Wednesday, August 31, 2011


 The last race in Aspen was great.  A classic downtown criterium.  Technical, people cheering, and I suffered- bad. Ouch it hurt.  But, it was fun. Pre race espresso with Amy D and Julie E. Post race dread to ride back to Snowmass was saved by Karl H from Pactimo (thank goodness! and thanks for the ride).
Packed up, got in the car, and drove to Edwards where I spent the night with the Family "blood". Next day was up and at 'em to meet Athlete Kate and Friend Cindi for a pre TT viewing ride up Battle Mountain toward Tennessee Pass (yes my legs hurt from 3 days of racing).

We watched the men's time trial in Vail, packed up, drove home, (JH had yummy dinner waiting) unpacked, repacked, woke up, and flew to Binghamton, NY.

The next day was my first race "back" with my teammates after my injury.  It's also the last race of the season. First was coffee and I found the best espresso I have ever had.  The coffee shop didn't open till 9am, so I had to wait for it, but it was worth it.  WOW! It was so good, I ordered another shot and bought beans to bring home.
 First race back, last race of the season.
Finish race, pack, sleep, wake up much too early, fly home.
7 days, 4 races, 4 beds, 9 bike rides, 4 coffee shops, 1 tired AP.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How's your Ass-been?

Mine has been fantastic. Crested Butte one week, Aspen the next.  That's not bad living-at all.  Last week was vacation, this week is racing-in Aspen! It's great.  

Gigantic kudos to Jessica Phillips and Team Ajax Tavern for putting on a Women's only stage race in Aspen. The racing has been fantastic, as have the people, and the scenery.

Stage 1 was a TT to Maroon Bells. Ouch it hurt, but it felt great to race--though I was a little slower than I would have liked in 12th place (I still need some more fitness after 3 months off the bike).  These views are from the finish.
Stage 2 was a circuit race in Snowmass.  Pretty dang fun racing, lots of spectators, and a pretty good result for me in 8th place. Then a racer lunch at the golf course-it was yummy.

Stage 3 is today.  Downtown Aspen Criterium. The course looks awesome with lots of corners and a great location. I'm excited.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The BEST Vacation

For the past 10 (or so) years, I haven't ever really needed a vacation. Mostly because my life is like a permanent vacation.  The life of a bike racer is pretty plush- other than taking care of yourself, there aren't 
many other responsibilities. This year, however, due to injury and coaching making me busier (and happier), I needed a vacation. I needed to get away from having to go somewhere or do something or be on a very tight schedule.

This was my first vacation I truly looked forward to doing nothing, and having nothing to do but watch TV, drink espresso, ride my mtn bike (and maybe not every day), and hang out with He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Crested Butte Vacation 2011did not disappoint.


 We hung out, slept in, watched TV, rode mtn bikes in absolutely amazing scenery and flowers, then hung out some more. No computers, no internet, no driving around or having to ride somewhere.
 We even camped one night and man it was rough.  A morning visit by a deer completed our espresso drinking.
 A bonus was a vacation bike ride with The Sister and The Bro-in-Law.
 A bonus bonus was getting asked by He Who Shall Not Be Named if I'd marry him.  We were on the 401 and it was perfect.

 I said yes and got a beautiful ring and a new FiancĂ©.
It was a perfect vacation. I am happy, relaxed, and ready to go back to "the real world".

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Went to Heart Lake with The Mom.  She'd seen it from the "other side" (Fraser side of the divide), and thought it would be cool to see it up close and in person.  I've backcountry skied in the area so I was excited to see it in the summer time.

It did not disappoint.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "Someday" list

Ever hear yourself say, "Someday I want to do _____", or "I'd like to do that someday".  Why not make that "someday" today.

I'm a believer of doing the "someday"s. I've been saying (for a long time now), "Someday I want to ride my bike from home to Estes Park". Well, yesterday was my "someday" and it was pretty awesome.

10 minutes into my ride it occurred to me what I was actually in for.  It's almost 50 miles to Estes.  Then I have to ride back home. Oh boy...this could be a 6 hr ride.  So, I took my time, I stopped and took pictures (thanks to TK's suggestion), and I made sure to eat and drink so as to avoid The Bonk.

 This view descending from Ward is one of my favorites. I haven't seen this view for more than a year.  After the descent from Ward, I rode on a section of road I have never been on (between Raymond turnoff and Highway 7) - so I peed on it. Now I have officially been there.
 This Mo-Fo is also on the "someday" list. Someday, I'd like to hike up Longs Peak.
 Pretty view of the "key hole" (or something like that) on Longs
 Over the years, and many long rides, I have learned if I am riding at 8,000ft or above for more than 3 hrs, I have to stop for fuel and coffee--or else. Once I reached the destination (Estes), I found Kind Coffee sat down and had a little celebration. One of my "someday"s is crossed off the list. That felt good!
This is where I cracked. 4hrs 47 min and 76 miles in. I had to get off my bike, sit down, eat some food and take a time out.

I won't lie. The last hour was pretty dang tough. Everything and I mean everything hurt - except my elbow which is funny. I'm pretty dang proud of myself. I finally did something I have wanted to do for a long time and I haven't done a 6 hr ride in years. It's fun to challenge yourself and rise to the occasion.

You can see my ride here -
Remember you can join Strava now and save $$! Use the code TTALISON10 for $10 off a Strava subscription.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I love the mountains. I've lived in or near the mountains my entire life-minus one year in Vermont and during that time I missed the mountains.

After spending the weekend flying to and from the brown desert-ness of Reno and racing around in circles on my bike, I needed some Rocky Mountains time with myself and my hiking shoes.

I had a starting spot in mind, but not an ending spot.  The idea was to get into the mountains, see the flowers, hike around, clear the head, and be finished. I was tired from the race and travel the day before so was happy with being outside for an hour or two.

Long story short, at some point, I decided to hike to Woodland Lake (aka Woodlay). Little did I know (or pay attention to), it was almost 5 miles to the lake.  My "little hike" was now a full on hike and it was awesome.

I was so happy hiking. I raced my bike in circles one day and the next day I got to spend 3+ hours in the mountains with myself and my hiking shoes.  The flowers were amazing, the scenery spectacular, and my mind free and happy.

 I'm pretty luck to live the life I do. I get to ride, race, hike, challenge myself, and inspire others to do the same.
To top off the great day, I treated myself to a mocha at Happy Trails--one must end an amazing day in a coffee shop.

Monday, August 1, 2011

22 hours

I arrived in Reno, NV at 6:45 pm on Saturday.  I flew out at 5pm on Sunday.  Now that's a short trip. However, it was a very fun trip.  Not only did I race (!), I spent time with teammates I had not seen in months, I spent time with family friends I had not seen in years, and I spent time with kitty cats-4 of them. They were nice enough to let us stay at their house for the race.  They did, however, keep a close eye on us to make sure we were staying in line.
 The race itself was awesome!  The course is one of the best crit courses I have ever done.  Hilly, technical, and a great atmosphere.  I was having a good time for the first 10 min or so.
Then the suffering started and continued for another 45 min.  I have to go back to this race next year with proper fitness so I can really race and enjoy the course, instead of surviving (barely) and suffering like a dog.
 Post race, my teammies and I jumped in the river for a little cool down soak.  I needed that.
L-R, Alexis Ryan, AP, Carlee Taylor, Tara McCormick.
It was a team effort to pack up my bike, wheels, and stuff to get to the airport on time.  I am pretty sure that was the shortest trip I have ever had, but it was worth it.