Pre-Carter Lake Cycling Preparation—What to eat before the big ride

Posted: June 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling, Cycling Events | 1 Comment »
I arrived.

I arrived.

Last Saturday, I made it..cycling all the way out to Carter Lake and back into Boulder. I took the main Carter Lake entrance in…slowly spinning through the cork-screw to the top of the dam and then cycling back via HWY36, which has known to make adults cry as they creep slowly up the 5 hills of ruin back into Boulder. How did I achieve this stunning pro-like performance? Based on the latest in scientific and dietary research from an evening out with friends on the Friday night before, red wine & cheese are the key ingredients to achieve unprecedented training results. I admit I was dubious and I already felt like I was moving with the speed and ease that would make any 86 year old envious (except for maybe in Boulder.)But I went all in. Doubled-down on the triple-cream brie, took a wedge from the Wensleydale (with cranberries) and slathered a lovely cheese/dilly combo all over crackers, washing it all down with a blend of every imaginable variety of red wine (grenache, termpernillo, etc.) that has ever gathered together into a single glass. Venga!

Need training tips on what to eat before the big ride to meet your cycling goals, like an upcoming Triple Bypass? Me too!



Summer 2014—The summer that lasted an hour

Posted: September 15th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling, Cycling Events | No Comments »
What's the rush?!

What’s the rush?!

My mom moved out to Boulder a little over a year ago and one of the unexpected outcomes is that I have had the opportunity to explore more new trails, restaurants and local going-ons than I have ever before. As I have introduced Boulder to my mom, I too have gotten to act like a tourist.

As part of doing new things, I’ve joined the Boulder Cycling Club this summer and it’s been fantastic. If you’re an experienced rider, who flies faster than the wind, they have a group for you. If you fly along at a more leisurely pace and look forward to the happy hour at Boulder Beer, post-ride they have a group ride for you.

I volunteered at the Cyclist4Lyons event this past weekend as part of the club effort; the event was both a celebration and commemoration for Lyons one-year after the flood. The craft beer folks had a strong showing; the volunteer fire department represented; the food vans always seemed to be busy and the music coming from the stage was classic Lyons.  Some members of the club rode out to Lyons from Boulder. It was a beautiful fall morning; we left Boulder around 9:30 unsure of what exactly to wear but excited to be part of an effort lending support to Lyons. Boulder in the Fall means that whatever you wear, invariably means that you are wearing the right clothing for only 25% of the time. On the whole, it was superb ride. I had never ridden west on St. Vrain; it has quite the kick right before Hwy 36 but then a sweet descent into Lyons; we coasted into Bohn Park and the bike corral and begin to help out. Great day, great cause and I hope that the event helped Lyons in some way.

Mud, Mariachis & Magnificence: USA Cyclecross National Championship

Posted: January 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling, Cycling Events | 2 Comments »

I woke up early Saturday morning—3am—to the sound of big, lusty gusts of winds.  Actually, it was our dog Tex’s whimpering and howling that woke us up but it was the wind that scared him.  My immediate thoughts did not turn to escorting Tex unceremoniously out of our bedroom but rather to the cyclists, who would be rolling up to the start line in just a handful of hours to begin racing.  When you see pictures or watch these racers rolling and speeding into soft, muddy corners and alighting effortlessly upstairs while carrying their bike, I think I could do that. It’s only when the wind howls murderously outside my window that I begin to consider the outrageousness of that line of thinking and snuggle back under the blankets.

Because that’s the true essence of cyclecross: winter’s wet, windy weather, trails puddled with ice and leaves and slick, grimy mud. This is not road racing. It’s much more infectious and

Where there are mariachis, there's generally fun being had

Where there are mariachis, there’s generally fun being had

accessible; the ice and mud you nearly slipped in to climb to a better view of a particular corner is the same sloppy mess the riders are navigating. The steep drop and big climb that you muscled your way up to is flanked by riders trying to do the same.  There are also mariachis. Well, at least, at this race there were and it made the whole event that much more fun.

I missed part of the master race yesterday but got to watch the groups scheduled to race later in the day do practice runs of the course.  I guess these groups included people a little more new to the sport as there were some hesitations at some of the more intimidating obstacles.  But they kicked in, sped up and gave them a try and for that I was incredibly impressed and think I have found a new sport to watch.

Women’s Cyclecross Racing is Hypnotizing

Today, we went specifically to watch the women’s elite race. It. Was. Fantastic. I always thought I preferred watching the amateurs more; more relatable, I can relate to the pause, mustering of courage before the descent and the wild fling to get over the lip of a hill. But watching the pros (I guess, they’re pros) was equally exciting, heart-pounding and inspiring.  One gal, who was dead last, minutes behind the main pack, fist pumped the air and all but ‘yehawed’ as she came round the corner and made the quick descent down the mud slide.  I think her number read 118 and I think she got more cheers from our section than any of the other riders as we, the crowd, tried to match her enthusiasm and spirit.  She punched the air, hooped and hollered and sped away.

Now she may have ridden straight to the parking lot and cried her eyes out. But she put on an unforgettable show! Thanks #118

Full results 




OMG! That’s like snow and down tube gear levers

Posted: March 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling Events | No Comments »

Anyone who drives between Denver and Boulder on a regular basis knows that HWY36 is a gnarled cluster at the best of times. Throw in some significant construction requiring lane commitment and slower speeds and you have a cluster-squared.  Add a snow storm and you have a cluster-squared & fucked.  This combination of attributes came together on a fine Sunday morning and hijacked our trip down to Denver for the hand-made bike show. (Yes, people from Minnesota and those places north probably still made it down but there isn’t enough northern experience in our household to carry a Southern Brit and a Texan outside of our 65 degree comfort zone0)

Fortunately, we had made it down to Nobilette’s little show/get-together at the Marriott on Saturday night. We got to see some classic Rene Herse bicycles and a couple of newer looking Nobilette’s with some fancy down tube gear levers.  I wonder if because they are so iconic and traditional looking if these classic gears won’t have their own hipster moment, like staches, flat caps and suspenders.

SOMA bike frame

SOMA bike frame

Beautiful Nobilette

Beautiful Nobilette

sharp, distinct lug work

sharp, distinct lug work

Of course, walking around, looking at the classy hand made bikes convinced me that really the only thing preventing me from more fully enjoying my riding experience was a custom built Nobilette. We’ll see. Birthday is coming up.

Biking Across America – Bicycle Diaries the Movie at the Dairy

Posted: April 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling, Cycling Events | No Comments »

The Dairy in Boulder had an exhibition devoted to bike art, including a showing of Bicycle Dreams. Some of the art work was pretty conventional but there were a number of pieces that were really inspirational and obviously took a lot of creativity and hard work to create. I was mightily impressed and would have happily purchased and walked out with several pieces. As it was I walked out with some pretty intense memories from a movie that made me rethink adventure, extremes and hardship. I don’t want to give away any of the key moments of the movie but I think explaining the overall message I left with won’t betray too much of the story.

I can’t imagine sleeping as little as these cyclists did in order to finish in the allotted time. There’s the whole physical and mental stress of riding long miles but add to it a lack of sleep and I’m not sure how the people who finished held onto their sanity.  I don’t think I can ever fully appreciate the depths and breadths their psyche traveled during this event. What they experienced must have been transcendent and hellish.

Staggeringly beauty of the natural of the world. I think most countries can boast of dramatic scenery and breathtaking vistas. I also think the US as large as it is provides tremendous a rich and varied landscape. But can you imagine being exposed to them all so nakedly and so intensely?

Riding outside your comfort zone. I wonder what’s it like to keep riding. I go out for a ride and know that my final destination is really my back patio with a glass of beer at the end of a day on the bike. These guys/gals mounted up each day to take them farther and farther into their journey and their ultimate destination was measured in miles not location. How do you prepare mentally and physically for ongoing discomfort and an end that is more of a concept that an actuality?

This is a great movie to see. It doesn’t romanticize adventure; it very much exposes the toll it takes both on the participants and supporters.  It does a good job of honestly conveying both the extreme risks and delights of doing something extraordinary.

Even if you don’t ride, if the idea of walking out your door and stepping out for a great experience excites you, you’ll get something out of this movie.





Celebrating Women on Bikes – CycloFemme May 13th

Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cycling Events | No Comments »

Sarai Snyder of Girl Bike Love is a veritable firebrand for supporting women cycling.  Whatever type of cycling that may be:  road, mountain bike, cycle cross, commuting, she’s got creative ideas for helping to spread the word about the benefits of cycling, especially for women. Recently, working with a team from LanguageDept,  Sarai launched CycloFemme, which is a day devoted to getting women, and all this who love women, out on their bikes.  May 13th is the day and there are lots of ways to get involved:

Planned group rides have been registered from as far away as Australia and as close to home as Boulder.  Check out the Ride List and join one or set one up.  It’s a great chance to get back into the swing of riding or cycle some well-worn trails with some good friends.