Bar hopping……

It’s been a while, sorry folks…… 

For the last year or so, I’ve struggled to get comfortable on my Surly LHT.  My LHT has been my “go-to” bike for quite some time now, and was always comfortable with drop bars.   The discomfort seemed to all start when I acquired my All-City Macho Man and it’s more aggressive posture.  It seemed that two drop bar bikes under one roof was giving me mixed emotions about rider position, and true feelings of comfort.

The LHT…..

This has been pretty much the set-up the LHT has always had.  VO bars (classic round bend), TRP levers, bar-cons and good ole cloth tape……..but something had to change.

So, right around the same time I was on the search for a different bar set-up, my friend Pondero was doing a little bar swap of his own.  He kindly offered me a fair deal on his Nitto Albatross bars, ones that he had previously mounted on one of his Rivendells.  I had seen these on his bike and read about how comfortable they were, I knew these had to be the trick……..

I was so excited, I had them mounted within a day of aquisition.

I quickly figured out that level Albatross bars and Oury grips (a temporary fix) were not comfortable at all! A few days later they got a cloth tape aplication and a few degrees knocked off of level.

Another tape swap……

As good as they looked, there was still something wrong.  Maybe they were too low……like they needed to be slightly above saddle height?

I flipped the stem, which definitely brought them up a tad, but I hated the disruption of parallel lines between the top tube and the stem (have I told you I might have slight OCD?).

I rode the Albatross bars for several weeks, trying a couple different length stems, both with +\- rise…… wasn’t working, they were possibly too narrow, possibly not enough sweep, possibly………..gosh, I don’t know.  Re-enter drop bars.

Instantly I felt home again, and things stayed this way for a while.  Although “home” I was still battling with the two drop bar bikes in the house and the LHT again lost its comfort and I gave way to massive saddle adjustments.  It was bad, I couldn’t leave the house without an allen key with which to make more adjustments.

I began to neglect my LHT, not in maintenance and care………it wasn’t event even being ridden!!!

A bit later and after a good bit of time and frustration had passed, I stumbled across a picture of the Bosco bars.

This wasn’t the first time I had seen them, but the first time I thought about more rise and how it might allow my OCD side to mount that stem parallel with the top tube again.  Also, they seemed to have a bit more width and sweep than the Albatross bars……..

We had a trip on the books to visit San Francisco soon, and well Riv isn’t far from there, so……….two birds, one stone.

Our vacation was amazing (I was afforded an entire morning to visit Rivendell Bicycle Works) and I was able to leave with a set of Bosco bars and 4 rolls of cloth tape safely stowed away in my luggage.

It didn’t take me long once we got home to start stripping the controls off the LHT.  This time we’d be using some new to me Paul Thumbie mounts and some ergo PDW Cork Chop grips.

These grips………YES!!!



The additional sweep definitely lends to more comfort over the albatross bars, it allows me to get back on the saddle and off the nose.  Also being a rather big dude, the extra width helps with getting my hands at or maybe a little wider than shoulder width apart (dang, maybe that’s what was wrong with my drop bars!!!) Oh gosh, here we go again!!!!

With the extra width and sweep, there’s a good bit of flex to the Bosco bars over the Albatross bars, but don’t take that as a complaint (their oh so smooth).  So far (two weeks) I’m in LOVE with the new set-up!  Not sure I’d ever embark on a full on tour with the Bosco bars, but commutes, overnighters, errand running, joy rides……..there all a go, and that’s what the LHT sees more often than not.

To be continued……..(well you know, I gotta go ride them more!)



There’s one ride every year that I look forward to more than any other. Good weather, bad weather, cold or hot (it’s never been hot, but I would if it was), I show up for this ride. There are many reasons I enjoy this ride so much, the good people, the scenery, the challenge…….but mostly the people.

Every year my friend Pondero invites anyone and everyone up to his place to join him in capping off the year with a nice ramble through his stomping grounds. We ramble, it’s not a race and that’s what’s so nice.

This year was perfect……..some may not agree due to the wind and temps that were slightly off from the forecasted numbers, but hey we’re riding right?

And so what follows is a small portion of our 50 miles of rolling hills, wind and gravel.









Thanks Pondero, another great ride!

A special Sunday outing………….

We started our day with a ride to church. Our 9 month old Colton doesn’t have a helmet yet and would probably be quite cranky riding with the multiple stops we had planned, so he and momma drove.



Our church is cool enough that they let us park the Edgerunner inside, and enter and exit through the ultra secret side doors. Hopefully they’ll have us some bike racks soon. I’d rather lock it up outside on a rack, where others can see that it’s totally cool to ride your bike to church.


After service we rode over to Nana and Papaws house for Easter lunch and shenanigans. The weather was so nice, a slight breeze and very mild temps. (Sorry, no pics of our front yard lunching)

We wrapped up our lunch with Nana and Papaw, loaded the bike and headed south to wind through old Smithfield. As we passed through Smithfield, we picked up the Cotton Belt Trail and headed back east to Dink and YaYa’s place for even more shenanigans and an early dinner.





Surprise, surprise, Colton’s Easter basket contained a bright and shiny new infant helmet. We ended our day with Colton’s first ride on back of the family fun wagon. He’s a natural!


I need to run a few errands, want to join………

Dave, my friend and fellow co-leader of Bike Friendly Mid-Cites and I had some BFMC business to take care of this morning, but plans got changed, so……………”I need to run a few errands, want to join?”

Dave and his son Sean met me at my house, with plans to ride to downtown Ft. worth. I needed a tube, shifter cable and needed to drop off some bike related items with my friend Julia who works downtown.

We set out for downtown riding straight into a 20mph wind, it wasn’t optimal conditions, but we were on bikes right? Once we made it downtown, we stopped to give the guys at Trinity Bicycles a much needed razzing. I purchased my items, and made arrangements for my friend Julia to pick her stuff up there later in the day.

We decided since we were downtown we’d need to partake in a burger and beer at Fred’s Texas Cafe, but they didn’t open until 11am. So, off to Fort Worth Bike Sharing (where Dave and I have both volunteered) to give them a much needed razzing.




We hung out at the Bike Sharing headquarters for a while, talked shop, discussed their 1 year anniversary, then departed for Fred’s Texas Cafe in hopes to beat the lunch crowd.

Fred’s was nice enough (and we’d beat the lunch crowd) to let us park our bikes inside the patio area while we dined.


After closing our tabs, and finishing off the last of our beer, we needed to get moving home. I needed to be home fairly soon to pick up my eldest child from school. Good thing that 20mph wind was now mostly at our backs.


As we made our way back through downtown on our route home, the wind decide it wanted to blow at us from any and all directions and seemed to do just that on our entire route home. Not what we had hoped for, but again we were on bikes right?


Turned out to be a great substitute ride. I got a few errands knocked off the list, got in 40ish miles and exercised the wind legs. Good ride!

Ask me to ride a hundred miles, ok. Ask me to race…………..

…….A month or so back, my good friend Wade asked me to join him and another friend of his on a relay team at a local sprint TRI.  I’m apparently the only cyclist he knows, which makes me fast……………hahaha!  Truth be told, I had been contemplating giving up my mountain bike for something more road oriented than my Long Haul Trucker (she’s a bit hefty), so this was just the thing to get me moving towards deciding on, and locating such a ride.  I settled on an All-City Macho Man that my go to shop Trinity Bicycles had on the floor in just my size.  Being a cross bike, the Macho Man had enough relaxed geometry to keep me comfy (the LHT has spoiled me with comfort) and still be quick enough to keep up on some faster paced road rides.


I really didn’t train for the event, as training just isn’t my thing, however I did try to speed up my commutes to work and push myself up climbs a bit faster.  All of this “training” happened on the LHT, because I didn’t actually acquire the All-City until just days before the TRI event.


I’ll start this part off with saying, I’m horrible at remembering to take pictures (especially when a bit nervous) and the few pictures I did take show the drawbacks and the learning curve of taking photos with a GoPro camera.

The forecast for the day was far from pleasant, and we’d been going back and forth about its growing intensity all week.  The “Day of” forecast was 40% chance of rain, thunder storms, possible hail and up to 30mph winds.  The event hadn’t been canceled, participant report time was at 6am, and the event was almost an hour away, so it was an early morning start to say the least.  I picked my buddy Wade up (the running leg of the event) at 4:30am, stopped off for a coffee and a hand full of bananas and we were off.  Rolled up to the event location at 5:45am, picked up our participant packets by 6am and proceeded to get our gear situated at the transition area.



By this time our third member had shown up, and after a brief pre race meeting it was a waiting game until our group started at 7:50am.  We talked, stretched, joked about strategies and taunted Mike about the temps of the water and his lack of a wet suit.  He wasn’t worried, apparently he’s no stranger to cold water (I don’t swim and certainly don’t partake in swimming in cold water).  Sprinkles of rain began to come through off and on as we talked, never growing much of a concern until just before the gun went off for the swimming leg.  Winds came out of the west hard, the open water got rough with small white caps and I could hear bikes falling over at the transition area.  This was the point that I knew my recent acquisition was a keeper, not even a budge as it hung by the nose of the saddle with rear wheel in the air.

Mike wrapped up what seemed to be a pretty quick 500m swim, and passed the timing chip off to me to begin the short and somewhat wet 11 mile sprint ride.  The cycling portion of the event was a simple two lap loop through a residential area with a fairly smooth concrete surface, and no major climbs, just a few gradual but long hills here and there.  I exited out of the staging area, hung a right and BOOM, that long gradual hill and 30mph gusts weren’t so easy after all, and my decided confidence and statements of “I’ve commuted and ridden in rain and wind often, this should be a breeze.” came to an immediate halt and I began to rethink my entire ride.  I quickly decided to lose a little speed and spin through the 2ish miles of headwind, and make up time with the tail wind on the other side of the loop.  The first lap the wind wasn’t bad (after my change in strategy), but the second lap was worse when I rounded that same corner.  I’m not sure if the winds had become stronger or if I was just coming down from a super fast, exciting and effortless 2 miles of tail wind from the other side.  It was another tough 2 miles for me, and I’m sure I lost whatever time I had gained with the wind at my back.

2 laps complete, timing chip handed off and Wade was off on the 5k run.  Wade is a runner, much like Mike is a swimmer and he tore up the 5k, so fast in fact that by the time I was done wrapping up my dismount and gathering my things in the transition area he was close to being done.


^ That’s Wade crossing through the orange cones.

I had hoped to average 20mph for the ride and close out my portion of the race strong, but I fell short of that mark with a 17mph average.  Thanks to Wade and Mike, we did well…….well enough to take first place in the relay category at just over and hour and eight minutes total time to complete the course.  Over all my new bike, handled great, rode fast (faster than the LHT), felt solid, shifted clean, and made me happy. A TRI bike it’s not, but FUN it sure is!!!  I’m certainly no racer, but I enjoyed myself, felt I did the best I could and even hope to do another team event like this soon.

First post, here we go……

Hello all, I’m a 32 year old avid cyclist, community bike group leader, commuter and occasional school bus (Xtracycle) driver.  I love using my bikes to get to a destination and/or complete a task, I find it to be the most rewarding reason to ride a bicycle.

I started riding bicycles much like most boys did in their childhood, jumping ramps built from plywood and bricks (not the safest), and cruising the neighborhoods with siblings and friends.  In middle school and early high school I did a little recreational BMX that quickly evolved into mountain biking.  That all got left in the dust when I turned 16 and got the coveted drivers license and car that all kids at that age want.  For the next several years my hobbies included cars and motorcycles, until my motorcycle accident in mid 2010, which forced me back on a bicycle for rehabilitation reasons.  Since 2010 I’ve been a committed cyclist and have made cycling a part of mine and my families every day life.

I hope you’ll come join me on my travels through my suburban cycling world.