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Death Valley!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Strike up the music, Cassandra Wilson with an upbeat ode to life, which is SO FINE on this gorgeous autumn day! The colors are coming so FAST all of a sudden!

"A Little Warm Death"... www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh_r6NwqIvs

I should have known that with his quiet smile, our ride leader would have at least one challenge during this ride. He didn't disappoint! There is a REASON the road he led us through is called Death Valley Road! I couldn't believe I made that climb without walking. I think if a fly had landed on my shoulder I would've crumpled into a walk...but it didn't and I was able to make the entire climb sucking wind with every turn of the pedal...lol!

We had the special pleasure of welcoming five guests from Spain on our ride, making a nice total of 15 riders strong. The ride leader promised a round of ice cream for all near the end of the ride. However we had many "boo's" when we discovered the ice cream stand was closed. I was cheering for the lack of temptation...lol! We later came across some enterprising girls selling lemonade at their stand on the lawn in front of their home. A much better investment of our quarters seeing their faces light up!

A rider remarked that "Did you hear that chocolate milk is so *last year* for a recovery drink? The new recovery drink at the end of a long ride is BEER!" which brought round of applause and chuckles.

I cracked, "okay, guess we're now in search of an ice cream stand that serves beer!" :-)

Here I am with fellow bike club members and a few of our guests from Spain who I hope will join us tomorrow for our big day of fun and rides out of Marvin Park, Owego:

Had a lovely time tonight at the Noel Paul Stookey (of Peter Paul & Mary) concert...such a wonderful humanitarian, minstrel and quite an accomplished guitarist as well!

Late night...off to bed and solid sleep for a big day of cycling tomorrow!

But not before sharing a good reminder from ThoughtCatalog.com, a website which has been catching my eye and tweaking my brain now & then with interesting editorials & blogs. I thought of Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements, namely the first in which he speaks to the power of our word and the importance of being impeccable with our word. Here are related thoughts shared:

You Are / Whatever You Say / You Are

Let's do our best to be kind and loving toward ourselves and each other:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XENA1956 10/23/2013 6:59PM

    When I first spotted this blog. I thought Don was here in CA riding Death Valley and I didn't know about it. Then I read and had to laugh. Keep on getting up those high hills. Sound pretty tough. If you ever get out this way you will find plenty of mountains rides both street and dirt. lol Nice reading what you have been up too. xo Teri

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SMITTY4RL 10/4/2013 7:29PM

    The title caught my eye...super job on the great hill. It's almost time to put up the road bikes here (although we might squeak out another ride or two). Looks like you had a ton of fun--even thought the ice cream stand was closed emoticon. Wow, love the song, too (wonder if I can download on iTunes?)

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 10/4/2013 9:49AM

    I always LOVE the stories of your rides!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 9/30/2013 2:56PM

    As always, I enjoyed your post and your pictures!

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MYLADY4 9/30/2013 1:19PM

    Way to go and how freeking fun. Oh and I am so jealous, just say'n.

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RAINBOWFALLS 9/29/2013 5:54PM

    Such great weather this weekend for your bike rides. It sure looks like you are having a great time.

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_VALEO_ 9/29/2013 4:03PM

    I was expecting another Death Valley emoticon but I am not disappointed! Good job on climbing this hill!

Great links to music and articles!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/29/2013 10:12AM

    Wonderful pics! Thanks for sharing them.

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L*I*T*A* 9/29/2013 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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40PUDDLEJUMPER 9/29/2013 9:24AM

    fantastic blog thankyou!

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CHANGE4FIT 9/29/2013 9:03AM

    Great blog, Don. When I clicked the link I half way expected you to write about an upcoming bike trip through Death Valley with your tent in tow!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/29/2013 8:53AM

    Sounds like a great ride and a great day!

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FERRETLOVER1 9/29/2013 8:42AM

    emoticon on making it up that huge hill! I'll bet the ride back down was really great.

Sorry that emoticon stand was closed, but you really made those little girls day. emoticon

Sounds to me like you earned that "recovery drink" - emoticon

I have always been a huge fan of not only Peter, Paul and Mary as a group, but of each of them as individuals, too. You were so lucky to get to go to a Paul Stookey concert! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/29/2013 8:43:35 AM

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ZELLAZM 9/29/2013 7:05AM

    Lovely day - Would have loved to have heard Paul Stookey of P,P&M. I learned to play the guitar along with their albums way back when! And beer has long been the preferred drink (last year, this year and I don't expect there will be much change) of German athletes. Not this one...the lemonade would have been more to my taste!

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PMRUNNER 9/29/2013 6:09AM

    Thanks, Don! Enjoyed your entry and the links too.

Comment edited on: 9/29/2013 6:13:49 AM

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ROXYCARIN 9/29/2013 12:48AM

  emoticon emoticon

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3 Day Soup / Bike Helmet Mowing: Time Management!

Friday, September 27, 2013

It's been quite the shock to the system adjusting to "the real world" since returning from Cape Cod. Having eaten mostly cut up fruits & veggies and store-bought sandwiches on my travels I was yearning for something home-made but had so little time at the end of each day it took me three days to make some soup:

Day One: toss some dried black beans into a bowl of water to soak until

Day Two: boil up the beans with lots of onion and garlic, put in fridge until

Day Three: toss in some tomatoes, spinach, green beans, beef broth and jazz up with chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper simmer away and voila! Big batch of soup for the next few days! Yum! FINALLY!

This weekend promises more of the WONDERFUL weather we've been having lately and two cycling events I will not miss. PLUS I still have to restore and return all that borrowed camping equipment. But the lawn needs mowing and the sun is going down as I arrive home and I can't afford the time to mow during the weekend. Tomorrow night Noel Paul Stookey from Peter, Paul and Mary performs locally and we're going to treat ourselves to his music...all three (RIP, Mary...), such soulful human beings...!

Solution? Strap on my bike helmet and turn on my Light & Motion VIS 360...all the light I need to do one of the SPEEDIEST mowings of the season, albeit dialed way down on the "tidy" spectrum...lol.

Had a delightful power walk earlier today with a co-worker...handy little hill nearby our office to get me pumped up as we scaled it and 'rounded several blocks...it was just what the doctor ordered during a day of data entry on the computer...ugh!

Cheers to everyone for a weekend ahead filled with SPARK!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEMORIES7 1/8/2014 4:00PM

    Hello Don, I love the humor in this! I am going to try your recipe here but I just got to tell you, it will not take 3 days to make!! I hope that you have a healthy day! Hugs, Rose:) emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYCRN 10/26/2013 10:01AM

    Great way to not let home chores interfere with fun! I have only regretted it when I dusted instead of riding.

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GIRANIMAL 10/7/2013 5:01PM

    LOL I love the use of your bike helmet! And your soup sounds delicious.

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PATRICIAAK 9/29/2013 8:54PM

    super! you sound pumped!

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_VALEO_ 9/29/2013 3:50PM

    When it involves beans, it always takes time! I am sure it will be a great soup!

You can strap your light on your bike helmet or wait for the full moon to mow your lawn! ;)

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CHANGE4FIT 9/28/2013 1:45PM

    What time is dinner? I'll bring some southern cornbread-LOL
Love the mowing-we used to have a mower with headlamps-did some interesting mowing in those days......
Enjoy your weekend!!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/28/2013 10:19AM

    Soup is good!
A musician friend of mine went to a folk fest in the west years ago and somehow magically ended up on stage with Paul.
Have a groovy weekend!

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L*I*T*A* 9/28/2013 9:52AM

    enjoy the weekend.......
sounds great!!


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OUTDOORGIRL70 9/28/2013 9:07AM

    I just made a big batch of soup also yesterday. It has been cold here & it hits the spot. I will freeze some of it for later use.

Don...... You do know to save time on the beans you can cook them up & then freeze them for later use. That is what I do so I can just take out what I need when I make things and a lot of time is saved.

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HARMONYAGAIN 9/28/2013 8:10AM

    The soup and weekend sounds wonderful!
enjoy emoticon

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ZELLAZM 9/28/2013 4:23AM

    You have a good weekend, too, Don. Sounds like a busy one for you. Enjoy the soup!

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FITFRIT 9/28/2013 2:28AM

    the soup sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

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_MOBII_ 9/27/2013 11:48PM

    I can hear my dad yelling now..."You can't mow at night, you will cut your feet off!" Heheh, wish I would have had a helmet with a light on it back then! (Although, in my defense...I still have both feet!)

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/27/2013 11:04PM

    Whenever I visit your SP page, I can't believe those pics are the same person. How inspiring!

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WATERMELLEN 9/27/2013 10:46PM

    That soup sounds terrific!!

Love your night light mowing . . . such dedication! Now playing golf till I can't see my feet: I get that.

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SeasCape Journey

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My journey on two wheels last week was one of the greatest challenges and experiences I've had so far. Everything just came together so perfectly. I had never thought seriously about jumping into a self-supported cycling tour, although the idea has appealed to me. I love the idea of being able to attain such a level of independence and stepping away from "the grid" and all that it entails. But did I really have it in me to DO THIS?

The opportunity was shared by a member of one of our neighboring bicycle clubs who was organizing a self-supported cycling tour of Cape Cod. No hotels, but carrying all of our gear right on our bicycles: tent, sleeping bag, clothes, EVERYTHING! I knew that I didn't have the gear. In fact I have never camped out in any significant way before, except an overnight with my father and using a sleeping bag in a lean-to way back in middle school. Our bike club president TEAMAGIS offered to loan me all the equipment I would need. This was going WAY out of my comfort zone. I was both excited over the prospects of stepping into a whole new world of cycling that would thrill me, but also nervous over whether I would be able to adjust to all the potential challenges, most notably being a wuss about cycling in the rain...lol!

About a week prior to the tour TEAMAGIS very kindly offered at least a couple of hours of her time going over her equipment and running through a demonstration of setting up and taking down the tent. Did I take time to run through this on my own? Yes, but not soon enough...by the time I attempted I found myself getting stumped midway through the tent process. However another member of our touring party was familiar with this tent and I knew I could get a helping hand from him.

I joined the bike tour in Plymouth:

All loaded and ready to roll!

My gear weighed in at 30 pounds and my bike felt so incredibly sluggish & loaded down I didn't know how I would be able to MOVE this thing! Walking my bike along just felt like I was maneuvering a TANK. But amazingly, once I got on the bike and started moving I discovered Newton really knew what he was talking about when he referred to "an object in motion tends to stay in motion"...! I was psyched over how I was able to move with much more facileness and speed than I ever thought I could maintain. Fleet & sweet!

South of Plymouth we arrived at the Myles Standish State Forest with long stretches of bumpy road through sandy pines. I was revved and tended to zoom out ahead of the pack...of course I joined the ride about 30 miles after they had started and only picked up on the last 12 or so miles of the day. Our tour leader let me know later on: "Fast! You're going to fast! These miles are going to pile up and you're going to feel them. Take your time and join in with us." Which is absolutely one of the things I love about cycling with others...the company, camaraderie. To reconcile this with my need for speed I found myself developing a rhythm in which I would bike around others but at times drift toward the back of our pack (there were 8 of us and at times 9 when TEAMAGIS joined the tour on Thursday) and then SPRINT on through the group to the front. One of the fellows kidded about me being "Rocket Man!" :-)

During my first night in the tent it felt like we were dive-bombed by a helicopter which must have been in search of something, but I tell ya, it felt like I was waking up in the middle of a Speilberg movie! And it was COLD...38 degrees that night! I learned the hard way that a short-sleeved t-shirt wasn't going to cut it during the night. Despite being fairly comfortable in a sleeping bag on top of an air mattress and using ear plugs, I had trouble sleeping soundly outdoors for the first few nights...it wasn't until the final two nights that I was able to get an uninterrupted night of sleep. But it was only a day or two into the tour that I was getting into the "groove" of setting up camp, taking down and ride, ride, ride!

I listened to no external music during the whole tour, but as many of you know I often have my internal "radio" dialing in on a tune that will "stick" and a perfect song popped up in the beginning of this tour, a bright, cheery song with a "world" feel to it and the lovely Delores O'Riordan of the Cranberries joining with Jah Wobbles in "The Sun Does Rise":


Success with my first tent set up! I only needed a few tips from the other fellow who had a tent that was a slightly larger version of the same tent I was using. Same color, same design...and this sameness tripped me up the 2nd night at Horseneck Beach as I mistakenly thought he mistook MY tent for HIS, when I actually was mistaking HIS tent for MINE! I even took his shoes out of his tent to put in mine, thinking I was putting them into HIS tent...OMG was I embarrassed! Doubly so when on another occasion I unzipped what I thought was my tent only to find him changing in HIS tent!

I just loved all the gorgeous sunsets and took endless variations of pictures of the beautiful surroundings which graced our rides through the Cape.

Now the choice of THIS tent set up, however, had us all shaking our heads in wonder:

Here we are on the tail end of our single rainy day on the Cape Cod Canal trail around Bourne with the bridge which could elevate to different levels. We were extraordinarily blessed by only a slight drizzle which was on & off and let up entirely in the afternoon.

One of the cool things that occurred with this tour was the re-uniting of a couple of former classmates who had lost touch with each other since high school. One is a member of our bike club, the other a resident of Massachusetts who was familiar enough with parts of the area in which we rode. He was familiar with lots of things about the wildlife and history and shared cool tidbits about the peculiar bird along the canal and other areas which I learned was a cormorant, which had a dark, almost reptilian look as many would sit on top of a pole and spread its wings to dry as it did not have the water repellant oils that most birds have, which enables it to swim in the water very low with only its head sticking out of the water and bobbing out of sight into the water for long periods of time as it went after its meal.

Swans graced some of the small, quiet ponds filled with lily pads and still as glass. On another day an old song "Smile" came up on my "radio"...a lush, romantic rendition by Toots Thielemans, an exquisite 90+ year-old harmonica player from Belgium who is still going strong:


Near this salt marsh there were lots of broken bits of clam shells scattered around the road and this tour member from MA further educated me on how the gulls would pick up the clams from the ocean and drop them on the road to break them so that they could eat the meat. I wondered what gulls did before we paved roads for them?

Overnight at Martha's Vineyard Campgrounds one of our members' wallet had disappeared and was found. We suspect a raccoon stole off into the bushes with it. In another encounter with nature while taking down the site & loading up our bikes we had left some snacks out; cantaloupe, natural almonds & somebody's coffecake. Unbeknownst to us during our pack up we had a winged guest! I turned around and saw a gull hungrily snarfing down...the almonds? No, the cantaloupe?That coffecake was HISTORY! Sugar salt fat strikes again! I guess humans aren't the only critters vulnerable to this! :-)

Ferry rides were a big part of our tour, riding to and from Martha's Vineyard and while out on Martha's Vineyard we took a day trip our to Chappaquiddick (yes, and everybody got their historical elbow dig in...lol) which required the teensiest ferry ride. We saw the impeccably maintained Mytoi Japanese Gardens while on our way to Wasque Beach which I believe is on the Cape Pogue sound. There were some challenging rides through sand which was riddled with fist-sized rocks.

I unfortunately learned the following day that my rear tire had much less life left to it than I thought. Those stones must've pummeled the tire so much so that it was losing air and soft the following morning. Rather than taking any chances we changed the tube and kept our eye out for a bike shop and I later bought a replacement tire, wishing I had avoided this grief and bought it beforehand, however my local bike shop led me to believe my existing tire would work. At least we averted any problem of repeated flats out in the middle of nowhere!

The campgrounds at Martha's Vineyard offered a roaring campfire each of the two nights we stayed.

I noticed throughout the Cape the look of the homes and all their myriad variations on a driftwood grey theme:

Such a serene view by one's home...

Oh! And I think I found my 2nd career for my retirement!

Will pedal for food! :-)

And a bike tour wouldn't be complete with some bossa creeping into my radio...love the rhythm of Celso Fonseca's "Meu Samba Torto" which kept me bopping along:


There were certain points of the tour where we would start up a paved bike path or trail in which there were no turns or ways to split off from the group in which the tour leader would announce for my benefit, "hey we got 9 miles of trail here, feel free to go for it!" Which I happily did...whoosh! Off I went! Especially on a trail which is mostly lined by trees arching overhead and blocking any significant views. No flowers to stop & smell...? Time to feed my need for speed! Some others would join me occasionally too, which was great to have company, but I was pretty much the consistently incorrigible one...lol!

And for good reason: Just read in Huffington Post today: "100 Ways To Live To 100": "In a 2011 study of Copenhagen cyclists, men who pedaled fastest lived about five years longer than men who pedaled slowest. The fastest female cyclists averaged about four extra years. Among both genders, average cyclists lived somewhat longer than the slow pokes, proving the point that physical activity is good, but vigorous activity is even better." Zoom zoom ZOOM! :-)

It's a fun article: www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/23/10

We tried to take in as many lighthouses as possible, the one above being the Highland Lighthouse near Truro. I learned from our tour partner from MA that we also pedaled by the site of the first source of fresh water that the pilgrims had located after landing on the Cape.

During our last day on the Cape we made the most of it: after setting up camp we beat it to the beach at Herring Cove:

One of us found a baby squid!

Here I am with another member of our tour:

We learned from our MA native that there was a trail we could ride from Herring Cove to the northern most point above Provincetown which was Race Point. And the WAY cool thing about this trail is that it wound up, down and all around the huge sand dunes in the area...the way a mountain bike trail might, except: all very nicely paved! Woo hoo! We were OFF!

Time for another SUNSET!

And we headed back to camp to prepare for a ride into Provincetown for dinner and seeing the nightlife:

And the one woman from the tour who joined several of us fellas just had to poke some fun and said, "all right guys, line 'em up by the Toys of Eros!"

Provincetown morning, waiting for our ferry ride back to Boston:

A sign among the eateries of Provincetown: Lobster - The Other Red Meat!

Tune for the last day: such a fine songstress, Janis Ian, "Light A Light":

Arriving in Boston harbor:

From there we rode through Boston via some pleasant trails leading up through U of Mass in Boston and heading into Braintree and Hingham where our journey ended at Wompatuck State Park.

The weather for all but one day was stupendous...70s, sunshine...and the nights warmed up into the 50s. Our tour leader put together such a seamless and smooth ride for the whole tour...we were truly blessed by his talents and diligent preparations. He scoured via Google's Street View every route that we took. All of us riders were rock solid in our skills and there was nary a single mishap with either our riding or mechanically with our bikes, other than my tire. Everyone was very pleasant, kind, helpful and generous with plenty of humor and wise-cracking...wonderful folks! It was such a perfect introduction to the world of self-supported bicycle touring!

I am so pleased that I took a chance to push the envelope and challenge myself with this tour!

For those interested in more pics, here are over 100:


What a finale to my summer! On to autumn...still lots of great riding left to the year! :-)


ps...more pics as shared by another member of the tour, including a cool video of the canal bridge in action, raising and lowering:

and yet MORE pics including sections of Martha's Vineyard where I did not travel...such as out to Gay Head:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2WHEELER 10/1/2013 9:56PM

    Congratulations!! You did it! Are you hooked? I can't think of anything better than bike camping. Especially when the ride is flat. But even with the mountains, I'll still go bike camping. I love it and am already eagerly awaiting next spring for some more opportunities. Maybe finishing the Erie Canal Trailway to Albany NY.

You had an amazing time in Cape Cod! Thanks for blogging and sharing all of the great pics. I didn't have time to follow the links but will check back to see all of the pictures.

I'm so happy you had a great time and wish you many more adventures.

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CATS_MEOW_0911 10/1/2013 6:44PM

    Very cool, Don...looks like the trip of a lifetime!

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FITFRIT 9/29/2013 2:29PM

    I would LOVE to do something like this! You are awe inspiring!

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IMSMILEY88 9/27/2013 10:32PM

    What a wonderful, adventurous ride!! By the way, my daughter & I were visiting Boston (from Texas) 2 weeks ago. It was amazing! And we had great weather. I saw cyclists zooming down the streets & thought it was pretty brave! But, I also saw a lot of runners & wished I could join them.

Anyway, I LOVED your post!!! I had never thought about doing something like this, but now I'm thinking! I might have to wait until my daughter's older, but I'd love to do a mutli-day ride like this... especially with some historical sites & nature attached! What a GREAT vacation!

A little jealous here, but thanks so much for sharing!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/27/2013 5:38PM

    Wow, what a great adventure! What fun!

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_VALEO_ 9/27/2013 3:52PM

    What an adventure! Miles, Strange exchange of Tents, Toots Thielemans, Raccoon Thieves, A Junkfood addict Gull, a second job for your retirement as you will live longer,... and more importantly Friendship! So happy for you that you decided to go out of your comfort zone with this trip, and that it happened to be better than you expected.

With all the lighthouses you've seen recently, I'd recommend to 're'read Virginia Wolf.

I still wonder whether you took a photo of you OWN tent! emoticon

PS: you know that you should think of compiling and publishing your blogs.
Seems like your links to the photos are broken. Let me know on my page once it is fixed.
Scratch that. It works now. Just had to delete the https.

Comment edited on: 9/27/2013 3:55:24 PM

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PATRICIAAK 9/27/2013 1:38PM


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ZELLAZM 9/26/2013 8:43AM

    Who woulda thunk it, some 6+ years ago!?

Awesome trip, awesome report and thanks for the music tips, too!

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RECREATING_ME 9/24/2013 11:43PM

    What a great cycling journey that was! emoticon

The part that stood out to me was when you talked about your gear weighing 30 lbs and you didn't know how you would be able to get your bike to move. It made me think of how it was when that 30 lbs is a permanent fixture on our bodies! It just put it in perspective for me a bit on how that amount of weight does matter even when it can be hard to discern the difference when we are in the midst of our weight loss progress.

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CHANGE4FIT 9/24/2013 9:57PM

    Have been awaiting this blog-and you didn't disappoint. Glad you had a great trip and thanks for sharing in word and image!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/24/2013 9:38PM

    What wonderful pictures and stories! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures. I feel like I was there with you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROMANTILLY 9/24/2013 5:58PM

    Thanks for sharing Don. Poetic as always - looking good hun, looking good.

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STRIVERONE 9/24/2013 3:55PM

    It's great to hear the trip was such a success and that any pre-trip jitters turned out to be unwarranted.

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L*I*T*A* 9/24/2013 3:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_MOBII_ 9/24/2013 1:27PM

    What a fantastic trip! Thank you for sharing it and all of the pictures with us!
(I trust the squidlet was returned to freedom, lol!)

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WOMANWITHGRIT 9/24/2013 8:22AM

    What a terrific trip - thanks for posting these pics and giving us a run down of the tour. Having taken these bicycle tours before, I know they are wonderful in so many ways. Your blog motivates me.

Comment edited on: 9/24/2013 8:24:14 AM

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WATERMELLEN 9/24/2013 7:42AM

    What a trip!! What a guy!! You've expanded your comfort zone by many many miles: will no doubt live forever AND enjoy it (which is even more important). Love the pictures, love the joy!

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GROEDER 9/24/2013 6:09AM

    What a great trip!!!!!!! Biking has always been mostly solitary for me, but reading your blog has me thinking of new ways I can enjoy cycling.
Thanks for sharing your adventure.

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WEARINGTHIN 9/24/2013 4:31AM

    While I was reading your blog, I started thinking that bicycling might be my best fitness alternative. I have spinal problems, that have led to leg problems. But if I could only get my weight back down to a decent level, biking just might be my sport. Congratulations on a good trip. Glenn

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Why Blog?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Here are some interesting thoughts I came across about writing which unbeknownst to me until I read them, echo what I think writing, aka blogging, does for me:


"Everyone should write because writing makes us decide what we believe — and so it makes us decide who we are. Life is mysterious, and unstable. Writing forces us to draw lines. It’s humbling because we will never hit the mark perfectly. But we must try to get as close as we can. Great writing, as Tolstoy had it, is writing that teaches us how to live. And Faulkner said that the writer must not forget it is “the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing, because it is the only thing worth writing about.”"

"the craft of writing means addressing these problems, and addressing what we really believe, and who we really are. The art is secondary. Doing the work is what matters most."

"with time and mortality as facts of life there is only one judgement that means anything: to ourselves — who we were, and what we believed. By writing, we can live with this always in mind."

Blogging helps me to define myself, what's important to me, what brings meaning and SPARK into my life. The self-reflective process of writing takes all the jumble and meanderings of my heart and mind and puts it out there from the beginning to the last period, making as much sense of it all as a body can at that point in time.

On another note...we are eight strong and ready for touring Cape Cod! Can't wait! Jittery with anxiety, anticipation and excitement!

Loved catching the bald eagle arcing through the skies over our office today in Binghamton...I often try to imagine what it must feel like to soar through the air the way birds can do.

Late, gotta get to sleep!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRANIMAL 9/25/2013 12:05PM

    Writing definitely helps me unjumble the mess that flows through my brain at any given moment. I am often surprised at what surfaces -- stuff I didn't even know was there! I am thankful that my parents saw this propensity in me early on, and they encouraged me to write down anything I wasn't yet comfortable talking with them about, for example, by writing them a letter. For them, it was a way to foster a line of communication. But for me it also became an outlet in my toughest times. I wish I had the time and energy to make it more of a regular priority -- "Start journaling again" frequently reappears on my (written) to-do list! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 9/24/2013 7:43AM

    "How do I know what I think till I see what I say?" Yup, writing is important to me too . . .

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SHEENADEE 9/18/2013 10:48AM

    Thanks for sharing those thoughts!

Cape Cod sounds like a great adventure. Enjoy!

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_VALEO_ 9/17/2013 4:12PM

    Very interesting thoughts about blogging!

Can't wait to hear about your adventures to Cape Cod!

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ZELLAZM 9/14/2013 4:27AM

    Off on another adventure already?! Enjoy...and thanks for the interesting take on blogging here.

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L*I*T*A* 9/11/2013 10:43AM

    so true...........
very interesting...
great share....

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGE4FIT 9/11/2013 8:04AM

    ...makes us define who we are...For me, some of the most important writing/blogging is what you won't see. It's those words I put down and realize they don't quite capture the real gist of what I think or mean-so it causes me to search for better words and more refinement in my thoughts.
Enjoy the Cape!

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ARGENTPUCK 9/10/2013 11:06PM

    As a self-styled writer, I really want to echo yours and Alex Magnin's opinion that writing makes us define who we are. I actually wouldn't know what I think if I didn't at least think about writing it down, much less actually doing so. Contrariwise, I know a lot of folks who are non-writers in every sense of the word (which is weird in these days of e-mails and text messaging) and asking them to justify any one of their beliefs is tantamount to asking them to capture the moon or prove Fermat's last theorem.

Great link.

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Prep Ride

Sunday, September 08, 2013

I loaded up my bike with tent, sleeping bag and dual panniers (all graciously loaned to me from TEAMAGIS, our bike club's president!) for a ride to the Colorscape festival in Norwich yesterday. Met up with a few bike club members in Greene, one of whom is fellow SP member STRIVERONE who has decided to join our ranks and is now a member of the Southern Tier Bicycle Club...woo hoo!

He and I are fairly well matched on the bike as well, pretty complementary pace. I was fretting about the extra payload slowing me down a lot but STRIVERONE said, nope...didn't look like I was going any too slow...lol! Except of course on the hills...oof, thx goodness for those granny gears! :-) Cycling isn't STRIVERONE's main event, however...he just ran TWENTY-SIX MILES the day before...! I could not IMAGINE running such a distance!

But it's pretty cool to have two formerly morbidly obese dudes biking all over the countryside yesterday, 60+ miles for me and 40+ miles for him. We mostly shook off the other bike club members...lol.

Starting to get ready for the BIG RIDE coming soon...my self-supported, thumbing-my-nose-at-hotels bicycle tour of Cape Cod! More than way nervously assembling everything, double-triple-checking. Awfully glad to be going with seasoned self-supported touring pros. Hoping I don't feel TOO self-conscious and make TOO many mis-steps.

PRAYING for no rain! And actually, right now it doesn't appear that there will be...but I know better than to count on weather forecasts so far out in the future. Temps are looking around 65-75 range for day time and 42-60 range for night time...which should be do-able.

Onward! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 9/13/2013 10:11PM


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RAINBOWFALLS 9/10/2013 8:14AM

    I hope you have all the things you are hoping for on your up and coming trip! I can't image riding 26 miles let alone running them. emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 9/9/2013 8:42PM


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HIPPICHICK1 9/9/2013 11:36AM

    Wow! Sounds absolutely fabulous. You make me so jealous because my knee can no longer take the motion of pedaling since about 1998. I tried a spin class last year forgetting all about my knee until I got off the bike and couldn't walk very well.
Have fun in Cape Cod and make sure you take lot of pics!

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L*I*T*A* 9/9/2013 10:18AM

    hope the weather holds out ...........
what fun........enjoy!!!


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VALERIEMAHA 9/9/2013 8:56AM

    Whopee -- I didn't know about these spectacular plans! Did they surface in conversations during the Labor Day event? I LOVE IT when you're livin' out your dreams! Cycle on my friend!!! The trip sounds sublime and I'm thrilled to hear about your cycling buddy! The only thing that disturbs me are your occasional "walk on eggshells" tapes! Just stop that -- lol!

Sonnets to Orpheus, Part Two, XXIX

Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke

Comment edited on: 9/9/2013 8:58:00 AM

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CHANGE4FIT 9/9/2013 8:49AM

    Great blog, as always! Love the images you remind us all to embrace:
our former selves as motivation
we have choices that allow us to "make it happen"-even if it involves granny gears-you still made those hills!
Hoping and praying you have fabulous weather for the Cape ride. You sound a bit like a college kid getting ready to hike/hostel Europe-LOL.

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WATERMELLEN 9/9/2013 8:03AM

    Love the prep ride concept -- and the two "formerly morbidly obese guys" ghost image too because I know for myself . . . never fully leave that one behind, always shocked a little when I catch sight of my current reflection!! Oh well, helps keep us motivated to keep on keeping on, right?

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ZELLAZM 9/9/2013 1:58AM

    Onward, indeed!

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GHK1962 9/8/2013 11:31PM

    Oh, the weather sounds great for riding. And I bet even if you do mis-step, no one will care. I find that people on these rides are very supportive. Hoping you have a great time.

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_MOBII_ 9/8/2013 11:00PM

    Praying for no rain for you!

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    emoticon emoticon

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