Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011's Top Fuel for my Rides

Last lazy afternoon of 2012. Lounging about watching Dumb &Dumber thinking back to all the amazing rides I've had this year, half wishing I was out right now but I overdosed on Minty Melts from Trader Joe's. What made my rides so special? What made me stand in the doorway with a Cheshire cat grin after a 5 hour Bataan Death Ride? even though all I really wanted to do was collapse face down in the front yard. Yep, good times were definitely had this year. I compiled a little list of items that fuel my desire to get out and ride, things that keep me coming back for more.

Going on caffeine fueled adventures
make me super giggly and super fast.
New Components
I don't know what to say,
Campagnolo is Heavenly.
Lazer Helmets and Continental Gator Hardshells
I don't have a mushroom head anymore, yay!
and I don't get flats while out riding.
A new bike can change your perspective,
it can also make you jones for
a race season still a year away.
Goats, horses, cows, kitties, llamas,
speedy wiener dogs, and pot bellied pigs.
All creatures great and small,
I take pictures of them all.
Above Category bike shop
I had dreams about these Pegoretti's.
This shop will keep you day dreamin
even 6 months after your visit.
Tommy Voekler
A rider worth emulating.
And I do, imaginary breakaways,
tongue waggling away.
GU Peppermint Stick
GU makes my favorite gels, but this
is peppermint magic in your mouth.
Happy ride indeed.
Early morning rides were made safer
and warmer by way of Hi Vis booties.
Thank you Embrocation Cycling Journal
for making flouro semi cool.
Tour of California, Mount Baldy Stage
I think it's Bernie Eisel, doesn't really
matter I guess, this view's
pretty good though.

Friday, December 30, 2011


What the Fudgesicle!?

2011 is hours from being finished. As I write this I’m sitting in the Audi dealership lounge. I’ve got 4 hours to reminisce about this past year while waiting for my Hubby’s car to get serviced. These awards are meant for those riders, subjects, and products that made us want to get through this past year as fast as possible. Like you're trying to outrun that little wiener dog wearing the Burberry coat. Sorry personal experience. I chose the name SLOW LEAK, because it’s that annoying feeling you get when you’re fully kitted, bottles in cage, gloves and glasses are on, but you push down on the rear tire and it’s probably 55 psi. Oh, what the?! You filled it up before yesterdays ride, so you know something naughty has made its way into your kicks.

So without further ado, I give you the FBV SLOW LEAK AWARDS:

The "Just Go Away" Award goes to:
Alberto Cuntador
The "I hope the Yeti bites your nose " Award goes to:
Angelo Zomegnan
The "Take a bite of my Vegemite sandwich/
always a bridesmaid/get some muscle tone"
Award goes to:
the Schleck Brothers
The "What the f*&k are you thinking?!, Grow a pair"
Award goes to:
Anyone over the age of 18 who dresses up for
10 seconds of fame at the risk of causing a
Pro-cyclist vs Barney the Dinosaur altercation
The "Do we really need this, I'm a crusty old curmudgeon "
Award goes to:
Shimano and oooh I hate to say this,
Campagnolo Electronic components.

The "I finally forgot about you, and now you're back,
just like a sleazy ex-boyfriend" Award goes to:
Alejandro Valverde

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Little Audrey While You Wait

It's the end of the year and I am feverishly working on getting my year end blog out. As everyone knows the end of the year allows us to look back and think about what we did and didn't do. It also allows us to think back to all the cool new crap we discovered over the past 365 days. I've been compiling a list of items that have made 2K11 an even better year for me. And I am going to share them with you, I just need some more time to make sure I include everything. So bear with me, I know you're dying to read it. While you're waiting, here is Audrey Hepburn riding bikes. I chose Audrey because 1) I love her and 2)I recently had my Mom give me bangs and she cut them a bit short. My Dad made me feel better by saying they made me look like Audrey. Thanks Dad! And to you enjoy:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Looky-Like

Quick Sunday morning looky-like for ya. I found this photo of a 1930 Tour de France crash victim and instantly thought of Laurens Ten Dam from this year's TdF. I actually had a lot to choose from this year. The bike's may get lighter and the gear may get tougher, but a crash is still a crash. The human body remains the same.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas is the Time for Giving Tees

New for Christmas, Wiggo going Bananas

Christmas time is here again, and Maurice and I have been busy running around FreeBird Velo World Headquarters screen printing, ironing, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. We have a new Bradley Wiggins design and a new even higher jumping Didi the Devil design too. Unfortunately, if you live in Europe or Australia it's too late for Christmas shipping, but my fellow Americans can order up until December 21. Go ahead and have a peek at the store, good stuff is bound to be found.
Woo Hoo, look at Maurice, I mean Didi, getting ready for July

A Classic any cycling fan would love
My personal favorite, contains Belgian Super Powers

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Diaries- Lessons Learned

Last day of the Rapha Turkey Takeoff. And I did not make it. I did not get my badge. I let Sophia down. She was more than ready to take on the entire challenge but as for me, her engine, I failed her. This challenge wasn't a complete waste though, I learned some valuable lessons. Hopefully when another challenge rolls around, whether it's public or just for myself, these pearls of wisdom will help remind me what it takes to keep going.

Lesson 1: EAT You need to fill that tank up with something good if you plan on going farther than just an hour jaunt. Cinnamon rolls and quesadillas are not good pre-ride fuel, remember that. Recovery food is just as important. A glass of chocolate milk and a croissant with jam does not a healthy meal make. Don't ask me why I didn't have my usual post-ride protein smoothies, I think my body was using brain matter as fuel. A healthy mix of protein and carbs are necessary for a good performance the next day. Trust me I know. I think I ate a total of 900 calories on Thanksgiving day just because I was burned out and not hungry. The next day I felt like a cyclo-zombie.

Lesson 2: Keep your bike in good order. A clean bike is a fast bike. Just like when you were little. Brand new shoes or just washed ones always make you run faster. Give your bike a good wash or spray down, get the grime off her, lube her if she needs it, and do your routine pre-ride checklist. This all sounds kind of naughty now that I'm re-reading it. Lesson here is love your bike and it will give you miles of entertainment and health.

Lesson 3: Find some recovery routines that work for you and use them. Compression socks, ice baths, massages, watching bad movies with your legs elevated. Whatever you find works for you, do it. Don't go and walk through North America's largest car show the day after a butt kicking ride. 2 flights of stairs and I felt like I had cement flip flops on. Do whatever you can to let your body recover, that's all I'm saying. We're not all superheroes.

Lesson 3.5: SLEEP I think this qualifies as recovery too. Your body repairs itself while you slumber. Sleep is wonderful, I love it when I can get it. Find the best method to fall asleep and do it. I like a dram of whiskey and a shortbread cookie. Nah, I honestly have the worst time falling and staying asleep, so if you have any absurd suggestions I WILL try them.

Lesson 4: Use your mind as an ally. If you're having a rough ride use your mind to refocus. Focus on a word, phrase, or scene from a movie. This will help take your mind off the pain or mental negativity you have before you start to have tunnel vision or go cross-eyed, after that you'll pretty much tune out everything. That's when your mind goes on auto pilot, at least for me it does. Heartbeat=pedal stroke=breath. Better make sure you're on your way home once those set in though. You'll end up sitting on the curb in front of a liquor store mumbling, eating Twinkies and having a Coke.

Lesson 5: Last but not least, choose your rides accordingly. With a challenge like this I should have known better then to head for the hills. I wasn't prepared for so much climbing and I got burned out. I should of found some flat routes and put the sails up. 1 or 2 days of climbing is okay, not everyday. Not every ride has to be the Battan Death Ride, unless it really is that sort of challenge.

So there you have it. Lessons I have learned in one week of riding. I did none of them, and I suffered for it. You can bet next challenge I'm going in full charge, so look out.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Disapointing Turkey Diaries-Day 3

Oh I feel like a failure, I would have to burn 5,000 something calories in the next 2 days to make the calorie count. My calculations were wrong, and if you know my math skills it wouldn't surprise you that I was off by 2,000 calories. I'll ride this weekend because I've been having so much fun lately in the saddle, but I would have to ride the Santa Ana river trail (60 to 75 miles depending) for the next 2 days. I know I could do this but I am married and have plans to stay married. C'est la vie.
Redland's most festive house.
I think they have at least 50 lawn decorations.
View of Mt.Baldy through the haze

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Diaries-Day 2

Slowly racking up some calories, I think 9000 is possible if I stick to the same miles and elevation gains I've been doing. Although my afternoon ride on Wednesday combined with my butt crack of dawn ride this morning made for some interesting conversations with the legs. Won't do that again.
I came up with a term for these longer rides: Rotational Meditation Sessions. I get a peaceful feeling listening to my breath and bike working in unison. Good stuff happens on the bike. Unless of course there are runners coming at you 4 abreast and refuse to move. I'm not moving into oncoming traffic just so they can keep up their conversation about what sales they're going to hit up on Black Friday. I'll Red Rover my ass right on through that wall of wannabe Orange County Housewives. Whoops, lost my serenity there for a second.
As I said before it was an early morning ride, always hard on the little pistons, especially in cold weather. I never really seemed to get warmed up, so some f-bombs were dropped in their direction. Fortunately my body has a unique super power- when I giggle, pain and fatigue seem to reduce or even disappear. Sometimes I'll even giggle because of my F-bomb. Usually my giggles start with random things. This morning in particular I had quotes from Blazing Saddles running through my head. "Mungo only pawn in game of life" was one that kept repeating itself. So yeah, I know how to entertain myself.
Yep those are Embrocation Hi-Vis shoe covers, a very good investment

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Diaries-Day 1

It is day one of the Rapha Turkey Take-Off. Already I messed up and took Nyquil last night and ended up oversleeping. So no long early morning ride, had to settle for a nooner and could only ride 2.5 hours because I had get back and make some prints and make it to the post office before it closed. Wheew, that was a long sentence, 7 years of college didn't help my grammar that's for sure.
Fancy Camera Work

So maybe you heard me bitch on Twitter about the Turkey Challenge. I thought it was going to be unfair because heavier riders burn calories faster, but the good folks at Strava made it fair, everything is averaged somehow, I don't know the details but it works.
One Big-Ass Turkey

So my ride today, absolutely amazing weather. I apologize to those in the Pacific Northwest, back East or anywhere where the weather is crap. 70 degrees, high wispy clouds, and a slight breeze. The ride itself was my normal Sunset loop-around Sunset, down to the outer highway, backtracked through Sunset, downtown and then back home. Fun times and giggles were had, saw a cat and this giant lawn turkey. So I'm going to try and finish this damn thing, usually if I blog about something I tend to burn out. This may be the perfect time frame (5 days) for my gnat-like attention span. Hopefully I keep to my guns and hit the 9000 mark. Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Is this Where We're Headed?

No, no, no! This goes against everything that is pure and true.
Looks like a hot robot mess.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I Love My Tires, Do You Love Yours?

That's some haircut lady.

It's been over a week since my last entry. I have let myself down, I've let YOU guys down, and for that I give you Diamondback Debbie. I don't know if that's her real name but it should be, she should also live in Dallas and work in the entertainment industry. Filming a public broadcast knitting show, get your minds out of the gutter. I don't know how old this photo is but that is one wicked stem angle, she's going to knock her teeth out. She kind of looks like Chandler's girlfriend from Friends. Remember the one he stole from Joey? I think she might of took the bodypaint job because I haven't seen her in anything since then. Thank you to for bringing this photo to our attention.

Oh that Chandler, stealing Joey's bodypaint/model girlfriend.

Now down to business. I have been wanting to spread the good word about Continental Gator Hardshells for awhile now. I've been using them since my birthday, no wait anniversary, yeah I got them in June. I've put quite a bit of miles on them and I am happy to say that these are by far the best everyday tires you could possibly own. Not a flat in sight, thank goodness, because there is no way in heck I'm getting these puppies off by myself on the side of the road. (that is my only complaint about them) I know a lot of you want light, smooth rolling, race tires and that's great but I can't wear those shoes. I tend to look at something and head right towards it. It's like that shard of glass is the Death Star and it has it's nasty tractor beam locked on me and I can't break away. Unfortunately I don't have a shroud fitted for my bike.
Don't you laugh at our Shaft (shut yo mouth) inspired tile.

My Hubby actually got these for me for our 6th Wedding Anniversary. He got sick of hearing my "oh, I got a flat again" stories every other week, and for a month it was once a week at least. Yeah, I'm kind of a dipshit when it comes to debris, I blame it on my mountain biking background, roll it on over. In my defense 89% of the time it was tiny thorns or noseeum glass, unavoidable to anyone. That other 11% of the time I was looking at a cow or funny mailbox and didn't see the discarded box of drywall screws or broken 40 oz bottle of Mickeys. I have taken these tires over miles of gravel, potholes, palm fronds, small children and never a mark on them. They seem indestructible, I don't know what could hurt them, honestly I hope I never find out. If you are like me and like a trust worthy tire that will allow you to ride over any terrain without worry, go, go now you silly folk and pick up a pair, from your local bike shop of course, show 'em some love.

"We'll I'll be a Fig Newton, I'm standing next to a girl with a tiny head!" I review the best cycling helmet ever to be placed upon my minuscule head. If you suffer the same fate I do I suggest you stay tuned.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall/Winter Tee selection


Freebird Velo has some new offerings for the Fall/Winter season. Some of these tees have been seen on and , no biggie or anything. Take a look and if you see something that calls to you, you can find it on the FBV shop here.

Crap weather? Eddy would ride, no doubt.
Ride your bike a long way,
tackle some hills, sprint against your friends,
spray them with your water bottle if you loose.
Suffer along the way, it's all part of the ride.
Maurice is back.
Breakaways or the grupetto,
he's an equal opportunity cheerer.

Are you as confused, pissed off, and depressed as I am
about the exclusion of the Muur and Bosberg in the RVV?
Wear a tee, it'll make everything all right.
Rouleurs are the super-duper domestiques
of the peloton. So show your local rouleur
some love, wear the tee.