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Winter 13-14 and more!

Wow….

Time does fly. I have been doing some crazy rides on the trainer this winter. I participated in, and completed, the Tour of Sufferlandia!  That was fun. If you are bored with your trainer rides, check out The Sufferfest!

Riding my bike during the Tour of Sufferlandia... with my left arm in the sling!

Riding my bike during the Tour of Sufferlandia… with my left arm in the sling!

 

They have some amazing videos for your training. I also used Trainer Road to facilitate my training this winter. Well, some bike riding. Yes, I was in the sling for a few weeks due to my second shoulder surgery…. Yes, it is better now, and I have just been cleared to ride outside with both hands on the bars! This meant no Ride the Rockies this summer, but it will give me many more years of good shoulders for riding!

So, to add to the lack of consistent training, I am now  registered for a few rides in the next few months. The biggest one is the MS 150 ride in Colorado. I am riding with the Raw Hinies team. The team is a group of friends who are riding to raise money for MS research. Here is the team web page: http://www.rawhinies.com . I am riding with a few friends from work, so it will be fun to see how we are all walking on the Monday after the ride! This ride is very special for me as a good friend has a very unique form of MS. She was fortunate to have access to great treatment so avoided a brain biopsy and surgery to determine what was wrong with her.

By riding, I am seeking to raise $500.00 for MS research.  Here is my funding raising page: http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Bike/COCBikeEvents?px=13352292&pg=personal&fr_id=22980

I would love it if you supported me with $1, 5, 10, 25 or more if you are able. If you are not able, please support me in spirit as I ride over 150 miles June 28 & 29.  I will keep you updated on my spring and summer riding adventures.

End of 2013

Eeek…. where did the time go.
Yes, a group of us Rode the Rockies from Telluride to Colorado Springs. We survived the fires in the spring and the flooding in the late summer. I rode the Buff Classic, The Government Shutdown route for the Tour of the Moon, learned how to do the bike dance, and had a lot of fun riding this summer.

While not outside at the moment, I am able to ride and suffer with a few training videos! So far this year, I have over 1500 miles on the bike. Not too bad for only being able to ride for 10 months. Not as I had hoped, but I have been able to ride!

I am blessed!

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March 2013

Well, we did get into Ride the Rockies. WOW… what a course. I am joining a team of 8 amazing ladies.

Wow.... amazing route!

Wow…. amazing route!

Health care executive, higher education program developer, Nurse practitioner, software developer, public school teachers, higher education faculty member….. The Sprockety Cranks will amaze you all. We will have fun on our journey, remain sane in the quest to ride over a few mountain passes, laugh together and eat well!

So, now it is a few weeks later. . . I have been off my bike more than on it. Some surgery and lots of PT, so I was just able to get outside on my bike on April 21! That was fun. I was to be a sweep for the Venus de Miles Bike Club, but no one wanted to ride fast at the medium speed….. that was fine as I was able to have a great first ride.

The following week found me doing PT and then riding up Old Stage road to Jamestown. That kicked my butttttocks! So, I wanted to ride outside during the middle of the week for the past 4 weeks, but no we have had very nice snow storms on Tuesdays for the last 4 weeks! Back inside!

So, I hope to ride more and use my videos some! Keeping you posted!

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Early 2013

This new year found me learning to enjoy climbing in a gym, snow hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park,me at RMNP riding my bike outside in mid-January (and more), not skiing much and trying to do the Tour of Sufferlandia. I had signed up for the tour, but outside activities kept on interfering with my riding. I did make the mistake of riding one day after hiking 5 miles in snow…. My heart rate would not let me ride as I needed to. Darn, but keep on going.

Here is a picture of me that day at Emerald Lake in RMNP. The fun thing is a whole group of guys were coming to the lake as we were leaving – with hockey skates, sticks and a puck. Yes, they were there to play hockey! It was fun to watch for a while.

So, I completed 5 of the 9 days in the Tour timeframe…. now what? I did complete all the days of the Tour of Sufferlandia. Gotta love Trainer Road and the videos from TheSufferfest.com! They make the time fly as you do the workouts.  I continue to enjoy using Trainer Road, Netflix, cycling DVD’s and such in the indoors when I cant get outside to ride. I continue to enjoy using the Feed Zone Cookbook, from @SkratchLabs, for meals during the week.

Jaymi breaking trail!

Jaymi breaking trail!

We got to do some amazing snowshoeing in the McCoy Park a few weeks ago! It was so beautiful. Here are some pictures from my winter adventures. The snow shoeing picture is of Jaymi breaking trail at McCoy Park.

I have done a few days of skiing, but it just hasn’t been a big draw this winter. I am so enjoying riding my bike, climbing (at the gym now), some amazing friends, and just cooking well. The last day out found me covering over 20K vertical in a little under 4 hours. I was so excited that I had the endurance to go from top to bottom without stopping!. . . Well, not exactly on all the mogul runs (one that is), but for the most part, I did not stop. I ate lunch in the car on the way home. It was fun to have nice snow and limited people in the lift lines.

Now, it is back to thinking about riding…. we, the Sprockety Cranks, got into Ride the Rockies! Early June for 512 miles over 7 days in Colorado. The route goes from Telluride to Colorado Springs. So, the B Strong Ride Blog is now updated to the Ride the Rockies Blog! Ha!

So, my ride training indoors has changed focus a bit…. working towards longer, quality hours on the bike in the basement. I need to find some good videos to go with Trainer Road. I am so grateful for the exercise hydration products (orange, lemon lime, raspberry) from @SkratchLabs. I can drink them and eat food from the cookbook while riding WITHOUT consequences. If you have not tried any of their products, I would encourage you to try them….. AMAZING!

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Christmas and beyond

Wow… what an interesting time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. On the biking scene, I am so excited to have a G3 PowerTap wheel set! Rock on! I updated the hub with my PC (oh well, they are good for some things) and put the hub back together. When I got the wheel set, they were within 5 mm of being absolutely true!  Great product, THANKS CycleOps Power!

We rode to Mary’s and took this picture with Santa! It was a fun day.

Our pre-Christmas ride on a great December day!

Our pre-Christmas ride on a great December day!

And then, I got a great email from CycleOps Power letting me know that I was one of the 12 days of Christmas winners! I am waiting for the gifts in the mail.

I got a Joule GPS bike computer…..and some other great stuff! Thank you CycleOps Power! WOW…..

Life then took a turn back to reality quite quickly. A family member was in a serious car accident. She remains unconscious, in a Neuro ICU at a trauma center in Alabama. Remember to hug your loved ones!

So, now back to reality of work after the holidays. I have been able to ride outside in January a few times. It was great fun with the gals from the bike club! I also joined another bike club to challenge me a bit more, as well as to get educated! ten20 is the new group and I think it will be fun.

I have also been doing some indoor riding, with my CyclOps PowerTap, Super Magneto Pro, Skratch hydration (the raspberry is great), Sufferfest videos and Trainer Road…. fun. But it is a pain to change out the tire each week as I ride outside!  But, while it is a pain, I can at least ride outside in January! How nice.

I started on the Tour of Sufferlandia, but had to miss 2 days due to work and my HR being a bit wonky. So, back onto the bike tonight with the Tour! It is fun and great to have the intervals with my TrainerRoad program. I am learning lots about riding with power which is very different from my exercise physiology training using heart rate.

Just got the date for the BStrong Ride in Boulder – August 10, 2013. Save the date. It looks like the same routes. Coach Karl’s Chain Gang may be back!

Cheers!

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What is next?

So, what does one do when the big event is over?  Well, I have been busy. Somehow I got convinced to do the Heart and Sole 10K in Boulder. No, I did not run as I gave that up about 5 knee surgeries ago. I walked at a quick pace and averaged 15 minute miles. It was a beautiful morning to be out just taking it all in. Wow, is this a beautiful place.

When we were done with the event, we spent some time bumming in Boulder, grocery shopping, hydration (read ETOH and Skratch) shopping, looking around. I found a ‘new bike’ that I would love to have, but I would need to sell the current one. Time will tell. . .

Here they come…. quite quickly into Boulder, at Broadway and Arapahoe.

The next week was full of school starting activities for me – including adjusting to the new job! But wait, the US Pro Cycling race was in the state, and coming to Boulder. So, Saturday found me with some friends at the CUP, discussing the best strategy to watch the race. So, off to Broadway and Arapahoe we went. Here is the first group coming through…. go!

So after the whole field came racing by, we hopped over to Canyon and 9th. We found some prime spots and I sat on the curb…. only to be pulled back into the fans as I almost got hit! Here is the blurry picture of that event.

Ok, so I almost got hit by the BMC train! Here is my picture to show how close it was.

The most amazing thing was seeing the BMC train (not a diesel, but express) coming around the corner with the yellow jersey. Too bad that picture was out of focus.

So, we then decided to get a little lunch and pack it into the saddle bags. Thanks Jaymi for carting them up the mountain! We rode up Flagstaff! Yes, we rode up to 1 K from the finish line, locked the bikes, hiked up to 100m from the finish. We just sat and enjoyed the view and fans.  We were well rewarded with some amazing pictures of the riders coming into the finish area.

That was August…. September found me doing some riding along the front range and up in the mountains. I registered at the last minute for the Buffalo Classic and completed the 50 mile ride with an average of over 15 mph. Impressive to me as I have been riding for less than one year. I also volunteered for the Venus de Miles ride at the Women’s Wilderness Institute aid station. We were on the 33 mile route and had tons of fun. It was a hot day and the women, and men in drag, were inspirational.

Me, with the fall colors in the background.

Here I am with the amazing Colorado colors in Vail Valley.

October found me doing some more riding in the mountains. My favorite was 40 minutes up Vail pass and I got back to the starting point in only 20 minutes. It was a fun downhill.

November found me riding on the weekends with the occasional time during the week. It was a great month as I passed the 1,000 miles ridden outside milestone! I can’t believe that I did this. Now, I need to set some new goals for next year. Let me think on that one. I need to do some more training first, but it could be a great winter. I am looking for training videos for the winter months. I will be using my Cyclops trainer in the house. Whisper quiet!

Thanksgiving found us starting a new tradition, cooking from the Feed Zone Cookbook. Flatiron Steak with mustard sauce, Orzo and basil salad, Wine and soy mushrooms and Fruit-braised pork. Not that we had this in one day. It was a Feed Zone Cookbook week. We loved every meal!

I also got a few runs in at Vail on Black Friday. Wow…. ski on Friday and bike ride on Sunday! Pretty amazing.

Yes, I do live in a place where you can ride year round, but I leave for work while it is still a bit dark and come home in the dark. Right now, it is safer to ride in the house!  Well, that could be up for consideration also as I have been looking at some of the ‘The Sufferfest’ dvd’s for use this winter. . . WOW.

So, I have been riding in December. A few of us from the Venus de Miles bike club had our picture taken with Santa (a plastic one) at Mary’s in Hygiene. It was a fun ride. We met up with Cov and rode home with her. She is an inspiration to me. Retired and rides like she is 20. I hope to be able to ride like she does when I retire. Thanks Cov!

Well, next update will be after Christmas and I will report on some of the training dvd’s that I (hopefully) got for Christmas!

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B Strong Ride – complete for now

Most of us after the ride

Wow – We did it. Rode the 69 mile mountain loop. Our team, Coach Karl’s Chain Gang, was able to raise over $6000 to fight cancer in Boulder and Colorado. Here is a picture of most of the team after the ride. There was a great after ride celebration at Celestial Seasonings. Lots of great sponsors turned out to feed all of the riders.

This is the second year of the B Strong Ride. There were 800 riders and the event raised over $320,000. LIVESTRONG was the partner for the event, but the money will stay within the community. The funds raised will benefit Boulder Community Hospital and the George Karl Foundation. The goal for next year is over 1,000 riders and to raise over $500,000. Great goals that are achievable.

We want to give recognition, as the event did, to Rick Gorton for his generous support of us in this event. THANK YOU for the unique level of support! Rick was one of a few donors who were recognized publicly by the B Strong Ride event for his level of support!

The green line is the route we rode. Amazing.

 

I will also post a variety of pictures of the ride and route that I have. While my intent was to take more pictures, climbing slowly up the mountain (or hill to some) and quickly descending did not make taking pictures easy!

First things first – the route map. We rode UP Lefthand Canyon to Ward and beyond. As one friend said “where is the end of this hill?” It was a long climb and a bit tough for all of us who trained in Wisconsin this summer. Yes, the grade did get to 12% on the switchback. I had to walk that one!

Three of the gang on the ride up to Ward.

So, on the climb we experienced sunshine, cloud cover, rain and some sleet. There were 5 of us who stayed together for most of the ride up. Here is a picture of 3 of us on the way up to Ward, before it got more cloudy and then wet.

As we got further up the mountain, or hill as some would call it, we began to get wet. With a light breeze and more rain, we started to get wet and COLD. At one time, when a girl behind us got into the SAG wagon, we were all thinking ‘that looks like a warm option. Should we ask for a ride up?’ None of us took that option. But we all needed to walk some – Next year we will all ride the whole thing! We now know what will be expected of us. Bring it on.

We all made it to the second aid station as the workers were commenting on how cold it was. We got snacks, water, electrolyte  drink, and encouragement. The ride down to Lyons was a bit slow as we had wet roads and wet brakes. Here is a picture of some of our team members (Nancy, Regis & me) on the way down. We are still feeling cool here. About 1/2 way down to Lyons, the sun started to come out! With cold toes, feet and fingertips, it was a welcome change.

Yes, it was downhill and it was fun to find dry roads. My max speed was 41 mph. Needless to say, I didn’t take too many pictures during the ride into Lyons. It was beautiful, as I remembered it from the drive, and nice to have the warm breeze.

Paceline training buddies!

We got into the Lyons after branching off onto some fresh asphalt! Nice change from the chip seal and traffic. The crew there was amazing. Three of us, Cindy, Linda and myself, were the first of our team into the aid station. We waited for Regis and then Nancy. All of us ate, refilled on drinks, used the facilities and motored on. It got quite warm after leaving Lyons. I was wishing for the cloud cover of earlier in the day. The paceline worked well until the railroad tracks in Hygiene. I just lost it and had to move forward at my own pace. Until that point, we were able to maintain about 24 – 22 mph on the road. For me, my pace was right around 17 mph for this part of the ride. As we were motoring into the finish, we passed a rider on a mountain bike. He was plugging along. Happy to be riding. Here is a picture of the paceline team.

A photo with Kevin after the ride. He is the person behing the B Strong Ride.

The celebration after the ride was amazing. A chance to rehydrate, eat some great food, drink more of my lemon Skratch exercise hydration mix, listen to the nominations for the awards and just rest and chat with the team was so fun.

The highlight of the day was when we, the chain gang, were out for a meal after the event. Nine of us were sitting at the table, chatting and enjoying the time. A woman approached us and said ‘I see all of you rode today. I want to say thank you as I am in treatment for cancer now. THANK YOU!’ Wow, that made our day. Yes, were able to ride up the canyon and do much more. We were not limited to only dreaming about doing it by a disease or treatment. Thank you Kevin for starting the ride!

Overall, it was an amazing journey and success. The event raised over $300,000 and had 800 riders. Next year they want 1,000 riders and to raise over $500,000. I think we will all do it!

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