Thursday, October 30, 2008

News worthy?

So I know it's goofy, but it's kinda cool seeing the results and write ups for the Oktoberfest in & and seeing my name and our teams name in there!! I'm in the cycling new's world - he he!! But then add to it's in Tinker's blog too, Tinker! Okay, yes I know he co-sponsored the race and it was just part of his write up but I'm in there, nothing much but it causes another - he he!! There's the goofy little girl in me :) We're all allowed sometimes right?

It's a horrible picture on the cyclingnews but that's okay, Tinker's picture would be a little better but it's dark.
I haven't found any other pictures out there yet. But this does add additional motivation for me. I enjoy racing, endurance events and just being on the bike. I'd like to be able to do that again and actually perform stellar to feel like I 'deserved' that podium visit.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Endurance Podium – Me!

Headed down to NC for the Oktoberfest 8 hour this past weekend with Hubby & Bikewrench, the event with many of the best racing, both men and women. I was just looking forward to “racing” (if I could call it that) with all the expected pro crew. I always love endurance races, the environment and comradery. Everyone is just there to ride their bikes and have fun. Granted, during many of those hours no one actually thinks they are having fun, it’s always when you look back!

Rain fell the night before and morning of. Our friends had told us this course gets slick with rain, they weren’t lying! The first laps were slick with the wet clay/mud mix combined with a good number of roots. After a few hours the course was starting to dry and you could tell just how fast and fun this course could be. But once you started flying with the dry sections you were occasionally reminded there were still those spots of wet trails around the corner. I never went down; instead I played it safe all day. But oddly this was physically the hardest race I can remember for me. I felt spent, even though I had plenty of nutrients and hydration. My heart rate was lower than average rides. I was just tired. But it didn’t matter to me, I didn’t care if I was riding slow Saturday, I just kept riding. Really it was only around 7:43 minutes of riding (they had a cut-off for the last lap at 7:30, and honestly I was quite alright not doing another lap)

Throughout the day I got to watch Harlan Price and Jeremiah Bishop ride & race together the entire time, to end with basically a sprint finish. I watched Tinker ride his race with a steady smoothness; I watched Pua pick up her pace as the course dried out. (Really, they all lapped me quite a bit) Okay, almost everyone lapped me and I enjoyed just watching everyone ride their race and I rode mine. I enjoyed everyone I talked with; I enjoyed seeing Hubby during the day; enjoyed watching him have a great race. It was cool our friends made it down during the day to see a little of the event. Cooler they seem interested in trying it themselves.

But then it even got better for me, I got my first endurance race podium, 3rd place. I was on the podium with one of the best! Didn’t matter to me that the lower female turnout is what really caused my podium, I was stoked. I was there and I rode my ‘race’. I would insert what I’m sure would be a great podium photo shot that I’d love to share but… the camera battery chose to die right when I went up. So be it, I’m sure they’ll be some pictures out there at some point.

Add to it that I got my first paycheck from racing! Pretty darn cool. Hubby asked me if I’d frame it or cash it.. Tough, but cash is cash – it’ll go to the bank. (That’s what scanner’s are for!) I got a cool mug and huge wine size bottle of Acai juice to try sometime. They really did a great job with the event, sponsor’s, organization, everything. Hopefully it’ll be an event they’ll do again and I’d expect the turnout would grow as word of mouth spreads.

Overall a great weekend seeing friends and all of us having a great race. Now we’re back in PA, we’re back with our boy’s and it’s time for family R&R time! (As I currently listen to our youngest snore.. I think they’re more tired than us!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cross less..

So yea, I had.
I had thought about racing my first cross races this weekend. But I didn’t. Other things came up and no racing occurred. Really, almost no riding. I thought of everyone doing thier cross thing and hope they were enjoying it. Maybe next year for me.

Saturday morning I was running around and didn’t leave for a road ride until noon, actually decent timing considering it was finally above 40 degrees! I enjoyed my ride for a little while until I turned onto a road normal to my ride route from the house and discovered they grated the entire road! To say it sucked to ride on is being nice. So I turned off my normal route to avoid having to return on the same grated road and low and behold, they grated that road too! After a couple miles of grated road riding, I flated, after a total of 6.5 miles on the bike. Honestly by this point I didn’t even feel like dealing with changing a tire and since Hubby was driving back from his ride I made the call.. ride done. Add to the ride that I wasn’t wearing gloves. I apparently didn’t want to believe cold weather riding is here. Yes, my hands were darn cold!

So I figured for a good ride on Sunday, no particular plans but decided against mountain biking. I haven’t been having the most enjoyable mountain rides recently, for whatever reason (last weekend included a flat as well, one of those pop all the air out and crash flats). But finally around 10:30 I decide to head out on the road bike. Problem one.. I still have a flat. Okay, that’s no biggy. But then Problem two was waiting…

What the heck? No idea how this happened, the whole cable is split apart. But I gave up trying to be the mechanic years ago. So ride bagged.

On the riding front, I’ve summed up this weekend as being a recovery weekend that I didn’t actually need. My last weekend before getting my training right.

Next weekend is the Oktoberfest 8 hour. Should be an awesome weekend seeing some friends we haven't seen in years and hanging with some of the best endurance racers around. Let’s just say I’ll be “racing” against one of the best. I'll be happy if I do half the laps as her...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another year & 29er ride !!

The day started with hubby waking me, a delicious blueberry muffin in hand - for me.
Loaded up for a little mountain bike ride a wissa… hubby offer’s me his 29er!

You’d think it was my birthday or something, oh wait a minute – it is!
Not that I'm happy being older.. another year.. but heck, you're only as old as you feel, right? I just don't feel old. (Granted, 20 years ago I believed anyone was well 'gone' by this age)

29er - the story of the year… it seemed everyone we know was switching to it. Hubby has loved it. I’ve heard plenty of opinions of its greatness. I’ve also heard it might not be the best for anyone under 5’6” or female. Granted I’m 5’6 1/2” but I figured it’d still apply to me. Plus I don’t have the largest quads for strong climbing which I heard you need to get it going.

This was admittedly the first time I ever rode a new/different bike and actually expected not to like it.

Was I ever wrong!

The first couple miles I didn’t feel quite one with her. Maybe I was just being cautious, it is hubby’s bike after all! I remember him riding around the house quite happy when he first got it...

(There may, or may not, have been a few beverages before this. I'm not saying)

But back to my ride on the 29er. Quickly I had noticed the climbing was phenomenal. Fast forward a few more miles and I was smiling bigger than a pig in you know what. It felt great, the 29er really just wanted to go.. didn’t take much to get her going and then she’d just keep it going. Rocks, logs anything… the bike just loved them, devoured them. Climbing over large rocks, even better! I can only describe it as my first ride where I actually felt like I was slowing the bike down verses me trying to keep the bike going.

Is it my bike for next year… still undecided. Oh I loved the ride… but one thing that I felt was contrary to what everyone has said “It doesn’t ride like a hard tail, it feels like there is a little rear suspension”. I would say the 29er felt more like a hardtail than my 26er hardtail, if that makes any sense! But Wissa isn’t really a good place for me to make a decision on the bike. The only time I haven’t enjoyed the hardtail is over roots.. for whatever reason I could never keep my momentum going with roots, especially off-camber roots. I never had a problem with them before on my Scapel or Rush.. but this last year on the hardtail, I never road well. I never developed the “hardtail riding skill” I guess. Wissa is absent those roots so I’m not sure if the 29er would improve this or not…

Maybe some more test rides are in order!?!?

Friday, October 3, 2008


Have we really lived in the northeast/mid-atlantic (whatever you want to call it) so long that I’ve actually started to like seasons? I’m okay with winter coming?

This winter will mark our 6th in PA since moving here from Florida, the land of warmth, arriving the end of November 2002, just in time to experience our first winter storm.. Now being Florida ‘folk’ the winters were no easy feat to deal with. Our first winter succumbed to the “heck no, way tooo cold – no way there’s any riding happening”. Couch time it was.

Gradually over the years we’ve been educated about the actual ability to ride during the winter.

Today I enjoyed feeling the cooler air. Me… this is a new one.

I actually find myself looking forward to those winter mountain bike rides. Snow on the sides of the trails.. Clean crisp air.. It’s just a different feel and for the first time, I don’t think I’ll mind it. I might just be looking forward to it.

My realization of this today astonished me..