Monday, February 20, 2017

Gravel in February and Goals Ahead

We've had amazingly warm temperatures here in Minnesota as of late. It was 60 some degrees last weekend so I simply had to get out and ride some gravel on my Vaya on Sunday. Owen joined me on his Mukluk. We didn't go far (about 5.5 miles) and we didn't go fast (about 8.5 mph) but we went and that's what matters.

Riding on a sunny Sunday

I've been thinking about my bike goals for 2017. I have decided that I'd like to bike 50 miles on my 50th Birthday but I guess I haven't 100% committed to that goal as of yet. I need to decide soon as March 25th is just over a month away!

Other than that, I have plans to join two friends from high school and Owen and ride from north of Minneapolis to Canada in three days with an average of 85 miles a day. We've got that on the schedule for late July.

The road ahead
Not sure what other bicycling goals I will set for 2017. Whatever they are, I will be logging my milage on a cool little chart I made in my journal - 2017 Bike Milage Goals. I can fill in a box for every 10 miles I've ridden all the way up to 2,000 miles. 
Bike Milage Goals Chart
I've ridden 15 miles this year so far. It's not much but it's a start!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Focus on Fall

This time last year I was gearing up for my first ever century ride. I was feeling pretty fit and had done a ton of biking throughout the season including the super awesome and challenging Box of Frogs ride and a bikepacking adventure. This year I got off to a great start with some winter riding and another round of 30 Days of Biking in April. I was working on a milage challenge and had several organized rides on my calendar. Then my Dad, who had already been dealing with issues from Parkinson's and Lewy Body Dementia, took a bad turn and life changed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

Even before Dad passed away in early July, I realized that bike riding would not be a priority and that I needed to focus on my family instead. So, save for a few rides and a three session mountain biking class in late July/early August, I really didn't ride bike all summer long.

Well, life is setting down somewhat and I'm happy to say I've managed to get out on my bike twice so far this week. I'm NOT in shape and certainly am not riding as strong as I'd like. I huff and puff up the hills and haven't ridden more than 10 miles on a ride thus far.

I get sad when I think about how I was able to ride 100 miles this time last year and realize there's no way I could do the same thing now. But, the thing for me to focus on is this - I'm riding again. I love the sound of gravel crunching beneath my tires and the feeling of the wind on my face. I enjoy riding in the fall with the cooler weather and changing leaves.

I may have lost riding this summer...but I have the fall.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Owen's Big Bike Ride

It's been ages since I've blogged about bicycling or anything else. That's mostly due to the fact that I haven't been riding my bikes much and also because my father was very sick and then passed away in early July.

That said, I didn't quit blogging entirely in this time. My husband, Owen, took off in early June to ride the Tour Divide from Canada to Mexico and while he was away I posted blog entries for him at his blog Owens Epic Rides. Some of blog posts were Owen's words alone but much of the time I added content of my own as well.

To start reading about Owen's Tour Divide ride, click on Arrived in Banff and start reading! Move forward through the posts by clicking on "Next -->" in the upper right hand corner of each blog post.

If you are a bikepacking enthusiast, you will likely want to read the post detailing Owen's gear list. Read it at Packing for the Tour Divide.

For a sneak peek at the riding conditions on the Tour Divide, here are a couple of pictures from Owen's blog.

Friday, April 1, 2016

300 miles in 30 Days

It's April 1st which means it's Day 1 of the next round of 30 Days of Biking!

Today's ride was on the Cannon Valley Trail.
Had to go around a tree that fell on the trail.
I signed up to do the challenge again, of course, because I've been doing in April ever since 2010. Wow! Now that I think of it it appears I'm either dedicated or a bit crazy - perhaps I'm a bit of both.

Don't know what 30 Days of Biking is? Well, it's a challenge where people pledge to ride their bikes every day during the month of April. As of this moment, 7,658 people from all over the world are officially on the roster stating they have pledged to do the challenge. People don't have to ride any certain number of miles. There are no prizes or people policing you to make sure you ride. You just commit to riding every day and do your best to complete the challenge.

After completing the challenge six years in a row I certainly know I can ride my bike every day for 30 days so I wondered if I should pledge to do 30 Days of Biking again this year. I decided I would do the challenge again but create a personal challenge within the challenge. I decided to create a milage goal for the month but really didn't know what number of miles would be reasonable for me. I came up with a goal of 300 miles in the month of April.

I suppose I liked the way that sounded - 300 Miles in 30 Days - and that's part of why I picked that number of miles because, now that I think of it, 300 miles in a month isn't really a reasonable goal for me. I think I have biked 300 miles in a month since I started bicycling in 2009 but I'm actually not sure. Last summer, my biggest milage month was 288 miles. I know some people bike 300 miles in a weekend a thousand or more miles a month but that's some people and this is me and my goal. 300 miles in 30 days is a stretch goal for me. But I can do it. Okay, I have doubts I can do this but I am going to say I can do it because that will help me accomplish my goal.

At the suggestion of my instructor/coach Amy from my Life.REVAMP class, I created a chart so I can color in a block every time I bike 10 miles. Guess what? I colored in a square and then some on my chart this afternoon! Yep, for the first day of 30 Days of Biking/300 Miles in 30 Days I biked 12 miles!

My 300 Miles in 30 Days chart
I find it motivating to fill in a chart like this. Not sure why - but I know it helps me to see how I'm doing. It also helps me greatly to write about my goal and share it with all of you because then I feel like I'm accountable to someone other than myself.

So I'm off to a good start! I can do this. Wait, let me reword that - I AM doing this!
I am biking 300 miles in the month of April. Yay!