I Wonder…..

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Sometimes on my ride I hear the rustle of the leaves and I wonder what kinds of creatures are these? Is it a chipmunk? A squirrel? A cute little bunny? Will it remain hidden or will it jump out in front of me? Is it just one or many? Is it frightened or is it bold? What color is it? Does it know I’m coming? Is it foraging for food? Is it eating? Is it hungry or is it full? Is it wondering about me? Is it happy or grumpy? Is it cute or is it ugly? Is it a rat or a possum? Could it be a snake or a lizard? Is it maybe a stealthy cat? Is it tame or is it vicious? Is it serious or playful? Does it have a family? These are my thoughts as I pass through this life, having fun, on my bike……..

The Senor & I

 

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A few of us decided to do the Tour De Cure century with our friend who does it every year and raises a ton of money.  We had done a century the week before and felt very strong (it had been my very first!).  The weather conditions the previous week had been ideal for doing a century.  I wasn’t prepared for the conditions of the Tour De Cure….

Neither The Señor nor I had slept well the night before.  I met him at his place and we did the drive in together so I could save on gas.  It was very hot and humid.  I was warned that the food at this event was not conducive to cycling so I brought my own food and powdered drink mix.  Nothing I would put in my pocket would help me on this century…..

We got a late start because one of the guys we were rolling with was late, it’s kind of his thing.  The first half of the ride was ok even though most of the rest stops were in the sun.  After the first half The Señor and I were getting tired.  The pace was a bit too strong.  I told the leader to dial it back saying that if he wants to go fast then go without us because we’re not up to it.  He agreed to split up and, to my astonishment, most of us wanted to dial it back so he only had one other person with him.

The stop after the split we all regrouped and rode together at a reasonable pace. The next stop I was really starting to feel it, I even took my shoes off for a few minutes.  At mile 84 is when I got really tired.  The Señor was no longer keeping up.  I shouted that he was back but nobody cared.  I could’ve chased them down and stayed but I really wasn’t up for that.

The Señor and I were rolling along for a mile or two.  I really don’t remember this conversation until he reminded me long after the ride.  He pathetically said “Thanks for staying with me” and I replied “What? I’m tired too bitch, now shut the f**k up and ride!”.  So we rode on.  It was so tough.  We came to the tiniest hill and it looked enormous, we both groaned.  

The last couple of miles were exciting.  We took turns pulling each other in the wind.  It felt like we’d never get to the finish. Suddenly a car passed with a bike on the roof and a finisher cheered us on yelling “You can do it, you’re almost there!”.  We lit up, sped up, and completed the last two miles.

When we got back, most of the food was gone.  The salads were nasty from being out in the heat and the burgers were all burnt.  I ate a burnt burger.  On the way home we stopped for ice cream at a classic ice cream shop.  Ice cream makes everything better!

The ride was from ideal but with a good friend by your side, any challenge that you meet on the road can be conquered. 

This Past weekend (Mother’s Day Weekend)

 

First, I’d like to wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you all had an amazing weekend.  Thank you all for reading, I appreciate your support!

This past weekend was great!  I took my upgraded bike out on the Jones Beach bike path for the first time on Friday evening.  It was my second time flying solo on the path but it was my first time with this bike, Lita.  I went to the path because the weekend weather was looking iffy and I really wanted to spend time with Lita.  We don’t really spend much time alone, Lita comes out with me on the group rides.

It was the third ride with the new wheels, I’m still getting a feel for them.  I wanted to see what she can do without ruining my legs in case the weather forecast improved.  I had a blast!  I wound up doing 3 CCP loops before the path and 2 more loops after the path.  All in all it was 22 miles.  I would up averaging 18.5mph with an average cadence of 86rpm and and average power of 164 watts.  I wasn’t hauling ass but I certainly wasn’t slow either.  I didn’t even feel like I was solo because of all the friends I bumped into on the path. 

Saturday rained but it didn’t completely suck. I always say I’m gonna be lazy on a rainy day but then I wind up working out anyway.  I did a Zwift ride and had a lot of fun.  I forgot that Zwift was fun. What I like about Zwift is that I can really focus on my training.  I pay attention to the cadence and power I’m putting out.  My cadence sometimes goes in and out or doesn’t update on the screen correctly so I also focus on the feeling of my legs turning which is very helpful on the road.   I can usually feel the rise and fall of my cadence without looking at my Garmin.  I spent a lot of time at my threshold power, comfortably. 

Sunday, I got dropped, again! There was an odd serenity this time.  I used to get mad about being dropped because I felt like I was at a disadvantage.  It was because I’d gained weight, had the wrong bike, or didn’t have the right wheels.  I’m now thin and I have a lightweight bike with aero wheels.  I gave myself every possible advantage.  I didn’t get dropped for being slow, I got dropped for not being as fast as the people I was riding with.  I tried hard.  When I realized I’d been left behind with no chance of catching up, I fully accepted it and made the most of it.  I loaded a route and I spent some more alone time with Lita.  I didn’t stop trying though, I still worked very hard.  My efforts were proven with an FTP increase!  I couldn’t be more proud than if I had actually finished the ride with the group.

I will remain strong, positive, and determined.  I will go on and try even harder than my previous attempts.  I will be the kind of person that old me would admire and look up to.  I will be the best me that I can.  What kind of you will you be?

 

 

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 2)

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Turkey Chili

 

What you will need:

  • Ground Turkey (2lbs)
  • Organic Tomato Sauce 16 oz can (2)
  • Dark Red Kidney Beans 16 oz can (2)
  • Jalepenos (8)
  • Habanero Peppers (2)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Large Yellow Onion (1)
  • Garlic Cloves (5)
  • Ground Cumin

How to make it:

Brown the ground turkey in a frying pan over med/high flame until all the pink is gone.

Put the onion, garlic, and habanero peppers in a food processor or blender and puree until it’s a liquid.

Hollow out the seeds from the jalapeños and then slice them.

Combine the tomato sauce, beans, turkey, jalapeños, the pureed mix, salt, pepper, and ground cumin in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour or until it tastes like chili.  Prep time about a half hour.  Cook time about 65 minutes.

Bloopers & Blunders

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During my first few months on the road, I’ve made lots of minor rookie mistakes.  Have a few laughs on me with some pretty epic fails…….

My first few times with cycling shoes and pedals went fairly well. The thing that I had the most trouble with was my saddle height.  I used to stop while still in the saddle rather than getting out of the saddle to stop.  One day, while riding in Queens I stopped at a light.  I wound up tipping over and falling under my bike.  My cleat got stuck in a spoke and I couldn’t get it out.  A really nice older guy came to my rescue.  I thanked him and pedaled away quickly, clearly ashamed.

I didn’t know that sand was a road cyclist’s kryptonite. I was on a group ride and we were leaving a park at a stop.  There was sand at a turn and I wiped out.  I went down slowly, dying of laughter. I tried holding onto a fence.  I wound up on my side in the sand. I eventually got up after we all had our laugh.  There would be more laughs when I explained to the shop how sand got all over the chain they had to clean out. 

Another sandy moment was when I was pedaling along a greenway in Brooklyn.  I was about to pass a sandy mound when, at the last moment, someone passed in front of me and I had no choice but to bike through it. As I was going down I reached out for the old man that was walking next to me with his wife.  I grabbed onto him and broke my fall.  I was very embarrassed. He was very sweet about it saying he’s always there to help a lady in need.

On the group ride in Greenwich, CT we stopped at a light.  I was leaning to the left to stop but I tipped to the right instead.  The guy next to me moved out of the way instead of reaching a hand out to steady me.  At the last moment I unclipped my right foot and stayed upright.  I yelled at him saying he’s a bastard because his first instinct was to get out of the way rather than help (he’s actually one of the nicest guys you could know).

Its not cycling related but I was on the treadmill at the gym on a rainy day.  I stopped and saved my run on my watch. I completely forgot I didn’t stop the treadmill.  As I stepped back on sideways to get off I started to go down but, after a few slick moves, I caught myself from falling.  There were people behind me on other equipment that saw the whole thing.

I probably could name a few more incidents but I’m not gonna share every embarrassing moment! 

 

Ode to the Water

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Whether it be a solo evening ride or a group adventure, there is nothing more invigorating than being by the water.

I love the feel of the ocean spray against my hot, sweaty skin.  I love the smell in the air as I pass the tide rushing in.

I love the stillness of the pond and the way it ripples with the slightest touch.  I love the smell of the mud banks very much.

I love the charm of the lake with it’s floating lily pads.  I love the smell of the uncut tall dew kissed grass.

I love the way that it looks when its touched by the sun.  I love that watching the boats pass by is a lot of fun.

I could go on forever but what I wish to convey is how energizing and captivating it is to ride by the water…..  

My First Love Interest

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Everyone enjoys some good dirt, so I’ll tell you the story of my first bike romance.  It was with one of the guys I rode with at the club.  It all started out innocently.  We were flirting and then we started texting all the time.  Something felt kind of weird but I couldn’t quite place it….

There were holidays coming up that I would be off from work so I told him about it and we arranged to meet up for a ride.  It was my first ride date.  He said he’d put together a special route.  It was special all right.

When I showed up to our ride he put a Garmin mount on my bike and put his old Garmin on it without even asking me first! What if I didn’t want it? I was new to road cycling.  I had a road bike for all of two months.  Within the first 10 miles of the ride he took me up a steep climb and when we reached the top there was this gorgeous view.  He took my hands and kissed me.  It was nice but it didn’t feel quite right…. 

This ride must’ve gone on forever.  The ride was only about 35 or so miles but it felt like an eternity!  Climb after climb after climb.  This ride really wasn’t fun for me.  While climbing the steepest of the hills, I was miserable. I was hot and there was sweat pouring down my face.  I was climbing so slow that there were bugs buzzing all around me.  When I finally made it up there he was waiting there and he told me how proud he was of me. He told me that this hill was too tough for many of the people we ride with.  He said he knew I could do it.  This bastard brought me up to the steepest hill knowing it may be way too much for me but did anyway.  That really pissed me off!

I let all of it go. The thing that didn’t feel right was that he kissed me without really getting to know me, without asking me about my innermost thoughts.  I called him a couple mornings later and I told him I didn’t feel comfortable with things, that we should sit down to dinner. He told me that wasn’t possible, that he was married.  He said he thought I knew.   

I may be broke but I have class and no married man will be grabbing my ass! I took that Garmin off my bike and gave it back to that married man.  I made it clear that cycling date we had would be the last of its kind.  He told me that he was falling for me. I told him “That’s just two tears in a bucket now, ain’t it?”. 

We remained friends after that. I think deep down inside he respects me for being my own woman who is strong and proud.  Ladies, have respect for yourselves. No matter what your situation is, only do what you know is right…..

 

This Past Weekend

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It’s Monday and I’m not looking forward to yet another work week but let’s face it, Zipps don’t buy themselves!

I know what ur thinking….. How’s someone this broke going out and getting new wheels? I follow the advice an elderly lady gave me long ago. She asked me if I travel. I told her I didn’t. She asked me if it was because of money. I told her it was. She said “Travel, put it on a credit card. You’re going to die paying it anyway. When you get to be my age, you have plenty of money, but are too tired to leave your hotel room. Anything you need, put it on a credit card”. That nice old lady made sense…..

When you get dropped on enough (every) group rides, you can get a little discouraged. The way to get stronger is to ride with people that are stronger than you, but, you need the right tools (unless you’re an incredibly strong cyclist). Soon I’ll get into when I got the Specialized, but for now I’ll tell you how much I love my brand new wheels.

This was my first weekend with my upgraded wheels. I picked my bike up from the shop on Thursday. I planned on taking it to the Jones Beach bike path but it was windy so I did a solo road ride on my other bike instead. Saturday was the first time riding with them and, man, did I fly! I was able to stay with the group in most of the places I normally get dropped, comfortably, without putting out too much power. I was also able to get up the hills a bit faster. It felt like I was on a completely different bike!

Without struggling so much, I was able to do more socializing on the ride.  I had so much more fun. I was having fun before the upgrade but now I’m fully enjoying the group ride.  All in all I had an amazing weekend with some of the best people you could ride with and I’m already thinking of the next one.

I’m not telling you what to do but if you fall in love with something and can’t really afford it, think of my old lady. As long as you have the credit, it’s healthy, and it’ll bring joy into your life then go for it!

Healthy Living Fridays

 

Happy Friyay! If you’re well to do you will probably eat out, however, if you’re broke like me then you will probably cook in!

Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin With Yellow “Rice” & Beans and Cheesy Corn:

What you will need:

  • Cauliflower Florets
  • Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Tumeric
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Boneless Center Cut Pork Loin Thick Cut
  • Herb Seasoning
  • Frozen Organic Sweet Corn
  • Butter Substitute
  • Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

How To Make It:

Put the pork in a bag and put a drop of olive oil, salt, and herb seasoning then shake it.  Place it in the air fryer on the chicken setting until golden brown turning it over about every ten minutes and then more often as it browns.

Preheat a pan with a drop of olive oil on med/high flame. Place the cauliflower in a food processor or blender until its “riced”. Place the riced cauliflower in the pan and mix it in with the olive oil.  Season it with the salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir in a few spoons of the dark red kidney beans.  Cook it until it looks like rice and beans, stirring occasionally, and reducing the flame as it browns slightly.

Place the frozen corn in the microwave until hot. Stir in the butter substitute, salt, and cheese until the cheese is all melty.

This recipe will take about 30 minutes to complete including prep time.  Please feel free to add whichever seasoning you like.  I strongly encourage you playing around with different flavors and let me know what you come up with. Bon Apetit!

My First Group Ride

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Thank you all for reading, you’re all so kind! I will now tell u the tale of my first group ride…….

It was a nice day in April when I showed up at the lot.  I pulled into the spot beside my cycling mentor.  He took me for a ride the week prior just after I bought my new road bike.  We did 27 miles which was an all time high and he said I’d be fine to go along for a longer ride.  He knew I knew nothing of cycling nutrition so he handed a few things to me that I would need.  I got a bottle filled with sport drink, a couple gels, a hand pump, and a brand new mirror.

He introduced me to the leader as he wouldn’t be there as he rides with the faster guys.  All the riders in my group were all really nice.  They checked in on me from time to time to make sure I was fine.  I enjoyed the shocked look on this poor guy’s face when I told him my crotch was on fire (my new saddle on my new bike was not the one for me).  To be fair he asked how I was feeling…..

I was in awe of the things all around me. I had no idea that Long Island was this pretty. There was so much space and even horses. We passed by the water which was absolutely gorgeous. This place was like magic and the ride leader was quite the magician. I realized then that riding in Queens is really not riding…..

It was some time later that I learned that these nice people had some laughs at my expense.  I didn’t come in cycling specific clothing. I wore a running capri, a running top, and sneakers. I also didn’t get the memo about not wearing undies with your chamois!

Little did they know that this girl without shame would show up as their weekly companion. This sneaker clad vixen would show up regularly to dust them on hills as she smiled.