Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Ride Recap

Beautiful day for a ride! Left home about 7:40am and took my time, stopped to visit with a new acquaintance who was out for a walk, etc. I met up with Ride Vermillion on highway 19 about 14 miles into my ride. I was a little disappointed thinking we had a small turn out of LaneHogs for the ride but I was glad to hear that Biking Brady was just getting a later start and would catch up with us. And then out of my mirror I see a biker approaching, just assuming it was Biking Brady, but no it was Ed joining us. Yeah, I knew we would have 4 of us once Biking Brady caught up! And then a few miles up the road we are joined by Chad from Alcester, awesome, we're now up to 5 riders.

Just as we pulled into Centerville for our apple fritter stop at the local bakery Biking Brady closed in on us, now our group was complete!

Just 8 miles and we were in Viborg, I normally don't stop until I get to Irene, but today I NEEDED to stop as were riding into the wind. Not a really strong wind, but around 13-15mph. Which slows me down considerably.

We pushed 5 more miles into the wind before turning south to go to Irene. Again, I was happy to stop and take a rest before we climbed the hills south of Irene. And we met up with the Centerville riders stopped for refueling so it was fun to have some bike talk with their group of 3 riders (see picture). This group is also riding RAGBRAI, who knows if I'll ever see them though with the thousands of riders!

On to the hills, where I'm really slow. But this was home territory for me and I didn't want to slow the group down even more so I told them to go ahead and order a cheeseburger for me when they got to Volin and I would see them there. But being the nice guys they are, they wouldn't abandon me.

After a real meal in Volin we enjoyed some sweet tailwinds and beautiful scenery of the Bluff Road together before I split off and headed up Turkey Hill and made my way back to Wakonda. It seems to be uphill all the way! And it actually is mostly uphill. I just poked along and ended the ride with 71 miles. I was shooting for 75 miles today but was ready to get off the bike!

It was a great time and everyone was very patient with me being so slow. Thanks guys!

PS - By the way we need some more women on these rides - come on ladies!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bike Helmet & Up Do Hairstyle Incompatible

This afternoon I had a practice run to find a hairstyle for the wedding......and I was very pleased. To tell the truth, this is the second run through I've had. But this hairstylist gave me exactly what I wanted! I know I'm obsessing about this, normally I don’t really care that much about my hair, but this is one occasion I do care how my hair looks. I went for the total up-do because I’ve never had one, for the following reasons: 1. I’m a child of the 70’s, long and straight was the only hairstyle those days (proms and wedding included); 2. Until recently I had “my twin” growing on the back of my neck which needed to be covered up so as to not frighten young children. So I got to experience the up-do for the first time today and that was fun, however for the wedding, I have made the important decision to go with a modified up-do. I bet you wanted to know that!

After the hair appointment, I made a delivery to Biking Brady to drop off his new “green” lawn mower – a push mower without a motor (whatever you call those). Mrs. Biking Brady and I tried it out for fun, I’m sure I looked great in my up-do pushing around a mower that badly needs some WD40!

After supper I just had to get out and ride a little but I was losing daylight fast, so I hastily changed and got ready to ride. I went to put on my bike helmet and found that it is hard to wear a bike helmet with an up-do. This is probably why my mother’s generation didn’t ride bikes. But I didn’t have time to get the bobby pins out so I smashed on the helmet and rode for about 45 minutes sprinting most of the time.

When I took off my helmet, the hair do was still, for the most part, in place. I think it should hold up well for the wedding!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Early Birthday Party

Well we're on the big countdown until the oldest daughter's wedding....less than 3 weeks away. So with my mind preoccupied on that big event, I for sure wanted to make sure we didn't forget the youngest daughter's birthday. I saw the movie "Sixteen Candles" on TV one night, the one where Molly Ringwald turns 16 but her family doesn't remember her birthday because her sister is getting married. So to make sure we didn't forget, we had a birthday party for the youngest daughter Monday evening, just a short 6 months since her last birthday party.

Are you confused? Well it's a long story, but the youngest has always felt her birthdays have not gotten the attention they deserve because of her birthday usually falling around Memorial Day weekend and high school graduation. She can tell a really good story of how she has been neglected. To add to her sad story, she can spin quite a tale of various mishaps, near death experiences, and other hardships that have occured on her birthday, including driving through an area where a tornado touched down and eating oatmeal cooked in a frying pan for her birthday meal while doing an internship at Pine Ridge.

So to ease my maternal guilt, we put on quite the "half" birthday party last November. The boyfriend came who had not spent much time around us at that time and he was quite shocked, saying he didn't know the whole town would be at the party!

Well this party was more low key, but recognized and celebrated with a special meal and a Tinkerbell cake for my grown up "Tink."
PS - There are no other similarities between the movie 16 Candles and the oldest daughter's wedding; i.e. we love the guy she's marrying and they are both bright, intelligent people, NOT like the couple in the movie!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Short Monday Ride

I thought I would get out before the wind picked up. I left the house at 7:00am and headed north to Irene for a short 16 mile ride. But so much for beating the wind. And isn't it funny that people who don't ride bike, don't notice the wind? As I was having a Coke at the convenience store, with about 20 farmers drinking coffee, they commented to me, "beautiful day for a bike ride." I agreed but when I mentioned that the wind is a little gusty out of the north, they looked at me like I had to be kidding. When I got home and checked the wind on the Weather Underground" site, they report 25 mph winds NNW with gust up to 30 mph. I was right, it is windy!

It will be a busy day, leaving for the cemetery shortly. Then we're celebrating youngest daughter's birthday - I have a cake to decorate!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Ride

I headed out for a ride with no particular destination in mind, but since the wind was out of the west that was the direction I headed. A couple of miles out of town I was greeted by a yellow lab that thinks it is great fun to run beside me, in front of me, and basically all over the road. This dog does not know the commands "go home" and doesn't care he's a "bad dog." His house is at the base of a hill so I can't out run him. With the dog darting in front of my bike I'm afraid I'm going to hit him and I'll go down. A mile into the ride I decided for the dog's safety and my own, I would give him a small taste of pepper spray. He didn't like it but recovered quickly enough and caught up with me and followed me for a couple of miles. It's time for me to go back to Cabella's and get some bear spray, from past experience I know it works very well on dogs also, but you have to take a lot of ribbing from people when you carry a canister of bear spray on your bike! No seriously, this is a very nice dog and the owners are very nice people. I'll just have to talk with them and let them know their dog is trying to follow me across the country side.

I ended up riding 41 miles......I call it my twin peaks route; there are two major hills (at least for my area) Talmo Hill and Frog Creek Hill. It was a slow ride, my average speed this year is in the gutter but I don't really care because I'm enjoying myself!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bike to Work Day for Me

Good weather and my work schedule finally came together to allow me to ride my bike to work today. I rode 25 miles to work and the trip home was 40 miles. Obviously I didn't take the most direct route home! Hammer had commuted by bike to work today also. We both left a little early and headed out for a spin to the bridge and back before heading towards home on University Road. It was a great way to get a 65 mile ride in during the middle of the week and it was nice to have company for some of those miles! Tonight is the national ride of silence. I dedicate my ride today to Bev Peterson, a USD faculty member, who was killed in a biking accident in Maine the summer of 2005.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Flowers Are Planted - Now I Can Ride

The wind finally died down this evening and I got all my flowers planted. Quite a variety; hibiscus, venusta, astilbe, delphinium, fox glove, orchid frost dead nettle, inpatients, etc. Mostly perennials, next year hopefully I'll have less planting to do, leaving more time for bike riding!

Driving home from work I saw lots of bikers out; a group on LaneHogs who were going out to do the Bluff Road-Meckling loop, Melissa commuting home from work, and Dean on his recumbent headed back to Vermillion. It was neat to see so many bikers out and I knew them all!

Also today I received a packet of fun things all to do with biking; a Bike Friday catalogue, bike maps for the Lewis and Clark route and the Northern Tier route, and a new bike mirror. Sent by a friend from TDK who I visited with on this past Saturday's ride. It was like an early Christmas! My fantasy is that someday my husband and I will go on long road trips. He loves his little red Mustang convertible but won't put a bike rack on it. This is the one thing he won't compromise on, so I think I need a bike friday that will fold up and fit in the trunk. It's a nice dream but I won't be purchasing a bike friday anytime soon....but maybe someday!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday - A Perfect Day for a Ride

It was a nice laid back Sunday. Youngest daughter came home and joined us for church. I enjoyed having coffee afterwards with a few friends. After lunch I suggested to my daughter that we ride the mountain bikes out to see the new landscaping and flower garden my friend had put in. An easy ride, just 3 miles out of town. This is the daughter that doesn't ride bick so she was a little reluctant at first, but I think she found out that biking can be fun and relaxing. We had a great visit on the way out and back. And the flower garden was awesome - I need to get busy and finish up some spring planting myself!

Around 3pm I headed out for a ride, can't resist on a day like today, the weather doesn't get any better than this! I rode the Aebelskiver Ride route in reverse order: Irene, Viborg, Centerville, and back to Wakonda. A nice 42 mile loop. I was back on some of the roads I rode yesterday with the Biking Vikings (about 10 miles). Centerville had graduation today and there were some parties going on. I was thinking of all the yummy food I had last night at I-W's graduation parties. Would've like to have "crashed" a reception in Centerville, I was hungry by that time and hadn't yet gotten off the bike since I started, but crashing a party in spandex makes one a little to obvious :). Back home at 6:05pm.

Tonight oldest daughter and fiancee came by to return the pick up they borrowed. Four weeks from today we'll all be recuperating from the wedding! And a lot of my cycling buddies will be recuperating from Tour deKota! This summer is sure to go by fast.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bicycling Butterfly

So many bike rides, so little time! I had to choose between three different bike rides today:
1. Bunyan's to Bob's (Vermillion to Martinsberg, Nebraska)
2. Siouxland Cyclist's Crofton ride (Sioux City to Crofton)
3. The inaugural Biking Viking Ride in Viborg
The Siouxland Cyclist's ride was ruled out quite early when I remembered we had obligations to attend some graduation receptions.
So I was committed to ride the Bunyan's to Bob's ride - but I changed my mind at the last minute and bailed. I personally didn't feel comfortable with the truck traffic diverted to the Newcastle bridge with the load limits on the Yankton bridge and the "milled" road surface and no shoulder on the Nebraska roads. I really did want to ride with the LaneHogs - just not on those roads. I'm looking forward to hearing all the stories from the ride, I'm sure they will become legendary very quickly!
So I rode my bike this morning to Viborg (12 miles) and met up with the Biking Vikings for their first ride and bike club meeting. We had a variety of bikes and bikers; road bikes, hybrids, recumbent, and even a Bike Friday. We rode the 10 miles to Centerville and had a great breakfast at the local cafe and talked about the club and bike rides in the area this summer. Coming back against the wind was tough, I turned off a few miles out of Centerville onto Frog Creek Road and headed back to Wakonda. Had a total of 37 miles, not too bad considering how windy it was (~22mph from the NW).
Since I worked in Viborg for 10 years it still feels a connection to the community and it's great to find people just to the north of me who share the passion for riding. I will always be a LaneHog - this group has truly inspired me and taught me so much (and they put up with all my whining!) but once in awhile I like to be a bicycling butterfly and mingle with another group!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Women Out Number Men for First Time on LaneHogs Bike Ride!

History was made this evening when more women showed up for the bike ride than men. Craig and Kevin were good sports and kept their pace in check which was great as I was just a little hesitant of overdoing it after the virus I had. Afterall, I need to save my strength for the Bunyan's to Bob's ride on Saturday.

It was great to chat and get caught up with what is going on in everyone's lives. Laura, Cindy, Evie, and I made up the women of the group. I believe this was my first ride with Laura (who was riding tandem with her hubby Kevin). My first ride with Evie since I moved up to a road bike 2 years ago. And my first ride with Cindy this year. My second ride of the season with Craig and Kevin. May there be many more rides like this one! And by the way, the weather was absolutely perfect!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend Review

The weekend started out great. Left work early on Friday to go to Soux Falls to attend the pre-graduation hooding ceremony with a stop first at the Two Wheeler Dealer Bike Shop. Very nice shop, seems to have more accessories specific to women. I had been doing some research on bike saddles and had decided Iwanted to try a Specialized women's saddle and when I did a search for a shop near me I was pleasantly surpised to see this new bike shop in Sioux Falls had them. I brought my bike with me so I could get it all set up properly. I got the Jett saddle and am very anxious to try it out, I think this is the one! So onto the ceremony and reception following.

Next day we attended a couple of graduation parties in Vermillion for the daughters of a couple of our friends. Both graduated from dental hygiene and had a combined party with 4 other girls, all from the dental hygiene program. It was a great party and one I'll probably not forget as one of the other girls I didn't know, was proposed to! She said yes and the merriment continued.

We came back home and had a little rest and continued to another graduation party that evening.

That is when the fun began. Rather suddenly I became violently sick to my stomach (over and over and over agan). Luckilly we were home at the onset. My husband and I had eaten the same things all day and he felt fine, so I knew it wasn't food poisoning. It was severe enough that I went to the ER at midnight, my first trip to the ER in 29 years. I have the Noro virus, not fun stuff. After seven attempts, they got an IV in and I got a couple of liters of IV fluid and some meds for the nausea. Went back home and basically slept through Mother's Day but both daughters came by for a visit bearing gifts. I'm a lucky woman! This virus will subside and I'll be out riding soon!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Getting Organized To Ride More…Even When Time Is Limited

Okay, it’s time for me to get organized so when I have time to ride I can get out the door and on the road quicker! Here are a few things I’m going to try to do:

1. Keep all bike gear in the same spot all the time so I’m not running around looking for it.
a. I do a fair job of this already; cycling clothing is all in 3 dresser drawers I took over when oldest daughter left home.
b. I seem to have the most problem with my gadgets; heart rate monitor and bike computer (sometimes I bring it in the house to record mileage and then forget where I left it).
c. Also, I tend to forget my gloves so I leave an extra pair in the garage on a shelf next to my bike.

2. Have under-the-seat bike bag stocked with essentials and emergency supplies and will replace when they are used:
a. Bike tube, CO2, tire lever, multi tool
b. Cliff bar, energy gels
c. Tissue in a baggie for cleaning sunglasses
d. Money
e. LED taillight for when I get caught out at dusk
f. Clipped to the bag, my $5 Walmart radio, good company on solo rides

3. On the bike:
a. Halt dog spray in velcro pouch on bike
b. Cell phone holder. Which reminds me……keep cell phone charged!
c. Tire pump

That’s it for equipment, a few other things I need related to food and hydration:
1. Water – I like it cold, or at least like to start out that way. Put ice in Polar water bottle and store in freezer. Just need to add the water.
2. Electrolyte drink – I’ve been using powdered Gatorade but my daughter has got me started on the new Gatorade G2, less sugar and taste better. I picked up a couple of 8-packs of this and keep some in the refrigerator ready to go.
3. Keep some fresh fruit cut up and ready to eat before and after a ride. Also will stock some healthy granola bars (ones without high fructose corn syrup).

Bike Maintenance:
1. I vow to do this on rainy days when I’m not able to ride anyway! For me the only maintenance I really do myself is pump up the tires, clean the chain, and oil the chain. I like to think I’m contributing to keeping the local bike shop open by letting Rich take care of the rest.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spring Might Finally Be Here!

It is time for me to step up my training a bit….there are lots of rides coming up and I want to feel confident that I can do them. Right now, tired and sore from a 42 mile ride averaging 13.5 mph, I’m not feeling so confident!
My daughter and I rode together and had a great ride but coming home was uphill and at least partly into the wind….guess we didn’t plan that very well! And didn’t it seem like the wind was blowing harder than 9 mph that the Underground Weather site was reporting?? It was the longest ride to date for both of us. The weather forecast looks decent for the rest of the week so hopefully more riding will be taking place!

On the ride we met a car we didn't reconize that crossed the lane headed towards us - around here if that occurs I figure the person knows me and is just plaing around. Which was the case again,this time it was my other daughter out cruising with the boyfriend in a classic car he restored. We all stopped and chatted a few minutes. Yep....meeting the boyfriend in my spandex, dorky glasses with mirror attached, neon jacket - he's bound to have nightmares.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Grown Up Daughters

One thing that I have been pleasantly surprised to find as my daughters have grown up is how much fun it is to have them as friends! When they first left the house they seemed to distance themselves a bit, as they should, to go off and have their college experience. But as they have graduated and entered the “real world” of work and responsibilities, it seems like we have gotten closer.

Our oldest daughter and I do some riding together so that gives us hours to talk and bond. But I really enjoy the time spent with my baby too, we just do different activities together. Last weekend we took the youngest and her boyfriend out for supper. Somehow the conversation turned to beer and our favorites and the boyfriend said he really likes Summer Shandy. On our way home my husband commented that he couldn’t believe this guy likes Summer Shandy. I think my husband is under the impression that only people who wear spandex like Summer Shandy! My opinion is that the daughter’s boyfriend has good taste; he is after all dating my daughter and he likes Summer Shandy – what a guy, I'm liking him more and more!