Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Commute Packing 201

If you're looking to change up your commute a bit, then here's some food for thought. ;-)

When I first started commuting, I figured that I would take everything I needed just for that day with me in my backpack.  So I had the typical nightly list of:

  • work clothes
  • shoes
  • socks
  • undergarments (I seriously triple check this one E.V.E.R.Y. time!)
  • make-up
  • packed lunch
As I've gotten more comfortable with my commute and my route, I've decided to start changing things up a bit and make it a little more interesting....  "How?' you ask. Let's talk about my plan for this week!

Monday: commute to work with daily list of clothes and lunch 
Tuesday: drive to work with 3 sets of clothes for Wed, Thurs and Fri and leave make-up at desk
Wednesday (now this is where it gets fun!!): commute to work with breakfasts, lunches and post-ride snacks for the rest of the week 
Thursday: commute to work with no pack and take the longer route for some hill climbs (b/c climbing with a heavy backpack before coffee just isn't really my thing)
Friday: drive to trailhead, do an early morning CX ride, then drive to work, take home clothes and food containers from the week

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a bit of a planner!  But in reality, figuring out my clothes for the week took me 4 mins and it was one less thing to think about at night (or early in the morning if I forgot to pack my stuff!).  Plus, by driving them to work, I didn't have to worry about my clothes being wrinkled for a big meeting, which was one reason why I considered NOT commuting to work today.  Excuse rejected!!

Planning lunches for 3 days was a breeze, but hauling them to work was a bit more challenging, which made it fun!!  I don't want to carry a 15# backpack every day, but once a week for an added workout isn't bad at all!  (Sidenote:  I had no idea just how much food I actually eat during the week, but I do now!!)

By consolidating my clothes and food, I'm now able to be a little more flexible for the rest of my mornings and can do a longer/harder ride than what I might typically do with my normal bag. 

Moral of the story:  Keep commuting fun and change up your routine once in a while!  You might be surprised at what happens!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Exploring some Leadville singletrack

What better way to kick off a honeymoon, than by sniffing out new singletrack!
We were lucky enough to find some super fun (and VERY flowy) trails in Leadville.  It's so great that we live in a state where there are tons of well-marked trails and these gems had maps at every intersection, drastically reducing the chances of us 3 musketeers getting lost!  I definitely recommend taking a MTB or CX bike out to the Boulders MTB Trail system and checking it out!  
You won't be disappointed!  :-)

Monday, July 11, 2016

I'm Back

I'm sure this won't surprise anyone, but as a bike loving person, I try to vacation in cycling friendly destinations. This year we were lucky enough to travel around France- on Bikes. The scenery was breathtaking - I can't imagine vacationing any other way. Vacation via bike allowed us to ride through small villages that we would have never seen on the highway or from the train window. We could stop and sample the local walnuts, mushrooms, pastries and, of course, wine. It really focused our heart's desire too. If we didn't love it- we were not going to buy it because everything we bought  had to fit inside of our panniers. I'm yet to I love a wine so much that I'm willing to strap a case of it on my back and ride around for 300 miles.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Recent Adventures...

I'm I have to say, I've been having a great time lately riding my bike around town! here are some pictures of my recent adventures!

Ice cream!!

It was really nice to ride to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival and not have to contend with parking!😊

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Bike to work day!

What a great bike to work day, weather could not have been better. I loved seeing all the cyclists out and so much appreciated all the people volunteering at the bike to work stations! I'm so grateful to live in this wonderful state! 

BTWD 2016

Happy Bike to Work Day my fellow Commuters!!!!!!  :)

Hopefully you were able to stop by and enjoy some of the great breakfast stations this morning...I know I did!!

If you're like me, then you were probably elated to see sooooo many cyclists out and about today.  It was great!  The 36 bike path was definitely hopping this morning.  Now if we could only get those folks out there EVERY DAY to ride with us, just think of how much happier (and healthier) our country would be!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Finding new routes the Orwick way

I've truly been blessed when it comes to discovering new routes because 9 times out of 10, someone I know has already ridden the areas that I'm interested in and knows the best/safest/most fun routes.  I never realized how much I relied on the knowledge of others until I relocated for my job.  I knew that the majority of the roads around my work have bike lanes, but I wasn't really sure what roads were "cyclist friendly", what would make for a nice lunch loop or just where the heck some of the roads went.  So I'll share with you the process I used for finding new routes.

Step 1:  Look at a map. Go ahead and laugh...I'll wait.  I know, you think this would be a no-brainer, but do you realize how many people just start a ride and aimlessly wander about until they see something they recognize?  Let's just say, I'm marrying one of them, so I know they exist!  :-)  I checked out Google Maps as my first step in figuring out what's around me and where to avoid (Flatirons Mall, heavy traffic roads).

Step 2:  Strava stalking.  Ok, perhaps my goal for finding a new route was mildly geared at finding new climbs, but regardless, using the Strava Segment Explorer was super helpful in determining where some climbs were, what other cyclists thought of the route (i.e. Narrow Shoulder Sprint) and also getting some route ideas from already established segments.

Step 3:  Go for a drive!  This is something I used to do back in PA when trying to find new routes.  I would map them out, then jump in the car and drive them.  Of course, this may not work for everyone, nor may it be the best use of time if you just want to go for a quick ride, but it helps me to have a visual of the roads, intersections where I'll need to turn, and also helps to solidify which roads I definitely want to avoid in high traffic times (those without a shoulder where cars are doing 65mph).

Step 4:  Make a cue sheet.  Of course, the cue sheet is like a grocery list, it only works if you take it with you....which I forgot yesterday! 

Step 5:  Put the rubber side down and go riding!  

The best part about exploring new routes is just that.....exploring!!  I was trying to find a nice little 40min lunch time route and ended up doing some loops that I later decided didn't really fit with my plan, so I keep riding around until I found one that did!  While my riding map may look like I was drunk or lost, I was in fact completely sober and knew where I was (...well....most of the time).