river to see what is going on. Not the best shot, I admit, but it should give you an idea.

Before today's report, just a note about the debut last night of the Jim Strait Bike Show on WIFI 1460 AM out of Florence NJ but easily accessible on streaming web here. It was kinda of cool to have a local bike show. The host had a phone conversation with someone from the Amgen Tour of California, and also John Boyle, director of the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia. I missed the beginning but look forward to listening next week.

As for this morning's ride: I hate to complain when one can ride out with the temperature at 56 degrees in February (Happy Lincoln's Birthday, BTW. Take the opportunity to read the second inaugural address today. Or better yet, check out Shaul Stone's Facebook page for a recording of it by my son) BUT it was a killer wind today. So much so that when the first blast hit me about half a block from home and came very close to toppling me over, I turned around and started back, ready to give up on the ride. As I rode back to my house I decided not to wimp out and give it another try. Truth is getting up Lombard Street was the worst part and I was hit by a second blast that again almost turned me homeward. I managed to go on and ride the entire loop, but most of it at not more than 8 miles an hour. Sure there were a couple of spots when the wind died down and I was up to regular speed, and one short segment where the wind was at my back and I flew (someday I will understand why the wind is in my face most of the way going in either direction)but for the most part it was a struggle. Of course, being out of shape doesn't help and from that point of view I think it must have been a very good workout. Luckily I'm not on a tight schedule because again the total time for the ride was ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now If Only It Could Stay this Way

46 degrees at 5:45 this morning. You might ask:"What was I doing riding at 5:45 AM on a Wednesday, my generally sacred day off?" Well, I'm on Sabbatical so I picked up another course to teach at the college in addition to my teaching Monday morning. For both love and money. So on what is an incredibly beautiful Wednesday, I was unable to sleep in a bit, not take a long leisurely ride. But I did get in my usual loop and it was very invigorating. I have convinced myself that the weather is going to stay this way, though it is only February, and spring has arrived. I know it ain't so, but I can't admit that to myself.

Meanwhile, the 13.5 mile ride killed me! I am feeling so fat and slow after not only riding so little, but eating so much. I'm back in training now and hope to shed the pounds and build up the stamina quickly. But it took me almost an hour and a half to do the ride that usually takes me an hour. And then I had to rush to get to school on time.

It is, of course, tempting to go back out in this beautiful weather now that I'm home after teaching, but I need to maintain the discipline of my writing, so I'm heading back into my cave.

Check out this story about Ride Of Your Life, a new book by David Rowe as featured on

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yes, I'm Back

It has been over a month since I rode anything more than a mile here and there doing errands on my Brompton. The weather has just been miserable and even as it warmed these last few days, I was afraid of re-freezing ice-melt in the early morning. But the snow and ice are finally gone and the temperature this morning was 34 degrees and there seemed to be nothing to fear. My sinus condition has improved markedly, so out we went, Annie and I for our first ride. Let's say it was the first ride of a new season and hopefully there will be few breaks from now on. Of course, after not being out for awhile the first thing we had to deal with was a train, two trains to be exact, one on each track, blocking the entrance to the trail. We decided to carry our bikes up and down the Walnut St stairs rather than riding through the traffic on Chestnut. Silly decision but so be it. We lost some time and Annie had to be back for an appointment so we had to shorten the ride a bit. Managed just over 10 miles, which felt really good and given my shape also felt like enough. But now I'm started so hopefully things will improve quickly. Of course, it is still only early February and the weather can still present many challenges these next few weeks, so we'll have to see.
Meanwhile, my bike wrenching has come to naught. I haven't entirely given up the idea, but I'm close to it. I feel a bit sheepish about it, but I'm really enjoying not having someplace to go and working on and off all day on my writing. The writing is coming along nicely, but there is still an awful lot to do and I'm a bit paranoid that it won't get done if I get started at the Bike shop. Truth is I guess I've discovered that my inner do-it-yourselfer is really and inner let-the pros-do-it. Not motivated enough. I will say I'm still thinking about it and maybe a few days riding and watching the Tour of California next week will re-motivate me.
Speaking of which, I'm very excited that the Lance factor has brought the TOC more exposure. Versus will be carrying it live throughout the race. You can check out the schedule here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Yes, I'm Still Here

Believe it or not I am still here. I actually rode a bike, my Brompton, for 4 whole miles all told doing errands today. first time in two weeks. A combination of really cold and often wet weather, a nagging sinus problem and visits to the new grandkid have kept me off the road. The weather is the worst of it. Unlike the winters past since I started riding, this winter has been a real one. And the prediction for the rest of the week doesn't sound promising.
These circumstances, as well as the amount of time and energy that I am putting into my writing while on Sabbatical have so far precluded my starting at the bike shop. And of course, starting my new blog. I'll have to play by ear where I'm going with all of that.
Meanwhile, the tour of California is only a couple of weeks. Can summer be far behind!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Pleasures Of Wind

Actually I really hate it. The wind, that is. But I thought if I spoke nicely about it maybe it would be less punishing. I suppose today was not the worst of days wind-wise, but for some reason it really slowed me down, especially on the way home. But it was good to be out after yesterday's total washout; it really was not a day to be out on a bike. Today I leave for NJ in preparation for the bris tomorrow. So that will be all until next week.
After concentrating on getting my morning riding then writing routine down I have noticed that I need more time in the afternoon for re-writing and editing. I hope to check in at the bike shop next week and get on some kind of modest schedule that will allow me to fulfill all my goals, but the writing must take precedence.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Year New Baby

Yes, that's me with my new grandson to be named Benjamin Harrison. He was born on Friday January 2nd and both mother and baby are fine, as are father and big sister. I left Philadelphia early Thursday so my last ride was Wednesday until, finally, this morning. It felt great to be out on the road, especially given that by later in the day the weather had turned very nasty and promises to stay that way for a few days. I am returning to the baby's home on Thursday so its questionable how much more riding I will get in this week, but at least I'm on the board, so to speak.
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