Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bicycle Heaven

No, it is not Bonaire, or Moab Utah, or the Pacific Northwest.

Check out this video clip of typical morning rush hour traffic in Utrecht. a Dutch city of about 300,000 people.

Rush Hour in the Netherlands

Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Improved Race Loop

Bonaire Wellness Connexions is hosting mountain bike races here on Bonaire, on May 29 (for kids) and May 30 (f0r adults.) The race course is on the east side of Bonaire between Amboina and Punto Blanku. It is pretty much the same one that was used about a year ago.Most of the riding is on pretty smooth dirt roads, but there are a couple sections of challenging single track terrain.
The pictures here are of the new parts of the course. You can't stray from the path at all or you'll roll over nasty thorn branches, or worse, brush against a nasty cactus.

This part of the course has sandstone like rocky ledges interspersed with deep loose sections of goat droppings.

Andrea powers up a climb. It is medium steep but the surface is pretty loose, so you have to pay attention.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Moon and Venus

The Moon and Venus were shining brightly in the West shortly after sunset Sunday night.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just Plain Fun

One of the things that is still fun to do on Bonaire is to hang out on the beach at the end of the airport runway and watch planes come zooming in over your head. When you do it at night, it is just like that scene from Wayne's World. I was on my way to the TWR transmitter site today and saw a MD11 on its final approach, so I pulled off the road and fired off some shots using my trusty 24mm, wide angle lens. Guess I need a wider lens, ha-ha.

Here is the same plane a second or two later as it crossed the threshold of the runway.

Activity Building to Become a School

TWR recently sold the Activity Building to a foundation that is renovating it and managing it for the Pelican School grammar school that has been meeting in the TWR Offices and Studios for a number of years. This will be a huge improvement for the school.Although we have loads of fond memories of lots of fun times at the Act. Bldg. the facility became overkill for our current staff of two families and three local workers. We're glad it will continue to be used for something that will be of great benefit to the Bonaire community.
As you can see below if you click on the picture, they've improved the flow through ventilation of the building, ha-ha.
All the little Sunday school rooms on both sides of the building are being expanded into full size classrooms. There is a new septic system, and loads of other modifications and renovations on the way. They are working like crazy with the goal of having at least some classes in the building this August when the new school year begins.

The former workshop area at the back of the outdoor sports courts has also been converted into school rooms.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Southern Cross

The Southern Cross is perfectly placed in the South during the early evening hours. We usually can't see it because of the haze and clouds we are having this year, but last night was pretty clear.

We went out to Red Slave to see what we could see and it was pretty nice for an hour or so. Sandra did some observing with 10x50 binoculars and I took a bunch of 10 second exposures with the camera on a stationary tripod.

I later combined the the best 36 images on the computer and tweaked the result in Photoshop. The software did a pretty good job at ignoring the clouds that passed by, but the bank of haze along the horizon is pretty plain to see in the photo. Really REALLY clear nights, right down to the horizon are rare here, but treasured when they do occur.

The Southern Cross looks like a kite or diamond shape and is located towards the top of the picture and centered from left to right. Alpha and Beta Centarus are at the left side of the picture and are more or less pointing at the Southern Cross. The Eta Carina nebula and some nice star clusters are towards the right side of the picture.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Bonaire Sunset Scene with Venus

A bunch of us were clearing a mountain biking trail halfway between Kralendijk and Rincon as evening fell. The skies were pretty clear and Venus was shining like a beacon. I steadied the camera on the roof of the car and shot a few pictures. This is my favorite.

Rincon Bicycle Parade

April 30 is Rincon Day, here on Bonaire. For the last seven years, the following day, May 1, is the "Parada di Baiskel di AntaƱo." Each year the organizers honor one of the senior citizens of Rincon who still rides their bicycle on a regular basis. This year's event honored Mr. Benedicto Benito Bernabela, who is 79 years old. And yes, he did ride with us. There were over 150 riders and hundreds more spectators along the winding route, and at the closing ceremonies. There were prizes for kids and for adults in various categories, such as folkloric dress and bicycle decorations.
There were also categories for unusual and creative bikes, like this one.

Check out the size of that speaker stack. My trusty Suzuki Samurai purred like a Lexus as I drove back to Hato, but it was actually temporary hearing loss. :)

Here is a wide angle shot of the start/finish area at the Sentro de Bario as people started to assemble for the ride.
I have also posted a short video from the event on YouTube. Check out the brief glimpse of an amazing moving bicycle sculpture about 16 seconds into the video clip.