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.