Thursday, January 05, 2012

Record High Temps in Kansas

I brought back my 35 year old Raleigh Super Grand Prix from Tucson.

I think the temperature today was like 65 degrees, which is a record for January in Kansas, and probably many other places as well, mes amis. I'm still waiting to start the job--I've done a ton of un-packing from the move. Since its so warm--its time to get out there and enjoy the sunshine for a little while!

Oh yeah, a very slow leak on the Raleigh Super Grand Prix so I had to stop everything and fix it--but hey in shorts and sandals outside in the driveway no less!

You know, I found a tiny head of a thorn in the tube that had worked its way through the tire. I had to dig and then pluck the dagger-like spike out with tweezers--ah the Roads of Tucson!

Old East Lawrence Neighborhoods.

Late in the afternoon, so instead of heading out into The Wilds, I'll just do a little exploring around Lawrence. There are a lot more streets paved with bricks than I though. These actually aren't that bad and are pretty smooth.

This street's bricks are in good shape--for being 80 to 100 years old.

The more traveled streets through Old East Lawrence have been paved with asphalt--but today everybody is out, cause its so warm, and well there's a ton of traffic on those paved arteries. I'm just taking my time and staying out of traffic so I don't mind the bricks.

When a brick-lined street still had its round crown--so the rain drains into the gutters and the street stays dry--the street stays in good shape. When they start to kind of cave in and get all lumpy, and water can stand in puddles--the bricks start to sink or heave up. That can shake your fillings out of your teeth, Gentle Readers of This Blog!

An old part of Lawrence I've never seen--an industrial park with buildings from the 1880s to the early 1900s--when the trains stopped here East of town.

Just as you quickly leave the city and you're in the farmland, I suddenly found myself in what was probably a bustling unloading and shipping area. All the buildings have been deserted but it appears that the area is making a comeback.

This building is huge but there's many more on a smaller scale that are being restored and refurbished. I bet you can buy and old building here for a song. The only thing is that to get here, you have to go through some very old and very run-down neighborhoods. Just not quite accessible yet--but one day.

I stop for a look and a photograph.

This house is not far from The Little House--right off 15th Street. I'm not sure the story on it, but there is a similar one a bit further east called the Miller House. William Quantrill's army of mounted Missouri Bushwackers rode down 15th Street heading West (my route to Mt. Oread and KU) and this house may have been there at that time in 1863. I'm not sure, but I suspect maybe later--I realized that I'm not that far from that old shipping area, and maybe the owner could watch the trains coming in--since there were no steamboats on the Kansas River, probably to watch for trains (or a bloke on bike, eh?) If I recall the train didn't come until after the War.

Mighty Church still stands!

I've never seen this old church before. Mostly I think after the congregation got some money they built more permanent structures. There's still some very old wooden ones that are 100 or more years old and open for business.

William Burrough's house right of 19th Street and Learnard.

Burrough's lived his last days here (about 15 years or so) and had many visitors--Kurt Cobain, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, and many others. Not long ago I could ride by and probably he'd be sitting on that porch--I would wave and he would wave back. He had a bizarre life--sex, drugs, and everything else. Rest in Peace, old man...

Local Bike Shop cap given to me by the staff of the Local Bike Shop.

The train tracks are gone and now there lies a walking, running, and biking path.

I can ride my bike the two miles to Haskell where I'll be working. It is plowed when it snows so that will be great. I won't have to try and make my way through the mess of ice and slush, and people trying to make there way to their jobs.

Crap... my way to work by bike is blocked!

Well, just on the other side of that bridge (Hwy 10 and 23rd Street once it gets into the city) is Haskell. This is a bit--no this is a major problem because this is the way to bike, and the street that goes under the bridge and to Haskell (runs parallel to the bike path there) cannot be traveled. If I bike, I have to take busier streets--and I have to cross 23rd Street at rush hour which is very very busy! Maybe they'll get it done before the really bad weather comes. I hope so. I'd rather bike than drive.

Little Egypt on her commute route to work in Kuwait...

Oh well--I'll figure something out--just nice to be outside!

Cheers! Bruce


Jim Duncan said...

I always enjoy your posts and thank you for sharing. Hope that the new year brings you every good thing and a path back to Tucson. ( I've scratched my head plenty on the new Santa Cruz hookup and until I read your earlier post didn't even realized I had made it as far as Twin Peaks Road-looked pretty busy so I turned around there but I'm still looking to go further north some ride in the future.) I know you'll have many rewarding rides back here in your future. Jim

Bruce's Bike Blog said...

Thanks Jim! Happy New Year to you--and thanks for stopping by the blog! It may take a year or so, but I do plan to live back up in Dog Mtn (code name for Dove Mtn) again! Lawrence, I like to think, is temporary--Cheers! Bruce