29 June, 2015

Mini vacay, part 3

Am I being lazy? or is there really something going on in this body? I want to go and do and train. Some days, like this morning, it I'm just not feeling energetic, fit, ready to do what I've planned.

It's 11:07 pm and I return to work tomorrow. I seriously wish there was someway I could ride my bike most days in the mountains. Ride being the operative word!and not push it uphill.

It was steamy (humid) this week, independent of the temperatures.

Well I got sidetracked and typed the above then a full week goes by. That happens to me when reality sets in. 

Friday I took my time at The Crashpad. I fried an egg and made oatmeal, had a cup of tea and chatted with those that were doing the same. There was a couple that have travelled to Asia and India and they shared their adventures with us. I was inspired to start thinking of another international trip. I must start saving, both money and PTO (or maybe not worry about PTO). Wrapped up, loaded up and hit the road. It was my birthday and I made way to Brevard. I went to Pisgah brewery and then went to an anniversary party thrown by one of the local bike shops. They had food catered and brews and their own mini pumptrack people rode. 

There was a road event that weekend and the campground was full again, but I stayed where I stayed Memorial weekend. It was pleasant and quiet and comfortable. 

Saturday I got up and ate and drove to Trace Ridge trailhead. A friend shared his map and thoughts about the trail. The climb was tough. The descent was fun though very tight in a few places where the rhododendrons have grow close. When I got back to the van and was changing I heard voices and saw a friend from Louisville ride up. We chatted and made plans to meet for dinner later that evening.

I wanted to be sure and get done in time to see the Blueridge battle - pumptrack challenge at I9.  I'm so glad I did. It was fun to watch and video and talk with people. I met Chris and Jessie at The Phoenix for dinner, hit the chocolatier and then headed to Oskar Blues for a beer before turning in for the night.

Sunday I got up and the body was telling me how I'd ridden much more than I have recently. I'd been ignoring a flare-up to the best of my ability and kept the lidocaine handy. I was determined and so ate a bite and rode lower Black Mountain. It was damp as was Trace Ridge. But the descent is so fast and flowy! My time descendng was slower than before but I was happy to be in the forest. Of course I had to visit The Hub and Pisgah Tavern. I was thrilled to see Meaghan and Dave while I was in town. 

I left and went to Pisgah brewery to purchase some brews for home. They carry this mango chipolte hummus that is so good, I bought 2 to bring home. Next stop was Bruisin' Ales and found a few new choices and some for friends also. 

The drive wasn't terrible, but it's definitely long after riding same day (even though my ride was short).

My mini vacay was very nice and I'm grateful I can do things like this. Sure would be good to have others to share with, but make the best of what you have. One of these days maybe I'll get to travel with others again. 

So I'm 57, June is almost over and started the 58th revolution. Still have things to do and say. Violet turned 3 months last Friday. Time goes so quickly. 

peace and love

Yay for equal marriage rights! Now if we could just ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for women in this country.


19 June, 2015

Mini vacaypart 2

Best evening I've had in a long time. Got to hang out with a friend before the show. Surprised me at my van. That was great. Seeing The Rolling Stones boogie and rock agelessly was outstanding. Plenty of dancing, singing along and it was a very warm night. They didn't start until after 9:30. It was after 11:30 when they ended. That's Central time, going home you lose an hour. (I didn't go home but a friend had to drive home to Louisville). 

It was about an hour before getting on the interstate and head to the campground. It was 1:30 before I laid my head down. (that's 2:30 body clock) My body is all out of whack. haha Cages Bend Campground is very nice and I will go back.

Of course I slept in a bit, until the dogs started barking and the sun was hitting my face. Went to Starbucks for oatmeal, took my time. No need to be in a hurry. All things happen as they will. Drove to Chattanooga. Went to Raccoon Mountain and rode. It was 3:30 or after before I arrived, changed and starting to ride. Not the best ride. So happy I found the lidocaine before leaving home. Flareups be damned! ha, yeah right. That's ok. Ride everyday and get that fitness on the upswing, right? I love riding here. I so wish I had the fitness to really enjoy it.

Switch Yard from the trail

Switch Yard from the road

So fun! Much of the Raccoon trails remind me of O'Bannon Woods with rock, etc. But Raccoon has lots of sand too.

After riding and having a snack I googled weather and campgrounds for Knoxville and Pisgah. By the time I got down from Raccoon I was getting very hungry. Flying Squirrel I thought and it was 5 minutes from myt current location. As I walked to Squirrel I stopped in to say Hi at The Crash Pad.  They had one bunk left and it's on first floor and bottom bunk, SCORE!

I can't believe I'm still awake, except my clothes are in the dryer. A few more hours and I'll wrap up this 57th year of life outside the womb. Looking forward to this next revolution and see what it has in store. 

Forever grateful for each experience, wonderful and painful both. 

peace and love 

17 June, 2015

Mini vacay part 1

Tuesday plan was to leave from work. Life happens and plans alter. Had an appt with lung Dr. It went well. The PA didn't seem pleased when I told her I use my long lasting inhaler "as needed" and the Dr had said I could. Dr came in and asked how I'm doing to which I replied just fine. "Any issues" no, not really. Maintaining. To which he says, "see ya next year, do you want any samples?" Of course I'll take samples, that stuff is outrageously expensive. 

A friend lost her Mom to Alz this week, visitation was yesterday and burial today. She is a dear and I couldn't leave town without paying respects. She has been very thoughtful with me and my Mom situation. 

Loaded the car and grabbed a quick dinner at El Taco Luchador then hit the road. It was 7:30 ish. Ran through rain in Hardin county, looked fierce but other than a heavy downpour wasn't bad at all. Pulled into camp around 11, 10 here in TN and missed the checkin. Setup camp for evening, drank a cider and went to sleep. Rested well, the sun woke me about 6 and got up at 7. Checkin was closed still so I headed to Starbucks for oatmeal and points East to ride. 

Brian and I had talked about several places we'd like to ride over the last couple of years. Defeated Creek was one and was about an hour drive from Cages Bend campground. The information on Trailfu was limited at best. I arrived and found the trailhead right outside the campground there. A gentleman was walking back to his truck and we chatted briefly. He said if you climb all the way to the ridge there are some pretty difficult places on the way back down. Good!

I took my time. No need to be in a hurry and have many more days to ride ahead. There were a couple of fairly steep washed out climbs that I walked. The temp and humidity was climbing. It doesn't look like many are riding this trail. The lower parts are better traveled than the top, Grizzly. Grass was heavy and tall in places. I found plenty of spider webs that wind up around my neck and in my face. Sticks and limbs were down everywhere and I kept thinking I should've bought a spare dérailleur hanger to keep handy for the Trance. I'm fairly sure I rode everything legal for bike and got 8 miles and 863 ft climbing. The ride back down was fun and I made all the switchbacks. There were a few places with rock drops, but they were tame and a few steep swooping drops that dropped in dry creek beds and climbed back out with no effort if you descended with good speed. 

Went to the campground looking for a camp store to buy a Popsicle. There wasn't a camp store! So I rode to the Marina and found a cold Yeungling instead. haha

Sitting here back at Cages Bend after a nice shower and lunch. Maybe I'll take a nap. I'm heading to Nashville before long to see The Rolling Stones. Another first. Not sure how it will be in LP field. But I'll take it all in stride. 

Hope everyone at Short track has a great time tonight, hate missing it but can't be in two places at same time. #priorities 


ps no place for my hammock, hope there is at my next resting place. 

15 June, 2015

Hell yes I'm scared

and know there's no reason to be. People ask me about traveling alone, riding alone, etc. If I had my druthers I'd be fit and fast enough to ride with other people then maybe I'd be invited along to ride places. I spent too much time cajoling and trying to get invited. That just ends up in disaster. So I won't sit home and wait. I am going to go and do. Yes, sometimes I'm in over my head. I can't think about it. It's like a lot of things in life. I can live in fear of what could happen or I can go and do and let life happen as it does. 

Never would I have thought I'd be on my own, solo, this long. But then life zigs and zags. 

I am a scaredy cat on the trails lots of times. Other times I have a confidence that surprises me. Don't get me wrong. I have no fitness, but I have moments where the legs and heart and lungs feel so good and I am one with the bike and the geometry of the dirt and I feel like I am soaring.

Lots on my mind. I'm missing the last two days of Short Track for this trip. It's my birthday weekend. No one had mentioned anything about it and I didn't expect them to, so I started planning to use the time I had saved for helping out when my granddaughter was born. 

Another trip around the sun completes very soon. Makes one think about many things. 

The last few days have been such a joy. I spent time Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday with friends and family. What fun is has been to feast after what seems life a long drought. I am grateful and humbled.

Prayers to all who have lost parents, children, pets, friends over these last days, weeks and months. 

Peace and love for everyone

10 June, 2015

Short Track week #3

Another fun evening with great people! It was HOT but not too humid. Since this was my last possibility to race the series I didn't want to miss. But major flare-up happened Monday and was miserable today. Rode to work this morning and seriously considered going home, but needed to  get things done and didn't want to burn a PTO day. :-)

Got out of work and rode home. A friend came to visit and we rode to Eva Bandman together. I tried to talk her into racing, but she didn't bring her MTB. 

I started the race, but realized the pain was too distracting and I was going to be an obstacle for the others. Still had fun, always have fun riding bikes and being with like-minded people.

Time to think and regroup.

Will add photo/video later.

peace and g'nite

it should be easier. I was told I shouldn't care. But I do, it's how I'm wired. To be standing and talking with people and have people either act like you're not there or just walk away. this too is life. c'est la vie, non?

08 June, 2015

Emotonal moment here folks

My niece got married Saturday. What a beautiful ceremony and celebration it was. The officiant recognized those that were not able to be with us including my Dad and my niece's grandparents on her mother's side as well as relatives of the groom. Tears welled up in my eyes. And I thought about Mom too. They played such good music including some Nat King Cole. My Dad loved his music and had several of his albums. He also loved Big Band and some jazz.  The groom is a musician and teacher. Dad would've really liked him I think.

The bride and groom dance:  Greta and Jacob's newlywed dance

Visited Mom today at supper time. (read a comment recently about the use of the word supper, definitely not a southern person). They had dressed hamburgers, tater tots, and pork and beans with lemonade. We visited a bit and I went to fill her med planner. They were still eating when I finished that and I sat with her and chatted with her table mates. Well, only one gentleman was capable of conversation. They had chocolate pudding for dessert and I got out my iPhone and showed Mom pictures of Greta and Jacob's wedding. She kept asking his name and commenting on how tall he is. She said "Greta is going to have to look up all the time to see his face." Next I got some photos of Violet, her first great-granddaughter. She repeated and repeated her name. She asked for her full name. When I said Violet Elena, she really liked Elena. I showed her a couple of videos of Violet also. She just smiled and said how pretty and happy she is. She wants to see her and I want her to as well.

Sitting here posting videos from the wedding and a post about my visit to mom and I get emotional. Happy and sad all at the same time. Life is constant change. It's all out of our control. The best we can do is love and love and love each other.

Thinking about friends who've recently lost parents and those whose parents are close to leaving this world. Then I see all of the expectant Moms and Dads and new babies on my Facebook wall and the circle of life continues.

Love your family and friends as much as you can. You never know when they won't be.

Peace and love to all

05 June, 2015

04 June, 2015

Louisville Short Track MTB race #2

Different course this week. There was only one log, small in diameter to clear just before a left hand turn, no big deal. The course stayed inside the wooded area and incorporated a jump that was rollable, though I wish I had the skilz to jump because rolling it wasn't fun or fast.

I rode to the course from home on my Scalpel with flat pedals. The temps were great, high 60s. Lots of familiar faces were there and a couple of new ones on the Women's C start line! I rode to the venue 1) because it seems silly to drive 2) thought it would give me a good warm-up before racing, next time add a couple of miles I think.

I pre-rode the course about 3 laps. The one thing I didn't like about the course was the hill. They put in this steep climb of about 30 feet. I made it up about 3/5 of the way during warm-up. First lap in the race I slid out and everyone passed me. Climbing that in my 5/10s was a big challenge. They have fairly slick soles, thus no traction. Maybe I should put my clip-less pedals and shoes in my bag for next week. nah I am not making excuses. I should be able to ride that climb unless it's full of others walking it. Several of the juniors passed me and some of them are very small. Not to worry, no damage to my ego there. Two of them got tangled and one smashed into a tree. They got their bikes apart by the time I got to them. The one was crying a bit and I said jump on your bike and ride, you are going to be fine! He did and I think he was just fine.

Again, I must say how nice it is to have people cheering for you. It is a huge boost even if there's no way to do better than last. I am humbled when I hear my name. People I did not think would ever cheer for me did. Still wondering about that.

Watching the rest of the races and cheering for everyone is the very best part of the evenin' for me. That and talking to folks. It's always fun to run from place to place on the course and snap photos or take some video. I did grab some video at the jump and caught a few catching air.

A friend and I chatted briefly. She said how good it was to see me making a comeback to racing. hmmm  Not so sure this is what I would call a comeback. I have no fitness. I may never have any chance of being competitive again. But I love the atmosphere and hope to make some Cyclocross races this fall. 

Women's A/B race start:

Men's A Race start:


I will try to post a vid and/or photo later tonight to this blog entry.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Springtime.
peace and love

p.s. the autoimmune stuff just stinks, flareups keep happening out of the blue. One started Monday evening and was no fun for last night's race. Good news: asthma and allergies seem to be better for now. :-)