Category Archives: Cycling

Training Update, Week, Um.

I have no idea what week number this is for my bike training. I’m still at it, but I’ve adjusted my goal to doing the 40-mile Lancette Memorial Ride, rather than the 60.

Why? Well, that’s what seems most achievable at this point. I’ve been riding every week, but I missed a long ride one weekend because my bike was in the shop and another because we were on vacation. Then I worked for two weeks, and I did bike commute during that time, but I was utterly exhausted. Last weekend I did a 26-mile ride, and this weekend I did 30 (more on that later). This week I’m going to California to visit my grandmother, and may or may not get to ride at all (got a bike, Aunt Susan?), and next weekend we have a big Girl Scout event.

So, life happens. I can work with that. I’m feeling good about my progress — I feel stronger and am getting faster.

Too Tired To Think of a Title!

I may just go to bed early again.

I’m unbelievably exhausted this week, and I didn’t even get to go for a long ride over the weekend. I’d taken my bike in for a tune-up on Thursday, and was hoping to get it back Friday or Saturday, but they ended up calling me shortly before closing on Saturday, and I had to be somewhere else at that time, so I didn’t get it back until Monday evening. I rode it home, and then the next day I rode it to work.

This week I was on a new assignment (I work as a recreation assistant for kids with special needs during the summer), and it turned out to be a very active one. I rode almost seven miles in to work, and then that was followed by relay races, dancing, dodge ball, walking to the library and back (almost a mile each way), and playground time. And then I rode 7+ miles BACK, including a stop at the bike shop to check out a funny noise.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was sweaty and exhausted. It was an extra-humid day, too, so I’d gotten sweaty in the morning and never really dried out. When I got home, I went straight to the shower, and once I’d gotten clean clothes on, I was tempted to fall directly into bed.

The next day I woke up with sore muscles all over, presumably from the other activity and not the biking. I’m still recovering. I haven’t even ridden in the past couple of days, because I just needed to give my body time. And fortunately, the past two days haven’t been quite so active at work, either. I should be ready to ride again tomorrow.

I’m still coming home ready to fall into bed, though. Fortunately, I’ve got a good book to read (Code Name Verity, which has been recommended by literally dozens of people I know), so that’s a good excuse to just go lie down.

Training Update, Week 1

This week’s goal was to do three 10-mile rides during the week (or 30 miles total), plus a 25-mile ride on the weekend.  So far, I have 26.46 miles for the week, between four different rides, and I’ve dropped my bike off at the shop for a tuneup.

I’ve been meaning to get a tuneup for a while, and the Radish is definitely feeling sluggish, so I figured I might as well take it in. It really does make a difference; last time I got a tuneup I promptly said “WHY didn’t I do this sooner?” So I rode 6 miles to my current bike shop of choice (Meticon Bikes for you Portlanders) and left it there; they said it should be done in a day or so. I’ll have plenty of time for my long ride, and maybe a short one to make up the 30 miles during the week.

I am also realizing that I do need some decent padded bike shorts. I’m not TOO saddle sore, but I’m definitely feeling it when I’m on the bike. And my knees were hurting a bit today — what’s up with that? It was mainly at the beginning of the ride; my knees would hurt right in the lower kneecap area when I was pedaling. It went away once I got warmed up. They don’t bother me while walking or anything. So I don’t know whether it’s old age (almost 42) or something I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?

20 Miles And Counting

I’m in training again.

Last year I trained for the Providence Bridge Pedal and did the 13-mile family ride with no problem. It was much easier than I expected!

This year, I’m not planning to do the Bridge Pedal (it’s the day after a major Girl Scout event), and I want to really challenge myself.

On Friday I looked up “how to train for a century” (a 100-mile ride), and came up with this 10-week plan. It looks mostly reasonable (although it has you jumping from 50 miles to 100 miles in one fell swoop), but the idea of doing a whole century is still a bit daunting for me. Some people do a metric century instead, which is 100 kilometers or 62 miles, or a half-century for 50 miles.

Either one of those sounds like a more reasonable first goal for me.

So here’s the plan. I’m going to do the Lancette Memorial Ride on August 25. I’ll train toward doing the 60-miler, but if I feel like things aren’t going that well, I might sign up for the 40-miler instead (I have a few weeks to decide).

Today was a test. The training plan I linked above “assumes you are in shape at the start to be able to ride 20 miles comfortably.” So today I set a goal to ride 20 miles, and I was indeed able to do that, although I was  a bit sluggish toward the end.

Besides my own physical ability, the only thing I’m worried about is whether I can do this on the Radish. I don’t have a smaller/faster bike. I do know, however, that other people take cargo bikes on long rides, so it can be done.

And after the Lancette? Well, September will be busy, and it sounds like organized rides start to die down for the season after that. But I’d like to work up to that full century. And then the Seattle to Portland ride. 2 days, 204 miles (you’d better start training too, Wendy!).


Did you Bike to Work?

Yesterday was the official National Bike to Work day, part of National Bike Month.

I don’t really observe this day, since I bike to work almost every day. Also, I’ve been focusing on getting kids to walk and bike to schoo this month – I’m the walk and bike coordinator at my school.

Two of my co-workers bike to work fairly regularly, and I know of at least a couple who walk. I’ve wondered what we could do to encourage more adults to walk and bike. I know at least one issue is getting kids to and from school, child care, sports, etc., and that’s a hard one to overcome.

Did you observe Bike to Work Day this year? If not, what would motivate you do it, at least for that one day?

A Week’s Biking In Pictures

I’m currently coordinating Walk and Bike to School Challenge Month at my school. Our bike rack is small, but mighty. We also have a lot of walkers!

Meanwhile, in interesting loads for the Xtracycle, I biked a fully loaded crockpot to work for a potluck.

And on Friday I biked both of my younger girls to their school, where we had an early meeting with a teacher. I really wanted to get an action shot of our shadow, but I didn’t quite dare try.

Tomorrow, we’re going to give Sunday Parkways a whirl — this is an event in Portland where they close off a number of streets to auto traffic and let the rest of us play! That’s my Mother’s Day treat.


I think I’m entirely justified in feeling self-righteous next to the guy who yelled “You’re not a f–king car!” at me today. My brilliant reply was “Yeah, bite me,” because I have neither self-control nor time at these moments. But what I really meant was “No, I’m not a car, but I still have to make left turns sometimes, and it is legal for me to do so!”

So I make up for not being able to say that by reflecting that I am going to be so much better off than he is when gas hits $5.00 per gallon!

In Which I Beat the MAX Train To Gresham (Sort Of)

Today I had planned to ride my bike to the 122nd Avenue MAX station and take a train to Gresham for a medical appointment after work. I got to the station and bought my ticket in plenty of time, but when the train arrived, all of the bike spaces were full; indeed, the train as a whole was nearly full.

I pulled out my phone and checked the transit tracker to see when the next train was due. Nine minutes? That might or might not get me there in time, and the next train could very well be full, too.

I wasn’t certain I could do better by bike, but I decided to give it a try. I hopped back on the bike and swung into the bike lane.

26 blocks later, at the next station, I checked on the train again. It was still seven minutes behind me. I kept pedaling, and the street started sloping slightly downhill. I even passed a guy on a mountain bike, and I never pass anyone on the Xtracycle! The only problems I had were one four-block section (on E. Burnside from 181st to 185th) without a bike lane, and the left turn from Burnside onto Stark (which went fine once I got there; I was just nervous about it).

When I arrived at Kaiser Permanente Rockwood, which is right next to the Ruby Junction MAX station, I checked the expected arrival time of the MAX train. It was still five minutes behind me, and I still had a few minutes to check in for my appointment.

So yes, the train would have caught up with me eventually, but I did beat the wait time+travel time equation with my ride — about 3.7 miles in 20-ish minutes. And it was fun! I’d been tired and grumpy about having to go to this appointment (a freaking MAMMOGRAM; I’m not old enough for this!), but I definitely felt more energetic afterward.

I totally took the train back, though. I’m no saint. Plus my ticket was still good!