2018 Indiana Tour de Corn

For the first time in two years, I was able to return to Indiana during the July 4 holiday, and it was great to be back.  This time, I only took a few short, 30-40 mile rides, but they were my longest rides of the year.  I took a lot of pictures.  Got my son’s bike properly fitted for him by Mike O’Neal at his Greenway 500 bike shop, got new stem there for my Orbea, and a Dirtway 500 jersey for my son.  My son and I  took two fairly short rides together, one of them on the Cardinal Greenway trail.  My rides were over chip and seal farm roads and incorporated the Cardinal Greenway, two of them were to Muncie where I stopped both times for a second breakfast at the McGalliard Chic-Fil-A.  Super courteous service even for sweaty, slightly overweight, middle-aged cyclists in lycra – I highly recommend this franchise if you’re riding through Muncie.

Indiana’s rural beauty was a daily joy to behold and be about in.  We enjoyed spending the week with my wife’s family and the kids all seemed to play well together.  We stayed out late and watched fireworks in a neighboring town.  I’ll post some photos, generally in the order in which they were taken.  Possibly some commentary about them, as well.

Modikoso-at-the-Farm

Orbea-at-the-Farm

Orbea & Modikoso in their temporary home.

Chip-&-Seal-Country-Road

Here is an example of a chip and seal road in fairly good repair.

East-Indiana-Farm-Country-Vista

Fence with wildflowers bordering what looks like a hay field.

Tim-Kelley-Memorial-Shelter

A trailside shelter erected w/in the past two years near Blountville.

Cardinal-Greenway-Map

Trail map near the shelter in the previous picture.

Muncie-Mystery-Quonset-Quompound

Mystery Quonset hut compound/factory at the intersection of Cardinal Greenway trail and Brady Street, Muncie.  Reminds me for some reason of that Mel Gibson film, “Forever Young.”  Makes me want to engage in urban anthropological archaeology when I encounter buildings like this.

Second-Breakfast-Muncie-Chic-Fil-A

Second breakfast – some kind of egg-scramble bowl with hashbrown bits (in box) and Powerade – at the McGalliard Chic-fil-A near the Cardinal Greenway trail.  Since my previous visit, a convenient sidewalk’s been paved from the trail to nearby businesses.

Muncie-Rusty-Rail-Bridge

White-River-from-Trail

Trailside-Warning

Don’t say you weren’t warned

Trailside-Art

Orbea juxtaposed w bike sculpture.

Road-Grime

Grime.  Left leg looked just as dirty, but I thought the right sufficiently illustrative.

Three-Trees

Did I mention it was hot during the week of 4 July?  As I sat resting after taking the snapshot of my filthy leg, I for some reason found comfort gazing at these trees.

Early-Morning-Road

Early on the morning of July 4, I set out by a different route.

Small-Corn-Crossroads

July-4-Flag-House

I rode through a small town of about two hundred inhabitants.

July-4-Tree-+-House-+-No-Person

July-4-Vacant-Church-Building

July-4-House-Patriotic-Display

Distant-Windmills

Windmill

Some windmills along the route.  Closer to Losantville, I got chased by a pit-bull terrier but came to no harm and enjoyed a pleasant conversation the dog’s owner.

July-4-Losantville-Breakfast-Stop-1

July-4-Losantville-Breakfast-Stop-2

After getting a little bit lost, I eventually found my way to Losantville where I ate a second breakfast of egg, sausage, cheese croissant at the Phillips 66 gas station at the intersection of 35 & 36.  Later that night,  my family and I attended a firework’s display presented by a patriotic veterans’ association.

July-4-Firework-1

July-4-Firework-2

Next day, in the afternoon, we took the kids to see The Incredibles 2 at the small cinema on the courthouse square about 30 minutes from the farm.

County-Seet-Movie-Theater

County-Seat-Buildings

County-Courthouse

County-Seat-Red-Entrance

Rode out around Prairie Creek Reservoir and stopped here at Harris Chapel Church of the Nazarene to snack, sip Gatorade, and snap this picture.  The building’s got a water spigot around back that I’ve used in the past when I’ve run low on water.

Harris-Chapel-Naz-Sign

Lovely-Home\

This is my favorite house near Prairie Creek Reservoir.

Later, I took pictures around the farm buildings while my father-in-law showed the kids the grain bins, gave them tractor rides.  The dads (me included) and my father-in-law got the sweep auger out of one of the bins using home-built jig fit to the old Ford tractor’s bucket and some chains.

Grain-Bin-Ceiling

July-4-Barn-Rooflines

July-4-View-from-the-Barn

July-4-Farmer-With-Work-Chains

That’s my father-in-law carrying the chains for the tractor bucket jig.  He is a man who knows his work.

White-River-Trailside-Muncie

That’s the Orbea alongside the White River at Muncie

Cardinal-Greenway-Muncie-Station

Former train station at Muncie, now a Welcome Center or something of the sort associated with the Cardinal Greenway Trail.  That fat blob reflected in the leftmost window is me.

cgbikefest.com-poster

As of this writing, there’s still time for you to participate in this activity.  http://www.cgbikefest.com

Muncie-Neighborhood

This year, I for the most part resisted the impulse to photograph interesting homes along the trail.  I decided to respect the privacy of those who have no choice but to share frequently up-close views of their residential property with trail users.  This view’s not a close-up, though.  Remembe that movie, A Christmas Story?  It’s set in Muncie during the 1950s – these houses remind me of the neighborhoods in that film.

Here are a few pictures of graffiti from part of the Cardinal Greenway Trail as you enter (or leave) Muncie.

Muncie-Trailside-Wall-Graffito-1

Muncie-Trailside-Fence-Graffito

Muncie-Trailside-Fence-Flowers

Muncie-Trailside-Graffito-2

The flower in the image below reminds me of some of the graffiti I saw a few years ago under a freeway or other bridge while paddling downstream from Daleville to Anderson on the White River.

Muncie-Trailside-Graffito-3

And this devilish, voo-doo image

Muncie-Trailside-Graffito-4

On the way home to Tennessee, I saw an odd message on the back of an 18-wheeler’s trailer.  Drive like a boss as opposed to, say, a minion?  the unemployed? a musician?  I’m sure it makes sense to its target audience.

Drive-Like-A-Boss

 

 

 

 

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Astra Constable Parts!

New-Ejector-Slide-Stop-Parts-Huzzah

My family and I got in late yesterday afternoon from the annual 4th of July visit at the farm.  The crops – soybeans and field corn – look really good this year.  The post office yesterday delivered our held mail and in the bundle I was delighted to find…? That’s right, the TWO ejector/slide-stop parts I ordered from that excellent fellow, Mike McClellan, at M & M Gunsmithing of Hazel Green, Alabama.  I got two because one might not be enough.  Various threads on several gun-owners’ discussion boards indicate this part has been known to break.  My own experience indicates replacements are not easy to come by.

Here are a couple of pictures, front and back, of the broken part:

Broken-Ejector-Stop-Front-View

Broken Ejector Slide Stop Back View

Mountain Goat Trail

Mountain Goat Trail Wooden Path

Last Sunday morning, my son and I rode the Mountain Goat Trail at Sewanee.  This was his first ride on a Rails to Trails paved bike path, and he very much enjoyed the largely motorway-distraction-free experience, as well as the opportunity to ride through wooded sections that felt “like the middle of nowhere.”  The trail starts near Woody’s Bike Shop in Sewanee and ends at the Dollar General Store in, I think it is, Monteagle.  No more than five miles, probably closer to 4.6, each way.

The route includes a few gentle hills, maybe two secondary road crossings and one crossing at Highway 41.  Parking’s available at the Sewanee trailhead where there’s also an informational marker discussing the history of the former railroad as well as a topographical map of the trail.  At one point, there’s a 90 degree turn where the trail is constructed of wood and elevated over a declevity and around a property line.  In another place, gravel and sand tends to wash across the bike path from an adjacent gravel/sand pit or quarry – that’s the property around which the trail turns with the wooden elevation.

My son managed managed all of the trail well on his Modikoso superbike except for the gravel and clumps of sand across the path from the quarry.  He had to dismount and push the bike over it.  I rode over it on the Jamis Supernova with no real concern.  On the way back, oddly enough, we found the hazard had been, it looked like, completely washed away.  Odd, because although there’d been slight precipitation during the intervening time, nothing that would clear the trail.  Maybe somebody from the quarry hosed it down?

Mountain Goat Trail Information

 

 

Framed Art for My Office

As mentioned in my previous post, here are some snapshots of some of the stuff I had framed to hang up in my office.  Two of the images – white-matted colorized photo and the layered photographic image of a young woman – were given me about 30 years ago by the artist, Marlene Davies.  Another’s some clippings I collected almost as long ago.  Then, there’re the poster I took from a telephone pole on NW 23rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon, and an uncut sheet of Madman Comics trading cards also acquired while I lived at Portland another longish time ago.

Marlene Davies' Scanner Art

Marlene Davies PhotoArt & Collage Clippings

Exclamation Man

Madman Uncut Card Sheet

Mystery Solved & Broken Pistol

Solution

Duh.  I’d overeaten at a Chinese buffet Friday night.  No wonder I didn’t feel like riding in the evening after I got home.  And Saturday’s lethargy is explained.  Maybe also why I nearly vomited two or three times Sunday morning.  Lesson learned.

Disappointing Machine-Part Failure

Astra_Constable_schem

Astra Constable Leftside

Also, Saturday’s impulse purchase – a nearly new-looking Astra Constable in .380 – broke Sunday afternoon at the range at about the 80th round.  The ejector/slide-catch part broke – a long, odd-looking part that when pictured in the exploding diagram (Numrich’s diagram – click it to visit their site) as part no. 19 resembles half of the Enterprise from Star Trek.  So bummed.  If the pistol proved reliable I’d planned to make it my go-to as it was inexpensive and I’ve got a good holster for it, plenty of .380 ammunition.  Most of the information I’ve found on the Astra Constable indicates it’s a pretty reliable firearm.  Maybe there was a labor dispute at Guernica on the day mine was made.  I knew the Astra was inexpensive; I didn’t know it was fragile.  So bummed.  Behold the broken part:

Astra Part No. 19 Broken

Freakishly Lazy Saturday

This was the view this morning from First Avenue Gallery, Winchester.

First Avenue Gallery

This has been, as the subject line above declares, a day wherein I’ve done little to exert myself physically.  I got up too late this morning to work out.  I failed to take a bike ride.  Didn’t take one yesterday at lunch or yesterday evening even though the weather was fair later on.  Ordered a book a friend of mine wrote to refute somebody he debated.

I drove to Winchester this morning to see Glenn at First Avenue Gallery to pick up some stuff I’d left there for him to frame (maybe tomorrow I will post snapshots).  I made an impulsive purchase for cash.  I looked at Ruger 10/22 rifles, a Springfield 911 and Rock Island “Baby Rock” – both in .380 caliber – at a couple of gun stores.  Both the Springfield and the Rock Island felt like they were made for my hand.

On the way home, I stopped by an estate sale in the neighborhood and found that the older gentleman who was moving out West with his wife had formerly owned the house where my family and I live.  I bought a USB film and slide scanner for $5 – another impulsive but useful purchase.  Back home, I spent a lot of time on the Internet researching my more expensive purchase and ordered a part for it.

Here are some pictures from a longish bike ride a couple of weeks ago – on a day when I got off my aging backside and exercised.  I’ve been riding the Orbea more often, lately.  The pink flowers pictured are fragrant like but milder than laundry dryer sheets.

Orbea at the Pump

Pink Flowers

Lunchtime Bike Rides

Supernova at Lunch

While it’s not ideal for beachwear-model levels of personal fitness, full-time employment and a positive orientation to family is not entirely incompatible with good health.  Most days, weather permitting (that is, if precipitation’s no more than a gentle mist or drizzle and the temperature is above, say, 50 degrees Fahrenheit), I’ll ride a bike on my lunch break.  My usual course is no more than 3 – 4 miles and doesn’t take very long to ride, depending on headwind and sometimes traffic.  The pictures included in this post are from yesterday’s lunchtime ride.

Lunch Ride Road