Monday, January 24, 2011

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...

I'm off to sunny Northern California for SBCU (Specialized Bicycle and Component University) for the week, so there won't be much happening here!  But I will take photos and memories and report back upon my return on Sunday.  Hope the weather cooperates for you this week; get out and pedal!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Uncomfortably Numb

So, today was freaking cold.  Like goggles and wool balaclava cold.  I denied the fact as I got ready this morning and was sadly unprepared for my frigid ride into Downtown. I had a meeting about the Bike to the Ballpark initiative with Omaha Bikes at Wohlner's and then had to be at the shop after that.

Yesterday I ended up driving to the Transportation Master Planning meeting which was pointed out by one Scott Redd, my die-hard commuter buddy that earns respect far and wide in the community for his dedication and success stories within his cycling experiences.  Anyway, he told me last night at the meeting that he was going to borrow a friend's car and drive down, but then read my blog and since I'd mentioned that I was riding down after being sick for weeks, figured if I could do it, so could he!  Way to go Scott; he was the only one that I know of that rode there last night.  You rock; I wussed out and after a massage that ended at 5:45 I had no motivation or time to ride down and make it there by 6:30. Thanks for telling me that I helped get you on 2 wheels instead of 4; that made it hurt a little less!  I also ran into another guy that I'd met at a commuting clinic I gave this fall that told me because of my lecture, he's riding to work on a regular basis.  A 3rd gentleman informed me that he was only at the meeting because I'd suggested he show up.  What a feel-good kind of night!!  Thanks for all of the positive feedback guys; makes a gal feel all smiley.

Out of respect to Mr. Redd, I rode down to Casablanca Moroccan Cafe just east of Midtown Crossing since it had come highly recommended by Scott himself.  We were greeted by the owner who complimented us for riding in this weather and treated to a few tasty appetizers after we told him that Scott had sent us in. Good lunch overall. 

probably gonna work on bike parking here

try to ignore my double chin and focus on the freaking froooozzzen scarf and hair
  I then pedaled up to my meeting in Midtown Crossing and parked at the covered bike racks that Wohlner's has in their garage.  They're a Bike Friendly Destination, by the way; purdy good.  I chatted with Julie and Carlos about a few details of our B2BP plan and then I pedaled in the freeeeezing cold down 33rd to Burt and then east to the shop.  At this point I could hardly keep my head up because the desire to pull my neck and face into my scarf like out-did the desire to see where I was going (I felt like a turtle).  Somehow I managed to make it to the shop but by the time I arrived I honestly could not feel my chin or ears and my fingers were on their way out as well.  I will absolutely use the balaclava that I'm borrowing from my shop boys for the ride home.  That should do the trick.  Now, if only my legs will cooperate after yoga tonight.  Hmmmm...

Great to be back on the bike, despite the painful temps.  Good ride all in all; grateful for the studded tires today.  Who else rode today?  Scotttttt?!?!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I'm still not feeling 100%, but thankfully much much better than I did a week ago.  I've slowly been working the bike back into my life and it's still a bit hard to breathe but improving daily.  Today I rode to the Omaha Bikes meeting and after a few attempts at snot rockets, realized that I am still not out of the sinus infection woods because there was waaaaaay more than normal.  Most of which ended up on my jacket, gloves, or most excitingly, in my hair.  Yuck!!  It then froze (because I think I saw something that said it was 13 degrees out earlier...yup, just checked: with the windchill they're saying 2 out right now) in my hair and on my clothing and only started to thaw once I had been inside for a bit.  Yuck again. Sorry about that.

Anyway, great to be back on the bike.  Thanks to everyone who's wished me well over the last few weeks.  Always nice to hear.  

On Sunday afternoon I rode to the zoo since I felt like a little ride and hadn't been to the zoo in who knows how long.  So, here are a few pictures!  My favorite (which I didn't get any pictures of because I was too busy laughing) was in the gorilla complex where one young ape had a pair of pants that he kept throwing on his back like a cape.  He'd run around and if they fell off, he'd stop and pick them up again.  It really was too funny.

Butterfly Pavillion

Butterfly pond in pavillion

These were incredible!!! 

Funny orange fish

starfish up close and personal


This peacock escaped shortly after this picture was taken.  See how
he's checking out the Greenstreet sticker?!  haha

The ride down was cold and a bit hilly after not being on my bike for about a weekish but I was still glad to be out and about. 

Riding more today to the Transportation Planning Meeting which is open to the public and is at the Livestock Exchange building at 4920 South 30th st.   6:30-8:00.  Come and speak up and make a difference in the future of how we move people in Omaha!!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sick of Sick Days

Well, it's 1:29 a.m. and I finally went to the freaking doctor today after about two weeks of thinking I had a cold or something that made me cough a bit, blow my nose some, and complain a lot. And, most importantly, it has been keeping me off of my bicycle.  So today after nearly shedding a few tears in the bathroom after blowing my nose for the umpteenth time that hour, I called for help.  I never go to the doctor and am a pretty firm believer in just drinking some O.J., green tea, and thinking happy thoughts to cure what ails.  But I can't stand not playing in this snow and apparently don't have the will power to stay inside for long.  A few days ago (despite feeling like total crap) I went XC skiing at Memorial Park with Copper and my buddy Kyle. And then came home and felt worse.  Then yesterday I spent a good few hours shoveling for my parents while they're out of town. And then came home and felt worse.  Now I do have to admit that instead of getting tons of sleep, I have gone out and stayed up later than maybe would be advisable on more than one occasion; sure I've chugged some orange juice, but also some beer (oh, and that wine a few nights ago but that was more along the lines of sipping...).  But enough's enough already!! My sanity can't take it any more.

I pulled skeptically up to the doctor's office (in my freaking car, no less) and walked begrudgingly up to the door.  I filled out the required paperwork, talked to the nice lady at the counter (who inevitably heard about my obsession for bicycles and in turn the justification for my visit), gave her my card after she asked for it and if I could help her get back on a bike (yay!), eavesdropped on several depressing/ interesting conversations about alcoholism and asthma in the waiting room betwix two obese patients with walkers and face masks to protect themselves from airborne issues (how about maybe protecting yourself from the cheeseburgers instead...ooooh, sorry, that really was mean but somehow not getting deleted...maybe the steroid shot is making me angsty), and waited to get called back to get checked out.

After what seemed like an eternity I sulked back to get my vitals or something checked and felt like a bad kid getting escorted to the principal's office.  Shortly after being shown my sterile little room and being told to wait for the doc I began wondering what they were going to find.  A few moments later a chubby yet cheerful MD sauntered into the room kind of dancing and after apologizing for the wait, explained that he's a big mo-town fan and just discovered a new radio station on line that is really getting him moving.  So things were looking up. I appreciated his sense of humor immediately and felt a bit less frustrated with the wait.  After looking around a bit he announced that I have a "raging sinus infection. In fact, the worst I've seen in weeks!  You get a prize kid, but not one you want: prize for an absolute text book case, only to the Nth degree."  He also asked if I'd been starring as Rudolph in a recent Christmas play (very clever sir) and when I told him I felt like shit he responded with a quick, "Well, you look like shit. Let's get that taken care of."   For some reason this all made me like him even more. So, he figured out some antibiotics for me to enjoy popping 2x daily for the next 10 and ordered up a steroid shot to be pierced lovingly into my gluteus maximus.  Hooray!  He did mention the side effects would most likely include insomnia (thus the nearly 2am post).  Yup.

I feel like at least I've killed a few minutes and gotten this all off of my congested chest.  Wait, I'll at least attach some ski pics.

Copper smelling the snow. Beautiful day really.

Not entirely sure why I continue to take these.

Inside looking out from the sweeeet snow fort we found.

Kyle deciding whether or not to wreck it. I voted no; he complied.

Enjoy.  And drink some OJ.  Annnnnd, for the love of everything holy, please share a story of your favorite ride so I can live vicariously through you!!!  Please?

Over and out...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beaut Commute

Boy it's a nice one out there!  Hope you're all out enjoying it a bit.  It seems to me that everyone out there today is feeling the love for this pleasant, unseasonal weather.  I'm afraid we may be in for a bit of snow come Sunday and Monday so enjoy the remainder of this week while it lasts!  As I cruised to a stop on 16th St. today, I had an enjoyable exchange with 2 presumably home-free folks. (I think home-free sounds nicer than homeless.)  They smiled as they crossed in front of me and I cheerily rang my bell to say hello.  This apparently opened up a conversation and we discussed the weather and how no one is complaining about it these days.  Nice gentlemen who were very enthusiastic about me riding. "I know it's nice out, but bike riding in the winter?  By CHOICE?!" This seemed to boggle their minds.  I reassured them that indeed it was my choice and one that I'm happy about.  "Good for you girl. Keep pedaling."  Cheers home-free men!

I have been noticing that it is also pot hole season.  With all of the freezing and thawing this time of year the roads can become a bit treacharous. 

Pics don't do them justice.  Purdy big ones on Woolworth.  Watch out!

My version of blow drying my hair. Rather effective
 but only recommend on non-freezing days.

Woolworth looking East towards 42nd.

Ooh, a truckload of bikes just showed up from Specialized; gotta go! Get out there and pedal, talk to the people out and about and watch where you're going!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Ride of 2011!

Gerald Ford Rose Garden

And again.

It feels like I haven't ridden in years!  Or at least all year.  I'm pretty sure those around me are getting sick of all of my "Haven't seen you all year!" or the classic, "See you next year!" that I used in abundance this last week.  The truth is though, I got sick around New Year's Eve, or I guess the day before and haven't ridden since Thursday night (technically Friday morning if we're getting picky). Which yes, I realize has only really been 3 days, but seems like an eternity.  I guess I've gotten used to being on my bike daily and when there's a gap in that I just feel off. 

So, I woke up today and decided that I'm sick of being sick.  I told my roommate while drinking coffee this morning that I'm over it; I'm not sick any more.  And while trying not to cough, told him I'm riding in today and continuted to ignore of the tickle in my throat. 

I'm so glad that I did!!  I think I'm cured!!  I pedaled along smiling to myself, happy to be back on 2 wheels and happy that it's a new year for some reason.  While it was a brisk, I'd even say chilly, ride in which was a bit drying on my throat it was definitely worth it.  The sun was shining and I rang my bell, waved, or smiled and said hello to every person I passed along the way.  I thought about New Year's resolutions and how I'm pretty much against them; if you want to do something to better yourself, why wait for a new year to do it?  I hate the line, "I'm going to stop/start _____, but not until January 1st!"  Ok, well, that's all fine and good that you're going to try something new, but how's about starting now?!  Anyway, it is January now and I'm wondering how many people have made some sort of promise to themselves or people around them about what they will or won't be doing going into this new decade.  I haven't made any resolutions because I probably won't keep them.  But that's just me.  I guess the general feeling that I have about 2011 is that it will be a really good year; so far so good anyway.  I'll ride more, I'll smile more, I'll help other people more, I'll complain less. But these are all things that I've been working on for a while.  2011 looks to be the year! Or at least one where I will continue to try.

What are or aren't you planning to do in 2011?  What's that you said?  Commute more?!   See you out there!!