Raccoon on a Bicycle

Is this thing on?

*blows off a lot of dust*

*cough cough*

Yeah, so i fell out of the habit of riding my bike, and only have ridden it once in the past couple years. Bad Leonard. No donut.

I was wanting to change that habit, and today made a good day to do so. Since it's Bike to Work day, and I happened to be working days this week, I rode my bike to work. One of the issues to work against that was getting my work satchels carried. They have straps I can wear on my shoulder, but that gets awkward.

This past Christmas I asked to get a pannier rack for my bike. Installed it last night, found where  had my bungees stored, strapped my bags to the back, and rolled into work. There's a big river between home and work, so home and work are on opposite sides of a valley. That means it's uphill, both ways. However, in the intervening time the city has done a lot to support and enhance bike infrastructure. I was able to ride up the hill in a protected bike lane... and I rode up the hill all the way. It's not a major killer hill, but a decent one nonetheless. I've seen people pushing bikes up it before, so I consider it an accomplishment that I pedaled my 280+ pound carcass the whole way up without stopping (the lights happened to be with me). That's what those low gears are for.

I have really been wanting to explore the new bike trails that have been setup around West Lafayette. Today has been like breaking through the ice to get myself moving to do that. Stretch goal this year: CASA challenge!

Raccoon on a Bicycle

Closing out last year

Ugh, I've been super lazy about posting. It's been over 8 months since I posted.

Summary of CASA: I rode 88 miles, and made pretty good time. Pacing myself to only do 5 laps then a rest paid off quite a bit, taking me a lot farther than I expected considering my lack of training. I'm signed up again for this year, and hope to get more riding in before hand. That said, I only rode my bike one time since CASA, and that was in October. It's been six frickin months since I've been on my bike. Gotta change that.

Miles Ridden: 88.00
Top Speed: 19.4 mph
Average Speed: 12.3
Year to date: 136.2

The one ride I did since then was out to an employee picnic that wasn't too far from my house. However, I got a flat tire at the site, and couldn't ride back. Didn't even bother fixing the flat til this year.

Miles Ridden: 5.19
Top Speed: 20.0 mph
Average Speed: 11.6
Year to date: 141.4

All in all, a rather anemic 2015.
Raccoon on a Bicycle

More riding before challenge

I sure have been lax in posting here. Sorry for my thousands of dedicated readers.

So I've been really pitiful about riding. There has been an excessive amount of rain from the sky and excuses from my butt keeping me off the road.

Back when Age of Ultron came out, I rode my bike to the theater. Not a lot of miles, but it was a nice short night ride.

Miles Ridden: 4.85
Top Speed: 27.0 mph
Average Speed: 11.1
Year to date: 27.0

Last week, I couldn't use weather as an excuse, and got in a ride on Wednesday. Went out to Dayton again, and the weather was gorgeous. A little breezy, but not overly onerous. A big dog jumped out to play with me, and I ended up running into him, and my wheel went over his paw. Neither of us were hurt, and I think he may have learned a lesson about momentum.

Miles Ridden: 21.25
Top Speed: 31.5 mph
Average Speed: 11.6
Year to date: 48.2

Today I'm doing the CASA challenge again, to ride on the Subaru track for 24 hours. I am not trained up for this. My fundraising will require at least 38 miles in the tutu on the track. I'm hoping to be able to endure for at least 100 miles. We'll see. I look forward to watching the ISS pass overhead at 10:07 tonight.
Raccoon on a Bicycle

New year, old ride

My friend contacted me wanting to go on a bike ride, so I took her up on it. We left on Sunday at around 5:45, and went to
ride the Dayton loop in reverse. I picked this one based on the fact that the wind was out of the Southeast when we started,
so would be at our backs on the way back. As is typical, the wind shifted halfway through, to come out of the southwest, so
we had wind in our faces going out and coming in. It was a little chilly, but not unbearably so.

Overall, a pretty good ride to start the year.

I've been told by a coworker that they have a group for training for the CASA ride, and asked if I wanted to be included on
the mailing list and join them for training. I eagerly accepted, so I can start getting out more to get my endurance up. Also,
now that my classes are over, I should have more free time in evenings to get rides in each week. Perhaps I'll be able to hit
that 1000 mile goal this year.

I did do a couple of stationary bike rides last month too.

Miles Ridden: 22.14
Top Speed: 28.5 mph
Average Speed: 11.0
Year to date: 22.1
Goal 1000 miles: 2.2%

Road Miles: 22.1
Stationary bike miles: 24.7
Total: 46.8
Raccoon on a Bicycle

Way past due post

It's been over 6 months since I updated this blog. For anyone still listening, sorry.

I did one last bike ride in 2014. On October 26 (or thereabouts) I went out for a ride with a friend out to Prophetstown to look at the scarecrows that were set up there.

Didn't quite make 600 miles for the year.

Miles Ridden: 20.95
Top Speed: 29.0 mph
Average Speed: 10.1
Year to date: 591.1
Goal 1000 miles: 59.1%
Raccoon on a Bicycle

Wabash River Century Ride

Map of ride here

It's been a couple of years since I did the Wabash River Century. In a fit of pique a few weeks ago, I signed up, intending to do the full century.

As the date of the ride approached, I becan to realize that my conditioning may not be up to snuff. I figured I could at least do the 66 mile route and ride to and from the event. If I felt up to the challenge, I would opt in to do the last section.

Turned out that as I was finishing the second section, I hit my wall hard. I realized that I did not have nearly enough endurance or capability to keep going. I told people I was riding with that I was going to go back to the starting point rather than add the final 40 mile loop. The last bit had some challenging hills, but I still managed to ascend them all. My back was bothering me, so I was having to stop very frequently. I did eventually roll into the final stop to complete the official ride.

I then went home, just before a major storm front moved through. Had I done the century, I would have been caught in that. Can't gloat too much about it, because that wouldn't be kind to my friends.

This ride also put me over 500 for the year.

Miles Ridden: 75.63
Top Speed: 34.0 mph
Average Speed: 12.6
Year to date: 570.1
Goal 1000 miles: 57.0%
Raccoon Powah!

Cairo again

I meant to go on a ride Friday night, but I was out and about all day running errands and shopping, so I needed sleep. I got up relatively early today, and had plenty of time before going to a cookout to get in 30 miles, Cairo Triangle it is.

Made very zoomy time on the first leg. Discovered this was because a breeze had picked up out of the southwest. This put wind in my face for the remaining two legs. I'd been averaging over 16 mph on that first leg, but ended up much slower for the rest of the ride. Averaged 13.1, which is still respectable (for me).

Hodson's Bay is having its fall sale this weekend, so I stopped in and bought some new tubes, with longer stems (so they're easier to use with my Revolights). One of the guys there recognized me from the CASA challenge, and said he loved the look of the lights. I brought my bike in and showed the Revolights off to the other guys in the store.

I had hoped to dodge rain, but a small front moved through... but it all came down when I was in the store, so the remainder of my ride was dry. I'd have been rained on if I skipped the Hodson's Bay stop.

Miles Ridden: 30.12
Top Speed: 28.0 mph
Average Speed: 13.1
Year to date: 494.4
Goal 1000 miles: 49.4%
Raccoon on a Bicycle

CASA Challenge

I didn't go 150 miles, or stay on the track for 12 of the 24 hours. I'm actually not sure how much time I spent on the track, because I had set my cyclometer wrong. That also means I have no idea what my average speed was. It was pretty good, though, in the neighborhood of 13-14 mph, I'm guessing. When the wind died down and wasn't blowing in our face for half the track, I was actually spinning around at about 15 mph.

I did go over 114 miles, though. I'll take that as an accomplishment.

Miles Ridden: 114.73
Top Speed: 23.0 mph
Average Speed: ?
Year to date: 464.3
Goal 1000 miles: 46.4%
Raccoon Powah!

Jackson Center

Went for a ride on Tuesday, I planned out a route to the southwest to a little place called Jackson Center. It was supposed to be 38 miles long, but a wrong turn ended up making it just over 40 miles. Wind was in my face for the first half, and died off for the second half. It gave a little push, but not nearly as much as it was providing resistance on the way out.

Something is messed up in my back. Riding the bike feels fine, but when I get off the bike and stand up, my lower back stiffens up, and I can hardly walk. I'm going to try to rest up for a few days and hope this gets better. Less than 3 weeks to the CASA challenge, and I need to keep training up.

Miles Ridden: 40.61
Top Speed: 33.0 mph
Average Speed: 12.0
Year to date: 349.0
Goal 1000 miles: 34.9%
Raccoon Powah!

Brookston Wind Farm

Map of ride here

It was rather nice weather, an unseasonably cool 68 degrees, when I rolled out to go up to the Brookston Wind Farm, about 15 miles north of town. There was a brisk wind of about 13 mph, but it was out of the WNW, so it mas mostly a crosswind, and didn't hinder me too much (with one exception, noted below). It was cloudy as I started out, but after a bit, the sun came out again, bright enough to require putting on the sunglasses.

I went straight north out of town, and could see the windmills just after I passed the I-65 overpass. Soon I crossed the county line (my county has been resisting putting up windmills, so they're all in neighboring counties. I got a couple of good pics.
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When I got to IN 18, I turned west to ride for two miles. There was good news and bad news.

Good news: IN-18 was freshly repaved!
Bad news: It was repaved as chip and seal, and had no shoulder
Good news: It was only two miles to ride on!
Bad news: It was just about straight into that 13 mph wind.

Fortunately, it was over relatively quickly, and soon after i turned back south, the wind suddenly died down, to only about 6 mph. I took a very brief respite in the parking lot of the Badger Grove church, and made good time the rest of the way home.

Miles Ridden: 34.21
Top Speed: 24.0 mph
Average Speed: 12.3
Year to date: 308.4
Goal 1000 miles: 30.8%