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