Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sleet/Freezing Rain/Cold Rain

The weather threw a whole lot of yuckiness at me today, but I did my hour and rode every day in November. Now, there are only 4 more days to hit 60/60 and I can go back to being a normal person and hide under the duvet on days like this! Well, I'll probably ride some days like this because I'm a little crazy that way, but I won't feel quite so driven until the next challenge.

Jeff opted not to ride today, but ran out into the sleet to add a little Pro Link to my poor chain and then remained ready to rescue me with the truck if needed.

Here are the stats!

After my ride today, Jeff and I went to an open farm day at an alpaca farm owned by a couple of cyclists and met up with my riding friend Lynn there as well. It was raining buckets, but we had fun seeing the alpacas and doing a little shopping for warm, soft alpaca gloves.

From there we went to Providence Bicycle where we got Shine booties and lobster gloves for each of us! We asked the shop to hold some AmFib tights for Jeff when they come in the next shipment. When we get those, he can be dressed as warmly as me on our rides. I still need some new tires, but will have to go to another shop to find the ones I want. I'm going to get the same ones I've been using, Bontrager Race X-Lite. I've had no flats and I've been riding this set since August, 2007.

We celebrated my month of rides with dinner out at Carrabba's with no consideration given to calories! I didn't have a cupcake, but we shared a huge dessert that I would describe as something like tiramisu made with brownies. That should give me energy for the next 4 days of riding, at least!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stats Update

I rode 7 days this week and 245.48 miles. (Jeff was on vacation this week and did 5 days of riding and 192.48 miles! That's *huge* considering he hasn't been riding much this year and I am so proud of him!)

I haven't been writing about my effort to ride 1,000 miles in November for fear of jinxing myself, but it probably wasn't much of a secret! I managed to reach 1,013.36 miles on today's ride. Tomorrow is the last ride of the 30/30 challenge and those miles will be 'icing on the cake'. Ummm...cake! Maybe I should have a celebratory cupcake tomorrow =)

After tomorrow, I'll keep riding for 4 more days to reach 60/60. I'm SO close now!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wednesday Night Lights

I finally heard about a weekly cx training race not too far from home...just as it's wrapping up for the season! Jeff and I drove over to *watch* tonight and ring some cowbells and see what it was like. There were quite a few people there and it was fun under the lights!
Lining up at the start:

Riding toward a run up:

One set of barriers:

These people really earned an extra slice of pie at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I couldn't do my usual sort of road ride today with all the rain, deep puddles and car drivers not expecting bikes to be out there. But, I didn't quit! I drove my mountain bike over to the East Bay Bike Path and did a very, very slow ride, getting a total time of 1:01 just to check the box for the 30/30 challenge.

The picture shows a pretty section of the path which follows an old rail bed. I eventually got soaked, but going at a snail's pace kept the splashing to a minimum.

After such an easy ride today, I should feel energized for the last 5 days of the 30/30 and am still hoping to reach the 60/60 milestone.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ninja Jeff

In these pics, we were just heading out on our ride to meet Lynn and the temp was about 26F. As this was Jeff's coldest ride this season, I think he was in shock at this point!

The bright sun helps make you feel good despite the cold and we warmed up as we pedaled. This is a view I love along the bird sanctuary land where you can see a bit of 3rd Beach straight ahead and the sea out by 2nd Beach all along the horizon to the right.

The wind was from the west, which is my preferred direction for local rides. It somehow doesn't hurt as much as the other directions! We did 41.03 miles in all.

We have a stretch of 40+ degree days in the forecast and it is such a relief! I don't even mind the chance of rain, I'm just so happy for the warm up!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Time flies this time of year...

It's time for another weekly wrap up post!

The weather is definitely adding some hardship to the 30/30 challenge, with below normal temperatures and a lot of wind. It's felt more like January than November! Still, I rode 7 days and another record week for me of 265.16 miles.

A plumbing emergency this morning meant someone had to stay home to be here for the service guy. Jeff stayed home and sent me out on the bike to stick with the 30/30 challenge. Fortunately, he has a week of riding ahead of him during his Thanksgiving vacation. I just hope the weather doesn't get too bad! The forecast is showing possible rain/snow showers Tuesday through Thursday! (Remember the Weather Underground link is at the bottom of this page, if you want to see what I'm trying to ride in!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cold Enough For Ice

I keep forgetting that shiny pavement is ICE this time of year! Fortunately I haven't skidded!

I was so happy to have company today on the coldest ride so far this season. Lynn had emailed me last night to say she'd meet me. It makes such a difference to have company.

Yesterday, I did a solo ride and the temperature was a comparably balmy 37-40F with winds between 12-20 mph. It seemed like a hard ride!

Today, the temperature ranged from 29-33F (though the wind chill was 18-25) and the wind was 8-19 mph, but it seemed easier than yesterday. It must be the occasional chatting that helps, along with the chance for drafting.

Do I really look like this?! Ack! I'm hesitant to post this photo, but it explains why my two dogs are freaked out when I've got all my gear on! I was braced in the wind, taking a moment to collect myself for the bash into the wind the rest of the way home.

I am wearing a balaclava AND a skully! I have a heavy jersey, Barrier jacket and the yellow shell on top. It's a wonder I can move at all really. I had thermal fleece tights over shorts, wool socks and the Calientoes over my shoes. Oh, gloves too, of course. The trick is to get all that on and get out of the house before I start to overheat! Then, I need to ride enough to make all that process of getting dressed worth the effort! I was actually comfortably warm today.

My dog Silas, didn't want to pose for a pic with me even after I took the balaclava off. He was still looking all around in case that was someone else, I guess!

Saffy wasn't nervous anymore, but apparently thought she had better things to do on the other side of the yard, then pose for a pic.

So, I still have 11 more days for the November 30 days of riding challenge and a few more to hit 60 days in all. The good news is that Jeff is taking the week of Thanksgiving off work and will be available to ride with me every day! I hope he's as excited about that as I am =)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seaweed Slog

Jeff and I took the road bikes out today and ran into Lynn by chance and the 3 of us rode out Ocean Drive and back. A storm had blown through in the night and it was still windy and the sea was wild looking. There were a lot of wave watchers at Brenton Point.

The sea had tossed lots of small rocks and seaweed onto the road along one stretch and we opted to carry our bikes to keep them out of the salt and slimy seaweed.

Just one more shot of the sea as I carried my bike over my shoulder.

We did 41.84 miles today. I'm looking forward to meeting Lynn for a ride tomorrow. Having company really helps to motivate me!

(I know I'm a little silly for logging all my miles, but it is one way I keep motivated. I started keeping track on July 25, 2006 and today crossed 10,000 miles!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Half Way!

Jeff and I did our ride as soon as it was light enough this morning around 7, hoping to avoid the heaviest rain, but it was already steady and soaking. If I keep riding in this sort of stuff, I'll definitely need to think about buying lights and rain gear!

I am half way through the November 30/30 challenge with 15 days of riding and a total of 502.71 miles. Only 15 more days to go...or 19 if I want to try for 60/60...! The weather will almost certainly be more and more of a problem. I do have a trainer to use indoors if it comes to that! For this week I rode 7 days and 234.83 miles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


With the threat of rain in today's forecast, I headed out for my ride earlier than usual on X6 despite feeling pretty bleary. I wanted to make sure I got my ride for 30/30 and was further motivated by being just 31 miles from reaching 3,000 miles for the year. I didn't manage to shake off the sluggish feeling, but I pedaled the 31 miles anyway.

(Pic shows clouds over 2nd Beach this morning.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Traffic Jam!

On my return trip on Ocean Drive today, a swan was trundling along one of the traffic lanes, with no apparent interest in going back to the marsh! Feeling vulnerable with only my bike to put between me and it, I still paused to get a pic and see if my presence would scare it off the road to safety. Having once been attacked by a swan, I didn't feel up to making any shooing motions at it!
It wasn't deterred by my being there and continued along the road, eventually causing a bit of a traffic jam! Someone braver than me got out of a car and waved their arms and clapped at it. After a few minutes of that, the swan finally left the road!

It was a solo ride for me today: 40 miles in the chilly 40's with a relentless wind. This little hill was my friend today, being just about my only shelter from the wind during my entire ride! After the steady whoosh of wind in my ears, a little silence as I climbed was so refreshing.

I added a list in my sidebar for the 30/30 challenge showing the day and number of miles which I will update daily, so you can check my progress even if I don't do an entire post.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Group Ride

Jeff and I joined friends for a 42.86 mile road ride today. The pic shows Jeff out front in his new jacket, ribuck97 and Lynn as we pedaled up Bellevue Ave.

Out on Ocean Ave, I spotted this white tailed deer and had to stop for a pic.

Lynn had a flat near the end of the ride, but was able to change the tube like a bike mechanic!

New Bike Clothes!

Well, black spandex items don't make an exciting photo, but here are some of the new bike things I bought on Saturday. What I have been using is looking a little threadbare, so it was time for some fresh gear!

I got new gloves to replace my ones with the holes in the shifter fingers. The balaclava is mainly to keep my neck warm when it gets really cold out since I really can't bear a draft down my collar! It's always good to have another pair of wool socks. I also got a new pair of shorts and a pair of fleece tights. I know the shorts seem kind of strange this time of year, but I have been wearing them under the tights when it's cold.

Jeff found a nice shell jacket to block the wind chill. It's a fall orange color, so probably not too visible this time of year, but it will be good for the rest of the year. I picked out some bike wash and a chain brush since it seems like it will be a little more effective than an old toothbrush considering all the rainy rides I'm doing lately.

I tried on a couple of other items that I think I'll have to add to my holiday wish list. I liked the Pearl Izumi Insula Tour Jacket in limestone and white. It was so cozy and comfortable that I think I'd end up wearing it all the time, not just on the bike!

And I will have to get the women's version of Jeff's yellow jacket that I've been wearing. It's called the Vagabond 2. For now, the big one isn't so bad because I can fit as many layers as needed under it for dealing with the cold.

I'm not committed to wearing only Pearl Izumi, it just seems to be what's readily available at the local shops. PI is working out very well for me, though I wouldn't mind finding some different brands too. I took a mail order gamble on the De Marchi jersey and it turned out to be my favorite!

Also on my wish list are booties and maybe the lobster gloves. It wouldn't hurt to have a couple more jerseys to reduce the constant need to do laundry and the Gavia Pro Jacket seems nice at least in the pictures.

Do you have any bike clothing that you 'can't live without'? Let me know if you think of something I should consider getting!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Consecutive Days Keep Adding Up

So far, so good. Despite rainy weather, I've not missed any days for the 30/30 November challenge! For the week, I did 7 days of riding and 227.22 miles.

I've been varying distance and intensity on my rides, so I don't burn out. I think I'm building a good base right now! I'm glad that I'm not feeling drained at the end of my rides lately and that I wake up really looking forward to my ride everyday. It's a nice place to be at the moment!

Jeff was able to join me on this morning's damp ride. The yellow leaves looked especially bright in contrast with the grayness.

We were surprised to see a lot of people walking and running around fields and found out it is the Race for Open Space, a fundraising 5K event and celebration of opening a new section of the Greenway. I am pleased about all the new trails, but am sad that bikes are not permitted on them!

The last picture is just a shot of Jeff finally riding out in front on the last stretch to home!

The forecast looks dryer for riding Sunday-Tuesday, but then there is some rain predicted again. At least it isn't snow! I recently added the weather link at the bottom of this page, so you can check to see what conditions I'm dealing with. I'll be riding with Jeff and two friends tomorrow and will keep trying to get out everyday!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rainy Day Ride

I rode X6 in the rain today to stick to the 30/30 challenge! Can you see how wet it was? The rain picked up as soon as I started my ride and has let up a little since I got home! I did 21.32 miles.

I did see some other people outside today and probably should have been dressed like them!

Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually really had a blast out there. I think I was able to have fun because it was so warm, around 60F, so being soaked wasn't a problem.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It occurred to me as I wrote down my numbers for today's ride that I just completed a run of 30 rides in 30 consecutive days. I don't think I've ever done that before! No wonder I'm feeling a lot more fit lately.

I didn't make it a goal in advance, it just happened to work out that way, but a few blogging bike girls have made a 30/30 goal. Kate, Trio and Jumbly, are trying to do 30 one hour or longer rides in the 30 days of November. I thought I'd play along as best I can. If the weather gets too sloppy, it's not safe for me to go out on my routes. There is some rain already in the forecast, but we'll see what happens. Checking my old records shows that I rode 19 days in November 2007 and 25 days in November 2006. Even if I don't bag another 30/30, I'll have the satisfaction of knowing I pushed myself to ride as many days as I could!

I'll keep you updated with the weekly mileage posts and probably have a chart of days and miles for you at the end of November. You know I love an excuse to post a chart!

Now, I'm quite certain I'm going to stay up way too late watching election results! Hopefully I won't be too tired for tomorrow's ride with a friend. Just so you know, I made sure to get out and vote before my ride today!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pace Line of 3

I hadn't tried to take motion shots with the camphone before, but I tried it out on today's ride. It worked pretty well, my biggest problem was trying to keep my gloved fingers out of the picture! I cropped this one!

Jeff and I joined a ride buddy and did 41.35 miles. The pic shows Jeff and our friend plowing into the wind around Brenton Point.

Jeff was happy to get in 82 miles with me over the weekend since he's not getting out much during the week now. I got a good start on my weekly miles!

And, after the cold ride...low 40's at best...we made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup! Perfect recovery food!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Recent Stats

It's time for some totals for the week as well as the month of October! I wish I could ride like this all the time, but I tend to fluctuate depending on things going on in my life and varying degrees of motivation. But it's good to know I can do this when I set my mind to it and I love how strong I feel when I am riding just about every day!

For the week, I rode 7 days and logged 196.09 miles. The weather was pretty good, apart from maybe Tuesday, when I think I experienced my upper limit of wind tolerance along the beach. Any more gusty and I think I'd have fallen over! I had some white knuckle moments and could not hold a line!

For October, I had a personal best for most days and most miles biked in a month! I biked 30 days and 866.64 miles.

Today, I started November off right with a nice 40.66 miles with Jeff. The sun was shining in clear skies and the temps were in the mid 50's.

I'm not going to set any specific goals for November as I think that could jinx me and cause it to snow a lot or something! But, I will try to keep up the frequent rides even if they become shorter to avoid becoming very frozen.