Saturday, May 31, 2008

Afternoon Ride Into Town

I had to make a stop at the office to handle a couple of things, then I met my wife and daughter at Borders.

Miles Ridden: 9.0

Progress Towards Goal

Today is the last day of the month, and I'm once again behind on my mileage goal. So, my inspiration to ride today was all about numbers, not about fun.

It took me until 9:00 to finally get out of the house, and because of the already strong west winds, I started down Division Road. Not five minutes into the ride, I almost ran over a little bird, who looked like he had just left the nest for the first time. Since he was blending in well with the asphalt, it took a last minute lurch to the left to avoid squashing him.

Farm on 700W
Farm on 700W

It was tough riding into the headwinds going west, and then up the hills on 700W. (I basically followed the Lilly Road route, except that I headed east on 300S to Shadeland, rather than using 200S.) It was the east heading portion of the ride that got interesting. Those nasty headwinds became friendly tailwinds, as I was pedaling in almost my highest gear without working very hard. For several miles, I was sustaining 20+ MPH. Plus, since most of it was a new road for me, I had interesting things to look at.

Quilters Harvest
Quilters Harvest

Now, I know you probably think that all of my photos look the same ("Oh look, a picture of a horse! What a surprise!"), but I saw some neat fields I wanted to capture, but I was having too much fun moving down the road to stop. Maybe next time.

Creek on Lilly Road

Creek on Lilly Road
Which Creek is Cooler?

I had only driven through Shadeland on the highway, but I've never stopped before. Today, I learned that there wasn't much to stop for, and I didn't hang around long. A quick jog up 250W brought me back to Lilly Road and the normal route.

My Favorite Divided 4 Lane Highway
High Speed Bike Lane

After speeding down the hill on US231, I was back into the headwinds on River Road towards home. However, by this time, I was in a much better mood than when I started.

Miles Ridden: 20.6 (not quite enough)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Early Morning

The neighbor and I planned to get out before work today, but he had to bail because of a sore back. I went solo to the bridge and back.

Miles Ridden: 9.1

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Short One

Bike Rack Buddy
Bike Rack's Getting Crowded

I got caught by the rain once again. I'm starting to lose confidence in Kelly Greene's forcasts.

At first, I was upset about having to abort, but then I remembered that I still had a good ride in this morning.

Miles Ridden: 3.5

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kramer? Not Again!

As we did a couple of weeks ago, the neighbor was planning a ride to Kramer again today. While the ride was nice last time, I didn't want to hang out there for several hours before returning. So, I told him I'd ride part way, maybe 15 miles, and then turn around. We decided to ride the south portion of the Independence route, so I ended up doing the whole route (clockwise).


As I was leaving Independence, I rode past Cicott park. There was a young boy there with his family having a picnic. This little kid had two orange balloons and was running around screaming in joy. When I passed him, he said "Hey, want a balloon?". I declined, and told him to enjoy his party.

Abandoned House
Abandoned House

There was a pretty good headwind on the south portions riding out, and the east portions coming back. My legs were pretty much dead about 10 miles before I got back, but I just kept pedaling. My mind kept rehearsing the phone call to my wife asking her to come pick me up, but I never actually dialed.

Miles Ridden: 33.0

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Around Town While on the Clock

Beautiful Morning

Rode to work, to a meeting on the north side of town, and to lunch.

Miles Ridden: 18.1

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Spring Fling

My employer ran "Spring Fling" today, which is kind of a field day for adults. My team won the trivia contest.

Miles Ridden: 10.0

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Busy Weekend

Winter Wheat
The Winter Wheat is Coming In Nicely

I didn't have much time to ride this weekend, but today I found time to run down to the bridge and the fort. I wish I would have had hours to ride, but I only got 45 minutes.

High Water
The River is High

Miles Ridden: 10.2

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bike Week - Day 5

Today is the official Bike to Work Day in Indiana (not sure who declared it, as there were no local observances), but I celebrated Bike to Work Half Day. Because I didn't plan ahead well enough, I wasn't able to ride in this AM. However, by noon it was warmer and drier (and I wasn't late), so I rode the bike back after lunch at home.

Yesterday's soaking left the seat on my Trek 820 dripping wet still today, so I took the road bike in. It's a great bike to ride when wearing the appropriate clothing and shoes, but the Haggar slacks and shiny black leather shoes were not the best ensemble. With just a thin layer of gabardine (and cotton boxer briefs) between me and the seat, I felt all the bumps. Plus, my Rockports were sliding all over the pedals, and my feet slipped off once. Still, I got to work unscathed.

I still can't bring myself to leave the Pilot on the rack, so it accompanied me down to the office.

I came home on the North Work Route, and saw the Wabash River Cycling Club Friday evening 'C+' ride leaving from Burstfield school. They dropped me pretty quickly.

I'd like to send out a big thank you to the drivers of the 4B Purdue West bus route, as they always refrain from passing me on the narrow stretch of Lindberg Road. After about half a mile, I pulled over in a turn lane to let her pass, and found that there were over 10 cars waiting behind the bus. I had to wait a little bit before I could merge back into the lane.

The headwind picked up on that last portion of the ride, but I hammered through and made it home in average time.

Miles Ridden: 11.9

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bike Week - Day 4 - Abort!

It was a gamble. The local morning weathercaster, Kelly Greene, said that the change of showers this afternoon was low, with spotty showers at best that wouldn't affect most areas. Instead, at 5:00 I looked at the radar to find the entire 7 county area covered in green, with a large yellow band passing over my town. As I tried to guess when the rain would slow down enough for me to ride home, my wife called from the parking lot in the pickup. There's no way I'm going to turn down a ride in a pickup with a cute babe for a wet, cold, windy bike ride. It has been raining all night since!

Miles Ridden: 3.5

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bike Week - Day 3

Rain Out!

Miles Ridden: 0.0

My Blogroll is Too Long

The list of bike related blogs that I read is constantly growing. Whenever I run across a new site, I add it to my Google Reader list, and I now spend way too much time each day trying to read everything.

I put the blame for my situation on the RocBike site. Jason and the rest of the gang put up loads of great posts, and even publish the occasional podcast, but what gets me in trouble are the Links of the Day posts. Along with links to cycling related news articles, I find a new site to follow almost every day.

I may have to start pruning the list.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bike Week - Day 2

A little different route today, as I rode to a meeting after lunch, and then after work I pedaled up to the stadium and Cherry Lane before coming home on SR26 and Newman Road.

Horses at Sunrise
Horses at Sunrise

Miles Ridden: 12.1

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bike Week - Day 1

Horse After Work

Miles Ridden: 8.2

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Old Fashioned United Baptist Church
Old Fashioned United Baptist Church in Independence

The neighbor called Friday night with an interesting proposition. His wife was going to a picnic/gathering type thing in the country north of Kramer today. We could ride out there (about 30 miles), grab some lunch, and then ride back with his wife in the RAV4. I've got no plans, so let's do it!


Kramer is an unincorporated town north of Attica, IN - probably just a gathering of a few houses, but I didn't actually see it today. So, our ride started on the Independence route to the southwest. (I just noticed that I called last year's ride the vulture loop. And like last year, we were fortunate enough to pass a flock of vultures devouring a deer carcass. Lovely!) We continued along Independence Road until it met SR55. Taking the highway north, we turned west onto CR250N, which snaked around until it was called 300N. After crossing Big Pine Creek, we found the gravel path back to Warren Piece.


Warren Piece is an interesting deal. A group of ecologically minded folks formed a group that bought this 100 acre piece of land in Warren County (hence the name), and they are now members of whatever the group is - LLP maybe - who can use the land for camping, gardening, etc. Two of the group members live across the road (and probably get the most benefit). The land is nestled in a bend of Big Pine Creek and is mostly wooded. Another part is a wetland area. Overall, it is a nice place to enjoy nature and quiet.

Big Pine Creek Rapids
Big Pine Creek in Warren County

We had a great ride, and great food at the end. Plus, I spent 20 minutes talking with the local Obama campaign office manager, who was getting ready to move on to Montana.

I need more days like this.

Catching a Ride Home
Catching a Ride Home

Miles Ridden: 30.4

Friday, May 09, 2008

Unicycle Guy Strikes Again

Hey, remember the Purdue unicycle guy I mentioned in my RAGBRAI post? He was wearing a Purdue Cycling Team jersey that day, and I yelled out "Hey! Purdue guy!" startling him to the point where he almost fell over. We talked a little bit about how tough it was to ride a single speed unicycle for 70 miles a day, and I offered to buy him supper than night. However, we never ran across each other again.

Anyway, today I was walking out of my office building when I saw a guy on a single speed with another tied to his back. I made a stupid joke about having a spare, and he said he was on his way to some bike event and he thought someone else may need a bike. Then, he said he was used to having people talk to him since he usually rides a unicycle. That's when I recognized him. I said "I talked to you in Iowa", and he answered "Right". Although, I'm guessing he talked with a lot of people that week, and it's unlikely he remembered me.

I wonder if it's him in this photo as well.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Election Day

I went by the library to vote before work today. With all of the talk about high gas prices, mine was the only bike in the rack.

Miles Ridden: 11.2

Monday, May 05, 2008

Like Noodles

After longer rides on Saturday and Sunday, I found my legs to be a little weak today. The ride home, even though I took the direct route, seemed to take for ever.

Since I was driving up to another campus today, I rode to the transportation garage to pick up the University car. Rather than trust my bike to be safe all day on the scroungy rack outside the office, I pulled off the wheels and stuck everything in the trunk. The bike rode quietly in the back all day.

Miles Ridden: 7.2

Tomorrow, I ride to the polls!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Could Have Been a Great Story

The neighbor and I decided on taking an extended ride this AM. We hadn't really decided where to go until we started rolling, and we made a couple of executive decisions during the ride. With almost no wind, it didn't really matter which way we went. With starting temps a little below 40, I was glad for the calm.

We ended up heading down to West Point. After a quick chat with the greyhound owner on 700W, we headed south. I remembered the route I took last July, but today I took us down 200S rather than 300S. We met a couple of neat dogs, including a very persistent dachshund, and what may have been a standard poodle/black lab mix. The 'poodlador' (didn't really look like a labradoodle) was barking at first, but he came up to me when I stopped. About a half mile down the road, we were at the intersection of dead end and gravel road, so we turned back. At the correct road, we turned west again and made our way to West Point.

It's fun being on a bike rather than in a car, since we can see much more. The next couple of dogs we saw looked familiar, and I figured out that I was near a former co-worker's place. We stopped to make fun of someone's bumper stickers, and made a quick stop at Keller's Country Crossing. They serve breakfast six days a week, so we may go back on a Saturday some day.

Coming back home, I noticed that I was getting a sore spot under my right glove. I raised my hand to check underneath when the neighbor yelled "WHOA"! I looked up and saw a large buck about 40 feet ahead. With my rear brake hand away from the lever, I had to move quickly to stop in time. He jumped across the road and continued running to the other side of a large field as his (at least) two friends still in the trees decided not to cross and instead bolt back into the woods. That would have been quite a story to tell if I had hit a deer while on a bike.

Our hearts were beating heavy for the next mile or so. By the time we returned home, the temp had risen to the mid-50s. Not a bad day for a ride.

Miles Ridden: 25.2

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I had some errands on the east side of town today, so I hopped on the Trek 820 with a couple of panniers hanging off the rack.

My first stop was at the cable company office to sign up for digital phone service. Unfortunately, it's not as easy I had hoped, so I left with no service. I also stopped at a shoe store down the street, which didn't have anything I wanted in my size. The trip was a bust.

Famous Footwear Has No Bike Rack
Famous Footwear Has No Bike Rack

But, the big story was the drivers. None of the streets in Lafayette have bike lanes, and I don't really want to use them anyway. However, it would have been nice today to have a refuge. I was on several 4 lane streets, including McCarty Lane and Creasy Lane. Despite having plenty of room, many drivers seemed to want to pass very close, often trying to share the lane when there wasn't room to do so. It happened too many times.

The best muppet was the guy in the brown Tahoe on Main Street. At the intersection with 9th street, I was stopped in the straight lane, and he pulled up in the left turn lane. As the light turned green, he proceed to go straight instead of turning. We both gave each other looks like the other was an idiot. (Of course, he really is one.)

Things got better as I was able to meet my wife and son at Moe's for lunch. I ate a too large serving of nachos.

The strong headwind on the way home, along with the gut full of Mexican food, made the last five miles go pretty slow. However, I felt pretty good once I arrived home.

Miles Ridden: 22.8

Klinker v. LBT
We'll Never Know the Rest of the Story
(as seen on Kossuth Street)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Something Borrowed

The neighbor and I took a morning ride today. Before we left, he was telling me about how he had found his rear tire flat last night and had pumped it up. Then he noticed that it was flat once again. So, he grabbed his daughter's bike for the ride.

She has a Trek 7.3FX, which seems like a nice commuter/urban bike. However, he had a little trouble using the frame that was purchased to fit a small 14 year old. He was working pretty hard to keep the speed up.

We headed west on Division Road and climbed Indian Creek Hill before reversing the route back home.

Best part: I wore the perfect set of clothes for the conditions.

Miles Ridden: 11.2