Wednesday, August 31, 2011

make it stop

it's Tuesday Wednesday and I am missing work (again...I started this post yesterday).
Went in for an hour and decided I'd rather yack at home and spare my coworkers/patients.
so freaking beautiful outside and I am sick.
I wish I was bagging work to ride or do something fun outside, but my conscience has never allowed me to take part in that kind of carefree tomfoolery anyway.
Feel sorry for me...I am huddled under a down blanket and contemplating turning on the heat.
sick sucks.
summer sick sucks even worse.
frowny face.

here are some random photos from the archives (I usually never yield to the random photo barrage, but I'm sick and freezing and all alone...waaaaaah):
my brother, his kid, my dad  July 2009

Max gettin sharp for Sara's wedding 

winter 2009

Christmas 09 in BP's basement (Max discovers the treehouse)

MAC Prom 2009  

Bend, Oregon

My brother & Dave the Bass Player

Marci's cheerful yellow Vans

Easter 2010

awesome birthday brownies made with love & creepiness by Lisa, the best kidsitter in the whole world

okay, that's quite enough.
Tylenol cold & flu is giving me a a bad way. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Weather a Hurricane and its Aftermath (a photo essay)

sleep through the tornado warnings (preferably in a safe location and with your teddy bear)

stock up on MSR fuel canisters

stock the fridge with hoppy delights (also, fill your cooler with ice in the event of a power outage)

marvel at the storm from the safety of your home 

build a fort

check on your loved ones

engineer a scavenger hunt

tinker with your girlfriend's bike (XTR cranks? why, thank you!)

survey the damage (with adult supervision and only when the storm has passed, please)

explore your neighborhood
lastly, find some puddles to jump in!

Hopefully everyone has made it through the storm safely...
Wishing you all dry basements and quickly restored power.

Although there are quite a few projects I could dig into around the house today, I am going to take a pass and enjoy a lazy Sunday with the family.
Our last official day of summer vacation will be spent with an enormous bowl of popcorn and movies movies movies...thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Last night at dinner, Ron relayed his memory of Hurricane Gloria when we were kids...
Schools were closed, power was out for a few days.
I knew I could count on him to remember its name.
Who needs Google when you have friends like Ron?
We talked about Floyd.
We talked about Bob (Bob?)...
I recounted my brush with Ernesto (while racing Seven Springs with the appropriately named Mudhoneys).
Now we are braced for Irene...
I love stormy weather and I wonder if this will live up to all the hype...
Rather than scoff at any notions of hurricane preparedness, we actually took the warnings seriously & stocked up on the essentials:
fuel canisters for the camping stove
batteries for the ipod dock

what else could one possibly need?
A pre-hurricane ride, that's what.

The trails at French Creek had a nice greasy feel this morning...not the kind where you're slip-sliding-ping-ponging all over the place, but the kind where you cruise along and just drill the rocks in spite of the moisture.
As for the woods?
Damp and spooky, rife with all kinds of interesting characters out & about, getting their activities in before Irene lashes out later this evening.
We stopped at Target to grab Max's Epi-pen (for school, which starts on MONDAY...holy sh*t, first grader!!!...not going to get into that right now, I promise...this aside is ov-er)...
Wow...mayhem at Target, predictably.
I love creeping on people's carts/baskets, spying their hurricane/disaster essentials...beanbag chairs, gossip mags (me, too), snacks galore, liters of soda (the water aisle was completely wiped out), econo-sized hand sanitizer...good stuff.
That's that, let's see what the next twenty-four hours bring.
I'm guessing not a whole lot...

Friday, August 26, 2011


"I wish the maid would get here."
"Huh? Mom, we don't have a maid."
"I know. I don't feel like cleaning the house today."
"Mom, maids don't even exist in houses like this."
"What do you mean?"
"You know, maids clean, like, fancy houses."
"Are you saying our house isn't fancy?"
"Well, you know, we have carpets...fancy houses are like mansions. Not haunted mansions, but nice mansions with, like, tile floors and stuff."

Okay, I know he's not getting these impressions from Adventure Time, so, what the frig? How does he come up with this sh*t?!
And by the way, our spotless carpets are made of spun gold and cashmere, so they are fancy.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

O-F-F off (and all over the place)

Even though I rode well tonight, I felt kinda off...
Maybe it's stress weighing on kid said some pretty heavy stuff the other night and was rather distraught. It breaks my heart when he is worried about something. Even when I think I am handling it well, I still fret that I could be doing better.

I've got aches and pains from a stupid crash last week...I went down hard and bashed my knee (and sternum and shoulder and elbow...the knee took the brunt of it).
I rode my SS all weekend without a care in the world and aggravated the knee even more.
Still a super-fun ride tonight, though.
Neither of us were feeling it, but I'm glad we got out there.
Those woods, those trails are good to me...
I reminded Cati to guilt me into riding if I ever try to bail because I always end up feeling better afterward.
"Just tell me I'm lame and that you don't want to ride alone."
I needed some redemption tonight and that's exactly what I got.
Awkward and a little off, a little distracted...redemption all the same.  

Sewell/the D&Q Summer Sizzler is cancelled due to potential fallout from impending Hurricane Irene.
Sorry, but...yay!
Thank you, Irene.
I wasn't afraid to conquer that personal demon (especially after such a non-eventful pre-ride), but I'm kinda ready to wrap it up.

I'm kinda thinking about cross (there are maybe, like, three races I want to dabble in this year) and I'm thinking about arm warmers and crunchy leaves and long meandering rides in the woods...
I'm jumping ahead to Vermont and shorter days and charging lights and carving pumpkins.
I can't help favorite time of year is fast approaching and it makes me smile.

winding down

With summer vacation winding down in a matter of days, we've been finding little adventures wherever we can.
Highlight of my summer?
Definitely Max learning how to ride his two-wheeler (and loving it).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

weekend at Raystown

Raystown Lake

I sure love my Raleigh (my SS, my only 29er)  

Lincoln Caverns

post-ride refreshment

"Where do you want to ride this weekend?"
"I don't know. Where do you want to ride?" 
After tossing the usual suspects back and forth (Middle Run/White Clay, FH, French Creek, etc), we decided on a last minute jaunt to Raystown...
Hell. Yes.
What a welcome change of scenery, what a perfect perfect perfect weekend.
Great weather, perfect trails, excellent company.

Have you ever been to Raystown? Have you had the pleasure of exploring the Allegrippis trails?
Do you have a favorite loop or trail?
I can't pick just one, but I could not stop smiling as we rolled through Eagle and Sleek Dog...everything is fun and so incredibly's so easy to get lost in the joy of just going going going fast.

There's nothing better than last-minute adventures and effortless road trips with the perfect partner in crime...
amazing trails, balmy August mornings, crackling campfires, starry skies, spooky caves, hot showers, cold pints, well-deserved s'mores...
thank god for weekends like this.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

on a whim

photo courtesy of Tommy O (thanks, I guess)...the creepy van is full of candy & puppies 
I texted Bill:
May I please ride with Kathleen @ 4:45? I'll make you scallops for dinner :)
Almost immediately, my phone lit up with a text from Kathleen:
Yes! So excited! No need for scallops though, thank you for the offer! I need to hit the grocery store after. Where should we meet? Can't wait!

Oops. Good thing it was scallops I tried to negotiate/entice with and not something...else.
(and I guess it should be noted that I don't need my BF's permission to ride per se, but I don't want to assume that I can stick him with childcare duty so I can go play in the woods for a couple hours)

What followed was a disastrous ride on my part as I crashtastically followed a very gracious Kathleen on HH's greasiest trails I've ridden in a while.
Aaaah...good times, good times.
Why has it taken over a year and a half for the two of us to venture out on our own "girl's ride"? It's silly, but I was actually nervous riding with her (thus, my numerous gaffes/bungles/crashes).
You know how it is riding with someone new...either you totally slay it and kick the ride's ass or you're a fool, slipping and sliding and fumbling over everything you typically clean with ease.
I swear I don't always ride like this...I swear
Rather than spout excuses or apologies, I wholeheartedly embraced my total lack of skills and just had fun enjoying my favorite trails with one of my favorite people.

Some of my most memorable rides have happened on a whim and this one was a long time coming (and long overdue).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Must Be Wednesday

I always gush about our local trails.
That's because our trails are awesome.
And the people I am lucky enough to ride with our awesome.

Tonight's line-up:

Rick led us out on a sprightly loop that brought me back to the good old days when rides with Rick made me cry.

I remember showing up with my dad for a ride at Dtown (back when we had to park in some industrial complex and the trails were raw and maybe not quite legal)...I'm not sure why, but I sensed it was a pretty serious ride and I knew I had no business being there.
After meandering around what is now Harmony Hill Nature Area, we wove our way toward the trestle bridge...I had never ventured this far and had never crossed the bridge.
Tears were streaming down my face because the wind was so ridiculously cold and furious.
Tears were streaming down my face because I was frustrated and embarrassed and sucking.
I had visions of disappearing through one of the gaping holes on the bridge only to meet my demise on some sad stretch of 322, blotchy and frozen and stuck to my Kona.
Somehow, I made it across that bridge and tried my best to keep somebody, anybody in sight...what a brutal ride.
Although there were probably five or six other guys there that day, I only remember Rick & my dad.
I remember Rick's pace and the fact that he waited and made sure I had safely crossed the bridge.
{sigh}... those were the days.

No crying on this ride.

My Wednesday Night Ride is not nearly regular enough.
My Wednesday Night Ride means sneaking in a hard effort, usually just over sixty minutes, covering as much ground as I can within that blissful, short-lived hour.
My Wednesday Night Ride is jammed in between work and kid-shuffling and kid-bedtime...sometimes it works and when it does, it is wonderful.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

not soon enough

We were talking about Vermont last night...

ducking under the lines...mmmmmm, syrup

who comes home from Vermont without maple syrup??
This year, I am bringing some back with me.

We talked about eating breakfast at the Freight House.
And Trout River beer.
And the Maxilla trail.
And Old Webs.
And crunchy leaves.
And being surrounded by mountains...and mountains...and mountains.
And campfires.
And friends.

 I. Can't. Wait.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I mean, look at these two...
Rainy Sunday.
Hanging out in the garage, working on bikes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


I don't even know what to say about this...

be nice

"Just keep riding..."
I was relieved it was merely a snake...the way Bill said it, I thought it was a ground nest or something.
Nevermind that I careened toward the snake, arcing away from the trail, expecting a swarm of angry bees.

Sewell was fun this morning.
What's up with the mulch, though?
Awful lot of mulch in some goofy places...I'm just going to pretend it's Brandywine.
And the sandy turns are Beacon.
And the roots are Sawmill.

Yay for overcoming my nemesis!