Thursday, December 31, 2009

Must. Bike. Must. Bike.

Since Hot Husband put the studded snow tires on my bike, I spend part of every day trying to figure out how to squeeze in a ride. All I'm asking for is 20-30 minutes. Is that so wrong?

I couldn't get out to ride yesterday at all, and it just about killed me. The weather was clear and sunny, so it would have been glorious. But we were in turbo-cleaning mode, getting ready for family to visit. If I just kept the house cleaner, then I could ride more. Hmmm . . . I may have finally found the inspiration I've been looking for to focus on regular cleaning . . .

I popped out of bed around 6 a.m. and decided to make a break for the gym before everyone in the house woke up and needed a hug, breakfast, or just my undivided attention. Finding the time to work out has been a challenge ever since my oldest was born almost 12 years ago, but I'm slowly making it work. I got a good 35-minute interval workout done on the elliptical trainer, and decided to pass on an upper-arm weight circuit. I did have guests, after all! Imagine my surprise when I got back to the house around 7:30 and all was dark and quiet. Oh, well.

After breakfast was done and dishes cleared, Hot Husband gave me leave to go shopping for the wool base layer I've been pining for lately. Homeschooling 3 boys doesn't really give me a whole lotta time to shop, so this was a huge gift. Did I grab the keys and run for the stores? Nope. Grabbed my helmet and the bike instead.

The day was sunny, the wind manageable, the roads mostly cleared, and I NEEDED to get out and push. My quads were definitely tired from the workout a mere 4 hours before, but never mind. I had the road and my bike for a glorious 30 minutes. (Roughly 6 miles.) Lotsa hills made it a challenge, to be sure, and I'm finding there's not much "whee!" factor when I'm watching the road so closely for ice, but the joy of being out in fresh air, rolling along makes it so worthwhile.

Can I get an amen?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Last-minute ride

What to do when a whole day has gone by and there's been no bike ride? Squeeze it in.

It was 4 p.m. and again, I'd been simply itching to get out and ride. Only an hour until dark, so I grabbed some courage and my bike and decided to return books to the library, 2-1/2 miles away, using two wheels instead of four. I'm still figuring out what gear I really need to run errands by bike for the winter, so I'm using what I have. I don't have panniers, a rack or baskets, but I do have a locally made Mystery Ranch backpack that works well enough. . . for now. I was able to get a few heavy library books inside.

The plan was to drop off books and stop and a nearby grocery store for a couple of items. Halfway there, I realized I'd forgotten my wallet in my eagerness to get out and ride. Ugh. So much for saving a little gas. Got the errand done and pushed home, arriving just before the light faded. My legs were starting to get numb when I walked in the door, so I checked the temp. Zero Farenheit. No wonder!

This scene made it all worthwhile. Even if I had to drive back to get the groceries.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season--good eating, safe travels, peace on earth. Thanks to my sister for finding this shot.

Check out the great graphic that Cyclemaven posted earlier this month!

These are giving me wonderful decorating ideas! Hmmm . . .

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Supergirl in song . . . and bike shorts

Here's a great song about the magic of biking. Love it, Lilia!

And a story about Supergirl finally getting bike shorts instead of skivvies!

Yes, the Supergirl undies really are available. But you really don't need the costume if you've living a Supergirl existence, right?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Amsterdam bike fantasy

I really can't add much to this beautiful montage of winter biking. *Sigh.*

Happy solstice!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Biking to church

Still reveling in the glow from my ride yesterday, I managed to convince my husband to bring the boys to church in a *gasp!* fossil-fuel consuming vehicle while I pedaled my way there. Mind you, I haven't done this since the days were at least 30 degrees warmer, but never mind! I had my enthusiasm to keep me warm.

As soon as I started out, the grey, cloudy weather added a drizzle for good measure. A year ago, something like this would have pushed me to bag the whole adventure, or I wouldn't have even started in the first place. Those were the days. Now I'm stoked about hopping on the bike and being present for every part of the ride, drips and all.

Got to church looking only a tiniest bit tousled from the trip, and I don't think anyone really noticed. I popped on dressier pants and shoes and was good to go.

On the way home, the weather wasn't as wet, but I kicked up a lot of goo. The back of my pants and jacket, all the way up to the front of my helmet, were splattered with grit from the road.

Big aha for me--get fenders on the bike. The glam riders on cruisers and Dutch bikes don't really have the splatter issue because of the fenders. Oh, the joys of learning! Fortunately, all of the dirt came off with some scrubbing and a round in the wash.

Total round trip: 6.5-ish miles. Verrry nice.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter biking season opens!

Me. Biking. In winter, even.

A year ago, this would have been unthinkable for me, but now that I'm almost 20 pounds lighter and I intend to stay that way, I'm looking for ways to have fun and burn a few calories.

I've been making my peace with indoor workouts, but always feeling like I was a rat in a wheel. Until today! After whining about missing my weekly bike rides during October, when the days were longer and the pavement dry, my husband went for a solution. (Aren't guys great?) He couldn't change the weather, but he could change my tires. Off came the slicks I'd used for tooling around town, and on went the ice-grabbing studded tires.

I donned a few extra layers, gloves and my helmet, and off I went, biking to a buddy's house to show off and get a well-deserved fist bump. Love those friends who love biking, too. I covered the six-ish miles within an hour, and that includes a chat. Yee-HAH! I'm back on the roads!