Archive for March 2011

I planned it that way…

March 30, 2011

I live on a hill.  In more ways than one.  Our street consists of only one block, and it’s all downhill from the top of the street to my driveway.  In addition, there is a bit of a slope from the house down to the street, so my driveway has a good angle to it as well.  Those two things make it real interesting when we have snow and ice.  That’s why I drive a 4 x 4.

Coming into the driveway on a bicycle, however, is usually quite fun.  I’ve got a two block long downhill coast, a right turn up my driveway, and a fairly quick stop in front of the garage.  I usually come flying down the hill and only start hitting the brakes as I turn into the drive, letting the uphill slope assist in getting me stopped before I slam into the garage doors.

Last night I came screaming into the driveway in the usual manner, but as I hit it, I felt the back tire roll beneath me and for a split second, I thought I might go down!  What the heck?  Sure enough, my back tire was soft as a mushroom.  By the time I had taken my bag inside and let Pam know I was changing the tire before I came back in, it was completely flat.

She came down to watch me finish up, and commented, “Well, at least you had the flat in the driveway.”

“No dear.  I planned it that way!”

God bless…

TW

People I see – 3/29/2011

March 29, 2011

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Quite frequently during the spring and fall, I see the Drury University Cross Country Team out running as I near the office.  These young men are “real runners”.  You can just tell from looking at them, that unlike mine, their bodies are made for running.  They’re long and lean, without an ounce of fat anywhere.  They’re also a lot tougher than I am.  They never wear anything on their legs, and often will be either shirtless or only wearing a singlet in weather that would freeze me. 

I’m so jealous!

God bless…

TW

Warm Winter Day or Cold Spring Day?

March 28, 2011

March 28 Snow,

I’m not sure which it was, a warm winter day or a cold spring one.  At any rate, see what we woke up to?  Except my morning commute, which was at 35 degrees, I never could get comfortable.  I was either too cold or too hot.

I had to meet a furnace man, so I left work at noon today.  The sun was shining, but there was a bit of wind blowing, and the Weather Channel indicated 40 degrees, so I wore most of my morning clothes and sweated like a pig!

After the furnace guy left, I headed out for a ride to Strafford, and I never could get comfortable.  If I tried to bundle up, I got hot.  If I tried to unzip and cool down, I got cold.  The temperature when I left was 44, but the clouds rolled in shortly after and that made a pretty big difference.

Pierson Creek

Pierson Creek was flowing nicely and crystal clear when I crossed it.  As I got up out of the creek bottom, it became apparent the trip to Strafford would be nothing but a chilly slog against the wind the entire way.  To be honest, I didn’t enjoy it all that much!

Low Water CrossingDanforth Cemetary Hill

When I got to the low-water crossing below Danforth Cemetery, I couldn’t tell until I got right up to it whether there was any slime on the road or not.  As I pulled to a stop prior to crossing it, the crossing looked safe enough to inch across.  No slick stuff, and only about an inch of water.  The problem was, though, I lost all my momentum and was faced with the nasty climb up to the cemetery.  After struggling up this one on the tandem so often, it seems like a piece of cake on my road bike!

If I had planned better, I would have stayed out of Strafford altogether.  I intended to cross over the interstate there, which meant I had to go straight through town.  Unfortunately, my arrival coincided with the dismissal of school.  Have you ever experienced the end of a school day in a small town?  At least around here, the streets become flooded with way too many cars driven way to fast by high school kids!  Let me tell you, it’s not the best place for a little guy on a bicycle to be!

After crossing the highway, I got to ride with my back to the wind for a few miles.  After the slog out, it was really nice to be able to cruise at 20+ mph without a lot of effort.  All too soon, however, those happy miles ended and I had to turn back to the south, which meant that I had to deal with a cross wind again.

After stopping for a couple of work related calls, I made it home with 29.4 miles on the bike.  That gave me around 46.5 for the day.  I tried to get a GPS track, but the Garmin was dead.  For some reason, Pam’s (the one we use for running) is always charging, and cycling one is always dead when I want it.  I wonder why that’s so hard to get coordinated?

God bless…

TW 

Rainy Friday

March 25, 2011

We had a rainy Friday morning.  I heard thunder somewhere in the night, and by the time I got up at 5:00, radar looked like most of the rain had passed to our east, with just a few scattered showers lingering.  There was no question I would ride, but my attire was uncertain.  After lifting weights, I poked my head out the door to find slightly damp looking pavement and no rain, so I decided that regular cool weather clothes were in order.

At the very last minute before I headed out the door, however, I decided to stop and move my rain gear from the bottom of my pannier to the top where it would be more accessible if I needed it.

As I headed up the hill out of the river valley, I noticed I had a favorable wind and the temperature seemed comfortable in spite of being an almost duplicate of yesterday.  Based on those two factors, I decided to turn left and take the long way to work (10 miles exactly).  As soon as I made that turn and was exactly one mile from home, guess what?  Yep, it started raining.  After crossing Highway 65, I decided to duck under cover of a building overhang and put my rain gear on.  Off come my boots.  Off come my sweat pants.  On go my rain pants.  On go my boots.  On goes my rain jacket.  Off I go into a delightfully light rain that lasted most of the way to work!

I think next time I should just wear the rain gear from the beginning instead of undressing on the sidewalk in front of passing traffic! 

God bless…

TW

Note:  It wasn’t really as bad as undressing.  It only involved stripping off the outer layer of pants, leaving me standing there in my tights.   Who knows, however, what it looked like to passing cars!

Dan Kinney Park

March 24, 2011

Dan Kinney

I’ve been taking the long way home this week.  When I do, I have to grind my way up the hill on Blackman Road past the new Dan Kinney Park.  Until yesterday, it had been jam packed with people enjoying the park and the weather.  With the return of chilly weather, the only folks out there as I pedaled home were several senior citizens taking advantage of the walking path.

Dan Kinney Park

The playground and the walking trail are all that have been completed at this point, but there is a family center / fitness center and ball diamond planned.  A facility like this will be is sorely needed out on our side of town.  It’s only a mile from our house, and the only thing I regret about it is that it’s coming about 20 years too late for my kids!

Oh well….

God bless…

TW


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