Sunday, December 29, 2013

These Are The Days Of Our Lives!

Over the past 14 days I've raged between being madly in love with my fat bike and despising it for every pound it weighs.

With mounds of snow higher then my knees, I found myself on the side of the road last week, cursing the very thought of winter commutes and all things associated with them.

Ten minutes later I was through the worst of it and in love again.  

These are the days of my life...

Five years ago I would never have imagined myself out on a dark, cold Michigan winters night trudging through the the opposite direction of home...on purpose.

And then...I see the sparkling of ice and snow under street lights...the twinkling of Christmas lights on homes.  It's breathtaking...

Pair that up with my panting, open mouthed breathing as I plow through the snow on my husker du's and I am a toasty warm happy camper. 

My family had a wonderful Christmas and we're looking forward to an exciting year as 2014 closes in on us.

I'm wishing the best to all of you as you welcome in the New Year...may it be filled with something you never thought you could or would do as well!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Carrie Bradshaw Puppy Tires

It's official!  The last payment was made and I was able to break my Trek Farley (Carrie Bradshaw Puppy Tires aka CBPT) out of jail (layaway) and not a moment to soon...because we have snow on the ground!!!

Husband says I have officially lost my mind after naming my bike after my cat (Carrie Bradshaw) and my awesome 45nrth tires (Puppy Tires).  So I'm going to help toughen it up by going with "CBPT"...boom sauce!


It is official...I had a blast riding in the snow! 

There are some finer points of bike handling that I will need to work on, but overall my maiden voyage went well today.

One side item...pedaling in snow is definitely a good way to stay warm! I was sweating my butt off from one to many layers, but I suppose that's better then freezing.

I'm looking forward to getting out again tomorrow...for now...CBPT and I are resting up!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

Now that we are officially in countdown mode for Christmas, it seems like it's time to start collecting my thoughts on some of my favorite things to be thankful for from 2013.

Obviously number one goes without saying...

1) My husband! - We may not always see eye to eye (SRAM vs Shimano), but marrying my best friend this year was definitely quite clutch :-)

And no particular order...

2) My Bicycle - We've seen some epic travels this year my super fly and I. 

Traverse City to Dewitt...Shelby Twp to Port Sanilac...many, many laps of Hanson Hills, Stony, Addison Oaks, Cannonsburg...

They were good times and bad...but either way I couldn't have done them without my trusty bike.

2014 will have big wheels to fill :-)

3) Sweedish Fish - Oh little have become one of my go to snacks for your sugary little boost.  Even if you may make me glow in the dark one day from your red 40 dye...I can't seem to give you up.

4)  Clothes from the Dryer - Who knew that packing your clothes straight out of the dryer, into a zipped up bag would be such a delightful warm surprise! 

CFTD, you make my cold morning commute that much better with your wiley ways.

5) Team Alex - Words still don't do justice to how wonderful and remarkable Team Alex truly is.  I am extremely grateful to have had the experience of being a part of such a great group of people.

6) 10001110101 - When my mind has gone blank and my miles are not finished for the day...I have Clutch to thank for burning this into my brain.

Roll out...

7) The Parental Units - Josh's Parents and my Parents have been epically supportive of my endeavors this year.  I am so thankful to have all of them in my life :-)

8) Arnold Palmer - The tea of the great Arnold Palmer makes me happy.   For less then a dollar, I can celebrate with a glorious refreshment after a long hard ride. 

You are the perfect compliment to my emergency (sweedish) fish.

9)  The Vanderkitten's - Slipping in just  under the wire of 2013...the Vanderkitten VIP opportunity has me stoked for 2014. 

Thank you for allowing me to be a Kitten from the Mitten!


10) The VW Bug - The demise of the Beetle was a blessing in disguise.  I am so happy that my car exhausted itself and left me with the opportunity to commute by bike.

It's officially been 8 months of commuting and aside from the extra planning it requires,  I have to say I haven't minded it one bit!

Overall, 2013 has been a fantastic year filled with friends, family and miles.  I am so thankful that I'm able to wake up each day and enjoy all of these things...

They are truly my favorite!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Cats Meow!

It's official!  I am an ambassador for the Vanderkitten VIP team for 2014! 

The naked kitties must have been working overtime online putting in the good word for me...meow...meow...meow...

This of course is the perfect relationship for the following reasons:

1) Cats love to get into mischief at night (24 hour racing...check)

2) Cats have nine lives (that's totally going to come in handy on my daily commute)

3) My knee high socks are going to look fantastic with the snazzy kits

4) There philosophy is exceptional:

Since 2005, Vanderkitten has been committed to spreading awareness of women excelling, battling the odds and achieving. From Cycling to Dance, movement has become the hallmark of the change we promote. Vanderkitten has evolved into an organization dedicated to increasing the visibility of successful women and inspiring women by sharing those stories.

This really has me stoked for the 2014 season! 

More news to come soon, but in the meantime make sure you check out the Vanderkitten Racing web page at!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Nights Grow Colder

It was really mean of mother nature to play with the thermostat this past weekend.

My body and bike had pretty much adapted to the cold and then bam...sixty degree temps.

This week I'm finding the rebounding 30's to be extra cold because of it...silly mother nature...always keeping you on your toes!

I will say that the sunsets have been pretty amazing though...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Farley farley farley!'s official...the Farley has arrived and it is without a doubt super fast!

Seriously...check out the picture below!

I'm feeling a little better about the winter now that the Farley is here, built and ready to go. 

There will be no avenue too snowy or sandy...and maybe not even too cold now that I have my retro Duegi winter riding shoes (best ebay purchase ever).

Pair them up with my balaclava (cookie mask) and I'm feeling warm and toasty!  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

8 Hours of Addison Oaks

Lions and Tigers...oh my!

Thankfully, the doubleheader today is leading to the perfect opportunity to recover from yesterdays race!  I have stationed myself in a very comfortable position on the couch with my feet up as the afternoon rolls on...and I may or may not be wearing my new robe!

Addison oaks is by far one of my favorite local trails and I really enjoy racing there.

Josh and I decided not to bring all of our normal endurance gear since it would only be an eight hour event.  That in itself made the race seem so convenient because it limited our packing considerably.

Friday night my head felt like it wanted to explode as my body tried to fight off the impending head cold/sinus thing that everyone seems to be catching this past week.

I bumped up my standard process immuplex to try and ward it off.  It seemed to be working but it was leaving me in a half well and half not so well state of existance.

Anyways, friday night I came home from work...stripped out of my commuting clothes, changed into pj's and began spending some time on the couch.  Every half hour or so I would ferret my way around the house making piles of things we would need for the race Saturday.

Then, it was back to the couch.

By the time Josh came home I was ready for bed,  but at least I knew my kit was clean for the next day and my shoes and helmet were ready.

Saturday morning we awoke and started loading the truck.  My nose was running and the headache was still there...

I grumbled to Josh about my misery and he "gently" reminded me that by the time the race started I would forget all about it.

Suck it up buttercup...

We arrived at the race and were excited to see quite a large turn out.  We found a place to pit along the main drag and quickly unpacked the gear.

After saying our hello's to some of our fellow endurance peeps we were ready to go.

And it was all over it seemed in the blink of an eye...

One minute I was chasing the lead group trying to get ahead of the other female racer and the next I was crossing the finish to complete the eight hour event.

There were some less then glamorous moments that involved me inhaling bugs because I couldn't breathe without having my mouth open.

And it really was less then pleasant trying to swallow gel packets when you cannot breathe through your nose.

But overall it was one of my stronger performances this year.  I maintained an average lap time of 32-34 minutes and only accumulated a total of 7 minutes of pit time over the entire eight hour period.

Josh did a great job handing off water and food to me as I rolled through each lap and we even had a nice visit from our friends Spencer, Jen and Little B.

Now, I'm hoping to bounce back from this head cold so I can enjoy some of the beautiful weather this week...

AND...of course...there's the small matter of my Farley frame that arrived last week.  We will be building her up soon...EXCITE!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Fall Commute

Fall is upon us with chilly mornings and warm afternoons. 

My backpack starts out lightly packed each morning and then appears to be bursting at the seams when I saddle up to ride home.  I feel I'm going to regret saying it, but I can't wait to have some regulated a.m. and p.m. temperatures!

Whats even more exciting then the fall leaves changing is that Josh has also started to commute to and from work!

The only bad part about this is the sudden need for us both to have enough gear for commuting.

We had two taillights,  but suddenly only one can be found...

We had two sets of wind proof gloves, but only three of four gloves have surfaced...

And of course...there's an open ended discussion over who gets to enjoy the best of our wind jackets...


This weekend is the 8 Hours of Addison Oaks.  The perfect end to the endurance series and another race season.  I'm looking forward to enjoying some time on the trails with friends!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

24 Hours of Hanson Hills...the Conclusion

We had a mass start with both the 12 and 24 hour racers going out together.

My plan was to take the first lap at a steady if somewhat slow pace.  It's been three years since my last 24 hour and the whole pacing thing was going to be a bit tricky.

Brandon stayed behind me during this lap and I'm pretty sure the pace was driving him crazy.  In fact, we discussed out loud that the pace was driving him crazy. 

Once we went through the pits at the end of the lap, Brandon took off and I didn't see him again until later in the afternoon.

During my third lap my back started really bothering me. 

This was one of the things Josh had been concerned about leading up to the race.

It was a bit of a gamble as to whether or not 24 hours on the hard tail would be survivable.

In his all knowing way, he borrowed a thud buster seat post from Cullen and that pretty much saved the day!  We switched out my seat post for the thud buster and Miss Tokyo between laps 3 and 4.

We also started having Josh roll my back with "the stick" each lap and then he'd apply a layer of biofreeze onto my lower back.

This routine went on for the next five hours.  Each time I came to the pit we'd run through this drill and then I'd be back out for another lap.

For nutrition,  I went with mostly gels with the occasional solid food item thrown in (hammer bar, pb&j, donut hole).

For hydration, we used nuun in my water bottles and just water in my hydrapak ( And every couple laps I would have a coke or a starbucks espresso double shot....delicious).

With summer now behind us, you could feel the night starting to take hold around five o' clock.  Shadows were creeping into the trail and there was a noticeable cooling effect from the foilage.

After my six o' clock lap, Josh was ready and waiting with my lights.  We affixed them to the handlebar and seat post and then I was back out for another lap.

When the 12 hour riders finished their race, we timed out a longer pit stop for me to stop for coffee and a hamburger.  Disgusting combination in theory, but absolutely delicious in person!

This was about the time that the cats arrived on the trail.  I swear that there were herds and herds of cats running around the trail where only hours ago there had been brown ferns lining the path.

Since night riding kind of freaks me out when I'm alone, I tried my best not to look around too much into the darkness.  Especially behind me...I was positive that there were bears hiding in the dark woods behind me...

The night wore on and I kept pedaling.  Occasionally one of the team riders would fly by or I would see a riders headlight through the trees where the trail almost overlapped itself, but otherwise I was alone.

Pedal, pedal, pedal...

My brain focused on the dirt ahead and the task of pedaling.  I felt like a bike zombie.

When morning arrived, it was cloudy and overcast.  There would be no sunrise lap, just an abrupt transition to no longer needing lights.

And then it was time for my last lap...

It felt like it took forever to complete this lap...

Goodbye rock...

Goodbye cats...

Goodbye hill I don't like climbing...

Goodbye hill I do like climbing...

As I returned to the finish line, Josh and Brandon were waiting for me.

I climbed off my bike and removed my shoes half in a daze.  All I wanted to do was to get out of my eyes felt like they were bleeding...

I stumbled off to the bathrooms and clumsily changed out of my riding clothes.

When I returned to the pit area, I immediately asked Josh if I had "Chris Eatough" eyes.  It was very important to me to have the classic sunken in eyes of an endurance racer.

He laughed at me and I kept asking him over and over again until he finally admitted that I did in fact have "Chris Eatough" eyes...

Once we packed up the pit, we sat down in the ski lounge awaiting the awards...and then all three of us passed out on the benches until the loud speaker woke us up.

In all, I ended up with 167 miles for the 24 hour period.  I had really wanted 200, but this was still a mileage pr and I will be happy with that (for now)!

There were so many people that helped us make it to the race, ACF for loaning us the tents, Josh's parents lending us the van, Serfas for lending us lights, Danni with an i for loaning us batteries, Bob for the lights and batteries he sent our way, Cullen for all of the parts and batteries he graciously borrowed us and my parents for all of their support!

Josh was once again, the best pit chief ever and I owe alot of the days success to him!

Now we are back to the drawing board to plan for the next race...stay tuned for a very big 2014!

Monday, September 16, 2013

24 Hours of Hanson Hills

Since we got home from the race Sunday...each night...I dream about eating food...

It's been so

The 24 hours of Hanson Hills has come and gone and I couldn't be happier with how things went.

Josh and I ran around alot the week before the race gathering up supplies and making last minute arrangements for the critters.

Big thanks to my little brother for watching the house and the naked kitties!

Thursday night we picked up our race limousine from our parents (big thank you to them for letting use the van!!!) and then after much packing we were ready to roll Friday morning!

Our friend Brandon came along to help out, but after miles and miles, trapped with us in the van hearing about how awesome endurance racing is...he decided to race as well and signed up for the 12 hour race!

We arrived in Grayling with enough time to check in at the hotel, check in at the race and then do some shopping for last minute bike parts and supplies.

It was absolutely wonderful to have some actual downtime to prepare for what was to come...

Saturday morning I woke before my alarm...alert and ready to go!  Nervous butterflies stayed with me as we ate breakfast...the next 24 hours were going to hurt and my body knew it!

There was some killer fog surrounding the city of Grayling as we headed to our pit...I was crossing my fingers it wouldn't be back that evening.  Night riding is already hard enough with my crappy vision, let alone with killer fog obstructing the trail.

Josh has a great system with setting up the pit so I tried to stay out of the way.  Once the tents were up, I ceremoniously hung up our team disco ball and then taped up the picture of Rebecca Rusch that I brought for motivation...go me a stalker :-)

And then it was time to line up for the race...

To be continued...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Getting Closer...

This time next week Josh and I will be packing the final items we will need for the 24 hours of Hanson Hills!

Luckily, we were able to acquire an extra member to our pit crew.  Our friend Brandon will be joining us next weekend for the fun and festivities!

This weekend, my top priority is acquiring a disco ball for the pit tent and practicing my best dance moves for the wee hours of the morning next Sunday...just like this:


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Return to XC Racing

I should be cutting the grass right now...'s so nice to be sitting in the air conditioning...that I decided to update my blog instead.

Today was Tailwind-Racing's end of summer race at Stony.  I decided on Thursday it might be fun to drop in and give the cross country thing another go.

By incorporating it into my planned "long" ride, I was hoping it would keep me at a faster tempo during those tricky middle miles.

This morning rolled around and the weather was gorgeous!  I packed up my hydrapak with some treats and began my ride to stony.

Surprisingly I was on time for registration (I'm traditionally always late when I drive) and felt like things were going to work out perfectly.

What I didn't realize was the fine print on the USA Cycling website about Cat 1 registration.  Apparently you cannot purchase a day of license for Cat 1 racing anymore.  Three years ago when I was an active member you could.

A few months ago there were quite a few emails going around about the new "rules" and maybe this information was included in there, but I didn't pay them much attention since they didn't impact my endurance events.

I explained all of this to the lady at the registration table and she said with a very straight and unsmiling face, you can race sport.

And so, I found myself signing up for my age group in the sport category...which started at one o'clock.  Three hours later...

With some extra time on my hands, I decided to ride out and put in some extra miles before the race.  My number plate was already strapped on and as I rode back out of the park it brought a few curious glances (people probably felt bad for me since it appeared I was lost from my race...haha).

Fast forward through three hours and thirty miles and it was back to the line...but first, I am pleased to report that I was able to officially meet Miss Avery Liagre at the starting line (!  Check this kid out!  She is awesome!!!

The course was extremely dry and rumors were floating around that two elite riders had broken their collarbones that morning.  Yikes!

The first lap was by far my favorite, I felt properly warmed up and the dust wasn't as stirred up as it would be over the next two.

I traded the lead back and forth with Lisa Loetzner from the Flying Rhino Club.  It was so nice to have someone to ride with that was close to my pace, I was beside myself with excitement!

Since we weren't racing in the same category there wasn't any pressure, which made it twice as nice!

When all things were said and done, I have to say it was really a nice day today!  I enjoyed the race and was happy to be able to mingle with alot of people I haven't seen in ages.

In addition, I ran into a rider that recognized me from my daily commute :-)!

She said it was my socks that gave me away!!! Lol!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ruby 50

My neck is red, swollen and itches like the devil!

Yesterday was the Ruby 50 mountain bike race put on by Fun Promotions. 

Somewhere along my second loop, I was on the Avoca trail pushing 20 mph sucking down a gel, thinking about this song from the Greys Anatomy soundtrack:

When I was stung by something that must have been flying butt first down the trail. It hurt like the dickens and I couldn't stop slapping and scratching at it until I was back in the single track concentrating on the trail.

The gnarly switchbacks pushed the itch and burn from my neck right out of my mind!

Overall, I was happy with how the race went.

The first lap was the worst, I missed the break at the beginning and never made up the gap.

Once I was into the single track I let all the "intimidating" stories people had told me about the trail take over and it turned me into a total mess.

I had trouble ascending and descending the switchbacks and almost toppled face first into the river.  On my way back to the timing tent I saw Kevin (Laroe) from wheels in motion coming up behind me.

Kevin and Josh had discussed gopro filming tips at the Island Lake Demo and I saw he had his camera with him at Ruby.  Thats when I remembered I was supposed to be riding with our camera today (and that I had forgotten it at home).


I told this to Kevin as we exited the single track and started the climb back up the driveway.

As we came to the top of the climb, Kevin pulled off the trail and jumped off his bike. 

Just off the starting line he had hid a gopro camera to film the riders coming in and out for laps.  I started laughing as I was leveling out onto the rode.

This pulled me out of my slump and from then on I felt better (minus the sting).

A very nice single speeder demonstrated a clean line down the switch backs and the river crossing became air conditioning for the feet.

I never did see the first place rider, Melanie Bermier (Reynold Cycling), after the start...she was having a great ride and after my mistakes, I wasn't going to make up the lost time.


I pretended I could anyways and pushed past my normal comfort zone.  I kept my legs in just "enough" discomfort that I am still considerably sore today.

I was also able to push through every lap without stopping and even performed a very fancy extraction of a gel from my hydrapak while riding.

Coming in second, without any injuries and only one bee sting was worth the price of admission...and now I can say I survived the Ruby course...and if anyone asks me what I think of the course...I would tell's a blast!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Best Helmet Ever!

I cannot believe how excited I am about my new helmet!!!  Look how green it is!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pando pando pando

I think in the future before I race, I'm going to write down my goals and seal them up in an envelope.  This should help me to keep my brain on track...

This race was a hard one for me, the plan was to get some mileage, enjoy the day and check out the infamous Pando course.

Josh and I packed up for the race and started on the road around six Friday.  We had plans to get to the hotel around nine and in bed by ten.

This was about the time I decided to double check the registration fees on the website and realized the race went from 12-12 and not 8-8.  Crappers...

We turned around to drive back home to grab the lights (we actually discussed bringing them right before we left and decided against it...oh man).

We eventually did make it to the hotel and checked in at just before midnight.  At least we would be able to sleep in the next day!

Saturday we were up and moving, but we still managed to arrive right at the last minute for late registration.

Josh went to work setting up our pit and I grabbed my race number. 

After dressing in my kit, I grabbed my helmet to do some warm up spinning and noticed that there was a giant crack on the back.

Last weekend at WAM I had taken a spill on day one when a passing cyclist lost control of his bike and went down in front of me.  Apparently my helmet took a bit more of a hit then I realized during that episode!

We had brought Josh's helmet as an alternate so at least we had a replacement...

The race began and the 4 mile loops started accumulating.  There's quite a bit of climbing (it is a ski park after all) and immediately my legs were their defense WAM was just five days prior...but who wants to make excuses for them?

Now, my bike on the other hand, had no qualms about making its issues known.  It sounded like a bowl of rice krispies...snap, crackle, pop.

Josh kept playing with it at each pit stop, but we weren't able to completely eliminate the problem until he switched out the seat clamp at mile 45.

After the six hour riders had finished, I started feeling fairly nauseous and found myself spending more and more time in the port a john.  It crossed my mind that people might be counting the number of times I was stopping to use them...but thats probably just in my head.

Around seven o 'clock, I rolled into the pit and broke the news to Josh that I was calling it a day.

We discussed it for a few minutes and agreed it was the best course of action (technically I was the only 12 Hour Lady so by default I was taking first either way).

After breaking down the pit we stopped in to say good bye to our friends from D2 racing and then started home.

Overall, I had met my race goals:

1.)  Have fun
2.)  Get in some mileage
3.)  Check out a new course
4.)  Don't push too hard and get injured

But, it was still hard to deal with not staying on the bike for 12 hours (it was a 12 hour race afterall).  The mind is a funny thing and it keeps wanting to fixate on this one detail.

So instead, I'm diverting and focusing on how beautiful it was that day and how lucky I am to be able to ride :-).

And now it's time to start writing down my goals for my next race!

Friday, August 2, 2013

WAM'd It Up!

It took a total of five days to get back into the normal routine of going to work and not getting to ride my bike all day....and now it's Friday and tomorrow I get to ride my bike all day again! Yeaaaaah!!!

Last weekend was WAM and it was absolutely fantastic! 

Josh and I packed up and drove to Traverse City Thursday.  With a laundry list of errands, we didn't actually settle into our hotel until 11, but the short stay was probably for the best because the hotel left something to be desired...our suspicions started when we saw the fish tank of black water in the lobby...

Friday we were up at 5 and en route to the start.  When we rolled into the parking lot, there were already blinking red taillights fading into the distance as the early risers embarked on their first hundo of the weekend.

After sorting out my bike and belongings, I left Josh in a sea of riders seeking last minute repairs on their bikes and started my journey to Dewitt.

Now, I have to say that my bike is a phenomenal machine, because it sailed through all three days of that hundo like a dream.  Between the bad ass tires I was loaned (thank you again Rick) and Josh's fine tuning, it was cake maintaining a steady pace.

Favorite discovery on day one....double chocolate rice krispy treats....delicious!

Favorite discovery on day two...a very entertaining group of guys from Team Taylor.  They were gracious enough to let me jump on the back of their paceline and I have to say I am so glad I did!

I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard while riding and honestly I think my face hurt more then my legs by the end of the day from smiling.  Definitely hoping to see them again next year!

At the end of Day two, we were able to attend the Wammies, a special presentation put on by Make-A-Wish to thank the fundraisers.

During the Wammies, we were shown a few of the wishes that were granted over the past year.  It was fabulous to put it lightly...

Day three was windy and slightly rainy, but there was chinese food at lunch and gigantic smiles at the really couldn't ask for more then that!

I cannot wait to embark on this journey again next year.  It really is a great way to make memories and I recommend both the ride and the ride on a superfly (wink wink).

Now Josh and I are on our way to the 12 Hours of Pando....hopefully I haven't forgotten how to ride my bike on dirt!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Great Sanilac Adventure

When I reached the ocean it smelt like cinnamon and there were sail boats as far as the eye could see.

Alright, maybe it wasn't the ocean, maybe it was just Lake Huron.  We can blame the confusion on the ninety degree muggy air and my recent addiction to RAAM race results.

The air did smell like cinnamon from the boutique ice cream shop that sat just inside the Port Sanilac Marina.  It was a pleasant change after being exposed to my own stank smell for miles on the road.

A thick covering of grime and dried salt coated my arms, legs and face.  Eighty miles into the ride and I was only halfway to my final destination.

I circled through town seeking a good place for lunch.  I settled on a small shop that advertised bacon stuffed donuts on their sidewalk chalkboard.

Unfortunately or fortunately, they didn't have any bacon donuts left for the afternoon.  Instead I ordered a six inch sub, two bottles of water, two bottles of coke, two bottles of gatorade and a brownie the size of my hand. 

The young girl behind the counter took in my bounty and said with wide eyes,

"There's a walk up atm across the street if you don't want to buy all this stuff."

They had a $15.00 minimum on credit card purchases sign posted on their counter.

I thanked her and told her it was a long ride home and it would save me a stop at the gas station before I started back.

I stationed myself at one of their tables and plugged my phone in to charge.  It was already almost completely drained from the ride out and I was worried it wouldn't make it home.

Riding long without good cellular coverage and no battery puts me outside of my comfort zone.  This, once again makes me want to put a spot tracker on the top of my needs list for the near future.

After consulting my route print out, I made a few adjustments to the route home.   There were several sections of freshly graveled roads that I hoped to avoid going back.

My other concern was what the wind would feel like, I was hitting 17-20 mph without barely touching the cranks on the way here, never a good sign.

Packing up my goods, I said goodbye to my new young friends.

It became clear, very quickly that I was correct to be concerned about the wind.  It sucked...

It sucked every mile for the next sixty point three miles to be exact.

Just outside of Emmett I located an electrical outlet behind an elementary school where I was able to call Josh in desperation.  There were still three projected hours of travel in front of me and my phone was dead.

We agreed to meet at the head of the macomb orchard trail in Richmond.  This would get me a pick up just ahead of the storm that was traveling from the west and it got me off the road before 10:00 (I started at 8:30 in the morning).

After hanging up I felt five minutes of relief and then immediately disappointment set in, followed by anger sharks.

How would I ever make it to the Tour Divide or even to RAAM if I couldn't even finish a hundred and sixty mile ride that takes me back to my front door.  What would Jill Homer do?  Would she throw in the towel...probably not...

This was about the time that I noticed I had a friend following me.  He was a tiny little black bird with red feathers on his wings.  He had a lot to say as he flew over my head...

"What? Am I mother f'in Snow White?" I shouted at him (remember the anger sharks).

He didn't seem bothered by my attitude and continued to follow me.  He either phoned a friend or he followed me through Emmett, Memphis and just to the outskirts of Richmond.

It brought me back around to being a bit more appreciative of what I accomplished and less woe is me.

Call me Mother F'in Snow White.

Josh was right on schedule, just ahead of the rain.  We packed up the bike and my belongings with 143 miles on the odometer.

Another good ride in the books.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Everything Over A Hundo Is Awesome Sauce

Earlier this week, Josh and I had a discussion about the upcoming Team Alex Poker Ride for Make-A-Wish.

I was super excited about it because it was an opportunity to get in a hundo with other people (I don't mind riding them solo, but every once and awhile it's nice to have some company).

What I failed to realize was that the departure time was 7:00 in the morning from ACF in Walled Lake.  Given the current lack of an extra vehicle, getting there would be a problem. 

Josh was working all day and it really wasn't fair to ask him to get up at six to drive me.

And then it happened...

He posed the question, "Why don't you ride to the ride."

I'd like to say that I was immediately stoked about the idea...but I wasn't...I reacted like it was absurd.  Who in the world would want to get up at three in the morning to ride to a hundred mile ride...

And it hung there...

Until I wrapped my mind and the idea of the extra mileage around it and formulated the plan that anything over a hundo is awesome sauce.

Now, it's the morning after and I'm alive...slightly sore, but happy to have completed the adventure. 

The superfly was fabulous and handled the road, dirt and paved alike, with grace.

My map following skills leave something to be desired, but my gps did get me to my destinations in one piece.

More to come after recovery!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fat Bike or Car???

There comes a time in your life when you have to sit down to look at the facts and decide whether you should invest your money in a fat bike or a car.

It pains me to say that my poor little VW will most likely not be up and running any time soon.  She is still quite under the weather and at 250,000 miles, she's earned the reprieve and early retirement.

We've been extensively discussing the option of purchasing a second vehicle, but as it stands right now, commuting by bicycle has actually been working quite well for me. 

 On days when I don't really want to ride because the weather looks yucky, I still have to do it because there isn't an easy way out and it's really helped me stay on track with my weekly mileage goals.

Josh has been very good about picking me up and dropping me off when the weather is severe (and then maybe on a few days when it's just convenient or I need an extra recovery day).

The pocket book has noticed the lack of gas subtraction and overall my demeanor is calmer when I get to where I need to be and know I'm not going to be hung up and unable to get a ride in that day.  Win, win!

To make the idea even more intoxicating, I read an article showing a possible carbon frame fat bike coming soon from salsa (let the salivating begin!).

So the question remains...fat bike or car?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Miles and Sunshine

Todays weather showed thunderstorms every 15 minutes for the entire day.  Fortunately,  there was only one and it hit while I was at work.

After I clocked out for the day I made my way on a nice little loop that took me through some pretty green shrubbery.

Overall the month of june has been kind to me for my daily commutes.  Hopefully the rest of the summer follows suit!

Tomorrow I should hit 2k on my mileage for the year. It doesn't look all that impressive because it's June, but technically my mileage calendar started in April, so I'm excited about it (this is the first year I'm actually tracking it (thanks to Strava!))!

Josh and I have been saving a bottle of strawberry wine to mark the moment :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Birthdays and Busy Days!

Last Thursday we were finishing up work and tying lose ends so we could head to Cannonsburg for the Fun Promotions 8 Hour Race.

This Thursday, we feel like we are still recovering from the travel and the was such a great weekend.

Monday was back into work and all things catch up for Josh and I both...oh are so mean...

I did commute this week to work, but was fortunate enough to have Josh pick me up twice when the weather got really bad :-)

Yesterday was my birthday!  I had a surprise visit from my nieces and mom at work and Dr. Pope made me a fabulous cookie cake dessert (it was spectacular)!  I was overwhelmed and greatful from the birthday wishes everyone was sending my way (even my watch made me a cake!)!

It looks like more rain this morning but perhaps this afternoon the sun will return! 

Since this week has been more about recovery and less about riding, I've spent some time catching up on household activities.  Plus...RAAM and the Tour Divide started this coverage has been fun to watch online for both of these events!

Hopefully everyone else is having a great week!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May...where did it go...

May went by so fast...I cannot believe it's already June! 

Today is actually Joshs birthday :-) he's getting to be an old man...(but don't tell him I said so!)!

We are celebrating with Domino's lava cakes and pizza (dinner of champions)!

I contemplated riding home with a cake on my bike, but that seemed a little tricky...

Why would I have to deliver cake by bike?

My poor little VW is on hiatus with a sick transmission,  so I've turned to commuting by bike to work and other various places until we figure out the best plan of attack.

I've found over the past month that motorists seem to show more empathy towards a cyclist with a back pack then when without...

Some days are better then others with sunshine and light breezes.

Some days are filled with drivers that honk for no apparent reason. 

My favorite is when I'm on a designated bike bath, separated from traffic by an entire island of grass and they honk like I might jump out at them like a scared doe.

Having to commute because there isn't an easy out has given me the push I needed to go by bike on the regular.

I've participated in the effort in the past when it was convenient for me, but didn't abide by a consistent commute.

Right now I like six months I might feel differently. ..but that's where possibly a good snow bike might come in handy.

This weekend we are going on a little birthday vacation for Josh and I (our birthdays are a week apart).  We will be heading to the Cannonsburg Ski area for the eight hours of cannonsburg race. 

I'm looking forward to some time in the trails with some elevation.  The past few weeks have been mostly flat hundos.

My biggest worry right now is...ticks! 

How fast do you have to ride to keep them from latching on....?


Monday, May 13, 2013

12 Hours of Stony 2013 Part 2

So....where did we leave off?

Oh yes...eating branches...

My first reaction whenever I have a crash is to "Get Up"! 

So thats what I did. 

I untangled myself from the rather large branch that I was stuck to and picked up my bike to use as a crutch to hold myself up while I caught my breath.

I realized at this point that my saddle was turned completely backwards.  For some reason I decided the best way to fix this was by pounding on it with my hand....not getting my multi-tool out....Josh was not pleased about this when I recounted this story to him later.

Somehow, I managed to make this system work and after patting myself down for other broken parts, I made my way back onto the trail and slowly restarted my lap.

Once I made it back to the pit, I sat down for a longer break and Josh tried to help work out a few severly tight spots in my back.

During the next two laps, I took things slowly and worked hard at counting down from 5 to help relax my back.  Over and over and over...5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

Josh switched my wheels over to my full suspension frame on my next pit stop and getting off the hard tail helped relieve some of the impact on my back.

The rest of the day was about damage control and still trying to earn my hundo.  I chipped away at it until they called the last lap.

It was a bit of a rough ending to the day, but I did win a bottle of Heed in the random drawing they hold at the race :-) 

In addition to that, I received a hoodie for being the solo female rider (showing up automatically gave me a first place finish).  I was stupid excited about that hoodie...I love getting hoodies!

Overall, it was a great day and I'm looking forward to getting back out on the trail once my body calms down!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

12 Hours of Stony 2013 Part I

Yesterday was our official race season kick off with the Fun Promotions 12 Hours of Stony Creek.

Josh and I look forward to this race as a chance to see where we stand with training, pit organization and just as a general excuse to get out and hang with other mountain biking junkies!
The week leading up to this weekend was crazy for both of us at our respective jobs, but we still made it to race morning with our supplies and sanity intact (note the hulk mask).

Josh did an amazing job setting up our pit, complete with a tarp wall to help keep the strangely crisp may wind at bay.
Our neighboring mountain biker thought our pit was quite extravagant, this being his first 12 hour event.  We assured him while it may seem over the top to bring everything but the kitchen sink, its worth it when you need something during the race.

The first half of the morning went really well.  I was pretty happy with my pace and also enjoyed playing with our cardo intercom demo.

The cardo allowed me to talk with Josh in the pit so that we could organize what we needed prior to my arrival. In addition, it let me chat with Josh for a few minutes in the back of the lap, a section that can be quite lonely...
The 6 hour riders would be starting their race at 2 o'clock and I was looking forward to the extra traffic to help get me through the end of my day.  I was on pace for a decently timed hundo (plus some) and feeling good.

It was about this time that I experienced one of those crashes that knocks the wind out of you.

One minute I'm sailing down the trail, the next, I'm having an out of body experience watching myself go limp and eating some branches on the side of the trail...

To be continued...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Island Lake Bike Demo

It was a beautiful day today for riding bicycles!

Trek and American Cycle & Fitness came out with their beautiful bicycles in tow.  I had the opportunity to ride the ever impressive Super Fly 100 and was of course immediately in love.

I'm going to have to put that bad boy on my Christmas list this year...

The trails were in great condition and allowed me to get in a good three hours at a "Dana" race pace in preparation for next weekends "12 Hours of Stony" race.

I'm looking forward to getting through the week so that I can enjoy some more of this beautiful weather and trail!

Make-A-Wish Chili's Night!

Mark the calender for May 14th, 2013! 

The Chili's on Hall Rd in Sterling Heights will be donating 10% off their sales that night to Make-A-Wish if you stop in to dine or if you pick up carry out!  All you need to do is show them the attached flyer!

Let them make you dinner that night!  It's win win!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Great Day

When I was on my way home last night, it just popped into my head, that it had been a great day.

The weather was beautiful, I rode my bicycle all day with great people.  There was one minor altercation with a canadian goose that got me a little worked up, but...what can you do?

At the end of the day Josh and I met up with friends for dinner and we shared some great conversation (plus...I enjoyed a delicious hamburger that was well deserved!)!

It was a preview of what summer should soon bring and I was very grateful to enjoy it!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Have A Good Day!

I am enjoying a delicious adult beverage this evening.  It's been a fairly long work week and another windy, rainy one for I said yesterday, I am super stoked about this upcoming weekend of sunshine (say whaaaaat!)!

While I was on my ride home, this song came on through Pandora:

Watch "Greg Street - Good Day ft. Nappy Roots" on YouTube

I haven't heard it in years but it really made my ride.  Particularly because I was all dressed up in my amphib pants and reflective vest for cycling safety.  Just rollin along, having a good day!

Hopefully everyone else did as well!