Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Three Peninsular Ride

I did a slightly longer version of my Three Peninsular Ride today:

01:52:53 ... hh:mm:ss
   42.48 ... k
   22.50 ... kph (average speed)
   55.70 ... kph (maximum speed)

A very nice ride.  I went a little too fast coming down the AB bridge toward Atlantic Beach.  I struck a small pebble during that decent and heard a loud crack as I rode over it and looked down to see I was traveling over 50 kph and thought, "What if I had a blowout at this speed? And here I am on a damn bridge with cars and trucks passing me!" 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Smiling And Waving At Cassini

Waving (And Smiling) At Cassini

Today about the time these pictures were taken the Cassini deep space probe which has been in orbit around the planet Saturn since 2004 was positioned so that the planet obscured the sun and thus the rings of saturn were backlit by the sun. In the resulting picture taken at that time will be a 'Pale-Blue-Dot' no more than a pixel which will be the planet Earth. The earth and saturn are so situated in their respective orbits around the sun that the sun reflects off the earth and makes it visible all the way to Saturn. You could imagine that if you walked out into your yard this day and looked at the correct place in the sky and waved and smiled then you would be in the picture. So here I am using the 'Star-Walk' app on my iPad to locate Saturn and taking pictures/screen-shots of it ( and me ) during this event.

The View From Cassini

Smiling at Cassini taking a picture of me. This picture was not actually the view that Cassini had but instead was the picture from my iPod Touch just a few feet from my face. Cassini's camera was over 75 light minutes from Earth at this time so the light from earth will not reach the camera on the Cassini probe for an hour and fifteen minutes after I took this picture.

A Picture of Cassini
A picture of the Star-Walk screen and just behind the iPad is the planet Saturn (not visible due to the the afternoon sky light).  Since the 75 light minutes are involved then I really should go back outside and take this picture again in one hour and fifteen minutes to get the 'REAL' picture of Casini.

Star-Walk Screen Shot
Star-Walk application screen-shot showing the east the horizon and the location of the Moon and Saturn.

Another Bike Ride

A Nice (But Muggy) Bicycle Ride
on the
Neuse River Trail

The Ride . 18 JULY 2013 (8:45am-9:45am)
Start .... Falls of the Neuse Dam (Downriver)
Ride ..... One Hour Down River (Turn Around)
Ride ..... One Hour Up River (Back At The Dam)
01:58:19 . hh:mm:ss
   42.82 . kilometers
   21.70 . kilometers per hour average speed
   42.90 . kilometers per hour maximum speed

So ... Where did that 43 kph come from?  The river trail is interrupted six miles south of the dam when the trail stops at the WRAL Soccer Center.  You have to exit the soccer center and turn east on Perry Creek Road.  The first thing you encounter on the road is Perry Creek itself and the little down hill to the bridge will bring you to around forty kilometers per hour.  Perry Creek Road crosses US401 at a shopping center and you cross and turn left into the shopping center and continue north in the shopping center to a group of townhouses that border the shopping center. Where you encounter "Trail Head Road" a short road to a small parking lot that has a paved path about 100 meters long connecting to the Neuse River Trail.  

I am not sure if the 43 kph figure was on the way or way back but the ride is totally symmetric. 

While riding downriver I encountered a doe and her fawn.  When they saw me they looked up and the doe bolted down the embankment toward the river while the fawn bolted back into the woods on the other side of the trail.

While riding back upriver I encountered a banded black snake making its way across the path.  I was able to swerve and not run over it.  I additionally encountered a doe standing in the backyard of a house just off the bike path.

Also when I exited the shopping center on the way back and was making my way up the slight incline to the US401 stoplight I noted another cyclist stopped at the light.  I knew on that road the only reason a cyclist would be at that light was for the same reason I was there:  To continue onto the next and final bit of the Neuse River Trail to the dam.  Sure enough that was the case and he was from the western US here in Raleigh with his wife and kids visiting with family.  The kids were in a vacation school with their cousins while his brother in law was at work that day while his wife and her sister we out shopping leaving him the opportunity for a bike ride that would eventually get him back to the VW shop to pick up his brother in law's car which was being serviced that day.  We had a good ride back to the dam where I loaded the bike back up and heading for home while he explored the Falls of the Neuse Dam area.  

Here are some pictures:

[1] Arriving At WRAL Soccer Center (1/2 hour about 10K into the ride)

WRAL Soccer Center

[2] Arriving At The Turn Around Point. About 1 hour and 22K into the ride. (A really cool suspension bridge across the Neuse River):

Suspension Bridge

[3] Arriving back at the Dam this is a picture of the outflow are of the lake.  Two hours into the ride and 43K.  Since that water in the lake may be coming from the bottom of the lake I did wonder what it would be like just to go jump in.

Back At The Parking Lot

[4] All my kit.  I take all this along even on a two hour bike ride:

  • Bike - A very old LiteSpeed Tuscany (1999).  I'm going to replace the shifters this summer.
  • Frame Pump - I use a Topeak Road Morph G Bike Pump With A Gage. And I can not say enough about how great this pump is. You can easily pump your tube right back up to 100 psi easily after changing a flat.
  • Two Water Bottles (and I did drink BOTH this day).  In the past few years I've given up on drinking sugary drinks like gatorade or tea and switched to water exclusively.|
  • Under-Seat Tool Kit (Has: swiss army pocket knife, tire changing kit, combination hex wrench set, compact bike lock.
  • Helmet - With a nice SafeZone rear-view mirror. I also weara cloth cap under my helmet so the sweat does not drip down into my eyes.  The sweat actually wicks into the short brim then drips missing my eyes and glasses when the brim is forward and runs down my neck when the brim si backward.
  • Gloves - padded. I love the knit/crochet-back padded palm gloves best of all and whenever I see them in the bike store purchase a pair.  They seem to be getting rarer and rarer these days.
  • Dark Glasses - I do wear prescription glasses and the dark ones I choose are sort of wrap around and I find very comfortable.
  • Back Pack: Contains wallet, insect repellent, wet-wipes, sunblock, first aid kit, folding tire, two spare tubes, folding rain jacket.  I have a CamelBak Mule that Evelyn gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago.  It does have room for a large water bladder but I've got it so full of other junk that I do not even have the bladder in it (And I find that I am always within two water bottles of fresh water.)
  • Bike jersey --- In the back pockets are ziplock bag of apple slices, a ziplock bag with banana cut into three pieces, my cell phone, and my iPod Touch (version 5 with a nice camera in a ziplock bag and in a otter-box)
  • Bike shorts --- I use BagBalm just before putting my shorts on.  I also wear 'bib-style-shorts' because I am overweight and thus the non bib style tend to roll down.
  • Bike Shoes - I just recently switched back to SPD-Cleats and wear Keen-Bike-Sandals and find them very comfortable.  This brand has a bigger 'toe-box' and fits my 'duck-feet' better. I always wear socks too.

[5] And after all that a very hot (dripping wet) rider.  I think I should have started earlier in the day.  By the way that cap, is by 'Le Coq Sportif' (Rooster Sports) and has the 100th edition le Tour de France logo on the side and I can no longer find them on the web!  I also got a white one for Evelyn.

A Hot Rider (dripping wet)
[6] 100th Edition of le Tour de France Logo

Monday, July 08, 2013

Bike Ride

A Nice 7AM Spin Around The Neighborhood.

According To Map My Ride:

Depart ... Fisher Street Head East ....            0.5 block
Left on 7th to Bay Street .............            1.0 block 
Left on Bay to to 16th Street ......... (01.35 km) 9.0 blocks
Left on 16th Street To Fisher .........            1.0 block
Right on Fisher to 20th ............... (01.96 km) 4.0 blocks
Right on 20th to Country Club Road .... (05.71 km)
Left on 20th to the High School ....... (12.18 km)
Left onto Greenway to 35th Street ..... (15.55 km)
Left onto 35 Street to Country Club ... (16.89 km)
Right onto Country Club To Blair Farm . (23.41 km)
Right onto Blair Farm to 20th Street .. (25.23 km)
Left onto 20th Street to Fisher Street  (27.70 km)
Left onto Fisher Street to 12th Street  (28.75 km)
Left onto 12th Street to Bay Street ... (28.84 km) 1.0 block
Right onto Bay Street to 8th Street ... (29.37 km) 4.0 blocks
Right onto 8th Street to Fisher Street  (29.46 km) 1.0 block
Left onto Fisher Street to 705 ........ (29.52 km)

My Odometer Reads:

1:17 h:mm
29.4 km
22.7 kph

Nice Ride