Monday, April 30, 2007

I don't play well with others? Shut up, you.

My friend Skeezix just commented on my last entry that she's tired and trying to motivate herself to ride after work. Me too, my friend, but after wrestling with it for a while I decided tired wins today. My legs need a break after the insane amount of over-work they got this weekend.

Saturday started with a BodyPump class at my gym (free weights + music + perky instructor=Ugh) followed by many errands (fueled by peanut butter M&Ms) followed by an hour and a half ride at Powhite. I was satisfactorily worn out after that and happy to settle down with some fish tacos and a glass of wine. A good day.

On Sunday we drove out to a nearby state park to participate in an organized group ride for women. At least, that's why I went. Kenny came along to ride with the other men who showed up to do their own ride, which is great because it's a girl ride! A ride for girls! So why did I end up in a group with two men? This always happens and I DO NOT GET IT. I like men, and they're generally polite and easygoing, but if you have a penis at a women's group ride, maybe you go ride with other men that day, you know? But I didn't say anything because I think people already assume I'm a bad sport (which I am) and I'll chalk my other petty issues up to being a bad team player (which I also am.)
I will say this: A beginner belongs with the beginner group, regardless of gender, because what I don't need is some roadie on his be-panniered mountain bike wobbling and crashing in front of me. It makes me really nervous. Also, stop buzzing my tires, dude. (I'm sorry, did I say I was going to keep my issues to myself? Hahahaha.)

Please note: I love beginners. I was one of them for a long time, but if you are one, ride with the beginner group! It will be more fun for everyone.

ANYWAY, issues aside, it was a simply gorgeous day and we all settled down and had a really good ride once the group dynamic had sorted itself out. The trails out at Pocahontas Park are some of the best I've ever ridden - swoopy and fast and technical all at the same time. Brilliant trails that I could ride every day and never get tired of. Sigh.

Today I think the legs need some rest, so instead of riding I'm going to tend to my garden.

Look! Baby broccoli:

Friday, April 27, 2007


I'm so incredibly bored. It's the slowest time of the week - the hour and a half before being set free for the weekend. SO DONE. I did, thankfully, get some riding in this week and I hope to get a couple of rides in this weekend. On Monday I managed to coerce my friend Lisa into riding with me at Powhite and Kenny came along to stretch his race-battered legs. It was a jaunty hour of me being fresh as a daisy and taking on all the spiderwebs because I was the leader. An easy ride, but just what I needed to get back in the swing of things. Plus, Lisa and Kenny are both good company and don't seem to mind how slow I am on the hills.

On Tuesday I packed up all my bike stuff (full size grampa car = mountain bike fits in the back seat!) and, after work, drove the 20 miles out to Poor Farm park for the weekly group ride. I was wise enough to pick a slightly slower but still challenging group and felt pretty good, though I'm suddenly being all wussy about the logs this season. I used to ride anything and I don't get why I'm all log-shy for no reason. Hmph.

One of the members of Tuesday night's group was a woman about my age who just started riding about a year ago, weighs about ten pounds, and seems to be able to kick my ass. How unfair is that? Maybe she just rides a whole lot more than I do, but it seems like there are some people who are genetically meant for sport and others who are genetically meant for reading a book in the dusty corner of the library. I'm very clearly in the latter group, but for some reason I just refuse to accept it. I don't know that I was ever meant to be an athlete, but I can't stop trying. It's what makes me a true Lummox.

What, I haven't told you about the team I'm on? Team Lummox! No, kidding. It started when our friend Scott, nicknamed "Lummox" because of his gangly stature, made himself a jersey with a logo he designed and a picture of a big lummoxy creature on a bike with Bettie Page flung over his shoulder. We all joked that he should start a team and make his design the official jersey. So we did. Team Lummox is all about not taking yourself too seriously. It's a team for people who wouldn't otherwise be on a team. Our Jersey completely kicks ass, assuming you have a sense of humor about that kind of things. Here's what it looks like:

And this is printed on the back:

The first race I ever won as a Lummox was because I was the only one in my category who showed up. THAT is a Lummox win, for realz. I mean, what can you even say? At least my race time was faster than some of the beginner men, I guess.

Have a good weekend, kids! Go ride your bike.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Here I am! I'm here!

Sorry, I've been busy helping to organizing an indie craft show (I know, what don't I do? Aside from math?) and I think I've gotten two rides in since my last entry. TWO. The weather was also part of the problem:

Look how sad our bikes look:

Wahhh. I know, poor me. Every time I complain about the weather being too cold or wet or whatever I think about Arcticglass and I cringe because, dang. I am a wuss. A big loser wuss. But you knew that. I've never made a secret out of what a fair-weather cyclist I am.
ANNEEWAY, here are the two sad rides:

Ride #1. Last Wednesday I did the big loop with our usual group of way-faster-than-me friends. Most of them were planning to do a race yesterday (the one I missed, sadly) so they were training. I? I was suffering. And weezing. Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad but I certainly felt slow and was certainly sucking wind. Also, I felt heavier than usual, like my frame had been filled with buckshot. Or my bike's frame had. Anyway, it was mostly really hard for a good long way. When we got to Forest Hill (five-ish miles of hills with a super twisty flat section at the end) most of the group decided to do the whole thing without stopping. I opted out of that nonsense and said I was just going to ride it at my own pace...until one of the group remained oh-so tantilizingly within eyesight of me. At one point he stopped to removed a branch from his wheel and I stopped too, just to be nice. Then he took off and suddenly I decided to not let him go. I chased him pretty consistently through the hills and totally up and caught his ass in the flats. Yay! It about killed me, but sometimes you just need a goal. I think he was probably unamused.

Ride #2. The race yesterday was at Poor Farm Park so on Saturday Kenny and I went out there and rode the course. It was the same story for me. Suffering for the first thirty minutes of the ride and full-on action when I got to the flats. I love going fast, what can I say? I will bust a gut to go fast, but not so much to climb a hill. Climbing a hill has no thrill for me unless not dying counts as a thrill. Sometimes it's nice to climb a tricky technical hill and make it all the way up, but it's more fun to catch some sucker on the flats who'd previously assumed you were too slow to ride with. What? Yes, it's me! That girl you assumed was a slow thing has just caught and passed your ass! How are you? Now excuse me while I go cough up a lung.

PS. My very own husband came in 8th place in that race! How excellent is that? I'm proud of him! It was a tough course and he is awesome.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's because I don't love you.

The minute out houseguests left, the VERY MINUTE, I got a cold. It's like the second I let my body relax it has to go and let in the germs. Hate those jerks. Anyway, there's been no riding or working out of any kind this week and I can actually feel myself getting softer. It SUCKS. See also: driving torrential rain in the forecast this weekend doesn't make things look any better. Guess I'll be cleaning my poor neglected hardtail this weekend. It's been mud coated since, oh, last April. God, I am the worst person alive. I can't believe I just admitted that. Sigh.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Virginia: 28 Seasons, Nonconsecutive.

Seriously, this weather thing is OUT OF CONTROL. I can't even handle it anymore and my skin is freaking out. Sorry about the lack of updates - four days off work and a houseful of guests has thrown my schedule way far offffff. I did get to ride my bike a few times, I just didn't get a chance to write about it. It went something like this:

Tuesday: (High temperature: 83 degrees!!1) Kenny and I did the big loop after work. Nothing noteworthy, but it was fun.

Thursday: (high temperature: 63 degrees) Our house guests went out to sitesee, so I rode alone over to Powhite park where a backhoe almost timbered a tree right on my head. Apparently the city is doing some work on the sewer lines that run through the park and this involved ripping up trees and letting them fall, oh, just wherever, and lo be warned the stupid mountain biker who might happen into it's path. I was riding the dips in and out of the ravine when I heard the construction and glanced up to see a sapling falling out of the sky. I removed myself from that section of trail rather quickly and stuck to the other side of the hill. Jerks.

My solo rides are rarely that strenuous because I have a tendency to stop and look too much. I did have to stop and pee once too, which might be my least favorite thing about mountain biking. peeing in the woods is fraught with peril if you're a girl. Nobody saw me, probably because I was so far off the trail it's amazing I wasn't actually in Australia.

Sunday: (High temperature: 50 degrees) Laden with the weight of four days of eating out, drinking too much booze, and freaking out over the SNOW we got on Saturday morning, Kenny and I layered up and slogged our way over to Powhite (again) because we couldn't face the rigors of the Big Loop. We rode for about an hour complaining about lead-filled legs. It was hard and I felt every cookie, every glass of wine, I'd consumed the night before. It's so unfair, really.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

If I didn't hate emoticons, I'd have a sad face here.

I really do hate emoticons because I think they dumb down people's writing. If you can't write without using one (or it's evil cousin, Internet Shorthand)perhaps it's time to reconsider your skillzzz and maybe work on how to portray your current state of emotion using actual, real, non abbreviated WORDS. It can be done, I swear.

What? This isn't my other blog? Holy crap, where am I? Right! Bikes! Sorry, I don't have any bike news because I haven't ridden in four days. FOUR DAYS. I feel sad about this, but the weather on Sunday was gloomy and dreary, not to mention sort of cold. It wasn't actually cold, just... not warm. We've become so incredibly spoiled in the past two weeks by the nice weather that the idea of having to wear a jacket to ride just made us grumpy. I went to the gym instead which was bleak, but easy. I usually do about 45 minutes to an hour of various cardio stuff (elliptical, that stride runner thing, treadmill, gauntlet, whatever doesn't bore me) and then pretend to do abs and stretch before leaving.

For weight workouts I've been doing this BodyPump class, which I like but it's limiting. I'm entirely frustrated with the constant crowd in the freeweights area, so I've given up trying for now. I also have a weird sort of thing with weights and cycling - I think lifting is great and can only be good for me, but if I work my legs too hard it KILLS my ride. How do other cyclists deal with that? I might have to research it.

Lord, I'm dull. Anyway, it's supposed to be warm and sunny today so I'm definitely going out on the bike tonight. The rest of the week looks like more bleak coldish weather, so I don't know about that. I have a few days off, so I should really just suck it up and do it anyway, I suppose. Bleh.