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…tested route to work… July 19, 2009

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, commute, Rides.
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So, I tested my 11 mile route to work today. Not a bad ride at all. Very scenic. Only one section of a county road with no shoulder, but overall a decently safe commute.

Pictures follow:

This is just around the corner from my house. Lots of farmland out here still, though the nearby city is slowly encroaching.

Nice view of the road I ride for the first half of the ride.

The first of two rivers I cross…

Big Lake, Minnesota. Nice town.

And more fields…

Almost 6 miles into the commute…

And the second river I cross… the Mississippi!

Mississippi…

Still the Mississippi…

And last pic of the Mississippi…

You can see the rest of the pics on flickr.

I got a lot of sun today on my test ride, so I hope I’m up for my first day of commuting tomorrow… We’ll see.

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…biking can be tough… April 16, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii, Information, Rides, Touring, Travel.
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Biking in Hawaii? Not so rough.

If you ever want a “perspective-check” to help you realize that whatever conditions and distances you are biking are really not so insurmountable, just Google the name Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant.

She managed a 25 and a half day ride on her fat-tired mountain bike over more than 1000 miles of remote, winter filled, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness.

From a Craig Medred article:

Having already driven a snowmobile from Knik to Nome, she decided this year she had to go by mountain bike, so she dragooned Bill into riding once again. Off they went.

It was not easy.

Here is a bit of what race director Dan McDonough posted to the race Web site:

On their approach to Nome, Bill and Kathi faced “immense winds and cold temperatures. At one point, when they were protected from the constant wind, Kathi looked at the temperature and saw minus 30 degrees … Bill described pushing the bikes at a 45 degree angle to prevent the wind from blowing the bikes away.

“After 25 and a half days Bill was looking forward to having a beer upon his arrival. Instead, when they arrived at 2:58 a.m. they were greeted by one woman on the street who was heading to work.

The only place open for food or drink was a coke machine.

“They celebrated with dehydrated food in Styrofoam coffee cups.”

You can read the full story here: http://www.adn.com/outdoors/story/374243.html

No matter how wet and rainy and/or windy it is here, I just have to remember that I’m biking in Hawaii. It only gets so cold (sometimes in the mid 60’s), and I can only go so far (my trip around the island was less than 160 miles). I won’t starve. I won’t get eaten by a bear.

So, next time you hear me crying about a ride on my blog, remind me that others do more…

…2008 Sharon’s Ride for Epilepsy… January 27, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii.
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…Well, I managed the ride today. It was brutal. The weather was cold (relatively speaking – it is Hawaii!) and drizzly until the ride started. Then it was just windy. Really windy. Headwind all the way windy. Blow your bike into the guardrail (almost) windy. Horribly windy. But, I did it.

My bike computer says:

  • Time: 4 hrs 51 min
  • Distance: 55.2 statute miles
  • Average: 11.4 mph
  • Max: 40.0 mph

We shaved a half dozen miles off at the turn around, so we (my friend and I – not necessarily every one else) didn’t quite finish a full metric century, but it was close.

I was absolutely not ready for this ride. Looking through my ride records, I see that my longest ride in the last 5 months has been a whopping 9 miles, until today. Then I went and cranked out 55 miles. The last 15 miles, I just wanted to sit on the curb, throw up, and cry. I’m sitting here now amazed that I finished at all. Well, no better training than “jump in with the sharks, how much survival training do you remember, what are you going to do now” training.

At least, I’m riding on a Brooks…

…2008 mileage counter… January 5, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, Culture, Hawaii, Information, Rides, Touring, Travel.
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My bike mileage counter for 2008 begins at 826 miles.

Goal for 2008 is 2000 miles.

I didn’t track my miles in 2007 very close. I estimate easily over 1000, but I don’t know how much over. I was off the bike for a couple stretches of several weeks each, once due to shingles on my left thigh and once due to an injury of my right knee.

Assuming no major injuries or setbacks, I should easily clear 2000 miles.

Rides planned for 2008:

  • Sharon’s Ride (Jan) – 100km
  • Haleiwa Metric Century (April) – 100km
  • Honolulu Century (Sep) – 100sm (statute miles)
  • Tour de Tucson (Nov) – 109sm

I may even be doing these on a new (to me) road bike!

So, I’ll see you on the road…

…back on the bike… October 2, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Culture, Equipment, Hawaii, homebrew, Information, Injury, Politics, Rides, Touring, Travel, Websites.
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…so I rode the bike home from work last Thursday (yes, it has been in my office for the last month), then let my knee rest over the weekend. Everything seemed to hold up great, so I’m back to riding the bike to/from work. Rode it to/from yesterday, and rode it in this morning. Feels great to ride again. Of course, I have to fight to lose the weight that I put on while resting my knee.

In other news, I recently ordered the Arkel Briefcase pannier. That should make for getting things around at work easier. I usually commute with a trunk bag on the back, and a pair of Arkel T28’s on the front. Normally I don’t need the T42’s. However, it would occasionally be helpful to have just a little more room, and the briefcase should fit the bill nicely. I’ll post a review in the next couple weeks.

In other other news, I’ve upgraded to bibs. Yep, first it was spandex shorts, and now bibs. I must say that they are worth the extra money over the padded shorts I was wearing. So far, the only issue I have is when I had to take an emergency #2 bathroom break. I had to take my shirt off to drop the bibs! They are still worth the hassle. Oh, and I feel faster 🙂

In other other other news… I am thinking about planning my trip to Maui. One teensy problem… the state of Hawaii is totally dicking around with the new inter-island ferry. The protesting is malicious. They could have protested anytime the last five or more years while the company went through all the hassle of getting approval to conduct business in Hawaii, and getting all the environmental surveys done, and developing a plan to conduct business with minimum impact on the environment. Instead, they apparently waited until the Super Ferry started running, and protested by blocking the path and getting a judge to suspend operations, resulting in people leaving their vehicles on other islands.

There is more information on the www.superferry.com site, and in this article written by Senator Sam Slom. I’d write more, but I just get pissed off. The inter-island ferry is just what the islands need, and they are crapping on their opportunity.

Also keeping me from seriously considering a bike ride on Maui is the cost of using the Super Ferry. Here is the booking broken down:

Maui Booking

Can you believe the prices!?!? I have to pay $30 for a fuel surcharge for me and my bike to walk onto the ferry and ride it to Maui and back. $30 just for fuel! What is the fare paying for? Why so much money? Are they not interested in being competitive with the airlines? The cost is ridiculous. If the protesters get the Super Ferry to shut down, then the taxpayers are on the hook for $40 million in bonds. Doesn’t this mean that the Super Ferry has $40 million guaranteed over some period of time? Then why do they need to charge so much? Ahhhh…

Anyway, I’m happy to be back on the bike, still looking at building a Surly Long Haul Trucker, haven’t got around to building the perfect bike light yet, and have too many projects going on…

…but I’m riding…