Friday, January 30, 2009

An miles and miles before I sleep

I cannot believe that I will leave for California in slightly over four weeks (on February 1 to be exact). I have been putting in lots of miles on my bike to get ready. I have 618 miles in January so far and still have tomorrow to ride for 3 1/2 hours. Not bad at all considering I took one week off to let my hip recover from to much sledding with the grandchildren over Christmas.

In addition to biking, I have sewn a simple nightgown to take on the trip, worked on a quilted cover for my new mini laptop computer and just about completed knitting a pair of socks. When I did the Mississippi River bike trip I took a favorite nightgown and left in on the bed in a hotel somewhere along the way. The reason I missed it was that it was white and was on the white bed sheets. I decided this trip to make a bright gown I would not miss! I think this may work. The buttons are little chickens I bought in Paris years ago.

Speaking of my new mini laptop Greg bought me this little gem for my trip. It only weighs 2 pounds and has all the features I need to access email, the internet and to blog. I am getting it all set up now. I want to make a small quilted cover for it to protect it when it is buried in my suitcase on the trip. It also has a built in camera so I can use Skype to chat with the family.

Other than that I have been adding and removing things from my piles of things to take on the trip. I think this will last the entire month of February!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can you say dream weather?

I went out for a 2 hour 45 minute ride. Today was one of those weather days all of us in Tucson just love. After enduring 100+ degree days in summers a winter day with temperatures in the high 60's is just what we ordered. I road from my house to Saguaro National Park. The park has a beautiful 8 mile loop that has only one way traffic and very slow traffic at that. The whole look was repaved less than two years ago so it is so nice and smooth. There is a one mile hill on the back side that reaches 12% in some parts. Good training for the cross country trip It is so peaceful there.

Did You Know?The saguaro cactus only grows naturally in the Sonoran Desert. There are approximately 1.6 million individual saguaro plants growing within Saguaro National Park.

Last Summer while visiting Angela we has a Summer Olympics for all the grandchildren. They all had such a great time that once they found out they would all be together at Christmas they requested a Winter Olympics. Here they all with the flags they made for the opening ceremony. Events ranged from snow ball building to sledding. A good time was had by all.

A new way to ride

In Spring of 2008 Greg bought me a new bike. This beautiful Orbea Diva is the most comfortable bicycle I have ever ridden. It totally carbon from the frame to the handlebars to the seat post. It is a woman specific design so it is the first bike I have ever felt comfortable riding in the drops. It has a big task ahead of it for 2009. I will be riding from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida with a group of women through Woman Tours. I have really enjoyed this new bike. The wheels on it right now are Greg's Zipp 303. I normally have Reynolds Attack wheels on it but Greg felt these would be better for the long bike ride.

Training for my trip has been going well. I feel very confident that I will be able to face all the challanges of the ride. I did 15 miles up Mt. Lemmon Thanksgiving weekend and have had a lot of miles under my saddle so to speak. More later

Saturday, January 10, 2009

4,793 Miles in 2008

I am back for 2009 and hopefully I will get better at regular postings.

Last year was a very busy year in our household.

In February, I did a week long bicycle trip in Death Valley with Woman Tours.

In April, Angela and I went to Beijing for a week and had a wonderful time. Here we are at the Temple of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is located in southeast Beijing and was completed in 1420, but has been expanded over the years by two Qing Dynasty Emperors. Qinian Hall, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with the three blue tiled cone shaped roofs, has become a worldwide symbol of Beijing. It was hit by lightning in 1889 and completely restored. No nails or pegs were used in the original construction nor in the restoration.

In May,Greg did Wildflower Triathlon Long course and we followed that by a Backroads bike trip with our friends Barbara and Jerry in Napa Valley.

Greg completed two I man Triathlons this year (yes that is 140.6 miles each). Yes, you read that right, two Ironman Trialthlons. He did Ironman Couer d'Alene in June and Ironman Arizona in November. Our daughter, Bridget, also did both of them as well! Here they are at the start in Couer d'Alene. Greg looks like he is not sure what he got himself into.

After they did Couer d'Alene, Bridget, her boys and I went back to Seattle to spend a month with Angela and her family in their new home in Woodinville. While we were there Angela kindly agreed to watch the boys so Bridget, my friend Susan from TriSports and I rode the two day Seattle to Portland ride.

All this and other activies to be told about in future post ment I was still able to get in a total of 4,793 miles in on my bicycle. I have been busy all year preparing for the ride of a lifetime. I will tell you more about it soon.