Trek Women
September 29, 2007


I’m doing the She Got Bike festival tomorrow so I thought today would be a good day to rest my legs.  I rode around the yard a little bit with the kids and then remembered I needed to make a deposit at the bank before I overdrew my account for the third time this month.  So I jumped on my bike and headed to my bank which is about 4 miles away.  Yes, the perfect distance for an easy ride and a great reason not to drive. 

When I walked into the bank the strangest thing happen.  Everyone looked at me and froze.  It was as if I was carrying a gun and saying, “Don’t move this is a stick up!”  I stared back at everyone and they continued looking at me with the most perplexed looks on their faces.  At this point I thought maybe I had forgotten to put my clothes on.  Nope I was dressed.  Then I thought that maybe a bank robber was standing behind me holding a gun to my back.  Nope I was standing alone.  Then I thought maybe I had toilet paper hanging from my cycling shorts.  Nope not that either.  I couldn't figure out what the heck they were staring at.  Then it hit me.  A girl riding her bike to the bank.  That's what they were staring at!  Pretty freaking crazy, huh?   That’s almost as crazy as running into the Virgin Mary at the bank.

After several seconds of a really awkward silence everyone realized that I didn’t have the plague, I didn’t have a gun, and I wasn’t going to hurt anyone.  I was just riding my bike to the bank to make a deposit.  Finally an old woman spoke to me.  She said, “Wow, that’s what I should be doing.”  I agreed and then went into an entire monologue about the Lime bike and how it would be the perfect bike for her.  I think the whole bank was a bit relieved when I spoke in English and they realized I wasn’t from another planet.  After the old woman spoke to me it was as if I went from being a total freak to being a celebrity.  Suddenly everybody wanted to talk to me.  I spoke to about 8 people, none of which owned a bike, but they sure had a lot of questions.  The others listened intently.  One man even walked outside and talked to me in the parking lot for 5 minutes.  He was truly blown away.  For every 20 people I talk to maybe I’ll change one person’s way of thinking.  I can only imagine what all these people will tell their kids when they get home.  “Son, I witnessed the most unbelievable thing today.  A girl rode her bike to the bank…all the way from her house!”      

September 27, 2007


This is a big weekend for me and I have some serious pre-show jitters.  No, I’m not doing another show.  I’m modeling in the She Got Bike festival and expo that is happening this weekend in Maryland.  I am so lucky to be a part of such an amazing women's event.  I will be leading the 46 mile ride, speaking to the riders about my fabulous Trek gig and strutting my stuff on the runway.  Yes, a bike babe fashion show!  How cool is that? Sweetness and I are very excited about this big event.  What could be better than a bike festival that celebrates women that bike?  I have recruited a lot of women to ride and it’s going to be a blast.  The beauty of She Got Bike is that any woman at any level can ride.  There are 14, 25, 46 and 62 mile rides offered.  Jill from Trek will be there with the WSD demo trailer loaded with tons of bikes for everyone to try out.  I may even have the Loveman spruce up Sweetness for the big day!

When I woke up today I knew I needed to get on the scale just to see how I was doing in my Trek weight loss contest.  I had my bike fashion fitting to look forward to and I wanted the clothes to hang on me.  Ok, I don't think anything has ever hung on my body (except a monkey) but I thought it sounded good.  In one of my recent blogs (Enough Fat for Everyone) I made a promise to my public that I would lose 25 pounds.  Yes, losing weight sucks but I am up to 9 pounds in one month.  How did I do it?  I had my stomach stapled.  Yah right.  Since I have fallen in love with Sweetness (and I have fallen hard) I have been riding the heck out of my bike.  Last week I told the Loveman that I wanted to get rid of the car and ride my bike everywhere.  He once again grounded me, as he does so well, and reminded me that there is no way I could pull all of my monkies around on my bike.  My response was, “If I get a trailer for my bike I can at least pull 2 kids and the others can follow on their bikes.”  So maybe I am going a little overboard but Sweetness is the bomb!  Yes, I am cutting down on my eating but the constant riding is really helping.  A lot of people hate exercising but I’m telling you if you get a bike you can make it so much more enjoyable!    

So tonight I had to go in for my big fitting for the Bike Babe fashion show.  I was meeting with Katie from Joe’s Bike Shop and She Got Bike.  She is the buyer for the store and had picked out some pretty cute spring samples for us to wear.  Of course, I will be wearing the Trek clothes which seem to fit my body quite nicely.  Yes, like any woman I was a little nervous that the clothes might be a little too snug in a few places but everything fit perfectly.  I was having flashbacks of my photo shoot at Trek and thinking “Oh god, not the embarrassment of a fitting again!”  There’s nothing like being the girl trying on all of the larges when everyone else around you is wearing smalls and an occasional medium.  But I always have to remind myself that everyone’s body if different.  For example, I was given extra cushion in my belly so my kids have a place to put their head during story time.  See we can all brainwash ourselves into believing that every ounce of fat on our body is there for a reason and has a function.  Here’s your mantra for the day,  “I love my rolls, I love my jiggle, and I love my body!”  Now get out on that bike and ride!

September 26, 2007


Fiona1 Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day.  I did some laundry in the morning, played with my 2 youngest monkies and then went for a 30 mile ride in the afternoon.  I took a nice slow ride and enjoyed every minute with Sweetness.  When I returned I took a quick shower before going down to the bus to meet my kindergartener Fiona.  Today was a big day for her because she was riding the bus alone for the first time ever.  Her brother Liam had soccer practice after school.  Fiona is a pretty feisty girl and was looking forward to her first day of independence.  Seamus was taking a nap so Kiley and I walked down to the bus stop to meet her.  We live on a private road and the bus drops off at the end, which is about a quarter mile from our house.  We were there on time and as we waited we watched several fire trucks, ambulances and police cars race by.  At this point Fiona was about 30 minutes late getting off the bus.  Next thing I hear is two helicopters hovering above.  Now I’m starting to get nervous.  I call the Loveman to ask if she is already at the house.  Who knows, maybe the bus was early and I missed her?  No such luck.  The Loveman started getting a bit suspicious and left the house to check things out and pick up Liam from soccer practice. At this point it has been an hour and still no Fiona.  After several calls to the school, which is beyond closed at this point, I start to panic.  I start calling the police.  I have a feeling this is not a normal bus delay.  The Loveman runs into a police officer and asks if there has been an accident in Bel Air.  He tells him that there has been an accident on our road involving 4 cars and a school bus…school bus #667.  It's her bus.  Loveman tells me this and my heart sinks to my feet.   Now let me tell you something about Fiona.  About 4 years ago she survived a several ton 150 foot tree coming through our roof during a hurricane and stopping just short of her crib.  Her roof and walls caved in on her and she was buried in rubble in her crib at 18 months old.  She survived without a scratch.  At this point I say to myself, “Please not Fiona she’s already had her brush with death.”  Of course, I start to freak a little and then I think,  “I’ve got to get to the bus right now.”  My neighbor (who has lived next to us for 3 years and I have met only 3 times) pulls in the main driveway and asks me if I am ok.  When somebody asks if you’re ok, you know you don’t look so good.  I tell her what has happened and she asks if she can help.  I immediately say “Yes, take Kiley.”  I then run into the street and highjack a car.   I stop a 16 year old kid and say, “My daughter has been in the accident up the road and I have to get there now!”  He looks at me as if I might kill him and starts driving.  I then turn to him and say, “Don’t worry I’m not crazy and I’m not going to hurt you I just need to see my daughter.”  He says nothing but nods nervously.  Suddenly traffic stops, I get out of the car and start running up the street.  At this point I’m thinking, “God I wish I had my bike…I hate to run.”  I get about 3/4 mile up the hill and I see an ambulance coming toward me and ask them what is going on.  They tell me there were only 4 children on the bus and they were all taken to the hospital with minor injuries.  Now I’m really freaking out. What determines a minor injury?  Is it a broken arm or a scratch on your forehead?  I decide to highjack another car.  I run to the car behind me, which is a very nice SUV, and ask the woman for a ride back down the road.  Still thinking, “Dammit I wish I had my bike!”  I notice her locking her doors and looking at me as if I’m something out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.   I look at her and say, “I am a mom of a kid that was in the accident and need to get back to my house so I can go to the hospital.”  She starts moving stuff off the seat and then grabs her purse.  That was the tell tale sign that she knew I was a woman on the verge of something…but she had no idea what.  When I got in the car I noticed her 2 year old in the back seat calmly reading a book.  It all made sense.  She probably thought I was some barren woman that wanted to steal her child.  Our society has made everyone so paranoid that now people have such a hard time helping others out because they don’t know if the stranger is actually a nice person or a serial killer.  What a shame.  I told her I just needed a ride down the road.  When I got out of the car I told her I was the mother of four and really a good person.   My girlfriend Carrie was waiting for me in the driveway.  I jumped in her car and headed off to the hospital only to realize that Seamus my baby was in his crib taking a nap.  I called my neighbor Rick and put him in charge of finding someone to get Seamus and pick up Kiley at the random neighbors house.  I knew at this point my chances of winning mother of the year were slim.  When I got to the hospital all the other kids from the bus were there except for Fiona.  Just great.  Time for the second heart attack of the day.  After about ten minutes we were called to the emergency room bat phone because the police were looking for Fiona’s parents.  I talked to the dispatch operator who instructed us to go back to our road where we were going to receive a police escort to the accident site.  When we got to our road we met the officer who informed me that I was being arrested for leaving an infant unattended in my home.  Just kidding.  He told us that Fiona was just taken in an ambulance to the hospital.  It was like a scene out of Comedy of Errors.  We turned around and headed back to the hospital.  One again I thought, “I wish I had my bike.”  When we got there we saw Fiona on a gurney in the hallway with the EMS guys.  Her face was swollen from crying and her cheeks were covered in salty tear stains.  It had been 2 hours since the accident and I think she just needed to see her mom and dad. The EMS guys said they had a bed for her at the hospital.  I asked her if she wanted to stay and she said, “I just want to go home.”   Poor thing.  Luckily she was perfectly fine just shaken up a bit.  But I learned a major lesson…In a crisis situation you can get around a hell of a lot faster on a bike than in a car.  And why don’t more people ride bikes?

September 23, 2007


When I look in the mirror I see  all of my flaws.  Come on, who doesn’t?  I look at my face and see the many wrinkles around my eyes and I know that any plastic surgeon could do wonders with them.  I see my large Italian nose that looks as if it has been broken a couple of times in a boxing match.  I see my jet black nose hairs that remind me of my 69 year old father.  I see my pointy whiskers that seem to sprout from my face every five minutes totally unannounced.  I see my double chin that looks as if I am hanging on to a snack for later and I see thousands of gray roots that make me look as if I am a 39 year old girl living in a 60 year old body.  Then I pick up my right and left breasts and fit them snuggly into my under wire bra.   At this point I am only looking in the bathroom mirror….neck up.  If I had a full length mirror I would never leave the house. 

Ok, so if I really bought into all of my flaws I would be in therapy, have an eating disorder and probably be the most insecure person you have ever met.  Therapy would be so darn expensive and I'm sure my doctor would put me on some kind of mother’s little helper that would make me loopy and puffy…yes puffier than I already am.  The eating disorder would be a total drag.  I would have to go to the bathroom several times a day to barf.  Now because I am a mom I always have an audience in the bathroom.  Not only would my kids get to watch me pee, pooh and take care of my feminine needs, they now would have the added luxury of watching mom blow chunks.  Nice.  They would finally have something to contribute on the playground when all the kids tell their deep dark family secrets.  And yes, I could be a paranoid schizophrenic and then my monkies would finally understand what the heck a straight jacket was.  A good thing to know when you are 7, 5, 3 or 1 and a half years old. 

Luckily I am not the girl I just described.  If I was that girl the Loveman would have left me a long time ago.  So here is how I get out of bed every day, have a smile on my face and love whatever I am doing.  I start each morning out with a stiff screwdriver.  Just kidding.   Every day I celebrate small personal victories for myself as well as others. 

This weekend was incredible.  It was the final weekend for my show.  Here are my personal victories…

1.    I was able to fit into my red dress for the final number in Woman on the Rag.
2.    I was able to get a babysitter so the Loveman could see the show.
3.    I had friends come to see the show from OH, PA, NJ, DC, CT and NY
4.    Monkey #1 didn’t break his neck on his skateboard today.
5.    Monkey #2 kept one of her outfits on for over 20 minutes today.
6.    Monkey #3 only peed in her pants 3 times this weekend.
7.    Monkey #4 took a nap for an hour.
8.    People brought me flowers and laughed at my jokes.
9.    I got out of the house for a quick ride – alone!
10.  I had a satisfying bowel movement…with an audience of course.

Pretty amazing, huh?  So I decided that today was a day to celebrate others personal victories.  I went to a  cyclocross race and cheered on the riders all afternoon.  I only knew one rider out of all the professional and amateur cyclists and it was Liam, my son.  It was his first race of the season and he did great.  After the race he looked at me and said, “Mom I think I need to get a pair of those shiny tight shorts.  I’m gonna need them for the season.”  Personally I really liked his tie-dyed shirt and soccer shorts but if he needs the shorts to ride then its ok by me. 

There you have it.  I believe that not enough people pat themselves on the back for all the personal victories they accomplish.  In addition to our own victories we must take time to enjoy and support others in all they do. Whatever you do, find a way to celebrate the victory…no matter how small it is.  Size does not matter…I’m sure you’ve all heard that line before. 

September 21, 2007


Sandiego1_2 Yes, I am a jack of many trades (or random job girl) and one of the things I do is event planning, corporate meeting planning and trade shows.  This job covers everything from speaking at a trade show to making sure there are enough seats at a major gala to helping the CEO of a fortune 500 company to his limo.  Pretty glamorous, huh?  Yes, it involves a lot of butt kissing but I do love it.  I have been doing this kind of work for about 20 years and it never really gets old because each job is always different.   The best part of this job is the travel.  I get to travel to some pretty neat places and stay in some very high-end hotels and resorts.  If I am really lucky I get to extend my stay for few days and do some exploring of the area on my own.  People often ask me if the work is hard.   My response is always the same, “Hard?  This job is a vacation!  Trying having 4 monkies, now that’s hard work!”  Luckily the Loveman is great with the monkies and I am able to have a blast while I work without being worried or feeling too guilty. 

Sandiego2_2 A couple of weeks ago I had a corporate meeting at the Sheraton Harbor Hotel in San Diego.  The Loveman and I had lived in California for 7 years and we always enjoy going back there.  California has some of the best road and mountain biking that I have ever seen.  I was given my schedule ahead of time so I knew exactly when I had to work and when I got to ride my bike.  Now one of the many perks of being a Trek Woman Who Rides is wherever I go Trek hooks me up with a local Trek Store.  I was put in contact with Brett Smith the manager of all 3 of the San Diego Trek stores.  I gave him a ring and he set me up with a fantastic men’s Madone while I was in San Diego.  They were completely sold out of all of their WSD Madone’s.  No biggie because I always wanted to ride Lance’s model and I did.  When I showed up at the store Tony Fernandez fitted me on the bike, gave me a map and sent me on my way.  Now I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am directionally challenged.  I started riding and I got extremely lost but luckily I made it back to hotel 4 hours later.  Along the way I ran into several friendly riders.  One guy in particular really blew me away.  I rode up next to him and started chatting about the Trek mountain bike he was riding.  Then he glanced over at me and his eyes about popped out of his head.  He said, “Where did you get that bike.”  I told him Lance gave it to me.  Just kidding.  I told him my story to him and for a second I think he thought it was a bit far fetched but eventually he bought in and promised to check out the blog.  His story was way off the charts.  Sandiego3 His name was Fadi (pronounced Fatty) and he was a 44 year old asthmatic smoker that had just quit smoking after 25 years.  For real.  You couldn't make up a story like that.  He had borrowed his friend’s bike to see if he could handle the whole riding thing.  I told him to keep riding and to stop in and visit the boys at one of the San Diego Trek stores.

The next day I went out riding on Harbor Island and ran into one of the sweetest men ever.  He referred to himself as Lone Ranger Ricky and he was riding a Penny Farthing.  I had a blast talking to him about his bike and his passion for biking.  He had a different route for every day of the week as well as a different bike to go with it.  He had an incredible knowledge of biking and loved sharing it with me.  We even met another gentleman that was riding a Trek and hung out with him for a while.  All in all the trip was incredible and it was one of the friendliest places I have ever gone riding.  I hope another California trip comes up soon and if not, I’ll have to find a good excuse to go there!

September 19, 2007



My oldest son Liam is 7 years old.  When he was born I remember thinking to myself “When I have children I am going to play with them.”  Growing up my parents always played with all of my siblings as well as our friends.  They swam, rode a tandem and played tennis.  They were very athletic people.  My house was the place that all the kids in the neighborhood wanted to come and hang out.  It was the fun house.   As I grew older I began to observe all the parents that never really “played” with their children….and there are a lot of them out there.  What I mean by this is that parents take their kids places, buy them things, give them parental advice but they never actually get out and “play” with them.  Playing with your child would include things like riding bikes, playing ball, running, swimming or taking hikes with your child.  We all know only too well that instead of getting active many parents opt for TV or video games.  We’re either too old, too tired or too busy, it's an easy out.  Don’t feel bad, everybody does it. 

In my house I have a no TV during the day rule and I also have a rule that if I hear you say you are bored you get a swirly in the toilet.  Luckily none of my children have ever said that to me.  Boredom is an excuse for laziness and I don’t tolerate laziness too well.  I am far from being a perfect mom but one thing that I do know is that kids need to exercise just like adults.  Liammom2_4 It affects their mind, their mood and especially their weight.  We all know the reason behind why the obesity rate in children is sky high so I won’t get preachy.  BUT there is something that each and every one of us can do with our children.  Involve yourself in some type of physical activity with them.  Play with them!

Liam loves to ride his bike.  He watches the Loveman and I do it constantly so as a result he has a passion for it.   He has taken 10 mile rides with me and has done an incredibly great job.  The Loveman races cyclocross and Liam started doing it with him last fall.  Any race that Jim competed in he signed up Liam for the kids’ race.  The sad part of it was that at each race there were only about 10 kids competing.  The good part is that at least some kids were getting out and doing it.  Liam took last year’s season very seriously and even placed in a couple of the races.  He truly believes he is a World Cyclocross Champion in his age group and I think that’s pretty cool.  The Loveman even set up barriers in the yard so he could practice at home.  He’s dying for this year’s season to get started. 

Fionabike_3 My five year old Fiona is working hard at riding her bike and I continue to push her.  Sometimes she would prefer to dance in her coconut bra and her grass skirt over riding her bike and that’s ok by me.  At least she is doing something and we can do it together...except I don’t wear the coconut bra.  Who knows, maybe she’ll be a belly dancer.  It really is a killer workout for your core and you can make some decent money as dancer.

As parents we always have to keep in mind that we are the bosses of our monkies, not the other way around.  So get out there and play with your kids.  Do something!  Dance, run or ride your bikes around the block!  It will stay with them for a lifetime.  Who knows you too could have a World Champion on your hands.

September 17, 2007


Image002 Sometimes when there is a lot of tension in a relationship nine times out of ten it is because the couple hasn’t had sex in ages.  Sex in pretty important in keeping a relationship alive.  Once you have sex it's like you have broken the ice and presto you like your partner again.  It is a magical moment that immediately makes any wrongdoings right again.  It is the cure all for the relationship blues.  I’m sure that anyone that has ever been in a relationship can relate to what I am saying. 

This past week was pretty intense for me.  The show I was producing and performing in, Woman on the Rag, was opening and I was completely and totally out of my mind.  I had a lot to accomplish before the show opened and I was working my ass off, not to mention I have four little monkies that needed some attention.  The Loveman was very helpful all week.  He was assuming his position as Susan Mele’s (a.k.a. Roxi Starr’s) personal assistant, father of our monkies, sound mixer for the show, punching bag when needed and of course, Loveman the Tech.  Bottom line there was not a lot of time for intimacy and the tension was building.  AND...I had not been on Sweetness in five days...not good. 

Overall, my  opening weekend went really well.  I arrived home at 1am on Saturday night after my show.  I was exhausted.  The Loveman was up doing laundry and asked me to hang up a couple of random clothing items.  Well that just set me off.   I thought to myself, "Does he have any idea of what kind of a week I had and now he wants me to put away laundry?"  Clearly the tension was building between us.  I went to bed ticked off.  I was lying there thinking about how I could throw him out of bed after he fell asleep.  When I woke up I started getting ready for a 50 mile ride that we were doing with our cycling club.  Because I am a woman I was unable to drop the fact that I was not very pleased with his behavior.  Women have the uncanny ability to hang onto things for a long time...sometimes weeks, days and even months.  We started to leave the house and I was not feeling a lot of love toward him if you know what I mean.  I put my ipod on low and hopped on my bike.  He looked (more like glared) at me then ripped out of the driveway in a huff and made me chase him to the club meeting spot.  The whole way there my blood was boiling.  How dare he leave me in the dust and ditch me before we even get to the meeting spot?  When I arrived the ride took off.  I was nowhere near him for fear that my my emotions would overtake me and I might get crazy and push him off his bike.   But on a happier note my hormonal explosion was giving me a lot of energy on the climbs.  Eventually the Loveman rolled up next to me and I started taunting him.  Next thing you know we are having a full on ball busting nasty argument while we were riding.  Once our discussion came to a lull my friend Jeff rode up next me and said,  “I think next time you really need to tell him exactly how you feel.”  Smart ass. 

We continued riding another 30 miles. My endorphins were flowing and I was totally in the cycling groove.  I was having a blast chatting with friends, Sweetness was performing nicely and I couldn’t have been happier.  Every time the Loveman came near me we would harass each other in a playful way.  I think I may have even smacked his butt a couple of times.  When the ride ended we stopped with the group for coffee and had a nice casual ride home.   It was as if we were never even pissed off at each other.  The ice had been broken and the tension relieved…by working it out on the bike.   A good ride can be like sex…and yes, it can also lead to sex if you’re not careful.  Beware, the bike can be more  powerful than you think.

September 14, 2007



Loveman the Tech likes to refer to me as Susie D after a ride.  No this is not a term of endearment.  It is merely because immediately after a ride I am severely dehydrated.  I would like to share a few tips with you as to how one can recognize dehydration.

1.    If your tongue starts feeling really thick and sticks to the roof of your mouth.
2.    If you have a migraine headache and can’t remember what your name is or where you live.
3.    If you haven’t urinated in days and when you do its only a few yellow drops. 
4.    If you get light headed, fall off your bike, and wake up dressed in men’s clothes.
5.    If you start picking your scabs and sucking the blood out of your wounds after a ride.
6.    If you return from a ride with two full bottles of liquid and start speaking in tongues.
7.    If your lips are cracked and you have lots of white thick disgusting crust around the edges.
8.    If you start seeing double while riding your bike and ride into an oncoming school bus.
9.    If your skin has a thin covering of white crystals and your dog won’t stop licking you.
10.    If you don’t recognize your family after you return from a ride and insist that your neighbor is a terrorist.

If any of these tips sound like you than you are a victim of severe dehydration just like I was.  I suggest next time you go out riding you have 2 tall glasses of water before you leave and drink 2  full water bottles while on your ride. If you don’t follow my recipe for good hydration you run of the risk of severe dehydration and that can only lead to death and god knows we don’t want that to happen!  Remember, it’s not easy to ride your bike when you are dead.  Less talking, more drinking.  Happy riding!

September 12, 2007


Joe1 After I won the Women Who Ride contest we were all asked to pick a local shop that we wanted to use as our personal bike shop.  They wanted this shop to be a place that we were familiar with in our area and felt comfortable using when we needed bike help.  Loveman the Tech had pretty much been to every shop in Maryland.  (As a matter of fact, I think all the money we have saved for our monkies' education has already been spent supporting bike retailers).  I had only been to a few shops in our area and after I mentioned it to the Loveman he said, “Well, who are you using?”  For me, this was a no brainer.  I immediately said, “Joe’s Bike Shop in Mt. Washington.”   He nodded his head and told me I had made a good choice.  He had been to Joe’s Bike Shop (also known as Mt. Washington Bikes) several times and I had only been there a couple of times. 

The first time I walked into the shop was a few years ago and I remember thinking “I wonder if I’ll get to meet Joe?”  I’ll admit I was a little nervous at first.  Joe2_2 I can’t help it but I kind of feel like all the guys in the back snicker when I woman walks in.  Sorry, but some chics feel that way and a lot of guys do stupid stuff like that.  You know, the male intimidation factor.  But much to my surprise I met a nice, handsome, soft-spoken, easygoing guy.  When I left I thought, “I wonder is that was Joe?”  Being a little shy (which I am normally not), I never asked his name.  The second time I met him I was at the 2nd annual She Got Bike Festival.  He was hanging in the Trek demo trailer answering all the women’s questions about bikes, bike maintenance and god knows what else.  This guy totally knows what he’s talking about and he says things in a non-condescending manner that doesn’t make you feel like a total bike idiot….a very impressive quality.  So of course, when I had to pick a shop Joe’s Bike Shop came to mind. 

Joe3_2 When I walked in the shop yesterday I was a little anxious because I knew I had to tell Joe what was wrong with Sweetness.  I had gotten caught in the rain on a ride and my shoe slipped while getting back into my pedal.  Loveman the Tech had looked at it and said, “Wow, that must have been a pretty good fall.  It looks like you bent your rear derailleur and I don’t have the tool the fix that.”  I took a deep breath and told Joe what happened.  I was ready for him to laugh outloud and then run to the bathroom and laugh even harder.  He did no such thing.  He put Sweetness in the repair stand, fixed the rear derailleur, cleaned the chain and gave me a really sassy Joe’s Bike Shop women’s t-shirt and a cool cap for the Loveman and I to fight over.  He even said he was going to try and see Woman on the Rag.  Sweetness looked so great that we even posed for some photos.  As Joe walked me out to the car I thanked him and thought to myself, “Watch out Loveman the Tech…it looks like you’ve got some real competition.”

When I got home I told the Loveman about my visit with Sweetness just to see if I could get a rise out of him.  He turned me and said “Don’t worry honey I’ve got an awesome set of tools.”   

September 10, 2007


OK ...Here’s my essay. Carneyfamily
When I first saw your ad for Trek Women Who Ride I thought to myself, “this is so me”.  I am definitely the poster chiclet for Trek.  No, I am not some buff athlete that races for a living.  I am the mother of four small monkies who has used her bicycle as her saving grace.  Without my bike I could easily become a horrible, fat, angry, out of shape mother and wife.  Who wants to be around that person?  Not me!  Through my bike I have been able to channel my mental, physical and social needs in such a way that it has completely changed my life.

Over the past seven years I have been pregnant for forty months, gained two hundred ten pounds, lost two hundred ten pounds and nursed for a total of forty eight months….not to mention my body has a been a hormonal battlefield. My bike has gotten me through all of this.  Without cycling I would be a mess.   Some women eat, some take happy pills and some beat their husbands.  I made the decision a long time ago that I didn’t want to do any of those things.

Physically I have used my bike to keep me in shape during each of my pregnancies.  I rode until my sixth month of each pregnancy and then stopped riding when I could no longer reach the handle bars….of course I continued taking spinning classes up until the day I delivered.  Once I delivered I was back on my bike within seven days and I even have the pictures to show it!  I knew it was the only way I could get out of the house and remain sane as well as drop fifty five pounds. Unfortunately I am not one of those women whose baby weight just falls off.  I needed my bike and luckily I was able to lose all of my weight after each pregnancy.

Getting up and out of bed, managing my family, holding down a part time job and keeping my life together is pretty hard.  Getting my kids taken care of, preparing my bike and riding for thirty miles every other day is even harder. But I do these things because I know I can eventually get out on the road, get some good exercise, clear my mind, get my endorphins going and feel totally refreshed when I get off my bike.  I am always a much nicer person to be around after a ride.  I not only ride for myself but for my seven year old Liam, my five year old Fiona, my three year old Kiley, my eleven month old Seamus and of course my husband Jim.

I am a huge advocate for using your bike to make a total lifestyle change.   My bike is my life, my religion and my world.  There is nothing I would love more than to share these passions and my story with Trek.