Our Rides in Words, Photos & Videos

Christmas cheer

Haven't been able to ride at all in the past few weeks with our winter weather, especially the recent weather taking almost all of our expansive county, including neighbors Canada and Mexico, into the deepest freeze and deadliest cold in decades. Bone chilling doesn't even come close to describing this Arctic "bomb cyclone" that swept in the other day to plunge us all in the bitter cold.
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But the weather is only temporary. As soon as any bit of warmth appears (which will be next week when the warm weather rushes back in to give us balmy springtime temps just perfect for riding) I will gleefully be back on the roads with a shiny new Christmas present I have for the upcoming 2023 rides - a new 2023 Gazelle C380+ 28mph Class 3 carbon belt drive ebike.

And the best part is...the new ebike is a result of me holding the winning ticket at my bike shop's Christmas raffle!!!!

The shop held a raffle this winter to support a local non-profit that aids the area poor by providing financial help, food, and clothing. The raffle ran from November to December for ticket buying. I purchased 12 tickets to the tune of $200. And then I kept my fingers crossed. Really tightly. For two solid months.

The winning tickets were pulled at 2pm on Christmas Eve for each of three prizes offered. At 2:01pm my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, and felt my heart leap. There could only be one reason the store would call. The store owner was on the other end, and the first words out of his mouth were "I'm about to make your Christmas very special."

Anything else he tried to say was drowned out with my screams of delirious delight. I kid you not I was actually dancing around the room, screaming and laughing my head off, rupturing the poor guy's ear drums. I do remembering him laughing at my very vocal glee, and when I finally calmed down enough to actually hear what he had to say, he verified I was the winner of the ebike.

OMG!!!!!

I am still on Cloud Nine. My husband (who is still recovering from Covid which he picked up for free at a celebratory party we attended almost two weeks ago) is thrilled as well. A big plus is the new bike's battery is identical to my current Gazelle's battery - giving me now a third battery to use for the metric century, and full century, rides. I had already decided i would be buying a third battery this winter so I could at least give @RabH a run for his money in the 2023 ride distances. Now instead I will have not only an extra battery, but a whole new bike, thanks to winning the raffle!!

What a great ending to my cycling calendar for 2022!!! Come on 2023! I am soooo ready!!!😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Woo hoo!!!!!!
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Wow congratulations, what a Christmas present 😁 Challenge accepted! ;)
 
Christmas cheer

Haven't been able to ride at all in the past few weeks with our winter weather, especially the recent weather taking almost all of our expansive county, including neighbors Canada and Mexico, into the deepest freeze and deadliest cold in decades. Bone chilling doesn't even come close to describing this Arctic "bomb cyclone" that swept in the other day to plunge us all in the bitter cold.
View attachment 143285
View attachment 143286


But the weather is only temporary. As soon as any bit of warmth appears (which will be next week when the warm weather rushes back in to give us balmy springtime temps just perfect for riding) I will gleefully be back on the roads with a shiny new Christmas present I have for the upcoming 2023 rides - a new 2023 Gazelle C380+ 28mph Class 3 carbon belt drive ebike.

And the best part is...the new ebike is a result of me holding the winning ticket at my bike shop's Christmas raffle!!!!

The shop held a raffle this winter to support a local non-profit that aids the area poor by providing financial help, food, and clothing. The raffle ran from November to December for ticket buying. I purchased 12 tickets to the tune of $200. And then I kept my fingers crossed. Really tightly. For two solid months.

The winning tickets were pulled at 2pm on Christmas Eve for each of three prizes offered. At 2:01pm my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, and felt my heart leap. There could only be one reason the store would call. The store owner was on the other end, and the first words out of his mouth were "I'm about to make your Christmas very special."

Anything else he tried to say was drowned out with my screams of delirious delight. I kid you not I was actually dancing around the room, screaming and laughing my head off, rupturing the poor guy's ear drums. I do remembering him laughing at my very vocal glee, and when I finally calmed down enough to actually hear what he had to say, he verified I was the winner of the ebike.

OMG!!!!!

I am still on Cloud Nine. My husband (who is still recovering from Covid which he picked up for free at a celebratory party we attended almost two weeks ago) is thrilled as well. A big plus is the new bike's battery is identical to my current Gazelle's battery - giving me now a third battery to use for the metric century, and full century, rides. I had already decided i would be buying a third battery this winter so I could at least give @RabH a run for his money in the 2023 ride distances. Now instead I will have not only an extra battery, but a whole new bike, thanks to winning the raffle!!

What a great ending to my cycling calendar for 2022!!! Come on 2023! I am soooo ready!!!😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Woo hoo!!!!!!
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AWESOME!
 
Christmas cheer

Haven't been able to ride at all in the past few weeks with our winter weather, especially the recent weather taking almost all of our expansive county, including neighbors Canada and Mexico, into the deepest freeze and deadliest cold in decades. Bone chilling doesn't even come close to describing this Arctic "bomb cyclone" that swept in the other day to plunge us all in the bitter cold.
View attachment 143285
View attachment 143286


But the weather is only temporary. As soon as any bit of warmth appears (which will be next week when the warm weather rushes back in to give us balmy springtime temps just perfect for riding) I will gleefully be back on the roads with a shiny new Christmas present I have for the upcoming 2023 rides - a new 2023 Gazelle C380+ 28mph Class 3 carbon belt drive ebike.

And the best part is...the new ebike is a result of me holding the winning ticket at my bike shop's Christmas raffle!!!!

The shop held a raffle this winter to support a local non-profit that aids the area poor by providing financial help, food, and clothing. The raffle ran from November to December for ticket buying. I purchased 12 tickets to the tune of $200. And then I kept my fingers crossed. Really tightly. For two solid months.

The winning tickets were pulled at 2pm on Christmas Eve for each of three prizes offered. At 2:01pm my cell phone rang. I glanced at the caller ID, and felt my heart leap. There could only be one reason the store would call. The store owner was on the other end, and the first words out of his mouth were "I'm about to make your Christmas very special."

Anything else he tried to say was drowned out with my screams of delirious delight. I kid you not I was actually dancing around the room, screaming and laughing my head off, rupturing the poor guy's ear drums. I do remembering him laughing at my very vocal glee, and when I finally calmed down enough to actually hear what he had to say, he verified I was the winner of the ebike.

OMG!!!!!

I am still on Cloud Nine. My husband (who is still recovering from Covid which he picked up for free at a celebratory party we attended almost two weeks ago) is thrilled as well. A big plus is the new bike's battery is identical to my current Gazelle's battery - giving me now a third battery to use for the metric century, and full century, rides. I had already decided i would be buying a third battery this winter so I could at least give @RabH a run for his money in the 2023 ride distances. Now instead I will have not only an extra battery, but a whole new bike, thanks to winning the raffle!!

What a great ending to my cycling calendar for 2022!!! Come on 2023! I am soooo ready!!!😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

Woo hoo!!!!!!
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Congrats - that's one beautiful bike!
 
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My new cassette had been on order for literally months, and even I began to understand the need. LBS called with it as the bad weather came in. My XMAS present as part and installation were free on past loyalty credits... almost like winning something but no Gazelle which will never need a cassette. So these howling cold winds, steppe weather abating has left me waiting for a test ride. Cold today (32f at best )and somewhat windy...conditions I'd pass on...but in the spirit of Christmas decided to suffer like my friends in more inhospitable climes.
The first three miles had me thinking of turning back...particularly when passing a house on a hill with smoke curling from a wood stove in the barn behind. I recognized a few cars and knew from them more than wood was keeping them warm. And my immediate prospect was a steep descent of 30mph wind in my face . A little further after climbing from the cold hollow I turned down a flat side road and soon passed a man walking a large fluffy collie obviously warmer than me. Soon my the steam pipes were thumping and my heart less so. I felt as warm as my acquaintances sipping on the hill. And the new cassette a smooth joy not to hear. Further on I explored a cul-de-sac and paused at this pond. A little further these simple stylish reindeer. Twelve miles total. I wonder as I sit here typing with a mug of hot chocolate where I'd be right now if I'd stopped at the warm house on the hill.
 

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the weather went from 17 degrees with frozen rain to 45 degrees. I didn't to trust the path as it gets colder going up that way and I just don't want to take any chances of falling on the tandem as the front wheel will slide much more then a regular bike. so we tuned around and went the other way. turned out that was even worse :Dso got back on city streets as they were melted did 17 miles with some good Chinese food. man some big pot holes opened up on the street one one I had to dodge it but the material that came out of it was there and a deep snow patch too and traffic on the other side. had to take the 6" path between the hole and asphalt lumps.
 
We have dim sum village. The best in my riding range.
 

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52 degrees this morning but it looked like rain so we dressed a little lighter but for rain. so within a mile of home and 50 foot elevation drop its down to 45 and we hit a low of 38. a little cold and my hands though dry with my gloves were cold as they are too light for that temp. we only wore one shirt under our rain jackets and that was not quite enough. chose two main streets to get to the bank that was closed. one street had a lot of new potholes and crap on the ground not too much snow banks the other has a nice bike lane that had big patches of snow on it.
 
Just a quick check-in here, let y'all know I'm still getting out there! No cold weather to complain about, though the musculoskeletal issues have been tough. I'm finally back to doing my 10-12 mile, 1,000+ feet of vertical, somewhat more demanding rides around the back side of Griffith Park, presumably training for a run at the Verdugos. For whatever reason, these are WAY more demanding than the 8-10 mile, 800+ feet rides I normally do. The exercise intolerance is distracting-- or disorienting, I should say. After the ride, I get the aerobic rush from the exercise, which feels great, but my joints and muscles are going off like crazy, and I'm getting chills even though it's 70 degrees in the house! So I'm feeling great in one way and terrible in another.

The Verdugos may have to wait... but we did have a killer sunset tonight... I didn't enhance this photo in any way. (And I'm getting a prime lens and going to start riding with the Frustrating Fuji X-A5, after getting some holiday photo tips from my crazy sister-in-law. Using a prime should decrease weight and bulk for the camera, and improve low-light performance even more. This is my crappo mobile phone.)

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The temps were lingering in the low 20'sf (around -4c) yesterday when I drove the 36 miles west to the bike shop to look at my newly won Gazelle, and give the shop 2 dozen fresh homemade (still warm from the oven) chocolate chip cookies as a thank you gift from me.

Unfortunately, the Christmas sales had reduced to zero their stock of the C380+ size Small I needed, so the shop owner ordered a new bike for me right then and there. It was going to take a few days to get in, so we did the "winners" photo op with the original raffle bike for their Facebook page and website. Then (because the store was quiet for a bit) we stood around chatting about all things bike related while one of his bike techs joined us, happily munching down on a cookie, or two, or three, blissfully declaring them being exactly like the wonderful cookies his grandma used to make. Then the tech told me the shop owner was going to be doing something called an Everest challenge (I believe that's the right term) which is a ride that attempts to accomplish the same elevation as that of Mount Everest. (No, here is the proper name: "Everesting" and website) I had never heard of this challenge and asked about it. The shop owner said he had done it once in 2018 riding a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park on his road bike. Up and down and up and down until he reached a total elevation gain of 29,023' (8,849m). That was back when the challenge was little known, he said. Maybe only about 2,000 riders had done it. Then came the Covid Pandemic, and suddenly everyone jumped on the idea. "I think the number of riders is now up over 20,000" he said with a grin. This time he was going to ride the challenge on Szwift. Not a bad idea to have some indoor biking fun in the middle of winter.

While we were trading info about all our favorite bike routes, and crazy high ascents we've tackled on a bike, I had an idea. I asked the shop owner if the new bikes arrived assembled already, or not. He replied that they were mostly assembled. I then asked if it'd be possible for the shop to completely disassemble the bike so that I could have the gray frame repainted in the color of my choice - a Rivian Blue to match my future Rivian electric truck. I thought it would be so cool to have the Gazelle ebike match my new Rivian etruck which, after 4 years waiting, hopefully will be in my garage this summer and ready to transport my bike and I and hubby and our collie on all my upcoming cycling rides and adventures.
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Did the bike shop owner know of any local shop that could repaint the frame for me? Yes, yes he did. Not only would the bike shop disassemble my new bike, but they would deliver the frame to the pro automotive paint shop they have used before and highly recommend. He was also going to check with Gazelle to see if they had a name stencil or transfer for the bike as well. All told, depending upon the paint shop's schedule, my bike should be painted in a week or so, and reassembled and ready for me to pick it up at the bike shop by mid-January.

Once I got home I contacted Rivian by email asking permission to use their blue for the bike. Less than an hour later I received a quick reply that they will be back to me with my answer by tomorrow. They are a pretty awesome company and all my prior conversations with them have been fabulous. When I first reserved my truck with them as a young start-up, they sent me a box of Rivian "swag" items as a fun gesture welcoming me to the Rivian "family". Fingers crossed they say yes regarding me using the Rivian Blue for the Gazelle's new paint job.

It would so totally make my year! [Edited to add: Rivian said YES! I have the color code and we are good to go!]

@RabH - I tried out my new Sealskin heated gloves I got for Christmas and LOVE them!! I only tested them in the house for a minute or so. If the temps outside manage to get just enough above freezing to encourage me to get on my bike for a ride, I'll give them the acid test and report back here on the results.
 
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The temps were lingering in the low 20'sf (around -4c) yesterday when I drove the 36 miles west to the bike shop to look at my newly won Gazelle, and give the shop 2 dozen fresh homemade (still warm from the oven) chocolate chip cookies as a thank you gift from me.

Unfortunately, the Christmas sales had reduced to zero their stock of the C380+ size Small I needed, so the shop owner ordered a new bike for me right then and there. It was going to take a few days to get in, so we did the "winners" photo op with the original raffle bike for their Facebook page and website. Then (because the store was quiet for a bit) we stood around chatting about all things bike related while one of his bike techs joined us, happily munching down on a cookie, or two, or three, blissfully declaring them being exactly like the wonderful cookies his grandma used to make. Then the tech told me the shop owner was going to be doing something called an Everest challenge (I believe that's the right term) which is a ride that attempts to accomplish the same elevation as that of Mount Everest. (No, here is the proper name: "Everesting" and website) I had never heard of this challenge and asked about it. The shop owner said he had done it once in 2018 riding a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park on his road bike. Up and down and up and down until he reached a total elevation gain of 29,023' (8,849m). That was back when the challenge was little known, he said. Maybe only about 2,000 riders had done it. Then came the Covid Pandemic, and suddenly everyone jumped on the idea. "I think the number of riders is now up over 20,000" he said with a grin. This time he was going to ride the challenge on Szwift. Not a bad idea to have some indoor biking fun in the middle of winter.

While we were trading info about all our favorite bike routes, and crazy high ascents we've tackled on a bike, I had an idea. I asked the shop owner if the new bikes arrived assembled already, or not. He replied that they were mostly assembled. I then asked if it'd be possible for the shop to completely disassemble the bike so that I could have the gray frame repainted in the color of my choice - a Rivian Blue to match my future Rivian electric truck. I thought it would be so cool to have the Gazelle ebike match my new Rivian etruck which, after 4 years waiting, hopefully will be in my garage this summer and ready to transport my bike and I and hubby and our collie on all my upcoming cycling rides and adventures.
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Did the bike shop owner know of any local shop that could repaint the frame for me? Yes, yes he did. Not only would the bike shop disassemble my new bike, but they would deliver the frame to the pro automotive paint shop they have used before and highly recommend. He was also going to check with Gazelle to see if they had a name stencil or transfer for the bike as well. All told, depending upon the paint shop's schedule, my bike should be painted in a week or so, and reassembled and ready for me to pick it up at the bike shop by mid-January.

Once I got home I contacted Rivian by email asking permission to use their blue for the bike. Less than an hour later I received a quick reply that they will be back to me with my answer by tomorrow. They are a pretty awesome company and all my prior conversations with them have been fabulous. When I first reserved my truck with them as a young start-up, they sent me a box of Rivian "swag" items as a fun gesture welcoming me to the Rivian "family". Fingers crossed they say yes regarding me using the Rivian Blue for the Gazelle's new paint job.

It would so totally make my year!

@RabH - I tried out my new Sealskin heated gloves I got for Christmas and LOVE them!! I only tested them in the house for a minute or so. If the temps outside manage to get just enough above freezing to encourage me to get on my bike for a ride, I'll give them the acid test and report back here on the results.
That is a beautiful colour, I'm sure your Gazelle will look stunning in that shade of blue 👍 I'm glad you like the gloves, you will love them when you eventually get back out!

I have heard of Everesting, if I cycled round my locale all day it would be the equivalent of climbing Everest🤣 It looks like my 2022 cycling is over sadly, the weather has been truly awful and there wouldn't be any enjoyment heading out into the rain, sleet and snow! The new year is looking promising though so fingers crossed!
 
Well the Boxing day ride went south, it rained monsoon level and I developed a tuberculosis level cough that morning.

So we took the bikes to the Yorkshire Dales to ride a bridle path right out the door of the pub we were staying in at Kilnsey to Malham Cove.
It has rained non stop, so drove around instead, it really is a stunning part of England, some of the roads and stone built villages are simply magical, first gear only climbs in the van.

All getting logged for future bike rides, only 90 minutes from home as well.

This is the view out of our room.
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The policy seems to be, why go around when you can build a road straight up.
We were descending a terrifying switchback with no wall at all over the edge and a dutch number plate car came the other way.
The occupants looked close to crying
😂

The bridle path starts at the end of this road, it would have been a lovely ride, but heavy rain and 40mph winds.
Nope.
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Last ride of 2022 for me. The forecast was for 50 degrees, but according to my Garmin, the average was only 41, (I should have worn gloves with fingers). Still, pretty warm for the end of December in Vermont. Sparky and I were filthy by the end, but it was fun just the same.

Charles Bronson’s resting site had seasonal plants in the pots.

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Mount Ascutney hasn’t been a ski resort for some time now. I have lots of great memories of flying hang gliders from that mountain, (over 300 times). The NW launch site is to the right of the towers. My last flight there was April 2, 1995.

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I never get tired of Vermont.

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It’s odd to see the water running this time of year. I should have stayed off the dirt roads. This one still had plenty of ice. Ole Sparky did fine. I guess that wisdom doesn’t always come with age.

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Almost 17 miles today with friend G on her Vado and me on my Gazelle. No pictures, sadly, because ours was a "ride and chat" cruise on our local gravel roads. But I will tell you the temps were almost balmy (64°F - 18°C) , the skies clear and bright with a deliciously warm sun shining down, and the tree lined byways, while lacking any greenery, wintertime lovely in a bare, leafless sorta way.

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The recent rains had mostly smoothed the gravel road surfaces, leaving here and there some minor narrow rainwater ditches carving themselves into a few sloped sections of the roads, but nothing a small jump with the bikes couldn't manage. It was the low "soft" sections of the road that were the most treacherous. Not to the cars passing overhead, but to bikes with narrow tires that those soft spots would grab and steer to the softer ditches from which there is no escape for the frantic rider. Poor G, who tested Covid positive just the day prior but was anxious to get out and ride while she still could before the virus knocked her feet out from under her and rendered her prone in bed for a few days, had the road grab her tires and knock her bike out from under her instead. I heard the crash behind me and turned to find G and her bike prone on a muddy edge of the road, tangled together. She managed to extradite herself from her bike, got herself and said bike uprighted and checked for no damage with the exception of the back of her jacket and pants being coated in a thin layer of muddy mud, and we continued on with a heightened sense of caution for those frequent muddy spot traps. (It turns out she did slightly sprain her ankle, but it wasn't apparent until later that evening).

Despite that minor mishap, our ride was delightful thanks to the rising temperatures through the miles. It was nice to get out and enjoy that springtime weather from the back of a bike with a good friend. (She made sure to stay behind me because, well, Covid. Need I say more?) Hopefully her ankle, and Covid, will allow her a bit of cycling tomorrow, too. The balmy temperatures are supposed to stay all the way through Wednesday when they will cap with summertime temps before taking a nose dive back to winter the next day. The robins have shockingly made an appearance, scores of them flocking everywhere, poking around the thawed lawns looking for worms. They aren't supposed to be here until March at the earliest. I suspect by the following week they will head back south in advance of the colder weather.
 
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