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!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 97

October 31, 2010 Island Lake State Park, rode the length of it from Island Lake to Kent Lake for 10.8 miles.

"All the leaves are gone and the sky is grey..." and so that old Mama's and Pappa's song goes...bike riding season is winding down but what an invigorating day to be out and about!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 96

October 30, 2010 9.7 miles at Kensington. Entered in through Island Lake State Park and explored the Huron Valley Rail Trail a wee bit.

Degunked and degreased the gears and chain today, relubed it and shifting was smooth and quiet and chain didn't hop off once. Knock on wood. New saddle is working out very well and much quieter than the other one. All in all it was a very silent ride except for the wind and that is a welcome sound in your ears. It was a beautiful sunny day for a ride with temps near 60.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 95

October 29, 2010 5 laps at Independance Lake for a 10 mile ride. Cool but not real cold. It felt good to be out again after a few days off for the weather. My knee was a bit stiff for the first 1/2 mile and I felt out of it and didn't catch a rhythm until the second lap, finished strong for 5 laps and never had to walk up a single hill. Nice. The woods are thining out quite a bit so the sceanery is changing from week to week. Running short on daylight too, it's pretty dark by 6:45

Glad the weekend is here and with it the opportunity for some longer rides, the weather looks to be cooperative too with temps around 60's. Hope it's not too windy.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day 94

October 28, 2010 Winds over 25 mph and temps low 40's Brrrrrrrrr. Wind dies tomorrow and temps back up to 50-51 and Saturday mid 50's with low winds. Another day off from riding. Boo.

Weekly total mileage for week #14 is 39.8

Higher than my running average but significantly off from recent weeks. Darn weather!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 93

October 27, 2010 Winds stronger today than yesterday gusting to over 55 mph. No riding for me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 92

October 26, 2010 High winds and storms all day 45 mile an hour + gusts, good day to take the bike to the shop. Editing this to add in the results of the trip to the shop, conclusion, no physical mishaps the chain is hopping off because of road conditions and driver error. Ok, I can live with that and try to stay in better tune with my bike and also know that these things just happen from time to time. Of course they couldn't get me out of the shop without a purchase, so I came home with a new saddle. Botranger, WSD (womean specific design) Suburbia model with a built in light that either blinks or can be set to be steady. So despite the weather I had to come home and try it out. I needed to burn off some work stress and a windy day was great for that. Love it so far, very comfortable 5.5 mile ride in this fierce wind, slowed me down a bit and Avg MPH was 7.8. Down considerable from yesterday's Avg MPH 9.2. Map of yesterday's route

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 91

October 25, 2010 9.25 miles for the day at Lakelands Trail. The terrain is so flat in comparison to where I've been riding, that plus my increase in strength and stamina had me upping my miles per hour and my average for today's ride was a mile per hour faster than it's been. My speedo dosen't do cadance but I have to assume that is up as well. So, at least for the moment, everything is looking up. I continue to feel strong.

I had technical difficulties again at the beginning of my ride. There was a small incline and on the downside of it my chain hopped off again. After having watched the two guys who helped me out the last time I ended up fixing it myself this time. It was a struggle and I got very greasy but it was a proud feeling to fix it my self and pedal off again under my own power. Bikers need to be self-reliant and I need a small tool kit! Luckily Zukey Lake was just about a 1/2 mile down the path and I stopped by the waters edge and used the sand and grit and lake to wash my hands off, well somewhat anyway.

So two out of the last three rides have given me deraileur problems. Supposed to get strong storms and high winds tomorrow and the next day or so. Off to the bike shop and get this problem checked out since I won't be riding for a few days anyway.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 89 and 90

Day 89 October 23, 2010 Day off for rest. Much needed

Day 90 October 24, 2010 7.5 easy peasy ride up one side of the lake and down the other, short on time and needed a "close to home ride" that didn't involve packing it in the car. I haven't ridden on a street in a long time and it took some getting used to the traffic. I didn't like that part.

Physical stuff; last week I had really pushed myself for some longer distance rides each day and as much as I was really enjoying myself I noticed that the Thursday and Friday rides felt more difficult. Getting started was tough and it didn't feel comfortable until I was into the ride about a 1/2 hour and got my pace or gait. Hills seemed harder and felt like they sapped more from me. The last couple of miles on Friday were grinding. I was thrilled with my weekly accomplishments but worn out and spent. Amazing that a day of rest on Saturday and ensuring that I had enough protein (red meat stuff) really made a difference. It was nearly 48 hours since I had been on the bike instead of the usual 24 or less and what a difference that made!

Today I was so energized, riding felt like a breeze. Hills that I had dreaded in the past, I seemed to go whizzing up. Everything clicked and felt good right from the get go till the end. I hadn't realized I was overtraining until I took a break. Not sure I really reached overtraining mode, but notations for the future are thus; push hard, listen to your body, rest and nutrition, push harder, rest and enjoy the fruits of pushing the limits on your next time riding. Yay!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 88

October 22, 2010 Found a new way to get to Island Lake State Park, there is a new mall up the road a few miles and if you go all the way to the back of it the rail road runs behind it, it's a half mile of rugged trail with really big chunky rock and slag, once you get past that it enters the State Park, rode the length of it to Kensington Metro Park and a bit into Kensington. Round trip today was 17.56 miles. Great ride and nice weather.
Had a little equipment malfunction and my chain came off down a big hill, I struggled with it for about 10 minutes and a couple of very nice bikers came by and helped me out with it, I was pretty greasy but back on the road again, thanks to their help.

My knee was barking on the way back from the steep climbs and some of them I walked my bike up part way. I was happy to see the water tower at the mall and then a little further up I was so glad to see my car again. Great timing as it was just before dark.
I'm thinking more and more strongly about getting my other knee replaced and just have it over with. I've strenghtened myself up enough to have an easier recovery. It'll be off to the doc soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 87

October 21, 2010 Another new trail Island Lake State Park just south of Kensington Metro Park. Did 7.3 miles of it today which was R/T of all but a mile of the trail itself. There is a connector to Kensington and also to the Huron Valley Rail-Trail. What a great system, all of them being tied like that together. I'm going to have to map out the route and see what a round trip would be if someone did them all, guessing it's going to be in the neighborhood of 35-45 miles.

Week 13 Total Mileage for the Week 59.9 miles. Awesome if I don't say so myself.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 86

October 20, 2010 9.5 for the day at Hudson Mills, 2 x inner loop and 1 x outer loop. A bit warmer today - but nice and autumn cool. It was w-i-n-d-y today but I felt full of energy and raring to go.

Amazing how many leaves have come down in the last few days, less than a week ago I took some beautiful photos in this park, it reminds me to seize the moment when you see a good photo opportunity - take it!

Great ride today - autumn energizes me and is invigorating.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 85

October 19, 2010 8 miles today at Independance Lake, did the loop 4 times. Day's are getting shorter and DST is coming the first week of November so that may mean that morning or mid day rides are in and PM rides are out. It felt really good after a one day lay up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 85

October 18, 2010 zero miles today as work obligations took up all time available, I am ok with it because I was planning on a day of rest and this was a good one to do it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day 84

October 17, 2010 13.5 miles today on another new trail. Rode from South Lyon to Milford on the Huron Valley Rail Trail. Flat and had some cool intersection crossings that talked to you.

Made it a bit over half way as the trail goes from SL to Wixom. Temps had dropped from when I left home until I started the ride and I was not dressed for a longer ride, started off at 4 pm and as the sun got lower it got chillier so I opted out of the last 3 miles and turned around at just under 7 out of 10. Also found a leg off the trail that takes you to Kensington. That's going to make one nice ride to build up to if you combine both loops.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 83

October 16, 2010 Rode the B2B trail in A2 from Brandmere Park to St. Jos with my bike pal Deb. Soaking up the last days of fall. 14.60 miles for the day through woodlands, alongside the Huron River, urban areas of Ann Arbor. The terrain is varied from flat parklands, paved trail, dirt, rolling hills and a few steep inclines. It's a good workout.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 82

October 14, 2010 7 miles at Hudson Mills today, did the inside and outside loop. Photos are of Michigan autumn splendor.

I am taking advantage of all these last great days of fall and visiting every park and place I know of that has trails through dense woodlands and waterways. I LOVE Michigan.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 81

October 14, 2010 9.25 miles today on yet again another new path. Well it's new to me anyway - Kensington Metropark. When you mention bike paths around here everyone always asks if you've been to Kensington. Well now I have I know what the fuss is all about. It's one of the most gorgeous places to bike. I have not been to Kensington since I was a kid and there was no bike/hiking path back in the day.

Autumn must be the most spectacular time to be there. God has been busy with His paintbrush - rounding one corner after another with my breath taken away by the beauty.

Path rated hilly. It was. Photo is a stock photo from the parks website, not me or anyone I know.

Total mileage for WEEK 12 = 69.45 Miles

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 80 Map of Bandemere Park to St. Jos in Ann Arbor

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 79

October 11, 2010 probably one of the last real warm days of the fall season. Too nice to pass up without getting a ride in, daylight fading fast so I took the bike in the car to Independance Lake and did the loop three times for a total ride of 5.2 miles for the day. After the big ride yesterday and a longish one on Saturday I was amazed at how chipper my ride felt, into the second lap I was feeling like I was one with the wind, the path and all of outdoors and really felt strong and invincible.

The path has slightly rolling terrain with some minor inclines, today they didn't feel like anything.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 78

October 10, 2010 Tour de Livingstons today! What a great day for a ride. I had been torn between the 10 mile recreational ride and the 28 mile Brighton Howell loop. I ended up with the 10 mile loop but did it multiple times for a total of 26 miles. The first pass I was caught up in the crowd and missed a turn off for my loop, arrived in downtown Brighton way too soon and said, hmmm. Completed the route from where I was and said I like this enough to do it again, this time the whole route! Still wanting to crank out the miles and the mindset had been to do 28 so I gave it another go but skipped a few turns, so that is how I eneded up with the 26. I was bent on riding 28 today so when I got home I rode to work at the Township offices (2 mile round trip) because the Police and Fire Department were having their open house. There, 28 for the day and I'm jello legged.

Don't be fooled by the title "family recreational loop" it was shorter but it was pretty hilly, the 1st subdivision we road through was called the Bluffs. Appropriately named. I conquered some hills and some conqured me but in the end I road and had a good time.

Even on a touring ride I can't help but stop and take photos, especially on such a gorgeous fall day. I heard that there were something like 600 riders in the event, the photos don't do that justice.

From the photos there are a lot of dedicated cyclists with road and touring bikes in attendance, my little city/pathway bike stood out but that's ok. I had fun and would do it again.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 77

October 9, 2010 Going for the distance today did the familiar section of the B2B trail and beyond... from Brandemere Park to St. Joseph's Hospital. No photos, I was on a mission, not one of speed but of endurance and distance. Had some big hills and rode up all but one and it was not the steepest. I stopped and took breathers and rests up the inclines but got back on and rode em out. It's a great feeling of accomplishment to reach the top of them and an even bigger thrill on the way back to ride down 'em!

Ride mileage for the day 18

Tomorrow's the big day of the Tour de Livingston, riding for the Howell Rotary to benefit the United Way.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 76

October 8, 2010 9 mile ride today with some significant hills and inclines. Road some and walked up some and rode some more. Felt like I could have kept on going for quite some time but I ran out of daylight. Got back to my car parked in the Frustenberg Nature Area and there were three deer grazing in front of my car. Cool. We are going through a superb warm spell here in the early Autumn. Couldn't ask for better fall biking days.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 73, 74 & 75

October 5 and 6 out of town, October 7 returned shortly before dark, hopped on my bike and pedaled a quick 3 mile ride before dark. Can't wait for a nice long ride tomorrow. I had a great time away with my sisters for a fall color tour up north and we did all the sister suff, shopping, exploring, dining, wine tasting and a bit of casino gambling. I love my sisters and we had a ball, now it's time for bike riding. Tour de Livngston coming up Sunday!

Week 12 15.5 miles for the week. Boy that's only one good riding day. Vacations are important too! My TdL should boost my mileage for the following week!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 72

October 4, 2010 6.5 mile ride today at Lakelands, running short on daylight these days, short but sweet. Autumn is the best time of the year for cycling! Between yesterday and today, getting back into the spinning routine is helping with my knee and general aches in joints. I've seen improvement just in these last two days after a short absence of riding.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 70 and 71

October 2, Got bike back from bike shop, rain and a wedding reception to go to later in the evening made for another non riding day. Boo.

October 3, Chilly but only had time for a short late day ride, cold out but gloves, a turtleneck and my neoprene headband kept me warm as toast. 6 mile ride, easy breezy going but for the first two miles I felt the absence of riding for a few days and needed to get reacclimated to the bike it seemed and get a pace or groove going. I was getting winded easily and feeling slow and lethargic, then a power boost kicked in from out of the blue and I was sailing along. That happens sometimes with activities.

My new speedo quit working after the first mile so having the bike in the shop was a waste of time. More boo. Oh well, I am going to try to return it to it's place of purchase.

I haven't taken a Humira shot for my RA since June when I first had pneumonia this year and I think it's time to again, I've been having a fair amount of aches and pains in this last week and the exercise and the rest is not cutting it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Day 69

October 1, 2001 Boo, bike is still in the shop - no riding today. Insert sad face here!