Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Just One More Ride

After a long holiday break, lots of snow and way too much traveling, I finally got in my first bike commute of 2017. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that getting ready was a $hit show. I couldn't find my panniers and cold weather gloves, and the roads...oh the roads! Too many crunchy, icy spots to get the mind twitchy, the blood pressure up and the nerves rattled for a morning commute. But it wasn't as bad as I anticipated, and it was about time I got back into the commuter groove.

In 2016, I set a personal goal to #ridemoredriveless, for my health, my wallet and the environment. I even moved closer to Denver to ease up my overall commute time (and in protest of $17/day parking fees). I tested different assumptions about bike commuting - everything from required attire to lighting systems, from managing time to get to work and energy to commute and still ride for fun, and most importantly, how to manage my energy expenditure (aka sweat) and helmet head so I could arrive appropriately bright-eyed and professional.

My biggest mantra was simply to get on the bike and don't over think it. I learned to commute in a dress (and still prefer it to kitting out!), that donning a helmet with slight damp hairs = KILLER hair for the day, that a pan of brownies rides pretty well on a rear rack, that Colorado's network of bike paths are incredible and that panniers are everything.

Just for fun, I tallied my commutes for 2016. 99 total commutes to work, running errands and as a means of alternative transportation. One ride shy (if only I was paying attention!) and now sets my new goal for 2017. Here's to 100+ in 2017.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

AC Recovery

5 weeks post LockDown procedure has this Bike Ambassador having anxiety spikes at the very sight of roadies all bundled up commuting as I drive to work down Baseline and Arapahoe. At Megan's suggestion and coach Kasey Clark assistance I turned my 20 year old Jamis mountain bike into a spinner (changing out tires and getting alignment set) for rehab in my home office which has been great yet the having the comradery of Defined Fitness Training spin class or just the feel of the road is missed.
I've learned through this process that anyone who considers their age 1st and their health 2nd are already defeated which only leads down a negative path that adds to any agreeable comeback. The personal argument of Road Racing or Crits is a constant but certain struggle. Being part of a team with others that have experienced the same issues and knowing I always have someone to back me up has truly made my recovery process seem more attainable. Goal setting with you gals is so positive!
Dr. took my sling away yesterday, PT 3 times a day with pulleys, spinning and eating right....hope to add weights in 2 weeks and be in Spin classes by mid February and road by March 1st??? Sneaking off to Loreto, Baja Mexico in week to escape this cold.

Bike Ambassadors are going to have a monster mileage year while conquering a few podiums. Can't wait Ladies!!!!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

One Last Ride

My husband and I brushed the dust off of the old road bikes we keep stored at my parents' house in south Florida this morning... There's something to be said for being able to ride your bike in your sleeveless jersey on the last day of the year.

I was pleasantly surprised by the way the old bike didn't suck as much as I remembered, and we had a great (if windy, the wind here is as bad as in Colorado) ride.

On the way home, we stopped by a CVS for some much needed allergy meds, where people looked at me really funny in my full cycling gear. I guess nobody runs an errand while out on a bike ride down here. It was absolutely worth it for the looks I got!  

Now the only question that remains (in my mind, at least) is this:
Does it count as a commute if you just randomly stop at the pharmacy while out on your bike ride?😊

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New Year's Resolution v. Goal Setting

It seems that every December the conversations of New Year's Resolutions begin.  I think goals are great and give purpose to something that we may not otherwise do, but I always cringe when people say "oh my new year's resolution is.....(insert lofty aspiration here)..." because for most people, it will only last about 2 months.  If you don't believe me, stop by any gym on March 1st and see how crowded it is.  ;)

Knowing all of this, I have to ask, why do we wait until Jan 1st to start working towards our goals? Why not start them when we realize we have a goal that we want to reach?  Why do we feel the need to wait until a new calendar is posted on the wall to commit ourselves to something we want?  And honestly, if our goals are health-oriented or activity-inspired, the best thing we could do, in my opinion, is to start them before...yep, I said it BEFORE...the holidays to keep us feeling healthy and on track!!

I've also heard a lot of folks and articles say that say if you tell people your goals, then you're more likely to reach them. With that being said, I will share with you my 2017 goal.

My goal is to compete and be competitive at Track Nationals in 2017.  Phew.  I said it and it's now out there for the world to see.  I think I need a drink..... ;)

A few months ago, while riding at the Boulder Valley Velodrome, I decided that I wanted to dedicate myself to track racing in next year.  However, devoting more time to riding my track bike was too vague and since goals need to be created with substance and definition, I decided that competing Track Nationals would be my goal.  Not just to show up and race (because I could do that just by buying a plane ticket), but my goal would be to train and show up as the best and most competitive version of myself.

After talking to a few key players about this, I made the decision to hire a coach and make this hair-brained idea a reality! I did some research on local coaches, talked to other athletes and coaches and found someone who I am confident can help take my passion for cycling and focus it onto the track.

When I first met with my coach, he asked when I wanted to start my training.  For a split second I thought "well...the holidays are coming up...which means lots of parties and skiing and fun....", but what I told him was "I want to start ASAP".  While I may miss some of the fun that my friends will be having this winter, I will remain committed to myself and my goals and urge you to do the same.  
Image result for giordana velodrome rock hill sc

Keep your eye on the prize and don't stop pedaling! :)
#tracknats17 #rockhill

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Protect Your Pumpkin

This afternoon I decided to head out for a nice casual coffee shop ride (mostly b/c I was hungry for the delicious GF lemon poppy bread at Zoe's Coffee), then decided to go for a cruise around the 'hood.  On my way home, I was turning into my development only to find a truck blocking the intersection and a woman lying on the ground with blood everywhere and an overturned adult-sized tricycle nearby.  My first thought was "oh  no!  The truck hit her!"  The man outside of the truck told me that he was on the phone with 911 because he saw the woman lose control of her trike while taking the turn too fast.  While he was talking to the operator, I rushed over to talk to the woman and try to keep her seated until help arrived.  Needless to say, she wasn't going to sit and relax.  She wanted to go home.  I did my best to delay her by "looking over her bike" to make sure it was ok.  But she insisted she lived nearby and wanted to leave.  This was my first time ever having come across another cyclist who was injured...and I feared it could be severe.  Not wanting to argue with the 68 y/o woman (as I later found out), I walked my bike and hers the 2 blocks to her home.  Trying not to be too harsh, I stressed MANY times that she absolutely MUST have a helmet before she rides again.  I told her that helmets have saved my life twice (or at least...prevented my brains from being too badly scrambled).  When I left, the guy in the truck was still close-by and had given the police her address for her to be looked over.  I really hope she's ok.

While riding home, I  kept thinking how bizarre it is to me that people would hop on a bike and just take off without even thinking of strapping on a helmet, but as my husband reminded me, not too long ago, cyclists were racing without helmets!  The older generations today (and even some of us from the 80s), grew up where you didn't wear a helmet as a kid, so it's not a big stretch to imagine why my neighbor wouldn't think she needed one tonight.  This doesn't make it right though.  I think it would be a shame if everyone had to go through what she did in order to realize the value of a helmet.

In an effort not to be too soap-boxy, I will just say this....always always ALWAYS wear your helmet!!  :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sun glare and bike lights

As I was commuting to work today I thought to myself. "wow it is so light out I don't even need bike lights this morning!" Wrong. I realized today the importance of a blinking back bike light especially in the setting of sun glare in Colorado! Drivers literally cannot see us and that blinking back light at least gives us a better chance to be visible! 
I also have to say my layers are critical for cold morning commutes. If my hands get too cold my braking is compromised and it's just not safe.  I'm so fortunate to have some really great gloves to keep my fingers nice and toasty. I also bought some handwarmers to insert into my lobster mits for really cold riding. Commuting in Colorado this fall has been amazing but I know sooner than later those lobster mits will come out of retirement!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Magical Bike Commute #105

In early 2016, I decided to join the fabulous Bike Ambassadors Team to help leave my car PARKED and ride my bike more. Heck, living in an awesome city like Denver, where riding year round is very possible with the right gear (thanks Champion Systems!), it was a great New Year's Resolution.

Fast forward to last Friday, when my bike commuting took a temporary hiatus due to a running injury. Ouch! Thanks Panorama Orthopedics for patching me up. I'll be boot bound for at least 2-3 weeks, but I'm a firm believer that all things happen for a reason.

With all this time on my hands and trying to stay focused on the positive, I decided to do a formal check in on my New Year's Resolution. I tallied my commutes, and holy cow! I've managed to fit in 104 commutes, despite unexpected family issues, lots of work-related travel and working remotely. Even more fun was revisiting my Instagram highlights reel from my daily commutes:

Now that a walking boot is my reality for the next few weeks, I'm learning the ropes for a new kind of commuting....walking + $2.60 for public transportation! It's a whole new adventure, and will be so helpful to mix in with my bike commuting this winter when the weather is really bad. Can't wait to slip commute #105 under my belt once this boot comes off!