Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Happy it's over... and yes I wore red!
My friend Danielle, now claiming the official title of "Ironwoman", my daughter who was my maid of honor and my oldest boy, one of the groomsmen....
Monday, October 5, 2009
I have learned…
1. that my leg muscles are prettier than they are fast
2. that even though all my every day clothes are now too big for me…I still look fat in spandex
3. that when you see light flashes, experience intense headaches and sleep for hours after riding it’s probably NOT just because “my body isn’t used to riding”
4. that women don’t like to work together when racing, even if they are on the same team… oh puhleeze, argue with me if you want… I aint seen it.
5. that the potty mouth in the pack belongs to none other than myself the elf
6. that some of my favorite rides of the season, took place AFTER I was dropped and got a chance to enjoy the scenery
7. that my favorite riding partner is still the boy that first introduced me to riding and that bob and molly run a close second
8. that kids think bike riding is dumb and “gay” until you add a mud pile to it. Also note that they also think helmets are dumb and gay, but they will don a football helmet to ride on a bike around the neighborhood and somehow that’s not weird at all.
9. that cycling is relatively clique-ish… or maybe it’s more gang-like, like the sharks and the jets
Ahhh so very many good lessons. I’ve laughed about most of the above and a great deal more. I can’t complain about the season – after all, I have nothing to compare it to…and ignorance is bliss, for a while anyway.
Next year I’ll be riding/racing officially attached – to a husband that is…. 13 days and counting…
Friday, September 18, 2009
Hopefully, I'll have new posts and some wedding pics soon! 29 days and counting...and he's mine, all mine (suckerrrrrr!)
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
A couple more pics (above) from the Hincapie party...
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
As you can imagine, I was delighted when they finally made the cover of ROAD magazine after their victory at the Tour of Battenkill. The magazine has sat proudly on my nightstand ever since. Just within the past 2 days, Rob needed “new” reading material and picked it up…and is on his way to becoming a “fan-boy”..heh heh heh…he has thoroughly enjoyed reading about Scott Nydam and Chad Beyer…their race, what they like to eat, etc. Jeff Louder’s twitter is equally engaging.
I’m giddy with excitement (and I’m not a very giddy girl) with the US Pro championships approaching… it’s on the calendar on their team site and I’m assuming they’ll be here in all their Assos glory. I have high hopes for them and am fully prepared to stalk (not really), whine and weasel my way into any venue, in which they may be….yes, I’m the “passion” in their “Style, Passion, Precision” (HA!). Only eighteen days and counting…
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
You should all know by now, that with a lead in like this… I’m getting ready to express my discontent for something…enter the 650c vs. 700c wheel argument…again…and this is something I have been researching now for quite some time. Now, I know, most people could care less, because they aren’t short of stature, like me. I’m barely 5 feet tall…truthfully, without shoes, socks and the bangs I sported in the 80’s I’m probably closer to 4’11.5. I know, I know…. Most people don’t believe I’m this short….that’s because my personality is so very tall and it deceives you! But, alas, it is true. My 12 year old is almost taller than me, I cannot reach kitchen items, bathroom items in cabinets and shelves, etc. without climbing, I cannot place or retrieve my bike from the bike rack on top of the car and most all cycling shorts look more like knickers on me than shorts. My lack of height has never bothered me but while it has never bothered me, I’m realistic about the fact that I cannot wear/reach/do everything a taller person can… if only bike shop workers and bike manufacturers were also realistic about this…life would be grand.
For instance, for some reason (men especially) love to tell me that I should get a bike with “real wheels”. They, then, launch into breathtaking expositions on how 700c wheels are faster, toe overlap no longer exists, that companies like Specialized, Trek, etc have created frames that are small, that can flawlessly accommodate 700c wheels without compromising frame geometry, handling, etc. They take it even further and make statements regarding the companies that do have 650c wheeled bikes…they go something like this, they are backwards, outdated, trying to push them off on you because they spent so much money on that specific frame years ago and now need to sell it even though 700’s are clearly better. Those of us that like research, loathe those that fire off “facts”, rhetoric and half-truths without having the research to back it up.
Now it’s fine for these men to assume that because I’m a “beginning” cyclist that I may not know the pros/cons, etc. with different wheel sizes. It’s fine for them to assume that because I’m female I may not be very mechanically inclined. Though in this instance both assumptions aren’t entirely true for me, personally. However, it isn’t fine for them to assume that because I’m female that I don’t read, reason, discern and can’t make heads or tails of the laws of physics. More importantly, it isn’t fine for them to assume that I can’t tell what feels good to me. SO – for that reason, I went this weekend to a local shop to feel 700c wheels for myself. And?? What did they say? Most of what you read above…and what did I feel? That the bike felt a bit funky… it felt smooth since it was carbon, and my bike is aluminum….however, my feet felt oddly close to the wheels and I didn’t feel my untapped speed suddenly unleashed.
I wrote this post for 2 reasons.
1. To vent about all the injustice in the world and
2. To invite all you braniacs to give me your thoughts….
Am I horribly hindered in the area of speed by the size of my wheels? Is the frame geometry completely uncompromised when you take a teeny frame and stick 700’s on it? OR in contrast, since my wheels are more aerodynamic and lighter than 700’s, can I call “bull shit” on the theory that 700’s are always faster? Is the integrity of the frame more intact by putting smaller wheels on smaller frames? Is training your ass off more important to the progression of your speed than the size of your wheel? Lots to debate on this subject…talk amongst yourselves.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
My favorites of Rob from the weekend...
This smile still makes me melt! ahhhhhhh...
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
We traveled this weekend to Asheville, NC to race in the French Broad Classic. I planned (only slightly under duress) to do the time-trial and I willingly planned to do the crit….I was going to leave the climbing road race to Rob.
My only goal for the weekend was to not come home with a DNF. This was my first time trial effort and truthfully, I really had no desire to do it. I haven’t worked on it, prepared for it, have nothing “aero” in equipment, hadn’t really worked on body positioning, etc… I didn’t come in last, or even next to last… so I am pleased. This time trial was strictly for experience. I took 18th out of 20th…and yes, my speed was slow, but probably the fastest average for me (with a lovely head wind to boot)… 19.5 mph…. hopefully I can only go up from there.
The crit… ahh the crit…solo crash in the fourth corner of the first lap (yours truly). No one else was involved, I high-sided (which was a new term to me, that I now know more about than I care to know) I have lovely road rash down left arm, left hand, left leg, left butt (my shower walls have never heard such profanity)…. No, I won’t be posting pics…I never enjoy seeing crash pics, so I’m not posting any either. I did finish the race… all 30 minutes of it still left after the crash…and surprisingly, I did not come in last place… next to last…I’ll take it… I destroyed an engagement ring in the process, (though we did find the stone on the course afterwards), roughed up the bike a bit…and definitely roughed up the body…. It could have been much, much worse… so I’m not going to complain about my 17/18th spot. I’m glad no one else was hurt, that I was able to finish and that Rob is always prepared with the best first aid kit money can buy. He’s such a good boy.
Rob’s results…29th out of 69th overall in the Omnium… not too shabby….mine, 17th out of 18th…granted, my upcoming triathlon has been put on hold, as this body, cannot touch a pool… and as Rob likes to say, “it is, what it is”. Race pics to follow.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I learned to swim years ago. To this day, my mother is still petrified of water, never learned to swim and because of her fear, made it a point to put us in lessons at a very small age. Then, later, all those months at summer day camp and all those PE classes at Bob Jones kept me pounding out laps and hating swimming. I don’t enjoy it. Rob is trying to redirect my thinking of swimming so that I’ll actually enjoy it (like he does). He views it as fun, relaxing, therapeutic even. I don’t…so I’m obstinate. I’ll do 25 meters or 50 and stop. I then get scolded because as he says “you aren’t even out of breath, there is nothing keeping you from stringing together laps other than you just refuse”…My problem is…I don’t FEEL like a good swimmer, never have. I was taught that the amount of laps completed was all that mattered…not to enjoy them, or make them efficient….just beat them out. Subsequently, I kick too hard, obsess about completing another lap, do something funky with my legs when I’m trying NOT to kick too hard and it all falls to pieces from there.
It’s funny that this time last year, he was trying to get me on a bike and he tells me (though, of course I don’t remember it like this) that I acted much the same, refusing to get on my bike, refusing to even pedal…he literally would have to yell at me to get me going….and now, compared to swimming, my bike feels like my comfy security blanket…an old, comforting, friend.
Speaking of old friends, this past Saturday was my first “big ride” and among the group of riders was an old friend (Kirk). I spent much of my youth experiencing Kirk’s shenanigans. We spent years in the same school, playing the clarinet in band together, attending the same church/youth group and even traveling out of the country for a summer mission trip together. Ohhhh the stories I could tell! Instead, I’ll just say it was cool to ride with him all these years later, all grown up, both with families, etc…
We rode this weekend to Saluda with a great group that I’m not really worthy of riding with…but they were taking it easy…Steve Baker, Sam Smith, Hank, Matt, Kirk Flinte and of course my duly betrothed….and another POA guy that I don’t know..(SORRY!) I had never ridden 60 miles before and had never before ridden with a group of that caliber. Clearly, it was an easy day for them and I so I was able to hang on until the bottom of the climb, then I settled in and took my sweet time. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to ride in a non-sketchy group, where I could chat, enjoy the ride, the scenery etc…. it will make my ride tomorrow at Donaldson with less experienced riders (me included) seem all the worse, I’m sure! It was most interesting navigating through Saluda’s coon dog festival….carrying our bikes out down the rail road tracks to get back out of town, etc. but a great time all around. My legs seem to have bounced back nicely, and that makes me happy.
This week I’m looking forward to another week of multi-sport activities and perhaps another lesson in crit racing and the fine art of “getting dropped”.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I hate this work, mostly I hate that it keeps me rotting under fluorescent lighting while the lovely blue skies with puffy clouds and blistering sunshine taunts me and life passes me by. Yes, I LOVE the blistering sunshine. SO—I’ve had no time to blog, nothing exciting to blog about…but wanted to post something, anything…to let the world know I’m still breathing. Still breathing, still riding my bike, still yelling at kids, still planning “my” wedding (as HE likes to refer to it) still drinking coffee, I DID give up beer though… it’s bad for my skin and other things of course…but it sux…I miss it after rides…sniff….but I’m holding firm and standing strong….but it sux.
Disclaimer: Yes, I’m very grateful that I have a job in this economy and a pay check and I realize I should count my blessings.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I didn’t realize how far the affects of this reach until this past Sunday when I rode with Rob on one of his “recovery” days. He did an 80+ miler on Saturday so decided to grace me with his presence for an easy ride on Sunday. This kids were rowdy that morning, okay, they were down right rotten. We got on our bikes, not as much out of wanting to ride, but more of NOT wanting to be at the house.
I thought my mood would improve as I pedaled. It didn’t. I realized as I rode that negativity is a powerful tool. When you are wanting to be negative there is truly no end to how negative you can be. I found hatred in EVERYTHING that day. In fact, so much that I even thought about my “hatred post” as I rode…of all I needed to blog about.
My thoughts, unbeknownst to him went something like this…I didn’t like the route “he” chose. I didn’t want to do the stupid rolling route he does on Thursday nights with the Sunshine boys…I had to do it last week with him and I hated it and didn’t want to do it again… I stated this about half way through it which prompted him to turn around in the middle of the road and truly give me a route to whine about. It’s funny how as soon as I realized he was doing that route again I suddenly hated the world. Something in me flipped. I hated the jersey I was wearing, I suddenly hated Motor Tabs and thought they made me sick to my stomach. I hated rolling routes, I hated Travelers Rest. I wondered what was actually fun about riding only on hills all the time in SC anyway. I hated that he was pandering to me by taking a “recovery day” to ride with me. I was a mess and my brain was very definitely my worst enemy. I MAY have actually even thought that I didn’t like HIM very much right then except that his cute little tushy was in front of me charting the course.
I even actually thought as we reached Paris Mtn. that I was going to PURPOSELY see how slow I could go up it. I was going to see how slow someone that didn’t try at ALL would take to get up it and he would have to wait on me as the minutes ticked by. The mere thought of that to me, was delicious. I was being horrifically obstinate and naughty. (This is a recurring theme) When I reached him at the top, my time, I kid you not, was really not much different than the time before when I was happy and a good girl. WHAT THE HECK?
I later confessed this to him and told him that either
a. I suck all the time…no matter what or
b. My legs did what they should be doing even though my head was rebelling…weird, huh.
What I DID notice as different though was that at the end of this ride... I FELT much worse... I managed to drain myself mentally, which in turn, made me feel like I hadn't ridden in weeks. Strange/weird and a lesson to be learned. Glad to put May behind me.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Last week, moneysucker numero uno was involved in a three car collision and subsequently, her car was totaled. She did NOT contribute to the accident, however the geese one of the cars tried to avoid did. Though she was hysterical, and weepy, she is fine… a bit sore, few trips to doc and chiro…and all is well and we have much, for which to be thankful. Now, if Allstate would get their act together and give her back some wheels our routines would be all the sweeter. So -- it looks like she got a car last year for her birthday at the end of May…and will get another car for her birthday this year at the end of May.
I realized how much my job/career has permeated my life and way of thinking when, while she was on the phone, at the scene, hysterically telling me she was okay, I said, “do NOT talk to the cops until your father or I get there” and then later I reiterated on her way to the Dr.… “do NOT tell the Dr. anything unrelated to your pain, it will be in your medical records for life only to be subpoenaed to incriminate you on a later date”… hey, what are mom’s for?!
Wedding planning is still going strong… I changed the food, not once, but twice…. but have promised the caterer…I will not do so again.
“We” began work again on the house, to finally relocate the stinky feet moneysuckers to the second floor of the house. It will be a lot of work, but in the end they will have the floor to themselves and my downstairs can return to smelling like hearth and home and cakes and cookies and cinnamony goodness and girly lotions and shampoos and minty embrocation….and well a lizard and a fish and one teeny puppy.
Yesterday, I rode with my duly betrothed for the first time in a long time. We train separately, mostly…but I enjoy my rides with him, best of all.
She Rides a Bike continues to inspire me to park my car, permanently. Though carpooling and maneuvering a tandem for 7 presents a bit of a problem. In the interim I make snide comments daily to him about “all these bikes we have and we’re still in a freaking car”. Speaking of which “she” had a recent blog about a contest wherein you take pics of yourself in your fabulous commuter clothing and “all spandex” is forbidden…. tisk tisk...which brings me to…. possible future blog posts of “How you TOO can commute and look hot in spandex” ; )
Granted, if I had an Electra Cruiser I would be wearing buttercup yellow sundresses with pigtails and ribbons and pedaling away whilst I conversed with my spotted puppy in the front basket AND if I don’t get an Electra Cruiser in pretty colors, with a cute little basket and a flower and a bell and streamers for a wedding present…I’m going to PITCH A HISSY….southern belle style…and there aint nothing purty about a southern belle hissy.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Hilton Head was great. We got there Thursday night about 9:00. Friday, Rob and I explored the island a bit on our bikes, rode the bike course, found Al’s shop and perused it…tested the ocean water for his swim on Saturday, etc. etc. I did not prepare for my run. Truly, when you haven’t been running consistently for about a year, last minute training just really isn’t going to help so much. We said all along that we were there to have fun, vacation, and hopefully, just not come in last place.
Saturday dawned bright and early, we left the kids in their room…headed to body marking, got set up in transition and then they headed down to the beach close to seven to meet us to see the race start. Rob had an adequate swim, it was wet suit legal, but he opted to go without it. He definitely was not the first out of the water, but also not the last. It was a solid swim, just what he wanted. I knew he would make it up on the bike, so I wasn’t worried. He recently sold his time trial bike due to lack of use so he rode the Look. No aero bars, no aero helmet….just a regular ol’ road racer in teeny little tri-shorts! He had a great bike split. Thirty sixth overall out of over 200. Then came the run, it was getting hot by this point, muggy and much of the run was in blaring sun. I had two goals, to finish and be under 30. I finished… I was 18 seconds over my “goal”. But still had at least 50 people that finished behind me. It was very very average, but I’ll take it, since plenty of people behind me actually trained and since spending all of last year running through injuries, I’ve been cycling…not running, at all.
In the end, at results time… “we” were good enough to snag FIRST PLACE in the mixed relay division. We were thrilled, shocked actually…could not have done it without Rob’s bike split. The second place finisher behind us had a gap of more than 10 minutes over his bike time. Maybe I should bow out now, since it was my first triathlon effort, even though it was a relay and I have a first place overall plaque to prove it. However, even with the first place, my run time was disheartening to me… andddddddd that means I’ll be back….to do better.
For now, I’ll take solace in these pics and the fact that even if my run time had been faster, we would still have gotten first! The two oldest were there to see us win and that earned us some cool parents points...we'll take it while it lasts!