Archive for October 2012

Two views of the same building

October 31, 2012

Today was one of those special mornings that it was just a pleasure to be alive and healthy.  After the seemingly bitter cold (but really just barely freezing) mornings the past few days, it was in the mid-forties when Pam and I went out to run.  I was content with 4 miles, but since she knew there would be food at work today she forced me into 5.  Makes sense to me…it’s just the opposite of carb-loading.  I guess we could call it carb-unloading.

Anyway, after carb-unloading for 5 miles, I jumped on the bike and headed to work.  As I was riding west on Trafficway, I noticed the sky getting really pretty behind me.  I kept looking for a spot to take a picture, but everything looked cluttered with power lines.  Then I noticed the base of Hammons Tower beginning to reflect the brightening sky and set my sights on that.  Bypassing my normal turnoff on Fremont, I continued to watch for a decent place to grab a picture.  I was thinking that the stoplight at National might afford an opportunity, but when I got there, construction barricades blocked the view.  I slipped through them and continued riding toward the building where I found a nice little pull-off at the end of the stadium parking lot.  As you can see above, I think it was worth my effort.

With that mission accomplished, I continued my jaunt westward and headed north on Kimbrough over the MLK Bridge.  I didn’t get very far.

The sky was brilliant!  I quickly looked around, saw that there were no cars approaching and hopped off my bike.  Unfortunately, the chain link fence was in the view, so to get the shot I wanted, I had to climb up on the guard rail separating the bike lane from the sidewalk and lift my camera over the top of the fence.  By that time, there was a steady stream of cars passing.  Needless to say, I felt a little conspicuous, but I did get the picture I was looking for.

And that, my friends, is why I enjoy riding my bike to work.  You never know when you’re going to stumble into a fun, exciting adventure.

God bless….

TW

Spur of the moment ride

October 29, 2012

I’m really fortunate to live where I do.  I’m right on the edge of town and can be out on quiet country roads in just a few minutes.  It makes it easy to take off on a bike ride with just a moment’s notice.  That’s what I did Sunday afternoon.  Things got kinda quiet, so I decided I would take advantage of the 50 degree weather to get my road bike out for a spin.  I knew I had about an hour and a half, so I decided on my 23 mile “Long High School” loop, got dressed, pumped up the tires, and headed out.

As usual, it took several miles to reacquaint myself with the road bike.  The Madone is just so nimble and geared so differently from my other bikes  that it takes a while to settle into a smooth, efficient spin.  It didn’t help that there was a respectable wind blowing from the northeast to push me around a little bit, making me feel pretty slow out of the gate.

Part of that slowness may have been due to the 8 miles Pam and I ran on Saturday.  I noticed my quads and hamstrings were a little tender, but that worked itself out as I rode and by the time I got home, I was just feeling pleasantly tired.

As soon as you get up the hill at Turner’s, the terrain out in that area turns pretty darn flat.  It’s excellent grassland, and there are a couple of really big hay operations out there in addition to the beef and dairy farms, but in terms of cycling, it’s the kind of place where it’s really fun to just put your head down and pedal fairly hard.  Unfortunately, there was just enough wind that I never really felt like I was flying!  Or maybe, that’s because I’m just not fast enough anymore to feel like I’m flying.  I’m not sure which….

I didn’t see another cyclist the entire time I was out, which is really a shame.  The weather around here is getting kind of persnickety and we’re not going to get a lot of decent riding days before now and the end of the year.  You can rest assured I’ll be taking advantage of these remaining nice days as best as I can.

I made it home in an hour and 20 minutes, well within my allotted time.  Here are links to the GPS track.

Garmin Connect

Strava

 

God bless…

TW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Police Takedown

October 26, 2012

I’ve known for a while that Springfield had a few “bicycle cops”, concentrated mainly around the college campuses and downtown.   I remember seeing a newspaper article quite a while ago that talked about them and the training they got, but honestly, I figured they just kind of tootled around doing routine patrols and promoting goodwill.  Yesterday, however, I saw one in action, and could tell this guy meant business and was an accomplished cyclist as well.  Here’s what happened…

As I was walking back from lunch with Pam, all of a sudden I heard several sirens and saw police cars pull out of three streets onto Jefferson at adjacent blocks and head south.  About that time, I saw a cop on a MTB come tearing out of the Drury campus police station, ride half a block on the sidewalk and then head east toward campus.  Meanwhile, the cops in cars all stopped for perhaps 30 seconds, then every one backed up, turned around and came tearing full speed up Jefferson the wrong way.   I remember thinking, “Should I be walking here?”.   As they were heading for me, the bicycle cop came flying out from between two buildings, shot between parked cars off the curb, jumped the curb on the other side of the street about 20 feet in front of me and pedaled furiously across the lawn of the student housing on the west side of Jefferson.  The police cars basically followed him in that same direction.

When I got to the office, my curiosity got the best of me so I walked across the parking lot and looked north on Robberson, where they had a lady spread-eagled across the back of a police cruiser.   I looked for something on the news, but never did see anything about it.  Whatever it was, they were really serious about catching her.

What impressed me, though was the way the bike cop rode.  I never saw him let up, and he literally came flying over that curb without the least bit of hesitation.  When I saw that, I realized he was capable of way more than just “tootling around”.

Good job guys!

God bless…

TW

More Good Stuff

October 25, 2012

Day 1 - The view from the catwalk.

Day 2 - New concrete pad

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Day 3 - Setting the bike locker.

Yes, we’re getting a bike locker at the office.  There has been ongoing conversation about a couple of the guys who insist on taking their bikes to their cubicles when they ride.  I’m generally happy to leave mine in our locked courtyard, but I will sometimes bring it in during inclement weather if the storage room outside the locker rooms is empty.  It’s been a couple of years since our facilities folks first asked me about parking, so I was happy to hear that they were moving forward with lockers.

As I understand it, there will eventually be two units installed.  All told, I think we have about six folks who commute by bike at times.  I’m the most consistent rider, and will be happy to use these if they’re available!

It just so happens that I brought my lock today, and with a minor shower blowing through right after lunch, I took advantage of the opportunity to keep my bike dry!

Thanks, CU!

God bless….

TW

Life Lessons

October 24, 2012

 

For the life of me, I can’t fathom what it is about adolescent boys that makes them think it’s OK to yell at people who are pedaling down the road minding their own business.  It caused such a quandary in my mind that I decided to go back and ask them.

Needless to say, I didn’t get much of an answer.  The kid in yellow was quick to rat out his buddy, then it was funny to see the offender squirm.  The little turd had the audacity to try to convince me he was giving me a compliment on my lights.  Somehow, I didn’t perceive the phrase “You’re an old man” to be much of a compliment and told him so.

I’m hoping the kid learned a life lesson about life’s consequences, but I’m guessing he probably didn’t.  Oh well.  I tried.

God bless…

TW

 


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