My New (big) Wheels

3 10 2012

My new bike “Little Blue”

I won’t do the lengthy “why I haven’t blogged in forever” post.  I’ve been busy, something had to give.

Not that I’m not still busy – it’s just that now I’m so busy I need to do a little work avoidance so voila – a new blog post!

A few weeks ago my mountain bike got stolen.  Yes, again.  It was locked and tucked safely in my car port.  Or not so much safely.  But lock cut, two bikes stolen, angry words and maybe throwing a few things – you get the picture.  Thankfully we had homeowners insurance so I went bike shopping.

Honestly I find bike shopping exhausting.  So many choices and every time I decided on a bike I’d find a slew of “don’t buy that bike, it’s horrible” reviews.  There was the Women’s Specific vs. ‘regular’ debate.  Then I had to tackle the 29’er vs. 26 in. debate.  All of this at least provided me a few hours of work avoidance.

Finally I was just exhausted from the hunt so I started calling bike shops.  I found a delightful shop in Winchester, Black Bar Bicycles.  I had narrowed it down to a few brands and they happened to carry one of them.  The gentleman that helped me suggested a whole other brand I had never heard of.   I ordered my bike over the phone sight unseen.  I loved what I read about the bike and for the money it was heads and tails above the other stuff I was considering.

I’m a sucker for good marketing and the slogan right on the front page of the KHS site is Find Yourself . . . . . . . On a KHS.  As I recover from a really hard work year and approach the big 4-0 (less than 2 months away) and I even maybe get myself back into racing I am so excited to Find Myself again.


2012 Schedule

23 11 2011

Alright, I have an idea of my 3 big goals for 2012 – FINALLY.  It took a nice two weeks of finally training regularly again, a talk with the big man about my work schedule and some planning with the hubby and I think it’s finally coming together.

I’ll work back from the end of the season just to make it interesting:

1.  PR at the brand spanking new REV3 Wisconson Dells HalfRev.  I would really, really love to be around 5:45.  I have a lot of biking and running to do to make that happen, but I am pretty strong willed so I think I can make it happen.


2.  I’m going off road.  I have developed a new love for mountain biking that I can only say surprises me.   Since I am a gal who loves control and fears, um falling this one is a mystery to me!   My birthday ‘suprise’ is a pair of cool mtn. bike shoes and pedals.  I’m going big time moving up from my plastic flat pedals and strapping myself to my bike.  My fight or flight sense tells me this might be a horribly bad idea but the mountain junkie in me is so excited to grow as a cyclist.  I’m still waiting for the XTerra schedule to be finalized before I choose a race but I’m thinking it will be in mid to late June or July.

2.  Since running has been my struggle on my road to recovery this one is my hardest goal.  First it will be a challenge to keep training and complete with the lack of a running base I have right now.  Probably even more it will be difficult to have my goal be to finish and not set a time goal for myself.  I don’t think I have the time or the base to be looking for a pr on this course so I’ll have to settle for FINISH as my big goal.  Ouch, that one hurts.

So, who will be joining me out there at my races?  (and all my wonderful friends that will be racing the REV3 races – don’t fear, only one REV3 race on my schedule is only because I plan on working almost all the races!)


Seeing Blue

12 11 2011



Today I took my first big leap mountain biking and tried a BLUE trail!  Doesn’t seem like much but out local trails are pretty technical and rocky (they aren’t called the Rocktown trails for nothing!
My hubby and I decided a date was on order today so we got a nice 1.5 hour mountain bike ride done.  I just love mountain bilking right now, there’s just enough OH SHIT mixed with fun and workout.  Today i’m picking an Xterra race to add to my 2012 schedule!

There’s no excuse . . .

26 10 2011

As we were doing a family mountain bike ride on Monday evening at the park .03 miles from our house it dawned on me that there is absolutely no excuse for me not to be getting wonderful creative outdoor workouts done every single nice weather day.  Being the awesome artist that I am I drew a map of all the fantastic outdoor resources that are literally less than a mile from my house:

As you can imagine, our trees are pretty amazing to be included in my picture.

The swimming pool is actually both an indoor and outdoor pool.  The parks both have great trails – the one next adjacent to the pool just hosted a cyclocross event that was great fun to watch!  Even better is that you can still ride the course which has provided our family with some fun free entertainment.   The park on the left of the picture has a pretty involved trail system.

My son loves to get on the trails and ride but I must admit that he is a wee bit better at mountain biking than me since is isn’t afraid of falling, running into trees and other silly things like rocks.  Our rides usually involve him shouting at me “MOM, can I just go ahead of you?”  He is now angling for a BMX bike because the cool park with the trails also has a “pump track” which is hard to ride on a big mountain bike.  Since we just invested in skis for his first year on the Massanutten Ski Team he’s on his own for buying a BMX bike.  Also with 8 bikes in the house we are completely out of space to house even one more bike.

Mountain bike trails


E riding the pump track

P and E riding the cyclocross race course

Learning to Fly

24 08 2010

Monday was the kids first day of school.  I think I *might* have mentioned that in a blog post or six.  I decided to take the time to do a little learning of my own.  We have an awesome trail system that is a 3 min. bike ride from our house, so I threw on my helmet and literally hit the trails.

I am so excited to learn something new.  I think part of my need to take a few months off of training this summer was boredom.  I needed to expand my horizons, grow and learn something new. 

This learning process is about more than just bike handling skills for me.  I am an utter and complete control freak.  I know this about myself and have even tried to work on it, but lets face it – this is me.  Thankfully my husband and children either love that about me or have just learned to live with it! 

Mountain biking is not about control.  You have to learn to let the bike go out of control a certain amount  in order to maneuver.    So, out on the trails I set out and I’m even starting to get the feel for that back wheel slip that my bike does when I hit the rocky spots.  And, wow, there are a lot of those on our trails!  So, as my kids hit the real classroom I will be here in my new classroom:


Anatomy of a Fabulous Sunday

22 08 2010

Today was aaaaaaah.

Aside from the bickering children (who go to school in 12 hours, but who’s counting!) everything was just fantastic!!

I planned an awesome outing to Switzer Dam (which is also Skidmore Lake and yes, I am so childish that I giggled at that name).  Both my husband and I used to go there when we were juvenile delinquents, but haven’t been back in many, many years.  Apparently some people run, bike, hike and fish there.  I thought it was just where teenagers went to drink and camp, but wow – there’s so much to learn!! 

We checked the weather and saw that the am looked great and rain would be moving in for the afternoon.  So after some yummy coffee to start the day (because lets face it, without coffee it’s just not a fabulous day) and b’fast we packed up 4 bikes and a picnic lunch and hit the road!

We arrived about 20 min. later at the lake.  It’s really weird going back to somewhere that holds only one type of memory (teenage juvenile delinquent memories in this case) in a totally different context (as a grown up with an almost teenager)!!  Eek!  We started with the creek – minnow catching, crawfish chasing . . . all things wonderful to an 8 year old boy and even cool to an almost 11 year old girl. 

 Aug mtn bike ride 037Aug mtn bike ride 028

We finally got our bikes down to start on our ride and the sprinkle began. Crap.  We rode for a few minutes through the trails but it started to rain even harder.  Time to go.   What a bummer – no fishing even!  I pouted the whole way home.

Aug mtn bike ride 044 Aug mtn bike ride 041 Aug mtn bike ride 042

By the time we got home (and I napped because lets face it, without a nap it’s not a fabulous day) the sun was shining and the ground was dry.  We climbed on the bikes and tried our first family jaunt on the Rocktown trails.  I cannot say how excited I am to have mountain bike trails just minutes from our house!!  We weren’t sure if the kids were ready for the trails yet but they – were fabulous!  And just as fabulous is the fact that the easy trails seem, well easy to me now.  So now we can hit the easy trails with the family and I, might just be ready to (gulp!) move up to the moderate trails!  Yay me! 

We finished the day with yummy local beef hamburgers and salads.  And, kids are all going to bed early  because, have I mentioned – they go to SCHOOL in 12 hours!!  Yay!!!

I am an uphill ninja master

5 08 2010

O-k, not really – but I am much better at going up hill on my mountain bike than downhill.  And slippery rocks – I’m still not a huge fan, but I’m learning.  Learning – that’s what I love about starting a new adventure on my mountain bike.  It’s new and fun.  I think I’d lost some of that new and fun from triathlon.  Maybe I just needed a break.   Who knows.  What I do know is that even with a sore throat and a 2 hour car trip on tap for the day I’m still sitting here wondering if the trails are dry enough for me to get out for a quick am spin.

I’ll never be a world class mountain biker – I’m way too cautious for that.  But chances are good that I’ll do an off road race soon and not suck at it : )  Imagine my delight and surprise when I found this:    a REV3 Sprint adventure race!

I guess this means I need to learn to read a map?!

Climbing up on my Soapbox . . .

29 07 2010

So I’m driving along today and I saw a guy riding his bike in the road going against traffic.  That got my preachy-soap-box self all revved up so I thought I would make a post out of it!  I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months teaching my kids about bike safety so here are a few things everyone must do.  (I know, bold to say, but sometimes we all just have to accept that I do, in fact know everything and am, in fact always right.  K.  Thanks.)

1.  If you are under the age of 12 you should if at all possible ride on the side walk.    It is legal in the state of Virginia to ride on side walks, unless prohibited by local ordinances.  Even in areas of local ordinances it will be adults that are prohibited from riding on the side walk – not kids under the age of 12.

How many things can they do wrong in one picture?

2.  Your helmet won’t help if it’s hanging on your handlebars.  DUH!    Seriously I can’t tell you how often I see this organ donor move.  If you are going to take the time to bring along a helmet, why wouldn’t you put the darn thing on your HEAD – you know, where it will work.

3.  Speaking of helmets, in many localities in VA it is required BY LAW that children under the age of 14 wear a helmet.  Harrisonburg is one of those.   Please put a helmet on your kids’ heads.  Please, please, please.  AND, while we are at it – if you go out riding with your kid and make them wear a helmet WHY in the world would you not wear a helmet?  If i am out riding with my kids and a car comes any where close to my kids youbetterbelieve I’m gonna throw myself in front of them.  Plus, what kind of example are you setting for your kid – do you think that grown ups don’t wreck?  Riiiight.

4.  Speaking of the dufus that was riding against traffic . . . You ride with traffic, just like a car.  You follow all the traffic rules just like a car.  If you are being a hot shot running a red light and anger motorists against cyclists they might just take out their road rage against me – a do gooder that likes to follow the rules.  Lets make everybody happy and follow the rules, stop at lights, stop signs, ride single file  . . .

That’s all for my little rant for now.  I’ll be stepping down off my soap box, but feel free to add your 2 cents of bike safety under comments!!

Life in the house of Coach Kati

30 04 2010

All these product reviews this week made me think it’s time for a good old fashioned count of all the AWESOME things going on in the casa Coach Kati right now!

1.  First OWS race of the season!  I love the longer swim races – and I am super excited that I am wave 2, not the last wave where I usually have to start this race.  I’m aiming for 2 min. off last year’s bike time!

2.  E is almost ready to walk in his boot, thank goodness!  I think he likes his crutchs, so it’s been hard to convince him to put on the walking boot, but I think we have won and the boot will begin to be used this weekend.

3.  I have now dropped 6 of my 10 extra off season lbs!  Woo Hoo!!  I really haven’t done anything other than cut out the junk food and eat real food.  I feel great and can even see little lines that might soon be abs!

4.  I am getting ready to have a short get together with a bunch of my aunts and cousins before the Knoxville race.  I just love my extended family – they are SO much fun.  What a great way to kick off the race weekend in Knoxville!

5.  My house is a disaster!  All this traveling and racing and it’s about all I can do to keep up with the laundry – never mind the clutter and dirt.  Oh well, I’d still rather go for a nice 2 hour ride while the kids are at school than clean : )

6.  I have a riding partner!   I know I mentioned her before, but can I just again say how awesome it is to send a quick email in the am saying, hey I REALLY need to get out for a ride today – you free?  And yep, she is.  And the best part is that she usually needs the same kind of rides as me.  Somedays we need slower, longer rides just to escape into the countryside.  Then there are days like yesterday when we rode fairly hard.  We didn’t really decide to ride hard, but we got to the stop sign 45 min. into the ride and I was panting, thankfully she was panting too! : )

That’s about all.  Life is good, I am grateful and humbled by the many blessings.

The Perfect Ride – 50 miles on the Skyline Drive

5 04 2010

12.8mph average.  That hurts the ego a bit.  But despite the bruised ego my Sat. bike ride was spectacular!  This was our first trip up to the Skyline Drive to bike.  When we lived in Roanoke it took us 20 min. to get up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and we could ride for miles and miles without stopping.  There were a few sections that got a bit heavy – traffic wise, but overall it was my very favorite place to ride.  Then we moved to the valley and I was forced to start biking on beautiful, but twisty-turney back roads.   Not the same as my beautiful top of the world Blue Ridge Parkway biking.

I bought my year-long entrance pass onto the Skyline Drive in October when I was on my son’s school field trip to Big Meadows.  I’ve been itching to get up there for some cycling, but the weather hasn’t really been within my comfort zone for top o’ the mountain riding.  Finally, 70’s and sunny was the forecast for Saturday!  Yippee – that’s biking weather!!

Getting all geared upT

We packed the kids up and dropped them off at my parents’ house (thanks Mom and Dad!!) and drove up to the Rte. 33 entrance to the Skyline Drive.  I drank a 2 scoop bottle of EFS, and threw down a 1 oz. shot of Liquid Shot since it was 11 am and I knew my stomach was going to start to get grumbly for some lunch soon.  On the way North to Skyland (our turn around point) it seemed like we did nothing but climb.  Nothing too steep, I think our max grade was 6%, but the 2 – 5%’s just went on and on.  I was thrilled when we reached Skyland right at the 25 mile mark and I felt great.   And I was sure the entire trip back was going to be down hill – so I was really excited!

Lounging at the Skyland rest stop

The view from Skyland

Nice wild hair sticking out of my helmet!

We grabbed some water at the Skyland gift shop and I mixed another 2 scoop bottle of my EFS (I had 1 2 scoop bottle over the first 25 miles, along with one bottle of water) and filled up my water.  I might or might not have also enhaled a bag of Peanut M&M’s, I’ll never tell.

So it turns out that 1. It’s not downhill for the whole way back and 2.  There a ginormous head wind on the way back that somehow you don’t get as a tailwind while heading North.  I was at times ducking my head and pedaling in my big gear downhill and only going 16 mph.   That was rough.   But hey, it’s those hard and suck it up kind of rides that we remember when it gets tough on race day so huray for suck it up hard riding!  By the time we finished we had covered 48.8 miles in just under 3:45.    Not the speediest ride every, but certainly one of the most scenic and memorable!

Check out that view!

I think I liked riding on the Skyline Drive even more than riding on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Traffic was very, very polite.  The speed limit was 35 for a lot of the ride, but the max was 45, so cars weren’t zooming by.  There was quite a lot of traffic since it was a holiday weekend and the weather was just gorgeous, but if that’s as bad as the traffic gets I’ll take it!  My goal for the year is to ride 1000 miles on the Skyline Drive.   We’ll see if I have the time for that, but I will definitely be up there every chance I get!