As mentioned in my previous post, last week my mental focus was blurred as I was little worried about a medical procedure I was scheduled to undergo last Thursday at the local outpatient surgery center. Better than the local hospital, I’d say, but then it’s likely Pizza Hut is better than the hospital at Stepford.
On 5/15/15, though, the day after anesthesia and semi-surgical probing, I did manage a 15 mile ride (although 35 miles would have accounted for all the dates digits, as abbreviated, and better served my fitness needs). One of the reasons I rode no further Friday is that I had mowing to do before rain set in. The other reason is that, for the first time, I rode wearing a pair of Keen closed-toed sandals. They have stiffer soles than my current pair of New Balance trail runners, which I’ve been wearing when riding platform pedals sans toeclips. I wear the sandals around town and when paddling canoe or kayak in warm weather without problem or discomfort. While riding the Jamis, however, the same lower extremity that was injured in September 2013 and again in December 2014 went numb. Adjusting the sandal’s tightness didn’t alleviate the problem, so I don’t think I’ll be wearing them again to cycle.
I’ve ordered some 5-10 shoes to replace the New Balance shoes I’ve had for the past maybe three years. I also ordered a Bike Tires Direct cycling jersey on clearance to replace the torn Ireland Harp jersey. The BTD jersey is a pretty loud advertisement for the company, but because Stepford has no nearby bike shop, Bike Tires Direct serves that function. So, I feel only a little odd about wearing the jersey. It’s a “race-fit” cut, but in Extra Large it fits okay. I’ve worn it a couple of times this week and, except for its full-length zipper in front that fastens on the wrong side, I like it.
This week, I finished reading Killing Patton, a volume I think was largely ghostwritten in the “voice” of Fox News anchorman Bill O’Reilly and researched by one Martin Dugard who may also have done the ghostwriting. Written at about a sixth grade reading level, Killing Patton: the Strange Death of World War II’s Most Audacious General presents the reader with the usual biographic mosaic consisting of disparate event narratives related to the work’s central theme. I would have preferred something better written, like the work of William Manchester or even Barbara Tuchman, but overall, once I got past the dumbed-down writing style, I enjoyed the factual material. I don’t recommend spending money to read this book, but if your library or a friend has a copy, borrow it and give it back.
Here are a few photos from rides taken during the past couple of weeks:
Image above from a ride I’ve taken a number of times, but this time a farmhouse had been removed from its foundation. I thought the method of constructing the porch, at right, was interesting.
The images above are from an abandoned and off-limits recreational beach on a nearby lake.
This small lake is usually choked this time of year with lily pads, and they can be seen in the images laying atop the exposed mud. My guess is the lake was drained to do some work on the dam – workman appeared to be taking a break on the dam as I stopped to snap a couple of pictures.
The images above are from my ride Sunday afternoon. The house and fence in the sepia-toned image reminded me of Buster Keaton’s film Our Hospitality, probably because Keaton’s character rides a push-bike in the movie’s opening sequences and the house pictured reminds me of the Old South.
I turned to the Cyclo 505 dashboard mapping screen because I was a little uncertain about my next turn, although I’d ridden this way once before. Worked fine. I used the mapping feature later in the day while riding along an overgrown path in the woods I’d previously ridden almost two years ago (I think it was).
I decided to ride through the woods for a few miles to break up the monotony of travel. The path I chose is one my friend, Adrian, and I tried on our Bridgestone’s – MB-6 and MB-4, respectively – maybe two and a half years ago. We rode on a rainy day in very early Spring, and it was pretty cold out. When we got to the running creek’s ford, pictured above, the rushing water was about knee deep. I got about halfway across carrying my bike when Adrian persuaded me to turn back. We eventually found an alternate route.
This time, although it had rained the day before, water was only a little more than ankle deep and I easily carried the Jamis Super Nova across (although I’d earlier ridden through a smaller, less rocky-bottomed stream). I was glad to have the Cyclo 505’s mapping feature during this part of the ride. I was glad I’d used a cloud of bug spray before I left the house, too. The path I chose came out on a gravel road by a power plant, but I rode out of the area on the overgrown track above center. I’m happy to say the Jamis Super Nova cyclocross bike, its Dura Ace components, and its Continental Tour Ride tires seem equal to most of the conditions I’m willing to ride.
That’s me wearing my third Catlike Kompact’O helmet and my new Bike Tires Direct jersey. I’m hoping the new Kompact’O holds up better than the previous two helmets, and that the new jersey (har) holds up better than that Ireland Harp jersey.