Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

flora

Winchester mystery house
Stumbled upon this pic from San Francisco a few years back. No editing done to it and I love how velvety the purple looks on the flower.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ohio Cyclocross State Champs this weekend

Over 2 days in Dublin, the Ohio Cyclocross state champs. I don't totally get why the 'state champs' don't happen later in the season, but oh well, it's usually a good time!
Pics from the 2009 tandem state champs at John Bryant:
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Emily-Kitturah Westenhouser at Wholly Craft

Strange History: Recent artwork by Emily-Kitturah Westenhouser and Addie Cheges on display at Wholly Craft from October 1-31.
Emily-Kitturah Westenhouser @ Wholly Craft
Ohhh, if I was sure that I wasn't moving soon, I would have napped this one. They were all so lovely!
Emily-Kitturah Westenhouser @ Wholly Craft

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cap City #2, Part 2

A few more shots from Cross at the Beach. Cap City race #2.
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LeMond Start:
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Sadly, my good lens seemed to have cracked right after St. Louis and WHOAH, using an older lens made a HUGE negative difference. :-( Oh well, more pics here.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cap City #2, Alum Creek

Having missed the first Cap City race when I was in Baltimore with family, I was stoked to watch today! I took a good number of photos, but here are my top three for the day.
Thanks for all the hugs, laughs and reassurance ladies! I'm greatful for you all. It's days like today that I love Columbus!
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Bike Trip Day 5

Red Hills Nature Preserve to Washington, Indiana 45 Miles
Woke up to a beautiful morning beside the lake:
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In general, it was a pretty straightforward riding day and pleasant enough out to take photos:
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Vincennes, IN
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Most of the view was fields and gravel roads:
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I ended up calling the trip to an end that evening in Washington, IN. It was a tough call, as I as finally getting into the touring groove and meeting people, but there was an opportunity in Columbus that retrospectively I am very glad I came back for.
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There's always time again for a bike trip! (for now...)
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Lessons learned:
  • The bike shipped at 70lbs. Add camera gear, water, some veggies and me and it was probably at 230lbs. Thats pretty heavy to go plowing through a mix of concrete and gravel on old tires.
  • Don't skimp on the comfy clothes. It was a last minute decision not to take a wool hoodie and pants but it was cold and I could have used them.
  • Every small town now has a Walmart, so you'll never be a stranded vegan. Though I don't promote buying things there, most of the time there weren't other options open and gas stations didn't provide much more than over-salted treenuts.
  • Find a map app for the ipad that doesn't rely on service
  • It's worth the few extra $$ to camp in an RV spot to charge your devices and be close to the restroom when it's 50F out
  • Female solo bike touring isn't as scary as (people who have never toured) think it is. I didn't run into even one sketch situation, but encountered at least a dozen very nice folks.
Previous post on Day 4 here, or start at the beginning here

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bike Trip Day 4

Olney, IL to Red Hills Nature Preserve, IL 20 miles
Though it was only a day of 20 miles, they were a bit slow going. Things I realized 1. I should have put on the new tires before leaving and 2. Though I ride a Surly Cross Check frame, I shouldn't ride it as a cyclocross bike.
Needless to say I had a number of pinch flats, but it was 75+ and sunny out, so it didn't put a damper on the day.
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And when I arrived at Red Hills Nature Preserve, the hiking wasn't as spectacular as I had imagined, so I wasn't disappointed when I cut my hike a bit short. But the camp host and my RV neighbors were super nice!
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By recommendation of the woman camping next to me, I stopped at the Trace Inn located in the park. I would definitely pass on this eatery next time. Everything was fried, the decor was of an upscale Crackerbarrel, and my wine swarmed with fruit flies. But the place was packed with +65 yr olds and everyone was raving about the catfish by the time I left....
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Previous past Day 3 here and then Day 5 here, or start at the beginning here

Friday, October 12, 2012

A view of downtown Columbus

A few of us who work at the local climbing gym helped set up a rappelling station for Over the Edge to support the Boys and Girls Club. It was a beautiful day out!
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Werkin hard on the roof yesterday
Saldy, it's the highest I've been in in a good while

Bike Trip Day 3

Bike TripDay 3, Flora, IL to Olney, IL 45 miles
It's always difficult for me to get out of the tent when it's less than 60F.
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The weather was a steady mist, so I wasn't able to take many photos, but the terrain for the majority of the time during the day was 'trudging through sandy gravel'
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Though it was slow going, I was in good spirits. When I arrived at the park at East Fork I was pretty happy to be done riding early in the day so I had a bit of fun.
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It was actually pretty cold out when not moving, but I sat by the lake, eating a snack, anticipating a warm shower and hot quinoa. When I arrived at the camping location, it was actually an RV park. Like a full-on RV park, where residents had vegetable gardens. Needless to say, the owner wanted way too much for me to put down my tiny, 1 person tent. Feeling defeated I had the option to ride 20 more miles to a state park. It was early enough in the day for that option, but the park website boasted the 'highest point between Cincinnati and St. Louis" and I couldn't get a judge of where the camping actually was in the park, so I opted for 9 miles and a motel room. It was a good choice so all my stuff could dry out and I dinned on some great Mexican food and $0.90 margaritas.
Previous post Day 2 here and Day 4 here, or start at the beginning here

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bike Trip Day 2

Bike Trip Day 2- Carlysle, IL to Charley Brown Memorial Park, Flora, IL. 63 miles
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Woke up early and it was pretty cold out. I don't function well under 70 degrees so I mustered in the tent for a while and decided to head to Flora, IL (I thought about 40 miles away) instead of all the way to East Fork Lake (~95), so I figured I could sleep a little longer. By the time I got all packed up it was after 11 again and I realized it was closer to 55 miles away. Which was disconcerting as the rain was supposed to roll in around 6 and I prefer setting up the tent before the sun sets.
So I headed off. I had a route set to go north of 50E but was already off route 3 miles in so I just took 50 for a few miles. It turned out to be a bit busy for my liking so I headed north then east on back roads. I returned to the original route I had mapped then diverted again so I could drop into a town to hit a large chain store for warm pants, a replacement hoodie, pepper spray (a dog had just chased me for about a mile on a gravel road- but they didn't sell it) and a knife (forgot mine). It was about 3:00 and the rain started coming down. I waited it out a bit, enjoying peanut butter and carrots and batter with the locals. Folks always ask about the long bike and it seems pretty common for a guy to say 'when I was 15 I rode from here to here in x amount of time'. Maybe it's some boy rite-of-passage thing....
The rain was nothing torrential, but enough to be annoying on my glasses & hands and weigh the bike down a bit. And apparently my rain jacket no longer repels water...
I recharged again with pumpkin seeds and grapes. Discovered that dehydrated lemons and sea salt in water is a pretty refreshing alternative to a powdered sports drink. Finally made it to Charley Brown Memorial Park. It seems to be a pretty large park with a large Christian camp adjacent. There was no apparent office to check into, so I found a spot next to a pavilion so I could attempt to dry everything out. The sign said $15 a nite for a spot but they only charged me 5 in the am.
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I had an amazing dinner of avocado, red pepper and spicy quinoa on raw red pepper tortillas. Carrots and peanut butter appetizer. Chatted with a women and her kids as they dinned on the other side of the pavilion.
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Continued reading Eat and Run: My Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness and listened to Library of Congress recordings:Woody Guthrie.
Previous post on Day 1 here and Day 3 here.

Bike Trip Day 1

Bike Trip Day 1- downtown St. Louis to Hazlett State Park, Carlyle, IL
68 miles
Scuffled around a bit in the am double checking the trail access point and overall route and finally headed out after a breakfast of 2 oranges and caved for 1/4 of a hotel waffle. (which I immediately regretted, of course)
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Upon finding the trailhead I felt better that I had turned around the previous evening. There were no markings through the city until you got to the actual trailhead and it wasn't the best neighborhood to be lost in.
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The trail was nice and flat, pretty uneventful ride all-in-all. I was starting to bonk around mile 30 but a grocery magically appeared and I was able to stock up on fresh produce. The next 44 miles were fueled by grapes and pumpkin seeds and I felt great.
I stayed at Hazlet Park Campground which was well maintained- clean spots, $8/night, clean warm showers, nice female camp host. I chose a spot on the lake and it was lovely to listen to the waves crash against the shoreline all evening.
After a warm shower I had a stellar dinner of curried quinoa with carrots, almost a whole bag of spinach and dried pineapple desert. The mosquitoes feasted on my calves. Started reading Eat and Run: My Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness before bed.
Read about the previous day here or Day 2 here

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bike trip day 1 (almost)

So my journey started in the industrial wasteland of St. Louis's west side. I stayed out there. As it was it was close the Adventure Cycling route west out of town. I had a big loop planned, heading west then south and finally looping back to Ohio.
When my bike came Saturday the rear dérailleur was not functioning, the hotel didn't have a printer and the local bike shops didn't have MO cycling maps and the gas stations didn't even have state driving maps. After consulting a few friends I decided just to head a more direct eastern route homebound.
My day started slow: replacing the derailleur cable, adjusting breaks, repacking everything. Then I headed into the city for amazing (though pricey) raw, vegan lunch. I meandered to a bike shop for a replacement pump and got a coffee so I could go over my route once more.
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I putzed around the arch for a bit and then headed north on the path.
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Except the path around the arch and the one i needed was 0.25 miles from the arch and they weren't connected. After tracking down a ranger, getting directions and the warning 'be careful, it's a pretty rough area' I headed off.
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The trail had nice markers but was indeed rough- full of glass, detours, foul industrial smells- and after missing the turn for the bridge and pinch-flatting, I finally made it to IL!
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I rode down into the city and it too was pretty rough. Darkness was upon me and I couldn't find the trailhead (after searching and searching) so I turned around and headed back to the city. Luckily there was a hotel rear the path that actually had rooms available (the hostel and the other few hotels I called were booked).
Back into STL, for about 45 miles total for the day: