Archive for November, 2008

h1 | View Holiday City: Loop Riding North From The Holiday Inn in Holiday City, Ohio

November 11, 2008

Riding in 36F. | View Holiday City: Loop Riding North From The Holiday Inn in Holiday City, Ohio

Geotrack Pictures taken on the ride also available on

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Experiments in Layering for Cycling in Cold Temps

November 9, 2008

This Fall has been a continual experiment in layering for cycling.  Today I tried some new combinations on the road bike with mixed results in 38-41F.

Some of the factors in the mixed results have been going back and forth between the road bike and mountain bike for the past few weeks.  Also, the weather has bounced from cold rain to Indian Summer to more cold temps, making trials a bit inconsistent.

I finally tried my booties over top of the clipless pedals.  They were nice at keeping the air flow away from my feet, but my feet stayed a bit cool, but not cold,  on the ride.

However, I used my insulated Cannondale pants for the first time today.  They have a modicum of stretch and wind resistance to them and were worn on top of 200G polypro jumpsuit that works nice under a drysuit for diving.  I’ve used the 200G jumpsuit before, but it was mountain biking.

This combination left me feeling like I was pedaling in molasses today.  We had a bit of a head wind on the outbound leg that contributed, but on the return leg I was feeling some tightness in my knees and hips.  While the clothing seemed loose enough walking around there might be enough binding between the layers, using more energy/effort on the pedaling.

More experimentation yet to come!


Too much of a good thing?

November 5, 2008

Another visit to the Oakwood mountain bike trails in Napoleon left me plenty sore and seeking the relaxation of the hotel hottub!!

I took another spin around the various trails, then after I got nice and warmed up, I focused on “hill repeats”… going up and down some of the sharp ascents and descents.  I figured this would be great practice for some of the hills in Cincinnati that I loathe on my road bike.

I’m not sure how recommended this is, but I found that I had a better go of the hills when I reached down and “locked out” the front forks before the ascent.  Otherwise it seemed that the shocks absorbed so much of the energy I was putting into the pedaling that I ground to a halt before the summit.  Once I locked out the forks, I was able to tackle any of the hills, even those with many roots.  Of course, once back on flats, or before the descents, I would reach down and unlock the shocks so that I didn’t get jarred to death or bounced off the bike.  It only took me a short steep decline to learn that lesson… LOL!

Anyway… that hot tub sure felt nice… and my back is looser…. now… where is that Aleve!! 🙂

I’m sure looking forward to getting back on the road bike when I get home!!  There’s a potential group ride Saturday morning for the Cincinnati Bike Club I just joined, and a Saturday night ride in Xenia with a group from Greene County and the Pedalopolis forum.


7 Miles of Mountain Biking at Oakwood Park in Napoleon, OH

November 4, 2008

It seems as of late, I’ve been doing a lot of mountain bike riding.  Looking at my training log, that is surely the case.  Why?  1) Perhaps because we just got new mountain bikes a couple of weeks ago, 2) With the sun setting quickly in the evening, it’s a great way to get a good workout packed into a short amount of time, 3) The completeness of the workout, both for building leg strength on the short intense hills of the trails, and the upper body workout from handling, twisting, pulling, and balancing the bike as the trails turn sharply around trees and obstacles…. something entirely missing from riding on the road.

Tonight I ran over to Oakwood Park in Napoleon, OH.  I’d only learned of it a few days ago when I was perusing the SpokeJunkie website.  I had no idea it was this close to the college where I work (Yes… I live near Cincinnati, not near the college… a distance employee of sorts that travels around… hotels are my friend… LOL).

This MTB trail has a bit of everything for a novice MTB’er like myself….. trails littered with roots, fast drops, short intense climbs, log crossings, off-camber maneuvering (think “side of hill” riding), and flats for recovering.

The sun was setting pretty quickly when I arrived, so I had little time to waste.  Attaching my light, I made off for the trail and found one of many entry points to the single track (from the gravel path that circumnavigated the ball diamonds and parking lots.)

The trail has a lot of variety to it.  It was a bit of a challenge primarily because there was a thick leaf cover making it tougher to figure out which way the trail was going.  It hid some stuff like ruts and roots too, keeping me light on the handle bars and soft on the seat.

There is a gravel path that goes around the ball diamonds and park lots.

As you can tell, I didn’t have any fun at all!

I’ll definitely be back… if not tomorrow, then soon!

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Holding dear what is Precious

November 3, 2008

I was reading through a blog today,  Fat Cyclist,  that chronicles the beginnings of a cyclist return to health, his riding, and battle with weight loss.  Jumping around to different posts, I came across a post that was crushing…. the battle his wife is waging with cancer… how the battle is winding down to it’s inevitable end as she moves from coherence to incoherence day to day.  A Cycling Apparel company, Twin Cycle, has stepped up to the plate and is passing along profits on XL and larger jerseys to help them defray ambulance and hospital cost.

Carpe Diem…. Seize the Day that you have available with your loved ones, and don’t let those precious moments slip by without sucking the marrow of life from the time you have on this earth together.


East Fork State Park Mountain Bike Trails

November 2, 2008

What an awesome day for screaming around on some mountain bike trails!!!

Today we wanted to head back out on the bikes…. road bikes vs mountain bikes…. hmm…. what the heck!  Let’s go mountain biking.  The next question was where?  Our last couple of MTB rides were up to John Bryan SP, so we thought we’d go out to the trails at East Fork State ParkWe’d attempted this once, but I turned the rear hub into rice krispies on the chinese schwinn retail store mtb…. not designed for real trails!!

Penny on Trail

Penny on Trail

The easy trail is 2.3 miles long and involves more elevation changes, has more roots to travel over, and takes different skills than John Bryan MTB trails.  To compare the two, East Fork takes better pedal control (so as not to spin over roots when climbing) and John Bryan takes more steering control (lots of trail between narrow trees).  Neither the John Bryan nor the East Fork “easy” trails are very difficult and can be fun for novice riders.

Bob on trail

Bob on trail

There were a few people out on the trails, so we pulled over to let others by, either those oncoming or those that caught us from behind.  Once back to the parking lot, Penny opted to sit out the next ride, instead taking her camera out for a walk.  We all have our days when not as strong as others, and this one wasn’t hers, so I opted to try the intermediate trail for my next ride.

Intermediate Trail

Intermediate Trail

The intermediate trail is 2.9 miles long and more of the same… lots of big roots, repetitive roots, and constant/bigger elevation changes with faster single track.  It was a blast to tackle for the first time, and I pushed a bit harder at different times because it had some long fast sections as well. In a few areas I was flying through and probably barely in control, but it was a helluva lot of fun!  Woo Hoo!!!

Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious

Parts of the trail over look the steep decline into the lake, so I stopped to snap a few pics of the water and trail along the way.

Water Below

Water Below

it was a georgeous day, 70F, and an awesome workout on some cool trails!  We also talked with some others that were on the trail as well…. nice folks!  Some mentioned other trails we need to try, like those at Paint Creek State Park.  Many more mtb trails can be found using the Spoke Junkies website.


32 Miles Down and Back from Kingsview to Camp Dennison

November 1, 2008

After a week of riding the mountain bike, today was a beautifully warm day for a ride on the road bike.  We opted to ride from Kingsview Industrial Park and go south on the Little Miami Trail.  Aside from going to Loveland occasionally, we hadn’t gone this direction in a while.  In fact, it had been several weeks for me.  Not wanting to overdo it, we planned a 30+ mile round trip down to Camp Dennison.  There were lots of smiling people out on the trail today enjoying likely one of the last 70F weekends this year.

We kept the pace light, looking around and taking in the landscape, and asking other users on the trail how they were doing.  It was pretty much a perfect day to be outdoors enjoying an Autumn day, especially after the cold rain and 20F weather I’d experienced earlier this week in NW Ohio.  I’m looking forward to more of this great weather tomorrow!