Monday, May 09, 2011
While rolling on into work today I began to notice something different about today's ride: I wasn't hitting any red lights!
Okay, so let's have a little fun and see how my luck (and a little psyching, timing skill) continues.
Well I counted 13 traffic lights on my way to work (hmm...maybe I want a RECOUNT and see if I get a different total...lol) and took care as I approached each light and VOILA! Didn't snag a single red light! (you don't want to know how many tissues I filled when I finally stopped...lol!)
The sun is out, heading for upper 60's, no traffic lights...hey, it's just GOTTA be one humdinger of a day ahead, right? Maybe I'd better head to Vegas or Atlantic City?
I'll let you know later if I get struck by lightning for tempting the fates...! :-)
And here's your cycling news of the day, continuing our "May Is National Cycling Month" theme:
"As Gas Prices Soar Cycling Gains Speed"
"As gas prices surge beyond $4 a gallon, more Americans are cycling as a way to stay fit, save money, or both."
One of my favorite fellows and causes, Tim Blumenthal, president of www.Peopleforbikes.org is featured in the article.
If you haven't yet done so...it's WAY past time to dust off that bike and zip off for some FUN!
ps...after today's commute of 20 miles this year's cycling totals will be up to 239 miles.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
We had a great turnout for our bike club's roadside clean up yesterday! Sadly, we found stuff that demonstrated such APPALLING disregard for all the beauty that nature can bring us: a pc monitor sitting in a puddle down the bank from the shoulder and a lazy boy recliner which had been rolled down the bank of somebody's pick up truck no doubt. I carefully picked up the larger pieces of a heavy glass liquor bottle that had been smashed on a roadside post with pieces all over the riding path of a route which I frequently take. I scruffed the smaller pieces off the shoulder into the grass well out of the path of bicycle tires.
Afterward we all hopped on our bikes for a well-worn route up 79 to Whitney Point. Enjoyed some conversation with another member along the way who clocked us at 17 mph. Nope still no gizmo on my bike to measure such things. But each time I have a member check my speed I find I typically run between 14-18 mph depending on road conditions and elevations. This places me at a middle-of-the-road sorta speed with approximately 1/2 of the riders slower than me and the other 1/2 faster and I'm pretty content with that. Not looking to be a speed freak as I think it would take away too much enjoyment of being out on my bike! Last year coming down Bear Spring Mountain into Downsville we reached around 50 mph coming down a PERFECT road for such a thrilling descent...straight, smooth, no curves or turns...just a swooping, whooping joy!
Whitney Point offers many different interesting routes to take and the 15-20 of us splintered up into various directions. As I had some things to do in the afternoon I opted to simply return back to Chenango Forks with a few others. Soon I felt as though I'd cheated myself from getting out into some new territory. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed doing that!
Fortunately one of the other members thought of a "detour" on the way back which proved to be delightful! Up Cloverdale Road we went! Nice, quiet, tucked away into the back woods with banks of trees fuzzy with early green sprouting from their branches sprawling before us. I could imagine this view transforming in the fall with the leaves changing color! I'll most definitely be back for THAT! :-)
After a while we rode up to the Black Bear Winery, a place I'd always meant to visit, but never have:
The owners had been puttering around outside and were JUST getting ready to open up shop (noon time). So in we popped to have a look-see! The fellow showed us around sharing that he specializes in making wine from everything EXCEPT grapes...cool twist! Turns out they have an open mike every Friday when folks stop by with their guitars and have fun singing bluegrass and other types of music. I told him my guitar has been gathering too much dust lately and I might just stop back for some fun! Not that I play bluegrass (prefer jazz) but I think I might be able to join in or, who knows kick out a solo tune or two? :-)
He showed us the various vats, tanks and bottles where his current projects were coming along nicely. Very fastidious, neat and tidy facilities! Even if I DON'T drink wine except for rare occasions, for the ambiance and fun...? I'll be back!
I felt SO much better for having taken "the road less traveled" and was ready for the day ahead! Isn't it funny how just a slight tweak, just off the beaten path can open one's eyes too some wonderful things...? Today's was a shorter ride of 22 miles, bringing this year's totals up to 219 miles.
Continuing to celebrate the spirit of Bicycle Month I'll share some notes from our local bike club members on our local television channel:
Go-Green: Save Money and the Environment by Riding a Bike
And a neat BBC series all about bicycles...the first part:
Ride of My Life - The Story of the Bicycle
Links subsequent installments are on the right side of that web page.
Everyone make it a special and wonderful Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Had a TERRIFIC day yesterday mixing it up with work, cycling and jogging. Biked to my day job, then over to my office to see a client privately and then up to our local park with a great trail along the Chenango River: Otsiningo Park. Off the bike, changed into shorts & T-shirt and then off for a 5K jog! Biked home for a total of 20 miles for the day, bringing this cycling season's totals up to 197 miles.
So what's the "first"...? Got a call from home, needed a prescription picked up. Well there really wasn't a convenient place to lock up my bike so...what the heck: Use the Drive Thru! Felt kinda weird yet kinda proud taking my place in line just like any other vehicle! The clerk didn't blink, we took care of business easy peasy! Love treating my bike just like any other vehicle! :-)
Oh and HEY EVERYONE: May is National BIKE MONTH! Woo hoo!
Here's a link for ya:
Get out there and ride yourselves a BIKE this weekend!
Heading out with the bike club today to do some roadside clean up. We have "Adopted" a stretch of road which happens to be near my house. I always thought that would be a cool thing to do for our local SparkPeople team...have a sign posted indicating a certain road was taken care of by SparkPeople.com...get folks wondering "what's SparkPeople.com?"
Afterward, heading out to Whitney Point for a 20 mile ride. No biggie, but always enjoyable up that way...! Just hope the rain holds off till we get back!
Looks like EXCELLENT sunny skies and upper 60s for our Mother's Day...make it special everyone!
Friday, May 06, 2011
Although it was a nippy start at 40 degrees, I warmed up nicely about half-way to work on my bike today. Waved a hello-good-morning-isn't-it-great-to-be-al
ive-on-a-bike to TEAMEAGIS as she was heading northbound to my southbound.
I was curious to see if there was an update to the total cost of running a car. Had ball-parked it at 50 cents a mile based on New York State's old reimbursement rate of 30 cents a mile if one uses one's own car. Lo & behold I'm not too far off: 58 cents! That's probably about right given I drive a middle-of-the-road Ford Taurus:
So at that rate I save $10.44 each time I commute to work on my bike. Not that I'm disciplined enough to ACTUALLY put that in a jar...lol! But I like to think of that benefit as well, of course, the OTHER benefits...physical health, emotional health, reducing carbon-footprint and dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise...!
Thx everybody for your support regarding yesterday's blog!
I, too, am a fan of sticking with what you love, but DANG all you runners get me thinking I'm missing out on something BIG! Lol!
We'll see if I can work in another 5K on my way home tonight...brought my shorts & T-shirt as we're heading for the 60's later today...woo hoo!
Thursday, May 05, 2011
I don't dislike running, but I don't really LIKE it either. Today while outside on this gloriously sunny day jogging a 5K at Otsiningo Park, the thought occurred to me: "Wouldn't this day be even BETTER YET if I was out on my BIKE?!?"
That's the bottom line: If a nice day comes along the odds of me enjoying that day by getting out and running are WAY LONG against the odds of me getting out on my BIKE! If I'm ever to learn to enjoy running I need to DO IT and do it a LOT!
Just don't think that's ever going to happen. Cycling is always going to trump it.
I always say "never say never," but those odds on me really getting into a running groove are pretty slim. Gotta say though, I AM looking forward to joining my fellow local SparkTeam members of the Binghamton Area Losers in the Binghamton Bridge Run on May 15th!
I was TERRIBLY jealous of TEAMAEGIS this morning when I saw her cycling to work as I made the tough, regrettable decision that 37 degrees was just too darned cold to do the same myself. This has been such a FINE day with BOATLOADS of sunshine & blue sky to lure me to the bike. I'm hoping for a repeat performance tomorrow with a warmer morning of 45 degrees so I can make up for lost time and get out TOMORROW!
Here is a link to some more pics from the 5 Boro Ride (they want me to cough up some $$ for prints...lol):
Not sure it'll work for folks other than me, but you can give it a whirl.
And hey, a thought I should have tacked onto my 5 Boro blog: I hope everyone out there has hopes and dreams that you are working toward making a reality! That is the most wonderful reward for transforming ourselves and living a SPARKED LIFE! Give yourself room to breathe, LIVE and DREAM and then?
Make it HAPPEN!
I'll wrap up with a great pumped up song from the Who which moved me right along on my 5K today: Can You See the Real Me?
Looks like we may actually have several days of no rain ahead...woo hoo!
Have a SPARKIN' GREAT Weekend!!
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