Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Digging Deep

The BC Bike Race Challenge course leader's jersey holders: Kelli Sherbinin and Darren Butler (both from Vancouver). For all the deets on BC Bike Race go to

Today was tough. Legs are steel. I’m in the groove. But to be frank, the course was a grunt. Lots of climbing, but with sweet single track.
We awoke to pinkish skies in Powell River. The usual scurry to hit the baggage truck and the lovely forest trail walk up to the Powell River Arena for breaky. Sat with a bunch from Calgary this morning. Lots of them guys made it out for the BC Bike Race.
It’s bus time now to the Saltery Bay ferry. Us Challengers get loaded together. This is cool. I sit beside Chris from Fort McMurry. He’s dropped down from Epic to Challenge.
“I’m so glad they have the Challenge,” he says, “The Epic was too long and too hard.”
He wasn’t the only one. The option, available for the first time this year, allows you to keep riding if you’re feeling the Epic isn’t working for you.
Day 0 Racer Briefing words of Marketing Director and Olympian, Andreas Hestler ring in my head. Nurse your body and your bike.
Once on the Sunshine Coast we head past Halfmoon Bay to our start line. We’re told it’s a hill climb.
That it was. Then some switchbacky super burmy cut single track. Epic, but we’re Challengers. No matter. Climbing was climbing. Legs felt tired to start off. Got in the mode. Glad I took the other half of the bagel and banana with me. Bonk bonk!
I wasn’t feeling on till I got past the two hours. Had to stop and take pictures along the way. Spectacular views. Waterfalls, lakes, mountains, the works. As soon as I have enough time I'll upgrade my Flikr account so I can post all my daily pics.
It truly was another Ultimate Single Track Experience.
Thank you BC Bike Race. Hump day done. Three more days to groove!

I'm with him!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Fave Stage So Far

It was a late start today. We were waylaid on BC Ferries in Comox. I won’t delve in the stinky details but there were some issues with 500 racers boarding one ferry and using the toidies at the same time. Maybe some other loading stuff too. Whatever, more time for recovery. I’ll leave it at that.
It’s already Day 3 and we’re starting off in Powell River. I’d ridden about ten minutes of trail earlier this year that was it. I’d heard from course descriptions it was loaming and technical and it’ll make you work.
Once disembarked we had a waterfront walk to the start line Original start time noon. Now 1 p.m. Organizers advised us they had to trim 5 km due to time. I didn’t hear any protests.
The nerves crept up again.
Us Challengers were loaded to the back as they released 50 at a time due to the public bike path we were starting out on. I have to say I was in awe riding along a forest seaside.
It was a diggidy dog ride. We crossed many a bridge and there was lots of bear country with scenic views. Arm pump was plenty gaging the rooty swoopy rolly trails. Wow. And to top it off I got my first flat ever!
It was after a fun climb and almost hike-a-bike through some chewed up old logged forest. Bike felt funny. I say to the guy behind me, do I look flat to you?
I knew to shift the gears down to low low for taking the back wheel off. Honestly, something I’ve never ever done. I was almost there when the Universe sent an angel to me. There were a lot of people going by and saying, “Got what you need?”
Chris, originally from Fort McMurray now residing in Saskatoon said, "You OK with that?" and I meakishing replied, “Well, I’ve never done it before.”
He stopped. Claimed riding in the Moab gave him lots of practice. I was dialed and ready to rip again.
Had to as rider “Hawaii” pictured above, real name Heather (she's really from Hawaii and here for the race and a holiday with her family) is sitting in fourth for the Challenge Solo Women (I was fifth as of yesterday) passed me during the flat change. I wanted to catch her and the Uni!
So I started screaming then realized, I need to cut it down here and absorb this incredible scenery. One guy I passed when commenting “Isn’t this beautiful,” replied with, “I’m enjoying every minute of it.
At the bike wash station after the ride I heard in an elevated excited voice, “Super nasty techy hey!”
Apparently us Challengers got the best of it! I loved it. Fave stage so far. Day three down, four more to go! WOOT WOOT!

For all the deets on BC Bike Race Challenge and Epic courses go to

Monday, 28 June 2010

Done With Yucks!

Supposed to go three times around the Voodoo circle. Head down I missed it. That was yesterday during the Abyss trail ride in Nanaimo.
Thomas of BC Bike Race reminded me of that at the finish line. I promptly blew it off.
“Have an awesome ride…race?” said my pal Shawn as I boarded the comfiest looking bus in line after breakfast. I laughed. I came to ride, but honestly have to say I got a little race funky yesterday.
We're on our way to Cumberland. Us Challengers are doing 37 kms today. On route we have a major mechanical. The comfy bus sounded lots of billowing white smoke. Harry the driver who had happily chirped before departure, “We’ve got the whole world in the bus,” did the right thing. He pulled over and called the supervisor. There were positive comments from all of us. "At least we didn't miss a ferry!"
Nothing we could do but wait. Wasn’t long. Luckily for the ladies there was a john on board!
I was ready to roll in Cumberland. But due to the mechanical, didn’t get to race start till the ten-second countdown. Still buckling up my camel pack, no time to top up water. We were off.
The 500 of us packed Main Street and soon spilled off into some double track. It was stop and go which gave me time to adjust my camera and pack. As the pack spread we swung out to the techy trails of Cumberland. Well-loved you could tell.
Ample places to ramp up. I found myself racing. Hit the Aid Station and asked how much further. Another 14 kms. I went for the banana train and bolted. I wanted more then fifth today.
Had a touch and go with another gal when we broke off from the Epic riders. We kept her going jiggy jaggy through the clear cuts.
All of a sudden there’s another Challenge rider heading our way. He claims a T with no flagging. Crap. We’re soon joined by Christian from Austria. We decide one will go high the other low. I have a phone number for base camp in my Blackberry so ring for help. Five to ten minutes later a BCBR truck rolls up. Directs us back from whence we came.
Felt pretty dozey when we came upon the flagging. How could four of us go off course? Well we did.
Now we’re getting caught by the Epics. I’m pissed cause I gotta slow down for passing. It was a tough slog. We had grinding climbs. Sick single track. Wicked downhills. Knew I was back in the swing and getting close to the finish as I could hear the music. Then I snag some gear issue thing. Stop and see I’ve picked up some yellow flagging in my derailleur. Really want to get her done for the day so I do what I can leap back on and realize no low gears. Good for high. Good thing it’s mostly downhill!
I’m peeling now. I know it's close. Pedal to the metal. 37 kms of Cumberland now under my belt. Three hours and 18 minutes on my clock. Course extras included.
In the end I thanked my bike. My Devinci Moonracer. She held up and got me home. Done with the yucks now. The rest of the week is going to be sweet!!
Powell River tomorrow. Day two, BC Bike Race complete.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Power Moves Power Dates

A Power Move is when you get to an obstacle in high gear and you lay on the power to get over it.

Day One, BC Bike Race Challenge course was a blast. The early morning evolved first with a bus trip to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. I sat with a gentleman from Switzerland named Bat (pronounced Baet). Immediately I popped the question, “Are you racing or are you riding?”
This was the first of many similar overhead comments.
“I’m riding it.”
So starts the day. While there was some grumbling over not beginning in Nanaimo, one guy put it right.
“Ferry rides do a lot for reducing the pace of life.”
I was lucky as somehow I managed to make it to the front of the line for the Island Breakfast and the rock star view on the Coastal Renaissance. A nice breather to begin the day.
Heading out of Departure Bay ferry terminal was a hoot. The rock n’roll blasted and there were yips and yeahs heard as we heaved to over the start line. An 8 km roll to the trails.

I’m riding the Challenge Course, which is a first for BC Bike Race and half the distance of the Epic. For all the deets go to

I met another Challenger in line. Deborah from Texas. She claimed nerves. I didn’t see it. We both agreed, ride it smooth and steady. Have fun.
We’re almost to the trails and some fellow says he’s a member of the Tortoise Club. Perfect. That’s better then the BPC (Back of the Pack Club).
I have to say one of the funniest things I overheard en route was, “Anyone else burping up sausage?”

Once in the single track a little stop and go snail moves before the pack spread out a bit. What a ride. I’m telling you. There was rooty rocky technical single track with picturesque rocks, the trail so named the Abyss. And lots of power moves!
I was grateful for the power date bars I was given by my pal, Tamsin. Perfect slow release of sugar that kept me givin’er.
Near the end the Challengers broke off to the Glory Hole. Solely constructed for the BC Bike Race finish. (Rumoured to not exist.) There was some testy sketchy downhill. I walked. Glad I did as I came upon a magical waterfall. Then the Uni started to catch up to me. Had to give’er again. No way was I going to get passed by an Unicyclist! Me on two wheels forged the last 2 km to the roundabout finish on the track in Nanaimo.
I heard, Andreas Hestler over the loud speaker after he sneaked in claim it was the best course he’d ever ridden. Bar none.
“It was hard, it was fun it was the ultimate single track experience.”
Day One BC Bike Race done. Wow, what a day!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

TT Nerves of Steel

Gassed is what I heard in line waiting for the registration process to flow through. Made me think of the North Shore Festival madness xc marathon I did earlier this month. Was fearing for the worst I have to say. A Time Trial when I’m amongst the Pros at :30-second intervals. How squashed could that be when you get to the single track?
I made it through the registration process in two hours. Got lots of chatting in. Met a rider from Toronto and another from Oregon. Overheard one guy say he pre-rode the TT in 11 minutes. The whole 3.7 kms. The angst set in.
My mouth was dry after the road ride to the start. Chatting away to new folks in line, a few from California, another from Calgary. Uber fit to look at. Not me. Super happy that I got consistent training in, but not enough (under four months) or long enough. Coulda been at ‘er for a year and I’d probably be feeling better.
As I got closer to the ramp starts and the beeps became clear all I could think was get’er done and have fun. Smooth and steady.
As soon as I took off I felt my seat and gears were too low. Didn’t take long to get flashed by some guy who was just givin’er. If we were horses he’d be a Thoroughbred and I’d be the Shetland pony.
I tackled the climbs as best I could. Let some more guys by. Before I knew it there was the downhill. What a blast. I jammed on one log with my back break and had to bail. Note to oneself: she who hesitates is lost. Recovered fast though to pick it up again. Made a whole run on the bridge. First time ever. Cut to the cross road and my pal Meaghan yelled “Ride it, Jane!” So I did. Some steep rocky thing. In normal mode I probably would of jammed.
As I flowed on my bike was rattling as I pumped her down the rooty rocky windy trail. I rode hard to the finish with three words blurting outa my mouth at a time. “I DID it!” and “That was FUN!”
It’s only just beginning. The Prologue of Day 0 done. Seven days of BC Bike Race to go.
Livin’ like a pro!
For more information on the BC Bike Race go to

Friday, 25 June 2010

Bye Bye Boatyard, Hello BC Bike Race

Pretty happy last night when I left the boatyard. Knowing I was getting sorted today and readying to catch the ferry to the mainland. In a flurry of panic I raced around the morning picking up the little extras. Some electrolytes, extra cycling shorts and a new helmet.
As I’ve helped out BC Bike Race in the past I also volunteered to pick up some tents and their sound system since all was on the Island.
Had just enough time to breeze through the boatyard on the way to Swartz Bay to say a final goodbye. Felt bad leaving in the middle of a huge job, but it’s a boat. Anytime you plan for a project, with a boat anyway, I know the proven formula for project management:
Think about how long you think it will take you, double that, then multiply it by three. Should be about right.
Sure enough, with this one, we already had seven days of sanding and still no primer. Poor Rose, I left her in charge with help from Paul and Kyle, and the owner showing great patience. What can I say? I booked the days long ago to do the Challenge course for BC Bike Race.
Once in Vancouver I dropped the BC Bike Race gear at their headquarters where a maze of staff and volunteers were grinding away getting things sorted for Day 0 tomorrow. Then I was off, lucky me to stay at the Miller’s house in Squamish. Thought I’d leave my truck closer to the finish line so I can scurry back to the Island when I’m done and get back to work.
But for now, no more steel toed boots and paint dust... hello BC Bike Race!

For all the deets on the race go to

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Go Time! BC Bike Race

This week is supposed to be a rest/recovery week, ahead of the BC Bike Race race week. I’m troubled when I think of all I could of done, training wise but couldn’t. Not that I didn’t try. It was time.
Although the Challenge course, which is new to BC Bike Race this year, is not the full pull of the Epic course, it is something one needs to train and prepare for.
When I passed on a comment to my pal, Rose today with regards to how I’m feeling, her reply made me laugh. I spoke to my subconscious in this tone, “Cancel that thought!”
I said I was starting to get excited. She said, “I’d be petrified!”
Oh boy, I know what I’m in for. I plan on enjoying it. I suppose you call it a race, but really for me I’m there to ride. My goal is to make every cut-off time and not make any volunteers or BC Bike Race staff wait for me. Also, to ensure I get’er done each day so I have enough time to recover for the next day.
Now I can say I’ve ridden the North Shore in Vancouver, a bit of the trails in Nanaimo, a lot in Cumberland, a little in Powell River, nothing at all on the Sunshine Coast, a smidgen of Squamish and some of Whistler. So what am I looking forward to most? Honestly, I have to say sweating, getting the heart pumping and breathing in all that beautiful fresh forest air. Getting in a 2-6 hour work out a day: BONUS!
When I dropped the dog off to my girlfriend, Irma’s house tonight I told her about my tailgater position in all the races I’ve done. That got her mind going.
“Call yourself the Last But Not Least Club!” she said.
We headed to the computer thinking about the Tortoise and the Hair… slow and steady wins the race.
Then we found this one: The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but he who endures until the end. (
That’ll be me.

Note: The Prologue starts on Saturday, June 26th in North Vancouver with Day 1 beginning in Nanaimo June 27. For more information visit

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

BC Bike Race Challenge!

Please note: due to technical difficulties, links for BC Bike Race were unable to be provided in this blog. Please visit for all the deets!

I’m up for the Challenge. I’ve been saying that for over three months now. My training for BC Bike Race Challenge course has also been a challenge!
Getting into the groove with the right bikes for me was a struggle. I managed with slicks on my old Rocky Mountain Fusion (19 years old to be exact!) to go solo on the roads early in the mornings. I’d get passed by packs of roadies with little giddy-up comments. Oh well, at least I was out there riding. Which is what Andreas Hestler told me from the get go. Get the miles on, bum in saddle.
My neighbours started to notice a difference in my schedule. Rather then waking up to get the paper at 8 a.m. I was coming in from a three hour road ride. Tired. Which prompted one idle remark from the male species, "Well at least you’ve got nice thighs!"
Thunder thighs they've now been named.
I have to say I’m pretty thankful the BC Bike Race starts in the summer. When my serious BC Bike Race training began in late March, the early morning rides were cold and dark. Lights were mandatory, so were arm warmers, footsy rain protectors, layers upon layers - even the long leggings.
As the weeks passed the days got longer, the early mornings got springier. But there was rain, lots of it. I’d attempted a three hour ride starting off in the rain one morning. Three pairs of gloves later I made it home. Frickin’ freezing. Lesson to oneself, wear all the gear before you leave and make sure it’s ALL waterproof.
The training program on the web site is great. But hard to follow when you’re working 8-10 hour days with an almost 2 hour commute. The only time during the week I could squeeze in long rides was if I got up at 4:15 a.m. The thought of me wearing the BC Bike Race belt buckle dangled over my head when I hit snooze for the first time. That usually got me out of bed.
It was super sweet once I got a properly fitted cross-country bike and started doing the Island Cup xc races. Even though I managed the tailgater spot for the most part, I could feel the improvement in my stamina and confidence in climbing up and in particular down. Practice makes perfect right!
The butterflies have already crept into my stomach. BC Bike Race is now three days away. I took up the Challenge, because I like a challenge. To be honest, I’m looking forward to living like a Pro: eat, race, eat, sleep, eat, race, eat, sleep, eat, race, eat, sleep for seven whole days!
I am no Olympian, I’m a 46 year-old mother with a spirit of a 27 year-old and mental madness to know I’ll find a way to get’er done, I know I’ll have to dig deep. No pain, no gain. Every step and strain you take today, is an investment in tomorrow morning’s strength.
Ready or not, here I come!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Top Five Reasons to Head Bash

It never hurts to meet with other like-minded folks. I call it head bashing. You’re bashing your brains together – right?!
I’m learning so much by taking an on-line blogging course with Raincoaster Media . Tuesday’s is our night. I was tempted to bail as I needed a workout, instead I cooked dinner while we Skyped our conference call.
Even though it is well after my bedtime now I’m hooked - more importantly inspired!
If you’re a writer and you’ve been taking the helm solo, here’s my top five reasons why head bashing is really good for you:

1. You’ll find more reasons to think and write outside the box… creativity increased!
2. You’ll find more tangents to go out on and more crossroads to cross!
3. You’ll get feedback and add-ons!
4. You’ll find more confidence to carry on and on and on!
5. You’ll like what you’re doing even more as you’ve got others to support you along the way.

We’re half way through our ten-week course. I’m learning to think every bit multi-media. Even though I’m behind on my homework, I’m facing my future of blogging with excitement. I know more, I am more! Thanks Raincoaster!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Misguided Truths

It doesn’t surprise me when you hear something about someone else that scares you. Yet, when you get to know that someone else and confront them with the ‘hear say’ you discover there is some unfounded opinions being passed.
The truth be told. Rather, the truth needs to be known.
I had heard of a person who apparently spent time in a cell. Rumoured to be because of an assault charge. That person looks strong. Yet is observed to be a hard worker and from what I can tell, honest.
However, when confronted with the known facts, recoils almost in embarrassment.
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
Somehow I managed to squeeze more information. Shockingly, it wasn’t what I expected.
Too many people take the law into their own hands. When a person close to someone is harmed by another person, in an unwillingly sexual way – does that make it OK for a family member to do what they think is right? Of course not.
Who pays for these mistakes? That person who crossed the threshold of the law. No matter that it was in an effort to thwart off the pain caused to their loved one.
Bad judgment? Yes.
Labeled for life? Unfortunately so.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Soul Sisters

Friendships last forever. When family calls, nothing else matters. I vouch for my souls sisters the same way. I know they are there for me when I need them. And vise-versa.
Doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other. We pick up where we left off. Talk about life, happiness, the world and whatever’s going on inside our souls.
When I yap about what I’m feeling or some crazy idea I’m thinking - they listen. When I work a job with one and get all nit picky, I get support.
If I’m sad and lonely, I’ll get dealt a dose of laughter.
When there’s a need, we work together to fill it. Words don’t always have to be spoken. We can talk with our eyes and our hands. At times, intuitively we connect with each other’s thoughts by our actions.
I can step out of line, and be plucked back in.
Our soul sisters are our angels. Guiding us to the sunshine and helping to direct us onto the right path for life.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Go For It!

A lot can happen between now and next year. Who can predict what that may be?
Time marches on and those with idle hearts walk head down, stuck in a groove. Who’s to say whether we’ll be in the same job with the same person in the same house in the same country this time next year?
I was tuned into The Beat 94.5 one morning on the way to work. The new Much Music VJ from Langley, British Columbia was talking about how this time last year he was in the audience on Queen Street in Toronto watching the Much Music Video Awards. This year, he’ll be hosting them.
A lot can happen in a year.
What were you doing this time last year?
Were you happy?
Did you expect to be where you are today?
Has life changed? For better, or for worse?
While one door opens, another closes. Be careful for what you wish for. Perhaps. Or, be tempted by fate to have an appetite for change. The light in front of you may be red, but behind it - it’s green.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Facebook LOVE

It’s been a few years since I consummated an ideal amount of time, almost on a daily basis (admittedly) to the Facebook world. These days, when I run into old acquaintances, invariably the parting words are “I’ll friend you!” or “I’m on Facebook are you?”
Who would of thunk this would be our anecdote for daily living a decade ago? Not I.
I love the opportunities Facebook has delivered. Facebook connects you. I love that on a daily basis if I’m feeling crappy because I ate too many brioches or bagels or whatever, that when I Facebook how awful I’m feeling and why, a friend will read my post and comment. In my case, my comments lead to thoughts and inevitably make me feel better or stimulated to do something.
Take Catherine’s comment when I gloated my emotional eating habits:
“Take it to the gym, Jane!”
Exactly what I needed to hear to transplant that thought to the forefront of my brain, which later turned to action.
This morning, after well over a year of being Facebook Friends, Catherine and I did our second road ride of the week together, this time hill climbs. Had we of gotten together to ride if we hadn’t of Friended on Facebook?
Who’s to say? Being on Facebook puts you out there. For who you choose to be with and for who you might want to take the time to get to know a little better.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

A Mars Bar a Day!

When Dad spent his final years in a nursing home, I’d often escort him to the cafeteria for lunch. Then outside for his after lunch smoke. I’d watch as he'd inhale an entire half then butt it out. He was ready for a rest.
Once upstairs and hoisted in his bed, he’d ask for a tilt and a chocolate bar. Mars bars were his favourite. He’d often claim that when he was young, he and his sister would walk a mile for a Mars bar.
Yesterday morning I was out for my ride with the TripleShot gang. I lagged due to lights which left a couple of us stragglers. No matter, we kept going on the road to the nearest coffee shop.
This fellow Paul whom I had met in the morning was choking down some java, squashing some time before his next meet-up and 80 kilometre ride. I asked him what he had for fuel.
Out of his cycling jersey back pocket he pulled out some square electrolyte gummies and funny enough, an unwrapped Mars bar. I got a chuckle. I’d heard of other cyclists chowing down on Mars bars on their long rides, but thought no more until Paul pulled out his.
What is it about Mars bars that do good for long road rides?
I asked him while explaining they were my dad’s favourite. He told me in England they deep fry the things!
So I checked out the good old Mars bar tonight on my way home. Turns out there’s a caramel, a slim and a 2-pack, besides the good old regular. I swallowed down two tonight. Got a big hill ride in the morning. Grateful I didn’t have to walk a mile for them!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Vision Boards

When someone mentions to me the Law of Attraction my instincts rise up and ignite a smile. That person is connected.
It was through idle chatter in the laundry room one evening last year when I first met my neighbour and friend, The Holistic Sailor.
She calmly listened as I blurted out my antiquated life history of the last year. Lost the Corporate job through lay-off. Bolted back to Victoria to be close to my son again. Not sure where the future will take me now.
In her calm reassuring voice she said something to the affect, “Well you’ll just have to put it out there to the Universe. You know, the Law of Attraction.”
Of course I’ve read The Secret and the Law of Attraction. I’d made my vision board which resulted in the high paying Corporate job. But I hadn’t bothered with one lately.
Until last night. I had piled up some clippings from magazines and advertisements. Words and phrases that seemed to bridge my heart and soul with joy. I got out the glue and scissors and stuck it all down on white cardbourd. Before I went to bed I stuck it under my computer for the night so things could stick down flat.
When I awoke this morning and fled out the door for my early morning bike ride I didn’t think about it. Till I returned. With a day off to play I unpacked it from under the computer and stood it up for viewing.
The top line reads If You Could Do Anything, What Would You Do?

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Riding in a Pack

Highway driving will never be the same for me. Had a big chuckle out loud when I hit the Pat Bay Highway this morning on my way to Sidney (yyj). Actually covered my mouth to stifle my laughter. I was trying to follow the car in front me's tire - like in a straight line.
I had had my first experience riding in a pack this morning with the TripleShot Pre Dawn Cafe Destination Cycling Club. Since I’m officially a roady now that I have a road bike, I gave the speed work with the pack a shot.
Insider tippers told me to stay six inches (no less) off the tire in front of me. Stay in line. If you do butt, you’ll stop. No doubt.
It’s a 6 a.m. start and I had a 15 minute ride to the meet-up. So I’m warmed up and off we go. I pulled to the back, introducing myself here and there. We get to the loop and the leader dictates the shuffle speed formation. I go for it. Appreciative of the guy who zooms ahead of me with a “Good work” under his arm. I realize he’s directing that to me and say thanks as I slinker to the very back. That’s ok I reckon to myself. At least I’m givin’ ‘er.
We spin off after four rounds to a waterfront vista and then I feel the real pull when my pair gets to the front. Exhilarating!
When I spill out it’s just in time as the big hill approaches. The infamous King George Terrace. I’ve been crawling up that hill during my own training on the old mountain bike when the pack has glided past me. This time I’m in it. Well, not for long. I’m left behind with three others. Great I think to myself. At least I’m not completely alone.
Then the fun begins. The six foot sixer passes me with a gal close behind and yells over his shoulder, “Get on, Jane.”
I do. I pull into that draft position and cruise the rest of the way to our final sprint around the Petting Zoo at Beacon Hill Park. I’m lagging but manage. Once back on the road our guy Jeremy says to me “Get on Dave’s tire for a final sprint.”
I bang up to him as best I can feeling like I need another high gear. He’s flying. I’m pumping. He gives to me a bit so I can stretch to him to Fisherman’s Wharf, something like a finish line. The heart is beating and I’m feeling like I just did an intense early morning aerobics class. I thank the guys and confirm tomorrow morning’s hills - I’ll be there.
More fun riding in the pack!

Monday, 14 June 2010

I Won’t Date a Chevy

Stereotypical you say? Yes, definitely. I’m afraid there is a certain class of man I want to be with. Doesn’t have to drive a Jaguar. (Been there, done that). Only asking for some standards, high standards.
Years ago I went daffodil picking. Needed to make some money. Thought it would be easy. I’m bent over on a drizzly cool spring day with a bunch of folks. We’re asked to cut and place in piles along the rows. Someone comes along and picks them up as we go.
The supervisor comes over to me a third of the way through the day. He says to me, “You’re not getting paid by how fast you pick you know.”
Another wards, why work so hard, you’re getting paid by the hour.
That stuck with me. I was doing the job, the best most efficient way I could. I won’t settle for anything else.
I like nice things. Quality. I don’t enjoy spending money on things that won’t last. When it came time for me to acquire a vehicle I could count on, I went for a Toyota. Re-sale value, black book. I know for the money I could count on it.
Too many used car lots I saw Chevy's, Fords, lots of Fords, very few Toyota's.
When it comes to dating, if he drives a Chevy, chances are he doesn’t think the same way I do. So I’ve decided, I won’t date a Chevy!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Movie Magic

“My day is made!” said my cousin on a return phone call.
My question was pointed. I had asked her how her day was going so far. I had left the sweetest in song, I truly have to say, version of “Happy Birthday” ever on her answering machine.
“Well,” she replies.
“There was a Kevin Costner movie on at 6 a.m. (she’s an early riser), followed by a Robert Redford Movie.”
I had to laugh. Who doesn’t love being transported to some beautiful romantic place a movie may take you? Where you can stand in the actor’s shoes living in some ideal la la land forever holding in your heart what may be the most perfect… SCRATCH… ZAP… ZIP… CRASH…. BANG… FLIP BACK….
The movie’s over and you’re back in the real world. Don’t you wish it would never end?
Me too.
Tonight was Letters to Juliet. It’s entirely possible there is fate in finding true love. Perhaps the charm is in the path you take to get there. Should you choose to look for it.
Or, you can just go to a movie and dream about it. That’s the magic of movies. Although I’ve often heard, what you can dream… you can live…

I saw something beautiful today. I didn't take a picture. I glared.

The Butterfly

Embraced a green leaf
Flitters solely in its grace
Viewed by spring sunshine

Passed by but I stop
Entered into colours bright
Mesmerized by peace

No movement is barred
The moment lasts by time
Not passing by me.

Friday, 11 June 2010


My days are never the same. There’s always a new challenge. Good thing. I live for that.
Under no circumstances do I consider another’s life to be the envy.
My x-husband used to say to me, “It’s your way or the highway!”
True to some extent. I just know what I want. And in time, I can usually find a way to get it.
Take today for instance. I finally bought myself a road bike.
This is huge for me. It opens so many doors. No longer do I ride the 19 year-old beautiful but in need of retirement Rocky Mountain Fusion. I now have a Devinci Silverstone that I can call my own. Which means, I can get out and ride with other people!
Last October, the week after Thanksgiving I joined Weight Watchers. My weight had become a problem. I needed to take care of it. I didn’t want to be FAT at 50 (four years away)! I wanted to be fit like Jane Fonda. More importantly, I wanted to feel good about myself.
It was a struggle - rather a challenge. I managed to peel away 30 pounds. It’s still off and I feel great. What this did for me was make way for a goal I had flinging around in my head for a while. I joined the Triathlon Club.
That was in January (I was down about 20 pounds by then). I learned the proper technique for swimming, running and we just got into some road riding when snap, I gimped my calf running and bailed out.
It turned out to be a good thing as the BC Bike Race opportunity cropped up. Cycle, cycle, cycle. That’s all I’ve been focusing on since late March. But I didn’t have a road bike to train on, until now.
Better late then never. Once the BC Bike Race rolls up (June 26 – July 3) I’ll get back to Triathlon training. Now that I have a road bike, I won’t get the sneer from the lead bike guy.
I’m so happy and grateful to meet yet another milestone in my life.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Hat Toss

“How do you feel?” I ask.
“I don’t feel any different,” he replies.
Humm, I think to myself. It will sink in soon enough.
I remember mine like it was yesterday. I was the Valedictorian for the class. And in usual I need to be different style, I had rented an old-fashioned dress. Victorian style.
Unfortunately, upon finding my seat at the front of the auditorium I was soon to discover the dress fit more comfortably standing up. Unbearably so.
Last night while I watched the ceremony with my son seated, I contemplated the future for the graduates of 2010.
Some claimed to go on to be a doctor, others an engineer, a few policeman, some nurses and a select in science.
What does the future for these graduates really need?
MLA, Ida Chong provided one quest.
“Will one of you find a cure for cancer?”
The Valedictorians provided a performance on holding onto the memories. There was more then a handful of graduates who said their happiest moment of school was walking across that stage to receive their recognition.
Good riddance another wards.
I didn’t hear anyone say journalist. Maybe two claimed communications. One said web design.
I thought that interesting given the technological age we’re in.
My media card rang full when it came time for my son to strut his stuff. I validated this as a sign from the Universe. Maybe he doesn’t need to remember his graduation. What in his life will be more important? Perhaps marriage, the birth of his first child or the success of his chosen career.
I know I’ll cherish the look on his face when he tossed his hat.
Now that was a celebration.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Tangled Thoughts

Tempted to stop thinking. Sometimes there is no point. You can’t always change what is. Perfectly fine to accept things though. Probably something called destiny? Perhaps.
During my second viewing of the Men Who Stare at Goats I took pen and paper and jotted down some thoughts. Can we control life or does life control us?
I know what I know. This is me here I am. Like it, or not.
A showcase of thoughts without answers… Rambled reflections.
Dreams may manifest but it’s the heart that dictates the reasoning. Or does it? Should I go there and do this or that or not. If it feels right – do it!
Truly, the point is do we do what the universe tells us? Then the river runs to it? Can we let go of the temptations and lust for what should be? Is it right or is it wrong? Who said it must be and we must do that?
You do. No one else.
What if exists. Here’s how:
The future is yet unborn, the past is old and dead, the only time is now.
Time to carry on and listen to thy heart.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Mental Madness

Too many times I’ve let myself talk myself out of getting up. I hate that. Especially for me. I’m training for the Challenge course with the BC Bike Race. Not far away! If I don’t get the workout in first thing in the morning, it’s really slim that I’ll be able to carve out the time after work. Besides the time, I need the energy.
To stay focused this week I’m playing mental games. I say to myself the following:

You never regret going, you only regret when you don’t go.
If you don’t get up now, you’ll fall back to sleep and get fat.
Winners rise early, losers sleep till 8am.
The more you do now, the less painful it will be during the race.
You want the belt buckle don’t you?

Since I’m riding solo, the training became one as well. I’ve followed the training program the best I can with the time I’ve had and the time I have. Bikes have been a challenge the whole way along. The past road riding has consisted of me on my 19 year-old Rocky Mountain Fusion. I’m retiring this bike as I need new brake pads. 4:15 a.m. comes early. I’m riding the road tomorrow on my cross-country mountain bike that I’ll be doing the race in. Ready or not, here I go.
I never regret going, I only regret when I don’t.

Monday, 7 June 2010

All Told

Children grow up being told what to do. They spend their days at school being taught this and that. If they’re involved in sports they’re being coached. When they go home they’re being guided, by their parents. All said and done their days are spent being told what to do with their lives.
Where’s the kid time in today’s society? The play time? It generally comes with a parent there watching, telling them what not to do. Warning them what could happen. Suggesting consequences with damage control for preventative injuries. Quite honestly, I think it’s pathetic. Let them be!
I loved my childhood evenings. “Go outside and play,” me and my brothers were told. My parents enjoyed quiet time with their candle light dinners and cocktails. There was no supervision. Occasionally someone would come home with an injury. For the most part, when we were in the neighbourhood we hung out and took care of each other. We played tag, kick the can, hide-and-seek. Whatever.
Mum would stand on the front porch and ring a cow bell when it was time to come in, usually around dusk. Do we give our children today this kind of opportunity?
At the bike park the other day I’m watching kids ride and parents are hanging around talking. Looking on. Chirping, “Don’t do that,” and “Be careful if you do that you could fall.”
One poor soul winded himself falling off his bike. Some other mum went into high gear and called the boy’s parents even while he was pleading he was fine. Why not let them be?
I had to leave shaking my head. What kind of world are we going to have when our children grow up with every minute of their day being told what to do? How will they ever learn to think for themselves?

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Feel the Energy

Had to stop and stand in the moment. I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I was standing in a forest. At the top of Berkeley Road in North Vancouver. I heard myself say, “I am having a moment. I need to stop and feel this.”
I was on my way to the finish line of the DH (Downhill Mountain Biking) Smackdown at the North Shore Bike Festival. My son was racing. The hike in was about 15 minutes in by foot.
Everywhere I looked there were trees. Filled in with lush green leaves accented with vibrant lime colours everywhere.
Someone walked by me and I had to say to him, “This is incredible.”
He didn’t slow down much but commented that since he lives here, he kinda takes it all for granted.
Years ago I read the Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. Upon putting it down it sent me out to feel the magic of trees. I visited Carmanah Valley and every little park around the city I live in. I sat down in the hallow of one tree to feel the energy.
Shortly after this something remarkable happened. I was leaving the house, my son ahead of me, I lock the door and as I went to cross the sidewalk to the boulevard to where our car was parked my son was hugging the boulevard tree. He was nine years old at the time. I surmised this to be a sign that he could feel the energy of the tree - maybe he needed it.
While it rained on the hike into the finish line, it didn’t dampen the spirit and positive energy I felt from being in this remarkable place. I enjoyed the moment. I could feel the energy.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

I Did the 'Dick'

Everyone looked so serious. Here I am thinking I’m one of them. Ha ha ha. Clearly I’m a wanna be.
I’ve never beaten myself up more in my life then I did today. Cross country mountain biking they call it. The marathon xc race in the BC Cup. I’m amongst Olympians in the beginning.
I recognized it to be a good day when I left my son’s buddy’s house on my way to the race and there on the front doorstep was a penny. “Pick it up and for the rest of the day you’ll have good luck….” I suppose. Then aren’t you meant to pass it on?
Anyway I took it as a good sign for the day. Put myself in a positive frame of mind. It was coolish outside but at least it wasn’t raining.
I kinda wished I hadn’t decided to do the Wild Rose Cleanse this week though. My carb loading consisted of rice cakes, almonds and an apple. Satisfied the gut in the beginning. I reflected on my son’s father’s comments when we had left the house (my son’s racing downhill tomorrow). “You’re not supposed to exercise when you’re on that though.”
I’m at the North Shore Bike Festival in Vancouver. Waiting for the race to start. I ask Olympian and BC Bike Race Marketing Director, Andreas Hestler for some advise. I tell him I’m nervous.
“Once you pedal out the nerves just relax and enjoy it,” he says. Something like that anyway.
I got a chuckle at the start when I stacked myself in the middle of the pack and some guy pegs me with an explanation that the Citizen Racers go at the back. How’d he know I wasn’t a Cycling BC licensed rider? Did I have 'C' on my forehead?
The organizer rounds up the tape markers in preparation for the start. This turned out to be the easiest part of the day. He whispered to all of us that it was a Lamond start (like I know what that is – NOT) and we’d be running that way. Sounds ridiculous I think to myself. Not a chance. No way. He’s kidding.

See the Flikr link for some race start and course action:

Nope he wasn’t. The good thing when I did my sprint across the field to hoist my bike up and carry on was that there at the front of the pack was Andreas’ bike. Me thinks to myself maybe I could get ahead of the Olympian... hee hee…
Then the fun begins. I’d heard a few people talking about how everyone involved in the race has kept the course start a secret. Chuckle, chuckle. What for?
Sure enough we start by running, picking up our bikes and then riding the BMX track! WOOT WOOT!
After that the fun really begins.
I forget to unlock my lock-out at the first single track muddy, rooty, rocky climb. By the time I notice I’m glad. It’s the start of the downhill. No wonder I was sucking at climbing. My excuse and I’m sticking to it!
I really have been training. Riding anywhere from 9-13 hours a week. Clearly, not enough.
Some parts of the climbs I had to shake my head. They really ride up this? I was Queen of Hike-a-Bike at times!
I spent time adjusting my seat position, which was good. Took a few tumbles. Mostly jammin’ or slipping. Rode some stuff I didn’t think I could. Till about three quarters of the way and I had a funny feeling in my front wheel. Good thing I stopped to inspect. Quick release was released. Oops. Happy it was before all the downhill. And smiling cause it was after the infamous Severed Dick.
I had heard a lot about this ride. Extreme. Whatever. Just a few big drops is all. About the same as the rest of the course in my opinion.
It was all challenging.
I have to say though that I was extremely grateful for all the happy, encouraging and smiling volunteers along the way. Before the race started another Citizen rider claimed he was just going to be happy to finish the race. Didn’t matter where he placed, as long as he did it. I turned around to him with my arms in the air “Hey, I’m the tailgater!”
“You are, are you?” he replies. “Then you’re bear bait!”
Oh lovely I think to myself.
Unfortunately that resonated with me for the entire four hours and almost 38 minutes I took to ride the course. Yep, I finished alive and last. The tailgater. But not the bear bait!

Note: At an after party at Andreas' house I meet the person who won the race. He did it in one hour and 53 minutes (1:53). I claim the tailgater spot and he tells me the name for the person finishing last is Lantern Rouge

Friday, 4 June 2010

Be One With Your Bike

Funk is in and so is getting a professional bike fit. Wow what a difference a few good tweaks can make.
I finally took the time today to see the man in the know, Bill Fry at also known as Pro City Racing.
No more get on the bike and ride. Now it’s get on the bike and perform!
They knew I was coming, I booked the appointment two days earlier. I roll in and my bike is fitted onto a windtrainer. Bill follows shortly. My shoes laced up he asks me to climb on. I sit and complain about what I know I don’t like. He watches me pedal. Like a good thinker he sits and analyzes. Then he takes out a long bendy ruler it looks like. Measures up my leg. Has me stick my pedal stroke in one spot while he dangles a plum line.
Out come the tools. The seat height changes. So does the seat positioning. More measuring. Another plum line. Then some adjustments to the handlebars. A tilt.
Now I’m sent out for a ride. My cockpit is tight. I like it. I do a block of roady and thank the dude. The true test will be to see how I perform at “Hard Rock Hartland.” The local trails also known as “The Dump.”
Night and day. I have a grasp for climbing, I am tilting in unison. I am one with my bike. What a difference a bike fit can make.
I return to spread my happiness. Stoked and ready for tomorrow’s xc marathon ride at the North Shore Bike Festival WOOT WOOT!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Grateful For Living

John told me today that he was lucky to be alive. That he savoured each day with gratitude. Some years ago he’d had half his intestine removed. Some kind of rare protein deficiency in his blood I believe.
John has a boathouse next to the one I am working in. This was a fruitful conversation as were accounting for doing things right. We both agreed that taking the time to do a job properly was better then going half ass. In this case we were referring to the job I was working on. It was an old boat. The varnish was badly checked. Instead of patching I’d started from the beginning. Stripped it all down and sanded it clean and smooth.
John left and the words “Life can change in a heartbeat,” echoed in my mind. We all know that.
I immediately thought of the day I had arrived home to a Tsunami warning sign posted on our security gate. As I hadn’t tuned into the radio, this came as a complete surprise. An earthquake in Chile the cause.
This led my thinking to the ash cloud, flooding, forest fires and hurricanes. Yes, life can change in a heartbeat, not only with your health - but with the world we live in. The world as we know it changed forever with 911.
I took a deep breath and carried on. Grateful for the opportunity to live today.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Young Love

Dad said you know it’s true love when you see the person and you feel weak at your knees. Kind of like you’re going to fall over. Personally, I have only felt that way once. Had to give my head a shake as that particular person didn’t live in the same country I did. The kind of relationship that sparks and fizzles and hits a dead end. Sad, but true. Might as well bash bricks over your head.
Yesterday I spoke with a lovely young person. She’d confided in me that her feelings had changed for her boyfriend. That didn’t surprise me given her age. I knew they had been together for a while. But not that it was three and a half years by the time June 29th rolled around. How precise. She knew it to the day.
Now I have a theory about relationships. From the woman’s point of view that is. First, let the guy do the chasing. If you don’t and you do the chasing, chances are it won’t last. The guy has to want you first.
But when it comes to teenagers, it gets complicated.
Does the guy really know what he wants from a girlfriend? After all, this is all new territory. Does the girl really know what to do with a guy?
Throw in a bunch of growing up, hormones, living at home, parents, going to school and oh yes, graduation soon - have to figure out what to do with my life… and you have the ingredients for mind games. Cause really, you don’t know what you want. You’re too young. You have to figure out your own life first, before you can share it with someone else.
That's my theory anyway... Oh to be young again.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Blogs I Do

Since I haven’t figured out how to show you without you viewing my complete profile, let me tell you. There are some bloggers that I follow and who knows maybe you would like to as well.
I’ll start off with Back in the spring of 2009 when the words Twitter, Digg, Delicious and Facebook were still taking a backseat in my mind, I heard about this Social Media course. Social Media huh. Ok. I like am a communicator type, I need to know this stuff. Darren and his partner taught it and while I know much of my brain power lives in the clouds in far off dreams, etc., I have to say these two folks are really in the know. So to follow - is to know!
Now Darren pointed fingers at a fave site of his. She's famous to me now. It blows my mind how technically advanced this woman is and how up-to-date and current she is. She’s got the pulse, and she’s based in Vancouver.
It’s MISS604 that led me to I attended a Word Camp in Victoria (#yyj) and the panel discussion at noon included MISS604 and another fine woman with a handle known as Raincoaster. While I blasted out questions about the curve of the future in Social Media and hey about that making money thing… blurted out a bit about an on-line course she was doing for bloggers. So I signed up. Turns out she’s The Sheebeenclub helms person as well. I’m really starting to feel like totally in the know now!
As I’m training super hard for the I have a few spinners that inspire me. One of them is who teaches Tuesday morning’s spin class at the Downtown YMCA. Tori plays great tunes and when I was moving Social Media into the front seat she was already there and tweeting about it. She’s also a marathon runner and rich in thought and great for inspiration.
Finally, I think this site says it all. I have to be up at 4:15 a.m. for my three hour roady. Good to follow for timely reminders!
Nighty night.