Looking over the shoulder

Sam Hoover helped me start this blog.  He then left town.

There are no links between those two statements, but they are important facts regarding the commencement of these ramblings.  Sam knows about web sites and was happy to help me start my then new venture.  I have now rambled on since the middle of last November. You happen to be reading blog #100, a milestone of sorts.

Rambling/writing does not come easily.  One thing I did to help myself was to read Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.  My mother, an editor, gave me a copy some years back.  I finally read it.  The injunction, “Omit needless words!” stuck with me; I strive to obey (e.g., I have already shortened one of these sentences from ten to four words!)  My older brother [Deacon Rick] writes on worthwhile topics in a wonderfully readable style, but that trait was not handed down to me.

Anyway, I decided on this occasion to revisit some photos from some of the previous 99 blogs.  I leave some of the original captions on them and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed sharing them.


This late fall sky was in my first blog.  A cyclist will always have comments about the weather that he finds himself in.  So, I show what the current conditions are throughout the year.

That is a winter sky if I ever saw one.

Our son and his family were in Colorado when I posted this pic.  He is becoming quite the cyclist and before they left for Colorado, he joined me on a few local rides.  This particular ride was on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

We have a persimmon tree in our neighborhood and I followed the ripening fruit closely.  We recently checked on it and we are in store for a bumper crop.

In December, I started posting some Brownie poems by Canadian Palmer Cox.  I originally planned on doing twelve poems, one for each month, but stopped last Spring because formatting the poems was more work than it was worth.

I tried to keep on riding during the Fall, Winter, and Spring.  I have proper clothing for cold temps and always looked forward to the adventure of being out on my own in the cooler days.

The Robert-Dryer cabin on FR 193

Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays.  Putting luminaries out Christmas Eve has become a tradition in our family.

Soon after the New Year our son and his family left for Colorado.  It would be quite some time before we had our chalk artists to decorate the driveway.

We had a bigger snow season than usual which kept the riding and outdoor activity to a minimum.

Following a trip to Florida, we were able to get out more.  Spring was on its way.

Late April Sam got a job at Focus On The Family in Colorado Springs.  Katie and the children came back to Springfield for a week’s visit.  Sam came at the end of the week and we all helped to load up the truck for the move to the Springs.  I had never been there.  I can see why people love it.

The Mountain

I just like the next picture.  That is why you have to look at it again.

In early May I purchased fenders and panniers [saddlebags] for my commute bike.  Since then I have been riding to work more than driving the truck.  The route is pretty basic, but I have added some distance to it by heading out south before working my way up north. Sometimes I have done a short two or three mile jaunt during lunch.

I find the drivers in Springfield to be mainly tolerant of cyclists.  I have had only one person yell at me and only a couple of drivers try to thread the needle when they passed me.  I now find myself riding more with an attitude than in the past.  I don’t hug the curb or the edge of the road anymore.  I try to make myself visible.  I try to create an environment where a driver will need to give me plenty of room when they pass.  But, I also try not to be stupid.  I have a mirror and I know what is coming up behind.  If I sense that the driver behind me is erratic, then I will take defensive measures.

I usually ride by the Shrine Mosque while going to and from work.

In the Spring, Jan and I started to get out more and more for an evening or weekend ride. We sometimes ride with the group from the Cox Meyer Center on Wednesday evenings. Most of them are preparing for the MS150.  We will not be doing that ride since we cannot see the point of committing to do a ride scheduled for a later date, only to have terrible weather come up when the time comes.  Many times we get out on the road, just the two of us and our four wheels.

So there you have it.  My look back over some of the pictures I have shared with some thoughts thrown in for good measure.

I want to express my thanks to our son Sam for helping me get started on this path. Thanks also go to my sweetie, Jan, for putting up with me while I peck away on the PC. And finally, I thank you, dear reader, for joining me on this journey and caring enough to listen to me and to look at what I have found.

Stay happy,


About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
This entry was posted in bicycle commute, Colorado Springs, Commuting, Cycling, road cycling, springfield missouri and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Looking over the shoulder

  1. Bill Lambert says:

    Congratulations on post #100! I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to many more interesting insights and photos.

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