Goat commute

Today, I bike-commuted 6 miles from my house, north of town on Highway 71, to Victory Hill Farm to help my friend Sarah package 120 pounds of goat chèvre.

Being a goat dairy, in addition to a cheesery, and it being spring, there were baby goats at Victory Hill Farm.

I love walking up to the baby goats. They always greet you. Maybe you have food for them? They are always hopeful.

They sound a lot like this.

They were very curious about my bicycle.

bicycle and goatsAs Sarah and I were leaving the cheese room this evening, we had their full attention.

IMG_5830The 5-pound bags of chèvre we packaged today are destined for restaurants.

Want to try some Victory Hill Farm chèvre yourself?

You can buy it in consumer portions at Main Street Market in Scottsbluff, or you can visit a restaurant that serves it: The Crowbar & Grill in Laramie, WY; Sozo American Cuisine in Kearney; Chimney Park in Windsor, CO; and The Mixing Bowl in Gering.

Also – cyclist fueling tip: if you’re going on a long bike ride and need to pack some food, buy a half-pound of frozen cheese curd from Victory Hill Farm. The cheese will thaw during your ride, and you’ll have a protein-rich snack to replenish your energy.

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

Why I ride

I was prompted to write this post after seeing this infographic from the League of American Bicyclists:

so many reasons to rideI feel like I’ve written about this before, but I can’t find a post, so perhaps I composed it in my head while cycling and never wrote it down.

There are a lot of reasons why I ride.

1. Money

When I graduated from college, I couldn’t afford a car. I rented an apartment near enough to work that I could walk if needed, but cycling was faster. Even after I got a car and got married, we stuck with one car and relied heavily upon bicycles for transportation. We were still just scraping by financially, and gas and parking cost money we didn’t want to have to spend. Today, we still get by with one car and two commuter bicycles because of the financial benefits.

According to a Triple-A survey, the average annual cost of operating a vehicle in 2015 was $8,698. That represents multiple thousands of dollars we can set aside for other things in our budget. (Hot tip: this is how we’ve afforded our international travels – most recently to Ireland and Sweden; we save money by only owning one car and spend some of the savings on incredible vacations.)

2. Exercise

I am, at heart, a lazy person. Given the opportunity, I would gladly become a couch potato. At one time, cycling to work was pretty much the only exercise I got. I can’t stand going to gyms, and I’m not much into competitive team sports. How could I turn down the opportunity to exercise WHILE I was heading to work? It’s multitasking, and I don’t have to go to the stupid gym later!

3. Mmmmm, beer / food

Now that I’ve gotten into road riding for recreation, I’m putting in hundreds of miles a month on the bike saddle in season. That translates into upwards of 7,000 extra calories burned each month, which makes me happy because it means I can indulge in such things as tasty craft beers and gooey slices of pizza without developing a beer-and-pizza butt. (Which in turn means I don’t have to buy new clothes – another money saver!)

3. Convenience

In some places, it’s simply easier to get around on a bike than in a car. Bikes often (and should!) get rock-star parking, with bike racks close up near the front door.

4. The feels

Biking is good for me, emotionally speaking. I get a good start to the day being connected to the outdoors, knowing in intimate detail what the wind’s doing and what they sky looks like and how the earth smells – especially important if I’m inside all day. Also, if I’ve had a rotten day, I can work off the negativity by pedaling extra hard on the way home.

5. Clear head

Something about the increased blood flow and fresh oxygen being delivered to my brain helps me think better. I’ve solved some problems and come up with some creative ideas while pedaling about town. I’ve heard other people have had similar experiences. [cough] Einstein [cough, cough].

Bicycling started for me as a necessity, developed into a habit, and, eventually, became a lifestyle.

It’s just something I do now.

My legs still work

After that hill ride yesterday, I guess I wanted to challenge my legs to see if they still worked.

I started out with some leg exercises and then hit the two-wheeled commute.

The legs still worked!

It was a lovely day for biking – clear skies, below-average temperatures, and no wind to speak of.

This afternoon, I was touched when the museum volunteer staffing the front desk made sure to call me in my temporary office trailer to let me know that the weather radio had gone off for a severe thunderstorm watch. She knew I was on two wheels today and wanted to make sure I made it home OK. 🙂

There were no storms here, and I did make it home OK.

Well, mostly OK.

Doggone airborne pollen!

*restrains self from rubbing itchy eyes*

ACHOO!!!!!

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

Aack! I swallowed a bug!

Don’t you hate when that happens?

You’re cycling along, headed home from work on a beautiful Juneathon day, pushing the pace a little, breathing a little hard through open mouth, when WHAM! – a bug flies into your mouth and hits the back of your throat and in nearly the same instant you reflexively swallow.

Aack! Ptooey! Kak!

At least it wasn’t a June bug. I would have choked!

But, you see, I was actually being trendy. Entomophagy popup restaurants, yo.

I have practiced intentional entomophagy before. (We consume insect parts unknowingly all the time: see “commodities and defect action levels“.)

It was Halloween 2003, and I made chocolate chirp cookies for a party. I made my own dry-roasted crickets. Rather time-consuming. (For the record, oatmeal-fed crickets in chocolate chip cookies taste remarkably like walnuts.)

For the sake of having a photo in this post, and in honor of Throwback Thursday, I will post my and Bugman’s costumes that year. The theme was “dress like a movie title.”

He was “Grapes of Wrath.” I was “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”

grapes wrath killer tomato

The angry fruit couple

I am grateful to my Grapes-of-Wrathman for fixing my bike pedal so it wouldn’t click and drive me crazy on my way to/from work today.

I need to drive to work tomorrow to haul posters to an early-morning meeting, so no cycle commute. Maybe I will be able to get in a run for Day 6 of Juneathon.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

“You don’t squirt random people!”

My workout for Juneathon Day 2 was biking to work. It’s 10.8 miles round trip, which was plenty for my bum, which was still kind of sore from yesterday’s 50-miler.

Today was a horrible day to be at work, but a great day to ride.

bike shadow

Temps never broke 80 degrees. Winds never topped 10 mph. Humidity less than 50% during the day.

Today was also apparently a great day to play in the kiddie pool in your front yard.

Again, the antics on Pacific Avenue.

I heard shouts of “No! NO!!”

I looked up to see a kiddo of about 3 or 4, large water pistol aimed in my direction.

“You don’t squirt random people!!”

I had to chuckle as I pedaled away, safe and dry.

Thanks, lady, for saving me from a soaking. 🙂

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw