Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Training: The Older You Get, The Harder It Is To Come Back…Pfft

May 8, 2014

That’s what I’d always heard.
“It’s gonna take you  longer, and it’s going to hurt more and more each time.”
So now that I’m older here’s what I’ve got to say:
Screw you, buddy.
The older I get, the smarter I train, and recover.
Science and technology are making that easier and easier for me. So there.

Here are some basics that I KNOW will always help me.

  1. Start small and build up.
    Nope, it doesn’t matter what it is, but the general rule is that 21 days makes a habit. So I build my programs 3 weeks at a time, and the build is usually gradual and comfortable.
  2. If anything hurts, STOP NOW.
    Tomorrow is another day, and long-term injuries that do not go away come from not stopping. Good things come from controlled failures.
  3. Nutrition and Eating Schedule.
    I generally have a good diet, but I try to have more protein and fat in the beginning of my season, and as I need more calories, I put in more carbs. I also go from eating 3 larger meals a day, to 6 smaller meals. The difference in calories on season and off season is incredible (from 1600 kcal/day to 3000 kcal), so I have to fit them in somewhere. But I have discovered that when I eat is just as important as what I eat.
  4. Myofacial Release and Stretching.
    I know. I hate it too. But rollering and stretching are the best things for keeping me balanced. I have problems with Hyper-mobilty so I have to be careful about building muscles evenly, and keeping my tendons in balance. Most of my injuries have come from a muscle or tendon being too loose while the opposing tendon/muscle is too tight.
  5. Compression.
    This is a precious gift from the materials science gods and goddesses, and GAWD does it work. #ifuckinglovescience.   It cuts down on soreness immensely.
  6. A Weight Training Program.
    No, not just going to the gym a grabbing a couple of kettle balls for a 10 minute pump. I am talking about a serious program like powerlifting. Powerlifting is excellent for cyclists in particular, because it helps stave off bone loss. In fact, it increases bone density pretty much exactly where we need it. Oh the other thing? Crashing with a good deal of natural armor (aka muscle), is better. I really KNOW this to be true for me, because when I have a good deal of muscle, I bounce and yes, even skid better. Sorry about the imagery.
  7. A Coach
    “Any racer who’s only had themselves as a coach, is eventually coaching a fool.” – Girl Meets Bike.
    Yes, I said that, and I mean it as much for myself as anyone else. Want to get better? You have to have a qualified objective observer. Nuff said.

    “Thinking getting older sucks? Consider the alternative.”

              Steven Wright

AIDS/LifeCycle 10 Podcasts a success…

April 18, 2011

It seems that AIDS/LifeCycle is taking up all of my time right now. We are in crunch time of ALC preparation, and I’ve also taken on these podcasts (which has been a HUGE learning experieince in itself), so I have not been able to blog for Girl Meets Bike in a while.

What I can tell you is this:

  • Being an ALC Cyclist Representative is wonderful, but requires a lot of time and multi-tasking.
  • Much of what I do is either coaching, teaching my cyclists how to fundraise, or filling out reports mentioning every interaction I have with them (that’s right, it not all fun and games 😉 )
  • Being a podcaster is insane and wonderful; it’s also like a second job right now, but I think it’s really important, and worth my time.
  • Podcasting it for AIDS/LifeCycle is an experience of a lifetime, if just for the stories I get to hear from our participants and clients.
  • When I can get out for a ride on my own, it is usually on my New Specialized Myka. I hope to put up a review of the Myka soon, but I can honestly say right now that this bike is the most versatile bike I’ve ever owned.

UPDATE:
The Podcasts Can Now Be Found On The Girl Meets Bike YouTube Channel

The quality of the first one is bad, but it gets better as the series continues.
http://youtube.com/girlmeetsbike

ALC 10 Podcast- Episode 2: Positive

March 16, 2011

This is the Second podcast for AIDS/LifeCycle 10, coming to you directly from the AIDS/LifeCycle offices in Los Angeles, from Cyclist Representative Lisa Hachadoorian. It is a mix of stories from past AIDS/LifeCycle participants, and information for the upcoming ALC 10 ride.

Episode 2:

Positive

AIDS/LifeCycle Podcast – Episode 2: Positive

New Segment: AIDS/LifeCycle News

1.  Lifeline

  • Carlos Hernandez of Positive Images helps me field a call for help.

2.  Ask Everyone

  • Fundraising Advice from Jay Lennox.
  • 3 Fundraising tips from the Fundraising Workshops

3.  Positive

  • Pos Peds help a young man learn the I’mpossible.

An AIDS/Lifecycle Story: Instant Karma

August 20, 2010

Here’s a story about how I met a young man whom I’ve grown to admire through AIDS/Lifecycle. Let’s call him “Crash”

I believe it was the Day 1 of my first AIDS/Lifecycle as a rider. I’d trained well for the ride, and met my fundraising goal, so this AIDS/Lifecycle really was an opportunity for me to sit back, and take in some of the gorgeous views as a cyclist.

In the afternoon, I found myself overlooking the cliffs of Pacific Coast Highway, looking out onto the Pacific Ocean. It was a warm day with a cooling sea breeze. I was climbing a small hill when I noticed him. He was standing by the side of the road, obviously a rider who had crashed. Despite his thumbs up, he was bleeding in a few places, and crying, but still trying to smile, he nodded yes when I asked, “is everything OK?” I think that’s why it took me another twenty feet before I thought, “What? Wait a minute. That’s not right!”

It wasn’t just the fact that Thumbs Up (and smiling for that matter) is the AIDS/Lifecycle symbol for “I’m OK”. It was the Universal Thumbs Up that caught my sense of irony; that “everything’s honky dory, carry on”, “I approve of this message”,  that  got me.  He was in fact, being a real trooper through some painful road rash. He was clearly shaken. Boy, do I know that feeling. I pulled over, stopped, and walked back to him.

“Are you sure you’re OK?”

“Yeah, my front tire blew, and I fell while trying to get to the side of the road.  Something’s wrong with my bike now, so now I’m waiting for the Sweep Car.”

“I was a Bike Tech last year, so I could take a look at your bike if you want. But you should really clean the wounds that are bleeding as soon as possible.” (With road rash (or trail rash), this is the best way to prevent Staph infection.)

I offered him my emergency Crash Kit, which he gratefully took. We chose a shady spot, and while tended to his wounds I tended to his bike. It turned out that his handlebars got knocked out of alignment during the crash, which is an easy on-the-fly adjustment. I lent him an inner tube, since this he was out. We had a pleasant conversion on the side of a hill, overlooking the ocean.

He decided that he’d like to get back on his bike and ride the rest of the way to camp. Like I said, he was a Trooper. His first few strokes of the pedal were understandably a bit shaky and tense, but after few miles of following him, I could see that he was fine. More than fine, he was actually quite a proficient rider. I felt no qualms about leaving him when he turned off at Rest Stop 4, and I continued on to camp.

BOOM. That’s the sound you hear when you’re in a rush, and  pump up your tire too fast. It was 7:50 am the next day and I was still in Bike Parking. My rear tire had gone flat overnight, so there I was, rushing to fix a flat and get on the road. Threats of sagging (not being able to ride that day) were blasting over a megaphone, and I had just used my last inner tube.

“Can anyone spare an inner tube?” I yell out in desperation.

“I CAN!” I hear a familiar voice call out. It was Crash. He looked fresh as a daisy and ready to ride. He lent me the tube, and I made it out in time to have a wonderful riding day. Thanks, Crash.

It’s wonderful how Instant Karma works, isn’t it?

If you’d like to register for AIDS/Lifecycle 10, visit http://aidslifecycle.org

I’m registered as a roadie this year! If you’d like to help me help others, you can visit my AIDS/Lifecycle 10 Webpage here.

Thanks.

An AIDS/Lifecycle Story: The Man in the Red Shirt

August 20, 2010

Here’s a little story about one of the people I met on AIDS/Lifecycle. He was a compassionate soul who helped me through a difficult day. Let’s call him the Man in the Red Shirt.

I was working as a Bike Tech that year.  It was Day 4 of my first AIDS/Lifecycle. I’d gotten dehydrated from too much coffee, a heavy workload, and not enough water. I felt sick to my stomach, and woozy. So off to the medical tent I was sent.

As I lay there on the cot, staring up at the ceiling, a gentleman in a bright Red t-shirt with the word “MEDICAL” sat down next to me. He took my information, then told me a funny story that made giggle. After he set me up with an IV, he tended to another patient in need. I began to feel better.

I started to think about being a part of my first Red Dress Day, and how exciting it would be: I was imagining one big fashion show and costume party, in RED, and on bikes! And all, as a celebration of saving lives. I was looking forward to seeing the riders who stopped by Bike Tech every day just to say “Hi”. So many riders were excited about what they’d be wearing.  As I began to wonder what Ginger Brewley would be wearing, it hit me: Red Dress Day is tomorrow! Would I be well enough to make it? or would I be stuck in here on this cot? I have to work Red Dress Day. I just have to. Tears welled up in my eyes; I couldn’t help it. I was probably more emotional from being so dehydrated, but I just started sobbing.

The Man in the Red Shirt sat down next to me and gently asked, “Honey, what’s wrong?” I was embarrassed. With all the problems in this world, this was why I was crying? Really?

But he just knew. “Red Dress Day?” he asked. Looking into his eyes, I realized that he wasn’t making fun of me; he  understood  the importance of being of service to AIDS/Lifecycle, as well as the importance of witnessing great fashion. He just knew. Thanks to his care and kindness, I was released a few hours later, and on Day 5, I worked Red Dress Day. And it was FABULOUS.

Many thanks to the Man in the Red  Shirt.

Have you ever thought about doing AIDS/Lifecycle? It is a beautiful bike ride down the coast, but it is SO much more. Visit the AIDS/Lifecycle website to find out how you can participate: http://aidslifecycle.org

To donate to my Roadie number for 2011’s AIDS/Lifecycle 10, click here: Http://tinyurl.com/ALC-2011

How cool is this?

Race Ya? Virtual Trainer Racing Through Twitter

January 21, 2010

It’s been POURING here in Southern California, which makes it impossible ride outdoors. But I HATE (with a captial H8) being on a trainer. It is boring boring boring. Outdoors, I can be on a bike for up to 10 hours, and enjoy most of it. Indoors, I’m fidgeting in twenty minutes, ready to stop after about a 1/2 an hour.
So I want to motivate myself (and you) to stay on the bike trainer longer. How?

Twitter Trainer Race!

Next Twitter Trainer Race:

Tuesday, January 26th at 10:30 AM, Pacific Standard Time

Rules:

  • You have to have a Twitter account, and be on an indoor bike trainer.
  • Check in by following me at girlmeetsbike, then send a reply to @girlmeetsbike that you are entering the “race”. I’ll Twitter some reminders before we begin.
  • At about 10:30am I’ll ask you to get ready, get set and go!
  • Ride your bike! For the purposes of this race, I don’t really care how fast or slow you go; the important thing is to stay on. The pace you set for yourself should be determined by your personal training program. DO keep track of your time.
  • Twitter me when you’re done. Tell me what your time was.
  • The twitterer who is on the their bike for the longest time wins! I’ll tweet the winner at 1:30, three hours later. If you ride longer than three hours, well OMG, wow! I’ll make a correction, but maybe you should being challenging Lance instead of Twitter folk, eh?
  • There’s no prize, save the satisfaction that you might ride on the trainer longer than you normally would, but isn’t that a prize in itself? BTW, this is obviously the honor system. It’s all about having fun, and being social, while biking indoors.

Got cabin fever? I do. Let’s turn boredom into fun!

This was Fun!

Twitterer @cardiffcrew had taken up the challenge last week, and WON by about 14 minutes.

Yeah, @cardiffcrew!!!!

But Could I actually go as long as one hour, without stopping, on a trainer?

I did it! Thanks to @cardiffcrew joining in and cheering me on at the end, I was able to get through that last 15 minutes; for the first time in about a year, I kept my pedals turning on a trainer for one full hour (yeah me!). Plus it was fun to have someone to workout with, even in virtual space. As it turned out, @cardiffcrew was on the trainer for an 1o minutes, because of the Trainer Race, so we both won! Yeah us!!!

What social media formats would get you working out more often?

Sullivan Canyon – Ghostly Memories of a Singletrack That Once Was

December 23, 2009

Here’s a video going up Sullivan Canyon, since the bulldozers have trimmed it down to a gravel superhighway. My husband was kind enough to speed up trail in the featureless sections, so that I could show what they’ve done to the formerly fun riding features. I know that it will make sense to people that have ridden up Sullivan Canyon, but I hope it’s entertaining enough for the general populace.

Music:  Clocks by Coldplay/ Buena Vista Social Club, remix on Rhythms del Mundo: Cuba

I have fond memories of Sullivan Canyon. It was the first trail I ever lived through hell on,  and laughed all through it. I remember passing my bike down a ten foot cliff, because the rains of 2005 washed everything away. There was still water up to your hubs. I point to it at 4:07 in the video.

I remember when this became my favorite trail. The constant changes in the trail from both rain and “first rider” ingenuity, made it fun and challenging (if not a bit risky). Though I am saddened by Sully’s lack of immediate challenge, I look forward to the new obstacles that water and earth will surely form in this beautiful place.

Just A Girl On a Single Speed

This is in Big Sycamore Canyon, on Guadalasca and Two Foxes trail. It had been a while since I’d been on my single speed mountain bike, so I had a few difficulties.

Just A Guad

Music: Just A Girl by No Doubt

How to size up a Mountain Bike – girl’s quick and dirty version

December 16, 2009

Who would ever think that you would hear those words put together: Women’s Geometry Mountain Bike. It is sweet music to the ears of women who have been riding their ill-fitting mountain bikes for years, and enjoying mountain biking in spite of problems like endo-ing off a bike that’s too big. But it seems as if all of a sudden, for 2010 many manufacturers have created real, “made for a woman’s  three dimensional body” proportioned bikes. There are many to speak of, but how do you figure out your size?

First, you should ask yourself

What are you using this bike for?

What kind of terrain is in your area?

Here are a few things to think about:

If you live in an area with a lot of quick up and downs, consider rapid rise shifters.

If your live in an area with roots, and rocks, and flowy singletrack, full suspension can be a godsend.

If you plan to shuttle, and/or live in a very steep area, consider a bike with a bit more travel (4-5 inches of suspension), and a more slack geometry.

If you have sustained sometimes never ending hill climbs, mostly smooth trail or fire road, or if budget is a big concern, then consider a hardtail.

Weight Matters

Tips for Light Riders (150-120 lbs) and Very Light Riders (under 120 lbs)

Don’t let anyone tell you that the weight of the bike is not the most important thing to you;  you on average, weigh two thirds to one half of the guy standing next to you. For controlling the front end, you only have (again, on average), about one third of his upper body strength. That front end has to be lighter for you, otherwise your shoulders will ache unreasonably, (and in a group you’ll probably be the first to tire). Steer clear of bikes that are over 30 lbs., unless it is a downhill bike.

If you are 120 lbs. or less,

Be sure to research which forks and rear-end suspension systems allow fine adjustments for your weight. This is VERY important, as there are still many that do not cater to the 120-90 lb. range.

Unless you have unbelievable strong shoulders, try to stay under the 25 lb mark. Yes, do ask for it to be weighed in front of you. Or better yet, bring your own scale. (Yes it’s true; bike shops guys love me.)

Size Matters (or not)

The labels are at best confusing, and at worst, deceiving. For instance, most men who are 5’10” have no problem finding a bike: since they are average height for a guy, they pick out a medium. OK, that makes sense.

But if you are a woman of average height (5’4″), EVEN IF IT IS A WOMAN’S bike, you will most probably fit a small or XS. But it’s possible that even the women’s small will be far too large for you. I can think of at least two women’s mtb bikes that cannot sell to 53% of the women’s market because they don’t make their women’s bikes small enough to fit women average height or shorter.

So how can I tell if it’s my  size? The best and easiest way that I have found, is with a secret weapon: with my imaginary friend, the Effective Top Tube (or EFF).

Effective Top Tube is the horizontal distance between the center of the head tube, and the center of the seat tube. Much like fitting a backpack, If you measure your torso from C7 down to the Sacrum (which is a few inches longer than the backpack measurement), you’ll have a wonderful guide to which bike will likely fit you well.

So this Woman’s Specialized Era fits a woman of average height in a Small; in fact, this size would statistically fit the majority of women. Do the buyers in local bike shops take note of this when ordering? One would hope so.

Have a friend measure your back with a cloth measuring tape, so that the measurement hugs the contours of your back. They can locate your C7 vertebra, because it is the big lump at the base of you neck, when you tilt your head forward. Then have them contour straight down to the bottom of the spine (there should be a little protuberance at the bottom, that’s the Sacrum). Cut a piece of non-stretchable string exactly this length. and take it with you when going to the bike shop. If you see a bike that you think will fit you, use the string to make sure it is the same size as the effective top tube. The Effective Top Tube measurement of each bike is also available under the “geometry” section of the bike information, and most brands list them online, usually in centimeters. Using this as a simple measuring tool can keep you clear of bikes that are not your size.

A Few Choice Words About Standover Height

Unless you ride your bike with both feet on the ground, it’s really not that important, and much less important than spine measurement.  Just make sure you can stand over your bike.

Geometry Matters

This is the easy part. Your geometry depends upon where you live, or the terrain where you will ride. Not sure? Check out what bikes other women ride in your area. Or go to http://forums.mtbr.com, and look up your state or country. If you search around, you’re bound to find out some information about what bikes (i.e., light cross country, single speed, downhill bikes, etc.) people are riding in your area.

BLACK FRIDAY COUPON

November 24, 2009

This Friday is your chance to save an EXTRA 20% off of already discounted prices. For 24 hours Girl Meets Bike Shop will take 20% off all items, INCLUDING those on sale. Details for discounts here http://girlmeetsbikeshop.com/pages/security.

Coupon Code: GMBS8HLFRJV4

Sale is BLACK FRIDAY SALE is on Friday, November 27th,valid until Sunday November 29th at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time.

Girl meets bike shop Now open: SALE!!!

October 26, 2009

girl meets bike shop is now open.

Oh, it took me so much longer to get the store open and properly Googlefied, but now it’s all hooked up and ready to go!

To kick off the store I have almost everything on sale for 15-55% off (with most savings around 30%). For an EXTRAORDINARY deal, follow me on twitter:
http://twitter.com/girlmeetsbike . I have a Black Friday coupon coming up that will saving you even more money off ALREADY DISCOUNTED items.


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