Friday, October 2, 2009

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught.”

-Baba Dioum,
Senegalese ecologist

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finished the Colorado Trail Race

#1 goal achieved...I finished! #2 goal achieved....I finished in 7-8 days #3 goal not achieved....I did screw up navigationally as feared and lost HOURS!!!!

I'm still really tired (sleepy) but my body feels surprisingly well. I can't believe I accomplished such a crazy monster of a ride. I'm high on life and need to put it all together in words before I forget.
I'll create some poetry and post sooner than later I hope.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Colorado Trail Race.....

......starts tomorrow at 6am. I don't know how long it will take me but I'm planning on definitely being out there 7 days probably more. The link to view my spot movement and possible call-ins is here just search for CTR '09 and it should be easy enough to navigate. I'll need lots of good vibes while I'm out there so send them my way. This is a total self-support event covering over 480 miles with much altitude gain. I've mailed myself a box to Buena Vista post office and included an extra pair of legs! I'll let you know how it goes when I return. Peace and love to all.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Long time no post

Too much happening to blog. I've been spending my weekdays working and my long weekends riding and training. I'm doing the Colorado Trail Race which starts August 2 (more later) and Lynda W. has helped me come up with a nice training schedule for it. Here are some photos of summer fun which include mostly bike-packing trips. Last weekend we went from Copper to Buena Vista via the Colorado Trail but had no room for the camera. It was a spectacular time though. These pictures are from a tour up on the Uncompaghre Plateau and we rode trails that give new name to the words "single track". Wow, were these trails covered with wildflower, cow poop and just shrubbery!

After pulling in around 11pm to our great big pine tree to sleep under. The single track was so grown over, it took us 3 hours to ride only a few miles!

Single track that you can actually see and not endo on because of all the hidden rocks! Matt and I both had at least one such incident.

Our second night out with the tarp tent...and it did rain. Won't have such a luxury on the CTR.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Grand Loop Done

Matt finished the Grand Loop yesterday at 4:20 pm! It took him 3 days, 20 hours and 40 minutes. Let me reiterate MATT FINISHED THE GRAND LOOP. He had a sore rear end and an insatiable hunger. I'm so psyched for him, such an accomplishment and inspiration. I was glued to the computer this weekend watching the spots out there. Matt of course didn't have one so I watched mainly Jefe's. I got to meet Jefe at the finish thanks to that spot and it was so fun to listen to his stories and laugh. Jefe is an amazing rider and person and has a great attitude and spirit, a true mountain biker, earth dog and one humble dude. We love you Jefe!
Here are some shots of him at the finish.

I then went riding around the Tabeguache until early evening in hopes to get a glimpse of Matt even though I figured it was still too early; he wasn't planning on necessarily racing as much as just finishing the beast. I left and returned to the trailhead later until almost 10 pm, anxiously anticipating his return. I reasoned with myself again that he probably wouldn't be done until early am Tuesday. I headed to work at 5:45 am Tues and left him instructions to call me immediately upon returning to the house. By 10 am and no call my stomach started to turn. Logically it probably made sense that he wasn't back yet but anxiety and worry got the best of me and I became an emotional wreck. I kept thinking about the things that could happen out there and wondered at what point I needed to start worrying. The whole time following Jefe's finish I wished Matt had a spot. The day after Jefe finished I swore Matt would never do this again without a spot. I think I knew he was ok but weirdly became overly concerned with how he was feeling, how he was suffering. I know what pain is in endurance biking but to be out there for days alone with the pain is different. I had an overwhelming empathy for him and his suffering and "spoke" words of encouragement with eyes closed and heart open, hoping he'd hear me. It may all sound corny now that he's home safe and sound but it's just hard not knowing. He's now one on a short list of guys who have finished this. He's been humbled by the beast but modest about his achievement. Big congratulations to all who attempted, finished, didn't finish, rode their bikes this weekend for a long ass time on the Grand Loop!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Grand Loop

Official race start time for the Grand Loop was 6 pm tonight from Tab TH in GJ. Matt is doing it, Jefe and Jim started also and the others are already out there. You can see updates from the forum:,




Riding up Monument Road.

These folks showed up but decided to bail once they saw the other guys' bikes.

Jefe and Jim have spot trackers and Matt does not. Maybe he can call from Bedrock to let me know he got there and when or maybe someone passing the other way will report when and where they see him. Wish 'em good riding, weather, conditions and navigation! I'm a little jealous that I can't be out there. I can't wait to hear how it goes.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Familiar Places

Tomorrow night at midnight I embark on one of my favorite journeys of the year. I'll be riding the Kokopelli Trail from Moab to Loma. It is roughly 145 miles of a combination of paved road, dirt road, single track and double track. I am joining some other folks for this event without any outside support. The idea is to complete this quest without help along the way, to push yourself beyond your limits and come out on top. It will be fun and there will be moments that probably won't be so fun. Needless to say I can't wait. I love this ride and I love how it makes me feel. More than anything I love the sections on Fisher Mesa, Onion Creek, Hideout, Cottonwood Canyon.....the views are amazing and you feel like you are the only one on the planet until you stumble across some other suffering soul in the middle of nowhere.

I'll filter water probably from Hideout Canyon and then again at the Westwater Ranger Station (no filtering necessary here) which is game. The station is only 20 minutes round-trip off course including time it takes to get water. It is well worth it as riding through Rabbit Valley in the middle of a hot summer day without water is not my idea of a good time. The first year I did this it took me 20.5 hours from Moab to Loma. The second year from Loma to Moab (considered harder, as you climb the mother from Dewey to the La Sals) it took me 18.5 hours. My number one goal is of course to finish and number two is to do it a little faster than 18 hours. I don't know that I can since I haven't been able to train as much being in school and working a lot. I don't feel in the greatest shape so we'll just have to see what happens. I'll finish, it just may hurt a whole heck of a lot.

I'm bringing an assortment of items with me. I'll have the usual perpetuem, cytomax and water. I'm receiving my new Ergon backpack tomorrow which I can't wait to try out! Thank you Jeff! For food here is what I'll be munching on: fritos, pringles, fig newtons, chips ahoy, apples, pb&j, one chocolate ensure, an orange, a lemon lara bar or two, snickers marathon bars or something along those lines, oh I almost forgot I'm freezing a ginger ale, putting it in a coozy (sp?) and drinking that treasure in some hot place (I'm sure I won't have trouble finding one) when I'm about to puke.

The cool thing is that Matt is attempting this for his first time. I've warned him that if he's curled up under some bush somewhere in the middle of the desert in fetal position, I won't be able to stop and help him, we're on our own for this one. He doesn't know what he's in for but it will be a blast to see him finish or him see me finish.

Continued after the weekend.........

Monday, May 4, 2009

18 Hours of Fruita Results

Kris wins Fruita with 29 laps! Dereck Fish also wins, and the best part is that he thought he got second until after the race was over. What a great race for everyone. I loved being a cheerleader and spectator. The course got muddy at times with some on and off raining. On her last lap, Kris had to carry her bike since it wouldn't pedal and pushing it just picked up more mud. Anyone who rides in this area knows how it gets when it rains here, so you can only imagine the conditions of the course with 70+ teams. They re-routed the course towards the end of the race, knocking a mile off of it. Congrats to all who came out and raced, it was a great day. Soon after it ended there was a huge opening in the sky with hail and pouring rain; it came not a moment too soon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Go Kris Cannon!!!!!

Just a last good wish to Kris Cannon who starts 18 Hours of Fruita tonight a 12am. I really don't miss that start. The good thing is that the sun comes up quick. Go Kris! You are going to charge the course! Anyone who knows Kris or is reading this, send her your good vibes. I'll update with results tomorrow. Also want to wish my friend Dereck Fish or Fish(not sure if he spells his name this way) good luck. Fish is racing in the solo category on his single speed. He won the race last year with 34 laps I believe. Yes, one will get dizzy racing this 5.5 mile course that many times around. Anyone else I know out there racing but don't know it now...BEST OF LUCK!!!! I'll be by in the morning to cheer you on!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ride strong and steady.

Ice Cream

I've tried to give up ice cream but it just doesn't seem to work. It is especially good after an arduous, hot, desert ride. The reason for trying to give it up is because I hear about all these other racers and all the good foods they eat or the bad foods they don't. The truth is, I eat pretty healthy stuff, mostly organic and mostly vegetarian. Let's be honest though, a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream with some nutella on top tastes damn good!

Today I road from Moab to Dewey Bridge on the Kokopelli Trail. It was great and I'm tired and a little bruised. The weather was perfect, I got an early start and avoided the hot sun for most of the day. Near the end of the ride I got body slammed by some menacing sand. Wow, I went down hard and it really hurt. It is always my left hip that gets it too. Man, I'm pretty sure I'll have an extra hip by the time I retire from biking, as if I don't have enough hip as it is. I also kind of knocked my head and did a little whiplash number on my neck. One thing is for certain, I will be feeling the pain tomorrow. Matt met me with the car and dog at Dewey and he road from Dewey, actually he is still riding as I write this, to Fruita Kokopelli TH. Ringo (our dog) and I went to the boat ramp before driving back to Junction. My dog is crazy, he leaps through the water, runs fastly through the sand and charges me head on covered in water and dirt. He dried on the way home and the sand just kind of fell off him onto his bed in the car. He's one tired pup now.

The truth be told, I had first an ice cream bar, then a bowl of ice cream with the nutella. I feel great now!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun Fruita Folks

This past weekend was the Fruita Fat Tire Festival filled with lots of fun. There were definitely some people in town and on the trails. I got to meet up with Kris and Kelly from Steamboat for some riding as well as our new friend Nancy from Moab. It was so fun riding with the girls, all very awesome strong riders....thanks ladies.

Last year at this time I was counting down the days before 18 Hours of Fruita, this year I have a different race agenda. As for 18 Hours, my friend Kris Cannon from Steamboat will be rocking it out. I am happily going over to support her in her first race of the season. Kris is a super strong rider and placed second last year in 24 Hours of Moab and first in 24 Hours in the Sage, needless to say she is a hammer. Good luck Kris, I'm proud to stand by you.

Here are some shots of Kris....always smiling. That was one of the first things I noticed about her, she smiles even after 20 hours or so.
Riding the line.

Final hours in 24 Hours in the Sage, Gunnison 2008

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Beatles

While driving home from Denver last weekend I heard the tail-end of an essay written by a little girl on NPR's program, This I Believe. I just listened to the entire essay on and posted a link to it for this blog entry. I love the Beatles. They speak to me too, and I love this little girl's essay.

A lot(sort of) has been happening since my last post. I am in school for Pre-Nursing still and am awaiting acceptance into Mesa's Nursing Program starting next fall. It is full on spring in Mesa County which offers great riding conditions. I'm not as obsessed about training this year as I have been in the past for a few reasons. One reason is that I am in school and working which only allows me so much time to play. Also,sometimes I just want to go on a nice long run or hike with my dog. Lastly I'm not sure if training harder really makes a difference in my personal performance. Many would argue otherwise but I really have learned a lot about my self and body this year. I'm happier if I'm not obsessed and being happy helps me use riding as a meditation and therapy rather than a competition. Don't get me wrong, I'll still be racing, just with a different attitude and different priority. I really can't afford to spend a bunch of money on expensive entry fees so I plan to do what I have been threatening for the last couple of seasons. I'm on the grassroots, self-support mission. I'll spend the money on a GPS instead and do some huge, self-support rides and bike-packing. It really is the way for me to go and I am free to do this since I am not a sponsored athlete having to fulfill expectations of my sponsors. Life will be lots of fun this spring and summer.

Anyone coming to the Grand Junction/Fruita area, please let me know and I would love to join you for some riding. I'm up for anything.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter in Grand Junction/Grand Mesa Marathon Ski

I have been too busy stalking people on facebook to even think about "bloging" lately. Until last week I had not been on my bike since the "incident" in Moab. I chose one of the coldest days to get back on the saddle though, it was a high of 15 degrees last Monday when I decided to go for a ride. There is an open space area not far from my house that is snow covered so the conditions for riding were nice and hard. It's a great place to take my pup too. Since then I've biked one other time and temps were almost too warm, softer snow makes riding a tad more challenging.
My prebike moment:

Yesterday I participated in my first skate ski marathon. I figured the two other times I skated this year for all of 2 hours combined, was enough training to guarantee a good spanking. This took place on the Grand Mesa, one of the best places for x-country skiing in the state. The elevation starts at above 10,000 feet and tops somewhere around 11,000. The day was crystal clear and the snow was sticky slow. Out of the handful of folks that started only a few completed the entire 42k. Some of us actually did 48k (not on purpose) and others stopped after one loop or half the course, due to super SLOW conditions. I was the only female to complete the marathon and one other super fast girl did 21k. One guy who did it last year said it took him about 3.5 hours and this year he did it in 5.5! Needless to say, 2 hours could have been shaved off our times if conditions were better. We started a little after 10:30 and I was out until dusk. What a gorgeous day! It was cold, forcing you to keep moving otherwise numbness would set in to the toes and fingers quick. By the end my feet were frozen, arches throbbing and lateral sides of my ankles in pain. Actually these things set in just before the halfway point.

After the first loop and halfway through the ski, I really questioned if I could finish. Lots of people had stopped or did a modified version because of the conditions which gave me an excuse to want to stop too. After giving it some thought I figured I should at least try and race the sun. There was little gliding to speak of so I felt like I was running in quick sand. I could only go as fast as the snow and my unwaxed skis (I'm so unprepared) would take me. I told Matt to meet me at County Line (the trailhead we passed twice that would be a good bailout in case I couldn't make it the whole way) and when I got there it was 4:05pm. I was worked by then and doubted my ability to get back before dark. Matt reminded me of the full moon and that was the excuse I needed to finish this huge day. I slowly made my way back to the Skyway trailhead and enjoyed the amazing sunset during my favorite time of day. As I approached the last turn I looked back to see the full moon rising. A little emotion came over me as I celebrated my achievement and felt happy for such a spectacular day.
Here's a couple of photos skiing on the Mesa the week before with Matt and Ringo.

Ringo the wonder dog.

There was a bomb fire and hot soup waiting in the parking lot with lots of good folks to celebrate with. Information on the Grand Mesa Nordic Center and their events can be found at, or click on my blog title above. There may be a write up about the marathon on the website within a week.