Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This Just In!

Just got word from Tyler Benedict of Source Drinks that the 2005 Burn 24 Hour Challenge video is up and running as a Quicktime movie on the Burn Website!

I had a blast at this event, and hope you'll check out the 6 or so minute video on the link above (which just happens to include a brief interview with yours truly!!!).

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving I'm thankful for many things, but topping the list has to be my loving family - Steve, Zoe and Spyder. You truly are the delight of my life. With much love, Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Doesn’t Get Much Better

What a great day for a bike ride! It just doesn't get much better than this. I spent today's glorious crisp fall weather on a mountain bike trail with my favorite riding buddy! Sherri and I were joined by our husbands at Harris Lake today, where we reveled in the beauty of nature, gliding along the trails under a canopy of trees awash in their finest fall colors, giggling like two school girls with every swoopy turn. Steve was gracious enough to document the day's fun with a multitude of pictures which have been posted to my photo gallery.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Last Race of the Season

Dance with the Devil Race This weekend was my last race of the 2005 season - the Dance with the Devil 12-Hour race at Devil's Ridge in Sanford. As I really haven't been on my bike all that much lately, at least compared to what I usually was earlier in the year, and am still having some knee and arm joint troubles which prevented me from really feeling up to going it alone at this event, I managed to persuade my friend Matt to do this one as a Duo with me. We wound up in 6th place out of 8 two-person teams (against some very strong men's duo teams, I might add!), but I believe we were the only Coed Duo, and we managed to get in 19 laps on the roughly 4-1/2 mile course (I had 9 and Matt had 10). I weenied out of doing a 10th lap, but overall I think we made a great team, with our lap times actually very consistent and wonderful camaraderie between us. It was Matt's first race and I think he did just an amazing job! We had a ton of fun, the race was quite well run, and my husband, Steve, was gracious enough to come out and provide support for us as well as spending many hours of his time taking well over 400 photos of pretty much every rider which he has posted Here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween everyone! Wishing you as much fun as we had celebrating once again at Tidewater.

Friday, September 16, 2005

New Passion

Forehand practice Through serendipitous timing of a visit to a sporting goods store and the subsequent discovery of a local area tennis association, I have found a new passion which really seems to suit me. I luckily found out that beginner tennis lessons were being offered at the local courts barely a mile from my home the day before the first class, and was able to get registered and attend. I've only had a couple of lessons thus far, but in that short period of time, I've found that I really love this game! I've made some outrageously fun friends, found something athletic that I deeply enjoy doing, and have been particularly fortunate to have a husband willing to share this newfound passion with me! I've been surprised at just what a great time I'm having, and I must admit I'm quite drawn to the more mental aspect of the game of tennis and the fact that it is generally not considered an "extreme" activity (I've really begun to despise that term and the whole image it invokes). I eagerly look forward to each visit to the courts.

Tennis anyone? Tennis Anyone?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Legendary

Jacquie Phelan This weekend I had the true honor of meeting one of mountain biking's greatest legends, Jacquie Phelan - pro racer, founder of WOMBATS , and certainly one of the premiere bike clinic instructors in the country, if not the world. She was holding a bike camp sponsored by Charlotte's own Dirt Divas , which I had the privilege to attend. Jacquie regaled us with amazing and humorous stories, played the banjo and sang original songs, all the while teaching us valuable riding skills and instilling a sense of confidence and trust in ourselves in a lighthearted, supportive and encouraging environment. While I left the clinic with many newfound basic technical skills to practice, I think the most important thing Jacquie gave me today was renewed self-confidence and methods to quiet that pervasive self-deprecating inner voice in favor of treating myself with more kindness and acceptance, giving back the same support and encouragement that has always seemed to come so easily when directed toward others, but up to now I had been unable to turn inward. She was delightfully joyous, enthusiastic and a wealth of information, a treasure to women (and men) everywhere who ride a bike, and I cherish the time spent with her. Endless thanks to the Dirt Divas for sponsoring the clinic, and to Jacquie for all that she is and does.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Acceptance

If I have learned anything from my nearly 44 years on this earth, it is that sometimes the direction our lives take may not be what we intended or expected. When this happens, we have choices. We can either lament the loss of what we thought should be and live in angry sadness about it, try to change it and force it to be what we thought it should, or accept the new direction, embracing the challenges and rewards it may present. After unsuccessfully attempting the two former options, I have elected my best course as a bicyclist is to pursue the latter. Over time, I have come to realize that I am not, as I had attempted to be for many years, a bike racer. While I do love to ride and enjoy greatly the friendships I have made through the events in which I have participated, the act of racing is not where my heart and soul reside. I am not a very competitive person by nature and do not generally enjoy the stress and anxiety of a true "race" atmosphere, both of which severely hinder my capabilities to be very effective at racing and indeed frequently impact negatively on my appreciation of the joy of just riding. What does speak to my own spirit is the simple act of riding my bicycle - just because I enjoy it - and the profound personal knowledge I gain about the individual I am when I ride, particularly for long distances or long periods of time. This is not to say that I will never race again; obviously I will, as there are trails and dear friends that I would not generally get to see were it not for attending certain events. But when I do, I will carefully select those races that particularly appeal to my spirit, and I will view the experience in a very different light than I have over the previous years. This blog entry is not a sad one by any means, however, because rather than being disappointed by this new point of view, I am invigorated, excited and enthusiastic about the new direction in which my bicycling life is turning.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Changes

Riding at New Light A lot has been going on in the past couple of weeks. I've been to see my sports medicine internist who has asked me to use a Shields knee brace for the time-being when riding due to his diagnosis of a patellofemoral tracking syndrome disorder, worse in my right knee. I am also in the meantime using specific stretches and strengthening exercises daily in order to expedite my ability to discontinue use of the brace as soon as possible.

In addition, I've developed an astigmatism in my eyes and recently received new eyeglasses to help with that. I opted for the Transitions lenses which automatically darken in response to UV ray exposure and then lighten back up upon returning inside as I am notorious for forgetting to wear sunglasses. I am amazed at the difference - I can see now! I didn't realize how blurry my vision had become - probably not helped by my working at a computer all day.

Then yesterday while playing with my dog, Spyder, we accidentally bumped heads and his tooth split my cheek, which required a trip to the urgent care center. Fortunately, they elected not to suture it, but just glued the skin back together with Dermabond or something similar and gave me a tetanus shot. Of course, the doctor did tell me that I will have a large scar to always remind me of my dog, and currently the wound does look rather hideous, especially with the skin glue layered over the bloodied and bruised tissues. Hopefully the healing process will be quick.

On a non health related note, I've recently found a really nice group of folks to ride with on Wednesday evenings. The majority of the guys are laidback, casual, very friendly recreational riders. We've been rotating through the local trails each week at an easy pace on nobody-gets-left-behind rides, which has been wonderful for me, since they've been so kind and patient about tolerating my relative slowness and timidity on technical sections, never making me feel like I'm holding them up (even though I'm sure I do most of the time). I've needed a group like this to ride with, especially since I've gotten so discouraged with my racing and training of late with all the confidence-destroying stress I have with that. It's been very pleasant to be able to head to the trails with people who ride simply because they enjoy riding and the companionship of others who just enjoy riding as well, with no competitiveness involved, just good company, lots of laughs and fun times.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Bonding

Bonding Well, despite the fact that at my physical therapy appointment last week it appeared that I had again developed severe tendonitis - in both knees this time - I was able to come to a compromise with the therapist. He wanted me to stay totally off the bike for four weeks, while I wanted to continue with my intensive training program. We finally agreed to meet each other halfway and let me continue to ride, but at a lower intensity for the next little while to see how things go, at least until I meet with my sports medicine physician at the end of this week. Keep your fingers crossed that doing my stretches, exercises and icing will allow me to continue to bike since that is my respite from the realities of adulthood! Anyway, I decided to brave the heat and took the new bike, "Seven", out for another spin today, this time at New Light. I have to admit that I'm really starting to enjoy the new ride. The fit seems just perfect for me and the bike handles wonderfully. The stable platform rear shock is so responsive that even I, a person who generally is pretty oblivious to things like suspension, am keenly aware of the way it seems to keep the rear tire planted and let bike and rider basically float along the trail as a single unit. The shorter cockpit has been a delight for my low back and I feel much more in control, especially on tight turns, climbs and techy descents. There are still many more rides ahead before the bonding process is complete, but I feel that Seven and I are on our way to becoming a unified team. Now if I can just get these knees on the same page!

Seven

Lance Armstrong has won his seventh straight Tour de France! Congratulations Lance -- enjoy your retirement and the next phase of your incredibly amazing life. You've touched the heart, soul and spirit of more people and changed more lives than you will ever know.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Huck-A-Buck

Happy Fun Racing held their annual Huck-A-Buck cross country race at Lake Crabtree County Park today, and Steve ended up in 8th place out of a huge singlespeed class of 25 entries! We got several photos from the race, as did Mitch Quinn, who was kind enough to host our photos along with his on his photography site Here.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Inspiration

When I'm feeling fatigued, tired and burned out with riding and racing, few things inspire me to get back out on the trail again like buying a brand new bike...!
Lucky SevenFirst Ride on the New Bike

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cowbell 12 Hour Challenge

Mellow Jeunies After years of endurance racing on my own as a solo rider, I was finally able to convince my best riding buddy, Sherri, to join me and race as a duo for the Cowbell 12 Hour Challenge. As it turns out, I could not have asked for a more perfect teammate! She was always smiling and cheerful, full of energy and joy, and generally delightful to be around. Also, our lap times were within just a couple of minutes of each other for the entire event which made for very evenly matched rest and ride sessions, and I had a fantastic time at this race! Taylor Sullivan, Bart Stetler and company put on a most enjoyable event and I look forward to this one every summer. Sherri and I ended up having 13 recorded laps. I say "recorded" because Taylor was kind enough to let me ride with Sherri on her last lap as we don't live near one another anymore and rarely get to ride together, so only her time on the last lap was counted - I was just riding as her companion for that one. This meant that logistically we each turned 7 laps which equaled roughly 41 miles apiece according to my cyclometer. Sherri's husband, Steve, served as her support and our mechanic, while my husband, Steve, raced in the Singlespeed Solo class, bringing home second place with 14 laps! Sherri's hubby also was kind enough to take some photos for us during the race, some of which can be found Here. It was great seeing so many friends out there - Erinna who was just awesome in the Female Solo category, Ed and Robin who had raced with us at the Tsali 12 Hour last month, and of course Michael and Sue. Sue ended up with 5 laps, one above her goal, for her first attempt at the Solo Female 6 Hour class - way to go! Having those two camped next to us really makes a race extra fun and entertaining - thanks for all the laughs folks!! It was a pleasure too, as always, to see the ever-friendly and helpful Dirt Divas out and about - special congrats to Jennifer on an impressive first solo event! - along with LouAnn and her team of amazingly skilled and delightful ladies. Much gratitude to everyone who made this event so memorable and fun - I'm already looking forward to next year!
Second Place Female Duo

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tag - You’re It

Evidently Mother Nature was in the mood for a rousing game of Tag this evening and apparently I'm now "It". I had headed out to Beaverdam to ride right after work today, not even taking the time to remove my mascara (a painful mistake I was to learn later). Even though the skies had appeared threatening off and on throughout the day, for the first 45 minutes or so of the ride the weather was gorgeous and the trail dry and fast. I should have turned around at the first ominous rumble of thunder, but feeling no raindrops, I decided to push on. I managed to get almost halfway around the South Loop when I realized my error in judgment. The thunder clapped even louder and then the heavens opened and a cold heavy downpour of rain stung my shoulders, legs and face. The mascara that I had failed to remove earlier was now burning its way inside my eyes along with rain and sweat. My gloves were soaked, so the more I tried to rub the water from my eyes, the more water went into them, pushing the sweat and mascara deeper and causing more and more burning. I was soon unable to see at all, so was forced to dismount and push my bike. This may have been a saving grace for me though, because shortly after I began walking, a fierce bolt of lightning flashed its way across the lake and right onto my handlebar! I saw the blue spark flash off the bar and heard the crackling, but save for a very faint brief tingle in my fingertips, I experienced no pain or intense shock sensation. Of course, I did throw the bike to the ground, and squealed like a girl. After taking a few moments to regain my composure, I gathered up my bike and began walking along the trail again, still trying futilely to wipe my eyes with my rain-soaked gloves and still unable to see. Fortunately, it was at about that time that I heard Steve's familiar voice. He had decided to bail on his own ride to come find me and make sure I got out of the trail okay in order to, as he put it "be the manly husband and rescue my wife from the thunderstorm". So together we hiked our way out of the trail and back to the parking lot, at which point I reminded myself that I had always heard lightning never strikes the same place twice. I sure hope that's true!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Dark Mountain Downhill Race

Steve at Dark Mountain Steve had decided he wanted to compete in the Dark Mountain downhill race this past Saturday, so I accompanied him and spent the day taking pictures of the event. He ended up doing rather well, finishing Top Ten Expert in a very tough field of racers! Having myself "retired" from downhill racing a couple of years ago and thus not really attending very many of them recently, it was great to go back and see so many friends from the downhill circuit again. It was just like old times, only I was on the other side of the camera lens this time, and I have to say I very much enjoyed being able to sit back and watch, cheer, photograph and generally be in awe of the skill of some of those riders. Steve through the rock garden again
The remainder of the over 100 pictures I got from the race can be found Here

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Video Premier Party

Dancing Under The Stars Last night was the premier showing of the instructional dance video entitled "Bellydance Moves and Combinations Anyone Can Do" in which I was a student participant. Belly Revelations held a big party in downtown Raleigh to show highlights from the video and to celebrate Middle Eastern Dance in the Triangle. We all gathered at the Museum of Natural Sciences to watch clips from the premier, and then headed over to Turkish Delights Deli for a variety of delicious desserts, ice cream and Turkish coffee - YUMMY! - along with dancing outside under the stars, accompanied by some very accomplished drummers. There is nothing to compare with dancing to live musicians! It was also great to see my dance sisters and brothers again after my several month hiatus from classes due to my knee issues. We spent the evening dancing, laughing and letting our inner children out to play. Zahrah and me being silly

We also took time out for some posed photo opportunities. Posing

There is just nothing like dancing outside on a warm summer night. Dancing under the summer moon

Monday, May 30, 2005

Feeling The Burn

First Lap This past weekend was the Burn 24 Hour Challenge, and my second endurance race in as many weeks, so was a real test of the recovery stage of my knee. My plan was to do the entire race on the rigid singlespeed. However, after the first 5 laps, I (along with a couple of other riders who also switched out their rigid forks in favor of suspension) decided that the screaming fast descents were just too jarring and that my hands would need a bit of a rest in order to complete the race, so I switched to my suspended singlespeed. I found it amusing how many folks at the race actually recognized "Spot" (my leopardskin painted bike) before me!
Spot

Anyway, although I was understandably disappointed that I finished last in the Solo Women with only 13 laps total, I was encouraged by the fact that I completed one more lap than last year and rode the entire race on a singlespeed (I believe I was the only woman to do so). I also had a great time seeing so many friends again and riding one of the most fun courses on the southeastern endurance circuit. Dark Mountain is just a blast to ride. My knee seemed to hold up reasonably well until the last couple of laps which I ended up having to walk a lot of due to some worrisome pain in the joint. I periodically iced my knee during the race which seemed to help some, and the worst of the pain did gradually begin waning with some light stretching, moist heat and rest after the race was over. I was happy to have been able to finish the race with no major issues, and hopefully being able to rest a few weeks between my next couple of races this year will facilitate a full recovery by next spring.

There were a lot of positives for me during this event, despite my race placing. One tremendous surprise for me came when Tyler, the race promoter, asked if he could do a video interview with me about my race experience! I hope I was coherent enough to answer the questions sensibly. I also have to give a word of gratitude to all the other riders who made the race seem more like one big friendly group ride than a competition. The other solo racers are my constant inspiration and can dig deeper within themselves for strength than imaginable. My fellow singlespeeders (and there were plenty of them at this race) really know how to have fun and push themselves all at the same time. The teams were unbelievably encouraging, cheering all the racers on all through the night. It was great to see and talk with folks who are my inspiration and have made my bicycling career a joy, like Javaun Moradi and Jen (thank you so much for managing my bike at the start area and making sure my number was attached!), John Moorhouse, Eddie O'Dea, Heather Mosley, Brian and the Charlotte Dirt Divas (my hair stayed braided the entire time, and your cheers really kept me going!), Matt and all the other singlespeeders out there (you folks just plain ROCK!), and all the other solo riders including Bob Anderson (you're just amazing, always with a smile and a kind word to every rider on the trail, all day and all night long, even when you've been in the saddle for nearly 24 hours yourself!).

Of course, extra special thanks have to go out to some people who made it possible for me to even do this race.

Tyler Benedict Tyler Benedict
Race Director and Source Burn President. You really know how to put on a race, and are truly one of the heroes of our sport. Thank you for all you do. And your son is precious!

Matt Adams Matt Adams
One of the "main men" of the Brushy Mountain Cyclists who maintain the Dark Mountain Trail System. You folks have worked very hard and the results are obvious to anyone who rides this awesome trail network. You and Ellen and the rest of the volunteers were also just a delight at the checkpoint. You really kept me going when I wanted to just give up. Thank you for posing for this picture with me, and for all your hard work and dedication.

Condiments The Condiments
Steve's team (Regina, Steve, Mike, Pete and Will). You folks were the best support crew I could ever ask for, even all the while racing yourselves - and pulling off a third place finish among some very tough competition! You took care of everything for me, and even kept me laughing the entire weekend with all your shenanigans.
Will Being Silly

Charlie Storm Charlie
(photo courtesy of Fit To Be Tried Bikes)
My coach and constant source of focus and encouragement. It meant a lot to me to be able to talk with you near midnight on Saturday when I was feeling lost and hopeless. You brought me back and kept me going. It made the last few hours of the race so much easier to have you call me again first thing in the morning with those last few words of advice and support. You make me feel equally as important and worthy of your time as your elite clients and it's my privilege to call you not only my coach, but also my friend.

And my husband Steve Steve
As always, you are my foundation, my heart and my love.

Steve also has a gallery of tons of photos from the race Here

Monday, May 23, 2005

Tsali Update

Last Lap As an edit to my earlier post from today which can be found below, I just saw the 12 Hours of Tsali RESULTS . While it looks like I ended up in 12th for the solo women (I think 21 women registered and 17 finished), I apparently would have made the TOP FIVE for the singlespeed category!!! I know, I know, the results are not what matters, but I'm really excited to have survived the rigid and gotten close to the middle of the pack in that class! Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this possible for me.

Heartfelt congrats to everyone - it was a tough race, but we did it. YAY! Looking forward to Burn next weekend.
Rockin The Rigid

Also, for anyone interested, Steve got around 500 photographs during the race which can be found HERE

Tsali 12 Hour Race

Tsali As I sit here and reflect on my first race of the season this past weekend, so many things flood my mind. Relief that my knee did manage to hold up, with only minimal pain, and that I was able to complete the event without any major mishaps. Joy of seeing so many old friends, and making so many new ones both on and off the trail. Pride that I was able to complete the entire race on a rigid singlespeed as the only woman, I believe, to do so at this race. I was somewhat let down to find that it was taking me far longer to complete the laps than I had originally estimated, but I make no excuses. Yes, the weather made things sketchy early on, but we all had to race the same conditions. And the fact that I have a 24 hour race next weekend and was on a rigid singlespeed are both choices that I made for myself - besides, I think my bike choice actually may have been an advantage in all reality! I have no idea where I ended up placing, although I suspect it was near the bottom since I only logged 65 miles, but my placing doesn't really matter. I got to spend a whole day riding my bike - it just doesn't get any better than that!

It was also truly wonderful to discover how many friends I had out there, supporting and encouraging me. Some of particular note include:

Matt Lee Matt
Your constant encouragement and concern about my knee were most appreciated, and you probably weren't aware that I was just about ready to give up and walk that one climb when I felt your hand on my shoulder. Thank you for reminding me that I could do this.

Fairleigh Fairley1
Thank you for making me laugh and keeping my mind off how much I was hurting as we climbed along the ridge. It was a pleasure riding with you, and I'll never forget your smile.

Tinker Juarez Tinker
You are one of the most gracious and accommodating riders by whom I've ever had the pleasure to be passed. I so much appreciate your willingness to completely change your passing line in order to give me the smoother route when my arms were burning near the end of the race.

Bob Thanks Bob
I couldn't imagine a more pleasant way to end a 12 hour race than by sharing the ride with you. I know you're so much stronger than I, and could easily have done another lap, yet you stayed right there with me for the last 20 miles, when I so wanted to quit. You'll never know how much that meant to me, to have you there, engaging me in conversation, taking my mind off the pain, and keeping me going. You made it possible for me to finish strong, and I can't thank you enough for that.

Robin and Ed Robin Ed
Sharing a pit area with you was awesome! It was so great to spend the day with you, and I hope to see you again very soon.

The folks pitted on either side of us (I'm sorry I failed to get your names) Neighbors
Thank you for being so honest and admitting how difficult this race was for you too. It helped me to know that I was not suffering alone. You both rock, by the way!

Doug and Mike Doug and Mike
It always makes my weekend to go to a race and find you there. I love you guys - nobody knows how to enjoy riding a bicycle like you two!

Jennifer Jennifer
It was such a pleasure talking with you on the way up to one of the overlook areas (even though I didn't realize who you were at the time!). When Javaun told me later that was you and how many laps you had gotten, I was so proud (and envious) of you!

Charlie Storm - Thank you for making me do those last two laps, and for the last minute advice and encouragement. I hope I didn't let you down.

And finally, last but certainly not least, Steve - My husband, mechanic, support crew, and best friend. You make everything possible for me. What more can I say than I love you.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ready or Not

Climbing Well, I'm one day away from heading to the hills - that is, the mountains of North Carolina, where I will be competing in the 12 Hours of Tsali this weekend. While I realize that nothing is ever guaranteed in a race, and I have every chance of finishing first, last, or anywhere in between, one thing I do know. I am ready. I'm still very early in my knee rehabilitation and my training, but I've faithfully followed my regimented program to the letter. Over the past couple of months, I've watched my body change and grow stronger, and after last night's recovery ride, I know that I will never look at myself in the same way again. There was a power available to me that I'd never realized I had, muscles working in unison to achieve a common goal. During this time of focusing on healing and strengthening myself, I've learned to accept and love the body in which I live; to work with it as a team, and rather than wishing I was something that I am not, I'm putting forth the time and effort to begin transforming my body - and my mind - into the very best that it can be. It's a long road, a lifetime goal, but I'm on my way. My body, mind and spirit are united, strong, prepared, and I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead.
Looking Forward to the Future

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Rejuvenation

I love to ride my bike. I Love To Ride My Bike

Lately I've been under a tremendous amount of stress related to various things going on in my life, and I guess I had momentarily forgotten the honesty of that simple statement. I originally didn't want to ride today. I was tired, irritable, unproductively worried about things over which I failed to realize I had no control anyway, and really had to summon all my mental fortitude to load up my bike and head out. I was sullen and grumpy the entire way to the trailhead, determined that I wasn't going to enjoy the ride. However, once I clipped in and headed out into the woods, it didn't take long before nothing mattered except the ribbon of trail. It meandered its way through the trees, punctuated by brilliant strips of sunlight interrupting the cool shade. As I pedaled along, my mind began to liberate itself from the clutter and I surrendered my attention to the natural beauty all around me. I focused on my breathing and concentrated on making smooth even circles with each pedal stroke. Without my even realizing it, the hours just melted away, along with my anxiety and stress, and I felt refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated. Suddenly all those previous seemingly insurmountable mountains of worries had become mere speedbumps that I just pedaled right over. I love to ride my bike.

Monday, May 2, 2005

I Love A Challenge

I Love A Challenge! You have to love it when you get the e-mail from your coach outlining your biweekly workout schedule, and the message starts off stating "Yo, This is a tough two weeks..."! I could have gotten scared and intimidated, and decided it's too difficult, I can't, I won't, etc. But if I had allowed myself to be that easily beaten down, I never would have attempted any of the things that have changed me forever and made my life worth living. By refusing a challenge, I never would have considered moving away from my home out in the country surrounded by my family, to a city where I knew no one and was totally alone, which in turn might have meant I never would have met my soulmate, Steve. I never would have given a second thought to learning to ride a bicycle as an adult and thus would have missed out on experiences and journeys about which I could only have dreamed just a few short years ago. So when Charlie says it's going to be a tough two weeks - and especially after perusing the training schedule and deciding for myself that he is quite correct - I say bring it on; I love a challenge!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Dark Mountain

Dark Mountain - More photos in gallery More Dark Mountain - More photos in gallery Since today was my long ride day, we decided to head up to Dark Mountain for a day trip. Thanks to the diligent efforts of the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club - who were there again today working on the trail as they do regularly - this is one of the most beautiful and sustainable trails in the region. Although I had not ridden here since the Burn 24 Hour race last spring, it surprised me how some of the most innocuous appearing features of a trail can spark very vivid memories. On turning certain corners, I found that I remembered particular root and rock configurations like I had just ridden them yesterday, and could "see" in my mind's eye the twists and turns of the trail that followed these particular sections as clearly as the back of my own hand. With no suspension and no gears, this time I was truly fully able to experience all the undulations and rollercoaster ride feel of the trail. Rather than finding those sensations disconcerting, however, I actually felt more "connected" with my bike and the trail and seemed better able to get into a definitive rhythm with it. Riding these trails was like visiting an old friend and I cherished every lung-busting climb as well as each breathtaking descent. Brushy Mountain Cyclists- More photos in gallery Many thanks to the Brushy Mountain Cyclists. Your efforts are more appreciated than you will ever know!

Dance Video

Dance Videotaping Session This evening I received my copy of the instructional dance DVD in which I was a student participant, entitled "Bellydance Moves and Combinations Anyone Can Do". The video is available for purchase through Belly Revelations. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in the filming of this video alongside some very lovely and wonderfully gifted dancers, and hope other dance students will enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.
Dance Joyfully Dancing with a sword You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.