Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Totals for January 2007

Total Miles for:

January 2007 - 26.6
January 2006 - 95.9
January 2005 - 0.0

Number of:

Commutes - 1
Utility Rides - 0
Morning Rides - 0

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Domain - New Look - Same Crap!

I read about Blogger's new Custom Domain feature, so I decided to take the plunge and grab my own domain. However, it was only after I secured the new domain that I read the instructions to learn that it only works when a SUB-domain is redirected. In other words, I can't use I instead have to use something like So, I just setup forwarding and masking on the domain.

That's a long explanation to announce my new domain:

(Why not give it a click now? Go ahead. Try it.)

Plus, the new email address is:

I'm still using Blogspot to actually publish, so the old URL will still work. Plus, all of the permalinks and the RSS feed have not changed.

(Sorry for the geek fest. I'm just having fun with the Internets.)

Sunday, January 28, 2007


My sister just sent an email saying she's thinking about riding a few days of RAGBRAI in July, and she wants to know if I want to come along.

Sounds interesting....

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Being Courteous

I was talking with a lady I work with about how it sometimes makes sense to 'take the lane'. My points included how the road isn't wide enough for a car to pass me safely when there is oncoming traffic, and that I had a legal right to do so. Then she brought up an interesting point. I can't remember the exact wording, but it had to do with the number of people I inconvenience by slowing down traffic versus my inconvenience if I pull off the road to allow those behind me to pass. I should make the sacrifice for the greater good. (a very Spock thing to do) She must want me to wait on the side until no cars wish to drive that length of pavement before I ride.

It seems to me that her internal thinking is that cars own the road and should be allowed to drive as fast as they wish, and that the cyclist somehow is obligated to let this happen. I don't want to argue with her, but I also can't concede the point. If that is true, I should expect slightly slower cars to pull into the grass when I drive up behind them at at higher speed. (I forget where I read an account where a driver came up behind a cyclist and honked repeatedly - presumably for slowing him down, but the cyclist noted that same driver didn't honk at the red light or left turning cars that blocked his way. Funny stuff!)

In reality, my riding never blocks another car for more that 60 seconds, so I don't feel guilty about it. I'm going to ride in a way that makes me very visible, rather than trying just to stay out of the way. Whenever I use the right tire track, everyone behind me knows about it.

This lady is very nice and would never honk at a cyclist, but she must be thinking that it isn't right for me (and probably you) to make her drive slower. I've decided not to have that conversation with her anymore.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

New LBS in Town

Old Skool Cycles joins Hodson's Bay (my usual hangout) and Mulhaupt's as the area's third bike shop. Here's the article from the J&C:

Bike shop pedals into Five Points

(By John Terhune/Journal & Courier)

Old Skool Cycles is the newest business in the Five Points area, on the eastern fringe of downtown Lafayette.

John Price opened the shop two months ago, selling BMX, mountain bikes, single speeds and cruisers.

"I'm meeting the sales goal that I set for the slow time," said Price, who anticipates he will be even busier when the weather is more accommodating to riding or racing bicycles. "I've been involved with bicycles my whole life. I did some mountain bike racing when I lived in Idaho.

"I started this business at home, doing repairs for friends and neighbors and for quite some time I've wanted to have my own bike shop."

This month, Price is offering free ground shipping on all DK, Hoffman and Fit BMX bikes and all BMX frames.

He also offers free estimates on bicycle repairs and sells skateboards.


Old Skool Cycles


22 1/2 S. 16th St


Price also sells used bicycles, some which have come from the West Coast.


"I do have good, quality used bikes. I've taken a couple in on trade," he said. "I also bought some (online) from a police auction in California."


3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Hours will change when the weather gets warmer.


(765) 742-6421


Guilt Ride

I got some great advice from Tom and Steve on riding in the cold. It looks like I may need to go shopping this weekend.

As the temperature rose today, I started feeling guilty about not riding - especially with Tom promising to ride out to the Watchtower (summarized here). It could be my last chance for the month to get out. So out I went.

As I was riding, I was thinking about recording my complaints about my bike clothing, but I've changed my mind. I had a good ride, and didn't lose any toes or portions of my ears in the process.

I took the River Road/Campus route in a clockwise fashion. No interesting events to report, except the white Monte Carlo that almost left turned into me. I was in the right lane a little behind a yellow SUV in the left lane. After the SUV cleared the intersection, the Monte in the oncoming lane started his left turn. He saw me and slammed the brakes. After I went by, he spun his tires to get through before the cars behind me reached him. I don't hold him at fault - he just didn't see me behind the SUV. It's lucky for all us that he stopped when I popped into view.

I think that the right lane of southbound Russell Street between Stadium and State Streets has to be the worst surface in town for a cyclist (even worse than Chauncey Street south of Wood). Those five or six blocks are riddled with potholes, patches, cracks, lumps, and poorly filled utility digs. They are also the blocks maintained by the City of West Lafayette's Street Department. The portion south of State Street is cared for by the University, and it is in pretty good shape.

Miles Ridden: 10.2

Nice Weather, Except For...

Dear Abby,

I'm looking out my window this morning, and I see a sunny start to the day with no wind. Birds are flying about, and squirrels are scampering from tree to tree.

The only problem? It's only 17 degrees!! (that's -8 to our metric friends)

I just don't have the proper clothing to tackle that kind of cold (it's tough to find for one who is not lean and fit). I also don't have the dedication to the sport.

What should I do?


Wishing for the 40s in Indiana

Friday, January 12, 2007


... is a bad month to set goals.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Not Bad for January

Despite my normal Saturday afternoon bad attitude, I finally got on the road at 3:30. I rode into the west wind on the Granville Bridge Route (with the gourd house extension). (It's not really a gourd house anymore, since someone has taken down all but one of the gourds and replaced them with large x-mas decorations.) Anyway, once I got to the bridge and turned around, the tailwind improved both my speed and my mood.

Bike on Granville Bridge
Bike on Granville Bridge
Did you know that when it was built in the mid-90s, the Granville Bridge won some sort of award for the best use of concrete in a public works project? There is a plaque hanging somewhere in the depths of the Tippecanoe County Office Building.
During the ride I passed four other similarly dressed cyclists on River Road. It's a popular route, especially on nice days like today.

Hidden Corn Crib
Hidden Corn Crib

This corn crib hides in the trees during the summer only about 20 feet from the road, but it stands out when the leaves are down.

Miles Ridden: 9.4

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Numbers

As I promised the other day, I added up the commute, utility, and pre-work morning rides from the past 2 years. Here are the numbers:

200520062007 Goals
Wow! Almost a fifth of my work days - once a week
That's less than 2 a month
It's still going to be tough to get out in the dark

Man! I can't format a table to save my life!!!

There was much more utility riding in 2006 than I remembered. But, wow! Look at the drop in morning rides! I blame my neighbor's sabbatical and the switch to daylight saving time (rather than my lazy a....attitude). Commuting was up a little.

The goals may be a little aggressive, especially for commuting. We'll see.

I'll include the totals in my monthly reports.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In My Regular Clothes

Fritz over at Commute By Bike wrote about commuting to work in normal clothes instead of cycling gear, and how to stay relatively sweat free while doing it.

That was me today as I once again rode to and from work on the direct route. There wasn't much chance of getting too warm today, as the temps were a couple of degrees below freezing at 7:30 when I left. My dress slacks are a little breezier than the DockersĀ® I usually wear, but the biggest problem was cold feet. My leather tasseled Florsheims just didn't do the trick.

On the way home, I was passed by another commuter and we exchanged pleasantries. It wasn't until after we passed that we realized we sort of knew each other. It was the guy from the Bike to Work Wednesdays announcement from September. (And we were riding on a Wednesday. How cool is that?) We chatted at the next light about traffic and weather, especially how both will be worse next week. It's neat to be able to chat with other commuters while traveling home. That wouldn't work if I were in my Saturn.

Miles Ridden: 7.0

First ride and first commute of the new year!!!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I mentioned in my year end post that I had a 'secret personal goal' for total annual miles. This year has a number as well, and it will remain secret, as the goal's name suggests.

However, I do have another couple of goals that I don't mind making public.

Drawing of a upward trending graphFirst, I'd like to do more commuting and utility riding. My two commutes last week proved that I can ride in the winter under certain conditions - not too windy, not too cold, and not wet. (Tomorrow looks like one of those days.) I'll still have the same impediments to daily commuting other than weather, mainly chauffeur duties with the kids after school, and scheduling and logistical problems at work. However, my goal is to minimize those issues as much as possible and ride whenever I can.

How can I measure my progress? I'm going to look at the last two years that are documented here, and grab a history of commuting to have a standard to measure against. I'm going to guess that there was much more commuting in 2006 than in 2005, but the numbers will show the truth.

Cyclist on a bike pathI can pretty much guess that my utility riding (grocery store runs, etc.) was almost non-existent this past year. Anything at all would be an improvement.

After the numbers are ready, I'll post those results, and a goal for each month. The goals may be expressed in days ridden or trips made rather than miles ridden. I think that may be a better indication of my dedication. Miles ridden is already part of the secret goal.

My second goal is to ride more before work on those days when I can't ride to work. Sometimes, those commuting impediments are going to win, so I have to get more comfortable with the pre-dawn rides. I said last year (towards the end of the post) that I was going to get a vest to be more visible. That will be my January assignment this year.

As with the commuting, I'll measure my progress in the number of rides taken.

What are your goals for 2007?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tapawingo Extension Done Early - But Has a Problem

I read this article today in the Journal & Courier about the new road being built in West Lafayette's Levee area. The Tapawingo Extension will connect State Street at the foot of the Leslie Bridge with South River Road at Williams Street. The article explains how this is part of the Purdue University master development plan to route cars around the edges of the campus and not through the middle of it (and that's a good thing). When another project to the SW is finished, it is my theory that this new 2 block section will carry SR 26.

What caught my attention is two things is separate paragraphs. First, they plan to build a trail on the north side. Now, I don't know what kind of trail it will be, but there is another bike trail in the area, and this new one would be well used if it hooked up to the Wabash River Heritage Trail.

Further down the page, I read that the north side is zoned 'general business' and ready for development. I'm expecting gas stations, drive thru eateries, and the like.

So, we'll have a trail on the north side, and driveways on the north side. I've read many places that paths and driveways combine to present a very high danger for cyclists and pedestrians. Why not just build a sidewalk instead?

The River Road/State Street/Levee area is a big barrier for the less confident cyclists (most of them). Although there is a nice pedestrian bridge, a bike trail (that unfortunately floods when the river is high), an outdoor mall, and all of Lafayette on the east side, it is difficult to get there unless one is willing to take a lane and take a chance. An uninterrupted trail along the new road would be a great connector between campus and the city, but the layout described today invites accidents and will not help the squeamish get out of their neighborhoods.

I'm hoping that there is a mis-print, and that the trail is actually on the south side. We'll see what's in place next June when it opens.