Friday, December 30, 2011

Silver Comet Teaser


My nephew and I explored the eastern end of the Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna, GA today.  This paved rail-trail starts northwest of Atlanta, just outside the I-285 perimeter highway, and heads west toward Birmingham, AL.  There are great facilities at the start, with a bike shop, restaurants, grocery, etc.  Very nice.

We rode about an hour west, then returned to the start when it began raining.  It was my nephew's longest-ever bike ride, yay Jake.  Here are a few touristy photos.

There is also a RUSA 200K permanent which starts a few miles west along the trail.  It's now officially on my wish list for when daylight gets longer...




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DIY release mechanism for Sanyo NH-T10 bottom bracket generator


A few weeks ago, I installed a bottom bracket generator on my bike [original post].   At the time, I was in a hurry and did not install the release mechanism.  That means it was engaged all the time.  After my second 200K perm spinning the generator mostly in daylight, I decided I really wanted a release mechanism.

But I didn't want the OEM mechanism.  While the generator comes with a nice latching release lever for the handlebars and long sheathed cable, I won't be turning lights on and off that frequently, I don't need the convenience of remote control, and even I don't want any more things in my cockpit.

So, I made a simple latching mechanism at the generator itself.

Details in photos:  [photos]    35-second video:  [video]

Since I like any excuse to get off my bike during a perm, this should serve me really well...


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Do I smell like dog food?

Dogs often chase me when I am bicycling.  I thought it was because of the bike and the motion.

Now they are harassing me at home.  These two barked and growled at me every time I went outside yesterday.  I was even under the car doing an oil change and they stood in my driveway barking and growling at me.  Here's a 60 second [video].

Maybe I need to shower more often...

Monday, December 5, 2011

No. NO! NOOOOO!


Ever go the wrong way down an exit ramp from an interstate highway?

I did yesterday.  We were about 1km from the finish of the RUSA Carthage Coffee Run 200K I turned at the wrong traffic light.  Luckily, Rando Maria was alert and screamed at me from behind.  More luckily, her lungs were in great form, having screamed at dogs throughout the day.  Most luckily, I reacted to the third scream.  Thanks Maria!

Here are a few [checkpoint photos]  (Beware, my camera timestamps were off by one hour)

Oh, and notice the gasoline engine in the thumbnail photo.  I really lusted for this rig, spotted at mile 100.

Update:  Another perspective on today's ride: [bike fizxzit]

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adopt a bike lane

I carry a broom on my bike-commute route whenever the debris gets annoying.  I usually sweep glass and plastic parts from car wrecks, and silt and detritus from road construction.

In this photo, glass nuggets covered about 100ft/33m of the bike lane on Cornwallis Rd eastbound near NC 147 in the RTP, fresh carrion from a nasty wreck no doubt.  I was lucky that I saw the mess in my headlight during my dark morning commute.  (As I was sweeping, a lady actually stopped and asked if I was okay.  Most motorists are nice.)

Clean your route.  The tire you save may be your own.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November R on the Tar Heel 200

Seven randos rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200 on a gorgeous November day yesterday.  Some rode at a comfortable pace.  Some consumed huge quantities of food at every stop.  Everyone got an early 'R' for the month.

It's really nice to ride with a mechanic who watches you struggle for a minute replacing a flat tire, politely asks if she can help, then INSTANTLY snaps the tire over the rim.   Yes, really nice.

A few rider portraits: [photos]

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sanyo NH-T10 Bottom Bracket Generator

I bought a Sanyo bottom bracket generator from Peter White Cycles.  I was intrigued by the design benefits and curious how well it worked.

I made two small modifications.  Installation details are in [photos and captions].

Watch for another report if I decide to install the cable release (rather than running the generator all the time).  And watch to see if I make a tire-surface brush (to keep detritus from embedding itself in the generator wheel).  And watch for a report on installing the light (B&M Lumotec Lyt).  And how well I like the pattern...

State Farm Bike Bashing


Bicycles are impractical, according to the State Farm car insurance company.

I just heard a radio advertisement [*] which advised a customer to spend the money he saved by switching to State Farm on something more practical than a bicycle.  The customer was portrayed as a doofus who wanted to buy a bike, but was ridiculed.  I didn't find it funny.

State Farm has a history of bike-bashing.  GM recently made waves with their bike-bashing ad.

Is this a recurring trend in automotive advertising because it works?  Or is bike-commuting catching on and becoming a threat?

[*] lunchtime today, WRAL-FM radio, Raleigh NC, during UNC-NCSU college football game.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

White Textured Flecking (aka, WTF)


Imagine my reaction when I walked outside and found this in my driveway.  What is this mess?  (Click photo to enlarge.)
- I have been painting a bedroom inside the house.  Did I splatter white paint on the car?  No.
- Was it 'mischief night' last night?  No.
- Did a monster bird from Duke take aim at the UNC sticker in the side window?  Or a flock?  Who knows.

Irregardless, I immediately spent $2 at the nearest self-serve car wash and washed off the mess before it ate into the paint.

I'm just glad I didn't have my bike and rack on the back...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cree LED Lamppost

I believe Cree has a new LED lamppost at their front entrance.

Cree, Inc, develops LED technology for lighting.  It's been a while since I bike-commuted past their RTP facility in the dark, and I was surprised to see this new lamppost.  It's really bright.

I stopped for a daylight photo on my ride home, and it looks like a grid of LEDs up inside the fixture.  (Click photos to enlarge.)  Very neat.

Scary Spackling


When the daughter was about 10 years old, she hung a dozen posters on her bedroom walls using clear plastic packaging tape.  I yelled and lectured about how tape would make a mess on the drywall, and argued that we needed to replace it all immediately with appropriate fasteners.  I lost, of course, and the tape stayed.  And as posters were changed over time, more tape was added to the walls.

I finally started peeling, cutting, and sanding yesterday.  I even splurged and bought myself some shiny new spackling tools.   So shiny, in fact, that I scared myself as I saw my image in my camera's viewfinder as I took a photo of a new scaper.  Arrgh!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NC Bike Club 200K & 100K Brevets

About 30 randos rode the 200K brevet from Morrisville to Siler City and back today.  Five rode the 100K brevet to Pittsboro and back.  It was a beautiful and windy day.

Jayjay and I manned the turnaround checkpoint in Siler City, then drove back to Morrisville for the post-ride picnic.  Here are some random photos from both locations:  [photos]

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reasons not to bike to work

Here is a short video from the Sydney Morning Herald website spoofing Australia's bike-to-work week.
1.  It causes more congestion for cars.
2.  You have to wear lycra.
3.  You have to scrunch up like a prawn over your handlebars.
etc, etc, etc.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

NC Bike Club 200K Brevet Pre-Ride


Five randos rode the worker's pre-ride for the NC Bike Club 200K yesterday: Alan, Mike, Richard, Jayjay, and I.  Congrats to new rando Richard on another 200K.  Click the photo to see Fearless Leader Alan enjoying an ice cream sandwich at Snow Camp.

October is a great month for cycling in NC, and yesterday was a stunner.  Autumn leaves are about to change colors, and we saw about one orange tree per mile.  Weather was gorgeous, with crisp temperatures in the morning and warm sunshine in the afternoon.  The route is nicely hilly, most roads were smooth as glass, most drivers were courteous, and we were chased by only one dog.

Here are my recommendations for next weekend's riders...

Busy intersection:  Near the end of the ride, be careful crossing and turning left onto 4-lane highway NC-55 at 195km/121mi:
- Two left lanes are signed to turn left.  Recommend taking the second-from-left lane.
- Beware an extremely short yellow light.  If you can't ride promptly through the green, recommend you wait another light-cycle.

Urgent traffic:  Be visible and vigilant for speeders on NC-87 and on Greensboro Chapel Hill Rd.  Also watch for "lemmings" (my phrase for close-following car drivers who can't see you until the previous car passes you).

Navigation:  Memorize the cue sheet at 9km/5mi outbound and 191km/118mi returning, winding through an upscale neighborhood with perpetual road construction.  CUE and MAP 

Stores:  There are many well-stocked stores along the route.  The longest separation is only 22 miles.  Recommend trying Frosty's at 47km/28mi outbound and 154km/95mi returning.  It has new bike-friendly owners.  Drink and snack selection is limited but improving.  Clean porta-potty is on the far right side.

See you next Saturday.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Bicycle Parking Available Inside"

I drove my car to a new O'Reilly Auto Parts store today (just east of NC 54/55).  Imagine my surprise when I saw this sign on the front of the building.  I find this juxtaposition really wierd.

Irregardless.   It has instantly hooked me as a repeat customer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RUSA Tar Heel 200K

Nine randos rode the Tar Heel 200K today.  Five of us started at 6am: Dean, Bob, Sridhar, Jayjay, and Andy.  The rest started at 8am: Alan, Ian, Nick, and John.  The weather was incredible.  It was moderately cool in the morning, and hot only briefly in the afternoon.  Light winds, no rain, gorgeous sky.

We had a brief detour around a closed railroad crossing in Benson (a few city blocks).  We were blocked briefly by a motorcycle tour with police escort in Tar Heel.  We were chased by two inconsequential dogs: a tiny beagle puppy who chased but jumped scared each time he saw another cyclist, and a tiny dachshund who couldn't hope to catch us.  A big dog approached us in the morning darkness, but Biker Bob dispatched it with an air horn.

Congrats to Rando Ian who finished PBP last weekend.  And congrats to new Rando Nick doing his first 200K.

Here are a few [photos] and a 26-second [video] run-by.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I hate curbs and gutters

The only time I have fallen off a bike as an adult was when I got buzzed by a car on a 45mph two-lane road with curbs and gutters.  As I squeezed to the side, my pedal tip hit the curb and down I went.

Then yesterday on my commute home, I was climbing a hill where the road narrows with curbs and gutters when I spotted tiny broken glass shards from two big bottles sprayed everywhere.  Of course an urgent auto peleton arrived at the same time.  I was stuck rolling through the glass.  Arrgh.

I went back the next day and swept up the remaining shards.

Disabled cars block travel lanes because of curbs too.  Could we save tax dollars by foregoing these?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bike maintenance, part 2

After my pricey Specialized Armadillo rear tire delaminated, I sprung for an even-more-pricey Continental Hardshell.  We'll see...


I also found an inexpensive new freewheel at REI.  Score.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bike Maintenance

Once in a while, the cause of a puncture is really easy to find.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Morning Chores

A great way to start the day:
- Bike to the beach
- Watch the sun rising
- Swim in the ocean
- Hula-hoop with friends
Then go to work.

Click here for a few [photos]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Belmar-Princeton-Belmar 200K


I rode the BPB 200K permanent yesterday, a 129 mile loop in central New Jersey connecting Belmar, New Egypt, Pemberton, Princeton, and back.

Many thanks to Rando Paul for creating this new permanent.  It follows the same route as his Princeton-Belmar-Princeton permanent, but starts at the east end in Belmar.  This is extremely convenient for me, since we usually stay near Belmar when we are in NJ.  I biked to the start and avoided lots of car driving.

And...  I got to swim in the ocean after the ride.  Woot!

Weather was incredible (the local heat wave broke), traffic was cordial (only one buzz), no mechanicals, no dogs (the only two dogs I heard were fenced), and navigation was automatic (I know the route).  The wind did kick up like crazy the last 40 miles, but it brought the barn smell from the finish.

Two good tidbits:  The worst section of pavement on West Farm Rd has been repaved since last I rode, and is now smooth as glass.  I discovered that a Home Depot can serve as a great rest stop: a secure place to lock bikes, clean bathrooms, ice cold water fountains, and the cheapest bottles of Powerade at every cashier.

Enjoy scads of photos with lots more details in captions.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sag's Complete Blogging Guide


Do you remember the first blogger you read regularly?  And do you remember why?

About five years ago, I was searching for information about a music festival out west.  I found a blogger who wrote not only about that festival, but also several other activities I enjoyed.  From that blog-reading experience, here is my advice...


Be succinct.  The less you write, the more people read.  It caught my attention.


Make jokes.  My blogger was incredibly funny, sarcastic, and cutting.  It held my attention.


Be accurate.  My blogger was fastidious.  Don't guess.


Write well.  Write with a nice flow and good sense of timing.  Use an occassional big word.


Mix it up.  While I discovered the blog for the music festival, my blogger also wrote about other topics.  Some matched my hobbies, some did not.  But all were interesting.


Write with zest.  Share your excitement.  Encourage others.  Warn about hazards.  Give tips.


Photos.  Add photos.  Write captions which continue the story.


Keep blogging.  Strangers are reading, enjoying, and being inspired.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Video Danger Panda


I have written in the past about 'Danger Panda' photos.  These are self-portrait photos taken while riding your bike.  The photos capture the moving bike with no hands on the handlebars.  A Flickr group has an active set of contributors who continuously invent clever ways to snap self-portraits.

Yet these are snapshots.  Still photos.  So 1830.

I was riding a solo 200K yesterday, and a grand vision appeared in my mind to take some danger pandas with the video camera.  I may have been half-bonked, but I had enough focus to realize it would 'raise the bar' in the Flickr group.  I was obsessed.  Out came the camera.  Here is my contribution:  [Video]

Let's follow the Flickr group over time to see if the idea flourishes or flops...




Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carthage Coffee Run 200K


I rode the RUSA Carthage Coffee Run 200K solo yesterday.  It was a glorious cool overcast day, despite a yucky forecast.

The destination coffee shop in Carthage has gone out of business.  Not too bad for me, since I don't drink coffee, nor can I take time to lounge and sip anyway.

I used the Kangaroo gas station in Carthage as my checkpoint.  Too bad the door on the unisex bathroom was not closed and not locked.  When I opened it, the two women inside screamed.  The cashiers gave me a dirty look.  Arrgh.

Favorite memory from the day:  I heard a small airplane taking off from the airport near Lower Moncure Rd.  It turned to follow the road I was travelling, at low altitude.  I saw it in my mirror and I waved.  It wiggled its wings, flew over me, and continued ahead of me.  Very cool.

Best lesson re-learned today: I heard the horn of a train approaching in Sanford.  I stopped at the crossing, dug out my camera, and caught it.  Cool.  But then I had to watch 100 identical gravel cars crawl by.  Must remember to cross the tracks first, and then take photos.

Only two dog events and one car buzz today.  A great day on the bike.

Click here for a few [Photos]

Monday, July 4, 2011

Touring Bikes along the Eno River

We spotted four parked touring bikes as we hiked around a remote swimming hole today. We were miles deep in the woods, along trails which were rocky, hilly, and rooty. The trails may have been suitable for mountain bikes, but they were prohibited. I can't imagine how these tourers got here.

Nonetheless, here they were. All had comfy tires. Three had fenders, including one with hammered aluminums. There was an assortment of front racks, a porteur, and luggage. And a beach umbrella in one rear rack. They were all well lit, with Superflash and Magic Shine. My first thought was "Where are the randos?" Alas, no one jumped out of the woods asking us to sign their cards.

Meanwhile, we had a great Fourth of July watching the 'water sports'.

Trail and lake photos: [photos]

Fun watersports video: [video]

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Snaps of the commute

The best part of my work day is my morning commute.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cluster swap

When force doesn't work...

Use more force.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

12-Speed Fixie

Randos Dean, Jerry, and I rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200K permanent yesterday.  Dean and I started before the crack o' dawn.  Jerry started at a more civilized hour.  He caught us a few miles from the turnaround, where we had a nice sit-down lunch at Subway.

For about three miles, I became "one with my bike".  My cluster and ratchet locked to the wheel.  I could shift, but it goosed me whenever I tried to coast.  Each time I forgot and started to coast, it took half a second for the lower chain to stretch the derailleur, and then WHAM.  My flat pedals flew out from under my feet, slammed around, and smacked cuts and bruises into the backs of my legs.  Luckily, it unfroze a few miles later.

The weather was spectacular.  Temps were not too hot, humidity was low, and winds were moderate.  It was probably the nicest day of this month, if not the summer.  Too bad Rando Skiff declined to sign up for a permanent with me, since the forecast at mid-week was much worse than reality.

Traffic was extremely light and polite.  Dogs were lively and energetic.

Behold the thumbnail photo shows a new genre of photography for cyclists.  See the photo album for details:  Photos

Friday, June 3, 2011

Interstate Bikeway I-40

Here's the happy family out for a ride on Interstate Bikeway I-40.

Actually it really is I-40, a few weeks before it opened to cars in 1986.  But wouldn't it be nice...

PS: At least I still have the same great fashion sense.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

National Train Day 2011

Today was the 4th Annual National Train Day, a marketing event invented by Amtrak.  Big cities had big events.  In our town we enjoyed chatting with a volunteer at a goodie table.

The NC Piedmont trains which travel between Raleigh and Charlotte each have five upright bike racks in the baggage cars.  They transport bikes for free, with handlebars and pedals intact, and a box is not required.  You must make a reservation in advance.  (Click left photo.)  I spoke to the conductor, stuck my head in the baggage car, and saw the racks.  Beware, I think a full fender on the rear wheel won't work since the bike rests on the back of its rear wheel.  Still this is a sweet deal.  I'd like to try it some day.


Foamer trivia:  This year is the 40th anniversary of Amtrak.  If you look closely at the anniversary logo (click right photo) you can see five generations of locomotive, starting with the classic 1930s electric GG1 at left, to the current Acela on right.

Here is a "run by", a 40-second video of the train leaving the station:

Here are some photos

PS: "Foamer" is a pejorative term describing a rail fan who gets excited and foams at the mouth when a train approaches.  Guilty, guilty, guilty...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day on the Tar Heel 200

This cyclist had a bad day.  (Click for a better view)

In contrast, We had a great day today, May 1st, on the RUSA Tar Heel 200K in eastern NC.  Randos Jayjay, Dean, and I rode from Benson to Tar Heel NC, and back.  Weather was perfect, company was excellent, and we had no mechanicals.  We heard trains nearby all day, and  had visits from only a few dogs.  Even caught this brief video of Randos Jayjay and Dean.  Enjoy
video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Danger Pandas

For years I've been using the phrase "panda portraits" to describe self-portraits while cycling.  Several randos clued me in to the phrase, and a Flickr group contains thousands of photos.

Imagine my surprise when I happened upon a Flickr group called Danger Pandas, which raises the bar with a few extra rules.  See if you recognize any randos in the photos.

Ride safe when you start snapping and contributing.

PS:  I wonder if they accept videos...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tornadoes in Raleigh

A rash of tornadoes did major damage across the southern US the last few days.  They hit NC on Saturday afternoon/evening.  The 300K RUSA brevet planned for Saturday was wisely postponed to Sunday.

A friend lives in south Raleigh, directly in the storm's main path.  Several of us helped clean up fallen trees in the back yard.  The house was fine, but many neighbors were not so lucky.

Photos by Mark.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lutefisk for Endurance

When I was a kid (age 11) my Norwegian grandfather dug us a hole for a swimming pool.  He was a retired construction worker in his late 60s.  He dug a flat spot into the slope of our back yard until it was 24 ft wide and 4 ft deep (7.3m x 1.2m) to perfectly nestle a round above-ground pool into the hillside.  He used a shovel.

He dug every day for maybe 6-8 weeks.  He started every morning before we went to school.  He sang to himself in Norwegian, "Yah yah this, Yah yah that."  He continued digging and singing that same song until dark, when he went home to Grandma's dinner of lutefisk, sardines, and other vile delicacies.

I can only dig about one hour per day before everything hurts.  But it's amazing how I can clearly hear my grandfather singing along with me as soon as I start.

So maybe I should try eating lutefisk too.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NC Bike Club 200K

There was no rain. There were no loose dogs. There was "some wind".

One passerby threw a cup of home fried potatoes at us. The wind blew half back into the car window.

Riding buddy Jayjay did some acrobatics when we hit crosswinds on the Haw River bridge. At first, I thought she was having a spasm in front of me. Then I rode from the protective woods out onto the high bridge and I got slammed.

I started smelling the barn at mile 90 (145km). Then I realized the wind was blowing it away from us.

Kudos to all 40 randos who started and finished. Thanks to Rando Joel for waiting for us at the turnaround point, and thanks to Rando Jerry for checking up on things.

Random photos

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tar Heel Adventures

Jayjay and I rode the RUSA Tar Heel 200K in North Carolina yesterday.  It was a glorious spring day with a few new experiences.  Rando Skiff of The Irregulars encouraged me to write longer ride reports, so here goes...

Welcome Hippies

This sign inside Mule City Gas in Benson got the day off to a good start.

Pierogi Full Moon

The almost-full moon was huge and super-bright in the clear sky just before dawn, thanks to being at its closest point to Earth in its 18-year elliptical orbit.  Astronomers call it a Pierogi Full Moon, or something like that which reminded me of Pierogis.  (Rando Mike posted serious science at RTP)

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Jayjay's cluster ratchet is really loud when coasting.  I am now convinced that the sound catches the attention of dogs.  Two times we were cruising along in the quiet pre-dawn darkness when she stopped pedaling and the ratchet started clicking.  Immediately, I heard a muffled 'woof' in the distance, followed by a chase.  Must practice pedaling continuously.

Wicked Witch of the Wind 

A cold front blasted us all afternoon as we returned from Tar Heel.  While nothing like the winds of a mountain pass, it was the stongest and longest headwinds I've ever ridden into.  I even resorted to attempting a tuck, grasping the front of my basket like aerobars.  Not pretty.

Not Paintballers

If ever you approach a large group of people standing at attention in a wide formation blocking a side road, and they have full camo, high tech helmets, and heavy hardware, prudence says to put away your camera, face front, and ride straight and steady.  Definitely do not scan the opposite side of the road looking for the fellows you are not supposed to see.

Fun with Tractors

We passed several farm tractors on the roads.  Each time, they were moving so fast that I couldn't get my camera out in time for a photo.  The last one was a 'tall tractor', with a large opening underneath designed to pass over rows of tall crops.  It was easily tall enough for a bicyclist to pass underneath.  Luckily, the tractor had passed before my tired mind realized that possibility.

Bland checkpoint photos

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cycling Distractions

DO NOT go into the woods and clean brush and thorny brambles:

  • On the first warm springtime day
  • With fresh young chiggers
  • And vigorous poison ivy
  • Wearing short pants.
And then DO NOT lounge around the house, spreading the invisible oils and varmints so they can revisit you on all parts of your body for weeks ahead despite endless cleanings. Boiling hot showers will become your best friend.

Today is Day 12. Gross, full resolution photo is [here]. What was I thinking?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rando Recruiting

Over the last two years, I have been telling stories of my rando exploits to a mountain-biker friend.  He surprised me by putting road tires on one of his old bikes recently.  We went riding at Jordan Lake in central North Carolina today.

First we rode around the central portion of the lake, just over an hour of gentle rollers.  He often left me in the dust, even with his mountain bike gearing.  Next we climbed Col du Lystra, a short steep hill with a local reputation.  When we got to the wall, he smiled, stood, and said bye.  I just knew he would like it.

He is already super-fit, he said "whee" coasting down Jack Bennett, and he already has the 'fake rando smile' (right photo).  He's almost there.  With a little saddle conditioning, we could have another rando in our midst.

Lesson learned:  Keep regaling your friends with stories and photos and schwag.

Now where did I put those medals I bought?...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fog, dogs, and buns

Eight randos set out on the RUSA Tar Heel 200K permanent in central North Carolina today

Jayjay and I started hours before sunrise, in dense fog with temps around freezing.  The sky brightened with sunrise, but the fog stayed for four hours.  The photo at left was taken just past sunrise, at the post office in Wade.  The fog eventually cleared past Stedman.  After lunch, it turned into a beautiful day with clear skies, negligible winds, and temps in the low 50s F (10C).  It was a very unusual and beautiful day for February.

We enjoyed crossing paths and chatting with randos Dean, Alan, and Mike O.  They started at a more civilized hour after us, and rode at a livelier pace.  Unfortunately, they brought news that rando Tom got bit by a dog, and that Mary and Lee Ann graciously abandoned the ride to help him get fixed up.  Get well soon, Tom.

On our way back, we encountered a bunch of hamburger patties and buns scattered all over the road.  The football Super Bowl was tonight, and I suspect a grocery bag full of party supplies flew out of someone's pickup truck.  Imagine when they got home, and wondered 'Where's the beef?'.

The usual set of random: photos

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ice Sledding

We received a thin glazing of frozen rain last night.  The roads were treacherous this morning for cars, but great for sledding.

Enjoy three quick videos:
- Run 0
- Run 1
- Run 2

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I fought the brine truck, and the truck won

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is presently out spraying a liquid salt brine solution on the major roadways in anticipation of big snow on Monday.  I crossed paths with a truck in Carthage today as I was riding the RUSA Carthage Coffee Run 200K, from Durham to Carthage and back.  I didn't recognize the truck was spraying until it was too late.  That's okay, I should wash my bike more than once a year.
Thumbnail photo credit:  WNCT TV9, Greenville, NC

In other news, three young horses galloped along with me for the length of their large corral as I passed.  That doesn't happen often, but is very neat when it does.

Four uber roadies in a paceline passed in the opposite direction.  They all looked up and waved.  Very unusual.  Rando candidates.

I rode through snow flurries in Sanford this afternoon.  I rode out of them quickly as I left town.

Only one dog bothered me today.  It was riding in a pickup truck which passed me, and it barked right into my ear.  I jumped.  Otherwise, all dogs were fenced, constrained, or not interested in me.  Very nice.

I did have a car pass me this afternoon with its passenger door open.  The door closed as soon as the car passed.  It did not hit me.  I'll assume they were emptying coffee or something, and not trying to hit me.  In case I'm wrong, watch out for a steel blue or gray, boxy, 1990s era, Honda Civic or Accord on NC 751 near Apex Nurseries.

Overall, a great day on the bike.

Click here for a few nondescript photos