That worked ok, y’know? One of those spur-o-the-moment thoughts that I just had to honor. Ride every day in February. No mileage goal. Just the promise of putting the butt on the saddle every day - even if it was 11:45 pm and I twiddled around the block. Lots of specific, internal reasons for that, but mostly to break some habits of inaction which were hardening and regain facility with going from work to ride within 10 minutes.
Getting back to the practice.
February Mileage: 358 miles
Bike Mileage through February: 554 miles
Just one of those stupid spur of the moment ideas. One of those choices of chance designed to spur not a specific outcome but a change of habit. Maybe a change of base assumptions or a re-approach to a way of working. You have to trust impulses now and again. Give into chance and honor slightly harebrained schemes or you sink into a slightly musty and dour sameness.
I’ve mentioned before that the body is lazy. Works just enough to make itself strong enough to deal with the daily stress it encounters. You dig ditches? You push paper? You make verbal sense of things over a microphone? You do 6 sets of free weight bench presses every other day. If the stress remains the same on a consistent basis, you form against it and the unneeded bits wither and die.
Basically, you take a “set”. Strong and resilient in one direction only, while that which supports you becomes a bit frail.
I think the brain is the same way buoy get lulled into a way of approaching things. The rote approach. So how do you shake tho be up enough to keep it vital. To keep your brain engaged and always asking “what’s next?”
It’s why we take a trail we’ve never ridden, or put together a bike in a different way. Deep down we know that we remain alive and vibrant only when we shake things up a bit.
Which is more or less why, on the second of this month, as I rode for the second day straight, it seemed obvious to pull a 28-dayer. Ride once each day for every day in February. No mileage goal. Just on a bike for a bit, with any distance acceptable. (Though since the levee gate is a mile away, and that’s always been my de facto log-a-ride ride, let’s say two miles on a ride will be the minimum…)
There’s certainly precedent for this - the whole April = 30DaysOfBiking meme which popped up a few years ago. I did it then and it’s a nice excuse to get out and ride when things are warming up and spring is in the air. Maybe it is cheating to use a shorter month, but then again, February weather can be varied.
But, that is really starting to parse the whole idea a little too much.
Fact: I have not been riding enough. Fact: I’m out of the habit of daily commuting/riding (being as my commute is generally under the roof of the same structure), and as I mentioned recently, this is forcing me to relearn the habit of how to get out of the house quickly.
It’s probably just the way my brain folds, but that’s what I’m doing this month.
A more elegant solution has been teed up by MG o’er at Chasing Mailboxes D.C. She has opened up the 2013 Errandonee, beginning this weekend on Saturday, February 9th. Wander yonder to get more info, but with a bit more panache and formality than my little endeavour, MG has tasks and destinations to be covered and logged, along with a small bit of paperwork to include.
First off, let me say that it’s nice to have a January with mileage. Last year was zero nada zilch bupkiss zippo for me. And I’ll just bypass the whole issue of what weather wimps we in California actually are.
Since I’m actually posting this on February 1st, I can at least state that I’m one-for-one in my suddenly determined quest to ride 28 days in February. A short errand for the first time in about a week, and it would seem that I didn’t forget how to ride a bicycle in the meantime.
Actually, January was going well, but we had a short, sharp little bug rumble through the house last week. Enough to keep me reasonably horizontal when I wasn’t on task with projects, which seemed to suck all of the excess energy up for last weekend and this week. Ahhh well, back on the bike just in time for a warming trend.
Anyway - didn’t quite notch 200, and only was on the bike 11 times. But, that’s out of a “true” 21 possible, so was within the one-outta-three days warning range.
11 ride days
Longest ride: 38 miles
YTD = 196
Numbers don’t lie:
2009 mileage - 4131
2010 mileage - 3868
2111 mileage - 3107
2012 mileage - 2273
Clearly, a downward trend is involved in that data.
But, I’m OK with that.
In fact, it was a good year. I knew it was going to be a tricky one - relentlessly long hours in January prevented any riding - my first “ride free” month in memory. It took a couple weeks after that before I even had the gumption to be active again. As spring arrived, the highest goal was to stay healthy so I could be available for voice work. Since that directive was not in keeping with any kind of Belgian Spring Mileage, long rides in the rains were not really in the cards. Lower general mileage meant that I was not really in any kind of shape for Brevets, Fondo riding, Centuries or even Populaires - all of which tend to drop a decent chunk of distance into any type of ride log. Lastly, I couldn’t rely upon the cheap mileage of a commute to work - since my commute no longer included any “outside” distance. (And while voice acting tends to emphasize a certain amount of personality, that wouldn’t necessarily include showing up hot, sweaty and out of breath to a gig.)
All of which probably sound like rationalizations and excuses.
One thing I needed to relearn was how to commit the act of riding - since I didn’t just automatically log some back and forth to work miles every day, I needed to realize when I had the gap to go - send off the auditions and log off the computer and be on the bike in 5 minutes. It’s certainly a skill set which I used to possess - there were times when I had to drive 45 minutes each way to work, and was one of “those guys” whose bike was locked to the roof rack in the parking lot, bag o’ bike gear in the back seat, with plans to be late one the way home after a road loop or a little trail work.
It was also a little easier when my work environment had more infrastructure. I could hide in the office after a weekend of long, hard mileage, limping through orders and inventory reports, doing my job but not having to find new clients, think about marketing, continue to develop and refine my brand, chase down overdue accounts and some of the things which being a self-employed creative “solo-preneur” demand on a daily basis.
But, I did end up with 104 separate rides last year. About one every three days. More if you figure that I didn’t ride for two out of twelve months (September was kind of lost when I took a tumble and tweaked my ribs). I find that a decent average for maintenance level riding. I know I lost some oomph here and there, but things basically feel pretty good when I get out. Well, now anyway…
Post-September was the roughest. Low miles. Injury. General life stuff which drags you down. The first few rides at that point of this year, things just felt bad. Then worse. Then even worse. I was riding just enough so that each ride felt harder and more labored than the last. But, you just keep pulling back on the controls and know that you can come out of the dive.
The Quickbeam was both tough and kind at this point. A fixed gear setup will not lead you on with false hopes or pretense. Cruising the flats a 16 mph one week, then 17, then 18, then finally feeling a bit lively here and there. Finding enough moxie to accelerate into a short climb. Starting to be comfortable with two hours of spinning.
Yep. I’m still very much finding the need to work my way up pitches and bits that easily sailed past a year or so ago. But, I’m out, cleaning the muck out of the foundation. Signed up for the Fondo a couple days ago, so optimism is not my issue.
Awoke to the tailings of rain today and had to dig out the Grundens for the morning dog walk. But, by midday, sunlight seriously poked its way through and the ground had mostly dried. So, I chanced it and rolled out on the only non-mtb bike that I own which is currently rigged fenderless, the A. Homer Hilsen, to claim the second Utilitaire 12 Controlle Stamp of this week.
Within a mile of home, I was seriously doubting my choice - a couple heavy clouds loomed over the hills and the wind was picking up in a way that foretold more rain. But, the Zeus has some invisible foreign object stuck in the front tire and had come up lame, and it felt good to utilize the invention which allowed me to cease pedaling when I felt like it. The other two options - the Dawes which I’d used for the first Controlle Stamp, and the Quickbeam - are both fixed.
Of course as I turned on the first leg of the route, it became clear that the whole “coastable” thing was going to be largely unused. The winds continued to pick up and any attempt to stop pedaling seemed to result in a seriously sharp decline in speed. The good news being that the darkish clouds were quickly dissipating. By the time I got to the Post Office, it was clear that my only issue would be winds. The winds did sharpen further, but it also scrubbed the sky of clouds. It did seem a wee brisk, but one thing you don’t really get to do in California is complain about the cold.
Now, the sharp-eyed among you probably have noticed that “Post Office” is not on the Utilitaire 12 Control Card. In fact, I was angling for Controlle #6 - “Any Store That Is Not The Grocery Store” (I mean, since “drop in on your cool guitar-making woodworker friend and catch up a bit” is also not on the Control Card…). 14 cheap miles on the route.
Of course, up until now, I have complied with the rules of the Utilitaire 12. In order to maintain the Spirit of the Utilitaire 12, however, there may be some deviation ahead… we shall see.
Today’s lesson is the observation of how much my cycling aesthetic has changed. It was briefly ponder-inducing that I was riding a bicycle with no fenders. Seemed odd and wrong.
About a month ago, MG over at ChasingMailboxes outlined a fun early season challenge - the Utilitaire 12. Unfortunately, that was in the final days of my all-encompassing work project, and the energy/time for reading anything outside of the immediate scope of “need-to’s” was nonexistent.
As I’ve slowly righted myself and trimmed the sails this month, the hash tag #Utilitaire kept popping up, and I finally got around to catching up on the excellent writing which MG shares on her blog. If you work the math and follow the instructions, you’ll realize that I have about two weeks to do 12 rides at the rate of 2 per week. I’ll admit, I was not a math major, but I’m pretty sure that’s a tough trick to pull off using standard numbers.
Which means the gang is well up the road and I’m just rolling away from the start. Nothing to do but smile and wave, smell the flowers, lean into the headwind and see what comes of it.
Anyway, here’s my first official Utilitaire 12 Controlle Stop:
According to the rules of the Utilitaire 12, I need to document the ride with a photograph (above) and confirm with an informational/observational insight:
As I’ve mentioned before, any month with a decent ride in it will look good. So, June ended up OK, even with some non-cycling weekends and some schedule-shifting. The best news of the month was that I rode the San Francisco Randonneurs “Populaire” - which is something of a low-mileage (for brevets, anyway…) route designed to introduce new riders to the quirks and procedures of route sheets, controls and brevet cards. I took a few photos, but scratched the writeup, as I crossed paths with JimG a mile or two into the ride and we spent most of the route catching up and each apologizing to the other for a perceived lack of fitness. It was a great, grand, reinvigorating ride for me, but it just didn’t translate too well into the written word.
Yoga was sparse this past month - I had signed up for a high-value voiceover workshop that directly conflicted for four weeks - the workshop was great, challenging and helpful for my career, but you can’t be in two places at once. Well, at this juncture in the space-time continuim anyway.
So - 20 riding days for 369 miles
5 yoga sessions (snuck in a Saturday session instead of a ride).
Bikey Miles So Far This Year - 1755
April was a fun exercise in forced efforts. Though, when I’m jumping on the bike at 11 o’clock at night to spin a 3 mile loop around the neighborhood so I can state that “I rode today”, the forced part resonates a bit more loudly. Which is not an indictment, mind you. A bit more of a description.
In fact, I’m a big fan of repetition and limitation. Glimpsing perfection within the form. Certainly, forms abound. From the idea of chopping wood and carrying water, to the sun salutation, to the grinding out of 200 kilometes in 13.5 hours (or, since this is a Paris-Brest-Paris year, 1200 km in 90 hours), once you agree to the Form, there’s no arguing with it. Within that, there is a certain amount of liberation, which in turn allows supreme focus upon a goal.
Limitation? Wow, that can be a touchy subject. With technology continuing to connect and compound itself, the last thing anyone wants to hear is anything about Limitation. My bias is that when everything is possible and the possibilities are limitless, that causes the most teeth-jarring stop of anything approaching creativity. We become aggregators rather than artists. Choosing the Limits, or agreeing to those Limits, forces creativity to spark.
Kind of big subjects for what was to be a simple and quick post with some numbers. Chalk it up to strong coffee and the burgeoning warmth of June…
20 (organic) bike rides
8 yoga sessions
321 Bike Miles
Bikey Miles So Far in 2011 - 1386
April went well. (But, here we are a week into May before I’m writing about it…)
Spurred on by a mention by the always upbeat and inspiring Harry Hugel, and a mention or two from cycling icon Kent Peterson, I poached the 30DaysOfBiking Challenge and decided to ride every day in April. The distance per ride was immaterial, according to the guidelines of the ride, and I had to slip under the rope because I tried to sign up on April 1st - after doing my first ride - but the site would not let me join.
Ended up going 30 for 30, one day at a time, with only a few 11 pm neighborhood loops in the mix. There were a couple of times when my legs just wanted to shut up and go home, but I either tricked them with the fixed gear (they just had to follow the pedals) or the promise of lower gearing and coastability (”No, really. You can rest whenever you want!”)
By month end, it just seemed like the normal thing to do. Made me realize that it was probably the longest string of riding I’ve ever managed. It’s always very easy to opt out for the day - working remotely, or having too many things to do. But, even with all that, throwing the leg over the frame and heading out - whether under the stars and through the nighttime breezes, or greeting the rising sun - put that perfect note into the sometimes overwhelming cacophony of the day. There were some days when I really needed it, too.
The tally was helped, and maybe this year can be propped up into the 5K realm after what I knew was going to be a challenging start. Nevertheless, I’ve learned again that one ride, right now is what matters.
April Bikey Mileage - 467 miles 30 Days for 30 (and reading ahead, went 5 for 5 in May.)
Only manged 6 yoga sessions - instructor was out one week.
2011 Mileage So Far - 1065
A dismal success?
I don’t know, that’s what it felt like this past month. Dismal in the beginning, successful towards the end. As mentioned last month, I knew that Jan/Feb were going to be impossible for free time and energy. Mentally ready for a slowish start to the year, the nasty flu/infection kind of blindsided me. In the last week of February, it felt like a cold coming on, then just rooted itself into my brain and ate all of my energy. A solid three weeks of no extra energy and certainly no riding.
And the weather helped by remained cold and rainy for most of it. Which I guess is not as bad as looking out the window at gorgeous riding conditions. But, to paraphrase my old rowing coach, “…cycling is an outdoor sport” and since most of my bikes are rigged appropriately for changing conditions, it’s really hard to say that there’s “riding weather”. There’s glorious and easy days out in the sun and there’s hard and challenging days which make for great stories. But I digress…
The first week riding, I was pretty wiped out after four easyish commutes, and opted for naps and recovery on the weekend., and then, with the first day of spring, strung together a consistent run except for one day when I needed to be behind the mic in the middle of the day. The second half of the month I rode 14 days out of 18, managed to get back to my yoga classes and in general came back to life. And just to show how much Nature appreciated that, she even deigned to bring the sun out with Monday’s ride.
By the end of the week, I engaged in two rides whilst wearing shorts. While shocking and unsettling to any onlookers who may have observed the pallor of my gams, it nonetheless felt grand.
March Mileage - 184
2011 Bikey Miles - 598
Rolled out to work yesterday on the Dawes. First time in three weeks, in what has shaped up to be a pretty spotty year so far, mileage-wise. It’s been riding in more or less two week chunks. First couple o’ weeks this year were steady if unspectacular, but then I got immersed in an off-site work project (that I knew was looming) for a solid 2 weeks. That meant that January Mileage got hung at 165 miles
February was a bit more regular - nothing huge (longest ride was 44 miles on the Quickbeam). But illness went ripping through the workplace and I could feel things heading south towards the end of the month. It came on like a slow cold, but ended up being a nastier bug which just wouldn’t leave. Couldn’t even muster up the energy to go to yoga, and the idea of riding seemed like a cruel joke. (And of course, we enjoyed some ridiculously fine weekends in there…) February Mileage was 249 with dwindling returns as the month wound down.
And that has more or less kept me in the cycling doldrums until yesterday, when it seemed right to roll out again. The Dawes seemed the right ride as it was geared a little lower than the Quickbeam, and the Hilsen (for some reason of deferred maintenance or attention) has not had the fenders remounted on it for some time now. To my surprise, the commute went easily, and my legs seemed to actually appreciate being called upon once again. (Nothing like crampy, why-the-hell-don’t-you-take-us-riding? night legs while you are trying to sleep while coughing with a sinus infection…).
Lastly, it’s very hard to even begin to complain about all of this while reading and watching what is unfolding in Japan. I’ll ride in again slowly this morning, thinking about the power and intensity of the tide surging into the San Francisco Bay - an ocean away from the epicenter - how tenuous our grasp always is on this planet, on our very important but infinitesimal existence, how we so often manage to create problems for ourselves with such far-reaching effects, how we allow discussions to devolve into petty squabbles which do nothing other than confuse the issues.
I hope I’ll think about those things and find a core of resilience. The simple act of turning the pedals seems to simplify things, remind me that great distances can be covered with seemingly small but steady efforts. We’ll see how it goes today.
December went out like a jellyfish. Busier than heck with one work project (which will be continuing through this month), some nice VO bookings and rain/recouping on the weekends kept the December (oh yeah! December…. there were some holiday things in there, too.) ride total to precisely 100 miles.
Not specifically complaining, as it has been a pretty good and steady run this past year, without the severe dips caused by overdoing things and then having to pay the price, healthwise. One curious anomaly was that I actually attended up attending more yoga classes in December than getting rides.
Another curious bit of statistical coincidence was that I rode 185 days out of the 365 last year and hit exactly the same number of rides in 2010.
December bikey miles - 100
2010 Total Bike Mileage - 3,868
I’m fine with that total. Didn’t get hit this year. Didn’t stress at not hitting the 4K mark (a semi-goal for the year). Down a bit from the 4,131 last year, but considering the increase in time demands, quite within reason.
One thing that has occurred to me is what a gift it is to be able to easily and regularly commute by bicycle. My current work project has me running about 35 miles one way to where I need to be - a rideable distance, but a big logistical change from my normal distance. I may have to go back to “going for a ride” before or after. It’s been a while since I had to do that, and the habits, steps and momentum needed to get kitted up and out the door are a bit rusty. Something to work on in the new (well, current) year.
Managed to miss the Grand Opening of the Cal Park Tunnel, but did get to ride through it yesterday.
1100 feet of crisp and clean tunnel retrofit yummyness.
Decent mileage finally. Nothing wow-inducing, certainly. Just a nice solid month with regular rides. The thing I was most happy with was notching 319 with minimal longer rides. The longest loop was around 45 miles mid-month. On the downside, that means that I haven’t ridden “long” in a while - hmmm…. quite a while… - but it means that I ended up riding 21 days out of 30. Consistency is a good thing.
It hurt a bit, too. A little stiffer here and there and a few muscle aches. Regular riding puts a bit different stress on the system, and I’m still screaming home on the commute at a pretty good clip most nights. (That whole shorter ride/higher effort thing.) I’m feeling better when I do have to go for more throttle. But, then one weekend of marginal weather, I just couldn’t raise the gumption to go a-ridin’. Had to honor that, too. Yoga still keeping things loose and restored.
Also wore my last Pasela down to the threads - which I only realized by flatting while on a lunchtime errand. Danged fenders tend to obscure the visual check. But, I do like wearing stuff out.
Bikey Miles in 2010 so far: 3768
Seemed like a meager bit o’ mileage this month of October, but there were a lot of other things going on.
First of all, in the non-bicycling world (unless you want to hire me to voice your cycling film, ad or cartoon…) of voiceover, I’m officially represented by Stars Agency, San Francisco. This is a good thing, and already led to a couple of video game jobs during the month. But, back to mileage.
14 rides, but reasonably clumped, so it felt like a fair bit of downtime. September was the lowest month this year at 223 miles, with some healthy gaps when I wasn’t quite 100% and work had me running around a bit. October pulled us out of the dive, with a total of 252 miles. (And this month - since I’m actually making this post in nearly mid-November - has gone well, with 11 rides for the first 13 days and mileage around 180). Through it all, I’ve managed to stay consistent with yoga, which has helped noticeably.
Been back on the Quickbeam almost exclusively (though the Zeus came out for some shorter commute days) - don’t know why precisely, other than the wondrous simplicity of jumping on and riding, and the push that it seems to give back when on a hill or upon reaching a certain speed on the flats. Something nice about a simple system.
Anyway, so as not to belabor the point -
Bikey Miles so far this year - 3449
Woke up this morning with a chromatic aberration above my eye, which, for some reason last night, I chose to test the structural integrity of the kitchen door frame, whilst wending my way to bed under IFR. While it is a salient point that we’d moved the remote phone, so its LED now glows from the table in one room rather than the desk in the other, it was definitely pilot error, which resulted in a gloriously hollow, teeth-clacking moment. So, I fell asleep last night with an icepack held to my face, which seems to have mitigated the effects a bit. Maybe I need a blog entry tag for “Great Moments in Cleverness”…
Whether the blow to the head or some other feeling of sloth overcoming momentum, I’m going to catch up a bit here. The last mileage entry was June, which isn’t precisely up-to-date. (Now, I did make a July entry, but managed to not be saving and nicked the wrong button near the end, obliterating the text. As I’ve been in dang-izzit-that-late-already? mode for the last few months, it didn’t get restated and this writing venue subsequently languished.) I’ve already mumbled and shuffled my way through a bit of an explanation here, so if such things are important or of interest, I’ll wait while you pop over there (and hopefully back.)
Rather than try to recreate the missing entries, with appropriate insights and observations, here are the numbers:
15 Riding Days - 307 miles - YTD mileage: 2598
17 Riding Days - 376 miles - YTD mileage: 2974
13 Riding Days - 223 miles - YTD mileage: 3197
Yoga sessions have been pretty consistent throughout - twice a week with a great teacher, and I’m finding that the odd shoulder soreness has lessened steadily.
It’s been a bit frustrating as mileage has been pretty hard to come by for the past few months - a number of weekend VO workshops chipped into longer rides in good weather, and invocation of the Costanza Rule had me resting when I felt iffy and overstressed. And, though I hate to admit it, that’s worked. The other thing is that I’ve been trying to consciously ride harder now and again. Ok…it’s actually been more like - “Oh crap! I’m still at work and supposed to be home now….” induced speed work. I also have been doing a bit more hiking again, which has been pretty cool.
One frustration is that I don’t think I’ll manage a cross campaign this fall - some light trotting but nothing at race pace and I haven’t even pulled the fenders off the Quickbeam (though I have been skimming some trails in fixed gear mode.) Still, there is a lightly used set of CX tires on the pile in the garage, so you never know….
On the other hand, I did get to engage in the silly-fun practice of indoor sky-diving…
Which was actually much more fun than it looks like.
Decent month with relatively steady riding. Regular commute miles, a nice loop while on vacation and three “plus 50’s” on the Quickbeam (a 53, 72 and 61 to be precise), so I’m starting to get a few longer rides into the portfolio. All of this with a couple of wacky (return from vacation panic and others out on their vacation short handedness) weeks, so it felt like a good solid month.
Although for some reason June always seems to run well. Though this June felt like the first “real” riding month, for some reason. I expect it has something to do with the atypical spring rains we enjoyed this year, along with mostly cool (for us) weather). Still, cycling is an outdoor sport and it’s not as if I’m going to melt… But, I’ve had no cause to consider removing the fenders from the Quickbeam until this week.
I’ve also upped my yoga intake a little bit, as our instructor has added a Saturday class. Since a few folks had emailed me privately, I’ll mention that it isn’t a strict practice of any school or style. Our instructor comes from a basis of Iyengar yoga, but she really incorporates other ideas as well. When it’s going well, it goes as an hour-plus moving mediation, holding poses fairly long and (after now a year and a bit of classes) reasonably deeply. All while breathing and keeping focused.
The deep postures and longer holding thereof seems to be noticeable when back riding. It feels like I’ve got more reserves, particularly in the core and shoulders, which are two of those areas underutilized by cycling.
It was interesting to read a recent post by Grant P. over on the Rivblog. Despite my enjoyment of cycling, I also realize that in terms of working the body, it does certain things very well, and a few things not at all. Of course, the body is a very, very lazy machine, in that it will adapt itself just enough to deal with the stresses which is put upon it. Some riders cover only smooth, long road miles, so that even a few hundred yards of rough-n-bumpy unpaved terrain will impact them. More commonly, most riders exert right in that middle area of developed comfort - holding that ingrained cadence in a habitual gear over known topography - never really under-doing it and never actually stressing the system.
What’s been interesting is that the yoga has reminded me of this - again, thanks to such a gifted teacher - as we hold poses into the point of discomfort and stressing of the muscles, we follow that with a restorative pose and action. Quite literally, we throw it out of gear and totally relax. As with Grant’s observations, it surprises me sometimes how little it takes to really get you sweating and have your muscles burning. Just body weight and the right position.
I’m not quite sure how I’m going to tie those observations off. It isn’t like I’m suddenly dropping everyone on the hills and leaving them gasping in my wake. It’s just that the little crux moves I’ve needed on the trails have come more easily, and my spine and shoulders seem to hold a better position on the ends of longer rides. Good stuff and I do think it’s directly related to the steady application of “something else” - in this case, a regular helping of yoga.
So, back to the numbers - 19 rides, 9 yoga sessions (missed 3 due to vacation) for 442 miles.
Bikey Miles so
far in 2010 - 2291
Even with a fairly meh amount of miles this month, I feel pretty good about it. Had some good, steady rides despite the fact that the spring weather has been stuck in it’s end-of-winter gear (yeah, yeah… it’s a “California” Winter…). Commuted regularly. Lost two weekends of decent riding conditions to engineering at some voiceover workshops, then a full week when my wife and I got suddenly pounded by a nasty little cold. (She got the worst of it - I just had a few days of bongo and cellophane ears, with the accompanying lack-of-wanting-to-do-anything energy malaise.)
It was also kind of a crappy month, as we started it by saying goodbye to our dog Hula, who moved on back on the 3rd. I have a rough outline of her story, but haven’t managed to make it readable yet. More tough news from a couple of friends are dealing with some reasonably heavy stuff, and that always is tough to watch happen. They are good, strong people. But, that doesn’t make it easier for them while it unfolds. Makes you pause. Well, it makes me pause. Look around. Try to lose the unnecessary stuff. Hone what you can, and let those whom you hold dear know why they are important.
Y’know, y’never know…
This was supposed to be about riding, right?
Riding. Life. All intermingled and important. Riding the momentum of actions which we set in motion. A curiously simple and complex mechanism.
Managed 15 days riding this month, with a couple “Rides of Accomplishment” (i.e. those which left me happily drowsy on the couch afterwards. So, May ended up with 354 miles ridden, and I snuck into 8 yoga sessions. No one thanked me for riding with fenders for the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, which thereby guaranteed a gloriously sunny and wonderfully weathered day. Things finished off with a good momentum.
Here’s to momentum.
Ahhh… you know it’s bad if I haven’t managed to put up this post until the second week in May. Oh well.
Actually had an OK number of rides, but nothing of any stantial distance. There was a 61 mile loop stuck in there on the Quickbeam mid-month (with the mother of all leg cramps…), but there were also some worn down and bleah-gaps (y’know “I Got Them Worn Down And Bleah Blues” could be a decent title for a song…). Had to focus for a nice VO gig late in the month, and since I went into that weekend feeling tuckered and worn, I figured that riding would wait. In short, I started kind of weak and finished with a whimper as far as riding went. So, there ya go.
We also had to put Hula down. Technically, that happened this month, and I’ll probably write a bit about her in more detail. But, she was just pulling in and running down through the month of April. Sad. But, time. And given the choice between riding or curling up with her on the couch, I must say, I opted for the latter.
Again, yoga helped a bit. Was good on those days for stretching out the stress and sadness. Was good because our phenomenal instructor added another session we can attend each week. Had 10 days this last month. Had a nice VO radio gig and television gig, then finished the month booking an eLearning program. Snuck in 16 riding days, and garnered 282 miles, sneaking in a few more trail rides, so that pushed down the mileage a bit, too. Mostly commutes, and those seemed to be the most direct commutes in memory, for the most part.
Bikey Miles So Far in 2009 -
After starting with a bit of a light week, this month turned out OK. Stayed healthy, got some reasonably regular commuting in with steady but not overwhelming weekend loops. Also managed to ride a bunch of different bicycles over at RBWHQ&L, which was cool, but not included in the mileage count.
Ended up the month by riding home in a reasonably chilly storm tonight which made me wish I’d taken the moment to don gloves before starting. By the time I reached home, my hands had just about taken a “set”.Snuck in 19 riding days this month, with three 50+ loops. (Of course, the cool kids were out on the SFR 400km last weekend - whew!) Also got in a couple of nice singletrack adventures (on the smooth-tired Hilsen), which made me realize both why I like that bike and how much fun mixing things up can be. This put
My brother’s tour of world book domination for - Cheesemonger,
A Life on the Wedge continues this month, with a loop up to the Seattle and Bellingham Washington areas - events listing yonder. If you live up that way and enjoy the odd cheese now and again, punk rock, food politics or worker-owned co-ops (or just want to hear him speak and get free cheese), check it out.
Bikey Miles so
far in 2010 - 1213
A wacky, wacky month, schedule-wise. Covering some other’s vacation scheudules at work, voiceover work and classes, family stuff and making sure the little dog had someone at home when she needed to go out all conspired to distract me from riding.
I’d grump about the weather, but that was really only an issue for a couple of the days - when the aforementioned things had me worn down enough that I could tell riding through a downpour to work in an unheated back room was not the brightest move. And all of that sounds much more negative than things have been - they’ve just been busy, and busy is good.
Rode only 12 days this month, and nothing of note, distance-wise, so the February mileage notched in at 286. Got in 7 yoga sessions, which have continued to feel better each time. And there were a few days when it felt like honest-to-goodness spring weather. The hills are green and it’s that wonderful time of year when everything is scrubbed and promising.
The coolest thing was getting a chance to see my brother speak over at Books, Inc. in Berkeley for the launch of his book - Cheesemonger, A Life on the Wedge. Good turnout, great cheese and fun to hear him read and comment on cheese, punk rock and worker-owned coop business models in a public forum. (There are other readings around the Bay Area, and he’ll be heading up to Portland later this month - events listing yonder.)
Bikey Miles so
far in 2010 - 790