Archive for the ‘Biking’ Category

6 months of biking

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Today I reached a pretty major milestone in my life as a bicyclist:  I have officially ridden my bike every day for the past 6 months.  Starting on March 31st I have ridden my bicycle every day for a total of 1330 miles.  Now to be honest, that includes a few very cold days in April when I rode my bike around the cul-de-sac three times and called it a night and at least two days on our trip to Maine that it was raining, and I only biked to the end of the driveway and back.  But, I was on my bike every day.

It is a pretty awesome feeling!  I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it when I started way back in April, but now I don’t want to stop.  I am hoping to keep it up at least until the first snow, but we’ll see how I handle the cold.

I’ve done a lot of different things over those 6 months:

  • rebuilding my bike myself
  • Tour de Donut in Arcanum, Ohio – 30 miles
  • BikeTOURberfest – 37 miles
  • Solstice Ride from Muncie to Richmond – 42 miles
  • riding carriage trails in Acadia National Park in Maine
  • my daily commute to work – 6 miles round trip
  • Big Steve’s Awesome Route – 36 miles
  • a short 30 minute mountain biking adventure in Maine
  • grocery getting in Richmond
  • biking to church
  • riding lots of miles with friends
  • biking in sun, rain, freezing temperatures, and wind

It has been a great adventure, and I am hoping to reach 2000 miles before the year ends.

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Oops I forgot to blog…for a long time!

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Wow! I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I wrote a “real” blog post. I guess that is what happens when you are living your life. And I have been doing just that for the past year:

I’ve continued to bake and added even more kitchen tasks to my list of accomplishments, including canning and preserving.  My friend Carol Hunter taught me to can tomatoes back in August, and both Matt and I are hooked.  We are now the proud owners of our very own water bath canner, 4 books on canning and preserving food, and copious amounts of jars and lids.(If you have any to give away we will always take more)

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Help Dottie repair her bike!

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

My favorite bike blogger Dottie from Lets Go Ride Bikes was recently hit by a hit-and-run driver while biking home from work.  She is okay but her beautiful bike is not.  My friend Mark suggested that we show our support for Dottie, who is an inspirational blogger, and bike commuting by helping Dottie raise the funds she’ll need to fix her bike.  I think that is an awesome idea, and I want to share it with you.

So if you want to make a donation use the widget below.  Otherwise please spread the word!

New Bike #2: Misty the Mixte

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

I have been riding a new bike for the past few weeks, and I have fallen in love!  It is a beautiful blue Concord Pacer mixte likely from the 70’s.  If you are uncertain of what makes a bike a mixte, here is a quick primer:  A mixte is a particular type of step-through frame where the top bar runs from the bottom of the handlebars all the way to the rear axle.  This style bike is very popular in Europe and is ridden by both men and women. (more…)

World Carfree Day

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

September 22 is World Carfree Day:

  • A day to celebrate the fact that we don’t all have to own cars to live a “normal” life.
  • A day to get out of your car and walk, take a bus, or ride your bike.
  • A day to experiment with alternative forms of transportation as a part of your everyday life.
  • A day to ask your local government to do more to make your city bike and pedestrian friendly.

World Carfee Day is sponsored by the World Carfree Network and is marked by celebrations and events around the world.  There aren’t any events going on locally, but I will be celebrating by riding my bike to work and encouraging others to do the same.

Richmond is a surprisingly bikeable city, and with the addition of some bike racks downtown it will be even more so.  There is definitely a lot of room to grow, but I am inspired by the small but growing bike community that is already a part of the city and the work that is being done to improve our local transportation plan to include bikes and pedestrians. We have a long way to go before we are a Portland, Or or Boulder, Co, but there is hope.

If you are local and would like to participate in making Richmond a more bike and pedestrian friendly community, attend the transportation meeting tonight at 7pm at the City Building.  The Planning department will be presenting the proposed long-term transportation plan to the Planning Commission.

What are ways you have found that your local community is friendly for getting around without a car?

What are ways you have found that your local community is NOT friendly for getting around without a car?

Bike Bag By Basil

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

DSC_3012I got a new pannier for my bike, and I am really impressed!  It is a gorgeous purple bag made by Basil that hooks right on my rack.  Basil is a great company from Nederland that sells trendy bike accessories that make biking so much more fun.

My bag is the Jada-Shopper XL.  It is adorable and water resistant and has bottle-bands, adjustable carrying straps, a large front zipper-pocket, side pockets, inner pockets, and side hooks that hide away in a zipper pouch when not on the bike. It is perfect for commuting to work or running to the market to pick up a few things.  Matt and I took it to the farmers market, and I was able to get a load of veggies and a box of donuts inside. The inner pockets are also quite nice and allow for slipping in my wallet and phone if I don’t need my whole purse.

I have another Basil bag in the same pattern, but it is not quite as spacious.  I struggled to fit my purse and lunch bag in it when I biked to work.  With the new bag, that won’t be a problem at all.  The adjustable cloth straps on the new bag also make it much more usable.  The old bag has stiff, narrow handles that are just barely long enough to fit over my shoulder and cut in if any significant weight was in the bag.

Another plus to my new bag is the look.  It looks nothing like a pannier.  Instead it looks like a stylish tote bag that I am not embarrassed to carry anywhere.  The purple pattern is subtle but attractive, and the material is flexible so it is easy to carry.  There are also subtle reflective strips on either side of the bag that provide visibility in low light, while not getting in the way of the design.  The zipper pouch also hides the rack hooks nicely, so I have no problem with the hooks digging into my side even with a heavy load. I can see myself using this bag both on and off the bike for a number of different activities, including trips to the gym, farmers market, grocery store, work, and my knitting group.

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I would recommend this bag to any female bike commuter looking for a versatile and attractive pannier.

New Commuting Routine

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

First bike ride of 2011 with my new super cute pannier!I have been trying some new things on my bike commute to work the past week, and it is working out pretty well so far.  I have started biking down US40, which is a four-lane main road, instead of taking Main Street.  While US40 has a lot more traffic, the hills are less steep, the extra lanes give cars space to safely pass me, and there aren’t parked cars lining the street blocking my view and boxing me in.  I have been afraid of riding on US40 in the past because of the heavier, faster moving traffic, but after riding it on the tandem a number of times, I realized its benefits outweigh the challenges.  It has gotten to the point where I dreaded my ride down Main Street knowing I would be climbing steep hills squeezed between a parked car and a car passing me with oncoming traffic.  I have also enjoyed the change of scenery.  The new route still has that spark of  novelty that makes it more interesting. (more…)

Metric Century

Monday, August 29th, 2011
Group before the ride started

Group before the ride

We Did It! Matt and I biked to Oxford, Ohio and back this weekend, and we reached the metric century mark on the way.  For those you who don’t know, and I didn’t until Matt told me, a metric century is 62 miles.  We actually did 67 miles total, and it was quite an experience.  Five of us set off from Mark’s house at 7:30 Saturday morning, and we reached the Oxford Farmer’s Market at 10:30am.  After a tour of the farmer’s market, a nice lunch, and a visit to the Oxford bike shop, we got back on the bikes around 12:30pm and rode back to Richmond.  Matt and I got home around 4:00pm. (more…)

Biking to Oxford

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
Photo from Reid Ride 2010

Photo from Reid Ride 2010

I am quite excited about this coming Saturday!

Matt and I are biking to Oxford, Ohio, with a group of friends, on our borrowed tandem.  It is approximately 60 miles round trip, and we will be visiting the Oxford Farmer’s Market and having a yummy lunch at one of the Indian restaurants.  We have been planning for this trip since the beginning of the summer, and we have been going out on long rides to get ourselves ready.  So far our longest ride is just over 30 miles, but I am told by local cyclist that if I can go 30, I can go 60.  Let’s hope they are right! (more…)

Hauling groceries on my new bike

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

2010-06-24 17.23.45With my new bike, I feel more capable of carrying things around town, and I decided to test it out last Thursday.  After work I brought home a box of cereal, Popsicles, a can of crushed tomatoes, and  a bag of frozen french fries, on top of my normal purse and lunch bag.  I don’t yet have panniers, so I had to stuff it all in my backpack.  Despite nearly not being able to zip my backpack closed, I didn’t have any trouble.

I didn’t even notice the added weight. This just would not have been possible with my purple bike. The basket upfront wouldn’t have had room for all those items, and if I had somehow fit it all in the added weight would have made steering difficult.  Just a another reason why, I LOVE MY NEW BIKE!

Now just to get some cute accessories!

I am putting this down as my “Carry a load on your bike — groceries, etc.” for Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games

I am also reading a fabulous book right now as part of “Read a book about cycling” for Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games.  I am reading “Along for the Ride” and I love it.  It is a great combination of a coming of age tale, romance, and bikes.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good readfor any reason and double recommend it  for anyone into biking.

Thanks for the recommendation Dottie