Friday, October 30

Snow Days

I haven't ridden since Tuesday. The weather has been...uncooperative for certain.

Should be back in the saddle by next Monday, but the time will change this weekend and I will be on early shift so my bicycle commuting will be fraught with dark rides. I'll be fine, I have lights.

I almost skied to work one day this week. My goal is to do that at least once before winter passes.

Wednesday, October 28

No Hooky and No Ride

Grrr! I came in to work today despite the ice and snow and the fact that Boone had a snow day from school. And I decided it would be best if I didn't ride in, though in retrospect it might not have been too bad, it would have just taken a ridiculously long time.

Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 27

Longs Peak

No, I am not going to attempt to ride my bike to the summit of Longs. In fact, I don't think its possible.

As I was riding in to work this morning I caught a peek of Longs Peak between Blue Mountain and Crescent Mountain as I was coming over I-70 on Rooney Road. It shone white in the morning sun, a beacon of winter on an autumn morning.

I was happy to know that I can see Longs Peak on my morning commute, via bike. I'll look for it in the future as I prepare for the screaming descent from the watershed boundary between Lakewood and Golden.

A couple of years ago I couldn't imagine I'd ever write in my blog that I'd see a Colorado 14er on my regular morning commute.

Monday, October 26

Super Bark!




I have a superpower I was unaware of.

This morning I carried my bike out and set it down on a sheet of ice outside our apartment. I rolled it to dry pavement and then threw a leg over and took off. I speculated that the drivers upon the roads would not be any more careful than on any other day, so I resolved that I would be as careful as I possibly could.

Once out on the road (sidewalk from our apartment to the top of the hill on Jewell) I realized that most people had not cleared their windows very well and would therefore not have good range of vision from their roving four wheel stop phone booths.

Atop Jewell Hill I hopped from the sidewalk out into the roadway, as I could maintain a relatively high speed and not be such a hindrance to traffic. There is a little gas station on the right at the top of the hill and as I approach a car eased out to the road. I sort of made eye contact with the driver through her ice encrusted side window, and she stopped as I approached the front of her car.

I was passing in front of her bumper, about 2' away and she started to pull forward.

HEY!!! I yelled at her car. It stopped dead, a foot away from me.

Super bark...it works. Try it sometime.





Thursday, October 22

Surprise!

My lovely wife bought me a carrier rack for the back of my bike(s), a second headlight and a new wicking shirt yesterday.

Thanks babe!

So I put the rack on the back of my road bike so now I can use the trunk bag with it, mostly eliminating the need for a backpack on my commutes. The second headlight goes on the mountain bike. I have had to tape the first headlight's mount to the handlebars of my road bike because they taper and the mount will never affix correctly. So that was nice.

On my very snowy and dim ride home last night I rubber-banded my first headlight directly to the handlebar of the MTB. Amazingly it made it all the way home!

Alas, I drove her car to work today. After all the snow/rain yesterday and last night the temperatures dropped a few degrees below freezing and this morning there was a nice coating of ice on the exposed surfaces. I just didn't want to take a chance...

But back on the bike again tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 21

Things I Know I Need...

...after this morning's ride:

Front fender for the Cannonball

Waterproof shoes (not necessarily bike shoes)

Helmet rain cover

Non-tinted glasses for wet riding conditions (I have some somewhere, but most likely they are in Kentucky still)

Otherwise I think I am well equipped for riding in inclement weather. I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with all the wet stuff in my cube...



AND THIS

Getting It Right

I thought about how green I was going to be this morning, but I ended up being blue but not in a sad way.

And here are some of the things I heard as I dripped slush into the carpet:

"You're crazy!"

You're rude! I thought.

"You didn't… I thought you were smart!"

Pretty smart actually, I warm and dry under my slushy shell.

And finally:

Head shake but then, "Nice work!"

Cool! Someone else understands!







LATER:

I think today was the worst possible conditions for riding. I've ridden in colder, but drier, temperatures and was fine. I've ridden in wet, but warmer, conditions and was fine.

Today the temps were just above freezing and a heavy, slushy snow was falling. So most of my ride was in the slushy shoulders. I stayed completely dry except for my feet which were completely soaked and frozen by the time I got to work. All I needed were some waterproof shoes and my gaiters and my feet would have stayed warm and dry.

And my face got a little cold, but nothing I couldn't remedy easily, and it wasn't uncomfortable. Being the little heat engine that I am, having one part of my body be cold as I ride in is nice.

Thursday, October 15

Overdressed

Based on the past two days I dressed in my aerodynamic tights and long sleeve wicker with jacket this morning.

I threw on some sweats to walk Boone over to the bus stop. Today was his first day ever riding the bus to school. He was pretty excited. And it'll be good for us, Mandy won't have to drive him to and from school.

I realized I had far too many clothes on so when I went back in I changed into shorts and took the sleeves off my jacket. Should have put on a t-shirt as well.

It was a fantastic ride in except for a minimally annoying headwind.

Not only are we dropping down to one car, but we're figuring out more ways to be less dependent on the single occupancy vehicle.

We're gonna turn green...



LATER

From bicycling.com

I have experienced the following:

1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 40, 42, 44, 48, 50, 52, 53, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 64, 66, 70, 75, 81, 84, 85, 87, 90, 91, 93, 96, 97, 106, 108, 109

Wednesday, October 14

Autumn Ride

My ride home this evening was very nice. The sun was sinking low, the sky was crisp blue, the air was cool. I very much enjoyed the fact that I was on my bike.

Being in the car would not have allowed me to enjoy the commute quite so directly.

I'm glad I've started riding to work again.

Tuesday, October 13

Fair Weather Commuters

Where were you?! It was a fantastic day to ride in to work. The skies were hanging low with clouds but there was no rain or wind. The air was a mild 36° and with a windbreaker and a good heart rate it was the most comfortable ride I've had in awhile.

Most days I see you, when the sun blazes and the clear blue sky focuses all solar radiation onto your exposed skin. But why do you climb into the SUV or Suburbaru when the temperature drops a few degrees?

I must admit, my laziness has kept me behind the wheel, comfortably seated with my music playing while I played SOV chess for months past my "break" from cycling after the Triple Bypass (Bike Tour, NOT medical procedure). But now I'm back…my pet polluter is listed on craigslist and I have a prospective buyer. Life is good. I think we may have it all worked out so our family can drop from two cars to one.

I think I might talk to Facilities here at work and see if I can get a permanent locker in the locker room as a trade off for permanently giving up a parking space in the lot. Maybe they'll help me out with a place to store my bike inside other than in my cube…

Wednesday, October 7

Two Wheels Good, Four Wheels Bad REDO

I have put my car on craigslist. $700 for a 1993 Suburbaru Legacy that runs. Oh, it has 250,000 miles on it, but it RUNS.

I've gotten 2 or 3 offers for $500 cash, but I'm pretty adamant on the 700. I need to buy fenders for my bike. Also, some waterproof shoes to get me through winter would be nice.

We've kind of figured it out. Worst case Mandy can take me to work on really bad days and I can either ride my bike or the bus home or she can pick me up in the evening.

On another note...I read an article in a recent Bicycling magazine that lists 109 rites of passage for cyclists. I checked off quite a few. More to come on that in the near future...

Tuesday, October 6

Back in the Saddle

I'm trying to reorient my mindset as the seasons are changing. I had opted not to ride my bike much in July and the first part of August because I spent so much time riding in preparation for the TBP in the months prior. But after my "month off" I have just not been interested in riding much. I tried getting back on the bicycle commuter horse, but that fell through due to a week of funky appointments.

I think a big part of my lack of motivation is our new locale. Lakewood just doesn't lend itself to riding like Denver to Golden did. The rides around our new place just don't appeal to me like the rides around Denver did. I liked riding in the city. I loved that my morning commute took me down Cherry Creek, past downtown Denver and Invesco and then up through Sloan's Lake. I loved my ride.

Now I'm not so motivated. I need to do something to kick start myself back into riding. My car will not pass emissions and I need to start looking for a feasible solution to that problem. Of course if Mandy were to get a job then we could afford to buy a replacement car for mine, but the reality is that I have to plan as if she won't find a job. Right now things aren't looking good and it might actually be better if she is free to volunteer at Boone's school and stay home with Lily. It might be better…

I want to be in better shape. Riding consistently would allow me to get in better shape. That should be motivation enough…but now that I am completely out of the habit and the weather has turned cold I find it even harder to get up the gumption to ride. Of course I fancy myself this hardman extraordinaire…but I don't follow through. I need to suck it up and be the person I want to be. I am so sick of not being in the shape I want to be in and I am so sick of being unmotivated all the time. Grrrr!!!

I think I'm going to go ahead and try to sell my car. If I can get a few hundred dollars out of it I can invest that in better clothing and gear for riding every day. I think I can plan out and manage anything I need to without the car, save going up into the mountains for fun stuff. So those days will be fewer and farther between…such is life. At least for now anyway. I know things will get better.

And for now I just need to get my act together and make a change.