Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Murphy's law

Why is it that the day I get my brand new bikes built up and it's 75 degrees, I have to come down with the nastiest cold I've had in over a year?!? Ugh.

I guess in the meantime I can just look at my new toys and do everything humanly possible to kick this thing asap so I can go ride.

Since there is truly no way I could ride MTB all day Friday and Saturday then race moto on Sunday, we've decided to change up our weekend plans and just go to the enduro on Sunday. I feel bad that Bryce is missing his Trek Store Team training weekend but riding that much before a big race is probably not the smartest thing either.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Is this weather for real?!

As much as I'm absolutely LOVING this hot weather in March, I can't help but think about how hard we're going to get snowed on in April and possibly May. I could be totally wrong but I have a really bad feeling about it! In the meantime, I'll continue to ride several hours a day in the 70 degree goodness and just hope spring is here a tad early :) Spring usually brings cleaning and that's exactly what needed to happen with my cyclocross headset. I'm pretty sure that's mud from the USGP in Ft. Collins last October! Thanks to Bryce, I now have a creakless headset!

For the second weekend in a row, we were able to round up a great group of people to ride the dirt roads and double track in the high country. Unlike last weekend, we were joined by some of Boulder's fastest MTB riders so the pace wasn't exactly laid back. Riding my CX bike on Switzerland trail is definitely whipping me into shape so that my hartail 29er will feel like butter when I finally get it built up.

When you ride with the Torrances, snack time at the general food store in Gold Hill is not an option. Tony's need to hit on the cute girl that works there far outweighs anyone's desire to just keep moving :)

Jilayne and Zach also enjoyed a ham and cheese croissant before heading out on the rest of the adventure.

After a fun night of laughs and homemade pizzas with the crew, we met up with good friend, Eric Moberg, to watch the final motos of the Toronto Supercross back at our place. We hit the hay early so we could get an early start on riding Hall Ranch in the morning.

After getting beat up all day on Saturday on the CX bike, it felt soooo good to ride the 6in trail bike at Hall. This was also my first time riding in my new Pearl Izumi X-Alps and they were absolutely AMAZING! Not only did they honestly feel like tennis shoes, they were stiff enough to get good power off the pedal and the rubber sole was perfect for those unexpected dabs on the rocky climb. We finished off the big weekend with some moto at Berthoud where we did a few laps on the turn tracks then practiced jumping. We made some homemade stirfry and chocolate chip cookies to top off the day then had a great relaxing evening. We have a big week of bicycling and moto racing planned and I've got a bit of a chest cold coming on so it's operation get healthy NOW time!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A different shoe for a different kind of ride


Not only am I extremely fortunate to have Tony Torrance as a great friend, I'm also pretty lucky that he's the cycling shoe designer at Pearl Izumi :) Over the past few years, he has brought the cycling footwear department to a whole new level and so many of us Boulderites have had the opportunity to use and race in his innovative products. From road to mountain biking to triathlon, I've tested several of Pearl's various shoes and have a lot of very positive things to say.

With the immersion of the ''all-mountain'' category of mountain biking came very specific products designed for the laid back, yet semi-extreme rider. From apparel and packs to bikes and shoes, companies are coming out with products that have the perfect blend of style, comfort and functionality. When I'm out on my 6 inch travel bike exploring and riding unpredictable terrain, there's usually some fair amount of hiking involved. Most mountain bikers are demanding the same lightweight and stiff shoe that road cyclist use and that is without a doubt not conducive to hiking around with a big bike in the woods.

With that being said, Pearl Izumi recently came out with the X-Alp which is a cross between a comfortable running shoe and a stiff, yet 'cool' looking cycling shoe. Bryce has been using a pair of prototype shoes for the past several months and truly loves them. Tony just dropped off some production shoes for both of us last night and I cannot wait to test them out. Pearl Izumi calls it the 'go to' shoe for those epic rides that involve any hiking...ahhhh, is it summer yet??!?!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A BIG bike weekend


I've been gradually building up my bicycle fitness over the past 2 months and I finally broke the 3hr mark on Saturday! We planned on riding up to Gold Hill via the dirt roads and had a big group of friends on cyclocross and mountain bikes. It was an absolute blast and a great way to spend a 75 degree mid March day!

After a good lunch and a bit of resting, Bryce and I headed down to Pearl Street to meet up with friends, watch the CU basketball game and celebrate St. Patty's Day! It wasn't anything out of the ordinary but it was fun to get in some good laughs with great friends.

During dinner on Saturday night, we planned another bicycle ride but this time on mountain bikes with the intention on riding trails. My new Litespeed 29er isn't quite built up yet so I was forced to ride my trail bike. I knew I was going to be the slow poke since everyone was on their XC race bikes...oh well. We rode the dirt roads out to the trailhead but since Tom had shoulder surgery a few months ago and isn't quite ready to be knocked around, I decided to ride on the flats with him so he had some company. We knew it was supposed to be windy but we didn't think it was going to be at all what it was. It took us 1hr45min to get back to Boulder from an intersection that is normally about 50min away. With a 40mph headwind and a 30lb trail bike with knobby tires and no rear lockout, it wasn't shall we say ''very pleasant''! However, it was worth the solid effort and good laughs afterward. I logged in the longest ride to date since this past summer at 4hrs17min and really excited for my structured training to begin early April!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My new favorite Timex


Although the Timex 80 watches are near impossible to find in the US, they are still my absolute favorite  every day watch for multiple reasons.


I'm not much of an 'accessory' type of person with purses, jewelry, etc, however, I do enjoy color coordinating my watches, shoes and hats! The classic Timex 80 watches fit smaller wrists perfectly and come in every color combination you could possibly imagine to match any outfit out there. With the introduction of Timex's new Cycle Trainer bike computer, I needed a watch for my wrist that was comfortable and would stand out while racing. The boys at headquarters went on the search and finally found one! I'm so thankful and very excited to be rocking a hip looking watch :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Texas Weekend Race

We finally got the opportunity to take 'Big Black' (the van's new name), out for her first big road trip this past weekend! After and easy pack up, Bryce and I headed to Quitaque for the second round of the RMEC series. It was an easy drive and the best part was pulling into the race site around midnight, opening up the futon in the back, jumping in the sleeping bags and sleeping like babies! Bryce used the JetBoil to get my coffee ready in the morning and we enjoyed a peaceful early morning in the van while it dumped rain!

The reason we headed down so early was because I like to race the Grand Prix the day before the enduro and the women's race is always in the morning. Although it was 40 degrees and raining, I still wanted to give it a whirl since it wasn't too muddy yet. I had the most absolute horrible start but somehow pinned it and found myself pretty close to the front by the first corner in the trees. I eventually passed what I thought was the only girl in front of me and rode the rest of the race very conservatively as the course was getting super slick. I was riding right around some other kid that I had caught up to but since I figured he was in the race in front of me, I just let him crash, get up and go, and so fourth while I practiced my turns...I didn't have anything to lose because I knew all the other girls were quite a bit further back...WRONG! After we finished, I pulled off the course and the kid I let putz in right in front of me shouted in a cute little voice 'Great race Girl' heart sunk. I literally had just handed this girl the win...doh! As with most moto races, I learn a big lesson. This race's lesson was to race every freakin' person on the course, no matter who it is! I couldn't believe it and was sooo pissed. I'll never let that happen again!!!

Although Saturday's cold and rain weren't the most fun to hang out in, it couldn't have been more perfect for Sunday's race course. This race is usually very dusty so having a bit of moisture really makes a big difference. As a matter of fact, it was probably the best dirt and the most epic conditions I have EVER ridden in. The course was an absolute blast and I was smiles the entire time. When I left, I thought I had taken 3rd in the women's class behind 2 smokin' fast Texas girls, but turns out there was another girl just 20 seconds in front of me. Regardless of how I placed, I was super happy with how I rode and was within a few minutes of girls that were 30+ minutes ahead of me last year!

Bryce had a great race as well finishing 16th overall. For whatever reason, they made the A course much shorter this year so most of the guys were pretty bummed that it was over so quickly. However, for how much fun it was, most people were content to have had the opportunity to ride in such killer dirt :) We packed up, said our goodbyes and drove home in record time, even with a massive headwind. It makes such a huge difference driving a vehicle that is comfortable! Great weekend overall with lots of good laughs and all limbs intact!

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Happenings

Before I left for TX, Tony Torrance helped me create my 2012 Timex business card! It's very similar to last year's but has a few modifications to the great new sponsors we have.

Right as we were pulling out the drive to leave for our race, the UPS man dropped off a bike box with Litespeed written all over it. It took everything I had not to open it but I didn't and waited until first thing this morning :) I still need to do a switcharoo on the crank, cut the steer tube and all the usual bike build stuff, but man am I stoked to get on this thing! This is my first bicycle with electronic shifting so I'm even more excited. Stay tuned for updates on this weekend's racing...gathering photos now!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

The doldrums of moto preparation

Not only does the preparation for a moto race take a solid week, it also sneaks up on ya pretty quickly! I usually let Bryce do the dirty work in the garage which includes everything from oil changes, tire changes, air filter changes, fixing the misc broke pieces on my bike and packing up the van.

We have over 20 air filters in the house, but somehow all of them are always dirty. It's a process to get them clean so when Bryce does tackle that project - it looks a little something like the above pic!

I'm always in charge of washing gear and goggles then making sure we have all the food we need for the trip. 

Since we are embarking on our first trip in the new van and do not plan on going into town, I had to make sure we had all the necessities so that I could make myself some coffee in the mornings! We did some research and it turns out the JetBoil Flash (above) was the best bang for our buck. It heats 2 cups of water in less than 90 seconds and it's super compact.

In order to save space and not be reliant on a cooler for my creamer, I tested out the Via coffee from Starbucks with some individually packaged flavored creamer and I think it will do the trick :) I've also got a whole bunch of prepped food from pizza to sandwiches to chips/cookies so we should be all set to go. Really looking forward to our first road trip in ''Big Black''!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Catching up!

 After a long day of working on the stereo system in the van, Bryce was finally able to get it working :) We have one minor issue to resolve (it cuts out when we slow down), but other than that, it sounds amazing!

We had a fun weekend of moto and MTB planed in Pueblo so it was our first go at bring both sets of toys down. Our original bike mount wasn't long enough so we'll have to do some modifications, however, we definitely got a great system of organization together.

After the drive down to Pueblo on Saturday morning, we rode moto with the boys at PMI all day then went to Ray's to watch Supercross and get a good night's sleep. Early Sunday morning, we met up with Shelby and Branden to do a fun MTB ride at Lake Pueblo State Park. Although it was crazy windy, it was soooo nice to get back on the mountain bike. 

The wind finally died down and it was almost 70* by noon on Sunday! Not bad for the beginning of March. We packed up the van once again then headed to PPIR to go play on bikes with motors. Bryce and I were both a bit whooped but we still managed to crank out some good laps and feel good about our moto races next weekend in TX.

Since IKEA was on our way home, we decided to stop in to see if we could find some sort of decoration for the wall next to the TV. My philosophy of life is quite simple - no kids, no pets, no plants. I know it sounds terrible to some, but I love my freedom and already have 100 million other things on my mind to take care of. After browsing through the store, we came across this tree that looked perfect for the space. Since it wasn't real, I gave in and it actually turned out looking pretty good!

We also purchased a few new pots and pans along withe some random kitchen decor. That store is seriously a big time danger zone for me...I can't go in there without my mind going nuts! Luckily Bryce was there to put the kibosh on my wandering :)