Thursday, February 28, 2008

Catchin' My Breath

I have been so busy with non-cycling "things" that blogging was moved to the bottom of the list. Between trips to the doctor (for all of us), negotiating selling my interest in the clinic, helping my avid little reader, Carly, explore the world of books, and income tax preparation, I have had little free time. And when that did occur, I used it up as extra "sleep" time.

We have all been sick this month: Charlie--the flu, Carly--cold and ear infection, and me--mono! Yep, seemed I picked up that nice little virus sometime between La Ruta and Christmas. We all all on the mend now, doing much better. And man, our house is so CLEAN, you could eat off the floor, carpet, couch, door knobs, phone, etc. Lysol's profits are definitely UP!

I am trying to go from business owner to associate. I've come to realize that I would rather play now, while I am young and healthy, then, if I need to, I can always work when I am old and decrepit. There are no do-overs in life and I am not about to let it pass on by. So by selling out (with the option of buying back in later) I will have much more time for my family and cycling.

Carly has picked up reading in the past month. It was like a light switch went on in her head. She is loving it and now she is reading me bedtime stories. So I am spending much more time fostering this newly found interest of hers. I am secretly hoping she can learn how to ride a bike this quickly.

Taxes, ughh! They are so complicated for us now, that we have to hire an accountant to do it for us. Who has the fair tax on their platform? I may vote for them.

With all that has been going on, I did manage to slip away for 5 days ... down to Florida. I got in 24 hours of training and it was all good. Rode 5 different trail systems around Ocala and Tampa. The Floridians know how to make due with what little topography they have. got to hand it to them ... sweet trails.
The final Snake Creek Gap race is this weekend(think I'm ready), and then in 11 days it is on! with Danielle and Namrita. Looking forward to riding with some fast chicks!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wandering and Wondering

With a beautifully warm and sunny day, Zeke and I headed out for a 5 hour training ride in the Coker Creek area of the Cherokee National Forest. We did most of our usual loop, but then decided to ride some new trails and fireroads. It is fun to ride new places as you are always wondering what might be around the corner. On one trail we came across an old CCC camp. Not much left except what appeared to be a cistern and perhaps the remnants of a still. I am sure the still came long after the CCC camp.

The trail forked and we decided to go right. (Note to self: don't ride ungroomed trails after a windstorm.) Immediately we came to a barracade of downed trees. Zeke took the low road and I the high. After several minutes of fighting branches and doing a butt-slide down the embankment, we made it through. Back on our bikes, we were able to ride about 30 meters before we were off again. Hop over the fallen trees this time, then back on the bikes. We repeated this multiple times on our ride, and I was beginning to feel like a cyclocross racer! On the sections of trail we could ride, it was tight, twisty, and technical; way fun!

Soon, however, we were beginning to wander as we had no idea where we were. Time was getting by us. When I ride, there is always a point in time where I need to begin heading back to the truck so that I can make it in time to pick up Carly from after-school care. Not knowing exactly where we were, I began to worry. After only a few minutes or worrying, I looked up and saw a forest service road. Once we were back on the road, we regained our bearings and started riding back to our trucks. Heck! We made it back with just enough time for me to climb the 5 mile gravel road up to Buck Bald again!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wicked Fast

Today I took Stumpy out for its first ride. I was a little worried about how she and I would mesh, but my fears were unfounded. I changed the steering up a bit by replacing the riser bar with a flat one and dropping the stem, aiming to make her a bit more like my Epic. I also put on Ergon GE1 grips. That was the trick. She climbed like a mountain goat and descended like a peregrine falcon. She felt more solid and stable on the descents, not twitchy like my Epic. I just pointed the wheel where I wanted to go and held on. I swore I used less brake.
Hmmm. What do I race now?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Long Day

The Snake Creek 6 Gap Mountain TT has come and gone and I am pooped. It was definitely a good day for me, even though the trail conditions were muddy. But that is to be expected for a February race. I was definitely feeling much better than last month. Although the conditions were not ideal, I managed to finish with a slightly better time. I was rollin' the first 23 miles, but the last technical section, I felt like a pinball. I was all over the place, either bumping off the rocks or sliding down them. I don't know if it was my tire choice or exhaustion; maybe a little of both. I chose to ride the LK Fast Tracks due to their light weight. Last month I was on Captains, which are rock crawlers! I will have some decisions to make next month, the last race of the series, as I attempt to improve my position.

Here is a breakdown of my day:

Driving: 3:00
Race Prep: 1:00
Shuttle to Start: :45
Racing: 3:52
Post-Race Change, Eat, and Greet: 1:15
Trip to Carter's to buy Jeans for my Long-Legged Daughter: :45
Bike/Gear Clean-up: 2:00
Shower: :30
2nd Meal: :30
Blog: :10

Total time: 13:47

Is racing worth it? You Betcha!

It is now 8pm and I am all alone: no husband or child (they are at the in-laws).

Whoo-Hoo! A night of peace and quiet.