Pointless Prize: The Extra Mile

Our Community Forums Freezing Saddles Winter Riding Competition Pointless Prize: The Extra Mile

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    This describes the extra mile I went through to ride 10 miles on Friday Feb 9th.

    We buried my father in Canandaigua, NY at 2pm on Saturday Feb 9th. I thought we could do the trip with just one overnight. I’d bike before the 6-7 hour drive north and again after we arrived home late then next night. But we really needed 2 nights there, so I had to figure out how to bike in Canandaigua, NY in February. I phoned the local bike shop a few days ahead and asked about rentals. The website said they rent bikes in spring, summer, and fall. A phone call confirmed that they do not rent bikes in the winter, so I asked if I could test ride a bike and they said yes. However I had to keep it short (3-5 minutes). That would hardly be enough time to get a mile in but still better than nothing. I arrived at 10am when they opened and asked to test ride a bike. Right away, they realized I was the person who had called ahead wanting to ride a bike for the Freezing Saddles contest. They said I could ride it around their parking lot. I tried to convince them to let me ride further but the sales person said he was just an hourly employee and couldn’t do anything for me. I asked if I could test ride two bikes and said I really wanted to bike 10 miles because I got bonus points for the first 10 miles.

    After a few minutes, someone with more authority heard my pleading and gave in. Since it was sunny and warm that day, he agreed to rent one of their rental bikes for $10 an hour as long as I agreed to return promptly if it started to rain because he didn’t want any of the road salt to get on the bike. He suggested some places to ride and I took off.

    I rode up to the cemetery and saw where they were prepping my father’s grave and I talked to the cemetery owner about the service that was taking place in a couple hours. I explored the town and found more hills than expected on the heavy bike. I saw a fire house earlier but didn’t get a chance to photograph it on the bike ride. I had to get back so I wouldn’t be late for my father’s funeral.

    I felt a little guilty about twisting the arms of the bike shop workers but I kept up my > 10 mile a day streak. And now whenever it feels hard to bike (like the day we left early to ski all day or when I was sick), I remember the hoops I jumped through to get a 10 mile ride in Canandaigua, NY, and convince myself to just get out and ride.


    @Joan i loved that story.  You are a true Freezing Saddler!!!




    That is both a beautiful and touching story, and an awesome display of FS determination!  So sorry for you loss, but proud of those miles!


    @Joan, my condolenses and congrats on succeeding where I failed in renting a bike.

    My Extra Mile story involves a trip to Omaha, a borrowed Bike Friday folding bike, and blowing snow.

    First, I tried every forum and called multiple bike shops, but no luck. My team captain offered her folding bike if I could figure out how to get it into its case.  It only took about 40 cold minutes in my driveway to get it disassembled and packed on Sunday night.  Monday I flew out and landed in 80 degree  weather, got the bike assembled and put in 13miles before I went to bed.

    Tuesday morning we started work early, so I was only able to get 7miles in before my day started.  A cold front blew in, and it was down to 20 degrees as we raced to the car and went out for the obligatory social dinner.  I got back to the hotel determined to complete at least a decasleaze, put on all my gear, and rode 1.5 miles out into the blowing snow, and then turned around and let the wind push me home.  I took a screenshot of my weather app for my Strava post: 


    On Saturday, I biked up to Pike & Rose.  For those not familiar with it, along the side of Towne Road there are both a sidewalk and a bike trail.  There is a parking garage, and the exit to the parking garage crosses both the sidewalk and the trail.

    As I was biking home, a jeep came out of the garage, did not stop, and ran right into me.  The driver (ironically an emergency room physician) kept trying to persuade me to call an ambulance or at least go get checked out.  But I wasn’t about to interrupt my attempt to get at least a decasleaze for that!

    So I went to continue my bike ride.  First thing I discovered was that my Garmin had been damaged in the collision, and could no longer pick up satellite signals.  Fortunately, I also had my smart watch with me, so I wouldn’t lose Strava miles.

    Then I discovered that I couldn’t pedal the bike.  Fortunately, it turned out the issue was just that the chain had been knocked off, and I managed to fix that.  So I pedaled on home.

    But I still hadn’t photographed everything I needed for my Pointless Prizes.  I had intended to do that while going to the theater that evening.  By that time, the adrenaline from the crash had worn off and everything was aching.  My bruises had such large lumps under them that I  could no longer wear my biking tights.  It was pouring rain, and I knew my smartwatch was inclined to malfunction and turn off my rides partway through in the rain.

    However, I wasn’t about to lose my perfect streak on my Pointless Prizes.  So I found looser pants to bike in.  I found an old Garmin as backup to record miles in case my smartwatch malfunctioned.  And I biked the nearly 30 miles, wincing every time I hit a bump or had to put my foot down.


    @chill-dad:  THIS is what the prize is all about!  Well done.




    I hope your injuries are not much worse than bruises and that you are healing up easily.  And while I am glad to see that your submission is not really caused by electronics, I would much rather you struggle with devices than get hit by cars!  Please stop that, and as always, job well done for getting the ride and miles in.

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