Monthly Archives: July 2013

Newly Bent is Moving

After more than a year of blogging on Newly Bent, I have decided that I picked the wrong name when I started this blog. I no longer feel “new.” In addition, I wanted to move to a self-hosted site so I thought this would be a good time to change the name as well.

My new blog is at BentForLife.com. Even though I am very busy, I plan on posting more consistently.  I also plan on doing more reviews and posting more photos and videos. My first post is up with a time-lapse video of my ride to work. I hope you will follow me on the new blog and I look forward to seeing you there.

Advertisements

My Fun Ride

I should have written this post last Friday but my free time has been very limited lately. One of the reasons for that is that I turned 50 on Tuesday, but I will talk about than soon.

I was lucky enough to not only get the Fourth of July off from work, but also the fifth. My wife had to work so I decided to take the bike out for a fun ride. I left pretty early, about 7:30 or so. My plan was to ride a little past Downtown Dunedin to Edgewater Park, which is a linear park along the intercostal Waterway. I often pass by in the car and I never think to bring my camera along, which is too bad, because on many mornings the water is like glass and there are some beautiful pictures to be had. This time I put my camera in my seat pack and headed down the Pinellas Trail. The weather was perfect and I was able to choose my destination for the first time in months.

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

Not far from home on the Pinellas Trail

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

A view from the Pinellas Trail

Pinellas Trail, Dunedin Florida

Another view from the Pinellas Trail

When we moved to Dunedin in June, it was the third time I moved back to the city after moving away for one reason or another. Something keeps pulling me back and riding down the trail on a lazy Friday morning it is easy to see what it is. It seems peaceful here with great views along the water and a town with a bit of “culture” that caters to cyclists, probably since the trail runs through the middle of downtown.

Dunedin Marina

Dunedin Marina

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

Edgewater Linier Park in Dunedin

View from Edgewater Park in Dunedin

Old pier pilings

Old pier pilings

20130705_Dunedin - Edgew_2737I rode through the downtown area, past the marina and to the point that I wanted to photograph. Unfortunately the water was not as smooth as I had hoped for but I was still able to take a few good pictures before my hunger pains intervened. I had not eaten anything that morning so I thought I would stop at The Boxcar before heading home.

The Boxcar Cafe – photo from yelp.com

The Boxcar is a little café and store inside an actual boxcar on the trail in Downtown Dunedin. The Pinellas Trail was created from abandoned railroad tracks so it seems fitting that it is located where it is. I thought I could stop for a while and get a bagel and a cup of coffee. It has been a while since I have been there but I was not expecting to see it closed. There was a sign on the window about some type of organic business coming soon but I don’t remember exactly what it said. I just remember being hungry and having no good option. I didn’t want to go to a restaurant so I just headed home.

View of Downtown Dunedin from the Pinellas Trail

View of Downtown Dunedin from the Pinellas Trail. The Boxcar is just past the stop sign.

I rode about eight miles that morning, less than one way to work, but I loved the fact that I had nowhere that I had to be and I could just ride for the fun of riding. Next time I will eat first so I won’t feel the need to go home as quickly.

Dodging Downpours

Wednesday morning I put the bike in the truck and Rose and I drove to her work where I took the bike out and continued on my way to my job. There was a high probability of thunderstorms that afternoon so we planned for me to ride back if I could or wait for her to pick me up if the weather was very bad.

The weather tends to be unpredictable in the summer because the rain comes in small patches that seem to come out of nowhere. The weather forecasters here even call them “pop-up” showers. It rained for quite a while that afternoon and I was hoping it would be over by quitting time because I get off work an hour before Rose does and since she is the boss, she is rarely able to leave on time. I did not want to be stuck there for almost two hours.

My boss decided to get an early start on the holiday and we closed at 4:15. It was still raining at that time and the skies were very dark so I decided to stay and wait for a break in the weather. I waited about 25 minutes before I noticed the rain slow down, so I checked the radar on the internet. There is a nice feature that lets you zoom in on any area and then click the future button to see where the rain will be during the next four hours.

The radar showed my entire trip home free from rain for the full four hours except for a small amount of rain at the end of my route. Even that was not supposed to happen for ninety minutes.

I decided to leave while I had the chance. There was still a very light drizzle that actually felt good. When I got to the trail a mile away, I took my phone out of my pocket and dialed Rose to let her know I was riding home. As soon as I finished dialing the rain started coming down harder so I hung up, put my phone back in my pocket, and got my rain jacket out. By the time I put it on it was a torrential downpour.

I got on the bike and quickly peddled down the trail, hoping I could catch the end of the rain cloud. I know that sounds silly but here in Florida it could be raining on your front yard but not on your back yard.

While I was riding it occurred to me that my phone was in my pocket and my pants were soaked. I have a zippered pouch for my phone but I did not know if it was water-resistant. I didn’t want to stop because I was still hoping to find the edge soon so I pushed my jacket over my front pocket to protect it somewhat.

When I reached the next street, I was about to continue across, which is what I usually do, but I noticed the covered walkways crossing a small bridge to my left. I headed for the bridge and as soon as I was out of the rain I took out my phone to see if it had survived: It did.

Shelter from rainAs I got to the bridge the downpour had suddenly slowed to a light shower but I stayed there for a few minutes so I could call Rose and let her know what I was doing. I then continued on in a rain that never stopped. I am just glad I learned my lesson the last time this happened and started washing my helmet on a regular basis.

Another lesson I learned a long time ago but had forgotten was never trust a meteorologist.