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.