December 9, 2010

Busiest day in the world

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 11:03 pm

Well, in mine, at least.

Before I head off to bed, here’s a rundown:

Woke up late- 5:30am, immediately changed and went to the gym to lift, shower, snack, drop Thor off at the vet (in Germantown) for 2nd round of kitten shots, drove downtown for a “business” breakfast at The Arcade (OMG, sweet potato pancakes!), back to Cordova to the grocery store, drop of groceries, pick up Thor & drop him off at home, go to work, build a bike, other random stuff, re-organize the shoe section, have lunch (at 5:30), prep singlespeeds for Syllamo action, get home at 9:00, have dinner, pack, and type this somewhat uninteresting post about my day. I believe I’m just about ready to become one with my bed.

In blog geek news, I’ve been playing around with the Woopra site stats analyzer some more, and am happy to see that the birthplace fanbase in Evansville, IN still seems to be growing. Memphis and the surrounding area still gives me the most traffic, though- you all are easily more than half of the 150-250 visitors I get every day. Glad to know that I am keeping the hometown entertained.

Mountain View, I haven’t forgotten you, either. Ryan & I will be out that way this weekend for some singletrack. For now, though, it’s bedtime…

December 1, 2010

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 7:32 pm

I generally stick to the self checkout line at the grocery store. Today, though, they were down for service. So, I went through the full-service cashier/bagger line.

The woman bagging my groceries (Dora, according to her name tag) and I had the following conversation:

Her: You’re so beautiful and your skin is so nice, why do you have to do that? (she waves at her lip/nose area)

Me: I didn’t say anything, I just ignored her

Her: I know, I always say that to you when you don’t use the self-checkout

(I can’t remember the last time I used a full-service line or talked to this woman if I did)
Me: Yeah, that’s why I usually stick to the self-checkout, but it’s not an option today.

(Cashier laughs uncomfortably)

Her: Blah, Blah, Blah…

At this point, I bite my toungue. You see, Ms. Dora is overweight. I am sorely tempted to say something along the lines of, “You’re such a beautiful woman, why do you have to consume excessive numbers of calories and live a sedentary lifestyle?”

I took my groceries and left.

You know what? I have piercings. Ears, labret, and nostril.
You know what else? I have tattoos, also. Starting from the earliest…

Tribal calf band: My high school graduation present to myself. I picked it off the wall at Underground Art. It’s my least favorite, and I’ll likely get it covered up with something more creative in the future, but, no, I don’t regret getting it.

Wings: They’re just below the anterior waistline, and aren’t for general public viewing.I can assure you they look nice, though.

Phoenix: It covers the top half of my back, and is a representation of the general pattern of my entire life thus far.

Revelations Dragon: This one was inspired by a late-night radio sermon given by Jerry Falwell. I heard it on the way home from a bike race.


The Dragon is not finished yet (it’s more complete than the posted photo, but still not fully filled in). With my recent change in employment combined with monthly payments to The Wizard, I just haven’t had the cash to get the work done.

That’s besides the point, though.

I think I’m going to start criticizing people’s choices in accessorizing themselves in ways that I don’t approve of:

Hey, lady, you have such gorgeous salt & pepper gray hair, why do you color it?
Dude- your pecs and shoulders are gorgeous, why do you cover them up with that horrible Abercrombie T-shirt??
Wow, man, that a Corvette makes you look like you’re a douchebag having a midlife crisis, why do you drive it???
Ya know, that button-down shirt makes you look like a working stiff who hates his life.

Or, I could just mind my own business and take comfort in the fact that choices in self-accessorizing are what makes people different from one another. I suggest you do the same. Or not. It’s whatever you want to do.

November 27, 2010


Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:38 pm

Ok, so I look at my blog stats every day. One of the things included with the wordpress stats report are search phrases that brought users to my blog. Apparently, some one found this site whilst searching for “cold wet tits.”

Really? Have I actually ever typed that phrase on this page? (before tonight)

Who sits at home and does web searches for that?! I guess I’m lucky that no one is finding me while google-ing “underage horse p()rn”.

November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Photo Dump

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 6:51 pm

Menu: barley stuffed acorn squash, rosemary sweet potatoes, garlic green beans, pound cake, and fat tire beer…

How come most beer-drinking nights at my house usually end up with someone riding a wheelie through my kitchen?

November 22, 2010

Health and Fitness Mag- Brief Correction

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike — Andrea @ 8:43 am

For any of you locals that have seen my little profile section in the latest Memphis Health and Fitness magazine, I wanted to provide you with a little extra dialog that was changed in the editing process of the email-interview. I can see how it needed to be edited down for brevity, so here is the original (edited sections in bold)

Q: How do you feel about being a woman in a male-dominated sport?
Q: There are not a lot of women in the sport. What got you involved?

A: I got involved when some trail running friends of mine (the Warthogs!) invited me out for a bike ride one day, and I fell in love with it. As far as the involvement of women, I try to ignore the gender factor when it comes to trying new things. I don’t shy away from an activity just because it’s traditionally male-dominated. Heck, as far as I know, there’s only one other female mechanic in the city. I don’t think it should really matter, but a lot of women doubt their abilities and won’t try new things simply because they are always questioning themselves, and it leads to intimidation. Sorry to flip the feminist switch, but in cycling as well as in my past job as a college teacher, I’ve seen it over and over- young women who doubt themselves so much, are so afraid of failure or “looking stupid,” that they just won’t try. I hate it. But, on a positive note, the women (or anyone, for that matter) who do step past the boundaries of their comfort zones and try something new are always really inspiring to me.

There ya go… enjoy!

November 18, 2010

A quick double…

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 5:49 am

…and, while looking for that last link to LaRuta, I stumbled upon this woman’s blog: Louise Kobin

I’ve never met her, but judging by the photo of her carrying what looks to be a snow bike of equal mass to her own bodyweight across a small body of water, I think she deserves a spot in the “fast women” list over to the right side of your screen… usually a “privledge” (yes, I use that term very lightly!) reserved for people I’ve met/raced with, but I’m guessing we’ll cross paths eventually!

November 11, 2010

In pursuit of…

Filed under: non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 9:03 am



No, I’m not in the pursuit of a cover on “Road” Magazine or the handsome man that graces it. I’m in pursuit of the raw emotion that’s going on there. It’s the payoff for hours of hard work and the myriads of sacrifices you make.

I hadn’t thought as much about it until a conversation I had with a customer the other day. I don’t remember the exact topic, but it was something along the lines of, “no, I’ve never gone to that place, never watch that show, and never do X other things, because from the moment I wake up at 5:00am until I go to bed at 9:3opm, my life revolves around cycling.”

I’m not complaining. I like it. But, other people (even some cycling friends I have) don’t always understand just how dedicated you have to get in order to experience what the young man in the photo above is experiencing. It’s those few seconds when you come to the realization that everything you’ve been working towards for weeks/months/years is finally culminating into epic win.

It means I have mornings like today, where I am up at 4:30, have fed the dogs/eaten/had multiple servings of coffee by 5:30, go to the grocery store (they’re a lot different at 5:30am than they are at 5:30pm), ride for 1-1.5 hours, shower, have 2nd breakfast, clean house, do laundry, write a blog post, etc. before leaving to go to work at 9:40.

Work has turned out a little differently than I’d expected when I started a month and a half ago. Not bad different, but since both of my original coworkers have now moved on to other jobs, I’m unofficially “in charge” of the Outdoors, Inc. Cordova bike shop. I have very high standards, and it makes for days where I eat lunch during the 5-10 minutes it takes to enter stock/customer orders into the request form we use and am otherwise on the phone or elbows deep in bike repairs. It’s prettymuch non-stop from the minute I get there.

Once I’m home, sometimes I’ll go to the gym for some circuit training. I usually don’t want to go because I’m tired, but, once again, see photo above. I do my best to make a decent dinner for Ryan and myself, though, I admit, since I started working ’til 6 most weekdays, we’ve been hitting the Kashi frozen pizzas pretty damn hard. By the time we eat, we might have time to watch an episode or two of Ice Road Truckers on Hulu before passing out.

No, it’s not for everyone. I have a hard time imagining it any other way, though.

November 9, 2010

The joys of retirement

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 7:56 pm

I received these photos via email (titled “ancient white river monsters”) from my dad today. He’s in Mountain View, and apparently has some spare time on his hands…



November 8, 2010

…and I still don’t stink.

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:11 pm

A while back, I posted that I’d stopped using soap. Well, it’s been since March, and other than handwashing, I’m still soap and antiperspirant free. I figured I’d post an update since apparently it’s a trend that’s become a bit more mainstream: NYT Article

In other news, I’ve got a short interview/profile in the latest issue of Memphis’s Health and Fitness Magazine. It looks like traffic around is up since it hit the stands. If you’re reading this for the first time, drop a comment & let me know!

November 5, 2010

Tweed Ride, etc.

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike — Andrea @ 6:58 am

Last night we celebrated Memphis’s 2nd foray into cycling culture past the comfort zone of spandex, asphalt, and/or singletrack. In other cities, tweed rides are a big deal- lots of people show up, the dress is fantastic, and the bikes are unique (just check out photos that pop up on a Google Image search). Last night, about 15 very dapper and dashingly dressed individuals showed up at Peddler Bikes for the leisurely ride to Celtic Crossing.

Odd, I thought… because the first Tweed Ride back in March seemed much less publicized and much more attended. More on that in a minute.

The ride and the company were great, of course. I managed to win “best dressed,” the prize for which was a shiny new Brooks saddle. If I can scare up a seatpost with more setback than my Thompson (not too hard- the Thompson is pretty mild), then it’s going on the One9.

Speaking of bikes, the decision has been made (thanks for all the input!). I will get an Air9 carbon sometime in the next couple of months. It will be mine… oh yes, it will be mine. I love Niner too much to mess around on them with other bikes.

So, back to the low turnout of the Tweed Ride…Â Last night was also the showing of the 2010 Race Across the Sky documentary (about the Leadville 100 mountain bike race). I am reasonably sure that it took away from the attendance of said ride. What I’m about to say might upset a lot more people than that time I dropped an F-bomb or posted a gangsta rap song.

To Hell with the LT100 hype.

There, I said it.

I’ll preface this by saying yes, it is a hard race. If you’ve finished this race, you’ve done a great thing that a lot of other humans view as “impossible.” By no means am I calling it easy or saying what you’ve done isn’t a great accomplishment …but NO 100 mile race is easy.

The media has hyped this race sooooo much that people are viewing it as the end-all, be-all endurance race of a lifetime. Newsflash, people- there are other 100s out there that are harder. You wouldn’t know about those, though, because they don’t have their own movie, and L*nce has never entered them. In fact, I’d venture to say that without a film crew that are both very capable bike handlers/hikers and in excellent physical condition, a large portion of races more difficult than the LT100 couldn’t have their own movie because you couldn’t get physically get to most of the trails that make up the race course. I recently realized that most people (even some very accomplished riders) don’t know that the LT100 easily lends itself to filming because most of it is on jeep roads (except for that couple of miles of singletrack between Pipeline and Twin Lakes). The altitude is a factor, as are the 1500 people that show up to race (many of them accomplished pros), but the course itself is generally run-of-the-mill when compared to other 100 mile courses.

I’m not going to blow smoke here- I will likely race in the LT100 some day… it’s a 100 mile race, and I like racing 100s. And yes, being the vain and self-centered person I am, I will probably then go to that year’s showing of Race Across the Sky in hopes of seeing myself on the silver screen. But I encourage any of you reading- if you are wanting to set a lifelong goal of finishing a 100 mile MTB race, then do a little searching. There are others out there that are more, less, or equally challenging. Read. Look for past race reports. Look at photos and course maps. Think for yourself and don’t just go with the one that’s on the front page of the magazines.

If you’re an LT100 finisher and this makes you mad, then please refer back to the above preface to my rant. You’ve accomplished something great, and I’m not trying to take that away from you. But now that you’ve done that, how about branching out?

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