C&O Canal

Ride Your Bikes, People

I’m fond of my active commute routine. My regular commute to work is predictable,  pleasant. Over the years I’ve devised a sweet route that minimizes high-volume car traffic, and I store a nice selection of seasonal work clothes in my office. This week I’ve been thrust outside of my routine, which is pretty much a theme of 2016. Who needs routine? Routines are boring! Due … Continue reading Ride Your Bikes, People

August night ride

Area Woman Stops Blogging for One Month. Here’s What Happened…

Lately it feels like my life is running on ahead of me at a pace I cannot match. I try to catch up, and my life skips easily away. Just as my life reaches the other side of the street, the stoplight turns red and halts me. Life ambles forward. Optimal velocity is difficult to achieve and sustain. Rather, it happens for me sporadically, and … Continue reading Area Woman Stops Blogging for One Month. Here’s What Happened…

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Making the Experience Yours: Randonneuring

A while back, I wrote a post called Randonneur- and Real-Life Spouse, which attempted to articulate my frustration about feelings of exclusion from a particular brevet experience (the #randbro adventure). This piece also discussed some of the demeaning comments we have received over the years from men who think that my willingness to stoke a tandem was my partner’s way of motivating me to ride. I probably shouldn’t even … Continue reading Making the Experience Yours: Randonneuring

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Acclimation Frustration in DC: Passing Out

“Ma’am, are you okay?” I realize a teenage boy is talking to me. “Yes, yes, I think so,” I answer, confused how the three boys came to be standing in front of me. Last I looked, they were several feet further down the path. I’m standing too, but a quick body check reveals that I wasn’t upright a moment ago. Blood flows out of my … Continue reading Acclimation Frustration in DC: Passing Out

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Sierra Cascades Day 11: Detroit to Portland

If I don’t write about this day, I can pretend we will ride on to the next destination. Our tour won’t have ended, D.C. won’t be calling me home. But our final day on the road is over. We are in Portland now, our journey from Sacramento to Portland complete, and Felkerino breaks down the bike as I type.  I began our 11th day of … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 11: Detroit to Portland

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Sierra Cascades Day 10: Bend to Detroit 

Leaving Bend was a surprisingly subdued experience, once the city streets were behind us. We followed one of the Oregon Bikeways for the first 15 miles- the best cycling miles of the day. In retrospect, we should have figured out if there was an Oregon Bikeway long cut to the town of Sisters because once we left the Bikeway and turned onto US20 the riding … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 10: Bend to Detroit 

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Sierra Cascades Day 9: Crescent Junction to Bend

The small towns in Oregon have been good to us. They manage to survive with decent to good lodging options, a convenience store, and often a nearby restaurant that opens early enough for bike touring breakfast and late enough for bike touring dinner.  I’m grateful these towns hang on, unlike what you might find in other areas of the country. The assurance of food at … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 9: Crescent Junction to Bend

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Sierra Cascades Day 8: Prospect to Crater Lake to Crescent Junction

“Adventureland, where you can ride the Tornado, see a family show, and hear a rock and roll band!” During my childhood in Iowa, an amusement park called Adventureland was the summer go-to place for families, second only to the state fair. When we reached the rim of Crater Lake, and that old Adventureland jingle began ringing around in my head. After our mellow day to … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 8: Prospect to Crater Lake to Crescent Junction

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Sierra Cascades Day 7: Ashland to Prospect

Summer, where did you go? We rose away from Ashland, following the cerulean patches between the clouds, sure that we would find you and ride some miles in your company.  But all we found was springtime. Blue disappeared and clouds blocked the sunshine. Temperatures hovered in the mid-40s to high 50s, making for comfortable climbing but chilly descents.  Felkerino and I both wore jackets much … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 7: Ashland to Prospect

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Sierra Cascades Day 6: Mt. Shasta to Ashland

Cloudy and cool this morning. Wahoo! The sun can take a break from burning a hole in my retina. We eat and coffee up at Seven Suns- best breakfast burrito ever- and roll quietly out of Mt. Shasta. No one follows us, but I can feel the mountain’s gaze on me. Even partially shrouded, the mountain keeps watch. Every view is a mountain view here, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 6: Mt. Shasta to Ashland

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Sierra Cascades Day 5: Burney to Mt. Shasta

Every day I sleep a full seven or eight hours, but each day that passes our cumulative miles make themselves known throughout my body. We’ve achieved true touring pace, I tell myself. A bowl of oatmeal and we’re on the back road out of Burney. Yay, we don’t have to deal with that no-shoulder rise or any logging trucks. We exchange it for a quiet … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 5: Burney to Mt. Shasta

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Sierra Cascades Day 4: Mineral to Lassen Volcanic National Park to Burney

Climbing from Mineral and back up Morgan Summit ended up not being as daunting as I imagined. Knowing that Lassen Volcanic National Park awaited us around the bend inspired us forward, too.  Our friends and Instagram buddies told us Lassen would be an eye popping ride, and we took our time pedaling through it. This was also because our leaden legs couldn’t go much faster, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 4: Mineral to Lassen Volcanic National Park to Burney

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Sierra Cascades Day 3: Graeagle to Mineral

“I was up above it, now I’m down in it.” –Nine Inch Nails, Down In It We departed Graeagle- on a sweet sweet downhill- and pointed the bike toward Quincy. Highway 89 was quiet in the early hours, which was helpful to our tour-tired bodies. At Quincy, Felkerino was tempted to stop at a restaurant that stated it served Espresso, Mexican, American, and Chinese food, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 3: Graeagle to Mineral

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Sierra Cascades Day 2: South Lake Tahoe to Graeagle

It’s a good day of bike touring when your only what-if is whether you should have eaten dinner on a picnic table at the Tastee Freeze or held out for the possibility of finer fare down the road. Felkerino and I eased our way out of South Lake Tahoe and after a few miles of flat we ascended and switch-backed our way above the lake, … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 2: South Lake Tahoe to Graeagle

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Sierra Cascades Day 1: Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe

If anyone ever suggests you start a tandem bike tour by biting off 147 miles with over 12,000 feet of climbing from Sacramento over to South Lake Tahoe, laugh at that person. Tell them to think seriously about what they are doing. Advise no. Now Felkerino and I pack light since we credit card tour, but we still carry more than we would on a … Continue reading Sierra Cascades Day 1: Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe