Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Got it!

2000 miles in the books.

It was a challenge with the flat this morning. I was able to fix it before leaving work. I had an extra tube and tools (I carry a tube and tire tools, along with a mini tool on all my bikes) however, I only had a small mini pump. While is does work, it is a lot of work to fill a 32c tire. I have a full frame pump that I want to put on this bike, my commuter, but have not gotten around to it yet. Guess I will have to figure that out quick. I was lucky, a co-worker happened to have his floor pump in his car and that took care of it.

The culprit? A small bit of glasss or a pointy rock... I really couldn't tell. It looks like it had gotten stuck in the tire and worked it's way in. I couldn't feel it inside the tire, but confirmed that the hole in the tube matched the location in the tire. The lesson here... routinely check your tires for "stuff" heading in towards your tube.

So, I got out of the office a little later than I wanted.... sun was rapidly setting.
Took a longer route home to get the extra miles I needed to achieve my yearly goal. Rode back by Lake Lenexa... noticed the cool lights on the bridge, though I don't think the picture does them justice.

NW winds made the ride a bit gueling and the rapid dropping temp really cooled things down. I was running my new DiNotte light. Love this light. It is small and powerful and ran the whole time, to and from work. I ran my other light as well, a Nite Hawk dual haligen set up. It was out of juice by the end of the ride home... now it is only rated for an hour to an hour and a half, and I left the SLA battery outside all day, while the DiNotte was inside. (just found out that Nite Hawk is out of business... oh well, I've had these lights for a couple of years and they have plenty of use left.). I think the Nite Hawk would perform better if I had taken the battery inside. With the two systems, I have a good coverage for longer night rides using the DiNotte as the primary and adding the Nite Hawk during really dark stretches. Can't wait.

Sunset and the moon with the leafless tress made for an interesting shot.
One last note. I need to thank both Noah and C'Dude for their excellent KC based blogs. I have followed both for most of the year and they have really inspired me to continue this blog and to add photos. I have found that since starting this, it has motivated me to ride more, take more photos and try, many times poorly, to relate my cycling life in words. Thank you to both these guys for sharing their experiences.


Beautiful morning ride in to work... other than the flat with a mile to go. Was able to limp in but now I've got to change a tire before riding home. Stay tuned...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Getting closer...

Since the weather is cooperating, I decided to get out this afternoon for a quick little ride. About 12 miles, but it inces me closer to my goal.

22.74 miles to go.

I am planning on commuting tomorrow and take the long way home to wrap it up.

I remembered and took the camera today.... but there wasn't much to shoot.

A shadow shot...

Here is a shot of some potential "black ice". This is my nightmare.... hitting this stuff in the dark of the morning.
Tuesday promises to be a good day.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

34 to go...

Got in 21 today. Looks like 2 good rides, maybe both commutes, and my goal could be realized.

Thought it might be a stretch with the snow last night, but the warming sun did a number on the roads and it was very rideable in the afternoon. A couple of spots were slushy and there were a few wet spots that looked like they could be icy in the morning.... but no issues today.

I was fortunate enough to get some wool garments for Christmas. Wool socks and a wool jersey. This was the maiden trial and I was very pleased. Now it was only 40 degrees, so that is not terribly cold, but I dressed light and found myself plenty warm. I will try them out later this week with the cold morning commutes I am planning Tuesday and Wednesday. I will report on my findings. So far, I am impressed with wool.

Forgot the camera, again.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Went for a slog today. I define slog, at least in the riding context, as a difficult and unpleasant ride. Today it was SW winds at 25 mph or so. But my need for some miles meant a slog was in order.

I took off down towards Gardner. It was a great temperature day, but the wind was brutal. The cross wind was not bad while heading east or west, but the south head wind sucked. I planned the ride so that I could slog through the headwind down to Gardner on the way out and ride the tailwind, north back into DeSoto. The wind was indeed brutal going down, but the tailwind home was a hoot.

I rode the commuter bike today. Full fenders really helped keep much of the grime off the bike. Everything was wet and gritty and the bike is in need of a cleaning.... I will get right on that after tomorrows ride, since they are calling for rain in the morning.... so it may be a wet ride tomorrow.

A couple of notes regarding the wind.

1) When I rode around Gardner lake, I went along the Northern edge. The lake is still frozen.... so the 25 mph wind from the south meant for a 10 degree drop in temp right at the north side of the lake... that'll wake you up.
2) The wind is mental. Totally. It is harder riding and slower, but very ridable as long as you aren't trying to keep that blistering average speed. I took today in much better mental form that usual. Likely do to the need of the miles and the promise of the tailwind ride for the last 10 or so miles.
3) One of my favorite bike riding experiences is the change in sound you get when you turn with the wind. That noise of the wind in your helmet when riding into a head wind or a cross wind can be very tiring.... but turn so that the wind is at your back, and the wind goes silent.... all you hear is your tires on the road.... I love that sound, or lack of. Probably my favorite riding experience.

37 miles today... 55 to go.

Oh, and I forgot the camera.... doh.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Oh so cold...

So, Saturday.... cold and windy. Temp was 23 and a cold NW wind was blowing. I had to ride.... why? Well, here is my challenge.

I am trying to ride my bike, outside (no indoor miles count) a total of 2000 miles a year. Now, this is not as epic as some riders out there, but it is a realistic stretch goal for me. See, I travel for work, 98% out of state, I have 3 kids and a wife who works outside the home. So with travel, running kids around and schedule issues, I can't ride as much as I would like. I try to commute one day a week, which is all I really can manage, and that only happens about half the time. I am trying to increase that over the next year. I ride most weekends and ride year round. So, this year I am currently, as of today at 1908 miles. 92 to go.

92 is not too bad.... unless the roads stay snow and ice covered or the temps stay in the single digits. But, I am bound and determined to get those 92 miles.... and just by placing those words here, I am really committed to it. The last few years I have missed the 2000 mile goal by as little as 200 miles..... which is hard to make up in a few days. But this year I am SOOOO close... that I really want it. So stay tuned.

So, back to Saturday. 23 degrees, brisk NW winds. I bundle up like this....

and head out the door. Layers are:

  • Thick Balaclava
  • Helmet
  • Helmet cover

  • Thermax Turtle Neck
  • Long sleeve Jersey
  • Thin down vest (that my mother made from a kit 30 years ago)
  • Wind shell

  • Regular tights
  • Rain pants

  • Winter socks
  • Regular cycling shoes
  • Neoprene booties

  • Glove liners
  • Thick ski gloves

Roads are generally clear although on some of the lesser used roads there are patches of ice and such....
so I have to be careful. I found no issues with ice that I could not ride around or navigate with caution.

I did miscalculate one thing.... the NW wind was a tailwind going out.... so... of course.... a headwind coming home. And it got more intense as the ride went on.... doh. Add to that the cold toes I was experiencing and it was a miserable return.

Got home fine. Was plenty warm except for the feet. Toes were cold. Really need something different in the sock dept. These were not wool.

I also found that the layers I had one, while working fine for an hour and a half ride, would not have worked for a whole lot longer.... mainly due to the fact that I was condensing inside my layers and would have soon started to get cold. I think I need to invest in wool.

So, weather looks like this:
(OK, so it's hard to read) Looks like Friday, Sat and Sunday will be nice enough to get some miles in. I may be able to get a small ride in Monday or Wed., but with all the holiday stuff and I am working 3 days this week, I may have to rely on Friday, Sat and Sunday. I still think the 2000 is possible.... may the weather hold.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Boring little practice route....

Or not.

After yesterdays so-so ride, I was not wild about getting out today. I spent the morning doing more yard work so I really did not want to go out. I really find that I am better in the morning.... if I wait till the afternoon, I find I lose my motivation. But I know I needed the miles and the weather forcast looks cold and wet for the the coming week or so.

Anyway, I was planning a short hour ride on a 14-18 mile, boring route I use when I have limiter time. I took the commuter bike instead of my go fast bike, since I have been having flatting issue on the go fast. My route takes me east of K-7 on Prairie Star Parkway (95th Street) and passes over a new section of streamway trail. I have always wondered where the trail went and decided to take them today. The trail south went into the neighborhood and I continued around a loop that was part of my planned route that took me up by Smiley's golf course and back to Prairie Star Parkway.

When I got back to Prairie Star Parkway I went back to the trails, and headed North. What a nice stretch of trail. I am not a trail fan, not for serious riding, but this is close enough to my house that i could bring the kids. And, as I found out, it heads North to Lake Lenexa at Black Hoof Park. I had been to the area before, but never actually been to the dam or around the park. I took advantage of this ride, and rode all the way around the lake.

I wish I had the camera with me. I had left if at home since I was planning a boring route... dang it.

The dam is really something else. It is very artistic and I would love to see it when the water is flowing.... I can't even begin to describe it.

I continued around the lake on the "soft surface" trail on the south side of the lake... I am very glad I have the commuter... 32c tires make a huge difference, althought this trail is not MTB material by any means.

I really enjoyed exploring the lake area and in spit of my soreness from the weekend, oh, and the cold I seem to have.

We shall see what the folloing week brings for weather... I am traveling to Los Angeles mid week... maybe I can bring some sun back with me.

Not my best day...

Got out Saturday... I spent most of the day working around the yard. Thought I would wait for the day to warm up. I was somewhat sore from some furniture moving Friday night and all the yard work on Sat.

I took off and had a flat with within 2 miles of home. I thought about turning around and calling it quits. But I needed the miles and I am pretty good at fixing flats, so I decided to fix it and continue. Now, I rarely flat. I mean very rarely, but have flatted twice on the same tire in the last 100 miles. So maybe its time for me to look at new rim strips or other things.... but, I think it's the tires. These are continentals, some cheap on sale tires I bought early this year. They seem to pick up stuff... like small fragments of rocks that stay embedded and work their way into the tire and eventually puncture the tube. My last flat was a rock and this one seemed to be a rock as well..l small pointy rocks. I think new rim strips and new tires are in order.
SO.... I continued on. I felt so so and with the soreness from the furniture moving, I really felt weak. Add to that the head winds and I did not feel at my best.

I completed the 27 miles with no other issues and, while I did not feel my best, I was glad for the miles.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Annual Thanksgiving Day Ride

Every year I try to ride from my house to my mother in laws for a massive recovery meal. I live at the very western edge of Lenexa and she lives in Raymore. It is right at 41 miles by the route I have now ironed out.

So I took off in 33 degree calm air with the sun promising to warm things up. It was a fast warm up. I was peeling layers at the 6 mile mark.

I wore the following:
Short Sleeve Jersey
Arm Warmers
Long Sleeve Jersey
Wind shell w/ removable sleeves

Wind Front Tights

Cross Country Ski Gloves
Toe Covers

This is a bit light if it was going to stay in the low 30's however I knew it was going to get warmer.... I was surprised at how fast it warmed up. Turned out to be a fantastic day. Low to no wind and wonderful warming sunshine, low traffic counts and the promise of Thanksgiving dinner at the end.

My route has been a trial and error event, trying new routes each year. I don't often ride very far East of where I live, so I have used Google Maps to plan a route. This doesn't give me any traffic info and the trial and error has lead to eliminating much of the heavy traffic sections of the route. I have done a couple of busy sections of 135th and Highway 150 that I would care to avoid. And I did some major zig zagging North and South through neighborhoods as well. It has been hard in the past to navigate without a map/cue sheet and the actual route has always been slightly different than planned. Well, this year marks the first year in 6 or so that I finally have a steady route that I can repeat next year, is simple and that I now, basically, have memorized. 127th street is my basic East West route and is a fine road for riding.

The ride was uneventful, but was very much needed. Relaxing and a nice 41 miles to help me with my yearly count. Here is a shot of the Big Blue River from E. Blue Ridge Blvd.

Here is a curious donkey/burrow/ass (I don't know my beasts of burden) who, once I stopped to check him out, decided to check me out.... he came over to the fence to get a closer look while I took the picture.

Here is a shot of one of the roads South of Longview lake. Some really nice riding out here.

Interesting roadside debris. No I did not open it to see who was inside.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Short ride on Sunday

I got out for a short ride Sunday. With yard clean up (I live in a very wooded area... lots of leaves), kids schedules etc, I was only able to get out for a short ride. Got out early enough to try my winter layers.... I am good into the mid 20's. I was wishing for fewer layers by the time the sun was out.

Hoping to get out Thanksgiving for my annual ride from Lenexa to Raymore. Mapped the route today and found a couple of new ways to try. I will take the camera and report at length.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Still here...

I am still around and still riding. I have seen fewer miles and commutes in the last 3 weeks. I travel a fair amount for work and it tis the season for some trade shows etc.

I did manage a ride today in the wind. But what a nice day... I got out late morning for 28 miles and it was wonderful. This is one of my favorite times of the year to ride.

Got a new light I want to try out. A DiNotte... tested it out and it seems good. Will fire it up on the bike on my next commute.... MAybe this week....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend riding...

Got out for two short rides this weekend.

Saturday - Had planned a tandem ride with the wife in the morning... but we ended up sleeping late due to a late night. With other things going on, I was sent out alone for a brief 18 miles in the wind. Nothing special.

Sunday - I got the wife out with me in the afternoon for 18 on the tandem. It was nice to finally get her out to co-enjoy this sport I love. Took her on roads she had never been on. I still need to do some fit tweaking on the tandem for us both. Mainly, different seats.

It's supposed to get colder this weekend.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nice night for a ride....

Great weather out there. Rode tonight with a smaller than usual group. Got a late start from home and met them a little later than I had wanted. But, great temps and a nice night.

No camera, no photos, no more stuff to tell you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Octoginta report....

Did the Octoginta in Lawrence today. Nice day temp wise, although it did heat up a bit in the afternoon. But the winds were brutal. I saw many people taking off route shortcuts inorder to shorten the distance or avoid the headwind. I chickened out as well. Took a short cut at the 50 mile mark rather than face the headwind. It was a good move... I was pretty tapped from fighting the wind and was done.

63 miles, with some brutal headwinds stretches, some scary gusty sidewinds and a couple of epic tailwinds stretches.

Back to the grind tomorrow.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Got milk?

So, today, I did something I have never done on a bike. (No not that). I went and bought groceries. I know, for you urban commuters, this is common place. Taking a quick ride down to the store.... well out here in the ruralish western edge of Lenexa... a "quick ride to the store" is 14 miles round trip. And that is just because a store (Price Chopper at Woodland & K10) just recently opened.... and we needed milk, and... SPAM.

Here is the bike... locked up to a sign, cause there is no bike rack. Well, there is one, but I did not find it till I left.... it is conveniently placed at the far end of the store fronts. That's thinking.

I am so psyched for a grocery store in riding distance. So its not that I can bolt over to to the store anytime I need something, like if I lived in the urban core, but I can, with planning, ride to the store sometimes rather than drive. And that, is a start.

I have commented several times on the encroaching sprawl of suburbia. This first picture is looking north, the second is looking South. You can see the encroaching development that is eating up the fields and open spaces of Western Lenexa. If it wasn't for the recent market conditions, this would all be houses by now.

Ok, so... why the SPAM. Does anyone really eat the stuff?Why? What is really in it? I happened on a recipe for SPAM quiche... yup. Just had to try it. We had SPAM at home, but my wife had just donated to some food drive, so, I had to go by more SPAM.

Friday morning commute

Cold Friday morning commute. Felt like staying in bed. That's the problem with being an occasional commuter... it is so easy to fall back into that car commute.

I held fast and got out at 6:30. I was overdressed but was able to peel layers off as I went. This being the first year I have commuted into the dark hour and colder temps, I am still learning what works best to wear. I ride in the winter, but sunny days mean different clothes than dark mornings. That sun does a wonderful job with thermal energy on black tights. Not so much when it's dark.

Was back home at 6:32. Broke my chain at the end of the driveway. Rolled back into the garage and assessed the issue. Turns out my SRAM Power link came undone... huh? I don't know how that happened unless I just didn't quite have it together all the way. But, I rode the commuter bike on the Thursday night ride and was kinda "twitchy" and did not take it slow. So I would have expected it to blow then, not first thing in the morning. I only had one half of the link, the other was in the gravel driveway...somewhere.

Anyway, I had another one, put it on and by 6:40 was back out the door. Once I was up and out, I did not want the chain mishap to stop me.

Uneventful commute... saw a nice 6-8 point buck standing along the road. He moved in the shadows of the light and it freaked me out a bit. But was still cool.

On the way home, I went by Lake Lenexa. This is along Monticello between 83rd street and Prairie Star Parkway. Very nice area... they are still finishing up the road from 83rd South, but it is nice and traffic free for us bike types. This photo is looking East, complete with the required shadow rider.

Oh... I found the other half of the Power link in the gravel of the driveway. Not to shabby.

Riding into darkness....

Thursday nights, I ride with a group that rides all weather, all year. (Well, maybe not snow and ice or lightening) I am trying to make this a regular ride for me as I both really enjoy the group, and it adds 20-22 mile a week for me. My wife has been kind enough to allow me Thursday nights as a standing ride night.

I am able to get out and ride to the Thursday night ride (I am trying not to burn gas to get to a ride, if possible), plus since I can ride there and peel off towards the end of the ride, I get home sooner and get a few additional miles in.

So, right now, the start is at 6:30 and is light but we soon descend into darkness. I have been getting great use from my lights, both on Thursdays and on my Friday commute.

This photo is the long shadow cast when riding east at 6 PM on Oct. 2. I love the shadow on the road in front of you as you ride... almost a mirror of sorts.

This is a fuzzy photo of the ride home after it gets dark. The fuzziness is a result of the camera, but adds a degree of reality due to the weird way the lights and movement in the dark make a weird little light tunnel. you feel you are in a little world all your own and the darkness almost doesn't exist.

It was amazing how fast the temperature dropped once the sun went down. It was nice in the upper 60's till the sun went down , then it seemed to get to the low 50's in about 10 min. The route I take home is back roads, somewhat rural (although soon becoming suburban), and goes through several rolling hills. When I would hit the bottom of these rollers, the temperature was noticeably lower... maybe 5 or so degrees. It was pretty cool.... pun intended.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm still here....

Not much riding recently. Out this last weekend camping at Camp Naish in Bonner Springs. I attended an adult Boy Scout Leader training. Killed the weekend rides. But it was a good training session, and, of course, every scout deserves a trained leader.

I did get out for a great ride last Thursday evening with the usual Thursday night group. All the lights were so cool.... I had not taken the camera. Bummer. I will take it this Thursday and see if I can get some shots of all the blinky taillights.

I commuted again on Friday, but managed to walk out without the camera. Really nice day as well.

I really love the fall season with the cool mornings, the orange eastern sky and the fall colors. It looks like the weather is going to hold for this weekends Octoginta in Lawrence. It has been a few years since I have done the Octoginta and I am looking forward to it. When I was in college, way back in 1980, I did the Octoginta as my very first organized pay ride. I figured since I rode my bike all over campus and such, 80 miles would be no big deal... The octoginta has, historically, been prone to windy years. Some years are nice with mild winds, and some have those brutal stretches of head wind. In 1980, it was one of those brutal windy days. Add that to my woeful lack of distance preparation, and overall unfamiliarity with how to ride that distance, how to draft, ow to eat.... well, I bonked hard and even developed shin splints. I had trouble walking the next day and was miserable. I distinctly remember riding the last 5 or so miles, into a driving headwind and realizing I had no lower gears.... I was just grinding, on the small ring, big in back, but it was still felt like I was climbing a long hill... yet I was on the flats. Miserable.

May this coming Sunday be a continual tailwind...

(and how is it that winds in Kansas are always a head wind? I have done rides, where I planned to go into the wind on the way out and to come back with the wind, only to have it switch bloody directions.... I don't get it.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Commuted today... great morning

Got to use the lights for my commute this morning. Really a very nice morning, cool, calm, nice sky. First time I have been able to commute with significant light use.
This is looking east... the lights are intergalactical cyclists.... or street lights from, yet another, half built, Shawnee subdivision slowly eating away all the farm fields and scenery.

I should point out that I am an occasional commuter. Due to work, travel and having 3 kids and a working wife, I am not able to commute very often. 1-2 times a week is all I can plan and usually it is once a week at best. While this is pitiful compared to those "real" commuters blogging out there, it is the best I can do. I intend to commute more by commuting when I can, year round. I am a year round cyclist now, and plan to work the commutes in also.

I really like the ride to work (about 7.5 miles). I am not as wild about the ride home (11 miles). I think it is due to being tired at the end of the day and the increased traffic. I just don't find myself as jazzed up for the ride home as I do for the ride to work. Maybe if I can get out and commute more regularly it would help.Ok, so how is it that the ride to and from work are different distances? Well, coming to work I have to navigate the very western end of Shawnee Mission Parkway heading east over K7. Not too bad in the morning at 6:30 or 7. However, heading West on Shawnee Mission Parkway at 5 pm over K7, while only a 1/2 mile or so, into the sun, doesn't thrill me. So rather than risk that stretch of hell, I go North about 2 miles and cross K7 at Johnson Drive (55th). This allows me a more sane stretch of road, less time in heavy traffic and 4-5 extra miles. This makes the total commute about 18.5. I can use the miles.

Here is the bike, loaded. Clothes in one rear bag. Laptop and stuff in the other. Front bag has a cable, battery for the lights, jacket, camera.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Love the fall....

Weather was perfect tonight for an evening ride. I love this time of year. Cool mornings and nights and warmer days. Probably my favorite time of year.

One down side, it is getting dark so much sooner that by 7 pm, if not sooner, lights are needed. I got to try out my new Planet Bike Superflash... really a very bright and cool light. I spent some etime on the Planet Bike web site and decided I really like the company... products, philosophy etc. (I am not affiliated with Planet Bike at all, other than owning a few of their products).

Anyway, I am riding Thursday nights with a group that rides year round. SO I will have a chance to get out and do some night/dark riding. I am looking forward to using my lights and determining what works best. I currently run 3 tail lights, reflectors and one set of dual headlights. I guess I am more concerned with someone not seeing me from behind than the front.

I am commuting tomorrow morning and going to attempt to get some photos.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, rain, go away....

No riding this weekend... lots of rain. Maybe this week....

Monday, September 8, 2008


This past weekend was the MS150. This is the ride that got me into cycling. 8 years ago I decided to get back into shape and decided that bicycling was the way. I had cycled heavily as a kid and all through college (a bike was my only transportation for several years and my main transportation to classes for all my years at KU). I had just started playing on an over 30 indoor soccer team and after several games, I would hurt (mainly my legs, but the rest of me and my ego all had pains) for several days. So I decided that I would get out the bike and ride.

My first year started on my mountain bike and I set a goal of 600 miles. If I hit it I would buy myself a road bike. 640 miles later, I had a red Lemond Buenos Aires. I still ride it today. My next years goal was to do the MS150. My father in law has MS and I wanted to ride for him, but also for me. I have ridden 7 years now (well, 6, I was sick last year, but still turned in $1800). So, enough with history, on to this year....

Here is the start....

I ride with Team Lockton. We started the morning a little late and it was cool.... temps in the mid 50's. No wind... truly a great beginning.

I like to get out in front of the crowd. So we tend to blow by the first rest stop and only hit every other one after that. I am a "fast recreational rider"... meaning I can go at a good clip but I'm no hammerhead. We were targeting the 100 mile loop today and decided to go together in a smaller group of 4 of us.

We of course picked up others along the way. The day continued cool and windless and was wonderful. Here is a typical reststop... more or less... this was lunch.
I rigged up a camera case on the bike similar to the setup Noah uses to document his blog (KC Bike Commuting). Noah, though he doesn't know it and we have never met, has been my inspiration to start this blog and to attempt to add photos to the narrative.

Here is the only way I was able to finish the 100 miles fast (18.7 mph) and in good spirits. A paceline is a wonderful thing... as are strong riders.
Party in Sedalia Saturday night. We tented next to the band. Earplugs.... I never travel without them.Sunday morning.... it looked like about half the riders chose the one day route of 80 or 100 miles and did not want to tackle the 80 mile day two ride back to KC.
Day two saw a smaller paceline and cooler temps. Looked like it was gonna bust open and pour for a good portion of the morning, but finally with about 60 miles under our belt the sun peaked out for a few minutes and was gone.

Here is the luggage pile back in Raymore/Peculiar....

182 miles. 18 average. Survived and actually felt good.

Lessons learned:
Good riding buddies are gold.
Weather makes a huge difference.
Ride. Ride. Ride.

and take more pictures... they help jog the memories as we march to senility.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sept. 1st - Getting ready for the MS150

Busy weekend. Last opportunity to get some miles in prior to the MS150 on the 6th and 7th.

Saturday - Did a 50 mile loop from Shawnee to Bonner Springs to DeSoto down to Olathe. Stopped in DeSoto to watch the "DeSoto Days Parade". Small towns are a hoot. Lots of politicians running for various offices.

Sunday - Got 60 in with Gardner, Olathe, Overland park and Lenexa all seeing some miles. Rode with a couple of friends and let one of them pick the route in southern OP since that is not my area (I am a Western Joco, Gardner, Shawnee, Lenexa, DeSoto, Bonner, Tongie, Eudora guy). We had to do a mile on Black Bob North through the 143rd street intersection. I really don't like driving in that kind of traffic. It was a rush, hammering to keep up and dodging the cars making right turns, but really not how I like to ride. Scary, exhilerating all at the same time.

Monday - I decided to not ride Monday.... this is a "tapering" week for the MS150 on Sat/Sun. I have read that you should taper 5 days to a week before a big ride. The MS150 is my bike ride. I don't have the opportunity to get out and ride that many longer pay rides or centuries each year. My mileage goal is a modest 2000 a year adn i sometimes have trouble hitting that. So year to date I am about 1200 miles, and that makes the 160-180 miles of the MS150 my "bike ride". This year I am not feeling the strength I have in prior years.... likely the result of a low mile year last year, a slow start this spring and more 30-50 mile training rides than anything in the 70-90 range.

So, no riding this week. Got the bike all tuned and ready to go, figured out a way to carry the camera so I can easily get at it and will try my luck at adding pictures to my post ride post.

Monday, August 25, 2008

No riding.... Traveling

Well I am off the bike for a few days due to a Trade Show in Orlando. It's been very wet here. Tropical storm, hurricane wanna be Fay has played havoc on Florida for the past week to 10 days.

I wish I could find a way to work a travel bike into the fleet and find the time to ride while traveling. I did get a good workout in on Sunday on the stationary bike in the hotel fitness center... I guess that will have to do.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday night ride....

I am, basically, a recreational rider. Riding for physical and mental health and fun. Thursday night, there is an unpublished ride out of Bass Pro Shop in Olathe. 20 mile route 2 different speeds. Its a great group. It's the only shot I have at riding during the week (other tahn commuting, which I only can do, maybe, one day a week, and hit and miss at that) what with all the kid activities and driving that needs to be done... scouts, volleyball, 4H, swimming, Gymnastics, dance.... So I really enjoy being able to get out for this great ride with great people.

Tonight I rode with the fast group and felt great. One of the regulars, a commuter and single speed rider, is usually out front. He is a strong rider and gets way more miles than I do. I was able to hang with him this evening with out feeling that I was going to puke or pass out. Really a good night. Temps were great and the wind was not a factor.

One major observation... the sun is not staying in the sky a long in the evenings. This is a sign that the summer is waining and the cycling season is trending towards its close. Now, I am a full year cyclist, trying to ride every month of the year. Cold temps are not an issue (down to say 30 degrees) but wind and snow and ice will drive me off the road. (I can't believe I am talking about snow and ice in August).

The realization for me, tonight, was that I feel my cycling ability and training for the year is just kicking in and I am in reasonable form, finally, yet, the days are getting shorter, the kids are back in school and "fall" is approaching.

A note: the temps have been great the last few weeks. I hope this trend holds at least through the upcoming MS150. We shall see....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is my commuter bike...

My commuting is occasional, at best. The duties of a traveling job and 3 kids means "other" things keep me from commuting as much as I would like.

About the bike: Soma Fabrications Double Cross CycloCross frame (steel is real), handme down 7 speed Shimano 105 double with old school down tube shifting, Mavic 32 spoke rims with 32c tires, Blackburn rear rack, cheapo front rack. Planet Bike Fenders, Brooks saddle and Avid Canti brakes. Rides very stable, but not a fast bike. Makes my weekend rides on the Lemond seem like a Ferrari.

I have not done much with headlights yet. My commute is 7 miles in and 11 coming home (due to route choices to avoid major traffic roads and 5 pm drivers). Soon, with the waining daylight, I should get the chance to try out lights soon.

Opening entry

Ok, so I am not sure what I am going to do with this forum but we shall see what becomes of this.