Tour de Cure: I made it






EDIT: A couple more pics showed up from work. Donations can still be made for the American Diabetes Association through this event until July 13!

I rode with my friend/coworker Brian on the 50k route, but with the hundred-plus Lilly riders we were never far from another coworker. My odometer read 39.5 miles when we got done! That’s the longest I’ve ever ridden. What’s odd is last Tuesday I ran a couple miles at lunch (more like jogged and rested intermittently) and felt terrible and sore for days, but I don’t feel ANYTHING after all that cycling. I slept a lot that evening but I was short on sleep that week anyway. I guess I’m cut out for that kind of exercise. Cycling is way more fun than running, that’s for sure. Maybe I only like sports with expensive apparatus (like rowing).

There were helpful stops along the way with snacks and water and Powerade and bike mechanics. Other than a drink and a few peanuts, I didn’t feel like I needed much. I guess I did have one of those nasty gel pack things when we started so that probably helped.

Anyway, the forecast had been terrible and then it turned out to be a perfect day! I’m really glad I did it and thanks to Dad and Mymsie for their donations. Lots of $$ raised for the American Diabetes Association!

I took some video but I’m still learning my editing software. Meanwhile (video below) another person caught us at ~3:30 (I’m on left with the blinking light, and the still has caught us in the view I keep getting). The video gives a sense of the massive start and riding around the track.

Next event: NITE ride? We can finally use some of the glowstick pile…

Tour de Cure is next Saturday!

I’ve signed up to participate in the Tour de Cure next Saturday, June 13. What’s that? Well, hundreds of cyclists ride their bikes around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and on the streets of Indy to raise funds for diabetes care in Indiana. It’s a cool event (or looks to be anyway!) and this is my first time participating. I signed up for the 50k ride and, well, I’ve never gone that far before!

Fortunately this is a ride, not a race, and I think I can make it. But donations are needed! My team (Lilly) is trying to raise $100,000 and we’re a long way from that with less than a week to go. My own minimum sponsorship hasn’t been met yet either! I’m shy about asking for donations but appreciative of any help anyone is willing to give. The online donation process is very easy (link below), or you can send me a check if you prefer and I can make sure it gets applied (just let me know it’s coming so I record it in time). Lilly folks are eligible for gift matching by the company if you make a $25 minimum donation. Just let me know if you need info!

My Tour de Cure page (snoop, donate here, learn more!)

My ride… hopefully I’ll finally get a decent picture on it at this event!

Please help support the Tour de Cure!

More dorky bike media coverage

Bike to Work Day was a couple Fridays ago in Indy, and although I was actually on vacation, I biked-to-vacation by joining the masses who converged on the circle downtown. Then the rest of the schmucks actually had to ride to work! Ha. I rode home and drove to Tennessee for a Smokies trip.

I bought a nifty camera mount to use my little Flip video thing on my bike, but due to downright user error and low batteries, I have little to show for my experiments. I hope to post a real ride soon.

Here’s the Lilly contingent gathered on the circle.

The Star caught us getting organized in their gallery.

View this gallery at The Indianapolis Star: Bike to Work

There was also a pic taken at Indy Cycle Specialist before we left but it doesn’t seem to be posted. Meanwhile, someone from the Indy Star interviewed a few of us and, as usual, I was quoted slightly out of context and with only the dorky movie reference included. It’s still better than the rabbits jumping around misquote, and probably better than being on TV last fall.

In the meantime, I’ve been to NJ for a conference (where I also sat in a ca.1745 church’s cemetary to read for awhile), IL to transfer rescued rabbits, the northern part of the state for the annual family holiday/race day cookout, and enjoyed my tax dollars at work at Ohio’s Air force museum and that hiking trip in the Smokies national park (which ended with an energy museum visit in Oak Ridge, but I accidentally called a sex line in Jamaica when I misread their phone number on a billboard!). Being off work is great!

What you missed

Those on Facebook may be familiar with recent escapades. Here’s a summary and a few extras!

Poor David Beckham, victim of endorsing a product that can vandalize.

I finally captured this bizarre vehicle while biking. I’ve seen him around but now I know where he lives! I think he collects abandoned carts from the neighborhood.

April 7: Evacuation
April 8: Unclog sewer pipe
April 10: Are four gin & tonics a lot?
April 11: Pissed about working on a Saturday during my vacation
April 12: Beat the pants off my family at Scrabble
April 13: Finished state taxes and had an embarrassing exam
April 15: Ate all the peanut M&Ms in cubicle next to mine
April 17: Rode bike to work and saw red-headed woodpecker, Christmas tree w/tinsel, middle-aged guy in fedora on BMX
April 17: Went out drinkin’ with friends and then bought cigarettes for the first time
April 18: Rode my bike to Race for the Cure
April 20: Busch Light can in my newspaper tube
April 21: Work woke me up at 1 a.m.
April 23: Casper won a photo contest
April 24: Work woke me up at 3 a.m.
April 24: Some asswipe broke into my Jeep
April 25: Rode my bike to Earth Day
April 25: Appraisal woes and bought a refrigerator
April 25: Someone stole my credit card number
April 26: Mutt Strut! Pics to come but this is my favorite:
April 28: Frustrated by canceling services and realizing property taxes are worse than I thought
April 28: Someone shit in our driveway
April 29: Sold my house! Still pissed about taxes
Next few days: Slammed at work and given an ‘opportunity’ (that means more work)
May 2: ToxDrop and electronics recycling
May 3: Insulated the attic
insulation dsattic

Don’t you want to be my friend now? My favorite FB comments had to do with the shit in the driveway.

Happy Halloween

I am wearing my candy corn socks! But I turned off the automatic porch light because we aren’t giving out candy. I guess that makes us scrooges. That’s not true; we just don’t like kids much. 😀

The weather is nice today so I rode the bike to work, but managed to lose a nut and bolt on part of a pedal (shops guys at work hooked me up) and my bike computer flew off somewhere. Now I don’t know how fast I’m going, what time it is, or how far I’ve gone! I’m also out $55. I have another one but I’m hoping I’ll magically find the lost one on the way home today. I also broke the shower when I got to the locker room.

Something cute I found while clicking around: Tofu for Obama

This ties in nicely because I was reading a Mallard Fillmore comic last night where kids were complaining about trick-or-treating at houses with Obama signs (we have one) because they gave out tofu (ate it for lunch), baby greens (also had it in my lunch), and CFLs (got some of those too). Gotta be able to laugh at yourself. But I wouldn’t give out markers and Dentyne like that too-responsible lady in our neighborhood did when we were kids.

Coming very soon:

Dork alert! (I’m on TV)

For my first media appearance NOT associated with rabbits, I bring you: bike lane press conference.

(No, not the prostitution arrest. That’s a different headline. Nor am I the pregnant mother who gave drugs to her kids.)

Due to limitations in software at work, I can’t link to the video directly, but let’s just say I was interviewed (and also by another station, Channel 13, which I also can’t see). Check back later for the words of wisdom.

Channel 6 story/video Quoted and videoed (~1:35), geez

Indy Bikeways: group rides, free food!

10.14.08 ETA: In the event of rain, this announcement and breakfast will be held inside the Athenaeum, specifically in the Kellersaal Room located in the Rathskeller Restaurant.

A little more on the bike plan/lanes announcement next Wednesday. Join the group downtown by coming on a group ride and having free breakfast! RSVP by Sunday, Oct 12 for the food.

Bicycling Announcement by Mayor Ballard – Wed, Oct 15th

Mayor Ballard will be holding a press conference on the morning of Wednesday, October 15th at 9:30am announcing his intention to make Indianapolis a bicycle friendly city and endorsing a bike lane plan for the City of Indianapolis. It is critical that we have a strong showing of Central Indiana cyclists attend this press conference showing support for the Mayor’s commitment. There will be eight organized rides into the city from various points (similar to the routes on Bike to Work Day – 2008) which will all converge downtown at the Press Conference at Mass Ave and Michigan Street. Plan to ride, bring along a friend or co-worker, and show your support of bicycling in the Greater Indianapolis Metropolitan Area. A free breakfast will be served! If you will be joining us for any of the eight group rides to downtown and/or will be attending the pre-Press Conference Breakfast, please take the time to RSVP here by Sunday, October 12th.

Schedule of Events – Wednesday, October 15th

7:00am – 8:00am – Bicyclists commute downtown to the triangular park formed by Mass Ave and Michigan Street (click here for start locations, routes and ride leaders)

8:30am – 9:30am – Free breakfast provided by LePeep Restaurant – Coffee, Juice, Pastries, Bagels and Fruit

9:30am – 10:30am – Mayor Ballard’s Press Conference

If you will be joining us for any of the 8 group rides to downtown or will be attending the pre-Press Conference Breakfast, please take the time to RSVP here by Sunday, October 12th. See you there!


Indianapolis QOL!

A couple of exciting announcements in the last several days: Indy is looking to be bike-friendly and environmentally sustainable! I received these press releases through various email lists.

Indy Bikeways

Important Bicycling Announcement by Mayor Ballard on Wednesday, Oct 15, 2008, 9:30am

Mayor Ballard will soon have a press conference where he will announce his intention to make Indianapolis a bicycle friendly city and endorse the 4-phase bike lane plan for the City of Indianapolis. This plan, currently dubbed Indy Bikeways, will provide over 200 miles of bike lanes in Marion County over the next 15 years.

We want to make sure that as many cyclists as possible come to this event to show our support for the Indy Bikeways Plan! This is the best way to say thanks to Mayor Ballard for this endorsement and to assure him this is a popular decision among his constituents. His announcement will occur on Wednesday, Oct 15th at 9:30 am and will be held in the triangular park formed by the intersection of Mass Ave and Michigan Street (just north across the street from the Athenaeum). His announcement coincides with the start of the bike lane striping for New York and Michigan Streets. This project, along with the bike lanes on Allisonville Road, represents Phase 1 of the Indy Bikeways Plan.

I’m going to try to make it to the bike announcement, though it is during work hours. Gotta flex the schedule a bit.

Environmental Sustainability Initiative


INDIANAPOLIS – The City of Indianapolis will join several leaders of the environmental community to announce the City’s aggressive new greening plan and sustainability initiative.

What: Press conference to announce new sustainability initiative

Who: Mayor Greg Ballard

When: Friday, October 10, 2008

Where: City Market Courtyard
222 E. Market Street

Mayor Ballard recognizes that environmental sustainability is a key strategy to make sure that Indianapolis continues to be competitive in a changing world. Cities that are successful in addressing these matters have found that they can:

* Deliver long-term cost savings
* Build the local economy
* Improve community quality of life
* Enhance the local environment and public health

These objectives support The Ballard Rules, and specifically further three key Mayoral priorities: taxpayer cost-savings, community economic development, and improving neighborhood quality of life.

This one is quite lofty and vague, but you have to recognize the merit of the idea before you can get anywhere with it, so I choose to think positively!

In related news, I toured Republic’s Montcalm St. recycling facility a couple of weeks ago through arrangements from a group at work. They process 100 tons of recyclable material daily, and plan to build a new facility that will handle ten times that much! It’s a very loud, thankless operation, and I am glad the workers are willing to do such a hard job. Some general info here and a pdf with facts and figures here. Things I learned:

    I’ve been taking my #3-7 plastics to IRF on West St. Apparently Republic is now picking up this stuff from IRF, so I may as well put it in with my #1-2. The #3-7 is harder to process but at this time they are able to set it aside and get it to a facility that will take it. One of the biggest issues with these plastics is getting them clean, since they often have food residue (yogurt, butter) remaining.
    Republic can take some phonebooks after all, just not a lot.
    Indianapolis residents using Republic’s curbside recycling service will soon be getting big wheeled toters for their recycling instead of the small bins. They will be picked up biweekly with automated trucks, which saves on trucks/drivers/gas/emissions. And they will take cardboard! That’ll save me another trip to the cardboard satellite dumpsters.
    Downstream (at other facilities) the machinery can accept plastic bottles with lids still on, but if you send in your water bottles with water still in them, the Republic folks have to hand open and empty them! Don’t send partially-full bottles please.
    The new facility will have sorting machines to segregate colored plastics from colorless, which can be sold at different (higher) prices, and there are also machines that can visually sort different colors of glass.
    Don’t segregate your recyclables in plastic bags. They have to be hand-opened or the bags clog up the machinery.

The facility operates with a series of conveyor belts. Items pass along conveyors with shakers (to shake out loose broken glass and prevent injuries to workers), then past an inspection line of workers who pull out trash and odd items (we saw them removing a metal porch railing from the belt). Then the belt goes under a big rotating magnet that pulls out the steel items. Next a blower sends all the lightweight stuff (plastic bottles, aluminum cans) up one way and the heavier items (like glass) go down another belt. The huge cage of lightweight items separates cans from bottles somehow (weight again? charge? I forget), and then workers have to manually separate the #1 and #2 plastics to different streams. In the end they have big piles of each type of recyclable. Items like foil are recycled separately from cans, and big heavy plastics like kitty litter containers are separate from water bottles. Some items have to be paid to be taken away; it’s not all profitable, but it does keep 100 tons of waste out of landfills daily. They bale each type of item and ship to processing facilities, some in the Chicago area, but overall they try to use Indiana facilities as much as possible. They do all this with about 65 employees on 2.5 shifts. It’s loud, smelly, non-climate-controlled work. At one point bits of broken glass rained on our heads as we walked through the plant.

Even with limitations on what actually makes money (and it’s no joke we pay a fair amount each month for the curbside service), the facility is able to recycle 93+% of what comes in the door. Think of all the trash people include in their recycling–I found this number impressive. They even set aside those weird items like porch railings that never should have been in the recycling dumpsters in the first place, getting them to the metals recyclers that can handle the material.

Keep on saving the planet! Perhaps we should work on reducing, since we seem to understand the recycling part?

Republic recycling facility tour Junk

I was going to talk about my tour of a local recycling facility today, but I just feel like uploading pictures.

Rode to work Thursday and decided to take a new way home just to make it interesting. I discovered there is a reason I ride the normal, planned route. However, this excursion was entertaining to a degree.

    Sarcastic dude on sidewalk: Hey, how far have you rode?
    Someone in passing car: Get on the sidewalk!
    Shirtless skinny guy on front porch scratching his armpit: Hey, your light’s on
    Out the window of passing car: Wooooooo

My current setup, having transferred lights and rack from the old bike. I need to adjust the rack angle and get the computer installed. Walt thought my bike smelled interesting and he licked the tires when I got home. I need a better system to haul my laptop so the rear bag doesn’t get so bulky, but the reusable bags work great for a change of clothes and some papers.

Ewwww. Our water cooler at work has an algae problem. You should see the inside of the spigot area, which we can’t get to to clean. I do clean this accessible part now and then.

Artesian bread: local Marsh supermarket sign. I was thrilled that a previous shopper had corrected the sign to “Artisan” for me! I had to mess with the contrast to enable you to see this correction due to poor camera phone performance.