Trek Women
April 28, 2009

AHHH....THE LIFE


FYI - I'm not the only one in Mele Carney household that has fun.  The Loveman is currently doing a 4 day mountain bike ride somewhere in Colorado....and this is what he gets to look at all day.  Poor guy.  His life really sucks right now.
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January 4, 2009

WHY DO WE RIDE?

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Last night we had our annual Harford Velo Cycling Club x-mas party at our home.  I always enjoy seeing everyone out of their helmets, sunglasses and cycling clothes, drinking a festive cocktail as opposed to having a nutrition bar with a power bar chaser.  No matter who you talk to or what you talk about the conversation always seems to circle back to cycling.

Now rewind to the past 6 weeks of my life.  I have been working out, spinning, lifting, etc., BUT I have not been on my bike.  I am completely and totally embarrassed to admit this. 

First the excuses:
1. A horrible case of bronchitis that took me to the doctor 3 times in 6 weeks.
2. Major meds that included antibiotics, an inhaler, mucinex, sudifed, benadryl and cough syrup.
3. Four children involved in school, dance, gymnastics, soccer and many other random things.
4. Christmas shopping, wrapping and non-stop partying.
5. Driving to Ohio, flying to Chicago and spending weekend at a waterpark.

Mind you, all the above was fun and it's just part of life but to perfectly honest I never really felt well enough to ride.  Whatever the case may be I didn't get out much at all and that sucks.  After talking to all the cyclists at the party I was really missing the moments I've shared with my beautiful Madone and all the perks of riding that come along with it.  

After the party ended the Loveman asked me if I was going to ride in the morning.  Yes, I did.  I got up early, prepped my bike, put on my gear, put in my toe warmers (I'm a wimp) and got ready for a ride outside with the club.  It was so nice.  It didn't matter that it was cold and windy outside.  It didn't matter that I had tons and tons of snot and mucus running down my face, and it didn't matter that my booties were duck taped because the zipper was broken.  All that mattered was that I was out riding with friends and it felt great.  God, I love to ride my bike.  I really need to do it more often. 

December 29, 2008

TOGETHER FOREVER...I HOPE

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I woke up today and much to my surprise I realized I had been married for 18 years.  I feel like Rip Van Winkle, one day I was married and then I woke up and many many years had passed.  I now have a rebuilt house, a messy car, some bikes, unwanted facial hair, gray hair at the temples, an extra roll, saggy boobs and 4 children.  Wow, its been quite a ride.  No matter what I look like the Loveman unconditionally loves it all.  What a guy!

Happy Anniversary to the Loveman!

December 14, 2008

MISS AMERICA

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Recently I met a man while I was doing shopping.  He was very nice, engaging and the conversation was easy.  He asked me about myself, my family and my career.  Of course I can't have a conversation about myself without mentioning the Trek gig and the fact that I am one of the five Women Who Ride. 

The man was intrigued by my Trek story as he was an avid rider himself and his wife was just getting started.  He had so many questions and shared his wife;s fear of riding, trying new gear and not having anyone women to ride with her.  I gave him my card and explained to him what an excellent resource the Trek site is for women.  He was so excited by everything I said then took my card and promised to check out my blog.

As he turned to walk away he said,  "Do you know what a Woman Who Rides really is?"  "She's a cool version of Miss America."  He's absolutely right.  I may not have the beauty, boobs or behind but I've got so much more.  Thank you Trek!

October 19, 2008

APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'VE GOT

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I love my bike. I love my bike.  I love my bike.  No, I really mean it.  I LOVE MY BIKE! 

From the second I arrived in Lanai, Hawaii all I could think about was riding my bike.  My hotel was right on the ocean, far from Lanai city, and there was a huge climb right outside the hotel.  It was the only way in and out.  It was an incredible several mile climb that takes you through a climate change.  A typical day was 85 degrees by the bay and sunny into windy as all hell and 65 degrees in the mountains. It was nuts.

I figured if there were only 2 grocery stores on the island that the chances of there being a bike shop would be very slim.  I thought if I talked to enough people that someone would know someone that owned a bike.  Low and behold I hit.  The convention services manager, Jennifer, had a bike and offered it up to me.  She dropped the bike at the house of our main hotel contact, Brent and he brought it in for me.  I only had three days left in Lanai and I was ready to make the most of it. 

It was a heavy mountain bike that was a bit rusty, a couple sizes to small, and it wasn't a Trek but dammit I wanted to ride that hill and see the island.  Brent knew what I was up against.  He rode on a cycling team in college and was one of two people on the island that owned a road bike.  He got it.  He was kind enough to bring me a pump, white lightening and a water bottle.  And so my journey began.

I rode up that hill and worked my ass off.  Literally.  It was a killer climb and the higher I got the better the views.  I rode from my hotel on the ocean to the Lodge at the top of the mountain and enjoyed every ounce of beauty.  I believe that that was the best way to really see the island.

The roads were clear except for the hotel employees and the shuttles to the ferry, the airport and the Lodge.  It was pretty much me and nature. 

That night when people asked me what I did on my break they had looks of pure disbelief when I told them that I rode up the hill.  They couldn't really grasp the concept of someone riding the hill, much less a women. 

When housekeeping came to my room the next day I opened the door and 2 guys were standing there.  They looked shocked for a second and then one piped up and said, "Oh my god, you're the girl that rode the hill!"    Apparently no one does it other then Brent and one other male rider.  Eventually word got around and I became a bit of a legend at the hotel.  I would hate to have seen what they would have done had I not made it. 

The next day I did it again.  No cycling shorts, shoes or jersey but I had a helmet and the most amazing scenery complete with a rainbow.  It made me realize one thing.  I LOVE my bike a lot.

 

August 14, 2008

MOM, WHAT DID YOU WIN?

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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. 

May 27, 2008

LEHIGH VALLEY WHEELMEN KICK BUTT

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Over the holiday weekend the Loveman and I managed to ride three times.  That's very exciting for a couple  with 4 monkeys.  The riding in the Lehigh Valley is pretty hard to beat.  For those of you that don't know the Lehigh Valley it is known as being a big training area for cyclists. 

The evening we arrived we did our own ride and then on Saturday we decided to hook up with the Lehigh Wheelmen Association.  They had a scheduled 45 mile hilly ride which we thought sounded like fun.  Yes I know, to most people it would sound like pure torture but to us it sounded like fun. 

Now when one arrives at a group ride (especially where people don't know you) you expect to get the cold shoulder accompanied by some disapproving look at your bike as if it isn't good enough for "the club ride".  I knew we had one thing going for us, we ride kick ass bikes.  I ride a Trek Madone 6.5 WSD and the Loveman rides a Calfee and I knew no one would have a thing to say about our bikes.  If they did I would have kicked their ass. 

The first guy that arrived was the group leader Neil.  He walked over to us, shook our hands and was thrilled to death that we had come out for one of his favorite rides.  He was genuinely pleased to have us there as special guests. 

As the riders assembled (about 7 of us) each and every rider said hello, shook our hands and introduced themselves.  At one point I thought maybe they were getting ready to kill us, throw us in a ditch and steal our bikes.  How could they be so nice?  Come on this is a group ride.  Isn't anyone going to be mean and nasty?

Neil put together an amazing route that blew the Loveman and I away.  Yes, the route was tough and had a ton of climbing but it didn't matter a bit.  It was a great group to ride with, we had a perfect day...and the best part of the ride was that there was another women!  The Loveman and I looking forward toor next ride in the Lehigh Valley with the Lehigh Wheelmen Association.

May 20, 2008

BIKE TO WORK DAY

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Last week was Bike to Work Week.  Last Friday, May 16th, was Bike to Work Day.  Bike to Work Day is celebrated across the country and is getting bigger every year. 

Bike to Work Day participants help raise awareness of using alternate forms of transportation which promote clean air and reduce traffic congestion. Biking to work also improves your health and saves you money.  Kind of a no brainer, right?

Btw1 The night before Bike to Work Day I asked my son Liam if he had any desire in participating in the ride and rally with the Loveman and I, reminding him that I would be waking him up at 6am.  Of course he enthusiastically said yes, which is exactly what I had expected him to say.

The next morning it was pouring rain and the Loveman suggested that I not wake him.  I knew if I didn't wake him that he would be very upset so I went into his room, told him it was raining and asked him if he still wanted to participate in the ride.  He said said yes, just like I thought he would.

Btw2 We rode into town in the pouring rain and he couldn't have been happier.  When we got to the rally people were snacking on bagels, donuts and bananas and drinking juice and coffee.  Liam was the only kid there and he was taking it all in. 

A few announcements were made, awards were given out and then there was a raffle.  There were lots of cool prizes as well as a new bike for the grand prize.  As they announced the final number for the new bike Liam held tightly onto his ticket.  Low and behold they called his number!  He couldn't believe it...actually none of us could believe it.  The bike shop owner told him that he would take the adult size bike back to his shop and let Liam pick out a bike his size.  What a happy day!

He rode all the way back home in the pouring rain and as he got ready for school he said, "Mom, this was totally worth getting out of bed at 6am."   Now if my kid can do this so can you.  We all can make a difference if we try.  Now hop to it!

May 5, 2008

LACK OF LUBE IS NOT GOOD

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I have always appreciated every bit of bike maintenance that Loveman the Tech has done for my bikes.  After riding the bikes in Sedona I appreciate what he does more than ever.

Before I start complaining about the bad bike maintenance in Sedona I must preface it by saying that there is red clay, dirt and dust everywhere.  With that being said I have never been on a bike with dryer chain in my entire life.  I could actually see the dust all over the chain and it was not gliding as nicely as it should have been.  It was painful to watch the chain move through all the crap on it.  Of course, this affected switching gears, the brakes and in turn the overall performance of the bike.  I honestly think that the people that work here just sign out the bikes and never look at them nor do they ride bikes.  What a shame.

So - Here's a little basic mountain bike maintenance from the gal that barely touches her bike.  Even I can handle these easy steps. 

  1. Clean your bike after a ride. 
  2. Get a hose with a sprayer on it.
  3. Don't get too much water into all the sensitive spots.
  4. Get a little brush and work the chain a little.
  5. Dry your bike off.  You don't want it to rust.
  6. Lube your chain very well. 
  7. Enjoy a nice lubricated chain, a clean bike and a fab ride!

A LITTLE BIKE MAINTENANCE GOES A LONG WAY!  DO YOURSELF A FAVOR!  KEEP YOUR BIKE CLEAN!

May 2, 2008

THE LOVEMAN MAKES A COMMENT

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A few weeks ago the Loveman posted a comment on my blog for first time.  He didn't make a sweet and loving comment but instead he poked fun at me.  I had  written a blog (see How Bad is Bad? blog) about an intense mountain bike ride that put me over the edge.  He sure had a good laugh that day.  For those of you that didn't get a chance to read it his comment, here it is. 

One could imagine that hanging with Susan on a regular basis for the better part of twenty years you automatically become a funnier person, simply by osmosis! I thought I was real witty on this particular ride as I gave Susan the new moniker, "The Trek Woman Who Walks!"

I think I need another 20 years with her as you could guess from the tone of the blog she didn't think this was funny.  My bad!

About a week after the Loveman posted this comment he was riding his mountain bike in our driveway.  He had just rebuilt his bike after getting his frame back from the bike shop.  He decided to take the bike for a little spin.  He popped a wheelie and promptly flipped back on his bike forgetting how light the bike was as well as forgetting he was clipped in.  Yes, he fell right on his ass. 

I received a phone call a few moments later requesting our insurance information as the Loveman was headed to get his pelvis x-rayed.  He thought he had broken his hip but luckily he just badly bruised his back end. 

I'm still trying to figure out what's worse, being called "The Trek Woman Who Walks" or "The Guy That Falls on His Big Butt?