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7.08.2007

Bring back the drought?

45 days of rain. Sheesh. At first it was great b/c we've had a drought here in Texas for about 2 years now, but it's ruining my training. And my bike. And a new pair of shorts, come to think of it, due to a slick-road-induced crash. I finally got a day of sun yesterday, so I went out of a ride, but when I stepped out today for what I hoped would finally be two days of riding back-to-back...it was raining. Now, really it was just sprinkling, but I finally have my bike running smoothly again and I don't want to risk the rain getting worse and messing up my bike right before I have to ship it up to Iowa for RAGBRAI. So, please, please, rain rain go away. Come again another day.

Later...

Childhood rhymes must actually work, b/c I got to ride 28 miles right before dark.

6.17.2007

The Italy Ride as reported by Sandra

(GingerClip, Penutty, and Sandra)


I am so glad GingerClip and Penutty decided to perservere this weekend.

The drive down to Italy (Texas) almost derailed my intent-to-ride. 6:05 am: The rain poured so hard I barely saw two feet ahead. I called Nicki and Michelle, letting them know I was on my way. Shockingly, Nicki says "we never even loaded the car..." I thought, well, I am on my own, I may as well drive down and pick up my packet (because I wanted the T-shirt!)

Approx. 7:30 am: As I was walking toward the Exit door, with all intent to drive home right then, GingerClip and her sister walk in! I say, "I am not riding today, but I'll wait with you while you pick up your packets."

7:45 am: GingerClip, Penutty and I decide to wait it out a bit since we are energized now because we got cool shirts this year, small brownie cliffbars, fresh plums and I was able to snag TWO water bottles.

7:55 am: While sitting in GingerClip's car the rain stops... YAY

8:15 am: The ride begins.

9:45 am: The rain starts again, pouring down --- again, my thoughts are "i'll SAG out now" I am soaked, my socks, my clothes, my sunglasses --- I can't see!

10 ish am: We are at the second reststop and GingerClip and her sister and I discuss going the shorter route now because we are soaked and chilly.

10:30 am: rain stops! YAY

Through the end of the ride, the weather was PERFECT for riding so we decided to ride out our original plan and we finished the 50 mile route (I clocked 52 miles).

God Bless Ya'll,
Sandra

4.28.2007

Metric: Impossible II


My second attempt to complete a metric, and my last chance to ride a metric prior to the MS150. I was starting to get a little nervous that I wasn't going to be able to finish the 75 per day of the MS150. And then Dawn's trainer told her (so she told me) that we really shouldn't ride 62 miles the weekend before the MS150; instead we should do a nice medium distance ride. So we did the 40. It was fabulous! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and I was asmilin'! Before we headed out I was a little concerned about all the hills I had heard about. But let me tell you, they were great! I mean some of them were a real pain to get up, but the downhills made it all worth while. It was 40 miles of exhilerating ups and downs. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS RIDE NEXT YEAR. Plus, you get 2 free beers at German Fest when the ride is over. Whoo hoo!!!


4.14.2007

Lancaster: Land of the SAG

The Greater Dallas Bicyclists hold an annual rally in Lancaster, TX where they give out socks instead of T-shirts. Socks!! How fabulous. Clearly I needed to attend this ride. Ok, now I have my socks. I will never do this ride again. I read the reviews on Bicycle Stuff from last year that talked about the wind and cold. I thought, eh, some years are like that. It goes through the Bluebonnet Trail, for goodness sake, it's gonna KICK ASS! And it did, but sadly, the ass that was kicked was my own.

I was supposed to do my first metric on this ride, and I was a little nervous because I was riding solo, having been abandoned not only by Marco Polo (yep Marc - if you fail to come up with a nickname, one is assigned to you. Thanks, Penutty!), but also by all The Lesbians. Harumph. But I kept myself psyched up. After all, I have done 52 by myself and that was fine. And I started feeling even better about it when I got to the starting line and they had people grouped not only by distance, but also by speed. (FYI - I was in the casual 62 miler group. casual = 16 mph or less. Where is the lazy 62 miler group. B/c lazy = 14 mph or less. hehe) But seriously, I thought this was perfect because surely there would be people to ride with in the group. uh oh...there are only about 15 people in this group. Where are all the people??? Crap! I wonder if I have enough clothing on...it's cold. Maybe I have too much on...maybe it will warm up. Oh, we're starting. Go casual 62 2milers! We ROCK!
Mind you, it's freezing. It's about 40 degrees, which is practically arctic winter in Texas. My clothes are not made for anything below 50 degrees with no wind and lots of sunshine. Please see the sunny day here:


Doesn't that look like a wonderful day for a bike ride?? You know you wish you were there. If I felt like making the picture superbig, you could see the really excited look on my face ad then you would wish you had been there even more! But I digress.
Despite the cold, the ride really wasn't that bad to start with. I was cruising along at a really good speed. This should have been a warning sign to me...wind at your back. But nope, I was too busy congratulating myself that despite the cold, despite my aloneness, I was going to ROCK and KICK ASS all over this metric. uh huh. Yep. I'm stupid.
We went through the Bluebonnet Trail, which was just amazing with bluebonnets all over the freaking place. I mean it was a kodak moment after a kodak moment everywhere you looked. Except, I don't have any pics. LOL. I was too busy being impressed with myself. (That's a Potter trait, by the way. So I come by it honestly, at least. Even Baad Kitty has absorbed it after being a Potter for so long.)
At mile 20 I stop for the rest stop and my herd of people were all kinda chatting and bitching about the cold and then I was trying to decide if I wanted to do the 40 instead of the 62, b/c it was getting colder and colder rather than warming up. And NO ONE in my herd was doing the 62. Somewhere I lost the other tiny number of people in my starting group. They all either were too slow or too fast or they decided to do teh 40 (mostly that one). I didn't want to get out there completely alone I was thinking. And then someone pointed out that we had been riding with the wind at our back and it was straight into the wind from this point on. Good grief. Decision made. 40 it was! Or so I thought...
The wind kicked up and the tempertature dropped. The wind was so bad that I was struggling to go 6 mph on the flats, in my absolute lowest gear. People were getting picked up by SAG right and left. Most of the SAG vehicles were completely full. I briefly considered stopping one, but really, I was only 8 miles from teh finish at this point. What's 8 miles? That's nothing. But then I started doing the math. If I am only going 6 mph and I am suffering every second of it, that means I've got almost another hour and a half of misery. Then I saw one stop to pick up a rider about 100 yards ahead of me. I kicked my speed up as hard as I could (7.5 mph, thank you very much) and chased down that SAG. Pride gone. It froze 10 miles back. Embarassment gone. It got blown away. They loaded 4 of us and our bikes into the back of a small pickup truck and hauled us in. It was so bad that people were asking for SAG with less than 5 miles to go. I have never seen that before. The SAG told us that the winds were 30 mph steady, with gusts up to 38. Yikes!

So that's how my first metric turned into my first SAG. Well, at least it was a first. That's something, right?
Oh yeah - while I might not have kicked ass or rocked, the socks from GDB sure do!

3.24.2007

Soggy Trails to You...

I was down in Houston again, to ride in back-to-back rallies with Marc. However we decided to forgo the Saturday rally and just go for spin on the trail that he usually rides on. It was a good decision b/c we soon realized that the 7 am start time for the rally was 1/2 hour before sunrise. hmmm....interesting choice by the ride coordinator.



Anyway, we headed off to the George Bush Trail. About 4 miles down the trail we came to a portion where the trail was completed covered with dead branches and other rotten wood that had been washed up during a flood. It made this fabulous popping sound as you rode over it.



Then the trail started getting narrower and narrower as it was encroached on by the flood water. Being the brave (or foolish, take your pick) souls that we are, we pressed on. It wasn't too bad. We could see the dry spot up ahead as well as other riders that had ridden through the water. We got through without even getting my feet wet.


And then we reached another underwater section. This time my shoes got water in them from the splash of the tires. No big deal, right? So we pressed on. It became a mission, an adventure. By the time we got to the third underwater section, the water came up past my knees. That's past my knees while riding, not while standing. I think there were places where the water came up to the bottom of my seat. We were soaked through and through. It was hilarious.

After we got through all the water we had a great ride. Plus I got the pleasure of watching all of Marc's Chamois Butt'R oop out through the back of his wet short. Uh huh. That's right. Sexy. Oh and on the way back we saw huge leeches swimming in the water that we were getting ready to ride back through. Scary. About 10 miles later Marc had a irritation in his shorts and we had to do a quick leech check. Eeeeewwww. Luckily no leeches were discovered.

There was a price to pay for our water adventure, though. My bike had a ton of water drain out of it, both bikes has to have bathes and lube jobs, and as I type this, Marc is taking his tires off b/c both wheels have water in them. Oh - did I mention that this was all done on our road bikes. And Marc's is only a week old.

2.09.2007

Team Potter Weight Loss Challenge Week 5

Super Bowl did me in, I guess.


Penutty_________ 1.6 pound lost
GingerClip_______ 0 pounds lost


I think it's time for monthly updates rather than weekly.

2.02.2007

Team Potter Weight Loss Challenge Week 4

One month down!!! Six more to go. Here are the current stats:

GingerClip_______ 3.0 pounds lost
Penutty_________ 1.0 pound lost


In response to a question, these totals are for each week individually. It is not a running total. For January, I lost 13.5 pounds and Penutty lost 10 pounds. Go us!

I am happy to report that I won the January mini challenge! I didn't cheat on my diet at all. I think that has got to be a lifetime record for me. I'm a little scared of the February mini challenge: most time on the trainer. I have suspicion that Penutty is going to kick my butt. I am going to try to give her a run for her money.

1.26.2007

Team Potter Weight Loss Challenge Week 3

Three weeks down, and we're still going strong. I had a rough week with lots of traveling and getting majorly sick, so no exercising (unless blowing your nose counts). Losses for the week:


Penutty_________ 3.0 pounds lost
GingerClip_______ 1.0 pound lost

1.20.2007

Team Potter Weight Loss Challenge Week 2

There were some tough battles this week: birthday lunches to attend and traveling for work. We're both still on track! Losses for the week:


GingerClip_______ 5.0 pounds lost
Penutty_________ 1.0 pound lost

1.16.2007

An Ode to My Cycleops










You sit silently in the corner dark,
a chastisement of Time’s march on,
that the calendar does one less day mark,
‘til the RAGBRAI journey comes to town.
You trap tight my metal steed,
and repress her firey glory,
no matter how she meets the deed,
a stalemate is her story.
Are you friend or are you foe?
The answer is one I seek to know.

To appease your rage, I daily try,
as steed and I together struggle,
Watching the old Tour go by,
which presents its own trouble.
The historic visions climb and race
much faster than we and yet still
I stationary give good chase,
to the point of a house-bound spill.
Turning visionary corners while in one place
ensures the floor meets my face.










The mighty lions seek to tame you,
and rescue me from your grip
but cannot determine where to maim you,
and run in fear from my salty drip.
Even though we fight and bicker
me with a #@%& and you with a whir,
I know that you will make me quicker,
until RAGBRAI when I am just a blur.
Though I’ll hate you thru Winter’s end
I’ll evermore call you friend.

1.12.2007

Team Potter Weight Loss Challenge Week 1

It's actually been 10 days since we started, but Penutty and I decided to make Friday mornings the official weigh in day. So our Week 1 / 10 day loss is....drumroll please...

Penutty_________5.0 pounds lost
GingerClip_______4.5 pounds lost


Penutty is following the Weight Watchers points system and I am counting calories. We are both working out regularly. As for me, 1/2 hour of Carribean Workout or In Shape With Sharon Mann from the Tivo, push-ups, and my AbSlide (oh yeah! Informercial purchase from 1998) every morning. Plus I am trying to ride my trainer in the evenings. Can I say how much I hate getting up while it is still dark to go do aerobics in the living room. Blech! But then I also hate getting on the trainer at night. Penutty has been better about getting on the trainer, I think. But then, I think I have been more consistent in overall workouts. I'd have to doublecheck with her to be sure about that though.

I think we both deserve kudos b/c so far neither one of us has cheated on our diets. Not once! Go us!!

1.06.2007

Grocery Shopping Observations



My mom gave me a set of "grocery bag" panniers for Christmas and today I used them for the very first time. I loaded them with my wallet, my canvas grocery bags, and my bike lock and then headed on down the road.

The first thing I noticed is that the extra width meant I had to be extra-careful when swinging my leg over to get on the bike.

The second thing I noticed is that my heels tapped the panniers with every rotation unless I pointed my toes in an uncomfortable way.

The third thing I noticed was that my seat was waaaaaay to low. Again.

The fourth thing I noticed is that the bike rack positioning made it almost impossible to release the quick-release on my seat post.

The fifth thing I noticed that my seat was now too high, making the aforementioned pointy toe pedals the ONLY option.

The sixth thing I noticed was that 3 months of only riding my bike every once in a while had made me totally out of shape.

The seventh thing I noticed is that crossing the busy street to get to the store wasn’t too bad.

The eighth thing I noticed is that the only place to lock up the bike was on a handicap parking sign. That can’t be good.

The ninth thing I noticed is that two pannier and two canvas grocery bags fill an entire small push cart.

The tenth thing I noticed is that you shouldn’t select bread first when placing items in panniers.

The eleventh thing I noticed is that there isn’t room for the bulk purchase of fruit.

The twelfth thing I noticed is that there is no room to buy unplanned items just because they are on sale.

The thirteenth thing I noticed is that there is only room for one roll of paper-towels and that isn’t even going to fit in the panniers, but is going to have to be strapped to the rack.

The fourteenth thing I noticed is THANK GOD I DIDN’T NEED ANY SODA.

The fifteenth thing I noticed is that people should only be checkers at a grocery store if they can actually identify the fruits and vegetables without having to ask what each and everyone is.

The sixteenth thing I noticed is that the canvas bags are not appropriate for the panniers because they are too soft sided and that I would have to re-bad everything in two paper bags.

The seventeenth thing I noticed is that I am VERY good at space management (I could pack an elephant into a snuff box!).

The eighteenth thing I noticed is that I wasn’t the only person on a bike at the Tom Thumb.

The nineteenth thing I noticed is that you have to put the paper towels and canvas bags and bike lock on the rack BEFORE you put the panniers back on. Duh.

The twentieth thing I noticed is that the kickstand will not support the Giant after it has been loaded down with groceries.

The twenty-first thing I noticed is how cute and urban it looks to have lettuce and bread sticking out of my grocery bags. Just like a movie. sigh.

The twenty-second thing I noticed is that the bike weighs a ton after buying groceries and likes to fall over. A lot.

The twenty-third thing I noticed is that the panniers don’t get any skinnier after groceries have been added and I still have to be extra-careful when swinging my leg over.

The twenty-fourth thing I noticed is that all the bumps on the road made me glad I hadn’t bought any eggs and surprised that I still had my bread.

The twenty-fifth thing I noticed is that it is very satisfying to ride my bike to the grocery store rather than taking a car.

Shop on!