Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I am a lucky girl

I feel like I have been taking some things for granted lately, and focusing on the negative's easy to do when things are really busy and not always going my way. So, I did some thinking on my ride tonight and came up with the fact that life is good.

Grad school looks promising for this Fall. I have to step on it and take the GRE next week, despite of the lack of studying I've been doing for it. And, I have to write an essay and submit my application all in the next week, also. My goal is to get my Masters in Sports Nutrition from Georgia State University.

The last of our Wobble-Naught equipment should be arriving this week and then I can set up my road bike and my SS. Soon after that, we can start getting to the long line of people that are waiting for us to get their fits done. Exciting stuff!!

This weekend is a long holiday weekend. We won't be able to make it to Pisgah, but we will be spending the weekend in Dahlonega riding bikes and hanging out at this cool joint. If you're ever in Dahlonega, definitely check it out. Cool atmosphere, great food, and excellent beer. Right in the heart of Dahlonega. It also happens to be the location of our rehearsal dinner before the wedding.

Speaking of, another reason life is good....this is the guy I get to marry. Why wouldn't I be happy? Love is grand.

Our friend Andrew Kornylak took this picture. He also shoots at several mountain bike races and has done some really really impressive stuff. If you have a minute, definitely check out his site. We are fortunate to have him be the official photographer of the O'Dea/Kumar wedding too. Sweet!

So, training for 9 mile started yesterday. I have three weeks to get it done, I can do it. The goal has been set, and it is approaching quickly! It feels good to really focus on something...especially with how inconsistent this year has been for me with training and racing. I need to decide whether I enter the Womens Solo cat or the Singlespeed cat...but then I have to compete with boys..hmm.

Friday, June 23, 2006

We're all only human

...which is why I shouldn't be surprised that my hand is not better in 6 days least not good enough to ride a mountain bike, especially for 12 hours. I tried to ride my road bike yesterday, and luckily I got rained out because it really did hurt my hand. So, I'm out of the Cowbell Challenge. I will have to make my SS race debut at the 24 hours of 9 mile in July. It would have been smart to race the SS for a 12 hour before attempting a 24 but oh well, such is life...but I hear the 24/9 course is perfect for 29ers and SSing. So there it is.

At least now Eddie will have support, otherwise we were both flying unsupported at the Cowbell. I'm bringing my two pups with me too, since one of them somehow ended up with a broken toe this week. Crazy German Shorthair #$%$%!!! Too bad I won't have a chance to fight for the prized Cowbell jersey. Hopefully Eddie can come home with one at least :)

Looks like I'm going to start running this weekend. I might look into another adventure race for sometime in August....12 hours or less. I'm not mentally into the 24+ team thing right now. That's why I like solo racing.

Off to Charlotte.........
P.S. The Great Divide Race starts today! There is supposed to be updates at and

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Riding a bike is fun

I've been getting really nervous about racing a SS for 12 hours next weekend...being that I have not done much SS'ing to speak of...until very recently. I've been trying to get out on the Kona Unit 2-9 at least once a week...for the last couple weeks. This weekend I got 10 hours on it..but it was hard. Saturday was a long 5.5 hour ride in Helen, and Sunday was a 4.5 hour ride at Dauset trails in Jackson, GA. I had 32x22 gearing on it for Helen and forgot to change it out on Sunday. The easy gearing actually felt good on the climbs at Dauset because my legs were pretty tired, but it was way too easy for all the flat stuff there. About 4 hours into the ride I was suffering from fatigue, lack of calories, and the heat. We were on one of the rocky trails alongside the creek and I knew there was a steep pitch coming up so I started pedaling like mad determined to make it to the top (I have never made it on my SS), all of a sudden I'm about a foot from the top and my rear wheel isn't moving..I picked the line over the big rock in the I stall, reach for the little sapling at the top, but I'm just out of reach. The next thing I know, I'm falling backwards, on the low side, about 8 feet from the ground..not sure what I'm going to hit with what since I can't see behind me. I land on my right hand..on a rock. OUCH. I immediately feel like I broke my hand. Everything else landed in a soft spot. I didn't want to be a baby so I got back on and kept riding. About 30 min. later I couldn't take the pain, I couldn't even hold the bar with my right hand. Luckily there was a bailout and I limped back to the car via gravel road.

I did some research on hand fractures, and I read that usually a cast is required for 3 months, minimum. That sent me into a panic...what would I do if I couldn't ride my bike for 3 months?! That thought consumed my mind for the next several is over for the year, I would have to take up running again..maybe I'll sign up for an off-road ironman in November? I could work on my leg strength and pedal stroke...hmm. Orienteering? Maybe this will get me back into Adventure Racing. I could spend more time planning minute wedding details. Lay by the pool and even out my cycling tan. None of this sounds as fun as riding a bike. Everytime I thought of missing a ride or race that I've been looking forward to this year, I was near tears. It's crazy how riding a bike can be so important in staying happy, healthy, and sane. Anyway, my 2pm doctors appointment revealed that my hand is, in fact, NOT broken. I couldn't believe it...then how could it hurt so bad? It's just a really deep bone bruise, that will take a few weeks to heal. I am in a wrist brace now, hoping the pain lessens enough for me to race the Cowbell Challenge this weekend. Oh well, I'm just so excited that I CAN RIDE! (well, sooner than later, anyway).

Monday, June 12, 2006


Training is over and we are back in Atlanta, now as the official Wobble-Naught dealer in Georgia. Of course, we have some practicing to do, and after we get our equipment in, Eddie and I will be fitting each other on all our bikes - SS 29er, FS 26", and road bikes. Soon after that we should be ready to go public.

So Boise is a really cool town. We got to ride more on Saturday evening and I felt amazing - I climbed so well that where as usually I have to spin out at the top of a long/steep climb to recover - this time I was clicking into a bigger gear and going. Muscle fatigue was not the limiting factor on this ride, it was the aerobic that was limiting. Our ride was basically a long climb up followed by a long descent. Riding out there is different..very different from what I'm used to. The trails are actually fairly smooth but that doesn't mean easy. It is dry, loose, and has hardpack underneath the loose stuff. The first part of the descent was powerline/ATV trail type stuff - really steep, fast, big jumps and tight turns. I really was not comfortable with the speed I could get on it because the traction was not there. So what happens? After all the really steep stuff is over I hit a turn fast, freak out, grab brake (I think) and slide for about 10 feet along the high side--through lots of prickly things. Today I feel like I got hit by a truck...very sore. I have some nice road rash and a banged up thumb. It's a good thing my next race is on the SS because I can't shift at all. Saturday night we hit a really cool place intown for good beers and great food - Donnie Mac's Trailer Park Cuisine. If you're ever in Boise, ID..give it a try.

Friday, June 09, 2006

All I have to say is..

WOW. Today was Day 2 of Wobble-Naught dealer training. Eddie and I flew out to Boise, ID to learn from the Wobble-Naught creator himself, Tom Coleman. On paper, this stuff looked excellent - using real mathematics and science to fit bikes to people to improve movement and performance, to analyze and improve pedal strokes, and to analyze and improve muscle use. Then we got out here and actually got into the meat hands on. Again, WOW. We saw Tom perform two fits yesterday, and today was my turn. I first got my bike fit on my Kona King Kikapu. Tom took all my key measurements, taking into account my skeletal structure and came up with bike measurements that would preserve my skeletal integrity while producing a dynamic range of motion that would provide ME MY specific best line of pull in my muscles. What did I find? Specifically on the bike...there was quite a bit off. Even though I have had two "bike fits" in the past, using what I believe was the Serotta method, I found that my cleat position was way off, my saddle was too low and too far forward, my handlebar/stem was too low, and last but not least, my saddle was completely wrong and ill-fitting for me. So I got on the bike after all the measurements were changed on the bike. Next we used Dartfish to analyze my pedal stroke. What did we find? Well, damn, it was near perfect. I wasn't even thinking about it, I was just pedaling, assuming it was probably all choppy and wrong and Tom would give me the correct way to fix what I was doing wrong. Not so, I had nearly perfect circles and angles going good Tom took a snapshot of how my pretty stroke compared to Gunn-Rita's. SO COOL! Want proof? Here it is:

Then, as if that wasn't enough for me today, Tom hooked me up to the Myofacts software using EMG (Electromyogram) so we could see which muscles were firing when, during each second of my pedal stroke. Talk about coolness factor. What I found out was all this time, I have not been using the LARGEST muscle in my leg..not even close to what it's potential is. While I monitored the biofeedback on the large screen as I pedaled, I was able to conciously focus on using that muscle in my pedal stroke and I watched the power increase so fast it was incredible. All from focusing on using the muscles optimally. Of course, by the end I was completely cooked. This is going to force me to focus more now every time I ride and that is tiring, as well as I will have to develop these other muscles that I have not been taking advantage of-- that is also tiring.

We hit some fine SW Idaho trails at the end of the day today. Unfortunately, I could not climb worth anything, I was so cooked mentally and physically from the last two days. I had so much shooting through my mind, trying to focus on everything I learned, how to improve, I always want immediate results, but this one is going to take some time and I just have to stick with it and be patient. So the climbing wore me out, but the trip back down the trails was a blast, like a roller coaster. Hopefully I have more steam tomorrow to actually enjoy myself more. Tomorrow it's Eddie's turn to go through the Wobble-Naught fit, Dartfish pedal stroke analysis, and Myofacts EMG analysis.

We will be returning to Atlanta on Sunday and soon everyone there will have the chance to visit us and benefit the same way we are benefiting, as Eddie and I (55Nine Performance) will be the first and only Wobble-Naught dealers in Georgia. This stuff is truly is the REAL DEAL. How do we know? We can see it in the results, there is real proof--quantified.

Time to go drink a beer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Perfect Weekend

This marked the first time Eddie and I actually went out singlespeeding together - twice even in the same weekend - Ellijay (Bear Creek/Mountaintown loop) on Saturday, Dahlonega (Bull Mountain/Bare Hare out and back) on Sunday. 7 hours of singlespeeding, probably more than the total number of hours I've logged on it up until this weekend. The Kona Unit 2-9 is pure fun. The bike is incredible, I just have to dial in the front suspension and the brakes, other than that it was perfect.

Climbing Bear Creek trail

Still Climbing

And still...

The Overlook, a nice reward even though we're still not at the top

Eddie playing near the top of Bear Creek

Quick refuel at the waterfall on Mountaintown

Eddie thinking about a swim?

The geared Konas are on their way to Idaho where we'll catch up with them on Wednesday! Looking forward to some fun riding out west, even though we'll be there on business :)