Wednesday, January 6, 2010

You might be in South Dakota if....

You have to walk around various pieces of farm equipment to get to your morning cycling class.

Yep, its that time of the year again, the Dakota Farm Show is being held this week at the Dome in Vermillion. I wish I had a picture of the runners maneuvering around the tractors and pieces of equipment at 6am this morning....I think it would make for an interesting picture, it's just something you don't expect to see in your workout facility!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review….

Reading Tez’s blog inspired me to post a year-end summary as well. It seems appropriate at this time of the year to reflect on the past year. I apologize in advance for how long this post is - you may want to stop right now.

January started off with Charlie having rotator cuff repair on his shoulder for a tear he obtained in a fall right before Thanksgiving. This was none-too-soon, since the shoulder was quite painful and it made it especially hard for Charlie to get much sleep (or me either, for that matter). We anticipated a long recovery but Charlie did amazingly well, although he wasn’t exactly following directions by his doctor and physical therapist so that made me nervous!

I spent the beginning of the year researching Bike Fridays – the folding bike made in Eugene, Oregon. Charlie loves cars and I love bikes. Since bike racks aren’t allowed on his cars (picky, picky, picky) Charlie was the one who encouraged me to purchase a Bike Friday. I ordered the New World Tourist in Power Raspberry and love my cute little bike for shorter, more leisurely rides. We took a trip to Wisconsin/ Minnesota in July and the Mustang/Bike Friday duo worked very well. So we made a short trip to the Black Hills over Labor Day wanting to do more of these excursions. I loved riding through Spearfish Canyon and Charlie loved the scenic drive. The bike is very versatile with the Schwable marathon tires – it works well on both the road and trails. We plan to go back to Sparta, Wisconsin next summer and stay at our favorite B&B there and ride the Sparta-Elroy trail some more.

I think I will remember 2009 the most for the weird weather. March was actually not bad; nice weather for the St. Patty’s Day ride in Yankton and the end of March was unseasonably warm and I did quite a bit of riding (at least for me) for that early in the year. Then came June and the Tour de Kota. I have never worn my winter riding gear so much! Fleece lined tights, full length gloves, thick wool socks, base layers of smart wool under jersey and jacket. I not only rode in all these layers, but I also slept in them! Thank goodness for the day to Pierre that at least started out sunny – one of the few times we saw the sun all week. Don’t get me wrong, I loved TDK regardless of the weather. What a great feeling to have conquered those hills along the Missouri River. And to spend 6 days with others who love biking who you can talk biking with non-stop and their eyes don’t glaze over – priceless.

The summer remained cool which made for nice riding weather. The MS 150 ride couldn’t have been better with tailwinds both days! I looked forward to fall riding, especially those October rides to see the fall colors. Instead we had the 3rd coldest October on record and the rainiest ever with precipitation on 27 of the 31 days of the month which drastically cut down my miles for the month. Then a reprieve arrived in November allowing for a few weekend rides. We won’t even talk about the weather in December with the Christmas Blizzard that will go down in history.

This past year I fell in love with a new hobby – photography! I had purchased a Nikon D60 in June 2008 right before our daughter’s wedding but had only used in the automatic settings. I started to dapple a bit with what I could do with the camera and then a fellow camera-clickin’-cyclists mentioned a 2 day photography class being held in Sioux Falls and that was the beginning of the new obsession. My motto is anything worth doing is worth over doing! I'm learning lots from both Nancy and Melissa!

Our house is being taken over by my hobbies with one room in the basement devoted to my bike on the trainer with maps, posters, and mementos on the walls from past bike rides for motivation; another room of the basement turned into a very amateur portrait studio (lights by Bomgaards!), and a spare bedroom turned into scrapbook studio.

2009 has been kind to our family for which I’m truly grateful and give thanks. May 2010 be kind to us all!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wakonda 125th Celebration Bike Ride

Officially called the Sonny Clare Bike Ride, in memory of a great community member. Sonny was a kind and gentle man who was a great supporter of school sports. But most of all, he was an inspiration to all of us as he rode his bike into his 80's.

Today a planning meeting was held with LaneHogs in attendance to help plan this bike ride that will be held on Friday, July 2nd in Wakonda. Of course, Mr. Biking Brady, an alumni of Wakonda, was there - with some great ideas! This is going to be a very fun event with a 42 mile ride, 16 mile ride, and a children's bike carnival, followed by lots of other activities in town that day. So mark your calendars and stay for the entire day - you haven't experienced life until you attend a Wakonda street dance - you can even camp in my yard!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

All things now living unite in thanksgiving!

The sun is shining! Wow, what a horrible weather we had in October. I heard it was the 3rd coldest October on record and one of the cloudiest. I sure did miss riding my bike. Last year I think I rode almost every weekend in October; one weekend the LaneHogs went from Bunyan's to Bob's, another weekend Kevin, Ed, and I rode to Yankton and crossed the newly opened Discovery Bridge, as well as snuck around the barricade and rode the old Meridian Bridge. Another weekend Cindy and I rode our mountain bikes on the Turkey Creek Road just on the other side of the Missouri from Vermillion and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors.

So I'm trying to make up for some missed riding. Things are settling down at work and this week was a great opportunity for me to take some vacation time and take off both Thursday and Friday afternoon. I rode 22 miles this afternoon - it was wonderful!

I also got some riding in last weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. Riding by myself, I have my iPod bike speaker to keep me company. I've been just putting it on shuffle which makes me realize what an eclectic mix of music I have on my iPod. I have one album of hymns recorded by a minister who served for a time at Vangen Lutheran Church in Mission Hill (which is also the location of where she did the recording). Anyway, on Sunday when I was riding, the hymn "For All the Saints" was one of the songs I heard on shuffle, appropriately it was All Saints Sunday.

Today as I was riding rejoicing in the sunshine (and yes, the wind!), the hymn "Let All Things Now Living" played. "Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the creator triumphantly raise." It just seemed to be the perfect song to end my ride on.

Hmmm, God speaks to me in such mysterious ways. Anyway, let all things now living unite in thanksgiving for the sunshine which will help the farmers get the crops out of the fields and makes bike riders like myself so very happy!