Friday, September 02, 2011

updates updates updates

This will be a jumbled pile of somewhat related riding stories.

Been riding more lately and it's been awesome. Raleigh and I have gotten out to Nashville's Greenway at least once a week since we got her trailer. We've worked our way to riding all the way to the dam and back which equals about 23 miles. She does great in the trailer. Stays awake for 2/3-3/4 of the ride then passes out until we get back to the car. That's about an hour and 45 minutes of straight riding which is pretty impressive for a 15 month old to handle. She's got her snack cup, drink and maybe 1 toy and she's happy. Pulling that 50 pound trailer can be cumbersome on some of the climbs but I have to think it's making me a stronger rider.

I've been able to make it out to 2 gravel grinder rides in the past month or so. I bailed out of the first one at the 22 mile halfway point. (in the 40 mile route). I felt pretty good that day but we got a late start and I didn't want to be out for the full day. I also didn't trust myself to be able to safely make it to the 40 mile mark. I felt good at mile 22 and felt I could easily ride another 5-10 miles, but I wasn't sure about 20 miles. We had a good crew though, some regulars like Jeffy, Jim S, Parker and Monster McConnell and a few new guys (at least to my riding) like Jim's 12 year old son, Jims co-worker Stick, Jeffy's wife, and a few peeps from NMB. It was a fun route out near White Bluff TN.  You can view the details of my ride here:

The 2nd gravel ride was this past weekend. A similar crew but on the dirt roads of Hickman County this time. I finished this ride feeling great and we managed about 45 miles. I was treating this as a test of my fitness for the upcoming Crush n Rush 50 mile gravel race/ride/party. I felt good for most of the day. I did a great job of keeping food in me and we stopped at 2 different stores so I was able to keep my bottles filled as well. We lucked into a great respite from the heat and had temps in the mid 80s most of the day. We did Jim's normal Hickman route backwards which I thought was a lot of fun. We ended up with 3600 feet of climbing in 45 miles but it didn't feel like a lot of climbing. There were long stretches of rolling or even flat gravel road that were a lot of fun to ride. We hit a few of the old favorites from a couple years ago like Tyler Ridge and the hog farm. All in all if was one of THE best days on the bike I've had in over a year I'd say. Loads of fun.  Ride details can be seen here:

I was also able to participate in another Ride for Reading book delivery recently. I've missed quite a few but this was to be their biggest delivery yet with over 60 riders signed up. We ended up riding 6 miles to the school with the first lady of Tennessee and delivering books to an entire elementary school. The ride was fun and very low key but the real reward was at the school. Seeing how excited those kids were to receive free books and to see so many people having fun on bikes. It's indescribable really. What an awesome non-profit! Photos HERE. Video posted in previous blog entry.

Today I decided to ride my bike into the studio in Franklin. I've been working on jingle sessions there Tuesday-Friday and have been taking our dog with me each day. While driving home in traffic yesterday I got a huge itch to ride my bike in today. The ride down to Franklin was great in the morning. It wasn't too hot yet at 8am when I started. It's a hilly ride to get down there and I was feeling it in my legs by the time I arrived. Google maps told me it would take 1hr 30 mins to ride there. I know they are quite conservative but I didn't want to cut it close so I gave myself 2 hours before the clients came. I made the ride in 1:05 which worked well to give me ample time to cool down and change clothes.

By the time I was ready to ride back home it was 100 degrees outside. I figured I'd take it easy and just ride as slow as needed since I was not in a hurry to get back. I am terrible at riding a slow pace so I ended up just riding what felt comfortable. The heat wasn't that bad as long as I was moving. Stopping at a light was all the reminder I needed that it was 100ยบ. I ended up making it home in 57 minutes. There is less climbing on the way home so I figured I'd be quicker but with the heat and the traffic the ride didn't feel that much faster. When I drive it takes me a good 45 minutes to get home with all the traffic so it was only an extra 15 minutes to do the route on bike.

I ended up with 200 miles logged in the past 30 days which I know isn't a lot for most cyclists but it's more than double my usual August miles. With the new family addition it's a ton of riding for me! Hopefully I can keep it up into fall.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ride for Reading Book Delivery Video

If you want to know what it's like to ride with 60+ cyclists, delivering 2,000+ books to an entire elementary school..... watch this video.

We also had the First Lady of Tennessee riding with us and a full State Trooper escort and a few secret service personnel.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The emotions of mixing a song

It's amazing the emotions I go through while mixing a song.

Excited to start

Accomplished to get things roughed in

Overwhelmed to have things not come together as quickly as I'd like

Anxious to check how it sounds in other places like the car

Let down to struggle with parts of the mix

Excited to see the song polished up and coming together better

Anxious to hear feedback from the client when a ref is sent

Second guessing my skills as I wait to hear from client

Pumped up to hear from an excited client who likes the mix

I go through about every one of these for every song I mix. It's a rollercoaster which can wear me down sometimes and also build me up other times.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Took my own advice

Took my own advice and went back out to Hamilton Creek early this morning. Met up with an old friend whom I hadn't seen or ridden with in ages. We were on the trail by 6:45am which meant I was back home and cleaned up by 9am. That's what I'm talking about, I gotta stay motivated and get out on these early morning rides more. If I want to get bad in shape and get some serious miles under my belt, I'm going to have to get it done in the early morning or in night rides.

The trail was in better shape today than it was two days ago. We rode the trail counter-clockwise at a steady pace and there were no obstructions that forced dismounts, other than the usual tricky rocky sections. It was fun to be back on a trail I just rode. I cleaned some sections that I screwed up last ride, but missed a few new sections this time. Hammy will always humble you on your handling skills. I'm always thankful whenever I can leave without any wounds. :) My knees felt better this ride and did some slight saddle angle and height tweaks. Cleats still may need a few tweaks.

Now it's time to relax and enjoy the rest of the day with the family. Nice to already have a few miles in.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Hammy needs you

Now is the time to get out and ride Hamilton Creek! The trail is in great shape with just a small number of soft spots where water has collected but 99% of the trail is dry and ready to ride. A group of riders were out this morning working on the trail and trimming back faceslappers and overgrowth. The trail should look and ride great for the 50 Miles of Hamilton Creek race next weekend (and Fat Tire Fest)

Tim S. cut a few small new re-routes that need to be ridden in before the race. So get out there and ride the trail and enjoy it!

I made it out for 2 laps on the advanced side this afternoon. It was a very leasurely ride though at this point all my rides are since I'm so out of shape. :) I rode the first lap solo and then met up with the work crew and rode a second lap with them. It felt great to be out and I'm still loving my new WTB Vigo saddle. I'm thinking I need to get my cleat and saddle position tweaked though soon. I've been having a little bit of knee pains the past couple rides and I'm not sure if it's more from bike fit or from just not riding lately.

My Garmin actually worked flawlessly this ride oddly enough. No automatic shutoffs at all! I've been looking at the website lately, wondering if it's worth the $70 a year when the Garmin site if free. Anyone out there using Strava alot? I like they you can compare your ride without users who have also completed the same ride, like the Percy Warner loop. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Please endorse Ride for Reading

As you all know Ride for Reading is an amazing Nashville based Non-profit that brings books to children in low-income areas who would have no access to reading. Below is a great opportunity to help them receive some much needed funding. 

Click the image below to Endorse Ride for Reading!!

Vivint is giving away $1.25 Million to charities. Help us win!

Vivint is giving away $1,250,000 to charities you choose where the money goes!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Amazon App Store

I just recently started using the "newish" Amazon app store on my Android phone. So far I love it. They offer one paid app for free each day. In the past couple weeks they have offered some good apps too, not just strange games. I've downloaded a great alternative keyboard, a camera app, a launcher and a few games. They also seem to offer special pricing on some apps that are not present in the Android App Store. For example I was able to purchase Widget Locker for 50% less than it was listed in the Android App Store.

All this to say I have noticed one annoying thing about using a different app store to make app purchases, and/or downloads. Now that I have these apps on my phone, the Android App Store knows I have them and alerts me when there are updates to the apps. Great so far. Trouble is that when I am using the Android App store, I cannot update an app that I purchased from the Amazon App store. It shows that there is an update to the app, but then when I try to update it, it prompts me to pay for the app again. Bummer. Add to this annoyance, when I go to the Amazon App store, there are no app updates listed. Strange.

So I emailed Amazon support about this issue and received a couple responses. First response was just directions on how to use their app store and was not helpful at all. After I wrote them back and explained my issue again, they responded with a detailed account of what their app store policies are when it comes to application updates. I thought the response was worth sharing with the public since I imagine I am not the first Android user to notice this issue when using other app stores.

Here is their response in full to me:

Hello Greg,

I'm very sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with the updating of your apps with the Amazon Appstore.

There is currently an issue with the Google Platform that causes update notification errors between third party app providers including the Android Market and Amazon Appstore.  Apps that are purchased on one market will be recognized by another market and update notifications will be posted, even though the update is not available.  Google is currently working to resolve the issue.

Updates to the Amazon Appstore must pass a verification process before being released to our customers.  To ensure the highest quality apps in our catalog, we take all submissions through a series of tests. In this process we screen the apps for known viruses and malware, test the app to check that it actually does what it claims to do, and test whether the app affects the stability of the other functions of your phone. These tests include (but are not limited to):

   Installation: The application installs and opens, upgrades can be installed and the application can be uninstalled by following the phone's regular uninstall method.
   Functionality: The application doesn't crash and the description of the application matches the application's description.
   Usability: Graphics, videos, animation, and text within the app are clear and readable to the user
   Technical: The application doesn't interfere with, or stop working when, a user receives calls or text messages while the application is running.

This process can cause a lag time between the submission and the release to our customers.

Your apps can be updated from "My Apps" within the Amazon Appstore. Click the "Update Available" tab to see applications on your device that have updates.

Once you select the app you wish to update from the list, the permissions required by the app will need to be reviewed again. Click "Accept" to install.

If you are still having trouble accessing the updates for your apps, please contact Customer Service using the Contact Us button on our Help pages:

Contacting us through the website allows you to verify security before a call is placed and ensures we have your account information ready when we call you. If your country isn’t listed or you’re unable to take advantage of the Contact Us feature, you can call us directly at 1-866-749-7771. Support for the Amazon Appstore is available between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. PST, 7 days a week.

We look forward to speaking with you soon.

I hope this helps! We look forward to seeing you again soon.

I was impressed. It's nice to know they are checking the apps. It is annoying that their process slows the app update process but I don't want to download any crappy apps or apps with viruses either.

If you haven't checked out the Amazon App store, I'd recommend it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Secret routes from Old Chubs

Went down to the new MOAB shop in Franklin this afternoon with my friend Miles. Got to hang with Thad and Miles was able to buy a rack and some fenders for his do-it-all Gary Fisher Mamba. I wanted to see the new shop and let me tell you it's NICE. Very deep and spacious which is an odd thing in a bike shop. You even have room in the shop to ride a bike around.

After Miles made his purchases we consulted Thad on a good 20 mile route to ride from the shop. He told us of this "secret" route of his and then gave me a word document print out with turn by turn directions. Hmm not so secret if there is a stack of papers with directions. :) We got a quick Google Maps tour of the route and off we the wind on a fine, brisk, cloudy spring day.

I immediately remembered why I missed riding down in Franklin. You're treated to some great scenery while you ride the rolling hills and pass by large plots of farm land. This route starts out easy then you slowly start ascending. You don't realize it while you're riding but about 3 miles in you start climbing and continue to gain elevation for the next 5 miles. Your reward is an awesome, wide open downhill where you have to hold back to stay under 40 mph. More great views through some backroads and few short stretches on Hwy 96 and next thing you know you're back on Del Rio and only have about 3 miles left.

Best way to follow up a ride like this? Oscar Blues Old Chub and Dogfish Head India Brown Ale.... yum

It was a great afternoon jaunt around Franklin. Thanks for the route tip Thad! Hope to make it down again soon!

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Last night was a record turn-out for East Nashville Bike Polo. 12 confirmed players but a few extra spectators and me who came on bike yet didn't bring a polo-friendly bike and had to bum bikes from others.

The timing finally worked in my favor for not just making it to polo, but having the time, and great weather, to ride my bike from the house over to the east side for polo. I even had time to do a once over on the bike and switch back to my big comfy slick tires and remove my fenders on the trusty Crosscheck. (also another opportunity to use my new Garmin tech device to log my ride)

The weather was perfect, as in it was 68 when I left the house, in a t-shirt and knickers. I brought along a jacket and Walz flappy cap just in case as the forecast was for a 45 overnight low but it turned out I didn't need them. Even the ride back home at midnight was comfortable with just a t-shirt and knickers. The city was calm and the sky was clear, it was seriously a perfect night to be riding through the city.

I had to vary my usual route to get downtown to the pedestrian bridge. Some voluntary rerouting and some required due to construction. I meandered through 12 South's back streets to avoid the slow hill through the narrow part of 12th Ave South which worked great. I may have to make this reroute permanent. They are still doing major construction downtown on Demonbreun so my normal direct route down to 4th ave was shut off. I snaked through the Frist and over to Broadway for some good people watching and a glimpse of honky tonk music.

I arrived late to the game and rolled up to find a court FULL of cyclists, chasing a small ball around with ski poles and pvc. Nice! Our polo games took a small hiatus and have recently been resurrected by the east side crew into a semi regular weekly/bi weekly event. Some time recently another polo crew who used to play downtown has merged in and now we seem to rarely have the problem with finding a minimum of 6 players to have a good game. As I mentioned, we had 12 people commit to playing a few days in advance this week!

The game was the usual mix of complete unorganized mayhem mixed with some good ball passing and a few adult beverages. Everyone was enjoying themselves and the time flew by. By the time we finally called it, it was already 11:45pm! Everyone disbanded in their respective directions to either get home, exhausted, or for the youngsters in the group; head out to the next pub for late dinner and refreshments. I settled in for the 10 mile trip home and thoroughly enjoyed another calm trip through Nashville.

As Dan said this morning, "If you played, you won"

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Mobile, on the go, roaming

I just discovered and downloaded the mobile Blogger app for my smartphone....wonder if this means it will be easier to update my blog. At least I will have a few less excuses now.

Got out this weekend and rode Chickasaw Trace on sunday. Took it easy and kept a slow steady pace. Talked myself into leaving my 32x20 gearing on too from my last Monty Bell ride. It was a bit too easy for 85% of the trail but it was nice on a few of the hills.

I rode one full lap then did a second lap and took a few shortcuts to avoid acouple of the bigger hills like the one to the view of the dump. Surprisingly it only took acouple miles off the overall length but made threw lap much easier.

This was my second mtn bike ride with my new Garmin gps. I'm liking it so far. It is neat to instantly have the elevation gained and lost information for trails I've been riding for years.

Sadly I didn't take any photos of my elusive ride. I promise I did actually go. :)

This coming weekend is the Nashville Bicycle Scavenger Hunt which I am hoping to make it to. I've missed the last few years but I had a great time the last time I did one. I need to work on getting a team put together.

Who links to my website?