Learning to Ride a Road Bike – An Adventure in Hitting the Ground

I have been road cycling for 13 years now.  It has been an incredible journey.  My bike has literally changed my life.

Before I met my bike (my beloved Trek 2000), I was the most unathletic person ever!!!  I wouldn’t have believed for a second that I was one day going to be riding a fast bike on highways and up to the tops of mountains.  I was completely uncomfortable with my physical being, and afraid of adventure.

Right after I married my husband, James, he bought us road bikes.  It had been a passion of his in his younger years, and he was keen to re-immerse himself.  I really had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.

trek-2000-3

Continue reading “Learning to Ride a Road Bike – An Adventure in Hitting the Ground”

Advertisements

Strength and Spirit: My Warrior Friend

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about the strongest warrior I have ever met.  Every time I spend time with her, I walk away wanting to be better.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong, be sure to check them out!}

I was sitting at my desk, plugging away, when I overheard a conversation at the desk beside me.  This tiny, Asian girl was telling my co-worker that she had to leave early to get home before her husband completely dug up the backyard with some homemade contraption that he was trying to use to dig a hole.  The passion and energy coming out of this little woman was amazing.  The way she described this preposterous scenario was incredibly entertaining.  Her perspective on it was unbelievable.  I felt like this woman had years of wisdom and experience.  I immediately felt like I needed to know this woman.

indian-attire
Andrea and me at a wedding celebration

The desks were quite open, and thus, it was easy to join in the discussion without intruding.  From that day forward, this tiny woman, Andrea, has been one of the single most influential forces in my life.  There is nothing tiny about her.

 

Andrea and I shared a geeky IT background, and an aptitude for interfacing between the IT techies and the business side of a corporation.  It turned out that we also shared a love for many things including, but not limited to: goat cheese with honey, sparkly wine, soft and fuzzy clothing and blankets that you can’t stop touching and puppies.

Continue reading “Strength and Spirit: My Warrior Friend”

A Smooth Riding Companion: Dehnis B DelaCruz

A Smooth Riding Companion: Dehnis B DelaCruz

{My feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey continues and stays strong.  Today I introduce you to an amazing rider who supported me and helped my confidence to grow.  If you are curious, be sure to check out this Slowburn post.}

The alarm starting beeping way too early, but out of bed I leaped.  I was pumped.  I had been waiting all week for this.  This morning, I would be joining my beloved Slowburn group once again after many years.

The feat would not be easy.  We would be doing the famous Great Western Loop – A.K.A. GWL.  This ride would see us climb almost 1200 metres and cover nearly 70 km.  The climbing starts almost immediately, and most of it is accomplished in the first 2/3 of the ride.  So,  you literally feel like you are climbing, climbing, climbing…

As the group began to gather, a felt a twinge of excitement edged with a bit of nervousness.  No matter how many rides I completed, I just never knew exactly how I would feel until I started pedaling.  So many things can happen in cycling, so you just never really know what a ride is going to be like.  It seemed like it wasn’t that long ago that I couldn’t even fathom riding a road bike, never mind take on the ride that I was about to embark on.

SlowBurn
Me, Matt Tabaya to my right, Dennis Caco and James Hiner up front.  Dehnis was behind us, and took this beautiful photo.

 

Continue reading “A Smooth Riding Companion: Dehnis B DelaCruz”

Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about a very strong, supportive and encouraging person who loves to climb mountains.  She has been there riding with me and supporting me for years.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Crazy Wild Infection Positivity, be sure to check them out!}

‘Oh, you are the one that my wife has been following on Strava’.  This is the first thing that Karel said to me upon being introduced at one of the local bike races.  ‘She would like to go riding with you’, he continued.  The rest is history.

The first time I rode with Ania, I was nervous.  I had seen some of her riding data, and in every picture she looked so strong, so athletic.  Was I really in the same realm?

road-2

Continue reading “Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania”

My More Aggressive Twin: Kate

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about someone who with intense drive and motivation to overcome real challenges.  If you missed The Dark Horse, Grit and Determination, or a Guide on My Journey, be sure to check them out!}

I met Kate in Belgium.  My husband, James, and I were there for classics week.  We would be attempting amateur versions and watching the real professional versions of several of the hardest one day races in the world.  Little did I realize at the time how fitting it would be to meet Kate in such a setting.

Kate is about the same height as me, or rather, has the same lack of height as I do!  At four foot ten, we can hardly brag about our stunted stature.  At the time, her hair was nearly the same colour and length as mine was.  The icing on the cake was her punchy attitude that matched my own.  She was very quickly deemed to be my ‘more aggressive twin’.  Everyone in the group that we were staying with agreed with this, despite the fact that we had known each other for less than a week.

chatting
Me on the left, Kate in the middle, our gracious host Holly on the right.

Continue reading “My More Aggressive Twin: Kate”

Who is the Dark Horse

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  If you missed last week’s post Racing with the Dark Horse, be sure to check it out.}

QuoteWhen I first met the Dark Horse, he led me through a ride that had me digging deep to reach speeds that I didn’t know I could ride at.  He was one of the most courteous, professional and talented riders I had ever met.  He supported me and pushed me to reach further and ride harder.

There is so much more to the Dark Horse. Continue reading “Who is the Dark Horse”