Saturday, May 17, 2014

I know how I'll be spending my Saturday night...

My dad showed up this afternoon with a turntable for me...it's time to amp up my vinyl collection and I could not be happier!
(For my second birthday, my dad gave me a legit record player and he's done an excellent job of imparting his love of great music to both of his kids)...thanks, BP!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On the Rocks at French Creek 2014 presented by TBR (Cat 2 Women U40)

French Creek is undoubtedly my favorite place to ride and probably the closest thing I'd consider to be my  "home course."
While last year, my goal was to merely "have fun and finish in one piece," this year, I wanted a top ten result and to simply try/ride harder. 
{goal realized, by the way}
Although the park took quite a beating during a pretty serious storm the week leading up to the race, our team pulled together in true TBR fashion to put on a stellar event last Saturday.
Ron managed to mindfully string together a very challenging, yet flow-y loop which included a paved stretch and some gravel sections without compromising the vibe that makes French Creek French Creek (rocks, tricky descents, rocks, hard climbs, rocks, rocks, and...rocks).
{well done, Ron Harding, well done...}
Two laps of said course left me feeling exactly how I want to feel after a mountain bike race; physically depleted, yet completely stoked about the experience.

Shortly after I wrapped up my race, I stood by anxiously as Bill found his way to the start for his first race this year (first race in quite some time).
Sometimes, my nerves are even stronger watching him on the line and this race was no exception.
{side note: I was surprisingly relatively calm as I staged at Iron Hill and French Creek...maybe it's from years of racing the MASS, maybe it's because I know where I fall within these ranks right now, thus alleviating a lot of that pressure...maybe I'm more confident as rider...maybe I'm just getting older/wiser and finally realize those nerves are just a huge, huge waste of energy?}
Anyway.
After watching Bill take off (confidently...aaaaaaand fast), I had to head home to relieve our babysitter.
Not surprisingly, Bill ended up 11th in Open Pro and I was so happy that he had a great race and respectable result (hey, I know Bill...I know what matters to him and what he expects of himself out there).  
So, yeah...
On the Rocks 2014 made for a pretty good day for both Showers.
And a very good day for Trestle Bridge Racing. 




Special thanks to Kathleen Harding, Todd Strauss, and Hannah Johnston for being at the helm of our race and organizing a great event.

Also, thanks to the Rob Perna band (minus Rob Perna because he's...in jail) for keeping the woods extra funky with live music.


   

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Iron Hill mountain bike race 2014

awkwardly (yet, giddily) navigating the gully by Kita Roberts
photo credit Bill White

photo credit Bill Showers
The top photo says it all and certainly better than I can convey with words.
All smiles. All mud.
While I realize and accept that I'm not the fastest right now, I am excited to be learning and picking up subtle nuances about handling my bike and the trails every time I race.
Season after season (and sometimes skipping a season here or there).
Even now, eleven (?) years since my first race, there are still plenty of skills to sharpen and plenty of room for improvement.
I love mountain biking and I still love mountain bike racing.
Although I wasn't in contention by any stretch of the imagination, I turned it up as best I could toward the end of the second lap, giving everything I had, in order to make it to the kid's race in time to see my son take off.
"Just have fun and don't be a jerk if you pass somebody," were the only words of wisdom I could summon as I caught him at the line.
Later that evening, a friend reminded me that's pretty solid advice for just about anything in life.



    
 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Killing Floor

I visited my brother at Graterford SCI on Thursday with my dad.
That particular institution makes county jail look like the goddamn Ritz Carlton.
For a prison that houses 4,000 (!) inmates, you'd think there'd be enough manpower to make the visitation cubicle a little more...humane?
I'm not exaggerating when I say I felt like I stepped into a third world country from the moment we walked through the doors.
Every surface is dirty and in shambles; everywhere you look, something is broken, damaged, and falling apart.
All I can do is thank god that he is only there for the classification process and hope hope hope that things begin to look up when he is finally placed at his "home prison."
(I know, right?)
The visit was unnerving and definitely left me...rattled.
I mean, the facility itself was kind of shocking (I was prepared for bad), but it was my brother's tone and demeanor that really got to me.
I hate to see him so frustrated and bitter.
Since his incarceration in October, I've been so proud of the way he has carried himself forward every single day (getting a job, earning respect from the COs and fellow inmates, staying involved with his son in every possible way despite the very limited opportunities to do so, keeping in touch with his family and friends, still influencing his band, and mostly just keeping an incredibly positive attitude).
This transition is undoubtedly taking a toll on him and I'm sure it is part of the process, just another piece of the big picture, but it's unnerving nonetheless.
He won't be able to see his son until the next move (to yet another state facility for more classification/processing), which could still be another month or even two.
Phone privileges are virtually non-existent (something like 8 phones per 400 inmates, with a pretty small window with which to make calls).
On the upside, he's rocking some pretty fresh prison-issue leather boots (and fashioned some makeshift shower shoes from the insoles) and he'll be purchasing an AM/FM radio from commissary this week.
What he really needs is a guitar...
That day seriously can't come soon enough.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 5 (Whole 30)

Welp...I bonked hard while deep-cleaning my kitchen and I'm down 5lbs.
Pretty sure there was cake in my dream last night.
Other than that, it's fiiiiiiiiine.