24 posts from October 2009

October 27, 2009

Conflicted

Every day, as I ride over to school to pick my daughter up, I ride past the Middle School (aka: Junior High).  I am always pleased to see the plethora of kids on bikes pouring down the street.  Then I get closer to the school, and navigate my way around the multitude of cars whose drivers speed toward picking their child up.  Typical of most schools in the US.  So what's my problem (besides the fact that the majority of the kids that are on bikes not girls)?

The kids on bikes are having a great time.  They're often trying new tricks or sprinting with friends or just generally rambling down the street.  Hooray, I say!  Let's hear it for more kids on bikes!  But then I look closer, and they're doing things that are potentially dangerous.  Their helmets are askew or not buckled properly.  They're weaving in and out of traffic, not paying attention to the cars ahead. Oh no, I say!  These kids need to learn some biking rules!  But then I think back to my childhood, where I roamed free on a bike in the neighborhood, sans helmet altogether, with friends and my sister.  I look at the neighborhood road that these kids are riding on, a typical suburban street with trees lining the sidewalks and ride-on toys populating the yards.  Why not, I say!  Why shouldn't these kids be free to experience life on a bike, and roam around the neighborhood? 

Continue reading "Conflicted" »

October 26, 2009

Famous? You Bet!

Although I've had to be out of the saddle for several weeks and away from the keyboard I've been thinking about all of the wonderful experiences and opportunities I have had with Trek over the summer.  My Equinox has been a dream to ride and the races I participated in were really memorable.  But it was also exciting to meet biking celebrities that have been an inspiration and are notable names in the biking world. First and foremost in my mind was the unforgettable, motivating diva of Triathlons, Sally Edwards.  She has been a professional racer, an author, and inspirational leader to thousands of women for more than 20 years.  She "starts" every single athlete in the Trek Triathlon Series and she finishes with the very last woman to cross the finish line, no matter the time!  When we met I felt like I had been one of her best friends all of my life!

DSCN1128 I was lucky enough to be with her at a Women's Specific Design night at our local Trek Dealer, Wheel and Sprocket.  What a fabulous lady with an inspiring message and a great program (good food, drinks and camaraderie added to the mix).  You must try to get to and participate in a Trek Women's Demo Tour in your area. 

While I am on the subject of a demo tour if you live in the greater Midwest you might get to meet another famous lady:  Lindsay Bradley!  She is on the road with the Demo tour in my area - all the way to Colorado and south into New Mexico.  Want to try out new bikes, know more about the Trek WSD gear and bikes?  If you are curious then meet up with Lindsay or one of the other super Demo gals at your local Trek bike shop or dealer when a Demo comes to your area. Check online.

DSCN1130next page for another Legend.......


Continue reading "Famous? You Bet!" »

Hilly Hundred

We almost didn't make it.  When our flight out of Boston was canceled Thursday pm, I feared I'd miss the Hilly Hundred.  Not only did the weekend promise gorgeous climbs through rural countryside, David and I hadn't seen our dear friends Mandy and Jon since our wedding 8 months ago. This was our chance to re-live our 2008 bike tour together when the four of us spent 2 weeks pedaling from the Canadian Rockies south to Missoula.  After climbing Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park (see below), we were eager to take on the climbs of Indy's Hilly Hundred. 

CaitlinMandyGlacier
 

So it was a great relief to land in Indiana late Thursday night after a brief detour to DC and a few naps on the plane.  This time, we would ride without panniers, but with a few extra layers to break the chill of 40 degree mornings.  

Continue reading "Hilly Hundred" »

October 23, 2009

Faces of Cyclocross

Faces_cyclocross

It seems that there are a few categories of facial postures in cyclocross. See if you can match the following categories to the faces above!

  1. WORRIED, fear for life.
  2. FIERCE, I will destroy you.
  3. DELICIOUS, my lips taste nice an' salty!
  4. CONSTIPATION, eeehhhhhh.
  5. ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS?! That run-up is ridiculous.
  6. TOTAL SURPRISE. (!!!!)
  7. Any others?
  8. What's YOURS?!


Steps to Start Racing

Step 1:  Get invited to join your cycling group's race team.

Step 2:  Scream with joy!

Step 3:  Look down at the gut that's been hanging around for far too long after the "baby" was born and panic.

Step 4:  Run out and join the local YMCA's Holiday Weight Loss Challenge.  I start on Tuesday.


October 22, 2009

Race Across the Sky

I don't think I've ever been so excited to go to the theater!

 

The dynamic of the Leadville 100 is fascinating. It is a victory to just finish over this distance and terrain, and that is recognized for the everyday riders that enter. In the elite arena, Lance's arrival turns 6-time winner Dave Wiens into an underdog. 

And wow-- can you imagine having Lance on your wheel? I would think that those men had trouble holding their bladders at just the thought.

One night only-- TONIGHT! Are you going? I AM!

To find a theater that is showing Race Across the Sky, visit their website:

www.raceacrossthesky.com

October 21, 2009

Bicycle Girls!

When I started riding with VeloGirls a little over a year ago, I was searching for some riding buddies.  I hadn't been doing much mountain biking, so I decided to join the Dirty Girls ride.  One ride was all it took for me to look forward to each ride with them.  It was awesome to find a group of ladies that was so open and encouraging...and FUN.  Although the beers & burgers & chatting afterward certainly helped matters along, it was mostly the rush of mountain biking with a bunch of girls - and I mean that in the best sense. The lack of testosterone may seem counter-intuitive when doing something macho, but I can vouch for estrogen's sensitivity, encouragement and nurturing when learning new skills.

And then I also started riding the Midweek Madness road ride late last spring.  While the spirit of competitiveness was more evident here, estrogen still found its way out in the form of instruction, encouragement, and chattiness.  Again, I loved riding with a group of girls.  Girls know how to laugh when a friend kicks their butt up a hill.  The same friends aren't afraid to cheer LOUDLY when someone conquers a practiced skill, even if it's a coveted one.  At the same time, girls also appreciate the beauty in a new bike, but don't over-analyze and exclaim over every headset, crank, or brake choice (but if we do, it's our prerogative!).   

Let me just say that I thought I pretty much had it made riding these two rides!  Who could ask for more?  So, I was surprised when Lorri (VeloGirls founder & superwoman) recently asked me to officially join the VeloGirls race team!!  I had an honest-to-goodness heart-fluttery disbelief over that one, and had to read the email again!  I told Lorri later that I felt like the class geek that had been invited to join the coolest sorority.  Of course, I said yes!!!  I am still agog, and cannot wait for race training to start!   I am going to do the Tri-Flow program, a six week training program to learn all the ins and outs of racing that ends with the Snelling Road Race on February 27th.  I am truly thrilled to be learning more from the VeloGirls.  I couldn't ask for a better group of girls to start racing with!

Now a League Cycling Instructor!

Lci_class

Last weekend, I attended a 3-day class to become a certified League Cycling Instructor under the League of American Bicyclist's approval.

The League of American Bicyclists (www.bikeleague.org) is a nation-wide organization that works hard to provide advocacy, community, events and education for cyclists. And they do a fine job.

Over the course of the weekend, we reviewed traffic skills through classroom presentations, parking lot drills and on-road riding through some of the NASTIEST intersections you've ever seen. Try controlling the right turn lane, whilst crossing two arcing sets of wet railroad tracks, then immediately changing lanes to the left. Once you do it once or twice, it's a huge boost of confidence!

We also had a pre-class written test, which I was under the impression we would be re-taking during class-- but we didn't! That was the real live test! And, I have to brag, I scored the highest. :) Gee, I sure do know how to ride a bike! Ha ha!

So now I will be teaching traffic safety/urban rider classes for the local Cascade Bicycle Club and I am EXCITED to help create safer, more confident cyclists. Even if you 'think' you know what you're doing out there-- I encourage you, take a LAB-approved class! You may be surprised at what you'll learn!

October 20, 2009

More honeymoon pics

Just like I promised, more pics of our honeymoon than you care to look at. The Top Fuel performed beautifully on the terrain. And while RF sustained a nasty knee wound, a broken saddle (inventively repaired using a rock) and a lost Garmin GPS, I got away with some bumps and scrapes. 

Continue reading "More honeymoon pics" »

October 18, 2009

Off with the training wheels

I've always been eager to share my love of cycling with my third graders, but until now, a bike program at school hasn't seemed feasible.  Enter Boston Bikes.  Thanks to our city bike initiative, bikes, helmets, AND instruction will be coming to the Murphy School in November.  Yes, it did snow in Boston today, but why wait til spring to spread the joy of biking?  Many of my students don't even know how to ride a bike at age 9 - and if they do, they may not have a bike of their own.  While these bikes won't be theirs to keep, we'll hope to get them hooked on cycling.  Finding bikes for the ones who don't have them may be my next project.  For now, I'm thankful for the terrific folks at City Hall who have reached out to schools, making this a very easy sell.  All I have to do is get the kids signed up and stick around after school for a few days to ride with them.  Now that's my kind of "homework."
These women shared their stories and captured our hearts, convincing us that they should represent Trek. Of course they ride for the love of it, but more importantly, they ride for opportunities cycling offers. Read about these opportunities. Their stories will put a smile on your face and inspire you to experience life by bike. They are Trek Women.
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