Posts tagged ‘road bike’
Exquisite riding weather today … sunny and temps near 70’F. So I set my to-do list aside and took a nice long road ride into the neighboring county. And although I had my eye out for some Holsteins for my friend @bikerly, they were apparently out grazing in distant pastures. Instead, it was a day for Longhorns.
In my book, there is nothing, nothing, more beautiful than being outside on a cold, sunny day with snow on the ground. I think it is my idea of heaven.
I felt like I was riding in CO today … temps in the 20’s, the warmth of the sun, hills and fields covered in snow, brilliant blue sky and the beautiful blue snow shadows. I know that this little wonderland can’t – won’t – last much longer, but I am loving every moment and can barely make myself head back inside at the end of the day.
Day 260 – definitely on my top 10 list of #330daysofbiking.
Decided to ride this morning, rather than swim. Mason had initially planned on going with me, but ultimately he opted out after thinking about how many hours he would be spending out in the heat and sun – lifeguarding at the Y later in the day. Can’t say I blame him, it was a beautiful day, but another hot one.
So I set out on my own, a rather convoluted route, combining a couple of my favorite roads along the river, and a couple of new ones. Gave me a chance to think about some things that have been on my mind – especially the direction of this blog, what I’m doing with this whole project, where I want to go.
My very dear cycling friend (who I will refer to as @blueallez, as he is known on twitter) had sent me this cartoon from XKCD … which rang so true (and made me laugh).
The truth is, I have been having a debate with myself over the past few weeks. While I am loving the riding of #330daysofbiking, I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable, personally, with the posts.
The advent of the blogopshere has been a blessing and a curse. There is definitely a great value in many blogs, especially the ones that have a clearly defined objective – from promoting/reviewing products, to presenting opinion or topic news, or valuable advocacy of a cause or mission.
But at the same time, I find far too many of them to be dull, uninteresting, and often self-aggrandizing personal diaries – a fair number of “posers” and attention-seekers, in my opinion, saying a whole lot of nothing. Maybe it’s a necessary niche (I’m sure for places like WordPress, anyway), but it’s one I have never wanted to fit into … and increasingly, I am feeling more and more uncomfortable, fearing I am sliding into that category.
The fact is, #330daysofbiking is a purely personal goal; I have no goals to make or raise money – for myself or a “cause”, I have no interest in sponsorship or anything similar. I don’t need the validation – from readership numbers or other measure. Just because I am trying to ride every day doesn’t mean I need to publicly broadcast my “vacation photos” and the mundane details with the cyberworld. I have debated whether or not this qualifies as legitimate (or measurable) advocacy, and have decided it doesn’t.
Mostly, I just want to do – much more than telling (showing, writing) about doing.
I simply want to ride my bike, take some pictures – and the details really don’t matter in the scheme of things. Except to me. And that’s where they should ultimately stay.
So, I’m not sure where I will go from here. It is something I need to figure out for myself. For the record, I will keep the blog. And #330daysofbiking will continue – for me. But I’m uncertain as to the direction of my posting. I’d like it to have more of a purpose and less trivial drivel – there is already an overabundance of that in the blogosphere. When I feel like I have something legitimate to say, an opinion or idea to express, I will be posting. Otherwise – well, I’d rather “leave no trace” than leave a cybertrail of simply “stupid”.
For today, then – the leftover “vacation photos” from the day. 😉
Clouds and rumbles of thunder today. Watched the brutal climbing of todays stage of the Tour, which was enough to make my legs ache just sitting there. Other lazy Sunday stuff … but got out for a nice road ride in the afternoon with Mark and Mason.
Mark heads out of town again, and both Mason and Dillon are scheduled to work a lot this week, so it will be more solo riding for me. At least I can keep up with myself.
It will probably be a lot of landscap-y things in the next few days, so thought I’d get some real biking pics in from today’s ride …
The ride came at the end … again. Another solo road ride, post-late-afternoon-thunderstorms. The roads were damp, steam rising from the heated pavement. Fields are lush and green. The air was just starting to cool, no winds. Lovely.
Spent the day on the river with the boys and friends, paddling the upper Hiwassee. It was the perfect hot day to spend on the cool river – the water is amazingly chill, coming down from the mountains. It was great to be on the river on a Monday; we had it basically to ourselves, very few others out on the water. A few fly fishermen, one or two other paddlers, our group. Nice.
Plenty of silliness … getting stuck on rocks, navigating the rapids backwards more than once, paddle-splash wars, sailor hats, the landing at “goose-poop island”. LOL. Plenty of sun till the very end, when the late-afternoon storms started to pop up. Mexican food for dinner, and then some music by the boys. Good times.
A few pictures from the day … ahh, summer.
It was a beautiful morning … and I should have taken better advantage of it. The day started out picture-perfect – sun was shining, temperatures were not so warm. Expected the rest of the day to be more of the same, so I spent the morning catching up with a few things at home, figuring I would have all afternoon to ride. My mistake. I guess timing is everything (that, and not bothering to look at weather forecasts).
Shortly after noon, dark clouds began rolling in and the rains came. Thunderstorms, winds, and even a few pieces of hail. In between showers, the heat and humidity were smothering. Kind of wanted to kick myself for waiting. Finally got out in the evening and headed towards the Hiwassee River, just up the road. Reached the bridge and inlets just as the sun was beginning to drop, spreading its last rays over the water. Sounds of frogs along the banks, several herons overhead. It was beautiful. Maybe my timing wasn’t so bad, after all?
Today’s big accomplishments:
- got out and back before the rains came
- saved another turtle from certain road peril (or at least I convinced myself that I did)
- got a new kayak(!) 😀
Mark and I got out this morning for a ride – before the rains came. Passed a box turtle sitting in the road, not moving. Why do they do this? The warmth? Just taking their time? Deciding direction? I do not know – but of course I was compelled to deliver him out of harm’s way, and hopefully a little closer to wherever he was headed.
A slight sprinkle on the last mile before home, but nothing like the deluge than came later. I think I start making Mark crazy with all of my stopping Move a turtle, a picture here, a picture there. More flowers. (What can I say? They are eye-catching, they’re everywhere … and yes, they appeal to my girlie side.)
Headed to Chattanooga in the afternoon, looking for a new kayak for the river this summer. Managed to find a nice little boat, nothing fancy – a sit-upon model designed for fishing, which I think will really suit me well for managing camera gear, etc. Looking forward to peaceful evening paddles, wildlife watching … and hopefully no banjo music. 😉
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.
Weather is still marginal, another hectic day. Did manage to get a ride in this afternoon – with Mason, once again. I had actually contemplated an errand ride by Xtracycle, trying to convince my mother-in-law that she could ride along on the back, but I just couldn’t talk her into it. Go figure? 😉 So Mason and I headed out on to ride on a couple of roads I don’t ride on very often; it was a nice change of scenery. Damp and earthy smelling after all of the rain, and very, very green. One heavily wooded section of the road was like riding through a green tunnel. I need to revisit these roads more often.
For some reason when the clouds are heavy I am always drawn toward shooting with the fisheye … and today was one of those days. We came across this rusty old wheel along the road near someone’s driveway – and I just loved the scale of it against the bike wheels. It also made me think how crazy it would be to have a bike with wheels that large… (I cannot explain how my brain works some days). Same thing goes for the power lines; I have no explanation. The world can look very different and interesting on a bike – and even more peculiar through a fisheye lens. Put the two together, and, well … ?
So ends Day 39.