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!