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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moving on up...

This site has changed names and moved to, be sure to check it out!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Just Riding Along... Waxing philosophical...

Lately, I have been mapping, saving, and logging all of my miles during cycling excursions and also while running. Part of me is really into statistics, and it is nice to see your progress on a chart. Many different apps and programs are available to the masses, I have been using Map My Ride. It is a great program, easy to use, and I highly recommend it. That said, I am completely abandoning my stat recording habit. Here is why: I have become obsessed with logging miles. So much so, that all of my rides and runs are only mileage focused, and not enjoying the process of riding or running. Lets be honest though, is running really enjoyable? Anyway, I have found myself not enjoying the opportunities that arise, for example, stopping for a great photo, taking a road I have never been on, stopping on a run just to breath in nature, all because I do not want to ruin my average speed. That is lame. Also, I have been reading quite a bit off of Rivendell Bicycle Works's website. Not only do they sell quality bicycles, parts, clothing, and lots of other goodies, there is a ton of great information on cycling in general. In our house with a new baby, I am spending a good chunk of time sitting with our baby boy and just reading about cycling from their perspective. It is really starting to soak in and make sense. Check out their site, tons of information, and lots of pretty pictures of bicycles, like this for example:
Photo from Rivendell's site.
Just keep spinning...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just Riding Along... Return to Caesar Creek.

Finally made the return trip up to Caesar Creek state park yesterday, this time with my brother in law. I have been to this park a few times, each time getting a little lost. This time however, we set out with the plan to figure out this trail system. So, after meeting up at the Harveysburg Rd. trail head, we were off to get lost. The trail overall is nice and smooth for the most part. There are lost of roots to make this trail a bit bumpy, especially on a fully rigid steel bike. Not unbearable, just rattling. The most surprising feature of this trail is the amount of climbing. Driving to the trail head through farmlands, and a relatively flat surrounding area, you would not picture much climbing action when on the trail. However, this trail was designed to put you in and out of every single little ravine in the vicinity. None of the climbs are of epic leg breaking length, but all are steep. And when I say steep, I mean you are hiking for some. It is quite the surprise.
Our route started at the Harveysburg Rd. trail head, which put us on the more techinical "Red" trail. After that section, we ended up on the "Blue" section, and from what I gather from looking at the map we rode the "Black" and some of the "Yellow." We ended up not really sure where we were, but after consulting Google Maps on my phone, we realized that we were on our way to the campground. Not in our cards unfortunately. We doubled back at that point and figured our way back to our trucks. This is a great trail system, that from the looks of it gets lots of traffic. My only complaint is that there is no real signage. Many times we were just taking a trail at a junction to see where it ended up. But, that was the point of this ride, to figure out the system. Smooth single track and adventure just outside of Cincinnati? I will take that. Just keep spinning...
1st ride with the tire combo of the Maxxis Ardent 2.6" paired with a Maxxis Crossmark 2.1" in the rear.
Map of the area thanks to CORA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Beer:30... Mt. Carmel Springtime Ale.

Sometimes, you get tired of heavy, dark beers. Sometimes the time is just not right for a stout. The heaviness of a dark beer on a warm day is too much to bear. That is why I like to switch it up with beers, drink a certain style for a bit, then flip the incoming flow to the opposite side of beer. That bill has recently been filled with Mt. Carmel's Springtime Ale:

Mt. Carmel is my favorite out of the local breweries, so take that into consideration here. But, their Springtime Ale delivers. Brewed in the "Scot's Tradition," this beer pours a nice amber coloration, with a decent white head. The beer flows over the taste buds like a light beer with real beer flavors, such as malts, spice, and in lack of better terms, an earthly feel. Just what you would expect from a spring seasonal. The beer finishes dry, and I would call it the perfect lawn mowing brew. It also works well in the garage, as you can tell from the picture above.

This beer is a favorite of mine, especially for this time of year. I would call it a beer drinker's light beer, only due to the lower alcohol level. This is definitely what I needed, especially after spending this winter drinking heavier octane brews. Once again, well done Mt. Carmel. I need to head back to the brewery to get my growler filled again!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Beer:30... 21st Amendment Lower DeBoom Barleywine.

Yesterday I took out my wife for her birthday lunch at our favorite restaurant in our little burg, Padrino (Check them out here. Not only is their food top notch, but their beer list is one of the best in the Cincinnati area. Anyway, once inside the restaurant, I glanced at the taps and spotted something that I had not seen before. Enter 21st Amendment's Lower DeBoom Barleywine:

If you remember, I first noticed 21st Amendment with their winter seasonal, Fireside Chat (Review here). Definitely a tasty brew, which got me interested in the brand. This beer, however, was completely off of my radar. Here is why:

This beer is part of their "Big Can" series, which basically is a keg only, three times a year or so release of a limited, small batch beer. Luckily, Padrino scored a keg of this monster, here are my thoughts...

The beer pours into your snifter like most barleywines, with a ruby hue, topped off with a decent sized, almost creamy head. Flavor wise, this barleywine delivers. Nice fruity flavors blend with malt goodness and hints of toffee, finishing with a nice bit of alcohol. Easier to drink than Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, or Anchor Brewing's Old Foghorn. Not knocking those two beers, but this beer is special. The flavors blend so nicely, and more start to show themselves once your glass has warmed a bit. I found myself wanting a second glass, but since it was my wife's birthday lunch I had to refrain, luckily for me since this beer is around 10.5% ABV.

This has been a solid barleywine from 21st Amendment, and one of the best that I have had. This beer ranks up their with Great Divide's Old Ruffian for me when it comes to the style. I will be heading back to Padrino to have some more of this delight. Well done!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Just Riding Along... Troll glamour shots...

Yesterday received my new Schwalbe Big Apples tires, so on they went for some sweet road action. Sure, they say on the sidewall "26x2.35," but damn are they big. Amazingly, there is still room to spare on the Troll frame.

Today, just a quick ride for some pictures in the nice sunlight.

Just keep spinning...

Look Rickey, no hands!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Beer:30... Smuttynose Baltic Porter.

Smuttynose Baltic Porter. This is a beer that I have wanted to try for some time now, finally had the chance the other day. Since dark, heavy porters are one of my favorite styles, it was inevitable that I would have to try this one out. And after just one bottle, I will say that this beer is going to be a staple in my arsenal.

Part of their "Big Beer Series," this beer is only available is the larger, single bottle. Once opened and poured into your glass, it pours super dark with a decent sized tan head. The beer has a sweet smell of malts and chocolate. The taste follows suit, with added coffee flavors and a hint of vanilla. Lots of flavors are happening here, I will admit probably some that I am missing, but it is never overwhelming, it all balances nicely. This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink.

Thankfully Ohio is one of the 19 states that Smuttynose ships to. After this beer, when I see the brand I will be picking it up. Well done Smuttynose!

Be sure to check out their site here.