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?

November 4, 2010

Fabulous Video of the Day

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:16 am


October 18, 2010


Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:17 pm

Mountain View… I see you, too!

October 17, 2010

And now, for something completely different…

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:21 pm

Yeah, not an original post title, but here are some artsy photos of Matt shaving his head:

Dear Evansville,

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 11:14 am

Not too long ago, Ryan installed Woopra on my blog. It lets you see where visitors are coming from, how long they stay, what they read, blah blah blah…

Today was the first time that I’ve really looked at it. Not surprisingly, Memphis and the surrounding area accounts for a large number of my readers. Surprisingly, I have what seems to be a decent foothold of readers (or maybe just one who is very persistent) from Evansville, IN. I find this cool, because even though I don’t recall ever mentioning it in any posts around here, I was born in Evansville (though I moved to Memphis about the time of my first Christmas).

So, I just wanted to say HI to you, whoever you may be!

October 5, 2010

Non-racing Race Weekend

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 5:35 am

As a testament to my rest/training plan, I decided not to enter the local 12 hour race- 12 hours of Stank. However, Ryan and two of his Marx-Bensdorf teammates did (team name “we ride you long time”). Aside from a flat tire on Ryan’s first lap, they kicked a bunch of butt in the 3-man sport division. Race report HERE. In the meantime, I went out Saturday morning with a friend of mine who was in town while her boyfriend was racing. We took our CX bikes to Shelby Farms where I taught her how to ride singletrack.

After lunch and a beer, we drove back to the race course to see how things were going. I ended up doing a few minor repairs for people (took the folding Park stand out of the living room after all!), drinking a couple more beers, and playing first-aid tech to the other Marx-Bensdorf team (aptly named “Marx and Bruises”). It was rare for one of them to finish a lap without coming in covered in dirt and blood, and their anchor rider wrecked early into his final lap, cracking his helmet and spraining his A-C joint.

After getting home late Saturday, we “slept in” until a little after 6 on Sunday. I had a 3 hr endurance ride on my schedule, and Ryan ended up attempting it, but then turning back towards home half an hour in because his body was thrashed. With a fresh pair of Gatorskins installed, I ventured back on to the gravel that previously killed one of my old worn out tires earlier in the week. No problems there, just not enough gravel.

On the way back in to Germantown, I found out the hard way that one of the usual bike thoroughfares was (still) a narrow-single-lane construction zone. Lucky for me, the barreled-off lane where the asphalt was removed down to the dirt road bed doubled as a very convenient bike lane. The remainder of the day was spent holding down the shop at Outdoors. We just built a really big custom ti bike for a really big guy… that was cool…


Sunday’s Quote of the Day from Ronnie: “Tell Aaron that if he screws up my bike, I’ll break him in half.”

(He was joking, of course)

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