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!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer is here with a heat wave

We've had extreme weather in the last few weeks and most especially in the last few days.  Since March 1st we have had over 57 days or rain.  That is about 15 days greater than our average and caused the flooding I posted about earlier.  Our temps for spring have been well below normal and we saw a small handful of 70 degree days with sunshine, in place of that we had a wildly fluctuating thermometer.  I had my heat on and warm snugly covers on Thursday and Friday.  I am running the AC at the moment.  Sunday morning I set off on a early morning bile ride with a long sleeve tee covered with a quilted vest.  Today a short sleeve tee was too much and I lost gallons in perspiration.

I set off on a ride today and learned that in the heat and humidity that early morning riding is preferred over late morning/long afternoon riding.  I started on a familiar path and immediately noticed that the heat and humidity were going to cause problems.  It came too suddenly without a chance to become acclimated, with 40 degree temp swings in a day I could see this was not going to be good.  I shrugged it off with a "that'll teach you a lesson about sticking with your plan to start out early."  Normally that route is a pleasure for it's scenic vistas, a get away from it all feeling and it has challenging hills and climbs.  It's a place to go to get your head clear and to lose yourself in the quest for challenging yourself in a totally different way than in the work world. 

Seeking additional adventure I decided to veer off at a three way intersection that I had passed many times.  I knew where it would take me because I rode the trail that it was leading to yesterday, I just never rode the connection before.  A few times on the other trail I had an inclination to see how long and what the spur looked like from that trail and also from the one I was on today.  Since the heat was beating me up I decided it would be fun to go someplace new.  I had imagined the spur to be about 2 miles, however it was closer to just over 4 and even hillier than expected with a very long climb (about 3 miles) and a couple of very steep climbs.  If not for the adventure of it the heat would have destroyed me.  What kept the ride fun was the newness of exploring the spur trail and the accomplishment of the climbs and the endurance despite the heat.  I didn't win those climbs in any conquering fashion and stopped many times along the way, about the only thing I can say is that eventually I pedaled up them.  There is a reason the trail is called the Huron Valley Trail.  All totaled I rode 11.84 miles today.  With the high heat and humidity I almost doubled my normal ride time for a ride of that length.  There are a couple of ridges that divide the valley and the views were worth the effort.

I have to say I was very glad for the water bottle today, not only did I drain it but filled it up mid way.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ahhhh, finally that nice long riding day I've been hankering for

I started off the morning with a recognizance ride to the Horseshoe Lake area to visit with persons I know, and check out on how folks are doing and coping over there.  I was gone a couple of hours and went 6.6 miles however much of that was spent visiting for long periods of time with others at various points along the way. 

People are very self sufficient over there and in incredibly good spirits considering the hardships they are enduring.  You see neighbor helping neighbor and looking out for one another.  It's very heartwarming.  Due to the hardships I just don't feel like posting pictures, let's just say it's bad and some homes are now islands with water surrounding them on all sides. In many instances people are using boats, canoes and kayaks to get out to the road to get to stores and are ferrying others.  I parked my bike up a hill and I rode hanging onto the back of a tractor to get around and even that big contraption could not get through some of the real low lying areas.  What an awful way to spend the holiday weekend for these folks.

My contribution to the effort has been to ensure that we are getting the message out via TV, radio and newsprint about how the Red Cross can help individuals who are flooded out of their homes and provide emergency shelter and what to do in the event that a persons well has been breeched.  So far, our public safety officials are doing a great job. 

After lunch I went out and did the Huron Valley Rail Trail with a friend for another 11 something miler for a grand total of 17.63 for the day.

Bear with some problems with the reply feature in my blog

I have not been able to respond so the last couple of comments as I keep getting stuck in a "log on loop" and the system is not allowing me to respond.  I'm trying to work on a solution.

Flooding at Horseshoe Lake

The rain has caused me the minor inconvenience of not being able to bike ride for several day, this pales in comparison to persons who live in the Horseshoe Lake area and are flooded.  The rain that came down at the rate of 4" in a single day of a multiday storm has left the ground and our storm water system unable to handle the deluge.  News video of flooding.  My heart goes out to the people that are affected by this.  People in those neighborhoods are hanging together an looking out for one another and generally rising to the occasion and keeping their spirits up.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A simple training ride

Simply beautiful spring day. Warm not hot, sunshine, mild winds. Perfect day for a ride too bad there were time constraints to deal with but I got 5.83 miles in.

Today I finally broke down and added a water bottle cage to my bike. Sounds like a no-brainer, oh but it is. I'm not a do-dad person for items on my bike and have been resistant to adding one. The new bike came with a frame that was set up to accept one, had pre-drilled holes and mounting hardware but..but...but...it was still hard to put it on. The beautiful and graceful curves of the frame suddenly felt like they grew a wart. Well, let's see if I get used to it or not. Otherwise - off with it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Perseverance has it's rewards

I finally made it up this hill. Last year this hill conquered me in more ways than one. Today I made it up! 5.1 miles for the day. The hilltop is in the far distance.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Boats and Ballerinas

What a great weekend, the weather was summer like with high puffy clouds and warm temps and the lake was dotted with boats and brave early season swimmers. Yesterday was a volunteer day and no bike riding for me. But in the later afternoon I did go out with a friend for a spin in their brand new Master Craft ski boat. What a beaut! This boat was built for speed, I took the wheel and man did it feel good to open it up and tear up the lake. She's got all the bells and whistles, heated seats, boat heater, GPS, you name it and it's on it. The looks and appointments are gorgeous. Maybe I'm a wee bit partial but I believe that Master Crafts are the best ski boat ever built. Dawn's little Allison is one brave water baby, boy that water's stilly chilly!

Sunday afternoon was spent at a recital where my niece Lori and nephew Billy's little daughter made her opening debut as a ballerina. Gosh those little wee ones were so darn adorable on stage. It was a great show.

So after a busy and filled weekend I capped it off with a nice little bike ride 8.62 miles up one shore of the lake and down another. Hills that I struggled with before are getting easier.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike to Work Day...discovering all the gears

I ended up with a double commute today, had to make a trip home mid day. After work I had a very enjoyable ride. I've decided that the only way I am going to manage hills is to keep riding them. At some point I will get strong enough that they don't wear me out. So it was back to Island Lake State Park today. We had wonderful warm spring weather after a couple of days of rain it was nice to be out in the parks as everything is getting so lush looking and it seems like every tree, bush and shrub that flowers is out in full bloom. Spring is strutting her stuff!

Island Lake is pretty hilly and has some steep climbs (for these parts), I had the opportunity to discover my low gears today. So far with my new bike I've explored speed and the higher gears and found the joy of my large chain ring in front. Today was for exploring the low gears and the small front ring. I learned a lot about using it with various combinations of the rear cassette gears. I never got into what is called the "granny gear" which is the small front ring and the largest rear ring. Guess I didn't meet up with a hill that big yet. But I did notice that my average speed for my ride was greater than normal and that my time for the distance was shorter by a pretty fair amount. Not that I'm out to set records or concerned about speed. I prefer to enjoy my rides and surroundings. I do ride for exercise and fitness too and at times am more focused on the productivity of the ride, but don't sacrifice smelling the roses, I just don't stop an take pictures of them when I am out for a workout ride.

Today was certainly a workout ride and meant to be one, it was my mission. It just so happened to be absolutly gorgeous out too which just added to the whole aura of the ride. I might have had to stop and take a break while going up some hills today, but I rode up every one and didn't get off an walk once. That's improvement.

For me it's more an issue of getting winded instead of fatigue and legs giving out. While I had a normal early season conditioning issue to deal with (riding outside with wind and varying terrain and hills) is way different from a trainer in the winter on flat ground with no wind to deal with. So that passed quickly enough and I was gaining endurance and stamina. Then about two or so weeks ago I found that instead of getting stronger I was getting winded much more often. Just before that I had a flare up of my RA and took a Humira shot to tame it down. It was my first one since June of last year. Last year I had several bouts of shortness of breath and getting winded very easily. Three times it turned out to be pneumonia, however it happend more than that and pneumonia was not the cause as it could not be detected.

Last year I had a pulmonary and cardiac workup, several trips to various specalist doctors and loads of testing later that revealed no problems with lung functions and no significant heart items to cause what was happening. I have a heart murmur and some day the valve will need replacing but not at this time and it is not contributing to the shortness of breath. I have a 90% blockage in a very smalll artery going into my heart but again, the Dr. was not concered because of where it is located and the existance of 3 other arteries in that cluster that are ok with no blockage and agian, it was determined that this is not contributing to shortness of breath. I passed a stress test on a treadmill last year just fine.

So my family doctor (I believe they call them primary care physican these days) felt all along that it was more a matter of conditioning or rather being out of condition. One would think that continued biking would address that. Since I am experiencing this again several weeks into the season it leaves me to believe something I suspected last year and that is that RA is contributing to this. RA can attack organs as well as joints. A trip to the rheumatologist is in order. The most odd thing about this whole issue of shortness of breath is the following; during the first 20-30 minutes of a ride I get short of breath constantly and feel like I can't go on. Somehow I push through this and before I know it I am breathing fine and feel like I could go on for a very long time. That just dosen't make sense to me.

So, combined with commute of just over 4 miles and 9.3 at the park I had a total mileage today of 13 .8 and a total for Week #7 of 36.55 miles. I like it and I'm happy. And I brought home another big bouquet of lilacs and the home is perfumed by it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain - but wait a short window of opportunity

Rain all day but I managed to find a short window and get out for a little spin 4.45 miles around a nearby subdivision. Today the Ann Arbor Bicycling Touring Society hosted a Ride of Silence for those killed on bikes. I had hoped to go but I am a bit of a fair weather cycler and the threat of not only rain but also thunderstorms kept me at home.

The ride takes place in a slow procession style of 10 mph or less, in silence with head bowed. Last year we had a local man who was killed on his bike, it's always sad.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Out of the last 12 days I've commuted to work 8 of them. Considering 2 days of rest and inclement weather that's not bad. I hope to make this a permenant habit during the months that weather permits. Some days there are a lot of meetings scattered in various places and tomorrow is one of them. I have a meeting 15 miles away and am not able to put in the time it would take for the ride plus the meeting and ride back, so I'll have to settle for an after work ride. That's a good thing to look forward to at days end.

I picked up a bike rack for my car today and it assembled easily enough and I did a trial mounting on the car, it's pretty simple and easy to use, however before I can put my bike on the carrier I'll need to get one of those bar extenders because mine is a girls bike and all the carriers are made for a top tube crossbar. Those are easy enough to find. I'm getting to like Dick's Sporting Goods, they have pretty good prices. It was $40 new and I saw some used identical ones on craigslist for more that that. Pays to know the going prices.

With a short commute and a single lap around Independance Lake I have 4.19 miles for the day. I was up for 2 -3 laps today but it started to rain and I wussed out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bike to Work Week

Today kicked off Bike to Work Week and Friday is Bike to Work Day, so I will commute as much as the weather permits this week. With gas prices the way they are I am committing to doing as

many errands by bike as possible and got a good start last week. It's just a matter of thinking bike first instead of car, plus it's a cool thing to do and it's less hassle than driving.

I started off the day with a meeting that I biked to, then my work commute. I took my bike up to the shop to get the cycle computer checked out and boy did I feel dumb. When I towled off my bike I must have moved the unit that sends the signal. Duh! How the heck did I miss that? I fiddled with the pickup, I just never looked at the sending unit up close. Darn fenders are not ready yet. I want to get some proper photos of my bike and I'm impatient.

After the bike shop I made a trip to Independance Lake and made two laps and mapped it on map my ride, when I got home I found a cool new feature on the site, you can do a "fly-over" of your route, so you get to relive the trip in a couple of minutes from the comfort of your desktop. Too funny.

All together it only amounted to 6.97 miles for the day. So far I aim to shoot for 35 miles per week. A little later in the season I'll probably up that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ann Arbor Farmers Market and Island Lake Trail

Early morning saw sister and I take a trip to the Ann Arbor Farmer's market for flower baskets and herbs. Our own market dosen't open till June so it's off to neighboring ones until it does. We both brought home beautiful baskets and my herb garden is nearly full. Between this trip and a previous one plus a trip to the South Lyon Market I have the following to cook with all summer; Tarragon, Sage, Oregano, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Dill and Chives. The chives don't really count because I've had that planter full for over 15 years, it just comes back every year. Not only do I have fresh herbs to cook with but I dry them for winter use. I haven't bought herbs in jars in years except for spices that I don't or can't grow.

Rode 7.14 today at Island Lake State Park, did the entire paved trail which goes from the trailhead parking to Kent Lake and after that loop I did the one to the west which passes through the area I nicknamed The Cathedral. Very scenic and quite hilly. Today was nice to be on the path as my usual route there is riding the park road that winds it's way through the park, it's a very low traffic road with more bikes than cars on it but the paths are narrower through the wooded areas and it seems more still-like and puts the rider closer to nature. The roads have more sweeping vistas so it's a matter of what you are in the mood for at the time.

Cycle computer quit working after I washed the bike yesterday, going to have to take it in and see what's up with that. I figured it might dry up overnight if it got wet inside but no luck. The computer itself works because it still tells time, it's the pick up that is not working. I didn't have the unit itself on the bike when I washed it. Never had any trouble with my other one. Hmmm. I'd really be bumming if I had not found the map my ride app, so while I can't get visual clues while I'm riding about my speed etc I do get the whole ride with mileage, time elapsed and route ready and waiting for me on line when I'm finished. I'm still amazed at that technology.

On my way home I picked a big bouquet of fresh lilacs, the house smells wonderful!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Thursday was a commute day coupled with an easy pace ride around neighboorhood subdivisions, getting ready to crank up for the weekend. 7.5 miles for the day.

Found a very cool new tool. iMap My Ride is an app that you can download onto your Blackberry or iPhone or Android and it integrates with the online service. Both are free and way cool. It uses your device's internal GPS for navigation and you access it and turn it on and away you go. At the end of your trip you get stats like total mileage, speed, average speed and pace/mile. Much the same kind of data that you get from a standard cycle computer these days. But now for the awesome part - it tracks you like Hansel and Grettel except the birds can't eat your breadcrumbs. It maps your route. I used it Thursday and came home, hopped on line to the map my ride website and voila, there was my route in full color on a map of my choosing. This is way too cool for me!

I have spent far too much time in the past mapping by hand on the map your ride website routes that I rode that day. It can be painstaking work if it's a new route and something that you are unfamiliar with because you have to zoom in so much to get the proper detail that it seems to take forever. Not anymore :-) Color me happy and tickled, stuff like this makes me feel like I'm living in the days of George Jetson.

Friday was a double commute day as I went home for lunch plus a short run to the bank up town for a combined total of 4.6 miles. Going to see if the bike shop has my fenders ready, hope so!

Boo, fenders not ready. Weekly total is 32.62 which is considerably less than last weeks total (nearly 50) but pretty good for early in the season.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Second Day of Rest

Took today off also from riding and it was hard and I was sorely tempted. More than that, I longed for riding. Another day off won't kill me, it will just get me properly rested. Now it doesn't help that the next three days are scheduled for rain, but I am sure I can find a period of time go get out, at least I hope so. Can't wait!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day of Rest

For the last 10 days I rode and accumulated 70 miles. That's not a lot in the world of biking, but for me it is, and each of those days I came back feeling like I could ride a few more miles as though I had a thirst that was not quite quenched. I felt like that yesterday when I returned. Not so this morning. I was wupped. My legs, my feet, my arms, my wrists were all talking to me and complaining too!

I realized that I hadn't taken a day off to rest and reccuperate and had a few longish rides in there, especially so early in the season. I decided that it was best all the way around to listen to my body and not ride today. Might even take tomorrow off too, then plan for a good long ride (weather depending) following this rest period. It's early in the season and I don't want or need any injuries from overtraining.

Looking over my biking log I rode 3 days this week, 7 days last week, 4 days the week before that, 0 the week before that because of cold and snow, and only 2 days the week before that. Before that there was only a day scattered here and there over the previous few weeks as we have had basically no weather conducive for bike riding.

It pays to keep a log and also to pay attention to it because clearly I am overtraining and need to dial it back before I have a problem. My body will be happy but my spirit is sad because all I can think about right now is riding!

My weeks start on a Saturday and end on a Friday. Quirky. Last year they started on a Friday and ended on a Thursday. Even quirkery, but it just depends on which day of the year I start riding on.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blazing New Trails

Ever since I rode the upper section of the Border to Border (B2B) trail in Washtenaw County from Bandemere Park to St. Jos I've been itching to explore the ride further along. This evening I parked at St. Jos, unloaded my bike and off I went on a new adventure to parts unknown.

This segment winds through the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Campus which is lovely, and past Eastern Michigan University (EMU) football fields, Convocation Center, down around campus with a short jaunt through a wooded section and into Ypsilanti at Frog Island Park and Riverside Park. The parks are home to historic features, there is the old depot town which is used for the current Farmer's Market, an open air amphitheatre, a tridge over the river, picnic areas and a riverwalk. The trail winds around various areas of the park, along side the Huron River and it'sall very scenic, beautiful and pastoral.

The parks are at a lower river level than the downtown area which is really quite bustling with activity. There are stair cases that lead up to the street level. There are plenty of old historic buildings with beautiful architecture, pubs and outdoor cafes.

Since this was an evening ride I didn't do any exploring around the town but on a weekend it would be a great place to shop and have some lunch before the trip home. Photos were taken at various points along the way. Mileage for the day was 12.12 miles, just under 10 of which came from this outing the rest was my commute and a short trip to the market

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Celebration

Short ride today just to stretch the legs and because it was just so beautiful out I couldn't help myself. 3 miles of pedaling around town.

Most of the day was devoted to preperations for a family cook out. I have two sisters who were 16 and 15 respectively when I was born and they have always been like a pair of extra mothers to me. I had a family dinner today to honor them. Full house today with sisters and brother in law, nieces and nephews and their kids too. I am basking in the contented glow of being in the bosom of my family, having fun with them and enjoying each others company.

This is contentment.

Yesterday's ride

On Friday I started off a new week of riding with 5.12 miles. In my previouse week I rode 7 days however 2 of them were only commutes and combined they only represent 4 miles. Still today called for a recovery ride with low intensity and a tour around a local subdivision fit the bill. It was beautiful, sunny and 70 degree day. Perfect spring weather and the dogwoods, magnolias, pear and cherry trees are blossoming out and things could not look better.

It's one of the most beautiful times of the year to be outdoors and soaking up the scenery.

Another spring ritual is clean up and clean out and I had my share of it Saturday morning. Our township sponsors a Spring Clean Up and people can bring their cast off and whatnot to a recycling and trash dump day. We bring in trash haulers to take appliances, scrap and whatever. Concurrently this morning our local Kiwanis club did their 2nd Annual Clean Up On Main St. About 25 volunteers showed up to walk the main streets of downtown and pick up trash. My lower back is still talking to me about the bending over I gave it yesterday. Current photos to follow. The one included here is from last year's effort.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Island Lake

Last year I found the trail from behinds JC Penny's at the Mall in Green Oak that leads to the Island Lake State Park. Park at the mall near Brighton and go up the hill behind the mall, over the RR tracks, down the hill on the other side to a short single track of a few hundred yards and you are out onto the Island Lake Drive. Within a half mile you are in the State Park. Rode from the mall to the trail head parking and did a loop around the paved path through a section that I have nicknamed The Cathedral, the trail crosses the parking lot for the riverbend picnic area and you can hop back on the State Park Road for the trip back. RT trip was 8.86 miles and gives me a weekly total on my new bike of: 49.46 miles. Yay!

a map to the ride can be found here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thursday May 5, 2011

I had a great opportunity to apply the things I learned from yesterday's outing and practicing the various gear combos. Today's ride had some gentle rolling hills and inclines and I rode about half of my ride on dirt roads (note to self: take sunglasses to keep the dust out of your eyes!) and the discovery is that riding can even be more joyful when you hit the right gear combo.

The greater range of gears has allowed for greater speeds to be achieved without undue stress on my joints. By getting into very high gears I can also build enough speed and momentum on the downhills to easily cruise up the next hill, that also takes a lot of stress off of my knees. Plus it has the added advantage of helping to keep me from getting as winded. I find myself panting a lot less and coming home from a ride and not feeling exhausted. Now some of that might be due to getting better conditioned from more frequent riding and increased mileage due to the weather cooperating. But I know this to be a fact, I don't feel anywheres near as fatigued as before and my muscles don't feel all wobbly, in fact I come back feeling like I could go a few more miles.

I look at that like a good thing because it leaves me wanting to go and ride as soon as I have the next opportunity!

I really really LOVE my new bike!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011

8.96 miles today, 2 from the commute and 6.96 on the Huron Valley Rail Trail out of South Lyon. Their farmer's market opened today and I still have not picked up any herbs to plant so it was a good reason to make the trip to the market where I got sage, tarragon and oregano plants. Took my bike with because I knew there was a trail nearby so I cruised from the market to the trail.

The flatness of the rail trail allowed me to fully explore the range of gears I have now. My old bike had one chainring up front and 7 cogs on the back cassette so the range was small. My new set of wheels has 3 chainrings up front and 7 cogs on the back cassette and cycling through the various combos was a treat that I have not had yet since I got my bike last week. I discovered the power of the large front ring combined with the small back cog. WOW! In general it was great to have the opportunity and I'm sure it'll take another such outing or two to find the sweet spot and ingrain the patterns in my head for the right gear combos for climing and downhills.

One more reason to love my new bike! Like I don't have a ton of them already. Love it so much I bought a bell for it today. Brrrrrriiiinnnnnnggggggg.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 3, 2011

The commute continues, it was a bit chillier today and called for a jacket. It was supposed to have rained all day and luckily it was dry in the morning so I set out and got a dry ride home too, thank you very much! Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny so I'll shoot for it again and I aim to get in a proper ride after work.

I put a wireless bike computer on my new bike and I like it. Still need some fenders, a bell and a back rack but I should be good to go after that. I am wanting to get white fenders but they are proving hard to find. Today the manager of the LBS said he would consider painting a set for me, that was a great offer and I'm likely to take him up on it. The bike is white trimmed in brown accents on the handlebar grips, brake levers have brown inserts, the pedals have brown inserts and so is the saddle. The brown wicker basket fits in nicely. The bike has some dark charcoal lettering for the logo and model name. So far only black or chrome fenders are available and I am hesitant to introduce another color. White fenders with brown pinstriping would set it off nicely. The other option was to go with black fenders with brown and charcoal pinstriping. Hmmmm...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday May 2, 2011

First day that I was able to commute to work. We've had nicer days but those days required me to have a car for out of the office meetings. I'm going to try to commute every day that I can. It's very short (2 miles round trip), but every mile spent pedaling instead of driving contributes to better health for me.

The week of May 16th to May 20th is National Bike to Work Week and Friday the 20th is Bike to Work Day.

Link to map my ride http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/33215138/

Map of yesterday's ride.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday May 1, 2011

Another fun filled day on the bike, took a ride with my cycling buddy Deb and we went from Brandemere Park and the loop around Gallup Park and back for a sweet 9.82 miles. I still can't say enough good things about this bike.

I don't recall ever being able to sprint with my other bike, I can with this one, it just seems to accelerate quickly, I can't imagine why as I don't know that much about the engineering of bikes and their drivetrains but something is way different about this bike from my other one. The only way I can describe it is that it's peppy. Now, I can understand how a car can feel peppy because it has to do with the engine and horespower, but I am the driving force on both of these bikes? Somehow it's more efficient?

Saw some pretty flowers in the overflow of the riverbank, not sure what they are but they sure were a nice bright patch of yellow sunshine in the yet to be budded out forrest lining the bank.