willful suspension of disbelief

everywhere, everywhere, everywhere
it's all so plain it's all a plan
the sky doesn't ever end
the air just gets much thinner further up
you could keep digging down and down
a thousand graves down without turning around or finding hell
you find you're digging up again
everywhere everywhere everywhere
willful suspension of disbelief

road bike yesterday. not long. my legs were tired i guess. i hadn't realized it all day til i started spinning my legs. went for a walk with my mom and the dog after... she talked my ear off. i don't know what today will find me.


franklin my dear

i wasn't sure if i was looking forward to franklin. i had only raced it once. over 2 years ago. i remembered a couple parts of the course. i mostly remember how hot it was and neil walking around in his spandex with no shirt on... not riding spandex, like spandex with no pad. it was not a good thing. anyway, i convinced my mom to head up there with us.
we arrived about 9:30 or so. we parked in the back of the port a potties. at first i wasn't keen on the idea... sun beating down and poop don't mix. but counting the number of times i visited, i was glad we were close. typical before race prep... get registered... chat with people on the way... chat some more. stall before getting all my stuff out. get my gear out and stare at as if i forgot what i had to do. start pinning my jersey, blabbing, etc. the d'arcy van pulled in as i was doing this. mike, zach, brian, tim, sara and zach all headed our way not to say hi, but to take care of business in the potties.
i headed out for a preride with tony for a bit. we chatted. i realized that i just put new disc brakes on and had not once checked them out. no break in, nothing. i decided not to think about it. we headed back to finish some last minute race preps. said my byes and headed down to staging.
staging seemed to take longer than usual. i felt lonely. there were port a potties in the staging area! this is now my favorite race so far and i hadn't even rode the course yet.
i was for some reason nervous for this race. i dunno why. i haven't been nervous for a race in quite some time. but today... my stomach was a wreck and i felt my heart was beating faster than usual.
i hate the fact that i suck at climbing. john said he'd teach me... when, i don't know. i watched people just pull away, not to mention a few passed me. bummer. by the third lap the start climb felt so big. i think it's a big psychological thing with climbing for me at this point. anyway, a young TW gal passed me climbing up. not to take anything away from her as she's a badass rider, but i couldn't help but be bummed because a 12-14 year old passed me. after the climb i felt better again and almost caught her going into the singletrack. i knew i could catch her in there but how would i pass? she asked if i wanted to go by, but i was still far away... i eventually almost was up on her when she went around a corner and bumped a tree. she apologized. obviously no need and i felt bad for her thinking she had to. i think she was nervous i was behind her. i'm so intimidating. especially in my sleeveless jersey and my new brakes. but honestly i think it was the fact i was in such an easy gear and my chain was slapping around all over the place- very obnoxious...
on the last lap some girl passed me coming off of the moon whatever climb. it must've lit a fire under my ass as i found this untapped energy and gave chase. i didn't catch her to be close enough to draft off of her until the middle of the loose flat gravel. i sat on her in the singletrack, which was of course a bit of a disadvantage in my mind, but in reality i probably would have been bouncing off trees if i were by myself. coming out of the singletrack i followed her over the bridge and headed for the last climb before the switchback descent. i gave it all i had to pass her up that climb (i actually liked that climb) nobody was ahead of me on the descent and hoped to get a bigger gap on her. i had no idea where she was. on the switchbacks i tried not to look. all i kept saying to myself was go go go- i almost felt panicked... i thought i was going to cry climbing up to the finish. i would've been demoralized had she passed me.
i thought i was dying heading toward the end of the finish chute, well not die, but never be able to stand or speak again. john wanted to hand me some water, no way. i couldn't take my hands off the bars.
despite my near death experience at the end...the course was awesome. i had a lot of fun. i ended up 6th overall and 1st in age. it's one of my new favorite courses.
i barely finished in enough time to see john go. i was looking for my mom and lisa. casey ended up doing the kid's race and from what i've heard and now seen (my mom video'd it) she may never do it again. big difference from last weeks bigwheel race. we have some gnarly video of the kid's wors race. they send them down the hill! well, not the big hill, but a really big hill for probably anyone under 5. the trike was moving so fast casey's feet got thrown off it and she was almost out of control. of course knowing she's okay, we laughed our asses off watching it tonight. one little girl took a header over the bars. scared me at first, but my mom said she was fine. a little shaken is all.
water bottle duty as usual. completely uneventful. zach was mia for awhile. turns out he had some tube issues. i saw sara at the end first, 3rd overall for the day. then brian, tim, kelsall, john and finally zach. it was nice to finally see someone else from the team on the podium besides us ladies for a change...
*note to self- practice opening gels and putting water bottle back in cage. if i practice i will probably gain a spot in the overall.


sellin' out

i wanna sell my blur and surly 1x1... anyone? they are both badass of course.

stiff as a bored

i'm sitting here by myself and don't know what to do... casey is sleeping, john is downtown and the dog is chomping on a rawhide. i have no desire to watch a movie or tv, i finished surfing the world wide web ages ago. i really don't feel like cleaning, although that's probably what i'll end up doing. dishes anyway for sure.
i really need to work on my bike... i keep procrastinating. sid or reba? barbarians or juicy? tonight wrenching on bikes would seem boring by myself. i wish someone were here to hang out with. blast some music, chat it up and wrench. sometimes workin on bikes by myself is therapeutic, but not tonight. i'm lonely... and besides, it's dark outside i'd probably scare the shit out of myself being in the basement alone.


rode last night. just on the pavement. it was a really nice night. i tried to get as much in as i could as it was getting dark. i hate when daylight disappears early. i rode the spot. i found out why that bike always feels different everytime i ride it... the seat was loose on the seatpost. kept moving up and down. i felt like frank not tightening and checking all my bolts. i still think i want a flat bar on that bike. i didn't work on the sycip yet, its in bad shap. lockout doesn't work, cables and housing are all messed up, rotors are loose... i need to do some serious work to it if i want it by sunday. john is heading to the mass tonight. he's meeting nick here. there's part of me that wants to go as it's all about riding your bike... but i'd feel much better hitting the mesa and getting some dirty action in.


eat my shorts

... rode palos last night. my bike sucked. well, it was the mechanic actually. i didn't have my front skewer skewed properly. so i kept stopping to figure it out. i missed tp. thought he ditched us, turns out we ditched him. oops. they had a kick ass route, wish we had waited. next wed could be one of the last without lights. so new parking lot and charge up the lights. sweet. nice time to ride all the illegal junk. john's doing the mass tomorrow. don't think i want to. i'm headed out for a ride now. out.



no ride yesterday. i did go for a long walk/run with the dog. i didn't get home until 7 pm from work! sucked. i feel guilty leaving the dog anyway. he's been trapped inside all day and when i get home i feel bad trapping him again. ride for sure tonight. i hope my contacts come in before the weekend.



i feel better today. i can actually lift my arm and my thumb isn't sore to the touch. fell asleep at 10 o'clock last night. that's the earliest i've been to bed in months! we finally opened up the doors and windows yesterday. it was nice to get some fresh air. i woke up this morning freezing and didn't want to get out of bed. brrr... casey came running in saying "i'm cold, cold cold cold..." and hopped into bed with me under the blankets. that made it even harder to get out of bed. but carbon ruined it by licking his ass right by our heads. mesa tonight. palos tomorrow.


dg bigwheel race and i hurt like hell

can i say my kid is bad ass? we went to the downers grove crit this afternoon. big wheel race at 1:45. i couldn't wait. it was pure chaos. the 2 and 3 year old girls took off first. this was casey's heat. she was so cool i can't even explain... so cool i couldn't believe she was my kid! anyway she had a blast, we had a blast. she wants to go again. she said she had just too much fun.

here she is with her game face on checking out the course ahead of her:

look how cool she is getting her medal:

and of course she had to show it off.

john and i thought for sure she'd chicken out. when the lady blew the whistle she took off. we have great video.
luckily it was a laid back day. i feel like i've been hit by a car. so i'm going for a ride now. hopefully i will feel better.

my inevitability

we were suppose to leave at 7 am... whenever we say we are leaving at a specific time, add 45 minutes to that, and that's when we are leaving. john, tony, izzy, josh, casey, carbon and i headed for peoria at around 7:45am. we hit the dunkin donuts for some coffee and bagel sandwiches... and donuts before hitting the expressway for the next 2 hour or so drive. it was pretty uneventful. the kids entertained themselves by throwing stuff on the floor out of their reach so i could pick it up. izzy had her ipod on and slept the whole way and john n tony chatted it up in the captain's chair. we got there, mike was already there and scoped out a spot for the rv. kind of off by itself. john and i headed to registration. sport women were only doing 1 lap of an 8 mile course! so i jumped up to expert to do 2 laps. we are so used to going to WORS races this year, so showing up at something other than t hat it's so laid back. the race was at noon and at 11:30 we were all still sitting in our shorts chatting it up... even mike. about 11:37 mike and i made the move to start getting our gear on. it was pretty hot... really humid actually. they did get some rain the night before. none of us knew what to expect out on the course. there were 5 expert men and two expert women. we all started together. the men had a slow start as i stayed with them through the whole first singletrack, the doubletrack into the next singletrack and of course they were gone. i was ahead of the other gal in my class. i think i had a pretty good lead on her and then... i crashed. i hadn't crashed all year... it was like a record or something. i was coming up to a log. i thought i had it, it was tall and all, but i thought i had it. i didn't. right over the bars. total yard sale. i lost both water bottles... got up as fast as i could surprised i didn't hurt. put the water bottles back in took off in a panic and then it hit me. holy shit. my palm by my left thumb, my right arm, my stomach, my knee and my chest. ouch. i felt sick. the adrenaline from the crash had worn off. to make matters worse i lost all confidence on the slick trail. i lost my water bottles twice from being all shakey trying to put them back in, my fork wouldn't unlock, my shifting was messed up and my front rotor was loose. i was sort of irritated at this point. this was my course... technical turny singletrack. burak passed me on the gravel climb they call whistler... tony caught me in the doubletrack just after the creek crossing... the girl in my class caught me later on the climb out of what appeared to be an old creek bed. i got my confidence back a little bit later at the end of the lap. my second lap was way better, but the damage was done. i was still hurting from the crash. finally i was finished. i wish i had paid attention to the lap times or what our finishing times were. if the girl beat me by a bunch, she would have caught me anyway, if she only beat me by minutes, i know i would have beaten her had i had a good race. oh well. i can't complain. i waited at the finish line expecting mike and john to be in any minute. it was taking awhile so i headed back to the rv to grab the dog. i put my bike down and looked down at my shirt for the first time. holy crap was i dirty. my bra acted like a scoop when i went otb. i had a bunch of dirt down my bra, down my jersey and in my shorts... nice. i looked at my left hand... it had one of those nice purpley hard bruised forming. luckily annie had an ice pack, thanks annie. i went back to the finish line to wait again. mike came in with another guy losing the sprint. as i congratulated him he told me john would have had them both but something happened. turns out john tried to hug a tree and was knocked off his bike. he took third for the day. mike kicked himself at the end of the day for not challenging the guy who took 1st sooner and john's kicking himself for taking his eye off the trail for a split second. we were on real singletrack. no looking away. tight turns, lots of trees, stunts and off camber sections. there were lots of logs there as well, from what i've heard from lori, she'd have loved it. tony was stuck on the course with a flat and a leaky extra tube. he finally made it in glad it didn't happen at a wors race and happy he was out racing.
all the experts for the day walked away with some pretty good prize money. i need to go back to get that log. as i sit here it still irritates me. was it too tall? did i not lift the front end enough? was i too cocky? maybe next time.



we leave for peoria tomorrow am. nobody knows the course so it should be interesting. a friend says it's his all time favorite course so it's probably pretty good. we like riding similar stuff. the rv is getting the call so casey and carbon can tag along. tony's bringing his kids as well. we should hopefully be home at a decent hour. sunday hopefully hit the mesa for a ride early. then head out to downers grove for some crit action. there's a bigwheel race for the kids and i want to sign casey up. i think she'll have a blast! today i'm hoping to bust out of work early. get some minor cleaning done at home and get ready for tomorrow. i'll try to get on the bike as well. mtb or road? i think sara and zach should be on their way home. i look forward to seeing some pics and hopefully some fun stories.



it's raining outside. last night was a decent ride. it seemed really short. the singletrack felt really fast. we pretty much rode the basic popular stuff... gravity cavity, one day, ho chi minh, stair steps, psychopath, turf 1, three ravines, ho chi minh again, pipeline and out n back. seems like a lot but we were only riding for an hour and a half and that's with stopping to chat. it was a good group. dana, james, chris, mike and myself. we never had to wait for more than a minute or so before we could move on. today work... hopefully my specs come in, or contacts or something. casey's crazy today but the dog is even crazier... tonight tp may come over. we'll discuss peoria.


i was just looking at my blog page and looked at the pic of me at the start line... do i look pumped or what? geez, could i look any more excited? i just got home. my mom and dad have casey. they are like getting new phones or something. i just got back from their house thinking i would be picking her up. so i think, cool, i'll go ride! i can't. i feel bad leaving the dog in his cage again after he's been in it all day... john rode his bike out to swallow cliff and is probably riding the trails out there. maybe he'll be back early enough so i can ride. til then maybe the dog and i will go walk... or jog... or run or something. maybe i'll go read... tomorrow palos. i'd like to hit the mesa at some point. pamba saturday. w00t.


we made a last minute decision to head out to WORS #7. we left about 6:30am and headed north. i'd been to this event once before but it was for work, so i didn't race. i didn't even ride the course as it had rained that year. thanks to jerry for the rockstar parking and mountaingoat for passing off the pass... it was nice to not be miles away from the course.
my race started at 11:30am as usual. i didn't feel good. i was super bloated and my stomach was super tore up. there was a long road and grass lead out, 1.89 miles. my favorite. i fell off the back on the road and entering the grass... i passed a few ladies coming up the grass heading to the ski hill. i was 12th climbing the grassy part of the ski hill. brutal but short climb. then it was pretty flat except for a few more climbs. i always felt like i was climbing though... on one particular hill i passed a couple of gals climbing up, i don't remember where, but i think it was the one next to the freshly cut singletrack. so at this point i was sitting in tenth when singlespeed amy came roaring passed me! holy shit. i didn't know whether to think she was badass fast on that climb or i was super slow! i think it was a combo of both. i never saw her after that.

coming around the start area for my second lap i think, or was it my third? i saw someone in my age group... i think i took the dirt climb too hard to catch her. i pretty much did, but couldn't recover and she took off on the multitrack to never be seen by me again. coming into the finish i missed the stupid left turn and had to slam on the brakes, turn around and finish. 2nd age, 11th overall. not bad for feeling poopy.
i finished in 1:19. plenty of time to change and watch john take off. it was kind of a small elite field. mikelsall was there as well as dave and tim racing comp. tony and i watched the elites take off. john came around the lake in like 4th to last! very unlike him. but he picked people off as the race went on. he liked the course and had a good race.
we took off early, didn't check expert results and headed for some food. some hobo restaurant. i had an open roast beef sandwich with a huge mound of mashed potatos and gravy. yum.


earth to james...

do you have tino's info? if so, could you forward it to me?


third eye

calument sun run happened today. i've never done that course before. my result doesn't show it, but i didn't feel very well today. you always wonder how good you could have done if you felt better. i've been placing top 10 lately so 11th overall to be honest kinda bummed me out for a minute. i know, boo hoo right? anyway, i'm happy with it.
saturday we got a bunch of shit done in the house. i mean the upstairs is still a wreck, but downstairs rules. we then had e's bday party at my aunt deb's house. good times. it was nice to see the family again. i hadn't been to a family gathering all year.
friday night, shit, what did we do... oh yeah, dinner and bed.
thursday i finally saw the eye doc! woohoo, no more green specs for me. not that i don't like 'em or anything. they were great for riding, or being funky occasionally... but anyway, new pair hopefully in this week. and contacts!... w00t!
race report tomorrow. hopefully mike will have pics up and i can borrow them.
no plans for the week yet, well, all except wednesday at palos... hopefully the yellow jackets have plans to stay in their hives or whatever.
i'm going to go snuggle with casey (yeah, she's still up!)...



nah, yellow jackets... tons of them. we started the wednesday night ride in hopes of doing something a little different than the usual. freshen it up a bit. all was well until we headed towards the canal. we were all a little leary as we always come back with some poison ivy. i started to head into a section that was overgrown a bit and was hesitant. in my mind i went through this trail section as i'd been here before remembering that the overgrown section wasn't very long. as i broke into the trail i felt this sharp burning sensation on my ankle... my mind started racing what is that, i kept feeling it again and again, thorn bushes, no... it finally hit me, bees! i was being stung. it felt like somebody was taking a hot cigar with a sharp needle inside and was pushing it into my leg. as the realization hit me, i heard sara screaming. tony and i were inside the trail. we weren't being stung anymore. however john and sara got the worst of it. they ran 50 yards away from the trail dropping their bikes trying to get away from the swarm. as they were running tony and i were trying to figure out how to get out of there. i couldn't believe how much the stings burned. we ended up having to walk through the thick weeds to get out... spider webs, glass bottles, sticker bushes and the fear of more bees. we made it out. tony and i had been stung 3 times, sara 12 times and john 9 times. buzz kill being a total understatement. when all was done we headed back to the cars laughing about the incident. thinking about how it must have looked. i'm glad we can all look back and laugh.
we weren't sure what they were, someone mentioned they looked like honeybees, no way, they were too aggressive. my guess was yellow jackets as they look similar. i read up on it when i got home. yellow jackets they were.
jill was stung out at the mesa just a few weeks ago going over a log, 15 times. they swarmed her as well. we need to nuke these things bad.



four miles on the bike... boo. 3 miles on foot with my mom and the dog. good karma. palos tomorrow.


cockee... suckah

i left at around 7 pm to hit the mesa. i was glad to get out as work sucked more than last week. it'll suck tomorrow too, it's pretty much a given. after riding the trails on saturday i realized how much i really missed the place. as each day passes the days keep getting shorter and i regret not going out offroad more often. the spot got the call. i also thought to bring my camera, it actually fit perfectly in my baggy's side pocket. i put my cell phone in the other side to even it out. it was still in the mid-80s it seems when i took off. i hit the road, almost the same path i took yesterday on my road bike. my how slow it felt. i never realized how peaceful the road bike was til i farted along the pavement... i didn't pass a soul. i bounced into the singletrack and headed out to the mesa. the plan was to ride the mesa and come on back. daylight wouldn't last long and i'm a wuss in the woods alone. i bombed down the trail through raccoon alley and up the steep climb over to rachael's log.

my nemesis. for two years i have almost thought about going over it, but psychologically no way. that crash set my confidence back years. but the past two mesa rides i've had the itch. but not when there wasn't anyone else around. maybe next time, perhaps not on the way in, but on the way out. "in" the boards have a scoliosis look to them and you are coming at it flat, on the way "out", the boards are straight and you've got some speed going... so no go, but i decided to stop and snag some photos. i was stopped anyway. it was just me and the deer. i saw white furry butts everywhere. if i didn't see them, i heard them. speaking of confidence, i seem to have too much... there's a small whoop which leads to a bridge. you then climb up. the climb is infested with big roots. see the first dark pic above. i was just telling john saturday about how much i ruled that climb- that i haven't dabbed in like forever. not tonight. my front tire stopped dead. i was like wtf, and then just had to smile. i continued on. it was still eerily quiet.

i finished up at the end of the mesa, i went down the hill, only because i wanted to climb back up. the outer loop was calling my name, but i resisted and turned around. the bridge (sara's bridge)needs some love, but the missing plank isn't a bother at all, it just looks bad. actually, it just pretty much scares the crap out of people.

i pretty much time trialed back home. i was done being photographer and wanted to get back. it was fun snapping some shots of the trail as we don't have any, but it was a little dark in the woods. mid day afternoon would probably be better. but who cares. you get the idea. i rode home. john had dinner waiting, what a guy. tomorrow i need to fix my front hub. it has some weird kinda play in it. bummer.... hope it's nothing serious.


bike laundry

went for a road ride. nothing spectacular. i only have one water bottle on my bike so i stayed close. i keep telling myself quality over quantity... surprisingly there weren't many people out. totally a good thing. the only thing slowing me down were the deer. lots of fawns with their moms hanging out right on the edge of the trail. we have a loop around the golf course that i usually end my ride on. i did it twice after my ride. on the last lap i made it a goal to finish in under 10. i made it, but wow, my legs and lungs were screaming. i probably made it in like 9:20. i came home and john was in the yard washing bikes. i jumped in to help.
looks like tony and the gang had a good time at imagination glen. i'm bummed i missed it, but at the same time it was fun spending some time with casey and catch up on my chores. i'd like to hit that place this year, perhaps hit the race as well. it's a really fun place to ride, and it's soo close.

sunday, chocolate and a ride

did some chores this am. the kind ya hate but have to catch up on. we took casey to see charlie and the chocolate factory... disaster. i'm hopefully leaving for a road ride in a few...



the plan was to ride at 9am. yeah right. i slept in after that stupid daiquiri. i was rehydrating all morning. wtf. it was ONE daiquiri. anyway. we did a donut run and then called some friends for a mtb ride out at the mesa. we finally got out the door at like 11am. nick, john and myself were out for over 3 hours! it was a perfect sunny day (still is actually) blue skies, sun shining... the sun was hot... but we were in the trees riding singletrack the whole time so we didn't notice til we were on our way home. the ride started with the usual paved trail ride there. we bombed down into the trails after hitting the entrance. it was so dry and dusty. the dust was so thick in spots you thought twice about hanging it out in turns. the trails seemed narrower from the late summer growth. i kept an eye out for renegade poison ivy... we headed down raccoon alley up to the mesa to the outer loop. climbed up and headed to the outer leg. we ran into two other guys out there. that was it. we looped back to the outer loop to head back to the mesa. we walked the log that had the hornets nest that attacked jill two weeks ago. rather be safe than sorry. i am still wondering if anyone went out there to take care of that. anyway, made it up the snake pit. the mesa bridge connecting to the outer loop is looking a bit shady. we hit sublime next. nailed the teeter totter and proceeded to garden grove. i bonked as we came out of garden grove. my legs felt like jello as i hit the steep climb out. we didn't have any food with us. when will i learn. i guess i think when i'm less than 5 miles from home i don't need to bring any. we made it back and headed out for some food... and then some shakes from oberweiss. he he.
road ride tomorrow? yesss.

dark ride

wanted to ride bad last night. my mom took casey for a sleepover at her house. just her and the grandkids. john and i took advantage. we headed out around 9pm with our helmet lights. we rode the pavement. nothing hard. just a nice night to be out. we then headed for some tacos. i had a daiquiri. phew. i don't remember the last time i had any sort of alcohol. i was super buzzed from one. john enjoyed it just as much as i did i think.



still haven't ridden yet. i suck. tonight? maybe. tomorrow? most definitely.



i need to ride more... other than wed and pre ride sat and race sundays. i can't seem to find or make the time. starting tomorrow i will hopefully change that. i was doing it before, i don't know what changed?
palos went on tonight. i pulled in the lot with john right behind me. what a surprise. i wasn't expecting to see him. sara was in the lot with mike and derrick.
it was a small group on the ride, probably medium paced. i had moments of breathing hard and legs burning, but for the most part, we were just riding a long. john, sara, dana, hans, tom, paul and myself headed up and out of the parking lot. mike and derrick went out on their own. we took the gravel to pipeline and headed out towards psychopath down into turf1. john flatted right away. he sent us on our way, he'd catch up. we took the road back up to dynamite road and headed towards three ravines. what a fun trail. i've been riding that trail for a long time and it never seems to lose it's appeal. we all regrouped and headed down towards one day trail up into gravity cavity climbing out to the multitrack to head out to the out and back trail. coming out of the back part of the out n back it was getting a little dark. it was kind of a bummer for a second as i realized the daylight hours were getting shorter by the day. better enjoy them while we can.
we all decided to head back. it was a good ride. wednesday rides are a good time and i hope they continue. i just need to ride more on monday, tuesday, thursday and friday. maybe if i did, i might be faster.


good times

with twinkie the kid and 90 cent cowboy hats.

mmmm skinsuit...

although i have to say, he really needs to tuck that thing away, and i'm not talking about the skinsuit

where was i...

oh yeah, finally talked to james. he's stoked. i need my 5th element rebuilt dude. it rides like crap!
i'm still working on my 24/9 post. so much stuff went on over the weekend. it's hard for me to condense it.
us gals took 1st in the women's open 12 hour. the d'arcy boys and mountaingoat took 1st in the pro open 24 hour and zach took 3rd overall solo for the 12 hour. tony's team took 6th i think, or was it 9th? doesn't matter, they had a good time and busted out some pretty sweet ass night laps.
we all had a most excellent time. check here and here for some more race info.