08 June 2010

Saying goodbye to the bike until Thursday

Here's me with Antonio just before he was about to be loaded on the truck for the trip home.  Won't have it back until Thursday.  I suppose it's a deserved break, but it sure is a nice day for a bike ride.

06 June 2010


Sorry for the delayed post. Upon finishing we had to take our bikes directly to the truck for loading. But hey, I'M DONE! 7:07 ride time. So right about 14mph average. I am sooo okay with that.
Back at my room and getting in the shower!
Sorry for the blah pic, we thought it was taken and it took it a few seconds later. :(

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70 miles down and 30 to go! Eating some grub and then head off to face Spooner.
Changed contacts due to the wind drying out my eyes and making them goopy (it's a word). There was one accident so far. Guy on a cycling team (not Team In Training), the report is he's out, but will be okay. I am being very careful. :)

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Well, we're in Truckee. Gotta eat and get back on the road. Still feel good.
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So, the start was crowded and slow. It wasn't until the top of Emerald Bay that it started breaking up. Feeling good so far. Robyn, my butt message from your sponsorship fell off early, but I got lots of comments on it first!
This pic is Jen. She's sporting our Oregon microbrew helmet topper. Back to it.
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Top of Emerald Bay

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11mi in

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Today, I Ride

There are many reasons I'm out there today. I ride for some who have lost the battle, like Hunter, and for those still fighting it, like my teammate Jen's daughter, Erin. I also ride for those who aren't affected, but may be someday. And finally, I ride for those that we've lost to other causes, such as my grandpa. I love you all and will think of you each 100 miles. Thanks for your support.
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05 June 2010

Inspiration Dinner...the start

This is the place mat for our dinner. As we entered, we walked through rows of people cheering for us. It was so surprising and overwhelming. Can't even begin to explain it. This is truly awesome.
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The Team!!!!

This is everyone from the OSWIM team (Oregon, Southwest Washington, Idaho, Montana) before we head out for a morning 20mile ride. There was one climb 10 miles into the ride and well, let's just say I got my first taste of how difficult it can be to breathe at this altitude. Upside is that the other side of that climb held a lovely downhill ride for us. Yay for speed!
I have slept and feel so much better today. Kinda hungry, but we are waiting for food now, so that will be short lived.
More to come.
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04 June 2010

Antonio & I have been reunited!

I don't know if it's because I have had any sleep or what, but I feel like I am being picked on already! We got checked in and had about 10min to get changed for a ride and meet down in the lobby. I survived that step. Yay! Then we walk over to get our bikes, slap on our pedals and head out for a short ride just to make sure that everything was working. Within 1/4mi, I dropped my chain. Wait, scratch that, I should say, I dropped my freshly lubed chain! Others from the group asked if I needed help getting it back on and I said I was fine. However, it had dropped to the inside and lubed up as it was, didn't want to cooperate. I had grease all over my hands, I was tired, and I could no longer see anyone from my team. I got the chain on, wiped my hands on my shorts and continued on with my blackened hands. I wasn't sure where my team went, but just rode around shifting and noticing there was still an issue with my front chainring, so I circled around to the Team In Training maintenance stop. A small derailleur adjustment and I was on my way. It felt good to do the short ride. Gave me a very short lived adrenaline rush.
I have now washed my hands, changed, eaten, and am about to finally go to sleep. We've an 8am ride and I want my rest. This no sleep thing is for the young ones.

Long first day. Tomorrow will be great - I just know it!


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The Lake...we see it!

So, there it is. The clouds are deceiving, coming from Portland, it's super warm. Riding day conditions: 73 and sunny.

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We've arrived!

So, we had a bit of a delay getting out of Portland, but we've now landed in brown warmth and are on the charter to Tahoe...
I am sooooo tired!!!!

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Neck gets tattooed for the weekend!

Neck sponsored by Frank Maynard, McKensie's coach from Excel NW!
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More sponsored parts...

Sponsored by Brian Fornelius and Garit Reuble.
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In Memory...

My stomach area is sponsored by Pat DuPen.
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Sunny, happy toes!

Sponsored by Sunny Park!
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Prom shoes trump ride!

08 May 2010
Our ride on the lovely Saturday that was the 8th of May was supposed to be a fairly straightforward 65-mile ride from Lake Oswego to Newberg and back...loop-style.  I really should know better by now, right?  I mean, you are all shaking your heads thinking I'm nuts to think it.  Yes, Billy Crystal is in my head yelling at me, "Piece of cake!!! Piece of cake!!! You jinxed it."  (If I must explain yet another reference, such as this bit from the hilarious movie Forget Paris, I will need to beg of you, dear readers, to please, give up this active lifestyle to watch more movies!)  Anyway, what I am getting at is that this day was anything but straightforward. 
Getting to the meeting spot.  Yes, we'll begin this story with just trying to get to the meeting spot.  It is a fairly straight shot from my house to Lake Oswego, which kept in line with my straight forward day, until of course, the forward part is removed.  Coming into LO, I came to a complete standstill.  Mind you, this is 745 on a Saturday morning.  I was behind one of those huge trucks that I still fail to see the point of (I mean, really, are those extra tires necessary back there or are they just there to flick the pesky cyclists off the road?) and could, therefore, not see anything beyond said truck.  Finally, as he moved into the right lane and I got my hopes up that I would move again, I saw the sign.  Literally.  LAKE RUN - SAT. MAY 8.  Ahhhh.  And then, I saw the barricades.  State Street was closed off for the hundreds that came out to run around the lake.  Maybe not the best day for us to do this route?  Could have swapped it with the following week?  Yeah...hindsight.  I drove into the neighborhood and searched for a place to park my car.  A nice mile ride later, I pulled into the lot to meet the rest of the team.  In waiting for others that had been delayed due to traffic and then waiting for runners to clear, we pulled out for this ride quite a bit later than anticipated.  Bummer. 
Up McVey (because who doesn't like to start out going uphill?) and onto Stafford to head out past I-205.  I am not entirely clear on where we were after that.  We did some funky rural route that was heading southwest to wind out toward Newberg.  Maybe it was the stars I was seeing that disoriented me. I was rather lightheaded from all the mother-flippin' climbing we were doing!!! That was not part of the deal.  I thought we had one climb on this ride and that was right after we left Newberg.  To top it off, the sun was out.  For those of you that live here, that is the bright orb in the sky that seems to have gone missing lately.  Normally, I would not complain about the sun being out, but as I was wearing bike pants, not shorts, and many layers that I hadn't shed, I was roasting.  Super hot and climbing do not mix.  By the time we reached the top of a terrible hill somewhere out in lala land, I was ready to pass out.  I shed layers and threw them into the SAG car and ate some food and drank a ton of water.  I really wasn't liking the direction this day was going. 
We finally got into Newberg and I dreaded the climb I knew about.  Best to get it done, though, so off I went.  We were going over Chehalem Mtn, which is about a 3-mile climb up 1000' elevation gain.  Honestly, this climb was not bad at all.  I won't say it was a piece of cake, but it wasn't at all what I expected.  I kept my cadence up and before I knew it, I was 2-miles into it.  Over the next half mile, I started feeling a bit of lag, though.  It wasn't my energy, it was my tire...flat.  But of course!
So, there I am, about 4/10 from the top of this hill and I have to pull off for a flat. Sally, our coach, came up the hill just minutes behind me and pulled off to help.  My tires are newer and have a very thick bead.  These factors equate to making it a bit more difficult to change the tube.  Suffice it to say, we were getting a bit irritated with the tire.  Alas, we finally got it taken care of and I tackled the rest of the hill.
At the top, I noticed the time and started to get very worried.  This was prom day.  My daughter's first prom, at that.  We needed to get shoes to go with her dress still and she was due at a friend's house to get ready in just a few hours.  As we enjoyed flying down the other side of Chehalem Mtn, I began calculating how much further we had to go, how long it would take us, how long it would take to get home and showered, and so on.  Result: It wasn't going to work. 
Another ten miles and I knew I needed to go.  We were just over 50 miles through the ride and I knew if I did the last 15, I would be extremely late getting back, so when I saw the SAG pulled off up ahead, I finally called it quits.  53-miles. Sorry ride, but prom shoes have to come first.
By the time we wound through the suburbs and found our way back to Lake Oswego, another 30 minutes had passed.  I was super late.  To top it off, as I looked around the lot after unloading my bike from SAG, I didn't see my car...oh, that's right - LAKE RUN...my car was a mile or so away.  Back on the bike and off I went.  Thank you, SAG, my daughter's prom just wouldn't have been the same if she had to wear sneakers.

Testing mobile blogging

So, I've decided I would try to update the blog during this exciting weekend using my phone. As a test, you get to see (if it works) my first bit of sponsorship garb! My head was purchased by Zach & Dawn Liljenquist, aka Build Creative Group. As they did pay double, I'll be sporting this cap all weekend. As shown in the picture, the left brain was sponsored in memory and with great love of Dawn's dad.
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02 June 2010

RACC = Felida & Trail Putty

Apologies for neglecting the blog lately.  It's been a very busy time. 
01 May 2010 - RACC
After the Salem Monster Cookie, we did another organized ride.  The Ride Around Clark County (RACC) is put on by the Vancouver Bicycle Club (Washington, not BC) each year and the one thing I heard about it from the start was how much everyone hates Felida.  This is a hill that comes about 60 miles into the 65 mile ride in the Felida suburb.  Joy.  We actually started this ride on time at 8am.  A first for our group.  There wasn't a specific starting time, all riders just had to be started by 9am.  We always plan to start at 8am, but this was the first time it actually happened.  It was a wet day, sprinkling on us off and on throughout the ride.  The first part of the ride covered familiar territory as it took us out and around Lacamas Lake where we had ridden before.  From there, we headed north up through Hockinson.  This is more rural area on the outskirts of Vancouver's suburbia had a few climbs.  Not terrible, but enough to make me think, "If nobody mentioned these, just how bad is Felida?" 
We came into Battle Ground from the southeast and found ourselves at the 65-mile/100-mile split at Battle Ground Lake.  They offer a century route for this ride, but no, I certainly wasn't ready for that.  I went left and headed through the town of Battle Ground.  We wound through and headed to Daybreak Park.  When we lived in Battle Ground, we came to find that Daybreak was a popular swimming hole spot in the river and where a LOT of people hung out.  With the rainy weather, though, it didn't seem so popular that day.  This was a food stop and about 40 miles into the ride.  I was feeling okay and really just wanted to get going and get the ride over with.  I was familiar with the road out of this park and I knew we had a climb ahead of us.  I ate a few quarters of a PB&J sandwich, some boiled potatoes because someone was telling me how they are great for quick energy, and the trail putty.  This ride is apparently known for two things: Felida and trail putty.  Trail putty is a mixture of peanut butter, honey, and powdered milk.  Everyone loves it.  Me...not so much.  I found it too sweet, but hey - to each his own.
I climbed out of the Daybreak Park area, heading west for quite a while.  A few rollers after the initial climb kept me working and I became increasingly worried about Felida.  As we turned south, I kept watching my bike computer, looking at how much further until we hit it.  I was feeling very tired around 55 miles...not a good thing.  I starting thinking there must be a way around this hill.  Can I just take a side street and avoid Felida?  I'm sure I can.  Yes, that's what I'll do.  Screw it.  I don't have to do that hill.  And then it was there.  All these other cyclists out there...I couldn't possibly turn off, no, no, I was going to climb.  Halfway up, as my heart was coming out of my chest, there was a side street that I noticed a lot of people just turning onto for a flat break.  So, of course, I should check it out.  It helped.  I turned onto it and let my heart rate come down and then I got a bit more speed and higher cadence going coming off of it to help me up the rest of the hill.  I asked another cyclist, "so this is Felida?" "Yep, this is it."  I got to the top and was so relieve that it was done.  I pulled off to let the heart rate come down just a bit again.  I had met up with Jen and Stella from my group and we talked about what a relief it was that it was done.  Then some cyclist passing by said, "Oh no, the climb isn't done - this was the ridge, you still have the hill."  Liar.  I just knew he must be a liar.  What a cruel thing to lie about, too.  We asked another cyclist and they said that was it.  We continued on, but we were all wondering - who should we believe?  About a mile and a half down the road, we didn't need to wonder any more.  A left turn onto a nice steep hill left no time to wonder and had us all out of the saddle and changing gears about as fast as we could.  There were some people walking up it on the other side of the road.  The left turn didn't allow much prep for the hill and if you had to wait for traffic before turning, it was even harder.  What's worse is that the road curves, so you can't even see where the top of the hill is.  I hate that.  At least let me see where it ends.  Mind you, this wasn't a very long climb, just steep.  I made little goals - make it to that tree, then that post, then...oh, oh...I see the top...I yelled at Stella, "the top is right there!" because, somehow, announcing it makes it even better (Jen was already ahead of us - Go Jen!).  We were there.  Done.  No more climbing.  And I hadn't cheated the hills.  The last few miles of the ride were flat, just winding back around through Vancouver proper to make our way back to Clark College where we started.  At the intersections we faced coming out of the neighborhoods, there were a few elderly couples that sat at the corners and as they saw cyclists coming, they pushed the crosswalk button.  They were so adorable and we were very grateful.  As we pulled back into the parking lot, I headed straight for my car to get off the bike.  I was spent.  Every bit of me was out there on those Clark County roads.  I wanted to go home.  And that's just what I did.