Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for June, 2007

Keeping Cool

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

When I opened the front door to ride to work this morning, I was greeted with a blast of hot air. I had to remind myself that it feels cooler once I start riding and air is passing over me. During my ride, I was thinking about all the different ways I try to keep cool. Maybe some of these will help someone else. I’d love for people to add to the list, too.

Ways to keep cool:

Don’t wear cotton.
Cotton clothes hold moisture, so when you sweat, they get waterlogged and stick to your skin. It also takes forever to dry. Wear as little cotton as possible, especially shirts. Polyester is good and wicks moisture, pulling it away from your skin so it can evaporate. I’ve found that wearing non-cotton work clothes as well (with no undershirt, as those are cotton) helps me cool down faster.

Take your time.
Don’t ride too fast. You’ll work up more of a sweat. Also, take your time changing your clothes so you can cool down a bit in the process, and if you have more than one place where you can change clothes, choose the coolest place. Don’t schedule any meetings first thing in the morning so you can cool down first.

Clean yourself.
Wash your face, or wipe it with a wet paper towel or a wet wipe after you get to work. It’ll keep you clean and cool. Have an extra stick of deodorant to use once you arrive at work.

Drink something cold.
Even if you aren’t thirsty, bring cold water and drink some during your ride. It’ll help you feel a little cooler. I put my water bottle in the refrigerator in the morning and get it out right before I leave in the evening. In the morning, try drinking your coffee iced instead of hot. I have a mug that fits in my second water bottle cage, and I bring iced coffee to work every morning.

Full, yet empty

Monday, June 11th, 2007

I had a really good weekend involving lots of cycling and spending time with my family and some family friends who I hadn’t seen in years. However, while I kept very busy and had a “full” weekend in that respect, I have been missing Sarah a lot. She went home on Thursday to spend the weekend with her family. I’ll pick her up from the bus station in Indianapolis tonight. I am really looking forward to seeing her! Someone commented that I probably got to do more cycling than usual this weekend with Sarah gone, but in reality, I get to ride a lot anyway. Her being gone only really affects how I spend my time off the bike. So I had fun this weekend, but it left me feeling a bit empty because I couldn’t share it with Sarah.

Friday night, I did a shortish road ride (20 miles or so) with one of my coworkers. I had never ridden with her before, and it was a good ride. We rode at a fairly leisurely pace, and saw a bunch of wild turkeys along Mount Gilead Road. We also rode through Cascades Park, which was pretty cool. I realized later that my odometer on my road bike passed 1,000 miles on this ride.

Dave and I were supposed to go mountain biking at Valley Branch on Saturday, but he was sick. Instead, I slept in and did a road ride in the afternoon. I found a great route around Lake Monroe on RouteSlip that appears to be a Bloomington Bicycle Club route. I wrote down directions, making a few modifications, and started riding.

Riding out State Road 446 kind of sucked because the speed limit is 55, but it’s only 2 lanes. There’s a shoulder for a while, but then you lose the shoulder and the road starts winding a lot. I had trouble with some motorists during this part of the road because they had to wait a while to pass me. I had a couple of them yell at me to “Get off the road!” and one guy even threw something at me. I’m not sure what it was, but it was small and bounced off my leg and didn’t hurt at all. Still, it was a bit nerve-wracking, and this portion of the ride put me in a bit of a bad mood. I think I would’ve had a lot less trouble if I hadn’t chosen Saturday afternoon to ride on 446.

My bad mood didn’t last long, though, because riding across the lake on the causeway is just awesome — and once you get past there, there is a lot less traffic. And a few miles later, I turned onto Chapel Hill Road, which doesn’t have much traffic. I stopped at Krazy Joe’s Trading Post to get some more water and eat part of an energy bar.

Hot beer, lousy service, cold food
Krazy Joe’s Trading Post. The sign reads, “Hot beer, lousy service, cold food”

Sarah and I had been to Krazy Joe’s before (see this post). There seems to be some confusion about how to spell “crazy,” as I think the flyer he gave us before used a ‘c,’ whereas the sign in front uses a ‘k.’ I didn’t see Crazy Joe this time, and nobody tried to sell me a casket. But I didn’t give them a chance, I got a bottle of water, paid, and got out of there as quickly as possible. I didn’t really want to be bothered.

This ride took me to Coveyville, where I had wanted to ride since Sarah and I drove through there. I got a cool panoramic shot from the intersection with Coveyville road.

Coveyville panorama
Coveyville Panorama

The roads in that area were every bit as fun to ride on as I had hoped — there are rolling, winding sections, flat sections by corn and soybean fields, parts that follow ridgetops, good climbs and descents … it has everything, really. Next time, I may go further out Coveyville Road instead of heading back toward Bloomington immediately.

DSCF1019
A farm

The directions I had written down weren’t perfect, and I found myself a little confused and not where I wanted to be. I went the wrong way at first, but fortunately that road ended in the lake, so I knew I had gone the wrong way.

Valley Mission Road
Valley Mission Road

Bicycle
My bicycle on Monroe Dam Road

It was really cool to be by Lake Monroe at several points during my ride, and it was cool to see the dam. I don’t know that I had ever been to that part of the lake. I made a couple of other wrong turns, but ended up finding my way to Fairfax Road, where I’ve ridden before. At this point, it felt like I was on the home stretch, although I was still 10-15 miles from home. I kept expecting to be home soon, and had to remind myself that I still had a ways to go.

The ride was 42.5 miles total. I really should have ridden earlier in the day, because it was pretty hot, and that made riding harder. I went through a lot of water (I stopped again for more water about 5 miles from home). I still need to figure out a good way to carry more water with me. I could probably put a water bottle in my rack bag, but I’m worried about other stuff in there getting wet.

I went to mom’s for a cookout Saturday night with our family friends who had come into town that afternoon. It was great to catch up with them, I’ve known them my whole life and they are like an aunt and uncle to me. But I hadn’t seen them for far too long. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you miss someone until you see them again. We also had brunch at the Story Inn Sunday morning, and dinner last night at mom’s. They went for a hike after brunch, but I had brought my mountain bike and my footwear options were sandals or cycling shoes — neither is good for hiking, so I went for a ride, instead.

My ride was OK. I did pretty well overall, but I took a break after the Aynes climb, and somehow lost my rhythm. When I started riding again, I was just off, my timing was off and I wasn’t riding very well. Also, my rear brake needs to be cleaned or something, and it was grabbing. I went through a rocky section and hit the brakes, my rear brake grabbed, and I leaned to the right (toward the uphill side of the trail, instead of toward the ravine) and sort of laid the bike down, sliding on my right leg a little bit. It was sort of like sliding into a base, only on a bike, and without the base. It didn’t really hurt, but I got frustrated.

A few minutes later, I got back into a groove and rode really well the rest of the ride. I was tempted to ride Hesitation Point, but decided against it because I didn’t want to push it. I probably should have gone ahead and done it, because I actually had a fair amount of energy.

It was great to do a lot of riding, but I really miss Sarah. I can’t wait to pick her up tonight. I hate being apart, but it does make me appreciate her more. It’s true what they say about absence.

Power loss detected

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I just got a disturbing message in a terminal session while working. Nothing seems out of whack, the UPS apparently did its job, but it’s still a bit nerve-wracking:

Broadcast message from root Fri JunĀ  8 11:17:29 2007…

Warning power loss detected on UPS ups4

Broadcast message from root Fri JunĀ  8 11:17:33 2007…

Power has returned on UPS ups4…

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