Trek Women
July 20, 2009

Where it ends...

Head shot I’ve been thinking about this blog for a couple of months now and I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to say goodbye to everyone who has been kind enough to read my stories over the last couple of years. So, first – THANK YOU. When all is written and done, you made this experience worth my while.

 

To my amazing family: my Mom, Jen, Becky, Steve, Paddy, Maddy, Katie, Aunt Beth, Pat and Phil D. – and my fabulous urban family: Russ, Wayne, Bill, Eric and the Siebers – THANK YOU for letting me write about your lives too (and post photos even when you thought you looked horrible in them). I love you with all of my heart.

 

I’ve never been good at ending things and right about now I wish I had some inspiring parting words of wisdom to leave behind; but I’m not much of a philosopher. Keep trying, keep exploring and be kind to yourself – that about sums me up.

 

And while my particular ride with Trek Women Who Ride is over – I know something else that is even more exciting, scary, illuminating, challenging and wonderful is waiting around the bend. Take care.

 

All my best,

Laura

 

 

May 7, 2009

I'm gonna get a free t-shirt...

WABA bike day Who loves free stuff? I do!! I love free stuff almost as much as I love free breakfast. And I'll get some of both at DC's official Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15th!

Are your calendars marked and tires pumped -- next week is National Bike to Work Week and there are events happening all over the place. You can see if your neck of the woods is having one here:  http://www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemonth/events.php#DC.

This will be my 3rd year participating in DC's Bike to Work Day and it's a lot of fun riding the streets with hundreds (thousands?) of other riders. There will be 26 pit stops in the area, where folks who are new to bike commuting can join a "convey" into the city. Plus, there's food, drinks, giveaways, raffles and the coveted 2009 Bike to Work Day tee.

Let's hope for fair weather since it's been raining every day here for over a week.

*Artwork is from DC Bike to Work Day poster

April 8, 2009

Sneeze and you'll miss them...

Cherry1 I snapped this photo of the cherry blossoms Friday morning on my commute to work. The blossoms are almost gone now -- all that's left is pink petal snow on the ground.

I call this path the gauntlet, because I try to get to the other side fast before getting besieged by pollen and sneezing my head off. But it sure is pretty.

April 6, 2009

Hi five...

Hi Roxanne, Caitlin, Rebecca, Amy and Mary - congratulations on being the new five to take over the handlebars as Trek's Women Who Ride!!!

I don't know anything about you... where you're from, what you like to ride, what you do... I don't know when you're going to start blogging or if I'll even get a chance to meet you - but, let me welcome you to the club!! You're in for quite a ride.

If you haven't seen it, here's a link to the announcement press release. To everyone who took the time out their busy lives to apply for this gig, THANK YOU. Since the release says there were four rounds of evaluation, that says to me you all must have sent in some pretty amazing stories.

On the flip side, I guess this means my blog clock is starting to wind down. I'm not sure what the timeline is - but I'll keep posting until I hear differently. :)


March 27, 2009

Take it outside...

Spring tree Ahhhh Spring. Achoooo! Not even the layer of cherry blossom pollen covering me from head to toe will keep me inside this weekend. Unless it rains, which will wash away the pollen and stop the sneezing. So, that wouldn’t be too bad. But I’d rather go outside.

 

I’m not the only one – my friend Nancy who works for Texas Parks and Wildlife sent me a link to this article from Southern Living Magazine “7 Reasons to Get Outdoors.” They are what you’d expect – increase energy, boost Vitamin D, reduce stress, family fun, burn calories, have fun and swap the gym for open air. The “have fun” reason talks about the carefree fun of biking and the photo shows a couple riding their Treks! Did you know, you can burn up to 30% more calories doing the same physical activities outdoors than in the gym? I didn’t.

 

Anyway, I got to thinking – what are the reasons I like play outside? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

 

1)       It smells better

2)       It’s free

3)       Tons of new activities to try and challenge myself

4)       Spend time with my friends

5)       People-watching (check out cute guys)

6)       It gets me away from refrigerator temptations

7)       I just feel better!

 

Why do you like to go outdoors?

March 12, 2009

Green machine...

Recycle light bulb At work, I’m on the Association’s new Green Team (GT) – our mission is to look at our office practices and figure out how we can do a better job of reducing, reusing and recycling. So, we’re looking at things like our paper and energy use and we’ve also talked about transportation. Nearly all of my co-workers ride the Metro (because who in their right mind would pay $20 a day for parking and sit in traffic for an hour) and we’re good about carpooling to events and whatnot.

 

One idea that we considered was purchasing an office bike if people wanted to ride during the day to go to a meeting or pick up lunch – kind of like what Congress on the House side offers staff (Trek Limes). But, we realized the cost and maintenance would be outside our GT budget, a bummer.

 

Got any cool, cheap ideas that you’re doing to green your workplace?

March 2, 2009

No ridin' today...

Supreme CourtI was kind of hoping that we'd get a snow day today. But, alas, here's a snap from my walk to work past the Supreme Court. I'd say we've got about 6-8 inches on the ground. It was too slushy and slippery for me to want to bike commute; but I did consider digging out my snowshoes. Picture that image of me in my down coat/bedspread trodging down Pennsylvania Ave. Maybe I'lll do it tonight under cover of some darkness.

Anyway, I felt bad for the people standing in line to get a glimpse of the Justices in action. It was particularly frigid on that street without buildlings to block the wind.

February 23, 2009

Have a nice day...

I think my post today will be kind of like my spin class this morning – I’ll just make it up as I go along (if you would like to play along at home… song of the day is The Rockafeller Skank by Fatboy Slim).

 

#1: Ankle is healing nicely – thanks everybody for your comments and I’m sorry if the photo grossed you out. I’m not ready for Step or high heels yet; but, I have no problems riding.

 

#2: Things are progressing nicely at the ol’ WW (weight watchers). I’ve dropped some decent lbs and I’m starting to feel more like myself.

 

#3: I haven’t gassed up my car since December. Just about the only time I drive instead of bike or walk is to go to Target or the airport. I’m almost to the “E” though.

 

#4: Actually, I can’t think of anything else interesting today. I’m in a nice spot at the moment. Hope you are too!

February 16, 2009

Cupid gets his revenge...

Hi everybody, hope you had a happy Cranky Cupid day. I did a spin class and rode on a stationary bike at the gym for about an hour afterwards til my iPod ran out of juice. Kind of boring compared to last year's 3-hour-spin-a-thon -- but my gym gave out free t-shirts, so that was a bonus.

Later, my sis Jen and I saw He's Just Not That Into You - surprisingly, there were a lot of couples in the audience, which sounds like a pretty horrible film to see on Valentine's Day if you ask me. Hey honey, let's go see that movie about men's relationship jedi mind tricks and why I turn myself into a complete nutball trying to guess why you do the things you do. Who among us hasn't become OCD waiting for the phone to ring. I can't decide if the movie left me feeling hopeless or hopeful that it might work out in the end.

I was still pondering that question while taking my usual Sunday morning Step Aerobics class yesterday. With my mind half on a rewind of previous relationships - which shouldn't have taken that long - I missed the step and fell backwards, wrenching my ankle (on the plus side, my abs were strong enough that my head didn't thwack the floor and no broken bones). And then I figured out how to ride my bike home with one leg. Well, at least it's better than wiping out going 18 miles per hour. I hope I won't be sidelined for long.

Foot big


January 22, 2009

Procrastinators, get a move on...

If you're like me by nature, you've probably waited until the last minute to write your entry for the Women Who Ride Contest. If you're like me, you're probable inspired by looming deadlines. I didn't earn the title, "Queen of the All Nighters" for nothing. (I would have liked Queen of Soul, but Aretha beat me to it.)

So to my fellow procrastinators, who may be writing their essays at 3 a.m., a few thoughts...

1) Don't do this for the loot. You will put more time, effort and thought into this than is the equivalent of a free bike and a couple of jerseys. You would ride anyway because that's what makes you happy.

2) Think about your journey. You might have one really good bike moment. That's great. What happens next? Think about how your potential readers would be able to follow you along as you try new things, grow, overcome challenges, celebrate and generally kick butt.

3) It's not about riding your bike, it's about your life. If you decide to commit to this, don't try to be "perfect" you - be real you. When I started, I made a promise to myself that I would be open and honest, fat rolls and all. And those non-biking stories were the hardest to write, but also the most rewarding. Those are the ones that you'll get a note from someone saying, "I know exactly how you feel."

4) I'm a Miranda*, who are you? You could call WWR, "Spin in the City" because we're very different characters with very different lifelines. When I wrote my essay, I tried to convey all the stories I could tell - urban, professional, single, late 30s, traveler, lost a lot of weight and trying to keep it off, bike commuter, century rider, training for my fisrt triathlon, spins with Marines... I'm still all of those things nearly two years later. What makes you unique?

5) Make sure you have the time. I mentioned time earlier and I'll say it again. I spend anywhere between 4 and 15 hours a week writing my blog, answering comments, doing activities to write about (like events and visiting Trek dealers) and more. However cool it is to be a WWR, I do take it seriously and treat it like a job with responsibilities to Trek and everyone out there reading my stuff.

6) It is quite a ride. As I approach the end of my time in the WWR saddle, I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I got to know some of you through your comments and to help build this community of riders just a little bit. I'm sure for months to come, I'll still have that automatic thought, "oooh, this would be a super idea for the blog." But, I'm looking forward to reading new stories. Maybe it'll be yours???

You've got until Jan. 24 (this Saturday) to enter. The entry form doesn't give a time, but to be on the safe side, I wouldn't push it to midnight if I were you.

*Reference to Miranda from Sex in the City - red-headed, career-driven, occasionally testy, extremely loyal. Sound familiar?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

UPDATE: Hi everyone - I received a few comments that you all are having difficulty uploading your photos for the contest. I let the WSD manager at Trek know - if I hear anything, I'll post an update. Sorry you're having so much trouble - I know it's frustrating. Hang in there and GOOD LUCK!