Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Canal Biker

DAY 17
Time: 34.30min(PB)going to work.
35.55min(PB)coming home.
Weather: Good enough to wear my suede jacket going in.
Dubious enough that suede jacket spent weekend at work.
CO2 Emissions saved: 93.5lbs.

Feel my Face
Cousin June from Colorado commented, "Biking must be serious stuff judging by the look on your face." Honestly, am challenged to smile, breathe, concentrate on forward motion and take pictures, at the same time.

Decided on Day 4 Wet Canal Biker post, that the ride was dang hard, and sometimes unpleasant. And I was wet. And not closing in on happy. Decided to take real pictures of myself and how I feel. I often chop off my double chin which is easier on my ego, but the smileless faces are real.

If You Just Smile
Today, I wanted to smile and minimize the perplexing look in my eyes and forehead. Needed something to smile about. On the way to work, pedaled with head down, worked out some aggression and frustration. Broke daily record with 34.30, a personal best and cracked the 35 minute ceiling. Not much smiling or picture taking.

Me passing 3rd biker
Pass or be Passed
On the way home, it would be my last trip with the 3-geared mechanics bike. Third gear all the way. I passed two people before the bridge climb. Smile. I passed one more lady struggling with a little climb, some wind resistance, and the vacuum I create with my speed while overtaking bikers. Smile. Two very professional riders passed me about 15 minutes in. No smile. But light bulb moment.

Fire in Eyes and Thighs
Thought if I kept up a strong pace, could win the pass or be passed ratios today. Smile. A young, skinny girl in front of me was riding leisurely, I focused on catching her. Thighs were burning like a campfire. Then the clouds parted and a hand reached down and stopped her bike. Smile. She started digging in her purse and I might have screamed "YEEHA", threw head back and laughed, as I forged on. But all the time remembering to snap today's profile picture at the top.

Catching the Bus
Half way home with the overtake score me 4, them 2. Looked behind me. Saw the bus coming, but no people on bikes. Smile. Lone Ranger theme was not on my Ipod, but should have been. Caught the bus at the bus stop. Smile. I got the green, bus had the red. Had to make sure no one passed me and keep my speed up. Light bulb. Decided to race bus to next bus stop. I won. Smile. BTW, this is the same bus stop where I used to QUIT after 10-minutes of riding to work. Smile.

Happily passing the bus for the first time. Guy in blue shirt just finished 125 mile walk in 4 days. See medal and the gladiolas. Hats off to Bus Passenger
Later, looked back at pictures and I am damn happy. Noticed at the bus stop picture, a man with a blue shirt and red gladiolas. Had seen the red gladiolas on TV because of the closing ceremony of Nijmegen 4-day Walk of the World (NL-Nijmeegse Vierdaagse). Walkers must achieve 50km/31miles each day for 4 days. Grueling. Shoes are worn down to nubs, blisters on blisters, and all the pains of walking 200km/125 miles in 4 days.

Walking 50km a Day
Read some of the press releases to find out how many people started (41,205), and how many finished (TBA). This year had two research studies on participants. If the temperature was above 25C/80F, then a university would study effects of heat on body. If below 25C, then they would study the 280 overweight people who entered this year. Yes, they knew how many chub-chubs made the attempt. A weigh in? Argh.

Glory for the Common Man
The glory is that you started and finished each day within the time limit. The glory is also the medal and the gladiolas. Everybody in Holland knows about it, it is top news for four days. Brits come over to do it, too. Of all my co-workers, only one guy has a medal. Rene did it as a sort of joke in college, and said he would never do it again. Not a selling point. You only have to do it once for the glory, sort of like climbing Everest for the common man.

Who's IN?
Sign me up for next year's walk and study of chub-chubs. Registration starts in December. Put it in your vacation calendar for next year, "Walk 125 miles in Holland in July with Tammie". Who is with me? Smile. Serious smile.

Trip in: 3 passed me. I passed 0.
Trip home: 2 passed me. I passed 5 bikers. 1 bus.
First time I win! Tied for the day.

Song of the day: Chatahoochee from Alan Jackson Greatest Hits Collection, complete with orginal video of Alan water skiing in his Wranglers and cowboy hat.

Me beating bus to bus stop. Smile.


  1. Alan Jackson also had on cowboy boots. Am enjoying this tremendously. Your turn of the phrase is getting better and better.

  2. Hey Tammie I'm looking at the dates and wondering...are you finished? Or has the taste of a bike with gears (!!!) prompted another pledge? Ride til the end of summer? Or til 2010? To anyone who has been following this blog and thinking 'wow...Tammie is doing a great job!' I would like to say that the bike she has been riding used to be mine and it was (5 years ago) crap. Tammie it's no wonder your bum, legs and shoulders have been sore! Get yourself a fancy bike and you'll make it to France and back. x

  3. by the way, forget the pounds. You have your before and after the expression on your face on July 24 (joyous)with July 8 (angriest face ever).

  4. Haha Mona Simone. I didn't want to keep mentioning the crap bike thing. Not very gracious or appreciative. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth as the saying goes. Free bike is a free bike. Free working bike gets the worm. Glad car still broken. Borrowed mechanic's bike again today. Would love to let you ride your own damn crap bike down the canal with me on the back. THANKS FOR THE BIKE SIMONE! (the seat is cracked too)