Thursday, January 22, 2009

Team Kenda camping in FL

Last week was the first gathering of Team KENDA for the 2009 season. We gathered in Mt. Dora, Florida for a few days of riding and team bonding. It was soooo much fun and almost all of the Elite team plus a few regional riders made the trip to our castle on the water. We stayed at this amazing house that had some interesting decor

there were literally over 100 of these guys throughout the property. The sunsets were nice too.

The weather was cool by Florida standards but downright beautiful for anyone from the north. Temps were in the upper 50s to nearly 70 during the day and it felt great to ride in bare legs and occasionally bare arms. Our loooong drive down started with 5 hours of tense driving on slippery roads and our poor car was in desperate need of a de-salting.

We made it there safe and sound though and enjoyed several days of long rides and lots of laughing and fun. We have a really amazing group of girls put together for this season and I can't wait for the racing to begin.

Our house was on the route for several rides in the area which was super convenient. Jackie's dad Steve and his teammate Kirk also led us on two awesome rides through the area - thanks so much guys! I was truly impressed with the roads and terrain around the area. It was great to get in 100 miles on Sunday and all in all 17 hours of riding over 5 days - a very welcome break from the subzero temps Wisconsin was having!

And the guys made sure to bring us to the locally famous Yalahala Bakery for some nourishment in the middle of the long rides.

Here are a few more of my favorite shots from camp!

Kat is our cookie queen! She brings these tasty treats with her almost everywhere she goes - thanks Kat!

This is Ally getting up close and personal with one of the gargoyles. You can't help but be laughing when Ally is around. While passing by random people on our ride she liked to wish them a Merry Christmas and she also came up with the perfect idea of playing hide and seek in our castle. I haven't done that since I was like 10 but it was soooo much fun and the house had a lot of great hiding spots.

Mary also introduced many of us to the team bonding activity of levitation. Many of us had played "light as a feather, stiff as a board" as kids but we were amazed at how we could seemingly make people practically float out of their chair.

Here is Becca looking a little skeptical as the lifters focus their energy above her

and up she goes!

So all of the cyclists made it through the rides without a single flat tire - KENDA tires rock! But unfortunately near the end of our century ride Paul (who was driving sag behind us for pictures, etc.) managed to get a butter knife stuck in his tire! Bummer!

A few boyfriends/husbands came down for the camp including Dave. Here we are outside at another bakery stop.

Jackie even branded her car with some team graffiti

A fun team picture on the last day.

All in all an awesome trip and a great way to kick off our season together. Racing is still a ways off but camp definitely helped motivate me to focus on getting in some solid base training in the coming weeks.

Coming back to 20 degrees and Wisconsin is a little rough but I put some new studded tires yesterday on the cross bike and commuted to Planet Bike. It was pretty fun to cut through the snow with ease and I'm looking forward to getting out more even when the conditions are bad. We've still got plenty of snow so the skiis will see lots of use in the next couple of weeks too.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This and That

I know my readership has decreased during the slow winter season but an update is still probably in order. Our friends Jordan and Rachel were married last weekend and it was a beautiful wedding and a fun time spent with some friends. They instituted a unique policy on the clinking of glasses which required a visual example of how the newlyweds were supposed to lock lips. The majority of our dinner was a brainstorming session at our table on how we might outdo all the previous kisses. We finally decided on forming a human pyramid with Kim on the top and Nick leaning in for for the kiss. Nevermind that the bride now had to scale up the wedding party pyramid in her gown - if they wanted to play this game we wanted to make it interesting :)
They didn't back down from the challenge and even outdid us by adding another level of people - impressive!

Not a whole lot of other exciting news. I taught a bunch of smarty pants high schoolers this week taking on a couple of sub jobs for AP Calc and Rocket Science (aka Aerospace Engineering). Can't say I was a big help to those students but they were all nice kids anyway! Somehow I avoided ever taking calculus so all the integrals and derivatives mystify me. Dave and a few of the guys at PB spoke fondly of their calculus classes and I'm under strict orders to snag some homework packets if I teach that class again!

Training is slowly starting to pick up after two weeks completely off. My back was horrible after nationals and after Christmas I finally decided to see a chiropractor. After two adjustments Ridge had me realigned and feeling tons better. I started running and lifting this week and got out for some skate skiing both days this weekend. Today some friends and I hit up the Southern Kettles for a solid two hours of skiing. Conditions were awesome and it was so nice to be out in the woods. And a stop at the LaGrange Country Store is mandatory when you're nearby so I introduced Jill and Meredith to the amazing food and famous peanut butter balls. Mmm.

We're at T-minus 3 days until Kenda team camp in Florida. Wisconsin is going to get hit with a couple of days of near zero high temps so the timing couldn't be better. Dave's tagging along too for a few days of warm temps and riding outside. I'm really excited to meet and hang out with all of my cool teammates and hopefully log in some big hours on the bike. I got my sweet new custom painted Blue RC8 last week and can't wait to get it built up. I'm waiting on just a few more parts so unfortunately it won't be making the trip to FL but should be ready to ride soon.

Next update will hopefully be from sunny, warm Florida!