Archive of posts with category 'Biking'
Broke out the bike today, so I can say that I did bike in February. I definitely skipped December and January. But the weather is getting better, so it’s time. I had to go to my brother’s house and decided to pump up the tires and take it for a spin. Since I then left something at my brother’s house, I had to go back to pick it up. So I’ve biked two miles this month. That means around 2242 more miles to go to beat my best biking year ever, which was 2015. That might be a fun challenge.Feb 2, 2018 Cost Per Mile
I have some time to kill before podcast recording tonight. I was balancing my checkbook and took a quick look at the report it generated for last year. I noticed that all my auto expenses for last year were $2532.10. It breaks down like this:Jan 9, 2018 Starting Off Right
When it was below 0F last week, I saw some people out biking and admired them. I thought if it got above 15-20F, that I would ride too. So this morning, I had a nice, slow ride to work to start the year off right. It’s around 27F, so a little chilly, but pretty nice compared to last week. I felt good, though, a second thin pair of socks would have been helpful. But that’s ok. I want to start riding to work more and this is part of the process.Apr 17, 2016 First Long Ride
The weather today is BEAUTIFUL! After going through the lousy weather of late, a day like today is glorious. I couldn’t wait to get outside and go for a bike ride. My plan was to ride up to Barnes and Noble to get some books for a project. The store was is just over six miles from my house and I left about an hour before it opened, figuring I’d ride around. I was enjoying the ride so much that I just decided to head up to the north side. I texted my cousin Janet and ended up riding to her house in Logan Square. I hung out with her a for a while and then head over to the bookstore. At about the 19 mile mark, I stopped at a grocery store and got some milk and donuts, which I took to Ping Tom Park (my favorite park in the city) and had a little picnic. Then, I rode home. Total ride time: 2 hours and 18 minutes. Total distance: 23.22 miles. Me: totally happy.Apr 5, 2016 My First Attempt
I’ve wanted to volunteer somewhere for a while and decided to give Working Bikes a try. One of their volunteer nights is Tuesday night, and I’m trying to go there every Tuesday. Tonight was my third time. It starts at 5 and I got there at maybe 5:15 or so and was basically the only volunteer for a while. This was great because Andrew (the guy in charge) asked me if I could try working on a bike solo. I think he had some things he wanted to do, so working with me was low on his list. Thus, after giving me a quick refresher on how to put the bike in the stand, I got to work by myself.Jan 3, 2016 So far, so good
We’re three days into the new year and it’s so far, so good. Tomorrow, I have to go back to work. I’m a little bummed that I can’t wear sweatpants all day anymore, but that’s ok. It’ll be good to get back in the swing of things. I’ve taken short bike rides every day so far and am up to 11 miles. So only 2242 to go to hit my goal. 🙂 I’ve cooked some good meals (homemade pizza, eggs with pepper, onion and avocado) and some ok ones (roasted vegetables with noodles). I’ve also used up my blackened bananas by making banana muffins, which turned out pretty good. I went with Paul today to his bar and helped him clean up some wood. So while I didn’t technically do a workout, I worked there for a couple of hours and got my heart rate up. My car has only been out of the garage one day. And since the weather looks pretty good, I’m hoping that the bike will get me to work for most of this week.Nov 27, 2015 Black Friday
Today is “Black Friday”, which means that I’m spending it relaxing after hosting Thanksgiving yesterday. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I believe yesterday was quite enjoyable for everyone. The wild turkey got deplucked and turned out ok. My turkey breast roast, made out of a bunch of pieces, was good. The roasted sweet potatoes were good. And as always the desserts were finished off without a problem.Nov 22, 2015 Winter Biking
Chicago had it’s first snowfall of the year yesterday. A few inches. But then it got quite cold and while roads were plowed and salted, the remaining water froze to ice. Since I have been biking all year and loving it, I wanted to keep the commute to work for as long as I can. I was a bit nervous about biking in the snow, so I decided to get up early this morning and bike to the grocery store, four blocks away. It was 14 degrees when I left. I was dressed well, so the cold wasn’t a concern at all. All I was worried about was the ice.Oct 31, 2015 Bike Travel
The bulk of my vacation time the past few years, has been spent with me driving to a city with my bike and then biking around the city. Sometimes this has been to go on official bike rides with thousands of other people on closed streets and others it’s just me riding around town on bike paths or in the street. I absolutely love doing this. The big rides are fun because the towns usually route the ride through interesting neighborhoods and past important landmarks. And the individual rides are fun because it’s neat to learn your way around a new town. It’s also easy. I can put a destination in google maps and have it tell me directions best for biking.Oct 29, 2015 Could I Live without My Car?
A couple of days ago, I hit 2000 miles of biking for the year. It wasn’t a goal to do this at the start of the year, but I’m rather pleased with myself. I actually thought it was a bit of an accomplishment until I read a blog post somewhere about a woman with MS who rode like 6000 miles for the year. I have a long way to go to reach that. But this got me thinking, do I really need to own my own car?May 11, 2015 Vacation!
It’s rare, but every so often I take a real vacation. By this I mean, I take off at least a week from work, go someplace and just relax. In my case, that means riding my bike around and reading. This time, I spent just over a week in New York City. I went for the Five Boro Bike Tour and stayed to go to a friend’s reading of his play. During my trip, I ended up biking over 130 miles and read six books. I could have done more of both. It was one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.Mar 15, 2015 Biking
Went for a nice bike ride this morning because it’s lovely out. Decided to ride to the bank to deposit a check and then take a ride along the lakefront. Did about 13 miles and felt pretty good. I just noticed on my Cyclemeter app that it tells me how many miles I biked overall last year. It’s close but I know that I don’t always remember to turn it on and I only got the app in April. So it’s probably a bit low. Anyway it says I rode 1131 miles last year. So far this year, I’ve ridden 102 miles. That’s pretty good. I didn’t think that I already rode that much this year. I think I now have a goal for the year. I need to do more than 1131 miles.Mar 1, 2015 Spring is Coming
I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or if we had a particularly snowy winter, but I cannot wait for spring to come. Today makes me happy because spring training starts and I can watch a game on tv and see the outdoors not covered in snow. Something that makes me even happier is that today signups open for 30 Days of Biking. This is a group that asks people to pledge to ride their bike every day in April. That’s it. The idea is that if you ride every day at the start of biking season, you’ll be more inclined to think to use the bike for small errands and things during the rest of the summer. It’s brilliant in its simplicity. It doesn’t cost a thing. The idea is just to get you out biking. And as an added bonus, they’ll donate a bike to a kid in need for every 30 riders who sign up. I did it last year with my sister and a friend and it was fun. On the day that we spent 15 hours in the car on the way back from Boston, I did have to borrow my nephew’s bike at 10:30pm to ride to the corner, but I’m happy to say that I rode every day. And it’s a great reason to get together a group and go for a group ride. So I just pledged again this morning and am looking forward to it. I’ve already ridden a bit this winter, but spring riding is so much more fun. So if anyone else wants to pledge, I say go for it! And if you’re looking for someone to go for a ride with in April (or quite frankly anytime), let me know. I’m in!Oct 18, 2014 Latest Events
Even though my cousin Annie’s birthday is in July, we celebrated in September with a hike at Starved Rock. It was a lovely day and I got some great pictures here.Sep 2, 2014 Long Bike Ride
As is quickly becoming a tradition for me, I took a long bike ride on Labor Day. I biked down to my Mom’s house with my brother Paul. We stuck around for a barbeque and then biked back in the early afternoon. The only bad part was Paul got a flat about five or six miles from our house. Aside from that, they were pretty good rides.Aug 30, 2014 Calumet Bike Trail by Indiana Dunes
One of the trails on my list to ride this summer was the Calumet Bike Trail, which is a 9 mile gravel trail by the Indiana Dunes. As I had nothing planned for this three-day weekend, I thought that I’d get up early and get out there to ride it. Part of my concern was that the only parking lot I saw was pretty small. I wanted to be sure that I’d get a space, so I figured I’d be better off with an early ride. I ended up getting there before 8am and was the only person there. I got on the trail and only did about 1/2 mile when I had to turn back. The trail was still very, very wet and completely submerged in places. While I really don’t mind getting muddy on bike rides, I actually felt that I was doing damage to the trail and just wasn’t enjoying it. And, as you can tell from the pictures below, I hesitate to even call it a trail. To me, it looked like tire tracks. As far as I can tell, this was not a well-maintained trail. It had no drainage, which is why there was all the standing water. And I think that gravel trails probably need to be groomed every so often. It didn’t look like much had been done to this trail in a while. So I think that I’m going to cross this one off my list. Now I’m also a little concerned about my plan to bike a gravel trail from Kankakee on my birthday. I may have to take a test ride and see what kind of shape that trail is in.Jul 12, 2014 Birthday Plan
My birthday is a few months away and I’m trying to plan what I would like to do. I like to do something different each year. Though for a few years, I went to a museum and a movie. Since the museum and movie were different each year, I let that count. This year I wanted to do something a little more different. First I thought about going on a trip someplace. But then I figured that spending the day by myself in a town where I didn’t know anyone would be depressing. Then I was reading a blog post about overnight bike trips and thought that maybe I’d do that. I looked at the stations served by Amtrak and found one that was about 62 miles from my house and another that was around 100. A little later I was reading another blog where they mentioned the century being the target ride of bikers. Sort of like many runners want to do a marathon in their lifetime, a lot of bikers would like to ride 100 miles. I was looking into training for a century and found that I don’t really have enough time before my birthday. So I let that go until I read something else about a metric century. That’s only around 62 miles. Remembering that the one Amtrak station was around 62 miles from my house, I thought this seemed like a good plan. A little more research and I found that there’s about 40 miles of bike path that I could use for the trip, which made it sound like a great plan. So I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to try to bike from Kankakee to Chicago, using the Wauponsee Glacial Trail and the Old Plank Trail. Of course, when I actually get into Chicago, I’ll be riding on the street, hopefully in bike lanes. But I think this could be a little challenge and quite a bit of fun. I rode around 57 miles one day last summer, though the last few miles were painful. I believe I have enough time before my birthday to get into better riding shape, so that the ride will be ok. And the thought of doing the ride by myself is slightly scary enough that I think it would be good for me. So while the exact details of the ride still need to be worked out, I basically have a plan. First training ride tomorrow!Jul 6, 2014 Tour de South Side
Since I have cable (for six more days), I was able to get up early yesterday and this morning to watch the Tour de France. It’s always very pretty to see the countryside and villages they ride through. And this year, the first couple of stages are in England, so that was neat too. However, after about four hours of watching today, I decided that I had spent enough time on the couch and I needed to get out. First I thought about riding the lakefront trail up to the north side, but quickly realized it would be crowded and not fun to ride. So instead, I headed south, down to the new Lake Shore Drive path. My plan was to ride down at a pretty fast pace and then take my time returning, stopping to take pictures on the way. I dubbed my ride the Tour de South Side, in honor of the Tour de France which inspired it. The other great thing was that I ran into two people I knew on the tour. Near Hyde Park, I saw my old boss biking, which was great to see. We had a very short chat. And then as I was close to home, my brother rode by. All in all, it was a great ride.May 30, 2014 Centennial Trail in Romeoville
I decided to go for a ride after work today since the weather was so nice. I also thought that I’d try a new trail, since I was doing a solo ride. After a little research, I decided to do part of the Centennial Trail in the Lemont/Romeoville area. I think this is part of the I & M trails, but I’m not sure. Anyway, my intention was to part at Schneider’s Passage and ride from there. My first bust was that there were only four parking spaces there and they were all taken. So I drove back to something called the Isle a la Cache Museum. No idea what this is, but there was plenty of parking and it was only about a two block ride to the first place I was going to park. The only drawback was that I had to cross Romeo Road, which is a pretty busy street where people drive pretty fast. Fortunately, it was around 7pm and traffic wasn’t that bad.May 14, 2014 Must Plan or It Won’t Happen
I’ve been doing really good this summer with biking. The 30daysofbiking in April started things off well and my trips have been tons of fun. Unfortunately, Bike the Drive at the end of the month is my last planned ride I have. I am old enough to know that if I don’t plan things, they aren’t going to happen. So here is a list of rides I’d like to do this summer. They’re just about all in the midwest, so I should have no problem getting to them.May 11, 2014 Good Month!
I started this month with my trip to New York City for the Five Boro Bike Tour. I posted the pictures that I took here:Apr 15, 2014 Road Trip!
Took another mini vacation over the weekend and drove to Washington DC. Why? First reason was the State of the Map US conference. They had an “Intro to Using OpenStreetMap” tutorial that I wanted to attend. Then I found out that it was going to be peak cherry blossoms during the same weekend. I’ve always wanted to see that, so I made the crazy drive. I drove to Perrysburg Ohio (close to Toledo) after work on Thursday and spent the night in a hotel. Then did the rest of the drive on Friday. Since it rained from the time I started until about an hour outside of DC, it wasn’t the best ride. However, once I got to DC, the weather was fantastic, around 80 degrees. I checked in to my hotel and jumped on my bike to find the cherry blossoms. They did not disappoint. My pictures are here.Apr 6, 2014 Vacation!
Drove out to Cape Cod and Boston with my sister this past week. She attended the National Science Teachers Association conference and I just went to hang out. We drove so we could take our bikes and do a little biking while we were out there. We both also signed up for 30 Days of Biking, so we had to ride each day. The drive out was very long, but we had really great weather, which was nice. We were also in Cape Cod in the off season, so there weren’t very many people around. The disadvantages were that most things were still closed, but that was ok.Sep 2, 2013 Labor Day
I decided to not work on Labor Day, thus turning it into No-Labor Day and to go for a long bike ride instead. I have just finished my 57-mile ride and am probably not going to move for the rest of the evening. Here is the info from my route.May 12, 2013 A Fun Vacation
I signed up to the Five Boro Bike Tour in NYC over last weekend. I took my folding bike on Amtrak and it was a pretty good trip. It would have been great, but Amtrak is definitely not the way to travel. (Next time I want to go somewhere on a train, I first need to go to Europe.) As this was my first vacation in a while, I was very much looking forward to it.Jan 21, 2013 FUN!
My brother convinced me to buy a mountain bike on Friday and we went up to Kettle Moraine on Saturday for a ride. I was a bit nervous, hoping that I wouldn’t hurt myself, since I’d never done anything like this. I love riding my bike, but I usually stay on pavement, which makes the riding pretty easy, even in traffic. Since there were a few of us who had never done it before, we went on an intermediate trail of about 4 miles. It was about 41 degrees, which wasn’t bad, but it was totally muddy. And I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten that filthy in a long time and it was fun. Since it was so muddy and a bit chilly, I couldn’t take too many pictures because it was a pain to take off my gloves and get the camera out. But here are a few shots from the day.