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Posts tagged ‘boys’

#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 🙂




The Night Shines

We arrive at intersections, in our lanes with others heading the same direction.  We stop or slow down, some turn right, some turn left.  People arrive from other directions and enter our lane, driving in front of us, or behind, but on the same bearing.  We stay together for a while.  We part.  We merge and we move forward.

We’ve arrived at one of those intersections once again – the boys are heading back to school, moving forward, changing lanes.  The summer has been kind of non-stop camaraderie between the boys, the band (The Night Shines), friends and family, and the partings can be somewhat bittersweet – a combination of excitement and apprehension.  For the band, I think it is been especially so; they’ve shared the same lane for so long, it’s tough to turn off, to part ways for a while.

While I can never adequately describe or define their personalities, the silliness, the connections between them – I think the picture above caught a very brief spark.

For now, I have a few more days of riding with a couple of them before they, too, make the turn and head back to school.  The story of the pink Caliente is still coming – hopefully later this week – when I can get some photos with the new owner.

The official #330daysofbiking count: have ridden 126 of the past 138 days (today will be day 127), with 229 (228) days remaining.  Meanwhile … a couple of the photos.

#330daysofbiking Day 122, 8/12/10 ... in motion

#330daysofbiking Day 124, 8/14/10 ... pedalpuddle

#330daysofbiking Day 126, 8/16/10 ... Mason a la Lensbaby

#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 53: not quite critical mass

Summer. Cricket evenings.  Riding with friends. Music.

Busy day that evolved into the gathering of the boys and their friends, Matt and Tim – two whom I love much like my own.  Music, conversation, laughter, dinner together… and then I persuaded them that we should all go for a ride.  So after a round of skateboarding stunts on the driveway, goofing around on their old Razor scooters, and some more music, I think they decided to humor me –  we got the bikes out and took a ride.

I love summer evenings – especially in the company of the people I love.  Add some bikes and music to the mix, and it’s even better.  Someday I want to do a real Critical Mass … but for now, this was all I needed.

#330daysofbiking Day 46: prickly

I've seen these growing several places around here - never realized TN was cactus country...(?)

Today was officially the last day of school for the rest of the kids – those who haven’t yet graduated.  Finals are over, summer is officially here, and apparently the boys felt like celebrating by inviting their friends over for a night of music (band practice) and all-night video game marathon.  Nine or ten 16-19 year olds, two gaming systems, and a rock band on the side.  Oh. Yay.  😉

Seriously, all of their friends are great – fun, respectful, friendly.  And like most teenage boys, boisterous and pretty lively.   Seems like our house has turned into the hang-out location … which is completely fine most of the time.   Maybe I’ve just had my fill of visitors and people in the house over the past two weeks, but I really felt a need to get away by myself  (and give my ears a rest from the decibel level).  Feeling a little prickly?  Maybe.  Anyway, a nice long ride was the perfect prescription.

Came across a bed of cacti along the way – about the only photos I took for the day.  I’ve seen them growing in the area, and don’t know exactly what type they are – but who knew they could even grow in TN?

I think for now I will go hide out in my room, with maybe a book or a movie… and a good set of earplugs.

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#330daysofbiking Day 37: cinderella for the day

Mason's Roubaix, a la Lens Baby

Today was Mother’s Day.  I loved this weekend.  Everybody home, I was treated like a queen. The guys took care of all of the yardwork, the laundry, the dishwashing, and even brought me delicious lattes each morning.  They even took care of sorting through and storing all of the “dorm stuff” recently brought home – which was quite a pile.  Spoiled, yes I was!  And loving every minute.  It was just so nice to be able to kick back and do some of the things I wanted to do, and not have to worry about the things I should be doing.  So –  Mark (especially) and boys (if you are reading), it was wonderful treat and a perfect Mother’s Day gift, and I thank you! 😀

Other perk of the day was getting to ride with the boys again, and playing around with the camera – and Lens Baby.  Kind of an odd thing to work with, and a pretty definite learning curve – or a who-knows-what-you-will-get surprise.  .

The boys and I took another late ride, not very far from home.  Mason decided to take a detour and added on a few miles, but Ross and I just pedaled together, chatted, and looked at cows.   Played with the camera of course – and since I was still in cinderella mode, the boys were very accomodating and let me mess around with some biking shots.   The temperatures were pretty cool today – a change from the past week – but beautiful for riding.

So, it’s nearing midnight and I guess my reign is over … Great while it lasted!

Lens Baby randomness

my Lens Baby "babies" 😉

#30daysofbiking – Day 4: Easter Sunday ride

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

A beautiful Easter Sunday here, another sunny morning.  Had a wonderful morning and Easter brunch with everyone at home – including some delicious blueberry pancakes. 😀  After brunch, Mason, Dillon and I went for a quick ride near home.  It was great to get out with the boys one more time before the weekend came to a close.

In the afternoon, it was time for everyone to get back to life-as-we-know-it.  Mark headed off the the airport, Ross was getting a ride back to school with his room-mate, and I headed out to take Mason back to school in Clarksville.  Oh well – we had a wonderful weekend, lots of laughter, some great riding, and just happy for time spent together.

It’s after midnight as I sit here pulling the pictures and posting this … time to sign off!

Dillon & Mason: they're teenagers, they're males, they're brothers, and yes - they can be a bit competitive (especially when it comes to hills! 😉


#30daysofbiking, Day 3: family road ride

Some light rain passed through, and the sun came out.  Had a relaxed Saturday afternoon road ride with Mark and the boys.  Since Mason has his Roubaix at school, we were short a road bike.  Ross toughed it out and rode my mountain-turned-commuter bike, and we had a great spin around the local countryside.

Dillon and Grant arrived back home from the recording session in Knoxville, and we are headed out for a wonderful dinner at Cafe Roma.  Not sure I pedaled quite enough to cover the calories to be consumed, but hoping I can make it up over the remaining #27daysofbiking. 😉

Love riding with "my boys"!