Wear Your Helmet
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wear Your Helmet
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I DO! Maybe its because pretty much everyone I've met from Northern California has been AWESOME or maybe it's because I've had some GREAT TIMES in the NorCal. My most recent trip was to Santa Rosa; Todd and I went to Kat and Janelle's wedding there in mid-October and, although it WAS chilly, it was fabulous. The mountains, the vinyards, the colors, the sun, the good friends...it was beautiful all the way around. Funny thing...I actually raced in Santa Rosa earlier this year and didn't notice ANY of this beauty...I didn't even realize I had been to Santa Rosa before until Todd and I arrived. I guess I was blinded by race nerves...I mean my fierce focus. Life Lesson: stop and smell the roses every once in a while...especially the Santa Rosas!
Above left is a nice view of a vinyard right outside our hotel. Above right is a snapshot of Todd and I with Carmen D'Aluisio, a NorCal lucky-local! This is Todd and I; we're at Kat and Janelle's wedding, which was just as beautiful as the setting itself :) Thanks to Meredith for the fabulous photography...
Saturday, October 18, 2008
After Cascade, my full attention turned to Road Nationals in Irving, CA... WAY back in August! It was a nice week in SoCal and I was happy with 2 good results: 7th and 7th! My place was the same in the road race and the time trial...Aaron's did quite well with Meredith also placing 4th, Kat 5th in the TT and Kat was also 4th in the RR. Good week :) Completion of Road nats = no more climbing for the season :( sad...
Later in September and
AFTER SIX ATTEMPTS
fashions for fall, I came across a new haircut for
myself...and a new hairdresser. This is Jill and
she ROCKS! I love my new haircut with BANGS and Jill is definately the hairdresser for me..................
And theeeeen...my Dad got sick :( he had a successful back surgery followed by a blood clot in his leg that traveled into his lungs which required him to stay still and in bed which caused pneumonia. It was terrible and I wanted so much for him to get better...it seemed like at every turn, it was something else for him. All in all, after 4 weeks, 5 trips to the ER, 3 multi-day hospital stays and WAY too many pokes with needles, he DID get better! I spent as much time keeping him company as I could and doing my best to help. My Mom was trying to work though she spent tons of time at the hospital so mostly my job was going by their house to take Pearl out; dog walking is a job I can handle. Here's Pearl, the Diva of all Dogs....................................................
So one of the popular topics between me and my Dad during this time was...shocking...ME! Really, what team I would ride for in 2009...after enough discussion to make a person crazy, I signed with ValueAct Capital! I'm really excited to join Director Sportif Lisa Hunt and the girls for the 2009 season!!! I can't wait for training camp to start getting to know my new teammates and staff...the friendships and the experiences with teammates are starting to become more and more important part of my cycling career. NEWSFLASH: Rumor has it that there might be some PINK on the horizon as well...more to come on that!
And lastly, I started YOGA...yes yoga. Honeybunny thought it might be good for me...for my body and my head. I'm good at some of the positions, others, not so good. They say it's not a competition and I shouldn't worry about "how good I am"...yeah right, we'll see about that! The hardest part is the mind-clearing part. The teacher says "acknowledge any thought and let it go," and all I can think is "this is gonna be great for bike racing!" So I've got a lot of work to do on the yoga front but I really like bending my body around like a pretzel!
Thanks for reading...its been fun...more to come...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I definitely feel like I've got my groove back and I'm so happy to have it again. Loving something so much like I love cycling, as in any relationship, can also be painful when things go south. But once the relationship has healed, the bond seems stronger than ever and that's where I'm at. I DO love racing my bike...and winning was obviously a blast too. I love working with Julie, our twenty-year-old protege, and watching her grow and develop right before our eyes. Meredith, Felicia and my break-away-partner/tempo-setting-superstar from stage 2 Alison are all incredible women. And Carmen, our leader who has never waiver her support of me, is beyond fantastic. A recent Velo News article says "Patience Grasshopper" and I guess that is the lesson of all of this. It seemed like an eternity but it was only a matter of a few weeks for me to turn my head around...a very wise friend of mine told me that set backs are not failures, but instead they are life giving you the room to step back and get a running start at something. In my case, I got a 5 minute lead on a ten mile climb and I rode as hard as I could all the way up, in the race and in my life. With the help of the girls, Honey Bunny, Frankie, Pam, Mom and Dad, I succeeded. Not just in stage 2 but in the bigger piture as well. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Commerce Bank Liberty Classic is my favorite one-day race. Not because it's my day for glory but because the fans are out of this world, solid throughout the 16-mile course AND because this was my first-ever big race. The field is big, the course is challenging and the spectators are loud and I LOVE IT! I'm so happy to arrive in Philly from Montreal, for many reasons, but the big one is because it's familiar, more like home then Montreal will ever be! My Mom and Dad flew in from Florida to watch the Aaron's team tear it up!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
It's this second factor that I can tell you the most about. Instead of the team staying in a hotel, eating out at restaurants for every meal and mechanics setting up shop in the parking lot, Carmen works with each race management team to secure us a family willing to host us in their home. An BOY did we get hooked up at Redlands. Last year we stayed with Carol and Dick Gentile and thank goodness we behaved ourselves because they opened up their house to us again this year. Carol and Dick are unbelievable host family, so much so that by the end of the week we were calling Carol "MOM"!!! We literally took over their house:
-Bunking in every spare bedroom and office in their house
-Setting up massage in their living room
-Cooking all sorts of strange concoctions in their kitchen
-Turning the dining room into our pantry
-Putting their laundry room to the test
-Taking over the garage for our a bike shop
-Conferencing at their dinner table well into the night
Carol and Dick are true PRO- they knew what to expect and they couldn't wait to have us back! Crazy, right? And there's more...most nights Carol prepared enough food to feed an army (and we did our best to eat it all!), they made signs for us (see the one on their garage behind us in the photo above) and put them all over their neighborhood and Dick drove them both all over every single course we raced to cheer us on at what seemed like every turn.
They were out of this world hosts and I want to thank them from the bottom of all our Aaron's hearts!!!!! Carol and Dick Gentile ROCK!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tension could be felt in the thick haze that was the air around downtown Redlands. Today's race starts with a neutral section from the start line out of town to the actual Sunset Loop course and it is a battle every year. It's the most non-neutral neutral on the NRC circuit- josseling for a position in the front of the pelaton is critical as entering "the loop" in the back means you're immediately behind because it's super narrow, twisty and turny. Here we are, not racing, riding neutral up to "the loop":We are so wide across the road because we are going slightly up hill and everyone is trying to zip up the outside to move to the front. I'm third from the left with the blue arms, beside the two girls in green...probably trying to move up closer to the front.
The race this year was not unlike any other year, one by one riders were dropped as the pelaton dwindled down from the group you see above to less than twenty riders. Aaron's had a good day, especially our superwoman Meredith Miller, who AGAIN spent much of the day off the front in a break. I had a good day, not great but good and loved every minute of the Sunset Loop. I can't wait 'till Redlands next year!!!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Redlands crit is legendary...possibly one of the toughest stage race crits we do all year. Not only is it fast but it's also extremely technical! But today, something happened to me that has never happened: I got a call up!!! In big races, the top riders are introduced to the crowd and "called up" to the front of the field at the starting line. (I'm thrid from the left above with the blue arm warmers on the front row.) This is such a big deal to me I can't even tell you...I felt a little self-conscious when I got up there but it was pretty cool :) ......and that was where my good day ended....I must have started the race with a slow leak because I struggled for the entire race only to notice with FIVE laps to go that I had a flat tire! Fortunately Carmen confirmed that I would receive pack time because I could barely hang on the back of the field. Trying to corner on a flat is scary and I was really happy to call it a day. Rebecca and Kat shined for the Aaron's team with a fifth and sixth place finish respectively.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
A BIG part of what we do as professional cyclists for the Aaron's Corporate Furnishings Womens Pro Cycling Team is visit elementary schools to teach the children about bicycle safety. The day before the Redlands Bicycle Classic started we all visit the Reche Canyon Elementary School. A croud of first through sixth graders gathered to learn about bike safety and our lives as professional cyclists. We aren't professional speakers but we do all thoroughly enjoy the time with the kids!
Monday, March 10, 2008
TEST #1: I left the house at 5am in The Elephant to go pick up Pam for the day and noticed my cell phone battery was drained. I must have forgotten to charge it but that's ok, Pam will have her phone, right? RIGHT buuuuut I was a little surprised when I arrived to pick her up to her telling me that Todd had been trying to call me...to tell me that I had accidentally packed HIS cycling shoes, not mine! Oops...so we loaded her bike and bags and drove back to my house to swap the shoes...oh and grab my cell phone charger. (Yeah, I've done this before!)
TEST #2: Did you bring the directions? Yeah, uh no, they're on my desk at home! Grab those when you get your shoes...
TEST #3: We did actually arrive, about 30 minutes later than projected, but without any wrong turns. The directions were good, at least! So a quick pick up of race numbers, stop off at the port-o-potty and it's time to get ready to race. We decided to pump up the race wheels and discs since, of all things, that would be our biggest challenge of the day. We did it...not easily and not without a little stress, but we did it!
Then, presto- chango girls in skin suits head out to warm up. And I'm ready and Pam's ready...the 2 of us are doing the individual 20k time trial...It's time for the final step...
TEST #4: ...change the wheels...thank goodness Pam had taught me well years ago so this one was no problem! I did it and we were ready to go.
As we roll up to the line to start the TT our record against the tasks of the day to get us here to the starting line is 2-2...speaking for myself, I can say all of that was forgotten and I looked forward to around twently-eight minutes of suffering, better knows as the Time Trial, my favorite event in cycling. Weird, but true. Pam starts right after me. The wind was strong, which is normal in Florida, but I felt good and as I crossed the line, I was happy. Pam crossed shortly after me and, based on her full-time Mommy job and 20 miles per week of training, I'd say she too had a stellar ride. Next up: Team Time Trial...and we're the only girl team!
More than anything, though, for me, it was a fabulous day with my best friend and that's what I remember more about this day. As far as I'm concerned, we got a 100%...100% of FUN that is!