Friday, April 27, 2007


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

Busy week and an even busier weekend ahead. At least we've got another break in the rain this morning. I got to ride the Mendota again this morning (seen above) and after making a few adjustments to the seat position, etc. I have to say this is a very smooth ride. I'm going to do my best to get the initial installment of the review posted to CommuteByBike later today.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mendota is Here

Temperature at departure = 54° F (12° C)

Saturday morning I took my bike into Bike America to get the spokes on my back wheel fixed and was happy to find out that the Gary Fisher Medota that I'm supposed to review for CommuteByBike was in. I'd hoped to get a nice ride on the trail in with Peter, who was home for the weekend. Saturday's weather was beautiful and we took the Indian Creek Trail to State Line and then decided to see how far into Missouri it went. We passed Watts Mill, Wornall, Holmes and the trail ended at 99th -- two miles into Missouri. The 16 mile round trip was a breeze; we saw kids catching fish just below the falls at Watts Mill (pictured above), stopped for a cold drink at the QT at 103 and Wornall where we used to always get gasoline when we lived in that part of town and it was a nice chance to spend some more time with Peter before he headed back to start getting ready for finals in a couple weeks.

40 MPH winds kept me from riding to my Dad's yesterday, so I drove. I forgot the camera and really wouldn't have been able to get the shot of my Dad's tulips that I wanted anyway -- they peaked the week before and the winds the last few days finished them off. I wanted to show you a picture of them because I think they are amazing. I've grown tulips over the years and they seem to make it 3 or 4 years before they just refuse to come back. My Dad's tulips have been coming up for more than 50 years! I'll have to remember to get a picture of them next year.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Spoke Broke

Temperature at departure = 53° F (12° C)

At least there was a departure... On the way home last night, I hit an inch and a half thick branch on the trail which ended up inside my back wheel and broke one spoke and bent two others.

Won't be a big repair, but this was going to be the first time since the end of October that I'd ridden to work all five days in the week (I normally get four out of five). I called the guys at Bike America to see if the new Fischer Mendota that I'm supposed to test ride is in (it isn't) and asked them if I should stay off my baby until I get the spokes replaced and they said since the broken one is on the gear side of the back wheel - STAY OFF.

There, hanging on the garage ceiling, was my old, trusty, 1977 Yama ten speed. I'd hung her up after the cable for the rear derailleur broke. Since I had an excuse, I bought the new bike last July. I did not want to miss riding this morning so I figured riding the Yama, as is, would give me a hint as to what it would be like to ride a fixed gear. Wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. Still, it was weird riding a road bike again after riding the hybrid for so long. I'm going to have to get the spokes fixed first thing Saturday morning so I can ride some extra miles this weekend.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bikes + Art = Bart?

Temperature at departure = 46° F (8° C)

I mentioned yesterday that I have been wanting a picture of this for a long time. I first noticed the bikes around 4 years ago when there were only two bikes. I believe they add something each year -- this year's addition is the wagon. These bikes make me smile everytime I see them. If you're in the Prairie Village, KS area -- you'll find them at the corner of 71st and Tomahawk; Tomahawk is a VERY popular road for cyclists in the area.

[You can see the full size shot by clicking on the image above or clicking on the marker and following the link on the map.]

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Boys Are Back

Temperature at departure = 54° F (12° C)

Actually they never went far ... just a little deeper in the woods, but our herd is back. There are several young bucks that come up to the office to feed for a bit (the shot above is from yesterday afternoon) and then hang out around the bike path during my trip home in the evening.

Here is your WT Fun Fact of the Day ... some small winged insects have a nutty flavor.

I am going to try to remember my camera tonight; there is a house with a sculpture that I've wanted a picture of for a long time and since it is right next to where JLT has his trumpet lesson, I want to grab a shot of it to share. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now That Is What I'm Talkin' About

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

This morning's ride was the best solo ride this year. Why:

  • Beautiful blue skies and 51 degrees
  • No wind
  • I was making great time with, what seemed like, little effort
  • I got to the part of the path that I showed yesterday and there were zero trucks parked along the detour. ZERO!
  • Great music on the MP3 player (which I only listen to when I'm on the path); favorite track this morning was Al Jarreau's "Mornin'"
  • Everyone I met had a big smile and we all said "Good morning" to each other
  • My average MPH was up to 15.0 over the 6.083 miles I rode. I wasn't even trying to push it this morning
  • Tons of cardinals were out this morning

So, here is your WT Fun Fact of the Day -- When persued by someone on a bicycle, the average male cardinal flies ~17 MPH.

Thanks to Anthonut for the use the image.

Have a great day -- I know I'm going to. Here, maybe THIS will help...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Quick Response

Thanks to the guys at KDOT; that was pretty quick. Got the following reply:

From: Burt (clip)
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2007 2:38 PM
To: wt(clip)
Subject: FW: Your trucks blocking bike path detour

Mr. T(clip),

I appreciate your concern. I have instructed our inspectors to attempt to find a parking place that does not block the detour. If you should have further comments or questions please contact me.

Burt (clip)

Detour for the Detour

Temperature at departure = 46° F (8° C)

I wasn't going to bring this up -- but it is getting a bit ridiculous.

The detour for the bike path that we waited for for so long still needs a little help. They've temporarily filled some gaps with gravel which hasn't bothered me too much. For the last couple weeks pickup trucks from the construction workers or, in the example seen here this morning, the Kansas DOT have been parking smack dab on top of the temporary path. I'm going to try e-mailing KDOT and see if they can put an end to this; cutting into traffic at this point, between pickups, is awkward at best. Again, not a huge issue in the greater scheme of things but it puts a bit of a damper on the morning ride.

The good news is that the trucks are always gone for my ride home and we should have temperatures around 72° this evening. Now, back to work.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beautiful Sunday

Temperature at departure = 62° F (17° C)

At last, some nice weather. Got home from church and fired up the grill to do some chicken. As I'm grilling, Belle talks to me while Maggie hunts bumble bees.

It was such nice weather that I stretched out my weekly ride to my Dad's house an extra 3.5 miles. I just wish the recent cold weather wouldn't have done so much harm to the flowers and trees; it would have been nice to see a little more green.

To follow up on the time travel thing -- the warning didn't work as the kids were finished with chores around noon yesterday and wasted no time firing up Monster Hunter. Oh well, they'll never know what they missed...

Friday, April 13, 2007


Okay, that was weird. I don’t know how much time I have before the next rift in the space – time continuum, so kids, this is VERY important, do NOT play video games tomorrow. That is all I have time to sa

Flux Capacitor

They'll never believe me. After years of secret work, as incredible as it may sound, I've mastered time trav

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Big Yellow Round Thing

Temperature at departure = 35° F (2° C)

What IS that big bright thing in the sky? It hurts my eyes to look at it.

I am so tired of all the April showers we've been having lately. The rain combined with the cold temperatures just isn't a good match for riding the bike. Oh, I've been doing it, but it does take some of the fun out of the experience. So, I just looked out my office window and it is SUNNY! Looks like it will be a nice ride home as the winds die down a bit as well.

Last night I surprised some deer on path. I know they were surprised because they dropped some little presents on the path for me to dodge...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I thought we had made it through the day without any problems regarding the lack of an egg hunt on Sunday. My dad and my mother-in-law had been over for a nice ham dinner, the dishes were done and our guests had left; then, around 5:30 in the afternoon, Curtis asked about the egg hunt. He volunteered to stuff the plastic eggs and hide them -- so we got the baskets and plastic eggs out of the attic and away we went. We got the candy in the eggs and then Curtis headed out to hide them. He did a pretty good job.

Peter had already headed back to school and Trevor was at work so Katie, Jonathan and Curtis were the only ones to enjoy the hunt, although it didn't look like Katie was enjoying it that much.
So, I think the stage has been set for no hunt next year, although you never know...

Friday, April 06, 2007


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

I'd turned on the radio in the kitchen this morning so I could catch the forecast while I was making the boy's lunches and my daily mocha latte. I caught the lead story; something about Sheryl Crow going on tour in a biodiesel car to warn college students about global warming. I had to chuckle as the first sentence of the next story went like this: "Mom is going to have to trade in her Easter bonnet for a fur-lined hat this Sunday as we are expecting a record low temperature."

Circumstances conspired to make my departure a tad late this morning. I debated whether or not I should take the extra 2.5 mile loop. I thought I should try to bump up my speed to just get in early and try to re-re-adjust my attitude this morning. So, what did I do? I decided to not even look at the computer while I was riding and just take a leisurely ride in, for once. It helped the attitude (a little) and, really, I only dropped 0.6 MPH on my average and added an extra one minute and 20 seconds of time to reflect on the day. It is Good Friday, after all, and a great day to reflect.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

New Toy - Part 1

Temperature at departure = 29° F (-2° C)

Uneventful ride in. I took the extra 2.5 mile loop just to get some more exercise this morning; that bumped up my average MPH for the morning commute to 14.5. Not bad, for me.

Well, Google Maps has a new feature this morning called My Maps. It allows you to create and share personalized maps. You can even draw on them, add photos and videos. I think this will be pretty fun. Lots of uses for the family too. I'm going to go play now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

If You Don't Like The Weather...

...just wait a few minutes; so the saying goes.

Temperature at departure = 28° F (-2° C)

I had to dig my Winter gear out for this morning's ride. High temperatures in the 80's Monday and the rest of the week the forecast high is in the mid 40's. This is normally the weather we have the last week of March; so we're only off one week. On the plus side, I probably won't have to deal with many pedestrians on the way home.

Starting to make my Sunday plans. I am trying to justify hiding eggs again this year. My youngest is 11 now and although everyone still likes candy -- I'm not sure they want to be seen running around the yard with an Easter basket. Still, the dogs might miss it ... or not.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Music Hath Charms... soothe the savage cyclist.

After a delayed start this morning and a rather chilly commute home it struck me: I'm using the MP3 player again and my average MPH changes, as does my attitude, as the tunes I'm listening too change.

Linger - The Cranberries - It was a nice way to ease into the ride.
Vogue - Madonna - MPH climbs significantly. Attitude changes to superiority.
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughn - MPH dropped a bit but the attitude remained, although now I'm just feeling cool as opposed to superior.
Love You - The Free Design - MPH drops again as I'm reminded that cycling is fun. Attitude is now child-like.
End Credits from The Kingdom of Heaven - MPH rises as I slip into battle mode. Pedaling with purpose now:

Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.

Overjoyed - Stevie Wonder - MPH dropped again; nice way to cool down.

I didn't take any time worrying about what I had lined up, just threw some stuff on the Rio and headed out. Fun.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Spirits Not Dampened

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

Well, we survived. The rain Friday night was sometimes in-tents ... [insert mental rim shot now]. I could have sworn that at one point around 2 a.m. that a couple of fire hoses had been pointed at my tent and opened up full blast. In February the troop doubled in size when it added 10 new scouts (one of them being my youngest). 9 of these new scouts were on the trip, so I was expecting several cases of home-sickness. I guess the good thing about torrential rains in the middle of the night is no one wants to get out of their tent to come over to tell you they want to go home.

Saturday morning the skies cleared off as a cold front blew in. Winds gusting to 50 mph sometimes dried things out quickly but made it a bit chilly. Another dad and I went with 5 of the older scouts on a 5.5 mile hike on the Rimrock Trail at Camp Naish , voted the best kick-your-(rear)-Hike in Kansas City. A mile and a half in I knew my boots were going to be an issue. Ended up with a pretty nasty sore spot on one heel but it was a beautiful time of year to hike the trail; just enough green on the trees to make it pretty but not enough to obstruct the view.

All in all it was a great time. I've said it before, you usually remember the campouts that you had to suffer through some adversity. No one sits around a campfire and talks about the time they had beautiful weather...