Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dodging the Rain

Another Wet, Foggy Morning
Another Wet, Foggy Morning

Miles Ridden: 14.0

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Kids Are Back

The students are back on campus this week, and that also means the return of the bad example bikers.

They're speeding down the sidewalks, riding on the wrong side of the street, flying against the flow on one-way streets (with or without a bike lane), and running stop signs and lights.

Kids, you're not 10 years old tooling around the cul-de-sac anymore. You're adults now, and you should act like it. A cyclist in Indiana (like most areas) enjoys the privilege of operating as a full-fledged vehicle on public roads, and is trusted with the responsibilities of that operation. Follow traffic laws, including observing traffic controls, yielding to pedestrians, and riding with traffic on the right side. 'Take the lane' if necessary. In the cities of West Lafayette and Lafayette (not on campus or in the unincorporated areas) it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk.

Still, I'm amused by the guys (hopefully underclassmen) riding the 20" trick bikes to class. It's as if their mommy and daddy haven't bought them a 'big boy' bike yet. Also, I see the young ladies riding their 24" Huffy with the seat all the way down. It hurts my old man knees just watching them pedal!

(Can you tell I'm in a grumpy mood today?)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pack Mule

I carried a few extra things to work today - folders from the office, lunch - so I used my canvas attache bag in addition to my pannier. My baggage and contents added 12 pounds.

When I got in this morning, one of my co-workers was teasing me about messing up the traffic flow. Apparently, the cars in the right lane were all tapping their brakes and looking to switch to the left to get around me. All I saw was polite, orderly drivers sharing the road.

The 5:00 traffic on Grant Street was pretty thick. So much so that it took four light cycles to get across State Street. (I have to confess that I did a biker thing by riding up on the right side of all of the cars waiting at the Wood Street light. I can rationalize this behavior since they would have passed me had they been rolling.) At North Street, there was this older lady crossing on her bike in front of me who was so intently watching the traffic coming from a block away she didn't see me until she almost hit me!

The rest of the ride on the North Work Route was uneventful.

Miles Ridden: 11.7

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Over the River

What a difference a small seat adjustment can make! The ride was much more comfortable than yesterday's. I'm getting used to the new bike already.

On the Banks of the Wabash
Boats on the Wabash

I rode to Lafayette and then up to the Wabash River bridge on North Ninth Street Road. Back the same route.

North Wind
A Bit of a North Wind

Miles Ridden: 21.8

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Maiden Voyage

I've been thinking about it and talking about it for a long time, and today was finally the day to buy a road bike. After talking with the guys at Hodson's Bay Company, I decided on a Trek Pilot 1.0. It's a good fit for me, and it rolls so easy!
I'll get a real photo soon

The neighbor was riding out to the Ross Camp for an event, so I accompanied him. We took the long way through Montmorenci and on west to the County Line.

I need to adjust the seat a little and get used to the pedals (I haven't used clips before, and it feels odd to have the pedal under the ball of my foot rather than the arch). Even with the headwind, our average speed was a couple of MPH higher than we got on the hybrid bikes.

Miles Ridden: 23.1

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Two Rides Today

I rode to work again today, and I came home on a slightly shorter version of the North Work Route - coming south on Klondike Road instead of 400W.

Miles Ridden: 10.7

Horses in the Evening
Horses in the Evening

After supper, my kids and I went on a trip to Granville Bridge with the neighbor family. My daughter gave out about 2 miles from the end, so my wife came out with the van to take her home.

Miles Ridden: 9.8

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Horses in the Morning
Horses in the Morning

Rode to work, rode to lunch, rode to a meeting, rode home on the North Work Route.

Miles Ridden: 16.1

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Savin' Big Money

Ran some errands today stopping at Menards and Marsh. Neither has a bike rack.

Menards Has No Bike Rack
Menards Has No Bike Rack

Miles Ridden: 15.1

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Evening Ride

I got a 2nd ride in today when the neighbor called me around 7:30. We took a reverse Montmorenci Route.

Freshly Shorn Llama
Freshly Shorn Llama

Miles Ridden: 15.6

Fixing the Car Again

Once again, my car needs some work done, so I threw the bike in the back and drove up to the parkway. After I handed over the keys, I jumped on the 2 wheeler and headed north on Yeager Road. Kalberer, Soldiers' Home, Happy Hollow, and River Roads took me to the Levee area where I saw the newly unveiled fountain at the west end of the Pedestrian Bridge.

Wabash Landing Fountain
Fountain at Wabash Landing

After I quick run over to 9th street and back in Lafayette, I went up State Street hill to watch the new Freshmen moving into the dorms on campus. On the way, I saw this odd pattern painted in the middle of 3rd street.

Urban Crop Circles
Urban Crop Circles?

I'm not sure what it means. Could it be a fraternity prank? Or a pagan ritual site? Perhaps alcohol related? If you have any knowledge of what these symbols are meant to indicate, please leave a comment.

Miles Ridden: 13.4

Almost forgot, there were free cookies at Follets Book Store in Purdue West.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bog Dog Ride

My daughter and I plan to take the mutt to the Lafayette Dog Park on Friday. So, we needed to get a 1 day pass ($5) for which we needed proof of his rabies vaccination. Since I haven't ridden in a couple of days, I decided to head up to the vet to pick up the paperwork.

I headed north on McCormick Road, the Cattail Trail, and Morehouse Road - which took me past two swampy bodies of water. (It is a cloudy day, so the photos are a little flat.)

Celery Bog - South end
Celery Bog Near the Golf Course

Celery Bog - North End
Celery Bog Near Wal-Mart

Hadley Lake
Hadley Lake

After visiting the Blair Small Animal Clinic for the desired document, I rode home on McCormick, Lindberg, and 400W.

Miles Ridden: 16.6

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jasper Strassenfest Bike Ride

Strassenfest Bike Ride T-Shirt GraphicPart of the reason for going to Jasper this weekend was to ride in the annual Strassenfest Bike Ride. I've ridden the 20 mile route about four times in the past few years. Today, I decided to move up to the 35 mile route.

Now, I've ridden farther than that many times in the past, and I just did 28 miles the other day, so I figured I would be able to make it alright. What I didn't bank on was the number and difficulty of the hills in southern Indiana. I should have heeded the warning of yesterday's ride as an example of the hills to come today. It wasn't that any of them were horribly tough, it's just that they just kept coming.

The starting point was just a few blocks from my sister-in-law's house, so I was able to check in a drop the t-shirt back at the house before heading out. There were all kinds of bikes in the 20 mile group, but the 35, 48, and 62 mile riders all seemed to have road bikes - except for me. (I heard that Hodson's Bay is having their fall sale soon, so I'm looking at a Trek 700.)

On 400 N
I still don't know what these are called

By the time I got to the first SAG stop, my thighs were complaining a little. I had a few cookies and refilled the water bottle with some nasty red Powerade from powder. The 2nd SAG was just 6 miles later, and was feeling pretty good there. On Celestine RoadI'd been following a group of three guys for a while, and I was able to keep up pretty well. They didn't take the 2nd stop, so I mentally bid them adieu. There was a killer hill just past the #2 SAG that took a long time to climb. However, on the other side, I went speeding down the hill at speeds up to 38MPH. Pretty fast for me!

Schnellville Road was a roller coaster, and I even had to walk up one hill, as my legs just said no. It ended up being the last one for a while, so I was able to recuperate a little.

When I was about five miles from the end, I saw my three guys up ahead. It only took about a mile to catch them, as they were taking their time. I was able to talk to one guy in his late 50s, who said he was a high school phys ed teacher during the school year and was working at a bike shop in Vincennes for the summer. One of his younger co-workers talked him into taking the ride. He was doing pretty well, but his buddies had to wait at the tops of the hills. The reason I was able to catch up was because he had fallen over trying to stop to get a dropped water bottle. He isn't quite used to the clipless pedals yet.

On Schnellville Road
More Rolling Hills

As we were climbing the last hill on St. Charles side by side and chatting, an SUV passed us in the center turn lane (no problem there). Then, I heard an anemic horn coming up as a guy on a Harley squeezed by me in the same lane. Apparently, he wasn't willing to use the center lane. At the next stop light, he turned a gave me the exasperated hands in the air signal and asked "What's the matter with you?" I replied, "Nothing, I'm fine," and rode on. He called me a "dummy" as he turned left and roared off.

I skipped the last two blocks of the ride when we passed my sister-in-law's street, and faced yet one more decent hill on 13th street.

Miles Ridden: 35.7

All Routes Straight Ahead

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Rolling Hills of DuBois County

I'm visiting Jasper, Indiana this weekend, and I was able to bring the bike along. This morning, I took a ride around the north and west sides of town.

Locals may be interested in the route. I started on 13th street and headed north on St. Charles. This is a fairly wide road with a low speed limit - great for casual cyclists like myself. Still, there was one person who felt obligated to yell at me to "get off the road!" - even though there is a middle turn lane that is great for passing. When I was a little past 700N, I turned back south until I reached 400N (40-something street). Following that road east, I turned south on Newton, which took me back to 13th.

On Portersville Road

Newton is the route for US231 on the north side of town. Over most of the route, there is no shoulder. However, a section in a strip mall and fast food area offered an access road. Farther down the hill I had to navigate around huge asphalt lumps that seemed to be patches that had been pushed out of the potholes they were trying to fill.

Miles Ridden: 15.8

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Fort

I convinced my daughter to take a short ride to Fort Ouiotenon. We didn't travel very far, but it was nice to get out on the road together.

Fort Ouiatenon
Fort Ouiatenon

Miles Ridden: 2.5

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Total for July, 2006

July Total: 200.3
2006 Total: 783.1