Monday, June 30, 2008

32.4 - and wet

On Sunday the weather did not cooperate. We had intended to go out in the morning again for another, probably not as long, ride. But when we woke up the skies were overcast and it looked like rain. All day it would go back and forth - sunny - ominous. And basically we totally could have ridden. But chickened out for fear of the crazy little storms that have been going around and terrorizing my plants.

So anyways, it was determined that we absolutely must get out today. The goal was 30 miles. And a secondary goal was to keep the pace at 12 mph or above. And Jo decided just to torture me even more by riding out ahead at faster rates thereby forcing me to be all somewhat speedy like.

When we reached just over 15 miles we stopped, had a snack, and then turned back around (thereby avoiding the nasty hills - yay).

One of the awesome part of our rides (except for all of the other people one must not hit) is riding along riverfront park. For those of you not familiar with Riverfront park it's just a thin strip of land that runs for quite a few miles along the Susquehanna and downtown Harrisburg. It is quite pretty.

Today we went both down and then back up riverfront park. At first it was just a normal trip back up. I was tired but still going. Then probably a third of the way up there was a bright flash of lighting off over somewhere a few miles on the other side of the river. And along with the singular lighting were giant grey clouds. Uh-oh.

It is also notable that riverfront park is still a good 10 miles or 45 minutes to an hour from home.

Jo made some comment about how we were going to get wet, we started contemplating various places to seek shelter (underpasses, gazebos, public buildings with overhangs...), and began to pick up the pace. Jo says we were doing about 15 mph back up the trail. I just know that it felt like I was going as fast as I possibly could (which was true).

We kept going and going up riverfront, to the east/north through a suburb, up over an evil bridge which is going through construction work. All as it got gloomier and gloomier.

On the other side of the bridge was the first really ideal safe-haven (a large gazebo in a nice park) but I opted to keep going as it was right after a downhill into a long straight stretch which I figured was the last I'd be able to crank out. On we went.

I promptly regretted continuing. And after a bit more it started truly raining on us, lightly as of yet. But we could see the rain off just a bit to our right (our west at that point).

Then the gusts of wind started hitting us. The rain I could deal with. I don't like being wet, and it was cold, but I could still peddle. The wind however...that stuff nearly stopped me in my tracks.

The rain was picking up and so we rode in to shelter under an overhang on the local community college campus. We contemplated who we could call to come rescue us as it began to serious pour. And by luck of the draw it seemed like there was no one around to rescue us.

After just a bit the rain seemed to be slacking off. From our shelter, looking south, it had never seemed like we were really in the storm. The sky was overcast but not stormy. It seemed like the storm was passing to our North!

Sure enough just about then my valiant prince charming returned my call. But given that his noble steed of a tiny black two door wouldn't be able to transport our bikes anyway I voted for continuing the ride and we'd call him if it got bad again.

Off we went again. There were some drops but the closer we got to home the more dry it seemed. We rolled into our garage at approximately 8:45 having left sometime around 5:40. Slightly drowned-rat-esque, but really no worse for the wear (at least so far).

Once I managed to move off of the couch we got ice cream from Friendlies being as they sent us a coupon and their marketing ploy worked and has had me craving ice cream the past few days.

It is way late now being as I had a project I needed to complete so I want to sleep. But first something needs to be mentioned of the fact that I've met goal #1!!!!!!!

Millions of thanks to everyone who donated. I really need to spend a better entry devoted to how much all of your support really means to me!

Thank you so much!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

30- Whew

I did it!

Given that we weren't able to get out last evening a 7am start time was decided upon.

We managed to be on the road by 7:25.

It started as quite a muggy foggy and a bit dreary day. But it did clear up some. Although the humidity never let up.

You may notice from my new picture up there that I've added some awesome things to my bike.

First there is the strange blue tube. This is part of an idea I had a while back. See I fail at water bottles. I have this bad habit of taking a drink then reaching down to put it back in the cage. But then I miss the cage, drop the bottle, and my back tire then runs right over it. Ooops.

Actually I had this idea before that ever happened but its a fun story so moving on....

I was thinking about/ discussing with Jo the usefulness of a Camelbak (that tiny backpack looking thing that has water and a tube from which to drink it running up over the shoulder). She said that she had used one and wasn't the biggest fan because the weight really can get to you on a long ride plus the whole makes your back hot. So then I came up with the idea of making a kind of water pouch that would hang from the frame on ones bike and then you could have a tube from which to consume the water. I would occasionally speculate on how I would accomplish this (I figured that sometime when I had too much free time I'd hang a plastic bag and use a tube from the hardware store or something and see if the idea was at all feasible.)

Jo and I however have this quite interesting dynamic going on. As with the formation of our riding team I spurt out random ideas and then she goes and actually does them. So this week a box from amazon showed up. She had purchased just the inside plastic part of a camelbak as well as the largest bike frame bag she could find. These items were promptly installed on my bike.

Over all I was very pleased with the system. The whole keeping of tube on frame and having it mobile enough to easily reach my face could use a little work. But I declare the idea good. I should patent them and sell them.

Second and more obviously noticeable/cool but it had less thought involved which is why I talked about the other first is my new 'hood' ornament. I sewed him completely by hand being as he is so crazy tiny using a pattern I found a while back online. He's awesome I love him and I'm making Jo one. We're also planning a trip to Jo-Ann fabric later today and I plan on getting many awesome colors from which to make many awesome penguins.

Think I could sell them to raise a bit of extra $ for the ride?

Thats all for now. I ought to try and do something with my day now.
Wish me luck that the next 30 won't hurt so much.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rain Rain Go Away

Well I was planning to get a good ride in today. But it just started pouring (like alot). Thats quite disappointing. Also, I hope it doesn't hurt my plants. Some of my vegetables actually have fruit!

However what is less disappointing is that I managed to sew an awesome tiny stuffed animal penguin. He is amazing and I shall make many more of him in many more colors. Yay!

*pictures coming soon (we hope)*

And millions and millions of Thanks to Chrissy and the Benfields. You guys rock!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Today we rode 28.4 miles.

It's rather amazing how easily one can kill an evening biking. It's also amazing how much water one can consume.

Overall I'd say it was a good ride. I felt rather strong for the first 2/3 of the ride. Hit a low point at the same place as last ride. But once again managed to gather a second wind after getting up the hill. And powered it back all the way home. Hooray. And I didn't walk any hills at all.

Also of note today I put the toe clips back on my bike. The jury is still out on their worthiness. Plus they do make crossing streets a bit more dangerous, but it could just be a learning curve issues. Besides they make me feel like maybe I actually know what I'm doing.

Next up on the biking equipment get list is a pair of biking shorts and sport sunglasses. Something definitely got in my eye today. And after those acquisitions a gel seat would make my rear significantly less angry with me.

Along the way I also contemplated the fact that between this training and dance class I'm going to end up with actual potentially even defined muscles in my legs. Whoa. Now if only I could grow me some abs we'd be in business. (Actually Jo and I in discussing this made a pack to to appropriate abdominal exercises every night - wish us luck.)

This was long, wandering, and rather off topic. Oops!

PS: Kudos out to my father who 'pledged' $50. My parents rock!