Thursday, June 30, 2011

Goal accomplished, 200 miles in June

Today I completed my 200 miles for June challenge! I would like to say that it was an easy ride that I did with enthusiasm and vigor. However, the truth was I had to drag my lazy bum outside; I didn’t want to move. Every mile seemed to take forever and I just wanted to go back to my comfortable little home. 
That being said, I am glad I did it. It was good for me to get moving instead of sitting at home and eating crackers and Costco’s parmesan artichoke dip. 
I must say, there are a lot of beautiful barns out there. Barns are one of those things that seem to make a picture perfect.  I especially love the red ones; they look so striking nestled in the green grass with a few horses and cattle surrounding them.  Here is one that caught my eye.

I will show you a close-up of that horse. I have never seen a more sway-backed horse in my life. I would love to know how old it is.

He-he in that picture the horse looks like it is nagging me. (Couldn’t resist) 

Here is one more barn that I loved. The windows on it are amazing.  I’ve never seen a barn with such beautiful windows. 
I rode 20 miles today. Thank goodness it is over. My arms hurt!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I am getting addicted to this

Today I started riding, and I couldn't stop. I ended up biking 30 miles!  It was such a beautiful ride. I went back out to the McCabe Chapel because my photos got lost from the last time.  Here is the Chapel.  It is one of those beautiful churches that seem to belong to another century
I love that it has an outhouse in back.  Though I refused to use it, I think the outhouse just adds to the charm.

I saw this teddy bear along the side of the road.  There was something macabre yet beautiful about the discarded toy that caught my fancy. I of course had to take a picture of it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Donkey and a barn

I adored those donkeys so much I had to make a picture of the beautiful red barn with a donkey next to it.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Big Bummed Girl has a Biking Buddy

This is my biking buddy, Adrienne. She is the perfect person to ride with because she is crazy and willing to try anything.  Every trip with her is an adventure. Today we rode down Riverside Drive and took the Riverside Loop. Then we headed over to Linnfield College.

Here are photos of us attempting to sit on a fence. I am a klutz, so you are lucky to not see me falling over backwards. Notice I am hanging onto the rail, that stopped me from taking a nosedive.
     The weather was perfect. It was cool for late June, but I liked it because I didn't sweat.  I think I will do this route more often.  There aren't many hills, and you don't have to share the road with many cars.
We rode a total of 15 miles today.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Delashmutt Lane

Today’s ride was the type of trip I envisioned when I determined to start riding bikes again. It was absolutely perfect.  Hubby and I once again took Old Sheridan highway and rode past the cemetery and church. Then we went left and crossed Highway 99 onto a road called Delashmutt Lane.
In spite of its name, Delashmutt Lane is the most scenic road that I have ever biked on. It was absolutely beautiful. There were lush fields of green wheat with a bright red barn in the distance. The fields were dotted with grazing cattle, and the sky was a perfect blue. When we rode past a small farm with three fuzzy donkeys, I had to stop and take a photo.  I didn’t want to forget any part of this beautiful ride.
On the way home, Hubby suggested we take Youngberg Hill Road back because it had a nice hill on it. I sensed a challenge in his words, and being the stubborn girl that I am, I took him up on it.
Yes, Youngberg Hill Rd is named correctly; it has a very large hill.  I biked the entire ways, and kept at a much faster speed than the last time I attempted to ascend a hill.  I think my lungs are actually getting stronger! 

This ride was by far my favorite ride. I want to do it again. I also felt awesome that I was able to ride 22.5 miles today.

Friday, June 17, 2011

I seriously need a lung transplant

I think I’m going to die. There is no way my lungs will survive today’s ride. Hubby man suggested that I need to strengthen my lungs. So, we rode up a nasty, nasty hill. I admit, I failed on the first attempt.  I didn’t get my gearing correct, and didn’t drop my gears to the lowest gears.
Afraid that I would die right there on the hill, I started to walk. Hubby was super kind and patient with me. He waited at the top of the hill and explained to me how to get my gears to behave.  Then we had the most exhilarating ride down that hill. I got up to 41 mph! I decided that it was almost worth going up that hill just to experience the thrill of that downhill ride at such a breathtaking speed.  Of course, we had to turn around and go back up the hill.
I was so proud of myself.  I made it all the way up the hill without stopping.  There was an embarrassing moment when I looked down at my bike computer and noticed that I was only going 4 mph; but, I did it. I conquered that stupid hill!
Once again, I got to ride downhill too. I could seriously get addicted to going at that speed. Hubby thinks I should ride that hill more often. I must admit, I’m not that thrilled at the idea. It would be good if I did, maybe I would finally start reducing the size of my ample behind if I did.  
Rode 10.64 miles today

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

McCabe church ride

I now know why I was meant to ride a bike. Today’s ride was amazing. We rode out on Old Sheridan Highway out into the foothills surrounding McMinnville. There was no traffic, and the temperature was perfect.
We rode out to an old cemetery. There we wandered around the gravestones, enjoying the fact that we were still alive. There is nothing like a cemetery to remind a person of what is important in life. Suddenly my favorite television shows and scores on computer games seem pretty inconsequential compared to the stark reality that someday I will be dead. I want to live my life so that I can look back when I am old and say, “my life rocked!”
After we left the cemetery, we rode up to the McCabe church, which is the most picturesque church I have ever visited. It is nestled among ancient oak trees overlooking the Willamette Valley. The view from the hill is breathtaking. If you ever have the chance to visit, I highly recommend it.
Rode 14 miles today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Must get Lung Transplant

I haven’t been able to ride for several days. My stupid lungs did not enjoy that last ride. My little asthma attack decided to transform into a full blown illness. I have been hacking and coughing for the last week.  Today was the first day I was able to get out on my bike again.
This time I was smart and brought along my inhaler. I also avoided all hills, which isn’t easy to do in Oregon. I rode with hubby through the town, enjoying all of the sights of the small town of McMinnville.
To my pleasant surprise, I found today’s ride actually enjoyable. I liked looking at all of the flowers and bushes in everyone’s yards, and it felt good to get outside and move around.  Maybe bike riding won’t be such a bad thing.
Rode 7.5 miles today.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First ride on new bike

I have no lungs. Aliens have abducted me and replaced my lungs with something that only resembles the stupid organs. That is the only reasonable excuse I can find to explain the fact that I just about died today trying to keep up with my husband on his bike.  I was fine until we went up a little hill. Husband flew up it without any problems. I, on the other hand, haven’t completely figured out my shifting. Instead of going to a gear that would make it easier to climb that hill, I made it harder.
After struggling to pedal, going at a speed that is slower than what I can walk, I finally made it to the top of the hill. Then I had to stop and let my lungs recuperate. I did not think very kind thoughts about my husband at that time. I felt like beating his little skinny butt for making mine look so lazy. Note to self; always bring my inhaler on all rides.   
Rode 6.4 miles on my bike.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I now have a bike

I have obtained a new road bike. No, it isn’t that spiffy pink color that I really wanted. It seems that not many people ride bikes in that hue, but it is still beautiful. To find the right bicycle for my size, my husband posted an ad on Craiglist looking for a size 54 bike.
A very enthusiastic bike rider replied today to his post. As soon as he got home from work, Hubby and I hopped into our Subaru wagon and headed down to Salem, Oregon to check it out.
It was love at first sight. The bike is stunning. I loved its skinny tires, its bright blue and gray paint job, and the smoothness of the shifting gears. It is so different from the clunky bicycle that I had as a child.
We paid the man, who was kind enough to also throw in a helmet for me, and left with my new bike stuffed in the back of the wagon. When we got home, I of course had to show off my new purchase to our kids. They were not as enthusiastic about my bike as I wanted them to be. “That’s nice,” wasn’t enough; I forced them to both take rides on my bike to see just how awesome it really is.
Since it is now too late in the evening to go for a sizeable ride, my first long distance run will have to wait until tomorrow.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A New Resolution

My name is Laurie Muench and I am a 40 years old with a big bum. All my life I have hated my body, even when I was a size that I would now give my flabby right arm to be at again. I have walked, aerobicized, jogged, and even ran a half marathon in the hopes of reducing the width of my bottom.
However, to be absolutely honest, I hate exercising. No, that isn’t a strong enough word—I loathe exercising. I don’t like to be sweaty and I love to lounge behind a computer.
So why do I subject myself to such torments on an almost, but not quite, daily basis? The proper answer should be I’m keeping my body healthy so I can be around for my family for the future. However, that isn’t the real driving force behind my mobility. The actual motivation for my action is shallow and pathetic: I adore clothes.
 Clothes are those magical items that look so cute and fashionable on a hanger, but when I try them on, transform into frumpy and tasteless pieces of cloth. I dream of reducing the size of my body in the hopes that my dresses will someday look as good on me as they do on the models whose waists are the size of one of my ankles.
So, what torture device have I chosen this time to abuse my body in my never-ending quest for skinniness? It’s a simple machine, one that I actually used all the time as a kid—a bicycle.
Why did I choose to start riding a bike? Bicycles are wonderful machines. They are beautiful to look at, they are much faster than walking, and they come in lots of interesting colors and shapes. Plus, my super skinny husband—who doesn’t have a fat bottom—has recently taken up riding. He would love to have his plump little wife go with him on some of his travels.
This diary will be a travelogue of some of my rides. It is a journal to keep track of The Adventures of a Big Bummed Girl and her Bike.