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!
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!
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...
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