Showing posts from June, 2013

The Airplane Notebook

With our trip to the Short Wing Piper Club convention in Saratoga Springs, New York right on the horizon, I realized it was past time for me to write down hotel reservation information and the like. I set off in search of a nice little notebook to write things in and discovered what I call The Airplane Notebook. It's a smallish, spiral bound, blue notebook with lined pages. The cover has a cut out with a little silver airplane in the window. I picked it up in about 2005 to use as a travel journal for our SWPC trip to Vancouver, Washington.

I haven't taken The Airplane Notebook on every trip to the SWPC Convention but it has gone with us to most of them. It's also traveled with us on other trips, too, like a flying trip to Custer, South Dakota one October, as well as a trip I took via commercial airline back to Washington State to write about Stewart Systems, a environmentally friendly airplane paint system.

The Airplane Notebook turned out to be more of a place to jot note…

Vacation State Picture of the day - 6/25/13

We're gearing up to go on our annual vacation to the Short Wing Piper Club convention. There's always a lot to do before heading out of town and this year we're feeling a little more behind than usual.    The Pacer's annual just got signed off tonight. Owen and I both have to get current in the plane before we head out on our big trip with the family to Saratoga Springs, NY. We have to pack, of course. We have to deliver Rocket the dog to the kennel, George Lucas the Guinea Pig to my parents' house and Zelda the Leopard Gecko to the reptile sitter. Owen's been busy with work and I have been, too. So we're all kind of running around doing our best to get ready to go and feeling more than a bit frazzled.

Well, that's all the more reason to look for some Vacation State of Mind moments in our days!

I snapped this shot of Ryan a couple of days ago because I realized that I was in a perfect Vacation State right at home.

Here are the perfect little snippets of…

The Big Hill

I went out and bought a gravel bike a week and a half ago - a really cool Salsa Vaya 2 - and now I have it in my head that I can do a 50 or even a 100 mile gravel race/ride. Seems reasonable, I tell myself. All I have to do is get out and ride gravel, tackle lots and lots of gravel hills and build up my endurance and milage bit by bit.
So today I planned to go on a gravel ride of some length, maybe 10 miles. Turned out that lawn mowing,  helping my 11 year old son drive the lawn tractor, gardening, and sending my almost 14 year old daughter off on a week-long youth mission trip filled up most of my day. By 8:30 I realized it was a short ride or no ride so I decided to go. I didn't even change out of my gardening clothes. I just put on my helmet, gloves and bicycling shoes, grabbed a water bottle and headed out on Zippy (that's my Vaya's name) for a short spin.
I thought I would just go down the flattish gravel by my house and call it a day but I decided I would ride what I…

Funnest Bike Ride Ever!

Last night I went on a super fun bike ride. I think it's safe to say it was my best bike ride ever. And by best bike ride I don't mean that I went a ton of miles, set a speed record or did anything that would be considered extraordinary among "good" bicyclists. By best I mean I laughed and smiled more than any other bike ride I've been on. By best I mean funnest. And I know funnest is not a real word but I don't really care because "funnest bike ride ever" seems to be the best way to sum up my ride last night.

What did I do on this funnest bike ride ever? Well Owen and I loaded up our fat bikes (Owen's Mukluk  2 and my Beargrease named Bear) and drove on down to Milltown Cycles in Faribault and joined in on a Tuesday Night Ride. Milltown has these rides on most Tuesdays. Sometimes they ride gravel. Sometimes roads. Sometimes they ride mountain and fat bikes in River Bend Nature Center (awesome place). Last night was a River Bend night. And boy …

Even a Slow Start is a Start

Way back in January I set a biking milage goal for the year - 1,407 miles. Why the odd number? Well, my friend from high school, Kate, wanted to keep bicycling this year so decided to set a goal for herself to bike enough miles to equal riding from her current home town of Poulsbo, Washington to our childhood home town of Richfield, Minnesota. I saw her post her goal on Facebook and made a comment. Kate encouraged me to do the same challenge - except I would "bike" from Richfield to Poulsbo so we could virtually meet somewhere about half way.
Well the year has gotten off to a slow start for me. I rode my fat bike through the winter but fat bike miles are slow to add up, especially fat bike miles on the icy snow! I got in a good number of miles during April for 30 Days of Biking. And then it snowed. And rained. And rained. And rained. And I really didn't get out on my bike much. So here I am almost to mid-June with only 241 miles logged and am virtually just over the Minne…

Vacation State - Look Up

It's been three months since I wrote about my Vacation State of Mind project - a project in which I decided I would pretend I was on vacation for at least a moment each day and look at the things around me as though I'm a visitor instead of a person anxious to go somewhere else.

I meant to post pictures and updates of my Vacation State project several times but, well, I haven't. But I am posting something now!

Here's something that has put me in a Vacation State of Mind many, many times since I started my project - I can always get a Vacation State moment when I Look Up.

Let me explain...
I spent a January Term in England back in 1996 and one of the things I remember most about that trip was something a tour guide said. I was on a group tour of Oxford. As we were walking around Oxford our tour guide said that one thing we should remember to do as we walked through Oxford is to look up. When you look up, he said, you see all sorts of great things in the architecture of…

Signs of Spring

We've had such wet weather lately that I haven't been out on the bike much. Last Sunday was gloomy again so I decided I was going to ride my Beargrease in the rain because my need to move exceeded my desire to stay dry. I had a few changes to make to my bike before the ride (Switching out a stem, putting ergo handle grips on and adding a front fender). That all took some time and by the time I was done the rain had stopped. Bonus!

Bear and I headed out on tar to a short, somewhat hilly gravel loop near home. With my lack of serious riding I am out of shape so was glad I had my iPhone along as it have me a perfect excuse to stop and take pictures (and rest) along the way.

I had a great ride, albeit short with a few stops. But really, isn't the ride more about stopping and enjoying the scenery than going fast sometimes? Actually, I think going slow is under appreciated when it comes to biking. When it comes to life. So slow I went. And often I stopped to take pictures to rem…