Bikes bikes and more bikes

Exhausted and it feels so good!  Clinic, practice, ride, train… this girl had a busy but AMAZING weekend. Working with jrs is great, but working one on one with a Jr girl, coaching her through shifting gears, holding a line, descending and seeing her make progress is what it’s about. That’s how I spent my Saturday morning, on my road bike riding, side by side with a developing racer, teaching her, encouraging her, being her cheerleader!  Then I switched gears (literally) to my MTB and worked with a rock star group of women, teaching them about balance, stability, and filling their toolbox with skills they can work on, develop, and apply. The most amazing part of that was the energy that was at the clinic. It was all positive, warm (yeah it was also 90*), and welcoming. My favorite part was right towards the end of the “skills” work in the field, my group was learning the “peak and push” to roll down a small drop. We had a few “green lights” meaning it was a definite go, and a few that were “yellow lights” meaning it was a skill they wanted to try, but needed to see people do it a few times. The last rider to roll up was the most unsure, but I knew she could do. She rolled around the staging area a few times and then with confidence rolled up onto the ramp and nailed her peak and push and my group of women erupted with clapping, cheers, and so much excitement for her success. Empowering at its best- women doing what we should be doing, instilling confidence and strength in other women. Don’t get me wrong, I love coaching men though these skills as well and watching them succeed, but the energy from a group of women is next to none.

On to Sunday… what happens when you put three strong and determine women on a bikes? They kick some ass. This particular ride for me had one of the worst beginnings I’ve ever experienced. I’ll preface this with…every now and then my pre-workout doesn’t agree with me. I haven’t been able to pin point why, but if I don’t get the workout going within about 45 min of drinking it…cue the nausea. Normally, I can just push though and drink some water and it passes, this morning nothing I tried worked. The nausea was bad enough I actually started to dry heave in the parking lot. I grabbed a ginger ale shot blocks (ginger chews are my go to for nausea, but I was out) hoping that would help. It did, or so I thought. I was hoping once we got rolling between the wind blowing in my face and actually moving it would pass. Wrong again… cue dry heaves while riding…ugh…I sent the other two gals ahead and took a moment to breathe, drink some ice water and give myself a pep talk. Hoping that would be the last of it, I hopped back on and peddled my butt off to catch back up. Thankfully, between the wind blowing in my face and increased effort, it FINALLY passed. That was a miserable hour between the parking lot and when it stopped. I so wanted to just throw in the towel and head home, but this girl doesn’t give in, she is strong. After this lil bout blech…the ride turned out to be a great/hard/fast/my legs are going to fall off kind of rides. Highlight of this was definitely passing the buff dude that sucked our wheel for a good bit of time. We had a lovely lil lady train going and out of nowhere were joined by a 4th rider, ok fine, but don’t sit there for miles, let me pull you, and then sprint off like you’re owning the road. That ignited something in me and I looked back gave a nod and the lady train attacked, up a hill of all places (for those that don’t know- climbing on my road bike is NOT my strength, in fact it my weakness). I don’t normally mind people jumping on for a bit, but there was something about this guy’s attitude/demeanor that pissed me off, not sure what it was, but buh bye, see ya later, you just got dropped by the lady train.  We rode hard and each rode through something with focus and drive. Cycling is a great form of therapy…btw. This ride may be the foundation to a BIG race in the next few years…we’ve got 3 strong, fast women, all we need is one more.

Today was also Father’s Day! (Happy Father’s Day Dad!)  I had a plan to take dad out to Medina to show him around the mtb trail. Weather had a different plan. Rain kept bubbling up and I don’t want his first experience at Medina to be bad. So we postponed and decided to stay local. We are both part of an organization called The National Mountain Bike Patrol and you have to do a series of orientation patrols to become a patroller at various trails. So we headed up to the trail and I led dad on his last orientation patrol!

I spent about 10 hours on my bike between both days, got a lil sun burnt (yep even with the good old zinc sunblock), had fun, encouraged, taught, loved, laughed, and had a total blast.  I proved to myself that this really is what I love doing and I can push though some serious nausea and make it my strongest road ride of the season. Bike-n-Bits is taking shape, starting to roll, and is turning my passion in to purpose!  #bikenbits #empower #ladieswhoshred #driventoinspire

Falling into place

When things feel right you roll with it. Teaching, riding, empowering, building confidence- it’s what I love doing.

This weekend was definitely one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.  It was all bikes and a lot of them. Saturday was teaching a Jrs mountain bike skills clinic and it was an amazing experience.  Watching some that were very uncomfortable and unstable at the beginning progress to being balanced, in control, and confident at the end of the 90 minutes left me with a feeling that is hard to describe. Teaching kids/youth is I think where my heart and soul ultimately lies. I love working with adults as well, but there’s something about a group of kids on bikes that is incredible.  The bikes continued with 2 laps at Bedford with a great and encouring rider and one of the jrs from the morning clinic (yep he rode both laps).  It was a tiring, but awesome day!!  So about Bedford…ya’ll know (or maybe ya don’t) parts of Bedford parallels a golf course…in the 4 years I’ve been riding there I’ve seen a few golf balls in the woods from those select few who may need a lesson or two on hitting the ball in the direction of the hole, but Saturday brought a whole new level to that. I totally got whacked in the upper arm with a freaking “stray” golf ball..yeah you read that right I got hit by a golf ball and have the bruise to prove it. In reflecting on that… I’ve had a few thoughts 1. WTF? How can you hit the ball SOOOO off course.. 2. Thank GOD I was in the front and took the hit and not the Jr. I saw it coming and was able shift slightly so it didn’t ping me in the face. 3. It’s one of those funny but not funny moments. 4. My arm is reeeally sore today…

I also taught my first private lesson and holy cow was it a total blast!!!!!  We set goals of

When things feel right you roll with it. Teaching, riding, empowering, building confidence- it’s what I love doing.

This weekend was definitely one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time.  It was all bikes and a lot of them. Saturday was teaching a Jrs mountain bike skills clinic and it was an amazing experience.  Watching some that were very uncomfortable and unstable at the beginning progress to being balanced, in control, and confident at the end of the 90 minutes left me with a feeling that is hard to describe. Teaching kids/youth is I think where my heart and soul ultimately lies. I love working with adults as well, but there’s something about a group of kids on bikes that is incredible.  The bikes continued with 2 laps at Bedford with a great and encouraging rider and one of the jrs from the morning clinic (yep he rode both laps).  It was a tiring, but awesome day!!  So about Bedford…ya’ll know (or maybe ya don’t) parts of Bedford parallels a golf course…in the 4 years I’ve been riding there I’ve seen a few golf balls in the woods from those select few who may need a lesson or two on hitting the ball in the direction of the hole, but Saturday brought a whole new level to that. I totally got whacked in the upper arm with a freaking “stray” golf ball…yeah you read that right I got hit by a golf ball and have the bruise to prove it. In reflecting on that… I’ve had a few thoughts 1. WTF? How can you hit the ball SOOOO off course… 2. Thank GOD I was in the front and took the hit and not the Jr. I saw it coming and was able shift slightly so it didn’t ping me in the face. 3. it’s one of those funny but not funny moments. 4. My arm is reeeally sore today…

I also taught my first private lesson and holy cow was it a total blast!!!!!  We set goals of lifting the front wheel (just a teeny tiny bit) and then made some goals on the trail. Watching the excitement when this new mountain bike rider got her front wheel off the ground and how it lifted her confidence is why I do this!! On the trail we came to a short bridge and stopped to session it (bridges also were a “red” light). With some encouragement, advice on where to keep the eyes and me standing in the ravine she navigated safely across the bridge and beamed with pride! She came into this lesson excited but nervous and left with a new thought process of riding and more confidence.  I call that progress!  Then it was off to Medina to cruise with my Saturday double Bedford lap rider!  Medina is a trail that has a lil bit of almost everything- roots, steep downhill, climbs, lots of turns, it’s a definite skill building trail. Definitely not a “beginner” trail, but a total blast!

Someone asked me a few months ago why do you think you like to teach? My reply was something to the tune of: I love watching people have those ah ha moments, leave with more confidence and encouraging them to step slightly out of their comfort zone.  When I teach, I leave my ego at the door, it’s not about proving that I’m a good rider, it’s about navigating my student safely thought their skills and safely through the trail. I don’t jump roots or hot shot down a downhill; can I, of course, but a new rider can’t and as a teacher it’s about guiding safely and showing them what line to take.   So what does all this mean? It means that Bike-n-Bits is slowing becoming more than a blog. Things are starting to become clear, important relationships are forming, and I am driven more than ever.

 

Keep the wheels rolling.

These last few weeks were filled with bikes, friends, and fitness. It has been absolutely fabulous and where I feel the most grounded and alive. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind and went like this: I taught a mountain bike skills clinic, did a lot of Orangetheory, found another woman that loves distance/endurance cycling, got some dirt time in, did some road rides, and set some big goals. Every adventure on and off bike continues to show me just how awesome this little (I use this word loosely) community of cyclists and active people really is.  Being surrounded by this community over the last few years has made me to want to give back that support and encouragement and push myself even further.

In the last 4 years, I’ve gone from being a total noobie on the trail (and road) and spending a lot of time picking myself up out of the dirt to actually teaching riders how not to do that. Yeah, I still hit the dirt, but it’s less frequent and often because I’m taking a bigger risk, screwing around, or making a dumb line choice. I’ve since pursued 2 instructor certifications and working on a few more, both bike and non-bike related, I’ve taken and taught clinics, travelled to new places to ride, ridden things that I never imagined I’d ride and seen the positive impact bikes and being active have.  I feel alive, driven, and empowered to show others that amazing feeling when you finally make it over that obstacle, land that drop, climb that hill, run further than you ever have, and just get out and get active. The more time I spend on my bike and surrounded by other women (and men), the more I want to grow this community in a positive way and show the support that was given to me. Being on my bike, and not just a mountain bike has given me confidence, strength, a sense of power, and the ability to persevere when all I want to do is put a foot down and rest. It has challenged me to stay positive and to try to silence that inner voice that says, “You can’t do that”.  I have never had a tool as powerful and effective as riding, running, and lifting.  Do I still have those negative thoughts, yeah… but I also know that I have the power to shut them down, breathe, and keep my wheels rolling- just like life…keep the wheels rolling and keep moving forward.

Where will this forward motion take me? You’ll just have to wait and see, but there are some things looming on the horizon and my wheels are rolling right towards it. #driventoinspire #livbeyond #trekwomen #ridebikesbehappy #womenwhoride #iamstong