It’s Worth the Headwind

003I was able to do one of my favorite things today: bike up to visit my brother, sister-in-law and their four children. The ride up was really nice, thanks to a hard-working tailwind.

When I arrived at their house the three oldest children greeted me at the door asking various questions about my bike ride.

“Did you bring a helmet?”

“What color is it?”

“Where are your boots?”

“Can I see your light?”

“Are you cold?”

Even though my nephews are three and two years old, they understand auntie more than most grownups. “You don’t like cars. You ride your bike.”

We read several books together, one was titled, “Good Night, Good Knight.” After reading it twice we acted out the story. I got to be the good knight and they played the three little dragons (their youngest sister is a little young to be a proper dragon) and hid in their deep, dark cave otherwise known as a large cardboard box.

They have such wonderful imaginations and will happily play make-believe for hours. It is great fun. After they settled down for a nap, I started home.

Since I had a wonderful tailwind on the way there, it was only natural to have a stiff headwind on the way home. It really slowed me down but I did make it home eventually. 015 021

Errand #9 Nephew’s and Niece’s House (Social Call)
Distance: 26 miles

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Tortilla-Centric Errandonnee Day

It’s day number seven of the Errandonnee!

Ever had one of those days when your life seemed to center around tortillas?

This morning when making breakfast I realized my apartment was devoid of any bread products. Horrors! Obviously I needed to change that. Fast.

I got out my flour and oil and started to make tortillas until I hit a snag. Using a little baking powder in tortilla dough gives the finished product a great texture but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

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When snow starts melting you find interesting things that were buried during the winter. Anyone want a windshield wiper?

I jumped on my bike and went down to the little corner store to replenish my baking powder supply. Upon entering the store, I spotted a huge plastic tub filled with water on the floor. Sign of spring(and poor maintenance): leaking roofs.

Of course within ten minutes of returning home I found my lost baking powder. After making all my tortillas I decided to take some over to my grandparents and hang out with them for the afternoon.

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Do you think they will let me in if I bribe them with tortillas?

My Grandma and Grandpa are some of my favorite people in existence. Grandma is blind but she has never let that stop her and she has one of the brightest, most inquisitive minds of anyone I know.  Grandpa puts people everywhere to shame with how active he is in his community and church. He also tells great stories about his prankster days and has the wit to go along with it. They were married four years ago, at the ages of 83 and 76 and their wedding was the cutest thing ever.

After leaving their house, I made some chicken wraps with the tortillas and took them up to church for supper. Usually for worship practice on Wednesdays I walk up to church, but since it is the Errandonnee and all, I biked. For the first time since autumn, at the end of worship practice there was still daylight left! It felt great to coast downhill to my apartment with a cool spring breeze against my face.002

Errand #6 Corner Store (Store)
Distance: 1 miles

Errand #7 Grandparents House (Social Call)
Distance: 2 miles

Errand #8 Worship Practice (Personal Business)
Distance: 2 miles

Monday Commute

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Early morning in the restaurant.

Yesterday after church I went up to my parent’s house. I made tacos and then my dad and I did some maintenance stuff on my bike. My mom offered to spread some old blankets over the living room floor so I was able to hang out with my brothers while cleaning my bike. (They stole my laptop to watch America’s Got Talent youtube clips on the couch.)

We took apart the front wheel and I learned about cone wrenches, jam nuts and the 20 little bearings that make my wheel spin. Once I finished cleaning all the pieces I put it back together with a little coaching from my dad. He will make a bike mechanic out of me yet!

My view of daylight savings time in the fall:
“Yay, one more hour to sleep tonight!”

My view of daylight savings time in the spring:
An evil government conspiracy to make us believe they can control time.

I made the mistake of not putting all my clocks forward so this morning when I woke up the clock on the stove read 1:55. Mentally, that was pretty disheartening. So I changed the time and instantly felt slightly more energetic. That is a lie, changing a stove clock does not create energy.

But do you know what does make me more energetic? Getting out on the road and being under the light of a smiling moon. It was unbelievably warm out and it felt so good to have the wind blowing against my face.

As soon as the sun came up, we tipped over into above freezing temperatures! Oddly enough, even though the weather was so warm outside, the frost is so deep that the town I work in has a frozen pipe advisory.

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First sign of spring: bare roads.

The ride home was beautiful, bright and warm. What more can I ask for?

To work (10 miles)
3:25 am to 4:20 am
Weather
31F, 12 mph West wind, 20 mph gusts

From work (10 miles)
3:30 pm to 4:25 pm
Weather
36F, 20 mph West wind, 31 mph gusts

Errand #5 Work (Work or Volunteering)
Distance: 20 miles

Errandonnee Day One

Today is the start of the Errandonee which will continue for the next twelve days. A huge thank you to MG for turning normal errands into a fun event!

I headed out the door at 8:45ish ready to conquer some errands. The sky was clear and the temperature was 6F. First, I headed off to the ice skating rink. Biking seems like the perfect mode of transportation to the local rink. But it is not. It actually creates a moral dilemma that I have to overcome every single time I bike over to the fairgrounds.

My bike is outfitted with a perfectly capable set of studded tires and each time I bike over to skate, the itch to test those tires on a huge, solid, gorgeous sheet of ice gets stronger. It is overwhelmingly tempting to just sneak my bike on the ice and try my skills out on a few figure eights.

But being the conscientious person that I occasionally am, I laced up my skates instead. After a good skating workout, ( a workout mostly for my ankles who think they have the right to complain after being stuffed into confining figure skates) I got back on my bike, did my best to plow through a few snowmobile trails around the fairgrounds and then headed to the bank.
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When I got to the bank, one section of the parking lot was covered in ice. To make up for denying my bike an experience on the ice at the fairgrounds, I steered over to the sheet of ice. My bike is great on ice. On my own, I am not so great, however, so I shuffled carefully to the entrance of the bank.

Handy tip when combining winter biking and banking-take your balaclava off as soon as you dismount your bike.

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Banking done, I pedaled up the hill to the store which is the pride of all America – Walmart. When I go to Walmart I always park as far away from the store as I can. I don’t really know why this habit persists but I just go along with it. I mostly needed to stock up on veggies but then I decided to try something bold. Okay, attempting the safe transportation of eighteen eggs on the back of a bicycle isn’t really that bold, but I have never tried it before. In the name of science, I decided to forgo any type of cushioning for the eggs. I just filled up my panniers with the rest of the groceries and then placed the carton of eggs on top sealed tightly in a plastic bag so that the creation of any egg mess would be contained.

I arrived back at my apartment (after forgetting several times that I was carrying eggs and biking over some decent-sized bumps) and to my surprise all the eggs are intact! Nice.

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Errand #1
Ice Skating (Personal Care)
Distance: 1 mile

Errand #2
Bank (Personal Business)
Distance: 2 miles

Errand #3
Supermarket, carried eggs home (You carried WHAT on your bike?!)
Distance: 3 miles