Saturday, June 30, 2007

Today's Fabulous Ride

I felt so great on my ride today. It must have something to do with the fact I have spent so little time on my bike lately. Kind of like I tapered for today's ride.

Started out much later in the day than I wanted. Sleeping in felt so good. :) But it was ok since it was still a wee bit chilly out when we started. But there were also more people out, too.

As we started out I wondered if this ride was really a good idea. Saddle was really pinching. I've got to figure out what's up with that! But, five minutes down the road, and I didn't notice it anymore. I didn't notice any pain, really, the whole ride. Which was surprising considering the fact that I had to dose up on painkillers last night just to sleep. My hip and knee have been really bothering me the last couple of days. Unless I hold my knee straight, it gives me sharp pains. So even just sitting down is uncomfortable. I don't know whether the knee pain is from bumping it in Spinning class yesterday, or because my hips are out of alignment. I really should go to the chiropractor, but he's so stinkin' expensive! I've put a ban on the chiropractor unless I'm truely dying.

As we (Sling and I) get to the mouth of the canyon we see our club heading out for a club ride. Should I ride with them intead? Tempting, but I remember that they're going the opposite direction of what I had planned to do. I pass. I grumble about that decision the rest of the ride. I really should ride with my club every once in a while.

I ride up the canyon doing cadence intervals: 50 RPM/90 RPM. I can't find the 50 RPM today. It's too slow and easy. The 90 RPM doesn't feel so bad today. So by the time we turn off the canyon road and head up a steeper pitch, I decide that I'll try to hold the 90 RPM the rest of the way up. Some of the climbs were 11 percent grades, and I took them as fast as I could. I PBed this ride today! I can't imagine how much better I could have done, too if I had held 90 RPM the whole time! Trying to find 50 RPM really slowed me down. I've decided that I like climbing hills as fast as I can. It's painful and my breathing gets really labored, but I can get up the hill so much faster, so it's over sooner. Plus, once I settle into the fact that "this is the way it's gonna be," it's all good.

On our way back down, I decide to be funny. I can see I'm catching Sling, so I push it a little harder. I'm on his back wheel when I shout out, using my dark and scary voice, "I'm comin' to get ya!" Scared the poor guy to death. He thought some big man in a truck was trying to run him over, or something. He jumped and dropped back. I just laughed as I passed him, "Did I scare ya?" I didn't realize until later how badly I had scared him. And I just thought I was a fast descender today. I gotta stop doing that.

On the way home we took the road instead of the trail. It was too late, and there were way too many people on the trail by now. I don't enjoy dodging dogs, skateboarders, strollers, sketchy kids riding training wheels, and joggers. I like riding the road down even if it is a highway with lots of traffic and big trucks. It's faster, and I've learned to like speed. But it's also more littered. Sling got a flat on the way down. It ONLY took us 2 tubes and 3 cartridges to fix it. The first cartridge was mysteriously empty. The first tube we installed blew out when filling it with CO2. So we had to use another. And another cartridge.

We arrived home just in time for Sling to change and head out to meet some people for a mountain bike ride.

What a life!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The View from My Place

Excitement in town today as everyone seems to be keeping an eye on the fire on the mountain. I took the following shot just as the airplane dropped some red fire retardant on the fire.

I always hate fire season. We live in a desert and so everything's pretty dry around here anyway. This is yet another drought year, so water supply is pretty short. I just hate to see the fires start because everything is so dry from lack of water, and then we have to use so much of what little water we have to put the fires out. There are at least two fires burning in the area today. I'm personally always looking for ways to conserve water, and it's sad to see so much of it used when it could be used in so many other ways.

On to Bikey Things
This morning I decided I should get back on my bike. I woke up feeling pretty good this morning. So, I got dressed to ride Rio to Spinning class this morning. As I was leaving the house I went to pick Rio up and carry her down the stairs. When did Rio get so heavy? Ot, oh. Maybe I'm not feeling as well as I thought. But, I had already packed my backpack to go, and I had to leave NOW if I was going to make it on time. Besides, I had told Sling that he could drive the car to work, so I was out of options anyway. So off I go, riding easy to the fitness center. By the time I got there, I realized I was shaking pretty good. I guess maybe I'm not ready to ride just yet. This infection has taken so much more out of me than I realized. But, it was an intervals class today, and the members of the class were expecting a good ride, so I put on my happy face and taught a tough one.
One the way home I realized something. Cars were driving more courteously around me today. Then it occured to me that I usually ride in full kit. I look like I know what I'm doing most of the time. I look like I ride a lot and can handle myself. Today, I was dressed like a commuter: T-shirt and backpack. Maybe I looked sketchy enough that people gave me more room. Last year when I rode I noticed that drivers were more courteous to me than to Sling. I figured it was because he's a guy, and maybe they give more room to the ladies. I haven't noticed that people are giving me much respect this year, though. It must have something to do with how serious of a cyclist you look. I figure that the more serious you look, the less respect you get. Just a thought.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I've been down with a sinus infection the last few days. I let it go on so long before going to the Dr. that it really brought me down. I've been pretty exhausted. I'm feeling a bit better today. I've really missed riding my bike, and I've got a great ride planned tonight involving riding with one of the Cat 3 men. I really want to go. The problem is that Coach has told me I'm not to ride until I feel 100 percent better. I'm maybe at 75 percent. So tempting...I don't know if this opportunity will present itself again, and I have to be sick.
The other temptation is Gate City Grind. I haven't wanted to do a stage race this year, so I'm not sure why this one is calling out to me today. Maybe it's just because I don't feel good and so I want to race. It seems like whenever I'm sick the desire to race is stronger than at any other time. At any rate, with all the down time I've had the last couple of weeks, I don't think GCG is really a consideration. Just something to dream about.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Out of luck

Bombing my way though training this week. I've only ridden my bike once, and that was on Monday. Haven't been feeling up to riding. A sinus infection and a saddle sore make a very unhappy rider. I have no energy. I've just sat around today eating marshmallows -- and I don't even really like marshmallows. I have to wonder if my body enjoyed itself so much last week (down week for training), that it decided to continue the party. Only it decided to do it in a cruel way. Anything to keep me off my bike, I guess.

I know, boo hoo.

Hey, I just figured out what the problem is! I broke my lucky 4-leaf clover. That's got to be it. One of the leaves were stuck under a book and when I went to pull it out one of the leaves came off. Now it's just a common 3-leaf clover, and my luck has run out.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A sad, sad story

Boy, do I live in a poor neighborhood! How poor, you ask? Just check out this picture I took of some kid riding his bike:

I could hear the impoverished lad coming from a block away. Rims grinding on the pavement, rusty chain squeeling. Sadly, the kid couldn't even sit down and rest his legs from all the metal to asphalt friction. The bike was not only without tires, but sans saddle, too.

He rode away before I could offer him any of my old, unused parts.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Big Dogs Nipping at Your Toes

I rode nearly to Why-oh-ming today. It was freezing when we started and I had only brought arm warmers. Luckily, the girl I rode with had come prepared with a jacket she didn't want to wear (or so she said). But by about 10 miles in I was ready to lose the jacket and the pants I had on to boot. So there I stood taking off most of my clothes on the side of the road. Good thing there was very little traffic. We hid the clothes in the bushes, marked the hiding place with a broken reflector and continued on. Lots of rolling hills on the way out. Going out I'm thinking, "Oh man, I've got to save my legs if I'm going to make it back to the car." Those were some big rollers. But once we turned back, the road seemed to be all downhill. Weird.
Anyway, as I'm climbing one of the bigger climbs, a big, mean, scary, snarling white dog starts barking and I can tell by the look on it's face it wants to eat me. "Not now!" I think. "Not on this hill!" But, I must save myself from being a tasty doggie snack, so I stand it up and sprint. My riding partner, who was riding behind me, says it looked like the dog was nipping at my tires. By the time I dared to look back, the mangy mutt was standing in the road eyeballing her. She tells me all she had to do was look the dog in the eye and tell it to STAY. Good stratigy.
A little way up the road, I'm squinting, I can't believe my eyes. Could it really be? There's a herd of cattle being driven down the road. Why is this so surprising? I'll tell you why: the only two times I have ridden bikes with the person I rode with today, there has been a cattle drive on the road. The first time it happened in a road race, Garden Creek Gap. Click here to see a funny video my hubby took of the pros dealing with the cattle at that race.
After riding about 15 miles toward Wyoming, we decided it was getting too hot and we turned around and went back. The way back was really nice. I didn't realize how much climbing we had done on the way out until we turned around and everything felt fast and smooth.
It was a beautiful ride. Here's a picture of me on the way out:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Today's Ride

I was finally able to get back on my bike today. It felt good. Got out early enough that the weather was pleasant. I wondered why I don't ride earlier every day, then I remembered that I have to teach Spinning practically every morning, so I have to ride in the heat of the day.

About 10 minutes before I was to leave on my ride this morning, my riding partner calls to say she has a flat and will be late. This is fine seeing how I'm not quite ready to go yet anyway, and the extra time will allow me to start on a loaf of bread I have to bake today.

Riding partner finally shows up and we take off. About 3 miles down the road, Partner realizes that the tire has gone flat again. So we pull over and change the flat. Of course we use my tube, so now Partner owes me a tube and a cartridge (from another ride). Not sure I'll ever get these items back. It's been over a year now since she used the cartridge, and I don't have that back yet.

Pretty soon, we're off again, flying down a fast descent and off toward the lake. I pull several surprise attacks, the first of which is chased down. After several attacks, Partner starts to get tired of the game, and I have to slow down and wait for her to catch back on.

As we're heading back home, we come to an intersection where we're turning left toward a climb. There are some cars coming from the left, so being my cautious self, I wait. Partner goes. She's about a block ahead of me when I go. I decide now would be a good time to attack again. I take off. I am catching her with surprising speed. I yell out in a deep, scary voice, "I'm coming to get you!" Now, if you heard someone yelling that from behind you, what would you do? She takes off. But, I have better momentum going, so I pull right up beside her.
"I wouldn't ever want to say that in a race," I say as I pass her. Then I pictured it in my head: me coming up behind someone in a race shouting out that I was gonna git 'em. I started laughing so hard I couldn't pedal anymore. I started slowing on the hill. I couldn't breathe, nor could I stop laughing. I thought my bike would tip over if I got going any slower. Luckily I was able to gain composure again, because we were still climbing. A fast descent followed by a steep hill climb was coming. I was gonna need to get some speed going on that descent in order to make it back up the other side. That's the best part of this route, and I wanted it to be good. It was.

I'm glad to be back on the bike again. 20 miles in 1 hour 15 min.

Once I was home, I had to shower quickly as I was due to be at a neighbor's house for a visit. I've been in a bit of shock since that visit because the neighbor announced that her husband of 21 years closed all their bank accounts, packed up his stuff, and left her yesterday. She told me before she told her own children. I wish the best for her and hope she can move on.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bored, bored, BORED!

It's amazing how much extra time I seem to have on my hands when I'm not out logging hours on my bike! I'm so bored I can't even think of anything to say.
It's funny because the only thing I feel like doing is sitting in front of this stupid computer. Nobody else is even online. No new blogs to explore, no new email to read, nobody's answering my PMs, there's no new race postings, and nothing interesting on the forums. Apparently, I'm the only person in cyberspace today! Come on, people, entertain me!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Napping Bliss

I'm really loving this down-time training week. After Spinning class this morning, I came home and went back to bed for THREE HOURS of extra sleep! Coaches orders: "Take the extra time you would be training to take a nap or do some extra stretching." I can do napping and stretching.

One the other hand, I am starting to miss being on my bike. I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder. Just as I was beginning to loathe being on the bike, it's taken away from me, so of course, now I can't wait to get back on. Wait, that sounded bad. It's not that I loathe the bike so much as I don't enjoy worrying about where to ride, traffic, when to go, and stuff like that.

I hope the time off the bike doesn't cause any nervousness in me. There was a cyclist hit (intentionally) in SLC this week. His situation almost mirrors the one I experienced last week. Just like him, I was riding behind a box delivery truck when the truck came to a stop in the road. In both cases the truck starts backing up. In the other cyclist's case, cyclist bangs on the truck to get his attention and let the driver know he was back there. What I did was jump off my bike, pick her up, and run to the other side of the road where the driver could see me. Sure, I looked stupid carrying my bike running like a ninny, but maybe it saved my life. The driver in the other cyclist's case gets angry about his truck being hit, turns his truck around and runs the cyclist over. My truck driver realized I was back there, and waited for me to get past him before he continued on. Had I been on a busier road and would have been unable to move out of the way to the other side of the road, I would have done just what the other cyclist did, banged on the truck. Bikes don't have horns and it would have been the most logical way to get the driver's attention quickly. From what I understand, the other cyclist is in really bad condition. He will have to have a leg amputated and he lost a lot of blood. I hope they catch the truck driver and put him away for a long time. Sending good vibes to the cyclist to get better soon.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Who does intervals at 60 BPM?

So, I'm teaching a Spinning class this morning. I had quite a number of newbies in class, making it a record-size class. After one of the intervals, I got off my bike and went to check on member's heart rates. I asked one of the newbies what their heart rate was and got the answer 60. The look on my face must have said it all because she then asks me, "Should I be working harder?" Um... yes, I think so. I can get a 60 BPM sitting on my rear-end reading the newspaper. Apparently she has always had a really low heart rate. Must be practically dead when she's at rest.

Heard from the coach that this is a rest week. Thank heavens! I'm still feeling it from Saturday's ride, and I really could use some rest. I only have two rides, plus Spinning classes, scheduled this week. Maybe I can use the time to get some work done around here.

Or maybe I could spend all my extra time goofing off on the internet...

I am starting to worry about racing LOTOJA. 46 miles on Saturday really wore me out. Three months from now I'm going to be riding almost 100 climbing miles. I think I'll have my triple chain ring put back on for the event. I just want to know that I'll have somewhere easier to go if I need it. Hopefully by September I won't need it.

I think I'll plan to go ride Coalville with a group of friends this weekend. I want to see the coarse before I race it. I better start making plans so I can get a group together. I don't want to have to do it by myself. I was supposed to be racing the Summer Games in Cedar this weekend, but I backed out of that race because I've run out of money. Would have had to drive the truck, and that costs a fortune! Anyway, because I won't be out of town, I'll have some time to practice Coalville.

I've started going to a Pilates class this last week. I hate Pilates. I can't do any of the moves with the ease that everyone else in class seems to do them with. So I feel like a big goof-ball in there. But, I think the class will help me with me lower-back problems. I really feel like I need to strengthen my core. The abs are weak!

I've managed to gain five pounds in the last THREE DAYS! My theory on this is that when I took my weight on Friday, I was dehydrated. I worked hard all weekend to rehydrate and I think (hope) that's where the weight came from. I'm finally back to less than my weight was when I got married 16 years ago, and I'd hate to see me gain again.

Well, enough rambling...I must go clean the house.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Ow, ow, ow!

Holy crap! I can't walk down the stairs today. Well, I can. But it hurts.

Last night, I had the brilliant idea to do an hour and a half of hill repeats. I knew I was going to be riding with Coach Girl today, and Coach Girl always rides hard. So, I don't know what I was thinking. Went to bed last night thinking, "What was I thinking?"

So, leaving on the longish ride this morning, Coach Girl say, "So, I want to get this ride done in two and a half hours today. So we need to average over 20 mph." Okey, dokey. I take off pulling at 23 mph, a good pace. But at about 25 miles into the ride, I start to slide. I am starving my butt off! Very unusual for me. And I keep getting slower and slower. Cardio-wise I was fine, holding between zone 3 and 4. But my legs were toast.

"I gotta stop and get something to eat." We stop, I eat. Much better. We're off again. The hills don't seem so foreboding anymore. Once again, I'm pulling at 23 mph. But then, I give up my pull and Coach Girl takes off. I'm starting to hurt. My butt is aching, my hands and feet have gone numb.
"How come you can pull at 23, but you can't draft at 20?" comes the question.
"I dunno."
"Well, stop pulling for so long if you're going to burn yourself out."
Okay, I'll let you pull the rest of the way. Drafting is good.

We managed to get back just under our goal time: 2:29:28, 46.18 miles.

Oh, the best part of the ride was that there was a tri going on. We managed to get onto the tri's bike coarse just as the leaders were heading out on their bikes. People were cheering for us as we went by. It was great. You don't get that kind of attention every bike ride.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Vicious Cycle

I've managed to get myself into a bad situation. Here's the deal: I've hired a coach to help my with my road bike racing. He is expensive! And, he gives me lots of bike time. Which is helping me...I'm not losing bike races anymore, and I feel more powerful and confident on the bike. But because I'm on the bike so much, I don't have time for much else. I've never seen my house so messy. Totally filthy. Really embarrassing!

But wait...that's not the issue here. The issue is that since I now spend so much time on the bike, I don't have time to work. You know, for pay. So I end up getting these measly paychecks and all the money goes to pay for the coach. Who, in return, puts me on my bike more. You get the picture? Plus, now I don't have money for other fun stuff: my hair, bike parts, lunches with my friends, bike gear, travel, bike accessories, clothes, bike shorts (which I desperately need because strangely enough, with all the extra riding, I run out before I have time to do laundry).

So really, I don't have time to be here, blogging. I've got to get to work now.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stupid Trucks!

So, I got ran off the road by a big double trailer dump truck today. I only had about six inches of road to the right of the white line, so I was already a bundle of nerves. I could hear a large-sounding vehicle approaching from behind me. As he (pretty sure it was a he) passes, he's not giving me an inch. And the truck kept going and going -- it was long. About then, I realize that the trailer portion of the truck is going to hit me if I don't move over. The only place to go was into the gravel and weeds. I managed to keep the bike upright until the truck passed, and I pulled it back up onto the asphalt. The stupid truck then makes a right-hand turn right in front of me. At this point I'm pretty ticked, so I chased the guy down close enough to see the license plate number before he disappeared down the road. I kept repeating the number in my head until I came to a red light, at which point I plugged the number into my phone so I could remember it.
When I got home, I called the local police dept. and reported the incident. The officer was so helpful (not), ending the call with the question, "So, what do you want me to do about it?" about your job? State law says that drivers must give cyclists three feet, and I didn't have any. Hopefully, the nice policeman was able to at least find the guy and say something somewhat threatening about treating cyclists like humans.