Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009


it's December already. What happened to November?

Quick update - still nothing really happening.

As for racing, we finished the TMBRA Fall Series up the first of November. The race in Ruston LA is a omnium style stage race. Instead of just the cross country race on Sunday, we also had a short track and time trial race on Saturday. The trails and the stage race format makes Ruston one of our favorite race venues. Unfortunately, the weather stayed consistent as the other TMBRA races and it had rained before race weekend. My racing on Saturday consisted of a fairly decent short track race and a pretty pitiful time trail; with hopes of returning to decent racing on Sunday.

Sunday rolled around and I just couldn't get motivated. As time to get the "race face" on rolled closer I was less and less motivated to change clothes, let alone line up. After deciding that I had a major case of the "Ehhhhh - I don't wanna's" I left the bike on the car and took up position in the feed zone.

The highlight of the day was when Alan came through between laps and pulled up to me with his mouth open. I had a mini PayDay bar already unwrapped (I was planning on handing it to him), so I crammed that in his mouth with one hand while giving him a fresh bottle with the other. As Alan was riding off, I heard someone comment about how smooth that looked and how long did it take us to get that down. Told him that was the first time we've ever done it.

The next and last race was in Smithville (home of Hope Floats). This course was changed up as everyone was going to race one big 20 mile loop. For us and the Cat 2 racers, the distance was normal race distance; it was shorter than what the younger Cat 1s race; BUT, double the distance for the Cat 3 racers.

My race was pretty lackluster, but I wasn't last (YEA!) and I finished the series in 5th. If I had raced the cross country race in Ruston, I may have finished the series in 3rd or 4th, but I was still good with my decision to skip that race.

Next up was the Mellow Johnny's Classic race at Lance's Juan Pelota ranch (yes, that Lance). Not being a big fan of racing the Texas Hill Country terrain I had signed up for pre-riding the course, but not racing. Kyle was taken out of the race by an accident, so I had the option of taking his race entry. After riding the course I decided that although it was fairly Kathy friendly, I still had a case of the "I don't wanna's" so I gave up Kyle's race entry. Alan had aggravated something in his shoulder/chest, so he gave up his race entry also. For the first time that I can remember, we left the bikes at home and were at a cross country race as spectators.

Now for something completely different: While going for my morning latte fix last Friday, I had the unfortunate experience of opening my car door only to find it attached to the front of a Prius.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
My car is currently at the body shop waiting for a new driver's door. While there, they are going to also take care of some mystery dents (I love parking lots!) in the back quarter panel and assorted door dings that the car has acquired over the years.

Hopefully I'll have more to write about before 2010.

Monday, October 26, 2009


and that pretty much sums it up.

Lately it seems like we've have more overcast, dreary, rainy days that not. 7.17" of precipitation in September and already 7.52" for October and we still have a couple more days to go, with more rain forecasted for the end of the week. Blech! I know we've had some gorgeous sunny days, but those just seem so far and few between lately.

I've also been slower than normal to adjust to the cooler weather of Fall. Motivation to get up in the mornings to walk/run has been hard to find. It takes a lot just to get out of bed knowing that it's in the 60s, or cooler, outside; throw in some moisture and it just ain't gonna happen. If it wasn't for the dog I would never get up early until summer comes around again.

All of the rain leads to mud, which means little to no mountain bike riding except racing. While we are still racing, it has been in less than stellar conditions. In most cases race day has been nice, but the course has been sloppy. Wet trails lead to messy bikes and crapped out chains. I seriously think it would have been a good idea to buy a case of bike chains before the season started, as it seems like we have needed to replace the chain after almost every race.

We have one more race in the Fall series. Then the guys are racing the Mellow Classic (benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation) which will be held on Lance Armstrong's ranch west of the ATX. Would it be too much to ask for two dry races? I hope not.

In November Alan will start coaching another Team in Training group for the Ouachita Challenge in March. While I am not participating in the event this year (been there, done that, got the zip ties); I will be on the training rides.

Here's to sunny days and positive attitudes... Cheers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hey, that's mine!

I started to write something up last weekend, but then I got busy, distracted, rode my bike a little and then forgot what I was going to do. So here's a mish-mash recap.

The first race of the TMBRA Fall Series was at Camp Eagle was Labor Day weekend. As the course did not have a high *KFC rating I was not going to race, but I did pre-ride the course. I survived 99.99% (walking when necessary), but managed to go down on the part of the course that the 10&under kids race on. Yeah, I can ride a bike...
No worries, that kind of thing usually cleans up to show just a small scratch or two, the type that makes you wonder where all the blood came from.

Or... maybe not. :~/ I'm happy to report that I re-rode the section without inflicting further damage on by body.

Since I wasn't racing, I was called on to do feed zone duty for Alan & Kyle
Camp Eagle hand off

Post race relaxation
Camp Eagle
Kyle was smiling for a reason.

The following weekend was the next race at the Huntsville State Park. The weather seemed to be suited more for ducks than mountain bike racing. We contemplated upgrading to something a little more appropriate for the trail conditions
But decided that wouldn't pass USA Cycling specifications.

This race was one for my memory book.

A bad start, followed by a dismal first lap. Things started clicking at the end of the lap and I moved up from 6th to 3rd in less than 1/2 mile. Now the challenge was to keep moving fast enough to hold my position and put a time gap between me and everyone else without blowing up.

Picture courtesy of Kevin Tokarski

I felt like I was managing to hold a decent pace, until I heard some riders coming up from behind. Thinking it was Pro/Cat 1 guys catching me I called out, imagine my surprise horror when the voice that responded was female. I went into panic mode, picked up the pace and pedaled like the hounds of hell were on my wheel (now, if I can just figure out how to do that every race).
Women - Cat 1 - 40-49
1 - Diana........1:33:8.00 - Bicycles Inc/Trek
2 - Catherine...1:34:58.00
3 - Kathy........1:43:43.00 - Matrix RMB
4 - Tanya........1:44:21.00 - Team Hammerhead
5 - Lisabeth.....1:45:4.00 - Bikesport/ION
6 - Cynthia......1:51:18.00 - Bike Barn/Gary Fisher/Subaru
7 - Pamela.......1:51:41.00 - Mad Duck/Max Muscle

As for the title of this post.

A couple of months ago I was at the grocery store. After perusing some of the fresh fruit, I turned to add my selections to other items already in my shopping cart... which wasn't there! I knew where I had left it. It should have been right behind me.

It. Was. Not. There.

I looked around, just in case I had been the one to wander off. Nope, still no cart with my stuff in it. I look again and I see my cart (I know it's mine, because my eco-friendly cloth bags are in bottom basket) being pushed away by an older gentleman. By time I figure out what has happened, he is already the length of the produce section and several aisles away. I really did't want to go running through the store yelling "Stop, Thief!", but I did want my cart back.

I finally catch up to the man and politely inform him that he has my shopping cart. He looks at me like I'm crazy, then looks into the cart and realizes that it wasn't his. We laugh about it (which I can do, now that the cart is back in my possession) while we both walk back to find his cart, which was no where near where mine had been.

*Kathy Friendly Course

Monday, August 31, 2009


Hmmm, it's been a month since I've posted anything. I'd like to say that I've been so busy that I haven't had time, but that wouldn't be true. Now, I have been busy... but busy with the mundane ins and outs of daily life. You know - exciting things like work, laundry, riding my bike, and sleeping - which pretty much sums up my day.

Not much can be said about work, can't really complain about my "boss" as I'm married to him. Well... I guess I could if there was something to complain about.

Laundry: sort, wash, dry, fold/hang, repeat. It's one of those things that is never, ever caught up. Spend all day getting it done and the next morning there's more... sigh. It's the same with dirty dishes - never ending.

Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. Never seem to get enough of that. The down side of semi-serious competitive cycling is that the weekends of sleeping in and lazing around are a distant memory.

Guess that leaves cycling. Surprised, aren't you? While everyday riding/training is fun and I look forward to the weekly rides with my girl friends, racing is what I really enjoy. Which is funny, because I'm not that great of a racer; but, if there's a mountain bike race in the area you will most likely find me lined up.

We've already had the first of the DORBA/N Texas Series races, which is held at local trails. That race went well, with both the AJ and I having good races.

Then a couple of weekends ago, The AJ & I road-tripped to Houston for the weekend to see friends, ride some new trails and do one of their local races. The race was fun and I was happy with my results, even if I did lose it on a bridge and slam myself violently to the ground. After a few unladylike comments I got the chain back on the front rings and continued with my race, catching and passing the lady that passed by while I was doing my impersonation of a flounder.

Last week, even with a sore shoulder, I kept thinking about how much fun the race had been and the knowledge of a 2nd race at the same location kept tempting me to make a return trip to settle my grudge against a certain bridge. The AJ wouldn't be able to go, as he had a welding/fabrication project that he had been hired to do and needed to get finished up. I made a few phone calls, found a place to stay, and with kitchen pass in hand I hit the road last weekend for a return trip and a chance to redeem myself.

Conditions were great for the race - cooler temperatures, lowish humidity (for Houston) and most importantly dry bridges! Although my race time was 6 minutes faster, everyone else's was faster, too. While I didn't improve on my race results, I was not caught by the lead men and I crossed all the bridges without falling down... YEA! Cool video taken of the race, I'm even in it!

Battle of the Brazos Mountain Bike Race: 08/30/09 from Paul Sedillo on Vimeo.

Thanks to KarmaBiker race pics are here, here, and here.

The Fall TMBRA season will be starting soon, so with that and the DORBA races I'll be able to get my "race fiend" fix for the next couple of months.

All for now... my comfy pillow is waiting for me.

Friday, July 31, 2009


A couple days ago I celebrated 49 years of existence.

I know people that contemplate the life they've lived either on their birthday or at the start of the new year. Are they were they dreamed they would be? Met the goals they set?

What about me? Am I where I dreamed I would be, met my goals in life?

I couldn't tell you because I don't ever remember thinking that far ahead. It seems that I'm one of those that just float along; but, floating along seems to have worked for me. I do good to make plans for tomorrow; so I'm not going to worry about what's going to happen next month, let alone the next year. Although there have been a few bumps and bruises along the way, so far I am very happy in how my life has turned out and given the chance I don't think I'd change a thing.

I've been happily married to an amazing man for 3/5ths of my life (he's the one that has been steering the boat) and we have a wonderful son that is the best of both of us. I didn't go to college, but I've been signing my own paycheck for nearly 25 years. While I can't retire anytime soon, I can pay off my credit card balance every month and still put some money into savings. My friends range from business executives to college students.

My biggest question in life is who is the old lady in the mirror?
Because in my head I'm still in my early 20s.

Obviously I'm not much of a deep thinker either.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MTB Nat's

Pictures from the trail





Colorado - a nice place to visit, but don't think I'd want to live there. Which just confirms that there is something "wrong" with me.

Well, I've been thinking about the race and over a week later I'm still trying come to terms with myself and the ride. It's not like I was expecting to win or anything like that. I was hoping that even if I wasn't competitive with the other ladies in my group that at least I could hold my own and not be too far off the back... yeah, right.

Pre-race nerves or just posing?

From what everyone keeps telling me, just finishing is a big accomplishment - especially for a flat-lander that has never ridden at altitude. I guess even the lady from Tucson had a couple thousand feet head start in acclimation.

Anyway, enough of the pity party.

The race was hard - as it should be. Here's a link to the start of my race that was taken by cyclingdirt.com, see if you can find my in my moment of glory:
Cat 1 Start Women 7 | 2009 USA Mountain Bike National Championships Cat 1 on CyclingDirt Posted using ShareThis
Alan's race is start is Cat 1 Start 9; Kyle's is Cat 1 Start 1; and, if you watch the Cat 1 Start 8 (15/16) they pan around the corner and show the rest of the climb.

Speaking of Alan, here's a couple pics of him on the stupid, steep descent on the Patriot Trail section

AJ Patriot downhill

I'm off my bike because the racer in front of me is off...
KMJ Patriot downhill
...yeah, that sounds good, it's all her fault I didn't ride this!

In closing
Portable recycling taken to a whole new level


Maybe the bottles could be melted down and used as a Bondo substitute?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Been there,

done that and have the t-shirt; but, not a story yet.

I know it's been a week since the "big" race and I haven't written anything yet.

I will...


Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Less than 12 hours to go...

until the start of the USA Cycling MTB National Championship Cat 1 race.

Sigh... why am I doing this?

I'm a back of the packer in the Texas races (although my times have been getting better) - BUT, these other ladies don't know this. Are they as nervous as I am?

Oh well, tomorrow morning will be here soon enough. All I can do is try my best and just hope that it will be enough to keep me from embarrassing myself... sigh.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Looking for my happy gear

We made it to Granby after a little stop-over in Arvada. We spent a couple days with Bob, an old buddy of Alan's, and his family. Got in a little ride around the neighborhood Friday, which wasn't so bad. Saturday we hit a 6 mile out-n-back trail (Lair o' the Bear).
Lair o' the Bear _4
Although you'd think it's pretty obvious, it took doing this ride for my brain to wrap around what Colorado trails would be like. Before we started our ride I asked Bob about how long he thought the ride would take... 6 miles, out-n-back would be 12 miles, so an hour or so?
Lair o' the Bear _2
Well, about an hour later we made it to the turn around point. The way out was more climbing than descending, so the trip back had more fun down hill runs and didn't take quite as long.

We had some good times getting caught up and watching the kids. They have a houseful with a teenage son, a preteen son and triplet daughters (you never know what life is going to throw your way). Anyway, they have a awesome backyard set up with a sidewalk that circles a fort/swingset which makes a great roundy-round. The kids chase each other in circles on bikes, Kettcars and skatebaords. There's also a half-pipe in the yard... cool, huh?

Sunday it was back on the road and on to Granby, we took the scenic route through a canyon
Clear Creek Canyon _5

Clear Creek Canyon _9

Coming into Granby
view from the hotel
hotel veiw 2

Today we did our first ride of the course for the National race. Mountain bike National Championship races are held at ski resorts. Which means lots and lots of climbing. This course starts with 145' of climbing in .22 miles (12.48% grade), the next 4.5 miles continue up for another 880' before you hit the top of the highest climb, total ascension per lap is about 1460'. Alan and I only have to do two laps, Kyle gets to do three... being old does have some perks.

The whole time Alan has been telling me not to worry about the climbing on the course, just find my "happy gear" and keep the pedals moving. After finishing the ride I told Alan that there was something wrong with my bike - I couldn't find a "happy gear". Although I was whining and crying during the ride, most of the climbing really wasn't too bad. More long grinding beat-you-down climbs than the short power climbs that we have in Texas. I'm hoping it was more lack of oxygen than lack of leg power that was slowing me down (please, please let it be better by Saturday).

There were some very pretty views along the course and I'm planning on taking a camera with me the next time out.

That's all for now, more words and pictures to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just a quickie

I haven't posted anything in a while. I could say it's because I really haven't been doing anything worth posting about since race season is over and that would be partly true. Work, riding, life and sleep seem to take up most of my time. It's all the same old, same old of everyday routine and who really wants to write, let alone read, about that.

Although race season is over, training has actually picked up. One of my riding buddies made a comment along the lines of I've never seen you really train before. Well, I've never attempted racing at the Mountain Bike National Championship before, at least not until this year.

Not that I'm expecting great results (others in my family have that burden on their shoulders), but I would like to not embarrass myself. So I have been listening to my "advisor" and training, including doing the painful things like intervals. While I think I am riding stronger I have never done long extended climbs or ridden at altitude (7900' +/-).

Well, I will soon find out what it's like and will have something new and exciting to write about. I think I'll also get to experience pain pellets at a whole new level.

Wish me luck!

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's not the heat...

It's the humidity.

This is from the weather history for Little Rock yesterday

Mean Temperature.....85 °F
Max Temperature......95 °F
Min Temperature......74 °F

Dew Point............72 °F
Average Humidity.....65
Maximum Humidity.....94
Minimum Humidity.....36

Then I went to this other cool website to calculate the Heat Index, which has this to say about Heat Index:

What Is Heat Index?
Heat index (HI) is sometimes referred to as the "apparent Temperature". The HI, given in degrees F, is a measure of how hot it feels when relative humidity (RH) is added to the actual air temperature.

The following equation approximates the heat index. There are many assumptions made to produce this, far too many to list here. The equation was obtained by multiple regression analysis and there is a ±1.3 degree °F error.

HI = -42.379 + 2.04901523T + 10.14333127R - 0.22475541TR - 6.83783x10 -3 T 2 - 5.481717x10 -2 R 2 + 1.22874x10 -3 T 2R + 8.5282x10 -4 TR 2 - 1.99x10 -6 T 2 R 2


T = ambient dry bulb temperature degrees Fahrenheit
R = relative humidity

Yeah... whatever. More importantly there was a calculator that you could plug in the numbers, click on the "Calculate HI" and it magically gave you the Heat Index. The answer was an invigorating 103 degrees.

Take that 103 degrees and place yourself in some hilly woods. Let's add a little more by imagining there's a breeze, but you can't feel it. You're almost there: you are hot, it's humid, there's no breeze. Are you drenched in sweat yet? No? How about one more little thing to make the experience complete, 1.5 - 2 hours of physical exertion! Sounds like fun, huh?

There were about 10 of us that ended up making the trip from Texas for the 3 Legged Dawg race in Little Rock. While just surviving the heat/humidity seemed to be a major accomplishment, most of the group made it to the podium.

It was a fun trail and except for the added misery brought on by the high Heat Index issue it was a fun race. I'm glad we made the last minute decision to go, just wish we had a portable a/c unit to mount on the bike.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Planning? Who needs planning?

8:51pm Friday - decision is made to drive to Arkansas for a mountain bike race.

Spur of the moment non-planning rocks. Gotta go pack.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time to catch up

Let's see... what kind of exciting things have I been doing lately?

The AJ and I road tripped to Alabama for the Bump & Grind race, which this year was part of the UCI US Cup Mountain Bike Race Series. It's amazing that in the 9 hours it takes us to drive west to Terlingua, TX we can drive east on I-20 and leave Texas, drive through Louisiana, Mississippi and half-way through Alabama... but I digress. We are joined by Claire from Austin for the drive and weekend of racing.

This is my third trip to Oak Mountain
and my second attempt at the race, which is a twice around a measly 17 mile loop that includes 600' of climbing in about 3 miles. The first year I passed on the racing as the distance and Open Women's class didn't sound too appealing. Last year I lined up, but shamefully didn't finish the race. This year was my chance to redeem myself. Although it was still an Open class (all Cat 1 women 19+ race together), I wanted to finish what I started and get up that climb both laps.

The day before the race we did some driving around Birmingham and found a neat little neighborhood on the side of a hill. How would you like this for your driveway?
Photobucket You can see the roof of the house hiding in the trees next to the trash can.

We also found a nice collection of cars in the parking lot of the mall




My race was more of a ride (Claire kicked butt, winning the Open Women race), but I did finish and did not have the slowest two lap time (hey - gotta go for the little victories). While I did have some mechanical issues with my chain (thanks to a combination of sand and water) I did ride up most of the Red Road climb. I think I could have made it to the top if the chain had not given me problems. "Proof" I was there, as was The AJ.

After our race we stayed to watch the Pro race, which was made all the more exciting as we knew 4 of the Pro men racing. To add an extra dose of excitement, two of our friends were racing single-speed bikes.
Mitch finished in the top 3rd of the Pro Men, and Will was right there with him until he flatted towards the end of the race.

As a parting note, it's important to color coordinate your polish and helmet straps
Too bad I don't have the SUV that completes the ensemble

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blogger blues

There are words to be written and pictures to be posted, but time seems to be spent other ways.

So... until I find some time here's something to ponder:


How much are you willing to spend on a McChicken?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dog Grooming 101

Who needs a high dollar groomer?

Start with this:

Use the $25 clippers from Target to remove this from the neck, chest, belly and back legs:

You end up with this:

Not a drastic summer cut, but since he's outside as much as in I wanted to remove the belly hair and the long hair on the back legs. I hope this will help through the summer and also help keep him cool during morning walk/runs.

On a totally different note, how many water bottles do you really need?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Alls well that ends well.

The TMBRA 2009 State Championship Series is now in the record books. The last race was at X-Bar Ranch in west Texas. This was also the last TMBRA race to be held at the ranch. We have been traveling to race at the ranch since 2000; but apparently not enough racers have been willing to make the trek or face the rocky terrain.
(photo by pappatop68)

Low racer turn-out has taken it's toll and the promoters have thrown in the towel.

Those that know me, know that I am not a fan of the rocky trail. My friends are always amazed when I line up at X-Bar. Truthfully, I forget every year how much that course beats me up. I pre-ride the course on Saturday and think to myself "that wasn't so bad", but after 2 laps on race day I swear that I will never do that again!

This year I was keeping that promise to myself, with one exception. If Tanya (who was ahead of me in the overalls) did not show, and if I started and finished 3rd or better (which means there could only be 3 on the line) I would move up one place in the overalls and finish 2nd.

The AJ & I drove down on Friday and we arrived at the ranch early enough to get a lap in. I would be riding by myself as The AJ was still recovering from his surgery. I changed, got on the bike and had a nice ride around the ranch. Even though I was thinking to myself "it's not that bad", I still was not going to race if Tanya was there.

The area was hit with rain storms overnight and ranch received it's fair share of rain. I was glad that I had been able to ride the day before as that was looking to be the only riding I would be getting for the weekend.

Racers were rolling in, but no one was attempting the course. Finally a few brave souls went out, but they were soon to return as the course was just too muddy to ride. We started hearing rumors that the course was to be shortened to cut out the low areas and the worst of the mud. Finally the course was set and ready for riding by 5:00. Since we had not seen Tanya, I decided I needed to ride the course and I rode with Jen (who had never ridden at the ranch before). During the ride I had the epiphany that even if Tanya was there I still needed to ride the race, because if for some reason she DNFd and I still finished 3rd or better I could still move up on her in the overalls... DANG IT! Looks like I needed to line up whether I wanted to or not.

Sunday morning brought good news... no rain overnight, so the course would be in better condition than it was on Saturday. We got to the ranch and had better news, the start order had been changed. Where the original start had all of the Cat1 and Cat2 racers on the course at the same time, which with the reduced lap distance would have made for a royal mess, the officials split up the starts and that was a good thing! Bad news - not long after we got there Tanya drove in... DANG IT!

Long story shortened:
I rode some rocks

(photo by pappatop68)

others I walked

(photo by WTBikeGuy)

Tanya finished even though she had a mechanical. Good for her, she raced better than I did and deserved to finish 2nd in the overalls. I was happy with my third.

In closing, scenes from the road




I stopped by Walgreen's to get the AJ some allergy medicine. The lady in front of me at the register was buying a couple of packs of cigarettes.

I really didn't think much of it.

Then I noticed that she was wearing scrubs - you know the type of clothing that people in the medical industry wear. Then she turned so I could see the embroidered logo of an oncologist office - you know the doctors that treat cancer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Has anyone seen...


The last month or so I've lost all desire to really get out there and train. Riding is OK, but I just can't seem to push myself to train. Maybe it's just because we're at the end of race season and the Ouachita has come and gone. Usually at the end of the season I'm down on myself for what I think to be my pitiful race performance and the guys do a good job of tolerating me during this. At least I'm not beating myself up for being a sub-par racer, like I normally do this time of year.

On a brighter note... AJ and I are considering one of two, if not both, races in early June.

One is the Bump & Grind in Alabama, which is on the national circuit this year. The course is a 17 mile loop (our race is 2 loops or 34ish mile) of some really sweet single-track trails, with about 2.5 miles of climbing up the backside of Oak Mountain on a fire road in the middle. Our first trip out was two years ago. I didn't race that year and the guy's racing was cut short by Kyle taking an unfortunate sudden stop on the course that ended up with a not-so-free trip to the hospital. Last year was Kyle's revenge year, and he and I made the trip (Alan was in Tahoe with TNT). I lined up for the race (no age breaks for Expert Women), but after 1 lap I decided I was done. If we make a return trip I'm seriously considering racing with the Sport Cat 2 men which only do 1 lap.

The other race is in Louisiana on a trail we've never ridden before. LOCOfest seems to be a low key, let's get together and race type event that was recommended by a friend. Since this race is closer to home and would give AJ an extra week to heal/train, it's looking to be the one we're going to hit.

A definite on the list is the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championship in July. This is the event I need to try to get in shape for. I have 9 weeks to prepare for the race. I have never ridden, let alone raced, in the mountains or at altitude.

So, if anyone sees my motivation please send it back. I really, really miss it and need to have it back - soon.

Who knows, I may even give a reward for it's return.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Well, the hubby is sick and we're watching the mostest awesome award winning Sci-Fi movie
I think most of the money went into the alien costumes.

Seems like a good time to reflect and remember last weekend's race at the Double Lake Recreation area in bustling Coldspring, Texas. Actually - between the road race on Saturday and the mountain bike race on Sunday, the town's population was probably doubled over the weekend.

It was typical Houston area hot & humid on Saturday. After the pre-ride was done and the race clinic completed it was time for the boys to play. Kyle challenged Alan for the sacred title of King of the Track Stand. Only one problem - since Alan was recovering from some minor day surgery, he didn't bring a mountain bike and the road bike and his helmet were back in our room. The appropriate pressure was applied and Alan commandeered the next best thing... mine.
Two hands, no problems. One hand and the competition started falling like flys. No hands, well that's a little different. First Kyle, then Shaun and the man on the too small bike wearing a white & pink helmet was the last man balancing.

After all the bike play was done, we got cleaned up and met with the in-laws (who just happen to live in Coldspring) for dinner and a visit.

Sunday morning rolls around early and awfully dark. It wasn't that we were up before the sun, it was the dark ominous looking clouds that were overhead. We grab some breakfast and head into the park, about time we get everything unloaded and under the canopy the rain starts coming down. Not a hard, pounding rain - but rain on race morning. The Cat 2 racers are milling around, not really wanting to warm up in the rain and hoping that it stops before they have to stop. Lucky for them, it does. We watch the starts and then it's time start getting ready.

Some races are finished earlier than planned

Towards the end of the Cat 2 race and not long before it's time to start our warm up the rains come again. Once again, racers are milling around instead of riding. This round of rain doesn't last very long and once again there's nothing falling from the sky when it's time to get staged for the start.
Last row off, the youngest and the oldest (of which I'm the oldest of the old).

Jurgen gives us the countdown then Start! and off we go. We're together to the first turn but I'm at the back. Since I'm at the end of my season and "participating" more than racing, I'm not surprised. The course is pretty sandy, so the rain didn't make the course that bad. At least until getting to the slickery slippery sections. It was even more fun when the back wheel would slide around and it felt like you were riding sideways.

Keeping up a steady pace, I closed in on and passed a couple of the 60+ men. Going into the 3rd (last) lap I was getting encouragement from the feed zone (pic here)that there was another racer in front of me. Thinking it was one of the 30-39 women I wasn't too worried. Not long into the lap I came up on another rider and surprise, it was Steffi from my class. Uh, how about that? She said she was feeling bad, so I went on around and picked up the pace... just in case.

Final result: Not last and in the money (again!)
plus the last race winnings
I'm rich!

But, then again the bike needs a new chain.

In other news, our attic is no longer quite the fire hazard. We're getting more insulation installed, so everything needed to come out of the attic. Since we are now empty-nesters (or at least for about 9 months of the year), we made use of the local nephews and hired them to do the work.
The "it's not going back up there" pile just kept growing.

Hmmm, seems that pictures need to be resized. That will have to happen later. Fixed.