Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Done with winter.

Hey, how you been? Me? Not so great.

Oh, the year started off with grand plans and intentions. It hasn't exactly gone according to plan, however.

1. If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed that I have been running a bunch lately. Certainly more than I have been cycling. I have signed up for the Rock n' Roll half-marathon next month. I did this for two reasons: I needed a change in activity, and I needed to get in better shape for the Unity Tour.  Although I completed the Tour last year with no major problems, I know I could have been in better shape. With running, I've already been able to shed nearly 20lbs, and I feel much better. Running has been going swimmingly runningly, except for the last two weeks. I took some time off because I've been having a nagging pain in my left achilles tendon, and everything I have googled says DO NOT RUN. I also probably have tuberculosis. I'm not sure. Anyway, I figure a little rest can't hurt. Still, I have actually come to enjoy running (and I used to HATE it with a capital H. And A, T & E).  It's very meditative once you get past the "this sucks" phase. It lets me zone out in a way that cycling doesn't really offer me, at least urban cycling. When I'm riding in the city, I find I have to be hyper-vigilant because of traffic & drivers & pedestrians & little tiny dogs & little tiny people. I usually only get into that "zone" when I'm on empty trails or rural roads. It's a nice change, for once.

2. I hate winter. Seriously. I am giving up all pretense of being a Winter Viking Cyclist. I am sick and tired of having to wear a minimum of 4 layers of clothing and taking 20 minutes just to get out my front door because I need to make sure I have gloves, hat, scarf, extra gloves, extra socks & still feeling like an icicle as soon as I get outside. I am tired of the constant gray. I am tired of fighting with the wind. I am tired of my nose running & my eyes tearing up. Done. Over. Go Away. As a result, I've barely done any "fun" cycling this year so far. I still ride at work, and even that is a bare minimum. I am ready for spring and sun & warmth. So ready.

3. I have been steadfastly avoiding fundraising/training for the Unity Tour. I have had a pretty solid training plan all laid out, but I have been avoiding it because it just reminds me that I ALSO need to fundraise. And I hate fundraising. So this is where I will need your help. I will be doing SOME fundraising events (like the bike-wash and maybe a karaoke night), but any little bit that you can donate online would be SUPER GREAT. The link is over there to the right --------> For those that are not familiar with the Police Unity Tour, please allow me to sum up a little bit:

-It is a 3 day, approx. 280 mile bike ride from Richmond to DC (it winds quite a bit). The ride is designed to raise awareness for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial in Washington, DC and the men & women that died in the line of duty the previous year (and all years, really). Both active & retired law enforcement folks from all over the country participate, and there are several chapters, all of whom ride from various locations & mileages to DC. The ride coincides with Police Week in DC and we all arrive as one giant group for the candlelight vigil. If you have never attended, I strongly encourage you to do so. It is a moving, heart-wrenching and powerful experience.  Last year, I believe the Unity Tour as a whole managed to raise about $1 million for the Memorial. Last year was my first time doing the ride and it was such an amazing experience. I have been lucky in that I have not been personally touched by a line of duty death this year (SORT OF, but that is a story for another time) but I have in the past. This ride is super important to me. As the ride approaches, I will be posting more information specific to line of duty deaths and the law enforcement memorial. In the meantime, I encourage to you visit the Officer Down Memorial Page. Please consider donating. Every cent goes to a good cause.

4. Speaking of training for the Unity Tour, as much as I love Kermit and how well he performed during last year's tour, I am looking for a more appropriate road bike to ride and train on for the tour. I will admit, I got made fun of for the fenders & pretty pink handlebars. I still kicked that ride's butt though. But I think this year I actually would like to ride something a little more...sporty. zippy. Not 650b. So, if you have a spare road bike sitting around that you'd like to get rid of for fairly cheap, or simply let me borrow for a few months, I would be eternally grateful. I'm not actually looking to add another bike to my stable, but I will if I have to, I guess.... :-) Please let me know in the comments or shoot me an email/tweet. If you are a Bike Shop (AHEM AHEM AHEM NOT LOOKING IN ANY PARTICULAR SHOP'S DIRECTION OR ANYTHING) and would like to donate a road bike or sponsor me or even just give money, I can give you some sweet details on being a corporate donor (it really is pretty sweet). Just email me.

5. And speaking of borrowed bikes, I actually got a a bite on Jamie (my Jamis that is available for borrowing). Unfortunately, the weather was crappy the weekend she needed it, so Jamie wasn't needed. Still, it was nice to know that people out there are paying attention. Jamie is still available! I know the National Bike Summit is coming up really soon--so if there are any women out there that would like to borrow my bike for the summit, let me know. It's totally yours.

6. And finally, I've had a bit of bomb go off in my personal life. This isn't the blog for that (or any blog, for that matter) but its a pretty big reason as to why I have been rather quiet on the blog lately, and unfortunately it may stay that way for awhile while I tend to some personal matters. Everything is OK, but my energy has to be directed elsewhere for a bit. It's a good thing, because I have come to realize what a Negative Nancy I have become in the last year or so. It's not a good thing. I don't like being sarcastic and snarky and unhappy and just generally a drag to be around. So now I can focus on getting better & happier again. I know there's a bunch of bike-related events coming up (National Bike Summit, the Women & Bikes program is launching, various rides are starting up again), but you may not see much of me at that them in the next month or so. (Still planning on Vasa though!) I will still promote them, however--if you have a bike event coming, let me know! I will definitely put the word out.

And that's pretty much it. Please donate, and if you have a good lead on a road bike I can borrow, hit me up!

P.S. I took Betty out for some errands today (it was a gorgeous day, weather-wise) and both Betty & I received a good amount of compliments, so I will take that as a good day.

Some photos:

This is what happens when you don't use a spill-proof lid.

Tesla Bike? One of my favorite car "dealerships" in DC.

Bike on bike on bike. These are Capital Bikeshare maintenance guys (on bikes) helping out a DDOT ticket-writer (on a bike).

Working hard, or hardly working? (Inauguration 2013)