Finding Form and Fitness

My fitness has returned. Finally!

Wednesday night was our mid-level ride and it’s been getting a bit fast. It was my third Wednesday night ride all season and I was a bit nervous. It’s a bit hillier than our other rides and although I didn’t kill it, or myself, on the hills, I didn’t get dropped. There was a wait spot at the top of the climb I typically struggle on so I was able to still continue on with the group.

Today was our fastest ride of the week and I managed to hold on the entire way and felt pretty good.

This year that fitness has arrived a little late but just in time for the weather to be nice and getting some decent riding in. And most of that riding will take place with some of the best women on bikes – my Portland Velo Club club mates.

Logging Some Miles

After so many miles last weekend at The Trek Across Maine, I was ready for another long ride. Today was the better of the two weekend days for it.

Yesterday it rained most of the morning but I still managed to get out for our Saturday Morning Ride with 4 other women. Surprisingly at 55-degrees it wasn’t really cold, except for that time when we were caught in a downpour.

I wasn’t the only one with a longer ride in mind. After a friend had emailed me we put out a blast email to any of the PVC Women that might want to join in the fun. We had 14 of us, which also included some spouses and significant. We would have had more but there were a few that weren’t able to make the 7am start.

I finally feel like my fitness is returning. The nice part about so much time off the bike is that I’m not feeling that burnout that I typically feel this time of year.

 

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.

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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Turning the Corner

We finally turned the corner on the weather. The sun has finally come out and it’s been a great few days!

I managed to commute by bike three days in a row this week – Wednesday through Friday.

Sometimes it seems like so much work to prep a bag, decide what’s best to pack in a messenger bag without getting too wrinkled, and get to work early enough to change, freshen, etc and look presentable for work. I don’t work in an office where it’s casual and being a woman doesn’t make it any easier. Still, I prevailed quite nicely.

My husband even bought a cute commuter bike and also commuted to work by bike this week.

It has felt so good to be back on the bike. I feel like I’ve been off it forever. Many of my fellow cyclists feel the same. It’s been a very dreary spring and hopefully this sunny weather continues for a long stretch.

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!