Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bike Week 2011: Tuesday

The highlight reel from my homeward commute. The raw footage would be about half an hour of yawn-inducing banality. I have distilled said yawns into approximately four minutes of the most interesting perspectives of an average commute home. For the record, the guy I pass at 1:30 or so was precisely the second bike commuter (not counting my own person) that I saw today. The guy at 3:00 was in full race kit on a road bike, not carrying anything. Maybe a homeward-bound leave-everything-at-the-office commuter, but not likely.

For those curious about the gear I'm using (Amazon affiliate links): 
Kodak Play Sport
Flashpoint Action Mount

Bike Week 2011: Monday

Before work yesterday, I decided to ride to the Overland Park breakfast stop at Deanna Rose farmstead. I didn't sleep well the night before (long story) and this jaunt added about 10 miles to my usual 6-ish mile commute.Chilly: lower 40s.

When I pulled up a few minutes after 6:30, commuterDude was already at the stop. We'd been trying to talk to one another on the radio most of the morning, but either the repeater we were using was having problems, or we were both in the wrong part of town to punch into it.

Suburban bike rack:

Drew also showed up, still rockin' the FCR.

In the evening, it seemed to be a case of someone jettisoning bad music* from their cars, as I found two separate audio CDs on the side of the road about half a mile apart from one another.
Mercy Me and Switchfoot, in case you cared.


As for today? I'm going to ride to work and ride home, just like I do most of the time. Tomorrow, Overland Park hosts another breakfast event as part of their Wednesday Farmer's Market. I look forward to meeting some more folks there!

* Not a statement of artist talent. I like some Christian music, but neither of the two are really my style.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kicking off Bike Week 2011!

Yesterday started Bike Week in Kansas City. Bike Week and I go back about 4 years. Bike Week 2007 was when I set myself to riding both ways to and from work as much as possible. I'd ridden the entire trip home from work a few times, but Bike Week was a turning point to my commutes. It was the week I realized I didn't need to rely on the bus; that I could get around under my own power. The switch had flipped on: "Any distance is biking distance."

There were many inspirations for me to start this journey, from picking up a bike in the first place, to trudging through the winter, to writing about it. Even though I now have a more modest distance to work, I hold Bike Week dear for getting me into longer distance commuting. There's been a lot of comeraderie around it as well. I genuinely love meeting other bicycle commuters. I love talking to inquisitive folks about it. I love showing people good routes and little-known shortcuts.

I didn't go anywhere yesterday, but today, I had to get some groceries.

Here are some other recent photos.

Up really late doing some data recovery for someone who installed Ubuntu over Windows without making sure everything was backed up.
Data Recovery

Our two cats, tolerating one another.

I'll leave you with this slide show of all the photos I've taken during Bike Week the past 3 years.

Monday, May 09, 2011


Shorts for the morning commute!

Friday AM commute: 45 degrees (brr!)
Today's AM commute: 75 degrees (perfect!)

Now, Mother Nature: Let's discuss these 90 degree afternoons. It's only May. For real.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

My S24Os have nothing on this guy...

As seen on the surly blog, via Lorin's Google Reader feed: This one time, at raft camp...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Okay, I swear this isn't going to turn into an amateur radio blog, and I swear I'm still riding, albeit not as much as I wish. While en route between home and work, I'll often participate in one of the local commute-time discussions. A few regulars tune in to the frequency used by a local repeater, discuss current events and shoot the breeze. Some of these guys are a riot. It beats morning radio, for sure. I do more listening than talking. On the bike, I leave a radio in a pannier pocket and hook up a handheld speaker/microphone.

I've been doing a bit of work on the side to drum up funds for a things I want or need. One of those was decent ham radio to to use at home; something 25 watts or better. A few weeks back, I went to what was essentially an amateur radio swap meet. I scored two used dual-band mobile transceivers with accessories for considerably less than the price of a single new unit with the comparable gear. Both are capable of pumping out 50 watts. One of them is tiny -- about the size of a hard drive.

But then, the real surprise was that c'Dude himself also picked up a tiny handheld that same weekend. It's not too much different than the VX-2R I have, but it's got some more features. I've known he was a ham since I met him. While he's had a license to operate on the air for a long time, he hasn't had a radio, as far as I know, in quite a while. This should be fun!

We've talked on the air a few times, but I think our commuting schedules are far enough off that we probably won't be ragchewing from the bikes at the same time too often. This should be a pretty cool addition to darkside rides and bike camping trips, though.

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