Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bike Friendly?

Tulsa made 50th on's top 50 bike friendly cities. Yes, there's Turkey Mountain and the River Trails and a fairly robust cycling culture. There's even an ambitious 2030 metro trail connector plan. But the fact is, its just plain risky to take your bike out on the streets around here. Even streets designated as official "bikeways" are not designed, even in the most rudimentary ways, to accommodate cyclists. A case in point: the overpass on S. Waco that crosses I- 244. Up there you're literally stuck between Waco traffic and cars coming off the 244 ramp well above the posted speed limits.  But if you paint a bike logo on the ground, it's a bikeway!

What purpose does this list serve, other than give city promoters and planners a chance to pat themselves on the back?

Ah well, time to stop complaining and crack one open. 8 Bit Pale Ale comes from Tallgrass Brewing in Manhattan, Kansas. Every thing I've tried of theirs is good and their Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat is probably the only wheat beer I've sought out twice. With its galaxy hops, the 8- Bit has a retro game theme going on. I'm always a bit wary of flashy packaging, but in this case they aren't compensating for anything. This is a great beer. Citrus, fruit, and grassy notes followed by a slight bite, finishing dry. Balanced and refreshing, what I look for in a Pale Ale. My only complaint is that it is so expensive, at nearly nine bucks for four 16oz cans.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

An early start

I woke up at 5:30 this morning, a full hour before my alarm was set to go off. Rather than the usual effort to forestall the inevitable, I dragged my rear out of bed and drove out to Turkey in the gathering dawn. If I hurried, I could watch the sunrise from the overlook on the Ho- Chi trail. It turned out to be the best decision I've made in a long time.

I laced up my new Brook's Cascadia Sevens for their first long run. So far I am very pleased with these trail shoes.

As the sun rose over a quiet Tulsa, I realized that I need to do this more often. Who needs sleep, when you can have this?

All is still at Pepsi Lake.

Man oh man, the turtles had the run of the place this morning! Not sure if there was some kind of race going on, but I dodged over a dozen of them on the trails. This fella looks determined.

Most of them were camera shy.

After two hours of running, I returned home, ate breakfast, and headed back out the door for a run to Mod's Cafe. There I would meet my wife for Mayfest, a large arts and crafts festival in downtown Tulsa.

The fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers had a tent set up and were pouring out free samples. Given the choices, I went for the Bitter and was pleasantly surprised. A good take on the classic style.


13 miles total, more or less.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Westport River circuit

Last Monday was my final day in Westport. The weather was glorious, but I was feeling a bit sad over the impending departure. With the baby coming, we will miss our usual summer sojourn to the area. I knew I had to make this run count. North to the Head of Westport and back South on the river's West side to Hixbridge road, returning by means of Friday's route. 10 miles total.

You know summer is coming when the owners of Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures move back up from the South and set up shop at the "Head".

The Head of Westport has the feel of a quiet English village commons.
200 years ago, however, this area was an industrial center, covered with noisy shipyards that built many of the whaling vessels of Nantucket and New Bedford.

A dairy farm on Pine hill road.

Westport Vineyards.

Goodbye for now Westport!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Gooseberry Neck to Horseneck Beach

As the sun came out on Sunday afternoon, I drove down to Gooseberry Neck to get in a run along the beach. 6 miles total.

Uncovered this one in the back of my parent's fridge. Founded in 1890, Narragensett used to be the #1 selling beer in New England for much of the 20th century. Cheap but drinkable; that seems to be the consensus of my parents generation. It was closed in 1981, but r-established again in 2005 in the hight of the craft- beer boom. Wasn't expecting much with this and wasn't disappointed, but it sure hit the spot with a few grilled sausages.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Run to Westport Point

Three miles, more or less. Just Beer Brewing's Semper FiPa, "The Brew of the Proud", for the recovery. Just Beer is located right here in Westport and puts out decent brews at an affordable price. This one tastes of mild citrus and sweet malt, with a bit of floral hops in the mix. Nothing to write home about, but not bad if you treat it as a pale ale.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Run to Hicks Bridge

I'm back in New England again, visiting family. I slipped out this morning into the chilled, damp and salty air for a short run down to Hicks Bridge. The seasons take their time in New England; leaves and blossoms are just breaking forth from the buds.

Running down Drift Road is a journey into another era. Horse pastures, apple orchards and granite walls break up the woodlands and marsh.

Mary Hicks was a single mom with 11 children when she bought the land by today's bridge in 1710. She obtained the town's first liquor license, and built a tavern and home on the West side of the river. A ferry ran here, until her son built a toll bridge in 1738, charging travelers a steep price to cross the river. In the early 19th century a shipyard was located here that built many of the whalers of Nantucket in the golden age of the whaling industry.

4 miles total. It was a fantastic run. I'm feeling strong and back to my old self, ready to begin training for something big.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ride a bike

Happy National Bike Month! Now get out and ride.

The Tulsa Townies
And there's good news on the national front. Two weeks ago, the U.S. House voted to extend a modified version of the current transportation authorization law. While the legislation included add- ons that have angered many environmentalists, cycling advocates were surprised to find that funding for biking and walking programs remains safe. This is a victory, but a small one. The House and Senate are now set to work out the many differences between their two bills and the issue of federal funding is not likely to go away in this election year. See The League of American Bicyclists blog for more info.