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Weekend Warrior #1

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SATURDAY

It was finally dry and a bit warmer this weekend, so I was able to set out on a longer ride. California has had a lot of really cold and rainy days since Christmas. Not really whining…I am from upstate New York after all, but it has been tough to commit to longer, endurance type rides. This weekend, I set out to test the route I’ll take to head out of town in June (unless I decide to go South). It ended up being a half century that ended in Dixon, CA. I definitely could have ridden farther/longer, but I had a dinner date to get back for. You might wonder how I got back home since it was 50 miles one way. Well, I also tested my sag wagon, AKA, Ken. It worked beautifully too! He followed my progress on my tracker and knew exactly when and where I stopped. Since he went shopping for new shoes at the factory stores nearby, he picked me up with no trouble at all. More ride details can be found at 01/14/17 Ride.

People often ask if I ever enjoy the rides and stop to smell the roses so to speak. I always do! How can you not enjoy riding through the Napa Valley and surrounding areas? That’s why you’ll see plenty of photos to follow along with me. Besides, photography is one of my other hobbies. Most of the photos on my rides are just taken on my iPhone. It does a pretty decent job and they’re easy to upload. These are from my ride today…

The prison pic is for my running buddies since allegedly, I was contributing to the delinquency of a runner (since I chose to ride). CSP (California State Prison) was serendipitously on my route. The first pic is one of those that just fits in the WTF category.

SUNDAY

I rode to church this morning – a mere 8 miles – but it was cold by California standards! It was right around 40 degrees F so had to bundle up. I ran into my bud Aaron Comfort Dog . Not sure what he thought of my face mask, but I stayed warm!

Ride on!

 

 

 

 

 

Darth Rider 

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Training for a cross-country ride is interesting. What do you do when you live in Napa, CA at 33 feet above sea level? How are my lungs going to like riding over the Sierra and Rocky mountain passes? And I don’t really have time to go to the mountains every week to train. Next best thing? You have a loving husband and daughter (aka – The Sag Waggoneers) who give you an Elevation Training Mask for Christmas. So far, it’s been great. I used it during my Festive 500 rides and even on the flats it made me work pretty hard. And I sound really cool. It is somewhat disturbing to small children when they see me, though. Stay tuned…

The Beginning

The mustard is blooming in the Napa Valley so I figure it’s time to get off my duff and start sharing my cycling adventures that so many of you are clamoring for. Besides, it’s raining (something we don’t often experience here) so I don’t think I’ll be out riding a century this weekend!

As you may or may not know, I will be riding my bike across the country (USA) sometime around June, 2017. This has been a dream of mine for a long time.  When I was in my twenties (yes- young and stupid), I rode obsessively.  I rode at least 40 miles every day and usually 100 or more on weekends. I had a goal of riding cross-country, but didn’t have the time or logistical support at the time. The best I could do was ride from Hammond, Indiana, where I worked/lived to Herkimer, NY, where my parents still lived and I was born and raised. It was about 1700 miles round trip and a friend and I completed it in 8 days. Note the really cool 1st generation Bell biker helmets!

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I moved to CA shortly after that ride, eventually met my husband and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. I stopped riding for years. With significant changes to my exercise routine, my health suffered over time. About 3 years ago, I decided to “journey back to me.” I started running, riding again, doing other cross training activities and changed my eating habits @Whole30. then-now

Once riding long distance became part of my arsenal again, I got the itch! I decided that since I live in CA, and my extended family lives in MA, it’s a perfect set up for a coast to coast ride. To make it even more meaningful, I’ll be raising awareness and funds for Multiple Sclerosis research through Bike the US for MS. So…here we go! If it moves you, follow my training and eventual big ride adventures here. I’ll try to give you a taste of what it’s like and maybe spark something in you to follow your dreams too.

* BTW – I haven’t been compensated in any way for any products or services that are mentioned in my blog.  I also don’t get paid to write this blog.  If I do mention or link to a product or service from time to time, it will be because I happen to personally use it and like it. I won’t generally mention something I don’t like – I’ll leave those judgments up to you. And if I am ever lucky enough to receive something free that I talk about, I’ll let you know.