Sunday, February 28, 2010


Apparently apologies are in order for our lack of blogging this week. So, we apologize. Just one of those weeks and the blogging didn't get done. However, we had a fantastic and packed weekend of ALC events.

First, Caitlin and I spent Saturday hanging out with her family (okay, hanging out with Abby, the 2-year old with serious addiction to princesses and pink) and working on some fundraising ideas. Then, we were privileged to be able to attend the birthday party of our teammate, Tara. Happy Birthday Tara!! The Bike Whisperer had organized an amazing movement of Tara People and got everyone to donate enough money to purchase a NEW BIKE! Tara is now the proud owner of a Specialized Dolce from Cynergy (the bestest bike shop ever). She screamed excited little girl who got a new bike!! It was fantastic.

Today we set our sights on Malibu. We met a crew at Cynergy (partial Team Cray Cray and the rest were tagalongs....6 riders total) to ride out at 9ish....I mean, you leave me to organize a ride and we all know that its going to leave late. Thanks Mom, for the Always Running Late genes. PCH was gorgeous today! A little bit of extra debris on the shoulder from the rain this week and a couple of places where the cliffs had clearly washed down, but we were safe and made sure to share the road (I'll tell you about a little road rage/traffic incident in Santa Monica a little later). The Goal of the Day = Shaved Ice from Malibu Yogurt. It was easier than normal to coax Caitlin on a 30 mile ride with a promise of Shaved Ice halfway through.

Malibu Yogurt, otherwise known as BuYo in Pepperdine lingo, is the best frozen yogurt/ice cream/shaved ice store in the world. I believe this to be true for two reasons: (i) they ALWAYS have peanut butter froyo on hand and (ii) they sell Shaved Ice year round. And today was no different! Pink Lemonade and Strawberry shaved ice were a fantastic treat.

OMG, don't worry, we/Caitlin fit in a little shopping as well. It was the first time in a month that we went shopping in a non-bike store. It felt weird and wonderful, almost like a homecoming for Caitlin. She bought something within 2 min. of being in that store. I scoped out dresses and sandals and bikinis, but when you're on a bike 15 miles from home, its kind hard to carry anything...but a new WATCH! See pics for a look at Caitlin's purchase. She claims it was the first thing she's ever bought that she didn't plan out for months ahead of time....she's probably right.

The day didn't go by without a little bit of bike hating on Caitlin. About 3 miles from Cynergy the chain jumped off its tracks and left her stranded on San Vicente. Luckily, we were close enough for me to ride back, get the car and scoop her up. We were very thankful that we weren't stranded on some highway with all kinds of crazy cars flying by. However, I am a bit concerned that NO OTHER BIKERS stopped to ask us if we needed help. Hmmm, weird. The bikers I know would have NEVER just ridden by. But whatevs.

We ended the day by meeting Caitlin's family at Cynergy so that her sister could purchase a new bike! Alexis is training for a triathalon, and she was in need of a bike for the biking portion. Obviously. Mike, the original Cynergy Whisperer who so amazingly helped Caitlin and I at purchase day, helped Alexis as well. He's good people, obviously since he's from Iowa (What!)!

So, we're all sore and ready to face the week. Stay tuned to see what this one brings!

Caitlin has been wanting an "athletic watch" since the day we started riding. Yes, ATHLETIC. I think she's coming to the dark side.

Best. Stop. Ever. Pretty sure we'll be riding to Malibu every other weekend.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why I Like Biking More than Yoga.

1. While you're on a bike, generally no one plays some miniature piano/accordian contraption and sings to you.
2. In biking, no one groans in a dark room with strangers.
3. To "practice" yoga (seriously?) you have to abide by someone else's schedule; I can hop on my bike any time of night or day (I have flashing lights, thank you) according to how I feel.
4. Unpleasant hair configurations are hidden by helmets.
5. You get to wear shoes on a bike.
6. You can call the ground the "ground" rather than Mother Earth. (I grew up in Iowa; this new-agey stuff is real strange to my ears.)
7. Eating is generally added to the bike riding; the last time I ate before yoga I almost threw up.
8. I think my bike seat is actually more padded than a yoga mat.

Now, if you love yoga, more power to you. It is definitely a good workout and works up a sweat, its just a little bit...shall we say...out of the ordinary way of my life? But, honestly, I could just feel this way because Caitlin and I went to yoga at 5:10am. We're attempting a little "cross training" with the biking. Also, Caitlin's back is dead and my back has been dead for the past year, so we're attempting a little rehabilitation. This morning = not so successful (please see Item #1. Weird man sang to me at 5:30am. No bueno.). I missed my bike.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pos Peds and other members of the Secret Society of Riders

It will be 30 days tomorrow that we bought our bikes. Can you believe it?? You’ve been following us for approximately the same amount of time. I know, it feels like you’ve known us forever and we’ve been making you LOL all year long, but really, it’s barely been a month. The two of us have gone from novice newbies to somewhere in the middle. We’ve had second thoughts and we’ve been grumpy. We’ve also laughed a lot, been amazed at what we can accomplish and met all kinds of new friends.

For the most part, we try to keep it light and not get all heavy and stuff, but some of this ride is not about LOLing and getting in shape and being amazed at this whole new world. Some of this is about, in the words of one of my best friends from college, getting to know the Secret Society of Riders and telling their stories.

This weekend I rode 40 miles (the route sheet says 44, but my bike computer says 40…either way, it was A LOT) up and over Topanga, down PCH, through Santa Monica and Brentwood, up Sepulveda and back into the valley. It was a training ride called “Pos Peds do Topanga.” Pos Peds was the host of the ride and is a group of riders that are all HIV positive. Pos Peds are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS eliminating stigma through their positive public example. (Learn more about this group at The ride was super hard for me, but, after a bit of up-front insecurity, I really enjoyed myself. Meet two of the characters:

Big Tim – he showed up on a big ole crossover/mountain bike/road bike with straight handlebars contraption, including a kickstand. He is massive. Sitting on his bike he’s probably 2 feet higher than me. Massive. I was scared. And then, half way up Topanga I notice that he’s hanging back, totally riding much slower than he could be. And then he let me catch up and he gave me tips about riding up hill and gave me sympathy because I was the only girl having to ride with all of these lithe little men who bike all of the time and are basically pros.

TRL Tom – looked me up and down when I drove up. Asked me what I had done to prepare and warned me that it was going to be challenging. I wasn’t a fan of his approach, to say the least. It wasn’t until about mile 35 that TRL Tom and I became friends. I was pedaling, oh so slowly and lonely, up Sepulveda (5 mile climb) when I noticed that TRL Tom was waiting for me. He proceeded to talk me through the rest of the ride, gave me more tips on riding up hill and told me stories of all the fun “non-official” things that happen on ALC (there’s a lady who bakes cookies for every rider!!). At one point, TRL Tom looks at me and says (I apologize specifically to my mom for the following quote; I promise, I did not use this language, but I’m just repeating a story. Don’t yell at me!! :-)): “I don’t really know any type of motivation to get you up this hill except to say just keep fucking pedaling.” And then we cracked up. I made it up that hill and the ones that followed. TRL Tom gave me a hug and told me I was awesome.

These are two specific individuals that are no longer a part of the faceless crowd of HIV/AIDS. I don’t know TRL Tom or Big Tim well enough to know whether or not they utilize the services of the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, but I do know that if they needed those services, I want the services to be available to them. So, we’ll keep riding and we’ll keep you LOLing as long as it takes to wipe out HIV/AIDS. As you (religiously) read our blog, please consider making a donation on our behalf by clicking on the links to the right.


A couple things I wanted to share regarding my cycling life. My posts are riveting, I know.
#1 BW told me that I am ready for the clip in scary shoes. I am conflicted because buying new shoes usually is my most favorite of all activities, but the idea of being physically attached to my bike scares the crap out of me.
#2 I had acupuncture this week for my back. My super nice acupuncturist Dawna told me it felt like I had a giant metal plate in my back I was so tense. Awesome. Hopefully acupuncture will help with my neck and shoulder issues so I no longer have to take breaks while riding to regain feeling in my right hand. What, not every 26 year old has a pinched nerves and knots the size of walnuts? Who says I am a tense person? WHO?
#3 I saw a guy wearing the tattoo arm warmers this weekend. I almost fell off my bike.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Last week I was feeling a little under the weather. I started feeling much better Saturday, but NO I did not ride. I went to see a baby elephant at the Wild Animal Park in SD. He was one week old and I named him Bob. Sometimes, even if you are SUPER dedicated you need to take time to see baby elephants. So there.

But, have no fear. I totally made up for it on Sunday. OK, so I am not all bad ass like Autumn and doing 40 mile rides in the rain. Sue me. But I DID ride up a massive hill. That is an is a mother fuuu(shut your mouth) of a hill. Kerry and I (and Ethan for half) rode from Glendale to the flippin' Griffith Observatory! So, say you are not from LA and don't know where that is...the funny thing about observatories is that they are always on the top of really high mountains, so that you may observe. In other words: its a really big hill that rode I up...on a bike. Enough said. And please note that is the Hollywood sign behind me. That's how high we were. I usually only see that from the roof of the Grove parking lot.

Original art by Caitlin to illustrate my ride. Thank GOD I went to art school.
This just does not do it justice.
We made it! Upper body strength for bike holding leaves something to be desired. It is a WHOLE 16 POUNDS, OK??? You try that after 7 mph up a hill. Geez.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


In a desparate attempt to make this next story I'm about to tell you really stick in your head, the only thing I'm going to say about the ride today is: I never thought I'd say that 25 miles seems short. -- 40 tomorrow!

Okay, on to the important stuff....

So, I was riding the same loop that we did last week -- Cynergy (bestest) out to Dockweiler beach and back -- and took the bike path in Marina out to the Bridge of Judgment (this is the bridge where you get to take a break and then judge all of the other kits and bikes that ride by. super fun). I'm kind of tucked into a nugget, as the BW would say, because it was super super windy, but (thankfully) I looked up at just the right time to see....
A lady, prancing/running along the path with her arms stretched out so that her pet PARROT could go running with her. Also, she was smiling and watching the PARROT instead of watching where she was going. Again, prancing lady with a PARROT ON HER ARM.

Let that sink in. I'll do a reenactment the next time I see you.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am sick. Taking my place this weekend on training rides will be Truman, the most awesomest member of team Cray Cray. Ride on, Truman.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I apologize for the weird photo of my hand, but I cannot stop staring at these cray cray tan lines that have now appeared. If you look really closely, you might be able to see that there is a straight tan line across my wrist....because I wear gloves all day long on the weekends in the sun. Seriously, I cannot stop examining them for the life of me. They bug.

And no, contrary to popular belief, I cannot just ride without gloves. That would be hand suicide. 545 miles gripping handlebars without padding and something to absorb the sweat? Yeah, not happening. So I guess I should just get over it and, ugh, embrace these things.

Super sidenote: my little sister gets married 2 weeks after the end of ALC. I am going to look FANTASTIC in a strapless number and heels, what will the sock tan lines, the padded shorts tan lines, the gloves, the helmet, the sunglasses.......spray tan here I come.

Don't worry, I'm sure Caitlin and I will document the progression of our super sweet tans.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Yes, I admit, I am one of those people. One of those people who often finds themselves yelling at pretty much every other car on the road. Even if I'm on the phone with my mom, I'll take moment to scream at the guy next to me. I admit it. And it ain't that cute.

I will also admit that I have probably yelled explitives at a cyclist here or there (I used to commute from Brentwood to Pepperdine everyday; PCH has a LOT of bikes out and about). So I find myself on the other side now, being a biker who probably annoys the crap out of ignorant drivers now and again. The other thing that I will admit, is that my road rage has followed me from the car to the bike.....this morning I yelled at people for the following reasons:

-they need a new car because their exhaust is giving me an asthma attack (how does it even pass a smog check???);
- their honking was ruining my morning (this is the number one thing to make me yell);
-they are a (sorry) stupid cab driver who is just mean and cuts people off;
-they are going into Coffee Bean without me;
-instead of waiting to turn right behind me, they sped up and cut me off (love that one);
-their bike is not awesome (yes, I have decided that I do not appreciate mountain bikes taking up the bike lane.....I told you I wasn't a morning person);
- they need to wear a helmet before their head gets mashed in;
-they should go back to bed because their presence was ruining my morning ride; and
- they are a city bus and they are annoying and cause me to cough and they "park" in the bike lane.

So, if you're driving anywhere near my bike, I apologize ahead of time for yelling at you -- either in my head or out loud.....unless you have a real old car that needs a new emissions system. Its really unpleasant to breathe that exhaust.


Monday, February 15, 2010


The funny thing about blogging, and something I did not really anticipate, is people actually reading it. And not just Kerry and my mom. People I don't even know. It is a pretty strange, but also really flattering when a complete stranger tells you they love your blog and read it all the time. That happened to me this weekend when my new friend Daniella, another first time rider, told me she follows us. When I heard this, it occurred to me that I need to make sure I am honest with whoever out there is reading this so I feel compelled to share with you the following:
Lest you think that riding twice a weekend and 3 week day mornings is all rainbows and butterflies, let me break it down for you...I am SO tired. My legs hurt. My back hurts. My brain hurts. I am hungry all the time. And not just normal hungry...the kind of hungry that makes me want to yell at everyone around me until they bring me something to eat. NOW! I have not done the following in the last month:
-had my nails done
-taken my poor little dog to the dog park (or anywhere else)
-gone shopping for anything other than food or biking related items
-looked like anything even close to attractive on a weekend
Don't get me wrong. I am having a lot of fun. I love my team and absolutely everyone I have met thus far has been so amazing and supportive. But this is hard. It is a really big commitment of time and money and energy, both physical and emotional. And bike seats are really, really uncomfortable.
Really should be hard. It's easy to think that everyone can just ride the inspirational wave of what we do this for and get on their bike one day and feel at home. But that's not the case for everyone. Not for me anyway. But I am not getting on the bike in the first place for me. I am doing this for those who can't. And in the last month I have realized, I am also doing this to maybe push other people to do things for others, to do things they didn't think they could do either. And that is really what I am thinking about on mile 10 or 25 or 30 of these rides when I feel like laying down on the grass or calling a cab. Just thought I would keep it real.
But tired.


So weekend #3 is over and we put down somewhere close to 50 miles. Autumn has done a spectacular job of recapping the rides, so I will make mine brief. My Saturday ride was a little doomed from the start. I was one the first 10 miles when my water bottle/cage spontaniously flew off my bike into the street. WTF. Then my pre-existing pinched nerve from hell acted up and I lost feeling in my arm. To state the obvious: arm/hand control is not really optional when riding a bike. After a brief stretching session I continued only to be part of a two bike mid ar collision that did not result in injury, but did result in my chain falling off in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in Burbank. Fun!!! Thankfully that was towards the end of my ride. I was really about to lose it. Some people would go have a cocktail after a morning like that. I, obviously, went and had a cheeseburger and all was right with the world.
Sunday was fortunately a much calmer day in terms of drama and it had fried chicken involved, so it was totally worth it. Not much else to say about that.
All in all a very educational and excellent. Now I need to sleep for my entire day off. I think I am going to permanently need three day weekends for the duration of this training.

Saturday: We showed up in the same outfit. TWIIINS!
Learning how to check and put air into tires. Yea, I totally do that now.
Sunday: Fried Chicken Riiiiide! Fried chicken...and waffles...and creamed corn, mac and cheese, grits, corn bread, etc. We were very hungry.
Riding in Southern California in Feb. does not suck.
TEAM PINK AND BLACK...really, don't mess with us.
Nothing says class like a tall boy in a water bottle cage.
Autumn judging people on the Bridge of Cycling Judgment in the marina.
That is a lot of bikes.


If you ride with me or Caitlin, you are likely to hear these words multiple times a day. If you do something ridiculous, if you teach us something new or if you are committing a crime of spandex, we will blog about you. Consider yourself warned....

Yesterday (Sunday) was an unofficial ALC training ride....really, members of Team Cray Cray just wanted to enjoy the day and get ourselves stronger. We rode a nice 26 mile loop from Cynergy, our favorite-est bike shop in the whole world, to Dockweiler beach and back. Add in a little fried chicken, biscuits and mac and cheese from Aunt Kizzy's Southern Food, and you have the PERFECT day.

The ridiculous shennanigans were at a low yesterday, and it seemed like we focused on team building and fundraising and eating. Marni, the newest member of Team Cray Cray and the 2nd highest fundraising in Los Angeles, imparted some of her enthusiatic energy and shared some of her fundraising secrets -- Marni has raised approximately $8,000 so far!!

We also mourned the loss of the Bike Whisperer's bedazzled bike bag broach to the crazy traffic in Marina del Ray. We decided that the broach got dead and is now waiting for the BW at the Rainbow Bridge......if you're lost, its okay. Cray Cray basically speaks their own language and you only learn it while sitting in the saddle.

And then, Ivy demonstrated how your water bottle cages (you must have 2 to participate in any ride) can carry other beverages besides water. Ahem, TECATE for Valentime's Day. Takes the edge off. And it makes your bike look classy when you carry a tall boy in a paper sack.

Hope your Sunday was almost as awesome as ours....but I bet it wasn't :-)

Saturday, February 13, 2010


It has been 3 weeks since bike purchasing day! Can you believe it? It feels like that event happend a lifetime ago. So much has happened and we have met so many many fabulous people. Its crazy!

Seeing as how it is now 10:30pm, and I'm riding 30 miles tomorrow, we'll keep it short; here are the top 5 highlights from today's training ride:

1. Potty Break. Apparently it is a "rule" that if you see a toilet, you better use it. Today's pit stop took place at a car wash.

2. Our new friend, Ian, refuses to call Caitlin "Caitlin." Her name according to Ian is Paris Hilton. How did I find this out? Caitlin rolled up to one of our pit stops, stopped her bike and announced to me in the middle of Burbank, "My new friend calls me Paris Hilton." All the while, her hands are on her hips, she has GIANT sunglasses on her face and she's super blonde. I mean, he has a point....

3. Mark and Cory. This is the danger of finding yourself on a training ride with me and Caitlin; you will find yourself on this blog....anyway, Mark and Cory are two of our new bffs. Cory is a 1st time rider, and bless his heart, is riding on some loaner bike that the Center was storing down in the dredges. But he shows up every weekend on that PIECE of equipment, with a smile on his face and curls in his hair, and entertains us whilst riding. Mark, on the other hand, did ALC last year. He knows the ropes, and in fact his favorite safety signal to call out is "MAN HOLE!" ...yeah. You read that right. Also, this is the following educational conversation we had:

Autumn: "Nordstrom Rack sells cycling glasses?"
Mark: "Well, they're not cycling glasses per se, but athletic sunglasses, yes."
Autumn: "Hmmm...."
Mark: "You should see some of these queens that show up on this thing all wearing these big ole Pradas under their helmets...." (read in some attitude and a head flip here or there)
Autumn: "You mean similar to the ones that Caitlin has on?"
Mark: "I'm just sayin'...."

4. After about 7 miles, everyone decides to become best friends. Then, the safety call outs become a little less safety related and more entertaining. For example, today's code call out: "HOT GUY! (while full-finger pointing to the person)" This is the "safety call out" when there is an attractive looking fellow running on the sidewalk without his shirt on. You call this out so everyone behind you knows to slow down while you get a good look. It is very important to be safe while on a training ride.

5. Reflectors, although required to be sold on every bike by law, are "douchey." My bike had to under go reflector removal today so that I would not look like a "newbie" anymore, but rather a girl "in-the-know." I think Caitlin and I are officially professional cyclists now.


Friday, February 12, 2010


Safety is a HUGE concern of cyclists. And it should be. This is why I require Caitlin to use her bike head light and I always ride behind because I am actually legal and have the flashing red light on the back as well.

I'm all about safety, but really? A jersey that announces to the world how fast (slow) I'm riding? How does that make my ride safer? I think that people are more likely to drive right into me because they would squint really hard to see the speed and then BAM. The bike (and me) are toast. Still, I found the video entertaining...clearly a lot of dollars went into this one. Enjoy!


I rode this morning. Whoo. And, I will admit that there are a couple of very specific reasons why I actually got my butt out of bed:

1. Scotty's voice was in my head telling me to do it (see his comment to yesterday's blog); he definitely wins for having to work more than me, and if he can suck it up and ride before work, then so can I! Also, he was so generously my first donor towards my goal of raising $3,000 for the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. I can't deny my donors!! (hint hint, should you want to "take advantage of me" and/or "order me around" make a donation and see what happens....)

2. See number one.

In case you thought that us having this blog was all just so we could be snarky and make fun of things (and tell an occasional serious story), you were wrong. This blog is important to us. Knowing that we have fans (I might be taking this a little far) and people who are waiting to see what happens nexts adds that extra little incentive for continuing to ride.

**In case you would like to take me up on the offer of donating and then being able to boss me and/or Caitlin around, please click on the links to the right. Team Cray Cray (that's the team we're riding on, in case we haven't mentioned that. Check out our team fan page on Facebook.) is committed to raising at least $30,000. This money is the real reason behind all of this. Thanks!!


Thursday, February 11, 2010




So, I feel the need to get this off of my chest and be honest with all of you out there -- I skipped my morning ride this morning. It's true. My bed was just too comfortable, outside was just too cold and I have just too much stress at work to put up a fight anywhere else. So instead of listening to the call of my bike, I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.

I think I warned you that there would be points in this process that didn't go as enthusiastically or smoothly. And I also think I warned you that I HATE mornings. On top of all of that, I can't find my arm warmers because of the move. Arm warmers (in the words of Elisa) are mas importante when it's 45 degrees outside. Ugh.

And you know what I keep thinking? A bike ride would have made all of this stress dissipate.

On a positive note, I anticipate lots of good biking stories from the weekend. We are planning some seriously amazing food wrapped into lots of miles. Should be the perfect combo! And, its supposed to be in the 70s again this weekend. Whoo hoo! I think I might purchase one of the "crimes of spandex" outfits (see below words of wisdom from Caitlin); that would put me in a much better mood! haha.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


As Caitlin mentioned, I regretfully could not ride this past weekend because I was moving to the Westside (for all of you followers who are not Angelinos, the "Westside" refers to the western-part of Los Angeles county, specifically Santa Monica, Brentwood, and, some would include if they had to, Marina del Ray, Culver City, Palms. Anyway, I moved to Brentwood, aka the place where OJ "didn't" committ a crime). Thankfully, I was able to reintroduce myself to my bike and hit the road this morning.

I would like to state, again, for the record, that Caitlin and I are amazing because it is FREAKING cold and early when we ride. Today we tested out our various "base layers." These are not-so-fancy parts of the "kit" that go under the fancy zip-up shirts and attempt to keep us warm. In case you were wondering, they are not attractive. However, they did do a fantastic job! With the base layer on and the cold in place, I didn't want to shoot myself until about 6:45am. Also, please note, I paid $4.95 for my base layer (go Target!) and Caitlin paid $70. She likes the name brand; I like a good deal. (I made her go day-after-Thanksgiving-midnight shopping this year at the outlets; she almost didn't survive because everything was on sale and very overwhelming. I'm not going to push the $4.95 Target shirts on her; she's got enough to handle for now.)

So between the base layer and the early mornings, we're still surviving, and some might say, THRIVING! At this point in the blog, I would like to give a shout out (yes, I said SHOUT OUT) to Caitlin. If you know her, you can probably understand how much outside her comfort zone she has been the past 3 weeks. If you don't know her, please imagine your most un-sporty and SUPER fashionable friend, and then add in the desire to be the best at everything always and forever. Got it? Okay. Now imagine you took that friend, put her into a sport that required ugly clothing that she wasn't good at immediately. Also add in early mornings and cold weather.

Despite all of these things, and despite being terrified of meeting new people and having a general disdain for small talk, Caitlin has gotten up early at least 3-4 weekdays for the past 3 weeks to ride a bike she couldn't originally sit on. She has attended training rides with people she doesn't know and had to be vulnerable in front of them. She's had to face and respond to everyone who cries in disbelief that she can't do this. She hasn't been forced to do any of this, yet she's done it all. Has it been comfortable all of the time? No. Has it been easy for her? Absolutely not. But she's done it. And she's gotten better! So much better at riding and being comfortable and putting up with the cold and the traffic and the other bikers. I haven't even heard her doubt herself for at least a week now. And I'm sure she's on the verge of actually enjoying herself while riding!

I have already been so inspired by the people I've met and the fundraising campaign/purpose we're on with ALC (code name for AIDS/LifeCycle), but I garauntee you that one of the most inspirational points of this cycling craze I'm on is experiencing this with Caitlin and watching her overcome some of her biggest fears. If she can do it, I know I can to, and so I keep getting up and facing the cold.

I cannot wait for June 13 when she rolls into Brentwood as an experienced cyclist. I cannot wait for all of you doubters to face her and tell her you were wrong. And I cannot wait until she believes in herself as much as I believe in her.


Monday, February 8, 2010


Just when you thought you could not wait any longer for another installment, I come through. I would like to mention that I have been out and about in the cycling world for about three weeks now and have not come across anyone choosing to wear these questionable items. However, they are available for sale, someone must buy them. They are OUT THERE...

Q: How can me we make a bib EVEN MORE attractive?
A: Put a nausea educing print on it and add a zipper of course!

So let's discuss these for a minute. You may not know what they are. They are arm warmers. Made to look like your arms have scary and giant tattoos on them. These are for the man in your life who not only likes cycling, but also likes dating their cousins and drinking beer on the stoop of their double wide while cleaning their gun. Or a pirate.

When I first came across the crouching tiger jersey from the last post, I was unaware that aside from it being totally creepy, it was also first in a series...nay, an epidemic of front to back, unisex, animal jerseys. It seems to be a jungle theme. I just can't think of anything better.


This weekend offered one less training ride than last weekend due to the horrible and unpleasant rain , but the one we did have the AWESOME, if not a little doomed. Autumn was moving this weekend, so she had to sit the ride out (or assemble a very large Ikea dresser, same diff), but Ivy and the Bike Whisperer were there, along with my new friends Ana and Bridgid (both TRLs) so I was pretty comfortable and not feeling too nauseous at the thought of meeting new people. It was another pretty small group, so there was a lot of one on one time with the TRLs, which was super helpful for cycling challenged people such as myself. Despite Ivy having to return early due to her bike being midget sized and Ana having a dramatic and very loud tire blow out, it was a lovely day by the beach. The ride was beautiful and we even stopped twice at a super cool biking hot spot to see and be seen and I didn’t feel like a total fraud (only kind of).
I continue to vacillate between being sure I am never going to get better at this and feeling OK about it...but this weekend was more the latter than the former, so that's improvement. Being a beginner has been really challenging for me, as generally it is a rule of mine that if I am a beginner at something...I don’t begin it. SO accepting that I am not a super star from minute one is top priority. Don't know how long that's going to take. Hopefully my skills will continue to catch up to my enthusiasm for this event and I will some day be at least a good cyclist, if not ever a super star...which I am trying to be OK with (even though it goes against everything I have ever believed in my life....ever).
Anyway, after the ride we shopped. Back to something I am good at! YES! I made out like a bandit with several SHEBEEST (yes, this is the name of a real clothing company, I mean…) jerseys. Also, Ivy and I purchased matching best-sweater-shirt-jersey-things ever. We are obviously way cool.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I just purchased this garment online. It is...a thermal cycling bolero. Otherwise known as a bike shrug. Otherwise known as a tiny outdoor backwards snuggy.

Only weeks ago I would have thought this item bizarre and a little offensive. Now not only do I see the virtues of the cycling bolero, I am really impatient and excited for mine to arrive.

What has become of me?


Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Never Noticed Before.

Hello from cold, chilly and awesome Rockford, Illinois! Woot. Work called, so I had to go, which means I cannot say hello to my bike until SATURDAY!! Disaster. Anyway, I was rolling through the offices today meeting everyone and seeing everyone cringe when they realized "legal" was visiting from California, when I noticed the Ops guy had a Tour de France picture on one wall and a charcoal drawing of a road biker on another. So I proudly annouced that I had taken up the sport, and thus began a bond that goes beyond "environmental waste management systems" and lawyering. We found common ground and shared stories and how he fits in biking between a wife and kids and how I can just take off whenever I want. He forgot that I was a member of the dreaded legal department and corporate and I forgot that I've only been a part of this community for 2 weeks.

And then I met another guy who "had" to give up biking when he got married....and then someone else told me that their neighbor rides often...and so on and so on. Its amazing how many people I now have a something in common with. And its different than basketball (the sport of my heart....go Duke!) because, so far, it seems to be a smaller community and we speak a language that not everyone just "knows." Its interesting. The Bike Whisperer said we would start to notice these things and we would realize that there were many more bikes on the road than we ever noticed before. I thought she was exagerrating. She's not. They're...ahem...WE'RE every where. Its pretty awesome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Introducing Abby, my new bike mechanic. She enjoys pink, princesses, and following her Aunt (me) around. She likes my bike because it is pink. Smart girl.
She told me my bike was pink with a little bit of black and that it should be MORE pink. Then she called my gnome spoke card Santa.
Making sure I am stocked with essentials such as glitter and chocolate.
Checking the tires. While wearing a pink leotard.

New Bedtime: 9:45pm. New Eating Time: Always.

I know, I know, I have been the biggest slacker about blogging. My fans are just going to have to deal. But you can be excited now to start Wednesday off with an update from your favorite not-so-novice-anymore cyclists.

Back to the actual topic of this post.....

Our first couple blogs were posted at 11pm or later. Not anymore. Caitlin and I now must go to bed at 9:45pm. Why, you ask? Well, I hate mornings. I also am not allowed to fall asleep at my desk and drool on whatever contract happens to be laying beneath me. These things combined with a 5:30am wake up call mean that the lights must go out before 10. I was (admittedly) complaining to Caitlin last night (sidenote: in these first two weeks of training I have been staying with Caitlin because I currently live 20 min. away. No way ever I'm going to get up early enough to drive an extra 20 min.) about how my life now consists of sleeping, biking and working. Her response, "Yes, but before this it only consisted of sleeping and working." Touche, my friend, touche. Adding exercise to the mix was probably not a bad idea. Its not as if the biking is getting in the way of all of my club going and crazy social life.

Along with the tiredness -- my mom called me this morning and announced, "Well, good! You are in the land of the living!" I have not spoken to her since Sunday (normally I call her every morning on my way to work) because by 8am I already need a break from the day (ie no talk time) and when I leave work at 8pm I cannot think of anything other than eating and going to bed -- comes the severe and alarming hunger. Apparently, biking = eating x 10. Now we all know that Caitlin already eats more than anyone could ever imagine considering her tiny frame, but imagine this (if you can): she eats even MORE now! It is astonishing. Also, I pretty much am hungry from about min. 10 on my bike in the wee hours of the morning until I go to bed. By lunch I'm crying. On Saturday, after riding 33 miles, I ate a burger, a basket of fries and a peanut butter milkshake (heaven!) and wasn't even full. This morning I almost got sidetracked from our training ride by the warm and inviting sight of Coffee Bean and their delicious soy lattes and jalapeno cheese bagels....but thankfully, I heard our team captain, Ivy, in my head yelling "NO BREAKFAST!" So I kept riding. Caitlin was distracted by Barney's. She wanted a GIANT BURGER and french fries at 6am. Again, we are not the same.

After we spent a million dollars each on bikes and stretchy pants at Cynergy 10 days ago, our master plan was to eat Ramen noodles until June. Not happening. Can't do it. I would have to eat Ramen noodles every 20 min. all day to keep myself from starving to death. And the eating Ramen all day might interfere with my "serious" legal meetings and Caitlin's ordering people to "fix 'em hot." (Fix 'Em Hot is the name of the company that attaches the rhinestones to Juicy tracksuits. Look, our blog is humorous and educational!)

Now that its been 2 hours since breakfast, I need more food. And sleep. But the sleep will have to wait.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Weekend day two was a lovely little 18 mile SM/Marina Del Ray/Venice/Brentwood ride. That seems like a lot of places all written out like that, especially as they were not driven to in a car. Anyway, it was with a much larger group than day one (as my day one was Ivy and me, that was not difficult) but everyone was very nice and positive and I met at least 2 new people which is 2 more people than I generally meet on a typical weekend. There was, once again, no falling off, major bodily harm, or death for me, so that was great. Big shout out to Chris, my new bff, and incredibly patient personal coach for the day. She rode behind me and made bike/ballet analogies the whole ride which made a lot of things make a lot more sense. (I don't think people realize that when I say I have never played a sport, I am being quite literal, so ballet is the closest thing I have to reference.) She reminded me to bend my elbows and loosen my death grip on my poor (but still scary) bike and she taught me how to stop correctly which, as you might imagine, is proving to be very useful. By the end of the ride I felt at least 75% more confident than when I started and I even made several left turns in traffic without panicking, which is something I try to avoid, even in a car. Much love for Chris and I am so happy I got to meet her and benefit from her vast knowledge of cycling and dealing with the un-athletic new riders (such as myself).
Post ride we triumphantly went to brunch, which is really all I could think about the whole ride anyway. (Ivy had to keep an eye on me so I would not veer off course and end up having mimosas at Shutters, my natural habitat.) So happy that eating was incorporated into this day as I am currently as hungry as a 14 year old boy. Or that guy on the travel channel who eats like 15 lbs burgers.
Finally we stopped at Cynergy, because that is, apparently, where we hang out now. I found myself in a bike store, on a Sunday, in cycling clothes, with fingerless gloves on, trying on clip in shoes. Kerry called me out as an official "cycling nerd." I think am having an identity crises...but possibly in a good way...?
L to R: Bunnii, incredibly patient Chris, very grateful Caitlin
Eye wear alternate reality...
No brunch!
NOT not a poooodle!
The gnome eats brunch. Please note I was on 3rd Street. In cycling clothing. Not shopping. OMG.
Ivy represents
Does Cynergy recycle shopping bags, or does Ethan shop at Ann Taylor? You be the judge.
We are so legit.


Training ride weekend #1: done. Only 19 more to go! With a very exciting and only slightly traumatizing first week of early morning rides behind us, Autumn and I showed up at our first official ACL training ride ready to have our asses thoroughly kicked. As Autumn has already recapped her first day, I will just say this: I was a little less rock star than her. I was very fortunate, however, that my good friend, Ivy was my own personal coach and TRL for the day. She taught me so much including how to expertly gossip whilst riding, how to not brake 99% of the time, and call outs for potential obstacles: car coming (CAR BACK!), tiny dog (REMNANT!) and homeless person (URBAN CAMPER!). Excellent! I am so well informed! Really though, it not the easiest thing for me to go out in public and do this and I am very glad I was able to have such an understanding and inspiring teacher for the day. Thanks Ivy for short bussing with me! You are the best...gnome joke!
Shoot, Barbie, you can't ride no kinda miles!
Our massive training ride group bikes all lined up. The volume is overwhelming.
Totally appropriate cycling eye wear.

Monday, February 1, 2010


So Autumn is really busy right now with her other (obviously less awesome) activity , being an attorney, so I am putting this up for her. I am sure most of you have seen this since it is just that genius, but just in case, please enjoy this montage of Autumn's first training ride last weekend. Make sure you turn it up LOUD. Autumn is a super star. She bitch slapped a massive hill. She can already track stand. Need I say more? Thanks to Kerry, the bike whisperer, for this amazing AND informative video. It is so way inspiring I feel like I want to sign up all over again! Full recaps from our fab first training ride weekend extravaganza to come...we both had to actually, like, work today. Bummer.