Sunday, April 29, 2012

judge morris/white clay/middle run

Early start.
Arm warmers at the end of April.
Lively band of polite Columbian mountain bikers (accompanied by music).
Mud puddles.
Gears for a change.
Low pressure.
An hour to warm up.
Colder than some of the February rides this year.
Hair that's now long enough for a ponytail.
Two guys that want to go faster than I can right now.
Chattery roots.
Old loops.
A little air.
New trail.
Huckleberry gel.
Favorite gloves.
One old shoe, one new(er) shoe (oops).
No jerks.
One brief hanger-on.
One good push.
Michoacana Grill stop (and my dad never stops).
Long. ass. nap.

Friday, April 27, 2012

that kind of day

4:15 on a Friday afternoon...

naptime after a whirlwind morning.

maybe an early evening spin in the woods...we'll see.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Sometimes I come home from a hurried ninety minute ride and proceed to tear up my kitchen like I just finished a twenty-four hour race.

If I am not careful, I will eat this entire bucket of Trader Joe's cinnamon schoolbook cookies.

This has been a hard week...(it is only Wednesday).
Monday morning I got word that a very dear family member/friend had passed away.
Last time I saw Denny was at my parent's house, on the deck, enjoying a beer and good food.
He was healthy and honestly, it wasn't that long ago.

His daughter, my cousin, is my age and her relationship with her dad very closely parallels the relationship I have with mine.
And our dads were close friends... friends from back in the day (like way before my time).
Our moms are best friends from grade you can imagine, our families have been pretty tight. 
We shared many adventures at the Gunks, out west, and certainly closer to home...
Denny was so full of energy and I could always count on him to pull me out onto the dance floor, when nobody else was ready (or tipsy enough) to dance yet.
He was that exuberant and enthusiastic and into it...although I could barely keep up, I was just happy to be out there dancing.

rest in peace...

Sunday, April 22, 2012's a no

I am pulling the plug on my first race of the season before it even begins.
Three weeks ago I wrecked pretty badly and suffered a concussion for the second time within a year.
Before the crash, I was feeling confident, fit, fast...all the makings in place for a self-satisfying race result at one of my favorite venues.
Technically, I shouldn't even be on my mountain bike yet, but yesterday I wanted to test my legs (and confidence post-crash) on my singlespeed.
Bill and I had a great ride at Middle Run/White Clay on dry, dusty trails.
In spite of a few reckless riders who nearly blitzed us off the trail (you simply cannot ride like that at White Clay with all the blind turns, corners and ultra-smooth descents on a busy must always be in control of their bike and aware of other trail users...RRRRRRR...end rant, to be continued some other time), we had a blast.
Although my legs felt pretty decent and my fitness hasn't waned too much over the past few weeks, I realized pretty directly that I definitely should not race next weekend.
I have no business lining up in a field of experts only to ride timidly or sit in or just wouldn't be wise to use the race as a training tool when all I can think about is must. not. crash. bike

Several years ago, racing was an all-consuming passion for me...year-round, I was either preparing or training or mapping out the next season.
I dreamed of yellow tape September through January, followed by hardpack trails and number plates come springtime...intervals, race nutrition, perceived exertion, confirmed riders...all of these things dominated a constant loop inside my head. 
Times have changed and racing just isn't as important to me any more.
Nine years ago, I entered my first mountain bike race at Granogue and I was hooked.
To still be this in love with riding my bike and hitting the trails after all these years, blows my mind.
It's only natural that the energy devoted to the racing aspect of this love will come and go.
Looks like this year it's go.
I can't step out of a season entirely, so I'll jump into a few meaningful, hand-picked events and really make them count.

(there's no other way, right?) 
Fair Hill presented by Bikeline 2010

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One of Many (Part II)...Getting hitched at the ruins

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trail markers courtesy of Ron & Kathleen & Campbell
my brother playing as I walked down the trail with my dad 

flowers in my hair courtesy of good friend, Toni

Bill & I had our first date on the trails of Harmony Hill...
We met at the parking lot "up top" on Skelp Level Road.
I can't remember what I wore on my first date, but I can tell you I was riding my rigid 26in Litespeed and Bill was on his Salsa.
We sized each other each other's bikes up and giddily set off into the woods.
After looping through all of Harmony Hill (and then some), we met each other for beers and burgers.
We haven't spent more than a day apart since.

Upon getting engaged this past fall, wedding plans fell into place serendipitously...
After a few email exchanges with the woman in charge of parks in the township, the notion of getting hitched on the trails we first rode together (and weekly since) became a reality.
There were moments of panic when I chastised myself for planning a wedding in the woods in April, but Bill kept assuring me that everything would be "fiiiiiiiiine."
And it was.

Thanks for joining me as I recount one of the best days of my life...there are more stories and pictures to come. Only two weeks have passed since the wedding and it is still sinking in, little by little, just how great our day was. I'm sure in no time there will be race reports or rides that inspire a post, but for now I am still a bride who is positively reveling.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

live music

brother (orange) and sister (pewter) at a show
I love hearing live music and it doesn't happen nearly often enough.
Last night, my dad took me and my brother to see Buddy Guy at the Grand in Wilmington...
We had great seats, the sound was amazing, and at age 75, Buddy Guy still doesn't disappoint.
It's kind of his signature move to wade through the audience through the far reaches of the venue while wailing on his guitar and it still gives me chills to be close to a blues legend.
I've seen Buddy Guy three times over the past ten years and if it's possible, his vocals seem to get better with age.
My dad has been taking us to concerts since we were little kids, younger than my own son, and here are some of shows the three of us have seen together:
  • Cyndi Lauper (at a shady bar, no brother was eight and left flowers for Cyndi on her tour bus)
  • Eddy Grant (more than just "Electric Avenue"...he's the first musician I saw play his guitar with his teeth) As a kid, his stage presence blew my mind
  • UB40
  • Beastie Boys and Run DMC (Tougher than Leather tour, at the Spectrum)...we had to leave during the Beastie Boys because sh*t was getting outta hand (we were kids)  
  • red hot chili peppers
  • Junior Wells (x2)
  • Buddy Guy (x3)
  • David Byrne
  • Jimmie Vaughn
  • the Wailers
  • the Cure ( crush on Robert Smith was brutally cringe-worthy)
My brother is a musician...he plays guitar and I've always been stupid-envious of his talent. He makes it look so easy, but I think that's because he is truly a natural. Our dad didn't mess around when it came to introducing us to good music.
And for the record, I never skip over Buddy Guy when he comes up on my shuffle (it's all his Chess-era stuff and collaborations with Junior Wells...great, great stuff).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

One of Many

Over the next few days, I'll be sharing some of my favorite moments from the day we got hitched in the woods and the amazing party that followed.
As Christine, our officiant, shared a story about how Bill and I met, I couldn't help leaning into him
my sister-in-law, Renee, captured my son (who wears his heart on his sleeve) 


We are back from a perfect escape to the Keys...
I'll gladly inundate you with post some pictures from the wedding/honeymoon later, but for now I just need to sip this giant cup of tea and settle back down to earth.
Although I missed my son and sorta longed for some hills and knobby tires, I could get used to the slow pace and warm sunshine of Islamorada.
As my husband runs new cables this morning on his Salsa in the garage, I am faced with the fact that we have our first race in two short weeks.

It wouldn't be me if I were to start prepping any earlier...I am the queen of procrastination and I've got last-minute pressure down to a beautiful science.
maxing out my HR in Key West
Welcome back, indeed...

Sunday, April 8, 2012


After a late breakfast of champagne and wedding cake, we joined my dad for a spin on the cross bikes over at HH.
Every time I ride through the ruins now, I can't help but smile.

In the days leading up to our wedding, so many people remarked how calm I was...
"You're getting married tomorrow? You're so calm."
"You're the bride? You look so calm."

I was calm because I knew that this is right...
I was calm because we have great family and friends and they've made everything so easy and fun.
What is there to freak out about when you are marrying your best friend, your true love?

It was a magical day that I will never forget.    

april 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012


On the brink of marrying my best friend, I turned thirty-seven and spent some time with many of my favorite people.
Our caterer surprised me with a birthday cake this morning as we decorated the reception venue...I found myself feeling really blessed as her little crew sang to me. Who are these people and why are they being so nice to me??

Sara & Beth took me shopping for trashy honeymoon lingerie and toasted me with cocktails at the mall (ahhh, Ladiez Day).

I finally pulled the trigger on the Prada platform sandals I've been coveting for months.
I may have even dreamed about them.

Happy birthday to me... 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

here we go...

Still so much to do...
in just under forty-eight hours, I'll be married to Bill.
This officially started to unfold in Vermont last September on a storied road trip with some of the best of friends...however, I knew after one month with Bill that I'd marry him.
I haven't been on my bike since last Friday's crash, so I am hoping the butterflies in my stomach are at least burning some calories...
there is a bottle of bubbly in my very near future.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the hay is in the barn...

The dress still fits.
Why would I even be stressing over this?
I've been pretty much the same size for my entire adult life (with the exception of a 35+ lb weight gain back in 2004 due to pregnancy and an unhealthy weight loss three years later due to breakup of marriage).

I will start the day with a few Cadbury mini eggs because that's what I do this time of year.