## Sunday, November 30, 2014

### A New Greenway Ride (40K)

A New 40K Greenway Ride

A extension at the south end of the Crabtree Creek Trail at Milburnie Road near WakeMed to Anderson Point Park has been completed.  This new section is only 6KM long but it opens up the Neuse River Trail to be accessible from mainline greenways in Raleigh.

I left home today and rode down Yadkin Drive to Crabtree Creek then through the neighborhood to Lassiter Mill Road and picked up the Crabtree Creek Greenway at Lassiter Mill.

I rode all the way to where the greenway intersects with Milburnie Road.  This was where it used to end.  But now it continues down Crabtree Creek goes under New Bern Avenue, and then under the I440 Beltway then under US64/US264 and ends at Anderson Point Park where it intersects with The Neuse River Trail.

The new greenway section is very well made and the scenery is beautiful.  You can hear the I440 and US64/US264 traffic as you ride along.

The really cool thing is that from my home I could ride to Clayton NC and back on just neighborhood streets and greenways.  If I did that I could get in a 90K bike ride and never have to put my bike on the car.

From my home to Anderson Point Park is 40KM.  Here are the details:

Time ........ 02:05 hours:minutes
Distance .... 38.84 kilometers
Average ..... 19.00 kilometers per hour
Maximum ..... 55.90 kilometers per hour

Here are some pictures from the ride:

 Start of the new Section

 Going Under US64/US264

 At Anderson Point Park

 Turn Around At 20KM

 Anderson Point Park

## Tuesday, October 21, 2014

### Cycle For Hope Center 50K

A Very Nice 50K Loop
Around Western Wake County

The church we contribute to hosts the "Hope Center At Pullen" and every year about this time (early October) for the past four years they have hosted a 50K/100K bike tour to raise money for the Hope Center. "... The Hope Center at Pullen connects young people aging out of foster care in Wake County with the resources and support they need for a successful transition to adulthood ..."

This year they also had an 11 mile 'greenway-ride' where some of the kids that are in the center rode, in addition to folks who just signed up for the ride.

The ride took us around Western Wake County, there were plenty of hills and not a lot of traffic. I think I have cycled on every single one of the roads we were on at one time or another but never this particular set of roads.

Here are my statistics:

02:45 ---- hh:mm - Elapsed Time
53.00 ---- km ---- Distance
21.50 ---- kph --- Average Speed
50.00 ---- kph --- Maximum Speed

## Wednesday, September 03, 2014

### Sixty Kilometer Bike Ride

Sixty Kilometer Bike Ride

Last Saturday 30 August 2014 one week before the MS150 Bicycle Tour I rode a 60K out-and-back on the Neuse River Trail.  Here are the specifics.

02:55 .... hh:mm - Time rolling along the ground.
60.14 .... km ---- Distance.
20.80 .... kph --- Average speed.
47.70 .... kph --- Max speed (the downhill on Perry Creek).

I was a nice ride and after being away from all sorts of exercise for over a week (ending the previous Thursday) I felt it.  It would have been nice if I could have done some exercise during that time but that was not to be the case.

So after returning from vacation a week ago today.  I did get in a 50 minute 'spin-class' on Thursday and an 1800 yard swim on Friday.  Then another 50 'spin-class' on Tuesday following the 60K on Saturday and a 50 min 'spin-class' this morning.

I hope to get in a ride early tomorrow morning after my 'spin-class' but we will see.

In any case I do feel I am fit enough for this weekend's MS105 Cycling Tour and I do look forward to it.

I'll post details of the ride and pictures as I get the opportunity.

## Wednesday, July 23, 2014

### Humans, Morals, Ethics, Large Brains, Fire

Humans, Morals, Ethics,
Large Brains, and Fire

For some time now there has been a lot of discussion about how our species co-evolved with the domestication of fire.  This morning on a social network site I saw this post about how wolves are more socially complex than previously thought.  Yesterday I was talking with my sister about the evolution of our species and how it could be that our species is an evolutionary accident, and that Morals and Ethics are product of our species attempting to deal with that accident.  All this conspired together to produce this blog post.

First notice that our species is singular in that we apparently are not able to live in a sustainable ecological niche. This does not necessarily set us completely apart from other species that expand beyond their ecological niche but in all cases such a species will at worst crash and become extinct or at best enter a 'boom-and-bust' cycle.

When you consider the complete arc of human development it certainly looks like we have been marching toward our own 'self-extinction' as our technological behaviors become more sophisticated without the species coming to grips with its humble beginnings.

It is a sad commentary on our species to realize that even our 'origin stories' contain an explanation of why we are as we are but fail to further realize that we must be at one with the ecosphere of our planet and thus comport ourselves accordingly so as to live in harmony with this pale blue dot

As a species we overpopulate as a result of our ability to successfully structure and modify our surroundings resulting in the increase our ability to survive natural changes that could decrease the amount of available food and hence our population.

Our hostility toward each other I think is directly linked to our population density. Some other species tend to form social orders that keep an excess number of males from engaging in activities that would result in population bubbles.

Another thing I notice is how our 'big-brains' work.  We are completely saddled with evolutionary baggage in the form of instinctual behaviors that are hard-wired into us.  The one that is most at odds with the potential our 'big-brains' give us is Confirmation Bias

This type of mental behavior is selected in favor of, over contemplative and scientific thinking, by natural selection due to the 'false-positive/false-negative' selection bias that forces us to make snap judgements on poor data and then stick to those judgements and beliefs due to how natural selection designed our minds.

The idea is that when you make a false-positive judgement based on poor data you only spend a bit of excess energy, but when you make a false-negative judgement based on poor data you become another organism's lunch or you encounter some other environmental obstacle that wipes you out. Natural selection is the process that rewards an organism that can avoid being wiped out, the reward being that it will persist.

The upshot of this is, to move technology forward, we must force ourselves to think contemplatively and scientifically.  We have been able to do this due to the huge increase in leisure time created by our successful manipulation of our environment.  This is seen to have a 'feedback-effect' that results in our current state on this planet and the apparent exponential increase in the level of technology.

Getting back to our species being an evolutionary accident.  The best evidence for this is the complete lack in the fossil record of another species that domesticated fire then and developed any sort of technology.

Our big brains, fueled by our very nutritious diet made possible by fire gives rise to a mental feature that may not be possible in non big-brain species.  I call this feature the ability to mentally 'model-the-model'.

I think mentation for all motile organisms, at its core the ability to create a mental model that has as its output possible responses to the organism's external sensory inputs.  Such a model also incorporates memories of results of previous encounters with similar sensory inputs, and hard-wired behaviors.
The model makes predictions of what the future will bring given the actions that it recommends. Which output of the model (action) is selected, depends on which one is most likely to insure successful negotiation of the current and likely future
environment.

Modeling the model is the ability to reflect on the mental process itself.  When this ability is coupled with communication between species members it is apparent that the sum of our collective abilities exceeds any particular individual's abilities.  This is what allows our species to enjoy its apparent success.

There is another thing about mentation that I think is important when you consider the 'Model the Model' mode of thinking.  This is our necessary ability to avoid 'vicious infinite regress'.

Such a state if it could not be avoided would cause our mental activity to 'seize-up' and we could not proceed.  The result of the ability to avoid such a situation results in our capacity to simultaneously hold contradictory ideas without any mental distress.

When combined with confirmation bias this allows, among other things, our minds to have enormous imaginative ideas and beliefs that we not only confuse with actual reality but also use to solve problems and come up with the technology we enjoy when we combine our imagination with contemplative and scientific thought.

Our built-in ability to create internal 'stories' with our 'big-brains' that we then widely share among each other combined with our awareness that we do not enjoy a sustainable ecological niche forces us to develop rules and behaviors we try to follow to avoid the natural corrections that occur when any species gets 'Too-Big-For-Its-Britches/Niche'.  These rules and behaviors we call morals, ethics, and laws.

Interestingly, that there may have been an evolutionary-accident that explains the existence of our species does help resolve the Fermi Paradox

Finally, the result of this line of thinking is that we, as a species, need to be careful (thoughtful) moving forward.  The universe may very well and naturally gang-up against us and I think it would be good (exciting, fun, wonderful) to use our 'Big-Brains' to sort out what we can do to make/re-make ourselves into a species that can persist in the face of all these potentially adverse pressures and still keep a firm grip on our imaginations and our quest to understand our surroundings.

## Tuesday, July 15, 2014

### Excellent Video (An Expanded YouTube.COM Comment)

Excellent Video!

The existence of God stands on a knife edge ...  If you think too deeply on this it tends to 'Slip-Away'.

If you do not think deeply enough the concept does not work.

A key idea that jumped out to me from this video is: "If you think".

If we do not think then there are no concepts. For concepts to exist there must be thought. God emerges as an attribute of thought.

As organisms that are capable of reflecting on our own thoughts such concepts naturally emerge due to the built-in bits of the process of reflective thought.  Those built-in bits are what keep our minds from descending into infinite regress.

That we can think reflectively gives us the ability to 'Think about God' ... and the difference between the two concepts 'Thinking About God' and 'The Existence of God' become completely and totally intertwined.

God does not exist without thought, and God exists because of thought become the same statement.

An appeal, or a wish that something, or anything exists beyond our ability to comprehend it, or conceive of it is almost a necessary part of our reflective thought processes.  And I think, the word 'almost' in the previous sentence can be eliminated.

Our minds must produce this concept.﻿

## Sunday, July 06, 2014

### A Very Nice 4th of July Bike Ride

The 22nd Annual
Firecracker 50K/100K
Bike Ride

I've done this ride some years ago and this year I noticed that it is associated with the MS Society so I thought of it as a nice training ride for this years MS150 Cycling Tour.

Here are the statistics for the ride:

02:13 hh:mm - Minus stoplights and the rest stop.
53:00 km - Just a tad over 33 miles.
23.00 kph - Good average given 1,400 ft climbs.
56.00 kph - MAX, some really long downhills.

The route went down Kildaire Farm Road to Holly Springs Road.  We then headed to through downtown Holly springs to Avent Ferry Road.  Then crossed NC55 to New Hill Holleman Road crossing Harris Lake to Old US1 and back to Apex and Cary.  My previous Sunday 50K took 2:15 and had a few hundred feet of climbs and today's 53K took 2:13 and had over 1,400 feet of climbs :) so the extra speed of riding on the road vs greenway was NOT offset by the hills.  I was afraid it would take me much longer due to the hills.

## Monday, June 30, 2014

### A Very Nice 50K Ride

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a bike ride.  I decided to ride down the Neuse River from Anderson Point Park to Clayton NC and back.  The ride is almost exactly 25Km in both directions.

Here are the details:

02:16:07 - hh:mm:ss - Elapsed Time
51.13 - km ------- Total Distance
11.50 - kph ------ Average Sped
47.80 - kph ------ Max Speed (there was a long down hill)

At one point heading down river you go down this hill, and the trail is winding through the woods.  As you emerge from the woods there is a this beautiful bridge across the Neuse.  The structure of the bridge is iron truss and as you zoom onto the bridge you note the truss making up the bridge perfect squares and on the other side of the bridge is this beautiful vista of open fields, and blue skies.  It was breath taking!  I though, "I need to turn around go back up that hill and come down again!"

When I got to the very end of the greenway in Clayton I had 1/2 of my PBJ and finished my first water bottle and headed back up river.

I finished the other half of my BPJ and my second water bottle in the shade at Anderson Point Park before riding the 1/4 mile back to the main parking lot across the US64/US64 overpass.

It was a beautiful ride.

Here are some picture from the ride:

 The Bike, The Bell, The Odometer, The Helment

 Just In Case You Did Not See The End Of The Path And The Bushes

 A Beautiful Day For A Bike Ride

 Back At Anderson Point Park And The Second Half Of My PBJ

## Saturday, May 31, 2014

### A Beautiful 60 km Ride

A beautiful Saturday Morning just right for a nice bike ride.  E. had a class from 10 to 3 and I had a bike ride from 12pm to 2:44pm.  Here are the details.

02:44:08 ... hh:mm:ss .. spin time
60.19 ... km ........ there and back again
22.00 ... kph ....... average speed
50.50 ... kph ....... max speed (On Perry Creek Road is a slight downhill section.)

I put my new bell on the handle bar of the bike, stowed my new inner tube in my back pack, put on my new gloves, packed a banana, a pimento cheese sandwich and filled up two water bottles.  I was ready to hit the 'Neuse River Trail'.  I started at Falls of the Neuse parking lot and headed down just past Poole Road where there is a park bench beside the trail.  that was 30 km.  I ate my banana and my pimento cheese sandwich and headed back up the Neuse River.

We've had a lot of rain this year and there was evidence of this all along the trail, especially where Crabtree Creek joins the Neuse River; that was near my turn-around point.

On my way back up river I stopped in the middle of the bike bridge that crosses the neuse a few 10s of meters down river from the Milburnie Dam and took some pictures and a video.  You can see the pictures below and see a link to the video I posted to YouTube.

You Tube Video

Turn Around Point
 The Turn Around Point 30 km

 Milburnie Dam

 67 Year Old Biker

## Sunday, May 11, 2014

### An Interesting Bike Ride

Today is 'Mother's Day' so Evelyn asked if she could come along on a bike ride.  I got the bikes on the back-bumper-bike-rack.  We got all the gear we thought we would need, including a new package-shelf-seat-post-add-on for Evelyn's bike.  It was the same one that I rode across the USA with back in 2004.  Turns out it is designed for a fatter seat-post but we put some folded up paper to cushion it so it clamped hard enough to work.

So, we headed out to Horseshoe Park unloaded the bikes geared-up and set out down the Neuse River Trail.

We got 16km down the trail and there was this very loud 'BANG'.  It was the rear tire on Evelyn's bike.  An amazing blow-out right in the middle of the tire.  When I looked in the inside of the tire after taking it off it looked like it had a cut in the inside.

A nice fellow 'Cliff' stopped and helped us change the tire.  I had to use my spare 'folding-tire' since it was not just the inner tube but the tire itself that blew out.  The first new inner tube I tried was one left over from a previous flat tire and I finally figured that out and switched to my (last) good extra inner tube and pumped up the tire to around 100psi (it is supposed to run at 120psi) and everything seemed fine.

Rather than continue down the trail we decided that this was a good 'turn-around' point and headed back up the Neuse River Trail to the Horseshoe Farm parking lot.  Here are the specifics of the ride:

17.2 km .... total distance
14.8 kph ... average speed
33.8 kph ... max speed
01:07:22 ... hh:mm:ss

And here is a picture of Evelyn and Cliff after we got the tire fixed.

## Saturday, May 10, 2014

### The Space Ship Is Replaced By A New One With Warp Drive

THU-08-MAY-2014

7AM Car Maintenance Event --- So, I skipped the gym.  Perhaps a noontime swim?

According to the service department rep, Ken, at Leith Honda after doing a major tune up that included changing all sorts of filters and fluids and a very fine going over: Our 2005 Honda which currently has 220,000 miles on it needs the following:

Break Pads Rotor Smoothing . $400.00 - expected Spark Plugs ................$400.00 - expected
O2 Sensors ................. $400.00 - expected Clutch ...................$1,700.00 - expected
Serpentine Belt ............ $800.00 - expected Catalytic Converter ......$1,000.00 - near term