DDOORN   235,911
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1st 5K: Runnin' Down a Dream!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Binghamton Bridge Run


I have to admit I had my doubts how this run was going to go with all the forecasts of thunderstorms and the steadiness of the rain that kicked in just an hour or so before the 5K was to begin. I had no doubt I was going to DO IT, just wondered how gratifying it might be.

THEN I discovered from some fellow members of SP who were also doing the 5K that mp3 players weren't allowed unless you signed some sort of waiver. Of course I could have read all the details posted about the run, but you know us guys...READ?!?! :-)

So I wore my red SparkPeople shirt and navy shorts, headed out and turned on my "inner radio"...using this tune which did so well for my big Ocean City century ride last year:


And VOILA! The rain dropped off to a light, spotty drizzle which was pretty pleasant and MISSED when it stopped! Fellow Sparker BAM-MA set a good pace for the first stretch down Clinton and we chatted a little bit along the way. Perhaps it was all those old treadmill sessions of yore with the incline set at "10," but for some reason I seemed to want to pick up the pace while heading uphill on Jarvis toward Main St. I THOUGHT I had kicked it up a bit on the last stretch heading down Main St. into the stadium, but somewhere later I thought I saw a time of 40 mins. But then the official time was posted of just over 35 mins., which was a nice surprise after pulling 40s during all my practice jogs.

There is something about an event like this which really makes a person want to do their very best! I was nearly last in my age group, but I'm very pleased with my jog.

We had such a WONDERFUL turnout for the event among our Binghamton Area Losers! Way to SPARK you guys!

Will I be back for more in the future...?

Hmmm...well maybe this catchy oldie I revisited during our Spinning class this past Saturday offers a clue:


Make it a SPARKIN' week everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OUTDOORGIRL69 5/25/2011 9:34PM

    Good job my friend. I know that you will do it again.

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BAM-MA 5/16/2011 7:35PM

    Okay, so I only have one question.....

Which race will be your "One more time"? Have you decided? Or are you thinking of waiting till next year?

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BOBBYD31 5/16/2011 2:21PM

    congrats don on your first 5k. hope that there are many more in your future. especially JASR in 2012. by the way 35 is a great time for your first 5k.

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KINSBAILE 5/16/2011 1:45PM

    CONGRATS! Great job!!!! :)

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ZIRCADIA 5/16/2011 10:40AM

    CONGRATULATIONS on your first 5K! :D

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TOOTHFUL99 5/16/2011 8:10AM

    Maybe that MP3 player slows you down. Camaraderie and conversation got you running faster!

Great job!!

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ZELLAZM 5/16/2011 7:11AM

    WTG! Another laurel that I know you won't rest on!

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WISLNDR 5/15/2011 10:28PM

    Awesome job, congratulations!

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FRECKS96 5/15/2011 10:05PM

    Congrats again Don!! It really was an amazing event!

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JANLEH 5/15/2011 9:54PM

    Well done! emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 5/15/2011 9:35PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEGA_MILES 5/15/2011 9:24PM

    Congrats Don. Well Done!! emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 5/15/2011 9:18PM

    Fantastic! Trying something new is great!

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The Sun Came Out To Play!

Friday, May 13, 2011

...and plopped a ball in the sand right in front of me begging to have me join in the fun just like the dog sitting atop VALERIEMAHA's posting of Hafiz's fierce, yet delightful reminder "to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom:"

So out into the sun I went! And into the fitness center as well. Today was a double whammy day as I had a late work day yesterday that totally wiped out any chance of working out. I suppose you really can't "make up" for what you didn't do yesterday but today was my attempt nonetheless...lol! As I had gone to the movies (I saw a movie I never would have DREAMED I would have seen..."Fast Five"...ugh! That'll teach me to have a "Client's Choice" night...lol!) with my clients last night I flexed my time off for this afternoon and had some time to "play!" :-)

Back on the bike for my commute, including a 5K jog at Otsiningo on the way home. Also stopped at Riverwalk Athletic Center for a set of ST, 30 mins. elliptical, another set of ST and 30 mins. rowing machine. Caught up with a private client at my office in the mix as well. Had my pannier CRAMMED with office clothes, notebook, address book and my mp3 player which DIED on me during my RiverWalk workout (forgot to charge it...grr!). Had to do my 5K jog sans music...!

So, time to turn on my internal "radio" and whaddya know but an old Wes Montgomery version of "Tequila" comes to mind. Wes was one of my first jazz guitar inspirations and remains one of my favorites:


Don't ask me why that song came along! But it soon got boring and I needed to shake it loose for something else. Just couldn't seem to do it though! So I tried something else: a failed "project" of mine last year when we got our new cell phones which had an micro SD slot was to put a lot of tunes on my phone so I could listen to them whenever I wanted. Problem? My headphones aren't compatible with my phone and the speaker on the phone really doesn't sound too hot.

But: it was better than nothing! So I played tunes on my phone, which would at least give me some idea of tunes to hear mostly internally through my memory.

First up? Santana's Life Is Anew!


Then Don Henley's Not Enough Love in the World


Lots of others...U2 picked up the pace with Get On Your Boots


All in all a great day to SPARK and soak up that sun before it hibernates as the weather is calling for rain for all but one day during the next two weeks...OOF!

That INCLUDES a forecast for THUNDERSHOWERS on SUNDAY, the day of the Binghamton Bridge Run and my 1st official 5K...this could be interesting...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 5/15/2011 2:01PM

    Gotta love technology that was supposed to make things easier for us - compatibility issues ugh! But glad you found a work around!

We had rain today, too - but it has stopped so I'm going for a quick walk before attacking my mountain of ironing!

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JLITT62 5/14/2011 5:28AM

    The forecast here is for showers in the afternoon tomorrow . . . hope your race is in the morning . . . good job on going for it & let's see how you feel about running after a race!

Don't forget to take it easy today!

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WATERMELLEN 5/13/2011 9:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I know you say you can't carry an umbrella . . . hope you don't have to try!!

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Fun with Traffic Lights!

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.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 5/12/2011 8:14PM

    tissues ... ROFL!

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VALERIEMAHA 5/12/2011 4:27PM

    Yay! YAY!!! I'm headed back out...done 15 miles so far today. Thanks for your inspiration, dear Don!

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YOGATIME 5/11/2011 8:57PM

    What a great way to start your work day! Wish I could ride to work but since I am in sales and typically drive about 150-200 miles per day it literally would kill me!! Keep on!

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ZELLAZM 5/11/2011 1:17PM

    Woohoo for the green wave!

(my bike is still in the cellar emoticon)

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/11/2011 12:41PM

    You definitely should buy a lotto ticket with your fantastic luck, no red lights is an awesome way to start the day.

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FERRETLOVER1 5/10/2011 7:25AM

    Great riding, Don!!!

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JANLEH 5/10/2011 12:08AM

    All those green lights!?!?! Did you buy a lottery ticket?


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KAZINMICH 5/9/2011 11:08PM

    Nice Job! I'm five miles out in the country, so I'm hoping to work my way up to riding my bike into town and back. I just dropped my bike off for a tune up, I'm going to pick it up Friday and start back up again! I'm so excited, you are such an inspiration! I wish I lived close enough to work to bike to it. For now I'll just work on getting into town..

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FRECKS96 5/9/2011 9:43PM

    Sounds like a great morning! Hope the day continued in a similar fashion.

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REYVE01 5/9/2011 1:59PM

    I wish I could buy a bike... I'm looking on Craigs list for a trek.

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LADYGWEN25 5/9/2011 1:54PM

    SOunds like a great day! ANd hey i'm right there with you on filling up copious amounts of tissues. :)

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MEGA_MILES 5/9/2011 12:36PM

    Awesome Don!!!

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L*I*T*A* 5/9/2011 11:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CBERGMAN4 5/9/2011 10:12AM

    That is awesome!! I agree play the lotto or powerball!!! :) Have a great day!!

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ZIRCADIA 5/9/2011 10:09AM

    As much as I would love to be able to do this - it really isn't plausible where I live. The south in general is not cyclist friendly - right outside my neighborhood opens up onto a 6 lane road w/ little to no shoulder. I wouldn't even feel safe running on the shoulder, let alone trying to share the road with cars on a bike. People drive that road like it's a highway - which it is. I also work on a road right by the airport, which means highways right next to it as well. It's just very difficult to find bike-friendly routes in this part of the country. Very cool that you are able to do it, though! :)

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IMIN2GENES 5/9/2011 10:07AM

    If I were you, I think I'd buy a lottery ticket on the way home!

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DBALZER 5/9/2011 9:26AM

    Sounds like you are bound for greatness today!!! I could use some of your luck ;)

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JLITT62 5/9/2011 9:08AM

    Gotta be a good day!

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THROOPER62 5/9/2011 9:03AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SASSYCHRIS1952 5/9/2011 8:58AM

    emoticon emoticon
Have a great day and fun ride back home!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/9/2011 8:36AM

    If they're timed, you might have found the perfect pace. WTG!

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Fun "Detour!"

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 5/12/2011 4:26PM

    I'm so jealous!!!

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CBERGMAN4 5/9/2011 7:12AM

    Alright, here's the deal... :) You sing and help create the ambiance, and I will drink the wine!!! :) The winery is not far from Windsor, and why I hve never gone there!!! I will have to check it out!

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WATERMELLEN 5/8/2011 8:30PM

    I had participated in one of those road side clean ups a couple years ago -- filled many many bags, spent a whole day in pouring rain -- and then my DS told me what the likely content of the many bottles (broken and otherwise) I had helped pick up along the side of the road. It involves truckers and a need to keep to a schedule and lack of desire/time to make bathroom pit stops and . . . uh huh.

I had used heavy duty gloves, washed up thoroughly too: but, was sick for about two weeks afterwards . . . !!

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CANBDONE 5/8/2011 5:03PM

    Your zest for life motivates me to keep going in the right direction!

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LOTUSBURGER 5/8/2011 12:08PM

    What a fun day!

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L*I*T*A* 5/8/2011 9:38AM

    great your day turned out so well..........
blessings and hugs...........lita

emoticonhappy trails...

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REVJVH 5/8/2011 9:36AM

    Sounds like a marvelous day! I wish I had a group to bike with or a biking buddy around here.

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GROEDER 5/8/2011 9:31AM

    Sounds like you had a great day!!!
Thanks for the links you shared.

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TERRYMEMPHIS 5/8/2011 9:03AM

    Excellent Don. Made me wish I was there. I'm having the Spark people blues lately. I know I should be on more but it seems like work lately. Your up more than me on miles though. I'll figure it out and be back to you. Terry

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MEGA_MILES 5/8/2011 8:52AM

    I love exploring new areas. That is one of the reasons I got a bike. You can cover more miles in the same time compared to on foot. Yesterday afternoon I discovered I can travel the lenght of Quabbin resevoir without ever sharing the road with a car (~27 miles). I'm very excited.

Ride on.

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FRECKS96 5/8/2011 8:41AM

    Wonderful day! Black Bear is fun, I've been there a few times and have friends that visit quite regularly. I'm looking forward to hearing about your upcoming jam sessions.

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TOOTHFUL99 5/8/2011 8:29AM

    What a great day on a bike! My favorite rides are the one's that aren't planned...they just happen!

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Another First!

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!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KESTREL500 5/8/2011 12:56AM

    The bike club I belong to cleaned its two mile stretch of road last week. It was actually fun! But I was a little disturbed by the things we found on the side of the road.

Happy bike month!

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WATERMELLEN 5/7/2011 9:27PM

    Love your joy and energy!! Had to work today myself, but with any luck tomorrow will involve . . . golf!!

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TOOTHFUL99 5/7/2011 8:16PM

    Sounds like a new kind of triathlon. Work, Bike, Jog. lol

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BOBBYD31 5/7/2011 7:01PM

    awesome idea with the road crew and nice work out today

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CANBDONE 5/7/2011 3:54PM

    Keep those wheels movin'!

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L*I*T*A* 5/7/2011 2:03PM

    way to go......Happy riding!!!


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JANLEH 5/7/2011 12:44PM

    What a great day and such a neat idea about the road clean up!

We have monsoon like rain forecasted for the whole weekend. It looks like my bike dreams are going to be on the stationary kind. Darn it! Oh well, maybe next weekend. It's all good!


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RAINBOWCHOC 5/7/2011 9:24AM

    hee hee, nothing to stop you!
best wishes, Sandra

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TECAVINESS 5/7/2011 9:20AM

    Glad you enjoyed the day and your ride.

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MEGA_MILES 5/7/2011 8:42AM

    Enjoy the day Don. Happy riding.

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MRDPOLING 5/7/2011 8:39AM

    Didn't know it was National Bike Month.

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LADYGWEN25 5/7/2011 8:36AM

    Enjoy your ride today! The Triclub has a "transitions" meeting and then we're riding afterwards.. IDK if we're going to stick to River Rd or do some Route 12.

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FRECKS96 5/7/2011 8:21AM

    Enjoy your ride and your day!

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FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2011 8:09AM

    I love it - riding your bike thru the drive-thru. Why not? A bike is definitely a vehicle!! Good for you, Don - smart man!!

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777GRACE 5/7/2011 7:59AM

    Awe, that sounds like fun, I would like to get a bike!!!

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MOMAAGAINX2 5/7/2011 7:53AM

    Wow biking thru the drive thru-who'd of thought. Your biking is an inspiration.

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BILL60 5/7/2011 7:51AM

    Way to go, friend. So, let's do RAGBRAI!!!!

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