Sunday, June 26, 2011

early sunday morning

It is hot! But it's beautiful. I got out early and got 63 miles in before I was cooked. I rode familiar roads, but also took some detours to check out some parks and trails that I've ridden by but never visited.
Mize Lake is a nice little fishing lake with a path around it. Maybe a half mile extra to my ride, but a feeling that I was out in the country, even though there's a huge housing development on the other side of the street. And Lake Lenexa had trails for miles, lots of fishing spots, and places that looked perfect for putting in a kayak or canoe. I had no idea!
I headed back east on Prairie Star Parkway, which reminds me of the name of a Native American-owned casino, but I saw no slot machines. The "parkway" is well deserved though. I passed several parks, large and small, minimally developed and otherwise.
Heading back to Olathe I passed this vineyard right in the middle of town. I looked for some ideas of how to prop up the grape vine in my own backyard.
And, as I passed south of town I took a couple pictures of the Ensor Park & Museum. I never knew this existed until a week ago when I was riding a road that has been widened with a nice bike lane and I rode until I ran out of road and had to turn east to stay on pavement. I've been by this a mile to the north and a mile to the south, but never down this road before. I might need to check it out someday.
The route back home took my on a bike path by a local golf course. I always like to stop and enjoy a bit of shade, and admire this short par 3 hole. I always par this hole in my mind, maybe a birdie or two.

I was glad to be done as the temperature was in the mid-eighties, and the heat index even higher, by the time I finished. But, thinking ahead to my next bike tour I ask myself, "That was tough, but are you ready to get up and do it again tomorrow?" If I didn't have to go to work tomorrow, you bet!

Friday, June 24, 2011

the music

For the last couple weeks if a person wanted to hear the music from my Playlist in the sidebar on my blog, he or she would have to click to start the music. Something happened with Playlist, or Blogger, or both. Whatever. It was way above my pay-grade. It was disappointing to me because I amuse myself by finding a song that's a great complement to my post. I certainly understand if anyone clicks to turn off the tunes, but hope that maybe they got a small kick out of the song that accompanied that post. 

One hundred and thirty-five miles in for the week, with six weeks more before my next trip to Colorado. Stay tuned for details.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


 I rode 50 miles on Saturday. When I got home, my wife asked how far I had gone. I told her I had rideen 50 miles! 50! 50 miles! It was an homage to Molly Shannon's Sally O'Malley. She looked at me like I wasn't as funny as I thought I was. Oh well.
Saturday Night Live - Rockette's Open Audition - Video -

Sunday, June 19, 2011

things you see from a bike

We've had some crazy weather lately. Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain for several nights. But the days have been mostly sunny and warm. But they've started out kind of cool if you could get out to ride by 7:00am. I got a couple nice rides in over the weekend, including 50 miles on Saturday. I toured parts of Olathe, Lenexa, Stillwell and Overland Park.

During the last third of my ride I was on a country road with little traffic. As I neared a stop sign for a busier road I noticed an eagle climbing straight up with a smaller black bird darting around trying to get, or get back a thin, but long, snake. A couple weeks ago I was riding on a quiet Sunday morning and near the edge of town saw a bull walking down the sidewalk. It's owner was in a pickup right behind, pulling out to guide him towards the gate if he veered toward the street. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera along for either ride.

I've got great memories from things I've seen while riding tours in South Dakota, Kansas, or Colorado. But anytime you get on your bike and ride, if you're aware of the scenery, you might see something cool. And if you ride like me, you'll be going slow enough to appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

summer tours

  The summer bicycle tour is in full swing. The Tour de Kota and Biking Across Kansas just finished their 2011 versions last weekend. You can check the websites for more information on these tours. Or, if you would like a feel for what these tours are like, because you've ridden other tours, or because you think you might like to ride a tour, here are a couple other sites you may find interesting:
Gene, over at Biking Bis made his way from the Pacific Northwest with his son to take part in BAK. Check out his blog for stories and pictures from a week spent pedalling from Colorado to Missouri.
And for an account of what it's like to ride around the eastern part of South Dakota, check out  Peter Harriman.  The Tour de Kota is sponsored by the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls. Peter is a columnist with that newspaper who has ridden and reported on all seven editions of that tour. Each morning cyclists can pickup a complimentary copy of the newspaper and read Peter's account of the previous day.

I got to meet Peter on one of my tours (de Kota) when Patrick and I were among a handful or riders dumb enough, I mean brave enough, to take the Century loop detour on a day that featured one of the most energy-sapping headwinds I've ever ridden in. Peter interviewed us to hear our account of the day. Or maybe just to determine if we were a threat to others.

A little more than seven weeks until:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

what's the deal with ovaltine?

That's an obscure Seinfeld reference, about guys who do "observational" comedy. Part of this post is at least observational. We were in Fargo last weekend to celebrate my niece's graduation. Talking with her Dad, my brother-in-law, I told him how early in the riding season when I'm not feeling very strong or fast it leads to certain choices. He could relate.

Several weeks ago, my wife knew I had been out for a ride, and seeing my flat-green Surly CrossCheck in the garage, asked if that was my "good bike". Now, all my bikes are "good", but she was asking if that was my Chi Red Madone. I told her I couldn't ride that yet. I needed to get some good rides in, get back closer to the form, such as it is, that lets me ride across Kansas or South Dakota, or climb mountains in Colorado. Then I could ride the "good bike".

I went on to tell her that I can't wear flashy jerseys early on either. I start out with solid color jerseys, as if I'm trying not to draw too much attention to myself. I can't wear those with advertising, and especially those I've collected from bike tours. No way can I wear a CRMBT  jersey while I'm struggling to climb an overpass. I have to "earn" the right to ride the "good bike" or wear the most cherished jerseys.
Well. I'm getting closer. Today was hot. The kind of day when it's all but impossible to keep the water in your bottles cold. You can only hope it stays wet. But the sky was blue, the winds not too bad, and I had some time to ride. So, I got out and rode a loop that I haven't done since last year. Ended up with 42 miles, and the feeling that I could get the "good bike" out of the basement, and the "good" jerseys out of the closet.