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