Monday, May 30, 2011

Rock Sculpture Bonus

I didn't know this was going to be a rock sculpture expedition. Sometimes these micro-tours surprise me. I think I'm going for a bit of a ride and some coffee, and then something else just as amusing is piled on top.

(early start)

(dark and windy)


(coffee prep)

(sculpture in progress)


(clouds like ships sailing)


(first class accommodations)

(early summer color)

(resisting small waves)

(cruising the beach)

(friendly T-Rex)

Some things are planned. Some things are anticipated. And some things are unexpected added bonuses that come to those to make the effort to put themselves in good, for instance, a micro-tour.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reader Help Reconn

The question is, "If I try to give you my point of view during a reconn ride, would you help me evaluate the route for suitability?"

"Suitability for what?" you might ask. Good question. Especially, since I suspect that some of you might have already PEDALED this route.

This route is basically the Second Annual Fall Finale Forty-Mile Country Path Ramble without the Rosston spur. So it's the 36 mile loop without the 4.5 mile out-and-back spur to the general store. Those of you that participated in the Ramble last December have done this route, but not in the summer...which transitions us back to the suitability question.

It didn't take me long this morning to realize that it is summer out there. Now that Memorial Day weekend is here, triple digit temperatures are almost upon us. That means old curmudgeons like myself seek adventure at times more in the dark. So the question is whether this route is suitable for a group ride in the darkness.

As originally conceived, the plan would be to leave my house at 8:30pm on a Friday night and return sometime after midnight. I was thinking of naming it the Midnight Ramble. Mrs. Pondero argued against that plan, mentioning the combination of things like kids, pickup trucks, and alcohol. So maybe I'll consider an extremely early start. Maybe it'll be the Sunrise Ramble. Maybe it would include a dawn coffee brew stop. Either way, the question is, "Would this route be suitable for a mostly darkness shrouded gravel grinder?"

The following photos should give you some sense of what I enjoyed this morning...

There are no "city lights" out here on these gravel roads. I expect some of these areas will be just a little spooky. That, of course, has nothing to do with me trying to get someone to join me for this adventure. Let's just say I like to share the fun.

I think the idea has some merit, but the real question is whether others agree. Because I'm not afraid, and I could go out wandering around in the darkness all by myself, but you know, that would just be selfish of me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


When it was all over, I was astonished by the lightening speed of my thought.

I had an encounter with a skunk today, and it was a short one. Forgive me for not stopping for photos of the critter.

I was on a pleasant patch of gravel, and it came 'round the corner on the edge of the road opposite me. It was traveling south, I was traveling north. In one pedal revolution, I evaluated my options.

(1) I could stop and hope that it would wonder OFF the road, but he was coming toward me with purpose. I've heard that seeing a skunk, normally a nighttime critter, in the daytime is a possible sign of rabies. (2) I could keep going along my edge of the road and hope for the best, but unfortunately I was going downwind. Bummer. (3) I could turn around, but I was getting hungry. Besides, I've encountered skunks before sitting in my tent watching them sniff around inches from me. I was rock still in that tent, but never got the fragrant treatment.

I chose option (2), hugging my side of the road, and surging with slight acceleration. Not too abruptly, mind you. When we got even with one another, I glanced left and saw the tail shoot straight up in the air. Oh no...

At that point, I was becoming a perfect downwind target.

But it wobbled on down the edge of the road with it's tail straight up, and I pedaled north with my heart rate up. It was all for show this time.

So that one pedal revolution process of alternative identification, evaluation, and decision-making, worked out okay...this time.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lingering in Louisville

It was going to take bigger obstacles to keep me off the bike. David went to the trouble to bring his Dahon folder for me to borrow while in Louisville. I didn't want to let him down.

So the cloudy, damp, drizzly weather, and my lack of traditional cycling attire, didn't stop me. Finally, even my employment responsibilities didn't stop me. With a mix of determination, and eager anticipation (emancipation?), I pulled on my boots and rolled the folder out of the hotel lobby.

Other than pedaling around the downtown area, I had no plan. I just wanted to spin the cranks and feel like the luckiest conference attendee in Louisville.

Mission accomplished.

Within an hour, drizzle grew into drops. Since I had Mrs. Pondero's new camera, the smart thing was to seek shelter.

Besides, it was dinner time. And tomorrow, it'll be time to head back home.

But it was good to linger a bit here in Louisville for one more night. Thanks again to my new friends for making a work activity much more pleasant.