Mary's Veggie Garden

August 3, 2017

A Trip to the Farm

Filed under: Bicycling,Vassar Farm — marysveggiegarden @ 6:44 pm

Some days it is quite challenging getting to my community garden plot at Vassar Farm. Not only is it challenging, it is downright dangerous.

Rain fell on Monday 7/24:  1.2″ as measured by the National Weather Service. Tuesday was heavily overcast and rain threatened, but there was no precipitation. Wednesday 7/26 we took a trip to the garden for some much delayed harvest.

We are heading to the only available drive-in/bike-in gate. A gravel road runs from the barns, along the west edge of the garden to a pair of  lanes leading to the gate.

Two choices – and the road on the left is nasty. Those puddles are several inches deep.

I choose the road on the right – only slightly better.  The tiny strip of grass provides a bit of firmness.

Continuing through – the grass strip disappears and the puddle runs edge to edge. The mud is silty clay – very slippery. I’m getting nervous.

I ease left through the mud to the stability of the grass and resume pedaling.

The gate! This is the only way to bike or drive into the garden area and it is mud from post to post. The ruts are 8-10″ deep when dry. The first person into the area in the morning usually hooks the gates to the fence on either side but today they chose not to fill their shoes with water.

Close-up of the gate passage. Knee high rain boots are advised.

One last obstacle. The gazebos on the right was built in July and the heavy equipment used to haul the materials widened and deepened all the potholes from the road to the gardens.

The gate area is no better from the inside traveling out.

The most perfect sculpture placement ever!

All pictures are courtesy of my husband and his helmet camera:


October 1, 2014

Bit-by-Bit: Bicycling

Filed under: Bicycling — marysveggiegarden @ 9:38 am

Step by step, a little each day, one can often accomplish a goal that would be otherwise impossible.

I am in the top 8% of  the 47,021 bicyclists participating in the National Bike Challenge and I’m ranked #647,  in the top 6% of the 12,264 women bicyclists. The Challenge ended yesterday, 9/30/14. Here are my numbers:

My trusty steed: 2001 Tour Easy by Easy Racers. The packs haul garden harvest: 10-20 pounds of vegetables.

My trusty steed: a 2001 Tour Easy by Easy Racers. The panniers haul garden harvest: often 10-25 pounds of vegetables (this week sweet potatoes).

  • Overall – 1,511 miles over 109 days May 1 – Sept 30, 2014 ending rank #3,406.
  • May – 179.6 miles in 15 days, rank #8639
  • June – 240.7 miles in 26 days, rank #5498
  • July – 433 miles in 26 days, rank #2713
  • August –  294 miles in 21 days, rank #4239
  • September  – 361 miles in 26 days, rank #2088
  • My highest weekly total was 120 miles and my longest ride was 47.5 miles, both records achieved in 3 days the last week of July.

The Challenge awards points based on mileage and days: one point for every mile and 20 points for every day with a mile or more ridden. I am retired so I can ride every day, an advantage, but I’m also over 60 and slowing down, a disadvantage. (Rereading that last statement: before retiring, I bike commuted so I was riding nearly every day then, too.)

The last week of September my odometer recorded 20,000 miles! I happened to glance that way and saw all 5 digits change in a blink. 20,000 miles is roughly 10 years of riding.  I’ve been riding this bike since very late 2001 and it has around 26,000 miles on it. Unfortunately  the first time my husband replaced the battery in the odometer, he accidentally reset the total miles.

I have a yearly goal of biking 2,000 miles. I’m currently at 1,936 miles, much closer to the goal than usual for Oct. 1. My husband Ed rode 2,290 miles. We often ride together, for groceries, across the river for U-pick apples, etc., but there are many days when I’ll bike to my community garden plot and he takes a long ride while I play in the dirt. We’ve driven the car 1,537 miles since buying it in mid-May so we’ve biked far more than we’ve driven.

My father, who is 84, participated in the Challenge until the end of August when he broke a collarbone in a fall. Dad rode 1,120 miles in 73 days and ranks #6522. Dad is in the top 14% of riders even though he couldn’t bike a single mile in September!

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