trails, no trails, more trails

friday night i came home and busted out for a ride at the freshly raked mesa. i forgot how tough it was out there. it's not your groomed out balls out kind of riding. it actually needs to be de-rooted a bit. there are roots everywhere. some sections have lost a little bit of flow due to re-routes from downed trees etc. but the new routes will flow soon enough. i actually enjoyed myself the most on sublime. somebody broke the teeter totter which is somewhat of a bother (i don't understand the mentality of breaking stuff just to break stuff, especially when its obvious that someone built it for fun- reminds me of the teens just knocking the garbage cans over on the paved path).
the trails still need a little bit of love but totally rideable. garden grove still needs to be raked. it was fun. i came home pretty tired. i wasn't sure if my body was sore from raking or all the upper body work muscleing my way around the trails.
saturday i finally made an appointment with my cousing to do away with my dark roots. it was to the point i was wearing a hat everyday.
afterwards john and i took casey to see wall-e. it was pretty good, i'd take her to see it again for sure. hit the ice cream parlor and then grabbed zoe from my mom's. we all ended up crashing on the couch when we got home. then a storm rolled in, it was pretty wicked. i actually don't remember if we did anything saturday night? i think we just hung out.
sunday morning john headed out to palos to ride with brad. i hit target for stuff we don't need (i spend way too much in that store) as well as stuff we did need.
shortly after grabbed the kids and headed to palos to do a trade with john. he headed to toys r us with the kids and i hit the trails at palos with beth.
standing in the parking lot we had sunglasses on, sleeveless jerseys, phones in pockets, garmins out. we headed up the staging area singletrack to hit pipeline. is it raining? it's gonna pass. we start heading towards three ravines and the skies let loose. we were under heavy tree cover so we didn't get too wet but climbing ho chi minh was pretty slick. we decided we were still going to ride but wanted to drop all of our gadgets off just in case. right when we hit the parking lot to drop our stuff off the rain stopped.
we headed up the road to green grassy, down green grassy and headed towards bad ass hill. i haven't ridden down bad ass hill in quite some time. hit some of the illegal stuff that brings you to red gate and headed towards turf 1. i love turf 1. i think it's my favorite trail out there right now. i haven't ridden zip tie in awhile so the love for it has faded a bit. up psychopath and hit three ravines again. at the exit beth and i were trying to decide between ho chi minh or one day to gravity to get back to the car (i had to get home for a graduation party that had already started by 40 minutes). beth took ho chi minh (wuss) and i took one day to gravity. i forget what a touch climb that has become. the roots are like steps now.
no real hard efforts this weekend and i can't believe i missed that. but nevertheless it was some fun quality time in the saddle riding dirt.
i'll be riding tomorrow afternoon at palos with sheri. should be a good time.



i ended up road riding on my ferrous wednesday night. bummed i wasn't offroad. i didn't ride for very long- being on the pavement made me realize how "off" the fit was. i remember years ago it didn't matter how my bike was set up, just jumped on and who cares. nowadays if my saddle height isn't right or my stem is too long my body aches and i don't have as much fun. especially on the road as you're just sitting there.
anyway at least i was out. it was super humid.
last night we got together with siwinski and finished the main mesa trail. one to go and it's done out there! i'm pretty stoked. i am still amazed at how dry it was out there. we were raking dust at times. weird.
garden grove is left. hopefully get to that soon. not sure if i should wait til my blisters are healed or go while they are still open and gross. i hate raking.



my excitement for riding was short lived thanks to the rain on my drive in this a.m.

i still have hope though (even though the majority of the country is green looking at the radar), not much however. i've been sulking for the most part all morning.


so excited!!!!!!

the. mesa. is. DRY. like dusty. i didn't ride much of it as i didn't get out the door til just before 8:30. raccoon alley doesn't even have water in the creek crossing. the turn before the onions is dry. if the onion turn is dry you know its good.


not meant to be

we pretty much knew that wors #5 was out of the question for us with the start times, etc. one of my previous posts shows my excitement for the times being changed... not to mention how great all of our friends are. thank you so much to all that offered to watch casey and zoe while we raced.
racing was sort of put in doubt when we had zoe in the e.r. no biggee... but then after being hyrrated she made an almost miraculous recovery. she woke up nothing like the same kid we brought to the e.r. the previous night. sweet if this continues, race on. then friday night casey complained that her stomach hurt. we thought it was her wanting attention since lately she's complained of feeling slighted. she said zoe gets all of our attention and she never gets any. but then she refused ice cream. she never refuses ice cream. she's either the worlds best faker or she was really sick. unfortunately it turned out to be the latter.
she spent ALL day saturday on the couch, sleeping. she never moved.
i still hoped (aren't i terrible?) that there was still a chance of racing. i knew deep down that we weren't going even if she felt better, it just wouldn't be right. but still i couldn't admit that we were defeated.
sunday morning we asked how she felt. she said her stomach still hurt. no go.
at about 10:30 or so she started to come around. she wasn't nearly as warm and she started getting a little more life in her voice.
she talked of the zoo and wanting to touch the stingrays. after we were sure she was feeling fine we loaded up the car, picked up reese and headed to brookfield zoo.
we touched the stingrays and the sharks (which is fucking awesome- you must go). we saw the elephants, rhinos, monkeys, gorillas, giraffes and many more.
you couldn't ask for a more perfect day weather wise- that is until you decide that after the zoo you are going for a bike ride. my mom said yes to keeping an eye on the kids. shortly after i hung up the skies let loose. so instead of being on the much needed bike ride (i've ridden once since mt. morris) i'm typing a blog entry.


the e.r.

zoe and i made the trip to hope children's hospital yesterday late afternoon.
2 hours waiting to get an i.v. drip, an hour and a half of i.v. drip and then 2 hours waiting to be discharged. we are all pretty drained.
she seems fine today other than still having diarrhea. hopefully that clears up soon and we won't be visiting there again anytime soon.
summer solstice today. i'd like to join the group ride out at palos but who knows. too much stuff to do in so little time as usual.


its been awhile

sara and i met up at palos last night in hopes of riding some minty fresh trails.
conditions were better than i thought they would be. still a few problem spots but all were in better condition than the last time i rode out there.
i had the ferrous with me for it's first dirt action.
we rode out of the staging area and headed over to the new cemetary loop. we found it easily. we then switched bikes so she could check out the 29er goodness.
i quickly laid her sycip down in a turn not used to the bb7 brakes. i soon got used to being on a different bike and we were able to really ride then.
the new loop is fun stuff! up, down, lots of log crossings. we didn't know where the trail looped back to where we came in so we ran into the old entrance a couple times. d'oh.
we finally made it out without re-riding anything and headed over to stonehenge, etc.
took old country lane road to pretty little trail (shhh) and headed up burrito hill. i pried my ferrous out of sara's fingers and we headed over to out n back. the beginning had a tree down and a wet spot or two, but the rest of the trail was awesome!

we took turns riding each others bikes to feel the differences and just for fun.
after out n back we took pipeline over to turf 1. turf 1 was smokin'. i forgot how awesome that trail is! just as we turned up to climb psychopath... pssssss. shit. flat. i haven't run tubed tires in over 5 years. i haven't had a flat in over 5 years. i ran tubes and flatted. bummer. luckily sara was prepared and had a tube. 30 mosquito bites later we headed back to the car.
super fun ride. can't wait for next time.
so many trails so little time.



wors #5 wasn't working out for us with the marathon start. it's been changed to normal wors start times so now we can go! sweet.
edit: damn. i spoke too soon without seeing the actual start times, i just assumed it was normal.



well almost. need a jump stop, chainstay guard and one brake bled (zoe grabbed the lever just as the line was cut- fluid everywhere).
thanks to russell, marty, goat, jp and john. without them the frame would still be sitting on the rug against the wall.

lots to do

i'd like to finish the ferrous tonight or tomorrow. right now there is absolutely no chance of being at wors #5 since everyone races at the same time, but i can still hope.
today is dragging pretty good. i'm tired. i didn't get to bed til this morning actually. i learned a long time ago not to drink mountain dew but i caved and had some with dinner last night.
if wors #5 is a no go at least the ferrous'll get a shake down over the weekend if this weather pattern holds. no chance of rain in the forecast til friday (and friday is at 40%). i don't believe we have had 3 or 4 dry days in a row since winter.
i may even be able to ride palos wednesday. fingers crossed. i may even go out to the mesa for some recon. very strange that it's mid-june and i haven't ridden out there. sad.
i'm thinking my next chance for a good night's rest is wednesday. too much housework and bike work i want to get out of the way, not to mention ride. where can i buy more hours for the day?


out of sorts

the plan was to leave early on friday to get to mt. morris in time to pre-ride.
luckily i read the wors message board, no pre-riding on friday. bummer, but no big deal. just as i was going to call john, ryan from 3 doors down knocks on the door- "can you bring my mom to the hospital- she cut her hand real bad." of course, out the door as fast as possible and bring jean to urgent aid.
the cut was bad... worst i've ever seen in real life. about 90 minutes later we were out the door back home.
just a little bump in the plans, no chance to pre-ride anyway.
my diet friday was horrible. i had nothing of great nutritional value except the half of turkey sandwich early in the afternoon. friday has us eating after 10:30, mostly because we were starving.
race day the free breakfast at the super 8 wasn't holding well with me all morning. couple that with not being able to do #2 wasn't helping. my stomach was crampy all day.
we arrived at the course. the ritual was changed. it was saturday, elites went off first, my race wasn't til 3:30pm. i thought it was rather comicable that we were all thrown off as to when to eat, when to get dressed. the normal cues weren't there.
as the afternoon went on i started to feel even crappier. was it the heat? the food i ate? sitting around all day? maybe all of the above. i was so bloated my shorts didn't fit me. i wasn't looking forward to racing.
at the start line i felt like i was going to puke. i just felt light headed and real sweaty. my mentality wasn't the best either- i had it in my mind it was going to be miserable, which was dumb. before we actual rolled up to the line i did, however tell myself that the first lap would hurt as usual but i'd settle in and just ride. it'll be fun. that's the way every race has been so far.
don said go, we tangled with a couple comps. one of the guys was super rude. i understand his frustration, but its not our fault. he was one guy, we were 20. anyway, we could argue back and forth about what was right or wrong, bottom line is the timing of this event sucked. classes starting in the heat of the other's finish. anyway, saw a couple comps on the first lap. bill was behind me at one point and was super encouraging. i was hurting pretty bad and instead of pulling over for him to go by, he kept me going with words of encouragement and was patient til he could pass safely.

i honestly don't remember much of the race, especially the first two laps except vomiting in my mouth a few times. i almost wished i'd just puked and got it over with. my head felt like it was going to explode. my face had to have been a bright tomato red. i remember regina falling over probably just as red-lined as i was. i could barely talk to ask her if she was okay. i remember john handed me a bottle going into my second lap, i couldn't even say anything to him. i don't remember the last time i struggled that much.
i fell down in the one uphill switchback, luckily bubba was there to help pick me up. that's what i get for pulling over to let someone by. oh well. i thought i had a minor scratch, but it turned out to be more of a puncture on top of my knee.
we came through on our third lap just as they let the citizens go. a nightmare ensued. it was pure chaos in the singletrack and the doubletrack.
by the middle of the third lap i started to feel a lot better. it was almost like a switch was turned on and some of my power came back. i didn't feel like i was going to puke, i was able to breathe which was a big plus, but at that point i was already so far behind. i picked off a whole lot of citizen riders after that and saw two sport gals just ahead. i was able to catch deb and pass her, partly due to the citizen guys making a wrong turn. i saw little sara just ahead but we were too close to the finish to battle it out.
shout out to regina, she was super strong saturday. when she passed me i could tell she wasn't in the hurt bag and was going to have an awesome day!
my result shows much better than the kind of day i had and how i felt. 1st age and 6th overall.
my stomach still was a bit crampy today. i wonder if i have the goat bug?
john had a good day. he came back with a smile and said he had an awesome time. 3rd age and 25th overall for him.

*pics from goat and sheri


hammy, rain & terror

my hamstrings are still sore. i'm pedaling squares. they are getting better and better each day, but i can still feel them twinge when i move. i find it funny and sad that i hurt my legs that badly pulling weeds and it's taking me this long to recover.
short ride last night. since my hamstrings were still so tight i was having trouble pedaling with my left leg. but at least i got out. it was the most beautiful day.
tonight i'm not even going to bum that i can't ride my mountain bike. compared to what's going on in some places in wisconsin (lake delton, bubba's trails, etc) our trails are still there, just in bad shape. i'll embrace my road bike tonight. it's going to be another beautiful day.
zoe has been a terror lately. the terrible two's are starting. not to mention she has night terrors. casey had them, but not as bad. it's so sad to see them so upset and nothing you can do about it. your heart just breaks.
today will be a long day at work. i have lots to do. i'll be working from home tomorrow and then will be taking friday off to pack and head up to mt. morris. hopefully the rain holds off and we won't have a repeat of last year.


late night

i got home late tonight due to lame rain. once i made dinner, ate, cleaned up, etc. i had no motivation to get out and ride. sore hammies played a small part.
john and i will get out tomorrow together for hopefully a dry ride.
my dtswiss 190/stans wheels are done. i just need to get to the shop and grab them. maybe i'll put some medusas on them... be ready for anything at mt. morris.
i also got a sweet sweet hookup from a couple of friends up in wisco. thanks to marty and russell i'll be able to get moving on my ferrous (i may win bubba). maybe i'll even have it built for the weekend, but that's cutting it real close.



this morning john and i lucked out with his mom taking the kids for a couple hours. we decided to hit waterfall glen for a fix of non-road, which meant gravel.
i woke up this morning super sore, not sure why. it was awful. my whole body is sore to just the touch! my muscles ache. it's as if i were lifting weights yesterday with every single muscle but my arms. my arms are fine, i expected my back to hurt, but my legs? anyway the ride was horrible. i could barely pedal. these are trails i can bigring all day, even the climbs. i could barely get out of the middle ring and 5 in the back. it was pure torture to turn the pedals. i felt if i kept pedaling i'd injure myself and not be able to ride this coming week. so we called it a day after one loop. sucks. it's not very often we have an opportunity to ride together. and with this summer an opportunity to ride is even hard to come by with this insane weather.
as i sit here at home we have severe thunderstorm alerts. i can't even see out my front window right now the rain is coming down so hard. sigh. i'm sure most of you know exactly how i feel.
hoping we can ride in july... and i'm not joking anymore.


rain sandwich

john and i got moving early to take care of the weeds in our backyard. we haven't worked in our yard since before zoe was even conceived.
i'm relieved to finally have the weeds gone. i won't bore you with the details. 6 hours later it still looks ugly but there are no weeds. flowers will follow shortly.
we called my mom in hopes that she'd be up for sitting for an hour or so, we were itchin' for a ride. she agreed but had to throw in "aren't you nervous it might rain?" surprisingly i hadn't thought about it.
rushed home after running the kids over so i could finish getting dressed. socks, shoes, gloves... walk outside step off the stair and it starts raining. it's a light rain so we ask each other should we just go? as we were both about to agree to just go it started really coming down. bummer. not only has the rain dashed all hopes of mountain biking anytime soon it has now dissed the road miles. wtf?
bummed, we went back inside. we then picked up the kids. tornado sirens everywhere. clouds were a nice grey. (i had looked at the radar before we left, just north of us were red and orange blotches. in the middle was us, just a light shade of green. south of us was more red and orange.) we just went about our business. when i got home i heard a tornado touched ground just south of us on 57. wow. i also read about the craziness just north of us in the cheese state. this spring (and winter i guess) has been pretty scary. it seems like there is no end in site for the rain.


blah... blah blah

wednesday night i left work not knowing where i'd be riding. sara ditched me so i was either going it alone or hoped beth called me back. while heading to waterfall glen she called and suggested we do the canal trail. the canal trail is exactly what it's name says it is. it's a long singletrack trail that runs along the cal sag for miles. it's pretty flat but has some twists and turns, rocks, logs and duck unders. if you ride up top it's called surreal. it's a super technical narrow rocky trail that i wasn't in the mood for and being wet it'd be slippery.
anyway, we rode the canal trail from kean all the way to the end, turned around and came off the trail at 104th where we took the road to swallow cliff. i had wanted to see the tobaggon area since they took the slides off.

after we checked it out we decided to check out the singletrack and see how bad it was. some of it was bad and some of it was suprisingly awesome. i hadn't been on some of those trails since 2005. i think swallow may be in better shape than bullfrog. my guess is that the knuckleheads that don't read "ride when dry" don't know about them.
one one of the more fun twisty sections we came across this structure:

beth was like why would you wanna sit in there? could you imagine the mosquitos? and seriously, they were worse than 9 mile at times. i may have to purchase stock in off.
we finished with the usual muddy sections, getting off a lot, etc. i used to find that annoying, but now its just another ride. i don't mind.
thursday morning i left the house early with the kids. we went to grab some breakfast and run some errands. we went to target for some diapers, summer clothes and other misc things. i forgot to get the indiana jones lego video game, maybe next time. we then hit the mall to exchange some shirts for casey (which i have to re-exchange) and of course browse the disney store. next up dick's for some life jackets and jewel for some much needed food. it was a long morning, it was work really. but we all enjoyed ourselves.
when i got home i had to bust a move as really i didn't take a vacation day so i played catch up for a few hours. it was so hot out. miserably humid.
when john got home i finally went for a ride. only an hour but it must've been good, my legs are tired today.
this weekend my only plans are chores really, the main being the backyard weeds pulled and work on the front a little. maybe get some flowers. my poor neighbors, i bet they wished we had a privacy fence.



i'm a nerd. i just happened to catch the end of star trek tng and knew every line that was coming and what was going to happen next. i even saw that another episode was on next, read the info and knew exactly what it was all about.
i hadn't really looked at the sport results until earlier today... check out the times here. it's amazing how close we all are.
in an email regina put it well, "We women know how to make you work for it to the very end!" she's so right on.
no ride tonight. i was too lazy to get going. i'll get the light ready and hopefully it's dry to get out.

where to begin

hmmm... i have my worst results at wausau. i've never had a great day here. i'm not sure of the exact reasons. too much open? singletrack is never to my advantage because i'm usually stuck behind someone or completely red-lined from the open pedaling? probably a combo of both. the pre-ride didn't make me feel any better.
i started with sara, the guys and the kids. it hurt. i started falling behind right away, could barely breath, my legs screamed, my back ached, i essentially felt like shit. never recovered until late in the lap. i stopped twice to stretch my back as it was screaming at me to stop. the mosquitos loved it.
we arrived back at the car and i thought i was going to puke. i grabbed some fig newtons. put about 3 down and started to feel a lot better. we headed over to red bud road to do the singletrack across the way. we ventured on a trail we've never taken and were pleasantly surprised by the views and beautiful rock gardens. good good stuff. (all the more reason to get back up to wausau even earlier to pre-ride 24-9.)

after pre-riding and chit chatting we all headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. about 20 of us headed out for mexican. good stuff. afterwards, pool party, wrenching and chit chat.
i wasn't really looking forward to the race but at the same time just told myself to go out and have fun. the singletrack there is super rad.
my start seemed to come up super fast. i lined up and chatted with angie for a bit telling her how awful i'd do and her reassuring me (and probably rolling her eyes) that i'd be fine. i wasn't convinced. i haven't been nervous for a race in years, but i was nervous for this one. even on the car ride up.
as don said go i was at the front (not the lead) and stayed there. what? oh wait. ding. starting with the men and sara was way too fast for me. i probably blew myself up. i love (well maybe love is a strong word) the start of the sport women race. i started to settle and didn't care if people passed me. i was doing the best i could. i couldn't breath and my legs were screaming. finally into the singletrack. not recovered yet, but i knew the worst part was over. i finally recovered and was stuck in the singletrack. duh. i know, it's part of racing. but seriously. i never pedaled (well okay i pedaled on ho chi minh), hit the brakes constantly and almost went over the bars because it was so slow. oh well. i sat behind deb for a long time she was stronger than me in the opens and just as i'd start to recover and sometimes catch her the next singletrack started. i tried to pass a couple times but i just didn't have the gas to power by.
i just stayed patient. i finally felt recovered enough at one point to go by. and i did. into probably the only mud bog/puddle on the course. wow. i suck. i motored pass to find it was a long way to the singletrack. hmmm... i made it to the singletrack by myself came out, crossed the lap line and was trying to recover. a bunch of women passed me... regina, deb, angie, jamie, and 1 or 2 others. i smiled and laughed to myself. i wasn't defeated or anything but was happy with the effort i put in to try and put time on them, maybe it was ill-timed or whatever, but i put myself in the hurt locker to try and advance.

i actually recovered pretty quick (for me anyway) and went on my way again repassing everyone but deb and jamie. a bunch of us were held up in the uphill rocky singletrack (is that ho chi minh?) by some little kids. i didn't mind at all. it was cool they were there. for some reason i had an i heart wors moment. i cheered them on as i slammed my crotch into my top tube. we were finally able to get around and i shortly caught deb in the singletrack. i so wished i could've gotten by. i didn't get to ride the best singletrack both laps the way i could've. yes, yes, i know, then get there first. we all have our strengths and weaknesses. as irritating as it can be i still would rather have the skills to bomb the singletrack than be able to hammer the opens. which sucks sometimes in a race but is really cool on rides.
i was able to get by her on the next open section. i had no idea what place i was in, but definitely hoping for a top 5. it was my goal before the pre-ride, even though i told myself after the pre-ride it was top 10. riding the open section it seemed to go on forever and ever. where the heck was the singletrack? i was imagining all these girls on the back of my wheel soon if it didn't get here quick. i felt myself fading a bit. finally the singletrack came. i could here angie and one or two other girls on my wheel. crap. go. go. GO. my legs were tired. my legs weren't quite noodles but they were close. the short ups in the singletrack hurt. i was thinking about the next open section which wasn't long but still, and the next section of singletrack before the finish. so cliche, but i was thinking to myself pain is temporary, pain is temporary... you're almost done. hearing the sound of chains bounce as it felt like they were getting closer. i pedaled like crazy to the next section of singletrack, almost not able to pedal through that section barely able to get a move on. i saw jamie just ahead with a bunch of guys exiting out of the trail and onto the finish stretch (i'm guessing she was stuck behind them as once they exited she took off like a bat out of hell). i tried to close the gap, with a sudden burst of energy, probably an adrenaline rush of seeing jamie and knowing it was done, at least as i didn't think i could pick her off...
my legs were done. i was glad to be finished. i thought i was maybe top 5, turned out i was 3rd overall and 1st age. stoked. i think it was my best wors result ever.
john on the other hand had a rough day. he's still recovering from his sickness and is drugged up on antibiotics and prednisone. hopefully all that crap will be out of his system by mt. morris so he'll have some fun out there. he said it wasn't very enjoyable feeling like shit out there. props to him for finishing.

mitch had a bad day with two race ending mechanicals but everyone had a great day.
a few thoughts, thanks to jeff for getting us a killer deal on our hotel room. thanks to brent for understanding my obsession with his stuff and bringing some goodies with him for my fix. bummer his daughter was sick and he couldn't stay race day. it was nice meeting ryan's wife and his son ryder. i'm so glad sara is in and was able to make it up with us. i will miss her when she goes back. and thanks to everyone, especially destiny for helping out with our kids. we wouldn't be able to race with out that help. or at least it wouldn't be near as enjoyable.

*all pics stolen from the goat.