Sunday, November 1, 2009


What a wonderful weekend for riding. Temps where great and the sun was out.

I got in two good rides and was able to hit my yearly goal of 2000 miles today. I will have the best year of bike riding so far.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Yes, I am still here.

Wow. Been a while since I have posted. The summer go away from me and combined with heavy work travel and the end of our year, I fell off the blogging bandwagon.

I have continued to ride, and for those of you who followed my goals last year, my 2000 mile a year goal is easily in reach this year. Currently I am at 1855 and am trying to get to 2000 by the end of October.

I won't promise, but am going to try and post more regularly and get teh camera back on the bike with me.

We shall see...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Allergies suck

I suffer from seasonal allergies and they crop up about this time every year. This last week has been miserable and I have been having such a hard time with them this year that I haven't ridden much in the last week, nor done much else. This weekend was beautiful and I decided to lay low and take care of stuff around the house and myself. I have a very busy travel schedule the next week including a trip to Vegas for a trade show, and a trip to Orlando for both vacation and a trade show.

I had intended to do the Lone Star today but was pretty hammered this morning by the sinus stuff.

I did get out an do the Corporate Challenge Time Trial on thursday night. Bout kicked my ass with this allergy stuff. Turned in a respectable time of 6:21 for the 2.6 mile course, besting my prior years time of 6:38. Not bad for an old man suffering from allergies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What a day... oh crap another flat....

What a day. Twas perfect for a ride. I managed a nice 58 miler, longest to date, had a great time. Looped from my house (very western edge of Lenexa) to DeSoto, Linwood, Tonginoxie, Lawrence and back.

The day started out kind of chilly. I was dressed almost perfect for the mid 40's start and enjoyed the rapid ramp in temp. I did find myself somewhat overdressed by the end of the ride and found a cool new useful trick. I recently read that a standard toe clip strap can be very useful as a tie down/strap for holding thing on a bike. I had been carrying a small bunge cord but swapped it out for the Toe strap. When I peeled off the tights I was able to roll them up and strap them to my aero bars with the toe strap. It worked really well. Stable, and out of the way.
On my return home, I have a grueling hill to ascend right before my house. I was tired from the ride and was mentally preparing myself for the hill for about 5 miles as I approached it. I got a good start and was making my way up when I became distracted by yet another flippin flat.... the front was going down. Now, I have had a huge number of flats on these tires. So many that in the last 1000 mile I have had more flats than in 14ooo prior miles. I had swapped out hte rear tire several weeks ago for an older tire since it had flatted the most. But now the front flatted. All of these have been small objects picked up and slowly driven through the tire into the tube. I blame it on the soft sticky nature of these tires (Continental UltraSports). This time it was a small bit of metal wire.... like a staple.
(Its the u shaped thing towards the center of the tire). Anyway, the flat came about halfway up the hill and I was determined not to stop on the hill so I powered up the hill, flat and all and stopped at the top to add air for the last mile to my house.

Funny, as I was pumping the tire up, another rider came up the hill, a friend from my office. It is a small world.

Today put me over 700 miles YTD. An excellent start over my usual YTD progress.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bike To Work Week - Day Four - Bike Vice

I was unable to ride Tuesday or Wednesday.... due to work commitments. But today... was a perfect day.

Chilly start to the day but I love the crisp cool mornings. They really help get the day started well. A little bit of wind on the return trip home. I shot this around Lake Lenexa. Can you spot my two vices?
Well, maybe not my only two vices.

I have watched the weather all day for Friday. Right now it is looking rainy... we shall see.

Oh, the two vices... coffee cup in the bottle holder and the 6 pack of beer on the rear rack.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bike To Work Week - Day One

Day One - Bike to Work Week 2009

I got a pretty good day in to start a week that I hope will bring me 3-4 commutes. This morning, while brisk, was very pleasant and held a beautiful fog wrapped sunrise that I would show you here had I taken the camera. Shame on me.

I did not ride home today, instead I rode from the office at K7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway out to 75th and I35 to pick up a rental car for a business trip to Wichita Tuesday. This accounted for 18 miles total for the day.

I have managed to get a good group of folks riding at work.... not a huge % but at least a respectable showing. Most days there are no bikes in the racks, today there were 3 in the racks and 2 more stashed in the stairwell.

No ride tomorrow, but we'll see what the Wednesday weather holds in store.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dark Side Ride -Success

Well, its in the bag. Another successful Dark Side Ride. Ryan, Di, Kim, Dave and Terri, Gene and I headed out from Kill Creek Park for a very pleasant ride. The weather had been iffy all week and there was supposed to be rain Friday night. But, the cycling gods smiled (smirked is better due to the return winds) and we had a clear, rain free night.

The route we used was part of the Kill Creek Park ride I used to lead with Mark Scrivner from Kill Creek Park to Gardner, Edgerton and Eudora. We did the 33 mile loop that took us South to Gardner, West to Edgerton and North back to the park. The KCP ride used to run one Sunday a month but we have gotten out of sorts on scheduling and really need to revive it. It was always a well recieved ride, if not well attended.

Anywho, we had a nice sunset beginning to the ride as we headed out and down to Gardner. A quick sag at a store just before crossing over I-35 (turned out to be the only sag) and darkness was completely upon us. We turned West on 199th and we were in the dark, low traffic roads that are perfect for this kinda ride. The moon was perfect... clear sky, beautiful full moon.

Heading West on 199th was supposed to take us to Edgerton, however, a bit of bridge construction has the road closed. We tried to see if we might still make it across as cyclists, but turned back. We detoured North on Four Corners road to 175th then West to hit Edgerton road. This was a fine detour and caused no real issues, other than eliminating the SAG in Edgerton at Dee's Mini Mart. I was planning to refuel there and really needed a little something, and Gene came to my rescue with a granola bar.

Edgerton Road north started the real slog into the wind. It was supposed to taper off from the 10-14 mph range when we started to a 6-7 range around 9 PM. But I think it went the other direction. It was a bit gusty and seemed to stay in that mid teens range. It managed to split us up a bit but everyone buddied up and no one rode alone.

We managed to get back to the park at 10:45 which allowed us to get out of the park before the 11 PM closing time.

Great ride with great people. Thank you all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't tell...

Snuck out for a little ride late this afternoon. It was a wonderful warm day with just a little wind. The above is Lake Mize in Lenexa. Off of Cedar Creek North of K10, West of K7. Nice little loop around the lake. Rumor has it that the fishing here is good.

Did want to point out the following...This little wet spot almost killed me. I came through it fine but there is a little turn to the left after the water (where I am standing taking the picture). The water has made a little slimy coating on the pavement and it is very slick My front wheel did fine but the rear decided to suddenly track about 3 inches further to the right. I caught it but rode very carefully through the rest of these along the path. There were a great many places like this across the pathways.

Lets be careful out there.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dark Side Ride

Dark Side Ride! What a blast.

I have wanted to do one of these rides since I first saw a post on Noah's excellent blog, KC Bike Commuting, about a night ride loosely associated with the full moon cycle (June Moon Ride). That one went through my riding grounds, my hood, DeSoto, and I thought it sounded like a great ride. So I have been watching for the next one and had to miss an October ride due to business travel. I was very pleased that this night worked out for me and I was able to make this one.

It was a perfect evening for a ride. Rain was forecast but held off for the full ride. Temps were cool and the wind was light. And it was dark. A good 15 or so folks showed up and took part in the ride.

CommuteDude put together a great route heading out from Spring Hill to Belton and back. Rolling hills and rural, it kept traffic to a minimum and allowed us a safe route to enjoy the dark and quiet night. He stressed safety issues in the emails leading up to the ride and as we gathered for the start... something I think all rides should do more of. Promoting and stressing proper riding techniques (calling car back, moving single line, stop signs, following road rules) and safety gear (proper lighting front and rear, reflective gear) is very important to promoting our sport and those who are less experinced need the reminders and the sharing of "tricks of the trade".

I am looking forward to another of these great night time escapes. Nice job, Kieth. Thanks.

NYC in photos

A couple of bike related photos from my recent NYC business trip. I would have loved to get out on a bike in the traffic.
Ok, so the last one isn't really bike related... or is it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bike utilitarianism...

So, I got 2 rides in today. Both strictly for utilitarian means.

My van (yes, I drive a mini-van, and am very comfortable with my manliness) was scheduled to go into the show today. So, I took the bike and rode home. About 13 miles. A bit on the chilly side at 7:30 but by 8:15, the sun was warming things right up.

I did have a flat on the way home. I hate my current tires (Continental Ultra Sports). Repeated flats.... actually, more flats in the last 1000 miles than in the 10,000 miles before. These tires are very soft and sticky and pick up anything within feet of my path. I have picked more sharp rocks, glass etc out of them. I have a replacement set of Hutchinson tires I am going to try next. I never had any issues with Michelins. Anyway, rant over...

I scheduled to work at home and meet the plumber and fridge repair guys and then ride back to get the van this afternoon. I got to ride back, only to pick up the loaner car since the van was not done. I am off to NYC tomorrow, and back late Thursday night... so I'll drive the loaner back to get the van.

It was a wonderful day to be on the bike... both times.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Getting back into regular posting

I am trying to get back in the habit of regular ride posts and photos.

I got out on Saturday for a great, but short, ride. The Kansas weather rollercoaster continues and spring may actually have sprung.... but with it the rain.

Saturday was wonderful. Very little wind and warm temps in the mid 60's. I missed a chance for a ride with some friends in the morning due to kid duties, but got out for a short 20 miler to keep things flowing.

The coming week looks rainy and nasty. We will see how the coming Dark Side Ride and the Spring Classic turn out.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Strawberry Century March 28th... in Florida.

I had the opportunity to visit my father while he was recovering from some surgery. He lives in Orlando and I travel to Orlando several times a year for business. I was going to be in Orlando for a week and decided to look for a used road bike and do some riding while there. I was able to arrange for a spot in my fathers garage for the bike and I thought "hey, an excuse for yet another bike".

So I started scouring Craiglist Orlando looking for a bike. I called several of the local shops and found a number of shops but none had much in the the way of used bikes. There were a number of possible options on craigslist and decided to wait until I got there to actually get one. (I did find one at a pawn shop and asked my Dad to pick it up... when he got there, they were being raided by federal marshals for dealing in stolen gift cards). I found a guy who sells a bunch of used bikes... all kinds and he had a older aluminum Trek 1000 is reasonable shape. So I picked it up and started a brief once over, including repacking wheel bearings and putting new rim strips, bottle holder, pedals etc. Some seat adjustments, lube, and some test riding got me a reasonable bike.

I had started looking for a local ride or route. I had a great experience in Oklahoma City so was hoping for a repeat. I didn't find much in the way of regular weekly rides that were anywhere close to where my father lives (nothing is close in Orlando... totally sucky traffic... takes forever to get anywhere). I really did not want to venture off on my own too much, and the 3 mile loop I could around my fathers sub division jsut wasn't going to cut it. Orlando roads and some areas are so bad, I really wanted to find a recommended route or a local club ride to make the whole thing more enjoyable and safe.

I managed to find what turned out to be a great ride. The Tampa Bay Freewheelers Strawberry Century.

The weather for the ride looked to be rainy and once I got to the start it was indeed raining and stormy. Including lightening and some very black clouds. The ride is typically a very popular ride (I was told, normally 400-1000 people) but the weather made it seem that many people stayed home. They held the start up for an hour and a half waiting for the storm to pass before finally starting. Of course, the rain did not let up. It wasn't a heavy rain, but was a steady cool rain. The ride was started and was a bit dangerous and I found that the bike I had needed a new set of brake shoes...they were just a little old and hard and made it a tough time stopping in the rain. But I managed the ride without incident on my part.

So, Florida pay rides, are just like Midwest pay rides. The people are nice, the pace is just as varied and the SAG's and support are very similar. Florida is, however, at least on this ride, dead flat. I had no way to tell how fast I was going but it seemed fast (I had the garmin with me but in a pocket), I don't think I got off the big ring except to start once stopped. The ride was through some wonderful Strawberry fields that, I am told, are very aromatic when it's not rainging. Spanish moss draped from the trees overhanging the roads and it was very pretty. I left the camera in the car since I had no way to keep it dry.

I got in 38 flat, wet uneventful miles and found that most of the 62 and 100 mile riders decided at the first SAG to only do the 38 as well due to the weather. I say uneventful, but I was in a group that had a run in with a set of wet railroad tracks. We all know about crossing tracks at a 45 degree angle, but when the tracks cross the road at a right angle that is pretty easy. When the tracks are angles already, and it's wet, well.... one of the riders slipped ontop of the tracks, another rider hit them as they were going down.... It was all so slow motion. Two riders who went around the two already down, both ended up catching wheels in the gap between the road and the track rail... again, slow motion. Fortunately, no injuries, no equipment damages and we all rode on.

All in all, I really enjoyed the ride and knocked Florida of my list of states I have ridden in. I hope to take advantage of thaving a bike down there to ride on my next trip.

On a side note, if I were to do the remote bike thing again, I would build it here and send it. I had a couple of trips to the local bike shop (20 miles takes like an hour in Orlando) and still need to tweak a couple more things. It would have been easier to do here with parts, tools, etc.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Oklahoma Bicycle Society March 14th

We have been meaning, as a family, to go visit relatives on my wifes side in Yukon, Oklahoma (part of Oklahoma City) for some time. We finally took advantage of the kids spring break and decided to drive down for a weekend. I was able to take the bike and was determined to fine a ride.

So, I started to troll the internet looking for routes and bike clubs, since, the way I figured it, if I didn't know the area, didn't know which roads to ride and not get run over by some redneck, and I didn't have a clue where I could ride without being mugged and debiked, I decided that if I could find a local club ride, that would be best.

So I found these folks... John, Jim, Laurie, Greg, and Bill. They are members of the Oklahoma Bicycle Society. They have a great website and have a number of very interesting rides. I found their FCR ride (Floating Crapgame Ride) that rotates starting places every Saturday. And it turned out the rotation took the start on the 14th to just under 2 miles from where I was staying. Coinsidence? I think not.

So, on a brisk (temps in the mid to upper 30's to start) morning, I met up with these fine folks and set out for a casual 35 miler out to a breakfast stop (El Reno) and back to Yukon. The route out was in wonderful back roads, flat, farm area... similar to parts of kansas, but different. Oklahoma has red dirt... really red dirt. Our breakfst stop was along historic Route 66... I had to get a photo and we came in the last few miles on Route 66. By the end of the ride, I was a beautiful day... temps were heading into the 60's and the sun was out. I could not have asked for a better day.

OBS also has, what I think is a very cool ride type, a weekend tour. They go out and explore a different area of the state 2 or 3 times a year, as a loosly organized group. No fees, no real organization other tahn a stated date, and location. And, what really interested me, was that some of them ride out and camp overnight and then ride back the next day. This sounds very familier to the S24O trips talked about by the folks at Rivendell Bicycle Works. I am very interested in the concept of bicycle camping and the S24O looks to be perfect for my busy travel and family life. (the S24O stands for Sub 24 hour Overnight and is basically, bicycle camping, within a days ride of home... ride out with minimal camping gear on an afternoon, camp, ride back the next morning). I would love to see something like this get more interest here in KC.

Anyway... the ride was wonderful and I really appreciated the hospitality of my OBS friends. It was nice to know that cycling everywhare is pretty much the same. I had emailed the ride leader and he warned me it was aslower paced ride, more socializing and breakfast was had at the halfway spot. So my expectations were set adn the ride was exactly that, social, comfortable and... we had breakfast.

This also convinced me that finding a local group ride is a great way to do a ride in a location you are not familier with. When my relatives asked where I was riding I said I really did not know. They figured it was around the local lake or on the trails. We road cyclists have a different understanding of what a ride is than those who don't ride. When I returned and told them I had ridden out to El Reno they were floored that I had ridden that far and in that direction... "there is no trail heading out there"...

It was a wonderflul time. Thank you OBS.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


OK, so it has been a month since I have updated this blog. I am a slacker.

It's not that I haven't been riding, I have. It's not that I have given up on this blog, I haven't. It's just that I have had a crazy couple of weeks and am behind. Lame excuses I know.

The end our our company quarter (and I being in sales, am very driven by the end of the quarter), a medical trip to Florida to be with my father while he recuperates, and a very long and involved customer proof of concept here in KC have all zapped my time and energies.

But, I have ridden in Oklahoma City, and have pictures. I have ridden in Plant City Florida, but don't have pictures. And I have a couple of other tidbits to share in between. I fully intend to get these updates up in the very near future.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday commute

Is spring here?

It sure felt like it the past few days. I got a good commute in Friday. No photos but a good ride in in the morning. It was almost light when I started out... but I realized with the coming daylight savings, it will be dark again next week in the mornings. But it will be light later into the evening.

I really can't wait till spring is here. I like spring the best, followed by fall, then summer then winter. I love cool mornings, warming sun and the changing seasons.... I don;t like the bitter cold of winter or the heat of summer.

I ran a few errands on the way home. Safe miles everyone.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bike fever seems to be high...

I got out for a brief ride today. It was a cold day but almost no wind and beautiful clear skies with a warming, springlike sun shing down. I needed a short 15 or so miles to top 100 for February... a record since I started riding 7 years ago. Got in a short loop from the house and explored a bit of Cedar Creek.

I saw more people out riding today than I expected. Frankly, I was surprised. It seemed there were more people out than I usually see on this route, even when its warmer. And the types of riders were more diverse. A MTB biker cruising on the road (I rarely see this), a racer in full winter kit (see this somewhat regularly), a guy like me (recreational road rider, see these regularly), and a couple, riding upright hybrids (I see this very rarely) cruising along. This all makes me hope that the coming spring will see an upswing of cyclists on the road.

I have a crazy busy week ahead of me and then am out of town next weekend.... so I think I am done for February. So far this has been a great year for my mileage goals. I set personal bests for January and February, I am ahead of my best year ever at the end of March, and I am thinking about upping my mileage goals. I have been shooting for 2000 miles a year for the last 6 years, and have struggled most years to make it. I travel, have kids, and am way over quota on excuses why I can't ride more.

Well, this year, I am trying to ride more but am finding that commuting and having a regular ride, mid week helps alot. Not to mention I am not letting cold or darkness stand in the way. So maybe it is too early to up my miles... my busy travel season is April, May and June. So I will re-evaluate my yearly goals come the end of March. But right now I am expecting to have a best ever year and hope to crush my 2000 mile goal by good percentage.

I am making arrangements to fit in a ride at one or two of my upcoming travel trips so stay tuned for photos and reports from Oklahoma City and Orlando.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yet another nice night for a ride...

Thursday night is my ride night. I have permission from the family and my schedule is clear. So out I go...
Tonight was cool but another great night. About 12-15 people were out tonight and it was good.

A note to safety... I almost t-boned a truck that did not see me when I was riding solo to meet up with the group. I have a headlight and a flashing light on my helmet. I always try to flash the light at the drivers to be sure they see me. This joker, was following 2 buddies off of K-7 onto Prairie Star Parkway and did not look my way after the others made the left turn across my path. He just followed. I was able to brake, although hard, and he realized his error. So, everyone be careful out there. Drivers still don't see us and we have to anticipate their stupid moves.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Last week and the warm windy weekend...

Kansas weather is amazing. It was mid sixties last Thursday and another great night for a ride and last Friday turned out warm but very windy. Saturday was 70 and Sunday was nice but a little cooler.

The Thursday night group was a bit more spirited than normal. While, usually, this ride is casually natured with some brisk runs from time to time, this night was a much faster pace. Maybe it was the weather or the feel of the coming spring, but the pace was up and it was a great workout. felt good to sweat and feel the legs burn. It was a great night and I find myself really enjoying the night riding. I am looking forward to spring time an some of the area's full moon rides.

Friday was a great temp day and the commute to work was very nice. Temps were upper 30's and very low winds in the morning, but, on the way home it was a different story. The winds were 27 MPH out of the South - Southwest when I looked on just before leaving the office. My coworkers thought I was nuts. Of course, my route was South-Southwest directly into the head wind. Really intense. Truly a slog.

I was again amazed at how mental wind is. If I had been trying for a fast ride or was trying to get somewhere fast, it would have been very disheartening. But I was looking for the challenge and bragging rights for braving the wind.

I did jump on the trails by Lake Lenexa to get out of the wind for a short stretch. Even had to dodge a tumbleweed along the trail... it was moving along pretty well when the gusts hit it right.

I did not get out over the weekend. I had kid activities, stuff around the house and a dozen excuses. The wind was blowing but it was a great temperature on Saturday. Sunday was nice as well... I like that cooler weather.

So far this has been a great year for cycling. I am off to my best start in years and have high hope for the coming season. The mild weather (at least not much snow or rain) has really helped, as have the Thursday night rides and the commuting to work, even if it is only one day a week. Maybe this will be the year that I finally feel ready for the MS150, with enough miles under my belt by the start. Every year for the past 6 years I have felt unprepared for the MS150 with not enough base miles. This year I hope to have 4-500 more miles than last year.... about 1300 last year. So if I can get 1700 or better this year by the MS150 in September, I should feel ready.

They just announced that the KS MS150 is moved back two weeks since it was going to conflict with the end of the Tour of Missouri. That helps a well.

See you on the road.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Weather rollercoaster...

Thursday. 60 degrees. In January.
Friday. 30 degrees and falling. Windy.

Welcome to Kansas.

I took advantage of the Kansas weather on Thursday and got out for a night ride with the Thursday night group. The weather was wonderful.... starting in the low 50's and dropping to low 40's by 8:30 or so. Minimal winds and a great group of folks... about 8-10 strong.

This is becoming one of my favorite rides and this night was the best of the best. Not because I had a great average MPH. Not because the sprints were fast, or the paceline was hauling, but because I really enjoyed the company and conversation. Coupled with a relaxed pace, and a georgous night, it was a different side of riding.

When I first starting getting into riding and started calling myself a "fast recreational" rider, what I meant was I liked to go fast and was wrapped up in speed, pacelines, average MPH, and all the high tech carbon fiber aero whata madodads. But I am now finding myself more interested in the "feel" of the ride. The people, the scenery, the purpose beyond speed and such. I love commuting and wish I could do more. I am becoming increasingly interested in bike touring and camping (Upcoming post on this), and am way more excited by fenders, lights and panniers, than carbon fiber and 3 spoked wheelsets. But I degress.

Anywho... a great Thursday ride.

Friday, I commuted. I had been watching the weather and knew it was supposed to start int he low 30's and drop during the day. It was also supposed to be windy. Now I don't get to commute as much as I would like, and I am somewhat embarrassed to even call my self a commuter given the minimal number of times I commute each year. So I was determined to do this commute... and I have been finding that the cold is really not that big an issue... so I was gonna commute come hell or high water.

Turned out the be cold and windy.... but I was overdressed going in and about right on the way home.I took a shortcut home that helps me avoid a large hill and cuts 2 miles off the return. While not normally one to shy away from a hill and more miles, with the cold and the nasty wind, I was willing to give up on the joys of the hill to avaid the cold. This shortcut is not officially open yet. with about 100 feet still left to be paved. I love having the 32c tires and had no issues "off roading it".
Many people at my office thought I was nuts for riding in the cold. I kinda like the crazy label.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Got out for a short ride on Sunday, enjoying the warmer Kansas weather. Of course, it was windy... it's always windy in Kansas.

I was trying out my new bag... an Axiom Rear trunk bag. I have this bag thing... I have been messing with different panniers for the commute and wanted something for shorter rides for misc. stuff. I an not a huge fan of handlebar bags. They make steering more difficult and they are a large block to push through the wind. So I thought I would try a small trunk bag. So far I like it. I am planning on doing an entry on my bag search.... the 4 pairs of panniers I have gone through, the 3 handlebar bags, etc. I'll do that some day when it is cold and wet out.
Kansas has been weird with the weather... but whats new. I try to get out when it is sunny, not gail force winds and the temps are above 30. So far, January has provided me with more miles in 2009 then any other year.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Night riding...

Thursday night was a wonderful night for a ride. Winds were low, temps right at 32 and holding or even rising (crazy Kansas weather).

I had to take my son to swimming practice but used the opportunity to take in a ride while he was swimming. I met up with the Bass Pro Thursday night riders a couple of miles into their ride and rode back through Olathe and to the gas station at Cedar Creek and K-10. We enjoyed a small belated New Years toast provided by Badgerland, and then took off for Prairie Star Parkway ehading East. PSPW is, essentially, 95th street West of Renner. It is a great section of road and is 4 lane, devided and well lit. Currrently their is not a lot of traffic. PSPW from Cedar Creek to K-7 is just being finished and is full of roundabouts (you know, those crazy traffic circles that are supposed to keep trafic moving and confuse Kansans who have not driven on the east coast or in Europe). There are 5 I think in less than a 1/2 mile on this stretch of PSPW.

This section is also a hoot to ride. Currently the street lights are not fully lit, and in the darkness, it is fun to blast along. There is still some construction as you near K-7 and the road narrows due to construction cones.

Once you cross K-7, the road is well lit and 4 lanes divided. The group was breaking up as many of the 10 or so riders rode to the ride and were taking their leave and sprinting for home. I continued on with 2 others to PSPW and Renner where I turned around and went all the way back to K-7 and took the road that wraps around by Smiley's Golf Course. This was a wonderful, dark, traffic free stretch of road. I loved this section of hte ride the most.

Then it was back onto Woodland and back to the school to pick up my son.

I was dressed perfectly for this ride and the new wool worked wonderfully. A tip from Badgerland on layers and I was able to enjoy the 26 miles at 32 degrees in comfort.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kansas weather....

What a day Sat. was. The weather called for low 50's, but that was not to be. Instead it shot up to the mid 60's. It made for a fantastic day for a bike ride.

I got out with my regular riding partner, Mark, and did a loop from DeSoto to Gardner lake and back. 27 miles or so. Started out dressed for low 50's but it was soon apparent that we were over dressed. Started peeling layers at the 2-3 mile mark. Here's Mark losing a layer.

The roads were a bit wet and I wished I had fenders, but I was riding the go fast bike today (Lemond Road Bike) not the commuter. It was amazing how fast the roads dried out. We were only out an hour and a half yet we started on wet pavement and it was dry by the time we got back.

I had an interesting sensation during this ride. Iwas wearing my black tights and at one point, on the ride back north, with the sun at my back, my butt was burnin'up. Yes, the thermal power of the sun was so intense that is was almost too much. Now, I am not complaining... a little bit of intense sun this time of year is very welcome. Makes me wish for spring.

Then there is today, Sunday. I am showing 14 degrees and a wicked wind. That's Kansas weather for ya.

Friday, January 2, 2009

First ride of 2009

I took advantage of the wonderful weather today and got out for the first ride of the new year. Totally uneventful other than feeling really good. After all the rush to get the last miles in and reach my goal, I am a both little depressed at the mileage log (sitting closer to zero than 2000) and very excited to keep the momentum up for potentially more miles in 2009 than 2008.

The last few months of 2008 I felt I got in a good groove for riding and adding miles. I was able to dial in my commuter bike, messing with 4 different sets of panniers, different lights, and a handlebar bag that has an "issue". So I am confident that I can more commuting in for 2009. I also found a good weekly ride on Thursday nights that I have permission to make a regular activity. So, I should be able, when work and kid stuff doesn't conflict, to get some more regular weekly riding, and then maintaining the weekend riding, I should be able to get more miles in 2009 than 2008. At least, that's the plan.