Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sound Familiar?

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over a sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Robert Frost
Two Tramps in Mud Time

Friday, March 27, 2009

Life is about to get interesting...

Well, I've never been good at tooting my own horn, so this is going to have to suffice. I've been chosen as one of five women to represent the Trek brand and be an advocate for other women to ride and live a healthy, fullfilling lifestyle. I'm proud and honored to have been chosen. This is one ride I most definitly won't forget.

Press release to go out Friday March 27


Trek Women is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 Trek Women Who Ride contest.  Roxzanne Abbott, Caitlin Hollister, Rebecca Jensen, Amy King, and Mary Strupp will be given Trek WSD bicycles and Bontrager gear and will represent Trek Women by attending regional events and sharing cycling and life experiences in their blogs at http://www.trekbikes.com/women/.  Passing the torch are Trek’s previous Women Who Ride Stephanie Brodegard, Laura MacLean, Susan Mele, Jennifer Polo, and Marie Westrope, who represented Trek throughout 2007 and 2008. Trek’s Women Specific Product manager, Heather Henderson said “it was so difficult to choose only five women from the incredible pool of contestants, we wanted to include them all, but we’re excited these ladies will be on our bikes and representing Trek WSD!”


Trek introduced the Women Who Ride contest in 2007, asking entrants to submit an essay stating why they should represent Trek WSD and be given a new Trek WSD bicycle.  The 2009 contestants were asked “why do you ride?”  All submissions were read by a panel of judges, the winners ultimately passing four rounds of elimination.  Roxzanne, Caitlin, Rebecca, Amy, and Mary submitted compelling essays detailing their pleasure in encouraging other women to ride.  On being informed she was a winner, Roxzanne’s enthusiasm was clearly evident: “I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!! WOOHOO!! THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. I'M STOKED AND JUST FLAT OUT OVER JOYED. CAN YOU TELL I'M SCREAMING???!!!!”


Trek runs the contest in their unending effort to include ever more women in cycling as part of a happy and healthy lifestyle.  It is their belief women can help and encourage other women by sharing their experiences, for better or worse, and eliminate potential barriers that block participation to the sport.  “The hope is that by sharing stories about real-world experiences, more women will feel comfortable getting on bikes because they better know what to expect while riding,” said Henderson.




The following bios will be featured in the new 2009 Ride Guide.


Amy King

Amy is a former elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom who wants her kids to know the thrill of cycling.  When she's not visiting the zoo, cleaning up toys, or hosting a playgroup, she can usually be found out on a ride.  Amy commutes to work by bike, rides centuries, competes in triathlons, and adores singletrack.  Amy also enjoys snowboarding and hiking (with and without children).  She also likes to pretend she's a domestic goddess by attempting to bake, try various crafts, and not kill the plants in her garden.


Caitlin Hollister

A Boston native, Caitlin teaches third grade in the city, enjoying early morning bike rides to school.  Her summers are spent mostly touring on her bike,  including trips through the Canadian Rockies and along the West Coast.   Newly married, Caitlin and her husband David were engaged on a bike ride to their favorite swimming hole.  When she's not cycling, Caitlin loves to run and ski with David and their chocolate lab, Mocha.  She's always eager to bring friends along for new adventures both in the city and the backcountry.  Caitlin volunteers with the Appalachian Mountain Club's Youth Opportunities Program, training youth workers to lead outdoors trips with kids. 


Mary Strupp

Mary got her first new bike at age 44, completed her first triathlon at age 54, and started a new business opportunity at 64.  A Milwaukee native, Mary has lived in eight states, is a mother of two, and a grandmother of four.  She has been a medical researcher, a teacher, marketing director for shopping centers, sales and marketing director for a plastics company, and owner of a different plastics company.  In addition to outdoor sports she enjoys reading and crafts like knitting, sewing, and quilting.  Her motto for tackling just about anything is be there; be involved; be positive; be happy.


Rebecca Jensen

Rebecca is a self-proclaimed anti-snob, pro-fun cyclist.  Rebecca’s love for cycling began after knee injuries side-lined her from soccer and running. Riding for her college cycling team at Whitman College, as her fitness increased, so did her cycling prowess, winning five Collegiate National Champion jerseys. After graduating she began working for the Walla Walla Community Center for Youth, coaching a junior cycling team and teaching bike repair.  She believes the best way to help people, which she finds immensely rewarding, is through contagious enthusiasm.


Roxzanne Abbott

At almost 40 years young, Roxy tries to make the most of each day; every day is a gift and do I love opening presents!  Roxy has ridden and raced mountain bikes for ten years when not busy with her fourteen-year career at an advertising firm.  She plans to marry her soul-mate this year, but only after a full bike season of riding, racing, traveling and trail building is over. They direct their local mountain bike racing series in and around Omaha, Nebraska, volunteering extensively with the local trail care organization. Work hard, play hard. It's all about finding balance and living life to its fullest.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Nebraska weather blows. Literally. For days. I have no idea where our trash can is. These chilly, windy days only make me think more about our annual trek west to the red dirt mecca of Moab and it's drinking buddy, Fruita. Never been, you say? Then you are truley missing out on a bike experience of a different kind. My first trip to Moab (which I had never even heard of prior to) was with a group of riders lead by well known huckster, Trevin Seng. That's where I met Nerd Boy for the first time. What a ball of energy. He was like a puppy with a new chew toy. Like every second. But now I know why. When you get there, and realize all of the riding you're about to do, you'll pant too. When I got there and layed eyes on the rusty-red horizons, and the sky that never ended, I thought how lucky I was. The scenic route into Moab is spectacular. The two-lane highway snakes through an expanse of land that's as wild as it is desolate. Get out of the car. Turn it off. You will hear nothing but your own heartbeat as you try to take in an what you're seeing. As you get closer to town, the Green River appears and runs along the highway as it erodes the massive canyon walls as it's done forever. In the distance the arches and formations of millions of years of wind and rain seem to be frozen in time. All of this makes the wanderer in me ache. I want to see all of it but it's gigantic and impossible so I burn it into my brain and live the experience of seeing it all for the first time with each new person we bring out there. It just simply has to be seen to be believed. (Check out the slide show from last year's trip). 
We'll hit the bigs: Soviergn, Baby Steps, Klondike and the big mamma, Porcupine Rim. Each has something different to offer. We usually try to take newbies to do some sight-seeing as well, making the pilgramage to Delicate Arch for a sunset saluation. Ever seen a water color in real time? God's a great painter! We'll eat well, drink even better and sleep deeply from all the days' riding. I can't wait!

A few days in Moab first and then we'll head back east to Fruita, Colorado. Peeps, if Moab is the mecca, then Fruita is the lost holy land. There is so much riding there but because the town is super small and there's nothing really else to do, it really has stayed pretty low key and chill. Don't get me wrong. It's world reknown, but it's still a cowboy town who puts up with all us dirt heads from the big cities. But they are super nice folks and we have a great time. 

Our buddy Mike Resetar (THOR fame) leads a trip every year and we discovered this place on one of his trips. It has more true single track riding. There's more vegitation and more change of scenery. There's just plain more riding. Everywhere. Road 18 is like an amusement park for mtb'rs. Trails upon trails that aren't to long intersect with each other. You can do quick runs all day. But bring a tarp. There ain't an ounce of shade. Road 18 is at the base of the Book Cliffs, a long row of canyon cliffs that's rideable more in the summer due to altitude. I've never been but I'm sure it'd be a good time. But of all the areas I've ridden, Rabbit Valley is my go-to fave. You get all of the good stuff and some bad; deep sandy roads and some power climbs but they are few. What you do get is slightly technical single track that snakes in and out of the canyon's fingers. The view of the Colorado River is right out of an old western movie, wide and free. For the most part we're always above it so it's a great back drop for photos. And to make things extra fun, this year I'm going to race it at the first race of the Mountain State Cups race. A national. Holy crap. My first! But I figured, why not? I'm there and I've ridden the area enough to know what I'm in for, so I'm going for it. RF is too. I'm psyched. 

There's so much riding in Fruita and Grand Junction. I encourage everyone to get out there and disappear into the wild. 

So come aboard. If you're interested, let me know. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Trail Day at Tranq

I'm being lazy. Check out MTB-O! over in the side bar for deets.

As Seen on TV

With the bike season ramping up, so is my hunger! I eat about every 2 hours. To keep the munchies as bay, and as a quick healthy meal, Nerd Boy and I mix up protein smoothies for breakfast and after rides. We are hard core users of The Magic Bullet. Our buddy Larry told us about it and since we got it, bye-bye mixer. No longer do we have to pull out that huge mixer, and dirty it up and take it apart to wash it, etc. With the Magic Bullet the mixing mechanism screws onto the cup that you drink out of. It's pretty sweet. I mix in 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1/2 banana, 2 scoops of powder and in 15 seconds I have a healthy breakfast. RF mixes in espresso! Yeah, now I have your attention! Try it. You'll feel full for hours thanks to the protein meals. And then it's even better for post rides when you're dead tired but angry hungry. Mix up something tasty in seconds. I've seen the Bullet in grocery stores and other places where "As Seen On TV" stuff has sold. Luckily, this isn't a piece of crap. Check it out!

Weekend Warrior

Got in some good miles this weekend. RF and I headed out on pavement Saturday morning. Not much wind but it seemed no matter which way we went, it was in our face. We got sucked up by a train of roadies consisting of Spence, Wally and others. Took turns in a pace line. Well, I didn't but I watched. That ended at Haworth Park. They kept heading north and we went across the Bellevue Bridge. Funny how the bridge employees always have some kind of commentary when you ride your bike to the window. Always curious where you're heading and where you've been. I suppose we help to break up the monotony of working in a closet all day. Once across the bridge we headed north at the first road which wound us around to the Wabash Trailhead and from there we did our usual route through CB, over to Big Lake Park and then took the trail back to the Ped Bridge. Lots of folks out on the bridge. Afterwards Nerd Boy met up with Nerd Boy Buddies to play RC cars. Ended the night in the kitchen of a friend, dining on a large bowl of pesto-laden linguni with grilled chicken and Focaccia bread. Now that's how ya kill a Saturday.

Sunday was spent in pain mode, doing intervals and listening to that God-Forsaken Nebraska wind. Argh!!! Spent some time at mom's helping with yard work (aka blowing ours off). 

All in all, pretty lame but those are few and far between once race season starts in full swing.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

First Dirt

Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! We got on dirt. We got on dirt. We got on dirt. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy....Good group on the TNR. Gravel ride nada! Yep, folks, we took a chance on some feedback that Swanson was rideable and by garsh it was! Soft in spots and leafy in others. One log down over the rollers after the big dip in the back section. Please don't ride around the soft stuff. We don't need the trails to be wider. A dozen or so peeps. Hot Pepper Harlan on his X-bike presuming we'd be on gravel. Run what ya brung, he says. Way to go with the flow.Got in a couple laps then chowd down at Lil Burro. Nothin beats taquilla chicken tacos.

But the best part is I got to actually sample the new magic carpet. Carbon on single track is like crack and I'm hooked. Roots? Pfft! It takes the edge off so much that it's totally rideable with all the suspension locked out. Unfortunately my back won't play that game but it's pretty comfy! Working on getting the shifting right. Sorry, Kev and others who go stuck behind me going up the root climb. Totally wrong gear!

Happy First Day of Spring!!! See ya on the trails.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ladies and gents, introducing psycowpath.com!!!! Thank you Psycowpath MTB Committee and JSP Web Design.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Survival Gear

Hey party people. Thought I'd share with ya some of Dirt Girl's dirty little secrets. 

Want your butt to survive long rides? ASSOS! End of story. Yes, it's expensive. But so is a $120 pair of shorts but you won't buy those, so get the ASSOS. Nerd Boy and I went on a hut to hut trip several years ago and after day two sitting on the saddle each morning was a test of will. We didn't have the ASSOS then. Once we started using that stuff, we knew that trip would have been way better and we've been using it ever since. Try it. I wouldn't lie to ya. Trek Store carries it.

Want your cycling clothes to survive years of your stink and sweat? Penguin Sport Wash. We've been using it for years and it's great. It's concentrated so you'll only need a capful for a full load. Never be the stinky rider in the group. This stuff kills all the smells plus it doesn't clog the fibers of your high performance gear so that they perform like they're supposed to. I've found it locally at Bakers.

Want to survive long, chilly rides? WOOL! From October til about now, I've used the same wool jersey and the same wool underlayer and I think I've only washed it twice a month. This stuff is a miracle fabric. And it's so well made now that it doesn't itch. It's power to pull sweat from your skin and wick it away yet keep you warm blows my mind. And even after a sweaty ride, it will seem as if you did nothing at all the next day. Dirt Girl is down with the Ice Breaker brand but there are many others out there. 

Wanna survive long rides w/o losing electrolytes? Dirt Girl has a senstive stomach so she has to use a pretty mild additive to her water. She uses Vitalyte. It was invented by a marathon runner and it tastes great. I use it in my camelback when I race or when I'm traveling and riding. It's low on the calories so you may need something else for calories but as far as electrolytes, this is good stuff and it's cheap. $12 a canister. You can't get it locally. 

The other performance additive Dirt Girl uses is Sport Legs. These little pills give me that extra push by staving off the lactic burn so I can ride longer. It also eases my recovery. Give 'em a try. 

Hope this has helped. Now go out and ride.


Saturday's Spanking

Rule #1: don't go on a 3 hour ride after only eating half a bagel, 2 hours prior. Dirt Girl learned the hard way. But you know how us riders think. It'll be awight. Well, at 3 hours Dirt Girl was dropped like a sack and left to die alone, with only the f'ing wind in her ears. Hour 3.5 she drags herself back to civilation, only to have to still ride home with perky Nerd Boy who happily spun himself silly. Holy crap! Check out my Motion Base titled Two Rivers on 3/14 and you'll see my heart rate. My coach is going to be a tiny bit upset. Look at it at mile 60. That's when I was literally hanging over my handlebars at the side of the road. I was road kill. Learn from Dirt Girl. Eat! And pace yourself. The Garmin said about 3000 calories burned. So guess what Dirt Girl did? Put it right back in at Qdoba and then two hours later at Jimmy D's. Great food there, people. Go there on Saturday night, ask for Dee. Tell her Roxy sent you. Sunday was spent chillin on the CB loop. Lovin the warmer temps. No jacket this weekend. And tons of folks on the Ped Bridge. Nice!


Friday, March 13, 2009

TNR CB Stylee

This week's TNR was around Council Bluffs, on the loop made fame by our ol' pal Rusty. Now that the ped bridge is in place, we don't have to risk our lives riding over the interstate bridge. This route is great if you have a N or S wind because most of it is protected by the neighborhoods. There are a couple of doozy hills but it's mostly flat.

Check out the motion based map over there on the right titled CB Loop. Start at the Ped Bridge. Porta potties aren't out on this route yet. There will be one at the trail head of the Wabash soon. Otheriwise, the gas station across the street is where I stop (plus you can get snacks). And then there will be a few at Big Lake Park once the weather turns nice. Mostly a trail ride but to get from Northern CB to Southern, you'll have to ride through the neighborhoods and cross Broadway. 

Lights were needed still.

Get outside this weekend. 70s are on the way, my friends!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blair Witch Strikes Again

NW wind at 15mph on Sunday. So what's a Dirt Girl to do? That's right. Go shopping. She got some cute spring threads, I have to say. But due to DAYLIGHT SAVINGS she had plenty of time to jump on her magic carpet. But that crappy wind. She didn't want to deal, so she loaded up the carpet in the Subi and took off for Blair. Aaaah, what wind? Zone 5 across the Omaha Trace was a piece of cake! Well, kinda. Hills still suck, even with the wind. Cruised the rest of the way home and Nerd Boy took me back to get my car. Made for a long day but that's what life's all about, right; sucking the daylight out of each minute! See the Blair Ride in the Motion Base link for a map. 

miago (make it a good one)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

MotionBase Maps

Ever get ready to ride and ask yourself, where should I ride and for how long? Dirt Girl does it all the time. So she decided to use her super sweet Garmin 705 (prize from Dakota 5-0...schwing!) to map her rides to hopefully help out anyone that is stumped on where to ride. Dirt girl rides a lot on pavement and to keep things interesting, she rides all over the place. So as she does her routes, she'll post them to her Motion Based account for the world to see. Click on the link and you'll see the routes and the conditions, time, temp. etc. You can even download the route from Google Maps. Purty kewl. Dirtl Girl thanks Nerd Boy for helping her set it all up. 

miago, (make it a good one)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back in Action

After a week off from training to recover and grow my bulging mawscles, I'm back in action. I did a couple hours tonight from home. I was a bit over dressed but not bad. I can't wait for day light savings!!!! I'll actually come home from a ride in daylight. But there is something pretty awesome about night riding and something kind eary too. Especially when you're alone. 

Before I start any ride, I check the wind. If I don't catch the weather report, I check flags on the way home. Real nerdy stuff but that's what ya do. But best to check weather.com before you head out or you might get caught in a wind change like RF and I did two weeks ago. 7mph on the way home. S-U-C-K!

Anywho, my route tonight was the reverse Bellevue Loop. It starts from midtown (where I call home) and then I take 32nd south to Vinton and then east to I think 20th (whatever bridge that goes over I-80 before the 13th St. bridge) From there passed Spring Lake Park, south on 13th. Usually I go through the hilly hood of Bellevue Blvd but today, after being off for a week, my legs were logs so I went for no hills and took Ft. Crook to Cornhusker and then went past Bellevue U and through Old Town Bellevue and then onto the trail. FYI, I'm a pro at locating porta potties. I can spot them a mile away. I always thank our good Lord for construction sites. So on this route, the porta potty is at the Old Presbyterian Church (and it's permanent) or in the parking lot at Haworth Park.  Nothing like a good pee to get your spirits up in the dark. The trail was empty after passing a woman walking her dogs and a couple going for a stroll. With headlamp lighting my way, I got to see the hiding places of vermon and where the deer hang out. All their little eyeballs glowing in my light stream. I always hope one of those pair of eyes isn't a mountain lion or a crazy dog. 

I only had a couple mile stretch into the wind before I turned west and the wind was at my back. My magic carpet for the night was my trusty Sycip hardtale. All steel with a Windwood carbon fork (thanks to RF). I didn't get any slicks this winter so I'm just riding on some pretty warn down Kenda's. So with the wind at my back and out of my ears, I could actually think about things other than wind. The night was cool and clear. The trail was mostly dry and no ice to be found! Spring is around the corner!

Totals for the ride: 33 miles
Time: 2:18

MIAGO! (Make It A Good One)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Trek is good to the ladies. Check it out, girlies. 2009 Carbon Top Fuel 9.8 WSD stylee. It's just as bad ass as the boy's but with some hot pink accents. We do love our pink. I haven't been able to ride it outside yet, but the laps around Trek Store Omaha were fun. I got to test its track standing capability. (Sorry about the tire marks, he-he) So keep checking back as I test ride my new magic carpet. I'll post some feedback. In the meantime, it's acting as a sculpture in the basement.