Saturday, May 30, 2009

nice day, good ride

I expanded the loop a little further today. This is the last weekend I have off before I leave for Colorado. I should be able to get a lot of good rides in over the next few weeks, but I really wanted a century ride today, to reassure myself I can do it. Four or five of the days on BTC are near century days, so I want to be ready.

I rode around the edge of Gardner and stopped to take pictures of a couple cool, old houses. The brick one has been made into a funeral home.

Then outside of town is a little municipal airport. On the other end of town is a shiny new airport called New Century, but I like the old one better.

On the way to Edgerton there's a nursery with a lot of nice looking stuff, including, narrow trees.

I do enjoy reminders that we're pretty new to this land and some of those who precede us took a lot longer to make this trip than I did.

He flew off before I could get a picture of him at the shoreline, but the branch sticking out of the water at the far right is actually a heron.

This shot is of main street in Wellsville, cobblestones and all.

I stopped for a rest and a snack in the city park, and shot this picture of the water tower.

I must have taken a slightly shorter route home because it became apparent that I would end up with about 96 miles for the day. Call me compulsive, but that wasn't going to do, so I headed down the bike path near my house a couple miles, turned around, and headed for home. 100.8.

Now, I have to get up and see if I can walk in the morning. Assuming that's a go, can I get back on the bike, do another decent length ride, and feel like I'm ready to do it again the next day? I'm so looking forward to Colorado. If you've never done a week-long tour, one of the things that makes them great is this: everyday, all you have to worry about is eating and riding your bike, two of my favorite things!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Friday, May 22, 2009


I made my loop a little bigger today. Instead of continuing south to make it a 40 mile ride, I took a right turn, headed west and made it home at 59 miles. Almost halfway there's a little city park with a restroom and a shelter to rest for a minute next to a small fishing lake. It's also the home to the old city jail. That's some hard time.

After about 45 miles I ran into a guy in the middle of nowhere that I met in Colorado last August. I wouldn't have recognized him from a distance, except for the fact that he rides a trike. I know there's a better name for it, but that's what he calls it. He is not doing the CRMBT this year, but he is doing BTC, so I'll see him there. We rode together for 7 or 8 miles until I had to head north to get home.

While a was riding alone, as I do most times, my mind wandered. It doesn't always go to deep places. A few weeks ago I stopped shaving for a couple weeks. I hate shaving, and I don't normally shave when I'm on a week long bike tour. I've had people tell me that I look younger than my years. But, now when I get my hair cut, I notice a lot of grey falling to the floor. When I don't shave for a week, the beard comes in real grey. Can I use this to my advantage? I mean, if strangers fly by me on mountain climbs, they might say "Well he IS short and stocky"! But when they see the beard, they may add "Okay, he's old too".
I won't be the oldest person on the tour, by far. I think I read that the average age of riders on another Colorado tour, Ride the Rockies, was somewhere in the late 40s. There's nothing I can do if old men, or worse, old women, leave me in their dust, but that average rider doesn't need to know my true age, right?
Anyway, it felt good to get a long ride in. If the weather cooperates I should have a couple days next week to ride as far as I want, and I'm considering going to South Dakota next weekend. The Tour de Kota is having a training ride along the Missouri river on Saturday and Sunday. 75 miles each way, and camping in a state park across the border in Nebraska. If I can keep it up I should be fine by June 18. Shaving may even become a non-factor.

You never have the wind with you - either it is against you or you're having a good day. ~Daniel Behrman, The Man Who Loved Bicycles

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

don't worry

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Do not despair, Mr. Wells, I'm pedaling as fast as I can. The last five days have included rides of 40, 20, 40, and 17 miles. A long way to go before I'm ready for Colorado, but I'm getting closer. Long ride planned for Friday.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


It has not been a good spring for training. I decided that I need to ride at least a little every day for the next month to be ready for the Bicycle Tour of Colorado. So, this morning before I had to work, I got about 40 miles in. The sun was shining, but it was only in the 50s, and the wind was howling. I rode a big loop that had me riding the last nine miles straight into the northerly wind. Long rides are the plan for my days off, but if tomorrow is like today, 20 miles sounds more reasonable.

I did take a picture of a school with an interesting name:


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


We spent last weekend in my hometown of Fargo, ND. It hosted a relatively new, but growing marathon. I don't do 26.2 miles unless I'm pedalling, but when I heard that some family members were walking in the 5k, and others from IA and MI running the half marathon, I thought it would be good to see everyone. Mini family reunion. Added bonus: the weather was really cold and grey (it is North Dakota) so I was asked to spend some time with my great-nieces, 25 months and 16 months.

As we drove through South Dakota, which makes up almost half the trip from KC to Fargo, I thought back to the first organized tour I did. In 2006 I joined my brother-in-law for the 2nd annual Tour de Kota. The route that year started in Yankton and ended in Milbank. Along the way it criss-crossed I-29 several times. Several of the small towns we camped in had names I recognized from exit signs along the interstate I had travelled dozens of times.

We got to ride in a horse drawn wagon, eat spaghetti at the church, and sit in the city park listening to a guy with a very Scandinavian name signing some pretty good blues. We enjoyed the hospitality of people who live in small towns that they are very proud of, and we understood why. A tour of 500 riders coming to some of these towns is a big deal. As we rode into Milbank drivers were honking and waving support for our finish.

Now, every time I drive on that boring stretch of highway, it's a little less boring because of the memories from a week on a bike 3 years ago. Just one of many benefits of being a cyclist.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

what he said

“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.”

Ernest Hemingway

Friday, May 1, 2009

bicycle bucket list

After seeing a couple other "bicycle bucket lists" I thought I would list some bike-related things I would like to do in my lifetime.

-Ride across the country. I've read some great descriptions of self-supported trans-america tours, but I'm starting to see that for something of this length, sag and a motel would not be bad.

-Do an organized tour in all 50 states. This might be tough because I've enjoyed doing tours through South Dakota enough to go back and do it again, and I enjoyed a Colorado tour last year so much that I'm going back twice this summer. If I keep repeating states, 50 could take a while.

-Take part in a couple of tours in my home state, CANDISC (Cycling Around North Dakota In Sakakawea Country), and RRIBT ( Red River International Bike Tour) which goes briefly into Manitoba. Also, I've lived in Kansas for 20+ years and I need to do BAK (Bike Across Kansas) someday soon.

-Mountain bike around Moab. My family doctor has a picture in his office of the white rim ride, and it looks awesome.

-Ride around Great Britain. Ireland, Scotland, the Channel.

-Pitch a tent in the Pyrenees during the Tour de France and cheer on the peloton. If I could get a picture of Lance, or George, or Levi, it would be cool to get it as they rode by with the mountains in the backgound.

I would love to do any or all of these things. Mostly, I'd love to be blessed with good health to continue riding for a long, long time. The rest is just gravy.