Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The first photo is from the Women's Demo night at Mont du Lac (MNSCS Dirtspanker race course). We had enough voluteer riders so that we could take one or two riders out at a time to ride the trails and give advice/coaching. It was really fun and we got to meet some really nice people. The rave were the full suspension bikes, especially for the newer riders. About 30 people showed up total for the event. Unfortunately there were a few rain showers that night that may have kept our numbers lower than we had liked. I plan on volunteering for future events like this as they come up. This photo also shows my expanding belly. Thankfully, my last year's kit was a bit big - not anymore and the spandex also gives nice belly support for riding. Probably the thing I have to figure out how to tame the most is heartburn. I get it from leaning forward to reach my (already-too-high-for-racing)handle bars. Tonight on my bike home from work I really had to slow down, but it was fine on the way into work.

The second photo is of Scott while racing at Mont du Lac this past Sunday. After a slower start, he worked his way up into 5th until the last lap when he started cramping. He lost two spots, but still ended up 7th and still in the prize money. He is starting to look like his old racing self again (prior to his cat allergies taking him down for a few years while we didn't realize that was his primary problem). It is so nice not to see him DNF and back into some racing form. There was a good racer turn-out and thanks to Tom Gaier, we were able to give hand-ups for about 10 riders. The weather was on the cooler side, but the course quite slick from the recent rain. Scott unfortunately chose a tire that I have dubbed the best in snow and sand (but not mud). I didn't realize that those tires were the ones he put on his race bike. I assummed he put on the mud tires. He won't make that mistake again.

Next on the agenda - Scott plans to race in Eau Claire for the WORS race. I'll probably join him and give hand-ups. As long as I get some riding or exercise in I am quite content.

On another note, our little developing baby is kicking so hard sometimes that I can see my abdomen move! It is the best part of being pregnant. I have a feeling from her active times to not-active times that Scott and I are going to have our hands full!

We have been cat-free for about a month and I have a happier husband! (Our house is also much easier to keep clean as the fur balls in the corner no longer exist!).

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday was the weekly Ski Hut ride. We had a really nice group show up as you can see from the group photo and luckily the ride was at Spirit Mountain (basically Scott and my backyard). The singletrack on the top of the hill is quite wet with standing puddles so we stayed off of that and rode the lower sections of singletrack that were quite good (really excellent as always). We could tell we had gotten a nice amount of rain this spring as the rocks seemed a bit bigger than last year. It was really nice to be able to ride trail. This ride is a 'no drop ride' meaning the group stays together and we periodically wait to regroup. If a rider is really struggling to stay with the group one of the Ski Hut riders or myself with ride with that person and give them some pointers or just company so they don't get lost. These weekly rides are also a nice way to find out where the trails are in Duluth as we usually ride somewhere different each week and many of the trails we ride are not marked and maps do not exist.

The other photo is Bushey and myself comparing bellies. Who's is bigger is the question? I did seem to pick up Bushey's characteristic winter 'back bacon' along with my swollen belly. Pregnancy has been very interesting!

Tuesday nights (last night) is the Mont du Lac ride out at Mont du Lac ski hill on Hwy 23. I rode out with Diana from our house and then just rode back home (I didn't ride the trail as I was pretty tired from the past few days of riding). Unfortunately, my ride home was much longer than planned and I was very tired and going very slow by the time I got home. Good thing it was perfect weather out. I find going uphills I run out of patience sometimes as I have to go so slow to keep my heartrate down (and really just feel bonked anyway climbing).

Tomorrow some of the Ski Hut women riders and myself, representing Trek, will be helping out with a women's bike demo at Mont du Lac starting at 6 PM. I'll be leading a riding clinic, which will be great! We'll be going over some basic skills and riding on the trails. More photos of the event should be posted in the near future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

This weekend was a blast. After fighting this cough and not winning for three weeks I still decided to head to Mt. Morris with Scott and our friend, Bushey to the Wors Cup. The 5+ hour ride down was pretty uneventful, except for the butt and back sweat from the lack of automotive AC. We already knew they were not allowing preriding the course Friday night, but headed to the race venue anyway to pick up packets and go for a pavement spin. This was both Scott and my first ride on our 2008 Trek Fuels - our forks came in the day before we left on Friday and spent the rest of the day getting our bikes set up. One phone call to Shaw (see new look in photo above!) and two trips to The Ski Hut later, our bikes were together and ready for the weekend.

Saturday's XC race was the hottest day we have experienced all year. Probably wouldn't be that big of a deal if we were southern folk, but us Duluthian have not seen 80 degrees yet this year - and 70s seldomly. Rain and 50 is more of what we have gotten to experience, along with an inability to get on trail consistently up to this point due to all the rain. Scott loved how his Fuel felt and handled on singletrack. "It is the best Fuel ever", says Scott. Scott finished 19th - not as well as he would have liked, but he finished in the heat and did not DNF. A positive sign that he is getting healthy. If he can continue to improve things should get better and better as the season rolls along. He has been really good staying away from diary and corn (two things he is really allergic to) along with getting rid of our cats. All I know is he no longer snores! We both sleep better and his ribs no longer bother him (I usually poke him in the ribs to stop the snoring; it actually works quite well). Our friend, Mike Bushey, didn't DNF so he was happy. But the heat really took its toll on him the last two laps. I was the water girl for the race. Pregnancy has a way of taking the fight out of me. As you can see from one of the photos above, my abdomen is swelling. "Thick" is how I like to put it. I thought it was huge until I saw a picture. It feels huge, and my rear end even bigger. No wonder why it doesn't feel that good to ride uphills.

Sunday's races - the Super D and the Short Track - Scott was 11th in the Super D and 18th in the Short Track. He suffered the entire time in the Short Track. There was a nice, slow, grassy uphill that really tried the legs and lungs. Again Scott was happy to finish this race as it was tough and hot! I hope to see him get back to his old form self when he would get top 5 in WORS races. As long as he can stay on the right track he should come around. The Super D start was 10 racers at a time with a running start to get the bikes and the battle to see who would get to the singletrack first. Scott got a bit tangled, as did other riders, but finished second in his heat and then 11th overall. Not too bad! I got to ride the entire morning, on trail mostly and had the best time riding my new bike. Up to this point I had been riding my hardtail Paragon (don't get me wrong I love this bike, but it is meant to be a winter bike only), and the Fuel is so much nicer on singletrack. I was very comfortable riding and my brain got tired from thinking before my belly got sick of the bumps. Again it was a beautiful 80+ degree day and just easy to spend the entire day outside enjoying the racing, weather, riding, and seeing friends. It was really good to reconnect and see fellow riders again. Everyone did a great job and made a good event.