Friday, November 30, 2007

November 2007 Totals

The Bike Takes a Ride

Total this Month: 119.4 miles - one tenth less than last year
Total for the Year (so far): 2,049.5

I'll likely hit 2,100 for the year!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ready for the Wardrobe

Today after work, I installed a short clothes rod in a small cubbyhole in the corner of my office - between an air duct and a load bearing girder.

Before the Clothes Rod Install Clothes Rod Installed
Before and After

(It is actually level. The angle of the photograph just makes it look crooked. At least that's my story.)

Now I'm ready to bring in work clothes so that I can ride in wearing proper winter wear and change when I arrive. No more commuting wearing Dockers and loafers. Instead, I can wear warm pants and shoes, while not worrying about the wrinkles that my shirt in the pannier is forming every minute it stays rolled up with my socks and underwear.

Monday, November 26, 2007

No Bikes on Government Property

No FunNot only did I not find any bike racks at the Putnam County Courthouse Annex in Greencastle, IN (an old school building about six blocks from the square), bicycles are not allowed on the property, according to this sign near the entrance.

Not exactly "bicycle friendly".

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hilly Thirty One

Lake Lemon
Lake Lemon

I met up with my Internet buddy Apertome of Ear to the Breeze today for a ride around his turf in Monroe and Brown counties. We started out from the Unionville Elementary School parking lot just after 3:00 with little wind and a brisk 41 degrees.

It could have started better. I was about 10 minutes late arriving to the starting point. Then, when we left I noticed that I had forgotten my helmet about 3 blocks into the ride. To top it off, my shoelace came undone and got caught around the crank arm. Finally, I got my act together and we took off.

Now, I had no idea where I was most of the time. Luckily, my riding partner had a route in mind. We circled around Lake Lemon, and we saw many lake homes, wooded hideaways, and family farms. I only remember a couple of the road names we saw: Tunnel Road and SR45. Another road we didn't take was Bolting House Road, as I was told it was particularly steep.

Odd Cottage
Odd Cottage

It's interesting how different the terrain can be after traveling just a couple of hours south of West Lafayette. Brown County is very hilly, and instead of rolling past corn and soybean fields, we saw hills and valleys with lots of trees and pastures. I'm definitely not used to the kind of hills we rode. There were two where I was standing up while in the granny gear - a new experience for me. (I had to walk up part of the worst one, but 'Ap' waited until I was back in the saddle before taking a picture.) We saw some markings on the pavement from last month's Hilly Hundred ride. Now that I've tried part of the route, I may consider riding that event next year.

Secret Meeting
Cow Confab, Bovine Board Meeting, Heifer Huddle, Angus Assembly, Cattle Call, Guernsey Get-together, (any more?)

The last half hour or so saw darkness descend on the area. We fired up the blinkies and headlights before we jumped back onto SR45 for the final leg of the trip. Most of the drivers were patient and gave us plenty of room. We got back to the school a little before 6:00.

End of the Ride
Arty Shot

I was going to say that I worked hard to get this cool shot of us at the school in natural light at dusk, but actually I just fat fingered the flash setting while trying to use the self timer. Regardless, it looks kind of neat. (It must have been comical watching me try to tilt the camera up using a piece of mulch!)

Thanks to Apertome for a great ride and great conversation. Plus, he was patient and didn't complain as I plodded up the hills and gingerly rode back down the other side. (I get the impression that his pace is a little faster than mine, but he didn't complain.) I recommend to any rider that they give the Bloomington area a try someday.

Miles Ridden: 31.1

(Since Apertome rode to and from the school, his total probably neared 50 miles)

UPDATE: Here's another recap of the ride

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Master of my Domain

Thanks to some help from Noah, I now have pointing to this blog on blogspot using the Blogger 'Custom Domain' feature (as described in this post).

To summarize, he suggested that I remove my A record from DNS, and then create a CNAME record that directs the domain to, the site used for Google redirects. Important note: a period is required after the host name for everything to work.

I then redirected some of the subdomains to my Google Apps account. I moved my email to the apps platform (GMail with my domain), and it comes with Docs, Calendar, and other Google goodies.

Oh, and I setup a Feedburner feed to track stats from those of you accessing this with a reader. (No need to change your feed)

Fun geek time!


The plan was to ride the long work route - in on the south route and home on the north, maybe even use the north extension. The ride in went fine, but I was greeted with a very flat rear tire when I came out to head home. I must have hit something on the way in (I'll check it later when it is light outside).

My wife picked me up on her way home from work.

Miles Ridden: 4.9 (estimated)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Back On The Air

Dan On Bike had a short outage while I messed with DNS settings with my domain registrar. (Perhaps you saw the Go Daddy parking page.) The project is to switch to Google Apps. I've got email working, but I'm still fussing with the web pages, along with Blogger custom domains. I understand the basics, but I don't know how to configure to either go to the blog or to an Apps start page. Both want me to add a subdomain.

I'm sure I'll figure it out, and I plan to do more research tonight. Anyone with experience with these products can feel free to offer advice, suggestions, warnings, taunts, and limericks.

The Management

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I was reading the campus paper yesterday, and I saw an article in the back near the classifieds announcing a Cyclocross race to be held today at Fort Ouiotenon - just a mile from my house!

I rode over just before 1:00, and watched the riders warm up on the track until the race started at 1:30. Now, it seems that I need to learn the rules of the sport. I asked a spectator (one of probably 25) who is a member of the Purdue Cycling Team how many laps they will ride. He said that it is a timed race of 45 minutes, and the next one would be an hour. How does it end? How is the finish order determined? I'll do some research before the next one.

... which is tomorrow. The article also mentioned a race today on campus (I forget where). If I can fit it in between work and the Purdue Symphonic Band concert, I may stop by.

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Purdue Cyclocross

Miles Ridden: 3.1 (I took the long way)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Keg on the Move


I saw this guy, apparently heading to one of the several liquor stores in that direction, while I was heading home for lunch. I'm not sure how the keg was secured, but it seemed to be solidly lashed to the rack. The rider looked to be mid to late 30s - older than most college students.

(Sorry for the poor picture quality. I used my cell phone camera.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What a Difference 10 Minutes Makes

High Atop the Alumni Center
Dark, Cold, and Windy

I usually get out of the office by 10 after 5:00, but I got a late start today. So, instead of riding with my fellow staff and faculty members, I was tooling around in a sea of students who had just been released from their last class of the day. I remember those college days. My friends and I could be noisy, rude, and self absorbed, and today's crop of college kids were doing the same. As I passed the bus stop, I saw a scooter with three passengers crammed onto the small seat lumbering off the curb and pull into the lane behind me.

Then, I heard a horn begin to beep continuously, along with some vulgar shouting from the scooter team. This went on for half a minute or so before the scooter passed me while the passengers still screamed foul insults. I couldn't tell if they were yelling at the driver of the beeping car or me, so I assumed it was horn boy. However, the beeping continued.

I finally looked back, thinking that I had dropped my pannier. The SUV with the incessant horn was a couple of lengths behind me, but the driver didn't wave or make any other motion towards me when I gave the "what's up" hand signal. A few seconds after I turned back, the SUV passed me and I heard "(mumble mumble) THE ROAD (mumble mumble)" come from the side window.

So, apparently they were yelling at me. Oh well.

Just past the next light, a car pulled out of an alley on my right, and stopped blocking the lane waiting for a space to open in the oncoming traffic stream. No problem for me, as I was able to swerve around, but the cars behind me had to wait.

Another exhilarating ride.

Miles Ridden: 7.1 (estimated)

BTW, I forgot to mention yesterday that I passed the 2,000 mile mark for this year. That's already more than last year's total and my highest annual mileage ever. And I've still got six weeks to go!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Riding with the Big Boys

Gloomy FogWhen I'm in a good mood, a ride through busy traffic can be quite exhilarating. Sure, the gloomy photo of the foggy airport would seem to indicate otherwise, but I was feeling pretty up this AM as I rode to work.

I had a little extra time, so I took the South Work Route in reverse. After along wait at the stop light, I jumped onto US231 and took my place in the bike lane. There's a lot of auto traffic at 7:45, so it took a little patience combined with a dose of intestinal fortitude to cross two busy lanes to make the left turn onto Williams. Because of the wet conditions after last night's rain, I was wearing bike clothes instead of work clothes, so I felt more like a cyclist. Of course, that feeling helped me go a little faster up the hill.

After work, I took a quick detour down the hill on State to the cleaners to drop off my shirts. I know I've said it before, but I always love speeding down State Street Hill during rush hour (if you can call it that in West Lafayette). I had to get home quickly, so I rolled back up the hill and straight home.

Miles Ridden: 9.1 (estimated)

Riding in Style

I was happy to be driving home in my Saturn last night, sheltered from the heavy rain and strong breeze. I almost always see a few students riding around in the rain, but one today caught my eye.

Bike Riding in the Rain with UmbrellaEven though it was getting dark fast, he had no lights or reflectors that I saw, and he was in dark clothing. He did seem to be taking the lane safely for his left hand turn at the light. What made him stand out was the fact that he was holding a full-sized red umbrella with one hand while steering with the other. I wish I could have taken a picture.

I'm riding to work today, as it looks like the best day of the week.

Happy trails!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Remember Me?


I'm that guy that would post pictures of horses and talk about riding a bike over the same routes over and over. Now you remember? Good.

It's been a week since I've been able to get out, and it was good to hit the familiar pavement again. Nothing special happened on the Montmorenci Route, although my legs took a little while to warm up. It doesn't take long to get out of shape!

I'm planning a ride for T-day weekend with my Interweb pal Apertome, and I'm a little worried that the hills of Monroe County will be tough for me as I scale back my riding schedule. Keep it flat, buddy!

Hay Rolls

Miles Ridden: 16.6

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Look at Me! I'm in Tatters!

Flag in Tatters
This Flag Puts the 'Old' in 'Old Glory'

The neighbor and I haven't ridden together in a couple of weeks, so we headed out this afternoon.

It was 4:30 before we actually hit the road, so the 6:30 sunset would limit our time out. We started off on a short ride north, and ended up taking 400W up to 500N. Then we rode west to US231, and south to Montmorenci. We had planned to take Jackson Highway back towards home, but decided to continue south all the way to Division Road by the Ravines Golf Course.

With strong headwinds during the north and west portions of the route, we really appreciated the push we got going south. The eastern run on Division Road wasn't quite as effortless, but still easy.

With the wind and cold, it was quite a workout.

Miles Ridden: 21.4

Friday, November 02, 2007

Commute #65

After yesterday's fun with unsafe passing, I decided to forgo my usual Friday route and instead took the North Route with Extension. With sunny skies, comfortable temps, calm winds, and low traffic, it was a great ride. This route includes the best part of the Cattail Trail between Kalberer Road and Lindberg Road. I saw many walkers, joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers all around town.

I think that when a yard is full of signs for almost every candidate from a particular party, it lessens the value of the endorsement from the owners. They come off as party loyalists, rather than people with an opinion on a candidate. In this shot we see signs for most of the Republicans running in West Lafayette in the foreground, while the Democrats are represented two yards back.

Miles Ridden: 14.9 (estimated)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Major Moves

Noah is breathing down my neck, having just posted his 500th, so I'd better get typing!

I thought this was going to be an uneventful commute today (although riding to a meeting mid-afternoon was fun), until I was almost home.

Major Move
No Idea What This Means

I was in the bike lane on US231S when I stopped to take the above picture. I was close to the point where the highway heads south, while River Road continues west. (I'm traveling west, which is right to left on the photo.) As you can see below, there is a little jog where I turn right and immediately left. At this time of day, everyone else is apparently doing the same thing.

As I neared the right turn to leave the highway, a car came up next to me and made the turn with me. Since my bike lane abruptly ends just past the turn, I had to slow rather suddenly to avoid bumping the passenger door. I was able to take the lane behind him, but three more cars came up right behind me. As my turn buddy began his left, the third guy back behind me decided he couldn't wait for all of us to turn, so he gunned it into the left lane and passed us all - much to the chagrin of the driver of the oncoming van. I flashed Mr. Impatient a thumbs up.

Not to be outdone, the muppet behind me revved up and passed as well - this time it was a sedan that had to dive for the shoulder. The last guy behind me waited until it was clear, but he had to excessively accelerate like the rest - just to show them that he wasn't a pansy.

What's weird is that as my wife talked with me on the phone before I left my office, she let loose this string of foul language mid sentence. Apparently, an oncoming driver had decided to pass a bike by swerving into her lane, and she let him know that she didn't approve.

Is it just West Lafayette, or do people do this everywhere?

Miles Ridden: 11.2 (estimated)

BTW, the new LED headlight I ordered from Bike Nashbar came in today. I'll try it out as soon as I get some batteries.