Saturday, December 6, 2014

104 MoN: The Road Less Travelled

On Friday the 17th, I left work at 2:45 to beat the big long car line of parents picking up their kids. I picked up only Spark at daycare. In fact, I had to have the assistant director go out to the playground to get her because Sprocket and Spark's play areas outside share a fence...and Sprocket would have lost his mind if I only picked up his sister!

I loaded her in the car and headed towards the airport. My plan was to take the interstate to the tollway to a backroad to get there. I hate paying for the tollway, but really wanted to skip the high traffic route. "Backroad" is a bit of an overstatement. It is a major road, but the exit off the tollway is past the busier part of the road.

Anyway, I managed to miss the exit and thought I would just catch the next major road. Well, that road ended up coming to an unexpected T intersection. I didn't want to pull over to check my maps, so I just kept going. Soon I realized I was definitely not on the right track. Spark realized this, too. She was starting to fuss and I was worried about staying on track to make our flight.

I pulled over and quickly realized that I had driven way out of my way, but, luckily, could catch a connecting road to get back on track. However, this road ended up being about 2 miles of gravel.

This is not the gravel road I drove on. BUT, I didn't take a, enjoy the dramatic reenactment.

Leave it to me to manage to take an interstate, a tollway, **and** a gravel road to the airport.

We finally made it to the parking lot and got on the shuttle to the airport. Spark pointed at cars out the window and shrieked happily, while I pondered why I find no issue just holding her in my lap while careening down the highway in a bus with a complete stranger driving. I quickly shook off my concerns and held squishy baby a little tighter...until she tried to point at my face and poked me in the eye.

We got the airport and got checked in. We were right on track to catch our flight...until things got a little crazy getting through security. More on that next time.

Monday, December 1, 2014

104 MoN: The Pre-Ride Stupid Decisions

It has been a while since the 100 Miles of Nowhere shenanigans -- and 1.5 months later, I might...just might be ready to recount the adventure.

Normie and I wrote the reader's digest version for Fatty's blog -- but he never published it (Boo! Hiss!). However, I thought I would go into more detail in See Teacher Run land.

I had previously discussed some pre-ride details, but there is a lot I didn't mention leading up to the ride.

Including some stupid choices I made before the ride itself.

Stupid Decision #1: The Lock-in
I planned and executed an event at school that involved an entire night awake and entertaining kids. It was part of some culture and climate initiatives -- but, basically, 101 adolescents joined me (and some other crazy teachers) for an evening of insanity. The lock-in was a huge hit and about 75 out of the 101 kids stayed up the entire night. That meant 11 hours of crazy, fun, creative and insane planned activities. Fun stuff that will become a rite of passage in the middle school -- but in my infinite wisdom, I planned it for the week before 100 MoN. What was I thinking?!?! There was a TON of planning that went into the, the fact that the night itself was exhausting.

Loving a Grande at the Lock-in. I told our coffee runner that I needed a big bucket o' caffeine.
The lock-in was on the Thursday that was 8 days before I was set to leave and head to Des Moines. It took me until Sunday to simply catch up on sleep -- let alone start thinking ahead to the ride. Stupid.

Stupid Decision #2: The Flight
I do my Assistant Principal gig three days each week. On one of my "off" days I actually teach science enrichment in a different school district. That job is on Mondays and pays hourly. This means that missing a day of that job costs about $240 and is a pain in the you-know-what to plan for when absent.

Soooo, I decided to fly back on the Sunday after the ride and the only Frontier flight out of the Big D is at 6:53 a.m.

Since I am only at my AP gig 3 days a week, I didn't want to miss a Friday at that job. Plus, because I am part time I get less sick/personal leave. Not knowing what the sick season brings with the kids, I decided to not leave until Friday night so that I wouldn't have to miss work. The only Frontier flight to DSM is at 7:30 p.m.

Let's recap -- flight out at 7:30 p.m., lose an hour due to time zone, ride bike 100+ miles in teeny tiny circles, then fly back at 6:53 a.m. Stupid.

Stupid Decision #3: The Baby
The grandparents always want to see the kids. B didn't want to take care of both kids alone all weekend. Babies under two fly for free.

You see where this is going.

Wiggle. Wiggle. Wiggle. Wiggle. Wiggle.

Not only did I make rough flight decisions -- I decided to schlepp a 14 month old wiggle worm with me. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Village

This weekend I learned that apparently it takes a village to pull off a 2-square-block-104-mile-battle-of-will-bike-ride.

As of Saturday morning, we had raised $1,700 for H-Bomb's girls and I felt SO good about that feat! Seventeen Hundred buckaroos was WAY more than I thought we would raise and I was so excited to share that final number with H-Bomb and her family. I was also looking forward to riding and visiting with a few friends that ventured to H-Bomb's yard to hang out.

Then, something interesting happened.

As Normie and I ticked off the miles...the support team (and their donations!) grew...and grew...and grew. The presence of a pop-up tent (thanks Bike World!) and social media really helped.

I could not believe the turn-out. H-Bomb's friends and relatives, neighbors, Normie's friends, my friends, our favorite bike shop managers -- heck, even our former AP Bio teacher showed up. Several people joined us for a few -- or a lot -- of miles. There was food, cheering, smiles, brews, and, lots and lots of money being donated for a great cause.

The final raised amount was $3,026.41 (+ some stragglers that are still happening). THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS for the Allen family!

Looking back, as I went to the "oh my. I need to ride my bike a lot in teeny tiny circles" place, I feel like I didn't have the mental ability or energy to truly thank everyone that came to support. So, if you were one of those people that observed the surly side of Smithers, please know that Normie and I are BEYOND thankful for your presence and support! Don't let crabby pants Pbear make you think any differently!

At the end of the day, I had tender muscles, tired eyes, and the mental exhaustion that comes from riding in circles for 14 hours.

But, my heart. My heart was swelling with excitement, love, pride, and accomplishment. And, I can only thank The Village for that.

Thank you, H-Bomb Nation.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Main Issue

The big ride is THIS Saturday! Only FIVE more days!

And guess what?

There is construction on our planned route. Like, one-way-street-orange-construction-fencing-with-only-sidewalk-access kind of construction.

Damn you, City of Ames!

:::Shakes Fist in Air:::

Apparently, [:::insert eye roll:::] Ames just haaaaad to reroute around an old water main that happens to run right between H-Bomb's house and the chemo clinic. Exactly where we were planning on riding.

From the City of Ames website, updated 10/10/14

So, after some Facebook consultation with H-Bomb, we have decided to just ride a different route. Sure, it loses the symbolism of riding to the clinic and back, but, I think it is just the Universe's way of giving the big ol' middle finger to cancer. And old water mains.

Meanwhile, the donations keep rolling in! Check out my sidebar to donate!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

All My Bags are {Sorta} Packed

First, I survived. I survived something crazy and fun and exhausting and hard-to-plan and amazing. From start to finish I planned and executed an 11 hour lock-in with 80% of the 8th graders at my school. 11 hours. With 98 teenagers. About 25 of the 98 kids actually slept at all. The rest were up the entire night. I managed to hoodwink convince 8 of my colleagues to help with the shenanigans and parents donated over 400 bucks to make it all happen. It was pretty much more planning than my own freakin' wedding. Totally worth it -- but everything else in life basically came to a halt in the days leading up to the whole thing. Soooo, I'm back on the 100 Miles of Nowhere Planning Train. Let's do this.

B's dad, Mr. Smitty, was out here last week. So, I sent him back to Iowa with a bunch of gear that I wouldn't be able to fit in my one free backpack on the plane.

Based on the extended forecast, things could get a bit chilly (low of 40, high of 60). Here is what I sent with Smitty:
  • Team Beaver Jersey
  • Cycling Shorts
  • Arm Warmers
  • Leg Warmers (knicker length is all I have)
  • Helmet
  • Arcteryx Base Layer (that Normie gave me when I was super preggo and I completely forgot I had)
  • Cycling Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Bike World Hat (Duh!)
  • Rear Bike Light
  • Shoe Covers
I will bring the rest on the plane, but hopefully this stuff will provide a strong foundation to the gear that I will need for all 102 miles.

The temps don't look too bad, but I am most worried about precipitation. I just don't know how I will handle it if I have to be chilly and soaked all day. So -- think dry thoughts!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thanks to Our Corporate Sponsors!

Things are really rolling along in 100 Miles of Nowhere Land. We have more donations -- so far, over a $1000 pledged!

My very favorite-ist Ames bike shop has really come through! Bike World will be setting up a 10 X 10 ft pop up (H-Bomb, can we use your yard?) and will be providing snacks and beverages of choice. Heh. Normie and I both wondered if that included our favorite Colorado Cool-Aid.

It doesn't end there -- Leanne has a connection to the owner of "2b Bags" and they have donated a bracelet, a small zip bag, and a larger handbag.

All made from recycled tubes and breast cancer pink zippers. 2b Bags makes all sorts of cool stuff (even koozies!) -- so be sure to head over and check out some of their other items on their website.

Thank you Bike World and 2b Bags!

We are going to raffle these off to all people who donate! Wanna join the crowd? Click here for details about the ride and to learn how to donate. (Or just follow the links in my sidebar)

Monday, September 29, 2014


And it feels soooo good.

That's right. I've been reunited with my Mojo. It has been a long while since I have been in touch with my Mojo and it feels awesome! My Mojo involves working out with intensity, not phoning it in, and keeping my eye on the prize.

Yeah. You know, that 102 mile prize.

So, what have I been up to?

I've gone on a couple runs. One with Spark and one with Tuque. Apparently, it has been a while since Tuque has been on a run because he was definitely worn didn't help that it was a zillion degrees in the scorching Sun. Oh, and Tuque was carrying out a couch to 10k plan -- in one day.

Seriously. A Zillion degrees.

Tired pup.
I've also been doing both real and virtual spin classes. The only place that has spin classes that I can attend doesn't have clipless pedals. I only learned this after hauling @$$ to make it to a class with no other shoes. So, the next week I gave it a try with just tennis shoes. It was okay, but my feet were really bothered because I wasn't used to wearing flexible shoes in the pedals.

I noticed that even though the Rec center didn't have spin bikes with clipless pedals in the class -- they did have 3 older spin bikes with clipless out in the machine area.

Soooo, I did a little digging and found a YouTube Channel with spin class videos...and they are hard core! So far I have done these two:

The guy leading them is Paul Ryman, who is pretty much the devil incarnate. The guy says things like, "things are about to get horrendous" or, my favorite, "this is like the pros climbing the mountains in France, except its for only 4 minutes instead of 3 hours. Now turn it up one more notch."

I just tap into the free Wifi, set my phone on the aero bars, and rock out. The bonus is that the bikes overlook the atrium/entrance area. So, I get to people watch while I sweat my face off.

Related Posts with Thumbnails