Thursday, April 28, 2011

What are YOU doing for Mother’s Day?!?

Since my mother’s birthday is in April and Mother’s Day is in May, I decided to go big in 2008 and introduce her to the sport of cycling with a flashy new road bike. She has always been intrigued with the sport as a spectator so I figured it was a perfect chance to get her started and an epic Mother’s Day/Birthday treat!

It has been 3 years since she began riding and has already completed several 100 mile rides, attends numerous spin classes each week and is now in the market for a mountain bike after giving mine a test ride. I’m so excited that she is able to enjoy and share something that I have such a passion for. There really is no better way to increase a mother-daughter bond :)

If purchasing a bicycle isn’t in your price range, I completely understand! Another gift that I would suggest is the Timex Fitness Tracker. I gave this to my grandmother last year and I swear she thanks me every time I speak with her. Click here to learn more about the product and watch the video below to see if this is the right gift for your mother!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where is the Chronic Fatigue now?!?

I haven't mentioned much about the status of the Chronic Fatigue in a while since it's honestly been fairly consistent. I feel about 80% back to normal and have a few 95% days and a few really bad days. I've been continuing to take the high dosages of medication prescribed to kick this thing out of my system and have been doing monthly blood work to ensure it hasn't been affecting any other internal functions. After last week's round of blood tests, the labs showed that my B12 and Ferritin levels were quite low and I had a bit of macrocytosis (larger than normal red blood cells), most likely caused by the low B12 as well as the medication. As much as I really dislike taking pills, supplements, vitamins, etc., it looks like I'm back on the bandwagon with a few more things to consume on a daily basis. I guess it's not all that bad if I can get myself back to 100% soon :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Solid Easter Weekend

After a smooth drive down to Pueblo with Bryce and Joe on Friday night, Saturday morning came a lot sooner than we thought and we quickly found ourselves at the at the starting line of our first mountain bike race of the season. The Voodoo Fire was composed of a 70 mile marathon event which Joe entered and a 35 mile event that Bryce and I signed up for.

The Orbea Alma was ready for it's first hard effort with a Timex Global Trainer GPS and Powerbar Gel in tow.

Since I am in horrid form at the moment and Bryce has only ridden a handful of times since the fall, we had absolutely no expectations other than to give it our best and have fun. We had a neutral roll out start for all 35 mile starters so Bryce and I got to start together. We raced together for over 11 miles picking off riders left and right until I got my first flat. Bryce kept racing and I threw in a bunch of CO2 hoping that the sealant inside the tire would seal the puncture and hold air. Within 3 more minutes, I was completely flat again and realized that I had huge sidewall gash and putting in a tube was my only option. After using the rest of my CO2 and air from the pump I brought along, I was back on my way. About 15min after that I got another sidewall slash and my day was completely over. I walked for over an hour until I ran into a photographer who offered me a ride back to the finish after hiking another 2 more miles to his truck. I was definitely disappointed as I was sitting in the top 5 for the women but I wasn't the only one who suffered from numerous flats. The terrain was composed of rolling single track that was littered with shards of shale rock that resembled shattered dinner plates.

After getting over being angry about the race, I couldn't help but be really excited for Bryce who finished 5th in his age group (also getting a flat) and Joe who got 6th overall in the 70 mile race! At least I know I was in descent form for not having raced since June 2010. Next time!

Since my ride was cut a bit short yesterday, we decided to go play on big bikes for several hours this morning at Heil Ranch. There's nothing better than spending Easter with your favorite person, in baggy clothing and on knobby tires. Boulder has been getting a bit of moisture so we enjoyed ripping it up on some serious ''Super Hero Dirt". Below is a quick clip of the trail we played on. Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

I think we have a problem....

And this picture is missing 5 bicycles that live in the garage too! Do we need to explain any further why children are not necessary in our lives?!?!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Product Review: 2011 Orbea Rallon

Where to start?!? I guess the main reason I got the Orbea Rallon 10 was because of the peer pressure from my die-hard mountain bike friends who insisted that a 6 inch travel trail bike was an absolute necessity. I honestly get enough thrill from riding my dirt bike which has over 10 inches of travel and I was more concerned with getting the latest and greatest race bike but alas I gave in. Although I normally doubt just about anything those guys tell me, they were right and this might have been one of the greatest bicycle acquisitions to date. Check out the link above for all the technical details and read below for a few quick reasons Orbea deserves a big round of applause!

The new Shimano XTR Trail 3×10 crankset is the most efficient drivetrain I have ever used. The Dyna-Sys provides such a smooth combination of gear options that make riding so much fun. The triple consists of a 42-32-24 chainring combo and I’m running an 11-36T cassette in the rear. I’m also excited to be running the new XTR Trail Pedal that is not only extremely light for a platform pedal, but so easy to clip in and out of when on unstable terrain.

Continuing on with Shimano’s newest products is the XTR Trail Braking System that has over 125% more braking power than the previous model. When you’re shredding down the trail at Mach 10 on a big bike, you need A LOT of stopping power…trust me! The IceTech aluminum-core rotors are new and minimize the loss of brake power from overheating. My favorite part are the small dimples on the levers that have great grip and such a precise feel. I also added a set of ESI Grips which are by far the most comfortable MTB grips on the planet.

The Fox TALAS RLC 150 fork is one of a kind. This is my first experience with a thru-axel fork and so far, no complaints. It has the ability to adjust the travel from 150mm to 120mm for more efficient climbing with a better angle and less bob. It makes going uphill so easy and you truly can feel such a difference. When wide open and using all 6 inches of goodness, the suspension is like magic. It has a perfect feel and will roll over just about anything even without much momentum. I’ve only bottomed it out once but that was the driver’s fault…apparently you cannot just roll over 2 foot tall rocks. I definitely christened the bike that day after doing a handstand over the bars!

FOX has never seized to impress me with their infamous RP23 rear shock. The 3 different settings of adjustability right at your fingertips is so useful and the ProPedal makes climbing and riding not so technical trail extremely enjoyable.

Ladies!!! I battled saddle issues for years until I began using the Specialized BG products. If you ever have problems and need to try something different, go demo one, I promise it will change your life :) Nothing against any other brand but this is such a personal preference piece of equipment and when you find what works, you’ve gotta stick with it.

On a big bike, tire selection is key as well. This year I am proud to be running a roundup of great tires from Maxxis. I’ve chosen the 2.35 Minon DHF for the front with it’s more block type shape and a 2.25 Ardent in the rear for it’s low rolling resistance and killer cornering!

Is this a bike I’ll take to the race course? Probably not. Is this a full-on downhill shredder? Unfortunately no. However, this is the perfect bike to take on a casual ride with friends on all types of trail. It’s comfortable, it climbs fantastically and if you drop the seat post it will rail the descents. If you’re in the market, the 2011 Orbea Rallon is the All Mountain bike for you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Shreddin' with the boys!

I'm not going to lie, I think I may be addicted to riding my new Orbea Rallon! Not only is it fun to rip down super gnarly trail with a lot of suspension, you can't beat the comfort of baggy shorts and loose fitting jerseys...sometimes it's just nice to ride without the lycra :) Stay tuned as I'm working on a full bike review and should have it posted soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 10 reasons why EVERYONE should have a Timex Global Trainer!

10. Compass – thinking about doing an adventure race? The Global Trainer has great direction capabilities along with ideal GPS tracking and summary review functions to keep you on the right path.

9. Compatibility - Powertaps only show 3 pieces of data at once, but the Global Trainer will sync with your Powertap and allow you to view all of the data you need without scrolling though screens.

8. Visability – Multiscreens and various layouts allow for a personal touch for every activity or workout you do. The screens are customizable for every piece of data you could ever want to view and simple to change and update on the go.

7. Navigation/Way points – ever get lost looking for new trail on a hike or mountain bike adventure? Worry no more! The Navigation function on the Global Trainer is user-friendly and makes exploring a lot more fun!

6. Size – not much bigger than a normal watch and can easily fit super small wrists with a simple sweatband.

5. Review function – great way to see all the stats and averages you would like during or after a specific workout.

4. Training Peaks syncing - the ease of uploading data into Training Peaks makes reviewing and comparing data very enjoyable. The various graphs, charts and pods are a perfect way to analyze any activity.

3. Auto stop/start feature – ever need to make a pit stop but forget to stop your watch? That won’t help your average pace :) The rockin’ auto stop/start function can be set at any speed threshold and is also useful when doing group mountain bike rides when there is lots of starting and stopping.

2. Mapping – The Google maps overlay can be useful for endless possibilities. My most recent use was to organize a trail maintenance day. After riding the trail and printing out a map for the volunteers, I was easily able to show each person where they were responsible for doing the maintenance!

1. Bragging rights about how far, how fast, how much you climbed, etc. to everyone around you…right on the spot!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Local Moto Race - Jack Rabbit Enduro

Hooray! First moto race of the season that wasn't in Arizona or Texas!!! Since we constantly tell Tony how much fun the races are, he finally agreed to come and try one out. We were a little worried about how dusty the course was going to be but when we woke up and saw a small dusting of snow on the ground, we were super excited!

Since the race was held on a small plot of land (less than an hour from our house), the format was several laps of an 8 mile loop. The course consisted of a few tricky obstacles (see above - I actually went straight over my handlebars on lap 1 as it was a lot steeper than it looks), a really fun grass track and tight and windy tree section.

The first lap was a bit of a mess for everyone as it was really slick and they had a few too many logs that caused major backups. However, the rest of the race was an absolute blast with perfect conditions and sunny skies!

Like every race, it's always nice to see all of our good friends and familiar faces. Since Tony and I only did 4 laps and the big boys did 6, we were able to spectate and watch them rip it up.

Minus a few bike issues and a couple sweet crashes, Tony finished his first race in one piece. As Melissa Thomas puts it...he got ''girled'' so we all know he's amped to get back out there :) I ended up 2nd after I protested Melissa's score for her since she wasn't there to do it herself. They messed up her scorecard and had her disqualified but I knew that wasn't right so I got it fixed and let her rightfully have the win.

Bryce also had a solid race finishing just outside the top 10 in a tough field. He had some great laps and then some not so good ones but came home in one piece which is what we all like to see! Below is a short video that our friend Jeff Martinez made. It's mostly him riding but it gives you a better idea of what the course was like...enjoy :)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

A really good Saturday!

The day started off with some sunshine, a good cup of coffee and great company from my favorite person in the world, Bryce! We then packed up the van and headed to Hall Ranch to shred sweet trail on my new Rallon. I'll definitely do a review soon, but this might be my new favorite bike, ever. I climbs and descends like I never imagined and it's only 28lbs...not bad for 6 inches of travel.

After we got home, we loaded the van back up with a bunch of Powerbar and Timex goodies to head out to the Jack Rabbitt Enduro in Bennett, CO. Brian Schaning and I were scheduled to do a Fitness and Nutrition Clinic for Endurance Moto Riders.

Unfortunately mother nature decided to speak up and we battled some serious winds along with a lot of dust that wasn't ideal for speaking conditions, however, we did have a lot traffic and great one on one conversations with very eager individuals looking to better the moto racing. We'll shoot for another round later this year but a good start to getting people motivated. Everyone who received Powerbar product the day before the race came up and told me how much it helped during the race...couldn't have been happier with that :)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Seriously?

Dear Willowbrook HOA,

Please end your contract with the parking Nazi's that drive around in a ghetto van and boot every person's car that is parked outside our house. We have now had 4 different encounters with them and they have all been absolutely uncalled for. If someone drives to our house to drop something off in the garage and parks their car behind our car (not blocking anyone else) at 10pm, there is is no reason that it needs to be booted...especially if we are in the garage with the door open. I am assuming Mr. Parking Services Attendant Jerk Off gets paid by the boot so he when we said something to him to stop moving towards the car because we were right there and never left the vehicle unattended, he ran like a little girl to get the boot on as fast as he could. It was by far one of the most pathetic things I have ever witnessed in my entire life! He proceeded to tell us that we needed to give him $70 cash right then and there or it was going to sit like that until we came up with the money. I know we are not the only ones that have been violated by our own homes and it's ridiculous. If this is what my monthly HOA fee gets allocated to, we've got issues. I have no problem allowing a parking service company to come monitor our neighborhood for obvious reasons but not one that enjoys doing what they've done to us numerous time. Whatever entitlement they feel they have with a badge badge and a boot is out of control.

Until the next board meeting...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

More Toys!

I've been extremely busy lately with work and taxes but I had to give you a sneak peak at the newest ride that came in yesterday! I got my new race bike...It's a gorgeous Alma 29er with the new 2x10 Shimano XTR. Yes, the tires are flat and look silly but I'm waiting for my super sweet Maxxis Ikon's to come in before I start pouring sealant all over the place! I promise I will post more details about each of the rides with much better pictures once they are built up and ready to rumble!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Back to Texas we go!

video

Somehow I got conned into going to Texas this past weekend for another moto race. This wasn't part of our normal series but Bryce and Scott wanted to try and qualify for Six Days so they had already planned on going for months. Everyone else in the house was gone for the weekend so I figured, what the heck, I guess I can sit in the car for another road trip. Above is what I got to witness for most of the two 10 hour drives...thanks Scott :)

Since this was a National Enduro, Bryce wasn't required to race on his specific RMEC row. Instead, he thought it might be advantageous to move to a later row to stay clear of the dust...and ride with me :)

We knew it was going to be hot, but little did we know it was going to hit 100 degrees! The race itself was pretty sub par for myself and not so great for the boys. I hadn't ridden for a couple weeks and we had a 10 mile test straight out of the gate which really screwed my day up. I think I crashed in almost every corner during those first 10 miles and ended up missing the first check by a few minutes thus having to play catch up all day! After another couple tumbles in the second test, I finally managed to figure out how to ride again. However, the schedule was so tight that I never had more than a minute to rest between checks and rode for over 4 hrs straight. By the middle of the 3rd check, I could hardly pull in the clutch my arm was so pumped up and ended up finishing the day riding like a donkey and sitting WAY too much - hence the unbearable monkey butt today...NOT GOOD! I ended up placing 8th out of 10 women in very competitive field. Unfortunately, both of the guys got turned around in a very technical section and rode almost 6 extra miles that completely ruined their days and were forced to call it quits after the 4th test :(

The drive home went from 100* and insane winds in Texas to a complete whiteout blizzard through New Mexico and Colorado. Nothing like being exhausted and driving through that crap at 1am in the morning! Although the turnout wasn't what we had all hoped for, we are all safe and back to the grind. There's always next time!

Friday, April 01, 2011

5 rounds down, 1 to go!!!



It's getting there! Soooo excited to finally see it all coming together :)