Vermont

IMG_0120

 

Every year my bike club went to Vermont during a holiday weekend.  It was my first season on the road and I very much wanted to experience all that I could.  I really couldn’t afford to go but The Señor was going and I convinced him, once again, to let me share his room with him. 

Most people went up Friday morning but I had to work so The Señor and I drove up after I got out of work Friday evening.  When we arrived all was dark so we really couldn’t see how pretty it was.

The inn that we stayed in was run by a very nice couple that grew their own vegetables and had a couple of adorable cats running around.  The cats only stayed in the main area and roamed the grounds. They had absolutely no interest in visiting the rooms.  There was a pool and a hot tub in the gazebo.  It was a very nice place to stay, very quaint.

The first morning I went into the dining area and was served oatmeal, toast, and breakfast quiche.  It was delicious.  The ride was a remote start ride.  After breakfast we drove over to the start.  The lot that we would have normally used was full so a church was nice enough to let us park there.  The ride was very scenic and hilly.  I will always refer to it as “the crack ride” and those that were there will forever know why.  We stopped for lunch at an adorable diner.  After the ride we all stopped at an ice cream shop that we passed on the way in.

After the ride we went in the hot tub where we talked and drank a bit too much beer.  After we got cleaned up we sat down to a nice buffet style dinner.  The food was delicious.  We chatted a bit after dessert was served and went to bed early to wake up to ride the next morning. 

After Breakfast that morning, we had some time to relax before the ride.  Without telling us, the group left early because of the threat of rain.  There were three of us that were left behind.  We took off after them.  After a few miles there was no sight of them.  We continued making our was further down the hills.  Everything was very quiet for the holiday.  There were many little brooks with stones, farmland, and rolling hills.  Everything was very pretty.  We made a turn and went over a covered bridge.   I had never been over one before, it was fun.  We started climbing and made our way through the sleepy little towns.  One town was just adorable.  The Main Street there was filled with cute little stores.  Even the post office was adorable.  We made our way to the 8 mile climb up the mountain.  We stopped at a general store to use the restroom before the climb and when I came out I saw it.  It was very steep and had a switchback in the first part of it before disappearing.  I saw a car go up revving the gas in order to go up it.  I told The Señor and he went to go see what it’s like.  He went up a bit and said it wasn’t bad, that that part was the worst of it for a while.  I decided that the climb was probably over my head.  It was my first season on the road and that was something I should build up to.  We took a longer route to go back to the inn.  It was still very hilly and challenging but it wasn’t a steep 8 mile climb up a mountain.  We stopped at a small deli for lunch.  We had been out a long time because the woman that was with us was slow so there was a lot of waiting for her.  When we got back to the hotel it was late afternoon and was only just starting to rain lightly.  We found out that the other group took a much shorter route so they could return early and go to the movies.  We soaked in the hot tub and enjoyed talking about our fun ride.  We enjoyed a nice dinner and a few of us sat in the screen room afterwards and talked over cocktails.  

The next day The Señor and I decided to skip the ride and make our way back home.  I had a very uncomfortable situation going on due to a new saddle.  We hit holiday traffic but it would’ve been much worse if we left later.  I was a little upset that we didn’t go to the outlets as he had promised we would.  I really couldn’t afford to go shopping anyway.  We did stop so I could get jam, maple syrup, and fudge.

Vermont was one of the prettiest places I’ve visited and I would love to go back one of these days…… 

 

Here It Comes

IMG_0119

 

Oh my God, here it comes!  It’s off in the distance, can this crazy storm be outrun?  Whatever this is it will be bad. My happy go lucky ride just turned sad.  I had no idea this would happen.  I am just so gosh darned frightened.  The wind is kicking and I feel the rumbling of thunder.  The heavens will open, should I run for cover?  I really don’t mind a bit of rain, but, whatever is coming this way will be insane.  If I’m lucky a friend will come by and get me out of there in their ride.  Why oh why did I decide to chase daylight, it would be just my luck if lightning did strike.  I really should have respected my rest day, however, I didn’t listen to the voice inside telling me to stay.  

In The Beginning

IMG_0186

 

When I first started riding I would usually go to the same places.  At first it was because I was getting to know the route and no longer needed a map.  After a while it was just convenient as well as very pretty.  The hills were a nice challenge.  I spent a lot of time in the Kings Point/Sands Point area.  

At that time I wasn’t bringing my bike to work with me.  My place in Fresh Meadows wasn’t far from Kings Point.  Whenever I got out of work early enough I would go there starting from home.  I would almost always stop at the beautiful pond for a bar break before moving on.  

When I finally did get a Garmin I made routes that started from either work or home that would go there.  Whenever I had to work on a Sunday I left from the office and went into Kings Point and Sands Point for a nice 30 or so mile ride.  I would also go other places when I had more time to burn.

One day, on a holiday, I left my place and went on a 55 mile ride through Kings Point, Sands Point, and Bayside.  It was one of the first long rides that I had a Garmin to guide me on.  I had so much fun that day. I stopped at the pond to take the scenic pic before heading into Sands Point.  On my way back into Queens I stopped at the one place that I could bring my bike inside to use the bathroom, the car dealership.  While I was there I played some volleyball with the guys.  After that I went on the 2.4 mile greenway by the water in Queens.  I used to ride that  greenway all the time on my hybrid bike but I was seldomly there on my road bike.  The pavement there really wasn’t great and was much better on a hybrid.  It was a fun morning.  I was back at my place around lunchtime.

Another time I went into Kings Point from home on a Sunday that I didn’t have to work.  I wound up bumping into the guys from my club that rode faster than I did.  I decided to challenge myself by doing the rest of the ride with them.  My mentor was on that ride and agreed to give me a ride back into Queens.  I started riding with that group shortly after that.  

Nowadays I rarely go into Kings Point and Sands Point.  It’s not ideal to go there after work due to the traffic.  Being that I’m rarely there, every time I go is special.  I go on the group rides and every leader has a route that includes roads I’ve never been on.  I think every cyclist has an area that’s special to them and that’s mine.  That’s where I got my start exploring new places.  I’ve had many fun explorations since then but I will always remember and treasure my first.

This Past Weekend (8/4-8/5)

 

This past week was good.  My weight is getting back on track and I’m noticing positive changes in my body.  I’m looking more lean and muscular.  I’ve been going to the gym regularly and started doing my interval training again.  I’m hoping that, by doing all of these things, I can increase my FTP as well as my power to weight ratio.

On Saturday I woke up early to check the weather to see if there was a window to ride before the rain.  There was! The rain was due to start around 9am.  I got ready and ate a banana in the car on the way to the lot in Westbury.  As I was getting ready I saw a cyclist approaching the lot.  It was my bike uncle. He came to the lot to sniff around and see if anyone was there.  I told him I was thinking of Centre Island and that sounded good to him, so we rode together.  It was such a pleasant ride.  We had a nice pace and great conversation.  We stopped for food because he skipped breakfast and needed a bottle refill.  I decided on the rest of the route during that stop to get us back before the rain.  We stopped twice more after for scenic pictures.  I offered him a ride home if it rained and offered again another couple of times.  I just wanted him to know that he didn’t have to ride in the rain if he didn’t have to.  The sun started to come out and I offered him a choice of adding a couple of miles and he chose the most direct way back, which was hilly.  I was avoiding hills in preparation for Sunday’s hilly ride.  He offered to go the way I was suggesting but he made the choice and I was sticking with it.  I had led the ride and he went along with it so it made sense to honor his decision.  We took the direct way back and we said goodbye right outside of the lot.  It was starting to mist and was very overcast.  He came back to the lot to take me up on my offer of a lift home.  We barely had his bike secured to the rack when it started to pour.  It was a drenching downpour.  I made it clear to him that I was happy we went with his very wise decision.  We chatted happily all the way back to his place.  It poured twice more on the drive there.  I was so happy he took me up on the offer. There was no reason to drive in that rain.  I was back home very early and my sweetie was so happy that we had the whole rest of the day to do as we pleased.

On Sunday I met the group at the lot for the hilly ride to Sands Point and King’s Point.  My bike uncle was there.  I was happy to see him for another day of riding together.  It was hot and humid.  The ride leader led at a pace that was suitable for the weather as well as the varied abilities of the group.  There wound up being 3 flats and a dropped chain to delay our ride.  We stopped for water twice as it was very hot out.  We were out all day.  It was very nice because everyone on the ride was fun to be around.  Every time we stopped we had very nice conversations.  I rode without the saddle bag and I’m really enjoying that.  I can feel the difference.  There’s nothing on my seat post to absorb the feeling of the road.  I also notice the wind changes more. I can feel everything and I feel more in tune with my bike.

There are many products available to carry your stuff in your jersey pocket but I haven’t found anything with the correct dimensions in my price range.  Most pouches are made of neoprene and have compartments.  My saddle bag didn’t have compartments so it really isn’t a necessary feature for me.  I found a pouch that’s perfect. It’s not bike specific but it’s made of neoprene and fits right in my jersey pocket.  It doesn’t have compartments but it fits everything that I need to carry with me.  It’s a change purse and I found it on Amazon for $8.99.  Here’s a picture of the product and all the stuff that I was able to put inside of it comfortably:

 

Always remember to be creative when searching for the perfect item to suit your needs.  I hope you all have a great week.  Thank you so much for reading!

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 14)

img_2927

Turkey Cheeseburger With Roasted Potatoes & Brussel Sprouts

What you will need:

  • Potato (1)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic (2 cloves, crushed)
  • Rosemary
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Frozen Turkey Patty
  • Non Stick Cooking Spray
  • Cheddar Cheese (1 slice)
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Maple Syrup

How to make it:

Cut the potatoes into wedges and then cut the wedges smaller. Put the potatoes in a bag. Add chopped rosemary, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and the olive oil. Shake the bag. Put the potatoes in the air fryer for 15 minutes on 300f or until golden brown, stirring them around every few minutes.

Preheat a medium frying pan over medium/high heat.  Put a drop of the olive oil and a drop of the maple syrup in the pan.  Cut the Brussel Sprouts in half.  Put the Brussel sprouts in the pan and add salt and the crushed garlic and stir around.  Cook until golden brown and crispy stirring occasionally.  

Preheat a small frying pan over medium/high heat.  Spray the pan with non stick cooking spray.  Add the turkey burger.  Cook until it’s golden brown.  Remove from heat, add the cheese, and cover.  When the cheese is melted serve it immediately.  

Prep time is about 5-10 minutes, cooking time is about 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

The Double Century Challenge

 

 

As far back as I can remember I’ve never been up to facing challenges.  I used to be more into sitting idly by as the world spins around me.  When I got into cycling that all changed and now I’m into challenges, the crazier the better.

Last year one of the groups I rode with posted that they were doing a double century challenge.  It was going to take place on the weekend.  It was 2 days, Saturday and Sunday.  My friend asked me if I would go and this crazy challenge sounded like fun.  

We met up in the morning and took some pics before we started.  Besides me there was one other woman there.  It was a fairly small group of about a dozen of us.  The ride started out flat but there were hills after the first 20 or so miles. The first day we did 100 miles with about 3,000 feet of elevation.  I averaged 18.3mph.

We were hoping for a flatter ride that second day but there was no such luck.  The route called for another 100 miles with over 3,000 feet of elevation.  That morning it seemed impossible but challenges are all about making the impossible a possibility.  It wasn’t easy but I got myself through it.  After about 80 or so miles I started to lose it and I was falling back.  Everyone waited for me at a turn but I couldn’t go on.  One of the guys stayed with me.  I went into my jersey pocket for my secret weapon that I’d been saving for just that moment, a gel with 100mg of caffeine.  I took that gel and a few miles later I started flying.  I’d been dropped by the main group and the rest of the group was scattered.  Slowly I caught up to one of the groups and was happy to have the company. They didn’t have the same surge of energy that I did so I left them behind.  I flew all the way back on my own.  At the last moment the main group caught up to me.  They took a turn that I presumed to be a glitch in the route.  I made up the miles in that neighborhood to get the even century.  I wound up averaging 17.3mph that day.

After the challenge we had a nice meal and we were awarded medals.   That was one of the toughest challenges I ever faced and I’m happy that I showed myself what I’m made of by getting through it.  I have a saying and it goes like this: When your mind gives up your body will follow but if your body gives up just add some food!  

Remember that anything is possible that you put your mind to and if you fuel your body it will do whatever it is that you want it to do.

How?

IMG_3121

 

How can it be? It feels like winter has just ended.  It is now August and daylight is slowly fading.  What has happened to the early morning sun? In order to chase daylight I really have to run.  It really has been a nice summer season but all good things must come to an end.  Start making plans with all of your friends.  Don’t let this summer pass by without going on that must do ride.  Make sure that this winter you have no regrets that this summer went by without taking a risk.  If you haven’t yet, try going with that group that flies.  Or try flying down that hill that extends to the sky.  Whatever it is that you have been meaning to do, do it now, and put it behind you.