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#330daysofbiking Day 98: quotidian

quotidian |kwōˈtidēən|adjective [ attrib. ]
1. Of or occurring every day; daily.

ride of the day

Note to self: it is probably not the best idea to undertake a 365-photo project (ShutterCal) and #330daysofbiking project at the same time…

It’s not that I don’t love the daily activity; I love the riding, I love shooting pictures.  But I have to admit that I tend to drive my family crazy with all of this.   Sometimes it’s the stopping for photos while riding, making them wait for me – other times it’s the time I spend at the computer, editing, posting, blogging, tweeting, yadda, yadda.  Yet somehow they always want to see the pictures, or want copies to update their Facebook status (LOL!).   I’ve been told that at least some of them will be glad to see this/these projects come to an end.

I guess I haven’t yet mentioned to them my fascination with the work of Jamie Livingston…?  (hah!)

My friends Stan and Jenn, my photo gurus & mentors, recently posted about 365-projects and Jamie Livingston – an incredible guy who took a polaroid picture each dayfor eighteen years! An incredibly moving collection of photos, every day snapshots covering his life from college, his marriage, and so sadly – to his last day on earth, when he died of cancer at age 41.  That last polaroid is in the collection on the website; I have to admit it was very hard to look at.  As Stan said, he left an incredible legacy … recorded one day at a time.

I don’t look at this riding project or my ShutterCal calendar as anything that exceptional or resembling a legacy project; I just enjoy documenting it, and I think the documenting part “keeps me honest”.  And while I hope to be riding for at least another 18 years, and will likely always carry a camera, I cannot ever fathom doing such an epic project like Jamie did (don’t worry Mark!).  Mostly, I enjoy the bicycle and cycling conversations with friends – and the photo conversations with my ShutterCal pals.  I have learned so much from so many; it’s all about the sharing.  I definitely receive more than I give.

So today was a road ride on my own … I usually don’t have to worry about driving myself crazy by stopping so often. 😉

our pond; hard to believe there were thunderstorms rolling through only hours earlier



#330daysofbiking Day 97: the little things

roadside

Sometimes it’s the little things that catch your eye while riding – a flower growing out of the asphalt, a caterpillar crossing the road, a toy that was dropped out of a car.  This evening it was just weeds along the road – backlit by the sinking sun, illuminated, glowing.

I had wanted to get out for a road ride today, but rain (and pile of laundry) kept me housebound until later in the day.  We had really needed the rain, though – and I definitely needed to attack Col du DirtyLaundry.   Eventually the skies cleared and I got out on the Xtracycle for a spin on the back roads.  Just looking at the little things.

the X - a la Lens Baby; Jim (@bikerly), you NEED one! 🙂

#330daysofbiking Days 95 & 96: Xtracycle weekend

heavenly (Day 95)

The best recipe for summer weekend adventure-fun?  An Xtracycle … and everything and anything your imagination can add.

Saturday night at the drive-in

Saturday (Day 95) was only a brief out and back on our road on the Xtracycle; one of those days filled with kids, watching the Tour, yardwork, and just general around-the-house stuff.  In the evening, we decided to head over to the drive-in theater in Etowah.  When was the last time you watched a movie at a drive-in?  Seems like there are very few around any more, but this place is great – clean, family-friendly, and a bargain (on car-load nights).  We did not ride bikes there I am sorry to say; distance, darkness, and our typical giant crew of kids and friends and girlfriends made it a little impossible.  So, it was our gang, including a bunch of college-age kids, all watching Toy Story 3 at the drive-in on a summer night — good times! 😉

On Sunday (Day 96) I finally got to give the scupper-hole kayak trailer a trial run on the Xtracycle.  Mark had engineered a great little removable hitch-type of contraption that attaches to the back of the Xtracycle frame; the tow-strap hole slips over the “hitch” pin.  Loaded up the boat and headed to the river.  It worked beautifully!

About a month ago I had tried loading the boat on the Xtracycle’s Wide-Loader – which was ok, but with the shape of this boat’s hull, the pedal clearance was a little marginal.  Hauling the boat with this trailer seems a little heavier and slower-going, especially on inclines, but also more stable and pedal-safe over the distance.  And very easy for me to load and secure for hauling.

Mark and I had a beautiful paddle, exploring some side channels that we had never visited before.  They seemed to go on endlessly – we never did reach the end.  The lush, green tree-cover and shoreline foliage made it feel almost like the Amazon, we joked.  Spotted a beautiful Little Green Heron, a couple of Great Blue Herons, a King Fisher and some swallowtail butterflies.  Mark said he was waiting for a snake to drop out of one of the overhanging branches (thankfully, we were spared such a treat).

Rode home in the early evening.  End of a wonderful summer weekend; loving all of the “living outside”.  (And as my friend Darryl says, “loving the bike”!)

Xtracycle + kayak

hmmmm ... (envisioning hauling pontoon boat next time...? 😉

at the river

on the river

#330daysofbiking Day 94: other bikes in France & “the numbers”

wishing I was on this French bicycle adventure; (photo by Mark - Saint Maio, France)

bikes by train, en route from Paris (photo by Mark)

beautiful day to be biking; Saint Maio, France (photo by Mark)

Well, Mark is back home from France … and I am thanking him for these beautiful photos (and wishing I could have been there).  Not the bicycles of Le Tour, but incredibly beautiful just the same.  For my wonderful and silly friends who have said they like my photos, I am thinking I will officially hand over all of the photo gear to Mark and let him take over.  He had my Lumix point-and-shoot on his trip, and came back with some of the most incredible shots … castles, bicycles, narrow French cobblestone streets, coastlines and azure water.  He has “the eye”; I give up. 😉

He also kind of saved my butt for this post, photo-wise.  We received a day of rain today – very much needed after all of the recent heat.  I managed to swim in the morning before everything started, and snuck in a quick ride in the evening after some thunderstorms moved through.  It was late and overcast; nice for riding, but not so great for photos with only my iPhone along.

My only big news for the day involves some numbers.  Since April 1st (the start of #30daysofbiking), I have officially ridden a bicycle on 94 of the past 100 days.  Whew.  And no, I have no idea of the mileage – I have no interest in keeping track.  For me, this is about getting out on my bike, or a bike,  as close to every day as I possibly can.  Sometimes I miss a day or two (oh, say … when kids develop appendicitis, that kind of thing).  And sometimes (like tonight) my rides are barely more than a few miles up the road and back.  Sometimes it is the road bike, sometimes the Xtracycle.  But for me it’s all about the challenge (and delight) of pedaling each day, no matter what the destination, the distance, or the type of ride.

So now, I officially have 265 days remaining until March 31 – the one year marker from the beginning of #30daysofbiking – and I will do everything possible to ride 236 more days between now and then, to reach my #330daysofbiking goal.  Three hundred and thirty days out of three hundred and sixty-five.  Sometimes it feels like a big number, and other times not so big.  Mostly, I have such wonderful recollections of the beautiful rides, the fun times with my family, the flowers, the cows.  Even the rain.

And grateful to the friends who are following along with me … hang in there with me, ok? 😀

my only lame-o photo of today's ride ... thanks to Mark for saving me today


#330daysofbiking Day 93: just playing around

iPhone silliness...

No long hot rides today. Heat index of 106’F.  Had a swim, took the Xtracycle out for a brief spin in the evening … still pretty nasty out there, even with the sun setting.  Rode past the baseball field and considered stopping to watch the kids, but decided to just head home, back to the cool.  Even at night, the temperature is not dropping … enough.

Apparently my brain is overheated; nothing much to say, didn’t even feel like taking many pictures outside today.  Just playing around.  Trying to stay cool.

a la the "real" camera (DSLR)

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#330daysofbiking Day 92: dear weather, you win

me & my Hincapie sunflower jersey (reaching for camera from Mason, little did I know...)

... and the real thing; bright orange-red sunflower

Five o’clock (pm) and the mercury is reading 97’F.  In the shade.  Good grief.

It was warm this morning, but I figured if we got out early enough, we could beat the worst of it.  The boys and I were in the mood for a road ride, so Mason, Dillon and I headed out for a long-ish (~40 mi) road ride.  We drank plenty beforehand, and took extra bottles along.  Not so bad as we headed out.  Boys were feeling pretty peppy (and maybe a bit competitive?), and decided they wanted to do the climb on Mahan Gap – a several mile long slog, with a 10% grade in the half-mile near the top.  I’ll do it in the cooler weather, but knowing my heat-tolerance limits, I decided to take the alternate less “climb-y” route, and meet them on the other side.

Mason & Dillon ... still cool and energetic

As the sun rose higher, the mercury started climbing.  Too quickly.  The boys and I re-connected after their climb and stopped to refill water bottles, and take a few minutes in the shade and debating the route we would take back home.  Opted for the slightly longer, but gently rolling route, figuring we’d take it nice and easy in the intensifying heat.

stopping to refill the water bottles

... just too hot outside

Made it home, cooled off … and later headed into town (by car) on a few errands and a trip to the bike shop.  Just miserable to be out there, regardless.  Mason and I ended up with headaches, despite all efforts to rehydrate, etc.  We’ve all had enough heat for one day.

Thinking that while the temperatures are so stifling, we’ll need to come up with alternate strategies for longer rides … much, much earlier, or even into the evening with lights.  Or hauling the bikes up to northern Canada…. 😉  Or just sitting inside the dark, cool house, watching the Tour and imagining we are actually out riding (LOL).

#330daysofbiking Day 91: pure bikes, bike-pure

Dillon on the road

No kittens, butterflies, rainbows or flower-y stuff … just pure bikes, and bike-pure.

Dillon, who is lifeguarding at the Y this summer, had the afternoon off – so we headed out on the bikes together for a road ride.  In the heat. Bleh. {-P  In the 90’s (‘F), but thankfully not too humid.

Dillon is a great cyclist – fast and light, loves climbing hills (and is definitely built for it), enjoys a little brotherly competition now and then.  He’s competed locally a few times and done pretty well, especially considering that school has taken top priority for him over the past few years.  But I’m glad he has “the passion”, and suspect this is just the beginning of a lifelong love of bicycles and cycling for him.

We have all been glued to the Tour over the past few days; quite an exciting (and grueling/brutal) first few stages.  Lots of drama, plenty of peloton twitchy-ness at the outset – which has unfortunately led to numerous crashes and riders finishing the Tour before they’ve barely begun (due to injury).  Very sad to see Christian Vandevelde and Frank Schleck out of the race. Thankfully, no big new doping scandals in the headlines, or disqualifications. Yet.  Hopefully we will be spared.

In the meantime, even though we each may be fans of different riders, I have to believe we all support clean cycling.  It matters.  Hope you do too.  In honor of the Tour, and the riders who have pledged to “bike-pure”, Dillon wore his bike-pure jersey today.

Here’s hoping the next few weeks will be filled with spectacular sport, rather than spectacular scandal.

Dillon: a bike-pure (and Garmin) fan

in motion

be cool - and bike PURE!

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#330daysofbiking Day 90: tour de geocache (& cuteness overdose)

Jack(ie) - Dillon's girlfriend's tail-less kitten

Just don’t even say it.  I am feeling like Angela from The Office without anyone having to make any comments … gaaahhhh!

Kids were here at the house, hanging out today … along with a kitten.  I had the camera.  I couldn’t help myself.  Please don’t hate me.

Mark left this afternoon for a business trip — to France! Although I know it is going to be short, and full of business stuff, and likely not much fun … still, of all of the months to be in France –  during Le Tour de France!  There was some kidding around during dinner last night about him secretly going over to ride in a stage or two, and someone made the comment, “no – more likely going over to be one of the crazy half-naked guys who run alongside the riders in the Alps.” ROFL!

Today’s ride (after all of the kitten cuteness overdosage) was a geocaching-by-bike adventure with the boys, Matt, and Tim.  Neither Matt nor Tim had ever done any geocaching, so this was their introduction to the “sport” and their first find.  We had hidden a cache just up the road a few years back, and it has had a lot of “finders” over the years.  Every time we pass by the site while riding, we’d often talked about stopping to check the log, but never managed to stop. Tonight we decided to head over and  make sure everything was intact – and let Matt and Tim have a go at finding their first cache using our GPS.  Success!

Matt, Mason & Tim - found the geocache 😀

We rode over to a second cache in the area (one that we had never attempted to find), and spent the better part of an hour hunting for it – without success.  We’ll have to check with the cache owner and see what’s up, maybe try again?

All in all, a fun way to do some geocaching and riding … everything is more fun – by bike!

#330daysofbiking Days 88 & 89: independence day cycling

Coolidge Park celebration - July 3

Happy Independence Day :D.  (You knew there would be a lot of photos for this one, didn’t you…?)

On Saturday (Day 88), we decided to head into Chattanooga for the big bash in Coolidge park.  Packed picnic paraphernalia up in the Xtracycles, and Mason and I rode the Riverwalk into downtown.  A couple of the boys had gone into the city earlier in the day, and Ross was going to be coming from work later in the afternoon with Mark, so it ended up being just Mason and I doing the riding.  And hauling all of the “stuff”. 😉 We had a great ride along the river, amazingly uncrowded for a Saturday.

Day 88 - picnic paraphernalia in the Xtracycles, along the Riverwalk

We all met up at Coolidge Park for a great picnic, concert and fireworks.  Our friend Sarah was playing with the Chattanooga Symphony in the park, which was a real treat for us, and her husband Jeff came over and joined us on the lawn while she was playing.  Good times, good food and conversation, plenty of silliness … and just great to be all together on a wonderful summer evening in the park.

the boys, the bikes, the picnic

fireworks and the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge

fireworks and the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge

Day 89: Sunday was a relaxing day at home.  A little swimming, a little biking, dinner out with boys and girlfriends, fireworks all over the nearby farms and neighborhoods (yes, it’s legal in TN).  Mark and I had a nice ride together in the early evening, passing church picnics and people having BBQ’s.  Came home to sit out on the back porch, watching fireworks, listening to music.  The boys had a game of Koob going out on the lawn. Good times. 😀 Coolidge Park was a lot of fun, but today it was just nice to be away from the crowds, hanging out with the boys and friends.  Perfect summer.

tonight's ride - away from the crowds

fireworks in the field - happy Independence Day 😀

#330daysofbiking Day 87: Clarksville express

bringing home the bike

Today’s good news: driving to Clarksville to bring Mason home from APSU.  Today’s not-so-good news: driving to Clarksville (in holiday weekend traffic).

APSU Governor’s School is officially over, Mason really enjoyed his past month of working with the  Gov School kids, and I am so happy to have my riding buddy back home. 😀 Got to spend the day in the car, which never thrills me – but especially tedious on a traffic-filled Friday of a long holiday weekend.  Fortunately, Mark came up with an alternate route for the return trip, allowing us to bypass the worst of Nashville and Chattanooga traffic, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  Just glad to be home; glad to have all of my boys home  at the same time.

outside the dorm - all the "essentials" ready to head home

I managed to sneak in a quick ride this morning on the Xtracycle before heading off to Clarksville.  Kind of cloudy and overcast, and nothing great photo-wise.  If the photos of the past few days have all seemed rather similar, it’s because I’ve decided to conduct my own sort of “lens trial” – trying to shoot with only one lens for the entire week, figuring out sweet spots, and how I can work best with it.  So this week’s photos have been brought to you by my sweet little 50mm f1.8 – obviously, I like it best wide open and fast, shallow DOF.  Thanks for putting up with my experimenting.

Tomorrow begins Le Tour … and the month of excitement, drama and suspense!  And lots of cool bicycles. 😀  Allez, allez!

this morning's ride; I like to think of my X as my version of a time trial bike ... (as in: I take my sweet time - lol)

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