Thursday, May 31, 2007

Totals for May 2007

All of the commutes, morning rides, and weekend jaunts have really added up, and I've hit a new personal best - 317.9 miles in May 2007! That is more than my total for the first 4 months combined. I think I'm getting a little obsessed.

(Still behind Noah's progress)

Last May saw a total of 203.6 miles.

Brown Street Overlook
Familiar Shot?

Wildlife, but no Llamas

Took a quick morning ride on the Llama Route with the neighbor. Along the route we saw a total of four deer crossing the road in different spots, and one bluebird. My wife hasn't seen a bluebird in years, yet I see them pretty much weekly during Spring and Summer.

Miles Ridden: 12.8

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Little Foggy, Very Humid

Granville Bridge before work.

Miles Ridden: 10.0

Monday, May 28, 2007

Weekend in Jasper

I spent the weekend in Jasper, IN, and I was able to get a couple of rides in.

Right at the beginning of Saturday's ride, I found a Jasper High School diploma laying the street about six blocks from the site of the previous night's graduation ceremony. Apparently, Meredeth Marie Allen was pretty happy to be out of school, and gave the sheepskin a celebratory toss out of the window of her boyfriend's F150 pickup. I'm guessing she partied pretty hard that night. I left the diploma next to a mailbox on St. Charles Street.

Jasper Riverwalk
Jasper Riverwalk

Jett would like this wooden bridge over a splashing creek on the Jasper Riverwalk.

Jasper Riverwalk
Jasper Riverwalk

Other than the riverwalk, I only saw one other path intended for cyclists, and I found no painted bike lanes. Regardless, Jasper seems to be a very bike-friendly city. Drivers were courteous and patient and the streets and roads were in better than average shape. If it weren't for all of the hills, I could enjoy riding there every day.

Rolling Fields of Wheat
Rolling Hills of Wheat

I won't attempt to describe my routes in detail, but I will try to list some of the streets and roads I used.


St Charles, 100S, Newton, Brucke Strasse, Riverwalk, 15th, downtown
Miles Ridden: 10.7


St Charles, Portersville, 675N, 500W, 600N, 425W, 400N
Miles Ridden: 17.2

Numbers Game
Quite an Intersection

From this intersection, I could see the water tower in Ireland and hear the church bells.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

There and Back

For the second day in a row, I've had a buddy on the ride in. He must live in one of the neighborhoods along Newman Road, and he has caught me while I was waiting at a stop sign or light. We exchanged pleasantries about the traffic.

I had a 3:00 meeting at SSOF today, so I just rode home from there.

SSOF Bike Rack
The most secluded bike rack on campus

No need for a lock here.

Miles Ridden: 7.0

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Make Mine a Double

First, the neighbor and I took a morning ride past Granville Bridge to the golf course and back.

Miles Ridden: 11.9

Then, I rode to work and came home on the North Work Route.

Miles Ridden: 11.6

Monte Carlo
Bitchin' Monte Carlo

I've been riding past this car on 400W that is parked by the road. It has a blue on black flame paint job, and I think it might be for sale!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Commute

South Work Route

Miles Ridden: 8.3

Monday, May 21, 2007


Modified North Work Route

Miles Ridden: 10.6

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Early Sunday

I took an early morning ride on Lilly Road today.

The greyhounds were out again today at the house south of Granville on 700W. Unlike last time when there was a gathering, there were just two greys, plus a small furry dog of some type. All three trotted over as soon as I stopped, and they were jostling to try to get my attention. I took a few pictures that didn't turn out, but I loved seeing them close up.

Cows on Lilly Road
Cows on Lilly Road

I planned the ride so that I would have a nice tailwind on the long straight stretch of Lilly Road, and I had a great time imagining that I was a fast rider.

Eli Lilly - Tippecanoe Labs
Eli Lilly - Tippecanoe Labs

This is part of the factory after which the road is named. It is a pretty big complex with many buildings - presumably all filled with noxious chemicals and dangerous biological specimens. But, it's one of the area's biggest and most stable employers, so we don't question too much.

Miles Ridden: 17.9

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Happy Hollow

I was feeling pretty good after yesterday's ride home. A couple of days out of the saddle left me recovered and refreshed, and the pedals seemed to be pushing themselves.

Forest Canopy
Forest Canopy on the Wabash River Heritage Trail

However, today I was yanked back to reality by a hill. I've ridden Happy Hollow Road before, and it is never easy. Today, I passed a young guy wearing jeans who had quit pedaling and decided to walk. I slowly passed him in my granny gear, and we exchanged a couple of breathy sentences about how tough the hill was. I had to stop for a drink and a breather about a half of a block later. He had remounted, and he pedaled slowly past me. After a minute or so, I hopped back on and finished the hill. I passed Mr. Jeans just past the crest.

View from the Ground
Artsy Tree Shot

The rest of the ride was windy but fun.

Miles Ridden: 18.5

Friday, May 18, 2007

National Bike to Work Day

Like last year, I didn't ride to work on Lafayette's designated Bike to Work Day, but I was able to ride today. While it was a little cold in the AM, the ride home was great on the newly documented Modified North Work Route.

What was weird is that I didn't see any other bike commuters while I was riding. I usually do on the way home. There was one lady that I saw later while driving my daughter home from an after school event that seemed to be in work clothes. She was making some sort of arm signals to the car next to her at a stop sign, but I couldn't tell if it was a friendly exchange or an angry berating for some personal space violation. (I've met with her on a couple of projects, and she seems pretty surly, so I'm guessing the later.)

Even though Wednesday's weather kept me off the streets, I would not have participated in the Lafayette Bike to Work observance because I didn't know about it. I've been watching the paper and the local bike club web page, and performing Google searches, but I found nothing about this year's ride until today when I stumbled onto the League of American Bicyclists site at There is a listing of a gathering at the plaza downtown. Oddly, there was no press coverage on TV or in print that I saw afterwards.

Miles Ridden: 10.7

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Granville Bridge and Back

Miles Ridden: 12.0

Monday, May 14, 2007

Well, It Was Kind of Hot...

Nothing special today on the North Work Route.

Miles Ridden: 10.7

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Highland Park Bridge

I don't really know if this bridge is named the Highland Park Bridge, or if it even has a name at all, but it is located in the historic Highland Park subdivision in Lafayette, IN. It crosses over a creek bed and is hidden between houses. Unless one is looking for it, it is easy to pass by and never notice it.

I'm thinking that maybe a former co-worker who lives nearby first told me about the bridge, and it's been 7 or 8 years since I last visited. With their new high-res satellite photos, we can see it on Google Maps:

Click to View in Google Maps

For some reason, I was feeling nervous about taking a movie on what may be private property, so I went to the Tippecanoe County GIS site to view the property boundaries. Looks like we're OK (although it's unclear if anyone owns it).

Here's the video of my crossing:

Miles Ridden: 19.0


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Are You Hungry?

I headed north on Sharon Chapel, Klondike, Taft, and Morehouse roads, then east on 600N to Harrison High School, and south on County Farm Road/Salisbury Street back to campus, and then back home.

X-mas Tree Field
X-mas Tree Field

Shortly before I arrived at the high school, I noticed that despite having breakfast, I was very hungry. The cereal bar that I had packed in the under-seat bag really hit the spot.

On campus, I rode around the fountain to see the families getting ready for Spring graduation. It's pretty cool to see all of the proud parents, happy grads, and bored children all in their best outfits.

Miles Ridden: 18.9

Friday, May 11, 2007

Round Two

I returned from my morning ride, grabbed a quick shower and breakfast, and then headed to work.

As I came home on the North Work Route, I remembered why it's unnerving to ride the streets on Friday after work. Lots of close passing, speeding, running lights, and one cutoff right turn.

I still made it home safe.

Miles Ridden: 10.7

Repeat Ride

Same as Wednesday.

Miles Ridden: 11.0

Calf on River Road

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Jacket Required

Jacket Required

I needed a sport coat at work today, so I neatly folded my favorite tweed and carefully placed it in my shopping bag pannier (read wadded it up and stuffed it in). I opted against wearing the tie on the ride in, but I did have it on when riding to a meeting and then to lunch. It was pretty hot coming back up the hill on Wood Street.

(BTW - Sgt. Preston's STILL has no bike rack)

Miles Ridden: 13.8

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Morning Train

I couldn't get my headlight to work this morning, and the neighbor was without his rear blinkly light, so we formed a train on the Granville Bridge route.

Miles Ridden: 11.0

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Horses on River Road

Horse on River Road

For a change of pace I took the Wabash River Route (clockwise) home from work.

Horse on River Road

Miles Ridden: 12.6

Monday, May 07, 2007

Blast from the Past

The same weather pattern that is making life difficult in Kansas City and other points west of here made for a great weekend here. Unfortunately, errands, visiting relatives, and a bad mood caused me to not ride. (The excuse generator was on overtime.)

This morning, I got back on the horse with a ride to work. I used to work on the west side of campus, so after my haircut I took the old route home. Basically, I rode north on McCormick Road to Lindberg. A left put me on to the North Work Route, which I followed home*.

Miles Ridden: 11.3

*Of course, the bridge is still out on Division Road, so I couldn't follow the route, could I? Actually, I did - by walking the bike through the construction zone. It looks like they've made some progress on the bridge, but there's still a lot to do.

Bridge Out
Road Closures are for Sissies!

Friday, May 04, 2007


I had planned to take a morning ride today, but my excuse generator was on 11. First, I was having a tough time waking up. Then, I decided it was too cold, and I didn't want to wake up my wife looking for something long sleeve in the closet. Finally, I thought it was too dark.

Instead, I decided to ride the Pilot to work instead of the usual 820. It's not a great commuter bike (no racks for the panniers, uncomfortable seat without bike shorts, my dress shoes don't work with the toe clips, I can't bring myself to lock it outside), but the ride home was great.

I stowed the bike in my office in the same place I used last week.

At the End of the Hall
Bike in the Cube Farm

There's another bike commuter in the building. One of the ladies upstairs, whose husband runs Old Skool Cycles, has been riding a KHS Urban X the past couple of weeks. She lives on the east side of town on the other side of the river valley, so she has an uphill at each end of her ride.

Soccer Night
Soccer Fields on Kalberer Road

Maybe this weekend I'll write about my new briefcase pannier.

Miles Ridden: 14.2

Oh, I almost forget to mention... The Terranaut was gone today. I asked the building deputy if she had it removed, but she had no idea. (I don't think she ever really noticed that it had been there for so long.) I guess the owner must be leaving - either for the summer or forever - and came and got it. Let's hope it goes to a better place.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Muppet Attack!

Send your best thoughts to Steve in Halifax. He was tagged by a jeep on Monday and required surgery.

Steve is the ultimate bike commuter - traveling longer distances and carrying bigger loads than I would ever consider. He's one of the bloggers that inspire me to ride more and drive less. Let's hope he can get back on the road soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Honk - Helmet - Bugs - Fire

As I was climbing the hill on Newman Road this morning, a pickup truck was crawling up behind me. When we were about 2/3 the way up, he gave his horn a tap and passed me. At the time, I thought he was letting me know he was angry about waiting, but now I think he was warning me about the manuever. Regardless, it was totally unnecessary.

At the top, I said hi and gave the head nod to a jogger. That's when I noticed that I wasn't wearing my helmet. So, I went back down the hill, up the other hill to my garage, and grabbed the brain bucket. This meant that I had to do the hill a second time. So much for minimizing perspiration.

I came home via the north part of West Lafayette. At the park where the Farmer's Market was being held, I cut through to catch the bike/ped trail around to Kalberer Road. Unfortunately, I instead ended up lost in a subdivision. Somehow, I made it over to the Research Park and the Cattail Trail. And the trail was swarming with tiny bugs. I hate it when something gets inside my helmet and crawls around on my head. Aarrgghh!

Just them, my phone rang. I answered to hear my wife telling me that there was an unattended brush fire in the backyard of the rental next door. The owner has been doing some work, and I guess he decided to set the trash on fire and leave. My wife called the number on the For Rent sign in front to tell them that they had five minutes to get back before she called the fire department. They didn't make it, so she dialed 911. Since she had told the dispatcher that it wasn't an immediate danger, they sent the truck without lights and sirens, but one of the neighbors who is a volunteer on the force arrived pretty quickly and watered down the edges with a garden hose. The truck arrived shortly after, and they hosed it down and stirred it around to make sure it was out. When the owner arrived, they scolded him for leaving, and for including old railroad ties in the burn pile. We found later that the fire had spread to some other brush and down to the creek bed.

Miles Ridden: 15.1

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Good Morning

My first ride in May was also my first morning (before work) ride of the year. With Indiana now observing daylight saving time, I have to ride partly in the dark to get a ride in between 6:00 and 7:00. I took the River Road/Campus route, but I traveled clockwise so that I would be heading west on River Road. With the morning traffic heading east, I figured I'd be safer.

Wrong! An SUV came up behind me while I was in the hilly and curvy section, and the driver decided that he couldn't wait more than 2 seconds to get around me. He jumped out to pass, and just then a pickup heading west (at a pretty fast clip) appeared over the hill right in front of us. SUV guy floored it and swerved around me - forcing pickup guy to dodge into the grass to avoid getting hit. I just grabbed my brakes and braced for the debris storm. Somehow, no one made contact with anyone else, and we all rolled away. SUV guy fled at top speed, and pickup guy just kept going. It took me a few seconds to remember to pedal again.

In my environment, unsafe passing seems to be my worst threat. It happens to me on every ride. I've only had one encounter (that I can recall) where a driver didn't see me, and that was many years ago. (A young lady was turning left from a side street as I crossed intersection. She had a stop sign; I didn't. Just before she rammed into me, I yelled 'HEY' in my best angry dad voice. She slammed on the brakes and looked very guilty.) With my lights, reflectors, and orange vest, I'm pretty visible. Plus, I ride in the right tire path, so I'm not hiding in the gutter out of their line of sight. Each time this passing thing happens, I find myself riding farther to the left hoping to convince the drivers that they need the whole left lane to get around.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Despite that one incident, I still had a good ride, and I hope to get more mornings in.

Miles Ridden: 10.4