After yesterday’s 6 mile walk, I figured I’d dust off the bike and take it for a spin this morning along the same route. It’s due for a check-up this week so I wanted to make note of any issues or strange noises to share with the local bike shop. One of the great things about the bike is the storage bag on the bike where I can stash a few goodies. I brought along my Canon A590 point and shoot camera so I could take a few pictures. (wished I’d had it on my walk yesterday morning) No bike ride for Stan is complete without a GPS and ham radio and today’s ride was no exception. Last month I bought a new handheld radio (Yaesu VX-8R) and bike mount so I was anxious to try that out as well.
I departed my apartment at 6:21am and headed through the path at Kaufman Lake. I quickly got a chance to see how my bike would handle on gravel and bumpy terrain. (suspension might need a little adjusting?) 🙂 I made my way towards Parkland College and stopped near one of the softball fields to grab some water from the fountain. Even this early into the ride my legs were showing me just how out of shape they are so I took it easy for a bit. As I approached the main entrance of Parkland, I noticed dozens of geese roaming around which definitely warranted a photo shoot. 🙂 I pulled over and snapped several pictures and the geese really didn’t seem spooked by me at all.
I continued my way to the northeast and found a few flowers that wanted their picture taken. Despite the sun not yet making its way to this part of the complex, the pictures didn’t turn out too bad. After that I headed over to the tennis courts to take a few shots. Then I found a soccer field that called my name, so had to get a few shots of the nets which were pretty cool. As I walked back to my bike, I heard what I thought was a lawnmower in the distance. Suddenly I saw this flying contraption coming towards me which definitely required some picture taking. I’m not sure what it was, but it was a one-person machine with what looked like a giant fan behind him and a wing above him. He flew on by so I went on my merry way.
I made my way around Parkland and headed back towards home. I stopped at Heritage Park and took a few pictures of the lake and tried (failed) some macro shots of a bug. I continued on the path home and took a detour to avoid spooking a rather large dog being walked by their owner. 🙂 I made another stop on Country Fair drive to take a few more flower pictures and then headed home.
Yeah, I know I really didn’t ride very far compared to what normal people do but it was fun. I just need to ride more often to get my legs conditioned. It was very comfortable out this morning and the breeze was welcomed. I need to figure out why my ham radio did not transmit my location to the internet, not sure what happened there. Some other lessons learned this morning:
- My legs are really out of shape
- My ham radio was unsuccessful at getting my location transmitted.
- You burn more calories riding a bike than walking the same path.
- Always have spare batteries for your camera (which I luckily had!)
Total Mileage: 5.79 miles
Total Time: 69 minutes
Click here to view all photos from this trip.
Well due to inclement weather and faulty pedals, I haven’t been on the bike in a little while now. I took the bike into the shop on Wednesday and had them install fenders as well as replace the pedals. Now the funny part of this is that the guy who worked on my bike is a customer where I work. Due to computer problems, he was behind on his payment so I had shut his service off on Tuesday! So he recognized me when I brought the bike in and I thought ‘oh boy, my bike will be destroyed now!) 😉
I dropped it off on a shortened lunch hour and went back to work. After work, I went over and picked the bike up. The fenders look amazing, they’re black instead of the boring silver ones you see on most bikes. The pedals are all metal instead of those crappy ones with rubber grips that came with the bike. The only thing they charged me for was the fenders, installation and swapping of the pedals was free! The fun part was actually paying. I have this nifty Trek credit card I’m using so that I can ride my bike before it gets too cold, yet pay for it a little later down the road. Well apparently this is something new for the bike shop as it took probably 10 minutes to checkout. (I guess most folks pay with cash, check, or regular credit card??) Anywho, the guy who worked on my bike is in need of computer help so I may be working on his computer in my free time. So that will work out great! 🙂
The hard part was getting the bike in the car as I didn’t anticipate the fenders being on there. I had to be careful not to bend/break them when putting the bike back in the car. I managed to do ok, though I had to do a small adjustment on the front fender as it was rubbing against the tire. After I got that done, it was time to install the goodies that I’ve drooled over. 🙂 I purchased a nifty Garmin GPS 60csx unit that will ensure that I don’t get lost and let me map out a route should I need to deviate from my normal trip to work. It came with a 64 meg card which was perfect for not only the entire county but the entire state of Illinois including Chicago!
I had considered using my PDA and my bluetooth GPS unit on the bike, but the battery life of the PDA is horrible compared to a standalone unit. I also purchased a dual band ham radio HT (Kenwood TH-D7A) for the bike because lets face it, Stan without some sort of radio on his vehicle is just boring! As with my car, this will allow me to utilize the APRS network and plot my position on the internet! (once I get the cable to hook up the radio to the GPS!) I will post more on this aspect later. I have ordered a better HT antenna for the radio to hopefully be enough to hit the digipeater, but eventually I will probably need to come up with a real external antenna mounted on the back of the bike. (people will think I’m a cop or security guard!)
So this morning I rode to work for the first time in several weeks and it was tough on the old body to get back into the groove. One of the main reasons of getting the GPS was to track not only my location, but to map the elevation between my house and work. There’s a great website called MotionBased that allows you to export your data from the GPS into their site and then they map out all sorts of graphs and data from your GPS log. I’m anxious to try this out and see just how much of an elevation rise/drop on the route I take. I will update this at a later date as well.