Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Racing Buddies Reunite!

Dave and Chris, during the Saturday morning ride
As we age, a look back to our younger years ~ when pressures of work and responsibilities weren't at the forefront of our minds ~ takes on the sweet, golden glow of nostalgia.

My husband, David, speaks fondly of his teenage years when he hopped on a bicycle with a carefree attitude, and he pedaled for miles upon miles effortlessly. He took part in bicycle races and he participated in group training rides led by Ron Manizza, who owned Rainbow Cycles in Willimantic at the time.

Dave enjoyed the comradery that existed among fellow team members. So when news hit town that a former fellow rider, Chris Lacey, was returning to Connecticut for a family visit, a cycling reunion took place. Ron invited Dave and I to meet up at his home an hour before our regular Saturday morning group rides held by the Thread City Cyclists. It was great for Dave and Ron to catch up with Chris, sharing stories about life adventures. And then, Chris joined our ride!

Dave Etchells, Chris Lacey, and Ron Manizza

It's funny how some tendencies stick with us. Dave laughed aloud as Chris bunny-hopped over railroad tracks and speed bumps, just as he remembered him doing as a kid!

It was a great 42 mile ride on a sunny weekend morning, and a whole lot of fun for the guys to get together again!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cycling to Work has Many Benefits

Gas prices are skyrocketing. The average price of gas in Connecticut shot up 6 cents in just a week's time, to $4.13 a gallon.

What a great incentive to ride your bicycle to work! But if gas prices alone aren't enough to prompt you to start peddling, consider that May 14th to the 18th is Bike to Work Week! And the national bike to work day is Friday, May 18th.

I've often thought about how great it would be to bicycle to work every day (or at least every day that the weather was dry and between 40 and 90 degrees in temperature), but the thought of arriving at work sweaty with helmet hair has somewhat crushed my enthusiasm.

How would I clean up and transform myself into a polished professional?

Here are some possible strategies I've found to deal with the after-ride cleanup:
  • One idea is to drive to work once a week with what you'll need to wear for the next few days. Store  clothing and shoes in your desk or a cabinet if available. 
  • Arrive early enough to give yourself enough time to wash and change. Bring a wash cloth in a plastic bag so that it can be safely stored after use. Baby wipes are another option. Deodorant/antiperspirant can be kept in a desk drawer too.
  • Arrangements would also need to be made with management on where to store the bicycle during the work day. I'm sure having a cycling-friendly boss would help a lot!
While I am currently working at home, I would encourage daily commuting by bicycle for anyone with suitable circumstances. Not only for the increase in physical fitness and the natural endorphin boost that will have you feeling positive and upbeat throughout the day -- but cycling gives also you time to sort through your thoughts. That makes for a clear mind AND a healthy body!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Great Bicycle Art Found with a Change of Plans

There was no cycling for us on Saturday. It snowed!

 Our daffodils were not very happy. 

~ Plan B ~

We decided to make the best of it. We went shopping. 

TJ Maxx in Warwick has a fantastic HomeGoods store. And look what we found! It's a large canvas wall art piece featuring a bicycle. Just our style! It will be hung on our living room wall just in time for a family gathering this Sunday for Easter.

After that, we planned an afternoon for my 8-year-old daughter and her best friend to enjoy an activity with us! We went roller skating!! Then, it was pizza time!
On Sunday David and I were able to get out on our tandem bicycle for 26 miles, even though it was damp and cold. At least it wasn't raining or snowing, and we had a chance to get in some pedaling. We're hoping for brightness and warmth as the Spring season progresses.