Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 3 of 365: Say hello to my little friend...

My little nemesis is more like it. You'll have to click on this photo to actually see it, but this light makes me crazy.

I have to make a left to get onto the 'busy-ish' road I mentioned yesterday and this stoplight is my gateway to where I need to go. But unless there's a car right behind me I can end up waiting a long time... probably forever if I didn't go ahead and cross against the light.

It has one of those little cameras (or is it a scale under the road surface?) that tells it to change if someone pulls up, else the opposing traffic has a continual green. Well, apparently my bike and I don't rate because it never changes just for us.

When I can cross with the green I get good momentum for the last leg of the trip, which is uphill. That's because there's a slight downgrade here and I pick up speed as go across. When I have to inch up and inch up to see the cross traffic I lose that extra boost. And for someone like me every little bit helps!

Miles today: 3 Total miles: 10

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 2 of 365-- It's a sauna out there!

I got my ride in early today!

The forecast here is for temps hovering around 88 degrees with a "real feel" of 96 and humidity at 62%. Afternoon thunderstorms possible. Not very pleasant conditions for a bike ride, for sure.

I had two clients today, starting at 9am, so I decided to ride to work. I'm not sure of the exact temperature when I headed out, but it was up there. The breeze still had a hint of coolness at 8:15 this morning, though.

My office is a mile and a half from home, and the route is mostly uphill on the way there and downhill for the return trip. (of course) I don't usually like riding to work at this time of day because of the traffic. I have to ride on a busy road-- busy for this area, anyway-- and people are rushing to get to work, not always paying attention. Still, there's a good shoulder and everything was fine.

The trip home at noon wasn't exactly miserable, it was downhill after all, but man was it HOT and HUMID. The air is almost thick right now, like being in a sauna or a big fog. I was soaking by the time I got home and I wasn't even working that hard!

Tomorrow is going to be a challenge. I have 5 clients, the first appointment starting at 9 am and the last one at 8:15 pm. I have some down time between 11:30 and 4, but the weather is supposed to be similar to today, with more thunderstorms likely. I'll see how everything goes, but I suppose it's possible I'll be taking a short trip around my neighborhood at 10pm!

Miles today: 3 Total miles: 7

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 1 of 365

For my first ride of the year I decided to head out to the Mennonite church down the road from my house. It's exactly two miles from my place and a pretty easy going ride. When I took the dogs out at 9 this morning it was already 80 degrees, so easy was the way to go.

This isn't the church of course, but a neighbor's farm. They sell free range eggs for $2.50 a dozen-- an excellent price. The corn's looking pretty good! Tall, at least. The corn silks look so vibrant-- almost like real hair. Not all slimy like they can get in the store.

I went out around 7 pm. It was still hot, but there was a cooler breeze and the sun wasn't beating down. I took some pictures of the church but they were terrible, so I'll take some shots another time and add them to another post.

Miles today: 4 Total miles: 4

What the heck am I thinking-- going for a bike ride every single day for a year??

Even in the snow and the rain? Well, that's the plan anyway!

When gas prices started going up, and up, and up I decided to try and save a few pennies by riding my bike to work. It's only about a mile and a half each way: very doable, even for someone as out of shape as myself. I'd save money on gas and help myself get on the road to better health. (no pun intended!) As an added bonus, the less I drive my car the better it is for the environment, too. WIN all around!

I have been riding to work, to the farmers' market, to my favorite coffee shop downtown, but not as consistently as I'd like. The other day this thought came to me that I should ride my bike every day for a whole year-- in the rain, the snow, the heat, the cold, all of it. Even if I could only go three blocks-- because how far can you really ride in the snow?

So that's my vague plan-- ride my bike every day, 365 days straight, and see what's what at the end of the year. Will I really be healthier? How much gas money can I actually save? Can even a short bike ride give me some quiet time and keep me on an even keel on the most frazzled of days? And how many miles can I ride in a year? I guess I'm going to find out!

My bike is just a regular old bike. My sister gave it to me a few months ago; she had been using it for getting around the city, but over the last few years it had simply been cluttering up her apartment. I was very happy to take it off her hands.

I added this nifty basket set up to transport linens and clothes for
work, groceries and whatever else I might feel like carting around.
Press the top yellow button and the basket slides out so you can carry it into the market or the grocery or wherever you're going. It would have been just as workable-- and less expensive-- to bungee a milk crate back there, but I got dazzled by the high-tech-iness of the basket contraption while at the bike shop.

I hope to post about my rides each day, even the short ones, as well any other stuff I might be thinking about. I can't ride very far just yet, but will keep trying to add to my distances. I might even join a bike club ride when I work up the stamina.

See you tomorrow!