30 Days of Biking

April 5, 2010

Some dude named Ryan decided to do a Twitter challenge to ride your bike every day for 30 days, and then tweet about it with the hash tag of #30daysofbiking. I didn’t get wind of it until April 2nd, a day after the challenge started, and of course April 1 happened to be the only day I didn’t ride my bike after work due to a necessary trip to Costco (I am determined to do this on a bike at some point though…). But better late than never, right? So to help keep track of my 29 days (I’ll bike May 1st too to get to 30), I’m going to keep track of my days here as well as on Twitter. As well as what bike I rode to make sure all 5 get some sort of love…

April 1 – slacker
2nd: Recycling Center & Post office (Xtracycle)
3rd: Grocery Store for Easter Dinner prep (PowderGirl)
4th: Church for Easter (PowderGirl)
5th: 7-Mile Cross ride (Kona Jake)
6th: Yoga in the AM (PowderGirl); Cross Ride to Jake & Yvonne’s for bible study
7th: Met with mortgage lender (Xtra); Cruised downtown for shopping (PowderGirl) and friends house for a BBQ (Xtra)
8th: boo, no riding. at conference from 7am to 10pm
9th: Downtown on Powdergirl for errands
10th: Does going to Canada to ski count?
11th: PowderGirl to church; Xtra to store and gym (wow, this is kind of repetative….)
12th: Bowling! (Xtra)
13th: To Yoga in the AM (PowderGirl)
14th: Xtra to Super1, then to the gym (all these are under 1/2 mile, geez)
15th: Few miles on the Xtra today to the Chamber after hours event, and then downtown for Telluride MountainFilm! And the Xtra met some new friends.
16th: Xtra to yoga then an evening Fixie tour around Whitefish with margs, pizza, and impromptu hanging out
17th: Mountain bike ride finished with a cruiser ride to the brewery to fill up the growler
18th: exploring more mountain bike trails
19th: Cruiser ride for one
20th: 8 miles to work = 1:03. 8 miles home = 21 minutes.
21st: Took PowderGirl to meet a finacial planner to set up my 401k
22nd: 8 miles to work = 1:00:51! Home? Downpouring so caught a ride. But then Xtracycles to downtown for the World Indoor Golf Championships.
23rd: Got a haircut with PG
24th: Cleaned the ‘Fish with the Xtras in tow
25th: Xtras to brunch
26th: fixie to Dairy Queen for a butterscotch dipped cone
27th: Cold cross ride to work, and a wet ride home
28th: Xtra to the Northern for Jim’s going away party
29th: raining still – xtra to breakfast at Loulas
30th: and still raining. Biked to the gym to swim. Then to friends house for dinner on the Xtras
1st: rain rain go away – but did bike related things like trail work and bought fenders for my cross bike. I then I stuck a sewing needle through my finger so spent the rest of the evening on the couch… So we’re adding one more day:
2nd: cruiser ride to church and then an epic-style 30-mileish 3.5-hour mtn bike ride. Then cruiser bikes to dinner. Think I made up all those skipped days in 1!

Giving Kids a Little Hope

December 27, 2009

August was my third time as a volunteer for Big City Mountaineers, an organization that takes inner city youth on backpacking trips. I always explain it as a combination between Boys/Girls Club and Outward Bound. The kids are all part of a local youth organization – usually after school programs. But some of the kids are from group homes. One day I would like to be a foster parent, and so I’ve been delighted that two of my three trips were girls from group homes and most of them in the foster system.

From BCM – A Kidz Hope 2009

Now that I’m in Montana, and not near any regional programs, I’m not sure the next time I’ll get to go on a trip. But since the organization is one I’m passionate about, I’m helping where I still can, and I know there will be another Summit for Someone in my future. And even though I’m not on the PR team anymore, I will help where I can editorially. In December, Women’s Adventure magazine posted an article on its reader blog’s page of my experience:

The first day is always a bit intimidating. I’ve arrived at headquarters and met the trip leader and the other volunteers. We start sorting gear and loading a car. Then the van shows up. Five teenage girls tumble out (yes, tumble would be extremely accurate). After more sorting and passing out gear, we’re on the road to the Medicine Bow National Forest in Wyoming. And so starts one of the most rewarding weeks of my summers.
Keep Reading: http://www.womensadventuremagazine.com

"Thoughts on my Bike"

October 6, 2009

One of my favorite things about riding my bike is the time to look around and think. I dearly miss my daily bike commute, but now the chance to pick one of them out of the garage and go for a ride makes it just that much more special.

This video pretty much captures it exactly. The combination of the artwork and poetry is fantastic and makes me want to go ride my bike. It was made for the NY Bicycle Film Festival (which I hope to attend someday!) by Andrea Dorfman.

Cool things I've discovered in Whitefish

September 9, 2009

The last few weeks have been full of exploring. Few things I’ve discovered that are cool:
1. Whitefish River bike path. The paths randomly start and end here, but I found a cool stretch this evening that weaves through trees along the river. Very peaceful and beautiful
2. The bike commute to work. Totally sucks because its uphill for 7 miles at a 9% grade. But it only takes 1 hour from my house to my office. Totally doable once (maybe twice) a week. And since I start work at 9ish, I’m not getting up too early.
3. Glacier National Park. Finally went on Monday. Total tourist trap, but like all national parks, once you get on a trail that is more than 2 miles, no tourists to be found… Still fun to stop and point at nothing and see who looks.
4. Tuesday Night Farmers Market. $1 oversized (and organic) zucchinis anyone? ‘Nuf said.
5. And so far the local microbrews are pretty tasty, too!

Just another stop in life

August 28, 2009

I haven’t been much for writing recently. Too much going on could be my lame excuse, but really, I haven’t been inspired. Life took a drastic turn a few weeks ago when I accepted a job in northern Montana basically doing my dream job. Its been non-stop ever since, and the amount of thoughts and feelings going through my head should be great fodder for writing. But its been just a bit too overwhelming to even put it on paper (or the keyboard more like it). So here I am, 5 days into my new life in Whitefish, and realizing I’m still not inspired, but forcing myself to write anyway.

This is my second night alone since my mom left after driving with me. I’m in a  condo at the ski resort where I work for a few more days before the lease on my apartment starts up. Dave will show up mid-September with the Uhaul in tow. I know I’ll make friends eventually and probably get involved with way to many things like I have a habit of doing, but for now, I’m by myself with nothing but my computer and a glass of wine. But I’m not lonely. I’ve time to work on grad school, hopefully get the pink poncho finished for Selah before she’s 2 and read – I’m reading a novel for the first time in months! I’m completely content. I’m sure it will be weird when I move into the apartment with nothing but a camp box and air mattress. I didn’t even think to bring some hangers!

I’m excited to get on my bike once I’m in town and explore. The coffee shop downtown is supposedly awesome, and I’ve already experienced the City Beach. Water and mountains are my favorite combo, and I’ve got both here. I’ve got a list of promising sounding churches to start checking out on Sunday, and so far it seems the bike culture here is vibrant (but nowhere near Stompa-style…). I think I’ll like it here and hopefully have stories to tell.

Part of the Tribe

June 6, 2009

We all want to be a part of something. Something great if we had our way, but sometimes just something is sufficient. We are part of our jobs, families, social circles, volunteer networks. But sometimes that “Tribe” is a little less intimate.

I drive a Land Cruiser – a FJ62 to be exact. Kind of the Xtracycle of the car world really. FJ owners have an unofficial tribe: we wave at each other when driving by. But its the old FJs, not those fancy new plastic ones built on a 4Runner frame. Even though it is a gas hog, I have a sense of pride driving the Beast, as we’ve come to call it. We have plans to eventually get a diesel engine hopefully convert to Veggie, but for now its a standard SUV.

Now that I’m an Xtracycle owner, I have the same sense of pride and belong to another tribe. I pass Xtras on the street, and we wave – but with a much bigger smile than the FJ owners. I’m not sure what it is about it, but Xtra owners just seem happier when riding their bike – almost a defiance of not having to use a car to get stuff around.


Finding Passion – in bikes?

May 15, 2009

I’ve always had trouble answering the question “what’s your passion?” I’ve always been the type that was interested in a lot but passionate in nothing. To many things to experience to really focus on just one thing. But I think I’ve found a passion finally – bikes! It may sound shallow and flippant, but when I spend $30 on a t-shirt that says “saving the world ain’t so hard” with a pic of a bike, it has meaning to me (especially if you know me and know I’m don’t buy new things that often). I’m not the obsessed roadie or mountain biker. I do these things, but I’m much more interested in the simpleness of the bicycle as transportation and how it can benefit communities through less traffic, pollution and getting people outside. The past few weeks with the 18 Hours, 5Point (not the films themselves, but more hanging out with the New Belgium guys) and then this week as Bonedale Bike Week, I’ve been the most happy as I have in months.

Mi Bicicleta o Mi Muerta

Mi Bicicleta o Mi Muerte

How to race an Xtracycle – 10 things I learned at the 18 Hours of Fruita

May 4, 2009
The team of Xtracycles

The team of Xtracycles

1.   Take turns wide

2.    Standing while climbing is not recommended; make sure you have a granny gear

3.    Fenders are not recommended when it’s raining – even if it is your townie. Mud gets caught and makes the tires not move

4.    The xtra weight very likely will cause your chain to break if you crank up too hard a hill

5.    The one guy you pass probably totally feels like a looser that he just got passed by a girl on a long bike

6.    When the bike you ride is decorated purple with a glow skull, flags, spoke cards and spray-painted, you feel like aimg_3029 total stud

7.    A start time of midnight makes for a long day, even when you only ride once. Got to cheer on the rest of the team!

8.    The blowup doll strapped on the back of the Xtra is necessary at least for one lap

9.    Beer tastes xtra good – especially when the New Belgium tent is only steps away from the finish line

10.  It’s the most fun on two wheels

Cranking up the final push
Cranking up the final push

Cranking it up for Bonedale Bike Week

April 6, 2009

Some days I think we should just get rid of the car, as least one of the cars. Not like both of them are ever out of the driveway at the same time, unless one is in the shop. They sit and get snowed on and rained on, but rarely started. Why may you ask? Well, could be because of any of the 12 bicycles that live at my house. They demand to be ridden. If I walk outside with my keys in hand ready to start up the Land Cruiser, I see PowderGirl’s tassels blowing, beckoning me to come ride…

We started ‘Bonedale Bike Week last year in an effort to get more people out of their cars and on their bikes. Our small town of 5000 people is the perfect bike town. No hills, bike paths almost everywhere (well, except on the last stretch of highway that gets to my neighborhood, but that’s a whole nother story) and cops that escort us on Full Moon Cruiser rides wishing they were on bikes too. My friend Tracy took me to Boise where she started Boise Bike Week for inspiration, and the vision took hold. So last year, with help of a few others, we started up Bonedale Bike Week.  With the popularity of the cruiser rides, we figured why not devote a week to all things bike?

So we’re now in the midst of planning all the cool events we’ve got planned for this year. We’ve enlisted New Belgium as a sponsor as well as got the town rec departement on board (helps both Tracy and I work there part time). Should be a blast! May 11-16, 2009.

Two Weeks and so far so good

April 2, 2009

I’m now just over two weeks into my month-long cleanse. After my first couple days of utter starvation and cravings, I’ve settled into my new meal plan and the cravings for the most part have subsided. I feel like this process is actually teaching me how to cook! No more quick quesadillas, I now have to fully plan what I’m going to eat for the day. I’ve learned to make quinoa, polenta and have finally mastered the art of eggs for breakfast (that’s always been Dave’s job).

A few things have really been my saving grace: popcorn and rice cakes w/ almond butter. I’m a snacker, and these two things have given the little bits of energy I need mid morning and mid afternoon.

The downfalls? I’m tired really early. No caffine to keep me going on the weekends, I’m still in bed by 10:30 (party pooper). And I’m actually having to pack a lunch for skiing on the weekends as there isn’t much to feed me on the mountain (the usual sweet potato fries and a candy bar really doesn’t fit in this diet…).

Overall, I’m feeling great. But the Full Moon cruiser ride next week isn’t going to be the same with out my hot toddy in hand!

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