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preparatory measures

grocery run (#330daysofbiking Day 255)

 

Tomorrow has been declared an official Snow Day – school has been cancelled, the store shelves are being ravaged of all bread, milk, lunchmeat, canned soup and peanut butter.  And yes, not a single flake of snow has yet to fall from the sky.

The local news is full of advice on “emergency preparedness” and weather alerts of impending doom  (i.e., 2-5 inches of snowfall possible).  Oh brother.

It just happened that I needed to make a normal grocery run today.  So much for timing.  We did manage to get our “emergency rations” (lol), and had a very nice ride – despite a few sidelong glances from the weather-panic-stricken.

Mostly, I am oh-so-curious to see if the snow forecast pans out….  I hope it does; my X-country skis have been begging to be pulled out of the attic, and I wouldn’t mind a repeat of snowbiking. 🙂  Keep your fingers crossed!

heading home, fully stocked

we like to wear silly hats

trying to imagine the landscape with some snow (???)

I'm not the only Nutcase around here ...

#330daysofbiking continues

a spot of color on the winter landscape … Mason

 

I’ve been enjoying spending the recent days riding with “my boys”.  Some days it requires a little coercion – when the weather is cold and grey, or when they’ve been up until 4 am watching movies and playing video games with the usual suspects (i.e., Matt, Tim and Boaz).

We actually had a day or two when the temps were unseasonably warm – into the mid-sixties, and warm enough to ride in shorts.  Now the forecast is back to normal winter stuff, including the likelihood of some snow in the next few days.

boy talk

boyz on bikes

bare trees, bare legs

 

I always find it kind of ironic that I don’t see more people cycling here during winter.   I’m not sure what keeps them off of their bikes?  Our temperatures are really pretty moderate, most of the time above 30’F during the day.  Add a skull cap, some gloves and layers of clothing, and I really like riding during this time of year.  (And I love that I don’t arrive everywhere a dripping ball of sweat).   The landscape is so … muted, peaceful.  Shades of dun and buff, silhouettes of tree limbs, and beautiful low light.

Even the boys admit that once they get out there, it’s always worth it.

typical winter

 

As of today, the official #330daysofbiking count stands as follows:  have ridden 253 of the past 283 days, 84 days remain.

In a few days, the boys will all head back to school … meanwhile, I am loving every minute of our being able to ride together.

thanks for your patience with my goofy ways, Mason - and for always managing to make me laugh

souvenir 🙂

 

 

day 1 and already behind…

 

buried (alive)

2010 has come and gone, and I wish all of my friends a coming year filled with happiness, good health, smooth pavement, and contentment and civility with passing motorists.  And so much more.  🙂

Took some time “off” (really, c’mon – the stuff I do in no way resembles “work”) to spend with friends and family, and do the annual Christmastime visiting.  Think: the classic holiday movie Christmas Vacation.  And this is my only excuse for behind so behind in posting.

The 7-state untold-number-of-miles roadtrip began with a few days in Chicago, my hometown, the place of my birth, my roots.  There is nothing as wonderful to me as Christmastime in Chicago – the cold and snow, the wind, the lights of the city, the food.  Oh, the food… !

 

bike delivery and messengers on the streets of Chicago

Downtown, I really only saw a small handful of cyclists (compared to what I had seen back in August).  Mostly messengers and bicycle delivery guys, the ones whose jobs made it necessary to be riding in the cold, snow, and slush.

My favorite bike encounter of the trip was Jack’s Bicycle Puppet Show.  Jack parked his puppet-theater-on-wheels along the holiday shopper-filled corridor of State Street, and for a small donation you would be treated to some music and the adventures of Puppet Cat.  Awesome.

 

Jack's Puppet Show Theatercycle ~ State Street, Chicago

We left Chicago and headed for rural Pennsylvania, to spend Christmas with Mark’s clan.  My father-in-law was kind enough to dig an old 3-speed Huffy out of the depths of his garage so that I could do some pedaling while we were there.  (I suspect they all knew I needed some kind of outlet to get me out of the house for a couple hours each day…)

There was a lot of snow (18+ inches?), and with the small rural back roads virtually empty of traffic and the occasional passing Amish buggy, the snow-riding was a blast!  Three speeds of happiness in the snowy and slippery landscape.  I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift.

 

happiness in a borrowed bike - the trusty Huffy 3-speed in the snow (Pennsylvania)

a little slipping and sliding up the hill

a "trip computer" from another era ... or from the local Amish (?)

out in the open

kind of like getting a bike for Christmas

snowy happiness on an old Huffy

And so, to my friends (who are all more on top of things than I am – with full-blown statistics of miles ridden, events conquered, goals met and goals to be set) … thanks for putting up with my continued mindless ramblings, my lack of substantial contributions and goal-setting, and my silliness and lameness in general.  Maybe 2011 will bring a change.  But likely not.  Anyway, thanks for inviting me to the party, and wish you all the best for the next 365 days on the bike.

(And now … to sneak in a non-bike photo – because that’s the way I do things here.)

 

... kind of like the inner peace & serenity you find while on a bike (only trees can't pedal; I know)