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Archive for the 'Moving' Category

Commute Video

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

We are in the midst of moving to our new house. So, I’m more or less just going to be posting a video from a recent commute. I was going to post it in its entirety, but YouTube has a 10-minute limit, so I had to edit some parts out. I removed 4-5 minutes to make it fit in the allotted time. Like the previous video, there’s nothing particularly interesting about this ride, except this one is the commute I ride every day (or I *did* ride every day — my commute will be completely different now that we are moving).

When I posted the test video, I was surprised at how much attention people were paying to various details, and some of the comments talked about my riding style and traffic controls in the brief ride. So, I’m curious what people will see here.

Before I post the video, I have a few unrelated comments.

  1. For quite a while now, I have been having some problems with my little toe on my left foot. Nothing has worked to get it to heal on its own, so I will be having surgery next Friday. It’s fairly minor and routine, or so I’m told, but I’m very much not looking forward to it. I will be off the bike for at least two weeks. After two weeks, the stitches come out and I can do whatever I’m comfortable with.
  2. Moving, and doing some work in the new house, is proving to be very time-consuming. So I have not done much riding. We also don’t have Internet access in the new place yet, so it’s proving difficult to blog much.
  3. My new commute will be close to twice as long as the old one, so things are going to get more interesting on the commuting front. I already started riding the Trucker when the weather isn’t too bad, and I have to say, it makes my commute much more enjoyable.
  4. I tried to make a video of a fantastic night ride I did with my friend Dave. It was cold, dark, snowing, windy, and we were riding on hilly gravel roads. It was phenomenal! Unfortunately, the helmet cam does not handle darkness very well. I’m not sure yet if any of the footage will be salvageable.

Anyway, back to the commute video: I hope you enjoy it!

A foggy ride, and a new home

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I planned a long road ride on Sunday, but I’ve just been super busy, so I decided to shorten it. I still managed to ride about 27 miles in 30ish degree temperatures, so I really don’t feel bad about that.

I headed out, to an area where I haven’t ridden much. Partially, I wanted some variety, but there were other reasons for going to this particular area, which will become clear momentarily. It was a cool, foggy day, predicted to get into the mid-40s, but it never got there; I think the actual high was right around 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

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I rolled through town, mostly through neighborhoods. Riding the Trucker was an absolute dream compared to the beater I ride to work, which has studded tires to boot. I was excited because  I was exploring part of what will become  my new commute (assuming everything goes well). You see, we put an offer on a house — sale is pending. Pretty exciting stuff! On a side note, buying a home is an extremely complicated process, made even more complex because of a federally-backed loan and another government program on top of that. But this will all pay off in a very, very low interest rate.

Anyway, my new commute will be about twice as long as the old one. So my commute will now be 5-6 miles. I fully expect the Trucker will see a lot more commuting duty, my heavy old beater is up to the task but not exactly ideal. I’ll still ride the beater in bad weather.

I was riding to the new house, and most of the ride there was quite pleasant, through rather quiet neighborhoods. I’ll have to check out the part of the ride that goes downtown, but I’m feeling good about this new ride. It’s longer and hillier than my current commute, but that may even be a good thing.

Here are a few shots of the new house. Technically it’s a townhouse, but it’s only connected to one other house, and the neighborhood just feels like a normal neighborhood, not a big complex. Ours is the left half.

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More on the house later … more about the ride now. I had planned a 42-mile route, but as I said, I didn’t really have a lot of time. So rather than head out of town on the west side, I turned back toward the east and rode over to do one of my usual training rides, the Water Works route. I’m happy to say that this route will still be easily accessible from the new location.

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I had some great views of a foggy, frozen-over Lake Monroe for a couple different points in the ride.

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I headed back toward our current home.

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I’m excited about our new house. Admittedly, I have some trepidation about the fact that it’s on a different side of town; my riding area is going to change a bit. This means some of my current favorite riding spots will be an additional six miles away or so (Yellowwood State Forest, in particular). But on the other hand, the west and south sides will be more accessible. It will be interesting to become better acquainted with these areas.

Of course, this all depends on the house purchase going through. Wish us luck!

Moving back to Indiana

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Well, it’s official: we’re moving back to Bloomington, Indiana later this year — probably in October.

For those of you who started reading my blog recently, we moved here (near Wilkes-Barre, PA) from Bloomington last October when Sarah took a job in Wilkes-Barre. Since we moved here, we have enjoyed some wonderful adventures in the mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, we have found that while the surrounding land is beautiful, this city is not for us. I could go into dozens of things we don’t like, but I don’t think that would be productive.

When we started talking about moving away from this city, we considered looking at various other areas, but we quickly found that every place we considered, we compared to Bloomington. Once we realized that, it didn’t take long to decide that we should simply move back. Here are a few things we love about Bloomington:

  1. It’s near both of our families and friends.
  2. It’s a small town.
  3. It’s a college town. This is great not only because of the college itself but also because of all the culture and other things the university brings.
  4. There are lots of great recreational opportunities. It may lack the mountains we have here in PA, but things are more accessible there. Bloomington has at least four state parks and state forests and one national forest, all within a 30 minute drive (this means they’re all bikable, too).  If you go further, there are plenty more options. In contrast, here in PA we have to drive for at least an hour to get to most of the parks. And the Bloomington area is much more bike friendly than Wilkes-Barre.
  5. Bloomington feels like home.

We will certainly miss the beautiful mountains and rugged Pennsylvania terrain. But Bloomington is quite beautiful in its own right; it’s just not mountainous. In a lot of ways, this is advantageous. For instance, I’m really looking forward to being able to ride without every ride being an epic one. And the more accommodating terrain will make it easier for me to increase my mileage. At the same time, the Bloomington area is hilly enough to provide ample challenges.

All things considered, the move will be bittersweet. We are hoping we can make the most of the things Pennsylvania has to offer while we’re still here. Ultimately, though, we’re really looking forward to going home — and staying there.

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