Monday, March 25, 2013

I just had to ride...

Lately, I've been a little impatient.  I just want to start the 30 days of biking. I'm very curious to see if I can bike everyday for 30 days.  Even when I plan to go out on the weekends, the plan falls through the cracks and I find myself wondering where the weekend went.

Today, after writing out some bills that have to be mailed in.  I was about to start looking for my shoes to go to the post office box in the corner when the thought hit me.  I don't have to be at work for another 2hrs. Surely I can get my new road bike and head out to the actual Post Office.  It's only 3.2 miles away, and there are two brutal 50ft climbs in the way.  One on the way there, and one on the way back (Reminds me of grandpa's story. "It was uphill! Both Ways!").  It's 50°F outside, with the wind blowing 10+ mph. Sure, I got this.

35 minutes later, I was home.  I was cold, my nose was red, my feet felt like they were frozen, but I felt great.  I biked 6.3 miles to drop off one letter.  It beats driving any day, and I even got my daily exercise done.

Next Monday, day 1 starts... I can't wait...

 Before you go off to see your regularly scheduled program, watch this short video.  Maybe you can join me for the 30 days in April.

As of 3/25 1:20 P.M.  I'm still the only one from San Antonio to do the 30 days of Biking pledge...

Be Safe and Be Green.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Weekend of Firsts

The ending weekend for this year's spring break contained all the excitement that should be carefully dosed out throughout the whole week. The two weekend days were simply filled with fun first time experiences for me.

Everything started, bright and early on Saturday morning.  Miss Adventure's friend was signed up to do the 2013 San Antonio Jailbreak along with her husband.  Unfortunately (or Fortunately, I can't figure this one out yet), her husband could not participate due to personal reasons.  Instead of forfeiting his event fee, she asked Miss Adventure if she wanted to go.  I got to attend as a result, as driver and photographer.  After Miss Adventure and her friend were off on their wave, I backtracked about a quarter of the course back from the end.  It was a ton of fun to see the participants from earlier waves go through the obstacles.  I particularly liked the awesome gigantic slide.

In Jail... Getting ready to Break Out!

I liked this guy's shirt.



Look! Ninja Turtles!

Master Chief was there!

The Cargo Net

I want to do this...

Hay Bale Pyramid Climb

Tire Wall

These guys ran the whole thing in suits... Suits in a Mudrun!

A big part of me can't wait to do a Mudrun of my own...

After the Jailbreak, I really wanted to go this month's Frankenbike.  The local bicycle swap meet.  It tends to be the best way to get gently used parts for your old rides.  This was the first time that I had gone to one of these.  I'd always wanted to check one out, but never really put the time aside to attend one.  I thoroughly enjoyed looking around.  Talking to the vendors.  Seeing old bikes that were looking for a fresh pair of legs to ride more miles.

I also took advantage that Frankenbike was hosted at my (not-so) local bike shop (but the one all of our bikes have been purchased from, more on that later) to take a look at their selection of road bikes.  I have been lusting for a road bike ever since Miss Adventure got her second one (That is a story for another blog post).  I was looking at the huge variety, not to mention prices.  I knew more or less what I wanted in a road bike without making it too expensive.  I was looking around when Miss Adventure taps me on the shoulder and said "if getting your own road bike will keep you from drooling in public. Go ahead and get it already."  Have I mentioned I love that woman?  Her words even took a saleslady that was passing by surprise. Most wives are out to keep their husbands from buying, yet another bike. Miss A. encouraged it.  I almost want to take the memory of that moment and frame it, in order to save it for prosperity.

After a short time looking, I decided on a Trek Madone 2.1. Choosing a bike was the easy part.  The sizing was a whole other thing.  I must have tried every single Madone 2.1 they had in the building.  After the fit was dialed just right, I had to wait for the mechanics to give it the once-over to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.  After twenty minutes, I got to take it for one last test ride to make sure this bike was the one (was it ever).  Fifteen more minutes of waiting so a couple minor add-ons were put on the bike (pedals, seat bag, bottle cages, etc.). I signed over my left kidney and the tip of my right pinky finger, and just like that,  I was the very proud owner of my very first road bike.
My very own 2013 Trek Madone 2.1
That was enough excitement for Saturday.

On Sunday, Miss Adventure woke up sore and bruised.  After having a delicious breakfast and vegging in front of the TV for about an hour.  She went to the bedroom, when she came back she was dressed in her cycling best and threw me my cycling shorts. "Alright, let's see what you are made of?  Let's get this pony on the road."  The second sentence she said as she stroked the seat on the new addition the family. Not long after we were headed to our quickly accessible country road for what was to be a 14 mile ride.  Miss Adventure didn't want to go too far, specially since she had just done the Jailbreak 24hrs earlier. My very first ride on my very first road bike.

The Madone performed beautifully.  The ride was a tad bumpier than I am costumed to, but what it lacked in general comfort, it more than made up in overall performance.  My average speed on a stretch of road we are both very familiar with on our bikes was at least 3mph faster.  And, we were taking it easy because Miss A. just didn't want to push it.  On our way back home, we took a Hill in the back of our neighborhood and I gave it my all.  My average uphill speed improved by 5.7 mph.  5.7 mph!  I was excited about the things I could accomplish with this bike. Hell, I'm still excited.

With all the excitement, when we got home, I pledged to do the 30 days of biking.

The pledge is simple in theory:
  1. Ride your bike everyday in April. The kind of bike, the destination, and the length of the ride are not important.  Walmart BSO around the block, cool.  Surly Long Haul Trucker out for a 145 mile ride, cool.  You are not home watching TV, or sitting in front of the computer looking at videos about cats in YouTube again.
  2. Share every single ride in Social Media.  Facebook and twitter are preferred.  Me? I got this blog. I will blogging every single ride on this blog.  Everyday.  1 ride = 1 post in this blog.
I was made aware of this by Lindsay from You ain't got Jack.  She did it last year, and the way she talked about her accomplishment was infectious.  I thought I would give it a try myself.  It would be a first.

I also have to admit that I like the main spirit behind this pledge.
"30 Days of Biking is not elitist. It is not a political statement. We don’t want you to worry about whether you have the right bike, or whether your butt looks good in spandex. We just want you out there, pedaling alongside our community, whether virtually or for real."
 Last but not least, on Monday (Yes I know Monday is not part of the weekend, but it's another first. Keep reading!) we began taking adult swimming lessons.  A first for me.  Miss Adventure is a natural swimmer.  Me, not so much.  I grew up in the mountains, we used to climb the hills for fun.  Going to a pool was more of a special treat, than a regular thing for my family when I was growing up. I know how to stay afloat and move around the pool with the doggy paddle.  It worked for me for 32 years, but Miss A. decided that I should be taken out of my comfort zone by throwing my own words back at me. "If we never challenge ourselves, we will never know what we are truly capable of." To be fair, that is not a quote of my creation, I read it in some inspirational poster.  The message, however, stayed with me.

Be Safe and Be Green

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March 2nd

With the first 60 days of the year done, I feel myself lagging a little bit behind.  I haven't put as many miles under my wheels as I would have liked, but I feel much better this far into the year than I did last year.  I'll be honest. I didn't get any bike rides done in January, but I did get 5 bike rides done in February for a grand total of 31.71 Miles.  That leaves me 468.29 short of my 500+ goal for the year.

A little part of me is a little disappointed that I only did a little under 32 miles in February, yet I feel good about the possibilities for this year.  Two of the trips in February was me going to work and coming back from work.  The first commute is done. The hurdle has been jumped. The cat is out of the proverbial bag. I know it's do-able. I biked to work and I didn't feel particularly fatigued ,tired, or lacking concentration. For the remainder of the week, I had a sense of accomplishment.  Sadly, the weather has taken a cold turn around this parts, and I am not yet acclimated to riding in anything bellow 50 degrees.  It's warming up though...  and warmer weather brings me and other cyclists to the roads.

2013 Mile total: 31.71 Miles

Be Safe and Be Green.