Showing posts from 2010

Baking Weather

Many of you know that I love to bake.

I've been planning to share some recipes on my blog and I think today is a good day for sharing one.

Because here in Minnesota we're in the middle of a big snowstorm. Events are being cancelled. The roads are too bad to drive. Plows won't be coming through our neighborhood for hours. The temperature is going below zero tonight and is expected to stay below zero or in the single digits through Tuesday. So it's a good day to do indoor activities - like baking cookies made with butter. Lots of butter. And cream. Yep, cream is good, too. So, if you are stuck in this Minnesota snowstorm or just want to pretend you are, I'm going to link you to an easy recipe for Mandel Kakor - Swedish Almond Butter Cookies. Why a recipe for Swedish cookies today? Well, last night I attended the 35th annual Lucia Festival hosted by the Northfield Swedish Club. My husband and kids attended the event a few years ago but this was my first time. I enjoyed …

Our Italy Box

Guess what? The Mibus Family is heading to Italy to do some bike touring!!! Now don't get TOO excited, we're not going any time soon. But it's good to dream so that's what we're doing. But we're not only dreaming we're doing something about our dream - we're saving money in our Italy Box. Traveling to Italy has been on the back burner of my "to do" list for a couple of years. Art. History. Architecture. Food. Gelato. Wine. Italy is full of stuff to see and do and I love to travel. Once I started bicycling I learned that various companies coordinate bike tours in Italy which made me want to go there even more. I found a brochure on bike tours, several of which went through the Italian countryside, and looked at it with Owen and the kids. Everyone was interested but Rose got especially excited. 
One of Cassi's pictures. Thanks, Cassi, for giving me permission to use your picture for my blog! "rooftops of Caldana and the patchwork landscape…

Winter Riding Fun

It's downright warm today, about 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so I decided to get out on my bike and ride. I talked Rose into joining me and soon we were out on our bikes riding down our grass taxiway and out onto the runway (no planes flying today, don't worry).

Ready to go.
Our runway is plowed but there was still about an inch of snow in most places, some places up to four inches deep, but my hybrid handled the snow well enough. Rose's mountain bike was better equipped for the snow covered grass. Still, it wasn't easy to pedal through the snow. Just a few minutes into our ride we were both huffing and puffing and I started to feel the familiar burn in my thighs from pedaling. There is simply nothing better, I think, than riding a bike to get a good workout. Yet, even with the hard effort, Rose and I laughed and smiled as we pedaled. And though I slipped and nearly wiped out on a hidden ice patch, we had a blast.
My winter riding companion, Rose.  Our taxiway is totally snow-f…

Running a Bit

I've never been a runner. I take that back. I was in track in 8th grade and ran, slowly, the 400 meter and some relay races. But in the last 20 years I've probably run less than 10 miles total. My reasons for not running are many - from getting shin splints to not having running shoes or a decent running bra to simply not wanting to.

And, to be honest, I always thought runners were kind of nutty.
I mean, why would someone run on purpose?
Because running looks like a lot of work.
Sweating and all that when you could simply walk.
But I used to think bicyclists were nutty, too.
And I think of myself as a bicyclist now, or at least a hard-core aficionado.


Now that there is snow on the ground and my road bike is not set up for dashing through the snow I've been seeking alternate methods of exercise. I've been walking the dogs and while this is great, starting and stopping a lot with a 14 years old dog and a year-old pup doesn't translate to a lot of calories burn…

On Goals - or 1,000 miles in 2010

When Owen and I got our road bikes in late March we made a commitment to ride our bikes a lot. We talked about milage goals for the season and Owen threw out 1,000 miles as his goal. “1,000 miles?” I asked him. “In one season?” That sounded like way too many miles to me. I decided on 500 miles as my goal, almost too hard to accomplish, I thought, but still reasonable and reachable But Owen’s goal of 1,000 miles stayed in my mind. And it’s still there. You see, I have been thinking about goals a lot since I started riding. This is the deal...goals and I haven’t had a good relationship. I’ve tended to look at setting goals as a way to guarantee failure. As something rigid and too out of reach.  And when I didn't meet a goal I thought about the people who said “you can’t,” and “it’s too hard for you,” and stuff like that. Because that’s what people have told me in the past.
And since I often didn't meet my goals I figured what other people said was true. So, no surprise, I’ve been hesit…

Rocket the Wonder Dog

Our pup, Rocket, turned one yesterday. To look at him he appears to be a full-grown dog. He's almost as big as our other dog, Chaucer, who is 14 years old and weighs 24 pounds. He's lost most of his puppy look. He's even quieted down a lot since we got him late last January.
Rose and Rocket - January 29, 2010. Rocket's first day home. Rocket is nearly 12 weeks old and Rose is 10 1/2 years.
But even though he is physically looking like a grown up dog he still is acting very much like a puppy, or maybe I should say a teenager, as he is still very much an adolescent and full of mischief.
Yes, lots of dogs are into mischief. But Rocket is one of the most mischievous dogs I've met. Certainly the most mischievous dogs I've owned (he's my fifth).
What does he do? Well, here's a short list:
Rocket steals socks from the laundry and slobbers all over them. He takes tissues out of the Kleenex box. He digs in the trash cans. He eats sticky notes. He's been known to dest…

Mission Accomplished

I haven't blogged or biked in awhile and I've missed both. But, I've been up to my ears with a a travel story writing deadline and activities with the family and even though that's not really an excuse I'm using it :)

My story was due today and I found myself stuck needing to cut yet another 50 words to get it down to the right length. But my brain was pretty much fried and I realized I was not going to make any progress on the story unless I took a break.

So I decided to head out for a short bike ride.

At first I planned to ride my hybrid and hit the gravel roads near my home. Then I looked outside at the 60 degree weather and decided it was worth kitting up to ride my road bike if even for a short hop. After figuring out what to wear for the weather, (long sleeve jersey, bike shorts and long pants and light vest. I ended up being too warm) I aired up my tires (they were WAY below normal pressure), swung on, clipped into my pedals and headed down the road.

I headed…

A lot of donuts

Another fun bit of information gathered from our The Mibus Family 30 Days of Biking Challenge has to do with donuts.

Dailymile keeps track of fun things besides milage like the number of gallons a biker saves by biking, the number of pounds lost and the number of TVs powered for the miles you bike. The most fun statistic they offer, I think, shows how many donuts a person could have eaten calorie free, essentially, because of the calories burned by riding bike.  Again, my numbers aren’t 100% accurate here because Dailymile doesn’t figure this out per month. But, based on the information I had I did some algebra to solve for X/number of donuts (see, math really does come in handy in real life!) and came up with the whopping number of 196 donuts! That’s a lot of donuts for one family! Best thing is we didn’t actually eat any donuts during our 30 Days of Biking. Instead, we burned a ton of calories and got in better shape. Not that the kids needed to get into shape. They are already fit. Ow…

58 Hours of Fun

Last time I wrote I promised I would give you the stats on our Family 30 Days of Biking Challenge. Well, I’m a little slow in getting this to you but I finally have it done! One of the reasons for the delay is that I went to tally up our total miles and realized that we hadn’t kept up Rose’s Dailymile biking log. Rose almost always rode with either me or Owen so I recreated Rose’s rides based on our milage logs. Then I realized we didn’t have Ryan log his miles in any formal fashion at all. So, since he usually rode with Rose, I based his milage on hers. Our final numbers for the kids aren’t going to be 100% accurate but they are pretty close.  The process of logging all of Rose’s miles was cumbersome to say the least but I’m glad I got it done. It was kind of fun, too, to look back and read some of the comments we wrote along with our entries. To remember that our little family of four set out to accomplished a goal that seemed impossible at the start. That we overcame some obstacles a…

Our Family's Grand Adventure

We've had perfect weather for riding here in Minnesota. It was in the 80s today which is very strange for October but also very nice. September was more tumultuous - some cold, lots of rain, flooding. But September was the month for the second 30 Days of Biking challenge of 2010 so even though the weather was not always nice, hundreds of people in Minnesota and around the world took part in the biking challenge and ventured out every day to ride their bikes.

You may remember that my whole family decided to do the 30 Days of Riding challenge. Guess what? We did it!! We actually rode our bikes every single day in September. We logged hundreds of miles (I'll tally them up at some point and share them with you) and we spent hours together riding and talking and having fun as a family. We accomplished something together that will be part of our lives forever. Something we'll never forget.

For our final day of the challenge Rose decided we should ride a bike path in New Prague, …

After the Rain

Boy, it's been a crazy week around here. Last Wednesday I went for a bike ride on the Sakatah trail. While on the ride it started to rain. Pour, actually. It poured rain pretty much non-stop for the next 24 hours and the river in our town of Northfield, Minnesota, flooded. Big time.

To top it off, I got hit with some kind of a cold that had me in bed most of Thursday and Friday. So it was raining, the river was rising, and the city needed people to help sandbag and I was sick in bed. It's a helpless feeling to be in bed sick when you want to be out sandbagging your town. I'm sure, though, that I didn't feel nearly as helpless as some of my friends who live in Northfield who watched the river rise and ruin their homes and businesses even as they sandbagged. Even as they moved things out of their offices and homes.

A video of the flooding in Northfield (I hope this shows up)
It's now a week since the rain started. The river is going down. Clean up crews are hard at wor…

Goofy, That Is.

I have so much to write about, all sorts of stories to tell about some of my rides this past week - rides that included changing a bike tire, riding in the rain, forgetting to unclip my pedals and falling off my bike and into a ravine. But every time I sit down to write I get stuck.

I don't get stuck very often.
I don't like getting stuck.

So, I'm taking all of my half finished blog posts and am saving them in a file marked "Blog." I hope I get back to them. I plan to. The writing will come together another day. But today is not the day.

Today is the day, I guess, to read a book and go to bed. I have a cold. I am tired.

Today is also the 22nd day of 30 Days of Biking.

I rode my bike today, 10 miles this afternoon on the Sakatah Trail in Faribault. Half of those miles were in the pouring rain. I got soaked but still had a nice ride. Really. Well, sort of.

It's been raining since my afternoon ride and was still raining heavily when Owen and the kids got home fr…

One of the Best Bike Rides. Ever.

I hauled my bike over to the Cannon Valley Trail today to ride all by myself, something I don't do very often. The whir of my bike wheels and the ticking of my gears got me into a meditative mode as I rode the nice, flat trail. The trees formed a canopy overhead, the leaves crunched under my wheels, my pace was fast, my spirits high and I realized I was on one of the best rides of my short biking career.  Then I started to wonder, what is a best ride? Is there such a thing as THE best ride? Like the very best that can't be topped? Or are there different kinds of "best" rides, like the fastest ride or the longest ride? Can the best ride be a whole month of rides, like I'm doing for 30 Days of Biking, rolled all together to create a best? Maybe the best ride is in an beautiful location, like Italy. Or maybe it involves riding a great race or setting a record. What makes a ride a best ride? I'm really not sure. But then I thought back to yesterday's ride, the …

Ice Cream and Wooly Bears - Biking with the Kids

As of today everyone in my family has biked seven days in a row and are now almost a fourth of the way through 30 Days of Biking. So far the kids haven't complained once about riding their bikes. They seem to enjoy riding every day and I think they like being a part of something big. It may also help that we asked the kids if we should work towards some sort of family reward for biking every day for 30 days. For me, and I'm guessing for Owen, biking every day is reward enough but I figured some extra incentive might be nice for the kids.

Ryan on his little mountain bike - he rode almost 18 miles on the Tour de Cream
Rose came up with the idea to go to an indoor rock climbing place called Vertical Endeavors. I think this is a cool reward - indoor rock climbing is not something we've ever done as a family and it's unique enough to make it really special. I also think it's cool that Rose came up with an incentive that presents a challenge (rock climbing) and is also act…

Exploring Minneapolis by Bike

Exploring the bike paths of Minneapolis and St. Paul is one of my goals for 30 Days of Biking Part 2. Why? Well,  I was up in Minneapolis with my kids a few days ago visiting the Mill City Museum (fabulous place!) and realized that even though I grew up in the first ring suburb of Richfield and live only 40 minutes south, I don't know Minneapolis very well. Plus, I've heard that Minneapolis has a fabulous trail system and know that Bicycling magazine named Minneapolis the #1 Bike Friendly City this year. So, since I committed to riding my bike every single day of September, I figured I might as well get out and explore the Twin Cities!

I suppose the best way to explore the trails is to get up to the city and ride them. Trouble is, I don't know either city very well and though I have a map of the trails I'm kind of anxious about just heading out on my own. What to do? I found a "C" group ride through the Twin Cities Bicycling Club that promised a 10 mph pace a…