Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kirkwood Sunday Ride - Sunday, 29 January

What a fine January day! This morning started off sun-sun-sunny and stayed that way all day. It was glorious! The temperature was around 31F starting off, but warmed up nicely so that by the end of the ride I was almost hot. We were able to enjoy the sun and each others' company at brunch. We did the usual Stone Mountain ride, taking the roads out (I opted out of the loop because the A group had already left and I didn't know how far behind them we were), and we chatted at the rest area for a while before heading back on the path. I met some new people, who will be joining us, and one of my mentees came along! It was great getting to know her a bit better.


Maximum speed: 30.8 mph
Average speed: 12.1 mph (I swept B)
Distance: 29.59 mi
Time: 2.25.44

I am going to continue to ride and promote the KSR, but make it less of a "no-drop" ride and more of a "here's a cue sheet, we will meet up at the Mtn and at brunch" ride.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Repost from Stash Slash Project: Finally...Raffle Quilt

Here it is, in all its glory: the pattern and luscious fabrics for this year's quilt. Thank you, thank you, thank you ARA!

Stash Slash Project: Finally...Raffle Quilt: With a sincere apology to my niece, the urban cyclist , I am finally ready to u...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Kirkwood Sunday Ride - Sunday, 22 January

Today I "led" the KSR, as our dear friend B has found greener pastures, by which I mean she is killing herself with the hammerheads on the Airport Ride. So it goes. Anyway, this week we did our usual ride to, around, and back from Stone Mountain, and I had more company!  I got to ride with J, P, and A (who had to hammer it out to catch us, as he had gotten a late start), and it was such a treat! I didn't feel like I was holding anyone back, and it was so nice to have people to ride with. I kept in mind the things Coach Will is teaching us in the trainer class, and I felt pretty strong throughout the whole ride -- so much so that I could have ridden harder.

The loop around the mountain served two purposes, and served them well: I was able to keep warm by moving and I got the extra miles in. I deliberately didn't push too hard on it, and my reward was not suffering as much as usual up the Plantation hill (though, again, I could've worked harder all around).


Maximum speed: bogus (computer said 53.2 mph)
Average speed: 13.2 mph
Distance: 35.25 mi
Time: 2.39.03

It was a good ride, if chilly and misty, and I'm looking forward to trainer class this week because I know I'm getting better and stronger.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kirkwood Sunday Ride - Sunday, 15 January

Today marked my second ride to "the rock" in two weeks (and the second this year, har!), and it was a good one. Like last week, I was the slow poke of the group, because it seems fewer B/B+ group riders come out in the winter (it was admittedly nippy last week, but today was glorious). It was a beautiful day for a ride: it started off a brisk 35F, but with little-if any-wind and a clear, sunny sky. Honestly, I couldn't have hoped for a better January riding day. I felt so good, I even did a loop around the mountain. I should do that more often.


Maximum speed: 32.6 mph
Average speed: 13.7 mph
Distance: 34.82 mi
Time: 2.30.59

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Update: Mardi Gras Challenge 2012

I neglected to address how to vote:

When you donate (again, $10 minimum donation), leave a comment saying "Cut" or "No Cut". If you forget, you can always go to the fundraising page itself,, and leave a signed comment there. You can also vote here or at my facebook page. (One vote per donor), only signed comments (or those that are otherwise linked to a donation) will count.

Mardi Gras Challenge 2012

Dear Readers,

Mardi Gras is a little over a month away, which signifies the nearness of the 40 days of Lent. Last year, my Mardi Gras challenge was a huge success, and I'm renewing it this year, with a bit of a twist. I have so far raised $250, so I am getting closer to the goal, though it is still a long way off. Thus, this year's challenge is a bit involved, but it requires two things on your part:
1. to give me money
2. to vote whether I should shave my head (Cut or No Cut), minimum of $10 to vote!

If, by 11:59p on Mardi Gras (Tuesday, 21 February), I have raised....

   $1000-$1500: I will give up cheese for Lent (I am a vegetarian, cheese is a staple: this will be hard)
   $1501-$2000: I will give up cheese AND chocolate 
   $2001-$2500: I will give up cheese AND chocolate AND coffee
   $2501-$2749.99: I will give up cheese AND chocolate AND coffee AND "cantering" (walking) while outdoors
   $2750 or more: If I reach my goal, then the Cut or No Cut party that donated more wins, and I do what they say.

If I fail to reach my goal, then the Cut or No Cut party that donated more loses, and I do what the other party says.

Not to brag, but I have beautiful hair, and I am happy with it on me. I can also always grow more (it just won't stop!) and am happy to donate it, too.

I'll keep track of the parties' progress in the side bar here, so check back often, and give me your money!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This Just In!

Hello friends! Great news, my wonderful ARA has volunteered to not only donate the fabric for the raffle quilt this year, but to just go ahead and make the darn thing. If you'll recall, she has donated the beautiful fabric for the past two years, and last year also did the quilting. She has been making quilts for as long as I can remember (her quilting blog can be found here, though it doesn't do the body of her work justice), and she is incredibly gifted. She taught me everything I know (and more that I don't know and just won't retain), so whoever the winner is this year is one lucky devil.

Thus, let the raffle chances buying begin! All you need to do is donate at least $5 and you are automatically entered to win!  The raffle schedule is as follows:

    $5 = 1 chance
  $20 = 5 chances (that's a bargain!)
  $50 = 15 chances (she's going crazy!)
$100 = 50 chances (whoa Nelly!)

Check here for pictures of the fabric selection and updates!

I Am an Ultimate Cyclist

And I have the t-shirt to prove it. Last night was the first of 22 training sessions with the the Ultimate Cycling Group . There is a $5 charge for whining, which keeps me in check because I am broke and don't carry even $1 with me.

This was the first time I'd ever done a cycling or spin class, and I was a bit apprehensive at first, for at least the following two reasons:

1. While the class is for all levels of athlete, I still didn't know where/whether I'd fit in.
2. I find half an hour on the trainer to be mind-numbing, and didn't think I could make it through an hour and a half.

I made it, and it was the most pleasant hour and a half I've ever spent on the trainer. I worked up a good sweat, I got my heart rate going (it's how the class is conducted). I feel good today, to the point where I wonder if I could have worked harder last night (but I was in the right heart rate zones, so I probably *shouldn't* have). I'm looking forward to the remaining classes.

There are some awesome and inspiring people there (one lady is training for a double ironman, which is appalling), as well as a number of friends from Team in Training ( ). I'm looking forward to becoming a faster and stronger cyclist.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Training Has (Un)Officially Begun!

This past weekend I finally got out on the bike. TWICE, if you can believe it. Saturday was a beautiful day for a bike ride -- cool but not windy or rainy. It was a truly gorgeous day. Sunday was a bit ickier, with more wind and less warmth, but still a good day for a ride out to the mountain. I felt it was important to get two rides in because

1. I'm going to be doing that, anyway, come February
2. I want to have a good base so that I can focus on the participants once training gets going
3. I am woefully out of shape

This need to ride coincided (unfortunately?) with my determination to start running, so I had run twice earlier in the week. I don't think that helped.

Saturday (Brookhaven) Stats:
Maximum speed: 28.8 mph
Average speed: 14.2 mph
Distance: 15.31 mi
Time: 1.04.01

Sunday (KSR) Stats:
Maximum speed: 32.5 mph
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 27.73 mi
Time: 2.05.49

I felt tired and sore after each, and my left knee (tendons, really) hurt yesterday and today, but it still felt really good being on the bike. It was nice to see the KSR folks again, and though I was the slowest both days, I think I have a good season ahead of me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Quilt Complete!

Just in time to start a new raffle project for 2012! 

Congratulations, Curtis!

As you can see, it came out quite nicely. Special thanks to ARA for doing a great job with the long-arm quilter and doing the actual quilting for me. It's great (it's butterflies!)

You're a lucky son-of-a-gun.
There was a bit of drama, wherein I realized that I didn't have enough fabric for the border (at least, not enough of stuff that I wanted to keep), and ARA came through again. This is the Sticks and Stones pattern from Black Cat Creations--a fat quarter quilt that went together easily (once I got the cutting right-measure twice, cut once and all that). I had a good time making this quilt, and I think I'll use the pattern again: you don't have to get the same quilt twice! You can rotate and place the sticks and stones blocks wherever you like in relation to each other (a challenge using neutrals) until you get the finished size. It's great!

Check back here for more incentive updates!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

An Urban Cyclist's Resolution

Dear Readers, this year your friendly Urban Cyclist is taking the easy way out, costing only what some of you would consider a small amount of money and a slightly more sizeable amount of time. I am going to continue the fight against blood cancers and, by extension, all cancers by mentoring a growing Tahoe team on 3 June. To do this, I will raise more money than either of the previous two seasons. I am also going to participate in at least one olympic-distance triathlon (in May), and this is going to cost me only the price of registration and a new pair of running shoes.

What can I say? I want to make the world a better place, for me and for everyone else.

You can help, too, by hitting the little "donate now" button there on the right of my blog. Get in on the ground floor, that's what I say. There will be another raffle this year, and a really cool event will come together for those more local to me.Get in on the action early and there just may be a benefit to you for doing so, before the non-tax-related incentives kick in.

I start riding again (building my own base) this week, so also keep an eye here for training progress, per usual.

Happy New Year! Let's make it a great one!