Thursday, April 23, 2015

I LOVE MEXICO & I LOVE BIKES!

 
Yikes! How did that happen?   Seriously though, 32 feels good on me. I love being older & feeling the benefits of life's experiences.  As I age I become more poised, more authentic, and more sure of myself. I am more confident in my choices, in my own unique path & in my place in this world. 

32 also means that It's SPRING!!!  Like it's legitimately spring. It's April, it's sunny, it's warm, it's rainy sometimes & it's incredibly beautiful.  My legs also feel real snappy and happy....um because it's spring!  I swear I'm so stoked about riding outside in shorts and t-shirts and sunglasses that there's nothing that can hold me down!


Tom and I got back from Mexico over a week ago now and I swear it feels like it was already two months ago!  Mexico was super amazing & since this was only a 4 night trip I tried to cherish every single moment of it in the hopes that time would slow down.  Our flight to Cancun was one of the many highlights where we may or may not have had Gin & Tonic's at 7am & then tried to solve all the worlds problems.... in the worst seats on the plane.  I love that feeling of excitement & anticipation.

It was super sunny, the ocean was beautiful, the beaches were amazing and we ate more fish tacos than anyone should probably ever eat in a 4 day span. 

Loving these new Lazer Quantum shades!

I've never been out of town on my actual birthday, so we spoiled ourselves and reserved a private beach bed that came with Champagne, massages & an amazing ocean view.  I swear it felt like we were in Heaven! Don't think I'll be forgetting this birthday any time soon!



Crotch Cake!!!!
I missed my bike a little bit while we were gone.... but guess what...it was still there when we got back!! And so naturally I took her on a double gravel weekend with our friend Brendan.   Saturday we rode the Mammoth 70 with our teammie Chelsea and thankfully we weren't ripping it because the lead group went about 5 miles off course...oops!  In true gravel geek fashion I made a trip to Kinkos to laminate my cue cards and it turned out to be an epic fail as they ended up sprawled out all over the course. Thankfully they had put up some course marking sticks so I was still able to help us navigate and we only went off course briefly.   


Photo Credit: Chelsea Strate

On Sunday at Miesville56 I relied on just my Garmin (okay fine Ted, I really used 2 Garmins) and I was quickly reminded why a Garmin is one of the best things ever invented.  Sunday was a total blast for me as for whatever reason I was able to stay with the lead group of men for the entire race.  I think most folks were either tired from the day's previous race or else ill equipped without cue cards.  I just kept waiting for some horrible attack to take place and leave me dropped and drooling; however instead I was able to roll with the punches and found myself in the final sprint for the win!!!  What a riot!!! Nope...I didn't get the win.... but I think I may have nabbed a 5th, 6th or 7th place in the 9 man sprint. Wait I guess that's technically an 8 man sprint, but it's a gravel ride ....so who's keeping track:)

Tuesday night was our first Ride Like a Girl Cycling event at Penn Cycle in Bloomington.  It was an awesome turn out and I left feeling inspired by all these incredible women. When it was my turn to speak I swear my bullet points just went out the window and instead I just rambled on about how much I love bikes and probably sounded like a total dork!

Photo credit: Sveta Vold
One of the coolest things that happened that night was that I met Lea Leopold who is bravely embarking on her own ambition of creating Lift, a women's specific line of cycle wear. You go girl!!  If you recall last summer I started cutting some of my bike jerseys into tank tops so I could rid myself of the dreaded farmer's tan.  I'm happy to say that Lea has solved our problem chicas!!! Of course I couldn't help but purchase my very own purple Blouson Tank!  Once I get it up and riding I'll post some picks...it's gonna be so cute with baggy shorts, I just know it.


 Next on tap is the Dickie Scramble this Saturday....and I can't freaking wait.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Bike Day...Can I have more Salsa please?

We just got back from Mexico (more on that later, of course!) and just when I thought I couldn't possibly smile any bigger I turned on my phone to learn that it was NEW BIKE DAY!!! New bike day is pretty much the best day ever!!


The message from Nick read  "Happy Birthday! Rides better than any one I've ridden yet!!! Lucky you."  :):):) 
EEEKK!!! We drove immediately from the airport to Tonka Cycles, which is an awesome shop just down the street from our new place in Hopkins!  Have I mentioned how much I love Hopkins?!?! 

Choosing each individual part of a bike build can be incredibly stressful & nerving I'm never sure what it's really going to end up looking like... and eventually riding like. Plus I'm trying not to break the bank in the process, thus deciding where to cut costs and where not to, etc.  Seeing this bike in person nearly made me cry...it's beautiful beyond what I could have ever imagined!  And I am overwhelmed with gratitude towards Nick for offering to build this bike up in the late hours during Minnesota's crazy spring bike season.

I'm so stoked about these SRAM Rise 60s...my first carbon 29er wheels!
 Generally speaking each mechanic has an opportunity to add some of his/her own personal touches and I'm so happy that he decided on some sassy white cable housing as well as this super awesome Salsa top cap....which pretty much sums up the summer of riding I have a head of me!  You are the freaking best Nick - thank you so much!!


Since talking about this Salsa El Mar Ti build I have been amazed by the number of people that have told me "Awesome! you are absolutely going to love that bike!"  Which has me all the more amped to finally take it out on the trails. I promise, I will dedicate this first ride to all of you!