3 posts from March 2010

March 22, 2010

Women Who Race

First things first:  Happy Birthday to my sweet Delaney!  7 years old; I can't believe it!

Bariani Road Race (as in Bariani Olive Oil):

I was nervous the whole 2 hour trip to the race.  To be more accurate, I've been nervous for the last 2 weeks, feeling the passing of time acutely.  I keep thinking about this crazy bike year:  Last year at this time, I was a committed recreational rider (newly picked by Trek to do this blog!), and thinking that anyone who raced was either super-fit or just plain crazy.  And there I was a year later, on Saturday, in the car on my way to my first race...nerves and anxiety on full blast.  On Friday we had hosted a birthday party for my daughter and ten of her friends, then my two-year-old appeared to have the stomach flu.  Not the most relaxing or focused way to spend the day (and night) before my first race, but perhaps it took my mind off of my worries.  Saturday morning, I finished prepping my gear, and Declan looked well enough to leave with the grandmas (who had both flown in to celebrate Delaney's birthday) which meant Chris could come with me (hooray!).  In the car, despite the deliberate non-cycling conversation, I kept focusing on one aspect of the race:  would I be able to clip in to my pedals and at least leave the start line with the pack?

Continue reading "Women Who Race" »

March 12, 2010

More Lycra than a Bike Race!

OK, I think the winter season (and all the skiing) is finally over, but will be sorely missed!   That is until my Equinox is out on a the road - the triathlon season is almost upon us!  But back to the lycra -

Mjs-birkie_-nws_-lynn_-5-birkie Credit:Tom Lynn
Here on the Birkebeiner trails in Hayward, WI XC Skiers wallop a close second to cyclists for flaming colors and designs. This is NOT how yours truly suited up ( as you can see below) 59671-199-019fbut the 13 miler found me first in my age group - can't get better than that (for me)!   It was a ski-perfect day with high sun and amazingly perfect trails.  Not a bad way to enjoy my first experience skiing the Birkie!  Sometimes it can be 10 below zero with bone chilling wind.  The rest of the year these trails resound with mountain bikers yelping their way around miles and miles of hills and beautiful WI scenery.  So bring on the lycra from January through December - it's an all round answer to wind, sweat, cold, sun, snow, heat and rain!  We couldn't be happier with lycra, but now let's get on our 2 wheels and pedal our butts off for 6 months!

March 4, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Guess what?!  I can ride my bike with no hands!  That's one of the very cool things I learned on Sunday during my training.  I also learned to properly steer the bike (hint: not with the handlbars), to counter-steer, the physics of steering a bike, how to do a proper lead-out, how far I can sprint on a bike, and some other racing etiquette and tactics.  All of these new skills have given me a lot more confidence on the bike, knowledge about the physics of the bike, and were just fun to learn.

Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to learn how to do something?  I'm betting that you didn't go to the library to research it.  You likely didn't ask your parents.  You probably grabbed a friend or two, went to an appropriate spot, and...practiced!  As kids, my sister and I were friends with the family up the street (Hi, Winarskis!) with two of the sisters the same age as each of us.  The four of us spent countless hours practicing headstands in their living room, doing god-knows-what on the street on rollerskates or bikes, and finding out at exactly what point did you need to bail from the wagon while riding in it down our super-steep driveway.  And while I was going around the same loop in the office park on Sunday, again and again, trying to get my hands off my bars and my body upright (the key to riding no-handed), a song that my brother used to have on tape when we were kids popped into my head:  Practice Makes Perfect.  It's actually a horrible song, but I couldn't stop singing it!  "Practice makes perfect, practice makes perfect, the more times I practice the better I will be!"  I'm sure the recesses of my brain connected that song with what I was doing:  playing like a kid.  

That's exactly what we were doing!  We had a group of girls, and we went out and learned a skill, one at a time, and did it again and again.  For hours!  When was the last time you did that?  We're not kids anymore, and playtime is not spontaneous very often, but we can still schedule it into our lives!  In fact, scheduling a time to go learn something new from an expert (thanks, Lorri!!!), makes the experience even better!  As adults, many of us feel more comfortable having someone teach us how to do something rather than just figure it out on our own.  We've come a long way from the days of hurtling our body through space just to see how it feels.  And since we're likely carving out time from a busy life, streamlining the process of learning a new skill makes it easier, so having someone show you how it's done makes it more efficient.  This Tri-Flow Women's Development Program is 6 weeks long, and we learn a mind-boggling amount of things every week.  Maybe you don't have the time to commit to something like that.  (Frankly, I need to learn a lot to feel confident racing.)  But there are 4 hour clinics or weekend clinics that will teach you more about your bike and bike handling skills.  It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or not, I encourage you to get out and spend a morning or afternoon playing like a kid again, practicing over and over.  Because practice makes perfect!

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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