Archive for January 2011

The calm before the storm!

January 31, 2011

After a relatively good rest day yesterday, this morning was one of those days where everything just kind of clicks for you (or at least it did for me).  I lifted weights for an hour, and felt great!  Then, I got on my bike to ride to work and really just ended up wishing I had further and longer to ride!

The temperature really makes all the difference in the world.  This morning was hovering around the 40 degree mark, which means a couple of things.  First, you don’t need so many clothes to stay warm.  I actually over-dressed just a bit, but not so much to be uncomfortable.  Second, it seems to me that I generally ride faster than when it’s colder.  I think my body responds better when I know I’m not generating such a cold wind!

And, speaking of wind, it was from the SE, which means that every leg of my trip to the office had some pushing wind.  That certainly helped!  As I was flying westward on Catalpa, I remember thinking that I hadn’t ridden with that much power and ease in quite some time.

The other thing I noticed this morning was that motorists seemed quite content to wait for me to pass before pulling out from either the left or right side.  I had at least three vehicles wait an unusually long time for me to pass rather than pulling out in front of me.  I gave each one a friendly wave as I passed to let them know I appreciated their patience.   I wondered if their patience may have been fueled by the fact that I put new batteries in all six lights (two on the front, two on the back, and two spoke-lights) last night.  I certainly felt like I was lit up like a christmas tree.

Finally, do you notice anything odd about the picture of my locker below:

You probably don’t, but I did.  It’s been cleaned!  It was gathering quite a few dust bunnies when I last saw it Friday at noon.  In addition to being dusted out, all the contents were neatly arranged inside instead of looking like their normal jumble.  It must have been the work of Shane, our custodian, because several others were open and looked just as neatly organized.  Whoever did it, their efforts were appreciated!

If you can believe the media hype, we’ve got a “monster winter storm” heading our way tonight/tomorrow.  Regardless of how much precip we end up getting, it looks like the temperature forecasts are approaching or below the point where I feel comfortable riding, so I’m glad I had such a good ride to work this morning in spite of the risk that I’m gonna get wet this afternoon.

God bless…


Saturday Fun!

January 29, 2011

With the promise of a beautiful and warm Saturday, Pam and I limited our Saturday morning run to 6.5 miles.  We’ve been trying to get a little more than that, but the forecasted temperature was going to hit what I call “The Tandem Threshold”, or 60 degrees.  When it’s colder than that, Pam usually doesn’t want to ride, and I don’t blame her.

By early afternoon, the temperature was right, the wind was mild, and the sun was shining, so we loaded up the bike and headed over to the Jewish Temple at Mentor.

As we prepared to mount up, we discussed whether to wear our jackets or just go ahead and strap them to the back of the bike.  We’re notorious about starting a ride, then having to stop at the top of the first hill for Pam to strip off her jacket and strap it on the back.  Today, we chose correctly, and got her coat off before we left the parking lot!

Stripping Down

Coat RackWith the coats safely stowed in case it started getting cooler, Pam was free to model her Fat Cyclist jersey.

PamFat Cyclist Jersey

Pretty snazzy isn’t it?  I’ve got one just like it, but the men’s version comes in black and orange instead of the pink. 

As we headed out, the tandem felt sluggish and awkward to us.  As we rode, we concluded we hadn’t had it on the road since the day before my surgery, which would have been August 15th.  That bike is the cycling equivalent of my grandma’s RV, so it is always pretty sluggish to ride, but the first few rides of the year are especially so.  We always say it takes a few rides to find our tandem legs and learn to work together again.  For the first ride of the year, I thought we did super!

On our way toward Rogersville on County Line Road, we came upon a farmhouse where a lady was sitting on the ground surrounded by goats!  We had never seen anything like that out there before.  She was just sitting in the sun with her goats grazing around her.  Pam grabbed the phone from my back pocket and grabbed the shot below as we rode past!

Goats!  (Somewhere)

I promise there are about a half dozen goats hiding behind that thumb!  Ha ha!  Sometimes you miss the picture when shooting from the back of a moving bike!

We kept the ride fairly short today.  Pam has a delightful backside, and since she hadn’t been on a bike in so long, I wanted to keep it that way!

Hope you got a chance to get out and enjoy yourself too!

God bless…


A partial commute!

January 29, 2011

Bike on Jeep 1Bike on Jeep 2

Because I had to drive to work yesterday for an off-site meeting in the afternoon, I decided to kill two birds with one drive.  The jeep was due for it’s 5k oil change, so I decided to haul the bike part way to work, drop the Jeep off at Midas and ride the rest of the way to the office.’

At lunch time, I rode back to Midas, paid for the oil change, then drove over to pick up my new glasses before heading back to the office.

Interestingly, I noted that it’s taken me since the last oil change in August 2009 to accumulate 5k miles on the Jeep.  I suppose letting the oil go that many months may not be the best in the world, but I hate to change it with just a few miles on it.

It’s really a shame the weather chose to get really nice the day I had to drive.  I could have enjoyed the additional miles on the bike!

God bless…


Reading Material

January 28, 2011

Something magical happened to me in the first grade.  I learned to read!  From the moment I learned to sound out the words “Run, Spot, Run” in those little Dick and Sally reading books, I was hooked.  For a country bumkin kid growing up in a small town, reading was an escape into worlds that I could only dream of.  When I was 12, my family moved to a larger small town where they had a library just down the street.  It was amazing to me….all I had to do was go in and sign my name on the little cards and walk away with as many books as I could carry.

My voracious reading appetite has abated somewhat as I’ve gotten older and life has taken over.  It’s a rare treat now to have the luxury of picking up a book and settling into a chair.  About the only chance I get is those rare times I have to get on an airplane and fly somewhere.

Luckily, I still have something of an outlet.  I love to read bike blogs on the internet.  It seems natural to me because it combines my two favorite activities – cycling and reading.  I rarely let more than a couple of days pass without clicking through the list of blogs on the right side of this page.  Because of that, I thought I would take a day and highlight some of them.  Click through to these folks and give them a read!

Here are some of my newer links:

Barn Door Cycling

Body, Mind, and Soul


Jim Phillips’ Blog

Purple Traveller

Two Feet Off the Asphalt

Saddle Surfin’

And here are some of my old favorites:



Biking in Heels

DFW Point to Point

Fat Cyclist


Zeke’s Great Smokies Adventures


When you’re done reading these, get out there and ride.  The weather’s nice for a change!

God bless…



















Nice Setup!

January 26, 2011

So far, this week is turning out quite nicely in terms of commuting weather.  Maybe a little chilly in the mornings (my backyard thermometer read 21 this morning), but very tolerable in the evenings.  The best thing about it is that it’s getting light earlier and staying light later!

Last night on the way home, it was even light enough to get a compliment on my bike!  As I pulled up to the stoplight at Glenstone and Bennett, I noticed a guy watching me as he walked toward his car in the gas station parking lot.  I didn’t think anything of it until a few minutes later when I glanced his way again, and this time he shouted, “Nice setup!”.

I waved and thanked him as he turned away and my light changed.  As I rode off, I thought, “Boy, it’s nice to be noticed!”.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get noticed nearly as well this morning.  I had two cars pull out in front of me within a two minute span.  The first I attributed to mis-judging my speed, as I was coming down the hill on Fremont to Chestnut and a SPS van pulled out from the left in front of me.  He took his time getting up to speed, and I had to slow down to keep from rear-ending him.

Just across Chestnut, as I was preparing to turn left, I encountered one of those situations that I just know is going to end badly.  I needed to make a left turn on Central past a car that was sitting there waiting to come straight.  There was another car approaching from my front, with it’s right turn signal on.  It seems like every time there are three of us converging on the same intersection, one of the drivers fails to see me in spite of the fact that I’m riding in middle of the traffic lane and flailing my arm to indicate my left turn.  Sure enough, as soon as the approaching car turned right, the goofy lady in the car on Central zoomed out in front of me, forcing me to come to a complete stop! I’m not sure why that particular situation is so problematic, but it sure is.  It’s a good thing I’ve learned to watch for it…

Does anyone else out there consistently have that same issue?

God bless…



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