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, October 24, 2011

Phase I Non Motorized Path Barker Road Open!

A group of about 40 adults and a few dozen kids showed up for the ribbon cutting on the new pathway along with local officials, and those from the County and State.  I did a presentation thanking all of the groups, clubs, orginizations and agencies who had a hand in supporting the project.  This list is lengthy.

We had three year olds on their trikes, mother and son pulling wee ones on a trailer behind them, a couple on a tandem and several singles bikes and walkers anxious to take the first steps on the new walkway.  Yours truly had the lead bike but the kids were so exicted that I let them go first and they took off running and yelling their heads off.  Of course this all took place just as school was letting out so there was pent up exhuberance! Plus they had been plied with cookies and cider courtsey of a local bike shop Hometown Bicycles and our local coffee shop Peaberry Bean and Beats.

Afterwards, four of us ended up riding out to independence lake county park.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ribbon Cutting Tomorrow! YAY!

The non motorized path becomes a reality, what started two years ago as a concept and dream takes form and shape and will become a usable form of transportation for pedestrians and bicycles tomorrow.  Phase One of a mile long three year project will be open tomorrow afternoon.  This section will connect the subdivision to the east of the elementary school with the school itself.  In the past a sidewalk ended at woods and the school was 700 feet beyond.  This first phase opens that up and phase two begins next year at the opposite end at Main Street and Barker and continues westward toward the school to the west.  Phase three will follow and connect the two.  Phase three has some existing sidewalk.  When complete pedestrians and bicyclists will have safe passage along some hazardous sections of roadway.  Our second phase crosses an at grade rail crossing, a drain and creek, a freeway exit ramp and a freeway entrance ramp and traverses a bridge under the freeway.  In most instances, travel along this road lands a cyclist or pedestrian in the roadway.  That will be a thing of the past and the passage between downtown and the three main subdivisions and elementary school will be a safe one.  YAY!
Workers have scrambled and worked in the rain for the last three days putting the finishing touches and railings on the elevated deck portions.  More pictures tomorrow of the festivities.

Sister Trip

My sister Sophia at Lake Michigan
Me on our climb up the dunes
Dune grass bent in the wind
Beach at New Buffalo

What a great spur of the moment two day getaway with my sister!

It's the pause that refreshes.  Lake Michigan rejuvinates.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tour de Livingston - Beautiful Ride!

Riders anxiously awaited the go ahead for the ride, from initial counts there were over 750 riders this year participating in  the event.  There were routes of 5, 9, 12, 28, 38 and 64 miles AND an addition of 5 mountain bike routes from 7 to 13 miles or you can combine them for a 50 mile mountain bike challenge.
Riders waiting in the early dawn fog

Riders of all skill levels participate
There were riders of all skill leveles and ages.  The weather was magnificant and amazing for October at a balmy 80 degrees F by mid day.  Some riders combined the 64 Mile metric century with other rides to make a full 100 mile century ride.  One set of riders did that on a tandem bike and that would be Shawn and Dawn co-owners of Hometown Bicycles who were also celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

The route chosen by my friends and I was not real long but it was the hilliest route of the courses available.  I felt them all!  What a great day, a great ride and all for such a great cause!  Newspaper article and photo gallery can be found click here for TdL news
Deb, Deb and Tim

Ready to go in a rest up

Saturday, October 8, 2011

One K

Woo Hoo, today I crossed over the 1,000 mile mark for the season.  Just a day over 27 weeks and I have 1004 miles logged from April to today.  By bicycling standards that's not a lot, but it is for me.  My week #26 ending last Friday had a measly 20.28 miles in it with 3 days of riding.  We had 12 days of rain.  This week I closed out #27 with 45.3 miles for the week.  It's off my pace and no where near the new bar I set but I've been still in a weakened state from being ill for almost three weeks.  In the last two days I finally feel like I am getting back my old stamina and strength.  Slowly but surely.

In the morning it's off to the TdL! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tour de Livingston!

It's that time of year again for the TdL and I've been training all week for my upcoming ride!  Last year there were over 550 riders.  This year they have expanded the venue to include mountain biking with several mountain bike routes to choose from from beginner to expert plus they added an intermediate road bike mileage route that is more off the main roads with lesser traffic volumes for beginners who are intimidated by cars whizzing by at high speeds on narrow roads.  I am betting that there will be upwards of 800 riders this year. 

The forecast is for gorgeous weather.  Yipee!  Last year I raised funds for the Howell Rotary who puts on the event and over $25,000 was raised for the United Way.  I've been raising funds this year too and have surpassed my goal of $300.00.

Ready.  Set.  Go!

TdL website

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dexter Apple Daze Part III

This tree was uncommonly bright lime in color, since I don't know my trees all that well I believe this one may be on it's way to yellow for it's autumn display.
An appropriate sign for an art store.  With full panniers it was time to head for home, the fair was closing and daylight would be fading soon.  I packed my bags with apple cider, maple syrup, honey, my regular repair gear, extra vest, camera, blackberry, and various other treasures that can only be found at art and craft fairs.  When I got home I weighed them and they came in at 15 pounds and really there was plenty of room for more!  I love those panniers, what a great thing to win!  I had a lot of people comment on them.  A very good day all around. 

Dexter Apple Daze Part II

This booth was selling all local harvested honey and honey products.  Flavored honey sticks are just the right size for a yogurt snack pack.
This youngster was having fun trying his skill at landing the ball inside the target.  His next shot was with a bean bag and it was a success!  The photos below are of a couple of quaint shops and what has the be the worlds smallest restaurant ever!  The building is barely longer than it is wide.  I need to stop there on my next visit, it looks way too cute.

As it turns out the little restuarant was a gift to the community back in 1928 from a Senator and served as a Post Office and a Library in it's former incarnation.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dexter Apple Daze Part I

Cider Mill in Dexter alongside the Huron River.  I revisited Dexter today and there was an Apple Daze fair going on.  From downtown I took a trip to the Cider Mill and met up with some long lines but the fresh donuts and cider were well worth the wait.  It's a popular biking destination and I saw several other riders while visiting. 

This is a good example of some of the older beautiful homes in the town, historical preservation is important here.
You can see that the panniers are starting to get full from my shopping and browsing at the local vendors and artists.
I picked up some Michigan Maple Syrup from this place.  And some honey and honey products from the booth next door.

Very Cool Video On Bike Physics