Archive for November, 2008

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Ohio River Trail: Final Funding Drive

November 30, 2008
Ohio River Trail

Ohio River Trail

The “Ohio River Way” is seeking final funding/donations for the portion of the Ohio River Trail to complete the segment between the Little Miami Trail and downtown Cincinnati.  They have identified $12 million in funds, but require private sector support for the final $4 million.

Every bit helps, so I donated.  Will you?

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Riding and Rolling

November 29, 2008

We got back early enough from Virginia that it was still light out and the weather was nice.  So of course, we headed out for a ride!  We hadn’t been on road bikes in two weeks, and last Sunday was a mountain bike ride.  That meant we wanted something easy to just loosen up from the drive back from Mom’s down south.  Stepping along with a high cadence, the ride was about 13 miles long from Kingsview to Morrow-Cozzadale road and back, but felt great.  Feeling frisking at the end of the ride, we “lit it up a  bit” near the end.  Penny zipped off ahead of me, and I hit about 26mph to catch and pass her. Definitely fun after the 6 hours in the car today!

Sitting on the porch at home was the new rollers I’d ordered from Nashbar.  After cleaning up the tires on the bikes, I brought my bike in for a test ride on the rollers.  It took a couple of minutes to get the hang of the balance, but soon I was shifting through the gears and going no where at 10mph in the house… LOL!  I spent about 10 minutes on them, definitely feeling it in my legs, abs, and arms.  These rollers will be a great addition to my riding!

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Mountain Biking at Landen-Deerfield

November 23, 2008

Even though we only live 5 miles away, we’ve yet to make it to the mountain bike trail at Landen-Deerfield until today.  Our original intention was to go out on the road bikes, but Penny’s front tire was flat (and we found where the tire was punctured, so we modified our plan and decided on a mountain bike ride).

We weren’t sure exactly where the entrance was, but knew that a trail led into the woods from Landen Drive at the end of Landen Lake, so we parked there and rode off into the woods.  From the last time we had walked in here, there were signs placed that said “Landen Residents” only.  Hmmmm…. was this a trail for locals only?  Continuing on, we came to a junction that indicated the main trail.

The trail has a bit of up and down, a couple of creek crossings where we had to walk the bikes across, and a few technical root sections.  When we climbed the hill about 3/4 around the track, we saw a parking lot and asked one of the local riders where this was.  He indicated where he drove in, giving us an idea of where we needed to park next time.

We finished out the circuit, back to the “locals only ” trail where we started, and decided that was good enough for the day.  As we arrived back at the car, I heard “psssssssssssssssssss”.  It was coming from Penny’s rear tire.  Just as she was arriving back to the vehicle, something punctured her tire as she rode across the grass…. d’oh!!

This is a nice 2 mile track, providing a nice place for a local ride.

Trail at edge of Ravine

Trail at edge of Ravine

Trail at edge of Ravine 2

Trail at edge of Ravine 2

Penny at edge of Ravine

Penny at edge of Ravine

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Choosing between Resistance Trainers vs Rollers… trying out the rollers!

November 23, 2008

I’ve known for a few weeks that it’s going to become less and less practical for me to get out and bike several days a week with the sub-freezing weather setting in.  Sure, I’ve gotten the hang of some of the layering and gotten a decent light for these shorter days, but even so…. it’s just not happening as often, even when I take the bike with me to the hotel.

We certainly have other cardio options.  There’s an elliptical and a recumbent bike here at home, both are nice quality and easy to use, when we’re properly motivated.  But I hate to get less “bike-seat time”, so I’ve been looking at my options for using our bikes indoors, especially after seeing Scott Lang’s Resistance Roller a few weeks ago.

So… the primary consideration as been a Resistance Trainer, the type that clamps the rear wheel skewer and lets the bike ride on a resistance wheel.  I’ve been trying to find a balance between price, value and functionality…. magnetic trainers vs fluid trainers.

resistancetrainer

Heading over to the bike shop, I wanted to see a few more of these up close and personal…. even got on a couple of demo units….. and there it was… sitting next to the r-trainers was a “Roller”….. very simply, 3 rollers that lay flat on the floor, two that the rear wheel sit on top of and spin on, and the third for the front wheel to ride against.  Hmmm…. “What’s that like?  Is it very hard to use?”  They grabbed a bike and showed us how it worked.  The LBS-guy, who does some talented things around the inside of the shop on bikes, got off to a wobbly start, but soon was spinning very smoothly.  Picture someone putting there bike up on a roller conveyor and then start pedalling…. yikes.  I watched a bit, then asked if I could give it a try.  Well… let me tell ya… I tried a few times to get underway, but each time would loose balance and ride off the side of the rollers.  I wasn’t about to let this piece of exercise equipment get the best of me, so I kept trying… unsuccessfully, I might add.  So one of the guys brought over a stand that I could hold on to while I got the pedals spinning.  After a bit, I let go and weaved back in forth on the rollers until I got things stabilized.  With good momentum going, it wasn’t hard to balance at all.  Penny gave it a shot too, but opted to remain in contact with a solid object for balance while pedaling.  As she put it, her heart was racing a thousand miles a minute…. “Well that settles it!! This is a great cardio workout!”  The intimidation factor alone will get your heart rate up!!”

rollers

What I see as “pros/cons” for the rollers:

  • Requires balance and uses the upper body and front wheel for adjustment
  • Keeps the core strength up (as part of balancing)
  • Simulates a nice “moving bike” indoors
  • Possible to fall off of and crash into something

What I see as “pros/cons” for the resistance trainer

  • Held in fixed position so that focus can be placed on the spin technique
  • Doesn’t require effort to balance (both a positive and negative)
  • Can just mindlessly spin along
  • Locks your body into an artificial position and can’t simulate “climbing” except on high-end units

Given some of these, I decided I wanted the rollers.  The challenge of the balance and keeping the body’s core “in play” was nice.  Since we do both mountain biking and road biking, I think it will be good to keep all of the muscle groups used for biking engaged.  The resistance trainer seems just bit too much like another piece of “fitness room” equipment, and I have access to enough of that type of equipment already.

With all this in mind, I ordered a set of rollers.  With any luck, it might even be suitable for transport to hotel rooms this winter.

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Friends of Little Miami State Park Trail

November 17, 2008

The Little Miami State Park is unique as far as State Parks go.  It is a linear park that is 60 feet wide by approx. 60 miles long.  This presents opportunities for maintenance coverage, and even funding.  Most State Parks can gather additional funding for projects and such via camping fees and concessions.  LMSP has none of these, so is limited to the state funding it receives.  This, among other challenges like bridge repair, are why a vision for a friends group modeled after what some other state parks have was conceived.

Last night was the kick-off meeting for the new Friends of “Little Miami State Park Trail” group.  The turn-out was incredible, drawing people from many walks (and rides) of life, including former Governor Bob Taft.

The primary agenda was to inform everyone of Simeon’s thoughts on what the group should be focused on, and then elect an interim Officer core to get the ball rolling.  This would enable the group to start writing by-laws and apply for 503-c status.

Simeon didn’t lobby for the position, but with all the leg work he’s vested in this kick-off, he was unanimously elected as President. Even when there was more than one person interested in a position, compromises and graciousness were very apparent with the group.  The first steps of this group are off to a very promising start.  I wrote down some areas where Penny and I would be willing to help out, and I’m looking forward to working with a group that has such a great “can-do” attitude!

Simeon started an information page on his Corwin Peddler site.
http://www.thecorwinpeddler.com/Friends_of_the_LMSP.php

I also created a Facebook Group for the Friends of Little Miami State Park Trail.
(I’ll turn this over to a webmaster or group IT rep when they desire, or help maintain this page myself).

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Refreshing Winter Ride from Kingsview and past Morrow.

November 16, 2008

As we loaded up the bikes yesterday, I was second guessing going for a ride.  The temperature was 35F and the wind was gusting heavily.  I was getting cold just going in and out of the garage.  We thought, what the heck… if it’s too cold, we’ll just do a short ride and enjoy what we can get.

Focusing on good layering, bike pants on the legs, good polypro and wind-proofing on the core, and balaclavas, we headed down the trail toward Morrow.  It didn’t take us long to realize that even though our overall average speed was lower, that the riding was very comfortable.  Once we reached Morrow, we kept going on to Stubb Road and the canoe livery.  Penny was feeling spunky, so she hammered it and left me in the dust, saying “see ya in a bit”.  I thought “Hell you say!”, and hammered through the gears to catch back up and lay in on her wheel.  Suddenly she laid off her strong burst, and I had to dodge her tire a bit and surprise her on the right.  She wasn’t expecting me to be right there… LOL!!!  I told her, “I said I didn’t FEEL like going fast.  I didn’t say I COULDN’T go fast!”  😀

Still feeling spunky, we got to the turn around point at Stubb Rd, and opted to return back to Morrow via Mason-Morrow Rd.  This starts off with nice hill ascent/descent, and then some higher speed moderate hills.  By the time we got back to Morrow, we’d emptied our tanks of extra “Vim and Vigor”.  We’d built up a fair amount of sweat, so we had to be careful with our wind layering so as not to get chilled or cold.

On the way back from Morrow, we took some pics of the new signage on the trail.

Morrow riding South

Morrow riding South

Morrow facing North

Morrow facing North

Penny modeling the new Signage

Penny modeling the new Signage

South Lebanon North

South Lebanon North

South Lebanon South

South Lebanon South

We had a great 20 mile ride and felt confident and strong in the cold weather.  We’re looking forward to more winter cycling.  After all…. unlike winter scuba diving, you don’t end up freezing into your equipment when you get done!  Woo Hoo!!!

What fun!

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MapMyRide.com | View Holiday City-CR15-CR16 Loop in Holiday City, Ohio

November 12, 2008

Had some chilly rain to ride in tonight… and here I wore orange because I was worried about the deer hunters… LOL

MapMyRide.com | View Holiday City-CR15-CR16 Loop in Holiday City, Ohio

Geotrack Pictures taken on the ride also available on EveryTrail.com

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