Retirement

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“So tell me, what is the difference between Canada geese and Canadian geese?”

Our neighbor in cabin number six was standing on his porch, an elderly man from Wisconsin who looked to be in his late 60’s with grey hair and neatly trimmed beard to match.  He and my Dad had befriended each other yesterday. Now they were deep – as deep as one gets while making small talk at a public campground – in conversation about the geese.

I was standing at the green Coleman two-burner stove, making breakfast. The morning was warm and dry. The cloudless sky was teasing, drawing summer to a close as autumn was patiently waiting. On the menu for our breakfast was one of my cuisine specialties: oats. Not the glue-like, tasteless slop that most come to hate. I stir up a thick, chewy, nutty variation, with toasted walnuts and fresh apples. And salt. Oatmeal without salt is like eating paste.

One thing I learned in my past career as a professional cyclist was to make killer oatmeal. Continue reading →

Four seconds To Yellow

“Today we all need to dig deep, more than we ever have this season,” I was telling my NOW and Novartis for MS team in our pre-race meeting.  We all sat huddled together in the chairs outside our team van, with serious faces, none of the usual jokes being thrown around like cheap popcorn.

“And then go even deeper,” chimed in our sport director Kurt Stockton.

We had a yellow jersey to defend in the final stage of the Cascade Cycling Classic, and we only had it by four seconds. Last night we had screwed up the criterium and the worst possible scenario unfolded:  Carmen Small (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won and secured the ten second time bonus to move within a hair’s breadth of our teammate, and overall race leader, AP (Alison Powers).

“I raced with my head up my ass yesterday,” AP apologized to us. “But today I am back, I am ready, and I feel confident about the race.” Continue reading →

Powerless, and loving it!

The season has begun.

I am now on the new 2012 Specialized S-works Amira.  Best bike ever.  I have tried a lot of different bikes over the years, I have as they say “been around the block”  (a few times), so I think my opinion counts for something.

However, this time switching over to the new bike I decided to let the ol’ Powertap (PT) stay on the “old” bike. It’s kinda outdated already anyhow. It’s the wired version from 2006, and even though it works plenty well, it just seems too antiquated to use anymore.  Much too archaic to muck up my new, pristine machine. Who wants all those ugly wires ruining the beautiful job Specialized did this year to eliminate such cable unsightliness (they made most cables and housing internal). In a world where image is everything, how can I possibly add that outdated piece of technology to my gorgeous S-Works?

Well, I can’t.

Face it, my PT is an eyesore.  It has gotta go. Continue reading →

Balancing Baby, Bike and Life

It is hard to find the time to write. I have taken on a writing/communications job with the newly formed Russian pro continental team RusVelo and between that, training for my final professional season, and taking care of little 8 month-old Olympia my time is crunched. It is Olympia that takes up the largest chunk, though. When she naps I must train. So writing is crammed in there when mommy C is around to watch Olympia. And that writing is generally for RusVelo not my personal stuff.

My training has become a matter of quality over quantity. Most my workouts, thanks to being the stay-at-home-mom, are done on the trainer. Of course, winter in Colorado can have me relegated to my rec room too, but without fail Olympia does so every week day, from Monday to Friday, while mommy C is at work. My workouts are efficient. No long rides for me. I have to make them count so I go hard. My window of time is unknown. I train when the baby sleeps. That can be a monster nap of 3 hours to a short stint of 30 minutes. I do not know what I am gonna get so I hop on and pedal fast and furious. Continue reading →

Finally, The Women are Speaking!

I have always stated that in order for women’s cycling to raise its profile and bring about more equality we, the cyclists, need to speak out. We must raise our voices and advocate for change. We are good at crying bloody foul when race promoters ignore us, we cringe when we are handed pennies while the men vie for ten times (or more) the prize money, and far too often we have been over-joyed when we shouldn’t be, like when we receive a small scrap of a race tacked onto a prestigious multi-day event for men.

When the inequality reaches a point that even we cannot tolerate we finally complain, grumbling, “it’s not fair!”.

And it isn’t. Of course it isn’t. But who really gives a damn? Continue reading →

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