Friday, April 2, 2010

Bunnies, Beasts, and Roxanne turns 100

With the upcoming Easter weekend and the Fulton family's typical travel schedule, it is going to take some creative manuveuring to get all of my workouts wedged in between family and travel time. I hopped on the web and mapped out my 4 mile run for Saturday morning in Iowa City. I have run once before in IC and I must tell you, it is much more difficult than running in central Illinois. The hills in that city can be extremely taxing, but I must compliment them (and believe me, compliments to Iowa from me are a rare thing) on their tremendous running and biking paths. Iowa City is honeycombed with wide, paved sidewalks that go on for miles in and around the city. I even think they were voted one of the healthiest places to live in the US, for reasons such as this (obviously disregarding personality and the fact that it is full of Iowans). I hope to get the run in right before we head out to an Easter egg hunt and then brunch on Saturday.

Even more difficult to fit in was my 25 mile bike ride today. The family and I are leaving for Iowa right after work this afternoon, so I knew if I wanted to get my ride in, it was going to have to be this morning. Planning for such an event actually started yesterday. I packed an extra lunch, change of clothes, and some Kashi protein bars, and brought those to work yesterday, so I wouldn't need to bring a backpack on this morning's ride. I got up at 5am, had a well-rounded breakfast with no coffee (a serious sacrifice), and got ready to ride. I was planning on leaving at 6am, allowing ample time for the ride, but when 6am came it was still really dark outside. My biking gear is darkly colored and my bike is black, so I thought I would wait for the sun to at least start to shine before I headed out. Twenty minutes later I was on the road. This was the first time for me riding at sunrise, and it was a really beautiful morning. There were still a few clouds in the sky that turned purple and orange as the sun began its ascent. There were still a lot of birds chirping their morning song and frogs whistling thier tunes in the river and creek beds. While I was on the ride, I had an encounter with another kind of wildlife. I guess not really "wild"life, but a giant sheep dog came charging out of a farmer's yard right at me. This happened to me once before last year, and I must tell you it is very frightening. Dogs have a knack for taking the most precise angle of pursuit, and while biting is a very real concern, my biggest fear, especially with my new shoes and pedals, is the dog knocking me from my ride, a very real and very painful possibility. So when I saw the dog charging I stood up and started really pumping hard, managing to narrowly pass by the beast. I was also very fortunate that the dog did not continue to chase me, because I think I would have just given up on the bike and had it out with him.

The remainder of the ride was pretty uneventful, and I think I was okay with that. The most monumental event that did happen was, just as I turned into the park where I work, Roxanne turned 100 miles old. Not exactly a huge event considering that I have over 300 miles scheduled in the next month, but important to Roxanne and I nonetheless. I especially find it exciting that I did it in only 5 or 6 rides. So in honor of this occasion, I will now post a song just for this special little woman in my life:

Happy Easter!!


  1. you are such a badass! I love you, man!

  2. I totally thought the "Roxanne" song you would have chosen would have been the one from The Police. But this one was hysterical! Try to enjoy the weekend in between all the working out! Happy Easter.

  3. Hi Brian,
    Finding time to ride & train - nice!

    I have a suggestion - we occasionally have a problem with dogs that race out into the street at us - several dangers with this beyond getting bitten - accident with bike, accident with car, dog getting run over, etc. We started carrying 'Halt' (small pepper spray) years ago, - it's effective in that any dog that you have reached with the spray (it only sprays a few yards out) will never come out into the street after you again.

    I get it at PerformanceBike but it's probably sold in just about any bike shop these days.

    Anyway - wanted you to know I'm enjoying reading about your adventures!

  4. Thanks Alice! Glad to hear you are enjoying the blog, and thank you for the advice on the dogs. I will definitely check out some spray; that is a really good idea. I wonder if they make some sort of holster for one's bike? I ask because I can see me causing more damage trying to find the bottle in my shirt pockets. Have you ever sprayed yourself in the process? Just another concern.

  5. Hi - They do have handlebar clips made specially for the Halt spray - sold separately.

    I haven't 'quite' sprayed myself yet, though I've come close...

    I have problems now with figuring out how to get all the stuff I like to all fit on the handlebars!