Trek Women
April 25, 2008

Sweet, sweet twinkies...

Img_4300 My #1 blog commenter (and pretty incredible sis, Becky), my #1 brother-in-law (well, only b-i-l, Steve) and my #1 nephew (Paddy) welcomed to the world their new daughters and sisters, respectively. The twinkies (Madeline Susan and Kaitlyn Grace) finally arrived on Monday night around 10:45 pm. Susan is my Mom's name and Grace was her mother's name (our grandmother). Everyone is doing great at home.

Happy birthday little ones!! I can't wait to meet you!!!
Love, Aunt Laura

April 22, 2008

No boys allowed...

Wwr_club Guess what… Trek just launched a Women Who Ride Club. Whoo hoo! It’s an exclusive, members-only community for women riders. Like the title says, no boys allowed. For small annual fee, you will receive a super cute tech shirt, cycling socks, Trek water bottle, baseball cap and tons more.

Plus, there will be monthly sweepstakes where you can win Trek gear, even bikes; an e-newsletter, race entry giveaways, VIP treatment at select Trek-sponsored events (love that) and special apparel discounts. Also, if you register soon, you’ll get a chance to win a Trek Travel vacation (please take me with you!!!), Bissell products, a three-month training program or a brand spanking new Trek WSD bike. C’mon and be a Trek Chick too!

Check out the Trek Women Who Ride Club!!

April 21, 2008

Bicycles and birthdays...

Red_wheels Bicycles and birthdays go together. Maybe because they’re both special. My first bike was a present for my fourth birthday from my grandparents. It was red with big, fat red tires. Looking at that photo, I can almost hear the sound of my training wheels flying over cracks in the sidewalk -– a metallic-y kachunk, kachunk, kachunk.

When I got old enough to ride the few blocks to school, I remember worrying that the other kids were going to make fun of me because my bike was different. Red tires? No one in the entire school had red tires. But then it dawned on me, no one else had a bike with red tires and that made me special. My grandparents gave me a gift greater than my first bike. They gave me the courage to be different and go my own way. 

Yesterday was my birthday. I didn’t get a new bike (where would I put it??). And, it wasn’t all that extraordinary (unless you consider steam-cleaning your carpets extraordinary). But it was special nonetheless with calls and cards from my family and dinner with Jen, Russ and Wayne.

The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to just feel good about being me, whatever size, whatever shape. I’m a red tire kind of woman.

April 16, 2008

Dutch treat...

Blue_bike All weather, all ages, all sizes – people go by bike in Holland. Bikes trump pedestrians and cars on the streets. It’s great if you’re the one on two wheels; dodgier if you’re on two legs bee-lining toward a French fry stand. But, maybe I should rewind the story a bit.

Some celebrate new jobs by going out to dinner. My dinner just happened to take place in Amsterdam with Russ and Wayne. (And by dinner, I really mean copious amounts of fries and these funky little things called “bitteballen” that can only be described as deep-fried balls of gravy. Seriously, it can be done.) Although we’ve been to Holland before, the guys and I figured that visiting in Springtime with tulips a-bloom was one of those things you have to see in your lifetime. Plus, I like windmills… and Gouda cheese.

We stayed at the Hotel von Onna in Amsterdam again, notable for its owner, Leon, and its location on the Bloemgracht (flower canal) near the Anne Frank house. Leon is quite particular, his rooms are spare and spotless, and he looks a little like the boiled eggs he serves for breakfast. A few doors from the Onna, we rented bikes for a couple of days, splurging a few extra Euro to get 7-speeds with hand brakes. Bike theft is a big problem there, so the shop guy gave us ginormously heavy chains and locks to cart around.

Having already seen the “attractions,” our plan was to just pedal and see where the path would take us. On our first full day, we must have ridden close to 40 miles. We found street markets, a windmill (!), lovely parks and plenty of fries – for energy of course. The next day, I convinced the guys to go to the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, known for its tulip fields and displays. Russ said it was Tulip Disney, I thought it was nice even if the flowers weren’t quite in bloom yet. The Keukenhof also has a windmill (!).

On a jaunt to see the city of Haarlem, we came upon a Trek dealership called the Bike Planet. The shop had some adorable Trek leisure/commuting bikes that we don’t have here, maybe they’re only for the Euro market. I wanted an orange-colored one BAD.

That night, we stopped by Café Chris, a local pub near the Onna. Turns out, Samantha Brown from the Travel Channel had once taped a segment there. Get out of town! Of course, we had to take a photo with Nell, the bartender, who kept us nicely occupied with beer, bitteballen and other fried foods. My fear though was that upon leaving the establishment one of us would (a) accidently drop a bike lock key in a canal, or (b) accidently drop oneself into a canal. We made it home safe, sound and dry.

All in all, Holland is a real treat. The Dutch are friendly, the biking is fun and the fries are delish. Definitely put it on your “waanderlust” list.

April 11, 2008

CycleFest ditch diver…

Cyclefest_ride It may have been cold and dreary last Sunday in Fairfax, VA’s Wakefield Park; but, who really cares when there are bikes involved. I met up with Chris, Dave and Jon from Trek at CycleFest 2008 hosted by the Bike Lane. Though Chris and Dave weren’t able to send people out on demo bikes because of rain, lots of folks visited us at the demo trailers to ask questions.

Here’s what surprised me… not everyone covets a Madone. In fact, almost all of the women Chris talked to while I was there wanted to know which bike would suit them best if they wanted to ride on a bike path or around with their family or friends. It seems the FX series is for Fairfax. But, I seem to remember Trek telling me that FX is the most popular everywhere. Heck, I’ve done 100-mile rides on a hybrid bike as well as 1 mile jaunts to get a cup of coffee. You can’t beat it for flexibility, speed and price.

Also, Mike Spinner and Nigel Sylvester from Mirra Bike Company were there to judge a competition at Wakefield’s Skate Park. Too bad it got rained out, but the Mirraco boys hung out and signed autographs for all the kids/teens. Spinner is the winner of the 2007 BMX Trick of the Year who just completed a triple whip over the hip and the 720 double tailwhip on the resi (say what???) and Nigel is a streetrider from NYC.

I got to spend some time with Spinner and Nigel, check out our “sick” photo in the gallery below. (Sick = totally rad if you’re a product of the 80s.) Anyway, the boys asked me where I like to party in DC. I think I looked over my shoulder to see if there was someone cooler-looking standing behind me cause my guess is that they didn’t mean “party” as in would you like another mini-quiche. Cripes, how did I get to be this old? They were nice kids and very respectful to the elder in their midst.

Anyway, after the event wrapped up, the rain stopped long enough for the Trek gang and me to go mountain biking on the Park’s trails. I took up the last position so that I could watch the others go over the obstacles. The mud was thick and within minutes we were covered. The first challenge for me was to ride over a log; I made it and let out a big whoop. I crossed ravines, rode over another log and started getting the hang of it. All the while, Chris would look over her shoulder to see if I was still there and to encourage me when the trail looked tricky.

Then, came a skinny bridge-thing which was probably about a foot wide and about a 3 feet above the ground. I'm sure there's a technical name for it. All I know is in trying to get up on to the bridge, I popped a wheelie, lost control and fell over into the ditch, landing with a gigantic thud. I sprawled there for a second to get my breath back. I'm sure Chris was thinking about where to hide my body after doing in a Trek Women. But, I got right back in the saddle and kept on riding. The second time we did the loop, I made it!!!

My thanks to the Trek gang and the Bike Lane for a great day!

April 9, 2008

Hey DC - what are you up to Friday night...

Revolution_cycles_2 My good friends at Revolution Cycles in Rockville, MD are having a Trek WSD Ladies Night Out this Friday night at 7 pm. If you're in the area, come on over and hang out with me and Trek Shop Girl, Chris Garrison!! It's all about women and cycling and getting the best fit when it comes to bikes and gear. I'm also planning on bringing Shady's flat tire so that I can learn to fix that dang thing.

And if our fine company isn't enough, there will be food, prizes and more fun stuff. Space is limited, so RSVP to Sean at sean@revolutioncycles.com or call 301 424-0990.

If you've already got plans for Friday, Revolution Cycles in Stafford is having its Trek WSD Ladies Night Out tomorrow at 7 pm. RSVP to lori@revolutioncycles.com or call 540 657-6900. 

For more info about both events and directions, check out the Revolution Cycles web site. Hope to see you there!!

P.S.> There are Trek WSD events happening all over the country. To find one near you, log on to the Fit for Women Tour web site. I promise, you'll have a blast meeting Demo gals Chris, Ross, Julie & Tori!

April 7, 2008

A big tease...

Holland_020 Hi everybody!! I've got so much to tell you about, but I haven't had time since I got back from Holland to write a proper blog for you all. So today, I'll just tease the stories coming up...

TRIP TO HOLLAND:

  • How we ate our weight in bitterballen and cheese
  • A trip to tulip Disney
  • Biking dutch-style
  • How I cracked a rib (or did something to it)
  • Do you think I look like Madeleine Albright's daughter?

CYCLEFEST 2008

Yesterday, I went to an awesome event called Cyclefest 2008 hosted by the Bike Lane in Fairfax, Virginia. I met up with Trek Demo Gal, Chris, Demo Dude, Dave, and Trek Manager, Jon Rogers.

  • Cold, wet, rainy -- who cares
  • FX bikes in Fairfax
  • The Mirraco boys want to know where I party
  • Mountain (mud) biking with Chris, Dave & Jon
  • Jumped my first log then fell in a ditch -- SWEET!

Let's see, what else... today's my first official day at my new job at the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Oh, and I'm going to be on television.

How's that for teasing. Stay tuned for the full stories!