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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ash Grove

I rode to Ash Grove today with Rae, Doug and Tom for the final ride of the year. It was a little chilly when we started, but the sun was out. We planned to stop at Willy B's in Ash Grove for pancakes. Unfortunately, Willy B's has closed down. We went to Mama Loca's on Main Street instead. They don't have pancakes. They do have a a couple of traditional Mexican-style breakfasts, biscuits and gravy, eggs and muffins. The food was good. They are only open Thursday through Sunday. One of the owners said a lot of Trans-America riders stop in during the cycling season.

It was warmer on the ride back, and we had to deal with a strong south wind (20-25 mph, gusting to 30-35 mph). Seems like there is a strong wind blowing most days of late. Overall it was a good ride to close out the year.

Ash Grove Main Street

Ash Grove store front

Mama Loca's

Old building on FR 76


Rae & Doug

Saturday, December 24, 2011

PARIS BREST PARIS The long ride toward a distant dawn

This is a French documentary with subtitles. It is about 46 minutes. It has some historical footage, but focuses on the 2011 event. They talk about PBP being a race, which is how it started. I think the rider with the best time is still recognized, but most are just trying to make the 90-hour time limit. Another film is available HERE.

PARIS BREST PARIS The long ride toward a distant dawn from Poisson Lune Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

1x1 to Aurora

James Doggett and I took advantage of the great weather on Sunday and rode the Hound Dog permanent to Aurora. I rode the Quickbeam as a single-speed. This 77 miles is the furthest I have ridden it. I did not have any mechanical problems. The narrow tires (25mm) were a little harsher than I am accustom to on longer rides. It was partly cloudy with a generally south wind when we started at 9:00, and it became mostly clear later in the morning. Unfortunately, the wind shifted to the southeast on the way back, so we had a head wind on some legs both going and coming back. The traffic was extremely light, even in the afternoon. Everyone must have been home watching football or out shopping. I was surprised not to see any other cyclists. I got back at 3:10.

Christmas tree hay bales

Stone house west of Springfield on FR 115

Port-A-Potty at Republic Park on FR 156

Stone barn with fish-scale siding on FR 168

Stone store front in Marionville on Western Ave.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rivendell Quickbeam

I bought a Quickbeam frame on eBay recently. The frame is from the last production run with silver paint and blue decals. The seller stated there were a number of scratches on the frame. He had pictures of the scratches, but the pictures were not real sharp. I was surprised when I received the frame because the scratches were not in places I expected from normal use, and they looked like they were made by a knife or other sharp-edged tool. Maybe it was revenge by a jilted lover. So I decided to have the frame powdercoated GM engine orange. Some paint suppliers call it red, but it sure looks orange to me. I called Rivendell to get replacement decals. I told them I had the silver paint scheme, but they sent me the earlier decals when the Quickbeams were painted orange or green. I am glad now that I did not stick with silver because the decals look better with orange. I currently have it setup with a 45-tooth crank and 18-tooth freewheel and fixed cog. I could go with a slightly smaller cog in the back, but will probably ride this setup for a while.
I did not think to take a photo of the frame before I had it powdercoated. This photo is from the auction.

Cork wrapped and shellacked bars.

Metropolis 45-tooth crank.

I have had the banana seat bag for some time.

Friday, October 21, 2011

2012 Brevet Schedule Posted

The RUSA brevet schedule is posted  HERE. The Springfield brevets, which are run through the St. Louis region, will be:

200K - March 24
300K - April 14

The routes will be the same as last year. There is some interest in riding a Flèche from Republic to Grain Valley, MO, on April 20 or 21. A Flèche is a 24-hour, team ride of 360K (224 miles). A team is composed of three to five riders. A tandem counts as one rider. The rules are available HERE. Getting everyone back to Springfield is usually the biggest problem, although I can setup a permanent (about 200K) so we can get credit for riding back. Let me know if you are interested.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flint Hills 225K Revisited

I last rode this permanent in August 2009. Like that time, Spencer Klaassen (#1989) got the riders together for Saturday's ride. On the drive up Friday evening, I went through the roundabout north of Paola, KS, where we almost made a wrong turn on the 400K brevet in the Spring. When I arrived at the US Corp campground on Council Grove Lake, a bald eagle flew off from a tree along the lake. After I set up my tent, I went to eat at the Hays House in Council Grove because I was not expecting Spencer and Terry Beasley (#7067) until after dark. When I got back, I read a book until the sun set as the quarter moon rose over the lake. Spencer and Terry arrived about 20:30. It was a clear, cool night-great for camping out.

We started breaking camp about 5:00 Saturday and stopped at a bakery cafe for breakfast. I told the waitress we were in a hurry, but the cook burnt part of our breakfast and had to make it again, so we were running late. Mike Myers (#413) called my cell phone while we were still at the cafe to make sure he and his wife Nancy (#414) were at the right start time and location. I told him we would be there shortly. Mike said that he was told a bridge was being replaced near Strong City. A patron at the cafe told us KDOT had been working on the bridge for some time and should be pretty well along, but there was just a short detour if we could not get across.

We were scheduled to start the permanent at 6:30, but I think it was about 6:50 before we actually got away with the clear sky beginning to brighten. I was a little cool at the start with a short-sleeve wool jersey, wool knee and arm warmers, RUSA wind vest and a balaclava. The first eight or ten miles of the route on K177 is a series of hills, and I warmed up quickly from the climbs.

The bridge was still being replaced north of Strong City, but we were able to walk across. South of Cottonwood Falls, KDOT was also replacing a couple of culverts. Signs said "Pavement Ends", but the temporary bypasses were roughly paved and we were able to ride through. It was game day in Manhattan, and we were passed by a number of cars heading north with their Wildcat flags flying. We were also passed by numerous trains along the tracks that paralleled and crossed the route.

The wind began to pick up after we left Matfield Green. It was generally out of the southeast and mostly a cross wind until we turned west into El Dorado. On the way down, we stopped at the c-store in Cassoday where a man rode up on a bicycle he had converted to run on a gas engine. He said it was his second conversion, and while we were talking another man rode up on the first one he had built. We arrived in El Dorado about noon. We had a short break at the Casey's General Store before heading back.

North of Matfield Green, Spencer had problems with one of his pedals and lost several of the bearings. He squeezed a bunch of grease around the pedal spindle to replace the bearings and was able to get back to Council Grove without further problems. We took the detour out of Strong City to miss the bridge work. It was probably quicker riding the detour than walking through the bridge construction earlier. Even though I had taken off most of my extra clothes, I began to overheat after Strong City and slowed down somewhat. I made it back to Council Grove at 17:19, about ten minutes behind the others.

Flint Hills 225K Route

Camp site at Council Grove Lake

Moon over Council Grove Lake

At the start in Council Grove

Mike & Nancy Myers

Spencer & Terry passing a historic school house

Bridge construction

Railroad bridge

Pavement Ends (Not really)

Passing under another rail bridge

The long & winding road

Bazaar cemetery & school

Spencer chasing a train

Cassoday, Prairie Chicken Capital of the World

Motorized bike with its owner and Spencer  in Cassoday

Former railroad bunkhouse

South Fork (ranch?)

Cottonwood Falls

Strong City church

Mashed O Ranch

Division Ranch

Back in Council Grove

Hays House in Council Grove

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Springfield, MO, ALS Walk-September 17, 2011

I am fundraising for the ALS Walk this year rather than the MS150. Click HERE if you would like to donate to the cause. Thanks.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway & the Zuma Coffee Jam

We took a short vacation to Asheville, NC, this past week. On the way out, the bridges across the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers were closed at Cairo, IL, and we had to detour through Metropolis, IL, where Judy took my picture with the Superman statue. I took the Rambouillet and was able to get in one ten-mile ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I rode for about 1.5 hours because it was mostly uphill and I stopped to take pictures.

Judy dropped me off at the Ox Creek Road intersection and planned to meet me at Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. Another cyclist, Gary, parked and unloaded his recumbent at the same time. He and his wife both own Rambouillets and he owns a Saluki. He was also riding up to Craggy Gardens, so we rode together except when I stopped to take pictures at the tunnels and overlooks. The climb over the ten miles was at least 2,000 feet because the elevation at the Bull Creek overlook is 3,483 feet, and the Craggy Gardens overlook is 5,500 feet. I do not know the elevation at Ox Creek Road, which comes up out of Weaverville near Bull Gap.

A highlight of the trip was the Thursday evening jam at Zuma Coffee in Marshall, NC. This is a regular event, but there was a large number of musicians this past week because they were celebrating Bobby Hicks' 78th birthday. Bobby joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys when he was just 21, and he played with the Ricky Skaggs band for over 20 years. Bobby now lives in Marshall. I have included a 3-minute video from the jam (The text that fades in and out of the video is from the video-conversion software test version). Bobby is on the left at the beginning of the video. He plays at about 0:52. I hope you enjoy it.

Metropolis, IL

One of two tunnels I rode through

Bull Creek Valley overlook

Lane Pinnacle is the far peak washed out by the sun

Gary climbing with Craggy Dome in the background

Gary at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Me at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Zuma Coffee jam musicians

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Four Rivendells

This morning, I rode to Ozark with Doug and Rae Nickell, Tom Barnett and John Dilsaver for pancakes at the Belgian Waffle House. We had four Rivendells on the ride: my Rambouilett, John's custom, Doug's Atlantis and Rae's Saluki as shown in the photo below taken by Tom.

Four Rivendells

Related to my Rambouilett, Robert Earl Keen sings of Chief Detective Rambouilett in "Mr Wolf and Momma Bear".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Historic Midtown's 21st Annual Old Fashion 4th of July Parade

The parade included penny farthings ridden by Jason and Isaac from The Hub Coffee and Bike Shop and James Allen. Looked like fun but treacherous. James has ridden a penny farthing across the United States and has a bike museum on Commercial Street. I am not sure if it is open yet.
Jason, Isaac (in the rear) & James Allen

Jason & James

James & Issac