Saturday, July 25, 2009

Post Mont Vetoux Ride

After watching the Mont Ventoux stage of the Tour de France, I decided to get out and ride myself. Wow, what a stage! Lance can still ride with the best! What a great ending to the Tour!

I was so jazzed up after watching the stage that I headed up to the Spencerville covered bridge across the St. Joe River. It was built 10 years before the house we live in was built.

Halfway across is a window.

The bridge was built with native timber, which is still all here.

On the way back home, I crossed the Van Zile bridge over the St. Joe River.

This is my favorite bridge around.

I climbed a hill on my way home - it rises 200 feet over 1 mile - a 1% slope. Mont Ventoux averages 7.6% for 13 miles. Those TdeF racers are amazing!

Happy riding!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Evening Ride

Alex and I rode the Rivergreenway into downtown Fort Wayne tonight. It was a great night for riding - temps in the mid-60's, sunny, no humidity. It's been cool all summer. We had one day at the end of May when the temperature reached 90 degrees for a short time. Since then the temperatures have been mainly in the 70's, with highs last week in the mid-60's. Unusual for Indiana in July, but very welcome.

Here is downtown's very first bike lane below. It stretches 3 whole blocks! Here we are passing the new library where Alex works.

There are pathways on both sides of the St. Joe river heading north from downtown. This side is the result of floodway clearing with massive amounts of rip-rap placed on both sides of the channel. It was controversial since all of the trees and vegetation was removed, but the flooding has been reduced.

We stopped by the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service gardens on the way back. A peaceful end to a great evening bike ride.

Happy riding!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I don't know if I'm being overly sensitive, but since I got back from vacation last week I've been noticing a lot more trash along the roadside than I remember. Cups, plastic pop bottles, empty cigarette cartons, broken glass seem to be every where lately. I even had to dodge a television set in the low light this morning on my way to work.

I wish I could make people stop littering, but I don't know how. There's a line from the movie Bruce Almighty where Morgan Freeman's character, God, tells Bruce, "Be the change you want to see in others". A great bit of wisdom, but at the moment, I can't figure out how to model that change.

I have found some useful stuff, the latest being a 25' measuring tape in excellent condition. On a positive note, there seem to be more people out picking up aluminum cans, so I don't see too many of those along the roads.

Hope your rides are all trash-free!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Remember to Ask "How Far"

I rode the Three Rivers Festival Bike Tour yesterday, and since it is the closest organized ride to home, I thought I could get in my 5th century of the year. I rode very little last week on vacation, and the pain in my thighs pretty much disappeared. So I figured I would be good to go.

I felt so good at the beginning that I averaged just over 17 mph for the first 18 miles riding by myself. After drinking a full bottle of water at the first sag stop, I quickly resumed the ride. Soon after I left the sag stop, three other "old" guys caught me and told me to ride with them. I did, and we averaged a little over 20 mph for the next 19 miles. I took my turn pulling at the front, and I felt proud knowing that I could keep up with these guys and actually help them out as well.

At the next sag stop, they informed me they were only doing the 50 mile ride, and they had only 12 miles to return to the start point. D'oh! I should have asked how far they were going before I joined their pack!

I rode the next 30 miles pretty much by myself, although another well-respected "old guy" in the community known for his riding abilities caught me a mile after the second sag stop. I decided I would ride with him, and after talking to him a little while, found out he is the brother of a fellow I work with. Anyway, it wasn't long before I realize I can't average 23+ mph for very long - maybe for 3 miles. In addition, we got into the hilly portion of the ride.

I was able to respectably limp into the 3rd sag stop, which was the same as the second, so the thought that I could be back to my truck in only 12 miles quickly flashed through my mind. For some reason, the idea of mowing the lawn seemed like a good thing to do, especially since we had been gone all week on vacation. Mowing is always near the bottom of my list of priorities, but at that moment I actually believed that quitting 20 miles early to go home and mow would be especially sweet.

When I left the sag stop, my bike automatically turned left toward the truck instead of turning right to continue the ride. I drank a beer at the starting point with a friend of mine and I came home and instead of getting out the mower, I turned the Tour de France on VS and promptly fell asleep.

Needless to say, the lawn still isn't mowed, and now I realize that blogging is higher priority than mowing. Since I've now exhausted the other remaining priorities, I guess I should get out the mower.

Maybe I could take a short bike ride first. My new Schwinn would be especially sweet to ride now...

Happy riding!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Back Home Again!

Our journey to the Adirondacks for Alex's family reunion took us through three college campuses: Allegheny College, Penn State, Union College in Schenectady, NY.

I saw a lot of dilapidated bikes on the campuses, but this one at Penn State was in the worst condition. Apparently, when some kids graduate from college these days, they leave their bikes on campus, locked up.

Once we got to Friends Lake in the Adirondacks, Alex and I took a trip to Blue Mountain to the Adirondack Museum. This is a very high quality museum that documents the history of European settlement to present times.

There was a separate building just for canoes and boats. A professional canoe builder was on hand building an Adirondack guide canoe.

Here's an old Adirondack guide canoe on display, which the canoe under construction above will look like when done.

I rode my bike every day, but only 0.8 mile down to the boat house to fish, then back up the hill. Being from northeast Indiana, I was in no condition to attack these hills. This placid scene below hides a screamer hill to the lake. The return trip each night was made in granny gear, at 4.5 mph.

Here's Georgia at "The Rock" way above Friends Lake, looking down at the Hudson River. Friday I built up the courage to ride the hill from down near the river up to the cabin, about 450' elevation gain in 0.7 mile. I had little trouble with the first .5 mi of the hill, the next .1 was miserable, and the last .1 I walked.

Anders, my brother-in-law, was happy catching largemouth, while I concentrated on sunfish and yellow perch.

These two loons popped up close to the boat and hung around just long enough to get a good shot of them. I later realized the camera lens was dirty, so the picture is cloudy. Sorry about that.

My nephew Austin lives in Marquette, MI, and lives to ski and mountain bike. He works at a bike shop and assembled this bike for his extreme downhill biking. I took this shot after he returned from Whiteface Mountain, just north of Lake Placid.

While I rode only 20 miles for the week, I filled my days with family and fishing. Here's a look at Friends Lake from the boathouse. It was a great week.

Tomorrow I'm planning to ride the Three Rivers Festival Bike Tour, if I can get up in time.

Happy riding!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Heading East

This could be my last post for a week or so. We're heading east tomorrow (Fri) morning to spend a week on a lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. On the way out, we're stopping to look at a couple college possibilities for Georgia.

We are taking Georgia's laptop, so I'll try to post some photos if we can find a wireless connection. We're also taking our bikes, although we will spend most of our time playing board games, talking with family, hiking, and fishing.

I hope everyone has a happy 4th of July!

Try not to blow anything off. Or catch anyone on fire.

Happy riding!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Use for the Schwinn

This was the sunrise yesterday morning on my way to work.

Tonight (Wed. night) is disc golf league night. I've got my new machine ready for use.

My other bikes have drop handlebars, which I like, but I really like to sit up with these bars. The plain, rat trap pedals allow me to wear my favorite shoes for disc golf. I can hop off my bike at the park and start playing.

The city has added a bike lane in Shoaff Park, where the course is located. I love it!