Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Tale of Two Valves

I had never heard of a "Presta" valve before, and it was odd to have this technological change thrust into my life at a Wal-Mart.

Anway, I had to change the front tire on my commuting bike because the rubber on the old one had peeled off to the point where the ribbed under-tire was showing. A friend once broke his wrist when his front wheel failed-don't know if this balding tire could lead to that, but don't want to find out.

Finding a new tire proved more difficult than I thought. None at Target, finally found one at Wal-Mart, but the inner tube that I bought to go with it had a funny looking valve, which also did not fit my current bike pump.

I learned that what I've been using all my life is a "Scrader" valve. None was available for the size I needed, so I ended up buying a small hand pump that would work with both types.

Well. At least the tire has been changed!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rain Tennis, Anyone?

It was cloudy and cool this morning, so I decided to chance it and ride to work.

Well, this afternoon was another rainy ride home. Not too bad, though, just got a little damp, not soaked.

Later, Ben wanted to play a final game of Tennis. He is off to ISU tomorrow.

It was still drizzling when we played. The ball gave off a visible spray, did not bounce as well and needed more force to make it move. An interesting game, which very much favored the persons not serving, since the first return was fairly easy, but subsequent hits a bit wild.

Ben one most of the matches, which is to be expected. Ah well, between biking and tennis, at least I did get some exercise in today.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sadly, No Bike In Nashville

I have not had a lot to write about biking lately, because I have not been biking lately. I'm in Nashville, TN, at a Freedom Forum Diversity Institute training session on multimedia journalism.

There hasn't been, nor will there be, time to play tourist in Nashville. Not that I would miss country music, but I've been told by several people there are cool public gardens I should visit.


Anyway, it's really hot, so I've only seen a few bikers out. But, on the roughly 1 mile of streets I've seen, there are nice bike lanes.

I do miss my bike, and wish I had some time to plan and execute some peddling expeditions down here. Oh well, school will start soon and I'll be back in the saddle on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pefect Day for a Ride

Today was not only not rainy, it was not humid. Perfect day, and I was lucky I had to ride to work this morning.

Ben's 18th birthday was today, so didn't stay long--rode home to celebrate. Got in a game of tennis with Ben, which was fun, even if he pretty much crushes me at tennis.

Anyway, this blog may be on break soon--I'll be traveling to Tennessee for a media workshop at Vanderbilt, so may not be biking for a while. The weather forecast there? Triple digits. Will make our warm, humid summer seem nice.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Riding in the rain

I had an internship conference in downtown Cedar Rapids today, so I set off about 10:10 on my bike for the 11 a.m. meeting.

It should have been about a 45-minute ride--and, despite a serious challenge allong the way--that's what it turned out to be.

The sky was partly cloudy, partly blue. There had been rain overnight, and there is a chance of rain tonight, but the forceast was for sunshine during the day. Sadly, the small chance of an isolated showever came to pass--about 10 minutes into my ride, the rain began to pour down.

The good news--it never got more intentense than a drizzle. The bad news--I could hear thunder, and I hate to be outside in a thuderstorm (a justified, I think, fear of lightning).

I got fairly soaked, but fortunately the rain grew less intense as I rode south. By the time I cut across the Coe College campus (take that, rival IPCA campus tours!), the rain was over.

My general rule of thumb for riding in the rain is "don't do it." My tires are fairly bald and I worry about slipping, and about whether drivers can see me.

The conference was at True North, a company located near Greene Square Park. I took the bike trail home, which was a longer route, but the sun was shining by then, and although it was very warm and very muggy, it was a nicer ride home.