Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mission accomplished. Today's temperature was mid 40's and the wind was out of the SSW at 15 mph. The forecast for the next week drops into the mid 20's so I figured I had a small window to finish my year biking 10,000 miles. 59 miles was the number of miles I needed to ride which was doable. Nearing the finish the bike computer reached 9,999.9 I was about half a block from my house. So, I stopped and carried my bike so it wouldn't turn over to 0. That was the most I had ridden in a year so next year I am going to cut back. Mission accomplished

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Still stuck on the 9,941 mile mark for the year. Weather is too harsh...6 inches of snow and -2 degrees temp. Friend said if I weren't such a wus I would bike in those conditions to get the 10,000 miles in by the end of the year. That was my goal. I must be a wus cause it ain't gonna happen unless the weather improves. Looking at getting a new bike. Possibly like the one above. Ha!! Yea, right!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Getting closer. Rode outside on Dec. 1 on my way to finish the year with having ridden 10,000 miles. Currently only 59 miles to go. When it happens I will take a picture and post it. After tomorrow the rest of the week goes to single digits with a high in the 20's. No riding on those days so if possible I will to the 59 tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This is the view one block from my front door. Ninety miles to my goal of 10,000 for the year. Nevertheless, I will be taking time off the bike to help friends during these trying times. Keeping everything in its proper perspective.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This is my new mantra

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Fifty Friday turned out to be a Happy 100. And, this time it wasn't with a tailwind. Those who have criticized me for doing my 100 mile ride from Washington to Champaign, only if there is a tailwind, will now know I had a crosswind and a quartering headwind the entire way. Ha, that was not exactly the plan since the weather channel was wrong in its prediction of wind direction. Nevertheless, I decided to ride the 100 miles anyway. The good news is that there were no close calls with motorists, no one shouting foul insults with accompanying hand gestures, and no flat tires. All in all a good ride. That was the 5th century I've done since Spring. I will wait until next Spring before my next one. On another note, I was intrigued by the Africa ride from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa until I read Magic Mikes e-mail post. After he had inquired into the same ride he was told the major problems were "rocks being thrown at riders, kidnapping and being shot". I suspect that removed the intrigue for me. I still have the Great Alaska Highway on my list of rides but it's still in the planning stage.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just returned from a week vacationing on the Outter Banks of North Carolina. I took my bike and rode many of the same roads we took on the East Coast Ride. I forget how much sand can get into the bike gears and how difficult it is to keep bike clean. Also, it got quite windy so, depending on the direction I would bike 20 miles into it then fly on the return with the wind at my back. All in all a great week of biking the coast of North Carolina

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I often rant and bitch about the ignorant motorists that often put my safety in jeopardy during my bicycle rides. But now I must offer a compliment. Doing my Fifty Friday yesterday I passed three tractors mowing county right-of-ways. (Why they continue mowing these areas is another issue). As I approached each one, they stopped mowing until I was well past them and their machinery. I really appreciated that because those mowers throw quite a bit of debris, (empty beer cans, rocks, dead animals etc.)onto the road. After exchanging friendly waves, and when I was well beyond their machines, they continued their mowing. I would like to thank the Tazewell county mowing crew for their consideration.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Need to rant here a little bit. Over in Champaign last weekend and read in the newspaper (that's right, I still read a newspaper)a bicyclist was killed by a 23 year old in a pick up truck. The driver of the truck told police that as he was passing the bicyclist, the biker, for some unknown reason "lost control of his bike". He hit the biker and killed him. Today, after my brother told me to stay off the bike until we closed on a deal, I disregarded his warning to ride my Friday Fifty. On a lonely country road near Metamora I observed a huge dump truck in the distance coming in my direction. Not a problem since there was no other traffic on the road. As the truck neared it began to drift into the middle of the road. As it got closer, the dump truck actually came into my lane. I figured it would correct its course, but the nearer it got, it was still on my side of the road. I could have insisted I had a right to my space and challenged him. But, as I tell people, I might be ignorant but I'm not stupid. I not only had to go onto the gravel shoulder but actually wound up on the grass near the tall corn. Cursing and giving him the traditional California "howdy do" I dusted myself off and was able to continue my ride. I was fine but I wondered what the driver of the dump trucks lie would have been after he hit me and they dragged my cold dead carcus from the side of the road. I suspect it would have been something like, "for some odd reason, he lost control of his bike and swerved into my path". I think I need to get into a safer sport like skydiving without a parachute. Okay, rant over.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Karma, luck, destiny, whatever. Rode to Champaign on Saturday. It was my usual 100 mile trek. I've ridden it three times already this summer. Beautiful day, little wind and nothing unusual to report. I left my house at 6:30 with the intent to arrive in Champaign by noon. With a 25 minute rest at mile 40 off I went. Shortly after my break, I heard what I thought was a "pop" sound. Expecting a puncture I noticed the tire did not deflate I arrived at my destination at exactly 12 noon. I thought I had just ran over something to cause the noise. After celebrating my mother in laws 89th birthday my wife and I loaded my bike and gear into the car and headed to Carbondale Il.; a 3 hour drive. During my visit I planned to ride the hills of southern Illinois. After inspecting my bike I discovered the rear wheel was out of "true" as it rubbed on the brake pads. That should have ended it right there. But, of course, I was determined to ride while my son and his mother shopped. My plan was to release my rear brakes to allow the wheel to spin freely. Yes, I admit not the brightest idea but that was the plan nevertheless. After they left I put on my riding clothes and began looking for my helmet, shoes and gloves. Nowhere to be found, I realized they were still in the car. Not to worry. I would just call them on the cell phone. But, for some reason my cell phone had no reception. No way to contact them, thus, not able to ride. Drats, riding plan was foiled. Got back to Washington on Monday and took my bike to my bike shop. "Need to true the wheel" I stated confidently. Five minutes later, my bike guy came out with the wheel and showed me a 2 inch crack in the wheel. Then it occurred to my that if I rode the hills of Southern Illinois with no rear breaks, and the spoke comes off on a downhill 40-45 mph coast, the results would have been disasterous. Karma, luck, destiny whatever. Someone or something definitely had my back!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

That's right, it's hot and humid here in central Illinois. Today--96 degrees with high humidity. The temperature all week has been in the low to mid 90's with humidity in the 70-80% range. In addition, the county road workers need a reason to exist to they pour oil and rock chips to make the county roads nearly impassable for a bicyclist. So how do I adjust my biking routine? I golf!! Ha!! Yea, right me golf!! That's ridiculous. What are my other options. That's easy! "man up" "grow a pair" and hit the road!! That's right----mad dogs and Englishmen and noon day sun and all that other stuff. Go hot or go home. Road through the heat and humidity all week and loved it!! All a state of the mind!!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To the county road commissioner I give you a salute Another nice blacktop/asphalt road bites the dust. Cruegar road, that had no real repair issues, has just been oil and rock chipped. And, they used the cheap rock to save money. Each of my daily rides starts out on this two mile stretch of county road. With the crappy repair I'm now forced to ride on state roads. That pisses off the motorists and creates a dangerous situation for me. But it is what it is. Tazewell county now has gained the distinction of the worst county roads in the state of Illinois.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Finished my second century in a month. Wedding in Champaign this weekend so I decided to bike over. Another 100 miler. Good news to report is that I had NO near misses or close encounters. That makes it a successful ride. On another note, the cross country crew just finished their journey. Unfortunately, the ceremonial ride to Revere Beach was in a rain. Not a good way for the 013 crew to end the ride but I still remember what a great feeling it was regardless of the weather. Congratulation to all those who participated in the 013 adventure across America. Like those of us who accomplished this in the past, I'm sure they have many stories to share. I would like to give a shout out to Barbie. She began her cross country journey with the 09 riders and finished it two years later having done it in sections. A good plan for someone who can't take 7 weeks from their work to do something like this. The reason for the shout out is that I could not find Bob Fullers blog. You may recall he had an accident in Ohio that caused him to miss the rest of the ride to Boston. This summer he joined the group where he had the accident so he could finish what he started in 09. I knew he had a blog but couldn't find it. Knowing Barbie follows many of the cross country bloggers, I returned to her site. And, the good news is that Bob's blog was on her site. I was able to enjoy Bob's comments as he completed his adventure. So, thanks Barbie, it was greatly appreciated.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Had a great time last week with Hank and the current CrossRoads crew. This is the 4th year in a row I met the riders in Champaign. Acting as the official taxi service, I picked up Hank from Chicago and Rick from the Champaign airport. Mike Taylor joined the group. He did the same ride from Champaign to Boston with the 09 group and rode in the East Coast ride two years ago. Ronni and I also acted as the official greeters hosting a wine and cheese reception in our suite. A great time was had by all. Hank and I rode every day he was here. We started with a short 20 miler to a small lake near where I live to be sure his bike was ready. The following day we rode 35 miles and Hank showed no duress or fatigue. I knew he was ready to accompany the 013 crew. Because I am quite familiar with Champaign, we had a fine meal at Biaggis with the entire crew minus Tracy. The following evening Ronni, Jan, Hank, Mike and I discovered a new place even I hadn't known of. It was excellent and we enjoyed another fine evening of dining. Unfortunately, I was not able to enjoy the ambiance of my favorite pub, Hubers, due to time constraints. After the traditional helmet decorating following the rest day I decided to join Hank and Jan on the ride to Danville to the first sag stop. A severe cross wind greeted us but I figured it was better than a headwind so I was glad to join them. Hank is currently riding and doing the bag carrying for the crew. I can honestly state that Hank has not lost any of his riding ability. I am truly amazed. Today they have a rest day in Erie PA.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Picked Hank from the Chicago Ohare airport Monday. When we got to Washington we took a modest 20 mile ride to Eureka Lake to be sure his bike was in good working order. Today we did a 35 mile jaunt into a very stiff wind and Hank did a fine job considering he is returning from an extended biking layoff. He is accompanying the CrossRoads team from Champaign to Boston as part of the support staff. He plans on doing some of the rides along the way. From now on he is officially "SuperHanK"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Gloom! dispare! agony! It has been raining and windy since Friday so I haven't been able to get outside since my Fifty Friday. Looks like this years cross country group are running into a little heat in north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Looks like they have avoided all the rain. Good luck and ride safe.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Following Jan's blog for this years cross country group. First week was hot, hilly, headwinds. After their rest in Flagstaff was a day with a 20 mph tailwind. How lucky. Lets hope their luck holds. Looking forward to meeting them in Champaign on June 11.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Livin the dream 55 mile ride today. Finished in two hours and forty five minutes. averaged 20 mph. Now before one thinks I was doing Lance Armstrong type PED's I must admit I had a 15-20 gusting to 25 mph tailwind. My bike snob friends mock and hassle me for not turning around and riding back into the wind. I have to remind them of the Delhart ride which made today look like a summer breeze. Been there and one that. So a long ride of 50 plus miles with the wind at my back is a nice way to spend a beautiful afternoon. I make no apologies!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The new cross country groups begins their journey next week on Mothers Day. Looking forward to reading their posts.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Actually took a week off the bike except for a two hour spin on the stationary bike at the fitness center at the hotel. A week in New Orleans was my excuse. There were not many opportunities for outdoor biking. And besided, it would have interrupted my carousing, partying and general roudiness Saw this guy in the bar. He looked despondant so I asked him "why the long face?"
Windy, windy, windy. Biked outside yesterday in 18 mph gusting to 25 mph wind. Swore I would not bike in those conditions again but I figured what the heck? The temperature was 80 degrees and the forecast for later this week is rain and cold. If I didn't go I may not have been able to ride outside the rest of the week. On a positive note, while it was grueling riding into the wind, when I turned around it was great. Wind noise was not evident until I hit 30 mph. All in all a good day. Hank's bike arrived and it is being assembled at the local bike shop. Looking forward to seeing him in June.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I violated one of my riding rules; Sunday is a rest day.  Monday through Thursday were inside rides, but Friday was an outdoor fifty miler so I felt I had put in enough miles for the week.  Yet, it was so nice outside, today, with virtually no wind and temperature in the 60's, I decided to ride.  Also, I looked at the forecast for next week and it looks like it will rain most of the week.   My only decision, then, was not if I were going to ride, but how far to go.  Feeling ambitious, motivated, and a little frisky off I went.  Todays route took me to one of my favorite places; the public square in Leroy.  And yes, I have ridden there many times, usually to visit a re hydration station; DJ's.  But since DJ's is not open on Sundays, the town square would have to do.  It was a 55 mile jaunt with no helping wind but it was a good ride with no near misses, dog attacks, punctures, or other impediments.  Looking forward to more good days so I can revert back to my usual Sunday rest.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thought about biking Sunday.  Look forward to Spring rides but somehow I used common sense for once and decided to not even try it.  These are the snow totals for cities in our neck of the woods.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 15th. Ides of March.  First outside ride of the Spring.  Looks like I should have played the number 5 in the lottery.  Friday is my ususal 55 mile ride.  The temperature hit 55 degrees and I biked to interstate 55.  I arrived home and looked at my bike computer and......that's right.  I covered the distance in 2 hours and.........55 minutes. 
   On another note, it looks like Hank is going to visit in June.  He is going to help with the support for this years CrossRoads trip  from Champaign to Boston.   I will pick him up in Chicago and be his chauffeur until we get to Champaign.  Look forward to seeing him.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Picture borrowed from Tom's facebook page

Monday, March 4, 2013

So I was riding my bike today and really enjoying the view.  What a wonderful day for a bike ride.  All of a sudden it began snowing.  Heavy thick snow cascaded from the heavens.  What a beautiful sight.  Oh, by the way, did I mention I was on the stationary bike at the rec center looking out the window. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Almost biked outside this week but weather would not quite permit this.  It looks like it will get into the 50 degree range this week so I will try an outside ride again.  Another note, it looks like fellow biker Barbie will be getting married in March.  Wishing her all the best.  Maybe see her and her new husband on next years Iowa Rag Ride. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Getting bored doing winter inside biking.  Stationary bike at the rec center and trainer in the basement.  Getting wanderlust.  Used google-earth to follow the Great Alaskan Highway.  Making plans to ride it after the lovely Veronica retires.  In the meantime I will vacation soon in Florida and do some biking there.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Old computer will not allow pictures to be posted so I'll just use this one.  I think the above saying applies to most bikers who ride great distances