Trek Women
December 30, 2007

Shout out to Idaho Mountain Touring

Dsc_0333 As some of you know, I just moved to Minnesota about 6 months ago. When I lived in Boise, Idaho, I worked at a store called Idaho Mountain Touring, IMT.  It was by far the best job I have ever had.  I got to work with people, and bikes, which is a great combination.

The people I worked with were awesome.  Here is a little run down.

There is Chris, the owner, who is a small guy, but he has enough passion for biking to fill an entire room.  Bill is Chris' son. The same passion is not there, but don't go easy on him, he can handle himself on a bike (when he is in shape).  Brian, is the manager.  If you want to see someone do their job really well, go down to IMT and talk to Brian.  I can't say enough good things about him.  Then there is Kevin.  I don't know exactly what Kevin's job is, but he does drink a lot of Green Tea Frappuccino from Star Bucks.   Jared is one of the very reliable guys who knows how to take care of business.  He can also always be found with his trusty side-kick Todd.  (Todd is one of those guys who hangs out at the shop so much that he is not even acknowledged when he walks in anymore- he is treated like one of the employees).  Antonio is the superstar athlete who everyone wants to be like when they grow up.  Ann is the accountant, and the sweetest lady around.  I don't know why everyone said she was so mean about missing a time punch.  I forgot to punch in all the time, and she never harassed me :-)  Brett is the pro cyclist who only works part time because he rides so much.  I rode mountain bikes with him a few times...he is really fast.  One time we both rode up to Bogus Basin Ski Resort... but I left an hour before he did, just so he wouldn't pass me.  Annie is the fun one who comes to work waiting for something new or exciting to happen.  She is also the only other girl who I worked with while I was there.  All the other guys I worked with are just as amazing- sorry if I didn't mention your name directly. Dsc_0332

The reason I mention IMT is because I was able to visit Boise Idaho for the holidays this year.  It is actually all due to a series of fortunate events.  As soon as I moved to Minnesota with my husband, his family moved to Boise Idaho!  Now on the holidays I am able to visit my in laws, and friends.  It's great!

Idaho Mountain Touring is one of the best places to shop in Boise. The old building with the squeaky floors, and the down to earth, family friendly environment is great.  If you happen to visit, it is likely that you will have a great experience that keeps you coming back for more.

I miss you guys at IMT.  I can't wait to come back and visit again.   

December 19, 2007

Not quite over yet

Snowflake
I stopped riding my bike to work a couple weeks ago. I rode on a day where the temperature was negative, and by the time I got about 5 miles out, my feet and hands were so cold I felt like turning back. The problem was- I was already halfway there. When I arrived at work, I had a hard time walking on my frozen feet. I made up my mind that commuting to work was over until spring.

After a week and a half of driving to and from work, I decided to brave the elements again. What changed my mind? The temperature was in the 20's! I was nervous to go out in the cold again, but once I was out there, it was great. I overdressed quite a bit and ended up a little sweaty when I arrived. My toes didn't freeze at all!

So, my winter riding may not be over quite yet. I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks, but when I get back I hope there are more days of 20 degree temperatures.

Keep Riding!

December 11, 2007

Ode to Winter Cycling

Snow_bikeHey! It is almost Christmas and I am starting to feel absolutely jovial. I went to a Christmas devotional for my church on Sunday night, where a lot of people sang songs and a few people talked. It was a ton of fun, especially the singing part. Some of those people could belt out Christmas songs in such a way that Santa, sitting in the North Pole, would not only hear them he would complain to the local authorities.

Anyway, in a special ode to cycling this winter (my first where the snow stays for MONTHS!) I have decided to come up with ten things that I love about frosty Minnesota.

1. I never overheat
2. Cars drive slowly in the snow
3. Frosted eyelashes. Seriously. I thought that this was something that only happened to folks who climbed Everest. Not true. It happened to me.
4. Fishtailing. It turns a boring ride to the store into a roller coaster ride of excitement.
5. Pretty white snow. At night, with our windows open it is almost as light as when it is day on account of the light reflected off the snow.
6. Dirty nasty slushy snow. (for fishtailing in)
7. People are generally pretty upbeat. This is a very positive thing. I think it is because if you were prone to negativism you would have either moved to Florida or killed yourself after the first winter. Darwin says that only positive thinkers survive Minnesota.
8. People leave their Christmas lights on all year (it is pretty much appropriate here).
9. Blankets. Many, many blankets that are toasty warm and plug into the wall.
10. Minnesotans. These people are great. The other day, as I was pulling in to work, and mentioned to my coworker that –13 was rather nippy he just laughed, and said that he did not even put on a jacket until at least –20. –40, according to the average Minnesotan is cold. Anything warmer than that is positively balmy.

Ahh, the cold! What a pleasure! It occasionally hurts my fingers and toes and freezes the tender hairs in my nose, but on the whole it is lovely. It makes blankets possible – and blankets are lovely things.

Have fun out there girls!

December 10, 2007

My Crazy Life

My house is a wreck.  The kitchen is piled high with dishes that have not been washed in a week.  The living room has a board game spilled halfway across the table, books in a stack on the floor and papers for my clients fanned out across the rug.  The bedroom has cycling tights and winter gloves of all sizes draped on the dresser, shoes for running, cycling, and work are thrown in the corners and trying to hide under the bed, which is not made, and has not been for a while.

I am busy.  Tomorrow is a twelve-hour day at work.  I have two clients in the morning and four in the afternoon, plus some fitness assessments and a lunch break.  After I finish writing this I will sit down to the chaos across the living room floor and figure out what exercises we are going to do.  Tomorrow I will leave by nine o’clock in the morning and I will get home by ten o’clock that night.  It is dark and freezing when I go into work and it is dark and freezing when I get home.  Whew!

Is this what life is like?  Is everyone this busy?  Is this normal and I just have a crazy dream that sometime life will slow down and I will have time to breathe?  Or do I even want life to slow down?  Just yesterday I was running with Bill and I looked over at him running beside me and realized that what we were doing then was a perfect metaphor for my life so far.  Run (or ride) as fast and as far as possible.  Enjoy the view when you catch your breath.

Have fun out there girls, and keep that heart rate up!

December 3, 2007

Me vs. The Cold

Bikes Tuesday it was three degrees outside.   If those degrees had been driving, they would have barely been able to ride in the carpool lane.  A cop probably would have pulled them over just to make sure that they were legal.  Whew!  Anyway, I rode to work on Tuesday and met each one of those degrees personally.

I bundled up pretty well, I had long tights and shoe covers on the lower half of me, and spandex, a jacket and a heavier ski jacket upper half of me.  I had big fatty lobster gloves for my hands and an old school aviator’s hat – ear flaps included – for my head.  When I went outside I thought that I would be all right.  (insert ominous music here)

The cold seeped in through the seams of everything.  Two blocks down the street my elbows and knees started getting chilly, then my fingers and toes started to tingle, then my face froze off.   The ear flaps of my old school aviator’s hat kept flapping up letting frigid drafts in, and the pit-zips on my ski jacket turned traitorous.  Luckily my nose was running pretty steadily so my upper lip and chin kept toasty warm.

Fortunately there are some minor hills on the way to my work, so getting up those hills warmed me up – except for my poor toes.  My toes started tingling, then outright hurting, then they hurt so bad I thought that I would lose my toenails.  When I took off my socks once I got to work I was scared that my toenails would go with them.  Wow, what can I say, it is COLD outside.

When I got to work though, I felt like a champ.  My boss called me “hard core” which felt good because I do not feel particularly hard core, but I would like to be.  What is the limit though?  Where do you cross the line, or is it a line that can only be crossed after a long time – for example someone who rides their bike when it is 3 degrees outside is unlucky, or does not plan well or is foolish, but then if someone rides their bike all year and many of those days are really cold, then that person is hard core?