Sunday, April 30, 2006

April Total

Total for April: 124.3 miles

That's a little shy of the 162 miles this month last year.

Total this year: 276.5 miles

Last year: 180 miles

More Rain!

I'm going to have to watch carefully for the dry periods this week!

10 Day Forecast

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I was a little rushed this morning getting out for work. I quickly stuffed some clothes for the ride home in my pannier and hung it on the bike. My garage door broke the other day, so I had to carry the bike into the basement and up the stairs to the front door. I had forgotten my lock, so I went back downstairs and retrieved it. Then, I remembered the elastic pants cuff strap. Finally, I'm ready to go, and that's when I notice the flat back tire. I took everything back inside and drove to work. I didn't think about using my son's bike.

I stopped to buy tubes at the bike shop. Unlike last time, I knew which valve type I needed and was able to declare "Schrader" with confidence.

At home, a quick inspection of the tire found a 3/4 inch staple in the tread. I was able to change the tube quickly, so I'm all set for the next ride tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

After Work

Due to some creative flex timing, I was able to leave work early and get home by 5:00. It was 59°F and not very windy. I had a nice ride west on Division Road up Indian Creek Hill and back. That hill is very relaxing, and I like looking at the scenery as I go up. The creek runs next to the road, and it presents a thousand tiny waterfalls as the water falls from rock to rock.

I saw many other bikers out tonight, including members of the Purdue Cycling Team.

Miles Ridden: 11.1

Sunday, April 23, 2006

That's a Lot

Lots of errands and yard work this weekend, but I did find time to ride the Llama Route today. There was a strong WNW wind fighting me on Jackson Highway, but the tailwind on Division Road was nice.

I saw nine llamas in the pasture.

Miles Ridden: 12.7

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Travel Day

I'm heading out of town today, so I didn't go in to work. Instead, I took a slightly late bike ride. Following the River Road/Campus route put me on campus right around 8:00. I'm not used to that much traffic for a morning ride.

Miles Ridden: 9.5

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Not a Great Afternoon for Cycling

WLFI Live Doppler 18

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Park to Park

(I shouldn't post these things a day after the ride. I'm already forgetting what I was going to write.)

Rail bridge over the Wabash River
View from the River Bank

It took a lot of self-prodding to get off of the lazy boy and in the saddle at 5:30 today. With the NE wind, I decided to ride to the Levee and then north on Happy Hollow Road. The Wabash River Heritage Trail and Tapawingo Park were bustling with patrons (mostly young couples). Climbing the hill on Happy Hollow really zapped me, but at least I didn't have to stop halfway like last time.

As I was riding on Cumberland Ave, I was thinking that I should write about the weird bike lanes in West Lafayette. There seems to be no consistency in markings or practices. Someday....

More happy park users on the Cattail Trail and at the Celery Bog Nature Center.

US52 as seen from Soldiers Home Road
View from the Bridge

Miles Ridden: 16.7

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Honor Roll Ride

Unlike 2 weeks ago, I didn't let my excuses ruin a good weather day. My daughter and I celebrated her inclusion in the spring honor roll with a father/daughter breakfast before school. I dropped her off at 8:00, parked my car in the corner of the school lot, and rode the bike back into town. I was about 45 minutes late for work, so I flexed my schedule to compensate. My off campus meeting was easily reachable by bike, and lunch by bus. It was also once again the day to take shirts to the cleaners, but having my own bike back meant that panniers were available.

After work I took the long way back to the school, and the tailwind from the south made most of the ride easy and quick.

Towards the end of the ride, I noticed a wobble in the back tire again. Did I break another spoke? I'll check tomorrow.

Miles Ridden: 18.1

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A LIttle Arm Twisting

I called the kids at home today and asked them if they wanted to go for a ride when I got home from work. I can't believe how quickly they said no.

Later, my wife asked them to empty and load the dishwasher - unless they wanted to go outside and exercise. They both chose a bike ride.

We didn't go far, but at least I got them out. At the turnaround point, we had to adjust my daughter's bike seat up a couple of inches. Apparently, she's grown since last fall.

Miles Ridden: 1.8

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Dog N Spuds

I rode to work this morning over the normal route, and I met the family for supper at the Dog N Suds in West Lafayette. That is some good root beer!

Dog N Suds sign in Lafayette, IN

Miles Ridden: 6.1

Monday, April 10, 2006

Half Day

My daughter has an after school choir practice today, so I didn't think I'd be able to ride to work. However, I decided to ride in, and then ride home for lunch. I'd be going home for food anyway if I had driven, so I can replace one car trip with cycling.

On my way up the hill, I noticed that my shoes didn't match! So, I got to go back and climb the hill again. I also got to ride to a meeting this morning.

Miles Ridden: 10.7

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Nice Spandex

I had some time after yard work today to ride, so I went down to West Point and back (Division Road west to Granville Bridge, then south on 700W. Same route back). On the way, I passed a group of young girls (probably sisters) playing outside a farm house. The youngest, around 5 or 6, came running down the driveway and shouted to me "Nice spandex!". I said thank you and rode on.

Empty Store in West Point
Some areas of West Point have seen better days

Miles Ridden: 18.6

BTW, it's very nice to ride a freshly tuned bicycle. A big thank you and a hearty "Well Done!" to the boys in the service department at Hodson's Bay Company.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I remember the first time I rode up the hill on Newman Road. I know that I've written about the hill many times, since any ride to work or West Lafayette will normally involve that route. But the first time was much different.

I had only been riding seriously for about a year, and I think it was before I bought the Trek. which means I was still using the Murray. This was also a few years before we moved out West.

Donna and Dan on Bikes - circa 1998
My sister with her Schwinn and me on the Murray in LaPorte, IN - circa 1998

The League of American Bicyclists held their summer meet up in the Lafayette area that year, so there were many routes marked around the area - all starting from a residence hall parking lot on State Street. I picked the 19 mile route that went through Montmorenci.

Towards the end of the route, I was on Division Road and found the subdivision where a co-worker lives. Who knew that I'd be living there a few years later? A quick left on Newman brought me to the bottom of the hill. I put the bike in the easiest gear and started up. I'd never tried a hill that steep before, and it was killing me. When I got to the speed limit sign at the top, I pulled over and took a long water break - trying to stuff my lungs back into my chest. It's easier for me now.

I know that many riders probably find that hill to be kind of easy, but they are more experienced than I was, have a lighter bike than the 45 pound Murray, and are carrying much less weight than I do.

The ride today was leisurely, and a little windy. I headed up the now infamous hill (and I got most of the way up without using the granny gear) and east on Newman and SR26 to McCormick Road. I followed it north past US52 to Morehouse Road. Just a smidge to the west I found Taft Road. Heading south, I crossed US52 to Klondike Road, west on Fat Ass Road, and south on 400W. Back on Division Road, I rode east back home.

North Route on Gmaps Pedometer

Click to see the route in Gmaps Pedometer

Miles Ridden: 14.4

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's Ready! It's Ready! It's Finally Ready!

My bike was ready to pick up at Hodson's Bay today. I walked down the hill to the shop during lunch. They gave it a tune up ($50) and fixed the broken spoke (60¢). I rode across the shopping centers and up the hill on Wood Street to get back to work.

After work, I started on the North Work Route home - Grant to Salisbury to Lindberg. I was on Lindberg when my phone rang. My wife was at the auto mechanic and the van wasn't done yet, so she needed a ride home. I told her I'd ride back to my car and come pick her up. I more or less reversed the route, except for the one-way section of Grant Street. Instead, I used Northwestern and State to get back to Grant and the garage. On Grant, I saw a jogger running along the sidewalk, and he turned towards the street. He looked to his right, and then jumped out into the bike lane (without looking to his left to see me). I yelled out something like "WHOA!", and he stopped one step later. I pulled the brakes - locking the rear wheel for just a microsecond - and swerved around him. He turned towards me and said "Sorry".

I don't like yelling at people. When I have in the past, I never feel very good about it later, and I wish I wouldn't do it. However, instinct took over, and I pointed out that it was a two lane road. He said "Sorry" again, and I felt stupid.

Later, on the other end of Grant street, these two college boys started across the street when I was quite close. I moved over to the left side of the lane. One of them looked at me, smiled, and walked in front of me anyway. His buddy had stopped, so I had to swerve left across the double yellow to miss them. Remembering how yelling didn't help, I decided to try sarcastic instead. In a smarmy tone, I said "Don't mind me, boys". The first guy turned to me as I passed and let loose an amazing string of profanity and suggested physically impossible and incestuous acts. At that point, I felt pretty good for holding my cool and making him explode.

I rode up the ramp in the Wood Street Garage to my car, packed it in the trunk, and headed east.

Miles Ridden: 4.6 action packed miles