Basebuilding

The Obligatory Sock Self-Portrait

I have to admit I’ve done very little to keep myself in shape since the cold weather hit, and I know that I’m going to regret my slacking this spring when I get on the bike for the first time, so I’ve decided to make March my basebuilding month. I’m working to build strength to create a solid base for my spring training by focusing on the basics – full body workouts, core strength and flexibility. This foundation will help to ensure an injury-free and successful Spring.

This morning after my workout, I started thinking about how I could extend this idea to other parts of my life. Everything needs a solid base – a house is only as solid as its foundation, after all. What more can I do to create a solid base for my relationships, my career, my photography? Where are my weaknesses, and how can I fill any gaps in my knowledge. experience and training? These are the questions I’m now asking myself – what can I do this month for a better April, a better 2009 and a better life down the road?

What are your basebuilding plans?

Copenhagenize.com: Winter Cycling Redux

Here in Minnesota there is a huge cycling population and many of these cyclists continue to ride during the winter months, using their bikes as their primary form of transportation. We have nothing on Copenhagen though, that’s some serious bike culture!

Mikael Colville-Andersen is a freelance filmmaker and photographer and has two fantastic sites on Copenhagen cycling culture: Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic. I’ve really enjoyed the great photography at Copenhagen Cycle Chic; Copenhagenize is a new find for me and I love it already. These sites make me want to go to ditch my car and ride my bike everywhere, even when the roads are covered in snow.

Dreaming of Summer

Bike-keh

Winters in Minnesota are usually very bright and very, very cold. We had plenty of that in January but now we seem to have hit a warm spell. This would be a good thing, except the warmth has come with rain and cloudy, gloomy days that mentally feel worse than the cold, sunny days and make me yearn for springtime. On days like this I try to surround myself with bring colors or bright locations to fight the depressive dreariness, but today I’m just longing to ride my bike.

The photo above was taken when we got a brief break in the cloud cover and the sun shone in on my racing steed, which is spending its winter in the warmth of the dining room. Seeing it in the sun brings back fond memories of the summer rides where I was so hot I thought I might melt down over the handlebars and two water bottles just weren’t enough to keep me hydrated for an entire outing. It reminds me of lunches at The Tin Fish and the twists and turns of the creek trail. Summers here are short but are truly fantastic. Is it May yet?

Cheaters!

It seems that Ricardo Ricco and Manuel Beltran weren’t the only cheaters in this year’s Tour de France. It was reported this week that Ricco’s teammate Leonardo Piepoli was taking CERA (EPO) also, so I was right when I said that the team pulled out because Ricco wasn’t the only member doping. But it doesn’t stop there. Stefan Schumacher, who won both of this year’s time trials, was doping too.

Really, when will they learn? Times have changed – you cheat now, you will be caught and your fans and team members will not be forgiving the way they were in years past. Get the message, men! The French authorities aren’t putting up with it, and neither are we!

The Helmet Carrier

I don’t understand this phenomenon.  I’ve heard stories about people riding bikes with their helmets strapped to their racks or hung around their handlebars, and I always thought it was strange, but it wasn’t until I saw a man riding like this today that it really got to me.

The man looked to be in his 50s, and was riding a hybrid bike with the helmet strapped to his rear rack.  I passed him for the first time on the bike path at Lake Harriet.  I saw the helmet riding impotently behind him and thought, this man probably has children.  They might not be young children, but they still love him the same.  How would they feel if a driver lost control and drove up onto the bike path, and their father didn’t make it?  Would it be any consolation that a helmet was found at the scene, possibly still strapped to the bike?  This man may have a wife.  How would she feel about the prospect of spending her silver years without her husband?  Was he thinking about these people when he strapped that helmet to the bike?

I wanted to say something.  I wanted to tell him to put the helmet on.  I see people all the time riding without helmets and I don’t think much of it.  It’s their choice.  But this man thought about it.  He put the helmet on the bike.  Maybe he put it there for storage and meant to put it on but forgot?  Hmm, probably not likely.  But something made him bring it, and something made me care.

I stopped to take some pictures and the man caught up with me and passed me.  The helmet was still strapped to his bike, but I was coming to terms with it.  It was still his choice, right?  He was a grown man and didn’t need me telling him what to do.  I could accept that.  But when I passed him further up the trail and I saw him wearing his helmet, it made me smile.