In My Regular Clothes

Fritz over at Commute By Bike wrote about commuting to work in normal clothes instead of cycling gear, and how to stay relatively sweat free while doing it.

That was me today as I once again rode to and from work on the direct route. There wasn’t much chance of getting too warm today, as the temps were a couple of degrees below freezing at 7:30 when I left. My dress slacks are a little breezier than the Dockers® I usually wear, but the biggest problem was cold feet. My leather tasseled Florsheims just didn’t do the trick.

On the way home, I was passed by another commuter and we exchanged pleasantries. It wasn’t until after we passed that we realized we sort of knew each other. It was the guy from the Bike to Work Wednesdays announcement from September. (And we were riding on a Wednesday. How cool is that?) We chatted at the next light about traffic and weather, especially how both will be worse next week. It’s neat to be able to chat with other commuters while traveling home. That wouldn’t work if I were in my Saturn.

Miles Ridden: 7.0

First ride and first commute of the new year!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments


I mentioned in my year end post that I had a ‘secret personal goal’ for total annual miles. This year has a number as well, and it will remain secret, as the goal’s name suggests.

However, I do have another couple of goals that I don’t mind making public.

Drawing of a upward trending graphFirst, I’d like to do more commuting and utility riding. My two commutes last week proved that I can ride in the winter under certain conditions – not too windy, not too cold, and not wet. (Tomorrow looks like one of those days.) I’ll still have the same impediments to daily commuting other than weather, mainly chauffeur duties with the kids after school, and scheduling and logistical problems at work. However, my goal is to minimize those issues as much as possible and ride whenever I can.

How can I measure my progress? I’m going to look at the last two years that are documented here, and grab a history of commuting to have a standard to measure against. I’m going to guess that there was much more commuting in 2006 than in 2005, but the numbers will show the truth.

Cyclist on a bike pathI can pretty much guess that my utility riding (grocery store runs, etc.) was almost non-existent this past year. Anything at all would be an improvement.

After the numbers are ready, I’ll post those results, and a goal for each month. The goals may be expressed in days ridden or trips made rather than miles ridden. I think that may be a better indication of my dedication. Miles ridden is already part of the secret goal.

My second goal is to ride more before work on those days when I can’t ride to work. Sometimes, those commuting impediments are going to win, so I have to get more comfortable with the pre-dawn rides. I said last year (towards the end of the post) that I was going to get a vest to be more visible. That will be my January assignment this year.

As with the commuting, I’ll measure my progress in the number of rides taken.

What are your goals for 2007?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Goals

Tapawingo Extension Done Early – But Has a Problem

I read this article today in the Journal & Courier about the new road being built in West Lafayette’s Levee area. The Tapawingo Extension will connect State Street at the foot of the Leslie Bridge with South River Road at Williams Street. The article explains how this is part of the Purdue University master development plan to route cars around the edges of the campus and not through the middle of it (and that’s a good thing). When another project to the SW is finished, it is my theory that this new 2 block section will carry SR 26.

What caught my attention is two things is separate paragraphs. First, they plan to build a trail on the north side. Now, I don’t know what kind of trail it will be, but there is another bike trail in the area, and this new one would be well used if it hooked up to the Wabash River Heritage Trail.

Further down the page, I read that the north side is zoned ‘general business’ and ready for development. I’m expecting gas stations, drive thru eateries, and the like.

So, we’ll have a trail on the north side, and driveways on the north side. I’ve read many places that paths and driveways combine to present a very high danger for cyclists and pedestrians. Why not just build a sidewalk instead?

The River Road/State Street/Levee area is a big barrier for the less confident cyclists (most of them). Although there is a nice pedestrian bridge, a bike trail (that unfortunately floods when the river is high), an outdoor mall, and all of Lafayette on the east side, it is difficult to get there unless one is willing to take a lane and take a chance. An uninterrupted trail along the new road would be a great connector between campus and the city, but the layout described today invites accidents and will not help the squeamish get out of their neighborhoods.

I’m hoping that there is a mis-print, and that the trail is actually on the south side. We’ll see what’s in place next June when it opens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tapawingo Extension Done Early – But Has a Problem

December 2006 Totals and Year in Review

Like everyone else, I feel compelled to summarize my year in the saddle. First, the totals:

December 2006: 62.4 miles
December 2005: 21.4 miles

Nice improvement there.

2006 Total: 1,537.7 Miles
2005 Total: 1,296.6 Miles

Not only did I beat last year’s number, I passed my secret personal goal of 1,400.

A big part of that increase (other than the great weather in January) was due to the purchase of my new bike, the Trek Pilot 1.0. I divided the miles by bike as follows:

Trek 820: 1,186.3 Miles
Trek Pilot: 351.4 Miles

However, after the Pilot rolled into the garage in August, the 820 was limited to 261.9 miles – mostly commuting. The Pilot may be the favored ride.

The Spinner Saturday miles will be posted soon by Stormcrowe on both of this sites (here and here), and the group may pass 40,000. Even though I’ve only met 2 of the other members, it’s fun being part of the group.

Have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration, and I hope to see you out on the roads and in the saddle in 2007!

Dan and Tom on Granville Bridge
New Year’s Day – 2006

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

See Yesterday For Details

Another great day, so I rode to work and back – same as yesterday.

There was one muppet (as Steve would say) today that was waiting on a side street to turn left, and pulled out in front of me. I yelled “Hey” as I squeezed the brakes.

Miles Ridden: 7.0

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on See Yesterday For Details

A Day So Nice, I Rode It Twice

Thirty-seven degrees, sunshine, little wind – a good day to ride to work. The ride in was remarkably uneventful, mostly because this is dead week on campus. There are no students and few employees, so the traffic at 7:50, which normally would be a nightmare, was very light.

I didn’t take any pictures, but I did try my hand at a video (UPDATE: See the video here).

Came home around 2:00 using the direct route with beautiful weather and even less traffic.

Miles Ridden: 7.0

Later in the afternoon, I needed to pick up my car which was stranded across town at my wife’s workplace.

(I thought about leaving the keys and hoping someone would steal it. I’m so tired of that beast! Would that work? Jerry Seinfeld did that in the B O episode. In my fantasy, I don’t replace it and either ride the bike or carpool with my wife everywhere. In reality, I would be about six days into the experiment when one of the kids needed a ride to or from school or a friend’s place, or maybe it would rain buckets of water during my commute time, or I had to come home for lunch, or something. I wish my house and the schools were all on bus routes.)

Anyway, it was an easy trek on River Road, US 231 S, SR 25, and Old Romney Road to Twycknenham Drive. Heading east, over the bridge, this road becomes Brady Lane and later Creasy Lane. I found the car (it was sill there – darn it!), squeezed the bike into the back, and drove back home.

Man, I live an exciting life!!

Miles Ridden: 10.5

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Day So Nice, I Rode It Twice

Eve Photo Tour

I had a tough time getting out today, as a nap was much more inviting. I slept for a while and didn’t get out until 4:00.

On River Road

I basically followed the Wabash Avenue Route. I recently had noticed an entrance to a bike trail on the downhill section of the Avenue between the Norfolk & Southern and CSX tracks, and I tried it out today. It was a little hilly and overgrown with some trash along the route. I only went about a quarter of a mile before it joined a gravel road heading south east – presumably towards the trail I rode last January between 9th and 18th. However, I didn’t want to give the gravel a try with my skinny tires, so I’ll have to come back on the other bike.

Wabash River is High
The River is High

These pictures don’t really capture the subtle light and color presented to me as I crossed the Wabash River. The water is up right now, and the currents and eddies downstream from the bridge were most interesting and mesmerizing.

Leslie Bridge

On the west bank, there was a good crowd at the ice rink.

Ice Rink

Miles Ridden: 12.4

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eve Photo Tour

Cyclist Fatality in Lafayette

A cyclist died this week in Lafayette after an early morning accident. There is no word yet on whether the driver was charged with any crime, but the evidence (as listed in the newspaper) is sketchy. The cyclist is blamed for possibly not using lights and for not wearing his helmet, while the driver was said to have frosted windows – I guess he didn’t scrape them very well. Poor visibility, presumably fog, was also cited as a factor.

I’m not the kind of guy who will attempt to decide the case based on poorly written news articles, but I do have one point to make. Not wearing a helmet may have increased his injuries, but it didn’t cause him to be run down by the car.

Here is the text from the two articles.

First on the 20th:

Early morning bicyclist hit, critically injured


A bicyclist suffered a serious head injury Tuesday morning when he was struck by a car in a predawn crash at 18th and South streets.

Stephen K. Jones, 52, of Lafayette was in critical condition at Home Hospital late Tuesday.

Lt. Chris Weaver of the Lafayette Police Department said limited visibility because of darkness and the fact that the car’s windows were still partially frosted are being investigated as likely contributing factors in the 5:45 a.m. crash.

Weaver said Robert M. Lovvorn, 31, of Lafayette, the driver of a Pontiac Grand Prix, was southbound on 18th Street and made a left turn onto South Street, striking the bicyclist, who was headed east on South just east of the intersection.

It appears the bicyclist struck his head on the south curb of South Street, Weaver said.

There was no major damage to the car or the bike, which was equipped with a light. Police aren’t sure whether the bike’s light was turned on.

Medics who responded found a bicycle helmet hanging from the bike’s handle bars. Police suspect the rider was not wearing the helmet at the time of the crash.

“No skid marks; no tire marks,” Weaver said. “It was probably a low-speed crash, but when you’re on a bike it doesn’t take much speed.”

Lovvorn submitted to all required tests, and police determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

South Street was closed between 19th and Main streets until about 8:30 a.m. while traffic investigators took measurements.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is encouraged to call Officer Tim Bonner of LPD’s traffic division at 807-1292.

Next on the 21st:

Bicyclist dies after car crash


A bicyclist from Lafayette died Wednesday morning after he was seriously injured when struck by a car at 18th and South streets.

Stephen K. Jones, 52, suffered massive head injuries in the predawn crash Tuesday after falling and hitting his head on a curb, according to Officer Tim Bonner of the Lafayette Police Department.

He was pronounced dead at Home Hospital.

Tippecanoe County coroner Donna Avolt said Wednesday that Jones died of multiple traumatic injuries. An autopsy will not be done.

Police said limited visibility at the time of the 5:45 a.m. crash Tuesday and the fact that the car’s windows were still partially frosted were investigated as likely contributing factors.

Jones was hit by a Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Robert M. Lovvorn, 31, of Lafayette as Jones was headed east on South Street, just east of the intersection with 18th Street.

Lovvorn, who was not injured, was turning left on South from 18th.

Medics at the scene found a bicycle helmet hanging from the bike’s handles bars, and police suspect Jones was not wearing it at the time of the crash.

Police found no major damage to the car or the bike. The fact that neither skid marks nor tire marks were found at the scene indicate that it was a low-speed crash.

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

5 Things

I’ve been reading these things all over the web, and it’s finally my turn. Tom got me.

My assignment is to post 5 things about myself that others may not know. Here goes:

  1. In high school, my friends and I broke into a church to borrow a piano.
  2. I’ve seen Abe Vigoda’s naked feet.
  3. On two occasions, a police officer has drawn his revolver and pointed it at me.
  4. I ran naked through the school on ‘Senior Skip Day’ just before graduation.
  5. I didn’t actually burn the garage down, but I did light the fire.

I had to throw in my own twist, so I’ve included one false statement in the list. Can you guess which one?

(Leave your answers in the comments)

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Wanna Have Some Fun?

Watch the Year Round Biker ride to work and from work.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments