Sunday, November 23, 2014

45NRTH Women's Winter Biking Night at Freewheel

WINTER IS HERE!!!  Well at least I thought it was :(  I can't believe I was actually sad to wake up this morning and see grass.  It felt like the "Grinch that Stole Christmas".  This is what fat-biking has done to me...I actually love winter now. 

And so do the folks at Freewheel Bike and 45NRTH and that's why last Wednesday night they hosted the first Women's Winter Biking Night!!  Thank you so much!

Photo Credit: Freewheel Bike
What an awesome event that celebrated women, bikes, and winter. The event was so popular that Freewheel quickly reached max capacity within a few hours of posting the event. Perhaps next year they'll take this operation to a local brewery!!!  Huge thanks to winter biking enthusiast ,Sveta Vold for capturing the remainder of all of these awesome photos!

I met so many wonderful  women that night and realized that I could talk about bikes and gear forever and ever and ever and that I'd never get bored.  I so loved sharing my winter gear/nutrition tips as well as the funny mistakes that I've made over the last few years. I even got to ride to and from the shop with some of these awesome chicas!

I also learned a lot from Chelsea, Natalia and the rest of the ladies at the event.  Like, did you know that unlike synthetics, wool will still keep you warm even when it is wet? And did you know that wool sport bras actually exist?  Oh and apparently there is actually a proven chemical reason why it takes longer for a bottle to freeze when it contains something other than just plain water.  So I'm not's really true!

Chelsea talking about her favorite, the 45NRTH Greazy Cap

Lastly, I realized that I'm completely & utterly obsessed with hand warmers :) so much that someone should probably hire me or something :)  Here is the stash I picked up at Fleet Farm after riding Elm Creek this weekend.

Speaking of Elm Creek -- can I get a rah! for the best groomed singletrack in town!! I finally made it out there to ride yesterday and wow, I totally forgot how hard it is to ride a fatty on snowy singletrack! After a few hours of driftin' and chasing Rob and Spoo my core is absolutely shelled!  Love this feeling.  Is it December 20th yet???

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Favorite Winter Gear of the Week - 45NRTH FASTERKATT

Winter is  that time of year where some people put the bikes away and the rest of us layer up & spend hours riding in the snow!! 

3 years ago I was one of those people that never rolled a tire for the entire 4 months of Nov - Feb.  In 2011 I bought my first fat bike, a cute white Surly Pugsley, and then slowly learned how to embrace and live the concept of “there is no such thing as too cold, just the wrong clothing.”  

So for all of you folks out there currently spinning winter away on the trainer..but yet intrigued by the idea of riding outside all year long…I dedicate this string of posts to you.  Get out there, breathe the fresh air, and ride!!  

My Favorite Winter Gear of the Week....45NRTH FASTERKATT!

These transition season cycling shoes are amazing!  I’ve been wanting a pair of them since they first came out, but instead I made the practical decision to start out with a pair of 45NRTH Wolvhammers.   The Wolvhammers worked perfectly last winter as temps were generally below zero.   However, I have to admit I spent most of the fall & spring feeling like  my set-up just wasn't quite right.  My feet were either TOO HOT in the Wolvhammers or TOO COLD in my summer cycling shoes.  

NO LONGER!!!  Last weekend I got to test these beauties out on a few different rides.  Away with the shoe covers....these shoes worked perfect for all 3 different types of rides. 

1.  Friday was a FATBIKE FRIDAY, and while I enjoyed a couple mid-ride beers at Excelsior Brewing I couldn't help but notice everyone was staring at my lower half, of course admiring my amazing brand new Fasterkatts. It certainly couldn't have been the fact that I was standing in a brewery wearing baggies & spandex.

2. Saturday I put the ‘katts on to throw down some road tempo intervals on the CX bike.  Temps were in the mid 30s, the wind was blowing 20+ mph and my feet were seriously sweating!! 

3. Sunday the temp dropped a tad and Tom and I put together a 3 hour ride looping the city and tearing up the new SW Theo trail.  We both had warm feet the entire time….even throughout the period where were we had to stop riding to help an injured rider.

Photo Credit: 45NRTH - Lace & Zip to a super snug fit!
For all of the above rides I did not notice that I was wearing something different from a standard cycling shoe.  The Fasterkatts are so light and snug that I am able to transfer all my energy and power to the pedals, certainly no sloshing around! Woo hoo!!! While at Theo I even climbed a few hills to take some sweet berm videos and noticed how easy it was to hike up hill. Let's face it, as much as we like to ride our bikes, the soft conditions sometime force us to hike/run with them.  

The suggested temperature for these is 25-45 degrees and I'd say that recommendation is spot on. I fully intend to race with these shoes so long as temperatures allow. No excuses now.  Get out and ride that favorite bike of yours as long and as fast as possible!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

FLORIDA VACAY - Good Friends, Good Times, Good Fun

Florida was EVERYTHING I had hoped for and more.  It was easily one of the best vacations I've ever had and it seemed like for an entire 9 days absolutely nothing got in the way of fun & relaxing. Well, except for a couple South Beach roaches and one small cat fight over getting lost. Bah, perfect is lame anyway.

Our trip started in Miami with Tom, Lisa, Christina, Eman and Anne all racing the Miami 70.3!  They all pretty much rocked it with Lisa racing to 8th in her Age Group and Eman punching a ticket to 70.3 World Champs! 

Lisa, Tom, Eman
Tom raced a solid race after spending most of the fall on the road for work. We were both super excited that he got to race in Lazer's brand new Wasp Air! 

We rented a cute (minus the roaches) condo in South Beach, spent some time laying out, running, having dinner on Espanola Way and looking up what rich punks own the biggest Yachts in Miami.  South Beach, I'll be back some day.

Lisa & Christina at Havana 1957 on Espanola Way

Tuesday Tom, Lisa, Christina and I all hoped in the SUV and made the super long trek to Panama City.  When we arrived at our beach house rental in PCB we were absolutely speechless!  The views were so incredible we could not believe it.  I felt like I was 15 all over again as I dug into to my luggage and immediately put my swimsuit on.  We all ran down the beach and straight into the waves of the ocean.   I was blissfully happy.

View from our beach house
The rest of the week was mostly chilling, running, eating, drinking, and laying out. On Wednesday Tom turned 40!!!

Thursday we all volunteered at the Ironman Florida expo and then Sunday enjoyed cheering good friends Sue and Jon to Ironmanish(they cancelled the swim) finishes!

Tom, Lisa handing out swim caps and race numbers!!
Ironman Expo - If you put a bike on a shirt...I will buy it!!!
On Sunday Tom, Paul, Nick and Megan all signed up for Ironman Florida 2015....and of course we reserved the same house for next year!!! And then it was back home and back to reality.

Here are a few photos of Panama City Beach!!