Posts Tagged ‘biking’

Cycling – day 5

As you may have surmised by now from my silence, I didn’t make it to day 5. Still, I think 4 out of 5 wasn’t too bad. On Friday morning, I was just too sore from the previous 4 days of cycling, and the previous night’s game in the super-hot weather. With no awesome husband to play cheerleader, it was much more pleasant to call it a day on Friday morning and drive to work. I’m aiming for 3 days a week for the rest of the summer.

I (made up for it? continued the downward slide?) by taking the bus downtown after work, in search of some cheese for the following evening’s girls’ night. A short but immensely rewarding stop at the patio of the Clocktower pub in the market may have been involved as well.

We’ve been pretty busy the last week, including a trip out to Algonquin. We finally got to try out our new canoe, yippee! While I sort through and edit the pictures, I leave you with this question – is there any difference in the number of calories burned by a 200-pound person hiking, and a 150-pound person hiking with a 50-pound backpack?

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Cycling – day 4

Day 4 almost didn’t happen. I woke up to a forecast of thunderstorms, overcast sky, and a wind that could easily be described as blustery. I halfheartedly got dressed and headed downstairs to make lunch – only to be sprinkled on when I stepped out to pick some basil.

As I was waffling, the sky seemed to clear just a little bit, and with husband’s encouragement I decided to make a run for it. Quite literally, because the whole ride I kept looking back over my shoulder at the clouds, trying to gauge if I would make it to work before them or not. It’s a 20ish minute ride to work, so I figured if it wasn’t raining yet, chances were decent that I could get to work before it started to.

In the end, I was about 3 minutes away from work when it again started sprinkling – I thought I was done for, but that’s all I saw of the rain that day. Whew. The rush, of course, meant that I had an awesome (sub-20-minute!) ride. Don’t think I’ll be doing that too often – but I must have been going fast enough, because I had someone drafting behind me on the last straightaway, from just past the driving range all the way to Corkstown.

The ride back was something else. I very consciously took it easy because this was the first time I rode while breathing in air the temperature and consistency of sauna air. Even I wasn’t that eager to go up full-speed against the 35-degree temperature and the 46-degree humidex. The unexpected benefit of the heat? – our house, which was at 27 degrees when I walked in, felt like a nice big refrigerator to me. It’s definitely all relative!

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Cycling – day 3

Well, I made it. The morning ride was actually another record – 15 seconds faster than on the way back the previous day. Given that the ride back is usually somehow faster than the ride in, I felt pretty good about that. I think there’s something about trying to prove to your husband that you’re not the slowpoke that he thinks you are that pushes one to go faster than they would otherwise.

In the afternoon, I actually took it easy(ish), given that I didn’t leave work until later than usual, and was playing an ultimate game in just over an hour. Tomorrow is supposed to have a high between 34 and 37 (depending on who you believe), and another game of ultimate, which probably means taking it easy again on the way back.

The thought of “cheating” and working from home on Friday crossed my mind, but I should be able to make it the whole week despite that temptation.

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Cycling – day 2

BB helped me get up this morning by meowing insistently anytime my groggy hand abandoned its job of scratching her. Thanks BB!

The ride in this morning was pretty chilly – I will definitely need to wear a long sleeve shirt tomorrow, if it’s the same temperature.

As I was getting changed for the ride back home, I realized that

  1. Someone should invent/install lockers that have air (I’m not asking for hot air, people, just plain old air) circulating through the lockers, so your stuff actually dries out and doesn’t get icky over the course of the day
  2. I do not have enough clothes (sports bras and shorts, in particular) to wear clean clothes for every single ride. If I manage to bike to work every day, and with 3 ultimate games and 1 volleyball game, in theory I would need 14 pairs of sports bras… which I don’t have. Sorry folks – maybe you can just stay away from me on my ride back home from work.

As I was feeling pretty pleased with my 26 km/h average speed on the way back, I was quickly put in my place after reading about these guys. After originally reading about this little competition, I had little doubt that the bikes would beat the plane. But with the numbers given in the article, their speed works out to just shy of 41 km/h. *sigh* Somehow, my 26 km/h over 20 minutes no longer seems as impressive. Stupid overachievers. 😉

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Cycling – day 1

Day one started off with the toughest excuse of the bunch – I woke up and thought “Hmm, I think it’s still raining”. By the time the snooze alarm went off for the second time, I was able to convince myself that no, in reality it was just cloudy, and I should try biking to work.

After some delays, including Dan having to pump up my tires because they were a tad flat (but now with the larger garage, no time was wasted trying to dig out and move the air compressor so it could be used!), we were on our way.

There was a lot of debris on the path from the previous night’s thunder- and wind-storms, which made for a … crunchy ride. Maybe it’s a good thing that Dan recently swapped out my tires for puncture-resistant ones, because there were plenty of wood splinters to go around.

The evening ended in style with having to play our ultimate game with no female subs. AND we won! 🙂 Go team. The fog slowly creeping along the ground after our game ended was spectacular, but of course I had to leave my camera in my pannier at home.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about the heat. It’s summer! (And the perfect excuse to have ice cream after every dinner) That’s probably what I disliked the most about Vancouver weather – it never stayed HOT in the summer. Sure, it might get a little bit scorching during the day, but by the evening I’d always need a sweater. Even on the hottest days of summer, it was always a struggle to convince myself that the water in English Bay wasn’t too cold (but really, it always was too cold). Tom’s pool this weekend, on the other hand, was just perfect!

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Biking to work

I’m starting to get tired of the excuses I keep coming up with NOT to bike to work. I have moving, and unpacking, and errands, I’m tired, I don’t have a change of clothes stashed in my mouldy little locker at work, and this day I have to get back early to go to ultimate, and…

So – the plan for next week is to try and bike to work every day. Yes, I know, way to start small. But  it’s as good a start as any. I’m a measly 10 km away from work, so I don’t need a rest day in the middle of the week like Dan does with his 25 km commute. The moving is done, and the unpacking can wait until the weekend or evenings. The only excuse I’m allowing myself is rain, since my nice new pannier is unfortunately lacking in the waterproofing department.

And I’m putting this out there (out here?) so you can feel free to lambaste me if I don’t live up to this plan next week.

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Cycling accidents (not mine)

Have you heard this one before? Cyclist(s) hit/forced off the road in the backroads of Quebec/March Road/downtown Ottawa? Of course you have – sadly, off the top of my head I can think of at least a half-dozen incidents in the time that I’ve lived in Ottawa.

How about this one – cyclists in (one of?) the most prestigious road cycling races in the world sideswiped by a support vehicle. Yup, you read that right – in a recent stage of Tour de France, a support/TV car hits a couple of cyclists while trying a dumbassed passing manoeuvre (video). Sending one of them flying into a barbed-wire fence. Yikes.

I can understand incidents like this happening in the city/out on the country roads. People can be stupid and careless – they text, they drink, they don’t pay attention. But at this level? And a TV car, not some yahoo who happened to wander onto the race path by mistake? Boggles the mind.

While the small vengeful voice in my head might call for the car driver to be thrown into the same (albeit repaired) barbed-wire fence, I really only hope he’s prosecuted to the full extent of criminal law that’s available in France. With maybe some civil suits thrown in for good measure – how about paying for all the training time the rider will need to get back to the shape he was in before this? I’m really working on not thinking “an eye for an eye”, but on the other hand I really believe that idiocy, especially of this magnitude, has to be punished as strongly as possible.

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I’ve hit a couple of transportation milestones over the last few weeks (or is it a month now?).

First, on an afternoon bike ride out to Pinhey’s Point my bike passed the 1,000 km mark. Not for the year, mind you (although I think Dan is pretty close to that already), but for the last 12 months since I’ve had the bike.

Embarrassingly enough, between the terrible weather we’ve had and the general busyness of this house-selling business, I’ve managed to bike to work exactly twice this year. Yes, I realize that it’s the end of June. I promise to do better. I started yesterday, and promptly got rained on on my way home. Thanks, nature.

My baby passed a much more significant milestone last week – 100,000 kms!

Yikes! While nowadays it features a dirty-ultimate-cleat smell much more often than new-car smell, I hope it’ll be around for many more hundreds of thousands of kilometers. Hooray for road trips!

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Annual shameless plug

Once again, Dan talked me into signing up for the CHEO 35K bike ride. We are Team Awesome, and if you are so inclined, you can donate to me individually or to our team.

Photo courtesy of Dan


If you are in the Ottawa area, and make a donation to me of $20 or more,  this year I would also like to offer you a seedling as a thank you for your support. Your choices are basil, pepper (jalapeno or sweet red), or tomatoes (“regular” red, small pear yellow, or small cluster red), all grown from seed by me. I will give you the seedling sometime in late spring, once it’s big and strong enough. You’ll have to provide it with a pot (or garden) to call home, as well as the green thumb to nurse it to harvest through summer. If you are donating and would like a seedling, please let me know before mid-march, as that is when I have to start the seeds according to my schedule.

Tell your family! Tell your friends! (Err.. well, to a point. If by some fluke I end up with more people than shelf space in my new greenhouse, I may have to cut you off… I’m sorry in advance for this highly unlikely event!)

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Today, we mourn summer

Our dear friend, summer, slipped away quite unexpectedly last week. Nobody was prepared, and we will all miss his warm personality and sunny demeanor. These are hard times for all – a support group will be set up shortly to help deal with this loss.

But seriously – what’s up with the cold weather? I don’t remember it being quite this bad so early in the last couple of years. The first sign was when I had to go dig out my warm terry robe when I got up this morning. Even when I left the house, the air had quite the bite to it, and even in the car I wished for gloves. The final nail in the coffin was that for the last 3 days, BB has been insistently climbing on my lap (and staying there) whenever I’m sitting down.

Unfortunately, this means that I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reach my retroactively set goal of biking 1,000 kms this year. Another 5 days of biking to work and back would have let me achieve that, but with temperatures dropping down to 7 in the next few nights, and my general wussiness when it comes to cold, I don’t know if I’ll be able to suck it up for 5 more mornings. Maybe indian summer is on the way to rescue the year…

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