Monday, August 31, 2009

aug. 31

It was a chilly but beautiful morning. temperature was 50 F at 7:53 am, winds calm. At the start of the bike path,

I saw some cool birds in the tallest tree in the distance. First a heron flew to the top of the tree:

Then a hawk came along and took the heron's place

It's not as easy to see the hawk with my little camera. I saw a bird watcher the other day on the bike path, and he said it's migration time but their colors aren't as spectacular as in the spring so it's harder to identify them.

I didn't dally after yoga, heading home to work at 10 am. Temperature was 64 F, winds 3.5 from the north.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

aug 30

Today was a beautiful and fun day. It started at 8:20 am. Temperature was a cool 52 F, winds 10 mph from the north. The start of the bike path:

I stopped and picked up a friend on the way to church. After church, we were going to go kayaking but ran into friends and family heading off to the "Ride the Drive", where some major downtown streets are closed to cars. This is the first ever in Madison. So we joined them to check it out. It was great fun, with booths and music and food in addition to people and bikes and pedestrians and kites and costumes. Here are some views on E. Washington:

Then we went kayaking. We hand-towed the kayaks to the lake using two-wheeled trailors so that qualifies to be allowed on a biking blog:

It was fun. Then I bike home about 4:30 pm. Temperature was up to 65 F, winds 10 mph from the north.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

aug 29

Today I biked fast with a headwind because I was late. So it was a good workout. The temperature was 55 F, winds north at 15 mph when I left at 8:30 am. I ran a few errands and then came home around noon. Temperature was up to 57 F, winds 11 mph from the NW, gusting to 17. Here's the start of the bike path on this blustery fall day--even though it's still August, as many of us are pointing out to each other.

aug. 28

It was cloudy and cool, 59 F, at 7:50 am when I left. Winds from the north at 5 mph. the start of the bike path:

the sign sure takes a beating:

I saw some flowers I hadn't noticed before at the Atwood community gardens:

It cleared up nicely during my yoga class and turned out to be a lovely day. I got groceries on the way home after chatting with Kristin about my secret desires (okay I can't keep a secret: I want to become a hippie). temperature was 68 F, winds 8 mph from the NE when I finally got home at noon.

I headed out in the evening with the hopes of seeing Cycropia, the aerial dance theater, at the Orton park festival. It looked lovely out, but housemate said, check the radar. that showed convincingly that thunderstorms were quickly approaching. But I really wanted to see cycropia so I went anyway. The storms came right on schedule. Housemate picked me up at the co-op--she was heading that way anyway to meet me at the park.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

aug. 26 & 27

I rode twice yesterday, which is good because I rode 0 today. I had a meeting in Watertown so drove the you-know-what today. yesterday was nice. at 7:55 am, temperature was 65 F, winds 8 from ENE. I wore long pants and sweater so was okay in the chilly air. Yes, I've accepted that it's Fall. I would have rather it waited until Sept. 1, but I'm okay with it now.

On my return at 11 am, I dawdled at the Yahara River. It looked summery still. Temperature was 72, winds 13 mph from the ENE, gusting to 17.

Then I was out for an evening meeting. It wasn't dark yet at the beginning of my meeting, 7 pm, but was at the end, 8:30 pm.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

aug. 25

I can feel fall coming! This is sad! Okay, I like the seasons but I want more summer and heat and long days. Another month of August would be good. Today was supposed to be warm and muggy, but since the days are shorter, it was another nippy ride at 7 am. The temperature was 63 F, winds 9 mph from the south. I'm going to have to start wearing long pants. It was even still cool on my ride home at 9 am, temperature 67, winds gusting to 20. I wore my sweater home, for the first time in a few months. Sunrise was 6:14 am. oh, I want more summer. okay, I guess I should stop whining, and embrace the fall. The only thing that really bothers me is putting on and taking off the pants, the sweaters, jackets, gloves, etc. Here is the bike path 40 minutes after sunrise today:

Monday, August 24, 2009

aug 24

Thank god I'm back to the sane world of biking. Here's the lovely bike path again:

It was a chilly morning. I should have worn a warmer jacket. The temperature was 64 F at 7:53 am but it seemed colder. Winds 5 mph from the S, but it seemed like a headwind. I guess I was just cold. On the way home at 11 am, loaded with groceries, temperature was 72 F, winds 7 mph from the SSW. It's good to be home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

culture shock

Help, I'm in a suburb of Chicago and it looks like I'll be driving 3 hours a day for the next 4 days!   Is this how most American's live?  I'm sure my blood pressure has shot up.  I was so frustrated with traffic jams and road construction.  I screamed at the stupid isynch in my car (it's supposed to respond to voice commands but it doesn't understand my voice--designed for male voices I'm sure), I swore at the nice traffic cops directing me where I didn't want to go.  I underwent a personality change and became an obnoxious Chicago driver.  And this is only day 1.   wo is me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

aug. 16-18

I've been biking a lot lately, just haven't had time to post.    Let's see, on Sunday, at 9:30 am, temperature was 74, winds from the south at 15 gusting to 20.  That was a tailwind.   oh, yeah, after church, I went to the co-op for a snack, then the gay pride parade.  then back to the co-op for grocery shopping, then home.  It was supposed to rain, 90% chance of thunderstorms, but it only sprinkled.  So no rain on the parade.  When I got home about 3 pm, temperature was 80, winds 11 mph from the SW, gusting to 25 mph.  I don't recall the gusts being a problem.  I guess it was mostly a tailwind until the last couple of miles.  then the last 1/2 mile was a headwind definitely.   I took picture but they are on a different computer that I don't have with my here in my hotel room.

Yesterday I went to exercise class and yoga and grocery shopping before settling down to a long day's and night's work.   Temperature was 70 F at 6:53 am when I hit the bike path, winds calm:

On the way home, temperature was still only 71 F, winds 5 mph from the NW.

Today was cooler, temperature 65 F at 6:53 am, winds west at 5 mph.  I forgot to snap a picture on the way to exercise class, but here is a shot at the start of my journey home.  This is also behind the gym and the site of today's torture (20 x 100 yard sprints):

Temperature was still a cool 68 F at 9 am, winds 6 mph from the WNW.  I took a detour home to drop off something at a friend's house.

And now my biking journey must end for 5 days as I hopped in the car to take a trip to the outskirts of Chicago.   I look forward to my return to the sane world of biking.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

aug. 15

yes, yes, another gorgeous summer day, and I had to work inside all morning. at least I was painting window wells so could look out the window. I left at 8:30 am. Temperature was 72 F, winds 8 mph from the south. I had a tailwind and that was good. the bike path:

On the way home at 1 pm, I was tired, both from my manual labor, and last night's ride, I had a headwind. Temperature was 85 F, winds 10 mph gusting to 20 from the S. I just went slow. it was still nice.

aug. 14

Today I was fortunate to go on two rides. Unfortunately I got lost on the second and was late, but more on that later. For my morning ride, the temperature was 72 F, winds from the SSW at 10 when I left at 7:53 am. Here's the start of the bike path. yep, yet another gorgeous summer day.

On the return trip, loaded with groceries, the temperature was 78 F, winds still 10 mph from the SW. felt good.

Then I headed to the near-west side of town for a 7:30 pm lecture. It's directly across Lake Monona from my house so I decided to make a loop around the lake for the round trip. We have such great bike routes in this town. The road construction the last few years in Monona created a nice bike path on Winnequa and over the Yahara river bridge. Then I followed the lovely Wingra bike path into town. Man, what a great ride! Then I got cocky and said to myself, I remember this neighborhood, I used to live here 20 years ago, and instead of following my plan to ride up Mills St. to Mound St., I went along Lake Wingra to Vilas and got all turned around and went way out of my way, and was 10 minutes late for the lecture. I even left early to make sure I wouldn't be late! Oh well, it was at a yoga studio and everyone was sitting on the polished floor in their bare feet. After interrupting the class walking in the wrong door at the front of the lecture, and with my shoes on (a no-no), I went to the back of the room and laid down on the floor and rested for the first part of the lecture. Then I got my strength back up for the second half. By the end, I decided the guy was pretty cool, and I wished I could go to the weekend workshop he was giving.

On the ride home, I went a little out of my way to get to the Capital city trail, but I love that route, and from there, took my usual route home by the Monona Terrace, along the lake and back on the bike path after crossing the Yahara river. I decided I'd be willing to go to yoga classes at Mound street yoga studio because the bike ride is excellent. That is my litmus test.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

aug 13

Another fabulous summer day. As I've stated before, this is the best summer I've ever enjoyed. At 7 am, the temperature was 65 F, winds 3.5 mph from the south, with sunny skies:

On the return trip at 9 am, the temperature was 76 F, winds 7 mph from the south. I managed to work outside a bit today, editing a document, but the birds started pooping on me and the squirrels dropped acorns on me. It's totally intentional. I so wanted to go kayaking this evening but I had to work instead. Darn!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

aug 12

Today was a beautiful summer day. I'm glad I had to bike twice. First in the morning, I rode to yoga and grocery shopping. The temperature was 65 F, dewpoint 62, winds calm, so humid but I didn't notice. It was a beautiful morning:

and a lovely ride home after grocery shopping. By then temperature was 79, winds still calm. Then this evening I headed out at 5:42 pm which is really late to get to my church by 6 pm. So I boogied. I made it right on time, thanks to southerly winds, 8 mph. Temperature was 81. On the way home at 8 pm, the almanac says the temperature was 78 but it was definitely cooler on the bike path, which goes through low-lying areas. Winds were from the south at 6 mph but I didn't notice them either. A nice evening.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

aug. 11

I drove my car to my morning exercise class because I had an oil change appointment afterwards. Fortunately, I had a meeting this evening so I still got to ride my bike. It was a beautiful day and I was inside all day, so it was really nice to get out at 6 pm. The temperature was 79, dewpoint down to 57 F, winds 7 mph from the north, and sunny. Here's the ole' bike path:

I was chilly on the return trip at 9 pm. Temperature was down to 67 F, according to the almanac. That doesn't seem so cold. But I bet it was colder where I was riding, in low-lying areas, where radiative cooling from the earth cools the air above it in calm conditions like we had.

Monday, August 10, 2009

aug 10

Today the temperature was 70 F, dewpoint 67, when I left at 7:50 am. That's very humid but it actually felt nice and cool. Winds were 6 mph from the south. Here's the bikepath:

On the way home, at 10:30 am, it was up to 73 F, dewpoint still high. But it was also nice. Winds were up to 9 mph from the south. I haven't taken a picture of the Yahara river in a while. I stopped here to make a quick phone call. Nice place to stop.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

aug. 7-9

I was too busy to blog the last few days. The theme of this post is that the internet is a biker's good friend. Being able to check that radar map is great. On Friday, I checked the weather before leaving, and saw rain a comin' so packed rain pants and gear. The temperature was 69 F when I left at 7:55 am, winds 5 mph from the south. I forgot to take a picture at the beginning of the bike path but here's the bridge over Starkweather Creek behind Olbrich Gardens:

looking southeast:

and northeast.

It rained for my return trip, but I was fine with my rain gear. I was loaded up with groceries but have these cool bike bags that are water proof. I should take a picture of my rain gear. It's just cheap rain pants I got in Scotland (yep, I forgot to bring rain pants to Scotland), and a big rain jacket. I put my hood on under my helmet which keeps my head and glasses dry. I have a pair of water-proof slip-on shoes.

Yesterday I had to go to a meeting on the near-west side of town. I was looking forward to a long scenic ride along Lake Mendota past campus. But I looked at the radar and it looked very very bad. So I drove. We had a torrential downpour with lots of lightning. I think I made the right decision. If I had ridden my bike, I think that would have been the 3rd time in my life I wish I hadn't ridden (the first was when I broke my kneecap on some railroad tracks, and the second was on this day).

We finally got hit with hot and humid weather yesterday. Today it was 83 F at 9:40 am, winds 7 mph and variable in direction. The dewpoint was 73 F, so humidity 72%. It was actually quite nice for me in shorts and tanktop. Here's a picture at Atwood gardens. I have been forgetting to snap at the start of the ride.

On the way home, it was cloudy which was probably good, kept the temperature down to 84 F, winds 7 mph from the WSW. Then we had rain in the afternoon. The warm weather and rain should be great for the garden!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aug. 6

I biked three times today and drove once. I was irritated about the driving, but looking back on it, I think I would have been exhausted biking four times. As it is, I'm just tired. Here's the bike path at 7 am. Temperature was 63 degrees F, winds calm.

Then at 12:45 pm, temperature was 76, winds 6 mph from the NNW. returned at 3 pm.

Then at 6 pm, temperature 77 winds variable at 5 mph. returned at 8:30 pm.

Well if I had to pick a day to ride 3 times, today was a good one. Each ride was about 8 miles round trip.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

aug. 5

It was yet another gorgeous summer day. I was thinking as I was riding, this is the best summer ever! The weather has been so nice day after day after day. I feel sorry for those people driving cars. It's like summer vacation everytime I get on my bike. The temperature was 80 degrees F when I headed to yoga class at 3:30 pm, winds 6 mph from the north. Here's the start of the bike path:

The flowers at Atwood gardens seemed even prettier today, though the picture doesn't do it justice:

I headed home at 6:30 pm loaded with groceries. Temperature was 76 F, winds 8 mph from the NNW.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

aug. 4

Today was another excellent summer day. It was cooler than I expected this morning, but then it was only 7 am when I left. Temperature was 63 with calm winds. Okay, that explains it. On the way home, I had to stop at my church to drop something off, and got a phone call so ended up walking all the way from the gym to my church while gabbing on the phone. I saw about 3 people I knew. That was actually kind of fun. Then I got on my bike and road home at 10 am. Temperature was now 74, winds still calm. This has been a great summer weather-wise.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Aug. 3

I'm back. I was gone one week, then back home last week but had a visitor and didn't bike much--we worked at home, and I was super busy so didn't blog. Some highlights from the last 2 weeks: I did finally get rained on one day last week, but it was a nice light rain and I had rain gear on and it was as enjoyable as any other day. Rain in the summer is nice because you don't get too cold or too hot. here's a picture of the clouds before it started raining:

Also, July was the coldest month on record. It never got above 82 degrees F! It was a very nice and sunny month. Yet it wasn't too dry because it rained at night several times, or during the day when I wasn't riding.

Today, on the other hand it got up to 84. It was a really nice day. It started out cloudy. I forgot to take a picture at the start of the bike path, but here's a mile up the path, crossing Starkweather creek:

and looking towards Olbrich park:

It was a cool 67 degrees F when I left at 7:55 am, dewpoint 62, so humid. Winds were 8 mph from the SW. When I returned home at 10:30 am, the temperature was 78 and winds 10 mph gusting to 16, from the SW. a lovely day.