Monday, September 28, 2009

Bike MS 2009

Well, I did it!  I made it through the ride.  The LONGEST ride for me, to date.  On Saturday, I decided to challenge myself with the century loop, so I pulled out a grand total of about 104 miles.  Very worth it as it was a much flatter ride than the last 10 miles of the normal route (plus I got a cool pin and bragging rights).  Got several comments on my beast, one notable is from a guy who was self-supporting running full front and back Arkel panniers.  He made his comment as he blew by me in a pack of riders.  Someday...

On Sunday, I sagged forward with most of Team MO-KAN-DO (the team I rode with) past the big hills to Warrensburg.  Glad I did.  The headwinds were brutal all day and I would have a hard time doing the full 80 miles.  At lunch, I bumped into Randall from the Un-Lenexa Cave Ride.  He was riding a fixie the whole way - quite a setup.  This picture is not great, but it was a kind of time-trial looking bike with a Spinergy wheel on the front and a Zipp wheel on the back (the Zipp was not wind-friendly, he said - it acted like a sail).  Gotta hand it to him, though.
















Anyway, had a great time and know what to expect for next year.  Definitely going to bring the iPOD and the pannier was nice to have, though it probably slowed me down a bit.  Definitely going to ride with the team again.

The best part was crossing the finish line as I took my medal from a lady in a wheelchair who has MS, I heard her clearly say "Thank you!".  All worth it.   Thanks to those who donated.  Still not too late if you want - here's my donation page.

Start Line on Saturday - Beautiful 54 degrees














At times, the roads seemed to go on forever...














Self-portrait after finishing

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bike MS Prep

Well, I'm getting ready to ride Bike MS 2009 this coming weekend.  It's not too late to donate to me, if you'd like.  In fact, you can donate all the way up to October 30th.

So, I was up late tonight working on getting my bike all ready since I won't have much time tomorrow (surgery day for my dear wife).  Though I love both my Planet Bike Blaze headlight and my Ortlieb Handlebar Bag, I'd been having a hard time trying to figure out how to mount it so the light would shine over the top of the bag.  I bought a Topeak BarXtender, but it still wasn't long enough.  Then, it came to me.  I figured out a way to mount it to the top of the front fork.  After a test run with zip ties, and a trip to the hardware store, here's the final result.














Instead of the metal clamp band, a long screw runs through the mounting piece and ultimately ends up holding on the fender, as well.  It seems to work quite well - I'm pretty jazzed about it.

In other, not so good news, while I was lubing my chain, I noticed this:














GAH!  This bike is NOT that old.  Shouldn't be doing that.  Going to call the bike shop once I get back.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hiatus

Ugh.  Well, I was on a hiatus from commuting last week.  On-call weeks at work are not easy to balance with that because I can work really strange hours and potentially need a car to drive around the city.  I missed it.  Back in the saddle tomorrow...looking forward to it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Lunch and Leftovers

Since no one else could go, I took a nice little ride to lunch on the bike.  Had a free birthday meal at Houlihan's.  So, I biked over (1.5 miles) and had some eats.  Was able to lock up on the fence that encloses the patio area.  No worries.














Leftovers?  No problem!!













A quick stop at the bank on the way back and my errands for the day are done.  Two days into this and I'm finding even less need for my car on a day-to-day basis.

Day 2

Once again, 05:00 came early.  It was a lot cooler this morning, plus it's Friday, so I decided to try riding to the bus in my jeans and polo.  It worked quite well.  A shoe change and hair comb was all that was required once I got to work.

Here's the 'B' bus that picks me up at 151st & Ridgeview.  It's pretty dark, still, at 5:50 AM, so sorry this is grainy.













Then, I catch the 'H' bus at the Strang Line Park and ride.  It drops me off on the Sprint Nextel Campus in Overland Park.  (That's my bike loaded on the front)













Gonna take off early today so I can make it home to bring the girls to the Liverpool concert this evening.  Sprint is hosting them along with some cheap eats.  It should be fun!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 1 - Ride Home

Had a great ride home yesterday.  I clocked in at just over 15 miles.  Very uneventful, but nice.  A little moist (I love my Ortlieb bags) due to some misty rain.  Still working on the route just south of the campus.  Had to wander through the neighborhoods just a bit.  I'll see how it goes on Friday.  My plan is to only ride on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I figure that will give my legs a break until I get used to it.  Plus, due to the nature of my job, I sometimes need my car to drive across town to work on things.

In other randomness, I got a Vita-Mix 5200 from my in-laws as a birthday gift this morning!  RAWK!  I almost bought one of these back in April, but decided to wait.  It can tear down fruit, veg, and other foods like nothing else.  I'm excited to get home tonight to make some killer smoothies for it's inaugural run.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 1

09-09-09 - What a great anniversary to have for starting my bike commute.  And, it's my BIRTHDAY to boot!

So, the alarm when off...EARLY.  Way early.  But, I was excited about my day, so off to the shower.  I figured I needed to get out by 5:30 in order to have plenty of time to make it to my bus stop before the 'B' line arrives.  Of course, there are a few last minute things I forgot to pack.  So, I got on the road at 5:42.  GAH!  Have to pedal hard as I want to make it by 5:50.  The jacket I grabbed was a bad idea as it was very humid out.

So, I made it to the bus.  And made my next bus at the park and ride.  I must say, a very pleasant experience.  Relaxing and quiet.  I got on campus just before 7:00 AM.  Got the bike locked up and after changing, I was working by a few mins after 7:00.  What a great way to start the day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prelude

Well, tomorrow is the FIRST day that I'm commuting by bike from my home in Olathe, KS to my office at the Sprint Nextel campus in Overland Park, KS.  I'm excited.  Why am I doing this, you ask?  Well, it's not to save the planet.  I like clean water and air as much as the next guy, but I hardly think we (humans) could destroy the planet.  I have another reason.

The main reason I'm doing it is for the health reasons.  I started a new eating/exercise program in April and I'm determined to keep off the weight I've lost.  Plus, bicycling is pretty dang cool.  I've gotten into it and with the encouragement of Noah, commuterDude, and Crowbar (thanks, guys!), I've decided to take the plunge.

Since Sprint doesn't have a great setup for showering once I get to work (unless you're a gym rat), I've decided to utilize TheJo to get mostly into work and then ride the whole way home (~15 miles).  I can ride up to the corner to catch the bus, change to a different bus at the Strang Line Park and Ride, and get dropped off right by the garage where I'll be locking up the bike.  I did a dry run of the ride (both ways) this last Saturday.  The route needs a little work, but it's a good, and safe route with options to change it up a bit.  Until tomorrow!