Great Pumpkin Ride 2014

Rootchopper and Little Nellie in a photogenic fall moment.
Last year, Rootchopper wrote about the Great Pumpkin Ride, which enticed me. I put it on my list of rides to do, and I was lucky to have the time free to do it this year.
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September 2014 Stats

For the month of September, I biked 207.07 miles in 20 days. This includes the Schuylkill and the 13 Colonies rides.

I have two rides scheduled for October. I am also going to start another experiment, which I’ll share in November.

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13 Colonies Ride

Pennsylvania Ave. SE

I kept looking at the weather forecast for Saturday. Rain. Definitely rain. Ugh. I rode last year’s 50 States ride in the pouring rain, and I was not thrilled to be doing it again this year. I opted to do the shorter ride, called the 13 Colonies, so that I could minimize my time in the rain.
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Scenic Schuylkill Century 2014

Rowers on the Schuylkill.

Three years ago, I had signed up for this ride, but a tropical storm canceled it. Schedule conflicts kept me from registering, until this year, when I finally decided to do the ride and not worry about the bazillion other things going on that same weekend.

The Scenic Schuylkill (pronounced like Skoo-kl) Century is an annual ride, organized by the Bicycle Club of Philadelphia. Although I had started riding as an adult in Philly, I had never done an organized ride in the city, much less be a part of a bicycle club. I had always ridden by myself. My friend Steve L, an avid bicyclist, had been trying to get me to do one of the BCP rides, but by the time I had gotten my act together to do that, I moved to DC. So, it’s been a dream of mine to ride the Schuylkill Century.
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August 2014 Stats

For the month of August, I rode 114.15 miles in 18 days.  I took a week off for a vacation in Alaska. R prefers hiking vacations to biking vacations, so we did a lot of hiking, which included over 3000 feet of climbing. I don’t think my legs ever felt that sore on a bicycle. But it was worth it for the incredible views.

I have two organized rides coming up this month, within a week of each other. Am I training for these? Surely you jest. Maybe someday I’ll schedule some training in for a ride.

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July 2014 Stats

For the month of July, I rode 230.47 miles in 20 days. This included the ride on the W&OD. This is the most mileage in a month this year. It could have been more, but I strained a back muscle playing drums and was out of commission for a week. I also, once again, failed to bike to work every week.

We’ll see how I fare in August.

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What’s in My Pannier

What's in my pannier.

Inspired by MG’s post, which was inspired by this Lifehacker post, I thought it would be interesting to compare how much I carry on a given commute. This is typical for a multi-modal day, in which I bike and take the Metro. If I were riding to work, I’d also include some change of clothes.

My Arkel Switchback pannier/backpack has three compartments, and I have stuff in all of them.

Front compartment: flash drive, lip gloss (which I haven’t used), lip balm, extra ponytail holder, meds, sunscreen stick, mechanical pencil (leftover from practice– I don’t need this), antibacterial gel, keys, and earplugs (for drum practice), smartphone (not shown in photo because I’m using the camera function to take the photo above)

Middle compartment: wallet, small bag containing front and rear lights, badge for work (not shown in photo)

Large compartment: cardigan (because it is fricking cold at work), plastic container for breakfast (granola), notebook, datebook, book for reading on the Metro (because I rock it old school), u-lock (not shown because it is locked to the bike)

A certain bicyclist (I’m not naming names) had teased me once because I carried so much stuff to work. This doesn’t look like that much to me.

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