Wed, 14 May 2008

14 days down

I've completed over one-third, 14 days, of my 40 day challenge of bicycle only transportation. I have 26 days to go.

For the most part, it's been easy. I love cycling.

Each day, I've made a point to do at least one trip, somewhere on the bike in addition to my training rides. One afternoon, I rode to the video store and rented a couple of DVDs to watch. Another evening, I met friends for dinner at a restaurant about 7 miles away and rode home in the dark (properly lighted, of course). Last Friday, I made a stop by the grocery store, then rode to my oldest son's apartment where he prepared dinner for me and his fiancee. After watching a movie with them I made another after-dark ride home.

On Sunday morning, May 4th, I rode downtown and watched some of the Bloomies finish. The first friend I recognized was Steve Waco. He finished with just one second to spare to secure a second seed start, next year. That was an amazing finish considering the injuries he suffered almost 2 miles from the end.

Then I saw Joe Johnson less than a minute behind Steve.

After that, the swarm of Bloomies started the thicken and it became more and more difficult to scan all the faces passing by. But I did see my son, Christopher. I shouted and he gave me the thumbs up. I checked the time and was concerned he may have beaten the family record for Bloomsday held by yours-truly. I hope I can get trained up for Bloomsday next year without injury, because Christopher is gunning for me and I need to be prepared to defend my title.

I've done my banking and shopping by bike. I can fit the equivalent of two, full, plastic grocery bags in my bicycle messenger bag (it's bigger than it looks). So far, that has been sufficient.

There have been some minor challenges, though. I'm training for a 100-mile mountain bike race, the Cascade Cream Puff. As much as I enjoy cycling, I don't particularly care to ride my mountain bike on the road. It's half as efficient as a road bike on pavement, so riding the 10 miles to the trail head, then 10 miles home after an exhausting workout on the cross country course is not entirely fun.

Last Saturday, after riding 30 miles on the cross country course and making the 10 mile slog home, I arrived completely exhausted to discover the refrigerator was emanating death rattles. By the time I realized it a hopeless cause and was no longer cooling, it was too late to call neighbors looking for some extra freezer space.

Fortunately, almost everything stayed frozen overnight. Our next door neighbor had a nearly empty chest freezer. He let me throw my frozen goods in while I found a replacement for the twenty-plus years old unit that had died. We have a mini-fridge in the garage. Between it and an ice chest I was able to find a place to stash the refrigerated goods.

I wasn't looking forward to shopping for a refrigerator on a rainy Sunday on a bike. Thanks to the Internet and the telephone, I didn't have to. I called a couple of local appliance dealers, found out what they had in stock that matched my specifications, reviewed those units at the manufacturers' web sites, and placed an order.

The new refrigerator was delivered Monday and they hauled off the old one. Hopefully, the new refrigerator will be worry free for the next twenty-plus years like the old one was.

Jenny likes to bag the grass clippings and haul them to the dump when she mows the lawn. I raised the mower a bit and mulch instead of bag so the trip to the dump isn't necessary. That's supposed to be healthier for the lawn, anyway. I probably only have enough gasoline for one more mowing, though, so I'll have to figure out how to get gas home by bike. I'll probably just bungee strap the can to the rear rack of my old mountain bike which has been converted into a wet weather commuter.

I declined an invitation to attend a Spokane Shock arena football game with a friend. I had planned a long training ride on the mountain bike the day of the game and knew I would be exhausted. I've gone to a game with him before after a long ride like that and sitting in the arena seats that long with sore, tired legs is uncomfortable. And to adhere to the rules of my self-imposed challenge, I would have to ride my bike to the arena and back. That's about a 30-mile round-trip. It wouldn't be a bad ride under normal circumstances, but in the dark, after a grueling training ride earlier in the day it probably wouldn't be much fun. So I stayed home and went to bed early. Sleep after a long training ride is delicious.

I'm looking forward to the remainder of my challenge. It has been fun and rewarding, so far.

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This site is the personal weblog of Marc Mims. You can contact Marc by sending e-mail to:
marc@questright.com.

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