Category Archives: Cycling

Winding Down from Crazy

Well, I’m back from the Trek and this week has been crazy!

First I’ll start with the Trek. It was AWESOME!

As I posted earlier, I was undecided about signing up again. But I have. How can I not? It’s just so damn fun!

Me and my friend Jen, her first Trek.

The weather was pretty good this year, too. Hot Friday, cloudy Saturday, and sunny, breezy Sunday.

With a small team this year, I ended up riding a fair bit by myself. We just ride at our own pace and no necessarily with our teammates so I just did my own ride. Typically we’d all catch up at the rest stops.

I had a friend that lent me a helmet camera for the Trek.

Helmet cam. I am a geek.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to test it out before leaving. Without a computer to download the footage it was so hard to know where the camera was pointing so I had to hope for the best. I’m happy to say that I got some really great footage of the pavement between Bethel and Belfast. I wonder if the Maine Department of Transportation can use any of it?

Since I returned it’s been a crazy week. Crazy at work and also busy after work with social commitments. One of those commitments was attending a fundraiser for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine at Flatbread Pizza. I had heard they had a decent gluten free crust and after checking out the ingredients, finding that they were satisfactory, I ordered a pizza. That was a highlight of me week – real pizza that I haven’t had in a very long time!

Now the week is winding down and the weather a little dreary. No matter. I’m just enjoying a little downtime with my husband before things get crazy again. They always do.

At the finish in Belfast, Maine.

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Trek Across Maine – Year 5

This is my fifth year at the Trek Across Maine. In recognition of that I received a hat.

A few years ago I decided to do this for at least five years then figure out where I am and if I wanted to do it again. I’m still undecided.

Today is our first leg – Sunday River in Bethel to UMF in Farmington.

The weather today is supposed to be nice. As I lay in the hotel bed I can see clear skies and sun illuminating the morning. Tomorrow could be a little wet and I’m hoping “showers” avoids us for the most part.

I’m Trekker number 14 this year of approximately 2000 cyclists. The low number is the result of registering early, when it opens in May for the following year. Two years ago I had number 10 for the same reason.

There are so many great things about the Trek and one that’s my favorite is seeing all the people that I usually only see at this event. It really has become near and dear to my heart, as it has for many of the other rides. Each one of us has a story for riding. For me, it’s just fun and i’m happy to be able to be here another year.

As I write this, I wonder if I had already decided to be here again next year.

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Best Part About SMR

This is by far the best part about our Saturday morning rides (SMR) – coffee with some incredible women.

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Horner Wins at AToC!

What a win for Chris Horner yesterday at the Tour of California!

He’s one of the best guys in the peloton and well deserving of his win.

He wrote about his win and how it played out on his blog. He also gave one of the best interviews I’ve ever seen with Bob Roll after the win. I felt like a little school girl giggling with excitement for him.

I remember seeing him at the Grand Prix Cycliste in Montreal last fall, just kicking it in a late break over Mont Royal. Unfortunately that break didn’t last and he was caught before the finish so the win eluded him that day.

Before the race we had a brief exchange about him coming to Maine to ride in the Dempsey Challenge, and event I was also participating in. At that event, I actually met Chris and had him sign a great photo we took of him when he was in that break on the slopes of Mont Royal the month before.

I had friends that hung around after the Dempsey Challenge and talked a bit with him about his racing in Europe and specifically his feelings on the 2010 Tour de France. They claim he was a very down to earth guy, as was Levi who was also there, and it was like talking to any other cyclist we might know.

As we enter the last couple stages of the Tour of California, I will be cheering greatly for him in my living room from Maine. It is especially nice when the good guys win!

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

It has been a really crappy spring. I suppose this is payback for an incredibly warm, sunny, and early spring last year.

Due to all the wet weather I’m way behind in my fitness for this time of year. So much so that I’m probably going to be driving the support vehicle for an annual Memorial Day Ride that I have participated in for the past 3 years. Oh, I could probably do it, and it would jump-start my season for sure, but it would be a long day in the saddle without many miles in my legs. My longest ride, and only one at that,  has been 55 miles, a far cry from the hilly 85-miles planned on Memorial Day. But there is still a chance I might ride it.

I’m not one to go out riding in the rain. If I get caught in the rain that’s one thing – but to start out in the rain to train is another. I’m not a pro. I don’t get paid to ride my bike so you won’t see me out slogging away in inclement weather. Unfortunately I’m also one that’s not willing to put the bike back on the trainer after March like others I know. Though I must say I’m seriously considering it lately.

To make matters worse, it’s been terribly windy, too. I’ve bagged a few group rides to do some gusty winds in the 35-40+ mph range. I think it’s just going to be one of those years when we wind just blows a lot, much like a few years ago.

I’m sure all this crappy spring weather will disappear only to be blessed with some warm weather eventually. It’s just a long time getting here.

The 2011 Season in Full Swing

The 2011 cycling season is in full swing. Or at least as much as the weather will allow. A fair bit of rain has prevented a few weekly rides but we are still managing others.

Spring weather in Maine can be hit or miss. I’ve seen 70-80 degree days in early April and also full on snow storms. Such was the case on April first this year with a good 6-inches of heavy wet snow. The up-side, if there is an up-side, to those types of storms is that the snow is virtually gone the following day.

Last week we gathered for a Wednesday night ride. The afternoon was filled with glorious sun and blue sky. By the time we gathered to ride it was overcast, windy, and snow falling from the sky. But that didn’t stop the 16 or so women who showed up to ride. The adage, “If you don’t like the weather in Maine, just wait a minute” held true because about 20 minutes into the ride it was sunny and warm again.

Regardless of the up and down temps and precipitation, we are officially on the road. Most of the roads have seen at least one pass of a street sweeper, so it was time to pull the Aegis off the trainer, swapping out the trainer tire for a road tire, and prepare it for the road.

Yup, it’s officially spring and the biking season is upon us. We’ll still be faced with cool weather wardrobe decisions for a few weeks yet. You’ll hear no complaints from me – I’ll be outside on my bike.

March Madness

After posting this photo before heading out on a very chilly Saturday morning ride with the club, my friend called it “March Madness”.

I have to agree with her. It was 21 degrees but felt like 12 with the windchill. So much for March, “in like a lion out like a lamb.”

We have seen below normal temps for over a week now. It feels like it will never warm up. At least this morning it wasn’t snowing like it was last Saturday morning.

The alternative to riding outside this morning was the trainer (yuck!) or waiting for it to “warm up” but having to deal with 20+ mile an hour winds. So a cold morning ride seemed like the best option for me.

I also wasn’t alone in showing up for the club ride. We even took a club photo before the ride. (Though this only represents only part of the riders that rode, many others just weren’t in the photo because they are not club members.)