Posts tagged biking

Reflecting

The gnome is still reclining in front of the perfectly landscaped yard, but now a daisy hangs over his concrete head.  Thanks to the industriousness of the owners of his yard, his environment is always changing, but he never does.  As I approach the end of the road with this blog, I thought I’d do some reflecting on what’s changed. And what hasn’t. 

Some of the sights along the route have changed.  The octopus is no longer on the mailbox.  The fire hydrants have been freed of vegetation.

This is the one that looked like this before:

There are “for sale” signs where there weren’t before, and there are always those seasonal changes — berries and blooms that come and go, ever transforming the landscape.

But have I changed, or do I remain like the gnome, unchanging in an evolving world?

The change in me isn’t as dramatic as I’d have liked it to be, but yes, I’ve changed.  The main thing I changed was my exercise habit, even though  I did not manage to ride my bike every day.  Life happens.  I found that biking was not something I could do in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, til death…

But I did find that I could commit to attempting to ride every day.  And on the weeks where I couldn’t manage daily rides, I usually rode several times.  This is much more exercise than I was getting before I started the blog.  That’s a good thing.

My hope is to keep it up even after the days of blogging about the experience are over. Do I think I can do this? Yes!

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Nature

I’ve been approached by a community college about teaching a few writing courses. I’m kind of excited about the possibility because the campus is only half a mile away and I love the idea of biking back and forth, even though a half mile ride hardly counts for anything as far as exercise goes.  So I rode my bike up there the other day to fill out paperwork and used my $1.50 chain to secure it to a bush. This, I have to say, is a benefit of living in a small town.

I have to remind myself of benefits like this frequently because I am more of a city person.  Today I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place as I pedaled down a street that curved along the marsh.  A whooting owl provided music for the ride and for some reason I marveled that I live in a place where kayaks are common lawn ornaments.

Just 15 miles away on Hunting Island the severe beauty of nature is even more obvious.  I love to bike there and I took the picture above this spring. Can you tell what it is?

Go forth, enjoy nature, and ride.

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The Final Stretch

So.  There are 3 and a half more weeks of school and that means 3 and a half more weeks of this blog!  Somehow, having the end in sight is having an effect on me that is quite the opposite of what seeing a finish line does to a racer.  I promise to post more often in the blog’s final days, however.

One of the best things about starting this journey is that I’ve gotten my exercised challenged husband to start riding with me.  He comes along about 25% of the time, and he came along tonight.  It was unusually cool.  The green leaves seemed greener than usual.  The darkening sky bluer. We had to dodge a tiny little bird that was taking a sand bath in the road. (Yes, there is sand in the road down here.  There is sand everywhere.)

The weather was so perfect that we took the longer of our two standard routes. And I have nothing extremely interesting to report!  I’m just here to say I did it!  And you should too.

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I didn’t think of that…

So… while I’ve been waxing on about the benefits of outdoor exercise I neglected to remember the real enemy of those of us who prefer the great outdoors to the gym. It’s not the cold.  It’s not the rain. It’s the powdery yellow coating that covers the otherwise beautiful greens, pinks, and purples of spring: pollen.

Two weeks ago I could barely breathe, much less bike. It was miserable!  Then we packed up and headed 20 miles down the road to stay in a cabin at Hunting Island with friends.  Hunting Island is farther south and very windy.  By the time we arrived most of the pollen had blown away.  So even though I wasn’t able to post last week we did enjoy some very nice bike rides across shady palm-laden trails.

By the time we returned to town the worst of the pollen was gone! So yesterday I was able to take the usual route… and breathe while doing it.  Yippee!

View from a biking field trip at Hunting Island.

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The Place I’ve Been…

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve been here.  I have been somewhere else. It has kept me from blogging.  Writers know this place as Revisionland. Revisionland is like a quicksand.  Once you step in, it is hard to get out.  In fact the only way you can get out is by slowly working your way to freedom, one word at a time.  

But while Revisionland has kept me from blogging, it has not kept me from biking.  The fresh air was good for me. Last night I didn’t get around to it until dusk.  A gimpy-legged raccoon scuttled across my path.  Crows mobbed a great horned owl who had come out on a limb a bit earlier than usual. And now, like all days after I ride, I have these great images. Images that some day might help me escape Revisionland…

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The Sprint

I was reading an article about exercise bikes where trainers experimented with making clients alternate all-out sprinting with a comfortable pace. They found that this technique helped burn a healthier percentage of fat. (If I come across the article again I’ll give more exact data… but there are so many magazines and papers in my house that I’m making no promises here.)

Anyway, I thought I could apply this principle to The Hot Pink Bike Route.  So every day that I rode last week I looked for patches of road where there wasn’t too much traffic and there weren’t too many driveways.  Then I sprinted. In the short-term, I can tell you that this technique definitely increases heart rate.  And it isn’t too hard either!  We’ll see where it takes me in the long run.

It is still quite chilly here, so I’ve been riding in the mid afternoon — something I avoid in the warmer months.  But with the sun overhead I was able to get some cool pics of the shadows my wheel was making.

Onward I roll….

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Blooming in Beaufort

One reader’s comment on my last post made me want to share more blooms with you.  Yes, we have blooms in Beaufort!  This is largely because there are a lot of sasanquas around.  In most parts of the country these plants bloom in the fall, but they are full of blooms in the winter here.  Our autumns are a bit like summer. 

My daughter took these photos yesterday when the whole family went on a ride.  It was a great day for it and it is always easier to make yourself exercise when family does it with you. 

After the ride we came home and were spurred to exercise further when my daughter initiated the “home Olympics” with the help of the Wii. I found out that I’m the worst runner in the family. (Still wondering how I managed to fall down so many times on screen while still standing up…) But hoola-hooping — I owned it!

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