Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Morning Wild Life

Sometimes I amaze folks when they ask me how far I ride to work.  I usually only tell them my short route distance which is about 8 miles because they will think I am crazy when I tell them which way I like to ride.  I only ride this route when I have to get home fast like when there is a thunder storm.  I normally ride routes like the one i rode today which was 54 KM.  I figure if I have to ride east to get to work then my favorite bike commutes will have to start by riding west, away from work.

Today I rode in later than usual as I worked late last night working on a project.  today I saw wild bore on Old Dawson road.  This was the first time that I have seen wild boar from my bike.  there was one male and what looked like one female and some smaller pigs.  One was a calico color.  I startled them and they ran in circles in the rural yard near a home before running off into the woods.  I am glad they did not decide to cross the road.

Later on during my ride down Mud Creek Road I came across a herd of deer.  There were 5 and they were mature doe that were getting ready to cross the road in front of me.  I normally hear the deer in the dark morning rides, but today I could see them and they were beautiful.  I was cruising along at 30 KMPH and they ran beside me on my left.  Then they all accelerated and I got the feeling like there was going to be a cyclist deer moment in the road.  The deer of course sized me up and decided I was no threat so they just put the pedal to the metal and took off and crossed in front of me  and I watched them jump the barbed wire fence on my right as they disappeared into the pecan trees.  Seeing deer run and jump a fence and then watch their white tails dance as they ran off into the pecan grove was really cool.  I really need a helmet camera to capture these wild life moments from my bike.

Mud Creek road is the route that I am breaking in for spring.  This is a longer route than my Eight Mile Road route by 10 KM.  Eventually I'll do a route that takes me through the town of Leary.  I will do this on those long summer days.  Bike commuting is fun.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Just a happy guy cycling into the sunrise

Today was one of these mornings that I was glad to be a few minutes late on my bike commute.  The long dark winter rides are getting to me.  When I get a glimpse of sunlight on my commute I am inspired.
Sunrise on Lily Pond looking towards State HWY 91
Lonnie's cold morning head gear

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bike commuter's motivating banter

[Lonnie's Brain]

You do not have to ride to work today. You rode so far last night. Why not take a break.


I am in this for the long haul. Back to back riding is what I want to do no matter how slow I am.

[Lonnie's Brain]

I really do not feel like riding in the cold dark morning. Why not wait until daylight savings time starts and star riding again then.


I know that once I get on my bike I'll be happy

[Lonnie's Brain]

It might rain today, do you think it is going to be safe?


I am already dressed and ready to go better get ready.

[Lonnie's Brain]

Why not take the short route today.


We are going the long way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Spring ride Beta 1

I took the long way home tonight.  Lots of robins and cardinals flying around.  looking forward to the long days of evening daylight.  I made a wrong turn on Gillionville road so I got about 4 bonus miles on my ride tonight.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cycle Totals for Week 6

 This week I rode 250.17 KM (155.77 miles).  I need to ride 193 KM each week to make my goal of 10,000 KM this year.
 So far this year I have ridden 1,450.3 KM (901.4 miles).  My goal is to ride 10,000 KM this year.  I need to average 835 KM a month to make my goal.

 Nine and a half hours of wheel time this week bike commuting back and forth to work.
 In order to ride at a C level I need to average between 24.14 to 28.96 KMPH (15 to 18 MPH).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Take the long way home (TTLWH)

Tonight was my chance to have a cycling happy hour. My version of the TGIF party at the bar is where I ride a little further than I do during my normal weekday ride home. Since it is still winter and the days are short, I knew that this would be another ride in the dark, but I did not care. The main reason I ride so much is that I eventually will get so bored with riding short distances that I will start to push myself into longer distances just to stay interested in riding. Yes this may seem crazy to some but any hard core cyclist knows what I am talking about. For me it is not a matter of getting the inspiration to ride everyday it is a matter of getting the inspiration to stop riding when I get to work or home.

So tonight I started riding home on the same route that I typically ride to work. I was low on water in my back pack bladder so I stopped by the Quick Stop to grab a Gatorade and a double Almond Snickers bar. This is the cocktail and appetizer part of my TGIF. I had plenty of company at the Lily Pond HYW 91 store as there was a dad rushing in to get a beer and locked his small son in the truck while he ran into the store.

I started riding into the twilight and decided to ride down a road that I have never been on, Mud Creek Road. I get an adrenalin rush riding in the dark especially on a road that I have never been on. Part of the rush is that I am excited to discover a new road to ride on. Then there is the part that is adrenalin rush of fear. The fear comes from thinking about farm yard dogs or deer or getting a flat. All of these thoughts plus thinking about what it will be like to ride down this road in the day helped me pass the time as I rode home.

Taking the long way home (TTLWH) is a way of being for me on my bike. For starters if I was in a hurry I would drive my truck to work. Since I am on my bike I can take my time and enjoy the ride and take any route home that I want. When I start riding it is very hard for me to stop so figuring out longer routes home is a game that I like to play. I am really excited about being able to get in shape so that I can accomplish my plans to ride to the Georgia coast this summer.

Fear of fear it self.

Rode kind of slow this morning.  I was thinking of lions, tigers and bears running out in the road to get me.   I was also the hapless bike rider in the science fiction movie riding down the lonely dark road that was snatched up by the giant monster claws.  Yes I have a wild imagination and sometimes when I just relax and ride my brain goes wild.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yelling at Strangers in the Dark

This morning I am glad to be alive.  I believe that as a cyclist I have an obligation to be an ambassador of good cheer and courtesy on the road.  I ride my bike as I would drive my motor vehicle.  I obey all road signs.  I wave and acknowledge when a motorist pauses and allows me to continue first at a stop sign.  I wave and yell at kids playing in their front yards as they cheer and yell as I ride by.

This morning something special happened.  I was riding down a dark country road and just past the Tunnel of Oaks there is a farm house where a pickup truck seems to be leaving the house about the same time every morning that I leave my house.  I notice that as the truck drives down the long driveway I can see the head lights go up and down on the bumpy road in the distance through the trees as I approach where the drive intersects the road that I am riding.  The truck always slows down way before the paved road to let me pass.  I appreciate this as most times a car will speed up and gun it and I am left sucking down exhaust fumes from the car as it accelerates away.  Well today the truck slowed down as usual, but I heard the door open and a man's voice yell out "Yeah, Go Go Go!".  As I passed the truck in the dark I yelled back "Ya Hooooo!"

This is one of my finer moments in bike commuting.  When you ride the same route every day folks get use to seeing you.  You get used to seeing cars and traffic patterns   If the motorist on the road know you are there everyday they can watch out for you and know you are a sane cyclist because you have a predictable pattern.  I am glad to be alive in a world where strangers can yell out encouragement in the dark.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Today's ride

I started riding in a slight sprinkle at 9 C.  I saw a yellow eyed zombie raccoon and dead deer on Eight Mile road.  Saw another dead zombie raccoon on Oakridge Road after the Flint river bridge.
Yesterday was my Burley training ride and I slugged along hauling 2 weeks of clean shirts, underwear, socks and towels to work and hauled dirty clothes back home.  I did not set any speed records, but I made every effort to do full circle cycling on all of my strokes.

This morning I started out and in the darkness did not care what gear I was in but knew that the current gear from last night's ride was too easy so I shifted down and hammered on into the darkness.  I was riding on Eight Mile Road and I noticed that my legs felt a bit sluggish, but I paid it no mind and just kept on riding.  My brain was thinking that this was supposed to be the fast ride after the Burley training so I needed to be flying faster than this, but Cycle Thunder legs said this was all that was available so shut up and just enjoy it.

When I got on into town on Lily Pond road and I was still barley riding at 29 KM I decided to see what gear I was in.  There are street lights on this section of Lily Pond so I could glance down at my Bike computer and it was then that I noticed that I was in my 8th gear.  So that is why I was feeling the strain, but that is when I appreciated the fact that I did not know what gear I was in.  This is the first time that I have hammered all the way to work in my 8th gear and it did not feel like I was straining. Normally I was riding in 7th gear and I started riding in 6th gear back in September 2012.  The Cycle Thunder took the pace in stride and I still managed to get some sustained distances in at 30 KM per hour.

I will have to adjust my front derailleur so that I can ride my 9th gear without it rubbing the chain.  I do not want to change ou the rear chain ring as I know that when I start riding hills I'll need this gear ratio, but down here on the flat lands I feel like I am turning into a single gear track cyclist.

Friday, February 1, 2013

First evening ride on a February Friday

Tonight's ride was cold. I rode 80% of the ride into head winds from the south west. I was not fooled into thinking it was warm by the sun still being out when I started my ride home. I got 10 KM from my house and I got chilled so I stopped and put on another shirt.

I was rewarded on this ride during the golden light of sunset by see a giant crane gently flying up from a wooded pond to seek out a tree to roost in for the night. This crane was hugs and as I rode down the road it was flying in the same direction that I was riding. Watching it's giant wings whooshing the air as it slowly gathered speed to rise up to the trees was beautiful. This is what I love about cycling. You can not see this in a car. You can not experience this movement when you walk or run because you make lots of noise in the woods. On my bike I silently crept on the crane and it did not know that I was on my bike just a few hundred feet from it watching it fly. I was almost riding at the same speed as the crane so I could observe the crane in flight in a way that I have not done when I have been on foot. It was a nice end to my work day.

It started getting chilly so I did something I normally do not do, I stopped to put on an extra shirt. I remembered that I had some opened Luna Moons that Stephanie Huie turned me on to when she was teaching me to run. I noticed on the label that Luna Moons was for women. I remembered how I ran on trails with a lot of women in Austin and how they helped me learn how to run like a girl. I say this with respect because these women runners could really run. They taught me to not think about running, but talk while you run and you will forget that you are running. As a guy this was alien technology at first, but then I got into it. Stephanie told me the first rule of trail talk was that what is said on the trail stays on the trail. I popped the last two Luna Moons in my mouth and got back on my bike and headed into the cold head winds with a warm memory to keep me warm on my way home.

January totals

In January I rode 1,093 KM.