Year to date: 1397 miles
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11/10/13 - Too nice a day not to ride ... or so it seemed from the sunny warm living room. Outside it was different - wind chills in the upper 20s. MUST get some cold-weather gloves! Luckily I had put on every layer I possess and then some: wool undershirt, wool socks, jersey, arm warmers, wind jacket, shorts, tights. Ought to have added a headband to keep my ears warm. Even so it was pretty chilly - would have been a better ride if it weren't so cold - but still good to be out spinning. Most of the colour gone from the trees (all that rain and wind). Got some great Tallulah shots. Saw one deer and many tractors. This may well have been the last ride of the season for me - and I'm okay with that. 14.9 miles.
10/12/13 - The slacking off continues! A gorgeous day - warm sun, strong but chilly wind. Just a pipe-opener with a tiny bit of climbing. Got some gorgeous maple photos (see blog). 12 miles.
09-30-13 - 26.6 miles. Absolutely beautiful day and ride. (See blog - A Stress-Free Sunday Ride.)
09-15-13 - A whole week since I've been on the bike - shame on me! Was hoping to hit 1500 miles this year but at this rate am not sure I'll make it. Cool and cloudy - had to wear a jacket (!) but ride ended in glorious sunshine. Got a lovely shot of acorn in the road with Iris's front tire in the background - shall use as a header photo. Ride blogged about here:
http://mrsmicawber.blogspot.com/2013/09/a-grey-and-blue-sunday-ride.html. 21 miles.
09-08-13 - Short Sunday ride, sore and achy and reluctant. Cloudy and 70º, wind east 10 mph. Ride ends better than it starts (thank goodness!), and I get photos of several types of berry to research later. See lots of goldenrod and aster, a few QAL and knapweed still blooming. Tons of heliopsis too, very cheerful and sunshiny - especially on a grey day like today. Slowly building the botanical knowledge, thanks mostly to cycling with camera in pocket! Blogged about here: http://mrsmicawber.blogspot.com/2013/09/cloudy-ride.html. 16 miles.
09-06-13 - A very short Friday ride to work the crochet kinks out of my back and neck. Hot - very hot! - and sticky, but I remind myself of all the cold rides I took this winter and spring, and endeavour to enjoy the heat. Allergies are killing me right now and my energy levels are low. First time this year I've taken a ride shorter than 15 miles - the end-of-season rot is setting in. :) 12 miles.
09/03/13 - Rides are getting scarce, what with projects and work and company about the house. Got out for a short one today, beautiful day, warm and blue-skied and slightly windy. Angle of sun and look of the trees make it very clear that Autumn is near. More details here:
Must try to get out more often while the season lasts - winter will be here soon enough and then I'll be pining for the open road. 15.9 miles.
8/24/13 - Can't believe I've been this long off the bike - blame it on kitchen painting! A short ride between housework and church. Hot, windy, sticky, but still nice to get out. Wild cucumber flourishing this summer; climbing and draping over everything. (If only it would choke out the ragweed!) Lots of red leaves appearing here and there; goldenrod flourishing as well. 16.6 miles.
8/09/13 - Squeezed in a short 15-er before leaving for Two Rivers. A sticky morning - not too hot, but definitely humid. (We're having a strangely cool August.) Am typing this several days later and for the life of me can't remember what I saw on the ride! Except goldfinches. 15 miles.
8/03/13 and 8/04/13 - 15 and 26 miles respectively - blogged about here:
Also saw goldenrod (dang it!) which makes me think uneasily of fall ... but if I don't photograph it it doesn't count, right? :)
7/30/13 - Squeezed in a morning ride before work. Chilly and damp - having an odd cool snap right now that feels almost like autumn - put on jacket for ride as it's not even 60º yet this morning. Purple loosestrife now blooming; lots of QAL, mouse-ear chickweed, yellow heliopsis-type flower (must really nail down an ID for this species), and mystery umbellifer with tiny white clusters of blossom. Have not been on bike for 10 days - feels good to be out, but legs definitely not in top form this morning. Sweatier than I expected by end of ride - must have warmed up a bit. Hope to get another ride in before the weekend but work schedule is heavy right now - we'll see. Right knee stiff after ride! Makes me feel old. 15 miles.
7/20/13 - Participate in nearby MS ride (happens every year, but we had never heard of it until this week). A very middle-aged ride, which was kind of fun - most people looked to be within ten years of me agewise - with choice of 10, 30, 40, or 60 mile courses. Had planned to do 40 but ended up riding with a gal from Verona whose pace matched mine. She was tempted to do the 60 so I said I'd do it with her. Lovely cool morning, turned hot later. Much hillier course than I expected - there are some real little doozies of climbs in my county that I didn't know about until today. Several rest stops, small but all with at least water and/or Gatorade; first stop had build your own burritos (nice proteiny foods). See several very handsome barns and another quilt barn for my collection. Get photos of orange milkweed and chicory. Really enjoy riding with someone else and being able to chat as we go - makes the miles seem shorter. Foot beginning to get numb by end of ride - is there a pinched nerve on that side? Glad the tendon didn't act up again. Free lunch after ride - incredible burgers and very nice spread of fruits, veggies, pasta salads, desserts, upscale beer (not for me though) and soft drinks. A fun event and not too far from home. 60 miles.
7/16/13 - A beast of a day - hot and humid beyond words. I wait until sundown to take my ride (having overslept this morning - should have gotten up early and done it then). Lovely sunset though - and fireflies twinkle all along my path. See plenty of deer but none too close for comfort. Once the sun is well down the bugs come out - dang, I'm not used to this. Decide on a slight short cut home as darkness is descending more swiftly than I expected. If not for the bugs would have been a very enjoyable ride (but I really should have some kind of light for this). 14 miles.
7/11/13 - First time riding since Bike MS! (Wanted to give tendon a chance to settle down. Swelling is almost gone so figure it's time to get back on the road.) Warm and slightly sticky morning, wind west maybe 5-7 mph. On way out of town, see just the heads of two sandhill cranes poking up from tall grass in ditch; they look hilarious and slightly surprised to see me riding by slightly above their eye level. :) Tendon a tiny bit twingy but I made an effort to consciously use the left leg more; this seemed to solve problem. Saw a great variety of wildflowers; spent second half of ride reciting their initials (in alphabetical order) so I could remember them all when I got home: aster, black-eyed Susan, chicory, clover, campion, cow vetch, daylily, daisy fleabane, elder, knapweed, Queen Anne's Lace, milkweed, motherwort, mullein, salsify, soapwort, spiderwort, thistle, Turk's-cap lily, wild bergamot, wild parsnip. Decide that Sunday's ride will be a wildflower odyssey. Felt great to be back on bike and back on the road - nice brisk ride. 15 miles.
6/28/13 - Am here in Colorado at Snowcatcher's house. The Lizard has kindly reassembled Iris after her trip in the box, and Snowcatcher and I go out for a short ride to make sure all is well with the bike. After a warm dry day it has turned sticky - there are thunderstorms in the forecast (must have brought them with me!). We do a short loop - I can definitely feel the difference in oxygen levels. The bike feels great - tomorrow is the big day. We're leaving at 4 am for Bike MS. Here's to a good ride! 4 miles.
6/23/13 - Clear this morning, after two days of thunderstorms (last night's was a humdinger). Yay - I can ride to Madison for breakfast! Leave a bit later than I planned but that's okay. Very sticky this morning, humidity 90-100% (how can humidity be 100% when it's not raining?), temps in the 70s and rising rapidly, wind south (headwind, dang it) 10 mph but increases to 12-20 before I reach Madison. See some large trees that have split blown down from last night's storm, also yard with HUGE twisted pieces of metal strewn all about - a barn roof must have been torn off by the wind. Blackbirds sing me all the way to Madison. Chicory is in bloom, also lots of birdsfoot trefoil, cow parsley, daisies, salsify, and delicate yellow wildflower I haven't learned yet (must look it up). Take very few pictures - too windy. Meet Mr. M at Sardine for breakfast on the terrace, rather later than I expected on account of nonstop headwind. Breeze off the lake feels wonderful after the hot ride. After eating we stop at bike shop next door for handlebar tape (mine has gone suddenly flat) and to ogle expensive bikes. Mr. M gets in the car and I get back on the bike for an excellent ride home - that glorious tailwind carries me all the way with very little effort. On the way back, metal pieces all gone from aforementioned property - driveway is full of vehicles and people are working hard to clear the area. It's a hot ride home - too hot for photos - humidity still up in the 90s and temps in the mid-80s, but every so often a crosswind blows and keeps me from drowning in sweat. Clouds roll in before the end, and drop a few sprinkles on me in the last 2 miles. Finish the ride feeling pretty darn good except for intermittent cramp (in a tendon behind the knee), and sore hands. So glad I could squeeze in a 60-miler before Colorado. 66.7 miles, in fact. (Longest ride I've ever done. Having a long break with great meal in the middle really helps.) :)
5/30/13 - Squeezed in a ride after a long busy day. Warm, partly cloudy, thunderstorms all across the state. Clouds very dark to south and west when I left, and drawing nearer - hoped I could outrun them but no luck. Got caught in the thunderstorm - very heavy rain and wind, plenty of lightning - called Mr. M to pick me up but by the time he got to me I was only a few miles from home and weather had lightened just a bit, so I finished the ride (soaking wet and all gritty up the back). Would prefer not to have ridden in weather like this, but good for me to have faced another fear (lightning). 15.0 miles.
5/29/13 - Finally some sunshine after days and days of rain! Mid-60s, wind 10-15 mph south and west. Have not been on bike since Saturday. May is going out in full loveliness - lilacs, honeysuckle, Dame's Rocket, flowering dogwood, Golden Alexander, wild columbine, wild geranium, elderflower, viburnum (?) are all blooming now. Sky cleared to mostly blue by end of ride. Perfect cycling moment: short climb, ending at a curve, leads to gentle downhill slope with trees arching overhead, woods full of song, purple blossom lining the road, blue sky and white cloud ahead. (Happy sigh.) Goslings at corner growing quickly - all long necks and legs, and looking slightly raffish as their baby fuzz begins to moult. So good to see the sun and get back on the bike. 15.0 miles.
5/11/13 - Cold (dang it). Cloudy clearing to intermittent sun, some drizzling. Wind northwest 15-30 mph (ugh). Could see rain falling to north, south, east and west, like grey veils. Clouds magnificent once they pulled back a bit; actually rather a gorgeous afternoon but the wind made it impossible to enjoy ... had trouble keeping the bike straight on many stretches. Had to stay in small chainring about half the ride. Wild plum getting more prolific - must take photos of it tomorrow. Also try to catch a shot of Marsh Marigold before it's covered by rampaging dock. (Beginning to wonder: will it EVER be consistently warm? And non-windy?) 15.1 miles.
5/10/13 - Chilly, damp, grey day. Rained this morning. Around 50º, wind north 10mph. Very reluctant to ride today - lack of sunshine doesn't help. Also feeling very grumpy for no good reason. (Not sure there's ever a good reason to be grumpy.) Wild plum just beginning to blossom, peeking out of woods like a shy girl dressed in white; saw wild mustard and garlic mustard too. Sheep near P's house finally getting used to me - no shrieks of dismay either time I go past. Saw one live deer and lots of deer skeletons. Tractors out and busy in fields. Second lap better than first; finally felt warmed up after about 25 miles. Seems to work out that way more often than not. 30.0 miles.
5/7/13 - Warm and balmy, mid 70s. Wind being fairly calm (3-8 mph) decide to do time trial instead of intervals. Good discipline - didn't realise until now how prone I am to take it easy and just spin along without trying very hard. Wanted very much to do it in 1 hour which for me would be good time this early in the season. Sky lovely today, trees too, covered with fine baby leaves like pale green lace. Saw the usual geese, ducks, and 1 sandhill crane at corner. Think they're getting used to me as no one panicked when I rode by. Dock flourishing in marshes, also yellow flowers - just looked them up and find they are Marsh Marigold (charming name) - very cheery and upstanding. Lost some precious seconds at certain intersection waiting for truck that ended up turning before it reached me (WHY don't people use their turn signals?!?). Pushed on gamely to the end - 61 minutes (dang). 15.0 miles.
5/4/13 - Overcast with gleams of sun - hooray! Forecast now revised to "scattered thunderstorms" but weather looks perfectly acceptable to me. Low 50s, wind north to east 7 mph (quite bearable). First smell of grass. See geese and ducks at corner marsh, with one dignified sandhill crane stepping delicately into the water. Leaves are out!!!! Trees are cloudy with palest green and fields are deep emerald. Birds sound pretty happy too. :) See daffodils and hyacinths in someone's yard. Stop after several miles to remove arm warmers, but keep jacket and tights on. Mentally write bits of pattern blog post, and decide name for new project (Winding Lane Bracelet, inspired by glimpse of same curving through the woods). Sunnier and quite pleasantly warm when I get home. 30.0 miles.
5/3/13 - Raining and very cold today. Trainer 30 minutes. Watch "Midwife" Episode 5 - have to turn it off at critical moment and get ready for work. (Will finish episode tonight.) Have great plans for riding trainer again after work - ha ha. Who am I kidding? No enthusiasm left when I get home. Hope to be on the road tomorrow but forecast unpromising.
4/30/13 - Sunny and HOT - 82º(!), windy - 17-25 mph - but a warm wind is much more bearable than a cold wind. Saw daffodils, also some baby leaves on smaller trees and shrubs. Intervals. 15.6 miles.
4/27/13 - Overcast with occasional sun, 60s (yay!), windy but bearable - about 15 mph. Actually take my jacket off halfway through the ride. For the first time this season have a bit of exercise-induced exhilaration near the end of the ride (tailwind helps). 30.0 miles.
4/20/13 - Sunny, clear, cold. Wind about 15 mph. Start out to do 30 miles, flat tire at 10.9. No spare! (aaaaargh) Call Mr. M who brings spare wheel - REAR. (I need a front wheel.) Go home and cook dinner instead. Bright side - I didn't have my phone (no cell coverage in this area with ATT), but was about 20 feet from a mailbox when the tire burst. Just as I stopped, someone pulled up to the mailbox to get their mail - perfect timing - and let me use their phone. 10.9 miles.
4/19/13 - Weather nasty. Rode trainer 45 minutes. Watched Psych episode - "No Country for Two Old Men". Hilarious (and accurate) line about Mexican Coca Cola.
4/16/13 - Intervals. Somewhat windy but could be worse. No leaves, no exciting views. 14.0 miles.
3/24 through 4/13/13 - 106.3 road miles, about 3 hours total on trainer. No log kept, but blogged about some of the rides here:
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Was dying to get on the road this year, as I have a big ride to train for: Bike MS in Colorado at the end of June. 73 miles, 2 days in a row - 146 miles total. If I can complete it, it will be the longest ride of my life so far. I hope I can, I hope I can....
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