Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 2007 Stats

The total for this month is 304.8 miles. Now, normally I'd be pretty happy with that total, but remember that over half of that amount came from three days in Iowa last week. Weather, family commitments, travel, and general lethargy have all conspired to keep me out of the saddle. Luckily, the best thing about biking is that I can just start riding again, so watch this space for more exciting rides, dopey pictures, and self-centered commentary.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Big Time

One of the things that got me started in reading biking blogs and eventually starting this one was reading about other riders. A couple of sites that I frequent offer profiles of riders, including I Bike T.O. featuring riders in the Toronto area, and Bike Commuters with commuters from all over.

Imagine my surprise when Moe from Bike Commuters sent me a request to profile me. My answers are a little weak, but Moe spiced it up with pictures. The best part is the comments that are already piling up at the end of the post.

You can read it here.

Thanks to Moe and the Bike Commuters gang.

Back from Iowa

Somewhere on the Backroads of Iowa

I'm back from my 2½ days of RAGBRAI. Details to follow.

Miles Ridden: 162.0

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Shake Out Ride

North Course
Celery Bog at the North Course

I took a quick ride to the drug store to pick up supplies for next week's ride, and I hung the panniers on the new rack with a 3 pound bag of grass seed in each side. It's not what my clothes and supplies will weigh, but it's something. The bike handled fine, but I felt slow, weak, and heavy. I probably should have been riding a little more these last two weeks.

Tomorrow I pack up the car and head west to Iowa.

Miles Ridden: 12.3

July Ride

As promised back on July 7th, I've stitched together the videos I took that day into a quick little movie. It's five minutes you'll never forget!


Friday, July 20, 2007

Morning and Night

Curve in the Highway
SR26 in the Morning

It started off as a normal commute day with comfortably cool temps and bright sunshine. However, instead of riding home, I met my wife and son for supper at Moe's after he picked up his wristband for the Harry Potter book pickup. We all drove home in the van.

Lafayette at Night
Lafayette at Night

Since my son wanted to hang out with his friends at the bookstore before the big midnight debut, I decided to bring the bike back into town and ride around while he waited. What a great idea! I had a ball cruising around town at night, and I took a bunch of night photographs. Traffic was light as I rode up Main Street to Five Points, and then back down to the river and up State Street to the Village and on west through campus to Airport Road. I arrived back at the bookstore right at midnight, and we reached the cashier at 1:00.

West Lafayette at Night
West Lafayette at Night

Miles Ridden: 11.2

Band on Wheels

A recent post on one of the many biking blogs I read mentioned how the writer had just ridden to a community band performance. With a quick wardrobe change, he was ready to play.

(I wish I could remember where I read it. I'll keep looking, but if a reader remembers the post, or maybe wrote the post, please leave a comment with the blog name.)

I play in my local community band, and I'd love to ride to rehearsals and performances. The problem is that I play trombone. With the big wooden case, it is too large and heavy to carry on the bicycle. As always, I have some options.

trombone gig bagThere are some special trombone cases that can be worn as backpacks One brand looks like a small golf bag and runs about $100, while the fancier leather models can reach $350. There are those that worry that the soft cases (gig bags) can't adequately protect the slide. One small dent in the slide can ruin the performance, and maybe the instrument. However, since I'm 45, and not 12, I think I should be able to take care to protect the horn. Plus the leather ones look pretty snazzy! My bigger worry is the weight. How much can I comfortably carry on my back, and how will my shirt look when I get there?

bike trailerMaybe some sort of trailer would be a better idea. The case is 3 feet long, which may require a longer than average bed. I haven't done any research on these to know what is common. The nice thing about a trailer is that I could use it for other things besides the 'bone transport, such as grocery shopping or other errands. Plus, I would be able to carry my mutes, trombone stand, music, and other items. I'll have to find out some prices and configurations.

I'm sure that an Xtracycle setup would work well, but that's a whole new bike, and probably the most expensive of the options (especially since I have no mechanical skills that would allow me to build my own). Maybe someday.

What other ideas are out there? Maybe my son and I could ride side by side and carry the case between us (much like two swallows carrying a coconut). Let me know how you carry large, heavy objects.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ride Prep

I've awoken to thunderstorms the past three mornings, which have put the kibosh on both pre-work rides and commutes. Instead, I've been prepping for next week's RAGBRAI ride.

Mostly, I've been making lists and thinking about things, but it's time now to get things ready to go. I'm going to put everything in a big pile, and then see what fits into the panniers. I have a feeling that I'll be leaving some things behind.

Yesterday, I picked up the Pilot from the bike shop, where he received a nice tune-up. Also, they added a rear rack to hold the panniers, tent, sleeping bag, etc. I took a spin around the parking lot to check things out (the brakes are better now then they ever have been), and I promptly greased the right pant leg of my Dockers. Talk about a nasty rookie ring!

Anyway, it looks dry for tomorrow, so I'll try again in the morning.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Original Photo Idea

My family's schedule is back to normal, and that means I get to ride to work again. It's been a while, and I hadn't realized how much I miss the ride in until this AM. Beautiful weather and polite drivers made it a great ride. I sort of took the North Work Route home.

Miles Ridden: 11.3

Dress Code

I've been following a post at Commute by Bike on Cycling Fashion, and it's interesting to read about all of the different wardrobes and reasons for each. It seems to me that part of the decision of what to wear on the way to work depends on what one wears at work. One commenter mentions a dress code, so I thought I would present the dress code for my office.

Since I work at a university, I expect to see all manner of dress in the various departments, and I'm not dissapointed. The overarching theme is "business casual", which could mean Haggar slacks and no tie, or cargo shorts and a Fall Out Boy t-shirt. However, my area expects a higher level of professional dress (imagine working at a bank in 1987), as outlined by this dress code:
  1. Office attire for employess is business professional. All questions and concerns pertaining to appropriate office attire should be addressed with an employee's immediate supervisor.
  2. The following is a brief list of attire not acceptable during working hours.
    1. T-shirts, tank tops, halter tops, denim jeans, denim mini skirts, carpenter pants, shorts, flip-flop sandals, wind suits, jogging suits, and tennis shoes
  3. Spirit Days have been suggested for all areas on home football or basketball Fridays. Spirit wear would consist of business casual attire in black and gold or Purdue logo. The following is a list of attire not acceptable during Spirit Days:
    1. Denim jeans, t-shirts, tank tops, halter tops, shorts, or flip-flop sandals.
The most interesting thing I find in the policy is the Spirit Days section. I can wear a wind suit (whatever that is) on a game Friday. I'm guessing that I can wear about anything, as long as features Purdue Pete or a train. Although, it says that these days have been suggested, but doesn't indicate if the suggestion was approved.

Now, I'm lucky in that my normal uniform of Dockers and a button down is allowed on any day, although I sometimes need to pull out the coat and tie. Others in the building tried a "Jean Friday" revolt, but that was recently (and awkwardly) quashed by the upper administration. Myself, I don't talk dress code with my staff. Section 1 talks about immediate supervisors handling dress code issues. That means that the upper administrators don't want to get involved. I follow their lead and delegate those discussions to my reports.

I've biked to work wearing everything but a suit coat without incident, but that's only because of my relatively short commute. I say if you want to go in full kit, that's your call.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Quick Llama Run

But no llamas.

Miles Ridden: 12.8

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Clayton Miller Band

Tonight, PMU hosted the first show of their Summer Concert Series featuring the Clayton Miller Band. The weather was great, and I took a ride in to watch.

Clayton Miller Band

CMB always puts on a good show, and tonight was no exception. My only complaint was that they didn't play longer! I haven't seen them in a couple of years, and I noticed that little L.D. isn't so little anymore.

Clayton Miller Band

Clayton Miller Band

Clayton Miller Band

Clayton Miller Band

Miles Ridden: 6.7

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What Does That Mean?

I didn't have much time this morning for a ride, so I decided on the quick River Road/Campus Route.

Like most mornings, there were several cars and trucks zooming past on River Road. While I was in the hills and curves section of the route, one car came up behind me and flashed his brights. My first thought was "What the $&#% does that mean?" Does he want me to pull off for a second (keeping in mind that there is no shoulder, right lane, or sidewalk)? Maybe he's just saying hi? Could it be that he feels that he has a God given right to drive as fast as he wishes, and that I need to get my goddamn slow moving, blinky lighted, gas saving, Al Gore inspired, lycra clad pansy ass off his $*#*##%^ road!

Whew! It's cool how I can read the minds of the drivers.

Anyway, I just kept pedaling, and he passed me in a huff of excessive acceleration about five seconds later.

Tapawingo Light
The stoplight at the end of the new Tapawingo extension helps with the left turn onto Williams

Running low on time, I skipped the Ross-Ade Stadium portion of the route and headed home.

Miles Ridden: 8.4

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Staff Member

Celery Bog
Celery Blog Bog - Early Morning

To welcome a new staff member to the office, several of us brought in breakfast treats. I headed to the grocery store before work to pick up bagels, cream cheese, and OJ. I was the first customer at 6:15.

Miles Ridden: 11.4

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I'll admit that I have a little bit of Tour fever, and I cut my ride short this morning so I wouldn't miss any of the coverage.

Still, I was able to put in an hour and a half, and I covered some 'new to me' roads, inspired in part by this route on MapMyRide.com. I plan to try out a couple of the routes listed for West Lafayette.

I took a bunch of short movies today during the ride, and I hope to stitch them all together and edit down to a reasonable viewing time.

UPDATED: See the video here.

West Point Windmill
Windmill at Sunrise

Miles Ridden: 22.3

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Little Beat Up

My first ride in a few days was a little rough, as I was feeling weak and shaky - sort of like a low blood sugar issue. I had a PB&J sandwich when I returned home, and that seemed to do the trick.

road sign curve

Miles Ridden: 9.4

BTW, I passed 1,000 miles for the year today.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Walgreens - Ace Hardware

More errands - more funkiness.

Miles Ridden: 11.7

Twin Trees


500N at US231

The neighbor and I had a great trip to Otterbein. The route was pretty good, and I may post it as a official route someday.

On Street ParkingWe started off taking Division Road to 350W/400W. Crossing SR26 and US52, we headed north to 500N. Turning west, we pedaled until the road became Main Street in Otterbein.

A south at the blinking read light took us through the 'business district' where parking is allowed in the middle of the street.

We continued down the quiet residential street that became County Line Road - with Tippecanoe County on the left, and with Benton County, then Warren County, on the right. When we reached Division Road, we fought the headwind east back to home base.

Miles Ridden: 25.3

UPDATED: Click here to view the route in MapMyRide.