Sunday, May 28

blogity blog


So a lot has gone down in the near past. The sophomore boilogy trip was awesome! We set up camp in drippy weather and slept through one night of rain. Day one found us on a Whale Watching boat in the Monterey Harbor. We were all stoked to see Humpback Whales, Otters, harbor Seals, Risso Dolphins, and a lot of birds! We kept encouraging the sea-sick kids to take it for the team and throw out some chum so we could have more visitors, but that didn't happen!

Day two we traveled up to San Fransisco to visit the Exploratorium. I have never been around so many chaotic children! I think the place was packed with 5th graders! We did see some really cool exhibits and expiraments. Next, we drove about 4 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge. Although i grew up in the area, i had never walked the bridge before, so i was happy we got to do it. Plus, it helped with the Bus-Legs i was suffering from. This was also the day that i wanted to jump out of the bus at hour 39 of constantly being with people, but i didnt and i survived. i began to actually enjoy people!

It was also interesting to explain these very pointed call boxes to the children. I think when i was in college there was an individual who jumped from the bridge and lived, they hit a barge or something.

Day 3 was my almost-favorite day. We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Being with a school and all, we got to go into a special lab area and touch things! IT was set up as a class, but super interesting, kinda like PE. We got to feed Sea Cucumbers, squid, irchins, abalone, and anenomies. It was great! I also say this guy, kinda reminded me of the Otter walking around Laguna Seca...

I am not a huge walk-around and look at stuff person, but this place was great! I would totally go back and look at neat things. We watched Trout swim upstream for about 10 minutes, and watched Penguins dance about. The kids in my group had to keep coming back to find me because i was staring at stuff too long!

The afternoon on this day we went back to our camp sites in Felton (near Santa Cruz) to create our own expiraments out in the Redwoods. The group i was "chaperoning" chose to provide the entertainment. Their expirament consisted of 3/4 of them going arm-pit deep into the ice cold stream to calculate and measure the speed of the current and the depth of the water. To say the least, we got more than our moneys worth!

Day 4 My absolute favorite! We basically exercised all day long! We did a 2 hour sea kayak trip, with rutters and all. That is a lot of work! We went up an estuary to find Seals, lots of birds (i am not interested in them so i forget what they are called) and Otters. We learned a lot about the ecology of the area and how certain things like protecting the harbor seal or closing the power plant impact the local environment and economy. We then went back to the Redwoods for a hike through the big trees. awesome.

Day 5 we drove, a lot. The yellow school bus does pretty good, but not that good. It takes forever to get anywhere!

So did i train you ask? OF COURSE!! Quite modified however. I did get up two days to ride my trainer at 4:30am. This was bad, real bad. The only place to ride was right outside the girls bathrooms/showers. It was level and there was a light. This was actually pretty awesome. i watched the sun come up and the fog lift up through the drippy Redwoods, this help sqelch the pain of being up that early. One day i realized i had a flat tire and no tools with me and no means to get into town that day. So i opted to run. Stupid stupid girl. Being a leader and all i was supposed to keep my charges with me at all times. However, i had 5 asian 10th grade boys ready for a run in the woods. I let them go ahead. However, they missed my lecture about waiting at every T, Y, or other juncture to collect the rest of your group. They took 3 wrong turns. THIS WAS NOT MY FAULT!! however, with my past history, had it been known, i would never have been allowed to take them out on the trails! We ran about 5 miles and returned to camp AFTER the group that was taking a leisurly walk. Oops.

One day i did train in the afternoon and sustained about 14 mosquito bites before i had one of my girls douse me with repelent which promplty slid into my eye balls.

Then today my best pal from forever like high school college and living in her tv room when i first moved to the IE is graduating from Dental school!!
Thats her in the middle, the other one is Robyn. Haley also hooked up Jason's grill!

Saturday, May 20

Parting thoughts

The bus is packed, i found the Ez-Up, i rode my bike today. Actually, today Jason and i went to church and we met Olympic Track Cyclist Johnny B who flipped over the side in 2000. HE was talken to the kids. THis pushed my ride to 1:40 pm perfect for bad-weather training. I did hill repeats at Crafton, where i could hardly see the wash from the top. So now i am happy to head to the coast.

I am most stressed about not racing in Big Bear tomorrow. It is only 45 minutes from my house, and very doable, just not on the docket. I will go through withdrawls of not seeing all my homies for another week.

Dozer had a visit from his little brother! The breeder lives down the street and they send up a loaner from time to time. This one is a male, maybe Posiedon. Hard to believe The Pet was once that small!

So i look silly, but when do i not! Question of the day: IS my tiny pony longer or shorter than James Cross's?
Here is the cut girls (and boys) i even bought "product" with it to keep it healthier!! I also didnt even have to fix it!
Have a delightful week. I will try to keep my post-trip blog short. i might have to skip it altogether because i know there will be a lot of drama!!!

Friday, May 19

Unwilling Hiatus

The time has come to truly punch the time clock. This coming sunday morning, i will be leaving at 5:30am for a Biology trip up the California coast. I have the dubious distinction of being the co-sophomore class sponsor, yes, i know i am pretty important. This class is going on the annual bio trip, and i just have to go to. This will be my first experience of being the adult chaperone. In the past, i just bothered those types and caused them trouble. I guess this is some sort of rite of passage into teacher adulthood.

The trip will take us up to Monterey, in a yellow school bus (travel time approx. 12 hours) where we will be camping until Friday morning. I love to camp, get dirty, live on the edge. THese children, however, have all been bred in the IE, making them prime candidates for that step-mom to be in the PARENT TRAP. i know we are going whale harpooning, i mean watching. THen we will hit up the aquarium for a special behind the scenes pass and classes. We will wander up to Santa Cruz for some Sea Kayaking and who knows what else. I know that the farthest we will head is San Fransisco for a day at the Exploratorium. Rumor has it that it will be raining sunday through tuesday. awesome.

So i am totally stressed about riding. There is no time in my life to take a week off of training. I wont start running, that is something you do in November, on big piles of fall leaves and twigs. Not when you are prepping for certain events. I have almost bribed them to let me take my road bike and a trainer. This means i will be up at about 4:30am everyday so that i can get in at least an hour on the bike before wake-up call at 6am. I am not sure where exactly i can ride the thing. Probably in the campground bathrooms. At least it is dry and lit. Oh, we also have to use quarters for the showers.

i am stressed to leave the internet behind too. There are so many races, events, blogs, and googles that will be missed! I will have to take an entire day when i get back just to get caught up on things!!

I also lost about 2 pounds, OFF MY HEAD!! I cut off probably 10 inches of hair today. It had been about 11 months since my last cut at SuperCUts, so this time i went to an actual stylist who was shocked at the sheer size of my mane. So no more pig-tail braids or one long braid. But you will still be able to spot me, just look for the Pinata!!

Wednesday, May 17

Ameture hour in the IE

I was riding a little bike in the IE the other day. Now this land-locked, dirty-air infested area has only a few mountain biking areas to moderatly speak of without climbing above the smog line. One lines right in the heart of Loma Linda, Hulda Crooks. I have run into many of you there, seen a few creatures, and taken a few falls. This ride however, i encountered a gaggle of extremely ameture riders. I have become accustome to playing catch up, talking less, breathing less, and overall just taking a beating. The case is far and few that i am the most proficient rider on the trail. This day, it was true.

These boys were scantely clad in wife(husband)-beaters, gym shorts, sneakers, and flat pedals. I think there were 6 of them, but they all seemed to be the same carbon copy of the Ken Doll 5'10" dirty blond hair, really straight teeth. I tried my best to pass kindly and circumvent them at all costs. But those of you who ride here know there is only so many trails to take, especially when i was out on my own. I ended up running across them about 5 times. I passed them, again, climbing up Jedi. I asked, are you guys like in some cool club or something?? Poor guy said "uhgh blah huh" so maybe that is a new club?

I let them all climb up, because i did not want to break up their rythem as they were climbing and i was decending in a very small canyon. They regrouped at the top and i instantly became their groupie. COme to find out they are dental students just blowing off steam. They are in John Reths class which meand they are in my Cousin Audrey's class which is like the coolest thing ever!! I asked them what the name of their "club" was, they said big fat losers or really slow guys. But no, these guys are hard core!!! It wasn't that long ago that i stopped, A LOT and whined and got hot and annoyed because the saddle hurt. As long as they just keep pushin it, they will be out at the next Cal State race in no time! Good work boys, or Ken Clones.

SNAKES: Christie mentioned on my previous post that i forgot about the snakes. Here we go. Christie has a HUGE aversion to these reptiles, once she got one stuck in her chain and rear cassette, not cool. As she, Jeremy, and i rode a long San Tim canyon, i glanced down just as my right pedal crassed inches above a coiled up baby rattle snake. Hmm, this will be fun.

We climbed up Oak Glen through Beaumont and as we were lazily pedalling down Bryant towards the Ranger Station, all chaos broke out. Jeremy was up ahead, then Christie and i was about a wheel length behind her. We were talking about who knows what and there was a car to our left. All of a sudden she slams on her brakes and starts to scream. I couldn't go left because then i would be in the side panel of a car. So i just hit her. Straight into the buttocks and then the left handle bar. i glanced through her and her bike to see a GIANT coiled up rattle snake in the road. If we had fallen, it would have been right on him!!! YUCKY!!! I just got the chillies thinking of it. We didn't fall however, and with much apologies, mostly for Jeremy because we were so sorry he had to ride with a bunch of Girlie Girls we continued on.

thats it.

Monday, May 15

The Big Wheel is Cool Again!

Do you remember the Big wheel phenomena of our childhood? The over-sized hard plastic wheels that were saudered to basically a little cart, which are all still sitting in trash dumps across the country due to their extreme eco-unfriendliness? Well they are back. However, this time they are cool, sleek, land lovers that seem to push the rider over the rocks and ruts smoother than ever before...THE 29er!!!

So i asked someone if there are any girlies racing these bohemeths. Probably not due to the "average" small size of the female racer and their need for women specific design. For us 'larger boned' women, however, the 29er can be an excellent choice for mass race course destruction.

I took one for a spin. Heres the deal. I have been riding a full-suspension sugar for about 3 years now. It also has regular 26 inch wheels and cantilever breaks. Riding a hardtail with disc brakes and HUGE wheels was quite the experience. I felt smoother, faster on the decents, quikcer on the climbs and all around lighter. Also, when i came to a place in the path where the usual thought flashes through my head: "I am going to fall. This will hurt." The big ol' 29er just rolled on by.

So, will you see me on one of these in the future? Who really knows....

RACES: So i totally bailed on my Fontana Cross Country update. HEre it is. I was tired and moderately unmotivated. I cam in 5th (goal was top 5) with a few people too close and 4 people too far away. No worries though, i have now implemented a secret of course!!!

Stellar is the only word i can think of to describe the 2006 Jose Ole kits. Well, i could also think of a few more...

Racing on Cinco de Mayo in Fontana made me feel akward as i toted around a giant, moving pinata. There is confetti spots all along the side panels and sleeves, etched in bright, shiny yellow that makes even a bumble bee flee. After the race i realized my sleeve lines were gone only to realize that i had burned THROUGH the jersey, leaving a sports bra tan instead. Now Teri thinks that is neat. I had no idea, so now my back is burned. It reminds of those not-cool tan through bathing suits from 1982.

BLOG EDIT: I totally forgot about this, just remembered, and had to edit because it is so iglarious (Uriah word).

I went for a ride with some *people* the other day. I had ridden with a member of this group about a year ago. At that ride, they thought i talked sooo much that they faked a cramp and sat on the side of the trail so that i could 'talk' my way up the hill. At the reunion ride, they showed up with an iPod which however, made me feel as if i could talk even MORE! I actually laughed, twice, out loud and actually hardly talked at all because i was actually RIDING hard this time. "If I Shut my Mouth I would Beat You." Must remember, conserve your energy!!!! But if you ever want to talk....

Wednesday, May 10

Scuffing quickly does not equal running

The girls are running in the gym. I hear this annoying "skuff, skuff squeak, skuff" and notice the amount of upward momentum on their knees is about 3 mm. Not enough to create any cardiovascular development or maintain proper biomechanics for running. This is how i felt on Sundays XC race. Going through the motions, but not getting quite as far or getting there as fast as i should, but that is all good because of this:

Which led to this:

Ultimately leading to this:

I was entirely shocked! I went into the short track (dirt circle) with very low expectations thinking with flashbacks of my sub-par crit experiences. HOwever, racing in the Home Land has HUGE advantages! Being Friday afternoon, i paid, i mean asked, a bunch of my work homies to come take a gander. Katrina and Scott Bennie, Linda and Denny Breeze and Carrie Davais were strategicly placed at the top of the grnarly climb. They yelled, shouted and all but pulled me up the climb. At the decent, where impending doom loomed under every rock and dust pile, Velo Bella Sami sat on a boulder and guided me through it keeping me calm! (This decent FREAKED ME out even on sunday after doing about 28 times!) Once i rounded the home stretch, i was greated by the greater mountain bike community. Racing in SoCal really has its perks. So many of the some guys are at every event, you build quite the support network. The Backbone crew, Veeze and Gary (sinlge speed/marathon freaks) and people i dont even know, banging the fences, cheering at the top of their lungs for me to get it done! In the announcers booth, the usual suspects loomed. Larry Longo and Uncle Greg created the most animated and motivating commentary on the race i think i have ever heard!! They said stuff like "Duerksen's throwing down the gauntlet" and various other things i barely heard. As i rounded the courner, Home Girl Teri screamed, jumped, ran, and yelled as i hammered down the pedals. Jose Ole Thom stood at the bottom of the climb giving the time splits. Super-Throopers dad even whispered to me that the next girl was about 5 feet back.

To say the least, it will be nearly impossible to recreate this race. I performed way beyond what i thought i could do. I moved steadily up from 10th place to 3rd and was able to hang on. On the 4th ot last lap, i was sure i was going to puke and thought how disgusting that would be to come across the line covered with vomit.

So pretty much if you were at that race, you will be coming with me to Vermont, thank you for your support! IFelt so warm and fuzzy after that race, it was really cool.

These things, however, tend to not follow you into the next day and especially not beyond and into another event.... more to come, i do have to work you know...

Monday, May 8

First Things First...

NUMERO UNO: (In honor of Cino de Mayo) JASON AND I ARE ENGAGED!!! Yes this is old news, as of Wednesday, but so much has been going on! So i guess that means that Dozer and Uriah will be brothers, how cute!

There is not too much of a story, sorry for those of you looking for salacious news! However, i did receive a delightful Mineral or PEARL it is called a "CUPCAKE PEARL" unfortunately, snacks were not included!

I/we/us are very excited to say the least.

No date is set yet, i gotta check that racing schedule!! Seriously...

NMBS update to come plus some pictures!

Monday, May 1

Total Geek

I am SO the first one to do a Firestone Update! What's up now?!?!

I think i will have to keep this one short. We went, we saw, we conquered...and I DIDN'T BREAK ANYTHING!!!!!!

Alas, placing me at the top of the podium! Unfortunately, nobody ever wants to go to the podium with me, but i promise there were other girls in my cat!!

THE RUN DOWN: First off, Christie opened yet another can and landed herself a 4th place finish 35 seconds back from 2nd! It was really cool to watch things go down on the curvey course. When i was headed into a single track or around a corner, the pros were heading out (meaning there was SEVERAL minutes between) But it was awesome to see my girls and where they were all lined up. All the usual suspects were there: Meggan, Teri, Mandy, Carolyn, Tomorrah, Sami, Amy and then some wild card chicks getting ready for Fontucky.

I thought for sure that i was runnin for 2nd the whole race, but the Sandbagger i thought was ahead was actually a Pro, leaving me in 1st. I managed to lead the experts for the better part of both laps. However, i seem to hit the wall at times. THis is the longest race i have done at 31 miles. I know, you endurance freaks think i am a Powder Puff, but this is a lot to get used to. The pros went off way too fast, it was all i could do to hang onto the very tail end. When i realized I was out in front of the experts, however, that gave me a little extra motivation.

Bev Chaney from Rouring Mouse caught me and worked together for most of the second lap, with me in the lead. We caught up to Velo Bella Pro Sami and we all started to work. Once Bev took the pull however, i realized i couldn't hold on. I think she finished about 30-60 seconds ahead of me, or a bit more, which was fine. She is 40+ thus not a threat. Also, she gave me her cytomax! We came across a giant bull in the trail and i was so afeared i dropped my bottle and kept going! This was right at the start of the 2nd lap, and surely i would have been toast if she hand't hooked me up!

Sami and played yo-yo for a bit, but i just couldn't keep it going. The trail was super rough, like a wash board, and my fork was way too reactive, thus the vibrations were going all through my body. This actually made me really sick to my stomach and it kept sloshing things around. Sami told me to pick it up, but i thought i was just going to throw it up! So i backed off a little knowing i was rolling in with no other experts too close.

In the end, Bev was the only expert ahead of me and I had passed one pro.
Super props to Essence Barton though, she always keeps me on my toes. AS a 14 year old she raced up an age group to be my competition of the day. She is on it, and in the near future, you will be seeing a lot more of this chick!

Firestone was great. The vibe was good, the venue was beautiful, and the course had little to complain about. Finally bike and body decided to unite and bring home a little bling, or shall i say a big glass mug.

Jason celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday with Uriah and Dozer in tow!

Now the goal is to get tires that are not so HUGE that they rub on the frame, and everything else!

See yall at Fontucky!

RANDOM THOUGHT: Teri Strayer really needs to get a blog. She is quite funny and entertaining, and has A LOT TO TALK ABOUT! Everyone else has some sort of web-momento, so she should too! IF you agree, please make a comment to that affect and we will see if she bites!