Saturday, June 30, 2007

June 2007 Totals

It's been another good month, with a total of 335.5 miles. That compares to 102.7 last year, and 194.2 in 2005.

Since I'm halfway through the year (as are most of you), I'd like to review my goals for the year. Back in January, I stated my targets for different kinds of rides, and today I should be halfway through each total. Let's see:

For commutes, my goal calls for 25, and the actual number is 32. I've been trying hard to ride as much as possible, and it seems to be paying off. And this is the one I was worried about! Unfortunately, my schedule in July doesn't allow for much riding to work, so I'll have to be extra aggressive in the fall.

Utility rides have been a little tougher. The goal calls for 10 by now, and my total so far is just 5 - and all but one are in June. The good part is that I haven't been driving the car as much either, so maybe I've just cut down on errands. Anyway, this could be a difficult goal to meet.

Finally, the morning rides are doing better than I thought. The neighbor and I have our lights and reflective vests, so we'll likely get one or two in each week through the end of September - before it gets too dark in the AM. The goal calls for 7.5 morning rides for the first half of the year, and my total so far is 14. That puts me just one away from the goal! (I think I low balled it!) I should try for 30 by the end of the year.

This navel gazer post has probably been a huge bore for the rest of you, but I love the numbers!

UPDATE: One more batch of useless facts: My total miles so far this year is 980.3, with 384.9 on the Trek 820 and 570.1 on the Trek Pilot 1.0. Interestingly, each bike was used 36 times - half of the total rides.

Taking a Break

Trip Around West Lafayette

I spent the morning with my wife shopping at the Farmers' Market in Lafayette and doing other errands. This was after an early morning dog walk in the downtown area.

Rolled Up
I Still Don't Know What These Things Are Called

Luckily, I was able to make up an errand to run after lunch, and I rode to Wally World. I was either on a quiet country road, or had a bike lane, pedestrian path, or wide shoulder on which to ride, which made it a relaxing time.

Rough Rail Crossing Ahead

I headed north on 350W/325W to SR26, east to Klondike Road, north to Lindberg Road, east to the Cattail Trail, and north to the Evil Empire.

Ducks at the Celery Bog
Ducks at the Bog

Coming home, I took the Trail down to Cherry Lane, McCormick Road, SR26, and Newman Road.

Cattail Trail is Open
The Cattail Trail is Finally Open - Two Months After the Scheduled Date

Miles Ridden: 11.6

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dark, Blue Morning

I got a late start for my morning ride, so I just rode north on 400W, east on US52, and south on Klondike and Sharon Chapel roads. Once again, my legs were not cooperating for some reason. I hope to get out this weekend and work the kinks out.

TP on the Trees
TP on the trees is harmless

Spray Paint on the Driveway
But, spray paint on the driveway lasts FOREVER!

Miles Ridden: 10.0

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


On the River Road/Campus Route this morning, I took a moment to ride into Ross-Ade Stadium to look at the turf. Without the lines in place, it is a very different look.

Miles Ridden: 10.0

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


As I was driving into work today, I passed a couple of bike commuters. I was more than a little envious of their opportunity to ride in on such a nice morning.

I probably give more room to cyclists than most drivers, but the nice 'thank you wave' I received today made me feel good - like I was part of the cycling community even though I was in a car.

Miles Ridden: 0

P.S. The more I listen to Blues Traveler, the more I think that John Popper is really Jack Black. They sound the same!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thick Morning

I've been fighting rain for the last few days, and this morning I was finally able to get out. The neighbor and I followed the Granville Bridge Route with a little extra down 700W. It was quite humid and foggy.

Because of family obligations, it doesn't look like I'll be able to ride to work much this week. Instead, I'll try to get out most mornings to keep the mileage up and the legs moving.

Miles Ridden: 10.5

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blues Traveler

Not much of a cycling post; it's been too wet to ride today.

My sister is getting tickets for us to see Blues Traveler at the Lance Armstrong fundraiser concert in Cedar Falls during RAGBRAI. Now, I only know a couple of their hits, so I grabbed a few of their albums this week to familiarize myself with their stuff.

Of the four albums I found, Save His Soul is my favorite. I'm going to listen to all of these so that I can better appreciate what they play in the show.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tour of Montmorenci

Before the neighbor had to get to work, we took the Llama Route with an extra trip around Montmorenci.

Miles Ridden: 14.4

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Celebrating my Funkiness

This is my third day of vacation, but it is the first where I have truly been able to relax (day 1: root canal, day 2: at work most of the day). So, what do I do? I ride!

I had some errands to run, so I grabbed the commuter bike, threw on normal clothes (no spandex), and hit the road. I went to the Clarion Arnett clinic in West Lafayette (twice), Purdue's Stewart Center (twice), Walgreens in Lafayette, and the WL Game Stop. (I picked up Resident Evil IV on the WII for my son. I had to show my ID once when I ordered it, and again when I picked it up. It must be pretty nasty.)

Speaking of nasty, after the first ride, I was due for a shower, but instead I waited until after the afternoon trip. I decided to celebrate my funkiness instead of worrying about it.

Mural in Stewart Center
Mural in Stewart Center at Purdue

No Bike Rack at Clarion Arnett  Clinic
No Bike Rack at Clarion Arnett Clinic

Tiny Bike for a Big Guy
Check out the Seat Post on this Ride
I know the guy that owns this bike

Horses on Newman Road
Horses on Newman Road

No Bike Rack at Walgreens
Unlike the West Side Location with its Poorly Installed Racks, the Lafayette Walgreens has None

Fountain at Riehle Plaza
The Fountain at Riehle Plaza

The only errand I couldn't handle on the bike is the pickup of my shirts at the cleaners. I took the dog along in the car for that trip, and the ladies at the cleaners loved him.

Miles Ridden
Morning Ride: 12.7
Afternoon Ride: 17.9

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dune Acres 2007

Once again, my sister invited her family and her husband's family to a beach house in Dune Acres, IN. (See my reports from last time here and here.) We were in the same house.

For my ride this morning, I headed west on US 12. Not feeling very energetic, I just planned to ride to the first convenience store I found to pick up a Gatorade and then head back.

The first few miles were pretty nice. US 12 in this area is a 2 lane road with no shoulder to speak of. Because the lanes are a little wider than what I find on the local county roads, I felt comfortable riding on the white line without the fear of the unsafe pass. Plus, there was little traffic. My legs weren't feeling it today, but I hoped it would get better after a few minutes.

Unfortunately, the road changed about four miles out as I entered Burns Harbor. Suddenly, it was a four-lane divided highway with plenty of debris in the generous shoulder. Even though there still wasn't much traffic, those that passed seemed to stay in the right lane at least half way. As the road widened, the tree cover disappeared and was replace by the view of steel plants. The aroma also switched from nature to burning coal. The weird thing was that this area was filled with butterflies.

Steel Plant
I Think This is the Mikkal Plant

After a few more miles of nothing but factories, railroads, and power lines, I turned south on the equally imposing SR 249. It was about the same as the previous road, with the added fun of rumble strips in the shoulders - making them unusable. About a mile down this highway, I found a Family Express gas station.

I asked the clerk about another way back, but it was obvious that she had never thought about her town from a cyclist point of view. I ended up traveling back the same way I had come.

Morse Code House, 2007
The Morse Code House is Still There

Miles Ridden: 17.1

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm Feeling a Little Out of Focus

I haven't been on the Montmorenci Route in a while, and since I didn't have a lot of time this morning (no fifty miler today), I headed NW to the Mont.

I took lots of potentially great pictures during the ride, but only one turned out. Apparently, I had the camera set on landscape, which locks the focus on infinity (for mountains and such). There was a great shot of calves posing on a hillside that came out fuzzy - like everything else.

This Barn Has Seen Better Days
Except This One

Miles Ridden: 15.4

Friday, June 15, 2007

A Hot, Sticky Day

...on the South Work Route.

I traveled this same route last Friday, and for some reason, I was once again surprised at all of the dangerous passing going on. When will I learn?

Miles Ridden: 8.3

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just Another Day

The neighbor and I have been adding a little to the return portion of the Granville Bridge Route, riding by the Fort on River Road, rather than coming back on Division Road.

Miles Ridden: 11.6

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Work and Back

Miles Ridden: 6.8

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bizarro World

Today I rode the South Work Route - in REVERSE!!! It was WILD!!!

Miles Ridden: 8.7

Monday, June 11, 2007

All Over Town

It looks like it will be a dry week, so I should get in plenty of commuting.

For the first day, I rode in a little earlier than usual, and it was pretty busy on the highway. After work, I headed to Purdue West for a haircut, changed clothes in a out of the way restroom at 'Down Under', rode down to the Levee to drop off my shirts at the cleaners, and then returned to Purdue West to pickup some sandwiches for family Subway night. I still got home before six.

After supper, I talked my son into a quick ride around the 'block' by the Fort to try out his bike. He wants to ride to friends' houses during the day, so I wanted to make sure that his ride was ready to go.

Miles Ridden: 13.0

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Quick Errand

My wife needed something from the drug store, and I needed an excuse for a quick ride that didn't involve going to my office, so I was Walgreens bound.

Pavement CutOn the way, I took my normal work commute and passed this recent road work area. I don't understand why this is done. Whenever, a new road or driveway meets the existing pavement, they cut a piece of the road out, and then have the new road come in to meet it. This ends up putting a seam in the middle of the bike lane (or bike area in this case). I hate seams. Are there any Civil Engineers reading that can explain this?

Of course, in this case they apparently cut in too far, and the new road couldn't make it all the way in. Instead, they did a quickie patch job to fill the hole. Nice!

Miles Ridden: 11.7

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Today the neighbor and I planned to ride to Battleground with a co-worker of his. However, the co-worker wasn't available, so the two of us talked about going to Delphi, the seat of Carroll County. (My mother's family name is Carroll, so I wonder if any relatives were involved in the naming of the county.)

At my suggestion, we rode through Lafayette on Ninth Street and along North Ninth Street Road to Battleground. I could tell that he was uncomfortable riding on the four lane portion through town, even though the Saturday morning traffic was light. We got to Battleground and stopped at an art sale where his wife was participating. However, she hadn't made it there yet, so we pedaled on to Delphi.

Tippecanoe River
Tippecanoe River

Our route followed Pretty Prairie Road and Bicycle Bridge Road to Delphi. Bicycle Bridge Road is very scenic and quiet. We passed a group of five cyclists heading towards Battleground and possibly Lafayette, including one rider with long grey hair and beard like Leland Sklar - James Taylor's bass player.

Bike Route
Bike Route Marker in Carroll County

Once we got to Delphi, we stopped at the Dairy Queen for a slushy drink - Arctic Rush Lemon Lime. As she made the drinks, the clerk talked about her 22 year old son who had recently lost 100 pounds and was getting ready for his first ever organized bike ride which would be 10 miles. (I think my first was the Orchard Country Ride in LaPorte County - 18 miles.) We both got nasty 'head freeze' and then headed back.

Dairy Queen
Delphi Dairy Queen

It was easy to track our time back to Battleground by noting all of the road kill that was left along the road like a grizzly trail of breadcrumbs. We saw raccoons, squirrels, opossums, birds, and a fox, but no wolves. We were fortunate to see a deer out in a field running with us. He was a lot faster.

It didn't take long to get back to Battleground, partially because of the slight tail wind, but mostly because Delphi is closer than I imagined. There were few hills of any difficulty, and the route was easy to follow and not very busy. I think I'll do this ride again.

On a Garage
Garage Decor

As we browsed around the now busy art sale, we noticed 'Leland' and his buddies heading back north. I wonder how far south they went.

To head home from Battleground, we headed west on 600N, County Farm Road, 500N, and 400W to home.

Miles Ridden: 50.1

UPDATE: Speaking of Bicycle Bridge Road, a commenter named Robert tells me that the bridge in the Highland Park neighborhood is called 'Bicycle Bridge'. Thanks for the info.


Friday, June 08, 2007


I didn't think I would be able to ride today, but the rain waited until almost noon to arrive. The ride in was quite humid and warm.

I came home on the South Work Route with a little extra jaunt around Wabash Landing in order to try out the new Tapawingo Drive extension which opened on Tuesday. It was smooth and not very crowded.

There were several incidents of unsafe passing today. I just know that one of these days, the unsafe passer is going to be surprised by the oncoming traffic and fly back to the right - slamming me into the fence row in the process. I suppose I should expect that kind of driving on Friday (everyone HAS to get their weekend started as quickly as possible), but I'll never get used to it.

Miles Ridden: 9.1

Fun with Macro
Thistle with Macro

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Double Shot

Morning ride to Granville: 9.2 Miles
Commute to and from work: 7.0 Miles

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Half Day

I took the morning off, but I rode in for the afternoon. Coming home, I headed up past the stadium and through a subdivision to get to Lindberg Road. The subdivision cut through between Cherry and Lindberg is a suggested detour for the still unfinished portion of the Cattail Trail.

Grass Clippings in the Bike LaneOn Lindberg, I found that the County Highway crews had apparently mowed the grass along the road, leaving big piles of grass clippings in the 'bike lane'. (It's not really a bike lane, but an area to the right of the white line that varies in width from 8 inches to 2 feet - depending on the skills of the pavement machine operator and the paint guy to drive in a straight line.) I didn't feel comfortable riding in the clippings, since I couldn't see what was underneath. There could have been glass, metal, or other debris thrown about by the mowers (maybe even a pillow). (Click the photo for a larger view.)

Miles Ridden: 11.9

Dodging the Rain

This morning at 5:40, the local TV weathercaster showed a storm moving into the area. She showed the predicted path and the precise time it would hit each little town along the way. Pine Village, which isn't too far from Granville Bridge, was scheduled for a 6:24 drenching.

The neighbor was a no show at 6:00, so I headed out solo. I kept one eye on the odometer and one on the skies. I wanted to get at least 2.5 miles out before the rain forced me to turn back, so that I could hit my minimum of 5 miles for a ride to count. I ended up making it all the way to the bridge and back without getting wet.

The rain started falling at my house about 2 minutes after I returned.

I wish I would have taken my camera along today. The sunrise over the river was worthy of submission as the weather picture of the day.

Miles Ridden: 9.1

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rare Sunday Commute

I decided to put some time in at the office this morning, so I hopped on the Trek 820 and took the South Work Route - in reverse. The inbound route followed River Road, while I came home directly on State Street/SR26/Newman Road. There was a slight detour as I tried out the paved bike trail along the new section of Tapawingo Blvd.

Yes, this was the one I complained about back in January. The path is on the north side of the street as promised. The interesting thing is that along its approximately 2 block length, there are only two driveway cuts. I have no idea how all of that prime GB-zoned property will be served with just two ways in and out. Another surprising feature is that these driveways already boast signage prohibiting left turns. This should help keep the cars moving - but not without causing much frustration amongst the more stressed drivers.

While at the office today, I waited out a rain shower which added about 45 minutes to my visit. With around a half an hour of drying time, it wasn't too wet riding home.

Miles Ridden: 9.5

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The North Country

Today I was able to head into the the north part of Tippecanoe County, visiting Battleground and getting close to Brookston. I basically followed this route in a counter-clockwise fashion, except the starting and ending point was my house.

Begin Bike RouteI rode for almost 8 miles on apparently unsanctioned roads to get to the 'Bike Route'. End Bike RouteUnfortunately, it ended 3/10 of a mile later.

Actually, those signs refer to the paved bike path on the northbound side of Ninth Street Road at the Duncan Road intersection. The path continues south for around 3/4 of a mile on the south side of the street where it crosses countless commercial driveways. The entire length is strewn with glass, metal, and other trash. I've probably complained about this before, but I think it is pretty worthless, and I don't use it.

The ride north through Battleground and on up to Tyler Road was wonderful. I had a slight tailwind, and I was feeling very strong. I even caught and passed a 'bunny' - two nervous looking riders that were hugging the white line. (I know that I could never catch a real cyclist, but I still get some satisfaction passing the noobs.)

Cows in Shade
Like Me, These Bovines Were Looking for Shade

Turning west however, I started to feel the wind a little. Later, when I turned south on 100W, I really noticed it. I stopped at the Cairo Watchtower, where a gentelman was building a fence around the adjoining property. His van was parked in front of the monument. The tower didn't look any worse than my visit there 2 years ago, but it sure wasn't any better.

Down in West Lafayette, I came upon a street closure on Grant Street because of the soap box derby competition being held today. I detoured through the Hills and Dales neighborhood.

It took me 2:45 to complete the route, so my average was a little higher than usual. I'm feeling it in my legs already.

Miles Ridden: 37.9

Friday, June 01, 2007

Snuck Sneaked One In

The Road to the Zuckrow Labs
Quiet Country Road

I didn't think I'd be able to ride to work this week, what with the rain and the 3 day work week, but today turned out to be the day. And what a great day it was! For my morning ride, the temp was in the mid 60s, no wind, and not as hazy as yesterday. Plus, I left a little earlier, so the auto traffic was light.

Geese at an Apartment Complex

After work, I came home on the North Work Route.

Miles Ridden: 12.0