Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the calm before the storm

Monday, July 28, 2008


Bell's Two Hearted Ale at Dominick's in Ann Arbor..on the day of the Alpe d'Huez stage

Cool self portrait shot

We just got back from NY yesterday, now we're in Michigan again until we leave on Thursday for the cheese state. We rode some dirt on the Brock Escarpment on the way and then did some road riding while we were in NY. The Bruce Trail in St. Catharine's was pretty sweet!! Steep, and downs on the escarpment. Too bad it had just poured rain when we started riding because the roots were super slick..made it kind of sketch in parts....really fun though. Next time we go over there I'd like to check out the BT near Hamilton, ON. Yesterday we tried hitting up supposedly the "best singletrack in Niagara", the Short Hills, but never found the ^&*&$#@ road to turn on. We were following the directions on ...never again. We ended up going over an hour out of our way and didn't even get to ride. Anyway, I've got tons of pics to upload from our little side trip soon...for now, here's some old ones:

pics by Mrs. O'Dea

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

speaking too soon

Today was a recovery ride, so what better way to recover than with a beer ride? We rode from my parents house to the grocery store for some good ole' Michigan Beer. Besides seeing friends and family, Michigan Beer is the best thing about coming up here. The storm was rolling in from the Northwest as we were heading East. We picked up our 6-pack of Magic Hat (no Bells or Founders to be found at Kroger!) and started rolling home.

The darkest clouds had blown over quickly but we still had a tough headwind to fight on the way home. Not 5 seconds after Eddie said "See, I told you we'd get lucky...." did I feel a drop...followed by about a million more.

It poured on us and actually got very chilly. As soon as we pulled in the garage I heard the largest clap of thunder ever. Good timing, sort of!

If anyone has some mountain bike trail recommendations for Ontario, CN...we are driving from Detroit to Niagra Falls on Thursday. It looks like we will be driving through Brantford, Burlington, Hamilton, and St Catharines so any advice would be appreciated...a fun trail with not too much climbing would be perfect.

Tomorrow we visit Ann Arbor! I love that place. Too bad it's not located in a warmer state.

you know you want one.....

Sunday, July 20, 2008

...and we're off

We had a good weekend of riding to finish out training for 24 hour Nationals which is coming up in 2 weeks. I broke out my rigid Jabberwocky for the weekend...oh man I think I am still suffering from some damage from the 24 hours of Conyers on a rigid hands are still in bad shape. I have a hard time controlling the bike on fast descents and fast technical bits. I've also gotten really used to the plushy Fox F29 on my Optimus it's a good thing I got in some re-acclimation hours on the rigid bike today just in case it needs to come out for backup duty at Nationals. We are leaving for Michigan tomorrow and will head to WI sometime next week.

Pics from today's tight & twisty ride...

The Rapidade Go Go Grape matches my Bubbalicious Jabberwocky..hmm.

Eddie's skillz

Dropoff to the left...stay on the trail

More of Eddie's skillz

The gap jump..Eddie did it, not me thank you. I'm kind of glad I didn't see him do it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Endurance Training Plans

...We've got new ones for 6/12 hours of Dauset and 6/12 hours of Conyers...more will be coming. $99 for the whole plan..Details here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

public service announcement

Don't ever eat a cookie from Panera. I ate a whole one today, in addition to a 1/2 turkey sandwich..and made the mistake of looking up the nutritional info after the fact. Let's just say I could have eaten a burger, fries and a milkshake for the amount of fat in the cookie. Not worth it!!

I did ride today, though, on the road. Should I admit that I got passed by a t-shirt on a mountain bike? Well, I did. But, then I grabbed his wheel and wouldn't let him go, even though I had to sneak out of level 2 for a minute or so. It feels pretty lame to be drafting a mountain biker while you're on a road bike! But, I had to keep my heartrate, really!

Tomorrow is my day off. Hopefully some bike fitting on all my bikes, a good ride, and I really want to check this place out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"S"lacker with a capital S

I didn't ride today. Not even for a few minutes. Actually, my legs are pretty fried from Monday's road effort. That, and long work hours with less than optimal sleep patterns is pretty tiring, it definitely takes a toll on training and recovery. I guess it's a good thing I have two semesters of school left (I'm dragging it out as long as possible, I guess) because it's a lot easier to train when you don't have to work all day. Duh, that's obvious. Tomorrow is my last day working at the hospital, though!!! Does anyone want to join me for a celebratory ride on Friday?? Maybe with an ice cream stop?

Something funny happened this morning..well, it was funny after the fact. My dog Jackson (aka Hot Breath Harry, if you remember him from this post) likes to tuck himself in when he's sleeping. He'd rather sleep on hard ground and be covered up with a blanket than sleep on a fluffy bed. Anyway, he actually tunneled his way INto an old duvet cover of mine so he was in between the two sides and completely trapped this morning. I let him try to figure it out for a few minutes, but then I had to go upstairs to see what the problem was as it sounded like he was flailing around the room. It was kind of funny to watch for a few seconds until he really started panicking..then I started panicking and I could not find the opening for the life of me. I finally found a little hole in the fabric and ripped the thing apart. He was so scared, then so relieved. Then, he proceeded to jump all over me and shower me in kisses..which he rarely does. He did this for the next several minutes while following me around. It was so cute. Then, I realized I had just missed a really good funny video opportunity..oh well. Oh, and the other funny thing...Eddie slept through this whole ordeal which took place 5 feet from him...yeah, he sleeps like a rock, literally.

Monday, July 14, 2008


why is road riding so much harder than mountain biking?!!! i just got done with a 5-ish hour ride with eddie and i'm hurting so bad. SO BAD. i can barely even type right now. i am finding a little strength to drink my sweetwater road trip, though. i sure deserve this one, especially because there was NO ice cream to be found on today's route. too bad that was like the only thing i was looking forward to on the ride today!

eddie, on the other hand, never gets tired..i don't get it! he's been riding the singlespeed Optimus Ti lately and continues to rip legs off of anyone he rides with. unfortunately, since i do a lot of riding with him i am always on the receiving end of that...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

fools in the rain..again

I swear, the same thing happened last year!!

We went up to Dahlonega Saturday afternoon and had planned to ride the last 18 miles of the new race course to record exact mileage. We got to the trailhead around 2:30 and realized I forgot to grab our bag of clothes. oops. We drove all the way back to the house, and by the time we finally got started it was 4pm. Once we hit the road Eddie noticed smoke at a campsite along the gravel road. It turns out some f-in rednecks left their fire going and there were no less than 20 beer cans and bottles littering their campsite. We put the fire out and attempted to clean up the creek around there..unfortunately Eddie sliced his finger open on one of their broken bottles. Jerks. A little while later I got a flat. Then it started to rain, but not bad. Then, on our way to the finishing section of singletrack we encountered a HUGE tree down, it was quite difficult to get across. All in all, we ended up with about 25 miles in 5 hours including all our stops and diversions.

Today we met up with Dave Muse, Monte, Neal, and Lisa to ride the full 50 miles of the race course in one big enchilada..something I have yet to do (SOMETHING ALWAYS comes up during the ride...trailwork, rain....) I've ridden 40+ miles of the course more times than I can count, but never all 50 in one day..and today was going to be the day..until it started raining. As soon as we started climbing to Coopers Gap the skies opened up. Rain, lighting, it was quite dark but fun to ride in except for the descents when all of us would get junk in our eyes. Once we hit the turnoff to the singletrack, Neal and Lisa opted to take the gravel road to the car but Monte and Dave wanted to check out the trail so we chose that route. There was at least 5-6" of water flowing down the trail and the rain was still coming down hard from all directions, it was fingers and toes were numb from the cold and I was shivering so bad I could barely stay upright. We met up with Neal and Lisa again in a few minutes, good timing. It was fun, but I was glad to see the car at the end of the ride which had been cut short once again...

I actually don't have any riding pics from the weekend, so these will have to do.

Teri and me at Bonegarden Cantina

Porter chillin' with the Q3s.

What do you think of Team Vassago/Grand Hustle? Found this perfect race team vehicle parked in the neighborhood.....

I've got the day off it BETTER NOT RAIN!!!!

Oh, the Fool's Gold 50/100 mile route is set. It will go a bit faster than last year due to it being shorter (50, not 55 miles per lap) and removal of some of the eroded, steep horse trail. Fear not, it will still be a challenge for everyone. Look for a final map/route sometime this week.

Friday, July 11, 2008

misery =

26 miles, 1.5 a car....per day. I don't know how people do it. It makes me angry, grumpy, anxious, I could go on. Thank goodness I only have 4 days of it left. I swear, I'm going to ride my bike to work next week. At least for 3 of the 4 days.

On a more positive note, this weekend will be 2 long days of riding in the mountains...road ride in the gaps tomorrow (and maybe some wine tasting...) followed by Fool's Gold 50 route on Sunday. I could not be happier.

pic by andrew kornylak

I promise I will return with some good pictures of my own, it has been awhile.

edit: hey! i just saw that i am bike blog of the week.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


my legs needed this recovery week. i've mostly been trying to knock out internship hours at the hospital this week, and riding just a little bit. today eddie and i did a small but fun ride on our mtn bikes through the cemetery. it is a fun little place to ride, it's a really old place..dates back to the 1800s. after that we practiced wheelies for awhile until the storm finally rolled in. our favorite bartender just got a job at our newest local mexican joint so i think we will head up there to welcome him :) i'm excited for the weekend..another run of the fool's gold 50 route! should be fun, hopefully my legs are rested and ready to go...

this is a scary thought but 24 hour nationals is only 3 weeks away. cheese curds!

btw, i'm glad to see the antibiotics are working and jenn is back on the road to finishing the great divide race. i would love to see her take both records, i wonder if she can still do it?!

Monday, July 07, 2008

one amazing woman

Jenn Hopkins, who has been racing the Great Divide Race this year on her SINGLESPEED has been on track to break not only the female course record, but also the singlespeed course record. She has been flying!!! It is crazy. I checked her out online and she sounds super cool and fun to hang out with, too. (Jenn, if you're ever in Atlanta, GA give me a shout ;)

I just read this on the race blog, and am hoping she gets back out there soon. Regardless of what happens, I think she is a complete rockstar!!

Jenn called at 8 a.m. Monday from Abiquiu. She said she rode onto the plateau yesterday after leaving Abiquiu a first time, but began to feel sick again after having felt ill on Sunday. She said she did begin to feel "loads better" Sunday night, so she moved on. But "in retrospect the fact that it took me five hours of riding and lying down to nap and riding and lying down to nap to get five or so miles up onto the plateau is not a good sign." She said she arrived at the top and was still feeling horrible. She couldn't keep food or water down, and although she promised herself she would never move backward on the route, she didn't feel it was safe to continue in her state. So she returned to Abiquiu to rest some more, but on Monday morning, she was feeling despondent about her situation. She didn't know whether she had a stomach bug or whether it was heat-related. "I can't ride. I can't eat. I can't do anything," she said. "I'm really frustrated because it was going well and now it looks like I'm not even going to make the cut-off to Antelope Wells." She did not know what she was going to do. "I am thinking of home quite a lot right now," he said. She mentioned she was going to stay in Abiquiu for a least a few more hours and assess how she felt then. Jenn mentioned the time cut-off, but she still has seven days to ride the final 600 miles into Antelope Wells, and most of those miles are in faster conditions by most accounts. Hopefully she can take some time off to kick this illness and stay on the route.

Good luck Jenn!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

4th of july binge riding

I'm not sure when the last time I rode in the mountains was...Cohutta 35, maybe? Needless to say, I don't really have climbing legs goin' on at the moment. This 3-day binge was going to be "fun" especially since I was the lone female among a group of REALLY FAST guys. Not only are they all REALLY FAST, they can ride for hours upon hours, day after day. Just what I needed to finish out my first 3-week training block in 3 months..ouch.

Thursday July 3
Mark Baldwin, Eddie, and I arrived in Dahlonega early on Thursday to get the groceries, prep bikes, play with our dogs, and spin for a bit. Harvey arrived later on that night with his two dogs. We had a full house...4 people (1 girl, 3 dudes), 5 dogs (1 girl, 4 dudes)...hmm.

Friday July 4
We left the 5 dogs in the house with our fingers crossed as we headed up to Ducktown for the annual Cartecay Bikes 4th of July ride. Because Harvey and Mark were with us, they ensured Eddie and I were not just on time, but early! for the start. I joined the "A" group in hopes for a good 40 mile ride to kick off the weekend. There weren't many girls in the group...Ursula and Loretta (token fast chicks) but I heard them talking about not doing the full route, they were going to hammer for a couple hours and call it a day..then there was me, and Julie Barker from FL. Julie had a tough time on the pavement climb so her fiance stopped to wait for her. They didn't know the turns so I offered to stop and wait at the next turn..except they never showed up. Harvey and Eddie had dropped off the group to wait for me. We caught up with the rest of the "A" group soon after, but lost them for good when my legs couldn't spin fast enough on the Old Copper Road to keep up with the "A" pace. Oh well, I wasn't too sad. I spent the rest of the day trying to keep the gap between me and the Harvey-Eddie group as small as possible...we got close to 40 miles, mostly singletrack..and even got to ride Thunder Rock Express twice. I don't think many other people actually did the full 40 miles, probably because Kevin (the "A" ride leader) crashed pretty badly. (Hope you're OK, Kevin!!) Oh, I bonked bad, though.

Saturday July 5
Harvey decided to do his own shorter ride today with his dogs, so Mark, Eddie and I headed out to do the Fool's Gold 50 route. Mark and Eddie are both really fast so I had another tough day...racked up another 40 miles, 4 hours for a total of 80 miles in the mountains..not bad.

Sunday July 6
Today was another big day, Dave Muse was coming up to ride with us. However, I fell off the pace so fast that 45 min into the ride I was pretty miserable and feeling sorry for myself. Mentally, I was struggling with being the slowest person on the rides all weekend (fully realizing that I was in company with complete rockstars, but still....) and I really wished I had some fast girls to ride with today instead of the fast guys. I made the decision to leave the group so they could actually have some fun and did my own ride. I rode another 3 hours and arrived back at the car at the same time the guys did.

Between all the riding, we consumed massive amounts of calories...I hope I didn't actually gain weight while I was there! I'm really not looking forward to this week...more internship hours at the hospital. It's a well deserved recovery week, though. Hopefully something fun will come up for the weekend so I can look forward to something!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

yay for the weekend

so, it's only wednesday, but that means that i'm done working for the week and off to play for the weekend! we're going up to dahlonega tomorrow and will be finalizing the fool's gold route, hopefully, and joining up with the cartecay bikes 4th of july ride on friday. i can't wait!!! my legs will be dead, but i don't care! i trashed them yesterday, and need to go out again today...stalling now....must go. this weekend will be awesome, we have a good group..eddie, harvey, and mark b. i foresee many miles of riding, dogs in the river, and post ride beers. hope everyone has a happy and safe weekend!

p.s. SOMEONE is reading my mind! edit: ok, i can't attend this event, but i like the idea!