cycling

I’ll never do that again…Tales of Training gone bad

I hate meeting new people.  People tell me they don’t believe me when I mention this to them.  I am a pretty outgoing person when you get to know me (surprised by that?) But initially, I am filled with a sense of dread and angst before I meet new folks.  On that note, yesterday was heinous.  You see, my gal pal K and I signed up for another training program for tris.  Last night was the FURLKLE training or some crap like that.  No, the word is FARKLE which still sounds like IKEA furniture.  The plan was for me to meet K, do the w/out with her, load my bike onto her car and drive home.  Well, due to uncontrollable and horrible circumstances, K couldn’t meet me.  So, here is a recap of my LOVELY evening:

5:46 – Leave work on my bike to head up north for training.

5:50 – Nervously dodge cars and buses on the unfamiliar route.  Nearly get hit numerous times.

6:00 – Arrive at location, park bike and enter training building a full 30 minutes too early.

6:10 – 6:20 – Stand uncomfortably waiting while people mill in.  Note that each athlete seems to be the size of these people.  Listen to high pitched ramblings of tri stories and bragging.  Grow more and more nervous.

6:30 – Learn of the quick 3/4 mile jog…easy paced…to get to the training area at the softball diamonds.  Where there will be running and fast running in intervals.

6:40 – Begin the jog, realize my run is a slow jog and I feel slow but am going as fast as I can it is hot hot hot, everyone is passing me, wait how do I walk 2 jog  4 with this group why am I here I really don’t like this and don’t like one person especially that one with the stinkeye where is K

7:15 – One lap down everyone is evil I need to get away from them I am going back.  Fuck the FARTKLELSLEKLS

7:35 – Bags in hand, load up bike, head to train.

7:45 – Jackson Street elevator broken.  Attempt to carry 200 million  lb bike down stairs with my bike cleats on, sliding bumping jumping bike breaks $100 bike  bag.

7:50 – wait on train platform trying to guess which car will be a bike friendly car, inevitably guess wrong and have to run on platform with cleats on granite nearly kill myself but make it.

8:00 – Finally, on train.

8:30 – drink full glass of wine, cry to dear niece

8:45 – feel better

9:00 – resolve to NOT do this again

Bike the Drive

Sunday was gorgeous.  I was a little worried on Saturday night that I’d just be too beat to do the ride.  My dad and mom friend joined me on the ride.  We took the blue line downtown, true to tradition and continued south to Museum of Science and Industry back north then south, then home.  I was a much irked by the ride planners though.  I ordered an XXL shirt.  When I went to pick a shirt up, they had none for me.  Don’t ask me what size I want if you aren’t going to keep one for me!!  But, honestly, the ride was wonderful, the day was beautiful.  So glad that I did it again.  Good job to all who showed.

Cycling…the early days

My father visited this weekend.  He, my husband and I went for a long bike ride on Saturday.   When I think of my history with exercise, I typically think of the recent history, the past 4 years or so since my endeavors with the tri girls a the Y and Livfit.  But really, it is my father who inspired me to start exercise and the relationship with the bicycle.  He had been doing some serious touring with a youth and adult group for a few years.  He and the group would take off on these two week trips through the Midwest with their gear in panniers.  My first year, was the year of the big floods on the Mississippi River around St. Louis.  I regrettably didn’t take the idea of the Ozark MOUNTAINS seriously enough because I nearly died from our 70 + mile days.  But in spite of how much I really dreaded the daily cycling miles, spending time with teenagers, sleeping on church floors, 100° days and the hills, something “took”.  Since then, my father and I have had our share of memories and trips on the bikes.  It was nice to pedal away with him and my husband this weekend.  We’ll all hit the road together again for Bike the Drive.  Daddy is retiring in June, I can see many more cycling trips in the future.

Ask and you shall receive

I have been commuting to work on bike this summer.  I wear these bike shorts every day that I commute, they are awesome.  I love the inside leg hem detail…it is a great little feature and reminder of the designer.   The colleague that I ride in with asked me if I was going to continue this adventure through the winter.  I was completely dumbfounded because….hello….I live in Chicago, so the rides in will be quite chilly.  I started to think about how I am going to dress myself for the cold ass weather.  I started to do some reasearch online and remembered the folks from Aero Tech Designs.  I wondered if they might be willing to help a big girl out.  So, I posed a question to the owner to see how she feels about cold weather tights for plus size bikers.  Lo and behold, I get a message back from her, almost immediately asking if I would be willing to sample some clothes, give her feedback and by winter, she’ll have some plus size winter wear.  Gals, guys, I am here to tell you that we need to start asking for things.  This just took a simple e-mail.  I am going to blog about this in the coming weeks to let you know how the experience has been.  In the meantime, if you want some bike wear gear, check them out.

September 2, 2009

Received a great little package from Aerotech to take a look at their tights and try them out.  What fantastic material.  Just as strong and flexible as the shorts that I own.  I love them.  The padding is great and made my hilly weekend ride very comfortable.  Each pair of tights is hemmable so that people like me (shorties) can have them hemmed or hem them on their own.  I gave Cathy some other suggestions for improvement, we’ll see which, if any, were helpful.  I thought the sizing was a tad off, but that could just be that my butt has been getting bigger over the past year.  I couldn’t tell if they were true to the 2X sizing they said they were.  LOVED them though, and loved the idea that there may be some winter wear coming from aerotech for the big girls.  Can’t wait to hear what she says!!

New Lady Ice Cream hits the road

A new bike commuter hit the  road in May.  If it didn’t still feel like winter here, I would be riding in all of the time.  I hadn’t used the bike to get to work since in the 90s.  Pitiful really.  So, this group I biked with has a path that wanders through some interesting neigborhoods.  Various street vendors shout at the group and welcome them on thier daily commute.  As one gave me a high five and cheered me on the way, he called me “new lady ice cream.”  I know he was referring to my skin color, because how could he know about my favorite food group?  Check out my new pannier I bought at Dan’s.  I got one in Maroon.  So far, so good, and it comes with a “waterproof” cover for the rainy days.  Though I must say that they day I got caught in the complete downpour the inner bike was a little damp.

I could barely get my fat ass up that hill

So, I know, a couple of weeks have passed since the hilly hundred.  I have to say that honestly, I was in better shape for this last year.  I thought the first hill was going to kill me dead.  I mean it you people out there.  This fat girl was screaming.  But, as the body warmed up and the realization that it is harder to walk up the hills than ride became ever clearer, I walked less and pushed more.  Our group didn’t do the full 100.  We did 50, but we had fun and were beat by the end.  

I was amazed to see all of the different bikes, the different people and sizes, the costumes.  The southern Indiana crowd treated us well.  But, what I am here to tell you is this.  There is a cycling company out there that has bike clothes for full figured, plus size people.  Most of all, I am happy to report that this expo actually had plus size clothes. 

I can’t believe that in the months I have been doing this blog I have forgotten them, but alas, what to do.  So, here is what I know…..Last year I bought a pair of their cycling shorts, I wore them all season and they are still in great condition.  I bought a second pair at an expo this year.  I get the plus size Pro Bike Shorts.  The bonus is that they won’t completely break the bank.  You can see their stuff at their web page www.aerotechdesigns.com

Virginia Eastern Shore Cyclists….there is a GREAT Coffee shop in Pungoteague

What a wonderful day we had cycling today.  The temperature dropped overnight and the sky was completely cloudy.  In fact it sprinkled on and off throughout the 47 mile day.   We started off with a home cooked breakfast at the B & B in Onancock.  We cycled and cycled from Wachaprague to Quinby and then over to Pungoteague.  For those of you who know my father and I, we LOVE coffee.  Imagine our suprise when we start the trip from Harborton to Pungoteague and see a small coffee shop off to the left.  I can’t explain the excitement that we felt.  So, we went in to the shop and met the owner, Amy and her neighbor, little Bridget.  For all of you bikers out there…this is the place to go. 

Here is a photo of the shop:

And a photo of Amy:

This is a place not to miss, the coffee is fantastic and the service…wonderful.

Virginia is frigging hot…but the food rocks…the cycling is good….and the company is awesome.

Well, we’ve biked a couple of days, but we took today off.  A break from the heat.  Tomorrow’s forcast is much cooler which will hopefully aide in some good biking.  Our original 100 mile day will probably not occur this trip, but we’re still having a good time and will get in some good cycling.

I can’t explain to you how hot we were on Sunday.  It was over 90 degrees and we didn’t wake up at the butt crack of dawn to bike either.  No way, we slept in, had a little breakfast buffet, drank some coffee and eventually hit the road (at about 10 a.m.)  The mosquitos are sucking my bones dry.  They swarm to me the minute we stop pedaling so I am forced to keep a movin’.  We biked to a little town on the Chesapeake called Saxis.  I envisioned a Stephen King novel being typed as we peddaled in.  ‘There was nothing in this town and have since learned that the entire town has applied for federal funding to have breakwaters put in because it is quickly being eroded away.  The day before we cycled through Assateague National Seashore, it was beautiful.  Again, I was eaten alive (now don’t get any crazy ideas like telling me to wear bug sprayl….I DID WEAR IT!!  EVERY TIME I LEFT THE HOTEL!!!)  We went to the NASA launch facility where I was breakfast lunch and dinner to the blood suckers.  We were also visiting the island during national bike week, so the roads were packed with Harleys and other tourists.  But all of life was better once we arrived at Mr. Whippy’s.  Man oh man, talk about good soft serve. 

Besides the nasty buffet breakfasts, we have had AMAZING Meals.  Let’s see, we ate at Ray’s Shanty.  This had some of the best seafood I have ever had.  Head on shrimp, crab cakes, scallops–good stuff.  We also at at the Village Restaurant where I had stuffed flounder (broiled) and my dad had tomatoes broiled with cheese and seafood.  I know, it sounds gross, but it was very good.  More to come as our adventure continues.  Stay tuned for my writeup of the odd french, Spanish, Czech restaurant where the owner, Olga, seemed mad at me.