Back to First Grade

We have had what can be mildly termed Bad Weather for the past dozen days or so.

Snow scrapers seem few and far between around here sometimes.

Snow scrapers seem few and far between around here sometimes.

Friends and others who live in Colorado or Canada scoff at such comments and I understand that.

I don’t have a fat tire bike or snowshoes, so I take to the truck when the snow flies.  The Steed stands in the garage all forlorn as though champing at the bit to get out.

Melting started this week and here comes the commute, albeit the a.m. segment had its share of rutted roads and small sections of ice to deal with.

Roads clearing as we write!

Roads clearing as we write!

I discovered a need to relearn Clothing Rules To Follow In Cold Temps.  Such as

  • Windchill
  • Remember Windchill

Class will resume session tomorrow.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Thanksgiving 2013

Sam and Fam came to the Ozarks for the recent holiday.  We did many things and had a good time.  A few pictures will suffice.

We all got to join in putting the Christmas Tree up.

We all got to join in putting the Christmas Tree up.

Jan and the children planted miniature hollyhocks in the back yard.

The garden, as such, was gone, but the children loved planting the flowers and wondered if they would sprout before they left for home.

The garden, as such, was gone, but the children loved planting the flowers and wondered if they would sprout before they left for home.

I was able to sag one of Sam’s runs.  This was a first for me and I gave my effort a B-.

Sam ran while I rode my bike along with him.  We went to a local park where we met up with the rest of the family.

Sam ran while I rode my bike along with him. We went to a local park where we met up with the rest of the family.

Sam’s running has been good for him.  He has already done a half marathon and a Spartan Run in Colorado Springs.  He plans on doing both again next year.

The Dan Kinney Park on Blackman Road is a favorite place for us.

The Dan Kinney Park on Blackman Road is a favorite place for us.

I did some reflection on this holiday and came up with a couple of thoughts.

The act of thanksgiving has two inherent ideas.  I am thankful [1] to someone or [2] for something.

Therefore, I end by saying I am thankful to God [and being Christian I further refine this thought by being thankful to Jesus Christ] for the blessings and good people and things in my life.

As for the bad, I will read Job.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Rain, lots o’ rain

Lots o’ rain here.

Do I ride in rain?

Yes.

Do I like to start out in rain?

No.

Jan told me today that she thought she had seen everything.

Hardly.

The report is that she saw some old boy riding in the rain with his kickstand down.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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A good Saturday

I got up early Saturday morning and rode a bit in the neighborhood.  Following that, Jan and I went to the Farmer’s Market for apples and then went looking for Christmas presents for the grandson.

We found what we wanted

We found what we wanted

Every fall for the past five years or so, Jan and I visit the local church bazaars.  Wesley UMC was the first one of the season where Jan found a nice gift for someone.

They had a good piano player providing elevator music.

They had a good piano player providing elevator music.

I got a pair of socks for a good buddy of mine.

I got a pair of socks for a good buddy of mine.

By the end of the day we were ready to sit and enjoy a fire in the pit.

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Stay happy,

twofeet

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Change of season 2

My first blog post from November 2010 was titled Change of season.

I had been reading some cycling blogs [specifically SpringfieldCyclist] and thought to myself, “I could write something like that.”  I asked my son how to go about it and he helped me get started.

That first effort reflected on the cold weather that had arrived.  In a way, I had also entered a new season in my life as a blogger.  I started viewing people and places in a new light;  was this person or that event something I could write about?  The view from a saddle presents the world from a different perspective.

I searched out more cycling blogs and think it safe to say if you, dear reader, are not family or a long time friend, then you are one of my good blogging friends.

But of late, I sense a change.  A change of season.

I am setting aside Two Feet for now.

I will still continue the commute.  Jan and I will still get out there when we can (she and I have thought about running once more – one must stay active).

I will also continue to follow and enjoy my fellow blogger’s adventures whether they be rides like Haute Route, CRMBT, mountain bike trails in the Appalachians, the Cheviot Hills of Great Britain, or pictures of Civil War historical markers, backyard birds, road swag and Mt. Ventoux.

Bring it all on.

So friends, keep your tires aired up, your batteries charged and stay on the path.  I will still be there, as a rider over the hill or around the curve, unseen, but still cranking away!

Stay happy,

twofeet

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View from the saddle – Aug. 28, 2013

I wend my way home yesterday and a cyclist calls out to me as I pass the Hammond’s Tower.

Mike!!

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Of course there is no good picture of Mike from the side or front.  He is a horse and leaves any fellow cyclist in the dust.  I was glad to see him, but relieved when he turned for home!

He was transporting dinner, a bag of zucchini.

He was transporting dinner, a bag of zucchini.

Travel on, Mike.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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One bottle

I found myself with some time on my hands Saturday morning.  Jan had gone to a gardening seminar and my primary chores were all done, so I set out for Strafford.  I only took one bottle of water and knew I could refill it while there.

The day promised to be warm, but there was a good breeze out of the east to provide a constant cooling.

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A few years back there was a house here along Farm Road 199.  It was taken down and now even the land along the road has been bulldozed and cleared for some reason.

Cleared land

Cleared land

I took a pit stop at the Strafford Library and also stopped at the convenience store to get a small bite to eat.  At this point I remembered the Strafford Senior Center on the south side of the tracks.  I decided to go there for water since I did not want to delay getting back to my un-locked bike.  I know Strafford is a small town and nothing would probably happen to it, but after all, that bike is the only way home for me!

Well, as you would suspect, the Senior Center was not open.  Now, I drink a lot on rides.  I usually would have brought two bottles with me and not even thought about stopping.  In fact, most of our riding friends would have thought to just turned around and go back for a refill, but not this Fool of a Writer!  I kept going and never thought of going back.  I had a little over a half a bottle left and figured I would make it last.

A pull on the bottle and south of Strafford I caught up with Anne and Burl.

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These friendly folks live in Springfield and by their confession are out a few times a week to get breakfast at this place or that.  They have been riding for years and their kits don’t look bad at all.

We parted company and I headed on home, stopping at Jones Spring before a final climb up Catalpa.  Yes, all that water made me thirsty.

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At the top of the Catalpa climb I met a solitary rider who asked me how to get to Nixa! When he mentioned the Queen City Century Route I directed downtown to Springfield Brewing Company and figured he could get home from there!

I finished all the water in my bottle as I approach home.  Next time – Two Bottles!

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Views from the saddle – Aug. 15, 2013

We start off at the top.  We went down to the Table Rock Lake area and in the afternoon spent the time with our good friend Veneda.  I have written of previous visits here and here.

Veneda and Jan

Veneda and Jan

After lunch our gracious hostess took us out on the lake for a ride.  Here is the Garmin track.

Table Rock is widely known for being a clean, clear lake.

Table Rock is widely known for being a clean, clear lake.

He headed south under the Hwy 86 bridge but did not go as far as Arkansas.

He headed south under the Hwy 86 bridge but did not go as far as Arkansas.

We saw this wedding chapel from afar.  We had visited it on a previous trip and had mentioned it in a blog.  Naturally, being a male, I cannot remember its name.

We saw this wedding chapel from afar. We had visited it on a previous trip and had mentioned it in a blog. Naturally, being a male, I cannot remember its name.

We stopped at a cliff-sided cove and had dessert.

We stopped at a cliff-sided cove and had dessert.

On the way in I caught these three persons having the time of their lives jumping off one on the bluffs.

On the way in I caught these three persons having the time of their lives jumping off one on the bluffs.

Veneda invited us to return for another outing on the lake and we will probably accept.

Prior to this, we had ridden horses at the Shepherd of the Hills attraction west of Branson.

I have not ridden a horse often and took the day off from work to do so.

I have not ridden a horse often and took the day off from work to do so.

Jan has more experience on horseback than yours truly, but I had a good time and ended up just letting ol’ Oreo walk along the trail however he wanted to.

Jan on Winston

Jan on Winston

I used the black/white feature on the camera since the Old West did not have color photos!

And then, prior to this I had gone out on the bike for an early morning ride and had crossed paths with Tracy.

Tracy is such a decent fellow and did so well in Colorado last week.  Just seeing him encourages me to ride some hills!

Tracy is such a decent fellow and did so well in Colorado last week. Just seeing him encourages me to ride some hills!

The sunrise was a sight to behold, giving promise of a good day ahead.

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Stay happy,

twofeet

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An Old Standby

I know when Jan and I get on the road, it takes us a while to get warmed up. Eight or nine miles pass be before we start to feel we made the right choice of activity. She said that someone told her that the older you get, the longer it takes to warm up.

But last Saturday during that initial nine miles the views were good.  We were on an old friend of a route out to Rogersville.

A perfect day to ride.  The days of constant rain were over for a while.

A perfect day to ride. The days of constant rain were over for a while.

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No dried out fields in the sun this year.

We turned down Finbrooke to increase the distance.

We turned down Finbrooke to increase the distance.

Hedgepeth Road is not all that smooth, but who cares?

Hedgepeth Road is not all that smooth, but who cares?

Over the ridge the route turns left and heads north to Rogersville.

Over the ridge the route turns left and heads north to Rogersville.

By now we were feeling pretty good and warmed up.

South of R-ville

South of R-ville

On previous rides we had thought of calling our friends Sam and Linda to meet us for a snack.  Once I called Sam and told him that if he could get to Rogersville in twenty minutes, then I would buy his lunch.  He said he was in West Virginia.  I knew that. Anyway, Jan called them and they showed up pretty much on time.

Good friends

Good friends

As we finished eating I suggested that they drive in front of us so we could draft on the way back to our car.  When asked how fast I suggested about 20+ mph.  Sam pointed out that Linda cannot drive slower than 70!  I guess we’ll pass on that idea.

Something happened to my odometer during our stop.  It went blank and I had to try to reset it on the fly.  I somehow got it on registering kilometers instead of miles.  I will just leave it that way.

Doesn't 100 kilometers sound better than 62 miles??

Doesn’t 100 kilometers sound better than 62 miles??

I mentioned in a previous post two of my blog buds, Tracy and Gerry.  Tracy has just finished the Colorado Rocky Mountain Bike Tour [500 miles] while Gerry and the Vicious Cycle team are set to ride the Haute Route [550 miles] in about a week.  One blog bud I didn’t mention, but should have, is Chris.  He just finished participating in the Leadville 100 MTB race last weekend and finished in a little over twelve hours.

The routes Jan and I do do not have serious climbs.  But there is one rollover that we have named Orbea Hill.  I don’t remember all the details but the name has stuck.

Orbea Hill

Orbea Hill

My riding partner.

My riding partner.

I include this pic since our cat is named Callie.

I include this pic since our cat is named Callie.

Back at Temple Israel, from whence we started, we were greeted by a butterfly that persisted in checking out Jan’s bike.  A good omen.

Some type of fritillary, but   that is as far as I can go.

Some type of fritillary, but that is as far as I can go.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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More of the same

“Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it!” — possibly a quote from Mark Twain.

While my blog buds Tracy and Gerry enjoy the Rockies and make final preps for Haute Route, we in the U.S. midwest have rain and flooding is some areas.

This screen shot could have been taken from any day of the last week.

This screen shot could have been taken from any day of the last week.

Some places north of us have gotten up towards 20″ [50 cm] of rain this week.

Wet in the a.m. and drier in the evening.  That is when we have been able to get out.

It will pass.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Another reason

Jan and I love going to Colorado Springs to visit Sam and Fam.

Come January we will have an additional reason.

Come January we will have an additional reason.

We are staying happy!

twofeet

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Springfield Crits

Last Sunday, Jan and I decided to go watch the Springfield Crits.  These are an annual event held in a blocked off business section in south Springfield.  As it happened we saw a family I know.  Tim’s son, John, raced the Junior and the Cat 4/5 race.  We stayed through the end of the Junior Race and watched the Cat 5 race.  After doing lunch at home we headed back for the end of the Women’s Open and the first part of the Cat 1/2/3 [final race of the day].  A local bike shop, A&B Cycle, and their red van worked the pit as can be seen in the picture below.

John and Ben [?] working away on one of their multiple Junior Race laps.

John and Ben [?] working away on one of their multiple Junior Race laps.

Before the start of the Cat 5 Race.

Before the start of the Cat 5 Race.

As I recall, of the 17 or 18 Cat 5 racers, ten had purchased one-day licenses.  This allows them to get the feel of a race and test the waters without making a year long commitment.

The four participants in the Women's Open section.  The lady in black won in the final sprint and then raced in the next race [Cat 1/2/3]

The four participants in the Women’s Open section. The lady in black won in the final sprint and then raced in the next race [Cat 1/2/3]

The pelaton stretched out during the final Cat 1/2/3 race.

The pelaton stretched out during the final Cat 1/2/3 race.

Sometimes the pelaton rushed by on a path closer to us.  I was amazed at the force of the wind they created as they sped by.  The course was .6 miles and they riders were consistently in the 25-30 mph range.  They raced for 70 minutes and then ended with three laps.  Attacks were constant throughout the time we watched.  Single riders or groups of two or three were always trying to succeed in a break.

These two [Eric and Jason???] were based out of St. Louis and were the only racers I talked with.

These two [Eric and Jason???] were based out of St. Louis and were quite polite. I appreciated the time they took to speak with me.

No, I will never race like this.  But I sure enjoyed the time and look forward to next year.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Riding the Frisco Highline

After three weeks of summer cold [me], Jan and I were finally able to get out on Saturday and put some miles behind us.

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We picked the Frisco Highline Trail which goes northwest out of Springfield and then up north to Bolivar.

After reaching Willard we went north on County Road Z and took a stop at the Willard/Cox Health Center.  It looked like a fixie had beat us to it.

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A few weeks back I came into ownership of a Garmin Oregon [no, they did not pay me to say that].  I know it is not specifically designed for cycling [rather for hiking] but it does a good enough job.  So, with GPS in hand we struck out away from the trail and enjoyed some of the farm roads around the area.

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Going from trail to road was fun and afforded us a wider variety of sights.

This kitten, semi-wild, had a loud meow for such a small body.  If circumstances had been different, we might have tried to take it home and get it all fixed up to stay with us.

This kitten, semi-wild, had a loud meow for such a small body. If circumstances had been different, we might have tried to take it home and get it all fixed up to stay with us.

Of course other animals are just for looking at.

Of course other animals are just for looking at.

We met Connie and Joe up by Pearl.  They were out for a time like Jan and I.

We met Connie and Joe up by Pearl. They were out for a peaceful time like Jan and I.

One thing that I have noticed more this summer is all the green.  This may be since we had and bad drought last summer.

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The Garmin did well [we were never going to get lost anyway] and we plan on extending our route up to Bolivar one day.

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Stay happy,

twofeet

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View from the saddle – July 11, 2013

I dropped the truck off at the shop this a.m.  That resulted in a different route to work at a later time.  I stopped by Brad’s shop to discuss some upcoming work related jobs.  I also found out that he lives on one of the routes that Jan and I do out east.  I told him I would yell the next time we were out.

As I finished crossing over the MLK Bridge I noticed a fellow cyclist coming up behind me.  We crossed the road together on the green light and started talking.

I hope to be in as good a shape as Max when I reach his age.

I hope to be in as good a shape as Max when I reach his age.

I found out that Max was the father of Mike, a fellow cyclist with Tracy.  My two loyal readers may recall that I did a Birthday Ride with Mike, his brother Steve, Tracy and others last December.  Max had ridden into work from Ozark (“I don’t do it too often.”)  I could see that the apple did not fall too far from the tree in that he reminded me of Mike.

Stay happy,

twofeet

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Clear skies

We were able to take another trip to Colorado Springs a few weeks ago to see Sam and Fam.  While there Sam and Katie took a short vacation and Jan and I stayed with the children.  Now that was fun.

Strong wind out of the south the day we drove to Colby, KS.

Strong wind out of the south the day we drove to Colby, KS.

West Kansas is a fine example of Flat.

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The area is a mecca of sorts for those who want to be more fit and live a more active lifestyle.  We constantly saw cyclists or runners and the trail system is extensive.

Tolerant co-existence

Tolerant co-existence while waiting to turn onto Voyager

On the Sunday we were there we took the children for a walk to a park using a trail starting that led from their condo.  Before we got to the trail we saw these intrepid riders toiling up one of the many climbs.

This fellow is wearing a Cafe Velo kit, a riding club based from one of the local bike shops.

This fellow is wearing a Cafe Velo kit, a riding club based from one of the local bike shops.

These two appeared next.  Jan yelled encouragement to the lady who answered back with uncertainty of her survival.  That is what some of those climbs to to you.

Allez!

Allez!

Of course your correspondent picked the easier path of life on this visit.  We visited the condo swimming pool a few times and marveled at our granddaughter’s ability on entering the water.

I took four pictures before I got this one.

I took four pictures before I got this one.

We did not see much local wildlife.  Only this mother and two fawns.

I drove slowly as to not alarm them.

I drove slowly as to not alarm them.

Sam and Katie were not affected by the Black Forest Fire, unlike last year’s Waldo Canyon Fire.  Black Forest was to the northeast of the city and separated by wide stretches of scrub desert.  They were not untouched though.  Friends of theirs lost their home and I offer these final pictures in tribute to their faith and courage as they restart their lives.

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Stay happy,

twofeet

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