F-f-f-freezing

My days are numbered. Biking days, that is. Each week that goes by in September, the mornings get darker and most definitely colder. I rode to work on Tuesday last week and it was pitch black when I first woke up (luckily it got light enough by the time I left) and it was freezing. I could see my breathe in the air, dew was on the flowers in the yard. I knew almost immediately that I would regret not digging out my cold weather gloves but I skipped them anyways. Yep, I did regret it. It was so cold I could barely feel my fingers. My toes weren’t much better.

I imagine I only have a few more weeks biking to work and then I will be resigned to weekend rides when the weather is decent or spin class.

My ride home was a little bit different. Instead of going home, I rode my bike from downtown to the Springwater trail to the Cartlandia food carts just off the trail. I met Michael for dinner at that burger cart we visited a few weeks ago. This time, we did not split a burger!

The Rock House Grill — Take Two! The place wasn’t to crowded, which was weird because it was such a nice day out. We sat in the beer garden but skipped the beers (they were a bit pricey). Next time perhaps.

Now, how was the burger? It was great! It looks bigger than it was. It was big, but the bulk came from the pound of spinach leaves and thickly cut tomato slices. I also had them put avocado on mine, which made it even taller. It’s a mess and difficult to eat but it’s delicious.

I liked the flavors a lot, smokey and salty. The hamburger patty itself was super thin, which I also liked. It didn’t feel like I ate a big mound of meat.

Total Biking Stats for Tuesday: 21.23 miles.

Friday

I wore my cold weather gloves this time! I felt much more comfortable on my ride. I’d dressed appropriately and didn’t feel too cold. I was sore from Wednesday’s weight workout (after about a month off from strength training) so I was a bit slower. My hamstrings and glutes were not too happy with me (thank you squats and lunges).

On another note, my office is participating in the Bike Commute Challenge for the month of September. I actually signed up this year and am logging my miles for the team. Our team has 766 miles logged as of this week so far! The number would be even higher if I could add in my weekend rides. Boo!

Anyway, it’s been a good summer in terms of biking. I feel like I was able to ride a lot more this year than last year, despite the flat tires and bike issues I had earlier this summer. I wish summer wasn’t coming to an end. I’d like to bike to work for  just a little while longer…

QUESTION: Have you participated in a bike commute challenge? 

Summer and Sunshine

Has it been insanely hot in your neck of the woods? Here in Portland it has fluctuated between a nice 75 and 90 degrees. I love it. Warmer weather, sunshine, lots of activities outside–that’s what summer is about. This last weekend, Michael and I met up with some friends at the Alberta Street Fair. I had never been and after having a good time at the Mississippi Street Fair, I thought it would be worth a try.

I started my Saturday with a trip to the gym. Since most of my workouts are on the bike now, I haven’t really been doing much strength training. It’s just hard to fit everything in.  I was having such a good time lifting weights after a break that I lost track of time!

Alberta Street is in NE Portland and there’s a a monthly event “Last Thursday” for the artists that live over there.

The Alberta Street Fair wasn’t as crowded as Mississippi where you could barely walk. I think it was because of two reasons: 1) it was the same weekend as The Bite and 2) Alberta is longer and more spread out. It was much more pleasant not being as crowded.

Michael and I got there and were in search of lunch immediately. We’d both worked out hard (Michael did kettle bells) and wanted to devour our lunch. We ended up at Cascade Burger, a food cart. This was Michael’s burger:

He liked his. I got the one without bacon or cheese and it had chipotle BBQ sauce on it. I liked that they were really small. But my burger was a disappointment. It was overdone and really dry. We met up with our friends and started walking around. There was a bunch of music there and they were all really good.

See the above photo? The band was kids! And they were really, really good. They were singing Queen songs and were incredibly talented.

There was a fair amount of art booths and I liked a few of the things, but it wasn’t as good as the Mississippi Street Fair art. This one was geared more toward kids with kid activities and craft booths.

It was a really hot day without any shade. We all walked around together and then stopped in the beer garden for a break. I got a drink of the Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA. I didn’t like it very much but it was nice on such a hot day (90 degrees).

The four of us had walked around for a few hours and headed back toward the direction of where we parked. We stopped at a donut booth for a treat. They were mini donuts and they were making them right there on the spot. It was cool to watch:

I bought a half dozen of the mini donuts–2 powdered sugar and 4 cinnamon and sugar. Michael had the one with chocolate syrup on it.

Freshly made, warm donuts are amazing! I loved that they were small, too. I shared them with our friends and then we called it a day. Michael and I happily went home to our air-conditioned house to watch TV and relax. Walking all day made me tired.

Michael created an epic sandwich for dinner that night. It was so good but definitely something that we won’t eat on a regular basis. He grilled up a thin, boneless chicken breast and then added some bacon, sliced avocado, mayo and mustard. Deeelicious!

Every bite was heaven. It was very rich. I had some pickles and cherry tomatoes on the side. Sunday I went for a luxurious swim to stretch out my sore muscles and then Michael and I saw “Total Recall”–it was just okay.

QUESTION: What was your weekend highlight? Any good workouts to share?