Blazing Saddle

P6230529 I figured that it’s about time for me to post an update on this crazy bike commuting that I’ve been doing for about six weeks now. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been six weeks. On the other, it seems like I’ve been doing it forever. If you have no idea what the heck I’m talking about, you can bring yourself up to speed by reading this.

The good news: I have enjoyed the scenery, the sounds, and even some of the smells. I have discovered the joys of riding with an actual cadence. I have committed myself to doing this and have allowed only rain and a 1:30 a.m. arrival home from Boy Scout camp the night before to justify driving instead of biking on a planned bike day. I have saved money on gas. I have learned to pack lightly. I have made it possible for the 16-year-old to drive himself to Lacrosse practice and, this week, drive his brother to HIS new Lacrosse camp (I knew it was only a matter of time before the younger one would become interested!). I keep hearing that Americans are finding other ways to get around, which makes demand for gasoline go down, and the prices are creeping a little lower. I’m feel fine taking a *wee* bit of credit for that (miniscule, really), and I hope that I have inspired a person or two to use their car a little less as well. I have commuted approximately 260 miles at this point. In my freakishly approximate calculations, that means that I have ridden:

*To my sister’s home and back, seven times
*To Melissa’s home and back, 2 1/2 times
*1/3 of the way to Nukedad’s home
*A little more than 1/3 of the way to Soapbox Mom’s home
*A little less than 1/4 of the way to Andie’s home
*1/4 of the way to Sue’s home
*1/6 of the way to Siobhan’s home
*1/17 of the way to Kat’s home
*1/36 of the way to Katie’s home

The “bad” news: Rain has deterred me from riding on a few days. My lunches with Caroline suffer from “Boring” on the days when I have to bring lunch for two in a bike bag with all of my clothing and other supplies. I have hit a rough point recently, because I have temporarily added 5-6 extra group fitness classes per week (teaching, that is) due to my friend who has had to have a knee scoped, and another instructor who is on vacation. My body is starting to feel fried and I have two weeks (at least) of subbing at this pace. I am the only person in the entire world who can do all of this and NOT LOSE ANY WEIGHT. Although I am definitely toning up more and I haven’t taken new measurements to see how the inches are going, I need to tackle my eating habits and make adjustments. There’s probably more “bad” news, but I don’t want to dwell on the “badness” (and I have to, of course, leave to teach a class in a few minutes!).

Good AND “Bad” news: We ended up not joining the pool in our town. Good thing too, because this has not only been a very mild summer, but we’ve been really busy and probably wouldn’t have used it more than two or three times, making that $250 membership fee a HUGE waste. So I did not get to bike ride to the pool a few times per week with the boys, saving us a ton of gas money, but we also saved the $250.

Enjoy some of the sights I see on my commute:










HOME, the best stop on my commute!


  • NukeDad

    I’m so very proud of you! I could never have made it as far as you have. What a beautiful ride also! Just don’t stop at that swimming hole; looks like that person’s been in the water a long, long time. Kinda like “The Grudge”.

  • Linda

    You look much better in your bike helmet than I ever could! I guess a Princess is always a Princess, even when practicing safe biking habits 🙂 Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  • Don Mills Diva

    I think it is absolutely fantastic that you are doing this – just really, really cool.

  • Melissa

    Well when you were riding by why didn’t you stop and say hi! 😉

    I’m so impressed with your making the effort to save gas and $$$’s in the process. If anything, I’ve been using the gas you save.

    As for the 260 miles…I’ve probably put that many miles and more on my recumbant exercise bike…now I just need a second wheel! 😉

  • Michelle

    I do believe that is the best and coolest no swimming sign I’ve ever seen!

    Just tell me you at least stop to take the pictures and don’t try to take them while in motion? Congrats on all the biking!

  • Kat

    I am so freaking proud of you! You absolutely should get credit for contributing to the “lower” gas prices. Seriously I want to go out into the world and scream “I know this gal – she RIDES her BIKE to work”.

    And you’re calculations…totally awesome. If you get on your bike now you could be here by Christmas. I’d even make a turkey and bring your family too 😉

  • Kat

    Which reminds me that you’re Jewish but we could totally do both. Hannukah and Christmas. Still drooling at the mere thought of the recipes you posted last year. And why am I thinking of Hannukah and Christmas now? We’re melting away here.
    Melisa please come and help because I am losing my sanity

  • Sue

    Keep riding because you are only a 1/4 of the way here!
    Honestly, I am truly impressed by your commuting! The ride actually looks so lovely! And the no swimming sign kind of cracked me up because it does get the point across, doesn’t it?

  • Sarah Clapp

    You go girl! Your commute view is so amazing. I loved your pictures. Great job on being so active and healthy! WOO HOO!

  • Mom24

    That is completely awesome. You should be very proud. Great job. We’re not up to commuting anywhere, but I’ve got both of my youngests riding…it’s a start!

  • abritdifferent

    I so so wish I had a bike. I used to a long time ago and miss it. You are doing great! Well done! A 1/6 puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?

    Great pics! Loved seeing where you live!

  • Melisa

    Nukedad: You definitely could do the same thing (unless you don’t have a bike; that would make it more difficult!); it’s just a matter of working up to it. To be honest, I have more of a problem with the mental part of it at this point! 🙂

    Linda: Thanks! Miss you in class! Maybe you should wear a tiara more often; your leg might heal quicker!

    DMD: Thanks! 🙂

    Melissa: Ha ha! Didn’t you see me waving? LOL And, that’s the funny thing about stationery bikes: so much pedaling and no place to go. But you’re doing a great thing by using it! (You’ll have to hang some scenic wallpaper or something)

    Michelle: I always think, “That sign should say ‘No Drowning'”, because of the graphic. It cracks me up! And no, I’m not in motion while shooting pics. Except for the first one. Okay, the second one too. But the others: I was definitely not moving. 🙂

    My Evil German Twin: “If you get on your bike now you could be here by Christmas.” That was the laugh of my day! I’m on my way! 🙂
    (The heat has definitely been frying your brain, but I think you’re hysterical anyway! 😉 )

    Sue: Well, if I can get to Germany by Christmas, I can probably hit Cape Cod by Halloween!

    Sarah: I know, I’m really lucky to have such lovely scenery. Could be LOTS worse…

    Stacey: It’s absolutely a start, just for the fitness benefits! That’s awesome!

    Siobhan: I wanted to make those calculations for that very reason. Gives it a whole new dimension, don’t you think?

  • Andie

    that is awesome. and quite a scenic ride. I wish I could do that, but it would be an all day affair for me to ride my bike to work…. I work 44 miles from home!

  • angieGoff

    You’re an inspiration. I love the home pic with your bike parked out front. So picture perfect. The NO SWIMMING sign is hilarious. I can’t believe you factored all those calculations out. YIKES-don’t you know journalists don’t do math! I can’t believe you’re teaching so many classes. I exercise regularly- training for my 1st marathon and I gained weight! How does that happen!! The only thing that has helped me “eat right” and maitain a decent weight is Jenny Craig. No lie!