Where The Bike Takes Me

Continuing this journey of cycling in efforts to get into shape, lose weight, enjoy the outdoors, and save my knees from their arthritic state at 28 years of age.

One Month till 2008 Autumn Escape Bike Trek August 12, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Cycling Elsewhere,Event,Gear — f8th637 @ 9:11 pm

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated. Between work, planning my high school reunion, and life in general it has been hard keeping up sometimes. We did sign up a few months ago for the Autumn Escape Bike Trek thrown by the Lung Association of Massachusetts and we have pledged to raise $1000 as a two-person team. It is our first charity event after all. It’s also our first tour of any kind and we’re really excited about that! If we raise $1000 by August 18th (this upcoming Monday) then we get free valet luggage service to our cabins every night, a VIP pass to cut in line for meals and massages, and a 2008 Trek cycling jersey!! Online we have raised $705. I have also sent them $160 in checks that still have to post. That basically leaves us $130 to the $1000 mark. Can you help us reach our goal? Please check out our team page at: http://www.mrsnv.com/evt/e01/team.jsp?id=1679&tid=832

In other news, the B17S Brooks that was suppose to go on the mixte now has a home on my Sutra instead. My girly bits are no longer being smooshed but I do have a feeling that if I had a regular B17 I would be even more comfortable. I’ve also recently purchased a pair of De Soto Arm Coolers (great especially in the shade!), a Detours Zoom bag for the DSLR I’m considering bringing on the tour, and a VO Baguette handlebar bag because I think it will work better in general with my rack setup and the Brooks. I’ll let you know how the bags turn out when I get them in.¬† I need to start logging some more miles before the tour. I’ve also noticed that I seem to have gained weight. I blame it on the heat and how it demotivates me to ride outside. :p

Yes, I know I still owe a ride report on the Long Island Harbor Ride. Yet another thing on my To-Do list. ūüėČ


Bike to Work Day May 16, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Cycling in the DC Metro Area,Event,Gear — f8th637 @ 1:31 pm

So I did go to the Performance Bike yesterday to return my Speedplay Frog pedals.  I decided to just stick with what I have (the yellow Crank Brothers Candy C) as they didn’t at all bother me on the very flat century I completed last weekend.  I know I need to get a ride report in.  I didn’t buy the rain jacket that I was thinking about getting last post but I did walk out with a new, cheap saddle and a pair of Pearl Izumi Sugar knickers.  I have been having saddle comfort issues and wanted to see if I could alleviate this some.  I hate being cheap when it comes to buying things but I am learning that you get what you pay for.  Anyway, I installed the Forte Women’s Contour Saddle.  I really liked that it had the cut out and was a bit wider than my current saddle and it was flat.  I wanted to just test that out with my old shorts but I realized I hadn’t done laundry in a few days and was out of bike bottoms.  So I had to wear my new knickers today with the saddle.  Seriously, the most comfortable ride saddle-wise thus far ever this morning.  I am definitely keeping the knickers as they rock but I will have to see if the saddle also makes a difference.

As to the rest of Bike to Work Day, aside from the pitstop it was fairly uneventful.  I hit some rain a few minutes from my pitstop at the Whole Foods in Vienna but it stopped while I was there. I seem to remember that last year there seemed to be more giveaways and free schwag but beggars can’t be choosers, I suppose.  I did talk to some other ladies in the area who stopped at other pitstops and got cool things like chamois towels and even a handlebar bag!  I did get my free t-shirt and had the breakfast I wasn’t able to have before leaving this morning.  I had gotten out a bit later than I had wanted to. I also got my hot-off-the-press Fairfax County Bicycle Map.  There’s a good article about it at the Washington Post.  I took a look at the map earlier.  It looks pretty cool.  My husband and I are always wondering how to get around places by bike in the area.  This should help!  There was a pretty decent turn-out at the pitstop despite the weather. Most memorable to me was the man who was tandem riding his daughter who was probably about 6 or 7 at the most.  She was wearing her backpack underneath an oversized rain poncho and was too cute.  What a trooper to participate even in the rain!

As to the fender issue, It probably would have been nice to have one up front this morning. Definitely a lot of spray but not too bad.  I may consider the EZ Fenders that are fairly quick to detach for days like this.  Since my commuter is my regular bike because of the length of my commute, something I can take on and off easily sounds best. 

I’m working on that ride report for the Knotts Island Century, I promise!

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First Ever Metric Century Coming Up May 5, 2008

Filed under: cycling,Cycling in the DC Metro Area,Event — f8th637 @ 4:08 pm

The husband and I have been trying to figure out what rides to do this year.¬† We’re both fitter than we were this time last year.¬† Among some of the rides we found was the Knotts Island Century thrown by the Tidewater Bicycle Association.¬† We are opting for the metric century which is the furthest we’ve ever ridden complete with a ferry ride in the middle.¬† The area is pretty flat and just minutes from my parents’ home.¬† I figured it would be a nice way to kill several birds with one stone: first organized ride of the year, first metric century (flat), excuse to see my family especially my niece and my dog (who is on “vacation” with my parents), and spend Mother’s Day with my mom.¬† I’m also bringing down some stuff that I want to give away to my sister and my friend so they will stop taking up room in my home.¬† I figure it’s fairly win-win as long as we complete the ride strong.

I am a bit apprehensive because we’ve never done this ride nor this distance before.¬† We did a 32-mile ride on Saturday to help us get some miles in mostly along the Arlington loop (which was quite crowded) with some adjustments of our own.¬† By the time we got to DC we were feeling good at about the 20-mile mark.¬† From there we went to Georgetown and popped out in Rosslyn and proceeded up Wilson Blvd in all its hilly glory.¬† Not only was it uphill but it was hot, baking from the pavement hot, and there was no shade.¬† I quickly got crabby and prayed for any wind at all to help relieve me.¬† From Arlington on, I was uncomfortable.¬† I didn’t wear gloves because I couldn’t find the weightlifting gloves I had been using last year and did I mention I was hot?¬† I felt like my skin was baking and thankfully I had put sunscreen on.¬† There was this miserable whine coming from the front wheel that didn’t let up until I started going about 9 miles an hour.¬† Then my left knee started bothering me.¬† That hot hill up Wilson was what did me in.¬† I’m hoping for more comfortable weather this Saturday for the century.¬† Generally, I felt good after the ride.¬† My shoulders and neck were kinda sore but that didn’t linger into the next day and I’m amazed at how my body doesn’t seem to feel anything painful the next morning after longer (to me) rides.

My knees still hate me but I’m hoping they will forgive me once I get my Speedplay Frog pedals in that I ordered yesterday.¬† I have heard they are great for people with knee issues like me who are knock-kneed so I figured that I’d use my $100 award from work and go ahead and buy the suckers.¬† Among my other recent bike-related purchases were some yellow and black gloves to match my bike to be worn on the ride this weekend, Spinervals Sweating Buckets 2.0 Fitness Series for when it’s pouring outside, and a new pair of shorts that I got in a size Medium instead of a size Large (w00t!).¬† I also bought my husband his first pair of shorts with padding and he said they were very comfy.¬† I guess the secret to him is just to buy it and let him try them.

I also signed us up for Bike New York’s Long Island Harbor Ride in June.¬† We have yet to sign up for the Harlem Valley Rail Ride that we did last year and are tossing around the idea of doing the American Lung Association of America in Massachusetts Autumn Escape Bike Trek instead of the 8 Lighthouse Ride we did in Portland, ME.¬† I am really excited about the Bike Trek which is a 3-day tour basically of the cape.¬† I think it’ll be a nice intro into bike-touring with a support system.¬† So that’s what we have on the plate so far.¬† I’ll keep you posted.


Cyclefest 2008 & My Win! April 8, 2008

I made my way out to Wakefield Park for Cyclefest 2008 sponsored by the good people at The Bike Lane despite the fact that it was drizzly and cold with the temps around the 40s (Fahrenheit).¬† (Check the pictures they have posted!)¬† Good thing I went for that bike ride on Saturday with the husband instead.¬† (He’s more in shape than me and that was his first ride of the season!)

Anyway, I digress.¬† So it was darned cold and fairly miserable but imagine my surprise to see the parking lots fairly full with cars and bike racks. I got there a little before 11 AM and believe that most people were out on the race that started earlier that morning. You can’t keep BMXers and MTBers out of the mud, you know!¬† There was no coffee but there was Baja Fresh to keep us warm.¬† Yum!

I had signed up for some workshops ahead of time:

  • Heart Rate Training 101 with Melissa Dalio from Sport and Spine Athletics at 11 AM
  • Road Bike Handling 101 with Adam & Joanne from Synergy Fitness at 12:30 PM
  • Core Training for Cyclists with the same Joanne from Synergy Fitness

I learned a lot at each session I went to.¬† For instance, at Melissa’s I learned that I was INDEED training in too high of a zone.¬† This means I will need to learn to crawl before I can walk, etc.¬† So it’s not in the cards for me this year to be breaking any speed records.¬† ūüėȬ† Not that I had intended on doing so anyway.¬† With Road Bike Handling I learned three methods of Cornering: turning, counter-steering, and steering.¬† I have read about these but to actually see them and do them is a whole other thing.¬† We also learned to look behind right/left and over and under the shoulder.¬† I totally suck at under the shoulder.¬† They had wanted to show us more but the wet conditions were not the most conducive. ¬† At Core Training, I was inspired by Joanne’s core strength as she was probably about my parents’ age and in great shape.¬† I didn’t need a whole lot of convincing that core work makes you a stronger rider.¬† That makes sense to me.¬† I didn’t need to learn a whole lot of new exercises either as a lot of the ones she talked about I knew about.¬† What I DID need though apparently was a core workout.¬† I didn’t think I worked THAT hard but here it is Day 2 from Sunday and my abs are still fairly sore.¬† I’ve realized it was January or February when I last worked out my core.

I made a new friend (Hi Bach!) and we pal-led around all day as he had pretty much signed up for the same sessions I had.  Together we checked out some of the other booths and we stopped at the Fairfax Connector booth who was giving away a pink bike trainer.  They also had Oreos on their table.  I was more interested in those at the moment.  I put my name and my office phone number on a slip of paper and they put it in the bowl underneath the Oreos (they were in their own bowl.)  I am pretty sure that it was the pink Saris Breast Cancer Awareness Bones rack.

Everyone knows that the Saris Bones is a great rack.¬† I got a voice message on Monday left on Sunday telling me that I had won!¬† I finally spoke with Charlie from Fairfax Connector today and he said the bike rack retailed for $110 but all the pink Saris Bones I see retail for more than that.¬† Maybe it isn’t a Bones after all.¬† He did say that it was a really nice rack though.¬† Charlie is keeping it for me in his cubicle while we figure the best way to get it to me.¬† He offered to drop it off at my house but I can always pick it up to near work.¬† It’s a bit out of the way but not terribly so.¬† I told him I didn’t want to have it taking up valuable space in his cubicle but today didn’t work out for him as he was off to drop off some data via bike!¬† A man after my own heart, I tell ya!

So that was my experience at Cyclefest.¬† It was great and I really enjoyed myself.¬† Can’t wait for next year’s!


CycleFest 2008 at Wakefield Today! April 6, 2008

Filed under: Cycling in the DC Metro Area,Event — f8th637 @ 12:02 am
Cyclefest at Wakefield
Park.  Enjoy a day completely dedicated to the sport of cycling.   You will be able to demo the latest Trek, Lemond, Gary Fisher mountain and road bikes.  Attend  seminars including yoga for cyclists, core training for the cyclist, commuting basics, adventure racing 101, road and mountain bike clinics, bike fit and maintenance sessions, bike travel trips, and much more. We are adding more seminars everyday.  Local experts and cycling’s top of the line manufacturers will be on hand to show you everything you want to know about the latest and greatest in cycling.


CycleFest 2008 at Wakefield March 21, 2008

Filed under: Cycling in the DC Metro Area,Event — f8th637 @ 10:01 pm

Cyclefest at Wakefield Park
Enjoy a day completely dedicated to the sport of cycling. You will be able to demo the latest Trek, Lemond, Gary Fisher mountain and road bikes. Attend seminars including yoga for cyclists, core training for the cyclist, commuting basics, adventure racing 101, road and mountain bike clinics, bike fit and maintenance sessions, bike travel trips, and much more. We are adding more seminars everyday. Local experts and cycling’s top of the line manufacturers will be on hand to show you everything you want to know about the latest and greatest in cycling.

April 28, 2007 – Confident City Cycling Class April 28, 2007

Filed under: Event — f8th637 @ 11:30 am

Washington Area Bicyclist Association, with the support of the DC Departments of Transportation and Recreation, and Arlington County in Virginia, presents a choice of six free classes in 2007 for cyclists 16 and over. Each class will be held for three hours on a Saturdays. Topics include:

  • Rules of the Road: Knowing is half the battle! Did you know that you have to adhere to the same rules of the road as a car or truck does? Did you know that you have the same rights that the operator of a car or truck does? Well its true- you do! Our course offers some great tips and tricks for safely and legally using our roadways.
  • Avoiding the Common Causes of Crashes: Believe it or not, most crashes are avoidable. Learn what to do if a car turns suddenly in front of you, if you have to stop suddenly, what to do to avoid the dreaded car door and much more!
  • Lane Positioning: Do you ever feel like cars are passing you too closely or running you into the gutter? Learn proper lane positioning to encourage drivers to pass you at a safe distance. Also learn how to safely cross lanes of traffic in order to made turns or avoid obstacles in the road.
  • Improving Pedaling Efficiency: Bicycling shouldn‚Äôt be backbreaking work! The bicycle is one of the most efficient inventions of all time- make the most of it! Learn how to shift gears in anticipation of a hill, achieve a good cadence, and minimize the wear and tear on your knees.
  • Useful Accessory Equipment: We all know you need a helmet, but learn some other helpful and handy equipment to make your ride more enjoyable.
  • Basic Bike Maintenance and Repair: Everyone who rides a bike should know some basic repair and maintenance skills. Learn how to change a flat tire and other emergency repair tips.