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Beautiful Cycling Day!

Friday, August 06, 2010

I enjoyed biking to work, FINALLY, today after another week of the muggies got me down. Best part was the ride home: joined with a few of the others who will be biking to raise donations for Multiple Sclerosis in Sept. Total miles today was 28...could be better, but it was such a joy nonetheless to get out and celebrate this upper 70's, low humidity day!

I had hoped afterward to catch the hot air balloon launch at our local SpiedieFest & Balloon Rally:

www.spiediefest.com/

The hot-air balloon launch is my favorite part of the festival. The rest is much like your county fair with BOATLOADS of unhealthy fare!

Sadly, although it seemed like a picture-perfect day for a launch, the wind must have been blowing a bit too much to risk a launch. And since I'm away this weekend I won't get a chance to see any other attempted balloon launch.

I've thought, off and on, how awesome it might be to ride in a hot air balloon someday...

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with all your heart's desires!

Don

For the heckuvit I wanted to share a link to one VERY COOL looking machine that I would just LOVE to try and most likely own:

elliptigo.com/

Play that video and tell me it wouldn't be such a BLAST to ride one of those things...!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/13/2010 1:34PM

    VEry cool machine - I can just see you on one - maybe a gift to yourself for reaching a big goal sometime in the future?

Been away for a few weeks and making my SP comeback this weekend....

see ya!
Michelle


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CUBFANGIRL1 8/7/2010 10:10AM

    Wow, 28 mles sounds pretty impressive to me! I'm still a newbie to biking and have barely broken 10.

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/7/2010 9:18AM

    Don, I believe the balloons were only going to do the Dusk light Friday night. I have to agree that the launching is the best part and remember when it was more of the focus? My family loved it then, but could care less about it now. Enjoy the weekend.

By the way I posted my raised garden on my page so you can take a look.

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LADYGWEN25 8/7/2010 8:44AM

    glad you got int he ride! I'm so happy that the humidity is going for awhile... Looking forward to spending the day outdoors!

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FRECKS96 8/7/2010 8:27AM

    Hey Don! SO glad you got a good ride in yesterday. The balloons finally went up about 7:30, I missed them too. Alexis and I ended up going over at 6:30 this morning to see them go up-it was just about a perfect launch! Sorry you need to miss them but I hope you enjoy your weekend anyway!

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CARRIE1948 8/7/2010 7:23AM

    Have fun. Thinking about everyone outside on their bikes. Plan to be there next year.

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GRACEFULIFE 8/6/2010 11:00PM

    There are actually some decent choices at some fairs - and it seems like I can find more decent choices at them these days. I don't know if that is just me looking better or the decent choices are actually growing in general. Anyway, the last fair environment I was at had a meat smoking company.. mmm pulled pork and brisket. Not the greatest food in the world, but worth it to me. Also, it turns out the regular bags of cotton candy? 100 calories. The big giant bag? 200 calories. It's mostly air if you think about it, and it's really fun to eat! Best kept food secret ever!

Of course, yeah there was the usual huge amount of deep fried what-have-you.

It was a pretty good day for cycling here, too. I biked for about 65 minutes.. about 956 calories burned according to HRM. My sit bones hurt! And my knee hurt today, so tomorrow no biking, probably walking.

The Elliptigo looks like it could be fun, but I think a regular bike is fun too. I intend to ride with clipless pedals in the future... and you just can't do that with the ellipse one. So while it may be fun, it's probably not as efficient as regular biking. However, I could see the merit of being able to do something resembling, without impact, outdoors.

Keep on rolling!

Comment edited on: 8/6/2010 11:08:42 PM

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JCORYCMA 8/6/2010 10:26PM

    That is one cool looking machine! I'm afraid I'd need a little more balance and skill but I suppose that would come with practice. I did ask my DH to fix the flat tire on his bike and I'm going to try it out - in on a safe trail. Baby steps! Have a great weekend!
Joanne emoticon

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GR8CATSBY 8/6/2010 9:47PM

    Hi Don! You're away this weekend, huh? I guess you won't be going to Bike Tioga then? I'm heading to Owego tomorrow and will do the 42-mile ride (the most I've done since LAST year's Bike Tioga). Was thinking of heading to the Spiediefest, too, but not sure I want to spend $5 for parking, $8 for admission, and then deal with mobs of people (and resisting mobs of food!).
Have a great weekend!!!

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BOBBYD31 8/6/2010 9:43PM

    but the unhealthy fare is sooooo good! the 28 miles will allow you a few nibbles. hope you enjoy your ride

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As The Wheels Turn...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Welcome back to today's installment of...

As the Wheels Turn! :-)

...ah yes those long, rolling hills of Pennsylvania! So sweeping, lush and gorgeous in the summer sun!

Tackle them on two wheels and they turn into an unrelenting ordeal not unlike the Chinese Water Torture! Except MUCH more taxing...!

There was not a single hill that would cause one to go "whoa! THAT hill is gonna be a TOUGH ONE!" Nope. Just a series of hills, with teensy plateaus here and there that just kept going up and UP! Granny and I got VERY well acquainted! Got off and walked THREE times...just wasn't going to KILL myself so early in the ride, which was a total of 61 miles.

Here's a link to the route:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_maps_view.asp?rt=264919


Yes there were a few SWOOPING downhill thrills, but they were curvy and unknowns to me so I was forced to curtail the thrill a bit with the brakes. Somehow they just weren't rewarding enough to make me think: YES! All that effort climbing those hills was WORTH IT!

We stopped for a pleasant lunch at Subway and hit the roads for our return trip, a totally different set of roads.

Fortunately the ride home was much less demanding...especially once we reached New York State again.

However THEN the fireworks began, courtesy of Mother Nature! I was treated to my first ride through a rainstorm! I pulled over for a while under a grocery store's picnic tent in Conklin, where it raged and stormed with lightning strikes zapping all around me and torrential downpours! I had already gotten so soaked by the time I pulled over that my sneakers had trapped enough water for each of my feet to feel like they had their very own swimming pool...lol! Couldn't help but think what a great target a lone biker out in that storm for a lightning strike!

After passing time gabbing with friends and family on my cell the storm quieted down, however still raining steadily. Yours truly figured it was about time this newbie cyclist be initiated in the whiles, whims and ways of biking in a rainstorm. It rained steadily for the next ten miles or so, letting up when I reached the Vestal Parkway so that I could have a pleasant final five miles or so until reaching the Vestal High School.

While I wasn't the slowest person in our group, I was lagging behind many as this had been billed as a Class B (16-19 mph) ride instead of a Class C ride (10-15 mph)...and although I knew I wouldn't cut the speed, I still wanted to travel these as yet uncharted territories. So I took the plunge! And the other members of the bike club were very gracious and patient, waiting for me at turns in the road and complimenting my stick-to-it-iveness for a relative newbie.

So ends yet another chapter in "As the Wheels Turn!"

Hope you all had a SUPER weekend and an even BETTER week ahead!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 8/4/2010 4:08PM

    What an awesome bike ride - 61 miles. You need one of those hats with a built-in umbrella - hee hee. Glad you navigated safely through the storm. Bike on.....

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KEENTINA 8/3/2010 8:10PM

    WOW!! 61 miles AND rain! I'm impressed. I know I wouldn't tackle that right now! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/3/2010 8:11:24 PM

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LUREAH21 8/3/2010 8:04AM

    Sounds like quite the experience! Glad you were able to enjoy it all in spite of the weather.

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/2/2010 9:45AM

    Amazing how far you are willing to go! What an accomplishment and I'm sure it was grueling at times. I'm not sure i will ever be at your level of activity. Keep up the great work!

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FRECKS96 8/2/2010 7:50AM

    Woo Hoo!!! I think it's great that you are enjoying your bike so much and getting to spend so much time on it! Congrats on completing yet another challenge! I look forward to hearing about the next one.

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CARRIE1948 8/2/2010 7:30AM

    With the right clothes, you can pretty much cycle through anything

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FERRETLOVER1 8/2/2010 7:19AM

    It's no fun to ride in the rain - I'm proud of you for doing it!

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SATYAGRAHA 8/2/2010 6:44AM

    WOOOOHOOOO DON! You are simply sparking! Good for you for taking that plunge!

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GRACEFULIFE 8/1/2010 11:45PM

    That sounds like a pretty good ride. Hope you had your performance fabrics on, and good job for pulling through! You're just mad with the biking these days!


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SMILEYBABS 8/1/2010 10:58PM

    My brother and his family live in Montrose, PA. Looks like beautiful country!

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JCORYCMA 8/1/2010 10:38PM

    emoticon Quite a ride for a newbie! When I lived in Newburg, we used to drive into Pennsylvania and I think that area is one of the most beautiful places in the US. I do admire your stick-to-itiveness as you put it! I probably would have given up when the rain came down!
Joanne

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Back For More Punishment...! :-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yep, before checking out I went back to the fitness room today and nailed 35 mins on ye olde Evil E! MUCH less wobbly today! Did another round of ST and some more stationary biking with some cooling down and stretching in the pool.

Nice start to yet another scorching day. I think they broke their record yesterday in Phillie...probably around 100. It was still 90 at 10 pm! Yowzers!

My mentor for the MS Bike tour this September was in a double century ride here in the PA area yesterday & today...100 miles each day! In this heat, I just could NEVER imagine such a feat! Looking forward to hearing from him on how he did...!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 7/30/2010 12:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JCORYCMA 7/26/2010 11:38PM

    Wow - you are an inspiration as usual! I thought about you today as the recumbent bikes were taken at the gym and I had to ride an upright stationary bike. Ouch! I persevered though and used muscles I hadn't felt in a long time. Maybe the next stop is a real outdoor bike (sticking to the trails though...)
Stay cool!
Joanne

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LADYGWEN25 7/26/2010 10:23AM

    wow.. that much mileage in this heat... i'd fall off the bike.... Kudo's for you for keeping up the workouts while you're away! emoticon

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GRACEFULIFE 7/25/2010 11:48PM

    Nice, a few more fitness minutes on something new. Keep rocking it out, Don!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 7/25/2010 10:51AM

    Yes, Don, Philly had record-breaking temps, ugh. I called my dad and stepmom (they live there) to make sure they are ok (they are). I hope your mentor did ok and has plenty of H2O. Sounds like you had a very good workout in spite of this heat! Keep up the good work emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Elliptical Wobbly & Thoughts on a Hot Summer's Day

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Staying over in Philadelphia tonight and while my DW is at our future daughter-in-law's wedding shower I'm taking advantage of the fitness facilities here at the hotel. Originally I was going to bring my bike and Nordic Poles and check out PennyPack Trail, which sounds very nice, BUT record-breaking heat sorta changed my mind and has me indoors sweating like crazy nonetheless in the fitness center, but at least I know it's by choice and I can shower off and be cool again.

I started with the elliptical or my nickname (borrowed from my 100+ team) the "Evil E!" I really enjoy using the elliptical whenever I stay anywhere that has one as I don't have any steady access to it and it feels like it works a whole different set of muscles from the treadmill or cycling.

But THIS elliptical was QUITE merciless and although I had intended to put in 30 minutes on it I almost CRAWLED off of it at 28 mins. as my legs were so wobbly! Took all I had to stay on my two feet to get to a bench to sit and stretch! Whew! I've been on ellipticals for 60 mins. before, but there was something about the positioning of the feet on this one that REALLY got my quads!

After a break I did my ST with dumb bells...one set, then a fast & furious stationary bike for 12 mins. then the 2nd set of ST and then 45 mins. on the treadmill.

Nice workout that had me totally dripping wet as if I had been out in the 100 degree weather!

Speaking of which I can't help on such a terribly hot summer's day to give pause to think about the vast quantities of carbon we all consume simply to keep cool on a day like this. Burning up the coal to keep us cool, yet sending the ash and gases up into the air that will trap yet even more heat and cause us to burn even more as the A/C use continues.

One would think with ALL the technological wizardry us humans have demonstrated that there would be SOME way to provide a sustainable, renewable means of energy...? In the meantime I like to try my best to minimize my carbon footprint whenever I can.

There's just not enough Earth to go around...!

Take care everyone and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

For some Saturday night fun, here's a little dancin' music to move your feet like they did mine on my way back to my room from the fitness center!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CrHXnnyBrg

(Paul Simon - All Around the World)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYMOM8 7/25/2010 7:17PM

    emoticon pat

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FERRETLOVER1 7/25/2010 7:58AM

    I simply don't know how you do it, Don!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 7/25/2010 7:07AM

    Great workout and great idea to change things up a bit. I hope your quads are kind to you today.

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FRECKS96 7/24/2010 9:40PM

    Good (and timely) reminder Don. Something we could probably all stand to think more about. Glad you enjoyed your workout, even if you will be feeling it in the morning! I'll probably give the machines another chance someday, but for now I'll stick with my DVDs and the great outdoors!

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God's Country and Beyond!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today's ride was through some of the most BEAUTIFUL country! We started in the Cannonsville Reservoir, which for those who may not know, is one of several reservoirs in upstate NY which has been set up to gather water to meet the needs of the residents of New York City. Like a giant water cooler, only Nature's version, with a helping hand from people who designed and shaped it.

Here is a pic of the reservoir:


Here is a link to my saved Fitness Map of the ride:
www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness
_maps_view.asp?rt=254686


Supposedly someone's Garmin clocked this ride @ 66 miles...some difference with Fitness Maps tallying up 47 miles! Go figure! I'm going with the upper number because it SURE FELT LIKE IT!

Beers Brook Road

Sounds like such a harmless enough name, eh?

5 miles of solid uphill climbing and YES, I WALKED! :-)

There was no way I would kill myself going up this hill only to have the majority of the ride yet still ahead of me...WHEW! It was challenging enough on it's own!

The fun part was riding down the hills into Downsville on Route 206...didn't reach the upper 50 mph as they had before, but we were around 48 mph...yee hah! No brakes, just fast and furious FUN! For once gravity was my FRIEND instead of FOE!

In Downsville we ate at the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant, a very nicely done-up place in the hunter-woodsman motif with stuffed, mounted animals EVERYWHERE!


I had a spinach salad with grilled chicken on top...yum!

This is the view out the back side of the restaurant looking WAY up the mountainside from down in the valley where we were...awfully pleased not to climb THAT ONE!:


Here are a few of us outside the restaurant with our bikes:


A pic of the road ahead:


I have to admit toward the end of our trek mightily feeling the fatigue and worse, my dorkey shorts weren't doing the best in protecting my backside...yeouch! I began standing on the pedals so much my legs were getting wobbly! A couple of the bike club members were kind enough to wait for me to straggle along...hadn't even realized it as I was busy snapping pics near the end of the ride realizing, "hey, I don't have but hardly ANY pics!" I was pleased to find out that they don't let anyone bike alone on these rides...make sure we all come home to roost! :-)

Wrapped up feeling pleasantly exhausted and treated myself to a soak in the tub tonight...something I do only a handful of times a year!

Hope everyone had a WONDERFUL weekend and here's to a SPARKIN' week ahead!

Don




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AZIMAT 7/24/2010 5:18PM

    Wow! Good for you. Those hills on a bike are a huge challenge. You should be proud of yourself.

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JESPAH 7/22/2010 12:44PM

    Wow Don you are a hero for doing all that.

What an amazing time it sounds like. And I get the feeling you're gonna do it again.

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SATYAGRAHA 7/20/2010 6:22AM

    Woohoo! Looks like a great time!

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JEAN_W 7/20/2010 5:01AM

    Aren't your dorky shorts padded on the backside? I know I've seen padded bike shorts. What a beautiful and long ride.

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TEAMAEGIS 7/19/2010 10:08PM

    What a challenging ride we had! HILLY, headwinds, heat, distance, and speed over BEAUTIFUL terrain!

Don... as I mentioned to you earlier, you are a great rider. The "fast kids" showed up for this ride, and you stayed with them for most of the 66 hilly hilly miles. Sweet... As usual, I led from the rear, finishing up (no doubt) at least 1/2 hour behind everyone else. But finish I did...

GREAT ride, and glad you came along. Imagine... just a few years ago was this even a possibility?

Ride on Don!

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LUREAH21 7/19/2010 10:13AM

    Awesome and Beautiful!! emoticon

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LADYGWEN25 7/19/2010 9:10AM

    looks like a beautiful place to ride! i can't wait until i can get to that point both fitness wise and with confidence on the bike... Keep Sparking Don! you motivate me to move forward and conquer my fears!

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FRECKS96 7/19/2010 7:11AM

    So glad you got to enjoy your ride. Sounds like it was a success, even if you are a bit sore today. Don't forget to rest yourself and you'll be ready for that 100 miler in no time!

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FERRETLOVER1 7/19/2010 6:52AM

    Wow - what a beautiful place to ride!

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GRACEFULIFE 7/19/2010 6:40AM

    Wow, yeah beautiful areas to ride and great job for pulling through such a ride! emoticon

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SASSYCHRIS1952 7/19/2010 2:15AM

    Beautiful scenery!

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 7/18/2010 11:53PM

    Great fun to read about your latest biking adventure, and whether it was 47 or 66 miles, you ROCK!

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