Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bike Commuting

Last night Mary and I went to the Not Your Average Speaker Series at Wealthy Theatre. This month featured a discussion on Grand Rapids as a Cycling City. The conversation ranged from bike lanes to bike friendly employers to educating the public on bike safety. One topic that came up often was bike commuting. Today I needed to pick something up from one of my vendors. They are located about 13 miles away from my office. Inspired by last night speeches, instead of driving I rode my bike there. Luckily what I had to pick up fit easily into my jersey back pocket. Even though it was all city or suburban riding I still made it there in a little less than an hour. The trip would have taken 20 minutes by car and used half a gallon of gas. Although I've probably eaten at least $2.00 worth of food since I got home, so the cost thing is a wash.
More than once while I was riding to my vendor's place I thought "Technically, I'm working right now." So I guess that means I got paid to ride my bike. I hope this doesn't mess up my amateur status.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Viva Italia!

Our friend and fellow JDRF rider Heather Allegrina-Bowe hosted a special ride this past Sunday in memory of her father. The Allegrina 100 consisted of three loops through the Saugatuck area near Lake Michigan. We arrived in time to join the group for the second and third loops. It was a mixed group of JDRF riders and friends of Heather. It was also a fairly fast group. we were averaging 18 - 20 mph for most of the day. That's a bit faster than I've been riding lately and the distance was also my maximum do far this year. I ended up with 65 miles, or the Allegrina 100 Kilometers. My first metric century of the season. Mary and Ian were along as well. They did the second loop with the main group but cut short the third loop and finished with 50 miles each. Since their goal for the day was 50 miles they felt pretty good about their accomplishment. It was almost the most miles those two have ridden this year.

A large group of cyclists on loop 2 of the Allegrina 100

Heather and Tom at the end of the ride.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Rides

There are a lot of great organized cycling events in West Michigan. I just posted an article on about some of them. Rather than repost everything here I'll just provide the link. So click HERE to read the story.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

That's More Like It

It's been a long wet Spring, but the weather has finally dried out enough for me to get some miles in. On Father's Day Mary, Ian and I rode from my parent's house in Lowell back to our house in Rockford. It was 21 miles featuring a fair number of hills. Last night our JDRF team mates Scott and Linda Poeder came over and we got in 16 miles between rain storms. Because of the sketchy weather we stayed pretty close to Rockford so we'd have cover in case it started raining hard. We not only got the whole ride in, but it also stayed nice long enough for us to enjoy some wine on the patio.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Back in the USA

We haven't done a lot of bike riding in the past week because we've been out of the country. Mary and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this past Tuesday. We like to go somewhere special for the big anniversaries, so for #25 we went to Costa Rica. We spent four days in a fantastic condo right on Jaco beach along the Pacific Ocean. We went zip-lining, hiking, surfing and swimming. We saw a lot of locals riding bikes but we didn't have a chance to get out, too many other fun activities that we can't do in Michigan.
The weather was warm and the mornings were beautiful. Because Costa Rica is just entering their rainy season there was some rain every afternoon or evening. But the rain only hampered us once. It cut short our zip-lining adventure. So we got to hike down the side of a mountain during a thunderstorm. That was exciting.
We also saw lots of jungle animals like monkeys, toucans, scarlet macaws, iguanas, lizards and even a coatimundi. It was a great trip and a place we would visit again.

High above Jaco on our way to the zip line tour. Time out for a little anniversary smooch.

Monday, June 6, 2011

1, 2, 3 rides

Last week was a good early season riding week for me. I rode three times and logged a total of 65 miles.

1. Sunday 5/29 - As usual we celebrated the Memorial Day weekend with our friends the Hayes. This year may have been our 28th in a row. We started the day with a 15 mile ride around Lake Paw Paw. Because it was Memorial Day we had to dodge a few raindrops, but the 6 of us, thankfully, avoided the lightning.

2. Thursday 6/2 - I took off south on the White Pine Trail for a solo ride on Thursday night. My plan was to ride to Riverside Park in Grand Rapids and return. It turns out the park has been renamed. It's now called In-the-River Park. Lots of flooding, the kind we normally see in the early spring after the snow melt. The high water forced all the cyclists, runners and strollers onto the only dry pathway. Needless to say it was very crowded, so I crossed the Ann Street bridge and returned home via Turner Ave. and West River Drive for a 20 mile total.

3. Saturday 6/4 - This was the day of the 100 Grand which Ian and I rode in last year. We had some intentions of riding again but didn't get out of bed in time. So I ended up going solo again in the late morning. I headed west through Belmont and out 9 Mile Road. I turned north on Peach Ridge and quickly realized I was on part of the 100 Grand route, but going the wrong way. I got to wave at probably a hundred cyclists on our slightly overlapping circuits. I came back home along 13 mile riding through Sparta before picking my way south. I ended up with 30 miles against a steady west wind and some healthy climbs.