Friday, June 29, 2007

A Fine Final Day Of The Month

Actually grey and drizzling and never very nice weather wise, but we beat the rain this morning and got in our 13 miles and I was able to take my bike on work errands all day, including a trip to the hospital, a meeting with a graduating student, and more. That allowed me to end the riding month of June with another 31.5 miles bringing the monthly total to:540.2 and my year-to-date total over the 2500 mile mark. I think that's pretty darn good! I don't want to make any predictions because the winter weather could be much more severe this year than last, but at this rate I could top 5,000 miles as opposed to my original goal of 4,000 miles. We shall see.

Meanwhile, July's count will begin in Los Angeles. I fly there Sunday to visit my sons and I've already arranged to rent a bike. I hope to arrive early enough to get in a ride on Sunday. Why I am renting and not traveling with one of my bikes is easily explained: It's too much hassle. I will be in LA most of the week, but will also take a quick side trip to Eugene, Oregon to see family. A great riding town, I suspect, but I will be sansbike so next week's mileage (if I can even count it, not having a cycle computer on board the rental) will be down. But I will be on vacation for the three weeks after that and will likely make it up.

Nor can we forget that these next few weeks we will all be preoccupied with the Tour de France. In anticipation I pass along the Australian TV dedicated TDF Website. I find it to be one of the best for lay-out that I've seen.
Check it out.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Another Busy Day

Only time for our morning loop today. The rest of the day is fully booked and lacking any need for bike use around town. Tomorrow I've a few appointments, one in Manayunk, that will allow me to squeeze a few more miles into the monthly total.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Route, No Camera, Over the 500 Mile Mark

Once again my rechargeable batteries didn't hold their charge long enough for me to get any pictures today. But I had a great ride. It is very warm here today; the real feel temperature is over 100. I took off in 80 degree temps and very high humidity knowing I would not try to ride 60 miles. In fact, I wanted to try a new route just to mix things up. So I headed east instead of west out of the house, down to Delaware Avenue or Christopher Columbus Blvd or whatever they're calling it these days and then headed North hoping to find my way to Pennypack Park in the Northeast and ride around the bike paths in the park. It took a little doing, but worked out fine. I rode Delaware to Richmond Street to Bridge Street to Aramingo to Harbison to Roosevelt Blvd and just past Pennypack circle saw an (unmarked) little path that looked like it might lead into the park, and it did. I loved riding around the park in the cool of the very tree-shaded path and worked my way to an exit on to Frankfort Street, which is probably how I should have approached it from the beginning. Frankfort was much easier to negotiate back than Roosevelt Blvd, but otherwise I followed the rest of the route in reverse. Thirty miles of mostly city riding with an interlude of park trails. More than enough for such a hot day. Sorry I have no pictures.

Today's 31.8 mile ride puts me over the 500 mile mark for a month for the first time! There are 2 more riding days left for me in the month but this is already a good-feeling achievement.

Since I have no pictures perhaps this video will interest you. I describes what might be the ultimate challenge of using a bicycle for utilitarian transportation.

view this

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Quick Ride And A Quick Post

My days are moving at a breakneck pace as I try to close down my responsibilities before a month's vacation. Therefore I've had little time to post and, today, no extra time to ride (no excuses to "commute" around town.) We rode out 13 miles and it almost feels like it never happened I've been so busy since. But tomorrow I'm off and hopefully will get in a nice ride and, since I'm planning on taking a different route, maybe some new pictures. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Humidity Returns

And along with it some drizzle during the morning. Annie and I managed to beat it as we rode our 13 miles, but since I took the bike to work in order to attend a number of meetings today, I felt a bit of it. Not bad, though. And I was not only able to get back and forth from my meeting more quickly than I would have otherwise (and a good thing too, as I was over-booked with appointments for the day) but also, after straight meetings and appointments from 7:30 AM until 2 PM I decided to just get out and ride a bit to clear my head. I rode back to the U Penn area, which is becoming my favorite hang-out now that I can reach it so easily by bike. I like the University area ambiance, I tend to run into fewer people I know, and there are a wide variety of places to stop and either browse, eat or have coffee. Today I stopped into Starbucks and had a coffee and read the newspaper. It was a good break before going back to work where I will be until 9 PM tonight. The extra riding brought me 18.7 miles for the day.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ah When The Drives Are Traffic Free!

Today is the Philadelphia Triathlon, a mysterious sport to me except for the biking; I can hardly swim and hardly run, But be that as it may I admire those who can do all three. Two of my congregants, in fact, took part in this morning's amateur piece of the competition. But for Annie and I the import of the event was the fact that not only was West River Drive closed, but so was Kelly Drive on the east side of the river and the Falls Bridge in between. We were out early enough not to either interfere or be interfered by the events. There was plenty of activity and one spot on our first loop where we had to slow down as lots of competitors were crossing the roadway to sign-in, but for the most part we were able to travel hassle free twice around the loop on the roadway rather than the path and therefore able to ride faster and freer. We had a ball and considered going around once more to stretch out Annie's distance, but just as we came around the Museum for the second time the roadway was being cleared as the Pros were in the bike part of the race. We got to watch a few go by - very fast and on sharp looking machines. Things would only be getting worse, more crowded, as the amateurs finished their swim and took to their wheels. We got to watch them swimming in the Schuylkill. "They look like dolphins," said Annie; "only not as smart," said I. A good 20.7 miles before work.

I spent much of yesterday reading Floyd Landis' new book "Positively False." Call me naive, but i enjoyed the book, enjoyed learning the story of Floyd's odyssey from Lancaster Mennonite to world class cyclist, and in context could not help but feel convinced of his innocence and empathize with his critique of the UCI, WADA and the rest of the cycling and doping establishment. I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure, and the idea that a man's career and reputation have been permanently sullied without appropriate safeguards in place to insure an impartial decision is disquieting to say the least. Read the book by purchasing it through the Amazon link in the right side-bar of my blog.

Ever feel frustrated by the difficulty of finding a suitable place to lock your bike while doing errands in your town/city? Well I sure do and so does the blogger know as Black Men Don't Ride Bikes. He has written a nice post about his frustrating day trying to do errands and lock his bike. You may want to check it out

I Love Riding In The City

That's what it says on the new little sticker I've affixed to the bill of my helmet. And today was another wonderful day for tooling around. After our regular loop this morning I took the bike to work and following a morning of meetings and preparations for the weekend's services, I took off for Presbyterian hospital to visit one of our congregants. That's our on 39th and Market and after a quick stop at the bank I made it up there loving the hills, the wind and dodging the traffic (especially double parked vehicles in the bike lanes!) I headed over to Trophy bikes after that to buy a stronger long system (U Lock and cable) since I'm using the bike so much in town. I visited another congregant at a long term care facility, then rode to lunch and have returned to the office. I have one more stop to make this afternoon and so will add the day's mileage to the totals later today.

Need some inspiration after a hard week's work? Then you must watch this!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

If Today Had Only Been Yesterday

The weather this morning was cycling-perfect. Low humidity, cool temperatures but instead of being able to ride 30-60 miles I could only ride 13.3 miles and my cycling day is done. Too busy today to even take the bike to work and see if I could pick up a few more miles going from place to place. Just one of those days.

But zipping around the loop at a pretty good clip put me of a mind to remember that about this time last year I had not yet reached as far as the Falls Bridge. I don't think I'd made it as far as the US Grant statue yet. That would be a round trip mark of perhaps 8 miles. I probably hadn't even reached a round trip from the museum, a total of perhaps 4 miles. Now I'm finding a ride around the loop entirely unsatisfying as far as fitness and spirit go. If I can't ride twice around, which most days I can't, I really feel unsatisfied. Not unhappy, mind you; I still love my morning ride; just unsatisfied.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rain Dampened Triple Loop

I thought the rain overnight had exhausted the storm and left the house at 8:15 AM for my long Wednesday ride. I was still considering whether to ride as usual to Valley Forge and beyond, but was also considering a new route that I downloaded from the Philadelphia Bike Club Ride Library for a change. That ride would have only been about 40 miles but would have given me a fresh perspective. It would have taken me south instead of north, to Fort Mifflin. However, when I got outside it was still threatening enough weather that I determined to ride the loop for starters and stay close to home. It just wasn't nice enough of a day to tempt me out on either long ride. In fact, by the time I reached the trail it was pouring, but I persevered. I ended up riding the loop three times. By the third time, after 20 miles of riding, the rain let up and quickly the day changed. First a few minutes of winds sweeping away the clouds and providing resistance; soon after a cool sunny day. I rode those last 12 miles in perfect weather! I considered starting out on a longer ride at that point, but the day was getting on and there were things to do. So I stopped for a haircut on the way home, came home and showered, cleaned the bike and lubed the chain and felt satisfied with my 32.5 miles.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Car Is In The Shop: Hooray!

After our 13 mile loop this morning I put the Fuji on the bike rack and drove the car off for service and a state inspection. When I arrived at the dealership I took down the bike, stowed the rack back in the car, and took off for a lovely "commuter" ride from 49th and Chestnut back to work. The distance is about 4-5 miles give or take and it felt great riding through traffic again. Now I have the bike at work again and will probably use it for lunch etc. Living and working downtown doesn't allow me to pile up much mileage on these commutes, but I very much like the opportunity not to use the car for endless short trips. And, as I said yesterday, just getting on the bike, even for 10-15 minutes, is a great lift during the work day. I'll update the mileage count at the end of the day.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The World Looks Better By Bike

A warm summer-feeling day in Philly. Annie and I rode 13 miles this morning and then I took my bike to work. Didn't have much to do in terms of travel today, but took my lunch break up by the University. Annie (in her car, coming from a meeting in New Jersey) met me at EMS where we both bought some new socks and then had lunch together. Having the bike, making the ride up there by bike after a morning wrestling with work, just cleared my head and soul in a way that nothing else generally does. It is worth it to just ride the mile or two to get around town just for that feeling. Of course, the additional riding gave me 16.8 miles on the day which is also good.

Nice group of pictures about last week's Philly Race courtesy of the Bobke Strut. Take a look.

Also notice a new book on my Amazon shopper's guide to the right:

While I still haven't had time for a comprehensive review of these books (or the magazines that I continue to collect) this one is incomparable. A truly wonderful memoir of an artist turned messenger turned bicycle advocate. It really isn't about the bike, but about the issues that riding a bike inevitably raise for any thoughtful person. I loved the book.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Home From The Hills

This picture is only a taste of the extraordinary beauty of New Hampshire...and of the hills! Annie and I had only time for a morning ride today before taking off for the 5 hour drive back to New Jersey and Father's Day festivities. I rode the usual 13 or so miles, but Annie had to quit about half-way through. We were negotiating very steep hills with which she has had very little experience thus far. She did [pretty good and I good have done more but we ran out of time. Still, I felt that riding up the hills made the 13 miles mean more than they would have meant here in the city.

Here is a great article on Bike Commuting Check it out.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Off To New Hampshire

Another weekend gig - the last of the season. Taking the bikes with us and hoping for a nice Sunday morning ride before trying to get back down to New Jersey to catch the tail end of father's day festivities. Started out for our regular ride but meeting trains both coming and going increased our mileage to 14.5 miles this morning as the weather remains comfortably cool. Forecast calls for summer to return in earnest over the weekend.

Always nice to wake up to find a good cycling article in the mainstream media. This picture accompanied
this article in the NY Times this morning. Looks like a great ride!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Autumn Redoux?

Or should I saw winter? The wind chill was 50 degrees when we set out this morning. More than just chilly and a very premature reminder of what is bound to come again: winter. After all the months of riding in sub-freezing temperatures laden with layers, I'd just about put it all out of my mind riding each day this spring in my shorts and muscle jersey. Today I moved back to long sleeves, though still in shorts and it was fine. Fabulous, in fact. But it did bring back those nasty memories. We rode 13 miles and I felt like I could keep going easily. I haven't had the opportunity to really give myself a back-to-back long ride test yet, but I'm feeling pretty confidant about it for the Labor Day ride.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Another 60 Mile Ride

Cool and slightly overcast skies accompanied me on today's "Wednesday Ride." I rode up to the end of the Schuylkill path just past the end of Valley Forge Park. I had intended to go as far as the Perkioman park and rest and turn around. I figured that would give me just about 60 miles. But the Perkioman trail was not immediately accessible from the Schuylkill trail and looks like it won't be for a while; a bridge is out. There was a detour, but having ridden 24 miles at that point I wasn't anxious to find myself on a detour that might take more miles than I wanted and as there was a bench just at the detour point I decided to use it for my half-way stop. It wasn't exactly scenic looking out onto what looked to be highway 467, but I needed the break, ate my energy bars and just got off my feet for 15 minutes. Then I turned around and rode home. When I reached the end of the Schuylkill by the Locust street entrance that we use I had ridden 48 miles and knew I wouldn't get in 50 if I went straight home. So I turned around and did a last regular loop around the path adding enough mileage to not only go over 50 but over 60 again which is good training for our Hazon ride. Must admit I was beat when I go home, and very hungry.

Speaking of rides, Annie and I have registered for another ride, this one in August: The Covered Bridge Metric Century run by the Lancaster Bicycle Club. We're looking forward to it and trying to find some others to ride with us.

Here is a great story compliments of Alan Snell's Bike Stories (link in the sidebar):
YUMA RESIDENT BILL ANDERSON, 81, left Yuma Tuesday on a 2,000-mile trip around Arizona to raise money for the Crossroads Mission. PHOTO BY BENJAMIN HAGER/THE SUN
Read the story here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bike Tuesday

It seems that Tuesday's tend to be the day that I have meetings around the city and when the weather cooperates, I can take my bike to work and get around the city. I love it! This morning Annie and I rode our 13 miles and after riding to work I rode to a meeting on the other side of town; next I go across town for another obligation, then off to make a hospital visit and then back to work again. All in all I won't add that much mileage to the monthly chart; it's actually amazing how close all the points around the city that others might take a car or jump in a cab to reach. Still it will probably add up to 5 or six miles before I'm done, assuming I don't decide to take a longer ride before heading home tonight. I'll up date the mileage chart later.

Meanwhile here is a great video about why people ride bikes and bike culture generally. I've been saving it for a slow news day, so enjoy.

Bike Culture and Critical Mass - Daryl Hannah Love Life

a great video

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Race-Day Reflections

Yesterday's race is worth another few thoughts:

The atmosphere around the course in the early morning was electric. Not so much because people here are necessarily so "into" bicycle racing, but because the race put a very public focus on what people here are very "into" and that is cycling itself. You could just feel the number of folks who came out to ride and to ride proudly and safely. It gave me just an inkling of what it is going to be like on BikePhilly day in September when 40 miles of streets are going to be closed to traffic.

The atmosphere later in the day was genuinely festive. I couldn't get up to Manayunk, where I expect the most festive part of the crowd could be found, but around the part of the course I could see,Lemon Hill and the Parkway (both pictured below taken from the Daily News video; sorry for the unclarity) people were just enjoying the day. I must say that I didn't find the vendors to be up to the occasion. I saw one souvenir Jersey but it was too expensive; and I thought of buying a Bike Club of Philadelphia jersey, but they only had long sleeve jerseys with them. Huh?

The last photo is J.J. Haedo crossing the finish line. He has impressed me since he came to the fore in the Tour of California and could be a great star of the future. It is a thrill to have seen him.

Oh yeah: Annie and I rode in a refreshing drizzle for 13 miles this morning, both of us feeling stronger and stronger each day. I've met my minimum donations for the Hazon ride and she is very close. Thank you all! But anyone who is so moved is still invited to support this worthy cause.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Race Day!

Annie and I took our normal Sunday morning ride of 25.4 miles, glimpsing all the just awakening activity on the Parkway ahead of today's race. There were tons of cyclists on the road and with both Kelly Drive and the West River Drive closed, it was a dream ride. On top of that I felt better than I ever have! It seems like the last couple of mornings of sluggish legs and then yesterday's day off really made a difference. It was like I'd moved up to a new level. I was flying and feeling no strain. It was wonderful. We could see the teams getting ready and all the vendors setting up. The course is outlined below.

After going home for breakfast and back to work for morning services followed by a short meeting, I was freed up to return to the Parkway to watch some of the race. Checked in at the Bike Club of Philadelphia tent and enjoyed watching for as long as I could. Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the finish because I had a graduation to go to.

Friday, June 08, 2007

My Legs Come Partly Back: But I Have An Excuse

My legs came back this morning and we rode a fast 13 miles feeling great.But I did still have some trouble keeping up to Annie's pace. Then, on the way back down the West Side Drive, I realized I had either a slow leak or just had lost too much air in my rear tire. I was able to ride on it, but I slowed down appreciably. I pumped it up at home and will take it out this afternoon to see if it's holding; otherwise I'll change it before we ride on Sunday. Looking forward to watching the race on Sunday!

The Inquirer actually had a story on the race on page 8 of the sports section...a human interest story about local rider Stephan Kincaid

Meanwhile here are a couple of things to keep you entertained.

Thanks to Bicycle Designs blog for alerting us to this cool design:

And a "test" that's sweeping the bike blogosphere: ARE YOU A BIKE DOOSH? (My answers in BOLD?

Posted by Smithers

Doosh. It’s my new favorite word.

So let us see if you qualify for the specific category of bike doosh.

1) Do you race:No
a – road
b – cross
c – mtb
d – track

2) Do you have an “A” bike and a “B” bike?
a – no, just one bike
b – yesyes
c – both “A” bike and “B” bikes are carbon
d – with Campy Record

3) Do you use a cycling computer?
a – no
b – yes yes
c – Power Tap
d – Power Tap on your track bike

4) Do you carry a mobile phone with you when you ride?
a – no
b – yes yes
c – Smartphone
d – iPhone

5) Do you:No
a – match cycling socks to shoes
b – match shoes to jersey
c – match jersey to helmet
d – have multiple matching outfits, shoes and helmets

6) Is your handlebar tape:
a – black Yes
b – white
c – some other color
d – installed fresh each month

7) Do you:of my own making
a – follow a training plan
b – keep a training log
c – an online training log
d – and pay someone to review it

8) VO2 Max Test
a – never had one and never will
b – once
c – more than once
d – every year

9) Campy versus Shimano
a – who cares who does care
b – Shimano
c – Campy
d – SRAM

10) Helmet and sunglasses I buy on sale
a – you buy whatever from the team sponsor
b – Lazer and Tifosi
c – Bell and Rudy Project
d – Giro and Oakley

11) Do you:NA
a – ride your bike to the race
b – carpool with pals
c – drive alone in your Audi A6 sedan with the bike in the trunk
d – refuse to let Smithers use your lug nut tool at Sogn Valley last year (score 5 bonus dick head points!)

12) Triathlon
a – no thanks don't even think about it
b – once, never again
c – sometimes
d – live for them

13) On the training ride you:NA
a – are in there for a while but eventually get dropped
b – are in the group the whole ride feeling good
c – sit in and wait for the end of the hard stuff and then go to the front and ride hard
d – skip it because it is not hard enough for you

14) On the training ride you talk about:not exactly applicable, but I do talk bike stuff whenever I can and I'm becoming a bore
a – art, music, politics
b – girls/boys
c – the latest pro bike race on Vs.
d – last weeks training ride

15) The purpose of the training ride is to:
a – work on your weakness
b – develop fitness I'd like to think so
c – put the hurt on everyone else
d – show off your new bike

16) The racing season is:
a – too long
b – too short
c – not enough of the races you like to do
d – full of stupid races that you think suck even though you have never promoted a race This sounds right

17) Relationship
a – In one, it’s great We bike together
b – looking and hoping
c – just broke up, they didn’t understand your desire to train and race
d – no time, you have to train and race

18) When on a date you talk about:I'm married
a – your date
b – yourself
c – the latest pro bike race on Vs.
d – Campy versus Shimano

19) Your significant other comes to a race:NA
a – you drop out early to spend more time with them
b – try to make yourself look totally pro by being at the front
c – ignore them
d – castigate them for not handing up the correct bottle on the correct lap (score 5 more bonus dick head points!)

20) Following the race you:NA
a – leave the bike in the garage and spend time with the family
b – help make dinner and talk about the race
c – sort out all your bike crap until past midnight
d – go for a recovery ride

Bonus Question
21) Are you:
Smithers? If so subtract all points and score yourself an automatic total of zero. The ability to recognize bike dooshery eliminates any possibility of personal dooshness.

For every “a” score o points, for every “b” score 1 points, for every “c” score 5 points, for every “d’ score 10 points.

0 points: You are so totally not a bike doosh, you are the coolest MF that every walked the surface of the planet
1 – 20 points: You are not a bike doosh.
21 – 100 points: You mean well, there is hope, resist the temptation to join the dooshocracy
101 – 150 points: You are kind of a bike doosh, try harder el-doosh.
151 – 200 points: You are a total bike doosh, get a life bike doosh.

I only scored about 4 points.I'm definitely not a Bike Doosh. Is that good or bad?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Annie Drops Me

My legs still feel sluggish. Better than yesterday, and better at the end of today's ride than at the beginning. But the cumulative exhaustion that hits me this time of year, weeks before I go on vacation, have apparently caught up with me. Annie was tough to keep up with this morning, and the last mile or so, I just couldn't. She didn't notice and just plain dropped me. What can I say?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Learning About One's Self

Today was a difficult, interesting and ultimately satisfying ride. Being Wednesday it is usually my day for a long ride. Yesterday was a long busy day at work and I was exhausted. I also didn't eat all that well. So I did not leave the house this morning until 9 AM and as soon as I was on the road I knew I didn't have the miles in my legs. It was frustrating since I'd ridden over 60 miles last Wednesday. But just getting up the trail to the museum felt almost as difficult as it used to feel a year ago when I was just starting out. I knew I wouldn't make it to Valley Forge. I didn't know if I'd make a single loop around the trail! Sure, it was a bit windy, but what I was feeling went far beyond the wind. I kept going until I reached almost to the Falls bridge, figuring I'd go around and be happy with a single loop. too bad, too, as it is a gorgeous day. Temperature in the 60's and no humidity. When I got to just before the bridge the road was blocked. They are removing some trees from the side of the path. One had to go into the street and up around the obstruction. I just didn't feel like dealing with it. I took this picture and felt justified in turning around.

I went back down the drive all the way to the Locust entrance. I was feeling a little stronger but the strength in my legs just wasn't kicking in the way it sometime does when I start out tired and work through it. But I couldn't get myself to go home either. The weather was so nice, I was enjoying listening to my various podcasts, I wanted to stop into Zoom in Manayunk because I was having a little problem keeping my speedometer staying on the bar; so I turned back from the beginning and went out along the west side of the drive, crossed the bridge the other way and continued to Manayunk. Took care of fixing the speedometer and turned toward home. Made a much needed fueling stop at the Manayunk Diner. But even after eating I didn't feel much stronger. Then, about half-way home the fuel seemed to kick in. My pace picked up a bit, the feeling of struggling abated; I felt the usual enjoyment of the ride and decided to take another spin around the loop. All in all I managed to put on a tough 32.9 miles, feeling way better at the end then at the beginning. On the last leg of the trip I did feel like I needed another break; my feet were hurting a bit which is pretty typical after 20-25 miles, so I decided to really enjoy the park I'm always just riding through. I found a nice bench along the river and rested for 10-15 minutes.This is what I was looking at:

The thing that helped keep me going, just as I thought I'd really bonked for the day, was a glimpse of team CSC riding by! I saw this group of riders all wearing CSC kit riding along the Ben Franklin Parkway out onto Kelly Drive and I'm thinking, "I wonder who those guys are riding as a group on a Wednesday morning? And why are they all in CSC kit? And then it dawned on me: this is the week of the big pro tour bike race in Philly and those guys were for real. I tried to get a picture put it all happened too fast. Later on I also saw what appeared to be the T-Mobile team out for a practice ride. I got a few shots but they don't show anything, so in lieu of my photos here are a few official photos of both squads. It should be an exciting weekend in the city for those of us who even know that the race is happening.

Finally, in case you haven't noticed I've added a new book to the Amazon connections on the right side column. It is Floyd Landis's new book: "Positively False." It is available for pre-order and will be out at the end of the month. Of course, I haven't read it and really can't recommend it, but I'm planning to read it and if you're interested feel free to order through my link.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just Another Beautiful Day

We had a much less exciting ride today, thankfully. The weather was perfect and we rode the loop quickly and pleasantly side by side talking most of the way. Nothing else to report except that I will be taking the bike out to ride to another meeting this afternoon, so perhaps I'll have something else to report. And, of course, I'll update the mileage chart accordingly.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Bit Of A Scare...A Few New Favorites

Not a great day for cycling today, but not bad enough to desist. I rode alone in the mist and occasional drizzle wearing my new rain gear for the first time. Either because of the pretty steady headwind or just a bad legs day, I was moving rather sluggishly - perhaps providentially. As I came around the last part of the loop, in front of the museum, just past the Rocky statue on Kelly drive North of Fairmont there was a head-on auto collision that sent one of the cars skidding across the bike path directly in front of me. I might have been 50 feet away. Obviously had I just been going by I'd have been the only one seriously hurt (neither driver, thank God, was.) I was actually only nervous about the careening debris coming off the cars, fenders and the like, but I had plenty of time to stop, going just around the car onto the grass. I was the first person at the scene and determined that the driver was shaken but ok and called it into 911. I left a few minutes later when police and such had taken over. I should feel more shaken than I do. I continued my ride and finished with the usual 13.3. After some deliberation, given the weather, I've decided not to use the bike this morning to get to my meeting. Too bad.

I have added the first new blogs to my favorites list on the right in awhile. My ramblings around the web have found me enjoying more and more cycling blogs, but I feel these three are really worth following. They are Fat Cyclist; Bobke Strut; and Up In Alaska. Check them out.

PS: I took the bike to my meeting. Loved riding up over the South Street Bridge. One thing I've noticed is how unaware we are generally of the geography we inhabit. Who would have thought that Spruce Street is a hill. Climbing up one side from the East and then down the back to 43rd Street, returning with the climb up from the West and down back across the bridge. Wonderful. Added another 4.8 miles for the month which brings my cumulative for the year over 2000 miles! Halfway to my 4000 mile/year goal and three weeks ahead of schedule.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Some Good PR...Harry and Another Flat For Annie

First off, it was with great joy that I opened my Sunday Times on Saturday and saw a positive article in their Sport Magazine called "Play" about the upcoming Tour De'France. Check out Play Magazine Enjoy!

Then we headed out this morning for a long Sunday ride. Going around the first loop we saw our friend Harry going the other way. Haven't seen him on the road for awhile so that was fun. However, only minutes later as we began the second time around the loop Annie's back tire flatted again, just like last Sunday. Since we were on the Kelly Drive side of the loop and therefore were accessible by car we decided that I should ride home and come back with the car. We actually tried to pump it up without changing it first, but then it popped again, so whatever is inside the tire is still there and will have to be dealt with later today when I come home from Sunday service, a meeting and a funeral, before the monthly book group and dinner with friends. Busy day. If the weather holds I'll make up the miles tomorrow as I have a breakfast meeting in commutable distance, but further away than just the morning ride.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Good Start To June: A Ride And A Commute

June has gotten off to a fine start. Another beautiful day and Annie and I rode our 13.3 miles this morning. then I took the bike to work, figuring I'd figure out a reason why when I arrived there. (Remember, I only live two blocks from work, so if I commute it is only when I have to go somewhere else from work.)After a busy morning I decided I did have some place to go: trophy bikes, the bike shop on Walnut at 32nd Street. Yesterday I stopped at bike therapy to buy some CO2 cartridges to replace the ones we'd use fixing last week's flat. But Bike Therapy only carries un-threaded cartridges (who knew?) I thought for sure that Trophy bikes would have what I needed so I rode up there, enjoying dodging traffic along Spruce to 22nd and up Walnut. Lo and behold, they to only had un-threaded cartridges in stock (though at least they carry the, apparently very old fashioned, threaded kind.) So I traveled onward up walnut to 38th Street to EMS where I found five packages of threaded cartridges and bought them all to save myself future aggravation. (Not that I wasn't loving going from place to place by bike.) However, as it turned out, their computerized cash register system was down. so I waited around for awhile, determined to wait as long as necessary to not go home empty handed. finally, with the machines still out, they decided they could do cash only sales and luckily I had the cash. they gave me 20% off for waiting around. No complaints.

I took off down Chestnut street heading home and decided to cut down the ramp on the Chestnut street bridge to the bike path and promptly take it once around just for fun. That brought me home feeling warm and satisfied while putting 28 miles on for the first day of the month.
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