Thursday, December 30, 2010

The troops return

The crew returns after an epic day both on skis and en macchina. Now fortifying themselves with Lone Star football burritos, plotting tomorrow..
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Oh no you di'int!

Just got my sweet new CUSTOM Nique saddle courtesy of Dash Saddles in Boulder, CO. Holla for the pink! Everyone knows pink IS the new black. Its looking forlornly out the window as the blizzard rages. It also knows its too good for the it will save itself till it can be united with its home on a BH bike next week at team camp. (woohoo!)
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Climate roundtable

Johannes, Drewster and la Paquita having a serious scientific discussion...while wearing ski gear. Man I love these guys.
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Gallons of goddess goodness

We had a relatively uneventful drive home punctuated by a brief but awesome visit with moira and C. The sunset at the Colorado-Utah border was almost as amazing as the zucchini corn tamale in Durango. Towing a piano with the limosienna also kept things interesting. It gave the hubs and his male relatives some great opportunities for some bona fide man moments (wiring the limosienna, obtaining the trailer, and loading said piano).

Limosienna demonstrates its badass-ness once again
Not bad considering I may or may not have been driving when I snapped it

Dave (bro di hubs) caravaned from New Mexico with us. Awesome to have him here in the 801 with us. After a good coffee session with the bros Lawrence yesterday morning, I headed down chi boulevard to Avenues yoga. My favorite instructor, Jami was teaching this all levels flow class to a room packed with good-energy brewing women. In addition, studio owner/fab instructor Erin was also in attendance. While I cannot really explain the phenomenon, it is practically impossible to be stressed or otherwise poopy-diaper'ed around this fountain of fabulosity.
Jami and Erin-Bellissime!

With Jami and Erin in the same room there was no way I could avoid capturing the gallons of goddess goodness with this pro quality phone camera. Lucky for me they were happy to oblige. C'mon, you know you are getting some of the good vibes right now.  That might also be the good energy of the sweet space that is the studio (pictured in background).  Whether you are looking for a workout or a timeout, this sweets space offers a ton of different classes.  I love all the yoga studios here in the 801 (that I have had occasion to visit), but at Avenues I feel a home court advantage. Not that I'm challenging anyone to see if they can come and dis-balance my chi flow while I'm there...But, there is ZERO attitude and the space is light and calming.  Good, safe bike parking as well!

Since returning to the 801 we have amassed a house-ful of guests. I love it!!! Dave and some of his best buds from grad school have descended on the beehive state JUST IN TIME for a major dump of snow (they're here to ski).  Yippee!  While my knees are no longer resort-worthy, I'll be joining the peeps for some ski-touring on the weekend--should conditions warrant safe adventures in the Wasatch by then. 
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Funtimes with la famiglia de hubs

Steve's Gram, Cousin, Moi and Jane
Gramma Steph, Uncle Sid, Gene, Chris and Cousin Cassiope
Christmas Day Zia State Bike Ride
This is about everyone
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No offense to the snowshoe'ers, but...

We have been loving getting holiday cards!  I really do like the winter holidays and getting the cards is such and awesome part.  Everyone's cards are AWESOME but I have to give special props to the 2 best ones (in no particular order):
- Christmas card from my awesome high school bud Ellen; She has 2 kids and she and her fam are waaaaay into the Cabela's variety of outdoor sports...She doesn't really fit the normal mode of your garden variety outdoors it makes it even included of some large caught fish, snowmobiles and beach fishing...I loved this card--THANKS ELLEN!
- Holiday card from the Jowegawas: On the front there is a picture of some extreme snowshoeing (I guess that exists) and on the inside the following holiday message : "Here's to lots of extreme snowshoeing...for other people" And then a picture of some ski tracks.  (reasoning: the more people snowshoe, the less they ski Mrs. Jowegawa's lines in the backcountry).  Mrs. Jowegawa is one of a kind and no one loves skiing as much as her!

In other holiday awesomeness, the planets aligned for me to get pressies from both Coach and Coach K on Saturday!  I previously referred to the HTFU wristband and the ipod cover (hint: get your ass on your bike and get it outside--that's how said pressies were delivered after all!). 

These photos will never get old: 4 letter words! Thanks for this one Bob and Ben!
In addition, Coach K sent me some winter reading material: "Thinking Body, Dancing Mind" and "Once a Runner."  I'm really into the "Thinking Body" which talks about being a Tao Athlete.  Good stuff.
Coach K models her recently acquired Master's National Champ 'cross jersey along with a recovery beverage

I also experienced some winter wonderland up at Mel's cabin in Tollgate Canyon 2 nights ago.  It was like going on a hut trip without the skiing in part.  We actually ended up doing some extreme snowshoeing so we could do a little exploring up and unplowed road.  Super amazing up there, I can't wait to go back.  There was a shit ton of snow...It was actually sad to drive back into the SLC which was just wet, not white...

In spite of the good stuff, I've been feeling pretty poopy...low-grade body funk or some such.  Have been hitting the z's pretty hard and was able to motivate to hit the weight room with Richie and il Justino last night.  I *heart* these guys...They were some of my best buds in law spite of the fact that both have crazy lives with hard core careers and family lives, its been so cool to be hans and franzing with these guys.

Hope everyone is getting into some sweet holiday spirit.  We'll be road tripping in a snow storm tomorrow (because that's what you do) heading south towards New Mexico.  Planning on a Moab ride and some hang time with the Durango peeps--should be awesome!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday awesomeness

It was back into the swing of things with Holiday Cheer at the Woodies last night.  Everyone came out of the woodwork for this one: The Kimo, the Julie Js, COACH, TomJow...It was awesome.  Special guest appearances by Mel and Seth, JemClems, Richie and Renee, Wade, the Yohnson-Gammons, Lizzie and Mini G along with Thanksgiving celebs the DBs, Harris and Fraser, and the Schnolnick sibs.  This is not an exhaustive list and there were many other awesome specimens in attendance.

Woody proclaimed it was nothing fancy and that he wasn't cooking.  I guess the FOUR DIFFERENT SOUPS he cheffed up didn't get that message.  There were lots of other tasties accompanied by much fruit of the vine and other adult beverages. 

Got some good QT with Coach and notorious hardman Zeus...The hubs and I are used to ALWAYS being the last ones to leave the Woodies--but this event brought out some serious talent.  Eventually the evening wound down to the final 4 (Tiff/hubs, Wade, Craig S and Lauren/Zeus).  I couldn't believe it...I was fading fast but couldn't bear to leave when there were that many people!  I knew we weren't going to beat out Wade since he was staying over...but the others were hanging tough with no signs of cracking!  It was impressive.  It was a standoff till 2 am when most of us decided to call it a night.  What did I get for my victory?  The inability to get out of bed this morning and a big headache.  When I checked outside to see how wet it was--there was a HTFU wristband on my doorknob.  DAMMIT!!!!!!  And I'm not even joking.  What does this mean for me?  Its hard to say.  Santa and Coach both know if I've been bad or good (with training) I guess and they're WATCHIN'. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Photographic post mortem

Its taken a few days to get back to normal but I'm feeling more human today.

Here are some pictures from the last day at Cronulla (All photos courtesy of Anthony Sill):

Liza and Tiff

Diving into one end of the hotdog

What an amazing trip.  Unfortunately, I had some shifting problems coming into the final sprint at Cronulla.  That was--by far--my favorite course.  In the end I ended up 10th overall in the series so I was pretty happy.  Cycling news did some race reporting here

Kate Bates was interviewed about Rochelle Gilmore's dangerous sprint tactics too.  Bad times.  I hope the Russian is ok...

In the meantime I'm still waiting to get ahold of some Kiwi birthday Haka video.  Will hopefully get that up soon.

Thanks to everyone for following the adventures and for the awesome encouragement and support!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back in Kansas

I have returned from Oz rich in stories and poor in energy.  But I guess that's what happens when you time travel (I left Sydney Monday afternoon and got to Salt Lake on Monday afternoon).  It would've been great to touch down, grab a few banana peels out of the trash and head back to the future, but instead I'm here in the gray, cold, polluted weather feeling like I got hit by a truck.  Truth be told, while I miss the amazing weather and awesome, adrenaline filled life of the past week, nothing beats coming home to the hubs who I really missed like crazy.  And of course I can't wait to catch up with my beehive peeps!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tiff and HTFU both have 4 letters

A lot went down today.  We had to do some logistical people moving to get from Terrigal to Coogee for today's race.  The resort town of Coogee was a fantastic locale for a race.  It was a fun car ride over with Kiwis Sam and ARay along with superawesome Nicky from Brisbane (and of course team captian Jennx).  We arrived at Coogee a few hours before our race so we could soak up some of the scene.  There was a beautiful beach and tons of people barbequing, playing cricket and just generally hanging out.  I still haven't gotten used to seeing Christmas lights on the houses here with it being 80 degrees.

While doing a few laps of the course (another hotdiggetydog), I heard my name and there were Bobo, Sylviar and there peeps holding up a 4 poster cards with the letters T-I-F-F!!!!!!!!!!!!  Was that possibly the most amazing highlight of my trip??  But hold on, it gets better...They flipped the cards over like they were in an opening ceremonies arena and the cards read HTFU (harden the f- up)....Dear god....You know you're going to have a good race when something like that happens. 

As it was teammate Starla's birthday, she got a shout out from the race announcer who made some comments about her body art.  Differences in Aussie and American announcers I suppose.  Today's course was really fun and there were a ton of spectators.  The race started out pretty active.  We were launching some attacks and trying to light it up.  About halfway through the race, a break started to go up the road and there were no Vanderkittens in it...I heard Liza yell my name and I buried myself.  Nicky bridged up and I jumped on her wheel in order to make it the rest of the way to what became a 7 person break.  The course had two 180 degree turns and a LOOOOOOONG uphill finish.  I struggled hard to stay in the break and just when I was on the verge of complete breakdown I would hear our director, John Vandevelde yelling at me from the sideline that I HAD to stay in there...and so I would dig into the depths and make contact again.  Hey its December, remember?  But then again, HTFU.

The break had the other 2 major teams represented along with several strong individuals.  As the laps ticked down I tried to transition my brain from "please god let me just stay in here" to thinking what I would need to do to win...but race brain + tongue on the stem made it so that I gave it everything but ended up coming in 6th...Its always a little disappointing not to win (or at least be up there) when you make it into the break, but I can honestly say I gave everything and then some so I really am proud of what I (and this awesome team) was able to accomplish.

Hearing Bob and Sylvia and their peeps on the course was so huge.  Nothing rules more than travelling halfway across the world and being able to cross orbits with fabulous specimens of humanity such as these.  Though I had only met these gems once, they are good buds with one of my oldest friends Erin...So it was so great to hang out with them here!  The only bummer was that Erin wasn't there to join in on the fun. 

After the race we went for a dip in the Tasman Sea, which was only a few hundred meters off the race course.  The water was cool and refreshing the beach was gorgeous--Starla did get attacked by some killer seaweed though.

After the dip, we met up with Bobo, Sylviar and their cycling buddies Ben (who has a brother in Salt Lake--random, and I'm on the lookout for this cat now!) and Alice at a beachside bar.  I got some AWESOME hang time with these guys and their super cool friends....along with my teammates, and new Aussie racing friend Nicky.  I have never had a sign made for me at the race--its one of those things that goes down in the annals of my life as one of the coolest things ever (up there with getting the Italian Stallion t-shirt from the New Hampsterians!)

After grabbing some food and beverages, we said our goodbyes to Bobo, Sylvia, Ben and Alice and loaded up for some more grubby hours in the car.  At one of the pee stops, teammate EK and I undertook a covert cake purchasing operation for Starla's birthday.  Because EK is a ninja in all aspects of life, we secretly and successfully got a cake which we busted out once we arrived back at the hotel.

As we brought the candle-lit cake into Starla's hotel room, the Kiwis: Sam, A-ray, and the rest of them filed in wearing their underwear and proceeded to bust out a HAKA FOR STARLA'S BIRTHDAY! Ok usually sports teams do that as a way to seriously intimidate the other team....but this was the COOLEST BIRTHDAY SONG(?) I've ever seen.  The haka is some badass, primordial stuff.  I can't wait to show the hubs the video (which I will have to mooch of my teammate's cameras).  I would like to announce that I will only be accepting Hakas in lieu of singing Happy Birthday from here on out...

And we're turning in for the night after what had to be the best day of the trip so far.  Last race is in Cronulla and its the queen jewel of the series from what I hear.  I can't wait!

Check out Jenn's blog for some photos and additional sweet wrap-ups.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A country of abbreve-rs

This is my motherland...because everyone abbreves everything.  Woolworth's is Woolies and we all know what brekkie is.  It is so awesome.  I cannot figure out how the roads and cars work and keep getting in on the driver's side of the car.  I need supervision to cross the street.

The racing has been super fun here!  Day one in Bathurst was a 4 corner 500 meter course.  That's right, 500 meters.  It reminded me of our state crit champs in the Beehive state.  Fellow guestrider (and teammate for next year) Emily took 5th with me 7th and Starla in 10th.  Bathurst is home to huge racing track (a la Laguna Seca) and were super lucky to be staying right on it!

On Day 2 we headed to Paramatta (home of rugby legend Peter Sterling, thanks Drewster) for a diamond shaped course in a city park.  The park was home to one of Australia's oldest buildings (a dairy cottage on land taken from the Burramatta clan of the Darug Aborigines).  With an uphill finish, I got pretty worked.  However, Liza dug for top 10 and I finished somewhere in the top 15.  The other epic aspect of the day was the drive to our next destination at 10 o'clock at night.  The VK team has been split between 2 cars and Jennx and I have been rolling to the various races with some Kiwis (including a JAFA---just another f'ing Aucklander) and a Queenslander.  Its been awesome to learn some new lingo and do some sweet cultural exchanging.

Yesterday we race in the AMAZING beach town of Gosford.  The hotdog course (which refers to the shape) was held right along the water.  Vanderkitten was super active launching lots of attacks.  Liza ended up 4th with me in 6th and Starla around 8th.  Rochelle Gilmore won again with Russian track star Eugenia Romanuta--The Russian (just like in Rocky) getting crashed out in the finish.  That part definitely sucked...But Rochelle ended up getting disqualified and it sounds like the Russian will be ok (eventually) but is definitely not racing anymore.  A real bummer.

Today we've got another drive to our next race in Coogee (which rhymes with would she--thaks Drewster) for another hot dog course.  In super potential awesomeness--Erin's good buddy Bob from accounting and his wife Sylviar (who both live in Sydney) may be making a guest appearance.  HTFU signs have been promised.

And we're off more adventures.  I love this place...Turns out that's a bird, not a person whistling outside our room.  So cool.

So for now, cheers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What day is it?

Day 2.5 (depending how you count it) in Australia.  There are birds here that sound like people and the gardenias smell AMAZING!!!
O captain my captain Jenn posted a photo on her blog from our sweet ride yesterday.

We are heading to Bathurst for the 1st race today.  Sounds like we will have an interesting drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Will have to pour a little out of a water bottle at Drewster's favorite climbing spot.

I might also get a chance to hook up with some of Erin's peeps, Bob and Sylviar.  Friends on the other side!!!

Off to see the wizard

When you get a phone call from one of your fave teammate peeps asking if you want to go race 5 crits in Australia, you know there's only one answer!  I'll be racing with Vanderkitten rockstars Jennx Reither, Starla Teddergreen and super Aussie DJ Jazzy Jeff Hurikino.  Primal teammates Emily Kachorek, Liza Rachetto and moi are super lucky to be representing Vanderkitten in the land down under! Its been a total the call Thursday, was on a plane 3 days later.  Jono is a super star, Coach, CoachK, Tom Jow, co-worker John and all my friend peeps did a major push to get me sorted out for the trip (with the best supporter being the hubs---he's been the sanity rock through all this!).

I joined up with 4 of the girls in LA and we traveled together on the BEST AIRLINE EVER--V Australia.  I *heart* them.  It was like a disco at the check-in counter.  They rule.

After an interminable flight, we landed in Sydney and were met by our director for the week, John Vandevelde.  This day has been surreal.  It felt like dinner at lunch and now I don't even know what's going on.  We did a sweet ride around Cronulla and then got some lunch a trendy abode in a little cool spot near our hotel.

Tomorrow is the 1st race.  Racing in December---WOO HOO!!! This has been so amazing and I feel super lucky to have this opportunity.  I can't even believe it!!!

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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