Tuesday, May 31, 2011
After a weekend of woefully late spring cleaning (sans cycling...!) and a week full of RAIN last week it was WONDERFUL to get out on my bike for my commute today! A cool, foggy upper 60's ride this morning with plans of getting to my local bike shop after work to see if they could tweak the front derailler so that I could shift and get my "Granny" back!
I knew it would be a hot one...and it was! 90 degrees on the bank thermometer!
The trick to minimizing sweating when cycling?
I turn into a human water sprinkler then...lol!
The bike shop tweaked the front derailler...cable was slack. Managed to pick up a flat, unbeknownst to me, just before arriving at the shop...a tack of all things! Also I finally remembered to bring along a gift I received some time ago: A Schwinn 17 function Bike Computer:
I didn't trust myself to be able to install it properly so I had them take care of that at the shop. Grand total service bill: $10. Worth it to have things done properly. From the Amazon reviews it looks like I made a wise choice!
Now I can pay more attention to my speed while cycling! I've already found out that I go faster than I think I do on the open flats...often topping 20 mph. Plus, I've ALWAYS wanted to know how fast I go down this hill I have to travel each time I go to / from work. It's a manageable climb, but not exactly a breeze! And the SWOOP of joy down the other side is always a sweet pay-off!
So how fast is this downhill...? 38 mph...twice a day every time I commute! Been faster (near 50 mph), but to have this at my doorstep is kinda cool.
We'll see how this bike computer thingy goes...who knows maybe I'll get into the numbers enough to be lured into the world of GPS...? (Doubt it...lol!)
Took the long way home...UP the River Road hill AND the hill to my home...climb baby climb!
Did I mention SWEAT?!?! EVERYTHING I was wearing was drenched! DW thought I'd had an "accident" on the way home...lol!
No riding tomorrow, long day, but Thurs. / Fri. look good for commutes...no precip and chilling to a frosty 70 some degrees! :-)
Today's ride racked up 26 miles bringing my 2 month totals for April and May up to 313 miles. Not too shabby...considering all the rainy day washouts!
Make it a SPARKED week everyone!
Friday, May 27, 2011
Just learned that one of my favorite recording artists died today. Only loosely related to health and wellness, I know, but still have to take five to make mention of Gil Scott-Heron...what a contribution he has made throughout his troubled life!
I am generally not a hip-hop sorta guy but his signature song: "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" speaks to my anti-corporate, anti-establishment soul:
Here's a few lines:
"The revolution will not be right back after a message
about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat.
The revolution will not be televised"
Cheers to you Gil and to the day when "The revolution will be live!" Your message transcends race and all that divides us!
Another of my favorites of his: When You Are Who You Are
Great upbeat jazzy tune and SUPER lyrics about being REAL:
"People never seem to want to be themselves
So they end up running in circles confused
Just like everyone else
Every morning when you wake up you put on a new disguise
Just how long did you think it would take me to realize
That the things you wore ain't real
You never tell me just how you feel
When you could be so very beautiful
When you are who you are"
Although Gil Scott-Heron may no longer be with us, I just wanted to do my part to keep his message alive and pay it forward.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Today made this whole week of rainy weather MORE than worthwhile!
Weds. I joined with 21 others on our Ride of Silence, and what a SOAKER it was...! Thankfully only 8 miles. Other than that? NO cycling until TODAY! Rain was still sort of in the forecast, but nary a drop came our way as we traveled 'round Skaneateles Lake. (btw, Skaneateles is pronounced something like Skinny Atlas...brings to mind a waif-like scarecrow holding the globe on its back...lol!) Some folks were kidding about having to hurry up and get our ride in quickly before the Rapture arrived! www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f
=/c/a/2011/05/18/MN1N1JFUB4.DTL Rapture Ride, someone else quipped: Hey, if I'm gonna go, I couldn't pick a better time for it to happen: while I'm out on the open road on two wheels!
Here's a couple of pics as we're preparing for our launch:
It was a foggy, cloudy and grey start to the ride and looked like it might yet rain after all. I quickly joined with a fellow in the lead with his recumbent bike...we were pretty similarly paced. Felt good to cut loose and RIDE!
These are pics from our noontime stop downtown Skaneateles:
A few took off early to start heading down the west side of the lake. One fellow said "I'm feeling SLOW today. Even though I'm getting a head start I KNOW Don will come whizzing by me soon enough! Lol! I really am not TOO competitive when cycling, although I'll admit to some streaks of this. Mostly, I'll tell ya, after a childhood of being picked last when forming sports teams during Phys Ed or being splattered against the wall during Dodge ball it feels SO FINE to have something athletic in which I actually EXCEL! I just love to PUSH myself when out on my bike! Today, however, there was a down side to being so fast, I later learned.
Here are some of the snazzy and / or unique homes around the lake. There were so many, I just couldn't stop for ALL of them!
Near downtown Skaneateles:
Overlooking the lake:
Although this pic doesn't do it justice, I deliberately took a shot that was less than ideal as there were folks outside sitting in chairs, enjoying the afternoon...wanted to respect their privacy:
This was an old railroad car converted into a home! How cool is that?
On our way down the west side of the lake the clouds blew away and opened up some blue skies with the puffiest of clouds behind!
You know, being out on wide open roads under skies like these...?
Life rarely gets better than this!
I had the pleasure of meeting a young college-aged fellow wearing a Greenpeace bike jersey while riding down the west side of the lake. He wasn't a member of our club, but was kind enough to notice when I inadvertently hit a pot-hole one of my water bottles popped out onto the road. He scooped it up, caught up with me while I was snapping some pics and gave it to me along with a compliment: "I've been following along with your group around the lake and gotta say, you are one strong rider! The rest of the group is way back there!" I thanked him for the compliment and shared with him how far I've come in being Alive in the World. He said he was looking forward to having a beer at the bar in New Hope, a little further down the road. I said "Have one for me!" And he took off! Except, we ended up hop-scotching each other right along on back to Scott, which is where we began.
Although some members mentioned that the west side of the lake had some more serious climbs than the east side, little did I know what EIGERS we were going to face! OOF! And what was worse? My bike got cranky and decided it wouldn't shift on the left side down into first.
O Granny Where Art Thou?!?!
Did I ever need those granny gears BIGTIME! I managed to climb most of these hills in the bottom of second gear, but the last one? It was walkin' time...! Ol' Greenpeace sailed by me and I shared my tale of woe. Finally near the top I thought I might try to finish the rest in the bottom of second. Wouldn't you know: It shifted into first! Grr!
Here's Greenpeace riding off ahead of me:
After the ride was finished and the others with whom I car-pooled (only a couple bucks to help with gas...!) had arrived I found out that one of the things that held them up was changing a flat tire but THE OTHER thing that held them up? The ride leader remembered hearing from another club member that there was a really cool waterfall off the beaten path of the bike ride. So the three of them managed to find it. Had I stayed back with them instead of buzzing on ahead I would have been able to enjoy seeing this waterfall also! Grrr! Ah well, I'll remember that this fall when we most likely make this trek again to enjoy the fall colors!
I later found out that we climbed over 2300 feet during today's ride! All within 40 miles! That brings my new total miles for the season up to 287 miles.
Got home and spent over two hours FINALLY catching up with my lawn-mowing...combined with my ride this REALLY knocked my socks off...! Mowing was so tedious as the grass was so tall I had to go over and over it before the grass got cut decently.
Ready for a KING-SIZED NIGHT'S SLEEP!
PS: Guess they called off the Rapture:
youtu.be/aZQ5zC9mG5Q Have to save it for some other cycling outing...lol!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
This really felt good:
Yesterday while showering & dressing after my workout at RiverWalk Athletic Center I hung my sweat-soaked t-shirt from the Binghamton Bridge Run on my locker door. A well-built, college-aged fellow pleasantly said:
"Thanks so much for volunteering, man! We all had a great time on our runs yesterday!"
"Volunteering?" I said.
"Yeah, I noticed the t-shirt."
"Oh, I didn't volunteer. I RAN the 5K!" Smiled.
"Wow!" he quickly back-pedaled, "That's Awesome! How'd you do?"
"Well I beat my practice times. I'm pretty happy with that."
Kept chuckling to myself afterward over the surprise I gave him...lol!
Monday, May 16, 2011
All right folks, get on your bikes, get set, and GO! :-)
What's so great about a bicycle ANYHOW...?
National Bike to Work Week: Top Three Reasons to Ride:
The Bottom Line Speaks: The Economics of Urban Cycling:
"Forget, then, all about Global Warming, air pollution, personal health, freedom of choice, or anything else when speaking to conservative-leaning oppositionists: the fact is that supporting bicycling infrastructure in our cities is the most fiscally responsible program for supporting the mobility our economies depend on.
The more you support cycling, the less you'll have to pay in taxes, and the better your business communities will thrive.
The bottom line has spoken."
How bicycling will save the economy (if we let it):
"There aren't very many economic scenarios in this country where everyone wins. But if you had to choose one single thing that could pull our neighborhoods, towns, and cities out of this murky pit of a recession, you'd do well to bet on the humble bicycle."
Weds. is National Bike DAY and our cycling club will observe it through our Ride of Silence:
If any local cyclists care to join us, our ride is open to the public. You must wear your bicycle helmet! We start at Binghamton's Recreation Park at 7 pm!
See you there!
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