Saturday, June 7, 2014

Gatineau travel.....

Good morning from beautiful Chelsea, Quebec.  Today we race GP Gatineau, 123k of flat, fun roads. I like this race - it's close to home, the city is fun and the weather is usually perfect for racing.  And to think I waited an extra day to come to Canada! Well, not by choice actually.  You know that moment when you are packing up from one race, getting ready to head out the next morning for the airport only to realize that you left your passport in Colorado????? You don't?! I do!!!!! HA!

I boarded my flight from Philadelphia to Dulles no problem but when we were boarding our flight to Ottawa, the guy shot me down:) I figured as much.  We were hoping that I could get to Canada and deal with it there but no, I had to rebook my flight for the following day and spend the afternoon in a hotel while Michael overnighted(not cheap) my passport to the hotel.  It wasn't that bad of a hick up actually and everyone laughed it off.

Once here we rode our bikes in the Gatineau Park, it's about a 22k loop and has some really pretty overlooks.  The roads are nice and quiet, lots of cyclists, lots of trails and lakes and in the winter time it seems like it is a nordic skier's paradise.

 One of the views...
 Another!
 These reminded me of my grandmother, I'm pretty sure they were her favorites...
 We even got Kevin on a bike!!! (Our director)
 Token bike/view shot....
 We had to move from one house to another and this was what we all looked like - bag ladies.  We laughed the entire walk and almost got carried away by mosquitos.
 My bed for the week..... we have our own bunk beds - it's so cute:)
 The cluster of us trying to get organized for a group photo.
The coolest dog, he is so big, so chill, so sweet!!! I want to take him home!!

After today, we fly to MN and we race there this week and weekend! Then a quick trip to MS to see mom and dad, then back to Colorado to start a long break.

Reading: The Four Minute Mile
Listening: silence, it's pretty early here at the host house
Eating: oatmeal - very unsuccessfully.  Some days it's great but not today.... force feeding
Watching: The LEGO movie!!! It's so cute!
Website: http://www.lenordik.com/en/homepage/   This is what we are doing post race today!!!!! So excited!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Nationals, Philly and in between...

Howdy from post national championships in Chattanooga, TN.  The time trial was on Saturday and the road race was Monday.  I was actually pretty happy with my time trial seeing that last year I went WAY to hard to soon.  This year I was top 10 and looking back to the beginning of this career, that’s a success:)  The road race didn’t quite go as planned and I ended up 6th.  

I last blogged prior to Women’s Tour in Britain, while I was in Norfolk with my host family.  Well the Women’s Tour was absolutely amazing! Over the top! World class! Top notch! So professional!  The team won overall team general classification, so we got to partake in the post race festivities on stage, that was fun.  And in the far distance, I saw the Norfolk neighbors with their cute little one on their shoulders, that was really cute! 

After the race we drove closer to London, I was flying out EARLY the next morning and the girls had to do an Optum event.  We celebrated a little bit by enjoying a genuine pub.  My food of choice was finally - fish n chips.  The next morning(4:20am wake up) it was time to head to the airport, time to go home, get some rest and some altitude.  It took most of the week to get back on a normal sleep pattern but what I lacked in sleep, I totally made up for by spending the days enjoying the beautiful mountain air!  Man, I swear the sky is more blue.  I finally could off load the beer I had been carrying around since Flanders:) ha!! Michael and Lance were happy to take the burden.... 

I will continue on the road for the next 3 weeks with races in Philadelphia, Gatineau, Canada and finishing with Nature Valley.  Enjoy the photos....

UPDATE.... I haven't had Internet to post to my blog until now, post Philly race.  I was 3rd on the day after climbing 'the wall' 5 times and my team doing an awesome job.  I'll take it. Now on to Canada! 

 The boys drinking the good stuff!
 The south has made it out west....
 Some leftovers....
 Sweet Brie, she is in her own world most times...what a mess...
 My nephew, the family came to Chattanooga, he was my 'date' for the night, such a sweetheart!
 Big poppa!
 My big brother...
 The Tully's.....
 The gals....
 Don't we look a little suspicious some days???
 I have a couple of powermeters to choose from...
 Brie and Janel, we were out on the nationals road course pre riding and getting ready for nationals...
 Kevin and Pat, our directors, working on a bike...
 My COUSIN'S beer - Yazoo....
 We drink a LOT of water;)
One of our awesome sponsors - John Kelly.  We stayed with him for a couple of days in between races.... 

Reading: The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb
Listening: Summer by Calvin Harris
Watching: people - I'm at the airport
Eating: nothing, I'm at the airport! 
Website: https://thefeed.com - you can put together a box of food, drink mix or supplements to be mailed to your house.  You can change it up every month and change the quantities, it's really cool! 
x


Friday, May 2, 2014

Having some fun and getting ready for racing...

Not only have I been a part of Rueben's birthday party, I was also a part of Andrew's birthday party, it was a full weekend! It was so much fun to be a part of the family and join in the fun:) Thank you to the Holyoake family, you are amazing, wonderful people.  That's the beauty of cycling and this lifestyle.

In the past week, I've enjoyed some wonderful rides, getting a small grasp on the 'left hand side of the road' thing and enjoyed a day trip to London and an interview with Cyclist magazine.  I've enjoyed learning some history of Norfolk.

Next up is the Tour of Britain, May 7th - May 12th, then back to the states.

Photos...
 Blickling Hall, where Anne Boleyn was born.  That was beautiful!
 The 'lanes' that we ride....
 It was an air force base, then a UFO base. No joke! I got a little nervous for a minute and then I was told it's no longer in use....
 Pepper the sweet cat....
 The pub for Andrew's party....
 Aaron and Yasmin...
 Melanie and Aaron..
 Jim....
 Debbie and Melanie...
 An easier way to get around town!
 Cyclist magazine office...
 London bike shop, interesting bike frame for sure...
 The BBC headquarters..
 I loved the flowers and plants on top...
 The Post Office tower, it's no longer open to the public.
 Buckingham Palace, the queen was in!! The flag is flying...
 Big Ben...
 Back in Norfolk, the coastline is beautiful even in the clouds....
 One of the many military cemeteries....
The chapel in the cemetery.  So much history here!

This has been such an amazing adventure, I'm so thankful to get to experience parts of the worlds this way....

Reading: still Wonder Girl...
Watching: the clouds roll in and out, all types of weather in a single day
Listening: Shinin' on Me by Jarrod Niemann
Eating: last night's omelette: sautéed mushrooms, yellow, red and orange bell peppers, broccoli.  Topped with green onions and cheese, roasted potatoes... yum!
Website: http://food52.com

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Howdy from Norwich, UK!

Looking at my last post....

Gelderland was a blow out race for me, meaning I was just getting over a cold and turning the corner on actually feeling like myself again and the race was just to test the lungs and legs.  I felt decent for the first 50k and then I just went backwards, every time I wanted to go hard, my legs and lungs said, 'NO'!  The length of the race was 140k, so as I drifted back at kilometer 92, I was thinking about getting in a vehicle to pull out of the race.

Usually in a race, at the very end, they have what's called the broom wagon.  It sweeps up all the leftover riders that are dropped from the race, so they aren't a danger to traffic, they get back to their team safely and they don't have to keep going and you team is waiting around for you to show up.....

So there I am looking for the broom wagon and it never comes!!! So now, I'm in the middle of the Netherlands somewhere, not quite sure how to get back to the team's location but I would figure it out.  So I keep looking back and there is regular traffic starting back up now, passing me and I keep looking back to see if any of the vehicles look like team related vehicles.  FOUND ONE! I flagged a random guy down and he asked if I wanted a ride back - YES please:).  So he hops out, puts my bike in the back, I get in the front seat with his black lab - Chipo - and we head down the road.  His daughter was in the race and she wasn't too far in front of me, they are from the Netherlands and this is her first year racing.  You gotta get to know someone if you are riding in their car right?! :) So that was Gelderland.....

Fleche Wallone(126k) was a different story.  Since it was only a couple of days later, I was still worried or nervous about how I would feel, plus it's a hell of a lot harder race.  On Tuesday we drove to see/ride the course and have team presentation.  Team presentation is held in a square, a band playing small pieces of 80's music in the background as you walk up, in your racing kit, then you stand there and wave, then walk off the stage.  Afterwards, we then had to get in line to take photos and live still shots - like the NFL guys when they announce where they went to college? But we didn't have to say anything, just needed the shot.

FW is one of my favorite races, it's after all the flat, sprinter races, you have climbers there, so the peleton is just that little bit easier to move around.  It's just a wonderful race! And the end climb has the famous, Muur de Huy, it's 1k of pure uphill hell, some places are as steep at 26% - owwwww!!!

I finished 20th, which for me is a success.  Again, coming off a cold and not sure how the day was going to go, I think it went really well:)!

So now the fun part! After the race it was the packing shuffle! We leave the race immediately, get back to Fitland and get bikes packed, clothes somewhat washed, bags packed, organize departure times(6am), go to dinner, go to BED! It's a hustle ....

I'm currently sitting in my hosts' house in Norwich, UK.  They are wonderful!!! They have taken me in and made me family, I'm comfortable in the kitchen and getting used to being on the opposite side of the road! I will be here till the 3rd of May, that's when the team arrives and we start Tour of Britain on May 7th.....

So now I get to explore some new roads, ride with new folks and have some fun!!!


 Our fearless director... Jack Seehafer joining us for a lovely morning breakfast... I've never seen someone hotrod a town bike until now.....
 Enjoying a taste of the new Fitland, it's such a nice place!!!
 Course recon selfie:)
 So this is the start of the Muur de Huy, after this I couldn't take a picture and ride, it's not possible....
 Leah and I under the tent before presentation.  She's one of the best in the world people....
 Then we had to give head shots and this was the guy giving Lauren direction
 Race bible....
 Traveling to the UK via the tunnel train.
 Driving onto the train
 Parking...
 And then you pop out the other side on the left hand side of the road....
 Beer that Andrew imports from Belgium.... none for me .... I'm in training
 I got to be a part of Reuben's 3rd birthday party, he is such a cutie.... this is his dad on the right and Andrew on the left..
 One of the many, many churches here...
 Left hand side of the road, left hand side of the road...
 Cafe stop... it's a universal cycling thing
Today's group for the ride.... good fun....

Reading: Wonder Girl: The Magnificent Sporting Life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias by Don Van Natta Jr.
Watching: bike racing
Listening: Budapest by Guy Ezra
Eating: lots of fruit
Website: http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/club/profile?club_id=6707