February 1, 2017 - I'm ashamed that I let this page go last year. I don't deal well with changes in routine, and losing my job in August was a pretty big change in routine. But enough about that.
In September Mr. M and I drove West to join Snowcatcher and the Lizard for Bike MS Washington, a ride that winds through some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We all rode Day 1 (60 miles for me), and Snowcatcher, the Lizard, and I rode Day 2 (27 miles). Then we all went to visit some more blogging friends on the Olympic Peninsula. Best trip ever!
Looking back at my log for last fall, I see mostly weekend rides in October. Things petered out in November, with only 2 rides to my credit.
The last ride of the year was on November 10, when I rode my bike to a dental appointment in a neighbouring town. Apparently they don't get many patients in cycling kit; everyone was very surprised to hear that I'd arrived by bicycle. The days were pretty short by then; when I got out it was too dark to ride home, so I rode my bike to the town library where Mr. M was waiting for me (by arrangement). We loaded Iris into the car, and that was the last time she got out in 2016.
September mileage: 87 miles
October mileage: 62.6
November mileage: 27.2
2016 was a stressful year - two local family members with cancer (one of them needing months of wound care); the death of another family member from cancer; a co-worker's absence on medical leave, resulting in extra stress and pressure on those of us who were left; some health problems ending in minor surgery for me; and after all that, being fired without warning and without recourse. On the good side, we had an awesome vacation and I got a new job that I love, so the year definitely ended better than it began. Here's to a better year - and a better cycling season (with more miles!) - in 2017.
Tuesday, August 30 - Funny that despite having no job I don't seem to have time to ride this week. Squeezed a quick one in today before heading over to Dad's. Sunny, decent temps, mind still spinning around what happened last week instead of enjoying what's going on right now. It will get better.
Monday, August 22 - I and a co-worker are suddenly and without warning fired from our jobs as pharmacy technicians in a local pharmacy. Between us we've put in 28 years there - 11½ years for her, and 16½ for me (8 of them as a very part-time back-office Medicare biller, then when the store was bought out I moved to the pharmacy). We are stunned and shocked and saddened. I hate to think of the patients coming in and not finding anyone they know there to help them (the pharmacist, who'd been there 4 years, was suddenly moved to a different position a few weeks ago, also without warning). It's like being cut off from our family. The rest of the week is a dazed blur of grief mixed with frustration and lack of focus. The last thing I want to do is get on my bike (Mr. M says that's a good sign I should have been riding). I just want to curl up in my pajamas and hide from everything. After all the stress this year of my sister-in-law's death, my sister's fight with cancer and extensive surgery complications, my dad's ongoing health issues and need for care, my own health problems, and the extra stress at work from being short-handed - well, as Rebecca Dew would say, "This IS the last straw."
Aaand ... I've slacked off AGAIN on notating anything more than the mileage of my rides. So here's a bit of a lump sum entry as before:
Tuesday, July 19 - Another short-ish ride. Hot afternoon, moderate wind. Legs feel much better today. Definitely saw a goldenrod blossom. Darn. 13.8 miles
Monday, July 18 - Quick leg-loosener before work. Sunny, warm, windy, and beautiful. Flowers seen today (and left off yesterday's list) include: mullein, white campion, spiderwort (not a good year for this flower - they all seem to be going to seed as soon as they blossom), hairy vetch, catnip, crown vetch, hare's foot clover, bindweed, last of the Dame's Rocket. And I think I saw the first goldenrod blossom (nooooooooooo!). Good pace today - legs feel better than yesterday. 9.0 miles
Hot and windy today, wind SW 10-12, gusting to 21. We had a massive thunderstorm early this morning with more forecast for tonight. Skies overcast when I left but cleared during the ride. Last week's minor surgery has really knocked the strength out of my legs; took about 18 miles to feel fully warmed-up. Climbing not strong today. Route included S. road with a stretch of 9-12% grade - builds character! (Or so I tell myself.) Made it up without tacking, but have to admit got slightly light-headed before the top. (Should have eaten a proper lunch.) Tons of wildflowers out right now. Seen today include: white - white sweet clover, Queen Anne's Lace, hedge-parsley (T. japonica), hoary alyssum, fleabane. Yellow - wild parsnip, rudbeckia, last of the buttercups, woodland sunflower, heliopsis, birdsfoot trefoil, yellow sweet clover, black medick, Canada hawkweed (or possibly Canada lettuce), St. John's Wort. Pink/lavender - fireweed, desmodium, red clover, wild bergamot, knapweed, swamp milkweed, common milkweed, field thistle (mostly gone to seed), Bouncing Bet. Orange - Turk's cap lily, orange daylily. (I'm sure I've forgotten several flowers.) Honeysuckle bushes all covered with berries, mostly bright red but some peach-colour. Good ride, but I felt the lack of lunch by the time I was done. Bring on the pasta! 28.9 miles