Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Climbfest in the Catskills - Part 1

Longtime readers may have spotted a theme to our vacations at this stage. It seems that we find some place with lots of concentrated climbing and travel there to concentrate on climbing.  This spring, we decided to go to the Catskills in New York. I joked with a friend recently as I referred to this as a "Staycation", since we weren't flying anywhere. Despite this area being just a few hours away by car, we had not ever truly explored it. We've cycled through Woodstock, NY on the Westfield 600km and really enjoyed the scenery and the climbing. So it's long been on the list, and this year it bubbled up to the top.

We decided to rent a house for the week in Woodstock and since we were driving out, we'd bring both the tandem and a couple of single bikes. I have a brand new Honey All Roads, and I was eager to put it through its paces. But we also love riding the tandem, and since we could bring multiple bikes, we did.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Not quite a cycling post, but then again...

Never again, when someone asks where I am from, will I have to respond "just outside of Boston". Now I can just say "a few blocks from THE boat in Watertown, MA."

Last week left me and John feeling very lucky. While we got to experience a stressful day of lockdown at the end of the week, we were nowhere near the marathon on Monday, and on the far side of the river from all the action in Watertown on Friday. And this was the message that I attempted to send to far distant friends and family throughout the drama all week. At times, it felt wrong to post messages on FB or twitter, that we were safe and sound, while so many others were not. But our families needed to see these messages from us. And it turns out social media is actually a good way to broadcast a message like that to a far distant audience. I admit to being quite relieved to see the check-ins from various friends that I knew were doing the marathon on Monday. But I was still heartbroken to hear of the deaths of people I did not know, but who's stories I will not forget. And I was devastated by the news of all the severe injuries, including so many leg amputations, a most cruel attack on fans of running!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Permanents and Transcience

As a fixie rider, my feet are always moving. Could it be some form of hyperactivity that draws me to riding a fixed gear bike - since I just can't seem to keep my feet still? Or maybe hyperactivity is why I am always seeking variety. I'm not one of those riders who can go out and do the same route week after week after week.  I just read about a Kiwi rider who did the same century route every day for 65 days in a row to celebrate his 65th birthday. While an impressive feat, I would have gone insane by day 3!

While it may help someone training to compare their time or performance on the same loop from week to week, that's not why I ride a bike. Yesterday, while leading my Tuesday ride, someone asked me how to get strong. I laughed, as I said that I was the last person to ever ask about training advice. I ride my bike to get to great places to eat, to enjoy the view, to enjoy good company and to have fun. If fitness comes as a side benefit of my riding, that's great. But it's not my goal.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Little Diversion

I know. It's been a while. But radio silence on this blog is coming to a screeching halt! I have a serious backlog of things to write about, so there may be a flurry of posts in coming days.

Despite the backlog, I'm going to start with my most recent diversion. I went on a seriously fun bike ride last Saturday, and tonight I'm still smiling and giggling with glee. Ride Studio Cafe and Honey Bikes put together an awesome event and they built a bike, just for me, just for the occasion. Really! They did! How cool is that?

And in the true spirit of Just-In-Time manufacturing, it came off the bike stand about 15 minutes before the start of the ride. But no fear, I hopped on the new bike, rode it around the block, across some cobblestones, down a trail and off and onto curbs a few times, and then headed out to do a group ride on twisty trails, with rocks and roots and bridges and boardwalks, grinning ear to ear the whole time!

I had a blast, but for some reason, kept thinking about coffee!

Photo courtesy of Rob Vandermark