Tuesday, January 15, 2013

things my mother taught me

Today is the 10th anniversary of my mother's death.  She survived my father by 5 years.  Although they're not here to guide me anymore, I'm forever indebted for the many life lessons they taught me.  I'm sure you can all remember the hints, tips, and warnings your parents gave you during childhood.  Here are a few from my mother.

Only wear white shoes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  Sorry mom, my favorite cycling shoes are white and I wear them year-round.  In the winter, I wear white shoe covers for extra warmth.

You lose 80% of your heat through your head.  This piece of advice I follow.  I don't like hats -- they make my head feel itchy.  I was never that girl in the cute baseball cap.  But I do add a skullcap under my cycling helmet in winter months to help keep me warm.

Be prepared!  Growing up, I remember my school-bag with a sewing kit, extra pens and pencils, and everything but a swiss army knife.  Mom believed in being prepared for any situation, any emergency, any adventure.  I won't even tell you what's in my purse (or my bike bag) today!

Write it down.  My mom was a list-maker.  She had little notebooks organized for all the various tasks she was responsible for (grocery shopping, laundry, finance, honey-do lists).  In her later years, I found great humor in these lists (and the duplicates she created).  I'm clearly becoming my mother because I've been keeping lists (in notebooks) for years.  I somehow can't embrace electronic to-do lists and still keep my paper notebooks.

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.  I'm learning.  I've installed a filter.   I still slip sometimes but I've started thinking twice (or three times) before speaking or hitting "send" on email.

Always send hand-written thank you notes.  In our family, we wrote thank you notes for everything.  If someone did something nice for you, you wrote a thank you note.  If someone gave you a gift, you sent a thank you note.  If someone sent you a card, you sent a thank you note (which started a boomerang of thank you notes).  One of my personal goals for 2013 is to send timely thank you notes.  And other notes.  I'm going to do my best to keep the USPS in service by communicating in hand-written fashion.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  You know, basically be nice.  Treat others with respect.  Be generous.  Be kind.  Smile.  Listen intently.  Help others.  Let someone take your place in line.  Carry someone's bag.  Be giving.  Don't be self-centered.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  I hated breakfast as a kid.  Actually, I didn't really like to eat at all as a kid.  I was a picky eater and there wasn't much I actually liked.  I didn't like cereal and would only eat it without milk.  That's right, I ate dry breakfast cereal.  I've come a long way in my food preferences and now embrace the energy I get from my morning breakfast.  Here's my go-to for cycling days:

Lorri's Super-Yum Rice-Cooker Oats:

1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 apple chopped into hearty chunks
cinnamon to taste
1 1/4 cup water

Place it all in a rice cooker and let it work it's magic.  It takes about 20 minutes.  If you're all fancy, you can get a rice cooker with a timer and prepare it the night before.  I'm not fancy like that.

Once it's cooked I add:

vanilla almond milk (quantity depends on the consistency you prefer)
1 tablespoon shredded organic coconut
1 tablespoon chia seeds
a handful of nuts (walnuts and pecans are my favorite)



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Where will you ride in 2013?

I'm always excited when I plan my annual calendar.  In addition to racing, coaching skills clinics, and directing camps, I try to fit in a few organized rides each season.  I started riding to participate in endurance events and I still love to participate in a big, fun event (especially if the food is good!).  It's always a great way to ride in places I don't typically ride, explore new roads, and have awesome support while doing it.  
One of the really cool things about Team Velo Girls is that we're a multi-disciplinary team.  Our members include road racers, mountain bike racers, cyclocrossers, and endurance road riders who lead all of our club rides.  These awesome women, ranging in age from 20s to 60s, are experienced endurance riders who focus their goals on helping you achieve your goals.  Each year they put together an awesome schedule of training rides to help you challenge yourself and prepare to ride in some great organized rides.  Each of our  progressive training ride series is designed to gradually increase your duration and climbing and to prepare you to ride your best events yet! These are members-only rides, so make sure to join or renew your Velo Girls membership for 2013.

ENDURANCE SERIES #1:  Cinderella Classic -- January 19th to April 6th
Join us as we prepare for the Cinderella Classic, a fabulous all-women's ride on April 6th. There are 2 options available - a metric century (63 miles) and the Challenge ride (90 miles). This popular event sells out every year so register early. If you don't receive a registration card in the mail, email cinderella@velogirls.com and we'll send one to you.
You’ll find details and RSVP for all Cinderella Progressive Training Ride Series rides + events at our meetup:  http://www.meetup.com/velogirls
 January 19thCinderella Kick-Start Clinic  -- New for 2013!
January 20th – Cinderella Shake-Out Ride (with Melo Velo) – 15 miles
January 26th – Cinderella Ride #1 – Paradise Loop from Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito – 25 miles, rolling hills with one small climb. 
February 2nd – Cinderella Ride #2 – Three Bears from Orinda BART – 21 miles with 1,500’ of climbing.
February 9th – Cinderella Ride #3 – Los Altos Ramble from Woodside Town Hall – 28 miles with 951’ of climbing
February 16th – Cinderella Ride #4 – Lagunitas from Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito – 37 miles with 1,850’ of climbing
February 23rd – Cinderella Ride #5 – Edgewood, Los Altos, Golden Oad from Woodside Town Hall – 43 miles with 2,000’ of climbing
March 2nd – Cinderella Ride #6 – Moraga Loop from Orinda BART – 45 miles with 2,100’ of climbing
March 9th – Cinderella Ride #7 – Los Gatos from Woodside Town Hall – 45 miles with 2,500’ of climbing
March 16th – Cinderella Ride #8 – Morgan Territory Loop from Heather Farms Park in Walnut Creek – 54 miles with 3,233’ of climbing
March 23rd – Cinderella Ride #9 – Pt. Reyes Station from Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito – 60 miles with 3,900’ of climbing
March 30th – Cinderella Ride #10 + Series Celebration! – Woodside from Burlingame Caltrain Station – 30 miles
April 6th – Cinderella Classic

ENDURANCE SERIES #2:  Billy Goat Climbing Series -- May + June

Hills, you either love them or hate them, right?  But if you ride in Northern California, there’s no way to avoid them.  Join Team Velo Girls for this series of all the best climbs in the bay area, including Mt. Hamilton, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais, and Old La Honda.  This series focuses on elevation gain (not mileage) so you’ll get a big bang for your pedaling buck!  Detailed schedule will be available in March.

ENDURANCE SERIES #3: Foxy's Fall Century Progressive Series -- August - October

Let’s keep our cycling fitness up through the fall months.  We’re going to prepare you for an awesome fall century – Foxy’s Fall Century on October 19th in Davis.  Detailed schedule will be available in May.


In addition to these series, check out the Velo Girls calendar for our other club rides:
  • Melo Velo Beginners’ Road Ride
  • First-Timers’ Mountain Bike Rides
  • Midweek Madness Co-ed Road Rides
  • Dirty Velo Girls Mountain Bike Rides

So what are you waiting for?  Pull out your calendar, pencil us in, and join us for a great year of riding in 2013!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Putting My Stamp On 2013

I've often felt that the way in which you start a new year is indicative of how that year will progress.  It's a way to set your intention for the year.  So, while others were waking up this morning hungover from their New Year's Eve festivities, I was racing my bicycle at the San Bruno Mountain Hill Climb.

Since I started racing in 2002, I've never raced San Bruno.  I've been to the race a number of times, supporting the team, bringing baked goods for the officials, coaching my athletes, but for one reason or another, even though I've wanted to race it and even though I've had good fitness some years, I never did.  So this year, with a goal of focusing on road racing, I put San Bruno on my list.  I wanted to put my stamp on the year.  It was my way to say "I'm back!"

The race is a 3.7 mile climb with 1,187' of climbing.  The average grade is 6% with a couple little sections up to 10%.  The first half of the climb is on Guadalupe Canyon Road, a smoothly-paved 4-lane road with a wide shoulder and lots of exposure (so wind can play a factor).  The second half of the climb is up Radio Road, a chopped-up, bumpy service road  through San Bruno Mountain State Park.  I've ridden the course a bunch of times so I was familiar with the unique challenges of a race like this.  The weather today was good -- cold (40s and 50s) and clear with no wind on the bay side and just a slight wind on the ocean side.

Lorri at the crossover through San Bruno Mountain State Park

Now, no one will ever accuse me of being a petite flower.  I'm not a skinny climber girl.  I'm tall and will never weigh 110 pounds.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to climb.  I've ridden the Death Ride five times.  I climb everything I can.  I like long and steep and painful climbs.  But I'm not a fast climber.  Even when I was younger and lighter I wasn't a fast climber.  But I still love it.  I knew from my pre-ride times that I would be nowhere near the race leaders.  But my goal was to get out there.  Actually, that was my secondary goal.  My primary goal was to get some of my new Team Velo Girls racers out there.

You see, we haven't had much going on in the road racing scene for a couple of years.  I've watched women's racing development decline in Northern California the past few years, too.  So, this season, I'm committed to changing that.  I've recruited an awesome team of 12 racers, ranging in age from 27 to 50 (and I'm not the oldest!) who are fun and excited to race together as a team.  It's the first time since our inaugural team in 2002 that I've got an entire team of new (or almost new) racers to coach.  They're all excited about learning a new sport.  We've had a great fall training together and the women are anxious to start racing together.

Unfortunately, I injured my back a month ago (in yin yoga of all places).  I rode through it with a 4-day climbfest at Thanksgiving (Hamilton, Diablo, Tam, and San Bruno) and then a 3-day training camp in San Luis Obispo.  But for most of December, I was off the bike, with the exception of two very short, very easy rides.  My back is now healed but my body has de-trained significantly in the past month.  And while I'm disappointed not to be in good fitness for the race, I put it in perspective -- today was more about participating than winning.  And I rode okay, coming in less than a minute over my time goal.

So today, Tiina, Oralia, and I raced San Bruno and Leslie and Winnie came out to support and cheer.  It was a super-fun day.  Everyone learned a lot and did really well.  Tiina finished just off the podium in her very first race ever (and she is a skinny little climber girl).  Oralia flew up the hill finishing strong, also in her first race.  And I rolled across the line with a great big smile and my hands in the air in my own personal victory salute.

Tiina, Lorri, and Oralia 

And then we toasted to the new year and the new team with some Martinelli's sparkling apple cider.  It's going to be an exciting year.  We're going to have a great team and I predict that we'll win a bunch of races, too.  We're going to have fun.  And we'll keep toasting to races raced, lessons learned, and opportunities for growth.

How did you put your stamp on 2013?  Did you do something today that's related to your goals for the year?