Trek Women
May 12, 2009

Spinning thru Trek's web...

Swiss Trek Site Every once in a while, I take a spin through Trek's web site to see what's new and happening. I've been following the release of the sweet, new designs for Lance's, Levi's and Alberto's race bikes produced by the Project One team. I'm also a fan of the Document Trek. Unscripted two-minute film series, now up to episode 5 and I regularly catch up on the "King of the Mountain" and "Life in the Bike Lane" blogs.

But, the other day as I was clicking aimlessly, I realized at the bottom of the page, you could change your country and language. A whole 'nother world opened up!

On the french site - the FX series of bikes are led by the headline "Urbanité" (urbanity) and the french blog "Trek Backstage" has tons of cool photos and videos. On the Dutch site, there's a funky little news article about a new wax figure of Lance in Amsterdam's Madame Tussauds, dressed in Astana gear. It wasn't until I visited the Swedish site that I found out that the Equinox is now painted a screaming orange (my fav) and there's a grouping of commuter bikes called the Nordic Line. In Germany, there'll soon be a new Trek store in Munich.

It's fun to see what's out there and practice my language skills, which get a little rusty. Plus, it satisfies my wanderlust just a bit until I can see the real places in person once again. 

February 26, 2009

Trek on the lose...

Tuesday night, I had just gotten home from the gym and microwaved a bowl of black beans and rice for dinner to chow while watching the Biggest Loser and simultaneously skimming the new Pottery Barn catalog (I’m on the lookout for a turquoise-colored lamp shade).

 

I know you’re thinking, wow Laura, what an exciting life you lead. We also somehow got on the mailing list for these strange old-people catalogs selling stuff like hernia devices and bunion remedies. But, those don’t have lamp shades. Anyway, I digress.

 

Back to the BL and this week’s challenge – a 24-hour spin-a-thon with each team trying to load the most miles on a Trek FX!! Neat idea. It was also the longest challenge in BL history. 

 

But, I have to admit that I had some cringe-worthy moments watching the bigger guys ride too small of a bike frame. And where was a WSD, hello? No wonder they were all hurting by the end. Not changing the seat height alone would have tortured me. The only thing I can think of is that the show’s producers told Trek they were only going to have the 2 bikes for the challenge.

 

Well, the happy ending is that all of the contestants are going to get their own custom Trek. I hope they love theirs too!

 

November 24, 2008

Best foot forward...

Pedal power Did you know that in an hour-long fitness ride, you’ll turn over your pedals an average of 5,400 times? I’m not a bike componentry whiz so I won’t even try to go there about upgrading your crankset. Although, I will say that I highly recommend buying a pair of clipless pedals and cycling shoes if you’re riding longer distances or take spin classes regularly.

BUT, you don’t need gear to put your best foot forward. Simply think about your pedaling technique. Here’s what I tell my spinners…

 

Pedal as if you’re drawing smooth circles with your feet – at the bottom of the circle, imagine that you are scraping mud or whatever off the bottom of your shoe.

 

Don’t point your toes down – also a sign that your seat might be too high if you’re over-extending to get around. Focus on keeping your feet flat with the balls of your feet over the center of the pedals.

 

Start your circle by putting the force on pushing forward with your leg (like kicking out) instead of straight down and then pull the pedal upwards. Just mashing down can lead to knee injuries and leg cramps. Also by using the push and the pull, you engage more leg muscle like your hamstrings.

 

It may take some practice; but I guarantee you’ll feel pedal perfection!

 

P.S. If you’re using cycling shoes, check that your cleats are properly aligned on your shoe. Cleats should be positioned under or just behind the ball of the foot. They should also be aligned so that your knees don’t turn in or out. Some pedal systems (like the Speedplays I use on my Trek 5000 road bike) allow more float or rotation to get the right knee position; while others like SPDs lock you in.

 

A few months back, I was feeling a little stress on my right knee during spin class and I couldn’t figure out why. Then it finally dawned on me that I had recently replaced that cleat. I tweaked the alignment and no more knee stress. So, I learned that my cleat set-up varies slightly for each foot.

 

October 17, 2008

Spin-wear...

Trek_rider2_023 As I was getting dressed at 0-dark-thirty this morning to teach my Friday morning spin class at the Marine Barracks, I started thinking about spin-wear -– primarily because I’m a little behind on my laundry and the pickings were thin.

Me, myself –- I usually wear cycling shorts, cycling socks since I have a ton of ‘em, a regular, old cotton t-shirt, and cycling shoes with SPD clips. My spinners typically wear their Marine-issue green shorty-shorts and a tee or work-out gear (except for Zoe, one of my regulars, who trains for triathlons and wears cycling shorts and shoes too).

At the gym, when I take other instructors’ classes, I see the gambit from baggy sweats (cook in your own juices why don't you) to full-on cycling gear, jersey too. I’m not sure I get that. Shorts -– yes, since the material doesn’t flap around and the padding is a bonus as well as the shoes, which are practical. But jersey, hmmm. You don’t really need the back pockets, so is it a statement? I can take this outside. Or, fashion? I’m cool if that’s the case. Heck, my bike helmet matches my messenger bag.

What do you think? What do you wear spinning?

October 8, 2008

Recycling fabulousness...

Campfire_girls_3 To my mind, there are 3 kinds of campers. On one end of the camping spectrum are the (1) movable mansion dwellers --starting with the luxury RV bus that is typically seen towing an SUV behind it to the more modest pop-up -- all sharing the distinction that the camper sleeps several feet off the ground. On the other end of the specturm are the (3) minimalists/survivalists with the jones to trek around the woods with a compass, change of underpants and some freeze-dried chili packets.

The guys and I fall in the (2) category, I'll call the cozy campers. We sleep in tents on the ground but on air mattresses and we bring hummus, tapenade and various cheeses to nosh on while sipping cabernet sauvignon by the fire. Oh, and we can go a few days without showers if need be.

This past weekend, we took our cozy campsite to a whole 'nother level thanks to Bill who just finished remodeling his dining room. He replaced his dining room light, so he brought his old chandelier with, replacing the bulbs with candles which he hung over our picnic table via a tree limb.  Recycling Fab-u-lous!!! People were stopping by our campsite all night long to check it out. Unfortunately on Day 2, the limb cracked and the chandelier fell, breaking one of the glass panels. But, it's fixable and the candle-lier is definitely going to become a regular fixture on our outdoor outings.

Other than that, the trip was fun though CHILLY! The temperatures plunged at night; but the days were sunny and crisp and the leaves were just beginning to turn. No bear sightings just deer and some wild turkeys.

September 17, 2008

Shoeless Lola...

Red_heelsLately, I keep losing shoes. On the way home from NY on Friday, I forgot one of my carry-on bags on the parking garage shuttle that contained four of the five pairs of shoes I brought with me. I realized it when I got home and called the airport immediately. Now after 5 days, I’ve given up hope my bag will turn up. I’m gonna miss the strappy red heels the most, they were fierce.*

Then, Monday night, I forgot my indoor cycling shoes at the gym. Thank goodness when I went back last night, they were still there in the spin studio. However, I did discover that I forgot to pack a workout top and had to fork over $12 for the ugliest t-shirt ever. I think I have clothing and accessory ADD.

Anyway, day 2 went all right. After buying the ugly shirt, I decided to try a new class at the gym that seemed similar to my sis, Becky’s favorite Group Groove dance class. I’m not too smooth at choreography, but I felt like trying something new. It was more low impact aerobics than dance-y, but still a good workout.

*Not my actual shoes, mine were sassier.

August 13, 2008

Let's get loud...

Imix_icon_2 You all sent me some awesome tunes for our Trek WWR playlist!  It took me a few days; but figured out how to make an iMix on iTunes. Go me! Click on the link or if you go to iMix in the store, search for the playlist "Trek Women Who Ride". My new favorite song is the one by Run-DMC. I played it in my spin class this morning and we went CRAZY doing sprint intervals. There are 30 songs total for your rocking and riding pleasure!

August 11, 2008

Happy anniversary...

Laura_at_dumbarton_oaks2_3 I can’t believe it. I missed my own one-year anniversary as a Trek Woman Who Rides.  It was August 8th last summer that I posted my first blog for Trek. (Wo)man oh (wo)man, has it been that long??? I’ve never been one for keeping a diary or journaling – maybe because I write for a living, it felt like work to me. Yet every day, I think of some new thing I want to blog. I don’t always have the time, but I do carry a notebook to jot down ideas or funny conversations and a camera with me at all times .

Back when I started this whole deal, I imagined that I’d write stories about weight loss, training, travel, cool Trek stuff, tasty treats and more. Since then, I’ve gained/lost/gained/lost/gained weight; did my first triathlon and getting ready for my second; traveled to Iceland, Greece, Holland and around the U.S.; talked Trek; got a new job; got certified to teach spin: started bike commuting again; went on some bad dates; introduced you to my family and friends; met some cool cyclists; cooked with Emeril; and basically tried to share my own unique lunacy with whoever cared to read about it. So, thanks for reading, for caring and for sharing your comments.

It has been quite a trip so far. I’m glad you’re along on this trek.

August 7, 2008

Fashion disaster...

PumasI usually bike commute in a t-shirt, black workout pants and pumas. I don’t get grungy, but I’m of the feeling that I can’t really carry off wearing my work outfit while riding a full suspension mountain bike. It’s not a good look.

So this morning, I pack my neat-o Sherpani messenger bag. Tossed in my suit, cap and goggles for a swim tonight; threw in a Lean Cuisine for lunch; checked to make sure I had my bicycle lock and hi-ho-hi-ho off to work I go.

Get to the building, take the elevator up feeling smug that I rode my bike, went to the ladies room to change and realized my fatal error. No work clothes. Forgot them. On my bed. Under the cat. Awwww man.

I had two choices. Bike home and back or just go ask my boss if anyone was coming in today for meetings that meant I needed to look reasonably put together. It's hot out so I did the latter, wearing an old, once-white tee and a spectacularly awful pair of pants (my pumas are fabulous though). I’ve spent most of the day in my office because of the shame, shame, shame and probable panty lines revealed by these ugly pants that are going in the trash tonight. It’s been a quite a day.

Lesson learned: keep a back-up outfit at work.

August 2, 2008

Rock on rider...

Ipodwwr2 I don't know why I didn't think of this last week. Let's create our own Trek Women Who Ride playlist! We're chicks (and guys too) who rock the road or dirt or Cycleops or... why not rock out and spin some tunes.

Post a comment or send me an email Laura_MacLean@trekwomenwhoride.com with the song name and artist that you gets you moving. I'll post our WWR playlist next Friday. Tell me that song that whenever you hear it, you have to get your boogie on. Trek Demo gals, I know you listen to some good stuff on your travels. C'mon, don't be shy!