May 31, 2008

R-12 pt.4 -- May!

The quest for R12 continues, and just in time...with 10 hours and 44 minutes to spare! Details to come - 136 miles, under 8 hours rolling. i'm pretty excited, as things seem to be working out. I think all I needed was some sunshine, some warm temps, and finally some mental clarity about why I'm riding: ride because I enjoy it, and the numbers will come: well, not since 2005 have I seen numbers like today, and I'm thrilled. I did some math, tho...since today's event was 217km, its not really apples to apples. My fastest 200k was 2003: 6hrs 57min - total time, not rolling time. today, I did 217: in 9hrs 08mins....big deal: but for this mileage level, that makes it my third fastest event of this length ever. 2nd is 2005 at 9hrs 00mins - same course as 2003 - and that was on a single speed. If I do the math, and even today's ride to exactly 125 miles like 03 and 05's ride, today marks the 2nd fastest 200k I've ever ridden: 8hrs, that is only 90-some minutes shy of 2003's ride. now you can see why I'm happy! Still work to do - but its been years since I averaged this fast for this distance. Factor in that the course up in Liberty has only one control, and that the Border Patrol has two, then its even closer...and I'm 25 lbs heavier....well,well....suddenly I have a good feeling about 2008! more details about the ride to come! yeah - its no Jeff Winter or Mark Metcalfe, but I feel good!!!

May 26, 2008

summer...getting closer!

The JCBC Lone Star Century is NEXT weekend, June 1st, and boasts a totally new route - so if you've "done it before", this is the year to go back! The Cidermill Century is later on in August, and that is a terrific ride from what I've heard....i missed it last year, but this year is supposed to be better than ever! Also, the 10th Anniversary of RUSA is being celebrated nationwide on August 10th with a 200km event in every region of the country. Be a part of something BIG and join RUSA today, and get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to earn a special medal JUST for this event, plus all the other benefits members enjoy! Visit for more on this landmark event! The weather is warm, the fields are green - time to get on that bike!!! The local MS150 training rides are starting up, the Longview Lake crowd is hopping, and there is a new weekend ride here in Olathe that starts at Bike America on Saturday AMs now. Lots to try out! I'm enjoying the pleasure of mobile blogging now, so whenever I get the urge now, I can just post something quickly before the thought fades. The result may be some random and short posts, but whatever, right? With as much time as I've had to sit in front of a PC, lately, it will have to do! We're taking this thing into the next generation, baby! my kids will probably be watching some sort of wacky VH-1 style "I love the 2020's", and laughing about how fast we all thought our PCs were, and how they remember their parents had one. Ahhhh, future nostalgia. To imagine one day that I'd already be finished with this post because the old user interface devices went the way of the do-do, and the clumsy keyboards on smartphones finally gave way to thought control and verbal central cortex streaming technology. wow.... I'm making my own head hurt. A flash of lightning lights up the sky.....and.....wait....... there it is. gentle, distant thunder. a train whistle.... back to my night ride. I love technology, baby. time to get home before the rain.....later!

May 21, 2008

Memorial Day weekend is upon us

400 and 600K brevets this weekend --a great way to spend part of your vacation on a bicycle!

Come see the gorgeous green countryside, explore, and get some perspective back in your mind - as the long miles bring new challenges, and thrust the frustrations of the work week into the roadside ditches. See for details!

I will be participating in the 400K, so I hope to see you there!

May 19, 2008

Kansas City Bike-To-Work-Week results!

Final Results
Total Miles: 41,019
People Registered: 1094
People who logged trips: 799
Teams: 61
Solo Commuters: 163
First-timers: 216
Carbon Dioxide saved: 38,885 pounds
Gasoline saved: 2,279 gallons and $8,363

Amazing results! The trick now: Keep it going!
It's a safe bet that many of the miles above were logged by folks that ride to work reagardless of the occasion or the week. There are quite a few (216!) first-time commuters, however! FANTASTIC! Now, keep going... the summer is almost here, weather is excellent, and gas won't get any cheaper! Get out there, and enjoy life at the speed of bike.

At $3.70 a gallon, and 25 MPG, a ten mile commute (both ways) costs $2.96
Doesn't seem like much.
But, at the end of the work week that's about $15.00
At the end of the month, it's $60.00
At the end of the year, it's $720.00

Oh, and that's assuming you ONLY drive to work, have free insurance, never have to buy new tires, replace any other fluids, and have no car payment. Hmmmm....
Let's see....

$720.00 a year in gas.
$3000.00 a year in payments.
$750.00 in insurance.

At 4800 miles a year to work only, let's figure two oil changes and one air filter, ok?
Let's forget about tires, coolant, washer fluid, car washes and seasonal reductions in gas mileage due to air conditioner use.

$40.00 in oil service.
$12.00 for an air filter.

That's $4500 a year.
That's a fair chunk of cash, and a fair percentage of your income.
Assuming you go NOWHERE else.
Considering most drivers average about 12,000 miles a year, that raises the fuel and maintenance costs to a new total of about $5600, assuming that gas stays at the same price.

Change that to a bus pass, and your cost to head to work drops to $520.00 for the whole year. That's 52 local ten-ride passes -- to and from work, five times a week.
That's nearly $4000.00 a year back in your pocket. If you work farther away, the cost savings are even greater, because you pay the same for the pass, regardless of mileage. Use the bus to handle your biggest travel commitment, and get a bike for the weekends - change your lifestyle back to thinking locally; shop locally, eat locally, and help your community thrive.

Ride a bike, and the cost is even lower - offset slightly by bicycle maintenance costs, which are marginal. Chain lube, a new set of tires at the end of the year (or rotate one tire, front to back).
Bottle of lube, $8.00 - probably last six months. New tire, basic commuter tire, long-mileage, probably $20.00. New tube, $5.00.

Any combination of bike and bus is still a benefit over driving a car.

I won't bore you with the other benefits that simply getting OUT of the car can give you -- this is strictly financial. Like ANY good investment or savings plan, it takes time to realize the savings and benefits in your bottom line -- but they are real.

Think about it...

May 14, 2008

Bike to Work Week - It's NOT too late!

There is still time to get some riding in this week, and test your wings at riding to work!
Here are some quick hits, that might kill some excuses you might be up against....

1) Don't carry more than you need to: Best examples:
Bike lock: don't carry it with you - leave your lock attached to the bike rack -- it will be waiting for you when you arrive the next day.
Shoes: leave a pair of work-friendly shoes in your desk drawers. Change out of your athletic/riding shoes at your desk.
Ladies: hair dryer, hair care items: have a prep-duffel in your desk with these items; when you get to your desk, pop into the restroom with your bag and finish your morning routine. There are outlets on the walls.
Business clothes: there is a dry cleaner on site, and you can bring some hangers and use your cubicle "coat closet" to house dress shirts, skirts, slacks, etc. This is a big help if you are worried about wrinkles. If you pack your items in a bag, ROLL your clothes to avoid fold marks and wrinkles.
Desk supplies: Have things like spray-on wrinkle relaxer, Febreze, lint rollers, deodorant, subtle and clean perfume, etc. in your desk. Never let anyone KNOW that you rode to work, look professional and clean, without carrying a 50 lb. backpack everyday. There is no reason you can't even wear a suit and tie (men), or a sensible business pantsuit (ladies) at work after cycling in - use your resources - you can still look good, and not rumpled or sweaty.

2) Don't go broke on cycling clothes or the bike: T-shirt and shorts are fine. Only if you develop a habit and start to see benefits from the sport-specific items should you buy them. Don't get fooled into riding to work *IN* your work clothes unless you only live a few blocks away, but keep your initial investment low. Same with the bike. A BMX bike will get you there - seriously. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get rolling -- so don't, until such time as you are committed and start to see a benefit by upgrading equipment. Look at garage sales.

3) Be proud of your choice. Walk tall with your head high as you come into the building. You are making a personal choice and proving to others that it CAN be done. The comments about the "fancy bike shorts" and such will pass. Rise above it. This ain't high school. You're doing the right thing, and lucky for us "green" is now "chic". In this time of cultural change in America, you are a pioneer. Smile.

4) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE AN ATHLETE TO RIDE TO WORK. I am not an athlete. I have a knack and passion for cycling, and I do it a LOT… but you don't have to be in shape, or a nut, or a psycho to do this. When I first started riding to work, I had no business being on a bicycle. The fitness comes, there is a progression to it - but never think for one second that "I'd die if I tried that", or "I'm lucky if I can survive the walk to the parking lot."
You can do it, because *I* can do it.
Take the first step - the rest comes.

May 12, 2008

It's Bike to Work Week!

Let's show some people that it's possible, fun, and the RIGHT thing to do!

THIS WEEK - May 12th thru the 16th... and beyond! Gas isn't cheap -=- make it stick!

TOP-3 REASONS TO BIKE TO WORK (courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists)
1.Stay fit
Bicycle commuting allows you to include your workout in your daily schedule
Riding a bike instead of your car sitting in traffic is less stressful
Staying in better shape will decrease your chances of getting sick
2. Avoid traffic delays
Off-road trails, bike lanes and wide curb lanes allow you to ride past traffic
Bike commuting takes less time when you account for car parking and traffic
Longer rides can result in less traffic and more enjoyment of your commute
3. Save money
Maintenance costs for your automobile will decrease, as will your gas bill
You will save money on parking (and tickets)
You won't have to have a membership to a gym to workout

May 10, 2008

A new approach

400k? DNS. BUT...a remarkable ride took its place, and a ride report is coming in the next couple days. For once, I tossed the rulebook into the fireplace, and JUST RODE. It was great...100 miles worth, so not quite half of what I'd "planned" on riding. But, this is a weird year, and instead of fighting it, I'm just going with it. Details to come.

When life hands you lemons, run over them with your bicycle.

May 7, 2008

86 miles later...

It's been a good couple of weeks, and I've actually managed to drag myself back onto the bike during the week and have logged about 86 miles in commutes so far. Considering how the winte rwent, and most of the spring, that's a big step for someone that calls himself the "commuterdude". What a LOSER! Self-defaming conversation aside, it's great to be back on the bike again, and saving some gas money. My spirits are lifted, and my morale is a lot higher now.
It's been a little bit easier to get thru the stresses of life I've been up against lately -- I won't bore you with too many details here, but it's been tough. thankfully, all the things that REALLY matter, the wife, the kids, and everyone's health, have been fine. Everything else seems to be a raging shambles, tho! Whoooo!!!!! Time for a LONG 400K to sort things out and de-stress!
Looking forward to it.

Not a lot of time for more updates, so I'll leave you with the song of the moment, and the nature tally for the local bike trail over the past two weeks:

16 deer.
1 turkey. (honest to goodness wild turkey. He looked nervous, and lost.)
1 beaver.
2 sheep. (I pass a local park and petting zoo on my way to work...might explain the turkey, too.)
2 long horn cattle. (see above - the park needs a better fence, soon. Almost got speared.)
27 domesticated dogs.
1 foaming lunatic of a dog.
20 humans (most playing golf, jogging, or taking up space.)

A lot of mud.
A lot of water.
A lot of jealous drivers.
(I can only assume jealousy manifests itself as confused looks at intersections.)

It's always an interesting ride home, that's for sure!

Song of the moment: "Bamboo Shoots Battle" by TRS-80

Peace.... see you on the road. If I don't wave, it's because my new helmet is too freaking big.

400K this weekend!

Short notice? You betcha ---- check out for the details, maps, fees, etc. this is a great route, one that closely mirrors the old MS-150 route out towards Warrensburg, MO. It should be a good day...but bring the fenders and rain jacket just in case!