10.23.2014

For sale

it's a shame I use this space to only sell shit, apparently.

Excellent condition - X.9 front and rear wheel laced to Stan's Arch EX rims with competition spokes - yellow tape and valve stems included- $250 (Held John's frame up in the basement for a month or so)
Zipp 303 tubular disc wheels- White industry 10spd hubs/ti freehub 100 ft/135mm rr - Clement PDX tubulars with cassette and rotors - $800 *note these are the mtb hubs and will not accept an 11 speed freehub. It will accept an XD driver body. Front hub is QR only. sold

Easton EC90 42cm 31.8 drop bar- 31.8 - $30
Thomson seatpost  31.6 410mm setback- $40
Fizik Vesta saddle - like a pearl/off white with dark grey sides, manganese rails- $35
Chromag women's saddle- $25
Thomson stem painted white- 110 31.8 -$20- has a blem in the paint
syntace F99 105mm 26.0 6* stem (road) - $15
syntace F99 25.4 clamp 6* 90mm stem (mtb) with Syntace carbon bar and ESI grips- $25
Thomsen 90mm 5* 25.4 stem with on-one bar - $30 sold
Edge mtb bar cut to 23" - $15
Chromag 32t chainring, never used- $15
Sidi carbon soled road shoes- $40 size 40
Fizik womens Donna M5 shoes - $50 size 39 - ridden once, but cleats moved multiple times on sole.








i can send you more pics or more information upon reqeust.


9.09.2013

For Sale Il Pompino - Large

John is selling his On One Il Pompino single speed cross bike simply because he hasn't ridden it in years. It's a large- 55.5 cm toptube, 54 cm seattube (c-t)
It's steel all around with 135 mm rear spacing with horizontal drops.
It's in very good condition (it's John's, so duh).
Salsa Delgado cross rims laced to Surly hubs- black.
Easton stem and bar
Cane Creek brake levers
Avid Shorty 4 brakes
Ritchey logic pro headset
Alpha Q seatpost
Truvativ cranks GXP
34t salsa ring, 16t ACS freewheel
WTB Interwolf tires

He'd like to get $400 for it.




8.22.2013

SSUSA

BFFs
What a fantastic extended weekend. I want to hit rewind to start over and experience it all the same again.
Staying at Brent’s house. Seeing Daryl, Zach and Sara again in the same year. Meeting Danielle and Jill. All those people were worth the trip alone. The rest of the memories were an extra dose of sprinkles on top of the cake.
Riding Leb with friends, seeing Jesse and Ryan, followed by eating some burritos.
Winona hotel hot tub and frog slide.
Saturday riding to the race. Seeing everybody again. Meeting Mark. Running to our bikes. Riding with Brent.
Suffering up the first hike a bike. Smelling my brakes on the first descent. Spinning like mad with a group of people from around the country on the road. Suffering up a dirt gravel sandy rocky climb feeling like my heart was going to explode through my neck. Calves feeling super tight. Long sections of wide open grass track that I was actually enjoying. Fresh cut pine singletrack that I wasn’t. Seeing Chris Jensen- hey, I know him! Scaring the shit out of myself following Brent’s wheel into some drops. Dropping Brent in the singletrack passing people. The first aid station debating on the PBR. Ditching Brent wishing I took the PBR as I suffered up that long climb that went on forever and ever that finished with the woods closing in on me and feeling like somebody doused me with a hose. Spinning again on the road chasing the girl that passed me on that last climb. Succeeding only to be passed again while I filled my water bottle. Her letting me by on the singletrack while reminding me to look left.  Hiking my bike up this sandy, rooty, steep ass climb up to Sugar Loaf and remembering to look left. So beautiful was the Mississippi River. Seeing the party at the exposed rock. Scaring the shit out of myself as I descended Sugar Loaf. 
sugar loaf
Then when thinking I was done descending the trail shot me down another steep chute thankfully upright. Spitting out on the road not knowing where I was. Then feeling dumb when I realized it was the road to the Holzinger Lodge. Duh. Realizing that, yes, I am close to the lodge, but no way am I done. And I wasn’t. The volunteer pointed me up into the trail. John chasing me asking if I needed anything.  Feeling pretty decent. Riding the climb up to the top of the Holzinger trail and only walking the step ups where I thought the push up and over would seize my thighs.  Clearing all the log overs in pain. The guy I was riding with saying we were at the top, be careful going down. Going down my fingers and forearms cussing me out constantly reminding me they were DONE. And finally hitting the fast flowy descent into the finish. That first beer was the best. 
32x20. Rigid. Over 35 miles. Over 4300’ of climbing. 4th overall female.
I did it and I wasn’t going to. I’m so happy Brent guilted me into asking him to see if he could get me back in (I had given my registration away). I'm so in for next year up in Copper Harbor.

on my way to the finish
Thanks to everybody that made that weekend happen. I will forever remember it. And thanks to Todd Bauer for snapping pics. I have a bunch in my cart that I will be purchasing shortly.
Other photos here.

p.s. I miss the old way to post in blogger. I can't get the pics like I want them.

8.05.2013

Screw expectations.

I opted to race my RSS29. I put it together on Saturday afternoon and hit up the mesa. I was so fired up about how fun it was I decided to take it to Matthiessen on Sunday. When I registered for the race late Saturday I was the third Cat 1 female. I figured I’d be on the podium no matter what as long as I finished. Not that I care but I was trying to fire myself up.
Riding a singlespeed the start is always a concern. Looking at how the race started I breathed a sigh of relief. I probably wouldn’t get dropped; it was just some tightish turns in the grass straight into the singletrack. That sigh was short lived when I found out they were doing a road prologue lead out. Boo. But whatever. Not to mention there were 6 of us!  My hopes of a podium finish faded, but I was happy to have more than 3 of us for sure. Racing by yourself is never fun and when not a lot of people are registered that's usually what happens.
We started the rollout. It was pretty tame on the initial leadout. But then it was game on. I was spinning like mad but couldn’t hang. Not even close. I watched the whole field pull away and disappear around the turn. When I made it around the turn there was nobody in sight. At this point the race was more of what I expected, me off the back. Haha. I had hoped to catch somebody as the race went on. It was a goal anyway. So I just did my thing and set out what I came to do, ride my bike. 
It was the first lap so I was getting to know the course. Before I knew it I was on Betsy’s wheel. Betsy and I always race well together, it can always go either way so it’s a good motivator. But she had been coming off an injury that happened in May so wasn’t feeling in the best of shape. We chatted and rode together for a while and then I passed. She was always good at coming back strong in the end so I thought for sure I’d be seeing her soon.Shortly after passing Betsy I came up on Gina’s wheel. I hung behind her for a bit unsure of what was going to happen.  I passed Gina. In hindsight I probably should have before I did, but again, expectations- I still had over 3 laps to go.
Hitting the monster climb heading out of the river valley into the finish I thought I’d have a better go than on pre-ride. I thought racing might give me a little more momentum. Nope. I was off my bike on that bad boy on first lap. I hate being off my bike. Peter, a fellow singlespeeder and Twin Six teammate and person who would eventually save my day, came cruising by running with his bike so I didn’t feel as terrible and it sort of woke me up to get moving a bit faster.Up the climb back on the bike to start lap two.
On Lap 2  I felt like I had a better feel for the singlespeed as well as the singletrack. Riding the rigid I felt a lot more flowy and confident. I surprisingly came up on 3rd place, Melinda. I don’t remember exactly where. I sat on her wheel for a bit unsure of whether or not I should pass. ALWAYS PASS RACHAEL, especially when you know some downhill singletrack is on its way. I’ve been racing way too long to think about such things. I know I entered a race but I wasn’t really planning on racing so it was a mental battle and I'll admit to being a bit nervous. Do I go for it and blow myself up and not finish? Or stick to my plan?
I finally decided to go around her on a short climb, with roots. My heartrate skyrocketed but it felt good to ride the trail the way I wanted to.The downhills into the river sections were a blast!!! I caught Bev on one of the downhill sections. She moved over to let me by. Sweet. I was in second place thinking there was no way I was catching the Mercy/Specialized girl. Those girls are always super fast.  Shortly after catching Bev she was standing on the side of the trail with a mechanical. I later found out she went slightly off trail and a log ripped her derailleur off. DNFs always suck.
I was now in first.
That was totally not expected. 
But I still had to climb out of the river valley and ride two more laps. I hit the climb and tried to ride as much of it as I can, but Bev rode by me easily up the climb as I ran/walked. I felt confident I’d catch up to her in the singletrack but I still had to stop for water.And here is where I’m not a racer. I hadn’t prepared to race at all. I had no food, no water hand up, didn’t bring my hydration pack, so I had a bottle of water mixed with racer food in a chair by the course hoping watered down my stomach would handle it. So I had to stop, throw my bottle out and grab a new one. Precious moments in a close race for sure as Melinda passed me as I was swapping bottles.I headed out onto lap 3. I really wished I had gotten into the singletrack first. I’m really good at singletrack. Being on the singlespeed behind people who aren’t as good is tiring. It’s all part of racing and I’m not complaining but it’s still the way it is. I should always be more aggressive and I’m usually torn. I don’t want to risk putting somebody in a tree so I can get one place higher. So I was behind Melinda for a bit and then we were both behind Bev. Now I have to get by two people and I suck at being aggressive. I should point out that believe it or not, I’m more aggressive than I used to be.  As I was planning on where I could get by them, as I didn’t think Melinda was going to give it to me, a guy came up on our wheel and said “whenever I can get by”, so I went for it as they pulled off a bit… I sort of felt bad about it but I was waiting for a good time to pass and that was it. I felt a tad guilty until I started railing trail on my own terms! ;) Even dropping the dude that called the pass. I figured they’d catch me at the climb. Again I tried to ride as much of that as possible. Ride, walk, walk, ride.
Here’s where the water thing screwed me again.  I need to eat on the bike but everything seems to cramp my stomach, including the water mix I grabbed last lap. I couldn’t finish the last lap with no water and a cramping stomach so I came into the start area asking if anybody had water. I stopped at Peter’s little area and asked if he could spare some. Obviously not expecting me, precious time was ticking as Melinda passed me as I was waiting for water. D’oh! Though I thought that was way better than having nothing. Peter’s water mentally saved me as I was convinced I wouldn’t finish not cramping without it.
I fumbled with the water bottle not wanting Melinda to get too far away. I passed her in the grass open field. I wanted to get some water in me and just picked a terrible moment. I was flailing in the singletrack with a full bottle in my mouth and screwed up two turns costing me precious time and energy. Rigid was starting to take its toll as well as the singlespeed. Little climbs became a bit steeper and longer than they were the first three laps. Roots seemed bigger. I definitely lost a bit of the flow.I tried my hardest to gain as much time on Melinda as I could because I knew she could ride the climb out and I couldn’t. The bottom singletrack I was behind another rider that wasn’t going as fast as I’d like but fast enough to where I couldn’t get by especially since it was pretty technical down there.When I made it to the climb I started running up and saw Melinda getting ready to make the turn to start the climb up. At this point I was a bit deflated, but only in terms of placing. She passed me riding as I was off the bike.  And that’s how it ended. Second place.
And I thought I’d be last. Pffft.
It was a super fun race. Probably the most fun I’ve had in years. I lost out on taking the win because I didn’t prepare for the race. I’m fine with it as I did exactly what I came to do- ride my bike and have fun. The only thing that was different was I actually was competitive and ended up doing very well in the results.I guess my fitness isn’t as terrible as I thought. However that was a great course for me to come back on as I felt it favored my handling skills over my fitness. Those are the courses I really enjoy.  I still have trouble with riding between trees. I always have but it's a bit more mental now with all my vision changes I think. I sort of close my eyes and hope for the best. There are other things I have issues with like not seeing trees to my right usually. My poor right hand gets bashed a lot. But considering where I was six weeks ago, I'm good. When I look back on the past few weeks there were moments of panic, being bummed and frustration. But the hard part seems to be so far behind me now. Racing yesterday made me feel a lot better about my everything.

results


8.03.2013

There's gotta be a first time.

I registered for a race happening tomorrow.  I'll admit to being nervous but not for usual pre-race reasons. I had eye surgery six weeks ago. No, not lasik. I had strabismus surgery. It was my 4th surgery; my last surgery was when I was 5. I was born with strabismus. I could get into all the technical terms but I'll spare you. Prior to my three surgeries my left eye was turned into my nose. The third surgery for the most part corrected that, but it left me not being able to look right with my left eye.
After the third surgery at age 5 my left eye was reasonably centered. As I got older it gradually moved to the corner of my left eye. Sometimes it bothered me sometimes it didn't. However about 9 months ago I don't know what changed, but I was having some visual issues I'd never experienced before. If I looked out of my left eye I would get, for lack of a better word, tired.
I should probably explain that I look out of one eye at a time. I can see out of both, but pick one to look and focus out of. My brain picked my right eye because it could move left to right whereas my left eye could only move center to the left. I will never have depth perception.
Prior to this latest surgery I had a blind spot but I could also practically see behind my head on the left side. My peripheral vision was awesome. My vision was sort of a huge landscape (which I kinda miss).
Anyway, I went to see an optometrist to see what I could do. He recommended surgery. He feared that my inside muscle of my left eye had possibly fallen off, worst case. I scheduled the procedure for about a month later and waited.
Most people experience this surgery in twilight sedation. I had to be put completely under because he thought he'd have to go digging for that muscle. I don't really remember surgery as a child, but I don't think I had the leg booties that inflate and deflate.
I woke up in a room with John stoned out of my mind. It felt like I was out for days. I asked him how long, he replied, "an hour".  They cut the muscles on the left side and the right side muscle hadn't fallen off but he said it was like an overstretched rubber band just hanging there. 4-6 weeks recovery time and I'd definitely fall into the longer category because of my prior surgeries.
The first day wasn't such a good time. I was dizzy and was seeing double. It was also a little more painful than I was expecting. Though not terrible enough to where I felt like I needed major painkillers.
I felt like the anesthesia stayed with me for a long time.
The next few days I was seeing completely double. Watching the Blackhawks in the playoffs I was literally watching two televisions. It was so hard to track the puck. The next few days I had a major distortion going on, like I'd see two sidewalks, one would be straight and the other would be on an angle. This was worse almost. It's also when I kept walking into walls. I thought I broke my toe one afternoon from slamming right into one.
For weeks I had to walk with my hands out to the side, kind of like feelers. I obviously couldn't drive. I had awful balance and I couldn't concentrate. I also had a non-stop headache.
My brain was re-learning how to process images (still is). For years it saw one image straight ahead and then another off to the side. Now my eyes were looking in the same spot. The brain is amazing, though I think it was giving me the finger for the first 4 weeks.
One day I decided I had to ride my bike. Probably the worst idea ever.  A number of things happened on that ride that should have made me go back home, but I'm super dumb when it comes to riding, so I didn't. Remember when I said I could practically see behind me on my left side? Well that's usually where cars come from. I about pissed my pants the first time a car passed me. It was like where the hell did that come from!? I also was super dizzy on the bike. I felt like I was gonna vomit and a few times I felt as if I were going to tip over. At the same time it was the best day since surgery.
It took me a long time to even attempt off road.
A lot of things have been weird. One that really sticks out is when walking across this bridge at the mesa I used to only see one foot walking, now I see them both. Last week was the first time I was able to get on a bridge and ride.
It's six weeks later. I still have some redness on the inside of my eye. I can't look left while focusing with that eye without getting "tired", but I can tell it gets better with time even still. I have some minor spatial issues. I still have issues riding at speed, "skinnies", and riding between trees. And I'm way out of shape, fitness wise and just body wise.

almost weekly. first one stoned from anesthesia, far right- if i looked up like tha prior to surgery my left eye had a pulling sensation. bottom one from tonight. it's been 35 years since my left eye could turn that way.

I have so much more to say about it but this is long enough.

So... I'm looking forward to tomorrow sort of, but also real nervous. I think it's good to get out of your comfort zone once in awhile.

6.27.2013

Form CX

I need to sell it.
Stainless steel, Enve carbon fork, 303 rims laced to White Industry disc hubs with PDX tubulars and/or Stan's road disc wheels, with Force, X0 or Force RD.

If you're interested send me a message.

8.13.2012

Wildlife Prairie Park race

I'm not exactly sure when I decided that we should hit up the Wildlife Prairie Park IHRS race, but next thing I knew it was on the calendar. We weren't really prepared as far as "OMG, what about the kids!?" However, it all worked out.
We headed down to Kickapoo Township at about 8am. It was a pretty uneventful drive until Google maps had us on all these back roads, under I74 back under I74, where we finally took matters into our own hands and just got on I74.  Sometimes I really hate GPS directions.
Anyway, we arrived with not much time to get ready. Enough, but we definitely couldn't do anything but get dressed and warm up.
At the line I was surprised to see so many women! It's very rare to see more than three in the IL races lately.
Since there was no time to pre-ride I went into this course blind. I had no idea what to expect. The lead out seemed long (it really wasn't) and I wasn't sure when we dumped into the singletrack. I just remember thinking it was bumpy.
It wasn't long before we made the turn into some fun singletrack. I was a little more brake happy than I would have liked, but that's usually the way it is when you're unsure of trails on your first lap. I was really looking forward to my second lap knowing more of what to expect.  I was barely leading at the start of the race, but I felt comfortable. I wasn't pushing too hard, well, I was, just wasn't gasping like I was at the start of Palos or other races I've done. My stomach felt a little crampy but nothing that was too terrible... until it was terrible. It was like all of a sudden I felt like I was being stabbed. I tried to ride it out but couldn't so I slowed down. I let 2nd place go by in hopes that slowing down might let me feel better. It didn't. So I thought, okay, I'll just relax here for a bit and catch them. But no matter what I did my stomach just kept cramping. It was like sharp pains. The harder I pushed the more painful it was. Then I started getting pissed off. I really wanted to ride the trails. They were my kind of trails.
The second part of the course I didn't enjoy as much as the first. Especially never having ridden there before, and I guess because every rock made my stomach feel worse. I also, as much as I love technical trails like Blue Mounds and WPP, I don't enjoy racing them, but rather prefer riding. Anyway, I pushed through the first lap hoping I'd feel better on the 2nd lap.
I didn't.
I then asked myself what I was doing. I wasn't having any fun and my stomach hurt. I could barely ride and when I stood up I almost had to hunch over. So I sat on the side of the trail for a bit. I thought sitting would at least make me feel better to ride back to the parking lot for a DNF.  It didn't, but I went back anyway.
As I got to the car, I farted the longest windiest fart ever. Miraculously I felt better. I seriously can't believe that I was in that much pain because of fucking GAS!  In saying that, I've had a bunch of stomach issues this year, more times than I can count. Pre-riding Palos the day before the race I had a similar issue; luckily I didn't have any problems during that race.  I think I might start keeping a food diary and see if it's something that's triggering it.  But back to race day, I grabbed my phone and rode out to where I had ended my race to snag a picture of John. I could feel the gas pain coming back a little bit, but never to the extent of what I had earlier in the day.  The gas pain even made my back hurt, to the point I wasn't sure what was going on- stomachache? backache? both? or one causing the other?
Anyway, I hate a DNF. For a second when I think about it I get all mad, but when I then really think about it, there was no way I could ride let alone race. And when I did feel better, I wasn't up for 16 more miles well after last place went by me. I'm just not that motivated, especially almost 3 hours from home. Also, after a race I always enjoy looking at results and hoping people snapped some cool photos, but the DNF kind of takes the fun out of that.
I loved the trails there. They were fun. I'd like to ride them over racing though. I just hate not having the rhythm I want on that type of stuff. Besides it's just more fun when you can look around and enjoy what you are actually riding.  Especially there, it's very pretty, and cool.
Thanks to PAMBA for putting on these races. Everybody there is always kind and attentive.
Their hard work is very much appreciated.