cold bike ride

Last Ride

Well I’m pretty sure last week’s ride to work was the last bike commute for the winter. It was dry and crisp, the perfect fall day, but FREEZING. It was around 40 degrees when I got up and out of the house and I think that’s being generous. Even though I have decent gear (and supposedly cold weather gloves) my fingers were so frozen they hurt. Same with my toes and my face. The rest of me warmed up nicely on the ride.

oct3

The Springwater Trail was fairly empty that morning. I stopped mid-ride to blow my nose (cold weather makes it runny, same with my eyes) and my friend Debby rode past! So I caught up to her and we rode the rest of the way into work together. It was nice because we chatted a little and it distracted us both on how miserable we were!

oct2
oct1

So yeah, that was the last ride!

I was so cold the rest of the day at work. Even though I was wearing a sweater, I just had a chill. I was so freezing that I skipped my apple for my morning snack and got a cup of broccoli cheddar soup to warm me up. I ate half of it and then had the rest with my lunch.

The afternoon was much more pleasant. It was warmer and the sun was out.

pm2

pm1

About 10 miles total for the day. It was a pretty good way to end the cycling season. I’d done Body Pump the night before (took it easier this time so I wouldn’t be as crippled). By the afternoon ride home I was starting to stiffen up and get more sore. I think the bike ride helped loosen me up a tad.

So how are the kitties doing?

I figured it was time for an update on how the wild beasts in my home are getting along. As I predicted, Maya is staying in the bedroom and doesn’t come out. I knew it would take her a lot of time. Fat Kitty, on the other hand, has FINALLY decided to assert his authority. He’s the King of the house and he’s letting Bella know it!

meeting1
Last Tuesday night I got home from Body Pump and watched as Fat Kitty and Bella met. For two hours. It was quite entertaining. He alternated what side of the gate he was on as he hissed and growled at Bella. Bella was really good and didn’t chase him or antagonize him. She’d sit on one side of the gate, Fat Kitty on the other. Bella seemed more curious and scared than anything! She’d run back to the couch and look scared:

That short video needs audio. That is Fat Kitty growling at Bella. 🙂 He’s so fierce! Last Wednesday night I hung out in the bedroom with Fat Kitty watching some TV. He sat next to me on the bed and Bella came in and laid down on the floor at the foot of the bed. It was awesome! Fat Kitty didn’t growl for nearly 30 minutes! The three of us just hung out together. I was so impressed at the leaps and bounds the animals are making with each other.

But they aren’t ready to be alone together yet. So when Michael I got dressed to go out to dinner for date night, I put Bella in the crate for the hour or so we’d be gone. She wasn’t happy about it and I felt badly but…it’s too soon for her to just be out and about without us there.

elenis4

Michael was going out of town for a week so we went to Eleni’s in Sellwood for dinner as a date night before he left. Eleni’s has a special place in my heart because it’s where we had our first date.

elenis3

I ordered a glass of  Pinot Gris with dinner and we started with Michael’s favorite appetizer, the “Ktipiti” which is a spicy feta dip. It’s so good! We always order it.

elenis2
It came with warm pita bread, veggies and Greek olives. If I could have licked the plate of the feta dip residue I would have, it’s that delicious. For my entree I went with the steamed mussels that were in a tomato and garlic sauce with onions and feta. I’ve been craving clams or mussels for weeks! Finally got to have it.

elenis1
Michael ordered the lamb special of the night. It was a leg of lamb where the meat was so tender it fell off the bone and mashed sweet potatoes. It came with sauteed kale but they’d used a really heavy hand with the lemon and it was basically inedible. Which was weird because we’ve always had a good meal at the Sellwood Eleni’s.

elenis5

On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen for a blizzard. It’s been a good 8 years since I’ve been! I used to be obsessed with Blizzards and would eat the big ones at least once or twice a week. This time Michael and I ordered the mini–which surprisingly still had a lot of calories in it! The mini was about 350 calories. Eeeek. Oh well. It was worth it. It will probably be another 8 years before I go back. 😉

We got home and let Bella out of the crate for the rest of the evening and Fat Kitty was extra grumpy. Hissing, spitting, growling. It feels like we take one step forward, two steps back with the cat and dog!

QUESTION: If you have a dog and cat, how long did it take for them to get along? 

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?