Monday, September 29, 2008

Girls Night Out

Saturday night was a rockin' good time w/ the girls, kickin' it in Uptown for my Bachelorette party. To kick off the festivities, we hit up Chiang Mai Thai for tasty grub and some uber yummy Mango Mohitos! It was an amazing time (a special Thanks to my Matron of Honor, Erin, for putting it all together!!!). There's nothing like dinning on great food at a table decorated w/ thong-filled martini glasses! hehehe It was so much fun. Even though everyone couldn't come out after dark for the debauchery, six of us ventured out to take it to the next level. Our once innocent Sex-n-the-City'esque feel of getting dolled up with fun clothes and great heels, took a turn to the dark side when the "girls night out" shot glasses, boas, and beads came onto the scene.
Decked out in a pink feather boa, a shot glass-laden veil, and LifeSavers t-shirt, we hit the Country Bar for more booze and some kareoke. Erin, Cassi, Jacki, Leslie, Amy and I hit the bar and the dares hard - trading beads for a Mardi Gras style show by the men in the bar, singin songs we were (or were not) embarrassed to sing....Amy even got Mr. GQ's number without even blushing.

After all the bars closed up, Leslie and I rounded out the night w/ 3:00AM pizza from Luce, and the "Sex & the City" movie til 5 in the morning. Still wired from the fantabulous night, I could barely sleep in my 21+ hours of being awake. I'll never forget it - and, thanks to Flickr, neither will the other girls! Check out the full side show HERE.

With the clock counting down faster than I ever thought was humanly possible, I am so exstatic. I can't wait to see it all come together in just 12 days! But, until then, I have to scream out a huge thank you to all the gals who came out and celebrated on Saturday night! My life wouldn't be the same without you. And to Erin, who put this all together seamlessly, THANK YOU SO MUCH. That was more than I ever dreamed!

Happily waiting for 'ever after',
Kristy Kreme

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A great story and new rear wheel

Yesterday was the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival in Cable, WI. This was my second time to tackle the Short&Fat (15.6 mile course) and Jay's 16th time with the full meal deal - 40 miles of pain! Come race time, I was thirsty for a top 3 finish in the women's single speed....last year I finished 4th...

After such a great time up at Maplelag, I was confident that my ride was going to go well. I got to the start almost hours early and got my bike lined up only 4 rows from the front! With a long downhill paved section to begin the race, I knew I had to start in front of as many people as possible to retain decent position when we hit the dirt.

When the race finally began, everything was falling into place. I clipped in to my pedals instantly. There were 3 crashes that went down in front of me during that first mile, but I was able to safely get away from all of them. By the time we hit the dirt, I was still sittin' far up in the pack and I felt great. I started trading the lead with another single speed gal for the first mile or so, then dropped her when we started climbing in the dirt. It was great - I was eating up riders climb after climb and I'd still not broken a sweat. Feeling awesome about 2 1/2 miles in, my bike, the always fun Baloney Pony, suddenly felt wrong. I took a quick glance at my rear wheel and instantly new - I had a flat.

Without hesitation, I continued to pedal. It was too early to quit. It would do me no good to stop. And I had no way to fix it. I was running my tires tubeless for less chance of a pinch flat and, well, cuz it's awesome! So there I am - 2.5 miles into the race with no tube, no pump, no patchkit or CO2 thingy....and especially no hex wrench to even get my rear wheel off in the first place. Oh, and did I mention I really don't know how to change a flat? Ooops. There's the only problem w/ marrying my favorite bike mechanic - this is my first Mtn bike flat (second EVER), and he's always changing out my tires for me since he does it hours faster than I do. That's gonna hafta change though, since I hear these things come in threes. knock on wood

So many riders went passed me calling out to let me know about my flat - as if the exhausting difficulty of riding a single speed w/ a rear flat and all that noise hadn't yet alerted me....or what about the ENTIRE field riding by me? I remained nice and just say 'yep, thanks, I know' time and time again. Then finally I just started letting those "oh, I see a blond girl with a flat, she must not know about it" kind-of-guys know that I let the air out myself cuz I didn't think single-speedin it was enough of a challenge.

So I kept going mile after slow mile. I actually was having fun! I knew this was not enough to make me quit my first race (in the last 2+ years, I've never dropped out of a race and my goal is to never quit unless something very serious prevents me from doing so). Also, I knew this was going to not only be a rad story to brag about to Jay, but a killer workout in the process.
After such a fun and adventurous spring and summer, I know that I've had a few too many of these: hanging out with hooligans like these and only 27 days left to go before I have to fit into something like this...

So, I rode my bike without stopping. It was so sweet to see how many people did offer help. Some offered to give me a tube, others asked if I needed a pump. One guy actually had all three that he offered to leave with me - but I told him it would be quite worthless since I didn't know how to fix it. I rode every downhill on the course, and tried to make it up every climb - which felt so AMAZING when I'd pass people riding up in their granny gear. It turned out to be pretty good CX practice too - I got to work on my run-up skills when I couldn't ride up a hill, which in turn led to remount practice! Like I said, my flat didn't bum me out at all.

At the last climb before we descended into the field for the finish, I jogged as much as I could. I go t back on my bike and gave it hell - determined, at this point, to go through the entire finishing section on my bike, and to ride across the finish line... It was awesome! I could hear the people as they caught sight of my flat and the cheers rose. I heard a few people even cheering my name - thanks a ton! That was so great. I crossed the line, kissed my ring, and got off my bike to catch my breath.

I was so proud of myself....and I don't think I'd ever be able to explain how amazing that small feat really was to me. And I'll definitely never forget it - 13 miles on my flat rear wheel, on a single speed in the Short&Fat..... and the killer thing is that I tried to avoid all the rocks, so my rim is in perfect condition, and my wheel is somehow still intact as well!!! Guess I did just need a little bit of a challenge after all. Thanks, Kharma, for whatever reason it was. ;O)

Sore and happy,
Kristy Kreme

Monday, September 8, 2008

Henderson Team Time Trial

This past Saturday, Jay and I saddled up for the Henderson Time Trial in Henderson, MN. Jay and I got out the matching black n white skin suits and took on one of our fave races. Mine, cuz it was the very first race I ever did, just weeks after buying my first bike since childhood....Jay's cuz it has all his favorite things: time trial bikes, nice roads, tractors, and ME! hehehe

This was our second year racing together as a team and we had a time to beat! Last year, we finished in 37:41, including a slight episode of me bouncing into a cornfield after high-siding off my bike at the turn around. Bloody and freaked out, I got back on my bike and we finished under our goal time - it was quite the adventure. This year, C-Ray and the Silver Fox bet us coffee that we couldn't beat em....Though they got us by a couple minutes, Jay and I still rode and AMAZING time trial. Averaging 24.4 mph over the 15 mile course, Jay and I came in with all skin intact in 36:58!!! I couldn't have gone any faster, so I was absolutely ecstatic.

The couple that TT's together, stays together

Countin down the days,
Kristy Kreme

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A moment to breathe

It's been so long since I was last able to sit down and crank out a blog entry. With the finale of the road racing season, family, and wedding planning in the last month, I've had no time at all to get it done. Fortunately, this past weekend was SO AMAZING, I just had to make time to share in the fun!

Jay and I spent Labor Day weekend ridin' mountain bikes up at Maplelag Resort in Callaway, was amazing! Family style dining at every meal, beautiful cabins, endless trails, and the most amazing family make up all that was great at Maplelag. This weekend was the Laddies Loppet Mtn Stage Race and I was quite sure that I was just going to watch the races, sleep in, look at the stars, and rest....Little did I expect that I wouldn't be able to say No to a race. With no conversation at all, I signed myself up for all three races and the Baloney Pony waited patiently in excitement.

The weekend started with a 3 mile time trail on a mix of ski trail and single track. It was a blast and I buried myself in the dirt, pedaling as fast as my single speed could go. To my surprise, I pulled off my FIRST MTN BIKE VICTORY! Sure, second place was 11 yrs old, but I had to pass 2 people in the single track for my second time in the dirt all year to do it. Heck, Jay may have the tatoo, but I'm still a Citizen Mtn Biker. Jay pulled off a great finish too, sharing the top 10 with Sam & Eric Oftedahl and Jake Richards of Silver Cycling, "Doug's Brother" Swanson, and so many more. He's really riding great in the dirt this year - can't wait to see him in CX.

After a couple hours of relaxing, we saddled back up for the Short Track race. With 3 other adults toeing the line, I readied my single speed to challenge the kids all hopped up on Mtn Dew. For the first 3 laps, I rode out of my mind to be middle of the pack as Jay laughed (very innocently) on the sidelines. Luckily though, this 'gettin' old' thing paid off ... one thing about age is sustainability and endurance. Those little sub-14 yr olds may go out hot, but they burn out fast, allowing an old lady like me roll away with the victory! I couldn't believe it - I actually won!!!

Jay didn't fail to shine, either, taking 6th between Eric & Sam Oftedahl. Mark Kowaliw and Jason Walters took 1st & 2nd in the Comp class. After the races were done for the day, we washed up and hit the dining hall for a fab spagetti dinner.We joined some friends in the hot tub that night and laid low until bedtime. Come Sunday morning, my legs were ready for more. Being an MNSCS race, the Citizen's field had grown, making the 9 mile XC race that much more exciting. I was amped as the whistle blew and the race began, charging into the woods with the 30+ riders. Although some elements were still over my head, I improved big time on most of the obstacles since the prior day's riding. Unfortunately, within minutes of entering the single track, I dropped my chain while trying to climb. Good thing I'm marrying a bike mechanic - I got the chain back on in now time and was back on the bike. Though I'd lost some ground, I knew I'd make it up on the climbs. .... That's the thing about single speed...I can't just granny-gear it up a hill. I actually have to work. That alone usually buys me a few places in the pack, and I ate it up as I passed rider after rider on Suicide Hill.

Tired, sore, and on Cloud 9, I rolled across the line in 13th overall, and 2nd for the women to Jordan Horner, the 11 yr old who taken second to me in the previous 2 races. Luckily, I had enough of a time advantage in the previous 2 stages to win the overall with a 30 second stage lead.

Jay, sadly, didn't have as good of a race, dropping out in the first lap after loosing his glasses in a pile of mulch on the trail.Hollywood Cylces/Silver Cycling still stood strong on the podium anyways, with Sam Oftedahl finishing second, Eric Oftedahl taking 4th, and Jake Richards taking 9th in the Expert race. (It was Jake's FIRST Expert race!). Jason Walters finished 7th in the Comp race. For the rest of the best photos, go to my Flickr page.

I had such a wonderful weekend! It was the most amazing respite after a month's worth of agony at work, craziness in wedding planning, and running around. It was just what I needed to chase the headaches away and take a deep breath. Thanks to the Richards family not only for having us up to Maplelag, but for running such an amazing place! It was perfect, and I can't wait to come back. And thanks to Jay for taking me there - it was a wonderful vacation.

Until next time, you can bet yer bottom dollar I'll be workin' on wedding stuff and getting ready for the big day.....only 40 more days to go til the Big Big Show!

Ready for the next "stage" in life,
Kristy Kreme