Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Training to Get Loopy!

A series of small misfortunes have kept me off my bike for the past month or so.

Don't worry, it was nothing serious, just a migraine, an illness and some minor surgery to remove an annoying mole, all happening in quick succession. But everything seems to be healed now, so I am climbing back up into the saddle again!

Only this time, I'm not just riding, I'm in training!

Now, before you get too excited, I'm not entering a race or planning on making some cross country trip or something like that. No, my goal is much more modest. All I want is to be able to ride "the loop" at least once before the summer is done.

OK... I realize that the above graphic tells you nothing... but doesn't the lake in the middle look vaguely like the head of a golden retriever?

Anyhow, "the loop" as CatMan and I have coined it, is just a series of connected bike paths that makes a loop... hence the very creative name.

I measured it out on Google Earth, and it says it's only 30 miles... you know, it feels much longer than that because this terrain is not exactly what you might call flat. Plus, I may have cheated near the reservoir in the bottom right hand corner... I think the actual route involves a climb to the top of the dam - oh, the joy.

Anyhow, I'm guessing that when you add it all together with the miles required to get to and from the start of "the loop" it will come out closer to 45 miles. I could probably do it today if I REALLY had to, but it would be a long, hard slog. And the truth is that it's not so much the length of the journey in miles that is the problem, it's the amount of time that it will take.

Between CatMan and I, we have a series of medical "issues" that make it pretty darned difficult to stay in the saddle for more than 3-4 hours. He has a bad back, and I've got this freaky allergic condition that makes it downright dangerous to combine food and exercise - meaning that I can't ride for at least an hour after eating (preferably two) and I can't refuel along the way.

And even though I'm very happy with my new bike seat, I fear my little tuckus would definitely start to complain if I forced it to endure a 6 hour ride!

So... all this means that in order to meet my goal, I've gotta get in better shape so I can ride faster.

We rode about 2/3 of the top section today (both ways) plus the ride to and from the trail, which ended up being 23 miles and took about 2 and 3/4 hours. I'm sure our average speed took a real hit from my abysmal performance on the hills... at one point during the steepest part of the ride I looked at my speedometer and I was cruisin' at a whopping 3 miles per hour! Oy!

But the summer is young and barring any more unforeseen "misfortunes," I'm hoping to get out there and ride 2-3 times per week. I figure if I push myself just a little bit harder on each ride, I should be able to "get loopy" by the end of the summer!

Of course, there are those who would argue that I'm already plenty "loopy" enough...

So how about you? Anybody else got any big goals for the summer?


  1. Looks like a fun and challenging goal! It makes sense to work on your speed so you could do the whole thing faster, but I would be tempted to make a day of it.

    Pack a picnic lunch, a book, and a blanket, ride for 2-3 hours in the morning, take a lunch break followed by reading and/or napping, then finish the loop.

    1. That actually sounds lovely. Unfortunately CatMan's back wouldn't tolerate that sort of thing very well. He'd basically have to stand up for the entire "picnic" and I sorta think that wouldn't be much fun for him.

      Besides, it's a good excuse to get in better shape!

  2. Wow, I've never even heard of that allergy before! I'm pretty impressed by the idea of biking 30 (let alone 45) miles. I consider a 4 mile walk plenty of exercise. :)

    No big plans this summer, though I might try to get an Etsy shop up.

    1. I know, the food-exercise allergy thing is totally freaky - it actually took them several years and numerous anaphylactic reactions to diagnose it. Geez... I can't even have normal abnormalities (if there is such a thing.)

      CatMan actually did a more accurate measurement of the route and we figured that if I take one route to get there and a different route home, it actually will come out closer to 38 miles and cut out one major hill - which would be good... but it will mean riding it in the opposite direction from the way he usually goes, which means that we'd have to climb the biggest hill instead of cruising down it. According to his calculations on Google Earth it's a 34% grade... and we're both thinking that must be wrong because that's practically a cliff!

      We'll see. I'm hoping to get out for a short ride today, but I got a late start so I may have to settle for a walk to the grocery store! I'll have to see how I feel once I'm done digesting! :-)

      Anyhow, I definitely think you should start an Etsy shop, or at least come up with some way of selling your pottery. Have you ever tried to sell any of your stuff through a local merchant? My best friend is a stained glass artist and she has deals going with a few local shops. The markups are rather crazy though (like 40%) so she mostly just sells small stuff there, but it's a good way to help get her name out there, and she's actually gets bigger commissioned jobs fairly regularly from contacts she's made through those shops. Just a thought...

  3. Good luck! I am trying hard to use my bike more. I blame not doing so on the time factor but I could try harder so to speak!. Were heading into winter so a slightly different rhythm. Lots of goals but I think the most prominant are getting my garden producing more and my knitting stash under control. EcoCat I wondered how you sell your books online? (there is an association here honest!). I am trying to maximise what I have and have a box of books that I would send to opshop but really want to increase my savings. Please disregard this question if too much information!

    1. I actually haven't sold books in a while, but I always did it through Amazon.com. Not sure if it works the same way in other countries, but it's a great option because all you have to do is look up the ISBN number and list it for sale with a brief description of the condition. You can easily see what price other people are selling it for and decide if it's worth it or not. Plus there are no listing fees, they only take their cut if the book sells. Only downside is that they give you a fixed amount for shipping, so if it's a big heavy book the shipping fee they give you usually isn't sufficient to cover the actual cost of shipping, so it has to come out of your profits. I actually have two huge coffee table books sitting here and I'm trying to decide if they're worth listing or not because the shipping will be expensive on both of them.

      I've also done some sales on eBay where you have more control over things like shipping fees, but it's more work because you have to upload photos and write much more comprehensive descriptions... plus they take an upfront fee to list the item - at least they used to... I haven't actually sold anything on eBay for over 5 years.

      Hope that's helpful! Good luck with it!


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