Still Living & Biking Strong! (click for full post with photo gallery)

Me in the woods at San Felasco mid September 2010

So it’s been a while since I got around to blogging! However, I am happy to report I am still doing very well! I know I have been neglecting my cyberworld, other than the occasional rant on facebook (or rants about how facebook sucks! (perhaps I will blog more about that later?)). If you notice, I have still been updating my bike totals (to the right) I’m still on pace for 10,000 mile year! So obviously, I have been doing a lot of riding, including the Santa Fe, Horsefarm 100 & Horrible 100 century rides (& several solo 100 mile rides too including one today). My love life has also been great the last 4 months, but you’ll have to catch me in person if you want to hear about that! So between work, biking & social life, I have not found much time to blog, but I do still have many things to say. However, I think the sad state of the political/economic situation in the US is not worth the energy right now, so hopefully I can keep those opinions to my self! Continue reading

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Saturday Ride: Wildflowers, Suffering & Reflective Thought (click for more photos)

Pine Lily (Lilium catesbaei)

As usual, I am back on my bike! Today was another road ride on the Gainesville/Hawthorne Trail & surrounding areas (80 miles). I started early, but so did the storms. So when the thunderstorm moved in on the trail, I took my favorite detour down towards Cross Creek & Micanopy. Along 325 I saw some beautiful wildflowers, including pine lilies, fringe orchids, meadow beauties & St. John’s wort. I was in a really blissful mood when I crossed the River Styx & not fully prepared for what lay ahead on the other side. Continue reading

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Turtle ride!

It was hot on the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail today around 2pm! Wildlife was still out though! Turtles, Tortoises, Turkeys & Bunnies. Must have seen over 30 turkeys! The hare & the poults were too quick, but I got a turtle & tortoise photo for you! (rode 48 miles too!)

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Weekend Rides with photo gallery! (click to see)

New Lumix FH20 & Pelican Case

So a new treat for my massive blog reading audience is that I bought a new camera (Lumix FH20)! It is much more compact than my Canon, but still has nice Macro features & 8x optical zoom. I bought a small Pelican case, so I can carry it in my Camel Back, without worries of rain or other damage! So now I can share more of my outdoor biking adventures!

I started Saturday’s road bike ride with a fairly early start (for me) around 8:30 am. After several broken spokes, I recently bought new wheels for my road bike! My plan was for a 76 mile ride, Continue reading

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NC Family Vacation (with photo gallery!)

The Mountain Cabin with its new metal roof

I am back in hot, hot Gainesville after a 2+ week break in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina! As usually I stayed at the old family cabin just outside of Asheville. I had a wonderful time & a chance to visit with all my parents, sisters, brother’s in laws & every niece & nephew except Maggie (we missed you this year!). My doggies (Hezzie & Heidi) & Mary’s newer family dog, Scout also were there! I had a chance to visit with friends & biked or hiked 13 of the 15 days I was there. As always my loving parents were there providing much support for our whole family in our gatherings and adventures! We shared many meals. I was able to take my sisters, all 4 nephews, niece Liza & the dogs on some of my favorite hikes! I was happy to eat/collect tasty berries & harvested many edible mushrooms. Continue reading

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Another 200 Mile Week!

So I hate to turn this into Tom’s biking blog, but biking does seem to be one of my main preoccupations these days! You may have noticed that I added a mileage report to the right sidebar of my blog and I am on my way to my biggest biking year of my life (I did a little over 5000 miles back in 1993). This week I rode 207.3 miles (107.9 road & 99.4 off-road). Unfortunately I fell just 0.6 miles short of riding 100 miles both on & off road!

Saved by these water bottles found on Tung Nut Loop!

I did complete my longest ride to date at San Felasco on Saturday (40 miles). I rode in the 12-5p time period. It was hot (94 degrees), but humidity was not too bad. I managed to hit all the hardest trails, several multiple times (including the defibrillator!). I figure I am about ready for the 53-mile Tour De Felasco in January if I can do 40 miles in this heat without stocked rest stops! I was also inspired by new equipment including a 3 liter Camelbak Hawg. I had cold water most of the ride & even had one back up bottle. I did find the insulated water bottle around mile 32 which I used to cool off by pouring over my head! The bottle on the right really saved me as I found it on mile 28 of a 35 mile ride 2 weeks ago when I was out of water, overheated & determined to get my last 7 miles in. I really like the new Camelbak & it has room to carry things on a day hike too. I may use it to try and do an assault I’ve been thinking about on Mt. Mitchell in the next couple weeks when I’m up in Asheville (potentially up to 30 miles & 5000 foot elevation climb, stay tuned!). Continue reading

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Thought Provoking! (click to see all 5 videos)

I wanted to share some videos from theRSAorg that I found interesting. Basically they are animated portions of talks by some modern thinkers. This is a British organization and of course the speakers are mostly white males. Regardless, I found this to be very thought provoking and the animation keeps your attention! Check them all out if you have time:

Continue reading

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Reflecting on Grandpa & other Wise Elders in my Life

Grandpa Ward at his 95th Birhtday Party (February 6, 1999)

Ten years ago yesterday my Grandpa died. (click here to see webpage tribute I did at the time) He was my last living Grandparent. As a child I was blessed to be able to share a great amount of time with him. This was back in the day when most children shared time with elders rather than simply being shuffled from one programmed activity to the next.

During my childhood I was fortunate to have 4 elders who shared great wisdom & good times with me. I now realize how much the 4 of them are influential in who I am & almost everything I love about myself! They all showed me unconditional love & accepted me for exactly who I was. Continue reading

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Friday: Solo Century Ride with bonus Chanterelles Treat!

dirty bike from rain spray (the floor could use a cleaning too!)

Somehow I managed to ride 100 miles today! First time I rode that far since the Horrible Hundred back in November ’93 (I think that was the year). I’ve been contemplating a 100 mile ride for a couple weeks, as I have been up to 68 miles on 95 degree days without feeling too bad. Today it was quite nice, mostly cloudy (and some rain) with mid 80s for highs! But I was not thinking I would ride so far since I rode 3 hours off-road at San Felasco yesterday afternoon & only slept a little over 5 hours last night. My ride started with the discovery of a gas tank in the middle of the paved Gainesville-Hawthorne trail. It was right by a sink & had a trail of gasoline flowing across the pavement towards a sink in Paynes Prairie State Park (connected to the aquifer!). Continue reading

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The Triple Rochelle!!!!!

Rochelle Historical Marker by BlackDoll Photography (click for link)

I completed what was perhaps the biggest cycling week of my life on Saturday with a 68 mile road ride I call the Triple Rochelle (as I went through there 3 times)! I started about 10am at my home in Gainesville & hopped on the Hawthorne Trail at Waldo Road. I took that 18 miles to Hawthorne (passing Rochelle the first time). From there I turned back and caught SR 325 & 346 to Micanopy, then back up to Rochelle on SR 234 (23 more miles down). From this point a sensible person would Continue reading

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