Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Biking season in full swing finally.  The weather has been co-operative the last week and a half.  The only problem is the weather people can't quite get the wind speed correct.  5-10 mph predictions turn out to be 15-20.  I rode three days last where the wind was significant.  Rain days were spent at the rec center.  Looks like when my membership ends I will go to another facility.  They removed all  the Magnum equipment even though they were in perfect working order. And those were my favorite machines where I set up my workout regiment.  Anyway, I'm back outside doing between 35 and 40 miles per ride with the occasional 55er to Leroy.  So, life is good on the biking front.  Now, the knee is another issue. 
On another note, looking forward to visiting my friend and cross country roommate Hank in Oregon at the beginning of June.  One of my favorite people. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ahhh.  The weather has finally turned to spring.  Since my ride to Champaign  I have begun my daily routine, including a ride to Leroy (55 miles) last Friday.   Good wind but not very strong-5 to 10 mph from the NNW.  On particularly windy days I still use the rec center to get my daily exercise.  No big rides planned but who knows, I'm getting "cabin fever".   Maybe a ride through Europe would be a welcome addition as my next adventure but who knows.  Stay turned. 
On another note, my cycling pictures shows me with a wrap around my knee.  That has been a routine since my distance rides began in 1996 following knee surgery.  Riding has never really bothered it.  In fact, it often relieves the soreness and stiffness.  After each ride I give it a thorough icing.  On occasion I have given thought to having knee replacement but after a ride the knee feels better so I don't give it a second thought..  Until, last Friday.  The knee did not respond as previously described so I may look into the possibility of replacement.  However, I hope it won't happen until after the summer season.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Finally, got a chance to ride outside.  Took advantage of an excellent day and completed my first century of the season-Washington to Champaign.  Wind and weather cooperated, at least at first.  The first 77 miles were uneventful but as I was leaving Mahomet, the wind changed.  From the north for the first third to a nice WNW the next third I looked forward to the last 20 miles.  But, while resting in Mahomet at the gas station, I noticed the large flag across the street was blowing from the SW.  I hoped I was wrong but as I made my turn onto Rising road, I began riding into a 15-17 mile wind. Wouldn't have been so bad but it was the last stage of my ride which made it more difficult.  The good news is that, while it took longer than expected, I finally rode into Champaign at around 4:15 pm.  Still not bad since I began the trip at 10:00 am.   All's well that ends well.  Hopefully, the last of the frosty weather has ended and we can start a normal spring.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

                                                 April 15th and look at this!!  Out my back door!!
Weather finally permitted an extended outdoor ride.  Rode my usual 40 mile route.  Although the weather was marginal (53 degrees) the wind was reasonable.  Nothing unusual to report in terms of drama-near misses, rude drivers- so all in all great day to ride.  Tuesday of this week I planned to ride to Champaign.  My usual temp limit is 50 degrees.  At noon, the temperature was still in the 30's so I aborted the ride.  Probably a good idea, but I was getting antsy!!  This week should be the best of the spring.  But we will see.  Stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Second bike ride of the Spring.  Rode my old training route on rt. 51 south of Carbondale.  The good news is that my off season indoor biking has paid off.  I had no trouble with the hills and climbing.  While the weather was a little brisk, 50 degrees and between rain storms, I managed a 30 mile jaunt.  Hopefully my good luck continues with the motor traffic.  Here's the situation. Rt. 51 has a small 3 foot shoulder that bicyclists use.  Staying on the shoulder,  on one of the more difficult climbs, I checked my mirror and saw a semi-truck rapidly approaching.  "Here we go" I thought.  Another near miss by a trucker.  Anticipating the normal wind event where the truck goes by and barely misses as it sucks me into its vortex causing me to adhere to it like a plunger on a flat rock  (well, maybe not that close but you get the picture)  I prepared myself for the encounter.  As it got nearer I noticed something strange.  Could I believe my eyes?  The behemoth actually changed lanes and gave me my entire side of the road!!  It set such a good example the two cars following it changed lanes giving me ample room.  That rarely happens.  I gave a hearty thumbs up to the drivers of those vehicles.  On both of my rides this spring motorists have shown an incredible amount of respect.  Hopefully, it is a new trend and continues throughout the outside riding season. 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

One week later and it's back to the ole rec center and basement trainer for my biking.  I thought maybe the winter was at an end since spring has sprung.  But not the case.  I suspect sooner or later this winter will end and I can enjoy the outdoor biking I'm used to.  In the meantime see pic.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Great day to bike yesterday.  While it was a bit cool (50 degrees) the sun was shining and the wind was mild from the east at about 5 mph.  This was my first extended ride of the season (40) miles and the most notable aspect was that the cars and trucks showed me "mucho" respect.  No close calls or other obnoxious behavior.  In fact,  all the traffic passed me in the opposite lane when there were no on-coming vehicles.  That almost never happens.  I attribute this to the beginning of the season and the drivers are more aware of bicycle traffic.  Hopefully, this behavior continues through the biking season. 
On another note, it was such a nice ride even the two dogs who chased me didn't diminish my enjoyment of the ride.  I am still amazed that a large white lab can attain the amazing speed of 25 mph.  One of the chase dogs was named Princess Lea.  I met one of the owners last summer as he was mowing his yard.  He lives on the farm just west of Goodfield.  His dog was about 4 fields west and I stopped to ask him if that were his pet.  He indicated it was and thanked me for informing him his dog was too far from home.  During our conversation he said the dogs name was Princess Lea and it was a very friendly gentle dog.   That particular animal has chased me several times so I was glad it was not aggressive.  Yesterday, as I passed I saw Princess Lea in the front yard and as I came into view the chase was on.  I stepped on it hoping to out run her.  But, as I passed 20 mph the dog was right beside me.  I yelled it's name and it immediately stopped and went back to the farmhouse.   Again, I was amazed at how fast that critter would run.  Nothing like a dog chasing you to get the old blood pumping.  Looking forward to more biking weather.