Sunday, November 27, 2011


So it's been a while, this is my thanksgiving morning ride, out on Wild Horse Pass Rd about 4 miles south of home. It's getting more and more difficult to make the time to blog, or keep up with facebook, and linked in, and emails and work. So I'll shoot for once a month just to keep a little idea of what's going on. We're renting in Ahwatukee, around 48th & Ray Rd, until next August. Starting to look for a home to buy, hopefully in one of the historic districts around downtown. Yes it will be a longer commute a little for me, but that's the place to be, this car-dependent drive 20 or 30 miles all the time is not for us. I can hear the highway as I got to bed and get up in the morning... a roaring, neverending monster.  Found a nice little place that we looked at last April, and which sold about that time, now it's up for auction so we're going to maybe take a shot at it. Tiny little place 1100 sf counting the garage made into a 2/1! But it has a pool and a nice yard, built in 1925 it looks to have some character on the inside and the neighborhood looks to be the kind of people we'd like to live around, only 2 city blocks to the light rail, near the art museum, heard museum, and main city library. TTYL, shoot me a note if you're keeping up and haven't touched base for a while. Oh, the job is going great, I really like it and we are building a great team, having fun working together so that makes it easier to hop out of bed at 5:30am and jump onto the bike. Long as I can get that 30 mins of my time each way (or more) I'm going to be happy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big adventure starts tomorrow

Tomorrow after work I fly back to Orlando for a packed week of moving. Get in around midnight, pick up the truck 8am then go go go til the movers show up Monday morning. Hope to get a little time to watch the time trial 2nd to last day of the tour de france Saturday morning. Then we're on the road, me, Ruth, and Bear, with the truck and car in tow, one night in Florida, next one around Houston, then one way the heck out west texas around columbus to el paso somewhere, then we should get in to Phoenix late Thursday night. Movers unloading Friday morning at the new house in Ahwatukee. Believe it or not this is my best riding year to date ever, over 2200 miles so far and will make 300 for July in spite of missing 14 days in Orlando and the trip. Really looking forward to getting this done and it's the last trip back to Orlando! Wierd as that seems. House hasn't sold, but the realtor is going to lease and manage it for us until next year or the year after. We're going to rent out here anyway, the market here is still going down for another year or two. Got pack, see you around!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last lonely Sunday in the one bedroom apartment!

This pic is in front of the Tempe Arts Center along Tempe Beach Lake Park. Right behind me is the nice pedestrian/bike bridge going across the Rio Solado river, which is dammed right there to make the lake you see. That's downtown Tempe ahead, the mountain is the one looking over sun devil stadium, they always show that on the football games, ASU is the heart of downtown Tempe, it's a big school and plenty going on there!
So it really is my last Sunday night eating dinner alone and it kind of snuck up on me! So I celebrated early with nachos, beer, and coconut crème pie, but as I look at what needs to be cleared from the Frig by Friday morning, I decided to stir fry the remaining veggies in the wok and have some golden quinoa to go with it, so dinner and a few lunches from that this week. I got out earlier this morning and rode to the rail station to go downtown to the library. It was packed with people (filling up the bike car with no bikes, but they moved when I not so subtly barged in with "excuse me") the bike rakes are vertical so you have to swing it up into them and it looks like mayhem is about to happen... hey, what do you want for sitting in the bike car? As usual they ask about the bike, the s&s couplings, is it a breakdown bike, is it a custom and I tell them about my life-change from car driver to bike commuter. The kids are especially impressed about taking it to France and Canada and the freedome of riding all over the place exporing new places. They are from Utah, just down for the weekend/ballgame, and they get off at the ballpark, just a couple more stops to the library… which doesn’t open til 1:00 on Sunday! Ugh, where to hang for 2 hours, with a little errand list to go.

So I had the wind and decided to take it easy and ride out to Thomas Rd & 36th where there’s a wal-mart, home depot, and Walgreens, then go to Fry’s grocery if I couldn’t get NA beer at Wal-Mart. They had it, although it’s Busch and is no where near Old Milwaukee NA for taste, they also had the moving boxes I would have gotten at Home Depot next door, but with about 30 day-laborers hanging around in the lot I definitely did not want to leave my bike out there with the beaters they all have, not one with a computer, light, or panniers... I should be more trusting maybe.... but... maybe someday I'll learn to be, today is not it. So all loaded up with the moving boxes strapped on and all else in the large panniers I brought, I pedaled the 5 miles home, with 14 in for the early session and the sun straight overhead, plenty hot, made me feel the sunscreen I forgot (for the first time here) on the back of the legs. After lunch and a little rest, I got back to the library at 3, heat of the day starting. Riding the train back home, with 6 westerns and a movie making the bags heavy, the early leavers from the ballpark were jumping back on, Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-1, pitcher hit a home run for the Dbacks.

Now it’s crunch time, the move is happening starting 2 pm Friday when I zoom out of here. Still, despite 2 trips to florida and missing 14 days of riding, I already have 230 miles for the month, should make my always 300 a month (10 a day) goal with regular rides to work the next 4 days and then I’ll have 2 weekend days after we move in the 29th to finish it in style. This could be my best year ever, 2300 already even with all the turmoil of moving, guests, trips back, and the like.

May not get a chance to post again before the end of the month but thanks for reading along!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July already!

So much has happened since I last posted. We DID find a place to rent for a year, in Ahwatukee, about 7 miles south from work on a bus line the gets me pretty close, and also it's close enough to bike. I'm getting acclimated to the heat, it's only 100 today with now clouds but low humidity and I rode 20 miles and wanted to do more, but that little voice in my 55 yr old head said "get out of the sun and rest before you overdo it"! So that's what I'm doing now. Nice little lunch of salad, wheat pasta, old milwaukee NA, and sara lee strawberry cheese cake now it's nap time then maybe go out for another little ride when the sun goes down a little.

I have purchased my ticket back to Orlando, the last trip! I snuck in for the weekend of the 4th that was nice, it's  just too hard to be away from my little sweetie so long, now it's only 2 more weeks we'll have our Saturday nights together again. We usually go out to dinner or lunch each day and make one outing. While in Orlando we went to Ethos for dinner Saturday night, and took a pita pit sandwich out to Baldwin Park to the connector between lakes Susanah and Baldwin, one of our favorite spots sitting there on the bench watching the birds and the clouds.

I've also purchased Marian and Graces tickets to leave Orlando the 25th. I come in the 22nd midnight and rent a truck in the morning. Monday we'll have a move crew to load up and me and Ruth are driving the truck, towing the car, and taking the pets with us for a 4 day adventure filled trip over the 2100 miles or whatever it ends up being. Rented from Penske I used to use them commercially they had good gear, pray we don't have a breakdown. Setting up movers here for the 29th to move into our new place and I'll have to move out of the apartment the 31st. Marian and Grace will stay here the 25th-29th. Lots of orchestration hope everything works out!

We had a crazy dust storm Tuesday night... you can look up pics on you tube it was like a white-out blizzard you couldn't see and you couldn't breath. In the morning it looked like a 1/4 inch of dirt on top of everything and it took about 2 days for the air to clear up. It's still filthy here.
the bike trail through Papago Park, right in the city but you think you are out in the desert.
Job is going well, miss my ole friends at Glatting AECOM and was sad to hear of Ken Kauffman's passing, he was only 53 and such a nice person. Haven't heard from too many others but Pegge, Bruce, and Carol and a few folks are connected on facebook, which I am even worse about keeping up with than blogging. I try to look at it once a week but my daughters and everyone else posts so many things I never know how much I've missed! I like it when people send private messages that way I can catch up without feeling like the whole world is in all my business.

Talk to you soon, oh i've passed 2000 miles for the year headed for 4,000 will be in my top 3 of the past 7 I kept track. Can't wait to get my camping gear here and check out that ponderosa pine forest and mountains for a bike camping tour!

The path home through Papago park is an awesome way to get back from the grocery store

A big cup of ice water will be totally gone in 2 mins when it's 110

After the dust storm... filthy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Missing home

Well it was a pretty lonely fathers day out here, the girls all called but i was still alone for dinner and missing Florida. So I'm posting some pics of my favorite places and wishing for cool water to escape the heat. It's 109 now, and the bike riding is good going in at 7:00am it's only in the low 80s. Coming home, the pavement is 150 plus, so everything is hot to the touch and add in the hot car exhaust it's a challenge. I've gotten a long sleeve sun shirt to ride with, and that helps keep the sun off. No cloud cover, ever! The sun is blazing hot and dry heat or not, 110 is 110, you broil under the intense sun. I've purchased insulate bottles the past week and can keep water cool almost an hour, though it's always gone by that time. Jump the bus when I start feeling overheated, it's great that they have such good transit here.

Looking forward to going home for 4th of July weekend, after that only 3 weeks til the big move. Looking at houses to rent sunday in the ahwatukee area, that's where the best high schools are. Not much luck selling the house, lots of lookers but no offer afters 35 days. We just dropped the price and if it doesn't sell in July we'll rent it out for a year or two. Ruth is going to ride out with me and the pets, towing the car about July 26 (my birthday) to 29th. We should move in that weekend. Ahwatukee is only 5-9 miles to my job with a bus a good bit of the way so that should work out and enable me to keep riding every day.

Gracie is visiting this weekend with her friend Mitchell. We are going to the Grand Canyon Saturday to hike a bit and goof around, it's about 225 miles from here and with 110+ heat, the high 85 at the rim will be welcome. It's at 7,000 feet elevation so should be cool early and late, lows get to the 40s still this time of year while we fry out here in the desert.

 Oh Ahwatukee is right the other side of South Mountains from Phoenix, there's a big preserve with lots of mountain bike trails. I'm looking forward to getting my mountain bike out and getting back in the shape required to do some serious off road riding.

Please log in and comment if you want, I always like to hear from others.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June in Phoenix

64th st n camelback mountain

rio salado bike path from tempe to my apt

catchin the light rail at priest dr n washington

papago park
I'm getting used to the weather here. It's different from Orlando. Both are hot, but in Orlando you bake, and the humidity and cloud cover make you sweat a lot more. The heat presses down on you, even in the shade. Here, you sear, like in a frying pan. The ground and everything gets so hot because there's never any clouds, it's just hot strong sun all the time. I ride home about 4-5pm, usually the heat of the day, and it's been around 100 lately (they tell me it will be 115 pretty soon). Everything is so bloomin hot, though there is a steady breeze all the time that helps, but the sun is sharp hot and you can only take so much. I rode 35 miles for about 3 hours Saturday looking around at Ahwatukee, that's the area on the other side of the South Mountains we're going to live in, because of the schools and it's less than 7 miles to my work location. Luckily I got in about 2:30 just as I was starting to get dizzy from the heat. Jumped in the pool and cooled off right away. Also made a trip up north to Indian School road to a place called Sprouts, a grocery w organic vegs and lots of bulk things. I started eating quinoa and like it better than rice or noodles, so I usually stir fry once a week and make enough for 3-4 servings, which I freeze. Living alone and cooking for one is not the most fun all the time, so that's what I do then nuke frozen leftovers for a couple days before I cook again. Make a big bowl of salad for 4 days and that makes for a quick start when I get home from work.

2 months already! But still about 46 days till we're all here in a new place. I enjoy the quiet and getting to bed early most nights, no tv, reading lots of books and getting movies from the excellent library downtown (that's another Saturday morning trip, and they have a big farmers market a block or two away). I likegoing downtown because it's on the rail and if it get's hot or I get all loaded up with bags I just hop the train it's only a mile from the apt. I've been to the Heard Museum of Native American Culture, it's really good, and the art museum looks pretty big, that should be a nice trip when I get around to it. Also the Pueblo Grande museum is near by it's on the site of a 800 yrs ago indian settlement, right next to Sky Harbor Airport, which is about a mile from here to the southwest. Try to be more regular, see you soon!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sunny hot saturday in phoenix

I had to work this morning for a while but then rode down to the train and got downtown to the library, great spot picked up some movies about a couple chinese bike cops i'm gonna watch in a minute. Otherwise had a nice lunch at Carly's downtown and rode 41 miles around town looking at houses and neighborhoods north of the biltmore area. Found a few we can afford. Lots of sun, didn't have sunscreen so my arms and legs got pretty good farmer tan. Riding pretty strong though. One of the houses is by phoenix mountain preserve which looks like some mountain bike trails right by the house. we'll see what happens with that but it's been good, lot of bike lanes and wide streets, cars are pretty good about sharing but like everywhere you have some dummies in big pickups that don't wanna, luckily there are sidewalks everywhere and when someone gets too close for comfort i either take the lane or jump on the sidewalk. Tomorrow I'll ride / train to the Heard museum of Native american culture. I've been reading lots of that history and time period 1850-1900 so look forward to the visit and they have a really good looking cafe with lots of veg treats. Got the Kona here for riding along the canals and off-road trails, but it's too heavy to carry up and down from the 3rd fl apartment so I'm using the Bilenky most every day, gonna need some tires soon but otherwise it's a joy and so much fun to ride. Guy on the train today was admiring the bike and so were the IT guys I talked to at work with the move. It's a sweetie if ever I need another one I think it'll be another Bilenky!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Phoenix #2

So it's 6 weeks now and Phoenix is growing on me. Great cycling in Phoenix/Tempe, bike lanes everywhere, buses every 15 minutes on the main lines and the rail is speedy quick when you are tired or have a load of groceries. The mountain views are awesome and I finally got the Kona shipped out so I have a second bike for a backup. It is heavy to carry up to the 3rd fl so it's parked and the Bilenky is the main all rounder, but when I decide to go off road a little on one of the gravel paths along a canal or on a mountain trail it will be great. Luckily I rode it to work the other day when it RAINED! first rain since I been here and it was COLD! So the fenders came in handy and I took advantage and loaded up on groceries. I'll be posting a few pics and changing the bike links to local Phoenix. The library is great, a 5 story modern glass building with awesome views from the 5th fl and i have still yet to go to a museum, thinking the Pueblo Grande will be my first, it's only  about a mile down the road by the airport and where they Hohokam indians had a settlement at least 800 yrs ago. Try to be more regular now that my work routine is down and I got steady internet access yesterday. Been talking to a lot of people about biking and busing and need to get a "biketalk" together and see if the wellness center at work will let me do it there. Be careful out there!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

OK Hello from Phoenix

I know I've been bad and lost for a while... what can I say, events overtook me. I was laid off, and got a job in Phoenix, and I've been here 3 weeks now tomorrow morning. 6 nights in a hotel, now 2 weeks in an apartment overlooking the Hohokam expressway and motel 6 parking lot, with the Papago rocks out the other window. bike culture is great here, many bike lanes and great transit with light rail and buses every 15 mins in Tempe. So heres a  pic of the Papago rocks on my ride home from the grocery store... did 55 miles today all around, must have been 90 some but nothing like the florida humidity and the sun didn't feel as heavy. anyway, i'm commuting to work every day by bike and will update about once a week... loving it so far but they tell me in a month it will be too hot to ride when it's 100 at 5am and 120 in the afternoon!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Safety biketalk this Friday & great riding this weekend

This Friday I'll have a short session on bike safety. Tips and lessons learned, and a quick review of my favorite safety gear. Noon at the racks and I'll have lunch there anyway.

Had a great weekend of riding and I realize it's the first time I've felt good since my 3 falls last summer. Made an effort to get out for at least an hour Saturday, and had a great time, got in 15 miles, and all of it was bumming around doing errands to "not the closest bank", the dollar store, barber shop, ran by the office, picked up some valentine things.

Felt real strong and did it again Sunday ending up with 26 miles, the weather was cool to start, but with light layers, I first peeled vest, then long sleeve jersey, then long pants and ended up with wicking undershirt and baggy shorts, perfect for the sunny 60 whatever degrees. Put on a short sleeve jersey for the afternoon 2nd ride because the 3 back pockets are very handy for  phone, keys, money, cap, power bar, etc. Sunday the traffic on colonial and at the mall was crazy everyone getting last minute valentines shopping in. Not for me... when the traffic stops it's easy to cut across, and parking right near the front door is helpful (I bring a u-lock and cable lock and look for disabled parking near the doors, always lock to those poles now, it's visible and no other bikes around). Bags full from both trips I snuck it in for the big day.

Had a little problem with my rear derailer, not sure what's the deal (it's a campy chorus and I've been to all the bike shops before mostly they don't really deal with them much or say yeah you should probably replace it after 20,000 miles). One of the pulley wheels was not locked up but real hard to turn... I took them off and a little rivet piece fell down, and I couldn't discover what from! Cleaned off the pulley wheels and put it all back together it's working great though the shifting is a little slurred... probably should replace the cables. I looked up a  replacement derailer on the web they start about $165-$250.. so  nah I'll live with a sloppy shift  for a while... more fun ridin than fixin anyway.

From the people I'm corresponding with in the Netherlands they say don't bring a bike they have plenty over there... but they all ride beaters that no one will steal for the most part. I'm takin the Bilenky and I'll ride Victor's around Lisse  but for my daily 2-3 hour  (vacation tradition, I get up early and ride til 10ish when the girls get up and about) touring about I'll have the nice bike to cover some distances. Hoping to take the train to France and see 1 or 2 Tour stages.

I'm not sweating doing a lot of updates lately so see you in a week or two!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Jan 21 Biketalk

Note this is the last email I’m going to send… future posting will be on the Orlando office sharepoint site and the site. You can check one of those or subscribe, this will allow people that “don’t want to get all those bike emails” to not get all them bike emails.

TODAY ! Noon at the racks, I am going to set up to talk about cheap gear for bike riding in wet and cold weather. I brought in a bunch of sample clothing so hopefully a couple people will show up and we can talk general bike stuff too. Since it was a rainy morning today I ended up wearing my cheap suit in, and on my recent holiday ride I got some great cold weather gear experience.


Back in the saddle in the "cold"

Over the holidays I did a couple days riding around Ft Meyers/Sanibel, Sarasota  and St Pete. Couldn't get logistics together to take the train/bus so ended up taking a car and that is a mistake, spent more time in the car than anything... little interaction with others, I was even tempted to get DRIVE THROUGH FOOD! lesson learned, if you are going bike touring, don't take a car! Even though  it was only mid 40's to 50ish and somewhat windy, you can see from the pics there were still some memorable sights and times. I only rode about 60 miles over the 3 days, but saw some beautiful places and recharged with great air, exercise, and rest.