Friday, April 30, 2010

A Day Awheel

Paul and I were scheming about a Friday country ride for today. Unfortunately, his ability to get away and join me was thwarted on the day before by employment. I almost abandoned the plan myself, but when the weather forecast improved, it seemed prudent to get out while I had the chance.

As I made my loop, the wind followed me around the compass. Except while cruising the first half the greenbelt trail between Denton and Lake Ray Roberts, it was headwind all day.

Fortunately, I brought the bike with gears, and was not in a hurry. I just kept the pedals spinning, and slowly enjoyed scenes like these.

It was the longest ride of the year (so far), and included a stop to refuel.

I wish Paul could have joined me. Maybe we can start scheming again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hard to Explain

The bride asked incredulously, "You mean you sold the burgundy frame you just painted?!"

"Uh, yes...", I replied.

The bride followed up astonished, "You mean you sold the frame you just paid good money to modify the forks?! All that planning, time, and money, and it's already gone?"

"Uh, yes...", I replied trying to figure out a way to explain something she'll never understand.

Then, fairly sternly, she followed with, "You mean you sold the frame that I stressed-out driving all the way to Dallas to pick-up for you while you were out of town?!"

I just kept my eyes on her and slowly backed out of the room.

Not long ago (like back in January), I completed this project. Since then I've sold the frame and headed off in another direction. Although I did make some decisions regarding the new project, I'm still kind of wandering around a bit.

I did decide to make my entire stable 650b.

I did decide to not bother with a freewheel (at least for now), and go with a fixed wheel instead.

I did decide to keep the low trail geometry.

But I'm still on the fence about whether to keep the drops (as shown above), or to give the albatross bars another try. Since the cockpit on the prior project was a little tight, I've ordered a stem with more extension. I'm thinking I might switch bars.

So I go out to the garage to sit on the bike, hold the albatross bars up in position, and try to evaluate the feel.

The bride walks by, pauses a second when she sees me, then rolls her eyes and walks away.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Goin' to Town

Even though some of my coffee stops are in more humble surroundings, sometimes my muddy country bike and I do make all the way into town, and take advantage of one of those fancy big-city coffee shops.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pedaling to Work

I am not saying that one can not see startling beauty while driving a motor vehicle to one's place of employment.

I am suggesting, however, that one's experience of it comparatively is rather obstructed, filtered of substance, and short-lived.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April Afternoon Loop

This blog has shown much of the 3-mile loop, but it seems the possibilities are without end.

The seasons, the light, and the things people do...

Sunday, April 18, 2010


My non-local friends might wonder why there's no photo with this post. That's easy, it was raining.

My north Texas area friends might wonder why I was out riding on a day like this. Especially since the forecast for tomorrow looks much nicer than 53 degrees, gusty NE wind, and rain. The answer to that question is a little more involved, but not too far out there. Many who question my decision will surely understand that after 5 days off the bike, the only way to purge a punishing work week is an encounter with the elements. Besides, tomorrow, even with its favorable weather forecast, remains uncertain.

So I pointed my front wheel northward, put my head down, squinted my eyes, pushed the right crank arm down, and glided out of the garage...

After being out there for just a little while, I was reminded that there are a multitude of other reasons why that are much harder to articulate to the non-bicyclist. Why? Well, it's hard to describe.

Come with me, and I'll SHOW you.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Plan, No Direction.

If one travels on business, and has his bicycle along, he can sometimes be the beneficiary of good fortune. I think it is the kind of good fortune to which they refer when they say something about making your own luck.

There was no direction, and there was no plan. I just happened to be at a place, at the right time, with a bicycle handy. That place happened to be in the fourth largest city in the US. Who would have thought?

Although most of the route was a nice paved hike/bike trail along one of the area's characteristic bayous, some area looked like this...

Yep, just dumb luck.

Gravel Companion

Cruising the early Sunday morning silence is like the whole world belongs to me. Well, at least northwest Denton County. I roll through ranch land, from ridge to ridge, on gravel roads that are empty. Familiar routes, but somehow different, in a lonely sort of way.

Until this fella spots me.

From all I can see, he's out cruising the countryside also. Without a bark or a whimper, he runs along side as if he'd been waiting for me to arrive. For a couple of miles, we travel together. But when the gravel road ends at pavement, I go on alone. Content in his place, he has no use for what the paved road offers.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sneaking Up on Me

Things are changing fast around here. My yard looks different in the afternoon than it did in the morning. Every time I look out the window, there is a new surprise. I know it is spring time, but new leaves and blooms still sneak up on me.

Today, pedaling downhill into a headwind, I had that creepy feeling. That creepy feeling like someone was sneaking up on me. Then movement caught the extreme left edge of my field of vision. Startled, I glanced left.

Silently, and just 8 feet off the ground, two large geese flew beside me just beyond the fence on the left side of the road. Their flight was smooth, silent, and appeared effortless. Moving faster than me, they glided down the hillside parallel to the fence. Then simultaneously, they banked left, rose gradually, and disappeared over the ridge.

No honking.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good to Be Here

Climbing out of the Clear Creek valley in north Denton County, Texas.

Where were you at 7:17 am (CDT) on Sunday morning?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Few Things Finer

there are few things finer
than the crackle
of prairie road gravel
with the notes birds sing
in the morning of early spring

Friday, April 2, 2010


Several people suggested that my prior post was unfair. I agree, and I apologize.

It has been deleted.