Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I am the Champion!

I finally did it. After 5 years of trying, I won the KC Commuter Challenge.

Here are the final RESULTS. I logged 329 total miles for the 5 day period. What did I win besides the envy of the 395 other commuters in the challenge? The cool messenger bag pictured above. What else would a commuter want? I for one wanted the bike they were giving away, but some other lucky bastard won that....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Commuter Challenge Begins

It is that time of year again. Time to put away all gas powered vehicles and use only human powered ones during our daily lives.

For the past 4 years I have participated in the KC Bicycle Commuter Challenge. Each year getting in the top 3 (One 3rd and Three 2 nd's). I think I need to move further away to be able to win. There always seems to be some freak of nature that lives 100 mile away from their work that will do the challenge for one year. After that they give up riding all together and are never heard from again :-)

Below I will log my daily commutes which includes commuting to work, riding/walking to do errands, riding to a doctors appointment, etc. Training rides and padding miles are not supposed to be included, but there always are a few that will do things like ride loops around Longview Lake to pad their miles (I am not mentioning any names..)

Day 1: Plan was to meet Dave and Mark at 68th and Greenhills. Neither showed so at 5:30 am I headed South to work. Nothing eventful happened on the way in. Tonight it is going to be in the high 80's, but I should have a tail wind to aid me..... My route is just over 30 miles one-way and is the safest route to the Stowers Institute that I can find. Most of the roads I use have very little traffic (at least at 5:30 in the morning :-)) and miss the major intersections. I don't want to be added to this LIST. Nothing eventful happened on the way in. Tonight it is going to be in the high 80's, but I should have a tail wind to aid me.....Great ride home except for that jerk Red Neck that yelled at me as he drove past. He then tried to run me off the road after I politely said "Good Afternoon to you" as I rode past him along the shoulder when he got stuck in traffic. Good times for sure.

Day 2: Hard ride today. The morning commute was made a little scary by lighting and rain for most of the way in. Dave and I (yes Dave actually showed up albeit a little late) had a little reprive from the rain going across the Missouri River and along Kessler Drive, but then it hit us big time. I could hardly see where I was going. How dirvers didn't run over me is a miricle. I was very glad to see my work.....worked a half day today because of a doctors appointment. I had to use the IBM Cluster to dry my riding gear after the morning rain. This thing puts out some serious heat and my gear was dry in 30 min :-)......The ride home was one of the hardest commutes I have ever had. It rained again and I had a nasty headwind. What made things worse is I had only really ate a Cliff Bar for breakfast and had not eaten lunch yet. I bonked along Kessler Drive and had a really hard time getting home. I ate everything I could see in the refrigerator and rested up some before I had to go to me doctors appointment. I plan to walk since it's only 2 miles away. One thing is for sure, I now know why cars are some popular and very few folks ride/walk to work......

Day 3: Rode in today by myself. I received a call around 5:38am from Mark Sperl, but was already heading into North KC by that point. It was a little chilly today, but I'll take a cold morning over a rainy one any day. Nothing special on the ride in except I nearly fell asleep while riding. All this riding and walking is taking its toll.....Walked over to Taco Bell for lunch today. I'm eating more today so hopefully it will help my energy level.....Dave and I had a great ride home today despite the wind. This was my first ride this week that I actually felt good.

Day 4: Great ride in today. A little cold at first, but once I warmed up I was fine. No one showed up to ride in with so it was another solo effort. I'm either getting in better form or I'm like an old horse that is close to the finish of a journey and starts to get rejuvenated.....met Dave on the way home today. He was on his new Kestrel TT bike. He is crazy to be commuting on a TT bike. The ride along Kessler was very nice today. I wish we had more roads like this in KC. At about the 1/2 point my rear wheel started to feel funny. After a few miles we stopped to see what it was. Turns out the kevlar casing had broke and cased the tire to "deface". I took a chance and rode it home. By the time I got there a small part of the tube was coming out of the sidewall. I'm glad the trip home was only 31 miles because I wouldn't have made it one more.

Day 5: It's finally over :-)

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Bicycle Safety Presentation

Since May is National Bike Month, I decided to organize a few bicycle safety presentations at area schools. Actually this first presentation was organized by Carolynn Locke and Lori Riddle, Christopher's 5th grade teacher. Dave Wathen, VP of Cow Town Cycling, and I were suppost to present these Bicycle Safety Clinics using the presentation Dave has used over the last year. At the last minute Dave could not come so I had to put something together on Monday evening and give the presentations by myself Tuesday morning. Linden West Elementary was the location of my first presentation.

You would think that someone with over 250,000 miles of saddle time could put together an informative presentation about bicycle safety and present it to a bunch of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. You would be wrong...

Actually it was not that bad. I gave 3 presentations and each one got a little easier, but the questions the kids had did not.

Sample questions from the kids of Linden West:

1. Why is your shirt so tight?
2. Why are your legs so big?
3. Why is Slime green?
4. What are those funny looking pedals?
5. Why don't you just ride to work like my mom?