Tags: biking



NEXT WEEKEND??!#@! Holy hell, this summer is flying. Next weekend is my other charity ride for the summer, the MS 150. I am actually looking forward to it this year – although, not so much with this god awful weather we are having. That’s gonna be brutal.

So, this is my last call for donations. You can donate online here:


and read up on all the awesomesauce that the national MS society does.

Even, like, a dollar would help.  You should give me that dollar because heyo, have we been paying attention to the weather outside? I’m gonna bike 150 miles in this weather and sleep overnight in a high school gym with no air conditioning. I think that warrants at least a dollar. Think of my pain.

Originally published at batty.us. You can comment here or there.


radio silence

I am off to do the Bishop’s Bike Ride later today. Umlaut has been tuned up courtesy of Spin, bags are packed, and I am rarin’ to go, I suppose. Outlook for nice weather for the first two days isn’t looking too good.

Thank you, so much, to you generous souls who sponsored me. The Episcopal Church rocks and they do great things, and I am proud to be a member of a faith that advocates such community and diversity.

See y’all at the end of the week on the other side of 250 miles.

Originally published at batty.us. You can comment here or there.


yet another charity ride! Pedal to the Point 2011

I know, I keep asking everyone for money.

This one’s for Pedal to the Point, of which this is my 3rd year participating. It is probably one of the most grueling rides I do during the year, not because of any hills, but because the route is 150 miles of mostly treeless, Ohio cornfields in August, where the temps on the road have been previously recorded at a balmy 105 degrees. By day 2 I am usually riding half naked. I sleep overnight on a gym floor and eat an ungodly amount of bananas.

When I started this ride, I really didn’t know what MS was about. I just did it because it was a long bike ride I could do for charity. But then my friends started donating to me, and all of a sudden there were a lot of people I knew who knew people who suffer – or have suffered with MS, and I had no clue. And when you hit the lunch stop, or are on the last mile of the ride, and you see these people in wheelchairs waving at you and thanking you for what you just did and you have absolutely no clue who they are. But you know *what* you just did will hopefully help them someday. And it is truly a kickass feeling.

All donations go straight to the National MS Society to aid in their research to find a cure. My fundraising page is here. And if you have a loved one with MS, please let me know, and I will add them to the list of people I ride for.

As always, I thank you in advance for your generosity.

Originally published at batty.us. You can comment here or there.


the bishop’s bike ride.

I have been graced with the fortune of being able to do the Bishop’s bike Ride this year. The Episcopal Bishop of Ohio with the Most Epic Moustache is an avid cyclist, and has been running this ride for the past 6 years or so as a way to raise money for youth mission activities.

250 miles. 5 days.  Amusingly, we start and end at the church my mom goes to.

So, yeah, I am completely pimping myself out for sponsors. You can make donations online. Please select the ‘Bike Ride for Youth’ option and in the comments box, mention you are donating in my name [Amanda Wolf]. My goal is to hit at least $250.

Thank you in advance if you choose to donate. You will be awesome in advance.

Originally published at batty.us. You can comment here or there.


my VFFs are my BFFs

Making a post about your Vibrams is about as cliche as posting a recipe for banana pancakes nowadays. But, I’m making one anyway because I know I had a few friends wanting to know how they were working for me.

It’s now been about 6 months since I purchased my first pair of sprints.  Well, wait, no. I purchased the KSO‘s first, then the sprints, but I’ve been waering the sprints all summer. To be honest, I have not touched any of my other shoes since then. I wear them to work, to the grocery store, working out, tons of miles of hiking, and sometimes even on my bike. And yes, I run in them.

I didn’t really have any issues transitioning from conventional footwear because I don’t think I really have any foot problems. Your experience might be different.  However, they DO make you change the way you use your feet – hell, your whole body. They actually allow you to WALK NATURALLY.  Who in the hell would want to do that, especially in the age of Sketchers Shape Ups? Crazy talk, I know.  Just venturing out on a sidewalk is an entirely different experience.  You feel everything, and I mean every single blade of grass, rock, and probably an ant or two.  Because of that, I am no longer clomping around completely unaware of my environment. Its rather refreshing, actually.

With all that being said, here’s a list of stuff that’s changed for me, thanks to the VFFs:

  • I’m more social. Wait, what? No, really. Every stinkin’ time I set out in a public place, I get at *least* two people coming up to me and asking about my shoes.  I think my record at this point is 12 in a day.  Note to self: send Vibram a bill demanding a referral bonus.
  • My posture has improved. I’ve been Slouchy McSlouchersons most of my life. Now that I’m no longer trying to contort my body to compensate for high heels, I’m standing taller. And sitting taller.
  • I’m no longer pigeon toed. Another lifelong affliction, and something I noticed just recently. I no longer have anything forcing my feet into some random position, so they’re now doing what they’re supposed to.

And lastly – I think this is the biggest change here – that running thing. I’m not a marathon runner in the slightest, nor do I wish to be [see: A Case Against Cardio]  - but I do partake in a few miles of interval running a few times a week. In Lakewood. Which is about 105% pavement.

I am sure you actual runners are wincing at the thought of that. I can’t really blame you, because we got a veritable buttload of scientists and shoe companies pounding it into our heads that our poor little feet can’t take all that pressure and you MUST hit your foot on the ground a certain way with 5 feet of cushioning. We are delicate little flowers.

Actually, not so much. Your body is an amazing machine capable of doing may things you probably don’t realize.

Do we rember where I was, oh, 7 months ago? Here’s a pic to refresh your memory:

Remember that? I sure as hell do.

Where was I last month?

175 miles of that. While I am sure my diet has attributed to part of that, actually using my body and my feet in the way they were actually intended instead of listening to some sneaker company tell me what’s appropriate has actually allowed my body to not get F*cked up any further.  My knee issues are pretty much gone. Imagine that.

So, if you were considering purchasing a pair, I highly recommend doing so. For further research, I’d suggest also taking a gander at birthdayshoes.com. They have a good reference explaining all the models, plus a lot of good stories of people doing cool shit in their [kinda] bare feet.

So, yeah, I’m sold. [or is that soled?] Now I gotta figure out what to do with the 20 pairs of high heeled boots in my closet.

Originally published at batty.us. You can comment here or there.


today's ride: i want my dollar back.

today's ride was my second organized ride of the season. i didn't really expect to perform well, as the weather's been shitty, i detest trainers, and the longest ride i've done this year had been 30 miles previously.

it was sponsored by the lorain county wheelmen, and as i said previously, it was a pretty simple ride - no SAG, no road markers, you donated a dollar and got a map and cue sheet. so, not really expecting a lot here.

heh, well. IT jay was supposed to go with me, as he's getting a little more dedicated with his own biking htis year and wanted to go on actual rides. i pull into the parking lot of the starting point and find him, he's messing with his bike. dude didn't check over his bike yesterday and surprise! flat tire. i hope he learned his lesson there.

there was a guy who ran a bike co-op in oberlin who offered to take jay's bike to the shop down the street to have it fixed, so he did. this made us part of the last people to go out, with the bulk of the group leaving about 30-40 minutes ahead of us. one guy took off with us - another dude who worked for oberlin college and helped out with another bike co-op there.

first mile in, jay's tire blew again and he had to bow out. so it ended up being me and this guy, and i was just thankful i had some company. at that point i decided to do the 50 mile route instead of the 62. we obviously talked about biking, how fun it is, and the ridiculousness of some of the competition around these parts.

next thing i know, i see some dots on the horizon. we actually caught up with the pack, which kind of amused me because i didn't think we were going that fast. we passed em, and then my new friend veered off back to oberlin, as he didn't really feel like completing the ride. heh, i didn't blame him.

so, i was solo for a really long time. lorain county is, like, 80% farmland, which around these parts means absolutely flat with very little windbreakers. combine this with the lovely weather of april and you got yourself some pretty heavy headwind. and sidewind. and more headwind. and that sucked. however, i did manage to stay about 17mph during bouts of headwind, something i wasn't able to do last year.

now, lemme get to the map they gave us. the damn thing was xeroxed. i mean, didn't *anyone* have access to a laser printer? while i'm kind of familiar with the general area, i wasn't too familiar with the specific roads they had us going on. and hi, rural ohio, so approaching an intersection meant either a pole where a road sign once was, or no sign at all. but i did manage to stay on course.

well, for the most part. as i approached the lower part of the loop, my route was blocked by...a train. a train not moving. A TRAIN. that's a first for me. so i had to improvise. took a bit of a major 2 lane highway and got back on course.

and that's when i caught up with the front of the group, who also got their fair share of yet another train. at least this one was moving. i pulled up behind them and waited. it has been and always will be my mantra that if you have more than 2 logos on your jersey, you are automatically a douchebag[1]. these guys proved my mantra quite nicely. only one dude said hi, and i am thinking YES HI I JUST SHELLED OUT A WHOLE GOD DAMN DOLLAR FOR YOUR SHITTY MAP, SO THE LEAST YOU COULD DO IS SAY HI, but no, they didn't, and when the train cleared, they took off again at their 20+ mph speeds and i stayed quite happily at my 18.

i did end up missing one key turn [see: NO SIGNS], and did a little more improvisation which landed me on a road that i recognized. fortunately this road was a straight shot back to where my car was, so flipped the map the bird and took off.

aaaaand that's when the rain started. did i mention there's still heinous wind going on, too? blew through oberlin, checked the time and realized that my mom was probably still at church, but realized this after i passed her church, and had absolutely no mental energy to turn around. so, sorry, mom.

FINALLY got back to my car, disassembled my bike and threw it in, and did a google search for a nearby starbucks. great! right down the road. except...no. google maps lists *all* the locations, and this particular one happened to be in the rest stop of the limited access turnpike. yeah...no.

so, i stopped at a regular gas station and got a regular shitty ass coffee and some trail mix, and headed home.

despite my detours, i ended up actually doing 50 miles on the nose anyway. avg speed about 17. my knees absolutely killed, and it had me concerned. one factor: not getting enough time in on the saddle previous. two: my ski injury is telling me i am not going to be able to push myself as much as i'd like to this year. i am in denial of this one. three: when i do longer rides, usually i do a rest stop about 30 miles in. i didn't do that on this ride. #3 is the most influential.

D had a hugeass hamburger waiting for me when i got home, which i promptly slathered with avocado and cilantro and made disappear. and now i'm going to do a faceplant on the bed for a few hours before impending boog.

and i still want my dollar back.

[1]you are an exception to this rule if you are my friend.

my new baby.

the specialized sectur compact. i fell in love with this thing last fall and now he will be in my grubby little hands in 2 weeks.

do you hear that? that would be the sound of me KICKING YOUR ASS.*

mad props to gnat23 [seriously, thank you for your guidance!] and the fine folks over at spin who have a solid customer for as long as i have functional legs.

*offer void on the west coast.
me and d

pull my finger.

the weekend was spent entirely with d. he is my happy place and that is where i am very much preferring to be. in my past relationships, it has always been 'i am generally happy *but* x and y might be issues later on' and with this, there are none. zero. no embelishment, no denial of truth because we're still in some honeymoon phase of the relationship. this shit makes me happy. period.


on our drive back from NY, we stopped to eat. he gave me a glimpse into his sense of humor, and consequently a small test on whether or not i'd get him. humor compatibility is pretty important, imo. so he told me the stupidest joke on the face of the earth. i passed with flying colors by laughing uncontrollably for, like, the next hour. srsly, i could not stop. and it has been awesome ever since.

he opens up the car door for me every single time. he made me pull his finger. *that's* love, people.

end tangent.

saturday my intention was to hit 60 miles on the bike, which i probably could have accomplished if i hadn't overlooked that minute detail of the, oh....20 MPH winds coming from the west, yanno, the direction i was headed. that hurt a little. i did, however, manage about 44 miles in under 3 hours - lakewood to lorain and back, pretty much - despite this, still averaging my 15mph that i prefer to do.

saturday evening was listening to the glory of thedarksiren at her recital @ CSU. she is sheer brilliance and i well up with emotion when i hear her sing. thank you for letting us be a part of that, dawndawn.

i made d cream cheese and strawberry preserve stuffed french toast for fathers day breakfast. his son had some of the leftovers and i guess i scored some cool points there. go me.

did another 20 on the bike and then hit the tanning bed place and no i really dont give a shit what you think about tanning beds :D

boog had had more of his fill of fathers day because when nicole dropped him off he was a screaming mimi and it took me like 3 hours to get him callmed down and to sleep last night. this week will involve a lot of biking and swimming and i gotta figure out something fun to do with him over the weekend.

as an aside: i have not set foot in a bar and gotten hosed in about a month.

d and i are doing 50 miles in the pedal erie [county] metroparks next month. should be fun.

for the first time in...well, since the torrential hormone onslaught of puberty, really - i can honestly say that i am happy and content with the way things are and not typing it as some farce to appease the general public. i am loving that.

ive also been listening to bluegrass all afternoon. its like y'all dont know me anymore.
poor boog

(no subject)

i'd like to thank those of you who have donated to my ride. thanks to you, i've already reached my $500 goal. i think i'm going to jack it up to maybe, like $800 to see if i can reach that.

thank you.