Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Architecture of a Ride

I have never been a person to remember routes by road names, my brain doesn't function that way. I have always been able to find my way from point "A" to Point "B" and back by visual and climate queues, whether those be natural or man made. Man made can be a building, change in road conditions, changes in fence styles, or one of many other things. Natural queues might be a change in topography, vegetation, or micro climates on a section of roads. there was this section of road outside of Lexington, KY that dove steeply into a valley, and followed a creek before climbing out the other side. The air was always moist, and the temps cooler. In Chicago, the architectural features of a ride definitely dominate a route. These photos were taken last week when out riding one of my normal loops.

This is an old church rectory that was turned into a single family home in Riverside. Kelly and I always say this our dream home. It is quite amazing with the stained glass wall along the southern end of the structure.

The old water tower in Riverside. I make a sharp right heading towards Brookfield at this intersection.

Roundabout in Brookfield. Not a lot of these in the States, but they do work pretty nicely.

This a pretty interesting home in LaGrange Park. I am a big fan of mid century modern architecture. The Chicago area doesn't have a lot of it, but this definitely has the aesthetic of that time.. Not sure how old the home actually is.

Super sized McMansions in Burr Ridge. I have said for awhile, thank god for rich people in Chicago with their low density communities, otherwise there would be no decent roads for riding.

This house has been in transition over the last year. The owners completely gutted it, and have done a really nice job with the restoration. The owners must be big fans of Napoleon Dynamite, since they put a tetherball game in the front yard.

I have always thought this was an interesting home in LaGrange. I really like the color palette and the weathered look. The owners have also done a nice job with the landscaping.

This is the Metra stop in Brookfield, and the place to get off the train when going to Brookfield Zoo. It always reminds me of the Flintstones.

Frank Lloyd Wright home in Riverside. As of last year, the owner was an older women who couldn't afford the upkeep of the house, which led to the roof being in really bad shape. Because of the construction techniques utilized by Wright, a new roof was estimated at over $100,000.

Rehabbed building on Harlem Avenue. The units are now being sold as condos. The owner of the building did a really nice job with the rehab.

Finally, back to our Chicago bungalow in Berwyn. Always a welcomed site after a long ride.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You Sure Don't See these in the States

I finally added a photo to my blog header. The photo was taken at a rest stop in southwest France. It was surprising to run across a Tour de France sculpture/memorial at a rest stop, not surprising was the rude French guy working at the gas station. I attempted to buy gas at the rest stop, but ended up walking out with a Twix bar, some French cheetos and a bottle of water. I guess my frustration was partly my fault due to my minimal French speaking ability. What made it worse was Kelly standing behind me laughing (thanks Kelly) while I tried to communicate that I wanted to purchase 20 liters of gas. After a few minutes of us trying to communicate with by typing numbers on a calculator and the guy telling it would cost $85 euros I gave up for good.

One thing I do know how to say in French is “I would like two pieces of goat cheese pizza” (inside joke).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sick as a Dog

Kelly and I have been struggling with big colds all week. Mine first hit me last Sunday, and I still don't feel right. On top of the sickness I am really getting tired of the the cold weather and snow. I need some sun and warmth ASAP. Remind me again why I live in Chi-town?

I can't wait until the backyard stops looking like this:

And starts looking like this:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

From "No Go" to PRO

I switched my bar tape to white a few months ago and finally made the transition to a PRO white saddle. Glad I did make the switch, after taking off the black saddle I noticed a big crack in the plastic shell.

No Go


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Skinny Ski Fun

Kelly and I finally gave cross country skiing a shot. I have been wanting to give the skinny skis a try for awhile, but for whatever reason it never happened. With all the snow we have been getting there was no excuse, sowe headed out to Camp Sagawau in Lemont to rent skis. The park is part of the Cook County Forest Preserve and there are a several miles of groomed trails to ski. I consider myself a pretty good downhill skier, but even the smallest incline had me pushing my limits. At first we could barely get moving forward, but after a couple of laps on the beginner lap we both were picking up some speed. and a little fluidity.

Kelly showing me how it is done.

Fake Action Shot

Once agian I had to bring out the old school Briko sunglasses for the day. It seems that the only group of athletes other than cyclist that wear Brikos are nordic skiers. It also seems that nordic skiers may be the only other group of athletes that rival cyclist in their love of blood doping.

The next day our legs were beat. Definitely a great workout, I would love to live somewhere with more consistent snow so I could ski alll winter. I'm heading out again this Saturday with a teammate that knows what he is doing on skis so hopefully I can pick up some pointers.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Worst Building in the History of Mankind??

I ran across this article on Yahoo about this completely vacant hotel built in North Korea. The building is supposedly the 22nd largest skyscraper in the world, but has never been finished and been under construction for over 20 years. It really is amazing what N. Korea will do to make themselves appear to be a world power.

The original article can be found here:

The coolest part of the article is the above video that was linked.

Another interesting video on North Korea can be found on Current:

Posted by Greg Heck at 6:54 AM 0 Hit Me