Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Archive for May, 2008

Saturated

Friday, May 16th, 2008

My ride home last night was wild. I rode to work despite rain in the forecast, as I often do. I got two offers from coworkers to for a ride home, which I appreciated, but politely declined. I don’t mind getting wet. I soon discovered that it was raining harder than I expected. It was really rather ridiculous. By the time I was 100 yards from the office, my pants were soaked and sticking to my legs. I was pelted with huge rain drops which stung as they hit my face. I felt alternating resistance as I passed over wet pavement and through deep puddles, watching the water part as my wheel cut through it, leaving a wake. I rode by a storm drain, but it was so full that water was flowing out of the drain and onto the road. Drainage ditches were saturated and full, gushing audibly.  The bike path had a stream running over it.

I wasn’t expecting such a thorough soaking, and even though it was a bit chilly, it felt good. There’s nothing like a cleansing rain — it’s both refreshing and humbling. My shoes sloshed when I got off the bike and started walking. I was saturated.

1,000 miles

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Yesterday, I hit 1,000 miles of riding so far this year. I’m running a bit behind where I thought I would be by now, but I don’t mind — especially given the fact that I was out for at least two weeks when I got my wisdom teeth removed. Last year, I hit 1,000 miles on May 27, so I’m well ahead of where I was last year.

Monday night, I rode on Shilo Road after work. It felt great to get in about a 25-mile ride after work, I haven’t done enough rides like that lately. Shilo Road is always a fun challenge, with lots of twists and turns and a very rough road surface where you must choose your line very carefully. I stopped by Bean Blossom Creek to rest for a moment.


Bean Blossom Creek


An interesting gate alongside Shilo Road that I hadn’t even noticed before

After Shilo I was on Anderson Lane for a while, where I saw a wild turkey and a couple of deer. As I was heading back on Old 37, on the big climb near the fire station, another rider passed me. He was going a lot faster than I was, and I was impressed with his climbing abilities. I greeted him as he passed, but he didn’t say anything.


Old 37 climb


Wide open space

To keep things interesting, I decided to go home a bit of a different way than usual, going by Lake Griffy. I often avoid this because of the big climb on the other side of the lake. The lake looked gorgeous as the sun was getting low in the sky and reflecting off the lake. Lots of people were fishing, both in boats and on the shore.


Lake Griffy

The climb wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being, and also served as a reminder of how far I’ve come in the last year or so. It was still tiring, but it was a lot easier than it’s ever been before. I passed another rider on the way up and said hi, but he didn’t return my greeting.


Reaching the top of the hill


Thousands of dandelions by the Bypass


Overpass


Part of campus


Plaque

The rest of the trip home followed my commute route and was easy and relaxing. A great post-work ride.

Ride around Lake Monroe

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

On Saturday, we finally got a break from the rain that had been falling for several days.I decided to to the “ride around Lake Monroe,” which roughly follows the Hoosier Hills 60K route. This time, I didn’t get lost, nor did I get a flat tire. (Last time, I did both). Amazing!

It was in the upper 60s and sunny — fantastic riding weather. It felt great to be back on the bike after a few days of rain, and only commute rides. My road bike made me feel strong and fast. I savored the feeling of the sun warming my face, while the cool wind felt refreshing.


Riding on 446

I enjoyed a fast descent toward the lake and rode across the causeway. An SUV passed me and leaned on their horn as they did so, startling me and almost detracted from the exhilarating feeling of riding across the lake. I’m not sure what they hoped to accomplish by blaring their horn.


Fishermen on Lake Monroe

I started the climb away from the lake and really took my time. It’s over a mile of climbing but by not pushing it, I manged the climbing without too much difficulty, and even enjoyed it. I saw a lizard sunning itself on a rock. As I rode by, it looked at me curiously, then darted under a rock.


Looking toward the climb on the opposite side of the lake


Looking back; Leaving the lake below

After the climb, 446 is fairly flat and gently curves; it’s easy for a few miles. I turned on Chapel Hill Road, which was a fun ride. Parts of this road are flat and easy, while others have some rolling hills and tight turns.


S&M Bait & Tackle


Handlebars


Front wheel in motion


Old Chapel Hill Church


A car passes with plenty of room on a curvy road


Cresting a hill


Rolling farmland

I took a break at the intersection with Coveyville Road.


My bicycle at Coveyville Road


Barns, etc.


About to ride downhill

I flew down the hill, hitting I believe 41 mph. It’s a short hill, but it’s steep. After that it’s flat for a couple of miles, and it’s a bit of a shock to the system to suddenly find yourself in wide open fields. Then there’s a big climb.


Fields yellow with wildflowers


Bottom of the Valley Mission climb


Getting a sense of how far I’ve climbed

My ride back from this point was about 15 miles, mostly uneventful. I mostly stopped taking photos and focused on riding. I did, however, have to get a shot of this:


Buddy Bill’s has an interesting way of handling bad checks.

All told, I rode a bit over 40 miles.

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