Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club - May 28, 2014

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club. #sunrisecoffee #coffeeoutside #springfieldmo #bike #bicycle #coffee

This morning was the second meetup of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club. With temps in the mid 60s and no rain in sight, it was about perfect for a ride of this sort. We met up at Springfield Art Museum and Phelps Grove Park about 5:45am, at the stage area across the field from the museum. I rode my single-speed cruiser bike, my friend Curtis rode his tall bike, his wife Christy her road bike, and Jason, a new acquaintance, his road bike.

My ride was only 5.5 miles round trip, about perfect range for a beach cruiser. So glad I didn't get the soaking I got last time on this ride. It still put a little bit of adventure into an otherwise dull humpday morning.

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club. #sunrisecoffee #coffeeoutside #springfieldmo #bike #bicycle #coffee

For more info: www.facebook.com/groups/238720492990838/

Monday, May 26, 2014

Upping the Mileage

I had all the intentions of riding the 35 mile Frisco Highline Trail on Saturday, but it stormed like mad that morning and on Friday afternoon, turning the 25 unpaved middle miles into pudding. I'm hoping to maybe make the effort this coming weekend, instead.

4.67 miles to school and back. With only two more weeks of preschool left, she REALLY wanted to bike to school one more time.

Between the bike ride out to the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield area in my last post, towing my five-year-old daughter to school one morning, bike commuting to work a few dry weather days and a very long ride out towards Rogersville from my house yesterday before church, I managed to knock out well over 50 miles of riding this week. The Battlefield ride was over 18.5 miles and yesterday's was in the neighborhood of 25. I think the the route to the kiddo's school and back was just over 4.5 miles (can I tack on more mileage for towing a 42lb kid and a 25lb extension behind me up and over neighborhood hills?) The few times to work were about 2.5 miles round trip. So, there's the rough math of it. I'm happy to be adding on to my miles per week. I have until September to be comfortable riding three times what I did yesterday in a single day.

18.63 miles this evening with John Sims. We road from his house to Wilson's Creek Battlefield to ZZ to Republic Rd. then hit the south Creek Greenway to Golden and back to his house. With the 2.4 miles to work and back, I rode a total of 21 miles today. S

The ride out FR 186 is really pretty. We left my house, followed the Galloway Greenway to the old iron bridge, crossed over, went up the ridiculously long hill (that doesn't hurt quite like it did a few weeks ago) and took a left when we hit 186. Then it was a straight shot up and over hills until we hit our time limit for halfway (right around the intersection of FR186 and Hwy125), then we turned around and rode the route in reverse. It was a beautiful morning out. Lots of riders out doing the same thing we were.

25 miles before church this morning. :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I really need some cycling glasses

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Yesterday evening, John S. and I rode from his house on the southwest side of town to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, where we promptly got park rangered and told to leave. It was close to closing time. I had guessed that they'd let us ride it out and we could leave when we were done, but I guessed wrong. No biggie. This isn't a rant, I respect them wholeheartedly. The ride between John's house to the battlefield was brutal. Lots of incline and angry passing cars, trucks and SUVs. Apparently they choose not to follow the "share the road" bicycle signs everywhere out that way.

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Anyway, after leaving the battlefield, we jogged over to Hwy. ZZ and towards the Republic High School, then hit Republic Rd. and eventually the South Creek Greenway, where, as usual, I got another damn bug in my eye. I imagine John is getting tired f sticking his fingers in my eyes, as this was the second time I couldn't get it myself. Hence the title of this post.

that black spot is a bug

We managed to bump up our mileage last night a bit to 18.63 miles. Our longest ride before that was just shy of 15, I believe and my longest solo was right at 16. I also rode to work and back yesterday, so overall I biked 21 miles. Not too shabby! Only a few more months to go until the BikeMS150!

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Columbia and Rocheport Weekend

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Last weekend we drove three hours north to the town of my birth, Columbia, Missouri and visited with my sister Katie and Dan, my biological father. I've really only known them for a few years, now. Dan and his wife Laura have done a great job raising Katie. She's awesome and though she's about 22 years younger than me, I relate very well with her. She's pretty much the same odd-duck right-brained artistic person that I am, only younger and female.

I suppose this post needs a little back story: my parents were uber-young when they married, had me and divorced. I grew up in SW Florida, far away from the Akin clan here in the Midwest and had very little contact with them until recently. The guy I refer to as "Dad" was my stepfather and he passed away of a heart attack when I was 20. Katie's dad, my actual father, is Dan. She has a different mom.

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014 Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Anyway, over-share of info aside, we had a great visit with them over the weekend. We got up there a little before noon, hit up our favorite Turkish coffee and shawarma joint in Columbia, Casa Blanca and then went for a short hike in and around the caves at Rockbridge State Park, just out of town (Devil's Icebox cave and the natural bridge).

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Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014 Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Then we hit up some shops downtown, including a cool little coffee shop called Fretboard Coffee and went over to Stephens Park to let Gwen get out some excess energy before meeting up with Dan and Laura at their house.

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Sunday morning, biscuits and gravy at the Akin household before heading off to Rocheport and the Katy Trail. The Katy Trail (www.bikekatytrail.com) runs east to west for about 237 miles and is one of the longest Rails to Trails projects in the country. We hiked a very small chunk of it down below Rocheport, along the Missouri River. The trail's narrow corridor was lined with bluffs on one side and the river on the other. It was very green with fresh foliage (including more than a little poison ivy).

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

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Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

The train tunnel was a favorite with the kiddo. She loved hunting for the perfect echo spot along it's interior.

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

No clue what this track is from, but it was as big as my hand.

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

You can't come this close to a winery without trying a bit and grabbing a bottle. Les Bourgeois Winery is one of our favorites. It sits well above the Missouri River and is a perfect spot to get a wine buzz and check out the view. We didn't have time for the buzz part this trip, so after a quick tasting, we grabbed a bottle of dry red and hit the road back to Columbia. We said our thank yous and goodbyes, upon hitting town, then back to Springfield in time to pick the dogs up at the pet boarding house.

Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

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Columbia and Rocheport, Missouri - May 2014

We had a nice visit. Katie turns 21 this summer, so we're in the process of planning another trip up that way when she's old enough to drink. Likely a trip to Hermann or Augusta and the wineries in those areas. Possibly riding bikes to the wineries from a bed & breakfast somewhere. That's another cool thing about the Katy Trail, dozens of wineries along it's length.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bike to Work Week

Bike commute

Today wraps up Bike to Work Week in Springfield. A week that, each year, always seems to rain more than not. I still managed to get in three days of riding to work. Had I been a little less wimpy, I might have gone all week. I just didn't feel like showing up to work soaked and getting ready in the 8th floor common restroom. Also, I've been commuting like this 2-3 days a week for about four weeks and my conscience is clean.

With a lull in the rain, Bike to Work Week continues. This morning is absolutely beautiful for riding, with temps in the mid to upper 40s and the sun shining brightly over town. You can head off down the road in those conditions and arrive relatively sweat-free. It's great! My cruiser bike even had friends to hang out with at the office bike rack this morning.

Bike to Work Week - my cruiser bike has friends at the office rack this morning.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club - May 14, 2014

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club. After stumbling on the idea for a coffee, cycling and general small urban adventuring sort of thing going on in other cities, I made a Facebook group and posted to my friends to see if they were interested. Luckily several "liked" the idea and I had at least one other crazy person to meet me in the wee light before dawn.

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Today's ride to coffee outside was to Jordan Valley Park. Just Jim and I made the trip across town. With the forecast in the upper 40s to lower 50s and rainy, it may have kept others away. We were either brave or foolish, but had fun. I got soaked on the way home to ready myself for work, though. 9-10 miles for me, round trip. Jim rode closer to 15-16, I'm guessing, but he rides adventure races across entire states, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't too hard on the guy. ;)

You can see Jim's exploits, HERE.

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club

Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club Inaugural ride of the Springfield Sunrise Coffee & Bicycle Club