Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pondero Un-Cropped?

I can relate to the introductory and insightful comments made by Jon Grinder in his Two Wheels blog post, titled "Feedback", from November 14, 2010. Since reading it, I've been thinking further about a blog author's motivation and his desire to connect with other like-minded enthusiasts. Especially, when those so enthused are rare in the local geography.

Believing I have a pretty good sense about what I'm trying to do with this patch of blog prairie, I wondered how much my blog-land friends, many of whom I'm unlikely to meet in person, are like me. And as I wondered, a few questions came to mind.

As bloggers, how much of ourselves do we really present to the world? Like photos cropped to omit signs, a passing car, or roadside litter to present a more attractive visual image, do our words present an over-idealistic version of ourselves to others?

If we chose words that were a more complete picture of our true identity, would anyone read or provide the "feedback" to which Jon refers? Likewise, because some of us have chosen to spend most of our blog efforts somehow related to the bicycle, do non-bike-geek readers think of us as one-dimensional?

I'll confess that I've wondered if my blog friends met me, and knew my multi-dimensional self, whether there would be disappointment. So how about a totally un-cropped, un-photoshoped view of Pondero? Nah, I think not.

But if I were to widen the field of view just a bit, I'd want you to understand one thing. This blog is recreational for me. The minimal creative work of taking a few snapshots, and writing a few sentences, is mentally refreshing. The time on the bike is physically and mentally refreshing. Blogging about the bicycle outing, and presenting it just the way I like it, is like ordering the value meal combo.

Meanwhile, the more important substance of life, the reality rather than the escape, is the stuff...perhaps too often...lying on the edit room floor.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rolling with Circumstances

Sometime on Thursday, the S24O idea was born. The idea was nourished and fed throughout the day. By bedtime, although there had been no packing done, the idea had matured into a full-grown plan. So before breakfast on Friday, there began a gathering little things that would be needed, in case an early departure from work was feasible. But another great plan was sabotaged. There was no getting away early. In fact, it became clear that it would be a work-filled weekend.

But there are ways to roll with the circumstances. How about an example?

Another idea was born. Perhaps the very best part of an S24O could be salvaged. The best part of the S24O, of course, is also the best part of any normal day; breakfast time. The early part of the day, the food, the coffee, and a renewed hope for a clean, fresh start! least the coffee.

"Perhaps", the idea screamed in obvious desperation, "it is time for another Micro-Tour!"

And so it was.

A man has got to roll with his circumstances. He's got to be flexible, nimble on his feet, and quick thinking. If he can develop a certain level of proficiency in this area, he can become a master of the micro-tour.

Any questions?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Afternoon Reflection

Following my blog buddy's fine example*, I got an early start, finished my work early, and headed out before nightfall. It was an opportunity which allowed for a healthy dose of afternoon reflection. Highly recommended.

* - I didn't start quite as early as Jerome did.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Words.

Work pain.

Home late.

Dark out.

Suit up.

Light on.

Crank spin.

Wheels roll.

Cool air.

Wet mist.

Breathe deep.

Stress drop.

Hope back.

Back home.

Nuff said.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Season's Sought Out Rewards

Continuing the theme of my last post, I realized that time is limited.
The rewards I seek will not be around much longer.

So as I am prone to do, I pushed off into the chilly early morning.

And as mentioned yesterday,
I didn't find entire hillsides of glowing yellow, orange, or red.

But I did noodle around a few spots I thought might look pretty nice
in the morning sun about this time of year.

And some of them pleased me greatly.

It was a mighty satisfactory outing, and I am a fortunate man.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn More Subtle

In Denton County, Texas, autumn's stunning beauty doesn't slap us in the face. Instead, it is something more subtle. Unlike our neighbors to the north who can't avoid ubiquitous forest-on-fire views, we enjoy the season's rewards when we seek them.

There are pockets of glory for those who put themselves in the proper place, and who are aware. Just like one will miss the magic of sunrise while caressing his pillow, we might lament our geography if we aren't outdoors, moving slowly enough, and watchful.

The irony, of course, is the lofty value of that which must be pursued. There is celebration when we find, as it were, "rare" beauty. We are proud of the investment made, and like the hunter, our skill in tracking prey.

So the volume of bright colors in Denton County might not compare to some places, but we treasure what we find. And what we find when we slow our pace, compels our hearts to love our place.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble

One of those lovely rural Texas streams

I am pleased to announce that the Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble is on! The route is improved for this year. Unlike last year, which was an "out-and-back" route, this year's route includes an approximate 35-mile loop with a 4.7 mile out-and-back spur from the loop to Rosston, providing a route total of roughly 45 miles.

Within 10 minutes of the start

Because I feel an obligation to possible participants to actually see the entire route beforehand, today was Ramble Reconn day. I think you'll like what we have planned.

Sample surface, your shadow may vary

This year's Ramble is scheduled for Saturday, December 18th. So far, a handful of guys (last year's participants mainly) have indicated that they'd be coming, but I am inviting anyone who wishes to participate to join us.


Those who wish to participate will understand and agree to the following provisions...

1. The ride leaves from my house, which is about 10 minutes northwest of Sanger, Texas.
2. This is NOT an organized event (no registration, no fees, no T-shirt, no sag, and no support). It is simply a group of friends who choose to ride bicycles together. Participants are responsible for themselves.
3. Other than the historic Rosston General Store, which is about halfway into our 45-mile route, there are no services of any kind.
4. This not even close to a race. It is a RAMBLE, which means we ride a pace slow enough for old men (like me) to carry on a conversation. We are cyclotourists, and we don't drop anyone. We might tend to spread out a bit, due to people riding at different speeds and stopping for photos at different places, but I (as your ride leader) will have us regroup at key points.
5. We might stop for a civilized refreshment break at one or more places along the route. Bring a snack, if you wish.

Another stream crossing

The start time and directions to the start will be provided later. This year's start will likely be later than last year's rollout at 8am. I'm thinking (for now) around 10am so that folks driving up from various locations in DFW will not need to leave home so early. That probably means a mid-to-late afternoon finish. So, if you really are interested, block out the entire day on your calendar.

Off the route through private property

A vast majority of the route is gravel county roads. It is rural and is a low-traffic environment. If some of the roads have been recently "maintained" (like today), there will be places where the gravel is relatively deep and challenging for skinny tires. If there is rain before the event (unlike today), there might be a few muddy spots.

A little steep in places

I recommend 28mm tires as a minimum, and will be using tires that are either 37mm or 41mm depending on which bike I choose. I expect a wide variety of bicycle types to be represented, including several road bikes. So, although there are some rough spots, a mountain bike is not necessary.

Old abandoned bridge

Like last year, I'll reserve the right to cancel if I don't like the weather conditions. Although I ride all year long, I'm not what we call "hard core". Generally, I'd probably not ride if it is below freezing, cloudy, and windy. I might not ride if there is hard or steady rain. However, cloudy and drizzle with temperatures in the upper 40s could work. In other words, I don't mind a little cold, or a little wet, but I don't tolerate a lot of either.

Autumn road side colored grass

As I recall, it was about 31 degrees, breezy, and sunny when we rolled out last year. The sun stayed around and it warmed up through the day. No problem.

Last year's refreshment stop still lovely

If you are considering participating in the Ramble, here are a few links to prior posts from this blog about last year...

Although some of the route for this year is different, the spirit of the ride is the same.

One of the rocky places

If you've been looking at the photos in this post, I think you'll agree with me that this year's Ramble has the potential to be a great way to spend the day bicycling with friends through the countryside.

You in?

The way to ramble