Monday, February 27, 2006

SIR 100K Populaire

Populaire - good way to put it. This year over 100 riders showed up on a cold saturday morning to explore the farm lands outside of Woodinville Washington. I haven't been doing any rando rides the last several years due to getting married and just taking a break. So it was good to be back in the fold and see all my friends. Hubby and I rode from home since it's sometimes easier to just pack up the bikes and ride out the door. It was a cold morning in Seattle but after the ice and snow of the day before we were happy to see the roads clear and get out there. They changed the route this year and I was familier with most of the roads just not riding them in the opposite direction (I think they are hillier this way). We got in a really good ride - but I have to say I should have had more training, needed to drink and eat more, and I hit up my friend Lola for Endurolytes. These are an amazing supplement which help to reduce cramping and replenish your elecrolytes without drinking such nasty stuff as Gatorade.

The map is courtesy of my friend Kent Peterson - Kent also has additional pictures from the SIR 100k on his website which is

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Seattle Bike Expo - My First Time on Rollers

This past weekend was the Seattle Bike Expo, I spent time volunteering for the Redmond Cycling Club Booth telling folks about RAMROD, S2S and Cannonball. It is so much nicer to volunteer now that registration for RAMROD is done on-line now instead of at Bike Expo. I have a lottery By-Pass and am psyhed to to do the ride for the 2nd time - I rode it in 2004 and had a great time.

I also met Davis Phinney and asked him about a picture of his wife Connie Carpenter that sticks in my mind - he said it is probably the picture Annie Liebowitz took of her in 1984 when she was in the Olympics. It was good to see him and hear how he is dealing with Parkinson's disease and the Davis Phinney Foundation that he set up.

I also rode rollers for the first time this weekend - they were different though from the standard rollers and seemed quite a bit safer - It's a small company called If we had the space I would like to own a set of these - I only rode them for a few minutes but felt like I was getting the hang of it very quickly. I'll be happy when we get a house and can have the weights, rowing machine and a set of rollers in the basement or workout room.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Okay my current obsession is wool gear from IBEX or Woolistic. I recently purchased several wool SIR club jerseys and for X-Mas hubby gave me a wool vest from IBEX and a jersey - and the wool just keeps on coming. We just celebrated our first Valentines day together as hubby and spouse and an IBEX jacket came my way.

Today in the paper there was an article on wool sportswear and how popular it is becoming - you could have just asked me - I think I'm keeping those folks in business.

Scratch those old woolens for lightweight high-tech fibers
By Dan A. Nelson
Special to the Seattle Times

Wool enjoys a well-earned reputation for warmth --whether wet or dry - and durability. But wool dropped in popularity with the advent of technical synthetic fibers that can be used to make fabrics that wick moisture while still insulating.
Wool teetered on the edge of oblivion in the technical outdoor market, until the entrance of Ibex Outdoor Clothing. Ibex created a line of clothing using new generations of wool that are softer, lighter and more comfortable (i.e., NO itch) than traditional wool. From simple long-sleeve T-shirt designs to wool jackets, the apparel made by the small company based in Woodstock, Vt., proves comfortable for trail or town.
But as fine as their general merchandise is, the best of their line boasts a new highly technical fabric made by the Swiss firm Schoeller Textiles, whose North American base is right here in Seattle.
Dubbed Skifans by Schoeller, the new fabric features a blend of soft, warm wool with the newest generation of four-way stretch synthetics (such as their DrySkin Extreme, used by Cloudveil - See Get in Gear, Aug. 10, 2000). The result is a fabric that offers the warmth and comfort of wool, with the wicking, flexibility and strength of modern synthetics.
Ibex forms the new Skifans into several outerwear pieces. The most versatile are the men's Icefall and women's Cirque jackets. These jackets (essentially the same piece, with slightly different styling and tailoring for each gender) can be used as a straight replacements for standard fleece insulation layers.
But there's a bonus - several actually. The Ibex jackets insulate as well as a midweight fleece jacket but weigh a few ounces less (average weight is 15 ounces) and are far less bulky. The Ibex jackets take up less than half the space in your pack when you have to stash the garment.
The Skifans fabric blocks out wind far better than fleece, and it also is highly water-resistant, meaning you can wear it in a light rain shower or through heavy mist/fog and not worry about getting wet (nor do you have to tug on a less-breathable rain shell in these conditions, meaning you can often leave the shells at home, saving even more weight in your backpack!).
For those days when you are enjoying a highly aerobic activity such as snowshoeing or skiing, the jacket may be too warm. What you need is something to keep your torso protected from the elements. The Glacier/Glade vests (i.e., men's/women's version) do just that.
These Skifans vests follow the same pattern as the jackets, so they fit and perform just as well. Or, for the anorak fans, Ibex offers the Randonee Pullover. All are ideal for classic Northwest weather, no matter the season. They wick away sweat, seal in warmth, block out wind and repel light rain. What more could anyone ask for?
The jackets sell for $225 for the men's Icefall, $198 for the women's Cirque. The vests run $130 and the pullover costs $235.
For more information, contact Ibex Outdoor Clothing, 802-457-9900 or visit
Dan A. Nelson is publications editor and gear specialist for Washington Trails Association.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Long Distance Cycling Time Commitments

Just a short note on time commitments if your a long distance cyclist you know how this sport eats into your life and you wonder how to make the space to spend with friends and family. It's tough but easier if you don't have a mixed relationship (ie one a cyclist and one not). I believe I'm a more obsessed cyclist then my husband but he probably puts more mileage in commuting to work then I do - hey his work is 2x the distance from our home then mine his. Because of his commute distance and work schedule we sometimes do not get to spend much time together during the week. This is probably true of many couples though with busy work and social lives. Today will be nice because the circumstances are working with us - his company knows that when projects are due the engineers will work many hours and will be unhappy since they are not able to spend much time with their families so they have family night which includes dinner. I'll catch the bus with my bike to Redmond Washington where he works, we will enjoy dinner together and then get in a nice 20 mile ride home. I'll end up getting 30 miles in today, he will get in 40 miles and we will have spent some time together.
I really don't know how most folks manage to work, do your household chores, deal with kids, social life and manage to be involved with this sport - but I salute you.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Good Glutes = Nice A$$

One of the folks on the SIR list serve asked about if she should ride this weekend due to the wind storm that is headed to Seattle - I replied that it might be a good day to go to the gym and work on some cross training work those glutes, quads and build up some neck muscles to help on those 1200k rides. In doing a search on "Good Glutes" I came across this article on from the Rodale book, The Men's Health Guide to Peak Conditioning.

When it comes to a firm butt, most men are usually interested in those of the opposite sex, not their own. When we exercise, the butt muscles—or, to be more precise, the gluteal muscles—often get moved to the rear of the workout, and that''s if they get worked at all.

But your glutes are not the kind of muscles you want to leave behind in your ongoing quest for powerful fitness. In the end, good glutes do more than give us a place to sit or a way to attract women—they actually help us to be more graceful and powerful in physical endeavors. At the gym, on the field, in your life, having a stronger rear end gives you important physiological advantages.

The article goes on and contains many helpful exercises.

So on those rainy windy days if your unmotivated to get out and ride - time to work on those glutes.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Quit Biting the Kitty!!!

My Dad sent me this picture the other day - no its not me but it made me laugh. Why you ask - because I am always harrassing my kitty kat and Hubby says quit biting the kitty. So I imagine that I probably was like this as a kid. Polenta our kitty is a big yellow and white "Morris" type kitty. I named him Polenta because he is yellow and mushy and licks people like a dog would.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Bike Lust- A Disease

I don't really need another bike - in fact there is not room for it in the living room right now. Between my husband and myself there are 10 bicycles in the living room (this isn't counting the Mtn. Bikes, a few frames and a tandem stashed elsewhere) and we live in a one-bedroom apartment

The other day I walked into Ti-Cyles to look for a wind front cycling shirt (sold out) and of course had to walk around and see what else they have. A lovely rasberry Co-Motion Americano caught my eye. Damn its my size. So I keep thinking about that bike and how I can justify getting my Co-Motion Nor'Wester a new friend to play with - but alas I don't think its to be my hubby and I are saving for a house and I don't have any big self contained tours scheduled to justify buying a kitchen sink touring bike.

I hope that lovely rasberry bike finds a good home.