Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

If you have any Halloween pictures with your bike, feel free to post them to my APabstSmear FaceBook page.

My Kona is such a ham, dontchathink?

That pumpkin doesn't stand a chance.....

My nephew and his creation

My daughter and her creation

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here are some additional pictures from Burnin'. Enjoy!

Photo credit for the pictures goes to Laura, Karen and Todd.  Awesome shots. Thanks for taking them. 

Dave "the Pabst man"
Nico and the New East Coast Syndicate 

The start was a little foggy

TEAM SEAGAL's new soldier 
Drewby, also new soldier
Jay waving hello
THE Peat Henry ready to rumble
Dwayne- 12hr solo- 9 laps
Settling in behind Emily


Bikes ready for action

Team Seagal wins SS Buckle

Run Whatcha Brung. Burnin' At The Bluff 2012

The week before the race was not an easy one.  Frustration ate at me, hell, shit was coming at me in all directions, I deflected what I could.  I would be losing a job, again.  One of my family members is not behaving, again. Just to name a couple. You know, reality.  I was able to get in a few night-time runs, I love to run when its dark, fewer cars and quieter. There would be  No time for biking. Not the ideal set up you want to have before a race.  Especially a  12 hr race.

Friday morning I take my little one to the bus stop in tears.  "Mommy, don't leave me.  I want you to take me to Family Fun Night, not Nana."  I tell her that Nana has a special weekend planned and I will see her as soon as I can on Sun. morning.  I smile and wave as the bus passes.  I barely make it indoors before I cry. "That's it, I am not going".  Jim tells me to take my JTS for a spin and think about it.  Ten miles later I return and feel rejuvenated.  Funny how a bike does that. Too bad the feeling lasted until we got on the highway.  Two hours until our destination.
Kona's and Kuat go together like PB and J

As we head to Council Bluff I continue to beat myself up about being a bad Mom.  I was also going to miss a soccer game.  Bad Mommy!  I should be the one taking her to pick out a pumpkin too.  The waterworks go off several times over the 100 mile drive.  My husband is a super guy when it comes to handling tears and making me feel better. I don't cry very often so it kinda scares him when I do. He grabs my hand and just holds it, reassuring me and reminding me that I deserved to have fun and ride my bike.  True. Damn, I think God gave me a little more "guilt" than others.

TTM storm shelter with two Eno's

It had rained the night before, Thursday, so the trail should be perfect. The weather for Sat would start out cool but possibly warm to 80 degrees. WTH?  Not typical October in the mid-west weather. There was a chance for rain late Sat evening, which would hit around award time.  Once again, its mountain bikers against Mother Nature.  Please don't screw me on the weather. That course is tough enough without adding water. Besides, you are already bringing me an unwanted 'gift' this weekend.  Thanks a lot bitch.

Am I dreaming?
Really liked this timing chip idea

We arrived at the campground around 2pm.  Typically, we would be rolling in around 8pm. I like to arrive in daylight. Much easier to set up camp. More time to visit.  You get it.  Seeing my teammates and friends brought a smile to my face.  I haven't been to any races this year, it was nice to catch up with everyone.  Mia... especially you.  My teammate from NY brought me some supa special home-made treats and a Harden The F*ck Up bracelet.  How sweet. Honestly, C-Dubbs makes epic brownies.  I hear he uses Duncan Hines.  Most of the team was hanging in trees, ENO -style.  We were tucked in by ten.  No, Team Seagal has not gotten old, we have gotten wise.  Some of the fellas had their eyes on the buckle.  Pain and pleasure first.  Party afterwards.  Priorities, ya know.

Jim showing off his muscles

Yes, Courtney.  It's real.  And it's mine, all mine.

"I have no idea Pat"

The morning of the race NOTHING went right.  I mean NOTHING.  The meeting was late, I felt fat in my kit, I couldn't eat and felt like puking, I couldn't swallow my coffee, I didn't know what to pack to take down to the finish, that fuggin gift showed up, etc...  You get the idea. I started to think of my kiddo and what she would be doing today, without me.  My stomach tightened, guilt.  Home was two hours away. I was dressed in spandex trying to get my head together.  I wished for a pair of those red sequined shoes. I wanted to click my heels together and be home.  This is were Sasha takes over.
Ready for deployment, my magnificent machine

 Alright Wendy, STOP your whining, you are here now. H.T.F.U.  Make the best of it.  Ride the hell outta that Kona.  Make it yours.  Earn it today.  Get focused. Have fun.  Stop bitching and get ready to pedal.  Sydney is fine.  Your goal is to stay with Emily.   That is going to be difficult since she is rocking  gears. Now all you can do is pray for legs and hope you picked the right gear, you are stuck with it.

That's a lot of money laying on the ground

Gotta get out in front
 At 28yrs old, Emily is an accomplished road /trail runner, cyclist, tri-athlete, IronWoman, adventure racer, and the list goes on.....  My mission was to stay with her as long as possible, try to keep her in sight. I can do that, can't I?  The first lap around we bunny hopped each other a lot.  It was going to be a long day so I didn't worry if she got too far ahead.  A lot can happen in 12hrs.  My plan was to keep turning the cranks as efficiently as I could.
Gino, Cock Punchor, Me, and Stove

 To my surprise, there was only a minute separating us at the end of lap one. Yay me. That last mile climb had me worried i might lose time there.  The second lap I just kept Emily in sight.  There was no reason to put the hammer down yet, it was still early.  At the ned of the second lap there was still only a minute separating us. Yay me, again.  Maybe this was going to be a good day after all.  There is nothing more awesome than two chicks battling mountain bikes. Is there?

 My magnificent Kona and I are getting along splendidly. My chain is a little tight but, doesn't that make me more efficient?  Except for the intermittent cold I kept experiencing, the weather is good. Easy fix. They covered up my new guns but, I was very glad to have kept my arm warmers on.  Many people gave me props when I came in and I thank you for it.  A few words of encouragement go a long way.  After a short pit stop, I head back out with renewed optimism.  I am breathing good, pedaling well, feeling strong, legs feel good, all awesome stuff to come together during a race.  Without warning, all of a sudden things go sour.  My mind decides NO.  Focus is gone.  My mind wanders and I start to pick bad lines. I run into a tree, directly into it. You think that would have been enough to wake me up.  It wasn't.  I start walking, eating and drinking,  hoping that would help.  It doesn't.  I finish up that lap and find out Emily is about 15 mins ahead. There is no drive to catch her.  Sad but true, there is no drive.  I tell my husband I am not having fun.  I always have fun.  He told me to ride to the BEER.  So that is what I did.  Those Seagal fellas had an aid tent set up about five miles in at the Enough boat launch.  Seems fitting huh?  I have had enough and in need of a Pabst.  This is my fourth and final lap with the last 8 miles being the funnest.  I hopped off my bike and accepted a beer from Dave.  Sitting at the table I see Peat Henry, also having a Pabst.  WTF?  He was going for 10 laps before his knee blew up.  He wasn't crying in his beer and neither as I.  After 30 minutes I got back on the trail.  Pabst infused optimism.

Gino got a buckle

Finishing this lap I pull the plug.  Yay, I am in one piece and minimal owwwies.  I made sure to find one of Emily's Pfoodman teammates and let them know I was stopping.  At first I felt horrible about quitting. I cleaned myself up and got out of the kit so I could cry.  After a couple minutes I realized that I could not be upset with my result because I had not done the work.  I did everything but ride my mountain bike. My results were what I deserved.  Four laps out there is awesome, not as badass as 6 though.

Emily and I
Emily quit riding after finding out I had stopped.  Very smart move on her part since she has the BT Epic coming up.  Emily and I hugged, drank,  and shared some words of wisdom before we were finally called to the podium.  Too bad that the rain showed up right before and everyone left. Those of you who stayed, thanks.   Emily, I am damn proud of you.  Keep pushing it girl, I may be back next year.

You can read C-dubbs account here.
Emily's account here


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day

Any day is a good day to take a kid mountain biking.   On October 6th at Brommelseik Park GORC held Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day.  Several generous sponsors contributed to the day with prizes, we had prizes for EVERY child.  The FREE event included a bike/helmet safety check, skills clinic, and trail ride.  Did you see that it was FREE?

Glad it all fit

My girl is ready

Mechanics, Rob and Craig, made sure the bikes were safe
Fast kids are hard to catch in photos
Seesaw obstacle conquered

Future of Women's mountain biking

100 pairs of gloves donated by Momentum and Trek

EVERY child smiled while being fitted for gloves

BEST helmet award ( yes , that is a Boy Scout)

Thank you to all the bike shops that donated product and/or time.  The kids had a great time, I saw smiles all day long.  If you are a cyclist, take your kids with you.  Show them why you love it. Teach them. They will thank you for it.

Awesome jacket

Jeff brought his boys

Next up..... Burnin' at The Bluff

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Oh Yea!

Out with the old..... in with the new?

Burnin' at the Bluff is just one week away.  Get the details here.

Burnin' Ringmaster


There will be NO showers available.  Perhaps you should invest in one of these garden sprayers, about $10 at Lowes or Home Depot.  Heat your water first.  Great to use at Cross Races too.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BIG UNIT Meets Council Bluff

Finally, a weekend away with the hubby and my new bike, KONA 2012 Big Unit single speed.  Our destination is Council Bluff.  Why the hell not?  Super 13 mile lake loop, a plethora of trees to sleep in, and Johnston Mountain views.  You had me at Super 13!  The Burnin' is less than two weeks away. Twelve hours of riding.  Holy hell, what was I thinking?

Love our KUAT rack

We arrive at the campground and hang our ENO hammocks, crack a couple of beers, and sit by a campfire.  Does it get any better? No, it doesn't.   No phone, NO Tv, and no kiddos to keep track of.  And tomorrow, we get to ride our bikes until our legs fall off or our lungs blow out. Ahhhh, this is the life.  I am looking forward to introducing my Big Unit to my favorite trail. Hope we all get along.

The next morning, Jim and I goof around a bit and barely make it on the trail by 930am.  I had wanted to be riding by 8am.  As we are riding, we see the Berryman Adventure 12hr and 24hr racers paddling and biking.  Both of us hooted and hollered through the trees to our friends racing.   Jim decides to drop me and I am on my own.  What a beautiful day!  Not too cool, not too warm.  I can do this all day long.... and then my Kona throws me.  Two and a half miles in I eat shit.  I fall where I have never fallen before. HARD.  I get up and inspect my elbow and my thigh.  I am bleeding slightly from my elbow and my thigh immediately sports a baseball size bruise.  Seriously, that hurt.  I hop back on my bike cursing, I just started for goodness sake.  My mind starts to screw with me now.  I have 10 more miles to go and I am shaken.  It takes time to shake off a fall like that. As I pedal, I realize I have fallen on my right side.  Amen.  Finally, I have learned to fall on my right side. Yes!  The left side of my body has been through hell, maybe now it can recover properly.

Big Unit's
I catch up with Jim and he shows me a special spot where a possible church may have been located.  Its absolutely beautiful, the stone the builders used is incredible. We pose our bikes for photo ops.  I tell him about my stoopid fall, my injury, and he goes to work on it, pressing firmly into my bruise,  massaging it out.  Painful yet effective. I tell him I am having problems riding.  He tells me to relax and just pedal.  The miles tick off and I begin to feel more comfortable.  Jim gets a flat and we are stranded trail-side  for a long f'in time.  Luckily, a guy named Hunter came along and saved the day. He told us that THE Emily Korsch said he may meet TTM today. Flat repaired, Hunter and Jim takes off.  The next few miles feel awkward and I just want to finish. I just want to be done. Passing the boat launch I am almost there, almost home free.  At the sadistic one mile climb to the campground I make a deal with myself.  I will complete the climb without stopping and redeem this lap.  Three pedal strokes and I hear... PSSSSHHHHEEEEEWWWWWW. Seriously, are you fuggin' kidding me?


Apparently I ran over a thorn.  Stans is spewing from my tire.  I do not have a plug and put my thumb over it.  WTF now? I am puzzled.  Eventually, I remove my thumb and  let the rest of the Stans empty and the tires goes flat.  Clad in cycling shoes,  I put the bike on my back and head up the climb.  Seriously?  Maybe I am not a mountain biker anymore.  I have been running a lot more than biking lately.  Maybe I am a runner now.  I have been lifting weights too.  That doesn't help with biking.   I should take up CrossFit. I would be an asset in a bar fight but, riding a bike not so much.  Jim meets me as I am rounding the last turn,  just before the finish with an Ice Cold Pabst.  That's my man!

As I drink my Pabst I fight back tears. (I am not allowed to cry in the kit)  WTF happened out there? That was the worst lap I have ever had.   I am in the middle of beating myself up when my hubby tells me not to be so hard on myself.  He reminds me that I have ridden my Kona a handful of times, changed the handlebars, grips, saddle, etc... Those changes take a minute to get used to.  I finish my Pabst and find my Ipod.

MINE, all mine

I decide to ride a lap by myself.  I don't want to chase anyone or eat their dust.  I need a moment alone with my bike.  I leave the campsite and hit shuffle.  The first song is Queen, "We will Rock YOU".  That is a good sign.  As I pedal the tension starts to melt.  I relax my shoulders and breath deep.  Please let this be a good one.

Within a couple miles I start to see some 12 hr teams coming at me.  I get out of their way quickly and give them props for being out there.  By this time they had been racing for six hours.  Some looked good, some didn't.  I remember adventure racing..... That shit was hard but, I enjoyed it.  I was more of a follower and was in charge of superior attitude and reminding my race partner to eat and drink.

I make it to the boat launch without incident and see some 24hr racers.  These guys have a long way to go and I didn't want to be in their way.  I offer for them to go ahead of me.  The next few miles are fun and I relax even more.  Maybe I was being too hard on myself.  There have been a lot of changes and I need to take time and adapt, get to know this bike.

I ran a  32x19, which is a good gear for a few laps, not for twelve hours. I ended up running a 1:45, no stress and a fun-filled lap.  Maybe I am a mountain biker....

I wanted a third lap but the boys had other ideas....

Hiking up to Johnston Mtn

Just missed sunset