Monday, March 29, 2010

Where were you? this morning

So it was probably the heaviest rain I have ridden through to get to work. Pelting when it wasn't pouring. I wonder if the guy from commute orlando that is always saying "where were you, I didn't see you" was out there this morning. I didn't expect to see anyone else but was surprised to see a female in a lightweight plastic outfit walking her bike across Livingston and down the sidewalk on Bumby.

It was pouring pretty bad... I had my pretty new J&G rainsuit on, so other than being hot under the helmet cover, was staying dry. Anyway, it was pretty cool once you get the right gear, the Crosso panniers were as advertised, made for durability and dryness, I didn't even pay attention to making sure the corners were covered... and my papers were all dry when I got to work. The little rain booties from Campmor for about $7 were awesome, wore my most comfortable sneakers under them and arrived all dry. So I guess other than lightning and severe winds I am going to ride every day now, no matter how bad it's raining. Wish I could have a couple pics of how wet it was with the streams in the gutter and huge puddles in parking lots but it was just too wet and it's a hassle to stop and snap a pic when everything is so wet!

I'm disappointed about bagging the California tour, but for a number of good reasons, also relieved. Firstly, 12 days away from home was something "the boss" was not too happy about. Second, 8 days away from work was going to put me behind, and I am learning don't add stress, there's enough these days already. Third, I was not going to relax much, it would be go, go, go for 9 solid days of 50 miles, loaded, in the hills and all, and I would have been pretty exhausted at the end. Finally, it was going to cost about $800 which kind of defeats the purpose of using a frequent flyer ticket... saving money. So I am going to bide my time and do a little 3-4 day mini-camp tour, probably leaving from home or get a ride up to like Gainesville or take the train to Jacksonvile, and hope to put together a nice west coast tour in the fall, maybe get to see Portland that way, we'll see more to come.

Rode the Kona today and it is a super bike for bad conditions, but when it dried out, on the way home it was slow, compared to the Bilenky. I have everything off of it, and tomorrow it's a speedy light sweet ride w a messgr bag. Finishing up the month way low on miles, only about 250 will put me behind for the year but I should still make 3500 pretty easy so no probs, I'm in better shape than 5 yrs ago so don't feel like I need to push it anymore, just do maintenance. Taking fewer rides just to get in miles, don't feel like I need to prove anything anymore. It's my transportation and relaxation when I get to go camp and tour.

More this weekend, I am hoping to take off Friday and get a good ride in to enjoy a good long ride before it starts getting hot!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Got Bikes? Ride em! event

We had a lot of fun with the Got Bikes? Ride em! event at Dover Shores community center today. There were 148 kids in attendance, and Commissioner Ortiz was a real crowd pleaser. We had a great presentation and gave away 4 bikes. The highlight for me was seeing all the little ones so happy and joyful and having so much fun. On the ride over in the right lane of Curry Ford 3 guys in a white compact car laid on the horn and shouted for us to "get off the road" and one of them threw something that hit me in the side, it was a snuff container that then fell in the road and spilled it's contents. Shortly following another vehicle got behind us and laid on the horn for a long long time, before zooming around. We were riding single file in the right lane, but while Ken was hugging the white line I was about 24" out I just didn't feel safe sharing with so many cars zooming around. Looking forward to our next event Wed 17th at College Park.

Meanwhile, on the California trip planning, it's coming together. Have a one-way car reservation for when I land in San Francisco, will drive up to Eureka and get a good rest in a motel (6am wake up in Orlando, -3 hrs to California it will be midnight Orlando time when I stop for the night). But in the morning I can sleep late and only have to drop off the car at the airport and get the bike together then ride 40 miles to Redwood National Park. Should have camp set up early and get a good night rest before starting south the 375 miles to SFO. 9 days later I have a 2 night reservation in SFO, maybe it will end up being one, it will be a long way in between. Got all my gear out of storage, this weekend I'm packing the panniers and seeing how everything fits on the bike.

Riding in to work this morning a pleasant surprise I was coming down Bennett to the Cady Way trail crossing and see a beige jacketed rider go across, I caught up with them a short time later to find it was John Griffin, a co-worker. He is an experienced bike commuter from college days and we enjoyed the beautiful weather and some conversation on the way in.