Monday, October 31, 2005

Miles for October

Total for October: 165.0 Miles

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Late October

Today was a warm one, so the neighbor and I headed west. We ended up taking the Lilly Road Route counterclockwise. On the east end of the route, we took River Road east into campus, and came home on SR26 and Newman Road.
Wabash River at Granville Bridge
The trees along the Wabash are looking colorful

Trees under power lines
These guys have lost their leaves and look pretty spooky

Bike shadow
The shadows are getting long these days

Miles Ridden: 19.2

Friday, October 28, 2005

Jimmy Johns

I was driving home through campus tonight around 8:00. State Street is a one-way west through the village and by the Union, and we were in the left lane. In the right lane up a little was a bus followed by a small car. As the bus began to slow for a stop, the car signaled and changed to the left lane. Then, both slammed on the brakes. Between them, riding on the white center line, the Jimmy Johns sandwich delvery boy appeared on his fixed gear.

Riding the wrong way on a one way street!

What an ass! I think he's been watching those videos of the New York bike couriers in the death defiying races through traffic.

Prophetstown State Park

Today, I loaded up the kids and our bikes and drove to Prophetstown State Park in Battleground. Just a $4 entrance fee, and we were in.

I had heard that they had a 2.5 mile bike trail, and I thought it would be a nice way to spend our day off school or work, and a way to get them on the bikes for a little bit.

There is a nice parking area at the trail head. The trail basically parallels the main road through the park - passing through the campground and the picnic areas. There is a similar parking area at the other end. This park has been carved out of farm fields over the past 10 years, so their aren't many trees. Instead of trying to grow a forest, the DNR is embracing the prairie land motif. There are several fields full of native prairie grass.

We road the trail, explored the campground, and rested at the large playground. (Where were the playgrounds like that when my kids were younger? We were always stuck with the usual Indiana State Park fare - a few timbers stuck into the ground.)

Except for the part where I accidentally pinched my daughter's neck in the helmet buckle, it was a good time. I will probably be able to get them out there again. Now, if only I could get my wife to come along...

Miles Ridden: 6.2

Boz Rocks!

My new BFF Boz has been writing about me, and I think he's the best!

Boz's MonkeyFor those who don't know, Boz is a famous blogger. He writes in a stream of consciousness style that seems to be fueled by his insomnia, his love of 50s and 60s music, and his care of his aging mother. He also occasionally includes pictures of half naked young women.

I'm hoping that we can go on a ride together the next time I'm in Michigan. I'll help him pump up the tires on his Huffy.

What kind of bike do I ride? An orange one.


UPDATE: Also, I've seen a 25% increase in page views since Boz linked to me.

Thursday - 3 views
Friday - 4 views

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Last Ride to Work

The weather lady predicted a cold front would arrive tonight, and the forecast for the next several days is cold and rainy. This could be the last ride to work this year, unless I can find some cold weather riding gear.

Big guys like me have a tough time finding bike clothes. Items are marked 'XL', but the actual size may almost be a large. I ordered some wind/water resistant bike pants that were marked '40-42', but I couldn't even pull them up! I've heard about a company that sells cycling wear for bigger people. I'll just have to remember their name.

When I left work today, I walked out the door to see a bunch of fire trucks and police cars outside. Apparently, a construction crew had hit a gas main, and a three block area was evacuated. My building was right on the edge, and some co-workers were not allowed to retrieve their cars from the neighboring parking lot until the 'all clear' was given.

It was also colder than I expected - 60 instead of 70. I was quite underdressed. What kept me warm was that I had just received a frustrating email before I left, and I was all worked up about it. I found myself pedaling quickly most of the way home on the North Work Route

Miles Ridden: 11.9

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Another Trip North

I had another meeting today up at the Ross building, so I got to take another work day ride. I followed the same route as last time, and once again the traffic was light and the paths were clear. I ended up being a few minutes late for the big meeting, since my boss stopped by to chat just as I was leaving.

Afterwards, I took the cattail trail down to Applebee's for lunch, and then on down the trail back to campus.

It's tough to explain the feeling I get while bike commuting. Part of me feels like I'm playing hookey (sp?) for playing during work. There is also an overall good feeling as I ride (probably the endorphins).

I rode home on the South Work Route.

Miles Ridden: 19.0

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I Need More Roads

The same old streets and roads around my house seem a little stale sometimes. I've ridden many of the roads south of Lafayette and west and north of West Lafayette, plus around Battleground, Dayton, and Otterbein. I even rode to Independence once! I'll have to make more road trips to new starting points. Maybe in the spring I'll try to extend my range.

Today I dropped my son at Harrison High School for a club meeting, and I brought the bike along to ride while he was in the meeting. Roads I used today include:
  • 600N
  • SR43
  • Soldiers Home Road
  • Cumberland Ave
  • Cattail Trail
  • Morehouse Road
  • 500N
  • County Farm Road

Miles Ridden: 15.1

(I'm posting this from my handheld without the use of spell check. Please excuse any typos or spelling mistakes.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

High Ropes (The Rubber Tree Plant Song)

I wrote earlier how I like the idea of vehicular cycling (where cyclists take their place on the streets the same as cars), but I've also been trying to reduce my stress level by staying out of the way of cars when possible. While I have no problem "taking the lane" when necessary (because I'm not riding on the sidewalk or in the gutter), I'm more likely now than before to take a bike lane or path when offered.

However, sometimes things happen that make me rethink my bike lane strategy. As I was riding home today, a car came up on my left and turned right onto a side street - cutting me off in the process. I probably wasn't in grave danger, but it was a little too close for me. If I had been in the lane, that wouldn't have happened. When I read about how bike lanes and paths can invite accidents, it's easy to agree.

Anyway, the rest of the ride was nice, so let's talk about that.

I took the usual route in, and the North Work Route home. During the day, I rode to a training class in Discovery Park, and to the dedication of the new Class of '79 High Ropes Course.

Purdue High Ropes Course
Man! Those ropes are high! The course will be offered to groups for recreation and team building. I hope my team never has that idea. There is NO WAY I'm getting up there.

I'm loving this warm, dry October weather. November is going to come too soon.

Miles Ridden: 15.7

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ross Building

Another good day for a ride to work. In addition to the usual to and from work (South Work Route), I rode to a meeting up at the Ross Building.

It is located on Kalberer Road near Morehouse Road (next to the Wild Bird Shop) - about 3.5 miles from my office. I took the commuter route up there - on Grant Salisbury and Cumberland (bike lanes all the way) with the last bit on the Cattail Trail. Coming back, I followed the Trail down to Cherry Lane and cut through campus. There were several senior citizen couples birdwatching at the bog looking at the cranes and herons.

October weather is well suited for a ride in the middle of the work day. It's not too hot, so I don't get overly sweaty. Plus, it's not too cold where a coat would be necessary.

Purdue Horse Farm
This gal said hi to me on the way home

Miles Ridden: 17.9

Monday, October 10, 2005


Another great day for a bike commute. I took the reverse South Work Route in, and the North Work Route home.

Lindberg Road crosses a bog between Northwestern Ave and McCormick Road. This road was rebuilt a few years ago to keep it from sinking into the muck. Unfortunately, the project was not successful. It's tough to show in a picture, but the road and bike path are more like roller coaster tracks than a paved street.

One neat thing about the location is all of the swamp wildlife one can see. I've mentioned the frogs and geese before; there are also many ducks. In fact, there is a sign that warns drivers that they may see little baby ducks crossing the street, maybe a little baby duck trying to fly, plus there is a risk of GINORMOUS MUTANT BABY DUCKS!

Duck Crossing Sign
Has the sign designer never seen an adult duck before?

Miles Ridden: 13.5

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Weekend Ride

It's sunny, mid-60s, not too windy - let's ride!

It was 3:30 when I finally got out today. I was hoping to hit the warmest part of the day, and I think I picked a good time. It was still chilly enough to wear a long sleeved shirt, and even though I got a little warm in the sun, I sure appreciated the coverage in the shade.

I started heading east on River Road, and jumped onto the Wabash River Heritage trail at its south end. I stayed on the West Lafayette side and stopped at the Brown Street Overlook, where I shot the 2nd picture ever posted on this journal around 10 months ago.

Brown Street Overlook - Wabash River - West Lafayette
Brown Street Overlook

A little bit north of Brown Street is the Burnham's Site. This was a boating shop that has been vacant as of late. West Lafayette and Purdue University have purchased the site and plan to build a boathouse, at least part of which will house the Purdue Crew team.

'Port Lou Motorboat - Burnham's - West Lafayette
The "Port Lou"

At the north end of the trail, I crossed North River Road (SR43) and headed up the hill on Robinson Street. This hits Salisbury street near a restaurant whose name escapes me. The bike lane on Salisbury was pretty clear, except for the apples strewn about. Many were smashed into an asphalt applesauce - apparently by passing cars that can't stay in their lane.

As I then pedaled west on Lindberg Road, I passed a guy walking in the bike lane carrying a black bird, maybe a starling. I was too surprised to stop and get the camera out. Plus, I wasn't sure if he would appreciate me taking a shot.

Continuing west on Lindberg, I found the Cattail Trail and took it south to Cherry Lane. Just a short roll west brought me to McCormick Road, and I flew down the hill towards the Purdue West Shopping Center.

Purdue University Horticulture Park Sign
Purdue University Horticulture Park

For a change of pace, I cut through the Hort Park to get to SR26. Instead of taking the usual route on Newman, I traveled over the tracks and up the hill on SR26 until reaching Sharon Chapel Road. SCR took me south and back to Newman, and I continued home.

Miles Ridden: 14.3

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's Dark! It's Windy! It's Cold - I HATE Winter!!!

OK, so it's not winter yet, but recent changes to the weather have really messed up my riding.

It is officially too dark to ride between 6 and 7 in the morning. My last morning ride was about 3 weeks ago, and it was pretty dark for about half the ride. Now, it is positively black that early in the morning. Living in the country where there are no street lamps, the neighbor and I are too worried about not being seen - or expected - on the road.

So, my rides now will be limited to weekend daytime, or the work commute. Like today, where I took the South Work Route. The ride in was fine, with a tailwind and me in my long sleeved Oxford shirt and khakis. However, when I changed into my bike shorts and T-shirt for the ride home, I discovered that it had turned cold and windy. Even though I was heated up by the time I arrived home, I could have used long sleeves.

Here are a couple of pictures of the relatively new bike path along State Street that I mentioned earlier. (Look how gloomy it was this morning!)

State Street Bike Path - Burton Morgan Center
State Street Bike Path looking East

State Street Bike Path
State Street Bike Path looking West

It's only a long block long so far - from MacArthur to Intramural - but I hope they extend it at some point, especially to the west.

Miles Ridden: 8.5

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Usual

After canceling yesterday's ride to work at the last minute, I was able to get out today. I took the North Work Route like usual.

This morning was very humid, and that made me a little warm. Plus, some idiot found it appropriate to honk continuously while coming up behind me and passing me on the hill, and that got my heart going as I argued with him in my head the rest of the way in.

Miles Ridden: 11.9

Sunday, October 02, 2005

High Noon

We had a bit of a surprise thunder storm this morning, so I didn't get out until close to lunch time. I took the River Road/Campus Route with an extra jog across the river to the Tippecanoe County Courthouse. I took this picture as the clock was chiming 12:00.

Tippecanoe County Courthouse
Here is another view - from the inside.

Miles Ridden: 11.8