Monday, December 30, 2013

A Little Snow in my Tires - Winter Riding Lessons Learned

I've gone for 3 winter rides - one at 30°, one at 40°, and today's ride at 20°.  Low and behold, it turns out that I LOVE winter riding, which is quite a surprise to me!  And I've learned a few things in a short amount of time.

Winter Lesson 1 - If you are wearing a scarf around your neck and over your nose, your glasses get totally fogged up immediately.  I had to ride without my glasses on.  Luckily I can see well enough without them to make this okay.

Winter Lesson 2 - My knit gloves and short boots with regular socks on are fine in 30° and 40° weather, but not in 20° weather!  Going shopping tomorrow for better winter riding gloves and definitely planning to wear 2 pairs of socks next ride.

Winter Lesson 3 - People who recommended fenders for winter riding around here were correct!  Also going shopping for fenders to help keep me and my drive train a little cleaner and less slushy.

Winter Lesson 4 - Sights like those below and the quiet peacefulness of winter riding in my small village and just outside of it on country roads make all of the above so worth it!

Friday, December 27, 2013

I'm Baaaacckkk! And so, SO happy about it!

Well, it sure has been a while since I have posted here.  Shoulder surgery at the end of October, put me on a bike riding hiatus for a bit.  And of course the holidays also consumed a bit of time.  While I was restricted from outdoor bike riding, I did put my bike on a trainer and "rode" inside.  Not nearly as much as I had planned, or should have, though.  Again, the holidays got in the way.

I bought a CycleOps Mag Bike Trainer from REI online.  Because my bike spits black something when I ride, and I'm not sure why or how to stop it, I also bought a mat to go under it.  I added a CycleOps Climbing Riser Block as well, to stabilize the front wheel and make the bike more level.  This set up has worked pretty well for me.  It's fairly quiet and I can adjust some of the tension by shifting.

My grandson wanted to get into the act too, although he didn't quite understand why I couldn't move across the room with him!

Well, time passed and Christmas came and my son and his wife gave me a new bike for Christmas and my upcoming birthday!  Yippee!  It's a Salsa Vaya 2.  My son customized it just a little bit for me, but in general it is described as
"a touring and road adventure bike, designed to handle any 'road' surface, from pavement, to gravel, to dirt." 
I LOVE it!  It's lighter than my old bike, and is a bit more responsive.  I have much different handle bars as well that give me a variety of positions to use.  It also has disk brakes.  So, my new bike and I have to get to know each other a bit.

Today I went on my first outdoor ride since my surgery!  And it was also my first ever winter ride!

 I had guessed back at the end of the summer what type and weight of clothing I might need for winter riding so that I could take advantage of closeout sales online at REI to purchase last year's models of winter wear.  I guessed pretty well, I think.  Today's ride was in about 30 degree weather.  I wore my chamois and some biking pants that had a very thin fleece lining and were waterproof/windproof in the front.  On top I layered a turtleneck, a long sleeve bike jersey, and a lightweight quilted jacket.  I bought a thin fleece skull cap to fit under my helmet and that along with a scarf kept my head and neck warm.  I wore ankle high boots instead of sneakers, which is what I usually wear to ride, and a pair of knit gloves.  I was warm and comfortable for the whole ride!

It was a mostly cloudy day with no wind.  I rode 9.34 miles.  I didn't go very fast, but I did take some mild hills and continue to learn how to shift and what gears to use on my new bike.  My old bike only had 7 gears, and my new bike has many more.  It wasn't my fastest ride, only about 10 mph, but since I haven't been on the road riding in 2 months, I thought it was pretty good.

 My goal is to ride outside now as much as time and the weather will allow me to for the rest of the winter.  When I can't ride outside, I need to force myself to ride that old friend on the trainer in the family room.  That way, hopefully, by spring I will be in good condition, will maybe have lost a little weight again, and will be really ready to roll!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Mom, My Hero and Lesson #6 - Lean into the Wind

I haven't been out on my bike in over a week.  Today I took advantage of a sunny fall afternoon and went for a ride after school.  It was chilly and very windy, but sunny and I had a good 15 mile ride.

Lesson #6 - Lean into the Wind
Cycling Lesson - When cycling you often meet up with obstacles - hills, a stiff wind, debris in the road.  Sometimes you can avoid these by re-routing, shifting to a lower gear, or a quick steering move.  But sometimes you just have to persevere and endure and push through.  Leaning into the hill or leaning into the wind can help, and although it is difficult, and you might slow way down, you do ultimately make it through the challenge without giving up. Hence today, I made it up all the hills on my route, in a rather stiff wind, by leaning way forward, hunkering down and pedaling hard.

Life Lesson - This life lesson I owe to my mother, and this is why she is my hero.  

Chapter 1 - Over the last few years, as my dad's mental capacity was declining and his anger and frustration with the things he could no longer do increased, my mom had to not only take on a lot of tasks she had never done before, but also had to endure a lot more stress and unpleasantness than any of us fully understood.  And she did it with grace, protecting us from knowing our father in this way.  Mom leaning into the wind.

Chapter 2 - When my dad passed away this summer, my mom had to take on all the responsibilities of running her household alone.  My dad and mom were an inseparable couple for 60 years, and now she is alone.  You might expect her to be helpless, lost and lonely, and of course she is sad and has her lonely moments.  But instead of giving up, she has embraced all this, fiercely independent, reaching out for help when she needs it, handling things on her own when she can, connecting and reconnecting with friends and family, and moving forward, living life fully.  Mom leaning into the wind.

Chapter 3 - Today my mom lost her remaining companion, her dog that has been with her for 12 years, since it was a small pup.  He had had a stroke and was half parylized and nothing could be done.  Although the vet didn't want to say it, my mom said it was time and held his head as they put him to sleep.  Then she brought him home and went to find someone to help her dig the hole to bury him.  Although obviously very sad, she told me, "It's okay.  I can handle it."  Mom once again leaning into the wind.

I can't begin to express how much I value my mom and this important lesson she is teaching us all by example - lean into the wind!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Transformation

I've seen this quote by Susan B. Anthony in several places, including in the book I read when I first started riding, Every Women's Guide to Cycling, by Selene Yeager, and I thought it was an interesting quote, but I didn't really get it.  However, I think now I do.

I believe that I've undergone a sort of a transformation.  In the past when I got to feeling over stressed and overwhelmed by life and work, typically I would wish to find a way to curl up on the couch, shut out the world, and watch movies on TV.  And some ice cream or some peanut M&Ms couldn't hurt either.  Now when I find myself in these situations, and lately I have been literally drowning in personal and professional stress and worry, all I can think about is getting out on my bike and riding, riding, riding!  I just want to ride long and far and scream into the wind!  

And when I do get the chance to ride, I feel clearer, calmer, brighter, freer - emancipated from the negative feelings pulling me down!  Susan B. Anthony really had something there!  And I am further along on my journey to "becoming."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Good Day on my Bike! And Lesson #5 - Just Keep Cycling, Cycling, Cycling!

Today was National Walk to School Day.  Who knew?!  Well, I didn't have enough time in my day to walk to school and between schools, so I packed up my pannier and rode my bike instead.  I rode to the Northwood Elementary School where I spent the morning and then to the Village Elementary School where I spent the afternoon. It was a total commute of 10.89 miles. It was my fastest ever commute to and from Northwood and I took EVERY hill under COMPLETE PEDAL POWER without stopping once - even my arch nemesis, the great and powerful Frisbee Hill! First time ever that I've made it up that hill without stopping and this time I even had my pannier packed with an extra 10 lbs. of computer and iPads and more! Do you hear the Rocky theme music?! I do!! 

Lesson #5 - Just Keep Cycling, Cycling, Cycling!

Cycling Lesson AND Life Lesson (rolled into one) - Being persistent and facing your challenges over and over can eventually lead to success!  You can accomplish things you once wondered if you ever could!  That line from Finding Nemo where Dorey says, "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming," comes to mind so often and definitely today.  I think "Just keep cycling, cycling, cycling," has become my new mantra!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Bike Challenge Ends

The National Bike Challenge ended yesterday.  From May 1st to Sept. 30th nearly 35,000 Americans biked over 18 million miles and 683 of those miles were mine!  I didn't even start until a month into the challenge.  Not too bad for an old lady!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

PedalPGH! 2013

I had a great experience last weekend!  I participated in my first real cycling event - PedalPGH! 2013.  My wonderful son and daughter-in-law, and their terrific cycling friends, convinced me to give it a try and then rode with me and encouraged and supported me all along the way.  It was pretty awesome! I made it up some hills without stopping, took a rest on a few and then continued, and later in the ride I did have to walk a few times, but I wasn't the only one who stopped or walked. I was able to "stay with the pack" at times, passed a few people here and there, and got passed by many. Thanks so much to Colin and Stef for all their encouragement and patience and for riding slowly in order to stay with me! I count my first group event ride as a big success!

This was my route.  We did the 25 mile city tour.  We rode over several bridges, through a variety of neighborhoods, several parks, and different areas of the city.  Riding on city streets, in traffic, with lots of other riders was a whole new experience for me and I really loved it!  The whole event was so well organized and the routes were clearly marked.  There was a record number of participants too.  Almost 3,000 cyclists rode one of the 3 possible routes!

This was not my longest ride ever, but definitely my most difficult ride ever!  The description in the ride packet and on the website says, "Expect a few mild hills."  Mild?!  Maybe by Pittsburgh standards, but not by mine!  I was definitely challenged by these "hills" (read "mountains") but it's good to be challenged, right?  Below is the profile of my route. 

This was such a great experience for me, I will definitely sign up to do this again next year!  I might even look for more events like this to participate in.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Night Rider

Just practiced my "just do it!" philosophy again (See my blog post from earlier this evening). It was heading into dusk and I still hadn't gotten my bike ride in.  I went anyway and accomplished my first night ride!  Now, if you know me at all, you know I'm very afraid of the dark, have been all my life!  I cope pretty well as an adult, and am pretty good in my familiar little village with street lights, but tonight I was outside of town in less familiar areas.  But it was kind of cool hearing the crickets and seeing the colorful, fading after sunset glow in the sky.  I have reflectors on my tires and helmet, and blinkie lights fore and aft, but it did occur to me that I might need some reflective clothing too, especially since it's getting dark sooner. Hmmm.  I might have to go shopping in Pittsburgh this weekend!

Lessons Learned #4 - Just Do It!

Getting ready to participate in my first cycling event, PedalPGH!  on Sunday.  I have my jersey, my ride booklet, and my number.  This is the first time in my life that I have ever participated in something where I was given a number to wear!  I'm excited, but also a bit apprehensive.  It was a bit of a leap for me to officially register for a real event.  Will I be able to handle the ride?  The hills in Pittsburgh? Will I look like a fat dork in a cycling jersey, since I haven't lost nearly as much weight as I was hoping for?  What will "real cyclists" think of me, my bike, how I ride?  But my son and my daughter-in-law, and many of their wonderful cycling friends, encouraged me and so, I took the leap.  That familiar Nike slogan kept ringing in my head - Just Do It!  And so I am going to.  Hmmm.  I think I feel Lesson #4 coming on.

Lesson #4 - Just Do It!
Cycling Lesson - Cycling is full of "Just Do It" moments for me!  Whenever I start out on a new route, a longer ride, an unfamiliar hill or obstacle, a familiar hill that is always trouble for me, I wonder if I can handle it or not.  Dressing for a ride causes a bit of apprehension as well.  What will I look like in a sleeveless shirt or more form-fitting exercise shorts?  Registering for this PedalPGH! ride.  Heck, just getting on the bike in the first place!  But I can't let these things get the better of me or I would never ride.  Just get on the bike and go, whatever may come my way.  And 9 time out of 10, I discover I can do more/better than I thought I could!

Life Lesson - Life can be fraught with apprehensions, misgivings and worries.  Acknowledge them, but then summon your inner cheerleader, step outside your comfort zone if necessary, jump in and just do it!  Don't get in your own way and hold yourself back.  You might surprise yourself and your accomplishments will be all the sweeter!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lessons Learned #2 and #3 - Park Your Bike in the Kitchen and Celebrate the Small Things

I had another great ride today with my 2 best girls - my 7 year old granddaughter and her mom, my thirty-something year old daughter.  We did the 5 mile old Village of Hilton bike route together, plus a small detour for a treat at Abbotts near the end, for a total of just over 6 miles.  Although Brianna has ridden 5 miles with me before, this is the first time she has done it without a break and with several good-sized hills in the mix.  This brings me to the next 2 Cycling/Life lessons in my series.

Lesson #2 - Park Your Bike in the Kitchen
Cycling Lesson - There are so many obstacles/excuses that can prevent you from riding your bike - it's too hot, it's too cold, it might rain, I'm too tired, I have too much to do, not enough time, big hills, blah, blah, blah.  And after not riding for a few days, inertia can be a powerful force to overcome.  I don't have a garage.  We have a shed in the back of our yard, which is where we normally store things that others would put in a garage, like bikes.  But if my bike were way back there, out of sight, those excuses and inertia would win.  Instead, I park my bike in my house, in my kitchen.  Every time I go into my kitchen, there it is, begging me to ride it.  Not getting on my bike and riding is what weighs on me, not all the reasons preventing a ride.  It's a great motivator!  And every time I ride, I'm so glad I did!  Today was one of those days!

Life Lesson - There are so many things in life that that get in our way and prevent us from doing what we should/need to do. Find what motivates you to do the things you'd rather not and put that motivating force where you can't ignore it.  Park your bike in the kitchen, if you need to.  

Lesson #3 - Celebrate the Small Things
Cycling Lesson - Frisbee Hill is my nemesis!  It's the steepest, toughest hill I regularly encounter.  The other day I was determined to make it all the way to the top without stopping.  I didn't make it.  I did have to stop once.  But I didn't stop twice, and after catching my breath for a minute, I powered up the rest of the hill in a higher gear than usual!  That's incremental progress!  Who hoo!  Focus on what I did, not on what I didn't! And today, riding with Brianna, she faced a steep hill on Short Hills Drive.  It's a tough one for me too.  She stopped half way up, so I stopped with her, which makes it that much harder to start up again.  So I did something I've been nervous about doing.  I stood up and pedaled and, viola!  I powered up the hill in my highest gear!  All the way I could hear Brianna behind me cheering me on and when I started to sit down, Brianna yelled, "No Nana, don't sit down, you can do it!"  And, not only did I get up the hill, but Brianna powered the rest of the way up too, and so did Heather!  Hooray for us!  Every hill I do better on than the time before, every small increase in my average miles per hour, each extra mile I add to my ride, are all additional ways I keep motivated to keep riding.

Life Lesson - Sometimes we get so caught up in the big goals and the things we struggle with, that we forget to recognize and celebrate the incremental goals, the smaller successful steps along the way.  My 3 year old grandson is a baseball fanatic!  He will swing and strike out a hundred times when you pitch a ball to him, but he keeps going and cheers emphatically for himself when he does connect and hit the ball!  It's those hits that keep him trying.  As a teacher, and as a parent and grandparent, I frequently find myself positively reinforcing small steps children make.  Why is it that we forget to do this for ourselves?  So take some notice of all the small successes you make and give yourself a cheer!  Celebrating small moments can keep us working towards those bigger, tougher goals.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Country Girl

I think I'm a country girl at heart.  But don't get me wrong - I'm not a fan of country music and I've never owned a pair of cowboy boots (and never will).  But I do love living in a small town with so much farmland nearby.  I grew up here.  My parents were teachers, not farmers, but our house was surrounded by cow pastures and corn fields.  I used to love playing "explorer" in the corn that was so tall it was like a forest.  We took our canteens filled with Kool-Aide, packed lunches in our backpacks, and spent the whole day lost in the corn. We ice skated in the back of the field where it flooded and froze.  We built tree forts in the hedge row of trees.  I grew up and married a civil engineer turned farmer with a wedding ceremony held outdoors on his family's farm.  And I love driving, walking, and now cycling on our country roads in farm country, or spending time on our farms.  I love the beauty of a freshly plowed field, of the contrast of color with a dark green corn field next to a bright green rolling field of oats, of the actual amber waves of grain blowing in a breeze, of the bees hard at work in the bloom, of the fragrant scent of the apple, cherry, and peach blossoms in the spring.

I took a long ride today.  Started with the 5 mile Village bike route and then headed out to our farm that is at the end of Redman Road at Cook Road, at the far edge of Hamlin, NY.  I rode around on the farm a bit and then headed back home.  It was a total of 32 miles.  At 27 miles my legs started asking, "Are we there yet?!"  But I persevered.  What choice do you have when you are out on your bike?  You have to keep going.  And it was all so beautiful and peaceful that it was definitely worth the effort!

Our Hamlin farm.  Peaches on the right foreground, corn on the left foreground, apples in the distance on the left.
Did a little "off-roading" down the lanes and pathways on the farm.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Second Month Reflection and Lessons Learned - Part 1

So, I've now been on this journey to "becoming" for 2 full months now.  I've lost 13 lbs. and have increased my average speed from 10.5 MPH to between 11.5 and 12.5 MPH (depending upon the route, the hills, and my general fatigue level) and I've logged a total of 322 miles.  Today I hit another first - a ride in a gentle summer rain shower.

While on this journey of mine, I've begun thinking about the cycling lessons I'm learning.  And recently life sent me one hellava curve ball with the sudden, and unexpected death of my father.  This event really took the wind out of my sails, but it also has caused me to take some time to reflect - on what exactly is the legacy my father leaves to me as well as what is the legacy I want to leave my own children and grandchildren.  In the midst of all this reflection, it has occurred to me that many of the cycling lessons I've learned are metaphors for life lessons I've learned as well.  I'm going to share these lessons, a few at a time and in no particular order, here on this blog, since they all have an effect on my journey to "becoming."

Lesson #1 - Don't Let a Little Rain Stop You
Cycling Lesson - Sometimes you get caught in the rain, but when you do, you might as well keep going (assuming there is no thunder and lightening).  If you were to turn around and head home, you'd still be just as wet.  Today, when I got caught in a gentle summer shower, I could have bailed out at any point, but instead I kept going.  Turned out the rain was actually refreshing and if I had quit, I never would have seen this!

Life Lesson - As they say, into every life a little rain must fall.  Sometimes it's a gentle shower, sometimes a heavy rain, and sometimes a downright deluge!  But the important thing is not to give up; to keep moving forward.  There is undoubtably sunshine and blue skies beyond the clouds and you don't want to miss it when it comes!

Monday, July 15, 2013

A New Challenge

Well, I've found a new challenge, thanks to my son, his wife, and their very kind and encouraging friends.  I'm going to ride in the Pedal PGH Bike Fest in Pittsburgh, PA in August - the 25 mile Highmark City Tour route.  My son and daughter-in-law are going to ride with me.  I hope I'm up to the hills!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To the Farm

Had a slight muscle pull that kept me off my bike yesterday, but back on again today to take a ride to our farm to pick blueberries and raspberries.  This time I had my daughter and my granddaughter riding with me.  A short 5 mile jaunt, but a fun one on a hot day.  And some delicious fruit for the payoff!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Making Up for Lost Time

I haven't been riding much lately.  Life, heat, humidity, commitments, and projects with looming deadlines got in the way.  But today I finally got out riding and tried to make up a bit for lost time.  I rode from my house to Spencerport, then along the Canalway Trail to Brockport, then home from Brockport - a total of 25.27 miles.  Then I turned right around and rode my bike 7.02 miles to my sister's house for my niece's graduation party. So my grand total for the day was 32.29 miles!  My bike and I did hitch a ride home from the party in a van.  I loved riding along the canal!  Found these geese just before arriving in Brockport.  The big one closest hissed like crazy at me and I thought it was going to chase me, but luckily it didn't.

So, I think maybe I'm coming to the conclusion that I'm more of a cruising along, distance girl than I am a speed demon.  To date my fastest average speed is about 12.5 mph, and that might always be my fastest speed, which won't be fast enough for most charity ride events.  But that's okay.  It's fast enough for sport, excersize, and enjoyment.  Maybe I'll just contribute money to those charities or to friends who are riding and I'll enjoy my time on trails instead.  It's good to have new goals, right?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Riding Again with my Little Pal

Out riding with my pal again today. We rode to church, then to Jo's Diner for lunch, then back home. Logged 7 miles today, 4 of which were on roads with no sidewalks. I've been with Brianna for her whole cycling journey, the balance bike as a toddler, the tiny bike with training wheels, and now her "big girl bike!" She's gained so much skill and confidence! It's so great to have seen her growth! It won't be long before she passes me by, for sure!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How Becoming a Cyclist has Made Me a Better Driver

Earlier I posted a summary of bike riding law in New York State.  In investigating bike law, I discovered some information about motor vehicle law that I didn't know.

  • Did you know that a motor vehicle is supposed to give a cyclist 4 feet of space when passing?
  • Did you know that it is legal for a motor vehicle to cross a single or double yellow line in order to give a cyclist the required 4 feet of space?
  • Did you know that if a driver can't give the cyclist the required amount of safe space due to oncoming traffic in the other lane, the driver must stop and wait for the oncoming traffic to clear before passing the cyclist?
  • Did you know that a driver of a motor vehicle must exercise "due care" in order to avoid accident or injury to a cyclist AND that if the driver has not demonstrated "due care," no matter what the cyclist has done that may have contributed to the accident, the driver of the motor vehicle is still held responsible?
Now that I know these things, I will be a much better driver when I am sharing the road with cyclists!  There is more information and tips for both cyclists and drivers here - Be Smart.  Share the Road with Bicycles

Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Leisurely Ride with Great Company

Today I had a great ride with my granddaughter, Brianna, who will be turning 7 at the end of this month.  We rode through the village of Hilton, down to our family farm to pick some sweet cherries and raspberries, then back through the village again and home to my house.  Brianna is developing her skills as a bike rider too.  She did a great job today on our 5.22 mile ride.  She hasn't ridden on roads very much and did a fantastic job riding on the road instead of on the sidewalks on the busy Rt. 259 and on the quieter Dunbar Rd.  It wasn't a fast ride or a big workout for me, but it was so great having someone to ride with and to talk to along the way!  And the fruit we picked and brought home, and the raspberry smoothies we made was all an added bonus!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Motorists Must Share the Road with Cyclists

I was reading this interesting article, Motorists Must Share the Road with Cyclists, shared with me by my son, an avid cyclist living in Pittsburgh, PA.  Since I've actually been wondering about the rules of the road for bikes and motorized vehicles, I was especially interested in these particular paragraphs:
As a cyclist, I am legally allowed to ride in the right lane of West Liberty Avenue, in the middle of the lane, and I do. I am legally allowed to pass a line of cars on the right, along the curb, when those cars are stopped for a traffic control device. I stop at red lights and stop signs, and I yield at yield signs.

As a motorist, you are required to give me four feet of clearance when overtaking me on the road. Yes, that means you need to switch lanes to pass me. If you cannot do so, slow down and wait until you can. By law, you may cross a double yellow line to allow for the required clearance, again waiting until it is safe to do so.

So it got me to wondering even more about the laws in New York State.  An Internet search brought me to this site by the New York State Bicycling Coalition on New York State Bicycling Law.  I was kind of amazed at a few of the things listed in this summary:

Here is a summary of the principal requirements for bicyclists under New York law:
  • Bicyclists must ride with traffic and thus travel in the same direction as motor vehicles.
  • Bicyclists may travel side-by-side on the road, but must ride in single-file when other vehicles need to pass.
  • Every person riding a bicycle or skating or gliding on in-line skates upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle .
  • If there is a bicycle lane in the roadway, the bicyclist must use it except to avoid a hazard or to turn left. If there is a separate parallel path, the bicyclist may use either the path or roadway.
  • Bicyclists must signal to turn on a roadway, a bike lane or bike path.
  • Bicycling is not allowed on interstate highways and expressways. Local jurisdictions can prohibit bicycles elsewhere, for example parkways or sidewalks.
  • Helmets must be worn by those under 14 years old. Localities may have additional requirements for those over 14.
  • Bicycles must be properly equipped with workable brakes, a bell or horn, reflectors and, if driven at night, a headlight and taillight.
  • A bicyclist cannot wear more than one earphone when listening to a radio or other audio device.
  • A bicyclist may not grab onto or otherwise attach to a moving motor vehicle.
  • A bicycle cannot carry more people than the number it was designed to carry. The law also calls for motorists to exercise “due care” to avoid collision with bicyclists. Bicycle accidents involving death or serious injury have to be reported within ten days.

I'm definitely going to do a little more research and try to be more vigilant, both as a cyclist and as a motor vehicle driver.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Off-Roading and a One Month Update

Today my bike and I did a little off-roading.  Took a side trip through our orchard to get a few pictures of the almost ripe cherries.  I've been riding and dieting for exactly 1 month today.  I've logged 205 miles and have lost 7 lbs.  I was hoping to be losing weight way faster than this, but it is what it is.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

My Bike Mechanic

My husband can't ride with me on this journey because he has Vertigo and bike riding really bothers it.  However, he's still contributing to the effort by helping with all the mechanical things.  Right now he's installing the back rack I bought to hold the waterproof pannier I bought.  It's not as easy as you might think since the mounting posts behind my seat are a little lower than normal given that I have a short, step-through "granny bike."  Gotta love a man who owns tools and knows how to use them! Modifications are being made!  Success!

Every Woman's Guide to Cycling

This book, Every Woman's Guide to Cycling, by Selene Yeager, was recommended to me by a friend. For a beginner, it has been a great reference.  I'm full of all kinds of questions, and I hate to keep bothering all my cycling family and friends, and this book has answered many and gives me enough information so that I can ask better questions when I do put my family and friends on the spot, which helps keep me from feeling totally clueless!  It's available in print and as an eBook, so if you are a newbie and looking for a quick read to help guide you, just do a search for this book.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Well, I've been at it for about 3 weeks now.  I've ridden 15 days, logged 163 miles, and have lost 6 lbs.  Not a bad start, although I was hoping the weight would be melting off faster, of course.  Now that school is out, hopefully I can get back on track to ride EVERY day!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Becoming What?

When I decided to make this blog, I really struggled with what to call it.  Facing (aka - looking forward to) retirement in a couple of years, I've set out on a journey to ride my bike more, get more physically fit, lose weight, and become a healthier me.  I've known far too many people who retire and then shortly thereafter get critically ill and I don't want that to be me.  I want to live a long and happy retired life and watch my grandkids grow up.

So, what am I "becoming?"

I'm becoming MORE . . 
  • Of a biker
  • Physically fit
  • Active
  • Of a healthy eater
But, hopefully, I'm also becoming LESS
  • Over weight 
  • Of a sedentary person
  • Of a junk food and sweets eater
Hmmmm.  I guess in many ways I'm redefining myself and maybe becoming a better me!  Welcome to my journey.  I hope we both enjoy the ride!