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Showing posts from March, 2012

My Fate

I've been riding Specialized bikes for years. My first race bike was the 2008 women's Era, a full suspension bike designed small enough for me. It was (and still is) an awesome, reliable ride that took the bumps, climbed really well and handled like a charm. I briefly tried another brand, but went back to the Era. I just couldn't find another bike that fit as well. It got pretty fun at the races when I showed up on my "antique" and everyone else was on brand new steeds. So last year, when I upgraded to the carbon Era, I was thrilled. Even better climbing, outstanding handling on any terrain I was willing to ride. Lighter then the older Era by a few pounds and with better suspension as well. But now, everyone was jumping on the 29er wagon and asking if I was also planning on switching. And last year, the answer was no - I really loved my Era and none of the 29ers out there seemed to go small enough without needing to do some really crazy adjustments.

And then I rea…

Red Light Blues

I knew the group road ride today was gonna be rough. I was feeling pretty beat up when I started my easy warm up over to Starbucks and as the fast crowd and the really fast crowd started filling the street corner, I wasn't looking forward to what was coming. I'd already revised my target goal from the left on to Link to the light in the middle of Mark Sheffel. And on the roll out down Boulder (before we'd merged with Platte) I was joking that I might not even make to Mark Sheffel. The roll out was that fast - nearing 20mph and the group was stretched along the road even at that point. I should have known better - I've done enough group rides now that I try to stay near the front on the roll out. But the group was so much bigger and moving so fast, I didn't really think about it. Then, cruising down Platte, the light near the mall turned yellow. The riders in the front (about half a block in front of the back of the pack - with that half block a solid stream of bike…

Gift of sight

One year ago, on March 11, I was under the knife (and the laser and the cryo wand) to save the vision in my left eye. I was lucky - the tear and detachment in my left retina was small and I had caught it quickly. But that didn't make the experience any less scary. From having a black spot, a hole in my vision, to being having surgery and a gas bubble in my eye, it was a stressful few weeks. A week sitting on the couch, not being able to do anything. Hoping that when the gas bubble went away, my vision would be normal again. There was a chance the the I would not get vision back where the tear had been. Then gradually starting some activites again - walking and riding inside, no swimming. I was driving, but I couldn't even get my own bike on and off the car because of the lifting restrictions!

And now, a year later I can truly say it was a gift of sight, the surgery that repaired my retina. After all, it used to be that something like that happened and you went blind - there was…

The Philosophy of Kittens

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We can learn a lot from animals regarding balance in life. Their philosophy is to play hard, play crazy and have fun, then nap hard and recover for the next bout of insanity. If there's a comfortable lap open for the nap, even better! It's been fun watching those two tearing around the house like crazy nuts. They're playing with a mouse or a grocery bag, or a little stuffed animal. anything is a cat toy and if it makes noise, even better! Sasha has favorite toy that she carries around, drops and tosses in the air for a few minutes, then moves on to the next spot in the house. And George is just a little gremlin, getting into everything. They get their exercise and have their fun. Then it's nap time. And these kittens sleep hard - George's eyes roll back into her head and she'll topple off your legs if she's not careful! Little furballs, snoozing soundly, saving energy for the next round of fun.

And that's exactly how we should treat our play and exercis…

Digging deep....

After a lovely trip to Arizona for the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo, it's back to the grind. And that means attempting to stay with the group road ride - aka Saturday Morning Worlds! The roll out along Platte was brisk and it was a really big group. I was a little skittish at first since I haven't been in a group for a while and it was a big group. There was also a pretty stiff wind from the south that I was not looking forward to. Sure enough, at the right hand turn, things got nuts. I knew that I wouldn't be able to take a turn on the front, so I hid in the back. Even hiding in the back was pretty hard work today - there were some fast guys on the front today. It was also kinda a weird day in the pack. Lots of surges and accelerations - on the gas to prevent the gaps from happening, then breaking to avoid the wheels of the people in front of me. I made it to the left turn onto Link and then was spat out the back. And with the wind, it was hitting a brick wall. I tried to h…

Circles in the Desert - 2012 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Nick and I came to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo with a plan and a goal, and the knowledge that proper execution of one would achieve the other. We were also hoping to climb that final step on podium this year. We came prepared for anything after the AZ Hurricane of 2011, but the weather did not prove a factor in the race. And while we successfully executed our plan, completing a very solid 19 laps, Nat Ross and Rebecca Rusch – the King and Queen of Pain ruled the day. I can’t really say we were competing against them – they could have finished 20 laps easily. Nick did a great job of keeping the pressure on Nat, but I wasn’t even close to Rebecca! The race between the top three teams stayed fairly tight until darkness. Every duo on the podium did awesome against some really tough competion this year


As usual, Nick did the start lap. I have no desire to endure that kind of chaos – holding Nick’s bike was tough enough! It felt like there were more bikes and more spectators crowding the ro…

Spring Time in COS...

Means snow one day and 70 degrees the next day! Luckily, we are in the middle of some of those uber warm, gotta get out and pedal weekends. And get out and pedal we did. Two fun rides, one chill and the other me chasing the boys has left me with some tired legs and great tan lines. Sunday, the fun ride up Stratton then all the way to the end of Columbine. I haven't ridden the whole length of Columbine in a while. Nice pace up Gold Camp, then blasted down the single track. For a perfect Colorado day, there weren't that many hikers out. Bobbled one of the switch backs but otherwise kept the rubber side down.

Today was not a chill ride. It was Tracy chasing after the boys as they rode their own pace. Unfortunately, they had to stop and wait for me at every intersection in Red Rocks. I wasn't riding slow, but I wasn't staying on the train at all. Had a few guys making fun of me as Nick, Dave and Matt dropped me on the climbs and I'm chugging along a switch back or two b…

The good, the bad and the ugly at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

Twenty four hours is a long time to race and there are always trends durin the race. A few observations on this years event - outside of my race report.

The Good - Last year I was disgusted by the amount of trash, water bottles and gel wrappers carelessly discarded along the course. This year was completely different with much less trash and such on the trail. It was nice to see that riders were taking responsibility and being aware. We sometimes act entitled to the race and the trails. That's not the case - good stewardship of the land is the only way we can continue racing and enjoying the desert single track. Thanks to everyone who worked hard during the race and after to make it seem like we'd never been there. Hopefully next year will be even cleaner!

The Bad - One of the awesome things about 24 hour racing is the blend of people on the trails. But that can also lead to conflict between racers, riders and people there to have fun. While Nick and I fall squarely into the r…