It's a new year and time once again to give a new look to this blog. New graphics and colors. Same bike writer!

This blog is created not only to track my own progress on my biking journey but it is intended to also assist others who have either osteo or rheumatoid arthritis or both like I do. I hope as you read about the progress I have made that it gives you inspiration and hope that you can overcome the dibilitating effects of these conditions.

If your doctor agrees that you should be capable of expanding your limits read on and don't be afraid, just listen to your body and give it challenges. Biking is a great non-impact form of exercise and greatly enhances flexibility and range of motion.

It's not a substitute for Doctor visits, taking your meds or otherwise getting off your health plan but it auguments what your Doctor does for you and can give you a better quality of life. Go for it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day 68

September 30, 2010 Took bike into shop for a little tweaking so there was no riding today. Gnashing of teeth, poor decision, it was a gorgeous day and those days are winding down!

Total miles for Week Ten 39 miles. Low mileage week, but there were three days of no riding at all. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 67

September 29, 2010 18 miles round trip throught the B2B Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County parks. Started at the foot of Whitmore Lake Rd. and Barton Drive, into Brandemere Park, Argo Dam, Race way trail, up to U of M, around the hospital through a another series of parks, past Gallup Park and the Dixboro Mile to St. Joseph's Hospital on the Ypsilanti side of town. Vigorus trail with extremely diversivied terrain, from very wild to urban and back to pastoral. Gorgeous scenery, points of interest, several canoe liveries, a dam, athletic fields for U of M. This is the Border to Border Washtenaw County trail system that roughly follows along side of the Huron River from the North part of Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti and Belleville. I probably made it 1/3 of the way through the trail system.

Spectacular ride, challenging, rolling hills, flats, significant climbs. On the way back I passed the Dirt Bike Jump Course and there were several kids using it, got some great air shots and shot some video. If I can figure out how to post the video I will.

Boy, I can't wait to see how I'll feel tomorrow. Oh, here I am again lifting my bike over another deadfall. 95% of the path is paved and this photo was of one of the densely wooded sections of it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 66

September 28, 2010 No riding - all day rain, it let up around 5 but my work day didn't end until 9:15. Good day for a rest.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 65

September 27, 2010 Short 5 mile ride but very rigorous. My only time to ride today was rush hour so my killer hill was out because it's a high traffic volume road. So I decided to explore the new path I found in Ann Arbor at Brandemere Park. Some portions were closed for tree trimming so I got off the path and used some small side roads. That's when I discovered THE HILL, this one is even steeper than the hill I wanted to practice on, so steep that the road up it tacks back and forth. I road some, I walked my bike some and I rode some more. That was not the only hill I encountered. Very rigorous ride today and the most fun part is exploring new territory. Besides the need of a bike that has many more gears than I have (mine is an 8 speed) hills are not only a function of the bike but also the condition of the rider. I continue to try to conquer them.

I found a Dirt Bike Jump Course just off the path and have photos of it (I bet kids love that), also the Argo Dam (the one with the real narrow crossing) and the U of M rowing team was practicing on Argo Pond upstream of the Huron River. The Argo hut is a canoe livery that is available at Longshore Park. All pictured here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 64

September 26, 2010 8.5 miles today and it was a challenging ride. Did my best to climb that killer hill but only got 3/4 of the way up it. First attempt. Going to ride it until I conquer it! It's very different out riding on the road instead of around town or on bike paths. The roads from Whitmore Lake to Ann Arbor are pretty high speed and the one freeway overpass that gets you to the correct side of the expressway has no bike lane at all. It forces a person to bike it during low volume times or days. It would be suicide to try that during rush hour.

Watch out hill - here I come.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Day 63

September 25, 2010 First flat. Was going to go from home to Ann Arbor along Whitmore Lake Road, about a 9 1/2 mile ride one way. I'd hoped to get some training in on hills because the Tour de Livingston course I picked (28 miles) has a lot of hills and I need to practice and train on hills because they are my nemesis!

So I'm cruising through some gentle climbs and small hills and there is a good hill before the killer hill. I'm shifting up into higher gears to help tackle the big one, singing my little hill song and all of a sudden something feels squishy in the rear of the bike, I hate stopping at the bottom of a hill, let alone this big killer hill but...stopped anyway and sure enough - flat rear tire. A good friend bailed me out with a ride home.

So I'm kinda bummed I didn't get my ride in and thinking that this means no riding for a few days but I tried the local bike shop and lo, they were open. Figured that I'd be leaving it until Monday but lo again, they fixed it while I waited. Unbelievable great service. What a stroke of luck.

There is still about and hour and a half of light and I consider picking up from where I left off on my ride but thought better of it because of the time and I was unsure of the distance at that time. So I drive down to the destination to get a good mileage of the route.

Lo again, there is a park and bike path at the end of this journey and I still have my bike in the trunk AND it's still a good hour or more of daylight! Ha! I thought I was foiled and found myself on a new path I'd never known about, winding along the Huron River and parts of Ann Arbor, crossed over a dam and through 3 parks and some pretty rugged trail conditions. There was a lot of variety on this trail and very scenic, there was one part of the trail where the river was on both sides of me.

Life is full of surprises! You think the day or your ride is ruined and voila! something better comes along. I love good surprises like that.

That dam was one narrow crossing, just big enough to bike or walk through, there is no way that two bikers could pass in opposite directions, it was scary, however not dangerous because there was heavy duty fencing surrounding it. What a blast!

So even though I had planned a much longer ride, I still ended up with a bit over 7.5 miles for the day.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 62

September 24, 2010 Day off from riding for rest up for the weekend, planning some longer rides.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 61

September 23, 2010 6 mile ride today but it was a rigorous one, hilly. I believe that I can catagorize the rides and routes into three broad catagories. Today would qualify as a Challenging ride.
  • Happy is an easy ride with flat terrain
  • A Good ride is one with rolling terrain, a few flat stretches and a couple of climbs that are significant
  • A Challenge ride is one with all rolling terrain and multiple steep climbs and almost no flats

Week 9 ends with a grand total of 38 miles. Not too bad with a couple of light ride days from the busy weekend of volunteering for special events.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 60

September 22, 2010 Short ride tonight only about 4 miles but it was a beautiful day, neither hot nor cold, just perfect. Maybe it was a good thing for a shorter ride because I have been having a lot of aches and pains lately and the beginnings of what I think are shin splints, gives a chance for good recovery.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 59

September 21, 2010 12 mile ride tonight, roughly the same ride as yesterday sans the commute. Most days I never ride the same route two days in a row but it's a fun ride and it was a great last day of summer. Weather had been cooler and summer went out with a big bang as the temps rose up into the mid 80's again, a little freaky after the cool spell we've had but who's knocking a great day.

Came home from an errand tonight and my little frog was pasted to the window again, only he's not so little anymore. When he first showed up he was barley the size of a nickle (back on Day 7), now he's the size of a chicken egg. His photo is here but because it's dark there is a bright light in the glass from the flash. He's still cute.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 58

September 20, 2010 Road to work today and took a ride to Independance Lake after work, great autumn day for a ride, mild temps, blue skies - sweet!

Saw this rafter of turkeys along the way. I spotted them on the way there and noted where they were and decided that if I saw them again on the way back I'd stop and take pictures. They were still hanging around so you see them here. Some were on one side of the road and hurried across when they saw us coming. We stopped and a few were brave enough to scoot fast across the road, it was funny to watch them poke their necks out and make a run for it.

A friend of mine posted some photos of turkeys on their front lawn and they live right near where I saw these.

Wonder if it's legal to carry a bow and arrows on a bike? Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I bet that would make quite a photo.

Including my commute ride it rounds out to about 13 miles today.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 57

September 19, 2010 Had a teeny 3 mile ride in for the day. It was a day of volunteering from the wee early hours until dusk. Saving grace was the fact that it was a gorgeous Autumn day to be outdoors!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 56

September 18, 2010 Pedaled up-town for several trips back and fourth and a little other riding to round out about 4 miles. Busy day, prepping for the Run for the Rescue tomorrow (I'm not running it, just helping to organize it), prepping for the Summer Concert Series tomorrow (not singing or playing an instrument) just helping to organize. Long busy day and tomorrow 5:00 a.m. finishing prepping for the run. Yay!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 53, 54 & 55

September 15th Day long meetings until 10 pm no cycling, boo. September 16th, September 17th gone out of town, arrived home in the evening of the 17th and got a quickie 2 mile ride in just before dark. Quick overnight get-away with my sis, photos of Grand Haven and Holland, Michigan. A change of sceneary is a breath of fresh air, especially in the midst of a very busy month!

Day 54 (Thursday the 16th) closes Week 8 out with 36 miles for the week. Short riding week, busy work week.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 52

September 14, 2010 Short ride up the East shore of the Lake and a quick jaunt into downtown for an afterwork 4 mile ride tonight. Having made a slight seat adjustment I really need to learn how to raise the handlebars to compensate. The new angle of the saddle, while being very comfortable for my bottom, is putting additional stress on the elbows and shoulders. Funny how such a minor thing can cause so many other things to be affected.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 51

September 13, 2010 9 miles at Hudson Mills, it's a bit hillier than the Lakelands Trail so the terrain is more rugged than then flattness of Lakelands. In training mode for my first Charity Ride the Tour de Livingston. Lisa's first trip to the park, I think she liked it.

The weather today was utterly divine, not a cloud in the sky, an autumn blue and a lingering summer warmth. Michigan at it's finest!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 50

September 12, 2010 Lakelands Trail with my niece Lisa plus a side trip detour on the way back for an even 12 miles. Beautiful fall day, temps a bit warmer than in the last week, feels good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 49

September 11, 2010 A day of rememberance for our Nation, our lost citizens and those who serve in public safety, we've mourned and grieved but one thing for sure, we will never forget!

Made a seat adjustment last night and I love the new feel. It's amazing a small thing can make such a big improvement in comfort. My saddle had a slight upwards angle to it and it was very uncomfortable but I didn't realize it until I made it evenly horizonal. What an amazing difference a slight modification made. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Back to Hudson Mills today with a friend, 8 miles on the trails there and 3 miles to and fro from her home and a jaunt to the Farmers Market gives a nice total today of 11 miles. Off to the Smoking Jazz fest in downtown Brighton.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Day 48

September 10, 2010 Taking a day of rest from riding, want to be fresh for tomorrow's excursion back to Hudson Mills.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 47

September 9, 2010 8 miles up and down the lake today. Weather has taken a decidely autumn turn. Love this time of year. Finished Week 7 with 58 miles for the week. It was nice to have the long holiday weekend to get some longer rides in.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 46

September 8, 2010 Short 5 mile ride tonight, seemed like a ride to get the kinks out from the previous longer rides. Stamina and endurance have improved by leaps and bounds as this length of ride feels like a warm up ride and there is no feeling of being taxed by it whatsoever. I also seldom get winded from walks like I had been experiencing. My shortness of breath is waning during everyday tasks. It takes much more to get me winded now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 45

September 7, 2010 power riding the Lakelands Trail, 11 miles in 1 hr and 20 minutes. One brief stop.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 44

September 6, 2010 Hudson Mills Metropark ride today. That is one beautiful park. Nice paved trails, there is an interior loop of 3 miles (did that one twice) and a 4 mile exterior loop. Got in a little exploring too at the end of the trail on the north side of the river and made it an even 12 mile ride. Both of the loops have a significant portion of the trail that is riverside with bridges, picnic areas and varied wooded terrain. Photos are of kayakers and fly-fishermen enjoying the Huron River which winds through the park and one of me hiding under some big pines during a rain shower.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 43

September 5, 2010 What a glorious day! Abundant sunshine, cool temps, warm sunshine and diminishing winds. Fine day for a first trip to the Lakelands Trail. Rode from Hamburg to Pinckney, got on the trail in downtown Hamburg on Hamburg Rd. and rode 5 miles of paved trail to Farley Road and a about a half mile of unpaved, on the return trip I checked out a bit of the unpaved section at the end of the trail also for an 11 mile trip with another cool down mile at home for an even 12 mile ride. Photos are of the trail, Zukey Lake, a bridge over the Huron River and a tunnel at Pettysville under M-36.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Day 42

September 4, 2010 Took a 5 mile ride this morning, windy! I read yesterday on a biking site that headwinds are like hills you can't see. I believe that's true. Fall is in the air and the lake was bare of boats today. The sunflowers on Main St. pictured here were waving goodbye to summer...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 41

September 3, 2010 Weather took a turn to the cool and very windy side and the humidity is g-o-n-e. Nice little 5 mile ride west on Barker to the Elementary and up to the Public Safety Building a warm up for a longer ride this weekend. Seed pods, blooms and grapes in the photos. Big seed pods!

Stubborn stiffness, on my last long ride I ended up getting caught up in errands instead of icing after the ride, not good. So I continue to find that initial pedaling is stiff. It goes away quickly however.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 40

September 2, 2010 Rain day - forced day of rest. That's not a bad thing, it'll give some good rest for a weekend of riding. With the long holiday weekend this will give a chance for some longer rides and some more exploring to look forward to. Yipee. This brings me to a grand total of a whopping 43.25 for Week Six, not too shabby with two days off.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 40

September 1, 2010 Beautiful morning, got out for a 4 mile ride before the heat sets in. Nice way to start off a work day.

A slight stiffness when I first start off a ride is being persistent. I believe it is related to fluid retention in this humidity and will avoid salty foods and see if this alleviates it.

After work ride with Lisa up and down the lake for another 8 miles gives me an even 12 for the day. Icing is in store for me!