Archive for February, 2008

All I wanted was tea!

Posted in Flow on February 28, 2008 by Pip

Today started like most Thursdays..I woke up at 5am and headed to the gym hit the treadmill and watched 2004 Paris-Roubaix as I my motivation to work hard. After watching Magnus Bäckstedt take his win – I was stoked to get a ride in. It was cold this morning, 25 deg (in Charlotte that is like living in the North Pole cold) but I was more motivated to train and get to where I waned to be. I hoped of the treadmill and checked my HRM; I barely did a dent in what I wanted to do..No worries I will hit the road after I drop Monks off at school. Before climbing in my Jetta..I checked out my bike (Look 595 Elle) she has full Record Gruppo ,ceramic bb, ceramic rear pulleys, Strong Light CT2 ceramic coated chainrings, full ti Campy cassette and my Topolino wheelset..Yeah, I geeked out and was busted by an older guy walking up to his car. He asked “do you know the GUY who owns it?” ..”Sure do, tall and always wears pigtails” I hopped in my car fired up the diesel engine and hit the road. [A side note: I bought my car bc better gas mileage (42 miles per gallon), one day I want to convert it and I love pulling up in the carpool line and sounding louder than all the SUVs.]

I decided to grab a treat on the way home: 5 shot cappuccino for Ethan and a Chi Tea for me. After sitting in traffic and singing to the carload of business folks stuck next to me- I see Starbucks (no need to lecture me about corporate coffee..Their coffee is burnt blahblahblah-). Hmmmm…Maybe that was the problem. Maybe, 15 minutes later I would not have my “ugly cry face” on and had to have help from strangers-if I made the coffee at home.

As I drove up to the parking lot my life forever changed.

There are 3 noises that send chills down my spine 1) Monks being hurt or injured 2) getting in a car wreck 3) my bike hitting garage height bar

I just wanted to pop in Starbucks. I didn’t want to hear the sound of my bike and rack peeling off my car. I pulled into a parking spot and just sat there. I was too scared to get out and look at the bike. Tears began to well up in my eyes and that was the moment I knew I was in love with all things bike related. If you are reading this, I am pretty sure you are the same. Some people have photos of their kids (wish I could but it is preferred that I don’t. Trust me Monks is a total rockstar) or pets on myspace, blogs, facebook..But we have detailed descriptions of our loves our source of joy OUR BIKES. I climbed out of my car and my little Elle looked like an animal carcass on the side of the road. My saddle, that took ages to break in, was bent in half. The rack I received as a Xmas gift had been ripped off my car and tearing my trays in half. All I could do is put my head against my car and wish I would wake up from a crap dream. Meanwhile all the folks inside Starbucks are squished up against the window like kids looking in a toy store. I tried to take Elle’s sad little body off the car but it was cold, I was upset and the rack was too bent. Finally, a brave sole ventured out and helped me. I thanked him and he said it’s going to be OK it’s just a bike.

At that moment the kindness of strangers turned into are you kidding me..Just a bike..Just a freakin’ bike. I wanted to say to him when your dog died did your mum pat you on the head and say it was just a dog we’ll get you a new one. That might sound over the top-but I honestly appreciated all that went into my bike the time to find the perfect parts. We create a community and respect around our bikes. We blow off steam, commute and push ourselves on our bikes.
When I arrived home Monks and Ethan were hanging out and they both knew something was wrong. I blurted out- my bike is gone. I thought there would be the silence of “you jackass” looking back at me. Instead Ethan gave me a hug and informed me many have lost their bikes to the evil garage height bar.

*** We went back and measured the bar height the number posted was off by 5”***



Posted in Flow with tags , , , , on February 13, 2008 by Pip

It was pointed out to me that there is a thread in bike forums that is railing on me..first I look like Skeletor- I freakin’ loved HeMan. But I like the Thundercats the best. Then there was the banter of..I was writing the post! I have so much time to write fake threads. I love writing BS threads about myself. Then there was the talk of wanting hits on my page. I didn’t realize that I would receive payment per hit. I better get out there and write some more threads.

Honestly, I have been in my sons room writing V-Day cards-the ones we used to give out in lower school. Those cards crack me up. I think we should give out cards to random people. You know what I mean..we all have our own routine in the morning be it getting the news paper or coffee from the same place. How awesome would it be to hand out cards to people: saying “thanks for giving me a smile each day”, “Thanks for holding the door”, “Thanks for making me realize my coffee is less complicated than yours,”Will you be my Valentine bc I love the way you glare at me”, “will you be mine bc the way you flipped me off in traffic seemed so heartfelt”….I am sure we can come up with more….”Will you be my Valentine bc you yelled “get of the road” when my bike zipped past your car in traffic”, “will you be my Valentine bc you ran me off the road as you talked on your cellphone,ate your breakfast and picked your nose.”

Sorry for the rant..I was going to write about people who ride..Maybe I will in a bit..

Happy VDay Kids!!


What path are you on?

Posted in Flow with tags on February 10, 2008 by Pip

I have been the woman without blog ideas of late..I swear the less I am on my bike the less my brain functions. The shop has been the hub of team talk and figuring which guy does what race(Black Sheep Cartel), who wears a xs kit, who has class blahblahblah. During this Ethan is at the shop from the early AM until late at night working on keeping the shop in order and managing the team. A customer came into the shop yesterday, he owns a restaurant and his owns a different one. I asked if they talk about food all the time..he said he hates talking about food and the business. He asked if Ethan and I are the same..I replied we wake up talking about the shop and go to sleep talking about the team. Is it possible to be overly passionate in a career? With more emotion invested in what we do the greater the loss when it does not always work the way you thought it should. But, when the time of wading in the water of,”what are we doing-I want out!” shrinks to a puddle there is an explanation. What are we doing here? There are reasons we stick to a certain path-be it a great line through a bumpy downhill, you have rode it many times or my bike is telling me where to go and how to do it.
Those who pick the great line have crafted there path with much thought and intention. The problem- what if a random rock gets in the way? If you ride your line while being present then you. will know when to pick a new one. If you hit cruise control you will biff over the rock and 1 of the 2 things will happen: 1) bitch about the path and say your over it or 2) bitch about the trail, dust off and ride like a kid in the summer-Kids hate sticking to lines. Those who pick the path of been here can stay here..have created a place of comfort and a place where there really aren’t surprises”if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” ( no need to email or comment about fixies). The problem of this is the same path no more no less. Letting your bike tell you were to go can sometimes reminds”you are better than what you thought” or “maybe I should have thought about this more.” Sometimes we let others tell us who we are and what we are capable of- at times it offers support and others it makes you believe you are less than. Those are the moments when you can see who you really are. Do you react and feel like you need to put this person in place and let them know the truth or do you respect what they think but it does not make it true. We are here because we might be on the same path but we see it differently. To some the big climb looks short and sweet to others it looks like a big ass climb……

Wanting out…We have all been there! I believe I was there during every cross race. The wish that some force would carry you and your bike to a happy and flat place. I have found little joy in things that are handed to me. It might be my catholic upbringing- but I feel guilty about it.
An example that was so painful to stick with: I wanted to ride for our women’s team (you assume, well ya’ll own it-so ride) but I had to ride at least 4 cross races to be considered(not a ton of cross here). I had three races under my belt and then I had the joy of pneumonia for a month. ARE YOU KIDDING ME..I would not be on the team bc I was sick. I could have been done with it and tried again later..forget that. I felt like the last race was like a term paper hanging over my head. I went to the final race-had not been on a bike for a month and rode. The course was pure fitness and I had to use my inhaler just to get out of the car. The race felt like an eternity. The race summed up so much of my life. I could get back in my car and go home (no one likes a quitter) and wish I did it. I could ride and do it “for fun” or I could finish. I chose finish! It was humiliating and I thought I was going to die. I had the classic “and you call this fun” and the short bus banter of “you can do it”..yes, I can do it..but can I do it before everyone goes home. My last lap..I walked..I freakin’ walked…my bike on my running just a little stroll with little breathing. I finished..I was dead last..but I finished. I could act like I didn’t care (which I tried)..but when I felt the need to explain my crap riding I realized..I don’t want to just finish. I want to finish and finish well. Going back to wanting out and getting things easy..maybe the magic force to carry us away during a cross race only appears when we have put in the work..I did crappy because “ya get out what ya put in”. I hoped I would be naturally good at it and I was not in that bad of shape ( that would be a no and no). But being in the events has shown me the amazing abilities we all yoga I am all about pushing my edge. In yoga pushing ones edge is personal no one else sees it. It is a lot harder to push your edge and people see it…or that there is a way to quantify what you are doing. In cross I earned my ride home and stories of pure crap riding. I do not want to be that person who talks about, ”back in the day when I rode”.

Now that I am on the team there is a new path to pick. Maybe this time I’ll take a little bit of picking a good line,riding the known path and “for the love of God Mr. Bike please get me down in one piece”.

It seems that the more heart one invests in what they do the more there is a need to protect it. Sometimes with protection we have to let others in to help us. With protection comes trust and respect. But, to over protect will cause something to lose its light.

In other words don’t be that person that thinks he knows it all. Don’t be that person who thinks there way is the only way. Don’t be that person who makes excuses for why things are the way they are. Be the person who puts extreme heart in all they do and let others experience it with you. Except that we can all learn from another. If we do what we love and attempt to do it at the best of our ability-we should earn trust and respect We learn what we are made of.

A yogi (Rolf Gates) said we should do everything like we are folding laundry. I thought that is silly that means we zone out and do it to get it done…It means do everything with your full heart –even folding laundry.