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.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Biking weather getting close.  Supposed to be in the mid 50's this week.  Hopefully wind is not a factor.  On another note fellow biker, Tony, tore his Achilles tendon.  Looks like he will be out for quite a while.  Recover quickly my friend. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

It's official.  The winter doldrums have set in.  Alternating days at the rec center and on my trainer in the basement are getting old.  I'm trying to stay motivated but it is getting more and more difficult.  And, the rec center removed the Magnum stationary bike so I have to use the cheap Precors.  Looks like the Magnum will not be coming back.  The Magnum  is so much easier to program and the read-outs are far superior.  But again, maybe its because I'm getting bored with the training.  Okay, I've vented so I will suspend my bitching.  Looking forward to biking weather.  We should have stayed in Florida longer so I have learned my lesson and next year it will be a longer visit. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wow, been awhile.  Just got back from Key West for our annual winter Florida trip.  And, of course, I had to rent a bicycle.  Two forty mile days from Key West heading east for 20 and returning.  Both days were great riding days but the second day was a tad windy.  Winds for day two were 10-20 gusting up to 25mph.  Since the wind was coming from the ENE I knew the hard part would be going but coming back would be a "breeze".  Ha! Now the interesting part.  Three years ago my friend, Fred, and I rode from Key Largo to Key West (105 miles).  The biggest difference this year was that it was much more dangerous.   Hurricane Irma took direct aim at the keys resulting in a vast amount of damage.  That was back in September.  The clean up was remarkable although there are remnants of the totaled boats and trailers to be seen.  Now the danger factor.  The debris along the bike paths on the roads has not been cleared.  Therefore, it forces the biker to ride nearer the white line closer to the traffic.  That makes it vary dangerous.  Among other garbage were nails, bungee cords, pieces of metal.  Avoiding them meant scenic views  of me keeping my eye on the road and not enjoying the scenery.  But, all in all, it is always good to be able to ride a bicycle outside during the winter.  Looks like its back to the gym for the foreseeable future. 

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas day 2017-No biking adventures outdoors.  My biking routine consists of 3 days at the rec center and 3 in the basement on my trainer.  Getting pretty boring.  The good news is we got about 6 inches of snow yesterday making for a white Christmas.  Good news, bad news.  Good news-eventually got my snow blower working.   After clearing the driveway the snow continued accumulating another 3 inches.  Bad news-snow blower would not start so I had to use hydraulicsnow removal--my arms.  Prefer to snow blower!!  Already looking forward to spring!