Tuesday, November 29, 2011

bad neighbors

I'm still busy reflecting on the perfect weekend that just ended...
We wrapped up the holiday festivities with a tour of Middle Run/White Clay with some of my favorite people.
I wish I had something profound or witty to say about the ride, but it was quite simply just tons of fun.
Tons.
I just wanted to keep going...and we did.
Only thing better than riding in short sleeves and bare legs in late November is ending the day with great company and Green Flash...


I'm sure our neighbors are less than happy about all the time we spent reveling & riding our bikes this weekend...we are the yard work/leaf-raking delinquents.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

still giving thanks

my other brother, Ike


So.
Freakishly warm temps allowed me to work on my tan this weekend (when I wasn't busy baking pecan pies or teaching my son how to make cranberry sauce).
From French Creek to Fair Hill, I rocked bare legs and short sleeves just days away from December.
The woods at Frech Creek are utterly decimated from the October snow fall...although the trails are mostly clear now (thanks to some hardcore trail maintenance last weekend), I've never seen so much wreckage.
Trees snapped from the top, limbs everywhere...just destroyed.
Other than folding myself in half on the largest rock I could find, the ride was seemless and fun.
Fair Hill was more of the same today...just meandering along and winding through the woods.
I know, I know...winter is coming, but the color on my arms and legs says otherwise.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kutztown Cross


With the elusive front row start finally mine, I didn't turn around to see who was lined up behind me.
When the whistle blew, I just went and I went hard...
Holeshot. For realz?
I was passed by Diane and another woman, but promptly caught them and led the remainder of the first lap.
I was leading, guys...for a little bit, but still...it was awesome, I'm just saying.
Diane caught me again and stayed ahead steadily increasing the gap between us for six more laps.
I fought hard to get closer to her, but fought even harder to stay ahead of 3rd and 4th place.
The tape was dizzying...so. many. twisty. turns.
My favorite part of the course was the Vortex...zigging and zagging, it sucked you in and spit you back out in the middle of Crystal Cave...(okay, it spit you back out on a straightaway with a set of perfectly approachable barriers, but whatever...)

For once, I was completely and utterly focused and simply racing my bike.
For once, there wasn't a loop of nerves working my head and holding me back...
"Um, Kim, that's how it's supposed to be."

Diane Grim is the best competitor ever.
(I'm going to shamelessly gush about how much I love Diane Grim for a second, okay?)
Listen...
She runs around Blue Marsh Lake for fun...like the whole way around the lake.
And when she's not running marathons or 50Ks in the woods, she's slaying the trails on her cross bike.
Or crushing a cross race.
Or creating the most kickass parfaits you will ever eat.
Or calling me and leaving the most enthusiastic voicemail ever.
Plus, she calls me Kiddo and she's not a whole lot older than me...I mean, we both have ex-husbands, she calls me Kiddo.
Yes...definitely one of my favorite people that I have met through our amazing cycling community.
Not only did she pass me like a ninja at Kutztown, but gave me a huge hug when I crossed the line in second place.
We've been racing together for a long time and it is always always a treat to line up and do battle with Diane Grim.

me, Diane, Jennifer
Kutztown Cross was tons of fun.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Santa?

F*ck.
Max has started asking questions about Santa Claus..."Is he really really really real?"
He'll be seven in a few weeks.
I'm floundering.
"Of course he's real."
"Mom, tell me the truth."
"The truth is I believe in Santa Claus."
"Okay. So do I."

Ugh.
Sandi told me in second grade that Santa wasn't real.
We were washing our hands side by side in the girls bathroom.
"Kim, Santa's not real. You know that, right?"
The rest of the day was a blur...I know Mr.Smith was talking and teaching, but I couldn't hear a word.
The panic about Santa Claus in my head was far too loud.
I demanded the truth from my parents that night and (obviously) it broke my heart.

I don't need to be breaking any hearts.

Maybe tomorrow I'll share some pics and anecdotes about the kickass race in Ktown yesterday.
For now, I'm fretting about Christmas and kids growing up too fast.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

ruins

This is where we are getting married. We'll clear out some of the brush, but otherwise leave the area as is.
It doesn't need anything because it's perfect.

That's Toni's bike.
She showed me how to plant daffodil bulbs (you guys, I had no idea how easy it is...I can do this!).
Toni has kindly offered to handle the flowers for the wedding and I am so excited to see what she dreams up.

Why are we getting married here?
Our first date was a mountain bike ride on these trails...we come back here again & again & again & again.
I couldn't imagine a more ideal location (fingers crossed for good weather, but not going to waste energy stressing about something beyond our control).

The past few weeks I have been so touched and thankful for all the great friends I have in every little corner of my life. It's a beautiful thing, indeed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

what Friday looks like

The road was cold, but the woods warmed me up quickly.
I say it all the time, but I am constantly blown away and so thankful for the excellent trails we have so close to home.

bonus: when I got back, my mom called and invited me over for a grilled cheese.
  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

so so simple

I needed to ride my bike today (and I did).
As long as I keep getting out on days like this...
As long as I stay out a little longer than I want to...
As long as I push myself a little harder than I think I can go...
everything will work out fine.
See??

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

vintage BP

Cemetary Wall (Safe Harbor) photo courtesy of Eric Horst circa 1991

Monday, November 14, 2011

Favorite Part of Monday

We're not big on watching TV here.
We have more channels than we know what to do with (and complain that there's nothing on).
Seems like every other day we're all, "let's just get rid of it..." (and that would will be fine).
But.
Mondays at 8pm the three of us are snuggled up & laughing our asses off for fifteen minutes straight while "Adventure Time" is on.

I'm so testy today.
My poor family.
only for ten more minutes, though...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

reprieve


The weekend started with a house full of friends and good food and wine and laughter and a roaring fire...
It ended with my family hiking in the woods and jumping the rocks at St. Peter's Village.

I'm ready to get back on my bike.
Reprieves are good. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

burnt

Sure is frustrating trying to figure out where to ride during hunting season.
I'm holding out on getting back on my road bike.
In fact, I might be a little burnt out on riding in general right now.
In spite of feeling nothing short of awesome on my bike lately, suddenly I'm just not really into it.
Which is fine...because there are running shoes and other diversions.

My favorite cooking show is "Extra Virgin."
I love Debi Mazar and I love her skinny Italian husband, Gabriele.

 

Friday, November 11, 2011

11/11/11 luck-lucky day musings


Sept. 1942 Erma & Joe

Veteran's Day:
I always used to call my grandfather on Veteran's Day. He's no longer with us, but not a day goes by without him crossing my mind.
He served in WWII and my brother would concur that we never grew tired of his many war stories.

Marsh Creek (last night):
Bill and I set out for the woods just as darkness and rain crept in.
"It's romantic!" I joked.
"What??" he called over his shoulder.
Nevermind.
We started on the boat launch side, intending to warm up on the climbs.
Brrrrrrrrr.Wet leaves, wet roots made for the inevitable spill on a tight, little descent.
"I'm okay, I'm okay." I said, mostly to myself.
Soon, we were meandering back to the lot.
Done.
"This is silly."
It was.
Still, I've used my lights more in the past few weeks than I did all last winter.
That's good.

Thoughtfulness:
At dinner last night (which was a complete fail, but the beer was good...and really, all I wanted was a tasty pint), I rifled through my purse for chapstick only to be surprised by a lovingly crumpled note from my son.
In green magic marker and adorable first-grade handwriting, the words: "I love u."
Loopy little hearts and scrawly grinning stick figure. Plentiful X's and O's.
Awwwww.
Earlier yesterday, he asked if I was going to use my purse at all.
"Yeah, I'm sure I will."
"Okay. Just wondering."
The note made my night.

Bad Songs on Repeat:
Bad songs...the worst...have been stuck in my head all week long.
I can't even admit which songs they are.
Trust me...so, so bad.
Make it stop.

11/11/11 (Make a wish):
Hmmmm...that's an easy one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

managing sloth

For a solid 90 minutes this morning, I acted like a responsible adult (made breakfast for my son, packed a lunch, walked to the bus stop). It's my day off after a super-busy stretch at work this week and I have an agenda:
  • be still
  • be lazy
  • ignore responsibilities
  • ignore projects
  • ignore laundry
  • ignore phone
  • drink tea
  • charge lights
  • ride bike   
  • drink beer
In that order.


Addendum:
I am dutifully following my agenda (as my lights charge). In fact, I just took laziness to a whole new level. After a hot bath, I put pajamas on.
At 2pm.
It's Thursday.
I'm not sick.
I'm not distraught.
I'm quite content drinking hot chocolate under a down blanket while the wind howls outside.
Guess I'm saving my energy to rip Bill's legs off at Marsh Creek later ;)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

perfect night for a ride

So, the aircraft carrier-sized asteroid didn't crash into the Earth (as my son feared) and it felt a little like summertime last night.
With our lights barely charged, we took full advantage of the perfect weather.
Soon, shorts will give way to leg warmers...then, tights...then, shoe covers...
Not yet, thankfully.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

again

I didn't race this weekend.
I spent Friday night in the ER with a migraine that started on my bike.
In the woods.
Alone.
The progression of nuisance headache to full-bore migraine only took a matter of minutes and appeared without any of the typical warning signs.
The climb back up to the grassy field had to be the most feeble and desperate I have ever felt on my bike.
It was so bad I don't remember navigating my way back to the lot and I could barely speak when I called my mom for help.
I could not see clearly, let alone drive a car.
In all my years of riding, I've never had to call my mom to come pick me up.
That's the last time I venture out on a solo ride to shake off a "headache."

If this is getting old to you, imagine how frustrated I feel.


I learned two things in the ER:
Migraines can be induced with strenuous exercise (ie mountain biking).
Atheletes have "valve-y veins" (I still think it's kinda funny whenever I am referred to as an athlete...although, nothing was funny Friday night).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

do we have to?

I don't want to turn the clock back this weekend.
I don't want the days to be shorter.

I know, I know...I can charge my lights blah blah blah...
Night rides blah blah blah...

Shorter days just make me want to hibernate.

I'm getting married in five months.
I have my dress...I love it. I wake up and think about it in the middle of the night.
I think about a dress in the middle of the night. 
We have a super-awesome super-special sentimental place to get hitched.
I wake up and have this vision of our place...I think about that in the middle of the night. 
I think about April.
We are getting married outside.
It could be a rainy, messy, muddy day.
I guess I'll have to get some cute Hunter boots just in case.

We have friends who are lending their talents & creativity.
We have ideas and motivation.
We are trying not to spend a ton of cash...it's a wedding. A party.
Not a spectacle.
I'm kinda stuck on where to have the party/reception...we want good food, room to spread out & dance & carouse & all that good stuff.

I just really really really don't want to turn the clock back an hour.
Leave in the dark, home in the dark...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

step away from the twizzlers/snickers/junior mints/laffy taffy/m&ms


Darth Rob


In the past eight hours, I have eaten my weight in Halloween candy.
I can't stop.

The woods were extra creepy tonight.
Lurkers lurking.
Creepsters creeping.
Yeah...I'm glad I didn't head out solo.
My legs have definitely not recovered since Sunday, but a lethargic and creepy ride is better than no ride at all.

candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy candy...