Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part VII

Conclusion -
  • We "The Handlebarbarians" have 10 people on our team.
  • We biked to work 1150 miles commuting to and from work this month.
  • Based on a 20mpg fuel consumption we saved 1150 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • We made 113 trips and combined 125 days biked.
  • Our average miles per trip was 10.22.
  • The most miles rode by any one person on our team was 286.
  • I rode 216. (This only includes miles to and from work.)
  • We finished in 329th place out of 1228 teams that participated. I'm quite happy with this.
  • We caught up and passed Team Marpac until the last momment when they pulled ahead by 7 miles. What a great match up.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part VI

Excerpt from an email I sent to my Bike to Work team today -

Well this is it. The last week of the Group Health Bike to Work Challenge. It's been cool hearing some of your personal goals for riding to work this month. You've been a great team and I've really had a blast watching the overall standings and competing with my friends over at Marpac. Marpac is ahead by about 39 places and I don't really expect us to catch up but it could be done. We did average more miles then them in weeks past.

Coincidentaly, Levi Leipheimer, the cyclist I've been watching and rooting for in the Giro d'Italia fell behind many places/minutes in today's stage.

Pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tiger Mountain Hike

Ok this really has nothing to do with bikes -

I did a hike up West Tiger Mountain to lookout #3 yesterday. The hike has almost exactly 2000 feet of elevation gain in about 3 miles (6 miles round trip). Friends in Tucson, compare this to Pusch Peak. Pusch Peak has an elevation gain of about 2700 feet in 2 miles. But Pusch is a grueling rocky trail. Tiger Mountain is very well maintained. I haven't hiked in a long time.

Anyway my wife and her friend took off. They were here for a cardio/fitness workout. I took a more leisurely pace. I was also worried about my knees. On the way up it only felt like a little swelling/pressure. On the way down I thought I would catch up with them by running a little. Not good. I used to run up and down Pusch like it was nothing. On this day my left knee said, "You might think you are still 18 but I'm pushing 40". I stopped running. Then, on the steeper slopes, I had to take little baby steps. My knee was screaming at me. Then my right calf wanted to cramp from all the limping. I had to really slow down.

It's now about 25-30 hours later and my upper thighs, calves, and hamstrings are a little sore but most of the knee pain is gone. This is just like the knee pain I had running in April of 2008. See post - Foot Race-Continued - I'm pretty sure it was not caused by the hike up but rather the running down. Goes right over the top of the knee cap. I think now that it may be an overuse injury and that something is not as strong as it used to be. Maybe with more work I can strengthen it. Just not so much at one time. I walk all day at work and as you know I bike. I'm looking at some hikes with less elevation gain.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part V

It was a slow week for us. Instead of shifts popping up they were being cancelled. As a result we dropped a little in the overall rankings. Our lowest point was 221. In the mean time Team Marpac had been riding all week and logging every day. Friday they actually were about 20 places ahead. Then the weekend came, we worked, and those who worked during the week logged everything. At last check, tonight, Marpac was 186 and we are 149. The total number of teams is up to 1234.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


The eyelets on the back of my Brooks saddle got me thinking the other day. Having some basic leather working skills and tools I would make a bag for it. I started looking at the Brooks website and all their old catalogs dating back to at least 1890 and decided I would pattern me bag after their 'Challenge' bag, which they still produce today which currently sells for 81 US dollars. The top 3 images are of my bag and the bottom 1 is of the Brooks 'Challenge' bag.
An interesting side note - I saw a Brooks Challenge Tool bag today, on a bike. It's very small. It wouldn't be large enough for all I keep in it. About half the size as my bag. It made me me wonder how they could charge even half the price that they do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part IV

Well our team did drop into the 100's in the overall rankings but somehow we pulled it back up. As of late last night (Sunday) we were in 79th place. We only dropped 9 places since my last post. There are now 1219 teams, all together. All of last weeks mileage doesn't have to be entered until Wednesday but I'll still take this as a good sign. Apparently the number of 'days commuting' and 'round trips' vs. 'one way' trips plays a big factor.

Marpac is catching up. They're in 160th place now.

A group of us went to the Pike Brewery for the Captain's bash and met some people from years past. It was a good time and good to see those people.

I had another prediction. Memorial day is at the end of the month and that means our business levels at the hotel will drop and we will have more days off. Less commutes, lower rankings. Three more weeks to go.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part III

I saw a little message today on our team log in page. I guess it's bad form to log miles before you rode them even though everyone can do it and I'm going to ride those miles anyway. That's ok. I understand their point. So I un-logged my mileage, this morning, for the rest of the week and that put us in 28th place out of 1102 teams. Still pretty good. Then my prediction started to rear it's ugly head. The regular Monday to Friday, nine to fivers started riding. It's now the end of the day and we are at 70th place out of 1146 teams. Well, were still in the top 100.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bike to Work Month 2009 - Part II

It is late Sunday night and the Handlebarbarians are in 11th place in the overall group rankings out of 1095 teams. This being based on mileage. Of course I already entered my mileage for next week based on my schedule but even before that we were 27th! I do believe there was 1 other team mate that rode today and hasn't logged their miles.

Team Marpac is 520. :)

Now my prediction is this - Based on that fact that the 2009 Group Health Commute Challenge started on a Friday and most people work 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, I predict we will fall in the rankings quickly. However the forecast of high winds and rain Monday through Thursday may keep other teams from riding. Then again this may have the same effect on my team mates.

On a little side note I just passed 7500 miles in Musette's odometer. 1500 miles since last May.