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Happy Halloween (One Day Early) from…

LOBSTER-BOY!

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Tuxley wishes each and every one of you a safe and happy Halloween. He will be hiding with Mr. Tux and I from all the little children. (Tuxley does NOT like any human under 3ft tall) So Mr. Tux and I did his Halloween photo shoot early. This little Lobster Boy costume is dedicated to Lobstermom, who helped brainstorm the idea and is the inspiration.

Kiera

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Tuxley’s Snazzy New Duds

While the three of us were relaxing on the beach this last July, it be came very clear that Tuxley was desperately in need of a better, warmer, higher-quality coat. As he sat shivering on my lap bundled in layers of cheap, ill-fitting sweaters and snuggle blankets, I reached the decision that Tuxley would have a dachshund-specific coat to keep him warm. Well that fateful day has arrived!

I ordered Tuxley a Miniature Dachshund Tummy Warmer in yellow and a Miniature Dachshund Winter Coat also in yellow from Voyagers K9 Apparel. Mr. Tux and I chose yellow because it is considered a bright safety color and we wanted to ensure that Tuxley would always be highly visible when he was out cycling with us. I measured him using their breed specific sizing charts and chose to order him a large in both the Tummy Warmer and Winter Coat. The Winter Coat fits perfectly and has room to fit the tummy warmer underneath if the need arises for extra warmth. The Tummy Warmer fits nicely, but I will order a medium next time to obtain a snugger fit.

Overall, I am very happy with how both the warmer and coat fit. It hasn’t been cold enough around the house or outside during the day to necessitate Tuxley wearing them yet. However, we will use them tomorrow when we venture out on another cycling adventure. Until then, I will look forward to seeing my handsome Tuxley looking snazzy in his new tummy warmer and winter coat.

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the tummy warmerIMG_4079

Tuxley looks so handsomeIMG_4075

the yellow looks fantastic against his black and silver furIMG_4085

dapper dappleIMG_4091

The Winter Coat has a built-in ear muff…I think he looks like a seal!IMG_4093

my little doxie seal…he has so much patience with mommyIMG_4098

a side viewIMG_4100Tuxley is ready for the snow flurries now.

I will do a more in-depth review of the tummy warmer and winter coat after we have a chance to wear them. Until then, my first impressions are that they are of high quality and nice fabric. Plus, he looks adorable in them!

Kiera

Our Grand Cycling Adventure

Saturday morning, Mr. Tux and I dragged ourselves out of bed and stumbled out of the house bound on a grand cycling adventure. Dressed in double sweaters, Tuxley was loaded into his trailer and looking rather confused. We were dressed in all of the warm layers we could find. After all 37 degrees and a breeze is NOT a pleasant temperature to walk out into. Dressed in bulky layers and looking like waddling penguins, the three of us were ready to set out.

The plan was a 26 mile ride out along a paved trail with a quick stop for a tasty lunch and a 26 mile return trip for a grand total of over 52 miles of cycling. However the wind was not cooperating. Once on the trail, we faced a stiff headwind the whole way out. And on the return trip our bad luck held out and we faced a headwind again. We stopped at the first leg and grabbed a tasty mocha and fresh Safeway bagel. I had my favorite white chocolate/raspberry mocha with an everything bagel. Mr. Tux had a non-fat, no-whip mocha and a Asagio bagel. Rather tasty! Especially after almost four weeks of counting calories and limiting the carbs. Back on the trail after our mini brunch, we continued the remaining 13 miles to our lunch destination. We stopped for about an hour for lunch. Tuxley was thrilled to be out of the trailer and given a chance to stretch is legs.

Once we hit the trail back home, we were disappointed to find the wind had indeed changed while we stopped and again we faced the stiff headwind the Palouse is famous for. By this point, Tuxley had started reaching his done point. Up until this ride, he had only ever been in the trailer for about 25 miles. Now he had been in the trailer for over 34 miles and we weren’t even finished. By the time we arrived back home, Tuxley couldn’t wait to get out of the trailer and curl up on his favorite blanket for a nap. After all, it was a hard day of work being the Tuxls supervising the humans from the safety of the doxie carriage.

Mr. Tux and I loved the ride. On top of it being a great sunny day for riding, we also got to try out our new heart rate monitors and panniers. The heart rate monitors were amazing and totally worth it. Mr. Tux burned over 5,000 calories and I burned over 3,900. Having that many calories burned meant we were able to eat anything we wanted over the course of the day and still be under calorie by the end. As cool as the heart rate monitors were, the awesomest new item that I got to play with on this ride were my new set of Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. I am in LOVE! All of our extra gear, clothing layers, and other miscellaneous items were loaded into the panniers which mounted perfectly on Saoirse’s rack. Awesomeness!

Speaking of Saoirse, apparently my many trips to the bike shop are paying off. I was able to ride the 52 miles utilizing the new aero bars without too much hand, wrist, elbow, and arm pain. Once we got back from the ride, I dropped Saoirse back off at the shop for the last few necessary changes. With some new handlebar tape on the aero bars, the 36 inch handlebar swapped out for the 38 inch. straightened brake hoods, and “bar fat” installed under the handlebar tape, she will soon be ready for more long rides. Until then, I wait and cherish the memories of our Saturday ride.

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A mocha for Mr. Tux, fruit smoothie for me, and chips for allIMG_4066

a lobster decal…Lobstermom needs one of these!IMG_4062

Saoirse, Optimus Prime, and the trailer all set upIMG_4065

a closer look at my beautiful new panniers! I am in love!!IMG_4069One tired puppy

Hopefully, we will be able to do another 52 mile ride this coming Saturday. Weather permitting of course. We will have new cold gear. Tuxley’s new sweater and coat have arrived and are ready for their maiden voyage. Keep pedaling peeps!

Kiera

Weekend Cycling Plans

One of the best purchases that Mr. Tux and I have made this summer was the addition of the DoggyRide Mini to our cycling equipment. Having the ability to take Tuxley with us when we are out doing longer rides is a blessing and releif. Instead of worrying about what Tuxley is up to and how long we are forced to leave him in his crate while we are out, I am able to enjoy an amazing ride with him. The three of us being together while riding makes cycling seem like more of a family outing than exercise. Sure we still clock plenty of mileage without him along, but the availability of the trailer and Tuxley to accompany us is a lifesaver.

In fact, tomorrow we are planning to do our longest ride this year to-date and Tuxley gets to accompany us. Mr. Tux and I are taking out the steels (Saoirse and Optimus) along with the DoggyRide Mini. The plan is to ride a 52 mile round-trip loop here in the area. Stopping for lunch at a wonderful cafe that all local cyclists frequent, and enjoying a relaxing Fall ride together.

I have ordered a custom winter coat and tummy warmer for Tuxley from K9Apparel. Hopefully it will be here on time, but if it isn’t, I will bundle him up in extra sweaters and last year’s coat for the ride. We have also finally ordered our first set of panniers and they should arrive today. Just in time for use on our Fall Adventure tomorrow. The panniers will be perfect for hauling more cold-weather gear, snacks, and Tuxley essentials on the ride. I can’t wait! As I told Mr. Tux, new panniers are just like getting a new purse! What girl couldn’t help but be excited.

One thing that might slow down the ride tomorrow is Saoirse and my changing riding style. When I was fitted to her almost two months ago, it took about three tries and she was highly customized to my riding style then. However, as it has turned out, all of the cycling along with the addition of weight lifting, yoga, and diet to my life, my riding style has drastically changed. So much so that the last 25 mile ride we did, had my right hand and arm in pain and miserable. Mr. Tux and I have had Saoirse into the bike store twice this week for adjustments. The bike I went home on Wednesday evening was nothing like the bike I took in on Tuesday. New handlebars, different handlebar tape, adjusted saddle position, and dropped bar height to name just a few adjustments. Right now the handlebars are doubled wrapped with bar tape and Saoirse is looking ready for Halloween with a bit of a Frankenstein theme. We did a 14 mile evening ride last night and I will be taking Saoirse back into the shop after work today.The goal is to find a happy medium and have Saoirse ridable for 52+ miles tomorrow.

However, even if Saoirse is not ride-able on Saturday, we will still be doing the ride. Just maybe with Eowynn instead. Either way I will not give up a beautiful fall day and the chance to be out riding with my boys. After all who can resist a face like this…

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Kiera

Year-To-Date Cycling Stats

Mr. Tux and I use a program called Strava to track our cycling adventures. We discovered the program in July so our figures for the year are only covering periodic rides over four months. Strava itself is an amazing program and fairly accurate for ride tracking. It lets us know our average speed, total distance, moving time, max speed, estimated calories burned, and elevation climbed. So in the last four weeks, Mr. Tux and I have averaged one ride a week, with an average distance of 25 miles, and average ride time of 2 hours and 16 minutes. I have ridden a total distance of 329.5 miles in four months, for a grand total of 28 hours 24 minutes of cycling time and 7,257ft of elevation gain. That distance is spread out over 21 rides. I am rather proud of those results.

Another nice perk of Strava, is that it allows me to separate out and track miles ridden per bike. That means I can look at my Year-To-Date and know that I have ridden 230.7 miles on Eowynn and since bringing Saoirse home in August I have ridden a grand total of 98.6 miles on the steel horse. Right now, I don’t have a working cycling computer installed on Saoirse, so having Strava to track the miles I am riding on her is a blessing. This way, I have an accurate way to track the total mileage placed on the bike and components that doesn’t get lost when batteries die.

Overall, this has been an amazing summer and an even better summer for cycling. We have ridden more in the last four months than we ever did last year. I am loving the cycling we are doing this Fall even if the weather is getting a bit chilly. Hopefully we will have more days of cooler temperatures and sunshine before the snow flurries fly and winter hits the Palouse. Until then, keep riding.

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Kiera

Friday Photo Dump

I am one of those people. The ones who don’t have kids and have fur children instead. However, just like parents of human children, I take photo after photo of my precious Doxie boy. My cell phone memory card is jam-packed with Tuxley photos. Most of them are pretty crappy and (according to Mr. Tux) all look like repeats. He apparently doesn’t always see the cute nuances of Tuxley’s appearance like I do. Secretly Mr. Tux loves and adores Tuxley, but he keeps up the pretense of dislike anyway. I mean, honestly! Tuxley sleeps under his office chair when Mr. Tux works on homework. And who is it that Tuxley loves to cuddle up against every morning. That’s right! Mr. Tux. He is such a big softy. Ssshhh…don’t tell him Tuxley and I have figured him out. Besides, Tuxley is so adorable! Who can’t help but love THIS!

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And This…2013-08-05 12.17.03

And This…2013-09-22 12.57.30

Don’t forget about this…IMG_20130319_153324

AAhhh…and this…IMG_20130329_122941

And this…2013-05-29 17.46.04

And this…depressed dog…IMG_20130319_160335

And this devil dog…2013-09-20 19.38.59

Oh…and the cat…2013-08-05 12.21.04Oh the cuteness!!

Kiera

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Fall Cycling with Tuxley

The last few weeks have been filled with day after day of rain and thunderstorms. Over the weekend, the sun finally put in an appearance and we took advantage. Saturday afternoon Mr. Tux and I rode over 21 miles on the road bikes. It was pure heaven. However, the downside to a fast ride like we did was leaving poor Tuxley home in his crate feeling abandoned and miserable. Our remedy for a sad, depressed dachshund…a 13.7 mile ride Sunday afternoon on the Steels with the trailer. Tuxley LOVED it! He knows when we are getting our cycling gear together and always pays close attention to what gear I am packing. Once he sees his purple leash, he knows. Depressed dachshund becomes excited, wiggly bundle of fur. Outfitted in his snazzy hoodie and the necessary bark collar, Tuxley is loaded into his trailer, and off we go.

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IMG_4044I am sure not looking forward to the snow flurries and the end of weekend cycling trips with my boys. I have truly loved every minute cycling with both of them this summer. Next summer will be even better!

Kiera