Archive for December 2008

Drumroll please……

December 31, 2008

4,855 miles for 2008.

Plus another 50ish unrecorded miles on Ben’s mountain bike.

That’s a record for me by about 600 miles.

Here’s the breakdown:

Tandem:        1,852  

Single:           2,642

Commuter:     361   (purchased in November)

I’ve decided that for 2009, I really have only 2 goals:

1)  Stay safe!

2)  Have fun!

Hopefully, I can meet both of those.

God bless…



December 30, 2008

Don’t you hate it when you can’t sleep?  Last night I had one of those nights.  I laid there for what seemed like hours worrying about  becoming the owner of a Jeep that I don’t want.  Kids….I’ve got one that something like this would never happen to, and one who does crap like this all the time despite the fact that he’s now an adult.  The good thing is that now I’ve reached the point where the younger has been afforded all the opportunities that the older enjoyed, so now I can fairly say “No, you’re on your own.  Go figure it out.”

Because of that and the fact that today was supposed to be a pretty nice day, I ditched my plans to lift weights at the fitness center in favor of riding to work.  Depending on tomorrow’s weather, this could be the last day of riding for 2008!  If so, it’s been a good year.  I’ll go down and calculate the yearly mileage on Thursday, and I think it will be the most I’ve ever ridden in a year.

At lunchtime I wanted to get out, and toyed with the idea of a leisurely ride around the downtown area, but when I saw that the winds were blowing at 19 mph and gusting to 30 I made the executive decision that a walk down to Founders Park would be more enjoyable.  I suspected that it would be sheltered from the wind, yet open to enough sunshine to be comfortable and I was right.  I probably could have fallen asleep setting in the sun if I wanted to!


Founders Park - East side


Founders Park - West Side








As I entered the park, I was intrigued to see that there were a couple of “sharrows” painted on Water Street in front of it.  I didn’t realize Springfield had any of those anywhere.


At 5:00, the temperature was still 55 degrees and the wind had shifted around to the northwest.  That combination made the ride home absolutely delightful.  In addition, I’ve decided that going south on Fremont is more biker friendly than using the south Barnes route that I’ve been using.  Barnes is still OK in the morning, but I probably won’t use it anymore in the evening.

By the time I got home I could tell that it was time to replace the batteries in my lights.  I’ve got some of them at home, but not all.  I’m not planning to ride tomorrow, so hopefully I can pick them up before I need them next time. 

God bless….


Too much Christmas….

December 30, 2008

By this time every year, I’ve just had enough!  We all know that too much of a good thing ends up being bad, and that’s the way I felt about that last little pecan tort that I ate yesterday afternoon.  It definitely pushed me over the edge, and didn’t even taste good as it did.  I don’t want any more Christmas candy, cookies, or anything else holiday related in my mouth!  My body is craving the normal treats I give it…yogurt, cinnamon bagels and milk, way too much Dr. Pepper, and a regular supply of Hershey’s chocolate at the office.   Oh…and my new favorite snack!  Dried Cinnamon Apples……


It was chilly enough this morning that my ride to work seemed to take a long time.  I guess it’s because I ran first, then went back inside to change and eat breakfast before starting, but my legs really protested the hilly ride through the Cinnamon on the Hill neighborhood to Catalpa.  Once I got to the relatively flat portion of my ride, I suppose I got my second wind and the pace seemed to pick up a little the rest of the way to work.

The trip home was kind of nice, except for my own stupidity.  The same place I got in the mud on Friday the CU water guys were still there working on a water main break.  There was a lot of water everywhere, but I discounted the red clay that I should have remembered until it was too late and I was smack in the middle of the gooey, slick stuff.  I made it through safely, but my bike and bag are a mess now.  I should have ridden three blocks out of my way and avoided it altogether! 

One problem I did have this morning is that I felt the cold wind hitting the top of my head.  I had run in my skullcap this morning, so it was a little sweaty, but I didn’t think any more so than other days.  Interestingly enough, I randomly followed a link from somewhere today that took me to Sheldon Brown’s website, and stumbled across a suggestion there to tape over the vent holes in your helmet for winter riding.  I think I’ll give that a try!


Stylish isn't it?

 Here’s my version of the same trick…..I figured it would be OK to tape from the inside since I never wear the thing without a headsweat or skullcap.


Hope it doesn't stick to my head!


God bless….


Friday…Can I just keep riding?

December 27, 2008

My run this morning was nothing special, but after running indoors already a couple of times this week, I was ready to get back outdoors.  I’m glad to have access to the fitness center with an indoor running track.  It sure beats cranking out mileage on a treadmill, but it’s still an ordeal.  Nine laps slowly adds up to a mile, so if you’re intending to run 5k, you’ve got to circle that thing 28 times.  Twenty eight mind-numbing times around that little circle.  Each lap takes 45-55 seconds, and there are clocks placed at two corners so you can tell how excruciatingly slow time is really passing.  The only saving grace is that there are at least people around to watch, and sometimes there are other runners on the track that you can try to catch. 

While the run was just kind of average, the ride to work was awesome.  With relatively warm temperatures (45 degrees when I left the house the first time), no significant wind, and absolutely no traffic this morning, I just wanted to keep riding.  My legs felt strong, the bike felt light, and the quietness of the morning really lifted my spirits.  That’s the thing I like best about my early morning rides…the quietness.  It’s especially nice as you move out into the countryside east of Springfield, but even in town this morning you could tell that a lot of people had the day off or were still out of town.   

Except for being 65 degrees when it was time to go home, the trip was pretty uneventful.  To break things up a little, I went south on Fremont and cut back over to Catalpa via Bennett.  It’s basically the same distance, but not as straight a shot since I have to jog around a little to get to the southbound Fremont bikeway.  It was so humid that I was throwing water off both tires the entire trip home, and at one point I had to cross a spot where a backhoe had been working in someone’s yard and had really mucked up the road.  Riding through a layer of good old red clay wasn’t much fun.  It felt like the bike could slide out from under me at any moment.

At this point of the year, each time I manage to ride my bike I wonder if it will be the last bike ride of the year.  I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and plan to ride again on Wednesday if the weather will cooperate.  I think January is generally a drier month than December, but the temperatures will bottom out so it might be a wash in terms of riding opportunities.  I keep thinking I should be able to ride in temps into the lower twenties, but so far every time it’s gotten that cold it’s been accompanied by storms or threats of storms.  I know there are some guys out there that don’t let anything stop them, but I’m not that hard-core!

God bless…



December 23, 2008

Let’s see….I think a new pair of booties to replace my ragged ones.
Or maybe, a set of fenders for the commuting bike?
How about a new long sleeve jersey? Or a new light for the tandem…new helmets for both of us? I know! A frame pump for the tandem!

Oh, the choices to be made when you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket needing to be spent. For Christmas, my very generous Sunday School class at church went out and got me a gift certificate to Sunshine Bike. I’m not sure what I do as their teacher that’s deserving of it, but it is very much appreciated.

I was amused that when Bill went in to buy it, he asked if they knew me and I guess one of the twins had been waiting on him. She of course knew exactly who he was asking about and told him that we ride their old tandem. I guess Pam and I will always be known to Kay and the girls as the folks riding their old bike because I talked Kevin into selling us their pristine Burley tandem with just a few miles on it when he ordered them a new one. He was hospitalized when the new bike came in and we picked ours up, got out for a few weeks and then was re-hospitalized again and passed away before their new bike got set up for them. After some folks finally helped them get the new bike set up, we saw them several times out on group rides, Pam and I on our nearly new red Burley Duet, and Jenna and Jerra on their new red Burley Rivazza. The two bikes are identical in appearance, so we made quite a sight!

You know, maybe I’ll just hang on to that gift certificate for a while. I’ve really got all I need right now, and eventually something is going to break! And then again…maybe it’s time to by those Keen cycling sandals I drooled over last year. I really like the pair of regular Keens I’ve worn for the past two summers….


Merry Christmas….and God bless.



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