Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holidays ending.  Looking forward to riding West Palm Beach Florida to Key West at the end of January.  In my local bike shop today and a biker came in to check if they were going to do a New Years Day ride.  He was all decked out in his biking gear.  After he left he proceeded to hop on his bike and head out.  One big problem as we saw it.  The temperature was 11 degrees with a brisk north wind.  Most of us have been called crazy but one of the employees described this as crossing the line into stupidity.  I would have to agree!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ahh.  The forecast for today was 58 degree temp, cloudy, no chance of rain and wind from the South at 5-10 mph.  Started my ride at 12:30 pm knowing it would be the "heat of the day".  Actual weather; 45 degree temp, wind from the South at 10-15 mph.  At the 20 mile point of a 40 mile ride a heavy fog set in.  Visibility was less than a half mile.  Then it started to drizzle.  Because of the lousy weather I turned and headed for home hoping I was visible enough in the fog.  Only made 30 miles.  My point?  Why in the hell can't weather forecasters be a little more accurate.  How hard would it have been to predict FOG!  Of all the weather conditions fog is one I have the hardest time biking through.  As hard as it is to see bikers in normal weather, when riding in fog you are virtually invisible until the approaching vehicle is upon you.  So, to the weather folks I say a heart felt BITE ME!!  There, said and done.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The book is done and heading to the editor.  More info when I get it back

Monday, November 24, 2014

All biking is inside at the rec center.  However, just heard on the weather that next week it will be in the mid 60's.  Even with a stiff wind I will try to do a ride in the great outdoors.  The above picture is from the new technology for bicycles.  Depending on cost I might try those tires.  Hoping for a warm-up.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Last of the 100 mile rides of the season.  Rode to Champaign and the temp did not get above 45 degrees.  A little to uncomfortable for me.  Also, another valuable lesson.  After my usual stop in Bloomington, about 40 miles, for my usual Gatorade and energy bar I warmed sufficiently and proceeded on my journey.  As I got on the bike the cool wind that greeted me made me realize every time I stopped I would  freeze until I built up body heat.  Not a very enviable proposition.  Therefore, I decided to ride the rest of the way without stopping.  60 miles of non-stop pedaling took its toll.  Because I realize that the older I get, the more wuzzy I get, this will be the last of the centuries for the season unless a 60 degree day with other weather stipulations happens.
On another note, I am utterly amazed that in the year 2014 many farmers still engage in full till farming.  That is, they turn the soil until the remains of the previous years crop are fully turned leaving the black top soil exposed to the elements.  This results in erosion of the topsoil which runs into the rivers and streams of the area.  I have spoken to many farmers about this and most cannot believe some still engage in this process.  Hopefully, government interference will not be necessary to stop this wasteful behavior.    

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Riding my bicycle through the rolling hills of southern Illinois near Carbondale this weekend I encountered an  unusual  individual. Slowly chugging  up one of the steepest grades that are common around this part of Illinois, a car pulled beside me.  As it passed, it slowed to my speed and the driver rolled down his window.  Expecting some sort of verbal insult or visual hand gesture showing his disgust, as is most common in these situations, I was pleasantly surprised.  With a wide grin on his face he gave me a big "thumbs up" and yelled "good job dude",  rolled up his window and waved as he continued on his way.  Because I usually post  the negative incidents that have occurred during my biking experience it's about time I shared something of a positive nature. Cudos to that "dude". 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Just finished Fat Tire Ride, around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.  Not as easy as I anticipated.  Hilly south side of lake and one particular one mile climb of 15%.  Heavy rain about 5 miles from finish. Good news was we were replenishing lost fluids so stayed until the rain moved on.  Good time was had by all.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Birthday-thought about riding my age but decided I would take forever.   Just passed 5,000 miles on my bike computer since May.  Got a late start this year due to the long, cold winter.  Will probably get another 1,000 before indoor biking begins.
Riding with a helmet cam is one of the best things I have done in a long time.  Putting all near misses on a flash drive to show how idiot drivers are effecting biking.
Fat Tire ride in Lake Geneva is coming up this week.  Should be quite a struggle.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

After a late start, middle of May, due to poor riding conditions this spring, I just completed 4,000 miles.  Plans are progressing for riding the AlCan highway next spring.  Above video was taken on Friday.  Saw the truck in my rearview mirror.  He wasn't changing lanes so I got him on helmet cam. Just an example of what we all have to endure as bicyclists.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Trying to post a video from helmet cam.  Apologize for the language but there was no way the car could see around the corner and still crossed the double yellow line.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


I  was hesitant about sharing this information because it sounds so preposterous. In the past I have shared my many bicycle mishaps. But this one borders on the unbelievable. This is not hyperbole but an account of my recent bicycle ride. Doing my Friday fifty I observed a crop duster spraying corn fields in the distance. Its normal routine was to spray, climb, turn and descend on the next section of the field. As I approached the field being sprayed, it banked, turned around and dove directly toward me!! It was not spraying corn because I was on the road between two bean fields. And, when spraying the corn it was never near the road. Flying over me was it was no higher than 15 feet above the ground. And, that's being generous. In fact, it was so close that as it passed overhead I actually ducked hoping the landing gear wouldn't hit me. If his intent was to impress me by showing how close he could fly to the ground I was, indeed, impressed. If his intent was to scare the bejesus out of me it worked. I hope Karma is kind to him when it's time for payback!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Riding my bicycle to Champaign earlier this week (102 miles) a couple of observations. First, it appears the Asian Beetle infestation in the corn fields of central Illinois is over. Those kamikaze dives into my face and various other body parts were non-existant; much to my delight. Secondly, it's good to see some traditions are still alive. Empty bottles still litter the sides of the county and state roads. Coke remains the soft drink champion and Budwieser products remain number one in the alcohol division. Tradition, gotta love it. For my non-literate readers that last statement was sour cazm (sp?!)
On another note, a friend from Chicago talked me into doing the Fat Tire Ride in Geneva Wisc.  I have ridden across the country, biked from Portland Maine to Daytona Florida,  logged 10,000 miles last year and yet believe this will be the most difficult of any of my previous endeavors.  It's a 20.5 mile trek around Lake Geneva with a stop every two miles.  There is a bar/tavern at each stop.  I believe the only person I know who could reasonably accomplish this feat is Harry Crompton.  But I will do my best and drink water or tea at each stop.  Perhaps another example of sour cazm!!

Monday, June 30, 2014

                                          Maybe this will be my new biking helmet
Need to quit relying on the weather channel for weather information. Sunday rain wasn't predicted until 8:00 pm. Started my ride at 5:30. By 6:00 I was riding in a torrential downpour. Last Monday's rain I was able to stay ahead of a storm until I reached the small town of Deer Creek. Stayed at a local bar until the rain passed. And no, I didn't imbibe.  It was only 10:00 a.m.  While I'm not adverse to such things, that violates my biking protocol.  I do not drink and ride at the same time.  When I drink I drink.  When I bike I bike.  To dangerous to combine the two. 
On another note, I am recovering quite nicely from the hit and run incident a couple weeks ago.  They still have not found the bastard who knocked me off my bike at an intersection and then quickly departed the scene.  I suspect Karma will deal with that individual.  My face doesn't scare small children anymore.  Well, wait a minute.  People say it scared them before I landed on it and turned me into a zombie.  Anyway all's going well. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

After last weeks mishap, this was a very good week. The CrossRoads crew moved into Illinois and arrived in Champaign Tuesday. Got a phone call last week from Hank to inquire as to my availability to pick up Carol in Chicago. I would have been insulted if he had not requested my help. So of course Ronni and I retrieved Carol and drove her to Champaign. She is joining the support team as because one of the the crew had an emergency and had to leave early. Carol will assist to Erie. When we arrived in Champaign, Tom, Robin Rick, Jan, Ronni and myself had what is becoming a tradition....a fine dinner at Biaggis. Then some drinks in the Walker Suite. All in all a good time. Still haven't found the person who did a hit and run on me but I am recovering quite quickly. I am in the market for a helmet cam as was suggested by a few of my friends. Rode 250 miles last week and didn't get nailed by a car. Again a very good week!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Well, it happened again. About a mile into today's ride, going through an intersection, a vehicle making a left hand turn across traffic clipped my rear wheel sending me onto the sidewalk. The person who nailed me didn't stop. Just kept on going. I landed on my head and they ambulanced (I know that's not a word) me to the ER with multiple abrasions, concussion and split lip requiring stitches. I am seriously considering taking up a safer sport. Perhaps being a javelin catcher!!
Finally reached the 1000 mile mark on my bicycle. Very late this year because of the unusually long winter. Next week this years cross country crew arrives in Champaign. I will pay a brief visit to see Tracy and some of the support staff. I don't know any of the riders this year so it will be a short stay. Making plans for a ride in January. Plan on riding from West Palm Beach Florida to Key West. I noticed the Heritage Trail runs all the way from Key Largo to Key West. Anyone who would like to join me for any or part of the ride, let me know. Because I'm in no hurry, I will make it a leisurely 3 day event. More later.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's about time to get outside and bike regardless of the weather. Mid May and I should have my regular routine established but only have had a little over a week where the weather was acceptable. That included a century and a couple of 55 milers to LeRoy Inside riding on the stationary is getting really stale. Computer shows less than a 1,000 miles and usually by this time I'm well over that number. Okay, time to stop complaining. Just finished my book, sending it to the edit and hopefully published by summer. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Finally got outside last week. My first century of the season was a ride to Champaign to visit brother Larry. It looks like the winter rides on the stationary at the rec center kept me in shape. Did the ride in under 6 hours. Unfortunately this week weather prediction is rain and cool weather so it looks like awhile before another outside bike trek. The good thing about the Champaign ride was there were no close calls, no drivers cussing me and the weather was perfect. On another note, an individual from Chicago commented when he found out I biked across the country stated to my wife, "he doesn't look like a bicyclist. He looks like a football player". I don't know if that was a compliment or a criticism. I guess maybe I should shed my natural physique and try to be more like Lance Armstrong!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Finally Spring is here. Outside biking!! Yea!! Did the southern Illinois ride last weekend (got diesel smoked twice. Something about those southern hillbillies driving diesel pick up trucks that makes them act stupid) and my 55 miler to Leroy on Tuesday. Doris was glad to see us and inquired into the amount of damage we incurred during the tornado. Thought about doing a charity bike ride to raise money for the Washington Tornado Relief fund but it's just in the idea stage at this point. Looking forward to my first century of the season. Climate conditions dictate when this will happen.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Getting ready for the first outside ride of the season. Fifty Friday to Leroy. Although the wind is from the WSW at 20 mph at least it will not be a headwind. Temperature is middle 50's and I "a chompin at the bit" to get outside. There will be snow on the ground, the roads will be wet but it's time to get outside!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Again getting a bit restless. Looks like my outside biking will not happen for at least another 2 weeks. Just heard another "polar vortex" is coming our way. Making plans to visit Europe this fall. Hopefully Harry and Dougie still remember me. I will make it a point to visit them as well as a friend (ok, I've got at least one friend) who currently lives south of London. Maybe I can get some biking in over there. I haven't been able to bike outside since last November so I hope I still remember how to do it as well as how to keep my balance.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Got the mid winter blues. Since returning from Key West all my biking has been in my basement on the trainer or at the rec center on the stationary. I'm about ready to ride outside. The weather for the weekend is supposed to be in the 40's so maybe I will risk it. On another note, I had a nice discussion with a young lady who is going to attempt a cross country bike ride in May. She is raising money for CASA; a program associated with helping children. I wish her success and explained the pros and cons of riding alone or with a group. Looking forward to following her journey through her blog.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Took a week to Florida to escape Illinois winter. Key West was where I was able to do my biking. Talked to a female biker who, with her nephew, were biking from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West. I inquired which route they followed and she indicated it was quite doable on Highway 1. As a result, the next time I'm in Florida visiting my friend in West Palm Beach, I will take a few days and ride to Key West. My route from Key West was a 40 mile round trip from Maple Key. 30 of those miles were not on the highway, rather a nice bike trail that paralleled route 1. Had a great time but when I returned the icy cold hand of winter awaited me as I had to shovel snow off my driveway.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My guys at the bike shop inferred that because I rode 10,000 miles last year I have no life. Here's how it worked out. I rode 40 miles 5 days a week and 50 on Friday=250 miles per week. Sundays rest, of course. Then I bike 5 centuries to Champaign last summer. With a relatively warm, dry winter I was able to ride outdoors approximately 38 of the 52 weeks during the year, including the week we spent vacationing on the Outter Banks, North Caroling giving me the 10,000. So while it might appear I have no life........well the more I think about it they're probably right!!