Posted tagged ‘bikes’


November 1, 2009

Today marks the first day of NaBloPoMo.  Can I blog every day for the month of November?  I guess that remains to be seen.  Surely, I have enough to say to come up with a post each day.  I mean, I am awfully chatty (so my friends say).

Let the blogging fun begin!

Today, Monkito and I got up early (well, it wasn’t really early… but the time change so kindly provided us that extra hour.  So we got to feel superior about getting up at 8:00 without any effort!) to go biking.  The last time Monkito and I went on a planned bike excursion, things didn’t go well… She may have thrown a bike tool on the trail, and I may have taken a tumble off of my bike.  Maybe.  Anyway, I was optimistic about today’s jaunt.  Until I walked outside.  It was easily 85 degrees in the sun, and it wasn’t even 9 a.m.  Oh, and clouds were rolling in.  I could actually see them moving closer.  WTF, Florida?

We decided to regroup at breakfast (we had to regroup before ever going anywhere!).  Blueberry pancakes always make me more level-headed.  As it continued to grow darker outside while we sipped our coffee, we decided to hit the short trail close to our house.  We had originally planned a much longer ride, but since it was 85 degrees before breakfast, a shorter ride seemed less likely to engender a meltdown.

By the time we got to the trail, it was 15 degrees cooler with a pleasant breeze.  Again, I say, “WTF, Florida?”

The trail we chose comes complete with dips and turns, some shaded woodsy areas, and lots of people watching.  We got to ride side-by-side and chat for most of the way (which is one of the joys of a trail).  A few road bike cats seemed to forget that they were riding on a trail, which is usually not conducive to traveling at 20 mph.  And one guy fussed at us for stopping on the trail (apparently someone had nominated him Mayor of Trailsville).  But, otherwise, there were the usual parents with strollers, the stray rollerblader, and tiny kids on bikes that may or may not travel in a straight line.  Oh, and the woman that was walking her Yorkie while wearing a bike helmet.  The lady had the helmet, not the Yorkie.

After the trail, we rode our bikes to Tijuana Flats for tacos and skipped over to Publix for lunch stuff for the work week.  All in all, awesome.  No bike tools were thrown and no knees were skinned in the making of this blog post  A lovely day, indeed!

Happy Sunday!



October 18, 2009

Monkito loves bikes.  She routinely searches CraigsList and God-knows-where-else for good deals on quality bicycles.  This obsession pays off, as evidenced by my 1980s Trek 12-speed (in pristine condition) and her 1960s English 3 speed (which she adores to a fault).  Last Spring, we biked multiple times per week, to the grocery store, to dinner, around the neighborhood.

And then… Summer decended upon us.

Monkito does not love the weather in Florida.  Summer is too long.  Fall and Spring are way too short.  Frankly, she bitches a lot about the heat.  So, when the weather cooled off this weekend (into the 60s!), I knew she would be hyped.  Talks of long bike rides in the cool evenings have sustained her through this unusually long summer we have endured.

So, tonight, when I reached a stopping point in my attempt at organizing myself and my endeavors, I wandered back to Monkito’s room to ask if she wanted to go on a short bike ride.  Indeed.

We meandered down our street on our bikes.  I noticed Monkito wasn’t exclaiming about the glorious Fall weather.  Or extolling the virtues of her bike.  Or ponificating about “the perfect bike” (criteria subject to change).

“Pea….  I am cold.”  Yeah, she had on shorts.

After months of anticipating Fall, our first Fall bike ride lasted for five minutes.  And there you have The Shortest Bike Ride Ever, brought to you by Monkito, who can never seem to remember to match her clothes to the weather outside.

I’m Only Happy When It Rains…

May 22, 2009

I always associated writers’ block with wanting to write about something and finding the words stuck.  What is this white noise filling my brain called?  In theory, I want to write.  I just don’t seem to have anything interesting to say.  Summer has whittled down the cast of characters in my life dramatically.  So much easier to come up with fodder for a blog when 88 college freshmen are clamoring about constantly.

Despite the radio (blog) silence, summer is every bit as glorious as I assumed it would be.  Slowly (so slowly that sometimes the progress is almost unnoticable), the house is becoming cleaner.  On a daily basis at work, I am asked how our freshman writing program could be better… and my input is valued!  The projects and the reader for fall classes are coming together… with my stellar (and sometimes really lackluster) contributions.  And I spend the majority of my days with my two closest work friends.  We find each other riotously amusing, and sometimes there is even gratuitous talk of boobs.  Sweet.

The constant, unrelenting rain has been a downer.  I haven’t run or biked as much as I would have liked.  I did manage a 8 mile trek out to Westchase, where I stopped and had a Chocolate/Banana Vivanno at Starbucks.  Definitely kept me from starving to death… but kind of tasted like someone dropped a chocolate candy with whipped fruit filling (think Whitman’s Sampler) into a blender.  Huh.  I was thankful for the nourishment on the 8 mile ride back, though.  I swear, the wind was gusting directly in my face at 10 mph, which meant I was then maintaining a net speed of 5 mph.  At one point I thought, “Shit, I could walk faster than this.”  But, refusing to admit defeat, I pressed on.  Finally made it back to the ‘hood, where I began playing with my gears and immediately knocked the chain off.  I am awesome.  But I did manage to get the chain back on by myself (this would usually fall squarely into Monkito’s list of duties, but since she wasn’t there, I fended for myself).  I cruised back home singing “I Will Survive” in my head.  Seemed somehow appropriate.

Looking forward to a groovy holiday weekend.  More from sunny rainy South(west) Florida soon…

My Bike Could Kick Your Bike’s Ass

April 24, 2009

Last weekend, I decided (rather randomly) that I am not going to use my car to travel distances of less than 4 miles (for 30 days… you know, a challenge of sorts).  This could lead to some interesting adventures.  Even though we live smack in the middle of suburbia, almost everything that we need to do or places we would want to go on a regular basis fall within that 4 miles.

So far I have:

  • Biked to hear Rebekah Pulley play outdoors at Lowry Park (this was the impetus for the Ride-or-Die decision)
  • Gone to the grocery store twice (although I have not done a major shopping trip yet).  Carried the groceries home in a backpack once.  Now we have put the panniers back on my rack.
  • Picked up an 18lb bag of dog food at the pet store (strapped it to my back rack)
  • Ridden my cruiser to church (in a skirt!)
  • Carried about 12 books and a rather large Tupperware container (to house said books) to an AA meeting via bike
  • Pedaled up to grab a grande skinny iced latte at Barnes and Noble.

I love how self-sufficient and powerful negotiating all of these errands via bike makes me feel.  And God knows, I adore being outside in the sunshine.  And my carbon footprint is shrinking with every bike trip I take. (ah, is that smug, self-righteous superiority I hear?  I know, I know.  I am kicking myself in the ass right now, so you don’t have to)

Quick Trip

April 18, 2009

My weeks are typically rather scripted.  I am not known for my spontaneity.  I go to AA meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I run on Tuesday, Thursday and some other day I squeeze in where I can.  No surprises here, folks.

But, today Monkito called me with a plan:  a free concert at Lowery Park.  Tonight.  Rebekah Pulley.  So, this evening, I threw caution to the wind, hopped on my bike, and rode off toward Lowery Park.

We cruised up to the park equipped with a blanket, some snacks & sodas… we were ready to hang.  I had just gotten settled in on the blanket, when I looked up and saw Monkito looking back at me.

“Oh no.  You can’t be bored,” I implored.  But, indeed, she was already lamenting leaving her book and her camping chair at home.

“But this is chill time.  You know, time to hang out together.”

“Okay,” she said, sounding a bit more enthused.  “What do you want to talk about?  Tell me a story.”


She settled in after a bit.  I used the Sun Chips as a salty pacifier to bribe her.  I got to listen to Rebekah Pulley for a bit, while I ate my dark chocolate & oreo covered cappuccino frozen yogurt bar.

And then… time to hop back on the bikes and head home.  In total, we were at the park for less than an hour.  Good thing I always enjoy the ride just as much as the destination.