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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wind was fun... Rain, not so much...

Yeah, so it was raining on the way home. I stayed mostly dry with a light jacket and my hacked fender (my tires are too wide to fit it from factory default).

Also, Merino is a miracle fiber... then again I've known this for a while (and some of you do to). Anyhow, even the one time I took a puddle at a turn and splashed my foot good... it didn't even feel wet after the initial splash.

Kansas, Land of Wind

It was a nice, comfortable ride this morning. The excessive wind made it more comfortable, however it makes me dread the day that it's cold and wind begins biting.

Ah well, it feels good today.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Finally, Riding Again

So... after slacking for... about a month, I finally rode into work again. I definitely feel better when I ride than when I don't. Luckily, I missed the rain that some had to deal with this morning.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Didn't Ride Today

Needed some time to get some reading done for my MBA class. However, a report on yesterday. The grips and eggbeaters helped and were nice. I think I need to tilt the grips a bit (that or start wearing gloves) as my hand tended to slide forward when I got a bit sweaty. Also, I had one crash due to my foot being too high and not disengaging in time. Luckily it was on the bike path (which I've decided I don't like as much as it's harder work and takes longer to get home and the net stress once I get on the single lane street makes up for the stress of riding the longer street... in reality, if I can convince my boss to let me come in early and leave early I'll beat rush hour traffic both ways)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Stuff... and a Fall...

So, I got a number of new bits of gear...

1) Some Crank Bros EggBeaters
I was going back and forth between these and some Speedplay Frogs, but the deal was too good to pass up on these.

2) Some Ergon Grips
The little stock grips on my Soho S were giving me numb hands (going into work three days in a row this week made it pretty bad)

3) A Park Tool Home Mechanics Starter set
Which I used to install the above two.

4) Oh, and a Third Eye Mirror

Some thoughts...

On the mirror, I've only used it one day... but already find myself looking for it if it's not there. Oh... and at some point I'll have to post a pic of it attached to my sunglasses. I can't attach it the normal way to my Oakely Half Jackets because of the bulge at the temple... it doesn't look like it should give me a good view. But it does, it's similar to glancing down to your side mirrors in your car.

I really like the feel of the Ergon grips on my test ride today. In retrospect I may have needed the Large... but the smalls are better than the stock grips.

I'm surprised how quickly the Eggbeaters are usable... other than one fall (I disengaged one foot, but tried to stop with the other foot at the HIGH point of rotation rather than the low... oops), getting in and out are fairly intuitive. Note, this is from someone who has NEVER used clips or clipless pedals before.

Here's hoping these live up to expectations next week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Starting a Roll

Well, after getting sick over the holiday weekend, I rode into work yesterday and today. Planning for tomorrow as well...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yay! Two in a Week!

So, I rode into work again today (next week's goal is three). I'm surprised (maybe I shouldn't be) how quickly my legs are adjusting to riding a single speed even with the (relatively mild) hills between work and home.

For some reason my left achilles heel felt... er... tight?... for about a block or two, then it loosened up and all was good.

Oh, and, my Topeak MTX Trunk Bag DXP wasn't working well as side wings simply didn't have enough space for what I normally take to work (clothes, laptop, current book for my MBA classes). However, my new Topeak Dry Bag Panniers have copious room and pack much nicer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back on the Horse

After a bit of a hiatus (out of town work trip for a week + some lame excuses), I rode in again today. Made it all the way, not too shaky of legs. For speed, coming in on the roads is best... I think I may go home on the Haller Trail just to get some peace though... plus I like looking at trees...

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm prouder of myself...

No, not because I made my second bike commute into work today (it's actually pretty lame that I've made excuses for nearly two weeks). It's because I made it up that big hill that killed me on my first ride. Also, I rode the entire way in traffic rather than using the Haller trail.

Yeah, so two commutes in two weeks is pretty lame. Next week will be better.

PS - My trunk bag / pannier combo is just barely big enough. I may be looking at something else in the future.

Monday, June 9, 2008

KC Bike Commuting: Spin Pizza Olathe

KC Bike Commuting: Some weekend fun.

Okay, so the new spin (as opposed to the Old Spin in Overland Park / KS) is only about 2 miles from my office (7-9 miles from home).

I'm really not surprised to hear of the surplus of bike parking as Spin, OP sponsors a Monday Night Bike Ride / Pizza Discount (or maybe it's Tuesday night). I haven't participated, but it's pretty cool.

Nice find!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rack and Trunk Bag / Panniers are In

As I mentioned earlier I've been waiting on my rack to come in. It did yesterday and I got it installed last night. Of course, that was after I hunted in vain for the mounting eyelets on the rear fork and realized the little 'bumps' were plastic inserts protecting the threads. Once I figured that out the only problem I have is that the left side brace will interfere with the rear brake... so I am only running one brake for the time being. Later, when I'm stronger, I can always flip the hub to fixed and do away with the rear brake completely. For now, though, it seems stable enough with one brace and I'm going to run by the bike shop and see if they have any suggestions.

Oh, and I made excuses for not riding in today (new baby had me up way too much at night). However, tomorrow should be my first ride with the rack.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Ride Home or Why I NEED to Ride My Bike

Riding back was as fun as I thought it would be, and the Haller Trail was more manageable coming the other direction. Luckily, the thunderstorms we had in Olathe calmed down well before I left the office. There was plenty of rain debris (small leaves, dogwood flowers, seed pods) along the trail but nothing too precarious.

Anyhow, to the "Why I NEED to Ride My Bike Part", yeah I'm out of shape. Horribly out of shape, apparently, as I almost hurled when I got home. In fact I couldn't move off of my front porch for about 10 minutes.

Now, part of that is that I shouldn't have tried to ride up the final hill at my home (yeah, I apparently have a final hill whether I'm coming or going), but it's "small" and I wanted to get home 2-3 minutes quicker. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to walk the one-block hill and give my legs some cool down time.

Ah well, it's helping me get in shape.

PS - I didn't ride in today (Tuesday) but I'll ride in tomorrow (Wednesday). I decided killing myself the first week wouldn't be good.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Bike & Gear

If anyone is interested, here's my current commuting set up:

Gear I'm Waiting On:
I'm sure there's something else I forgot... if I remember I'll post more later

My Inaugural Ride

So... today was my first day riding my new bike to work. My current route is about 5 miles one way, from ~ K-7 & Santa Fe to 118th & Renner, Olathe, KS. Now, that google map is a bit deceiving as the north-south part is actually on the Gary L Haller / Mill Creek Streamway Park Trail (extends further than the link shows) which winds around a bit but more or less parallels Nelson.

Some things I've realized:
  1. Having a large-ish uphill at the end of your commute sucks (leg 4 on the google map)... I had to "pansy out" and walk /ride the sidewalk, as I wasn't going to try to pedal up it with burned out legs in decently heavy traffic. Of course, that means a) the ride home is going to be fun, and b) I'll get stronger over time.
  2. Definitely shower at work. I'm going to skip showering before I leave as it's rather immaterial. I wound up soaked and had to shower anyway.
  3. The Haller Trail is beautiful. A shady green tunnel of solitude. Also, I saw bunnies, which is cool.
  4. The following signs in sequences mean slow down... now... really... a lot slower than you think... unless you like eating trees. Of course, if you're not getting enough roughage in your diet maybe you can think twice about slowing down...