Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Hour of Power

How do you make riding at AMS more fun than ever? Ride when A group is there!

Tonight I rode w/ my semi-usual crew (Joey, Bentley, Kristen, and David) but "A group" was hosting the "hour of power". It was presented an an opportunity for aspiring A groupers and/or others who just wanted a hard workout to "jump on" and ride as many laps as possible. I figured this was as good a chance as any to see if I could "hang".

Unfortunately, on the way there - I became discouraged. The combination of taunting and self-doubt left me feeling anxious and down - I made up my mind that I would not attempt to ride with A group. I couldn't set myself up for the feeling of failure and humiliation I knew I'd feel if I wasn't able to hang on. I set out to ride with a fairly depressed state of mind but decided I'd focus on miles and having fun with my friends.

They really are an amazing site to see - the seven of them made 20-something-miles-per-hour look EASY. The magnificent seven - that's what they are to me. I rode mostly with Kristen - just having a good time.

But then we saw them coming up behind us...I was warmed up and I knew I had to try. I increased my speed and yelled back to Kristen that I was having second thoughts - hoping she'd give me an out....but before I could finish my sentence - the reassuring words of Mike came along beside me: "come on, here you go..." I looked over to see that Kristen had jumped in behind Mike and I fell in at the back behind her; we had just reached where the GRTA bus was unloading.

The first corner gave me the most amazing feeling of exhilaration and excitement! I screamed and giggled on the back - I had never taken a curve so fast and I was glad the others couldn't hear my giddiness through the wind. For a split second I worried that I migh fall but by the next I was out of the turn and standing to climb along with the pack. It felt amazing! Kristen jumped off to grab her light and I pushed hard and closed the gap...I had predicted that I'd make it no further than half a lap.

We flew past the stop sign and I could feel my "gummy" smile as I realized I was climbing the hills along with the group - it hurt and felt good all at the same time! I saw Mike glance behind him and wondered if he was shocked when he noticed I was still there. It felt good to know I had already made it to the "half way" mark.

As we topped the hill and started back down David was waiting to jump on. I made a space and told him to "jump in". We went down the hill and around the curve and as we moved along the flattest part of the route I started to understand why "the flats" could be challenging - no time for a breath, no break, just continuous work. I started to fall back and yelled to David to hang on that I was letting go but he followed my remark with "this is the easy part - don't let go - you can do it!!" and I didn't let go!

When we crossed the place where I first hopped on I could feel my legs beginning to burn and quiver but I was so excited to realize that I had managed to hang on for a whole lap!!! I stayed with the group through that exhilarating turn and let go once we reached the parking lot. Max had finished his pull and I made a gap for him but lost too much speed doing so - I was proud of myself and I had nothing to prove. I happily watched the group pull ahead as I let myself slow down. I'm sure I was glowing as pedaled along by myself.

There's a lot of negative influence in my life right now and I'm trying hard to let it go and not push it off on the others around me when I find myself feeling upset. In typical "Cristy fashion," on the drive home I felt a little disappointed in myself that I didn't try to jump on again later in the ride or that I didn't put forth the effort to hang on just a little longer. But I refuse to let the negativity take over - I'm proud of my accomplishment and I look forward to the next time I have the chance to push myself and see how strong I've become.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A little more info - so you can choose from more than color...

The 2009 Trek Madone 5.5:

**Comes in my size (47cm - has a 49.4 ETT length)
**SRAM Force
**Bontrager Speed Limit breaks
**Wheels: Bontrager Race Lite
**Shown w/ stock color but is customizable for an additional charge. Other models come in different stock colors but have different components. The next step up comes w/ Dura Ace and is red and white. Components are also customizable for an additional charge and additional "build" time.
**no indications as to whether the frameset only is available
$4619.99 MSRP as built w/ SRAM Force

In my mind - this is actually the forerunner...TSD would die...

The 2009 Ruby Pro:

**Comes in my size (48cm - 50.6 cm ETT length)
**SRAM Red w/ SRAM Force front derailleur
**SRAM Force breaks
**Wheels: Roval Roubaix SL
**This is the only color option.
**Frameset only option is available in the expert line - color is gloss white/red, MSRP on frameset only is $1900.00
$5,000.00 MSRP as built w/ SRAM Red

The 2009 Orbea Diva (in a different color - for Vinny):

**Comes in my size (46cm - 50.2 ETT length) but I'd have to drop to 650c...Or I could go to a 48cm which would give me a 51 ETT length.
**Numerous component options from SRAM Rival to Campy Super Record
**Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium SL on Dura Ace model, Zipp 202 on SRAM Red, Reynolds Solitude on SRAM Rival
**Color options include black/white, pink/black (shown above), pistaschio/black (which looks pretty lime-ish to me), blue/black.
**Frameset only available for $2499.00
$4204.00 MSRP for Ultegra SL, $5999.00 MSRP for Dura Ace, $7069.00 MSRP for SRAM Red

Here's the skinny on size and components: I currently ride a 51 cm WSD (51.5 ETT length). After my recent 3D fit, TSD and I are both pretty confident that this is too big for me. I'm looking for something w/ a 50ish ETT length so I am paying close attention to geometry as I look at bikes. I really believe these three are my top picks - I looked closely at a Tarmac but the 49cm (smallest size) is actually slightly larger than what I currently ride. ETT length can be compensated for in small increments with things like the length of your stem - my Jamis currently has a 60mm stem (yes, they come that small...). So I'm at the longest top tube I can have and am compensating w/ the shortest stem I can find. This works but with no room for adjustment. Regarding components - I REALLY think I want SRAM Red but I need a longer test ride on Dura Ace and SRAM Force and Red to be certain. Campy has it's followers but it's REALLY expensive and I don't know enough to have a clear opinion. I do know that finding a LBS to work on Campy can sometimes be difficult just b/c some of the tool requirements are different and there tends to be a lack of Campy expertise among most typical LBS. These bikes are pretty close to being what I want and, for the most part, fall in the same basic price range. I'd love to stay under $5,000.00 if possible when I make my next purchase but I'm not willing to sacrifice my happiness with the product just to save a couple of hundred dollars. I'm awfully tempted to go the frameset route and try to build my own over time. Right now..whole bike - I'd be going w/ Trek unless I could get a fantastic Specialized deal. Frameset only - Orbea or Specialized. For overall looks - Orbea and Trek get the award.

BTW - I inadvertedly deleted about 4 comments from my blog...sorry 'bout that.

If you hope to rekindle the passion with your husband...

Don't let him "customize" your bike. Apparently, Clint thought it'd warm my heart if he made a very special bike for me using Trek's "bike design" feature... Needless to say that if I ever buy a bike that needs a "special paint job," I'll handle it myself. This isn't exactly strong support for getting your design degree at Ga Tech...

Monday, January 19, 2009

On Looks Alone...

Which would you choose?

2009 Specialized Ruby Pro

2009 Orbea Diva (this one comes in several other colors: lime green, blue, hot pink)

2009 Trek Madone 5.5

Tomorrow we'll talk components, price and geometry.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It's Not What You Think.

The day comes when you awake to a refreshed state of mind, one where the past no longer haunts you and the future seems within reach. You forget where you've been and you look forward to new adventures. No longer do you morn the loss of the old or wish for what you simply can't have. There are no regrets, no plans, no apprehension, no frustration. You simply let go and realize there's nothing to fear - you can find a way to do this.

The intoxicated state has worn off and the feeling of excitement is gone. It's time to let go and move on to bigger and better things.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Elephant in the room

He sits in the corner and watches me. It's almost as if he smiles at me from time to time...but I know he only exists in our heads.

We move in circles around him and act as if he doesn't exist. We look through him and around him and in any direction that makes it appear as though we are unaware of his presence.

According to theory, ignoring the obvious will actually cause it to extinguish.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What's Up: A few quickies...

1) Less Rides + More Work + bad weather = grumpiness and unhappiness. This sums up my current mental state.

2) It occurred to me recently that my birthday isn't really that far away... In honor, I created this:

3) I got a Garmin 305 and, so far, it has been the greatest and worst thing that's happened to me in a long time. Makes me want to ride...but also makes me analyze my performance. The end result? Cristy needs to ride more, work harder and get better.

4) On the home front: I got good news today. If you're in the loop then you know...if you don't know and want to - ask. Also - #1 seems to love her new school and things are going well!

5) I am bike crazy and want a new bike so bad that I have dreams about carbon fiber. I don't know whether to just fork it over and get over the cost or wait a year, train harder on the bike I have, and then get one. Of course, being the type of person who likes instant gratification, I, of course, want it now. The reasonable side of me (stop laughing) says to wait. The whole problem with me being barely over 5 foot tall complicates this whole situation quite a bit as well.

6) As of this morning, I have lost 17 pounds since November 22nd. This was much needed weight loss and it has helped my self-esteem considerably. Unfortunately, I still have lots of work to do and I'm a little sad because some of the damage of child bearing just can't be fixed in the gym.

7) Speaking of children, my beautiful son will be 2 on Monday. I can't believe it was that long ago (already!) that I gave birth to ginormous (I love this word but darn if I know how to spell it...) baby #2. You'd have thought I'd have called it quits after #1!! In case you are wondering, there will NEVER be a #3. And I'm very comfortable using the word "never".

More later...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ladies night out - and Ken and Fred

Last night the ladies of Southern Crescent Cycling met for dinner and drinks at La Parrilla Mexican restaurant. As with any "ladies event", the night isn't complete without a few of our favorite fellas so Ken and Fred joined in! Below are a few shots from the evening:

Belinda (Fionna's daughter) and Melanie (Ken's daughter): The youngest additions to our group!

Belinda stole my heart and we had a great time going through my purse, playing with balloons, eating teddy grahams and playing patty cake!

Ken and his beautiful wife Zuzana get close for a photo!

Awwwww....Fred and Ann huddle up for a great picture!

A group shot: (From left to right) Molly, Me, Marina, Heather (up a little), Belinda, Fionna and Ann

There was considerable discussion about what to name our ladies group since we've agreed to let "diva" die....

My Best Friend in the whole wide world, Heather. aka Vinny or 4get2remember...

Awesome guy #1 (Ken) who I was lucky enough to sit across from

Marina - who BETTER be back riding with us this summer...

Molly (who will undoubtedly be ticked that I managed to get a photo of her)

Ann - my faithful riding companion (except for today...LOL) and other "best friend".

Fionna - future winner of Ironman Kona!!

Last but not least, awesome guy #2: Fred - who looks after us all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Orbea makes awesome bikes. The Orbea Diva is sitting pretty close to the top of my favorite bikes list - but guess what's hotter than this incredibly hot bike? Finding out that it comes in my favorite color...