Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Ah, Pescadero. One of the classic climbing races in Northern California. I've ridden the Pescadero loop many, many times -- forward, backwards, as part of epic rides -- but somehow I've never put the race on my race calendar. I'm not sure why, since I've raced all the other climbers' races: Wente, Berkeley Hills, Sea Otter......even though I'm not a 100-pound climber-girl.

This loop was my first "big" ride way back in 1999 -- on my 35-pound 1990 Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike. I even have photos somewhere (hard copies) to commemorate the event. I was training for the California AIDS Ride. I think I'd been riding all of two months at that point. I participated in this particular training ride with my then-boyfriend. Actually, I had broken up with him a few days prior, so he was then my ex-boyfriend. It was an emotional ride for me. I recall at one point, climbing Haskins Hill, crying and feeling so desperate, that I threw my bike in a ditch on the side of the road, sat down, and bawled my eyes out.

Today I rode the Pescadero loop with one of my coaching clients and her boy. She's considering the race, so we took this opportunity to recon. the course together. Pescadero is a challenging race. The three main climbs are tough at race pace. The grind up 84 will wear you down in the wind unless you can sit on a wheel. And if you can climb with the leaders, you need to be a skilled descender to stick with the pack after the climbs.

But the views, especially on a clear day, are breath-taking.


ps -- I really miss the flamingo house.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

would you like a little solitude with that workout?

I love technology, but when I'm riding, I want to get away from it all -- the cell phone, the iPod, the email, the interruptions. you see, one of the reasons I love the bike is to escape from all the daily inputs I have at work -- all that noise makes my head spin.

I'm also not a HUGE fan of the gym. I like training. I run on the treadmill (with my iPod). I lift weights. But I don't like the sounds, the smells, the germs of the gym. I stopped working as a personal trainer many years ago because of my dislike of the gym environment.

years ago a friend had sent me some information about Tina Vindum. Tina is a pretty cool chick and her company -- Outdoor Action Fitness -- is one of the first outdoor fitness programs in the world. but her program isn't any run-of-the-mill boot camp with 100 participants. instead, the focus is on high-level small-group fitness and integration with the environment. she doesn't yell commands like a drill sergeant. her programs are filled with natural sensory inputs (smells, sounds, sights, textures) and meditation. but she's a darn good trainer too, so she can kick your butt while you enjoy the view.

in my quest for something new this year, I've got plans to start an outdoor group conditioning class for cyclists. so this weekend I participated in Tina's OAF Instructor Training Certification -- two days of inspiration and butt-kicking education. our intimate class of 8 participants included folks from all over the country (I was the only local). and in addition to learning some new models for fitness training, I met some very interesting women.

so, stay tuned. we've got some cool new programs on tap for late summer and fall!


Monday, April 21, 2008

to Otter or not

I chose not to race Sea Otter this year. I've been there racing (road and/or mountain) or coaching for the past seven years. Of course, when you don't race, everyone wants to know what's wrong. Nothing's wrong with me or the team, but there's a lot wrong with Sea Otter. I would rather give my registration support ($$$) to a local race (or three) and feel positive about the whole experience. Sea Otter seems to leave a bad taste in too many mouths each year. The event has gotten bigger and bigger each year. Registration fees have increased. Support for racers has decreased. PITA has increased. Accuracy of results has decreased. The length of lines has increased. My desire to participate has decreased. I decided this was the year to finally quit playing the Sea Otter game.

But because it's Sea Otter, we really had to make an appearance. And it's the ideal opportunity to spend some quality time with our sponsors who aren't in the northern california area. So Friday was sponsor day: my teammate, Dana, and I headed down to Monterey for lunch, booth time, sponsor gifts, dinner and drinks, mucho fun.

Jim Wannamaker of Kenda -- one of the most supportive and generous sponsors in the industry!

Linda Elgart of Voler Team Apparel -- not only a fabulous sponsor, but one of my athletic idols. Linda has won national championships in just about every discipline in cycling.

Mattias Presser of Sock Guy -- what a charmer with a little moustache and a little accent to match.

What can I say about Tri-Flow? Velo Girls would not be who we are without their generous support of our team, race, and racing development program. Here you see Brian, Steve Spirko, and the ever-funny Bob Wrona.

This is Mortiz Hoemke from GU -- one of our very first sponsors in 2002!

And this is the lovely Sally Virgin of Simbree Energy Foods -- one of our brand new sponsors for 2008.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Velo Girls Changes Focus for 2008

Effective immediately, Velo Girls, Northern California's first and largest women's cycling club, will switch it's focus to an underserved audience: teenage boys and masters men. This change is in response to feedback from sponsors that working with women is just too confusing and frustrating.

Lorri Lee Lown, club founder, explained that this transition has been in the works for some time now. "I never really liked women. I don't like pink either. I just thought it might be fun to work with women, but I've changed my mind."

For years, men have wanted to be involved with Velo Girls, so here is the perfect opportunity! A willingness to wear a dress is the only prerequisite.

For more information, contact

today is the first day of the rest of your life

wow! it's April already. I'm feeling a bit lost -- as though someone stole the first three months of my year.

I have a choice this morning, as I sit and contemplate my day. I can feel regret about lost days, or I can feel optimistic, something I haven't felt in quite a while.

like many of you, I use landmarks and milestones in my planning: the first day of of the year, the first day of the month, the first day of the week, etc. so today, on the first day of April, I'm going to make a choice to live life.

instead of looking back and regretting the time lost to illness in February and March, I'm looking forward to all the days I've still got left this year. I've got 274 more opportunities to eat right and exercise. I've got 274 more chances to be productive and resourceful. I've got 274 more days to have a positive impact on my health and fitness.

how about you? how can you change the rest of your