Monday, September 20, 2010
Not much time for blogging these days, as have been preoccupied and focused on preparations for my first century+ bike ride this upcoming weekend.
I hope to complete the City to Shore Ride for Multiple Sclerosis and with my Team Captain we're planning to ride 100 miles on Sat. from Cherry Hill, NJ to Ocean City, NJ and another 75 miles on Sun. returning to Cherry Hill.
We had our crash course in changing flat tires yesterday...courtesy of a wonderful fellow from our local bike club. He patiently provided guidance as we'd deflate, disassemble, reassemble, re-inflate bike tires over & over again. Feeling like I can handle that if it comes up...might fumble a bit, but I think I'd get the job done! Bringing my bike into the shop for a good look-over, tune-up on Weds.
These are total miles I have yet to see myself accomplish within such a time frame. While I *think* I can do this and I'm setting out to give it my best shot, I'm very nervous, anxious, excited over balancing "giving it my best" yet not overstepping my capabilities or beating myself up if I fall short of doing the WHOLE thing.
Going to do my best to keep my bike legs under me throughout the week by riding to work and other places every day if I can.
I got a carrier for the back rack on my bike and plan to take a camera along for pics.
Leaving Friday to settle in for the EARLY start on Sat. morning. Departure is at 6 a.m. We'll have 10 hours to complete the 100 miles. It all sounds "do-able" but I can be all-too-good in worrying and driving myself crazy...lol!
Once I hit the road I think my bike will be my best medicine!
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Many people live nearby a road such as the one I cycled today...Route 7 used to be a major highway between Binghamton and Albany. However years ago Interstate 88 was put in to be a speedier major spoke for our travel through the Northeast.
Today I had the pleasure of traveling up Route 7 from Binghamton to Oneonta and discovered that:
---I had the road almost ALL to myself! Everyone was traveling the Interstate! Woo Hoo!
---Route 7 was somtimes like a parallel universe, traveling back into time where diners are the rule and fast food is the exception. I discovered the little burg of Unadilla has a live, functioning drive-in theater! A place where Nooks were what lovers found in each other and Kindled flames of romance, rather than to get lost in a myriad of yet more gadgets. Produce stands filled with fresh fruits and veggies grown in back yards with a trusting coffee can for customers to drop their payment. Backyard barbeques wafted out to the road for me to enjoy the aroma of family gatherings...
---There were pleasant surprises such as innovative manufacturers of solar powered equipment and biomass pellets for pellet stoves.
---The towns that used to have a bar or tavern every other block have replaced them with Ice Cream Shops...ugh! Trading one vice for another...lol! and can someone explain why was it during our travels down in the HOT SOUTH of this country other than the occasional DQ, there were next to NO ice cream shops...? Is this a northern phenomenon...?
Although a little cloudy at times and a cool high-60's, it was SUCH a pleasant day for a 56 mile road trip on my bike!
The weather taking such a turn during Labor Day weekend really makes it feel like summer is all but over...which I plan to fight tooth and nail...! Some Labor Days feel like just a teensy speed bump to a summer which still has a lot of life left...sadly this year it just doesn't have that feeling. I hope I'm SO WRONG! :-)
So hey, if you live nearby a road like Route 7 and haven't traveled it in a while take a break and walk, jog, bike or even a ride in your car and surprise yourself with a little time travel down the memory lane in YOUR neighborhood!
Have a super Labor Day weekend everyone!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The weather this weekend was just PERFECT! Both yesterday and today were so sunny and pleasantly warm!
Yesterday my biking partner (who'll be doing the MS City to Shore ride with me in September) and I headed south into Pennsylvania to Montrose. It was the 2nd time for me, first time for her. We biked down the way that I had previously biked north from Montrose. For some reason the hills REALLY knocked our socks off and by the time we got to Montrose we were shaky about the ride back.
Some cyclists thrive on the challenge of hills.
Maybe in my next lifetime...lol!
Not that I avoid them altogether, and not that I can't become enthralled with the SWOOPING downhill payoff for climbing some hills. But Pennsylvania just threw one too many hills at us on this ride!
But we made it! I had an inspiration along the way which helped tremendously. Southbound we came up to a "Road Closed" detour. On our way home I thought, I wonder if we could shave off some of those terrible hills by NOT taking this detour? If the road is closed, we could always walk the bikes across a little rough road.
So we took a chance and went for it!
As I approached the road work I got nervous: what if it was a bridge that was out and there was no way across...? The road crew had done their level best to block the way with their heavy machinery so you couldn't see whether or not the way was passable. The road was totally removed with just a bed of very coarse gravel. As we began to walk our bikes over the gravel a car pulled up to the edge behind us and a couple got out. I was expecting them to say: "you can't cross that, the bridge is out!"
But, HOORAY! They said, "Hey, should be no problem!"
Either side of the road dropped off sharply into forested canyons and at a few points the machinery stuck right out into the very edge. We stepped through the claws & clutches of these gigantic road machines, hoisting our bikes along. However this only lasted a few hundred feet and we were in the clear.
We couldn't BELIEVE the point to which this road brought us! It was like we stepped through a time warp! Kicked our heels together and had Scottie beam us through! Bypassed the KILLER HILLS! Woo HOO! It's an awesome feeling when taking a risk pays off! :-)
It was a terrific ride home from there! However the miles did wear us down some...totaled 62 miles on this ride! We took in mile after mile of beautiful sights of nature: red-tailed hawks circling overhead, a little hog-nosed snake creeping out onto the shoulder of the road during a water stop. He listened to me and thought better of crossing the road and did an about face, scurrying off into the grassy ditch. Here and there among the high hills and mountains you could see the beginning of fall colors coming to the trees.
Today was a light day...had too much to do at home...big cookathon to get ready for the week ahead!
But I had fun biking to our local MAJOR cycling / running event:
I visited with some fellow bike club members as they had a tent set up at the event and also met up with one of our local SparkPeople members FRECKS96 who had just finished her FASTEST 5K run YET! Unfortunately I was too late to have seen the race.
Then I joined with others as we saw the men's final bike race. Funny thing, in all the years I've lived here I've NEVER seen the Thater bike races!
It is an AMAZING thing to behold, a thicket of 50 or so cyclists whizzing down the street at an incredible speed with only inches between them and the other cyclists around and THEN banking around tight corners and somehow managing not to bump into another cyclist and bringing the whole lot of them down like so many dominoes...!
It's certainly more of a challenge than *I* would ever want to tackle! I'm not into speed records when I cycle...just looking to pack away the miles!
At one point today I pulled up next to a fellow on a motorcycle at an intersection. He said: "Wanna race?"
I said, "Not yet. How about next year?"
He chuckled, gave a hearty thumbs up:
"That's the spirit!"
Have a great week everybody!
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