Another long dry spell for my photography. What I have for you today is not about photography but a cool thing that Dubuque has done for the biking enthusiast. So I have 4 images today to help tell the story.
I got back on my bike last week because I wanted to drop a few pounds and get back in shape. Yesterday I did a 23 mile ride with some big hills. This is my Trek “Fitness” bike. I purchased it three years ago and really enjoy riding it. It is a 27 speed bike and I like that it has wider tires than my road bike and I can sit more up right on it.
You’ll notice on the back of the bike is a carry all bag. I’m a pack rat so I take all my bike tools for any kind of repair (including fixing a flat tire.) Money for snacks or water, first aid kit, rain gear, a towel, a small air pump, and of course a camera. The camera is a little Nikon Coolpix L810. It doesn’t shoot in RAW but it is small, durable, and holds a charge for a long time.
So my halfway point yesterday was at the end of the paved bike path where it turns into the Heritage Trail. There is a large lake, a parking lot, and picnic tables with grills. Many people park their cars in the parking lot and walk or ride the Heritage Trail or they fish in the lake. Yesterday the parking lot was full of cars with bike racks on them and there were 15 or more people fishing. The park is the halfway part of my ride so I like to stop here and rest my butt. 🙂
New this year they have installed a bike repair station. The station is equipped with every tool you would need to make repairs on your bike. You can download repair instructions on your smart phone by scanning the QR Code on the machine. It also has directions for mounting your bike in the proper position to effectively work on it.
Additionally it has an air pump with pressure gauge. All the tools are attached to steel cables that extend out far enough to allow access to the area that needs repair. Hopefully some idiot will not destroy it. It is really a thoughtful addition to the bike path.
Going on another ride today.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
Seems like forever since I last posted something on the blog. A series of early / late meetings last week left no time for photography or anything else for that matter.
I caught up on some sleep and took a long bike ride yesterday, which helped clear my thoughts, so I have some images from a few days ago to share with you today.
Last weekend’s all school reunion was such a great experience. I still have not processed the video of the parade. Perhaps tomorrow as we have a family event today. The memories of that day and high school experience are still prominent in my thoughts.
I mentioned earlier that I did a long bike ride yesterday. One of the things I enjoy about riding a bike is the amount of distance you can go in a given amount of time. As I traveled around the city I get brief snippets of conversation from the people I pass and see small vignettes of activity people are engaged in. I like to fill in the gaps as I ride (it helps pass the time.)
The route that I took yesterday takes me along busy city streets, through the downtown area, on some isolated bike paths, along the river to the Lock and Dam and then back on a long (almost all uphill) bike path to my destination of home.
When I processed these images they were first in color and then the more I looked at them the decision to make them black and white became the obvious choice. There are some shots (in my opinion only) that black and white simply cannot do justice to, but on the main black and white convey more emotion than color. Again that’s just my view-point. Ansel Adams would probably disagree with me. 🙂
Hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by the blog and be careful.
After the storms passed through yesterday I decided to take my road bike for a spin. I got in 28 miles before I ran out of gas. The difference between the road bike and my hybrid is dramatic. The road bike is harder to ride but much faster. I average about 3 – 4 mph faster on the road bike then the hybrid. I did 28 miles in 2 hours and that same route on the road bike took 2 hours and 37 minutes.
The hybrid is more comfortable for me and it takes the hills better. It has 27 gears and the road bike has 21. Those additional gears in Dubuque make a lot of difference. So you expend the same amount of energy it just depends on how far you want to go. When riding the routes that I ride speed is not necessarily the most important thing.
I didn’t make it to Josh’s soccer game as by the time I got back, cooled down and showered it was time for the kids to come over for dinner. I will get some images of Josh playing soccer this summer however.
We had a wonderful time with Angie, Ben and the kids but one of the nice things about being the grandparents is that you can say “See you soon.” No baths, no bed time stories, just sit down in the easy chair and veg. 🙂
That’s it for today. Hope you enjoy your Monday. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Be careful.
Sorry I have more Egrets for you today. This will be the last of them for some time but I had so many images from Green Island that I captured a couple of weeks ago I wanted to finish them up.
At first when we were driving down the canal the Egrets would fly away before I could get close enough to them to attempt to capture their image. So we would sit for a while and then slowly inch up.
After a short period of time they became more familiar with my car and I guess realized I meant them no harm so they went about their business of searching for food and paid little attention to me. As a result I was able to get quite close to them.
We saw this little guy swimming down the canal. I assume this is a musk-rat. If I’m incorrect please let me know so I can correct it. I figured he would dive under the water when he got close but he swam right on past us and never missed a stroke.
I had intended to visit the Arboretum yesterday. I have been through it on my bike about a week ago and wanted to shoot some flowers. But other projects and a long bike ride took precedent so I’ll save that for later in the week.
I took my hardest route this year on my bike ride. It has one “killer” hill and I wasn’t sure I was up to it. I was ready to stop and rest but looked up and realized I only had a few hundred feet to the top so pushed through and made it without stopping. 🙂
That’s it for today. No more Egrets for a long time. Thanks for indulging me.
Enjoy your day and be careful.
In the brief time (less than an hour) that we were at Green Island Reserve last Saturday we saw and photographed more than just Great Egrets. To be sure I have a lot of images of Great Egrets but we also found this Northern Shoveler swimming around in one of the canals.
Yesterday I had two choices. I could either go to the Memorial Day parade or I could go for a bike ride. The bike ride would give me the needed exercise and the parade would give me the opportunity to take some photographs. Mark decided he was going to skip the parade and head for home so I decided I would attempt both.
I rode my bike to the parade taking a 10 mile route to get there. Unfortunately the parade was much shorter this year than in previous years so I got there as Jeanne and the kids were just packing up to leave. I got to say hi to everyone and visit for a little while. Josh asked me why I had my lights on since it wasn’t dark outside. 🙂
I got in a 30 mile ride but had a close call towards the end of the ride. I came upon a damaged section of the pavement and couldn’t react in time. The bump made my hand slip off the handle bar and I lost my balance for an instant. I believe God was riding with me because somehow I regained control and managed to stay upright. It would have been a nasty wreck at 20 mph.
It was a difficult ride because the wind was blowing around 14 – 20 mph the entire time. So I mostly had a headwind or cross wind, which makes the ride seem like I was always going up hill. 😦
On our way out of Green Island we came across this little fellow. I believe he is a Lesser Yellow Leg. Correct me if I’m wrong. Bird identification is not my strong suite.
We even saw a snake. I felt relatively calm since I was in my car but still I do not like snakes. I have to admit there was a brief instant when I considered running over him but I didn’t even try. I just don’t like snakes.
Wildlife isn’t the only beauty at Green Island. I saw this flower in the middle of a Lillie Pad field and stopped to photograph it. Jeanne wondered what critter I had seen so I showed her the flower. She liked it.
That’s it for today. Back at work today and lots to do. I hope you enjoy your day. Thanks as always for stopping by the blog. Be careful.
Great day yesterday. Jeanne and I stopped by Angie and Ben’s to see Austin and of course Josh and Gabby. He is doing well in his new environment. I was reminded once again why young folks have kids and older folks don’t. The level of energy in their home was at a peak. 🙂
Before going over there I took the Phantom over to their real home and did another fly over to see the progress of their remodel project. The change is dramatic and I’ll hopefully be able to get that video processed today and post it later in the week.
Jeanne stayed to help out a little and I took my camera and the long lens and went looking for some wildlife. I photographed a bird that I have never photographed before. Kind of a strange-looking guy and I’ll do my best to identify him when I get time to research him.
I found this Blue Heron at Mud Lake. I was able to get into a position where I was kind of shielded from his view and then just sat very still and let him come to me. I photographed him for about 25 minutes and he got very close to me. In fact he got close enough that I had to change my focal length from 600 mm to 400 mm to keep some of the background in the frame. He finally took off when a fishing boat left the harbor and startled him.
Later in the day I brought my bike up from the lower level and did some maintenance on it. Then went for a ride. It felt so good to be on the bike again and because I’ve been exercising all winter I was able to take some hills that normally at the beginning of the season I can’t get up. I was able to get 15 miles in on a route that normally I don’t ride until mid-summer.
So it was a very enjoyable day and I got a lot of photography in, which made it even a better day. I have a lot of projects planned for today including another bike ride. This semi-retirement is pretty nice. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by the blog. I hope you enjoy your day and be careful.