Thursday, October 30, 2008

Commuted home from work by bike......

It was great! This time of year the days are too short and the mornings too chilly to make my 24 mile commute by bike (I try to do this on average 5-6 times during the summer). Last night on a bike ride, where I do my best thinking, I got the idea to bring my bike with me to work and then ride my bike home. I had some comp time coming and left work around 3:15pm. It was so nice I decided to add a few miles on (miles with hills!), for a total of 32 miles.

No offense to Holly, but today's ride was so much better than Thursday night spin class!

Tomorrow I'll ride to work with a friend and drive my car home.....hopefully I won't get a ticket for leaving it in the lot overnight!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Late Afternoon Ride

I got in a quick ride after work - what a gorgeous day! I chased my shadow for 10 miles - I never caught it, it always managed to stay slightly ahead of me. Obviously it was on a mountain bike as it was riding on the edge of the cornfields!

It was perfect weather for riding and for the farmers. Lots of farmers were out harvesting their corn. As dusk was quickly approaching, my ride looked like a scene out of a Terry Redlin print. I made it home safely before it got too dark and I was clearly seen - hard to NOT see me with my blinky light and neon yelllow jacket!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Positive Addiction

I just re-read the book “Positive Addition” by William Glasser, MD. Here is the synopsis of the book taken from the back cover of the paperback edition that I have:

“A hallmark of Dr. Glasser’s work is his insistence that people can change themselves and improve their lives. It is possible, he says, to become ‘addicted’ to positive behavior – for instance running or meditating, or some other activity performed for a specific period each day. These positive addictions – contrary to negative addictions to drugs, alcohol, smoking, or even overeating or excessive caffeine —can strengthen a person so he or she can overcome such negative addictions and lead a more integrated and rewarding life.”

My problem is my withdrawal from riding and not replacing it often enough with other forms of exercise to maintain my positive addiction. Instead I’m back sliding into the negative addictions of overeating AND excessive caffeine (as evidenced by the grande skinny latte with an extra shot of expresso habit I’ve been falling into).

This book reminds me of why I need to get back to my positive addiction of regular and consistent exercise when I am unable to ride. Glasser’s research was done primarily with runners and people who meditated on a daily basis, including those who practiced yoga with meditation (now I have a better understanding of how Catus-Eyed Joe got addicted to yoga). But I think all cyclists can relate to the experience of positive addiction described by personal antidotes of the runner’s quoted in the book – just replace the running terms with cycling terms and see if you agree.

“…the rhythm of running/cycling at a high cadence is a strong element. Sometimes problems get solved while I am running/cycling …but it’s not a figuring out process. More of a sudden flash of insight that comes when you are least trying to find an answer. I think worrying and running/cycling are impossible to do at the same time.”

“Everybody should run/ride a bike. It would drown hates, aggression, make people happier, create a greater sense of self-worth. ….If everybody ran/rode a bike, the revolution would be accomplished, the automobile eliminated, idiotic luxuries and compulsions abolished, proper priorities established, the environment saved, classes of racism ended.”

Monday, October 27, 2008

I liked this picture!

My newest method for cleaning my bike and chain

Since last Sunday might sweet husband sagged for Cindy and I as we rode the Nebraska hills, this Sunday was payback time. I was a good wife and helped wash all the mud and grime off the school buses that accumulated after the wet week we had last week.

With two people it went rather quickly – I ran the pressure washer and Charlie did the scrubbing. And I found a new way to get a bike chain and cassette dazzlingly clean in no time flat. I brought my mountain bike in and sprayed it down with a degreaser and then took the pressure washer and with the bike propped against a wheel of the bus, I could hit the stream of water just right on the chain and got the pedals spinning backwards at a ridiculously high speed. I then took the air hose and dried off all the components and oiled the chain. I have never seen such a clean chain!

I’m anxious to take the bike out for a little spin. Last time I rode it I was having problems with it not wanting to go into the small chain ring but I could see there was quite a bit of mud around the derailleur so I’m sure that was the problem. It looks like a brand new bike now and I hope it rides like one too. Hopefully this is an “approved” method of cleaning the bike chain and cassette - I guess someone will let me know if it isn't.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pictures from Saturday's Ride

I met Biking Brady and Ed in Gayville and rode with them to Yankton where we had lunch at HyVee - great salad bar - we actually ate some healthy foods!

Biking Brady's front tire went flat while we were eating lunch - luckily he is a quick change artist!

Since we were in Yankton we had to take the opportunity to ride across the retired Meridean Bridge as well as the new Discovery Bridge. It is amazing how narrow the old bridge is - I don't see how semis and some farm equipment could fit.

We had to go around the road block to ride across the old bridge. Mike at the bike shop said that they don't want people on it as they are saying it is "unsafe." It was safe for vehicles up until a couple of weeks but evidently it is now unsafe for pedestrians and bikes.

I have to agree - I don't think the top deck was safe for riding - especially with the gusty west wind today. I'm a timmy (ask Ed or Biking Brady for the definition) and didn't try out the upper deck of the old bridge but the boys of course rode it to check out the view.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Finding Motivation

As the days get shorter and temperatures fall my riding outdoors drops off dramatically. So it's back to spin class and whatever else I can do to try to maintain my fitness level. And of course I always have the elusive hope of improving upon my fitness level and riding faster and stronger next summer!

But it's a long time before next summer - that's a lot of time in spin class pedaling like crazy and going nowhere. Today was a dreary rainy day, it would have been a great night to skip spin class and come home and curl up with some hot chocolate, a blanket and a book. But I dragged myself to the Dome and on my way to the locker room I passed the Campus Rec bulletin board where I saw our cycling team picture (Team Warfarin) for the intramural race and it made me smile. That was a fun day! It also reminded me of why I keep working at trying to ride stronger. Our team was made up of Cindy and I and two med students and this old lady wants to ride with our students for as long as I can. This year I was the last one to finish from our team but I didn't care, it was an honor for me to be a part of the team. Last year I passed one of the students - and this year she passed me - good for her! It gives me a reason to push myself and get ready for next year's cycling season!

This time of year you have to look for motivation where ever you can find it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mountain Bike Ride

I fulfilled my wish to get a mountain bike ride in this year on Turkey Creek Road. The best part was I got to ride with my friend, the ultimate road biker and mountain biker extraordinaire, Little Cindy Lou! AND our ride was fully supported by my awesomely sweet husband!

Perfect weather (no wind, temp around 70 degrees) and the great company made for a great ride. The hills were challenging. My great-great grandparents homesteaded near this area, south of Maskell, and my grandmother always talked about the Nebraska hills. After today's ride I have a greater appreciation for those Nebraska hills!

Our SAG picked us up near Newcastle and we loaded the bikes and rode to Ponca where we met up with Biking Brady and Dan at the state park. A local photographer from Vermillion had made arrangements with Biking Brady to take some mountain biking shots for his portofolio. I was the only one who he had to take a photo of pushing my bike up the trail - I'm definitely not an off the road rider!

After the photo shoot, Little Cindy Lou gave me mountain biking lessons and rode the trail with me. I learned a lot and she gave me the confidence to give the trail a try - my skills are very lacking at this point - but it was fun! Thanks to Little Cindy Lou and my hubby for all of his patience hauling around and sagging for two women today!

For more pics go to this page.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Most Interesting Papmpered Chef Party Ever

Upon awakening this morning I thought I had experienced a really bizarre dream, followed immediately by the realization that that was no dream, I was simply recalling the events of the Pampered Chef party from the night before!

Here is the story: Oldest daughter, Ashley, now a married lady of 4 months, hosts her first Pampered Chef party. The consultant is a life-long friend.

Setting the stage of the story: My best friend, Cathy (yes, we're both Cathy - that is why I went by Cathy Jo all through school), and youngest daughter, Emily, and I all go together to the party. On the way over Emily is lamenting over her lack of cooking abilities and how frustrating this is for her (and her boyfriend).

Arriving at the scene: The party is in full swing, lots of family, friends, and Ashley's co-workers are there. I just get a Margarita when Emily tells me to come and look at the consultant's hand - I'm thinking she's engaged and excitedly go to check out the ring - bummer, no ring, but blood gushing from her index finger - yuck!
Yep, she sliced it wide open with the apple corer. Looked like she needed stitches to me but I have my nieces who are also nurses check it out and they concur. Three of us are nurses but we also have a strong genetic predisposition for fainting that we had to overcome. Ashley is very sensitive to blood and she has turned green and is laying on the couch. As Ashley's husband said - it was a weird scene: Ashley is green on the couch, the nurses are tending to the patient, and then there's a bunch of women laughing, talking, and drinking Margaritas - plus 3 little girls running around the house chasing the dog, just to add some more chaos to the mix.

So we get the consultant's boyfriend and he takes her to the clinic but she is feeling so badly about not doing her cooking demonstration. No need to worry, we tell her, we'll run the show for her. Emily and Cathy do the cooking and I just try to keep up with the dishes and keeping every one's Margarita glasses full. Emily who said she couldn't cook did a mighty fine job with Cathy's help. And biking buddy Holly, who happened to be a former Pampered Chef consultant, joined in and helped also. Ashley chatted with her guests and did the other consultant duties with books and order forms, etc.

In the end it all turned out good - everyone got fed and of course, most didn't care what was going on in the kitchen as we kept the Margarita's flowing! The consultant was treated - they cut the flap off since the flap wasn't wide enough to stitch together without the tissue becoming necrotic - so it will be slow healing. Watch out for the Pampered Chef apple wedger - it also wedges tissue!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Nothing New or Exciting Here

Last week my husband's brother and his wife stayed with us for 6 nights - they arrived with bad colds but I wasn't worried as my husband and I usually don't catch a cold very often. Well, the killer cold caught up with both of us this weekend so it was a pretty laid back weekend. We went to a funeral and church on Sunday - those were our outings - aren't we Mr. & Mrs. Excitement!

Today it was back to work. The med school hosted a huge interdisciplinary (now the newest terminology is interprofessional) event for all health affairs students - all 296 of them. It was chaos, but organized chaos. Some students rode bikes to the med school - good for them! A few didn't read the signs posted on every door about not chaining bikes to signs, handrails, posts, or basically anything other than the bike rack in the back - bad for them. We were tipped off by staff with windows facing the front of the building that Public Safety had came over during the afternoon and cut the bike locks off and confiscated the bikes. Some of the students missing bikes thought they had been stolen so they were relieved to know where they could find their bikes - but basically none of these students were happy campers. But this leaves me wondering, how many bikes has Public Safety confiscated that go unclaimed? Would some students not report missing their Huffy bike? And we would have never known ourselves if someone hadn't happened to have noticed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Change of Season and Back to Spin Class

Essentially there are only two seasons for me; biking season and spin class/trainer season. Biking season is quickly wrapping up for me with shorter days and eventually the colder temperatures will catch up with us. I'm the first to admit I am a wimp when it comes to winter riding. When temperatures dip below 50 degrees I get too cold riding outside and its just easier at that point to go down the basement and ride my bike on the trainer.

Tonight was my first night back to spin class for several months. Holly was the instructor and after about a 15 minute warm-up, I worked hard. The remaining 45 minutes of the class I burned 469 calories, average heart rate was 164 (96%) and my max heart rate was 184 (106%). I think was trying to push myself a little harder so I wouldn't feel so guilty for dropping out of the Boot Camp exercise class, all the running was just too hard on these old joints.

I've had plenty of excuses for not exercising lately but its time to get back with the program! As I told Holly, tonight's class is my first official training for Tour deKota 2009! I'll be there.....hope you are too!

PS - To Kevin and Joe, I can't come to Tuesday spin classes this semester - that's my day in Sioux Falls. I'm really not trying to avoid you (even though Kevin is the evil spin instructor).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bunyan's to Bob's Fall Color Ride

I really wanted to go on this ride as this time of year you never know how many more (if any) group rides there will be. It wasn't easy to get away for the ride with my husband's brother and sister-in-law staying with us and plans to have a family get together that evening to celebrate belatedly our daughter's birthday. But any way, it worked out and I got to join the fun.

Cindy, Joe, and I took the road route - it was a good choice! Not too hilly and new smooth as silk asphalt road for much of the way. The only down side was the wind but I tucked in behind Joe and Cindy and it wasn't too bad from where I was!

We pulled into Martinsberg shortly before 1:30 pm. It had warmed up nicely and the Sam Adams Oktoberfest went down nicely! Of course, there wasn't any shortage of food either.

I gladly accepted a ride back with Pat to Vermillion. Here is a picture of Pat & Ed. Ed is a hard core biker and doesn't let anything stop him from riding. Since his cycling shoes didn't fit his mountain bike clips Ed ended up riding all the way to Martinsberg on his mountain bike on the killer gravel route in flip-flops (with socks). Note his feet in the picture.

I wanted a picture in front of Bob's but we had to wait for some people on motorcycles to finish taking their pictures first. I asked if we could take our pictures on one of the motorcycles and the owner gave us permission.

As we were taking the picture the owner of the motorcycle said something to the effect of "I think anyone who rides the type of bike you folks ride needs therapy." My reply was "My bike is my therapy!" I wish I would have also told him "Real bikers wear spandex!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Touching Heaven

Have you seen this Jon Crane painting?

Here is the description that goes with the print: Country church near Wakonda and Volin in Easern South Dakota. Same church as in "Prairie Prelude."

Here is my personal description: Church that my grandparents attended, located just 2 miles from their farm. The church was central in the lives of Grandma and Grandpa and they were two of the kindest, gentlest people who have ever lived. In later years they sold the farm and moved to Vermillion and are buried there in the company of many, many family members. But I love to ride my bike by this church that reminds me so much of Grandma and Grandpa.

Maybe we should have Tour deChurches ride and visit all the country churches; Zion, Trondheim, Pleasant Valley, Vangen, Dalesburg. Bring your fork, maybe there will be a potluck dinner!