Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Number 8

A friend from years ago found me on Google. He said he Googled my name and my blog came up. Well, wouldn’t ya know? I did that same search and there I was, in black and white. My blogged popped up as number eight.

It seems as if this blog has provided so many reasons for being. It started as a way for friends to track me on my bike trip. It has turned into friends keeping in touch and a writing outlet of emotions (not always well written).

As I flow through my life, I see how the wind has blown me. From being married and divorced to cycling and Reiki. The events that have taken place before me have made me strong and independent.

This week, I prepare for an 88 mile bike ride in Kerrville, Texas. It is an organized bike ride called "The Easter Hill Country" at it occurs all weekend, but I will only ride on Saturday.

My room is missing molding and almost complete. I can see the light. My bike has a new room and is my trainer riding is going splendidly.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

LBJ, 2010

Check out my new handlebar bag. It fits everything and my spare tire.

Distance: 66.5
Calories: Unknown
Time: Unknown
Average Speed: Unknown
Total Ascent: 2900

I have a reoccurring dream where I show up late for a ride in my pajamas. Today, this dream almost came true.

By accident, I set my alarm clock for PM instead of AM and I woke up at 6:07 AM. Luckily, I had laid out my cloths and loaded my bike the night before so I made in time to meet Grant at 6:30 AM. The only thing I misplaced was my Garmin, thus the lack of stats.

LBJ is a GREAT ride. The ranch is gorgeous and the ride is so well organized. Minus the two out and back roads and the small signs directing the routes, by far, this is one of my favorite rides. The scenery is spectacular hosted by the “White House of Texas” where LBJ was the 37th president.

Grant keeps me pedaling. When I can not pedal, he emotionally and physically pushes me. Being that he is very competitive, he often pushed me past a few riders.

Grant whispers, “I bet we can catch him”. I say, “Let’s do it. Guys especially like it when girls pass them.”

At the top of the hill I stop for some blue bonnet pictures. Grant says, “All those people we just passed, well they are passing us now”. It is all good. I finally got pictures surrounded by bluebonnets.

At mile 20, or so, my gears decided to stay in the same gear. Mile 24, or so, I stop and have them adjusted and my chain lubed. Thirty minutes later we were back on the rode. Mile forty-two through fifty-five, we have head wind and hills.

Sausage at the end keeps me pedaling.

Today I ate:
Egg, cheese, sausage McMuffin
Gel power bar
Honey bar
Granola bar
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich times two
Sausage link in a hot dog bun
Potato salad
Third pound burger
Onion rings

I am still hungry.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Catching My Breath

This week has turned into a whirl wind. Life is pulsing all around me and I do not want to miss a beat.

5 AM training rides, squeezing in last minute contractor issues, bible study, mom’s transplant doctor's appointment, packet pick-up for LBJ, and belly dancing. And oh, there is Roxy begging me for run. Did I leave out work and yoga during lunch breaks?

I am not sure how it is all working but some how it is. These are the happiest days of my life and I thrive on making the most out of every second. There is no other way I wish it to be.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Matters

Have you seen the movie, “The Hurt Locker”? Sunday night, R and I watched the movie because it won many academy awards. Not knowing it is a war movie we sat back to enjoy a feel good movie.

The main character at the end of the movie says something like… When we are little, you have a lot of things that matter. As we get older, you notice that you only have one or two things that really matter. Maybe just one thing.

This line made an impact on because I realized I wasted my entire weekend. Did I just clean my house, work in my yard and spend my entire efforts on material “things” that do not even matter in life?

The weekend started with fertilizing the yard and racking leaves. Expecting to do a 50 mile ride over the weekend, I started eating like I was going to do a 50 mile bike ride.

Saturday, I became a Reiki Master. Three classes of Reiki classes and a reflexology class to be a practitioner. These classes have taken a lot out of me because the classes were a full day on a Saturday or Sunday, over the weekend.

Sunday, morning started at 8:30 AM to let the tile guy in. He tiled my new room as I cleaned my garage, pulled weeds, repotted some plants, and practiced belly dancing.

My new closet is almost complete. The contractor says tomorrow the final shelves will be hung. My Reiki slash yoga slash biking room will be finished. As I pondered this, I know my time has not been wasted. All of my weekend works have all been to foster a room for my spiritual and physical growth. This matters to me. My weekend was usefull after all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tan Lines

It is hard to not be a girl. But let’s face it that is the way God made me. Be that what it may, as a girl, I worry about tan lines from bike jerseys and biker shorts.

I go through phases of changing out jerseys to strappy jerseys. The tan line from sleeveless jerseys is an eye sore in a bathing suite more so than the line from a short sleeve jersey. I don’t know why I fuss over this but I look funny sitting on the beach, in a bathing suite, with biker short tan lines and jersey tan lines. That is a fashion NO.

Fashion goes out the window when bike riding. Seriously, how “cool” can you look in spandex shorts. Limited luggage only allows for two changes of cloths to wear in the evening. It is encouraged not to pack blue jeans or cloths with too many buttons or zippers. That just makes the cloths heavier.

And for shoes… I get to take my cycling cleats, flip flop and tennis shoes. Three pair of shoes to wear over twenty-one days. That has to be a crime. Some place. Some where. What’s a girl to do?

For twenty-one days, the girl in me is contained. My make-up is limited. Most of the time I was too tired to apply make-up or when I did it would wash off after a few hours of riding. Applying makeup is more of a bother.

On the rest days, I would walk to the nearest store and purchase products to give myself a facial, pedicure, and nail polish change. After so many days of hiding the girl in me, she likes to come out once in a while.

Sure, I try to be tough but I do not want to break a nail doing it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

5 AM Training

When I tell people I am riding my bike across America, some do not have a comment or cannot formulate a question in response. I have grown used to the “how is that possible” look in peoples faces and the blank stares.

Poor R, he gets to hear about my trip everyday, all day. The trip is all I think and speak about. Lucky for me, he is very supportive. Actually, I believe he is looking forward to the twenty-one days that he will be free without me around.

My world has shifted to revolve around waking at 5AM for training and weekend rides. I really enjoy this time before the world wakes up. It is so refreshing to think that I have done so much before most people have wakened. Some days it is hard to get to bed early because of “life” but I find my self having sleepless nights excited about being on my bike.

A question that I have been asked is, “Does trainer riding really help”?

With a big emphatic YES!

At first, I was not sure. Saturdays ride proved it to be true. My legs felt good and strong enough to get me through the hills. My bottom adjusted to the seat very easily. My shoulders and hands knew the handle bars.

The next two months are going to fly by. My calendar is already booked with weekend bike rides. Nothing is blocking my dreams from coming true.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


If you have ever had to deal with a building contractor, then you know where I am coming from.

The new addition to my house has been going on for two and a half weeks. The contractor said the project would take three weeks. At the end of last week, I wanted to get together to firm up the final details and agree on the final price of the last minute changes.

Lesson number one: Do not hire a contractor that does not speak English. This has been the biggest down fall to the entire project. I have to rely on Robert to translate and too much is getting lost.

Lesson number two: Do not rely on Robert to handle a project at my house. He does not ask the questions I want answers to. R tells me, “It will get done. Don’t worry about it”.

I need a date. I need a schedule. Something like: Monday paint the outside. Tuesday paint the inside. Wednesday tile and Thursday hang the shelves.

I tried to call the contractor but he didn’t understand me and just asked to talk to R. My only hope of him finishing the job is that the last amount of money I owe him has not been paid out. He will have to come over to get the money. At that point I will say, you can finish this out and I will pay you.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Training Ride 3-13-10

Distance: 40.61
Calories: 2100
Time: 3:37
Average Speed: 10.2
Total Ascent: 2203 on my Garmin 300 series. Grant’s Garmin 705 series read 2800.

Today is a perfect day for riding. Clear blue skies, not too hot or too cold, and no winds. I felt like I was on top of Texas, probably literally with the elevation heights we climbed.

The first 7 miles were a little slow as R was getting his cycling legs back. Grant and I scared R off to do a flatter thirty mile route while we attempted hills and 40 miles. R did GREAT and rode 33 miles. He is getting to be strong rider.

We rode up on some cycling friends from USAA. It was like a small reunion there on the rode. We all made promises of riding together at LBJ, in two weeks, if the weather holds up. I am so lucky to have great riding companions to keep me on the straight and narrow rode when I am in training mode.

It was total and complete bliss being out in the open air. I am happy, carefree, and feel like my whole life has fallen in place. I am living the life I have always wanted and all my dreams are coming true.

Friday, March 12, 2010

9 Weeks Of Training

The days are creeping up on me and I have about two months of training before “the big trip”.

Since January 4th, I have been dedicated to riding at least three times a week on a trainer or spin class. When the weather was good, I rode one day on the weekend. With nine weekends left of training, I have to start picking up the miles and getting long rides in, no matter the weather.

Lucky for me, I have Grant to keep me on target and we have committed to 40 miles this Saturday, 50 miles next week, and then 60 miles the next weekend after that for an organized ride around LBJ park.

It would be nice to get Grant to travel with me since we ride at the same pace and we are getting used to riding with each other. But, I know that I will find a new group with crossroads riders to ride with or even enjoy the serenity of riding on my own.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Project

With my bike sitting in the kitchen, my house has seemed to be getting smaller. I live in a three bedroom home where one of the bedrooms is a closet. I don’t have a spare bedroom or extra space for my bike but I have a closet with lots of cloths and shoes.

In an attempt to make more room, I hired a contractor to build on to my house and add a real closet to my bedroom. It is a big room, nine and a half by ten and a half, for my cloths and shoes.

Once I pull my cloths out of the bedroom, I will have space for my bike, a yoga mat, and even some room for a bed. Finally, I will have a dedicated area to relaxing and meditating. Not to mention, it is going to be great having a room just for my bike. It will be another week before it is complete but we are moving right along.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Old Barbie Is Back

For a while, I have not been myself. I forgot who I was but I am back now. My heart has been healed and I am enjoying being loving and fun again.

Sorry for the time that I was not around when you were trying to talk to me. You have all my attention now. I promise to always be honest to you even when you may not want to hear the truth.

I may have met you back when we were in school, on a bike ride, or somewhere along the way and I want you to know that I love you. You mean the world to me. Because you are in my life, I am the person that I want to be and you help me be more than I knew I could be.

Thank you for supporting me and loving me for who I am. Thank you for continuing to read my posts and making comments. I love hearing from you and knowing that you are still out there.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Bunnies

The Culebra Meat Market is one of R’s favorite taco places. After church on Sunday, we sit at the stand while our tacos are made in front of us. I happily drink my coffee and eat my sweat bread as R drools over the exotic meat delicacies.

A big order came in before ours so we had to wait an unusually long time for our food. I had plenty of time to examine the meat and all of the specialty food that is offered.

It was posted in plain sight: Rabbit, $2.99 a pound.

Who would dare eat The Velveteen Rabbit, Little Bunny Fu Fu, or even The Easter Bunny? I have never thought to eat rabbit meat. I do not even know how to cook rabbit or know of a dish that contains rabbit meat. But, I guess people do it- people eat rabbit. I don’t and don’t plan on trying it any time soon.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bike Maintenance

The past couple weeks I have had some bike down time because of life. A work project, doctor’s orders, and continuing educations classes have filled my evening and weekends.

This was a perfect opportunity to have my bike worked on. The cassette was changed out for the trip and I had the extra cassette placed on a spare wheel so I can change out my trainer wheel and rode tires out more easily. The brake cables and gear cables were changed out for good measure.

The guys at the shop are awesome. I love walking in the shop and seeing my bike hanging in the front versus being stored in the back. It sparkles as I walk up. Seriously, I think the handle bars started waving back and forth so the mirrors would twinkle in the light.

The shop feels almost like a second home. I go straight behind the counter to give my bike a glance. There are so many components, wires and gears that I learn something new about my bike with every shop visit.

Since I still struggle with changing out my bike tire, I began practicing with the training tire and start cleaning the parts of the frame that I previously missed. The cleaner my bike is the dirtier it begins to look.

It was at this time a customer began asking me about bike racks.

Oh, sorry sir, I don’t work here.

Yea, it may look like I belong because I am talking smack with the employees, my hands are covered in dirt and, after all, I am working on a bike. I should have answered his questions. I know where the racks are but I did not want to steer him in the wrong direction.

Now that my bike is all fixed up I hope to actually get on my bike to ensure its shifting smoothly.