Monday, April 28, 2014

Back to Bonelli

This weekend everyone I know was racing their bikes in Prescott AZ at the Whiskey 50. Unfortunately for this poor kid, I couldn't get off work to make the trek out to the desert. Alas, all was not lost, because we had a blast this weekend hanging out Silverado style, and racing the Kenda Cup series out in Bonelli Park!
The only sad thing about the race was that I was the only pro woman, so I had to play with the boys. Let me just say that knowing there is really no one in your category, and being tired from an interval workout on Saturday made the race pretty hard/painful! I spent the race heckling the spectators, trying to pass the amature men as fast as possible, and taking in the majestic Los Angeles scenery (there was snow on Baldy, so it really was a little pretty!)
I got my butt kicked by the men, but had a great time trying to keep up!
I may not have had a chance to win big like the crushers who placed top 12 at Whiskey, but I did get $2 in hand ups from some little kids!! Peet's coffee, here I come!

The rest of the weekend was spend with some awesome NorCal friends...
building rock towers in the sand,
going on nature hikes,

and of course snugging the crap out of that cute dog!

And that's it. Another great weekend came and went, and here we are back at Monday afternoon! 

Three more weeks till CB can ride bikes, watch out Orange County! He's going to come back with a vengance! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

This and That

Life has returned to normal post spring break. Back to the grind of teaching, training, and cleaning/working on the house. Here are a few highlights of the past week.
The school garden is more complete than mine at home. A pretty dedicated group of kiddos have been working hard at making it so pretty!

I made an awesome chicken, sweet pea, potato salad for dinner on Wednesday night. Growing sweet peas was the best decision we ever made! I seriously sit out in the garden and eat them off the vine every day. 

Brendan and I completed a small carpentry project this week. Pictures of the finished project will be up soon!

Another picture-less event was throwing my rear derailleur in the wheel of my trail bike on the Tuesday night ride. This took place after I fell off a small ledge and landed on my back with bike on top of me. The derailleur incident happened because a very big, very mean stick jumped in there. Dang brushy Silverado trails! This is the 3rd rear derailleur I have ruined in 2 years. 

That's basically all we accomplished this week. Now it's off to have cavities filled and race some bikes on Sunday! Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Break Part 3 (I don't want to let go!!)

Today was the first day back in school post Spring Break. It was definately hard to wake up in the dark for the first time in 8 days, and leave Brendan and Davey all cuddled up and warm in bed to go ride my bike to school. Looking on the bright side though, there are only 38 days of school left until summer (this year is FLYING by).

The last few days of break were spent at home in Silverado riding my bike in my Santa Ana mountains, baking and cooking amazing food, and trying to accomplish a few house chores with Brendan. Here are a few pictures of the highlights from the weekend.

My mountains aren't quite as green as Nor Cal, but I think they are pretty in their own right.

This is what our entry looked like when I got home. So many pretty flowers!

Love harvesting the herbs, veggies and eggs for each meal from my front yard. 

Our cycling closet is now fully stocked with helmets and tubes thanks to Kali Protectives and Continental Tires.
 We made the world's most amazing quiche. I am super proud of the crust and the final product! It was so so good. Seriously, so good. 

We also turned those home grown carrots into the most incredible carrot cake! I can't get over how good that was either!

Now it's back to the daily grind of always feeling like I have a million things to do, but no time to get it all done. 38 days...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break Part Dos

This picture sums up the second part of my spring break, the part when I just rode bikes in Nor Cal all day every day. 

Post Sea Otter I headed north to stay with sister in Santa Rosa and spend some serious time romping on my favorite trails and roads.

First I spent a day schralping the trails I grew up riding in Annadel State Park. The ride started as a CA Marin Factory team shred sesh, but then muscles mcgee (aka Mike Hosey) decided to get a REALLY close look at some rocks on South Burma trail (by faceplanting on them), and he was forced to call it a day. The rest of the day was a true soul ride. There were many stops to check out the incredible wild flowers, and to take pictures of the majestic oak trees.

On Tuesday I wanted to ride with sister, but of course she had to do an interval workout! Instead of doing that silly business I rode out with her to the hill where her torture was to take place, and continued on to one of my all time favorite climbs, Trinity Grade. 

Trinity was beautiful and twisty and sweaty just like I remembered it! Then it was down to Napa county via Oakville Grade. Oakville Grade has one of the better views in Sonoma/Napa because you look out over a patchwork of wineries as you descend. Once in Napa I headed north on hwy 29 to the ominous Spring Mtn Road, and had my butt kicked by this killer climb. It was beautiful though so, the beating was almost enjoyable. 

Some views from my romp in Napa County. Grapevines for days, rolling green hills full of flowers and horses, and a peek through the trees on the climb through the Mayacama mountains. 

To wrap up the NorCal adventure, on Wednesday I headed to the South Bay to play with Team Cliff Bar rider Menso the slayer. I told him I wanted to do a 4-5 hour soul ride, so of course he took me on a 6 hour soul crushing ride. Same thing, right?
 We rode basically every legal park on the peninsula, and ended up with 61.5 miles, 10k climbing. It was epic, not just in length, but in beauty and rad trail-ness too. There were flowy knee dipping descents through forests of redwood trees, tough climbs on heinous fore roads, and screaming fast descents through wide open meadows with ridiculously pretty views (this last trail type is the hardest for me because I can't stop looking at the view and almost crash every 2 minutes). By the end I started to loose my mind a little, and my stomach started eating itself a lot, but I think I found my chi or some shit like that maybe 10 times on this ride. Something about pumping your bike through flowy redwood forest trails, that's what I live for.
I don't upload rides to Strava often, but I was pretty proud of my 77 'achievments' on this ride! 
Seeing as I was starving to death, I refused to go any further than Pete and Marcus' house on Skyline rd, showed up totally unanounced, dragged them to Alice's Resturaunt, wolfed down a huge burger and mud pie, and then invited myself to spend then night in their guest room.
It was a great ending to a 3-day "unstructured" week of riding! And thank God Pete and Marcus live where they do, because I would have slept in my car on Skyline had they not lived there! Moral of the story, if you live near rad trails and I know your address, I may show up at your door demanding a place to sleep some day!
Now it's time to go ride bikes!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Making Memories

Well Sea Otter is becoming a pleasant memory, but I feel like I need to share a few more non-race related photos of the party, and the first half of my spring break.
Here is my sister winning the cat 3 women's roas race, earning the remaining upgrade points she needed to race cat 2! Now I could race road bikes with her... if only there was time for that.
Got to see some of my favorite people at Sea Otter, including this guy! Phil used to push me around when riding bikes, he's the best.
My all time favorite pro trail builder from Big Bear Gavin decked out in retro gear. I had no idea I would run into this creeper, but there he was in all his creepy glory.
Mini UCD reunion, plus I saw a few more alums later that day. I love my old team mates, these guys were the most fun to race with and cheer on in college!
We had a little photo shoot on Sunday, which was pretty fun for us athletes. The poor photographers probably thought we were crazy though.
One of the best things about Sea Otter is all the free stuff :) I had the most amazing espresso on Sunday morning thanks to Kitsbow.
And one more podium shot for old times sake. I know I shouldn't be posting this evidence that I am such an amature that I wore jeans on the podium, but what the heck. Lets hope I have an opportunity in the future to apply all the rules of the podium I learned after making this colossal mistake!

I've been missing Sea Otter already, but I am also enjoying every minute of Spring Break! Hope you have time to ride bikes this weekend! (Sorry Carl, I know that's mean. One day...)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sea otter 2k14

I knew by the end of lap 1 of the Sea Otter Classic xc that I was having the race of my life. I had been sitting at the back of a group of the top 10 women in the race,  patiently following and moving around riders as they got gapped off on the climbs. 
By the final climb on lap 1 the lead group of four women were a few seconds ahead of my small chase group of three (we got stuck behind a girl with a mechanical which created the gap).
 If I did anything wrong, it might have been underestimating myself and not trying to bridge back to the top four, but I made the judgment call that sticking with experienced riders Michaela Kofman and Kelli Emmet would put me in a good spot at the end of the race (seventh place sounded outstanding to me at that point). 
Our group worked together on the second lap with me pulling on the pavement and Michaela leading on the single track climbs. At some point we dropped Kelli and I also remember thinking we weren't going very hard. I justified staying behind Michaela with the idea that she is much more experienced than me, and might have been pacing herself so save matches for the final killer climb. This idea fell apart though, when we got passed by Rose Grant. I took off after Rose, and eventually put a few seconds gap on her over some steep fire road kickers. By this point my legs started cramping and it was a brutal effort to keep her away until the finish. The idea I could stand on the podium didn't cross my mind until I rode onto the track at the end of lap two.
I guess it's a little cliche, but have you ever had one of those races where everything seems to fall into place just right? You avoid the crash, keep up on the descents, stay with the lead group from the start and pace everything just right to have enough legs for one final hard attack. That was my Sea Otter XC race. It was the stuff off dreams. Tack on two days of team bonding, a mini UC Davis cycling team reunion, my sister winning the cat 3 road race, and geeking out over cool bike stuff and I would say it was an excellent weekend. 

I'm so grateful to Marin Bikes for giving me the opportunity to race my bike at this level and to my awesome coach who has been beating the crap out of me for weeks to prepare for this.

Now to go enjoy my spring break!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Locked Down

This week took a crazy turn yesterday when an armed man fired shots about a quarter mile from the school where I teach. When he got away from police the schools in the area were locked down for about 4 hours. The incident began during my 3rd period geometry class, and although it wasn't super serious (the gunman wasn't on campus), it still shook me up a bit. Looking out at 35 humans whose lives you are responsible for in a situation like that is a heavy feeling. Especially when they start coming to you looking for answers to questions like "when is it going to end?" or "what's going on?" And you don't have any answers.
For comic relief I made a production of assembling the bucket toilet my classroom came equiped with, which apparently made me Instagram famous. Some students even considered using it!

Thankfully the lock down ended around 2pm, because I was running out of ideas for entertaining the kids (I have no movies on hand, Netflix is blocked by the district, and because every kid on campus was on their phone the internet was too slow to stream movies).
A stressful way to end the week for sure, but thank god it wasn't more serious! Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sore Knees

On a typical Tuesday at this time I would be racing down to the fire pit to meet up with the raddest group of mountain bikers you know to shred the local trails. Not today though. Today I am resting my poor knees, who loudly protested to all the riding I have been doing lately by aching all day yesterday. Teaching was stressful because the whole day I felt like I should be sitting down, but that's not my style in the classroom. I'm learning a lot about listening to my body though, and taking the time to rest and heal from big workouts/weekends.

Some highlights of the week so far include the following:
 -Extremely hot weather. Today my garmin read 104 degrees as I was changing a flat on the side of the road. I know garmina reads higher than reality, but anywhere in the 90's feels like full on summer. I was dripping sweat all over the tire fixing operation. No neighbors rode by to rescue me :(

-Baking my first loaf of bread in, basically, forever. I used to bake bread every week without fail. This loaf was/is especially delicious.

-Putting together my Christmas present from Brendan last night. She is super sexy, thinner than a sheet of paper and a little skittish so far. She is also a rocketship, and I felt like I was flying when we commuted this morning.

- Teaching integration in Applied Calculus is one of my favorites. Sometimes I think the notes are just so pretty I can't resist taking pictures.

Here's to hoping the temps go back down to normal by the end of the week! Hump day is on deck, then 2 more days till spring break!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Los Olivos Dirt Classic

This weekend we did a lot of... driving. Sometimes living in Southern California is awesome. Like when you get to ride your bike every day in December and January because the weather is so temperate, or when you get to race your bike every weekend because there are awesome races all the time. But sometimes, it kinda sucks. It sucks because to get anywhere you have to drive on one of the terrible freeways, where there are always accidents and horrible congestion. I really shouldn't complain, because I still did get to travel to a pretty place to race my bike, but we spent A LOT of time in the Prius this weekend when we could have been playing instead. You also have to know I hate driving, so that makes it a little more terrible.
Davey looked happy at first, but after 3 hours he wasn't a fan of the car ride either. 

Highlights from the weekend included...
              Breakfast in Los Olivos, the CUTEST little town ever. 

Brendan truing my rear wheel after ANOTHER spoke broke during my pre-ride.

Eating A TON of strawbs, and harvesting some goodies from the pathetic garden. The neighbor boy was over. He LOVES picking carrots, and I can't say no to little kids, hence the not quite ready carrots.

And winning a bike race! 

Other highlights included an ice cream from Mc Donalds post race that gave me a free pass to not have to do the driving  home. and taking the very senic route everywhere we went to avoid hwy 101 traffic. I missed the super D on Sat because of the stupid traffic. 

In conclusion, stop crashing into eachother LA county residents. Thank you.