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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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

 

 

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

Another Post Without A Picture

As the subject line says, another post without a picture.  Today, I changed the blog’s About page.

This weekend, I’ve made it to the gym twice – Sunday and this morning.  Early morning workouts when the gym’s nearly empty are good for me.  The Planet Fitness in Stepford finally installed a bike rack, but it’s outside and not visible from inside the facility, so that’s not going to be one of my cycling destinations.  The shopping center where the PF’s located is high traffic and I’d be bummed to lose a bike to a drive-by thief.

Saturday took a 21 mile ride and today 24.  On the way home today, I ran into a fellow I know from the bike club and we rode a couple of hill loops near his house.  Got rained on just a little.

In a recent post about the local Ride of Silence, I may have implied that most of the folks in the bike club are on the snooty and effete end of the spectrum, but truth is there’re a lot of people in the club I like.

This afternoon, I drove over to the county seat to have lunch with some friends there. My wife and son had driven over earlier, while I was still riding.  The women were doing hair-coloring and, as I found out when I got there, assembling garden furniture in the living-room.  Theodore and I played a couple of games of Sequence against his wife and Caution-Lady.  They won a game, we won a game.

Back home, I’m getting some of my laundry done for the coming week.

And yes, on my mind today those who have lost their lives in defense of this country and our God-given freedoms.

Bike Days

I think this last Thursday or Friday was Ride Your Bike to Work Day and last week was Bike to Work Week.  Something to do with Bike Month.  Because I work about 30 miles from the house, riding to work wasn’t something I was going to do, however, I take a bike to work most weeks, leave it there, and ride at lunch.  I’ve established three or four different routes, changing them as various subnormals* leave their pitbulls unchained in front of their domiciles.  Shooting the dogs would unnecessarily complicate my workday, so I’ve found other places to ride.  Usually about three to four miles, maybe 15 minute rides depending on headwinds.

Last Wednesday was the local bike club’s Ride of Silence to honor those who’ve been killed while cycling and to raise awareness among motorists that cyclists share the roadways with them.  I’ve ridden along on one other Ride of Silence two or three years ago and had found the experience unpleasant but one that also proved valuable in terms of insight gained.

This year, I brought my young son along because it was something he said he’d like to do.  I wanted my son to ride with me so he’d have some experience riding with a group and some safe experience riding on the street with traffic present.

This year, I’d adjusted my expectations based on my previous experience.  My son and I showed up only a little bit early.  I didn’t bother trying initiate talk with anyone beyond a distant “Hello.”  Not surprisingly, a couple of kids with whom my son’s slightly acquainted from school did not speak to him.  Three people I really like spoke to me, and it was good to see them – it’s been over a year, maybe closer to two, I think, since I last did anything with the bike club.

My son had trouble riding slowly – about nine miles per hour – and some impatience with riders ahead of him slowing unpredictably.  He did a pretty good job of keeping his bike’s wheels from overlapping those of other riders.  He found the Modikoso uncomfortable at first, and I may need to get him a bike-fit appointment one weekend soon.  Amazingly, he was able to maintain total conversational silence during the entire ride.  Afterward, back at the house, he told me it’d been VERY difficult to remain silent during the ride.  He also expressed some disappointment that our police escort rode bikes instead of the cars with flashing lights he’d expected.

Overall, this was a much better experience for me than my last Ride of Silence, because I’d adjusted my expectations regarding the other participants and because I got to ride with my son.

*EDIT: I call them subnormals not because they live in mobile homes, have several junky-looking cars parked in their driveways, possibly perform shift-work through temporary agencies at the area’s few remaining factories, or even because they have pet dogs some of which are pitbulls. I call them  subnormal because they fail to responsibly keep their animals confined.  $.02

Modikoso So Far

Modikoso So Far

Turns out I was able to find components around here beyond reasonable priced.  Ancient, road-rash, big Dura-Ace crankset plus Shimano 600 side-pull brakes.  NOS 105 9-speed shifters.  Seatpost and stem purchased from the frame’s seller.  Dura-Ace 9-speed RD I already had.  Same for handlebars.  The entire thing assembled at Woody’s Bike Shop.  Bike still needs a different front fork – carbon fiber, probably.  Also junky plastic bottle cage I had in a parts bin in the garage.  This frame will never make a cyclocross bike – rear stays clearance w brakes installed allows for maximum width 28mm tires.  Panaracer Paselas 650c in that width allow for a little surface versatility, but lack of clearance contraindicates success in muddy conditions.  My son loves the bike.  Here are a few pictures of the Modikoso so far:

Modikoso Panaracer Pasela 28mm

Modikoso D-Ace RD 105 9sp Cassette

Modikoso D-Ace Cranset & MKS Lambdas

Modikoso 600 Sidepull

Modikoso Bars & 105 Levers