Monday, September 29, 2008

Slow Ride

Temperature at departure = 65° F (18° C)

This morning's ride is the first time I've ridden solely for transportation in a long time. The rain from early this morning left the streets and bike path wet. That means it is time to slow way down. If you try to ride over the thin layer of mud that the rain combined with dust on the trail creates at anything other than a perfect 90° angle -- you're going down.

The chorus from this song kept running through my mind for more than half the ride.



Man, I've gotta get some fenders.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Drive Thru

The other evening was just going to be too busy to do anything other than fast food. I hate to admit it, because I'm not a fan of fast food, but with a ton of errands to run and just Curtis and I around to do it, I didn't have the time to cook.

If I turned right at Metcalf and rode for an extra 1,500 feet, I could just go through the Taco Bell drive through and pick up a few tacos and we'd be on our way. Simple. I pulled up to the speaker and ordered and then rode around to the window. Things almost got complicated for some reason, but the manager on duty handled it well.

Drive Thru Employee to manager: "It's a guy on a bike. What do I do?"

Manager: "Hand him his food."

Bonus: 22 cents on the ground. It is a little known advantage to riding a bike ... drive through discounts.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Catching Up

While I've got a couple minutes to myself, I'll post a couple of things I meant to put up Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.

From General Bike Pix


Here is a shot of the scout 25 mile ride from this last Saturday. I took them on my normal loop. We only got 4 boys and one other adult to go this time but we had beautiful weather. Took twice as long as I normally make the trip, but it was twice the fun.

From General Bike Pix


From General Bike Pix


Looks like I may have to find a temporary detour in the near future. It will be worth it to get one of those bridges set up across the creek where they now just have a raised section of concrete.

One last thought, with gas prices coming down, so have the number of other cyclists I see on the way in to work. 5 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday. However, the number of people out for recreational rides after work is way up. Gotta run. The kitchen needs cleanin' and I've got to come up with something to fix for dinner.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fortune Cookie Games

So, our office ordered Chinese food today and, of course, as people began to read their little strips of paper they added the traditional "...in bed" tag line. Then came my turn.



Um, no. That's just creepy and so wrong.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Surprise!

Temperature at departure = 58° F (14° C)

What is missing in the picture below?

A) Warning sign
B) Traffic cone
C) The mangled bodies of other cyclists
D) All of the above



It was fortunate that the Mendota has really good brakes. I had come around that corner at around 12 MPH and had to stop suddenly to avoid what could have been a really bad scenario. A little warning would be nice.

Looks like it will be beautiful weather for the 25 miler with the scouts tomorrow morning. Have a good weekend.

Misadventures

Temperature at departure = 56° F (13° C)

No cyclists, pedestrians or critters were harmed during the following events.

I recently read on Shamus' blog that the detour for the Indian Creek Trail closure around Fox Creek Park was itself closed just west of Mission road due to some post flooding issues. It has been a couple weeks since I've had a chance to check it out and I have a ride with our Boy Scout troop scheduled for the big loop this Saturday.


I left home a few minutes later than usual this morning but figured I'd hit a snag at the detour and have to find an alternate route shortened a bit by riding up Antioch from 137th to 117th. That was my plan.




I was smug and self-assured when I got to the pedestrian bridge which forms part of the detour. At least I wasn't stuck in THAT.




Yep, it's still closed and completely torn up. So, I guess it is time for Plan C. I worked my way up to College Boulevard and worked my way through several parking lots until I made it to Nall and could pick up my alternate route.


I was thinking to myself about how I'd told the boys that one of the things they've got to check on a regular basis is their brakes. Meanwhile, my brakes are shot and I need to get them to the shop tonight if I'm going to have a chance at having this bike available for the Saturday ride. The back brake is adjusted all the way and is pretty much worthless. The front brake is just about gone as well and I could tighten it two more clicks. I decided to take it a bit easy for the rest of the ride.

By the time I turned off Nall at 127th, it was a half hour until I needed to be at my desk and if I tried to ride the rest of my normal route, that would be about 12 miles... I stopped to do some math and to check a map on my blackberry.




I figured out that I would still have to stay on the path until 137th and Antioch, like I figured I would, but could cut up Antioch and shave about 5 miles off my normal route. Off I went.


Riding on Antioch wasn't as bad as I remember -- until I got to the construction at 119th and had to get off the road, try to find the sidewalk (which is mostly missing) and try to work my way through the construction cones, chewed up streets and stressed drivers. I made it to the office about 10 minutes late.


On the way home I had just turned a corner and started down a long down hill portion of the path when the cable for my front brake broke. That's right, I now was headed downhill and had no brakes. I rode off into the grass and walked down the steepest part of the hill and rode home VERY carefully.


I guess I'll bring out the Mendota tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to Work

Temperature at departure = 52° F (11° C)

Another cool thing about cycling -- it's nature's Mucinex.  'Nuf said.

I opted for the 6.7 mile route instead of the 20 this morning.  It's a good thing our KATY Trail campout was rained out; I was sick as a dog and it sounds like portions of the trail have been washed out.  We're going to try to make up for it a bit with a 25 mile ride on the Indian Creek Trail with the scouts this Saturday.  I'm sure I'll be ready to go by then.

Elle Macpherson Topless?


...and by that I mean, not wearing a helmet...  [hmmm, Google Analytics will be interesting tomorrow]

Okay, at least the kid has a helmet on.  The Mirror shows the supermodel out with her five year old riding on the handlebars while she dangles a trash bag in her left hand.  Um, no.


Monday, September 15, 2008

News you can Use

Well, some of you.

I'm sick and also sick of the rain.  Anyway, my Google Reader is overflowing and here are a few things for you to mull over while I mend.

Dallas busses are FINALLY getting racks.

I wish they'd redo some of the sensors in my neighborhood.

Bicycle-riding superheros coming to Kirksville to help residents.  Darn. Honey, do you know where I put my cape?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Observations From a Non-Scientific Mind

1) The rain seems heavier when I'm going faster.
2) When I stop pedalling and slow down, the rain lessens as well.

Conclusion: the rain seems to know how fast I'm going.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thanks Fritz

Temperature at departure = 60° F (16° C)

Thanks to Fritz for including me in his alley cat race and for sending me a link pointing to an article about Kelly Benjamin. Kelly is from Overland Park and placed seventh in the Tour of Missouri women’s race on the Country Club Plaza on Monday. Kelly was a bit disappointed, but it was nice to have a local in the race.

Fritz was posting like crazy yesterday and I have yet to get through all that he put up. Thanks again dude. Now, perhaps I missed it while I was out of town, but why the switch to "Yokota Fritz?"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Hitchhikers

Temperature at departure = 48° F (9° C)

Once again, it is that time of year. This morning I picked up at least two. The one on my shoulder I flicked off before I even thought about bringing out the camera. Spiders aren't my favorite and I didn't like the way he was crawling towards my neck. This one was about the size of a penny. She was dangling six inches below my right handle grip and climbing towards my hand.



She was returned to the wild speedily.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Reach For It

A failed attempt at camouflaging the bike path adjacent to Nall. Ahead you'll see one of the stupidest crosswalks in Overland Park. The button to activate the cross walk signal is in the middle of the intersection; you have to cross the right turn lane for the 435 ramp. Seriously. The most dangerous part of the crossing is ignored. At least the people heading south to turn left have a stop light.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Stop II

Temperature at departure = 50° F (10° C)

Do you get tired of hearing people complain about cyclists not stopping at stop signs? It has been just over a year since I posted the original Stop video. What the heck, the only new movie out this weekend is that thing with Nicholas Cage that looks like it will be horrible. So, for your viewing enjoyment, I present a sequel -- Stop II! Hey, it's short, free and filmed in that shaky hand-held style that is popular these days. With out further adieu, direct from this morning's commute...


video

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How about Riding & Reading

Here is a nice clip from Will Smith and the Kid's Choice Awards where he gives the keys to life: running and reading.  In my mind, I've replaced 'running' with 'riding.'  He makes a couple statements that are short and powerful.  If you've got a couple minutes...



Rain threatened yesterday afternoon, but I still got my ride to Dad's in.  



Sure, I wish they had a bike rack, but locking up to the landscaping wasn't bad.  I know, I know, cable locks aren't that great ... but I hope that using two will provide a little discouragement.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Seven Mile Ride

I won't bore you with too many details. This weekend was tough. My brother, CAT and I spent Saturday and Monday going through things in my Dad's house getting ready to turn it over to a new owner within the next week or so.

CAT and I took Sunday to clear out space for some of the stuff that we're keeping and when she had to go to a gig later in the afternoon I was emotionally spent. I hopped on Bucephalus and under the pretense of running a book back to the library, I went on a short, seven mile ride. It helped.

It's not a spiritual thing for me. Broken down to it's base components a bike ride is going from point A to point B. I have to focus on the road. I have to focus on traffic. I have to make decisions about which route to take. I have to exert some physical energy. I get to smile as I coast down a tree lined hill at 26 MPH. I have to dodge squirrels every 100 feet or so. I get to wave and say hello to other cyclists and pedestrians. I am an encumbrance to a few drivers. I get to be away from the situations of life for a half hour.

I've got the next two days off and will be heading back over to Dad's in just a bit. I think I'll ride my bike.