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'Millin' the Drearies Away...!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have an unfortunate knack for turning good things into bad.

Take cycling. Love it! Can't get enough of it! But: for a variety of reasons, weather, timing, etc. I cannot guarantee myself time on my bike every day of the week.

As a result there are often 3-4 days a week I just don't get on my bike. So what do I do for cardio on those days...?

Earlier in the summer I had been doing well to get out for walks, jogs and Nordic walking. But gradually I'd been letting my cardio go on days when I couldn't bike. Bad news!

And all the while my trusty treadmill has been there right along as my solution for those busy and / or rainy days! All the outdoor outlets, however, have me spoiled and I grew to dread the idea on getting on the treadmill.

Today I decided my 'mill truly HADN'T grown fangs and claws over the summer and got back on it for a nice hour long session of walk / jogging at 4-5 mph on a 10 incline. Worked up a good old sweat and loved re-connecting with my tunes as they take on a whole new life of their own when I hear them while working out.

With the big cycling event coming up in Sept. and my son's wedding in Oct. I have EVERY reason to be psyched up to work out my best abilities...yet I have to admit to having allowed myself to slide this past summer. I'm planning to make the most of the time between now and these oh-SO-important events that lie ahead!

Have a GREAT week ahead everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACTIVE_AT_60 8/23/2010 8:05PM

    Like Bobby, I will do anything to avoid my treadmonster. I hate it. I will run outside in all sorts of weather - except when there is ice on the road and pavement. Safety first. In 2007 the baseball home opener was cancelled here - who ran in a foot of snow? No excuse for the cardio - besides - we are hoping to see you in Pittsburgh in March ...

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    You're so insightful to notice those tendencies that I think many of us feel. Still, you're my hero for both honesty and persistence! I'm with you, turn on those tunes and my body almost comes alive despite itself (body memory from easier times?). Congratulations on your son's wedding! That is just the best.


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FERRETLOVER1 8/23/2010 7:06AM

    I cannot accept your comment that you have been slacking off. You are amazing, Don!

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CARRIE1948 8/23/2010 7:02AM

    Keep up the good work

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GRACEFULIFE 8/23/2010 6:43AM

    Slacking? You? Say it isn't so! Anyway, you know what's going on. You know how to fix it. So no problem! It's handled!

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ZELLAZM 8/23/2010 5:54AM

    Summer is good time to change things up...but it's good that you recognized the slight slack-off and have identified some goals to work toward.

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_VALEO_ 8/23/2010 5:13AM

    You're doing great, Don. You have a plan B, and even C here.
You have two big and important landmarks to keep you focus!

Wish you optimimal weather conditions, and good timing to get on your bike!

Biking won't be for me this summer. Yet I have hope to rejoin my Nordic Walking group in September. My physical therapist told me this morning, I should be able to restart slowly mid-september.

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DRASADAF 8/23/2010 4:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BOBBYD31 8/22/2010 11:38PM

    i give you credit, rain, heat, snow i avoid the dreadmill at all costs. i would rather deal with the elements, i am good between 10-95 so there are not too many conditions that keep me in. not sure how long i will bike in that weather...... but run/walk i am good. more power to you, now get out there and get ready for these big events

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Pleasant Cross-County Ride / Bike Samaritan Tale

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Even though the sun never really came out and it only rose to around 73 (weather forecast was sunny & mid 80's...!), we enjoyed our ride across Broome County today from Binghamton to Owego and back. Plus I rode my bike into Binghamton with a total of around 54 miles today. They were flatter miles than usual, which I've been told uses different muscles than hilly rides and I'm feeling it a bit more in the quads.

My riding partner had a delightful story to share about a fellow in our community who should be named "Mr. Bicycle"...! He is in his 70's and lives on top of one of our local mountains and cycles every day down into the valley and back home. He is often the emcee for our biking events and a pivotal member of our local bike club. I'm told he possesses a zillion bicycle parts and maybe half as many bicycles...lol!

Children (and adults too!) come to him from far and wide for help with their bicycles, fixing flats, adjusting seats, whathaveyou. This little girl stops by to see him and he says: "Hmmm...I think that bicycle is getting a little small for you. Why don't you come along and let's see what we have back here..."

And he trades her smaller bike for a newly rehabbed larger bike! She rides off beaming with her upgrade and the next day she returns with a plate of home-made cookies and 26 cents.

"What's the 26 cents for?" He asks.

"For my new bicycle!" She replies.

"Funny thing about that" he told her, "that was JUST the price I was going to ask for this bicycle!" She beams, taking off on her bike.

What a delight to hear about such people! This story made me smile and brightened my day and I'm hoping it does the same for you! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/23/2010 5:53AM

    How sweet! Stories like this can make your day!

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    You are awesome, and make me wonder how to find a bike club where I can build up to 54 miles! I'm so happy for you and glad for your health. Mr. Bicycle is one life's saints. What a lovely story to share, and an experience that, no doubt, will become part of whom the little girl becomes.

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RUBIEAGLE 8/22/2010 5:59PM

    Nice story - I plan on riding my bike when I'm 70 - wow! Up hill & down - good lungs & heart. I wrote a blog on July 15 about falling in love with a red cruiser bike at Wal-Mart! Do you mind not bragging about the weather you're having where you live?! It's 90s & 100s here in SW MO; so hot that I have to do my laundry late at night/early in the morning. Oh, well, it'll be fall here soon!

Again, what a nice story & what a gentleman!

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BEARDMUSIC 8/22/2010 12:32PM

    What a neat story!

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OUTDOORGIRL69 8/22/2010 11:56AM

That was great and it put a smile on my face reading it also.

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NIKANN7493 8/22/2010 9:35AM

    What a lovely story! Definately brought a smile out this morning!

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LADYGWEN25 8/22/2010 9:10AM

    that is such a nice story... glad you enjoyed your bike ride around the towns. emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 8/22/2010 7:19AM

    What a truly nice story. It's really great to hear that there are still some nice people out there - too often, we hear about the bad. Thank you so much for sharing, Don!

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JCORYCMA 8/21/2010 11:10PM

    What a feel good story! Restores your faith in humanity! You've got to be peddling the weight right off! Keep it up!

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FRECKS96 8/21/2010 9:28PM

    Aw, love the story! It's nice to hear about good people doing good things.

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/21/2010 7:55PM

    emoticon story. It is so nice to know there are still wonderful people out there.

Great job on racking up your fitness minutes too!

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BOBBYD31 8/21/2010 7:53PM

    that is awesome!

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 8/21/2010 7:52PM

    That was a very nice story, Don, and a very welcome, up-beat moment in my day!!


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Keuka Lake Re-Visited

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Today I returned to Keuka Lake to do the WHOLE thing (last time I skipped from the tip of this "Y" shaped lake to the other tip) including the "V" in the middle of the "Y", which is known to have a KILLER hill guaranteed to be a "walk"...and it sure WAS!

Unfortunately as it was the last time, we had a rainy, cloud-filled day so Keuka did not exactly put it's best foot forward for us. I neglected to bring a camera, but with the grayness of the day it was probably just as well. There is a nice picture of Keuka Lake at the top of this web page:

www.fingerlakes.org/ You'll see other pictures of our beatiful Finger Lakes as well. The rain stopped fairly soon after only about a 1/4 of our ride was completed. Soon my rain soaked t-shirt would become my SWEAT-soaked t-shirt...lol!

16 of us from the bike club did the ride...3 had flat tires...! I watched one changing his to get a little more familiar with the steps involved.

I mapped our route in my Fitness Maps where you can see how our route traced the entire perimeter of the lake, looking like a skinny, squished letter "Y":


I was so pleased to travel down into the "V" of this "Y" this time around as the first half of the route took us right down near the waterfront where the *old* and *big* money was...BEAUTIFUL lakeside homes, docks and boats along the West Bluff Drive. Elsewhere around Keuka there were many "For Sale" signs. Nary a sign to be found around HERE! It felt like these folks had been here for many generations and would CONTINUE to be here for many generations.

An unexpected treat near the bottom of the "V" at the end of West Bluff Drive as the road began to climb steeply toward Skyline Drive, off the side of the road down a VERY steep embankment with a carefully groomed zig-zag path leading all the way down near the waterfront was what appeared to be an ancient stone church that was SO beautiful! Named "Garrett Chapel" I later researched it and found that while it wasn't "ancient" it had an interesting history which tells you a little more about the area. Here are a couple websites which have great pictures (better than anything *I* would have taken...!):


At the beginning of that KeukaMonga (a cute name I someone had for their home) climb I huffed and puffed and pumped those pedals for all I was worth...but when I turned the corner and saw I was like...HALF-WAY! And saw fellow bikers ahead of me walking...oof! Threw in the towel and walked 'er on up. The odd thing was, after getting to the top and starting out on my way up out of the "V" I found myself whizzing right along on a slope that wasn't obvious to the eye, but sure was obvious to my feet...which FLEW right along! I would have thought that the altitude would be RISING as I went up toward Penn Yan, but WOO HOO! Loved that long sweeping ride down!

After we all finished we got together at the Switzerland Inn, where we started and ended our circuit 'round the lake:

www.theswitz.com/index.htm More pics courtesy of the Switz:


Enjoyed a nice lunch, shared some biking stories...great time had by all!

Between yesterday's 42 mile ride and today's 57 mile ride, close to a total of 100 miles. Certainly FELT it today, but it was a great weekend toward getting ready for my MS City to Shore Ride of 175 miles on Sept. 25-26!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/21/2010 6:17AM

    What a great summer tour! inner athlete? not with you anymore - it's outer athlete all the way!

Happy weekend ahead,

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LADYGWEN25 8/19/2010 10:00PM

    great job on the ride! i'm impressed at how much you did! definately an inspiration. emoticon

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DBH222 8/17/2010 8:40PM

  I can tell, you are having the time of your life. Great going. emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/17/2010 11:32AM

    I love Garrett Chapel. Took a bunch of photos there once when they opened it up for a class a friend was taking.

I think Keuka might be my favorite of the lakes. An interesting side note I read somewhere is that it was one of the last Finger Lakes settled by Europeans because everyone moving west went north or south of Canandaigua Lake and never bothered to look "behind" it.

Sounds like you've been doing some good riding!

Saturday I swam 1.2 miles on Cayuga Lake for a Hospice benefit, kayaked some, and tried single-track mountain biking. I was terrified I was going to fall over and hurt myself, thus taking myself out for the rest of the kayaking season.

Sunday afternoon took some Cornell students up to Watertown for some whitewater surfing on the Route 3 wave up there. It rained on the way up but cleared when we arrived and we had a great time playing in our boats and cooking out on the shore. Didn't get home until 1am!

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JUSTMEJUDY 8/16/2010 12:13PM

  emoticon You're an inspiration

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SABRINAIS30IN09 8/16/2010 12:03PM

    Awesome!!!Thanks for sharing!!! Very inspirational!!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/16/2010 9:27AM

    I love the Finger Lakes and what a great way to see Keauka! You are a powerhorse when it comes to that bike! emoticon

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GIANNACIA 8/16/2010 8:21AM

    Great job Don, you are truly an inspiration.

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FRECKS96 8/16/2010 7:14AM

    That's awesome!! So glad you conquered the top part and enjoyed the sights. At this rate you'll surely be ready for the big ride!

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CARRIE1948 8/16/2010 7:08AM

    Good job.

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FERRETLOVER1 8/16/2010 6:57AM

    What a great ride!

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JBINAUSTIN 8/16/2010 2:26AM

    Keuka Lake is so beautiful! I just got back a few weeks ago from visiting a friend on East Bluff Drive. You can really work up a sweat biking up to the view on the bluff. Congratulations.

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GRACEFULIFE 8/15/2010 11:15PM

    Wow, Don, serious biking! Hope you learn how to fix those flats soon, and overall GOOD GOING!!

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JCORYCMA 8/15/2010 11:10PM

    Wow! Could you have ever imagined back in your "heavy days" doing anything like this? You've made an amazing change and thanks for sharing it with us and being such an inspiration!

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Beautiful Three County Loop!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I joined my fellow bike club members for a gorgeous day of weather (low 80's, low humidity) pedaling through some as yet uncharted territory here in beautiful upstate New York. We totaled around 40 miles as we looped up into Chenango County via Smithville Flats past Long Pond State Forest and Park on into Willet, shaving the southern edge of Cortland County and headed back to Broome County where we had lunch at a local family diner and then rode back to Chenango Forks.

There were a few challenging hills...I'm forgetting what somebody's GPS said...I think total elevation climbed was around 2,000 feet...? But such unspoiled expanses of nature...! Breathtaking! Long Pond is an odd name as while it certainly was LONG, it was also BIG...hardly looked like a pond! Some lucky homes were scattered along the shore to enjoy the water throughout the year.

Nice to see new sights out on my bicycle! The world just seems *that* much closer and more real, as opposed to being boxed into a car and driving through.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 8/16/2010 10:05PM

    Woo Hoo!! You ARE Reeeeallly Sparkin' Don!!
It's great that you can do 40 miles!!!
Something I don't think I'd be able to do.....
After all...I live in Florida and everything is slooooow down here!!
You are an inspiration...
If you can go do 40 miles in a day I spose I can jump on my eliptical for 20 to 40 minutes!!

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LADYGWEN25 8/15/2010 10:10AM

    Been to long pond.. and you're right Don.. it IS gorgeous! I'm with Julie.. what's the name of the restaurant?? i love mom and pop shops. emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/15/2010 10:06AM

    I've never been to Long Pond. I so love the water and it sounds like a place I should visit. I don't think I'll attempt it on my bike though! Great job!

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JCORYCMA 8/14/2010 11:24PM

    Sounds like a great day! Nice of the weather to cooperate with you this week :)

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FERRETLOVER1 8/14/2010 7:59PM

    Sounds like a wonderful time! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 8/14/2010 7:23PM

    Sounds great! What/where was the diner? We love hole in the wall places!

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BEARDMUSIC 8/14/2010 7:17PM

    Sounds wonderful!

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ACIMPEGGY 8/14/2010 6:09PM

    What a great way to exercise, socialize and enjoy nature!

Lucky you! emoticon

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Gadgets & Me: ReUnited!

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's been an "off" week for me with my gadgets:

1) On my way to work on Monday I got a flat.
2) My mp3 player died on me, had to send it in for a replacement
3) My PC's DVD drive died on me. Although I replaced it, my PC then died and refused to boot!

Well, had a colleague at work pick me up on Mon. so I could get to work. Took the bike in to get the flat fixed at lunchtime. A matronly-looking, knowledgeable, Rosie-the-Riveter type of lady fixed the flat and was very helpful with some of my cycling equipment questions. Found a used water bottle holder and a used under-the-seat pouch for my spare tire and a few little things for only $5 each...would run around $20 each new! Nice to be able to carry two water bottles now for my longer trips! She also tipped me off on using thicker tubes for my tires than what the manufacturer calls for. The usual tubes aren't a whole lot thicker than a balloon! This alternative was at least three times thicker. I'm hoping not to be troubled by another flat for a while...ugh! That is the drawback of the thinner, touring cycle tires as opposed to the heavier duty mountain bike tires.

Got my pc back today. They could find nothing wrong with it! Booted fine! But still charged me forty-some dollars to run diagnostic tests...grrr! But good to have it back.

Got my mp3 player back today too! Woo hoo! Back to waltzing with my reel mower! :-)

Mowed my lawn today with my push reel mower MINUS mp3 player (had to charge it up)...had let the grass go a bit too long had to give it some OOMPH as I jogged along! Worked up a BIG old sweat! 90 mins. usually has me finishing.

Getting ready for a longer bike ride both tomorrow AND Sunday!

Have a SPARKIN' weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERRETLOVER1 8/15/2010 8:36AM

    Sounds like all's well that ends well-have a great ride!

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FRECKS96 8/14/2010 9:37AM

    There is always something when it comes to gadgets. Glad all of yours seem to be back to 100%. Have a great weekend and enjoy your rides!!

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DOLLBABE56 8/14/2010 9:27AM

    In spite of your misfortunes this week, you could actually say it was a positive one! Have fun this weekend.

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KMATIS 8/14/2010 9:17AM

    Well--it was the week of Friday the 13th--you just spread it out all week instead of one day!

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LADYGWEN25 8/14/2010 8:47AM

    ahh techology... you never know how dependent on it you become until you lose it...lol... glad you've got everything back in working order Don. :)

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/14/2010 8:05AM

    They say things happen in threes. What a bummer about the computer.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 8/14/2010 7:46AM

    I wish there were one of those cars behind me with wheels on the roof - so I just have to stick my arm up when I needed another bottle or a wheel changed ROFL. With all the riding you have done I am surprised it hasn't happened more often.

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GR8CATSBY 8/14/2010 7:42AM

    I wish there was a AAA for cyclists! I fix my own flats but of course it's a pain, especially the back tire.
I have a hybrid bike. The original tires were 38cm, but I got skinnier ones - I think they're 30cm now. The kind I've had for the last few years are tougher (thicker? and a bit heavier) and are prone to fewer punctures. At one point I got really heavy-duty ones - I think they were called Armadillo - but I got a flat with them and they were so tough I couldn't take the tire off the rim. Had to return them - if I'm going to be out by myself on my bike, I HAVE to be able to fix a flat.
I didn't know there were inner tubes less prone to punctures - will have to look into that.

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DDOORN 8/14/2010 7:30AM

    Got the pump, got the spare tube, but again it was the rear wheel...I'm all thumbs mechanically and have only watched a fellow change the tube on the rear tire once at the bike shop. Yeah, absolutely right, coulda, shoulda, woulda, but haven't yet mastered this.


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ZELLAZM 8/14/2010 6:31AM

    ahhhhh, technology! Glad you're up and running again on all fronts...have a great weekend!

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L*I*T*A* 8/14/2010 12:49AM

    sounds like things happen in three"s????
well glad things got fixed....
have a great weekend......
blessings and hugs...........lita

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XENA1956 8/14/2010 12:21AM

    I was sort of wonderfing the same thing whether you can fix your own tire or not?? Most of my friends who ride can do all of that stuff. I agree if you don't know how get that nice lady to show you how and give her a big tip. Sounds like you got some good exercise with push mower. Keep up the good work and I hope all you gadgets are done giving you a hard time.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/13/2010 11:09PM

    Dude, is there something special about your bike that makes it so you can't fix your own flats? I'm confused. Especially since you've been doing all this long-distance riding.

You can't possibly be riding around without a pump, a patch kit, tire irons, and a spare tube, are you?

And if you are, then you need to get the matronly woman at the shop to teach you how to fix a flat yourself and then get the tools so you can do it on the roadside. LOL

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