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Oxford Cross River Bliss!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

What a wonderful ride today with two other bike club members, one of them Madame President of the club, aka: TEAMAGIS

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TE
AMAEGIS


...who is going to assist in outfitting yours truly for his upcoming adventures in mid-September. Her friend, another member of the club, is going to be joining me in this adventure as well.

We got a little chuckle upon seeing this sign posted, indicating that we live in a more rural spot than I thought!



I suppose our chuckles wouldn't last long if we HAD stumbled across a bear!

In any case it was just an absolutely pitch-perfect day for a ride with just the right mix of sunshine, blue skies and poofy clouds in which to get lost in one's thoughts. I was soaking up the rolling hills and every imaginable hue of green and just, as TEAMAGIS later said "in the zone" rolling along at a relaxed, not a care in the world pace. We are all so blessed with such beautiful outdoors here in upstate New York! It has been too long a time since I can remember being so thoroughly immersed and awed by the world as I was today. Most of the other times have been while on my bike as well...just feeling at one with the world. TEAMAGIS later said, "I don't know WHAT I was thinking during that ride!" To which I said: "You weren't thinking at all. That's the point!" There was nothing we could do "wrong" on this ride. We just rode and we just were. The two roads that take one to Oxford run roughly parallel to each other, so rather than take one, we would cross the Chenango river here and there and hop onto the other road for a bit, and then cross back over to the first road.

Even near the end of the ride when I foolishly miscalculated the height of the road when veering left off the shoulder to get back on the road at an angle that wasn't sharp enough and as a result got tossed to the ground I just got back up, re-threading my chain which had fallen off and wrapped up the ride, resuming my inner soundtrack which had been a song which may seem foreign to this part of the world, but the rhythm is just propulsive enough to keep me cruising through the countryside and the light, airy nature of Celso's vocals captured the lightness of being I felt during the ride, even after gravity had its way with me! :-)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeH3QTHNqsM

Later we topped off the day by watching the hot air balloons lift off at the SpeidieFest.

Don

ps, late, tired, more about my big plans another day!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGE4FIT 8/13/2013 10:26AM

    Great blog, Don. When in the mountains this past weekend, we went to a habitat exhibit. Bears are indigenous to NC and the warning said if you encounter one-act big and bad, playing dead is a bad idea! Wave your arms and make a lot of noise or in your case pedal like a demon!!

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/12/2013 7:24PM

    Don't know how I missed this -- but thoroughly loved reading about it today. And as for that bear . . . here's hoping you could out pedal him if needed!!

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WOMANWITHGRIT 8/5/2013 2:16PM

    Oh wow. Great blog. Made me realize how I miss long distance bicycling and also how I miss the beauty of Upstate NY -- I lived in Syracuse for 10 years - but never bicycled then.

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RAINBOWFALLS 8/5/2013 7:44AM

    I do love our area too and so many people don't take the time to appreciate it. Riding along is a great way to become one with nature.

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GREENGENES 8/4/2013 8:40PM

    Awesome!

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PATRICIAAK 8/4/2013 10:52AM

    super

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_VALEO_ 8/4/2013 10:45AM

    The animal drawn looks like a feline to me! Hope you won't meet any (bear or bobcat! ;)) during your future rides.

I hope your fall was as smooth as the music. Thanks for sharing this samba.



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L*I*T*A* 8/4/2013 10:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRAVINGLIFE 8/4/2013 8:54AM

    Glad you had a great day! It was beautiful!

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40PUDDLEJUMPER 8/4/2013 7:30AM

    sounds like you had a great day!! emoticon

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CBLENS 8/4/2013 6:58AM

    what a great ride with the exception of the tumble.

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PMRUNNER 8/4/2013 5:03AM

    There was a big group ride down our way, but the weather wasn't quite as nice. It was a steady drizzle and the bikers were soaked, but most looked happy. Glad you had a good ride!

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STRIVERONE 8/4/2013 12:05AM

    Two good choices for a Saturday ride and I see you chose #3. Sounds like it was also a great one.

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Criminal Commute!

Friday, August 02, 2013

I truly didn't wake up this morning with plans to break any rules.

However while cycling my way to work on my usual commute I see a sign posted at the entrance of Otsiningo Park that all trails are closed for the SpeidieFest & Balloon Rally www.spiediefest.com/ August 2, 3 & 4th. Yeah, okay, I mutter as I sail by the sign around the gate: gotta get to work!

SO further on into the park what do I find but a padlocked gate with wire fencing wrapped around the ends of the gate so that there was no simple walkaround! By now I'm feeling a little bit of Michael Douglas' pain as he felt just trying to blast his way home in Falling Down! www.imdb.com/title/tt0106856/

I just WASN'T going to backtrack all the way up to Chenango Bridge and come down Chenango Street. I would be late for WORK!

All righty then, UP goes the bike as I hoist it over the gate and follow suit swinging my legs up and over. I'm just peeved enough to have words with someone should they start chastising me! I've ridden my bike through the park on the morning of SpeidieFest for years! The park has never been closed until today. I make my way through the park with nary a peep from anyone, including the security guard at the gate on the other end of the park. I was ready for him though! PLUS I wasn't even rewarded by one of my favorite sights: no hot air balloon launches this spectacularly sunny, blue morning with the fog quickly lifting skyward.

But it all was smoothed out by the remainder of the ride through Cheri Lindsay Park along the sprawling Chenango River and gaggles of geese lazing about squonking, feeding themselves and fertilizing the trail.

It's pretty tough to have a cycling commute that one regrets. Even last Friday's commute, for instance, when I got TWO flats only 2.5 miles from my home. My mistake was assuming that the first flat was a pinch flat resulting from not totally avoiding a pot-hole. I quickly changed the flat without checking the inside of the tire, because it was a pinch flat, right? Wrong...! Glass all over. No more tubes. What to do? I figured by the time I call home to rouse DW for a lift I could probably jog home and hop in the car without bothering her. Yes, yes, there was Kattellville Hill to climb, but hey, I've done that before, right? Whew! It was a challenge, for sure, especially hanging onto my bike with one hand and avoiding collisions between the pedal and my ankle...which I almost succeeded in doing (ouch). But after I was done I figured, hey, workout is done, I'm ready for the day! It's all good!

I have some really awesome plans in the works for special rides coming up later this summer, but more about that in my next blog. Today I have to decide on tomorrow's ride: I have registered for BikeTioga.com, a whole $15... :-) But have since learned that the 60-some mile ride starts at 7:30 a.m. And the start is around an hour's drive from home. Ugh. An alternative ride was posted by a fellow club member who is riding to Norwich for the www.chenangosummerjam.org/

This ride will be cruising right by the front of my home around 9:30 a.m. and will be around the same distance and feature free live entertainment. I think I will consider my $15 fee to BikeTioga as money donated to a good cause and high-tail it to Norwich for a later (hello SLEEP, my good buddy!) ride sharing free music with my fellow bike club members!

Make it a wonderful weekend everyone!

Fill it with boatloads of heart and SPARK!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 8/13/2013 9:43AM

    Such great adventures!

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L*I*T*A* 8/2/2013 9:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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STRIVERONE 8/2/2013 9:22PM

    I can appreciate the rebellion under pressure. Years ago I drove though a movie set because I felt the commercial interests did not outweigh mine. Those security people did not turn a blind eye.

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OUTDOORGIRL69 8/2/2013 9:00PM

    Sounds like you had a very interesting ride to work. Have fun on your next ride.

Have a great weekend.

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GETSTRONGRRR 8/2/2013 7:03PM

    Sounds exciting and successful....may need to change your screen name to "Felon"

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PATRICIAAK 8/2/2013 6:54PM

    ride on

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WATERMELLEN 8/2/2013 2:52PM

    Totally appreciate your subversiveness . . . and your interpretation of the geese as "fertilizing" the trail (bet they are Canada geese) . . . and your alternate plans that let your DW sleep in . . . and yup, I'm thinking that the sleep in for yourself tomorrow is going to work out best too.

We have a long weekend here!

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LIZZYP609 8/2/2013 2:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HILLSLUG98239 8/2/2013 11:35AM

    I used to ride through a construction site after getting off work at 10 p.m. It was obvious the construction workers noticed the skinny-tire path through their perfectly flat gravel: they started setting up heavy movers in a way that looked like they were trying to block access. The front-loaders formed a perfect arch, so I zipped up my jersey and held my arms high overhead as I rode under them.

If they'd put up a "No Trespassing" sign, I would have back-tracked 200 feet and utilized an minor detour. I was working in law enforcement at the time. Getting a criminal citation for trespassing on my way home from work would have been embarrasing.

We have hydroplane races here, and access to the bike paths on both sides of the river is limited to paying customers only. This year, Pasco put up signs a few days ahead of time announcing the bike path would be closed. Bless them. Last year, I ran into a volunteer monitoring the bike path a good 500' before the place where I'd assumed the closure would start. I had to slow down because he had an awning covering the path, and I had to negotiate the area between his chair and the awning's legs. Otherwise, I would have whizzed by him so fast I wouldn't have heard his protestations. (There was no sign, just some kid sitting in a lawn chair.)

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RACEWELLWON 8/2/2013 10:34AM

    Wow , what a ride !! Good for you going through the locked gates !! I noticed a few trails being blocked off on the way to the Botanicals Gardens lately due to Weddings , which where never blocked before - forcing us to ride the Horse trails . Good thing I have left my mountain tires on the my bike as the trails are rough. That ride for $15.00 sounds like a great ride. Nice jog with your bike ! Wonder how calories that burned ? lol

Comment edited on: 8/2/2013 10:35:46 AM

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CELIAMINER 8/2/2013 9:45AM

    As the owner of a really nasty NON-bike commute (strong smell of decomp on the Metro this morning, for example), I had to read your entertaining blog and cheer along with you as you found a way past that padlocked gate and took care of your flat times. WooHooo!

emoticon

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CHANGE4FIT 8/2/2013 9:36AM

    Glad to hear you "committed the perfect crime" and got away with it. Enjoy your day and the upcoming rides!
PJ

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MYKIDSRSWEET 8/2/2013 9:29AM

    Seems like an adventure!

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Back On The Road

Monday, July 22, 2013

Well I have to admit to allowing the heat to beat me off the streets last week...WHEW what a week!

So yesterday was such WELCOME relief when we were blessed by a cool front from Canada wringing the air out and bringing the temps down. Our bike club had a "Smell The Roses" ride planned. A shorter, slower ride from Whitney Point to Marathon. But I piggy-backed another 10 miles each way by cycling from my home to the starting point of the ride. I posted to the club that I was doing that so if anyone else wanted to join me they could.

Well what do you know but a fellow member who was formerly obese and has biked himself down to a lean machine was the only one to join me. He was one of our few club members who rode the Thater race last year and did quite well! We happen to be similar in age.

www.bcstopdwi.com/bcstopdwi/thater

So as we start out he offers to let me take the lead. Now I'm getting all kinds of nervous...am I going to be able to set a pace that's going to be in line with what this fellow's accustomed to riding? Although we've ridden together before he usually sprints WAY out ahead of me!

I'm beating those pedals along, but having a blast doing it as it has been too long since I've been on my bike and the sun & cool breeze was just heavenly! As we come up to a stretch where I just KNOW the hill will slow me down to a pace the other guy would find intolerable...so I slow down to tell him to feel free to pass me by. I expected him to be right on my tail but when I turn around, much to my surprise...

He was WAY back! He catches up with me and I tell him about passing me by if he wants and he said: "Pass you by?!? I can hardly keep UP with you!"

That was a real nice boost to my ego! Even if he DID take up my suggestion and pass me on the hill...lol.

When arriving at Whitney Point while waiting for the others he and I shared the same thoughts: we would use the ride to Whitney Point to get our "need for speed" out of our systems so we could slow down and join the others for the club's "Stop & Smell the Roses Ride."

Well, the best laid plans quickly gave way to the joy of having another rider who could match your speed and we just took off again, waiting for the others at the turns. He and I both agreed as to what a pleasure it was having another rider who could be so compatible in our riding styles! He was talking about wanting to ride a century later this summer and I asked him to keep me in mind if he wanted company and he agreed.

After the ride, DW & I had our weekly cook-a-thon and did our big batch cooking for the week ahead. I finally pulled two things together into a recipe I kind of made up as I went along and borrowed from a few recipes I saw @ SparkRecipes.com. I've been wanting to make gazpacho AND wanting to make something with kale...so I made Kale Gazpacho! Sauteed onions, mushrooms and garlic, then added the kale for a little bit just to soften it some but still be sorta crunchy too. Then added diced tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper and crushed red pepper to jazz it up...looking forward to enjoying this through my week!

Have a week filled with SPARK everyone!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 8/2/2013 5:31AM

    Wow! What a great story and you're such a great storyteller! I'm glad to see you back on your saddle! And yes, what a nice boost it was!

I love Gazpacho! So refresing during summer!

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HIPPICHICK1 7/24/2013 2:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SASSYCHRIS1952 7/23/2013 8:13AM

    It sounds like you had a great time and thankfully this heat spell has broken somewhat! I'm also glad you found a new friend and can be your riding buddy emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/23/2013 1:29AM

    Super.
I'm glad you're back to riding 'your way'!

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OUTDOORGIRL69 7/22/2013 7:58PM

    Don I sure wish I could have been there.

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MYLADY4 7/22/2013 7:13PM

    Jealous, just jealous.

Glad you had a great ride.

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CHANGE4FIT 7/22/2013 12:19PM

    So glad to read your blog and feel the breeze of the ride. It's still hot as a sauna here! LOL. I am not sure I would like traveling along on 2 slim wheels at 18-20mph-I have gotten up that fast, but man, that's moving when it's just you and the atmosphere! Sounds like you found a great cycling companion, too!! Your gazpacho should heavenly! Have a sparky week!!
PJ emoticon

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STRIVERONE 7/22/2013 11:23AM

    It's clear you have resolved your April concerns about anti-coagulants and cycling. I'm glad someone took you up on your offer for yesterday's ride. One of these days I will manage it too if you promise not to leave me in the dust.
emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 7/22/2013 10:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 7/22/2013 8:51AM

    Great job adding miles and finding a new riding buddy! Have a great week. Thankfully, the weather will be a bit cooler.

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The Secret to Beating the Heat on One's Bike

Monday, July 15, 2013

Go FAST!

Don't STOP!

:-)

Seriously, I'd forgotten the benefit of wind resistance when cycling in the heat.

How I forget the smart stuff when I lose my mojo, which I reclaimed a bit today...!

Keep it Sparkin' Everyone!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 8/2/2013 5:32AM

    Way to go on reclaiming it!

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WATERMELLEN 7/21/2013 9:57AM

    How did I miss this? Glad the mojo returns! And thanks for your comment on my "mind over mood" blog: pretty sure you'd have total familiarity with CBT!

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GIRANIMAL 7/16/2013 5:38PM

    Ugh, yes, movement was my only saving grace this morning! I knew it was a scorcher when the front of my bandana (worn under my helmet) was soaked after my first mile or so. Ewwwwwww. I am rather dreading the ride home! emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 7/16/2013 9:34AM

    Great tips! emoticon When I rode with my new 'group' on Sunday, we stopped for a bathroom break & snacks at a gas station. Well, when we started up again the wetness of my sweaty skin made the breeze of riding feel so cool! Natural air conditioning, right? emoticon

I'm sure you'll see it, but I got attacked by two dogs (well, one watched & one attacked) yesterday while running! I'm doing OK. Thankfully 'she' just scratched and bit my legs. One bite. Two other scratches. She did puncture me, though, so we are hoping to find her (and, more importantly just to get her off the streets & keep people safe!) so we can see if she has rabies. I'm on antibiotics & current with my tetanus. I posted more if you're interested in the story. These same two dogs had come at me on Friday but then left me alone... just scared me. So, be careful out there!

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JOYATLAST 7/16/2013 9:01AM

    Celebrating MoJO!

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NADINEL 7/16/2013 12:52AM

    emoticon Enjoy your week!

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CHANGE4FIT 7/15/2013 11:10PM

    Glad to see you getting back in touch with Mo and Jo :). Sometimes it's the simplest things that we need to share-because we all take them for granted!
Keep Sparkin'-and riding fast in the heat!!
emoticon emoticon

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OUTDOORGIRL69 7/15/2013 8:39PM

    emoticon We all forget sometimes the small things Don.

emoticon

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ACIMPEGGY 7/15/2013 7:36PM

    Marvelous! emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/15/2013 7:19PM

    right on!

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VALERIEMAHA 7/15/2013 4:41PM

    YIPPEE! on reclaiming your mojo!!!

I just completed 17 miles. Temp site reads "93 degrees; feels like 100." I couldn't go fast enough to get cool in this! Luckily, though, I had two containers of water.

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L*I*T*A* 7/15/2013 2:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 7/15/2013 2:47PM

    emoticon Got to love that personal fan :)
Wonder if speed will work too during a tornado warning :P

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SANDICANE 7/15/2013 1:33PM

    Keep Sparkin'!

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National Ride Your Bike To Work Day!

Friday, May 17, 2013

How is a body with bicycle wheels thrumming through his soul NOT going to ride his bike to work on National Ride Your Bike To Work Day? Which ALSO happens to be the last day of National Ride Your Bike To Work Week? Which ALSO falls within May, which is National Bike Month?!

Such a glorious & wonderful ride it was too! I quickly blew past the pre-ride jitters of preparation and mental checklist, remembering to take everything I needed for the long day ahead, including the tissues in both pockets to deal with the sweet, welcome mess of watery eyes and runny nose that I know the chilly mid-40's morning air will bring on... :-)

Breathing deeply and savoring the morning sun, blue skies while riding through Otsiningo Park and past the geese lazing in the tall grass beside the Chenango River in Cheri Lindsay Park. Greeting walkers with a cheery "Good Morning" instead of the rote harumphh of "on your left"...just filled with good will toward the whole planet!

For my first ride it will be a bit of a challenge getting home tonight as I see a couple of clients after work and won't hit the road until 7:30 pm, but there will still be light and I have my bright red t-shirt & trusty Light & Motion vis 360 atop my helmet:

www.lightandmotion.com/bike/vis360pl
us.html


Have a GREAT day everyone and if you can, get on your bikes, ride safe and follow Joseph Heller's advice: "When I grow up I want to be a little boy!"

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYCHRIS1952 5/25/2013 8:00AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 5/24/2013 9:44AM

    I wish I could ride to work, unfortunately I can't.... Company safety regs disallow bikes on the property :( (its a BIG place)

I love that...when I grow up, I want to be a kid... So true. We lose our joy and enthusiasm for life when the problems and responsibilities mount.

Keep pedaling :)


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MSKRIS7 5/19/2013 8:39AM

    emoticon

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LUVLYLORELEI 5/19/2013 1:04AM

    emoticon

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_VALEO_ 5/18/2013 4:40PM

    Of course, you couldn't miss this National Ride Your Bike! emoticon
Do not overdo it! Take care of yourself!

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PATRICIAAK 5/18/2013 1:25AM

    Super. I'm glad you're comfortable riding again.
For me - ain't gonna happen as I use my car for work - over 60 miles today.

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L*I*T*A* 5/17/2013 11:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOTHEPRO 5/17/2013 10:48AM

    emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/17/2013 10:42AM

    It's also Food Revolution Day!
http://www.jamieoliver.com/
foodrevolutionday

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OUTDOORGIRL69 5/17/2013 9:56AM

    Don...

You are such an inspiration to everyone out there. I wish I was able to ride my bike with my knee. Hope you have a safe ride my friend. emoticon

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CHANGE4FIT 5/17/2013 9:15AM

    Yea you! Hope you enjoy the commute home. Daylight savings time will be your friend. Ride Safe!
PJ

emoticon

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TWEETYKC00 5/17/2013 9:06AM

    And it's the perfect day for it!

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RAINBOWFALLS 5/17/2013 8:50AM

    Great job! You are an inspiration!

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RACEWELLWON 5/17/2013 8:42AM

    I am so happy that you enjoyed your ride. It 's such an awesome feeling to ride emoticon

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