Friday, April 30, 2010

The Antelope Valley Trail is OPEN!!!

My camera was buried under new innertubes from Joyride and sweaty morning clothes, otherwise I would have taken pictures of the super-clean and barricade free Antelope Valley trail. I'm going to guess they cleaned it up for the Lincoln Marathon on Sunday.

I rode a portion of the Marathon Route home (20th street, Antelope Valley, etc.), the temporary "no parking from 5am to noon Sunday 5-2-10" signs are up everywhere.

After dinner I rode with my son for a little more than an hour and a half while my wife and daughter went shopping. He's three years old and enjoys cycling almost as much as I do (or finds shopping as boring as I do...).

We rode roughly 2 miles on the MoPac together before doing laps around the playground equipment and picnic tables at McAdams park.

Ian really likes climbing the westbound hill on the way back from 56th street. A young couple remarked that I was "making him climb up the hill?" I pointed out that I have been told more than once that he doesn't need help. He's a little billy goat when it comes to pedalling up the hills.

When it was time to go home, he wanted to "go fast!"

I paced him at 7mph. I started laughing because he weighs 34lbs soaking wet!

Neither training wheel touches when he goes that fast. Hmm...

I have a feeling he might enjoy BMX in the coming years. He asks me to take the training wheels off so he can "do tricks!" like the kids we see on the makeshift jumps north of the MoPac near the 48th street bridge.

Mileage? Don't care. Too much good news today to ruin it with some numbers. If I had to guess it was 16 miles.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Took the long ride home both ways

I enjoy watching construction, so I took the Antelope Valley trail both ways. The 20mph tailwind pushed me most of the way home.

A tornado watch was also in effect this afternoon. For some reason folks don't like going out when there's a tornado watch. That reduced the number of obstacles.

14.2 miles round trip.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bike to Work, Lincoln!

Mayor Beutler's Cleaner Greener Lincoln initiative is sponsoring "Bike to Work, Lincoln!" to coincide with Bike to Work Week.

There will be an official start to "Bike to Work, Lincoln!" on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Official Press Release from the City of Lincoln

On May 14, at 7:30 am, meet at one of the four following locations:

  • Peter Pan Park (32nd and X)
  • Champions Club (Stadium Drive)
  • Lincoln Children's Zoo (27th and B)
  • Salt Creek Levee Trail (West end of A street viaduct)

And then pedal with local celebrities to a rally at 8am outside of the State Office Building downtown, where one can tour exhibits, enjoy refreshments, and register for prizes.

While I'm not a local celebrity, you can join me at Peter Pan Park that morning.

Epic winds and Flirting with Disaster.

I woke up this morning to a 12mph headwind and rode trails most of the way in instead of taking my "central Lincoln neighborhoods" route. This adds about 1.7 miles to my route, but it lets me check out the progress on the Antelope Valley trail. It is progressing nicely.

I met up with a fellow commuter who I met at Joyride's winter "sweatfest" workouts. We rode together for a short bit, I got the impression he wasn't trying to break a sweat today.

After work I was greeted with a 30mph tailwind.


Nothing quite like flirting with disaster. Without going into too much detail, I manage to break posted speed limits.

I ride on residential streets when I have such a tailwind. They're relatively car-free after 5:30, and more importantly, pedestrian/jogger/dog walker/rollerblader-free. The trails aren't wide enough for me to give a 3 foot berth when I pass at 30+mph. I owe that to other users of the trail.

After dinner, the kids and I went outside and flew kites.

13.8 almost disastrous miles today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get pumped! Bike to Work Week starts May 17!

Are you ready for Bike to Work Week?

Lincoln is.

Lincoln is criss-crossed with bike trails and low-volume streets marked as "Bike Route".

Here's a map.

The average high temps in May are in the lower 70s. It's rainy to be sure (Lincoln averages 4 and a quarter inches for the whole month) but you're not going to melt.

Now's the time to start planning. Get the bike off that J-Hook in the garage. Take it to a shop now (links on the right) for a tune-up. Shop repair stands were already getting busy back in March.

If you don't have a bike, all of Lincoln's bike shops have a great selection of mountain or hybrid bicycles in the $300-$500 range that will shift properly and quietly.

Sure, you can get a bike for one-third to one half the price of a shop quality bike at Wal-mart or Target, but department store bikes are heavy, put together hastily and make noise no matter what you do. If you find you enjoy commuting, you'll find yourself buying the good bike anyways.

While you're at the shop, grab a bag (backpack, messenger bag, frame bag, etc.) big enough for a change of clothes, a minipump, a couple spare innertubes and a set of tire levers. Also get the minipump, spare tubes and tire levers if you don't already have them.

To emphasize the fun, you should do a practice inner tube change in your garage/yard/sidewalk/parking lot and a practice commute the weekend before.

See you on the trails

Late for work!

I overslept a little this morning. I cut 1/4 mile off my ride and portaged the bike over my shoulder down a short hill and over some rail road tracks. In retrospect, that saved me two big fat minutes. Oh well.

I took the long way home on Lincoln's trail network to make up for my lack of foresight. I avoided streets at all costs.

An LES truck was driving up the Rock Island, I was hoping I'd get a nice motorized windbreak, but to no avail. They stopped and let everyone pass. Then I bumped into some fine folks with the Lincoln Park and Rec department working on the landscaping for the officially-closed-but-we'll-look-the-other-way Antelope Valley trail.

It was a beautiful 63 degrees and sunny on the ride home.

Total of 12.9 fast miles today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Who Ordered the Cold Weather?

I rode in to work this morning and it was about 50 degrees with a light northwesterly wind.

When I got home I flipped on the Weather Channel to discover it was 48, rainy and windy. It was still out of the northwest, but gusting to 30mph.

In Southeast Nebraska, we have a distinct lack of mountains (or any other significant geographic feature, for that matter). What we miss in hills, we make up for in wind. There's nothing to stop it and it just blows 10 months out of the year.

I like to refer to those winds as "Nebraska Alps". It's the closest thing we get to a mountain road 'round these parts.

I decided today that those winds weren't enough resistance, so I hit Calvert Street off the Rock Island and took that to 44th, and took 44th back home. (There's a couple of other streets, but you get the idea.)

Today's distance: 12.6 underdressed and slightly chilly miles.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Work? Nah, not today.

30 or so folks gathered near the Zoo to ditch work and ride a bike. It was windy and rainy.

Then it got windier. And rainier.

Met cool people, saw cool bikes. Got swag at shops.

Lunch at Pepe's Veggie-Mex, above the "Against the wall" art gallery in Havelock. Definitely eating there again.

The sun came out. Ironically, we lost half of our riders. They had other things to do. The final couple of folks to peel off were at the last stop, Cycleworks at 27th and Vine.

10 of us finally made it back to the shelter north of the Zoo.

Then tragedy struck: my front tire went down near the skate ramps in Peter Pan Park, about a mile from home.

It's kinda like the subscription cards in magazines: they're inserted loosely into a magazine, which then flys all over the world, through various transport machines and bags, and the card stays inside until the magazine is in your lap.

I rode my bike all over Lincoln, over uneven pavement and through some rocks and the tire goes "fft fft fft" on a clean patch of bike path.

I logged 49 miles. Well, 48 pedaling, one walking.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Normal commute and equipment woes.

Nothing special today. 11.9 miles of wind-free riding. Effortless. Lots of folks outside enjoying the 68 degree temps this evening. Days like today are reminders that I really need some sunglasses.

Absolutely spectacular riding conditions. These are the days that make me glad I don't have to drive to and from work. I've already forgotten about the epic winter.

Tonight I swapped out the 700x45 tires on the Millennium Falcon (the crankset says "Hyperdrive" on it) for some 700x28s to take on Wednesday's NSFW ride. The Millennium Falcon has a rack. The road bike doesn't: I don't feel like wearing a backpack for 43 miles.

I have had a popped bungee on my panniers for a month now, the bungee kinda stays hooked on if I don't pull too hard, but it works loose as I ride and then the pannier starts flopping like a fish. I think it's time to give up and get a replacement of some kind from a hardware store over lunch tomorrow.

NSFW on Wednesday

The Not Sorry (for) Forgetting Work 2010 ride (NSFW 2010) is an event on April 21, 2010 celebrating cycling, Lincoln's bike trail network and spring weather.

Read about the NSFW 2010 here.

I can't help but think that someone is going to show up with NSFW videos or pics on some kind of mobile electronics device.

I'll be there, but without the NSFW Videos and Pics.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Short and Hilly Ride.

I live in central Lincoln, which puts me near many of Lincoln's bike trails and bike-friendly roads. Heck, a street intersection with the MoPac trail is around the corner from my house. This affords me the luxury of being able to get on my bike and get a ride on a variety of road or trail surfaces.

This morning was one such ride. I was pressed for time, so I went for intensity. 44th street and Calvert are a collection of short and relatively steep hills. 20th street also has a few hills.

I kept it intense by pushing bigger gears. I keep it in the big ring until my cadence drops below 60rpm. This causes my heart rate to jump and my quads to burn. My max heart rate was 191 beats per minute, average was 162.

The only drawback is waiting for traffic. That totally messes up my rhythm.

I rode 13 miles in 43 minutes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good thing I have more than one bike.

I woke up this morning to find the back tire of my commuter/city bike deflated. I hate it when that happens.

My first thought wasn't "better get in the car!", it was "get the roadie bike down and empty the panniers into the backpack!"

Since rain was forecast, I strapped on my roadie bike's fenders.

I was lagging behind. So I hopped on the bike and "pushed it to the floor" on the straightest route possible to work. I covered a touch under 6 miles in 22 minutes.

I had to get home quickly after work, so I took the same short route home.

I rode a total of 11.9 miles

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Have a fun ride home"

So I was walking out the door of the office with my helmet and keys in one hand and panniers in the other when a co-worker wished for me to "have a fun ride home!"

Whenever someone wishes for me to have a good time at whatever I do, I often reply with "you too!" It's an instinct many of us possess. I would have been embarrassed to let out a "you too" here, because she didn't ride, she drove a car.

I stumbled over the right words for a beat in my head and let out a "thanks" acknowledging the co-worker, holding back my "you too!"

It always works out this way: the right words don't usually come to me until a minimum of 15 seconds after the fact.

What I should have said was "I always do!"

Today's out and back commute was 14.3 miles of fun.