Thursday, October 16, 2014
|This is my trainer set-up. That block of wood is used to elevate my front wheel so I can pretend I'm riding uphill.|
|My view from the trainer. The other bikes want to play chicken.|
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
We made it to Chicago around 3 on Saturday, checked out the course and then made it to our hotel room. That evening we met my friend Sarah and her boyfriend and a friend of theirs at the Kinderhook Tap. The food and the drinks were lovely and it was great to see Sarah.
Thursday, October 09, 2014
Monday, October 06, 2014
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
So, we went to Madison last weekend to celebrate John's 50th birthday by going to a big Cyclo-cross race hosted by Trek. On Friday we got to wander around State Street and checked out the Union Terrace. As you can see, the weather and the view was perfect.
I raced the Master's 35+ Women's race on Saturday. Most of the women I raced against were still 10 - 15 years younger than me, but I tried my damnedest. I knew I wasn't very fit and decided I'd go out as hard as I could, until I died. It worked well, until the first lap, when I did actually hit that wall. Three women passed me, leaving me in last place. Which, I was fine with that. I was only seconds away from those three women, I didn't get lapped and because we were also racing with the 50 + men, I actually chicked a couple of 80 year old guys (or however old they were). Hell, I'll take what I can get.
On Sunday I tried to pre-ride the course. They changed the course a little and it had rained a bit the night before. The one downhill seemed even steeper and because of the mud, I slid down it and jacked my bad knee up. So, I decided to be safe and not race that day, in hopes that I wouldn't ruin the rest of the season.
Even without racing there was plenty of fun to be had. This guy raced in that suit too. Very impressive and so very Wisconsin.
Speaking of Wisconsin...Beer battered fried cheese curds. Need I say more.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
We had some big birthdays the last couple of days. We went to Madison this weekend to celebrate John's 50th birthday. We did a cyclo-cross race in Waterloo, Wisconsin at the Trek headquarters with some of the biggest names in the US for the sport. I will try to write more about the race later. We also had a lovely dinner with some of my family members at an Oyster bar.
Stinky turned 21 yesterday. Coadster came back from Des Moines to have dinner with us and to take this "lovely" photo. It's so weird to think of my girls as being in their twenties. I am still digging the empty nest gig, but also glad that they both live close enough to see on a regular basis.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Friday, September 05, 2014
So, after our simplification of our lives purge, we decided to work on our house in earnest. Our house was built in 1950. it's pretty solid, but we have had a termite problem and a moist (ew!) crawl space and a bunch of other problems and we decided to take out a home equity loan to get things fixed.
The first project I worked on was ripping up the carpet in the dormer room. Archie was a HUGE help (ahem).
I put rope in the cracks, but the cracks were all different sizes and it took forever and not all of it looks that great. My fall back plan is to put tons of primer and paint in those cracks. I'll let you know how that goes...
I put on two layers of oil based primer and got a free high AND a free headache. Lucky me.
I finally finished the first part of the floor, and REALLY needed to get out of the house afterward.
We decided to go to the Kalona Brewery and kill brains cells the deliciously old fashioned way - with beer.
Stay tuned for the next installment, when we kill even more brain cells with a nice fresh coat of oil based, French gray paint on that floor and who knows, maybe we'll throw in some asbestos induced lung cancer when we scrape off the popcorn ceiling in the kitchen. Cheers to DIY projects!
Friday, August 15, 2014
So, normally my friends and I go on this thing we call the Monday Night Ride. It's our way of trying to get some of our other friends into riding their bikes, by making it fun and easy and adding alcohol. It has actually been pretty successful. I think the alcohol is a big motivator.
Generally, we do the same route every week, weather permitting. We meet at The Dublin Underground in downtown Iowa City and then ride a very flat, 10 mile route to another bar called Old 218 Tap in a little town called Hills (ironic that there are no Hills in Hills, isn't it?).
Old 218 is a cute little bar, and definitely caters to cyclists, which is one of the big reasons we go there. The only problem is they really only serve fairly unimaginative pub grub and even the "healthy" salad options are made with rusty chunks of iceberg lettuce. Yeah, yeah. I realize I've surpassed first world problems girl and headed straight on to snobby bitch, but it is hard to eat dinner at the same place almost once a week that doesn't have the food you like.Especially, when there are all kinds of new establishments in small towns around us that have these great brew pubs that serve wood fired pizzas and other menu items made with ingredients from organic farms around our area.
Because I wasn't the only person in our group to feel this way about the food, last Monday, I suggested we check out the new place in Coralville called 30Hop. It boasted 30 tap beers and a rooftop bar, along with really good food. Everyone was happy to give it a try.
|When you are old and forget your reading glasses, your friends have to help hold the bill out far enough, so you can see how much you owe.|
Of course, the big issue for rides, is figuring out how to get to a place. Will the trail they say is finished on Google maps, just disappear into a creek or busy street, or will the road you choose end up being gravel? We did some off-road riding here and there on our way and found a cool metal trail around wetlands and bird sanctuary to extend our route a tad. Then we couldn't find the restaurant and took a couple of wrong turns, which is always good for extending a route.
Since the place just opened and was full of novelty, it was packed. They had a great system of taking your name and you phone number, sending you upstairs to the rooftop bar for a drink and then texting you when your table was ready. Very nice.
We all tried different, lovely things on the menu and loved what we ate. John sprang for both our meals and later told me the food was a bit on the pricey side. So, maybe not something we'll do all the time, but I will definitely be back again...For food AND drink.
We could easily have headed straight to the Coralville Strip and ridden home on a nice, paved trail, but someone in the group decided we should take a "shortcut". We ended up riding on gravel, next to railroad tracks and through muddy construction sites in the dark with only a full moon and our bike lights with which to see by. It was so amazing and fun.
This is what my shoe looked like when I got home. Guess I better clean those up before the roadrace tomorrow, huh?