Hiatus Officially Over

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So, well over a month ago, I said screw it, and decided¬†to buy some long over due new tires for my way under ridden bike. It has been something like, well too f-ing long since I’ve been on my bike. Okay, it’s been 3 years. Flog me now, and lets get it over with, go on, flog me, I know I deserve it. I can say a plethora of things, some of which might even be valid, but ultimately, the failure is on me. I stopped riding. I can say life, jobs, and shitty relationship got in the way, blah, blah, blah, whine, whine, whine.

It felt a bit awkward, like for a split second, just after my right foot clipped in for the first time in years, but it all came back in a rush, and my mind, and body were all like, “Hey, why haven’t we done this sooner? We’ll forgive you though, because this is so…weeeeeeeeeee.” They quickly forgave me and I was off towards the trail. Wow, it felt so good to be outside, and in nature, after a very long winter holed up in my apartment. What are all of the green things, oh right, trees, and grass, and birds, oh my.

Those first two paragraphs, were written on May 7, with a minor edit to the very beginning discussing time. Yet, it has taken my lazy ass a month plus, to sit down and put my excursions to paper, so to speak.

My bike adventures, thus far, have been relegated to one part of the Alum Creek Greenway Trail, because small sections of the south are having bridges, boardwalks, and repairs done. Though today, I got the nerve, and rode up Sunbury Road, which is a wee bit crazy, because traffic is stupid busy on a narrow two lane road, with the tiniest of shoulders, if at all. I pedaled up to McCutcheon Road, and hit Mock Metro Park, where the trail picked up, and headed south. Wow, it was such a nice change of view. The work, and money that the city has put into renovations is beautiful, long boardwalks, and amazing bridges. I rode as for as I could in that direction, before I ran into a bridge still under construction. I turned around, and headed north. I hit Mock park and continued north, knowing that I would hit the construction that’s prevented me from using that part of the trail. I came across a fantastically long boardwalk, then soon hit the “Road Closed” sign, and promptly turned around…just kidding. The brat in me wanted to know what exactly they were doing, and how far along they were, because everything looked okay from my standpoint. I lifted my bike over the gate, and proceeded to ride the boardwalk, all the while keeping an eye out for any workers. I crossed a new bridge, pedaled slowly around curves, and ran into…no one. The trail is, for all intents and purposes, finished. Looks like they just have a few railings, and a bit of cosmetic work to do. So, I’m guessing it’ll be opening in the nearest future. Can’t wait!

Ride Safe,
Patrick

Future Dirt Dreams

My mind of late has been drifting to thoughts of dirt, riding dirt, trees, sweat, and the satisfaction of a hard ride done to the best of my poor abilities. Yet, this remains relegated to daydreams, as I currently am without a metal steed. Dirt Rag is the best kind of porn to help through a long dry spell, as is following my friend’s blogs, but like looking at actual down and dirty porn, it is, ultimately, unsatisfying.
Unfortunately, it has been a very long time since I’ve pedaled on dirt. As those of you who read my blog know, 2 1/2+ years ago I was forced to sell my beloved mountain bike to survive. Well I have, only just, begun to recover, how ever minutely, from my financial black hole. I’ve read other’s stories and know I’m not the only person in this predicament, but it’s tough none the less. I love mountain biking. I love bikes. Sadly, the idea of getting my hands on a bike is he farthest thing from my financial mind. Yet, there is a part of me that likes to replay the movies in my head from past rides. Whether here in Columbus ripping through the trees and maneuvering over the roots at Alum Creek to the fine desert riding I was fortunate enough to have done while in Utah. Trails such as Gooseberry Mesa, Navajo Lake, Bear Claw Poppy, Paradise, etc and with some of the coolest people. I currently live vicariously through the updates from the blogs of friends such as Jerry Hazard, photographer and bike nut. I also follow Lukas A.K.A. Mooseknuckler, a bike freak and all around stand up guy.
I dream of the day I will ride again, and I will damn it. When I can once again rip through the woods, and the desert, leaving all of my worries…in…the…dust.

RIDE SAFE!!!

Peace, Patrick

Car Psychosis & Bike Fiend In The Hood

As you all know, I didn’t ride one pedal stroke last week. Yes, I drove. After commuting for so long, and driving mostly on the weekends, I found myself doing a bit of unofficial psychoanalysis of drivers, myself included. My conclusion? A good percentage of us who step into a car become crazy, or I should say, crazier. Now I know not everyone is a total nutter, but to some degree we all suffer from this car psychosis. We become disconnected and self involved. Where ever we’re going, it’s seems to be more important than anyone else(that includes pedestrians, cyclist, & small woodland creatures). We lose our shit over the littlest thing, or some even think they’re racing NASCAR. Weaving in and out of traffic, cutting people off, and general douchery. We feel invincible in our metal machines. I started getting sucked into all the craziness, then came Friday, and I said “Next week I’m f-ing biking, this is too insane!”

So, today I biked, and all was good with the world. I didn’t feel as crazy, and my body, though tired, was happy to be biking again. Everyone was well pleased.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Paul, a new neighbor and fellow bike nutter. I didn’t realize that he was one of the new commuters I was occasionally seeing. This evening he was out a tall bike that he made out of thrift store finds. I didn’t have my phone on me to get a pic when I met him, so him and his bikes will be featured in the near future.

I leave you with some classic electronic from A Split Second “Flesh” circa 1986

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace, Patrick

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My Rest Day…eeerr…Week

So I said in my last blog post that I would pedal my ass off Thurs & Fri of this week. Well, the best laid plans and all that, saw me pedal 0 days this week. The universe in all it’s powerful glory saw to that. Between having to be to work super early for an install, to having to run errands, I saw no pedal time. My bike seems to glare at me, an possibly growl, though that could just be my imagination. I could have maybe gotten away with pedaling Thursday, but no. Next week though, it’s on.

Also I want to give you the heads up on a new MTB blog called The Dirty Wheel. I came across them on Twitter, and they’re super cool bike junkies. So head over and peep their blog, and +Follow them on Twitter @thedirtywheel.

Peace, Patrick!

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Personal Time Trials, Broken Glass, & Mint

Always. Yes, it takes me about a week (or more) to lay down a post, but I do, and I’m more active on here than I’ve been in a very long time. Also, Twitter makes me a bit lazy here. It’s so easy to post a thought as it comes to me, so if you’re feeling saucy, +Follow @soulsidedown on Twitter for the ADD version. ;)
Right now, I’m waiting outside a local hole in the wall pizza joint, named Bella’s, awaiting a Veggie Supreme with jalapenos replacing the cheese. Yep, no cheese. Is it still a pizza? Most def it is, try it sometime. What the heck has been happening to me since my last post? Well, here are the Cliff Notes.
The Tour de France began last week, as I’m sure all of you bike nerds(that includes me) know. I’ve done my best to follow on my BlackBerry, which has been newly dubbed, the BlackBerry Projects, due to it’s inability to play Adobe Flash. Which any a computer savvy person knows, is the video platform of choice for the big thing that is the internet. So, I am limited to following text tickers, which makes me happy all the same. I’ve gotten to seeive footage via McDonald’s wi-fi. Yes, you read that right, I”ve stooped to hitting up McD’s for TdF goodness.

It’s days later, the pizza was yumz, and it’s hotter than Hades, but it’s all good. I loves me some heat. Now back to the blogginess.

Yes, you read that right, I did a personal time trial a week or so ago. I left for work way late, and decided to hammer it all the way to work. Well, I knocked 10 minutes of my average time…and that was on my singlespeed. That is the best I can do with it. I’m thinking, gears might be in my furture. SS is good for short distances, but I do 9.75 miles each way, and being able to kick it up a bit, would be nice. Someday.

Glass. It’s all over. Seems at times that the City of Columbus has some secret initiative to repair and pave the roads with broken glass, saving on recycling cost and repair cost. Just an observation.

The other day, I had to transport a mint plant home strapped in my messenger bag. Surprisingly, no one said a word. Really, not…one…word. Which is good I guess.

This week so far, I have not biked. Work and errands have seen to that. Thursday & Friday, I will pedal my ass off though. Stay tuned for my heat filled tweets. That’s all for now.

BTW, I’m rooting for the Garmin-Cervelo team in the TdF. GO ARGYLE!!!!

Peace, Patrick.

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Injury Criterium Commuting Chamois

Yes it’s a strange title, It’s also almost 1 AM and almost feels too late to be posting, but alas, here I lay in bed and in the dark. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted, but I have still been pedaling, just a lil less. This week I had an excuse, though. Somehow I injured my left hand, possibly strained it at work during a heavy day of metal work. It took a few days of icing and Ibuprofen before I was feeling like I could ride comfortably. So, it was another week of only 2 pedal days, though the week before was actually inexcusable. I’ve let myself of the hook over that.
Last weekend was the Tour de Grandview here in Columbus. I made it out and caught the Juniors, the women’s, and the pro men’s races. I can’t say much about the event as a whole, because I thought it would be cool to take my dog, Henri, with me while I shot some photos and posted on Twitter. Little did I know he would require so much attention, especially if there were other dogs, and he wanted to make friends. So, I watched more that I shot, but I did manage some cool images, which I’ll soon post. I will say this, more people need to support women’s cycling, coming out only for the pro men’s race is tacky and seemingly chauvinistic. The women push themselves just as hard as their male counterparts, so show them some love. Nuff said.
My own bike commuting adventures, which include the two days last week, consisted of a car accident, a tractor trailer rig fire, donuts (mmmmmm, donuts), broken glass, kind drivers, iced coffee, seeing a cyclist get doored (he was, thankfully, ok), snobby cyclists, cool cyclist, a myriad of interesting pedestrians, a lovers quarrel in a car ( and out of a car), a squirrel leaping like Pepe LePeu, and great Friday ride in heat and sun. I’ve also eaten too much Salt & Pepper Tofu from an amazing local Asian restaurant called Lotus Leaf(not really it rocks).
I would also like to make all of you cycle weirdos aware of a new website called Chamois News in their own words “We report the best cycling news on the web whether it’s true or not.” It’s like The Onion, but for cyclist, and they’re damn funny. You can find the on Facebook or on Twitter ( @ChamoisNews ) also. Be sure to check ’em out for general anarchy and frivolity.

I am sleepy and will now let the sandman do his job, as he is getting impatient, and dropping grains of sand on me.

Thanks for stopping by, and good night, Patrick

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Dude, You Gettin’ Played.

Last week I rode two days.

This week is looking to be the same.

Why?

Seems my lack of good rest the past two plus weeks, has rendered my sense of mindfulness, weak, to say the least. The lack of sleep is me letting life get the best of me, or I should say those aspects of life that cause us to stress and have anxiety, and for me, not unlike many in this economy, finances are a huge stress factor. I can’t breath, or so it seems, so I have restless sleep.

Well,¬† the ego in it’s infinite desire to protect itself from ill-perceived harm, and stay all comfy, has not lost any sleep, and with that, has weaseled it’s way into my mind, and worked me over like some street hustler. And you know what? It worked. I have effectively made excuses for why I shouldn’t ride. I am calling “bullsh*t” on myself. Yes, friends and fellow cyclists, I have fallen to the ego, the street hustler that is laziness.

How did I come to realize this? My latest issue of Dirt Rag Magazine that arrived in the mail. More specifically, the article on the Trans Iowa race. Yes, it’s on dirt/gravel roads, but the idea of these people pushing themselves in much harsher conditions than I, totally out of their comfort zone. I’m whining about rain and flats. Waaaahhhh! Enough! I’ve ridden in much worse conditions than what I’ve talked myself out of lately. Hell, I rode in snow, freezing temps, cold rain, and wind gusts to knock you off your bike, and I can’t handle a bit of rain. Come on!

Ego, I’m now on to you.

Ego, I am calling your ruse.

Tomorrow I ride, and the next, and will do so next week unless something truly comes up that I have to do by car.

I have to get back on my feet, both mentally and physically.

Peace!