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!