Category Archives: bike

pretties

Last weekend was a whirlwind of activities – I’m actually pretty surprised that it is nearly this weekend. I watched my parents dog, maia, for the entire week while they were visiting my grandparents. We picked her out before my brother was born and she had 4 litters of puppies when I was younger – she’s 16 or so now and has outlived her life expectancy a couple times. She had to stay in the bathroom while I was at work but it must not have been so bad because she choose to take her naps in there even when I was home. She got my brother’s lion king comforter as a hand-me-down.

My parents got home Saturday and the dog went back to their house while Mr. T and I went to Buffalo for his Aunt and Uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. We left the camera home but the food was delicious, the fire station hall was magnificent, and I found the chocolate favors last night so we ate them all up. I still had a chocolate craving tonight so I got into the semi-sweet bakers chocolate – I knew there was a reason I kept that around.

Sunday morning I got up early to watch part of the Rochester marathon – my friend was running and I wanted to cheer her on. Then I picked my jet lagged mother up and headed down to Hemlock Lake for the Fingerlakes fiber festival. I worked on the giant sock at the Rochester knitting guild table for a while and then we went shopping. I didn’t get any pictures of the sock (too busy knitting ;-)) but here is a link to Helen’s sock entry.

I managed to mostly restrain myself even though there was so much beautiful yarn everywhere. I got some buttons for my and eventually my sister’s shrugs:

They are handmade by Diane Edwards and she also hand-dyes yarn. My mom was a bit worried about the glass but Diane said that if they ever break, I can send it back to her and she’ll replace it. I think it will be the perfect fastener for my licorice twist shrug.

I didn’t intend to buy any random skeins of yarn – I was hunting for a fair isle hat starter kit but didn’t see one anywhere. I was drooling over sock yarn but kept reminding myself of the 4 skeins I had at home. I also made a rule that mom and I would walk around everywhere first without buying anything – if we wanted something badly enough we could remember which vendor had it and return. We ended up returning to Steam Valley Fiber Farm – I had pet one of their silk/merino hand dyed skeins for a full 10 minutes already. It was a worsted weight single ply with the look of raw silk and I kept coming back to the same colorway. It is a blend of purples with some turquoise thrown in for contrast – this might be why I love the colors so much. I’m squishing it right now and it almost feels like suede.

It’s sitting next to my computer begging for a worthy project. I want to do something with cables because they are one of my current obsessions but I don’t want to obscure the beautiful variegated colors.

This coming weekend promises to be almost as crazy – we’re winetouring on Keuka Lake with Mr. T’s family for his sister’s birthday celebration all day Saturday. I bet I can knit in the car 🙂 Sunday we’re heading to Ithaca for the first cyclocross race of the season – I hope I don’t fall off my bike too many times – it’s embarrassing.

random

I am *almost* finished with the honeymoon bicycle tour socks. I will never wear them on my honeymoon (it is finished) and I would never wear them on a bicycle tour (synthetics rule!) but I started them as a small, pretty mindless project for my honeymoon that I could carry on the bike.

I just realized that the stash yarn I chose was one I’d bought at Adirondack Yarns with Mr. T during my first trip to the Adirondacks. I’ve been back a few times since, even gone to the yarn store but I didn’t buy anything. Until two days before our wedding. We were having a quiet cup of coffee in the coffeeshop adjoining the yarn store when I was making the gauge swatch for my socks. I realized that the sturdy 2.75mm knitpicks sock needles I’d brought were not giving me an appropriate sock gauge with this yarn….Hmmm. I need needles to make something with stash yarn and I can buy things on vacation, right?…At least I was in a knitting shop and not in some isolated bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere at the top of the steepest, most evilest hill ever. Lucky for me, they had some lovely 6″ bamboo dpns in size 0 (2mm) which figured had to be the right size if it was the smallest they made 😉

I’m glad I didn’t poke myself in the eye or snap a few on the trip. Every day when I finished knitting, I carefully wound the needles inside the sock which I protected inside the folded pattern to go in my purse. Then I’d carefully zip the purse without getting yarn stuck in the zipper (at least most days I wouldn’t get yarn stuck in the zipper) and shove my purse into the top of the side bag. Somehow two sets of bike clothes and two sets of regular clothes didn’t take up that much room but all the energy drink powder and bars and med kit and shampoo and hairbrush and asthma medicine filled my bag pretty well. So the purse (with the knitting) got shoved into the top of the bag but the needles never broke.  And one sock is finished (after some substantial reknitting) and the other will be finished when I get a chance to reknit the pathetically small heel. I think I was trying to make my socks ‘good’ by making them tight so I yanked on the yarn at every opportunity – big surprise they didn’t fit over my heel. I have to say though that I like having the ribbing tight enough to stay on my leg. Anyway, pictures soon when they’re both done.

Keuka Triathlon

Keuka Triathlon


A few weeks ago (June 10th) was the Keuka Triathlon.

I did the Olympic distance which is a 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run

[.93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run]. I started training in

January, fell off the wagon with the house stuff in April and May and

worried I’d drown for the beginning of June.

It was actually tons of fun – the wetsuit made the water seem warm and the

biggest problem with the swim was trying not to bump into other swimmers –

at least until my goggles fogged up in the last little bit and I couldn’t

see where the finish was.

The bike was okay except I noticed my front brake was open…maybe because

I’d taken my wheel off right before the start to pry my rented wetsuit from

between my spokes and fork (yah…don’t ride a bike with a plastic bag in

your hand on the handlebar). I stopped briefly to close my brake and then it

really, really rubbed my rim. Hmmm…guess the rim got a little bent in my

wetsuit accident (wetsuit was fine btw) so I opened the brake again. I

spent the entire race watching my wheel bobble left to right where it rubbed

on the brake about 1/3 of every revolution. The brake rub made climbing the

hills extra fun and the wobble made descents even scarier than normal.

Although I normally prefer biking, I was glad to get off the bike and start

the run (tri shorts just aren’t as padded as regular shorts). I tried to run

the 2nd half faster than the first half and while I didn’t quite manage, I

at least still finished in a respectable time which I can no longer recall

but it was around 9 min/mile.

I will definitely do another triathlon when I find time to swim and run just

a little more often 🙂

bicycle hat, part 2

I’ve had a couple comments requesting the bike chart I used for Mr. T’s bicycle hat so I figured out how to format it as a pdf and upload it to the blog.

Enjoy using the chart for bicycle hats or anything else. For a hat, I’d recommend sport or fingering weight yarn. Definitely check gauge because the double knitting ended up much looser than I’d expected.

bike chart

Click on the link above to open an Adobe pdf file containing the bike chart. This chart is free – please be nice 🙂

p.s. Mr. T got the iPhone today. We went to the AT&T store which was a huge mistake. There were only 25-30 people in front of us when we got there at 5:30 and a friend mentioned there were over 100 people at the Apple store so we stayed at AT&T. We waited….and waited…and waited. Our friend called back around 6:30 to brag about his new iPhone – he’d had dinner, gone back to the Apple store which miraculously had no line, and picked up his new phone. We continued to wait because how long could the 10 people in front of us really take……We didn’t get the phone until 7:30. After many hours of waiting, AT&T got half his number away from Verizon so he can turn on and play with the phone now but cannot receive calls. It seems very very cool and I can’t wait to order another for me and get that activated. The map feature is going to encourage spontaneous route changing and help us find restaurants and bike shops on our tandem bicycle honeymoon in just 2 weeks!

Bloomfield Biking

I enjoy reading lots of other blogs and am sad when I click over for my daily fix and find nothing new. Of course, now that I have my own blog, I am faced with the sad reality that I post maybe 3 times a week and mostly on weekends. I’m going to try and post at least every other day as long as I have something worthwhile to say or show.

The beautiful weather continued today. It was gorgeously sunny, high in the 70s and I was happy to be outside at a bike race. It wasn’t all that much of a race for me but I got an excellent, hilly training ride. I’m happy I had nearly equal splits on the 3 laps (11.? miles each) which makes me feel better about my fitness level and will certainly help in my summer solo race.
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On a completely unrelated topic, as I am cleaning and organizing in preparation for the coming-too-soon move, I find lots of interesting things. Here is a beret I crocheted from australian tapestry wool scraps my mom brought me sometime in high school. I think this was the third attempt. I can’t remember what was wrong with the first attempt but the second had some serious ruffling and probably 10x too many stitches by the time I got to the edge. This one was ‘just right’ and I wore it frequently when I dressed up in high school. I was convinced it looked sophisticated. I no longer like the look of the holey joins (barely visible towards the top of the picture) but I guess I did it then to keep track of where the round started (stitch markers…what were markers?). Besides a single book, I was a largely self-taught crocheter which meant my projects often lacked polishing.
foliage beret
somewhere, I have a matching belt.

Biking the Bristol Hills

It’s raining again which is okay because the rain is washing the snow off my car and I don’t have to go outside. Yesterday was the only completely dry day in recent memory and it hit the big 4-0 (Farenheit). Deciding it was the only sane day to bike, I bundled up and headed south to the ‘mountains’. I was so warm going up the hills and so cold going down the hills that after a long, freezing downhill, I almost welcomed the next slog uphill. The route was part of the Bristol Highlander course and the entire Bloomfield loop. Bloomfield is the local race next weekend. I ended up chickening out; I’m just not strong enough to ride 60 miles with long climbs. I did the route until mile 30 and then went south to get back to the start. I took lots of pictures intending to show the beautiful scenery but most of them came out blurry – I blame it on the cold which forced me to wear large, bulky gloves. Check out the leftover snow behind Mr. T. We saw a bunch of people driving away from the ski slopes with skiis on the roofrack. At first, we wondered if they had driven down to ski and been disappointed by the lack of running chairlifts. Then we realized they were probably just picking up skiis from season lockers.

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Here’s a couple of the bikes:

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ride: about 33 miles with some serious elevation changes. I’m still early in my training so I’m hoping this jumpstarts my climbing legs. There was head and cross winds so even with me drafting the boys, going was slow (about 3 hours total including stops to regroup and snack).