Sunday, October 16, 2011
Eleven of us bike club members cut loose today after being denied our Skaneateles Lake ride yesterday due to the weather. Today was questionable too, although you wouldn't know it by the beautiful blue skies when we set sail at 10 a.m.!
I did this ride with the club last October on a much more pleasant day with pictures that turned out much better than today:
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3704697 ...includes a fun "re-take" on an old Cole Porter song.
However today's ride was still a great 47 miler with over 2,200 feet of climb peaking just outside Morris.
I enjoyed catching up with a club member who had me green with envy earlier this summer as she told me of her plans to travel to Washington State on a supported cycling tour. What surprised me, however, was her feedback that although it was great to have a change of pace she has YET to find a place in all her travels that can beat the beauty and variety of upstate New York. We are so truly blessed to be cyclists in our back yard!
The clouds were gathering quickly and although rain was predicted for 3 pm it looked like it would come sooner. I was part of a group of four at the front of the group and we all shared the same opinion: no lunch for us in Morris! Just a quick stop and get buzzing back to Sidney and beat the rain!
Most of my pics were too dark to bother including, but here's a couple re-takes (you see 'em in last year's blog too):
The falls at Route 51 & Dimmock Hollow Road
Stone Bridge in Gilbertsville
On our return trip we had unexpected company: a huge Husky came darting out of the trees heading toward us! But unlike the usual cyclist's dilemma of hostile dogs we had a whole new problem on our hands:
This dog was in LOVE with our bikes and speed! He was having a BLAST running alongside us and the faster we rode the better he liked it! It was sorta fun for a few hundred feet, I'll have to admit...however soon we pulled over. This dog was liable to join us all the way to Sidney! And THEN what? The dog was happily bouncing back and forth between us, eager to win our approval. He seemed to be a loveable type that would insist on being a "lap dog," leaving one struggling to come up for air underneath.
We met up with a boy and his father riding back toward where we came and we asked them to hang onto the dog while we scurried off...!
No go...soon the dog was cheerfully loping along beside us!
What next? A young fellow came along in his car and pulled over when we got his attention. He could see that the dog was harmless. We asked if he would take the dog back to where we originally saw him. The kid said "Sure!"
Next problem: the dog wouldn't get into the car! After dragging him a bit one of our riders had a great idea. She had been chewing on a granola bar. Once it was wafted in front of the dog he was putty in our hands and happily hopped into the car chomping on the granola bar!
Off we went and before long a little, light drizzle started coming down, goosing my pedaling speed up with each drop!
We beat any significant rain, fortunately and although I car-pooled with someone who would not come along for another 45 mins. I spent the time in McDonald's unwinding with a couple tall, hot coffees.
All in all a wonderful way to spend my 55th birthday!
I logged into RealAge for another dose of feedback and unfortunately my RealAge jumped up from last year, but is still two years younger than my chronological age. RealAge keeps adding more and more complexity to its questions and calculations. It's an interesting tradition I'll keep up for birthdays to come.
Hey everyone keep it SPARKIN' this week!
ps...yearly total of 1859 miles...hoping to add to this!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Just had to share my latest "find"...One of the recent issues of Adventure Cycling www.adventurecycling.org/mag/ featured an article by Willie Weir titled "Uncomfortable." It was very inspirational in sharing the message that there is much GOLD to be mined when one pushes outside one's comfort zone and is willing to risk some discomfort.
Unfortunately his article is not available online and my copy of it has disappeared.
BUT: I e-mailed Willie and he scanned the article and e-mailed it to me! If anyone is interested in receiving a copy, SparkMail me your e-mail address and I'd be happy to send it your way.
Other really cool info on Willie:
He has his own web site which features his autobiography:
Travels With Willie (entire autobiographical book in PDF format)
A compendium of his blogs:
Definitely worth a look!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Well we pulled it off! 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI and I nailed 60 miles with a ride that had FOUR big climbs for a total climb of 3,500 feet (if you go by my map: ridewithgps.com/routes/750935 ) or over 7,000 feet (WOW!) (if you go by 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's map: ridewithgps.com/trips/414778 ) Don't ask me how there could be such a differential, GPS n00b that I am...!
I knew that this would be a challenge for me, to nail a ride with such a degree of climbing. But then, the WAY COOL part is that what goes UP, must come DOWN! :-)
It was a very chilly, foggy start in Port Crane. On my way there in my car I saw a thermometer at Chenango Valley Schools reported 35 degrees. Perhaps it nudged up a few degrees by the time we started. Maybe. Neither of us opted to wear any outerwear, however. I just KNEW a little pedaling would afford me all the heat I needed!
Although our first climb was taxing up past Cole Park, the view on our descent into Windsor was just gorgeous! The sun was coming up and peeling back the fog, revealing a pristine valley filled with all the colors of autumn just beckoning us to swoop down into the valley and catch up with my fellow bike club members in Windsor. I tried to capture some of these scenes on my cell phone camera, however had no luck. But here's a pic of 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI and I after arriving in Windsor with climb / descent #1 under our belts!
Very quickly I think we both learned one thing we have in common: SLOW is our LEAST favorite option when on our bikes! No stopping to smell the roses for us...if we're going to savor them, those roses will have to thwack our helmets as we whiz on by!
We had an enjoyable meet-up with several bike club members in Windsor and 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI fit in nicely with our group, finding much in common and sharing pleasant conversation.
Soon we were OFF for climb #2: Tuscarora Mountain! With a descent into McClure...which I figured would be a spot in the road by the look of it on the map, but WOW! There just wasn't ANYTHING THERE! We had a little break and more fun conversation while waiting for the group to catch up before heading northward up State Highway 41 into Afton. There was another climb on this leg of our journey, but probably the kindest climb.
We lunched at a mighty fine restaurant in Afton, The Main Street Grill and Bakery: www.mainstreetgrillandbakery.com/ . 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI and I both had the blackened tuna salad and a cup of the acorn squash soup...yum! Sam, the bike club ride leader had been singing the praises of this soup and it was no wonder! He said that the owner and chef of this restaurant was from NYC. How someone lands in an out-of-the-way place like Afton with a restaurant like this...? Go figure! As good as it was going down, however, my usually cast-iron digestive system was "talkin' to me" later during the last leg of our ride!
Another pleasure during lunch was that fellow SP member TEAMAGIS who ALSO happens to be a member of our bike club, belatedly joined us for lunch and for part of the ride. It was cool to have a little mini-meet-up between the three of us!
After lunch it was OFF from Afton with the bike club and in Ninevah, us "leaders of the pack" took some pics on the Ninevah bridge while awaiting the rest of the club:
From there 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI and I bid farewell to the bike club members who were returning to Windsor while we were completing the last leg of our journey up over Belden Hill toward Port Crane.
Although I've climbed Belden Hill a number of times, never easily, but always making it fairly comfortably with persistence, this time was WAY more tough! "Little Engine That Could" thoughts notwithstanding, I found myself panting I suspect *almost* as much as if I was a woman giving birth! Forget Lamaze, expectant ladies...for some practice just go climb a big, big hill! :-)
Was it the lunch? Was I just "all climbed out" from the rest of the ride? Along the way I passed a frog belly-up beside me on the shoulder of the road, thinking "hey buddy, I know the feeling!" I kept fighting off the urge to cave in, get off the bike and walk. Finally around 3/4 of the way up the hill flattened a bit and I DID cave, but not to walk, just to pause for a few minutes, gulp some water and then back to nailing the rest of this hill, doggone it! No croaking allowed!
And nail it I did! Finally swooping down and catching up with 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI in Port Crane and heading up to our cars, dousing myself with water, water and MORE water!
It was a very special day to share with a fellow member of SP, especially 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI as we BOTH have shed around half our body weight through our respective journeys thus far and this ride was yet one more WOO HOO! to our new, improved lives!
I was VERY fatigued later during the rest of the day. Nothing was particularly sore, just *ALL IN!* I don't think I've had ANY ride wear me out as much as this one did...but it was a *good* tired! I pushed the envelope in a great way today!
I later went out w/ DW to see the GREAT movie: "The Help"
www.imdb.com/title/tt1454029/ ...here I thought I'd snooze through a flick...IMPOSSIBLE! Riveting movie!
But then when sleep DID come...? I slept at least TEN hours...the longest sleep I've had in quite some time. I think my body took over and did what it needed to do...lol!
ps...long-winded...! Knew I needed some time to put this together...why I waited a bit.
pps...OH: this ride put me over 1800 miles so far for the season! There are a couple of GREAT rides scheduled for next weekend...am hoping Mother Nature will cooperate...!
ppps...Here's 4-A-HEALTHY-BMI's blog on the ride:
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I know the drill. Been there, done that WAY too many times. Got it down to a science. Been back to basics and doing what I know *WORKS* for me this past week:
Daily Cardio: minimum of 35 mins. on treadmill every day (throw more on the fire if I wake up earlier...lol!), ideally 1st thing in the morning...which I did every day but one and made up for that later in the evening.
Daily tracking of my food: Nailed that too! Noticing my carb intake has been nice & low...about half of what SP recommends, which is what I *know* works for me!
Strength training? A bit slippery on that, have done 2 sessions, want to lock in on 3 per week.
Thing about all this is, while I can pat myself on the back for knowing what works and succeeding in being "on track," I could've avoided a whole lot of grief and drama by avoiding the backslide in the first place.
I am hoping to reconcile myself to accepting that I will always, ALWAYS, *ALWAYS* need to track my food. I believe that will be essential to maintaining a weight which is "good enough" for me.
But I know there is more to it that this. There is a certain mind set or psychology involved when it comes to maintaining. I know that I'm hooked on the weight loss mind set...can rev myself up and coach myself along quite nicely when it comes to LOSING the weight. In fact I'll go so far as to conjecture that I'm a bit "addicted" to this mentality which may be one of the sneaky, underhanded motivations behind my backslides: it's easier to whoop myself up into weight loss mode than it is to be just as enthusiastic about maintaining.
Let me share and give a shout out to one of SparkPeople's BEST crusaders of maintenance: 4A-HEALTHY-BMI! Check out her blog, Rockstars of Maintenance:
In the meantime my excitement is ramping up for the days ahead: For the next week we will have PLENTY of sunshine with temps in the 60s & 70s...who knows, maybe even 80s!
Our bike club has what promises to be a WONDERFUL ride on Saturday (44 miles) on which I'm hoping to piggy-back another bunch of miles up to around 60 miles and 3,500 feet of climb...oof! Will love every minute of it! :-)
Here's the projected ride:
Hope all us local Binghamton Area Losers are out there en masse soaking up the rays and SPARKING it up BIGTIME!
ps...oh, my mp3 message? Last shuffled track while on the treadmill this morning:
pps...thanks & shout out to REYVE01 for this wonderful graphic!
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