Thursday, June 07, 2012

MessengerMirror eye/sunglass-mounted cycling mirror

I’ve put this off for way too long. Back in August of 2009, Fritz posted a review of the Messenger Mirror. I was intrigued and added the MessengerMirror to my Christmas List. Christmas of 2009 I received my mirror and have used it regularly ever since. I love it. And it’s VERY inexpensive; so inexpensive that my wife got two of them for me … one to keep as a spare. I’ve never had to use the spare.

Although I don’t know who “they” are, they are right when they say: Sometimes the simpelist solution is the best solution.

Last month I actually put my Messenger Mirror in my pocket after a long ride so I could take the dog for a walk. When I got home the wire was bent over double. It straightened right out and is as good as new.

As I prepare for Biking Across Kansas, I wanted to make sure I could remember the web site so I can pass it along to the 800 others riding along. You might want to check it out as well. Please check them out and if you decided to spend the seven bucks, mention you heard about them from me. Or Fritz.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meanwhile, at the Gym

 Once again I score the rock star parking spot at the gym; you know, the place people drive to to ride bikes that don't go anywhere...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bike to Work Week 2012, Overland Park, Kansas

Many thanks to Nico, Brian, and all the volunteers at this year's Bike to Work Week events. Nico was the organizer and has done a wonderful job. Although I work from home now, it is still around a 20 mile bike ride between our bedroom and my basement office...

Here are some of my pictures for this year's breakfast stops.

I missed Monday morning, so this is Tuesday at Tomahawk Ridge Community Center - 11902 Lowell

 Channel 5 reported from Monday's event, Channel 9 and a photographer from the KC Star showed up Tuesday.
How could anyone say no to free Starbuck's coffee and a bike ride on such a beautiful morning? That's Brian on the left.

Wednesday, Corporate Woods Park - 109th & Indian Creek Parkway (by the Eilert Fountain)

 I found out that Wayne (red shirt) has ridden the BAK for the last 28(?) years. Looking forward to getting to talk to him some more as we bike across Kansas with 798 others next month.
Nico (the OP B2WW organizer) on the left.

Thursday, Roe Park - 10400 Roe (on the Indian Creek Trail) - didn't have my camera so had to use the one on my phone...

Left to right, CDude, John (?), Marvin, and Nico

Friday, City Hall - 8500 Santa Fe Drive

I don't remember how many years that Mark, Noah, and I have met up at one of these stops. Great guys and it is always marvelous to get a chance to get caught up. Thanks again for everyone who had anything to do with this.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Update on Indian Creek and Tomahawk Creek Trail Closures

[Note added, December 6, 2012 -- I spoke with the Parks Department on November 1st and they said that the construction date has now been pushed back to Spring 2013. For what it is worth, the Parks Department doesn't have much control over what KDOT is doing... If the winter is nice they might wrap it up earlier.]

The projected completion date for the construction on the Indian Creek Trail closure at Switzer has been pushed back to some time in November.

The closure on the Tomahawk Creek Trail around the North Pond is completely blocked off from just north of College Boulevard (111th) south to the park around 114th. Personally, I'm just riding Mission Road/Tomahawk Creek Parkway between Lee Boulevard and the park.

They're pretty serious about keeping you off this path, and for good reason ... the recent storms have eroded the bank of the creek to within less than a foot of the path in some places.

I've never seen a No Trespassing sign for a trail closure before.

[Updated 7/17/2012 to say the Leawood Parks and Recreation website posted a message saying "The Tomahawk Creek Parkway Trail closure (south of College Boulevard and north of 117th street at the north lake) has been extended to August 1st."]

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Closure on the Tomahawk Creek Trail

During this morning's ride I chanced upon these newly planted signs declaring a closure on the Tomahawk Creek Trail. These signs are actually still on the Indian Creek Trail side of the 111th street underpass. I talked to one of the crew that were setting up some of the orange plastic fencing around Tomahawk Parkway North Pond and they said that the trail would probably be closed tomorrow unless they are  delayed by rain. He said they're going to be re-routing part of the path away from the creek. Here's why...

Recent rains have further eroded the bank of the creek to within a foot of the existing path. He also said that the closure would probably be in place through June. So, my best guess is that the trail will be closed from the point where the ICT and TCT meet, just south of 111th, all the way to around 114th and Tomahawk Creek Parkway. Fortunately, Tomahawk Creek Parkway will be a wonderful detour since there are so many cyclists that ride on it regularly.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Indian Creek Trail Closure at Switzer Extended to October 2012

[Note added November 1, 2012 -- I spoke with the Parks Department again today and they said that the construction date has now been pushed back to Spring 2013. For what it is worth, the Parks Department doesn't have much control over what KDOT is doing... If the winter is nice they might wrap it up earlier.]

I called the Parks Department yesterday to inquire as to when the trail would be re-opened since the original plan for March was about to expire and it looks like there is quite a bit of work left to do. I was told that the new date for completion is now, tentatively, set for some time in October.

I took a ride this morning to take some more pictures and, sure enough, they've updated the sign to say "Fall 2012." 

I don't know about you, but I'm not planning on this being open until December or January. That works out fine for me; I'm riding on roads to get some training in before Biking Across Kansas. I've lived through other closures on the ICT and I'll live though this one. Sure, I'll be happy when they finish the work and am sure the trail will be improved as a result.

Back in August I suggested a different route from the official detour on the 119th street sidewalk. Having tried my route along College Boulevard a week or so ago, I'm going to have to now recommend against it. There's too much construction on College which has closed a couple of lanes and the traffic is now too much of a risk for me. Proceed at your own risk.

Here are some other camera phone pictures from this morning. 

Yeah, it's going to be a while...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Post-Apocalyptic Cycling

My children might tell you that I tend to pontificate during episodes of The Walking Dead about the way the survivors could simplify their journey by ditching the cars and trucks and setting out on bicycles instead. And then, during commercials, I go into my reasons. They go get a snack.

It's not just The Walking Dead, look at any story from this genre, from Will Smith's I Am Legend,  any zombie movie, and all the way back to the grandfather of all these stories, the excellent 1949 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel - Earth Abides by George R. Stewart. (Seriously, if you haven't read it, do so.) Cars get stuck due to loss of gas, blocked roads, fallen bridges, and more. Bikes can get around all those obstacles.

I now understand why my son Peter encouraged me to read Stephen King's The Stand. Three of the main characters made the right choice.

"Halfway there a thought rose to the surface of his mind like a bubble and popped. It happened casually, with no fanfare, but the implications brought him to a dead halt.
The thought was: Why haven't you been riding a bicycle?"

Exactly! Thank you Peter, and thank you Stephen King.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Indian Creek Trail Mile Marker 3 has Moved

In September I mentioned that the new mile marker at mile 3 was either a stroke of traffic calming genious or poor planning. Looks like it was the second option since enough of us must have complained that the marker has now been moved.

From General Bike Pix

The marker has been re-positioned so it is no longer in the path of riders coming off the bridge a little too quickly.

From General Bike Pix

As an added bonus, it is now also visible as you pass under Nall.

From General Bike Pix

One look at the tire tracks on the ground where they first placed the marker shows that cooler heads have prevailed. Many thanks to Park Services.

From General Bike Pix