Tag Archives: cycling

2008: A Year in Review, Part 2

Welcome to the 2nd half of my year. I just realized that I probably should’ve done these in reverse chronological order, but whatever.

July–I took my blog public, making it a whole lot easier to remember what I did for the rest of the year.  I also started biking to work and we had Kristi’s Bachelorette Party Boat Trip:



August– I took two vacations this month, plus a Tour de Philo.  First up was my staycation and then a second trip to Nawlins for Kristi’s wedding:



September— I started running, became obsessed with Mad Men and reconnected with an old friend via Facebook.  We also had Bunco at Erin’s in conjunction with Philo Fest, but-unfortunately- I have no corresponding photos :-(


I do, however, have a photo of this thing that I found on my fence (I know you all needed to see it again)




October– was downright insane.   There was a crazy gas station incidentmy cat died, and I was involved in train accident on the way home from seeing Cross Canadian Ragweed in Carbondale.  To top off the craziness, this was the first year in a long time that I *didn’t* dress up for Halloween.  Odd.


And then there was the trip to Chicago to see the New Kids on the Block:




November– is always a busy month.  This year, I went to San Antonio for work. And had the usual Thanksgiving with the family.  Oh, and there was that whole historic election thing.

I also made a trip to Chicago for Nikki’s Big Ten Bar Crawl:



And attended my only (gasp!) U of I tailgate of the season




Family and friends of Ryann Smith held a benefit in Tuscola and raised a bunch of money. I realize that I haven’t blogged about Ryann at all.  She was born a couple days after Christmas with a rare birth defect called CDH.  She is a fighter.  Please keep her and the family in your thoughts and prayers. If you want to know more, visit her caring bridge page:  http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ryannsmith.


I also had Christmases with my Grannie Rich,  my brother, and the rest of my extended family.


(And, because I know you can’t get enough of me and firearms, here’s the infamous gun shot one more time…)



I spent my Christmas break lounging, watching movies (Marley and Me and Seven Pounds), reading (still making it through the Twilight saga… I’ll reserve judgment until I’m finished with all the books), and spending time with friends and family.


I rang in the New Year in Chicago, but failed to take a single photo.  Maybe I should resolve to be a better chronicler this year :)


Reflections on 2008

All in all, the year turned out pretty good.  In some ways, this is one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, but I’ve learned so much.   I’ve learned how to ask for help from those closest to me.  I’ve learned to say “no” on occasion and I’ve learned to enjoy myself in less-than-ideal circumstances. I’ve made some new friends, reconnected with others, and have spent more time with some of my family members than ever before.


This blog has really been a great outlet for me and I appreciate each and every reader, hit, and comment you all have given me.


Here’s to happiness and prosperity in 2009!


The students are back

The latest indication that the students are back:  My normally relaxing, contemplative commute to and from work now feels a little more like this:

Yes, I’ve become the frog in a live-action version of Frogger–dodging mostly students, runners, and other inexperienced cyclists instead of cars.   Hopefully they’ll start skipping class soon!

Tour de Philo

Yesterday I participated in the Run4Raley, a charity walk/run in Philo to support Mitochondrial disorder research.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the 5K, so I decided that riding my bike to Philo and doing the mile walk would be enough of a workout on a Saturday.

Here’s the route I was supposed to take…

But I made a few wrong turns…  Here’s the route I actually took:

My 8.4 mile bike ride turned into an 11.5 mile ride, but I made it to Philo in just over an hour.  The walk was a huge success, they had over 300 people turn out and plan to make it an annual event.  Luckily, I enlisted the help of some friends to take me back after the walk.

Biker Babe

I’ve decided to become a biker, as in cyclist, not a Harley Chick!

I got my old bike out of my mom’s garage, aired up the tires and took her for a spin.  I’ve been biking around town for fun and exercise, but now it’s time to take the leap and bike for transportation.

A fruitful trip to Target yielded a new bike lock (which I don’t 100% understand), a padded gel seat, and a backpack to carry my stuff.  I tried out all my new “gear” on a short trip to the grocery store.  Everything worked out well except I underestimated how much room my groceries would take up. I was hoping to get everything in my backpack, but I had to use a plastic bag instead.  Lesson learned.

Tomorrow will be my first attempt at commuting to work on 2 wheels.  It’s about 3.5 miles from my house to work and I’ve ridden it in about 1/2 an hour.  But that was at night. Without traffic.  I figure I’ll have to leave about 40 mins early to give me enough time to get there and “freshen up” before everyone arrives.

I still don’t know what I’m gonna do about the clothing situation.  Part of me thinks I should have seperate biking clothes and change into  my ” real” clothes when I get to work.  The other part of me is cringing at the thought.  Plus, my bag isn’t really big enough to hold an entire change of clothes.  I guess I’ll just see how tomorrow goes and then decide.

I’m pretty excited about this new adventure… I kinda thought it would be fun to do and write about my experiences.  Apparently so did the News-Gazette’s “roving reporter.”  She started last week.

A day late and a dollar short, I guess!!