Thursday, March 29, 2007

La Belgique ici nous venons

Belgium, here we come!

Just days now until Jay and I will be hoppin' the jumbo jet for some smooth sailing across the pond. Paris, Belgium, Germany....3 pro tours.....riding along the European countryside........2 weeks without emails or voicemails.....great company.....Priceless!!!!!

I am off to Belgium to see the Tour de Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem, and Paris-Roubaix! I've never left the country before, and I can barely contain myself. I know we're going to have an amazing time exploring, riding, laughing, and seeing stars!

Bike Love in Belgium!


Before we leave, I just want to wish everyone a Happy Easter and a wonderful time! See you in late April!

Riding, loving, and Living,

Kristy

Monday, March 26, 2007

Exhausted

This weekend went by so fast, I forgot to take pictures! But it was fun, none the less.

Friday started off right, taking out Lucky for a great commute to work at 5:00 am! Jay rode me into work to make sure I didn't get lost during my first commuter ride. All day I was flyin' high off the great ride, only to reverse it home. I made it all the way back solo, only peaking at my map once to hit the right twists and turns all the way back to the Greenway. With legs warmed, I made a pit stop for a change of clothes and hopped back on the bike for a slick ride down to the shop for another team night....one that went until the wee hours of the morning, but for all the wrong reasons......Jay's keys went missing, and we searched desparately to find a way to just close up the shop and get home. KK came to the rescue big time with the spare key and a ride home. KK, you're the best!

We licked our wounds and fell asleep, prepping for the 60-sumpthin' temps on Saturday and a great ride ahead. Jay, the Chucker, and I waited for the fog to burn off before we hit the roads, west-bound for Lake Minnetonka. Over rolling hills, through the enchanted forrest, and into quaint little Excelsior, Chucker set a fast pace. Unfortunately, the cupboard fell off the wall at home (LITERALLY!) and Chucker had to bail. Jay and I kept pedaling, out around Lake Minnetonka, stopping for a treat & coffee in DT 'Tonka, and then returned to our route.

Soon after leaving the coffee shop, the sky began to warn us with a light sprinkle. We kicked it into the highest gear we could and focused on home. By the time we hit the Greenway, the rain was coming down. Luckily, the air was warmed and we had on an extra layer. With the end in sight, my engine reved and my reserves kicked in, driving sweet Casper in for take-out, and home in no time.

I annihalated my dinner, and lazily readied myself for one of Steph's infamous Bday parties. This year was a "Fav TV Character" theme...Jay and I went as Hogan's Heroes extras. : ) We closed out Saturday night hangin' with Downtown Julie Brown, Buffy, Jane Jetson, June & Ward, and so many more. Even Red Green took some time to teach us a couple phrases in German. Steph, it was a great party! Happy Birthday!

Sunday we got out for a lazy ride, since my legs didn't want to move from bed...I actually slept in until noon! I felt like a kid again. We rode out to Bloomington very moderately, and it was just the thing I needed. Casper deciding to tell us she needed a tune up, but she stuck it out to finish strong. After some home made vittles and some great Italian racing, we laid low and said goodbye to the weekend.

Now, we wait impatiently for Belgium to get even closer! Tick tock tick tock. I can't wait to be in Europe : )

In love with riding, and riding in love,

Kristy Kreme

Monday, March 19, 2007

56 Miles & Tons of Smiles

Friday kicked off the weekend with a rockin' team meet n great at Jay's shop. A great number of the team came out for the gear, the food, and the barley sodas. As the night grew dark, the team thinned and friends rolled in. KK, Timmer, Angie, Big Al, B-rad, Shad, Geno, and the crew hung out until the night's closing, sharing in great stories and laughs, enjoying Jay's birthday cake I made...(which I am so proud to say I made)....

Hwood even taught us how to open a bottle of wine in a bike shop.....
(click here if the video isn't appearing)

The party was so fun, wrapping up with a great Hwood quote for an unfortunate happening: "A party's not a party until Geno drinks a butt". Raw deal, Godfather, to pick up the only bottle with a butt in it. Glad you all came out though!

Saturday we slept in, only to wake up and gear up for a killer ride. Jay n I hit the Greenway and met up with Ronnie, Timmer, and Roundtree headed south. The morning air bit hard on my lightly covered skin. Every cheek felt brittle against the slightest breeze as I waited for my thermometer to pop and my blood to flow. We cranked out near 20 MPH as we weaved our way through town, picking up Andy along the way, just before heading south of the river. Past Mendota Heights and on to mile 24+ I started to fall apart, getting dropped every couple hundred feet and struggling more and more up the rolling hills. Jay was sweet enough, and smart enough, to know what my body needed more than I did, and we dropped off the ride. I choked down my first Goo as we rested on the side of the road, watching a red tailed hawk hang over the field to our side. We rode into Rosemount, stopping in a small bakery for some tasty treats and juice, refueling for the 26 mile ride home. Looking around the little Irish town, we noticed it was St. Paddy's day! People were already out getting there drink on, and here we were prepping for a great season. Man, I love this life.



So, riding just the pair of us, Jay and I mounted the beautiful black and white steads and pointed north. The ride home was a few MPH slower, but we had fun and made it home safe. It was my longest ride ever - 56 miles! Yowza, my legs were exhausted but it was amazing! After some tasty homemade vittles by Jay, the man who never ceases to amaze me, we laid out on the couch for a little R&R.

Now, I know a nap is great every now and then [believe me, I cherish them!], but we took the Mother of All Naps! When we looked at the clock, 4 hours had gone by! I think we had slept a little too much, rising slow and groggy from the couch. We kept the evening low key, sharing a bottle of wine, a movie, and some popcorn. Who needs green beer when you can lay around in your jammies and cuddle with a loved one? It was definitely a great St. Paddy's day!

Sunday was pretty mellow. We ran errands, raided IKEA, and watched cycling with Timmer, Angie, and Wheels as we assemble our new IKEA goods. The house was full of life and we hung out. The other great lesson of the weekend....start at the beginning of the instructions when assembling something....don't work your way back (thanks Timmer and Jay for fixing the drawer...oops!).

Next on the docket......we're into the final count down to Belgium! Yep, that's right....15 days until these little red toenails will be landing in Paris for 2 weeks of cycling and exploring France, Belgium, and Germany! Sure, I may be the only lady on the trip, but I am certain I'll be able to hold my own. And the idea of being able to experience it all with Jay....it's unimaginable!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Last night Jay, the Chucker, Shannon and I raided Red Lobster to celebrate Jay's birthday.
To start, I am not a seafood eater. Luckily, the menu had a couple non-lobster options for lil ole me. I got the Aztec chicken...lite, lively, tasty, and filling. The rest of the crew....they made sure to fill the rest of the table top with piles of lobster and crab legs. It was so much fun - I've never really been with people while they consumed the crazy shellfish, so I was quite intrigued.

Dinner is always fun with tasty food and good friends. I had a blast with the crew as we filled our bellies and toasted Jay's birthday.
Happy Birthday, Babe! xoxo

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rocking Hard, Riding Far, and Falling Further

Here's the recap on another fun weekend in LaLa Land!

Friday night started off right with me and Jay meeting up with Crossmax on the Greenway on our way to Rock n Roll. The temps dangled right around freezing as we rode our fender bikes through the puddles that cleverly hid patches of black ice. The ride was pretty easy going out to the Triple Rock - On the docket was Artimus Pyledriver, Valiant Thorr, and Fu Manchu. Jay & I traded in seeing Artimus for some social time with KK and JodyK. When Crossmax and crew hunted us down to tell us what we missed, we B-lined it to the front in time for Valiant Thorr.

The greatest thing about rock shows is watching a band that's having fun....it'll beat an over-produced cd any day. Thorr was ON. Their front man was great - long hair, shirtless, 20-30 lb. hanging over his rock n roll belt, and a belly-long, red beard all came together to draw you in to his excitement and enjoyment of the entire set. They were workin hard to put on a good show for us, and they did it well. Party On! This is one band I could definitely see again.

Fu Manchu came on in good form, not to disappoint after the teaser I had been given - they came on with the rad surfer look that I had heard about. The guitars were cranked all the way up, allowing your ear drums to rattle with every chord. Unfortunately, it drowned out the vocals big time, melting songs into each other after a while. Rock concerts wouldn't be nearly as fun without Jay, though, holding back the mosh pit mob. This time, however, was much more subdued, with a decent 30-something pit that wasn't as in to causing damage. After the show, Jay, Cross, and I mounted up and rode off. This time the Greenway was super slick - Crossmax gave me and unforgettble demonstration of gravity! After we parted Cross, Jay and I turned over to the salted city streets - they were empty and easy - we made it home fast, safe, and were asleep in no time!

Saturday was gorgeous, so there was no saying "No" to riding out to Hopkins with G-Reg. It was still a little wet, but the upper 40's temps were too good to pass up. Everyone was out! The Greenway was much safer in daylight, and it was smooth riding the whole way. G-Reg had to dip just before DT Hopkins, but Jay n I kept riding into Minnetonka. How nice is it to take a girl to her work on a Saturday afternoon? It was fabulous - riding out to the towers made it much more believable that I could commute to work.

Anyways, what could be better than doing something you love with someone you love? Each ride is amazing with Jay and he always has fun things to see and do along the way! I don't know what could make this heart happier....each day with Jay allows me to fall gingerly, willingly, and even deeper in love. I couldn't ask for more.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Let it snow!

What do real Minnesotans do when it dumps foot after foot of soft white flakes within mere days, sometimes even hours?

Play outside!

Think of all the time people spent dreaming of a powdery ground cover, just weeks before the holidays, itching for that Christmas feeling. Then, with the "impending" snow of late last week, people seemed fearful, shocked, and lethargic. Has everyone forgotten what state we live in?
So think back to Thursday morning....the snow started to fall, the news reports began to pour in, and yet people somehow thought it was acceptable to call in late or "sick" to work as if it wasn't a surprise....as if the largest MN snow storm since 1991 wasn't on every tongue and billboard from Fargo to Rhinelander, on down to Iowa City. It's really not that hard to figure out: Plan ahead, leave early, drive slow.

Me, I planned ahead, left an hour early, got to work well before I had to, left on time, got everywhere safely....then had fun!

The drive to the CP is a pain in the ass on a normal day, so I opted to stay with Jay instead. While the rest of the town was stocking up on chili-fixin's and cheap beer to hibernate for the weekend, Jay and I were out for fun. The snow was so beautiful!

The white out conditions made driving slow, but it was stunning. There was a silence to the vacant streets that made it so inviting. Safe in the confines of the Trooper we drove around the lakes.......The wind was kicking up drifts and the snow was coming down so hard that even Lake Harriet disappeared.....

Jay was again the greatest boyfriend on the PLANET.....Friday morning he got up and dug out my car while I got ready for work. He truly is the most caring man! I don't know how I ever deserved such a wonderful person.

On Saturday, we made sure to take advantage of the freshly fallen snow and met up with Timmer at Theodore Wirth for some skate skiing. I'm still so much slower than the guys, but I'm learning. I glided along the trails, tackled hills, and felt the wind breeze past my cheeks briskly on the downhills. It was such a wonderful day for skiing! The trees were amazing, bowing under the weight of the new snow. A couple turns were painfully windy, but the sun shone brightly and Jay was by my side the entire time.....what more could a girl ask for.

Horizontal-wood


After the work out, we hit Mayslacks for some unbeatable meat. Lunch was great, but the nap after was perfect! We did our bit of MN hibernating....movies, homemade dinner, and falling asleep before midnight on the couch....but we made up for it on Sunday - breakin out the towny bikes to ride to the bike expo.

I always love the random places I get to hang out with friends. What else to bring a bunch of us together than truck loads of bikes, BMX stunts, and schwag. Sure, I was the first one in who-knows-how-long to crash on the test riding course, but it was worth a great laugh - tipping over the solid black Yeti with the Shimano Rapid Fire - Thanks, Rick, for letting me get Cooties all over your bike! I got to stomp around solo for a while, checking out the bikes, pushing the product, shakin hands, and heckling the riders. Hey, I gotta practice for the season, right?
Needless to say it was another great weekend with my favorite man. Thanks babe! XOXO