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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer's End

Last Friday we did our usual first weekend of August trip to Door County, Wisconsin. I loaded up Sweetness, excited to be able to see the beautiful countryside of Door County from a bicycle this year. Friday evening I only had time for a short ride, so I did a HIIT workout on the road that follows the Bay coastline. I managed to cycle 12 miles in 38 minutes, the fastest I've ever done 12 miles before, going 19.l mph. I was quite happy with that. Saturday morning, I tip-toed out the hotel door at 7 am and spent two hours exploring the back roads. At one point, I came around a bend and over a gentle rise to find cows being herded across the road. The man herding them called to me to stop as the cows didn't know what I was and might want to investigate. Not wanting to be attacked by a herd of huge black and white bovine, I stood as still as I could until the herding was finished. Though I only got in the two rides during the three-day stay, they were very good rides.

Yesterday I took Sweetness to the shop for maintenance. The chain began slipping about a week ago and slipped quite a bit on Saturday's ride. So, with the road bike out of commission, I decided it was the perfect time to put fenders on my commuter and get ready for my return to work next week. The plan is to ride everyday, even in wet weather, and to avoid the dirt line up the backside, fenders are a necessity. Putting the fenders on, however, didn't happen without frustration. I read the directions several times, but they were mostly useless. I truly believe they were written by bicycle mechanics to keep the average Jane from working on her own bike. Finally, with Hubby's help, I figured out how the fenders were to be installed. I'm even more determined now to learn how to maintenance my own bikes.

If you haven't picked up the latest Bicycle Times magazine, you should. The current issue is full of really good articles. One in particular is about wearing or not wearing a helmet. I'm torn on this. While I truly believe a helmet can protect a cyclist, I'm not convinced a cyclist riding around town, on paths, at a slow speed, really needs a helmet. I'll definitely keep thinking about this, do some more research, but I do have to agree with the author's suggestion that those who push the helmet issue create an atmosphere of fear where there shouldn't be any.

Only a few more days of summer break remain before I have to report back to work. I do love my job, but I also love having time to cycle and just goofing off with the family. The last two weeks have been full of goofing off--lots of episodes of "Bones" via Netflix (we only have one episode left to watch!), a movie at the theater (the boy wizard movie), Door County, lively conversations at meals, and more euchre. The boys are full tilt into football practices, and my lovely daughter is gearing up to return to China to study the language for the entire school year. While the summer is coming to a close, I'm excited to see what the new school year brings for all of us.

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