Category Archives: biking

Mohawk Hudson Bike Hike Trail

It’s time for something different! On Saturday, we put our bikes in the car and headed south to the Mohawk Hudson bike hike trail.

This trail is part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy, which is an organization that is pushing to get unused railroad tracks made into trails, which when finished will allow people to bike, walk or hike many, many miles.

This section of the trail is about 35 miles long. We only did part of it out and back. While the temperature wasn’t too high – about 80, it was quite humid. There had been a lot of rain the day before and it felt pretty swampy at times, especially when the sun came out.

The trail was really nice to be on.  Taken while on the bike (not recommended):

I just kept remarking at how green it was. This summer has been somewhat wet and everywhere is just so green still considering it is mid August.

This was one of the high elevation points of the ride.

Quite the view!

It was a real treat riding on this wide paved path.

My pictures don’t show it, but there was a fair number of people out on the trail.  We stopped for some lunch at an open bench and wouldn’t you know the sun made an appearance while we were in the open.

I was slathered up with No Ads 50 SPF sunscreen for the day. That stuff works, but I will say that dust and dirt sticks to me like I am flypaper or something. Makes for a bit of a grimy ride.

The path follows the river quite a bit, which makes sense since it is on the old rail lines.

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It was flat for most of it, but some very challenging hills periodically.

This is an old depot.

I couldn’t quite tell what business is in here. It was closed at the time. This would be a super cute cafe, I think.

Another moving picture 😀

We biked just about 30 miles. We definitely want to come back again. It’s only 45-60 minutes away, so not that bad to get there.  Highly recommended for local peeps to go check it out!

After we finished, it was time for our snack. There were no stops to be had on the trail like with our usual long rides so we had to wait until we were done and headed to Mocha Lisa’s in Clifton Park.

They didn’t have any cupcakes, but I did spy a raspberry twist that looked good.

Paired with an iced coffee and this was a nice ending to a good ride!

Saratoga Cupcake Ride!

Finally we got down to Saratoga. Our legs were definitely itching for a long ride as it has been a few weeks.  That means cupcake time!

The ride down to Saratoga is not that exciting. It’s not as nice as how we used to go at our old house. It’s mostly along the main road with a couple of side tracks:

We packed lunches to have down there, so I needed to stop about halfway down to have a bit of a snack:

It was a cloudy day and only about 80 degrees, but pretty humid. I’m glad it wasn’t really sunny and humid!  We arrived in Saratoga and went to Congress Park to eat lunch.

This weekend started the horse track season and it was really quiet downtown because most people were at the track, which made it nice and peaceful.  My lunch:

That just looks like bread, but it’s a sandwich 😀

After eating, we strolled around the park.

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There was one duck with a little clutch of ducklings. Late in the season for these:

Baby ducks are just little puffs of cuteness. I wanted to gather them all up! 😀

Very nice landscaping. John was actually naming flowers that we passed. I guess he does listen when I natter on about my garden!

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The carousel:

It’s a very, very nice park.

After walking around for a while, it was time for the purpose of our ride!

We got some coffee and our cupcakes. Mine was cookies and cream:

This picture doesn’t really show how big this cupcake is. We call them gut bombs because that is what they are LOL!  Soooo good and super sweet. You would never want to eat a whole one of these without a 40 mile ride, that’s for sure!

We headed on home pretty uneventfully. We made good time, probably powered by some sugar 😀

 

Ride stats:

Total miles: 41.49

Average speed: 14 miles per hour

Saddle time: 2 hours 57 minutes

Calories burned: 1244  – half of which was replaced by the cupcake!

 

Legs are still feeling great for the season. It’s hard to believe that we are approaching August already!

 

49 miles and dobos torte

It’s been an annual tradition for a while now where I bike my age in miles. I turn 49 on Monday, so I needed 49 miles 😀

Monday weather looked iffy, so I chose to do the ride on Sunday. My longest ride this season has been 41 miles, so I was ready for the ride.

One more year of miles and then I am going to switch over to kilometers LOL!  It’s getting to be a long ride.  That was like a 19 mile run.

I have to say that I am in really great bike shape for the season. I’ve got good endurance and my hill legs are much better than last year. Not sure why, but I’ll take it.

It was family cake time after that. I was ready to refill those calories 😀  Yesterday John spent hours making a cake for me.  We’ve gotten into watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix, which makes us want to bake all the things. Anyway, there was a master class on the recipes and a dobos torte was on the show. Normally chocolate, but Mary Berry made it all about caramel and John said he would make it for me. I loves me some caramel. Here is the recipe.

The cake ended up with 10 layers. Here was assembly:

I came out to peek occasionally, but tried to stay out of the kitchen while he was baking.  It turned out very impressive!

Instead of brittle, I requested candied pecans around the outside.  The top is so pretty!

That is a layer of the cake topped with some caramel and cut into triangles.

This cake was the star of the show. John did an amazing job.  The inside:

For as rich as the cake is, it is actually very light.  I don’t think I will ever get John to make this cake again, but it was worth it 😀  I could probably use another 49 miles to have another slice!

 

Lake riding!

It was a good weather weekend here. Saturday was a little too hot and humid for biking, but that gave me a chance to be in the garden and really clean it up as it was starting to get neglected. Got the place ready for company that evening. First chance to show off our new finished water feature, too!

John requested a rum cake for his cake party. Specifically this one.  I would say three words. Make this now.  It’s really, really good!  Of course, my cake didn’t come out of the pan as neatly as the picture on the King Arthur website, but at least it came out in 1 piece!

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It’s really an easy recipe. You just need to make sure you have time to let it sit for a day to soak up the rum syrup. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a strong rum taste. Very moist and flavorful.  However, I had a real problem with the fact that there is no frosting on this cake. No frosting! I kept asking John if he wanted a glaze or frosting or something and he said no.  But, he knew I was struggling with the no frosting, so he said I could make something to offer anyone who wanted it with their piece. I made a rum glaze to apply to the cut pieces and I was happy.

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The rum cake was a hit. It was a nice night, too.  Our lights are going on the patio:

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Sunday was a much better day for biking with lower humidity and temps. We did our usual Sunday breakfast ride of 17 miles and then decided to bike to the lake later for a treat.

Part of the path takes us by a marsh:

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I could have used my zoom lens today, but it’s a bit bulky to get in my bike bag.  I would have like a closer shot of the lily pads.

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John is waiting patiently here for me to take pictures.

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This is that section where they decided to make the path go through some telephone poles. It’s very strange.

The lake was gorgeous today. Just beautiful.

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It was also about as crowded as we have seen it. Holy moly!  Do you know how hard it is to get pictures without people in them?   Judicious picture taking and some waiting for a break between people 😀 .

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There was a Save the Lake festival going on, which is probably why it was so crowded because locals would be out as well as tourists.

We stopped at Lake George Baking Company for our snacks. I had a black and white cookie!

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Plus a big iced coffee.  This shop is about a block off the main drag and they built a little deck off the back to sit at and what a gem that is. Nobody was there and it was shady.

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This is going to be one of our go-to spots once tourist season is over. I had to get a closer shot of those petunias, too.

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It’s just so pretty.

It was time to head home and get away from all the people!

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We ended up with 36 miles for the day, which should help burn off some of that cookie and the rum cake.  I hope  😀

Sundae ride!

It’s been hot and humid around here. Really humid. Even the early morning rides have been hot. I was soaked by the time I got done on Friday.  I try for an hour ride each day during the week and I’m going to have to keep pushing the ride earlier and earlier!

Saturday was a little less humid than Friday, but it was still warm. John and I were going to go for a cupcake, but then with the heat, ice cream sounded really good!  I realized that we had not been to Martha’s this season yet. That had to be rectified!

We have had enough rain to keep things green and fresh looking, other than some lawns that are looking tired. This is the nice shaded portion of the path:

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If only the whole ride was like that!  There were a fair number of people on the path as well, and someone actually hunting Pokemon. They need to get all the way off the path – bikes go really fast.

It’s high tourist season at the lake. We popped in just at the end of the  path:

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Really pretty day.  The main beaches are off to the left from here and we didn’t want to deal with the crowds.

We rested for a few minutes and then headed back onto the path towards ice cream!  Then we met a surprise visitor:

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This youngster was just grazing and looking at us. Not concerned as we snapped pictures.  Then it meandered across the path:

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Pretty unusual to see deer on the path at 3:00 in the afternoon. This deer didn’t seem the brightest bulb LOL.  Finally he said “quit taking pictures!”

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Nice treat.

Speaking of nice treats, we arrived at Martha’s!

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We each got sundaes. John got an apple pie sundae and I got the scholarship sundae, one of my favorites:

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Definitely ride worthy! Can you believe there is a size bigger than this one? That would be a gut bomb.

Martha’s is across the street from Great Escape. You can hear the people screaming on the rides.

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No thank you.

We motored home after that.  The temps were not super hot, but it felt really hot in the sun with the humidity.

Can’t have a ride without the selfie!

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Even my upper arms were sweating. Or wait – I’m dewy, right? Women don’t sweat.

Not a super long ride, but it had to be at least 25 to warrant the sundae LOL!

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Those plants in the background are part of my haul from the garden center sale this weekend. Yippee!

I had a fun surprise on Sunday. We were out at breakfast and I opened the paper to see my soap company in an ad!

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The store that carries these took out an ad.

Work has progressed on the water feature this weekend as well. Getting close to being finished. I picked up some plants to put around it.

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That will help naturalize it so it doesn’t look like the stream is just plopped in there like it does now LOL!

We still need some small filler rocks to hide parts of the liner and the spill box, but it’s very soothing to listen to already. This is the view from the patio.

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It looks like an Adirondack stream here! Our neighbors like it, too 😀  We managed to use all the rocks that I dug up last year, too. Yay!

Saturday riding

Happy Mother’s Day!  We went out to Panera for breakfast with my folks this morning. It’s always good to visit. She even shared her gift from my sister’s family:

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Yum!

Saturday turned out to be a great day weather wise. That meant a ton of outdoor time!  I was up early working on the garden bed. John was gone for the day, so I did some solo riding. The clouds broke and it was so nice to see the sun after days of cloudiness!

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Happy Lori.

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The farmer’s market has moved outdoors for the summer, so I cycled there to see what was up.

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Could you imagine me biking home with hanging baskets? That would be interesting. Lots of good stuff at the market. I picked up a couple goodies for later in the day.

I stopped at home and went back out again for another loop. It was mostly road riding for the day.WP_20160507_017b

It was also getting cloudier, too. It ended up raining overnight.  Rides like the one above are nice thinking rides. Nothing too surprising and you can see for a long distance in front of you, so I tend to think a lot.

Done:

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Kind of a nice maintenance ride.  I had my treat that I bought at the market. Cookies! They were kind of small, so I got two 😀

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With some coffee.  I spent the majority of daylight hours outside on Saturday (with sunscreen). That was great!  I got a lot of garden work done.

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You can see all those little maple bud things – it almost looks like pollen:

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It gets everywhere, too. Starting to put some plants in the bed now – and I got my tippy pots out.  Nothing in them in this picture. We need to do the stone under the bench, but it’s coming along nicely. Our neighbors seem to appreciate all that we’re doing to the house.

One last picture:

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The Carnival de Nice tulips fully open. Hope your weekend was great!

 

40-mile ride!

We finally got in our cupcake ride! We have had such a great start to the riding season that we were able to make the 40-mile ride during April. Just squeaked it in on the 30th 😉

We spent the sunny morning working outside on the new garden bed and path before heading down and made great progress. John is working on the path and I am digging up the bed. It’s been a ton of work, but now we are starting to see some results. IMG_2418b

I love how its starting to look. If only our lawn looked better, but we’ll deal with that at some point.

After lunch we headed down. There was a very slight tailwind which was swirling around a bit, so that was fine. It was sunny and around 60 degrees. Just cool enough for me to wear a jacket since I’m cold a lot, but I ditched that after about 10 miles when we stopped for a snack.

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A couple dates for me, dried pineapple for John

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John giving the thumb’s up!

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It’s not as pretty a ride as other ways we go, but still nice.

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Taking a selfie and I have a creeper!

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He’s kind of scary LOL!

My legs were feeling fine. Not really tired at all for the 20 mile ride down to Saratoga, but I was getting a little hungry. I’m in that trying to lose weight phase along with trying to fuel for long rides. It’s a tricky balance, which I still haven’t gotten down after alll these years.

Arrival in Saratoga and cupcake time! We stopped at Parkside Eatery. They always have a great selection of all kinds of food, but we were there for cuppies. John had a sundae cupcake:

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Mine was vanilla raspberry:

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These are quite large cupcakes. I think the picture makes them look smaller. Or maybe it doesn’t…Yum! I love cupcakes and I know it’s a good thing that they are normally saved for ride days. I think it makes them taste better, too.  We actually got a donut as well, but I only had a couple bites and decided I was too full with the coffee and cupcake.

We didn’t stay too long since we left the house after lunch. It takes 3-1/2 hours of ride time, plus the time spent eating, which pretty much uses up the afternoon!

Powered by cupcakes, we headed home, stopping one time for a quick rest around mile 30:

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This route is all road riding. No paths.

The last 2 miles and we hit a lot of traffic. One of the local churches was just getting out of Saturday afternoon mass, so the cops were directing traffic and everybody was going on the road we were on. I was so tired of biking in traffic! Anyway, we made it home in one piece and in good shape, too. The hills were fine and there wasn’t a whole lot of wind on the way home. 40 miles in April felt pretty darn good! The only thing that was tired were my wrists, oddly enough. I tend to get a tight grip on my handlebars and my wrists hurt after a while.

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This is John’s phone for stats. My bike computer needs adjusting. How I wished I burned 2300 calories for 40 miles! I only burn about 1200. (Only being relative – still a lot).

Here is a collage of the foods eaten during the ride day.

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Plus lots of liquids. With dinner, I even had a whole cup of cooked rice  LOL! On normal days I can’t really eat that much rice, but on ride days you need it. Unpicture was part of that donut 🙂

Good biking season so far. Already over 400 miles on the year!

30-mile ride

Getting that mileage up already. This weekend’s weather was amazing! It really felt like early June. Crazy April so far – it started really cold with snow and now temps in the 70s. It felt great, though.

Saturday we decided to go for 30 miles. We thought briefly about going to Saratoga, which is a little over 40, but seeing as long rides have been about 20, that would have been too much.  We decided to pad our lake with ride some extra miles.

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Wave hi to the people, John!

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It was warm up until we got the the lake itself. It’s usually cooler there, but it was also breezy and probably 10 degrees colder! Brrrr. Glad we had jackets along.  Tourists are starting to arrive and some of the seasonal businesses are opening up.

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We stopped at the Lake George Baking company to pick up a treat and then got some coffee here:

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Isn’t it funny that they sell coffee and gelato at an olive oil company? Anyway, I had a cinnamon twist that had chocolate rolled into the center:

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This was sooo good! The LG Baking Company is going to be opening a satellite store a few miles from our house soon, which is big trouble.

The lake:

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You can see how choppy it is from the wind.

The boats are just about ready to start for the season. We will be taking a cruise in May celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary.

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No flowers yet, so no worries with this sign.

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While the temperatures felt good, it still is pretty brown around here.

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Don’t you love the telephone poles smack in the middle of the path? Going the other way, it’s a downhill run to these and a pretty good clip, too.

And home:

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Ride stats:

Total miles:  30.9

Top speed: 32.4

Average speed 11.4 mph

Calories burned:  976

This was the right amount of miles to do. I was ready to be done. If we had tried to go for 40, I would have been sore and tired. I think a couple more weeks of good riding and I’ll be ready for 40.  The average speed was a little slow, but my hills legs are still building and the speed will come for those. We ended up with about another 18 mile ride on Sunday and it’s feeling great!

Feeling like summer!

That was some warm weather that blew in today. We hit highs in the mid 70s, can you believe that? It felt like May, not March!  We actually had our first breakfast ride of the year. We’ve been able to walk downtown for most of the winter because it has been more mild, but the biggest reason was the lack of snow so the sidewalks were walkable most of the days.

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It’s almost more than I can stand with the warm temps and nothing in the garden yet LOL. I’m getting so impatient. My mom had gotten me a subscription to Birds and Blooms as a Christmas gift, and the first issue of that arrived, which just gets the spring feeling going even more:

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That article headline at the top about helping pollinators — that’s my goal for the gardens, essentially. I don’t use pesticides and try to choose plants that bees, butterflies and hummingbirds like (and me). I will have to get some Sluggo for slugs and snails, though, as they had a field day in my shade bed I’ve been working on.

We walked downtown this evening and the sky was spring gorgeous!

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Isn’t it amazing how weather can affect your mood?

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Of course, it feels like summer, but it sure doesn’t look like it. This was from yesterday’s ride:

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Of course, last year at this time the path still had snow on it. Not this year!

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My biking bud <3

Temps are going to cool back down to the 50s, but that’s still great for this time of year. Lots of biking to be done! I’ve already got 45 miles on the bike so far this year.

2000 mile goal!

This weekend was just the best weather!  Saturday was a perfect fall day. Temps were in the upper 60s to about 70, sunny and just a little breeze.  We hadn’t had a cupcake ride in a long time, probably almost a month, so that was on the agenda.

We had a bit of a tail wind on the way down and fairly zoomed along.  

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Leaves haven’t turned much yet other than a few rogue trees that wanted to get it over with early for whatever reason.

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Pineapple snack!

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We arrived in Saratoga at mile 19.  Check out my odometer!

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I hit 2000 miles!  Truthfully, my mileage is 10 miles more than the odometer says because I had to recalibrate for my tires at the beginning of the sesaon and it reset everything.  But, it just didn’t feel right unless I saw it on the odometer.

Celebratory cupcake!

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It’s pumpkin spice. Now that it is officially fall, I can embrace all that stuff, and this cupcake was extra worthy!  The caramel drizzle made it.  I brought along Rebel and just in case you want to see the frosting closer, here you go:

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There was a block party going on right outside Park Side Eatery (home of the cupcakes) and we checked that out:

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Music playing:

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We didn’t dilly dally too long because we had a party to go to later.  The breeze that got us to Saratoga had died down pretty well, so we kept up good speed on the way home. Shadow selfie!

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John got a phone call on the way home, so we stopped so he could take that and I took some more pictures!

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And home:

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Ride stats:

Total miles: 41.5

Average speed:  13.3 mph

Top speed: 26.2 mph

Calories burned:  1245

 

This seemed like a really easy ride today. I think the cooler temperatures really helped with that, not to mention just being in good bike shape.

2000 miles isn’t really that difficult in the season. It just requires consistency in riding.  2000 miles is around 60,000- 70,000 calories or 17-20 pounds worth of calories. I’ve lost 13 this year, so all that biking has done some good and shows that I am able to lose during biking season 😀

We showered quick when we got home and headed back down to Saratoga by car this time for youngest niece’s birthday celebration!  We made mini pizzas:

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And the usual cake.

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Devon turned 12 and next year she will be an official teenager!