Saturday, September 30, 2006

All Fall Down

Don't let them kid you. Those people who are hanging their bikes up in the rafters of their garage right now. This is some of the best time to ride. Yesterday on the way home I could feel the coming warm front. In the tepid drizzle I could almost convince myself that this was a spring ride, and long summer days were just around the corner. It was so different from the cold and rainy days over the last week. The changing leaves that were mostly still on the trees, but starting to fall on the path told the truth about my internal lie, however. We can only delude ourselves if we ignore the obvious. It's easy to do.

Fall truly is my favorite time to ride. It's cool I feel like I could ride all day. Even the occasional warm fall day isn't the same as a warm spring day. There's a certain undefinable quality to the air that's not there any other time of year. There should be more organized group rides this time of year. People don't know the beauty that they're missing.

Date: September 25
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
September mileage: 154
Year to date mileage: 2582

Date: September 29
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
September mileage: 172
Year to date mileage: 2600

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's raining, it's pouring

Apparently yesterday was World Car Free Day. Good thing I rode my bike to work. It was actually a nice day to ride. It was misting/sprinkling in the morning so I wasn't drenched. And on the way home it rained pretty hard but I was plenty warm. I don't mind riding in the rain unless it's a really cold rain. It's tough to get that chill out of your bones sometimes after a ride in cold rain.

I was riding the Schwinn with the new Panaracer tires I got at the bike swap this spring. I realized how dry a summer this has been when I was cornering on the wet roads. I still don't fully trust these tires in wet conditions. Not that they've done anything to make me mistrust them, but I just haven't ridden them in the wet enough to inspire confidence. I thought about it as I was on the greenway sprinting across Hiawatha trying to beat the walk signal countdown (I did). As I was halfway across I had a vision of my tires slipping on the crosswalk markings. Probably just paranoia.

It does pose an issue though. When I got the Jamis my initial thought was that I could start riding the Schwinn in the winter when the paths were clear. If I go through with that, I'm going to need some different tires. Probably cross tires with a slight knob on the sides for grip in the corners. Clearance could be an issue. And I'd probably need to figure out some fenders. Otherwise, it's the Raleigh again. Which needs some work. Decisions, decisions.

Date: September 20
Mileage: 20
Ride type/bike: Commute/Jamis
September mileage: 118
Year to date mileage: 2546

Date: September 22
Mileage: 18
Ride type/bike: Commute/Schwinn
September mileage: 136
Year to date mileage: 2564

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pardon me, but would ya mind if fired me cannon through your porthole?

I took t' trike for a pretty decent commute ayeterday. Yon saucy wench had t' day off so I had no time constraints. I decided t' take t' river road t' t' greenway, since I'd only ridden t' new greenway in one direction. Me an' t' greenway are only on a nodding aquaintance, but I knew I was headed into t' other side o' downtown so I could hit t' Y. So instead o' departin' at yon Portland Avenue exit I rode all t' way t' Bryant. I headed north on Byrant not knowin' how I was goin' t' get t' downtown, but in fact it worked out beautifully. Bryant went t' Davy Jones' locker-ends near Hennepin Avenue, but feeds starboard into what appears t' be part o' t' Kenilworth Trail. There's a bonny bike bridge that crosses 94 and brin's you starboard t' Lorin' Park. By t' time I got in I was wishin' I had worn socks, and maybe even long pants. It's supposed t' get down t' 37 tomorrow mornin'.


Date: September 19
Mileage: 30
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Trike
September mileage: 98
Year to date mileage: 2526

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ray was right, lawnmowing is hazardous

I was all set to write about riding on the new section of the Greenway tonight. But when I got home, the family was still swimming at the Y so I decided to take advantage of the solitude and get some chores done. Specifically, mowing the lawn. I'm not all anal and obsessive about the lawn, and usually only mow when the grass starts to wave in the wind like something out of The Lion King. But the weather forecast over the next week or so will make people start to wonder what exactly a cubit is, so I figured that this was the time to do it.

We had a lovely Honda riding lawn mower for about 2 years, but this summer the transmission decided to shuffle off this mortal coil. So I've been mowing with the mini-mower, a little unit that we bought when we lived in South Dakota nearly 10 years ago. It was cheap as all get out ($79 I think) and has been a workhorse ever since. But the 20" cutting width just isn't cutting it for our half acre lot.

I fired up the mini-mower and started mowing. I usually mow in concentric circles. Again not because I really care about lawn patterns, but because it just seems easier. Our yard has a ton of trees and other things to mow around, but the majority are around the edges. So if I start at the outside and work my way in most of the hard part is over first.

I'd made two laps around the yard. On the second lap I put a pretty good scratch in my shoulder from a tree branch. And then on the third time around I felt something poke me in the leg. That's odd, I thought. I wasn't anywhere near a tree or shrub. Then something else poked me in the back. I looked down and saw a bee on my shirt. Then I felt another poke (or sting, I realized) and figured out what was going on. I shut off the mower and started running like a cartoon character, running while twisting, turning and swatting. As I ran toward the house, I could feel that one was on my back and I started calling to my wife so she could come out and get it off me. But it stung me instead. Nancy came outside just in time to hear me curse and swat some more. I took my clothes off on the patio (what will the neighbors think?!) and went inside. As we watched, two more bees crawled out of my shorts!

I decided my mowing was over for the night, went inside and took a shower. After getting doused with calomine lotion we counted 7 stings. And when I went to look, those two bees were still buzzing around my clothes, trying to find something to sting. I went back up and got the lawnmower, and I think I saw the hole in the ground where the bees are coming from.

Tomorrow, me and my friend the gas can are going to burn those bastards out.

Date: September 15
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
September mileage: 68
Year to date mileage: 2496

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Random Photo Dump

I finally went through my phone and uploaded the pictures that were on it. Judging by the snow, it's been a while.

My Peace Coffee bottle I got at the 2005 Bike To Work event is on the left. The one I got at the 2006 Bike To Work event is on the right. But you probably could have guessed which was which.

Sledding with the kid.

I ride by this bike almost every morning. It's cool.

Who knew a fifty cent kiddie merry go round outside a grocery store could get such big smiles?

Sorry for taking your picture at work, Christopher. And doubly sorry for posting it on the internet.

I really don't know what I was thinking when I took this.

Gopher hockey!

I don't even know what this is.

Date: September 11
Mileage: 16
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
September mileage: 50
Year to date mileage: 2478

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dairy Run

Yesterday afternoon my wife called me at work.

Nancy: Did you drive or bike today?
Me: I biked.
Nancy: Oh.
Me: Why?
Nancy: I wanted you to pick up some sour cream on the way home. But I guess we can do without.
Me: I can pick up sour cream. No problem.

And I picked up that sour cream, all 16 ounces.

Date: August 29
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 291
Year to date mileage: 2405

Date: August 31
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 314
Year to date mileage: 2428

Date: September 6
Mileage: 16
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
September mileage: 16
Year to date mileage: 2444

Date: September 8
Mileage: 18
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
September mileage: 34
Year to date mileage: 2462