Thursday, November 26, 2009

Nov. 25

Today was another cloudy, rainy day but at least it was warm. Temperature was 45 F, winds 8 mph from the west when I left at 9:53 am. I had to ride a little hard to make it to a 10:30 appointment against a headwind.

After that I went to a coffee shop on the near west side and then one on the near east side, to work of course with various collaborators. I headed home about 4 pm in the rain. Temperature was 41 F, winds 7 mph from the west.

I'm off to visit relatives for 4 days. No biking will occur except perhaps on their exercise bike in the basement.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nov. 20 - 24

I've been too busy to post! going back in time to last Friday...the weather has been unseasonably warm, and both cloudy and sunny. I have some memories of brutally cold Novembers here, so I'm pretty happy, even with the clouds.

On Friday, Nov. 20, oh, I didn't ride my bike! I drove to Watertown to work with collaborators. okay, moving on.

On Sat., Nov. 21, I rode to yoga class and the grocery store. I forgot to snap a picture on the way out, but here's the way back along the lake:

Temperature was 49 F, winds 6 mph from the south at noon. Temperature was 51 winds 7 mph from the south on the return trip at 3 pm. It cleared up into a nice day!

On Sunday I rode to church. Temperature was 45 F, winds 7 mph from the south at 7:30 am.

Then I got a ride to the UW women's basketball game, then we went out, then I got a ride home and picked up my bike at the church. Here's me and Chris at the game.

We're twins, separated at birth. The only difference between us is that I'm a vegan.

On Monday the temperature was 41 F, winds from the east at 5 mph at 7 am.

Temperature was 43, winds 7 mph from the east on the way home at 9 am.

Yesterday, Tuesday Nov. 24, temperature was 46 F, winds 9 mph from the ENE for my longer trip to the near west side.

After yoga, I went to campus, then headed home about 4 pm. Temperature was 46 F, winds 10 mph from the east, and it was raining. And yet, I didn't mind. It was nice getting outside and I enjoyed the warmer than usual temperature. It got dark during my ride home. Here's a train crossing the road close to my home. The picture blurs in between train cars so you can see both the train car and the road behing it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nov. 17-19

I had to drive to Milwaukee on Nov. 17, so I didn't bike! I even could have to a meeting that night but I was lazy.

Nov. 18, the temperature was 41 F, winds NE at 8 mph when I left at 7:53 am. Here's the start of the bike path:

The Yahara river was pretty in the morning light.

After yoga, I went to campus in the rain and then rode home with Kenny in the rain at 4 pm. Winds were light from the east, temperature 45 F.

This morning the temperature was 39 F, winds calm at 6:53 am. The sun hadn't risen yet so it was a wee bit darker than yesterday, but it was very pleasant. The temperature rose to 44 F for my ride home at 11 am, winds still light at 3 mph. It seemed warmer. I guess I was dressed for cooler weather. I saw a hawk and those same cardinals on the way home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nov. 16

Today I left at 6:53 am, 2 minutes after sunrise. But it was cloudy so I didn't see it. It is peaceful at this time of day. Temperature was 34 F, winds 7 mph from the NNE. Here's the start of the bike path:

On the way back home, I saw about 6 cardinals in the space of 20 feet. They must have been hanging out together. That was in the usual spot for finding interesting things, behind the closed feel mill south of Olbrich. Temperature was 34 F, winds 10 mph from the NE when I returned at 9 am.

Tonight the leonids meteor shower is supposed to make a good showing, but it is also supposed to be cloudy here. Too bad. I'd be willing to get up early and go to the 6:30 am exercise class just so I could see the shower.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What I learned at my bicycle mechanics class

I took a 4-class course on bicycle mechanics which was very well done. The most useful things I learned don't require you to do anything fancy, and can save you lots of money down the line. I'm going to write them down here mainly for my benefit and any other crazy person who actually reads this blog.
  • if you keep the chain cleaned, and replace it regularly (once a year if you ride a lot in bad weather), your cogs and chain rings and derailleurs will last a lot longer.
  • how to clean the chain: apply lubricant, wipe all the muck off. make sure to remove all the lubricant when you are done! Otherwise it attracts the grit that wears down the chain.
  • lubricate and clean the cables where they go into their housing (coverings) to keep the brakes and derailleurs working reasonably well. Then again, wipe off all the excess so as not to attract more grit into these areas you want to keep clean.
  • We learned how to adjust the brakes and derailleurs using these, umm, barrel adjustments? These are on almost all new bikes and are up by your brakes and are easy to adjust.
  • keep your wheel rims clean (warm water and a rag), and that will make your brakes work better
  • don't let your brake pads where too thin, especially if they are part metal, like mine are, because they can destroy your rim if you get down to the metal.

Nov. 13-15

It's better to blog everyday because I forget things from a few days ago. Oh well, the pictures help remind me. Friday morning I left at 6:53 am, only a few minutes after sunrise. Temperature was 40 F, winds from the south at 15 mph. I was tired today but glad to be on the bike. Here's the start of the bike path. The sign has been taken down (replaced by small red flags at bottom left).

After exercise class I stopped at the grocery store, so rode along the lake on the way home for a change. That was nice.

On Saturday morning, I drove the car to the grocery store. I am afraid this is becoming a habit. It is so convenient to load up on the heavy stuff. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to go to yoga class in the afternoon and ride my bike. It was a nice warm day. The temperature was 54 F, and winds were calm. nice! Here's the bike path:

I stopped at the bike shop on my way home to get some supplies so I can change my brake pads. Hopefully I'll be successful.

Today I saw 3 hawks and either a hawk or an owl in the space of about 500 yards, behind the closed feed mill and Olbrich gardens. It was a brisk 32 F, with winds 7 mph from the North when I left. Here's the bike path without the sign.

Here's one of the hawks.

There were two other hawks in the same area as this one. I didn't think they liked to hang out near each other. The owl or hawk was in a tree being harrassed by crows. He had a fatter body than most hawks so that's why I wondered if it was an owl. I now have a newfound appreciation for the trees without leaves because you can see the birds better.

The temperature was 44 F when I returned at 11 am, but I was still chilled from church and my new extremely short hair cut.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nov. 6-12

It's been a great week for biking. It was a really lousy October this year but it's been a great November. I think if we'd known in advance we'd have a fabulous summer, September, and November, and a lousy October, we could have handled October better. But that's usually a fabulous month and it caught us all off guard.

Anyway, last Friday, Nov. 6. I thought I was going to meet someone at Watertown so I drove to the gym. Fortunately I had an afternoon appointment so I still got to ride my bike. The temperature was 62 F at 1:30 pm! Winds were 21 gusting to 28 from the SSE. It was still windy for my trip home at 4 pm. Then I had another thing in the evening that would have been an easy bike ride but my bike was still without lights after Wed.'s vandalism.

On Saturday and Sunday I drove the you-know-what to Chicago--both days! I'll have to do a lot of biking to make up for that. Oh, Sat. afternoon when I got home, I biked to Olbrich to meet Marilyn.

Monday morning, Nov. 9, the temperature was 57 F at 6:53 am! warm! Winds were 11 mph from the NNW. They died down a bit for my ride home at 9:30 am. Ye olde start of the bike path:

Tuesday I was out from 8 am to 11 pm. It was warm in the middle but cold on the ends. I mistakenly dressed for the middle. The temperature was 40 F at 7:53 am, winds 5 mph from the north. My gloves were too thin for this. The start of the bike path:

After yoga I went to campus. temperature was 54 F, winds 6 mph from the NE. okay, this is nice. Here's Monona Bay:

After campus, I went to the bike shop for my final maintenance class. The temperature quickly dropped to 41 F, winds calm at 7 pm. Then we went to Harmony bar and I left about 10:30 pm. Temperature was 31 F. My hands froze!

Wednesday morning, temperature was 30 F at 7:53 am, and I wasn't dressed quite warm enough because of the forecast for a high of 58 F. Winds were calm, which contributed to the cold temperature (radiation cooling). the start of the bike path:

I haven't taken a picture of the Yahara river in a while:

Looking the other direction:

After yoga, I went to campus, and fortunately had to leave at 3:30 pm to go to another meeting. I say fortunately because this allowed me to bike in the waning daylight. The sun was setting when I got home. Here's Monona terrace and the lake. Temperature was 51 F, winds 5 mph from the SSW.

Today, I left at 6:53 am, and the sun was just rising. It was beautiful but I'm sad to think that soon I will be riding in the dark again. I don't mind riding in the dark in the evenings, but I really prefer daylight in the mornings. The temperature was 26 F at 6:53 am, winds calm. Here's the bikepath in the beautiful morning light.

There's the sun in the other direction:

another picture of the nice morning light.

After class I went to church to get my haircut and then arrived home at noon. Temperature was up to 48 F now with winds 15 mph from the south.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nov. 2-5

I biked this week, just didn't have time to blog about it.

Monday was great because daylight savings time went away and it was light out at 7 am! woo hoo. I forgot to load the memory card into the camera. Temperature was 43 F, winds west at 5 mph, partly cloudy. A nice ride to and from exercise class.

Tuesday we took the day off because it was Marilyn's birthday. We rode our bikes to Edna Taylor park, just a few miles from the house. Here's a hawk. I haven't looked it up yet to see what kind.

It was a sunny but cool day, temperatures in the low 40s, winds less than 5 mph.

Wednesday SUCKED! Well it started out okay. I went to yoga at 8 am. It was a nice morning, temperature 40 F, winds 10 mph from the ESE.

And it was a nice afternoon too. I went to campus, and then planned to leave at 3:30 so I could get to an appointment at 5:30, and someone had let the air out of my tires and stole my front and rear bike lights. So then I had to scramble to try to get home to make my appointment. This is the second time in a year my bike has been vandalized outside the physics building on UW campus. That night I drove to my appointment with the bike in the car and stopped off at the bike shop to pump up the tires.

The tires were still inflated this morning when I rode to campus. Temperature was 48 at 11 am, winds 8 mph from the WSW, and clear skies:

Temperature was 51 F, winds 6 mph from the NW when I rode home at 3 pm.