Tuesday, December 30, 2008

happy holidays

We had a fantastic christmas with family. It was nice to take walks, make homemade pizza, open presents and drink heineken. Tim got a new Sprinter Van and a speedo. Life is good.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Solstice

Its been a party week. I've put all the energy that used to go into training, into partying. We had the Shenanadoah Bicycle Company party that was catered by Indian American Cafe. It was so good and so much fun. Even though it was party mode. There were fun games to play like the Indo balance board and the paper bag game. We also went to the Blue Nile Christmas party and Kathy Byers's 50th. And then of course the Solstice Party at the Carpenters. I've gone to bed after 3 am 3 nights this week. Its fun, but exhausting and not sustainable.

I did get my but into the pool today. I really love swimming. I still have some Xterra dreams. It would be nice to have some kind of club to practice with because it can get pretty boring staring at the bottom of the pool.

Also, went to see my doctor. He said, "Let comfort be your guide" . He asked if I think about my leg all the time still and I said no. He said well its healing then. So I guess I have free reign to do whatever I want now as long as its comfortable. I wonder if TIm will interpret that as I can go nordic skiing? The doc did take an Xray, but it really doesn't look like the other ones. One view looks really healed up and then another looks like a big gap still. There was a different techie doing it so she did it a little different than the other one.

Tim, Ruby and I are going up to Delaware for Christmas. All of my family will be there, so it should be fun and loud.

Michael Browne at Trek finally let the riders know that there is not going to be a Trek/VW team next year. He hasn't made a press release, but it was pretty obvious he didn't want to talk about it to the press. Its just sad that after 12 years of great racing, something couldn't of worked out. But they decided to put their money towards a Euro team and a stacked Downhill team instead during these tough economic times. Lea, JB and Ross didn't have much notice that they weren't going to have jobs. But hopefully, they will find great sponsors so they can keep doing what they love. Like Lea said, its not a great time to be a bike racer.

Maybe its not a good time financially, but the competition keeps getting better and better. Its just the right time for a highly motivated and savy racer who can get to the big races on the cheap.

Is Katie Compton the most bad ass racer or what? I love to see her win and kick butt in Europe.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy Jack Frost

The Jack Frost party was so much fun. It was so magical that it was snowing, too. I didn't get to do a shotski with Chippy, but I should have other chances to do one. It was nice seeing so many friends from near and far. White Grass is a special place.

The skiing was fantastic. My leg is getting more stable and stronger. Of course, White Grass is a pretty hilly place all in all. And the downhills are still not so good for me. One of my favorite aspects about the trails at White Grass are the big corners on the downhills. They are sweeping and require comittment. There was still plenty of untracked woods, too. When you get to know the trails really well, you can start making your own different ways up and down the mountain. Its nice to get intimate with the woods in between the trails.

We ate at Sirianni's... the best pizza ever. Happy Birthday Mike Goss!

Today was a spring day. I actually went out for a road ride. It felt awesome, but now I'm tired from it like I trained or something.

Get outside and have some fun this weekend!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Is that So?

We spent Thanksgiving in New Mexico with Tim' s family. We had a good time and charged up our love batteries from seeing family. It was a reminder of how much I like visiting the southwest and how I'll really miss going to Tucson for winter training.

Stop reading now, if you want balloons and ponies.

Some bad news is coming down the pipeline regarding the Trek/VW team for next year. Its a shame, but I guess all things must come to an end. Or like George Harrison sings ' All things must pass'.

I've been reading Ekhart Tolle's books lately trying to figure things out, like how to be more aware and conscious in the present moment. I might of mentioned before how much of my former life as a racer was spent reveling in past wins or worrying about future race results. And how I was basing a lot of my self worth on those results and fell apart at any criticism. I also would think that I have to do these intervals or workout to get the results that I want. The means(the intervals) were becoming something that I really didn't like even though I thought that the ends(winning a race) would justify it. There is this assumption that success or winning is in the future and the ends will justify the means. But the ends and the means are the same. And if the means didn't contribute to my happiness, then neither will the end.

I relate to what Tolle says. He talks about a king who is tired of his life and seeks out happiness, enlightenment and peace from a wise man. The king will pay any price for this knowledge. The wise man says it is too great a price for the king to pay for that knowledge, so he will give that knowledge to the king as a gift. The wise man gives the king a ring with the inscription: THIS, TOO, WILL PASS. Before you call anything good or bad, touch the ring and read the inscription. That way the king could always be at peace.

He talks about another scholar who is angrily confronted with (false) accusations by some townspeople. The scholar simply replies "IS THAT SO?" Instead of saying, 'how dare they?, don't they know who I am or how upstanding I am.' His non judgement of their accusations shows he is not attached to people's opinions of him. He also knows the fleeting nature of people's emotions and has chose to not resist them.

So what can you do about other people's decisions? Your bike sponsor chooses to take their marketing budget in another direction, that is the reality. In the past I might of said, how dare they? Don't they realize what an amazing person and racer that I am? I would be bitter and angry. I would blame them from holding me back on being successful. My ego would be offended.

Quoting Tolle now," What the world doesn't tell you- because it doesn't know- is that you cannot become successful. You can only be successful. Don't let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment. And what is that? There is a sense of quality in what you do, even the most simple action. Quality implies care and attention, which comes with awareness. Quality requires Presence."

Yes, its a rant. But I don't know how much of this blog is going to be about bike racing/rocket science any more.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ah November

November is the time to start to delve into projects. SBC is organizing and cleaning up their attic. There are a lot of old bikes, misc parts and one of a kind items up there. I'm sure every old/new bike shop has the same thing going on. Its really fun to see what was top of the line at the time and what was cool then , that isn't now. Then there are those timeless items that are always cool.

I went up to the icebox to hang out and work on some projects. It coincided with a sweet winter storm. I skied from the house, doing some flat tracking. I purposely avoided WhiteGrass(love you though, chippy) to stay away from hills because of my leg. I love Nordic skiing. I think flat skiing is perfectly reasonable with the current state of my leg, but it has caused friction between Tim and me, so I'm using restraint. Ruby adores the snow, too.

I found some bottles of wine in my basement. The one with the flowers is an 02 Odgen Cab from Duncan Meyer's label. The Stumpjumper is from the Off Road to Athens crew, Ken and Jason. And the last is Melomel. This is my favorite mead of all time made by Hungarian Frank. The winery is no longer in existence so I don't know whether to drink it or save it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

14 Annual Six Pack Invitational Downhill

And the Big Winner is ...Tim Richardson. As Carpong so subtly pointed out at the top of the downhill right before his run, 'you been goin' to the well for 14 years and haven't drank a drop'. Tim is great athlete, a humble winner and knows what he likes in his suspension set-up.

Aimee won the Lladies after 10 years. She partied like a champ, too. There were only five, come on ladies, what's up?

Tomi is the big winner at the universal fixed gear championships. He rides his bike like its an intimate stranger...right, Tomi?

When I first broke my leg, the invitational was a goal. I figured that I would be riding trails after four months. Well, I'm not. Not yet. I can't run yet, so I figure I shouldn't trail ride. But, basically its my call at this point. I don't see the doctor for another month and I haven't been to PT for a while. I still have a little limp and protect it a lot. But all in all its doing great.

Maybe a little ski up at White Grass tomorrow would be fantastic.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blue Sky

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.

Only a few people knew about my legal action against USAC. I didn't want to advertise it because it was a really delicate matter. Also, I had always hoped that it could be resolved without going to trial. It is a terribly difficult decision to sue someone. Its really serious and not fun at all. I would never have done it unless it was very important to me and to the athletes that follow. I don't feel like congratulations are in order for me. Its not really a happy thing. Revenge was not my motive.

But, I do feel some sense of satisfaction and of course a huge weight on my shoulders has been off loaded.

What an intense year this has been.

I like riding my bike. Its a beautiful thing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

serendipity snow

I just happened to be in Canaan, WV for a couple of days when the first snowfall happened. Chipper does a betting pool for the first frost and the first snow. TB won the date of the first snow. I bet he had no idea that it was going to be 8 inches for the first snowfall!

Canaan is so beautiful and so fun when it snows. Morgan and his college buddies got first turns down the slope at midnight and then woke up early and skied with me and Chipper, TB, and CB. That was great fun. Plus it is amazing to see these kids master the Tele turn. My advice to people who are trying to learn to tele is "ski like a kid" ...preferably a kid who grew up in Canaan Valley, though.

Yes, I did go cross country skiing. But very gingerly! Uphill skiing, like biking, is the best. Downhill skiing is a bit sketchy especially in the thicker stuff. I felt a like more of a beginner...stiff, bent over at the waist, and generally timid. But you can believe that I was going to ski good and not eat any wood, nor do any damage to my little green bones.

But it was a good, friendly snow, not too fast, not too slow. As it warmed up in the sun on Thursday, our skis stuck a little, but actually it was amazing october conditions. Like Chippy said, "It would of been in the top ten of last year's skiing conditions"

On the way up to Canaan I went up Scherr mountain and to my surprise they have put windmills up there. Its pretty freaky when you don't know the windmills are there, then suddenly these huge white blades are going by. I don't want to see windmills everywhere, especially on public lands, but they seem better than dirty coal. It would be wonderful if towns could put up windmills and keep the power local.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Biking vs. Hiking

Tim and I did a nice gravel road loop over in WV through the towns of Job and Whitmer. It was my first ride over two hours and on gravel. The climbing felt great. I was a little nervous on the downhills because I'm a little bit like a sack of potatoes on the bike. But that old saying about never forgetting how to ride a bike is so very true. Biking helps my leg feel better.

We went over to Seneca for the second annual Spruce/North Fork/Fire Jenga weekend. Of course, I'm feeling a lot better about my life now that I can ride a bit again. I don't feel like the loser sitting in the corner, so I was more than happy to provide shuttle for the boys and Churtle. Melissa and I hiked to the top of Seneca Rocks. This is a tourist trail, but its still climbs 1,000ft in 1.5 miles. I kept looking at the fat people smoking their ciggies doing it, so I knew that even with my limp and weak leg, that I could do it. The view from the top is amazing. But going down was harder and my limp got worse. So at this point biking is much easier than hiking.

Ruby and I went down to Stauton last night to cheer on the cyclocrossers. Its a tri city series...Foof, Rock Town and Staunton( which I don't know if they have a nickname for their town) It was a great turnout and a good course. JB is looking very honed with his fitness and cross skills. DeDe and Misty looked really fit, too and it was good to see mumbles work hard. Poor Mckeegan...endo on the first lap!

Nick Waite is back in town! He rocked out on my brakeless fixie at the cyclocross race.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

3 month xray

Dr. Chappell said my fractures are healing. The gaps in the breaks are starting to fill in. This is great progress. He said no running, but biking outside is okay. But I still need to be very, very careful and no danger dabs. I need to work on my range still to get back to my normal gait. I'm still limping a lot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


What an awesome week its been! Tim and I celebrated our birthdays this week. We went to the Fort Lewis Lodge near the end of the SMT trail. Normally, we would ride there and back, but Tim rode at Boy Scout on the way out and I read some Hunter S. Thompson. Then we had some target practice at Dog Graveyard. It was really exciting and scary, too. Maybe I could make it to the Olympics in shooting.

We also had a birthday dinner at Blue Nile and stayed up very late that night. Tim loves his "Heelies" that I got him. We had to check out some Youtube videos of some heelie pros in action. They are all 8 years old. I think Tim could turn pro in a couple of weeks.

The SVBC MTB Festival was gorgeous. There were lots of friends there and great riding conditions. Lots of people rode Grooms because it will become part of Wilderness before too long . Also , there was a huge group doing trail maintenance on Wolff, which should make it a nicer singletrack climb as well. My sister, Beth, rocked out for three days of trail riding on carbon stead.

Foodles rocked the Trek Navigator at the six pack downhill on Boy Scout. Mumbles took video and showed it Saturday night with the rockin slide show that Kevin Keane and Moody did. Carpong will be riding next week since he got a smokin fast 4:01. The highlight of the weekend for most was the dual slalom course. The former activity was late night dodge ball, but now the minibikes other wise known as little kids bikes or pixies bikes rule. It was harder for me watching people have so much fun at the mini bikes and keg rolls than it was to see them riding singletrack. My big ego wanted to get in on the shenanigans and it made me realize all the little things that my ego does to try to win "situations" I think racing was a good outlet for that and now I have to find other ways to approach some things.

The Navigator gave me my first ride outside at the festival! It was nice having a "girls" bike for easy stopping because that is the sketchy thing still for me. I like to have my foot touch down while my butt is still on the saddle, even thought its not completely necessary. Its funny because it has big downhill tires on it. Its a rad bike. I took it over to the Trek Demo folks to get "worked" on. They didn't get my joke.

But today I did a carbon remount. I put on riding shorts, riding shoes and a helmet and got on my top fuel for my first real ride in 3 MONTHS! I only went clipless on my good side and of course only on the road.

It was awesome to get out. Everything felt good, but rusty and still very limited. It feels so good chugging up a hill. Its funny how easy everything comes back, though. Which is very comforting to me. It feels natural. Well except my butt.

So to quote Lambie "I'M SO PUMPED!"

I also have discovered photo booth on my mac. Anything for a good laugh...it keeps you happy, healthy and sane. So keep on laughing people...its all we got sometimes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Revenge of the Rattlesnake

I went up to Davis to hang out and watch one of my favorite races. Its always a little bit brutal. This year it rain the night before onto very dry ground. A lot of the racers had a "hollow" look in their eyes after the race. But at least they got to eat Sirianni's Pizza after and drink good Brew Pub beer. I got to see so many friends and that was so fun.

After seeing some of the Cross Vegas pics, I got really jealous for racing. Seeing all those racers so fit, skinny, driven and with such purpose made me feel a little bit sorry for myself. Of course there isn't any reason to feel bad, as my leg is coming along very well. I was able to do my first yoga class and swam laps today. That is an such a big step forward. But I do miss racing and especially getting endorphins.

I'm now thinking about doing a little bit of racing next year. WTF.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Its so pretty right now

I'm so happy to be able to get around better now. It has been such sweet weather for taking little walks in the woods. Sometimes I still use the crutches or one crutch for a little relief. I got to hang out in Slatyfork this weekend and be shuttle bunny for the cool ladies that came out for the singletrack clinic. It was so fun to see their smiling faces after Tea Creek Mountain Trail and then on Sunday after Props Run. They had the ear to ear adrenaline/endurphine rush. And of course the food and wine is always good at Elk River.

There is a big bounty of apples this year. Johnny Appleseed traveled all over West Virginia and every back road has tons of apple trees. I took some back road home, planning out my Western Divide bike Tour that goes along the Virginia/West Virginia State line...can't wait.