Posted by: Henry J | June 19, 2010

Idiots and Dope Heads

Wow! It’s been a while since I checked in here on my blog. I’ll post what I’ve been doing in the interim very soon – I promise. This morning I was out early on my road bike for a three hour ride over our mountain, down a local road at the foot of the mountain and back again. My bike computer measured the total climb elevation for the ride to be 4,439 feet. Here is the view from the top of the mountain earlier today:


At the end of the road there were two gates with dirt roads behind them. A local farmer pulled up to the gate on the left. I asked him if the road behind the gate on the right was a private road. The road exists on several maps and I thought it might be a fun road to ride on my mountain bike because it joins another dirt road that goes over the mountain.

He said that both roads were private roads. Then he proceeded to tell me how far it was to the next public road and that there were three gates along the way. I’m not sure if the land owner minds bicycle travel or not, but I’ll ask if I ever have the opportunity.

As I was leaving, the farmer wished me well and said to be careful as a “bunch of idiots and dope heads travel this road.” I commented that I hoped they were all still sleeping. As I rode back, I pondered his warning and wondered how this road was any different than other roads in our country, or in the rest of the world as well.

I suppose that there have been idiots as long as humans have walked the earth. I guess that we are all idiots at times. I know that I’m not above being an idiot at times myself. As for dope heads, I suppose that substance abuse has been around as long as the substances that are abused have been around.

I don’t understand the drug culture that exists in our country. Seems to me that there is a lot to live for here in our beautiful country and that drug abuse is a good way to mess up our lives. Why do people feel the need to abuse drugs? If they are lonely, they can hang out with me. If they are bored, they can come with me on my bike rides.

Well, try to stay safe out there. I suppose the world is full of dangers; idiots and dope heads among them. Ultimately, we humans are survivors. Isn’t it strange that we are so good at surviving, but in the end, none of us ever survive this world?

Posted by: Henry J | March 24, 2010

Riding into Spring

The snow finally melted and the crocuses wasted no time in showing their colors. Work has been very busy since my last post, but I have been riding my mountain bike whenever I get a chance. My road bike is still attached to my trainer.


My fitness level is increasing even faster than I had hoped for. On Saturday, I was fortunate to ride on the New River Trail for a couple of hours. This is one of my favorite places to ride – always beautiful and changing from day to day.


Posted by: Henry J | March 7, 2010


We were fortunate to escape the snow, but not the cold, in Florida for a few days in January. For the most part the temperatures in Florida were close to our averages for January here.













Posted by: Henry J | March 7, 2010

Making the Best of the Snow

On February 20, Mary and I made a snowman. Today, he’s almost gone.


Posted by: Henry J | March 5, 2010


This winter has been tougher on me than I could have ever imagined. Our snowfall has surpassed 80 inches, a new record. March 1st marked the meteorological start of spring here so, hopefully, this winter will soon be just a bad memory. A warm-up is forecasted for the next few days. The sun was out today for one of the few times this year.



The daffodils would not be contained and grew up through the snow, their leaves distorted in strange ways, searching for the sun.


Posted by: Henry J | February 21, 2010


The icicles drip into existence – hanging like daggers waiting to pierce my heart and destroy any hopes I hold for a respite to the seemingly endless existence of snow, ice and cold.

Winter holds on with it’s icy, deathlike grip, a winter like no other in memory, a winter with no mercy. My heart freezes and my hopes die with each passing day and each passing drip, despair growing like the icicles waiting to pierce my heart.



Posted by: Henry J | February 14, 2010

Everything’s Eventual!

Yesterday, Daniel asked me when the snow would melt. I’m sure he was asking a rhetorical question, so I answered him – eventually. We have had about 60 inches of snow this winter. According to an article in the newspaper, we had 77.8 inches in 1995, a record. I don’t remember this snow at all. I suppose it is selective memory. I probably forgot it on purpose.

I do remember the Great Blizzard of 1993 which I enjoyed from the couch nursing my first and only (so far) bout with the flu. According to the article, snowfall measured 16.3 inches on March 13, 1993. I don’t know where that was, because the storm dumped about four feet of snow at our house. I’m sure that some of that snow fell on the 12th and 14th.

It was actually quite cold here in 1993 and the snow was not a “wet” snow. It wasn’t much of a blizzard here either as the winds passed to the east of us. The snow paralyzed the city for a while, but I barely noticed as I suffered through the sickest days of my life.

I also remember the “blue snow” that fell on January 8, 1998. Officially, it snowed 16.8 inches, but it was a very heavy snow – so heavy that it was blue. I remember one report that there was more water content in this snow than in all of the snow from the Great Blizzard of 1993.

Daniel and I attempted to make a snowman. The snow was so heavy that rolling the snow around was next to impossible. I think we managed to make some sort of snowman, but my memory has faded. I also remember that at least one person died when a roof collapsed at a local business.


This is a picture from the snow that fell on December 18th and 19th, 2009.  This is the one that started it all!


Daniel on December 19th – “Oh no – I hate snow and now I have to shovel?”


Mary is much happier with the snow.


This is way more fun than shoveling!


December 19th, 2009 – Our first opportunity to shovel snow! Why did we have to enlarge the driveway?

Oh well, it doesn’t seem as though the snow will be gone anytime soon. I certainly hope that the thaw comes slowly, because we don’t need any flooding. Eventually will come sooner or later. In the meantime, I will be thankful for the snow. We don’t see snow like this every year and it breaks up the relentless brown we face every winter.

I know that the crocuses and daffodils will appear soon, or eventually.

Posted by: Henry J | February 7, 2010

Winter Wonderland

What a week! I never dreamed the first week of February would be so challenging. We had a very busy week at work meeting a tight deadline. I did fit in an inside spin on Monday, but Tuesday – Thursday were all work with no time to get any kind of exercise.

Late Thursday afternoon we decided to close the office and work from home on Friday due to a winter storm warning. I was excited because I would have a chance to get caught up on paperwork, get a head start on next week and get back to training.

I did have a chance Friday morning to get some of the paperwork done, but then mother nature decided to wreak havoc on my weekend plans. Daniel and I shoveled very heavy snow for almost two hours on Friday and almost four hours on Saturday. Kim and our daughter, Mary, helped out with the shoveling chores.

I suppose shoveling snow is good cross-training, but my body is tired and sore today.  I’m happy that we only had a little snow last night, but we may have more on the way later in the week. I’ve seen more than enough snow this winter. We have had about five feet of snow since the first of December.

In my early years, snow was a blessing. There was always the possibility that school would be closed and that we could get outside and ride our sleds. Now, snow means endless hours of repetitive shoveling. I’d move south if most of my family didn’t live here and this wasn’t one of the best places on the planet to ride a bicycle.

Pictures tell the story better than I can, so take a look at these:


Street view looking south Saturday morning.


Street view looking north Saturday morning.


My car on Saturday morning.


Home Saturday morning – see the snow we shoveled on Friday?



Both of the above were taken on Saturday morning


Friday afternoon.



Before we shoveled on Friday afternoon.

Posted by: Henry J | January 31, 2010

Shoveling Snow

Today was a beautiful day without a single cloud. The temperature started around 15 degrees but warmed up to 30. I shoveled snow for almost 2 hours and I had no energy left afterwards to try to gain traction riding in the snow. Luckily, Kim and our son, Daniel helped shovel the snow. The snow was about 7 inches deep and heavier than I anticipated.



Posted by: Henry J | January 30, 2010

Stuck Inside

I went down to the basement and did 40 minutes of interval training on my road bike and trainer this afternoon. My wife, Kim, sensing the severity of the weather this winter, bought me a new Kinetic Road Machine trainer for Christmas.


It is my first trainer and has worked flawlessly for me. It was easy to set up and came with a setup CD that complemented the written instructions. It comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner. We found it on sale at REI, one of my favorite outdoor adventure stores.

Kim let me set it up early and I took my first spin on December 6. I forgot to order a riser ring, but recently ordered a Kinetic Riser Ring from REI after a few training sessions without one.


The riser ring did make the training sessions a lot more comfortable. Riding without it put a lot of extra pressure on my arms. I don’t consider a spinning session a real bike ride, but it sure is nice to train inside when the weather is bad.

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »