May 1, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

My Year as a TREK-Y

A year ago I was pinching myself, asking “really? me?  One of 5 in the US to represent WSD Trek bikes?”  What a hot diggity dog honor - at my age!  And then I met the other 4 Women Who Ride at Trek Headquarters, they came from both coasts and one from the middle to be on the Trek “blog team” for a year.  Now THAT was the real honor! What spirit and encouragement AND talent!  After absorbing their biking lingo and vicariously living their experiences I knew I had a lot to learn about cycling styles, statisitcs and hardware!

 

My racing skills were limited to a dozen or so triathlons.  My long distance riding had taken me across a few states (one at a time) and a few 100+ mile riding days, plus a Trek Travel trip.  But, my mountain biking/off road experiences had been pitiful!  Once, I had an egg-size bruise and hematoma from a fall on rocks: by the way, it was in the saddle  area: you-know-where!  Then there was the time I read about the Red Rock Canyon ride out of Las Vegas: it was touted as one of THE best!  I HAD to try it!  For me?  It stunk!  After an hour of doing V’s down one gully and up the next, getting off my bike to accomplish the “up”,  I 'd had it.  I told myself that was one aspect of cycling that had passed me by and I didn’t need to do THAT again.  Well, here I am to tell you that my apirations have again changed and I feel challenged to "ride the wooded, hilly trails and ease myself into some good mountain biking, maybe rocks".  This, because of my year with the Women Who Ride.  Expanding my biking horizons has been just one of the alterations in my biking life with Trek!

 

I've met fabulous biking icons like Sally Edwards and Gary Fisher;  become interested in all aspects of bike racing; forced myself to sign up for rides because I was a WWR (and after the ride thinking "I'm glad I didn't miss this one");  I started to ride in cold weather (I used to put my bike away after  it dropped to 50 degrees); I do short errands by bike instead of the car.  I support bike legislation and advocacy and plan to participate in the Ride Of Silence on May 20.

 

I  fell in love with cyclocross racing after trying it just one tim.  Again, without Trek - I wouldn't have attempted it.  Now I have my sights on participating in a few more CX races, can't believe it!    Never thought I'd buy another new bike but I'm waiting for a great fit session with my bike gurus at Wheel and Sprocket Delafield when my carbon Top Fuel 9.8 WSD arrives.  Off-road, here I come!

 

Will I give up triathlons?  Not for a few years - there's an 85 year old woman who is going gangbusters around here  plus the 90 year old man I recently blogged about who started riding at 85!  So I have my set my sights on the future, Thank You Trek!  It's been one heck of a ride this last year.

 

April 27, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

Time to Get Fit!

"Fit" as in getting your bike fine tuned to your body - core, legs, arms, shoulders, back, hands, behind, soft tissue areas, etc.  Really, a perfect fit makes for a smooth, efficient ride with no soreness at the end of your journey.  I'm lucky to live just a couple miles from my friendly bike "gurus".  Not just any gurus either...I get to hobnob with the store and service managers, Matt and Derek at the #1 Trek Dealer in America, Wheel and Sprocket of Delafield. Nice guys? You bet!  Know how to fit? You bet!  Cater to your needs, answer your questions?  You bet!  It all starts with making sure your bike frame is the right size for your height and weight and matches the kind of biking you intend to do: trails, road, cross country, cruise, race, commute - to name a few of the styles.  If you are lucky - have a bike for each purpose or at least 2 or 3!  You'll really get a kick out of riding a variety of roads and trails for pleasure or racing.  As Wheel and Sprocket says, "Enjoy Your Ride".  And to ENJOY it, get fit!

Your bike shop will guide you to the right bike selection and let you test ride, preferably where you will do most of  your riding.  The seat is a really important component of riding comfortably and the Bontrager inForm will guide you and your bike guru to find the best saddle for your shape, you'll sit on a form, make an impression on it with your bottom and viola! a saddle can be selected that fits your form.  We all vary back there and down there!  So start there and you'll be a happy camper!  Then, the handlebars are another testy little variable - go to the pros at the bike shop for help and proper fit and selection.  Matt, the "master fitter and manager", you'll know him by his fashionable blue glasses, did all of this for me when fitting my Equinox, a superb triathlon bike and yes, it is fast and comfortable.  Well, fast, as in fast-for-me!  From the start of our fit session (plan on an hour and a half or so) to walking out the door a few days later, after Derek in Service put all the pieces together, I have been flying down the road feeling fit, too.

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DSCN1177 GO ENJOY YOUR RIDE!

 

April 20, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

You're Never Too Old To Start Riding

I'll admit that I am the oldest member of the Women Who Ride AND I never started to ride with gusto, never owned a bike, didn't know how to shift or ride up a hill until I was about 45 years old.  OK, I did ride on a borrowed bike when I was a teenager a couple times, but that doesn't count!  Before I read about this gentleman who rides 15-20 miles a day and didn't start his riding "career" until he was 85 years YOUNG, I thought I was THE oldie but goody!  So I say to anyone out there who has a desire to ride with the your friends or your kids but has been afraid to get on a bike because you think you're too old, too wobbly, or too out of shape - now is the time to start, don't wait until you're 85!  Although Mr. Braun did and he does it well.  Today IS the first day of the rest of your life.  Go for it, ladies (and gents)!   Biking is fabulous exercise: it firms those back sides, thighs, calves and gives you balance and works your core.  What more can you ask for?  Well after some training, you might ask to try different terrain or you might want to race or even compete in a triathlon after you've gotten your sea-legs so to speak.  All this is possible once you turn that first wheel.  You can read more about Amy and Roxy's racing adventures on Trek's Women Who Ride website.  I just hope that all the stories and experiences will entice you to get on a bike and experience the freedom and confidence you gain from just riding a bike, it's that simple.  Got For It!
March 12, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

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!

February 20, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

Aging Gracefully!

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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!

January 24, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

Time to Plan!

Plan your spring and summer rides now!  And when you're planning don't skip the Bicycling Capitol of America!  I suggest you hop on the Sparta-Elroy Trail in Wisconsin and enjoy the first rails-to-trails conversion in the U.S!  It connects with hundreds of miles of additional trails from the Mississippi River to Wisconsin Dells and beyond.  Off trail you will find the best in quiet, rolling farmland riding - or check out the Century Challenge Bike Race in early August.  The trail and road rides are "stop and smell the roses" (or barnyard) kind of rides!  You'll ride through old train tunnels, forests, croplands, historic towns.  You can ride, eat, shop and explore.  Camp or  stay in luxury B & B's, like the Franklin Victorian in Sparta.

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While you're there visit one of America's most interesting bike museums - home to the Wright Brothers first bike inventions and the Deke Slayton Memorial Space Museum.  Then you'll be SO close - ride on down to Waterloo and tour the Trek Factory and displays of famous Trek bikes and rider memorabilia.  One last word on "planning" - if you want someone else to plan your adventures see Trek Travel!

January 5, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

One of my Highlights in 2009!

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Cartoon Credit goes to German Cartoonist - Aurel-Cartoon Studio; www.aurel-cartoons.de; aurel@aurel-cartoons.de. Presented to me in NYC, a gift from my 2 daughters! 

Below, you can catch me celebrating my new decade in TImes Square, (with exuberance, since I aged-up - woo-hoo!!!).  Triathlete's get it, right?  Among shows, wining and dining:  we took time to visit a Trek dealer; bike Central Park; look at the bike-friendly lanes in high traffic Manhattan!  Not bad for the busiest intersections in the U.S.  The T-shirt said that I was a "National Treasure" in the face of Miss Liberty (only your children would parade you around all day in this very special birthday get-up).  The t-shirt back was supposed to say "kiss me, it's my birthday", they settled on "make me smile..."  Boy, did I luck out; I also got lots of chuckles, so I smiled a lot!

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January 1, 2010 Posted by Mary Strupp

Hurry, only 20 minutes to Start Time!

Happy New Year!!  Only in Lake Michigan, Milwaukee WI do you have just 20 minutes to get down to Milwaukee's lake front to take your first "bike ride and swim" for 2010!  Take a look at last years event and build up your courage!  (sorry, you have to sit through a 30 second lottery commercial).   AND, NO, you won't find me in the crowd.  I'll spend some of this 8 degree day warming up on some XC ski trails.  It is even too cold, snowy and icy for this Trek babe to ride!  Stay warm and have a Happy New Year's day no matter how you spend it!
December 23, 2009 Posted by Mary Strupp

Twas the Night Before....WHAT?

28007154_santa%20rampage%202009 This is what the Rampaging Santa's in Milwaukee WI looked like as they delivered humor and good cheer along with candy and presents this year.  I have heard that Chi town started this upbeat tradition over 10 years ago.  What do YOUR Santa's do in YOUR town?

These guys and gals raise money for the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin besides handing out goodies as they ride along city streets.  There's a lot of bubbly good cheer that goes down before, during, & after - but Santa has to keep warm and toasty!  Not to be outdone, Beantown has it's own "Santa Speedo Run" - is that right, Caitlin?  I won't post their photos (they aren't on bikes!) but I bet you can google for funny images.

Have yourself a Merry Christmas, A Happy Holiday and A Prosperous New Year!

December 22, 2009 Posted by Mary Strupp

Last Minute Gift Giving Idea

Don't delay!  Book the Christmas Gift that will keep on giving!  You and your honey will rack up memories for a lifetime just by taking a bike trip with Trek.  You can reserve "the bike trip of your life" right now, right on line.  Go to www.trektravel.com and peruse the offerings.  We recently took the Wine Country Tour in California and
had the best time imaginable!  All we had to do was arrive with our bike & dinner clothes and everything else was provided.  The newest Madone bikes, fantastic B & B's for lodging, fabulous food, savory wines and vineyard offerings and the "bestest"P9270011, most fun guides that knew about the region like the back of their hands.  What a perfect get-away to look forward to.  But there are also international trips and many locations throughout the U.S. so you have many choices.  I want to share - in photos - some of our great days with other biking buddies that loved wine, adventure, and camaraderie.  Go for it - get your last minute gift at Trek Travel.  By the way, you don't have to be a "riding" expert, all levels of riders were accommodated.  Some riders liked to ride a little, shop a little, drink wine a lot!
  

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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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