What is the MS 365 Project?

The MS 365 Project is a celebration of my 20th year with Multiple Sclerosis and the active lifestyle that I have used in my fight against MS. This year long project will hopefully raise money for the Can Do MS organization and raise awareness of how strenuous activity can help in the fight against MS.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's like this every July

Owen gets rad on his new mountain bike at the OVT Trail.
Wilkesboro, NC
Every July since I was 14 or 15 has been devoted to the Tour de France. I enjoy the luxury of being able to watch every day's stage as it happens unlike the days of my youth where 1 hour long programs would show scenes and give summaries of an entire week's worth of racing. I still find myself mesmerized by the effort and the action. It is drama like no other and it plays out over the course of 3 weeks like no other sporting event.

This year's Tour de France has seen a large number of devastating crashes that have left many riders too injured to continue racing, but some riders are continuing despite devastating injuries. Johnny Hoogerland was struck by a TV car while at the head of the race, sending him cartwheeling off of his bike and into a barbed wire fence in what I have to say is the worst wreck I have ever seen. Several deep gashes on his legs (which later required 30 stitches) did not stop him from getting back on the bike and finishing that day's stage (after putting on a new pair of shorts since his had been so shredded they no longer were functional). He is still racing each day, his legs bandaged thoroughly. Lars Ten Dam flipped over his bars and landed face first in some rocks after taking a turn in a descent too wide and losing control after leaving the road. He broke his nose, put a large gash across the bridge of his nose and has a heavily swollen face. He races each day with a bandage wrapped around his head covering his nose. When I saw a picture of him, he looked like something from a horror movie, and still he goes on each day.

Cycling in my formative years instilled in me this idea of getting up and continuing no matter what. Professional cyclists race through injuries that would end the season of athletes in other sports. I think it is my involvement in cycling that has led to my stubbornness to not let MS stop me from doing the things I love with the people I love.

I've gotten comments and messages from people reading this blog or seeing the facebook page. You have shared stories with me, you have shared your struggles with MS with me, and you have paid me the ultimate honor of telling me that I have inspired you to get out and move. Thank you for that and please feel free to continue talking with me.

Owen insists on going first on the trail.
Wilkesboro, NC
This year, I have gotten to see my son progress from riding his bike on hard surfaces only, to riding off road with me pulling the tag-a-long, to him riding his own small mountain bike on some of the awesome mountain bike trails we have in this area. He has gotten a few comments from people seeing him on the trails, all of them encouraging. The ranger took his picture saying he was the youngest rider he had ever seen on the trails. My pride is immeasurable.

While I love to fly through the woods pushing myself to my limits, the best riding times that I have ever had have been following my son's wheel down the trail, offering advice and encouragement and watching him push his limits. I hope to be able to do this until he is too fast for me to keep up, but I know he'll wait for me every now and then and offer me few words of encouragement to go with it.     

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The longest day has come and gone...

Beech Mountain XC Race 6/19/11
I've made it through the end of school and standardized testing, survived the end of my graduate school semester and I've moved into the leisurely pace of summer vacation and all the down time that that entails. And with all of my new found free time comes the chance to catch up this blog with all of the things that have gone on in my life for the past 2 1/2 months.

When I last mentioned anything in my life here, it was the downbeat news that I had suffered my first exacerbation in 6 years just 5 days after my wife Golden and I finished 3rd in the Coed Duo category at the 6 Hours of Warrior Creek mountain bike race. I managed to maintain my 1 mile a day of outdoor riding through the worst of the exacerbation, which fortunately only took about 3 days and began to feel some semblance of normalcy after just a week. To be honest, the Prednisone was actually worse than the exacerbation. 

So just 3 short weeks after the exacerbation, I found myself back at a mountain bike race. This time it was my first 24 Hour race, the Burn 24 at Dark Mountain. I got to compete with an all male team that consisted of myself, my business partner, and three other gentlemen. We competed in the 3-5 Man Team 40+ age group category. It was not only my first race since the exacerbation, but was also my first race on a single speed mountain bike (a bike with just one gear).  We rotated the riding from noon on Saturday, through the night and on to noon on Sunday. It was a great experience riding through the day and night in a battle to ride more miles as a team than any other team.By 10 o'clock in the morning, we had a comfortable lead of 4 laps over the team in second place, so we decided to stop early and relax until noon, comfortable that it was impossible for anyone to catch us. I ended up riding 6 laps for the team or a total of about 45 miles over the 24 hour period. Needless to say, I was a little less than raring to go at school come Monday morning...

With the end of school came the achievement of a personal goal: to commute by bike every day of the 2010-2011 school year. Through heat, humidity, rain, wind (I hate wind), snow, sleet, bitter cold and every other possible thing that Mother Nature could throw at me, I was on the bike back and forth, from home to school, school to bike shop, and bike shop to home for the 190 days of the 2010-2011 school year. So far in 2011, I have commuted (replaced a trip by car with a trip by bike) a total of 1064 miles.

Owen (my son) and I have taken many little trips around town. We ride to the bike shop together. We ride to the greenway from our house together to do rides away from cars. He's even started to do some mountain biking on local trails. I've never felt happier than riding behind him, his gangly 4 year old body all knees and elbows bouncing around as he bombs down the trail chattering constantly in his stream of consciousness happiness.

This past weekend, my Father's Day present was to go do a mountain bike race at Beech Mountain, NC (the highest town on the East Coast at about 5300 feet of elevation). We got up to the course and I made the decision to register for the regular race for my category and age group rather than the singlespeed race. The skies opened up and rain began dumping, the wind whipped and lightning began to crash. The race official postponed the start for an hour. The rain died down just before the hour delay was up and we toed the line, ready to go.

The race official said "Go!" and off we went. The start was up a dirt road climb that started out gradually and steepened before we turned on to the singletrack trail that went into the woods. I quickly spun the gear to the maximum pedaling speed and thought, "If these guys pick up the speed from here, I won't be able to stay with them." But remarkably, just at that moment the climb got much steeper and the other racers immediately shifted into easier gears. I rode past them, trying to stay on top of the only gear I had and pulled away from the rest of the racers. By the top of the climb, I was completely cross-eyed from redlining aerobically at the altitude. I got into the singletrack, just hoping to recover a little bit and amazed that I was leading the race. To be honest, I've tried to approach each of my races with the idea of having fun first and getting results as a bonus, so the idea that I was any where near the front of the race, let alone in the lead, was truly cool.

I bobbled on a particularly wet, muddy, root-infested section of trail and the rider in second place passed me. We stayed together a bit, but we separated from each other after a mile or so. I got into the mode of riding against myself, seeking every possible moment of speed, every fast line through the roots. The trail was incredibly muddy with a deep, black, loamy froth that resembled chocolate icing. My tires packed with mud, the knobs invisible. Steering became an exercise in controlled sliding. The short, steep climbs were impossible to ride up and it became faster to just dismount and run while pushing the bike. I ended the first lap still in second place.

There is a spooky thing that happens to you in mountain bike races. Because there are so many classes racing together, you begin to see and hear other racers on the course in front of and behind you. The ones behind you are the biggest worry because you don't know if they are in your particular race or not, so you have to ride like you're being chased. I just kept pushing, trying to minimize mistakes and maximize speed all the while running the cascade of biological system checks that a racer goes through to maintain their performance. It began to rain during that last lap and I found that I was having an absolute blast of a time. I cruised through the last miles and across the finish line, absolutely stoked to finish in second place.

I've come to realize something over the course of this year: I am exulting in the pure function of my body. I have MS, but that just isn't in the forefront of my mind. I'm not in denial, but I am trying to deeply experience every movement and effort. When my pulse pounds in my ears, my lungs strain to take in more air, I am reveling in the moment without any thought of anything beyond that.

July 2nd will mark the half way point of year, the 183rd day. My goal for the year has been to ride outdoors at least 1 mile everyday for 365 days and to ride 3,650 miles total in the year. As it stands today, I have indeed ridden at least 1 mile every day and I have ridden 2153.17 miles (an average of about 12.4 miles a day). I continue to believe that I will meet and exceed this goal and I promise to keep you along for every mile.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

An unexpected visit

flare up
I rode my bike to work yesterday, as always, started class and started to realize that something was up. I was irritable, my head felt fuzzy and I was feeling numb on the left side of my body. I haven't had an exacerbation in 6 years, but I realized pretty quickly that I was having one.

It seems like I start to wonder if I will ever see another exacerbation; that maybe I am "over" MS, but the exacerbation serves to remind me of my mortality and my need to keep an eye on the enemy at all times.

I left school, administrators helping me get my classes covered and driving me home (they didn't want me riding home. It would have been slow, but I would have made it!).  I got in to see my doctor pretty quickly, my friend Chris driving me to his office in the next town. He agreed with me that there didn't seem to be any specific trigger. He's checking for some kind of infection, but it doesn't seem likely.

So now it's 10 days of prednisone. I'm already feeling better. Feeling is coming back, nausea is gone and the fuzzy head is clear again. My equilibrium is still a little shaky, but not so anyone would notice but me.

I know this will pass. I know I am incredibly lucky and fortunate to not have had an exacerbation in 6 years. I will remain positive. I will keep pushing forward with all of my might.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

National MS Awareness Week

I'm a single parent  for a few days this week since Golden is at a 3 day workshop in Raleigh. For the first time in almost two years, I drove to work today after dropping Owen off at daycare. It was a weird experience and made me feel way more anxious than riding to work ever does. There is a certain feedback loop involved in running late as a bike commuter. You can stress and pummel yourself into going faster, or you can relax and realize you'll get there sooner than you think.

This situation also means that getting my mile a day in will be a little tricky, but doable. I'm well ahead of the 10 mile a day average I need to cover 3,650 miles this year. As of yesterday (day 73), I have completed 912 miles about 18 days ahead of schedule. It's funny how the one week that meshes perfectly with the goals of the MS 365 Project is the week that it will be the most difficult for me to meet the project's goals!

Jeff and I went for a long road ride on Sunday. In an effort to rediscover the climber I was as a kid, I suggested we ride from town to the top of Hwy. 181 at Jonas Ridge. 181 is about a 12 mile climb and is the most feared portion of the Bridge to Bridge Incredible Challenge that is held here every year. We rolled out of town in to a stiff headwind, trying to keep the pace moderately interesting while not totally burning all of our matches in the headwind. We made the turn on to 181 and both of us were immediately aware of how long it had been since we had made the climb. As we discussed it, we figured out it had been well over a year and possibly two since we had climbed Hwy. 181.

As we climbed, I felt good, really good. The first time I ever rode up Hwy. 181 I was 17 and had travelled to Hickory with some friends to do some climbing rides since all we had in Fayetteville that qualified as a climb were the highway overpasses. I rode up Hwy 181 in 1987 on a 6 speed, steel road bike with a low gear of 42 x 18. I was 17 and weighed 94 lbs. Now, I am working hard to get up with a low gear of 39 x 26. Oh, to be young again. But my mission this year is to rediscover that inner climber and ride strong in the mountains. I want to break the 6 hour mark for the Bridge to Bridge (my previous best time is 6:27).

I started to bonk a little and fell off the pace. When you have MS, sometimes you think that your problems are MS related instead of just being human related. I'm discovering that I'm not incapable of climbing long, sustained climbs due to MS, but that I'm not eating enough and bonking during the climb. Thanks to Jeff and my wife, I'm starting to recognize the difference.

Fortunately for us, we had a 20+ mph headwind as we climbed, which really made us earn every bit of the two or three thousand feet of elevation gain. Along the way though, you get to see stuff like this:

We got to the top, fueled up and then started down the ridge. Within moments, the now tailwind pushed us to ridiculously fast speeds. Jeff sat up on a straightaway saying, "We gotta watch it. I just hit 42 like it was nothing." We naturally starting pushing it to see how fast we could go down the curvy descent that is a favorite of sport bikes (but was being heavily patrolled by law enforcement, so they weren't really out in hordes like normal). The final high speed was 49 mph. The 1+ hour climb was a 20 minute balls out descent!

I'd like to accomplish a few things this MS Awareness Week. I want to encourage you to get out and do something, anything active no matter what the weather or your schedule is like. Share your experiences here or at the MS 365 Project facebook page. Help the Project hit 250 "likes" on facebook by the end of the week. Hopefully, more people will join the ride with me as I tackle the rest of the year's rides!

Next event on the race calendar: 6 Hours of Warrior Creek where Golden and I will try to better our Coed Duo 3rd place finish from last year. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

The grind

I've been grinding away at work. It is getting harder and harder to turn my bike into the school's driveway, especially when it is warm and sunny. A lot of my friends who don't have cushy public school teaching jobs are meeting up several days a week at 8 am to do 4 and 5 hour training rides. Seeing the emails going back and forth on the listserv as they set up times and routes is just killing me. That just means that I have to take advantage of every opportunity I get to ride in this beautiful weather!

My wife, Golden, and I got to go do a long mountain bike ride (thanks Mom and Dad for watching Owen) as we start to prepare for the coming 6 hours of Warrior Creek mountain bike race. We got to go ride for 3 hours off road, something we haven't done in a very long time. It felt great. I felt great.

During the ride, I came to a realization: I'm not nearly as paranoid or racked with self-doubt about my physical capabilities as I used to be. I've been in good physical health for a long time, but there was always a little paranoia about riding for a long time; of being "out there" where if I had a problem I would be in a difficult situation to get back. My paranoia was really unfounded, but I couldn't help but comment to Golden about this new confidence (or lack of self-doubt). I'm wondering if this is another effect of the Apoqoeurin supplement that I have been taking. Now granted, I don't know if I'm on a placebo or not, but I'm noticing all kinds of positive cognitive changes since taking the trial supplement and I am really hoping that there is a reason for all of it. Golden thinks I'm giving too much credit to the supplement, but I know how my brain feels and it is definitely different (and much better!).

I hit mile 750 this week. Right now, I am about 14 days ahead of the 10 miles a day average needed to cover 3,650 miles this year. My friend Eric made a per mile pledge through the Facebook link and has been harassing me about not riding TOO many miles! His bet is that I'll do 6000 miles this year. We'll see...

Monday, February 28, 2011


This weekend, the crocuses bloomed.

The red wing blackbirds arrived.
These guys are regulars since the wetland restoration in our neighborhood was completed.

That can mean only one thing:
continue reading...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Sunshine has been a much needed tonic for me. Through the winter, my morning and evening commutes have been dark, cold affairs that offered little comfort. The first glimmers of change came with fingers of pink and blue light streaking the sky on the morning commute and a slow realization that there was a golden glow not emanating from my headlight alone on my evening commute.

This week brought the fullness of Spring as the sun shone with an intent that it has not had this Winter as it barely dented the leaden skies, its warmth was felt by all of us out in it, and crocuses started stirring and raising themselves from long sleep underground. I've been kissed by the sun on several occasions this week, getting out to ride in shorts; my knees seeing daylight for the first time in months.

With the change in season I feel a change in mood. I want out. Out of school. Out of work. Out of life commitments. I want to live solely and exclusively for joy and wonder. I know this isn't realistic, but Spring is the time that reckless hopes and dreams can be put forth. Reality is a little less playful. I know that I will wake up and start the work week tomorrow, as sure as I know that the pre-Spring weather will snap back to the more seasonably appropriate chilly, windy and rainy that is sure to befall us this week. But the glimmer of change that the weather has brought to both my mind and my body will hopefully stick around long enough to make it to the full blossom of Spring in just a short time. I can last in the cold darkness just a little while longer knowing that the light at the end of the tunnel is near and approaching fast.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Keeping busy

It has been a busy few weeks. The start of a new semester of teaching, the start of a new semester of grad school and the roller coaster of owning a bike shop when the weather oscillates wildly between freezing cold and "here comes Spring!" nice has been a bit overwhelming. Riding every day has been a significant stress release and those few weekend days where the sun has been shining and the temperatures have been warm enough to allow for riding without a huge number of layers have made me feel content and that all is right with the world.

My health has been great and my cognitive and emotional states have been dramatically different since I started the Apeoquerin supplement trial. I don't know if I am a part of the placebo group or not, but I have noticed a marked improvement. I no longer feel a thick, fuzzy layer in my brain and I have noticed that I don't get as agitated in stressful situations in my classroom. Whatever the reason may be, I'm enjoying the effects.

The racing season starts in a month and a half, so training has taken on a little more prominence in my life. I don't have the time in the day to do longer bike rides, so I have added running to my training regimen. It has been a nice change of pace to start running again. I always forget how enjoyable it is to just put on some shoes and go. To my mix of targeted events this year I have added The Bear. A run from Linville, NC to the top of Grandfather Mtn. during the Highland Games. Add to that a few local 5k's and maybe, just maybe the offroad marathon at The Triple Lakes Challenge in September and this could be a pretty full season of riding and running.

I'm closing in on mile 500 this weekend. It seems like a lot, but I know that I don't really ride much, I just ride often right now. Once summer hits, I'm hoping to get seriously ahead of the goal of 3,650 miles and not look back. Maren from Can Do MS let me know that there have been many donations to them through the MS 365 Project link and I truly appreciate it. I will update you with the donation totals when I get them from her.

As Spring approaches, take advantage of every nice day by getting out and moving. You won't regret it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Light me up

photo by Brapke (a)artwork

While I don't know if I am taking a supplement that has the light-emitting jellyfish protein or a placebo, I am feeling different. I just started noticing that I am remembering to do little tasks that people ask me to do without any mental effort on my part. I normally spend a great deal of mental time trying to remember things, either keeping it in my active memory, "Don't forget x. Don't forget x." over and over again, or "There was something I was supposed to do..." I often found myself apologizing to people for having completely forgotten to do what they had asked me to do. I don't like being undependable and not being able to remember things is a pretty big thing in the dependability department.

So when I remembered to do a small task that my wife had mentioned for me to do, and not just remembered, but remembered it easily and without effort, I took note.  If this stuff works, I'm all for it.

Grad school has kicked into gear, a new teaching semester has started and the bike shop is continuing with the normal stresses of running a small business in these difficult economic times. Having a clear head that isn't filled with fog is a nice change of pace through this. But a supplement alone isn't the magic answer. 

People I work with think that I ride my bike to school every day as some sort of green-ecostatement kind of thing. No one can fathom that it is exercise. I see teachers eating garbage food, working a stressful job, getting little exercise and gaining weight surely and steadily. Coworkers who don't know me very well are flabbergasted the first time they see me eat lunch, often commenting,"I didn't think you really ate that much!" I try to explain to them that by riding my bike 4 miles to school in the sub 20 degree morning, I probably burned more calories than they will burn all day, but that usually isn't the end of it.

Nothing beats having a tough and stressful day melt away on the ride home. Riding is stress release, exercise, and a workout of my nervous system that I am convinced does more to keep my MS almost completely in remission than anything else. I wouldn't mind some warmer weather though...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ratcheting up

It's the time of year when lots of obligations and responsibilities ramp up in my life. As a teacher, the end of the semester is the time for state standardized tests, which this time around has been punctuated by school cancellations and delays due to snow and ice.  As a grad student, the new semester is upon me and I am finding out the projects and assignments that I will need to successfully accomplish this time around.  As a small business owner, the economic climate of our small town does not give any sense of comfort or predictability.  Of utmost importance is my wife and son.  It is imperative that I not let other responsibilities take away from my most important role as a father and husband.

It is a juggling act that is easy sometimes and incredibly difficult at others. Daily exercise helps ease the effects of stress, but it always lurks. The hardest part of it all is simply remembering what I should be doing, what I need to do, and about a million other things that I need to keep track of.  My memory- especially my short term memory, is getting worse and worse.  I'm trying to develop habits that help to counteract the effects of this cognitive deterioration, but I haven't struck a natural workflow that I can rely on.  Online calendars/to do lists, paper notebooks, paper calendars - none of these things has become habitual.

I've started a trial supplement study for Apoqueorin, a chemical derived from light-emitting jellyfish.  I don't know if I am taking the true supplement or a placebo this first go round, but I will definitely get the supplement in the second round trial.  Apoqueorin is being tested as a supplement to aid in cognition, fatigue and sleep quality in MS patients. It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on my personal cognitive issues.

What are your solutions to keeping track of your busy life?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dancing in the snow

Good on ya, Lenoir! The greenway got lots of snow visits.

 We got a heavy snowfall for this area, yesterday.  Fine, fat, fluffy flakes dropped lazily throughout the day, ultimately accumulating into about 6 inches or so of very nice powder on the ground.

Our roads were blanketed with snow and few people were out traveling.  School was closed, so Golden and I had a day off from teaching.  We decided to close the bike shop to discourage people from driving unnecessarily. And so I found myself with an opportunity to go do a bike ride in the snow.

Temperatures were brisk; never getting much above the upper 20's.  I decided to stay close to home (and warmth), so I thought it would be fun to go do a 'cross bike ride on the greenway.  Jack Brown decided to join me and off we went, late in the afternoon.

Jack Brown - he slid around but didn't fall down!
The roads had been plowed, which around here means that some asphalt may peek out of expanses of snowy powder punctuated with large areas of compacted snow that is better described as corrugated ice.  We rode along, each of us on two skinny knobby tires, constantly watching for ice and always shifting balance to remain upright and moving forward.

Gotta dress for success
We hit the greenway and found a carpet of white powder with a few footsteps in it.  We immediately accelerated, riding fast with the satisfying crunch-squeak of new fallen snow under our tires.  Snow can be amazingly deceptive.  Here in 6 inches of fresh powder our tires gripped with the sureness of velcro.  Where people before us had walked, there was a compaction tending towards ice that led to wariness on our part, but no actual problems, either.

As the temperature dropped, we noticed a bit more sliding, but the icy layer was under the powder and looked no different from anything else we rode on.

Traction was much better than you would think.
Riding on snow is a bit of a dance.  You ride lightly, keeping your body loose.  As you feel the bike shift in the snow and ice, you move yourself around to maintain your balance, but always subtly and slightly.  Huge, sudden movements are bad.  You can anticipate some of the more obvious potential dangers like the large icy patches that develop at stop signs and stop light from people spinning their wheels when they stomp the accelerator to put their car in motion.  But you can't anticipate them all.  You have to be open to shifting conditions and react to the best of your ability without overdoing it.  Over correction is just as bad as not doing anything at all.

Riding in the snow, you cut a new path for yourself, anticipate big problems, adjust for the myriad small problems that are thrown at you, all while constantly and thrillingly moving forward.  There aren't too many things that are better than that.

Friday, January 7, 2011

MS Trek IV: The Search for Doc

I'm trying to find a new neurologist.  This has never been an easy task for me since my first neurologist was such a great person to work with as an MS patient.  But I can no longer drive the 3+ hours to see him and get the adequate doctor-patient relationship that a person with MS needs.

My solve for this has been to try going to see recommended neurologists in my area, but that has not been a good experience.  I have had neurologists tell me they don't like dealing with MS patients because we ask too many questions.  I have had neurologists do a follow up visit with me after the initial visit (where they did the cursory neuro tests) and tell me what they think the next step of my treatment should be while never once looking up from the stack of charts (that are other patient's) and look at me during the conversation.

So, I am now looking for a neurologist in Charlotte which is about an hour and a half drive from here.  This leads me to think about what I am looking for in a neurologist.  I am not looking for a neurologist to take charge of my MS life and provide me with all the answers.  What I do want is someone who looks at me as a partner in my fight against MS.  I want a corner man.  I'm the one who has to get in the ring and go toe to toe with MS, but I need someone who can offer advice and wisdom when the round ends.  I need someone who understands that my ultimate goal is to win not survive.

What successes and failures have you had in finding a neurologist?  What qualities do you value in a neurologist?  How did you find a neurologist that you are happy with?  These are the questions I would love to hear answers to, since I have no interaction with anyone with MS.  I know I'm not alone in this quest to find a good neurologist, so sharing your thoughts with me is most appreciated.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First weekend down and now into the work week

Mileage check at the end of the weekend's last road ride.
 I wanted to get out ahead of my total mileage goal from the beginning of this project.  It just doesn't seem like much to ride an average of 10 miles a day, everyday.  These kinds of things can get away from you, though.  So, after a weekend of riding I'm please to say I've got 70 miles in the books.

Owen unloading his bike.
I got back from a road ride Sunday morning and Owen was running around the house like a 4 year old who had been cooped up for too long.  We ate some lunch while Golden finished up some lesson planning and as we were eating, the skies brightened and the sun came out.  The temperatures rose and while I was showering off the road grime, Owen decided that we needed to go do a bike ride on the greenway.

 So, we loaded up the bikes and took off for a little 3 mile rip around the greenway.  The dogs came with us and eventually ended up with their leashes secured to the baskets of my commuter bike, running along the greenway with their tongues flapping in the breeze as Owen set the pace and sang songs at the top of his lungs.
A little weather check before the morning commute.
Alas, the temperatures did not hold from Sunday and so the Monday morning commute was the cold, dark affair that it has been for a while now.  But that glorious Sunday afternoon is hopefully a reminder of what will soon come...

Saturday, January 1, 2011


 35.71 miles of fog and mist on roads that have been covered in salt and sand from the recent snows was a fun way to start out the new year.  With temperatures in the 40's, it never felt as warm as the thermometer would have you believe it should be.  But on we went alternating between a talking pace (read sedate) to an OMG-I'm-cold pace (read NOT sedate).
Golden and I at the end of the ride; soaked and cold.
It was a fun ride, especially in retrospect.  Considering that I rode 60 miles yesterday, 30 miles on Thursday and 40 miles the day before that, I felt pretty good.  There was that sore feeling in the legs but it didn't seem to have any effect on how much effort I could make.
This is what happens when road grime flies in your face the whole ride!
Did you get out and do something today?