Thursday, January 29, 2009

1-29-09 Improvements

Aside from the glass that now is covering the greenway at the walmart "glass canyon" some improvements have come to the west end of the greenway system. While I'm all for making the greenway "flashy and getting the ramps graded right, I think issues of drainage and water puddling, due to settling and improper grading of the path, are more important in the long run. West Knoxville decided the greenway needed a little bling, bling to put them over the rest today...

Greeted this morning on my commute by a rather interesting barrier made of 2x8 lashed together at their center point by what appeared to be coat hangar wire. It looks like they have re sloped the approach to the bridge and allowed for expansion? I dunno but at any pace I thought it might be done by the end of the year at the rate it took them to build the bridge.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong, and by this evening they totally blinged' out the bridge by adding a diamond plate cover to the crack at the end of their ramps. Way to allocate precious infrastructure dollars on diamond plate rather than addressing parts of the greenway that are continually under water during light fog, much less rain. I will applaud that they seemed to put some effort in though, so go whoever did the work!

Also they got rid of the grafitti some punk put on the supports, let's see how long it lasts...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Commuter Prizes and a small update

Ok so I got a little over excited about being able to reliably sustain two blogs at once so the whole "family blog thing" is on hold for now. So back to everything randomly being posted here. With he weather being bitter cold or wet this month I haven't had quite the commuter mileage I would want to get, but things seem to be trending towards a slight warming...

Speaking of commuting here's some super sweet and mildly hilarious "commuter primes" I have gotten recently.

By far the coolest and heaviest primes I've gotten in a while. A nice mag light to see my way with and beat rude motorists off with and a fiberglass "unbreakable" (says it on the handle) hammer. While I'm skeptical about the unbreakable part, I can't think of a better reason to advocate engraving all of you tools now. Anyways what someone was doing with these on the greenway I guess I'll never know.

Ok so let me explain first off I have a general "no clothing" rule. Clothing is in direct contact with people, which are prone to have things that are communicable growing on them. However the home made (with different colors of duct tape) addition to this already politically charged hoody made it irresistible, so I carefully secured it to my rack with a mini bungee and rode home with it concealed so as not to attract the ire of a west Knoxville Bush supporter in a "Cadillac Escalate'". While I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it (Goodwill maybe) this was definitely picture worthy.
A close up of the back.

And the front.

I know some fellow commuter bikes that occasionally hang around campus that might need a little school spirit so I picked this one up too.

One reason I haven't been commuting as much is Ice. The second is salt. I could feel my bike rusting under me when salt was everywhere and dry. When it started to rain last week the pile of salt slush in front of my house made using the KAT transit buses and letting them rust out an increasingly attractive option. Sometimes I question the purpose of a steel steed in winter. As for the ice I got a few pics of some residual snow/ice spots on the greenway when I rode in the other day and I was thinking of ways to stay warm. In one west knox neighborhood there was a water main that had ruptured (from the previous day when it was 8 deg) and a river of ice covered the entire street making riding both challenging and fun. I was also so amused at TDOT's new method for cleaning up ice spots frozen to the road I had to get a picture of that as well...

Two strips of salvation surrounded by a white salty death for metal components.

The ice on the gutter was visible but the stuff on the blacktop was deadly.

At least you can see snow.

How TDOT clears ice when fuel oil prices are low?

Boogy's first snow

In celebration of the new blog dedicated to all things not two wheeled, I give you Boogy's first official snow accumulation experience in Knoxville...

360's for the first 5 minutes unleashed.

Followed by excessive fast and jubilant hopping.

Followed by trying to eat all the snow in a 1 hectare area. This is accomplished by running full tilt with your mandible lowered to a scooping level above the ground.

Why aren't you guys hungry too?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I've been told my blog is a bit busy and all over the place at times. I feel that some family members were bored with my bike related content and vice versa. Just recently I was inspired not by this man....

But this man's brilliant format....

I had no idea I had the capability to make multiple blogs...The power at my fingertips! So as of today I'm branching off. Family matters and non cycling matters will henceforth be deferred to a sub-blog to cut down on "differential tangential blogging". (blogging in multiple tangents at once IE: one day I post about a race or ride and the next I post about baking a cake HGTV style). So all you cake eaters, homemakers, and family members...This will be my new family/ home front oriented blog space.


This is by no means a deviation from my obsession with all things bi-wheeled, but a special place where you might go to see what is going on in the Knoxville Chandler's lives without having to read about that climb I feel compelled to tell everyone about or that guy that put me in my place at a race last weekend.

I'm not quite ready to open my own garage as some here in K town have but this is a big step forward for me.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Catching up since Christmas

There's no way I can write up everything that's been going on since Christmas so in order to make myself feel "caught up" on the blog here's a short photo diary in no particular order at all. If I get some time I'll go back for some of the more interesting items.

Tucker Christmas...and Boogy

I installed a new stove and gas line with Gary's help. We rule.

Morning breakfasts improved 55% with built in gas griddle.

Frozen head hikes with the men.

The massive G-MO mom quilt.

New bed for the Boog unit.

Boogy is popular with the twins and helps heard them in the right direction or place.

Beard Project try number 1 terminated.

Boogs and Allan.

Unseasonably warm commutes downtown for a bite to eat.

Secret European recipes with G-MO.

Boogy got sprayed by and skunk on the 27th of December.

Nothing takes the smell off...Nothing.

Someone was in the dog house for a few days.

Knoxiecross mud and torture.

Travis Book spanking me and most others in the messy conditions.

Winter Commuting and CXing’ into 09….

The first week of January for 2009 started off with some decent commuter miles. Post Christmas I was afforded the opportunity to test out some new gear including a nice Soma insulated mug for my morning hot apple cider, and some super warm pearl lobster gloves. I thought they were definitely overkill but I’m looking forward to putting them to good use in more cold weather. More to come on them, as the testing continues. With an increase in bus fare this semester per ride for students and UT staff, I will actually get to apply a dollar amount to my commute. This past week I was afforded the chance to test my cold mettle. I left the house Thursday morning at 12 degrees and I managed to get all the way to work without freezing to death. My bottle and new mug fared a little less well.

Even my boiling hot apple cider was no match for the epic cold.

In Columbia, the single speed races and cx1/2 were being run at the same time and I was able to convince the race organizer to let me ride my SS for the first 30 min for the single speed race and then hop onto my geared bike for the rest of the 1/2 race, which went for an hour. Tanner and Travis, two Nashville kids hell bent on making me puke in the start of both single speed races, made me fight hard at the beginning of the races, but with my fresh legs and their already been engaged in epic battles legs, I was luckily able to stay up right in otherwise slick conditions and just slip away.

Mud in the woods.

How to properly navigate a large ditch.

How to make it a little more exciting.

My biggest surprise for the weekend was that I was able to pull away from everyone in the CX 1/2 field minus Troy, who was out for a joy ride the whole time systematically destroying us. This would have been surprising enough at first glance, but was made even more surprising in the fact that I was able to gap the guys behind me on my single speed, in the first half of the races. Now this was strange. Several guys behind me have dusted me before in both mtn bike and cross races but it just seemed too weird. The jury is still out, and as well as I might have been geared for the courses, I can only attribute my success to chandler waffles (courtesy of my mom), the infield airport, and a loaded greasy biscuit from the continental breakfast at the Hampton before both days.

The cat 3 field gave close and very exciting races all weekend.

In the center of the largest field where the race was being held there is a huge runway for the local remote flyer club. Members of the club were flying planes all around during the races and I couldn’t help but watch a few laps and just maybe this took the edge of the pain off every now and then. Before we left the venue we were treated to spectacular crash of a F-117A stealth bomber mock up, which for some reason cratered and shattered into a million pieces. I wonder if there is a crash replacement warranty.