Tag Archives: Biking

Just. Get. On. The. Bike.

I have had a major case of the winter blahs. A few weeks back, Sam had to pretty much hoist me off the couch and onto my bike trainer in the basement and start pushing my feet in circles to get me going.

I’m exaggerating, but only a tiny bit. I had a pretty bad attitude about the state of my fitness after I read this article about how your fitness level drops dramatically within twelve days of inactivity. My thought process was pretty much, “Sooo… what you’re saying is I’m not still in shape from that half marathon I ran last November?” Bummer.

But I already knew I was far from in shape. Many things cause the winter blahs for me, including but not limited to: dirty snow banks; mucky puddles slowly draining into your basement; zero leaves on the trees or growing green things; relatively short days, lingering cold temps, etc. But for me, nothing causes them worse than months of inactivity. I’m pale, I’ve put on at least five pounds, my muscle should now be referred to as “former muscle,” and I’m getting bored.

SO. Back to the trainer. I really don’t like that thing – but this time, Sam had the sense to put the documentary Ride the Divide on Netflix while we watched – the story about a bunch of people who decide to race from Canada to Mexico along the continental divide.

IT IS SO MOTIVATING. Wow. There is an awesome woman competitor, Mary Metcalf-Collier, for whom I was rooting out loud, in my basement. I cheered, I cried, I laughed. It was just great. She had this awesome line about heading out with one of the other male competitors for the day, as he was worried he may slow her down. She goes,

“Well, let’s get started. And then we’ll see on the hills….”

Love it! Anyway, the point of this post is not to get you to watch Ride the Divide while you exercise in  your basement (though I do recommend that). The point is to remind myself and all of you that getting going is so hard, but that the pain is temporary. Making a routine is harder than keeping a routine. This is something we all know, but it’s easy to forget. I struggle with it every March.

After this, I still needed a few more pep talks and kicks in the pants, but I’m starting to gear up for a busy season. I know that in order to be able to do all the stuff I want in Alaska, I’m going to have to be in good shape.

But, until I feel like I can call myself in good shape, I will continue to just. get. on. the. [expletive]. bike.

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Madison’s Top Tens

This has been a big week and it’s only Tuesday. Last weekend, I packed up as much of my house as possible, loaded it up in as few suitcases as possible, packed it into my sister’s car and headed to Minneapolis. I’m spending the week here before flying up to Anchorage on Friday. Then Sam will wrap up work and come with the car in about a month 😦

I am truly excited about moving up there, but I have been pretty sad about leaving Madison, all our wonderful friends, and our new house. My sister recently asked me to tell her things I’ll miss about Madison, so I thought I would take the time to make a nice little top 10 list. This is way more than she bargained for. But it’s handy… for posterity. And for whenever I come back. And for you.

(Of course, as I wrote this, I decided I needed a whole separate category for food.)

Activities

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Sunset at the terraace

1. Biking on a warm summer evening to the terrace to drink beer and eat popcorn

2. Having friends over to eat dinner on our deck

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Climbing one of the 10,000,000 hills of the Hilly

3. The Horribly Hilly and the Dairyland Dare: one day “challenge rides.” You’ll hate your life until you reach the finish line and can hardly wait to sign up for next year

4. “Working” meetings at the Echo Tap

5. “Kayaking” (also what some would call floating aimlessly) on Lake Monona with Abby

6. Mountain biking, skiing, road biking, or hiking at Blue Mounds State Park and stopping to eat at the Grumpy Troll on the way home

IMG_06237. Devil’s Lake State Park: huffing it up the bluff and then sitting on a rock and taking in the view

8. Paoli bike rides and stopping at the top of observatory hill to enjoy the view and catch your breath

9. Thrift shopping at ReThreads on State Street (tons of cuteness under $10)

10. Walking over to Kate’s house in my jammies on Saturday mornings for coffee

Food

1. Cheese curds and old fashionds at the Old Fashioned

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Willaby’s Cafe, Willy Street, Madison

2. The Fair Oaks Skillet at Willaby’s Cafe

3. Vanilla swirls at Batches Bakehouse

4. Anything and everything at Greenbush Bakery. Pick one and then ask the doughnut dealer for his or her favorite.

5. Playing flip cup with cheap pitchers of beer at State Street Brats

6. Panang curry, chicken eggrolls, and mango and sticky rice at Ha Long Bay

7. Walnut burger at The Harmony

8. Crusier-bike riding to Mickey’s Dairy Bar for scramblers and cinnamon rolls

9. Commuter bike riding to Mickey’s bar to get drinks on their back patio on warm summer nights

10. Buying an entire loaf of warm, spicy cheesy bread at the Farmer’s Market and eating most of it while walking around the square

Rest of Wisconsin/UP

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ABR Ski Cabin

1. Renting ski-in cabins at ABR Ski Trails (Ironwood, MI)

2. 4th of July fireworks on Boom Lake (Rhinelander)

3. Biking up to Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains and then trying to hit 40 MPH on the way back down. I’ve never done it. Yet! (Ontonagon, MI)

4. Canoeing the Kickapoo. Just as good: driving through the driftless to explore its various parks and fishing the streams on the way there (Ontario)

5. Pewitt’s Nest -bring your swimsuit! (Baraboo)

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Levi’s Trow

6. This is for Sam: Wisconsin/UP’s own IMBA “epic” mountain bike trails: Levi’s Trow (Near Black River Falls) and Copper Harbor, MI

7. The Trails at Nine Mile and Rib Mountain  can hold an honorary spot too (Wausau)

8. A summer day on any lake in Northern Wisconsin, on a boat, with beer, and country music. Heavenly.

Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks

9. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore  – easily the best vacation of my life (Grand Marais, MI)

10. …I’m leaving this open to represent the large amounts of awesomeness yet to be explored in Wisconsin

What else would you add to the list??

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