Thursday, March 29, 2007

Losing Weight

The TT starts next week, and at least my equipment will be ready... This is over 1 lb lighter than my previous TT bike. She's pretty, and she looks FAST! Now I just need to work on the motor ;-).

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sucking Wheel

I think Mike was trying to kill me on our ride last night ;-).

We left the house at 6:00; the skies had turned black, but the sun was trying to come back out. We knew we didn't have a lot of time, and after Mike adjusted his fender a few times (it was rubbing on the tire), he was off like a rocket. It was all I could do, just to hang onto his wheel.

We headed from Bedford into Concord, cresting a small hill on the way at over 20 mph! From there, it was up Strawberry Hill Rd. This hill always gives me trouble, but I SOMEHOW managed to stay with Mike today, and to even beat him on the town line sprint at the top! Woohoo!

Back into full on mode, and at the bottom of the hill, I pipped him for another town line sprint - yay for me (you have to know my husband to understand just how HARD this is for me, and how satisfying it is - he's a VERY strong rider).

We continued on our [fast] ride. At one point, he turned to me and asked, "How are you doing?". My reply, "I think I am going to throw up." He just laughed. He said he knew we didn't have a lot of time, so we might as well go hard!

We squeaked in just over 25 miles last night (BTW - it is VERY dark by 7:20 pm) at an average speed of over 18 mph - my fastest ride of the season! I was pretty psyched about the ride, but also didn't move off the couch the rest of the night.

I told Mike that I need to do more rides like that - they are great training, and make me work harder than I think I can. At a couple of points in the ride, my body was telling me "No more". I didn't give in though, and stuck to that wheel like glue...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fresh Content

Work was a little hectic this week, and I didn't get a chance to update the blog. I didn't realize when I started this venture that it would require so much careful care and feeding. I'll try not to let the content get so stale from here on out. Bear with me for this post though - I have a couple of updates to lump together here...

Back on the horse

Last Friday, Mother Nature showed us that winter wasn't quite over. Instead, she dumped a fresh 11 inches of snow up in Maine, and about 8 inches at home. We knew the storm was coming, so headed up to Maine on Thursday night to avoid driving in the bad conditions on Friday (which turned out to be a good thing - the normal 3 hour drive ended up taking some people over 8 hours...).

We headed up to Sunday River on Saturday morning for some good skiing. The snow was just like granulated sugar - the same consistency and texture. Of course, that meant that it got pushed into bumps pretty easily. Add to that some freezing rain, and the conditions quickly deteriorated. We headed back to the house.

You will recall from some of my previous posts that I have had a few challenges riding my sled this season (including getting stuck, and a tree). Mike suggested that we head out on the sleds in the afternoon, since now the trails would be covered again. Now, if I have a crash on my bike, I get back on and keep going. For some reason, though, the thought of getting back on my sled and going for a ride scared me. I needed to face the demon, and get back on the horse...

We headed out from the house, and had a great (and incident free) ride. Now I'm glad that we went as it turns out it was likely the last ride of the season for us. The conditions weren't great for most of the season, but we still managed to put 1100 miles on the new machines. Oh, and the week before this storm, temps even in Maine were in the 60s, so things were a little soft, and in places, wet.

Little boys who play in puddles grow up to be big boys who STILL play in puddles!

On returning to Bedford, we found a driveway full of snow, with about 1/2 inch of ice on top. It took both Mike and I about 2.5 hours to literally chop all of the snow into small chunks, and shovel it. The snowblower chose an inopportune time to die.

Riding into Spring

After the snow, temps in MA started to climb back up. This was GOOD for quick snow melt, and meant that we could get back on the roads to ride. After a week of riding outside, having to get back on the trainer and put in miles going nowhere was not a fun activity.

We were able to ride on Thursday after work, despite the rivers that were pouring down the roadways. Everything was pretty wet, and even with fenders on all of our bikes, riding behind Mike and PK made me almost drown. I was pretty dirty by the time we got home, after 32 miles.

No, those are not new freckles on my face

We rode again on Friday, and the roads were definitely drier! Again today, out for a big ride with Mike, PK and Nanyee (on their tandem) and AA. Dry roads, and a long ride, ending up with about 57 miles. That put me at 125 miles in three days, and my legs can definitely feel it.

And just to keep us on our toes, the current weather forecast says that Mother Nature is about to dump more S*** on us tonight. Sigh. We were just getting used to spring riding.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not Mom

Quick - someone call the authorities! Somehow, my trusty Toyota Matrix was absconded from the driveway and replaced with THIS!

Yes, I bought a mini-van. Don't get any bright ideas - the only kids in this household are Mike and I. We needed a bigger car to hold all of our toys ;-). In fact, before we purchased the van, Mike took the tandem over to the dealership to make sure that it would fit inside. That was our decision-maker.

So, from a practical standpoint of lots of room for bikes, gear and people, this purchase made a lot of sense. I'm still having quite a bit of trouble with the soccer mom image that goes with it, despite the fact that I think it's probably the most luxurious (and definitely most spacious - no more changing in the cab of the truck after a race!) car I've ever had. I wonder if I can get a vanity plate that says "NOT MOM"? Maybe I'll just have to create a bumper sticker instead - "Bikes, not kids".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the Way Back

Mike and I went out and did a fairly long tandem ride this past weekend. After a week off the bike, I was pretty beat after finishing 53 miles. We took a couple of pictures though, and when I looked at them, I sensed a theme. Here's my usual view...

The back of Mike's head from the tandem, and the snowmobile...

Mike capturing me over his the way back!

And I'm posting this shot just 'cause I think it's cool.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Spring Has Sprung ... in CA

This week, I had to travel to "sunny California" for a series of meetings. The weather has been mostly sunny, and apparently, unseasonably warm with temps in the mid to upper 60s during the day. Sadly, I didn't get to experience much outdoor weather as I was locked in a conference room for three days, which is too bad since it was single digits at home.

Driving in to Palo Alto, I could see that the cherry and magnolia trees were in bloom, as were the daffodils and some other early spring blooms.

The great thing about this trip though was getting to catch up with my good friend Jennifer on Monday. She flew up from LA to spend time with me while I was here - we went out to dinner, got caught up, and we were both on our way. Thanks, Jennifer, for making a special trip!

We did have a team building event on Wednesday night. We drove to Los Gatos to play bocce ball at Campo di Bocce. The lesson I learned here was that brute force is not necessarily a better strategy than finesse - it doesn't always work.

While it's been a productive trip, I am looking forward to getting home tomorrow - even if it's not quite spring there yet.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


Mike and I decided that the best riding we can have is during the week, before all of the yahoos get on the trails for the weekend. So, we took the day off on Friday and were lucky to be the first riders on much of the trail, and it snowed almost all day! Perfect conditions for our 130 mile ride (Bethel -> Andover -> Byron -> Rumford and back).

Unfortunately, I also had a small incident on the sled on the way home - in fact, close enough to home that I could SEE the house from where it happened. I am fine, the sled didn't fair quite as well. Amazing what even a low-speed impact with a tree will do to some aluminum and plastic...