Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bike to Work Day

A few weeks ago Colorado held its statewide Bike to Work Day. I'd been working up the courage and leg strength to ride the 10 miles from my house to work, and although I still had a long way to go with leg strength, it felt like the day to just go for it.

Here's what I imagined biking to work will be like:



If you'll let me paint you a word picture, here's what it actually looked like:

Had I woken up earlier I would have been treated to water and snack stations along the way, but I didn't get going till 9. AKA right when all the water and cookies were being put away. I couldn't find a water bottle at home so I foolishly decided I'd be OK without.

Some mornings it's already nearing 90 degrees at 9am and Bike to Work day was one of those days. So I set out with no water, heading west on a deceptively flat looking route which actually steadily increases in elevation cause, there are these things called "mown-tins" that rise up out of the ground in the west. Being from Florida/Ohio I've never really had to take changes in elevation into consideration.

It also would have been an excellent idea to do a trial run because as it turns out the bike path is not so much one path as a spider web of poorly marked trails. There were several turn arounds and much back tracking to get headed the right direction again.

About 3/4 of the way there, the song Get home played in my headphones, which felt rather like salt in the wound seeing as the chorus is mainly the lead singer repeatedly postulating "how am I gonna get myself back home?" followed by wailing. Both things I was already doing in my head.

Of course I made it eventually, it took about an hour and 10 minutes. I had the foresight to wear athletic clothes on the ride, packing my work outfit in a backpack because I'm not one of those woman who lightly glistens after exercise. I'm more of the: red faced, white eyebrows glowing, sweaty puddle of my former self. People often ask me if I need medical attention because of the delightful shade of red my body positively RADIATES.  And that's not such a good look for work.  I didn't bring anything to shower because I had not anticipated getting QUITE so dang sweaty so I settled for mopping myself off with some paper towels in my office's locker room.

My lungs felt raw,  as though I had just panted for 10 miles on a bicycle. (What's it called when your metaphor is a truth fact?)  I allowed myself to ride the elevator to my floor and slumped into my desk chair, hoping no one would bother me for the first hour while I regained my composure.  And then I wondered...how AM I going to get back home?

All in all I enjoyed biking to work but I could have improved my first go at it by of course having water, leaving before it was too warm and getting a bike tune up beforehand. Nothing is majorly wrong with it, but one of my fenders was rubbing a tire which probably did not make life easier.

I ended up riding my bike back home because I'm a masochist. However the ride home was 100x easier because heading east the elevation is working in my favor. This is when I realized the road was in fact, not flat. 

Since Bike to Work Day, I've decided  biking TO work is not really my jam. I am not an early riser and I hate having to change clothes at work. Biking home, however is awesome. I don't mind being sweaty at the end of the day and it's a good mind-clearing ride back.  So I've been catching the light rail (with my bike) to go to work and riding my bike all the way home. It's the only exercise I've been doing with any regularity but I'm enjoying it. I have been mountain biking sporadically, but I can sum up how that's been going with one picture.
This is actually me.

Linking up with Alyssa for Training for Tuesday!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Classes I wish had been offered in school

The first 20 odd years of your life are dedicated to education. Despite all those hours hunched over a desk, I can't help but feel like I had (and maybe still have) some huge knowledge gaps at the end of it all. Here are some classes I wish they would have offered that probably would have been more useful than reading Beowulf.

In middle school:
Makeup. How much blue eye shadow is too much blue eye shadow? (Remember I was in school before YouTube tutorials were a thing)

High School and College:

So you're a senior in High School, now what? Is college a forgone conclusion? Should you take a year off and join the peace corps? 18 feels too young to know what I want to do with my life.

Car maintenance. How often do you really need to change your air filter? Learn how to say no to the upselling mechanics at Lube Stop.

Auto Insurance. The whole thing is a scam but by law you need it. Here's what you should have in your policy.

Taxes. We're still not really sure how to do them but we'll tell you what we know.

Relaxing. A- are perfectly ok. You're going to end up at the same job as that kid from your poly-sci class who barely skimmed by with C average so just chill.

What about you? What knowledge gaps do you have? Are there any classes you wish they would have offered in school that would make your life easier now?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Passing trends and passing on trends

Maintaining a minimalist wardrobe requires careful evaluation of something before bringing it into your life. It means ignoring the fashion industry's constant "look at this shiny new thing! You need this thing!" and determining for yourself if its something you want.  For me it's a lot of abstaining from the mall and rewarding myself with Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers when I resist an impulse buy.

2015 trends are upon us and after exercising some of the aforementioned careful evaluation and some plain-and-simple knee-jerk reactions, I've come up with this list of trends I'm gonna sit out:

Culottes. I feel strongly I'll never be converted to a lover of these. All I can think of is Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed.   I never bought I a pair in 2007 when we were calling them gaucho pants, and my feelings haven't changed in 2015.

Athletic Sandals/Birkenstocks. Fashion smashion. I'm loyal to rainbows. Blame it on my inner Floridian.

Sleeveless jacket/vest things. Nope. Not gonna do it. Over my dead body.

Off the shoulder shirts. I just know the sleeves would irritate the bujeezus outta me.

Overalls. They almost got me with this one but in the end I decided not for me.

I am in no way saying the women in these pictures look bad. Just that the styles they're rocking would feel about as natural to me as say, duck walking everywhere. Of course in 2007 I said I'd never wear skinny jeans and as I live an breathe, my ass is clad in a pair right now.

Trends I'm thinking I'll try:

Jogger pants. Glorified sweatpants? I'm on board.
Crop tops. I can count on two hands the months before I turn 30. YOLO.
Sneakers with dresses. Hence my post about Converses vs Adidas. In case you're wondering, the Converses won out in the end.

What about you? Anything on here you think I should give a second thought? Any trends you're passing on this season?