Thursday, January 26, 2017

A PFW Lunch and Dinner

December 27, 2016 and January 24, 2017

It's been a long while since I last posted a blog so this is a catch up of all events since I returned from NJ in mid December.

I arrived home in Florida from NJ and came down with the flu that lasted most of the month.  I was off the bike until a trial run on Christmas Day.  It was a short ride with a lot of wind but at least I was back on the bike even though it was only 16 miles.  It was a turning point for me.  It took me almost another two weeks for me to stop coughing while riding.

Happily I can report that I am now fully recovered and back to cycling and life!

December 27, 2016

Bob S graciously hosted a ride with a lunch afterward in Marco Island.   The ride was a 28 mile ride with a rest stop at the Marco Island farmer's market.  Al Porter, who was on his way to South Beach, was staying with Bob and Meg and was able to join the ride and the lunch.  Bruce K as well as myself also joined the ride.

Bob and Meg hosted lunch which consisted of a quinoa dish with chicken.  Everyone enjoyed that dish, espeically me,  and I hope the next time I visit, if they are having lunch, that they will offer that dish again.

Unfortunately I was not able to join Bob and Meg and Al and Marion on Bob's boat for an afternoon ride after the lunch but I heard it was very nice.  Also unfortunate was the fact that I didn't take any photos of this great event. 

Thanks to Bob and Meg....Bob for putting together a nice ride and Meg and Bob for a delicious lunch.

January 24, 2017

Dennis and his wife, Marion hosted a dinner at their home in East Naples.  There were about 20 attendees all were connected with PFW in some way.  Al Porter again graced us with his presence after driving back for a few days from South Beach with his wife Marion.  Another guest was Ira S and his wife Rose. 

This time I did take photos and I will let them speak for themselves.

 Dennis decided to decorate the mailbox so that guests would not pass the house.  Very cleaver!

 The following photos are of the house where Dennis and Marion are staying until March as well as guests enjoying the festivities

And of course the food!

It was a great feast and a good time was had by all.   Thank you to Marion and Dennis for a tremendous amount of work to put this dinner together.   It was a huge success.  The only question I have is.......
When is the next one??

Friday, December 16, 2016

Joanna Lumley's Trip to NJ

December 16, 2016

For those of you who don't know who JoAnna Lumley is a link

It was a surprise that I would be attending the PFW Holiday party in December and I needed a cover.  Dave C. was instrumental in creating the alias for me.   It had Andy C. so perplexed not only did he google her but he almost waterboarded Dave when he learned that she was a British actress and couldn't possibly be Dave's date.  We pulled it off pretty nicely.

I had asked Perpetual Headwinds to list a ride so that I could come ride with the group but with the bitter cold temperatures on the morning of December 10th, I politely begged off the ride but agreed to come to the start of the ride.  Laura played along and introduced me as the surprise visitor and posted in her blog that Joanna Lumley appeared at the ride start with Dave.  Thanks Laura for not blowing my cover.

Although I didn't get a chance to take photos at the holiday party .......mainly because I was catching up with familiar faces.....the party, the attendees and the food was just exceptional.  Thank you to Andy C, our club vice president, along with Ira, club president who put a lot of time and effort to making the party a success.

On Monday, Al P of the TSS crew, announced that he would delay the ride start until 12:30 PM from Etra Park to let the roads dry from the morning rain.  Dave and I decided to join the crew.  OMG.  Although I was properly dressed in winter gear, the air was raw and bit right through my gloves to numb my fingers.  It was 44 degrees which I thought was warm but it turned out to be very cold and damp. The rest stop was at Roy's and was a welcome sight.  We ended up with 35 miles.  What have I learned from this ride?  I learned not to ride in NJ in December when it's not above 50 degrees.  I have become acclimatized to FL weather and I just can't take it any more!  Below are some photos from that ride.

 Can you tell I was cold?

Glad to be finished with the ride

Dave and I had decided to go into NYC after the ride to see the tree.  We were not going to have much time but we went anyway.  We arrived at 8 PM.  We missed the Bryant Park ice skaters and outdoor Christmas market because it closed at 8 PM.   I thought NY never slept but apparently it does.

Here are some photos of what we saw.

 Wait...who are those people?  It's Dave and Cheryl.  I look tired on the train but I was really excited about going into to see the tree!

An aisle decorated inside of Macy's flagship store

One of the Macy's windows. 

We headed towards Rockefeller Center and the tree.  It was a nice night to walk and the crowds were almost non-existent. 

The Rockefeller Ice Rink with the tree in the background

 What an amazing tree!

Angel's way

 The Sak's Fifth Avenue light display on the store walls.  Truly spectacular

 The lights surrounding the Sak's windows.  

 One of the moving manequins in the Sak's window. Her eyelids moved!

 Another manequin in the Sak's window

We also visited St. Patrick's cathedral and saw the manager.  What is missing in the picture below?  No cheating.  

In the Catholic religion the baby Jesus is not placed in the manager until midnight mass.   I never knew that!

It was a great trip but in the future I think I will wait until the summer to come visit!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The TSS Shirt

Wednesday December 1, 2016

This blog is just a short one showing the latest TSS shirt modeled by Bob Wood

He's wearing it in style. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Horrible Hundred 2016

Sunday November 20

This is the second time I have done this event.  It's about a 3.5 hour drive from Bonita Springs and it was also a chance to visit with Nevada, my NJ riding friend who happens to have a house in Clermont, FL where the event happens each year and is hosted by the Florida Freewheeler's.

Nevada's new home in Florida

Chelsea, Nevada's silkie terrier.  She was wearing a coat since it was so cold

I arrived on Saturday, the day before, to pick up the registration packet and to attend the bike expo which occurs both Saturday and Sunday.  Nevada and I picked up our registration packet and we both purchased several items including a "Share the Road" jersey which supports safe cycling in the state of Florida.

The weather was expected to be very cold for the high 30's / low 40's.   The latest start time for any ride was 9 AM as there was no mass start.  At 9 AM the temperature was a balmy 44 degrees!  I was cold even though I had brought enough warm gear to ride.  The issue was that by the time we finished it would be close to 60.  How you do dress for that??

Here are some photos from the event.

Getting ready for the ride.  Can you tell it's cold?? 

The rest stop at Green Mountain Scenic Overlook
A fashion faux pax.  Capri's with booties

Guess who we saw at the event?   Snowflake the Paratrooper's three legged dog from the 2015 Veteran's ride

I was able to talk to Jake, Snowflake's owner,  to ask him why he was not at the Veteran's ride  this year and he told me that he was deployed and just came back this week and will go back next week.   Be safe Jake and Snowflake!

There was a sign that I wish I could have taken a photo of but we were in the middle of the climb.  It was after we came out of the rest stop.   It said....."Are We Having Fun Yet"   Too funny but just what I was thinking.

 A view of the lake around Waterfront Park

The finish line

We did the wall.....a 14 % climb which is the same climb Joe b, Leslie, Liz and Dave C did on the Mount Dora ride.  In the end we ended up with 36 miles with 2300+ ft of climbing.   Nevada and I had a vegetarian lunch, walked around the expo one more time and decided to head back to her house on our bikes.  That added another 4 miles and 200 ft of climbing.  It was a great ride and if you have never done this ride I highly recommend it.  I did make a suggestion to the event organizer to add a 50 mile option.  To go from 35 miles to the next ride level at 70 miles is tough for Florida Flatlanders that don't do hills regularly.  Let's see what happens next year.

On Monday Nevada and I did a short 19 mile ride with 1400 ft of climbing before I headed back to Bonita Springs.  There are very few places you can go on a bike in Clermont without a climb being part of the ride.  Many of the climbs are  about an 8-10% grade but the last one we did was Skyridge Drive with a 14 % grade.  Since we didn't have time to do Sugarloaf Mountain at 14%....this was its replacement. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Veteran's Ride 2016

Sunday November 13, 2016

This morning was chilly by Florida standards.  That means it was in the low 60's.  I have even brought arm warmers that I decided to ditch ( with a little persuasion from a north east buddy that was texting me before the ride....thanks Dave) and it was a great decision.  One less thing to carry.

 The SoWeFlo group gathered for a photo shoot before the ride

 Martha L and Liz F getting ready for the ride

 Gray and Liz F

Joe B and James K who are my Tuesday and Thursday riding buddies

 Brad D posing for a photo inside the Humvee
 A Florida National Guardsman.  Thank you for your service not only today but every day!

We started out about 8:15 with a Humvee escort at the front as well as the back of the group.   The ride was a bit disjointed in the beginning starting out at 24 mph and often slowing down to 14-16 mph at intersections and then speeding up again.  It definitely felt strange to be riding on Rt 41 ( otherwise known as Tamiami Trail) but with the Humvee as well as police escorts in each county it felt safe.  Many drivers honked their horns to acknowledge their support of the ride.  This is a very patriotic part of the country.

We stopped in Fort Myers at mile 22 at the Crown Point Plaza hotel for a water and food break.  Naples Cyclery was the host of this event and also provided the rest stop at Crown Point. 

Once back on the road the speed was again slow until we rode over the Ft. Myers bridge.  It was a slow ride over but once we got over the bridge the speed once again picked up and we were doing the advertised speed for the ride of 22 mph for pretty much the rest of the ride.

The next 25-30 miles were very flat and fast.  My leg and hip started to hurt at mile 39 but I refused to give up and worked through the pain until the end of the ride.  I stood a lot out of the saddle and clipped out a lot but I made it to the finish.

It felt good to get off the bike.  There were showers and a changing area for the riders and the Naples Cyclery crew loaded the bikes while we showered and changed.  Thank you for all your hard work!

We had a burger or hot dog or veggie burger and a beer/soft drink/water as part of our entry fee which was very welcome after a 54 mile ride.   There was also a presentation by a volunteer of the Collier County Honor Flight.  Here is more information about that organization.

There were two buses and I decided to take the earlier bus back with many of the others.  It was an interesting ride back.  The driver turned onto a one way street in the wrong direction.  Yikes.   Thank goodness the cyclists on the bus were paying attention and yelled to the driver in time to prevent an accident as there was an oncoming car.  He  backed up the bus and got to the right entrance to get us onto Interstate 75.  He also made a unadvertised stop along the way to drop off bags of clothes and other stuff that he transferred to another waiting bus before continuing on to our final destination back at Naples Cyclery.  We never did find out what that was all about.  Hey....that's what you get for a $10 bus ride!

It was a great ride with a great group of people.  Thanks to all who gave up their day....and a few honor our veterans.  It was a small price to pay for our freedom!!!

Once back on the