Friday, April 29, 2011

End of Week 1, 2011 Bike Commuting

About 1/3d of my commute is on this
Thursday, 28 Apr 11

IN - Got out of the house very late because I had to repack everything from washing it yesterday.  I didn't leave until 4:15.  It may have taken me 33 minutes, but that doesn't seem right since I had to stop several times today.  At 6:00 when writing this it's 43o, but it felt colder.  I've been wearing my Army PT jacket.  I didn't wear gloves either day, but today I regretted it.  Yesterday the only critters I was aware of were frogs in some wet areas.  Today I didn't hear any frogs, but there were a pair of deer by the Seminary and I yelled at them to stay where they are.  I'm surprised that they hadn't heard or noticed me until then.  I guess I was downwind.  I put the bike in the spare cube again today, even though I don't think it'll rain today.  I really don't like the idea of putting her on a rack way out at the parking lot on the far side of the building.

HOME - GOOD GAWD, the wind kicked my butt.  I tried to ride all streets to try to go faster.  I had gotten a late start leaving work so I just wore my work clothes.  There was a misty rain that got harder and softer as I rode, but the wind was 15 - 20mph dead from the West, straight in my face.  I think it was actually a little colder than the ride in to work, and my nose was running everywhere.  Cars didn't give my any kind of berth at all.  In the end it took one minute more than the day before when I was riding the trails gently so as not to splash too much.  I'm not doing that again anytime soon.  I did have to pull over for a fire engine at one point.  I'm not sure if I just didn't reset my pedometer, if all the extra pedeling from the wind added to it (normally I only get a couple hundred steps for a half hour ride which isn't right because 30 minutes of walking would be a couple thousand steps) or if I really walked much more today, but the pedometer said just about 10k.

Friday, 29 Apr 11

IN - Latest start and slowest day yet this week, but I did ride in.  I was very much on the fence because my throat hurts and I was so tired after yesterday.  I wasn't sure if it was the beginning of a cold; or just that the runny nose hurt my throat and the ride exhausted me.  I decided to take it easy and make sure I wiped and blew my nose the whole way.  It showed in my time.  It was probably the coldest day yet (36o).  Nothing exciting happened on the trip.  My lights seem to be running out of battery (especially the Rominson which is lit, but doesn't seem to provide any extra visability) so I sang to the unseen deer near the seminary so they wouldn't jump out on me.

HOME - GOOD GAWD, this was delightful.  I couldn't help smiling all the way home.  It was sunny and cool (about 60o) and almost calm.  What a difference a day makes.  I started out thinking, "This is why I do this."  I decided to stick to the trail to see just how fast it would be under nearly optimal conditions.  When I rode in the street had still been wet from the rain last night.  I was afraid that the trail would still be wet after being soaked yesterday, but it wasn't.  Except for some very small puddles it had drained well.  I guess that's the advantage of crushed limestone.  I saw a pair of ducks in a puddle on the side and greated them heartily.  I didn't push myself, but I didn't dawdle either and I made it home in 44 minutes, which may be a homebound record.  One odd thing I saw was a walking salmon.  I recently became aware of a derogitory term for people who bike against the flow of traffic, bike salmons.  This young man I saw today was walking on what was his left side of the road and as I approached on my own right side he refused to move.  I had to ride around him.  It was a very fine end to the week and a good start at my goal of 75 bike commutes this year.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the Road Again

Blackie hiding from the rain
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I started riding my bike to work again (bike commuting), hooray!

Here are the notes I have so far (sort of my commuting diary):

Monday, 25 Apr 11

Brought my stuff in to wear the rest of the week.  So far I've lost 7 weeks that I had planned on riding.  If I could have ridden 5 days a week (not really even planned because of bringing clothes one day, but I'm looking at max losses now) I would already have ridden 35 days, 18 miles a day is 630 miles.  If I can ride 4 days a week from now until 1 Nov I'll have 26 weeks, which is 104 days, which is 1,872 miles.  3 days a week from now until 1 Oct, or 22 weeks, is 66 days.  I will make a goal of 75 commuting days (9 weeks out of the 22 have to be 4 day weeks).  22 bike commuting weeks is about half a year (52 weeks minus 2 weeks vacation is 50 weeks).  50 weeks, plus 7 holidays plus 2 floating holidays is 241 working days a year.  73 days is about 30%.  At $4.15 a gallon for gas and at 25 mpg that's (4,338 miles / 25mpg = 173.5 gallons) $720 dollars savings.

Tuesday, 26 Apr 11

No Go.  It was raining too hard and I decided that that was no way to start this year.  I'm not sure of my timeing and the logistics, the only rain jacket I have is camo and on top of that I can't see in a rain.

Wednesday 27 Apr 11

Blackie needs a bath
IN - I was planning on getting out of the house by 3:45, but didn't take off until about 3:58. It didn't feelfast, but it was 36 minutes from my garage door to the front door between AP31 and AP32. The back gate wasn't open when I pulled up, but the guard was just pulling up too. I glanced at my phone and it was 4:29 or 4:30 so they must open that gate at 4:30. That means that it doesn't do me much good to leave before 4:00 unless I WANT to ride around to another gate. I put the bike in the open cubicle near me because it's expected to rain all day. We'll see how well that works.

HOME - It had rained throughout the day and the bike trail was very wel and flooded in some places. I had to ride slowly to minimize the splashing, but it wasn't as soft and mushy as I had feared. I saw a lot of the backs of houses that I had before because of leaves. Even though I have a back fender, I had mud splattered all over my bags and the back of my jacket. I washed all of it. By the time I got home I was very cold and tired so the hot shower felt extra nice.  Well, that's 1 day, 74 to go.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Kalo Pascha, Christos Anesti!

We really hit Lent lightly this year, nobody did the real Greek fasting, so it didn't seem very lent-y or Easter-y.

I'm also working my way BACK.  Tuesday before last, I woke up with a very achy upper back and since I had worked my lower back the day before so it was fatigued.  I bent the wrong way and hurt my lower back.

I hurt it so bad that I actually ended up staying home the next Monday, laid out on the couch.  I bought a brace and like I said, I'm working my way back.

I'm making arrangements to bike commute starting next week.  I'll keep you informed.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Where Has the Inner Prop Been?

Snowed in, that's where. Actually, I had a whole post for the blizzard back in February but I had trouble posting it. It snowed last night so I thought I'd bring it up and try to start things up again.

I'm using my phone and I think I've got it figured out now. We'll see.
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