Wordless Wednesday: Bikes. Water.
August 6, 2013
Not sure why, but I’m drawn to taking pictures by water of the bike I’m riding. Obligatory almost. This collection currently on my iPhone.
Mountain Biking Family Style
May 12, 2013
“Oh, c’mon Mom, you’ve ridden over much harder stuff than that!” That’s what you’ll hear if you’re around and I take the bail out, easy way around a trail obstacle. It’s the voice of my kiddo pushing me forward, urging me on, seeing skills and technique in me that I doubt in myself. We’re not your stereotypical mountain biking family….you know the ones you see at trail campgrounds and race weekends. The ones where the husband has been riding for years, the wife picked it up from him (or just watches from the sidelines), and the kiddos have been riding trails nearly as long as they could walk. Oh no. That’s not us. Not at all. At times I joke, we’re like the blind leading the blind.
But a mountain biking family we are.
A bit over 3 years ago after years of being a sloth, I started cycling as a way to get fit and lose weight. Road riding was good. I enjoyed it, but as a new cyclist in a semi-urban area, the traffic gave me pause. Riding paved paths was good, but still something was missing. On a whim in September of 2010, I attended a women’s mountain biking demo event. 2 hours later I was hooked. Convinced Hubby and Kiddo to try some local trails. In June of 2011, the whole family attended clinics at the Midwest Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic weekend. Fast forward two years, we’re a month away from our third trip to this great event. We ride together nearly weekly. Have been season pass holders at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park the past two winters. Kiddo, now 13 but at 10 years old was afraid to ride his bike fast, will be attending his second freeride/downhill camp at Woodward at Copper in July. We plan vacations around mountain biking. Bought a bike or two (each). Even tried our hands at a couple of races. I won the women’s intro class of The Brown County Super-D, while Kiddo and Hubby both earned medals in their age class at the Fall Colors Festival in WI.
To say mountain biking has changed our lives, brought us closer, made us healthier is a huge understatement.
Last weekend was our first family trail ride of the season. I’d been out riding by myself a few times already this year. In fact having done the most riding I’d done in months combined with starting a new strength training program, I was in need of an easy rest ride. Well, a full rest day, but the sun was shining and the trails were open. Hubby and Kiddo were eager to go. Especially Kiddo. He asked if he could go ahead and push to see how far and fast he could go without stopping. Last summer, our rides consisted of resting at nearly every bench and the top of every climb in our main local trails, the John Muir system in the Southern Kettle Moraine of southeast Wisconsin. Kiddo wanted to see which bench he could make it to before he had to rest. We agreed to do a 5 mile loop of the brown&white trails and meet back at the shelter. Kiddo first. Hubby behind. I’d take up rear (knowing I was going easy and stopping to take pictures). They quickly dusted me. Never saw them after the first descent. Hubby got dropped at the first climb.
I got back to the shelter to find two smiling guys. Kiddo was still breathing hard with a bit of a flush on his face behind his beaming grin. He’d done the whole loop, 5 miles without stopping. Totally clean, no dabs, no feet down. The trail is flowing up and down with a challenging, root filled, sustained climb (yeah, yeah it’s WI, challenging and sustained to our scale). He was so fired up. Kept saying how glad he was he’d tried. That he had to prove to himself he could do it. The pride and passion in his voice made this Mom proud.
Yes, we’re a mountain biking family. It’s gonna be a great summer.
May 6, 2013
Boy was I right on Saturday night when I said I may have done too much too fast, and my body was telling me, “you need a rest day.” Before going to bed, I’d taken some Advil (which is rare for me as I really try to limit taking any drugs including NSAIDs, but I was sore!). And just crashed. More than 9 hours of much needed, deep, barely interrupted sleep. That felt great. I awoke feeling back like myself. Was calling the the trails hotline before even getting out of bed.
Got ambitious about cooking brunch. Leftover steak, sautéed spinach, poached eggs, homemade Hollandaise. Great ingredients, great real food. Eggs from a local farm that pastures their hens. Kerry Gold Butter. Fresh lemons. Yum…. In future this before a ride, might wanna consider a touch of carbs.
The ride was going to be the first of the year for Hubby and Kiddo. I was feeling cocky because I’d been riding more all winter and of course this past week. That cockiness was quickly brought back to reality on the warm up loop of the Muir Brown trail. I couldn’t even clean the freakin’ teeny little climb. Holy. Shit. My legs were dead. Kiddo blew ahead. Hubby stuck far too close to my wheel. Told them both to go ahead on the White trail. They dusted me by Richards Revenge, even if I did clean my nemesis that 90 degree turn, rooty little pop up just past the gate. Decided to just take it easy and turn the ride into a photo shoot. Was thrilled when I got back to find a super pumped up Kiddo. He’d cleaned both trails. Not dabs, no stops. Now he’s excited to get some real training in. Hubby also had a good first ride. Traditional family post ride stop at LaGrange General Store. Perfect day ( well, maybe more perfect with less dead legs)
But also looking forward to today’s rest day ….
Proceed with Caution…
May 5, 2013
In typical Kim zero to sixty ASAP fashion, I’ve gone from months of slug like behavior to biking or lifting weights 6 of the last 7 days. And the strength training program is lower body dominant. I just returned from. Derby party and can barely move. Tired. Sore.
Over training is what lead to my shoulder issues. I feel so damn good when I am working out that I quickly go gung ho. It’s something I have to watch. The irony is i burn myself out, start feeling like crap and then forget how doing proper training or regular exercise Right now I’m just exhausted. I’ve been good about sleep, and food has been pretty spot on. Not trackin food now so have no clue to calories in, but dont hink im in a hard deficit. So far not in a bad place (as if one week of training could affect me that badly this quickly). In the past the first signs of over training are trouble sleeping. Probably a cortisol stress reaction. A year ago I ignored this sign and the ver increasing shoulder pain until that compounded the keep issues.
Plan now is to kick back and rest tonight, hopefully sleep in tomorrow. Sounds like the boys want to go ride the Kettles. Which is fine. I need to ride demon Bermuda and squash that demon. Neither Hubby nor Kiddo have been riding this year, so shouldn’t be at a fast pace, and will include plenty of rest. The big benefit of me doing my own rides is I won’t feel so much like we’re wasting the ride by not pushing. That feeling has lead to some less thn optimal attitude on family rides in the past. Imagine that, me with my bitch on. Never happens.
Did another strong curves work out yesterday. Oh. My. For what seems very easy simple, low key routines, they sure as hell activat the glutes (and hamstrings and hip flexor) with just enough big muscle upper body work to balance thing out. No stupid bicep o tricep isolation work (as I I need bigger upper arms. Yuck.) Great core work, too. Both typical abs but also back. Like it so far.
Today’s ride was to and from Kiddos baseball game with detours around The Mitchell and Fox Brook trails and an extension over to Calhoun and back. If I’m gonna ride pavement I do like this route. Was riding Coda, not a mountain bike. Realize I need some cadence sensors. I can tell since getting rid of Dolce (my roadie) I’m fallin back ino my less than optimal but nature 60rpm cadence as opposed to the 85-90 I’d worked so hard to cultivate. Just another thing to work on.
May 3, 2013
By riding the same trails regularly, I can easily judge the progression of my skills. Now starting my third summer mountain biking, I’m realizing both what I’ve already learned along with an awareness of how much I don’t know. It brings a smile to my face when I look back at pictures like these from 2011 and remember struggling with a climb I can now top, being afraid to ride across rocks I barely notice, coming to a dead stop in front of a log, I now pop over without a thought.