Friday, February 27, 2009

Sunday's child...

As a mother, I’ve been taking a lot of heat lately, from several people for having “interests” outside my home. This one, particularly, has been giving me lots of grief when she hears the negativity from others.

Given, my boys are handsome and I love them. But “she” is my first baby, the baby that shaped me as a mother and my entire adult life, really. She’s beautiful, truly -- and for anything that anyone may say about me, (I’m too cold, un-emotional, snippy, quick to judge, overly critical, and on and on you can go)…. I like to think that I what I lack, she makes up for in spades and perhaps redeems me (a little).

Last night, while doing intervals, Tom Petty’s Gainesville concert dvd kept me company. In it, he jokes on how he’s enjoyed being back in Gainesville, his home town so that he could walk around all week hearing the “incorrect story of his life”. I couldn’t help but thinking then, how true that is. How many of us frequently hear the incorrect versions of our own lives? I know that I do, often. I often hear that I’m selfish, spend too much time pursuing my “interests”, the gym, the bike, the fiance’, the blogs even. Maybe these things make me a selfish person, or, maybe like a local bike racer told me recently, being selfish will make me a great bike racer.

I, on the other hand, like to view this in a positive light, something I’m teaching my children, something I’m teaching my daughter, specifically. She can be beautiful, can be a girl, can be a mother, can maintain a healthy physique and an active lifestyle, can fully pursue anything she wants to pursue. Will she, too, be labeled as “selfish?” Perhaps. This is something, that at this age, she doesn’t understand. She’s torn between what southern tradition dictates and her dreams that go far beyond the south. I hope that in even some minute way, I can show her through my own varied interests, my own multi-tasking, my own shuffling of work, play and training– to never settle, never fit anyone else’s mold, never deny her passions and to give anyone that wants to “label” her, the proverbial finger.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Issues or (Is-shoes)...

A few weeks back, it took a few drinks, quite a few laughs and a very late night for me and my duly betrothed to realize that we have “issues” or more appropriately, “is-shoes”. This picture is what the floor of his dining room looks like as you pass through to the living room. Honestly, I think the money spent on this collection of shoes exceeds the current Kelley Blue Book Value of my car. Our problems aside, this photo should be an advertisement for Sidi, as at least one pair of them in that picture has a vintage of somewhere in the 1990’s (around 12 years old) and he STILL rides in them weekly, truly a testament to the quality product Sidi makes. You’ll also notice this addiction is contagious as the two pairs on the right are much smaller than the other three.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009


Last night, I attended this and have a few musings…

1. It was a nice, friendly gesture from the Greenville Women’s Cycling Team. Truly. There isn’t much out there to inform beginners, so it’s needed.
2. I have a BIG mouth and subsequently, won a running shirt from a cycling team that no longer exists, in a size I’ve never been. It’s going in the bike shop!! with the Mavic cowbells (do you think they will be recalled?), the USA Pro Cycling Championship banner, the Garmin/Chipotle souvenir water bottle, etc.
3. I also won a Michelin man bobble head… my favorite trinket from the night! He is loved by me and coveted by my little moneysuckers. There’s a Michelin LADY also…there IS! I SAW her! She was there and she is well-spoken, informative and friendly. Granted, I’m giving her a “bye” on the fact that she assumed we all ride 700c wheels… it’s a tall world after all. This assumption, did, however, prompt me to furtively search high and low today for Michelin 650c tires… where have all the 650c’s gone, longgggg time passing…. where have all the 650c’s gone…long, long, time ago….
4. Debbie was nice as always and I must give her props since my 5 minute convo with her at the end was, for me, more informative than the whole shabang…

Things I didn’t previously know:

1. I didn’t realize they are cheerleaders for the Greenville Spinners, but apparently so. As the dialogue went something like this, “Today, (Greenville spinners) we are going to cover, (Greenville spinners) cycling topics specific to women (Greenville Spinners)….” ad nauseum.
2. The Greenville Spinners are world-renowned, so, no I’m not linking to them, EVERYONE already knows about them!
3. The Great Escape has lots of fluorescent lights…. So maybe that horrific Hincapie shirt on the mannequin, isn’t REALLY two, uniquely different, yet strangely the same, shades of puss yellow. I’ll reserve judgment until seeing it in daylight….but I need to get my dark lenses first.
4. The Bakery ride leaves from North Greenville, NOT Furman.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tools of the Trade

"We" got a new camera last night for racing, blogging and of course I'm sure for the "wedding" also... testing it out on the "ring", which I am proud to say is NOT a diamond, is blue (my favorite color these days) and an old, aquamarine... it makes me very happy. It has lovely symbolism as well, affection, fidelity, youthfulness, health.... just a lovely stone all around. He's such a good boy...

Monday, February 16, 2009

And we're off...

So – cycling season arrives this weekend, ready or not as the first of the Greenville Spring Series races begin. Last year, during most of the season, I was soigneur extraordinaire to my duly betrothed. I carried bags, held wheels, lathered up legs, navigated to the races, fed his belly, opened the recovery beers and handled all other aspects of “soothing” him. I even “set” a toe that was pointing west…. but that’s another entirely different and gruesome story. This season promises to be interesting since I, too, want to ride/train, maybe even race eventually (YIKES!). Luckily, I multi-task with the best of them. Good thing, since this year I’ll be raising 5 kids (as if that’s different from any other year!), meshing two households, dressing my daughter for 2 proms, planning 4 birthdays, creating 5 Easter baskets, planning a wedding, working my full time job, photographing race pics, helping create/organize and maintain our “new” Go Tri Sports Cycling Team, completing a garage remodel and OH, riding my own bike!!….. and all of this will be done/completed before October! No fears – I’m every woman… it’s all in me….
The newest iron in the fire is the cycling team. This was at first a passing thought, now the jersey and bibs hanging in my bedroom doorway, “drying” would allow an astute soul to gather that it has certainly become a reality. Mildly humorous that I have a kit – since I am just a beginner – not withstanding. It was (collectively) decided that since I’m certainly a partner-in-crime and I look excellent in blue – by golly, I should have one! Besides word of mouth is sure to help out the newest store, our solo sponsor at this point and there aren’t many mouths out there bigger than mine!

Some might find it odd that “we” have decided to fling ourselves into creating a race team for a new store without a “roster,” with only one sponsor (thus far), and right at the start of the season. So here are my top reasons to assist in all aspects of bringing this team to fruition:

1. It can’t be worse than having 5 babies!
2. As opposed to all the other bat barf out there, our kits actually DO look good.
3. Our sponsor is actually a good, wholesome, store with a great product line and nice people selling it.
4. Some naysayers said we shouldn’t or couldn’t… and defiance is such a barrel of giggles!
5. My duly betrothed said I’m gonna help and I’m TRYING to “obey” him ; ) (somewhat)

So, it’s a done deal, registered, legitimate and here in all it’s glory (such as it is!) Granted, it's small, comprised of Cat 5 racers (at this point) and humble, truly. Go Tri has been a well known name in the triathlon circuit for quite some time, but this is the first, strictly cycling venture for them.
So my duly betrothed will be there. Hopefully, Al, the owner/sponsor will be there (rumor has it he’s a speedy one) and me and my little moneysuckers will be there with rings on our fingers and cowbells on our toes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things that bug me...

Women cycling teams that always wear pink. It’s SO cliché.

Women cycling teams that say their mission is to encourage, support, motivate, coddle and (whatever other crap they say) the female athlete. Can’t just one, ANY one say: “We’re, actually, just hoping to kick ass this year!”

Cyclists that assume if they haven’t seen you on “their” ride, that you haven’t been training.

Cyclists that assume if you are happy in your relationship, you haven’t been training.

Local cycling clubs that (in order to maintain a monopoly on the local “cycling scene”) spread folklore regarding “you can’t be registered as a legitimate cycling team unless you sign up under them as one of their club teams”. Thank you, USA Cycling for dispelling this myth.

Women’s cycling clothes that look like ass (see previous post). Which brings me to, thank you:


and Capoforma

For NOT making the "ridiculous jersey" list on the earlier post!
Happy Thursday! Cheers all around!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Weekend and The Where...

I must admit, we’re a bit spoiled as cyclists… in Greenville that is. We’re fortunate to have some great rides, just a hop, skip and painful climb from the city. Take for instance, Paris Mountain, seen here during the US Pro Cycling Championship, in Greenville, SC in 2006. I did this climb yesterday, I think for the third time and did manage to make it to the top, without stopping, for the first time. I feel an even greater sense of victory, since “we” do this climb justice, leaving from home and negotiating our additional “climbing route” before we actually get to the REAL “climbing route”. No half-assing this route when you are with my duly betrothed. Paris Mountain is by most “mountain” standards… a teeny hill, we get that; however, it’s good enough for the Pros and ridiculously difficult for beginners, like me. It’s a few miles from the lovely downtown of Greenville, SC, my home and home to the US Pro Cycling Championship (for a few years now), George Hincapie and Hincapie Sportswear to name a few…. an overall good place to be a cyclist.

In retrospect, I’m not sure who was more delighted in my climb, me or my duly betrothed. It just makes me all the more convinced that “active” relationships and couples that truly are recreational companions share a much sweeter bond. I know he’s thrilled with my progression and goodness knows I’ve come a long way since last June, when I spent more time on the ground then actually on my saddle! Balance and understanding clipless pedals are wonderful things!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Weary week...

Well, for someone that thinks, talks, spells, types quickly it’s no secret by my lack of posting that I’ve had a less than savory week. Every now and then even the sweetest of us are dealt crappy work weeks and strains on even our dearest, closest relationships.
It has been educational even if uneventful and I’ve managed to learn a few things:

1. Nothing can squelch lovey dovey ideology faster than wedding planning. I hate it – all of it. I don’t want to look at colors, I don’t want to try on dresses, I don’t want to pick food and cake. Maybe that makes me a horrible person, or at the very least, maybe it just makes me a man – so be it.

2. A heavy heart/crappy mental outlook can do more damage to a spin on the bike than sore muscles.

3. I absolutely cannot sit at a desk until retirement.

4. My 16 year old “baby” isn’t so young any more…in body or spirit…. and she knows me much better than I sometimes realize or give her credit for… this all became evident when she called me at work to see what I wanted from Starbucks, because she thought I just might “need” a cup of coffee.

5. That even though I’m loving my new bike riding and learning to cycle—this week, when I felt overwhelmed, stressed and a bit manic…. I really, really wanted to go for a run… a long, sweaty run.

I’m very ready for the weekend…

Monday, February 2, 2009


If my head was organized and systematic, today’s post would be “The Where”; however, it’s Monday, my head is all over the board, so blogging will follow suit. Last week was my first consistent week in about 3 weeks. By “consistent”, I mean, I was on my bike at least three times, I did strength training, I behaved, etc.

Starting last Sunday, I rode my bike, just to my duly betrothed’s house – which is literally less than 10 minutes away. I felt like crap. Sadly, I’m too new to cycling to maintain any sort of fitness at all when not riding for two weeks. Tuesday, I managed to drag my pathetic self back to Go Tri Sports for a Carmichael video/spin class. Wednesday, back to the Y for athletic conditioning w/ Sam….Thursday, back on the trainer at Rob’s (note: no matter how good his chicken parmesan is, when you are on the trainer and it’s delightful aroma wafts into the living room, it’s really not delightful at all—rather nauseating, actually). Sunday morning…. A brief ride with him at the park and I must say, though I hate that he’s been sick, I truly enjoyed kicking his ass for the first time EVER (on the bike that is – I’m also the better of the two of us when it comes to slightly intoxicated sprinting (running that is) up McDaniel!) My glory will be short-lived, as he is feeling better (special thanks to my herbal concoctions)….but for the moment, I will bask in the warm sunny thoughts of him coughing behind me as I heard him say, “good pull, honey”. T’was very sweet indeed.

Beginners “lesson” for the day: “Pull” or “to take a pull” – when you take a turn riding at the front of a group, allowing the sick and disabled to take advantage of your “draft”; subsequently, giving them a few moments of recovery. I’m only slightly kidding about the sick and disabled, you’ll do this for healthy people also. Things to remember if you are taking a pull: no erratic movements, because someone or multiple someone’s are behind you and very close. You must ride smoothly or things will get messy and rest assured, you WILL hear the sweet sounds of positive reinforcement from the rear.