RAMROD Ride Report

Day’s Verse:
For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.

Isaiah 40:27-31

Well, here it is, two days after RAMROD, and I still haven’t written about my experience yet. What to say? I’ve been thinking about this ride since January. I trained for it intensively for 16 weeks before the ride, and rode with an eye towards preparing even before that. In that time, I’ve eaten innumerable Clif bars, drunk endless bottles of Ironman Perform (lemon-lime), consumed uncountable pounds of pasta and oatmeal, and pedaled millions of strokes and thousands of miles. It’s been one of the pre-ride rainiest seasons anybody can remember, and several times I rode soaking wet and cold, refusing to let bad weather derail my training. I’ve spent so Saturdays away, Ian has an entire Saturday routine that doesn’t include me. Continue Reading >>

Sunny Activities

Day’s Verse:
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.
Hebrews 11:1-2

I haven’t blogged since last week for one excellent reason: The sun made a prolonged appearance! To celebrate, I spent lots of time outside and got festively sunburned on the back of my shoulders, an area that sees the sun approximately 0.8% of the year (on a good year). Continue Reading >>

Strange Things about Being a Bicyclist

Day’s Verse:
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.
Colossians 1:15-18ish

  • I regularly spend time with men whose legs are better-shaved than mine.
  • “Hammer” refers to “push really hard,” rather than a piece of hardware.
  • I think I look stylish in outfits like this:
     PROS Ride Start
    (That’s my friend Laurie; we’re fresh and perky before the ride on Saturday.)

  • Anything above 23 mph is fast. Anything above 30 mph is very fast.
  • I pay a lot of money every month for “food” and powdered electrolyte drink mix that tastes, at best, tolerable. Usually it’s awful, but I eat it anyway.
  • Anything under 50 miles is short. Anything between 50 and 100 miles is normal. Anything over 100 miles is long.
  • It’s always a good idea to check the weather, especially the radar, obsessively, and then try to out-guess the meteorologists.
  • On the weekend, I spend more waking hours with my bike than my husband.
  • When I’m driving, I have to resist the urge to use hand signals and, when I see a broken bottle on the side of the road, call out “Glass! Glass!”
  • There are some places I only know how to get to by bike.
  • It’s not unusual for me to be one of three or fewer women in a group of 20+ people.
  • I recognize people by their bicycles.
  • I don’t recognize bicyclists I’ve ridden for hundreds of miles with if they’re in non-biking (regular) clothes, or not wearing helmets.
  • I’m proud to keep up with people 20 to 30 years my senior, and in a group I’m usually the youngest by at least 10 or 15 years.
  • I can have long, animated conversations about ceramic bearings, stem angle, cassette range, wheelsets, and the like. (With genuine interest: “What size cog is that?” Proud response: “It’s a 34. And my small chainring is a 34, too, so I can climb anything…”)
  • A $100 pair of shorts or jersey is pretty reasonable.
  • The bigger the hill, the better.
  • I do a hard ride one day, come home exhausted, and say, “That was great!” Then the next day, I’ll go do another one. Continue Reading >>

  • “Ambitious” Is One Word For It

    Day’s Verse:
    It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
    Share the work, share the wealth.
    And if one falls down, the other helps,
    But if there’s no one to help, tough!

    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

    In Massachusetts, Ian and I made a goal of riding all of the paved bike paths. This was an achievable goal because Massachusetts has a finite number of paved multi-use trails (as they’re more accurately called). Last year, we were talking about how much fun that was — how it got us out to different parts of the state, built our relationship, and got us exercise all in one — and we ambitiously agreed to attempt the same feat in Washington. Continue Reading >>

    Flying Wheels Century Ride Report

    Day’s Verse:
    If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?
    Matthew 6:30

    Another week, another bike ride. Except that this wasn’t just any bike ride. This was Cascade’s Flying Wheels Summer Century, which I originally only did because all my friends were doing it. I don’t like big rides with lots of people, and most of the time, Cascade rides are that exact thing. However, I duly registered because, as I said, I succumbed to peer pressure. Happily, the weather cooperated and stayed cloudy, dry, and right around 60°F. Continue Reading >>

    Back from the Palouse & April 23 Ride Report

    Day’s Verse:
    Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.
    Luke 23:46ish

    They call ’em the Palouse Hills, and rightly so, as far southeastern Washington does have its share of impressive hills. But I’d like to suggest another name: The Palouse Wind Tunnel. More on that later; I’m jumping ahead.

    Instead of telling a long-winded tale, let me give you the highlights — but only if highlights also includes low points, because unfortunately, this trip to Pomeroy had very little to recommend it. Check beneath the fold for “highlights” of the trip, in no particular order. Continue Reading >>

    Choosing a Commuter Bike

    Day’s Verse:
    I spread out my hands to you;
    my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.

    Psalm 143:6

    So you’re interested in commuting by bike. Often one of the first questions people have when they start thinking about using a bike as a means of transportation is “What kind of bike should I use?” I’m going to provide a little bit of bike purchasing advice that’s based on my experience, but you don’t actually need a special bike for commuting. All you need is a bike in good working order, a helmet, and a way to carry your stuff. Continue Reading >>