Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Wanna Be Sedated...The Mohican 100

Darkness was descending upon the trail, blanketing the root lined single track with an eerie facade of mischief.  Slipping and sliding, I picked my way in the dark, feeling slightly reassured by the headlights of camp vehicles off to my left.  

With the storm continuing to blow in, if I could not see, at least I knew I could roll down the hill towards the campers if things got a little out of control.

While picking my way through these final, Mohican miles, my mind gravitated to the thought that this was the very experience I love so much about taking my bicycle on adventures.

I've always been a lover of books, the tales they tell and the friends you perceive you made through devoring written words captivate me, but there's always been something missing at the end of the story (for me).

It was a craving for the real time experience and adventure.

To satisfy this craving, I needed to figure out the recipe.

And as it turns out, the key ingredient = a bicycle.

My focus for this summer is to enjoy new trails, new challenges and to try new adventures.

Mohican checked the box on all of these wishlist items and I couldn't be happier with the experience.

Not only did I get to travel with awesome friends (thank you to Dan and Sarah for toting me around and helping me pack up my gear while I was slap happy and food deprived!), but I also saw new trail, camped in all my carefully picked out gear from Steep and Cheap, plus I earned the coveted 100 mile finishers growler!

While I worried about ticks attacking me while preparing for this event, I'm  happy to report that not one joined me on the journey.

My heels have recovered from the unexpected hike a biking that occured periodically (if you had the opportunity to enjoy the course, you know what I'm talking about).

Whats left of my brake pads are soon to be replaced (a couple of those down hill sections left me locked out and praying I wouldn't slip in the road apples.

Less then two weeks have passed since the event and I've forgotten all the negative parts of the ride and replaced them with dreams of completing the next adventure.

However, before I move on to that next excursion, I want to document the highlights of my hundred mile journey through the Mohican Forest.

There was a brief glimpse of the coveted "Tree with Gnomes".

I was blinded by thousand watt smiles at every aide station.  The dedicated NUE Series volunteers treated me with such attentiveness and good humor that I felt like a pro racer.

It became apparent that my mouth can expand like a hamster's in the presence of watermelon.  I spent a few dedicated seconds at each aide station studiously shoving chunks of watermelon into my gullet as the day wore on.

Just the mere thought that Swedish Fish were in my drop bags brought me great comfort, even though I never ate them.

When torrential rains drench you to the bone, chamois creme transforms your saddle into a slip and slide.

This being said, the young man that slapped me in the ass as I shot through a road crossing received a satisfyingly sloppy surprise upon contact with the said chamois.

And, when it's been a long day in the saddle, sometimes the only song you'll remember is a short but sweet one by the Ramones.

"Twenty, twenty, twenty four hours to go...I wanna to be sedated..."

"Nothing to do, nowhere to go o...I wanna be sedated"

Leaving you only one choice of entertainment while winding between trees and seeking your grand finish.

I would like to say the frogs were appreciative of my voice as I belted these lyrics, over and over for those last six to eight miles. 

Perhaps an audition for "The Voice" is in my future?


With all that being said, I want to roll some credits for those that made this journey possible!

Thank you to my husband for making my bike awesome and sending me good luck thoughts all day long (however, I'm still holding you to your promise of a back rub for finishing).

Big thanks to Rochester Bike Shop for being awesome and getting me all the bike parts necessary for this event! #rochesterbikeshop  #bestbikeshopever

Dan and Sarah - you guys are awesome! Thank you again and again for helping me make it there and back without incident!

Ron the "Cat-man" - thank you for bringing my drop bags back to the Mitten!

And last but not least, huge Congrats to my fellow Vanderkitten VIP Linda Shin for taking the win!  

You are my hero Shinder-kitten!

Coveted Finishers Growler
Floating Jesus
Sarah and I Ready to Roll
The "Shinder-Kitten" and My 100 Miler Brake Hand 
The Mohican 100 Finish Line

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Now that April has wrapped up and the 30 days of biking challenge has come to an end, I have to say, I am really excited about next year!

This challenge was focused on creating an interest in cycling and had an added bonus benefit that for every 30 pledges a free bike was given to a child that needed it (via free bikes 4 kidz).

To find out more about the challenge for next year, visit or search #30daysofbiking!

Since it was so much fun gathering pictures all month long, I wanted to gather them here, mainly for ease of (selfish) viewing because I love pictures of my bike (haha).

I also love the weather variance that occured over the course of the month!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Had This Been A Real Emergency...

A few weeks ago I received an unexpected package in the mail from my grandma.

Within the confines of a manila envelope sat a piece of paper and a necklace. On the outside of the envelop it said, "Handle with care."

My grandmother has been very proud of my cycling accomplishments, but also perplexed about the path. 

Why I choose to ride for hours at a time, particularly when a variety of other hobbies or family building opportunities are available, has been, a bit perplexing to my grandma.

There was a time in my life, ten years ago in fact, that I never would have been able to envision my current passion for cycling either.

It took time to find my passion for it, just like it took time to learn bangs are always a bad idea (for me) and you shouldn't ride with underwear and a chamois.

Which brings me back to the necklace. 

My grandmother sent me a Sacagawea coin pendent.  For those that have not cracked a history book in a hot minute, Sacagawea is credited with being the interpreter that traveled with Lewis and Clark for hundreds of miles during their expedition into the American West.

In her own way, my grandmother has given me a good luck token for my own explorations and many adventures to come.

Thank you grandma for believing in me :-).

These thoughts were in my mind this past weekend as I found myself plodding along the trail of Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, pushing my fatbike towards the finish line.

For no better reason then a sharp thorn in my tire, I had flatted halfway through a ten mile loop and found myself enjoying a bit more of the woods then I had intended.

The very idea of walking hundreds of miles on foot like the aforementioned Sacagawea, makes me heels are raspberry red like rudolphs nose today (I definitely would prefer to ride those miles on my bike!).

Had my situation been a real emergency, would I have failed or persevered in the wild?  How far would I have made it on foot?

My gut tells me, I would have failed for failing to prepare.

Which is a great reminder to have so early in the season with much longer rides lingering on the horizon (granted nowhere near as exciting or adventurous as our early explorers).

The highlight of this particular expedition was definitely the kidness of others. 

Every time a rider passed they took a minute to make sure I wasn't hurt.

A fellow competitor even lent me a tube and a pump to try to remedy my situation.  His kindness will be paid forward :-)!

It was rather unfortunate that the thorn eluded detection during my inspection of the tire and then upstaged his gallant gesture.

Such a thorn in my side...!

In the end, it was a great day spent with friends and a memory I won't soon forget.  Now I get to plan and prepare where I will go from here with my shiny coin.

Oh the adventures we will see...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day!

Today was an epic April afternoon!

It is my fabulous younger brothers birthday!!!

Happy...HAPPY...HAPPY Birthday Moey!!!  Over the years you've brought so much laughter and fun to our family, I am very proud to be your sibling!

Family fun...circa Christmas 2014

In addition to being Moey's fabulous birthday, it was also Earth Day!

As we all know, our impact on the planet every day matters and taking the time to recognize this is one of the first steps in keeping our planet healthy.

As most of my friends and family know, I've been choosing to commute by bike over the past two years and it's led me to increase my training time in the saddle, but it's also been a way to be a little greener in my every day life.

In fact, the young ladies on my "Girls on the Run" team pointed this out the second time we met for practice.

"Ms Dana, why do you ride your bike everywhere?"  They asked as we walked out to the track.

"Well...I really like riding my bike and it's fun."  I replied balancing a box of water bottles on my handle bars.

"AND it's green for the environment!"  Squealed several of the girls as they ran out the door.

I always forget this part because I selfishly enjoy riding my bike just because it's fun for me, but it is true.

After tracking my mileage in the National Bike Challenge last year, it plainly showed the numbers of what commuting by bike each day was saving.

Over the course of the year (2014) I averaged 20 commuting miles per day, which according to a Colorado Department of Transportation publication "Colorado Bicycling Manual- A Guide for Using Roads and Trails", saved .5 gallons of gas per 10 miles and approximately 7,300 pounds of CO2 (burning 1 gallon of gas in your car creates 20 pounds of carbon dioxide).

I've never been a big number crunching person, but knowing we can each choose to make small changes (like commuting by bike) to change our carbon footprint is important to reflect on.

Which is why we have Earth Day!

As the month of April is coming to a close, I'm looking forward to the start of this years National Bike Challenge in May!  

Make sure to log on ( and sign up if you haven't had a chance!