Thursday, June 11, 2009

America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride

Team in Training raised 6.8 million dollars for LLS. As a local chapter, we raised almost $55,000. Great job to all the fundraisers and participants. I had a great job training and riding with everyone.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

There is a reason why this bike ride is called "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride". While it was a bit cloudy and rainy when we got there, you could not deny presence that the lake has.

I was stopped the TSA getting my bags checked Friday morning. Seems I missed taking out my CO2 cartridge... OOPS. And, then they were questioning my Hammer Nutrition container with Tuaca. After explaining the situation I was able to pass with my Hammer Nutrition (hee, hee).
Jan and I flew out three hours after everyone else. I was glad when I found out there was lots of turbulence (not a fan) for the group that went out before us. Our bus ride was slow... but when we got to our hotel I was thrilled to see I had a lake side view. We spent Friday night at the Naked Lady sushi place and stayed for a couple of hour
s just eating and eating.

We were going to go on a short 20 mile ride on Saturday, but the rain gods would have nothing to do with it. It rained, and rained and rained all day. Needless t
o say we were all concerned that the rain would not stop for Sunday. To sooth my rain anxiety, I shopped. Something I never have a problem doing no matter where I go.

Barb (my roommate) and I got up at 4:00am to get ready on Sunday morning. I had already decided that I was going to ride even if it was still raining. I hadn't come all this way to not ride. We were in luck. It was just a bit cloudy outside and the roads were not too wet. It was chilly though... a cool 30-40 degrees out. Thank goodness for Starbucks downstairs. I'm not sure what I would have done without morning coffee.

For the majority of the day, I rode towards the back of the pack. I knew I was not going to be able to stay with the fast group and did not want to burn myself out too early. I did okay until mile 82. I think I was bonking. Mike M, who rode with me for about 30 miles helped to get me back in good riding condition to finish with the help of Ed of course. I was determined to not get in a car to finish the last 18 miles.

After being out a total of 11 hours, 8.5 hours of riding time I finally finished. Thanks to all my team mates who waited for me. You guys are the best. The ride was great, the scenery was incredible, but the friends I made on this riding journey is invaluable.

Melissa and I walked down to the beach to wade in water before we met everyone for lunch. I think I was born to be near the water because I did not want to leave. I could have stayed there all day soaking up the sun and watching the water.

There are two sets of pictures below. As you are watching them, place your cursor over the picture to read the caption.


Lake Tahoe 2009

flying around the clouds

For some odd reason, I love clouds. I love the shapes the clouds form, I love the way clouds look like pillows you just want to jump into and most of all I love the peacefulness I feel when looking at clouds. I love to lay out in the backyard and look up in the sky at the clouds with my kids.

And, since I had a birds eye view of the clouds, I had to take advantage of beauty.

flying around the clouds

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lake Tahoe Here I Come

Life has been so busy these last few weeks I have not had time to post what has been happening with riding lately. Here is the quick down & dirty. After the Tahoe ride I will catch up with pictures.

~ Long training training rides in the mountains in horrible winds.

~ Training rides cancelled due to bad weather
~ Great ride to the Gilman Tunnels in Jemez - 75 miles.

~ Rode the Santa Fe Centruy with friends - 80 miles.

~ Blew off the last 85 mile training ride Memorial weekend to spend it with my family. Saw Night at the Museum.

~ Taper ride on the 30th. Rode 30 miles on my mountain bike to the Range in Bernalillo to have breakfast with the whole team. Guests were able to join us.

~ TNT send off party at the Giudice's. Ate lots of good food, kids swam all night, soaked in the hot tub and was eaten by mosquitos.

~ Starting to pack for the trip. Packing the girls to go spend the weekend with my sister. Frank is free for 5 days.

~ Frank has still not bought me the Nikon D90 I want. I am now asking for the lower model D60.

~ Leave for Lake Tahoe on Friday the 5th and the ride is Sunday the 7th.

I'll be back with awesome pictures (I hope).
XOXO to all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why Do I Ride..
in the horrible wind and not not feeling well?

Meet my beautiful cousins Suzanne and Liz. Our mothers are sisters and both lost their battle with cancer. I ride so we can do a five mile walk because we want to get some exercise, not because we want to wipe out cancer.

Making Strides for Breast Cancer 2009.


50 miles in the canyon~

The last couple of rides have been in the east mountains. In the rain, wind and fog. I was never a fan of wind, but now that I am on a bike more, I really don't like it. I feel like I am being tested at every turn. I am either riding into a 20mph wind going a whopping 8-10mph, or I feel like I am going to be blown over with a 30-40mph crosswind gust.
Since Lake Tahoe has several climbs, we are training on hills. Our elevation gain is 3000-4000 feet from our starting point. At the end of the rides I am always grossed out by all the dirt that has managed to find its way to my body. Only 5 weeks... can't stop now.

We are always smiling and being nice at the beginning of the ride. You should hear us while we are trying to get to our next rest stop.

My half smile at the end.

I'm smiling because we only have 12 miles to go and most is downhill. :0)

Even if we do have to climb these mountains and we sometimes do not like it, God sure has done a good job with the beauty.


The same mountains a week before. Yes it had snowed and it was a bit cooler.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And, The Thunder Rolls

I love the clouds... the cool breeze...
the rolling thunder... and even the rain.

However, I prefer that these events not happen on a Saturday when we are scheduled to ride 60 miles. For the second week we canceled our team ride due to bad conditions. The wind was fierce and the rain did not let up all day. Only 7 weeks until we go to Lake Tahoe. I am also signed up to ride the Santa Fe Century on May 17th. We only signed up for 75 miles and do have a SAG to scrape me off the road when I fall over.

Kudos to my friend Cece. She participated in a triathlon on Saturday and cycled 17 miles in the rain. She is a better woman than I. XOXO

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Diehard or Dumb?

There was a time in my life when Saturdays were for sleeping in. I wouldn’t get up until at least 8 (sleeping in for me) and would love having my kids crawl in bed with me so we could watch the latest Bratz cartoon. One of the girls would go get the box of Lucky Charms and we would eat them out of the box in my bed hoping one of the dogs would catch any stray cereal that would fall. We would start our day about 10 or 11 am unless we had a soccer game to go to. How my life has changed in one year. Fast forward…

The wind is howling on Friday night. It is about 9pm and I am getting my food ready for the following morning. PB&J, banana, cheese stick, recovery drinks, water, gels, etc. I take a sleeping pill and I am off to bed. The wind is so bad that my kids are in my room during the night scared because of the noise and the dogs are whimpering not knowing what is going on outside. Morning starts about 6:30 (slept in a bit). Eat an egg omelet (courtesy of my husband) load the car with food and bikes. I kiss my kids goodbye and let them know what time I will be home reminding them of what they need to get done while I am gone… dust, water, clean room and don’t forget to be good for grandpa when he gets there to be with them for the day. (MacKenzie is still asleep while I am talking to her). I am off by 7:50.

It is cold outside, it is terribly windy. I am thinking that while I don’t particularly want to ride in this weather, I will since I missed last week. I need to be strong since everyone else is. The consensus is that the weather is too bad to ride and we will try again on Sunday. Knowing that I will not be able to ride on Sunday I sheepishly ask a couple of other riders if they still want to do a short ride “since we are here”. The only takers are Melissa, Jan, Tom, Frank and me. We started with coffee at Starbucks hoping the winds would die down a bit. They didn’t and we went anyway. We rode 11 miles in 48 minutes averaging 13.5 mph. There were times I was freaking out at the crosswinds. They had to be blowing anywhere from 30-40mph. I was riding behind Melissa and noticed at times that her bike was leaning right while her body was leaning left. While we wanted to do at least 20 miles, we stopped because we felt is was getting dangerous. We did make it back safely.

Home was a welcome sight that morning. I kind of wanted to crawl back in bed and have the girls join me to warm up. Instead, we watched a movie and relaxed. Meanwhile, I am feeling guilty that I didn’t get my miles in and didn’t do any significant climbs. I was hoping the winds would die down so I could do some hills behind my house. The wind gods were having none of it. I ended up taking Bailey to her soccer game watching her play in the same miserable conditions.

Diehard or Dumb? I keep hearing the wind is your friend and it will make you stronger. Today I wanted to revert back to my old life. But, I am hooked to the road and will ride because there is someone out there who is fighting.

Look what the wind blew in. We make is back safely.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cold ~ Afraid ~ Sad ~ Sick

Spring Training is no fun. I am having a hard time with the weather. One day it is absolutely beautiful, the next you are pulling out the winter coats. Because I am claustrophobic, wearing several layers of clothing is becoming a problem. I like to ride with a sleeveless top and my camelback. When it is cold outside I end up with 4 shirts on and then a jacket on top of it. As I start riding, I get hot, so I stop at the side of the road and start stripping… then I get cold because I am sweating in the 40 degree weather so I put some clothes back on. I’m hot, I’m cold, I’m hot, I’m cold seems to be my mantra.
On the ride a couple of weekends ago, we were riding in 75 degrees. Needless to say I was hot and had a short sleeve shirt on with no sunscreen. So I am sporting a very attractive farmer tan on my arms. I am definitely looking forward to some consistency with the weather. And, if we can deal with no wind it would be even better. Wind is my other nemesis! 20-30 mph cross winds has been very scary riding down a hill at 20-25 mph.
I never knew how bad wind could be. I am used to sitting at spring soccer games in the wind. But, I usually have a blanket helping to shelter me. Or, I just sit in the car. Riding on a 12 pound bike and trying to keep your balance is a bit tricky. Is it fair to say I would like to be a "fair weather rider"? That probably is unlikely in living in New Mexico.


It has been 9 months since my big bike crash. I hadn’t been back to the scene since, call it superstition (which I don’t believe in). We rode out to Zuzax starting from Tramway & Montgomery. There is no way to avoid the Tramway/Central intersection and my mind started doing tricks on me. I was looking for excuses to not go on the ride or to start from a different spot. Well, I have to love Road Mom. I think she purposefully knew I would be freaking out a little, so we did a little detour to the bike path. I ended up walking my bike across the “spot”. It’s amazing how the mind can make or break you. I’m happy to say I can finally put this bike crash incident behind me. While I do not completely agree with the outcome, I will have to live with the decision for three years.

These last couple of weeks has been extremely busy. After the ride on the 14th, I get a text message from my very good friend Chris from Colorado asking if they can stay with us. They had just flown in because Mike’s mom was not doing very well. I would never say no, so when I got home I had everyone doing a quick clean up to see where we were going to have everyone sleep. Five additional people make a huge difference in sleeping arrangements. Unfortunately, Mike’s mom Suzie passed away early Monday morning from non other than CANCER ~ Lymphoma to be exact. My heart sank when I heard the diagnosis. Frank and I took care of their kids while they dealt with family issues. While I loved having them stay with us for a week, I wish it would have been on better terms.


Having three additional kids to take care can really do something to your immune system. I don’t know if I am just run down or what, but I have not been able to be completely healthy. I rode on the 21st with a cold. I was stopping every time I saw the SAG car to blow my nose or just catch my breath. I think having Suzie in the back of my mind kept me going. The ride was to San Isidro - one of my favorites. Only 45 miles? When you are not feeling good 45 miles is a long ride, especially on the climbs coming back. I didn’t ride on the 28th because I woke up with pink eye and was extremely stuffy. I think I have another sinus infection. In general I consider myself a healthy person. While I may not eat the best all the time and I have extra junk in the trunk, I have never had these kind of health obstacles before. All I can say is that I can overcome a cold faster than someone can overcome cancer. So, I will ride and ride and ride so we don’t have to watch friends and family bury their loved ones.

XOXO ~ love to all.
Yeah!! We completed a 35 mile uphill ride to Zuzax.

Frank & I snuck away for a hilly 15 mile ride on Paseo Del Volcan.

Can you see the Star Center in the background. There is a terribly steep hill when you get close to it. I'll have to do it more to get ready for all the climbs in Tahoe.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Are You Afraid?

is doing
what you are afraid to do.
There can be
no courage
unless you are scared.
Eddie Rickenbacker (1890-1973)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Updates & A Ride With My Girls...

I only did 30 miles with the team on 21st of February. And, I didn't ride on the 28th because I have been fighting a painful kidney infection. I will not be riding this Saturday because I am having a yard sale for Tom to help him raise some money.

I also looks like I will need surgery on my ankle. I have always had a week ankle since I tore all my ligaments playing basketball in high school. I will be walking and the ankle will just roll. People think I am clumsy because I will just fall over or lose my balance when my ankle gives a bit too much. Well, I rolled it pretty good before Christmas. I think I would have won on AFV if someone had been video taping. It was about 6:30pm and I went to the curb to bring the trash cans in. My foot got caught in a crack and I ended up on my backside with the trash cans in the middle of the street. It took me a minute to figure out what had happened. Since it was dark outside I saw car lights coming toward me and thought I was going to get run over. When I stood up, I couldn't put any pressure on that foot. When I got back into the house my ankle was the size of a balloon. Being the stubborn person that I am, I did not go to the doctor and have been living with a swollen ankle since that night.

When I was at the doctor for my kidney infection, I finally had them x-ray my ankle. The x-rays revealed that I have a piece of bone floating around in the "swollen" area. And, there is something that looks like a cyst on another part of the ankle bone. I will be fighting going under the knife until after the June 7th ride. We will see what the orthopedic sugeon says.


On a happier note, I had a "great" ride with the girls. It was Sunday, the weather was beautiful and we needed to get out of the house. Bailey wanted to spend some time with friend so we rode to her house. It was a painful 4 mile ride. We had to stop every block to get a drink, or for Bailey to catch her breath. She was complaining that me and Mack were going to fast. She was complaining that we were in front of her, her helmet was too tight, the hill was too steep. On and on and on. It took us 30 minutes to go 4 miles. Mack and I dropped her off at her friends and headed home. It only took us maybe 10 minutes. We were so mentally exhausted from Bailey that we got huge bowls of ice cream to make us feel better.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Valentine's Birthday Ride

Happy Birthday Jan...

She was ambushed with silly string.

We celebrated Jan's birthday on Valentine's Day. All birthdays are special, but how fun to be born on the day Cupid shoots lots of arrows. We planned to ride 53 miles for her 53rd. We tried, but the wind was not our friend. We ended up doing 35 (53 reversed). We ended up at the Range in Bernaillo for lunch and cake (and a couple of drinks) :0) Frank and Tom drove down and met us there. Thank goodness. After filling our bellies the wind would have just blown us over for the ride home. We piled in the warm trucks for the drive home.

Good friends at the Range.

Getting ready to ride in the morning with the group. The first part of the ride was 25 miles on highway 528. The tempreature was in the 30's. Just a bit brisk.

Gina and I were spoiled on Valentine's Day. We both had our special someone to ride with us. My kids were with a friend and Gina's kids were with her mom. Both of us usually try and hurry to finish our ride so we can get home to our kids. Not today, we took our time.

Frank's Valentines present was a new road bike. My mountain bike man finally caved into the road. He said he will never give up the dirt through. I drooled over his bike for two days. I think we should trade.

Looking goofy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Week 1 ~ The Training Starts

Happy 6oth Birthday Mom,

My mom would have celebrated her 6oth birthday on February 5th of this year. For those who don’t know much about me, my mom died on St. Patrick’s Day 1987 from breast cancer. She was only 38. It is a strange feeling to know that I have lived past 38 and can’t imagine leaving my kids behind. I still cry for her. While I am not the strongest rider out there, I ride proudly for not only my mom but for everyone who has had to endure cancer in their lives. Come take a journey with me to help cure cancer one peddle stroke at a time.


Our official Lake Tahoe training began on Saturday 2/7. There was a period of about 3 weeks where I thought I was not going to be able to train with the team. When I signed up to be a mentor, I thought I was automatically in. Well, I wasn’t, I did not get picked initially. I was terribly disappointed. I registered for the Tahoe ride when it opened up in January and started to panic as to how I was going to train on my own. I started checking into other riding groups and thought about just hiring a coach to train with. Well, the good news is that I am in and have 2 mentees and hoping to recruit one more.

We have a wonderful group of people training for this ride. Most everyone who knows me knows that I am usually not shy about introducing myself to new people. So when the opportunity came for me to stick my hand out and say hello, I did. I am super excited to be training with someone who has had cancer and is currently in remission. I will be proud to ride next to him whenever I need motivation. We also have an oncologist and his wife training…super nice people. One of my mentees is riding in honor of her sister who is currently battling cancer. It was also nice seeing some of my old riding buddies. Each of us comes from different backgrounds, but we come together as one to help find a cure.

Jemez Canyon Dam was our destination for our first ride. Only 12 miles round trip… sounds easy until you start climbing. But, we made it. I can already see the cold weather not being my friend. I don’t like riding with lots of layers of clothes (I get claustrophobic). Some pictures below to check out.

My friend Cece. She initially started trianing for Tucson with me, but a car accident took her out of training for awhile. She is back!!

Tom my mentee. He is my good friend Jan's husband. I will be kicking his butt to train hard. He is actually a better rider than me. Will you change my flats?

At the top. Gina, me, Tom and Cece.

The girls are back. Me, Jan and Gina.
We are women, hear us roar.

This is a mountain bike ride we did a couple of weeks earlier. That kicked my butt too. I hadn't been on my mountain bike in 6 years. I forgot how the gears worked.

The boys on the bike ride. Jake the hot trainer, Tom and Frank.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lake Tahoe here I come...

And, the training never stops. I have registered for the Lake Tahoe century ride on June 7th. Official TNT training starts on February 7th. I will not be fundraising this time around, instead, I will be a mentor helping cyclists meet their goal.

Yes, I cut my hair again. It should be long by the ride.

I will be training indoors for awhile until it warms up a bit. I think the dogs would rather me take them for a walk rather than ride on the trainer.