Evening Rides Around the Neighborhood

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO250
“Evening Ride” Cedar Park, 2020

Lately I’ve been going on evening bicycle rides around the neighborhood. They are so relaxing since I take it pretty easy. And I love the granny gears on my bike. It’s like magic powering up those hills. 😊

I spent a little more time removing one last sticker from the frame and now it’s nice and clean-looking. There’s still some gummy residue which is really hard to remove completely, even using Goo-gone and my motorcycle degreaser. But it’s looking good! I just left one Kona sticker on the seat tube, and an International Space Station sticker on the fork. I’d love to find some new Kona stickers for the down tube, but want to keep it simple, such as plain black lettering.

Since we don’t drive much during the COVID-19 lock-down, I use the bicycle to collect the mail from our neighborhood mailbox. The panniers can hold a lot, which was fortunate today since a big yearbook-sized package arrived for Koa. But no problem! I loaded it into the pannier and then went on the rest of my ride.

It’s nice to ride at sunset (I try to be back before dark) since I often get to see the clouds lit up nicely. I also get to see lots of birds, but I don’t have my binoculars. I want to get a handlebar bag or basket so I can have them ready to use without having to get off the bike. I can’t simply reach back to the panniers for the quick grab, which is needed for birding. The problem is, fitting a bag on the butterfly/trekking bars is a little more complicated than on drop bars or a straight bar. Oh well, maybe I can find a bag laying around the house that I can modify to fit the butterfly bars.

In the meantime, I’ll just bring my camera for cloud photos. The clouds don’t fly away nearly as fast as birds do. 😁

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO200
“Cirrocumulus” Cedar Park, 2020

Run and Bike

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec, ISO3200
“Sunset Cycling” Cedar Park, 2020

Today I went for a lunchtime run, and immediately I could tell my legs were a bit tired and the muscles were stiff. From our house, whichever route I take is downhill so it’s a nice, gentle way to warm up and assess my physical (and mental) condition. Yesterday was a rest day so I wasn’t too worried about straining myself, however, I made a note to take it easy. I don’t want any injuries!

I’m reading the book The Pants of Perspective: One Woman’s 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure through the Wilds of New Zealand by Anna McNuff and I kept thinking about what a bad-ass she is and how she dealt with physical down-days on her journey. Super-inspiring and motivating! That positive energy definitely helps with my mental state, and although my legs might still be tired, I don’t let that get me down.

I ended up running 3.43 miles, which I am pleased with, and my pace of 12:19 /mi wasn’t as slow as I expected. And besides, it was beautiful outside!

Not surprisingly, the run’s momentum carried with me into the evening and I went for a short evening bicycle ride around the neighborhood. I remembered to pack my camera and was rewarded with a really nice sunset. You know, it’s really nice having a cargo rack and panniers on my bike – I can get the mail, carry my phone and camera, and still have plenty of room to spare.

The ride was great and I saw lots of people out walking, running, and playing safely. Lots of waving too! Although we’re living in a pandemic situation right now, people seem to be keeping it together. I really like our neighborhood.😀

I hope you had a nice day!

New Running Gear

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/15 sec, ISO3200
“Running Gear” Cedar Park, 2020

I’ve recently updated my running gear to include a few new items. Of course, running is pretty minimal to begin with, so there’s not a whole lot of things you need, but these items make running much more enjoyable.

First, I have started wearing my sunglasses consistently. No more squinting! This pair of HULISLEM UV/Polarized sunglasses are lightweight, comfortable, and inexpensive. My eye doctor recommended I wear UV sunglasses whenever I am outdoors and I am a believer!

Next, I started using Injinji toesocks for running. I noticed that my little toe on my right foot was rubbing a lot on the toe next to it, and thought I would give these toesocks a try since they were highly rated. Well, I can definitely recommend them! With the toes separated, the rubbing and numbness I experienced have been relieved. I have since bought a couple more pairs (which were on sale for about $8 a pair) and now I am set for a good long while. I’ve been using some socks I bought from Target for several years now, and they are still in good shape, so I will keep one pair as a backup, but get rid of the others.

Lastly, I bought a running belt to put my phone in. For years I would carry my phone in my hand, which I didn’t think was terrible, but after using the Tiffmoo running belt, I can’t believe I used to hold it! This running belt is stretchy and super slim so I can wear it under my shirt, and you wouldn’t even know I was wearing it. It holds my Moto G6 easily (without wallet case) in the main zippered pocket, and there are two additional pockets where you can probably put stuff like lip balm, band-aids, etc. I love this belt. Being hands-free is so great and I feel stupid that I carried my phone in my hand all these years! As a bonus, my chronic wrist pain is less since there isn’t that extra weight to contend with.

Anyways, I’m pretty sure I have my running gear dialed in. I still love my On Cloud Running Shoes, and my basic running/soccer shorts are fine, as are my synthetic running shirts. Now it’s just a matter of putting in the miles, which I enjoy. 😀

Socially-Distanced Exercise

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO200
“Bike and Bluebonnets” Cedar Park, 2020

Our local guidelines for living under the COVID-19 lockdown state that we are permitted to go outside for exercise, such as jogging or bicycling, and I’ve actually been doing both. Since we are supposed to stay at least 6 feet away from others, I only run on the neighborhood streets where I can easily avoid the sidewalk or go to the other side of the street. And when I go bicycling, I stick to the roads so there’s plenty of distance from pedestrians out for their walks. (I pulled my bike off the street so I could take the photo of the bluebonnets!)

For the most part, everyone has been very friendly – plenty of waves and “hello”s. Which is nice, because the reports of increased incidents of racism towards Asian-Americans have kind of kept me on-edge when I see others out in the neighborhood. Our city is pretty diverse and tolerant, but it only takes one person, right? Anyways, let’s keep it nice and cool, shall we?

Sunday Run and Avengers: Endgame

"Wildflowers" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1150 sec, ISO100
“Wildflowers” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today the sun was shining brightly so I decided to head on out for a short run. I haven’t gone out running for a few weeks now, but it’s time to get back to it. Especially with summer coming up and vacations planned, I need to get my touring legs back in shape. 😄 On the run, I stopped and took a few photos of the wildflowers because there were so many of them. I always enjoy the running route, but that extra splash of color makes it even more special.

In the evening, we went and watched Avengers: Endgame. Maybe it was because of the excessive hype, but I didn’t think it lived up to my expectations. Yes, it was epic and the action scenes were really cool, but the supposedly emotional parts of the story had no effect on me. On the other hand, the teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that they showed before the Avengers movie had my heart pumping! Rey’s slow-motion jump over the tie-fighter that cuts to the epic music really struck a chord with me. Now that was moving! I guess it’s because I’ve been a huge fan of Star Wars ever since I was a kid that I have a lot of feelings tied to the franchise. Conversely, I’ve never been a huge fan of any superheroes or Marvel comics so I tend to view those stories from a distance. That’s just my theory.

"Avengers" Round Rock, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/20 sec, ISO1228
“Avengers” Round Rock, 2019

I hope you had a nice day!