Archive for August 2011

Streets….

August 31, 2011

I guess this is the new norm for a while.  If you look closely, you can see four cars in this picture.  It’s the corner of Eastgate and Catalpa.  During the summer, it was rare to be passed by cars out here, but there’s been a steady stream of them this week.  Oh well.

I’ve also been watching another traffic situation kind of nervously.  This has been the scene on Stewart street between St. Louis and Trafficway this week.

It’s been turned into a staging area for street resurfacing.  I think the official term is Micro Sealing, but I’ve noticed fresh pavement several places around town lately.  I keep thinking I’m going to cross paths with a place they’re working at some point, but I haven’t yet.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope it doesn’t happen.

Other than those distractions, I sure enjoyed the ride to work this morning.  When you combine a decent tailwind with a freshly cleaned and lubed drivetrain, it’s really sweet!

God bless….

TW

Riding Herd

August 30, 2011

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Well, it’s that time of year again on campus.  As I ride down Greek Row, the scene above is what I encountered on Friday evening, and the one below is what was going on yesterday.

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Way back when, when I was in school, I had a disgust for the activities of the fraternities and sororities.  I guess my view was tainted by the partying that I associated with those organizations.  As I’ve aged, and obviously gotten wiser and more mellow, I think that perhaps a more open mind would have been in order.  Who knows, maybe that would have given my social graces a jump start that was sorely needed.

I wish the best to all these pledges as they move forward with their college careers…..


Speaking of pledges….didn’t you like that segue?  Anyway, speaking of pledges, would you please go click that LiveStrong band in the upper right hand corner of this page and make a donation to Livestrong/Lance Armstrong Foundation?  The proceeds go to a great cause, and I’m not asking you to do something that I haven’t already done.  By the end of the year, Pam and I will have donated over $600 to LiveStrong.  As you can see, I’ve already put my money where my mouth is.  Can you donate $5 or $10 to help the cause in the fight against cancer.

God bless…

TW

It seems a waste….

August 28, 2011

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I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve had the new Madone for over a month now, and it’s only been ridden twice, for a total of 41 miles.  Other than that, it makes a good decoration on the garage wall.

What can I say….when a guy commutes by bike between 90 and 100 miles a week and the bike of choice for Saturdays is the tandem, there isn’t a lot of room for other rides.

As usual, that will change this fall when it starts cooling off and we stop getting out on the tandem.  Unless, of course, we start picking up our running mileage…..

God bless…

TW

Celebrities?

August 28, 2011

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We were invited a couple of weeks ago by Ron to participate a fundraiser for the Assembly of God Headquarters benevolence fund.  It’s a small ride of primarily AG Headquarters folks of varying abilities that loops from the Positronics plant in NW Springfield out to Willard and back for about 25 miles. 

When we got there, we were both amused and honored to see the notice above taped to the registration table.  Celebrities?  Us?  When Pam saw that, she warned me to be on my best behavior.  No snot rockets or anything else obnoxious was allowed for the morning.  Geez…talk about taking the fun out of things!

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Mike was going to join us as well as Brian, another friend from church, but as ride time approached, they were nowhere to be seen.  I finally called him to see if he was getting close, but his reply was that he was waiting in the parking lot, and where were we?  Turns out he had gone to the wrong Positronics plant.  Luckily, Brian had driven and it was just a few minutes away.  As they pulled into the parking lot, Mike saw me with my camera pointed their way and let out a big scream because he knew he had just become blog fodder!

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We hurried them through the registration process and were soon on our way.  We rode to Willard in a small peloton consisting of Mike, Brian, Paul (a guy just beginning to train to be a chaplin), Tim, Shane and another who’s name is escaping me.  If you’re him, please forgive me.  Mike pretty much set the pace, leading off the front and waiting for us at highway and street crossings.  If you look closely at the picture below, you can almost see him as a blue speck way out in front.

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This was our first chance to ride with Brian.  He lives not very far from us and owns a small machine shop out in Rogersville, so he ends up riding a lot of the same roads we do.  We’ve actually ridden past his shop several times as we go out to White Oak Road just east of Rogersville.DSC07524

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As we pulled into McDonalds in Willard, Mike took the opportunity to evangelize Tim on the benefits of bull horn handlebars and even gave him a chance to ride his bike.  That’s probably not a good thing.  The poor guy probably came back drooling and deciding he needs a new bike.  That bike is one sweet ride!

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Ron did an excellent job of organizing and leading this ride.  I believe they raised a record amount for their benevolence fund, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.  Pam commented later that the entire group seemed to be a bunch of really nice people! 

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I failed to get a picture of Ron’s gracious wife Jan beside him.  I think she as riding sweep all day, so she played an important part in the ride as well.

As we headed out after our rest stop, our little peloton of seven bikes was intact, but Mike kept riding off the front.  At one point, I decided we needed to show him a thing or two, so we picked up the pace a bit.  When we did, we dropped a couple of guys, but Tim and Shane stayed with us.  I kept watching Tim and could tell he was having to work pretty hard, but he managed to stay with us the entire time!  Good job!

Just before we pulled into the parking lot, we got to take a forced break when we got caught by a train!

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Notice the cue sheet pinned to my back?  That’s a trick Pam and I learned quite a while ago.  She’s much better able to focus on it than I can, and it gives her something to keep occupied with.  In addition, it greatly reduces the number of wrong turns by the captain!

We had a good time riding with the group and really appreciated the invitation!

But….our riding day wasn’t over.  Afterward, we parked at Evans Road and went solo to Ozark for lunch.  Our destination was the Riverwalk Jazz Café.  It’s a foo-foo tea room type of place just off the square in Ozark.

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We’ve eaten there a couple of other times, but yesterday just wasn’t their day.  They had a good crowd, but were short on help and running out of stuff right and left.  I was disappointed.  I had chosen that place thinking I would get a nice piece of pie.  I had to settle for a cookie!

One thing that was interesting though, was that Larry was adding to the big mural on one wall.  It’s been a work in process since we started going there, and it looks to be about half-done now.

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We finished the day with a total of 50 miles on the bike.  Here are the GPS tracks.

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Lunch Ride

In all, a good day to be on the bike! 

God bless…

TW

They’re back….

August 25, 2011

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Well, school’s started.  My days of traffic free morning commutes are over, although I didn’t notice much of an uptick today.  I guess I was just a little ahead of it.

One interesting thing did happen, though.  I slapped myself later for not getting a picture, but for some reason I totally didn’t consider it.

As I was heading north on Barnes, I noticed a group of people standing on the street corner at Barnes and Grand.  At first, I thought they were just a bunch of students waiting on a bus, but as I got closer, I could tell they were mostly adults, with maybe one or two high school aged students.  When I passed, I thought to myself, “That’s kind of a gnarly looking bunch.”, then I noticed a couple of motorcycles parked up the street in a drive.

A couple blocks down the street, there were another group at Barnes and Monroe, so I stopped and asked, “Hey, what are you guys up to this morning?  I saw another group of you up the street.”  As I spoke, this grizzly group of about 6 men and women all turned to me and gave me a good looking over.  These motorcyclists were the real deal.  I mean, they weren’t a bunch of middle class businessmen and women dressed in leathers out for their weekend ride.  Pretty soon, the most grizzled of the group answers, “Well, we’re just visiting a friend”. 

“Oh.  Well, I saw another bunch of motorcycles up the street, so I was wondering if there was something going on?” 

“No, we’re just visiting”.

I presume it was some sort of a back to school safety event, but this guy sure didn’t want to tell me why they were there and none of the others spoke up.  As I thanked them and started to pull away, “old grizzly” kind of grins at me and says, “Sure do like your mirror!”. 

I just thanked them again and continued on my way….thinking they were probably having a good laugh at the cyclist in his sissy looking cycling shorts!

God bless…

TW


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