Saturday, July 03, 2010
Just a quickie...had a blast kayaking with sister and her kids yesterday. However when I slathered up with sunscreen I was wearing sneaks / socks...guess what got toasted! Turned my feet into lobster claws...! Although I managed a short bike ride to my aunt's this morning I'm giving my feet and ankles a break now...slathering them with aloe, hoping to be more active tomorrow.
It's been great catching up with family I haven't seen in a long, long time!
Hope everyone's doing well out there! :-)
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I had the GRANDEST PLANS for Friday afternoon!
One of the perks to my job is that once or twice a month I get to spend an evening out with a group of my clients doing something fun: bowling, picnic @ the park, movies, etc. It's enjoyable to have some "down" time with them PLUS I get to take those hours off some other time at my convenience.
So Friday afternoon I was going to play hookie and after riding my bike to work for the morning I was going to scoot @ lunchtime and have the afternoon to hit the wide open roads of my choosing!
Until I went down a street which was under lots of repair and hit one of those big flat slabs of metal which they use to cover holes, etc.
Thought I was in the clear, but a couple blocks later...my first flat struck!
I phoned home for a rescue and while waiting continued to walk my bike while waiting for a pick up and trip to the bike shop. My DW reminded ever-green conscious-me later on: hey, you know you could have just walked to the bike shop and not had to use the car at all... DOH! Moment #4,984,507! :-)
I am the world's LEAST handiest fellow...so I parlayed this into a lesson in fixing flats...the bike shop (Chenango Point...great fellows there!) was VERY patient in slowly going through the steps involved. It dawned on me that in all my travels thus far I have been ABSOLUTELY unprepared for this...! So I bought a spare tube, pump to hook on my bike and tire change tools. Doubt I can do this in a pain-free manner but at least I'm not TOTALLY clueless...!
Had a SUPER ride today up through Whitney Point into a little town to the north, Lisle...hot, muggy mid-80's but you know I really don't feel the heat too much until I stop. When I took a water break in Lisle I was sweating BUCKETS! Kinda takes the enjoyment out of a rest stop! So I got back on my bike, taking advantage of 360 A/C and stopped sweating almost immediately!
Anybody who knows me knows I am no fan of air conditioning. In the car I always use 460 A/C: four windows down going 60 mph! :-) On my BIKE I call it 360 A/C as I've got wind coming at me from all directions: 360 degrees...lol!
On the way home I took a gorgeous detour through Dorchester Park (our own little piece of paradise!)...all the hills, banks and homes a-blazin' in the summer sun with swaths of firey tiger lilies almost everywhere you look. It always does my heart a happy, happy dance when I see people walking, biking along the paths. The beach had some families wading & swimming in the water. And the canoe / kayak building was all set up and open for rental business! Can't wait to get out on a kayak this summer...sheesh...gotta do that SOON before this summer wastes away!
Here's a few pics of Dorchester...from another time:
A few boats out on the water:
Walking / biking path:
The open lake:
One of my SparkFriends (ACIMPEGGY) shared this lovely thought which I wanted to pass along to others...be sure to watch this a little bit...as it gets SO much better as it plays along. And be sure to PAY IT FORWARD! :-)
Hoping everyone had a special weekend and is prepared to have an even BETTER WEEK AHEAD! :-)
Saturday, June 19, 2010
There were around 330 of us at our Great Finger Lakes Bike Tour this year...which marked its THIRTIETH (WOW!) anniversary!
We were tucked away in the Hidden Valley Campgrouds within Watkins Glen State Park. As many may know, Watkins Glen is known for its racing and NASCAR events. You could hear them going it throughout the day over the hill...sounding like a swarm of angry hornets! Some of the roads we biked were part of the first Watkins Glen International Speedway...hard to believe these roads which were either twisting up / down valleys or straightaways through open fields could have been the scene of such mayhem! It was all so serene and peaceful (away from the track!).
The first day I biked up and down the east side of Seneca Lake from Watkins Glen along past MANY different wineries and vineyards. During a couple of stops I had a chance to chat with some pleasant cyclists who had come all the way from Windsor, Ontario! Total miles for Saturday were 38.
Vineyards overlooking Seneca Lake north of Watkins Glen
Hector Falls north of Watkins Glen
Hector Falls emptying into Seneca Lake
That afternoon a fellow member of SparkPeople (TEAMAEGIS) who is ALSO a member of the bike club was giving another walking tour of Watkins Glen. I have walked the glen in the past, but it had been a while and I appreciated the opportunity to share our stories while re-visiting such beautiful sites of nature!
Saturday had been HOT and increasingly MUGGY...the bank thermometer in Watkins Glen put the temp @ 86! But it felt SO NICE to catch up with some SUNSHINE!
That night I think I had the longest sleep I'd seen in many moons...! There was a raffle @ 8 pm...finished dinner @ 7 pm. Back at the cabin the sleepies struck. I thought, hey, I'll just rest a bit until it's time for the raffle. Didn't wake up until the next morning 6 pm! Whew WEE was that ever GREAT!
Sunday's weather was a whole different story! By the time we had breakfast, packed and left the campgrounds for Hammondsport the rains had begun! It was like being back in Georgia again! TORRENTIAL rains, nearly forcing us to pull over to the side of the road at times!
It was still raining steadily when we arrived at Keuka Lake and I was like...don't think I'm up for biking in THIS! So we killed some time by driving around the lake to see the route I would bike IF the rain let up!
That was when we saw multiple washouts of mud & stone strewn across the road in a number of spots. UGH! But I was like...well, maybe by the time we circle round the lake...? The rain DID let up and there was only a light, off & on drizzle:
Misty, foggy, post-torrential Keuka Lake
I just KNEW there would be no LIVING with myself if I didn't get out there and NAIL that route 'round the lake! So off I went! Keuka Lake is shaped like a large "Y" with Hammondsport at the bottom of the stem, Branchport at the left tip of the "Y" and Penn Yan at the right tip. The route was 44 miles IF one travels directly from Branchport to Penn Yan, 57 miles if one undertook the bluff route traveling down and up the inside of the "Y"...and this route has a notorious hill to negotiate. Our bike club president says: "I never met a hill I couldn't...walk up!" :-)
Because the time was running tight and I didn't want to stay TOO late I vetoed the bluff run...saving that for another day!
One of the special joys of the ride up the west side of the lake was the run-off of the rains which had just pounded down. On my right was Keuka and on my left were rocky embankments through which every 100 yards or so a mini-waterfall cut through the stone...a treat for my eyes and ears!
This weekend reminded me yet one more time how blessed we are to have such beauty in our backyard here in rural upstate New York!
Hope everyone in our SparkFamily is doing well and alive & thriving on into the wonderful summer months!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Well, I may have forgotten to bring a 2nd pair of tips for my Nordic poles, which I discovered I wore out during yesterday's outing on those Georgia country roads...got around 45 mins. from my son's home when I realized that *scrape-scrape* those rubber tipped poles weren't quite sounding right as I was traveling along...sure enough looked at the bottom of the pole and the rubber had been worn right down to the metal pole...sheesh!
What to do now? Well, walk, dummy! Yeah, but walking just didn't cut it for me...just didn't satisfy my urge to MOVE! So I started jogging! I had ventured around 45 mins. from home when I had decided to return just carrying my poles while jogging along...at first thinking I'd just jog a bit and get back to walking...but you know...? It felt kinda all right! So I jogged the whole way back in 30 mins.! Now I know my Nordic walking tends to vary between 4-5 mph. So how fast was I jogging...? Dunno...
BUT: Tonight on our way traveling home after 12 hours on the road we checked in at a low-budget hotel...you know, for one night why spend any more than necessary...? Did they have a pool...? Yep: opens in two days. Did they have wireless internet? Yep: except not in our room. Did they have a fitness center? Yep: except they just keyed the room and the manager couldn't find any key that would open it.
Batting a thousand, eh....? Well, I always have my two feet AND I brought along my jump rope as a back up plan...
Anyhow, after fiddling with their internet service for a half hour trying to get the wireless working I gave up and lo & behold the manager gets the fitness center (such as it was...) open. Ugh: no elliptical! I SO like to do elliptical when I'm away from home. There was a stair climber...tried it for 10 mins. ugh...still don't like those things...too clunky, awkward, can't get any RHYTHM going on one of those.
All right how about the stationary bike? I've been away from my bicycle for around 2 weeks now...would be good to at least limber up on a stationary bike! Yep, if it worked! No power...pedals whizzed around with no resistance whatsoever...
That left the 3rd and last gadget...a treadmill.
I've gotta tell ya, my treadmill at home has been gathering LOTS of dust since I've been able to get out cycling and/or Nordic walking. I have to admit to even feeling a bit...ugh, not the TREADMILL...these days...so SPOILED by the outdoors!
I was THIS close to opting to just getting outside and walking / running around the building when I realized: hey...there is an *air conditioner* in here! I can max out the A/C while on the treadmill!
Okay, so I decide...it's been a LONG day and although I'm weary in a way, I feel a lot of pent up energy from sittting and driving all day. Let's give it a good effort: I set it for 60 mins. Was surprised to find that 60 was the max time setting! Incline? Well I use a "10" on my treadmill at home so I'll start with that. Speed? Let's start at 4 for warm up.
Soon I bumped it up to 4.5. Then 5...and noticed something: I usually have a slow jog going at 5 mph, but I was still taking rapid long strides. Hmmm...maybe I need more incline...bumped it up to "15"...the max setting on the incline, which STILL didn't feel like the incline on my home treadmill. What is it with these treadmill manufacturers...can't they kick out more incline...?lol
Good song...okay let's get running...5.5...ooh GREAT SONG...how about 6 mph...? You know...6 is what I used to do for a short song now and again. But tonight? I just held it at 6 or MORE for the majority of my hour on the treadmill! On MAX incline! A couple of songs really pushed me...my personal "Rocky" song, which is Emerson Lake & Palmer's rocked out version of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man...AWESOME track! Even if World Wide Sports DID use it for their theme song once upon a time! www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN5ap9AseQc
Kinda makes me feel like I'm at my own personal Olympics or something...! :-) Pushed it to 6.5 mph!
And THEN came Jefferson Airplane's live version of 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds, which pushed me to 6.7 mph!
I finished my hour on the 'mill racking up 5.9 miles...woo hoo!
Part of me still wonders if this 'mill (Life Fitness) is defective and these numbers aren't valid...? But although I can't say I have the "running bug" just yet, I can certainly feel something percolating that hasn't been there quite to this degree in the past...!
Well, it's late, must crash so I can get up and hit the road for the final home stretch!
Hope everyone's Sparkin' Plenty out there...!
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