Trek Women
October 28, 2007

In My Tire!

Dsc_0043This is the nail that popped my tire on the way home yesterday!  I have placed it on the map of the USA so that you can get an idea of the size of it.  As you can see, bigger than Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri put together.  You may ask, "How is it that you could miss a nail that size?"

It was dark. 

Talk to you later.

October 26, 2007

"Let there be Light"

Dsc_0053 It gets dark real fast in the winter time.  Here in Minnesota it is pretty well dusk at six o clock at night, and by the time I get out of work (9 PM) it is completely pitch black.  This is problematic because I do not have a great track record for riding at night. 

When I got my first bike I was real excited.  The bike was in pretty poor shape and it took me all afternoon to clean it up and get it ready to ride.  Bill helped, and when it was done Bill suggested that we go for a ride. It was dark outside, but Bill had helped with the bike and we had just started dating, so I wanted to impress him.  I said ok – and began the scariest ride of my life.

Bill took me out on a winding back road with hardly any street lights at all – and where there were street lights, they just made all the cracks in the road jump out and look like snakes or alligators or man-eating potholes.  I think we averaged about 5 mph max, which turned our ten mile ride into a two hour marathon of death.  When I got home I laughed and told Bill I had a great time... and promised myself I would never ride in the dark ever again.

So last night when I got off work I hopped on my bike and rode home. Apparently there is a new thing that has been developed, called “electric lights” that you can attach to your bicycle and they will illuminate the road in front of you so that you do not have to ride on faith.  I’ll tell you, the miracles of modern technology.  They never cease to amaze.

Anyway, dear readers, I am well equipped now.  I have a stunning Trek Bike, a warm pair of gloves and a bike light so bright you can see it from orbit.  Bill has said that he will commute through the winter.  I think that is crazy, but I do not tell him that because we only have one car, and as long as he rides a bike I can drive… but last night was kind of fun.Dsc_0062

What do you think?  Should I be a nut and ride through the cold dark nights or should I get my riding done in the mornings and on the weekends and drive to work?  Is it insane to brave the cold and dark when a car is available or does it matter?

Talk to me.

Until next time.



October 21, 2007

Got Guts?

A couple of months ago I rode a pretty tough trail in Boise with my sister in law.  Catherine is a real tough girl, and she can handle herself around a bike, but the last section of the trial was a series of rollers down a steep incline.  I was riding behind Catherine and she started flying down the hill.  I was impressed… until she started hollering and catching some wicked air that I knew she didn’t want.  About two thirds the way down the hill she aimed her bike for some cushy-looking bushes and committed her soul to gravity.  Dsc_0833_2

As it turned out the bush was pretty comfy.

Anyway.  Catherine is the champ.  I really respect people who are willing to bite off a little more than they can chew and then go for it anyway.  I remember the first mountain bike ride that I rode with my husband… whew! I thought I would not make it out alive.
Now I ride bikes all the time. 

Just one more story.  A few weeks ago I rode the Chequamegon mountain bike race, the same race the awesome SUE HAYWOOD rode.   (She finished about a thousand people in front of me.)  Anyway, in the first few miles of the race her water bottle fell out, and so she had to ride the rest of the way without any water at all.  She probably should have just given up and cursed her bad luck, but instead she decided to race the race.  With a few miles left to go she was winning the race without any water!  Incredible!Dsc_0068_2  

Then the facts of life caught up with her and she started suffering from dehydration, losing focus, blacking out and such.  She ended up finishing second place and having to get an IV pumped into her after the race.  Such a champ!  I like the gutsy-ness of the ride.

And in a weird way, Catherine and Susan kind of did the same thing.  Both of them faced a real tough obstacle, and both of them had enough guts to push through.  I am sure that Catherine would have liked to finish the hill just like Susan would have liked to win the race, but hey, in my mind they are both winners.

And both of them are inspiration for me.

October 21, 2007

Rain, Rain and more Rain

Raindrops_2 It all started with a little rain on a Saturday morning.

Last weekend I tried out a new bike at the Trek Fit for Women Tour.  It was held at a bike trail that I like – I think that I have talked about this one before – a place called Lebanon Hills.  I got there early with my husband to help set up, but we beat the trailer there and it was freezing cold – so we just stayed in the car and thought about getting out. When Julie arrived with the Trek trailer I helped her put out all the bikes.  It was a lot of fun hanging out and helping out people – I imagined that I would be assisting lines of excited women with their awesome new trek bikes.  But it was not to be.  As it turned out only two women showed up while I was there, but they went over to the men's trailer and tried out the men's bikes.  What the heck? Dsc_0252

I got to ride an awesome bike though.  I took out the new WSD Top Fuel.  AWESOME RIDE!  Carbon frame, buttery suspension, killer paint job.  What more can I say?  I went out with my husband, Bill, who took out the new Trek 69er.  (clever design!  I really like the 29 inch wheel in the front and the 26 inch wheel in the back… maybe a new WSD design?! Next year? Hmmm?)

Anyway, the trail was pretty smooth, and I took the new Fuel out kind of slow.  Lebanon hills is a pretty technical trail with a lot of tight turns and rollers, but nothing too scary.  Of course with the silky top fuel beneath me I would feel pretty comfortable on any trail.Dsc_0247

When I got done with one lap, I was informed that we weren't going to let anyone else go out on the trails due to the rain.  It wasn't raining very hard, but we didn't want to ruin the trails for the next guy. MORC does a good job of maintaining the trails, and it is good to see that Trek respects their hard work. I ended up leaving the demo early.  Julie, I hope everything worked out with the rain.  I had fun, and thanks for the jersey!

Well, that Saturday is when it started raining, and it didn't stop for a whole week.  Talk about miserable weather.  It was dark, cold and wet all week!  This week's weather looks to be a whole lot nicer.  I am even planning on hitting the trails with my new Fuel Ex.  I can't wait!

October 16, 2007

Getting Started

Dsc_0219 So, the last couple of months since I moved to Minnesota, I have been unemployed.  It has been a three month vacation; Sleeping in, reading romance novels, and eating ice cream.  YEAH RIGHT!  It has not been glamorous at all, but instead a lot of hard work and very stressful.  I have been busy finishing up my degree, moving into our house, buying furniture for our house, riding my bike like crazy, and trying to find a job.  I also spent the last two weeks house sitting for a couple with four kids.   

The dust is all settling now: I graduated with my BS in Exercise Science, for the most part our house is furnished and unpacked, and I got a Job!  I am now a Personal Trainer for LifeTime Fitness in Eden Prairie, MN.  I had to go through a grueling interviewing process, but I ended up with a really cool job.  I am very excited for this new endeavor in my life. 

I have training for the job this whole week, from sun up to sun down - (which is only about seven hours or so with all the cloudiness we have been having.)  Still, it is a lot of information to take in.  I feel like I am back in my organic chemistry class in college.  My organic chemistry teacher scared me to death with the amount of information we needed in order to do well in the class. This job is scaring me too.  Heaven forbid...  there is a ton to remember.

In between all of that my bike finally came!  I brought it home last night and sat it in the corner so it could watch the rain with me. (more on that later...) I cant wait to ride my bike on some trails, I cant wait to start work, I cant wait to just GET STARTED!!

In the mean time, light a candle for me, I am one busy girl.


October 12, 2007

It's Fall in Minnesota

Autumnriver_2I love the fall.  I am finding I love it even better in Minnesota.  Its the real deal here, unlike sunny California where I grew up.  The air is cool, the leaves are colorful, and I can drink hot chocolate all the time. 

It is probably my favorite season of the year, for so many reasons.  There's college football, warm sweaters, hot cocoa, and the smell in the air.  This morning I went for a run with my husband Bill at 6am.  We haven't woken that early for a run in a long time.  It was cold, dark, but worth it.  It was quiet and I just listened to our breathing and the sound of crunching leaves beneath our feet.  I don't remember what we talked about, I just remember how great the run was with him.  It was sort of romantic.

Think about some of your favorite things about this time of year.  It will be over fast, so get out there and do something fun in the leaves.

PS: Don't forget about the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride on Saturday!

October 10, 2007

Breast Get Aware

Breast_cancer_ribbon This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month!  So what does that mean to you?  Well if you have them...and want to keep is time to get "in the know" about breast health. 

Diagnosing breast cancer early can be essential to your survival.  If you have never been screened for breast cancer, talk to your doctor about the best method for you.  He or she may recommend a mammogram, clinical exam, or self examination. 

One more reason to get out and pedal my bike!  Research shows that increased physical activity reduces the risk for breast cancer

Thousands of women (and men) across the country will be pedaling for Breast Cancer Awareness this weekend.  Trek is holding their 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Ride this Saturday, October 13th.  I can't think of a better way to spend my Saturday morning. Come support a good cause, and get the exercise you need to reduce your risk for Breast Cancer.  Just go to Trek's website to sign up for the ride closest to you. 

I will be at the  Penn Cycle Store in Woodbury, MN this Saturday.  Hope to see you there!

October 5, 2007

Mother Health!

Mistyrunnersandbabyjogger2_2The next time someone tells me she has four kids, and can't seem to find the time to ride her bike or exercise, I will completely understand. I have been house sitting for some friends for two weeks now. They have four awesome kids, but how do you mothers do it? I don't know how anyone has the time to take kids to school, football, tennis, and music lessons, make them meals, help them with homework, do the laundry, and errands, much less get a good bike ride in. I have not exercised in three days, and it is just about killing me!

Studies are now showing that mothers really do get too little exercise. Its really not that surprising when you think how every kid in a mother's life comes before anything she does for herself. So the phrase "you kids are going to kill me one of these days" has some scary truths to it.
It is recommended that "in addition to eating right and minimizing risk factors such as smoking, exercise is the key to a healthier lifestyle". Lstroller_4

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise on five or more days a week. This may be a very difficult thing to do for most mothers out there, but it is your life that is at stake! Exercise has so many health benefits. It also has the ability to combat disease.

I have only had to endure two weeks of motherhood, but there will come a day when I will have kids of my own. I thought I should start right now to find ways to get exercise in with such a busy schedule. I came up with three tips:

1) Play with your kids. What better way to get exercise in than jumping on the trampoline or playing tag in the yard. If your schedule is packed, just squeeze in 10 minutes.

2) Ride a bike when ever possible. To the post office, bank, farmers market, or even to the store to pick up a few things. It takes a little longer, but you are getting two things done at once.

3) Do something you enjoy. Whether it is the new yoga class at your gym, or jogging with your friends early in the morning, make exercising something you look forward to. When it is something you want to do, you are more likely to do it, no matter how crunched your time is.

I give my "congratulations" and "keep it ups" to all you mothers out their who are already living a healthy way of life. Good luck to the rest of us!

Remember that your health is something you will only appreciate when it is gone. Don't wait. Get out there today and do something that will benefit your health.

Keep Riding!