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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Landahl Canceled-Heartland Series WON!!!

Last night, we got the news: The last race of the Heartland Series is canceled...:(
They had so much rain this week down in Kansas that the trails down there are not ridable.
And they decided not to reschedule.

The good news is, that I was after the first three races the clear winner of my category, so I can happily say, that I have the first race series win under my belt:)) Mission accomplished!

So we are in Omaha and Martin and I went for a nice road ride today. Went up on the Keystone to Democracy Park and turned around. After a nice lunch at Old Chicago, we pedaled home...

Oh, and I got my first road crash in... In order to cross Cass Street, you have to get off the bike trail and I didn't pay close enough attention and didn't make my turn tight enough and got off the trail in the dirt, tried to get back on the trail, threaded the tire and went bum!

So, do I see you tomorrow at Swanson Park? I might get a bit of racing in. Don't know yet what class. I will decide that tomorrow, depending on, how I feel...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

P.S.: I am loosing it!!!!

Yes, I am :)

Weight that is. I have lost 18 lbs by now. YEAH!!!!

Double Ride Day

Had an early physical therapy appointment this morning. Massage for my neck and shoulder. Supposed to be riding related, but after working on the Platte trail for over three hours on Wednesday night, I needed it for that. And it felt sooooo good:)

After that, I "saddled" my road bike and did my today's exercise: Muscle Tension Efforts. Go with a low cadence against a hight resistance: gear, hill, head-wind, etc. ...
I tried to do it right here in my neighborhood, but the hills weren't long enough, so I jumped on the Keystone and faced the wind and started grinding....
I did that for about an hour. Just about the prescribed time...

But I wanted to get some MTB time in to dial in the Intense for Sunday's race. So tonight, I joint the weekly TNR (Thursday Night Ride) and rode two laps at Swanson Park.

The shifting is still a bit edgy, but it is getting better and I can tell, I rode today.
My legs hurt....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trail Day at Platte River State Park

Dog-tired after 3hrs of trailwork @ Platte

Dale, Martin and I spent a little bit over 3 hrs to whack and lopp ourselves through 001. It is so thick in there.
We will need another trail day to get the rest of the trail done. Those weeds are THICK!
Mr. Whiskers was also pooped:)

It is nice though to give back to the trail:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Job-Hunting- Job-Creating

Still no word from the place where I applied for a job. It's hard to wait and I know I should keep looking.
Been trying to figure out the kind of job, that I would REALLY like to do and it always comes down to TWO areas: animals or plants.
As for the animals, I had the idea ti become a pet-sitter. Don't have the animals at my house, but rather go to their houses and walk, feat or do whatever needs to be done.

The other idea is newer and our lawn service guy pointed me toward it. Garden Design.
You don't need a formal education and he would help me get started. I could design and plant and maybe even maintain, e.g. on a monthly basis. Work with him, when it comes to the lawn and irrigation stuff.

Both ideas are tempting and I am thinking about them. I wish, I could partner up with someone, but I know, I can do it myself.
It would help so to get some advise. For the pet sitting, I am in touch with a company that sells franchises. That be cool, but I don't really have the money to buy into that right now...

What would you do, if you had the chance to start your own business? What would be your dream job? Besides professional biker.... :D

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hot Summer Nights....

And we spend them working on the trails:)

A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you that came out tonight to help with Swanson.
We had almost 20 people out there and I think we blasted the whole place:)
The next ride will show if we hit it all, but some folks, like LT Dickey, blasted not only a single or double track in there. Men, I am sure if they had to shut down Offutt AFB, they could land now in Swanson...
Anyway, the trail should be in good condition for the coming weekend and hopefully, the heat and dryness will keep the growth of the weeds down from now on.

It was great to see, that we not only spread the word, but also spread the dirt tonight.

Made Martin happy. Thanks:)


Swanson Park Trail Day. After riding for 1:33min in 9something degrees...

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Got up EARLY this morning to drive down to the Platte River State Park for the weekly Bacon-Ride on Sunday mornings.
You probably wonder, what bacon has to do with MTB, and you are right to wonder about this.
Well, Platte is one of our best places to MTB. It is pretty much in the middle between Omaha and Lincoln, so it's easy to reach from "both sides". AND it has a Sunday breakfast buffet: ALL YOU CAN EAT, with the infamous bacon!
The other reason, we go out there so early is, that in the summer, they have horseback riding there and MTB aren't allowed on the trails between 9 am and 4 pm.

After feeling kind of yucky all week and not doing Ponca on Saturday, was it the first MTB ride this week for me.

Exciting, because I had a new pair of gloves to try out:
a pair of Ergon HM1-W

It's an all mountain glove and as the "W" says, in my case women's specific.
The German is me is even more happy about the name of the glove, because I know, that the "H" stands for Handschuh = glove:)
Europeans label their clothes different than we do. There, a large is a large and they don't make you into a medium, just to make you feel better...
So, in my case, I got the women's large and when I first saw them, I thought, Oh my, they look tiny. BUT they a glove (duh!) They fit perfectly.

So today, was the day for the first test ride:
And I have to say that I really like them. They breathe very well. All the material in between the fingers is a fine mesh.
Like I said before, the fit is perfect and they compliment the grips. Well, I guess, they were made with the Ergon grips in mind and it was obvious after an 1:30 hrs of riding, that they function optimal with the grips: I had NO pain in my hands, not even a discomfort.

Oh, and the grips had won me over before, but after riding my last race with normal grips (and my hands falling asleep), I appreciated the "cushy" feeling today even more.
And I know, what I am talking about. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands and a pain-free ride is a WONDERFUL ride.


Friday, June 22, 2007

The Brown Dynasty

I went down to Lincoln yesterday to see Sydney. She invited me to come out to meet her father out on the ranch. Her parents live about 15 min south of Lincoln. I had met Nancy, Syd's Mom before on rides and she is a very sweet lady.
I was a bit curious about Syd's Dad, since she had told me a few things about him and her upbringing. Her father used to be a professional rodeo rider and she grew up with competition, speed and the importance of winning.
He is a very smart guy and he definitely knows, what he is doing, but I can tell, that Syd went through a tough school and that explains a lot about her drive, her work ethic and her will power to giver it all to win...
I was very impressed and it gave me a lot to think about last night and today.
Before I started racing my MTB I never competed in any sport and the only thing my parents supported where my brains, or my education, but even there, I was always left to my own devices.
I decided what is good enough...
Hanging out with Syd and other good racers shows me that there is more potential out there and even more important, that I am capable of doing more and better. I just have to work for it!

The Browns are a tremendous inspiration for me and to see Syd's parents jump back on the bike to get back in shape is even cooler.

I still know, that I have to ride my own ride, but with constant training, I know, I will get better and I will be able to make a name for myself:)

A BIG THANKS to all of you out there that believe in me, support me and keep pushing me.

Riding my bike(s), is the best thing I have ever gotten into and I met so many wonderful peeps.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sommer Solstice

Can you believe that today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year?
Back home in Germany that meant, we had day light till 10:30 pm and that was for southern Germany. In the northern part and in Scandinavia, it hardly gets dark at all..
Well, back to southern Germany,where I used to live, around this time of year, you can "play" outside until it got dark...ah good times:)
Plus it normally cooled off quite a bit at night, so it is even nicer to be outside during that time.

Well, now, we are here and it doesn't cool off and we are all happy to be inside:

That's Mr. Whiskers watching us working on the bikes in the garage. Mr. Quality-Control:)
Actually that is as close as I got to my bike today...
I just didn't feel all that great and decided to take the day off.
Plus Sydney had asked me to come down to Lincoln to loan her one of my hydration packs for the race this weekend. So, I had a good excuse, to not ride today and I could show off my "collection". Yes, I own several packs and I am still looking for the perfect one...
One of them is too big, the other one too small and then the third one doesn't sit really well on my back. I have one, that I like for every day, but I haven't found a good one for racing....
Do you have any suggestions? I don't like the Camelbak....

Trailday at Swanson, June 25th

The Official Summer Clean up is in order. We will need some help knocking down the weeds and grass around the entire Swanson trail Monday the 25th, 6:00pm.

Big weekend of riding at Swanson that following weekend with the second MetrO race taking place.

This should be the last major trimming this summer if July and August dry out like they usually do, however the current trend is ....?

Need a pair to work in both directions and one lopper going with each, a 5th person working one side of the middle area speeds it up significantly. More is better!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Handmade in Lincoln, NE

Martin has been riding Gary Fisher Supercaliber for a while now. It's a 29er and like many of the folks around here he loves his bigger wheels. I guess, size does matter:)

Well, all our other bikes run tube less, but he couldn't find wheels for his 29er that he could put tube less wheels on, until a few months ago, when we went down do Lincoln and he saw Eric from Monkeywrenchcycles built a custom wheels and he saw the high quality immediately.
So he went a ahead and ordered himself a pair for his Supercaliber.

Today was the big day and we went to pick them up.They look super sweet and we went strait back home where Martin put everything together.
Not only look they sweet, they are also quite a bit lighter than the old wheels...

I got lucky and got a pair of Chrome Knickers out of it. Love their stuff and Nate carries it:)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ergon USA works with VeloCC Deutschland

This is not the best of my pictures, but it shows my Ergon R2 Series Grips, which Jeff had given to me at the race in Waverly, IA to test them for the race and if I liked them I could keep them. It does take a few moments to get used to them but then your hands start singing, because all those former pressure points are being releaved...ahhhhh. No question, that those Ergons seem to be the solution.
It was also right around the time, where I found out that a road bike can also be used as a torture instrument, if dosed high enough:) Again, my hand were the "weakest link". Actually, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis in my hands and fingers (and feet). So everything that helps me to stay on the bike longer, without my hands "screaming" at me is a GOOD thing. No joke!
After the race, I walked up to Jeff and said that I like them and he just smiles and said: "Keep them and win with them" THANK YOU !!!

So since then, I have been riding and racing with these grips and I LOVE THEM!!

I try to stay informed about his team since TOPEAK ERGON are actually two German companies and they ride a German bike Rotwild (sorry, that website is in German...)
Their team colors are a bright green and a lot of their equipment is either white or green.
Green is my favorite color, all shades of green....

Secretly, I had been eying the green team edition grips, but hey, I got my pair for free, directly and personally put on by Mr. 24. so I can't ask for any more and I don't. I am pretty happy with what I have.
I also stay in touch with Jeff and he is always happy about feedback from his "Ergon-users".

Recently, they came out with their own line of gloves and I am wondering, hmmm, maybe that would make the grip feeling even better....
So, I ask Jeff about them and where to get them and to make a long story short, here are the first pictures of my new Goodies:)

Weihnachten im Juni!!! Xmas in June:) DANKE SCHOEN!! THANK YOU!!

I will write some more about those gloves as soon as I get a chance to try them out. And if the green grips "feel" any different than the black ones... Might have to watch out for rabbits now; they eat everything green!?!
Yesterday was my day off. Off the bike that was. We went to Lake Manawa instead and worked on the trail for a few hours.
It is ridable again!!!!! Maybe I will go out there today.....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Crowder wasn't so crowded

Friday, Martin and I drove out to Trenton, MO, where at the Crowder State Park the third of the Heartland Race Series races took place today.
We pre rode the course yesterday and agreed both that it was in excellent shape and super fast.
Only the heat, gave us something to sweat about, but the lake above, was a prime location to cool off after a hot ride.
We camped there on the camp ground and Mr. Whiskers had fun chasing the raccoons away, actually, he would have. Unfortunately, did we have to keep him on the leash. But those little critters were so bold, that they came right up to our table to check for food...
A lot of people were stupid enough to leave their left over food out, so I don't blame them for raiding the premises.
Next morning, did we get woken by the hot sun. It was already so warm at 8 am, that you couldn't sit in the sun to eat your breakfast.
The race would be a scorcher...
We packed everything up and headed down to sign up for the race.
Mr. Whiskers had to stay by the car, so we tied him up in the shade and he was fine with that.
At the start, I realized, that I was the only racer in my class...
I wasn't sure whether I liked that or not. On one hand, It guaranteed my win, but on the other hand, that win wouldn't really be a success...
To make myself work for the medal at least a bit, I decided, to ride two laps a 5.7 miles. They gave me the choice. I came to regret that later, because by the end of lap one, I started to have shifting problems and I couldn't ride really well. Again, it didn't matter too much, but I still wanted to do better and I rode the Intense for the first time and was a bit disappointed about its performance.
Other than that, I think, I did a good race. The course was beautiful. The first 2/3 were really fast and smooth with two really long relatively steep climbs and then all of a sudden, as if someone had picked all the rocks from the first part. On the last third, you hit all these rocks: small rocks, flat rocks, sharp rocks, big rocks, loose rocks, any kind of rock you might want to ride over or not...
Those rocks are actually typical for KS/MO and I like them up to a certain degree=size. It's a good challenge.
After that, I walk them rather then smack into them and that had the advantage that I found someone's Powertap today and needless to say, made her really happy, upon return:)

Anyway, in the end, as predicted, did I make one else there on the podium with me:
I am happy about my "win", but Martin told me tonight, I didn't really win, since I didn't race against anybody....what do you think?
I do have though three first place medals from this race series. I am leading in the points. There is only one more race and I don't think, I can be reached anymore, so I think, todays race was important...

As for all the other NE racers, pretty much everybody, who showed up, made it on the podium.
Martin made fifth in his Sport's age group and for the rest, check out MTB Omaha .

As for having some sport picked out for everyone this weekend, did we pick:

Stick-Retrieving for Mr. Whiskers. He loves to swim:) Good for you guys is that you missed his after bath ritual: rolling in the sand, until his white fur was yellowish-brown and sticky, but hey, after all, we all went out and got dirty, so we all came home and took a shower:)

Crowder is HOT! Temps high and very muggy. Trail is in superb condition: dry and fast- quite rocky for parts but it would be too easy without them... I think, I am getting a cold, yuck! But the race is on for tomorrow.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Crowder, We Come!

Die Bergziege is limping...

...well limping is a bit much but I am still sore from last week's race and so I took it really easy this week with the riding. The problem area sits, or better I almost sit on it, when I ride and I can't loosen it up riding I have stretching and my PT , who is working on my neck and shoulder showed me a great stretch for that area as well.
We will see how I will do tomorrow. Martin and I will head town to Crowder to pre ride the course for Saturday. I am riding now the Intense Spider for the XC races.
I meant to ride today but today was just a busy day for me and I had an important day as well.

As some of you know, I have been job hunting for a while now and that is something that, at least I don't enjoy a bit. Well, today, I had an interview with a company here in town and I don't want to name the name yet, for privacy reasons. They actually made it as a double interview and then they sent you home with a flyer saying to check your email frequently, as they would let us know, what happens next, by email. If we are in further consideration, there would be a background ckeck. Whatev...
The interviews went OK and I even found out that the company, that is in 10.9 miles distance from the house, has a gym and showers:) Yeah!! Commuter friendly.
I might be able to jump on the summer-ride -to-work-band-wagon after all....

By the time I got home, I already had an email from their assigned security company to fill out several pages online so they can do their online that a good sign or not?
I think it is. They wouldn't spend the money on me if they weren't interested me??

All in all, a VERY exciting day!
Bad news, all of a sudden in the afternoon, I felt like cold symptoms coming on....I DON'T NEED A COLD RIGHT NOW. I am taking Zykam and hoping to fight it away.

Did some planting, since a lot of stores reduced their plants and bought some roses, honeysuckle and one more hosta for my colllection, it was only $ 5 for a mature plant (1/2 off)

Now I have seen Sydney's Watergarden and I already know my next project. I think, I have some water lily seed somewhere that a friend of mine gave me last year....dream...

Well, I better go back to sleep. Tomorrow and Saturday will be two "race" days and I have to defend my first position In the Heartland Series

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Raising Awareness!!

As you all know, I just did my first road race this weekend.
I got my road bike last December to train more sufficiently and get more miles in.
I want to do more road racing in the future and I know in order to do so I have to ride it on the ROAD.
I have been biking off road for many years now and just this weekend, I was talking to road racers and they said: "how brave I was, for riding off road"
But in reality, so far, I just tried to stay away from the road to avoid traffic.
Even to ride at Swanson, which is only 15 min biking-distance from my house. I always used to take the car there.

But, I also realized, that I need to get more riding in, so I ride more on the road.
I am NOT comfortable doing it, but I want to get the riding done.

Tonight, Martin and I went to Swanson to ride. We have a race this weekend in Kansas.
He rides more laps than I do and I don't like to wait around, so I ride home, no problem...

And then I read this on Squirrel's Blog and I normally don't play copy-cat,
but this needs to be spread...

Two riders in Des Moines, IA got hit by a car this morning at 6.30am. One was thrown in the left ditch and the other one in the right ditch. Both of them are in the hospital in critical conditions...

Can you believe this???? Please keep those guys in your mind and prayers !

We need to raise awareness for our safety!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Last but not Least

Norfolk, NE sees something that nobody has seen before:
Die Bergziege in a Road Race.
Saturday, the 10th of June at 9:29 am is my start time for my first ever TT: 18 miles...
Pictures are all courtesy of Martin, who did again a great job supporting my race efforts.

The course of the TT was relatively flat but it was windy and I could feel shortly after the start, that I am not used to this kind of racing. MTB racing is so different. You have short, sometimes longer efforts, in the saddle, out of the saddle, tempo changes, direction changes, etc.
This time: one speed= full speed= full effort for the whole 18 miles.
All I can say about this race is, that I went as fast as I could and I kept myself going until I saw the finish line. It took me just under one hour to do that. My longest, high intensity ride on my road bike...I have a new appreciation for PAIN!
These were my last few hundred yards of the TT

After that I got off the bike, with Martin's help and I could barely walk. It felt, like I had a pinched nerve, right where the saddle touches the inside of my right thigh. I could not bend down, sit down,..., I could barely move: OUCH!!!
We (Martin) packed up the bike and got something to eat and I took some vitamin I (ibuprofen). After lunch, we drove out to the starting point of the road race. At that point, I thought, there is NO WAY, I will get back on that torture machine again today...but Martin had taken his new road bike and wanted to get some exercise in. So Mr. Whiskers and I settled down under a nice shade giving tree for a nap and Martin went for his ride.

I woke up about an hour later, hearing the announcer say that it is time to sign in for the road race. I started to move around and finally got up very pain. So far so good, should I race? Another 32 miles or should I just call it quits?
I decided to take a little test ride to see how that would feel and it felt fine.
Darn it! There went my excuse, not to race.
Martin still wasn't back, so I couldn't have him talk me out of it either. Not that he would have.
So, I walked over to the sign-in sheet and put my initials next to my number 208.
I just signed up for 32 miles of road race, after doing a TT in the morning.
Why, I don't know. I was just asking for pain, I guess:)

Martin finally showed up, minutes before the start and reported that the course was very smooth and had no steep hills. Oh goody!! I felt so much better now and could even smile for the camera.
Off we went and I managed for about 15 minutes to stay with the pack...
after that, it was just me and the road:

And yes, Martin was right, for the most part, the road was very smooth and there weren't any steep hills, but there were nothing but hills and WIND, headwind to be exact. Why would it blow from behind!? Well, truth to be told at mile xy, the course turned back towards the start/finish and that's when the wind changed. That was only after I had once almost been blown over by cross winds, after a smelly cattle truck had passed me at a 100 miles/hr.

Martin and Mr. Whiskers followed me around and besides taking these pictures they helped me keep going.
I came really close a few time to stop and get off my bike BUT I DID NOT.

32 miles by myself battling the wind, the road, the pain, the wish to just stop, the thoughts of, why am I doing this to myself, what is this good for??

2 hours and 20 something minutes gives you a long time to "struggle with yourself".

All I can say is, I WON, even though, I came in last.

my biggest fan:)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Norfolk Road Race

No medal, no podium, but a GREAT, long and very painful experience...

Did an 18 mile Time Trial and a 32 mile Road Race today, which means a total of 50 miles.

All, I can say tonight is that I finished and I am VERY proud of that:))

to be continued...

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Good Deed for the Day

I found out that there is an animal shelter on 84th Street that doesn't kill their animal. It's called Town & Country Humane Society. They live of donations and volunteers and I went by there to sign up for some work.
To my surprise is it also the place, where the Jack Russell Terrier Rescue boards their dogs.
You can imagine my eyes and thoughts, when I walked in there to see 15+ JRT in kennels...

I signed up for some volunteer work and I an getting in touch with the lady who runs the JRT rescue to see what I can do to help. Martin doesn't want another one:(
Maybe I can help at least to socialize those doggies, so they will have an easier time to find a home...

I gotta do something to help them!!!!


Thursday, June 7, 2007

Norfolk, here I come and how to crunch numbers.

Well, it is official! I registered for my first road race, yeah:) For the Norfolk Classic this weekend.
I am already nervous, because compared to my MTB racing experience, I don't think, I have the slightest clue, what I am getting myself into...!?!?

Am I ready for a road race????

Several factors are in my favor and that is where the numbers come sprinting around the corner:)

I have been loosing about 12lbs by now since I started training more. (Oh what a feeling, when you pull out an old favorite pair of jeans that you just couldn't give away and It FITS AGAIN)

I can tell myself that I am racing my MTB pretty successfully. I am leading by points in TWO race series. Not too shabby.

And what is really cool, I increased my LT by 12 from 165 to 172. :D
Some folks might know what these numbers mean and some might say: Huh?? So here is an attempt to explain it. As most of you know by now, I am training with Marc.
Tonight I went down to Lincoln to see him and have a fitness test done to see, how my fitness has improved.
All that, is measuring my Heart rate (beats/min). The LT is the Lactic Threshold and it is THE highest HR that you can maintain over a longer period of time, like in a race or so. The higher the LT, the stronger your output, the better you ride... (Please correct me if I explain this wrong)
Anyway, when I had my initial test done my LT was at a HR of 165. Tonight it was 172. That means, I can work harder, at an higher HR over a longer period of time, ergo, I am in better shape...YEAH!!

That's the good news! The side effect of that will be that my workouts will get harder as well, but call me crazy, I am excited about that.
This training is not only a physical "therapy" for me, but also a way to work on something that is for my body and my soul. I feel, that biking gives me also a mental strength and sticking with the training plan gives my life a goal, MY GOAL, that I set, with the help of Marc but it is something that is my personal project and my body is the subject.
And I know I will get there: ONE PEDAL STROKE AT A TIME

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Walnut Allergy is getting Worse

I am allergic to walnuts. I never really cared for walnuts anyway. I don't like the flavor too much, but that was before we moved here.

Our yard has lots of walnut tress:

The first year, that we moved in our house, the yard was covered with weeds and ground covers. It was in the end of October and the yard was covered with WALNUTS, leaves, walnuts and more walnuts...
Martin was working and I started raking. And raked, and raked, and...
until my back gave up.
I ended up in the emergency room with a bulged disk: ouch!
It forced me to take a long break from working out and biking.
And another reason to dislike walnuts!
Well, we got rid of the ground covers and weeds and I made it a habit now to collect the nuts as they fall. Still no fun. Plus it is almost a hard hat zone during that time:(
Then, when we had an arborist take a few trees down( Most of them, Martin and I took down ourselves) and he explained to us, that walnut trees "kill" everything that tries to grow underneath them. It's in the wood, the leaves and the WALNUTS!!
I am still able to nurture my flowerbed underneath on of those trees, but I don't like it!
Like I said, I am "allergic" to walnuts...
Today, I think was the crowning moment. I came home from an appointment and noticed that the wind gusts had blown down loads of sticks and branches, so I decided to clean them up, until this thing came down:
Heilige Scheisse!! A huge branch (actually almost half the tree) of one of the walnut trees came down right in front of me.
That's it.

Do you have any cure for my walnut allergy? Is there anything useful, that can be done with either the wood, the nuts, or whatever?


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Yellow Beauties

those day lilies were gone this morning, I guess somebody had them for an early snack...

Flower Power

My Roses had gotten frost in spring and I wasn't sure if they would survive. I guess, they did:)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Big roots, small roots

Everybody would agree that big roots are more scary than smaller roots.
I thought so too, until I headed to the dentist this morning and he took one of the crowns of my bottom molars off, to tell me that he has to work on the root canal.
He showed me those little suckers and they look pretty scary! And I have to go back tomorrow for more treatment...
So next time, I see a big scary looking root out riding, I will remind myself of that and just lift my bike over it and off I go. So much easier, less painful and cheaper:(
Other than that my day was pretty uneventful. I applied for another job and I worked in the yard for about an hour. I am preparing a new bed for my hostas. It was full of ground covers and I need to hand till it to get all the roots out...guess roots where my enemies today.
I got half of the bed done, when it started raining, so I have to finish it tomorrow.
That has a good side. As long as it isn't finished I can't plant anything, but I am already planning:)

Sunday, June 3, 2007

MO stands for MOJO

Kansas City Cup, was the second race in the Heartland Race Series, but the race was actually in Missouri and I found out today, that MO stands for MOJO:)
It was also my second race this weekend since I had raced yesterday at Lewis&Clark.
You can see below the report about that race. It wasn't my best and I gladly put it behind me.

After the I got done there Martin and I went home, changed clothes, cars and went off south gen Kansas City.
We stayed the night in a hotel since that place doesn't have camping, plus we knew that had "some" rain recently and we didn't want to risk to get wet.
We checked the online updates and they promised, that the trail " would be 90% ridable and that they walked it and didn't leave any footprints" (I am laughing out loud, while I am writing this, because, this race was one of the biggest MUDFEST, I have ever seen and I wonder, where they walked without leaving those prints:D

Well, we showed up, we signed up. Yes, we! Martin raced as well, yeah!! And I went out to pre-ride at least a little bit. Some of those mud holes where so deep that I wished I would have brought my scuba diving gear, just in case.
The characteristic thing of that place is their sheet rock. Somewhat intimidating, when it's dry, but very slippery, when you smear mud on it...
I rode just long enough to get a good layer of mud on my bike and turned around to go back to the start.
Interestingly, I wasn't intimidated this time, by the sliding and squishing. I guess, my technical skills did get better.
Three female beginner riders had signed up, but only one other one started. I guess, the third one, was either smart enough or too scared to start.
We had again a hill start and again did I get away very slowly. Only this time, I knew that one of the beginners would get stuck on the first mile in the mud and my hope was to catch the other girl again. NOT another repeat... And yes, a few minutes in the singletrack/mud, she spun out and fell and I passed her. She got pack on her bike and we rode together for a bit. I actually tired to help her along. She was definitely, frazzled by the mud. At some spot, your bike was "swimming" on the mud and you had hardly any control over it. The only thing, I could do is, trying to move forward in a relatively small gear and whenever I "swam" to much to one side, I had to put one foot down. Riding over roots could mean, that the back of you bike slid away in an 45 degree angle. My motto, keep on pedaling gets you out of those and the cool part for me was that I don't freak out anymore:)
I left the other girl, sorry, I forgot your name, shortly after that behind and moved forward. It wasn't a fast pace, but I kept moving. And got my MOJO back!!
This was also the race with the most body or bike contact with other riders that I ever had. But my Bike Polo playing has me gotten used to that.
A lot of the real rocky parts, I walked, but the rest, I biked more than last year. (I have done the same race last year).
One lap was about 5 miles and we had to do two of them, so once more I dived into the mud puddles and kept moving not knowing, how far behind my competitor was, until at about mile 7.5, Martin passed me and told me that he thought that she was about 3 min behind me. That motivated me to put my afterburners on and I did the last 3 miles in a much faster pace. Just to make sure. And it paid off. I crossed the finish line first:
I am stopping my HRM as I finish the line to make sure I get the correct time.

Our Podium was small. Only two racers.
They did a very nice thing and gave every female racer a bouquet of flowers.

nice touch


Almost Olympic!! Martin and my tires:D
Martin's big surprise, after being injured for so long: He made 5th; Congrats!!
My beloved husband, bike advocate, personal, mechanic and partner in crime when it comes to riding and racing.

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