4 posts from February 2010

February 20, 2010

Aging Gracefully!

DSCN1230    P8310174

So here we are - some of the "Class of '57" going stronger than ever!  We inspire each other, count on moral support from one another and sometimes ski, snowshoe or bike together.  So in 2010 we have BIG plans!  We think we'll blow the competition away with our "age group" triathlon relay!  See the two tall gals on the right in the left hand photo?  Well, the orange "girl" - Judy - will swim like a dolphin; next to her the "girl" in yellow - Brenda - will run like a gazelle and me?  I'm way to the left in my bright Bontrager wind breaker and hope to bike like the wind on my Trek Equinox.  Here we are to tell you "go out there and experience the joy of pushing beyond your imagination".  So it's just a bike ride around the block?  A one mile walk? 1 Lap in the pool?  Who cares?  You might be taking the first step into a whole new world of good health and well being.  If you haven't gotten off the couch much this winter make it your Spring goal to do "something" physical each day, and a little more each day.  By the time you're 70 (like us) you'll be fit as a fiddle and we'll want to meet you on the course!

February 15, 2010

The Race Is On

My race training has officially begun, and now that I have a teensy tiny bit of knowledge under my belt, I feel it's appropriate to set down a goal or two for my first race.  I have a lofty one right off the bat: to finish.  And even though I was chastised for saying so, my second goal is a version of 'don't finish last.'

So far I've done two on-road skills sessions and an indoor training session.  I am doing some riding on my own too, to supplement my supervised training.  Guided by Lorri Lown (leader extraordinaire of VeloGirls), and two mentor racers, Laurie and Mariska, a group of 5 of us noobs are out there learning the ropes and soaking up tips by the second about racing and riding.  It's a nice group of women, all of us coming from different places on the bike and life. 

I've been riding for almost ten years, and the learning has been gradual and casual; certainly a slow pace.  I'm also fairly laissez faire about my riding, as I figure I'm going out to have fun and get some exercise.  If I forget my water or food, I'm confident I'll figure it out.  This drives my anal husband crazy, and he rolls his eyes as he askes if my phone is charged (for emergencies) and knows in his heart of hearts that it's not.  It's all worked out so far, so why change habits, right?  But change is good, and I'm definitely heading down a road that is not familiar to me!  I'm pretty sure I've already learned more about riding in those two outdoor days than I have in the 4 years that I've been riding on the road.  A friend asked if the rides themselves were tough.  I had to think about that.  I certainly worked hard, got my heartrate up, and all that jazz.  But it was more the mental exertion that took me by surprise.  When you're new to riding on someone's wheel, and within elbow's reach of another rider next to you (we're working on it, right Lorri?), it takes a tremendous amount of effort and concentration to...relax, not freak out, stay in control while going with the flow.  Combine that with thinking about pace lines, your speed in relation to your fellow riders, strategy on how to use individual strengths on the team, nutrition, and general bike handling and you find that 3 hours flies by and your head is about to explode.  On our 'breaks,' we're learning about small details about the race, hearing common 1st time racer faux paxs, and what can go wrong in a race.  And there's more to come!

So when I say that my goal to finish is a lofty one, I'm really not kidding.  And while Lorri hates new riders to have the goal to not be last (she has a valid point: there is no shame in last place when a race is as frought with tiny things that make or break you as it is), I am just hoping that I am not embarassingly last, shelled out of the pack and left to limp along and arrive at the finish line as they're sweeping the confetti off the podium.  I'm hoping that my lower brain has been listening to Chris all these years about preparation, and that my anxious anticipation about this new riding path will help me follow Lorri's instructions to the letter and I'll have a good race.  I know that I am getting some amazingly awesome training and will look back at these 6 weeks of training and wonder how I ever got along without it. 

So, off I go to do Tempo Intervals on the trainer.  I'm having fun with my new training program.  I will think about my race and all I've been learning.  The race is on...March 20th.

February 8, 2010

Love story

As Valentine's day approaches, I sit down to write my favorite bike love story, the one I've been waiting months to post.  

August 20, 2008

David and I ride out to Farm Pond, 20 miles of perfect road riding from our city home to our favorite summer swimming spot.  It's a sweltering afternoon and we're talking constantly about our new dog, Mocha, on route from her rescuers to meet us in just a few days.  David notices my front tire is low and puts in some air before we leave.  I pack my swim suit and snacks and we take off.

When we arrive, David urges me to run ahead to the water while he locks the bikes.  "You should swim across the pond today," he says, knowing how I wish for more swimming in the city.  Up and over the hill, I hurry to the beach.  He joins me a few minutes later and we linger in the pond.  On a hot day, the water's refreshment never lasts more than a mile once we start cycling home.  Finally we dry off and head back to our bikes, only to discover that my front wheel is now fully flat.  (Here David likes to mention that I only noticed the flat once I had wheeled the bike several yards away and then rested it against a scenic port-a-potty).  Undeterred by this set-back, David pulls out our tools and says cheerfully, "This'll be good practice for you."  Ok, here we go.  Lever out, the tire comes easily and I start to feel for a pesky staple or glass shard inside.  

What do I find?

A ring.

My ring...I recognize it, a simple silver ring with a green stone that I haven't worn in a while and how did it make it's way into my tire?  And now David's on his knee, still dripping wet from the pond and he's asking me to marry him and I'm saying yes, how did you?  where was?  have you been planning?  when?  giddy, giddy, giddy, and so surprised.  The whole ride home, we tell ourselves to stay sharp, my mind buzzing and my heart aflutter.

A week later, my sister added a perfect line to the story..."Now, whenever you have a flat tire and you're cursing your luck or late for work or stuck without a tube, you'll have this wonderful memory to override any frustrations."  And indeed, this past summer when we were 6 months married and had 10 flats between us in a two-week tour of Colorado, I knew each slow leak and every puncture was just a sweet reminder of my creative, endearing love who has kept me riding proud and giddy through many flats, never letting a little gravel deflate our adventures.  

February 1, 2010

Ro[cx]y's X01



Point me to the nearest PoserCross race. I'm in.

Yes, I bought a CX bike - the 2010 Trek X01. Mother Nature was excited for me too so she let me ride it outside this past weekend. I didn't go gravel or anything, but I did get her out for some serious hours. I liked it. I need to get it onto grass or gravel to really be able to give a worthy report. But I can say the matte paint job was a nice surprise. And the fact that the Bonty cages matched was even better!

I bought it because, like, everyone else is doing it and well, I don't think we're going to see dry trails for a while and I get ditched as it is on the group rides and this will help close that gap, at least. Plus, with the recent influx of gravel races and rides popping up, I definitely will be on the X01. 

Louisville 2012 baby. Not.

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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