Thursday, April 16, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 16

I took my first spring ride along the canalway trail today.  I rode from my house to Spencerport to the canal, and then along the canal to Brockport and then back home the same way for a total of 30 miles.  It was a great ride and makes up for taking such a short ride yesterday!

The canal is emptied every winter and hasn't been refilled yet.  I think they begin filling it on May 1st, but I'm not 100% sure of that date.  It was kind of interesting to see things like docks and spillways and such that are usually underwater when the canal is full.

There were some spots where they are doing some maintenance on the canal banks and where they have had to bring in the necessary equipment, the tracks have left some rather bumpy ridges in the path.  Hopefully when they are finished, they also do something to smooth this back out.  I've never experienced this on the canal before so I'm not sure how it gets resolved.

And now I've completed one of my goals - to ride on the canal path in all 4 seasons!

Since I went to Brockport and back along the same path, it doesn't make a very interesting map!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 15

Today marks the halfway point for 30 Days of Biking!  Time is flying by!  Although it's another gorgeous spring day here, I didn't take a long ride today. I've added a daily workout program to my attempts to keep getting fitter and healthier, and my legs are killing me!  So I took today as a recovery day from biking and just took a short trip into town to the bank and to try out my new cycling shoes (my other cycling shoes were way too tight and were causing much pain).  So, deposit made and new shoes are a winner!  Tomorrow I'll take them on a longer ride - maybe along the canalway trail. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 14

My day started with a quick ride over to the high school for a quick meeting.  Just a little over a mile and a half.  When my meeting was over, I had originally intended to just come back home the same way, but the sun was shining, warmish spring temps, and so as I headed out of the parking lot, I turned left instead of right and headed out of the village toward the lake.  I really only intended to go as far as the next cross road, Curtis Rd., and then turn there to head home, but as I approached the turn, I just kept on going.  That turned out to be my mantra for the day!

A little snippet of a Paul Simon song kept playing in my brain . . . "I'm on my way, I don't know where I'm going.  I'm on my way, takin' my time but I don't know where . . ." I even sang it out loud several times!  I LOVE that kind of a day!  Being retired, with nothing in particular I absolutely HAD to do today, I could afford to just go wherever the road and my spirit took me.  So I went on down to the lake and then headed back towards home, taking various turns here and there and ending up finishing along the village bike route again, for a total of 13 miles.  

I love riding in my little, quiet village, but I've been doing a lot of that lately and so today it felt really good, and very freeing, to get out into the wide open spaces outside of town again!  Here are a few pictures I snapped along the way.

Along Huffer Rd.

At Wautoma Beach

Beautiful Day!

13 miles

Monday, April 13, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 13

Today was a fantastic day for cycling!  The temperature in the morning was already in the 50's and later in the day the sun came out and it went up to 80!  All day I used my bike to run around town doing errands here and there and then in the late afternoon I went on a ride with my friend, Denise, just for fun.  A total of 13.33 miles today and all of them gloriously enjoying spring!  I was so busy riding, I totally forgot to take any pictures!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 12

Jacob's and my rig

Did some family biking today.  Rode for about 4.5 miles around in the village first and then headed over to the school playgrounds for a little more fun.  Jacob waved to all the people we passed by and announced, “We’re biking!”  He sang songs and chatted the whole time.  Wish I had an audio recording of our ride!  It’s such a hoot riding with him behind me!  After we got home he said, with great enthusiasm, “That was fun!”

My traveling partner
The line up!  Brianna and Heather were riding too!
Dizzy fun!
Some swinging

Switch to the other playground

The "adults" on the see saw and the children taking the picture!
Our route through the village 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 11

Today was really all about baseball and the opening day at home for our local AAA team, the Rochester Red Wings, so there wasn't too much time left in the day for biking.  But I did manage to get in a quick 1.25 mile ride in after we got home.  Just a little ride into town to get some dinner.  A short ride is still better than no ride!

Friday, April 10, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 10

Today I combined my 30 Days of Biking ride with the first of the "Friday Fun Cycle" group rides I organize after school on Fridays in the spring.  It was very windy!  Sustained winds of 23 mph with gusts up to 50 mph!  Originally about 7 or 8 people had planned to join me, but the wind scared away all but 2, the youngest member of our group and his mom.  He said we must be the toughest ones!  So we are!  We rode around parts of the former Village of Hilton bike route and managed to stay out of the worst of the wind pretty well.  We rode about 4 miles worth and it was really a nice ride!  I'm so glad the 3 of us didn't bail!

30 Days of Biking - Day 9

Day 9 was rainy to begin with, but by the time I was ready to leave to bike to my dentist appointment in Hamlin, NY, the rain had stopped.  It was still gray, but I biked anyway.  It was a great, refreshing ride to the dentist and back home.  About 13.5 miles round trip.  Clean teeth and a great ride!

Midday, the sun came out for a short time and the temperatures warmed up.  I couldn't resist going for another ride, feeling a little as though a double ride day might make up for not being able to ride yesterday.  The sunshine was short-lived, but it was still great riding weather.  I got in a 24.5 mile ride from my house over to the Lake Ontario State Parkway Trail and back again, and this time it was snow free!  Took a slightly different route over to the trail this time, just to mix it up a bit.

Another great day of riding!

30 Days of Biking - Day 8

Day 8, Wednesday, was too rainy and thunderstormy to get a ride in, so my post for Day 8 will just be a short reflection.

Clipless Pedals - I have been debating getting these for over a year, have been advised by people to get them, even finally used some gift cards to purchase pedals and shoes.  But they have been sitting on the chair in my kitchen for 2 months, waiting for me to get up my nerve.  One of my goals for this year is to stretch beyond my comfort zone and try new challenges, so I finally decided to go for it! And . . . I am loving my new pedals and shoes!  I don't know why I was so afraid to try them until now!

I managed to install the pedals and the cleats on my shoes by myself, and was able to get them all adjusted correctly.  I have them set pretty loosely so it's very easy to clip in and clip out of them.  In time I will probably tighten them up some, but so far, the learning curve with them adjusted this way has been pretty easy.  I've only had 1 tip over incident.  I feel as though I have more pedal power, and hills seem more easily doable.  I guess I don't know for sure if it's because of being clipped into my pedals, or because of my recent bike tuneup, or the fact that I'm no longer riding in snow or in layers of winter gear, or maybe it's all just in my head, but I'm enjoying my rides more and I guess that's all that counts!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 7

Well it's been 1 week so far in "30 Days of Biking" and I'm still going strong!  On Thursday I have a dentist appointment that I want to bike to.  Since I have never ridden my bike to my dentist before, today I decided to "pre-ride" out to his office to see how long it would take me.  It's only 6.6 miles and I made it in less than half an hour.  But by the time I had gotten there, the sun had come out and so I decided to take a less direct, less well traveled way home.  Apparently with the sun, also came wind, a very strong, gusty wind from the NE with gusts to 27 mph.  And pretty much all the way home I was headed in a, you guessed it, northerly and then easterly direction, in farm country so lots of open land on all sides of me.  So, once again, I was pretty battered by strong headwinds, but, it's spring, it's windy, get over it!

Blue skies, sunshine, farm country just waking up from a long winter, who can beat that?!
Beautiful views along the way!
I love this one room schoolhouse, it's out buildings and the cobblestone barn behind it.  So glad this history is still around in my area!

16.89 miles total ride

Monday, April 6, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Days 5 and 6

Village Bike Route 2 Times Around
Today was chilly (temps in the low 40's) but the sun was shining.  My daughter had a day off from school in her district but her children attend school in a district that DID have school so they went to school and Heather could take the time to go riding with me.  She finally got to ride the new bike that I won for her last fall and it was once again great to have company on my ride!  We did a 10 mile ride together around the village bike route.

This week I also rode for transportation to St. Paul Lutheran Church and School where I work 1 or 2 days a week giving technology support and professional development.  It's a super quick ride of less than a mile from my house, but I still enjoy riding my bike there instead of driving my car!
Route to St. Paul's School Times 2

Saturday, April 4, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 4

Today I biked 15 miles from my house to Hamlin Beach State Park with headwinds from the NNW, all the way, at 16 mph gusting to 27 mph!  Boy were my legs tired!  I was happy that my family was meeting me at the park with a car with a bike rack! (Although if I had biked home it would have been a faster ride in that direction!)

Friday, April 3, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 3

Had a great little 8.5 mile ride around the village with one of my best biking buddies, Denise!  This was our first ride together since last fall and it felt so nice to have someone to ride with and to talk to while riding!  I don't mind riding by myself, and I do a lot of that, but it is always more fun with a buddy!  Thanks for riding with me today, Denise!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 2

Well, today the temperature was 68!  The warmest day we've had since November 30th! The sun was shining this morning, but I had so many other things to do, I didn't get out on my bike.  Around 4:00 I finally had the chance to ride and, of course, the clouds had rolled in, the wind had blown up, and a light sprinkle of rain had begun, but I went anyway!

My little village of Hilton, NY used to have a well marked 5 mile bike route.  In the last year or so they have taken down all the markers, but it's still a nice little route to ride.  Since I wasn't sure what the rain was going to do, I decided to just take that route around town.  It wasn't long before the rain stopped, so I just kept going, repeating the route 3 times, twice the same way and once reversing the order, just to mix it up a little.  It isn't the most exciting way to ride, but it still beats riding on the trainer inside the house!  And it felt WONDERFUL to be riding in my biking jersey and shorts instead of in my winter gear!

3 times around for a total of 15 miles

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

30 Days of Biking - Day 1

30 Days of Biking is a great program, based in Minnesota, but people from all around the world can participate.  It's simple.  You take an online pledge to ride your bike every day during the month of April.  For every 30 pledges they collect, they work to donate 1 bike to the group, Free Bikes 4 Kidz, a group that refurbishes gently used bikes and gives them to children in need.  Such a simple, easy way to make a difference with your cycling!

So, I took the pledge and will be posting here each day during the month of April.  

Today was Day 1 and a great day for a ride.  The sun was shining, the temps were in the low 40s, and there was no wind.  I took a chance and decided to try the Lake Ontario State Parkway Trail.  All winter I've been riding on roads and miss riding on my favorite trails.  Since this is only my second ride with my new clipless pedals and I'm still getting used to clipping in, clipping out, and riding with my feet fastened to my pedals, I chose a paved trail.  There was still a little snow on it in a few spots, but most of it was clear sailing.  I had a great ride and didn't tip over once!  25.57 miles of springtime bliss!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

And So Winter Begins

I'm very reflective when I ride, and have written hundreds of blog posts in my head, but somehow, as you can see, I rarely end up writing them down when I get home.  I've thought about trying to backtrack and catch up, but that is not going to happen.  So here is my fresh start, once again.

Today was a very wintery commute on my bike!  Kind of unexpected for November.  I hesitated about whether or not to bail and drive my car, and then decided not to let "my big but . . ." get in the way (as in "I would have ridden my bike today, BUT  . . . ").  
Today's ride wasn't so much about enjoying the ride, although with the beautiful sunshine all day, I did actually enjoy the ride.  It was more about . . .
  • Facing a challenge and not letting it stop you
  • Pushing yourself towards, or to, or beyond your limits and seeing what you can accomplish 
  • Setting, meeting, achieving a goal (The goal I set for myself in September was to commute by bike to work as many days as possible until I retire in January.)
  • Thinking about "the big picture" - all the things you've experienced and learned in the past - and using that to plan for and execute the ride
  • Having an arsenal of appropriate gear and making the right selections when choosing what to wear
  • Thinking like a driver - What would the average person driving a car in my neck of the words expect, or not expect when encountering a winter cyclist?  And then using that to shape my visibility and behavior on the road

And what value did I get from my ride today?  Aside from the physical fitness aspect, I ended up with a great sense of personal accomplishment!  What could be better?!

Now, if it had been a blizzard here today like it was to our west, I would NOT have been out riding my bike!  I'm not crazy!