Posted by: kbayne5900 | April 18, 2012

Am I road biking?

Sorry it has been such a long break between updates.

Today as I rode home from Tiffin U, following my LAST faculty meeting, I was just ridin’ along, when a beaver ran across the road right in front of me! I’ve never seen a beaver out crossing a road or within a few feet of my bike so it was pretty cool. The beaver was probably headed back to the stream which is a few hundred feet away through the fields.

I just checked and I have 530 commute miles for 2012, plus about 200 on the trainer, and only 150 on the Madone. I did get to ride some hills in Loudonville a couple of weeks ago on the Madone, and this weekend I’m heading to a conference in Bloomington so I will take the Madone and introduce it to some of the great routes there. Yes, I am going to sneak out of some of the conference presentations to go ride my bike with friends.

I’ve been riding Kaz’s Trek 5500 bike mostly, and I always think of him and remember him. It’s a truly nice way to remember a biking buddy who’s now gone.

I have been commuting via bike three or four days per week all year. I have decided that I will revise my commute criteria a little: used to be if it is at least 28°F and the roads are dry, I will ride. I have decided that I also need to consider WIND since it’s awfully windy in the flatlands, and with a commuter backpack containing lunch, teaching clothes, clipboard, markers, phone, wallet, pens, etc. that does kind of make one less aero than normal! So, I’m going to add “and the wind is less than 22 mph” to my commuter-decision-criteria. I guess wind direction plays a part in that, too, but since it’s usually coming out of the SSW (headwind going to work, in other words) it seems fair enough.

The past week I actually had a couple of days with a strong NNE wind, opposite of normal, and got blown into campus quite nicely, but had to battle home — realized that yes, a tailwind does make you feel strong and fast, but fighting it later highlights just how much effect the wind can have.

On Sunday I went to a Yoga for Cyclists intro workshop taught by Marnie, who used to work over at Elmore Cycle and Fitness (she’s just there a little bit now.) It was a great and interesting experience. Discovered that I am fairly flexible but uneven, and need to work on balance stuff — don’t know if that is a result of aging or the accident. She did say that all that’s normal and that one can improve as you keep doing it, so will have to see how I can work that in. After the 2-hour yoga intro Dan and Dave and Nancy and I all went for a ride. We were planning a three hour ride at a 15 mph pace, since Dan was on his Elliptigo training for a time trial he’s got coming up — heading south we were averaging around 10, coming back north 17! Wind, indeed. It was a great ride, though, since it was super warm — almost record high temp for April 15 here.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | November 8, 2011

Got lost on the way to the polls

Well, I rode to the polling site, a church ten miles away from my house, but I rode there from Tiffin U, since I’d commuted in to work today. I’ve commuted at least three or four days each week all semester (we are now in week 11). The only days I have not ridden have been due to rain. It is a beautiful warm November day so biking more than the commute couldn’t be passed up!

Anyway, I google-mapped a route to the church polling place in Fremont but I goofed up and turned on CR 38 instead of 37 and ended up way out in the farmland somewhere… I passed through Green Springs and just kinda hacked my way back north and west and eventually found Smith Road and made it to the church to vote. It was supposed to be 19 miles from TU, but I added miles since I got off course.

I did see my friend Dave riding back from Fremont Cycle to Tiffin, so that was cool — I saw a “real cyclist” (you can tell by bike jersey, shorts, and bike) approaching and then saw that it was Dave! Awesome. I think his daughter is in choir on Tuesday afternoons so I’m sure he was headed home to get her to choir practice. Kind of funny to happen upon a good riding buddy way out in the cornfields (some harvested now, but many still standing).

I ended up with over 50 miles on the day, so that was a big plus. The wind was out of the SSW today so parts of the ride were a little harder but at least when I got off course I was still benefitted by a tail wind and not battling a headwind. Last week when I rode from Tiffin to the Fremont Cycle shop it was stupidly hard since the NNW wind was so strong!

This afternoon after voting, I headed home although I’d been thinking of going to the bike shop, and got in just before sunset. Super nice ride and got to explore some new roads!

Posted by: kbayne5900 | September 5, 2011

88 miles

Well, today the wind was out of the NNW so for once it blew me in to campus, but man, that 20 mph headwind was rough on the way home!

I’ve commuted 88 miles so far (in Fall semester 2011). Last Friday my pump malfunctioned and I ended up with two flats (it was letting all the air OUT of the tires instead of pumping more air in) so I had to drive (not enough time to fix the flats PLUS no working pump except for my on-the-road frame pumps). Went to the shop and with Dan’s help got my Topeak Joe Blow Pro pump working again. The other reason I drove Friday was the temp (98° F, felt like 107° according to the weather channel). So, since I had the car, I did some errands that need a vehicle such as taking in the recycling materials. It was all good. I was just kinda bummed at not having gotten to ride to and from Tiffin every work day the first week.

Today is Labor Day, and of course, TU had classes, so I Labored, I guess. I got invited on three different long-mile rides today but of course had to pass on all of them since I still had to work, although I still rode my commute. I’d pretty much forgotten about the whole Labor Day holiday thing since I knew I’d be at work as usual, and when the guys in the bike shop asked if I could go on the 7 AM holiday ride, I just looked at them and said, “What holiday?” D’oh.

It cooled off nicely today. Low 60s on my afternoon ride home. Nice change from the high and humid 90s of the past few days. Actually wore a jacket riding in this morning.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | September 1, 2011

I am getting back to riding more, finally. This recovery from the October 2009 Hilly Hundred bike crash has taken a long time. A lot of people do not understand why I would continue to bike, but it’s what I love and is the ONLY fun thing (other than work) to do around here! Last year was too much time spent in the car commuting. (Rochelle and I drove 7000 miles on our camping vacation out to the west coast in July, but hey, that’s another thing entirely.)

Two Sundays ago we went on the Flatlanders Tour and did two of the four loops, so I ended up with 73 miles on the day, which was fun.

Portage River Tour lunch

Mike, Karen, Dave at lunch in Elmore

I did a century this summer (drafted my friend Dave for 98 miles, seriously) on the Portage River Tour. Dave (orange jersey) and I rode to Elmore from my house, did the ride which was a metric century and went through Bowling Green, and then rode back, so I got in my 100 miles for the day. And it was my first big Tour event on my single bike since the Hilly where I crashed. Mike M in gray is the Elmore shop mechanic and he rode with us too once we got to Elmore. He was bemused my all my RAIN stuff… until I explained that it was the BBC club’s event (yep, I’ve got T shirts and jerseys, and have ridden RAIN 3 times, but worked it as well, so I gotta advertise with the jerseys. He will have to meet Dave T some day to meet a real RAIN aficionado.)

I have commuted to Tiffin University all three days this first week that I’ve taught, and the weather has been cooperative. It’s an 11 mile flat country route, which I did not used to even bother counting as training, but I guess I will now since my riding is so limited. I am back on my single bike although I’ve still been out several times recently on the Red Rocket Trek tandem with Tom. He has upgraded her to belt drive which is way cool and will be putting on a carbon fork and bars for himself (he gets tingly/numb hands so we need to cut down the road vibation.) I’ve been riding Kaz’s bike to TU, so his 5500 is now my nice commute bike.

It is kind of funny but the Elmore bike shop people passed my name along to a writer who was doing a newspaper article on bike commuting, and she interviewed me by phone while I was out in Seattle on my vacation, and then came over and took photos of me last week for the article. It will be in the Genoa OH paper. I got all rigged out in my commuter gear: had the Ross, complete with fenders, locks, taillight, and wore my Trek commuter backpack, so hopefully my poster child moment will live up to the story about bike commuting! I realized how weird I am when she asked when I’d started to commute… well, gee, junior high school?! I used to ride Lake Shore Boulevard in Euclid to Shore Junior High school, nearly, and leave my bike in my friend Andrea’s garage. I guess I took the city bus in the winter, but I got started on the bike commuter thing early. Apparently most adult bike commuters came to it after some period of driving (I did not even get a driver’s license until I was 19 and did not buy a car until after college.)

The new sled, black carbon onyx

Trek Madone 6.9 New Bike

And my new Madone 6.9 frame, which I’ve built up with the 10-speed Dura Ace stuff off Kaz’s bike, has turned into quite the sled –feathery light, and has very cool Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, courtesy of Mike G. and Jeanne Smith of my old place of employment, Bikesmiths. It took me a while to build due to the internal cable routing — very slick, but I gotta wonder how the pro team mechanics deal with that stuff — it took me hours to get the rear brake and derailleur cables routed. It’s a fantastic ride and I totally LOVE it. I still miss my crashed silver and black 5900, though 😦 but at least I have the older 5900 still.

My commute route to TU is flat, through farm land, and usually has very few cars but today 11 cars/trucks passed me as I rode home — heavy traffic day to be sure (I was riding home about an hour after my class ended and probably hit a shift switch time at the local factories.)

I’ve made it through six classes so far and 7 office hours: one more day and then I’ll have survived the first week of TU classes. I really really really hope that I can do what I need to do and not work every waking moment like I did last year. That was rough. 14 weeks to go plus a week of grading final papers, and another semester will pass. Many of my friends are no longer here — other jobs and maternity leaves, so campus is a bit bare of friends for me these days.

More later: I will blog more this year as the biking in the flatlands thing is happening more regularly again.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | May 16, 2010

Recovery is progressing. I have been riding on my trainer and today went out for a 38 mile ride on The Red Rocket tandem with Tom Beres, the mechanic from the Fremont Cycle shop. It was windy and high 50s so I was glad to be wearing my arm warmers and vest. I miss my Pearl Izumi Vagabond jacket with the zip off sleeves. I have ridden on my indoor trainer the past couple of days and my knee definitely feels better after riding. I can’t really notice any difference after doing vision therapy but I am sure that it’s helping.

I started to wear my Sidi shoes today for the ride but noticed that the right cleat is loose, no doubt from the accident! I guess I’ll have to tighten that cleat up and see if it holds. I was kind of surprised that the shoes looked unscathed, but a loose cleat at least shows that something happened in the accident. I guess I can replace a cleat if I need to. I am just glad the Sidis are OK.

We had a good ride, and stopped a few times to stretch/rest. We rode south towards Tiffin then turned east and went to Clyde, and came back via the bike path. The last few miles I was feeling really tired.

Shared the butter pecan pie that I made with Tom and Dad. So it was a sweet, fun-filled day.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | April 30, 2010

Well, I’m working two half-days each week at the Fremont bicycle shop, which has been great in terms of helping me get some of my bike skills back. I still can’t do everthing I used to, since I can’t see well. But it’s a start, and I think it’s helping Dan, the owner, out too. So far I’ve just been working the floor and doing some bike building. I can’t wrench well enough yet to work on other people’s bikes. We are now booking for June 2 on tuneups and stuff! Pretty amazing. I’ve been building a lot of Electras and a few Schwinns, plus a couple of Trek kids’ bikes.

I went out again on Thursday on the Red Rocket with Tom. We rode 22 miles and enjoyed nice weather after work. It was good to be outside. I’ve been riding my trainer (over 200 miles now) but it’s not nearly as fun as being outside, so the tandem rides are a bonus. Tom swapped saddles and pedals for me, too, so now I can clip in. It’s all good.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | April 17, 2010

I have been riding my trainer — I have about 175 miles on my cyclocomputer — and on Thursday I got the chance to ride with Tom, the head mechanic from Fremont Cycle, on his Trek tandem. We went at 6 PM and rode the bike path to Clyde and back, about 17 miles. This was my first tandem ride (except for some very short tandem rides in Bloomington). It was a lot of fun, and my first outside ride since the accident in October, so I was psyched. It was warm and sunny here, which helped. I couldn’t clip in because although Tom had put on Speedplay pedals for me, my cleats were not able to clip in. Whatever. I was still able to keep my feet positioned OK, but I wasn’t clipped in. I was in charge of signaling turns and ringing the little electronic bell when we passed kids. It was a mental adjustment to not have to have my hands on the bars! I enjoyed the ride, although my eyes still prevent me from seeing off to the side. Fortunately, the captain had things under control.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | February 15, 2010

Well, I got into an accident biking in Indiana at the end of October. Now I am just riding my indoor trainer and trying to recover some fitness.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | October 10, 2009

Harvest in the Heartland

It’s harvest time here! I rode to work Monday and by the time I rode back home many of the soybean fields had been cleared and harvested. A few of the corn fields have been cut, too. It was a perfect fall day on Monday — really nice ride, but with a KILLER headwind. I’m still on the Ross because I have had NO time to complete the RWB 5900 overhaul. Basically it’s together, but I want to test ride it to check the BB adjustment and I should probably pull the headset out and overhaul the bottom HS bearing, which after these rain rides tends to seize up and get rough. Think this was my slowest commute yet of about 50 minutes, but I don’t have stats since there’s no computer on the Ross. Thought about turning around before I got to the first crossroad — but I was all dressed and packed and moving down the road, so I kept riding.

The wind flattened a lot of the cornstalks in front of my house. It was really strong overnight, tossing and blowing everything around. Fortunately this house seems a lot better in windy conditions than my previous apartment, although only real winter winds will truly show the difference.

Tuesday morning was another beautiful day, but rain was called for in the afternoon. I deliberated over the Weather Channel’s forecast before deciding to ride in (still on the Ross, fortunately.) The afternoon commute was another good one, although there was a decent SSE 8 mph headwind. The moon was full and beautiful last night so I thought a night ride home might be pretty… alas, the rain did fall during the afternoon and during my Novel class in the evening. I had a lot packed into the class, including showing the last half of the Dangerous Liaisons movie (Glenn Close and John Malkovich) and a quiz, which I did at the end, so some students finished up around 9:30 PM. By the time I got my stuff packed it was 9:45. Realized that my clothing choice was really stupid — black pants and a navy-blue jacket… I’ll have to remember that in the future! At least I have lots of reflective stuff and lights (front & rear on the bike plus a red LED flasher on my backpack). And once I leave town there isn’t a lot of traffic to worry about.

I scudded home ahead of the strong SSE tailwind, watching the moon go in and out of the thickening grey clouds. Although the roads were damp, I was dry and comfortable (fenders!) Approximately fifteen minutes after I got home I suddenly realized that rain was POUNDING the house! Total cloudburst. Weird. But I missed it, luckily.

Wednesday morning I went for a walk up to the Wolf Creek bridge (3/4 mile up my road):

Had to go in on Wednesday for an A&S faculty meeting. I brought up the wording of the TU student-athlete missed class policy. I don’t think the director of athletics is too happy with me. I want to propose a wording change that actually allows faculty to impose some sort of attendance policy on student athletes; my suggested change is that if a student misses more than 20% or 25% of a class that they’ll be penalized or will fail the course. Amazingly, BonnieT (who is our faculty athletics liaison) presented this idea in the Business school meeting and the faculty didn’t jump on board! As it is currently written, faculty cannot penalize athletes for missing class for sports competition during the season that their sport is in competition. The way the policy is worded means that they could miss any number of class sessions and faculty cannot penalize them. The Dir of Athletics wants this to be “handled on an individual basis,” but I think it needs to be stated clearly in the policy. I have one student in the Novel class who’s borderline for this already, another who dropped 141 because he was going to miss too many class sessions, and another instructor has a student who has missed 7 classes in the first 4 weeks of the semester (not all were his fault, but still…) I think TU has grown enough and has enough athletes that we need to formalize the policy and make academic integrity a goal. So now I have to attend the October Athletics-Academics Committee meeting and present my case. Hmmm. Making lots of friends here, indeed 😉

Since I have orchestra on Wednesday nights I just drove in with the bass in the car and stayed in Tiffin until rehearsal. We still have a month to go before our concert — I think I’d be ready in a week, but the group is still really struggling with Beethoven and Brahms. The violins have a lot of notes in the Academic Festival Overture! We need more violas. Another bass might be coming, which would be nice. I certainly hope that percussion and brass might soon be rehearsing. I am enjoying rehearsing and practicing Brahms and Beethoven (always fun and challenging music); the actual performance will be decent. I keep imagining Geoffrey Simon or Larry Rachleff livening up the group and making some pithy comment that just gets the *music* out of everyone. We’re a little pedestrian at the moment.

Thursday morning was another day of deliberation, but I decided to ride. These days I have as much interest in the weather and wind direction as any sailor. It remained clear all day until my afternoon class, when it began to drizzle. Vince offered a ride, but it wasn’t raining much and I managed to scoot pretty quickly after class was over and was on the road by 4 PM. Although it was damp and drizzling a little, it wasn’t a bad ride (after the CFC 113-mile-rainfest, my standards of wet riding have been greatly altered!) The raincover on the Trek backpack works really well and I have everything in a plastic bag inside, too.

Friday and Saturday I worked at the Elmore bike shop to cover for the owner, who’s on a cruise out of Barcelona. I was by myself and kept busy building bikes. It rained ALL DAY on Friday; Saturday was really nice out, but I was too tired to get up early to ride to Elmore! Morgan woke me up 20 mins. early* (by early, I mean before I planned to get up, which has little relevance compared to Morgan’s programmed breakfast time) on Saturday to play the food game. She was quite insistent. There was a claw to the face involved — a delicate, yet quite sharp, invitation to get out of bed! I was very grouchy but dutifully threw food bits around the house for ten minutes.

Posted by: kbayne5900 | October 1, 2009

My fellow commuters…

Today was the first day I’ve biked this week. On Monday, following CFC, I was pretty tired and not really in the mood for riding (and my RWB 5900 bike is disassembled). It was also supposed to rain all day — good enough excuses not to ride! It was also very rainy on Tuesday… ditto. I’ve been really behind due to all of the work students have submitted this week which needs to be graded — taking basically a whole weekend off means I’m behind in a big way.

Anyway, no classes or meetings on Wednesday, so I stayed at home and got some work done (not nearly enough).

Today, though, I decided it was time to bike to TU again; I rode the Ross in sneakers since it’s rigged for commuting. On the way in three vehicles passed me: two pickups and a tractor. However, six deer ran across the road in front of me (pretty much the same spot near the little wooded area where I saw five deer a couple of weeks ago.) I think this deer herd and I are on similar schedules 🙂

I went to campus Friday to meet with three students, none of whom actually appeared at my office.
Had a migraine Friday afternoon, so didn’t get a lot done. In the evening was MiriamF’s A&S potluck — by the time the migraine wore off sufficiently I had mostly missed everything, but I caught the tail end and enjoyed some yummy food, and my very first game of cornhole vs. ToddT. I contributed the sweet potato and apple dish (to go with Miriam’s pork roast).

Spent the weekend grading madly and didn’t even meet up with the gang for biking. It looked rainy on Saturday AM when I awoke at 6:30 to check the radar, so I just went back to bed. My bike is sort of thrown back together, but not really checked out. I want to take apart my wheels and dump out the water from CFC so I put on the Ultegra wheelset in case of further rain.

Sunday evening I finally needed to get out of the house so I biked over to Wolf Creek Park and hiked the little nature trail; it’s only about a mile and a half long but it was nice to be outside. The leaves are just starting to turn. Ahh, fresh air.

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