Thursday, May 11, 2017

30 Days of Biking: Year 4 comes to an end

Day 28: Perfect night, low tide, easy riding
Day 29: Essex. Meeting the guys for lunch
Day 30: A chilly day for a 55 mile ride with my favorite friends.
And that's a wrap

30 Days of Biking: Week 4

Day 22: Short ride in the rain after a workout at Indoor Ride
Day 23: Good morning, sunshine! Coffee at the beach before a 5k run
Day 24: The daffodils have finally appeared! Signs of Spring
Day 25: Under the bridge, taking a break from the rain
Day 26: Raining Again. Still. Riding around the block for coffee
This happened too... committed. He never wavered from Michigan
Day 27: Peaceful night at Black Joe's Pond

30 Days of Biking: Week 3

Day 15: Headwinds were my hills today
Day 16: Beach and ice cream ride with Chip today
Day 17: Quiet at Bradley Palmer, except for the peeping frogs
Day 18: Backroads and detours. A coffee ride gone wrong
Day 19: Destination: New England Running co for new running shoes

Day 20: Trail ride and beach with Chip. "Riding on sand
is tougher than snow." (Chip quote)
Day 21: The rain is not letting up today. Just 5 miles on the Kona

30 Days of Biking: Week 2

Day 8: Finally some sunshine! A beautiful day!
Day 9: The Essex salt marsh on a windy day
Day 10: Quick spin through the old neighborhood. Go Bruins!
Day 11: From a clam's perspective. The high tide line on Nahant beach
Day 12: Sun is fading quickly at Palmer's Pond
Day 13: Trail ride with Chip to lunch
Day 14: Lost in Lynn Woods

30 Days of Biking: Week 1

Day 1: Climbing the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah
Day 2: Exploring Antietam National Battlefield by bike
Day 3: Road trip recovery ride to Manchester-by-the-Sea
Day 4: Rain, rain, rain
Day 5: Another wet day, catching a glimpse of Chip sailing
Day 6: More rain. A quick ride to the deli with Will
Day 7: Night ride to the beach. Love my Serfas lights

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Winter is Flyyyyying

Ride the Sky - Vanderkitten Spring Training Camp 2017

I know I've been slacking with my blog updates lately... it's been a crazy busy winter/off-season and I haven't had many moments to sit down and write. We've had a successful winter at Indoor Ride, and training is going well for all of our athletes. Having acquired my USAC Level 3 Coaching Certification and requisite Safe Sport Training credit, I now have more confidence coaching the workouts I've committed to -- Monday night Mixed Terrain, a dynamic early morning Wednesday Intervals session, a second Mixed Terrain workout Saturday morning and alternate Sunday Time Trial. It's been a lot, but I'm enjoying it, and with the summer approaching fast I anticipate a break at some point.

Added to my busy work schedule, I have my own training, (which I put on the back burner until recently -- spending too much time at the studio already), household chores, family commitments, a 4x weekly run, and squeezing in time with the boys, (Ohmigosh, Will heads to college in four months!)... well, I must admit I haven't been unable to give everything 100%. The house is a wreck and the boys have been cooking their own dinner a lot. (Not that they mind.)

Vanderkitten Spring Training Camp was last week, and despite my overall exhaustion lately, I'm glad I went. (More on camp in a follow-up post.) Aaaaand.... 30 Days of Biking started last weekend!! (Wahoooo!!!!!) Daily blog posts of the month-long challenge (AKA torture-fest) might be difficult this year, but as in the past, rides will be recorded on Strava and Instagram and I'll post here when I can. (I'll also try to remember to post periodically on Facebook as well.)

That's it for now -- hope you're having a great winter -- thanks for checking in!

(VK Spring Training Camp recap posted soon.)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sorting things out

UCI Road World Championships, Bergen, Norway

With many opportunities open to me this year, it's been hard to settle on which ride events I can realistically manage -- physically, financially, and in terms of time.

Topping my list is traveling to Norway in September for the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway. Ohmigosh, I've booked my flights -- It's happening!! (With many thanks to Mike for encouraging me to go and my cousins Nat and Toril for the opportunity.) I'm so thrilled! (Unfortunately it coincides with dear friend Kristen's Half Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid -- I'm sorry to be missing that.) Obviously I won't be riding in the world championships in Bergen, but there will be opportunities for me to ride in Norway while I'm there. I'm excited for that. (The mountains and fjords... oh my.)

Also on my calendar:

  • April: Ride the Sky -- Vanderkitten team training camp weekend in Virginia.
  • May: Tour de Cure (62 mile gravel ride) for the ADA
  • June: NEMBAfest mountain bike weekend at Kingdom Trails, Vermont (with Chip)
  • July: RAGBRAI (Not committed yet.)
  • August: Undecided
  • September: NORWAY
  • October: Undecided

I've scratched Beti Bike Bash off my list this year and have chosen a few smaller mountain bike events closer to home. I'm hoping to make RAGBRAI work but we'll see -- I have a few weeks to figure that out. My calendar isn't full yet but it's nice to finally have a few commitments nailed down, and I'm really excited for the months ahead.

I need to work on my Norwegian.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Vanderkitten Squad 2017

A few weeks ago I learned I was selected to continue on with Vanderkitten for a fourth year... despite my minimal event participation (and low-key social media presence) following 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo last year.

VK has undergone several major changes since I first became affiliated with the team in 2013 -- from dissolving the pro road team, to a brief return to elite cyclocross, to a large increase in the number of ambassadors in 2015, to moving their headquarters from San Francisco to Philadelphia -- each bringing significant change. I've watched many athletes and friends come and go, but a strong core squad remains and the support and camaraderie is terrific.

Elite triathlete Kelsey Withrow is leading the charge this year and many exciting things are planned for the year ahead. Two training camp opportunities are on the table, including one on the East Coast (in Virginia) in March. A Vanderkitten Zwift team is forming and several road and mountain bike events are in the planning stages. I've had Beti Bike Bash in the back of my head since Rebecca was here, but was recently invited to ride RAGBRAI in July. (A bucket list ride.) Choices, choices...

It's only Week 5 of the New Year but the calendar is already filling up!! It's time to get serious about my training goals.

Catching the sunrise in Beverly on my way to Indoor Ride

Sunday, January 22, 2017


It's crazy how quickly a dream can derail when you put your trust in someone and that person fails you. For the past few weeks I've been lending a hand to my friend Lila, who opened an indoor cycling studio a few months ago -- Indoor Ride. Just as the holidays arrived, her business partner bailed on her in a grossly unprofessional way. I'm still shaking my head at the utter lack of integrity there... but I never really knew the guy.

Lila will survive the setback -- I have no doubt -- because she is a good person and has caring friends to cover her back, including me. I'm now coaching classes at the studio  -- Monday night Mixed Terrain, Wednesday morning Intervals, tag-teaming the coaching on Saturdays (a busy morning), and Time Trial on alternate Sundays. I'm also studying for USA Cycling coaching certification while becoming versed in Zwift-Kickr-Snap-PC at the same time. It's been a lot, but I'm really enjoying it -- I love our athletes -- and I'm finding my rhythm.

Donna and I are still getting in our 5K track intervals several mornings a week, and I squeeze in rides on the Kona when the weather and conditions allow. It's been a busy start to the new year!

Monday, January 2, 2017


New goals, new training, new adventures ahead! In a departure from how I've spent New Year's Day for the past several years, I started 2017 not on the bike but running the Wicked Frosty Four with the girls -- Lila, Kristen, Alison, Jennifer, Amy R, Amy SC, Ruth, Mary and Craig (who, well, is not a girl). Four miles through Salem on a gorgeous, sunny-but-windy day. Ack... running is still hard for me. They all finished well ahead of me, but 4 miles was my longest run to date, and I'm not disappointed. I ran a 13.30 pace... and well, there's room for improvement in 2017.

(Cheers to the tribe for waiting at the finish line for me, and to Lila and Alison for doubling back after their finish to find me and run the last quarter mile with me. That was sweet. I have awesome friends.)

The year is off to a good start, and I'm laying out my goals for the year ahead, not yet certain whether I'll be repping Vanderkitten in 2017, but will be ready to move on if that chapter has closed. I'm excited to see where the next opportunity takes me.  2016 was an off year, and not entirely successful, but I enjoyed the break from training and especially enjoyed the adventure rides I had with Chip, so it was good in the long run. I needed it. Now I'm itching to tackle something new, ready to set some goals and see where things go. It's going to be a good year.

Friday, December 9, 2016

That time we ran a 5k together

Family run squad

The Winter Classic 5K
Mike, back in run action... 
Donna's first 5K walk/run... 
and Chip beating us all. 

Mike and Chip, ready to go
The Winter Classic, December 6th

Friday, December 2, 2016

Adventures with Chip - Breakheart Reservation MTB

A gorgeous day to get a little lost.
It looks like we're on the Blue trail...
but we ended up on the YELLOW
Like a dog, Chip can't pass a good stick without picking it up.
I somehow convinced Chip to head out for a ride at Breakheart Reservation with me a few weekends ago. I knew he was feeling tired from a hard week of football -- and wasn't really keen on heading out for an adventure -- but with the promise of food he rallied for a ride. (It was a little manipulative on my part -- I know can entice him to do anything at the mere mention of food.)

We had brunch at The Iron-Town Diner in Saugus -- a fantastic place which Chip rated a "Ten outa ten". (Impressive.) We then headed off for Breakheart Reservation and a quick little adventure getting "lost" with a ton of hike-a-bike on the yellow trail. 

My side goal while we were there was to find some easy hiking trails for the Cyclopaths, but realized as we were riding (and hiking) that the trails we chose were a little too challenging for our gang. I have a little more exploring to do.

We had a great time, though! Can't wait to go back!

Iron-Town Diner
The burger was as big as his head....
but he finished it in three minutes