Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mail Pouch Tobacco Barn

I spotted this Mail Pouch Tobacco barn advertisement last fall while I was cycling down a back alley in my town.  Back then tree leaf cover had obscured most of the familiar Yellow on black font.  I put it on my list of things to do and waited for the opportunity to get a clear shot which came today on my way back from lunch.

I can't tell if this one is an original or not but if so it has been maintained quite well.

See other Mail Pouch Tobacco ads I've photographed by clicking the label below.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Ride -- B & O

Today I decided to clean the cobwebs off my titanium fred bike and take it out for its first ride on my local trail.  Some air in the tires and a squirt of fresh lube for the chain and I was on my way.  Up at the northern end of the B & O in Mansfield, Ohio workers were busy building a new bridge at North Lake Park.

I've been thinking for a while now about treating myself to a new pair of cycling shoes.  My old ones are probably fifteen years old and while they are still serviceable I'm in the mood for a change so I'll just relegate my old ones to mountain bike duty where I'm sure they'll carry on for years to come.

I hit up my friendly bike shop for a pair of their house brand Bontragers.  I don't need any fancy Sidis these work just fine for a lot less dineros.

My old ones are brown and tan colors and I wanted to color coordinate a little better with my black stretchy uniform I always wear while out on the road bike.  I like shoes with laces and these fit the bill perfect.  As an added bonus the new shoes have a single velcro strap at the top to secure the laces and keep everything cinched down tight.

I was feeling like going fast so that is what I did today.  By the time I had around 24 miles down I was carrying a 17.6 mph average speed.  That was surprising because my season is just getting underway and that is a great average for me period let alone in the early spring.  I kept at it and enjoyed the nice weather but the fun was soon to end when I turned around to head back north at the bottom of the trail.

In my exuberance I went out a little to hard during the start of my ride.  The last third heading up the slight incline of the Clear Fork Valley and into a steady headwind turned out to be my time to suffer.  I had to struggle to maintain 15 mph at times and dipped to a crawl of 13 mph in some of the open fields with no tree cover to at least slow the wind.
Happy Easter!
The average only dropped a little by the time I made it back to my starting point and I feel satisfied with this first good hard effort on the skinny tire bike.

B & O Trail Complete
Distance:  37 miles
Ride Time:  2:13:15
Average Speed:  16.6 mph
Max Speed:  22.8 mph 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Back In The Saddle...Or Should I Say Easy Chair

Today on my afternoon commute home from work on the Ti-General Purpose bike I found the conditions perfect for a ride.  A pleasant 60 degrees F and a very uncommon for this time of year lack of wind.  I got kitted up in my black stretchy pants and headed out for my first recumbent ride of 2014.  And it's about damn time!
 Even with this horrendous winter we've been through I still managed to get two or three commutes by bicycle in each week.  Riding my upright bike regularly keeps my bottom end used to the saddle.  Lets face it any time on any bike is  
good time and for short utilitarian trips around town the diamond frame wedgie bike really shines.  Once I got out on the open road though my old stalwart companion HP Velotechnik Street Machine proved to me once again that a longer ride can be a pleasurable, comfortable experience instead of the exercise in pain management that comes from sitting on a few square inches of traditional bike saddle and bent over holding those curly handlebars like they use in the Tour De France.  It's not all about kicking back and relaxing on the bent.  If you've got the legs and want to hammer you can certainly do that too. 

I'm not sure what I like best about riding recumbents.  One thing is for sure I love being able to easily look around at the country side as it slides by.  Granted things are pretty much dead and brown looking but that's soon to change.  One of the best things about living and riding in Ohio is experiencing the change of the seasons from the back of a bike.

The first few rides out early in the season are always great.  Even on familiar routes that I've ridden many times always seem fresh and new.  I didn't have enough time to head over to the local rail trail so I picked the medium sized route leaving from my driveway.  The southern part of my ride took me down through a bit of Morrow County.  This area is pretty much rural and you never know what you might see along the way.
Ford Ranger - Manure Spreader Combo

 This fine country gentleman has his own observatory!

Really, there is a telescope mounted up under that dome.

Later I encountered some gravel.  No worries and no gravel bike needed.  My dual suspension recumbent took it all with aplomb.

So nice to get back out there!

Iberia Loop
Ride Time:  1:18:30
Distance:  17.35 miles
Average:  13.2 mph
Max:  29.4 mph