Thursday, May 21, 2009

To the end of the road

Spring is finally coming to the Rocky Mountains. This means the snow is melting enough that we can (almost) get our bikes over the passes. We had heard that the pass closest to us had been cleared, so I headed up with a local bike group to check out the first spring views over the top. But alas, the plows still have quite a bit of work ahead of them.

Still it was a beautiful ride and a fun way to get some training in. ~melissa

Beyond the end of the road

Friday, May 15, 2009

Join the Cycle starts SO SOON!

... and I really really need to make the time for some training rides! So yesterday I peer pressured my sister Meryl into most of a nice long ride with me. We started out heading into Saint Paul, and it was definitely the longest ride she'd been on. She was so pissed, she tried to throw me into the Mississippi!

Just kidding! She actually did amazing, and rode over 35 miles by the end of the day. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride, warm sun, cool breeze... And most of our ride was along off-road bike paths hugging the Mississippi. The river was absolutely gorgeous, and only stinky for about a mile's portion. (it was a swampy area)
So maybe I have a morbid fascination with destruction, but the highlight of my day was taking a short stretching break while watching this old factory building get torn down. I thought it was pretty amazing, and I had never seen that kind of action from so close. Eventually it started to get pretty dusty, so we moved along, but not before snapping a few photos.

So I always joke that once we leave LA on our bikes, I'll be carrying my weight in sunscreen, because I am pretty concerned about sun protection. (I've got some irish blood, and am from FL, and refused to wear sunscreen as a kid, and got burned a whole lot, so I'm a little obsessed with taking care of my skin now)

But for some reason, yesterday I flaked out... remembered to apply the stuff to my face and the back of my neck, but I was wearing a long sleeve shirt at the time, and not thinking I'd be stripping down to a tee for the bulk of the day. So this morning I woke up in lobsterville... and my arms are not happy!

I guess it'll just be a base for that sexy tee-shirt tan I'll be working on all summer!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Roadside Attractions in the Green Mountains

Last weekend I headed north to Vermont to visit my parents. We spent the whole time on our bikes!Vermont is in wildflower season right now and the weather was just spectacular. Vermont has some of the best cycling in the country (don't ask me, Bicycling Magazine will tell you!), and during warm weather, most of my "family time" is spent pedaling the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail.

This time we rode a nice stretch of route 14 between East Montpelier and Woodbury, taking in the rolling hills, and the next day we went out on our favorite back roads, photographing wildflowers and chatting with friends at the general store. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

First tour

I went on my first bike "tour" last week! It was an overnight trip - carrying gear for camping - from Boulder to Estes Park, CO one day and back the next. I went with a friend, Johan, who tricked me into going 50 miles/day, when I thought it was going to be 35. It was challenging, but beautiful!

There were tricky parts: long mountain climbs, snow then rain, and an 8 mile stretch on a winding hill with no shoulder.

But overall the trip was really great. There were the wonderful shop owners of Eagle Plume's at the top of the mountain pass who, after we chatted with them for a bit, laid out a big spread of food for us. There was the spring that appeared just when we were looking for water. There were the two herds of elk that we passed. And of course the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains all around us.

The experience is making me look forward to the start of Join the Cycle's trip even more!