Transcendence

Most people do crazy stuff when they turn 40 - the classic midlife crisis type affair. There's buying a snazzy new car (does a 4WD Merce...

Mar 30, 2009

Road ride

I went for a long road ride with two of the women from the Silverman Party on Sunday. We rode from my house, down to Fountain, then did the Hanover loop out east and returned home. It wasn't the best of days - the wind was blustery and cold. The roads were perfectly clear, despite the drifts on the side of the road. There still was sand on the major roads, but not enough to make the ride miserable except in Fountain proper. I lead the group from the house to Fountain so people wouldn't get lost. The wind made yelling directions difficult. After we turned out of the wind, we started sharing the workload, often just taking the whole lane. That's the nice thing about Hanover - so little traffic. But it was still a great ride, even with the wind. I didn't get my brick run in - I was too tired after the ride and Versus had bike racing on TV. I have my priorites and relaxing with my husband and my cat watching other people ride their bikes seemed like the best option at the time.

Mar 27, 2009

Winter er, Spring Fling

Talk about the best laid plans going all amok. Nick and I both took the day off yesterday so we could ride and run down at Lake Pueblo State Park, then head to Canon City to go to Spring Fling at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey. It was the release party for the Sauvignon Blanc Reserve and the wine was paired with a local Japanese restaurant. I like the winery and wine and we both like Japanese food. It was going to be a fun day with some good training.
Then the weatherman started freaking out about an impending blizzard. The dire news started Monday. “Don’t travel unless you have too” was the word of the day. Nick and I didn’t worry – the weatherman is usually wrong about the weather in Colorado So we slept in, packed up all our warm clothes, running shoes and bikes and headed south. There was snow on the grass in Colorado Springs and clouds hiding the sun. The snow was gone by the time we reached Fountain and the sun was out. The wind was blowing, but it was warming up. We reached Pueblo and it was still nice. The temperature was mid forties with a brisk wind. The only sign that weather might be moving in were the ominous clouds blanketing the mountains to the west, north and south.
Our plan was to ride for three hours, then I would run for four miles. We both had our Gore jackets on to start, but warmed up quickly. It helped that we can both ride technical climbs and descents, although I’m not nearly as strong or confident as Nick. We were able to stay in the canyons and out of the strong wind. After an hour, we stopped at the car to fix Nick’s rear brakes and add some air to my front suspension. The sky was darker and the clouds were sweeping in from all directions. We both put our jackets on and headed back out onto the trail. At this point the wind was really starting to pick up and the clouds were starting to brush the outskirts of the lake. On the last climb up Rock Canyon, the snow started falling, gentle flakes at first. On the top of the ridge and the wind started driving the snow like BBs into our faces. Five minutes from the car and the previously bone dry trail was rapidly turning to mud. The clay mud coated our bikes in muck by the time we reached to the car. Two hours and fifteen minutes after we’d started and the blizzard was upon us. That third hour and run were out of the question.
After quickly changing into dry clothes and getting the bikes loaded, Nick and I huddled in the car to warm up. We’d been fine riding, but the minute we stopped, the wind stole all body heat, even with the Gore Jackets. Our ride plans had been foiled – would the winery still be having Spring Fling? I called and they said the party was still on. We drove the back way to Canon City, through gusting winds and deep drifts of snow. There wasn’t much snow in Canon City yet, but the wind was still blowing. We spent about an hour at the winery, tasting the wine and enjoying the food.
Then came the drive home. Down south, there was just blowing snow and poor visibility. The further north we got, the icier the roads became. On 115, the visibility quickly decreased as the wind strengthened. About ten miles from home, the road turned into a sheet of ice. Cars were scattered on both sides of the road. We could feel the wind blowing the jeep sideways across the ice. Thankfully, Nick is used to driving in snow and ice and we had no problems getting home. It just took a while.
The bikes are still in the garage, frozen solid and covered in muck. We’ll have to deal with cleaning and maintenance when they defrost. Both the Y and 24 hour fitness are closed, so the workouts for 3/27 are looking a little questionable. I’m not running outside, that’s for sure. The good news is that we did get two solid hours of riding in and its March. Snow in March always melts quickly and the trails need the moisture.

Mar 23, 2009

Silverman Party

I hosted the Silverman DVD party for the tri club this weekend. I think it went well and everyone had a good time. We didn’t go down to Lake Pueblo State Park like I had originally planned since the weather here has been so nice. After I canceled the Lake Pueblo trip, another member of the club offered to host a mountain bike ride out of Stratton. Nick and I tagged along with her group. It was pretty good ride, with the long climbs up Buckhorn and Palmer trail and the fast decents down Capt’n Jacks and Section 16. I’d actually never ridden Palmer or Section 16 before. I’ve run the trail in the opposite direction, so I knew what was coming up, but it looks different on a bike. The ride took longer then Nick and I’d planned, so we didn’t have time to really relax when we got home.
The turnout for the party was decent – there were about 10 people here. Everyone brought food and something to drink, so there was plenty of food. My chicken tortilla soup was a hit. I think we spent nearly an hour just socilicing before we actually settled down to watch the DVD. The funny thing was that most of the people attending were actually mountain bikers and Xterra athletes. And we were sitting down to watch a road triathlon. I’m not sure that everyone was really there to watch the DVD because there was a lot of chatting going on during the race, but hey. Meeting new people and having fun is more important, right? Hopefully everyone who came had a good time.

Mar 20, 2009

Bike v Car update

Nick will be taking his bike into the shop next monday. It was earliest he could get in for the post crash inspection. He thinks that the rear triangle is bent - the rear wheel is bent for sure. His hip is looking better too, the bruise is fading now. It was a lovely shade of purple and green and yellow the last two weeks. He's also starting to feel like riding again, which is good. He gets cranky if he doesn't ride.

I just wish that the drivers would pay more attention to other road users. We shouldn't have to fear for our lives while out training.

Mar 9, 2009

Bike V Car

Nick was hit by a car on Friday night. He wasn't hurt bad, just a lot of road rash and huge bruise on his hip. His bike also appears to be okay. This older lady was turning left, stopped and then gunned it. The evasive manuvers didn't work and Nick took her mirror off with his hip. The frustrating part is that Nick had all the lights he needed on. She just didn't pay attention and thought she could beat him. Then she got mad at him for riding at night. The cops did give her a ticket - which she wasn't happy about. She kept arguing why Nick wasn't getting a ticket as well. This time around, the cops were on our side. And she never once asked Nick if he was okay - perseverating on the fact that his bike did not have reflectors. You don't need reflectors with a 400 lumen light on your head. Thinking you would get home faster by cutting off the cyclist didn't help.

Mar 4, 2009

Technical practice ride

The weather has been so nice this last week. I feel sorry for the East Coast, but I know our turn is coming. I took advantage of the nice weather to go over to Palmer Park yesterday to practice some technical riding. There's one trail that has a good mix of rock gardens, tight turns and steep drops and climbs. There are no major consquences if you miss a technical piece either. The first time I rode that trail with Nick, I walked a lot and was a little freaked even by the easier parts. This time, I spent twenty minutes on the small section, just practicing. I never managed to clean the whole trail, but I did manage to get each individual technical section - on the third or fourth try.

I'm still nervous about the racing season. I know that I did well at Old Pueblo, but my times were 10 - 15 minutes slower then some of the pro women. Nick says I'm being to hard on myself - those other girls have been riding for years and I just started racing. I'm worried that I won't have the time to improve the technical skills before the first race.