Friday, September 29, 2006

And Then, the Weather Turned...

I actually had two rides today. I took the van in for service, so I tossed the bike in the back. I rode from the mechanic on the Levee to my office, and then later to a meeting on the west side of campus. After the meeting, it was back down hill to get the van. I've said it before - I love riding during work!

Miles Ridden: 4.7

I left work early so that I could ride up to my son's high school to watch his marching band play before the football game. He needed his marching shoes, plus I wanted to carry a jacket and camera, so I wasn't able to use the road bike (no rack for the pannier). And actually, my choice of cargo shorts and t-shirt looks better on a commuter bike. The trip went pretty fast, and I always enjoy driving in city traffic.

And then, the weather turned.

I didn't notice as I was riding up, but there was a bit of a south wind that had been picking up as the evening progressed. As I stood in the lawn eating my PB&J sandwich, I noticed that everyone else was wearing jeans and sweatshirts. One parent commented on my 'optomistic outfit". (He's the guy involved in the West Lafayette Mayor's Bike to Work Wednesdays.) The longer I stood outside, the colder I got. By the time the band started to play, I was nearly shivering.

Militia Band Drumline
Harrison High School Militia Band - Drumline and Sousaphones

After a great show, I donned my yellow jacket and turned for home. At this point, it had started sprinkling, and the wind had picked up. The temp was about 10 degrees cooler than the beginning of the ride.

Sure, I was worried about getting drenched or maybe succuming to hypothermia, but as always, the ride got better as I went. The rain dimished to a slow spit, and the winds slowed considerably as the sun set. That yellow jacket is pretty much windproof, which means it doesn't breathe at all. I had to take it off because my arms were soaked with sweat! The last 5 miles may have been cold, but I was more comfortable.

I kind of enjoy riding at night, so I'm sure I'll do this again.

Miles Ridden: 18.6

On the Cattail Trail

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another Ride to Work Day

Swans in the Bog
Swans in the Celery Bog

Miles Ridden: 14.9

Crazy Biker Manifesto

Tanya says it well.

BTW, I pulled a dumb move on my ride the other day. The neighbor and I came upon a 2-way stop out in the country with him in the lead. I started scanning for cross traffic (visibility was very good) with the intention of rolling through and didn't notice that he was stopping. I almost ran him over!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Nice Morning

The neighbor and I met at 7:15, just as the sun was coming up, and headed west. We ended up hitting County Line Road and turned north to Otterbein. From there we took 500N to 375W/400W, heading south back home.

It was cloudy, but the rising sun did sneak out a little bit.

Morning Sun
Morning Sun

I'm not sure what this RT route was for, but I've been seeing the markings around the area. This was at the intersection of 500N and US52, pointing east.

It's Just a Jump to the Left

Miles Ridden: 25.2

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Another Gloomy Day

The rain held off long enough after the game for me to get an hour in. I headed towards West Point, and made it as far as 200S before turning around.

Miles Ridden: 13.2

Corn Ready to Harvest
The Corn is About Ready

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Alternative Transportation Day

The neighbor and I took another pre-7:00, in-the-dark ride to work along River Road today. This time, his headlight gave out shortly after we started, so we relied on the headlights of the cars behind us to light our way. We were still covered in blinky lights, plus I wore my reflective jacket.

I came home on the North Work Route.

I also walked 1/2 a mile each way to and from a groundbreaking, and took the Trolley to lunch downtown.

Remember these guys? They're growing up fast!

Miles Ridden: 13.4

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What Do They Think?

So, when I see someone riding on the sidewalk, I think "what an idoit!".

When they see me on the street, do they think "that guy is insane!"

Mental Health Ride

After some issues at work, trouble with traffic, and lip from the kids, I really needed a ride tonight. The neighbor and I rode a slightly abbreviated Montmorenci Route. I was in the mood to roll, and I left him behind a couple of times.

Miles Ridden: 14.0

Sunday, September 17, 2006



Miles Ridden: 22.2

Sweet Ride!
Tandem seen in WL

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is It Safer Riding in the Dark?

The neighbor and I rode to work this morning leaving at 6:45. Man! It is still all the way dark here before 7:00! We had all of our lights going, include my Bikelights, several blinkies, and his outrageously bright headlight.

As we rode in on South River Road, through the trees, we noticed that all of the cars were giving us a wide berth when they passed. Every one - and there were many - completely crossed the center line.

However, once we left the tree canopy and found the first rays of sun, the cars passed us much closer - only straddling the line at best.

Therefore, I think that riding in the dark while properly lit is safer than riding in sunlight.

The route to and from work was basically a reverse South Work Route. Plus, I made a quick side trip on an errand before work, and rode downtown to drop off my laundry and take a lunch at Sgt. Preston's. I love riding around in the middle of the work day. It makes the afternoon so much better.

Miles Ridden: 13.1

P.S. I took the new bike in for its 30-day checkup this week, and I picked it up tonight. I'm ready for some weekend rides!

P.P.S. I almost forgot! Sgt. Preston's has NO BIKE RACK!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Grocery Store Run

Miles Ridden: 12.6

BTW, Marsh in WL still has NO BIKE RACK!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Detour - Schmetour

Detour on Wabash Avenue

I started off on the Wabash Avenue Route this morning and was over half way through it when I came upon the detour signs. I remembered that the Cargill plant was replacing some big equipment, so they had a rail car mounted crane blocking the road for two weeks. I figured that I'd be able to go around like I did last week on the way to town on Newman Road. Unfortunately, when I got down the hill I was greeted with the sight of the big crane across the road and workers and trucks everywhere. There was no way I would be able to squeeze past on the grassy shoulder. So, I pedaled back up the hill and returned home on the outgoing route in reverse.

Miles Ridden: 13.7

Later, I threw the bike in the van and drove to work. Then, I rode the bike up to Ross-Ade stadium where I was scheduled to pilot a golf cart ferrying the elderly and infirmed up the hill to their gates. (It's funny how people will come up to me and explain their relatives' medical history to me to prove them worthy of hopping on the cart. What they don't know is that I really don't mind. If they look like they're moving slow, I'll give them a ride. (as long as I can bill their insurance later :) )

Purdue vs. Miami of Ohio

I walked the bike back to the van, so my mileage was inconsequential.

Bike to Work Wednesdays

The Mayor of West Lafayette, Jan Mills, along with fellow Harrison Band Booster Bill Arthur, has declared Bike to Work Wednesdays. It sounds like a low key version of the Bike to Work Day in May, but there is a better chance of actually changing peoples habits and perceptions.

Mills is hoping people will bike to work on Wednesdays when the weather is good. The program will be year-round.

People who can't bike to work on Wednesdays are encouraged to bike to work when they can, she said.

It will be nice for me to have an extra incentive, especially now that we're leaving the hot weather behind and entering prime commuting weather.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

In the Windows

I took a video of myself riding down Main Street back in May, during this ride.


Traffic Jam

I passed two other bike commuters today on SR 26, with another riding in the opposite direction. I think it's catching on.

With a detour around construction on Newman Road, the North Work Route was a little longer than usual.

Miles Ridden: 12.9

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Question for Runners

On the MonkeyMartian blog, there is a discussion of runners on the side of the road.

Now, I'm certainly not a runner, plus I don't know much about how traffic laws apply, so I have no opinion about where people should run. However, I do have a question.

The road to my neighborhood is popular for both cycling and running. In fact, the Purdue Crew team jogs to and from their practices at the Fort. When I'm in my car and I come up upon an oncoming runner in my lane, what should I expect from the runner?

It's easy when I am behind a cyclist. I just have to slow down until it is safe to pass. No big deal.

When I meet the runner, no amount of slowing down will prevent a problem if one of us doesn't move. (If one train leaves Chicago going west at 60MPH and another leaves Seattle going east at 70MPH, there's going to be a big collision somewhere in Wyoming!) If I can't pass because of oncoming traffic, should I stop? Or should I expect the runner to jump into the grass.

I don't know. Can someone help me with this?

(BTW, I really don't want any arguments or flames in the comments about who has the right to the road. I'm just trying to be civil and safe.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Independence Day

(Not another movie title!!)

Rail CrossingThe neighbor and I pulled out the Charlie Meyer route book and decided to head to Independence on the Attica Route. The bridge over the Wabash there is next one west of Granville.

The route first took us south to West Point, and then west to Riverside. On the way, we crossed the same set of tracks four times.

There are many interesting home sites there - some looking like country getaways, and others like they were transported from the hills of Kentucky.

Once in Independence we looked for a place to fill the water bottles, but found nothing but a couple of soda machines (no pockets means no money!). The ride home past the Ravines course left me thirsty.

Wabash River in Independence
The Wabash River at Independence

Miles Ridden: 33.4

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Breakfast Club

I had to go visit the Evil Empire to get some trash bags, so I decided to take the old Trek out for a spin.

On the way, I went through the village area to view the Breakfast Club crowd - which consists of costumed college kids crowding campus bars (what's a word for bar that begins with a 'K' sound?). BTW, it's only 7:45 in the AM.

Breakfast Club
Breakfast Club Hopefuls

Heading up the Cattail Trail, I couldn't help snapping a couple of shots of the bog.
Morning on the Bog
Birds in the Bog

Wal Mart Has a Bike Rack!
Say what you will about Wal-Mart, but at least they have a bike rack (actually two) in front of the store

Miles Ridden: 13.6

Friday, September 01, 2006

August Total

August Total: 211.9 Miles
2006 Total: 995 Miles

August 2005 Total: 162.2 Miles
2005 Total thru August: 883.7 Miles