Barbra Brady

Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Cycling Near Sonoma: Where the Smile Meets the Road

In Cycling on March 1, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Remember the glee, the glory, the Wow of the first time you rode a bike, all by yourself, no training wheels? Not the recollection from the intellect, but the pure spirit of being alive, of smoothly gliding along, your wheels (and smile) set free?

Cycling in the vicinity of Sonoma when the mustard is in bloom re-creates and expands that one extraordinary moment over and over again. Yours for the recreation of it all. Or perhaps yours is a more coastal calling. I recently took a short (albeit hilly) ride from Drakes Bay Visitor Center to the Point Reyes Lighthouse on the Marin County coast. It was quite simply like being in a snow globe, the sights all around me spectacular in the most serene way.

The bucolic, lush green, cow-specked hillsides en route to the lighthouse so ridiculously lovely, the “destination” was practically nonchalant. I was grinning ear-to-ear. The combination of the Coast’s pristine, mellow, and friendly charm and that certain child-like joy that only happens on a bicycle saddle served to make this one ride in February one of the best I can imagine.

In fact, the ride was such a delight to my senses and continued well-being, it more than made up for a minor spill I took, thankfully toward the end of the day. This is where I offer my own painful accident to illustrate a public service reminder: Cyclists, keep your equipment in good (i.e., safe) working order! I hang my helmeted head in embarrassment that I had ignored the signs my bike shoe cleats were a bit worn, and not working properly, and in fact were due to be re-newed. For the previous couple of rides, I had noticed it took a couple of extra turns of my ankle to click out of the pedals. I remember thinking, “Better adjust those cleats.” Listen to that little Pssst!

I hope my own brush with the pavement (to avoid a cow!) there at Point Reyes may serve as an example to others. Check out your equipment before you head out. Take that extra time to take care. We have a number of excellent, locally owned and operated bike shops in the area, staffed by knowledgable folks who can not only keep your bike road-worthy, but offer suggestions on some of the other amazing rides in our fabled neck of the woods.

If I haven’t quite pumped your heart’s desire, if you are still curious (that’s a good thing) about the wonders of cycling around the Sonoma County area, we’ve got a sure ride of a local advocacy organization to train your wheels. The Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition in Santa Rosa offers educational outreach, workshops, and more. They know the ropes of the road, and are there to share.

Love your ride!

Near Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore


Sigur Ros' atmospheric music for cycling, yoga

In Cycling, Today's Practice on July 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Sweet, evocative, no choice but to be in the moment.

Thank you, Jeff Flery, Missoula, for introducing me to Sigur Ros. I am riveted to presence when I hear this piece.

Damien Hirst Art Bike for Lance Armstrong

In Art, Cycling on July 26, 2009 at 6:48 am

Damien Hirst's art road bike for Lance Armstrong

Road bike. France. Contemporary art. Excellent recovery from broken collarbone.

Some of my favorite things and inspirations all together.

In memory

In Cycling, This Morning's Tea, Yoga on November 10, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Many of This Morning’s Tea posts are composed as I sip said beverage while scanning the headlines of Missoula’s daily online, The Missoulian. This morning’s tea was one of my favorites, Murchie’s CBC, with low fat milk and agave nectar. This morning’s lead story featured one of my favorite catch phrases, “avid cyclist.” My eye, taken, then settled in on the reality:

Ride on, Len’ – Family, friends take ride to remember avid cyclist, advocate


I know of only one Len in Missoula. And he, an avid cyclist. Remember? That can only mean one thing. Read it, I did. Len, my cycling-at-a-certain-age guru, my inspiration to skate ski one more lap around the Meadow Loop at Pattee Canyon, one of my never pushy bike vendors. Now Len, a source of inspiration in grace.

I, the customer, never knew he was ill. Given the many times I wandered into Open Road over the years, I can imagine he may have felt less well than he let on at least once. But as I know–because of yoga–, and Len and his many honoring friends know because of the zen of cycling, or enjoying the ride, or the call of a kick-and-glide, it is the joy we open ourselves to while here, with others, doing what we love in the moment that adds up to a life so beautifully lived, the beauty of the friendship remains.

And Len, I missed out on skiing last season while in Sonoma, but I’ll be in Montana this winter. And I’ll smile to you when I first snap into my Atomics.

iPods illegal while cycling? Who needs an external soundtrack.

In Cycling on August 28, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Riding my petite Terry, I glide.

Living life grand, I glide.

Love erupting in my soul, guh-lidddde.

The spinning effortless.

Who needs an iPod (their batteries run down) when 

Life is a Playlist.

A cycling suggest: Sing show tunes as you ride. few-EL. 

Who needs Gu.            

fuel your ride

fuel your ride

Mornings with Murchie's

In Cycling, This Morning's Tea on July 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm

I would move to Victoria, B.C. just to be near Murchie’s. I would move to B.C. just because…well, if you’ve ever been to Beautiful B.C., you already know the answer.

This morning, it is Jasmine Blend in my cup, the 4th stage of the Tour (how is it people who know me keep asking, What tour?” It is about the bike). Jasmine Blend is one of those teas, much like an outstanding red wine, that its mere fragrance is almost enough. They both send me.

Today’s time trial sends me to my bike. The newest to my fleet, a Terry

My Terry Symmetry

My Terry Symmetry

 with a wee 24″ front tire…which almost puts me in time trial position for my morning commute.


The Jasmine Blend, a commute in a cup.