26 October, 2014

Bull Mtn Enduro weekend

I had forgotten the creek runs adjacent to the cabins and camping spots. As soon as the engine was off I heard it. I've gotten the therma rest filled with air. It's 11 pm and I'm having a FFOH as a nightcap before turning in. 6+ hours travel time is tiring but I'm wide awake. Didn't sleep much last night and I'm usually ready to sleep by 10.

So much has happened in the last weeks. I've pushed through the pain of flareups and worked hard to do my training program.  missed almost an entire week but got on the trainer when the trails were wet. Many have ridden anyway and even been out at night. 

I'm anxious and concerned about Saturday. I want to make it to the start in time. After that I can do the first stage and attempt the next. 

I met up with Bruce of ProGold last night at Eva Bandman. I've known him a couple of years and we talked quite a bit last year at MTB Natz in PA. I told him if I'd known he was coming he could've stayed in my house for the weekend. oh well. things always workout the way they should. 

He asked if I was coming to Bull MTN with Brian and I said nope I was traveling solo. He seemed surprised and concerned about that. I honestly don't understand why people have that response with women but not men. like I can't take care of myself? give me a break. But I digress. He told me about this secret ride in GA said it's really hard but a big party and if I wanted to do it I'd have to send a letter of intent. so for shits and giggles I did. seriously doubt I'll do it. I first need to ride that climb tomorrow (Friday) and race on Saturday. If my legs and privates hold up I'll decide then whether I'm going to ride Bear Creek and Pinhoti 1&2 or do the one stage of the secret stage race. I'm thinking the former due to drive time and the fact that it's convenient to Mulberry gap. 

Arrived at Bull Mtn about 1:30 and parked under a tree. It was an interesting day. I talked to the promotors and got a map. The course was semi flagged but I missed a turn. Was still good to get out and ride, felt better about it but still nervous. I'm just not a climber and this needs to be corrected. 

Cleaned bikes and had Grilled GF pizza for dinner and some interesting conversation. it didn't get as cold as the night before at MG. I slept from 9:30-1 and woke up and didn't fall back to sleep until 5. just added to the challenge of the day. 

The climb to the start of stage one was tough. But I made it in about 1:20 or so. My Garmin didn't record the first two miles. Asthma at the top depleted oxygen in my muscles. it was a 30 minute wait to start and this I was thankful for.  I was the last to start stage one. I only saw one other racer the rest of the race because he had a flat then he passed me. I had a blast on the stage except for the first creek crossing. The transition to stage two was another gradual climb with a few steep sections thrown in. Stage two was fun but more pedally than I expected. i rode 15.5 miles in about 3.0 hours. You had to be at start of stage four by 3:30. And I just didn't think I had what it took to ride another 15 miles and make the cutoff. Hopefully next year. it's a great course and event. Sad only two women entered. But they gave me swag so that was cool. 

Waited (napped) for Brian to finish and the results to be posted. He did a great job out there. I left and drive back to Mulberry Gap. Arrived in time for a shower before dinner. they had bicycle rides in the barn following dinner on these little tiny bikes. Fun stuff. 

There was a group of women there from Alabama and other places to ride for the weekend.  Grace was one of the ride guides and invited me to join them. I did. my legs were toast. It wasn't exactly the recovery ride I should've done but heck I was in the mountains so you have to climb. Cramps were not much fun but was so nice riding with 14 other women. 

6+ hour drive home kicked my butt even more. 

So many things I will journal about that I won't put here. Somethings make mecrazy  mad and others just make me sad. But end of today I am grateful for every moment, experience and conversation. 

too tired to write a better report. 

peace and love to everyone 

p.s. I had to ask him to, but Brian took this photo and the email subject line said, "Don't look so excited". nice  Everyone else was in front of me even though it looks like I'm alone. Just last.

16 October, 2014

Nothing adventuresome

to write about for now. I'm tired and have been sad. As I have said since I started this blog life is change and we need to roll with it. A person I considered to be a close friend has decided that has changed. Maybe I invested more than they. It's possible. But I feel taken for granted and taken advantage of.

Thank goodness for bicycles and yes trainers. Timing and weather have kept me indoors this week. But my bikes keep me sane, well more calm than I would be without. hah

So many others are hurting in much worse ways and I feel almost ashamed for my drama.

Living the most I can in the moment. Hope tomorrow is a better day.

peace and love to all of you

03 September, 2014

Fitting in

I've wanted to since my first memories of being with others my age. Why is it you want things that aren't for you anyway? Seems this is an important lesson for some of us, right?

From the beginning of riding bikes I have wanted to fit in. I worked hard and I tried, first with the local bike club and later with other groups or teams. Just doesn't work out for whatever reason. And I realize that this is okay and how it is supposed to be. 

The same way I am not comfortable in large groups with several conversations happening around me. I tend to be focused on one person or maybe a couple and in one conversation. Too many people or too many stimuli and I have to leave. 

Last night I watched the local racers ride past on River Road as I started to ride the Big Four Bridge across to Indiana. There were at least 25 in a group. The sound that a group that size makes is attention grabbing, all the wheels whirring like one big engine. A couple of years ago I tried to hang on to that group a few different times, but once they hit the flat with no traffic lights the speed rose above 25 mph and I popped off the back each time. I get popped off the back when I try to join groups in life also. Not sure exactly what that's about, but I remind myself that it's really not for me. It's ok and I have other things I'm here to do. 

As far as riding I've had a big week (8+ hours) for me and then another short week to follow it. Weather hasn't helped and the flareups keep happening, though not as severely recently. A friend suggested I spend more time riding out of the saddle. I think I'll take his advice and work on that. I did try while riding Brown County over the weekend. It's not so easy when there's little fitness and almost no stamina. I'll keep trying though. I don't have to compete, though it would be nice to have the fitness to throw in a race again sometime.

I gain inspiration from all the ladies I follow both locally and around the nation and world. There are so many stories of perseverance and overcoming many obstacles, both physical and otherwise. I don't do well in big groups, but I like people a lot! I ask questions of them. I ask too many questions of some. I've worn out my welcome on at least one, the one I truly enjoy listening to and being around. 

sorry for the ramble, needed to type. hope this didn't come off as a pity pot session, was not my intention. 

22 August, 2014

foolish woman am I

in most things, whether riding bikes or relationships and friendships. But I am honest to a fault and I am too damned sensitive for my own good. Christine is right, I'll leave it at that. Lessons I learn over and over, so I'm not quite getting them yet. End of the day I am grateful for all of it. The joy and pain of love. The joy and pain of effort to achieve things beyond my ability. This is life. Happy to wake each morning and look forward to the next.

19 August, 2014

Snowshoe, Kingdom Trails, and Windrock

The women's Downhill MTB camp was a blast. 54 women, lots of women coaches all IMBA certified and many pro or former pro racers. My group had 7 women and Pat was so patient with us. We did skills drills early Saturday morning, broke for lunch and then hit the trail to practice. We would take one skill and focus on it. Ride the berms, work on cornering. She would go ahead and then stop and watch. We each received individualized feedback. Did this all afternoon and then on Sunday morning. Sunday was all about how to jump and land on table tops. Wish we had some around here I could ride and practice. I highly recommend this camp, even if you have no intention of riding downhill much if at all. Having women be so patience and encouraging for a weekend is a big confidence builder. 

Kingdom Trails was a much difference experience. I flew to Maine and stayed with Disa and her husband. She and I met through a common friend after she moved away from Louisville. It's always amazing to build a good friendship with someone that lives hundreds of miles away. I met all of her friends. The trails we rode at KT were so much fun and challenging. Everything was on Darling Hill. We rode about 20 miles that day. Longest I've ridden in a while. No one was trying to kill it. There were at least 12 of us riding together and we regrouped at trail intersections. Not that we had to regroup really, we all rode pretty much together.  The climbs were built in such a way that they were fun to do. Yes they were challenging, but had enough relief following each switchback that you didn't feel like the climb was as much elevation as it was. One of the trails is called Sidewinder. What a fun fun trail! It's big berms with high sides and deep dips all the way from top to bottom. Here's a photo I grabbed from the mtbproject site.

Sunday morning as we took the bikes off of the cars and got ready to ride the heavens opened up with lots of cold rain. Disa and I decided not to ride and drove back to Maine. I had the most lovely weekend and made new friends. I'm grateful for this and hope I can return sometime.

Windrock. A friend was going to go there to ride this past weekend and posted on the faceplace about it. I said I'd love to go and was willing to camp also. He had 3 buddies from Columbus, OH and Lexington, KY that met us there. This place is not for the faint of heart. It's also not for old women who are out of shape and overweight, meaning me. After a 4 hour drive and a Kroger stop we setup camp. His buddies showed and we took off to ride the XC trails. He was very kind and waited for me. I was not ready for the climbs, but the descents were fast and technical. After riding we grabbed food and took a respite. Then we drove up to the midway point at the downhill trails and walked Middle Finger. I should say I tried walking. Slid down a few of those descents. I have to say this was the gnarliest, most technical place I've been. Steep steep descents with roots and rocks and sharp switchbacks. Sunday we went back to ride. I " walked" most of it. I did ride several places. I also crashed and smacked my face on a rock and cracked the glass on my Garmin also. So happy I didn't lose any of my new teeth or get a black-eye! Funny thing, my friend crashed not 20 feet in front of me. My bike was wrapped around me and it took a few minutes to figure out how to get out of it. We finished the trail ( I walked and rode), then I decided I would be shuttle driver for rest of the day. My buddy had been so kind-hearted to ride with me, show me the place and was very patient. I knew he needed to really get in a good ride though.

I've been very fortunate to have such wonderful experiences this summer. I've met new people, I've learned new skills. I've learned plenty of lessons. I really want to figure out this chronic condition and see how I can minimize the effects it has. I've gained lots and lots of pounds and lost more and more fitness. More pounds makes climbing even more difficult and it's always been my weakest point.

Hoping to get back to riding more as well as real training. Miss the ladies from Monday nites too. All of this rain lately has made for wet trails. 

Until next time... peace

21 July, 2014

Mental note

More to come later if I have time, but right now I feel the need to say this. People have a right to their opinion. People can think whatever they want about anything, even me.

Tonight I got the feeling people have been discussing my bicycle riding, etc. It's really none of my business what people think of me. However, when someone makes a comment about I could die or break my back in five places as an offhand comment to me I must take note.

I ride mountain bikes. I fall down. I get up and finish riding. Only once have I not been able to get back on my mtb after a fall. 

This past weekend I attended a Women's Downhill MTB skills clinic. I paid to be taught by women who know how to ride the skills they were teaching. It was a blast. It was scary. I learned more than I've ever learned about mountain biking and myself. I can do so much more than I thought I could. This doesn't mean I'm going to race downhill. This doesn't mean I'm going to ride death drops. But it does mean I'm going to practice what I've learned and I'm going to continue to push myself to do things outside of my comfort zone.

Whose business is it anyway if I get hurt or die doing what I love doing? People that don't spend time with me to understand who I am in the first place seriously need to find other people to concern themselves with.

I'll take some time soon to write a more joyous entry about this past weekend at Snowshoe.It seriously was a BLAST!!!!!!!

23 June, 2014

Living life with no regret

Easy to read and write, but has taken me over 5 decades to learn and relearn and achieve. I've known since I was a teenager that I should not regret my choices or decisions. They all affect the next thing. Honestly, I would not change a thing because of the effect it would have on life as it currently is and will be tomorrow.

Leo wrote this recently http://zenhabits.net/regret/. I like to read his thoughts. 

I had some plumbing problems that kept me home tonight instead of riding the Monday night lady's ride. Glad I stayed home. One of Mom's classmates called and we talked for quite a while. 

While I don't regret the choices and changes that happen in my life, I do get sad about some of these events. Relationships that change or end. Arguments that happen. 

My recurring lesson in life, and I'm still stuggling with it, is letting go. Like I have any control over it by holding on, haha. Working on it.

So I've rambled. I do that more  and more lately. Random thoughts that want to be expressed in one form or another. 

I love my Mom. Ours hasn't been an easy relationship, but it's been genuine.