Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 in review

New Year's Eve

I did a little math at this time last year, and it was kind of entertaining. So here are some numbers for comparison for 2008 (2007 data in parentheses):

Total bike miles: 12,693 (10,931)
Total days with no bike miles: 29 (23)
Month with the most miles: June (July)
Month with the least miles: December (January)

My three longest rides were 193 miles (September), 190 miles (May), and 152 (July). Not much else in the way of epic miles: there was one day of 97 miles on the tandem and another ride of about 103 miles, but otherwise it was pretty tame stuff.

I won some races and wasn't even a factor in a lot of others. The best smack-in-my-face result was having the fastest women's time in a short, flat, technical prologue at Willamette. It was definitely not my kind of course, and it definitely should've belonged to some of the other women there. Don't sell yourself short! The Tenino TT course (I'd never seen it til I raced it) was kind to me--and fun. I learned to relax and have some fun in tandem crits. I took some pleasure from my results in those 193- and 190-mile races listed above, beating most of the men in those races. And I learned SO much on that 152-mile ride.

Goals for 2009: continue to have fun on my bike and to encourage others to have fun on their bikes. Enjoy riding my BEAUTIFUL NEW BIKE! :) Maybe I should try to crack that double-century mark, eh?

Happy New Year to you and yours. May you surprise yourself with your accomplishments, exceed your dreams, and enjoy good health throughout 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Two weeks and counting

St. Stephen's Day

Today marks two entire weeks of not riding my bike outside. I don't think I've ever strung together so many consecutive days of not rolling down the street. Earlier in the week, I was optimistic that we'd get out this weekend. But this was the state of my street late this afternoon, after a day of "thawing" (a neighbor reported that it snowed here most of the day). The street (in north Seattle) is covered by 6-8 inches of compacted snow, with slush at the bottom. Driving in this is exceedingly difficult; we pushed 3 cars (one with chains, one with all-wheel drive) out of the spots they were mired in during a short walk on Christmas morning, and I pushed another all-wheel drive vehicle that got stuck backing out of a driveway while I was on my way to the bus this morning (the bus never came, but that's another story--and another 5-mile walk). It doesn't really look like the snow/ice/slop soup will be gone in time for a weekend ride!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dawgs n cats


OK, yes, things are a little slow. My legs got tired after 30 minutes on the trainer tonight. Maybe that's because I ran 2 miles in the snow this morning and walked a total of about 7 miles on my way to and from work today. Or maybe it's because they're not used to pedaling? I keep baking lots of cookies, but that's pretty uneventful and not really very photogenic. There were so few people in the gym when I was there yesterday that I couldn't even think of anything malicious to say about any of them. And the toddlers in Starbucks were just about the cutest little cherubs you could hope to encounter. So here's the odd pair of photos from today's portfolio:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter solstice

Happy Hanukkah

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow !

Thursday, 18 December

Unlike most people in Seattle, I was at work today. But I managed to squeeze in a little Christmas shopping and a long walk home. Here's the view from my office, Ravenna Park, and random landscaping that caught my eye.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Double Macchiato

Wednesday, 10 December

What's in your living room? As the quip in my household observed, we have a Double Macchiato. The co-owner of the "second shot" is worried that they may mate if the lighting is right and that we'll soon have tricycles roaming our hallways.

Alas, the other owners will pick up theirs this weekend and then ours will only have the couch and the LandShark single bike for company.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Bad idea

Tuesday, 9 December

On my way home last night, meandering through a neighborhood between arterials for a couple of miles, it struck me how really enjoyable it was to pedal along and admire the Christmas lights on (and in) houses. This is a very low traffic area, so riding doesn't require so much attention. It occurred to me that it might be fun to get a group of cyclists together to go caroling--on bikes--through a neighborhood like this one. Honestly, it took me at least a block to figure out why this would not be a good idea:

1. I've heard cyclists sing "Happy Birthday." I'm not sure anyone would recognize their group-sing rendition of any Christmas carol.

2. Too many people these days have helmet-mounted headlights. Turn your head to look at/talk to your neighbor, and that Christmas carol would be filled with expletives from the victim you just blinded.

3. I think that pedaling, singing, and steering a bike in a group requires more coordination than most of us have; it would be a massive crash fest. Even at a sedate pace, that doesn't sound like so much fun. "Hark the herald----slowing----angels sing...."

I tried to work out how to do this on tandems, but I'll leave that to Henry and just enjoy this particular quiet, well-lit neighborhood each night on my way home.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

How do I say this ?

Saturday, 6 December
(Happy Birthday tomorrow, .n.!)

I know of at least three Seattle groups whose "training rides" have the unstated objective of dropping as many people as they can. Wait? Regroup? Hah. LSD base miles? "I don't want to lose all my fitness." Testosterone isn't quotable but seems to be a factor. And I can't tell you how many times I've been hanging on to the back of some group of male riders when one of them comes back and starts griping--just to me--about how so-and-so is riding too hard. Do they gripe to the offender? Not so much, apparently, because it's a pretty regular occurrence and the offending is mutual (they take turns griping and riding too hard at the front).

Today I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of riding with one of our local pro riders. He was on a nice Felt with his name on the top tube. I was on my 3-year-old Redline with disc brakes and fenders. He saw no need to drill it on the flats or drop us on the climbs (and, happily, nobody was going to attack him on the climbs!). It was an enjoyable, pleasant ride. His season starts in the middle of February and there he was in early December, training at a pace that someone his mother's age could keep up with.

I often say I ride and race for the entertainment value; you never know where you're going to find it!