Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fliers almost ready.

Need a couple changes to be compliant with WWP policy. I'll put 'em out in 2-page .Pdf format so you can print them at your leisure.

These are two-sided one-fold fliers on 8.5" x 11" paper. I will rearrange some elements for a one-sided poster-type flier, once I know what I can get away with - that'll probably be on legal 8.5"x14" stock, unless someone complains.

If you haven't sent in some personal info, don't bother, I don't have enough room for that anyway.

Paging: Barlows and crdean cm_shooter...

Send me some info on you that I can put in the flier: Name, age, hometown, vet status?, occupation... yadda.

And pics, I need pics - high contrast/ higher resolution is better.


davidwhill at gmail dawt com

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Roll-Aid Roll Call: Who's still in?

Answer up in the "Comments" section.



Who else? It's been quiet...

Also, if you want a brief blurb about you in the flyer, let me know and email me what info you want included. I recommend telling your name, what city you're from, your age, your occupation and a brief paragraph about why you're in on this and/or what you hope to accomplish with it.

I want pics, too - of your bikes, or your mugs.

Those of you who are promoting this effort with businesses, this flyer is to give you an air of legitimacy, and something to post around to drum up support.

Also: who would be willing and able to leave on Saturday the 9th? Would you prefer that, or the 10th?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A good day...

...NOT to be riding West:


Friday, January 25, 2008

Speaking of adaptive equipment for wounded vets

Check out crazy mister blootoof legs:

New Soldier Ride video

But LiveVideo doesn't support Blogspot right now, so I don't know how to link it directly.

You can watch the video here though...

In other news, I found a hella nice price on an eBay set of 2 Voyageur panniers, so I got that going for me, which is nice. We'll see what else pops up at the Swap Meet this weekend.

On the other side of the coin, I'm not noticing a lot of improvement in the knee. Looks like the weather will be cooperative for a spin this weekend to evaluate it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sun n Ski steps up some more

I chatted with Stephen, the bike manager at Sun n Ski, over by Grapevine Mills at lunchtime.

He volunteered that he could get those of us who are going to Corpus at least 20% off what gear we may need to get the ride done.

He said this as I had a tiny Thermarest Prolite 3 in my hand, which reminded me that some of the stuff I'd like to get together for this and future trips is NOT necessarily biking gear. I told him I thought we'd probably have some takers on his offer and I"d be in touch.

Vaguely relevant, at best

Peter White has an interesting way of looking at things. I very much like his perspectives on bicycle fitment.

Ever wonder if the fact that your butt hurts on long rides is in any way related to your shifters? Mr. White makes a somewhat persuasive case for that right here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

flippin' joints...

So the knee gave me no trouble yesterday or the day before. I took that as a sign to get back to my bike commute, so I won't hold the herd back on the Soldier Ride.

"How'd that work out for ya, Tru...?"

Well, it was great for about 3 miles, it was annoying for another mile after that, and it got pretty ugly in the mile after that. I decided to abort the commute and not make the climb over the bluffs into downtown Fort Worth. Even so, I had a nice 5-1/2 mile ride home with a pissed-off knee.

I got back to the house well after the time I normally leave for work, rushed to change, went out to get in the car and saw it had a flat. Fixed the flat, which allowed me to rub a nice streak of dirt on my pants, went back and changed again, and finally made it to work.

If it wasn't for the knee thing, it'd actually be pretty funny. Besides, if you HAVE to get a flat tire, it's nice when it happens in your own driveway.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Training Ride / Campout

Ray and I did a training ride / campout this weekend to Ray Roberts State Park. It was between 45 and 50 miles each way, and we stayed in the park on Saturday night. It was a good chance for us to get some miles in fully loaded, and I'm sure we learned a few good lessons (I know I did).

Us ready to leave Ray's house. (No, we didn't buy the same bike on purpose)

We got to the park pretty late due to 15mph headwinds and stopping for dinner at Sonic. It sure was worth it though!! We got there in time to set up the small portable TV and watch the Jaguars-Patriots Seahawks had already lost by then.

Here's a shot of our campsite in the daylight the next morning. Those hammocks sure are easy to set up, even in the dark. You can't tell from the picture, but it got down to 30 degrees Saturday night.
On to the lessons learned.

1) I had read that the underside of the hammock needs some extra insulation. I wholeheartedly agree now. I had brought a thin reflective sheet (car sunshield), but I couldn't keep it under me very well, so my backside was fairly cold, even though my 20 degree bag kept the rest of me warm. Next time I'll have an inflatable pad strapped to the bottom of the bag to help with this.

2) Since there were no clouds, we both left the rainfly off. I think this was a mistake, as it probably would have held in some extra heat. Next time, the fly goes on the hammock if it's cold. I had ice crystals inside the hammock when I woke up!!

3) Need to bring warm socks and hat. Socks for sleeping in (as opposed to regular cotton), and the hat for while riding (Ray brought one, said it made a world of difference).

4) Need to bring chapstick. My lips are pretty chapped today. This seems like it's always on my mental "what to bring next time" list. It should be a no-brainer, but I forget it every time.

Anyway, enough rambling. As my first bike camping trip, I'd say it was very successful. I'm pleased by the amount of stuff I can get into my smallish panniers, and it didn't take a lot to get used to riding with the bike loaded like that. Looking forward to the tour even more now.


Friday, January 11, 2008

The quest for panniers - a continuning saga

I mentioned before that I'm looking for some good quality panniers to take on this and future trips. Still am. Sound off if you hear of any.

I'll definitely be looking at this Swap Meet to see if any turn up.

My knee's still complaining about Sunday's ride. I stayed off it all week , but took a quick spin last night. I won't call what it did "hurting", more like "bothering", but it felt like any hammering with the left leg would change that description pretty quickly. I'll try again on Sunday and see what's up.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Proposed Rest Stops on the way to San Antonio

So here's a list of some possible sleep stops along the way. We're still discussing these, so nothing is set in stone.

1st day - Camp at Meridian State Park (78 miles)
2nd day - Stay at the Howard Johnson hotel in Copperas Cove (70 miles)
3rd day - Camp at Blanco State Park (90 miles)
4th day - End in San Antonio (51 miles)

If we do it this way, it would alternate camping with a hotel stay, and the longest days would be after sleeping in a real bed.

Also, there are some bailout options for day 3, in case we are running out of steam in the hills.

Johnson City is 14 miles north of Blanco, and could be a good bailout. It has a Best Western if needed. That would put day 3 at 76 miles and day 4 at 65 miles, but doesn't have any camp sites that I could find. That doesn't mean we couldn't stealth it somewhere, just that I couldn't find any advertised sites.

Marble Falls is another bailout if things look really bad. It's another 24 miles north of Johnson City (via our route), and has lodging. But it would put day 3 at 52 miles and day 4 at 89 miles, so I would say we probably don't want to stop here unless things are going really poorly.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Okay - did anyone notice it was windy yesterday? Geeze. The 40-odd miles South from my house to Cleburne State Park was brutal. We didn't quite follow the route I linked below - we diverted into Cleburne proper for Whataburgers, then had to navigate back toward our original route to get back on my maps.

Neat part: After endless buffeting, suddenly finding myself gliding along in utter stillness. I could converse in normal tones with Mike, 10 feet away because, at 21mph, we were going the exact speed of the wind.

Ginked up my left knee though. The last 40 miles was not good in that regard. For a short time after I got home, it wouldn't take any weight at all, leaving me stranded in the hallway of my house. I had almost the exact same thing at the Tour D'Italia, but in my other knee and not as bad. That took a few weeks to clear up.

At the Tour, it was cool and it rained> I just wore shorts and my knee got sad at about 40 miles. Yesterday, it was cool, and all was great until things warmed up a bit and I took off my knee warmers at Cleburne State Park. After that it took 10-15 miles for the pain to set in.

I'm thinking that getting my bike fit checked and getting in the habit of wearing knee warmers for rides at under 70 degrees for over 20 miles might make all this less of a problem.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

I think Mike and I are going to do an early 90 miler in the morning to see if the bike setups are kosher. Going down to Cleburne State Park against the wind and coming back with 25 mile gusts at our backs.

here's the route:

Thursday, January 3, 2008

RE: Riding much, guys?

Hi All. I hope you had a very happy New Year. I've been under the weather and have not been riding much; however, I am all ready for somewinter riding once I shake this cold! I'm up for both some mountain and road riding.
Also, if any of you would like to be added as an author to this site so you can provide updates for your specific responsibilities, just let me know your email address and I'll send you an author invite.