Bike Boat Bike 2015

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Although I had already signed up to do a century the following week, I had heard great things about BBB so I decided to do that century as well.  I was able to get off from work that day so I registered and arranged to meet up with my friends who were doing it.

I did the drive in from Queens, which took an hour and twenty minutes.  I saved time that morning by eating my breakfast during the car ride in.  This would be the protocol for all of my future far away riding.  When sharing a ride it is courteous not to assume that the person eats in their car, so I advise asking them in advance and offering to buy or make them breakfast.

It was a cool morning with low wind and no humidity. It was the perfect weather for a century.  The food and snacks they had there were very good so there was no need to stuff my pockets.  My pocket space was reserved for my jacket, for when I was ready to take it off.

It was very pretty out east.  There was a lot of open land with farmstands and vineyards.    In the morning hours there was hardly anyone on the road.  There was a gorgeous view from the ferry (I even had exact change for the ferry man).  We saw deer on Shelter Island running through the trees in the distance.  The rest stops were placed strategically throughout the course, they were spaced evenly apart.  There were bathrooms with running water so I wasn’t forced to use the porto pottys that were there.  The rest of the day remained mild. 

When we were close to reaching the lot we discovered that the ferry miles were included in the 100 miles.  We did an extra loop so we would legitimately do a full century.  When we got back to the lot there were delicious sandwiches, salads, and fruit.  I ate and chatted with other friends of mine that were riding with other groups.  I’ve always enjoyed mingling at the end of these events.  Many people congratulated me on my first century, I was so proud of my accomplishment.  It really was a perfect day, everything about it was amazing.

I look forward to seeing everyone out there this weekend.  To everyone participating in this event, please let me know that you’re coming so we can hook up and ride together.  I would like to thank the SBRA for all the effort that goes into making this event very special. 

 

 

Wake Up Legs

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Come on legs, don’t fail me now.  We’ll never catch up if we lose it now.  We’ve got a chance  if you would just wake up.  I’m really not asking for much.  I’ll need the two of you in order to catch back up.

They’re close in the distance, not far ahead.  Why the hell am I begging again? Haven’t I given you every desire? We have trained on these hills every spare hour.  I’ve given you carbohydrates, potassium, and protein.  I’ve made myself very lean.

We’ve spent time on the trainer sweating away.  I’ve upgraded my entire pain cave. I’ve paid extra attention to my cadence, power, and heart rate.  I’ve watched my FTP slowly increase.  I’m even considering the dreaded hill repeats.

I will not take this insolence from you two legs.  I will do more VO2 max workouts until I’ve had my way.  I will not accept this defeat.  I feel really bad for my poor feet.  They’ve done nothing wrong to have all this torture.  Wait til my next workout, it’ll be a scorcher!

Until the two of you behave I will hear no more.  You both can shut up or be ignored.  I will continue this journey of inflicting pain.  If you do as I say I can make it all go away.  Please, think about it if you will, we’re about to hit that great big hill!

This Past Weekend (Memorial Day Weekend)

 

I worked a lot of hours last week despite having Monday off so cycling was forced to take a backseat.  I barely slept and hardly rode so I was super excited for the upcoming holiday weekend.  Although I only rode three days including Saturday, I managed to ride about 130 miles.

Saturday was a really nice ride.  I decided to ride within my comfort zone. We had a nice group of about a dozen of us or more.  I managed to stay with the group or only a few seconds behind them on the climbs that I would normally fall back on.  It was nice and it made me feel strong.  A couple of the other groups that went out made it back to the shop around the same time that we did so we all got to socialize and take a large group picture.  It was nice to get together with everyone for the holiday weekend.  

I came back home after the ride and got cleaned up although I knew I was riding some more.  It was sooo hot out so I needed to wash that sweat off of me.  I wasn’t up to riding in that heat again.  That was when I had a brainstorm. The place to be was by the water and everyone was at the Air Show.  I decided to go out to Heckscher and there was barely anyone there which was perfect.  My boo and I had such a nice ride on our hybrids down by the water.  It was about 10 degrees cooler, it was even a bit chilly.  It was so nice to ride side by side on the bike path.  I’m so grateful that he left his comfort zone to come into my world.  I always want it to be a positive experience for him so we make it his ride.  He sets the pace and decides when to pedal and when to rest.  I really enjoy his company and it really means so much to me that he comes on these rides with me.

Sunday sucked.  It was cold and rainy and I woke up with a horrible cold.  I had planned on a virtual ride but I couldn’t even get out of bed.  I did nothing the whole morning.  In the afternoon we went to the movies and saw Deadpool.  It was a great movie, hilariously funny.  After that we went shopping and took advantage of some holiday weekend sales. It was nice to get out of my sick bed.

Monday was another great ride.  Being that I’m pretty sick I decided on a more moderate ride. I wasn’t sure which ride to go on until I heard that my bike uncle was coming out so I rode with him on that ride.  It was really nice.  We went the hilly way to the Kings Park Bluff.  I always enjoy going there.  Its super pretty and is the ideal place to get a nice picture of my bike by the water.

I wanna give a shout out to my girl from the city.  It was really nice riding with you.  Your hill game has come a long way since we rode together during Fondo.  Keep doing those hilly rides upstate because they’re really working for you.  I also wanna give a shout out to all my girls out there breaking records left and right.  You women are out there raising the bar for females. It makes me so proud to be a woman! In the past few years women are really taking on the athletic world.  I always talk about American Ninja Warrior.  A few years ago a woman had never made it up the warped wall or completed a course.  Now several women have done both.  I’m so proud to know so many strong women. Ladies, stay strong and remember that the sky is the limit!

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 4)

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Chicken Breast With Green Beans and Cheesy Cauliflower/Broccoli

 

What you will need: 

  • Hormone Free Thin Sliced Chicken Breast
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Herb Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion Powder 
  • Garlic Powder
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Green Beans
  • Garlic Cloves (1 or 2) 
  • Butter Substitute 
  • Organic Cauliflower
  • Organic Broccoli
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese

How to make it:

Preheat a frying pan over med/high heat.  Put the cauliflower and broccoli in a food processor or a blender until its riced. Put a drop of the oil into the pan.  Put the riced mix into the pan and blend the olive oil into it.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Stir it occasionally until its lightly browned. Reduce the flame and add the cheddar cheese. Stir until its creamy.

Preheat a frying pan over med/high heat.  Place the chicken breasts into a bag and add a drop of olive oil, salt, herb seasoning, and the Italian seasoning.  Shake the bag until the chicken has been properly seasoned.  Place the chicken in the pan and fry it until its golden brown.

Place the green beans into a bag.  Crush the garlic in a garlic crusher into the bag.  Add softened butter substitute and salt.  Shake the bag until its blended.  Place the green beans into a pan and place in a halogen oven on the bottom rack. Bake for 4 mins at 350f.  Stir and bake for another 3 mins at 350f.  If you don’t have a halogen oven place the green beans in a frying pan over medium heat stirring occasionally until its hot.  The green beans should be crisp. If the skin starts to shrivel, remove from the heat immediately.

Serve everything immediately. Total cook time, including prep time is about 20-25 mins.  Bon Appetit! Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

Wisconsin

 

 

 

In late 2015 and early 2016 I started putting myself out there.  Prior to that I didn’t really put much effort into meeting “the one”.  There is an old saying that applied to my attitude towards men and dating.  The saying goes as follows: A man is like a meatball. The spaghetti in a bowl with some sauce is plenty of food.  When you add the meatball it adds flavor to the pasta.  Do you need the meatball? No, but it does make the pasta that much better.

I met someone online and we hit it off.  He lived in Wisconsin and worked for Trek Bicycle Corp.  He lived in a beautiful house on the lake.  These were all really nice things but I just wanted to meet someone I could get along with.  I was always a bit wary because dreams normally don’t come true for broke girls from Queens….. Things were going well so we decided to meet up. I flew to WI for Memorial Day weekend.

I flew in Friday after work so all was dark and quiet when I arrived. He had to pick a couple things up from work for our ride the next day, so we swung by the Trek building.  It was huge, they had just added onto the building to make their facility larger.  He gave me a brief tour of the facility. They had moulds for making carbon parts.  I didn’t realize that they did their manufacturing here in the U.S.  There were bicycles throughout the building that belonged to the employees, most of them bike to work.  It was like being transported to a magical land of bicycles.

When we got back to his place he knew I’d be hungry so he had a few snacks for me. The cheese was amazing as was the beer.  The beer was all brewed local.  I wish we could get those beers here in NY.  I’ve searched every shop selling craft beers but found nothing. 

The next day we went for a ride.  His garage was filled with all sorts of bicycles.  I was sure I was in heaven.  I rode a carbon fiber bike for the very first time.  This bike was top notch. It was full carbon with aero wheels and Dura Ace components. It was only the second road bike I’ve ever ridden.  It was super light and fast.  Prior to that I had only worn low end cycling clothing so it was my first time wearing premium cycling apparel.  It felt amazing.  Everything about that trip was amazing.  Even getting caught in a torrential downpour wasn’t bad.  We rode the whole weekend long.  We even did a century.  

It was beautiful over there. There was a lot of open farmland with beautiful wildflowers.  There were red barns and dairy farms. There were lakes and ponds. There were cows grazing.  The smells out there were intoxicating. The air smelled so fresh, crisp, and clean.  We did stop at a dairy farm for ice cream.  It was probably the best ice cream I’ve ever had!

I returned to Wisconsin two more holiday weekends after that.  One of the times I was there we went kayaking in the lake which was another first for me.  There were huge carp and all sorts of wildlife throughout the lake.  We rode Electra cruiser bikes through the neighborhood after kayaking while still wearing swimwear, it felt so free.  On July 4th a guy from the other side of the lake did an extravagant fireworks display.  We didn’t even have to go outside to see it as there were huge windows that looked out over the lake.  

It really was like a fairy tale for me.  I got to experience a completely different life than the one I’m living.  He taught me how to be more pro.  He explained things to me in a way that I could understand. He showed me how to do some simple bicycle repairs and taught me how to change a flat.  He gave me advice that made me faster.  It didn’t work out between us but what I learned from him was well worth all the time I put into us.  All  in all I took a chance on love and came out a much improved cyclist.

I often joke around saying that I bought a Specialized because a Trekkie broke my heart but in reality I bought it because I got a great deal on it.  We spoke about different bike companies and he admitted that Specialized is an excellent bike company that makes excellent bikes.  They have a great business ethic and have excellent warranties.  You really can’t go wrong purchasing from either of the top two bicycle companies in America.

Wisconsin was absolutely beautiful and I would love to go back out there to do some more riding.  I would also like to stock up on beer while I’m out there.  If you get out to WI I highly recommend having the cheese curds.  They’re delicious!

Let Us Roll

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As I make my way through this life doing the mundane things that I need to do to survive, I think of why I do it and it gets me through my days.  I do it for Saturday mornings.  The sun is bright and the air is crisp.  There is no better feeling than this.  My bike is ready and I long to roll. 

The group is assembled and we’re all feeling good.  We get started riding through the peaceful neighborhood.  All is quiet as the streets are asleep.  The only sounds that can be heard are the pleasant symphony of the birds above us in the trees.  

It is in this lull that I can hear the barely audible rhythmic sounds of our ride.  I’m in a nice reverie as I hear the wind come off of the tire in front of me.  The whir of the chains and the changing of gears is the most amazing sound I could hear.

It is in these moments that I feel complete, that I feel that this world will not devour me replete. I feel bold, I feel wild.  I’m in touch with my inner child.  It’s for these moments that life is worth living.  It is for this that a damn is worth giving.

Memorial Day Weekend 2015

 

 

 

It was, technically, my first Memorial Day weekend on the road because the year before I attended a wedding in Florida and did no riding.  Neither The Senor nor I had any plans to travel. A few days prior to the weekend I called him up and demanded that he make plans with me. Although I was pushy and demanding I think he enjoyed my company and that’s why he put up with me.

The Señor is a genius when it comes to planning rides.  The plan was simple, or so we thought. We would park at the lot in Westbury and go to Seaford to eat at the awesome pizza place that I love so much.  After lunch we would ride across to CCP, take the Jones Beach bike path, and sit near the parking lot by the theater to take in the Air Show.  

The show itself was amazing.  I had never seen an Air Show before. It must take a great deal of skill in order to be able to execute a well choreographed “dance” from a plane flying at high speed in the sky.  I was amazed at each and every performance.  I learned only recently that Long Island has an extensive history in aviation. We waited to see The Thunderbirds perform, which was the highlight of the show, before we got back on our way.

It was Sunday and we each had a couple of days of riding under our belts.  The way back from the Air Show we were an absolute mess.  We were tired and very sore.  Luckily the way back was fairly flat, we just had to deal with some wind.  We took turns pulling each other and shared snacks.

The last few miles of the ride we were obliterated.  We were pouring sweat, snot, and drool.  When we stopped at a light about 5 miles from the lot, I almost tipped over and had to catch myself.  By this time we were laughing at ourselves.  Somehow, someway, we made it back to the lot.  It was pretty late because we were out all day so we treated ourselves (or you can say he treated me) to a beer and a burger.  

I believe The Señor did this ride with the group the following year.  I’m happy and honored to have been a part of the inaugural ride.  Besides freezing our butts off by the water for a couple of hours, it was a really nice ride/event.  Perhaps I’ll see what The Señor is up to this weekend….. 

 

This Past Weekend (May 19-20)

 

 

On Friday I took my aluminum bike out, Candy.  I knew it was going to rain all day Saturday so I thought it would be wise to get a ride in.  I did a short ride because I just really wanted to ride for no specific purpose or training.  I just rode. It was really nice.  I did a hill training ride on Thursday so Friday was really just a bonus day.  It was a bit windy but it was a great afternoon for a ride.

As predicted Saturday rained all day. I always say I’m going to be lazy on a rainy day but this time I really was. I had a leisurely breakfast and I treated myself to a flavored coffee (I normally take it black).  I took the time to take care of the problem I was having with my power meter.  I’m now back to having normal power readings.  After that I had my eyebrows done and got a pedicure.  I was a bit productive for a lazy day but I did all of this in the amount of time it would take to ride.

I went to the group ride on Sunday and, surprise, I got dropped.  I went out with a group of very strong riders and had a great time.  When we got to the hilly part of the ride was when I was left behind.  I was only alone for a few miles before I bumped into one of the other guys so we rode to the end together, somewhat.  After I went home and got cleaned up I went back to the shop and finally installed the bike rack I ordered forever ago!

What I think is truly special is that I have a bunch of people supporting me and encouraging me to keep coming on these fast rides and keep trying.  I’ve received encouragement from a few people after the rides. There was a person who read my written word that was on one of my rides that took the time to write a beautifully written letter encouraging me to keep on trying.   I can’t tell you how good it feels that I have so much love and support from my biking community.  

What will I take with me from this weekend into my life? I will step it up on my indoor workout routine because everyone knows that a strong core is key on the bike, squats = watts, and who doesn’t want strong arms?  Another very important rule is to calibrate your power meter before each and every ride. Various manuals will tell you that it’s up to the individual how often a zero offset is performed, however, it should be done prior to each ride.  The most important of all is to remain strong and determined. I will continue to focus on the mini goals that make up my overall goals.

Thank you all for your support and for reading.  I’m truly blessed to have the love and support that I do!

Health Living Fridays (vol 3)

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Lentil Stew

What you will need:

  • Organic Dry Lentils (2 cups)
  • Water (8 cups)
  • Organic Tomato Sauce (16oz can)
  • Organic Sweet Corn (1 1/2 cups)
  • Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed (2)
  • Cilantro
  • Large Yellow Onion
  • Garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • Habanero Peppers (2)
  • Hot Italian Turkey Sausage (1 lb)

How to make it:

Boil the lentils in a large pot for about 20 minutes or until all the food prep is done.

Remove the skin from the turkey sausage and put them in a large frying pan on medium/high heat breaking them up as they brown.

Puree the onion, garlic and habanero peppers in a food processor or blender.  Chop the cilantro.

Add the tomato sauce, the pureed mix, the corn, the sweet potatoes, the cilantro, and the turkey sausage to the pot of lentils.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour or until it smells too delicious to resist eating.  Prep time is about 30 minutes, cooking time is about 65 minutes. 

The Brands Ride

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A friend of mine called me up and invited me to ride with him on the Brands ride.  He said that, although it started super early in the morning, it was a nice ride and that I’d enjoy it.  I decided to try it.

I got there and there were a couple people that I knew but that was about it.  Almost everyone there had a really nice bike and they were wearing nice cycling kits.  I was wearing clothes that barely matched and had a heavy aluminum bike.  I looked like a total hobo!

The ride started at a nice easy pace that felt very reasonable.  A few miles in it started to pick up and I was hanging on for dear life.  A few miles after that we got to a hill. That’s when I got dropped for the very first time.  I wasn’t alone.  My friend finally came back from the front to ride with me and another friend of mine stayed with me as well. It was just the three of us.

You would think that if there’s only three of us that we would work together but this was not the case.  The two of us chased this guy around for miles.  We got to a turn and barely made it behind him and that was when he felt my wrath.  It must’ve been about 8:30 in the morning in a quiet neighborhood on a Saturday.  

I screamed and cursed and really let him have it.  I had no shame.  There were people enjoying a nice morning walking their dogs and I was making quite the scene.  I had a point. I’d been invited on a ride before with a different friend of mine and he took care of me.  He made sure that when I fell behind he was there to pull me back.  He was classy.  My other friend and I had so much fun that I kept going on group rides with him.

After the meltdown we all rode together. He pulled us around for miles.  When we got back to the shop I looked around. I had wanted a new bike for some time.  I knew mine was a heavy beginners bike and I needed some new hotness. I knew that what I wanted would cost me. I looked at different bikes.  Nothing was good enough.  I wanted full Ultegra. I didn’t want mixed and matched components. If I’m gonna pay the price then I want it all.  That’s when the gentleman that was helping me looked into his computer and asked me if I liked light blue. 

There she was, Lita.  She was beautiful.  Full Carbon.  Full Ultegra groupset with Dura Ace shifters. She weighed 17lbs.  She was perfect.  She was on sale for the year end sale event.  She was in California but I could order her.  I really couldn’t afford another bike.  I had no idea how I would pay for it but I took out my sports credit card and financed her for 12 months interest free.  

We’ve been happy together ever since.  I read that people form emotional attachments to their bike as they share more experiences with it.  I can certainly say, without a doubt, that I have an emotional attachment to my Lita.