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Posts Tagged ‘Winter Cycling’

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it’s cold outside!

I had a conversation with myself recently:

It’s cold outside.

Well it’s winter.  What’d you expect?

But I wanna go for a bike ride!

So go for a bike ride!

But it’s so coooooooold!

Suck it up! You’ve got a hat!

…And that conversation went on in my head for about a half an hour when I finally gave in and decided that I’d bundle up and try it out.  My hubby aired up the tires to the Dream Machine while I put on 2 Under Armor Cold Gear shirts, a pair of medium weight tights, a pair of fleece pants and a pair of wind pants (Yeah, I wore 3 pairs of pants.  If I had some fancy cold weather tights, I would have done that.  But I don’t, so I layered.)   I also donned a neoprene face mask, a fleece ear wrap, my helmet, 2 pairs of gloves, and my new neoprene toe covers. Oh, and my coat.

I’ll admit: it was a lot of work.

A picture I took of an eagle a few days before this ride but in the same area.

A picture I took of an eagle a few days before this ride but in the same area.

But then I rolled my bike out passed my snow covered lawn onto the slightly-icy street, hopped on, took off towards the river, and was immediately glad I’d talked myself into going!  Afterall, the day was sunny, and most of the ice was confined to the edges of the streets or occasional bad corners, so it wasn’t that bad outside. Once I reached the river road, it was smooth sailing and I cruised along.

I decided to ride a route most Quincy cyclists would be familiar with- the Knaphide Loop- and it was a great choice for the day.   I spotted no fewer than 5 bald eagles, probably a half dozen red tail hawks and even a triplet of kestrels all out hunting.  One of the red tails had a fish so big in tow that he couldn’t seem to make it higher than a couple of feet off the ground and occasionally had to land in the field and rest.  I followed him a while.  He really didn’t like me so close, but then again, he wasn’t going to leave his prize either, so he tolerated me for a while.

The 34 degree weather didn’t bother me much.  In fact, when I was heading North, I was almost overheating. I especially enjoyed my double pair of gloves.  I’ve been putting a pair of rubberized football receiver gloves over a cheap pair of cotton gloves and they’re just the right combination of wind-proof and warm while still being nice and thin.

Here's a picture of the complete get-up. Stylish, I know.

Here’s a picture of the complete get-up. Stylish, I know.

By the time I turned back to the South, a pretty decent breeze had picked up (an aside: can I ever go riding on the bottom road without a South wind!?!??!) and for the first time I felt a little chilled.  To combat the cold, I just pedaled harder, and before I knew it I was back in town.  I even stopped at River Skate, Quincy’s new outdoor ice rink, to say hello to my friend Chris before heading back up the bluff hill towards home.

It was a great solo ride and I was happy to get outside and enjoy the day.

What I learned is that it’s sometimes more work to talk yourself into going out the door on a cold day, but just like any other day, you’re going to be happy you found a reason to say YES to your Adventure Foot.

2012-milesThis little bike ride happened to be on December 30th and was my last bike ride of 2012.  It made my total miles this year 2504.  That’s well over double my 1230 miles registered in 2011 when I started this whole cycling thing.  As a matter of fact, that’s like leaving my house, biking to San Francisco then taking the coast up to Portland.  My 2013 plan? I guess I’ll just keep on riding.

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I haven’t blogged in a few days, but I feel weeks behind on the news!  I’m going to make like the top-of-the-hour headlines and give you the Blog in Brief!

Christmas Trail Run

Trail Running at Argyle Lake

All of my family events around Christmas were over by the 24th, so my husband and I headed out to Lake Argyle State Park in Colchester, IL (1 hour from Quincy) to run some trails for Christmas Day.  Here’s what I learned: I love that park but it needs a lot of work.  The stairs and small bridges on portions of the trail are broken, slippery and dangerous.  The lake is beautiful but the trails surrounding it are difficult to follow due to poor markings at intersections.  They’re also full of stumps and roots that make trying to run ill-advised.  It’s still a nice place for a hike, but you’re going to want to watch your feet.  The highlight of the day came courtesy of the skies surrounding the park, where we spotted and photographed some immature bald eagles and a few red tailed hawks.  In related news: I need to buy a pair of trail running shoes, as my old road shoes have no grip at all on wet leaves.

NuFit to Offer Winter Cycling Fusion

If you’re like me, you worked hard to become a better cyclist all summer and fall, but this winter weather has you already wondering what kind of shape you’ll be in when spring rolls around.  NuFit for You of Quincy is offering a 12 Week Winter Cycling Fusion course beginning January 7th that’s sure to have you in better shape this spring than ever before!  The class meets from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays and includes professional instruction, cross-training in Pilates and yoga, an education component, guest speakers and strength conditioning.   The class also includes VO2 Max testing before and after the 12 weeks to help you find your optimal training zones and also to see how much you’ve improved over the course of the class.  For more information, contact NuFit for you at nufit@nufitforyou.com, http://www.cyclingfusion.com/winter-training/ or call 217-779-5053

RAGBRAI

Speaking of cycling, I’ve got big news! I’ve signed up for the Register’s Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa, better known as RAGBRAI.  I’ll be riding with team #42: The Keokuk Bike Club.  There’s still time to join up with the Keokuk Club if you’re interested in making the 6-day, 500 mile trip across the great state of Iowa for the traditional tire-dip in the Mississippi with me this July.  I’ll write a full blog about RAGBRAI in the next week or two, but there’s no time like the present to start thinking about this ride.  It’s the oldest bike tour in the country and draws participants from all over the world.  The number of participants is limited and you must enter a lottery to get a spot on the ride unless you sign up with a team.  Contact Jim Vincent, President of the Keokuk Club, jjvincent (at) iowatelecom (dot) net for more information on joining the team.

Winter Running Events

There are two fun running events that have made my calendar for the beginning of 2012.  The first is the Frozen Buns Run 5K and 10K in St. Louis on January 14th.  The event starts and ends at Blueberry Hill on the Delmar Loop (near the Pageant Theater) and funds will benefit the St. Louis Triathlon Club.  Sign up is $20 ($30 on the day of the event) and includes the after party with live music at Blueberry Hill!

The second event is the Catch Cupid if You Can 5K in Hannibal, MO.  This 5K fun run/walk is 10 a.m. Feb. 11, 2012; at Riverview Park in Hannibal, MO. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the “Kids in Motion” program. Register by Jan. 27, 2012, to be guaranteed a T-shirt. Every female participant will receive a rose at the end of the course!

January Roadrunners After Dark

The Roadrunners After Dark have chosen Jimbeana’s Restaurant at 130 South 10th Street in Quincy as a meeting location for January.  The informal group welcomes new runners.  We’ll be running from the parking lot at 6:45 each Tuesday night and then meeting back at Jimbeana’s 45 minutes or so later for food and laughs.  Most nights there are several routes ranging from 3 miles to 6 miles in length to choose from.

Adventure Foot Contest Announced

Your Adventure Foot could be Blog Famous! Upload a picture of your foot having an adventure to the Adventure Foot Facebook Page before February 12th, 2012 you could win a $20 Visa Gift Card!! I’ll choose one winner via random number generator from all of the entries.  The only rule is that you must click “like” on the Adventure Foot Facebook page! See the Photo Gallery for more info.

Disk Golf Tournament

Hannibal Parks and Rec will be holding an Ice Bowl Disk Golf Tournament on Feburary 18th at Huckleberry Park.  The $10 sign-up fee will benefit the Douglas Food Pantry.

Young Bald Eagle over Colchester, IL

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