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Dishin’ Dirt

Dirty Dozen riders

Four years after successfully conquering Pittsburgh’s infamous Dirty Dozen ride (documented here), I’m still suffering PTSD. So instead of training up and riding this year, I once again chose to photograph the riders, as I did in both 2018 and 2019.

It made perfect sense. After doing eleven indoor centuries in 2020, this year I just wasn’t motivated for the intense training that would be required. On top of that, my bike’s in pretty bad shape thanks to the unavailability of replacement parts due to supply chain issues. As if that wasn’t enough, this year had pretty typical Dirty Dozen weather: cold drizzle and temps in the 40s.

So I packed up my archaic dSLR and hit the slopes on foot, hitting four strategic locations: hill #6 Logan, hill #9 Canton, hill #10 Boustead, and hill #12 Elea »more


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Can’t Win for Losing

Today I won. I sold a stock for the same amount I originally paid for it, after having watched it lose 80% of its value. It took 4½ years, but I finally got out, and can happily proclaim that I didn’t lose a cent! What an emotional high!

The reason this is worth sharing with you is because it’s a “teaching moment”.

Virtually all smart investors would say I should have sold that stock earlier in its decline – even though it would have been at a loss – rather than hang onto it for years in hopes it would recover. And they’re absolutely right: I should have sold earlier. I was incredibly stupid, letting my vanity and loss aversion overrule my judgement, and I only escaped with my investment intact due to an unbelievable amount of good luck.

Let me walk you through the timeline of my inves »more

Back in the Saddle Again

Saddle facing right

A rider only touches his bicycle in five places: two hands, two feet, and the most sensitive place of all: the saddle.

People are very finicky about their saddles – for good reason – and it can be difficult to predict what will work for any given rider. I have been fortunate that the stock saddles that came with my bicycles worked well for my physiology… until recently.

And this may be where we get into what might be too much information for the sensitive reader. Viewer discretion is advised. You have been warned!

Over the past year or so, after long rides – especially centuries – I’ve experienced an abnormal amount chafing around the sit bones. It’s painful, but heals over a couple days. What’s odd is that I’ve never had this problem in the past.

I was slow to look into specific causes »more

Interstate Travel

Phil & Ornoth at the Crestview Park overlook in New Cumberland WV

It’s been two years since I last participated in an organized century event. But with the 2021 season starting to wind down, last Sunday I completed my fourth PMTCC 3-State Century.

The headline leading into the event had to be the weather. Hurricane Ida swept away the last humid heat of summer, and left Pittsburgh enjoying a delightful string of sunny days with lows in the upper 50s and highs in the 70s. You couldn’t ask for better conditions!

On the other hand, one could ask for a more reasonable starting time! Riders choosing the 100-mile route had to hit the road at 6:30am to avoid road closures for a 5k run.

With the event beginning on Neville Island – eight miles down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh – that meant an early wake-up call. I staggered awake at 4:15am, downed half a bage »more