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Posts from the ‘#30daysofbiking’ Category

and the winner is …

I thank all of you who took time leave a comment (entry) for the YMX jersey; I wish I could send everyone a jersey.  But the winner, by random draw, happens to be Myrna from MN – and Myrna, I am also a big fan of Bridget Jones.  😉

Myrna from MN ... cyclist, pilot, mom, wife and writer

I was thinking about other women cyclists, and have gotten to know Myrna over the past year or so from twitter and comments on this blog.  This just seemed like the perfect opportunity to profile another strong and capable “girl on a bike” – and at my request, she was kind enough to send me her bike-ography and a couple of cycling photos … which I want to share with you.

Congrats, Myrna! (And thanks for this “guest post”!)

Cassi asked me to share a bit about myself…I’m Myrna the very lucky and super happy winner of the YMX sleeveless jersey. In addition to being a happy jersey winner, I’m a freelance writer and mom of two who lives in the country about a half hour south of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m also a private pilot, a gardener (well, I have a lot of flowers and a lot of weeds), a quilter who hasn’t had time to quilt and a person who loves to bake.

I’m also a fledgling bicyclist. Sure, like most people I rode as a kid – I even went on a long distance bike trip from Minnesota to Michigan with my youth group when I was about 15 – but I really only started riding with any regularity two years ago.

What happened two years ago to get me bicycling? Well, my friend, an avid bicyclist, had a mechanical and his bike pedal broke when he was going uphill – fast. He crashed. His helmet probably saved his life. At that point I had a bike that I rode sometimes but I didn’t have a helmet.  My kids had bikes and helmets but they didn’t want to wear them. I figured if I should get a helmet and thought if I wore one it might help my kids wear their helmets, too.

So I went to the local bike shop to buy a helmet and I saw a flyer for a charity ride, the Jesse James Bike Tour. For some reason I decided I could manage to ride the 25 mile route even though the ride was just a month away.

Long story short, I rode the 25 mile route on my Specialized Crossroads bike with my husband. It was fun and we decided we liked bicycling enough that it would be worth getting road bikes. The next spring, March 2010, I bought us each a road bike. Yay! I planned to do a lot of biking but signing up for the first 30 Days of Biking challenge is what really got me going!

Thirty Days of Biking got me riding my bike each day, which was great fun even with the challenges. Through reading the tweets and blog entries of the many participants I learned that all sorts of people have fun with bikes and that the bicycling community is very diverse and full of neat people. I also learned the most important thing about bicycling, for me, anyway…Bicycling is not about going far or going fast – it’s about having fun along the way.

But best of all, I got to “meet” so many cool people through 30 Days of Biking –  like Cassi here at shebicycles.com and Darryl from lovingthebike.com – these two people inspired me to keep bicycling more than anyone else I met along the way.

So here I am just two years after deciding to buying a helmet and deciding to do a 25 mile charity ride – where I am now? My husband and two children, Rose is 12 and Ryan is 9, are very much into bicycling. Adding bicycling to our lives has prompted us to become active year-round and has brought us closer together as a family.

I’m doing the same charity ride, the Jesse James Bike Tour, again in one week and plan to ride the 60 mile route this time. I’m a member of two bike clubs, ride both of my bikes regularly – my old Specialized Crossroads and a Giant Avail – and want to own more bikes (I’m thinking a mountain bike and a fat bike for the snow are in my future)! I’m also doing 30 Days of Biking again for the fourth time.

Bicycling has changed my life. I suppose that sounds sort of silly but it’s true!

~ Myrna

http://www.myrnacgmibus.com

Myrna and her bike 🙂

#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 Days 32 & 33: friends and family

riding with friends; Jeff & Sarah, and Jeff's beautiful new Salsa Casseroll

Crazy time of year.  Endless stream of end-of-school-year events and activities, family visiting from out of town… all things I enjoy and cherish, but sometimes I just wish they didn’t  have to happen all at once.

I squeezed in a very brief road ride on Sunday (officially Day 32 – no pics), as the rains were moving out and before heading to the airport to pick up visiting relatives.  No riding on Monday and Tuesday; spent time with family, headed to the tennis courts for last matches of the season, and attended Jazz Band concert at the HS.   It felt kind of strange to be off of the bike for those two days … but there are some things that just can’t be missed.

Earlier today, we said our goodbyes to departing family, and friends Jeff and Sarah came out to the house in the afternoon.  Jeff just got a wonderful new bicycle – a Salsa Casseroll.  I had been anxious to see it – a stunning bike, down to every small detail – and I was anxious to get back on my own bike.  So we headed out for a nice road ride together; relaxing, fun, laughter.  Such great company, a beautiful day,  a wonderful ride.

It may sound selfish, but it felt great to get out and have some time to do something for myself – even for just an hour or two.  Almost like re-fueling for the week ahead. I love being there for my boys, and with my family, and I wouldn’t miss these milestone moments for anything – but a little dose of open space, a little breathing room, a little fresh air can really restore some inner balance.

beautiful day, beautiful ride, beautiful bike - Jeff's new Salsa Casseroll

I ❤ the chili pepper! 😉

#30daysofbiking Day 30: Success!

by the creek

Success! Day 30.  What a great project this has been … so amazing, so much fun riding and getting to be part of the conversation with the cycling “twitterati” (as coined by a twitter pal). 😀

Today’s ride – solo road ride in the late afternoon.  Much better feeling than yesterday, for whatever reason.  Relaxing, connected, peaceful.  As it should be.  Rode on a very quiet road not far from home, which crosses a beautiful creek running through a field.  No cows, just the trickling water – and me and my bike.

I feel like I should have something more profound to say about the whole experience, because it has meant a great deal to me.  All I have are a few random thoughts  that were running through my mind today…

  • It wasn’t hard.  Really.
  • Ride … regardless. Even when – especially when – you might not feel like it.  The days that surprised me the most were the days I may not have normally gone out “just to ride”: the bad weather days, the tired days, the too-busy days, the days when I ran out of time or daylight.  I’m glad I  found a way to get out – there was always an unexpected reward.
  • It’s not about the distance, or speed, or incredible skill on two wheels.  Even if it only means riding around the block or up the street and back (or, as someone joked – to the end of the driveway and back) – just ride.  You will be glad you did.
  • Mix it up.  I loved taking a variety of rides – from the long-distance road rides to the simple commuter trips, or the quick spin on the greenway or up the road.  A change in perspective can be a good thing – for anyone on a bike.
  • Love your bicycle; it’s an amazing friend to have.

So where to go from here?  Lots of chatter about continuing … and I think I’m up for it.  Maybe not the daily posting, but definitely the daily riding.  Or as close to it as I can get.  Thinking #330daysofbiking ………….

Last word – I am so grateful to the many friends – twitter,  ShutterCal, and “real-life” – who encouraged me (and put up with) all of this daily nonsense, who read the blog entries, commented, tweeted, and allowed me to share my (one-too-many) random pictures … you are awesome!  And most of all – grateful to the tweeps (@patiomensch, @rycera, @nicycle) who started the whole #30daysofbiking rolling – you guys ROCK!

... the end. (Or the beginning ...?)

#30daysofbikingphotos

#30daysofbiking Day 29: distracted

Bigsby Creek Road barn

It was a truly beautiful day, weather-wise, but my heart and mind were just not in the ride today.  Even though it felt good to pedal, I felt so distracted – thinking of countless things around home that needed to be taken care of, schedules, tennis, upcoming graduation, moving boys back home from college … It’s all piling up and about to converge in a few days of craziness, and I just can’t clear my mind.

I took a few photos today along the way, but found it kind of revealing when I got home and sorted through them – none of the “keepers”  included my bike.  Perhaps it speaks for the feeling of detachment I had today?  Dunno.

A nice set of handlebars on his head

more flowers alongside the road

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#30daysofbiking Day 28: fields

To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before and which shall never be seen again.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

fields of red clover

Road ride today.  I wan’t quite confident in the weather to be rain-free.  So no pannier, no dry bag, and hence – no DSLR today, just the pocket point-and-shoot Lumix.  Which I came to regret, because my eyes were popping … the fields were amazing today.  On fire with red clover and yellow buttercups.  And a few daisies.

A pretty peaceful and quiet ride, one that I wished I could have extended a few miles longer.  But it was another tennis day for Grant, and against one of the tougher teams in the district, so I really wanted to be there to cheer them on.  (Guess I didn’t cheer loud enough; defeat.) 😦

I’ll leave the rest of the ride story to the pictures … not much I can really say.  The fields – you’d just have to see it; photos could never capture the scope of the endless color.

a few daisies ...

... a few clouds

taking a quick phone call at a country church...

... fields of buttercups

... and endless red clover

Now I believe that lovers should be draped in flowers and laid entwined together on a bed of clover and left there to sleep, left there to dream of their happiness.

~ Conor Oberst

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#30daysofbiking Day 27: storms and swimming

caught in the rain

To the pool today.  Another day of unpredictable – when it came to the weather.  Sun, clouds and wind on the way to the pool; not so bad.  The swim part was more work than the biking part today.  Not that I strictly adhere to a regimen when I swim, but most days I like to follow one of my old swim club workout sets  – primarily to mix it up.  (I have almost perfected the skill of being able to doze off and nap while swimming, so the “mixing-it-up” part tends to keep me conscious).  It was a long swim today – for me, anyway – and by the time I finished, the storm was brewing outside.

Sure enough, got caught in a downpour on the way home.  No rain gear, of course.  Thankfully it was brief.  From wet (pool) to wet (rain).  Oh well.

anxious to be swimming outside (soon!) - rather than inside

another one of the typically (un)productive ways I spend my day

of course when you have no rain gear, you can just see it coming ...