Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Here Comes The Rain Again, Sort Of

Will it rain today? Sure it will. It’s raining now. But it’s odd how sometimes it takes so long for rain to arrive, and I end up missing a ride because I anticipate rain that comes later. If I had left work at 5 tonight, I could have made it home before the rain really got going.

Anyway, did not ride today due to the forecast of rain. I could have this morning, but it was a bit cold and damp tonight, so I’m glad I didn’t. I hope to ride tomorrow, but we’ll see when the rain ends.

And today’s rain song, featuring a slightly creepy Eurythmics video:

Monday, February 27, 2012

In Honor of Past Modes of Transportation

As I noted in my other blog, I’ve sold my Chevy Van—actually, a Venture minivan, which had seen better days.

So, what horrible ear worm was running through my mind as I biked today, an ear worm in honor of past modes of transportation?

Those of you unfortunate to have grown up in the 1970s probably already know, but I found this ridiculous video of this awful song, and who can resist? Clearly not me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Preview of Coming Biking Attractions

Me in bike mirror, kids at C Avenue Bridge, melting snow on slide.

I missed a few days last week due to snow and a flat—and this week is forecast to be, well, “active” in the weather area.

So it was nice to have a good weather day today. We were a bit rash Saturday, as I noted on my other blog, we bought a new (well, new to us) van on Saturday. Then we went to Katy’s for supper—and decided to invite Nikayla and Tristan over to spend the night.

And it turned out to be a fun party. We fixed pancakes in the morning, went to church, visited Shirley Schultz at Promise House and went for a walk in which we took a close look at Dry Creek.

When it was time to take the kids home, I offered to take Tristan by bike. He was thrilled by the idea.

It was a warm and sunny day, not sure how many there will be in the near future, but it’s a foretaste of nice biking days to come. Tristan and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Later, I had to go to the office, and took the longer trail route on the way home.

A nice biking day, the start of many more to come, I hope!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Snow and Why I Did Not Go By Bike


It's pretty today, the sun is out. Here are some images of why I'm not on two wheels. I hope it's only a brief break, at this time of year snow cover is not usually persistent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Flat! And a Rave to Make Up For It ...

I had a flat on Fat Tuesday, sad day.

It took a few minutes to fix, and a while to find a functioning bike pump at MMU. I proved, by the way, that my frame pump is naught but decoration. Still, the tire was eventually inflated and the ride home was on two wheels.

And then, on my other blog, I raved for a while about a rude dude and his anti-bike bigotry.

That felt good. See it here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Some By Bicycle, When They Can ...."

The city of Cedar Rapids--and the nearby cities of Robins, Hiawatha and Marion--is planning for a 4-lane Tower Terrace Road to link Highway 13 and Interstate 380.

I have mixed feelings--as a lover of nature, I'm not that sanguine about our urban area taking over more fields and trees. But on the other hand, if the growth is going to occur, there will increasingly be a need for an alternate east-west road so that Collins and Boyson and Blair's Ferry don't continue to grow more congested. Tower Terrace as a "big" road makes more sense to me than Boyson. (Planners, figure out pedestrian and bike routes over this big road as part of the planning stage--otherwise, like Collins and Blair's Ferry, the road becomes a giant river of autos that is more daunting to ford to a biker than an actual river would be.)

Anyway, regardless of the merits of the plan, one line in the Gazette story caught my eye. It noted that 40,000 residents will soon call the area home, and that most of them will commute by autos or "some by bicycle when they can."

Trust me, they can most days, year round. I know it's been a pretty mild winter, so this season isn't a good test--I lost of most of January 2011 due to persistent snow cover, for instance--but I've been commuting by bicycle most days this winter. And by the end of February, even in years with harsher winters, the bike commuting season is usually underway.

Nice to see the Gazette mention the possibility that some of the new residents in these north regions of the metroplex might ride bikes. Cedar Rapids has a policy of trying to be a bike-friendly community, and figuring out how to incorporate bike routes in a way that won't be too expensive nor interfere with car traffic would be nice.

Friday, February 17, 2012

More Adventures on the Bike Built Now for Two

Looking very grown up, the young biker by the chill waters of Dry Creek in Cedar Rapids.

I unscrewed the new child seat from the bike before my morning commute today, and although the bar that supports it got in the way a little bit, it was a lot easier to ride that way. Fortunately, removing the seat, and putting it back on, are easy.

As I found out when I got home. Katy and company were waiting, and Tristan was desperate to go on a bike ride. It took only a minute or so to put the seat back on. Originally, Nikayla wanted a ride, too, but she agreed to go on a walk with mom, grandma and two babies (Audrey was also watching a younger grandson and, of course, Katy had Amelia with her).

Mr. T and I headed off on a pleasant neighborhood jaunt. It was warmer than our first ride, and I don’t think he suffered from the chill this time. We went north, crossed Boyson Road using the light in front of Bowman Woods School, randomly circled around in that neighborhood, crossed Boyson at C Avenue (Tristan could reach the light switches and activated both lights while sitting in the bike seat, something that thrilled him—like Ringo, he’s a born lever puller) and rode around the Lost Quarry neighborhood before heading home.

We beat the ladies home, and I asked if he wanted to walk behind the fence to see the creek.

Yes, he did. We strolled down to the water and just stood at the edge for a while. After five minutes or so, I asked if he was ready to leave, and he said, “no.” So I took his picture to spend a few more minutes, and then we finally headed back.

When the women got home, it turned out Nikyala still wanted a ride. It was getting a little dark, so I ran with my lights on and made it short—just a circuit of the Lost Quarry area, but she was satisfied.

When I rode with Tristan, we went up Brentwood Drive hill. I did not do what with Nikayla.

Well, the front bike seat is still a hit. Nikayla is obviously at the upper end of its capacity and won’t be able to ride in it for long, so I’m glad she was able to ride today.

And of course, Mr. T, my little biker pal, had a ball.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Riding With No Passenger

Me and Mr. T before ride . Note I'm on tiptoe.

Well, Wednesday I didn’t ride because rain was in the forecast. Silly me, it turned out to be dry.

But I was back on the seat today. And found that commuting with the new seat on the front of the bike is a pain. In the past, every time I stopped, I would hop off my seat—but with the toddler chair in front of me, there is nowhere to go, so I was just waiting (uncomfortably, on tip toe) firmly planted on the seat at every corner where I had to stop.

I miss the breaks.

The good news is that a thumb-tightened nut holds the seat on, so when I got home I removed it. When Mr. T comes over again, it will take only a few seconds to screw it back in.

Looking forward to a ride tomorrow without the extra seat, but the bar that supports it might still lead to some problems. We’ll see!