Thursday, December 31

There's a new Blog in town!!

Check it! A nice cornucopia of mountain biker hotties has been assembled by Allison Mann so that we can unleash a cascade of food knowledge to everyone who cares, or just to ourselves. We all tend to communicate via food on Facebook and email, so why not just start a blog about it? My food blog is somewhat dormant, but I am sure the New Year will, well leave it just the same.
So in an effort to NOT post a list of wonderful things of the past year, I thought about posting things that really sucked about 2009, but my list go too long, and I began to get all emo. Nah, actually, tomorrow is just another day. Hopefully a sunny one with moderate temperature and excellent road conditions.

It actually got cold around here. So much so, that I had to "Build a Man" Since these rides take like 14 hours though, but then end i feel like a Sherpa with pockets back with heat-inducing clothing remnants.

After spending our interval ride on Wednesday in the rain and below 40 degrees riding up towards Angeles Oaks, today the Great Outdoors boasts sunny clear skies and temperatures in the low 60's. Go figure. I did, however, find a Tire Swing on my MTB adventure, I did not try it. May have to go back tomorrow...but I am not a fan of falling on loose corrugated steal in spandex. Although my tetanus shot is up to date.

The view from Sunny Zanja Peak. Nice.

On a sadder note, Shelli moved to Montana. It's way cold there. And its a long ways away. Boooooooo....And this photo is really small. What gives?!

Monday, December 21

While I am waiting for my powertap to download, I might as well write a Blog...

It's Christmas break. I have already gone to 1/4 doctors appointments, cleaned my office, graded all the papers, cleaned my room, and made the rest of my lists to conquer. Somehow, vacations and holidays stress the heck out of me. But I must admit, Brian and I actually sat through Blades of Glory last night, and today, I already watched American Flyers. So rest is GOING to happen!

I am really lame at taking cycling pictures, ride photos, and posting about where we go. So this is all I got: When I arrived on Sunday to Brian's house for the team ride, all I saw was a bunch of bikes. Everyone was inside watching Paris Roubaix from like the 80's.
My students are pretty rad. I was gifted one, giant homemade 4th generation recipe cinnamon roll. It filled almost 80% of the paper plate. And the 5th grader presenting it was so jazzed.
Another student handed me this concoction. All homemade by herself, her mom, and her sister. Let's just say there is A LOT of sharing going on around here...this stuff is delicious! And I am pretty honored that the little ones would share their treats with me. They must know I am quite the food junky!

Ride, ride, ride....

I am getting pelted with base miles, intervals, and more base miles. It is RAD. So much fun! Here lies one small issue. I am usually at work from 7:30am-6:00pm. Hmmmm. Trainer? yes? NO WAY!!!

I got all suited up to leave post softball practice the other day and the Moms at school were FREAKING out. Where are you going? That's not safe. Going alone? your mad. Do you have lights? Three is not enough. You are wearing black. You will get hit. Are you dumb?

"You should ride a stationary bike at the gym in the dark."

"Great idea, but I don't race stationary bikes."

"Yeah, but you can put it on one of those interval race settings and it will be like a race."

"Nah, i'm ok, thanks. I let my gym membership expire."

And on, and on and on.

We are lucky around here this time of year. Moderate precipitation to speak of and mild temps. Everyone thinks we are SO lucky. Sure we are, but come and train with us in the middle of June in the middle of the day, not so lucky.

My goal: No trainer unless SEVERE weather ie torrential downpour and below 40 degrees. Otherwise, ride the MTB.

Riding at night is the cat's meow! The Gnome "secret shopper gifted" me a light to go on my helmet so I don't have to read my intervals on the powertap by street lamp. Awesome. I also have a light on my handlebars, the two put together, I look like a car, on its side, but a car none the less. I have been able to go out in shorts and a jersey last week and fair just fine! It is also pretty rad to see all the WACKY Christmas decor.

Seriously? WHY would you blow up a giant Santa on a Harley in your lawn? Why. And the blue lights all around the house? That's a lot of electricity for something so ugly.

Anyways, I finally got out to ride in the DAYLIGHT on Friday, and geeze what a difference! I would turn to look behind me and expect a giant beam of light to come with my head! The road feels different and the drivers are scarier! Probably because I can SEE them texting, eating, and yelling at their children instead of paying attention. In the dark, I just see lights.

Swami's or Bust

Weekend tribute to San Diego.

I have a theory. People on the coast of California are not only prettier, their are more fit too. So not fair. All these beautiful people out flaunting their stuff on the weekend. Joggers, trigeeks, cyclists galore. They have about 7 athletes to our 1. And 4/7 are cute. We are not. Just not fair. Their weather is so much nicer too. And the scenery. No industrial parks to ride through or pasture land. Just rolling coasts and places like the Elfin Forest. You can't be dowdy if you are riding in the Elfin Forest on your way to Solano Beach. You just couldn't be.

Anyways that isn't really the point. The point is Swami's Group ride is a r-o-d-e-o. Meaning I lasted in the pack about 8 seconds. When you are 13 minutes in, slammed up a hill, with Neil Shirley pushing you up the hill, while talking and grabbing gears, you know you better have brought your A game.

If it wasn't for Neil, Mich, and Derek from Pactimo who described the route to us and helped us find wheels, I would have flipped a lid. A pretty big group of us headed out to test the water and get some base in. These guys rail. There is no "55 minute spin to Riverside chatting about your daughters most recent ballet performance." Its a "we don't know you, you are a girl, you better fight for a wheel." At 1:00 exactly on the clock, we had finished a huge effort swooping through rolling terrain in one fast paced paceline. Rad. I haven't found that type of effort, in a very long time.

By the end of the day, Cynthia the Vegan wanted to eat meat, we had planned out 8 different restaurants and bakeries to go to, that day.

We also rode with a reindeer, two Santa's, one elf, and a couple who were riding their bikes from Anchorage to the tip of Argentina. They were on day 105.

Tuesday, December 8

And here are some photos....

In no particular order, a brief photo blog of a sliver of the excitement to be had at the bottom of the earth!

Pretty much the best shock ever!! (not)
Some of the most AMAZING single track! Nestled near the ocean, in a thick forest and hard packed pine needle covering the swoopy track!

Great ride guides, the Knight's!

Thanksgiving is a bit unusual down there. We dubbed it Thanksgiving Americana, a walk through History! Julene was an Angel, I was Judy Jetson...duh...

I got to tag along to Physio...

Me with the Manawatu Mountain Bike Club ladies!! Windy and chilly!

this was hilarious! Once the screaming stopped of course! Someone left the dryer open and Gwen found it nice and warm! Not to worry, the power switch on the wall was off! She later learned how to put her planky in there instead!

I really like doing ab work, and since Julene needs to develop some more muslce post 2 months in the hospital, I found it quite necessary to do some mat work!

It is no secret that I drink a ton of coffee. In New Zealand, black coffee really is not on the menu. So I opted for frothy, milky, huge, cappacino instead. I may just be hooked!

Being a do-it-yourself kind of girl, I decided to make playdough. From scratch. The variety I created ended up quite sticky unless is was straight out of the freezer. Griffyn really wanted me to make a dinosaur, but that was not in the cards! It became much more fun to just get it everywhere. I had to hide my laughter though when he started to FREAK out because it was all over him. He said it hurt! Dude, its flour and salt and water. Your FINE.

Snowman, earth, snake.

Whenever the sun came out, we went out too! Dinner on the lawn! Its like 7pm here!

Julene because an adjunct member of PossAbilities! We support disabled athletes Everywhere!!
Trying to break me in easy, not so much. This took place about 13 minutes after walking in the door. Non stop fun!

Sunday, November 29

Single Track Getaway!

It has been pretty full-on here in New Zealand. Between craft making and dishes doing and kid chasing and cooking, not too much time to do things i would normally blog about! But Sunday brought a different landscape, and it was fantastic.

After connecting with the Manawatu Cycling Club last week, I knew they were good people and they offered to show me some trails on Sunday!

Mountain biking is the best hobby/obsession ever! I brought my shoes, pedals, helmet and kit (next time saddle too for SURE..yikes) and then found my sisters bike, a stellar Mongoose Rockadile in the back. This bike in the US would rate mid-level Wal-Mart buy, FYI. Thus the horrid seat. I don't even know if the gear ratios are the same, and the "shock" may have had 3 cm of travel!

BULLS: this is the town we went through to get to the tracks! The Knights, who I connected with before coming here, are in charge of the riding club and getting race courses mapped out and organized. Pretty cool.

The trails were a majority of single track in dark forested, humid country. There were no long climbs, but a ton of pitchy little ascents and descents. The efforts felt a lot like Short Track where you have to pin it for 4 seconds to get over the hump then keep the momentum going down the other side.

The tracks were so swoopy and smooth. A thick layer pine-needles mixed with the tacky dirt made for a fast ride!

With trails named "Snakes and Ladders" and "Roller Coaster" I knew I was in for a treat! Some of the drops and tight switchbacks popped my heart right up into my chest! Its been awhile since I have had that feeling and I love it!

Nothing like foreign trails, on a bike you don't know, in a land I am new to! So much fun! Unlike the trails at home, some of which i could ride with my eyes closed, every corner brought something new and exciting! Everything was bright green, with dew on the tops! I think the most similar trails are up in the Napa Valley or farther up NorCal. Just beautiful!

I was so impressed with the trail markings and on the really steep sections, pieces of outdoor carpeting had been put down. Pretty brilliant actually. This race course gets a lot of traffic, and with the rains and muddy soil, the hills would get eroded in a weekend. But with the carpet down, no excuse to walk, you gotta power it up the climb!

My body took a bit of a beating though. Geeze. Everyone was laughing at my bike! Going down the descents you could hear suspect rattles and my arms got sooooo tired! But thats a good thing since I haven't ridden a bike in like 2 weeks! I just kept thinking it was equivalent to at least one upper body gym session!

I think I had a grin on my sweaty face the whole time! Sure I could have ridden on the road or kept up my running torture, but I think the best way to truly immerse myself into a new culture or region is to Mountain Bike there!

Nothing is quite as exhilarating, fun, or just dang cool!!

Thursday, November 26

They call this summer? where's my hoody!!

So I have come to find out many things on my short adventure here on the other side of the world!

1. Summer here is colder and more rainy than any day we have had in SoCal since like 2007
2. I can utilize my iPhone and the Wifi to find any and everything at an instant. Some important items, in no particular order are:
How to make play dough
How to make Ratatouille
How to make pie crust, pie, numerous casseroles
What to do for a little boy with a belly ache
Where to find local mountain bike tracks
What exactly is 320 grams in cups???
How to drink vinegar to get rid of a chest/head cold
3. The word LOVELY at home is used quite sarcastically. Here, it is a true fact. "That dinner was lovely. That family is just lovely." Odd...
4. Either it is the hair, the hot pink I wear, or the fact I am out running in gale force winds, but the farmers all stare at me.
5. Thanksgiving dinner will be Saturday, and we will call it a feed.

One of the coolest things I have come across is a mountain biking club. I found them online before I left and they are rad! I met up with them on Wednesday night in the park and they have a whole lot of junior riders! My favorite! We did cool skills and some hot laps on a "Short track" type course. Now that was some solid effort! Plans are in the works for the Real Deal single track expedition on Sunday!! Woop Woop!!

As for the sister, things are on the Up and Up. We have had a handful of "firsts" while I have been here which is really cool. Its full-on over here making meals, cleaning up, taking care of the 2 and 4 year old as "best" I can, although the one diaper change I got to do ended up with quite the altercation with a 2 year old. Yikes. I will stay in the kitchen!!

I will create another blog when I get home of links and photos, for some reason can't get them on here!

The sun is out and the wind is calm, better snag this opportunity to go for a run!

Monday, November 16

Off To Follow Summer...

At least they call New Zealand the Island of the Long White Cloud...otherwise, I would be bummed out. I really do not like summer and the heat and frankly the sun at this point in the year. Its just been too dang hot and sunny. Although, riding my bike at night, which 80% of my rides end of taking place, has been oddly pleasent with shorts and short sleeve jerseys.

In about 6 mintues I get to head to the airport to begin a long trek to the Southern Hemisphere, and summer, to check on my sister and her family! I am not sure what I will find, except I do know there will be little feet waiting for me to run and play with! I can't wait! My roll is Comedy Enforcer, so the goal is to make Julene laugh so hard she cries, make her delicious vegan food, and anything else on her "honey do" list!

This is going to be quite the adventure!!

Monday, November 2

Wintering in SoCal

Nothing but clear skies, 80+ degree weather bringing in the month of November. I am a bit cross about this, I must admit. Being that I spend up to 10 hours, a day, Outside, I am burnt out on the sun. And straight up burnt. I just know when I turn 50 I will be the stereotypical PE teacher with leathery skin who looks closer to 70.

In the spirit of Skin Preservation, however, Shelli and I ventured where I promised to never delve. The SPA......Glen Ivy Hot Springs and Spa offers a variety of blah blah blah!!! Sat by pool, ate salad, sat in sulpher hot pool, mud bath, eucolyptus steam room which nearly exfixiated me!! and finished off with some Roman baths. This experience proved again that most of my "ideas" about doing certain things out of my routine or comfort zones are super lame and I need to buck up and get on with it! Good fun and half off after 2pm!!
Hiatus: That bike break i took really panned out for me! I have been loving being back on the bike and catching up with everyone! I completed my FIRST full week on my NEW and IMPROVED training program and I am loving it. I get to fully access and utilize the Training Peaks site which is awesome! Powertap and Garmin files being uploaded daily and looked at by my coach is really cool. It's fun and refreshing to start from scratch and learn new tricks. This off season is going to be Great!!!

And it doesn't hurt that I have some pretty rad people to do it with!! over 20 riders out on the team ride sunday, 5 heavy-hitting chicks, and a lot of roads to be covered and climbed!

Tuesday, October 27

Well, ok...

I am not one to go big on the holidays, which would include gifting; dressing up; cooking piles of food etc. But last weeked Brian and I decided to go hit up Des and Bart's super sick Halloween party!

I have a hard time posting these pictures without laughing, out loud, in my stable office. Seriously, this was ridiculous! Brian went for a LONG bike ride and left me with the task of creating his costume. With SPECIFIC instructions and some cash, off I went!

I think I matched it pretty well!! Nothing a chaotic trip to Marshalls and Joanne's won't fix!

If you look closely, you can see the grotesque back sweat he had! It was HOT, especially since he stuffed his shirt with a whole bag of stuffing!

The Yard Gnome was a hit! Although he was fat, sweaty, and smelled like chicken wings!

Friday, October 16

Ah, man, the weekend....thank goodness.

So, things are crazy. I have been instructed to take two weeks off the bike and it is actually been really rejuvinating. I have picked up the art of "slow jogging" and have been able to meet up with buddies like Shelli and Des and Tine to crank out some miles and chat about everyone. I mean everything. Seriously, 4 girls over 5'9" out on runs. Trouble. We talk so much, we forget to run sometimes!!

Sister, sister... oh man, where to start. You can check out her blog if you like...but here is the short of it. A few months ago, after their trip to the US, my sister Julene was diagnosed with MS. this is a COMPLICATED and overwhelming disease that is very hard to diagnose and to understand. She has been in the hospital/rehab center ever since. Thankfully, my super cool Mom was able to go over to New Zealand for over a month to help out. Mom being an RN with like 80 years experience, is a vital asset in times like these (plus who wouldn't want Mom there in a time of need?!) so a big blessing that she was able to go.

Gwen, Me (we like to wear pink!), Julene and Griffyn!

As of today, my sister is still in the rehab center, looking forward to possibly going home next week. Her husband and kids are more than eager for her to come home!! yesterday she had her first roung of Chemo IV in an attempt to attack and regress the progression of the disease.

I'm looking forward to a relaxed weekend with friends and garnishing a little bit more of that Vitamin D!

Wednesday, September 30

Getting Chicked...

After spending the evening Tuesday with Dorothy Wong, learning how to "Cross it Up" CycloCross style, I just may get that 30th race in yet...

In other news, some pretty rad chicks got in print about about bike racing and our silly little antics.

Check out these links, and a huge thanks to Heidi Volpe from Team Sho-Air who is a TRUE rad chick on and off the bike! She does duo endurance races, XC, road training, nutrition stuff, and pretty much the biggest Cougar around!

Check out stories from true killers like Katie Compton, Kelli Emmit, Alison, Powers, Krista Park, Allison Mann, and well me...


Bike Rumor

This is actually a really funny topic. Us gals chat about it OFTEN especially when we have mulitple age groups on a course at one time. We LOVE the older men. They are so kind and gracious. Sometimes there is a bit of "conflict" with the middle aged Sport (cat2) rider. Not sure what thats all about, but it usually goes something like this.

We beat them. They are miffed and "upset" that a GIRL beat them. How COULD she. Well dear, I train three times as much as you, OBSESSE about food, sleep, hill climbs, chamoi cream, hydration, and did I say I ride my bike a ton. Somehow I got a pro upgrade. I better act like. Train with any of us for a month, and you will soon be dropping us. I just don't like when guys are mad that a girl beat them. Period. Train more. Stop eating wacky things like burgers. Put the beer down. OR, just have a great time competing.

Heidi brought to my attention that a reader commented on the Outside-Blog that he had raced with me! I need to do some research but for the life of me, I don't know where or when I crossed his path! Thankfully, i wasn't a biscuit that day and he had good things to say about me, like my passion for the sport. But it really makes you think. A brief momentary encounter in the woods can leave a life-long impression on someone. Don't be too quick to order directions. Who knows if that rider is coming off a crash, illness, "life" issues etc, and your tone could potentially set them off of the sport we all love.

It never hurts to encourage, and show gratitude to another rider, we all know we appreciate it when it comes our directions. Heck, sometimes that has been the only positive thing in a race for me. My encounters with other people, of the same thoughts and beliefs and motives, that take that last remaining ounce of energy and encourage me to excell at what I set out to do.

Boy or girl, rock on! Because you are riding a bike, and we do it for fun!!

Tuesday, September 29

30, minus 1.

I was all excited to race the season finale up in Big Bear this weekend, where Allison and I could be Unified again and pay money to race/ride against each other. But alas, I have been attacked by the illness that has gotten half the school over the last 3 weeks. If I just chopped my head off I would be fine! So I opted for sleep and more sleep over the weekend, officially starting my off season.

But before then, I did some Calculations regarding this past season.

Here are my race stats:

Mountain Bike Races: 12

Short Track Race: 1

Road Race: 5

Crit: 11

Total those up, you get 29...Sunday was supposed to be 30...I also did the math on how much I spent on entry fees....hehe....

A few more interesting things, I finished each race I started. I only had ONE mechanical and that was at Rim Nordic where my rear shifter broke 2 miles into 24. Riding a 3-speed out there was quite the workout!!

I also only had ONE flat tire! That was in a crit at Ontario, where I was able to ride/run to the pits, grab Joey's rear wheel, Brian set me up, and jumped back in on the last lap.

I was fortunate enough to NEVER race the past I have raced at least 3 MTB events sick and unable to breath out my nose!

I also realized I did one Mountain Bike stage race, and one Road stage race, and four of the crit days, I did multiple races.

On the road, I have been able to race the 4's, 3's, 1/2/3 and Men's Cat 3! That by FAR was the most fun on a road bike! Riding with 4 teammates, in a mens crit with at least 60 guys, I finally realized what crits were all about! And it was my last crit.

So basically I can look back at this stoked about getting a lot of racing experience, excited about what next year brings, and I totally understand why I am now sick. It was quite the cornacopia of racing and experiences, and I haven't yet quite decided how it will pan out for next season.

Monday, September 21

That about sums it up...

Bonelli Unification Race...or something to that effect.

(Please note I am stealing pictures from Allison and random people on facebook ; )

So Allison, Krista and I became unified on Sunday. We led the race as a unified force, then, not so much. With many of our comrades hanging the jerseys for the year, oh, two months ago, the three of us keep paying our $$$ to go for rides together.

It was hot. I remember one point where I said outloud on the full exposed hot and dusty fireroad that looks down on the freeway interchange, "I'm so hot..." with the Napolean Dynamite exhale. I can't remember being that hot in a race since maybe Santa Ynez two years ago. I only wadded it up once, on a hair pin uphill turn going to the feed zone. Narrowly missed re-opening Staple and got some blood on my shoes. Cool.

High light was having BMc at the race! He flogged the Cat 2 boys, poor chaps, and finished the race with a win and a helmet full of twigs due to a crash in the last half mile that had him recounting seeing "dirt, sky, dirt, sky, dirt, sky....ground." while intergecting motorcycle sounds. "Brrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaap brrrrap...."

Brian is the best. Once my race started, which consisted of 3 laps at 12:30 start...he was at multiple points on the course giving me time gaps but more importantly, moral support. Between calling lines, to telling me to ride my pace and not to worry about the gap, he really helped me out!

The main reasons I went to the race, though, was to see my friends and support Team Big Bear and Shoair for the amazing job they have done with the series this year. Although I havent made it out of the state to race, I am very grateful to even have a series to go to! These guys have done an amazing job keeping mountain biking alive in the whole country! It's important to me to do my part to help promote, show up and have a blast at these events to do what I can to spread the MTB love!

As for the friends, got to hook up with so many cool people that I haven't seen since mid-summer! Great to see the friendly faces
Allison, Lisa, Dot, Tonya, Heidi, me!

So there was an overall to be won. I guess I didn't get the memo or have just been tied up coaching jr. high volleyball and not doing my research! This race landed the three of us, well, in the top three! Next to the Idyllwild Pavers, this award is awesome! Solid iron or something, welded together, and HEAVY!!! Pretty cool momento....although not sure what to do with it. Could maybe do Kettlebell training, or sit on it to milk a cow, or something of that nature...
The week is flooded with volleyball games and practices, some teaching and grading, tack on some baby visiting and cuddling, then perhaps a bike ride or five topped off with a touch of pilates. All in 100 degree heat.
Tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox. What gives? Where is fall?!....

Friday, September 11

Is it nap time yet?

Here we are, day three of that race in Costa Rica, completely wiped out, but ready to rock. Somehow (ie the couple from Mexico had their clocks set to Mexico time, where there was a time change) we got up at 4 am for the race. Never have I gotten ready to race so quickly!! Once we realized the issue, back to bed I went in full kit, spooning my gear bag.

Most people say its time to rest, relax, gain some weight, or pick up bowling. I just can't do it. So here I am, ready to go full-force into a weekend of solid riding and fun with friends! Although I may FEEL like the Joy above...I put on a good Poker Face.
Season ain't over yet folks....come to think of it, when will it be over?!?!

Wednesday, September 9

Well when you put it that way...

I have been receiving a lot of flack for my absurd tan-lines, specifically those on my legs. Late-summer, an intervention was set to get me into more "feminine" shorts, in the attempt to make me not look like a "Fit Boy." Cute. I purchased a slew of 5" inseam shorts from Marshalls and Ross (Under $7 a piece FYI) and by my calculations, that inseam is about 0.5" ABOVE my Champ Sys cycling shorts.

It has gotten to the point that if another person scoffs at my tan by saying something witty like "Hey, can't you get shorts to match your tan?" or "Did the tanning bed mess up?" Or "Nice tan lines" i may just have to pop them in the jaw or better yet comment on their "Nice Muffin Top." But that wouldn't be nice.

Upon lamenting my persecution, I received this poignant email from BMc, just another reason why I keep him close by:

It's like this; some people get tattoos because it means something special to them, some people have scars that reveal traumatic experiences they've been through. We have pale kit covered skin and borderline obscene tan lines from spending as much of our time in the saddle as possible. It's a sign of our commitment and shows our perseverance. Other folks just won't and can't understand. Don't take it to heart, wear it like a badge of pride because to those that understand, they know what those tan-lines mean and what it takes to earn'em.

Wednesday, September 2

It's my birthday, I am allowed to whine. I mean Shine...

I stayed up until midnight last night to see if in fact I would turn into a pumpkin upon turning the dreaded, dirty, thirty. I certainly did not morph into holiday decor nor did I audibly hear my metabolism hit the wall and slow down. But I am convinced I felt it. Just as convinced as the time i saw the Jackalope in Yosemite. It was there.

In this new wacky era of the interwebs and texting, I have been inundated with birthday cheer. None of it is unwanted, and definately not unwarrented. However, it has come at the strangest of times, modes, and well from some pretty strange people.

99% of people really did not know it was my birthday, had it not been for Face Book. They were then posed with a few options: text, wall post, IM, weird birthday cake for homepage wall etc. Many of the cheer-sharers I have not seen, heard from, nor would recognize if I was staring at them at Stell Coffee house.

Here are some of my favorites:

* Happy Birthday, Joy. You're probably going to take a birthday bike ride, in that case, don't get hurt.

*Happy Birthday you wackado!!!!!

*Happy Birthday, Joy!!! Hope it is wonderful and you get to do a good ride :)

*Happy Birthday Joy Bell. 30 huh! Enjoy it to the MAX. Skip school.

*Hippy Bathday!


*Happy birthday Joy! I will ride my bike to work tomorrow in your honor.

*JOY to the World!! Have a Happy Happy day & eat tons of good stuff...then ride it off.

*Happy Birthday silly Joy!! ;)

*Happy Birthday Joy! Already making 30 look fun!!

I also am the proud recipient of multiple eCards. One had a rainbow that would fill in each color at a time, another had an animated kitten that got stuck in a ball of yarn, and yet another had a pink girl walking through a field. I sure hope Halmark has dibs on some ecards, or they are going to go out of business. The ecard is amazing because you can remember at 4:52pm a loved ones birthday, shoot that email out and be within the safe confines of the work day. Some of the cards i received were preselected and scheduled to be "released" today. Im not knocking them. They did make me chuckle a bit, and everyone knows I sure don't own stamps either.

I have received a litany of text messages. Rad...I have unlimited now. Whew.

Thank you for the well-wishes and laughs! The good times are just beginning!

Friday, August 21


Road Racing and Crit racing in specific, are a team sport. I have no team!! Oh SNAP! I keep trying to convince other lone-rangers to band together with me, but no dice.

Pictured here, Erica and Katie from Kahala are LAUGHING at me when discussing the fact that there is a break, and if I infact attacked, I would be hung out to dry.

The SBDC chick doesn't think its funny. I guess we are supposed to be serious. Knowing me, that ain't gonna happen. I don't care how tight that turn is. But really, I asked the chicks "if I attack we are screwed, right?" Them, laughing. "No. YOu are." At least I know my place.

Back on the work front, school has started with a vengence. Once I get past the meetings and parents and lockers, I really like it. The kids are rad and I can already tell, we are gonna have some fun!

Today was the first, in 7 years, casual Friday. I wore the same polo shirt and plaid shorts I would wear on any other day. I suppose I dress pretty casual as a habit.

I am also currently plotting a new hair situation. Suggestions welcome, but colors must be neutral.

Happy pedaling!

Tuesday, August 11

I've been having too much fun to photo document anything...

So take my word for it!!!

Maybe its because I am getting old or simply conditioned, but the 104 degree afternoons aren't kicking my butt as bad as they have summers past. Daily ride start time has been between 3-4pm, meandering into the dusk.

I am taking the manditory break from ruining teenagers lives by assigning them poopy lockers to check race results and other such web-based madness. Geeze, I have missed a bunch of cool stuff!! But recent pay cuts and more importantly, the self-perscribed debt-pay-off-plan have kept within a 3 hour radius of home.

I have, however, maintained my road/crit campaign which frankly leaves me emotionally taxed for up to 2 days post event. Since I am a cat 3, i can race the 3/4 events or the 1/2/3 races. Or be super over committed and do both. That's my favorite because I can be on the bike forever and figure this stuff out. There is a MARKED difference between the two events, and let's just say I have come to realize crit racing is a full-contact sport!

I poached this one off the net...I want that chicks PINK shoe covers. I have no idea what their purpose is, but i want them!

I got all amped out this last weekend and headed to the mountains for a mountain bike race, only to be greated at the top of the first climb with a broken shifter. Doh!! I got stuck with three gears, really fast, really slow, really not useable. Since Brian is a champ and RODE UP to the race from Yucaipa, he was on tap to get me into a "climbing" gear at the feed zone as i hammered off to work on my out-of-the-saddle skills! Sweet!

Great to see everyone at the races and catch up! And I realized/remembered how much I Love Love LOVE mountain biking!!!

This coming weekend, bit of a road trip to Sisquoc Road Race, then some more crit fun!

Thursday, July 16

Over Complicating the Mundane

So, I took a break. From the Internet. This decision has left me uninformed and I really actually like it.

One day, a few weeks back, I loaded the trusty Rally-Car Subarau with 5 bikes and headed north in a quest for cool ocean breeze, sweet single track, and stellar company. For once I can actually say, I found them all!!

The road racing scene is WACK which I fully became aware of as I ITT'd both a 60 mile road race and Crit in San Luis Obispo. The laundry list of "Things to work on and improve" grows and morphs each time I show up at these events. But I keep going out for more because the people are rad and the views fantastic!

Sister Julene from New Zealand, Brother Jeremy from Boulder, and well, me..IE BABY!

For fear of boring you (yawn) I will just cut to the gory stuff.
The kids "Stickered" me. And that Southern Hemishphere winter isnt working out too well for my sisters tan...
I met Gwenny!!! (this is a few days before she bit me...) And I got to see Griffyn!
We saw Zoo Things...
And we became Zoo Things!

We did Circus Stunts!!!

And rode in really small trains...

Then things went sideways. Super Bro Jeremy and I hit up some of THE BEST SINGLE TRACK I HAVE EVER RIDDEN. Heading up to Mr. Toads Wild Ride, South Lake Tahoe. 18 miles of pure bliss. Swoopy and dreamy and well banked, and everything a girl could ever want!!
After climbing and traversing for almost two hours, I dumped it, to the left, on a super techy ASCENT (that means UP...SAT word of the day) and yes, cracked my leg open on a perfect piece of granite!
ME: "Um Jeremy, I think we have a deep one"
BRO: "Yup, I can see your muscles and tendons."
ME: "Cool"
BRO: "Want me to clean it?"
ME: "Nope"
so i wrapped my trusty polk-a-dot tank on it and off we went.
Back at base camp, everyone was super worried about what to do....erm...I searched the iPhone for urgent care while! but really, they forced me to go. ONE GIANT STAPLE closed that sucker up!
Family photos by the lake...
Shared war-wounds

So the doctor said no riding. So the family decided that meant I would love to go hiking instead. um....FYI...that hurts a lot more. We are all VERY excited at this point.

Sunday group rides take on a different flavor these days!!

Baby Gwen give the adventure a Thumbs Up!!

And now, its just normal stuff again.

Tuesday, June 23

We Keep Coming Back to THIS...

Before I delve into DAY TWO, a BIG shout out to Stephen Wormser who is responsible for the new header shot, and some other pretty cool pics that will begin popping up! Great guy, awesome location around the corner from work and the bike shop, I have had the privilage of working with Steve for several years, dating back to the Jose Ole days.

Also, STEVE was pretty miffed I have yet to drop his name on this here blog! Steve at one point brewed all of our coffee at he tightens my cables and all the other things I am incapable of doing on my bike, while wrenching at Cyclery USA...Then he heads over to the Salon to cut bangs and pick what design to my hair should become. The experience is totally rad...I would highly suggest it.

OK, where were we...OH YES!

Day Two in Costa Rica was the closest I have come to emotional implosion since about two years ago. Serious. Waking up was horrible. I felt wrecked. I looked at my homies and was like, um, can we tap out NOW?!?


22.61 miles

3:28 Ride time.

10,079 Elevation gain. Serious?!

Check it all here!

Racing that day was like nothing I have ever experienced. It was so draining and mentally difficult, that now in races I tell myself to "Go back to that Costa Rica Place" and remember what it feels like to suffer. What its like to have no idea where the top is but yet to continue riding harder and stronger than you have ever forced yourself to go. This experience makes a 100 foot climb look exponentially small.

After the mud and other dark earlthy products caked my bottles and bike on day one, I opted to go with ONE bottle on the bike and two in my jersey. This forced me to wear the ONLY medium jersey I had each day because with all the junk i had in my pockets, the smalls looked like belly-shirts, and nobody wants to look like a hooch in the jungle.
Wash everything at

Besides being the most painful day on a bike, ever, this day was the BEST EVER! Getting my mind to calm down enough to focus SOLELY on the task at hand was epic. Being able to look beyond pain and fatigue and just keep pedalling was rad. Each half hour I felt stronger and stronger. My mind was settled all else was unimportant. Finally, I felt like a bike racer.

Riding the Jungle BABY!

Do NOT crash on this stuff...we all avoided it...but were well aware of the carnage it could create in an instant!

This stage popped out on the top of a volcano where we could look out over the valley to other volcanoes and villages. We also go a splendid taste of local single track through the jungle. I ran super fast sand tires due to the high amount of road/dirt road we would be riding, so you could amagine the cluster I created in the sticky, guey, clay-like mud in the jungle. A national named Erik, who I rode with stage 2/3, asked me in broken English as I scuttled up from yet another yard-sale endo: "You like the land?" jejejeje. UM NO!Erik and I nearing the finish of Stage two...Glasses zipped safely in my jersey...humidity plus sweat plus granny gear climbing: zero vizibility.

Water for two, please! Maureen and I opted for purchased local water...That and bananas was all I bought down there.

Super cool option with the race was to purchase, for $20 US a CD with like 100 photos on it! Woohoo! Otherwise I would have never gotten some of the cool shots of the terrain!!

FOCUS! But walking....optional....Maureen did everything in her power to never walk. RAD.


Super smart idea to take brand new white shoes to the jungle. Then hit up a ton of hike-a-bikes. Blisters are yummy.

In the land of Strawberries and Coffee, Maureen did a bang-up job of assimilating.

The crew refualing - awesome local fare!

Endorphine high...Heading back to the hotel!

We sent the bikes back to the shop for TLC...the guy on the right rode about 1/3 of the day with me. He spoke no English but knew the trails, which he was poaching, so was an excellent guide. I gave him my USCUP water bottle and he loved it.

I cried Uncle around 7:45pm. I can't remember EVER sleeping that hard. Serious.

Tami and Danny from Mexico City are at the BC Bike Race!!!Pimping Coach Gareth in Santa Barbara Costa Rica. I so do not fit in. Anywhere.