March 2014 Stats

For the month of March, I rode 132.7 miles in 17 days. This includes the Half Vasa ride.

I’m hoping April will be even more conducive to riding. I’ll be trying out a new online bicycling journal this month, just to see how it works.

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Vasa Ride 2014

Vasa Ride at the House of Sweden

In the 16th century, a Swede by the name of Gustav Eriksson Vasa escaped from imprisonment and set out to rally other Swedes to declare independence from Denmark. He skied out of Sweden to Norway to seek refuge, but eventually came back to lead a successful fight to separate from Denmark. Vasa became the first king of an independent Sweden. In 1922, Anders Pers created a ski race commemorating King Gustav’s escape and victory. and races are held every year.

Here, WABA has a bicycle ride in March called the Vasa Ride that is partially sponsored by the Embassy of Sweden. This is my first ride after being finished with school (hooray!), and I was going to make the most of it.
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Rhymes with Purée: The Errandonnée 2014

I admit that I was not expecting to finish this year’s Errandonnée. I got a late start, as I missed the opening weekend due to a final project for school. And then, the weather forecast for today and tomorrow called for snow– again! So I was resigned to doing as many errands as I could, and be happy with an honorable mention. But somehow, I managed to get all 12 errands in on time! Here’s the long list:
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February 2014 Stats

For the month of February, I rode 79.0 miles in 7 days. Snow and ice, and one week of travel for work contributed to these lousy stats.

I rode the stationary bike in the hotel’s fitness center this morning, which felt good. Even though I tend to be really busy for these work conferences, I need to make a better effort at carving out time to work out. The good news is that I could do a plank for a minute and a half– my core muscles are getting stronger.

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February

bike parking at the bakery
February has been a rough month for me, in many ways, not the least of which because of snow and ice. When there’s ice on the roads, I don’t bike, for fear of sliding. When I don’t bike for extended amounts of time, I get cranky. Until this week, I biked 4 times for the entire month. I was not in a good mood.
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Winter Ramblings

My left knee has been bothering me for the past few months or so. I’m a little worried by it. Any recommendations for a good orthopedist?

Part of me is annoyed that the snow and ice here sometimes makes it difficult to ride without making changes to my bike set-up, and part of me likes to use it as an excuse for doing other things. I like to walk, hike, spin. Maybe to everything there is a season, as they say.

I’ve said this before on another blog, but I’m going to say it here: hilly miles do not equal flat miles. 100 miles is fun and fast on the Seagull Century, not so much on the Civil War Century. By the same token, an 8-mile commute would be fantastic if flat, but my route is not. On paper, it sounds easy. I should not beat myself up so much if I can’t ride this every day. And yet, I do beat myself up, still.

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Cycling Clothing by the Numbers

winter kit
Fellow bicyclist Ricky had shared his tips for what clothes to wear when bicycling in various temperatures. I think it’s a good guide on what to wear. For what it’s worth, here’s my guide for outerwear for both commuting and recreational riding. I tend to run colder than he does, so I tend to start layering earlier.

Fahrenheit/Celsius
70+/21+ Short-sleeved jersey/shirt, shorts, crew socks, half-fingered gloves, shoes, helmet.
65-70/18-21 Add armwarmers, swap shorts for capri tights/skinny pants.
50-65/10-18 Add light jacket, swap short-sleeved shirt for long-sleeved shirt.
40-50/4-10 Swap light jacket for medium-weight jacket, swap capri tights for full-length tights, add silk top baselayer, swap half-fingered gloves for full-length gloves, change to wool socks, add wool cap, neckwarmer, toe covers.
32-40/0-4 Swap medium-weight jacket for 3-in-1 jacket, add biking pants to tights/add long johns to pants, change to fleece neckwarmer, swap toe covers for booties.
20-32/-6-0 Swap full-length gloves for lobster gloves, swap shoes for hiking boots.
Below 20/-6 Swap silk top baselayer for medium-weight synthetic baselayer, add one more layer top and bottom (if in teens or below), consider chemical hand/toewarmers, face protector cream.

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