Monday, July 14, 2014

Half The Road: Salt Lake City Screening - July 15th

I'll get back to blogging soon, I have so many stories! After Tulsa Tough, I had a few days home, then a week of work travel, then another handful of days at home before we flew to Italy for 9 days of cycling! Home for 24hrs, then another week of work travel. I'm home for a couple weeks before another week of work travel followed by the Tour of Utah which includes 2 women's races! I'm busy helping with the Zappos.com Cedar City Grand Prix and Tour of Utah Women's Edition plus training for the Ultimate Challenge!

The most important news for now is the Salt Lake City Screening of the Cycling Film Half The Road
Watch the trailer on the website and join me at the FREE screening on July 15th!

Update: I was asked to moderate the Q and A session with Nicky Wangsgard after the film and it was such an amazing experience! The audience had so many great questions, I didn't even have to fill in with mine. After an hour, we had to leave the auditorium, but we could have kept hearing stories from Nicky all night.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Tulsa Tough 2014 - Top 50 Moments

I'm still riding a Tulsa Tough high and can't say enough good things about the event and people involved, especially Shawn and Carol! Last year, I flew in on Thursday and out Monday and wrote a 6 part blog. I just reread it and many of the experiences hold true so please have a read to get a feel how I Tulsa Tough. This year, I took it up a level by flying in on Sunday and bringing my own bike! Having a full seven days to help Shawn and Carol, experience more Diva events, and get in more rides was awesome.

Unlike last year, I don't have time to blog about each day at Tulsa Tough so I've decide to list my top moments and pictures. I'm guessing only Carol and I will "get" the full list, but use your imagination or better yet, make plans for Tulsa Tough June 12-14, 2015 and make your own moments! If you were at Tulsa Tough, please add your own moments in the comments. I'd love to hear them so I can add them to my list for next year.

Sunday - June 1, 2014 - Travel Day and Settling In

1. TSA agent is a cyclist - whew!

2. Shawn and Carol hugs at the airport!!

3. Causing a scene at the grocery checkout over cucumbers

4. Dinner at Sonoma with my awesome host family

5. Tulsa Tough Omnium sneak-peek and hoist (spoiler for who got to hoist for real a week later)


Monday - June 2, 2014 - Work and Volunteer Duties

6. Gran Fondo hardware sneak-peek

7. Work break Tulsa Tough tasks - Sign inventory

8. There are no prices at the Dollar Store!

9. Tweeting all week #spandexrodeo

10. Family dinner and outdoing last year's awkward moment with the teenagers


Tuesday - June 3, 2014 - Work and Volunteer Duties

11. Ridiculous back pain and medication side-effects made for long night and sick morning

12. Work break Tulsa Tough tasks - Pace Car pick-up and Diva kit organization

13. Taking Pace Car to enjoy dinner on the patio at R Bar and Grill 


Wednesday - June 4, 2014 - Work and Diva Ride

14. Early morning ride with Carol - finally back on the road together!

15. Work break to finish up Diva kits

16. Driving the Pace Car

17. Wednesday Nite Diva Ride which included kit handout (get out of the box), 911 call for roadside domestic issue, and so much more. Check this news coverage from the ride.


18. Dinner with Texas Divas and Manbassador at Mondo's 


Thursday - June 5, 2014 - Pseudo Work and Diva Clinic

19. Hanging at the house with my 5 furry hosts

20. Goodwill visit

21. Diva Clinic with Vanderkitten which included groceries, caravan to location, tent setup, pictures, and good times. Hard to believe my Tulsa Tough Experience in 2013, started here.


22. Tulsa Tough Media Event and dinner with the Divas

23. Meeting Alison Powers and other pro women


Friday - June 6, 2014 - Diva Potluck Ride and Blue Dome Crit

24. Diva Potluck - too many French Toast casseroles to count

25. Diva ride to beat the rain

26. Hanging out at the house with Christina and Toby

27. More Envelopes!

28. VIP Tent setup (get the tape measure!)

29. Diva Kit handout/exchanges during Blue Dome Crit

30. On the 1st corner for the Pro Women's Race

31. VIP Tear-down and mini melt-down


Saturday - June 7, 2014 - Gran Fondo and Brady Arts District Crit

32. Peanut Butter on a Bagel binge begins

33. Diva Champagne Toast

34. Gran Fondo 104miles - Faster, Cooler, and on my own bike!
Before
During

After

35. Meeting the DNA Cycling crew


37. On the Start/Finish line for the Pro Women's Race


Sunday - June 8, 2014 - Gran Fondo and Cry Baby Hill

38. Lightning Delay & Pouring Rain (all day) reduced Gran Fondo from 104 to 63 miles

39. Gran Fondo 63miles - WET, 3 Tulsa Tough Gals, and special police escort for last 5 miles!
Before
During
After

40. Garmin Issues - Kept slipping on Saturday, Water damage on Sunday

41. Committing to the Double Tough and earning our jerseys!

42. Cry Baby Hill - I tried taking a few pics during the Pro Women's race, but best to check out the videos as they're released. Or check out last year's.

Tulsa Tough Cry Baby Hill, with KillerShot

Gears, Beers, and Crybaby Tears - Tulsa Tough 2014


43. 3rd day of $1000 primes for Pro Women's Race - thanks to Ron at Saris & the Divas





44. Driving Miss Daisy

45. Diva & Pro Women's Cycling After Party at Burn Co BBQ - thanks to Saris and isocentric networks for hosting; Pepperpalace, Colavita, and FCS for attending!

46. The Fault in Our Stars


Monday - June 9, 2014 - Take Monday Off and Saying Goodbye

47. Sleep Late, then Laundry and Bike Tear-down

48. Lunch at Dilly Deli and a trip to the Tulsa Tough warehouse with Shawn before he took a well-deserved nap.

49. Soaking up last bit of Tulsa sun

50. Flight delay but No Bike Fee!

Thanks again to my incredible friends Shawn and Carol for all they do to make Tulsa Tough and the Diva Program a wild success! They are doing so much for women's cycling and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. I can't wait for Tulsa Tough 2015 - the 10th anniversary!

Don't forget to add your own Top Moments to the comments. For more pictures, words, and videos - check out the Tulsa Tough Vimeo Channel, Tulsa Tough Facebook, and Tulsa Tough Twitter.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quality Woodwork (Basement Remodel Part 3)

After a long spell with little work on the basement, we've had steady progress the past few weeks and it is coming together better than I imagined!

In case you need to catch up, here are previous posts.


At the end of the last update, the texturing and painting were finished and we built up the closet system, but were still waiting on the wood floor, carpet, trim, and doors. I was off to Nashville for business and hoped to come home to wood flooring, trim, and hooks. I got one out of three and the trim was on premise but not installed. The hooks are another story, but as long as they are in for snow season, I'll be happy.

For those of you that stay in our basement (Mom & Dad), I know you've been on me to see more photos, so here it goes. We might even be ready for visitors in just a few weeks.
Gorgeous Wood Flooring and Trim Bundled
Wood Close-up!
Love the Bow-Ties!
A week later, we moved trim to make room to install TV wall mount and get a great look at flooring!
TV Mount Ready to Go
Next task for us - choosing carpet for guest bedroom
Memorial Weekend, Terry got ambitious and was working on a project in the kitchen which unfortunately resulted in a water leak thru a basement light and onto the trim and wood flooring! A couple hours later, the leak was stopped and we moved, inspected, and dried every piece of trim. Not the relaxing evening we had planned.
Trim relocated to garage and 100% quality check
Memorial Weekend Leak - the end

I left for Tulsa and the installation really took off. There seems to be a correlation between my travel and basement remodel, so I'm planning on even more excitement next week while I'm gone.

Windows are trimmed and beautiful
Laundry door (minus hardware) & the new shelf/door to our storage room!
The Hook Shelf is in, still need hooks
Cabinet and Bench are in, still need door and hardware
More doors, still need hardware and baseboard trim
Bedroom Closet Doors, still need hardware
So you can see, the wait has been worth it.  The craftsmanship is incredible! As soon as we're done, I'll let you know who we used, but until I have my hooks and everything's complete, I'm not sharing. In fact, I may just wait to let you in on my secret until we do the whole house.

Carpet is scheduled for tomorrow, then metal wainscot in the bike shop followed by trim, a couple more doors, and then all the hardware!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

May Goal Review

I'm behind on my 2014 goals review but did ok in May. I transitioned from 30 Days of Biking to an official cycling training program then once I was off the bike, I focused on less television and internet to get my reading back on track. June has started off with a bang, but more on that in next month's review.

May Summary
A1: Only finished 2 books, but really enjoying it and making time for some great reads.
- Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson. Fast read perfect for a snowy Sunday morning.
- Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James. Long one (500+ pages) but interesting mystery centered around 9/11.
My ambitious stack for June
A2: Wrote 5 blogs and kept up on Mailbox Monday. Had a fun time doing a cycling kit review on a rainy Saturday morning.

A3: Only 1 week out of 4 with a trip to Nashville, TN. All work & not much play then home to get some miles in. Unfortunately business travel is not so glamorous.

A4: The company we used in March, that went on "break" in April says they are back in business but with our schedules we haven't had time to go investigate.

B1: Could only get in one session with Nelson, but my body was thankful especially after the increase in cycling. I did get a stand-up desk at work so hopefully I'll start to see the improvement in my hips and back.

B2: I continue to do a combination yoga / active stretching routine in the mornings & evenings at home. 

B3:  My passion for pro women's cycling continues. I made final plans for Tulsa Tough during May and left June 1st to volunteer and ride. I'm building on my Ride4Equality idea and also trying to arrange a Half the Road screening in Park City over the summer. Follow @girojenny and my Women's Cycling page for more content and updates. 

B4: No friends or family could visit in May due to the basement remodel. We did a girls MTB and had dinner with the crew to celebrate Memorial Day.
Girls MTB
The guy taking our picture asked if we were having a college reunion?! - nope, just a weekend afternoon in Park City.

C1-C5: May was an awesome "physical" month thanks to the cycling program. Even though my back is still fatigued some days, I'm feeling strong going into the summer.

1. Core strength is happening each morning along with yoga, but I could improve.
2. I've been cycling so much and put my gym pass on hold for the summer, so no runs in May. Need to definitely improve on that!
3. I haven't picked a specific event yet. I'm thinking Sept/Oct once all my road ride adventures are complete.
4. Missed my chance until November. Another season without any time on the skinny skis.
5. I'm doing several Gran Fondo rides in June and July, but not an official race yet.

D1: No updates on the lot.

D2: I need to pull out the gift cards again and go out of my way to use some up. No activity in May.

E1: We went on a few spending sprees in May, mainly on cycling equipment but the old items (gloves, water bottles, etc) are in the donation pile. Once the basement is finished, I'll have a chance to do another cleanse.

E2: Italy is booked and coming quickly! I can't wait for the break from work since it has been over a year without an official vacation. We may not come back.

E3: The basement is coming together slowly but nicely. Each day I look forward to seeing new features and beautiful craftsmanship. Work was slow going early in May but has recently picked up. We are very close and will hopefully have a finished product by end of June.
Gorgeous hand treated trim staged in the garage and slowly disappearing inside.
January Goal Review
February Goal Review
March Goal Review
April Goal Review

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Women's Cycling Kit Review

I have a hard time turning down a new cycling kit, especially if it represents and supports women's cycling. In addition to riding in the best gear out there, I can proudly display my support and jumpstart a conversation or two about women's cycling.

Over the winter, I've added a 2013 Specialized-lululemon, 2013 Vanderkitten, and 2014 Women's Cycling Association (WCA) kit to the collection. I'm still waiting on the WCA kit, but the others have had some saddle time and will have plenty more.

My local cycling team is primarily sponsored by Skullcandy and the kits are made by Utah company DNA Cycling which also provides team sponsorship. While our cycling team isn't women's specific, I'm very proud we are associated with DNA as they support our local pro women's team DNA Cycling pb K4. (Just one of many kits on my wish list) 

Let's start with the facts. I'm 6 feet tall and for my height, have long femurs and even longer torso. When not wearing cycling or athletic clothing, I'm the one with skirts that end shorter than they were designed too and I'm always thinking about belly exposure when buying tops. I'm not your typical build for regular women's clothes, let alone cycling where short is queen. In the US, pro racer Alison Tetrick is considered tall at 5'9"! There are a few truly tall women in the pro peloton like 6ft (182cm) Ellen van Dijk but it is rare.

For cycling kits, I've learned that Large Shorts and X-Large Jerseys are the best option. I don't need the XL for my chest, so I end up with extra material on top but that is better than not enough room in the shoulders to reach into the drops or exposing my mid-section. When I can, I buy bibs to take care of this problem, but in cases like our local cycling team, we don't have enough women that want bibs to warrant the order. They have no idea what they are missing.

I don't see many tall recreational women riders but I think other amazons would agree that a men's medium race jersey is a better match for length without extra material across the chest and belly. In addition, many women's charity or lower end jerseys don't have grippers at the bottom and are very annoying. Especially when your pockets are full and start shifting making your jersey twist as you ride. Of course, the men's jerseys have other issues, so I've found that a Women's Pro Team kit is the best option for fit and to show my support.

I've only had a few days in my new kits but I love them! The kit is one thing, but when someone compliments the design, asks about the team, or just women's cycling in general, I'm giddy. I've even had people in cars pull up and ask about them. I hope one day, there is enough women's cycling exposure, that people see me and yell "Ali" or "Ellen" instead of the L-word.

While waiting for the rain to stop this morning, I asked my husband to take a few photos in order to give you a feel for the kits and do a review.
*Disclaimer - I am not a model and my husband is not a photographer.

Please visit the actual websites for awesome product photos and to add your own kits to your collection!

2013 Vanderkitten - Jersey (XL), Bibs (L), and Socks (L) - manufactured by Pactimo - made in China
Vanderkitten in action
Love this design and the white for hot days
I can see the bright green thru my shoes
which reminds me of my fun kit and to keep on pedaling
Best butt graphic ever!
Bibs are super comfy and long enough to stand up
Meow - can't help but feel fierce in this kit
I wasn't sure if I'd like legs without grips, but these are stretchy tight and very stylish
I'm not 100% sold on the pad, but will give it a few more rides before passing judgement.
*Update - Rode 63miles at Tulsa Tough in pouring rain after a 104mile day and no major issues.
Make sure you follow Vanderkitten on FB and Twitter to catch any promotions, like this weekend's 15% off!


2013 Specialized-lululemon - Jersey (XL), Bibs (L) (although my tags say 8) - manufactured by Lululemon Athletica - made in Italy
Best full fit design ever
This kit made me a Lululemon fan, this was my first of many purchases
Just stay on my wheel and concentrate on the pattern
(Socks are not part of the kit, but when wearing Italian, might as well fly the colors)
Haven't tried the race radio/phone pocket
Bibs are great and I love the wide straps
Really great grippy legs! Good width and fun colors.
No complaints on the pad, although I haven't done a ride longer than 50miles yet so I'll let you know.
*Update - Rode 104miles at Tulsa Tough and had to add cream around 60miles, but no major issues.
Make sure you follow Specialized-lululemon (Velocio Sports) on FB and Twitter to catch any promotions. 
When you purchase online, 5% goes to the charity of your choice - Right to Play or CYCLE Kids.


2014 Skullcandy Team Kit - Jersey (XL), Bibs (L), and Socks (L) - manufactured by DNA Cycling - made in Italy
2014 Skullcandy Team Kit

Such a fun design, just wish the socks had a red stripe.
The belly issue!
The shorts have a loose fitting material in front which many of the women love, but I'm constantly tugging up.
Love the DNA pad! Have ridden in DNA Skullcandy kits for years and on plenty of 50-100mile rides with no issues!
Comparison of the 3 jerseys
I prefer silicon grippers all the way around, so DNA falls short but again, this was based on our team order. 

Kits in My Future:
Women's Cycling Association (WCA) - this one is already ordered and should arrive in a few weeks. I'm excited to support WCA as a member and proudly display the inaugural kit out on the road.


In just over a week, I'll be at Tulsa Tough. For all they do for women's cycling equality, I'm hoping to support the race by picking up either a standard kit or maybe a Diva Kit!

DNA Cycling pb K4 Racing - Pro team with Utah roots

Velocio - Not a pro women's team, but founded by Specialized-lululemon team director and owner Kristy Scrymgeour. In addition to high quality product, the website promotes the cycling community.

Other US Based Women's Pro Teams as highlighted by Sarah on Pro Women's Cycling which includes Colavita, Optum, Tibco, Twenty16, and United Healthcare.

Obviously any pro women's kit would be awesome if money weren't an issue. Maybe I'll find an Ale-Cipolini kit when we are in Italy this summer. Otherwise, any of these Euro kits would be wonderful to add to the collection.

I'm also working on a specific Ride 4 Equality kit for 2015. For my pilot ride in 2014, I plan to rotate between my existing kits and any others I pick up before August.

If you are a recreational rider and enjoy a good quality kit, I strongly suggest you pick up at least one of these kits in 2014. You'll be doing your body and women's cycling a service! If you have any other favorites, I'd love to add them to my wish list - please leave a comment.

If any teams or companies would be interested in supporting my Ride 4 Equality and donating a kit or other product, I would be super grateful. Please leave a comment or find me on twitter @girojenny