The Celtic Cable

To be happy on a bike you must make sure you don’t freeze your ass off during your winter rides. I’m learning the tricky Celtic Cable pattern! What a fun pattern when you first see it realized. I don’t know what this is going to be, maybe a scarf? Kind of small for scarf but I’ll still wear it with pride for I made it! I will ride my bike to the coffee shops and bars and say  to the barista and bartender “See this scarf? I made it. Now may I have my Americano or serve me something that comes in the largest mug you’ve got!” This Celtic scarf will become my wolf shirt. All will serve me! It will make me very powerful, indeed! Let’s just hope I don’t make it too long and it gets caught in my tires and takes me down. That would not make me feel very powerful.

Bring on the snow, I am learning the Celtic Cable pattern!

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Three movies worth of stitches.

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A Different Way to Experience a National Park

It is only recently that I’ve started to enjoy National Parks in a different way other than hiking. On our drive to a trail head the scenery outside the car window takes my breath away but it feels undeserved as I didn’t hike miles to earn this view. 

Riding my bike on a National Park road is the solution for me to enjoy this scenery on a different level. I can follow the cloud’s shadows as they move across the landscape and not get dizzy. I can feel the mountain air all around my body as I cruise down hill. I can even stop to smell the flowers along the road. On my bike, nature feels closer. 

For my birthday week, we took a trip to Ouray and on the way home stopped at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for a joy ride. We stopped off at the Visitor Center first to ask their opinions on biking the road.  The first person was a bit grouchy. She said there wasn’t much of a shoulder and it’s really busy this time of year. then her co-worker jumped in and said he rides everyday and it’s worth it. Yeah! He was right too. The canyon views are beautiful from the road. We didn’t do the whole park but we did go 11 miles with an elevation gain of 835 ft. We didn’t ride together as I’m slower and I stopped and took photos. But Travis will wait for me to catch up so we can rest and chat together. Riding alone is nice as it helps quiet the mind and focus on my surroundings. This was definitely happiness on a bike. 

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Tea and Yarn

It’s been raining all week. All week. If one more person says to me, “We really need the moisture.” I’m afraid I’ll go all Walter White on them. I am the danger.  Why use the word moisture? It sounds kind of dirty to me. Moy-ssss-ture. 

In between the rain, I rode down the street to check out a new store that sold yarn and tea. Perfect combination for these rainy days! 

I’m a T-Rex. I tried to take a selfie for you but my arms are too short. Anyway, you’ll notice, no spandex! 

  

On the way back, I stopped and took this photo for you. See my new awesomeness holding the yarn and tea? I can fit anything in there! Rocks, sticks, leaves…

  

My reward for ventureing out in cloudy, cold and wet conditions. Tea! Every cup of tea, I try and make it special and kind of like a ceremony. Especially when I’m alone. I have a favorite cup and tea pot! Do you see the tea pot? This belonged to someone very special and dear to me. It was given to me after she passed away last year. It’s perfect for my new loose tea that I just purchased. 

 

Now, I’m going to make something with the wool yarn that I bought. Photos on that probably in 6 months as I’m a slow knitter. 

Conquering Grouchy-ness

It was a rainy/foggy all day, which I love. I call these days Tea Day. But one can only drink so much tea before the trips to the bathroom start to become tiresome. I was at my computer all day and didn’t go for a walk and because of the wet roads I didn’t go for a bike ride after work. Hence the grouchy-ness when I got home. I didn’t realize my state of mind till Travis got home. Lucky him. He was tired from running around all day so I decided to go for a short bike ride by myself to lift my spirits and be better company for him. 

The process of getting ready for the ride already had an affect on me. I started to feel better especially when I put on my fingerless gloves that I knitted. Oh, why is it the simple things that brings us joy? I must remember this. Happiness is usually in front of us with simple things but i don’t see it as I’m looking away trying to find it somewhere else.  

  

Do you know what I noticed as I was riding around Sloan’s Lake? The act of smiling made me feel better too! And that in turn made others smile at me. 

     My nose was wet, my glasses had raindrops on them and my face had a smile. The grouchyness was gone. 

  

I took my time going back home up the big hill. I switchbacked up the side roads looking at the charming homes while I breathed like a steam engine. I wished you were there with me as I stood up on my bike to get up the hill. Why did we buy a house on top of a hill? I made it home and I was greeted by Travis and my smile matched his. 

Final Touches

I don’t know why, but I am super excited about my new hand grips. So my old ones were original Raleigh rubber handles that felt gross and kept turning. I never thought about replacing them till I read LovelyBicycle blog. I followed her instructions and now I have functional cork hand grips.  

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done!

So I’m not quite done. The last thing I did was replace my small basket with a bigger side basket. It finally arrived! A Basil (Cardiff) basket that will be holding many different types of beverages.  I may buy another one for the other side as my sisters visit and I’ll need to purchase lots o fancy bottled water and local beer for me I mean them. 

   

Besides my first bike (it was green with a sparkly banana seat) this has to be the most lovely bicycle I’ve ever owned. Maybe you understand my obsession after seeing the love I put into my bike? You want one don’t you?

 Dangers in Denver

You know that I’m starting to appreciate cooking more and more. Nothing is better than growing your own ingredients but what comes close is riding to get your ingredients. I do love this. I’m doing it more and more so I bought myself a bigger basket! One that will fit beer and whisky! 

Tini and Josh were visiting so I went to the store to buy a few things. You can see that I bought a bit too much! Bungee cords. It’s all about wise placement of bungee cords. 

On the way home, I had to ride around deep trenches and canyons for fear that any bump would knock my valuable groceries out. Look at the photo! This makes the road to Mordor look like an easy stroll. 

More later! Going for a hike!

   
    

New Stuff on Old Bike

I’ve owned my 1969(?) Raleigh for about 10 years and I’ve never had to do anything to it except buy a new seat and adjust the cables. The best $125 I’ve ever spent and it’s all thanks to my good friend Martin.

  
   

 It’s taken good care of me and it’s about time I return the favor!

Since I’ve been riding it more and more (it has become my new obsession. And all the new breweries in the hood cause for more bike rides as well) Travis and I took it apart and replaced some parts!  

We went online and bought new cream walled tires (classy!). Look at my crusty old ones! Gross. 

  

We also bought new inner tubes (puncture resistant). My bike still has the original metal cap on the inner tube! So I threw out the ugly rubber one and kept my metal one. It’s the little things that make all the difference, yes?

   

   The Raleigh is a three speed but since my shifter was broken it was always stuck on one gear. I don’t know why we waited so long to get it fixed! It bothered Travis more than me cause I was always lollygally.guess it never bothered me to go slow down the hills or to stand up on my pedals when I was going up hill. It made me think of riding my bike back in O’fallon MO.                 

shiny sparklin’ new

you shouldn’t really trust photos. It looks like I’m working hard on my bike but really I just helped. Travis did all the work and showed me what to do. He also double checked to make sure all the nuts and bolts were on tightly.

  
almost done! I hate the rubber handles. So I’m going to replace the rubber handles with cork and buy a new bigger basket for my bike so I can carry more groceries. More photos later!