July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen (Photo Essay)

Doing my part to go green!

I've had this Trek 800 since 1985! It's traveled up and down Highway 101 between Carlsbad and Del Mar (CA), out to Fiesta Island from Kearney Mesa (CA), around Fort Worth, Texas (not too often since it was far too hot to ride!) and on many of Lincoln's wonderful bike trails. And now it's my current mode of transportation to work (weather permitting). I can make it to work (roughly 4.5 miles on the bike path) in just about 25 minutes. When I drive (3.5 miles), it takes me about 10-12 minutes, depending on the traffic and signals.

This is the view from the top of the hill on my street,
heading down toward the bike path.
It's a nice coast down to the bottom of the street,
but it's the last stretch when I'm coming home
and it's enough to make my heart pound.

Rock Island Trail

Highway 2 and 27th Street

Fellow commuters, stopping for their breakfast treats.

Make way for ducklings.

Merging traffic.

Williamsburg Lake

Look, Ma! No gas.

I love my new mode of transportation! It's so peaceful in the morning. The only sound I hear is the wind rushing past my helmet and birds chirping. No iPod for this ride. I prefer the quiet in the morning. There aren't too many people out on the trail at 6:15 am. Maybe a half-dozen cyclists, a few walkers and the occasional jogger. It's much busier on the weekends! I'm not sure how late in the year I'll be able to ride, but I'm already looking forward to cooler temps this fall!

Thanks to Sandy & Rick, I was inspired to start biking to work. They enjoy weekend rides, in addition to their daily ride to work. Thanks, guys, for the fun ride this past weekend. I had a blast!

When the spirits are low,
when the day appears dark,
when work becomes monotonous,
when hope hardly seems worth having,
just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road,
without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.
-- (Sir) Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes),
in the January 18, 1896 issue of Scientific American Magazine


  1. This was wonderful Les...I mean i really feel I went on a bike ride and got some exercise instead of sitting on my butt here in front of the computer.
    I think I'll go eat a brownie to celebrate...

  2. If I had a brownie I'd help celebrate. :)

    Bob sold my bike because I didn't ride it and I don't even ride my stationery bike anymore. I guess I'll have to walk....perhaps I could walk to Tom Thumb for a brownie.

  3. Loved this post! I want a bike.. especially now that I live in a more bike friendly town I can't wait to get one. Right now what's holding me back is the weather - I'm sure I'd pass out from heat stroke :)

  4. Thanks for sharing such nice photos!

  5. Les, I love this post! What a great idea for a Thursday Thirteen, not to mention lifestyle! Our bikes are very similar; mine is a Specialized Hard Rock and it's been everywhere. Actually, I was wondering if I might like a thinner tire down the line. Our paths are also amazingly similar. The trails could be identical. Do you find yourself too sweaty when you get to work? I admire you cycling there! Not to mention getting up for a ride at 6:15...I'm more a 8:00 girl myself. ;)

  6. Wonderful photos! Good for you for riding your bike to work! Too bad you wont be able to in the dead of winter.

  7. I LOVE that you bike to work! That's fantabulous. And how nice that there are plenty of bike trails around. I'm thinking of investing in a bike for my morning workout. As much as I love walking/jogging, my joints can't take it anymore (bad ankles and injured a knee last year).

  8. Pat - Hey, I'll trade places with you any day. You can bike all over my neighborhood while I'll sit on your aft deck, sipping coffee. Oh, wait. I'd have to write a book, wouldn't I?!

    So how was the brownie? I'm going to reward myself tonight with strawberry/raspberry shortcake.

    Janet - I was going to sell Rod's bike because he never rides it, but now he's making noises about going for a ride.

    So did you walk to Tom Thumb? If it were me, I walk down to Le Madeleine's and get one of their decadent desserts! Isn't there one in your neighborhood?

    Iliana - I'll bet Austin is a great place to bike! I know what you mean about the weather, though. That's why I didn't do much biking in Fort Worth. The heat and humidity just about killed me! Wait for fall.

    Stephanie - You're welcome. :)

    Bellezza - I knew you'd enjoy it. :) I am so glad I'm riding my bike. Poor thing's been hanging from the rafters in my garage for far too long. I was amazed that it handled as well as it did, although I do need to get it in for a thorough tune-up.

    I do get pretty hot & sweaty riding to work (simply because it's so humid in the morning), but I wear biking clothes and take a complete change of clothes in my backpack. I get to work a little before I need to so I can cool down and get changed. Having said that, it will be so nice when fall rolls around!!

    Teddy Rose - Thank! It feels good to get some exercise and do something good for the environment. Yah, I doubt I'll ride much between December and March, but we'll see. There might be a day or two that allows it.

    Andi - You and Bellezza were the two I knew would enjoy this post! I figured I wasn't going to get a Prius like you did, so the least I could do is ride my bike a few miles every day. I ever rode to the hardware store on Thursday. Just needed to get a couple of screws for our shower and decided I really didn't need to take the car, so I hopped on the bike trail and was there in 10 minutes. Felt so good that I rode from there over to my husband's office to say hi (and to check out the new motorcycle he'd just bought - a Yamaha Road Star 1325). It was a nice outing, especially since I didn't ride to work that morning since it looked like rain.

    I know what you mean about the bad ankles and knee. I can't run anymore either. If I go for a walk, I have to sneak out so Annie-dog doesn't see me go. Otherwise, I have to take her and she's not so much into power walks. ;) Biking is great exercise. We have just enough hills to get my heart pounding and my legs burning. Who needs a spinning class?!

  9. I loved this post, Les! What a beautiful ride! I like that you don't listen to your iPod as you go. I have nothing against iPods (I love mine!) but there really is something wonderful about taking in the silence and the beauty of the day without a soundtrack. :) Thank you for this!

  10. I live in a bike-unfriendly town. Bah.

  11. What a lovely post and pictures. Stop by my blog and pick up the awards I am passing on to you!

  12. Does Barnes and Noble have a shower? Cause that's what I would need before work! ;)

    C'mon Fall!!!

  13. I loved this posting, and I love the whole idea of what you are doing! And what a great, great quote. I don't have an iPod, but I never listen to music outdoors.

  14. Colleen - It really is a beautiful ride. I can't wait to see how it looks later this fall. I've ridden some of the trail in years past, but not all the way to my work. I'm hoping to continue on into early winter. Once it gets icy, though, I'm calling it quits 'til next spring! And, yep, I love the natural soundtrack to my mornings. It's very soothing and a great way to wake-up.

    Bookfool - I'm sorry. I remember you mentioning how awful it is to walk/run/bike in your community. Darned stray dogs!! Not to mention the heat and humidity!

    Kim - Thank you for your sweet comment AND the award!! I'll pop over and "collect" it later today.

    Bellezza - I wish!!! I try to get to the store at least 15 minutes before I need to so I can cool down and change my clothes. Since I'm one of the openers, I often have to wait until close to 7 am until a manager arrives to let us in. In that case, I pop into Panera for a glass of ice water and A/C. If I'm feeling guilty about hanging around for too long, I'll buy a cup of coffee, but I really prefer the Starbucks coffee we have at work.

    C'mon Fall is right!!

    Nan - I thought you'd enjoy it. :) And you probably won't be surprised that I'm keeping track of how many days I ride. I can't wait to tally it all up at the end of the year.

    I used to listen to my iPod all the time when I went for my daily hour-long walks. Now that I only go on walks with Annie-dog, I've gotten out of the habit, as I prefer to pay attention to her and not music.


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