Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend 2012

Before the weekend actually began, I put together our new comfy patio chairs for our Boulder condo. We christened them with a nice BBQ with the Shelden's and very happy with our purchase!

The weekend's playing activities began first thing on Saturday. Since the West Mag trails will be closing on June 1 for the summer, we decided to join the rest of Boulder and get our last round of shredding in for the year! We unfortunately had to cut the ride a bit short because of the horrid smoke in the air. The combination of high winds and the forest fires from New Mexico and Montrose made breathing quite a challenge.

After a scenic drive through Central City, we finally made our way to our condo in Winter Park. The last time we were up there was in February so we were not only excited to finally use the place, but glad to find it all in one piece :) We brought up our old patio chairs from Boulder and the recently purchased new grill that was immediately used to cook up some good brats.

We met our good friend Bob out in Rand Sunday morning for a fun dirt bike ride on some of my favorite trail. Bob's wife was out of town so not only did he bring his camper and doggy out the night before, he brought Melissa's dirt bike to ride too :) We promised not to tell - I think he only dropped it 4 times...no big deal.

Although the trails were bone dry (scary for this time of the year), we had a great time. We did get a little turned around and got caught in a bit of a snow storm but managed to make it back only half frozen! Nothing a large pepperoni pizza and a few beers can't cure.

After a very lazy morning and trip to the bike shop where we randomly saw some good friends, we finally got the bicycles ready for a fun exploration/adventure on the Winter Park MTB trails.

Neither Bryce or I have a clue how to make our way around the trail systems so we decided to try following the race course from the King of the Rockies race. We brought the directions as well as a trail map and told ourselves we would stop at least once an hour to fuel up.

Other than a bit of logging and a few downed trees, the trails were all in immaculate condition. 

We stopped at every intersection to pull out the directions and map. We were doing awesome until about 2hrs in...that is when it all went downhill.

In our 6 hour adventure, we rode just over 4hrs and stared at this damn map for the other 2hrs. We could not figure out how to link a few trails together to save our lives so finally we just found the trails we knew and made our way down the mountain. Just another amazing weekend in the books with my favorite riding buddy :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spreading the Timex Run Trainer GPS Love

After the overwhelming success and popularity of our previous Runner's Roost watch demos, Trista set up yet another demo at the Lone Tree location in south Denver.

We had a great turnout and once again demo-ed out all the watches we had on hand. This event was held in conjunction with a Saucony shoe demo so all the runners were totally outfitted in new gear to try out.


Denny, Tim, Trista, Christine and myself helped everyone get acquainted with the product and hooked up the the satellites and synced to their HR straps.I was also able to help most runners set up their preferred displays and program all their personal vitals into the watch directly on the computer through the Device Agent.

I didn't actually see it happen, but apparently Denny ran into one of the mannequins and knocked it's hand off...as Trista says, "Denny, always lending a hand''...haha!

Thanks again to the Runner's Roost staff, my awesome Timex teammates, and all the runners who showed up for a really fun evening!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sooo funny, I couldn't resist!

Some of you may have seen this same pic on Facebook this evening, but I couldn't help but make sure everyone who isn't on FB got a good laugh as well. In all honesty, I seriously viewed the rest of our country this exact way until I migrated out of Michigan!!! Love it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting back in the kitchen!

It's not that I dislike to cook, it's just that I don't have much patience when it comes to waiting for my food to cook when I'm starving! Me...impatient?!? Never. Hehe. I've always been this way and that's why 90% of the meals I eat are thrown together with random foods that are in the house. Bryce and I definitely have staple meals, i.e. pizza, nachos, grilled cheese, pasta, pancakes, etc, but I always incorporate a bed of spinach and veggies in my diet no matter what we eat. We have recently brushed the dust off our old cookbook (Cooking Light - meals in 15min with 5 ingredients or less) and have been enjoying a lot of variety in our lunches and dinners. After hearing nothing but great things about Allen Lim's new book 'The Feed Zone', we decided it couldn't hurt to pick it up and give it a go since we are on a good cooking streak! After a quick flip through, I was astonished at how delicious all the meals looked and how dummy proof they were to make. Since I developed a nasty cold this weekend and unfortunately wasn't able to join the crew for the MTB race in Laramie, I took the opportunity to make a few things from the book. I'm normally terrified for people to taste anything I bake but this time was different and I'm really anxious to try out more dishes. Click on the photo above to find out more the book and where you can get it!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

First Mechanical of the Year

This past week, I had my first bicycle mechanical of 2012. I couldn't figure out why my bike was 'ghost shifting' on me and why adjusting the barrels on the shift levers weren't helping...alas, the moment I stood up to pedal up a big hill, my chain snapped and it all made sense :( The crappy part of the story is that A) I didn't have a quick link or a pin fix the chain and B) a friend lost the tire lever that went with my multi-tool and that was the part that was used to work the chain tool. Thankfully, two really nice guys came by and had both a pin and a functioning chain tool so I wasn't going to be stranded!

The first thing I did when I got home was order that missing lever that operates the chain tool on my multi-tool and Daimo at the Service Course got me set up racer style with a quick link on my brake housing. Although I put on a new chain and shouldn't have issues any time soon, I should now be prepared for any chain issues that could arise while out shredding on the trail :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Endurance Hour #20, ITU WTS San Diego and Erin Kummer

This past week, I had the opportunity to be a guest on Timex teammate, Dave Erickson's Endurance Hour! Click on the link below to visit his site and listen to his #20 show about a variety of race reports from last weekend and a little interview with yours truly - my section begins around minute 33!


Monday, May 14, 2012

My Favorite Boys of Boulder

For the first time this Spring, it was a bit cold, damp and rainy in Boulder so Bryce and I took our chances of driving north to check out the Gowdy Grinder MTB course in Laramie, WY. We completely lucked out and enjoyed clear blue skies and rockin' trails. I'm so glad we went up there to pre-ride the course because I totally forgot how technical it is up there. Knowing the right lines on this course will no doubt save LOTS of time during the race :)

Sunday brought the same cooler temps but without the precipitation. However, that meant it was time to go play on Betasso...it's usually bone dry and super slippery so hitting it right after a rain storm makes for prime conditions. We dragged Tom and Tony Torrance out of bed and ended up having a great ride up the Link Trail and around Betasso.

Both Torrances have been on the injured list for the past couple months (Tom had shoulder surgery and Tony tweaked his knee) and they recently both got the clear to get back on the dirt bikes. We hadn't attempted to fit 3 motos in the new van yet and luckily everything went super smoothly.

We were definitely a bit embarrassed to put the old Yamaha on the back so people could see it, but we figured the tinted windows were dark enough where people couldn't tell it was us if they drove by :) Hehe. On a positive note, we were able to get 4 dirt bikes, 4 sets of gear, and 4 people in the van without any problems! Bam.

Tom honestly hadn't been on his dirt bike since last August and we were all impressed at how well it came back. We rode around the grass tracks at the back of Berthoud and even did a few timed laps. Bryce was also giving us great pointers on body position and corner technique which we all benefited from. After we got home, we cleaned up and made burgers on the grill to finish up a great weekend with my favorite boys of Boulder!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Flora's First World Cup Win

Our good friend, and soon to be new roommate, won her first World Cup triathlon this past weekend in Mexico. This is not only a huge accomplishment for her, it also secures her spot on the 2012 Olympic Team!!! How about them apples?!?

Since Flora was only home for one day in between races, we thought it would be appropriate to have a little celebratory BBQ for her first big win. Her wonderful boyfriend, Daimo, helped me organize the party. We had a great turnout with LOTS of good laughs. For dessert, I purchased a giant ice cream cake with a blank top and let Daimo do the customization...with supervision of course. It definitely wasn't G Rated, but it got the point across and in a pretty hilarious manner. The best part of the night was the cake presentation with the happy birthday song sung with the following lyrics - Happy Motherfuckin World Cup W to Flora, etc, etc, etc. Yes, there may have been a lot of beer, wine and bourbon involved :)

We are all so incredibly proud of Flora and cannot wait to watch her dominate in London this August!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Re-group Weekend!


Ever since the Voodoo Fire 44 mile MTB race, I've been feeling a bit tired and run down. I'm pretty sure it was a bit too much too soon, but I'm glad I did it and happy that I was able to see where my fitness stacked up against some of my main competition. However, I've already had 2 strikes with the Chronic Fatigue crap and I certainly do not need to be in any sort of peak fitness until this fall. So instead of racing or doing some sort of massive 7hr adventure (like our other friends did), we drove up to Vail to relax and get pampered by the Binghams. 

We did do a short moto ride at Wolcott on Saturday which was super fun. Then, instead of going back out for another loop, we ate cookies and soaked up some sun for 45min or so...just long enough to get nice and burnt...oops.


Sunday we decided to do the most chill MTB ride we've ever done and look for a trail that we were unable to find last time we rode in Eagle. 

We found 'Mike's Night Out' and enjoyed a super cruisy ride on squishy bikes. This was my first time out on the new XTR trail wheels and rear thru axle and I couldn't be happier with them. 

We finished off the trip the trip with a massively large pizza from Pazzo's then hit the road to drive through a crazy snow storm on the way home. I'm taking this upcoming week super easy as well and hopefully it will get me refreshed and ready to rumble for the Gowdy Grinder on May 20th. Since that race is only $15 to enter, everyone and their mother from Boulder comes and I need to be able to back up my trash talking with a little fitness :) 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Retul Bike Fit & Saddle Study

This past Thursday, I was offered an incredible opportunity to get a road bike fit and take part in a Fizik saddle study at the Retül's headquarters in Boulder, CO. Retül technology is a 3D bike fitting system designed for trained bike fitters to capture extremely comprehensive data as it relates to a rider's position on their bike. The system is so sophisticated that it can produce immediate reports with millimeter-accurate digitizing tools which help to provide riders with the most accurate and dynamic fit possible. In my opinion proper bike fit is one of the single most important factors for optimal performance and efficiency, injury prevention, and comfort on the bike, so there was no way I was passing this up!

The first part of the session began with a full body analysis to see if there were any funky nuances going on with my legs, hips, feet, etc. Leg length discrepancies are highly common and can really affect your efficiencies on the bike. As abnormal as I am, luckily, my legs happen to be the same length!

We then moved on to test my flexibility. Fizik recently launched an advertising campaign for their men's saddles called 'Find your inner animal'. After lots of testing, Fizik found that a male rider's flexibility lends itself to a particular saddle shape.

This 'Spine Concept' device measures your flexibility in 3 different levels. If you are not very flexible, you are considered a 'Bull', if you are extremely flexible, you are labeled a 'Snake' and if you're somewhere in the middle, you're categorized as a 'Chameleon'.

I'm no yogi, but I did fall in the 'Snake' category.

The purpose of the study was test out the three new women's Fizik prototype saddles that were designed based on the same flexibility standards as the men's product line.

Before we got started with the saddle study, we needed to make sure that I was properly fit on my new Litespeed Ci2. We went through the full 'Retul fit process' collecting every possible measurement and angle a bike fitter could ever want!

I had been riding in a pretty aggressive position (which is probably why I couldn't get comfortable), so we flipped my stem, moved my saddle slightly forward and straightened my saddle so that it was pointed one degree down instead of a degree up...I swear my level said it was flat when I set it up...my garage must be sloped :)

After getting my bike dialed, we proceeded to do a full spin scan which gives endless data about the workload, torque, etc on each leg during a normal spin cycle. We also added a shim to my right cleat to prevent a little pronation of my right knee.

The final protocol for the saddle test was to determine at which power output I was expending approximately 60% of my max effort. We went through a simulation similar to a lactate threshold test and found the appropriate wattage to use for the study.

The study itself was probably the easiest after all the initial setup. After the prototype saddle was secured in the proper position, I was re-attached to the Retül fitting system to gather the appropriate data then we performed another spin scan. I then did a 6 minute tempo effort at the pre-determined watts and my heart rate was measured and recorded every 30 seconds. We repeated this for each of the three saddles.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the various saddles but then again, I've never been able to use a seat without a cut out. Even if it's constructive criticism, I'm sure Fizik will be happy about it :) I cannot express how extremely thankful for the incredible opportunity and cannot thank Todd Carver enough for the new bike fit. I took the bike out Friday morning for a ride and it was a night and day difference!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Champion System Cycling Clothing


This year, we are fortunate to have Champion System clothing as one of our new sponsors for the Timex Multisport team. I have been thoroughly impressed with the new cycling kits and thought you might like to know why their products rank really high on my apparel scale :)

Not only does the design and color pop aesthetically, their proprietary flatlock stitching design really compliments the overall look of the gear while also giving it a more comfortable feel.

With all clothing companies, there are endless options when customizing cycling apparel. You have choices with fabrics, sleeve types, seam types, zipper lengths, form fits, etc. Whoever did the designing on the Timex's kits couldn't have read my mind more perfectly as to what would be the best options :)

The flat seam designs on the sleeves and bottom of the jersey are my absolute favorite. The garment stays in place without riding up and it even looks really nice with a pair of baggy mountain bike shorts! I'm also a big fan of the full length zipper and the UV protection fabric that is lightweight and extremely breathable. 

Some of the other nice features are the built in tags and the three large pockets on the back of the jersey. I also have to give a huge applause to Champion System because they truly do offer a great 'women's specific' line of clothing with superb fits. You can instantly tell that the cuts were truly designed for women the second you put the apparel on. The jerseys fit snug in just the right places and the shorts are the perfect length! 

 Not everyone is a fan of bib cycling shorts but I honestly couldn't ride in anything else! It's definitely not the most convenient when you need to go to the bathroom (if you're a girl), but there's nothing worse than having the top of shorts digging into your tummy while you're riding.

One of the biggest concerns with bike shorts for most women is how tight the bottom seam fits around your quad/thigh region. The recent trend has been moving towards seamless legs and CS did a phenomenal job incorporating this in their products. The fit is much more flattering and so comfortable.

The silicon leg grippers help keep the shorts put so there is no cinching or riding up during all types of rides. This might be my most favorite piece of my entire kit!

The final great feature of the CS Razor Edge bib shorts is the mesh straps with the radio/ipod holder. The fit is just snug enough to keep everything in place but not too tight where it feels like your being squeezed into your shorts - trust me, I've had that feeling before! Overall, I'm really excited about our partnership with Champion System and really look forward to trying out all the great pieces they have designed for us. From various triathlon apparel to cyclocross skinsuits, we are going to be one good looking team representing a rockstar brand!