Sunday, October 31, 2010


On my lovely canopy road with a change in the weather

It was 32 degrees outside.  I told T it wasn't snowing and I was going for a bike ride if she wanted to join me.  By the time she got here it was snowing.  Did I wear my rain pants?  No!  Do I understand that rain and snow are the same thing?  Well, maybe.  I got soaked. The first 8 1/2 miles were fine. I was  a little cold but really just my toes and fingers.  It snowed a fair amount and we were getting quite wet!  Then my toes got quite cold and my fingers were beyond cold.  I think it  was the combo of the wet and the cold.  Believe me the last 3 1/2 miles were agony

By this point both T and I were more than a little cold!

 I really lost my confidence as a cold weather biker!  Hence....


Today was also 32 degrees and spitting snow all day.  I had thought I might try running today where you actually warm up as you move but decided I would not yet.  So I told T I was heading to the gym.  I had not been once in October so it was nice to actually use it since I am paying for it.  I enjoyed it as I was not in  a hurry and I saw people I had not seen in awhile. I read my book something I can do on the elliptical (Julia Glass's new book - The Widower's Tale  - quite good). I used the elliptical for what I consider my minimum workout on it. Believe me there is always an amount I have to do no matter the form of exercise!

This week is going to be  a tricky one to fit in any exercise but I will try. I CAN NOT WAIT for Friday when I will see my girl! Our plan is to use the gym there since we can't do our usual running!  Plus Jameson was here to help his dad get some wood today and stayed for supper!  Yeah for adult children who spend time with you!  Love them!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken Every Chance I Get

Today I had an appointment - yes AGAIN - so I threw my bike in the car and rode after it. This was my second visit to the dentist this week.  I love my dentist -he is very funny - but I have no desire to keep seeing him when it involves crowns and big money.  You young ones out there haven't started getting crowns yet lucky you.  I got a temporary one on Monday which broke and necessitated a second temporary one today.   I had to leave a desk full of work to make the appointment BUT I did have a great ride on my Middlebury route when I was done!  

I also stopped and got a bike light!  Now I will be able to continue commuting at least for awhile.  I have commuted 11 times this month ( I am counting tomorrow) and most of the missed days involved appts. for heel or teeth!  I asked about "winter tires" while I was there but I am not ready to go down that road yet. But the forecast is talking snow so it may be sooner than I think.

Some of you mentioned how cool it is that Emily and I are mother/daughter runner/bloggers.  The very sad part is that we are mother/daughter injured runner/bloggers.  Too much similarity here! I am going to go visit Emily next week.  Past visits have been full of running and activity.  This time....not so much!  Oh well, we will heal and be stronger in the future!

Today I was told by a colleague how impressed her son is that I am biking to and particularly from work! So some of the students (this one is not in my class) are noticing!  Yeah! If I can make one or two aware of an athletic lifestyle that will be the icing on the cake!
Leaving Nantucket

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why commute by bike? And Happy Birthday!

Not a picture of me commuting - no time for photos  on 
the morning commute

10 Reasons in No Particular Order

1. It's fun!

2. You are half done before you start your work day.

3. Co workers are impressed when you wheel your bike into your office classroom.

4. You can leave meetings early earlier than others.  (Yesterday I was at a meeting that had already gone on for 90 minutes.  My principal mentioned it was late and wondered if we minded staying longer. I spoke right up and said I did as I still has stuff to do in the classroom but was on my bike and needed to beat the dark home.  Everyone else stayed. I left!)

5. You start the day invigorated!

6.  More shopping opportunities.  The things I seem to need are endless.

7.  Your students don't think of you as  "old" but as a person who bikes to work in all kinds of weather!

8. There's no getting tired during the day and skipping the workout if you want to get home.

9. You are outside and not in the gym when working out.

10. It's really fun!

(plus it keeps you sane when you are not running)

Happy Birthday tomorrow to Emily!  
I wish I was going to be with her on her birthday but I WILL be there in a little more than a week! Here's a photo from our mother/daughter win!  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Another Wonderful Day on Nantucket

Saturday on  Nantucket was still windy and cold.  We were going to the Downy Flake for breakfast. (If you're in Nantucket make this a stop.)  My friend’s daughter and I rode bikes, the others went in the car. After breakfast we continued to a farm to hear a talk on beets.  The others said it was fascinating but I sat downstairs and read my book!  Then we went to Madeket  Mall (the dump). We all drove there.  A and I left the bikes at the farm.  I didn’t get anything.  Like the beets it just  wasn’t my thing – although it is ever written about  in Elin Hilderbrande’s books as a place to “shop.”

Then before we got back to the farm we stopped at Cisco Brewery.  I proceeded to sample 10 beers – way past my normal amount particularly at noon.  I may have never even considered this in the past but I read so much about beer on MCM Mama’s blog and Jamoosh’s that I wanted to give it a try.  There were definitely some I didn’t like. I don’t seem to be a dark ale person.  My favorite was the seasonal pumpkin - but they didn't have any for sale except in a growler. Never heard the word before so I guess this excursion expanded my vocabulary!

The race 

Then it was back to the bikes and time to ride to the harbor (after 10 beer samples??? but at least I wasn’t cold anymore!)  We watched a sailboat race which consisted of sailboats that had to be made out of  1 sheet of plywood!  Any one sailing in a small boat in these temperatures deserved a prize.

 Then a great cheap lunch and a bike ride home!

 Once we figured out what time we needed to leave tomorrow I decided to jump on the bike one more time to take the bike path I took the first day.  One person came with me.  It was  a great ride in spite of the wind.  Compared to the first day when I basically rode with no gears but one very low one and a flat tire I felt like I had a motor on my bike!  Coming to the ocean at the end of the path is such a reward!  We watched some seals surfing  and then headed back.
Same shot as yesterday but it is one of my favorite spots

The path

The reward at the end

Friday, October 22, 2010

First Two Days in Nantucket

The bike path to Madaket-one of  my favorite views - first shot of ocean on path
At my turn around!
Nantucket is gorgeous but cold  and windy.  We battled traffic and highway accidents to catch the 9:15 ferry after leaving home at 3 a.m. In the end we did not make it so we took the high speed ferry only arriving one hour later than originally planned.  Our  friend met us and whisked us off to a brown bag lunch at the whaling museum. Then we explored the downtown before coming back to her house.  Eventually I decided to go for a bike ride.  Many many mistakes were made. She had told me the bikes here were clunkers.  When I found I could not shift the bike I was riding I thought that was just how it was. (Mistake#1)I was riding a bike path out to Madaket. It was slightly farther than 5 miles I believed. It was threatening rain. I had brought a book in the bike basket to read when I got there.(Mistake #2). I had not worn my raincoat or new rain pants which I had brought to Nantucket with me. (Mistake # 3 and the biggest one). About two miles into the ride it started to sprinkle.  I did not turn back.  (Mistake #4-maybe)  I continued and rode the entire way even as I passed 5 miles, even as it began to rain quite hard, even though I couldn’t shift.  I stopped briefly to admire the rough seas once I got there.  Once I turned around yet another piece of bad luck.  I got a flat tire.  So I am now riding in the rain and wind soaking wet with a flat tire and I have more than 5 miles to go.  The one smart thing I did was to throw a baggie into my waist pack  I could put my camera and phone into.  I survived just fine and will look upon it as another adventure.
The beach at  Madaket again at sunset

There were seals playing in the water

Friday I did not ride.  It was tremendously windy and cold. I went for two long walks, took a nap, read, and enjoyed being here with friends.
My friend's house

I can see the ocean from "my" house!

On our afternoon walk -

-walking in front of all the houses

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Two Commutes/One Bike Path/Off to..............

I rode my bike to work Monday and Wednesday. Today - (Wed.) was gorgeous!  Yesterday it was yet another Tuesday in Burlington although this time I was attending a workshop. So once again I threw my bike in the car and rode on the bike path.

Now I am done work for the week and headed to Nantucket!  I cannot wait!  Ocean!  Bike paths! Friends!  Ocean! Relaxation! Friends! Ocean! The Downy Flake! Beaches! Bike Paths! Ocean!.........

Can't wait to take some of my own photos although maybe not from this perspective!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Crown Jewel of Addison County

I've discovered the crown jewel of my county. I keep going back to Weybridge,Vt and finding yet more wonderful spots.  Today we did a 20 mile loop - no repeating parts.  First we rode on the soon to be opened new bridge in Middlebury. It felt a little like we were doing something bad!  This bridge gives some new views of Middlebury and is quite nice.  Then we headed past Middlebury College, cutting my 10 mile loop I have done a few times in half.  
Always a pretty campus

Looking back down the campus
We eventually turned down  into Weybridge on the road I have ridden a lot lately. But when we got to the end of it instead of turning back to Middlebury we kept going.  We took a loop, unsure of which way to go. I had scoped it out by car on Monday (getting lost twice) and didn't think it mattered as we started out going down and came back up huge hills either way. So we went left. (We both thought after that we made the right decision.)
Left or  right?
I took this picture on the way back. It was still sunny when we headed out.  We rode along the most beautiful route imaginable.  The leaves in our town have taken quite a beating from the rain and the higher elevation but they were still plentiful here. We both exclaimed over the beauty several times.  One advantage of biking is you (at least I do) cover so many more miles that you can really take in some sights.  Plus you're (and again I mean me)  not so gosh darn tired!  I am so enjoying all this riding.  I think having the blog has heightened my appreciation for my state too!  
There's cows in the distance and........

..........they are running from me.

This farm and mountain were just beautiful

Otter Creek which is actually not attractive at all.....

....but it was today.
We continued on and briefly hit Route 17 before we turned and headed back on a nearby road.  One bonus of this route was how little traffic there was.  It was hilly which we both liked as it wasn't bad.  The sky kept changing.  We didn't have the sun for long before it became all clouded over only to look rather threatening as our ride continued.
I have only driven by this dam once or twice and it was fun to
see it on the bike. T had never seen it.

..From the other side of the bridge

The sky was rather scary looking.

I loved the reflection of the trees in the water.

The other side of the next bridge.
Now we started to head up hill but it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be.  It was long but fairly gradual.  Once we got almost to Middlebury we took a dirt road and added a few miles to our ride.  More beautiful scenes.  It did start raining before we finished but we didn't get too wet.  We ended up riding slightly more than 20 miles -a  good distance.  We both agreed we would love to do this ride again.
A  cemetery in a lovely location

T having a snack before we finished our ride.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

RAIN PANTS/not racing saving money not so much/SIGG BOTTLE

Rain Pants = Greatest Invention Ever

I rode my bike this morning in this nor' easter that is hanging around.  T bailed on me - can't say I blame her but my options are limited so I still biked.  I had just gotten some new rain pants in the mail and was debating keeping them.  Well, the weather decided for me.  They were great! They kept me warm and dry! I put them on over my bike shorts. They are made for a man or woman (boo) so they were slimmer in the hips than I wanted (why I was going to maybe not keep them) but I loved the two places you could cinch them to keep them away from the chain.

I was warm for most of the ride. I also had new gloves on which worked great.  A lot of my ride was uphill which was perfect. Once I hit the long downhill stretch (the header on my blog) is when I got cold.  My feet were soaked and never warmed up after that. I had only a few miles to go so I was okay.  When I was going on my "canopy" road there was snow on the side. Last night when I went to bed there were a couple of inches on the ground at home and I was a bit worried about my ride today. But it changed back to rain here and it was gone by morning. It made the windy rainy weather look downright inviting!

I didn't take my camera but the river is back up  (not as much as last week) and made for interesting sights!  I had told myself last night when I saw the snow that I might have to use the elliptical as I am not equipped for snow riding (yet).  But all was okay and I rode.

Not racing/Saving money/Not so much

Now it might seem like I could save some money since I am not racing!  Ha! Not a chance. Here are some pictures of what I have deemed necessary for my bike so far.  There is still one item coming in the mail.  My next purchase may be a headlight. Depending on if I keep riding to work it will be getting dark early soon!
Helmet - obviously a must

rain pants and gloves

heavier socks

a lock 

reflecting lights

rack for carrying

bike bag 

New Sigg Bottle From Cafe Press!!

I also got my new free Sigg Bottle in the mail from CAFE PRESS!  It is awesome.  Here is a picture of it. Yes that is pictures of me being athletic!  Loved that I could put photos on it!

CafePress offers millions of personalized gifts where you can make your own custom Christmas ornaments and even personalized holiday photo cards!

And I got this awesome Brooks jacket from a giveaway at Racing With Babes!
And I have a surprise gift coming from Forward Foot Strides!
Except for this pesky heel life is good!

One Last Thing

I am reading Ken Follett's newest book, Fall of Giants which is the first of a trilogy. I purchased the hard cover when it first came out something I rarely do.  I am on page 299 and not at all hooked which is not a good sign. I am a big fan of Ken Follett's and particularly loved Pillars of the Earth. Is anyone else reading this? Thoughts?