The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wine Lotto and Brick Oven Pizza

I attended a fund-raiser over the weekend, that was so much fun! There are 3 Amazing Women in the bike club who race, and they win! Back in May they competed in the Berkshire Classic, a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) event, and guess what, they all finished on the podium. And therefore they earned a spot to race at the World Cycling Tour finale, to be held next month in South Africa. Wow! what an opportunity... but you can imagine the price tag on traveling to South Africa. So Jodee and her husband Ed hosted a fund raising party, at their home. There are a few things about Jodee and Ed that set this event apart from others.
1. They have a beautiful home, with a pool and a hot tub
2. Ed knows wine. In fact, he makes wine.
3. They have a brick oven in their backyard for making pizza.
4. Riding from their home has limitless possibilities for all level riders.

We started the afternoon with 3 different rides--Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. They were all mapped to take less than 2 hours to finish. The 3 Amazing Women each rode with one of the 3 groups. That was the appetizer for the main course party.

The price of admission to this fund raising party was $25 and 2 identical bottles of wine. One bottle was put into the prize pile and 1 was used for the wine tasting lotto. Every bottle was wrapped in a brown paper bag, numbered, and placed on a table with stacks of small wine glasses. Participants were asked to taste as many wines as you desired (there were 30 entries) and vote for your favorite (by number). The person that brought the bottle that got the most votes was the winner, and they received a case of wine. There were 2nd and 3rd place winners as well. While we were snacking and tasting 30 different wines, Jodee was popping pizzas into the backyard brick oven. Of course there was salads and other wonderful foods and beer and soft drinks. It was a beautiful day, so people popped in and out of the pool and the hot tub. You can imagine how happy people were with 30 wines on the table and little pizzas magically emerging from the backyard brick oven. And of course, dessert.

I have decided that the bike club is not the place to lose weight....there seems to be a party after every ride! But what's better than eating and drinking to support 3 Amazing Women racing in a world championship in South Africa. There's Monday through Friday for eating salads.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Not me, my husband. This started about 4 weeks ago. He got really sick, scary sick. When I finally convinced him that it wasn't food poisoning and took him to the doctor (because at that point he couldn't take himself), his spleen was quite enlarged and his red blood cells were MIA. The doctor said, "this looks like mono." Well, she was right. By the time we got a diagnosis, he was starting to feel better, and now at not quite 4 weeks out, he is feeling much better. He has no stamina, and usually goes to bed early, but he has been going to work and making it through the day without a 4 hour nap!

BUT we booked a cycling vacation in the Canadian Rockies, starting July 30. We are scheduled to leave this Thursday to spend a few days visiting son #2 in North Dakota. We don't have trip insurance....... so I am going and DH is not. There is no way that he will be able to ride and rather than spend 6 days in the SAG wagon, we decided to take a credit for 2/3 of his trip. When it was clear that he was not critically ill and would be able to take care of himself, I asked him how he would feel if I went without him, and he reminded me that he has taken vacations without me.

And so, I am going to Grand Forks ND, then Calgary, where I will be picked up by Bicycle Adventures for a cycling tour from Banff to Jasper. I am excited and looking forward to it, and yet disappointed that my DH isn't coming. Ironic that we picked this trip because he has never been there. I guess I will have to tour the Canadian Rockies twice!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Two Bridges

One of the club's most popular rides is the Two Bridges Ride. It starts in Cold Spring, we travel south and cross the Bear Mt. Bridge, then head north to West Point. On a good day they let us ride through West Point. Then we climb Storm King Mountain, and descend to Newburgh. We come across the Newburgh Beacon Bridge and head south back to Cold Spring. Its 40 miles with lots of climbing. It's a favorite with the faster riders in the club.

On Thursday one of my friends led this ride at a slower pace. Her husband rides slower than she does and she wanted to take him on one of her most favorite rides. Me and some of my slower friends were able to join in! What fun.

When we got to West Point, they let us ride through. We stopped at Trophy Point where a tour guide decided we needed a history lesson! Wow, we finally had to tell him we had a lunch reservation and needed to pedal off.

The road out of West Point is a significant climb, followed by the ascent of Storm King Mountain.

This is Storm King in the winter. You can see the cut, that's the road.

A group photo at the top of course.

And a kiss when my friend's husband made it to the top.

Let me explain....... the husband had a stroke when he was 27 years old. It left him with left side paralysis. So he rides a bike with one leg and one arm. His bike has been adapted so both brakes are controlled by 1 lever, and both gear shifters are on the right. I have been riding alongside him for several years. I don't even think of him as disabled. This man lives his life as if there is nothing that he can't do (actually I know 1 thing he cannot do-- buckle his bike helmet). He has traveled around the world, scuba diving and cycling. He inspires many of us. Can't get up that hill? Really? even with 2 legs?

We made our way to Newburgh where we had lunch on the patio of one of the riverfront restaurants. Lovely. Then across the Newburgh Beacon Bridge, over the 2 ugly hills in Beacon and the sprint back to Cold Spring.

Great day.