Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dec. 5 Snow 'Cross in Ogden

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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yay, Kelly!!!

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.

Laura P. at the beginning of the A Women's race. I like the misty mountains and the train in the background.

Shanna M. at the beginning of the B Women's race.

I like this shot because it gives you a good idea as to how steep this run-up really is.

This is Julie on the steep run-up. Too steep for cartwheels, I guess.

Kara, who took second in the Women's Bs, shows how the flat barriers are usually done.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'll Make This One Easy

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!!!

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!

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. :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Keeping the Blog Alive and Lively

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.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Something Lost - Something Gained

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.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Living Vicariously

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:

This guy dressed up as a triathlete, complete with aeorbars on his bike. Brrr!

Racer dressed up as Tigger. At least he stayed warm.

I overheard this guy saying that he was going to stick a ANSI sticker in his helmet so it would be considered an approved helmet.

Where can I get a pair of those pink fishnets, Clint?

Sly Fox scaring racers in his gillysuit.

Near the end of the race, I had already determined that Tri Guy was insane. Then he took a dip in the duck pond. BRRRRR!!!!

Yes, I dressed up too. People kept asking me if I had raced in the heels. Um, no.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Productive Day

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!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Weekend

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 found that it is MUCH easier to brake with my right hand on a mountain bike.

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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn (NOT FALL!) Ride

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:

I was surprised that eleven people could sneak away for a mid-week lunch ride.

After that, it was just the three of us:

I am super jealous of Ragla's skill. She can wave and ride at the same time. I have crashed doing just that. But then, I am accident prone.

This was as far as we rode before Ragla determined that she shouldn't keep pushing her heart rate beyond her doc's suggested zone. I wish I could have come here a couple of weeks ago while the leaves were still brilliant, but it was still gorgeous.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nothing Much to Report

I don't really have much to report, but I guess since I've been put on top of the official Turbo blogroll, I should blog something.

Thankfully, I have no new accidents to report.

Last Sunday, I got back on my bike again for the first time in six weeks. Strangely, it was like learning to ride all over again. As I started off down the driveway and into the street I was literally screaming, "I don't think this is a good idea!" and "This is going to hurt." and "I've forgotten how to clip in." But mostly just a lot of "AAAAaaaaa!!! I'm gonna die!" My thumb didn't even fall off like I was expecting it to.

That lasted about all of about two blocks, then I was okay. Except that I couldn't brake with my right hand. I have lost grip strength. I am going to hand therapy every week now, and I have noticed a huge improvement already.

Off topic paragraph: It didn't take me very long to train myself to not use my thumb. It still takes me some serious concentration to do things like hold a comb or a pencil or zip a zipper normally, or use the space bar on the keyboard with my thumb. But, my thumb is beginning to be a part of my body again.

Back to the ride: at one point I decided to see if I could max out one of those speed clocks the police put out to control driver's speed. I ramped it up to 29 mph before it occurred to me that I couldn't easily stop with just my front brake (remember... my previous accident was an endo - I didn't really want a repeat of that one). Panic! But I got it slowed down just fine. I really need to give myself more credit. I'm pretty sure I have better skillz than I dare to admit. I've just been living high anxiety for the last six week - I'm in protective mode from all my accidents.

I'm excited to go out for a lunch ride with a group of friends tomorrow. I hope this rain clears out by then.

In other news, there is NO relation between me and the sandbagger who raced 'cross last week. Okay there is, but (hopefully) I've convinced her not to pull any more of that crap in the future. I'm hoping to make a showing at the later races this weekend after I kick some indoor cycling butt in the morning. I love being at the races, even though it's hard for me to watch and not participate.

That's all for now. Ride hard!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cyclocross Weber Fairgrounds - Oct. 3, 2009

I went an cheered at the 'cross race last Saturday. It was a little hard to watch and not participate, but it also confirmed to me that I'm not ready to be back on the bike yet. Just being out in the chilly air made my thumb ache like crazy. At five weeks post-accident, the broken bone should be healed, but the nerves are still regenerating.

Here are some pics I took on my camera phone:

Todd going over the log barrier in the men's C race

One of the UVU Cycling guys, Dan

Teammate Kara jumping a log barrier in the men's C race

Teammate Shanna ripping it up in the Women's B race (sorry my finger's in the pic - I still can't hold my camera right)

Junior racer, Tanner, bunny hopping the log barrier in his first ever 'cross race.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Happy Fall...

Bam! You just got hit by the pumpkin master!

For Your Entertainment

I've been pretty down lately, and feel like it's showing. This is likely due to the fact that several people have told me to cheer up. So, anyway, here's something lighthearted:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


It has been four weeks now since my little chain ring incident. I am feeling much better this week. I've even managed to drop the pain meds. I continue to be amazed at how a thumb wound has devastated my whole life.

I went to an occupational therapist yesterday. He could see how uptight I was about letting him touch my hand, so all he did was give me some new splints, tell me to relax, and told me to start using my thumb to touch things.

How strange it is to touch things with my thumb again! Wow! It only took me a month to totally retrain myself to live without using a thumb. It seriously takes me great amounts of effort and concentration to get myself to pick up a sock or a piece of paper with a pinching action. My assignment for this week is to touch various surfaces and textures. It's bizarre because everything feels exactly the same: like needles stabbing the end of my thumb. Smooth, rough, soft, hard, it's all the same. But I can't feel really gentle action, like blowing on it, at all. This is all very strange to me.

It's amazing what you take for granted and don't even realize. I was so proud of myself yesterday when I used a spoon, wrote with a pencil, grabbed a water bottle, and maneuvered the computer mouse like a regular person. I was laughing like an idiot because I kept saying things like, "Oh, good girl!" to myself over the smallest accomplishments. I've come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.

In other news, I just read on the UVU Cycling blog that they are going to hold a 'cross clinic this Thursday, Oct 1, at 6 p.m. in the J lot on the east side of campus. You can check their blog for yourself at http://uvucyclingteam.blogspot.com.

I really miss riding my bike. September has really flown by with me hiding out indoors because it hurt too much, and took too much effort, to go anywhere. I likely won't be riding again until I have learned to used my hand again. So, even though I'm not ready to ride outside yet, I still like to keep updated on any rides happening in the area. The following ride is for a good cause. If you're not racing 'cross, you may want to check this out:

Hopefully, I will have a ride report of my own to blog about soon.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blood & Gore

It's been over a week since it happened. I am now at a point where I can discuss it. I am warning you, however...I am posting pictures & you might find them disturbing. Do NOT scroll down if you have a sensitive stomach.

Here's the story:

I was at the fitness center working on the Spinning bikes. The center where I work does an annual two-week shut down for maintenance. The parking lot gets painted, the wood floors are sanded down and refinished, the pool is drained and refilled, the racquetball courts are painted, and we take apart and deep clean the workout equipment.

As part of the Spinning bike maintenance, I take the chain guard cover off the Spinning bikes and clean and lube the chains. The way I was taught to do this was to use a rag to wipe the old grease off the chain while I pedal the bike. This is what I was doing when the accident happened. (This is not however the way I will be cleaning chains at work in the future - I plan to get a chain cleaning tool like I use on my bike at home.)

As I was turning the pedals, the rag I was using got caught in the chain ring, and before I knew what was happening, it had pulled my right thumb (the one holding the rag) into the chainring. My thumb was pinched in between the chain (which was on the bottom of my thumb) and the chainring (on my thumbnail side). On a normal bike this might not have been a big deal. But a Spinner's chain is weighted with a 45-pound flywheel. The pressure was enough that the chainring pierced through my thumbnail and broke my bone. As soon as I knew what was happening, I struggled to reverse the flywheel. My thumb managed to only go into the chainring a couple of inches before I got it out...which was lucky because had it gone much further, I might have lost the end of my thumb! As soon as it started going in, I started yelling, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" And my good co-worker, Dan came running. At the time I thought how overdramatic I was being...then I looked at my mangled thumb. I begged Dan to take me to the ER, holding my hand above my head with blood running down my arm. My boss's boss ended up taking me.

Anyway, here I was in the ER...again (third time in three months). This little thumb wound took ten stitches to fix. Five stitches under my nail (yes, they had to remove the nail), two stitches outside the nailbed, and three stitches to put the nail back in place. Yes, they put the nail back, not for beauty reasons, but because if they didn't then the skin would grow in where the nail should be and the new nail wouldn't come back in right.

Now, eight days later, I'm finally starting to be able to function again without reeling in terror everytime someone gets too close. I've stopped wearing the splint, because it bugs me and causes more trouble than it's worth. And, I'm back at work. Yes, I missed a whole week of work at two jobs because of a thumb injury. You don't realize how much you use your thumb or how much thumb/finger injuries hurt until you've had one. This hurts way worse than any of the bike wrecks I've had!

Okay, if you're ready for some blurry camera-phone pictures, go ahead and scroll down.

This is it after soaking in some solution at the ER.

I begged my boss to take a picture during stitch-up, but she refused because it was too gory. This is it after being stitched up. That's my nail in the tweezers, ready to go back on.

I thought it looked really good after they put the nail back on. Little did I know that they weren't done creating Frankenthumb yet.

This is what it looked like after I removed the bandages two days later.

And this is it after 6 days.

I have to go get the stitches taken out on Thursday morning. If you hear screaming sometime around 9 a.m., you'll know it's me.