Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Booty Burn

Due to the large amount of snow and chilly temps recently, sadly, I was not riding my bike. Instead, I took to a three day skate ski conditioning camp at Eldora. Now, my booty (otherwise known as the "rear end") feels like it is going to fall off.

Despite the incredible burn and pain of my gluteus medias muscles I had a great time. Fun friends came to celebrate my last birthday in the "20's" and we laughed and had hard workouts. It was very enjoyable.

Fun friends pictured are, Josh, Greg F, Alison D, Megan M and Brain F.

Friday, December 12, 2008


That's what I have for my bike right now: appreciation.

Now that my job (ski coaching) is at a ski area 2-3 days a week, riding my bike outside is something special and something I look forward to every day. My lifestyle and motto has gone from "Yes, I have to ride my bike everyday" to "yes, I GET to ride my bike everyday".

Now, I really, really appreciate the time I get to ride my bike. When I can be outside for hours on end just riding- no time constraints, no having to be anywhere. I appreciate the chance to just be in the moment. Just ride my bike.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Commute...home

With no fall back plan (i.e. Dad driving home from the airport) for the commute home, I had to make it. There simply was no other choice. Ride home or bust.

Honestly, I was a little bit worried. With how badly the ride to Fraser killed me, not to mention that I didn't actually make it, I didn't know what to expect.

In order to survive the ride, I took every precaution necessary. In doing this, I realized how many mistakes I made on the first day of the commute.

Mistake #1-I went the wrong way. Riding on Thursday, I could have sworn it was uphill the entire way. It was. It is much easier to ride from 11,300ft to 7,300ft then visa versa.

Mistake #2- I didn't stop for coffee (what was I thinking?). A coffee stop is essential when riding in 30 degree weather for hours on end. Not to mention caffeine helps you go uphill.

Mistake #3-I didn't eat enough. Bonking after 3 hours is due to eating a normal person breakfast and only a few stroops. For the ride home I ate a cyclist's breakfast-fruit, coffee, bacon, banana bread, cereal and yogurt . Not to mention the two bowls of ice cream I had the night before. I did not bonk. I did not get hungry.

Mistake #4-I carried too much in my backpack. I didn't need a change of clothes. I have clothes at home and that is where I needed to ride too. I didn't need extra socks, an extra jersey or an extra hat. I always get too hot, so I don't need to wear them or bring them in the first place. I rode home with the bare essentials.

I made it home no problem. I took my time, I took pictures, I took my hat off and put it back on 100 times, and I had a great time. It was very rewarding.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Commute

Most people commute to work.  Get in the car, drive, arrive at work.  The process reverses at the end of the day-leave work, drive, arrive at home.  Driving to and from work is how many people go about their day.

There are also many people who ride their bike to work.  Whether the ride is 5 minutes or an hour and a half, the bike commuters are a hard core group.  They are not only trying to save money on gas, they are making themselves AND the earth more healthy.   So I thought to myself, why don't I ride my bike to work?  I can get my training in and save the world all at the same time.  Never mind my job is more than 70 miles away, at a ski area, and I would start and end my ride at elevations higher than 8000ft. in November.  Riding to was motivation.  It was a goal.

This is how the day of my "commute" went:
-Wake up to frost and freezing rain
-Get a warning call from the Mom-"I called The Hard Rock Cafe in Empire and it is cold and icy there".  (Grrreat)
-Receive second warning call from Josh- "When you exit the dirt and hit Coal Creek Canyon it is SLICK!  So if you hit the deck, you can't blame me".  (fantastic)  
-Have another shot of espresso.
-10:25am start the commute and seek out all the gravel on the road so as to not slip and fall down.
-Sometime after that-stop and take off middle layer of clothing
-Sometime after that-change gloves (it's hard work trying not to fall down)
-12pm-arrive at the I-70 frontage road.  Call the Dad and tell him I am alive, eat a Stroop Waffle.  All is good.
-Idaho Springs (half way point)-the SUN comes out.  Get some seriously strange looks at the truck stop.  Eat another Stroop Waffle.
-1:33pm-Feel the bonk coming on (I swear I have been riding up hill the entire time).  Eat a banana, chocolate covered espresso beans and another Stroop.  I am getting tired.
-2pm-the Dad drives up behind me and asks if I want a ride.  "um...ok.  Yes please."
-Up and over Berthoud pass in the car.
-2:20pm- get out of the car, and ride the rest of the way "home" (Mom and Dad's house).
-3:00pm- stuck laying on the floor, in my chamois, hungry, wet, tired and a small feeling of failure because I had to get a ride.

The good news.  I had an amazing training ride AND I have the opportunity to do it all over again on Sunday when I get to ride back home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

full mOOn

Three winters ago, I made it my goal to do something fun every full moon. The coolest thing I did that winter was hike to the top of Stratton Mountain (Vermont), eat a picnic dinner (pb&j, and carrots), then ski down. It was so bright I didn't need my light. That was a very special experience.

This winter, I have again made it my goal to do something fun every full moon. Tonight, my best riding buddy, Megan, joined me for a night ride- cross bike style. It was super fun.
The camera had a hard time focusing on the fun.
Megan's lucky T-Shirt she wore while riding helped us avoid the skunk.
Doing things out of the "norm" creates really special memories. I can't wait to see what the next full moon brings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Perfect Training

Ouch. That is what I am reminded of every time I race cross. Racing cross is HARD. It makes your chest hurt, your legs, back, and arms hurt and racing cross makes you want to throw up. In my case, had I thrown-up, it would have been chocolate covered espresso beans. So, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad. :) Yesterday's cross race in Golden was perfect. It was a nice day, good course with only 2 "get offs" and no run ups (phew! I do not like getting off my bike. Much less running...). I got a GREAT workout and got to race my new singlespeed cross bike.
It was super fun and perfect training.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No More Goofing Off

For me and many other cyclists, October is a time to goof off. No racing, no training, no riding, no being a "professional athlete". That goof off time, however, screeches to a halt on November 1st.

November 1st signifies the start of the training season. Rest time is over. It's time to figure out your goals for next year, talk to your coach, dust off your bike(s) and find the chamois. It's ridin' time.
I started my "official 2009" training riding my mountain bike on Kokopelli's trail in Utah. It was super fun and totally kicked my ass. Let the riding begin.

Friday, October 31, 2008


A bike racer and a weight room: not something that mixes very well. Such was the case when I went to the gym for "fun" with my parents during a family visit.

This is how it went-
"Hey Alison! Do you want to come to the gym with your Dad and me in the morning?"
"Sure, why not? It's almost time for me to start training again anyway, this could be a good jump start."
"Ok good. It's early though. We leave at 6:30am."
"Whoa. That is early. Well, ok. I am usually awake anyway. If I am awake I'll come, if not, don't bother waking me up. I'll see you when you get home."
-Wake up at 6:09am (I guess I'm going to the gym).
-Drive to the gym. It's dark, it's 14 degrees, and there has been no food and NO coffee consumed.
-Start working out (try to decide what would be best for someone (i.e. me) who hasn't been in a weight room for almost 2 years and has not done any kind of working out for the past three weeks to do).

It then went like this-
"Whoa! That's heavy"
"Ooo. That is going to make me sore"
"Ouch! I can't do that"
"Oh my gosh! I can't even do that"
"What am I doing in here?"

Go to Coffee shop (aah, much better).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Velo Swap part Deux

Success! I got rid of most of my stuff. Hopefully, everything found a happy home and will be put to good use.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Velo Swap

I have a lot of stuff. Most of my stuff has to do with cycling. I've been riding full time for almost 4 years and due to my inability to get rid of anything, the stuff has been piling up. It is now time to get rid of the stuff.

Hopefully my stuff will find a home where it will be used. It will be ridden in cold snowy weather, in hot sweltering heat, raced in time trials and crits, and worn on big group rides. I want my stuff to make other people's body, feet, head, eyes, tushy, hands, chest, arms, legs and bicycles happy. I want my stuff to continue to spread the love of cycling to others that it has given me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's official

-It snowed.
-I had to scrape my windows this morning.
-It was less than 20 degrees outside.

The off-season has begun.
It's time to rest.
It's time to eat all the wrong food.
It's time to see all the people you haven't seen since last off season.
It's time to chill and be a "normal person" for a few weeks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pictures (finally)

Track Nationals is over. I am home and the season is over.
I had a great time in LA last week. I learned a lot, rode hard and came home with great memories.

Team Pursuit win with Kim Geist and Shannon Koch (the most fun race of the entire Nationals)

Start of the Scratch Race with Shannon behind me.

To celebrate her birthday, Cari Higgins won EVERY SINGLE event she entered. She also took amazing care of me and is a true role model.

Team Des Dicky cleaned up.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Totally different

Four days of "Tracking" (racing on the track) has left me feeling happy, humbled, excited and tired. I thought I knew what to expect when I had the grand idea in July of coming to Track Nationals. I was pretty sure I would be prepared, I was pretty sure I would ride fast, and I was pretty sure I could take care of myself. Never mind the fact I had never done a track race in my life, I felt like I could go and do well. No problem.


Day #1 left me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Day #2 left me feeling bitter.
Day #3 left me feeling like a doe-doe (forgot Pursuit bars, got the "crack pipe" stuck in the disc wheel and realizing I forgot to pump up my tires the day before), happy (Team Pursuit win), unprepared (almost missing my "Scratching" heat), and hungry (carrots for a snack wasn't the best idea).
Day #4 left me feeling disappointed but satisfied (2nd in Pursuit BUT a huge learning experience), and tired (I felt like I had raced 140 windy km in Holland instead of 16km while "Pursuiting and Scratching").

I have a new appreciation for people who race on the track. It's not easy and there is a lot of stuff involved in something that seems so simple. It more than just picking your gear and riding. People who race the track do it because they love it. There is no other reason than that. They don't do it for the money and they don't do it for the fame. They do it because they love racing their bike -fast- in circles.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Annoying...but typical

-Track Nats.  Day 1.  Mass start test.
-Time standard-unknown (not on Internet, coaches don't know).
           -assume time standard will be similar to last year.
-Arrive to the start.  Find out time standard is 3 seconds faster (impossible).
-Wonder why I'm doing the test.  Hard to motivate when you know the new time is unattainable.
-Think about not starting.  Save energy for Pursuit (still don't know the time standard for that race either.  Probably will find out at the start.  Again).
-Try to find the positive.  I did pay $42.75.  Mom and Dad in the stands ready to cheer.  Good practice/experience for future events.
-Race.  Hard to dig deep into pain cave when you know you have not and are not going to pass the test.
-Realize today's situation was annoying but typical (ie. Olympic announcement-am I going?  I still haven't gotten the call)  I can't worry about what I can't control.
-Look forward to Track Nats day #2.  Team Pursuit.  There are Jersey's on the line.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today is day #1 of Track Nationals.  Yesterday, day #0, was an eye opener for me.  

After the airport, I got to the track and put both bikes together.  Nice guy Des helped me take my stuff into the track and down into the infield.  After riding 'round and 'round for awhile with my super fast Team Pursuit team, it was decided I needed to try out my race  wheels/gear/helmet since I am racing on day #1.  Back outside, to the trailer to find the proper wheels, fill them with air, put the correct cog on the rear, change handle bars etc (I am still wearing my chamois while doing all this "non-riding" stuff).  

By the end of the day, I had stuff spread all over the infield.  Chain rings, cogs, tools, 2 sets of wheels, 2 bikes, shoes, clothes, 3 water bottles-and there was nobody to take care of it for me.  

I never thought I would turn into one of those "spoiled bike racers" who expects everything to be done for them, but I am.  I didn't realize how  nice it is to have mechanics, directors, and teammates to help make things go smoothly.  I was overwhelmed by all the stuff.  Track racing requires a lot of stuff (thank goodness The Mom and Dad are arriving today to take care of me...I mean help me out).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Turned on the computer this morning.
Got a warning that said 'C' drive was almost full.
Uninstalled a bunch of programs.
Started and restarted several times.
Last restart never started.
Hard drive crashed.

Damn!!  All my SRM files are lost!!!!  Who cares about all the other stuff that was on my computer... my training log is gone!  (I know it sounds psycho, but it's true.  I'm most sad about losing my training log.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mixing it up

Ah, September. The weather is changing, the leaves are changing (in Colorado), the racing is changing...September is a time for change. September is also a time when roadies are lagging in the motivation department. Most of us have been racing since late February and this time of year the road bike, the pavement and the idea of training are looking less and less exciting.

This lack of excitement is why it's good to remember that September is a month of change. In order to keep your cycling going in the right direction (ie. faster and faster) it is good to mix it up a bit. For example, you could ride other bikes, ride new routes, or ride with different people. I have tried to do all of the above.

In the past three weeks, I have competed in three different kind of racing all on different kinds of bikes. First was Crit Nationals (road bike), then on to Napa for Single Speed World Champs (single speed 29er mtn bike), and now to Colorado Springs for some track racing. It's good to mix it up and to find new types of riding that challenge you mentally and physically. Learn to change with the seasons.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Crit-ing and Family

A weekend of racing is fun.
A weekend of racing spent with family and friends is better.

A weekend of racing with family, friends and coffee is the best.
A weekend of racing spent with family, friends, coffee and a lake is, pretty much, THE most bestest.

This weekend we raced Crit Nationals in Downers Grove. The Mom and Dad came to cheer on Team Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light AND to visit The Dad's long time friend Gary. It was good fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stars and Bars

Four years ago, I had one cycling jersey. This jersey was a hand-me-down from a friend. It was black with a skeleton of a fish on it and I loved it. I still do. But it was only one jersey, and it was the only one I had.

It never occurred to me to buy another jersey. I wanted to know how I could win a jersey. Specifically "that eastern women's series leader jersey". My goal was to not have to buy a new jersey. I was either going to win one, or get one from a team.

I moved to Colorado so the Eastern Series jersey option was out, however I did find a team that for a small fee would give me support and not only a jersey but shorts too. Now I had two jerseys.

Things have changed.

This year, I have done a pretty good job of acquiring free jerseys. Not only from the two teams I ride with (USA National Team and Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light), but from winning them.

Climber and stage winner jerseys from l'Aude, most aggressive rider jersey from Thuringen, and best of all, the Stars and Stripes/Bars jersey from winning the National Time Trial Championship yesterday.Though the black fish skeleton jersey is still my favorite and I still wear it, this new jersey is the coolest and by far the most rewarding.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Phew! The marathon stage racing has finally come to a stop. Three weeks and three stage races in three different countries has made us all tired, hungry and ready to go home for some R&R (rest and relaxation).

We got to share the last two days of racing with The Uncle, who took the train south from Berlin. He got his first time trial spectating experience followed by a ride in the team car for the last day of racing. Due to being car #14 he didn't get to see a lot of the race, but had a good time nonetheless.

We celebrated the end of the marathon stage racing with beer.
Thanks to the teams help, I was able to win the most aggressive rider jersey for the race. I won the biggest beer I have ever seen. Actually it was a Radler which is a mixture of beer and lemon-lime.

It was a most fantastic way to end the month of racing; success, happiness, family and beer.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Magic of Chocolate

After 12 races in 14 days and in three different countries, my legs, body and mind were starting to get a little cooked. In fact, Tuesday’s race was one of the worst I have ever had. My legs have NEVER felt the way they felt during that race. I woke up yesterday morning and even my arms hurt. I thought I was done for.

Then came the chocolate. As I start to get more and more tired I crave chocolate and I don’t have the will power to not eat it (that was one of the reasons I gave it up for Lent). So yesterday, I ate some chocolate cereal with breakfast. A few hours later, I ate A WHOLE BUNCH of chocolate cereal. I mean a whole bunch. Then I had some chocolate cookies before the race started. During the race, something magical happened. I never got tired. The day before, I was dropped 40km into the race. Yesterday I was able to sprint at the end. I attribute this turn-a-round to the magic of chocolate. To celebrate, I ate chocolate cookies after the race, and after dinner in the form of chocolate pudding.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good things about France

Today in the car, while driving from France to Germany, we were trying to come up with things that are good about France and french people. Here's what we came up with-
  • Baguettes
  • Croissants
  • Speaking French well

End of list.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Annual Ying-Yang

Last July I wrote about the ying-yang of cycling, which could also include the ying-yang of life. You have your ups and you have your downs. Good things happen and bad things happen. That's the way the world works.

After racing for 4 days in the rain, in the Czech Republic without any of my clothes or any good results to write home about, we drove west to France. My clothes arrived and the sun came out.

Day one of our "Brittany" stage race was going as planned. We had a three person lead out going for our sprinter Lauren, when at 1km to go 2/3 of us crashed. Ouch. A lot of road rash, a broken bike, and low moral brought us into stage two. Finally, the ying-yang made it's turn. Lauren was second in the stage, I was third and we are now 2 and 3 in the GC. Yippy!
We have 2 days left and 3 stages. Hopefully we will be left with results to write home about.
This picture is of Chrissy in our small French bunk room.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If you're happy and you it...

10 days, 4 countries, 1 raining stage race later this stuff, that I had nicely packed for a 3.5 week trip, finally arrived. I couldn't have been happier. Well actually, there are several ways I could have been happier, but it did feel like Christmas.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Perfect Freedom

Yesterday while on the way to the Czech Rebublic, we stopped in Salzburg to spend the night. Before sleeping and before dinner was a ride. It was the most perfect ride I have had in a long time.

I arrived in Pisa on Sunday with non of my bags. 4 days and three countries later, that continues to be the case. And I dedicate my perfect ride to that; lack of baggage.

When I got to the hotel room yesterday in Salzburg, I put on my one pair of chamois, undershirt, jersey, helmet, glasses, socks and shoes. Filled my one water bottle with water and out the door I went. I didn't have to worry about sunscreen, gatorade, gels or bars, camera, SRM, bra, arm band etc. I don't have any of that stuff to worry about. I just went and rode.

I knew I had less than 2 hours to ride, so I turned around when I had almost finished my water bottle. I got rained on. Didn't matter. I don't have a rain jacket anyway. I got to see 2 rainbows. I had no idea where I was going, how fast I was going there, or how many watts I was pushing. I just rode. I would have liked to take some pictures of the "hills are alive with the sound of music" scenery, but I didn't have my camera. I was free to ride. It was awesome!

Monday, June 30, 2008


Nothing about the track is really effortless.

Each workout kicks your ass.
Each effort makes you want to throw up.
Each day your "track hack" gets worse and worse.
Even changing gears causes problems.

For me, the track is a love-hate relationship. I like the workouts. I like the pain (sort of). I like the fact that it makes me a better cyclist. But, the track is VERY humbling. It puts your weaknesses on display day after day and the workouts are more painful than any other training session the bike. But, I love it and it's a great learning experience.
The "campers" included three U23 guys and two other girls.
Even "fruit booters" (i.e. Rollerbladers) like to feel the track pain.
Oops. A roadie changing gears. Ouchy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


It was Father's Day weekend and it was time to go home. Not home to Colorado, not home to Boulder; home to Fraser. That's right, it was time to visit the Mom and Dad. I hadn't been home since January.

There are things I look forward to doing when I go home. I had a mental list of everything fun I wanted to do in 2 days. Fortunately, everything got checked off.

First on the list was s'mores. The Dad built the fire and we roasted.

The fire was missing one thing though. My homework. Every year, after school got out, I would burn my homework. Then roast s'mores over it. The marshmellows that were roasted over my math homework, however, would taste less than superb.

Our neighbor, Denny, came over to join us.
We did some horseshoe throwing in between marshmellow eating.
I won (of course), Josh broke his shoe, and the Mom made magical tunes for us.

Next on the list was mountain biking. We had a great Father's Day ride complete with a coffee shop stop.
We saw pretty scenery, a not so healthy cow,and managed to tire each other out. It was great.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Ok. I'll admit it. I've got no shame and am happy to show you the things I have for sale.

I am home now and that means that after 12 weeks of travel, I can finally unpack. While I have wonderful stuff and lots of neat things, I have NO more space in my closet for everything. Hence the sale.

I've got lots of things. Though most of it is cycling related. Some is skiing related.
Here is the link to a few e-bay items-
Keep checking because as stuff sells, I will add more (it's kept exciting and ever changing!).

If you are looking for other things that are not listed (cycling clothes, sunglasses, bike parts, etc.) please comment and I'll send you an e-mail back if I have it or not.

Again, sorry for the lackluster entry, but I really need to get rid of stuff!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Magic of America part 2

After going out and eating Chinese food with Iona, Tina and Big Jack, (that's right. Here in America, one can eat Chinese food, or Mexican food, or sushi, or pizza, or Thai, or burgers or breakfast, whatever you're craving you can go get it. That's magic.)
Colavita/Sutter Home Women's Professional Cycling Team presented by Cooking Light (phew!) got third place in the Allentown crit. YEAH! A podium! AND prize money. Even though it was only $300, it was more prize money than I made all spring racing in Europe TOTAL.
Prize money and ethnic foods; the magic of America.