Category Archives: biking

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!

Cooper’s Cave

Saturday called for rain in the afternoon. We thought of risking biking to Saratoga for lunch, but we didn’t want to be pressured with thoughts of a rainy ride home. So, we did some large loops more locally and went for lunch.  We also did a little tourist stuff.

I brought along the Rebel for the photos.  This is along route 197.  There is a farm along the hill.

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We went along  the Betar byway, which is only about a mile long, but really pretty.

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It goes along the Hudson river.  You can see Glens Falls in the distance:

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I want to come with my zoom lens and do some birding early in the morning some time.  We did see some geese:

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We also saw the first signs of fall.

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😯

South Glens Falls is home of Cooper’s Cave, which is the cave that James Fenimore Cooper visited and incorporated into his novel Last of the Mohicans. It is right by the hydro plant (which wasn’t there at the time Cooper visited).

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The cave itself is protected and you can’t actually go into it, but you can view it from a fenced platform.

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We actually haven’t visited this little attraction in a few years.  We rode some more and headed out for lunch at Martha’s. Normally we do the ice cream here, but since our ride was early to avoid the rain, we had lunch at their new food area.

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John had a veggie burger. I had chicken strips and we split the big basket of fries:

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This was too much food, even after 24 miles of riding.  I had about 3 of the strips.  Turns out I don’t do as well riding with a greasy lunch as I do with the cupcake LOL!  You know I love Martha’s ice cream, but the food was fairly pedestrian.  It was super fresh, though, I will say that.

We were nervously watching the radar and figured we would probably be clear to get in another 10 miles or so before the rain came.  It would make a short day for people at Great Escape, too.

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You can see how cloudy it was by this time in our ride.  The day started out sunny and beautiful and changed pretty quick.

I ended up getting a headache towards the end of the ride and had to stop to take some Motrin.  At least we were prepared! We carry a lot of stuff on rides because you never know what you will need.  

We made it home without getting rained on, too!

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Almost 36 miles.  Not my best feeling ride, but we stayed dry 😀

Have you read Last of the Mohicans?

Sundaes and cameras

We got a break from the really hot weather for a day or two.  Saturday was just beautiful. Less humidity and low 80s.  Perfect for our bike ride.  We had a hankering for ice cream, so we did a circuitous road route to get to Martha’s since we live a lot closer to it now. 
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And it begins:

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Seriously – is anyone influenced by a bandit sign endorsing a candidate?  I am more likely to follow that garage sale sign…

It was bright and sunny, but a lot of our roads gave shade:


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I actually brought along the new camera to take some shots – which made me nervous 🙂 . I am still getting used to it.  John portrait:

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Snack portrait:

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After 20 miles, we arrived at Martha’s:

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Sundae with cheesecake flavor ice cream, hot fudge, raspberry sauce and cookie crumbles.  Ride worthy.  We headed out for another long road ride.  I had put on extra sunscreen for the rest of the ride.  This is out by our municipal airport:

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It sort of feels like the middle of nowhere, but it is only 4 or so miles from home here. This is actually pretty close to where I found that bird last week.

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The thought bubble over John’s head would be something like “Stopping for more pictures?? Sigh…

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Ride stats:

Miles: 31.1

Top speed: 32. 4 mph (yeah!)

Average speed 12.4 mph

Calories burned:  933

A shorter ride than usual on a Saturday, but a good ride.

So, I have been muddling around with the new Rebel!  It arrived along with 4 lenses and some other stuff.  It is going to take a long time to figure all of it out, but that’s the joy of a new toy, isn’t it?

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I have been taking pictures around the house.

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I even left unfluffed pillows and a glass there.  I probably should have neatened that up for the picture 😀

I have spent time on the patio taking a billion bird pictures at the feeder, too.  This is a downy woodpecker and a white breasted nuthatch eating together in harmony:

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I finally realized I should have it set for multiple shots in a row for the birds since they move so much.  I haven’t tried that yet.

On a side note, this is a squirrel proof feeder. Those leaves close down over the holes when a squirrel gets on there.  Chipmunks are too light and the holes stay open, but at least they don’t eat as much as squirrels do.  The squirrels don’t climb on the feeder anymore since they realized it won’t yield them food.

And some macro experiments:

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Anyway, this week’s pictures should be fun.

Have a great Labor Day!  I will be laboring – gotta pay for that camera!