Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day! May Day!

... or should I say "commando day!"

I rarely forget any garments. Occasionally, I'll forget a cell phone or my camera. Rarely clothing, though. Unfortunately, I managed to leave behind the one thing I don't have a spare of. I actually used to, but I... well, never mind.

So. How 'Bout them Royals? Okay, enough dilly-dallying.

It's been getting bright in a hurry in the mornings, but I still get to watch the sun rise from a totally dark sky. Leaving my abode in to the stygian void will only last a few more weeks.

The ride in was a bit of work. The wind often worked in my favor but coming in from Wyandotte County, it turned into a nasty head/crosswind. Once I got downtown, I'm not sure what came over me. Okay, the desire to switch my route up and get pictures from other parts of town came over me. They overrode basic instinct and rationality. I slogged (quite literally) up Summit. Summit has some sections that are easily 20% grade, with a total elevation gain of more than 200 feet in under a mile. On a loaded-up mule such as My Twelve, this is a formidable climb, even though you can't tell from the photo.

There is a lot of really interesting architecture in Westside. Some of it's pretty quaint and classic while there are some newer buildings with more modern and eclectic designs.

Some photos overlooking KC and Crown Center from 16th and Jefferson in Westside.

The Muehlebach Hotel is another part of Kansas City with some interesting history.

One Kansas City Place is officially the tallest structure in the region. It was just being finished when my family moved here from rural Nebraska.

I saw Karen and a few other bike commuters out this morning. As usual, I sipped my morning dose of caffeine with Lorin and JR. It's definitely getting to be bikey out.

Random Tunage:
Lisa Loeb - How (a spine chiller, I really enjoyed Lisa Loeb when she was popular)
Shakta - Lepton Head


Apertome said...

More great photos. What a fun detour on the way to work, I should do that. I get bored with my commute route sometimes, but there's no need to go the same way all the time ...

Anonymous said...

Great photos! I'm not an everyday commuter, but I try to ride in at least once a week. Summit Rd is my path into downtown as well.

I would be curious as to what your route is, since I come up from Prairie Village, and you from Lenexa.

Noah said...

I am not masochistic enough to ride Summit regularly. This is my third time conquering it, and my last time for quite a while. It was just a detour. Here's my usual work-bound route. Homeward is usually a bit different but it's about the same north of Shawnee Mission Parkway.

sallymander said...

Okay, I'm pretty certain that you were still at work when this happened, and this isn't part of your route, but ping us when you get a chance.
Bicyclist Hit At 87th, I-35

Noah said...

I'm alive.

That whole stretch of 87th street is simply BRUTAL. Motorists regularly blast through at 60 miles per hour or even faster. The lanes are convoluted and if you're not going at least 30 MPH, the yellow light and the delay for the green are simply not long enough for anyone to get through the intersections.

Traffic engineers, concerned with getting a few million more cars shuffled onto and off of the highway per year, sure got their wish. City planners, who wanted a snazzy, pretty bridge with streetscape got theirs as well. Pedestrians and cyclists still have few safe ways to get from one side of I-35 to the other, aside from using the pedestrian bridge on Quivira, which is also convoluted and (IMHO) dangerous, just not as bad.

Case and point, getting from my apartment (right near where this crash occurred) at 85th and Monrovia to the JoCo Library at 87th and Farley, my best bet would be to take monrovia across 87th, take Santa Fe Trail drive up to the viaduct to cross I-35, ride down to 91st street, then go east to Farley and north. A genuine pain in the butt. I usually ride on 87th, or VERY, VERY, VERY carefully on the sidewalk on 87th. And I don't simply obey traffic laws, because on 87th street, that's how people like this guy get hurt. No one else obeys the laws, so you have to not only wait to get a crosswalk, you have to know when to command your position and know when you are in danger.

Basically, everyone that I've heard that says they want to use 87th, I tell them to find another way across. This stretch of road is a crash in progress just waiting for someone to victimize. Hell, cars can't even help from hitting each other almost daily between Switzer and Quivira on 87th.

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