As summer begins to crest and Pittsburgh experiences more rainy, 84ºF days rather than 35º and rainy, I’ve been spending my “downtime” (which is time spent on the bicycle or on foot while hanging posters, or while winding down at night) brainstorming ways to make an income during my time on the road. If anyone follows social media accounts, (s)he is likely aware of the fake lives people life: the freedom, endless vacations, and luxury of so many lucky ducks. Instagram is possibly the most guilty, filled with accounts of people living dreamily in their Westfalias, spending nights under starscape to wake beachside and spend the day surfing and mountain biking. But who, or what, pays for van repair? Or gas? Or food? We often joke about our sweet pooch (who at this moment is throwing up in my back yard, in front of me) and his tender tummy. He currently eats a mixture of dry food for small senior dogs with sensitive stomachs as well as added snacks to help his digestion, skin, and happiness (who doesn’t love yogurt and blueberries?). How am I going to pay for his gourmet chow, or for my very necessary occasional chocolate bar? The answer is that many of the inspiring ‘Grammers are techies who have temporarily cut themselves loose from their desk job ties. Many more have trust funds that allow for the luxury of endless summer.
Lifting Weights at Midnight
Clumsy but ambitious, with vegan recipes, health tips, and tales of mountain bike and hiking trails. I’m not a quitter, I just fall down a lot.
The timing of GoGo Gear‘s email advertising their new kevlar leggings with removable knee pads was just about perfect. I had been taking my scooter back and forth across the bridge to Millvale, where Ed at Goose Farm Motorcycles helped me put on my license plate, then Geoff at Slagheap Cycles in the same space helped me attach my trunk because I was having compatibility issues. In mid-late November, crossing a river at night is a cold journey, and wearing regular tights under my jeans just wasn’t cutting it. After a particularly cold evening, I arrived at the coffee shop where Evan worked to soak up some warm beverage as he prepared to lock the doors. I checked my email and saw these leggings. They seemed perfect, but with a price point well above my budget at the time, having not quite shaken the shock of quitting my job.
I’ve been collecting a lot of products lately during and in preparation for my travels to Vermont, Colorado, Race Across the West, and Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail. I’ve been testing for the past few months or so, and thought you’d like a peak at what I’ve been into and why. First on the list is:
Ye olde mountain bike season is again upon us! Bask in yea glory of semi-dry trails. Bow down in thanks of the trail gods who build berms and fill ruts. And yea, kiss the tire treads of they who rode all winter when the trails were soft and vulnerable, for they knew not of their own power to corrode. Let us give thanks to the sun, brief in the sky as it may be, whose vitamin D reminds us that yes, we do prefer to be alive (though for the past six months may have lost sight of that mission). Let us not take for granted this day of beauty, let this not be our day of rest, for rest will come soon enough—tomorrow (or later today) when it rains, or post-ride at D’s for veggie dogs topped with avocado and Sriracha slaw, and washed down with a pint of 1919 Root Beer.
There comes a time in every blogger’s life where she needs to look at her surroundings and make some assessments. Last night, I stepped on a stick that impaled my foot about an inch and a half deep, leaving just a teeny tiny mark but swelling my foot to about 150% its size. Then, I sliced my hand on a knife my friend Nick Anger made me, attempting lamely to hold it in my teeth like a pirate holding her sword. My eye has also been twitching for about two days.
It starts with running my finger across the 30 cookbooks, each focusing on a niche fad or flavor. Most of them healthy, most of them vegetarian. Many of them have tabs in them, pieces of paper sticking out as makeshift bookmarks, marking favorite recipes. Some are falling apart, while a few haven’t so much as been thumbed through, save for checking for a recipe among its pages before, defeated, placing it back in its hole on the shelf.
First things first…
I knew March was going to be a difficult month for me to keep up with the posts. So I’m *kind of* sorry I haven’t been updating very much. Does it feel better if I pass the buck and say I tried to get a few other people on board to write blog posts for me, and they never followed through? No? Hmm… How about if I regale you with tales of adventure in teaching adult writing classes, doing P90X at 2 a.m., and getting to see some of my favorite bands for free because I’ve been writing about them. I figured that one would win since I wrote it in a list of threes and usually that can make anything sound good. Oh well. I will say that I am letting go of some of my work obligations (and taking on some others, ssshhh) so I should have more writing time available to write to you fine folks here.
In the morning, the urge is to consume fresh juice. The process is arduous, so I usually revert back to the old stable of coffee and toast, or coffee and leftovers, or coffee and a Vega One shake (I realize that what I have for breakfast equates to that good friend you decide to unfollow on Instagram because her pictures of her breakfast are just too much, but bear with me). Simple sustenance. The process of juicing can seem overwhelming pre-breakfast. Just like a bear coming out of hibernation, I’m groggy in the mornings. Not mean, but impatient — especially with myself. It’s also worth mentioning that I typically only get five hours of sleep, to coming out of it feels like the final episode of X-Files when Mulder is in the prison cell and the guard keeps waking him up with “No Sleeping! Tell me what you know!” I mean, not to be dramatic….
It’s taken me a while to find time to update the blog. Posters, one of my many jobs, picked up, as did my writing work. It’s been hard to get in every P90X workout, and something that’s been causing me some contemplation is the purpose of the workouts, why I love this set of cheesy home exercise DVDs.