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?

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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.

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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”

Racing with the Dark Horse

Out we set. Clad in our sleek lycra. Slick wheels cutting the crisp morning air. We were a pack of crazies on a mission to ride.

The pace was at warm up level. But I had ridden with these guys before, and I knew what could happen. I was alert, and I was sure to keep on that last wheel. No dropping this babe so early on.

A few moments in, I noticed a rider behind me. I asked him if he was with this group. Yes, he replied. I asked him if he rode often. He shrugged and casually replied…oh, sometimes. I noticed him dropping back a bit, and tried to keep him in sight. But I had my own concerns of keeping with the pack.

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Continue reading “Racing with the Dark Horse”

An Island Cycling Adventure

Me on the COAST

Years ago my husband, James, went on a cycling tour of the Sunshine Coast.  He was eager to do it again, this time with me.  Over nine days we cycled a circular loop along the ocean, covering multiple islands on the west coast of Canada.

The cycling tour was not without some challenges, however, it was the kind of cycling that took me back to the days when I was first introduced to this fabulous activity.  Every morning the first clothes we put on were bib shorts and cycling jerseys.  We wore this gear all day until we were at our next location, and checked into the accommodations for the night.  We often enjoyed a café break, and sometimes even a post ride beer in our less than fresh cycling kits.  They became part of our daily routine once again. Continue reading “An Island Cycling Adventure”

Getting My Groove Back

It has been over 12 years now since I was introduced to my first road bike.  My bike has literally changed my life, and in more ways than one.  Over the years, it has been challenging for me to maintain consistency in my fitness and nutrition.  The last couple of years have been particularly difficult as I committed far too much energy and time both to support my husband’s intense career path, and to my own career oriented commitments.  I often found myself on the cusp of getting back to where I wanted to be, only to find myself going in the wrong direction once again.  The intensity and level of stress that I chose to be part of was greatly impacting my health. Continue reading “Getting My Groove Back”

The Importance of Appreciating the People that Push You

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I will admit it, there have been times when I have gotten on my bike, and I did not try. It has happened. When I am riding alone, I am the only one who suffers the consequences. I have been in situations where the ride wasn’t just about my bike and me, but there was also a team aspect to it. Driven by fear of not living up to expectations, I have chosen a defeated attitude that paralyzed me from performing as well as I could have. I have learned some very important lessons from these experiences. There was one ride in particular that I recall during which my husband and I were out in the open desert, only had so much water with us, and were up against a fairly aggressive head wind. If I had stuck with him and drafted, then we both would have made it back to our vehicle within a shorter amount of time then I could make it on my own. Due to some communication breakdowns, and some lack of understanding on my part, we ended up separated during the last leg this ride. I was really battling to finish. I was so caught up with the fear of slowing him down that I chose to ride on my own. I was so blinded by my fear that I didn’t even see the support that was being offered. Continue reading “The Importance of Appreciating the People that Push You”

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