Sunday, June 29, 2008

a great end to the weekend

This past week has been rough..the anti-dog friendly attitude in my neighborhood has really put a damper on my mood lately. Combine that with not so much dirt riding due to high gas prices..and my two favorite stress relievers have been pulled away from me. I love nothing more than spending some long hours in the mountains with my bike and watching my dogs run free with a big smile on their faces. Road riding is great but not the same to me as an escape in the woods. I've actually considered picking up trail running (AGAIN) just for the sake of my dogs.

Anyway, I forfeited a day of training (which I could have really used yesterday) to teach a 4 hour clinic at Conyers. I even got up early for it! But, only 2 of the TEN confirmed riders even showed up. I can't say I was too happy about that and I wasn't really excited about driving out to Conyers again on Sunday to teach the second clinic..what if no one showed up again?? I'm sure everyone had her own legit excuse, but still....Grrrr.

Saturday afternoon, though, was a freakin' blast. Eddie and I volunteered at the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest and worked the Sweetwater taps. We had a mid afternoon thunderstorm, some super-soaker action, the dunk tank next door, and gallons and gallons of delicious beer flowing...Terrapin, Sweetwater, Atlanta Brewing..needless to say it was GOOD TIMES!! :)

It was really hard to get up for the Sunday beginner clinic, also at Conyers. But, I'm so glad I did as we had a fantastic group. We rode for a couple hours, I witnessed some nice crashes ;) and then Eddie and I spent another few hours exploring trail in an undisclosed location. A great day in the woods, for sure...

Too bad my weekday life of "luxury" is being temporarily put on hold...starting tomorrow I have to complete my clinical rotation in Diabetes. I know it will be a great learning experience, though.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I can't stop checking this site and this one, too.

I think Eddie has agreed to do it with me...someday at least. I am not as tough as Mary or Jenn who are the two females racing the TD and the GDR, respectively, this year. I admit it, I need company..I just don't enjoy spending that much time by myself..too much time for my imagination to go wild.

I was supposed to do a 5 hour ride with Neal and co. this morning..but at 6:45 am I made the call to not join. I think I've had my fill of the rail trail this week, and could use the is my day off, anyway!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

chicks can give out the smack, too

One of the best posts ever...copied from Jill in Alaska:

Dear mountain bikers of the Yukon,

You may not remember me. It was just a year ago I first visited your fine land, but I was forgettable back then - the chick with the knee braces and the squeaky full-suspension 26'er. I pumped out a respectable number of laps before midnight, then I ate some soup and crawled into a tent. Just another one of those girls that couldn't handle the full 24 hours, right?

Wrong. I'm coming back. And I'm bringing with me a full year's worth of healing, training, glucosomine and suffering. I'm bringing a full year's worth of technical riding improvement and a new 29'er that can roll over your puny interior-of-the-continent black spruce roots like they were brittle pencils. I'm bringing my healthy knees and rain-soaked Juneau conditioning and Iditarod-forged perspective on just how relatively pleasant 24-hour races really are. In short, I'm bringing my "A" game.

Plus, I am an American and we all have a bone to pick with you Canadians. Your dollar surpassed ours in value, which we are supremely unhappy about. You have that universal health care while we American athletes must routinely decide between physical therapy and food. Yes, we're sure there must be something we're better than you at. I know the answer: 24-hour races.

Why? Well, for one, we train in miles, which make your puny Canadian kilometers look like, well, like something that is a little more than a half mile. And we train in the land of (relatively) cheap gasoline, big cars and abundant off-road vehicles. We dodge Hummers and split trails with roaring ATVs. And, let me tell you, you haven't raced a mountain bike until you've tried to outrun a snowmobile. And don't underestimate our egos. We Americans always believe we're better at everything, even if we're really not. But in this game, believing is half the battle.

Yes, dear mountain bikers of the Yukon, I am coming up from my land of moss and rain to tear across your tundra with nothing to lose and nothing to prove - except that I'm here. And I'm ready. And I'm going to win. And into next year, you will remember me by my scorch marks.

You have been warned.

Sincerely, Jill from Juneau

a good day of riding

check out the new rack!

"we're not lost. i'm just not sure where we are." - eddie, 15 minutes into the ride

fox F29...wtb prowler (my new favorite tire). notice my training wheels...this is because i ruined my race wheel before lumberjack 100 :(
representin' the six

carbing up for the next day.....

bi+ch in a suv

To the soccer mom in the white volvo xc90:

I'm not sure what you were thinking this morning when you came around to pass all four of us cyclists on the left at a STOP sign in the Starbucks parking lot. Hello??? I liked how you completely ignored our waving and signaling trying to get you to notice us so you didn't run us over. I even saw you shaking your head in disapproval..I know what you're dare 4 cyclists leave the Starbucks on BIKES?! And, pull up to a STOP sign?! Why are there cyclists on the road anyway? The road is for cars and bikes should be on sidewalks.

Next time I should throw my bottle at your stupid SUV, I'm sure it can take it. Have a nice day.


aaaah...nice ride this AM on the rail trail with eddie, neal, and shannon. we planned to do a new 60 mile route but neal and shannon had to get back early. so, instead, we sat around starbucks for a while and chatted, then shannon worked on the lump in my quad (from the pre-lumberjack crash)--thanks shannon! we got in about 3.5 on the road bikes and i think i'm a bit worn out now!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Women's MTB Weekend @ Conyers, GA

I have two clinics this weekend I'm holding with Sherri Stevens:

1) 9am-1pm Saturday June 28

Where: Conyers (GA Int'l Horse Park)- meet in the main parking lot, steeplechase side

Who: Women who are interested in getting into endurance racing or MTB racing in general. You should be somewhat comfortable riding at least the steeplechase side of Conyers.

What: We need your input here. Let us know what you want to cover! Some ideas we had are: How to ride trail more efficiently (braking, cornering, switchbacks, climbing, descending, rocks, roots), On-trail nutrition for riding and racing, basic preparation for your first event, etc. The clinic will be a combination of outdoor classroom type Q&A and actual trail riding.

Your clinic leaders will be Sherri Stevens and Namrita O'Dea. Sherri is an excellent mtb clinic leader and has a great deal of experience working with women and beginner riders. Not to mention, she has some SKILLZ! Namrita specializes in endurance mountain bike racing and is finishing up her Masters degree in Sports Nutrition.

To RSVP and request specific topics to cover, please email sherri.stevens at gmail dot com

There is a limit of 15 riders for this clinic. Please bring drinks and snacks with you.

2) Meet in the parking lot at Conyers Horse Park Sunday June 29, 9 am-11 am for a beginner ride and on-trail clinic. We'll have one or two ride leaders and a sweeper to make sure everyone stays together. Bring your questions and we'll do our best to address them!

Win this frame for 20 bucks

In support of local trail maintenance and keeping great singletrack available to all of us, Vassago Cycles is offering an OptimusTi titanium frame for raffle at the Fool's Gold Race and Festival put on by 55nine performance.

Vassago, 55nine Performance and Ergon have teamed up at the Fool's Gold event to raise funds to be donated to IMBA/SORBA. Your donation for this raffle will specifically go to support existing trails systems as well as support development new trails in the Bull & Jake Mountain area trail fund.

To enter the raffle or donate to the cause (however you prefer to look at it) GO HERE. Your name will be added to the "pot" every time you enter. Online donations will be taken up to August 9th – allowing us time to gather all entries to take to Fool’s Gold. We will continue the raffle at the Vassago booth during the entire festival.

So yes, if you enter 10 thousand times, you have a pretty good chance of winning an OptimusTi that you paid 200 grand for. Sweet!


Despite riding late into the evening yesterday (and being wired until 1am), Eddie and I had to get up early to squeeze in our ride today...darn work keeps getting in the way ;)

We planned to avoid use of the gas guzzler and decided to ride our singlespeeds to the secret trails, do a lap on those, and then ride back. We figured this would take us 2.5 to 3 hours. Except...1.5 hours into the ride and we hadn't even reached the trail yet so we decided to turn around and head back with no SSingletrack action. Boo. Of course, though, we hit zero construction, little traffic, and almost no red lights on the way back so it's possible we could have had at least a little trail time. Oh well. On a positive note, I am feeling pretty decent on the road right now...leg speed and climbing are both going fairly well.

Yesterday I went up to Addictive Cycles to join their first womens group ride with the chicks N2 racing group. I did 1.5 hours by myself on the hot pavement (95+ degrees) and joined the group for another 1.5 hours or so. The highlight was meeting some super strong (and competitive!) beginner riders that wanted to race up every was awesome. Watch out ladies...give them a year (or less for some of them) and they will be kicking some major butt on the road. The low point was almost getting run over by a cop. Yes, a cop. I should probably take the time to call/write in a complaint to someone about that today.

BTW, women: if you live in the Gwinnett area, you should definitely check out the Addictive group ride, it will be leaving every Tuesday at 6pm from the shop.

Anyway, off to the hospital for some internship work...and then it's an early day on the road again tomorrow with Mr. "I'm on a mission to get kicked back into shape by the girls" Neal.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Great Weekend

Even with no Cowbell, the weekend turned out great. I decided not to race, and just to ride a lot. On Saturday, Eddie and I hitched a ride to the site of the GSC XC race at Rock Hawk trails. Man, the trails were far out hour and a half, at least, from Atlanta. But, I was pleasantly surprised! They have some good stuff out there and most likely I will be back... Today, Eddie and I went out to Piedmont NWR in Middle Georgia..another far out trip, but I didn't feel like riding big climbs. We ended up with 4.5 hours of gravel road grinding, but it was the perfect terrain for training to race in WI. Lots of flats with some rollers so I was always pedaling. Not sure I will rush back to this place to ride...there wasn't much scenery and we only saw one person and a few deer (odd, for being a wildlife refuge..oh well, I'm not complaining too bad...didn't want to see any pigs or panthers!)

I heard Carey Lowery kicked butt and the Cowbell 12 hour, coming in 2nd just behind Rebecca Rusch. Congrats!

Friday, June 20, 2008

wow! warning, hot bike picture:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

butt=kicked and feeling good about it

3 hour road ride today with long tempo effort..nailed it, i was happy. i even had more to spend on the way home. only got buzzed by cars twice in 14 miles. with gas so pricey and the trails 45 min+ away, plus the recent anti-dog-friendly activity in my neighborhood..i'm seriously considering moving out of atlanta.

but i's been since march since i've done a focused training ride like that but i've recruited my coach back into action and he's going to bring me back to where i want to be. i sort of got "lost" among all the recovery between racing two 24 solos and directing one 24 hour race.

the Tour Divide race is looking really really tempting!!! The area they are riding through is so beautiful I would love to do something like that. I thought the racers camped every night but Eddie says you can stay in hostels/hotels, whatever, and actually get a decent meal and a beer fairly often. If this is true, maybe I will actually consider doing it for real. I suggested to Eddie that he and I race it together on a tandem, that way he couldn't leave me for the bears and mountain seems like he is actually taking me seriously..??!

Atlanta Summer Beer Fest June 28

Eddie and I will be working the Sweetwater kegs on Saturday from 3-6. Come on by!

testing the waters

I had a decent training ride on Tuesday, on the road, and another one on Wednesday. I'm just now able to stand on the pedals but it still hurts a little bit to pedal out of the saddle. I've got another interval workout on the road today and the weekend is now up in the air. I don't have the money to drive to Cowbell, plus a 6 hour race would probably be a bad idea while I'm still recovering my injured quad muscle. But, there is a local XC race on Sunday I'm considering, assuming I can jump back on the mtb by then. I don't know what the course is like and I'm unable to get out there and preride unless I can hitch a ride out with someone on Saturday. I just really feel like racing!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I'm starting over fresh today. New training plan, new focus..I'm moving on from my extremely disappointing weekend and happy about it! 24 hour Nationals is the short term focus and I'm finally ready to dedicate myself to training for it. Maybe everything had to come crashing shake me out of whatever physical and mental funk I've been in lately.

Work related..I've got another project I'm working on..and really excited about that, too. Hopefully, I can announce something on that one later this summer.

pre-race report

I don't have a race report, but it looks like I do have a pre-race report and I didn't even have to write it! At least someone can make me laugh about the experience :)

I forgot to say THANK YOU to Mary Musto (Danielle's mom) for picking me up Thursday and driving us to the emergency clinic. She was awesome and I could tell she was not phased by taking care of emergency crash injuries, haha.

It took us 14 hours to get home was awful! We hit bad traffic and detours in every state including MI, OH, KY, TN, and GA. And, to make matters worse, we got a flat tire 45 miles from home so had to stop, unload all the bikes, gear, and dogs, and call AAA. Finally pulled in around 1:30 am. It's a wonder I could even fall asleep after all the caffeine taken in over the last 24 hours.

14 hours in the car was A LOT of time to think, though. I came up with some exciting ideas...some work related, and some race related. Eddie thinks I'm crazy but he always does, anyway :)

BTW, the Tour Divide and GDR are on! I'm having fun following Mary Collier, this year's only female tour rider..she is out to set the female course record. She's awesome! Fellow Vassago teammate Fixie Dave Nice is also out there, good luck Dave!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

lumberjack race report for me

well, this trip was not really what i had in mind but i tried to still have some fun despite not racing. i've learned my lesson..never mountain bike without gloves when it's 99% humidity outside. if you do, hold on to your handlebar...tight. luckily nothing is broken and i just have some scratches and a huge swollen leg.

thanks to scott for organizing the weekend..we had a fun time hanging out with good people. btw, the michigan singlespeeders are insane! they were pushing 38x16 type gears on their 29ers!! i was amazed.

we spent our savings on gas for this trip so no cowbell challenge for me. i also need a new front wheel and rotor. i guess i have to find something local (cheap) to race to scratch my itch before 24 hour nationals.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Insert four letter word here

not racing tomorrow. Bad crash yesterday broke front wheel and almost my leg. I'm hoping eddie takes a win and the axe tomorrow. Needless to say I'm very bummed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008 we go!

Two days and counting..we are leaving for Grand Rapids this afternoon for a ride with Danielle and then back to her place for what sounds like a big party. Scott, aka the Cruise Director, has a fun-filled weekend planned for us and is cooking up some good food for it, too. Sweet.

I'm still wondering about gear selection, everyone insists 2:1 is the way to go, so that's what I have on there now. The problem is I don't have powerhouse legs like I did last winter...they're more like chicken legs now so I guess I will decide what to do tomorrow when I see some of the terrain!

Oh, I bonked yesterday..hard. We planned on a 1-1.5 hour ride on the Clinton River Trail (flat) out to Bloomer (local tech-ish singletrack) so I only took one bottle of Rapidade. Well, it took us 45 min to get out there and my bottle was practically gone. We rode a bit of Bloomer and had to head back...and that's when it happened. I started adding up all my calories for the day and the number was too low. The Rapidade was gone. I felt like I was a hundred miles from home..luckily it was only about 10! I've been eating pretty steadily since then...gotta carb up!

OK, I probably won't be able to update anything until Sunday as we will be in a cabin in the woods somewhere in northern Michigan.

Monday, June 09, 2008


we're finally in michigan! two days, one mediocre hotel, 3 starbucks lattes, 3 fast food sandwiches, and a trillion detours later...we finally arrived.

the weather here has been crazy, apparently. there are flooded streets, trees down everywhere, fallen powerlines...who knows what the trails will be like?

we rode with my mom today, she took us on an epic tour of troy and auburn hills. she rode a 45lb bike and only used one gear. that, and her CX mounting and dismounting skills are better than mine. i guess i better get to working on those!

oh, and the FOX F29 fork is....a FOX. Completely awesome, I'm SO HAPPY!

i'll update more later this week, we're heading to Grand Rapids on Thursday and up to Lumberjack 100 on Friday. now i'm going to ice my shoulder (too much basketball in the driveway) and going to drink a Stone Brew! :-)

Friday, June 06, 2008

oh yeeeaaah

My sweet race machine called the Optimus Ti is being re-Wobble-naughted with the new fork today. In other breaking news, Eddie O is going SINGLESPEED at the Lumberjack 100 next week! That means he has to use my pink SS wheels :-) I'm almost as excited about that as I am to buy some good beer up in Michigan. Oh yeah, I'm excited to see my friends and family, too.

On the health front, I'm feeling much better after seeing Dr. Josh Glass twice this week and Collette, the best massage therapist in the world, once this week. I've re-worked my nutrition again a bit and feeling better from that, too. I think I might be ready to race again in a week.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ok, fine!!

It's time to face it..I can no longer use and abuse my body without consequences like I could 5 years ago. Over the last week I've returned to riding my road bike (it had been awhile) and of course I've been using a huge gear trying to build some strength back into my legs in a desperate attempt to maybe squeeze out some more power before the Lumberjack 100 next week (which is a powerhouse's I've heard). Well that, combined with maybe not being recovered 100%, combined with putting out two maximal efforts (on someone else's bike) over the weekend, combined with the road fit being different than the mountain bike fit, has left me with a pain in the butt. Literally. I went to see Dr. Josh Glass this morning, who is going to once again save my butt, literally. He says I've strained my piriformis, SI joint, and hamstring. Great. Luckily he says with a massage from Collette tomorrow, another appointment with him on Friday, some foam rolling, icing, and light stretching I should be fine in a few days. Phew. Unfortunately, that does mean only short easy rides again for a few days...AARRRGGGH!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

bike commuting

$4.09/gallon is too much to pay to run errands like groceries and beer runs. We figured out we can go minimal and fit a 6-pack between our two jerseys.

It's possible that tallboys would fit better than bottles, but I'm not really into PBR. Though, it seems as though PBR makes your legs go faster than good beer does..or so it seemed last Saturday night.

We are in discussions with Twin Six about a possible new jersey design with pockets specifically made for carrying home the essentials :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

catching up

Normally catching up is a good thing. Not this time..I think the last 2 weeks (racing Conyers 24, directing the BURN 24, attending ACSM) have been catching up with me and making me really tired. Tired enough that I've been wondering if I have mono or something. I've been sleeping 10-11 hours a night which is really unusual for me. My 2.5 hour ride last week made me tired, sore, and worried that I have no fitness. I felt a little better this weekend but, still, my grand total of training hours for last week was 4:01 (The one minute being the sprinting I did Saturday night). Coach says not to worry about it and I that I get one more day of recovery today...and then hopefully I can start back to some focused training. I only have 8 weeks now until 24 hour Nationals and I really want to do well there. I'm trying not to think about everyone else who is training like mad right now!!

Eddie and I have also been working hard on the planning of the Fool's Gold looking for some news on that front very soon.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Faster Mustache can throw a party! The Goldsprints in between adult beverages was insanely hard but really fun. I only made it through the qualifier and the 1st heat..mostly because I'm more comfortable at a cadence of 80-90 and these guys were going 140+. Well, that, and the womens handicap went out the window when the system had "technical difficulties". I had to race Kurt Rampton (who's going to win that one? Duh.) and then Kurt had to race Eddie (who's going to win that one, too? Duh.) Kurt, Christopher, Austin, Hodge..they were all impressive up there! Hodge even threw up a whole pizza and 6 hours worth of beers (he went to a beer festival earlier in the day) and still won twice. I had an awesome time and I'm going to work on my leg speed between now and the next one. They do have a 24 hour race they put on in September, too. I can do a little better at that ;) Here's a few great shots of Eddie and Hodge and a bunch of other great ones. Make sure you check out Eddie's mustache.

More pix here (by Chris Kelly