Friday, September 30, 2011


A quick check in between track sessions at the ADT Event Center in Carson, California.....

Today is day three in a row of double track sessions: one in the morning, one at night. The past two days have been filled with omnium racing and I've already calculated 163 race laps already, with 12 left for today in the Gold Medal final for team pursuit and 200 for the points and Madison races. This does not include the warmups or cool downs. Good thing I like racing my bike!

The omnium was a bit disappointing with a mid-race relegation putting me down an automatic 10 points and killing my chance at a National title. But thankfully there were only 10 women competing, otherwise I could have been down up to 24 places. If that sounds confusing, it is. The bottom line - I still ended up fourth, which is pretty remarkable if you ask me. And yes, I learned a lot.

Talk about a range of emotions that you go through when racing. The ups, the downs - it all comes down to who can hold it together for the longest. And the winner - Beth Newell did a remarkable job! I'm so proud of her and Michael, they are a great team.

Tonight we face off to Sarah Hammer, Jennie Reed and Dotsie Bausch in the team pursuit. They rolled a 3:29 in qualifiers to our 3:46. There's a reason they're one of the best teams in the world.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


It's the day before the big show begins. Relaxing on the couch feels like a chore, but you know time with the feet up is time well spent. Surfing the tv helps pass the time, but the racing remains on the brain. How could it not? We've all waited a full year for this. And now it's here.

My mental state, as well as physical, is relaxed and confident. I am ready to race and enjoy the lessons it brings with it. I'm not worried if my preparation was enough, if so and so registered or not, of how I will be compared to anyone else. I am living in this moment, right here, right now. I am ready. I am fit. I trust myself and my coach in my preparation for this event and I am ready to throw down.

Content. Confident. Cool.

Come check it out if you're in the la area at the home depot center. The racing is going to be phenomenal.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

City of angels.

I headed out to Los Angeles a few days early, caravanning the 17.5 hours from colorado to la with Cari to hit up a local tune up race on the velodrome today and get a little track time before the big event this coming week. It was time well spent as I was able to dial in my saddle position, gearing and dust off those racing cobwebs. I was pleasantly surprised by my leg speed and engine and know that I have what it takes, more so than any other year before.

It's nice to be back to the west coast with its salt air, humidity, and mild climate. But it's actually sunnier in Colorado then here! Come on sun, burn off that "marine layer" aka smog!

Makiah made the trip with me and she provides a welcome calm amongst racing stress. Not to mention a guard dog. Ha! You read her prowess against the raccoon invasion, right?

I've got an easy day tomorrow and a relocation from the lovely Extended Stay to Long Beach and then some openers to prep for wednesday's omnium marathon. Bring it!

I trust. I'm fit. I'm confident. Let's do this!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Picture story

Greetings from sunny ColoRADo! Thought I would share some photos of the new digs and the surrounding area. This is the new house, which is directly across from Memorial park. We don't have immediate neighbors but the bears and raccoons have done an excellent job welcoming us.

Yes, the munchkin made the journey. She's happy at the new digs and can't wipe that grin off her face. She's not much of a guard dog though. When we had a coon invasion she didn't even bark, or whimper for that matter. She had good reason to be petrified!
Note the stairs. I calculated an additional 25 feet of elevation to get to the front door, on top of the 6,450 Manitou sits at. Talk about some high altitude training! Moving in was rough. Three days straight with approximately 8,000,000,000,000 trips up and down. And yes, the bikes have to come up and down the stairs. Oh joy!

But when you have this out the back door? Totally worth it. This is Section 16, a 20 minute single track trail from the abode.

Yep, affirmed again. The Garden of the Gods park is a 5 minute ride from the house.

Oh, wait. What is that? Pikes Peak you say? In your back yard? Yep. 14,110 feet to the sky and about 3 miles to the summit as a crow flies. I plan on conquering the sleeping giant soon.

The mountain got its first snow of the season last week and fall is starting to show her colors. This is the spot where I feel like someone needs to pinch me, every time I ride by. Which is every day.

Even Makiah needs to nap from having new surroundings to play in. Man, she's a fur ball!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am committed.

The hardest step was making the move to Colorado. To pack up my things from 10 years of living a life in a Seattle craftsman house and put it all in a U-Haul truck. Going through the objects in my life was a journey in itself. I had to put some things to rest, honor others and down size, a lot. But I had committed to it and there was no turning back.

I've always dreamed of writing a book. And being someone who is keen on following her dreams, I am taking the time to do so now. I am committed to it - giving myself a due date of February 14, 2012 and allowing myself the time to give it everything I've got. It is a self-discovery process and I hope that by sharing my life experiences it will inspire those who read it to follow their hearts and dreams and also know that there is potential in finding love, life and laughter again after losing someone dear to you. You are the master of your destiny.

So, dear readers, I hope you are doing exactly what you want to be doing at this very moment. And that you commit to live each day to the fullest.

(PS - Writing outside is RAD. Thanks Laura for the suggestion.)

Rainbow jersey wearing heroine: Judith Ardnt.

When I first started racing 8 years ago, Judith Ardnt was having an amazing season. She got silver and bronze that year in the road world championships and sported a super hero cape for women's cycling. Of all the female cyclists competing at the time, she stood out to me due to her calm demeanor, fierce competitive spirit and professionalism.

Not only is she an amazing athlete, but she has continued plugging away at the sport's top tier of racing, through the ups and downs of life and results. I've kept an eye on her throughout her career and today she road a perfect time trial, winning gold at the Road World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Wow. A well deserved journey and rainbow jersey. Congrats Judith!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Joey are you okay? Joey are you okay? Are you okay Joey?

You've been hit by, you've been hit by a smooth criminal!

Can't get that song or the flip out of my head....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I be Manitoid.

I've been inducted into the weirdness that is Manitou.

Try as I may, avoiding the bizarre happenings in this little corner of the world was absolutely impossible.

I should have seen the signs - the Wizard shops, the trinket stores, the arcade with nickel games, even rumors of a coffin race that runs through the middle of town. But Adam's Mountain Cafe threw me off with its orgasmic organic foods and the easy access to trail upon endless trail.

It rained hard last night. So hard it brought down mounds of red rock, staining Lovers Lane and causing a morning closure of our street. We woke up to down right chilly temps - in the mid-forties with no sign of warming up. A quick check on the webcam for Pikes Peak and yep, there's snow up there.

I had to turn the heat on even with layer upon layer of wool. I drank a second cup of coffee, broke out the slow cooker, bought squash that was on sale, and baked banana bread. All in vain attempt to delay the inevitable goodbye to summer. She may return and kiss our checks soon - her overnight departure a shock to the system, for sure.

As the clouds lifted, slightly, Makiah and I both needed a walk. On our stroll up the lane to the post office, we stopped to chat with two people looking intently up a tree 500 yards from the house. Perched in the tree, soundly slumbering, was a mama bear and her two cubs. We snapped photos and the couple asked me if I was a Manitoid - and my response, "only for the past three weeks!" Apparently Ray, who gave me his purple "Satellite System Repairs" business card enjoys chasing bears in his free time. He had kind of a crazy look in his eye - and told me the bears around here don't hibernate until late November, depending on the season.

I met myself a bonafide Manitou bear scarer. Or as his card says: Duckman.


And I thought I had seen it all yesterday with five Segways cruising through the Garden of the Gods.

Something tells me this is just the beginning.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It rains in paradise, too!

Dodging thundershowers but not escaping wet pavement, this morning I smiled realizing I haven't pedaling in the rain since June. That's got to be a record. Spoiled. Rotten.

The sun slips out between the showers - making colors pop and drying the porch. I look up out the window in my office, peaking West towards Pike Peak in hopes clear skies are to come for the second ride of the day.

An even bigger smile spreads as I think about now tacky trails beckoning me in the surrounding hills.

Those early morning pain cave intervals are quickly becoming a distant memory....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting settled

With the last of the boxes gone from the front porch, I think it's safe to say we're settled. Makiah has a perma-grin and bounce in her strut that's nothing other than happiness. Come to think of it, so do I.

The tan lines are deepening, the hair getting blonder and the lungs adapting to the 6,500 feet of elevation. The days are shortening, ever so slightly, and I'm ready for the flip side of summer knowing that I'll have more Vitamin D than Miami. Yes, you heard that right. More sun than Miami. (Not as warm, but those are minor details.)

Reading through an old journal from 2001 revealed my desire to live in the Colorado Rockies back then. It only took me ten years to make it happen! But better late than never. ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Jones Downhill

Thinking of yesterday puts a smile on my face. It was a lazy but early morning, starting with breakfast at Adam's Mountain Cafe. We got there close to opening so the world famous cinnamon rolls were available and they did not disappoint. Mmmmm. Whole wheat cinnamon rolls with honey icing, which practically makes them guilt free! It didn't matter though - we had our work cut out for us that day, with a 5+ hour mountain bike ride on tap.

We loaded the car up and hit the trail right at noon. Let the 12 miles of climbing begin! We both rocked our hard tail 29ers (I finally chopped 2" off the handle bars and it no longer feels like I'm maneuvering a low flying aircraft). Opting out of adding on an additional 1.5 hours of riding from the house and roughly 1,500 feet of climbing, we started at the Gold Camp parking lot at around 6,500 feet. From there the route climbs over 12 miles to roughly 10,400 feet, where the air is cool and thin. At that elevation, it's important not to put yourself in the red zone where recovery is non-existent.

The first part of the climb is a hiker/cyclist/equestrian only trail that links to a red neck/biker/gun shooting crowd. As we were plugging away at the first section, Chris Carmichael came bombing downhill. Up, up, and up we climbed. At the half way point, we came upon a lookout where we felt silly in our spandex/camel back outfits compared to the gun rack welding, muddy jeep driving "YEEHAW!" screaming crowd. Shortly there after, we saw two guys pulled off on the side of road, having target practice at various bottles aimed toward the road. Sweet. I was very thankful to see two Forest Service patrol cars cruising the area.

We kept climbing. Two and a half hours later, we found our trailhead - 701. Just as we got to the top, three dirt bike riders from Pennsylvania crested and were friendly enough - but also a reminder that we were going to be sharing this single track with bikers as well.

I'll put this out there right now: this single track downhill is TOTALLY worth every single minute of uphill climbing, at altitude!

The trail was a little technical for me in some rocky sections but as the day wore on and I got sick and tired hiking my bike, I grew some heuvos and clipped in, rolling over the majority of features. That's actually when the real fun began - when I didn't give a shit anymore about whether I crashed or put a foot down and just went for it. Suddenly I was clearing stuff I would have hesitated on before and hooping and hollering about it. Thankfully the boy waited for me at certain points throughout the ride - and at one point was starting to get worried only to see me pop out with a big smile on my face with satisfaction of NOT un-clipping. YAHOO! He had been waiting about 15 minutes. Ha!

After 2 hours of single track, we came out onto High Road and decided to continue climbing up to the parking lot. And who did we see coming down High Road at the exact same time? The guys on dirt bikes from Pennsylvania. We all did a double take. Nice!

We were both blown by the time we got back to the car. A quick stop at the store on the way home for hamburger fixings and beer and we were in bed, sawing logs by 9pm. I think that's the trick to living in this area: play so hard during the day that you have to got to bed by 9pm. Done.

Yep, I still have that pinch me feeling.

Friday, September 09, 2011

As a kid growing up, I remember my grandfather would routinely go on 50 mile bike rides. At the time they seemed like an impossible distance. He would come home, sweaty and salty from roaming the Eugene hillsides and sit down at the kitchen table in black spandex shorts, wife beater undershirt and start inhaling anything within reach. I still remember the way he smelled.

It took a while, and unfortunately my grandfather passed a couple of years ago, but I too share his passion of long road rides, coming home too tired to shower before cramming in as many left overs as possible. I thought about what I was going to eat the last twenty minutes of my ride, willing myself to go faster so I could get that much closer to eating.

As I go back for my second helping of mushroom risotto, I think of you, Bope. And toast the next big spoonful of goodness to you.

Long live long road rides!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The book is coming along.... and it has been hilarious to relive my boxing days. Wow, it really was my first love in sport. It's crazy to think that the majority of the women who I boxed with are all now professionals and have continued killing it in the sport. That's ten years of getting knocked upside the head!

I miss it. :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Three years.

The time has flown by, and at other times come to a complete stand still.

It seems like I found out just yesterday, yet ions ago.

And I get teary eyed and sad at times but know it's better to have known love then not at all.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pedaling out those demons.

There's nothing flat about where I moved. Manitou is literally in the foothills of Pikes Peak. To start any ride, I head down Lovers Lane through Old Colorado City and the options start from there. Do I: a)ride through Garden of the Gods (hilly), b)head over to Gold Camp (big hill), c)ride into town via Colorado and head east (flat but exposed and usually windy)?

Today's ride contained the first two options and I'm blown. Throw in multiple world champs, pan am champs, world record holders and Wheeler and well, you've got yourself a world class group ride. Too bad not many of them are competitive with one another. Ha! It was a queen of the mountain competition up anything resembling a hill.

At the top of Gold Camp is a 3k dirt section that's a little dicey at times on the road bike. You definitely have to navigate around any deep gravel sections and today my navigator skills failed me - I took a big slide on the bike eating serious dirt and banging my right wrist. Dope! Nothing like a little bruised ego to keep you in check.

The prep for Elite Track nationals is in full swing and I'm looking forward to the venture West at the end of the month. The track here is fast and the community has been really welcoming and inviting. I got rid of the last box in the living room and our space is starting to look habitable. Things are starting to come together, that's for sure.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Breaker two niner

Rad weekend filled with track racing, followed by more track racing, followed by three hours of fat tire action on the 29er with the boy. HUGE, big smiles were had. And the best part? Along with those smiles came a realization that I am right where I should be, enjoying this moment and living it to the fullest.


Friday, September 02, 2011


It would be impossible not to cry today. My tears came early this morning as I looked out East to a sunny sky.

Today would/is? have been our ten year wedding anniversary.

And in a few days marks the third year since Ryan's death.

Big sigh. Big tears.

Last night I raced my first night at the 7/11 velodrome. Corner two wasn't haunted with his presence. And when I struggled from digging myself into the red, I used my own strength to finish the race. I was frustrated at not having the strength to hold on from an early move in the point a lap - and I know better. But sometimes you have to struggle just for the sake of struggling.

Guess what? It's sunny. For the 12th morning in a row. The sun is great for drying tears.