Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Totals for April 2008

It was difficult to get rides in this month, mostly because of the cold, wet weather. There were only a couple of days when I couldn't convince myself to get out when conditions were favorable. My total this month was over 50 miles less than this same month last year, and the same amount off the mark towards my secret goal for the year. Looks like I'll have to make up some in May. (What is that? 3 or 4 rides? Totally doable).

Total Miles This Month: 140.5
Total for 2008 to Date: 265.1

Total Miles for April 2007: 195.3
Total for 2007 to Date: 306.6

Mulit-Modal Ortho Commute

My daughter had an early morning orthodontist appointment this morning. So, like I've done before, I tossed the bike in the back, and drove to the appointment and then to school.

Sure, I could have driven back home and biked from there while using the same amount of gas, but I had three good reasons to use the school parking lot today:
  • Riding from the school is a couple of miles farther from the office, so I get a little more time in the saddle
  • Driving home first would have taken more time, and I was already well into the work day when I checked my daughter in at the school office
  • I get to use a different route, which is a nice change of pace
So, I did it, and the rides there and back were both great.

There was one little bit of drama when my pannier bounced onto the pavement after I hit a pothole. Apparently, I didn't have it hooked on correctly. I've never really been comfortable with the way it hangs there, but I don't have a solution.

365 #90
Lifting the Bike into the Truck

This was also the inaugural ride with the new tires and brakes. The wheels went round and the bike stopped when asked, but there was one problem. The rear wheel seems to be something other than round. It's kind of like a subdued version of the clown bike where the axle is off center. I checked at the end of the ride, and it seems that there is something amiss with the rim. Another reason to visit the LBS.

Miles Ridden: 11.1

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Little Maintenance

I wasn't able to get out for a ride yesterday (and probably won't today with storms on the way), so I spent a little time on bike maintenance on my commuter bike. I had stopped by the LBS earlier in the week to get new brake pads, and ended up coming home with a few more things.

It was pretty obvious that the brake pads were shot, and it was an easy job to change them out. Here's the before and after shot.

Old and New Brake Pads

While in the shop, I asked about tires. My front tire was pretty worn, although the rear tire was in much better shape. With my current tire in hand, I asked about something a little narrower than my Michelin Day Trippers (I think) that would still fit the rim. The sales guy showed me three options, including a set of slicks much like I used to ride (and still have in the garage), and a set of massive road tires that he said were stock on the police bikes (Lt. Jim Dangle!). I opted for the middle of the road model - a set of Geax Street Runners, which apparently include Kevlar. They went on pretty easily as well.

Old and New Tires
New Street Runners on the Left

As I performed these rudimentary repairs, I learned quickly that a shop stand would be quite handy. I'll add that to my wish list.

Harrison Tries Out the New Tires and Brakes
Here's My Son Trying Things Out

Friday, April 25, 2008


I can't imagine why someone would put this in the bike lane. I'm stumped. It leaves me wondering. Probably someone who hasn't put down roots in the community. I don't want to go barking up the wrong tree, but he must have been a real sap.

Bike Lane Blockage

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Early Morning Fun

I haven't done the River Road/Campus Route yet this year, so I gave it a shot this morning. I'd forgotten how hilly it was. It seems as if I went up more than down.

Miles Ridden: 10.1

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Tailwinds, Baby!!

Waiting on Williams Street
Waiting on Williams Street

Miles Ridden: 8.3

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Good Morning!

Today was the first morning, pre-work ride of the year. The neighbor and I set out at 6:00 to run to the bridge and back. Because I had an early appointment at work, we didn't get any extra miles in.

It's pretty dark at six, but my new headlight worked really well. I used the setting that has two LEDs blinking and two on solid.

On the way back, we spooked a group of four deer that seemed to be hiding near the road.

Miles Ridden: 9.1

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Commute

April is turning out to be a good month for commutes. Todays included an after lunch trip to the stadium for a meeting (I've said it before: I love getting paid to ride!) before heading home on the South Work Route. Our muppett today was an unsafe passer - which is my pet peeve. This young lady in a Pontiac with a paper plate straddled the double yellow line to pass me on River Road, and she did not yield her position when an oncoming car appeared over the hill. Luckily, she also didn't lurch to the right knocking me into the tree line at the side of the road. Instead, the oncoming driver swerved into the grass to avoid the head-on collision.

(There was a little cursing on my part.)

Miles Ridden: 10.6

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Turkey Ride

This morning was a little windy, and a bit chilly, but I went out anyway. I had to stop at work, so I took the long way around.

I started by heading north on Sharon Chapel and Klondike Roads. Between the two, Drury Lane is part of a short cut. While riding through this quiet residential neighborhood, I heard the gobble of a turkey close by. It turns out that I experienced a sighting of the turkey that my son used to see during his morning bus ride to school. This guy was all puffed out, perhaps upset by my presence, or maybe just his reflection in the screen door.

The Turkey of Drury Lane
The Turkey of Drury Lane

I turned east on 500N, and the slight tailwind made a quick, enjoyable ride. As I passed a small country church a lady who was getting out of her car with a large box of doughnuts said hi as I rolled by.



Potawatomi Indian March Marker
This is the Second of These Markers I Have Come Across
Here's the First

Miles Ridden: 21.2

Saturday, April 19, 2008

As Seen on the Flickr

Friday, April 18, 2008


Much like yesterday and Wednesday, I had beautiful weather all day, a nice ride to lunch, and a windy ride home. Today presented an especially wicked headwind most of the way home.

Miles Ridden: 14.3

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I rode to work in a suit today. That's right - coat and tie, dress pants, shiny black shoes. Now that's riding in style!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Photo Commute

In the style of Noah of KC, here's a photographic record of today's commute.

365 #77
Riding into the Sunrise

Lafayette Skyline at Noon
Lafayette Skyline

No Bike Rack at Sgt Prestons
No Bike Rack at Sgt Preston's of the North

So I chained my bike to this oddly worded sign in front of the lot.

TV Time
TV Time on South River Road

I'm not sure why someone would dump an old TV tube on the side of the road. This one been sitting there for a couple of weeks, and I was finally able to grab a shot.

Horse on River Road
Obligatory Horse Photo

Miles Ridden: 10.6

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Biking Makes Things Better

It was one of those mornings where things just wouldn't go right. I had a real tough time getting out of the door on time, and it didn't help when the puppy shot out of the door and across the street. It took me 10 minutes to catch her before I could leave. So, I ended up being late for work.

On the way in, I was having imaginary arguments with drivers who harassed me - even though in real life they were all courteous and safe around me.

At lunch, I decided to grab a Subway, but instead of walking three blocks to the Village location, I rode a mile to the west side. That little ride changed my whole mood, and the afternoon went really well.

On my way home on the South Work Route, I passed a group of students with radar guns who seemed to be doing a speed study on the highway. I asked the young lady with the gun how fast I was going, and she got a good laugh out of it.

If she had been measuring my speed, it probably would have clocked in at 7 or 8 MPH, as I was fighting a pretty fierce headwind. The Weather Channel reported sustained winds at 20, with gusts up to 40. Still, I had a great time and a strong workout.

Miles Ridden: 11.2

Friday, April 11, 2008

I'm a Slacker

I chuckled as I read the Slackers Guide to Bike Commuting on Commute by Bike because I do most of these things. (I'd probably do #7 if I lived farther away)

There is actually some great advice there that could make things much easier for any commuter, especially a beginner.

Slackers Unite!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Another Great Commute

The neighbor and I rode to work today with a light tailwind pushing us in. He also joined me on the way home on a variation of the North Work Route. That light tailwind had turned into a pretty strong headwind, which we really noticed on Lindberg Road. We took turns pulling until we got to the south turnoff on 400W

Miles Ridden: 11.8

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Neighborhood Ride

This afternoon, the neighbor and I took a quick trip to the bridge and back, and his wife joined us on her new bike. It's a Specialized comfort bike of some sort, and she really likes it.

More than once, he and I were pedaling and talking, and we didn't notice that she had fallen way behind. A couple of times, we doubled back to keep the group together.

Miles Ridden: 9.2

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A Beautiful Weekend

Riding with AllenFollowing day after day of cold, windy, rainy, nasty conditions, we have been given two marvelous days this weekend. For today, I decided to ride to Hodson's Bay to take a look around at their semi-annual sale. Plus, I talked my wife's nephew into heading out with me.

He didn't want to make the entire 9-10 mile run, so we took a quick circle around the Fort with him on my son's otherwise unused bike. He felt pretty proud of riding 4 miles.

After I left him at the entrance to my subdivision, I headed east to the bike shop. It was crowded even 15 minutes before closing time. I browsed through the tables and wall displays, and came out with tubes, lube, a headlight, and a multi-tool. The guy in front of me bought two bikes - for him and his son - for just under a grand.

I came back home through campus, noticing many riders all along the route. Once home, it was time to hurry back to town to get supper from Fazoli's.

Miles Ridden: 13.0

Hopefully, the neighbor and I will get out tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Jeff Kruys

For the past couple of months I've been reading a journal on the Crazy Guy site by Jeff Kruys. I probably originally heard about him on another cycling blog, but I can't remember now which one it was.

He is on a several year tour of the Americas starting in Victoria, BC. After heading north to Inuvik on the Arctic Ocean, he turned south. I've been following his travels trough the US and Mexico, central America, and in South America, and I just caught up to the current pages from Peru. He writes accounts of his travels and observations of the towns and people he comes across from a unique point of view. There are also many photos - some of the great scenery along the way, and others showing the daily life of the people living along his route.

I'd recommend starting from the beginning, as this journal is a good read.

The main page for Jeff's journal can be found at