29 July 2009

Commute Route

About 4~5 years ago, my folks gave me a little Garmin eTrex GPS unit. It's pretty basic -- can't load maps, etc. -- so I really didn't use it much.

Recently, I've been working on mapping out some new routes so I broke it back out and began playing with it. At first, I didn't think there was much I could do with it -- Garmin doesn't offer much in the way of software to work with it.

After digging around online, I found a couple GPS utilities that would allow me to pull a GPX file from the eTrex that I can upload to Bikely, etc.

I set it up this morning to record my commute then used a nifty little app called
LoadMyTracks (Mac) to pull a GPX file off of it when I got to work. A quick upload to Bikely and there you have it -- a nicely mapped out route: The elevation profile info seems really off -- there were times on the ride where the speed seemed to be really off -- possibly because of dense tree cover in Umstead park, etc.

Overall, it looks like it'll be pretty handy tool for mapping out routes. Ain't technology grand?!

21 July 2009

Scenes from the commute -- Sea Monster!!!

Well... not quite. Actually, it's a juvenile Northern Water Snake.

I spied this little fella' sunning himself on a rock in the shallows of Lake Crabtree in Cary, NC.

10 July 2009

Scenes from the commute -- something scary, something cute

I see more copperheads than any other snake when I'm out on the bike -- probably 8~10 so far this summer. I nearly ran over this juvenile copperhead (note the green tipped tail) tonight on the way home.
When I turned around to take his picture, this little fellow was in the strike position and clearly agitated. Given his agitated state, I didn't feel like getting 6 inches a way from a venomous snake for a close-up shot -- hope you readers don't mind.

And for something cute. I saw this little cotton tail bunny munching on wildflowers near Lake Crabtree. He didn't seem to mind me taking his picture one bit!

04 July 2009

Back in the saddle

A "surprise" day off presented a chance to get in an early Permanent for July. Dean put out the call for a run at the Kerr Lake Loop -- I happily signed on with buddies, Mike O'Connor and our local RBA, Alan Johnson.

We were treated to a beautiful rollout from New light. The morning weather was almost cool with low humidity -- at least for July. A cooling wind from the northwest proved to be a surprisingly persistent headwind/crosswind all day, though the breeze helped keep things from feeling overly hot.

Al and Mike O. were fresh off of Bike Virginia and were both riding strong. Al was riding his first 200k ride in nearly 3 years and is quickly rebuilding his randonneuring form -- he also mentioned he's thinking about PBP in 2011...

Rolling out of the Oxford control on the return, Al took the pull. When Al drops into his aero bars, watch out! He put in a pull so strong for several miles that, to quote one of my favorite Liggettisms, I had to "dig into my suitcase of courage" to hold his wheel! As the saying goes, you're only as old as you feel and at 66 years young, Al is certainly riding like a much younger man.

Dean and I are both "veterans" of the RUSA R-12 award and I believe we've found a couple new recruits in Mike O. and Al. We're both looking forward to many more rides with you guys!

Enjoy some shots from the road:
Hay bales and maillot janue... could this be Le Tour?!?

The Spoon of Oxford. Caught my attention for some odd reason...
I've also posted a couple more images from Dean and myself on Picassa.

Bon Route!

01 July 2009

Scenes from the commute

A brown snake makes his way along the Black Creek Greenway in Cary, NC:

Are you ready for your close-up Mr. Brown Snake?

Brown snakes seem to be extremely common in North Carolina -- I regularly find them around the house in the spring and summer. This particular brown snake had a very reddish color whereas the brown snakes I typically see are a bit more grayish in color.