Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Win Susan

Touching and beautiful is the only way I know to describe Elden's words. Just by reading his blog, I feel as though he and his wife are a part of my life. Please keep Fatty and Susan in your prayers. When you aren't praying, please acquaint yourself with an incredibly strong man and gifted writer: http://www.fatcyclist.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Injustice of Words

The hardest times for me to write come when I attempt to relay an experience for which I have little prior experience. As an educator, I understand that we link what we learn to what we've previously explored so that our knowledge begins to create a web of experience to define who we become as individuals. Once we are adults, we live our lives under the false pretense that we are knowledgeable and experienced. We forget that there are opportunities for growth in every experience and every event. We also forget the excitement of new experiences and the importance of absorbing the opportunities around us.

I visited "the gaps" today in search of confirmation of my strength as a cyclist. As silly as it sounds, I've always feared the gaps but felt like I would finally prove myself as a cyclist when I could ride them without finding myself in a heap of tears, pushing my bike up the likes of Neels or Hogpen. It's always seemed like a rite of passage - an experience that might seem excruciatingly difficult but would somehow make me "wiser" or "stronger." By my own definition, I proved myself as a cyclist today. I found the strength to ride the gaps and learned that the strength I was looking for was not in my legs buy in my personal desire to improve and succeed.

When I sat down to write this, I wanted to paint beautiful pictures with words so that anyone stumbling across my entry might "see" the beautiful trees that line the mountains or understand the way the millipedes scurry across the pavement. It almost seems as if there aren't words to justify the sensation that accompanies my memory of the beautiful scenery I experienced as I climbed Neels. I don't know how to describe the sensation of flying that I felt on the descent from the top of Woody's gap to the rock pile at the bottom of the mountain. I saw sunflowers and smelled gardenia flowers; I found myself soothed by the sound of cascading water that trickled around me as I pedaled my way to the top of each climb. The images swirl in my mind but the words to describe the feeling of exhilaration I experienced just doesn't exist. I am a richer person, regardless of my ability as a cyclist, because of today's experience.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The "Weehoo" and other cool things!

Nope, the "weehoo" is not what naked, wiggling men say when naked before their shower - it's a super cool new "mommy-must." This seems like the perfect tool for teaching my "super scared" daughter to ride a bike!!! She fits the weight/height parameters and could learn to pedal without being afraid of falling over! Dear old Dad could pull the Burley with my little dude inside. Before long, I suspect "little dude" will be racing me down the driveway! Just in case he isn't, he could use this once his sister is through with it.

Cool bike item #2 is my next cycling helmet - the one I have will make it until spring, right? Check out the press release for the specs - it's crazy light!!!

Last but not least...The Oryx TT bike - Oh. My. Goodness.

Measuring Up

I've had a good week on the bike and when I do, it never fails that I begin to get the "race itch". I have a hard time judging my capabilities because I've spent my entire season riding with men who are ironman triathletes, cat 2 racers, elite classification mountain bikers, and a woman who just kicks ass at all of it. If I am to judge myself by where I fall in with them, I fall short. However, when I remind myself of my classification - I realize I won't be racing against Mike, Max, Joey or Brenda but I WILL be racing against a bunch of people with abilities beyond my awareness. I am always so afraid of the unknown; riding with new riders is like riding a new course - until you know what lies ahead, behind and all around - it all seems difficult and scary.

I talked it over with my "coach" last night who told me to "try on the race like a new pair of shoes". I'm not sure if that means I should only attempt to do this with my right foot (if the shoe fits my right foot then its a "go" - my right foot is larger than the left), or if I should expect someone to bring the race to me while I sit in a comfy chair and dictate exactly which race I'd like to try. Either way, comparing it to shoes makes it seem very do-able so it was a good comparison even if I am still in the dark about the general meaning of his fluffy metaphor.

I really prefer a single category race for my first real race and this one is a 3/4 mix but that just means it'll be a greater character building experience (thanks Max!) because I'm more likely to be last across the line. So do I register? I have one week to make up my mind.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A letter from the editor...writer...biographer...

To my dearest readers (all two of you),
I haven't given up on blogging - I'm just out riding my bicycle. Check back daily - I think Big Ring Betty sparked an itch in me... You never know when a new post might appear.

I updated my mileage log although my Garmin was on the fritz for a few days so I suspect I missed a few in there. Several entries are missing "info" but that's what happens when you keep track numerically but you don't have the memory capacity to hang on to the details - the Garmin did the numerical work. I'll try to do better keeping up with this - it helps me see when I'm working hard/not working. The low average speeds you are seeing are probably days that I ride in the Buckhead area. I now lead the Peachtree Bikes Sunday morning ride in the Garden Hills area of Buckhead and the hills are really making me strong. On paper, the rides seem slow. These rides aren't about speed and 15 mph in those hills is not exactly slow! I have to match the pace to my riders. Typically it's the same riders but we get a newbie from time to time and it slows us down a little since the route is not marked and we all have to stay together.

Not much else to report - I've been working at Peachtree Bikes this summer and it's been a great learning experience. I'm the only chick so I get a lot of harassment - lucky for me, I'm pretty good at giving it back! :) I'm learning a lot about bikes - especially my own and it's been fun to sell bikes - particularly to women who would otherwise be sold whatever was on-hand just b/c it was a close enough fit. I've worked hard at disseminating knowledge and it appears that it pays off - I've had a few "noticeable" sales! :) I think consumers appreciate it when you take the time to educate them about what they are buying. Oh, and btw - PTB wouldn't sell a bike to a woman just b/c it fits - but I believe that many shops do. PTB is very woman-friendly and they are one of the wonderful Sorella Sponsors!!

Last but not least - I'll leave you with this: To race or not to race - that is the current pressing question. I gotta make up my mind quickly...