Tag Archives: bicycling

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Number One. Oh Yeah, And I’m BAAAAAACK.


I’m back…sort of. I have a very full agenda yet for the month of June – a mini family reunion, a wedding shower, Father’s Day, a funeral, a wedding, and the MRC Bike Ride. But, I miss my blog family and I miss entertaining my tiny masses with weird and funny stories.

I decided the best way to come back is to participate in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, and let my photos do the talking. Because, you know, I never have anything to say.

One picture of me holding One bottle of Sam Adams while on my work trip to Boston.

That's MR. Adams to you!

Sam Adams is a LIE!

My last day I was able to take part of the Freedom Trail tour, and learned from the tour guide that Samuel Adams probably never let anyone call him “Sam” (That’s Mr. Adams to you!), wasn’t likely a big beer drinker, and apparently ran his father’s brewery into the ground. I found that a delightful twist of ironic history.

One patient husband, waiting for his wife to come off the delicious drugs ala colonoscopy. I have no idea why I took his picture.

My wife is wasted.

My wife is wasted.

One Grandma Conard white iris.

Good morning, Grandma!

Good morning, Grandma!

Last year, my Cuz-in-Law kindly sent me a package of day lilly and iris bulbs, some of which were descended from irises originally in my grandparents garden (whites and purples). Last spring I planted them down by the pond because we weren’t ready to put anything by the house yet, so we transplanted them this spring next to the house. I didn’t think any of them would even bloom this year so these were a happy surprise.

When my grandmother was a young woman, she became very ill and lost all the pigment in her skin and color in her hair from the trauma. Her pale skin was soft and delicate, very much like the petal of an iris. Despite her complexion, my grandmother was a big, beautiful, strong woman who loved to travel and swim and garden and taught me how to fish with a bamboo fishing pole and she squashed all the spiders in the cottage. Yeah. She was badass. Ironically, if she read that, she would yell at me for swearing.

One very wet bike after one very wet bike ride called the Birky Challenge 67, a ride honoring a fallen police officer whose badge number was 67.

At least it's clean now.

At least it’s clean now.

We were signed up to do the 67 miles, but it was pouring rain that morning so we wussed out and only did 40. That was the longest, wettest, windiest, hilliest 40 miles ever created in the entire history of mankind. In the entire history of the world. The universe, even. At one point, my riding partner asked me “Why didn’t we just do 20?” and I said, “Apparently because we are stupid.”

One pissed off anti-social turtle who just wants to be left alone so she can lay her eggs and read a trashy novel on the beach. This is in no way a reference to me or my current work load because I have a brilliant sun-shiney attitude and love love love the busy season at work.

LOOK AWAY!

LOOK AWAY!

One memorial tree planting of one dwarf blue spruce, in honor of my sister in law Jen who passes away in March, 2014 (the weekend we moved).

It's the Jen-Tree

It’s the Jen-Tree

We were unable to plant anything last summer, so this was a bit over due. A tough, hardy tree that should adapt well to wherever it’s planted, with soft, kind needles that will offer sanctuary to birds and critters – very much like our Jen.

For more Fun Fotos, all centered on the theme of “One”, head on over to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Freakishly Busy Sue

Biker Babe – Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge


I love my bike.  And biking.  Participating in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bikes and Motorcycles literally has me drooling in anticipation.

I had to go thru all my old photos because my bike is in hibernation – 10 degrees just isn’t going to cut it – and looking at all that sunshine and blue sky has me aching for spring and the satisfying sound of clipping into my pedals before a long summer ride.

Oh to have tan lines and a bottle of gatorade waiting in the fridge!

I guess I will just have to be satisfied with these photos for a few more weeks!

Ponies resting in the sun.  Mackinac Island, Sept. 2014

Ponies resting in the sun. Mackinac Island, Sept. 2014

My baby on a chilly fall day.

My baby on a chilly fall day.

Cruising the countryside with my homies.

Cruising the countryside with my homies.  Somehow I didn’t fall off my bike when I took this…

I see a theme here....

I see a theme here….

Well, I’m off to walk Daisy – it’s too cold for Lucky dog, poor guy.  I guess he’ll just have to sit home and suffer while he lays in his sun spot… 🙂

Bikingly yours,
Sue

Final Photos of 2013


It’s that time again!  Time to see what’s been going on since my last photo entry.  It has been a busy 6 weeks with Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.  And snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  Which means lots and lots of shoveling.  I haven’t broken out the snow shoes yet, but that will be coming this weekend.

Enjoy the photos – next week I will be back with plans for 2014!

First off – The Avett Brothers with Dawn!

My last bike ride of the year.  I think this was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and after our first or second dusting of snow.  It was a beautiful fall day and not too windy.  Perfect for cruising down the Fox River Trail.

Fox River Trail

Chilly!!

Then this happened….thankfully only a warning for this lead foot.

Uh-oh....

Uh-oh….

With the unseasonal below zero cold, fat cat is starting early with his laying in front of the fire-place.

Midnight

Look at me! Look at my awesomeness! Do not turn away! Look! LOOK!!!

And the dogs still get walked – even in 2 degree weather!  And yes, it really was 2 degrees this day.

Lucky and Daisy

HURRY UP MOM!!!! WE’RE FREEZING!

The tree went up.  We were looking for this guy to warm things up, but the Cold Miser is winning this year.

Heat Miser

Where are my minions???

On the 14th, me and a couple of friends (Dawn and Debbie) went thru the Botanical Gardens Garden Of Lights.  Beautiful as usual.

Me, Dawn, and Debbie.

Me, Dawn, and Debbie.

Garden of Lights

The Big Tree!

Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights

Dawn under her tiara!

 

Garden of Lights

Warming up by the fire

Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights

IMG_1483

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Then, contrary to popular belief – proof that I’m on the “Nice” list!!

IMG_1506

A Christmas decorating contest at work brought out some holiday creativity.

The Winner!  And yes, this was my row!  Woot!

The Winner! And yes, this was my row! Woot!

Bumbles bounce!!

Bumbles bounce!!

Weirdos in the Christmas Village!

Weirdos in the Christmas Village!

SANTA!!!  I KNOW HIM!!!

SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!!!

And then we had the first annual Conard Cookie Baking Expedition.

The calm before the storm.

The calm before the storm.

In the midst of 200 cut outs...

In the midst of 200 cut outs…

Niece Rachael, my mom, sisters Terri, Celeste and Maribeth.  Looking at my mom you are all realizing the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Niece Rachael, my mom, sisters Terri, Celeste and Maribeth. Looking at my mom you are all realizing the apple does not fall far from the tree.

Same people, minus Terri but plus me!  We had a great time!

Same people, minus Terri but plus me! We had a great time!

And finally – Christmas Eve mass with my dad, while my mom sang in the choir.

Yes, I know it's crooked.  Couldn't get a straight picture for some reason.  User error I am sure!

Yes, I know it’s crooked. Couldn’t get a straight picture for some reason. User error I am sure!

May you all enjoy the rest of your holiday season!  I will see you all again next week!

Sue

 

LBCOT 2


As promised, here is the 2nd installment of bicycle safety (see the first post – Let’s Be Careful Out There).  And really, this list covers all types of physical activity – not just cycling.  I wasn’t too thrilled to write this post because I DON’T DO ANY OF THESE THINGS!  At least not consistently.  Any why?  For the same reason a lot of people don’t do them – because they require extra time and commitment in our already busy lives.

THE HARD STUFF

Yearly Physical:  Okay, I get it that most women do get yearlies, but usually only for the type involving stirrups (which don’t even have the decency to be attached to a horse. If I have to have my feet in stirrups, there better be a pony around somewhere).  How many of you get a full physical, including blood work and a mammogram or prostate check?  Does your doctor even know you exercise?  Have you specifically asked him/her to clear you for physical activity?  Yeah, me neither.  

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CPR:  Also known as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.  Most of us have seen someone perform CPR on TV, so we all have an ‘idea’ of how it’s supposed to be done.  On the ride I mentioned in my first post, there was a nurse certified in CPR on the ride, and she saved a life that night.  Had she not been there, would anyone else have had enough knowledge from “seeing it on TV” to save that life?  Probably not.  I plan on taking CPR classes this winter.  Heck, what else is there to do in Wisconsin when it’s 40 below?  I’m kind of scared and nervous, though, because it feels like a big responsibility.  So if anyone else wants to do it with me, let me know!  It’s always easier to do something hard with a friend.  Or, maybe misery truly does love company.

Gratuitous photo of Hugh Jackman because it's my blog. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for People.com)

Gratuitous photo of Hugh Jackman because it’s my blog.
(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for People.com)

First Aid:  Pretty much the same thing as CPR, but without all the scary parts.  Like, it would be way easier to learn how to apply pressure to a wound or squirt some Bactine on a knee scrape, than to do chest compressions and mouth to mouth.  Unless it was Johnny Depp or George Clooney, in which case mouth to mouth might not be THAT scary.  Still, should someone break a leg, step on a nail, wonk their head, or poke their eye out with the scissors you told them not to run with, you would be very glad you knew the basics of first aid.

Dug

Diet:  I think this is the hardest one.  We have access to and ingest so much crap, it’s unbelievable.  Donuts, bacon, ice cream, potato chips, cake, candy bars, french fries, quarter pounders, fried chicken, pizza.  Don’t like veggies?  Wrap them in bacon!  Pour cheese on them!  Add more bacon!  And if that’s not enough, let’s deep fry those suckers.  Oh, and these Twinkies need some doctoring up – chuck them in that deep fryer while you’re at it.  And add more bacon.  Our arteries would cry if anything could fit thru them anymore.  America does not understand “in moderation”.  Just take a look at the size of Texas  and our 15 trillion dollars of debt.  But I can make difference in my own little world, and eat more veggies, fruit, lean meats and whole grains.   And my body will thank me by continuing to function as the highly trained athletic body it is…  BAH HAHAHAHAHHAAA.  Okay, it will thank me by hopefully not collapsing during a burpee.

burpees

Rest:  As much as I love to work out (cough, cough), my body needs at least one or two rest days a week.  Lately, that hasn’t been an issue with the cooler weather and less available light after work for biking.  But sometimes in spring and summer, I forget that my body might just need a break, and skipping a day of intense exercise won’t cause my fat cells to throw a frat party.  It just means I will regenerate and heal, allowing me to become stronger.  Rest includes getting sufficient amounts of sleep, and for night owls like me, this is  a challenge of Goliath proportions.  Seriously.  If I start going to bed before 11 each night, check the skies for the horses of the apocalypse.  Which is exactly why God invented “naps”.  Getting enough rest also means I will be less prone to injury, less likely to nod off while riding my bike, thus pedaling over a cliff like a mindless lemming, and less addicted to the detrimental affects of low cash flow caused by excessive trips to Starbucks.

sleep

And that’s it!  Of course, I might have missed something, so if you think of anything to add, please comment below!  I love to hear from you and always welcome your opinions and ideas.

Tune in next week for my 3 part series on a special guest!  No, he’s not Superman, but darn close!

Best,
Sue

Joy


Tonight I sit at my computer, enjoying the final hours of a sunny day, sleepy and sunburned.  I started my day with church in my bike clothes, leaving right after to meet up with Kay for our first ‘real’ bike outing of the year.  We had taken a couple of chilly rides in the earlier weeks of April, but rides with booties, hats and gloves just aren’t the same.  Today, we finally had seventies, short sleeves,  and sun.  As we rode out Willow Road, a single word sang in my head – finally, after a long winter – JOY.

Joy is elusive, isn’t it?  It’s hard finding it at times.  I know the technical ‘rule’ about joy – that you can’t tie it to your feelings, that it needs to be a state of being.  However, practicing joy and achieving joy are not always inclusive and doggone it, sometimes you need a day in the sun.

BOOYAH

BOOYAH!

Our first jaunt was not remarkable from a distance standpoint – just 20 miles – but we

Old Glory Honor Flight

Kay, Adrian and me, at the Eaton Town Hall. Handsome old guy with two hot chicks. And look, we match!

stopped off at Eaton Town Hall for a bowl of booyah to support the Old Glory Honor Flight, and met a Korean war veteran who was able to participate this year.  His name is Adrian Cherney, and he also used to bike, so we had a lot to talk about.  He only just quit riding last year – I think he is around 85 so that is a lot of years of riding.  The booyah was awesome and my only regret is not being able to buy any to bring home.  Kay and I decided we should make a habit of planning our weekend rides around local booyah picnics.  I may need to have Dave build me a booyah wagon so I can haul ice cream tubs of it home.

Lily Lake, WI

It’s an aerator folks! Pay no attention to the aliens!

On the way out, we stopped at Lily Lake just to be nosy and to add a few extra miles to our ride.  There we found this thing (see pic) – no clue what it was at the time so Kay snapped a picture of it to show her hubby, and we have since found out it is an aerator.  As I told Kay, it’s good to know what it is, because you never know when that information might come in handy, and someone may say to you, “What is that thing?  Is that an alien ship crash landed in Lily Lake?” and you can say, “Why no, that is an aerator!”.  Mystery solved!  No need to hide the women and children!

After I got home, I spent more time in the sun playing with the dogs, weeding my flower beds and other such nonsense.  It was a glorious cherry on top of a chocolate sundae weekend.

A few other weekend highlights:  Hanging out with Dawn on Saturday and getting some time to visit that didn’t involve work or working out, and roller skating at St. Mary’s Roller Rink for the first time since I was probably 13 years old on Saturday night, courtesy of my friend Amanda and her children’s 9th birthday (Happy Birthday Evan and Abby!).  I also upgraded my blog site so I can now upload VIDEOS!  See below for actual footage of my roller skating experience (notice I remained upright during the entire 20 seconds).

Have a great week!

Sue

 

MMMMM….Chocolate


Today I took advantage of the beautiful weather to ride with a few members of the bike club on their Sunday fun ride.  With the coming of fall and the Packers season, the turn out is slim when kick off is at noon, and today was no exception.  We ended up doing my Sportsmans/Blake Road route, leaving from the boat launch in De Pere by Dairy Queen, for a nice ride of about 31 miles.  It was a gorgeous ride.

Chocolate ride bicycles

Outside Kavarna

Not every ride has to be long and arduous to be beneficial to mind and body.  Take yesterdays ride organized by the Green Bay Bicycle Collective, the Chocolate Clunker.  This was a large fall social ride that starts in downtown Green Bay at Kavarna, and visits our three most popular chocolatiers – Kaaps, Seroogy’s and Beerntsen’s.  They run this every fall, and every spring, the Coffee Clunker.  Prizes are awarded for the funkiest, clunkiest, oldest and sweetest bikes. This is the perfect opportunity for me to ride my Townie, my most favorite bike EVER.

Schwinn Speedster

Old Schwinn Speedster

Rides like this are fantastic for beginners, and really focus on the social aspects of biking.  I think our average speed was under 11 mph and some of the guys took care of holding up traffic for us to keep the group together (there were a lot of us!), so we had plenty of time for talking and laughing as we rode.

Chocolate ride bicycles

The bride and groom!

And believe me, we talked and laughed a lot.  I think the best this year was a couple celebrating their 39th wedding anniversary.  They showed up on an old tandem adorned with horns and streamers, and were dressed as the bride and groom.  Kay, myself and our other friend Meg all had similar color coats on, so we soon became dubbed the “bridesmaids”.

We sang songs (out of tune, of course), and rode in circles and danced a polka with the bride and groom, and had a ‘slow race’ (slowest bike wins – you can’t put your feet down either) and a longest skid competition.  And of course, we bought and ate melt in your mouth chocolate at each stop.   You may have to step out of your comfort zone, but it pays to find groups in your area that support the types of exercise that you like.  You meet people who share your passion and it exposes you to opportunities like this ride.  Getting fit doesn’t have to be an hour-long slog in the gym, but you won’t find things like the Chocolate Clunker if you aren’t willing to step out of your box.  And be sure to bring a friend!!

chocolate ride race

The Slow Race!

chocolate ride bicycles
The Wedding Party!

Milestone


Okay, I know I have been posting a lot about biking, and I promise this will be the last one for a little while, but I wanted to share with you that I hit 1000 miles on my bike odometer this week.  That means from the purchase of my bike on June 2nd, 2012, I have logged 1000 miles.   1010 actually, in 124 days.  That’s an 8 mile per day average.  I am a little bit impressed with myself, considering 8 months ago I scoffed at the idea of biking as a fitness platform.

And while I feel a pang of pride at the 1000 mile mark, a part of me wants to poo-poo my accomplishment.  After all, I know a few people with a lot more miles than that.  Like 2000.  Or 2500.  Or 6000 (really and truly).  However, one should never discount one’s accomplishments, no matter how they compare to others.  So, instead, I am accepting this and giving myself a gold star.  And a new goal of 2000 for next year.  Cuz that’s how I roll.

Tomorrow, I am going to expound upon one of my Fitness Bucket List items, which will be my main focus over the long winter months when the bike is in storage.  I want to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups.  And I hate push ups.

Meanwhile, I would love it if you would post something you have accomplished this year – why did you do it?  How did it feel?  Would you do it again?

Sue