Monday, November 30, 2009

North Carolina-- the new locale.

So here I am- In Asheville NC. It is pretty awesome- have already had many epic days of training through new roads in Appalachia. I live in a sweet house in West Asheville with a couple really cool roommates: Jonas and Tom. I'll introduce y'all to them in another update. I'm working at a restaurant in south Asheville-- making good friends and having a good time.

I figured it'd be good to get blogging again, as I really enjoy it and always see things that make me laugh, and others may appreciate too... maybe not, but whatever... I like it. And if you're reading, you like it to. Probably.

This past weekend, I went to Banner Elk to visit a good friend: Carla. We had a blast crusin' through the mountains on our bikes, eating candy and finding things on the side of the road.

Carla was admiring Grandfather Mtn... and then we tried to get some shots of us together... mostly they were unsuccessful...

Thanks for stoppin' by! :)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bratwurst capital of the WORLD.

More races to come more to do.  We've relocated from the Sunny-Hill Farm in Columbus WI to Milwaukee, to SHEBOYGAN.  Everytime we say we're staying in Sheboygan, the people mention the bratwurst.  I have learned (this weekend)... if you are vegan you TOO can enjoy a bratwurst.  So, there you have it.  eat up and enjoy.  This is US in a really sawweeetttttt cafe in Sheboygan.  Almost as good as a "mobile upload."

Brief race recaps:... 

Manitowoc:  4 corner + fun.  some could have called it boring, but there were plenty of attacks and a bit of good team work from a few different teams.  I raced solo that day, so it was a bit different than normal!  I actually won a prime and thought I had another but Davina totally got me at the line.  I thought I was alone, and rolled the last 3-4 meters.  (bad mistake!)  :)  BUT that is when the field split.  We had quite a gap and worked as hard as we could to keep away- there ended up being about 7 girls together for the last 8 or so laps, trying to keep the field away.  The break was pretty exciting..... around the last corner, I was sitting 3rd wheel... getting ready to sprint to the line.  I felt good, but still need to work on some top end speed + my sprinting form.  I ended up 6th.  A successful day. and did I mention FUN?  Traveling w/ Jen Greenburg and Rebecca Finley of VanderKitten was definitely a blast!  :)  

here goes:
--> wake in Milwaukee --> coffee on the patio--> sweet drum & bass techno w/ breakfast --> massage --> easy ride to the Milwaukee shore line --> yoga in a park on Lake Michigan --> lunch @ beans and barley --> nap--> dinner w/ Chris and Kim Hoppe --> Dinner w/ A.Crater & J.Greenburg--> more coffee shop!   REST DAY = AWESOME.  

Fond du Lac RR
HOT and kinda boring.  (well, it was still good!).  Toni Amanda and I raced today-- Toni got away in a break w/ 5 riders and soon grew to 7 riders.... Amanda and I were in in the field... Long story short, we were underrepresented in the break (we tried to bridge 3-4 times) and then we just tried to work together to finish the race.  Toni secured 6th (tried to attack before the finish).... and Amanda was 10th and I ended up 19th or so.  Our plan was for me to attack before the final corner up the hill through the feed zone and Amanda could climb her way to a good downhill sprint finish.  All in all, good job by all.  Good to be out on the bikes.  My tanlines on my legs are definitely more defined after today.

BIG SHOUT OUT to CHRIS & KIM HOPPE!  They're letting me use their car for a few days!  xoxo.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wisconsin Dairyland tour!

(no photos for this post, I'm lame)

We (Toni Amanda and I) made it to Rebecca's a few days ago and are camped out at her farm!  We've been having a blast racing and chillin-- enjoying the thunderstorms and mosquitos... and custom installs (the team van has a new critical feature).  Rebecca has a beautiful place and has been cooking up a gluten free storm (since she and Toni are GF, I am too for a few days...)!!   yum 

The Dairyland tour started on Thursday with a killer 44 mile road race in Blue Mounds.  (proposed 2016 olympic course).  Amanda got the WIN, Toni rested and I had a good training day-- lessons learned!  We started with the fastest neutral rollout ever-- (I don't even know when the race really started...).  My plan was to throw some attacks if I started to get antsy.  So I did, once only 5 miles in and again about 9 miles in-- and I had a decent gap until we turned the corner-- and we were at the bottom of a huge hill.  OUCH.  I need to be patient and know the course a bit better!  I ended up with a group of about 5 girls and we were working well-- then I ended up getting a bee in my jersey, which proceeded to sting me 3-4 times in the arm pit.  We were blasting down a descent so I couldn't really stop until I got to the bottom and the little bastard finally flew away.  It didn't take me too long to catch my little chase group that I rode with until the end.  Then there was the leg cramp.... it was hot, muggy and I probably didn't drink enough water.  blah blah blah.  At the top of the feed zone, someone told me that I was 'still in the money'... I couldn't really believe it.  BUT, I ended up 15th and was fairly pleased with my placing-- all things considered.     xoxo bluemounds.

The Waterloo crit was super fun- Toni got in an early break and ended up pulling off a 3rd place!  :)  Amanda, Becx and I were in the field following little attacks and keeping things cool.  The course was awesome- lots of people out and great support from SRAM!!!  Our super secret plan was for me to lead out Amanda.  We had good placement for the last 1/2 lap but were on the front for the climb and ended up getting swarmed and lost places-- there wasn't enough time to recover and move up in the field.  I was gassed from my last little effort of trying to move up.  We had an active race and had plenty of fun- 

Today.... GRAFTON CRIT!!  My fav.  Amanda is sitting out- so it'll just be Toni and I.

until LATER!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day bike races!

This weekend Toni, Amanda and I headed to the Quad Cities for a few days of some good racing- Amanda won Snake Alley on Saturday and placed well the next few days... check out some photos... 

Here we are after the quad cities crit- Amanda and Toni were in a break and I had the best day ever of blocking- it was truly a great experience- lots of fun.  I had a blast racing back in the midwest with lots of old (and new) friends!  :)  Unfortunately I couldn't get back in because of a little wreck- 'tis okay- :)  the girls did very well.  But-- big high five to Meredith Miller for winning the last 2 races of the "Iowa Memorial Day Bike Races."  
Here's a small group of us at Snake Alley- again, mucho fun, I finished in mid-field- okay for my first time ever doing it.  NEXT year should be even more fun!  It was great to see my cousins Gail + Paul and their kids Sarah and Evie.  THANKS for cheering!

After a fun dinner with the team, Toni and I blasted over a few hours in BLACK BETTY to Shelbyville Illinois.  My mom hosted us for a few days and we were treated to some excellent food, good tea, fun times, and even better- more laughs!!  (thanks, ma-- you make my heart smile).  As you can see, Shelbyville is really hilly and we struggled to find a good place for a recovery ride....  uh....

Amanda and I are in Tulsa right now- Trying to fall asleep.  We pick up our mechanic in the AM and Missy in the av0 (afternoon).  

More updates and COMPLETELY INSPIRATIONAL photos and quotes to follow.

High five to Renee and Amy for getting me to get back to this.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Silver City, New Mexico!

Gila!  Here's a the Gila National Forest- absolutely beautiful.  We all made it into town after some flights, long drives, sweet rental car, even hotter black van... all 9 of us!  Missy, Jessie, Kyle, Amanda, Toni, Hilary, Anne, Carla and I got in a bit late to our host housing because of adverse weather in Colorado.  I felt bad leaving all of my friends to more cold slush... but not really!!  :)  It'll be warm and sunny soon.

Amanda and I are sharing a room at our host house-- it is a pretty sweet house that lets us do what we need!  We're pre riding the TT course tomorrow and I imagine that we'll head into our favorite coffee shop in town and have a tasty coffee drink.

**notice our silky, smooth sheets.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Missing:  My gold headband!!!  :)  I know it's ridiculous, but it fits so nicely under my helmet!  I am sure it won't be gone for long- it's probably in a pile that is yet to be organized from my move!!

Maria wears hers when she ski races...  or when she goes out on the town!  

More later.


Saturday, March 28, 2009


So, my first Redlands is over- I have a few teammates who are still in and doing pretty well... Here is a photo of my the bike I rode yesterday.  I crashed-- that's what happens in road racing sometimes.  Racing is a combination of preparation and luck.  This week I have had plenty of bad luck.
I found out yesterday morning that my bike wasn't shifting properly during my race-- I thought it was fixed, but alas I was wrong... so for the prologue on Wednesday, I raced w/ a regular  25 instead of a 27... which doesn't make that much of a difference normally, but when you climb straight up for 5k and everyone else is either running a compact or a 28 in the back... it does make a difference!  SO.... that is fine- I pushed a larger gear which makes sense that I had a slower time.  lesson's learned.

Here's a photo of the start line-- Anna and Carla!  Before the mayhem.
So yesterday.... different story.  I was in the field and at about 8 miles in, the mayhem that was developing all the way through town finally detonated.  I ended up going down with about 10 other girls-- long story short, I ruined my left shifter (it was dangling), ruined my front wheel and I really don't know what else....  I didn't notice my shifter at first, so I radioed back for a new front wheel-- the caravan stopped and everyone was running all over the place!!  I was calm, fixed my chain and stood with my front wheel over my head.... waiting.... our car finally got there and our mechanic jumped out w/ a wheel... he was reaching to put it on and THATS when I noticed that my bike was unridable. BLAST!  

So... I needed a bike change--which took flippin forever.  It was mavic neutral support and they did a good job getting me going-- I happened to be near their car so that was fortunate... so, my new bike:  an aluminum men's 54 cannondale w/ a Fizik Arione, which I'll never suggest for any other woman EVER.  By  the time I got my pedals taken care of, etc... anyone in the race (including those who were dropped) were GONE.  I got a huge push from one of the Mavic guys and turned the corner into a NASTY headwind + climb...  I rode the next 50 miles on a harsh-ill-fitting bike, with a rubbing front derailleur, and 3 police motos.  (the END of the group).  So I caught 5-6 girls, and everyone of them were quitting, and I wasn't too happy because I wanted to get back on really bad.  So I just kept truckin'.  New goal:  finish and hope they don't enforce the time cut.  My time with the police moto was awesome.  One of the guys asked me if it would be easier if I rode behind him... I laughed and told him YES.  Who would turn that down?  It was AWESOME.  I didn't do it too much, but when I did, I was SOOO thankful for a little break from the 35+mph winds.  I had a police entourage.... Who else can say that!?  They were hauling ass through intersections & stoplights.  I felt friggin fast... nevermind i was WAY off the back... Anyway...  so I made some new friends, and felt pretty good over all- and i got a great workout- motopace extravaganza.

Unfortunately, they did enforce the time cut so I'm done racing.  Bad luck.  Both days.  Anyhow- it could have been worse.  On a lighter note... I got a new cactus from a road side stand:  only $1 and my new plant collection begins.

And... on an even better note-- Carla was the Queen of the Mountain yesterday!  So she'll be wearing the climber's jersey!  I'm so excited for her- she is awesome.  We made her a crown because they messed up the results-- so she missed her podium shots!  Total bummer!  
The crit is today and Kacey is excited to do some strong crit riding- and Hilary is looking forward to helping keep Carla in the mix of things.  There's more racing to do and I wish I were racing, but I'm glad to be here to help.

So there it is.  
Disappointing, but 'tis life sometimes.  I am loving my team and the support we have!  Missy & Jessi (Manager/DS/soigneur) are definitely the dynamic DUO.  

I have to give a huge shout out to Jose Alcala, Paul Damato and SRAM.  Jose fixed up my bike and Paul is delivering it-- A+ service.  and VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!  I probably wouldn't have a bike to ride right now without them.  High-five and thank you.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Redlands #1

So we made it to CALI for Redlands- here is a minor update on what's been happening.  Wednesday, (yesterday) we prerode the course- and it was quite eventful.  First of all, I'd like to apologize to my darling Carla for stabbing her in the leg with Kacey's chainrings.  Note:  Blood on gingered leg (freckles).
  It was indeed my fault and this is why... we were cruising down this hill and stopped at a stop sign.  We were going straight and the woman in a little VW Cabrio was going right.  She went right and we heard an awful sound.  Kaaahhhthunk-sscrrrraaaape...  we look and no joke, her entire wheel was rolling across the intersection.  Kacey immediately jumped off of her bike and ran after the wheel which was rolling into on coming traffic (no worries, we were totally safe... it was a 4-way stop...).  Anyhow she shoved her bike to me and I started riding and pushing her bike while riding.  Since doing that isn't the easiest endeavor, I couldn't stop when I got to Carla.  So, I stabbed her.  Sorry Carla.  :)  Note:  woman in red below, Kacey, car on axel, and wheel down in the grass.  This woman wasn't even freaked out one bit.
Anna, Karla, Kacey and I rode the TT course and couldn't resist taking some sweet self portraits while riding (another great skill).
Introducing:  MEAN ROCK.  When in doubt, look at mean rock and get mean while listening to Rob Zombie. 
As for the race today, it was tough, and I really don't know why I couldn't go faster up hill.  Sounds funny to say it, but I guess you never really know- minor bike issues & major sinus issues??? OR, just slowness?  I'm going to get to the bottom of this!  It was a Tough prologue and I know that tomorrow and the next few days will be better!  I have a feeling Missy really made me climb the hill with my tires at 35 psi.... or maybe I did the race in a 23-11?  or... well, we'll just leave it at that!

More racing to come! 


Thursday, March 19, 2009


These past few days- I set off on another sweet & epic adventure with my crew from University bikes... as a reward for working hard through the winter and to get us ready for the summer, our work offered a trip for us to go to one of the most excellent mountain bike meccas in Colorado... and maybe even the western US.  (I was excited to go, because... remember I was gone for 2 mos of the 'winter').  We had access to us an entire bed and breakfast-- no hotel.  Even better.  The entire house.  
Here... Brian is taking a photo of Haas TRYING to get some sick air... his lips are clenched in concentration.  At least his front wheel is off the ground!  haha.
Here's the sweet bike I got to use... it is (was) a brand new bike and I feel like I gave it a proper maiden voyage.  Very awesome ride.
We stopped for a bit on the road 19 trails-- the guys were jumping something, and I was waiting... I had to pass-- can't get hurt doing something too stupid on the mountain bike!
Here's a photo of our crew after dinner-- note... Dr. Pepper, Brian, Josh, Matt, Mikey, Kurt, Brett and Roscoe.  A great group of guys!  Lots of fun.  Brian even learned how to play cribbage. I learned that a couple of the guys in the group have some pre-ty-good cooking skills.

Next up-- a few days of cat sitting for a Anne SLAM, wine-pouring, bike selling, and packing for CALIFORNIA!  REDLANDS!!



Monday, March 16, 2009

Team Camp Weekend!

Good morning Boulder!  Most mornings, I get up-- make coffee-- grab a cuppa and take a bit of a walk.  Here is the view only a few steps from my door.  (mom this is on our morning phone walks!)  This is my favorite part of the day-- when the sun begins to shine on the Flatirons.
This weekend, 6 of 8 of our teammates came to Boulder for a training camp-- we were lucky with weather and were able to get in plenty of riding, a local race, a photo shoot, and plenty of laughs.  We're looking forward to a good season!  We even were able to meet Buddy Bell (the owner of Bonne Bell or... aka LIP SMACKER).
Here we are finishing up our ride on Friday- Carla's all smiles... as usual.  Our new bikes are awesome and really fun to ride... and our new kits are pretty sweet too.
Missy and Kacey at my fav place:  West End.  
So, now I'm off to Fruita with some of my colleagues (if you can call employees at a bike shop colleagues??).... We'll go with that.  I have to leave in a half hour and still need to pack...  But before then, I need to finish my first cuppa.

Enjoy this excellent day!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back in Boulder.

I've been back in Boulder for just over a month now- and have been enjoying most days!  Training hard and working back at University Bikes... they have been very good to me, allowing me to work when I am available and making my work schedule work with my racing and training schedule.  I know I'm a pain to them, but it is such a fun job and I'm glad to be back.

It snowed a bit this morning and the temp dropped about 45 degrees f from last week.  Knowing Colorado weather, I just had to wait until the afternoon until the roads dried up... by 1pm, no snow-- good for riding.  But one thing that is true, cold + cold wind = cold.  You'll see by this pic of my uneaten banana.... can you tell which half of the banana was sticking out of my jacket and was frozen!?  I didn't see this until I got home, and it definitely made me laugh a bit.
This next picture is of my very favorite mailbox.  Someday when I have my own mailbox it will look something like this... minus the pink swirls... but if you look closely, you'll find a t-rex, a stegosaurus, a triceratops, AND... Fred Flinstone and Barney Rubble.  Awesome.
AND... the best part of the ride today..... little flowering Simpson Hedgehog cactus!!  Very cool- and I didn't expect to see this today!
Training camp is this weekend- all but two of the Lipsmaker's Girls will be heading to Boulder!!