Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ohio to Erie: The Bike

I was incredibly indecisive about which bike to bring for our Ohio to Erie trip. I didn't have a base of longer rides to be able to say which bike, or which bike setup, would prove the most comfortable over a long day of riding. Or perhaps,  "least uncomfortable" would be a more appropriate term. Combined with a busy rush at work, this found me out in the garage on Wednesday night (before we left on Sunday morning) struggling to get a rack mounted to the Breezer with P clamps. After over an hour of frustration, I couldn't get the rack to sit square and solidly, so I gave up on the Breezer for this tour.

Logically, I should have taken the VO, but I wasn't feeling very warm towards it at the time and wanted to spend some time with my Cross Check instead. I thought my CC setup with the Open Bars would be the one instead. I took a quick shake down run to Kroger:

Of course, in the final days before we left, I had still more changes to make.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ohio to Erie Day 3 and Done

Tuesday found us waking up from our campsite near Alum Creek and creekily getting rolling. We rode the few miles to Galena to stretch out our legs, and stopped at the diner for breakfast:

No need to specify which diner, since there is only one in Galena... but I would recommend it even if there was some competition.

Charles's knee was starting to bother him more, but we only have a short day in front of us, just 30 or so more miles to Mt. Vernon.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ohio to Erie Day 2

Day two of our trip found us happy to be leaving our hotel room and back on the road. Not surprisingly, our $55 rate didn't include a hot breakfast, so we crossed the street again for breakfast:

We wandered a bit around Xenia until we found our way to the Xenia station:


It's the hub of several rail-trails network that converge here. We switched from the Little Miami trail to the Prairie Grass trail and started to head east.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ohio to Erie Day 1


I mentioned a few posts back that I was planning to ride the Ohio to Erie trail with buddy Charles. This is a 300 mile, mostly paved, trail from the Ohio River in Cincinnati to Lake Erie in Cleveland. This Sunday, we boldly set out, starting off with Jodi shuttling us down to Cincy. There was no time for long goodbyes, as the Bengals were getting ready to beat the Falcons right in the area we hoped to unload. Jodi parked illegally, we threw our gear out into a pile on the sidewalk, and we were on our own.

Our planning for this trip was pretty carefree. We spent an hour with Google maps over lunch about a week prior, sketching out distances and likely stopping points. Mostly for my own amusement, I'll record that our original plan was:

Sunday: Cincy to Caesar Creek SP, 54 miles, campsite
Monday: to Batelle Darby Metro Park, 64 miles, stealth camp
Tuesday: cross Columbus to Mt. Vernon, 63 miles, hotel
Wednesday:  to Apple Creek vicinity, 55 miles, sleep in a ditch somewhere
Thursday: to the Cuyahoga Valley NP, 48 miles, campsite
Friday: roll the last 20 miles to Lake Erie, Charles's wife picks us up to head home

There's the Ohio River in the background:

So that part of the plan went OK at least.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New China Carbon

I started thinking about getting a Chinese carbon bike frame (ie, an unbranded frame direct from the mainland China factory) last fall after riding a demo on a nice (but far too rich for me) Trek Superfly. Regular reader(s) will know that I'm a steel guy at heart, so I moved into carbon with a half hearted, tentative step by picking up a used Sette frame off ebay:

Somewhat to my surprise, I found I really like the Sette. It was smooth like carbon is promised to be, but it didn't feel dead and wooden like an earlier carbon frame I tried. This galls me a bit to say, but it feels like a good steel frame, just much lighter.

Of course, now that I had a carbon bike I liked, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Ideally, the top tube would be a hair shorter, the chainstays a bit shorter, making for a tighter handling package. And if I could get a carbon fork that matched, so much the better. I had a bulge in my bike fund from selling the Krampus that just about matched the cost of the new package, so this summer I took the carbon plunge again and ordered an IP-106 from iPlay in China.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Choice of Paris

Paris, of Homeric fame, was chosen by Zeus to decide which goddess was the most desirable: Aphrodite, Hera, or Athena. Each attempted to bribe Paris with various wonderments, but in the end he choose Aphrodite, who had promised him Helen, the most beautiful women in the Greek world (I would have picked Athena, because who can resist the combination of hot, smart, and tough? It's like Jennifer Garner in "Alias.")

This ultimately proved a poor decision, as it precipitated a 10 year war against Paris's home town of Troy, his dead brother Hector being drug around behind Achilles's chariot, the razing of Troy, and Paris's own death.

I have my own choice of three to make. I hope it turns out better.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Play

The boys are a little under the weather, but I still peeled them away from their iPads to drag them to a playground this morning. This was for their own good as much as it was for me try out my CC in family mode again.

I intended to go farther, but excessive whining from our eldest shortened our trip to the Dublinshire Greenway park. Once there, we all had a good time, even though Sam was nervous in this pose:

Kate's hair makes for some good pictures: