Trek Women
April 29, 2008


When I started this Trek gig I was so excited and I wanted to tell everyone that I was a "Women Who Rides".  Most of my conversations went a little something like this...

Susan: Hey, guess what?
Random Stranger: What?
Susan: I'm a Trek Women Who Rides!
Random Stranger: Rides what?
Susan: (indignantly) Rides what!?!  Are you kidding me?!?!
Random Stranger: Yah, like a car, a bus, an airplane.
Susan: No!  Didn't you hear me!  I'm a TREK Women Who Rides!
Random Stranger: Ok, so you ride horses?
Susan: No, you freakin idiot!  BIKES!

Yah, people thought I was a bit of a freak.  Oh well.  I guess if you don't ride a bike than being a "Women Who Rides" doesn't matter much to you.  BUT in actuality it does.  Being a Women Who Rides is one of the cooler things I've done in this lifetime and I mean that with all my heart.

Get ready because Trek has done something super duper cool. They have decided to have a "Women Who Ride Club" that includes more than 5 women!  Anyone (except stinky boys) can become a member!

I am currently a member and I received my shiny new fabulous shirt today.  So get online and sign up pronto!  There are gifts to be received (shirts, hats, socks), raffles to be won (WSD bikes, Trerk Travel Trips) and fun to be had (rock star party passes)!  Check it out!

April 27, 2008


This has clearly been a big week of firsts for me.  First brick, first mammogram and first 5K.  This morning I participated in the Women's 5K by the Bay race.  It was a beautiful 5K run in Harve de Grace, MD. 

I have a few friends that are runners that asked to me to do the run with them.  I thought, "What have I got to lose?".  I have been harassing my friends to start riding so I figured I had to get out and do a little running with them.  Fair is fair.  On top of that I plan on doing some triathlons this summer so I thought this could help.

Pic43 I had been training on a treadmill for a few months and had run outside maybe twice.  Yes, I know (as I've been told 100 times) that running outside is totally different than the treadmill.  So there I was this morning out in the cold at 7:30am and hating life (I'm not a morning person).  Oh ya, and did I mention I don't like running?  I was also having a hard time getting past the fact that this would  be a short workout (i.e. waste of my time) as opposed to riding 30 miles and getting a great workout on the bike. 

With all of my negative thoughts in check I shimmied up to the starting line and ran my big butt off.  I kept trying to visualize getting into the "zone" but I don't think I actually ever found it.  Finally I crossed the finish line as I watched the clock switch to 28:00.  I came in 79th out of 340.  So there you have it.  I made it and it wasn't bad at all.  My friend Jen even took 9th place overall!  My goal for my next run will be to beat her time of 21:00.  Yah right, in my dreams!

April 25, 2008


This was a big week for me.  Drum roll please...I had my first mammogram!  Of course I had heard all about them and how your breasts get manipulated throughout the process and how it really hurts, but I had never experienced it first hand.  I had always thought that there weren't too many things that could be worse than nursing four kids so I wasn't really nervous. 

As I sat in the lobby many thoughts raced through my head.  I wondered who was there for the first time, who was there for a routine recheck and who already knew they had breast cancer.  I thought about my fate, my family, my life and hoped that my breasts photographed well. 

My technician was fantastic and everything went well.  No pain, no tears, just easy conversation.  When I left the office I started thinking about all the women in our country that can't afford a mammogram.  Then I remembered the click to give free mammograms at the Breast Cancer website.  Just by clicking you can give free mammograms to women who can't afford them.  Please bookmark the site and click every day.  Its a great way of helping other women and its free.

Cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis are all horrifying diseases that can strike a women at any time. There are specific ways to take care of ourselves so we can better our chances of not being struck by one these heinous illnesses.  Number one thing, EXERCISE.  Yep, EXERCISE.  Did I say EXERCISE?  It can change your life in such a positive way while keeping you healthier.   If you don't have a bike, get one and start riding!  If you have one and aren't riding it, take it in for a quick tune-up and then reunite yourself with an old friend.

One life, one chance.  Have fun and make it worth it.

April 24, 2008


Back in January I decided I was going to start doing triathlons.  (You can start laughing now.)  This meant I needed to start swimming and running.  When I was younger I was on a swim team and I have always been a pretty efficient swimmer.  I like to swim and I have good staying power.  Needless to say I wasn't too concerned about the swimming. 

Now onto the running.  I have always hated running.  I find it boring, boring, boring.  With that being said I decided to give it the old college try.  I figured if I could ride my bike forever then I could run a little bit, right?  So I started on the treadmill, a little at a time and now I'm kind of a runner...I guess...but not really.  I got new shoes.  Doesn't that count?

A couple of days ago my friend Kim organized a group of people to do a little ride (22miles) immediately followed by a little run (3 mi) in preparation for triathlons.  When I got there  she asked me if this was my first brick.  I know the look on face was like "What the hell is a brick?"   

When I was a kid my mom used to refer to our "poops" as "bricks".  I honestly thought to myself,  "Why is Kim talking about poops?"   She brought me right back to my youth.  Then she explained when you combine the elements of the tri its called brick training.  Duh.  Yes, I'm a little slow sometimes but now I get it!

I am happy to say that I did my first brick and it felt pretty good.  I can't wait to do more brick training...minus the poops.   

April 23, 2008



Retroprom_2 Roxi (my alter ego) had a crazy schedule this week.  This past weekend Roxi performed at a benefit for The Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick, MD.  It was the Retro Prom and everyone was dressed in their best 80's prom attire.  The theatre made about $15,000 which means it was a great night for everyone.

Roxi hosted, did a little impromptu comedy, ran the live auction and kept the crowd hopping.  What's a party without Roxi? 

April 21, 2008



This whole story totally had me cracking up.   An American inventor, Michael Chen, that lives in the UK has won an international design competition.  He won a £6,000 prize for his Reactiv cycle jacket, which changes color as the cyclist brakes.

The inspiration for the jacket came from wanting to feel safer when cycling the streets of London.  He said, "I cycled round London in the dark wearing my first prototype. It was a £10 waterproof jacket with LEDs stuck on by gaffer tape."  He continued, "For the first time, I noticed that cars passed me more slowly, gave me more room, and that the drivers and passengers were even making eye contact."

Here's how the jacket works.  It uses an accelerometer to sense movement, changing the color of LEDs on the back from green when accelerating, then to red when braking.  A tilt switch in the jacket also makes LEDs in the arm flash amber when the wearer lifts their arm to indicate a turn.

Clearly this guy is onto something.  How many times have you attached a blinking light to a pocket on your jacket?  I'm thinking of contacting this guy to see is he'll design one for me.  If not, I'll give the Loveman some gaffer tape, a few LEDs and tell him to get on it!  After all, he is Loveman the tech and this should be right up his alley.

April 19, 2008


I met Rich Cook, the Director of Development for IMBA while at the National Bike Summit in DC.  I sat next to him at the opening night dinner.  He was a charming and engaging and we chatted quite a bit about biking and our children. 

Our conversation started with me telling him how two of my kids had fevers and one had been up all night vomiting.  He then proceeded to tell me that he had also left a sick wife and two sick children behind.  We both realized how lucky we were to be at the Bike Summit and not with our super sick monkies. 

As we talked about bikes I asked him what he rode.  He told me he only had a mountain bike and he rode it everywhere.  Then he told me all about his fancy trailer for his kids.  Basically what he does on the weekends or evenings is load up the trailer with his kids and runs errands.  He goes to the park, to the store, to the market, to the neighbors or anyplace he can think of.  Not a bad idea.

That's exactly what I did on Saturday.  I hooked up my trailer and took kids up and down the street on rides.  I did this for about 2 and a half hours and it was a killer workout.  I even raced my oldest son while pulling 100 pounds.  So next time you can't find a sitter just hook up the trailer and ride around the neighborhood.

FYI - Make sure your kids have helmets on and are buckled in!

April 18, 2008



I attend several spinning classes every week and there is one instructor, Vicki, that I find truly inspiring as a Women Who Rides.  She has been a fitness instructor for 20 years not to mention a nurse and an investment banker.  She is currently retired but still teaches many classes at my gym and is a constant reminder to never give up.  I thought her message was important enough to share.

I was always a very active child. Horseback riding, rodeo riding, and swimming were a few of my many passions but at the age of 12 I started having pain in my right quadricep.  Soon thereafter, I learned that my hip had come out of the socket. The condition is called Slipped Capital Epiphysis.  To correct the problem, I underwent surgery that involved placing the bone back into place and inserting 4 long pins.  Almost exactly a year later, my left hip came out of the socket and I found myself back in surgery with the 4 more pins being inserted in my left hip.  At least I was “balanced”.

This was the beginning of many physical obstacles for me but, it was also the beginning of my “learning process”. How to cope with physical challenges when one is so active. Never giving up was the key.

In 1980 I began experiencing a lot of abdominal (GYN) difficulties which led to six different surgeries with the final one being a complete hysterectomy at the age of 22.  Then in 2005 my bad luck resurfaced. From 2005 to 2007 I had two foot surgeries (right and left), a rotator cuff repair surgery that resulted from a severe dislocation of my right shoulder and; in October of 2007 a total hip replacement. Apparently, after 35 years of living with my pins, the right hip suffered from some complications. Subsequently, a complete hip replacement became necessary.  Although I was frustrated, I knew that I could no longer function with the intense hip pain that had developed in early 2007.  The pain gradually increased to the point that I would teach classes, drive home and my husband would have to help me out of the car. 

Now, four months later, I am back to teaching cycling classes and most of the other types of classes I so love.  I am told that eventually my left hip will also have to be replaced, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Through the multitude of surgeries, I have maintained one belief. I am so lucky!!  Every physical challenge I’ve faced has been one that is “fixable”.  Maybe inconvenient, uncomfortable, frustrating, and just generally a pain-in-the-neck, but they’ve all been resolved and I’ve returned to my life, my activities and my health. Not everyone has been so lucky -- I try to remember that when I start to feel sorry for myself. There is always someone much worse off than me.

Think positive, keep moving and, never give up!!  Those are the words I try to live by.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story. I pray for all of you out there that are suffering from an ailment, a disease, or a physical obstacle.  Recovery can be a struggle but it can also be a journey, God bless your journey and share it with others in hopes it will help to inspire courage and hope.


April 12, 2008


Disney Disney1

It has been a busy weekend.  Not only have I gone back to Florida for work this week but I have also done a lot of crazy stuff.  This time I am staying at the Disney Swan Hotel and its all business.  I have been planning events and performing as Roxi.  So far so good. 

Disney2_2 Roxi is a big hit in Disney.  When people see her they are automatically drawn to her and then they ask themselves, "Now which Disney character is she...I can't seem to remember?"  People have taken more photos with Roxi than they have with Santa Claus.  Disney loves Roxi and Roxi loves Disney.  As a matter of fact, Disney is thinking about doing a cartoon based on the relationship between Mickey Mouse and Roxi.  Roxi is really moving up in the world.   

So between playing Roxi on the Disney Boardwalk and planning corporate events I've been pretty busy.  Hopefully I'll get on my bike soon!

April 9, 2008


Last night I decided to do some mountain bike night riding with the Loveman and a friend.  I hated every minute of it.  It was during this ride that I realized I was the crankiest, suckiest mountain biker around.  I couldn't believe that I actually ever referred to myself as a mountain biker. 

The trails were covered in leaves, there were about 20 stream crossing and the rock gardens were bigger than my backyard.  It had rained last week but we thought this particular park would be pretty well drained.  So on top of all the other crap I was dealing with I was carrying my bike A LOT.  I was on the bike, then off the bike, then on the bike, then off the bike.  The spoiled bike diva was not having fun in the dark.

During the short amount of time that I was on my bike I fell about 30 times.  The more I fell the more pissed off I got and the more pissed off I got the more I fell.  Mountain biking is all mental and once you get in a negative mindset you're screwed. 

Just to add insult to injury I put new pedals on that were a little on the tight side.  At one point during the ride I had fallen and was trapped underneath my bike (like a turtle) because I could not get my left foot unclipped.  At another point I was sliding my bike under a huge tree trunk that was across the path and then climbing over the tree.  My state of mind was not good and I was spouting off like a truck driver...and yes, the Loveman had a good time making fun of me.

All that being said I am going to pretend that ride never happened and with a little attitude adjustment I'll be out on the trails again.  Maybe next time I won't look like someone beat my legs with a baseball bat.