Trek Women
June 30, 2008

What time zone am I in again...

Just a quickie post to say hello. I'm in the Rocky Mountains right now -- in beautiful Estes Park, CO for a conference.

Within the past week, I've spent at least a day in every time zone across the country. It's a lot packing/unpacking; running through airports to make connecting flights (only missed one so far); and trying to remember my hotel room number. But, I've been able to meet some wonderful people and see some gorgeous scenery. I'll show you some photos in another post.

Anyway, I found a bicycle touring company in town that hosts daily mountain bike tours in Rocky Mountain National Park. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to fit it in to my schedule. It would be cool to see some elk.

June 24, 2008

Chug-a-lugging along...

Beers My Monday ride home from the gym keeps getting curious-er and curious-er. Last night, I'm pulling up to a light near the Library of Congress and I see a woman power walking in the street next to the parallel-parked cars, not on the sidewalk. She's got fitness clothes and headphones on, which I notice because it's not safe to exercise outside at night if you can't hear someone coming up behind you. Anyway, she takes a sip from what looks like a water bottle in her hand. Then, I pass her and realize it's not water -- she's swigging a BEER! A Heineken to be exact. Last week, I encouraged the runner to "keep going," maybe yesterday I should have yelled "chug, chug, chug!"

June 23, 2008

Beautiful...

Bella_ladies_2 I had a rather beautiful weekend. Saturday, I got out early for a 3-hour ride before the temperature got swampy and the more leisurely riders hit the bike path to Mount Vernon. Don’t get me wrong, I tip my helmet to everyone who goes by bike. But, to paraphrase the guy flick Top Gun, sometimes I feel the need for speed. There’s this sweet, curvy rolling hill section through the woods that I love to see how fast I can power through. It’s exhilarating when done right.

The whole ride, it was pretty much me, a handful of other cyclists and tons of running groups training for the Marine Corps. Marathon. My sis, Jen, was out there somewhere too – she signed up to do the marathon! I can ride 100 miles; but I can’t even imagine running 26. Go Jen!!!

Anyway, on Saturday, I also wanted to pick up some new cycling gear. I remembered a WSD event Susan had done at Bella Bikes and decided to drive up to Ellicott City, MD to say hello and check out the nation’s first bicycle store dedicated to serving women cyclists. Bella is Italian for beautiful and that’s just how I would describe the store. Rows of WSD bikes line half of the space and the other half is racks full of cute clothes and accessories. I was in awe. Usually, you walk in to bike shop and there’s maybe a few different women’s jerseys. Bella has colors and patterns and sizes galore. That’s Bella’s manager, Patti, and sales diva, Sandy with me in the photo. Patti coaches the local Team in Training triathlon group and Sandy commutes everywhere on a 35-lb steel frame bike. They lead a “Hookie Ride” every Friday morning, alternating between road and mountain biking each week. [Do I feel a cold coming on, cough cough?]

Sunday, I met up with the guys for coffee like we always do. Then I went home and did laundry (how exciting). I’m traveling a lot this next month and my first leg starts tomorrow to San Diego. I’m hoping I’ll have some interesting tales from the road. It should make my tri training interesting anyway.

June 20, 2008

Whatever it takes...

Picture1That’s the inscription that Johan Bruyneel wrote for me when he signed my copy of his new book We Might As Well Win on Wednesday afternoon. Johan is the Director of the ASTANA Cycling Team and the man who coached Lance Armstrong to seven Tour de France wins and in the process turned pro cycling on its ear.

My friends at Revolution Cycles – the Clarendon, VA store – hosted the book signing and for a lunchtime event, I’d say there were at least 100 people there to meet the legend. Johan took questions from the audience first. Number one was whether he thought the ASO was going to allow Astana to compete in the Tour this summer. Johan doesn’t think they will reverse the decision and at this point, he has focused the team on winning other races including the upcoming Vuelta a Espana (Spain).

Johan also told us the story behind his book. After he retired from the pro circuit, Johan was trying to figure out what his second life was going to be when Lance Armstrong (after battling cancer and determined to make a comeback) approached him to direct the USPS team. They decided to concentrate on the Tour. Lance thought he could win a couple of stages, Johan replied, “If we’re going to do this, we might as well win.” Meaning, win the whole thing. And they did, because they believed they would win the whole thing.

I’m still reading the book and it’s engrossing and thought-provoking. I keep coming back to Johan’s message, “whatever it takes.” Sometimes, you just have to get through the day with whatever it takes. But, when you think about your personal goals and dreams, pursue them with whatever it takes. You’ve got to believe in yourself.

P.S. I ran into an old friend at the event, Rob “The Beast” my favorite spin guru. It was so great to see you and meet your family!!!

June 17, 2008

Clap for her…

Clappers_2 I’m scootering home from the gym last night a little after 9 pm and I pull up to the stoplight near our house. While I’m waiting for the light to change, a plus-size woman in her late 20s is running on the sidewalk. Having just finished a run myself, I was really impressed by how she was chugging along. So as she goes to cross the intersection in front of me, I couldn’t help it, I just started clapping and whooping, “Way to go! Keep going! You’re doing great!” She started laughing and raised her arms in the air Rocky-style and kept running. I parked my scooter and I could see her down the block, still going strong. That made my day.

June 16, 2008

What's left...

Stripped_2More poor Trek 930 -- it now looks like a turkey carcass two days after Thanksgiving. The bicycle thief (that's a polite way of putting it) came back and stripped more parts. Never in my crookedest dreams would I think someone would steal old brakes - yes brakes - off a bike. I couldn't bare to take a photo of it, hence the diagram. I hadn't figured out what I was going to do with the bike, so I left it locked up outside as usual. Now, it's awful.

I wish I could say that this wasn't part of Life on the Hill. Sadly, it seems to be on the rise. Someone stole Russ' scooter on Thursday when he parked, locked the steering column and ran in to CVS Pharmacy for 5 minutes to pick up a prescription - in the middle of the day! It's ridiculous. Our district (Ward 6) has called a meeting to talk about the problem and what more can be done.

In other news, on Friday I did go swimming afterall and did better than last week. As a reward, I bought myself a new suit - my favorite reversible racerback by TYR. I really didn't like the straps on the Speedo that I had been wearing.

On Saturday, I went for a 2.5-hour ride and it was nice. On Sunday, my sis Jen, Russ, Wayne, Bill, Eric and I spent the afternoon playing volleyball and badminton, then had a picnic. That was also nice. Today, Russ bought a new scooter. 

June 13, 2008

Swimmer's block...

AntietamI don't know if you're all familiar with a web site called Twitter. It's like up-to-the-minute blogging --- what are you doing RIGHT NOW. So, at this very minute, I'm sitting at my computer trying to come up with a good reason why I don't have to go swim laps tonight. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Hmmmm. Can't. Dang it. Here's a photo though.

What is my problem? My training is in trouble. I'm cool for the bike. I could make the run. But, I have no desire to get in the water. Jeez. Esther Williams may be making a return engagement for the Accenture Chicago, if I make it.

June 11, 2008

Help me Trek Shop Girl...

I'm still extremely irked about my stolen wheel. Now what do I do? Will a new one fit? I'll tell you it's put a real damper on my bike commuting because clipping in and out of my road bike pedals to go 2 miles, stopping every couple of blocks for a traffic light is a real pain; and hauling Shady up and down the stairs is a pain too.

Hey Trek Shop Girl (aka Chris)! What's your advice? I don't know whether to replace the wheel (if I can) or get a new/used bike to commute on. Aggh.

P.S. Had a meeting in Sheperdstown, WV at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center yesterday. Way cool place -- all eco-friendly design. It's not far from Antietam National Battlefield so I took a drive over to check it out. Here are some photos. Next time, I'll bring a bike. The rolling hills would be a lot of fun to ride.

June 9, 2008

Dear thief...

Camping_008 Dear thief who stole the rear wheel off my old Trek 930 on Friday night,

Why did you do that? What could you possibly need a 14-year-old wheel for? I’m sure some stupid tire means nothing to you; but it meant something to me. I’ve ridden hundreds if not thousands of miles on that piece of metal and rubber. Those spokes have seen me through thick and thin.

And you were probably bored and did it because I should have done a better job locking up. Why didn’t you just break in to my car? That I understand, it's the cost of living in the city. Though there isn’t much in there after you swiped my Best of Duran Duran CD last time.

Was it really worth it?

June 6, 2008

Happy trails...

Mtb Tomorrow is National Trails Day –- why not celebrate it mountain bike-style. Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day aims to raise awareness and cooperation among all trail users at events across the country. I’m going to participate in a MORE event (Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts) to learn more (hahaha) about trail-building and maintenance.

Use this interactive map to find out if there’s something happening in your neck of the woods. Happy trails to you, until I blog again.