Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Warcycling Gauntlet Has Been Thrown.

I've been war-driving since 2000, and war-biking almost since I first started riding. I do this only occasionally. There are very few variations I can make to my current work commute that don't involve riding on roads that are unwise to use in rush-hour. It makes little sense to scan that route on a daily basis.

I don't scan for wireless networks in order to find ones that are easy to break into. They're all easy, in some way or another. And I don't have any need nor desire to break into other peoples' networks. I can tether with my phone from anywhere I can get a signal, and many places offer free wireless Internet to patrons. I'm not in the habit of poking around on networks I'm not supposed to be poking around on. I like my freedom, thank you very much.

When my friend Lorin started riding his bike to his new job, it was a massive increase in bicycle riding distance, and he started scanning for wireless networks on the way to and from work. Some time in the last 24 hours or so, Lorin threw down the gauntlet.

One thing I didn't mention last night is that I went ahead and brought my warbiking rig along for the ride. I think CommuterDude was the only one that knew what I was up to. It made lots of sense, because the route went through many small residential byways that many normal war-drivers would completely miss. The two 19dBi omnidirectional antennae were mounted very surreptitiously to my panniers. In case anyone's wondering, I saw 423 wireless networks along the route, with more than 300 of those being brand new to the WiGLE database that Lorin and I are using to track this stuff. Of course, I have a 7-year-long head start on Lorin. We'll see if he can catch up. And I suppose this means I'll be canvassing wireless everywhere I go a lot more often.

November 2010 Dark Side Ride

That's right. We know no season. With our ride kicking off at 9:00 PM, a light headwind out of the East and temperatures in the mid-40s, five riders departed. Usually, the DSR crew heads off to rural territory, where only light traffic is seen, but this route was designed by DB, who decided to mix things up with some urban flair. We started in northern Overland Park and passed through almost all of the little suburbs in Northeastern Johnson County. Then, it was across State Line, where attractions included The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, The Plaza, Loose Park, Brookside (where we saw a spectacular chimney fire being put out and rode our bikes past a huge trailer full of aromatic Christmas trees waiting to be set up for sale), Waldo, and back to the starting point. The route had dozens and dozens of turns as we avoided most of the major thoroughfares in preference of smaller residential streets, but we had a few fun, high-speed runs on big-name roads like Cleaver II Blvd and JCN Parkway.

It was a blast, as always, but I forgot my camera. All I got were these crappy phone camera shots.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beautiful fall morning!

Lenexa, originally uploaded by KC-Bike.

34°F. Calm. Overcast with a 100% chance of colorful leaves falling from the sky.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Long day.

7:50 AM:

8:40 PM:

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Cast into darkness

Spring Forward, Fall Back. Seriously, this relic of tradition seems like one of the most futile things to hold onto. The fact that congress moved to bump DST for 2007 and forward didn't help matters any. Regardless, my evening commute (and likely the commute of many others) just got cast into darkness. Swiftly, instead of gradually. Not that it matters anyway. Soon enough, my morning commute will also be dark.

At any rate, this is your friendly reminder to make sure you bring adequate lighting and reflective gear with you for your evening ride home, and to be mindful of the sun's new position in the sky while you're on the road. Ride defensively and safely. This is especially for those of you who have to ride into the sun while it's low on the horizon.

Speaking of lighting, my review of the L&M Vis 360ยบ is up at

Monday, November 01, 2010

October Recap

Man, what a month! Pretty much the usual commute thing, not much other riding. A little bit of driving to take care of some bizarre errands here and there that just couldn't be accomplished any other way.

Today, we turned the keys in for our old apartment. It seems like I've spent the last 3 weeks doing nothing but busting my ass at work, only to come home and bust my ass packing things into boxes, cleaning the old place up, moving boxes between apartments, unpacking those same boxes, organizing things and deciding what's going to remain boxed up for now. I'm a bit of a packrat. I gave away or discarded literally half a ton of random kipple that's been crowding my closets during the process of moving this time.

A lot of what's left had no rhyme or reason to how it was stored, with half a dozen large plastic bins all full of random computer, photography and bike stuff. Most of last week was spent finding a place for every thing, or a thing for every place, but I'm finally satisfied with how stuff is organized. Audio/Visual cables and hardware is finally stored in one thing. Networking stuff in another. Wall Warts and Power Bricks together. Bike parts together. I even have a 5 gallon pail completely full of ethernet patch cables. At least now I have a bunch of small messes of related items rather than one big mess sprawled across many different containers. I can't help but think I need to jettison some more of it, but you never know when you'll need an AUI to UTP transceiver balun or a NuBus Ethernet Card. Oh, wait. I needed one of each last week. Yes, really.

My plan for completing the 100 Pushups program fell completely apart as I encountered nights where I averaged 4 hours of sleep after an eight hour day working and an equal amount of time spent on moving tasks. The balance of my day was taken up by everyday boring stuff and a bike commute to keep me sane.

I'd imagine I have another week or so of getting settled in.

Putting additional stress on things, I barely listened to any music in October. Music gets me through things, and there just wasn't time to put the headphones on and get into the zone at work. And at home... you already know.

At any rate, I'm stoked for what November will bring. Stresses at work and at home are settling down. The temperature's falling, and we're going into one of my favorite times of the year to ride.

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