Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pedaling Away From Disaster

Potholius Domesticus

Was this Engineer on Drugs?

Across the Street [did his drugs wear off?]

Looks nice but don't run into this Curb
 A few more Hazards I would like to point out while Pedaling in Paradise today. Potholes are the scourage of both cars and bicycles but even more so to us pedalers in terms of potential injuries. In cars the cost can be expensive due to broken suspension systems but if we pedalers get a compound fracture, it can cost over $20,000 so we could buy a new car instead of getting medical help :-] {Not recommended} Now I can see why pedalers need a headlight at night so as not to fall into a hole and break 3 or 4 bones. I compensate for no headlight by going slower and riding only on familiar roads where the holes are well known to me [Unless someone just dug a new hole which would really upset me] Be extra vigilant about watching out for Potholes because in this day of cutbacks and austerity measures, I'm sure the Pothole problem will only get worse for the time being. So use your common sense if you have any, it will save you time and money not to mention less stress. The next Hazard I would like to point out is the crazy insane zigzag sidewalk to the road hazard. If you look in the pic at the top you will see the zigzag sidewalk. If you are riding fast, you wil never negotiate the sharp turn soon enough and will careen over the curb to your doom. What is weird is the next pic showing the other side of the street. The sidewalk there is perfectly straight right out to the road. Its like the engineer is taunting us pedalers. The last pic is of another lunacy of Curbs Gone Wild.  Its nice to protect your flowers but these plants should be out beside the curb by the edge of the road, NOT on a newly designed curb next to the sidewalk where little kids can crash into it and get hurt. Those prescious flowers are not worth a kid's broken arm or leg. When will engineers realize that actual humans will need to be taken into account with their designs? This is Jimio saying "Be Careful and Ride with Caution and have Fun Pedaling To Paradise"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Caught in the Trenches

Lawn Edgings like this are Dangerous to Bicyclers
I'd like to point out a new hazard I have been seeing all over town. Homeowners are doing more of this deep-wide edging than ever before. It may look very nice and neat, but it's very dangerous when a bicycler gets his front wheel down in between the sidewalk and edging. Bicyclers please keep your eyes out for this.  Now I know a lot will say:"Well you are suppose to ride in the street". Are we going to tell little kids to ride their bicycles in the street? I surely hope not. These little kids are not as excellent bike riders as I am so I'm pretty sure they will ride into these edgings more often than I ever will. These young persons will also be more prone to falling due to newly learned rookie riding skills and they have a 50-50 chance of falling on the sidewalk, scarping elbows and knees and getting possible fractures which can be very painful as well as expensive to care for. Now I know kids already have harzards such as each other to run into but do we need this added hazard? A kid can be alone with this edging harzard. He doesn't need any other kids around to get hurt. I do ride in the street most of the time, but on very busy or gravel or dirt streets, I prefer to ride on the sidewalk for my own safety. Also very bumpy or cracked-up streets or those with large and deep Potholes [upcomming pothole pics soon] I ride on the sidewalks. I have to, so to preserve my safety and to not incur added expenses from crashing Betty Lou my mountain bike. So I wish homeowners would think of these kids when edging and maybe make the edgings much thinner or none at all if you have lots of kids riding on the sidewalks in your neighborhood. It could help to reduce injuries and save time and money in the ER Rooms across America and the World for that matter. There, I've said my Peace. Thanks for taking the time to read this cycling safety post. -Jimio

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Digging History

Lime Lake was originally called Bateman Lake
I think every Bike Path and Trail has some history connected to it. Some golden nugget of the past. I'm learning a few old facts about the Falling Waters Trail. The sign in the photo above explains some of the intriguing history along the trail. Its posted right at Lime Lake. The Trail splits the lake in two because they built a railway track through the middle which someone tore up to make the Trail [Thats a whole story in itself] Well in 1834 a man named Douglas Houghton did a survey of the Lime Lake area and found the minerals calcium carbonate mixed with clays and aragonite at the bottom of Lime Lake. This mixture is called Marl which is used in making cement. Douglas was a pretty amazing man, got a degree in Geology,Chemistry and History plus he was licensed to practice medicine. He became a Professor at U of Mich in 1839, elected Mayor of Detroit in 1842. Houghton was also called "The Father of Copper Mining in the USA". He did many geological surveys in Michigan. One day in 1845 Houghton drowned when his boat capsized in Lake Superior near Eagle River. He was only 36.  The City of Houghton Michigan, Houghton County and Houghton Lake all are named in his honor. In 1903 the Peerless Portland Cement Company began dredging operations for Marl. They used 4 railroad cars that floated on a barge and were placed at certain places while a Orange Peel Bucket

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Few Ideas

This sign blends in very well
One thing I would like to see along the trail is when a sign is posted, it would show exactly where I was. They have these big wooden posts that show the mile marker in half-mile increments but no sign showing where I am on the trail. A [you are here <--] type of thing would be nice to get some idea of how far I need to go. Also a water fountain either in the middle of the trail or on each end would be nice to fill up a water bottle with. I see a lot of young people and older people, so having access to some water would cool their dry throats a bit.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Reaching The Goal

Working on improving the Park

I Made It!

Rode around the town a bit before heading back
 I did it! I made the entire Falling Waters Trail on my first time on it. Its not real long [10.5 miles] and I didn't go very fast and being very smooth and flat sure helped also. Not one hill did I see nor any glass on the trail or any strange animal to contest my forward motion. I thought going to Concord was rather easy but then I found out why. There was a slight breeze helping me along. When I started heading back I felt the headwind. It was small but enough to slow an old man of 56 down. My only salvation was to think of the cantaloupe I had waiting in the fridge and the ice tea I was going to guzzle down. Always think of incentives to help your riding abilities. =B-] Once in a while a ChipMonk would scurry out in front of me, then scream and get out of the way of my front tire just in the nick of time. This one odd bird sat on the trail and let me ride right past him. I'm not sure if the bird was in a daze or was playing chicken with me but I think it was a draw. Neither of us gave ground. Half way through my ride I started whistleling bird calls to see if they would answer me. The birds just kept on doing their own timed calls. They didn't seem to care about me. I saw one Woodchuck. He waited untill I was about 200 feet from him , then he lumbered off into the thick brush. There were lots of swamps along the trail and the frogs were croaking to beat the band. One could almost fall asleep while riding if done corrrectly. Next time out I'll try my raccoon call.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bike Trail Fans

This man was conducting business while getting his pic taken

Daughter with Father
 Lots of people like riding the trails for different reasons. Some are bored and want something to do. Some want to lose weight. Some like to keep in shape. Some even take pics of other riders and put them in blogs. Some seem happy. Some look angry [but this might actually be exhaustion] the Husband-Wife Team told me to watch out for broken glass. They said if you see sparkling up ahead on the trail, it could be glass. I wondered to myself, "What if its cloudy out?" The man walking his dog was reluctant at first to get his photo taken. He was discussing something important on the phone, so I was very thankful he was kind enough to stop for a pic. There were others who said no and they wern't even doing anything important except riding a bike. I'd say the Polite people outnumbered the Rude people 70% to 30% which is comforting to the human race. The Daughter and Father also were very polite and even though the daughter was very tired, she mustered up enough strength for a smile and they chatted with me for a short while. I like to talk about anything while riding. History, politics, biking, religion,wildlife and good food. So if you see me on the Trail, stop me and take my pic, I'll take yours and we can chat about anything! Happy Riding -Jimio

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trail Obsevations

This man said he was 83 in pretty good shape

Betty Lou

View of the Lush Greenery

Recumbant Bike
 I noticed a few things while riding on the Trails. One thing is not all people want their picture taken. Some were polite about it while others were rude and just kept on riding by. I would try to say "hello" to everyone I saw. Some said "hi" back and some did not. I figured some had earphones and were listening to music so I knew they were not rude [that I know of] The 83 year old man said he'd been riding for 2 years. I guess it's never too late to start. The pic of Betty Lou is my mountain bike. Had her for 4 years now. I put new tires on her. I think the original tires were on her because the tread was peeling off and the inner tube was bulging out in places. Also 1 pedal broke off but I had to buy both pedals in a package set new, as the guy at Barbers Bike Shop didn't have any used pedals that fit. I'm worried about the shifter cables, they don't seem to want to move anymore. Oh well, I like riding in one low gear it's easier to pedal and I try to stay on mostly flat terrain. A lot of riders said "On your Left" as they passed me to let me know they were there. One guy had this funny sounding horn. It tooted low enough not to startle me which is nice. Everyone rode like cars do, on the right side and you passed on the left. I saw another guy taking pics also but he seemed more interested in Lime Lake pics than of us people. I found it very lucky to come across a Recumbent Rider on my first time on Falling Waters Trail. It gives me hope that a few other Recumbents will be comming down the trail soon. The Recumbent guy said he used to ride a regular bike but it hurt his derriere too much. He rode many 100 mile days and his legs showed  many rippling muscles. He said it is harder to pedal because he doesn't have gravity from his body to push down on the pedals. I hope to find a softer seat soon because after 27 miles, my "Heiney" was aching something fierce and I would never survive 100 miles with my behind "On Fire".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Falling Waters Trail

I rode down the entire length of the Falling Waters Trail today. It's 10.5 miles long so 21 miles round trip plus the 4 miles round trip of the New Leaf Trail leg plus 2 miles round trip from my home to New Leaf makes a grand total of 27 miles. Not bad for no water and no food. But as I type this blog, I'm drinking an Arizona Sweet Tea and digging into a cantaloupe =B-] The Falling Waters Trail was very straight n smooth and was amazingly cool with the huge canopy of trees overhead. It felt as if it was air-conditioned. Saw at least 30 bikers, roller bladers and walkers [some walking with dogs] A man on a Recumbant bike [pics comming in next few posts] and a Swan, chipmonks,red-wing blackbirds and lots of Lily-Pads.