Thursday, October 30, 2003
So I'm not a Kerouac expert or anything, but anytime I ride crosstown for a meeting and I take this railroad service road, he pops into my mind with all the possibilities of jumping the boxcars man. I was going to a meeting for the stream sign program I am administering, so I got double miles in today than I normally would, which is good because I gotta drive tomorrow as I need the car for some work errands farther out than I can bike on this short day to come, and I gotta transport alot of stuff for our annual meeting event. But I at least got the org's car, so I'm still not using mine.
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
The problem is it would run through batteries quick. It takes 2 AA, and I think that provides 6, 7, 8? hours of good light, so not practical for everyday use. I found a new Cateye model that weighs practically nothing, has 3 LED (no bulb replacement) and runs on 2 AAA, providing about 15 hours for set. I figure then I would only need 2 sets over the dark months if I only use it for my 20 min ride home in the evenings. I also think I might get a bright white strobe, if I can find one with 360 degree coverage that I could mount on my helmet top, or mid-frame on the bike, somewhere all around visible for that extra protection. Am also adding some reflective tape, and a few new reflectors for now.
So great to have light to wake up to in the morning, I like that rather than having light at night for sure.
Red tomatoe from the garden today can you believe it? Well, not fully ripened, but it had fallen from the vine, so I carried inside to finish the ripening.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Well, I grabbed a pair of clip-on freddy fenders from PlanetBike for my commuter. I had replaced the rear fender from my old bike to my current one, but couldn't do that with the front, since I have suspension on that one. So I think the clip-on should work for that. I also picked up a set of reflectors to uphaul my visibility now that darmness is falling earlier, though I still need to get a front white light. And I grabbed a few gaskets for fitting items (such as computer, lights, etc) onto the handlebars and other frame parts when the attaching hardware is too big. You know what I mean right?
Thanks for everyone who is checking the site out these days. Just today I had 5 folks come over from Path to Freedom and 3 from Google searches, hey, hey, cool.
Saturday, October 25, 2003
What makes it doubly swell is that it was a Friday, and I left the office a little early, and both contributed to less traffic, and less congestion, and less folks in general out braving the cold. Of course I wish there were more folks outside, but the going is easier when there are less to dodge, and of course that feeling of being out in somewhere that there are usually lots of people when they are gone and sensing them and the energy they left behind (that feeling always hits me hard).
Triply wonderful is that the frost passed by my little microclime of a garden once again. With temps all around getting down to 30 or so, my little patch of plantdom is still producing and staying on board for awhile. Tomatoes plumping up a little more, italian peppers elongating, cilantro staying fresh in the earth, lovin' it!
Thursday, October 23, 2003
So the frost is probably a reality tonight, which sucks because the warmup follows immediately tomorrow again. But I had to harvest some green tomatoes, and some cilantro, and covered what I could with some cover cloth to try to hold out the cold a little, but I didn't give it my best, I'm tired, its late and cold, and I'm happy with the results of the garden for the season. I dont have good season extension planned and I dont have the time to do so now. Maybe it is time to let the warm weather residents go. I'll bne jumping up in the morning to see what took place overnight.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Some of these links (such as Path to Freedom and Living on Less) are also posting links back to Bicycle Commuting Now, so please check them out and let them know where you learned about them (right here!).
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
My beet (from my garden as I am trying to come up with ways to eat them besides baked in the oven) and potato cream soup wasn't all I hoped it would turn out to be. Kinda just like beet tasting puree, but so made me want borscht when I smelled the mingling scents during the cooking. Reminded me of the Valentine's Day Vegetarian Dinners at the Macoskey Center when I lived in Slippery Rock, and borscht was on the menu two years running (thanks Galina and Valentine for that). I have to find a recipe.
Monday, October 20, 2003
I do jump onto Bridge for one block, then I hit the side alley that parallels Bridge on the east side. Here the way is always pretty clear, except for a delivery truck or two, and it is constant pedaling cause it is a slow grade up hill all the way, so I get a constant warm-up. In addition, since it is straight, it turns out to be about 1 minute quicker that the west side route, which was a little more back and forth, with more than 1 stop sign along the way. And the final benefit is that when I come out to enter Bridge, I am making a right turn and can do so whenever the way is clear, instead of waiting for the light to turn green. Which on the left side, required me to dismount and push the walk button, or wait (or get lucky) for an auto to come along, since the light trigger didn't respond to my bike at that site.
Got my garlic planted on Sunday. The different varieties I ordered came on friday and are Chesnok Red, Siberian, Spanish Roja, and Georgia Fire. All supposedly good for cold climates in the winter, and ranging in taste from milder to quite pungent. I planted four cloves from each bulb, am going to send two cloves each to my dad to plant, and am going to taste test the remaining 2-3 cloves from each bulb. I also got a bag full of castoff cloves for like $3.95 or so, and planted them to use for spring garlic greens.
Friday, October 17, 2003
This is also an area were there are usually lots of young adults pedaling around (teens, twenties, and so on), albeit in all the wrong ways. On the sidewalks, in the wrong direction, no turning signals, etc. So I have a lot of misconceptions too from the drivers around there, and I have experienced some negative words when cycling through.
Lets hope and pray for peace for all involved.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
1 is that I need the timeline and the goal to give me strength and courage to bike through the winter. And any of you that read this can help by keeping in touch, reading regularly, and dropping a line now and then.
2 is that I wont be keeping this up forever. It does take time that I could be putting towards other projects, although for the time being I am still content contributing here. Hey, I am not even close to running out of things to post about. But really, I have lots of other things in addition to bike commuting and a touch of gardening to write about too. And I can feel those things intruding into my thoughts more regularly when I am posting here.
So in the future I see this site as being an archived section (backpage) of a larger website that covers a wider range of topics that I wish to publish about. And who knows, I may continue to post here as well. This blog is serving its purpose for now though, so lets keep at it shall we?
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Not only is the sidewalk unpassable during this work, but the right hand lane is also closed most of the way across, so there aint no way for cars to pass me through that stretch. I hope it is worth it and that the sidewalks are smooth as glass (though not as slippery as glass) when they are through. And this makes me wonder. The Harvey Taylor Bridge farther upriver has ben undergoing major, major work for over a year now I think, with total closings at times. Will the bridge have good pedestrian and bicycle access/paths after all this work? If not what a shame.
Today is the first rain in nine days (after such a wet year). It didn't harm anything in the ground though , cause the ground is so wet, and the sun is not hot enough to dry anything out. I caught the potted mint just in time though as it was just drying out yesterday, but it perked right back up when I checked it this morning.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
So I finally got around to taking some photos and figuring out how to post them here on the blog. Since no commute or bike ride to write about today I thought I'd post about what I did in the garden today for practice. This photo shows the beginning of the application of homemade compost to the old cuke and melon bed where I am now ready to plant garlic. I have an order in for a few different hardneck varieties from an on-line store (The Garlic Store) since I had no luck finding different planting stock here. I am also going to plant some of the longstanding silverskin from my dad and grandfather's garden. If you head to the sidebar and scroll down you can access the new photo links that I am working on, and check out the photos full size. Peace.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
I also want to find a good (cheap but effective) pair of waterproof booties for riding this winter. If anyone knows of such, send the clicks my way.
A little garden clean-up earlier today involved: pulling old cuke and gourd plants, pulling lettuce plants that have gone to seed and dried so I can salvage the seed, hunted slugs, and thinned some mustard and turnips.
Friday, October 10, 2003
Fortunately, down part of the other side is the Community College, and I usually duck into the parking lots there, then travel down a gravel service road on the back edge of campus. Though I have to re-emerge onto INDUSTRIAL RD to actually get to Wildwood. Someday this is supposed to be a part of a nice greenway around town, if I'll be here to see it! I have been lucky enough to catch sight of a red fox twice on that campus service road though, its a beauty, tall and sleek and fast.
Anyway, I would have normally biked home from the office as a typical commute at the end of the day, but it seems the parking lot is up for some maintenance at Wildwood this weekend, and all vehicles have to be removed. So I'm the one to head back over at the end of the workday and take the car home to park with me for a spell. Not that I mind the trip to Wildwood one way or the other really, it is a quite varied route for me actually. The natural area, Industrial Rd, College campus, Railway service gravel road, cut through town on the roads, to Riverfront Park, then back onto the streets again.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
These signs were mile markers along the bike path and ID signs for speaker locations. I think 14 in all. The awesome part is that Sue came along and we knocked it out in half the time it would have taken me alone (I would have had to do 12 miles, stopping to pick up every sign, and lost all the time gained from driving to the pickup point while Sue was out on her bike portions). The best part of it though is sharing the experience with her. When she comes into my work world (or vice versa) it feels so much more homier and alive and special, I feel fortunate today.
I have wanted to take her to this park anyway because the mountains (or hills in these parts) are nicely pronounced there compared to being in the river vallery here, and now for sure with the leaves changing it was cool. The other neat part is that the park is still undeveloped, so you get to ride all out on old highway roads that were blocked off and have been unused for what, 20 or 30 years ever since the state bought the land for a park.
I love the fact that my garden is still growing! Here I am wanting to plant garlic this weekend, like I would have done in the west/northwest of the state and it is still warm and I barely have room in the garden to do so since everything is still alive. If not for the cucumbers finally petering out this week, I would have had to wait for garlic space. Maybe I should wait anyway since its still so warm?
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Well, it has finally gotten cold enough to start me thinking about Fall and Winter cycling to come. Today I made my first change in clothing from my normal summer shorts and T-shirt. I put on a pair of my poly-pro leggings that I normally use for working outside (or for cold weather hiking/backpacking), then shorts overtop of that. I had on a windbreaker over my T-shirt and a pair of black fleece gloves. I was more than warm enough, in fact a little too warm by the end of the ride. This is going to take alot of trial and error I believe.
Also thinking ahead to keeping motivated. I want to thank all my loyal readers, your presence helps keep me blogging now, and hopefully it will keep me riding through the dark and cold months ahead. I'll give you more props in the coming days.
As for the cold, a frost was predicted for 2 nights this past weekend, and last night too, but it didn't materialize here in my little micro-clime. I covered the most susceptible plants in my garden with some sheeting, and harvested a few tomatoes and peppers and some cilantro but it wasn't necessary. My tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, basil and more are still going strong. My cucumber plants have finally given up and I picked the final cuke this past week. I ate it for lunch today with a little ranch dressing to accompany leftover pizza from the night before. Also picked the one honeydew melon we produced. Tastes good, too much rind and not enough flesh though; is that from picking it later rather than sooner?