Every Errandonnee Ends Eventually

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The 2016 Errandonnee has come to an end, the twelve days flew right by! Thanks so much to Mary at Chasing Mailboxes for such a fun and friendly competition.

I had a great ride this morning. It began with fighting a strong headwind for 18 miles. Normally I find riding into a stiff wind very demoralizing because it feels like climbing a hill except that the hill is invisible and never ending, but this morning was different. My mind was in the right place (for once) and I didn’t let that wind best me. I knew that the harder the wind blew the more benefits I would reap when I turned around at the halfway point.

Once I hit 18 miles, I made sure the road was empty before making a U-turn. Now it was time to fly.

Wind at my back, exhilaration in my heart I let the bike go at full throttle. My bike and I had been waiting for this, a strong tailwind to transform us into epic heroes. Every time I sprint down a road with the power of a strong wind behind me, it makes me burn with the desire to become a faster, better cyclist. To be able to ride like the wind…but without the wind. I want to be able to tear up the road like this under my own power.

When I came back into town I went to a friend’s house to do a few hours of babysitting. The two kids were filled with boxed up energy so I took them outside and they started riding their bikes around the yard. The tires of these little bikes were quite flat so I took out my mini pump and showed them how to pump up their own tires. The kids were fascinated and ended up pumping up the tires of all of the bikes they could find.

After their mom came home, I was able to get my mini pump back with some gentle coaxing and I went to donate blood. It felt good to donate again and the process went smoothly. (Although I did almost fall asleep at one point. They had me lay down on a cot and since they were busy, no one actually took my blood for 5-10 minutes and I got rather drowsy while staring at the ceiling.)

Then I ran a few errands before eating supper and going to a meeting at church. It was a busy day. And a very good one.

My last three errands were all pretty much in the same place, so I am splitting the distance equally between them to keep them all happy.

Errand 10
 Blood Donation
Category: Wild Card 
Distance: 0.25 Miles
 After biking and babysitting, giving blood makes me feel like taking a nap.

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If you want to be mean, you can just wait until tomorrow because I am not donating blood then.

Errand 11
 Library
Category: Art and Entertainment
Distance: 0.25 Miles
The best way to pick out book sat a Library is to browse around until you find some that jump out at you.

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And one of these books jumped out at me so I took it home.

Errand 12
 Dollar Store
Category: Store
Distance: 0.25 Miles
 People stared when I clomped around in the store like a horse, but I have learned to simply smile back, after all bike shoes honestly do sound funny.

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My Trek doesn’t mind being a workhorse as long as it gets to go fast at least occasionally.

Blood Donation and Biking

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My Bike

I hope you had a great day, because I had a great day.

Real winter Biking

All the local schools had a snow day. So I did the only rational thing possible, I set out for a bike ride. I went up a couple nice-sized hills to my parent’s house. My mom was really scared about me biking up, she kept asking my dad to come pick me up from town. (My parents are the sweetest.)

But when I finally made it up to their house (I went at a wind and caution induced speed) she told me a was a hero and made her feel like a wimp. She kept insisting I retain my biking gear so she could take pictures of me (lol) but she couldn’t find the camera, so I shed my gear, promising her that she could take pictures when I was leaving.

So I puttered around the house for a few hours helping out with some cooking and cleaning, getting stuff ready for Thanksgiving. Then I set out to head home.

I chose a different route going back which was kind of a mistake. One of the roads was covered with gravel, and therefore I discovered a fun fact about combining gravel roads, studded tires and strong winds. Progress is slow. I think I could have walked faster.

Luckily the next road I turned onto headed in the perfect direction to catch a lovely tailwind. It felt like flying. But then I miscalculated the location of the edge of the road, slid and fell. Now in an earlier post I detailed that falling is one of my greatest biking fears. So I was shocked to find that I was not hurt at all and neither was my bike. Phew.

Got home, left my panniers, grabbed my ID, told my disappointed dogs I would be home for “real” soon, and rushed out the door to head to the blood drive.

Donating Blood

It was only about a mile bike ride to the blood drive but the roads were not well plowed. I slid around a little whenever I went through a thick layer of powdery snow, which was somewhat terrifying, but doable.

As a first time blood donor I was kinda unsure what to expect but the process was easy, simple and almost painless. I told my needle stick-er person (that is the official term) that I had been out biking for a lot of the day. When she took my pulse, she was slightly shocked. “Your pulse is not very high for having just biked here. You must bike a lot.” I swelled with pride. But then I remembered that “pride goes before a fall” and I stopped swelling. I didn’t want to fall on the way back home.  I arrived without any mishaps.

I am currently home, safe and sound cuddling my babies in bed.

Weather

19-21F, 21-26 mph Southwest wind, 35 mph gusts

I wore

Head: rain jacket hood, fleece hat, ski goggles, scarf                                                  Torso: thin thermal undershirt, rain jacket                                                             Hands: thinsulate gloves                                                                                                       Legs: yoga pants, rain pants                                                                                               Feet: pair of socks, boots

Comments: I stayed very warm, my face was overheating most of the time. I had to keep pulling my scarf down to uncover my mouth to cool down, but then a gust of wind would make me want to cover my face up again.