Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Ride To Be Thankful For

Thirty-eight degrees, light wind, overcast and West River Drive CLOSED! Mindful that I have many things to be thankful for I started out this morning at 6:30 planning to do a single loop and get some work done at home before heading up to NJ for the festivities. But as I came off the Falls Bridge and saw that the Drive was closed to cars and therefore open to cyclists my heart soared (of, a bit of an exaggeration.)It was such a pleasure to ride on the road rather than the trail and at that there was almost no one out either way. I was a bit cold after the first loop but had the time and the inclination to push myself. So I did a second loop and still have time to get ready before I have to leave. Amazing how much work 20 miles felt like. I"m not sure if it's just the more difficult riding in the cold or I really am in bad shape.

Anyway, for those of you who never thought the day would come, this sign on Lombard Street says it all...the day is coming and it's going to last at least two years. There will be some inconveniences for those of us who use the bridge regularly, but when the new bridge is up, with its dedicated bike lane and pedestrian amenities, connection to the trail, and cool design elements in general, life should be much improved in the hood.

Finally, for anyone who cares, today"s ride pushed me over the 4500 mile mark, my goal for the year. December mileage is gravy. Also of some note, this blog has gone over 15000 hits. Thank you all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Finally Riding Again

This is a photo taken last Friday. It represents just one of the reasons i haven't been riding much. More to the point has been the pace of my schedule, getting to bed late and having a really hard time getting up early enough to ride, especially when I need so much extra time to dress and undress and when the weather and the wind takes a bite out of my average speed. but excuses aside, I rode this morning. 38 degrees, light wind, very sunny, although the sun disappeared soon after I got home. it was a wonderful ride and if I wasn't so busy even today (remember when I had liesurely days off?) I would have gone around twice.

It was an interesting ride in that going out I felt like I was flying and therefore felt pretty smug that I hadn't lost any fitness with a week's lay-off. However, uncharacteristically the wind was in my face on the ride back in toward town and my speed dropped markedly. I had to work much harder and definitely did feel the lay off.

Meanwhile, getting around the Art Museum was a bit of a trick since they were very much in the process of setting up for tomorrow's Thanksgiving Day parade. I plan to ride in the morning before heading to my daughter's house for the holiday, but will have to modify my route to miss the parade.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Struggle

Although the temperature was 28 degrees when I went out solo this morning for a ride, I was dressed sufficiently not to feel cold. Even my hands were ok now that I'm using two pairs of gloves. Granted my foot was pretty cold by the end despite two pairs of socks and an artificial warmer. I had thoughts about doing a double loop since today is my day off and although I have to be at work all day, I didn't have to be in quite as early and could have done it. The cold wouldn't have stopped me, but the struggle did. The wind was constant and, I guess, despite not feeling particularly cold, I'd forgotten how much harder it is to get the muscles working through all the layers. I was exhausted riding a single loop and never really got going very fast. But the exercise was good and I'm glad I went. Tomorrow's weather is less promising so I didn't want to miss today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It was down to 34 degrees for our ride this morning. Invigorating! Then I took the Brompton to ride to some meetings today adding a few much needed miles to my total. On the way home this afternoon I found myself riding through the first snow flurry of the season. Always pretty, always exciting. Hopefully it doesn't snow much harder for awhile or even for the entire winter!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Still Riding...Blogging Not So Much

My schedule remains crazy. We are still managing to ride most mornings, yesterday was beautiful today was hard-core at 38 degrees with a good wind. But we enjoyed it. But time to say more? Not today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ordinary Ride In The Mist

Annie was finally able to join me and we had a very nice ordinary ride in the warm (55 degrees) mist.

Bike Racks in the news today. The first new bike rack has been installed on South Broad Street by the Bicycle Coalition office as seen below

And the very cool design pictured below won the New York city bike rack competition.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

After Another Hiatus

Last week was a tough week for cycling and blogging. After Wednesday's regular ride and full work day, Thursday through today were taken up with family. All of my kids were here for a good friend's wedding Saturday night and a small reception for our own newlyweds on Sunday for friends and family on the east coast. Hectic and wonderful, but no time for riding. By the time I reached this Wednesday I couldn't bear the thought of getting dressed and going out for a ride. I spent the day mostly reading quietly alone. But the terrible rain held off this morning until after I had a chance to get back on the bike and I had a lovely morning ride. According to the forecast this storm will move out tonight and I should be able to ride again tomorrow. That will feel nice. As far as anything else going on in the cycling world, I'm totally out of the loop. So check out the real cycling news sites and don't depend on me. It's going to take me awhile to catch up.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Last Hurrah

I guess, as the week ends, we will have to deal with the passing of these last two special weeks. So here is my final photo from the Philles parade and while the glow of both the World Series and the election linger, life returns to its normal routine and our hopes and expectations turn to the future. Our hopes are with the President-elect and, as always, our hopes lie with the possibility of a return to the World Series of the Phillies next year.

This morning the temperature was 60 degrees and while the air still felt wet and the roads were, it was a lovely solo ride to end the week.

The Glow Remains Beneath Rain, Wind And Leaves

Another lovely ride in 60 degree temperature, but this one through a mist of wet with occasional drizzle and one downpour. the strong winds along the river also slowed me down. The trail is carpeted by wet leaves in places,which also caused me to use caution. But the glow from the election remains in the air, in people's conversations and in the media coverage of the impending transition as this cyclist reminds us.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An Historic Ride

Well, actually it was only our regular morning loop, but it felt historic because everything feels historic today! What an inspiring and wonderful day to be an American. The election of Barak Obama now raises great expectations that will inevitably be disappointed. But the very fact of his election, the fact that Americans chose substance over mean-spiritedness only adds to the extraordinary fact of this act of redemption for the original stain on the body of the nation's psyche, the treatment of African Americans. The fact that we can also expect a sympathetic hearing for bicycling is icing on the cake. I wish the President-elect a smooth ride with the wind at his back.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ride To Vote...And Wait

As we do every year, Annie and I ended our ride by stopping at our polling place and voting. Usually we are number 1 & 2. Today the line went around the block! Good on you America! And most of the people on the line were young people, which augurs well for Obama. Anyway, it turned out that the line was then split between two wards and our ward (an older contingent I'd guess) was not as long this early. We ended up being numbers 29 & 30 and the wait did not set back my schedule very much. If you are reading this early: Go Out And Vote (for Obama...please.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Let There Be Light...Again

The time has finally come when those end-of-day light hogs gave some back to us early risers. Annie and I left the house at our usual time around 5:45 and the sky was already getting lighter. By the time we reached the trail it was significantly lighter and we wee in full sunshine for most of our lovely loop in 45 degree weather. It doesn't get better than this, except if we could have done our usual Sunday double loop, but we are off to NY early this morning to attend the unveiling of my Mother's headstone. The end of the formal period of mourning has arrived.
And then there was one of those exasperating dog walkers walking his dog without a leash. The dog was all over the trail and there would have been no way to maneuver around him/her so we had to stop and have a few polite words with the owner about caring enough about his pet to protect him. But people like this depend on the good sense of others to protect them from their own stupidity so of course he was belligerent toward us. I just don't get people even after all these years. We were both seething for a few minutes, but didn't let it ruin a really nice ride.
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