DDOORN   235,557
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DDOORN's Recent Blog Entries

Hooky Day Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Actually it wasn't precisely "hooky" but...I and only one other person in our non-profit human service agency are shared by the state office of mental health. State employees are being downsized in numbers tremendously as cost cutting measures result in farming out the work that we do to the lowest bidder: the local non-profits. I call this the Walmart-ization of Mental Health services. Despite being one of the remaining few I am not happy to work side-by-side with others doing the same work for less pay, less benefits...podium dismount.

So one of the clunky aspects of this work scenario is that the state shuts down for Veteran's Day but the non-profit doesn't. So I and the other person had the day off today. Felt like hooky to me...! :-)

Normally it's a wasted day of puttering around the house, etc. Especially when it falls in the middle of the week.

BUT: Mother Nature served up some WONDERFUL weather today and I have been knocked off the bike since perhaps the end of September due to family events, work, leaves and stuff...SORELY MISSING MY BIKE!

Our bike club has a wonderful tradition of their Wheels-to-Meals club of folks that get out every Tues. & Thurs. Woo hoo! I get to join the club and savor a retirement "preview!"

Better yet, I kicked it up a notch as the group was meeting in Binghamton and riding south of the border into Pennsylvania to have lunch in Hallstead / Great Bend. Round trip of around 26 miles. I decided to start from my home, around 13 miles north of Binghamton, making the whole trip over 50 glorious miles! We had 30+ members show up...great turnout! A sea of bright yellow jackets, I was the easy one to spot in my florescent pumpkin orange long-sleeved t-shirt...lol.

PLUS I got to debut my new long cycling tights:


It was a chilly start in the low 40's and these did very nicely to keep me warm and better yet they weren't uncomfortably warm when the temps climbed into the mid-60's in the afternoon.

I indulged in chili & a grilled cheese sandwich...yeah, Mr. No-Grains, but I figured since I was only chomping apples during the ride I could afford the extra carbs. Best part? The sandwich was no big deal...did not provoke the carb crazies. Didn't really enjoy it, but the chili rocked! Jalapenos and a bunch of glug-glugs from the Hot Sauce made it pretty tasty.

When I got home I discovered other plans usurped my upcoming Saturday when I had planned to get a ton or so of wood pellets to hunker down for the big cold spell coming our way. Plan B? After arriving home feeling terrific about the ride, but energy on the wane...I decide to nab those pellets TODAY and moved a ton of pellets from the store to our front porch.

Due to lack of time as the pellet store closed by 5 I went to get them in my bike tights, rather than change into something else. I have to admit that wearing these tights have me taking a comfortable step or two toward being able to consider myself an "athlete," and sorta wanted to be seen wearing these out & about.

Now? Whew, I'm ready for a shower and a good night's sleep!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 11/21/2014 1:26PM

    Glad you got to play hookie! You ARE an athlete!

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DOGLADY13 11/15/2014 3:46PM

    Every year my employees ask if we can have Veterans Day off because the state has it off. I tell them that whoever wants Veterans Day as a holiday can take it off as long as they work the day after Thanksgiving!

I can't believe you don't perceive yourself as an athlete. You totally are! I bet you looked great in those cycling tights!

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CREPEDCRUSADER 11/13/2014 4:48PM

    What an awesome day. Rock the tights, you earned them!
There are no less than five kinds of hot sauce in our kitchen at any given moment.

emoticon Here's to the 'glug glug'!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/13/2014 8:58AM

    Well done on ALL counts, my friend!!!

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HIPPICHICK1 11/12/2014 9:19PM

    Wow! What fun! It was a gorgeous day here on Tuesday as well.

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WATERMELLEN 11/12/2014 6:39PM

    Now that sounds like one fabulous hooky day -- retirement preview -- whatev.

And how terrific you're feeling so confidently athletic with your cycling tights that you wore 'em for your pellet store chore too!


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L*I*T*A* 11/12/2014 11:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRECKS96 11/12/2014 8:50AM

    It really was an amazing day. Glad you were able to enjoy it doing what you love!

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KANOE10 11/12/2014 8:06AM

    That sounds like a great day with a very good bike ride. You are an athlete and can wear those biking tights anywhere!


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IRONBESS 11/11/2014 11:35PM

    Gosh, Don, you're amazing. You worked hard for those tights. You've earned the right to wear them whenever and wherever you wish.


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MTN_KITTEN 11/11/2014 10:24PM

    You ARE an athlete!!!!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/11/2014 9:35PM

    Nice tights! Glad you enjoyed your Holiday (as did I... I got my first weather wimp day "for free"... it was icy and deep cold and I was very glad I did not HAVE to go anywhere)!

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SANDICANE 11/11/2014 9:18PM

    Yay for hookey and double yay for bike tights and triple YAY for you wearing bike tights OUT!!!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/11/2014 7:47PM

    Sounds like an unintended awesome day! I can taste that chili from here w/the "glug-glugs!" LOVE it. I do that to my chili too. Nobody likes it spicy like me so I go to town with my own serving!

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Another Year Younger!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's been a WAY crazy busy week with not much room for celebrations but I already have SO many ways to celebrate the passing of another year.

So as busy as it's been I slowed down tonight to take stock of my "presents":

---of course every time I hop on my bicycle I am so grateful for the pay-off of a body that can immerse my being into the world of nature and friends who share my enthusiasm. And the journeys I've made this year locally and to the Catskills...all have been precious and cherished.

---bouncing back from the blood thinner jitters!

---tweaking and finding even better ways to manage my Achilles Heel: FOOD!

---checking in with RealAge www.realage.com and finding I'm still staying ahead of the curve with a "Real Age" 3 years younger than my chronological age...growing YOUNGER not OLDER! :-)

---checking in with my waist & hip measurements, finding them to be another couple of inches down from the springtime of this year!

---creeping ever closer to my goal weight of 200

---wearing my "skinny" size 38 jeans!

---wearing "large" or size 16 shirts not only with room to spare, but noticing while wearing a more trim t-shirts greater definition of my biceps. No muscle man, for sure, but I'll take muscle curves over flab anyday! :-)

---noticing more muscular definition in my super-duper, Catskill-mountain-climbing quads and calves!

---improving my self-image a notch or two, as measured by a lessening of self-perceived unattractiveness...still haven't reached a point of being able to psychologically claim an increase in attractiveness...but in time...? Who knows?

Arriving today for my birthday are my new bicycle tights. Another milestone. Back in the day I absolutely ruled out wearing any lycra / spandex stuff, sparing myself and the world of such a horrible sight! That was before my backside met the hard truths of good bicycle saddles...lol! So begrudgingly I was dragged under protest into the world of bicycle shorts, or what I called "dorkey" shorts! Not that I was calling the shorts "dorkey" but actually calling MYSELF "dorkey"-looking when I wore them!

Now? I'm kicking it up a notch a ready to tackle full length bicycle tights! Louis Garneau Oslo Airzone Tights...arrived today, right on my birthday, whaddya know?

Now I'm ready for cycling a bit more in colder temps. Although I doubt I'll ever be anything but a fair-weather rider in terms of precipitation. I just cannot imagine enjoying myself, regardless of gear, enjoying cycling in the rain or snow.

It's great to take stock of our accomplishments now & then and am sending this out not only to celebrate MY birthday and accomplishments but hoping you all are either savoring accomplishments made or YET to make!

Thank you everyone among our SparkFamily for adding your part to making this the place where we continually make our dreams come true, share, celebrate and pay them forward to each other!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 11/13/2014 9:31AM

    Sorry I missed your birthday, but it sounds like you had a fantastic day.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IRONBESS 11/6/2014 11:39PM

    Great blog, Don. Really nice to read of your accomplishments, your successes. It's inspiring to see the steady progress you're making toward your goals.

My husband and I use to ridicule those "hotshots in the tight black shorts" way back when too. After a few saddle sores from long rides in jeans, we bought some of those dorky shorts. Wow, what a difference!

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VALERIEMAHA 11/2/2014 7:35PM

    Being down here in the hinterlands of South America, I managed to miss A Very Important Day. And reading through the notes from friends I'm deeply touched by what was shared. No additional words are needed. They're all here and I couldn't say it any better --

"YOU make sparkpeople a great place!!!!!"

"Let's celebrate all your accomplishments!"

"To the most inspirational Sparker!"

"Your accomplishments deserve acknowledgement....Keep up the great work as you are a real inspiration for us all!"

"Thanks so much for all the ongoing encouragement, support and inspiration. "

"You got all kinds of cool presents!"

"Wow, what a way to celebrate your birthday...firstly remembering all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for and 2ndly receiving those fab new biking shorts! You sir are one BEAUTIFUL human being!!!"

"You deserve a wonderful day. Your health and dedication to exercise is inspirational."

"You are amazing and your list of accomplishments is over-the-top miraculous, dontcha think? I do."

"You are a great inspiration to many."

"Congratulations on being able to celebrate the things that bring you joy and add so immeasurably to your health and well-being. Who could ask for more than that?!"

"To a super human being."

Rounding it all out with Ellen's beautifully articulated and insightful observations:

"You are an attractive man. Period. We've seen the pics, heard the videos. No argument.

"And: an immensely attractive human being. Kind. Caring, Exuberant, with a great zest for life!

"All of which you have undeniably increased this past year!! While dealing with some pretty difficult health stuff.

"So: happy birthday!! All best for another marvellous year chugging up the hills and zooming down 'em in this roller-coaster we call life!"

Carry on celebrating your personal new year, Don...you amazing star-spangled being, YOU!

Comment edited on: 11/2/2014 7:55:48 PM

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JOY-AT-LAST 11/1/2014 8:38PM

    I hope your birthday tackled you down for a good tickle!

Love the spandex story. I remember the first time I stopped at a store on the way home from a ride. ~Never thought I could do that~

YOU make sparkpeople a great place!!!!!

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ZELLAZM 11/1/2014 6:13AM

    Happy Belated Birthday - great blog emoticon !

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_VALEO_ 10/29/2014 5:50PM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Don!

It is so good to see that you're still a biker... I know what you mean about ruling out some items of clothing and then depriving ourselves of the sport in itself and the comfort. Our irrational fears and strong judgments on us can make us be very hard and totally unfair about us.

Let's celebrate all your accomplishments! emoticon

I wish you another great year of hikes!

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CHANGE4FIT 10/27/2014 5:55PM

    Happy Birthday-a little late-to the most inspirational Sparker!
PJ emoticon

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SUKOTO 10/25/2014 12:16PM

    Happy belated, brother. Your accomplishments deserve acknowledgement.
Don't feel dorky in those pants...as you know, they serve a real purpose and no one will judge you in them.
Keep up the great work as you are a real inspiration for us all!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/20/2014 4:29PM

    Happy Belated Birthday! That's the way to celebrate, by rewarding yourself with new workout gear.
I like the RealAge site too.

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FRECKS96 10/20/2014 9:36AM

    Happy Belated Birthday Don! And thanks so much for all the ongoing encouragement, support and inspiration.

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DOGLADY13 10/18/2014 11:08PM

    Happy Belated Birthday. You got all kinds of cool presents!

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WOMANWITHGRIT 10/17/2014 10:40PM

    Well, Happy Birthday, Don. So much to be grateful for...My younger son shares this birthday....

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SANDICANE 10/17/2014 10:27PM

    Happy Birthday!!! Wow, what a way to celebrate your birthday...firstly remembering all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for and 2ndly receiving those fab new biking shorts!

You sir are one BEAUTIFUL human being!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MTN_KITTEN 10/17/2014 1:14PM

    Haaaaaaaaaappy Biiiiiiiiiiiirthday to you ... gorgeous!!!!!!!

We are not getting older ... we are getting better!!!!

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IHCSURVIVOR80 10/17/2014 12:06PM

    Happy Birthday!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/17/2014 10:20AM

    Happy BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! Definitely love getting younger not older (real age!)

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L*I*T*A* 10/17/2014 10:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 10/17/2014 7:52AM

    emoticon You deserve a wonderful day. Your health and dedication to exercise is inspirational. Enjoy wearing your new exercise clothes.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 10/17/2014 7:39AM

    Yay!!! Happiest Birthday Ev-er, amigo!!! You are amazing and your list of accomplishments is over-the-top miraculous, dontcha think? I do. May this year be your best-ever year and continue proving that we CAN make our dreams come true!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPINNINGJW 10/17/2014 7:22AM

    I found myself agreeing with WATERMELLEN's comments. You are a great inspiration to many. Hope you had a very Happy Birthday and many more to come!!

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BKWERM 10/17/2014 7:14AM

    emoticon Don! Sounds like life is good and getting better all the time! I hope this is the year that make all your goals a reality!

Take care.

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FERRETLOVER1 10/17/2014 7:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/17/2014 6:42AM

    Happy Birthday and congratulations on being able to celebrate the things that bring you joy and add so immeasurably to your health and well-being. Who could ask for more than that?!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BILL60 10/17/2014 6:21AM

    A super b'day to a super human being. Enjoy!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/17/2014 6:04AM

    You are an attractive man. Period. We've seen the pics, heard the videos. No argument.

And: an immensely attractive human being. Kind. Caring, Exuberant, with a great zest for life!

All of which you have undeniably increased this past year!! While dealing with some pretty difficult health stuff.

So: happy birthday!! All best for another marvellous year chugging up the hills and zooming down 'em in this roller-coaster we call life!

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Zen Treadmill

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's been a while since I've used my home gym which I've dubbed my "SparkHaven" :-) The fitness center with it's elliptical, rower, spin bikes and weight machines run a stiff competition and because it's so close to work I can fall right into my workouts pretty easily there.

Once upon a time, pre-fitness center, I had a long, good streak of morning mojo in which I would wake up and hop right onto my treadmill in SparkHaven. Quad speakers set up in all four corners of the room around my treadmill kicking out the tunes.

Since I'm off most of the week doing lots of special projects around the house, the fitness center isn't so convenient. So it was time to dust off the treadmill and start off with the dumb bells, resistance bands and crank through the body weight exercises.

The cool thing about doing this at night is that I leave the lights off with only my 17" laptop running iTunes visualization set to full screen shuffling kaliedoscopically through my thousands of tunes. With the laptop set up just a little way in front of the treadmill I could zone out to the music and the light show on my laptop while working up a sweat with the elevation set to the max of 15 and doing a slow jog, fast walk of 4 mph.

Nice to remember such a different way to work up a sweat!

Keep 'er Sparkin' everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/15/2014 7:22AM

    This sounds amazing!!! Not sure I'd have a gym membership if I had what you have at home!

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L*I*T*A* 10/14/2014 9:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JO11YMON 10/14/2014 9:57AM

    Sounds like a great set up!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/14/2014 9:54AM

    Good job! Whatever it takes.

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KANOE10 10/14/2014 8:50AM

    Your Spark Haven sounds like a greet way to get exercise in throughout the winter. Enjoy your new exercise!

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BILL60 10/14/2014 8:09AM

    With a super set up like that, why would you go to a gym?

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_LINDA 10/14/2014 8:04AM

    emoticon set up there! emoticon workout!
I don't have an itunes thingy, but I listen to CD's on my Bose Wave which gives a great sound, although I can't put up the volume as I much as I would like because I am sandwiched between two neighbors in my apartment with thin walls. I love my home workout gym. In place of furniture, my living room floor is covered with anti fatigue matting on which I do workout videos. I use an elliptical as I like to move my whole body and work the arms too. I prefer working out in the dark too. Love the idea of a screen display. I indulged in the biggest LED monitor I could find and it has a great picture. I wanted it in place of a TV since I gave up watching it years ago and I was only using it for my workout videos.
As I can't get around in winter. I learned to love working out at home.
Enjoy your workouts!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/14/2014 7:34AM

    I prefer surround sound to ear buds. You've got a great total experience there.

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FERRETLOVER1 10/14/2014 7:33AM

    How nice to have a treadmill so conveniently located! I can't wait until I move into a senior residence that has an exercise room right in the building! emoticon emoticon (By the way, I think SparkPeople should update some of their emoticons to reflect men, don't you?)

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/14/2014 7:25AM

    I have the same deal in our pool -- surround sound with an mp3 player hooked up to the system cranking out a variety of music from the 70's to today -- all of which puts me in a very meditative trance while I'm going through my water workout. Some of my best ideas are generated there! When the water gets too cold (usually Dec-Feb), I'll have to check out the fitness center which is, fortunately, only a couple of blocks away or go in the community pool. But, I'll still have the mp3 tunes with me!


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SANDICANE 10/14/2014 12:05AM

    Sounds lovely!

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DOH! Lesson Learned...

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Well phooey...the scale is UP! Unfortunately I out-ate the miles I climbed this weekend.

The extra pounds are TOAST and lesson learned re: gauging food that's necessary for the burn vs. indulging the carbie tiger, which has been dutifully re-shackled!

Keeping the SPARK!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDICANE 10/13/2014 9:15PM

    Yeah, it's pretty easy for those extra cals to climb onto our hips! I'm having a fight with home made apple crisp tonight. It wants to jump into my mouth and I'm saying....woah...tomorrow for breakfast....MAYBE....

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ZELLAZM 10/13/2014 5:08AM

    emoticon Glad you got him shackled!

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DINGALLSTOO 10/9/2014 10:47AM

    YOU are such a good roll model, keep up the good work

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/8/2014 10:15PM

    Carbs Be Gone is my new mantra!


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L*I*T*A* 10/8/2014 7:50PM

    great to learn the lesson early and quickly!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/8/2014 7:51:16 PM

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2014 6:13PM

    Ya caught it fast -- so that's OK! And as you say -- lesson learned. (You say those pounds are TOAST and I believe you. In my case, it would not have been toast and jam but more likely, yup, potato chips!!)

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APONI_KB 10/8/2014 2:05PM

    ugh sorry about that

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1CRAZYDOG 10/8/2014 1:12PM

    The carb curse! CURSES CARBS!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/8/2014 12:30PM

    Oh yeah, we cannot outrun or out pedal our forks. I've been there.

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_LINDA 10/8/2014 10:42AM

    Oh those carbs!!! Having difficulty with them myself. As no one can do homemade stuffing like my Mom, its to die for and oh so high calorie!!! To refuse it is a crime!
You will lose those pounds, you got this!!

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    Live and learn :))))

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Mountain Pics!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Here are some pics from our Sunday Ride in the Walton - Downsville area:

Group Pic

Curious approach to a home: caboose it! :-)

A few from our lunch stop at Launt Pond, atop Bear Spring Mountain. One of us (not me...hooray!) had a flat to repair:

A group pic at ye olde Downsville covered bridge:

And why not, a selfie up on Bear Spring Mountain, pre-cloud cover, pre-gloves, pre-jacket (thx goodness I at least had THOSE, if not the long pants...!):

All right everybody, keep getting out there and Live Your Dreams! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 10/8/2014 7:41AM

    Great pictures. You all look so happy and healthy!

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SANDICANE 10/8/2014 7:03AM

    I love to see the pics of your rides...I feel like I'm right there beside you, and you're inspiring me to ask DH to go on a hike with me today! Cheers to us all and thanks so much for taking the time to share!!!

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STRIVERONE 10/8/2014 12:42AM

    Nice you got that ride in while there is still color in them thar hills.

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JO11YMON 10/8/2014 12:39AM

    Looks like a great day to ride!

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L*I*T*A* 10/7/2014 10:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/7/2014 3:55PM

    Gorgeous pics -- and that incline is formidable!! Looks like a super bunch of buddies too.

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 10/7/2014 1:52PM

    emoticon Nice to see the group and the beautiful fall foliage!

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_LINDA 10/7/2014 11:26AM

    Fabulous Fall photos!! Thanks for posting! Nice rest stop you guys found. Got to love ingenuity and repurposing -neat caboose home!

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    Looks so great and so pretty!

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 10/7/2014 9:01AM


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1CRAZYDOG 10/7/2014 8:57AM

    Looks like a wonderful location! That is interesting . . . a caboose turned into a house.

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NUTRON3 10/7/2014 8:55AM


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