Saturday, October 24, 2009

Well a lot has happened since Laramie Enduro, and what a trip it's been! 2 days after getting back from the TD the place we had been care taking at, informed us they were going to remodel our place and we had to be out in 30 days-whew! Ok so we did just that we found a house, got a mortgage and moved in, all within approx 30days! Jay did most of the moving and packing, he is definitely a professional. So the last thing we needed to pick up was our kayaks from a friends house, then all our stuff would be here-done! Jay then headed to the bike park, 30 minutes before diner to tool around, upon his return, was a broken collar bone. Good thing we got all our stuff moved in.
Our dog Burnin' had been throwing up, so we took her to the vet. I thought she might have eaten a dead bird and was having trouble passing it. It turns out she was diagnosed with Ostersarcoma, it's a type of bone cancer, but in her case it was lining 2/3 of her stomach and part of her intestine, there really wasn't anything we could do. She went on for 5 weeks, was happy and of course beautiful. She was able to walk and was playing with her ball. Her last w/e was at Moosecross, she was out walking around saying hello to everyone, being her lovable self. Monday morning we went for a walk down the road approx 9am, she got in my jeep like she always did, ready to go to work with me. She was in my car approx 2 hrs when i went to get her, she wouldn't lift her head and her breathing was very labored. I was freaking out, trying to get in touch with Jay who didn't have his phone, when he pulled up, it was like Burnin sent him a message to come. We drove to the vet, carried her inside and laid on the floor with her, within 10 minutes she had passed on her own. We were very lucky she waited for us both to be there with her. There will never be another Burnin'. She went everywhere, everyday with us. She traveled to Mexico, Canada and several of the western states with us on our vacations. She was so well behaved, didn't jump on people, didn't bark or bite, she was caring, kind and oh so soft, like a big teddy bear. When we would go out for rides or even at races, we would leave the truck door open and she would sit and wait until we were finished. She touched so many peoples lives with her charisma and enthusiasm for life. People would always comment on how soft her hair was and often asked if she was a puppy-gosh, I wish! Burnin' will always be with me everywhere, everyday.

2 weeks before Burnin' passed we added Rippen & Chillen to our family, 2 male yellow lab mixed 6 month pups. They wrestle and play with each other and are coming along just fine. It's great to see them tear up the backyard chasing each other and enjoying their toyz. We really need to work on their training, but they definitely understand and listen to the command come, for now.

Cyclocross season has been great, I've completed 3 races so far and have 4 to go. I am so fortunate to be able to ride to the start line from my house for 4 out of 7 races. The Victor bike park is just amazingly fun! Til next time, Spooky Cross Oct 31st!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Laramie Enduro 09-Loveshack style

YeeHaw! The Laramie Enduro! What a terrific time! I really wasn't sure how it would turn out. I imagined walking more then we did, possibly taking some diggers, but none of that happened.

We left JH around 12ish. On the way there we encountered this horrific hail storm about an hour outside of Laramie. The ice chunks quickly gathered on the side of the road and the hood of the truck, there was one pt. we were sprayed by a truck and couldn't see at all! Pick up the race packet at Fine Edge, smooth and organized. Good T-shirt, good swag bag. I recall it always raining in Laramie. We got to camp about 20 mins b4 the rain hit, which gave us enough time to set up camp and have a dry diner. Had some pre-made T-race pasta, bread and cc cookies, and of course a beer. Does anyone sleep the night b4 the LE? Jay is the am person, I am pm, good thing. He is excellent at waking up, getting the coffee going and me moving. Jay pretty much does everything twice as fast as me, and when it comes to eating, it might be 4x's as fast, ie., he can eat 4 potatoes to my 1. The start was great, we rode right thru the single-track! Aid one we grabbed a gel, banana and refilled a water bottle. Before we even started the race I was telling Jay I would like to walk this one steep DH, as we approached it I was repeatively saying, I don't want to do it, I don't want to do it, and before you know it we were descending and had cleared it. We had a good time on the firerds catching people left and right, cruisin'! Aid 2 we stopped to check the air in the tires, the fresh strawberries were so good I didn't want to leave, grabbed some more banana-GO! I remember them laughing at the aids because I was trying to stuff food in my mouth while Jay was asking if I was ready, and the food was just flying all over. I get a lot of comments like "oh you can just hang out back there and do whatever." They should try it, I'd like to see them to even be able to hold on! Eating, which includes having the food, unwrapping the food, getting the food to the mouth, breathing, stoking and drinking at, well, you'd have to try it to understand it. The help at the aid stations was amazing. Pointing out the food, filling wtr btls, holding the bike and asking what we needed. We lubed the chain a couple times. Aid 4, I really needed to recoup there, but no time for that. I ate a couple chips and 1 potato, chugged a cup of gatorade, and Jay said are you ready? I said no as I climbed back on the shack starting to feel the past hrs wearing. As we headed into Headquarters, it became harder to breath. There was a steep part in there and I just lost it. Jay was pushing the bike, I was trying to help, my breathing got short and shallow, and then there was no more air coming into my lungs. I had to stop, put my hands in the air and try to relax. I've had shortness of breath before, but never like that, completely scary. I think my body was stressed from trying to keep up with JayP. The tight single-track was really fun! There was a couple close calls with the trees, but what I learned is KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET INSIDE THE RIDE AT ALL TIMES!! I know I have walked some of those DH in the past, but with JayP as captain, there was no hesitation. Such a weird view from the back coming down the rocky DH, only being able to see parts here and there, but that's better fer shure! Towards the end the timing chain fell off 2x. It was great to get back on the single-track we had seen just 6 hours ago and be headed towards the finish! We finished 1.5 hrs ahead of the 2nd place tandem team and somewhere around 50th overall! The after party is definitely worth hanging around for. LOTS of great food, drinks, raffle prizes and friends to reminisce about the race with! I would HIGHLY recommend this race!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tour Divide 09

Gesh! Where do I start? Getting to the start was a little adventure itself. We rented a car in JH, the smallest car they had of course and stuffed the loveshack in it, drove up to Whitefish, spent the night, rode 100 miles into Canada, where we layed around on the grass of a burger joint for 3 hours waiting for our ride. Got our ride to Banff from Aaron Teasdale, thank you, arrived around midnight or so, slept, got up, ready go!

Canada was beautiful and rugged. This is where we learned how to ride the loveshack, being that we got our bike only 1 month before the race (not by choice), we really had no back rd experience on it. Sure we had a month to practice on flat, paved rds, but getting out climbing and descending on firerds that were rocky, loose, gravel and sometimes mud slick, WHOA! That was eye opening fer shure! It was hard at first, the sound of the gears and chain grinding and popping, the communication, co-ordination of pedaling, shifting, standing and coasting together. But after a week or so, we were riding like pros, ok maybe not pros, but definitely a lot smoother. Climbing was really difficult because of all the weight between us, the bike, gear and food, but the DH-wholly smokes! I was definitely not ready for that. Not being use to having no control on loose, gravely, mud-slick roads took some getting use to. At first I kept asking Jay to slow down, which made it harder for him since he knew I was so nervous, that energy spreads. On the finally decent to the pavement in CA, I was in tears, it was wet, cold and the rd was supa mud-slick, cows running next to and around us while we were traveling at probably 40 mph, I just couldn't control myself.

Getting to the border and into Eureka was a huge relief. We got some food and carried on. That night we missed a turn, slept and in the am took a very beautiful 30 mile side trip up to a lake-it was early in the race, so we just recovered from our error and carried on. Traveling together, it's easy to lose focus, cause we were having such a good time!

Montana was really beautiful and BIG!! But the passes were really cute! Nice, rolly rds. This is where we meet Paul Bunyan aka Jim. Jim asked me what I thought of MT, as he was towering over me at what seemed to be 8 ft tall, my response was everything is really BIG!! It took us a long time to get out of Montana, I guess cause it was so BIG! It was really wet and there was SO much water everywhere, but the mosquitoes didn't seem to be an issue. We lost our spot in Lincoln and replaced our drive train in Helena.

We seem just to cruise thru ID, but I do remember the rail trail. Jay said it was a lot worse for him when he did it in 07, and it was definitely bumpy while we were going thru, so I'm glad it wasn't any worse. The mosquitoes starting getting bad here. Poor Jay, I think for every bite I got he got 20! As we headed down the end of the trail, we saw some men in orange in the middle of the trail-waving and yelling! How cool! It was our good friends and teammates Dave B and Piker! They came to greet us and cheer us on!

Ahh-WY, our home state. It was nice to get here and know we would see the familiar Tetons we love. As we were descending towards Flagg Ranch-who did we see? Our good buds and teammates, Jill, Andy, Chris E. and Lori! More friends greeting us and cheering us on! They got some pics, a little video and Chris E made us a cool banner! After we got some snacks at Flag we headed to Leeks, breaking the chain on the way, for some yummy pizza and tea. We made it to Moran, which wasn't too far for some sleep. The next morning was really hard for me to get up. Up and over Togwotee pass, then on to Union pass. Union pass was tough. It started raining, so the mud and gravel gunked up our drive train and we broke the chain like 4x's.

CO, was definitely the hardest climbing. The passes were steep and long. We replaced our drive train at the Orange Peel in Steamboat. They were really awesome, taking the time to work on the loveshack, getting it dialed in and telling us where to get big fat burritos-which were delicious!

Getting to NM was very exciting, but also very sad, because it meant the end was in sight. Our stop in Abiqui was a good time. Good food, and we were with Chris P., so it changed the scenery and conversation. There was some dogs chasing us thru the town and into the night, heading up the pass, but we were saved by a cattle guard. We climbed 1/2 this pass at night and then finished in the morning. This is where the rainbow gathering was happening, miles and miles of cars, hippie vans, painted buses and people! Lots and lots of people in the middle of the woods. The wx on the final stretch in was just like the prior days, enough rain just to soak everything, rain jacket on, rain jacket off. As we headed in for the last 20 miles we were lucky to run into Kurt on his way back from the finish. He and Maggie were kind enough to turn around and wait for us at the finish and give us a ride to Deming.

And that was it-it was over! No more simplicity of riding 15-20 hrs a day, living off the bike, no more putting on wet Lycra first thing in the morning, definitely no more king size candy bars and crazy food we ate, no more solitude of the trail. Of course there are a ton of details and experiences I have not included, just cause it would be a book. Maybe someday that will happen.

Thanks to our friends Jill, Andy and Cora for taking care of our kids, Burnin' & kitty. Dave Byers for the support and getting our spot back on. Thanks to everyone who helped build our bike, WTB, Fitzgerald's Bicycles, Phil Wood, Crank Bros., Salsa, Slime, Old Man Mtn. racks, Carousel Design for the sweet frame bags, Smartwool, Montbell for keeping us warm at night, Slime for keeping up flat free-which is unbelievable, and MTB Tandems for the guidance and generous support!

Thanks Jay for being the best husband I could ever have! Sharing this adventure with you was just amazing! We are really fortunate to have each other.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

more weekends like that!

Having a 4 day w/e sure is nice! We could all use more of those! Starting off Friday, which was Jay's and mine 10 yr wedding annivesary, we did what we love best-RIDE! We left from our house on our road bikes and rode out to Antelope flats which is about a 40 mile ride round trip. On our way back we stopped in Kelly, WY at a little cafe for some really good coffee. That evening we celebrated with some wine, sake and sushi! Good times. Sat, I did my 1st crit race. I'm not really into road racing and all the tactics, but it was fun to be out with friends, riding bikes. Sun, we took the tandem AKA "the loveshack" up Teton Pass! It was a little wet out, but the nano raptors held tight! We meet our friend Dave on the top, stop for a couple photos, it was so cold and windy, we headed out ASAP. It was so fast on the way down! The DH is sooo fast on the tandem, it's awesome. Monday, I rode from the house taking the backroads, Spring Gulch, to the park and came back home along Moose-Wilson rd, which was super quite and in pretty good shape.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tandem-maiden voyage

Well, the tandem is so supa-fun! JayP and I left from the house and rode out to Slide Lake, Sunday on the tandem! Gosh it was so fun! It was approx 80 miles all on the road and took about 5 hrs. I was a little nervous on the first downhill heading out of the driveway, but after that it was like, let it rip! It was nice that Jay didn't have to wait for me, we could talk to each other, and I could totally look around and check things out, make grill cheese, nap. There is some definite dialing in to be done, fitting, temp parts that will be replaced, new vocabulary to be learned, but what a good time and an exciting adveture to look forward to. Jay's pack was a little in my face, but once we have our amazing bags from CDW that will take care of that. So many details, to go over and figure out. We are going to have so much fun on our upcoming trip, I can't wait!

Monday, May 11, 2009

More wicked times!

More wicked times! Over the w/e JayP and I headed out to test some of our gear on an overnighter from Pindale to Alantic City, WY. It was approx 175 miles, which took approx 15 hrs. We hardly saw any people, or cars which was really nice. Although you feel miles and miles away from everything, there was a main hwy with in 10 miles. The wx was mild, kinda chilly especially when the wind blew, which WY is infamous for. We left Pinedale around 1130am and arrived in AC around 730pm. I was fine up until about mile 70, then just got really tired, but pushed on to and made it to AC. We didn't really have any plans except to sleep somewhere. When we got to AC we had a bit to eat and asked around for a place to stay, when we were offered a wood shed, I was relieved, perfect! It got below freezing that night, so we were totally stoked we had some coverage. I was really pleased with my new Neo thermarest and Marmot 40 degree bag, probably could have worn another layer and put the bivy on.

What did I learn:

-Well I didn't just learn this but CDW are the best bike bags ever! My sleeping system was secure to my handle bars, I was able to carry my stay warm gear in my seatbag with no problem .
-I tested a Montbell pack that Jay let me borrow and carried 200 oz of water, it was very comferble for me and carried xtra gear (my favorite Montbell UL thermawrap jacket) I didn't have room for on my bike.
-went to bed warm, but as the temps dropped during the night I could have used another layer.

-don't sleep in a wet chamis
-life on the bike is so sweet

Well we are working on getting our tandem built up for a test ride and some more gear testing. Yahoo!

Till next time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The wx in JH. Sun, snow, rain-repeat every 5 minutes. Well the rain has been pretty consistant. Riding between the drops has become a mastered craft. Fortunately we were able to get out on Sunday just before the rain really hit and even enjoyed seeing a double rainbow. Still waiting for the tandem to arrive and get some practice in.

Spring clean-up

Some of us just can't let go of the snow.

Lemme outside already.

Spring is coming!

No rain, no rainbow-ok I gotta picture!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moab, 4/15-4/21/09

OK, here is my 1st post!

Had a sweet w/e in Moab, UT, lots of riding and of course spending time with my favorite person, JayP and my best dawg, B-love.

We left JH Weds at 830pm, grabbed a pizza at Wildlife in Victor, ID and slept in Pookie, ID at the super 8, arrived in Moab, UT approx 3pm Thurs. We set up camp at Slickrock at one spot, but then moved an hour later after a better spot became available, it's all about timing.

Thurs-rode fins n things, 10ish miles, good warm up.

Fri-Slickrock, practice & reg loop. I have ridden Slickrock several years and have come close to clearing it all, but for some odd reason I was freaked out diving right into the big loop today. After informing Jay I was freaked out, we rode the practice loop, where Jay kindly pointed out that ALOT of people ride this trail, as a group of people stood next to me with their bikes wearing jeans, sweatpants and sneakers, my confidence rose. It was a great ride. 15 miles, 2 hrs. It was super windy.

Sat-Porcupine Rim, 30 miles round trip, 4 hrs, 70oz of water, fantastic ride as always. After a nap we rode Two Tortoise Rock, 16 miles, 2 hrs and great views. There really were turtles.

Sun-Dead horse point, 70 miles, 5.5 hrs from Slickrock, the rd was in great shape with hardly any traffic, a definite great alternative to Arches.

Mon-JH ride, 26 miles, 70oz of water. This ride combines 3 rides in one, with an awesome hike a bike and sweet DH to finish. Lots of sun exposure and crazy views. Along the way we were invited to stop at a the ranch where you turn to JH. I was amazed at where this man lived.

Tues-We had planned to ride Slickrock again b4 we left, but woke up late and with the long drive ahead called it a trip.
To keep it cheap, we camped at Slickrock all 5 days, cooked all our meals, which were killer and Jay did lots of bike maintenance. I'd really like to be there right now.

Burnin. What a great girl. She is an excellent camp dawg. Despite having to wait for us several hours at a time, the walking, running and swimming she did up Mill Cr everyday was a great adventure for her as well.