Just popping in to report that we weathered Hurricane Sandy fairly well. We ended up losing power around 7pm Monday night and didn’t regain it until 9pm on Tuesday night. Our damage is limited to two downspouts being ripped from the gutters and plenty of small limb debris in the yard. Cable and internet service finally came back last night; our cell service provider is still on the fritz in our area. We learned a few lessons along the way: camping gear and a propane grill mean hot food and cocoa; next time stock firewood for heat; don’t have Halloween candy readily accessible because you will end up eating it mindlessly.
We are thankful for our limited inconveniences and send positive vibes for our friends and neighbors who are still without power, heat, or have significant damages (like the neighbor with a massive tree resting on their roof). Our thoughts are also with our fellow brothers and sisters in New Jersey and New York.
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This week was to be my glorious return to bike commuting since my husband is back in town but after the storm, I have been knocked off my rocker a bit. The kids haven’t been in school all week and I’ve spent my time trying to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Yesterday was our 15th wedding anniversary so my husband and I went out for an anniversary dinner for the first time in a VERY long time wherein he shared with me his concerns about my cycling habbit. Mostly time spent away from the family and other obligations, but also that it’s cold and dark now and often my bike commute leaves me physically exhausted (and essentially useless for the remainder of the evening).
He has valid points – as a team, we have to work together and find the areas of opportunity to ensure harmony. I have my own concerns with commuting/cold-weather cycling.
1. I have most of the gear I need for cold-weather cycling but need to invest in a few key pieces to be viable long-term: winter gloves, winter-weight socks, shoe covers, second pair of thermal tights and another thermal (or wool) jersey. A bike light that I can use to See AND Be Seen. A balaclava. Nothing major or seriously expensive but key to layering and staying adequately warm. I dislike being cold very much.
2. I dislike being so exhausted after bike commuting. Heavy Bike Is Heavy. I’ve done the commute on my carbon-fiber bike (which I don’t find approproiate for commuting in that it’s too light) and there is a 15-20min decrease in time spent commuting per day. The toll on my legs is significantly less (although the sweat factor remains constant). And honestly, it’s more fun to go a little faster or to not feel like you are dragging an anchor up a hill. I’ve groused about this at length so I’m trying not to bore you about it – but it remains my #1 adversary outside of my schedule.
3. And there is my schedule. I’m trying to look ahead and see where a pattern opportunity exists so I can build momentum. I’m rapdily determining that maybe I need to just chill (HA HA) and resume biking to work in the spring. I have a lot going on. I don’t want anything to be half-assed. I need to be able to commit myself to key things for now and allow the bike to be a Nice Weekends kind of thing.
Because my bike will still be there in the spring. And my love of cycling will still be there as well. And hopefully a little disposable income as well to round out my gear. I admit it’s hard to say “yes, I need to stop trying to shoehorn riding my bike into my life right now.” After devoting so much time to this hobby, it hurts to put it on the shelf for a bit. I love the freedom of setting out with friends and not even thinking for a second about where we are going or how we are getting there. I get to be a follower for once!
And no, I’d prefer not to invest in a trainer to try to ride inside. I have a gym membership at work – if I feel the need to try spinning, there is an opportunity already paid for on Tuesday nights.
We have an older home that could use a little cash to repair and improve (little by little), a car that should really be taken in to the shop, kids who outgrow their clothing and shoes before you want them to, and pets. I’d also like to spend some time working yoga back into my life and actually having unscheduled down time. So important in our hectic lives.
Anyway, hope to see you on the road soon!