Friday, July 24, 2009

Lake Placid

So far, the trip has been wonderful. We are staying in a beautiful, fully renovated "cottage" in Lake Placid. It is one of the original cottages of the Lake Placid Club. Rick and I are sharing the house with Blake & Twila, Sharon, Karen & Shawn, and Shelly & Lisa. Right next door, we have Deanna B + family and Bart & Bethany + family. A few houses down from us, we can find Lynnie Lou, Kate O + family, Amy M., and Dr Rick & Holly.

Fun people all around!

Our cottage provides an extraordinary view of the Adirondack mountains. Gorgeous. We can also walk to all parts of the Ironman course. The swim start is maybe a 5 minute walk from our backdoor - and both the bike and run courses are even closer.

And seriously, Lake Placid is one of the prettiest little athletically-inclined towns you can find. Picture quaint shops, flowers galore, and very healthy fit people everywhere you look.

Yesterday, I took my bike on a brief ride (20 miles or so) with the boys (Rick, Dr Rick and Blake). I had no trouble keeping up with them on the way out (I think they were lolly gagging), but it was a completely different story on the way back in. Yowzers - they were cruising. I did everything I could just to keep them in my sights! I figure it's always good to ride with faster people from time to time - as long as you know where you're going.

While out on the ride, I did see cycling studette Cyndi D taking her bike out for a little spin. She looked lovely and fast - as always.

We finished up with a cruise (by car) by checking out the rest of the bike course. It is hilly - but it is so pretty. You might as well be in a beautiful place while you suffer, right?

More later...

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ode to my bike

Several years ago, one of my favorite people, Anne JT, convinced me that the new bike I wanted for my 40th birthday was the completely fantastic Trek Madone. I have complete faith in Anne and her cycling knowledge (which is probably quite frightening to her twin, Lynne) so I went ahead and bought Sweet Baby Gray. Of course, that year, I was doing nothing but flat races (Eagleman, Patriot Half, IMFL) and probably could've used a Tribike.

However, I am not made of money (indeed - I'm pretty sure I am made of blood, cartilage, arteries, organs, etc), so I was only shelling out cash for one bike.

I went with the road bike.

And I am completely grateful for the sage advice from Anne and the rest of the crew at East Coasters in Blacksburg (an awesome bike shop).

I had no idea that, in a few years, my focus would shift from triathlons to road biking.

My road bike has started to fill the void left by the absence of running from my life.

I finish a ride and...I'm happy. More importantly, my ol' knees are happy.

She is accompanying me on my two-week trip to the northeast. Hopefully, we'll get some riding time in Lake Placid and NH. I am somewhat fearful of my NH ride. My brother Matt has some kind of hell ride planned (he is cut from the same cloth as Coach Blake).

Stay tuned..

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More fun on the road

Another weekend = another new bike ride

This weekend, SanDee J ("The Teenager"), Molly ("Man Dropper"), Sharon ("Darbalicious"), Lynn ("Lynnie Lou") and I headed to Waverly for a 50+ mile ride with RABA.

Once again...we finished the ride laughing our heads off (not literally).

It all started innocently. Molly was riding about a quarter mile ahead of us with some unknown guy. We threw around the idea of trying to catch her (and her new boyfriend). But, we were only at about mile 10 of a 56 mile ride, so we opted to keep her in our sights.

We came to an intersection along the way and (wisely) stopped to check the cue sheet. Meanwhile, Molly and her man stopped, too - but they were far enough up the road to make conversation basically impossible. We quickly realized that we missed a turn and needed to backtrack. We yelled to Molly and the stranger.

They looked us, waved us off and kept on the wrong direction!

Well...we knew that they had the same cue sheet as us, but apparently, they were reading it upside down?

Anyway, we turned around and headed towards the mid-way store stop - all the while wondering what Molly and the man were going.

At the store stop, we caught up with the rest of the group (who had not missed the turn), refueled, and continued on the ride. Sharon did manage to get Molly on her cellphone - and according to Molly, "They were just fine."

We, of course, hypothesized that Molly and her strange man were now engaged - after a brief 90 minute courtship by bike. We pictured them sitting by their bikes in a meadow, gazing into one another's eyes, sipping Gatorade. Romantic, isn't it?

Fast forward to the end of the ride: up ahead on the road, we spot a cyclist walking his bike up a small hill. Helmet off, sweaty, ripped shorts - it looked like he had just finished one of the mountain stages of the Tour.

Fancy our surprise when we realized that this was Molly's man. Apparently, she had set a pace that he was not ready to keep.

Okay - we've found Molly's man.....but where is Molly?? We knew she didn't have a cue sheet...or a riding partner at this point.

Our vision of wedding bells was completely out the window at this point. Instead, we figured she had inadvertently ridden to Petersburg.

That seemed like a fair punishment for ditching your friends for a guy in blue cycling shorts, don't you think?

Miraculously, Molly appeared (like a mirage) at the final intersection into Waverly. Note: she was traveling in the opposite direction from us. Lord knows where she rode.

I don't think she even knows - and that cracked us up even more.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Josie swims

I will admit that I had a wonderful July 4th holiday. Sometimes I feel a little guilty blogging about my various joyrides...while my friends endure torture workouts. I'd be there if I could, my friends!

Anyway, on July 3rd, Sharon D (aka "the Darbalicious") and I headed to Kilmarnock for a ride along the northern neck (to Reedville and back). We had a hilarious day...filled with misreading the cue sheet (but not for too long), riding with a hostile ol' man who continuously blew snot rockets in our direction (we finally had to drop the guy - and didn't feel guilty about it) and a relaxing lunch along the water. We made some new friends and enjoyed gorgeous rural riding. I did almost wipe out at a stop sign (yes - in front of many other riders and cars). I'd like to blame it on adjusting to my new bike fit - but the truth is, I'm just a spazz sometimes.

On the fourth of July, I enjoyed a sweet little fair in Deltaville complete with snowcones and crab races. Yes - crab races. I opted not to bet on any of the poor confused crustaceans shimmying down the chutes. Instead, I returned to Rick's cottage to chill out on the dock with a book. Meanwhile, my 8-year old dog finally learned how to swim.

Apparently, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Josie, who loves Rick, followed him into some deeper water - and realized she could not touch the bottom. Suddenly, her doggie instincts kicked in - and she was dog paddling with glee. I, being a proud mom, immediately told her what a good girl she was. With that praise, Josie swam round and round - showing off in her doggie way. It was one of the cutest things she has ever done.

The next morning, she showed off a little more. I was afraid she'd follow Rick and I way out into the water (he was going for an open water swim - and I was serving as the safety kayaker). Instead, she just watched us dutifully from the dock. When we returned from the swim, she jumped in and swam round and round the kayak.

Love that dog - and my ongoing bike joyrides.