Archive | March 2011

Big Rain

I got a bit of a late start this evening riding home.  Because I left late I got drenched from the waste down.   It not only poured.  It was one of those rains that reminds you that you are in Germany.

It is not necessarily a pleasant thing bicycling in the rain and having road splat from trucks and cars wash onto you.  I know my friends Hank and Dave wouldn’t mind they.   They are much tougher than me.  I think rain is a deal breaker at the start of the ride.

I think I am about properly geared except my shoes, I am going to have to look for some waterproof shoes or something like the shoe covers I wear in cold weather.  Everything else was pretty dry including the inside of my bags.

There was one thing that was funny that happened to me on my ride home.  The two groundskeepers for my school pulled up along side of me in there vehicle and started pacing me and encouraging me to pedal faster.  They made an otherwise unpleasant ride fun and gave me a laugh.  I could just see one of them now with his arms outside the car cheering me on.

Now I hope everything dries by tomorrow at 0500 for the ride in or it might be a bit chilly.


Caught Speeding?

Recently I have had a lot of good commutes on my bike.  I have felt good during the rides and done the 9 +/- miles in under 40 minutes consistently.   Now, I don’t typically consider myself fast as Oma’s (Grandmother in German) on ugly black steel one speed bikes can pass me going up hills.

Today on my ride I noticed an unusual flashing light on a sign post as I neared the school grounds.  It wasn’t a low light like a construction warning light.  It was high on the post.  Just as I passed it I saw out of the corner of my eye that it was flashing an LED frowning face.   It then dawned on me that it was one of those radar signs that flashes a frowning face or a happy face if you are within or outside the speed limit.

It then clicked to me that I was the only thing on the road moving.  A big smile came across my face then a shout out “YES!” hoping that I would wake someone up as I pedaled through housing.

Later in that morning, I was in e-mail with a colleague in the MP (military police) station talking about other issues.  My closing note to him I asked if he could send me a ticket for speeding on a bicycle with the intent of framing it.

We will see if he tickets me.  I think one point on my drivers license for speeding on a bicycle would be just great.

Realities of Biking in Germany during Spring

Reminder about Germany and bicycling:

1.  It rains, normally when I don’t have gear with me.  Even though I have been packing it all the other times when I expected rain and never used it.

2.  Farmers fertilize their field in March.  Normally the wind is blowing from the field toward me.

Usually these don’t happen to me on the same day, but this year was an extra special two for one sale.

March 2011 Week 1

Last week I was able to bicycle into work  Tuesday through Friday.  It was the first week I had been consistently able to ride into work since the weather had turned bad in October.

I was pleasantly surprised with the diminshed fitness due to weather and work, I only had a net gain of five pounds and lost about four minutes on the one way commute.

I expect to be able to ride in Tuesday through Friday again weather permitting.  It has been cold in the mornings 20-30 F, but I think I have worked out my clothing so I stay warm without getting hot.  With planned layers it works well on the return ride home by taking the first layer off.

On Friday one of my lights on the front of the bike was out.  I keep two running, one to see by and one to be seen.  The one to be seen is an LED/Flashing/Strobing type it was the one that went out.  I did not realize the difference it made on my bike with oncoming traffic and high beams.  I had a real problem with cars noticing me.  I assumed it was just a fail safe as the one I use to see by is bright, apparently the strobing/flashing quality is the difference.

Lights will become a non-issue soon as sun is starting to rise around 0615.  I guess around end of March I will be riding in full day light.

As a side note. .. Bicycling is an intregral part of my fitness and health routine accounting for about  100 minutes four days per week.  I try to wallk with the students during lunch recess (anoth day on the walking program) and run the days I am not biking.  This is entirely contigent upon not having to give up my lunch for some issue in the school.

I ultimately plan on doing some form of fitness activity six days a week.

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