2023 In Cycling

I spent a lot of time on the bike in 2023, riding around 6800 miles, which is over 2000 more than I have ever ridden before. I completed 250 rides, climbed over 400,000 feet, and spent about 400 hours on the bike. One of the reasons for this big increase is that this was my first full year having a bike trainer, and I rode a significant number of rides indoors on Zwift.

Homestead Tour

My family is from the Kickapoo River Valley, a beautiful part of the Driftless Area in Southwest Wisconsin, and for my 49th birthday, I went on a long bike ride through the hills and valleys of this amazing region! Trout Creek Starting in Soldiers Grove, I headed north on Highway 61 to Trout Creek Road. This five mile road climbs gradually to Sugar Grove, and I felt a strong sense of nostalgia as I passed by the Schoville homestead where my great-great-grandparents settled on a 40 acre land grant following the Civil War.

Door County Backroads

In stereotypical Wisconsin fashion, our family vacation this summer was a trip to Door County, sharing a house on the tip of the Door Peninsula with some amazing friends. We took the ferry to Washington Island, swam and snorkeled in Death’s Door, and shopped in Sister Bay. A favorite was the Dark Sky Park at Newport State Park, staring up in awe at the Milky Way, shooting stars, and satellites traversing overhead.

2022 Horribly Hilly Hundreds

This was my third year of participating in the Horribly Hilly Hundreds, a long, very hilly ride in the driftless area west of Madison. The fide begins in the villiage of Blue Mounds and ends in Blue Mound State Park and is a fund raiser for the park. In order to get ready for this ride, I started riding in March; Saturdays with Bombay Bicycle Club and weekdays on my own.

Bicycling in the Smokies

For spring break this year, we decided to take a trip to Sevier County, Tennessee, home to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and innumerable tourist traps like Dollywood and the Titanic Museum1. While these things hold little interest for me, I was very interested in the Smoky Mountains, because I wanted to go climb a mountain pass like the riders in the Tour de France. So, I packed up one of my bikes, a modernized 1975 Schwinn Le Tour.

Greek, Ancient and Modern

Dog-eared Homer I’ve been interested in Ancient Greece for much of my life. When I was in elementary school, I spent one Thanksgiving vacation copying dictionary entries of the Ancient Greek gods to a spiral bound notebook. I first read Homer in high school, the Odyssey translated by Robert Fitzgerald, which I still have. As an ancient history major1 in college, I read a lot more including many classical works like Xenophon’s Anabasis and Plutarch’s Lives.

Scoville Genealogy

A Survey of Scovilles Those interested in Scoville genealogy should begin by reading A Survey of the Scovils or Scovills in England and America: Seven Hundred Years of History and Genealogy by Homer Worthington Brainard. Luckily this book is available online in more than one location, and it is no longer necessary to buy an expensive copy of this book! Origin The only conclusive answer to the question, “Where does the name Scoville come from?

Visiting Escoville, France

While traveling from Strasbourg to Paris in September of 2002, my wife and I decided to take a Schoville shortcut to Escoville, theorized source of the name Scoville. After seven hours on the expensive tollways of France, we exited near Troarn and saw the first signs for Escoville. It sent a chill down my spine, a feeling that was repeated as we came over the hill and saw our first glimpse of the village.