Posts tagged ‘road ride’
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.
Finally … nothing Italian. 😉
#330daysofbiking has continued – missing the gelato stops and getting lost within small villages, but with beautiful Tennessee autumn weather, cooler temperatures, boys home for Fall Break(s), cruising the Riverwalk in Chattanooga, and on the road with the “fast” boys. Riding for fun, and riding to get the job done (errands, groceries, library, bike shop).
And some important news from coming via our friend Jeff … If you live and ride in TN, or plan to visit and ride, please take a moment to participate in a quick 9-question survey from the folks at TDOT on the state’s bicycle and pedestrian program. TDOT wants to hear from you! (And by October 30th please … my apologies for getting this posted so late.)
Although a couple of days were lost in transit (Italy), #330daysofbiking count is still on target. As of today, have ridden 189 of the past 208 days,with 159 days remaining. And so it goes.
(Coming soon … tales of a new city bike, “Elisabetta”. 🙂 Photos and details to come; stay tuned.)
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. 😉
Anguish and agony in the Pyrenees today, and the cycling twitteratti is on fire with #chaingate. With thousands of other bloggers and cycling news sites weighing in on the controversy, I’ll refrain from entering the debate … except to say that any cyclist who does not respect the maillot jaune should not be allowed to wear it. And in my mind, this applies to everything from sportsmanship to doping.
Although I do manage to get caught up in the sport and competition of the Tour, I have to admit that I am probably more drawn to watching it for the shear beauty of the cycling. It’s an incredible sight – the stream of colorful cyclists, the human power, the bicycles, set against a breathtaking backdrop of mountains, fields of sunflowers and lavender, and charming French villages. The movement of the peloton as it flows around the curves of the road, or parting and rejoining at a roundabout, all in unison. It is stunning. It always reminds me of a flock of birds taking flight from a field, or a school of fish cutting through the water – moving more as “one”, than as “many”.
So today I got caught up in the drama in the mountains, glued to the television for longer than I care to admit, but did get out for a ride – with much less drama than the one I had watched. No massive climbs for me – and no slipped chain. But it was on my mind.
(And tomorrow should be epic! 🙂
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 …
Let’s just say … I’ve been warned. 😉
One hundred days of riding since April 1st … and feeling like 100’F out there (even though I think we officially topped out in the 90’s once again). Is this what are known as dog days? I have to think so.
Everybody was off doing the things they do – band stuff, summer jobs, business travel. It was me, myself, and I once again. I started the day on the Greenway early this morning, thinking it would be a change to take a run (which I like to do – occasionally). But as I started off, I could tell it was already too hot for me; so I ended up walking. I ran into two bike police-men, and maybe they actually were more fit than they looked, but they appeared to be kind of dragging in the heat. Great to see them on bikes, but made me a little nervous, actually. (Envisioning seeing one of them passing out from heat exhaustion/over-exertion :-0 ).
Watched the Tour during the heat of mid-day, and ended up riding later in the afternoon. Brought the Lensbaby along, because I like how it gives that kind of “melting-in-the-heat” feeling.
I’m not sure whether to consider this 100 day marker a milestone or not? Not quite one-third of the way there, but kind of an interesting feeling to know that I’ve managed to get this far – riding 100 of the past 106 days. Also pretty thrilled that my legs haven’t fallen off (yet)!
I actually think before the whole #30daysofbiking (and subsequent #330daysofbiking) began, I was riding nearly every day anyway – just never kept track, and probably avoided some of the bad weather/rainy days, I will admit. But now, after being out in heat, rain, thunderstorms, darkness – I guess I feel a bit more capable, and confident. Mentally, I like that I have seemed to eliminate the excuse-making element; I’m going out, no matter what.
So … Day 100 pictures with that melted-popsicle feeling that the Lensbaby is so good at – just the usual: cows, barns, fencelines. You know by now. After 100 days, some things just don’t change, do they? 😉
quotidian |kwōˈtidēən|adjective [ attrib. ]1. Of or occurring every day; daily.
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 day – for 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. 😉
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.
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.
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).
To my dear Canadian friends – Mary Lou, Darryl, et al – I wish you all a happy Canada Day. And I am ever grateful to you for sending a blast of cool, dry air down from the Great North; it is appreciated more than you will ever know. If I could somehow share through the interwebs, this blackberry gelato is for you guys. 😀
Had a beautiful road ride, the weather being so much kinder today. One of those crisp summer days where once you start riding, you just don’t want to head home. The landscape is lush and overgrown in that flush way of summertime. And what always tells you that July is here? Blackberries – ripe and juicy on the cane.
We gathered a big bowl of berries from the canes out back, and Grant and Matt had helped me concoct a blackberry gelato recipe … it is delectable! Guys – you could be the next Food Network stars (heh heh!). The perfect summer evening treat after a day of riding. Really, I would share if I possibly could ….
- 3 to 4 C fresh blackberries
- 1-1/4 C granulated sugar, divided
- 2 C whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/4 C fat free powdered milk
- 1 C light cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place blackberries and 3/4 C sugar in a heavy saucepan, and heat over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and berries begin to break down and soften. Remove from heat and press through a fine mesh sieve or food mill. Discard seeds. You should have approximately 2 C of blackberry puree. Set aside and cool.
Place milk, remaining sugar and powdered milk into a heavy bottomed 3-1/2 quart saucepan. Bring to barely a simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and beat until thickened, approx. 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly add 1 C of the hot milk/sugar and whisk until blended. Stir the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and increase heat to medium. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens slightly (like a custard sauce) and registers 180’F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from heat and strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Stir in the light cream, reserved blackberry puree, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or overnight.
Pour into container of a 2-quart ice-cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Ripen in freezer for additional 2 hours before serving. Best served after a very fine bicycle ride … serves 4-6 hungry cyclists.