Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Winter Storm Warning for today so I chickened out. My appologies to Jill and Tim. You are hard core and I, for the time being, am a wimp. You would be proud of my youngest though, he insisted on riding to school today, regardless of the weather. I can only plea forgiveness in that my ride is 10x longer... I know, I know.

Here is a DIY project that, um, whatever.

Made me laugh, anyway.

Instructions here if you are looking for a home-made present for a cyclist in your life (other than me).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

That's an interesting stripe

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

Seriously, 60° in the morning on November 28th. I wish it would last -- but tomorrow it is supposed to drop to below freezing for my commute home. Back to Winter. I did get to battle wet roads and sprinkles on the way in that the weather dudes said were gone for the day. I wonder how tough it is to get a gig as a weather person? I mean, all they appear to do is guess for a living (and not get too much guff if they're wrong) and if they are having a rough time coming up with a good guess they can just go to the Weather Channel or a host of other sites and change the numbers by a degree or two and call it a day... Then, I suppose, they have the grade school appearances with Fluffy the Weather Poodle and the PowerPoint presentation on cumulonimbus clouds.

And see, there is plenty of material right there on wikipedia (thanks for the picture). Sweet job if you can get it.

What did this morning's ride teach me? I need to get some fenders. Okay, they're now on my Christmas list.

And in the One Bad Apple Department: "The city of Yakima has received complaints about an inconsiderate bicyclist on one of its park pathways, and to deal with the situation it is preparing to adopt an ordinance that most likely won't be enforced." So, quick reminder: play nice.

Monday, November 27, 2006

On The Road Again

Supposed to be bad weather today so, since there is a very good chance it will be storming when my youngest gets out of school -- I drove the van instead of riding the bike. This also gave me a chance to find out if the status of the temporary path over 435 that had been promised for August, mid-September, October, November and finally Thanksgiving Day. Nope, still not done.

Reminds me of the scenes in Money Pit where Tom Hanks' character would ask the contractor how much longer a project would take and the answer would always be "Two weeks."

Thanks to Treadly and Me for their post about how many people enjoy their commute. Check the post HERE; but here is a sample: "19% of workers who rode their bicycles to work reported that their commute was the most pleasant activity of their day; in contrast, this was true of just 2% of workers who drove to work."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


This wild turkey is outside my office window right now ... looking nervous.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Where's my soldering iron?

Temperature at departure = 39° F (4° C)

Wish I was technically minded enough to do projects like this...

Or, this DIY Night Rider project...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Parental Rights

Temperature at departure = 25° F (-4° C)

Nice to be back on the bike; even had the just right combination of layers to make the ride comfortable.

I recently wrote about Katie's and my evening at the Dad/Daughter Dance. I think it is not only a right, but it is a parent's duty to occasionally embarrass their children. Well, mission accomplished...

Actually, as proof that there is no such thing as bad press; Katie says that she got a lot of compliments on the article and other students have been telling her they thought she has a "fun dad." In any event, the gal that was taking the pictures was following us around for quite a while and we were teasing her and tangoed towards her making faces. Yeah, not a great plan in retrospect. One of her anonymous friends even blew the photo up and had it framed for her in a nice frame that says "Family." Fortunately, Katie thinks it is all pretty funny. Still, perhaps if some guy asks her out that she would prefer not to date -- she can just show them this picture.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Couple Days Off

Haven't ridden or really been near the computer for a few days. I took a couple days off work to paint the dinning room -- but before we could paint the dinning room we needed to clear out a space in the basement to move something from the dinning room ... and we spent two days working in the basement and cleaning up so we could have 5 additional 10 year old boys here for a sleep-over party for Curtis' birthday. Whew. We're all a bit sleep deprived and in need of some nap time.

Nice post by Paul over at Bike Commute Tips Blog regarding Denmark's experiment on making their thrid largest city a lab for bicycling. More bike commuters = less illness.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

News You Can Use

Temperature at departure = 42° F (6° C)
Drizzle and winds gusting to 30 mph

I've now heard back from OP and KDOT and looks like the temporary bike path over 435 should be done late next week. That will be something to be thankful for...

Cool, wooden bicycle frame

Car-wash business run from his bicycle

Study: Radio Advertising Clutter Lower Than TV

Don't do this at home:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shocking Revelations

Temperature at departure = 39° F (4° C)

Magical Red Tape Ineffective in Healing Signals

Overland Park, KS -- City workers were surprised to find that recent attempts to heal the crosswalk signals at 110th and Metcalf had failed. The newly acquired "Magical Red Tape" had been placed on not only the crosswalk buttons, but the signals themselves. "Yeah, we're scratching our heads over this one," commented a worker who wished to remain anonymous "the guy we bought it from said it should work." When asked how they'd come up with the idea for applying the tape, the unnamed source said "At budget time they had funds for either Magical Beans - or - the red tape; they decided on the tape. Live and learn, I guess." Local residents are encouraged to direct "possitive thoughts" towards the buttons, specifically, to see if that does anything...

Okay, seriously, yesterday morning I got to the crosswalk and found this red tape on the buttons and signals. I crossed when the signal would normally have lit up. Once I got into the office I called the city offices and was quickly directed to Jay M who heads up the department that handles the signals, his office had not been notified of the problem. Within an hour or two, he had talked with their signal specialist who trouble shot the problem and scheduled the signals to be fixed this morning. He called me back and left a great message with a lot of detail. I would officially like to say that Jay M in the Public Works office ROCKS! Thank you Jay. I really appreciated your quick action and follow up.

In other news, 10 year old boys invited over to help rake leaves will quickly find something else to do...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Get yer own lane...

Too good to pass up...

Floodwaters force salmon to take the bike lane.

Could've danced all night

Temperature at departure = 42° F (6° C)

Nice weekend but no biking. Katie and I won the dance contest at the Daddy/Daughter Dance on Friday night. We had a really nice time. A student called me Saturday and interviewed me for the school paper asking why we went, what was our favorite part, etc. I told her we've been going to father/daughter dances since Girl Scouts in grade school and wouldn't have missed it. Favorite part - getting to spend some time with my daughter without her four brothers being around. I don't want to even thing about next year's dance being the last one...

So, Malta has a program where you can park your car and use a bike for free ... nobody's using it.

And for Fritz:

What can cure it's pride?
Wild Turkey blocking my path -
Webber Grill, four hours.

Friday, November 10, 2006


I wimped out today -- rainy this morning and I wanted to check out the progress (or lack thereof) on the temporary path over 435 that no one will return my calls or e-mail about ... not that I'm bitter.

I'm a bit jealous of Jonathan who is going on a boy scout camping trip where they get to ride part of the Katy Trail. I'd love to go, but that would mean missing the Father/Daughter dance with Katie tonight and we haven't missed one yet. That, and the Cub Scout pancake breakfast tomorrow and 50 bazillion pin oak leaves will keep me pretty busy this weekend.

Here is a little validation for those of you who braved even worse weather today than I would have faced: "Some dedicated bicycle riders keep rolling through the snow"

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Temperature at departure = 55° F (13° C)

This is a shot of my entrance to the first slice of the Overland Park bike path I use on the commute home. I took a shot using only my bike headlight but it was completely dark -- so this one is using a flash. Still, you can get the idea that it is pretty dark and closed in.

At least I finally got a good night’s sleep last night. For several nights I’d been waking up progressively earlier each night; I figured a couple more nights like that and I’d be getting up before I went to bed. I knew it was bad yesterday when I realized at one point in my ride that I couldn’t remember anything about the previous mile. Nothing. It was a blank. Later in the morning I felt under my chin and realized that I’d missed a big V shaped spot while shaving that morning. Then I thought: “I don’t remember shaving this morning…” Scary. Anyway, a really good night sleep always makes me a bit sluggish so I going to grab a cup of coffee.

But, before I go, I noticed yesterday that Cycleicious had a link to a bike haiku -- so in a lame attempt to get his attention if he stops by again:

Blinking lights are on
I pedal into the night
Drivers, please see me

I'll leave you with one last thought; if a traveling bicycle salesman could only be described in one word, would you call him a pedaler or peddler?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Gotta Get One

Temperature at departure = 51° F (11° C)

Another beautiful morning. Cold temperatures should be back by the end of the week.

Okay, this is going on my Christmas list; a Solar Powered Cyclist Kinetic Sculpture Lamp [lamp uses a 40 watt bulb]. You can check it out HERE.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Temperature at departure = 41° F (5° C) Lots of fog this morning.

Speaking of fog, the Urban Commuter over at Cycling London has an interesting post with a link to a cool series of pix showing how much space cars take up. Fog, London, get it? Wait, I'm cracking myself up here. Gotta go get coffee.

Okay, I'm beginning to think that there may actually be a deer plot of some sort. This morning there was an 8 point buck standing on the bike path and he wasn't wanting to go anywhere. Ding ding went the bell and -- nothing. I yelled "Get off the path" but he acted like he didn't understand English. Finally a combination of the previous two ideas along with pedalling towards him made him bound off about 8 yards. I'm serious, I don't want to be that guy on When Animals Attack.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More trails for OPKS

Temperature at departure = °51F (11° C) Misty this morning. Startled another deer - but at least I could see it well in advance this morning.

Overland Park master plan provides more trails north

I was happy to see that they're planning on adding more trails to my area, but then the line "which could take more than 20 years to complete" hit me in the face. Still, at least there IS a plan. Perhaps with a little more involvement from the cycling community, more people can get interested in cycling and increase the priority level a bit. Or, I could take advantage of what others have said is my resemblance to the mayor and push things along. [Reminds me, I need to rent MI3]

Now, if they would only get the "Temporary Path" over 435 finished that they said would be ready in August, no, mid-September, uh wait, October, no, strike that, November... I've been trying to e-mail the contact from the Parks and Rec. department who said "Feel free to contact me anytime for an update" but am not getting any replies. I may take Emril's advice and "bump it up a notch."

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Mission

She was tired; cold and tired. You could see the weariness in her liquid, deep brown eyes. Weeks of training followed by weeks of surveillance all leading up to tonight -- and she was ready for it to be over. She lay in wait in the cold, dark woods going over the scenario one last time.

When it is dark in the woods, sound seems amplified. Changed. Alien. A squirrel in the brush sounds like a charging Cape Buffalo, not that she'd ever heard a charging Cape Buffalo. "Stop it," she told herself, "you're loosing your focus." She knew the importance of this mission; "The Boss" had made that quite plain. He'd even taken it upon himself to conduct some of his own surveillance earlier in the week. The fool; intel hinted that he'd been spotted. Sure, he'd been a field op once -- but times had changed.

And then it was time. Time to put all that training to use for the grim purpose ahead. It wasn't a job she relished, but orders were orders. It wasn't personal, it was just a job that needed to be done. The sides were clearly defined and the target was on the wrong side. It was that simple. The wait was over. The gleam of the headlight was approaching and she zeroed in. It was time to find out if all the effort and money spent on the computer models and field tests was worth it. They'd set it up and tested the triangulation a week ago and all she should have to do is wait for the target to reach the mark. She forced herself to relax. Breathe in and hold it. And...

She'd missed. Missed by five yards! It wasn't possible. They'd been over this time and time and time again. Time. What was it about... That was it! They'd not taken Daylight Saving Time into consideration when they'd set up the computer models. Of course it worked last week, it was still light out. Now, the darkness must have forced the target to move slower on the path causing her to lead the target too much. The idiots. All their trust in their high tech systems for what? Nothing.

She looked back across the path and the rider was moving away. She had failed and there was nothing she could do about it now; this opportunity had passed. She turned and headed for home, her fauns would be getting restless. She knew that there would be other nights, other opportunities, she just had to wait a little longer.

Temperature at departure = 33° F (1° C)

No deer spotted on the way in this morning. But I know they're out there -- watching...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Iced T

Temperature at departure = 30° F (-1° C)

Ahhh, my first sub-freezing bike commute; first time riding on iced over puddles as well. Still toasty and warm in a tee shirt and lined wind breaker. My face got cold, but fellow office bike commuter Jim and I still haven't come up with a good solution for that. He's tried the balaclava but that tends to fog up glasses. Any suggestions would be welcome.

I've come to pretty much the same conclusion that Nick makes over at commutebybike. Nice post this morning showing clothing options by temperature.

This is Arthea. Every morning I meet her on my commute in at almost the same exact point in my trip. We always wave and yell "Good morning" to each other, it's one of the things I enjoy on the trip in. Monday I took some extra time on the way in to take pictures of the commute -- if you're bored you can check them HERE. I was hoping to see her on the way in so I could get her picture -- sure enough, same location, there she was. I hopped off the bike and got the camera ready and said good morning to her. I asked if I could take her picture because I was trying to get pictures of the things that make me happy on my ride in to work. She broke into a huge smile and said yes. We then got to chat a bit; she told me she rides a bike too. I told her I'd been seeing her walk or ride in the area for several years. She just rides in the afternoons now, but what a great role model. Of course we're back to shouting "Good morning" again, but at least now I can call her by name. Her smile seems bigger too.

I'm glad I took the time to take the pictures Monday; perhaps the below freezing temperatures are the cause of the trees dropping their leaves this morning. It was raining leaves on me. Seriously, leaves were falling on the path faster than the falling leaves on a spy-ware laden screen saver. All in all, a beautiful morning.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

News From Around the Globe

Temperature at departure = 32° F (0° C)

I'm not trying to step on cyclicious' toes but thought I'd do a quick search for Bicycle news and found a couple articles that were interesting. I don't think I'm going to do this often as there are way too many articles about accidents ... but what is the old axiom? "If it bleeds, it leads."

San Antonio seeking to increase bike paths
I think it is very cool that they have a full-time bike-pedestrian coordinator ... I don't think Overland Park even has a part-timer.

Ohio drunk driver sentenced to only three years after killing a year-old boy and critically injuring his 8 year-old brother. The boy killed had a working tail light. Just too sad.