How to: Enjoy your Saturday, and Learn from your Ride

Spring is in full bloom – are you taking advantage of it?

I am a firm believer in accepting every invitation that nice weather sends to me. Have a picnic; go for a hike; take the bike for a ride; lace up your running shoes; take in those rays of sunshine and get your Vitamin D! When you spend Monday-Friday working on your job, remember to spend Saturday-Monday working for yourself.

Relax, take time to make fun healthy meals, and enjoy the extra time you have to exercise in any way you want to. That is my “weekend mantra”.


This Saturday,the weather could not be more ideal around DC. This morning we sat on the porch with coffee, Ray LaMontagne on Pandora, breakfast, and a lot of bike parts. Somebody was busy…

Someone got a load of new parts, and tools, and had some fun mechanic stuff to keep him occupied.

My bici and I decided to go hang out. I can’t resist 75* morning sunshine, and with the No-Cars on Beach Drive rule, weekends are ideal biking opportunities around here.

No automobiles here, adios!

Clear road and gorgeous scenery ahead.
Life is good.

Zoom zooming by the rushing water.
Rock Creek Park = a small break from the city world.

I had no worries of time, distance, or pace. Instead, I took in everything around me and I haven’t felt that sense of peace in way too long. As my legs went through the motions, my thoughts bounced all over the place and I just felt content. I ended up riding for 23.5 miles in 1:35:24 with an avg HR of 134. To be honest, I only turned around (out and back) because I hit the end of the road (it hit another road – unfamiliar territory is only for buddy-bici-rides!). Dang. I could’ve spent this day just going going going.

Well, I also turned around because I had no food with me, no D with me, and it was almost lunchtime.

And now, I bring you my lessons learned – the good and bad choices I make while bici riding:

  • Bad idea: playing with my “go-fast” gears while going uphill. As it turned out, I changed something that made it harder to pedal. Let’s just say that hill was not my friend.
  • Good idea: smiling while you zoom down a hill. I’m convinced it makes it that much more fun.
  • Great idea: switching from the usual “running” playlist, to the Country playlist. It just seemed appropriate – country music, trails on either side of me, open road, and sunshine.
  • Bad idea: assuming every rider knows that when you say “on your left” – they should stay to the right. Simple etiquette, you would think.
  • Good idea: learning how to grab your water bottle while you ride. Fewer stops = more zoom zoom fun.
  • Great idea: standing up now and then to 1) feel free as you coast down that hill and 2) give those sitting-bones a little break!
  • Bad idea: holding your Blackberry to take pictures while you’re still zoom-zooming. No, I didn’t drop it (whew!). Yes, I took two pictures before I thought “this isn’t very smart…”.
  • Good idea: buying clothes for cyclists! The shirts have back pockets (brilliant), and my appreciation for the padding in the shorts knows no bounds.
  • Great idea: bringing a few dollars next time to support the Farmer’s Market we pass, and enjoy some fresh produce as a snack!

If you’re a cyclist, what are some “lessons” you’ve learned? I always discover something new! With every ride I find myself more excited to start pedaling and enjoying the ride.


Random post-ride cravings led to a lunch with some variety…

Scrambled eggs, ketchup, red pepper slices and a kiwi left me full, but craving something cold and sweet.

Into the food processor went: 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt + 1 cup of Frozen strawberries. Pulse and then top with a drizzle of Lite Chocolate Syrup, and you’ll have the perfect  healthy dessert satisfaction.


How did you spend this Saturday?

We still have so much weekending ahead! I could get used to this Spring/Long-weekend thing.



Filed under bike rides, DC, food, lunches, things that make me Happy, weather love, weekends

9 responses to “How to: Enjoy your Saturday, and Learn from your Ride

  1. I recently bought a new bike and went on a ride today, too. Yes, padded shorts and pocketed jerseys are great! Happy riding!

  2. Ironically enough I spent this Saturday BIKE SHOPPING! I found one for a GREAT price that I think I will be buying tomorrow BUT it doesn’t have curved handlebars so I was concerned that would be a problem. I’m currently doing some research to stay if I can put curved handlebars onto it!

  3. Sounds like you had a great ride! That’s awesome that you didn’t have to mess with cars, they can be so annoying. I like your list of lessons learned, I always tend to play with my gears at the worst moments haha

  4. I love rock creek park!! I’ll have to come ride with you (although I’ll be a slow poke and fall off while trying to shift gears for a while) once I actually buy a bike (this might be tomorrow!)

  5. Sounds like an awesome day! I love that you embrace the free time to be ACTIVE and HEALTHY.

    OMG, thinking of going downhill standing up makes me nervous. I am such a chicken. 😉

    Definitely stealing your “dessert” idea.

  6. I spent the whole day at the lake being a bum and having fun! sounds like your saturday was great too!

  7. Liz

    Riding through rock creek is definitely a must-do activity every weekend for me now. Yesterday I learned the lesson that if I don’t have any water, my bike ride is going to be WAY harder. Genius, I know.

  8. The ipod thing? A pretty bad idea, it’s a lot safer if you can hear your surroundings while biking, specially on streets.

  9. Kevin

    Hi! I started following your blog because I was on the hunt for nutritionists. Doing some heavy training this year and looking for innovative eating ideas to keep things interesting and high octane. I like what I see here!

    Recommendation in response to your “Bad Note assuming every rider knows that when you say “on your left” – they should stay to the right.”

    A few years ago, both cycling and running, I stopped saying “on your left,” and started simply saying, “PASSING.” I think the “on your left” tends to confuse most people, especially if they are startled. Is it a direction or an indication?
    By saying “passing,” everyone has always moved to the right, allowing me to pass on the left. No problems. Walkers are the best test subjects, since they always seem to be the ones to dodge left when you say, “on your left.”

    Give it a whirl.


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