Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I haven't gotten my 2010 race license. I haven't upped my dues to the race club this year. I haven't even gotten a current race kit. I really don't know if I'll be racing this year.
Don't get me wrong... I love racing! But after so many accidents and injuries last year, I don't feel mentally ready or "in the game" yet this year. I haven't written about it on the blog, but I did end up having a fourth accident last year. Just when I thought I was safe, I fell down the stairs at home and cracked ribs. I'm still recovering from that one.
And after my crappy performance on yesterday's group ride, I have to wonder if I'm going to get back ANY mental edge ANY time soon. It was pure riding SUCKAGE. It's like my body has declared "enough is enough" and I can't seem to get it to cooperate any more. One of the guys on the ride yesterday actually told me, "Great! Now you can start riding with my wife." His wife is a total newby who has ridden maybe twice. That's how far backward I have fallen. Relegated to the newbies.
And maybe that's just where I should be...newby status: herky-jerky cornering, full brakes on descents, inability to draft, or have anyone near me while I'm riding for that matter. Starting all over again, it seems.
Anyway, for the annual Polar Pedal ride (last ride of 2009), a group headed down to St. George to ride. My ribs were still freshly cracked at the time, so I rode really easy. But I managed to get a few good miles in, and the weather was a little warmer there, so it was worth the drive.
I couldn't resist pausing the ride to get a photo with a cute statue of a boy on a trike.
With temperatures in the 50s today, I think I'll head out and try again today. Hopefully, if I just keep riding, the fear will leave me.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 11:46 AM
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Spent last Saturday standing around in the frigid cold watching other people trying to keep their bikes upright in the snow.
I had the displeasure of watching my teammate, Kara slip on the snow while getting off her bike to go over a log. She faceplanted into her stem, cutting her lip wide open. But, she's probably the toughest girl I know. She went on to win the women's B race.
She wiped most of the blood off right before I took the picture.
Anyway, I've enjoyed being at the 'cross races this year. It's a little sad to see the season end. Maybe next year I'll be racing again instead of watching.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 11:36 AM
Monday, November 30, 2009
Congratulations to Kelly, who correctly identified last weeks' contest legs. The legs did, in fact, belong to Julie.
Julie had read in the rule book that no acrobatics were required in a 'cross race, so, being the rebel she is, was determined to do some. She managed to accomplish four perfect cartwheels over each of the four barriers on the flat section of the race. I could not convince her to try cartwheels on the steep run-up barriers, however.
You've gotta appreciate someone who knows how to have fun!
I did not make it to last week's 'cross race at Draper. So instead of posting pictures of legs, I'm just going to post some of the pictures I took at the previous race at Heber, on Nov. 21. Keep in mind that all these were taken with my phone, since my regular camera is on the blitz, so quality is not the greatest.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 2:04 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
So, last week's leg...no guesses, huh? And I thought I made it easy: DZ.
Anyway, if you were at the Heber Cyclocross race last Saturday, this one should be easy for you.
That's all I've got time for. Have a great Thanksgiving!!!
Posted by Rio's Rider at 5:02 PM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I know. I slacked. Even after ALL your MANY comments and obvious enthusiasm. Yes, Anonymous Commenter got the answer to the last picture partially right by answering that the person's name started with an "a", but I can't give credit if I don't know who you are (or if you don't answer all the way)!
The marvelous legs from last week's contest belong to Canyon rider, Alex W. Yay, Alex! Way to show off your sexy, shaved legs!
Since there wasn't a race last weekend, I had to dig deep into my photo stores to come up with a photo for this week's contest. This photo comes from the start line of Stage 2 - 2009 Tour of Utah.
Mind you, I had to cut off the other leg to avoid giving you any clues as to what team this leg belongs to. Sorry. But, what a great leg! I guess if I was pro, I would have such great legs too.
Enough about legs. Let's talk about bikes. Sadly, I'm selling my cyclocross bike. I really would rather race the bike, but it's just not going to happen this year. Bummer, I know. But, I'd rather sell it to someone who will use it than watch it gather dust around here. I bought it in April for $925 from Canyon Cycles in Draper, and I have yet to ride it. It has lived a cushy life in my bedroom, so it's in primo shape. It is a 48 cm Redline Conquest. Let me know if you, or someone you know, would be interested in taking it off my hands.
I also have Shimano SPD pedals that I bought to go with the 'cross bike. $50 if you want 'em.
Okay, last item of business before I close this post: I am planning a group ride on Thanksgiving morning. I like to earn my turkey and pumpkin pie with a good, hard ride. The group HAD planned to meet at 11 a.m. to give the day a chance to warm up before riding. However, after I announced this to MANY people, the group decided they wanted to ride earlier in the morning. I'm still planning to ride at 11, because a) I don't like the cold, b) the people I announced the ride time to might show up, and c) I'm stubborn. But, I would also like a decent group to ride with, so if you're up to it, meet me at the flagpole at Macey's in Orem (800 N State) at 11 a.m. next Thursday, Nov. 26th. Thanks!
Posted by Rio's Rider at 10:26 AM
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I can't believe none of you posted a guess from last post! Do you need a clue? Here's a hint: the person the legs belong to races in the Men's B cyclocross races. Here's a picture from the start of that race last Saturday at the Weber County Fairgrounds:
C'mon, don't be shy about posting a comment on my blog. Facebook may have taken over your life, but I know you still read blogs. Besides, I need an excuse to continue taking candid shots of peoples' sexy cycling legs to post. :)
Posted by Rio's Rider at 10:23 AM
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I recently told one of my teammates that I came to the races to take pictures of legs, then I realized that I hadn't taken any pictures of legs. So, for my new weekend entertainment, I've come up with a little weekly contest.
This week you get to guess who these marvelous legs belong to:
I'll TRY to post something new every week.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 10:12 PM
Friday, November 6, 2009
I wanted to go for a bike ride yesterday. I promised myself that I was going for a bike ride yesterday no matter what. Then I discovered that someone had stolen my bike pump. My tires were too low to go anywhere. So I didn't make it out on my bike ride after all. I was really grumpy because I was so sure that the weather would be crappy today and that I had lost a prime opportunity to ride.
Aside from my regular work duties, today's schedule was supposed to filled with thumb therapy, allergy doctors, and a hair appointment. But when I walked out of the therapist's office at 9 a.m., and the weather was so pleasant I didn't need so much as a jacket, I knew I had to go for a bike ride. Screw everything else!
I hurried home, changed my clothes, hopped on my bike (the lack of a pump problem had been solved), and rode away. I didn't know where I was going, but I didn't care. I was on my bike. And it felt GOOD!
I had ridden several blocks before the thought came to me: "You're not thinking about your thumb!" It was true! I hadn't thought about my thumb. Amazing! That hasn't happened in nine weeks!
"Wait. Yes you are thinking about it! You're thinking about it by telling yourself you're not thinking about it."
"Maybe. But I'm not complaining about it, and it's not bothering me, so it counts."
When I had left home on my bike, there was no wind. Not even a couple of miles later there was a fierce cross wind blowing, and by the looks of the direction the flags were pointing, it was going to be a headwind on the way home. By mid-ride, the fallen leaves were swirling around me so violently that I thought I might be carried off to the land of OZ. Nnnnn...ok, maybe it wasn't THAT bad. I've ridden in worse. But the effect of the swirling leaves certainly made it seem worse than it was.
Speaking of leaves, I made it a game to try to run over the biggest cottonwood leaves I could find. They made a great "Kapow" popping sound. I also enjoyed listening to the way the layer of thousands of fallen ash leaves sounded like someone had just lit off a bundle of Black Cat firecrackers. This is the sort of stuff I only notice when I ride by myself.
Because I was by myself I was able to do a lot of thinking. I thought about how, even though I feel like lately I've been lazy; in truth, physically I'm doing great. Cardio-wise, I felt better than I can ever remember feeling. The only time I even felt like I was pushing it at all today was during the 14 percent (actual) climb combined with the 30 mph (estimate) headwind. That got me breathing pretty hard.
But much of my thoughts were about how mentally defeated I feel. I was really on top of the mental game by May of last year. Probably to the point of cockiness. At that point, I knew I had finally achieved prime mental and phyical strength. And then I proceeded to destroy it all with accidents and injuries. I couldn't help but notice how tentatively I rode today. I hate feeling like that! It's going to take some time and many confidence building rides for me to feel like I'm mentally back on top of things again.
I really needed today's ride. I'm crossing my fingers for more beautiful 70 degree days for me, and you, to enjoy. I know it won't last too much longer. That doesn't matter: there's always Nordic skiing to look forward to.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 1:50 PM
Monday, November 2, 2009
So, I spent another weekend WATCHING other people race their bikes. Funny, but I seem to be okay with that.
Honestly, I think I'm ready to come back to the bike riding world. My thumb is almost healed. I've still got a little nerve damage and scar tissue issues to deal with, but it's getting better every day.
But, in taking time to heal, I've gotten lazy. I've found that it's nice not to have to worry about the weather and what to wear in it, or having to religiously follow a training plan.
But, this new, relaxed attitude has me worried. I've lost the lean look I had finally developed, and the old pudge is starting to reappear. Ugh.
So, today, I started building my training plan again. I've left it pretty open, because I know that it's going to take some extra motivation to get me to WANT to follow a plan again. What I found while building my plan is that I really don't have much time to train anymore. Not that I had much time in the first place, but now, I've added in full-time college since I last seriously trained. Plus, I still have two jobs and a house to run. So, for now, I've got myself lifting weights only one day a week. It's not going to be enough, I realize. Every week I'm going to be sore the day after lifting, followed by nearly a week off before starting over again. Lift... whine about sore muscles...recover for too long... repeat. It's better than not lifting weights at all, right?
Plus, I'm having a hard time scheduling in real bike time. It's been too easy to justify missing outdoor time by riding indoors. I just don't know when I can squeeze in a road ride now. It used to be a priority in my life, but now I spend too much time with school and making money. At least this week is nice weather, so I won't have that excuse to keep my indoors. I have tentative plans for a group ride on Thursday. We'll see if I can make it.
Anyway, I've gotten away from the topic I wanted to write about. I went to the 'cross race at Wheeler Farm on Saturday. It was fun to see so many people dressed up. Some of the costumes looked impossible to race in, but everyone was having fun. My teenage son has taken up 'cross racing (better than 'cross dressing, right?), so I don't feel bad about going to the races and not racing. He wears my kit, so I feel like I'm living vicariously through him.
Here are some pictures I took on my phone's camera:
Posted by Rio's Rider at 3:53 PM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wow! I just about posted this blog entry onto my work group's blog. That could have been bad. I've GOT to pay better attention in the future. The work blog is brand new, and I didn't realize it was on my dashboard when I started writing this.
Anyway, as always on Thursday, I have been up since 4:50 a.m. But today seems more productive.
I taught an early morning Spinning class. It was supposed to have been an endurance class, but since I was playing my Halloween music, I opted (and the class voted and agreed) to turn the class into an interval class instead. We spun, climbed, and sprinted to the likes of Ghostbusters, Thriller, Tarantula, Werewolf in London, Feed My Frankenstein, Witchy Woman, and Boris the Spider.
After class, I hurried to shower, then I was off to a doctor's appointment, where I used the waiting room time to study for a test.
After getting two shots at the doctor (for allergies, in case you're curious), I headed over to the testing center and successfully BSed my way through six pages of essay question answers about the Cheyenne Indian history.
After the test, I hustled to the store and picked up a package of brownies to go take to a friend. Sadly, she hasn't been talking to me for the last month due to false assumptions and rumors, so I needed to go make things right with her again. Hopefully things will be better between us from here on out, but only time will tell.
Then, I had a quick lunch and was to work by noon. I really need to add a visit to the chiropractor in to today's schedule, but I am out of funds. So the pain in the neck will continue for the time being.
In thumb news, I am finding myself using my thumb more and more lately. It is feeling lots better, but is still not perfect. I don't know that it will ever be perfect again. Sigh. Such is life.
That's all I've got for now. Have a Happy Halloween!
Posted by Rio's Rider at 1:38 PM
Monday, October 19, 2009
I had a great weekend! And it started early this week.
- Road riding on Thursday (see previous post),
- Bombay House on Friday,
- taught an interval class in the Spinning studio on Saturday morning (I know it's my job - but I love it!),
- went to dinner and dancing with friends in Salt Lake on Saturday night,
- and rode the mountain bike on Sunday.
I didn't go too far from home for the mountain bike ride. I live across the street from an awesome place to practice cyclocross. It has got grass, pavement, gravel, and a descent-sized run up. I just need to add some barriers, and I would have it made!
So that's what I did. I practiced 'cross on the mountain bike. It was fun! But I seriously need to figure out how to off my bike without stopping. Getting off while moving is a concept my brain just won't wrap around. Maybe when my thumb is completely healed and I'm not being such a total chicken.
Posted by Rio's Rider at 1:33 PM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I know I already posted these pictures on Facebook, but since I took the time and effort to load them onto the computer, I might as well put them on the old blog as well, right?
What fabulous riding weather we had today. The rainstorm passed in the early morning hours and the roads were drying out by noon. In the valley, I considered going without a jacket because it felt so nice, but once into the canyon, I was glad I had brought the jacket along.
Pretty much, I met a group at the mouth of the canyon, they rode away, and the pregnant, injured, and otherwise pokey people rode way behind them. That last group would include me. I felt like I could have pushed it harder, but why, when the people you are riding at the back with are some of the best people around. We got laughing so hard climbing South Fork that I thought I better stop or I'd fall off my bike. But, only the leaves were falling today - not me! Yay!
The group reconvened at Bridal Veil Falls for a quick picture:
After that, it was just the three of us:
Posted by Rio's Rider at 5:14 PM