Sunday, November 23, 2008

Daily Visitors

These deer and a couple pals that are not in the picture visit everyday. Once in a awhile, we see a buck, but these are does and their less than one year old but rapidly growing offspring. The object of curiosity is a neighbor's wandering cat. A minute later, the deer moved in closer and the cat scampered under the deck. The deer are cleaning up leaves that just came off a pear tree in this week's snowfalls. We had a total of about five inches here this week but they still aren't blowing snow at our local hill. Holiday Valley over in Western New York is open. Got to get out on the skinny skis before this cover melts off.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


A few months ago, I became an avid spinner. I have been a lifelong biker but never much enjoyed locking the road bike into a stationary trainer. When Linda and I joined a local club that offered spinning and yoga in addition to the obligatory weights and cardio machines, our weekly workouts improved– a lot. We have both had knee surgery and don't pound the pavement anymore. We ration our remaining cartilage playing recreational and competitive hard court tennis and did time on treadmills and ellipticals with some outdoor biking. Now, we have a great off-season alternative. I've quickly become addicted to the spinning class. Monday nights is an intense one hour workout but Saturday morning is an hour and a half killer. The class leader, Karen, gears these classes to triathletes and competitive cyclists (which I presently am not) but I am pleased to be surviving and improving. Heart rate monitors are mandatory and I can report that we spend nearly all of the class in various levels of training zones and very little in recovery. As many of you know, spinning bikes are designed to replicate some of the feel and posture of outdoor riding. What is different is the lack of elements (wind and temperature variations- and traffic!) and a high energy sound track. It's just not the tempo of the music that pushes the pace but the exhortation of the class leader who wears a mike. It's not "better," just diferent. Our instructor is hard-core and also an outdoor racer. What a workout!