Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Roads

I started out on the Wabash Avenue Route, but found myself on a new road.  It's tough for me to find a new route so close to home, but I rode up and down a hill that I've covered thousands of times by car, but never before by bike - 4th street in Lafayette.

When downtown, I detoured on Romig, 5th, and Main before heading home through campus.

I took three great pictures along the way before I realized that my camera had no memory card. 

Miles Ridden: 13.6

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Know Someone Famous

Have you seen this post "50 States - 100 Bike Blogs?  My riding buddy Apertome is listed under Indiana.  I've always liked reading his posts, and it looks like others do as well.


Twice the Fun

I had a chance again today for both a morning ride and a commute. The morning ride to the bridge with my neighbor was a very dark ride, but we ended up going pretty fast. The commute was a quick there and back, as I had things to do after work.

During my commute, I was yelled at twice. On the way in, a guy in a Mustang pulled along side me, revved his engine, and said "Quit hogging the road!" It turned out to be my work friend Dave, who was just funning with me. I laughed and gave him a wave as he drove off.

After work, there was a car behind me on Martin Jischke Drive that didn't pass even though there was plenty of room. After I turned onto State, he roared past as he screamed "(mumble, mumble) f**king (mumble, mumble)!" I laughed and gave him a wave as he drove off.

Unlike yesterday, I didn't ride to lunch because of the heat. The Trolley got me there just fine.

Miles Ridden: 9.0 (morning), 7.1 (commute)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Muppet Day

I know I've complained a lot about being passed unsafely on hills or curves, but I'm finding lately that I'm getting used to it.  Until this morning.  This person in a small, blue SUV passed me on a straight section, where he had a clear view of the oncoming car.  Mr. SUV gunned the engine, and the oncoming car had to bolt for the grassy shoulder while honking.  I just watched and waited for the SUV to jerk back to the right and knock me over.  Luckily, that didn't happen.

On the way home on River Road, I had another guy in a van pass while the oncoming car was a little too close for comfort, but no tragedy occured.  What cracked me up was the guy behind him who followed blindly behind the van, and then the third guy behind him.  Once again, we all came out unscathed.

Commuting is fun!

Miles Ridden: 10.1

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another Great Day to Ride

Not The Best Lock Up Job
Not the Best Job of Locking a Bike

Fifty eight degrees this AM, sunny with a tail wind on the way home.  I love this time of year!

Miles Ridden: 11.8

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Commute

I had to head in early today, and I found that it's getting to be dark at 7 am already. I used the blinky this morning, and I'll have to pull out the orange reflective vest soon.

As I ended up working until 6:30, it was straight home with no extra miles.

365 #207

Miles Ridden: 7.1

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wabash River Ride 2008

I had written a great post about the ride today, but my laptop powered off before I hit save. I'll just say briefly that the weather was fine, the company great, and the snacks hit the spot. We rode the 39 mile route (that ended up being 41 miles on my odometer). Let's let the photos tell the rest of the story.

Wabash River Century
Check In Tent

Wabash River Century

Wabash River Century
Elk Farm

Wabash River Century
Fairview Community Center

Wabash River Century
Wildcat Creek

Wabash River Century
Almost Done

Wabash River Century
Linda and Cliff on the Home Stretch

Wabash River Century
After Ride Meal

Miles Ridden: 41.0

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Commute

Nothing special as I rode the South Work Route home.

Miles Ridden: 8.4

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lazy Sunday

The neighbor and I weren't really sure where we were headed, but we ended up in Battleground looking at a friend's garden. On the way back, we passed a wrong way cyclist (which Noah hates ) on Lindburg road. I said to him "You're on the wrong side, buddy", but he just smiled, looked at the ground, and kept going.

Surprisingly, I took no pictures today.

Miles Ridden: 30.2

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Move In Day

Today was the day all of the new Freshmen arrive on campus. As I rode to work to catch up on a few things, I tooled around the dorms watching all of the activity - SUVs and U-Haul trailers, parents trying not to smother, kids ready to branch out on their own. I also hit the sales at the bookstore.

Miles Ridden: 11.6

Friday, August 15, 2008

Another Double

I had planned to ride to work today, but when the neighbor called last night to arrange a morning ride, I couldn't pass it up.

After missing a couple of rides with him over the past couple of weeks,I was worried that I wouldn't wake up in time.  Not a problem, as I was out of bed an hour before the planned departure time.  After grabbing some water, my orange vest, and an extra blinky, I rode over to his driveway.  He greeted me from the upstairs window to say that he couldn't make it because of a family obligation.  No worries, I just took off myself.

Since it is now all the way dark at 6am, I am very dependent on my headlight, especially in the wooded area of Division Road.  My batteries must be getting low, because I had a tough time seeing the road ahead, and I had to temper my speed to keep from riding beyond the reach of the beam.  I was happy to get out of the woods.

I didn't feel like I was riding very fast, but since I couldn't see the speedometer, I didn't really know.  I ended up with my average being a little higher than usual.

Miles Ridden: 9.1

For the ride to work, I took my trust Trek 820 with the big platform pedals that hold on to my penny loafers so well.  With a ride to a meeting after lunch, and a trip to the drug store before taking the North Work Route home, I ended up with lots of great saddle time.

The Bike Rack at CVS is Accessible!
CVS Bike Rack

Since I complained about the rack at CVS last year, I feel compelled to point out that it was clear and accessible today.

Miles Ridden: 16.9

Monday, August 11, 2008

Following the Paths of Others

As usual, I had a tough time getting out today.  With a day off work, I had no reason to hurry, so I didn't hit the pavement until after lunch (which would be a problem later).  I was feeling good, so I decided to head up the hill on Happy Hollow Road.
Numbers Game
Ready to Head Up the Hill

Happy Hollow is much better going down than it is going up, and after a great ride to the starting point, I tired out fast on the way up.

Uphill on Happy Hollow Road
It's Steeper Than It Looks

I took an impromptu photo stop about halfway up to catch my breath and to convince the PB&J sandwich and cottage cheese to stay in my stomach. (That's something else that is better going down than going up, I'm sure.) My strong will won out over my complaining gastric system, and I made it up the rest of the hill.

Veterans Memorial Soldiers Home
Veterans Cemetery

My reason for heading north was to hit the places visited by cyclist, blogger, and historian The Spokesrider. He was riding in my area last weekend, while I was in Tennessee.

Old Schoolhouse
Old Schoolhouse

In this post, he mentions this old schoolhouse on 500N and 175E, which is across the street from this stand of trees. It's probably expensive to heat, but I'll bet it's a great place to live.

Morehouse Road Intersection
Slightly Overexposed Panoramic View of Morehouse Road Intersection

I knew about Morehouse Road long before I lived here because of the restaurant that used to be located where it intersects US52, but now I use it often as a nice route.

Not Only Montana Has Big Skies
Big Sky in Tippecanoe

I headed home on 375W and 400W, and once again I was glad I got out.

Miles Ridden: 21.0

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Week Out of the Saddle

Roaring Fork Motor Trail
Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Smoky Mountains National Park

Hey! Remember me? I used to post here. Actually, I've got five rides to document from my weak notes - probably just mileage.

Anyway, I'm out of town this week and not riding, but I hope to get back in the groove on Monday. My family is vacationing in the Gatlinburg, TN area this week. I had planned on bringing a bike, but the logistics didn't work out. Once I got here and saw the layout, I'm glad I didn't bother.

Gatlinburg itself seems like a nice place, but we're not staying there. Our condo is in Sevierville, which is a long drive down the "Parkway" from Gatlinburg. Not since Las Vegas have I seen a more car-centric location. The Parkway is a four lane (plus turn lanes) highway with high speeds and no bike lanes. There are sidewalks that cross a multitude of streets and driveways. Plus, the traffic is thick. I drove my wife and daughter to an outlet mall about a mile away, and it took 10 minutes in each direction! If I had brought the bike, I wouldn't be able to use it for any travel to restaurants or other tourist spots.

It's likely that there are alternate routes that would be good for recreational rides, but as a tourist, I haven't been off the main drag.

Now, I should say right now that I could have done a little research to find cycling routes in this area. First, I should have contacted cyclist, mechanic, blogger, and Boilermaker Gatlinburg Spokejunkie for information. She describes great rides around the area, and I'm sure she would have had some great suggestions. Next time for sure!

This makes me wonder how visitors seen my town. I've written often about the great options I have. Since I live in the country, I can get to a quiet county road about 30 seconds from my front door. My commute to work and trips to shopping are easy and calm. I'm a lucky guy.

However, those passing through Lafayette/West Lafayette will see the foreboding traffic and inaccessible roads near the hotels next to the interstate, or the four lane racetracks around the mall - much like what I've seen here. While I find riding around campus to be easy, newbies may be intimidated. I know which two streets to avoid downtown to make any ride a breeze.

I guess my point is that there is potential for good riding just about anywhere, but we (especially me) should be more open to a little exploration before passing judgment. Next time I'm on vacation, I'm going to do the homework before hand, and take some rides to find the good stuff.

And, I'm going to give Gatlinburg another chance when we return someday. Also, I'd like to offer the Spokejunkie a chance for rebuttal. Drop me a note or leave a comment with your response.

Miles Ridden: 0