Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hot Humid Morning

As expected, temperatures reached 88°F today.  To beat the heat I rode this morning before going to work and it ranged from about 67°F when I started to 75°F at the end. The humidity was about 90% when I started, and dropped to about 75% at the end.  It actually felt hotter at the beginning.  I want my cooler temperatures back!

The trails were wet from yesterday's rain.  A few spots in Webster Park has significant standing water and mud pits.  The bugs were bad especially near the stream.  I'm sure I was the first visitor to most of the trails this morning because I cleared a lot of spider webs with my face.  It was a bit annoying.

I took some pictures of the big downed trees I can't clear and put them on a map.  I'll try to pass the locations on to park maintenance people with the hopes that they'll clear them with chainsaws.

Muni at Webster Park and Whiting - 2013-05-30

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Another Ride

I like to log all my rides, but sometimes it's just a ride without very much to mention.
I had a good ride at Webster Park and Whiting.

Muni at Webster Park and Whiting - 2013-05-26

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hojack with Kyle

(over the shoulder blind video frame)
Today I rode the Hojack trail and my son Kyle came along with me on a mountain bike.  It was a bit chilly out and the winds were strong, especially as we rode west.

It was a fairly uneventful ride.  Though on the way back there was a woman jogging in the same direction we were riding.  She was in the middle of the trail so as we approached her from behind I gave her a "hello" warning, expecting she'd give us some room to pass.  She was listening to music and didn't hear us, so I repeated my "hello" getting progressively louder and closer until I was basically yelling at the top of my lungs right behind her.  No response.  What the heck!  I dismounted and ran up along side her pushing my uni until she finally saw me and took her ear-buds out.  I told her I had been yelling to alert her and she must have her music way too loud.  I'm sure she could tell I was pretty irritated though I was smiling and laughing about it.  She apologized, also smiling, so hopefully she didn't feel too bad. We passed her and moved on.  Seriously though, if you're gonna listen to music in public you should be able to hear what's going on around you.  Personally, I like to hear the sounds of nature and even suburban noises as I ride.  In more twisting trails, hearing is important to avoid turning a sharp corner and running into someone.

Muni on Road and Hojack - 2013-05-25

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sessioning Hills at Whiting and Webster Park

I rode at Whiting today with the intent of sessioning a few of the harder hills.  Last year I climbed every hill at Whiting at one point or another.  Today I made progress, but still didn't make it to the top of many hills.

At Webster there's a hill that has several routes.  The harder one has been covered with thick leaves since last fall.  I spent some time kicking the leaves out of the way to clear a narrow path and exposing the roots.  I was happy to climb it first try.  I'm also reminded how much better it was when I did some rogue leaf blowing two falls ago.  I should probably do it this fall.

It was a hotter day than we've had, at about 77°F, and I could feel it.  Still, I rode a decent amount and had a good time.

I had another injury, but it happened before I even got riding.  I walked into one of my pedals when my unicycle was behind my car and got three cuts that were bleeding.  Nothing too bad.

Muni at Webster Park and Whiting - 2013-05-19

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hojack Family Ride

My daughter Syd has been wanting to go for a bike ride on the Hojack trail.  Today was a great day for it. My wife and little one joined in too.

I rode my geared 29er, figuring I'd need some speed to keep up with the bikes.  It turned out not to be necessary, what with my Syd not really into endurance and my wife toting my 3 year old on her bike.

About halfway through the Hojack, Syd was ready to turn back.  I continued on, the family turned back and we met back up later. They stopped at North Ponds Park.  On my own, I felt like I was really moving.  It was a nice ride.

Muni on Road and Hojack - 2013-05-18

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Riding the Fruits of My Labor

I headed back to Webster Park this afternoon to ride the trails I helped clear the other day.  After doing that work there's been a place in my middle back that's been bothering me.  I must have lifted a log with my back and not my legs.  The area around one vertebrae has been sore to touch and painful in certain positions.  It's gotten better over the past week and I suspect it will not bother me at all soon.

That injury didn't cause me any problems during my ride today, but my lower back did get fatigued as it often does on technical trails.  Having these "new" trails mostly clear was nice, but riding them straight through without stepping off will take some practice.

I found one of these little pirate bags with plastic jewels hanging on a pine tree in Webster Park.  I wonder who left it there and why.  It was clean and the jewels were in a sealed plastic bag so I brought it home for my 3 year old.  She was excited.

Muni at Webster Park and Whiting - 2013-05-16

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cleared Webster Park Trails

Tonight I spent a few hours in Webster Park clearing some of the downed trees I found annoying a few days ago. I doubt the park or county would encourage rogue trail work, but hopefully it's no big deal.  I only used a small bow saw and that made the work a bit difficult.  A few big trees will require someone to come through with a chainsaw.  If someone did have a chainsaw they would have done the work I did in a tenth of the time, but I'm not sure when or if that will happen. So I'm happy to have done it.

Here are some pics:

I'm not sure if I'll try to clear any of the bigger trees on this trail. Maybe I'll just point them out to the park people. I also noticed some other opportunities. With the rain we had earlier today, it was obvious that this trail has a water problem. There are a fair number of mud pits. I wasn't really looking for solutions, but I did see a few places where the trail could easily be shifted a few feet to higher ground. I don't have any immediate plans for that work.
I turned my GPS on late but I hiked in the same trail as I hiked out.

Trail work at Webster Park - 2013-05-09

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Exploring Webster Park, Yet Again!

I went back to Webster Park this afternoon to try to hit some more trails that I knew were there but didn't have a chance to hit two days ago.

I'm excited to find some really awesome trails that have a good deal of roots and technical hills. Most of these were in areas of pine trees and the needles and roots made for a fun and challenging ride.

The only problem was there were many fallen trees and every 30 seconds I was dismounting.  If these trees were on the ground they might make good obstacles and be worth leaving alone. But most if not all just need to be cleared.  Maybe someone will get in there and clean things up.

Muni at Webster Park and Whiting - 2013-05-07

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Exploring Webster Park, Again

It must be every year that I venture further into Webster Park to try to sort out the tangle of trails and find some good routes. Webster Park is a confusing place.  Normally I start from the Whiting parking lot and generally ride a lollipop shaped route through Webster Park.  I often add on the Midnight trail, another lollipop, to the south, and extend my ride to the north on some other trail, but along the way I pass a lot of optional trails that I don't yet have mapped in my mind.

Today I did some more exploring.  I don't think I rode on any trails I've never been on, but hopefully I made a little more sense out of the confusion.  I'd like to be able to find another loop or two to add to my options.  I didn't take good notes, but with my GPS data I think I'll be able to ride next time with some purpose.

At one point in today's ride I failed to dodge a low hanging vine.  It happened to have thorns, caught my ear, and sliced the edge nicely.

Without a mirror or camera I couldn't see the damage on the trail, but I dabbed it with a tissue as a rode.  Hopefully it will heal up and not leave me horribly disfigured.

Muni at Webster Park - 2013-05-05

Saturday, May 4, 2013

How It's Made - Schlumpf Hub

The Schlumpf geared unicycle hub was one of the items on an episode of the How It's Made show.  I don't find the manufacturing process particularly fascinating for this product, but it is entertaining to imagine the people who will see this.  Most probably only know unicycling as something done by a kid on the driveway or clowns at a circus.  The footage of Kris Holm should impress them, but then the concept of a geared unicycle has got to be kind of mind blowing.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Local Muni Gathering

I took a vacation day to attend a local muni gathering at Whiting.  And it wasn't just me, Dustin, and Mj!

A group from the University of Rochester's Strong Jugglers decided to organize a muni ride.  It's rather common for jugglers to learn to unicycle.  While many of them hadn't ridden on trails before and didn't have proper muni equipment, they gave if a try and were pretty good.

Mj and Dustin were able to join in too.  All together we had 11 riders!

There were a whole lot of 20" wheels which are generally too small for muni, but that's what jugglers often use.  A few of them had narrow road/gym tires.  I was pleasantly surprised these wheels held up fine.  No one got a flat or hurt their uni, though we generally did stay of the more tame trails.

I was genuinely impressed by every rider.  A few riders demonstrated some better muni skills and I was impressed.  Sarah, the one who organized the gathering, has a KH20 and has some good skills.  She was able to side hop up (aka "peck") some significant hills.  Another girl had ridden some muni before and seemed right at home.  I saw a lot of good effort and positive attitudes from everyone.

After riding at Whiting on the Blue and Orange trails, some of us heading into Webster Park and rode some more.  Overall it was a good time and we all had fun out there.

Here's a little video I took:

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-05-03

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pain Free Ride

I rode this afternoon at Whiting and Webster Park.  It wasn't a very long ride at about 7.5 miles, but my knee didn't bother me at all.

I rode my 24".  Wow, after riding my 29er for a while, the 24 seems much different.  It was better for climbing, though I'm still not where I left off last year.

I rode through some of Webster Park I don't ride as often.  Pretty fun.  I think I'm gonna do some more riding in there and add some more trails to my mental map.  That reminds me, there are some 4x4 posts throughout Webster Park at certain trail intersections.  I may have mentioned this before, because I saw them towards the end of last year, if I recall.  They still don't have any signs on them.  I assume they are part of some improvements planned in the Webster Park Master Plan, but I'm not sure what the status of that is.  It's been about a year since I last heard anything.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-05-02