Sunday, November 30, 2008


List 6 random things about yourself that most people do not know, then tag 6 more people and post their links. Sonya Looney tagged me so here I go:

1) I am scared of heights...log crossings on foot and rappelling make me hyperventilate and the thought of crossing the train trestles at La Ruta de Conquistadors scares the crap out of me! I still might do it someday, though, just to say I did it.

2) I have a degree in Chemical Engineering from U of Michigan, yes I am a math and science nerd.

3) Three years ago, I gave up a really good well paying job in corporate America to be a full-time grad student. It was a hard decision to make and I've made a lot of sacrifices. But, I'm happier than ever! Next, I want to get my PhD in Nutrition.

4) Once we have enough money to move out of the city into a bigger place I want to help with a dog rescue and foster dogs. I think people that abuse and abandon animals should be shot.

5) I don't watch sports unless it has to do with cycling or hockey. Yes, I went to a Big Ten school but now I hate watching football!

6) I am a chai tea junkie! I like it best with soy milk.

Now I'm tagging:

Eddie O

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day leaf riding

The riding in North Georgia is awesome right now! On Wednesday we rode a different version of Bear Creek/Pinhoti and I even spooked a hunter on the Pinhoti 2 trail..not such a good idea. I'm lucky I didn't get shot as he was bear hunting and I was riding around with a brown helmet and a black jacket...duh!!! On Thanksgiving Day we ended up driving the Southern X route to check's just under 40 so by the time we add in the CX course at Mulberry Gap we will have one sweet race course. After that we rode more Pinhoti, which is a whole new experience with all the leaves down, it was good. I wore brighter clothes this time in hopes that no one would mistake me for a bear or deer. Now we are back in Atlanta for one week until we head to FL for winter training!! Eddie and I are also putting together some endurance race clinics sponsored by Ergon while we are in FL...I'll post up the details once they are set but expect them Dec. 17/18 at UBC and Chainwheel Drive (Clearwater).

Mulberry Gap just got in a shipment of the good stuff

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

blog vacation

Eddie and I are leaving in the morning to go up to Mulberry Gap for a few days of R&R over the Thanksgiving holiday. We plan to do some more recon for the Southern X, eat a lot, hang with Diane & Ginny, play with the dogs, and ride more.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

and we're off....

6-days of vacation starts right now! Hello bike.

BTW, if anyone has a copy of the Nov/Dec issue of Her Sports Magazine and wouldn't mind scanning and emailing me the page in the "Women Who Move" section, that would be great. I haven't seen it yet! Apparently you can only get it in running-specific stores around here...I don't frequent those very often.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

bitten by the snake...snake creek gap TT preride report

The alarm went off at 5:30am today and instantly I said "I'm not going, I'm too tired." Eddie said "OK, I don't care either way." Then I thought of the SORBA forum post Mark D. made yesterday taking bets on whether Eddie and I were going to make it to the 8am ride in Dalton, GA. That is the ONLY reason I got out of bed this morning to ride at prove to Mark D. that we CAN ride before 10am! :)

I probably should have just stayed in bed, though.

We arrived at the Trade Center at 8:00 am sharp. Laurie almost fell over when she saw us, and we even got a few cheers and claps. Just for the record, we beat Mark D. there! Anyway, it was 20 degrees in the parking lot as we dressed and loaded all the bikes on the shuttles. Several people were doing the 34 mile ride and a few (smart ones) were doing the 17 miler. About 3/4 way to East Armuchee Rd (the dropoff point) the trailer that was holding all our bikes broke. Luckily they caught it in time and improvised by moving 6 or 7 bikes into the back of one of the several pick-up trucks. Phew.

Once we reached E. Armuchee it was really really cold. Someone asked what gear I was running on the singlespeed and I said I had no idea. It was either 32x18 or 32x20 but I hoped it was the 20T. Upon further inspection Brandon and Matty told me it was, in fact, an 18T. Crap. This ride was going to be hard enough and at that point it just got even harder. They tried to talk me into doing the 17 mile ride with them but I had never done the 34 route and had my mind set on it.

I should have listened to them.

Eddie and I decided to take off and have the rest of the group catch us...except we didn't know where we were going. We ended up taking a wrong turn less than 5 minutes into the ride and were headed on the Pinhoti trail to Rome instead of the Pinhoti trail to Snake Creek Gap. OOPS. Luckily Eddie realized the mistake pretty quickly because I sure would have never known...Unfortunately, though, the entire 34 mile group was now in front of us. It only took us about 30 minutes to catch them, though. Laurie was having shifting issues so the rest of the group was waiting up. We rode with the group for awhile after that. The trail was in KILLER shape. ROCKS ROCKS ROCKS covered by TONS OF LEAVES. Soooooo fun. This is, hands down, the best trail in Georgia. After reaching Snake Creek Gap we started climbing again. By now, my old tendonitis (from 24 hours of hell at Conyers) was bothering me AGAIN. I wonder if this will ever go away?? I was cringing a little bit on the steep climbs and had to resort to using mainly my rear brake on the descents only because my left wrist was hurting pretty bad.

My bottom bracket bearings are also on the verge of death (again) so I was crossing my fingers that it held together for the whole 34 miles. Then, all of a sudden, I was crossing a creek and everything stopped...cranks, wheels..stopped. Luckily I didn't crash and then all of a sudden I was rolling again. About 4 or 5 minutes later I was out of the saddle climbing a steep section of doubletrack when I started flying over my handlebars with my knee hitting my handlebar hard in the process. My chain broke. WHO BREAKS A CHAIN ON A SINGLESPEED????!!! I was not happy. Everyone was gone and I had no idea what I was going to do so I started run/walking with my bike. Finally I found Eddie and he took two links out of the chain and hooked it all back up...except now I could barely turn the cranks the chain was so tight. I started walking again until the SAG stop. For some reason, instead of bumming a ride back to the Trade Center there I decided to keep going and ride as much as I could, walk the rest.

Bad idea. I couldn't stop pedaling otherwise I couldn't get pedaling again. Ratcheting was difficult, also, which stunk since I was getting to the real techy parts of the trail. At this point I felt like I was pushing a 30x15 gear it was so hard. I would just coast the descents, what few of them there were, but my left wrist still hurt really bad. At one point I hit a wall and got really frustrated..just then Ginny from NWGA SORBA appeared and told us there was a better way back to a FS road where we could pick up a ride. nice!!! We had to backtrack a bit but finally found the steep, sketchy singletrack to Stover Creek. She warned us that we wouldn't be able to see the rocks and nasty drops under all the leaves but I didn't care. I just wanted to go downhill and find a warm ride home. We got to the end and Steve and Philip were waiting for us..the truck was warm and they even had a beer for me! Thank you!! We still got at least 4 hours of riding, about 30 miles, and found some new trails so all was not lost.

I think that unless I (by this I mean, Eddie) can turn my SS into a geared bike I may do the first Snake Creek Gap TT in January. But, if not, there is NO WAY I'm racing it on the singlespeed. I'd rather stay in FL for a few more days!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mid-week ride

Eddie and I drove up to Mulberry Gap last night so we could get up early today to ride the gravel road portion of the Southern X race loop. We got up around 8:30 and Ginny had coffee and breakfast ready...great way to fuel up for a long ride. It was 22 degrees! We waited for a few hours to get started and finally hit the road around 11:30 am.

The beginning of the route was tough on the singlespeed. a lot of flat and slight downhill grades. after some gravel, we hit the section of pavement from CCC camp road to the booming metropolis of Crandall, GA. There were a lot of animals on this section: horses, cows, cats, dogs...lots of dogs...none of them were agressive.

From Crandall, the road turned back into gravel and it started rolling, mostly climbing. Actually, it climbed for another couple hours, basically to the top of Potatopatch mountain.

Eddie at the Mill Creek overlook off FS 17. Normally, you come down FS 17 in the Cohutta 100 race. In this race you will be going UP.

We rode for 4 hours, but stopped quite a bit and neither of us were breaking any course records. We are going to have to look for additional mileage as this section was not as long as we thought it was. We have something in mind, though, and will be going up in one week to check it out!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enhancing Women's Leadership and Performance in Endurance Sports

February 7, 2009 in Atlanta, GA

presented by

55nine PerformanceGeorgia State University
USA CyclingUSA Triathlon

Level II USA Cycling and USA Triathlon coaches may attend this seminar for CEU credits

Coffee and blogging

I'm happily drinking the Early Break as I bring you this blog announcement....

Guess who has a blog?

....and I have a new project that I've been working on, check back here soon!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I started out Saturday's road ride in a long sleeved jersey and shorts and spent the two hours pretty darn cold and miserable. I could barely get my HR up towards the end....yuck. So, when Sunday's forecast read a high of 48* I just couldn't get motivated to do my 4 hour ride. I know that in two weeks we will be getting 30 hours/week on the bike so this time I allowed myself to slack a bit and we went for an off-road run/hike with the dogs and Marc. We went to Sweetwater Creek, which is only a 30 minute drive (or less) for us. It was awesome! There is abundant rock hopping opportunities across the river and then more technical rocky rooty singletrack to have fun with. The leaves covering the obstacles made things a little more challenging, too. I will say, though, I'm terrified of heights. Marc made a log crossing look really easy but it scared the hell out of me! (Carey is shaking her head...I know it). I did it, though, and once I got started it was no big deal. It's definitely a lot easier to do it without bike shoes and a heavy bike on your back! No, I will never do La Ruta!

Speaking of La Ruta...huge congrats to Thomas Turner, local Georgia hero. You may remember he also took 2nd behind Bishop at the 2008 Fool's Gold 100. Monte Hewett, one of our clients, also did awesome in the Masters Category in his first stage race despite some setbacks during the race. Good job, guys!

Friday, November 14, 2008

turning the corner

This was a good week for me. I'm not feeling as sore and tired everyday and I'm actually making some progress in the gym. I can't do a pull-up yet..but I'm not sure I will ever be able to! We will actually be going to Florida sooner than planned...we'll be leaving in just a couple weeks. That will give us a full 4 weeks of training in the warm(er) weather. The high for this Sunday is only going to be 50 degrees in Ellijay, where we will be riding the Southern Cross route. Brrrrr. I'm about to start making plans to sell my Litespeed Ghisallo ti road bike and eventually my ti 29er singlespeed (yeah!!!) in order to get a CX bike and new carbon road bike. I'm pretty excited about the all-new-all-carbon (except the commuter bike, of course) stable of bikes for 2009! Speaking of, I sent my Topeak-Ergon Rotwild order in today...I'll post more details on that later. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fun with base miles

...well, maybe fun is not the right word. we waited until i finished work (about 1pm) to ride today, assuming we were going to get in a 3 hour base ride on the 6-flags route. well, about 45 min into the ride a major road was closed so we chose to try the detour. um..bad idea. the detour basically took us on roads with heavy construction, truck traffic, and no shoulder. after that we decided to find a different route back instead of back-tracking through that mess. eddie used his trusty iphone to get us further south but even those roads shoulder and tons of traffic. it's amazing how the roads that used to be quiet are now speedways for scary bus drivers, truck drivers, and general a-holes that don't feel the need to share the road. so 4 hours later we finally found ourselves on familiar, quieter roads in East Point but the sun was setting quickly. that, and we had a 6pm training appointment at the gym! we ended up with 4.5 hours and the last few miles were in the dark on downtown atlanta rush hour. dumb. all in all, we ended up doing parts of the following local ride routes: Buckhead Bellyache, Six Flags, One Love Century, Silk Sheets, and Airport. it's amazing we lived through this day...seriously, i am thankful. i think i will make sure to keep a blinkie on the back of my road bike at the very least. we were late to our appointment at the gym but we still went. that brings the total hours for today to 5.25 hours, not bad. for that, i get a can of Dale's Pale Ale :)

we are already at 42 people for Southern Cross and there is big competition! we talked to mulberry gap today and think we can squeeze some more cars in if the out of towners carpool so we will be increasing the number of entries slightly beyond 50.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

31 spots filled.....

Thanks, Kurt from Faster Mustache for the logo!

cross training

I am mixing in a lot more cross training this season with my 2009 base building. It's kind of demoralizing to always feel sore, though. Between strength training, running, base miles, and riding the new fixie to school my legs feel like blocks of lead every day. I'm hoping this will translate into something good when I finally taper off the gym workouts and add big hours on the bike. This will happen in about four weeks when we head to Florida for a repeat of the winter training that we did last year. Except, the plan is to be a lot fitter this time around!

Otherwise, I'm trying to get a lot of work done on my thesis before Dec. 31 as next Spring is going to be quite busy with training and racing. I am strongly considering doing two of the three Snake Creek Gap TTs for some early season tuning...then probably the Ouachita Challenge.

BTW, thanks to everyone for the "congrats" on the new team. For the other few out there leaving mean "anonymous" comments: No, we're not Dave Wiens or Pua Sawicki but we obviously love this sport and do our best to help grow and support it in every way we know how. To those out there that fail to see that, you obviously don't know me or Eddie. Really, though, I'm not going to listen to anyone that is too scared to sign his name by a statement that does nothing but put someone down.

OK, that is all. Have a nice day!

late edit: We are already 1/2 full for the Southern Cross race! We have 25 people signed up and a good, competitive field already. There is only 25 spaces left...

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Yes, it's true. This past week, Eddie and I were both invited to join the Topeak-Ergon International team! Stay tuned...this is going to be fun.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

BH Bikes signs on as presenting sponsor of Southern Cross '09

For more details on Southern Cross visit the race website.

Women--mark your calendars for March 20-22, 2009

Spring Women’s Mountain Bike Weekend at Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway

Join Namrita O’Dea for an all-women’s mountain bike weekend at the beautiful and cozy Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway in the North Georgia Mountains. Mulberry Gap is located in the middle of the mountain bike capital of Georgia. Ellijay, GA has some of the best mountain biking in the state and trails for all levels of riders. The theme of the weekend will be fun, healthy food, and good riding. It will be a great way to make new riding friends while spending a weekend in the mountains!


Supported rides (snacks, drinks, packed lunch, ride guide, mechanical support, vehicle support provided in case of emergency)

Hot tubs, massage ($1/minute), movies, relaxing cabins, bike wash, clean and cozy bathhouses, campfires

All meals are included and all organic foods will be used. Alcoholic beverages are not provided at Mulberry Gap, so feel free to bring your beverage of choice to share!

Cost: $190/pp

Weekend Schedule

Friday March 20
5:00 - 7:30 pm: Happy Hour, meet and greet
7:30 pm: Dinner

Saturday March 21
8:30 am: Breakfast
10:30 am: Morning Ride
12:00 pm: Lunch delivered trailside
2:00 - 6:00 pm: Massage appointments and hot tub relaxation
Afternoon snacks provided
6:00 pm: Happy hour and Q&A (tips and techniques, tech talk, nutrition, etc.)
7:30 pm: Dinner at Mulberry Gap
9:00 pm: Movie

Sunday March 22
8:30 am: Breakfast
10:00 am: Morning Ride
1:00 pm: Lunch at Mulberry Gap
2:00 pm: Pack up and good-byes

The weekend is open to all levels of mountain bike riders and depending on the size and level(s) of the group, rides may split into different groups. Beginners are encouraged to come, as you will learn a lot and make new riding friends. No one will be left behind on any ride. If you need to rent a bike, please let us know. Helmets will be required for all rides. Email to reserve your space. There is a limit of 20 women for the weekend. Proof of health insurance is required upon arrival.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A lot of excitement for one day

So much that I have to post on my blog twice???


No secret, earlier today Eddie and I received an incredible offer for sponsorship next year. This was pretty much a big surprise for both of us.

Two hours later, we received another incredible offer from a different company. This is a relationship we have been working on for quite awhile now.

I am really very appreciative...flattered...honored...excited about all of this but, unfortunately, I can't really accept both....or can I? No, I really can't :(

This leaves me with a very difficult decision to make. I know, there are worse problems to have..but this is still tough. I know I can't go wrong with either team but Eddie and I still have a lot of thinking to do....In no way did I ever expect to be in this situation!!!

Wednesday is always a good day

For starters, Wednesday is my day off, so it's usually a good day. Today, Eddie and I drove up to meet Hodge and his lovely wife Deb for coffee. It was good to catch up with him OUT of the hospital. He is looking great and doing very well, he was walking without a cane today so that is good news.

Speaking of coffee, Eddie and I will be working with 53x11 coffee from now on! They sponsored the Fool's Gold 50/100 last year with some free coffee and we really liked it. That is not something to take lightly, I am a real coffee snob. Not because I really know a lot about it, but it has to be really good stuff in order for me to like the flavor and actually drink it. So...yeah, I'm pretty excited about this!

Eddie and I also got some other good news today so you may hear more on that in the near future! For now, I need to head to the doctor, and then to the gym for my off-season get-huge workout!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

New skills

Today was only my 2nd real day commuting on the fixed gear. It has brakes, but I don't use them. I'm saving them for situations that would kill me if I didn't use them. I never understood why people ride bikes with no brakes in Atlanta because it's not flat. I still don't get it. For me, I just like the challenge of something new and I'm determined to be good at riding this thing. I did adjust my route slightly today to avoid the one big hill in my commute. It's not the uphill that I don't's the downhill. It's scary fast on that bike! I did put some pink Candy's on there plus some skull stickers so it's looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. The one thing it really needs, though, is a wobble-naught fit..the setup is close but not close enough!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Scott Hodge Update and Ride


CURRENT DONATION: $4098 (as of 11/16)!

You can still donate using Paypal below.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

1st annual Halloween MTBash

We headed up to Mulberry Gap in Ellijay, GA AGAIN this weekend :) No, we just can't get enough....

This time it was for the 1st annual Halloween MTBash where we gathered with 30+ of our mountain bike friends and even some new ones. A few of us arrived Friday afternoon to chill by the fire, eat some of Mulberry Gap's famous homemade cookin', and drink a few beers. Most of us were staying in the cabins but there were a few hardcore folks that wanted to camp in the cold weather.

Chris and Eddie at the cabin

Stone IPA, now found in Georgia, niiice.

My dog, Jackson

Harvey even made the trip up

After a signature Mulberry Gap breakfast we hit the trails with a huge group of riders. I ended up with a 28-ish mile ride, I think, and would have gone on with Eddie, Harvey, and Mark B for another 20-some but I wasn't feeling so hot. Marc and I headed back early to eat warm chili and cornbread and drink beer with the others...not such a bad option. The climbs hurt me this weekend but the downhills fun.

Riders trickled in all day while the rest of us sat in hottubs and relaxed..this was peak fall colors in North Georgia so it was perfect. Even better, the weather was in the high 60's and sunny!

Mulberry Gap had a HUGE mexican fiesta for us up in the barn Saturday night...this might be my favorite meal there...homemade everything including pork tacos and homemade guacamole..mmm...

Sunday's ride was a lot less ambitious, I think I rode a total of 9 or 10 miles with Mark B. I still wasn't feeling good so didn't feel like suffering all day. We had lots of chill time by the fire when we got back to the lodge...oh, and another huge meal, of course.

Thanks to everyone that showed up for the fun...I wish I had more pictures but you can find all the riding pics HERE on the SORBA forum and HERE on Chocolate Girl's blog. Enjoy!