Category Archives: Group Rides

Mid-Week Early Season Ride

With a prediction of sunny skies, temps hovering around 50-degrees, and longer evening daylight, we put the word out about a mid-week ride. I expected 10 or so women. We had 17!! How freaking awesome!

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Spring Sunday Ride

A few of us managed to get out and ride again today. Our goal was to scope out routes for the second half of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s Women’s Ride.

It was cloudier than anticipated but still nice to be out on the bike. Though I was very disappointed with a 14mph average and after 20 miles I was happy to be done as I was just pooped! I have to keep telling myself that it’s only March.

The best part about many of our rides, especially when it involves being near Pineland Farms, is a stop for coffee. Today, it was at the end of our ride.

First Saturday Morning Ride of 2011

Last week was the first official Portland Velo Club Saturday Morning Ride (SMR). However, I had been sick the week before (my first cold in 7 year) and with the rain that morning, none of the women rode, though there were a fair number of men that showed.

This week was a different story. The weather looked like it was going to cooperate (no rain and above freezing temps) so a few of the women thought we’d give it a go.

Six of us ended up hitting the road this morning. I was still concerned with a lingering cough but hoped I’d be fine with the agreement that it would be a “social pace.” Sure enough, the pace was as anticipated and I did fine to hang on.

It really felt good to be out on the bike. I haven’t been out since the end of January. Of course riding in the relatively warm sun with good friends probably contributed more to that feeling good than the ride itself.

Tomorrow we are scheduling another casual ride of approximately 25-miles. Here’s to the start of a wonderful season!

Fall Fitness Fade

A friend of mine from high school, who now lives in Colorado and also huge into cycling, dubbed this time of year as Fall Fitness Fade. Boy is it ever!

I’m always amazed at how busy the summers are. Though when I look at it, in reality it’s busy because of so much biking. Then the heat sets in and I find it’s too hot to bike and we (hubby and me) tend to find shelter in the coolness of the house, in front of the fan.

As crazy busy as the summers are, the fall season is much worse. I know I’m not alone when I say this. We always think that when fall rolls around we’ll be back into an easier routine, with many having kids back in school, and everyone gets back on a schedule. But ask anyone that has kids and running to school open houses, shuffling them off to soccer, football or various other activities, and you’ll learn that fall is even crazier than summer! Many of my friends find it hard to fit in any decent ride time after Labor Day.

Fall also marks cyclocross season! I think I actually spend more time at cyclocross races than on my bike this time of year. It’s wicked fun and it allows me and my husband to do something together. It also provides a great opportunity for my husband to hone his photography skills.

Between days spent at various ‘cross races and fading daylight in the evening to prohibit long mid-week rides, it’s no wonder my fitness fades. I just wish it wouldn’t fade quite as quickly as it does.

It took advantage of some beautiful, warm days this week by taking my bike to the office to catch some lunchtime rides to help keep my legs going a bit. Though it didn’t seem to make much of a difference during the ride with the ladies this morning. I really struggled to keep up in a few places and when I did get dropped I couldn’t push to catch back on. My top power is just gone. I do realize that it’s a normal progression and it’s time to back off in order to rebuild but it’s extremely frustrating to me, given the competitive type of person I am.

I take comfort in knowing that this was the best season I’ve ever had on the bike. My fitness greatly improved and I rode faster and stronger than I have in the past. I anticipate a proper base building period this off season in hopes of being stronger yet again next season. I just need to embrace the Fall Fitness Fade, enjoy being on the bike when I can and enjoy the cool, crisp air and the bright foliage, knowing that it’s all part of the process.


(View during a recent lunch time ride.)

Portland Velo Club Women

So the biggest reason for my hiatus is the work I’ve been doing with the Portland Velo Club (PVC) women.

This group started out last fall and was the idea of David Brink and Eddie Quinn, owners of Cyclemania in Portland. After a couple years trying to develop a women’s team, unsuccessfully, they wanted to try again.

About 35 women showed up for the initial meeting in October. However, there was a different spin on it this time around. They encouraged women who wanted to ride triathlons and charity rides to be members as much as people that wanted to race. It morphed into more of a club than a team.

Over the past several months we have grown to 50 female members. Now, that might not seem a lot to you but every other club I’m aware of in the state can’t come close to those numbers for women.

We have two group rides during the week – one on Monday nights at 5:45 and the other on Saturday mornings at 7:30. There has been as few as 4 or 5 and as many as 20 on these rides.

We have become a sight to behold in the Greater Portland area. I recently bumped into a women who is new to cycling and she saw us on a ride, all in our baby blue kit, and said, “I want to ride with them.”

The most important thing we focus on in this group is having fun. And we have a ton of that, anywhere from hanging out and enjoying coffee or beers after a ride to brunches and private yoga sessions.

Before you think this group is a bunch of 20-something hard core cyclists, think again. The median age of the group is probably in the mid-40’s. There are some triathletes, one racer, and mostly ordinary cyclists. The group has also been a catalyst for some to try training crits and some time trials.

Our group received a little press in the local paper recently, in addition to a mention in the August issue of Bicycling Magazine featuring Portland, Maine (pages 22 & 23). (There was actually a photographer that took photos on one of our rides but none of the photos of us were used in the article.)

Below are some of my favorite photos taken thus far this season.

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Ladies at a social event.

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Trek Across Maine Team.

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Team PVC photo from Trek.

Yoga Session.

Post-TT photo.

Trek training ride.

Birthday brunch.

Saturday morning ride.

Spring Riding

How does life get to be so busy that I just can’t find the time to blog?

Fortunately my busy life has included some incredible outdoor riding in some unseasonably warm spring temperatures.

Normal temperatures for Maine this time of year is in the 40-degree range. Lately many days have been in the mid 50’s. We even had several days this past week in the 60’s.

Several Portland Velo Club women joined me on rides this week. We even joined another women’s ride Wednesday for a total of 17 riders that night.

This has been a long drought of snow. I think our last significant snow storm was in December or January. But it’s been fine by me because I’ve been able to be outside biking a fair bit this winter. Now the weather has been unseasonably warm, driving more of us out on our bikes.

Today I managed to get out for an early morning group ride with the PVC Women followed by 90-minutes of yoga. I left the house at 6:30 am and managed to return at noon. Two things I love to do but took up half my day. Now, that doesn’t mean that it always take up half my day, it just worked out that way.

The weather is turning cooler next week but with Daylight Savings Time I’ll still be able to be out on the road after work for some training rides as long as we don’t see any snow.

A New Spin Class

There’s a new spin class in town and it’s great!

I found out about it only yesterday through a friend and fellow PVC women’s team member.

The class was being offered by Maine Running Company. Now, they would typically be an unlikely place to offer spin classes. However, since they cater to a pretty large trianthlon crowd, and they have a quiet space in the back, I guess it must have made sense to them.

With the location and time/day good for me, I jumped and called to sign up. With their pricing structure it made more sense to sign up for the entire 14 weeks instead of just dropping in occasionally in hopes of a spot.

The class is being taught by Denise Goode,  a USAT Level 1 Coach, a USA Level 3 Cycling Coach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition. (In January will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and Human Performance. She is also currently training for Ironman Lake Placid.)

A good part of the class was talking and getting to know everyone. Yes, we worked and had a structure, but it was nice to chat a bit when we could. It was interesting that when the work level rose significantly everyone stopped talking and just focusing on their form.

I forgot how great spinning with a group can be. It certainly makes the time fly by. I’ve been to other classes where it’s not “acceptable” to talk, and that’s okay. I understand that too. This was a bit different and that was also good.

I’m looking forward to going back next week. Between a little of this mixed in with some other varying workouts I hope to be in good shape coming into the spring.

Tomorrow night: yoga at Yogave!