The Mascot

So…It looks like Scoobert is going along for the ride in June. It seems as though he behaves rather poorly if he is left behind for several days. He really does enjoy car rides and since he LOVES going for walks, he will definitely give the other sag wagoneers something to do during the day. Besides, he knows lots of tricks to keep them busy.

Oh yeah – training – I did get in a few miles this weekend. Saturday was chilly, windy and a bit damp. Sunday was one of those perfect days that we seem to get a lot of in Napa Valley. I sure can’t wait ’till I stop going in circles though!

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Ride on!

If my head wasn’t screwed on, I’d forget that too!

Head On

It’s a weird thing. I am very absent minded. Once something gets to my long term memory banks, though, I never forget it. Ask anyone who really knows me. I never forget birthdays, obscure anniversary dates, phone numbers, names, words that were spoken, treatments rendered, etc. I can still see doodles on pages of my Anatomy class notes. The problem is, it has to get there because my short term memory seems to be for naught. I can’t remember five things I was supposed to pick up at the store. I can’t remember to bring a book to a friend. I can’t remember my purse when we leave a restaurant. A year from now though, I’ll be able to tell you what was on my shopping list, or what page I read something interesting on, or what I ordered in the restaurant.

It’s funny. When I rode my bike in the eighty’s I never worried about remembering anything. We didn’t have cell phones. I had a small, first generation cycle computer that told me my speed and distance and started automatically. I didn’t really think about safety (I was in my twenties after all) so I didn’t have lights or safety vests or reflectors and what not. I did wear a helmet. Today though, is a totally different story. I have a satellite tracker (to keep my husband and friends happy). I have a fancy Garmin cycle computer that has info about everything, including maps. I have lights on the front and back of the bike. I have reflective bands. I have multiple water bottles. I have repair tools/kits. I have a cell phone and ear buds – yes I do occasionally like to listen to low volume music in one ear. I probably have other things that I’m forgetting.

That brings me to checklists. Checklists are great. And I’ve decided I pretty much need one (or two) for my bike. Otherwise, I forget to charge the aforementioned equipment. I forget to bring one thing or another. I forget to turn the lights on or I forget to turn them off when I’m done for the day.  And it goes on. Checklists are part of my life too, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before now. I am a private pilot and you use checklists before/during every flight. I help my husband who teaches CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and checklists are a big part of being prepared for and responding to disasters. I work in healthcare where checklists are used routinely to make sure the right patients are receiving the right treatments. I even make out a weekly grocery list these days.

And so, for peace of mind, I have created my bicycling checklists. I have one (would you believe it) for take off and landing (start up/shut down of various electronics). And I have one of things I should bring along when I’m planning to be 50 or more miles away from home base.

Now if only I could remember to check the checklist!

Ride on!

Spring at Last, Spring at Last, Spring at Last!

Well, the days are finally showing more consistent signs of Spring and I was able to get a nice leisurely 40-miler in this morning. It’s hard though. I want to stop everywhere and take pictures. I did manage to get a few in.

I hope this is a good sign for nice weather in the upcoming weeks. Getting soggy isn’t bad but it is getting a bit old. It’s been good training though. I’m pretty sure I will run into some rain somewhere this June.

Link to more detail on today’s ride – if you’re interested.

Cheers to higher mileage weeks!  Ride on!

 

 

First Day of Spring…Ha!

Today marked the first day of Spring. I’ve been living in California for 27 years now and I don’t ever remember a year when it rained so much in March, much less the first day of Spring. Mind you, I grew up in upstate New York where this weather would be welcomed. I went to college in Buffalo where we seemed to have precipitation 300 days/year (actual average is 93 days). And I worked in the Chicago area where the wind chilled you to the bone – so I’m not exactly a weather weenie. But come on! I have to get my mileage up. Counting today, I figure I have about 72 days left to get my act together if I’m going to make it across America.

So, I went out and rode. Got a quick 20 in after work. A bit soggy, but not nearly as cold as it was in December! An added plus was that it was at least still light out. Looks like this week will bring more of the same. Good thing I won’t likely melt!IMG_3667

Ride on!

Progress

Progress. You’ve got to love it! When I was born, titanium dental implants didn’t even exist. When I was in elementary school, CT scans weren’t available. When I was in high school, MRI’s were just starting to be used. And coronary stents weren’t deployed until after I became a physical therapist. Heck, even personal computers and the internet weren’t around until a few decades ago. I had to use a typewriter to write my research thesis in college! Progress. I do love progress.

Progress is defined as forward or onward movement toward a destination. Synonyms include advance, breakthrough, growth, headway, improvement, and journey. I hope that progress defines my year.

I hope to advance toward my goals. Later this year, June to be exact, I hope to ride my bike across America. I even hope to ride at least 100 miles per day (about 40 consecutive centuries). I will be raising funds to help end multiple sclerosis (MS) along the way through Bike the US for MS.

I hope to breakthrough the wind. Headwind has always been my nemesis. I curse it as I ride. Some days the wind can be so strong, it feels like you are standing still. I’ve learned to pedal at a higher cadence (about 90 RPM) and ride in the drops which really do help you cut through the wind easier.

I hope to make headway with many things and show some growth. I happen to be on vacation in San Diego this week. A little spring break with our daughter. I’ve learned here that I have made some headway in terms of fitness improvement and that makes me happy. The leading photo for this blog is of the screen on a treadmill at the Worldmark where we are staying. Anyone looking at it might think it’s a great slow/average run. I think progress! When we were here a year ago, I had trouble maintaining a 4-mile per hour pace. Now that feels like a fast walk. When we were here a year ago, I watched from the cliff top while others discovered what was in the tide pools. This year, I had my own adventure.

I hope that I improve as a cyclist and as a person. And I hope to discover many exciting things yet to be revealed on my journey.

Ride on!

Weekend Warrior #3 – Trials and Tribulations of the Sag Wagoneer

The forecast was for no rain or at best, chance of showers, so I thought I would go for my first century of the year. I blew off the St. John’s running crew, said “good bye” to the crusher guy, and headed toward Dixon. I knew riding there and back would put me right at 100 miles.

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Of course, my husband, aka. sag wagoneer, wanted to know where I was headed on this cold Napa morning. img_3468

At first, I didn’t know. I usually let the day decide and once I get out there, the bike just heads where it feels right. Early on, I thought I might do some local loops. I have a bunch mapped out – 4 miles, 5 miles, 10 miles, – you name it. But then as I headed out the door, I shouted to him that I would ride to Dixon and back.

It turned out to be a beautiful pre-Spring day. Flowers were peaking up everywhere. Baby animals were romping in the pastures. And trees were bursting with buds. flowers1img_3481img_3467cows.jpgimg_3354

It was also a pleasant surprise that the wind was really calm. It’s always nice when you see flags just hugging the poles!img_3482

I made it to Dixon and thought I would grab a little bite to eat so I called my husband to let him know why I was stopping. img_3490Well, he replied that he was almost in Dixon as well, so we could grab some lunch together! It turns out that he thought I was just riding to Dixon – not there and back. So he set out in time to pick me up in the “sag wagon.” How sweet – but I certainly wouldn’t get my century in. We had a good chuckle over the miscommunication and decided that I would ride on to at least make a metric century (62 miles) and then we would get a bite to eat. It was all good! I even found my first road treasure of the year – a slightly used bungee cord. I can always use those!img_3507

Lesson learned: Clear communication with the sag wagon is a vital skill to perfect.

Ride on!