Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Took the motor out of the garage today and had a very chilly ride to work. It felt amazing. I'm looking forward to some two wheeled adventures later today....

And the quote of the day "Life should be measured in achievement, not success." (I think that's how I remember it... maybe I'll double check that one on my ride.)

And this is some of the funniest shit I've seen in a while - thanks to mr. brad huff and Mike Freidman - I'll never look at another Umpa the same way....


I love the pic taken of the Umpa getting it from the dude in wings with a shirt that says "sure looks good to me!"


Monday, October 29, 2007

Ride along with Deputy Sutton

My older brother has been a deputy sheriff for the past 6 1/2 years for Linn County in Oregon. He and his newly formed family (the most recent addition added in January) live in quaint little Brownsville (population 1630). The Tour of the Williamette used to hold a crit in down town Brownsville - and now it's a frequent resting spot for Harley riders. I love visiting them because of the country road access - just a mile from their house - and how life just seems to slow down.

I cruised down Friday night - and got stuck in a little bit of traffic (5 1/2 hours in the car). Coleman was super excited when I first showed up and couldn't stand it. He just turned four and is cute as can be. Am I a proud auntie? You bet.

Anyways, on Saturday I headed out for a ride between Brownsville and Eugene, traveling along some of the best roads I've been on this year. The sun was out, the leaves in full effect and I didn't get chased by a single dog! It took me about 3.5 hours and I saw several covered bridges and farms. The Ducks were playing USC so I was glad to be traveling via my own accord when I reached the city. Apparently OR goes nuts when there's a duck game in town - I-5 was solid grid lock after the game. Luckily 99 was wide open and I hitched a ride back North with my Dad and Martha.

Saturday night we carved pumpkins till about 9 - at which point we all felt like zombies and went to bed. I did a ride along with George the next morning - meaning up at 5:30. Ouch. I haven't been up that early in a long time!

We had one call - some woman reported her 19 year old daughter was missing. Apparently they've had this same issue before - which resulted in the daughter putting a restraining order against her abusive boyfriend, who is also the father of their 9 month old. Well her R.O. expired and he in turn had one against her, which was still in effect. If the daughter was found with the loser boyfriend, then she was going to be hauled to jail. A few phone calls later, the daughter was cussing out my brother on the phone saying she hadn't been in contact with her ex-boyfriend. Well according to her friend who she was last seen with, the daughter was dropped off at said ex-boyfriends house and they were "getting back together." My bro tried calling the number the daughter had left at the sheriff's office and the boyfriend was trying to dial out at the same time. "We should've known your mom was going to pull some shit like that!" George called her back, told her that he has a R.O. against her and if he finds them together, he's going to put her in jail. Jerry Springer action. Hair pulling, cat fighting, screaming - all the essentials for some good American television. Who said the Sunday morning shift was boring?

I asked George if he gets personally vested in any of the cases that he deals with and he responded more than anything else he gets pissed off because he deals with stupid idiots all day long who only lie to him. Note to self - don't become a law enforcement officer! I appreciate what he and all of the other law enforcement people do - but sheesh! Dealing with morons all day sounds depressing. :)

I made it home in record time - 4.5 hours. Just in time to eat some dinner and pass out. Ryan came home around 1 am - after a weekend in Vegas with some rock climbing friends. He had a great time - can't wait to hear his stories.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

One for the books

Yesterday's ride was a test of will. Going from a 72 degree day and then dipping back into the mid forties with rain was certainly a challenge. Even rolling down the bumpy Burke made every bump and stick I hit feel like I should turn around. But oh, it's just the winter slog and realistically not all that bad. Hours upon hours of zone 2 riding. Luckily the weather is cooler and making the muscles move beyond that zone is nearly impossible.

Let's see... if I average 15 hours per week for the next 9 weeks till Christmas, that's 135 wet soggy hours in the saddle. Thank goodness I'll get a break from it when we head to Spain for Christmas - that should be a blast. Especially roaming around the Mediterranean. We're headed to Barcelona first and then driving South West to Siruana. Has any one been to that area and can share some good pedaling routes?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Good Time Sunshine

The winter gloom lifted for two days with yesterday nearly breaking a record high! I got to leave my arm warmers and knickers at home for the last time of year. Even Mt. Baker peaked her head out of the clouds and all of Cascades were in attendance.

Today it's back to normal though - rainy and dark.

Tomorrow I'm going to see a new Massage Therapist to see if we can figure out why my hammy has been flaring up lately.

AND BIG news - my long time friend Denese had a baby girl Sunday night - CONGRATS D!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cali fires

My thoughts go out to all of those struggling with the Cali fires. It seemed like just yesterday SoCal was dealing with similar flames when it was already four years ago.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Gotta love those long slow days.

Except it was slightly chilly out this morning - a brisk 45 with some rain showers. I decided to be a wimp and drive up to LogBoom to avoid the messy Burke. Boy am I glad I did.

We headed north through Bothell and ended up near Snohomish. Linda unfortunately broke her chain - the piece was completely warped. I've never seen that before. We tried fixing it to no avail and luckily Mark was around to come pick her up. Turns out the newer chains don't allow you to fix them by popping the pin in and out - you have to have a master pin. Strange. Who would have thought?

I don't know how I've put up with 3 wet riding winters - and to think, this is only the beginning of a new one. Fun times, fun times.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Art of the Table ROCKS!

It was date night last night so we tried a new restaurant and it was amazing.

I saw a review in the Stranger and since it as in the hood, decided to give a whirl.

Oh boy, were we in for a treat.

The space was small and intimate with great lighting. We arrived and were greeted by the chef, his brother and girlfriend? and offered us either our own table or to join the party for a supper club. We opted for the later and Ryan had the best seat in the house - he could see right into the kitchen and watch the action.

The menu is rotated every week and this week Chef Justin focused on Northern Italy. He came out to the table and told us about his inspiration and research ensuring a culinary delight. The Northern Italians focus on using local ingredients so Justin did as well - highlighted by chanterelle and porcini mushrooms, swiss chard, zucchini and Theo chocolate.

We started with brushetta with chopped chanterelles drizzled by truffle oil. It's making my mouth water just thinking about it.

The salad had grilled Radicchio and Zucchini with a 15 year old lip smacking balsamic and a cippolini onion, which offset the bitter radicchio, topped with shavings of parmagiano reggiano cheese.

Then he served homemade gnocchi, which I'm trying this weekend with sweet potatoes, accompanied by imported prosciutto, porcini and melted Gorgonzola. Fabulous!

Our main course was substituted - apparently he wrote his menu before checking the market prices on veal (18.99/lb!) and used boar cheeks instead. The boar was served on a bed of swiss chard and drizzled with a sweet brown sauce. Succulent and moist - it reminded me a little of the inside of a luau luau.

And of course - to top the meal off and satisfy our sweet tooth - home made Tiramisu with marscarpone cheese, using Kailua for the coffee flavor, lady fingers, Theo chocolate shavings and a fig served on the side. Tiramisu originated in the 1940's as the Italian women would make it for their loved ones on their way to war. A little sweet, a little caffeine, would hopefully ensure safe travels for their men.

Of course, with good food comes a bill. You get what you pay for - and this was definitely one of the best meals I've had out in a while. They do have a "Happy Monday" option - where Chef Justin takes his left over ingredients and whips up something amazing, for a small fee. Of course while we were leaving, he had to mention that this next Monday he's putting the boar cheeks and gnocchi together. YUM!

The Chef is young - I'd say still in his twenties and has a lot of enthusiasm and drive for what he does. His passion certainly translates into delectable delights - and if you are a foodie - this place should definitely be on your list.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Liquid Sunshine

It's been raining for a few days now. It's only October and I'm beginning to wonder when there will be an end to this madness.

Interesting, when I searched "how much does it rain in seattle", Google pulled up Wickipedia's answer:

"One city that is known for rain is Seattle, Washington. Rain is common in the winter, but mostly the climate is cloudy with little rain. Seattle's average rainfall is 942 mm (37.1 inches) per year, less than New York City with 1173 mm (46.2 inches), but has 201 cloudy days per year (compared to 152 in New York). However, it should be noted that Seattle lies in the rain shadow of the nearby Olympic Mountains, with some locations on the windward sides of the mountains receiving close to 5080 mm (200 inches) per year."

AND, according to local weatherman Steve Pool,

"This year seemed to be all or nothing in the rainfall department. After starting the year with a very wet January (8.39 inches) and March (6.34 inches), Mother Nature put on the rain brakes for summer, and for the second year in a row, summer rains were well below normal. We only received 0.06 inches in July and 0.32 inches in August.

But Mother Nature can make it up in a hurry. We went from a dry 0.89 inches in September to a record 8.90 inches in October (including the record 5.02-inch rain day on Oct. 20.)

Put it all together, and we ended up with 41.21 inches of rain for the year, well above the average of 37.07 inches. But it was nowhere near our wettest year of 54.61 inches in 1950." (I think this is from last year...)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I woke up this morning thinking about the pursuit. Ok, maybe the thrill of nationals hasn't worn completely off. I won't get to practice it again until next spring/summer. Bummer. In the meantime, the days are getting shorter and we are approaching the dark months.

The soup was AMAZING. I highly recommend it. And it's super cheap to make.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Soup Season

Going to give this recipe a whirl tonight - should be perfect to compliment the cold wet weather outside....

Russian Mushroom and Potato Soup (Taken from

Rated: 5 out of 5 by 137 members Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes Ready In: 1 Hour
Yields: 12 servings
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 leeks, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
fresh dill weed, for garnish (optional)

1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Mix in leeks and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Pour in broth. Season with dill, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Mix in potatoes, cover, and cook 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but firm. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
2. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Stir into the soup.
3. In a small bowl, mix the half-and-half and flour until smooth. Stir into the soup to thicken. Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh dill to serve.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Spent some time east of the mountains this weekend in our little Mazama getaway. The leaves were all bright yellow and it looks like winter is going to settle in before too soon. The pass has accumulated a little bit of snow and all of the north facing peaks are still covered. The pass is usually closed by mid-November but due to El Nina?(or Nino?) it might close even sooner. Bring on skate skiing!

Tom, Trish and Molly ventured out East to meet up with us for a weekend of relaxation. We drove up to Hart's pass one of the days and Trish was a little freaked out by how narrow and winding the road was up the mountain edge. Not to mention several big ass hunter trucks came barreling down the hillside, and barely making room for the van to get past. The views were amazing though and you could catch a small glimpse of the jagged Cascade Range. It sure is beautiful out there. I think I'd like to hike part of the Pacific Crest trail before I die - definitely a must do in a lifetime.

The nights were chilly - mid thirties, I'd suspect. Luckily we have a ton of fire wood and nice big fire pit. We had a raging fire and burned through quite a bit of the slash pile. Tom sang about 2 hours worth of cover songs and we happily sang along while staring deep into the fires flames. No marsh mellows though.

The next day Ryan and I climbed up to his project area to retrieve his rope before winter hits. He completed bolting a big climb and got the first ascent - leaving him with naming rites. Of course the first thing that popped into his head were dirty thoughts - so if you hear about some dirty rock climb, you'll know who it was.

We both slept amazing over there - 10 hours each night. Ryan burns himself into the ground during the work week and then plays catch up on the weekend. Wild dreams filled my head - including, gasp, having my house cleaned! Yah right, like that will ever happen. :)

It was the perfect calm weekend before things pick up again on the bike. Gotta love and savor those!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Time to sit back, relax, and figure out all the pluses and whoops of the season and if there's a way to mend them into becoming an all around rider next season.

Lesson 1: Avoid injury. Pulling a hamstring in February is not recommended.
Lesson 2: Postponing Healing. Racing on a lame hammy does wonders for it not healing.
Lesson 3: Align yourself with people who have the same drive.

More to come later - after some beer reflection time of course....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Killing time

Gone are the days when I exercise to hard that all I can do is sit in a heap on the couch and hope my legs recover enough to do it the following day. Hello off season! (Which only lasts a few weeks before it's back to the heavy training through the winter in prep for the following race season.)

I like to be an over achiever in all aspects in life. And when not training and focusing all my energy on going in circles, I have to occupy my mind and body.

Here's a list of the million things I did yesterday:
1. Took the disposable cameras into Freddy's that have been sitting in my drawer for 3 years.
2. Finished making curtains for our cabin.
3. Replaced all the batteries in our smoke detectors. (They've been sitting without them for months.)
4. Organized and cleaned off my bike catch all area.
5. Cleaned off the window sill from all the junk that's collected in the kitchen.
6. Made a list of goodwill items before dropping them off. (Tax deduction!)
7. Caught up on emails including updating the series points on the MVA website.
8. Took my front wheel in I ran over in my car to be fixed. (It's been sitting in my living room since early August.)
9. Took Makiah on a walk. (This unfortunately only happens in the fall.)
10. Picked up the dry cleaning.
11. Went to Miller and Molly's wedding shower.

During training this little list would have taken me months, if not years to complete. Don't worry I have plenty of other things to fill my time with the next week or so.... I bet you can't wait to hear about those!

Thanks Wes for taking this cool photo at Nationals.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The calm before the storm

Rumor has it the Seattle area is going to be hit by a wind storm in the next couple hours. Batten down the hatches! 60mph winds with rain - sounds like a typical winter day. So why all the hype? Media loves to blow storms out of control when they have nothing else to report on.

I spent some time out in the yard - filling my yard waste can and it still didn't start raining or gusting yet. It was nice out though - 60 degrees and calm. Something is definitely brewing...

I'm taking the next few weeks /days? off the bike and I'm starting to go stir crazy. The rest I put in now though will pay huge dividends later though... and reduce injury.

I decided against trying for the talent pool time this winter. If Nationals had gone better and I had some good placements, then I would feel confident going for it. But as it sits, I need to get some more experience under my belt and then be a contender instead of an observer.

So instead, it's back to the slow long training days and big fat base for the winter. My motivation is super high - and I'm not burnt out at all going into the next big training block. All the more reason to take a good rest, mentally and physically.

By the way - I just checked and it has no mention of any wind storm or rain whatsoever! ALL HYPE!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sunburnt Cruisin'

My mom and I decided to take full advantage of our last full day in the warm sunshine and rented Cruiser Bikes. It was a slow morning - those Bud's were not good for the old head, especially when your not used to putting much alcohol in the system. Three and a half hours later, we returned our bikes and ensured a complete deep sunburn. The kind where you still feel it the following day. Darn, he he. :)

Other than the head being in a fog, the body feels pretty amazing. I think it's safe to say I'm in the best shape of my life and it's only going to get better...

We head home this morning to the beautiful liquid sunshine. And my BUBBA.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's Sunday, already?

Let's see - highlights. The points race came and went. I doubted my body and having the confidence in it that it was ready for the challenge. Result = 2 points. I should have lapped the field. The track is short, I have the endurance. Instead I sat and followed and didn't gain any additional points. I felt great afterward, which definitely means I had more to give. But I put a valuable tool in my toolbox.

My biggest regret though, and it's something I have no control over, is how quickly things flew by. All of that build up, all of that training and putting in the hours to the track leading up to nationals is over in a few minutes. You have to give it your all and express yourself out there - a national championship is about who wants it the most.

I tried getting on a team pursuit but they were not accepting late registration. Basically everyone who competed got a medal. Two Queens and a Fred (Hammer, Reed and Baush) rolled a 3:34. Baush had a little trouble keeping the Queen's pace but they still rocked it. Nice work ladies!

All in all a great week - I'm still digesting everything that happened and will write more soon....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Seeded with a Watermelon

I had a PR today - but no where near where I wanted to be and calculated my time for the pursuit today. I rode a 4:02.9 and had to pass the other competitor not once, not twice, but three times. And estimates are you lose about 3 seconds off your time every time you pass someone. Damn. That means I would have rolled a much better time. As Phil Miller put it - you were seeded with a watermelon.

The scratch race was fast and furious. Unfortunately I geared down and now know that I will not be riding a smaller gear for tomorrow's highlighted points race.

I'm in good spirits - this is all still a learning experience and I look forward to getting another opportunity to show my ability.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mass start test = Puke

Well I confirmed that I have not been focusing on the mass start test for my event. I'm over it. :)

Got a ways to go before I make that time standard but I do think it's in me. I also think there's only so many of those efforts that you can do in a lifetime. They certainly take their toll. I could barely walk down the stairs afterward and was starting to see spots. Bottom line - not enough oxygen was being carried to my legs and I had a hard time keeping the pace up.

That's cool though - tomorrow is my main focus with the pursuit. Should be interesting!

Oh and on a side note - NO ONE made the time standard. Just goes to show that test is friggin' hard!!!

Wes did awesome - top 10 in his first 250m standing start. Way to rock it buddy!

Kenny, Dan, Jamie and Tom (Team Rubicon) got third in the team pursuit. Way to go guys.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Third times' a charm

It's funny - I don't remember having any apprehension of getting on the track down here before. And yet, yesterday my heart couldn't help but take a couple bigger beats when I first rolled up to speed. Coming from Merrymoor that track is steep! So I spent the evening getting reacquainted with its boards. It took me a while to get comfortable being up at the rail. My first attempt at a flying 500 was 1.5 seconds slower from my second one. Between efforts I spent my time just getting familiar with being super high up on the drome and getting out of the saddle. Mission accomplished.

The weather here rules. No wonder so many people flock to this area like it's going out of style. We're supposed to have heat wave thanks to the Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert. Good thing I brought my shorts!

One more day of getting familiar and then show time tomorrow!