Thursday, June 24, 2010

Various and Sundry Items

Sweat Management 101

Well, after many, many red, stinging eyes, I've finally found a system that works to keep sweat out of my eyes. I was using a lycra-like stretchy headband with a rubber ridge that goes just above my brow when I put it on. The rubber ridge acts like a rain gutter and sweeps the sweat away from my eyes. That is until I sweat enough to overwhelm the material, then the sweat drips over the rubber gutter-like device and into my eyes. It takes about fifteen minutes for me to sweat enough to overwhelm the headband.

A few weeks ago, I purchased a cotton cycling cap to wear under my helmet. I wear the visor up in the mornings when it is cool and when I'm not sweating too much.

When it is hot, I flip the visor down. The sweat tracks down the visor and either evaporates if it's not too humid, or drips off of the center of the bill when I'm really sweating and when it's really humid. This is the best system I've found yet.

Trek 500 Tri Series

I found out that my bike is a 1986 Trek 500 Tri Series. I thought I bought the bike in the fall of 1985, which I think I did.

But some on line research shows that it is a 1986 model, apparently the only 500 model that Trek called the Tri Series. I think Trek made a model 600 Tri Series also - that bike was red, as I remember. I couldn't afford one of those.

Anyway, I disassembled my old rear wheel and sent the hub to Peter White Cycles. Peter built me a new wheel using a Mavic Open Sport rim and double-butted spokes. Since Monday, I've been riding the Trek. Man, I forgot how fast this bike is compared to my beloved Tricross! I've got a 100 mile ride Saturday down in Decatur, and I'm taking the Trek for some sweet long-distance action.

Post-ride Recovery

Last Saturday, I did a club ride, and felt pretty punky the whole way. The club members where originally going to ride 75 miles, but with the temps forcast in the high 80's (yes, we are wimps up here), we all decided to ride 55 miles. I never made it that far - I turned off at the cut-off for 40 miles with Kmart Dave and we rode a moderate pace back to the start. The previous week I did several interval workouts, and my legs weren't fully recovered for the ride on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon, Alex and I went to a nearby nature preserve to walk and enjoy the woods. The things we saw there helped put my mind in a better place, and the walking helped work some of the soreness out of my legs.

When Alex and I walked across a small foot bridge over a creek, there was this fawn standing, staring right at us. I was able to take a few photos before he bolted.

There is no pie on the planet better than Gooseberry pie. This gooseberry isn't ripe yet, but I'm coming back here in a couple weeks to check on these. We found a big patch of them. Sorry, can't tell you where they are, it's a secret!

The black raspberries are just starting to ripen. I gorged myself on all the berries I could find. These fit perfectly into my post-ride recovery.


The best part of the last couple of weeks was my daughter's high school graduation. It's difficult to see Georgia in this picture, but she's on the left side, walking into the photo.

Georgia shared her graduation party with her best friend, Savannah.

No more cross-country meets, no more parent-teacher conferences. I'm going to miss her high school years.

Georgia graduated with high honors, and is headed to Purdue University this fall. She's planning a dual major in dietetics and fitness and nutrition. I'm so proud of her!

I hope all of you folks out there are having a good week.

Happy riding!

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Trail at IPFW

Alex and I took a bike ride on the new trail built on Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) campus last night. The new trail runs more or less north and south along the east side of the St. Joe River. The city is building another trail on the west side of the river across from the IPFW campus. That trail is a part of the Rivergreenway system in Fort Wayne.

This trail is actually "Native Trees of Indiana" trail - you can see the description signs in the distance, near the trees they describe.

Alex is so competitive!

The Vendrely bridge here connects IPFW with the Rivergreenway system on the west side of the river.

Immediately south from the bridge is Johnny Appleseed Park, the final resting place of John Chapman, who in the 1800's shared his passion for apples with settlers in the old Northwest Territory. The park is inviting, but getting across Coliseum Boulevard's 4 lanes of high speed traffic has been a problem for a long, long time. Well, the city has it figured out by taking the trail under Coliseum Blvd by following the river under the bridge.

Here's the incline from below the bridge up to the bridge deck crossing the river.

Voila! On the Coliseum Blvd bridge, in my own bike / pedestrian lane, I can safely cross the river without the risk of spreading my blood and flesh all over someone's car.

Although the new trails are great for recreation, they are not good for most folks interested in transport by bike, because the trails meander with the rivers, adding miles to an otherwise shorter and more direct commute. Plus, the yearly floods take much of the trail system out of commission for one to two weeks at a time.

The city must be commended (and IPFW) its dedication to making Fort Wayne a more bike friendly place. Sharrows are showing up here and there. Bike signs are springing up along city streets. And a few bike-only lanes are set up downtown. The city is planning even more bike infrastructure improvements in the future, including education for drivers and for bicyclists, so both parties can share the roads responsibly.

For something completely different, here's one of the few visible and remaining fiberglass mastodons the city made available to businesses maybe 10 or 12 years ago. After Chicago's cow contest, Fort Wayne decided to do it's own decorate a fiberglass Mastodon contest. Mastodon skeletons are still occasionally found in surrounding peat bogs that are mined for their peat and black dirt.

Happy riding!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Back on the saddle

I took a spin on the Schwinn Continental tonight, just before the rains came (again). Riding this week has been sparse. Travel for work, extra hours, etc. Anyway, I did make it to the bike club meeting last night. The club started a new thing - during the warm weather months the bike club will be sponsoring a pre-meeting ride lasting about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I showed up on the Schwinn last night and got many chuckles from the other riders.

The funny thing is, the Continental was probably the best bike to be riding on that ride. We rode through downtown Fort Wayne up through the north part of the city. The old Schwinn kept up with the road bikes, and easily out-paced the mountain bikes.

The rivers flooded last week, and so much of the Rivergreenway trails were under water until a couple days ago. There was a thick coating of wet silt deposited on the trail, which made for very slippery riding. But the Schwinn handled the mud easily. The road bikes took a different route, but I followed the mountain bikers. The mountain bikers had to stop to clean the mud out of their brakes and off their chain stays because their knobby tires picked up oodles of mud. Not the Schwinn!

The sun came out for a very short time before the rain came.

The Schwinn rides again!

While the sun was out, this photo presented itself.

Happy riding!