December 7, 2006
Chico, California has a special place in my heart. I went to school up there and have some of the best memories of my life in Chico hiking around Bidwell Park, swimming at Bear Hole and cycling up Honey Run Road on my mountain bike! I had no idea what I was getting myself into that day. My friend, who had a road bike, talked me into doing a “longer ride” and me who’s always up for an adventure cheerily said, “Sure, sounds like fun!”
The first part of the ride was lovely; we rode past the Honey Run covered bridge and past meadows of wildflowers and then came the hills…I did the 13.5 miles with a 1772′ elevation change on my mountain bike without stopping…something I’m still proud of to this day. Not bad for someone who was only riding her bike 10 minutes to campus and back each day. Needless to say, by the time we got to Paradise (name of the town East of Chico), I wasn’t talking much and could barely move, but was so excited I made it to the top! Fortunately the last half of the loop back to Chico was a fast smooth decent, and I cruised it on home.
I found a ride that includes those crazy hills I rode so many years ago–the Wildflower Century and have decided I’d like to ride those hills again, but this time on my new road bike! The Chico Velo Cycling Club offers several choices other than the Century Wildflower ride. They also have the Mildflower 65, the flat flower 35 or 65, as well as the Childflower 15.
The Century Wildflower has a 4300′ elevation gain and the Mildflower has less than a 2000′ elevation gain. To avoid the waste of 10,000 drink cups they provide riders with a souvenir water bottle that doubles as proof of entry into the rest stops and dinner area. They also switched from a paper map to an artistic map rendering on a cotton cloth bandana. They provide fresh baked goods, fresh fruit and natural fruit juices at the rest stops too! YUM!
Map of the rides
Hope to see you there! 🙂
December 4, 2006
Today during lunch I tried the Giant TCR-0 at Bike Nut…responsive and a great fit, but a little too zippy for me at this point. After work, I tried the Trek Madone 5.5 at Lombardi Sports…whoa, now that was a smooth ride, great handling yet not too squirrely. I think I’ve finally found the bike for me! Whoo Hoo!!!
I don’t think I need all Dura-Ace components at this point, so I’m looking for a Trek Madone 5.0. The frame is the same as the 5.5, and I can always upgrade the components later if I decide I need them. Brian found a Lightspeed Siena M/L for sale on Craig’s List, so I’ll check that one out too just incase it fits better than the Trek. I can’t wait to get a bike, so I can start training!
I also found out today that my cousin who lives in Kona is also registered for Honu — how exciting! Both of us participating in our first Half Ironman will make this event that much more special. 🙂
December 4, 2006
Well, here’s my triathlon schedule for 2007…I figured since I did so well riding a road bike yesterday for the first time that I should easily be able to handle a Half Ironman as my second triathlon…gulp! A bit nervous and think I might be biting off more than I can chew, but as Andy says, “I wake up every morning hoping to!” I like that attitude so here I go…CHOMP…chew…chew…chew…we’ll just have to see how it goes… 😉
2007 Triathlon Schedule:
April 15: Ice Breaker Triathlon (sprint distance) – MY FIRST TRIATHLON!!! :), Folsom Lake, Granite Bay, CA
May 4-6: Wildflower Olympic, Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, CA — MY FIRST OLYMPIC TRIATHLON!!! 🙂
June 2: Honu 70.3, Kailu-Kona, HI — MY FIRST HALF IRONMAN!!! 🙂
June 23: San Jose International Olympic, San Jose, CA
August 13: Folsom International Olympic, Folsom, CA
August 24-25: Santa Barbara Long Olympic
August 26: Accenture Chicago Triathlon
Early Sept. Big Kahuna Half Ironman Santa Cruz, CA
November 3: Treasure Island Triathlon, Treasure Island, CA (not sure about this one, it might be too cold for me)
December 4, 2006
Today I went to Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito, CA and tried out some carbon road bikes. This was my first time riding a road bike and let me tell you it was so much fun! I tried the Specialized Tarmac, Trek 5000 and Cannondale Synapse.
I was super nervous at first. The Specialized Tarmac was the first one I tried, and it was pretty squirrely. I was so afraid that one of the dogs that were being walked along the path was going to jump out in front of me. I almost crashed as I was going over the little wooden bridge because a cute little 5 year old with training wheels was swerving. I managed not to crash and survived the 20 minutes on the bike. Whew!
Now on to the Trek 5000. Ahhh, now this was much crusier. My hands didn’t hurt as much on this bike. I had such a tight death grip on the Tarmac that it made my hands turn red where I was gripping it. The Trek boosted my confidence and I rode fast down the path. Brian taught me how to use the gears, and I was clicking away adjusting them as whizzed along. I was definitely getting a good feel for this whole cycling thing. The Trek wasn’t as responsive as the Tarmac though, so back to the shop to try the Cannondale Synapse.
The story of Goldilocks and the three bears comes to mind. This one seemed just right. It was responsive but not so much that I felt like I was riding on a tight rope…one wrong turn and I’m off into the field. I was definitely more stable, so Brian took me up my first hill…Camino Alto here I come! We made it up 300 yards and I experienced my first decent. I had the brakes on most of the way; they tested out great! I think I finally remembered to breathe when I got to the bottom of the monster hill.
Many more bikes to try out but this is was a great first kiss to what I foresee as a lifelong love of cycling.
Until next time,