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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...