Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun weekend

I have gotten back into the habit of weighing in weekly on Saturday mornings. I'm not riding specifically to lose weight anymore, but I am losing it again and I finally slipped back out of the clydesdale club. Barely.

I had to drive out to Kansas City yesterday morning, but after that, it was all bike.

I pedaled through Santa Fe Trail Drive to Pflumm, one of the few bike-friendly arterials around. It's quite hilly, but it lacks any highway access, reaching pretty far north and south way into the boonies. Very few places of interest are located alongside Pflumm save for a few little strip malls here and there. Mostly, it's surrounded by residential land and farmland as you travel further south.

I rode through some roadblocks and through a yet-to-be-built development of some kind. I haven't looked at the zoning, but my money is that apartments will go in. There are already 3 substantial shopping centers within a one-mile radius.

Wind, construction machinery or perhaps a rogue car has already knocked one streetlight over.

First stop on the list: Lunch at Fortune Wok -- one of the tastiest westernized Chinese joints in town that I've found.

... in bed! Eeh. It works better with some fortunes than others.

z0mg 1337n355!!1! - It was 1:37PM when I got done fooding.

Sorry, I had to.

Next was the KC PHP User's Group at Daily Dose. While there, I saw the sun reflecting some light off of a windshield in the parking lot, projecting Daily Dose's address onto the wall. I thought it was cool.

Also, while on the topic of 1337n355 I saw this, which I took in December 2005 -- 10 months before I started bike commuting. I thought I was awesome, making sure that the trip meter would read 133.7 miles at the same time that I turned over 100,000.

Why'd I upload a photo of my car's dash? Because, I just looked at it today, and I've only put 18,000 miles on it in two and a half years. Consider the fact that I was still driving the car daily for my 24-mile round trip commute at the start-up company, then daily for a month or so when I started working downtown (45 mile round trip) before I finally started driving to the bus stop instead, which led into my bike/bus commuting days. I could only wish I made note of my odometer more often. It would be interesting to put my two vehicles together and see how many miles my wife and I collectively drive. I'm betting it's somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 miles per year (mostly my wife's driving to work), if that.

Today, I'm paying for about 100 miles in two days. I know, people who do MS-150, RAGBRAI, Biking Across Kansas not to mention those crazy Randonneur types have no problem with this. I broke a new personal record this week, piling on 248 miles in one seven-day period, and I'm more than on-target for a 750-mile month assuming I ride the full round trip for the remainder of my work days.

Forecasts are varying much between meteorologists, but it doesn't look like this coming week will present many reasons to take the bus, aside from an errand I'll be running Wednesday after work. Depending how I feel, that errand just may be an excuse to pile more miles on. Should I shoot for 800 miles this month? I know I can do it, but I don't know if I want to. I just need 237 more miles, and I have 8 days ahead of me... That would get me within 320 miles of being back on target for 5,000 miles this year, a big chunk taken from the 520-mile deficit I carried into June from miles missed in early Spring. I may actually hit 5,000 miles like I wanted to; it was looking pretty bleak 3 months ago.

Random Tunage:
POB - Boiler (Humate Remix)
Ben Folds Five - Brick


James Oiler said...

This was a grand weekend!
I finished out last week by riding to work for a fifth consecutive day.
I hadn't managed the pace very well on previous weeks and ended up getting really tapped out by Thursday. Last week I tried to follow your model more closely, (look around, enjoy the ride, socialize...) Man, I was still fresh late in the day on Friday. I had been just cranking it up for maximum speed on individual commutes and didn't even realize that this was draining me down over a couple days time.
I spent the first part of both Saturday and Sunday riding with my four year old daughter. We picked up a Gary Fischer "FreeLoader" (Half-bike) for her to tag-a-long behind my bike. She's pretty serious. We turned for a good 6-7 miles each morning. She weighs in a a slight 36 pounds and I could actually feel her pushing us a long and even helping on some hills.
I'm seriously enjoying your blog Noah. There isn't much about peddling a bike that I have to learn but, you are a great teacher for how to have a lot more fun doing the peddling.
Thanks man.
James Oiler

Noah said...

A lot of times, particularly over a short distance, the bike can be faster than a car. Sometimes -- especially in suburbia where backed-up traffic is less common and arterial roadways with timed lights let people REALLY average 30+ MPH you've got to be trying hard. The only place you make up time is by not having to walk to and from the car, parked further away than your bike would be locked.

Over longer distances like my commute which approaches or exceeds 30 miles round trip depending on the route? Forget being fast. As you've discovered, it's easier, more enjoyable and better for your stress levels to leave a bit earlier, keep your eyes off of your average speed and heart rate; just enjoy the ride.

If you're training, there's a lot of merit in hammering it, working on intervals, or finding some really good hills to climb. For me? I just want to get to work energized, happy, and at practically no cost.

I'm glad you found a way to help make your commute more enjoyable, less tiring, and more consistent.

Truthfully, though, I just take it easy because I'm still out of shape. I use it as an excuse to slow down and take pictures. :P

Anonymous said...

Noah, great post. Love the 1337 pics. You might be mental but the pics are cool.

I need to make a commitment at some point about riding to work. I think it's cool how much you ride to work and how little mileage you're putting on your car. Well done.

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