Thursday, December 17, 2009

I went to see the pulmonologist today.

I went to see the pulmonologist today. The news was bleak. My O2 level was very good but they say it is the CO2 that kills you, and that's not easily checked. Yet without checking they are very confident that my CO2 level is very bad, or soon will be. I believe they base this on the fact that my FVC has declined from about 50 percent in April to 28 percent now. I think part of that decline is because, unlike now, back in April, my back was strong enough that I could sit up, lean forward, lean backward, etc. But I must admit the bi-pap doesn't seem to be quite enough sometimes.

He felt it would be unsurprising if I die of respiratory failure any minute now, and wants me to decide whether I want a ventilator soon -- early January. It may sound like choosing between dying and the machine is a no-brainer. They seem to lean toward dying. CO2 builds up in the blood; you get sleepy, and you don't wake up -- that sounds about as good as it gets for anybody. But they say life on the ventilator can be miserable, and requires 24x7 support. The support is not covered by Medicare or insurance, but isn't terribly complicated -- suction as needed, reconnect a hose, etc.

If a caregiver messes up, you die, but without it you die. Certainly in the former case, the caregiver feels really bad, but they have to accept that you only made it that far because of their care.

So the question for me is -- how much do I believe the doctors in their assessment of the urgency and how much damage is done by getting the ventilator -- possible loss of speech, possible loss of swallowing and high risk of recurring pneumonia.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monster Squad

1304Bikes ride on Wednesday:

Ride from Five Points to the Colony for the Cinema Overdrive showing of THE MONSTER SQUAD w/ special appearance by Andre Gower. Movie starts at 8:00pm, we meet up at the church at 7:00pm and leave shortly after. Bring lights. Denver, the manager at the Colony, lets us bring the bikes inside, so locking up isn't a problem. and if we're waylaid by a wolfman, be prepared to kick him in the nards.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

To raise a village

re: N&O Editorial: To raise a village 3/19/02

Thank you for your timely editorial on developing village-style, walkable communities. I agree that local governments should not be expected to prop up private enterprises. However we should expect local governments to support this type of growth by promoting conservation easements and landowner compacts, adjusting zoning codes and ordinances to create infill instead of sprawl, and controlling the impact of development on public infrastructure.

Well designed, compact, mixed-use development can dramatically reduce the automobile trips we choose to make. We will doubtless continue to desire to make trips beyond these villages. It is vital that we develop increased transportation choices. As our long trips become less frequent, we will more often find public transit and road bicycling to be attractive alternatives.

Personally, as a recent convert to bicycle commuting and tourism, utilitarian and recreational cycling, I've been amazed and thrilled to discover the practicality of this inexpensive, clean and elegant transportation mode. Biking to work daily, I get close to Blue Heron, Deer, Rabbits and the occasional fox. Biking home at night through downtown Raleigh I listen to the "trolley" on Glennwood, the people queuing up outside restaurants and the train passing under the Boylan street bridge. Spinning through countryside on weekends, I "discover" communities like Micro, Bynum and Seagrove, the beauty of the Haw and Eno rivers. As the Triangle embraces the new growth patterns you've described, I have no doubt that cycling holds great potential for making our travels more efficient and infinitely more enjoyable.

--Adrian Hands

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Nopales Pizza

Nopales (No-pahl-ez) Pizza:

Nopales are the fleshy pads of the prickly-pear cactus.

Here in NC, we can buy them in the grocery store (food lion) as:
  1. whole pads in the produce section, or
  2. jars of de-thorned, thinly sliced strips in water with a few pearl onions (mexican food section)
if you get the whole pads, see the video below
  1. preheat pizza stone
  2. brush pizza dough with olive oil
  3. pour a layer of salsa verde (tomatillo sauce),
  4. add shredded nopales, sliced tomatillos*, mushrooms,
  5. cover with a white cheese,
  6. toss some cornmeal on the hot stone
  7. then bake.

serve with jarritos grapefruit (pomelo) soda or negra modelo

* tomatillos look like green tomatoes but have a papery outer skin or husk. remove the husk. they're sticky to touch and tart in flavor.

See also:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bikes for the World Collection on 6/27

Have a bike that you are not using? Donate it!

Saturday, June 27th, 2009
10AM - 2PM

One-day collection at Headquarters Park Offices,
2224 E NC 54,
Durham NC 27713
(located in RTP on Hwy 54, between 55 and Alston)

The mission of Bikes for the World (BfW) is to collect valuable but unwanted bicycles and related material--parts, tools, and accessories--in the U.S. and deliver them at low cost to community programs assisting the poor in developing countries. The bikes donated to our partner organizations provide much-needed and affordable transportation to laborers, micro-entrepreneurs, farmers, health workers, and students. As much as possible, Bikes for the World uses the donated bicycles to help set-up self-sustaining bicycle repair
operations which can make enough money to pay the direct costs for subsequent container shipments of donated bicycles. Thus, we ask those donating the bicycles to offset the cost of shipping the bikes by making a tax-deductible $10 donation per bike.

Thanks in advance for donating your old bike. We guarantee that it will go to someone in need and will very likely transform a life.

Four things you can do:

1) fwd this announcement to your work, worship, or friends email lists

2) donate cash or a bike, or both, for the collection

3) volunteer on collection day (write receipts, work on bikes etc)

4) help us get this announcement in media outlets (newspaper, TV, radio, blogs)

For more info: 919-688-9347

Dan Gatti

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hero: Dervla Murphy

As with so many great things in cycling, I first learned of Dervla through my buddy Gilbert Anderson, who referred me to Dr. Clifford Graves' summary of her book, The Perils of Dervla Murphy. In the midst of a record-setting blizzard in 1963, Dervla Murphy packed a pistol aboard Roz, her Armstrong Cadet bicycle (converted to single-speed for maximum reliability) and accomplished her first international bicycle tour--a completely self-supported solo trip from Ireland to India. In Yugoslavia, she began keeping a journal instead of mailing letters home. That journal was later published as her first book Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle. In Full Tilt, she describes her adventures through Persia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She particularly enjoyed Afghanistan and wrote lovingly of that country.

Dervla instantly became a hero of mine, but where today was this woman who completed and wrote of this incredible adventure undertaken in the year of my birth? Imagine how thrilled I was to discover that she's still living, still writing and still traveling the world by bicycle!

In the forty years since Full Tilt she has bicycled through, and published numerous books on Africa, the Balkans, and Tibet. Generally traveling alone and unaided, her writing continues to be rich with compelling insights into the cultures and the lives of the people she meets. Recently, she's been exploring and publishing on travels in Siberia. I'll challenge anybody to read her brief Siberian Grand Tour article and deny the sprouting of a seed of wanderlust in their heart.

On her most recent adventures, she brought along her young granddaughters, and chose a gentler territory to explore--Cuba. The Australian published today an excerpt from The Island that Dared as Dervla Murphy discovers the intricacies of rail travel in Cuba.

Being such a fan, I'm proud to boast that I wrote the original Dervla Murphy article for Wikipedia back in 2003.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mission '07

Back in 2007, while visiting San Francisco, I picked up a genuine Dutch cruiser on Craigslist--a white Batavus with Sturmey-Archer three-speed--and rode it all over the city day & night, on several SFBC rides, across the Golden Gate Bridge, to the beach with Critical Manners, etc.. My employer put me up in a nice hotel during the conference, where I worried that management might object to me bringing the bike inside. I didn't need to worry--the day manager and night manager fought each other for dibs on the right to buy the bike off me when I left town.

But afterward, when the Zeitgeist (biker bar) told me that I couldn't sleep there, I found lodging one night in a real dive of a hotel before moving to the excellent Elements Hostel in the Mission. San Francisco is famously cool and foggy, but the Mission is an oasis of dry sunshininess.

Here's a video:

(or on [vimeo] where you can full-screen it, or download the ".mov".)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bike-Friendly Bills

Here's a list of legislation in the current NC session directly or indirectly impacting cyclists:

(Thanks to NCATA's Ed Harrison for identifying and analyzing these Bills)

The North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance (NCATA) is a fairly new statewide advocacy organization working to improve nonmotorized transportation across NC. NCATA's new Spring 2009 newsletter is now available online at and has lots of updates on funding sources, advocacy events and general information about the organization. Download the newsletter and pass it along to friends, colleagues, club members, etc. and consider joining the organization to help support outreach and policy work for human-powered transportation (an individual membership is only $15!!!).

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Support Cycling on is soliciting suggestions for improvement. You can suggest, "Add trail information to Terrain view" and "Add bike trail information and biking directions"

Suggest Cycling

Monday, April 6, 2009

[CR] FW: The Ukraine bicycle factory in Kharkov

I felt this fascinating post from framebuilder Doug Fattic was worthy of reposting.

Date: Sat, 04 Dec 2004 08:53:17 -0500
From: Doug Fattic
Subject: [CR]FW: The Ukraine bicycle factory in Kharkov (too long)

John Thompson wrote:

"That's cool. I remember when I was over there in the 70s the Russians had a big bike factory in Kharkov. I wonder if it's still working? Most of the output was awful Soviet copies of Western consumer-grade crap, but IIRC, they did have a hard-currency store where you could buy some decent stuff like tubular tires from Czechoslovakia and the GDR."

Toni Theilmeier wrote :

Dear John,

I think I need to comment on your remarks on Soviet cycles from Kharkov.

These generally were regarded as the better ones during Soviet times, opposed to those from Perm which really were horrible. I have had several Kharkov (XB3, G.I. Petrovski Cycle Works in Kharkov) cycles as well as some from Perm, inside as well as outside the SU, and I must say that I admire those people who had to make do with either.

I once met a chap who cycled all over Central Asia on his 1979 XB3 model 155-411 "Start-Chaussee" racer. I've had this very bike for ten years now, and it never fails to draw attention when there are visitors in my dungeon, especially when I mention it has seen the deserts of
Kazakhstan and the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, amongst other places. Also it has a big red decal on the seat tube showing the 1980 Moscow Olympics symbol.

I cannot agree with your idea of the cycles being just "consumer grade bleep". One thing which I find to be a nice touch is that they had "XB3" on most, if not all parts (racing models), meaning that every part of the
cycle, save chains, tyres and lights, were made in-house. Something else is that the Kharkov engineers copied only the nicer bits of western cycles, like Campag Gran Sport, MAFAC brakes and so on.

I do agree that most models were rather inferior in build quality to what we are used to. Why this is so is a political matter not to be discussed on-list, I guess.

Yes John, that factory is still working and I played a part in keeping it open too. And thank you Toni for keeping this thread alive so that I — the undisputed list authority on the bicycle factory in Kharkov, Ukraine (close the the Russian border) — can share some of my experiences of visiting there 7 or 8 times in the last 4 years. Toni, we have in common more than just the ownership of a Johnny Berry frame (who in my opinion was the best of the British builders before he died in '74) but a Kharkov bicycle as well. I wish I could also share in your ability to speak Russian. Of course this post might wander a bit off list subject (more likely a lot but never mind) but I am going to give it a shot anyway to see if I can slip it past that Soviet style censor. So understand that if you read, in the middle of a sentence, the words "my 1969 Hetchins" or "my 1972 Masi" and it makes no sense with the flow of thought around it, I am trying to trick the big boss in charge of keeping order (at the expense of freedom of expression) I'm on topic. If I get caught, I will plead that Ukraine is big in the news right now and that in free America, we want to get first hand inside information about our sport and how it might be affected by current events. Today (Friday), in the South Bend Tribune, there is an article about what impact the political situation in Ukraine has on local people connected to that country. My name is right there in the beginning of the article about our bicycle project and they quote an e-mail from the secretary of our project in Kiev — who, by the way, could ride most of you list members into the ground. Hold your breath, avoid eye contact with Dale, and here goes:

One of the goals for our Ukraine Bicycle Project was to spend as much of the money we had raised for the bicycles we need in the country itself. This meant purchasing bicycles made in Ukraine rather than buying them in boxes from China. Well this factory in Kharkov was established in the 1920's and at one time made most of the bicycles used in the former USSR. They claimed to have made over 1,000,000 units a year at the peak of there production. After the switch to capitalism, this company had become a shell of what is was before.

In June of 2000, our team went there to negotiate the possible purchase of 200 bicycles for our pastors. We were ushered into the president of the company's office and the various models are lined up for us to choose. Like Toni said, they made all of the parts for those bicycles right there. He was proud of the company and asked what I thought. This is where the challenge to my ethics began.

The thought running through my head at that moment was they are all just crap and the only reason we want to buy from them is because of obligations. That wasn't, however, what I finally was able to say. We chose a ten-speed model (rather than an eight) that was suitable for transportation and carrying lots of stuff. At the time, all the factory workers were home on a forced vacation because there wasn't anybody buying their bicycles. So we place our order and they ask for 70% of the final cost as a down payment. This was necessary they said because they had to negotiate with the government to turn on the electricity and gas. I was sitting there thinking, "this is crazy, what am I supposed to do? What is standard negotiating practice?" I am looking at the Ukrainian guy on our team and he is just looking back at me wondering what was my call. I pushed aside my instinct that 50% was more than enough and gave the approval. At the same time thinking that the committee back in the states that oversees the project will kill me for such a rash act with donated funds.

But my call turned out okay and a couple of months later, the bicycles were built and ready for distribution. The memory of watching those workers loading our bikes onto the truck really left a powerful impression on me. They are probably paid about $50 a month and really seemed in need (actually inbred West Virginians that have never left the holler was my first impression but don't quote me. In other words, a job that the many highly educated and talented Ukrainians don't apply for). I couldn't imagine how they could survive when they go on "vacation".

The next week, I traveled to different cities where we gave the bicycles to pastors or other church workers. I explained how to properly set the bicycle seat and handlebar height and do a little repair and maintenance. At one of the churches, there were a lot of pastors present and the women of the church fed us a very terrific meal. I thought this is great food and there is an abundance of bicycles around, throw in sleeping bags and this has all the makings of a bike tour. We just need to ride to the next church. That is how the idea of our fund raising bike ride got started. Our first one was in 2001 and we completed our 5th one week long tour in 2004. It is by far my favorite week of the year. It can be yours too. Our out-of-date- website is:

That was just the beginning of my experiences at the Kharkov factory. I wanted them to make more than just improvements to our bikes, but to the factory itself. It's kind of cool that they make all the parts there but that idea alone has no chance in today's world economy. What would you buy when looking for a bicycle? A frame with Shimano equipped parts or copies of 1950s parts? Well, list members are not a random sample of wants so never mind but no one would argue that a company dies when it doesn't keep pace with technology.

KLM stops in Holland on the way home from Kiev and I made a point of visiting Shimano Europe. I was fortunate that I had won the latest Shimano sponsored contest of best bike at their booth at Interbike and they knew who I was. I asked the big boys and they agreed to help me (I kept my personal Campy equipped bike out of sight) both with getting parts from them to put on Kharkov frames for our project and for them to visit the factory itself to explore marketing possibilities. They thought that Ukraine was not a market ready for them yet. I explained my experiences looking all around Kiev at almost every bicycle shop for our needs and had a reasonable understanding of the market and the situation at Kharkov. They agreed to go.

I timed my next visit to Ukraine to coincide with when the director of Shimano sales for all of Europe as well as the guy in charge of sales in Eastern Europe would visit Kharkov. This visit was a personal illustration of the differences between Western and old Eastern thinking. As luck would have it, I convinced a personal Russian friend of mine - that had inspired me to get involved in this project in the first place - to serve as my translator. He received his PhD at Andrews University (were I got my degrees) and now taught in Russia. His thesis was on a twenty year period of Czarist history in the 1500's when the Czar promoted a seventh-day Sabbath (of obvious interest to a Seventh-day Adventist). This idea went out when that Czar lost power but lets kinda get back to the subject (or at least pretend to) and not really, really annoy Dale.

His (my Russian friend's) hobby is making amateur films and I wanted some documentation of what we were doing. He agreed to come. Now the setting of the story is that we are waiting at the factory for the Shimano guys to show up and making small talk with the various department heads. Most of these guys are really good people but I just couldn't/can't stand the director in charge (a change of personnel from our first order). He's the boss from hell.

Something made people scatter from the director's office and while we are waiting in the hall, our translator overhears the director talking to someone on the phone. He is wanting to know who Shimano is and what is the value for them being there? I couldn't believe it?! Their very salvation is dependent on the negotiations about to take place and he is so uniformed and ill prepared! Of course bicycles may just not be what his responsibility is but just a cover but I didn't come to spy. We wait again in the office nibbling Russian chocolates and Ukrainian sweets.

Things get interesting when Shimano arrives and the meeting begins. The big boys gives the company guys the news first hand that over 90% of all bicycles made in the world are equipped with some Shimano parts. They explain that it is possible for them to order directly from them and save the middleman charges. Immediately the young Kharkov salesman asks how much of that saved money has to be kicked back to them under the table for the privilege. The Shimano guys smiled and assured them it was all theirs and they work above board. Shimano also wanted to know their marketing strategy and manufacturing abilities.

During this presentation I saw the need to give some advice as powerfully as I could. They needed to make what customers wanted and not what they wanted to make and hope it sells. I mean, this seemed too obvious to mention - the different approach to manufacturing between Capitalism and Communism. The head Shimano guy was really backing me up and saying "yea, you really need to do that". Everyone seemed to listen except Comrade Director who probably was wondering if the cost of those chocolates was a waste on these Shimano guys unless some were left to take home for himself.

Hmmm, I see that I have written too much and nobody will still be holding their breath. For the two of you left that have read this far (one of whom might actually speak English but hopefully does not have the first name of Dale) I will mercifully come to an intermission. The short version of the rest of the story is that the Director of the factory didn't want to bother with a new order for us once they started to get busy after equipping their bicycles with Shimano parts (you're welcome, thanks for remembering what I did for you).

Now we are going to make frames ourselves in Kiev. With some confidence in these readship numbers, I think it might be safe to make an offer. Like I mentioned, my Russian translator/inspirer made a video of our project including going to the factory and taking pictures inside their interesting museum. I was a little uncomfortable with it because it was a little too much about my efforts (I'm not kidding) but it's what we have. We also did a video of our bicycle ride. Copies of either of these can be made available. Contact me for more information (read: let me figure out how to do this in the meantime out of the 2 copies I have). Someone might be inspired to help with this project as well.

Doug "always give me the short version please" Fattic
Niles, Michigan

Classicrendezvous mailing list

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mr. C's Magpie

Curtis, the bike wrench Buddha from CNC's glory days, is back! and he is building custom frames!

Read about it, and view the snaps, in Branson's article on Research Trailer Park.

I guess Five-oh wasn't Mr. C's cup-o-tea?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Demise of Austin TX

Austin, once a great city, apparently has sunk:

Hassling the volunteers working hard to make the world a better place makes Austin just another two-bit Texas sleaze town. Don't mess with Texas--they're pretty much a mess already.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Alaska Randonneurs ready to ride

The Kenai Peninsula Clarion reports that the Alaskak Randonneurs are ready to ride:

Randonneurs ready to ride

The Alaska Randonneurs kick off the 2009 randonneuring season with two rides on the Kenai Peninsula.

On March 28, the End-of-the-Road 200-kilometer brevet will start from Two Sisters Bakery in Homer. On April 11, the North Kenai Peninsula 200-kilometer brevet will start from the Kenai Safeway.

The long-distance bicycle rides are scenic, challenging and noncompetitive. For more information, visit

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Carrboro: Smith Level Rd.

NCDOT is hosting both the pre-hearing and public hearing on Smith Level Rd on Monday. See the details at OP.

My chief concerns with this project are:

1. Bike accommodation on a steep grade
2. Interchange with the future Morgan Creek greenway.

On a steep downhill, bikes often approach the speed limit and cyclists need to be able to utilize greater lane width, especially if the lane edges are obstructed by litter, foliage, ice, salt, bad pavement, etc.. For this reason, wide outside lanes (no stripe) are preferable to bike lanes on steep descents. Furthermore, it is never a good idea to put a bike lane on only one side of a two-way street, because that would encourage wrong-way cycling. Wide lanes with Sharrows would be the appropriate treatment for the hill on Smith Level Rd..

Smith Level/Greensboro serves important destinations including Carrboro High School to the south and Weaver Street and Farmer's Market to the north. This section will also intersect with the future Morgan Creek Greenway. It is important that road widening in this section be planned to safely interchange bike & ped traffic with the future greenway--e.g. to allow safe ped crossing where necessary, discourage "wrong way" cycling, and facilitate easy, efficient and safe access for all travelers.

The DOT design map for this project doesn't even show the Morgan Creek greenway!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the beginning…

Full text available (free) from Ibiblio / Project Gutenberg:
  • The preface and first couple chapters in HTML (work in progress)
  • The whole enchilada in plain old txt


from the August 30, 1884 Harper's Weekly

On this page we give the portrait of Mr. Thomas Stevens, who started from San Francisco, California, April 22, with the avowed intention of riding around the world (barring the Oceans) on his bicycle. He was born at Great Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire, England, December 24, 1854. Emigrating to the far West in 1871, he had not been east of the Mississippi until he started out on his famous bicycle ride across the continent. Seven men have within the last three years attempted the same feat, but the great difficulties encountered in crossing the 1500 miles of rocky mountain, barren deserts, and bridgeless streams between California and the Missouri River have invariably turned them back.

More than one-third of the route followed by Mr. Stevens had to be walked. Eighty-three and a half days of actual travel and twenty days stoppage for wet weather, etc., made one hundred and three and a half days occupied in reaching Boston, the distance by wagon-road being about 3700 miles. He followed the old California trail most of the way across the plains and mountains, astonishing the Indians, and meeting with many strange adventures. Mr. STEVENS reached Boston August 4, and is now in New York, where he hopes to make arrangements which will enable him to complete the journey around the globe; through England, France, Germany, Austria, and Turkey, thence through Asia to the Pacific.



From Charlotte Amtrak to Raleigh Amtrak

This 160mi route takes you from one end of the Amtrak Piedmont's service line to the other. I'm sure a strong and determined cyclist could do it in a single day, but when we rode it a few years ago, we made an overnight camping trip of it, arriving very late at night at the (RV) campground in Asheboro. That is in a "dry" county by the way, so BYOB if needed.

Campground staff treated us kindly. We took a dip in the swimming pool. I think there was some all-night industry (timber?) nearby that marred our Zzzzzzs with odor...or noise? or both, I don't recall precisely.

I've heard of one other group planning to do something similar this summer (2009), but they're using a longer route, through the Uwharries and making a three-day (two night) trip of it. Sounds like a lot of fun and adventure!

Maps: 160mi (257km)

Go to the Bikely / Google Interactive Route Map

Charlotte Amtrak on N Tryon St
0.0R3.4N Tryon
3.4R2.6Old Concord Rd
6.0R8.9Rocky River Rd
14.9R0.7Lower Rocky River Rd
15.6L1.5Pine Grove Ch Rd
17.1L8.0Flowes Store Rd
(becomes Miami Ch Rd)
25.1L2.2Cold Springs Rd
27.3R0.0Cold Springs Rd E
27.3L2.5Walker Rd
29.8L0.1NC-73 (Mt Pleasant Hwy)
29.9R0.3St Johns Ch Rd
30.2R6.5Mt Olive Rd
36.7R1.3Sansbury Rd
to Gold Hill
38.0L3.8St Stephens Ch Rd
41.8L0.1Old US-80
41.9R0.1Doby Dr
42.1R7.0High Rock Rd
(becomes Wyatts Grove Ch Rd)
49.1R8.2Bringle Ferry Rd 1002
(becomes Denton Rd)
57.3R0.9W Peacock Ave
58.5R8.8E 1st St
(becomes Farmer-Denton Rd)
67.3L8.0Old 49 into Asheboro
75.3BL1.9merges with 49 and becomes Albemarle Rd
77.2L0.4S Park St
77.6R0.8Kivett St
78.4L0.3Cliff Rd
78.7R0.8N Randolph
(becomes MLK Jr Dr)
79.5L0.5Cedar Falls Rd
80.0BR4.2Old Cedar Falls Rd
84.2L0.2Loflin Pond Rd
84.4R3.9Cedar Falls Rd
through Franklinville
(becomes NC-22)
to Ramseur
88.3L1.4Patterson Grove Rd
89.7R3.8Fuergeson Rd
94.2R2.8Old Staley Rd
(becomes Columbia St in Staley)
97.0R0.1W Railroad St
97.1L0.2Pittsboro St
97.3L0.2Foushee St
97.5R3.0E Franklinville St
(becomes Staley-Snow Camp Rd)
100.5R0.9Pike Rd
101.4R7.9Silk Hope Liberty Rd
109.3L0.5Silk Hope Lindley Mill Rd
109.8R5.7Epps Clark Rd
(becomes Henderson Tanyard Rd)
115.5R1.4Castle Rock Farm Rd
117.6R3.6Chicken Bridge Rd
(Cross the Haw River)
121.2R2.8River Rd
124.0R0.6Hamlet Chp Rd
124.6L0.7Oak Hill Rd
125.3L0.3Manns Chp Rd
125.6R3.3Andrews Store Rd
129.6R3.2Jack Bennett Rd
132.8R1.0Lystra Rd-Jack Bennett Rd
133.8R2.1Farrington Rd
135.9L2.9Marthas Chp Rd
139.2L4.2Lewter Shop Rd
(becomes Green Level Ch Rd)
143.4L2.0Green Hope School Rd
(Walk around barricades and across RR track)
145.4R1.2Carpenter Upchurch Rd
146.6L3.5High House Rd (Cary)
150.1L0.7Old Apex Rd
150.8BL3.7W. Chatham St
(becomes E Chatham St)
(becomes Hillsborogh St)
154.5BR0.8Western Blvd
155.3L0.2Powell Dr
155.5R1.5Beryl Rd
157.0R2.2Hillsborough St
159.2BR0.5Morgan St
159.7R0.2Boylan Ave
159.9L0.2Kinsey St
160.1L0.2Cabarrus St
160.3---LAmtrak Station—Raleigh NC
Raleigh Amtrak on Cabarrus St
CH = Church
CHP = Chapel

Monday, March 2, 2009

Hanging Rock Loop

Starting point: Greensboro Amtrak Station

Hanging Rock is spectacular. Do this ride as a century or as an overnight camping trip. Here are some snaps from when Roger Truit and I rode it in the Fall of 2006:
Picasa SlideshowPicasa Web AlbumsFullscreen

Bikely Route Map

Starting Point Maps (Greensboro Amtrak Depot):

1 Adult Passenger—Rail Fare: $22.00 round-trip
Departing: Raleigh, NC (RGH) To Greensboro, NC (GRO)
Service Departs Arrives Duration Amenities Seats/Rooms
73 Piedmont Raleigh, NC - (RGH) 7:05 am Greensboro, NC - (GRO) 8:34 am 1h 29m Checked baggage 1 Reserved Coach Seat
Returning: Greensboro, NC (GRO) To Raleigh, NC (RGH)
Service Departs Arrives Duration Amenities Seats/Rooms
74 Piedmont Greensboro, NC - (GRO) 7:05 pm Raleigh, NC - (RGH) 8:40 pm 1h 35m Checked baggage, Snack car 1 Reserved Coach Seat
To buy tickets online

Cycles de Oro
Greensbro, NC

Go to the Bikely / Google Interactive Route Map

Amtrak Station (Greensboro NC)

0.0Greensboro Amtrak
0.0W 0.2Washington St (go west)
0.2R 5.9Elm St (alt: Church St)
6.1- 0.5through roundabout onto Bass Chappel Rd
6.6L 2.5Regent's Park Ln
(a neighborhood street)
9.1L 0.5Lake Brandt Rd
9.6R 1.3Old Battleground (2340)
10.9- 0.7becomes Horse Pen Creek Rd
11.6R 1.8Carlson Dairy Rd (Greensboro CC)
13.4L 0.3Pleasant Ridge Rd (store)
BR TRO Pleasant Ridge Rd
(NOT Lewiston)
13.7R 1.1Stanley Huff Rd
14.8L 3.4Bunch Rd
18.2L 1.5Oak Ridge Rd (NC-150)
Cross NC-68; Wendy's, Supermarkets, etc.
19.7R 2.1Linville Rd
21.8L 0.2Haw River Rd
22.0R 2.6Goodwill Ch Rd (Guilford)
becomes Freeman Rd
24.6L 0.1Piney Grove Rd
24.7R 2.1Goodwill Ch Rd (Forsyth)
26.8R 1.7Belews Creek Rd
28.5L 5.1NC-65
33.6R 0.0Stokesburg Rd
Cross RR Tracks
33.6R 0.5Main St (NC-89/US-311) Walnut Cove
Restaurants, ABC Store
34.1L 6.53rd St (Walnut Cove)
BR becomes Piney Mountain Rd
40.6R 0.6NC-8
41.2L 1.0Flat Shoals Rd
(S. Stokes VFD)
42.2R 0.9TRO Flat Shoals Rd
43.1BL 4.5TRO Flat Shoals Rd
(Scenic view of Hanging Rock on the right)
47.6BR 0.5(2nd) Covington Rd 2008
48.1BR 0.8Capella School Rd
48.9BR .NC-66 climb through the pass
between HR and Sauratown.
Convenience store
At 49.4 you could turn left onto the very scenic Taylor Rd for bonus miles or to climb Sauratown
50.0R 5.3Moore's Spring Rd
55.3R -Hanging Rock SP Rd.
IF going up!
55.3R 1.6Moore's Spring Rd
East, toward Danbury
56.9R 5.0NC-8/NC-89
61.9BL6.9TRO NC-89 (NOT 8) joins US-311
then becomes Main St in Walnut Cove
68.8L0.0Stokesburg Rd
Cross RR Tracks
73.9L0.4Belews Creek Rd TRO NC-65
74.3R0.8TRO Belews Creek Rd / NC-65
75.1R1.7Kernersville Rd
76.8R1.0becomes Piney Grove Rd
77.8L2.6Freeman Rd
becomes Goodwill Ch Rd
80.4L0.2Haw River Rd
80.6R2.1Linville Rd
82.7L1.7Oak Ridge Rd (NC-150)
84.4R0.7Bunch Rd
85.1BR2.7TRO Bunch Rd
87.8R1.1Stanley Huff Rd
88.9L0.3Pleasant Ridge Rd (Store)
89.3R1.8Carlson Dairy Rd (NOT Lewiston)
(Greensboro CC)
91.1L0.7Horse Pen Creek Rd
91.8-1.3becomes Old Battleground (2340)
93.1L0.5Lake Brandt Rd
93.7R1.4Regent's Park Ln
95.1R0.7Bluff Run Dr
95.8L0.3Lake Jeanette Rd
96.1R5.9(through roundabout) Elm St (alt: Church St)
102.0L0.2Washington St
102.2R0.0Greensboro Amtrak


Update: Amtrak no longer charges a fee for bikes on the Piedmont train! Also, this summer they will add mid-day service, with bike racks on-board!

From Greensboro Amtrak to Raleigh Amtrak

82mi (133km)
Go to the Bikely / Google Interactive Route Map

This is a nice rolling route through the rural Piedmont region. From Snow Camp to Green Level it covers the same territory as the NCBC 200 brevet, but with a differing route to provide some variation and uses some quieter and perhaps slightly shorter and maybe hillier roads. Since these roads see less traffic, they get less maintenance and may have a few minor surface blemishes.

The start (Greensboro Train Depot) is about 500' higher than the finish (Raleigh Train Depot), so overall the route is downhill. That said there ARE some climbs throughout, especially in the last 25 miles (east of Jordan Lake). Biggest descent: Jack Bennett Rd approaching Lake Jordan. Biggest climb: Highhouse Rd by Bond Park in Cary.

There are few stores on this route, so traffic and roadside litter are both low (outside of Cary-Raleigh). After mile 16, it's almost 40 miles to the next store, so stock up! (There are a couple of stores just a bit off the route but, unless you know where they are, you won't find them.)

Two off-route stores are located at:

  • NC-62 at Alamance Ch Rd (1005)
  • (Frosty's) Crawford Dairy Rd at Hamlet's Chapel Rd
Alteration: If you go straight on Lewter Shop Rd, instead of turning right on Green Level Rd W, it will become Green Level School Rd which takes you past Cary's Thomas Brooks Park before rejoining Green Level Rd W. The park has water and clean restrooms.

The Amtrak fare, one-way, is about $ 11.00.

Greensboro Amtrak on Tryon St
0.0East1.0Washington St

BR at Pastor Anderson Way TRO Washington St
1.0BR0.6McConnell Rd
1.6R 1.9Willow Rd. (go under I-40/I-85 Bus.)
3.5L14.8Alamance Ch Rd (1005) go over I-40/I-85

BR at McPherson Clay TRO Alamance Ch (1005)

Store at NC-62 (last store for 40mi)
18.3BR7.2W. Greensboro Chp Hill Rd (1005)
25.5- 1.1Sylvan School Rd
26.6L 0.4Snow Camp Rd
27.0R 1.6Griffin Rd
28.6R 0.8Hollman Mill Rd
29.4L 2.9Major Hill Rd
32.3R 0.5Lindley Mill Rd
32.8L 2.1Old Switchboard Rd

(Alt route: Castle Rock Farm Rd to NC-87 to Chicken Bridge Rd)
34.9L 1.1Greenhill Rd
36.0R 5.9Russell Rd
becomes Mount Olive Ch Rd
41.9L 2.1Chicken Bridge Rd (cross the Haw River)
44.0R 2.9River Rd
46.9R 0.6Hamlet Chp Rd
47.5L 0.7Oak Hill Rd
48.2L 0.3Mann's Chp Rd
48.5R 3.4Andrew's Store Rd ("Shop Quick" Store at 15-501)
51.9L 0.6US-15-501
52.5R 3.2Jack Bennett Rd (Traffic Light) Downhill!
55.7R 1.0Lystra Rd
56.7R 2.1Farrington Rd (1008) Jordan Lake (Traffic Light)
58.8L 2.8Martha's Chp Rd
61.6R 0.4NC-751 (caution: fast traffic)
62.0L 0.4Lewter Shop Rd (Jean's Berry Patch)
62.4R 10.1Green Level Rd

Cross the American Tobacco Trail

(Alt route: go straight)
becomes High House (1615) Climb!
72.5L 4.0W. Chatham (1011)
becomes Hillsborough St at I-40 overpass
76.5BR0.9Western Blvd
77.4L 0.2Powell Dr
77.6R 1.4Beryl Rd
79.0BL0.1TRO Beryl Rd
79.1R 2.1Hillsborough St (54) past NCSU
81.2BR0.6W. Morgan St
81.8R 0.2Boylan St (RR overpass)
82.0L 0.1Dupont Circle
82.1L 0.1TRO Dupont Circle
82.2L 0.1Cabarrus St
West St
Amtrak Depot


Lou Reed:
Satellite of

Satellites gone, Way up to mars
Soon it will be filled, With parking cars

I watch it for a little while
I love to watch things on tv

Satellite of love
Satellite of love

A satellite is defined by the object it orbits. A physicist will tell you that the satellite is forever falling toward its attractor, yet paradoxically we can all see that it never gets any nearer. To get closer, it would need to lose its own forward motion, and would soon be burned.

Juxtaposing cold ultramodern technology and primeval fundamental emotion, the poor solitary Satellite Of Love is, "SOL, SOL, SOL--out of luck."

Going "way up to mars" is adventurous. Filling it with "parking cars" transforms the exotic to the mundane, worthy not of getting off the sofa. tv is voyeuristic--a decidedly one-way communication. One can drop dead watching life on tv.

Things gone "right up to the skies," generally will not return. When one is driven out of one's mind, it can be by a thing one loves, despises or both. To drive you really out of your mind, probably both. After such a drive, one parks it on Mars.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on France 2:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Petersburg-Raleigh Trail

From the SouthEast High-Speed Rail FAQ:

14. I have heard there could be a possible trail or greenway along the corridor?

Yes. The SEHSR project now includes a parallel multipurpose trail concept, a unique opportunity to provide additional economic and quality-of-life value for most all the towns and communities along the corridor. The trail concept would be a separate project, parallel to and outside the rail right of way, but within the SEHSR study corridor. As such, all environmental work being collected and analyzed for the rail project would be available for evaluation of the trail concept. The environmental clearance of the trail would allow trail proponents in each state to apply for state and federal funds for the eventual completion of the trail.

Incorporation of the trail concept into the SEHSR project was requested and funded by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The trail concept would run from just south of Petersburg to the Neuse River, north of Raleigh. It likely would become part of the East Coast Greenway, a proposed trail traversing the east coast states from Maine to Florida.

Furthermore, quotes the SEHSR project manager as saying:

…The trail concept runs from just south of Petersburg, Virginia (at Burgess) to the north side of Raleigh at the Neuse River (approximately 116 miles), connecting all the cities and towns along the way. It could become an important link in the East Coast Greenway, a proposed trail that would traverse the eastern seaboard states from Maine to Florida .

The trail location would vary in proximity to the rail right of way, and would also cross from the east side to the west side as needed, using current or purposed grade separations (i.e. there will be no “at-grade” crossings of the trail and the main rail line)

For approximately 76 miles, where the proposed rail improvements will fall within the existing rail right of way, the trail concept is envisioned to be on a 30’ trail cross section on a 60’ right of way, completely outside the rail right of way. The minimum separation (between the tracks and the trail) would be 50-60 feet, and the average should be about 100 feet.

For the remaining 40 miles, where the rail alternatives are expected to go off of the existing rail right of way, the trail would likely use the old, inactive rail right of way…

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Raleigh's hybrid circulator

Raleigh's new downtown circulator bus is a great—hybrid and free! And I think it is routed to connect to the parking garages—great work! Yet, I have concerns:

  1. I don’t see a BIKE RACK in the photo.
  2. It is a perversion of the term to call this “BRT”. This is good, but it is NOT BRT. Please don’t insult our intelligence.
  3. Is it a BIO-diesel hybrid? Grease disposal is a big problem in Raleigh, causing sanitary sewer overflows. This bus centers on a high restaurant density area and should burn waste veg oil.
  4. Will there be supporting WAY FINDING improvements for riders? Especially important for out of town guests.

More info at New Raleigh

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Try again

I started a blog years ago here, but don't remember the password, so here goes another try…

I'm thinking I might move some stuff from my webserver to here.

More topical things I'll likely post on other blogs and forums (see sidebar).

The Winds which pass over my Dwelling,
are such as Sweep across
the ridges of Mountains
bearing the broken strains,
or terrestrial parts only
of Celestial Music

The Morning Wind forever blows
The Poem of Creation is Uninterrupted
Olympus is but the outside of the Earth

—H.D. Thoreau