Monday, September 28, 2009

Another Amazing Weekend

After a little swim and cross ride early Friday morning, I finally got to test out my new lowered suspension on the dirt bike with Dan and Allen. We headed up to Switzerland where we enjoyed some great trail and beautiful scenery. The trees were glowing like crazy and it was absolutely amazing. Not only was I in total awe about how pretty it was, I cannot believe what a difference lowering my bike 2 inches made! I LOVE IT!

Saturday was a full packed day as well. I rode out to the Louisville Rec early with Tingle and did the first race in the Boulder Cyclocross Series. Yes, I raced with the big girls so it was definitely a lot harder than the previous races. The course was really fun but super bumpy and after about 4 laps, my lower back was not so happy so I decided not to smash myself and just finish. I crossed the line in 10th then spent the rest of the day handing out bottles and cheering on everyone else racing with Brad and Bryce's parents who came down from Vail to spectate.

After a great dinner at the Rio with the Bingham's, it was time to celebrate Brad and Jen's birthday in style.

Let's just say it started off pretty tame but got quite rowdy by the end of the night. There might have even been a stop at the local strip club and an ambulance ride or two for the morons who can't ride their bikes under the influence...everyone is okay now!

Sunday was by far the best day of all. After a killer pancake, banana, strawberry, walnut, powdered sugar, cinnamon and syrup breakfast, Bryce and I drove up to Nederland to go play on the mountain bikes for a few hours. Not only was the weather more perfect than ever, the trail was in immaculate shape as well. We even ran into a few friends out there which was really fun. As planned, we met up with Bryce's friend Trevor after our ride so he could show us some great moto trail around Gold Lake. Although it was pretty technical, it was by far the most fun ride to date. I was actually riding fairly well minus one good digger after clipping my handlebar on a tree that sent my bike one way and me the other. I'm pretty sure I almost gave Bryce a heart attack as he was right behind me and saw the whole thing! Yeah for body armor...I was totally fine.
Although we were both totally exhausted, we quickly drove back down to Boulder and met up with everyone for Brad and Jen's official birthday dinner at the Rio. We missed the dinner portion but enjoyed some of the delicious triple layer cake that took all weekend for them to make...mmmmm!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spanish Peaks Motocross Media

I know you're all so anxious to see how ridiculous I look riding my dirt bike so here ya go! Tons more pics can be found here and here.

Bryce obviously looks way better...hehe...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Probably the best weekend EVER!

Friday started off well with a super fun ride up Left Hand with Banjo on the dirt bikes. Everything was going fine until we took the wrong trail and ended up on some crazy rocky terrain that was totally not ride-able. I then proceeded to dump my bike and snap my clutch lever right off. Let's just say it was NOT an easy ride back down. I definitely had to bail numerous times and even ripped the horn right off. Luckily Bryce came to the rescue and got all the spare parts I needed and fixed it right up.

Later that evening we headed downtown Denver to see the Cirque du Soleil show. It was absolutely phenomenal. I would highly suggest going to see it if it's in your area :)

Saturday morning was filled with packing, bike maintenance and lots of running around. After loading the big van, we finally set off to Golden for a little cyclocross racing.

Since I didn't know I was automatically upgraded, I again raced with the CAT 4 women. It was a really bumpy and slightly technical course but lots of fun. I jetted to the front at the start and took the lead from the first turn and held it throughout the remainder of the race.

It was a lot of fun and although I should have been racing with the big girls, it was nice to chill out and not suffer like a dog...especially with a big day ahead of me on Sunday! I did, however, get stung by a bee on the inside of my lip on the first lap which absolutely killed but eventually went numb and just got super swollen. After icing it for the half hour after the race, I was good to go!

Bryce used to be a rockstar mountain biker but hasn't raced in a few years. He totally kicked butt and finished his first CX race in style. He even asked for a Red Bull when I was handing him his water so he couldn't have been feeling too crappy!

And for the rest of the weekend...After the cross races, we jumped in the van and headed to Trinidad, CO. We met up with a couple of Bryce's moto friends for dinner at this hilarious Italian restaurant where they sing throughout the whole night. It was hilarious. After a good night's sleep, we woke up at the ass crack of dawn, grabbed breakfast then headed to the race site for my first motocross race. I got the rundown on what do just a few hours prior to the start and even though I was completely clueless, I was super excited. Bryce was more nervous about me racing than I cute. The race was by far the hardest, most fun thing I have ever done. I had no idea what to expect and it was by far not even in any range of what I was thinking. I probably dumped my bike, got stuck, fell over, etc 45 times...and I only got through one lap! Bryce absolutely killed it finishing 6th overall. I guess that's what you do when you're a seasoned pro, huh? I'm already planning my revenge to kick butt on October 25th at another race! I'll post more pics when they're available and if you're lucky, we'll even have a little video of Bryce taking a sweet face plant in the log crossing during the extreme test. We hear there's some good footage out there :) After a long drive home, we decided to have a cookie making extravaganza at my place. We made delicious peanut butter cookies with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups melted in the center....mmmmm, so good. I'm pretty sure they're already gone!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Swim, bike and run?!?!

That's right! For the first time since July 12th, I was given the okay to run up to 30min with my kneecap taped up and aligned properly to see how it felt. Let's just say that I am almost 99.9% certain I will be only bike racing next year :(

The first 20min were absolutely awesome with no pain and I surprisingly felt great. However, it quickly went downhill from there. At 21min my knee got super tight and at 25min I was in total agony. Same shooting pain I have been getting since the beginning of January. Ugh. I tried really hard to compose myself but after attempting to bike and swim later in the day and almost having to quit both because of the horrid pain, I got super frustrated. I have been swimming and riding like no one's business for the past 2 months and haven't had any issues. How is it that one short jog can completely destroy me like this? I'm definitely not giving up and I will get to the bottom of it, but after a good chat with the coach, a focused direction in road cycling and mountain biking is looking like a more realistic approach for 2010!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cyclocross Season is here!

After two short cyclocross practice sessions earlier this week, I jumped into my first race at the Boulder velodrome on Sunday afternoon. Since I've never raced cx before, I automatically got put with the CAT 4s. From the gun, I jumped out in front and never really looked back. It was lots of fun and pretty technical. We went inside the velodrome and up and over a few ramps, obstacles, etc which made for lots of excitement. I'm totally hooked :) However, I think once I get kicked out of the 4s, the effort output might be a bit higher!

Saturday was supposed to be a big day on the motos but unfortunately it decided to rain ALL DAY! No worries, it's always good to have a lounge around day, right? Well, that just meant that I had to cram my cyclocross race and a solid moto ride in on Sunday. Since my race wasn't until 1:45pm, we decided to go for an easy spin the early morning then wait until after the race to go moto. It was absolutely gorgeous all day until about 4pm when it started pissing rain. Grrrrr...that's exactly when we got up to the trail to go shred it up. No, we didn't end up going and turned back :(

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A good day!

After several attempts to get my dirt bike certified to be street legal, it's finally over. Bryce and I waited in line at the Golden Police Station forever Saturday morning to get a vin inspection then I went and got it all registered and plated with the State Monday morning! Wooohooo. No more trailering the toys to the mountain :)

All afternoon I was able to catch up on lots of work which was great. It was followed by a fun and relaxing evening with some delicious fondue with french bread and apples! Totally brings me back to the days when I grew up in Europe. We would take family trips to all the mountain towns and have fondue all the time. I'm sure I could even dig out some old pics of my brother and I stringing cheese all over the condo from the big pot of goodness :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Somebody's getting a tattoo!!!

Okay, two people are getting tattoos :) Bwahaha!

I kicked my Mom's butt in our little weight loss contest so we'll be hitting up the tattoo parlor on October 9th when she gets into town. I have no idea what she will be getting but I'll be having the above star inked on the back of my left leg below my calf! Hehe.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Day 3 & 4 of Steamboat Racing

Sunday's road race was a super fun, hard, hilly and challenging course. The first mile was a neutral roll out on a dirt road and of all things, I lost a bottle and didn't even realize it until it was way back. We were only supposed to have cups of water at the feed zone but luckily there were a few bottles and I was able to snag one. If not, I would have been toast! At any rate, there was an early break of 2 that stayed away for 80% of the race and had over 5 minutes on us at half way. We finally got organized and chased them down but it wasn't easy. The monsoon rains and hail storm midway through the race didn't make it any easier either, but hey, it was interesting. I was able to stick with the group until the final climb to the finish (which I didn't even know was coming bc I missed the 1K sign), but only finished a minute down and 9th which wasn't bad considering I didn't push myself to the finish. Marilyn, again, rocked the house and took the big win and put herself 1st overall.
Later that evening, we went to the Moots factory for a BBQ and took a peek around. What a cool little place.

They also raffled off a brand new Moots frame and the little guy above was the lucky winner. How cool?!?Day 4 came fast and I could definitely feel the prior days work in my body. After a couple of breakfasts and a good bike cleaning, we headed out to the Crit course to watch some of the other races. Although my girl Flora should never have raced in CAT4, she took the overall hands down and made herself some good money!

The course was super fun with a gradual incline leading into a steep little kicker at the top which made for lots of excitement. It was fast and furious with NO crashing :) I worked a bit then sat in most the race as I just wanted to keep my GC spot and not go down. I did just that and because my left hammy cramped during the last 2 laps, I didn't even get up to sprint, but finished with the bunch and won a bit of money for my overall place.

Marilyn, on the other hand, finished strong and took the overall win for the ladies field. I learned a lot from her this weekend and I look forward to another stage race next season with her by my side!

A big thanks to Corey Piscopo for putting on such a stellar race that was beyond well organized! Let him know you feel the same way so we can get this back on the schedule for next year :)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Day 1 & 2 of Steamboat Racing

After a smooth ride into Steamboat Thursday night, we headed out for a fun dinner with Dean, our amazing homestay. Great conversation and turns out we all know tons of the same people. Such a small world!

Since we didn't start our TT until 6pm, Marilyn and I went and visited the Smartwool Headquarters (per my client's request) and came out with a nice pair of winter socks! We then headed out to do a few laps of course to spin out the legs. Super fun course with a killer climb.

The course is a 4.5 mile loop at Marabou Ranch, which is absolutely gorgeous and has a big climb as well as a ripping fast technical descent! Although I've never done a 10min hard TT effort like this before, I was really excited to see how it all panned out. Definitely a lot harder than I had anticipated but I managed to finish 12/23 for the Women's 1-2-3, 35+ category.

Since we didn't race until 3:15pm today, we took another trip (on behalf of a client) and visited the Sports Authority in town to take a few photos of displays, etc., then went and wandered around town, hit up the Farmer's market and people watched all the tourist around for the holiday weekend.

Today's race was again at Marabou Ranch. We actually rode the same loop as the TT, just backwards...and several times over for that matter. We were supposed to do 8 laps but since it was silly hot and the course was so brutally hard, they decided to change it to 6. Marilyn and I were both kinda bummed at first, but laughed about it afterwards as 8 might have killed us.

The circuit race started pretty mellow for the first lap. The girls definitely pushed the first climb and luckily I slipped into the lead pack. The 2nd and 3rd laps was pretty uneventful but a bit harder. Right at the base of the climb on the 4th lap is where things got interesting. An attack was made and there was no way I was gonna be able to hold it so I tried to stay with the other girls who couldn't either. The main group split into 3 smaller groups. I moved into the last one with 2 other girls and rode with them until midway through the 5th lap where I totally exploded and ended up riding solo for the lap 1.5 laps. I'm pretty sure I was going backwards at that point and lost over 2.5min over that distance. Luckily I was able to stay away from the group behind and finished 10th and moved into 10th for GC. Nothing special but I definitely know what I need to work on if I want to be able to hold that intensity for a long period of time :) The best part of the day was that Marilyn kicked butt and took the big win!!! Way to go Chica, you're such a rockstar!

Check out the race blog for more exciting news and I promise to post more exciting pictures as soon as I can get my hands on them!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Steamboat Spring Stage Race

Today I will be traveling to Steamboat Springs, CO for a 4 day stage race (click on the pic above for the website)! I have never been to Steamboat before and cannot wait as I've only heard amazing things. I'll be traveling with Marilyn MacDonald who made the big switch from Ironman triathlon to cycling this year and has been absolutely rocking it. I'm super excited to learn to ropes of this whole road racing thing as well as have some good times. Stay tuned for updates and photos from the madness :)

Friday - TT
Saturday - Circuit Race
Sunday - Road Race
Monday - Criterium

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

More road racing for this girl

Saturday I drove out to Masonville to race the Rist Canyon Hill Climb. I've never ridden out there but have been told it's absolutely gorgeous so I gave it a shot. The CAT 3 and 4 girls lined up together and although were racing in the same group, we were being scored differently. I glanced back at the girls I thought were in my race and just told myself that no matter what happens with the others, just stay in front of those 2 to get some upgrade points. To make a long story short, I let one girl go off the front with no desire to chase as I thought she was a 4. After riding a fairly easy race sitting in, I finishing 2nd to her and was stoked to get a bunch of points for being the first 3 to cross the line. Turns out she was one of the other CAT3 riders...DAMN ERIN! Total rookie move...

No worries, I decided it would be a good idea to go out and get a little stupid that night to make up for it :) I hardly ever drink so 1 or 2 drinks does me in for the night...seriously! After a good dinner at the Southern Sun, Hamity and I met up with the crew at the West End and had a fun night. Let's just say it ended with Ryan driving my car home for me then him biking another 30min back to his house at 1am in the morning! Thanks Buddy!

The next morning was not pretty at all. My stomach felt like absolute crap and the thought of racing was just nauseating. I did, however, rally myself and met up with Flora to ride out to the Koppenberg Circuit Race. It's been canceled several times this year because the infamous hill (above) was too muddy to ride, but this time it was on. The race is road cycling event with dirt road sections modeled after the infamous European Roubaix race. The 5.5 mile loop consists of a 2.5 mile dirt section that ends with a short but very steep hill. The 200 meter long "Koppenberg" hill has a 17% slope and takes its namesake from the legendary hill in the Tour of Flanders hill in the Tour of Flanders. The remainder of the course is rolling paved road. It's freaking HARD!

I somehow and miraculously, ended up with the lead group of 7 and hung on for dear life for the 5 laps of the race. It was a lot of fun and the dirt was especially loose this year so as a mountain biker, it suited me very well.

Yes, I did suffer like a dog and this picture describes exactly how I felt. I finished 6th overall with the CAT 1-2-3 riders and 2nd for my category. I was super stoked as I now know (even feeling like total ass) that I am capable of hanging and racing with the 1-2 girls. Bring on the upgrade points :)