Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bike Blessing

The Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis is hosting a "Blessing of the Bicycles" on Sunday. According to my brief Googling, this involves a priest anointing a bike with oil and offering a blessing for bikes and riders for a safe season of biking.

I asked Jamey if he was interested. I think that's a no.

If only they could get around to giving their blessing to things like ordination of women, gay marriage, and prosecuting sexual predators instead of worrying about bikes. 

/end political observation.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

5/11/14 - Sam

Hi everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. I'm a mom to fury kids and wouldn't have it any other way!

I wanted to quickly update all of you on my newest venture: I'm contributing to another blog about biking! This one is about biking in the Twin Cities area. No worries, I will also continue to blog here, Jamey wouldn't have it any other way. I hope you'll also check out this new blog and share it if you find it useful.

We spent the day in Rochester for Mother's Day. Carol (that's Jamey's mom) just bought herself a bike a few weeks ago, so we took our bikes with us and had a fun little family cruise down the Douglas Trail. It's a lovely, rural trail, I encourage anyone in the Rochester area to visit. I will let Jamey elaborate further on the family ride. All I have to say is this: when biking with Jamey, I try to take the lead ... otherwise it's a full moon, if you know what I'm saying!

Just one more quick thing. If you are tracking your miles running,   walking or biking (if you're not, you should) then please also use this app I just discovered: Charity Miles. This app lets you earn money for   charity with each mile you're already traveling. So, stop changing the color of your Facebook profile picture, stop with the innuendo about where you leave your purse, and actually DO SOMETHING for charity! I have strong feelings about slacktivism. Hint: I'm AGAINST IT.

So without further adieu: Here's Jamey!

Jamey 5/11

Had a nice weekend of riding!  It was nice to be able to go for a ride with my family on Saturday.  Like Sam said earlier, we went a little ways north on the Douglas Trail from Rochester toward Pine Island.  My Mom (pictured here with yours truly) is currently having some knee problems and biking is a good way for her to strengthen the muscles around her knee and ease the pain.  She recently bought a Townie Electra bike and really seems to  enjoy it!  We have had the opportunity to go for a couple of rides together since she has gotten her bike.  I enjoy having the opportunity to spend time with my Mom doing things we both enjoy!  By the way, my Dad likes to join us for rides to.

For Mother's Day, Sam and I are going to take my Mom (and Dad) for the Art al Fresco tour in Minneapolis since she is a big art buff.  She seems to be looking forward to it and is working to build up her stamina to be able to handle the ride.  Sam and I are also looking forward to being able to this ride with my parents doing something together that we all love.

Here is a photo of both my parents and myself from Saturday on the Douglas Trail.  My Dad is riding a hand-me-down bike from yours truly.  He has my old Schwinn Trailways Hybrid that I rode before I got my nice road bike last fall.  He is a little taller than me so he could use the seat to be a little higher even though it is as high as it can get.  He asked me if it is possible to buy a longer seat post to help him ride more comfortably.  Anyone who knows the answer to that question, please let us know and we can pass the word on to him!

That's all I have for now, until next time Happy Cycling!

Friday, May 9, 2014

5/9/14 - Jamey

Hey all,

Its been an eventful couple of days cycling wise.  I have done quite a bit of cycling.  Last night, I took my first rain ride of the year.  Rather, I found a 40 minute window in between storms rolling through to get 8 miles in.  I got a nice light show in the distance from all the lightning while I was riding though.  Today, Sam and I made a little brewery tour, which is what we do most Friday evenings.  First, we went to theSociable Cider Werks in NE Minneapolis to try a hard cider.  We also shared a delicious Reuben sandwich from the food truck there.
From there, we rode the 3/4 mile to 612 Brew to have one of their delicious brews before we rode home.  Our ride ended up being a 14.4 mile round trip.  It was a little rough coming home as we were riding against a stiff breeze but all in all we enjoyed it thoroughly.
You'll hear again from us soon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

5/7/14 - Jamey

Hello there fellow cyclists and cycling followers.  Today was a long and busy day of work so I am quite exhausted.  So how better to unwind from a crazy day of work that to continue celebrating Bike Week and Craft Beer Week!  That's exactly what Sam and I did this evening.  We rode the 9.8 mile round trip from home to Surly Brewery in Brooklyn Center to enjoy a couple of their delicious brews.  The ride home was a little rough being that it was against a rather stiff breeze so it helped out our workout.  Oh, and by the way, Sam and I are again doing the National Bike Challenge this year.  You all should check it out and sign up to hopefully win some prizes.  I don't have any chance to place first but it is fun to try and win some free stuff to help my cycling career!

I guess that's all I have for now but I will be posting again soon.  I hope to hear from some of you cycling enthusiasts through our blog!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Jamey 5/6/14

Hey all!  Sorry its been awhile since you've heard from me!  Been really busy lately.  But not to worry, I have been riding as much as possible.  In fact, we just finished a nice 13.5 mile ride from home to Old Chicago in Fridley for dinner to celebrate Minnesota Craft Beer Week and also Minneapolis Bike Week.  It was a little windy for our ride there but its getting easier and easier every time we ride.  Can't wait to get some good long rides in as the spring and summer progress!  I'll talk to ya soon!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Earth Day 2014

4/24/14 - Sam

Tuesday was Earth Day and 3M had several events to celebrate the day. I participated in the Bike to Work festivities. Unfortunately, I live 25 miles away from 3M and I would not be functional at 5am in order to start biking in time to get work and cleaned up in time to start my day! So, I met a group of people at Lake Phalen (that was my first time there, very neat, I'll definitely return!)

As a group we rode the 5 miles to campus and circled the plaza. 3M food services kindly provided us with breakfast and then we posed for some photos. After work we all biked back to Lake Phalen, where every else kept riding to their destinations. I packed my bike into the Jeep and went to happy hour!

This was my first experience riding with a group and I was a little nervous about my ability to keep up, would my relative newbie status show? It turned out I did just fine. It was kind of fun to ride with a group. I'm usually a solo rider, I like putting my headphones in and listening to an audiobook, enjoying the sights and the feel of the wind against my face. Jamey's the only person I've ever really rode with. Penn Cycle does group rides, maybe I'll join one for the practice and experience. Or maybe I'll just crawl back under my bridge!  :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Massive catchup

4/23/14 - Sam

We've done a fair bit of biking since my last entry. Time to update the blog!

Mud streaks: proof of a good ride
We did manage to get our bikes out for the inaugural ride to Psycho Suzi's. The roads were very wet and muddy, neither of us have fenders on our bikes, so we had streaks of mud from our butts to shoulders. "The spring streak"  as I call it! There were lots of other people on the patio at Suzi's, it was the first real nice day of the year and we Minnesotan's took full advantage of the weather.

We followed up that ride with a trip out to the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. Those trails were still largely covered by snow, so we went another route home on city roads. And, we decided to make a stop for beer. Again, we were fairly dirty!

After a couple of dirty rides, it was time to clean the bikes, lube the chains, general maintenance.  Of course, neither of us are professionals at this, so we're figuring it out as we go along. We got a chain cleaning tool and struggled with it a few times before we got it right. We have a lot to learn, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the moving parts that can break, the parts that have to be cleaned ... we'll just have to keep plugging along as we learn by experience.
"This goo is going to clean the chain?"

Two weekends ago, we rode to Minnehaha Falls. So did dozens of other people. It was pretty crowded there, but it was nice to see the ice melting off the falls as Minnesota chucks away the last vestiges of winter. Of course, just to prove me wrong, it snowed later that week and we got close to 8 inches! It didn't last for more than a few days.

And finally, we rode our bikes to my parents house on Easter - 15 miles each way. That was an easy ride, but a great way to burn the calories from Easter dinner. My family thinks we're "super crazy" about biking, and I guess we are! Hopefully we'll drag some of them into this hobby!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rough Winter

3/26/14 - Sam

This pretty much sums up the winter

It's been a while since either of us blogged, so I thought it was high time to change that! The calendar says it's spring, but it's still rather wintery here in Minnesota, as usual. This winter was miserable. Scientifically proven: miserable.

We did it!
That doesn't meant we hibernated, though. Jamey and I spent the first couple of months training for an indoor triathlon! We completed it March 2nd - it was a big accomplishment for me. I hate, hate, going to the gym and training for the tri motivated me to stay active during the winter. In case you're wondering, the indoor tri is a 10 minute swim, a 30 minute bike (on spin cycles) and a 20 minute run. We both achieved our personal goals: Jamey's goal was to not be the last guy. My goal was to beat him! I took 12th place, Jamey came in 20th (out of 30 people).

It got us thinking about trying to do a real triathlon in the future. We'll see ... maybe next year.

I was also able to get out on my bike a couple of times so far this year. We had a day in January when the temps hit about 40, so I got my bike and didn't look back. It felt great to ride outside! There were patches of ice and several spots where I had to really work hard to balance while riding on top of packed down snow. It was a challenge, but worth it. If only winter could be in the 40s all the time, I'd be out every day!!

The next time I got out was earlier this month, it was a great warm day and the snow was melting like crazy. This time, the ride wasn't as pleasant. I was covered in mud by the time I got home, everywhere I rode I had to ride through deep mud puddles. But, again, it felt great to just be outside on my bike.

Another time, while walking the dogs along the Mississippi River Trail (a favorite place to bike) I walked past a couple out on their fat bikes. I admit, I'm intrigued. But for an extra $900, I'm not sure I'd use it enough to justify the price. I know some people are much more committed than I am, but there is no way I'm biking in subzero temps.

The forecast for Sunday is 58 degrees! Jamey is hoping we can get our bikes out for the inaugural ride down to Psycho Suzie's. I'm hoping so too!  I can't wait for winter to leave us for good. I've got lots of great rides planned for this summer!

Stay tuned to see where our bikes take us this year!