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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"

www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2011-
05-09-scooter-bike-sales-boom_n.htm


"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!

Don

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!
emoticon
Maha

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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?

emoticon

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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!
Chris
emoticon

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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:

www.blackbearwinery.com/index.htm

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
www.wicz.com/news2005/viewarticle.as
p?prd=1&a=18183


And a neat BBC series all about bicycles...the first part:

Ride of My Life - The Story of the Bicycle
youtu.be/cj4iu8w5Dys

Links subsequent installments are on the right side of that web page.

Everyone make it a special and wonderful Mother's Day!

Don

  
  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:

www.care2.com/greenliving/may-is-nat
ional-bike-month.html


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!

Don

  
  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!!!

emoticon

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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!

emoticon

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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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Pedal Power: Another $10.44 in the Jar!

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:

www.smartplanet.com/blog/transportat
ion/the-cost-of-driving-a-car-rises-by
-34-percent-in-just-a-year/309


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!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERRETLOVER1 5/7/2011 7:45AM

    The physical and mental benefits of riding your bike far outweigh any monetary benefits...but just think how much money you would have if you really could put that amount away regularly!!

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DAD2GETFIT 5/6/2011 9:38PM

    emoticon

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REYVE01 5/6/2011 8:38PM

    You may not put that money in a piggy bank...but it counts. That is how I felt when I quit smoking. I'm training for a 5K ... I hope I'll end up liking it, atleast uintil I can afford buying a bike.... I want to help the enviroment too..

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LMLOPEZ 5/6/2011 4:08PM

    Trust me-you're not missing out!!
And thanks for helping the environment, not to mention our taxpayer money for when you're "old" by preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other expensive chronic illnesses that may place you in a long term care facility. LOL!!!
Enjoy your bike ride!! :) Glad you warmed up on the way. I hear that spring may actually start soon-here in Chicago we go from snow to 90's with no in between. :)

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LOTUSBURGER 5/6/2011 3:59PM

    Really makes you think how much we can save.
Good Job

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DINGALLSTOO 5/6/2011 2:32PM

    wow! you could do a great cruise at the end of the year with all that $$

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L*I*T*A* 5/6/2011 12:47PM

    way to go!!!
good reminder to us all to re think our use of the car!!!
thanks for sharing.......
blessings and hugs............lita

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SKINNYPOWELL1 5/6/2011 10:49AM

    Great job on saving on the petrol and WOW, what a great benefit for your body. I would love to "bike it" to work. YOU ROCK DUDE !!!!!

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MOMMACASSEY 5/6/2011 9:12AM

    Aww, man! I wish I worked closer--it'd give me even more reason to dust off my bike and commute that way instead of taking my car.

I'm with you--bike riding is much more fun than running anywhere. Kids ride bikes, you know? Because it's FUN. You don't see kids running around in circles for the sheer joy of it.

Spinning in circles, sure....

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FRECKS96 5/6/2011 9:09AM

    That an amazing amount of savings for as much as you bike commute. Congrats on everything you do for yourself AND the environment! Enjoy your run if you do get out there today. It looks to be a stunning afternoon. I'll likely get a walk in myself.

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 9:08AM

    Told you it was good for the environment - I wasn't even thinking about your pocketbook!

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Why I'm Doubting I'll Ever Be A "Runner"

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!

www.facebook.com/pages/Greater-Bingh
amton-Bridge-Run/136598159726149


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):

www2.brightroom.com/browser.aspx?eid
=78009&bib=60170&pwd=


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?

youtu.be/o9Or4QGI80Y

Looks like we may actually have several days of no rain ahead...woo hoo!

Have a SPARKIN' GREAT Weekend!!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 5/8/2011 3:43AM

    It's awesome to have something (cycling) that you enjoy so much!! :D
Jocelyn

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NIKANN7493 5/7/2011 5:56AM

    Thank you for trying out the "running" thing, you never know if you will like it or not until you try it! Looking forward to seeing you at the Bingo 5K next week! You will be great!

I used to LOVE riding my bike, I haven't riden in about a year now. Gotta get the tire fixed so I can get out and ride more often. And add a better seat... LOL

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LADYGWEN25 5/6/2011 11:32PM

    great job on your 5K run Don! looking forward to running with you and our fellow sparkers and the Bingo 5k!

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MISS_VIV 5/6/2011 3:14PM

    When I see your pictures 'on the road'.. and look again at your BEFORE. It is absolutely friggin' amazing that it is the same person. I'll bet you have people you work with that say that every day. PRETTY AMAZING.

CONGRATULATIONS

YOU ARE A TRUE INSPIRATION.



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KINSBAILE 5/6/2011 1:52PM

    You gotta do what's right for you!

Cycling is not my thing and running is, cycling is your thing and running is not!

Happy Cycling! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 5/6/2011 11:13AM

    Hey, guy! It's ok if you are not a runner, you know! You're a fabulous bike rider!!! It's fun for you and you know you get fantastic workouts with doing it, so, if you really feel like running, go run! If not, hey.......just get on your bike and ride!!! How do you feel about plain, old walking? Still an option! Do your thing and have a great time in the process. Life is too short not to, right? Have a great day! emoticon emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 5/6/2011 9:03AM

    Who cares if you're ever a runner? You are on HECK of a cycler! Keep up the great work my friend! You're an inspiration!
Chris
emoticon

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CATTIANN 5/6/2011 6:48AM

    I agree with everyone..do what you love. I love to walk and most days I feel like I could walk for miles and miles and miles.

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BAM-MA 5/6/2011 6:40AM

    Ditto to all those that commented before me. If you don't prefer to run... Then DON"T (except for the Bridge Run :-) )

If there has been one thing that I have seen as a common thread throughout the Sparkpeople community, is that we are only successful when we find something that we LOVE and stick with it. Otherwise it is WORK.

You have been VERY successful without running! Why make yourself WORK?

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 5:27AM

    Our day yesterday was gray, windy & chilly. And drizzly. Today looks to be much nicer!

Do what you love! No one says you have to be a runner. Altho I don't often enjoy it during - I like how I feel afterwards.

Cycling is great exercise, it's good for the environmemt & it's easy on the joints. Sounds pretty good to me (except for the fact that bikes kind of scare me).

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MINNA72 5/6/2011 2:38AM

    Don, you should do what you LOVE! I love running, so my idea of fun is a 10 mile run on Sundays, but I am finding a love for riding as well, and now Saturdays are reserved for that. Best of both worlds! :)

Great pics!

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LMLOPEZ 5/5/2011 11:49PM

    Hey, if you are running and wishing the entire time that you would be on your bike, you are in the wrong outfit!!! loL!!! I say life is too short to do things you don't love if you don't need to-get on your wheels and GO!!!
emoticon
Have a great ride tomorrow!

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BOBBYD31 5/5/2011 11:25PM

    you don't have to run a lot to enjoy it. just go out for maybe a once a week jog and use the bike the rest of time, you may never like it but it will become ok. do intervals with the bike and running jog a mile ride a mile do that 2 or 3 time a great work out. who knows may lead to duo or a tri or a cyclocross.



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TOPAHI 5/5/2011 11:15PM

    Don,

I'm right there with you... that is exactly how I feel!
Somehow running seems more like work, but Cycling is fun.

Thanks,

Tom
<
BR>

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 5/5/2011 11:06PM

    That's how I feel about whitewater kayaking. The only thing that is going to make me more of a cyclist this season is my shoulder injury...

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FRECKS96 5/5/2011 10:12PM

    Great pics Don! It's all about doing what you love. I can't imagine 5 miles on a bike, but I can't wait to run it tomorrow morning. Enjoy your ride int work!

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