Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Total for November

Total for November: 52.9 Miles

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


The Slate RSS feed included two adjacent stories about bike commuting.

One ends better than the other.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's Back

Free Bike
Originally uploaded by danonbike.
You may remember back in the spring when I went to get a picture of a bike that had been locked to an electrical tower the entire winter.

Well, it's back! The bike, in the same spot as before, has been there for about a month.

So, the offer is back on. Free bike at the intersection of Lindberg and Klondkie roads.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Root Beer Run

I had a tough time getting out today. I couldn't find my bike lock or one of my gloves, and I finally gave up. My wife (hi honey!) said that once I got out, I would be glad I went, but I thought I just wanted to say that I went. See, I've been reading blogs by people who have either almost or entirely given up on cars (see the new blogroll on the right). I'm not in a place (location or situation) where I can do that, but I do like to try once and a while to replace a drive with a ride. Today, I needed milk and spray starch from the store, and I was craving root beer. I finally got out the door by 2:30.

Newman Road Viaduct
Newman Road

Pretty nice weather today. The sunny and in the mid 50s (285 K) with a SSW with at around 14 mph gusting to 25. The grocery store is NE of my house, so that meant a headwind on the way home.

Cattail Trail near Purdue Golf Course
Cattail Trail near Purdue Golf Course

You've read before how I like the Cattail Trail, and I rode part of the trail today. However, as it passes Wally World on Cumberland Ave, the trail crosses both of the entrance roads for the mega-store. This is probably the most dangerous part of the trail, especially from cars leaving the parking lot. For this stretch, I jump out into the lane when it is clear.

West Lafayette Marsh Grocery Store

I reached the Marsh store without incident, and my bike wasn't stolen as it sat unlocked next to the Blue Rhino propane tank exchange cage. Next, it was on to the nearby BP convenience store where I picked up 2 one quart bottles of Dog N Suds Root Beer.

Coming home, I felt the wind as expected, but it wasn't too bad. I just took my time.

Scary Tree
Wasn't This Tree in Poltergeist?

You know, my wife was right - I was glad that I went.

Miles Ridden: 14.6

Where Was I Again?

One problem I have with this journal is that I can't remember any of the literate and descriptive thoughts I had during the ride. Not a problem for the Cycler. He's got some great entires discussing the Montana wilderness, biking, and other philosphical subjects.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Why I Haven't Ridden This Week

I just didn't get ready in time. I was up quite early, but I spent too much time web surfing and watching the news. At 10 'till eight without breakfast started, I knew I wouldn't make it in time. I ended up stopping at McD's for an Eggamuff - arriving at work 20 minutes late. Oh well, sometimes it's good to be the boss.

Turns out that it was good that I didn't ride. My son called me at 10:30 needing an assignment left at home delivered to the school by noon. It's about 45 minutes round trip by car. It would have been twice that on the bike.
Kelly Green's forecast called for rain, so I didn't ride. The rain didn't appear until after midnight!
My daughter had an orthodontist appointment in the morning, and my son needed a ride home from band practice at the end of the day.

Maybe tomorrow or Friday, although tomorrow looks cold and windy.

Excuses! Excuses!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Picnic at Black Rock

Black Rock is a small outcropping on the banks of the Wabash in Warren County. According to my Charlie Meyer map, it looked reachable in the two hours I had this morning before the rain started. Plus, a strong SW wind was forecast for today, and the rock is in that general direction.

Smashed Pumpkin
Another Senseless Post Halloween Tragedy

It's an easy route. Division Road west leads across the county line, and a few miles south of Green Hill the gravel road leading back east to Black Rock is found. The wind wasn't very strong when heading west, but I sure could feel it when I turned south.

Green Hill Town Limits
Green Hill is apparently a high crime area

At that corner, I came upon a very large llama farm. I could see the herd in the distance, but they were as camera shy as those I've been trying to see closer to home.

Llama Farm
Calling Warren Co. Road 350N a gravel road is a compliment. It seemed to be mostly packed dirt to me. There were ruts worn into the surface both from vehicles and from water flowing along the edge. I'm glad the ground was basically dry, or I would have been in a real mess!

The road suddenly drops into the river valley, and Black Rock looms on the right side. It isn't a very dramatic sight, but in an area of mostly flat prairie land turned to farming, any kind of exposed rock is rare. With all of the fallen leaves and the overcast skies, it was a little tough to see the actual rock.

Black Rock, Warren County, Indiana
Black Rock
(It's there - above my bike - look closer)

Some of the land along the river here is owned by the Niches Land Trust, a group that buys land and holds in it reserve. A few years ago, my family drove out for a visit, and we saw a bald eagle and its nest. Another rare sight in Indiana.

Your License Plate Money at Work

I stopped at the Niches pull off point and ate my PBJ sandwich and some snowflake shaped Ritz crackers (which have eight points, while everyone knows that a real snowflake is six sided).

The road returned to pavement as soon as I crossed back into Tippecanoe County, so the rest of the ride was easy going. I didn't get much of a push back east from the wind, so I think I earned all of the miles I rode.

Potawatomi Indian Death March Marker
On the way back, I stopped at the Ross Camp to grab a shot of the chapel there.

Ross Camp Chapel
Miles Ridden: 23.6

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lights! Camera! Action!

The Geek wants to affix a video camera to his helmet, and he has linked to another rider that has posted couple of movies of trail rides. The video is a little unnerving, since we can't really see what's coming up, but it looks like fun.

I can't top that, but I do have a handheld feature from last year that I can show. I took this on the same November day as this picture as I was riding down Northwestern Ave in West Lafayette. There was a little bit of auto and foot traffic heading to the Purdue Women's Basketball game that was soon to start. I'm using my Canon PowerShot S-50 on the movie setting held in my right hand. (Don't laugh at the sweats, it was cold!)

Click for Movie (19MB)

Towards the beginning, a van honks and I spin around to get a picture. Turns out, it was my wife driving to the store for supper. What a great coincidence!


Here's the video on YouTube:


Thursday, November 03, 2005

All Rise

I received a jury summons in the mail last week, and today was the day. I figured, since the weather is nice, why not ride in?

I dropped my biking clothes off at my office on the way in. I didn't think there would be a safe place to stow my pannier, and I didn't want to risk leaving it on the bike. Besides, it's on the way.

The courthouse is only a mile and a half farther down the road, and I arrived early. I was surprised to see another cyclist locking up his ride on the rack, and he ended up also being on the panel. The bailiff at the security station mentioned how rare it was to have two cyclists in line together. What are the odds?

The jury selection process was very interesting. I was too far down the list to be questioned, because they had seated six persons before getting even close to my name. My cycling buddy was questioned and excused. I was out by 10:30 and had some time to kill, so I walked around downtown, and spent some time on a park bench reading a magazine. After lunch with a friend, I rode back up the hill to work for the afternoon.

My training buddy was with me on the ride home on the North Work Route, with sustained winds in the 20s, and gusts in the 30s. The bigger problem was that the sun sinks low pretty early, and it was time for the blinky light before 6pm.

Miles Ridden: 14.7