But I am just a pilgrim on this road, boys
Until I see you fare thee well
-Steve Earle, Pilgrim

Friday, February 29, 2008

Route 66 & Cooky's Pie Permanent

Today, John and I rode a 206K (128.5 miles) permanent from Springfield to Golden City via Miller. The ride was to prepare for a flèche to Grain Valley on March 21. Our flèche route is the same as the permanent, heading north from Golden City through Nevada, Appleton City, Urich, Holden and Greenwood before reaching Grain Valley. Learn more about flèches and permanents at Randonneurs USA.

It was a great day to ride with clear skies and a light wind out of the northwest to north. We left center city Springfield at 6:00AM. The route picks up Historic Route 66 (MO 266) about four miles east of Halltown and follows it until the route turns north at M Highway in Lawrence County. We reached Miller, the first checkpoint, about 9:00AM and Cooky's in Golden City about 11:20AM. Cooky's is a stop on the trans-America bicycle route from Yorktown, VA, to Astoria, OR. They have a notebook where riders record comments about their rides. The waitress thought we were coming through a little early in the year, but she seemed impressed that we had ridden from Springfield after we explained the ride. Cooky's also has great home-style cooking and pie. We were served quickly because we beat the lunch crowd and left Cooky's by noon. The wind gave us a welcome push back. Unfortunately, John had two flats before we reached Miller again. The most exciting event of the ride was when I was chased by a gigantic Great Dane just west of Miller. I managed to wear him down so that when John came along behind, the dog just gave him a woof and headed home. We made it back to the finish at 5:37PM. Not a bad time for this early in the season.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Cold Ride in the Ozarks

We started out at noon today with the temperature at 34 degrees, but predicted to hit about 44 degrees. I dressed a little light based on the forecast, and I was cold the entire ride because it never made it above 36.

I got to the start a few minutes late and only John and Tom were there. I joked that I assumed the others had already left, and Tom joked back that they were on their way. John had a flat just a couple of mile from the start. He picked up two rock points that were driven into the tire even though he has Kevlar belts. This can be a problem when it is wet be cause the rock points stick to the wet tires.

Our route took us southeast to Rogersville via Turners Station, and then back west to Riverside Inn, in Ozark, before turning north back to Springfield. The damage to trees in the southeast from the recent ice storm appeared more severe than in north Springfield. There was also more snow still on the ground and the bridge where we crossed the Finley River east of Ozark. The bridge at the Riverside Inn was clear as it gets more traffic. We parted ways with John at the Finley because he had ridden up to Springfield from his home in Sparta. It was a cold, but successful, 56 miles.

Finley River Bridge

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Father and Daughter

A film about life with a bicycle theme.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If speeding cars are a problem in the neighborhood...

Springfield is considering lowering neighborhood speed limits to 25 mph. Contact City Council through the City Clerk's office if you want to support the measure. This guy found a great solution for those habitual speeders.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Future of Transit in Springfield

While everyone would like to bring back street cars or build light rail, this film about Bogota, Colombia, is a more likely future. If the buses were electric, which is the way to go because of the flexibility of energy sources, they could be designed to look like street cars. Near the end of the film, they show a storage facility for 750 bikes at a bus station. It is cheaper to provide bike storage that encourages bike riding to the major bus stations than provide feeder bus lines.

Bucking the Wind to Ash Grove

The sun cooperated for yesterday's ride to Ash Grove, but not the wind. It was blowing out of the WSW at 20 mph with gusts to 25 mph. Tough on the outbound, but it made the pancakes at Willy B.'s even even better. Of course, the wind was great coming back. By the way, Willy B.'s is now open on Sunday. Did not check the hours. We did not see any other riders, just cows, and passed a train going the other way as we rode west on FR 94. Six of us rode: Doug, Rae, Tom, Bill H., Rob and myself.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sheldon Brown: 1944-2008

A cyclist's cyclist. More here and here.

Wet, Warm & Windy

Great morning to ride. No balaclava or gloves today. It wasn't raining, but the roads were very wet. I snapped one photo riding down Commercial Street, and then put my camera away to concentrate on avoiding manhole covers and debris that a tire might pick up and trash a fender. Good training ride for brevets on long wet nights.