bike travel

The final post on TA 1 - finally!

A number of people commented that it did not feel like there was a last post about the first leg of our Transamerica ride last year. There is a reason for that: it didn't feel like the leg actually finished. The final day's ride was cancelled due to cold and snow. Some amazing women chose to ride anyway, but most of us did not. We got out of the snow and into the van and we drove to West Yellowstone, the final destination of the first leg. And we all said goodbye and we went home. It was all kind of anti-climactic and it didn't feel like I had much to say about it.

Today a group of us rode that final leg. We rode our bikes from Ennis to W. Yellowstone as we had planned to do 11 months ago. That ride is now complete.

I am not one to feel like I need to ride every mile. Last year there were a couple of legs that had portions that did not feel safe for me personally. The route was safe and the support fabulous, but it was not for me on those days. So I chose to ride short distances in the van. I am fine with those choices and I would make those decisions again.

But this was different. It was the final leg. The entire final leg. We didn't finish on our bikes. It just felt incomplete in a big way for me. Not everyone felt that way. Not all of us rode it today, but for me, and perhaps the others who rode, it finished something that felt undone.

I am very grateful to WomanTours for letting us ride those last 71 miles today. I am looking forward to our first leg of TA2, which takes us into Yellowstone National Park. I have spent a week exploring it with Margaret, but doing so mostly by car is very different than by bike. When we ride the pace it allows me to see and hear things I never would from a car.

I really wanted to see a grizzly this week and yesterday I did. I do NOT want to see a grizzly while on my bike. I do not want to see many bison blocking the road as we did in the car. I really do not want to meet any wild animals while on my bike, but I am excited to see and hear the Park in a new way. Onward!

Osprey! Seen on a more typical September day in 2019.

Osprey! Seen on a more typical September day in 2019.

Sue makes a snowman on what was to be the day of our final ride into West Yellowstone in 2018.

Sue makes a snowman on what was to be the day of our final ride into West Yellowstone in 2018.

Two major steps along the way to ride

One: Today I received notification that the bike shop in Bozeman, MT has completed the assembly of my bike!

There was a communication issue with my bike shop and that made it touch and go for a couple of days, but it was resolved and my beloved Georgena Terry is ready for me to oick up at noon tomorrow!

Two: I have determined that I am done with the packing/repacking/questioning choices/ repacking/pulling things out of bags/putting things in bags and, of course, weighing/compulsively weighing my bags. When the alarm goes off at 3:00 am tomorrow morning, what is in my bags now will be what goes with me to Bozeman and beyond.


All packed!

All packed!

Bike Tour Begins, Day 1 Sturgeon Bay, WI

This week I am on a much needed vacation in Door County, WI. The last couple of months have been stressful. Buying the yoga studio, launching a personal training business fulfill a passion for me, but there is no question that it has also brought some stress! My primary business has been busy and one of my key employees gave just 2 weeks of notice right before I was to leave on this vacation. That sucked and I was angry. That meant I had to cancel the non-bike ride portion of the trip. Margaret and I were going to visit friends in Madison before heading north for the ride. We couldn't do that because this woman chose that time and that method of quitting.  

That gave me many opportunities to practice what I preach! I have spent a lot of time focusing on my breathing in the last week.  I have tried to focus on my goals and the processes I have in place to reach them. In short, I have tried not to give in to the crazy.  I have to say - mixed results! 

But here we are in Sturgeon Bay, WI. A beautiful location for a bike ride and we are meeting about 10 women with whom we did a previous Woman Tours ride in Ireland. That ride was 4 years ago - I know because it has been showing up every day in my Facebook feed.  That was Margaret's and my first bike tour and we were really nervous about it.  I had pushed Margaret to do it by choosing Ireland as the location.  A bike is a beautiful way to see Ireland. A bike is actually a beautiful way to see the world. The pace is perfect in my opinion to both see enough to feel like you get a sense of the place, but also slow enough that you can get a sense of the place and the people.  Plus, the freedom of a bike is just about perfect in my view.  

I have been a Spinning® instructor for many years and in the past that was the primary way I trained for cycling year round.  That has changed as I stopped teaching Spinning® in order to really focus on yoga and my personal goals rather than having the focus on teaching Spinning®. I started doing CrossFit about 18 months ago. I wanted to build strength. I fell in love with the sport of CrossFit and the community that lives in those gyms.  This year I put an old bike on a trainer and used an application called TrainerRoad for my cycling-specific training. The combination of both (and losing some weight in the process) has caused me to make huge gains in my cycling power.  I also bought a new bike, made custom for me by Georgena Terry and it feels like an extension of me in a way no other bike ever has.  

I have also brought a focus back to my yoga practice. I have "done" yoga for decades. But for most of that time, my "practice" was based on whatever classes were available in a slot that worked in my schedule.  There is nothing wrong with that - at all.  However, I realized that I needed to make a change in that approach about the time I turned 50.  I started to have injuries more often and they took longer to heal - if they ever really did.  I had aches and pains that could not be fixed by any doctor.  I realized that yoga was how I could address those physical issues. Not only through the physical practice, but the mind side as well.  Physical changes are a fact of life, but they do not have to be limiting facts of life. 

Over simplified, the physical (asana) portion of yoga began in order to allow bodies to be able to sit in meditation for many hours. I realized that today we need yoga not so much to allow us to sit for long periods - most of us do that every day for long periods (though not in meditation!) - we need yoga to be able to move.  We have different physical needs than yogis did historically in India, and I think that means we need to apply the lessons of their teachings to our current world and our current needs and use the practice of yoga to keep us strong and able to move through all stages of our life.  The idea of Move to Live was born and my practice is centered around that idea And so is the business that I am working to build. Move to Live Yoga and Fitness Studios.  

Riding my bike this week will apply many of the practices that I have developed for myself and that I want to share with others.  I am a 56 year old woman who spends most of her time in a high-stress office job. But I use yoga and strength training in combination to live the life I want to.  I can't wait to get out there on the road! Thanks for coming on this journey with me.