Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Another Christmas Present Appears

Christmas morning found us continuing with the moving chores. Not a real exciting way to spend a holiday. Then, stuck to another photo, a tiny snapshot appeared that I had never seen before. Another surprise Christmas present! A tiny snapshot of me on wheels. No pedals, though. From the expression on my face, I was already planning out a strategy to upgrade my ride...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas eve find us organizing for our move to Miami. Things are moving faster than expected, and we may be beginning the actual move in mid-January. So our holiday activities have been organizing, packing, and all the stuff you need to do to move from one home to another.

Today while Al organized bike and exercise gear, I tackled photos and documents, many of which I was moving to digital for the move. This is how I found this year's special Christmas present. The best presents aren't bought or wrapped or even given to you by others. They are often things you find that give you joy and happiness. At the bottom of a box of ancient family photos, I found one of me with my first set of wheels! OK, so my first "bike" was a "trike"...but it had wheels and pedals, so it counts!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope each of you finds a special Christmas present this year, too.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home Sweet Home - Miami!

We've been talking about moving to Miami for ages. We used to live in a high rise in a city, but we've lived in small towns in rural areas for the past 17 years. We spent those years water skiing and biking. Recently, however, we began to miss urban life. We found ourselves craving the diversity of urban life, the mix of ages, nationalities, races, languages, and religions that permeates urban living. It is challenging and sometimes frustrating, but it is never dull or boring. And we missed the conveniences and cultural opportunities of urban living: high rise homes; buses, trolleys, light rail, and taxis; galleries; live theater; coffee shops; city parks; concerts; and walking or biking to most places you need to go.

We knew it was time for a change.

This week we did it. We went home shopping in Miami. And we found what we wanted. Our stable of bicycles is moving to a new home. In a high rise. The East Coast Greenway route through Miami is just outside our building's front door. (That simplifies tour planning!) It's close to the Rickenbacker Causeway and Key Biscayne, a great route to ride a road bike. It's a few minutes by bicycle to a cafecito (best bike fuel on the planet) from an open-air coffee counter on Calle Ocho.

Right now it's looking like we'll move there in March. So we have a couple of months to ride through the scrub and say goodbye to all our favorite biking routes. Come March we'll pack our bags, say goodbye to the lake, and move our bikes and suitcases to Miami.

Home sweet home. MIAMI!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I'll try to be nicer if you'll try to be smarter...

December to-do lists when combined with a big project to-do list is guaranteed to drive you over the edge. It definitely makes it hard to get through the day without the conversation turning to handguns, knives, and other weapons of mayhem.

Today, on top of everything else, it was going to rain. We bickered about whether we had time for a ride or if we could handle getting wet in the rain. Agreeing that the most important thing was to get out and burn up some excess energy, we headed out for a short but fast ride. Al's hamster wheel short route, AKA the 20 mile time trial. He set up a fast pace. The mirror riding (same gear, same cadence) is coming along splendidly. I had no problem keeping up with him for the first half of the ride. (Note to self: do not brag during a ride that you aren't having that much trouble keeping up.) Al needed to burn off some energy...and that meant he notched it up near the end of the ride. I tried to match him, but he was going to drop me for sure. He disappeared into the distance. No worries. I knew he'd wait up for me a mile or so ahead, and we'd ride home together from that point.

It was a great ride. One of our fastest. And it really mellowed out the to-do list craziness.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bananas, Cookies, and Dark Chocolate

The new program of mirroring Al's riding continues. It's getting a little easier. It's getting to be a little less tiring. And it has provided me with an unexpected surprise bonus: I have to eat more.

Our cycling isn't a part of a weight management program. That doesn't make any sense, in our view, since when you bike you have to eat on the ride and after the ride for very specific reasons. You do this to prevent bonking and to recover well. Bonking is very unpleasant and so is not recovering well.

My favorite "bike foods" are bananas, Voortman oatmeal-cranberry-flaxseed cookies, and PayDay candy bars. "Recovery food" is an 8 ounce glass of skim milk and 6-12 Ghirardelli 60% cacao premium baking chips (chocolate!) immediately after the ride. I have a bin where we dump any energy bars or similar products when we get them as a give-away or promotions. Which means we don't have them very often. Tasty things, but they just don't measure up to the pleasures (or the fabulous nutritional profile) of a good banana.

But back to the point of this post. We're riding the same miles for the same amount of time. But when I mirror Al, I need a snack sooner...and that means an extra snack on each ride!

I think I'm liking this kind of riding!