Sunday, April 29, 2007

Only 1 week to go!

While most of my bike rides are spontaneous, there are a couple of event rides this year that I am especially looking forward to and require pre-registration due to their popularity.

The first organized bike event I'll be taking part in is the 5 Boro Tour in NYC on May 6th! Jeff and I received our tour registration packets in the mail and here is one of the vests.

It seems most practical to use our mtn bikes on this ride. We won't have to worry about them being tightly packed with other bikes on the train. Also, it will be easier to see the scenery riding in a more upright position and the standard, flat pedals will be better for riding the crowded route.

Looking at my ride log, I noticed we hadn't had the mtn bikes out for a spin since January 14th. So yesterday, Jeff and I got them out of the barn and went over them, cleaned them, oiled the chains and pumped up the tires. We decided to do a test ride in preparation for the Tour! We rode 27 miles of the East Bay Path at an average speed of 14mph. The pace was relaxed, easy and fun. We enjoyed the sunshine and views and shared some snacks as we pedaled along.

Although I haven't followed any specific training program in preparation for the Tour, I have enough miles in my legs that I should have a fun time riding though NYC.

We'll be riding with Debby and Chris!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Show & Tell: Favorite Pottery

I look forward to at least one vanilla latte every day! (Today is gray, rainy and chilly and the coffee is the only thing keeping me from falling asleep!) You can tell I sometimes get carried away steaming the milk. It's fun to do and Silas likes the noises the steamer makes as the milk froths. He sounds just like it when he snores!

The mug is from my small collection of Emma Bridgewater pottery. I think most of her patterns are really lovely, but this robin always makes me smile. The eye gives it a lot of character!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


This time of year, Saffy gets a bit warm in her winter coat. She likes to crawl into the shade under the brush pile where she's created a den by chewing the branches.

When she's not tunneling under the brush, she frequently rolls. Pretty soon, all that winter hair will start to come out and there will be patches of hair left behind on the lawn where she's rolled!


These primroses are some of the first blooms in my garden.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Summery Weather!

Saturday, I had to ask, what happened to spring? The weather changed overnight from cold and raw to *hot*! Jeff and I decided it was time to get some summer bike kit, so we went on a drive to a few bike shops and found quite a bit of gear (some was even on sale!). I got a day-glow vest, jersey and a light blue skirt with built in bike shorts! That will be nice for a change from my usual black shorts. Here's a pic of Jeff in his new summer jersey, shorts and socks.

Sunday, Debby and Chris had invited us to join a ride with the Southern CT Cycling Club in Chester. That is a hilly, largely wooded area with quaint villages complete with white meeting houses, town centers with bakeries and coffee shops, picture perfect old houses and outlaying farms with horses and cows basking in the sun. In addition to all that, there are lovely bubbling, rock strewn streams everywhere you look and many waterfalls like this one near the start of our bike ride.

Near Chester, in the town of Essex, there is a fascinating train museum with this steam engine on display as well other cars and accessories like an enormous snow plow for the front of an engine. Here's Jeff standing next to the engine for scale.

A closer view of all those moving parts.

A detail of the front.

This week, I'm planning to continue my spring cleaning around the house. Fortunately, I've finished getting rid of things for now, so I can concentrate on organizing the things I'm going to keep!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finally Spring?

At last, the sun is shining and I am hopeful that spring is really here! Despite the gloomy days, plants are sprouting in the gardens (including these poppies). I was glad things didn't get washed out by all the rain!

The Conanicut osprey are tending their nest. I keep checking the webcam and got to see the egg! Here's the pic showing it:

While the weather has been lousy, I've taken the opportunity to spring clean my house. I've gotten rid of over 100 books, many of which went to a book drive for the troops and countless bags of clothing that I donated to the Salvation Army. It's fun to get rid of things and be able to help out some good causes too!

Well, this is just a quick post so you'll know I wasn't washed away by the nor'easter. I promise to have new biking and knitting posts soon :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Turkey Trot

These guys were along my bike route this morning! I'd seen them before, but not so close up. I was wondering how they would feel about the bike, but they seemed curious rather than aggressive.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bandit in a Bucket

Bandit loves to sit in this plastic bucket and purrs happily when we carry him around in it! To get in, he pours himself in headfirst without tipping over the bucket. Then, he twists around until he's right side up again.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A Sunday Bike Ride

Today, Jeff and I biked around Conanicut Island, a 20 mile ride. We've been riding a lot lately, so we did an easy ride averaging 15 mph and stopped to take pictures to share with you.

Some ospreys are tending their nest on a post in the marsh. There is a webcam aimed at the nest! The birds seem to enjoy being stars, unlike some we encountered at the Great Swamp last summer who threatened to dive bomb us when we paused to take a break from pedaling our mountain bikes through the deep, soft sand on the trail!

They have a beautiful view of the marsh with the Newport Bridge in the distance. There are large fields next to the marsh, so the birds have a variety of terrain and potential prey to hunt for.

The light at Beavertail Point flashed at the very moment I took this picture. It was a fight into the headwind out to the point today, but fun to round the corner at the end!

I always like to spot old things that have been overgrown by nature like this stone gateway. Surprisingly, it is still in great condition, unlike many in the area that have been broken apart by frost or hit by snowplows in winter.

I love this little building in the woods. It stands all by itself and I have no idea what its original purpose was or if there used to be other buildings associated with it. It makes me think of locations filmed in English mysteries. Can't you imagine something intriguing happening here?