Tag Archives: biking

full up to to the very brim.

Chickadees, this has been a getting.things.done kind of weekend.

Yesterday, LM and I managed to put together a bed, a TV stand, and very successfully start to un-jumble her move into a lovely new apartment.

Also, there was wine.

And, lunch- a new sandwich spot that has already made its way onto my list of favorites. It’s called Pane’s Bread Cafe, and I have already researched enough to know that it delivers up all the way west to my address.

I imagine this will turn into a regular visiting place for me.

After a calm night of hanging on a patio drinking vodka-y concoctions with my family JW and I headed home to sleep at an entirely reasonable hour of the evening.

Which was great, since it meant a morning of paper reading, breakfast having, bike riding, and soccer playing.

And then- bar bites and sips at Fat Cat, our sponsor bar.

It’s been a fantastic weekend so far.

And luckily for me- it’s not over. I’m still staring down some serious cooking and festival going this evening.

You can’t go wrong with something that’s officially called Burger Fest.

At least that’s the way I’m looking at it.

Enjoy the rest of this Sunday, chickens, it’s a beautiful world out there.


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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Things that are delicious

If you get lost, you can always be found

Hey there chickadees.

Sorry for the temporary pause in the action.

I’ve been in the suburbs, immersed in book discussions and good conversation and other such activities.

I thought that since it’s been a few days, I’d do a round-up of sorts, because really, what’s better than a round-up?

Sunday night, we traveled to Ravinia, where we ate all kinds of delicious foods, drank white wine spritzers, and chatted through Steve Martin’s set.

It turns out, I love bluegrass.

Or maybe I just love Steve Martin.

Or maybe it’s just Ravinia in general.

In any case, it was a beautiful summer night, and I have nothing bad to say about it.

That’s the view up from my seat at Ravinia. Basically, I’m in a tree. And I love it.

Just a snapshot of the snacks we brought with us- they were all delicious.


Monday night, there was a hypnotist brought in for my group’s entertainment.

“I won’t volunteer- and I know I’m a target,” I kept saying, trying to make a point.

I volunteered almost immediately anyway.

I then sang the ABC song on stage, while in a weird, I’m-sort-of-there-but-am-I-really trance.

I also thought my name was Pepper.

There’s a video, but fortunately, I don’t have access to it at this time.

I’m getting outside my comfort zone, chickens.


While I was gone, I received an e-mail from Ky, stating the following:

We should get goats and rent them out. I’m pretty sure that we could make some cash without much effort at all.


I laughed immediately, scanned the article, and felt a little skeptical about the prospect of owning goats to my resume. To this, I received the following response:

For 6 weeks of goats NYC paid the goat man over $20,000!!!! I see no reason why this would not be a successful business venture hahahahahaha

I’ll have to give this one some more thought.


I made it back out for another bike ride this morning. It’s such a good way to start the day, and with CJ at my side, it’s mostly just like chatting.

But strengthening our muscles instead of sipping cocktails.

Here’s to mixing it up, right?


Last night, my brother and I drove home to the city and happened upon a request-only radio station that normally plays top 40 hits only.

Apparently though, the request-only portion of the evening brings out the more guitar-y, lovely voice crowd.

Which I didn’t mind at all.

And with the invention of Shazam (How do I do it? Is it Zazzle? Can I zazzle it? I said to MJ, as I fumbled with the touch screen and he, thankfully, kept his eyes on the road), I was able to add this little gem to my listening collection:

I know he’s from American Idol.

And I don’t even care.

Enjoy the sunshine, chickpeas- Wednesday’s here already!


Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, Things that are delicious

it’s a crazy place out there.

The other day I received the following message from my pal JD with the subject line titled simply “Why?”:

Bret Michaels has a pet accessory line at PetSmart and we have to work for a living. Is this fair?

JD always asks the hard questions.

The answer, in this case, of course, is absolutely not.

And yet, while Bret Michaels (of Every Rose has its Thorns and Rock of Love fame) gets to design leashes and other dog accessories for a living (or, let’s be honest, employs someone to design this rocker pet-wear for a living), I’m getting ready for my daily commute to cube-land.


This is somewhat depressing, in the grand scheme of things.

If only I could have thought of dog bandanas and plush guitar accessories as a means of earning disposable income.

This world’s a funny place, chickadees.

In an effort to keep my eyes on the prize, I’m focusing on speeding towards the end of my day, which includes laying my eyes on my friends, riding bikes with JW, and listening to a sweet concert.

And that’s only the Friday night line up.

Summer in this city is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It’s about time I got to it.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, This makes me crazy

hit the road, jack.

This morning, CJ and I made a triumphant return to our careers as bike riders.

80% of success is showing, up right?

We met at six, and I mentioned that it looked brighter in the early morning than I remembered from our Summer of Triathlon.

“I’m pretty sure we used to meet at 5:00 AM,” she said.

Oh yeah. That’s right.

“I think something’s wrong with my front brake,” she told me. “I think it’s okay though.”

We just hopped on our bikes anyway.

It was go time.


We took off, headed toward the lake, and I noticed it was taking us awhile to hit the actual street.

As in, we were riding on the sidewalk.

Like children.

Or suburbanites.

We eased onto busy Ashland.

It’s best to get back into these things slowly, chickens.


We hit the Lakeshore path at a slower clip than in our glory days, but all things considered, the ride was going well.

Except for the wind situation.

But aside from nearly being blown over, we were moving right along.

I feel good about this, I thought.

Moments later, we came upon a poor older gentlemen who had hit a runner with his bike and was splayed out on the pavement, unresponsive.

The girl he hit had a big gash on her arm, and a fleet of bikers started to gather at the scene.

We halted our bikes and waited for the firetrucks to get there.

He started to come to on the stretcher, and eventually, CJ and I took off on our bikes.

I will assure you, good readers, that he was wearing a helmet.

I might be getting elbow pads, just as a precaution.


Despite our shake-up with the bike accident, and the fact that  the wind and our lack of practice held us back in the speed department, we completed about 10 miles on our bikes without personal injury.

We’ll be back at it in no time, chickadees.

Enjoy that sunshine!


Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Reflections

spinning out of control.

I love my Y spin instructor.

But because of a series of scheduling conflicts and also that her class is on one of the only days JW’s home from school, I haven’t made it to her 80s beats-rocking session in several months.

But then the gym put a spinning bike out in the cardio room.

Perfect, I thought.

I then discovered it had the option to spin to a biking video, complete with instructor.

Even better.

But now, I’m just not so sure.

This morning I decided to hit up the endurance program, which simply means Do the same thing at the same level over and over.

Because I’m not always quick on the draw, I figured eventually the spandex-clad leader would take me through some alternate movement.

Nope. “Just keep pedaling. Let’s pedal like this for five minutes.”


That was okay, though, to a point. I could pedal along, even if I was bored.

It was then that the man in the video started talking more.

He said things like “Stay supple” and “I want to see you play your bike like an instrument.”

Cut to a wide shot of him on his spin bike with a LASER background.

I wish I was kidding but simply am not.

After several more weird phrases (such as, let me see the rhythm in your body), a really frightening open-mouthed smile, and other trippy, moving backgrounds, I was finally done.

“Thanks for taking a ride with me,” he said.

It might be our last one, dude.

Monday’s previous conflicts are looking like peanuts compared to another early morning program with this dude.


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Reflections

a scorcher.

These past couple of days have been so hot that my post-El appearance has been straight up embarrassing.

So much sweating.

Not a pretty sight.

This morning, CJ and I decided we could get a bike ride in if we just planned it early enough.

We met at 6:00 am.

It wasn’t early enough.

It was oppressively hot, but the lake was looking pretty beautiful, and the city was just waking up, so it was worth the ride.

Then, I nearly died.

And not of the heat.

I came careening into an intersection (I’m still not really sure why, maybe I couldn’t stop in time, maybe I wasn’t checking traffic carefully enough), and I was about one millimeter from slamming myself into a moving car.

In some form of divine intervention, I slammed on my brakes, missed the car, and then made it across the rest of the intersection.

CJ followed me, asking what happened, and noting that she had screamed out my name in concern (which somehow I didn’t hear) while I sped towards my hypothetical death.

Look both ways, chickadees.

That’s my advice this morning.

I made it back home in one piece, and decided I wouldn’t tell JW about this incident, since it would only worry him and lead him to believe I was an incompetent bike rider (which I promise, I am not. I follow the Rules of the Road). I caught him walking out of our building as I was putting away my bike.

He said hi.

“I almost died,” I blurted.

I’ve never been much of a secret keeper.

But I always wear my helmet.


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Near Disaster, Weather

i feel the earth move under my feet.

This morning, I was up early for a variety of reasons, but the planned reason was to take myself on a bike ride with CJ.

We’re back to our old tricks, which I think is definitely an improvement.

My bike has missed me, I think.

We made our way downtown, with the lake and the city as our backdrop.

It was lovely.

We turned around at our usual spot, and headed back, anticipating an easy ride back.

For some reason, we always seem to be faster on the way home.

But today, this was not the case.

Chicago’s biting winds decided to pick up instead, which basically meant that we were fighting just to stay on our bikes all the way home.

I felt like I’d won some kind of war by the time I got safely home.

Remind me to check out a forecast next time I decide to take my bike out of its safe, non-windy home.

Up tonight is making some kind of dinner (as shower leftovers and Piece pizza have been the thing around here, this week), doing yoga, and getting ready for two important events occurring tomorrow:

1. Running an 8k that I have absolutely not prepared for properly.

Does making a sweet playlist count as preparation?

If not, I’ve got nothing to show and we’ll just see what happens.


Sorry, had to get that out.

But really, it’s going to be awesome.

And no, I’m not going in costume.

Check you chickens later!


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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times, Near Disaster, Weather

tri-ing again.

Chickens, I’ve been up way too long.

But on the plus side, I met up with CJ and JK and we took ourselves on a the-sun’s-just-up bike ride along the lake.

Which was really quite lovely, even considering the fact that my legs are feeling a little bit more like jell-o than my legs at the moment.

And that I was forced to wear my embarrassing tri-shorts because of a laundry situation I’m having.

They’re not as embarrassing when you’re doing something more legitimate in them, like training for a triathlon.

When you’re struggling to stay on the bike and you’ve woefully neglected riding for the past ten months, it’s a little embarrassing.

Up today- is anyone else extremely excited that it’s already Thursday? There’s nothing like a nice, short week to get things moving in the right direction. I’m spending the weekend in Waterloo, relaxing and crossing off some wedding items (like maybe finally ordering myself some invites??) and having my first wedding shower.

I have been assured that this event will include cake, friends, food, and family, and so I’m pretty sure that bodes well for me.

Things are looking up, chickadees.

But now, in a state of perpetual lateness, I’m off to try and get to a meeting scheduled for 9:00.

Why 9:00 AM meetings exist I’m not really sure.

I’m just sure that they result in missed coffee opportunities and rushing around the downtown area on foot.

Catch you guys later!




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Filed under Chicago, Did I really do that?, Good times, Michigan, Near Disaster, Reflections

From sea to shining sea.

Sorry for the long absence, chickens, but it’s been a crazy couple of days.

Sidling up to a computer hasn’t exactly been my number one priority.

And what a lovely weekend that it was. Full of concerts, fireworks, BBQs, bike rides, the beach (twice!), all of my friends, and Moody’s.

It totally makes the nasty sunburn I got yesterday worth it.

When will I learn the proper protocol for sunscreen?

Good question.

While I ponder that, and how I’m going to get through a day of sitting on my sore glutes (first bike ride in a long time, my friends), typing with my sore arms (see: kettlebells, yoga, bike ride, sunburn), I’ll share with you a couple of shots that made this weekend so glorious. And freedom loving, of course.

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Filed under Chicago, Good times, Reflections, Things that are delicious, Weather

Bear Down.

Yesterday morning JW and I were sitting around, eating breakfast and reading the paper, when he looked up from the sports section and noted,

“No one has the Bears to win today.”

To which I replied,

“I don’t care. I do.”

He laughed. I scowled, and we went about our day.

Please note who was right though.

I’ll give you a hint.

It was not the Tribune.

I love you, Bear-ies.

Thanks for not throwing any interceptions.

If you're happy, I'm happy.

Anyway, aside from my city’s statement-making win over Dallas, yesterday consisted of riding my bike down Lincoln to soccer, which was mildly successful.

Bike riding on busy streets makes me sweat.

I prefer the Lakeshore path at 5:30 AM, if we’re gonna be honest.

CTA buses = scarier than slow moving garbage trucks.

Thanks for listening to that analysis.

Oh yeah, also, we won the soccer game.

Up today, speed reading this (because I’m hosting book club, with 400 pages to go–oops), reacquainting myself with my cubicle, hitting the treadmill, and making something sort of like this:

Except with changes, because that’s my style.

It’s butternut squash season, chickadees, and that is something to get excited about.

Also, I’m gonna try and stay up past 9:00 PM, which turned out to be too difficult last night.

Sometimes you’ve got to know when to just call it day.

Have a good one chicks!

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Filed under Chicago, Good Reads, Good times, I love sports