Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Top 10 Canal Biker

DAY 19
Time: 39min from auto shop
35.30min personal best tie
Car in shop again, on mechanic's 3-speed
Weather: Morning drizzle annoying but not evil.
Afternoon, inconsequential.

CO2 Emissions saved: 107.5kg

Picture here: Climbing bridge hill, sweat/rain on forehead, Rihanna singing Umbrella Ella Ella. Can't hold umbrella ella ella while snapping pictures, checking stopwatch, changing Ipod, typing SMS and riding. Haven't fallen yet. Two days left.

Since Tour de France finished on Sunday, I've been getting the questions "Are you going to keep riding?" or "Are you still riding?" or "Why are you doing this anyway?" Will sprinkle post with pictures of the day where my tongue played a lead role.

Top 10 Reason to Start Canal Biker Tour & Blog

10. Became carless. Old 1988 Volkswagen didn't pass inspection.

9. Owned 4 bikes, broken or flat tired bikes.

8. In memory of former co-worker Menno van Voorthuizen who recently lost the cancer battle. Menno used to ride his bike down the same piece of canal when he was in high school. He encouraged me to start. He rides along some days.

7. Love water. Love canals. Dream home would be on a canal or beach or river or pond or lake.

6. Need to trick self into exercise. Forces me to be accountable, measurable, responsible and other personal development words.

5. Am not the poster girl for physical fitness and actually the opposite body type of the Tour de France professional bikers. Not trying to achieve this unachievable fat-free, lean, spindly frame. Just think it is ironic and hilarious to compare my pork-chop-self and turtle-ride to pro cycling.

4. Day job has me writing serious, businessy, financial, investory, professional, analytical, agricultural, gray pin striped, very corporate articles for work. Needed outlet to be silly or emotional and develop own style and own voice for my inner biker without anyone saying 'we cannot write that.'

3. Friends and family always very encouraging about my writing. Book publishers don't care if 90 year old Aunt Alyce thinks I am brilliant and reads religiously. But I love knowing Aunt Alyce gets a daily print out and others are following my riding and writing.

2. Have lost 34 pounds since August 2008. Body hit a plateau and wall for a month. Thought I could bust the wall by peppering my life with exercise. Long way to go to be held up at 34 pounds for 8 weeks now. Gaining in the first 2 weeks of the ride was damn annoying too. Will weigh on Friday to get the full Tour results.

1. For the journey. I am pretty. I am sporty. I am a good writer. I am funny. All this gets buried in daily life. Buried in my serious writing job. Buried under some belly blubber. Buried 23 years ago when I played basketball, volleyball and golf competitively. Buried in a green lime Jell-o mold of self-imposed insecurity.

Some people have never known me as pretty, thinner, and athletic. Some people don't know me at all. Some people don't remember that Tammie. I do. I want to find her again with my 40+ life experience and confidence.

I have made progress, have bettered my time, become stronger and faster, committed to the writing and the riding. Pouted about it too.

Don't judge me. Don't underestimate me. Will run you over with my crap gearless bike in a slow speed chase. Then will take an artsy black and white picture of you, and write about you cynically in my blog. I am Daily Canal Biker.

Trip in: I passed 2, 2 passed me, even.
Trip home: 5 to 4, MY FAVOR!

Song of the day: Always makes me cry... How to Save a Life by The Fray. Makes me think of Menno riding the canal.

Happy Birthday Dad.


  1. Tammie,
    Nice post again! Keep up the good work. Have been looking out for you along the canal, no sign of you though... (didn't expect you to be there at 4am on Sunday though lol)
    Have made the trip quite often in the past two weeks, will be over soon though because I'll be taking a train to The Hague from Vleuten instead.

  2. Just because you are getting very close to the end of your"Tour" is no reason to stop riding or writing your blog. Your writing is getting better and better. I know I'm another of your old great aunts, but I love to read any thing you write. Keep up the good work--riding and writing. Love you, Aunt Catherine