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Monday, July 30, 2007

Ritter Sport for Chocoholics

This picture was taken in Waldenbuch, Germany at the Ritter Sport Factory Story.

Yep. That place is the origin of all Ritter Sport chocolate, or as Chocoholics like I say, paradise on earth, hence the ear-to-ear-grin on my face....we are getting ready to shop.
It is cheaper, fresher and they often carry some specialty items that you cannot buy in the stores....YUMM!!

I am blogging about this, because Kimberly and I been talking about candy all day. I had told her about my most favorite French candy called Carambar and I found out to my amazement, that I can order it through the internet.
Then she told me about her favorite European sweets and it turned out to be Ritter Sport.
In the cooler months, my Mom takes orders for really desperate souls:D

But that picture is also a good reminder for me, NOT to eat the chocolate. It shows me, before I started my "Riding-Diet"...ugh.

Getting ready to go out 2 Swanson.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Blooming Weekend

Mr. Whiskers found his "fav" spot for the hottest days. He just stays in there and plays with his balls. It's pretty cute to watch him...

I didn't do much this weekend.
I felt a bit under the weather and I didn't even feel like riding.
I tried to ride Saturday morning. Martin and I went for some riding to Swanson, but I quit after one lap and went home:(
I am constantly tired and I have NO energy.

All, I did was cleaning the house a little bit and in the evening we went to visit some friends.

This morning, I slept until 10:30 am, with Mr. Whiskers in my arms. He is such a cuddle-bunny:) I woke up with a sore throat and a headache...
After my morning coffee, Martin and I went to Menards and the Nursery to get building material and plants. We built a new flowerbed and I needed some more plants.
Martin works on all kinds of projects around the house. Right now, he is building more shelves in the garage, so we get our bike stuff better organized.
We also got 4 or 5 weed-whackers from Rusty to use for THOR and Martin hauled them all over. It's kinda sick, but I am excited now, that I have my "own" whacker:)
But tell you what, our garage starts looking, like a gardening service (or bike shop), depending what corner you look at.

I am excited, because, I got four more Hostas, one Daisy and three white Coneflowers to plant.
I did that this afternoon. I will have to take some pictures....

The following is one of my prides: my pink hardy Hibiscus:

The blooms are as big as dinner plates!!

P.S.: The Tour is over and Contador won. I am happy for him. He is 24 years old and a new-commer. Hopefully they don't find any "dirt" on him. Their 's got to be some clean riders...

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Saturday, July 28, 2007


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Vive le Tour!

I did some thinking today about the Tour de France.
You say, whatever, everyone is talking about it anyay....

NO, I didn't change my mind about Rasmussen and Co. And I am really sad about this whole thing, almost ashamed. Because I am a Cyclist and I don't want to be compared to them...

But, I also thought about the whole picture. The Tour exists for almost 100 years. That is a long tradition with a great history behind it. During these weeks, the whole country of France is celebrating the riders and they don't care what nationality they are. They cheer for the rider which makes it up the next beyond category climb after already 4 hours in the saddle that day.
They cheer for the riders which make it to Paris after how many thousands kilometers?

I was lucky to see the Tour once and it gave me goosebumps.

But I still say no to drugs and doping and I hope they will figure it out....

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tour de Farce

Michael Rasmussen got fired from his Team Rabobank and got pulled from the Tour.
For anyone who didn't know. He was in the yellow jersey (the leader)

He lied about his whereabouts before the Tour to get around doping tests....

I do not understand how these knuckle-heads think they can get away with that kind of BS.

Who is next....??

Now cute Contador is the leader but I bet that team order will force him to give the lead to Levi Leipheimer. Just wait and see...

On a personal and much more fun note: I went down to Lincoln tonight to ride with my team.
teamFIRE It was a lot of fun. Thanks guys! I finally got to meet some more of the riders and I still think it is a great and fun group and I am glad to be part of it:)

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Long Day....

Today was a long day and full of all kinds of different tasks and errands.

First of all, it started out pretty relaxing with physical therapy. They are putting me now an the "stretcher" for my neck. 20 min/20lbs. It feels good, but I don't think, it helps me to get more mobility in my back.

After I got home we went to Lowes and some other shops to get supplies and on the way back home we stopped at Petsmart to resupply my little Pond with fish. All but one of the goldfish turned into "floaters" as Martin calls them:( and I had to bury them in the flower beds. So we got 10 more and a little pump that pumps more oxygen in the water.
Hopefully these little fishies will make it...

After that, we took the pick-up and went to the Omaha compost facility and bought a truck load full of compost. It is called "Oma-Gro" and I heard really good things about it.
Well, it was self-loading and once back home, we used two wheel-borrows and spread the stuff out over all my flowerbeds...THREE hours later!!!
Martin said, I looked like a coal-miner (sorry no pictures) b/c I am sweating so much and I had that stuff ALL over me...yuck!
But, it is in the flowerbeds and I am hoping that it will improve the soil quality.

After that, I was BEAT, but there was still one task on my list: my work-out...( I had to shower to be able to ride...)
A 1:50 min ride with intervals to get my HR up.
I went out south on the Keystone into the headwind and for the first part of the ride, did OK, but after an hour, my body said, that's it, I am tired and I couldn't get my HR up anymore. I was also dehydrated, so I opted for a fast paced ride home.

Ufff, what a long day! And I wanted to get up early tomorrow to watch the TdF. But is it really worth watching? What's that bullshit with Vinekurov and his team? Don't they ever learn?
I don't get it?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Garden Duty

Martin and I, under the supervision of Mr. Whiskers, worked all afternoon in the Garden. I mowed the lawn and picked up Walnuts, dead headed some flowers, planted some new flowers that Brenda, our neighbor gave me and played with Mr. W in his pool. Martin picked up even more sticks and fallen nuts and then he started a new flower bed. It has been in the planning for a while now, but I never got the vibe to dig around with the stones for the wall around it.
Well, he has done it now and I can spend my time one the fun part: filling it with plants.

I already know that this bed will be another specialty bed: I will only plant grasses in there, so I have to start reading up on them a bit more....

Oh, and tonight I watched the TdF, since a) I didn't make it out of bed in time this morning and b) Martin was watching Formula 1 this morning anyways...

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

30min TT or how to spend 1/2 hour in high speed pain

Today was my first day back on the bike after taking a break due to feeling sick.

No problem I thought. This is supposed to be an easy week so what hard workout could await me:

A TIME-TRIAL.....30 minutes, ALL OUT, as fast as I can.
Oh boy....
Well two factors were on my side today. We had a good strong wind blowing from the south and Martin came along to pace me a bit. Well, we rode together into the wind towards the Missouri river until we had about 50 min of normal riding time in.
Then, he gave me a 3 min head start and I started my TT. First 10 min was one lap-time and then the last 20 min, was the second lap-time. I haven't downloaded my Polar yet, but I know already, that my average HR got higher and that my average speed got higher:))
That is very cool.
Cool, because, I am just overcoming a cold but I am still producing more speed.
I also lost more weight and I guess the "missing" pounds make me ride faster as well!?!!

I am aiming for a new goal now! I want to get down to 150 lbs. That should be a good weight for me. Once I am there, I go from there. If I loose more, heck, I will have to deal with it:)

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Friday, July 20, 2007

THOR Duty at Swanson

I am still feeling a bit under the weather, so Martin went out by himself to ride. Actually that is not true. For the first lap at Jewels Park he got Mr. Whiskers with him. Then he put him in the car and did two more laps. After he dropped him off at home he said, he wanted to go out to Swanson, because the weather was so nice. I sad, go for it.

After, about an hour he was back and reported that there is a big tree down and he would need my help...OK. Packed up all the tools, the dog and off we went.
The tree turned out to be a branch, but a HUGE branch, with a diameter of easily a foot or even more.
I forgot to bring my camera, bummer!
It fell, in the back area. On the west side of the fire department and it was too big to move so me made it into a new log-crossing...yeah!!!! (I keep forgetting that I don't like them)
We spend good two hours out there and finally had it the way Mr. Trailmaster wanted it:)

We even had a few guys come trough and test ride it. They like it!

I have to admit, that I want to go out there now and ride the log myself:) Hopefully by tomorrow, my cold will be gone and I will be pretty much back to normal...

Important was today also, that I sent molto importante paperwork to Germany to get my diploma from my Law School. The one place I applied for wants to see it. I see it as a good sign.
Hopefully, I finally find some qualified work.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Certitificate of Appreciation

I got this from the Army, signed by Army's General Chief of Staff Schoomaker. Pretty Cool!!

Martin topped it with a beautiful bouquet of flowers:
I was speechless and had some tears in my eyes....

All I can say is: You are welcome!!!



P.S. Women's Crit Saturday Papillion

I am so behind in writing that I might have to skip some things...
I dug through my pictures from the Papillion Crit and I actually have a few good ones.
Congrats to Janna from teamFire for her podium spot.
My shouts go also out for Catherine Wahlberg. She went down hard on the first lap. Got back up on her bike and finished strong. Way to go! You can tell that she has been doing some MTB:)

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hot days of Summer

I caught myself today for the first time, not writing something on my blog but I think I have an excuse...I spent all day in bed:(
I didn't feel to hip yesterday. I had gotten up early to get my ride in and after that I was just hot and sluggish all day.
Martin worked on the roof, tearing off the wood of one of our chimneys and I helped to get tools and supplies up and down.
I also worked in the yard a bit and fertilized my plants but other than that I did ZERO, NADA, NICHTS.
This morning I woke up with a sore throat, a headache and just an over all BLAHHH feeling.
So I decided to rest up and stay in bed.
Thanks Martin for letting me do this. He went for a long rode ride this morning and did all kinds of stuffs. I was just OUT OF IT.
I didn't ride and I still don't fell much better. Hopefully another night of sleep will improve my health. I have to go to the dentist tomorrow.
Good thing is, that I have a rest week this week, so all I have is short and easy rides.
I am hoping for a break in this heat. I normally don't mind so much but these days it is getting to me.
I envie Mr. Whiskers. We got him a little pool and he likes to stand in there to cool himself off.
I have to post some pictures later. It is cute to watch him.....
Well, I hope you guys stay COOL!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Tour de Omaha by MTB

I crawled out of bed this morning. Still very tired from yesterday's race-duty.
I was soo tired and sore. I felt, like I had a hang-over, but I didn't have any alcohol. I guess, I was dehydrated.
Problem: I was supposed to do a looooooooooooong MTB ride in today: 3 1/2 hours.
Marc, put that on my training plan and that would be my longest training ride so far...

Well, this morning, I was not capable of doing much. AND we were out of milk, so I couldn't get my milk-coffee to at least wake me up:( (A quick run to the gas station fixed that. Sometimes the many commercial brakes during the Tour are a good thing)

OK, got milk, coffee and my daily TdF-fix. Feeling already better, but still not in riding mode...
Maybe, I can find a good excuse to get out of it....

A nap and some pizza later, Martin pushes the Intense in front of me: HINT!!!

Well, it is almost 5 pm and if I want to get the ride in, I need to do it NOW.

I jump on the bike and off I went. I rode out to I-80, via Giles, turned around and went up 108 until I hit Center, went east up to 90st and a look at my watch told me, I can't go south yet, so I turned north and went up to Dodge, turned right, caught Cass and finally hit the Keystone and started riding south.
Halfway home, I started dying.
I have to add, that we never changed the saddle on the bike and I am still riding with Martin's (men's) saddle. My feet started hurting and my eyes burnt, because I got sweat in them.
Before I hit Culver's, I turned towards Papillion and rode up to 48th Street and jumped up on it to ride up to 370 and home from there. I got home after 3:15 hrs. I circled for another 5 min in front of the house and decided to screw the last not ridden minutes...

Martin, in the meantime went out on his rode bike and saw a cool creature:

I guess, you only have to worry about the turtle on the trail, if it's passing you......:D

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A whole day of ROAD CYCLING

I got up early this morning to ride my road bike but I made the mistake to "snoop in" the TdF real quick and realized that they reached the first mountain stage, which means, it is the first time where the real contenders for a win of the TOUR might show themselves today and so Martin and I decided to watch a bit while having breakfast.

As you all you, I am (much) more of a MTB, but I guess, when it comes to the Tour, the European in me breaks through and we love events like that. So even before I had ever touched a road bike was I watching le Tour...

Well, today was an interesting stage, because they had these 15 or so guys that had gotten away from the peleton and they were doing really well. A few bigger names were in there but mostly smaller names from bigger teams. They do that, so they have one or two dudes out there.

Well, T-Mobile had a guy out there named Linus Gerdemann, 24 years old from Germany. In his second year as a pro rider. And cute:)

Anyway Linus managed to break away from the breakaway and kept that distance up over the mountain and into the finish. Which not only gave him a stage win but he is also took over the yellow jersey and that is A MILESTONE in is young career. YEAH!!! A German Dude in Yellow makes die Bergziege happy:))

After the finish, M and I jumped on our rode bikes to go out at least for 2 1/2 hours. I had misread my training description and M complained about my slow riding and in the end, it was me to blame, oh well, I sill had a good and loong ride.

Unfortunately a few min shorter than Marc wanted me to, but we needed to get to Papillon to help out with their first Annual Twilight Crit. Martin and I guarded on a corner ( the crash corner) and did that from 2.30 pm until a few min after 9 pm....yeeeesh, I think, I have seen more crit racing and learned more than I could have ever out of a book. 7 hours of cycling lesson...

I think, Marc, I should be able to write this in my training log!

Imagine how many kilometers in the Tour this morning, I think: 195KM, my own 35 miles and then the 7 hours of Crit racing.

Hey I should get that written down as one great work-out. I am super tired and I learnt a LOT.




Friday, July 13, 2007

How do you get the best smelling dog ever?

Martin, Mr. Whiskers and I had an important day yesterday. We went down to Kansas to Ft. Leavenworth, the closest Army Base, so Martin could sign the last of his retirement paperwork.

Now it is official: Martin will retire from the U.S. Army on November 1st 2007 after 20 years of service for his country. PRETTY COOL.
Even my I got acknowledged and got a plaque for my service and support.
(One of these goosebumps moments)

After we got done there, we went to one of my favorites little towns in Missouri: Weston.
It is only about 10 miles from Leavenworth. I know that place from the time, while Martin was stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, KS and I was still living in Germany. I went to visit him and while he was in class, I used his car to explore the area.

One of the little stores I found there was a little candle store that makes their own candles:

5B&Co Candlemakers
I have to say, Marsha makes the best candles in the world. She pours them herself everyday and she has like, I don't know 30 different scents. Everything, from peppermint over mainly man, ...everything.
I had ordered once by mail and so I was very excited to get to sniff some of her new stuff.

Cool was too, that she has a black lab puppy named Hook with her and we were allowed to bring Mr. Whiskers in. And those two guys had a blast playing:)
I bought candles and the boys played...the shop is tiny and it was amazing that nothing got bumped over.

She makes these votives and then she hand labels them. Buy ten and get two for free and they SMELL like HEAVEN......

After that, we headed back home. We got two boxes of candles. One as a house warming gift for a friend of mine and one for me:) Yummy!!

Later, snuggling up with Mr. Whiskers, I found out that he was smelling like the whole candle shop. He and Hook must have been rolling in the wax and it made him smelling really GOOD:)

I have so much more to blog about, but this Tour de France and my own riding takes up a lot of time....
I have to write more tomorrow because I got all kinds of goodies.
My Intense got a new Shram dérailleur, shifters and XT breaks (thanks to Martin) and I got my dream hydration pack. It was custom made for me. It is one of a kind and it will show my nationality.
I am super stoked!!
Oh and I have almost 3 hours to ride tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where are there pictures taken?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Gardenwalk with Mr. Whiskers

more picture here: Gardenwalk

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Some pictures from Manawa

Martin spraying me with beer after finishing my great race:)

Just some of the action...
more pictures here

Donna wrestled with a tree. It looks as she won! Men, she is one tuff chick!!


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Third at Manawa is better than it sounds!!!!

Manawa was the hardest race I have done this year. The hardest, because I fought the most for my position. I made third, not because I was slower than the two first ones, I made third, because I was faster than all the other beginner women or let's say, I rode better.

I crashed pretty hard in the beginning of race and lost a lot of time but I was also able to gain almost all of it back in the end.

I haven't checked my time and pace yet, but I am sure that this was my fastest race so far.
I pushed all the time and didn't slack at all. Well, Manawa isn't the place to do that. Even though it is flat and there are no hills, but on the other side, you get no break and have to pedal all the time.

I came in third. Which was great, because after my crash I was pretty much last and it was a big beginner field. I wish I could reached the top two, but I didn't.
But I fought to the end...

So, I am pretty happy about my third place and a lot of people notice that I have gotten a lot of faster:) Thanks Marc!

I wrote a more detailed race report on my Race Blog.

A lot of folks got hurt out there today. I hope nobody is in too much of pain!

I will post some pictures later...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Manawa minus 12 hours 15 minutes

I am getting in the RACE MODE or is it MOOD...whatever it is. Manawa makes me nervous. On one hand it is an easy course, super fast and FUN on the other hand there are some technical sections "thrown" in there that can give a rider like me nightmares...

I KNOW, I have to race AS FAST AS I CAN.


Tomorrow at 10 am I just have to tell my body to go F A S T !!!!

HOW to do that, I am not really sure....

The last races, I had good ones and slow ones and I haven't figured out yet, how to push that "speed button".
But, I am getting aware of it and I think that is the first step in the right direction!
The "fighter" in me is awaken and I will go for it tomorrow.Put the pedal to the medal and push HARD.One lap in Zone 5a...that is only in the 170ies. That's easy!!

Mein Kampfgeist ist erwacht
und ich werde mir von niemanden
meinen ersten Platz wegnehmen lassen.
Die Begziege wird gewinnen:))

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

almost 3 hours of riding

my riding fluctuates the last few days. I have really good days, like today and then, I have days, like the last 2, where I felt like doodoo and tired to ride on the 4th, but had to give up, at the planned exercise...I got some more riding done in the evening, when we rode out to the Fireworks at Rosenblatt Stadium and those hills in Omaha are always good for a workout. Add some heat and humidity and you have a perfect work-out, which I will log into my log later.
Anyway, the next morning, I felt a bit under the weather and that was after 2 bottles of beer and one Morita between 5 and 11 pm. I can't drink anymore...

So on the 4th, Martin took his red,white and blue bike out for a ride and I....took a nap:)

Well, today, he let me sleep in and I got up around 9:30am. Tired and lazy... First action is always a big pot of coffee. We still have our supplies from Germany and I enjoy every single drop:)

After that, I am checking my email and such and see that I have to do "Muscel Tension Efforts" Holy Poop! It is already noon and nice and warm outside, but I didn't ride yesterday, so I need to do something today.
I jump on my Roadie and this time I try this exercise a bit different. I am trying it on the hills in my neighborhood and they are long and steep. I know that they aren't long enough but they make up for a higher effort and so I shify into a higher gear, stay seated and grind up those hills, making sure that my pedalstroke is round and smooth. I am pushing so hard, that my shoes moves in the cleats, but I make it up those hills an I reach my target HR...yeah!!!
I do that for 45 min and about 6 climbs and then I roll back home.
Need to keep some of my power for tonight for the TNR ar Manawa.

After a nice nap. Martin and I head out to Manawa. I choose by my free will to ride the Spider!!!
I rode for 1:35 min and I concentrated on SPEED and all the technical crossings. Got them down for the most part.
All the flat winding parts, I dialed in my bike so I won't need my breaks. It will be full leg power ahead.

I have a really good feeling about Saturday. I love Manawa! I kicked butt in the mudd last year. I can do this again, even better:))

And I got almost three hours of riding in today. That's not too shabby...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Bang Bang

Just got back from Lincoln, where Martin and I spent the afternoon and evening with friends celebrating the 4th of July.
On days like these, I feel a bit awkward. I know what the Independence Day is about and it is a very important day in the American history and I love this country, but when it comes to celebrating the "BIG RED,WHITE AND BLUE", I always start to think about "my" country and then I am not sure if it is Germany or the US.
I am still a German citizen, but I have been living here for almost four years now.
I am an Army wife (US Army that is) and I am really proud of that, but then again I spent over 30 years in Germany...
I know, I should/need/can apply for American citizenship and I want to do it sometime this year.
But I want to keep my German passport. Germany and the US allow dual citizenship.
Maybe once, I am there, I wouldn't feel so out of place, when it comes to those real American traditions....

I just need to figure out what I have to do to get citizenship.

Talking about traditions. I almost started my own one last night...taking out a cyclist!
We were at Roxzy and Ryan's house and rode our bikes over to the Rosenblatt Stadium for the Fireworks. Martin wanted me to ride my Polo bike. I said no, because, it didn't have the best breaks to start with and since you have the mullet in your right hand, he put all the breaking power on the left break-lever and after I went once over the handle bars he changed it, so that the left breaks are only connected to the front breaks....
Well, I opted for my Blur, since I haven't ridden my "baby" in a loooong time and it turned out to be a GOOD thing.
On the way back (and Omaha is NOT flat), we were flying down Vinton on the side-walk to avoid the traffic on the road, there is this a-hole on this comfort bike with an orange vest on.
He is rolling right next to me and all of a sudden turns right, without a hand-signal, nor a 'hey I am turning" or whatever....all I can do is do a BREAK!!!! And my bike handling skills be blessed, otherwise, I would have taken that dude OUT. Martin was behind me and witnessed the whole thing and complimented me but men, my Polo bike would have been "lethal".

Well, that happens when VeloCC goes up from little Bellevue to the big city of Omaha and does some Urban Riding and I had only one beer.
That is the other sad story about this weekend. All this training that I am doing and the weight-loss made me into a really cheap drunk...or maybe I am getting old:)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Lake Manawa

Manawa is in EPIC condition.
Rode it this morning with Donna to get a feel for the next Psycowpath Race on Saturday the 07/07/07.
Because after the race is before the race...:)

Hope to see you all out there!

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Trail Angels

Ride at Manawa.

Donna and I did a lap.
A few new surprises:D
An a little bit of trail work on the fly...

THOR built these...

Sunday, July 1, 2007

MetrO! Mountain Bike Challenge

Since the race in Kansas was rained out, I decided to do the MetrO! MTB Challenge.

It's put up by the Midwest Cycling Community and doesn't go for points, just for fun. A good way to race in a higher category without doing any harm in case of failing:)

So I raised sport instead of beginner....
The race didn't start until 3 pm and I wasn't really in the race mood today.
Maybe it was the weather or because Swanson Park is so familiar to me that it is hard to get the "spark" going.
Well, we started pretty fast and I got my heart rate pretty hight up there. Then I remembered that I had to do two laps and I forced myself to find a better pace.
There were only two women in my class. Cindy McNeill and I. She is a good and fast rider and she took the lead and I let her go. I didn't feel the "fight" in me today. I was glad that the Intense worked better and that I did get through the course and over all the stuff that I wanted to get over. Like I said before, this was just a fun ride!
So after about 20 min, I settled into a good pace and started to enjoy the race. I got only lapped my the fastest experts, but not too many.
Towards the end of the second lap, I see Cindy pulled over and I asked her what's wrong. Turns out, she had a flat tire. I tried to help, but the whole must have been too big, so I took off, having to leave her behind. I didn't feel too happy about that...
Just a few moments later Kevin comes riding my way, looking for her. He is delivering another bike. It's good to be the bike shop owner's wife:)
Anyway, I see her back on a bike and I put my after burners on and put my chain on the big chain ring and push the last mile...and win:)
Martin asked me afterwards, how it went and I said, karma let me win the race. I stopped to help and the good came back to me and let me win! Thanks!
Thanks for everybody putting up the race today.
Good to see all you guys and GALS out there on the fat tires:))

Keep on pedaling!

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