Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Should A Detour Need A Detour: Part II

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

Here is another installment of "Should A Detour Need A Detour?"

Last month I mentioned that the Indian Creek Bike Trail detour at Metcalf could, at times, be dicey. So it was this morning.

The workers seem bound and determined to force pedestrians and cyclists out into traffic. Not a big issue, but I wish they'd keep it clear.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Workers Say Nuts To You

Following a dispute yesterday between the workers of Local Squirrel Union 913 and the Parks and Recreation Department of Overland Park - the squirrels cut off talks and walked off their job. The resulting increase in the number of walnuts on the Indian Creek Bike Trail has created several dangerous patches of unprocessed product from the plants located next to the trail.

Talks resumed today and it is hoped that negotiators will be able to find a solution favorable to all concerned.

Monday, September 24, 2007

KATY Trail Ride

Temperature at departure this morning = 73° F (23° C)

Curtis and I headed out on a Boy Scout bicycle campout Friday night. Got to KATY Roundhouse campground around 9 p.m. and got the tents up before the rain started (you can't have a Boy Scout campout without rain). Saturday morning was nice and sunny and perfect weather to ride the KATY Trail.

We got all the tires pumped up and off we went on the first of two 25 mile rides.

The KATY Trail is America's longest "rails-to-trail" project, formerly the MKT rail line, and runs 255 miles across most of Missouri.

We rode past Rocheport on part of the Lewis and Clark trail next to some impressive bluffs by the Missouri River.

Plenty of cool scenery like the MKT Tunnel seen above.

There were two of us adults and four of the boys (including Curtis) who elected to ride another 25 miles. A good time was had by all and I slept better on this campout than I have in two weeks. These pictures and a few more can be seen HERE.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Temperature at departure this morning = 67° F (19° C)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder -- I hope. Haven't had time to post lately as I've been spending a lot of time at the hospital first and now at the rehabilitation hospital after my dad took a spill and broke some stuff. He has some work ahead of him to get healed up, but after a shaky couple of weeks I'm happy to say I think he is doing fine now. One of my favorite moments from the hospital was after the attractive young nurse asked him if he wanted a bath in bed; he turned to me and said "How can I say no..."

The rehab hospital is just 0.3 miles off the path I used to ride to work before they got the detour for the bike path in place. I've been stopping by before and after work -- locking my bike to a tree out front. Pretty much every day I'm asked by some of the staff if I rode my bike. I answer 'yes' as I stand directly in front of them with my backpack on one shoulder and holding my helmet in gloved hands...

So, this morning I'm on part of the path that runs next to my kid's high school when I notice the first hour photography class walking towards me taking pictures of the surrounding flora and fauna. They notice me and suddenly I've got twenty or so people on each side of the path snapping my picture as I ride by. 30 yards later I exit the path and ride into traffic on Lamar when it hits me: I was just mobbed by paparazzi while on my way to rehab!

Oh great! Now Paris is text messaging me. Like I've got time for that right now.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Harnessing My Inner Gordon Ramsay

Temperature at departure this morning = 73° F (23° C)

I enjoyed Hell's Kitchen, my wife did not. She didn't like the way he goaded the contestants. I had the feeling that a lot of it was just for show, but that Gordon Ramsay is, in fact, a tough motivator. In searching for listings featuring Ramsay, I noticed that Monday had a bit of a mini marathon of Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. I set up a tape. (Remember VCR's? Yep, still using one.) I love this show and can't wait for the American version coming out on Fox sometime in the next week or two.

Why do I like Ramsay's approach? Sometimes I need a kick in the seat of the pants like Chef Ramsay dishes out on a regular basis. He gets in people's faces, doesn't take excuses and makes them shape up and get focused and passionate about what they're doing. He yells and curses and insults many -- but you'll notice that he is kind and encouraging to those who show that they're willing to make an effort.

I kept Ramsay in mind a few times over the last few days when my motivation to tackle some of the important things that needed to be done started to flag. So, whether you like him or not, if you start to get off course today -- harness your inner Gordon Ramsay.

Oops, he's telling me to get to work -- donkey!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dog Days

Temperature at departure this morning = 73° F (23° C)

It was a truly beautiful morning today. I had to take a few minutes to sit on the back porch with my mocha latte and just enjoy the sunrise while the dogs stretched their legs (Maggie is pictured below). On the way in this morning I saw at least 6 other cyclists -- that may not seem like many but it is twice as many as I normally see.

Labor Day was spent laboring away at home; but we got so much done that it didn't feel like a chore. Saturday night CAT and I got to see a bunch of my family at a party thrown in honor of one of my cousin's son's recent wedding. Man, it was nice to see everyone, I only regret not getting to spend more time with each of them.

Two nice rides this weekend: Saturday, Peter and I rode the route we tried, and failed to ride back in July due to the construction mess mentioned a few posts ago. 23 miles including the ride to and from the route. Just as we were approaching the tunnel under Nall at 125th, a young mom crossed our path with two kids on little bikes with training wheels riding ahead of her and two dogs (one on leash and one off leash). The dog running free went after my front tire for some reason. I stopped just short of running the thing over. "Sorry." Yeah, me too. Weird, I can't remember another encounter like that since I was a kid. I told Peter later that I was getting ready to hop off the bike and get my rear wheel between me and the dog, but it didn't come to that.

Sunday, on the way home from my dad's, I'm riding along, minding my own business, when a rather large dog jumps up and comes barking my way. He was on a chain which stopped him short about 5 feet from the curb, but it did shake me out of my uphill, plodding trance. All in all, a wonderful weekend. Hope yours was too.