Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dirt Girl + Nerd Boy = Good Times

Hey kids. So sorry for the lack of attention to DGD. Wedding planning sucked the life outta me but we made good of it. Had a absolutely beautiful and fun wedding. Weather held for us and made for great s'more makin.

Over 200 guests made the pilgrimage. Ryan and I were, to say the least, humbled and amazed. The sight of most of our beloved in one place left us in awe. The photos will give you a taste of the event. We had a dessert bar instead of a cake, along with s'mores. Karaoke was the entertainment of the evening and I have to say, it was a huge hit, thanks to all those who participated! We danced to Crazy and At Last, sung by our good friend Jenae. A lasting memory. What a gift.

To incorporate our love for the bike, I had number plates made for us and the bridal party. Each number had a significant meaning: #of guests (225), the date Ryan proposed (517), the date of the wedding (103), # of beers purchased (624), etc. Then we rode a tandem that had a huge basket of flowers attached to the back. As we rode it, the clouds parted and we had a sunset to ride into.


It was truly magical. I'll never forget it. Enjoy the pictures!

(Also, honeymoon slideshow now in the lower right column of this blog).

Wedding Day Pics

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Post, finally

Geez, I suck. It's been three weeks since I posted. Funny, that's how long I've been off the bike. Yes, I have a life and it's been packed. Since my last post I've moved into a new house so you can imagine how crazy it's been. Plus, we just got internet last week, so I couldn't post anything.

Enough with the excuses already.

But I have a conundrum. The Women Who Ride blog is now up and I have a contract that says I must post on it until the end of the year. My life is crazy enough with just one blog, but two? I don't have THAT MUCH to say. So, this is what I'm gonna do. I'm going to post there and link the posts here. I don't want DGD to go away. If something seedy and evil happens that would make the corporation upset, I'll post it here. Don't wanna rock the boat. But check it out. The other winners post cool stuff. One of them just returned from a trans-america tour and another from a tour of Colorado. Makes me look like a wussy! Girls on bikes. Check it, yo.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hipster Girls on Bikes

Sweet photos of girls of all kinds sporting bikes of all kinds. I gotta get me some o' dem shit kickers.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Knee Report

First of all I just want to thank everyone I talked to at the TTT for their well wishes and genuine interest in how I am doing.. Dirt Girl was feeling the love and I really appreciate your concern. It was tough watching and not participating in the race but I'm a big advocate of resting to heal, and so that is my focus now. Dakota 5-0 is a question mark at this point.

The knee has begun the healing process. New skin is forming around the crater edges. I've been told by an ER nurse that the deepest part of the puncture won't be healed even by my wedding day, but luckily, my dress is very long. He did confirm that he could still see exposed muscle tissue, so that gives you an idea on how deep it is. Now my job is to bend it as much as possible to aid the tissue to grow back in such a way that I don't have pain when I squat down. This is how I work, people. If I'm given a goal, I latch onto it like leach. My knee will bend, even if I have to strap my foot to my ass.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Laramie Enduro Report

This was the mantra I repeated to myself for most of the 70 mile race that was the Laramie Enduro. Most, I say, because at mile 10, I had to make a choice.

We got to Laramie late Thursday night. My plane was an hour late taking off for Denver and then much of the highway from Colorado to Wyoming was down to one lane due to construction. By the time we checked in to our hotel, it was past midnight. But we had a lazy Friday planned. We got up around 8 and walked to a Cole Creek Cofeehouse, which later we found out, is owned by the originator of the LE. After downing scones and quiche (yeah, we're snobs) we walked the historic downtown to get the lay of the land. Laramie is a college town. Lots of cool shops, eateries and peeps. Seriously. I could live there.

After our stroll we went back to the hotel and unpacked the car. We assembled the racing rigs, lubed up the chaines, aired up tires and forks (had to take out air to allow them to fit inside the car) and headed up to do a recon ride of the course. We pulled up into an empty parking lot exactly where the hole shot was. Just as we were getting ready to ride, Team Ergon pulled up with Jeff Kerkove and Sonya Looney having the same plan. Ryan and I took off up the single track which quickly opened up to some windy-ass gravel roads. After a half our we turned back. The wind was picking up and we could see rain on the horizon.

After the recon we went back to town and got our grub on. We needed to eat well. We pigged out at Jeffery's Bistro. A must if you ever visit. Small place, awesome food from Tai to pasta. From there we hit a local bike shop and then to register for the race. The rest of the day and night was spent fussing with gear, eating and watching it rain sideways. I wasn't too worried considering it was bone dry on trail. I ate those words later in the race.

Race Day: Alarm goes off at 4:45 am. How do ya eat? Unfortunately, the bagels we bought the night before dried out but we forced them down. I also had a vegan cookie that had like 450 calories. At 5:30 we drove out of town, forced to drink gas station coffee b/c the Daylight Donut shop wasn't open, even though 5:30-1pm were their hours of business. That also meant no donuts. The morning wasn't starting off quite right already. But the sky was clear which meant it was chilly. In the low 40s. A record low, we found out later. Luckily I brought arm and knee warmers but once the sun came over the mountains, leg warmers came off and it was just a matter of staying somewhat warm. I did a few hill repeats and went to the starting line.

It was a bit chaotic and hard to understand what was being said and where to line up. I ended up starting way too far back but what ev. All pro, open and ss cats started at the same time, then sports. The gun went off and we charged up a gravel road and to the hole shot. Traffic jam immediatly, but not too bad. Come to find out, the race promoters didn't leave a gate open, so all the racers had to hold on to the gate door for the next rider behind them as it was spring tensioned and would slap back pretty quickly. Once through that and the first section of single track, which was awesome, we popped out onto the gravel road we rode the day before. For a ways ahead and behind me, it was biker after biker. Pace lines were forming to fight the wind. After about 7 miles, we finally dumped back into single track. It was a field of long grass with a ribbon of trail, wide enough for one rider. The next section was again gravel service roads that wound around the wide open landscape. Rolling terrain that warranted large gears and lots of whoo-hoos! It was in this section that I had to decide to keep going.

The gravel roads were well used by ranch trucks. Many of the ruts were full to the brim with rain water so between 20 and 30 mph it was important to keep looking ahead and know what line to take, especially if there were other around you. So I came upon a double puddle and decided to go high center, between them. Three other riders were nearby. I took the line and suddenly it was very loud and chaotic. When I realized I had crashed, the first thought I had was I was being run over by another rider and how much that was going to suck. I popped up right away and asked if everyone was ok. Two other riders had stopped and they were asking me if I was ok. I said yes but again asked if everyone else was and one of them said I was the only one that went down. Whew! That was a relief. I waved them off and started to access my situation. All the parts were moving. Not immediate pain anywhere. Bike checked out ok. So I mounted back on and when I looked down at my pedal to click in I saw the skin of my left knee hanging off. Holy shit! I bent over and well, it was bad as you can imagine. Not a lot of blood (yet) but lots of skin missing. Since it didn't hurt too bad, I decided I'd at least ride to the aid station (at 18 miles, I was at about mile 10) and assess. Well, I was able to ride harder than I thought I would so when I pulled into the aid station, my plan was to grab food and go but an EMT caught site of my wound and talked me into at least rinsing it out. While he did that their awesome volunteers took my camelback, filled it with water and heed and even gave me four ibuprofen that I asked for. How fricken cool is that. I spent about 8 minutes there. I knew I probably lost some places along the way but what do ya do!

I took off with a boiled potato in my mouth and a bananna in my pocket. I looked down at the knee. It was bleeding pretty good now, but as the video said, I didn't have time to bleed. I felt pretty good considering, and knowing there were other aid stations along the way, I knew if things really hit the fan, I would have support to get me back to the car. But, it never hit, so to speak. The worst pain was from the abrasions that still had nerve endings when the cold wind would hit them while riding out in the open range. But the actual gash was numb because all the nerve endings had been ripped out so I labored on.

The course ran through all kinds of terrain from gravel roads to open prairie, some of which was through long prairie grass where you couldn't see what was on the trail or around the corner and it looked like it had just been stomped out the week before, so it was bumpy as well. There were water hazzards like I've never seen before. Some were rideable, some were not. Two, which were next to each other, were waist deep. I kid you not. I had to carry my bike at my shoulders through two bogs, then up a muddy grassy climb. There were others not as deep or maybe they were muddy slogs that sucked up your wheel. Between that and the crash, my drive train was F'd. By mile 55 it wouldn't go into the biggest ring on back without going right into my wheel. I must have gotten off a half dozen times to put it back on. That made the last part of the race really frustrating and difficult. The last 8 miles were by far the hardest. Dubbed the Head Quarters trail, it was steep, rocky and rooty. It's meant to be ridden down, but noooooo, we had the privelage to go up it and if you were cooked by the last aid station at mile 63, then you were in for a tough challenge. But I labored on. My knee was black from the blood, dirt and whatever debree that stuck to it, not to mention any potential evilness from the water crossings. No time to bleed. Just gotta keep going. One bright spot. I did manage to reel in three women that I had passed earlier in the race. That gave me a lot of energy. After the last aid station, I caught a YetiBeti rider and used that as my momentum to finish as strong as I could. Aside from having to dodge a St. Bernard and a local, bearded trail rider while going up a power climb, I made it through the last section without too much incident. I ran some of the short climbs because of the bike issues, but I was surprised that I still had the energy to ride over stuff as well as I did. That last big push sealed my 5th place finish in women over 39 category, 7th place finish overall of both pro and open women. I was happy with that.

After the race, I went directly to the first aid station. The same guy at the 1st aid station was there to again clean up the train wreck that was my knee. From the looks of it, you couldn't tell what was hurt, there was so much blood down my leg.
The doc on site numbed it up and cleaned it as well as she could, but alas, I had to go to the ER to get the rest of the debris removed. Kind of a bummer but it had to be done. They were really cool. I got right in and we joked around while Ryan took action shots. I couldn't even feel anything afterwards because it was so numb so we headed back to the race celebrations so we could take part in the free food and beer. I ended up winning some socks! Score!

So, all in all, it was a tough race. Tougher than the Firecracker in some ways, easier in some ways too. Elevation, although at 7-9k, didn't play as much a factor. Lots of climbing, but it wasn't stupid steep and long. Usually one or the other. It was harder in that at mile 55 I was starting to hit bottom and my efforts weren't as effortful. It probably had more gravel roads than I'd like but then again they allowed for rest and easier pedaling between the gnarly stuff. Will I do it again? I think so. My time of 6:38 was way off my goal of 5:30 but I was also guessing. It seems on average, an hour more than the FC50 would have been more accurate, so next time, I'm going to shoot for 6:15 and less blood loss.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

T-Minus Two Days

Alright, cats, I'm heading out tonight to meet Ryan in Denver. From there we'll drive to Laramie (he drove out in Pearl, my Subaru), which is only a few hours. We'll be able to sleep in, get a good breakfast and some recon riding of the race course. Lots on my mind, so I just really need to focus once I'm on the start line. I've been told to get up front early so I have a chance at the whole shot.

On the home front, mom is home. She looks like she hit the pavement but it's all superficial stuff that will heal. THANK THE GOOD LORD! My sibs will take care of her well while I'm out doing crazy two-wheeled stuff.

We are close to getting a house! If all goes well, we close in three weeks. Anyone got a truck?

Have a great weekend all. I hope this weather comes with us!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Laramie oh-my!

Elevation Profile
7000 ft- 8900 ft

Okay, dirt lovers. Round two of the 2009 trifecta is in my sights. This weekend RF and I will be trying a new endurance race: The Laramie Enduro. This is a popular race, usually selling out in a few days after it opens up for registration. Why? Race support. It's 70 miles and supported all the way by means of aid stations that stock snacks and drinks so that anyone can go light and long.

I've heard that this race is more of a race of old. Less technical, faster and just plain fun. No multiple laps. No hike a bikes. People come to ride their bike and damn it, that's what people do. The caveat: better be getting your grub on before sun rise, cuz the gun goes off at 7am. Ouch! Best to pack a pancake in the jersey.

I'm excited to try a new race. RF and I have found some gems that we've been going back to every year just cuz we have so much fun and the races are well organized but this year we decided to skip 24 hours of 9 mile for the Enduro. We've been to the area on other trips and it's a cool place to play outside let alone race. I can't wait. Ryan is on a mission to not lose to me again, which then puts me on an even bigger mission: to put a stop to his mission. It's all good, clean competition of course. :)

Hard to say how long I'll be out there. I'm going to shoot for around 5:30. It's longer than the Fire Cracker 50 but not as much sustained climbing and lower altitude, so hopefully that equals faster dirt girl.

A race report will follow next week.

Life Report

Whew, what a weekend. Very high highs and very low lows.

First the good news. The hubs-to-be and I put an offer in on a house and they accepted. Woo-hoo! It's not far from our current location and it looks almost the same on the inside. Much smaller kitchen and no deck, so you Xmas partiers are gonna hafta chill in the basement, which is finished and will be a great place to hang for the occasion. I'm picturing a wet bar already. Attic was remodeled and turned into a master suite. I'm going to finally get my walk-in closet! Score! We'll probably close later next month. Yeah, good timing. I know.

Another bit of good news...I had my wedding shower. It was tame (thankfully, since the Mo-In-Law was present). I had a couple embarrassing moments (thanks, Shayna) but it's all good. I think it went over some heads. My attendants hosted the event and they did such wonderful things like provide fresh flowers, awesome brunchy foods, cool gift baskets and they didn't make us play any games. Now, are those real girlfriends or what! The day was gorgeous and I had a blast!

Now the crappy news. My poor mommy went boom on her new vespa. She's in the hospital recuiperating. Without going into the gross details, she's going to be OK! For a woman who's almost 70 (don't you dare tell her I said that) she's got off pretty good. Time will heal broken bones and cuts. She' should be almost 100% by wedding time but will not be doing anything if I have anything to say about it. If anything, experiences like these remind us how delicate life can be, so tell your mom you love her every day b/c there could come a day when you can't.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ladies, stand up for your right to pee

Over the various adventure travels, camping or anything outdoors, one thing is a constant concern for the tender gender: Is there a bathroom? Of some kind? I have a girl bladder like no other and the potty gods have blessed this earth with some pretty timely portas, like the one I found just in time on our hike out from the the Grand Canyon or on our mtb hut to hut trip or the the one at the Porcupine Rim trail head in Moab. But, most of the time, we are copping squats behind the nearest big tree or rock or building, and if you're like me, you're generally with a bunch of "oh, I'm just gonna pull off the road here" dudes. Yeah, I got penis envy. But no more! Ladies, we have been liberated. Go-girl is our answer to squatting. No longer do we have to bare all. We can be one of the guys. We can stand and pee! We're free. And I don't even think we have to shake it when we're done. Just pee, zip and go, girls!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Road Rage

So with dirt events kinda quiet this month, Dirt Girl hit the pavement. It was the Omaha Cycling Weekend so I copped an attitude and got to it. (Just kidding, my skinny friends!)

I spent Saturday at the Papio Crit at registration. That is a great event. Papillion really came through with support from road closings to EMTs. HyVee provided bagels, bananas and water and Power Aid. I sat and watched the racers go 'round and 'round and 'round, oh and 'round again. Oh, what fun. But it all came down the sprint. Whomever came out of the last corner best usually pulled out the win. Most played it safe but there were a couple of skin scrapers.

I kinda hem-hawd all day about racing the rr on Sunday but then I thought why not? It'd be a better work out than I'd do on my own, so I lined up with the other Cat. 4 ladies and about 35 Cat. 5 men (some of which were guys I've ridden next to many times on group rides) so I felt pretty at home. We had a lolly pop course, with a 3 mile neutral start (the stick) and then a 6 mile loop that we did five times. Yeah, we're suckers, for sure!

The start was mellow which was nice for me b/c standing starts are a weak point. As soon as we turned onto the course, it was all for one. It wasn't too crazy. Everyone was in a group just trying to get their legs warmed up. Before the race, I kept hearing about a huge climb, a double hill that went up at the start, then it flattened out for a few pedal strokes before it went up again. At the top was the feed zone. When we got to it, it was great to have people cheer us on and watch us as our eyes popped out of our heads. The first few times up wasn't bad but by the end I wanted that hill to die. The course was fast, overall. A couple of turns after downhills made for some risky cornering, especially coming from someone like ME who corners like a turtle on a tight rope. I'm just glad I didn't cause anyone to go off road.

The first 3 laps consisted of a lot of acceleration, followed by easy pedaling. Surge-chill, surge-chill. It was crazy but I have to pat everyone on the back for a pretty well-behaved group of Cat 4s and 5s. Everyone did a fairly good job of holding their line (I'm including me in this scenario) but I did almost become part of a dog pile when two dudes locked handle bars that brought them and another guy down right in front of me, on the flat just before the feed zone hill. Bikes and butts were sky high. One guy dislocated a finger (but road in on his own after resetting it..ewwww!), another had the wheel truck bring him in and the third guy (the one who caused it all) had lots of rash. Everyone was pretty much okay considering how it looked from behind it all. After the crash, because I was right behind it, I had to haul ass to bridge up to the group. I blew my wad and on the feed zone hill. I was breathing like I was at altitude. I sat in after the feed zone section to catch my breath and then as we approached the turn to the last lap, everyone stood on the gas pedal. Ah, shit. So I did my best to stay with the lead group. That plan was working until we hit the hill one last time and that separated the boys from the men, so to speak (or the women from the boys he-he). All the while during the last two laps the sky was getting darker and darker. The wind was whipping up in every direction, it seemed. We could see the rain curtain off to the north which was a great motivator. Luckily we had it at our back as we headed towards the finish line. It was me and two others. I swallowed them up and told then to jump on. We traded pulls and then one was able to take off at the end and come in ahead of me and the other guy.

All told, 1:47 for about 39 miles. Good times! Nice change of pace for sure. I managed to pull off the win for the Cat 4 ladies with Kim Carveth rocking 2nd and my good buddy Susan Wilson capping off the podium at 3rd. I had a great time riding with everyone and as well as the camaraderie afterwards as we waited for results. I met new folks and even go to chat with significant others. That NEVER happens. I was stoked on that.

All told I had fun, but dirt is truly where I belong.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

More FC50 Pix

Team Flatlanders!

Mmmm. Get me some food, quick!

Tres Place, Yo!

Future, Team Feagan
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Monday, July 6, 2009

40 is the new 20 at the FC50

Age is all relative. For sure.

This year I'm racing up an age class in the USAC races. For the USAC Marathon Nationals Firecracker 50 race, I was in the Open Women 40-49. Ladies, listen up. It seems that as we age, we get faster. Our class was the fastest class of all the non-pro women. Bam! U23? Nah, it's O40, baby.

So, yeah. I'm a bit stoked to place 3rd. Can ya tell? My goal was to podium (check) as well as come in under 5:30 (check, check!) I tell ya, it feels pretty good to do well in the alti-dude and dudette's playground.

We got to Breck on Thursday (thanks to my boss for the free day off). We ate and hung out. Got a great night's sleep. Friday (after a lot of rain) we went out for a hearty breakfast at the Blue Moose Mountain Grill (which is also a bike shop and gardening center. Hey, whatever works). Then we went for a walk to get some real coffee. The boys went off to hunt down some bike parts and I strolled through the Breck arts and crafts show. It was great. Then we did a light spin and some road climbs to wake up the lungs to the fact that they were about to work hard. We found a hill that had a 13% grade. Yeah, it sucked. After the ride we drove to Frisco to get the necessary celebratory beverages from the Back Country Brewery. Yeah, we were planning the celebrations a bit early. We all had been training and were ready to tear off some legs. We stood in line for packet pickup and saw the who's who of the Pro MTB world. Kinda cool knowing they have to stand in line in the rain just like all of us hacks. That night we ate at Rasta Pasta. I had gas pains so bad that I wasn't even hungry and only ate a half order. Altitude always does this to me. Luckily the pains subsided by the time I went to bed (yeah, I was a bit noisy). We set out our gear and tried to sleep.

Race morning was excruciating. Up early to eat so it had a chance to digest. Oatmeal with bananas, raisins and mixed nuts (we had this while camping at Ponca and now I'm hooked). The race didn't start until 11:00. Luckily the TDF was on TV and kept us relaxed. At 8am we dumped our aid station stashes off at the start/finish and went back to the condo to sit, stretch and ponder....and ponder.... and tinker... and stretch... I'm tellin you, it was nerve wracking. Finally around 10:00 we headed for Main Street to warm up and got caught up in the buzz and excitement of the event. With thousands of visitors lining the street waiting for the parade, you can't help but get butterflies. Everyone in their red, white and blue...balloons, flags, kids on their bikes... It was classic Americana, only this time, it was classic Fat Tire Americana.

After a half hour warm up I found my way through the 750 racers to my category, bumping into my trainer, Jason along the way. It was good to hear my sage before I lined up. All of us ladies were grouped in with the younger open cats. I chatted with a couple of them. Most were from the area but one was from WI and was stoked on my magic carpet. We gave each other a high-5 for representing the Midwest. Soon it was our time to be at the start line after all of the men and Pro cats went off. It was a neutral start, so we rolled along behind our leader, slapping kids' hands and waving. Suddenly half of the group started picking up the pace before the end of the neutral start which is grounds for disqualification. The other half of us stayed back looking ahead wondering WTF? Do I go too? Do I stay? Then one woman asked if she could go and well, then we all went. It was chill, not like a stand up and mash, because well, we had a 6 mile road climb to the single track so nobody was really eager to pace line it, including me. I got into a nice gear, put my head down and pedaled. It wasn't a steep climb, just long so it was best to get into a rhythm. On the last part of the road before it turned to dirt, a group of friendlies had a Wild Turkey stand and if you rode over their ramp, you got to do a shot. Some did it. Most didn't. But the dude in the bikini and wrestling mask was pretty convincing as he jumped around his driveway trying to get folks to participate. Ahh, mountain bikers. We're wacked.

So I finally made it up to the single track. I didn't stop at the first aid station b/c I was feeling good and had a most of my bottle still. (I'm a bad drinker). I followed the crowed up a steep, rocky and rooty section onto the single track with a feeling of relief. First climb done. Three left to go. I recovered for a minute, found my pace and cruised. It was crowded so it wasn't like I could just bomb away but I was among quick dudes so I just went along with it the pace. A combination of double-track, single-track, switch backy, long flowy, rocky, rooty, muddy, tacky. We had all of it in the first 15 minutes after entering the trees. But then, hill #2. It was a nasty jeep trail, on the fall line, rudded out like crazy so there was really only one line. If you wanted to pass, you had to work for it by riding the crappy side. I just settled in and looked at the wheel ahead of me. I rode the whole mile or so without incident. After that was a double track section that had lots of baby heads and I had to seek out my own line. I passed many in this area, which was nice. A group of folks up there were cheering us on and welcoming us to the highest point of the race. That really helped out the ol' psyche. BUT, I knew what was still coming. The shale climb. After a gravel road descent that was a two-way traffic section of the race, the 3rd of the quadruple bypasses was next. It started out all scenic and inviting. It seeme the steeper it got, the looser the rocks. There were three stream crossings as well. Riders were shedding their bikes left and right. I HATE walking my bike uphill. I'd rather have road rash. So I used all kinds of English to stay seated while passing the walkers and all the while trying not to slip into the loose stuff. It was really hard but I wanted to do the whole thing without walking. Well, I almost did it. I slipped once and ran to the nearest flat spot and just got right back on. While up there, I caught up to Larry, who had to walk due to cramps. He had his game face on so he didn't look like he was suffering but later he said he'd never cramped that soon. I finally made it to the top and had to slide down 50 feet of gravely dirt only to then power through the last stream crossing which was rushing with rain run off over large, greasy wet rocks. Yeah, good times at 11000 feet. To keep the party going, the trail continued off camber stylee through a shale rock slide. You only knew it's the trail by the mud left on the rocks by previous riders. As I was poking along, trying not to die, I saw Ryan, with his bike upside down, changing a flat. He yelled that he had it covered and cheered me on. But shortly after a long, crazy jeep road descent he caught me. He's a great descender! We rode together for a bit and then the trail headed up again on jeep road. I started climbing and he told me to do my thing, so off I went. I didn't see him again and later he said he just didn't have the legs to go any harder. Eventually the trail turned down a gnarly double track trail that had a pucker factor of about 8. If you went too far to the left, you would head down the mountain. So I looked up mountain the whole time until I hit tree line and then it was a hairy half-pipe descent over rocks. We rode up one side of the trial to the other, trying to find the best lines. My hands were clenched to the handlebars as my arms practically rattled out their sockets. And there was no stopping. Too many riders right on my ass to even think about that, so I just hammered on. Finally at the bottom, on a gravel road, I was able to shake out my hands and unwrench my back. And I wasn't alone. Everyone was doing it. Soon the last aid station was upon me. As I tried to get food and goos out of my jersey, all of my goos fell to the ground. I didn't care. I had a stash at the aid stations so I kept going. I stopped for a bottle swap and was off again. The fourth and final hill was the two-way traffic gravel grinder we came down a couple hours earlier. 2-3 miles of up. And I had to stay alert b/c racers were bombing down at 35 mph on the other side. Yeah, sketch! Finally, I saw the 3rd aid station and I knew it was all downhill after that. I clicked into the big ring, took a few swigs and a gel and bombed away!

After a couple miles of downhill jeep roads full of jumps and puddles we crossed a road and headed into single track, jockeying around trees and rocks and berms until we finally hit the open air on the last section of switch-back descents. This year the race coordinators put huge berms at each switchback which made it so much fun coming down. No longer did we have to break into the corner and put a foot down to turn. It was like a BMX track. Some SS guy was yelling and screaming to pass and finally did by cutting a corner, only to then get passed on the climb back up the mountain. What a tool. I made it through the start/finish at 2:24 for my first lap. I was okay with that, knowing if I totally cracked, I'd have 3 hours to get through the 2nd lap and still beat my goal but I also knew I couldn't dilly dally.

I won't bore you will all the details of lap two but I do need to plug the maker of my magic carpet. The Top Fuel is a machine meant for Colorado racing. I said it when I raced in Fruita earlier this year. It gives me the confidence of a seasoned racer. The longer wheel base is definitely a bonus, especially bombing down rocky stuff. I don't know if it was the Bontrager tires or the Fuel itself, but it just always felt stable and would recover from a fish tail with ease. Climbing was just as smooth. I gotta say, I'm impressed! Now, back to the race. I stopped at the top of the road climb on lap 2 to refuel, and get fresh bottle. Everything went well except that it started to rain. That made for slippery rocks and roots, especially the shale climb. I ended up having to put a food down twice but I never gave up on myself. I kept trying to ride instead of walk. I knew my legs had the energy but at the same time I didn't want to use it all. My arms were really starting to ache, especially after each rocky death-gripping descent. Most of the second lap I had to let go of my left hand and stretch it out. I adjusted my saddle before the race b/c I thought it had moved after we had to raise it to get both bikes on the rack and I think I tilted too far down and back, thus creating more pressure on my hands. But I managed. I came through the finish line at 5:09 on my clock. That was actual moving time. My official finish time was 5:15 so factor in that I stopped twice to refuel and who knows when they start the official clock. Regardless, I achieved what I set out to do and the feeling of accomplishment is undeniable.

After Ryan came in, we all headed back to the condo to clean up. Larry and Rick both unfortunately had to DNF but that didn't stop them from partying like rock stars later (or maybe it was the catalyst). We went back to the finish area for all the free food and beer (we even got free beer glasses). We also chit-chatted with former Omahan Marco Vasquez a la Kaos fame who came out with his fam to cheer on his former Omaha buds. That was awesome. Cam Kirkpatrick raced and finished well (by our non-super human standards, I mean). It was great to be among friends after such a big event. After the podium photo with the rest of the winners, we headed out on the town. We drank and ate anything that was put in front of us. I was mostly sober but the others, uh, yeah, not so good. After watching the local fireworks display we stumbled to an Irish Pub where Ryan, Rick and Bob took over the juke box and sang every Johnny Cash song listed. I hung out with Larry, who was teetering on the edge (but he doesn't remember) HA! Such good times.

The next day was tough for my traveling companions. Hung over and crabby, we checked out by 10am. After some eats we rode easy on a loop from Frisco. It was exactly what they needed to bring them back from the dead.

Looking back on the race and the training leading up to it, of course, I'm just so happy things went the way they did. It's always a crap shoot. It could have easily ended differently. So just finishing is a success but when the result is exactly what I wanted, the gratitude that comes with it is the first thing that pops into my mind. This is a solo sport for the most part and yes I do all of the hard work but if I didn't have a trainer to push me, a fiance to share my obsession, family and friends to forgive me for it and a job to allow me to travel, achievements like these would be much more difficult. So to that I say, thanks all for everyone's support!

Next up, Laramie Enduro. 70 miles at 7000 feet. For now, it's rest time.
Thanks for reading! Check out the motion-base link in the right-hand column. If you click on the chart below, it'll show you elevation and heart rate and speed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

3 days til blast off

The 4th of July is always nerve-wracking for me. It should be a chill day sitting around eating and playing outside. Well, I'll be doing both, but chilling won't happen until early evening after fifty grueling miles through the high country around Breckenridge, Co.

The Firecracker 50 is this Saturday. I've checked the registration list and I'm one of 12 in my age group. I can't wait! The magic carpet is ready to fly away. My biggest concern is nutrition. Gotta put in as much as my stomach can manage all-the-while burning double the amount at any given time. It's all about input vs output. And when a couple of those outputs include monster climbs, you can imagine the energy being used, not to mention, the altitude.

So every year I go in with lessons I learned from the year before in hope of bettering my time with each attempt. This year, it's to come in under 5:30. If I do that, regardless if I make the podium, then it will be a success! Then, it's pig out and drink!

Be thinking of us come noon on Saturday. The midwest will represent! Me, RF, Larry, Bob Weick and Dr. Rick Thompson.

Happy 4th all!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Meet some dirt girls

Finally after much delay with the weather, we finally were able to have a Chica ride. It was at Lake Manawa and I'm tickled to report I had my largest group yet: 6. Woo-hoo! Two were newbies, Linda and Jennifer. It was literally Linda's first time on single track and she did great! You should have seen her one-foot it through a couple of hilly spots. But she kept the rubber side down the whole time. Jennifer has a new Specialized full squish that she's getting used to after getting her mad skillz on a hard tail. Nicole, Cat. 2 racer, came out and lead the group while I swept the trail. A few others that had been before left before we took the photo. One of the ladies said that if it wasn't for the chica ride, she wouldn't go out on the trails. That's what I'm here for, ladies. Your guide to good times!

Thanks for coming out and riding with me. See you next week at Swanson Park in Bellevue.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

LiveStrong wristband in Iran.

Courage & tenacity know no boundaries. Live what you believe. Soak up every moment.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ponca's Rad Revenge

The Psycowpath race at Ponca State Park went great. Despite the rain, the trails were very rideable, except for a couple climbs. Great work Jay and his team.

Ryan and I decided to do the marathon race to prepare for the Firecracker 50. It was a mass start at Ponca and I was in about 10th position at the hole-shot. I rode behind some beginners and as soon as the trail started to go up, it was chaos. But I managed to run my bike through the carnage and came out the other end behind a junior who's trying to break into the big boys' club by racing open. I stayed behind him despite his requests to let me pass. I wanted to encourage him to push. But once past I did my thing and came up on Larry and one other dude. I stayed with them for a couple laps and then stopped for a water change. Larry went on and I chased him for a lap. Then he stopped for a water change and I never saw him again. I picked off riders as I went and got caught up in the Cat. 2's race, so it was nice to not be by myself for part of the race. At 2:55, I stopped just before the end and chatted with a fellow racer to kill some minutes so that I would roll in after the three hour mark. YES I sand bagged it but I was ready to be done. Come to find out, I ended up 3rd overall, with Ryan taking 1st and a young guy getting 2nd. It was a great race. Hard. So much climbing but the down hills are sweeping and actually sustaining, so all of the work to get up is worth the rides down. Ponca is always a favorite venue and this year didn't disappoint. 26 miles, 4100 feet of climbing. Whew!

You Know It's A Good Weekend When...

Your list of what you did this weekend goes something like this:

Friday: We loaded up bikes and camping gear and were on the road by 4pm. We got to Ponca and were able to check out the wedding site. Score. Got a campsite down by the race course. Score. Bummer, but next to the drum circling hippies. (Note to self - don't camp next to a large area with lots of tents and an old guy with a tye-tied Tshirt who channeling Jerry Garcia). We heated up some pasta, made a fire and were in bed by 11:30, sung to sleep by the crickets (the drummers had finally called it quits).

Saturday: We raced the marathon class in preparation for the Firecracker 50 race over the 4th. The future Mr & Mrs took 1st and 3rd respectively. Score! Then we checked out the wedding site again and scouted for photo ops. Ate at a gas station diner where we downed country skillets, all the while window shopping for fiber optic angels or the latest in Sturgis-wear. I love those odd places. Got home around 6 and just chilled for the night. Ryan had a friend over and grilled Brats. Nothin like a brat and a beer to make things right in the world.

Sunday: We slept in til 8 and went for breakfast. HyVee breakfast buffet rules! Then I went over to Manawa State Park to help with the Trek Demo day then met with my flower guy after that. Then met Ryan's fam for a father's day meal at Valentinos. I'm sorry, but that place is gross. Food is tastey but the environment is like a hot day at the zoo or World's of Fun. Lots of overweight folks eating way more than necessary and it was hot and crowded. I was glad to get out of there, although Ryan's parents had great stories from their canoe trip down the Missouri with some scouts. After chow I went for a recovery ride (both from the race and my Valentinos gut). It was kinda late, almost 8:00 but on the longest day of the year, that was okay. And the best part of the weekend was the long, long shadow of me on my bike that stretched down the Keystone trail, across the grassy embankment and onto the corn field. Now if that isn't getting the most out of the last bit of daylight, I don't know what is. I capped off the night with a phone call to Dad to wish him a Happy Fathers Day.

You know it's a good weekend when you can spend it doing the things you love with the people you love.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Christmas in June

Look what Santa Trek brought me! Shoes, helmet, gear, XT cranks, tools...all cuz I ride my bike. Ain't that just the coolest thing ever?! All of this is the rest of the stash all of the Trek Woman Who Ride contest winners recieved. Does Trek take care of us or what! Serioiusly, I want for nothing. I have no excuse not to ride. So, let me say it one more time. Ride your bike, people. Look what can happen if you just ride your bike (well, besides lose weight, live healthier, drive less and tap into the 10 year old that's inside all of us).

Thanks again, Trek, and their super generous rockstar head of sales for WSD products, Ms. Heather Henderson. As well as all of those that support women in their quest to rediscover themselves using two wheels. This company/brand gives and gives and gives. They just want people on bikes. I can't say enough so I'll do it by pedaling instead.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

My focus is starting to narrow

Okay, sports fans, so here is why I do what I do-- long days in the saddle, turning over mile after mile. At the prime age of 39.75 years my body is telling me go long. I prefer the marathon type mountain bike races to the classic XC. I can maintain a high heart rate for hours on end once I've ramped up to it and can push back many of the mental demons that can stop most riders after a couple of hours.

So my first big race, as profiled, is the USAC Marathon Nationals in Breckenridge Co called the Firecracker 50. It's a great race, for many reasons.
1. I get to race the same course as the Pros
2. I get to race in the peaks of Colorado
3. The race starts in the town of Breckenridge, CO and we are the start of the 4th of July parade, so as we roll out of town, we are supported by thousands of cheering fans. Kids put up their hands for high 5s. It's pretty sweet.
4. It's supported along the way with 4 aid stations with peeps handing up goos, water and gatorade.
5. Free food and beer following (but ya gotta get done early enough)

...the list goes on. It's such a great vibe and even though the town is a touristy ski town, it's gorgeous in the summer and the condos are cheap! You can find 1bed or studio for $75 a night within walking distance of Main Street. Park your car when you arrive and not again until you head home. It's pretty sweet like that.

So, back to my race prep. I'm concerned. I haven't had the XC season I'm used to having by now. I've usually done 5-7 XC races come July but I've only done 3. THREE! And my training is different. Lots of long hours to build up that endurance but not consistently at high heart rates. The great thing though is my bike is made for this type of racing. 4" in front and rear give me what I need to make the decents faster and my climbing more efficient (with pro pedal). If I can channel how I felt in the Rocky Mountains State Cup race in April, I should be fine, however, that was an XC event at 4,000 feet. The Firecracker 50 is a fifty miler at 9,000 and up. But, I've done this three times now. I know what I'm in for so that's good. I placed 4th in my age division last year. My hope is to get on the podium this year. That means I need to shave off 30 minutes from my time. That's a ton of time. I'm contemplating going with just one bottle and filling up at the aid stations instead of using my camel back. Ryan's done it that way before. I just fear I won't drink enough. We'll see.

Ryan, Larry "Hot Pepper Harlan" Kitner and I will head out 7/2 in the 'ru. There's nothing like summer time in the mountains. There's no place I'd rather be.

Roxy's ride Saturday

We did some hill repeats in Iowa, between Logan, Magnolia, and Pisgah. There were some brutal hills in there, and Rox is climbing stronger than I've ever seen her before!

4200' of climbing in 65mi. 15mi of ascending, total 1:05. Avg speed while ascending of 14mph. Gaining 20 feet of altitude per minute, on average. Not too shabby!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ida Groove

Man, this wedding planning is killing my blogging time. Sorry!

RF and I were in some serious need of racing. We're usually 10 races into the season by now but without the Heartland Series, we're really scraping for some dirt intensity. So, we decided to wander over to the IORCA series (see link in side bar) to see what's up.

The race was held at Moorehead State Park in Ida Grove, or Castle City. I shit you not, there were castles all over the place- on golf courses, store fronts and museums. Some cat back in the day who was the industry leader liked castles and when you're the one with the dough, guess what, you get to build castles.

Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyy, the race. The weather was sketchy off and on thus scaring away all beginners. So it was only one group of experts and one group of sports. Yours truly went off with the experts but that lasted for about 100 yards. BUT I wasn't last! HA!

The trails were in amazing condition considering the weather. There wasn't even so much as a puddle until we got back onto the service road. As a member of THOR, I was totally impressed! They don't have the clay soil we do, but by golly, it wasn't sticking and by lap 4 it was golden. Berms, log crossing and lots of climbing...2450 in total. It was a short L&C type course with lots of flow. Not a weed touched my leg and not a down tree within 10 yards of the trail. Can I get a hell yeah!

I was the only expert female, out of only twenty-some dudes (there was one other sport female), so I just rode hard to get the work out in. Post ride was at the Family Table where we engulfed burgers and fries. Had weather been better, the local Pizza Hut had outdoor seating on a deck over looking a pond.

Sometimes, you just gotta get out of town and see what's out there. You just never know. You might find a castle in the middle of a cornfield.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend Report

Lewis and Clark race was great! We had just over 100 racers. Woo-hoo! But only 2 ladies out off all racers. Ladies, I'm tellin ya, all you have to do is show up and you'll get a prize! I was putting on the event, so I couldn't race but it was fun watching those boys' faces as they came flying down the hill. So if you've ever wanted to get out to L&C, get out there while the trail is groomed and warn in. DO NOT use the trails used on the north side of the monument. The trail entrance is just to your left when you turn into the park, right behind the entrance gate. 

Thanks for everyone who came out. It was a gorgeous day and I just wanna put a shout out to all the peeps who came out to help: Troy, Andy, Dickey for helping Josh, Ryan and I get the course trimmed up and ready; Donna & John for registration and marshaling, Danna, Dale, Leah and friends for registration and marshaling and Tim Wieland for time keeping. Folks, we really appreciate the time. You rock!

So, because we didn't race and we got out of there in record time, RF and I went for a ride Sat. evening for a couple hours. 35 miles, 1500 calories. I blew that on a large banana split from Goodrich. Sunday was a ride on the RF pain train and I don't mean what you think I mean. We rode to Glenwood via Keystone to Plattsmouth and then around CB to ped bridge. All said, 72 miles 3500 calories. I'm in food deficit, having consumed a Qdoba burrito and later chicken kabobs w/ baked potato. And a beer. Think its time to eat again.

RF and I did some wedding stuff. He liked the tux I picked out (whew) and we registered for gifts. It's definitely more fun to shop when it's not our money. wink-wink

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now that's how you kill a weekend

Pedaling Animation

Sorry, folks. I can't get my stupid Garmin to download my rides, so you're just going to have to take my word for it.

Rode Fri-Mon

Sat to Two Rivers with from Bike Masters
Time: 3hrs
Miles: 53
Calories: 2487 

Sun: Bellevue Bridge to Manawa
Time: 3:06
Miles: 53
MPH: 17.54 Avg
Calories: 2264 

Mon: Fort Calhoun from home
Time: 3:36 (w/ stops)
Miles: 60
MPH: 16.71 avg
Calories: 2576

Time: 9:42
Avg: 17.32
Calories: 7327 (that's a lot of cin'a bons)

So, there you go. That's how you kill a weekend. And yes, I got wedding planning in there as well. Probably averaged the same amount of time. 

Hopefully I'll get the motion based app working again soon.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wedding Planning 101

I kicked the hubs-to-be out of the house so I could spend Memorial Day weekend doing wedding planning. So while he's cruising around the trail in the Badlands, I'm cruising the malls and tux shops. Think he'll look good in this?
On my to do list:
Registering for gifts (yes, I'll let him pick out something)
Get a ride in (check)
Shoes for me
Shoes for my maids (check)
Get a ride in
Writing the invite info
Start on my vows 
Get a ride in

I'm still pondering how to incorporate our cycling obsession into the whole event. We can't ride away on bikes b/c we're on a grassy hill (no, I ain't gonna go DHing in my gown...that's later). We will have a tandem, so maybe we ride on the service road next to the grassy hill for photo ops. For those of you familiar with Ponca State Park, that would be the road next to the visitor's center, that leads up to the start/finish area of the bike races.

I welcome your ideas...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Must do list

This has been on my to do list for a while and now it's the Trail of the Month! Someday, I'll ride that cowboy!

Ride of Silence, May 20

Ride Of Silence - May 20E-mail

On May, 20 at 7:00 p.m., cyclists all around the world will take to the roads for the Ride Of Silence.  The ride is a silent rememberance of those killed or injured in cycling accidents, plus protest the continued carnage taking place on the streets.


Locally, the ride will take place in Bellevue and is being organized by the Bellevue Bicycle Club.  It will start at the parking lot next to the Keystone trail at Raynor Parkway and 36th Street in Bellevue.  Police motorcycles will provide an escort.


The ride hopes to raise cycling awareness during bike safety month to motorists, police, traffic engineers, insurance companies, and city officials. The ride is also a chance to mourn, in funeral procession style, those who have already been killed.


The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph for no longer than an hour, and remain silent during the ride.


The ride requests black arm bands be worn, red only if you have had a bike/motor vehicle accident. Helmets are required; bright clothing and lights are highly recommended for the ride home. There are no fees charged anyone to participate.


To learn more, visit the Ride Of Silence website at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chica Ride

Lake Manawa

Meet at 5:45
Roll out at 6pm

See for directions. Click on Manawa Mayhem under events and scroll down to directions.

See ya there!

A weekend with the Death Star

The Death Star was officially broken in this week/weekend. I jumped on with Bike Masters on the WNR and suffered into a blustery wind after being shot out the back. Shark bait, I like to call myself at that point. No life raft's gonna save my ass. Well, unless you call the two guys I worked with for the first hour my life savors. Thanks, guys! I earned my Qdoba burrito that night.

Saturday was the Goat Hill Ride out of Bikemasters. At 8:30 twenty-some brave souls took to the hills of northwest Omaha. Again, that we had the wind howling out of the NW but the sun saved us. After looking at the profile on my Motionbase link, we had almost 6000 ft. of climbing. That alone earned me two pieces of wedding cake at a wedding reception for Ryan's cousin. Oh, and 800 mg of Ibu so I could dance to "We are Family" and "YMCA" with my soon-to-be outlaws. 

Sunday was a painful start. Still feeling the ride, RF and I drug ourselves onto the Keystone south into that God-forsaken wind. Seriously. Nothing like a fleet of 747s in your ears for an hour to get you in a good mood. Ryan was feeling the sting of the Goat, or should I say the hair of the dog, and so yours truly pulled most of the way. We rode to the Bellevue Bridge and once over, by orders from coach, I had to dig deep and do 10 min. of 30 0n / 30 off Zone 5s. Thanks to my Garmin, I can set an alarm to tell me when to start and stop so I can concentrate on the road. Once that was done, we cruised through CB via Kainesville Blvd and then up around Big Lake and back to the Ped Bridge. I had to put in a solid 3.5 so from the bridge we went to Carter Lake and north to McKinley (by Morman Bridge) and back to 52nd and home. That earned me a bag of popcorn at the movies (Angels and Demons, good flick) and a brownie at dinner. 

All in all 144 miles on the Death Star over 3 rides. The Madone is a great bike for the 2 hour training ride or the 4 hour death march. It climbs well and is comfy on the decents. It's so light the wind kicks me around a bit when it's coming from the side but really no complaints. It got many compliments on its look and design. I think this bike and I will be together a while

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Talk the Talk

For a list of mountain bike slang terms, click here.

List courtesy of, which I found on

Okay, I'm done linking now.

Ride Your Bike To Work Week

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Extreme Yoga = Extreme Pain

Note to self: Don't do hyperflexing yoga moves the day before a race. So, since doing this move to stretch a stiff lower back, I've been off the bike. A lot of good that did. I missed the yummiest conditions at Platte this weekend, then was docile on Sunday. I did ride with the Chicas Monday, but it was just a spin to see how the back was doing. It was mad after one lap at Tranq. Today it's better after seeing Dr. Rick, my back man for a couple of years. Hope to do a group ride Wed. and see what I can accomplish. 

But during my down time I'm back on the wedding planning wagon. I've put it off long enough. Only 5 months away. Wait. FIVE months? That's it? Crap. I better get on it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Moms rule!

My mom is a rock star. (My brother, Jim, is pretty studly too). Don't forget to tell your mom how much she rocks today!
Love ya, ma!
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Curiousity

This learning moment & curiousity chasing experience is brought to you by Nerd Boy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Turkey Tuesday

Tuesday I rode the Bellevue loop backwards. I was still feeling the race from Saturday. You know you're tired when you can feel it in your eyes. Anywho, as I was riding the section of cobbles on Bellevue Blvd. a rather handsome gaggle of turkeys were taking an early evening stroll, strutting their stuff. They didn't want much to do with chick in the lycra, so my photos weren't all that great but there were at least a dozen turkeys. Funny, the house next to the "turkey yard" is for sale. I wonder if having turkey's for neighbors brings down the value? 

The wind was howling out of the south as I entered the Haworth Park entrance to the Bellevue Trail. With my head down, I just did my thing, really wishing I wasn't there. Just call me BA (recognize that from the A-Team? Bad Attitude is right!). Either I was still tired or I was crashing from my 4pm caffeine break. Then, Randy Crist went flying by and soon he chased me down after finishing his zone work out. I was so thankful b/c he pulled me all the way through the wind. What a guy! After that we put up our sails and cruised home. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Day in the life...

5:30 alarm goes off
dirt girl bounces to the window...SUNSHINE!
get up, Nerd Boy, it's racin time!

6:30 getting coffee for volunteers

7:15 pull up at Swanson to unload

8:15 our first registered rider.

"Ryan, turn on some tunes. Wake the neighbors with some Steely Dan", bellows Kent. Ryan loves a little Steely in the morning. (hehe) He obliges, cranks up the volume.

8:30-9:30 racers trickle in. It's madness. But in a good way. I'm stoked. Lots of energy. People are ready to race! So much so that one had his brother get him registered because he was running late. He just made it too. One guy got lost getting to the venue but he wanted to race so he did the Cat. 2 open. When it's time to get your dirt on, it's time to get your dirt on. Do whatever it takes. And so it was.

10:00 Racers are off and I have a breather to eat a turkey/bagel sammy in the hope that I'll be able to pull away and race too. 
Do whatcha gotta do. 
Not perfect. 
Standing all morning. Lifting boxes. Answering questions. Not focused. 
We'll see.

10:30 the next groups start registering. Madness, take 2.
Lots of hellos to peeps I haven't seen in a while. Yeah, this is where it's at. Right here.

11am - unknown cat. 1 women signs up. it's on now. dirt girl is gonna race.

11:30 kit up, kiss my volunteers good-bye and go to warm up (if you call two high cadence spins up and down the road to the fire station a warm up. Guess I'll warm up when the gun goes off.)

12:00 we line up with the cat. 1 men. Sweet. unknown cat. 1 woman is an adventure racer getting in some workout miles. ya wanna work out, do ya? 

12:10 We're off like rabbits. Around the field and into the single track. 35 riders + one narrow hole = traffic. Delay vomitting. Track stand instead at root climb. Whew, made it. Now pedal!

12:35 One lap down. Debbie's behind me but in sight. Nice work for a new mom. I'm way impressed. All those breathing exercises musta paid off! This was my first race without a camel back thanks to side entry water bottle from Bontrager. Not sure I dig it. I like having my hands on the bars. Just deal. Ride your damn bike. 

1pm - lap two down. time to settle in for crying out loud. where's debbie? There she is. WTF? Is she drinking her kid's formula? Awesome stamina! I think she should market that shit.

1:25 - lap 3 down. starting to tire a bit. F'd up the root of all evil. crap. I'm not riding very hard. What is the deal? Let's get this over with. I don't see anyone. 

1:35 - finished. time to recover. mmmm, hamburgers. whoa, stomach. not quite ready. but this chocolate milk will hit the spot.

2:15 - Make mine well done, please.

3:00 - Awards time. Bring on the rock stars.

4:00 - Nerd boy and I head back, unload

7:00 - Head to grad part. Hooray, bike peeps. They are okay with us devouring the snack tray.

10:45 - Heading home. 

11:00 - Tots

11:15 - In front of TV with tots and a beer. 

Now that's how you kill a Saturday, my friends. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Chica Ride

Hello all lady riders! I want more girls to ride with so I'm organizing a ladies only mountain bike ride on Monday nights. I want to show you how fun it is to cruise around in the woods on two wheels. I want to help you feel safe on your bike by explaining how your bike functions. I want you to feel confident on uneven terrain by showing you how to properly ride your bike over natural obstacles like roots, rocks and bumps. Once you learn these fundamentals, the fun you can have mountain biking will be limitless.

What: Chica Ride
Where: Various mountain bike trails in Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs
When: Monday nights, May 4-August 31; meet at 5:45pm, roll out at 6pm
Who: All levels, novice to expert
- Learn how to ride off road
- Non-competitive
- One-on-one instruction
- Fun and fellowship

A little bit about me:
I've only been mountain bike riding and racing for ten years. I didn't get on a mountain bike until I was in my late 20s and it's been a love affair ever since. In the beginning I didn't have anyone to show me the ropes. Instead I was shown the trail and was expected to figure it out. It was a bumpy road for a while but soon I got the hang of it. Within a year I was racing locally and within two years I was traveling to places like Colorado, Utah, and South Dakota riding and racing. My bike became my preferred mode of adventure travel or as I like to call it my "magic carpet" and it has taken me to many cool places like wide open deserts, high peaks and through many beautiful forests - all places I probably would have never seen had I not been on a bike.

A little bit about the Chica Ride:
This is the first time I’ve led the Chica Ride. It’s not my ride, it’s yours. Your pace is my pace. My goal on these rides is to create a supportive, beginner friendly experience. You can ride as fast or as chill as you want. Or maybe you want to practice a certain section over again. I encourage it. I'll be there mainly to cheer you on, give instruction and make sure nobody gets left behind.

First ride, May 4th is a Swanson Park in Bellevue.

Take HWY 75 South to Cornhusker. Go west for about a mile.
Look for the Bellevue Fire station monument sign on the north side of Cornhusker.
If you get to 36th street, then you went too far.
Parking lot is to the left once you turn north into the park.

Looking forward to the ride.

PS - For questions, you can contact me at
PSS - Be sure to bring a helmet, bug spray and water.