June 2007

It certainly felt like I was riding up a cliff today. I tried riding up Underwood Road in Vestal today. (I mentioned Underwood Road in one of yesterday’s posts.) "Tried" being the operative word there—I had to walk twice during the 1.1 mile main climb. Check out the climb profile!

Underwood Rd Climb Profile (cropped)

There were quite a few picturesque places to take some photos on the ride up the hill, but I got the camera out for just a few pictures from the top. This one is looking back east (click image for full size):

Underwood Rd looking east (small)

And from the same spot looking south (click image for full size):

Underwood Rd looking south (small)

The whole ride was about 23.8 miles. That 1.1-mile climb up Underwood was very tough for me, and other than a rough section of Underwood heading back downhill—from O’Connell Rd to Tracy Creek Rd—the rest of the ride was nice. (Note to self: take Ridge Rd next time from Underwood to to Tracy Creek; maybe the road will be in better shape.) [View route] [View climb]


We switched our phone service carrier and bought new phones back in December. That gave us, among other features, caller ID and call blocking. We’re loving those features.

We are in the National Do Not Call, but many nuisance calls still get through. The combination of caller ID and call blocking has really cut down on the number of nuisance calls we pick up. We usually will not pick up calls from toll-free numbers that are unidentified. Unidentified callers who have called a few times without leaving a message are blocked. If we happen to answer a call from a nuisance caller, they are blocked. We do not even bother asking them to stop calling. It’s a little satisfying to see their numbers show up on our incoming call lists after they are blocked; we don’t hear the ring and they keep wasting their time trying to call us.

The Who Called Us web site also helps to determine who is actually calling us when the caller ID is blocked or is otherwise does not identify the caller.

Here are the numbers that we are currently blocking:

Number Caller ID Caller
(888) 322-2785 800 Service Discover
18883222785 800 Service Discover
(888) 223-2355 800 Service Verizon
(401) 282-2000 CITIZENS BANK Citizens Bank
(216) 456-8038 Cleveland OH ?
(619) 325-1757 J B HOME DIRECT JB Home Direct marketing
529982873507 Name Unavailabl Cancun Travel
(619) 325-1748 J B HOME DIRECT JB Home Direct marketing
(559) 437-5359 SYNOVATE ?
(888) 577-5933 800 Service Discover?
(800) 295-7193 Free Toll Radio marketing survey
(866) 289-4409 800 Service Feed the Children
(619) 325-1766 J B HOME DIRECT JB Home Direct marketing

Today was a beautiful day for a ride. The last few days were hot and humid, but today the weather was cooler, less humid, but still sunny. I took a ride on a new route for me, over to Vestal and up Glenwood Road. I had heard that the March 2007 issue of Bicycling Magazine had a list of the "100 Best Local Climbs in the U.S.". Glenwood Road leads up to the start of one of those climbs, up Underwood Road in Vestal. That climb is rated as a 1.8 mile, 9% average grade, and 855 feet of vertical gain.

I didn’t tackle Underwood today; I rode 17.7 miles only out to the bottom of Underwood and back to Endicott. Much of that was on Glenwood Road. Low traffic volume, beautiful scenery, beautiful weather. I brought a camera with me, but I didn’t feel like stopping to take any pictures. [View route]

…it’s past my bedtime, I already posted today, and I don’t want to use up all my post-ideas in one night!

Welcome to the Adirondacks

Family and friends updates (please hold applause until the end):

Congratulations to Thing Two, who has passed 6th grade and will be in junior high next year! Thing Two worked really hard and brought her average for the 4th quarter to 92, an "A". Thing Two has been bugging H and I for a cell phone for a while, and we told her she can get one when she starts modified sports in the fall or if she gets her grades up to an A average. Great job kiddo!

Congratulations also to Thing One, who we assume (no report card yet) passed 10th grade and will be a Junior next year. Thing One also earned her Varsity Letter in Track and Field. Right now, she is off to camp as a Counsellor-in-Training at an undisclosed location in the Adirondack Park for four weeks!

Congratulations to Niece G, who graduated from high school this past Saturday. G was class Valedictorian and will be on her way to BC in the fall. Right now I am sure she is hard at work on her summer assignments as part of the BC Honors program.

Congratulations to Niece J who kicked some butt in the Summer Sizzle 5-mile Road Race this past Sunday.

One final congratulations goes out to good friend R and his wife T who celebrate their 25th Anniversary of their wedding today.

Moron Driver 95720-IL NY

Wow! My last post was way back on the 18th! I hope I haven’t turned off my readership due to the lack of posts.

Bike ride updates:

  • Tuesday, 19th: Commute to work, but just morning and lunchtime ride home. Thunderstorms were forecast for the afternoon and I didn’t want to get stranded at work.
  • Wednesday, 20th: Commute to work; morning, noon, and end of the workday.
  • Thursday, 21st: Commute to work, with a twist. I had to drop off our van for some work and rode the bike in to work from the dealer. My 10 miles on the bike (5 each way) saved H from having to shuttle me with our other car, saving 14 auto miles. I also rode the bike home for lunch and back.
  • Friday, 22nd: Commute to work, but just morning and lunchtime ride home. I worked from home for the afternoon.
  • Saturday, 23rd: More bike problems. I was going to ride out to Greenwood Park, but after only a few miles, my bike’s gears started acting up and would not stay in gear. I abandoned that ride and took the bike to Babcock Bicycles, where they made a quick adjustment and sent me on my way. (No charge…thanks!)
  • Monday, 25th: Commute to work and home at the end of the day (worked through lunch). After work, I got out for a ride on my Marshland Road route. It was pretty warm, but a bunch on this route is shaded, so it was a nice, pleasant ride. 25.3 miles. [View route]
  • Tuesday, 26th: Commute; morning, noon, and end of the workday. Following work, rode out to Apalachin and back. It was hotter and more humid than yesterday and today’s ride did not have as many shaded areas. But it was still nice to get out for a ride; no compaints! 18.6 miles. [View route]

About the picture that accompanies this post: sorry about the poor quality of the cell phone photo. That was taken on my commute to work last Thursday from the auto dealer. The neanderthal driving that van passed me—twice!—with very little clearance and flipped me the bird. That’s only the second incident I’ve had with dense drivers this year. Run-ins with drivers like that make want to be more of an bicycling advocate. With a little more riding experience, maybe I can be more of an advocate, like Paul Dorn or Alan Snel. For now, I just don’t have the confidence or knowledge of where to start. (Does it pay to be an advocate?)

If you see the moron, slap him for me. GMC van, NY license plate 95720-IL (but it could have also been 97520-IL). Driver had a big bushy mustache.

I just finished a bottle of Wagner‘s Grace House Pinot Noir. I liked this one and would buy it again, making it a 1 on the (RS)2 rating scale.

Hot and humid day. I was going to do my Marshland Road route, but I needed to fix another flat. When I had to fix the flat yesterday while on my 49 mile ride, I don’t think I have the valve seated right. It was a little crooked and when I tried put air in before my ride, I must have stressed the tube a little too much at the bas of the valve. So, after fixing the flat, I shorted the ride to my 16.8 mile loop out to Apalachin. What a lousy stretch! broken spoke last Wednesday, bee sting and flat yesterday, and another flat tonight. [View route]

Next Page »