Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Biking Duluth? Need a map?

I thought I'd post this today since I've been thinking about doing so for some time now and with the new picture tag and all, I thought it may even help me find some nice spots.

This link is for the Duluth / Superior area bike map. It's very detailed and will help you get from point a to point ? and everywhere you need to in between. I also thought I'd make a note of it due to the fact that pretty soon the snow's going to be falling and if you ride in the winter, you may be thinking about alternative routes (riding on London road with no shoulder and a big bank of snow does not sound too fun).

(Image captured from Duluth News Tribune Website 10/30/07)

Another site I'd like to point out today, Duluth Trails, is a site detailing the various trails in the Duluth area. The Duluth News Tribune (I believe) created it with help from some other sources. It's very nicely done and I plan to use it to find some future Tag pictures.

I hope you can benefit from these links and I hope you keep having fun Biking in Duluth.

Jeff

Monday, October 29, 2007

October 29th, 2007. Tempature, 60 (Above) (Tag, I'm not it)

Wow! What a fantastic day. 60 for Duluth this late in the year just does not happen that often and when it does, it's like spring break around here. I left work about an hour earlier then I would have otherwise. Had to make a trip up the hill a bit for another picture for picture tag. Well, I wasn't first to find it this time, nor would I have found it without the exact location, but none-the-less, it was a fun ride! I took Superior St. from work to Hawthorne then to Vermillion which is straight up about a million blocks :D Ok, so it felt like it going up at a speedy 3 mph.

After I found what I was looking for I went to St. Marie St. then to Woodland, then Snively, then the fun hill down Glenwood which when going down my speedometer said 35 again (and I was still speeding up) so, I think I found the limit of my speedometer.

Where to next Boz? (He's "It" and gets to take the next picture)

P.S. My first picture tag picture was from Old Main Park 2305 E. 5th St. here in Duluth.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

TAG! I'm it...

So, here's my first Bike Photo Tag photo. I'll just say it was much more fun coming back from getting this picture then it was going to get it. A new all time fastest speed on my bike, 35 mph, and that was only because of the van in front of me. Dang minivan drivers (say... I have a minivan... o-well)

Where am I? It's an easy first shot!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Picture tag? (or hide and seek perhaps)

Ok, so maybe this will sound stupid and boring, but I think it could be fun. (Hold on, dog's barking...Ok Back)
So, the few biker blogs I read here in Duluth seem to all include heavy use of a camera. So I was thinking it could be fun to play picture tag. One person is "it" and they can go take a picture of something in Duluth, not too crazy far away, of something somewhat "identifiable" and then everyone else can go try to find that thing and take a picture of it also. The first blog post with that image and that person is now it- they will go take a picture of something new, and the fun continues. I've been thinking of that for a while now, pretty exciting hu! hahah... But seriously, I thought it could be fun and could make for some really interesting pictures (i.e. try to be creative) and more fun on the bikes getting us out and about.
I'll be it first, and if you want to play along, comment. I'll take a picture tomorrow and I'll try to get off my normal beaten path of the lakewalk :)

Cheers!
Jeff

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nice and cool

That about sums up today's commute. The ride in was around 46 I do so believe, but no rain, which meant I took off my high-tech shoe covers. Doing so really surprised me in that my feet were quite cold today- wool socks and all. Blocking the wind is 90% of the cold battle so far as I can tell. I also opened up a few holes in my helmet cover (high-tech also). My head would get ever so slightly cold even with the helmet liner from Pro-Tec. I think I'm going to invest in a nicer helmet cover (a real one) and some nicer pants. I need something with some warmth, Doug from MN Bicycle commuter really likes his Novara pants from REI. Maybe I'll try those.

The way home was about the same but darker and way faster. I left about6:30 from work and took the lakewalk. I typically average about 14 miles an hour for the whole commute but today was about 20 the whole way. I was going like a mad man. That was the most workout I've had in a while- maybe it's because I'm scared of the dark :D My light has been working great though! It lasts my whole trip home and is very very bright! I want to make it new and with better parts- we'll see though.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Here's what the lake walk really looks like...

This picture was taken today in the same place the last post picture was taken, but that one was from a November storm in 2001. You can see how bad the damage was! Hopefully it will last through this winter unharmed also.


I have a few more interesting pictures from today- enjoy (full size w/ click).



Old Central School's Clock Tower in the Duluth fog

Another shot of the tower in the fog



A view of the lakewalk and train tracks.
The blue along the left side is the mosaic I referenced in an earlier post, you can see just how long the mosaic is in this picture.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wet and Windy... What's New?

Yes, another lovely day in Duluth. 47 or so both ways I believe. Gusts not as strong as yesterday, but it was raining pretty good on the way in to work, and lightly on the way home. I'm beginning to quickly realize how it's really going to be commuting this fall and winter, Fun!!! :o)

I met Doug (MN Bicycle Commuter) on the lakewalk today. He seemed to be enjoying himself also. He had just come from Brighton Beach, just north on the old scenic highway, where there were a few people surfing. Yes, I said surfing. That's what people do around here when it gets really windy! I was going to check it out and take pictures but my camera is not exactly water proof :o)

If any of you ride the lakewalk in the winter, remember, bikes stay on the pavement, not the boardwalk...
(crh.noaa.gov 11/27/01)


Jeff

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Power of the Lake

What an amazing day to be on your bike! Day's like today remind me of how lucky I am to live right next to such a wonder of the natural world. Like I've said before, I love the waves of the Lake Superior, but when I said it last time, the waves paled in comparison to what we had today. I wish I would have had my camera, but sometimes, just enjoying the view is what really matters.
I like to sit on my bike on the lake walk right next to the mosaic of tiles (I couldn't find a picture or info online, I'll have to get a picture) and this morning when the waves were breaking and shooting some 20 feet + into the air I could feel the waves pounding the break wall and shaking the lake walk, literally!
I had a late ride home, left at 7:30 or so and took the lake walk again. What a site! The white of the waves would grow out of the black water like some fierce storm. I can't imagine what it's like when it's really bad, and you're in the middle of the lake, miles from nowhere.
I used my home made light on the way home tonight. I took it out for an actual test run Saturday night. I rode to get some ice cream bars for my wife and I and took a trip through Lester Park. It lasted about 30 minutes before it started to really fade so knowing that tonight, I used my led headlight until I got to London Road, then turned on the bright 50 watt light :D . It works really well for 14$ or so in parts!

Anyhow, it was simply amazing to be able to experience the power of the Lake today. I'm going to make sure from now on that I have my camera with me. No excuses :o)

Hope you had a great ride today too!
Jeff

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Come on Duluth- make up your mind!

As I left work this afternoon, around 6:20, the temp for 55804 said 40.2 so I dressed for 40.2. Get outside in 55802 and it's like 54 or some crazy thing. It didn't take long before I was cooking! I stopped a bit later and shed a layer, which helped a lot. When I got home, it was 43 still, lying weather :)

I believe this morning it was 40.2 on my bike computer, which would be my coldest ride yet. There can be such a difference depending on which way the wind is blowing, and if it's blowing off the lake, that wet cold air makes it seem much colder.

I'm getting nervous... Any day there could be snow now and I'm still on my Kenda Kross's. I'm thinking of going all out and getting the Nokian Extreme 294's.


Granted, that may be overkill, but I'd rather be safe then sorry. They are a bit pricey though, but I found them on bikeman for 69.95, has anyone out there bought from bikeman? If so, let me know how that went.

Later!
Jeff

Monday, October 8, 2007

Dry feet?

I just happened across this site: www.sealskinz.com
Those look really cool! I think I might have to get me a pair to try this winter. If anyone has used them, shoot me a note and let me know! Thanks!
Jeff

Trip to Two Harbors (Blog meets Blog)

This past Sunday I went on the longest single ride of my life (which isn't really that long, but hey- I'm just getting started here)... I haven't left the city of Duluth by bike for a few reasons, one, I'm usually too busy, two, I'm newer to biking and haven't had experience for longer rides, and three, I'm usually too busy :) but this weekend I asked Doug, from MN Bicycle Commuter to join me for a ride.
It started out as a possible trip towards Hinckley, but ended up being an out-and-back to Two Harbors. The ride was great! We had cooler temps, mid 50's to low 60's but it was nice.
We stopped in Two Harbors for some Culver's Frozen Custard and headed back the 22 or so miles.
For me, I put on 45 miles Sunday- almost a weeks worth of my commuting route. Doug had a bit longer ride back home, and unfortunately, got hit with some nasty weather, sorry Doug :)

As a first long ride, it was great! We stopped for a picture next to the big chicken in Two Harbors.




(From left to right, me, chicken, Doug)

I had today off, so I didn't ride today, but tomorrow it's supposed to only be a high of 46, and start off at (looking at weather.com now) 36, Ohh man- that's going to be chilly!

Have fun on your rides tomorrow everyone!
Jeff

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Maybe I'm just picky

OK, yea, I am picky, but I think I deserve to be- anything I buy I want to be right- well, I haven't been able to find the "right" rack trunk. So after a few months of backpack on back, I bought a rear rack, then after a few more months of backpack bungied to rear rack I bought the Sunlite Toploader 3 "fridge"
- it's insulated to boot- I figured, sure why not... It also has expandable side panniers- a nice addition so I don't need to buy panniers yet.

Anyhow, I'm still not happy with velcro straps holding it to the frame so I'm going to buy some quick clip buckles and strap the one end to the frame, the other I'll velcro to the bag and bam, simple, easy on / easy off connection system. We'll see how that goes :o) Here's my frankenbike- I think it looks like a taxi, specially when I'm on it in my yellow shell and black shorts.



Here's an ant's eye view of the eastern most part of the Lakewalk this morning.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Crazy Duluth- October means "Snow" not 70

So, it was 70 today, which you may have already read because 70 for Duluth on October 2 is crazy... None the less, I'm thinking winter.

I spent some time tonight reading about last year's Arrowhead 135 which MN Bicycle Commuter raced in (Props to you!) . While there I followed a link to a site I've been at in the past, but a new idea crept into my head.
If you've never been to http://www.bikewinter.org/ it's a site where people who actually bike in the winter (a hem, not me ... yet...) can post event listings and it has information for those, like myself, who have not yet biked through the winter. A nice site with a lot of info. However, it seems that only Chicago keeps up to date with events.

There are currently 4 cities listed: Chicago IL, Milwaukee WI, Madison WI, Ann Arbor MI. I thought it would be cool to at least get Duluth, MN on the list with one event! It would be fun to see how many Duluth area people are out there who bike in the winter. I know you're out there! If you're interested in one "official" BikeWinter event let me know and I'll gauge the responses and keep in touch with BikeWinter staff. This would be a good event for one (or more) of the local bike shops to spur winter bike traffic (hint hint).

Well, it's supposed to be nice tomorrow. I think I'll take the camera again should be a nice morning for some picture taking!
Night!
Jeff

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A trip to the "not-so-local" bike shop

Well, if I lived closer I'd probably shop there way too much! "There" being REI in Roseville. I was like a kid in a candy store! I behaved though, bought a nice turtle fur turtleneck and a set of gators- I think they'll both come in handy this winter. I didn't get to ride down in St. Paul today either- another late day of working and down pouring rain to boot. On the way back to Duluth though, I seen a sign for the Munger Trail. Not that I didn't know about it or anything... it was just a thought that popped into my head that I still want to ride from Duluth to Hinckley, 75 odd miles or so in all. If anyone local (or otherwise) wants to plan a ride someday- shoot me a line.

Jeff