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:
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!
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:
Play that video and tell me it wouldn't be such a BLAST to ride one of those things...!
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:
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!
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...!
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!
(Paul Simon - All Around the World)
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:
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!
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