Thursday, March 29, 2007

What are you wearing?!?

by jen g

I am the Teen Program Director at a YMCA. The St. Croix Valley YMCA in Hudson, WI, to be specific. I have been bike commuting to Hudson from St. Paul, which as all cyclists know, bike commuting equals quality of life. Now, if you go back to the first sentence, you’ll notice that I work with teens – middle school aged kids to be exact. So, the other day when leaving the YMCA with my sweet orange bike and my snazzy spandex Bella kit, a number of my teens got a complete look of horror on their faces. “What are you wearing??!?!” was exclaimed with the deepest embarrassment and concern I could have ever imagined from these kids. It was so entertaining. I think I’m inspiring them….. ;)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

hills and such

Barb and hotpinkevil and me wandered out in the evening for a short 60 minute ride. Barb mentioned nifty hill training technique, so you get better at climbing. Hopefully, it will work. The hill by the Weiseman didn't seem as insurmountable today. Though, I think the is the first time I actually climbed it when I wasn't dead tired.

Anyways.. it was pretty eventful. Cracks are out to tip you over. and it is broken glass season in MPLS. It's the season between way to flippin' cold season and construction season. Guess that it's best to figure this out on a training ride...


Sunday, March 25, 2007


Taken from comments--Barb

"Anyway, I just got in from a ride and made myself 2 sandwiches. As I'm making them, I realized that about this time of year, I start craving mayonaise. I slather it on a la "Undercover Brother." Gad I love the stuff, but only when I am riding hard. The other food I've started to crave is spaghetti sauce. OK, I've finished my food and my mayo cravings are settled down until next time."

Sounds tasty as hell. One of the nifty thing about actual seasons (as opposed to microclimates and rainy season/not rainy season)... is that food and food cravings vary throughout the year. I'm a big food geek(Alton Brown is a hero)... and I gotta admit I ride so I can eat lots with less consequences. I know it's spring and riding season is starting again when I start craving smoothies after a ride and peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches. Summer comes around and it's all about -anything- from the grill. After many years of not eating very much red meat (and a couple years vegan), last summer I started eating burgers again. I get home from riding a couple of hours, and the boyfriend and roommate say "hey... we've been grilling burgers... want one?" while handing you a plate. Cyclocross season is all about tasty cheesy pasta.

Though my favorite all season post ride food has got to be the San Francisco (Mission district) burrito. We used to have a place that was easy to find.... but that tanqueria (which are few and far between in the frozen tundra) has moved and I can never remember where it is...

So... what are all you guys' favorite post ride foods? Favorite tanquerias (CA people.... lemme know! I tend to crash in random places when I'm out there!)?


Saturday, March 24, 2007

whee! road clinic and bike wanted

3 hours just isn't enough. It is enough to get started though.

We went over water bottle drills--pick up the water bottle standing on the ground and put it down again.. and cornering. Baba told many tales of racing, with emphasis on dictating the pace for the peloton-- it was all well and good and informative and cool, but... dammit.. what about just staying in the peloton....

that would be a victory for this webdork.

Tuesday night clinics will be starting in April... and we gots pacelines and riding leaning on each other to go over. Having done both these skillz on the track, it's WICKED good fun. The more the merrier. So, bellas, come on out.

And if anyone has a 52-54cm older road frame or a track frame... I'm in the market. My current commuter fixed gear is far too small. I can't do more than 15 miles/day without my back screaming at me. So... new (to me) bike time... Drop me a comment if you know of one.

Members Only Perks

Today we having a 3 hour road clinic. 3 hours on road bikes praciticing road racing skills. This is one or the perks of membership. Coming soon, we have regular team trainings on the calendar... Details TBA.

Last Sunday we had a calendaring/training clinic. One of the most helpful things I've heard was use time as a measurement of training... not distance. The overarching themes were consistency and commitment. Those 2 words are intimidating naughty words to me.

I'm stoked for today's clinic. The weather is foggy and cool. It feels like... summer at grandma's to me.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tuesday night OUCH.

NOW hosted another kickass Tuesday night ride.

On the first ride, we did a relatively mellow loop in Saint Paul (high street bridge, lilydale, mendota, and river road back)... and this last week, we ended up on the Lake Pahlen, Indian Mounds, Shepard Road loop. That loop is my nemesis. It hurts. It always hurts. It especially hurts when you've got a wicked headwind... after you hauled ass out to the shop against the same wicked headwind. ouch.

It was mostly a great ride. When we rode through the Minnesota Wild hockey crowd, and we met one of my Top Ten Peeves in the Midwest: Cops that do -NOT- know how to direct traffic. Look-- it is really hard to hear you when I've go my helmet on, and the wind is blowing had, and there's tons of cars around. So... if you make a gesture like you are waving us through, -that- is what someone gonna respond to. I'm just saying.

Guy on the red Cannondale with disc brakes handled that situation way way better than I would have. Do we have a bail fund in case one gets arrested while on a group ride? Mostly joking...

Ugh. Sorry... I'm horrible with names. I'm bad with faces (Tracy at NOW looks way different in his wintery bike gear), but I kickass at drooling over YOUR hot bike.

anyways, it was great to have good company on a killer ride.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday night rides

They are starting this week! 6pm! 75 N. Snelling.

be there.

Generally, I'll be doing these rides.... wanna ride over with me? I'll probably leave the U around 5:15ish...

drop a comment... or email loxx0058(at)umn(dot)edu

Thursday, March 08, 2007

bike expo pics

Marjie brought her spy camera. Marjie took pics of Grieber. So.. here they are:

Jen's test riding something at the test track they had set up in the middle of the convention center.

and here's Jen again at the Altered Esthetics booth. They are a gallery in NE mpls that does a lot of bike art shows.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

bike expo

I'm not the best booth bunny... At best, I'm totally a-social. At worst, I'm hiding in the corner.

The NOW booth was great. Bob brought the SEXIEST bike out! I've always said.. I know serotta's are swank and gorgeous and stuff, but I cannot get over the fugly-ness of that font. That said Bob's cross bike made the Serrota font look good and was the hottest bike I've seen for a while. I wouldn't be surprised if it were hanging around the shop. Drop by and see it. It is totally drool worthy.

Aside from drooling over bikes, talking to people wondering where Sheryl was, catching up with bike people I haven't seen since cross ended... I got encouraged to ride the obstacle course in the middle of the expo. Tried out a Jamis dual suspension mountain bike. Good fun and I didn't biff!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bella Ski

Well, I did attend the re-Loppet and wore my Bella jacket hoping to attract the attention of other Bellas out there, but I didn't see Lori or Sheryl :( Were you guys there?

I skied the 25 km distance and I did get to say hi to Maria, who was in the same group.

Note to other skiers-- the Bella windtex jacket is not very breathable for skiing!

It was a beautiful day for a ski, and lots of happy people attended the event. I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to ski with Marjie and Manda, due to schedule conflicts with the Bike Expo.
Some other time I hope?

I got a chance to talk up VB with some women who were skiing near me (they asked about the jacket) and I told them about our rides from the NOW location, and to look for our website.

Enjoy the snow while it lasts.
Manda, you'll get your wish for clear streets soon!


Friday, March 02, 2007

a total tease...

We went from some sweet late winter riding conditions (not hella windy, not too cold, longer daylight, and dry) to buried in snow. Enough to make this grrl moody and stompy and cranky. I really did used to deal much better with snow, but after a couple years of living in a state where I had to drive to see my snow + the fact I now have to shovel + no more snow days (though the U did let ouf early yesterday!)
=cranky manda.

Hopefully the Bella ski gathering Sunday @ 2:30-3:00ish... Theo Wirth Par 3, will change my mind about this stuff...

that... or some good sledding... before it turns to slush.