Monday, April 27, 2015

Had This Been A Real Emergency...

A few weeks ago I received an unexpected package in the mail from my grandma.

Within the confines of a manila envelope sat a piece of paper and a necklace. On the outside of the envelop it said, "Handle with care."

My grandmother has been very proud of my cycling accomplishments, but also perplexed about the path. 

Why I choose to ride for hours at a time, particularly when a variety of other hobbies or family building opportunities are available, has been, a bit perplexing to my grandma.

There was a time in my life, ten years ago in fact, that I never would have been able to envision my current passion for cycling either.

It took time to find my passion for it, just like it took time to learn bangs are always a bad idea (for me) and you shouldn't ride with underwear and a chamois.

Which brings me back to the necklace. 

My grandmother sent me a Sacagawea coin pendent.  For those that have not cracked a history book in a hot minute, Sacagawea is credited with being the interpreter that traveled with Lewis and Clark for hundreds of miles during their expedition into the American West.

In her own way, my grandmother has given me a good luck token for my own explorations and many adventures to come.

Thank you grandma for believing in me :-).

These thoughts were in my mind this past weekend as I found myself plodding along the trail of Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, pushing my fatbike towards the finish line.

For no better reason then a sharp thorn in my tire, I had flatted halfway through a ten mile loop and found myself enjoying a bit more of the woods then I had intended.

The very idea of walking hundreds of miles on foot like the aforementioned Sacagawea, makes me heels are raspberry red like rudolphs nose today (I definitely would prefer to ride those miles on my bike!).

Had my situation been a real emergency, would I have failed or persevered in the wild?  How far would I have made it on foot?

My gut tells me, I would have failed for failing to prepare.

Which is a great reminder to have so early in the season with much longer rides lingering on the horizon (granted nowhere near as exciting or adventurous as our early explorers).

The highlight of this particular expedition was definitely the kidness of others. 

Every time a rider passed they took a minute to make sure I wasn't hurt.

A fellow competitor even lent me a tube and a pump to try to remedy my situation.  His kindness will be paid forward :-)!

It was rather unfortunate that the thorn eluded detection during my inspection of the tire and then upstaged his gallant gesture.

Such a thorn in my side...!

In the end, it was a great day spent with friends and a memory I won't soon forget.  Now I get to plan and prepare where I will go from here with my shiny coin.

Oh the adventures we will see...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day!

Today was an epic April afternoon!

It is my fabulous younger brothers birthday!!!

Happy...HAPPY...HAPPY Birthday Moey!!!  Over the years you've brought so much laughter and fun to our family, I am very proud to be your sibling!

Family fun...circa Christmas 2014

In addition to being Moey's fabulous birthday, it was also Earth Day!

As we all know, our impact on the planet every day matters and taking the time to recognize this is one of the first steps in keeping our planet healthy.

As most of my friends and family know, I've been choosing to commute by bike over the past two years and it's led me to increase my training time in the saddle, but it's also been a way to be a little greener in my every day life.

In fact, the young ladies on my "Girls on the Run" team pointed this out the second time we met for practice.

"Ms Dana, why do you ride your bike everywhere?"  They asked as we walked out to the track.

"Well...I really like riding my bike and it's fun."  I replied balancing a box of water bottles on my handle bars.

"AND it's green for the environment!"  Squealed several of the girls as they ran out the door.

I always forget this part because I selfishly enjoy riding my bike just because it's fun for me, but it is true.

After tracking my mileage in the National Bike Challenge last year, it plainly showed the numbers of what commuting by bike each day was saving.

Over the course of the year (2014) I averaged 20 commuting miles per day, which according to a Colorado Department of Transportation publication "Colorado Bicycling Manual- A Guide for Using Roads and Trails", saved .5 gallons of gas per 10 miles and approximately 7,300 pounds of CO2 (burning 1 gallon of gas in your car creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide).

I've never been a big number crunching person, but knowing we can each choose to make small changes (like commuting by bike) to change our carbon footprint is important to reflect on.

Which is why we have Earth Day!

As the month of April is coming to a close, I'm looking forward to the start of this years National Bike Challenge in May!  

Make sure to log on ( and sign up if you haven't had a chance!