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On a Dristy Morning...

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

...out on the Silver Comet trail with the weather poised between a misty almost drizzly grey day I'm out cruising along on my bike, bidding the occasional walker, jogger and cyclist a cheery "Mornin'" as I see how far along I can get heading westward.

Not too long after I start I see some figures off in the distance which are difficult to make out, especially as I've got my sunglasses on (better wind protection for my eyes which readily dry out and tear with the breeze even more when not well protected).

Soon I can tell these are a pair of dogs. BIG dogs! No owner in sight!

I have been extraordinarily fortunate in my cycling travels with regard to dogs. Nary a snag with one of 'em yet! Was my luck about to take a turn for the worst?

My plan? Breeze by them as quickly and quietly as possible!

Revving up I get closer and can tell they're both German Shepherds. Big & formidable...give Croce's "junkyard dog" a run for the money! One is HUGE and almost BLACK...let's call him Bluto. The other? A little smaller and lighter and darker...Jake will do.

Anyhow as I'm cranking the pedals, these two dogs seem completely oblivious to me, just stepping along in the same direction as I. Where's this keen canine hearing...? I'm really ramped up and go to pass when Bluto, the doofus, saunters right into my path! I hit the brakes, but not quickly enough! We collide! Bluto snarls!

Within a few milliseconds we have this conversation after sharing a few expletives:

Bluto: Looks like dinner just arrived!

Me: Gulp!

Bluto: Which body part would be the best first course?

Me: This isn't exactly the weight loss plan I had in mind...

Well milliseconds come and milliseconds go and the next thing you know the dogs are so startled by me that they take off like a couple of streaks ahead of me! I keep going...I'M chasing the DOGS! What a hoot! I pull out my virtual whip and crack it in the air: HeyAH! Get along little (?!) doggies!

Actually what I REALLY do is continue to chase the dogs, it is so WAY better to be behind THEM instead of THEM behind ME! I break into song! Music to soothe the savage beast, right? I'd been channeling Paul Simon's "Myth of Fingerprints (All Around the World)" during my ride and figure, hey, if I'm singing I can't be THAT ill-intentioned, right doggies? :-)

I was thoroughly AMAZED over how far I chased those dogs down the trail! For some reason they never thought to just scoot off to the side. Bluto would look back now & then and I couldn't tell if he was frightened or thinking of making good on that imagined conversation we previously had...lol!

After a piece I figured I'd tuckered them out well enough that they couldn't give chase to me and whizzed by the two of them...OFF to get further down the trail!

The Silver Comet is quite the accomplishment for Georgia...where OFF the trail the roads are about as bicycle UN-friendly as they can be. They have managed to create the longest paved rail-trail in the United States! It extends from a little west of Atlanta right across the state on into Alabama for a piece! Counting the entire trail it looks to run over 100 miles! A HIGHLY IMPRESSIVE FEAT! I'm hopeful more and more communities will take note and follow suit!


Although today's ride was relatively quiet, over this past hot weekend (Sat. / Sun.) folks were EVERYWHERE on this trail...runners, walkers, cyclists, in-line skaters...EVERYONE! What an investment into the health and wellness of Georgia citizens and their visitors!

I enjoyed a nice chit-chat with the Silver Comet Depot silvercometdepot.com/ proprietor after today's ride. He was duly impressed with my Tricross, but then he stocks mostly Specialized bikes! :-)

With a little luck, I'm hoping to pull together plans to catch up with other SP members out on the trail over this upcoming weekend.

Keep the SPARK everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEARTOLOVE 9/12/2011 9:59AM

    You're a great writer!! Loved the story!! Those Dogs can be a problem for exercisers!!

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2BMYOWN 9/11/2011 12:23PM

    LOL! Well, that turned out a whole lot better than it might have, with more aggressive dogs. I used to have shepherds, and for the most part, and with the exception of one that had been abused before I got her, they were mostly big teddy bears that wouldn't hurt a fly and ran from their own shadow. They LOOKED intimidating......the reality was a lot different. LOL Keep up the awesome adventures, Don!

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RUNCHOOSE 9/8/2011 6:09PM

    I'm happy you were safe - what a thrilling event. I know some folks who are afraid of dogs who would not have been very happy to be in that situation. Thanks for sharing also about the trail - I hadn't heard of it.

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CHRIS3215 9/8/2011 12:18PM

    WOW Don, what an exciting ride you had..
Lucky you that you were not LUNCH..lol

Bet them DOGS wish you went the other way..lol
TOO funny!!!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 9/7/2011 9:41PM

    I enjoyed reading this blog! I'm glad the dogs weren't TOO dangerous emoticon

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OUTDOORGIRL69 9/7/2011 8:57PM


Sounds like an interesting ride. Hope you didn't get hurt when you ran into Bluto.

Waiting to hear about your next adventure.

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WATERMELLEN 9/7/2011 7:12PM

    What a fun blog: and you were very brave! Like "dristy"; very evocative!!

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TOOTHFUL99 9/7/2011 5:52PM

    Sounds like you got a nice welcome from the biggest hazard to riding in the south! There are dogs everywhere down here and you never know what's going to happen.

These two must have been on a mission. Maybe they had dates waiting in Rockport...

Glad to hear you survived the crash and tumble. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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ZELLAZM 9/7/2011 3:40PM

    That was scary - but a great work out for all 3 of you, I'm sure!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 9/7/2011 3:11PM

    Glad your encounter with the beasts turned out for the best. I truly love reading your adventures. emoticon

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JLITT62 9/7/2011 3:03PM

    Glad to hear you didn't become a doggy snack. And glad you're not here cause you wouldn't be cycling today!

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GROEDER 9/7/2011 1:51PM

    Great recount of your ride. I'm glad the dogs amused (rather than abused) you.
That trail sounds like a super place to ride. I'm kind of jealous!!! LOL

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TAMIK1964 9/7/2011 1:27PM

    I sure am glad things turned out ok with the dogs and you got in a good ride. That trail sounds awesome!

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LADYGWEN25 9/7/2011 1:06PM

    good job out cycling the dogs! glad you're having a good time..100 miles huh..you gonna do the whole thing?? ;)

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L*I*T*A* 9/7/2011 12:53PM

    what an adventure!!
have a great week...
blessings and hugs.....lita


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KENAZFEHU 9/7/2011 12:45PM

    Whew! Glad you escaped the jaws of death!

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Racing the Sunset...!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

After being teased all day long by this wonderful autumn day and piles of paperwork standing between me and my cycling commute home at long last I'm OFF!

These days when I hop on my bike there is an increasing sense of urgency which borders on desperation: the cycling season will soon come to an end! The days are getting SO short, SO quickly!

Get out! Capture it! Keep those wheels spinning!

Today I not only raced the sunset but chased some hot air balloons on home! The winds tend to blow them up our valley more times than not. What a view as the sun neared the horizon, blue skies, wispy clouds and a pair of hot air balloons lazing their way up the valley...! Kept looking up and soaking up the sights...it's a wonder I didn't run off the road!

A colleague at work said she saw me cycling through her neighborhood yesterday on my way home...the long way of course...! She said: "Wow were you going FAST!" :-) To myself I'm thinking YES! The season is waning...gotta get ALL the cycling I can possibly get in! It was a nice compliment. I shared with her some of my recent journeys.

During today's ride I was reminded of an old Jerry Garcia song that fellow Sparker and cyclist SCOTTK3000 had as part of his signature here at SP a while back: The Wheel


Give a listen...has a bit of a country twang and whine with Garcia's trademark and most excellent steel guitar work...but also a bouncy, rhythmic beat and lyrics that stick to your brain and serve as metaphors for life, cycling and so much more! I had this album as vinyl way back in '72 or so...but I had never been into cycling then as I am now.

Fast forward to a recent visit to our local bike shop when my cycling buddy had a spoke repaired on her *WHEEL* and the fellow at the shop, Matt, gave an interesting little talk about the amazing bicycle wheel which is made up of parts which, on their own don't amount to much. You can crumple a bicycle spoke like a clothes hanger.

Yet somehow when properly constructed all those spokes, the rim, hub they all coalesce into a thing of great beauty, strength, utility and can carry us over HUNDREDS of thousands of miles!

Kind of like all of us here at SparkPeople and the supportive friends and family in our lives...no?

Check out the lyrics:

The Wheel

The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will.

Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?
Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?

Round, round robin run round, got to get back to where you belong,
Little bit harder, just a little bit more,
A little bit further than you gone before.

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod,
Big wheel turn by the grace of God,
Every time that wheel turn 'round,
Bound to cover just a little more ground.

Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?
Won't you try just a little bit harder,
Couldn't you try just a little bit more?

Keep on Sparkin' everyone...a little bit harder and a little bit more!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BMYOWN 9/11/2011 12:18PM

    I never heard of that song and didn't know the lyrics, but I'm with everyone else, I love the metaphor! Thanx for posting this!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/25/2011 5:28PM

    I haven't heard that song in years! Great that you had an invigorating bike ride emoticon

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KINSBAILE 8/25/2011 4:54PM

    Very cool song!

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CINNAMONJOY 8/24/2011 11:14PM

    Sounds wonderful!

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TAMIK1964 8/24/2011 8:44PM

    What a great ride and a great attitude!

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LADYGWEN25 8/24/2011 12:43PM

    DOn.. i have to say i'm feeling the same sort of urgency..the gotta : RIDE RIDE RIDE before the snow FLIES FLIES FLIES!

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CANBDONE 8/24/2011 11:02AM

    You're a Deadhead, too? Love, Peace, Joy, Brother! I saw them in Wisconsin many years ago...

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L*I*T*A* 8/24/2011 10:13AM

    emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2011 10:04AM


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PHEBESS 8/24/2011 8:38AM

    What a wonderful concept - racing the sunset!!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 8/24/2011 7:57AM

    Love this metaphor . . . keep on pedalling and racing the sunset!

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DAISYBELL6 8/24/2011 7:05AM

    Thank you for sharing the link to The Wheel. It was just what I needed this morning!

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FERRETLOVER1 8/24/2011 6:57AM

    Love that "spoke" metaphor!! Very apropos!!

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JLITT62 8/24/2011 5:48AM

    Ah yes, the days are getting shorter & the trees are even beginning to turn already . . . at least there's the raking & shoveling workouts in our future!

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ZELLAZM 8/24/2011 4:49AM

    Great post, Don...knowing you, you will be out there cycling till the last possible minute!

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CDGOLDILOCKS 8/24/2011 12:41AM

    What a great blog! I am not an avid cycler, but I have taken a few 20 mile rides in my community. Where I live it is very bike friendly. Your blogs inspire me to dust off my bike and take a ride sometime.

And your metaphor about the spoke is so true. It is the support and stability of the group that makes us strong!

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On such a cold winter's day...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

...when I want to pull up the covers and want to stay in bed. A long time.

...when I slog through the slop and slush and pull the collar up against the harshest of winds.

...when the sun is mired by gray, mottled skies and barren trees have curled up and tight-fistedly withhold their life deep within.

It is on such a winter's day when I will reach into the deep, wrinkled recesses of my brain, pull out a flask, push the cork up with my thumb, set it aside and allow this summer day to spill into my senses once again:

The indescribably perfect weather! Mid 80's, sunny, blue-skies...sends a thrill down my spine and gets my legs twitching for action!

The knowing exchange of grins with my cycling buddy...UP for a challenge, excitedly venturing out into unknown territory, even if there WERE two HUGE climbs! We were OFF to the Delaware Co. Fair!

The rolling green hills, lush with LIFE!

The serendipitous meeting up with several other bike club members out enjoying a stretch of cycling in common with our path.

The salty upper lip.

The goose-bumpy thrill of savoring what I knew was a beautiful and unique day which could never quite be replicated.

The banana butt break at the convenience store, DOWNING a cold soda on top of yet more water.

The drenching sweat while stopped and the cooling chill as it dries with the breeze once we start up again on our bikes!

The delicious foot-long turkey sub, split between us and devoured...perfectly hitting our mutual cycling appetite's spot and drenched with LOTS of iced tea!

The black-eyed Susans, marigolds and other flowers planted around some homes, breaking up the gorgeous variations of rolling green and random lavender patches.

The struggle of the uphill climbs and even the one walk when I strayed too far into the gravel on the shoulder and could no longer manage to stay upright. Joining my cycling buddy who had already been walking due to the limitations of climbing posed by her steadfast, but old 10-speed bike and enjoying our hike to the peak. Smiling, chatting, not a shred of what I've referred to in the past as "the walk of shame."

A large bumble bee bonking off my sunglasses as I streaked down a hill, surprising us both.

The lazy Susquehanna river winding and twisting along, following us for much of the ride.

Pedaling alongside a doe and her fawn, startling it into a gallop wondering what this two-wheeled behemoth was doing moving almost as fast as she when she LEAPS across my path nearly crossing the entire road in a single bound! My cycling buddy was ever-so-pleased I was in the lead as she is positive she would have freaked and warped us all into one big road-kill accident...lol!

Getting lost and *almost* loving it...! (A street / road sign had been twisted causing us to go straight instead of turn.) With the help of passers-by not straying TOO far off-course and finding our way into Walton.

No flats, falls, mishaps of any kind!

And although this was a trip to the Delaware County Fair, the fair was...meh, an afterthought. It was the stupendous one-way ride TO the fair that made this a day to savor for years to come...!

Yes, bottling this for the coldest, most unpleasant days of winter, when I've hit my nadir. This will be the cure for what ails me...!

Today's ride wasn't the longest of rides, 54 miles, but it was one of the steepest, with over 3,000 feet of climb! AND it was done after a 7-day hiatus from cycling as I had a return of the piriformis syndrome, causing me earlier in the week to hobble my way through my lawn-mowing duties, thinking horrible thoughts and fears that I had developed some crippling arthritis in my hip that was going to limit my cycling journeys!

Then after a day or two it dawned on me: this had happened to me before! Piriformis! Stretches! I needed to double up on and revive some of the old stretches I'd done before to correct the problem. My massage therapist sister would smack me upside the head if she knew: DOH!

So after a week of minimal cardio, MAXIMUM stretching and keeping up with my upper body ST I returned to the road, unsure of my capabilities.

Piriformis? Piri-POOF! I'm baa-aack! :-)

Here's the GPS of today's ride:

ridewithgps.com/routes/655753 bringing my 2011 total up to 1290 miles.

Sending out wishes for everyone to have summer days of your own to savor. Bottle it! Cork it! The days are shortening ever-so-quickly! Make 2011 will a vintage, full-bodied year for yourselves!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYLADY4 9/16/2011 9:24PM

    Oh, I am so jealous. Just got a new road bike and so would love to go on a really long ride like that. Next year. 150 mile trip is my new goal.

When I am in my basement in the middle of winter on my stationary bike, I sometimes close my eyes and image that I am on my bike, riding on the beautiful trail beside the gently flowing river.

When it is -30 degrees out, I will think of your blog and think of things to come.



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VHALKYRIE 9/16/2011 8:13PM

    You are so making me miss my bike! Thanks for letting me ride along with you!


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2BMYOWN 9/11/2011 12:16PM

    I am so behind on your blogs! This one was absolutely lovely, with the visuals and the descriptions. Keep on kickin' butt, Iron Man!

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CINNAMONJOY 8/24/2011 11:11PM

    That was lovely! I hope we have a lovely long fall for your rides - It's so gorgeous here in the fall.
I'll take pictures of the Susquehanna in the winter - I plan to morph my hiking shoes into snowshoes.
emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2011 10:06AM

    Truly inspired and inspiring Don!

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JOYATLAST 8/23/2011 5:37PM

    Loved it! I like the idea of storing winter heart warmers. It gjves todays sweat purpose. I'm glad you're back in the saddle. Great ride. Thanks for a little summer magic.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/22/2011 9:27AM

    Loved your blog - Great descriptive writing, almost felt like I was there - and I would have really liked to have been there. Going to have to make some last minute summer time memories to bottle up for the winter for myself, great idea.

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/22/2011 9:24AM

    I love these pictures! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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EAGLES_WINGS 8/22/2011 7:36AM

    Very well written with many picturesque visions. I envy you to be able to bike like that. However, thank you for sharing your journey. I love the Walton fair. And good news for me, I got out walking yesterday! Woohoo! Thanks, Don and take care! Happy riding and enjoy the budding of Fall, another beautiful season! Hugs.

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UROPA40 8/22/2011 5:53AM

    Try to think about the best of all the seasons while running but admit that the next 2 months are always my favorite time to run. Glad you had such a great ride. Suzy

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SASSYBLONDE69 8/21/2011 9:14PM

    I can see it in my mind - beautiful! I have a lot of those "vintages" stored away. The first strawberry of the year, first tomato, first ride on my new bike (even after dog and I had a misunderstanding causing a fall)... GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may... indeed!

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THEWINNER33 8/21/2011 8:52PM

    So very, very beautiful. Hugs, Marcia

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MARTY728 8/21/2011 8:39PM


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MS_SWEETHEART 8/21/2011 7:36PM

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL! emoticon

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BAM-MA 8/21/2011 6:26PM

    Great Post, as always! Thanks for taking us along for the ride!

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DORIS32 8/21/2011 3:22PM


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REDSHOES2011 8/21/2011 3:17PM

    great read Don!

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CANBDONE 8/21/2011 3:17PM

    Thanks for the spin!

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MRDPOLING 8/21/2011 3:11PM

    super good blog today! Ride well Rider!

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FRECKS96 8/21/2011 12:31PM

    Love this! Congrats on a wonderful ride!

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ELYMWX 8/21/2011 11:08AM

    Great blog!

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/21/2011 11:05AM

    Fantastic description! I felt like I was there!

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L*I*T*A* 8/21/2011 10:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NIKANN7493 8/21/2011 9:48AM

    Wonderful blog! Yesterday was a wonderful day for a ride! Beautiful skies! Bright sun! Perfect temps! Love the pictures and the story! I really like reading your blogs, I feel like i am right there!

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BRTRAINS 8/21/2011 9:45AM

    Great Blog!! Thanks...

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DINGALLSTOO 8/21/2011 9:32AM

    exactly why I love NYS! We do have some of the prettiest days. Great blog Don

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WATERMELLEN 8/21/2011 9:26AM

    What a wonderful blog! So glad that it wasn't arthritis and it's all gone . . .YAY!

And: love the idea of "bottling" summer for slow release over the winter . . . It's something I often consciously remind myself about on the golf course, along the lines of "This is what I daydream about in February!" When you think about burning logs in the fireplace in wintertime from trees which flourished in the summer sun . . . or I suppose buring coal/oil/gas all of which energy sources also came from the sun . . . there is a deep psychological truth here. Yeah!

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LADYGWEN25 8/21/2011 9:22AM

    wow.. I felt i was riding right there with you Don! gonna have to do that before the leaves fall off the trees. :)

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FERRETLOVER1 8/21/2011 7:33AM

    How could you tease me like that with your title? A cold winter's day really sounds good to me right about now - I've had enough of hot summer weather.

Then I read your blog and...aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!! emoticon emoticon

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BECKY3774 8/21/2011 7:21AM

    Your day and your ride sound amazing! Good for you for getting out there and enjoying it emoticon

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BD3269PM 8/21/2011 7:15AM

    Loved your post. Thank you for sharing your summer day. I am not looking forward to the winter months but will try and keep these beautiful summer days in my mind emoticon

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ZELLAZM 8/21/2011 6:51AM

    Super post, Don...it would be nice to be able to bottle up these near-perfect days and uncork them mid-March or so.

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TAMIK1964 8/21/2011 6:30AM

    Love this perspective and your attitude. Glad you were able to get back out there!

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JLITT62 8/21/2011 6:20AM

    Sounds . . .


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SKYFROG 8/21/2011 5:30AM


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Tioga Center Loop with a "Hill"...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My cycling buddy and I had a wonderful 82 / 89 mile (depending on whether you go with the SP Fitness Maps or RidewithGPS.com) ride this past Saturday. Although we initially spoke of heading "South of the Border" into Pennsylvania to Montrose we both got onto talking about not having biked west-ward beyond Owego / Newark Valley. Our bike club was planning a Sunday ride out in Tioga Center, but neither of us were inclined to DRIVE out to where we would cycle. We're both frugal and view DRIVING in order to CYCLE as somewhat defeating the purpose, no? Of course there are special rides that are worth driving for on occasion, but we're inclined to prefer heading out the front door on our bikes.

So we changed plans and headed out, initially with the intent of reaching Waverly / Sayre (which would actually have been just over the PA border). We met at Binghamton's Confluence Park and headed toward Owego where we stopped for a lovely lunch at a store which features many hand-crafted items AND a delish healthy restaurant which has tables on their deck out back overlooking the Susquehanna River: www.handofman.com

We split a huge spinach salad and downed our water as we enjoyed the antics of some sort of canoe Mardis Gras which was passing by. The flotillas were filled with folks who were having a blast paddling and steering their crafts along the WAY shallow river:

Wrapping up our lunch:

We head further westward!

The weather was overcast, but nary a drop...however we were paying attention to the rain that was out west and heading our way, head's up courtesy of a weather report from my son via his smartphone. Here's the view from a bridge in Tioga Center:

We decided not to push our luck by going all the way to Sayre and crossed from 17C over the river. We intended to take 434 back for a different route. Problem was: 434 didn't extend beyond Owego. Instead we just followed our noses and the river which led us to Stanton Hill Road.

Our forefathers who named our roads rarely used the word "Hill" lightly!

What a CLIMB that was!! And lo & behold my cycling buddy, who wasn't keeping her usual pace which is pretty complementary to mine, she CRAWLS to the top and says: "Something is up with my bike. I feel like it is holding me back." I lift the back end up, spin the wheel and see it wobbling so badly that it's rubbing a lot against the body of the bike! No WONDER! I was AMAZED she had been riding as WELL as she was! So here we were a good 40 miles from the bike shop! We managed to get there though and "observant" me totally overlooked the broken spoke she had...ugh! But she was quickly fixed and on her way!

Here's the route we took...a total climb of 2860 feet!


Looking forward to my next big ride...perhaps off to the Delaware Co. Fair this Saturday...? We'll see!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINNAMONJOY 8/24/2011 10:52PM

    Looks like a fantastic ride! And you are right - They didn't mess around when they called things hills. If it says hill, it is!

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VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2011 10:07AM


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JILLY618 8/20/2011 5:58AM

    Wow looks like a great ride I like your idea of heading out the door and riding I am just starting to get some distance nothing like what you do but did do 38 miles the other day am going to try for 50 as my goal next.

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DAVEINSEOUL 8/18/2011 6:28AM

    Great ride, great pictures, great blog!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/17/2011 9:09AM

    emoticonride and great pics. Loved to hear the "Don Chronicles" of biking.

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MS_SWEETHEART 8/17/2011 12:24AM

    emoticonLove the pics. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 8/16/2011 11:31PM

    awesome share..............
love the pictures
blessings and hugs....lita

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TOOTHFUL99 8/16/2011 9:59PM

    How nice to just spend the day on your bikes. It was the perfect way to enjoy the beauty around you...broken spokes and all!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/16/2011 7:51PM

    Nostalgia in Spades... I used to live in Newark Valley, and was drawn in by the blog title! There are some serious hills out that way. Happy cycling! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/16/2011 7:47PM

    That is one impressive ride . . . and looks like a lot of fun too (with a few little bumps and spokes in the wheel).

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VARMINT3 8/16/2011 5:57PM

    Looks like a gorgeous ride - was lunch at the River Rose? I've never eaten there, but the view looked like what would be behind there.

After visiting my old stomping grounds in the midwest this weekend (near Chicago), I feel so blessed to be able to live in this gorgeous country - and without the hordes of people that inhabit the flatlands, too! Just enough people to make friends emoticon.

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CANBDONE 8/16/2011 1:22PM

    The power of friendship...

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MRDPOLING 8/16/2011 11:36AM

    Wow what an awesome view! I seriously need a day like this!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/16/2011 10:19AM

    Once again, thanks for sharing and posting great pictures! I was wondering----do you mean Delaware County in PA?

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Extraordinarily BLESSED Ride Today!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Yesterday was such a LONG day of sitting on my hands, being grumpy and testy over having Day One of BikeTioga washed out. I had been getting out more during the week in anticipation of Bike Tioga...!

Bad as it was NOT cycling, I knew I'd be even WORSE after a soaking ride...!

Today? I wasn't going to be denied again! So off I went! Berkshire metric century here I come!

I tried keeping up with the fast puppies in front for the first 10 miles, then I gave up, figuring I've got three climbs to save my energy for...! Pacing myself was going to be important on this OH-so-muggy day! I saw 85 on a bank thermometer around 11 a.m...don't know how high it climbed. Stopped to chat with a couple fellows, commented on how fortunate we were not to have any rain yet, even though clouds were everywhere and we were dealing with hazy misty valleys. Then noticed a kindred spirit in the one fellow who was making like yours truly: a human water sprinkler...I said: "Um, except we're making our OWN rain!" and gave my t-shirt a shake with a smile on my face.

OOF what climbs! Three of them, around 1500 ft apiece...excruciatingly slow at times, but no WALKS! :-) The SWOOPS on the other side helped MUCHLY to offset those climbs, with the exception of the last descent which was gravel and too chancy not to be braking a lot on the way down.

Toward the end of the ride there was a few sprinkles, one of which grew into an outright pour, but I ducked in to get a soda as I'd been plumb outta water and getting pretty parched. By the time I downed the soda the rain stopped: voila! Off to wrap up the ride! Had run into fellow local members of SparkPeople along the way: LADYGWEN25 and NIKANN7493 and we enjoyed chatting a bit about the ride. I'm SO IMPRESSED with NIKANN7493 being able to do such rides on my son's old Diamondback Wildwood mountain bike, which I sold a while back to LADYGWEN25, who passed it along! Can't wait to see her take off like a BOTTLE ROCKET when she gets a full-fledged road bike!

After packing up, putting my bike on the car rack and on my way home...what should happen but the skies ripped open and the heavens shook, rattled and rolled with the HEAVIEST most INTENSE downpour! I was on the interstate where traffic crawled to 30 mph!

I looked upward, gave praise and savored my ride EVER so much MORE! :-)

Today's ride will have to hold me during this rainy week ahead!

Up to 1128 miles for the season!


Here's a link to my ride: ridewithgps.com/routes/586095

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALERIEMAHA 8/24/2011 10:08AM

    A Spin Warrior -- YES!

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CANBDONE 8/15/2011 5:10PM

    You reinvented yourself into a Spin Warrior!

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DAVEINSEOUL 8/13/2011 9:13PM

    You definitely had someone looking out for you, Don. I know what it's like to 'slog' through a downpour - I ended up doing it this morning for about eight miles - it was NOT fun!

Better than no bike ride at all, I guess - I was anticipating doing some serious climbing this weekend myself, so I gave my body two days off to prepare. So I was itching for a ride - but when I got up, I decided not to go climbing, but do my usual route on the river. Which was great, because I would rather negotiate a flat path in a drenching downpour than have to negotiate a downhill run in one.

Sounds like you had a great ride!

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TERRYMEMPHIS 8/13/2011 6:47PM

    Awesome for you. Totally impressive. .i'm @ only 466 miles for the year. Multiple injuries as well as a physical job with McD's. Today 2 miles slow after not riding for two weeks. So far so good. One of these days Ill be right behind you. I'll recognize you for sure. God Bless you Don. Terry

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2BMYOWN 8/12/2011 12:31PM

    Woo hoo, the rain fairies were with ya that day, weren't they? That's totally awesome! The way the weather and the heat has been this year, it literally amazes me to see what all people are still managing to accomplish outside. Kudos for such a great ride, Don, that's stupendous, and even better that you didn't get caught in the downpour until AFTER your ride was completed!

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VARMINT3 8/12/2011 7:43AM

    Sounds like a great day!

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CDGOLDILOCKS 8/10/2011 12:35PM

    Nothing like a great ride. Biking is wonderful.

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NIKANN7493 8/10/2011 7:52AM

    Thank you Don for the shoutout! That ride was a very enjoyable ride. I was certainly hoping for a mostly dry ride, and when it did rain a bit... it felt great! Especially on the thighs! I can't wait to get a full fledge road bike! I burned almost 2000 calories that day! I am definately impressed that I was able to ride the full 44 miles that day. Thank you! It was nice to bump into you once again! :)

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OUTDOORGIRL69 8/9/2011 9:45PM

    emoticon I am very impressed. Just wish I could get out and do some walking. The knee is killing me and the DR hasn't decided what he is going to do with it yet.

Keep riding for me also.

Comment edited on: 8/9/2011 9:45:37 PM

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WATERMELLEN 8/9/2011 5:47PM

    Fun blog . . . and you're clearly having a terrific time with your biking and your real life sparking!!

It's always so nice to hear from you: like you I had orthodontry done as a kid and yeah, it does slow you down a bit!!

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SASSYCHRIS1952 8/9/2011 11:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SKINNYPOWELL1 8/9/2011 9:23AM

    Bet the rain really cooled you off, lol. I love hearing your bike stories. You rock dude.

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LADYGWEN25 8/8/2011 8:32AM

    yeah Don.. I"m so happy i decided not to add the extra miles on.. i would've been SOAKED! ANd i'm up to 959.82 miles! Catching up to you!!! :)

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JLITT62 8/8/2011 5:36AM

    Impressive that you did all that considering how muggy yesterday was! No rain at all here yesterday - plenty the day before, tho.

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L*I*T*A* 8/8/2011 12:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LMLOPEZ 8/7/2011 10:57PM

    Don, I am so amazed every time you post with your biking adventures. How wonderful that the heavens were nice enough to wash your bike for you after your ride ;)
Great job-you are an inspiration!

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TAMIK1964 8/7/2011 10:49PM

    What perfect timing! Glad you had a great ride!

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