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!