Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wow! I am OVERWHELMED by all the birthday wishes, SparkMails and SparkGoodies all of you have sent my way today!
It was an early and gloomy start this morning with a pleasant birthday breakfast out with my DW. But I think you all chased the gloomies away with your SPARKTACULAR support! The day just got brighter and sunnier and now I'm fairly confident that my fellow bike club members and I will enjoy a sunny, brisk journey through the Cannonsville / Delaware Valley / Upper Catskill area in search of EAGLES soaring through the skies tomorrow!
I'll do my best to capture nature's beauty at its finest tomorrow!
Sending this out with BIGTIME THANK YOU's to ALL of my TERRIFIC SparkFamily!!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Forgive me Mr. Berlin, but I've got a little edit to your song:
"Heaven, I'm in Heaven,
And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak;
When I'm out here biking cheek to cheek!" :-)
You know those pesky little ladybug-like beetles that proliferate like crazy during the last, frenzied & warm days of fall before the cold and snow sets in...? Sadly, I think I can relate to those bugs...lol!
Around ten of us gathered in the early morning chill to head out on our 47 mile trek up through what is known as the Butternut Valley, following along Route 8 to Mt. Upton and Route 51 through Gilbertsville into Morris, which is actually getting into the Leatherstocking area of upstate New York, the setting for James Fenimore Cooper's classic, The Last of the Mohicans.
Weather again today was *perfection*! A little nippy to start with...I was the only one in shorts & shirt...everyone else had biking pants and jackets, some with multiple layers underneath!
Turns out it WAS a nippy 65 degrees...and that was LATER in the day as the sun arose to fully shine. Probably not much more than 50 to begin with and there was a significant headwind to boot!
The ride was relatively tame with some rolling hills along the way and a couple of respectable hills to climb.
Earlier on we came across a pond which was COVERED with ducks paddling along! Kicking myself not to have gotten a picture of that!
Here was a surprise waterfall!
A group pic of us:
A pic of the upper falls:
Biking along Dimmock Hollow Road:
The view at the TOP of Dimmock Hollow!
At the bottom of the hill one of the ride leaders spoke a bit about Indian lore and history on how the European settlers drove out the Iroquois from their lands in retaliation for the murders and pillaging of some of their settlements. They even enlisted in the assistance of some tribes who made a "deal" with the white man to be able to save their land in exchange for helping them to drive out other tribes. For their trouble they got the boot too, and are still seeking reparations today.
Another fellow told a tale on one of the others: Remember that time when nature called and you went off into the bushes and dropped your shorts into a burdock bush? :-)
We had a pleasant lunch in Morris and on our way back through Gilbertsville we came across an old stone church with a creek running beside it:
Near the end of our ride crossing the Susquehanna River coming into Sidney:
It was an exhilirating finish for me as I had been politely sticking with the group throughout the ride at a pace slower than my usual, but NOW I knew the way...! So I BOOKED IT for the final 15 miles and streaked my way into Sidney...woo hoo!
I wish I could say I've gotten biking out of my system...however, NOW I've got to focus on taking care of business on the home front over the next two days...cookathons, mowing lawns, laundry, putting the house back into some semblance of order and most importantly, preparations for my sons rapidly approaching wedding...!
Going to do my best to SPARK my way along until next weekend when our club returns to Catskill territory in search of EAGLES in the Cannonsville Reservoir area!
Everybody have a wonderful weekend!
Friday, October 08, 2010
Yippee! The work week is over and I'm streaking outta work on my bike to join my biking buddy and get out to PLAY!
The plan? We're gonna make a beeline down good ol' Route 7 and cross over into Great Bend / Hallstead, Pennsylvania...South of the NY / PA border!
The day? Picture perfect, brilliant sunshine, cloudless skies, mid-70's and I'm so excited to get out and FLY over that pavement!
Here's the view of the Susquehanna River from the Washington St. Bridge in Binghamton. While I *know* it's not a good plan to take a pic while facing the sun, I think "why not? Let's see how it rolls!" I love the way the sun shimmers down the river like a lightning bolt...!
Can you sense the thrill of anticipation I felt heading into this ride...?
And we're OFF, soaking up the fall colors and pumping our bodies higher with each thrust of the pedals!
More geese overhead! Forming a perfect "V" of around 10-15 along each phalanx...LOTS of geese! ...heading so due south I bet you could set a compass by them...among the earliest touring travelers, long before us bi-peds invented cycles and panniers...!
Here I am in Great Bend, PA beside the Susquehanna River yet once more!
As the sun was moving to the horizon much more quickly than we anticipated we didn't stop for long before hitting the road and raced against sundown on our way home. It was a great opportunity and motivator to pump it up and pour on the speed! Made it just in time to my biking buddy's home by 7 pm.
The only problem? I had hoped to be able to bike all the way to MY home, which was another 10 miles or so. Hated to trouble her for a ride home, but she was very gracious about it.
Between my 9 mile ride from home, 1 mile from office to her home and 30 miles to PA and back, I totaled a MOST enjoyable 40 miles on my bike today!
Tomorrow? I catch up with our cycling club for a scheduled ride up NORTH a bit from Sidney to Morris, NY goo.gl/maps/z5JG ....which promises yet another GLORIOUS ride out in the middle of nowhere, God's country...just BURSTING with LIFE!
Catch up with you all tomorrow with another snapshot of life on the road in upstate New York!
May you ALL be steeped in such weather WHEREVER you may be! :-)
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Since paying such close attention to my inner nature and taking so much better care of myself I find myself SO much more readily entranced by OUTER nature!
In the middle of a busy day, walking across a parking lot I'll stop to admire a battalion of geese beating their wings making their way through the skies with occasional honking sounds.
Finishing my 'millwork and ST tonight I'm struck by the clarity of the night time skies and stars, finding the Big Dipper sitting on top of our neighboring hill.
While biking I'll smile at a woodchuck streaking across the lawn so it can retreat to its hiding spot near a driveway drainpipe.
Simple sights that bring such joy into my day-to-day life!
How wonderful it is to be so healthy and alive to value and appreciate the world around me!
Hoping this finds you able to delight in such seemingly *ordinary* daily treasures!
Sunday, October 03, 2010
I just received a head's up on People for Bikes from fellow member Jan Frandsen and it is a GREAT IDEA to join their efforts so I thought I'd pass it along with another great article on biking:
I just learned about a great new website to support pro-bike policies and spread the joy of bikes! Check out peopleforbikes.org! They're collecting one million names in support of a better world for biking -- one that's safer, more convenient, and more appealing for everyone.
Every day, millions of Americans like us ride for their health, for the environment, for their communities, and for the pure joy of bicycling. But until now, only a tiny fraction of riders have stood up to help improve bicycling in America.
Peopleforbikes.org is going to change all that. They're building a national movement with the clout and influence to get things done. That means promoting bike-riding on an individual level, but also sending a unified message to our elected leaders, the media, and the public that bicycling should have their full support.
Check out their great new website to take a pledge for biking and learn how you can help:
After signing up they ask if you want to share your story...so why not? Here's what I shared:
"I love EVERYTHING about biking! I love the sense of freedom and adventure hitting the open road and knowing that I've got the personal power to go wherever I want to go!
I love the THRILL and playfulness of whooshing down a hill and even the VICTORY of having climbed a hill!
I love exploring new sights, new roads, feeling like Lewis & Clark heading out on my own personal expeditions!
I love joining with my bike club members and sharing our mutual joy of biking!
I love being out in nature and noticing things I've never seen before because I've always been obliviously zooming by in my car!
I love discovering that I have the personal power to travel as far as 100 miles in a day!
I love saving money on gas and sparing the environment the burning of even more fossil fuel. If my bike had room for a bumper sticker I would have one that reads: My bike gets better mileage than your Prius! :-)
My goal is to be able to complete a multi-day tour across hundreds and hundreds of miles throughout America!"
How to Make Biking Mainstream: Lessons from the Dutch (how about that, honoring my Dutch ancestry!)
"What will it take to transform biking from a recreational pastime to an integral part of our transportation system? "
America could learn a GREAT DEAL from the Dutch! "A commitment to biking is not uniquely imprinted in the Dutch DNA. It is the result of a conscious push to promote biking." "Physical separation from motorized traffic on busy streets is the single most effective policy for getting more people to bike."
Check it out!
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