Monday, August 31, 2009

Nuptials di Richie and Renee

Richie, a law school buddy, got married this weekend up at the Canyons in Park City. It was fun times. The ceremony was awesome and the reception was a ton of fun. Renee looked beautiful and they both seemed very happy.

Another bonus of the wedding was getting to see lots of peeps from the various eras. On Friday night (after a leg ripping scooterpace session with el canid), the hubs and I made our way over to the Yohnson-Gammons for a derishous dinner. Hibbs and Lindsey (aka the Meltronome because she is probably the most perfect skier we know) were in town from Fresno for the wedding. While it was no yurt trip of 2008, it was still a pretty damn good time. The hubs and I are a lot older than most of these kids but we sure do like to hang with them.

Francescone (Mrs. J-G) is expecting. She is the quintessential cutest pregnant lady ever! We got to listen to some exerpts from her labor sound track--which is best described as "yacht rock."


As Hibbs said, I would love to see the look on the delivery doc's face when he comes into the room to hear "Sailing."

The uber bonus of the night was the arrival of the lego maniac (and co-owner of penfifteentees). He is one of the good ones and was also in town for the wedding from the Treasure State.

Saturday morning the hubs and I made our way up to PC to Rick and Lizzie's. We did a great ride with Rick and then met up with Lizzie back at the ranch to get ready for the wedding. Lizzie had gone for a big mountain bike ride with Abby so we got a little visit with Ms. Mini G as well.

Prior to the wedding, we stopped at Laura and Rodney's condo for pre-wedding happy hour. It was a good kickoff to a GREAT night!

The handsome hubs, driving.

We had a super fun time with Laura, Rodney and Shane. Laura is a rock star.

CUTIES. I think they were making out in the back seat when we weren't looking.

After this stop, we made our way to the gondola at the base of the Canyons.

Lizzie and I were laughing a lot. We were heartily enjoying our beverages. There *may* have been some accidents.

Handsome men on the gondola.

Law school buddy Susan B with PJ and Sil in the background.

As we dismounted the gondola, we were instantly greeted by a beaming Richie and his best men: Sturges and THE JUSTINO (another law school bud). YO JUSTINO! So great to see these guys.

We got ourselves some good seats and the beautiful ceremony commenced. The hubs and I actually did a reading for Richie and Renee. They gave us some awesome cowboy poetry to read during the wedding. We really got into it, making sure we had some cowboy hats and other props. And I cultivated a good rural twang from my previous week down in Wayne County so we tried our best to make it authentic.

After the ceremony--we made our way to our table--the Ocho (we were at table 8). We got to sit with the young crowd and had such a great time. The food was awesome, the company was stellar---we are honored to have been included in the celebration!

The reception didn't suck either. Lake Effect made sure that we tore that dance floor a new one. I am their #1 fan! WOO HOO Lake Effect! I LOVE those guys!

We somehow made it back to Rick and Lizzie's where we passed out.

The next morning, the hubs and I woke up about 50 hours after Rick and Lizzie (we need our beauty sleep). After a 5 star breakfast, we headed out on another great road ride. I got some great hang time with Lizzie and the hubs and Rick definitely got in a good manly hammer session. The hubs and I rode into the sunset (in our car, back down the canyon) with big smiles on our face. It was a GREAT weekend with wonderful people and super fun activities.

Congratulations Richie and Renee!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

My lack of time management skills

I'm back in the 801 (yaaaah!) and was discussing weekend plans with the hubs. I thought that driving almost 2 hours one way and doing a 70 mile race would still leave plenty of time to get to Richie and Renee's wedding on Satruday. Thus is the world of time mismanagement in which I live. The hubs put the kibosh on that one asking me to really think through how that would work--especially if there was any traffic or weirdness on the way back from Sanpete on Saturday. Well even when he said that I still thought it might work, but on the chance that it wouldn't, it would be really stupid to try. Eventually I agreed that there was actually a good chance we wouldn't make it back in time.

I don't know why I can't really figure these things out on my own.

Anyway, no racing on Saturday to ensure on time arrivals for said weddings. Especially important since the hubs and I actually have a minor role in the ceremony (we are doing a reading). So I can enjoy maximum punishment behind the Buddy tomorrow (scooterpacing--yeah!).

Last minute spontaneous dinner with the DBs tonight---yippee!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Creek water that's probably not safe to drink

I've been working in the southern part of the state this week. We've had long days but I managed to sneak in some post work rides the past 2 days.

Last night I rode through parts of Capitol Reef National Park. Now that is a National Park name that just doesn't resonate. There's nothing political/central or marine/oceanic about this area. I know its probably something to do with a geologic formation a baquillion years ago--but it just doesn't make the same kind of sense as Arches or Canyonlands. But I guess the NPS has got to feel like it can go a little nuts sometimes.

While it is beautiful down here--its definitely windy too. I got pretty thirsty on tonight's ride (though it wasn't long) because my water bottles sat in a hot car all day. Taking swigs off those bottles was like eating saltines. It was fairly remote where I was riding--so no water change outs available.

Its relatively high altitude here (about 7500 ft where I was riding). There was a creek running pretty close to the road. I was feeling pretty thirsty and I was considering hitting up the creek until I saw this sign:

I said "bad idea jeans" out loud and just tried to be mentally strong. I'm sure there's no actual carcass now. But it did seem rather portentous.

I'm looking forward to heading back to the 801 tomorrow and to seeing the hubs! I'm not looking forward to going back to yucky air and sauna temperatures. We've got Richie and Renee's wedding this weekend which promises to be an excellent time. There is also the giro di san pedro--or what most people call the Sanpete bike race. I don't anticipate being awesome on Saturday (with the punishment Coach K is doling out in anticipation of Tour of Missouri Crits coming up), but they have a REAL CANNON which they shoot and the hubs and JemClems are wanting to do the race---and so the scales tip.

Hope everyone is having a good week whether working, traveling, studying or what have you--and that you are managing to squeeze in a little fun around whatever your mid-week consumptions might be.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

We're going to Brian Head!

These past few days have been action packed. I had a great scooterpacing sesh with the cunning canid on Friday. It was H-O-T though.

Saturday I met up with Jem and Jason to check out the finish of Tour of Utah Stage 5 (finishing up Little Cottonwood Canyon). I met my compatriots at the base of Millcreek and we rode to the base of Big Cottonwood where we watered up at the sev. It was Caldissimo again.

Jason made us look like dorks in our spandex. He rode up Little Cottonwood Canyon looking like he was going to a barbecue!

I had some efforts to do so I got through those and then rode the rest of the way up the canyon with Jason and Jem. We stuck our heads in the ICY COLD creek and then made our way to a shady spot by the finish. Jem's mom drove up so the 3 of us hung out with the other hard core fans up at Snowbird. I was also the lucky recipient of some sweet advice.

A guy at one of the booths up there (I won't say which) was talking to me about this product. He showed me some bib shorts and when I said I didn't wear bibs he let me know that if I wanted to get serious about cycling I needed to start wearing bibs. I feel so lucky that there are people out there that can tell me this important information.

Jem had brought an extra cowbell so we were going nuts as superfans up there. I even sustained a cowbell injury. The skin on my middle finger rubbed off and now looks gangrenous. Some people just want to TALK about spectating the Tour of Utah. It was an exciting stage won by Alex Howes with super awesome local Burke Swindlehurst in 2nd.

I got a ride back down the canyon with Jem and her mom. I came home to discover that the CYCLOCROSS fairy had paid me a visit!

(Thanks DBs!)

In the continued high pace of my weekend, I headed up to the Letas for Renee's wedding shower. It was really fun and the treats were very yummy. They had something genius called salad on a stick. It ruled. It was really nice to meet some of Renee's other friends too. The super bonus was getting to hang out with these heads:

Lexie, Nicole and Lynsey (the other Team DG athletic supporter). These girls are all moms (or soon-to-be) and they are f-word hilarious. The exact reasons may not be discussed in this venue--I'll just say the word bathtime.

These girls always crack me up and it was awesome to see them.

After the shower, there was a co-ed event hosted by Laura and Rodney. The other superbonus was getting to see awesome badass Laura:

She is a superstar. I think she is one of my only female friends that golfs, though that is just one many things she does that make her able to hang tough with the guys in many aspects of life. After a few drinks, she (and her buddy Shane) committed to being my team support at the USA Crits Finals in Vegas. And yes Laura, by team support I mean hanging out at the pool, going to the spa, shopping and showing up to the race 3 sheets to the wind. Shane will have on his "special" outfit.

I'm hoping this is adequate to shame them into actually doing it.

Like a big loser I missed out on Le-Chef-ski's birthday. I had the gift all ready to go but I overbooked and mismanaged my time and they had already left their venue by the time I was ready for the next location. I will have to think of something REALLY good to make it up.

Got up this morning for the Tour of Utah Women's Crit. After this week of training, (and my previous night of festivizing) I was not exactly in the eye of the tiger.

However, we had a GREAT showing including our resident pros and super strong local girls. The course was a great 4-corner deal around Library square--very cool venue. The purse was ok, but the primes were really good. Is there anyone that *hearts* primes as much as me?

A bunch of people came out to cheer which was so cool--even the Master's 40-45 downhill state champion: I know him! Having the DB's, Woodies, JemClems, Jowegawas out there really gave me some motivation....There is nothing better! Best of all was the fact that the hubs drove straight back from Panguitch and made it in time for the finish.

The race was fairly active and then a steady drizzle made it interesting. My main objective was to test out my legs in the prime sprints and try to make something happen in the finish. Nicole and Alisha were definitely out to rip our legs off too. I made sure to get some of the good primes (a weekend in Brianhead, some wheels, and some $$). My cheering section totally fueled the fire. Afer I won the Brianhead prime, I was told that Clem exclaimed "We're going to Brianhead!" That ruled. Just totally ruled. And hell yeah we're all going to Brianhead!

Steve and Clem: both intact after their gnarly 200 mile ride in Panguitch on Saturday.

Heather Albert put in a big attack with a few laps to go. I was thinking Ski Utah would put in some effort to bring it back (since they were the biggest team) but it wasn't happening. I pulled on the last lap to close the gap and then Alisha closed it up inside of 400 meters. Nicky Wangsgaard ended up winning with Laura Howat coming around me at the line for 2nd. So I was 3rd. It wasn't an ideal way to finish but I'm not into racing for 2nd so that's what happens. It was a GREAT race and I hope it is bigger next year! I'm super appreciative that Ski Utah and Tour of Utah made it happen.

After the crit I had a nice spin with Nicole Evans. It was great to catch up with such a good egg and great rider. I was also really psyched to see coach K out there. Still nursing a broken collarbone, she rode up to the race from Ogden. I think it is all just fueling her cyclocross fire!

And speaking of coaches, I saw COACH at the Tour of Utah pro men's crit, along with Mrs. Coach and Coach Jr.

Quote of the Day " Yeah I rode shoreline with no helmet. Its like 8 feet wide, I need SOMETHING to make it a challenge."

Got some more good pearls from Coach while watching the men's crit. The Aussie crit champ (either that or the guy from the Performance video) won the crit. It was an awesome race to watch and even awesome-er to get to see all the peeps down there. For SLC on a Sunday, I do have to say there was quite a decent crowd.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunrise intervals and agonizing defeats

Last night's DMV was canceled as all hands are on the Tour of Utah deck right now.

On top of there being no training race, Andy and Roger--2 of the best peeps I have ever worked for--were in town for a few hours so I made my way over to shoot the shizzle with them. Andy's brother Kevin was there too.

It was AWESOME to see these guys. Totally had a great time hearing about their life and work happenings in addition to some good smacktalking.

I kinda blew my emotional wad with these guys so instead of riding after work I just went home and ate raw garlic to boost my immune system. Seemed like a good trade off at the time.

The hubs got home late on account'a Team Damian's Gingerballs' kickball championship game. I deeply regret to inform you all that Team DG suffered a CRUSHING defeat in the finals. When I tried to console the hubs (not that he was that bummed) by saying it was awesome they at least made it to the FINALS, he told me they had skated through the quarter finals and semi finals as the other teams had to forfeit for not having enough girls. Well still, the finals are the finals.

Now granted, I've only seen one game--though I'm tied for first as a superfan (yeah athletic supporters!). But the game I saw and the games I've HEARD about sound as if Team DG is the Alberto Contador of the 801 kickball league--not always making sound decisions--but having the talent to bring home the hardware!

And the hubs' game report--these guys really blew Team DG out of the water. They were sharks in the infield and they were Barry Bonds at the plate! There was some smack being thrown around about certain players that were ex-kickers for the Utes.

I personally think there was foul play and I plan to get to the bottom of it. This sounds like nothing short of cheating--the chemical enhancement way. How could you actually be THAT much better at kickball if you weren't doping? I plan to file a formal inquiry into the highest echelons of kickball officialdom--I'll travel to the international headquarters if I have to in order to blow the whistle on these cheaters! The kickball trophy (if there's even a trophy) will be wrested away from these miscreants and placed in the rightful ownership of the talented and very intoxicated squad that is Team DG.

In other news, I got up at OH-five-hundo for some sunrise intervals as I lamed out on yesterday's workout.
Sunrise at my back. Glad I did my intervals with my shades on my helmet.

As I was coming up the backside of Emigration, I ran into these kids!

The hubs (on a single speed mountain bike riding pavement) and Eric at the top of Emigration. Pretty Wasatch and deteriorating air quality visible in background.

The hubs and his buddy/boss Eric are doing Cycle Oregon in few weeks. Because Eric is a maniac on the floor (works a ton and has 3 kids) he has to do crazy early rides. The hubs doesn't like doing crazy early rides but he likes riding with Eric--hence he motivated this morning. He left his road shoes at work so he opted to ride his single speed mountain bike up Emigration...
I can't talk about it either. While Eric kept going, the hubs turned around with me because he is doing something I REALLY can't talk about--a 200 mile ride in Panguitch on Saturday.
Crazy talk.
The hubs, Clem and a few other hardcores are heading down to Southern Utah this weekend to do a 200 mile organized ride. I'm exhausted just typing about it.

For once, I'm going to be the one batching it in the 801 while the hubs goes to ride bikes. I'm really psyched for him to take on this challenge (almost as psyched as I am about not doing it myself). I'm looking forward to some friend time, good training, and racing on the Tour of Utah crit course on Sunday.

EVERY GIRL that rides a bike should come and do this race! It has been super cool to have an event like Tour of Utah here in the 801! It would be super cooler to have a women's event to go along with it! I'm not asking for a full stage race--just a last day crit (like Tour of California or Tour of Missouri). So even though the crit on Sunday is very small affair, I hope that all women will come out to race (whether you're burned out, whether you're a mountain biker--whatever!) because it would be awesome to support the fact that there is ANY women's TOU race at all this year--before asking for something bigger. So check it out HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2009

NOB this one's for you

I'm going to start eating gels this way.

Just trust me.

Diggin' it in Downers Grove

This past weekend was U.S. Crit Nationals in Downers Grove, IL. As I have some awesome cousins who split their time between Canada and Chicago, I was all over the chance to connect with famiglia and get in some good racing!
I made it to Chicago on Friday night and found my way to Conrad and Justine's SUPER trendy chic high rise condo.

View from the the 43rd floor abode.

I feasted on some delicious cutlets prepared by Conrad while getting a chance to catch up with these most excellent of people. 5 year old Alessandra even stayed up to get in a little hang time. She had grown up a ton since I'd last seen her 2 years ago at our wedding in Italy. I had so much fun with her. Alessandra gets private yoga instruction; in between traveling business class and having the most outfits of anyone I know (can I come back in my next life as her)

The smallest downward dog on the planet!

After dinner I turned to the task of putting my bike together. In a completely white, totally fancy, totally clean condo. I will admit that keeping a super clean bike is not my strong suit. Luckily my bike had received a little tlc from Tom Jow so it was in decent shape!

The bici gettin' a little pre race trip love from Tommy J.

Anyway, the prospect of building my bike in this most amazing of environs made me (almost) more nervous than the race. But I somehow managed....

On Saturday morning, I attempted to do a little spin. This was stressful for the following reasons:

1. Super trendy apartment security guy told me no bikes on the elevators (how do I get off the 43rd floor then? parachute?)
2. Downtown Chicago is not downtown Vancouver. There is a bike path along the water but it was COMPLETELY congested with people. There was no where for me to go.
3. Forgetting the apartment keys was not an option. And I forgot them. Mr. Anti-bicycle security guy was giving me no sympathy and I even told him I would start crying. And I had to leave for the race in about an hour. My cousins were out shopping and they had to come give me another set of keys. Yeah who's psyched their idiot hick cousin from Utah is visiting the big city?!

I made it back to the apartment and then met my cousins for lunch before heading to the Saturday race (the nationals "pre-race"). I then managed to make a 20 mile drive into an hour and a half endeavor. This was not entirely my fault. I blame the stupid air show, cities and construction as well. All of which I should've known about.

The good thing is that in between my heart attacks on the drive to the Saturday race, I didn't really have to time to stress about the race. I wasn't sure I was even going to MAKE it to the race. Good going.

But I did make it to the race.

Saturday was a race on the same course as Nationals. It basically had all the same people plus a few teams had some of their non-U.S. riders entered. It was a pretty cool course with a bunch of corners and a little kicker of an uphill. Tibco was super active and Kat Carroll ended up getting away in the later part of the race. She was able to hold her gap just ahead of the field with Tina Pic from Colavita winning the field sprint and Shelley Olds taking 3rd. I finished 15th which was fine. More exciting was the sweet parking spot I scored in front of my cousins' building.

Before the race I ran into awesome Keith McMahon--another Park Ave Bike Shop alum from waaaay back in the day. This guy was Mr. Cool (but non-attitude) road racer just when I was starting to get into riding. He lives in Chicago and is racing bikes again (he took 6th at Master's Nat'ls!). It was SO GREAT to run into Keith and do a little mini-catch up with him. Good stuff.

Afterward I headed back to urbania in time for some more hang time with the cugini. Getting to spend time with my awesome cousins was definitely the highlight of the weekend. I hadn't seen them since my wedding in Italy and it was so fun to get good quality time with them. This was yet another time this season where racing has facilitated connecting with awesome people. I feel really lucky!

On Sunday, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You just know when you wake up and feel like that its not going to be your day. You hope that you're going to be wrong....buuuuuut chances are you're probably right. Anyway, Sunday's race was the real deal as it would decide the U.S. National Crit Champion. Tibco again made the race very hard. It was also a lot LONGER race than Saturday (about 1.25 hours as opposed to 45 min) and it was more humid. At about the 50th minute I just started to feel the shut down. I had consumed all my bottles and I wanted more. What I really wanted was a COLD beverage. Anyway, with 5 laps to go it was game on and the lead out trains were forming. Tibco was driving it and I had decent position. With 2 laps to go I got swarmed around a hill and pinched in a corner. Hello brake slamming. What are you gonna do. Got behind a girl that opened up a big gap. Bummer. I ended up finishing 30th. I was pretty disappointed but what're you gonna do? It was an awesome race and I was super psyched to be competing at both events. I will just use it to (hopefully) fuel the fire for my remaining races.
Tina Pic ended up winning in a pretty amazing finish. Her team worked super hard for her and she is a classy rider (definitely talks with her legs) and it was cool that she got the win. Brooke Miller (the defending champ) was 2nd and Shelley Olds was 3rd (she is amazing).

After the race I downed 2 huge Gatorades, knowing this would mean I'd be in trouble with the hubs (he gets mad when he thinks I don't drink enough--he would have me take a camelback in the crits).

And my COUSINS had come out to watch the race which was SO COOL! It was so great to get some support out there and I think they even had a fun time. The best part was their phone call to my mom wherein she stated "I can hear it!" as they held the phone up as the pace car and pack came by.

Despite my mild displeasure with my result--I was HIGHLY PLEASED with the weather. Specifically--the fact that the skies opened about 15 minutes AFTER the women's race. The skies were definitely angry that day. So instead of risking my life on the crit course, I got to risk it on the highway back to Chicago in the super-gnar. After getting my head screwed on straight by Coach, I continued the journey back to the big city.

Back at casa super chic, we got some more good hang time which included re-feng shui-ing the apartment. Large couches, leather chairs, TVs and tables were moved. Alessandra was PISSED about her large tent being moved to accomodate the chi flow---but we decided to play a game called circus where she walked around the whole room without ever touching the floor and she got to pick new routes across the different furniture formations. I was her professional spotter.

After all that furniture moving, we were starved--so I got to experience cafe Spiaggia--an AMAZING restaurant on Michigan Ave. I'll admit I was all about the fact that the Obamas ate there the last time they were in Chicago. Along with our edible gardens and views on everything, its another thing we share.

Dinner was awesome. Gnocchi with a wild boar ragu and an arugula salad. Yep. A couple glasses of the Grignolino topped off with Gelato? Racing aside--THAT is what you call a good finish! That doesn't even factor in the excellent company and laughing at Conrad who couldn't stop being obsessed with one of Alessandra's games. (It reads your mind!)

Was back in the 801 this morning with issue free travel. Woo hoo! It was a total whirlwind of a weekend but a truly awesome time. The racing was great, the city was cool--and most importantly--I got to connect with my awesome family. I will have to see you guys before the race next year! Come to Utah--its not as weird as it seems, I promise!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Things I'm highly not into

I have dodged some bullets these past few days. On Tuesday after work, I started up City Creek Canyon for a leisurely spin. City Creek Canyon is a paved road which is closed to traffic. If you think that makes it safe you'd be wrong.

I was a mere mile from the gate when I came around a corner to see a middle aged guy rolling on the ground in pain with a carbon fiber bianchi laying a couple yards away. Said Bianchi had its front fork sheared off. A few yards from that carnage were 2 young-ish girls off their bikes brushing themselves off.
Once it was clear that the guy was basically ok, I asked the girls what happened--not that I needed to. Douche extraordinaire came BARRELLING downhill around a curve and PLOWED into these 2 girls. He actually hit the 1st one and then took out the 2nd. It was girl #1's first time using her clipless pedals.

The guy said he was ok but he wasn't really up for getting off the ground so I called 911.
I should mention that the speed limit in City Creek is 15 mph.
A crowd started to gather around. Despite the obvious barrier in the road, another pair of middle aged guys came around the corner a little hot. Guy number one slammed on the brakes and guy number 2 CRASHED BEHIND HIM!

Look, its not like I haven't had stupid crashes before. But people, seriously. Have you seen how many PARENTS there are pushing strollers in City Creek? For chrissakes.

Firetruck transporting DUMBASS who crashed into two cyclists on his ride down City Creek Canyon. Dude, I hope you're ok---slow the f$%& down until you learn how to handle your expensive bike.

I am highly not into this.

That blew my ride and I just went home. The hubs was on an epic of his own. He rode from home, up to the towers and over to Mueller. He tried to get back to City Creek on the dirt but it didn't happen. So he rode the pavement BACK to the antennas, back up Ensign peak and back home. He got home at 11:30. PM.

The hubs=hardcore and I LOVE IT! It is so cool to see people just ALL ABOUT doing the epics--with or without company!

Last night was the training race out at the DMV. There was a good crowd of people there including such cool chicks as PB, Nancy and Margaret and the normal assortment of strong guys. Since they can alter the course how they want, the course was set up super short and technical. It started out pretty hard. There was a break of about 3 and when a guy jumped I got on him and was able to bridge up. I was stoked! The shorter course meant more times up the finishing hill. This crushed me. I think the chase effort basically blew apart the race. I started to fall of the lead group at the same time as groups were being lapped. It was hard to tell who was who. Anyway, I was trying to bridge back to the lead group. A guy came around me (who may have already been lapped). He lead through the first corner on the lap and took the 2nd corner waaaay fast. He lost it and started flipping, flopping, tumbling and bouncing all over the place. I went into a power skid and veered off into the weeds. Luckily I didn't go down but I was f-word pissed. He was pretty bloody but was fine.

This is what my tire looked like from the skid. I didn't realize this till after I got home (oddly enough I had a front flat on my ride home).

I am also highly not into this.

I am happy to report that my bike is now in the capable hands of bikeDr. Tom Jow.

After the crash I rode to the finish, grabbed my backpack and rode home. I only raced for about 20 minutes but those 20 minutes were hard. PB gave me the shout to jump back in but with nationals only a few days away---I didn't want to risk it.

I have been going back and forth between being pissed and relieved. As coach says, "its racing, and people crash in racing." I know, I know. But both these things were so avoidable and can ultimately be reduced to the principle of "check yourself before you wreck yourself." Jesus. City Creek Canyon?? A TRAINING RACE?

As Woody would say.....COME ON!!!

So I'm a little spooked heading into the weekend. But I'm trying to let it go. And I'm also realizing that its not cool to get mad at people for crashing even if it could've been avoided. We all make mistakes. Hopefully, both these guys learned something. Maybe not--either way--I really hope they are ok and I know I should've had more empathy for them and their messedup-edness. So hopefully my retroactive well wishes for recovery count for something because no matter the circumstances, crashing always sucks. Hope both these guys heal up quick and are back on their bikes soon.

As for me, I'll be flying to shy-town tomorrow. I'm really excited to see my cugini, Conrad, Justine and my cuginetta Alessandra! I had so much fun with them at my wedding in Italia and I haven't seen them since then!

There is a race on Saturday and then Nationals are on Sunday. Please send me speedy (but rubber-side-down) vibes! Whatever you do---I hope you find yourself maximizing our minimizing summer!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh yeah! Mountain biking

The hubs and I capped off last week with an awesome dinner with the Yohnson-Gammons and Damiano. We did a little burning down about kickball, of course, and we heard about some of Damiano's business ideas. He is a smart kid--Princeton edumacted. In spite of that he seems to have common sense too. Anyway, he has many good business ideas. I can't write about them because I don't want to be the one who is responsible for him getting ripped off AGAIN (yes yes, the argon injected wine saver). I'll confess that while I may have had a few drinks, I believe the biggest idea of the night was boy soy. Or how to be a vegetarian with out the man-breasts. That's all I'll say.
Anyway, it was a great night with some delish appies by Damiano and peach blueberry cobbler by La Francescone (aka mrs. yohnson-gammon).

The hubs and I mixed it up a little and did a big sleep-in on Saturday morning. Woke up to a sinkful of gross dishes from the night before and raced out of the house to meet some peeps for a mountain bike ride in Park City. The cool temps were still in effect (weather like that justs FEELS like mountain biking). The kimo, le-Chef-ske, couch potato, JJ, Tom, Jenna and healing Beck were waiting for us. We were a posse.

The Kimo and me. YEAH Kimo!

Kimo is one of my mountain biking godmothers. I used to hate mountain biking and I used to think it was stupid and not fun at all. Thanks to my mountain bike godparents (the Kimo, Hank, DBs and Wild Rose boyzz), I learned that mountain biking is actually fun and no one cares if you walk your bike down stuff that you should ride (except maybe Wild Rose heads, they are a little harsh--luckily they are ususally otherwise occupied).

After a nice ride at Round Valley, we hit up the salsa bar singletrack at El Chubasco. It was delish and super fun to hang with the kids. I needed to get a little more riding in so the hubs and I did a small ride at Glenwild. What a nice trail.

This is not a pic from the ride--but it proves that I mountain bike and that I am also the owner of a sick Yeti 575. Note my incognito look so I don't give DFT p/b Treads a bad name with my sub-par mountain bike skilllllzzz.

After ride deux, the hubs and I met up with some of our other fave peeps,
The Woodies and the DBs (Wayne-o not pictured) .

We checked out Tipica--the Caputo's Superman by day Clark Kent by night project. You'll never see them at the same time in the same place. Wait a second.

It was an excellent dinner (bucatini pasta with arugula pesto and edible flowers, plus I finished J9's) outmatched only by the company. After dinner we had a girls vs. boys Pictionary throw-down at the Woodies. J9 playing Pictionary is like a SNL skit. Imagine the following scene:
Teammate draws a line
J9 shouts out Talking behind somebody's back even before the other team has turned the timer over. Anyway, thanks to our ringer we crushed the boys.

On Sunday morning, the hubs and I rode up Big Cottonwood. I was really not feeling the love and wanted to turn around at the 7-11. The hubs convinced me to ride just to the bathrooms. At that point we saw Richie and Renee who were going to meet the J-Gs up at the Silver Fork Lodge. That gave me a little motivation (in addition to the awesome hubs who let me dictate the pace). We got to Silver Fork lodge after what seemed like 10000000 years. While waiting to order I basically licked everyone's plates (um, were you going to finish that roll?) and then ordered a sammy of my own. Though it wasn't a very long ride---I was in need of some caloric replenishment. We enjoyed our mediocre food which was enhanced by the great views and terrific company. The J-Gs had just done a big hike and Richie and Renee were recovering from running the Jupiter Steeplechase the day before.

I was easily persuaded to take a ride from Richie and Renee down the canyon (actually I think I asked for one) while the hubs---Marlboro man that he is decided to fight the headwind, heat and heinous brake fumes back down the canyon.

It was a great weekend of friend catching up, riding and eating (and sleeping!)

I still need to catch up with this friend though!

In the meantime I'll be getting ready for crit nationals in Chicago this weekend in between working and sleeping. I'm really looking forward to this race especially because I'll get to see my cugini- Conrad, Justine and Alessandra!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thanks 801!

Today is an AWESOME day here in the 801! Its not boiling hot and the wind is fairly mellow. There is almost a hint of fall in the air.

Unlike today, it was looking like yesterday afternoon was going to be gale force winds and hotter than.....So, yesterday morning, the hubs, Clem and the hubs' boss Eric ripped my legs off up Big Mtn. Tiff is not so good with the early morning exercise. We got up at 0600 so we could make it to the ride meeting place at 0630. The previous day's workout had been jacked by the dustbowl conditions, so I had some efforts to accomplish. We had an awesome warmup up the lower part of Emigration and then it was time to start the efforts. I started ramping up and then Clem fired off a hard attack. Like a for reals attack. The hubs and I jumped on him and then I did most of my effort IN HIS DRAFT because he is such an animal. I then pulled the total tool move and sprinted around Clem at the top of Emigration.

On the 2nd climb up Big Mountain, I started ramping it up again but this time it was the hubs that blew everything apart. He is strong right now because he is training for and insane 200 mile ride in southern Utah that he's going to suffer through with the JemClems. I started reeling the hubs in right before the top and then Clem came jamming by me. It was an all out sprint for the KOM points but my bike toss at the top ensured my victory. That and the fact that Clem rode 170 miles a mere few days ago probably.

We then had an all-out TTT back down the canyon. Clem was a machine. Eric, the hubs' boss is a total animal. He busted out the ride in baggies and wearing toe clips. He is strong as hell and looks like a pro cyclist with hairy legs. He has 3 kids, works a ton, and rides probably 1-2x a week. He is a rock star.

We headed back into town and I went straight to work. The weather conditions got real gnarly in the afternoon and my ride home from work was a bit dicey.

Last night, the hubs and I headed to North Provo (ok, just Sandy, but it feels far) for dinner with the Kimo, Sean and Couch/Chair Potato. When people take photos of fun things that we do and don't send them to me right away--they don't get posted on the blog.

Le-chef-ske cheffed up some ridiculous flank steak, cucumber salad and marinated veggies. He should enter a competition. Kimo made some gluten free potato salad and I steamed some beets. I think I ate my weight in flank steak (and 90 lbs is a lot of flank steak), and finished off the evening with some of the Kimo's home made ice cream (thanks for that line Erin). It was super yummy and so great to hang out with those guys. Couch Potato is one unique individual and he never fails to crack us all up.

This morning, I had a little motorpacing session with sly fox. He put me in the hurt locker for 45 minutes on Wasatch Blvd. It was awesome. He has a pretty full motorpacing schedule today. I'm psyched I got in first because the weather was awesome for it!

Afterward, I spent a little QT in the giardino Pezzulo:

The corn is taller than me...but definitely not ready. Hopefully couch potato isn't right about there being a reason most corn is genetically modified to the bejesus. My corn is growing but it seems to have sort of stalled out. Too big to sautee in an asian stir fry, not big enough for actual eating. I guess its common for home grown corn to get worked over by bugs. So far it seems to be holding up....but we'll see.

My team-issue Crocs are the 1st thing I put on after a ride, and they work well for post-ride gardening activities.

Crocs and cherry tomatoes.

I'm looking forward to some quality hangs with some of my favorite peeps this weekend including the Johnson-Gammons, Damiano, DBs and Woodies. And of course the hubs and I will be getting in some nice 801 rides. There's even a slight chance for riding dirt.

I hope everyone gets to enjoy some of the goods that is the nice weather today. I feel like we earned it after suffering through the convection oven of July.

Whatever you do this weekend, may your grills heat evenly, your single track ride smoothly, your hikes be lovely and all your activities be enjoyed maximally!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Team Damian's Gingerballs to advance in kickball playoffs

Team photo from Cascade from super stud guest rider Anna courtesy of super awesome host and photo Nils. Pictured is Ambre, Lins, moi, Marisa and Anna.

So I had every intention of doing the training race at the DMV last night. I started heading out there and as soon as I crossed Redwood I received a serious pummeling from some wind which was then bolstered by dust. It was like getting full body dermabrasion. Even in my teeth. It was gnarly.

The hubs was going to ride from work to his kickball playoff game so I gave him a call to find out his 20 (and to see what the weather was like out west at his work). The hubs informed that it looked pre-hurricane out at his work and that he was doing an immediate peace out. I sought out some shelter at a gas station and waited for him to meet me. He found me begging for spare change for a slurpee and then convinced me to come to his kickball playoff game. Not that I needed much convincing.

As we headed east, the weather calmed down a little bit. The wind was still pretty intense. The hubs made it in time for the 2nd inning and I settled along the sidelinrs with the other "athletic supporter" Lynsey. She's not playing due to her pregnosity and I can't play on account'a my bum knee.

The game was awesome. Team Damian's Gingerballs had a shutout. They are really good! Plus their pink WAKA (world association of kickball associations or something like that) issued shirts make them look pretty pro.

I'm going to co-award MVP to Vijay, the pitcher and to Courtney, the catcher. Vijay was putting a wicked spin on his pitches and he also scored a lot of runs. Courtney was totally on it and did some pretty sweet moves to ensure some key outs: including pegging the other team with the ball (that's allowed it turns out).

Most improved goes to Brock who dropped a ball in the outfield but then came back with a dramatic catch in the outfield ending in a combat roll. Most aggressive goes to the guy who tore his quad in an earlier game and then was seen sliding into 3rd to the horror (or pride) of the rest of his teammates. BUP (Best under pressure) award goes to Caldo Michele for not dropping (nay even spilling) his beverage despite a line drive to the face. He would've gotten the MVP if he had actually caught it with one arm.

Sarah and her rainbow ski socks get the style award.

It was a great time--and I'm happy to report that Team Damian's Gingerballs will advance to the next round of the playoffs. Sweet 16 here we come!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recovering, reconnecting and getting rained on

Last week was all about recovering from Cascade. When I say Cascade I mean the drive home from Bend. Ok, the race too might have taken a little out of me. I felt like I put stuff from one suitcase into another as we packed ourselves off to Maine last Thursday for the randypants nuptials. Apparently I can't stay in one time zone for very long.

We got a little QT with the Woodies on Wednesday night before we left. The recent sched has not been conducive to getting hang times with our peeps.... But we got some good Woody nostalgia about York Harbor and the Nubble lighthouse. The character known as Woody hails from those parts (NH actually) and spent his whole life there till moving to the 801 over 10 years ago.

In any event, the hubs and I were kindly escorted to the airport by Lizzie on Thursday morning. It felt like the first time I'd seen her in 10000000 years. It was brief but so great to see her. So awesome of her to do the airport run. When I hesitantly told her we'd need to be at the airport at 7am she said no problem b/c that's sleeping in for her.

What do they call those people that don't sleep? Successful?

We met up with Erin at the Manchvegas airport and then began the shit show that is driving ANYWHERE in New England. I knew I was in New England when the first thing I saw as I de-planed was the double D (who knows what I'm talking about? hint- its all about the coffee). The hubs is a big advocate of using Google maps. I'll admit it has saved me in many foreign locations this summer. However, all bets are off when you are in New England. You're better just driving around in some circles for a while before stopping 5 times to ask for directions only to be told you are basically already where you want to be. What?

It was so beautiful there. Lush and green. We stopped in Portsmouth for some snacks before clusti-cating ourselves somehow to York Harbor--a cute town on the Maine coast. We stayed at an awesome inn where the wedding was to take place. We were right on the ocean.

We met up with D-cubed (the hubs' bro Dave, his wife Diane and Drewster). The Boulder-ians had arrived about the same time as us. Things always seems to work that way with this crew. We headed to a bar in Ogunquit for a meet and greet. Since this group is AACF (all about the carbon footprint), we piled 6 of us into a little subaru impreza. PS, when we rejoiced about getting a subaru for a rental, the feisty girl at the rental place informed us that subaru is you are a bus backwards. Who thinks they're cool now? Anyway, the bar was a little ways away, which was made a lot longer being smooshed into a back seat on top of the M.C. Escher road network on the coast of Maine. How can you get lost when you're just traveling UP the coast? I don't know either but we did. Both ways.

We connected up with the Randypants and lovely Janet and some of their peeps. It was SO GREAT to see those guys and super fun to meet their friends from their other life orbits. We had a super fun time with everyone. And the bar was pretty cool too. On the way out, the hubs and I kinda looked around at the local scene and could just totally picture Woody and Nezzy hanging out at a place like this. Lots of bar games, lots of beer, cute girls (though a little rough around the edges?) and enough unsavory types that you could get into fisticuffs if you needed to.

On Friday, the skies opened. Lucky for us it was the day we had planned a bike ride along the coast. We drove to the bike shop and as we were getting fit to our bikes (Cannondales--woo hoo!), the downpour began. Drewster tried asking for a map and the guys at the shop looked at him like he was an idiot. We explained that it was ok--he's Australian. But then we asked about maps too. Apparently they don't believe in those anyway. I think they just make the situation worse. What's wrong with a 2nd left at the Dunkin Donuts and when you see the retahded kids selling hot dogs you go right verbal instructions anyway?

We started riding in the rain. We rode in the rain the whole time. We even finished in the rain. We did an awesome 3 hour ride an nobody lost their shit. Well maybe Erin a little bit but she did the self time out and peaced back to the inn to seek shelter. On this ride I took NO water bottles and still peed 3 times. How is this possible? I can assure you I didn't hydrate before either (unless you count coffee). I think that there was just water EVERYWHERE and it somehow managed to find its way to my bladder. As we were riding back into Portsmouth, we had a spontaneous cheering section at one of the corners. It was pretty high value and they all ran to the side for some high 5s. That's what I'm talking about. They may have been celebrating happy hour a little early. Viva New England! We returned the sopping wet bikes to the awesome guys at the shop--Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth. We procured a 6-pack for a tip and then made our way back to York Harbor for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

This was an exciting part of the wedding because the hubs was a groomsman and I actually did a reading! Fun times!

We got our instructions and then headed to a clambake in town for the rehearsal dinner. Sals and Glenn (my mom and dad) had come up for the wedding too (as the Randypants is one of their many adopted chillens). The dinner was a true Maine experience, lobster and steamers. Kicked off with clam chowder. I, of course, am lame as I can't eat invertebrates...But I did wear one of the bibs to fit in.

On Saturday morning, one of my best buds from high school--TEEJ--drove up from Acton, Mass for a little visit. Teej is another adopted Pezzulo child. She drove up with her husband Chris (super awesome) and their totally cutey kid Thomas. We walked to a bagel shop in town and had a good catch up session with Teej. So So great to see her. After we said our goodbyes it was game time. The wedding was totally beautiful. Randypants and Janet got married at a park across from the inn, overlooking the ocean. Gorgeous. The hubs did a great job standing up there and escorting his assigned bridesmaid. I also nailed the reading. There were 2 words I wasn't sure about pronunciation--but neither were about the 5 other people I asked. My mom assured me that if that many people didn't know how to pronounce it, then no one was likely to know if I was pronouncing them correctly. So yeah, I rocked the reading.

The hubs, me and my 'rents. Hey if that shawl looks familiar to some of you it may be because you wore it in my wedding if you were a bridesmaid. Thanks for the photo mom!

There would be other pictures except everyone seems to be massively slacking on their picasa duties!! (hint)

The reception was a total blast. The DJ was almost as good as Beth and had a good selection of tunes. He played both my requests in a timely fashion (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Papa Don't Preach).

After the reception, the party continued at a house next door where a lot of the wedding party was staying. Randy's old bandmates were there so there was a sick jam session. These guys were super talented and they were playing a lot of stuff they ACTUALLY WROTE! It was super impressive.

Sunday morning we rented sea kayaks and paddled around the harbor and even peeked into the actual ocean. It was awesome. I was happy to learn my arms (which I don't use for anything) were able to paddle a sea kayak. It was an awesome way to close out a great trip!

We had nightmare travel on the way back to the 801. In a similar fashion to the previous Monday, I arrived at work having slept about 3 hours. Awesome. Who's ready for life?

And the off bike party is O-V-E-R. Time to get some speed going with all the upcoming crits! I'm looking forward to it! (the races, not the training)

Talking about training, I randomly ran into hubs as I was doing my workout last night. It couldn't have worked out better if we'd planned it. He finished my intervals with me. He gave me props for being strong--and I love getting compliments from the hubs...But it needs to be qualified by the fact that he had ridden to work, ridden and lunch and then ridden all the way back across town and done my work out with me. With a huge backpack. And no food all day. He go in trouble for the no food part. I shared some of my Power bar recovery product with him though and I think he's fine. Couch Potato came over (visiting from the 'way) and we had a nice dinner and got to catch up.

And I'm psyched to be in town this weekend. Looking forward to some friend catch-up and some squalor mitigation at our house. Its pretty bad right now. We're looking forward to living like civilized people this winter. Till then, its a fraternity house. Be on the lookout for your toga party invitation.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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