Wednesday, July 23, 2014

all, nothing, or something


It’s been an interesting summer for me.  I ended May with some of the best fitness in my 15 years of cycling.  My mileage was solid and I’d been climbing like crazy.  On June 10th, I suddenly found myself ill.  After extensive testing, I learned I had parvo-virus.  When a teammate first mentioned this was a possibility, I laughed, thinking that parvo was a disease that dogs get.  Little did I know that a different strain of the same virus is one of the 5 childhood diseases.  80% of us in the United States get parvo as a child and are then immune for life.  I guess I’m just part of the lucky 20%.  
Parvo-virus is a pretty nasty virus for adults.  When a child gets it, they run a fever, get red, rashy cheeks (it’s called slapped face disease) and quickly recover.  When an adult gets it, they get the fever (mine was 103.8 for 2 days) and then severe, debilitating pain in their joints.  This temporary arthritis usually lasts 6-8 weeks.  I’m now at 6 weeks and 4 days (but who’s counting?) and still have pain in my knees and severe muscle fatigue.  Of course, as a cycling coach, this isn’t ideal, and the condition has basically kept me off the bike except for work for the past 6 weeks.  
Summer is filled with my favorite cycling opportunities, including The Death Ride, a 125-mile ride with 15,000′ of climbing that summits 5 mountain passes in Markleeville, CA.  This year marked my 7th Death Ride, but I wasn’t really able to ride.  Instead of attempting the full ride, I met my riding partner at mile 70, after she’d already been on the bike for 7 hours.  She’d completed the first 4 of 5 passes, and faced a long, head-wind ride along the Carson River valley and then the final climb up Carson Pass.  I figured since I’d be fresh, I could pull her in the headwind and then pace her up the final climb.  Our plan worked like clockwork, I was there at the time in the ride when her motivation was rock-bottom, and she was able to complete her very first Death Ride with time to spare!
 So, now I’m re-setting my goals.  I’m learning that moderation is key.  When you’re used to riding crazy, long, hilly, epic rides, it’s hard to justify chamoising up for an hour or two on the bike, but that’s what I need right now.  I’m still suffering pain and fatigue, and I’ve lost significant fitness, so now I’m re-building fitness and riding for the mental health and social benefits.  I’ve got some  goal events on the horizon, including the Arthritis Foundation’s 6-day People’s Coast Classic in Oregon in early September and the Canary Challenge with the Velo Girls team later that month.  I don’t typically ride charity events, but I thought these would be good events to keep me motivated and on-track during the challenging re-building period.
I’m learning that life isn’t all or nothing.  Sometimes, SOMEthing is the best option!


Amanda and Lorri at the Death Ride

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hi Viz and High Style!

I'm pretty excited about our 2014 Velo Girls club kit!  We've juiced up our colors to design a super high-visibility kit by Pactimo.  You can order on-line now through Monday, April 7th and all orders will be shipped directly to you by Pactimo for delivery in early May.

We're offering the Summit Pro Women's Short Sleeve Jersey, the Continental Women's Sleeveless Jersey, the Ascent Pro Women's Bib Shorts, the Ascent Women's Shorts, and the Evergreen Lightweight Wind Vest (unisex).

The Summit Pro jersey and Evergreen vest offer reflective piping for additional visibility.  And I can't say enough about the chamois in the Ascent bibs.  I've ridden these bibs on multiple Death Rides (124 miles with 15,000' of climbing) and on the 3-day 375-mile La Vuelta Puerto Rico and they are hands-down some of the most comfortable women's clothing I've ever worn.

All orders are custom made for YOU so make sure to refer to the sizing charts to order the correct size as there are no returns or exchanges.

Click on over to the Pactimo store and order your 2014 Velo Girls club kit today!

http://order.pactimo.com/teams/velo_girls



2014 Velo Girls club jersey

Friday, February 21, 2014

Vote for Velo Girls in Best of the Bay!






Everybody loves a little contest, right?  Well, we need your help in the CityVoter Best of the Bay (aka Bay Area A List) Readers' Poll.  Once again, Velo Girls has been nominated as the Best Sports + Social Club category.  We've won this contest in the past and are currently sitting in 3rd place, so please, click on over and vote!

http://sf.cityvoter.com/velo-girls/biz/257648

With just over a week to go, YOUR vote could make the difference between being a winner and being a wiener!

Thanks!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Can You See Me Now?

This just in! We've got an awesome design for our 2014 club jersey from Pactimo. New this year, we're offering an on-line store with Pactimo where you can order whatever you'd like and everything will be shipped directly to you.

The online store is open now and will remain open through
February 25th. Orders will be delivered at the end of March -- just in time for the Cinderella Classic on April 5th.

At this time, we're offering just three items: the Summit Pro Women's Short Sleeve Jersey, the Ascent Pro Women's Bib Shorts, and the Evergreen Wind Vest (unisex sizing, so order a size smaller than your jersey). If there's interest, we can add items to the store in the future, so if there's something you'd like to order (shorts, arm warmers, long sleeve or sleeveless jerseys), email Lorri@velogirls.com with your suggestion. 


Evergreen Unisex Wind Vest

Ascent Pro Women's Bib Shorts

Summit Pro Women's Short Sleeve Jersey


For 2014, we've pumped up our logo colors to create a jersey that's highly visible (yet so much more fashionable than a neon yellow windbreaker). You'll find the purple is the same as past years, but the orange and green are "caffeinated" making them highly visible, especially in low light conditions. And how about those vertical stripes? Super-slimming and attractive on all body types!

In the Pactimo store, you can add on base layers, arm warmers, and knee warmers at a 15% discount so stock up on these must-have pieces for year-round riding.

You'll find our on-line Pactimo store here: http://order.pactimo.com/teams/velo_girls

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Christmas Confession


I’ve been lying to everyone and it’s time to make amends.  You see, when asked about Christmas, I always tell folks I “don’t do” Christmas.  And that’s true.  I don’t celebrate the holiday in a traditional way.  I don’t have family, so I don’t feel obligated to participate in any dreaded family get-togethers.  I haven’t purchased a single gift nor have I mailed even one card.  There are no candles in the window nor carols at the spinet.  And I’ve lived this way for close to two decades. 

But the reality is, I really do love Christmas.  Besides the stress that surrounds the holiday, I have some lovely memories of big family dinners, Christmas Eve midnight mass, our annual Christmas choir concert featuring “O Holy Night,” and Christmas morning with all the grandchildren.  I used to decorate a tree each year and I still have a box of ornaments (in storage) that I collected in the first 30 years of my life.  I used to send out hundreds of Christmas cards.  I used to bake dozens of cookies for family, friends, and co-workers.  I even used to host a Christmas caroling party at my home.  So, what happened?  How did I become the girl who didn’t “do Christmas?”

The transition happened gradually, shortly before I moved to California in 1998.  My grandmother, who had been the anchor of many of our family traditions, passed away.  My father picked up the reins and we started some new traditions without her.  And then my father died.  And then I moved to California.  The first winter I lived here, I travelled home to upstate New York for the holiday.  It was just me, my mother, and my sister (who also used to live in CA).   My other sister had estranged herself from the family, and, as the mother of the only grandchildren in the family, she deprived us of sharing the experience with children.  So we went from a two-day celebration filled with tons of family and friends to a depressing week where my mother didn’t get out of bed, my sister drank 2 bottles of wine each night, and I started to hate the holiday that I had always loved.  Although my mother lived another five years after this, that was my last Christmas in New York.

The following year, I started riding a bicycle.  I hooked up with three other riders (all training for the California AIDS Ride) and we rode together for 4 days over the Christmas holiday.  We called ourselves the “Christmas Orphans.”  We each had a different story, but what we shared was the fact that we were alone for the holidays and that we all rode a bike.  On Christmas morning 1999, we rode a 30-mile route in San Francisco.  We continued to be friends and this ride became a holiday tradition.  Over the years, the other three moved on to other traditions, I continued on, and today marked the 15th Annual Christmas Orphans’ Tour of San Francisco.  In these 15 years, I’ve only missed twice:  once when we cancelled due to torrential rain and wind and once when I was recovering from surgery.

One year, there were only 2 of us on the ride (it was pouring rain).  One year, there were close to 100 riders (thanks to a calendar listing from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.  Everyone comes from a different place, many of them with connections to me, and they share the desire to participate in a fun, social ride on Christmas morning.  And, no matter what size the group, we bring smiles to the faces of all who see us, dressed in Santa hats, elf costumes, and riding decorated bikes. 


Alyson + Lorri at the Golden Gate Bridge

The Christmas Orphans’ Tour of San Francisco is a unique ride.  It’s not a long ride, totaling just 29 miles.  It’s not a hard ride, with less than 1,500’ of climbing.  It’s not a fast ride, since we keep the group together (no matter how slow the slowest rider is) and we stop to enjoy the view, take photos, and maybe even have a cup of hot chocolate.  It’s a social ride where old friends and new friends get to see the city in a new way.  On Christmas morning, when everyone else is sitting around their Christmas tree, you can see the random art in the city – the murals and mosaics, the sculpture and the architecture, and, on a clear day like today, the amazing views of the bay, the bridges, and the ocean.

It’s been fascinating for me to see how our beautiful city has changed in the past 15 years.  The infrastructure for bicycles has improved dramatically.  The ballpark was built and has changed names a couple of times.  Parts of the city have been developed while other parts have become less desirable.  I’ve noticed more folks are out and about running, bicycling, surfing, and walking (and today’s beautiful weather definitely contributed to this).  And I still see the homeless, the needy, and the hopeful on street corners and hidden in the nooks and crannies of the city. 

So, my reality is that I DO celebrate Christmas.  And I DO give gifts.  My gift is bringing together random strangers and friends to share in this amazing experience.  I give folks who might be alone the opportunity to spend time with others.  I give folks who don’t celebrate Christmas something to do on a day when many folks are busy with family.  I give myself the opportunity to continue a tradition that has been very meaningful for me.  And the other riders give me the opportunity to share this with them.

It’s amazing to me that I’ve continued this tradition for 15 years.  I don’t think I’ve ever done anything else in my entire life for 15 years.  But then again, I’ve never loved anything or anyone the way I love my bike.  And love is actually what traditions like Christmas are all about.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


The Christmas Orphans at Fisherman's Wharf


Monday, December 9, 2013

Why I'm Happy to Have Food Allergies

I've had breathing issues my entire life.  I was born with pneumonia.  I was told I was weak and fragile and had bad lungs.  I never participated in sports (although I could somehow play the oboe).  I had childhood allergies (never defined, but treated with prescription medications) and exercise-induced asthma.  And then, as an adult, I smoked cigarettes for nearly a decade.  Not the makings of a cyclist, but somehow, I found myself on the bike.

When I got serious about cycling, I visited the pulmonologist, who confirmed that I'm allergic to just about everything in the world, that I have temperature- and exercise-induced asthma, and early signs of COPD.  But, I wanted to race my bike, so I endured years of allergy shots (treating environmental allergies but not food allergies), allergy medications to counter the symptoms, and an inhaler to clear my lungs.  But never did this doctor recommend that I eliminate allergens from my environment.

A few years ago, I started working with a different allergist, who recommended I remove all allergens from my environment.  This included eliminating certain foods, my dog (I couldn't do it), carpet, and covering my bed and pillows in anti-allergen cases.  I do the best I can.

The foods were the easiest to eliminate (although this takes very conscious decision-making, especially if eating in a restaurant).  My home is as allergen-free as I can make it.  I struggle when traveling (motel rooms are filled with allergens like dust, dust mites, and mold) and mountain biking can aggravate my allergies to grasses and trees.  But all in all, I've been able to relieve my symptoms by making some lifestyle changes.

Interestingly enough, when I removed my food allergens from my diet, amazing things changed in my health.  My immune system seemed to improve, maybe because it wasn't constantly being stressed by my diet.  My lungs were stronger (proven through breathing tests).  I no longer needed to use an inhaler for cycling, except in very cold temperatures.  My weight stabilized.  My energy increased as did my sleep quality and my mood.  I no longer suffered headaches and a stuffy head.  My skin cleared up and the hives that had plagued me for many years disappeared.  And my recovery time on the bike improved dramatically.

So, why am I happy to have food allergies?


  • I learned to cook.  My most significant food allergy is wheat.  Wheat is in everything, not only obvious foods like bread and pasta, but also hidden in things like salad dressings and sauces.  To eliminate wheat, I needed to learn how to prepare foods from scratch.
  • I learned about great foods I had never tried before.  When I first started eating wheat-free, the gluten-free trend wasn't popular and GF foods were not readily available.  So rather than substituting GF bread or pasta for regular bread or pasta, I substituted other foods.  I discovered corn (tortillas, polenta, chips) and I embraced the humble potato.  
  • I became acutely aware of what I'm putting into my body.  I rarely ate pre-packaged foods, but when I did, I learned to read labels and evaluate the ingredients.  I also started to pay attention to how I felt after eating certain foods.  Did my energy level spike or drop after eating?  Did I feel full?  How did I feel the next day?


Because I'm also sensitive to oats (and many times oats are contaminated by wheat), I had to find a substitute for my favorite breakfast food -- oatmeal.  After some research, I decided to experiment with quinoa.  While many consider quinoa a grain, it's actually a seed, very high in micro-nutrients and is a complete protein.  Quinoa is high in calcium, magnesium, and iron, and is a valuable source of fiber.  It can be cooked in much the same way you would cook rice and can be prepared as a cereal, a pasta, or added to other foods (like salad) to give nutritional value and texture.  All hail the super-food quinoa!

I thought I'd share my favorite breakfast.  It's pretty easy and very filling.  It keeps my energy levels super-high and it's really yummy.

Caveat, I like texture foods (and this is no exception).  I like crunchy peanut butter; not creamy.  I prefer a smoothie to juicing.  I like chunky soups.  I like Almond Joy (not Mounds) and peanut M&Ms (not plain).  I'd rather eat food with a crunch than those that are smooth.  And my breakfast is no exception.

I prepare this in the rice cooker but it can also be prepared on the stove.  It takes 20-30 minutes to cook so you can set it and shower or pump up your tires or walk your dog.

Lorri's Happy Morning Crunchy Breakfast Quinoa (approximately 600 calories):

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp coconut oil (optional)
1/4 cup quinoa
half an apple (cubed, skin on)
handful of raisins
cinnamon to taste
1 1/2 cup water
coconut milk
raw coconut flakes
chia seed
sunflower seeds

Coat your rice cooker with coconut oil.  Add quinoa, apple, raisins, cinnamon, and water and cook.

When cooked, add coconut milk, coconut flakes, chia seed, and sunflower seeds to taste.

Enjoy your day!



the main ingredients

the toppings

ready to go in the rice cooker

the finished product!







Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's a Savvy Bike Shop-a-Palooza!

Whether you were out fighting the Black Friday crowds or plan to shop small + local for Small Business Saturday, I wanted to share a special discount with all our Savvy Bike clients + fans. 

The 2014 Savvy Bike calendar has been published and you can register on-line for all of our camps, clinics, and bike fit. And now through Monday, December 2nd, you can save 20% by using promotional code SBS. 

Here's a preview of what's on tap for the coming year.  Holiday shopping couldn't be any easier! 



The Tri-Flow Development Racing Program

Introduced in 2006, this award-winning program is designed to help you bridge the gap from club rider to team racer. In a six-week series of workshops, clinics, and rides, we'll teach you everything you need to know to begin road racing and then support you at your first race. This program is limited to eight riders each session. A solid level of cycling fitness is required. Program fee includes custom team jersey, USA Cycling License, race registration fee, twice-weekly team training, and a group training program. Contact coaching@savvybike.com to schedule an assessment.

Team #1 – Bariani Road Race (Feb 9th  – Mar 16th, 2014)


Cinderella Kick-Start Clinic – Jan 18th

Are you planning to ride the Cinderella Classic on April 5th, 2014?  If so, this is the PERFECT clinic for you.  We combine the best skills from our Bike Skills modules, along with important information about nutrition and bike maintenance, to start you off in the right direction for a successful event.  Then, join us for our progressive training ride series that begins the following week and you'll be crossing the finish line in style!  Meet other women who will be riding Cinderella and have a GREAT day of bike-love learning.


Alpine Altitude Adventure (aka Death Ride Training Camp) – Jun 20th – 22nd, 2014

Join us for a fun, co-ed training weekend in Markleeville, CA, home of the Death Ride.    This 6th annual co-ed weekend camp is designed to help prepare participants for the rigors of endurance riding at high altitude.  Based in Markleeville, CA, this camp is appropriate for Death Ride participants and others who wish to gain high altitude experience.  Daily mileage options range from 25 - 75 miles.  Registration fee includes camping (Friday + Saturday), a Friday skills clinic, SAG on rides, cycling nutrition, Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Sunday breakfast, and lots of fun with cool folks. 


Bike Skills 101 – Fundamental Bike Handling Skills – sponsored by BicycleLawyer.com – Feb 8th, Mar 15th, Apr 26th, May 31st, Jul 13th, Aug 17th, Sep 13th, Oct 18th

This 4-hour co-ed clinic is the foundation of everything else you’ll learn on the bike.  This is the clinic where we teach the old dogs new tricks and the newbies the fundamentals.  You’ll learn about balance and weight distribution and how that affects your ability to ride your bike safely and confidently.  We’ll learn skills like riding with no hands, emergency stops, and how to look behind you while holding your line, how to steer, and counter-steer.  After just four hours, we guarantee you’ll be a better bike handler and have much more fun on the bike.   This clinic is a pre-requisite for all other Bike Skills road cycling clinics.


Bike Skills 102 – Fundamental Mountain Bike Skills – Mar 1st, May 10th, Jul 27th, Sep 28th, Nov 8th

It's time for a little dirty fun!  We'll teach you the basics (and not-so-basics) of balance, weight distribution, and how to use the terrain to your advantage. Learn to rock, roll, hop, and jump. Master the art of steep climbs.  Learn to descend with confidence and skill.  After just four hours, we guarantee you’ll be a better bike handler and have much more fun on the bike.


Bike Skills 103 – Fundamental Cyclocross Skills + Tactics – Aug 24th

Have you been wondering what's all the buzz about cyclocross?  It's a fun but challenging sport that's beginner-friendly and appropriate for the entire family.  And best of all, it's happening at a park near you!  In this four-hour clinic, you'll learn all the skills needed to get started in this incredible sport, including mounts, dismounts, and how to shoulder and carry your bike.  We'll also share information about bikes & equipment, the local cyclocross racing scene, and how to train for a successful season.  We’ll finish off the day with a simulated race and de-brief.  You'll need a mountain bike or a cyclocross bike for this clinic.


Bike Skills 201 – Climbing + Descending Skills sponsored by Jan Medina Real Estate
– Feb 8th, Mar 15th, Apr 26th, May 31st, Jul 13th, Aug 17th, Sep 13th, Oct 18th

Bike Skills 201 is a continuation of what you’ve learned in Bike Skills 101.  What goes up must come down, right?  In this 4-hour co-ed clinic, we’ll teach you how to climb like a pro – seated climbs, standing climbs, short climbs, steep climbs, extended climbs.  And then, we’ll teach you how to come back down again, focusing on a fast straight descent, and then a technical switchbacky descent.  Pre-requisite: Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.


Bike Skills 301 – Pacelines + Group Riding Skills – Apr 6th, Jun 8th, Sep 14th, Nov 9th

Wheelsucking is an art!  Whether you’re a racer or a recreational rider, group riding skills will help you ride longer, faster, and farther.  We’ll learn draft theory and basic pacelines, beginning with partner work and progressing to more complex group riding skills and introductory racing techniques.  Pre-requisite:  Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.


Bike Skills 302 – Racing Skills + Tactics – TBA

This six-hour clinic will teach you all the individual bike-handling and group riding skills you'll need to race your first (or your 10th) criterium or road race. In addition to skills & drills, you'll receive expert coaching on race preparation and logistics, and an introduction to tactics. We'll finish the day with a training race followed by a de-brief.  Pre-requisite:  Bike Skills 101 or equivalent experience.


Bike Skills 303 – Advanced Racing Skills + Tactics – TBA

Are you an experienced racer?  Are you ready to step up your game for 2014?  In this six-hour clinic we'll focus on individual bike-handling, group riding, and racing skills. In addition to skills & drills, you'll receive expert coaching on race preparation and logistics, as well as tactics (both individual and team).  We'll finish the day with a training race followed by a de-brief.  Register with teammates to enhance your learning!  Pre-requisite:  Bike Skills 101 or equivalent skills clinic, or a minimum of 10 race starts.




Bike Touring 101
– May 17th – 18th, Oct 4th – 5th  

Have you thought about touring on your bike but don’t know where to begin?  We’ll unravel the mysteries of supported, fully-loaded, and semi-loaded touring for you.  This clinic includes a two-hour seminar on the topics of equipment, bicycle choice, what to bring, how to pack, camping, cooking, safety, and choosing your route.  Then, we head out for a weekend of semi-loaded touring with a 50-mile hilly option or a 25-mile rolling option, both ending at Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel in Pescadero, where we’ll have dinner, spend the evening, soak in the hot tub, and sleep.  The next day, we pack up and return to the start.  This is a fully-supported event and includes ride nutrition, dinner (Saturday) and breakfast (Sunday), SAG, and your accommodations at the hostel.



Monday, October 14, 2013

2014 Velo Girls Membership is LIVE!

I had intended to post 2014 Velo Girls membership by October 1st, but I got a bit distracted with Furnace Creek 508, a training trip to Pactimo in Denver, and the flu.  Of course, the flu.  So, a few days late but you can now register for 2014 Velo Girls membership.

New for 2014:

  • Pre-pay a discounted professional bike fit from Savvy Bike with a Velo Girls discount.
  • Add a discounted Savvy Bike 4-hour Bike Skills clinic to your membership.
  • Register for our Cinderella Kick-Start Clinic with a Velo Girls discount.


Another exciting change for 2014 is that you can order all of your Velo Girls clothing DIRECTLY through Pactimo.  And (drumroll, please) Pactimo will ship your order directly to YOU!  We will not be combining clothing orders with membership this year.  Our first clothing order will take place in December 2013 for delivery in February 2014.  We will re-open the team store monthly throughout the year so you can order when it's most convenient for you.  Stay tuned for an exciting new design!

As an incentive to register early, use promotional code "earlybird" to receive a 10% discount on membership if you register before November 1st, 2013!


Friday, October 4, 2013

It Takes Two, Baby!

Our awesome little team of six for the Furnace Creek 508 awoke at dawn, grabbed some Starbuck's for breakfast, and chamoised up for a shake-out ride on the tandems.  In addition to the four of us racing, our two crew members, Max and Andy, saddled up on the spare tandem at our host house to join us for a short spin.  How often do you see three separate tandems out riding together?

I'm pretty impressed with our ability to get up and running smoothly.  My pilot, Jim Ryan, is a very experienced rider, and we were able to start, stop, shift to an optimal gear, and communicate really well together.  We dialed in our bike fit (as much as possible within the constraints of the bike) and I feel confident we've optimized our positions.

The best piece of advice I received this morning was from our other tandem pilot, Paul Kingsbury (owner of Kingsbury's Cyclery in Elmira, NY).  He said the biggest adjustment as a stoker is that I will feel the bike do things that weren't caused by MY input.  I thought about that several times during our 9-mile ride this morning.

We rolled with my Cardo BK-1 bluetooth communication device.  It's a super-cool helmet-mount system that allows two riders to talk to each other.  I've been testing it out in training the past month or so and I'm sold that it's a really great system for two riders.  If our crew is really smart, we're also going to connect to one of their smart phones so we can communicate with the support van.

Communication will be key for this race.

Lorri, Jim, and crew member Max in the background


I've spent a lot of time in the past month thinking about the experience of riding a tandem and also being supported by a crew.  This is very different for me.  I'm an independent girl.  I live alone.  I run my own business.  I have no family.  I'm used to doing my own thing.  So, for the next couple of days I'm integrating into a six-person team and allowing others to advise me and take care of me.  It's a pretty neat experience.

There are so many funny soundbites about riding a tandem.  But here are my thoughts as I embark on a journey from the stoker's seat:


  • Trust is key.  I need to trust in the bike.  The bike will do what it's meant to do if we don't screw it up.  I need to trust my pilot.  I couldn't pick a better pilot.  Jim is a super-experienced ultra-endurance rider with experience as a tandem pilot on this event.  He'll take good care of me.
  • It's okay to let others lead.  I'm used to being a leader.  I'm not used to being a follower. Following can feel uncomfortable to me.  My role this weekend is not to be a leader.  But I can be the very best follower I can be.  
  • I can be a contributor.  And that will be more valuable than being a leader in this situation.  I will pedal.  I'll cheer.  I'll help out whenever I can.  And I'll let others lead.
  • Intuition is also very important.  A stoker can't be on auto-pilot.  I can use verbal and non-verbal cues to help guide me.  
We're all packed in the van now and transferring to the host hotel in Valencia.  We've got race check-in and safety checks on both the bikes and the support vehicle.  We've got the race meeting this afternoon, with all 700 riders and support crew.  And then it's off to the grocery store to stock up on 24-hours of food for riders and support staff.  We've been discussing nutrition options, ranging from all liquids to a variety of real food and sports nutrition products, to eccentric snacks like tootsie rolls stuffed with coffee beans.  

I won't likely update the blog until after the race is finished on Sunday, but you can follow our progress here:

If you'd like to follow along, you'll find the official FC508 webcast here:

http://www.the508.com/2013web/

You'll find time splits for our team (Northern Spring Peepers) here:

Northern Spring Peepers Race Page

And you can get live (well, every 20 minutes) updates here:

Northern Spring Peepers SPOT Tracker

Wish me luck!

********************************************************************************


Thank you again to Gary Brustin and Jan Medina for their sponsorship of my race.  I wouldn't be sitting in this 15-passenger van on the 5 in Los Angeles, discussing pickle juice and chamois creme if it wasn't for their support.