F*$#@%* wind…

So after the torrential down pour that was Sunday a bright and beautiful Monday came to be. I was so excited I looked out my window and was stoked, I was finally going to be able to ride outside in the sunshine! Oh just kidding, after I continued to look out the window I noticed that the trees were straining to stay upright. 30mph wind all day…. Yeah, no riding outside especially with it being heart rate interval day there was no way that I would be able to keep my heart rate where it should be, so it was off to the gym for weights and then back home to be banished to the trainer. But I did have freshly wrapped bars thanks to Daniel and they are absolutely beautiful 🙂 my other bar tape was falling off and disgustingly dingy. 

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Tuesday was not much better in the wind department but we had team sprint drills on Daniel’s Island so I ventured out in more clothes that I wish to admit and thought “Just suck it up and do the hour of sprints.” I sucked it up for 30 minutes and 8 miles. So miserable, it felt like someone had their hand pressing on my forehead I was done the boys had left me in the first lap and turned around and went back to find our team director sitting in his car in the parking lot. He was all like “Have fun?” with a smug grin and I replied with “Bite me.” So we proceeded to go secure a table for team meeting and soon enough the other guys came in and where all “Where did  you go?” I was like “To where the pizza is, duh.” 

Yesterday was so much better! Much less wind and a much more laid back companion on the bike which is a wonderful change of pace. Daniel and I did laps around edge water for about and hour but it was pretty cold so we rode until we couldn’t feel our toes anymore and then headed back towards home.  While we were riding Daniel was asking me, like always, that doesn’t all the racing and training just ruin riding form me? Sometimes it does… I get sick of the grind and the having to do this work out on this day in this way no more no less and the pressure to be good (mostly put on myself by myself) and frankly it can. I’m kind of worn out right now I think I just need to take a week and step away from the bike but it’s racing season and will that really happen? Probably not, but for today, I’m taking today off. My legs feel like lead and I am sick of being cold when I ride so I’m going to take the day and do a 70 with Rachel tomorrow, it’s supposed to be much warmer and less windy. Fingers crossed that I can shake this complete lack of motivation.

 

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Sunday funday…

I think I rode Friday… I really can’t remember which is incredibly sad considering I’m 21 and my memory should still be remarkably sharp. I do know that I rode Saturday and it was incredibly memorable due to the miserable conditions that were the weather that day. It was overcast when I left and I thought well I should for sure at least be able to get a quick 20 in before the sky opened… Wrong. I get out to Folly (my half way point) and the sky opens. It was already cold which I can handle but then it started raining. I love riding in the rain actually but I don’t enjoy the cold rain, that is where I draw the line. It took me three hours to warm up again, absolutely miserable. 

Oh, I did ride Friday! I did heart rate intervals at Edgewater and it was soooooooooo windy. I have had lack of motivation syndrome all of last week. I just haven’t been feeling it, kinda was half assing weight sessions and heart rate intervals and just in general. Not cool but that’s what went down. 

Sunday I was planning on riding but awoke to rain barreling down harder than I ever imagined possible so that was out. So one of my friends from work and I went out and saw a movie and shopped 🙂 So nice to have a fun day out and get some girl time! I’ve been working a lot lately so I’ve been super exhausted but this week I have fewer hours so I will get to RIDE!!!!!!!!!

Assholes…

Okay I will warn you in advance that there will be cussing in this post, there is absolutely no way to avoid it so buckle down. This is one of the not so pretty and wonderful parts of being a woman in cycling and it seriously pisses me off. Okay now to the story…

 

So I am good friends with the mechanics over at Charleston Bicycle company and they are always nagging me to come and ride with them on their Tuesday/Thursday rides. Now that the time has changed and it is light later I decided that hey I’ll go ride with my peeps from the shop, so Rachael and I went to the ride and we left a little late so it was going to be getting pretty dark by the time we got back. I thought oh it will be fine all the guys have lights we can just smash in-between them and people will be able to see us. 

So we start out and everything is fine, there are a few young guys so you figure the pace is going to be pushed a little. Of course it’s Rachael and I and ten guys, which is normal. We cross the connector and it goes crazy I’m riding 27mph and not keeping up so I say screw it and let them go and it ends up being me, Rachael, Brian, Barry, and Jeff. We all looked at each other and said “We aren’t playing that game tonight.” So eventually they slow down and we catch them and then we all fall into line together. I’m second in the pace line and the little fucker in front of me would look over his shoulder and pick up the pace, look over his shoulder I was still there so he’d pick it up again, look over his shoulder I was still here and he’s pick it up again…. This continued on and on until we hit 30 mph my legs were screaming after standing up at work for almost 9 hours that day so I decided that I should probably drop of if I had any intention of walking the next day. 

I have had this happen on many a ride, a girl shows up and it either turns into a game of “drop the girl even if I’m dying inside because that would be awful if there was a girl who was just as good or better than me” or it turns into a show off contest of “who’s penis is bigger” Well we eventually come around a conner and low and behold the little fucker got a flat. Normally I would have putty on such and incident but not after that so Rachael and I continue on and Brian and Barry stop to help the kid out. 

Well it turns out that Rachael had to get back to her kids so her ex could get to work, which I had no idea of, so I scream out to Jeff who was waiting on the others that we are fine and we are going to have to keep riding to get back on time. So Rachael and I continue in our black kits with no bike lights to speak of and the sun is rapidly setting. Awesome. We left late because the boys weren’t ready might I add. We get to the connector and It is black out. There are no lights and I am for sure that we are going to get hit. We pull over and I hear the panic in Rachael’s voice. ” This is it Caroline, we are going to die. ” I tell her that there is no point in us sitting here and that we will ride the sidewalk over the connector and then once we are over there are lights from various business and we should be able to make it. So we turn on and iPhone flash and make due with that. There were many close calls and loads of cussing but we made it back alive (barely) and Rachael’s first response is “WE ARE GETTING DOUGHNUTS NOW!” Thankfully there is a Krispy Kreame right next door to the shop and we go to the drive through and I think she is going to order like four doughnuts we pull up and she goes “I need a dozen doughnuts.” I die laughing I’m all like “Fat Rachael I’ve missed  you” (she has been being good and eating clean for almost a month now) Anyways by this point the boys finally made it back and we go over and tell them we are back and alive  and they are like “Do you want to come in for a beer?” we are like “Um, no we have doughnuts” they ask if they can trade and we shoot them down and drive off. So anyways, a little more adventure than I was looking for in a nice evening ride but hey it happens. I’ve had a day to cool off but it makes me mad still. Anyways, until next time…

Grown up tiered…

This week has been crazy busy and exhausting. We were running on a bare bones staff all week this meant long days. Not that this was horrible, I love my job, it just left me tiered. I did however get to ride more this week thanks to the time change. Tuesday I did a weight session in the gym and then rode over to Edgewater to ride heart rate intervals. I was misting rain and extremely windy but I survived the elements. 

Wednesday was another round of laps over at Edgewater after work and the wind was still absolutely horrendous. In Charleston from January through March there is some of the worst wind (other than hurricane wind) that you will ever see. Because it does not get cold here the winter curse is the wind. This wonderful wind continued into Thursday which was sprint intervals with the team on Daniels Island. We have been working with the U18 kids, getting them on bikes and teaching them the ins and outs of road riding. It has been a blast, they are really fun kids but I got stuck pulling in the front for about thirty minutes because every time I would “pull off” they would stick on my wheel. I guess the only instruction they were giving was to find a wheel and stick to it. 

I was so exhausted Friday that I didn’t even get on the bike. I had an hour and a half before I needed to get ready for work and I just couldn’t make myself get on the bike. I know I’m exhausted if I don’t even want to ride, so I opted for a nap instead. Sunday however, I rode out to Kiawah, me and 25 boys. Being a woman in cycling you get really used to this being the case. It was a really great ride met some new riders and chilled with the team boys which is always nice. I let the boys alone and turned around at the last intersection before Kiawah as I had to get back for a St. Patrick’s day run that one of my friends was putting on. I actually averaged better on the way back without the boys 🙂

I didn’t actually run the run I ended up getting to ride on the moped with Jason and then helped set up the water station. We ended up on Sullivan’s Island and Rachel and I stayed with Kevin’s kids after his stroller got a flat tire. The kids were so cute and the older of the two was a talker. He told us about his grandmas and how he had two of them and all about his shoes. Rachel got cracker sneezed all over her by the cutest one year old on the planet as well. 

We went and ate over at Poe’s Tavern which I might say has the best burgers in the world! Although our drinks came before we ate and I was so hungry and that didn’t go well with the alcohol as you could imagine. So they took my home after that thank goodness. I haven’t hardly been in my house all week except to sleep, I was just so ready to be home. Awesome day with friends and it was a stunning day to be able to spend outside 🙂

Ride for a reason…

This week has been incredibly insane and wonderful all at the same time! I’m getting ready to move to a new house and getting in the swing of a new job it’s exciting. I was able to get out a couple of times and ride this week. The weather has been absolutely beautiful 🙂 this makes me very happy!  

Yesterday was an incredibly amazing day even though I was quite bleary eyed after working a fourteen hour shift, getting home at midnight then waking up at 6 am to be at the Pedal for Pattinsons. This was an incredible event, my team, United CHS, supports Pattinson’s Academy in their mission to provide the best possible care for children with severe disabilities. The most of the team was able to be there with only a few missing, we lined up our bikes in the back on trainers behind the hundreds of spin bikes that were set up. They have special bikes for the kids and they guide them around through the rows of bikes, it is truly inspiring. I love my team they are my family and they make me truly proud. I’m so glad that we do things to give back to the community because that is really what it is all about and it helps to keep you grounded. Oh, and my bestie Rachel was officially picked up by the team!!!!!!

We all ride for a reason, make it count.

The spark…

I love getting to work with new riders. It refreshes my passion for the sport and it is so wonderful to watch the love story begin between someone and their bike. For those of you who have no idea what it is like to be in love with a bike let me explain to you. Your bike is your baby and you spend more hours with this machine than any one person. The relationship you have with it is a very intimate one, you are literally attached to it and you feel every slight movement and can tell when things are millimeters off. Watching that love between a cyclist and their bike develop is beautiful magic. 

This weekend I was given two very wonderful opportunities to interact and mentor new riders. Saturday I toted my dad out with me to help with a ride for the under 18 team which my team, United CHS, is developing. It was a beautiful day, slightly windy but the sun was out and the temperature was mildly cool. We had four of our eight kids that were able to get out and they are great! Callie, United CHS team directors daughter, is the only girl on the team and I am THRILLED! She is a great kid, as they all are, but she is a girl so she gets some extra kudos for being brave enough to tough it out with the boys. I have really taken her under my wing and try to make a point to hang out with her and stay back with her when she needs it. I ride because I want other girl to know that they can be strong, girly, and completely themselves and keep up with the boys, having a blast to boot! Anyways, we had three of the boys show up and they are going to be dangerous! They are fast and really haven’t had any proper training. Jimmy and I let my dad loose with them and he gave them a run for their money! I was impressed because the boys held on for most of it too. All of these kids have the spark, they were grinning ear to ear and having an absolute blast, it was just so exciting. 

This morning I went to the Charleston Bicycle Company’s new ride which my friend Daniel is in charge of heading up. It is a ride he designed to encourage new riders, specifically women, to get out there, get on a bike and experience group rides (in a good way). There were two ladies that showed up (besides me). One of the ladies had just purchased a bike Saturday and hadn’t really ridden besides the childhood variety. The other lady was on a mountain bike and was actually a pretty decent rider. We cruised through neighborhoods and chatted about ridding and other various subjects. We got back to the shop and I said to the lady on a new bike “You just did six and a half miles, great job!” Her face lit up and she was just so proud of herself, I love that it really makes me happy inside! Daniel texted me after the ride and thanked me for coming even though it was “really lame for me” but it really wasn’t. I was so stoked that TWO women showed up even though it was 34 degrees out. 

I went into the shop later today to get the boys to sand down my new break pads so they would stop squeaking so much and Daniel said that she had come back in the shop this afternoon and was still really excited and was planning to go ride downtown more this evening! 

Dad and I were able to get out Thursday morning and take our new wheels for a spin and they are wonderful! I have never ridden on carbon wheels but they are fantastic and ride really smoothly. The wind was pretty crazy but the sun was out which was a miracle after weeks of rain. Dad Kicked my ass, he is in such great shape and has been doing a ton of climbing since he is going to do the Assault on Mount Mitchell again this year. It was great to have him down here and have a competitive riding partner that really pushes me. I miss getting to train with him. I have a great group of guys and gals to train with here but there is something about training with your family. Anyways, I will end my rambling and return to my evening of watching Despicable Me, goodnight.

Overcast skies…

So it has been raining solid here since Thursday, my driveway is flooded and I think if we get a few more hours of rain my whole neighborhood will be under water and now be addressed as Atlantis. Sunday actually it did clear up and was sunny for several hours and the team was able to get out for a much needed dose of vitamin D. It was absolutely glorious, but the not so glorious part was that I was once again severely dehydrated. My heart rate was hitting 200bpm my chest was hurting and we were only pulling 20mph. Mikey was in front of me and I yelled out that something wasn’t right. The cranks were so difficult to turn and of course my heart rate was through the roof. That was the longest fifty miles of my life. On the way back Mike stayed with me and we just went slow and the rest of the bunch went ahead. 

I get so angry when that happens. I have been having the hardest time with dehydration even though I am religious about drink at least a gallon a day I’m still severely dehydrated the next morning. It’s holding me back in my riding and severely frustrating. I am beginning to thing it is my very cute, very cold, very old house. I don’t know what else it could be.

Today the actual rain stopped for a couple hours and I was able to sneak out for a quick 21 mile loop around John’s Island but the wind was ridiculous! I was averaging 17.0mph for the first 3/4 of the ride but then when I turned back on to Maybank HWY to return back over the connector my average was shot down by the wind. 15.0 was my final average once I got home and it was a fight. I hate the wind, it is one thing that I haven’t quite been able to get in a head space to be able to power through it. 

Anyways, I want the sun to come out I’m getting grumpy.