Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Rules of the Road, Part I

I've been think this A LOT lately. It's always gotten under my skin, but when this happened it really hit close to home. And while that accident had a (more or less) happy ending, I don't want to have to see any more Ghost Bikes in Madison or anywhere!!

As a cyclist, competitive (yes, I am using that word very loosely these days), casual and as a commuter, I try to lead by example. I wear a helmet. I have lights on my bike (and a bell). I use hand signals. I communicate with other cyclists and runners on paths (an "on your left" goes a long way and isn't very hard to say). I follow the rules of the road. I am also very aware and mindful of other cyclists and vehicles on the road. But very few are!!
@sawaboof said it best: I'm pretty over the "Share the road means give me the road" attitude. Equal road rights means equal road rules.

It's true.

When on foot, few pedestrians think twice before stepping out into traffic. Have you ever been down on campus when classes let out? Walk sign, crosswalk, traffic, or not. The pedestrian mindset is that they have the right of way.

Bicycles want equal road rights, and lanes and laws, but many are quick to shirk the responsibilities of being on the road. Stops signs are run, turns are made without signaling, head and tail lights are not used.

This isn't the war that it has been made out to be. It's about being courteous and cautious of one another. It's about knowing the Rules of the Road and following them!!

The bicycle is defined as a vehicle. [340.01(5)] The operator of a vehicle is granted the same rights and subject to the same duties of the driver of any other vehicle. [346.02(4)(a)]

Before you make your next turn or lane change while driving down the road, check your blind-spots, look in your mirrors, yield to a cyclist as you would another vehicle. And the next time you are riding down the street on your bike, signal your intentions, observe and obey the traffic signs, and ride smart!

Please please pleas, for your safety, for the safety of others, for the safety of the people you care about, take the time to read the Rules of the Road and check out the Bike Fed's newest safety campaign: Share & Be Aware.

Friday, August 13, 2010

from Fat to Fit

I am currently typing this from the comfort of my own home, while enjoying a much needed day off! After surviving the trade show from hell, and doing it with an epic cold, a day away from the corporate grind was a must.

So yeah, I'm still a fatty. It's true. And this week did nothing to help that.

Looooong days on your feet and being sick does not exactly inspire you to get in an extra workout. In fact, all it really inspires is food on the run (and usually not good food) and sleep. It's all about creature comforts.

And this weekend is wifezilla's reception. Aaaawesome. Super stoked. The redeeming qualities of this weekend? I'm not working (woot woot), we're headed to the Great Taste before the reception AND my BFF is my copilot all weekend (heck yeah!!).

So needless to say, I don't expect there to be much exercise or healthiness this weekend. I just don't. And I'm full of excuses.

I am happy to report that biking is becoming less painful and I can go farther before feeling it in my foot or getting tired. So I consider than a little step in the right direction. And, I am excited to announce, ChaLEAN starts Sunday!

Speaking of goals for this fall/winter, the PT has put the kibosh on a winter marathon. Sad face. She thinks, and probably rightfully so, that early December could be a bit much too soon. We are still on track to start running in a month's time, which is a hug win....albeit 15 months later, but building quite that much mileage in time for Vegas will be push.

So instead I am shooting for the Tyrenena 1/6th barrel beer run in early November and a January 1/2 marathon somewhere warm (details to be announced at a later date).

Goals for next week:
Full week of ChaLEAN
No fried food (which means no french fries.....)
Bike commute everywhere non-work related

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Woah, it's been almost forever since I was here last. It's been almost as long since I've last been able to give my undivided attention to the interweb and all of the fabulous blogs out there, which gives you an idea of what life has been like lately. I am an internet junkie, very little keeps me from the interweb. But I digress. So yeah, I'm just stopping by to give a shout out to some of the awesome things in my life!! More soon, I promise.

This week has been trying to say the least and I'm THANKFUL it's OVER!! We had a marathon like trade show for week, and it was, um, unpleasant to say the least. Looooong hours, lots of standing, and talking. And I got sick with some plague-like cold. But it's over now and I am oh-so-thankful it's behind me for 365 days!

Let me also verbalize my gratitude for the interweb and social media, because they are fab-u-lous! Twitter, blogs, Google, Travelocity, and oh so much more!! This may sound somewhat superficial, and perhaps it is, but these things have helped me meet some super wicked awesome people, keep in touch with friends near and far, help me pass college (for reals) and so much more. Was there life before internet? I'm thankful I don't have to think about it.

I also give a little thanks for the great people in my life. My friends are wonderful and I love them! And I am so super excited thankful that my BFF is coming to visit this weekend. I super HEART her and and am sooooo so so thankful I get to have quality girl time with her. HUGS!!

I'm also thankful that I'm headed for sushi and drinks. Mmmm, yeah. Gotta go!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Windy City

The last week of July had been set aside for vacation, since well last summer. We debated between RAGBRAI and Glacier National Park...but decided that roadtripping, hiking, backpacking, biking and camping was the way to go. Really no contest in my opinion, but Wyatt is not the camper that I am. Anywho. Obviously this whole foot thing pretty much put the kibosh on that adventure. And it's not like, given my handi-capable state, RAGBRAI was an option. I was bummed to say the least. No racing, no running, no vacation in 2010. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

I should also mention that I burned through a large portion of my vacation time with surgery so I did even have the time to take. Double grumble.

We decided to take a few long weekends this year and spread out the vacation time as best we could. Thus Katie and the mini-break were united!

Our first mini-break was this past weekend as we headed down to the windy city for 3 days. In all truth it was more like 2 1/2 by the time we hit the road on Friday, but we were on vacation so sleeping in and being lazy is totally acceptable. We left, um, noon-ish. What we weren't anticipating was siting in traffic for-ev-er. Seriously, the GPS said 2 1/2 hours, allowing for traffic and incidentals, we assumed 3'ish. But 5? No way. It was definitely a trying experience. Wyatt, who was just down in Chi-town during the week for work was having none of this. Crabby doesn't begin to explain the mood of the car.

We got down there and settled into the hotel around 5-530. We had booked a room online and didn't really know a whole lot more about it. Turns out the Sax hotel was super swank and very cool. It was next door to the House of Blues, a few blocks off Michigan Ave and just generally in hip little corner of downtown. We checked in to find out that Kidd Rock's official after party was in their hotel bar/lounge that night. Woah. Not that we are big Kidd Rock fans or anything, but it was still cool to see a little red carpet outside the hotel and the excitement associated. Our room had huge windows, a big clean comfy bed (not something you find at the area Red Roof Inn, now is it W?) and bathrobes! I've never stayed in the kind of fancy-schmancy hotel that provides soft snuggly bathrobes for their guests, so pardon my excitement.

Friday night, given the time we arrived, was the perfect time to wander Michigan Ave and take in the sights and shops. Burberry and Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's, OH MY! I gingerly stroked (to be read as manhandled) the classic Burberry raincoat, I ogled the fine smocks that LV had on displayed, and I channeled my inner girly-girl and and sappy at Tiffany and Co. Le sigh.

We attempted to grab a bite to eat nearby, but everything has a 2+ hour wait. INSANE! My empty tummy was having no part of that. We opted to take a 5min cab ride just a wee bit down the rode to a pizza place and were greeted with a much more manageable wait. Success!

We wrapped up the night with a cocktail at Dick's Last Resort and called it a night around 11 or so.

Saturday we got up at the crack of noon and went in search of food. Wyatt had an inkling, nay an obsession with, to find a restaurant from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The closest diner/breakfast spot, the Steak and Egger, was a 10 or so minute drive southwest of downtown. Off we went. What did we run into along the way? A giant street festival, Fiesta del Sol if I recall, in a hispanic part of town. We should've known we were in trouble when the cabby advised us to take the cab company's number as cab's didn't come out that way. We grabbed some brunch, Wyatt thought his was super tasty, mine not so much. We wondered the festival which was hoppin' for it being only like 2pm, and decided to call for a cab.

An hour and 3 phone calls later we still were without transportation. Fuuuuuuck. We consulted the iPhone for the nearest train or bus stop, but the real life saver was the gentleman who recognized us for the lost gringos that we were. He directed us to the nearby stop and even advised what line to take.
We continue to wait...

Once we figured out the "L" system tho getting around Chi-town was a breeze (and cheap!!)

After all was said and done, and that little adventure was behind us, we headed straight to the MCA which is my all time favorite museum. There was a pretty cool Calder exhibit, a new curation of the permanent collection and we even got be art!

Dressed up after our performance.

Our visit to the MCA even left enough time to stop back by Tiffany's. Oh how I love that store! (For the record, I blame my mom for inundating me with fabulous classic movies for creating this monster,)As Holly Golightly once said...I don't want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I'm not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It's like Tiffany's. Left unsupervised I may or may not have made my way to the extra sparkly and out of the budget section. And I may or may not have been busted trying on extra sparkly rights on my left hand. I don't know what to tell you other than I'm not sorry.

On the way back to the hotel we noticed masses of people congregating and gawking. Of course we went over to investigate, who do you think we are? What did we stumble on while on mini-break? It was Transformers 3 filming 3 blocks from our hotel. Wyatt just about peed his pants. OMG! Transformers! Robots! Explosions! WOAH!! They were filming a scene where Transformers, presumably the Deceptacons were coming across the Wabash St bridge and just generally tearing things up. It was like a kid in a candy store. Wyatt was so so soooo excited.

Eventually we bid adieu to Optimus Chicago and made made our way back to the hotel. We changed for dinner and headed just a wee bit south to a great Mexican restaurant. The food was good, the drinks were ah-mazing, but the service was awful! Ah well, you can't win 'em all. We got of there and hopped the train to Wriggleyville to check out the Blue Man Group, which Wyatt can only describe as rad. Totally rad. It was midnight-ish and i was too pooped to par-tay so we headed back to the hotel for another blissful mini-break night of zzz's.

But not before we stopped back at the Transformer set to see everything in the moonlight. One of the security/production assistants was handing out the shells from the epic fight scene they had been filming. Wyatt got 2. I think he is still carrying them around with him...

Sunday we got up early, um 1030ish, and decided to wander the riverwalk and enjoy the weather. We walked down to the lakefront, almost to Navy Pier and eventually grabbed a bite to eat at the Chicago Burger Co. Not too shabby.

Lunch on the river before heading home.

We called it quits and headed home around 3 or so. I wish it didn't have to end but we were both pooped and ready to start the drive home.

I definitely recommend a weekend in Chicago! It was great to park the car and just wander and explore from there. Even Wyatt, a non-Chicago fan, had a great time and wants to go back. So IronBri, what are you waiting for?!? I'll meet you in the windy city!

There are so many more things I could tell you about the weekend and why I love Chicago. Not quite pack my bags and move there love, that's reserved for NYC, but it a fabulous city I'd visit any time.


Yep that pretty much describes my day. I have a headache. I should be sent home in case it's contagious...

Where have I been? Besides on Twitter, duh.

Well, between Restaurant Week and work and a mini-break to Chicago I kind of fell off the blogging-bandwagon last week...and this week AND next week is certainly not going to be any week. Blech.

I certainly had a better attitude and things I am thankful for last week. I even mentally wrote my post while biking home from dinner on Thursday. It was going to the be Late Night/3 Cocktail addition. But then I got home and fell asleep pretty much immediately. Oops.

Oh! And Fat to Fit was a giant FAIL last week. I mean, I am walking way more and biking places more than I have in months, but there was a 1# gain last week. I blame PMS. And junk food, let's be honest. Tomorrow I meet with the PT for the first time and on Thursday I see the doc again, so I am optimistic that between the two I will get the green light to transition to running by September. Cross your fingers (and toes) because this girl wants to go to Vegas!

Let's not poo-poo my Chicago mini-break either. That deserves a post all its own. Maybe I'll be able to squeak that out while watching The Bachelorette season finale tonight (go Chris!). But let me tide you over with tidbits like lost in the ghetto, Transformers 3, and Blue Man group. Yeah, it was a swell time.

My lunch has come to an end...and as I would rather stay on the boss-man's good side I better scoot.Publish Post