Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cycling Challenge......get set, go

Brigitte Bardot via the blog Riding Pretty

We got more than a tease this weekend with some warmer temps, some sunshine, and with it comes my annual spring lecture. I am using you right now. I am going to suggest you try something, but I want you to know I am really talking to myself. So if I sound overly stern, just remember.............I am really lecturing myself.

This magazine ad was sitting on my reading chair yesterday. My husband ran across it while reading a travel magazine and thought I might like the image and I do think it is one of the best ads for a travel website that I have ever seen. I also think there was a subliminal message there as I had amused him the night before telling him how I understand the "zone" that athletes reach when they find a sport or activity that they just love. In other words...........get going. I saw his little smirk and I think it's time to get my "zone" back. Let's see who will be smirking now.

Photo by Rita Crane ~ Flickr

I once walked every day for one whole year, 60 minutes a day in rain and snow at a fast speed and I did not lose one inch or one pound. The summer I took to cycling I lost 16 lbs and about 6 inches in my hips and I never felt better in my life. I did not change my diet in any way. My legs were strong, my mind clear, and my hips the smallest that I remember. I had found my "zone". Though no one, and I mean this with all my heart, no one would even remotely consider me athletic in any way, I had surprised myself and everyone around me and I admit........that was the part I liked the best.

Anyone can cycle. On any bike. There is no excuse with cycling, even for the non-athletic ones. It is simply a no-brainer and it works. I simply think it is one of the best forms of exercise for a woman. This is my bike, it is the only inanimate thing I have ever kissed and said " hello friend" like I did yesterday. It was my surprise upgrade last summer, the one where I didn't quite clock as many outdoor miles as I had hoped. Not nearly as many as the 1,000 km I had the summer before, the season of slimmer hips and clear mind. Someone has to hold me accountable, it is that simple. Guess what? I am going to use you again......... but in the best possible way.

photo by Carter Smith via Dust Jacket Attic

On my sidebar will be a a photo of my bike. Beside it I am going to update my weekly cycling total in kilometers/miles, a cycling challege if you may. Yes, I am going to hold myself publicly accountable. March will be slow and erratic, the weather and winter weight may hold me back but by April I should be limbered up and close to feeling those endorphins again. Want to ride with me? Up for a challenge and some slimmer hips? Send me your first name and I will list your mileage along with mine. If I have to I will cycle alone, but it would be nice to have some virtual company. Absolutely no smirking allowed. Just enough to get you going again.

Top photo bia the blog Riding Pretty/2nd photo via website Bon Vivant/3rd photo via Rita Crane on Flickr/4th photo from Gary Fisher Bikes/5th photo by Carter Smith via blog ~ Dust Jacket Attic


  1. Sande,
    You make me smile with this great challenge! Now, all I need to do is get a bike! Any bonus points for 'lugging' a crumb on the back as I tally up my journeys? :)
    Seriously, I love to bike and sold my last one because it just didn't 'fit'. We are searching for the one that makes my heart pitter-patter in more ways than one.
    Here's to Happy Riding!

  2. I'm in the market for a new bike, so as soon as I get myself together, I am definitely "in".

  3. Wow, now there's a real challenge! In our village we're lucky enough to be able to cycle to the village grocer and baker, which I count as a real luxury, but I've never considered how many miles I might do in a year. Could miles on horseback count as well?
    By the way, I've never left a comment here before but I've been a follower for a while and often hold your blog up as an example, to be followed on bike of course!

  4. You know if I looked as good on a bike as Brigitte I'd ride every day! What if I rode every day and then I looked as lovely as Brigitte. I have been telling myself that as soon as it warms I will get the old bike out and ride again. Thanks for the push you are a dear. Wishing you a big tally for you.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  5. Sande, you are inspiring me. Not to cycle I am a bit of a klutz but to walk and to at least get moving. The weather here is getting so gorgeous a perfect time to take to the pavement. I am impressed with your ability and drive to do this, Bravo to you. I have a Spring Fling date with a special friend and we are going to try and motivate eachother to get back on track. I will love seeing your progress and hopefully it will motivate me too,Kathysue

  6. Dear Sande,

    Get Ready Set Go!! I love this post! Spring is so close and this is the best time of the year. Say Good-bye shingles! Hello Spring and all is getting better! I am proud of YOU my good friend~~


  7. Sande lets do it I have needed some one to get me motivated for months, my bike is gathering dust in the garage & I need to get fit so I'm with you, probably will not be able to do it every day with work & young kids, but going for it, do you want me to e-mail you once I start with my kilometeres?

  8. Oh my gosh what a great challenge! Iam so excited to follow it! I need a bike. This might sound fun! ~lulu

  9. Three cheers for you, Sande.... and, it is so good to put it in your sidebar which gives you even more incentive.
    I'll be rooting for you and wish you every success and, I know that you will put your heart and soul into it. XXXX

  10. Sande, I have just started back up my power walking, but now you have motivated me to go and buy a bike! My husband has baeen talking about it lately, and maybe this is just the nudge I needed. If only I looked as fashionable and chic as these photos on it. :)
    You are such an inspiration!! Thank you!!!
    Have a fantastic week.
    xo ~ Dana

  11. I have seen a lot of post with bikes for Springtime, and I want a new on. Funny story my late husband grandly sold my not so old bike, when he was made an offer of &100. at a moving sale we had!!! I was furious, well not for long, that was John for you!!

    Art by Karena

  12. How I'd love to be riding around on my bike again, but I'm finding London traffic far too scary... I think it's a brilliant challenge though, so good luck :-) PS: Thanks for stopping by at my little blog, I really did appreciate it. Carole x

  13. Go for it! Maybe you and your sweet husband will take a bicycling tour through France....

  14. perfect timing for me!
    i used to ride my bike everywhere in college (hehe i had no choice!)and it felt so good (since i dont like the gym one bit)
    i asked for a bike for xmas because i am close enough to bike to work.
    got a bike, still havent started because. . . well every excuse i can think of :)
    i would love to be included in this awesome challenge

  15. I've been meaning to get a bike and this post convinced me! I know it would be wonderful exercise and something fun to do with my fiance. I have to find one first, but once I do I'll be sure to check back in! XO Katie

  16. Sande, count me in!!!
    I trust everything you say, and boy-0-boy could I stand to lose a few pounds. My daughter's brand new un-used/never-will-be-used bike is in my garage. I'm gonna use it.
    Let's ride!!!

  17. Is it just my computer, or is the text in this post becoming smaller and smaller? Please have mercy on us with older eyes as I love reading your blog.

  18. go for it! the best shape i was ever in came from

    i have a darling, bright green bike in the garage.
    will certainly enjoy it, just as soon as the weather

    great post!

  19. I've opted for walking at least 10,000 steps on the Wii (Walk It Out)every day. I don't seem to be losing weight, but I'm certainly having fun and feeling better. It is good for your bike!

  20. Now that is what I call a sign... as just this afternoon I had an itch to get on my bike that has been stationary in the garage. You're right! the best shape I was in was when I biked every day. Count me in on your challenge.. I'm looking forward to the motivation!


  21. YOU GO GIRL! :-) I would join you in your challenge, but I don't own a bike. However, you have inspired me to get outside and jog again, now that our weather is finally turning warmer! Something about having a clear mind...sounds so lovely.

    Thanks for the wonderful source of information/inspiration that you are. I look forward to your new posts.

  22. Best of Luck Sande!
    I started running (as in 'got off the couch and') in January and hope to complete the 5k at the Bluenose Marathon here in Halifax in May. A small goal in the grand scheme, and a large goal for me.
    I love the thought of being on a bike with the cobwebs blowing from my head! I biked a lot as a kid, did a great spinning class a few years ago, and have a decent bike just sitting in the garage...who knows...?

  23. Yeah... I'm in!!!
    My husband and I bought an old Columbia tandem last summer and rode it around town a few times. Our town is flat and oh so perfect for bike riding! Here's my plan... I'm going to be first in line at Target on the 14th to buy Liberty of London's bicycle and then I will join you in this biking marathon of yours, so please add my name to your side bar. I love this idea of yours and I am so ready for this!!
    You always come up with the greatest things :)
    ~xo always

  24. Oh no. I think you've read my mind. I had been toying with the idea of getting on a bike again after hmphmpf years and then I saw the Liberty bikes coming to Target (even posted about them!). And now I've found your "challenge". Something or someone is speaking to me and I think I'd better listen. Like you say, I am not an athlete (nor am I looking to be one), but I can ride a bike. And it has to be more interesting than walking endless miles for no apparent reason (oh, I know it's good for my heart and my blood pressure but sooooo boring) When I get my new flowery bike and take it for a spin, if I don't DIE I'll be back to join your challenge. Great idea!
    (PS: I've been here before but don't think I've ever commented. Sorry for that and for this extra long one now!)

  25. I'm catching up on your blog posts and as always I love ALL of them!
    It's interesting you say you never lost weight walking. I have been walking all over NYC for months and I think I've actually GAINED weight. I can't figure it out. Maybe I just need to get a bike! Or stop eating all the delicious NY bagels :-)

  26. O.K Sandy, I have been pretty determined to shed a little extra poundage and I love biking. I'll get my flat tire fixed, buy an odometer and I'm with you. Funny what you say about walking. I have just started power walking although I have been calling it what it is, "My fat burning walks." I love it, but I keep wishing I was biking so that I could cover more ground.

  27. Thanks Sande for using the Bridget Bardot photo from my blog RidingPretty (my blog where it's ALL about bicycles)... What a fantastic blog you have Sande! I am so excited to have discovered you ;)
    Your challenge is so motivating. Good Luck everyone!
    XX RidingPretty

  28. lovely post........J'adore Bardot on the bicyclettte!!!

    xoxo Bardot in Blue

  29. What an excellent idea! This is just the incentive I need to purchase a new bike.
    Consider me in!

  30. Perfect timing, although I am a bit behind in the game...I have been eyeing my bike every day, wondering what it will take for me to add some air in the tires and get going!Please add me on your do I update on my mileage?
    Great idea, thanks!

  31. Sande, please count me in! My name is Tanna. I'm going to search through your other posts to see if I can find any suggestions on bikes. I have a beautiful cruiser, "Miss Daisy", but wonder if I need to find a different one for this type riding???


Your comments are such a lovely addition to my day. Thank you.


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