walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Monday, November 01, 2010

New Month, New Goal

The bad news is, I fell a few miles short of my mileage goal last month. At least, I think I did. There are a few days I didn't log, and I think they should account for around twenty-eight or thirty miles. That would put me around eighteen or twenty miles under.

The good news is, a new month has just begun, and I will be riding my bike a lot this month, whether I like it or not. This is the great thing about being a cyclist who doesn't own a car: if you schedule things right, you lose all your excuses for not riding. Dark? Pfft. Get some lights, weenie. Cold? Remember: there's no bad weather; only bad clothing. Zombies attacking? Um — actually, I'm pretty sure I'd have to skip the ride if there were zombies involved. I'm very attached to my braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiinnnzzzz. Besides, I like to think that (unlike certain past employers who shall remain nameless) the companies I now work for will have enough concern for their employees and enough common sense to STAY CLOSED if, say, the Yellowstone volcano blows up and the sky turns black and the dead roam at large howling for brains.

Hm. Maybe I've eaten too much Hallowe'en candy.

Anyway, I've set a lofty goal for this month — literally.

My goal for the month of November is to climb Moser Knob. All of it. Without chickening out because I'm afraid my bottom bracket (or legs, or heart) might explode. That is one fierce climb. I'm pretty sure that if you can haul your Heine (Brothers Coffee) up Moser Knob, you can climb anything God puts in front of you, up to and including the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

I may resort to acquiring a new cog set to accomplish this task — right now, I run a 12 - 23, which is fine and dandy, but it would be nice to have an 11 - 28 or even (God forbid!) an 11 - 32 out back, for those days when your legs have that 'not so strong' feeling. I can't bring myself, somehow, to switch to compact cranks. Besides, an 11 - 28 would give me a bigger top gear, and I wouldn't mind that a bit.

On the other hand, I may man up and do it with my current 12-23, because I am a masochist and a climber and a masochistic climber is a recipe for disaster — I mean, err, because I feel awesome if I do.

I'm not sure I'm going to ride down the same way. I'll really need to assess the traffic patterns first. If I do just turn around and ride back down the hill, though, I think I want to bring someone with me. (Maybe someone in a tank?)

I'm not actually 100% certain I'll manage this goal in November, because the weather in November can be iffy. I'm not worried about a little rain or snow, but I am definitely concerned about ice on the roads — so we'll see.

I'll have several opportunities, since I'll be in southern Indiana like all the time for the next several weeks. My job with Sauron Target started today with an orientation session, and officially gets into gear on Wednesday, the first day I'll officially be hauling my bacon out of bed at oh-dark-thirty so I can get over there and learn how to conquer villages of vertically-challenged foodies sort out the stuff that comes in on the truck. My shift ends early enough that I can either ride home and do whatever, then go back to school, or just hang out in N'Albany until my Psych class at 7:30 (my other class is online, so I can do that class whenever, where-ever).

The only other job I've ever had that required me to be up quite this early was my job at Keeneland, where I hot-walked two-year old racehorses in training and they actually paid me money for this (though the coolest horsey job I ever had involved a barn full of really nice hunters and eventers which I was paid to care for and play with and generally enjoy ... still can't figure out why I decided I needed to do anything else with my life!).

Anyway, I'll be in Southern Indiana a lot, which is fine because I really like Indiana as a whole, including Southern Indiana.

I think the key to mastering Moser Knob without investing in a bigger cog may be leaving my backpack at home. My backpack is my secret weapon, at the moment, because I really wind up feeling like I'm working twice as hard when I'm carrying it, even though it doesn't really add that much weight. I suspect it's largely a question of where the weight is carried, or something like that.

On the other hand, if I don't bring my backpack, I'm not really sure where I'll pack my emergency parachute for the descent.

Eh. My FHPs have back pockets. That should work.


  1. Ice on the roads, in southern Indiana, in November? Seems unlikely. Possible, but usually November is an excellent month for riding.

    An admirable goal. I'm not familiar with that hill, really, although I think I have seen it mentioned on other blogs. Any of the knobs is bound to be challenging. Good luck!

  2. It's good to hear that ice on the roads in November is unlikely!

    I'm from the Northeast (Connecticut, specifically), and I still haven't quite gotten my head around how the seasons work here. I haven't yet ordered my winter tires, though the 'cross tires on my hybrid should serve for most of the year, so part of me was a tad concerned.

    Moser Knob isn't the longest climb on earth by any means -- the main climbing section is only about a mile and change -- but there's a really steep section right near the bottom which is pretty challenging. The knobs (and their cousins on the Kentucky side) do seem to offer some nice challenging rides.

    Thanks for the luck -- I might need it!

  3. If you want to ride Moser with me on a weekend, let me know.

    I'll bring my LHT and low gearing. :)

    It's really not that bad of a climb.