Trek Women
August 28, 2008



The day I went to register for Iron Girl Columbia my left eye was itchy and swollen.  I had told my friend Diane that I was sure I had been bitten by a bug.  When I did the race the next day I noticed several bug bites on my face but just thought that maybe the same bug had bitten me several times.

Then it got worse and someone said to me, "Honey those aren't bug bites, you have poison ivy."  That was the just the beginning.  For the past four days I have watched puss filled itchy bumps appear all over my body.  The only place they appear in big clusters is on my face and my left eye is very swollen and looks as if I've been popped.

Last night I went to Patient First and got a shot and some steroids to take along with Benadryl.  Other that that I have been bathing in Benadryl gel.

So I'm headed to New Hampshire for a wedding this weekend and I'm hoping that my friends will still be able to recognize me.  I would have included a photo but I'd rather let you use your imagination. 

Lesson - Don't wait until the end of the summer to pull your weeds when they are 4ft. tall.  Maybe next time I'll wear a wet suit. 

August 27, 2008



So I finished, I'm recovered and happy to report that I am done with triathlon number 2, the Iron Girl Columbia.  The swim was 1/4 mile longer than last week (don't ask me why) and I finished in 2:05.  Not extremely impressive but I did ok in my age group and 400th out of 1700 so I felt good about that.  Now that I have the drill I know what I need to work on! 

Here's a few things I learned a few things about myself as an athlete (using the term loosely of course). 

  1. I like doing a lot a things in a short period of time that way I don't get bored.
  2. I shouldn't worry about how I look in my suit and shorts.  There are a lot of other women that also look like sausages.
  3. I don't like seaweed, lily pads or sea muck.  I found it in some odd places after the race. 
  4. I never realized that treading water for 7 minutes would be such a great warm-up for the swim.
  5. I don't like everyone having their age on the back of their leg.  I found it very distracting.
  6. I need to get a milk crate to sit on during my transitions. 
  7. Don't ever get caught on your neighbors milk crate during transitions.  Not so good.
  8. I don't think I should talk to people while they are racing.  They don't seem to like it.
  9. I should never have tried to instigate a towel whipping contest in the transition area.  It really pisses the racers off. 
  10. I had a blast racing and enjoyed reminding myself that while I was involved in 2 solid hours of exercise most people were still in bed.

Irongirl I had fun doing the Iron Girl with my friend Diane and never for a moment did we take ourselves too seriously.  All good, all fun, all the time! 

August 23, 2008



About a week ago I finally got out and did my first ever sprint triathlon (insert loud thunderous applause).  I did the Northeast Maryland Triathlon and I finished.

My friend Offie was doing it so I figured I might as well give it a shot.  The registration went very well.  How could it not?  I just had to hand someone my ID, get my packet and find my spot in the transition area.  Easy stuff.  Everyone seemed very serious with their pre-race jitters so the kids and I just screwed around and enjoyed the beauty of the bay, the local marina restaurant and the park where the race was being held. 

P8171941_2 At 4:45AM on race day I was not too happy about doing the tri.  Why, you ask?  Leg cramps, dehydration, fear?  Nope.  Just the pure hatred for getting out of bed in the morning and better yet while its still dark.  I laid in my bed wondering how triathletes do it. 

I was at the transition area at 6:00am and finished setting up my stuff by 6:05am.  I still had an hour and ten minutes to hang out.  Note to self - don't get there so early next time. 

P8172024 Once I got in the bay to do my swim I was thrilled to be starting.  I was in the first-timers group and suddenly everyone turned into chatty Cathy.  Nerves of course.  Yes, I was a little nervous, so I just peed.  Doesn't everyone pee during the swim?  I would hate to add 2 minutes to my time just for using a porta-potty. 

The first transition was a learning experience.  I was sure I could get my cycling shorts on if I dried off my butt and legs.  Wrong.  I could barely get them on and as a result I was showing my butt for a good portion of the ride.  Overall, the ride was fun...but then onto running, my least favorite part.  Luckily it was at the end or I may have just bailed if I started out with running.

Sue_northeast_tri_finish_08_2 Finally (thank god) I finished and I did it in under 2 hours.  Overall I think I did OK.  My main goal was to finish and have fun along the way.  And yes, I had a lot of fun.  As I crossed the finish line I realized how much I really enjoyed the sound of the cow bell. 

Once we were done my friend Offie popped some champagne that we mixed with pomegranate liquor and we toasted to a great race.  This weekend I get to do the Irongirl in Columbia, MD.  I can't wait!

August 20, 2008



There were so many things about Trek World that I enjoyed but for me the best part was the big bike ride through Madison that followed John Burke's talk on One World, Two Wheels.   There were several hundred Lime bikes and helmets waiting outside of Trek World.  It was a beautiful sight and it really got your adrenalin going. 

Dscf9259 Once everyone one had hopped on a bike John Burke lead the hundreds of riders through downtown to University of Wisconsin.  As people left dinner they went outside and picked up a different bike.  As people made pit stops along the way they left their bike on a bike rack.  Dsc_0047_2 When people left downtown they picked up a different bike off a bike rack. I even took my bike back to the hotel and road it back the next morning!

The whole share bike concept is fun, practical and user friendly.  I was very happy to be a part of such a great evening that sent out an important message to everyone.  GO BY BIKE!

August 18, 2008



Of course we all know who Gary Fisher is, right?  For those of you who don't, Gary Fisher  is considered one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike.  Fisher started competing in road and track races at the age of 12 and was pretty darn good. He was suspended from the sport in 1968 because race organizers felt his hair was too long, and cited a rule that agreed with them.  This guy is truly an individual and that moment really captures his spirit.

He has been designing mountain bikes with Trek since 1993 and I was lucky enough to demo his 2009 Gary Fisher Roscoe mountain bike.  I went out for about an hour on Trek's mountain bike trails at their headquarters in Waterloo, WI.  The bike handles extremely well and is fun to ride especially on the well designed trails.  Just in case you are wondering it handles well when you fall too!

Roscoe Gary spoke to the group on opening night and unveiled the biggest surprise of Trek World.  Ready?  Gary Fisher has just designed a line of 2009 ROAD BIKES and they are super cool! 

But the best part of it all is that I got to meet Gary up close and personal.  I had been trying to track him down for 3 days and finally I ran into him at a bar.  I ran up to him told him what I thought of him, his snappy 3 piece outfit and his rad new line of bikes...then I asked if I could get a picture with him.  He enthusiastically said "Of course!"  He pulled me close and as the flash went off he exclaimed, "What a fabulous moment!"  This guy is one of a kind!

August 16, 2008



Last week I had the pleasure of attending Trek World 2008. This is a bike show that Trek puts on in Madison, Wisconsin for all of their dealers.  It is an opportunity for all the dealers to check out all of the new 2009 bikes and accessories.  Not only do they get to check out all of the 2009 merchandise BUT they also have the opportunity to demo all of the new bikes.

I had never been to Trek World before and to be perfectly honest, it blew me away.  The showroom was filled with so many one of a kind bikes as well as wheels, shoes, helmets, saddles, bags, clothes and accessories. 

Img00708 My favorite part of the show was all the Project One custom paint jobs.  Stacy C., one of the girls on the designer team designed my all time favorite bike.  I fell in love with it and tried to take it out of the showroom every night but security kept busting me.  Luckily I didn't get kicked out of the show completely.   

My secret wish is to have my Trek Madone 6.5 WSD painted with the Women Who Ride logo.  What would be more fitting than for a Women Who Rides to have a Women Who Ride logo on her bike?  Don't you think I have a pretty strong argument?

August 14, 2008



Our family had a fantastic day at 12 Hrs for St. Jude.  In addition to being a great event for a good cause, it was a ton of fun for our family.  The Loveman and I both got to ride and what a ride it was!  In usual Susan fashion I had way too much fun and had a pretty fantastic crash.  A fast downhill, a quick turn and then a back wheel catching the edge of the trail...all lead to my wipe out.  The best part of falling was that I had about 6 guys from the EMT team there as my audience.  What's a wipe out without an audience?

Fiona Liam and Fiona both brought their bikes and rode for about 7 hours straight.   Liam went on trails, set up obstacles and got tips from other riders while Fiona circled the area.  She was so thrilled to be a part of her first biking event that she never got off her bike. 

Liam_4 Just when we were about to leave one if the organizers, Phil, came over and gave Liam and Fiona medals.  Liam received his medal for being on his bike, both on and off trails, for 7 hours and Fiona received a medal for being the youngest kid that stayed on her bike the longest.  You would have thought he had just given them each an all expense paid trip to Disney.  They had huge smiles on their faces.


On the way home in the car they could barely contain their excitement.  They said, "Hey Mom, we won medals today but what did you win?"  I replied, "I did win today.  I had the pleasure of watching the two of you happily ride around all day and win medals for being two of the most determined young riders there.  That's all I need to be a winner." 

It's days like this that I realize that being a mom is better than anything else in the world. 

August 12, 2008



Last weekend the Loveman and I participated in 12 Hrs for St. Jude,  a benefit ride for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  The 12 hour race included male and female solo riders and relay teams.  It was 12 hours filled with food, music, fun for the kids and lots of riding.

St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility anywhere.  Discoveries made there have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. The most amazing thing about St. Jude is that no one pays for treatment beyond what is covered by insurance, and those without insurance are never asked to pay.  It's become America's 3rd-largest health-care charity, with a model that keeps the costs down and the funds flowing, so the science never stops.

The founder of the event, Brad Potterfield, was sitting alone in a crowded airport lounge in Atlanta.  He struck up a conversation with a man wearing a  St Jude shirt and asked if he worked for St. Jude. The man said he was visiting his best friend’s son who had a rare form of cancer.  He told him that visiting St. Jude was an incredible experience and one that changed his life. He explained all about the environment for the children, the superior treatment they are given and how the spirits of all who go there are lifted.  This man vowed to be a lifelong supporter. 

After this meeting Brad knew he had to do something to help out and make a difference.  Even though he did not have a life threatening illness affecting his family he knew that it happened to people just like him everyday.  Shortly after he started 12 hrs for St. Jude.   Riding for a cure, raising awareness and saving young lives.  That's what I'm talking about!  Thanks Brad!

August 10, 2008



Last week we took Fiona's training wheels off.  Like every little kid she fell about a hundred times, a few times with tears and a few times with blood.  All the while she kept saying "I can't do it!"   Of course, we continually encouraged her, bribed her and helped her along in any way we could.

About three days ago it all clicked and when it did I saw the biggest smile on her face as she road down the driveway.   She was so proud to have finally mastered the skill of riding independently while pedaling.

Fiona2 I think the advice that my 8 year Liam gave her really helped everything fall into place.  He said to her, "Fiona, I learned this in my bowling book, just don't think and you won't lose your balance."  I have to admit I had never heard that one before but it sure sounded very impressive coming out of his mouth.  I'll have to borrow his bowling book and see it I can pick up some tips on riding.

August 9, 2008



Righteous Ross Rocks.  Say that three times fast please. 

For the first time ever, I had the pleasure of attending a Trek WSD Fit For Women Tour event with Ross and what an event it was!  We went to the Dorba's Women's Weekend in Dallas.   

Ross1_3 Ross is fun, friendly, funny and fabulous and she knows a ton about bikes.  She speaks to all riders with the same level of respect no matter what your level of riding seems to be.  Ross2 Now I can ask some pretty stupid questions and every time I did she just looked at me and sweetly answered them.  But inside I'm sure she was thinking "Come on Women Who Rides, you need to get your technical act together!"

Rufus3 She gave a great clinic on bike maintenance, did a spot on imitation of a plumber, put an interesting twist on wiffle ball and did some mean gymnastics in a pink tutu.  I learned so many things about her in such a short time.  I was a little bummed that I had to fly home and I couldn't continue on the road with her.  She's the type of girl that anyone would like to go on a road trip with. 

She's such a great girl that I'm now starting to feel guilty for taking part in the daily torturing of her Trek mascot "Rufus"...well I'm not feeling that bad.  Tee-hee