Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Supposed to be Fun...

I promised that there would be some bike content forthcoming. You see, I haven't really been wanting to write about my racing this season - haven't felt good about it for awhile. In fact, at one point, the passion I've had for years for riding/racing my bike was gone. I was dreading getting on the bike for the races, and for training. I was in a BAD place.

Late last year, I decided that I would race as part of the NEBC Women's Elite team. I was excited but nervous to do it, and spent a lot of time training. The team started the season this year with Battenkill - I got dropped. Then we did Turtle Pond - I got dropped. Next was Sterling, and I got dropped. Sense a theme here? In between team races, I also gave the Wayne Elliot race a go. Guess what? I got dropped there too (though I WAS racing with the 50+ men's field, and those guys do NOT get slower as they get older).

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm and motivation went out the back too. Add in the fact that I started a new job in March, and that I have the additional full time job of NEBC president, I was also tired, and the commitment required was just too much. So, I resigned from the team. Ok, I quit. But resigned sounds so much better, don't you think? ;)

Amazingly, taking the pressure off has been good for me. I did the Waterville Valley TT, and defended my title of Master's Woman champion, and finishing as the 3rd woman overall. The day was viciously windy, and coming down the mountain road was terrifying. Getting pushed by a sideways wind gust at 38 mph is enough to scare the pants off of anyone. It was tough to control the bike, and it cost me some time going down. Still was a good day though.

Then last weekend, we treked out to Ipswich for the inaugural version of the Weeping Willow mountain bike race (yes, I KNOW I said that I wasn't racing MTBs anymore - so I lied ;)). I used the same trick at this race as at Winding Trails, and took the hole shot from the start to get out and into the singletrack in front of the field. The course was winding and a lot of fun, but working that hard for 20 miles (or 2:19 if you want the time) put me at a deficit. I ended up doing well, winning the expert women's field for geared bikes overall, and my category. VERY fun race, and a great boost for me as well.

Mike and I have also been doing some "fun" riding. We did a nice tandem ride a few weeks ago, venturing out onto roads we've never ridden, and just riding until we didn't want to anymore. We ended up in Framingham (of all places), and then home from there. Last weekend (on Saturday - before the MTB race on Sunday), did a great ride up in Bethel. It was nice to be up in Maine after not having been here since February. While we could have done without the headwind, it was a nice ride.

I will continue to race this season - I will just be focusing on the races that I want to do, and that I consider "fun". Life is too short to be doing something we don't like to do.

And today's adventure? You'll have to wait for the next post to read all about that, but I'll tease you with the fact that it included almost 6 hours of saddle time and 4 notches. Oh - and it was FUN!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kitten Adventures

Opie and Ellie had their first big adventure this past weekend - a trip to Maine! Yup - packed them up in the truck for the 3.5 hour drive north to the Maine house. They were really good in the car, although rather inquisitive, and a wee bit squirmy (they wanted to see out the windows!).

Once in Maine, they had a ball. Running upstairs and down (we don't have an upstairs at home), and checking out the new digs. They seemed to adapt fairly well, even finding new snoozing places ;).

Coming home was a bit rougher than going. They REALLY didn't want to be in the Pet Taxi, and meowed, banged, bit and tried to chew their way out. When I finally released them, they curled up in my lap and fell fast asleep for the remainder of the trip. Such good kittens.

Don't worry - I promise that there is bike content coming ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

And Even More Kittens!

JB commented that he was glad to see we were "smitten with our kittens" after one of my recent posts. Anyone coming here for bike content will see that for us, right now, it's ALL about kittens, ALL of the time! How can you not be smitten with these two adorable creatures?

Mike, Opie and Ellie all survived the first trip to the vet this week. Reports are that they didn't mind the car, or the vet, and both are in good health. This also completed our kitten adoption process - yay! Now if we can just keep Opie's head out of holes that are too small, and keep Ellie from jumping in the shower when it is ON, we'll be all set ;).

Friday, May 7, 2010

More Kitties

If you're here for bike-related content, move along, there is nothing to see. If, however, you are interested in some cuddly cuteness of the feline variety, then you are in the right place!

Opie and Ellie are settling in nicely to their new home and family. Mike and I have fallen head over heels for these two kids! They are a riot, but also very affectionate both with one another, and with us. We're really glad we opted for a brother/sister pair. Oh, but Mike will gladly tell you how smelly they are, especially if I feed them canned food ;)

This is just the right spot!
Hey Ellie - what do you think is down here?

Aren't we the cutest?

Opie - how can we get this ball OUT of here so we can get it under the furniture instead?


Saturday, May 1, 2010


The Rowell household is in a bit of chaos right now. Yesterday, we welcomed Ellie and Opie to our family! They are so DARNED CUTE!

Opie - get that bug!


Ellie - still sleepy