Thursday, May 27, 2010

Albuquerque

I am now heading back to DC after spending the last few days in Albuquerque for the National Tribal Environmental Council conference. I think the main thing I learned from the entire experience is that I have a lot to learn about tribal environmental issues. It was truly a humbling, sobering experience and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend.

I also found a little time to squeeze in a couple mountain bike rides with a bike I rented from Fat Tire Cycles. Renting a bike seems to be the way to go now that the airlines are really ramping up the cargo fee. On the first day Nina Baum and her friend Adam were kind enough to show me some of their local trails. I was really impressed with the trails around Otero Canyon. Great climbing, technical rocky stuff here and there, fun descents, and endless miles of single track can be found in the Cibola National Forest. Between the altitude and the slightly heavier bike, each climb was a slow, lung burning experience. I also found cornering to feel a little awkward on 29” wheels as my center of gravity seemed a little difficult to locate at times. I was pretty impressed with how easy it is to get over big stuff on a 29er. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera on the ride! Thanks again Nina and Adam for letting me tag along!

For my second ride I headed to the foothills where I happened upon a local who was kind enough to let me follow him around. These trails were super fast on hard packed dirt with very little climbing. It’s a popular area with lots of intersecting trails, making for a few close calls with cyclists and trail runners. One group of cyclists confused me with Krista Park! It must be my impressive quads. Speaking of quads, when I got back to the car a woman sheepishly approached me, and asked if cycling makes your thighs get big. She was hoping to fit into her skinny jeans and wanted to know if I thought cycling was a good way to tone things up. Although all bodies are different, I conceded that my thighs tend to get bigger the more I ride and squeezing my badunkadunk into tight jeans does pose a problem. That’s the ugly truth. Although, I suppose I could have advised her to spin in an easy gear with a high cadence.

So, now I’m heading back to DC, where I will then catch a flight to Miami for a quick visit with the family. Poor Jeff is starting to get restless back at home.

BTWD Report

Bike to Work Day was a huge success, both in DC and in Frederick. I think this is the first time is hasn’t rained in three years. Jeff was kind enough to join me in leading convoy #25 from Poolesville to DC. In addition to Jeff, we had two other members on our convoy, one of which had never been on a ride before! It was his first ride ever! What a perfect way to spend Bike to Work Day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Greenversations

Bike to Work Day post on EPA's Greenversations

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BTWD Convoy #25

Join me on BTWD! I'll be leading a convoy from the Poole's General Store on River Road, leaving at 6:30am on Friday, May 21st and ending at Freedom Plaza. You can find more information on all of WABA's convoys HERE or you can find a que sheet for Convoy #25 HERE. Hope to see you there! (click map to enlarge)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chasing Legends

According to reports, the big debut of Chasing Legends at the Tour of California was a huge success, eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd!!! See Jason's interview on the Sacramento news!!! This is a huge success for Gripped Films!!! I can't stop using "!!!!!"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

French Creek

Over the past couple years, the Mid-Atlantic Super Series (MASS) has really become a hot-bed of competition for the ladies. The generous payout draws some of the strongest ladies from both the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast. Whenever a race promoter uses low turn-out as an excuse for small payout, you can point to the MASS as a good example of what happens when female racers area taken seriously.

At any rate, the race went fairly well considering the competition. The elite Cat1/pro field was stacked with some pretty fast ladies and I was surprised to find myself pulling to the front up the first climb. I eventually faded back, but did my best to hold a consistent pace to the finish. At the end of the day I finished in 7th place, not a fantastic result, but not horrible either considering the competition. The humble MASS "podium" looks more like a bunch of kids at summer camp. Payout went as deep as 9th, so I had some cash to cover entry and a post race meal at a cozy diner near the PA/MD border.

Cat1/Pro Female Winner: Kristin Gavin (what a beast!)
Cat1/Pro Male Winner: Jeff Schalk (yay!)









Oh, and not to get sappy, but Jeff and I met for the first time at French Creek three years ago. Funny how things work out.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

FBC Survey

In an effort to gather some baseline information on the current status of cycling in Frederick, the Frederick Bicycle Coalition has put together a brief survey. Please take a few minutes to help us better understand our community and what influences our travel and recreational behavior!

LINK TO SURVEY HERE!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wawayanda


Last weekend Jeff and I headed up to New Jersey for the first race of the H2H Campmor series at Wawayanda State Park. Neither of us had ever raced there before and we were both surprised to find the course was reminiscent of something you mind find in Michaux. Although there wasn't much climbing on the 9 mile lap it included some impressive rock gardens and technical singltrack. It was a hot day and the autobottle was fully loaded. I got a great start, but then began to fade half way through the first lap. The heat made my head want to explode, and I began to consider pulling out if I continued to feel like ass. Somewhere in the begining of the second lap I saw Melissa Kern on the horizon. Wow! I was shocked to find myself within reach of the great Melissa Kern. We went back and forth for a while. She'd pass on the climbs and I'd make up ground on the descents. I was leading going into the last lap, let her pass me on the climb and really didn't put up much of a fight. It had already been a long race and I just didn't think I had much energy to get scrappy. Damn! If only I had known she was only 1 minute ahead! Surely I could have put my head down and suffered enough to make up 59 seconds. Well, I guess it's the good news/bad news. Excited that I'm finishing within reach of some super strong ladies, disappointed in myself for not following through with a good fight. So, I took 4th, Melissa 3rd, followed by the two pro women in our field (1st and 2nd).

Other Race Notes:
- Jeff won!
- We saw three bear cubs while pre-riding the day before!!!
- The autobottle was again the best self-feeding design at the race!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Greenbrier

In addition to catching a healthy amount of the sweet air, I also snagged my first win of the season at Greenbrier last week and maintained my title as Maryland State Champ ...well, for the Cat1 females aged 30-39. I was super anxious about getting a good start in an effort to get the hole shot into the first technical section. I was shocked to find myself leading up the first hill and made a sizeable gap on the field by the time I reached the bottom of the first rocky, technical section. It wasn't long before the talented Lindsay Bayer passed me on the climb and I looked nervously over my should as Julie seemed to be gaining on me. Thank God for technical descents, as this was where I was finally able to put some good distance between Julie and I, securing second place overall and first place in my age category. Yay!!!!