Saturday, December 27, 2008

Riding in Joshua Tree NP

The views were great but it was too cold for much picture taking (38 degrees). The park has one main road, ~50 miles from one end to the other, the speed limit max is (supposed to be) 45mph. If you plan to ride here, try a weekday/non-holiday. It seems to be a pretty popular place, the road has no shoulder and visitors are focused on picture taking, not cyclists. Most drivers were very nice and waited to go around, but a few rude ones tried to pass with on-coming traffic, scary.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Training and Fudge

What to do? Answer: Move to Sunny California for the winter. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and lean meat. Stay away from Christmas parties. Right? What if it rains, snows, freezes, the wind blows, and your Mother-in-Law sends a tin of awesome fudge, a box of homemade cookies and two bottles of wine? Well then I don't know. What did Todd do? Went out and bought us each one pint of Chocolate Fudge Brownie FroYo and coffee. What about training? Now is the time to get on a training plan and stick to it as much as possible. You will be very happy come springtime. Check out these pre-built training plans, they work.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High School Race Teams

SoCal and NorCal Interscholastic Cycling Leagues are great programs which introduce XC Mountain Bike Racing into schools as a standard sport. Sunday Todd and I attended a SoCal High School Racing Camp. I am not sure how many schools were represented, but there were ~17 kids and quite a few coaches. The league had run the same day camp in a different town (different kids and coaches) the day before.
The day started by dividing the kids into different ability levels, the kids then moved from clinic to clinic, took a break for lunch, then rode the trails with plenty of adult support.
As the kids ate lunch Todd and I were able to ride with two of the leaders as they scoped out a potential race course for one of the High School events. They were searching out a safe and fun route. As we came around one turn there was a long hill that was pretty intimidating (completely rideable but something that would make most racers hang their heads and switch to granny), they immediately said "Nope" and turned around. I love promoters that really think of the racers, in this case a lot of new, young racers.
In the picture Joy (fellow pro racer and high school coach) and I are getting ready to ride with the kids. I look forward to doing a high school clinic with Joy's team Jan 11th.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to save a quarter pound

Look what I'm getting Todd for Christmas. Scrub Components, 56grams for 160s and 42g for the 140. Half the normal weight. Plus they have a pigtailed girl saying "my brakes are lighter than your brakes", I had to get them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2009 Race Series

What we have been waiting for: the 2009 Pro Tour schedule. 2009 USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour presented by Sho-Air International: March 29: U.S. Cup – Fontana, CA April 19: Sea Otter Classic – Monterey, CA May 31: Bump N' Grind – Birmingham, AL June 13: Carmichael Training Systems Sand Creek International Classic – Colorado Springs, CO August 8: U.S. Cup – Mount Snow, West Dover, VT August 15: Yankee Clipper at Windham Mountain, Windham, NY September 26: USA Cycling Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Tour Finals, Las Vegas, NV Also released was the US Cup East and West (California) My plans are to race the West US Cup and most of the Pro Tour.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nov/Dec = Start Training, 1st things 1st.

This is the time of year to get a bike fit, put together a training plan, figure out nutrition, etc. Basically get it all together for a solid winter of training. Bike Fit I started by having Eddie O'Dea (55Nine Performance) check my bikes. While I always suggest a good bike fit for other riders, I may have started to believe I know more about how my bike should fit me than a fit system does. (I had Eddie mark everything so I could move it back to "the way I liked it".) However, the Dartfish video analysis is pretty impressive, I can now see how I pedal (watching the playback in slow motion). The explanation of the Wobble-Naught fit makes even more sense when you can see it working, I don't think I'll be moving anything back. The best part of this fit is being able to talk to Eddie from the road. Asking questions and having him review my pedal stroke via video will assure I am applying the pedal stroke properly. I used the new information during the 6-hour SS race in Gainesville to keep my leg muscles as fresh as possible as long as possible. Of course I could only apply the technique during the sitting sections as I was on a SS. I had a great race, a faster time than I expected and my legs never thought about cramping. I am now back to base training and concentrating on pedal technique. Coaching No shock here, I'll just do whatever Lynda says. It is nice to know I will not have to worry about anything coaching wise. Nutrition Another new resource I am taking advantage of is Namrita's nutritional knowledge. To start with, I filled out a few fitday pages, Namrita analyzed my intake and gave me recommendations. I look forward to working with someone who has a nutritional education (and access to all the latest studies).

OK, I haven't posted in a while.

After Mikah's Homecoming I: - Rode the MTB trails at the Marine Base in NC; - Visited my brother Dana at UT (Knoxville, TN); - Rode with Thad and hung out at the Yazoo Brewery in Nashville, TN. Scored more Swiftwick socks; - Rode in Amarillo, TX; - Saw Todd and family in Santa Fe, NM. Traded Todd the van for the "House", waited out a quick NM blizzard; - 2-day drive to CA (trainer ride somewhere in AZ, 17degrees outside); - Arrived CA in 85degree weather; - Rode in CA the next day in a snowstorm and 30-something degree weather ???; - Watched TV as CA fires destroyed homes, rode with smoke in the air; - Watched the 12 hours of Temecula race; - Felt my first earthquake; - Attended a benefit dinner for a cool program that is introducing MTB XC racing as a school sport. Some random pictures in Facebook.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

6-hour solo, 12 laps, 2nd overall (on a Singlespeed)

I raced men's singlespeed again and placed 2nd out of 66 total solo racers (59 men, 7 women). There were 15 of us in the singlespeed class. I love the Fireline as a singlespeed; it is so fast, light and smooth! Two weeks ago I finished ~8.5 minutes behind Stephen Ridgeway in a 6-hour solo race. I thought that was too much to make up, but yesterday I finished only ~2.5 minutes back. We were the only two solo racers with 12 laps! Out of the 43 teams, there were also two (3-person-male) teams with 12 laps (due to the muddy conditions the course was slower than last year.) This is what happens when you invite your parents to a race: Aside from a little poster embarrassment, it was great to have them at the race. They helped me out with feeds and split times. I was hoping Stephen would think I couldn't fit in a 12th lap and would quit early, but his Dad was giving him splits as well... Supportive families are awesome.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Yellow River Festival (and clinic) a Success

The Yellow River Festival drew a pretty large crowd, 21 women showed up for our MTB clinic! I need to find a picture... It was great to team with Sorella and mix up the drills a bit. After our 4 hour clinic I gave the Time Trial a shot, great course, very twisty, well marked, I placed 8 of 53 (1st female) with a time of 13:55. Best time (by Joe Dunlop) 12:51! If you are looking for a good social event check out Nam's Women's Mountain Bike Weekend. (women only.) I'll be racing the Gainesville College 6-hour October 25th, then leaving Georgia...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hooky Day!

Skip work and let's ride! What a fun day! If you haven't ridden Bear Creek and the Pinhoti trails, you are missing out. Loooong, swoopy, fun downhills. Thanks to Sorella for setting this up and to everyone who attended. I spent four days at Mulberry Gap, what a great place to hang out and ride! It was great to ride with Carey Lowery, it has been an entire year since we rode together... Check out this funny blog post about our ride yesterday (complete with great pictures!):

Sunday, October 12, 2008

6-hour Singlespeed Dirty Spokes - Conyers!

Last year Eric (Dedicated Athlete) beat me at Gainesville, I was geared and he was singlespeed; this year I tried to get him in the Singlespeed class, I got close! Results
What fun! I thought it was a hard course for a singlespeed, super steep climbs and flat fields. I entered the men's SS 6-hour solo class and didn't have a clue what to expect, there were 11 in the field and I finished 3rd, ~38 seconds behind Eric Ritenour (2nd) and 8.4 minutes behind Stephen Ridgeway (1st). The first few hours were very social, seeing a lot of people I haven't seen in over a year and meeting lots of new people.
With three laps to go I asked John Myers what place I was, he checked it out and let me know I was in 3rd with Eric ~5 minutes up, I did what I could for the last three laps, but couldn't get him...
I pitted with Addictive Cycles who were performing neutral support. Thank you Cody, Scott and Matt for making sure the bike stayed together. Thank you Tim and Dirty Spokes for such a great race! Congrats Nam and Eddie O'Dea & Chris and Tina Pic in the 12 hour 4-person team class. Namrita rode her SS, I would guess that adds 4+ minutes a lap compared to gears.
Congrats to my sister Erika, Jen Hanks and the rest of the Utah Girls team for their Pro Woman category win in the 24 hours at Moab this weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another Successful Clinic

Thank you to Sorella Cycling and Peachtree Bikes for organizing the event (which included beer and pizza).
It was great to see old friends and meet new ones! I talked about everything that goes into racing; from the mental and physical preparation to race day stratagey and execution, including nutrition and recovery.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Monte Sano AL Festival & Clinic

What a great place to ride. Monte Sano has a bit of everything (except roots). Smooth fast twisty singletrack and rocky technical. I did the first 2 hours of the advanced ride Saturday morning and got to see a lot of trail, then begged off their fast pace and rode by myself on an easy trail. Sunday was the women's clinic. That was a lot of fun with a big turnout, the clinic and ride lasted ~ 4hours and we covered most of the basics. Thanks Mary Anne, Gracie and everyone who attended!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heading to the Southeast - More Clinics and Rides!

We are going to have fun, I can't wait. Check out: for details. Riding & Racing Tips from Krista Park, Pro-Mountain Biker Thursday, October 9th Peachtree Bikes @ 7:00pm Hooky Day in Ellijay Thursday, October 16th, Meet @ 10am, RTR @ 10:30am Bear Creek/Pinhoti Women's Only MTB Clinic with Pro Mountain Biker Krista Park and Sorella's Laina Hamilton Yellow River Mountain Bike Festival October 18th, 9am-12pm Click here for Festival info

Riding with my Sister-in-Law Traci

Riding around Santa Fe with Traci First ever MTB ride and we were out for almost two hours (and she only went down once), we may have another MTBer in the family...

Green Chile - it's a New Mexico thing

It is that time of year... NM green chile harvest, time to get your green chile for the year. I bought 1.5 gunny sacks. They roast it then you have ~8 hours to get it peeled, into baggies and in the freezer before it spoils (it took me ~4hours. Half of this batch will go to my parents in TN and the rest stocks our freezer for the year. It is completely addictive; luckily we are in town, otherwise we have to order from a place like this: and it gets pricey.


Will Call - Thanks Titus for the ticket Cross Vegas Wheel of Fortune with Scott and Danielle
Kenda Matt working

Skills Clinic in Santa Fe, NM

Monday Sept 22nd I was lucky enough to hook up with a local club in Santa Fe, the Pedal Queens. I led an evening skills clinic in a dirt parking lot and had a great time with Devi and friends.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend of Fun Rides

This week was just about riding easy and turned out to be all about the singlespeed. I rode the Santa Fe Dale Ball trails and found some local folks to ride with. Sunday's ride was (a not so easy) 5.5 hours with Todd's MTB mentor Henry. Henry always takes us to a new cool spot. SS wide handlebars and trees... Tent Rocks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

NM State Championship -Super D

Three trips to Albuquerque in three days. Friday to pick up the van (which had needed an new half-axle), Saturday to Cedro for my Super D race, and again on Sunday for Todd's XC race. Saturday SuperD: The Cedro SuperD is my kind of race. Sleep in, get to the course @ 2:00pm, race @ 4:00pm, done 11.5 minutes later. The only problem is that you are more likely to get hurt racing SuperD than racing XC. Earlier in the week, my practice time for the initial rocky downhill was 1:40, I tried to better this time by picking a more direct line over a broken-up rock pile but I crashed hard instead. The small of my back took the entire hit when I landed on a rock shelf. I heard a loud crack (my back) then all the air rushed out of me. It took a bit for me to get up, untangle my bike and start walking down the trail (6minutes according to Polar). I iced it right away and luckily Barbara (Todd's Mom) was stocked up with pain killers and muscle relaxers from her neck surgery. By Saturday I decided that riding in the car, walking, sleeping, and doing chores are really too painful, but riding should be okay. (Plus, there was a cash payout and I was the only Pro Woman registered.) My race time on the first downhill (my favorite part) was 2:00, waaaay slow, but I stayed on the bike; the rest of the course was normal-to-rocky XC. The entire course was really fun. I finished mid-pack in the Men's Pro/Expert field and earned gas money, entry fee and dinner (Thank you NMORS). I didn't even feel my back while on the bike, but later it didn't feel so hot. Sunday XC: Todd raced SS against some really fast guys on a rough and rocky course (so rocky he gave up his rigid setup, tore apart the Scalpel, and put the lefty on the Vassago). During the race I hung out at the van and turned my geared Titus Fireline into a 19 lb singlespeed. Somehow I missed Todd's finish by ~ 2 minutes. I tried to make it, really. There was no way I could walk up the hill (my back) but I could ride -if I could just finish putting my bike together. ;) Todd finished 4th out of 14, ~ 5 minutes off of 1st. He is getting fast, I wouldn't want to race him right now.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

VW tranny trouble again

I almost made it home; I am sitting in a transmission shop in Albuquerque... (home for the next few weeks is Santa Fe, NM.)
We had a transmission installed in May (our 3rd transmission), looks like the bolts holding the axle to the tranny were not tightened completely. I pulled into Albuquerque and something went loose on the front end, luckily I was only a block away from my Grandma's so I stayed there the night. This morning I called my Dad and while on the phone with him I found a pile of metal shavings, grease and a bolt sitting on the skid plate below the transmission. Turns out one bolt is missing completely and the remaining ones are loose.
I spent all morning on the phone trying to find someone to take a look at it, Nationwide Transmission was the only one interested. They were on the other side of town but sent a tow truck. They decided to put the one bolt back in, tighten the others, then drive around to see if there is internal damage... High tech for sure. I could be out of here soon or I may need another transmission. My legs still hurt too much to ride, so I am not missing any riding, but my laundry is starting to smell pretty good.
edit#1: No one has a 12-point socket the right size and they can't get one of the bolts out. They should be able to get a tool tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

AZ pics

After the BH race I decided to check out Flagstaff and Sedona on my way to NM. Hey, gas is only $3.84 now... First stop Flagstaff, a very cool downtown scene. At the brewery I had great veggie/hummus plate with the local pale ale then went next door to get a frozen coffee drink. Guess what? They put baileys in it! Here is the coffee shop's drink special: Camp spot outside Flagstaff Drive from Flag to Sedona. Now this is what I have been looking for. Danielle, I found our shop, and they carry Titus! (They even had a kegerator for after hours.) I sat at the bar, drank a Cappuccino and talked to the mechanic/bartender about all the local trails, riding, restaurants, etc.