Thursday, December 20, 2012

Girl Fiend Designs goes live!

Only a year ago, I felt depressed and unfulfilled in my career... believing whole-heartedly that's the way it had to be.  Lucky for me, though, I found new outlets and my amazingly supportive husband stood by me 200% when I resigned from 'corporate America'.... best decision ever!

Now I get to spend my days w/ my fave hubby & puppy at the bike shop that brought us together.. what bliss.  My marriage has never been better now that we get to spend more time together and since the stress levels have magically disappeared.

To keep the fun-wagon rolling, my favorite artist/designer, Teri Harriet, and I have just recently launched our own biz focused on hand-printed women's tees, scarves & unisex hats.    Girl Fiend Designs is our way to create fun, edgy women's tees with soft fabrics and a great shape.... no more "Youth Large" - women want it to flattering!  And the fun of creating the designs and screening them in our home workshop is such an exhilarating feeling!  Each piece is special and loved in the pure joy of watching it all come to life.

 Who says work can't be fun??

Our "Naughty List" tee was a limited run since the holidays were so close - we sold out within hours!  Best of all, the list actually has our names and our friends names listed!

Our public debut was at the Winter Bike Expo on the 8th and we got great feedback and sold a bunch of fun shirts!  We sold out of our "Naughty List" design early, but still had our great "Hell on Wheels" shirt to spoil all the lady cyclists with.  

Now we've got a website: and an Etsy store!  Plus, Hollywood Cycles is carrying the line, too!  After the holidays, Teri and I are going to be working on adding winter hats and some soft, screen printed scarves to our product offering before going back to the drawing board for spring and summer designs.  Although Teri's not a bike racer, I'm happy that she sees the fun and the excitement that comes from those rowdy girls out there, so we'll always have cycling designs in the pipeline.

I'm just so happy to be apart of something so fun and sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming.  I always thought I needed to fit some sort of mold... but it's been this adventure in finding and forming myself that's been the best thing I could have done for myself.

Huge thanks to my hubby for supporting this dream as we brain-stormed for months, and as we take our first steps forward.  Jay - you truly are my prince charming!  Teri, thanks for believing with me - this is gonna be fun!

Embarking on the next adventure,
Kristy Kreme

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's almost here...

Sorry to stay away so long... I've just been a busy lil beaver getting ready for the Winter Bike Expo!  The fun and excitement starts at 9:00 am and I'll be there with fun Quiet Girl jewelry for your fave biker.  Here's a lil sampling...

Even better... is the debut of something CRAZY AWESOME....Girl Fiend Designs, made up of myself and my favorite artist Teri Harriet, will be launching our first designs of women's tshirts!  Come check 'em out and be the first to get your hands on the handmade shirts.

More to come soon...

Livin' the dream,
Kristy Kreme

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homey Fall Fun Fest 2012

On Monday morning, still tired and ragged from the weekend, I was at a loss for words when asked what I did over the weekend.  How do you describe Homey to the lay person?

Where do I begin?

Saturday was a gorgeous fall morning, all sunshine and cool temps with the fall leaves littering the yards.  We layered up on clothing, threw some PBR's in our bags, and mounted up on the single speeds, headed out for the meeting spot to begin our 7th Homey together.  Our first Homey together, back in 2006, was an eye-opening experience... as if someone lifted the veil to a entirely different existance... and I felt instantly at home.  step through the looking glass, Alice

Fall colors and coolness that heighten the thrill in the air, sounds of bikes on the trail, laughter, beers and debauchery .... friends amongst strangers and a smile for both all the same... "I knew who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then"... it was my first time on a mountain bike, first time really hanging out with Jay's friends, and I knew in my heart I was utterly falling for this man.  It was the night of our first kiss and the new beginnings that would change the path of my life indefinitely.  It was, by far, the best Homey ever.  This year though, was definitely second!

We started off at a very Northwoods-feel dive bar where you were lucky to get a beer in under 20 minutes.  I had just enough time to polish off a Bud with Tyson before the Mad Hatter arrived to begin the journey.  We headed off towards Hidden Falls and stopped off once for a derby which I was content to watch from the sidelines... something about a tightening circle around park benches makes me worry about crashing... or maybe it was the lack of bevies in my blood..

Once at the falls, we lounged casually in the leaves, laughing with friends and watching the climbing and coasting feats of strength that played out in front of us.  Ahh, THIS is what relaxing is... the fresh air, bikes, and good company.

After some beers and good fun, we headed down the creek a bit for the next derby and this time I didn't hesitate to join in.  People stood around aimlessly, so I joined Geno and Hollywood in buzzing them as we widened the circle, coaxing them to join us.  The circle filled up quickly and the rubbing began.  Round and round we pedaled and the pack began to thin.  Jubilant laughter mixed with rubbing tires and tangled handle bars as we all tried not to dab a foot.  

In a trance, I circled again and again, watching my opponents through my peripheral, utilizing everything from bump-n-run to stalling out to keep myself in the game.  All of a sudden, we were down to me and three dudes as the crowd began moving in on us, tightening our circle.  All three of them were battling it out on the opposite side of the tree we circled so I matched their pace, hoping they'd start taking each other out.  

In one hard move, Thor took out them both, emerging from the mangled fun as I rounded the tree and made a hard charge at me.  Hoping to catch him off balance, I pedaled straight for him, ramming him hard and bracing as our tangled bikes began to tip his way.  Tipping ever so slowly, I got my feet up and shouts filled the air as he put his foot down to catch us.  In pure excitement, I tumbled backwards off my bike, hands in the air, with the biggest shit-eating grin stretched across my face.

Last year was the first time I'd even made it 1/2 way through the derby, and here I was the winner!  I guess the pigtails probably didn't hurt my cause, but I didn't care... I rode the high for the rest of the night.

We continued on, deeper into the rabbit hole, farther from a 'normal' existence, riding our bikes along trails covered in leaves on our way to the river for the next contest.. Rock Skipping across the river!  I, unfortunately, have absolutely no skill in that category, so I sat and watched happily like the Cheshire Cat.  It was great fun to watch my friends line the river's edge for a simultaneous stone throw.
Once to our final destination, the riff raff jumped their bikes off the base of a tall oak as we stood below, watching and wondering from conversation to conversation.  The beers continued to flow and the stunts never ceased as the afternoon stretched on.  

We stayed until the sun began to melt into the horizon and our hunger took over.  Making our break for it, we got back on our bikes to try and make it home before dark, stopping only once to grab some pizza to fill our bellies with.  Satiated and warm at home, we dozed off to sleep for an early evening nap to recover from the festivities.  It was definitely one of the most fun times I've had with the crue and  a smile tugged at the side of my lips as night grew and we laughed about the fun we'd had.

I think Alice said it best... "I'm not strange, weird, off, nor crazy.  My reality is just different than yours."

Kristy Kreme in Wonderland...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I was just riding my bike when....

I rode my bike into the shop today and got some great relief from some painfully stiff muscles.  Lucky for me, when I got in, my super duper awesome boss Hollywood sent me on my way to get another good hour in before the rain came.

Me and Hansen took off down W River Road towards Ft Snelling, enjoying the mild temps and cool mist in the air.  The path was littered with crimson and buttercup leaves and we awed at a huge bald eagle that passed over us on his fishing trip along the river.

At Ft Snelling, Hansen kept on his way and I turned back to get to the shop before the light drizzle got any heavier.  I pedaled along the bike path, basking in the peace of my ride and my ability to even get out mid morning for a ride.

Suddenly, to my utter horror, I saw a squirrel bolt at me last moment, headed straight for the small space  between my wheels and there was no way for me to stop.  I felt a small impact and a weight on my left foot as I screamed bloody murder on the peaceful trail.

..oh my, I killed it... just an innocent animal... stop the bike!....ehhh, it's wrapped around my foot....kick it off!  kick it off!....

Trying to grab my brakes and slow myself down was hard to do as I tried to unclip my left foot and kick it off as small "eeekks" came from the trauma below me.  It finally gave and I pulled off the trail, looking back at the still figure on the path.

A jogger was next to the animal, looking from it to me as I approached, and fear began to drown me in my place.

...what if it's not dead.... I don't know how to kill it.... there's no way I could... would they hate me if I just left it....

But then, suddenly, it sprang to its feet and ran off into the trees.  WHAT THE F&%#????  The jogger looked back at me asking if I was okay... he must have seen the confusion in my eyes... I guess I never hit it..

As I neared the squirrel, he jumped on to my foot at the last second when he must have seen he wasn't gonna make it.  I didn't notice because I was too afraid to look down, envisioning blood and gore all over my bike.  His squeaks were probably shouts of fear or maybe saying "weeeeee" on the new carnival ride he'd found.  Then, when I kicked off what I thought was dead meat, he slammed onto the ground and took a few seconds to steady himself before making his brake.

Thank God he didn't bite me, but there was definitely a little scratch from his little claws as he enjoyed the ride... something to tell me it really happened when I got back to the shop.  With eyes blazing and my heart rate through the roof, I retold the tale to Jay and Crossmax, absolutely in disbelief of what had just gone on.

I'm still in shock...Darn squirrels.

Happily in one piece,
Kristy Kreme

Monday, October 22, 2012

A 'Bombastic' Friday Night

This Friday, we hooked up with Timmer & Stevi to celebrate ROCKtober by heading out to the klassy ole Medina Ballroom for a 'bombastic' night.  Yep, you guessed it... HAIRBALL!

In perfect Jay-time, we piled out of the car just as our fave ladies (Teri, Barb, and Leah) were passing by and were able to hang before entering the massive sea of people that took over the venue.  The lines for the beer were insanely long, so we thought we'd dupe them all and head to the basement bowling alley's bar instead.  Sure, we could belly up to the bar the second we got there, but we waited some 20 min. before one of the 4 bartenders even acknowledged us.  So, what did we do?  Order 2 each!

With drinks in hand, we got upstairs just as the show was starting and made an aggressive mood to get as far up to the front as we could to ensure sweet, petite Stevi could have an unobstructed view!  Heck, who am I kidding... I don't buy tickets to stare at the back of someone's head - get us to the front!   As the show played on, people's glasses emptied and forced them to go back to the bar and we never hesitated to take over their spot.

We finally settled in one spot back from the stage and the guys soon joined us.  We rocked and sang and danced and swayed along with the crowd song after song, losing ourselves in the night.  Jay stood behind me and danced along with me for what seemed like ours.  It was a blast!

Of course, in true Kristy Kreme fashion, I found a way to embarrass myself in the middle of the malay...  rockin' out to some monster ballad, I reached my hands behind me to find my sweet hubby's hands, but it wasn't what my lil paws discovered.  I whipped around immediately, to find that I'd inappropriately touched a young lady... WTF?!  The utter horror must have been tattooed all over my face, because she was smiling and laughing right back at me.  Over her head, I watched as the moment sank in to Jay's mind and he shockingly mouthed "I'm Sorry!".  I apologized profusely to the gal and spun back around to ignore my embarrassment by jumping right back into the music.

Turns out, the gal's boyfriend had asked Jay if her and her friend could stand in front of them since they were shorter than him.  Kind, polite gentleman that he is, Jay said "sure".... not knowing that his wife was a pervert, I guess.  Ha!

Lucky for me, it all disappeared as the next song started and Jay reacquired his spot by my side.   But it sure has made for some fun shop talk around here today... sheeesh.  Fifty Shades of Jay gone wrong.

After the show, sober-cab Jay got us all home safely, and it was awesome to hit the pillow and fall fast asleep after all the fun.  The music, the friends, and the fabulous laughs were a fabulous end to another great week.

Happily laughing at myself,
Kristy Kreme

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Celebrating 4 Years of Wedded Bliss

This past Thursday marked my 4th wedding anniversary to my night in shining armor, Jay, and the first day of a LOT of partying and having fun.
To begin, we took part in Spyeglass/SED's Grand Opening party & art auction.  It was fun to meet a ton of new people, and a joy to see Teri's piece in the auction!  Unfortunately, I got outbid. :(
But that didn't mean we couldn't keep partyin!  Randy & Teri treated us to dinner at the Longfellow Grill to fill our bellies before the 'afterparty' began.  It was all so delicious and our time together was perfect!  

DNF rocked our asses to close out the night and it was awesome!  We headed home to rest up and start again the next day.  Friday, we spent a short bit cleaning the shop up and putting away all the gear, warmly basking in the fun we'd had the night before.  Then, Jay swept me off my feet after work for a special date night with just him.  We headed out to Wok in the Park for some tantalizing fresh Asian cuisine.

We ate more food than we should have, but didn't dare resist their homemade Key Lime Pie... oh my... it was DELIGHTFUL!  So light and fluffy, sweet, with fresh cut kiwis on top.  It was gone in seconds.
We retired home completely satisfied and spent the evening in each other's arms and the puppy by our side.  
Come Saturday morning, we were up and ready to take on the world at the 'Cross at the Y' cyclocross race.  The cool, drizzly air was exactly what a CX race should be, and we were happy to toe the line and get moving.  I was racing out of my mind, hanging on to the leaders on my single speed for the first two laps!  Yowza!  Although they gapped me in the sand-pit on the second lap, I was able to retain my position throughout the rest of the race, staying away from the chasers to finish 4th in the women, 2nd in my category!  Bitch, please!

Jay rode awesome in the single speed race as well, so we were happy to return home for a well-deserved afternoon nap at home.  

Last stop for the weekend, the 4th round of Theo Wirth CX race!  The gloomy grey skies opened up as we arrived and we cheered as the sun lit up the beautiful fall colors in the open field as we prepped to race.  Unfortunately for me, the course got the best of me and my back proved to be my undoing on the stairs.  I dropped out 1/2 way through to ease the pain, but Jay hung in there for 2 races back to back, taking 5th in the single speed race, then 2nd in the 35+!  I was so proud of him!

We headed home to hang with the puppy and soaked in our contentment as the sun began to set on our week's adventures.  Enveloped in my husband's arms, the cool fall air crept in on us and twilight came, but I was warmed inside and out by the pure splendor of living my life... married to my best friend... and every year just keeps getting better.

Still madly in love,
Kristy Kreme

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back in the Saddle

The cyclocross race at Baker Orchard was our big kick-off to the season...finally!  Yes, we did a couple of the FarmDog Time Trials and the Pre-Fat, but this was the first real UCI race this year with the peeps we're so used to racin' against, and it was awesome!

Not only is that one of my favorite courses on the calendar, but we made a weekend of it, too.  To start, we closed up the shop early on Friday afternoon and headed to Greg & Jodie's house for dinner and a Friday night high school football game under the lights.  We only made it through 2nd & 3rd Qtrs and half-time before the evening chill lead us back to the car and back to the warmth of G&J's home.  We closed out the evening with wine and good company, before falling asleep in the warm grasp of my husband.

Come morning, the usual race jitters met me at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee and nervous stomach eyeing up Greg's blueberry pancakes.  We downed our food and loaded up the car for our first race of the year.  Unfortunately, it was friggin' cold and our absence from the previous races kept the Belgian-Hard-Man strength in hibernation as we donned arm warmers and leg warmers to keep warm.

The size of the women's field was impressive with 15+ strong ladies towing the line.  I was on my sexy new single speed in a desperate attempt to accelerate my 'spring' training, and we were ready for the challenge.  As the whistle blew and we took our first charge for the front, I saw a handful of colors tangle as they approached the ground, so I averted my eyes and rode harder.

We got onto the trail and through the start-finish line to 'begin' our race and I found myself on the wheels of my SHEroes with no panic in my lungs.  Begin positive affirmations.... Damn, I feel great!  Heart rate is low, legs feel fine, breathing is relaxed... stay with them....  I turned over the pedals in time with my competition and held on for a while.  Then, the group started to splinter a bit, but I still felt great and kept up my speed.  Somewhere around 4 laps to go, I was caught by Abby, a super strong athlete, so I felt no shame as she rode away from me.  But I was far from done.

With thre laps to go, I still felt strong, so I pushed myself harder, and began pacing myself with some of the men, using them in the head winds, and trying to push hard into the trails.  Then I came up on Abby, and planned out my attack.  I used the tail-wind straight-away to help drive me onto her wheel and used the head-wind for recovery, setting up to attack as we got back onto the trail section.  I pushed hard into every turn, hoping to create the gap and disappear into the trees and it worked.  I felt amazing so I forced myself not to let up.  she's coming for you... she won't let you get away

I stayed hard on the gas, surprised to find that I'd hunted down another rabbit in my field in blue..  perfectly timed on the course, so I could repeat my same attack.  Charge - recover - attack - run scared.  there are half a dozen women chasing you... they can see you... but you can't see them... faster.... master says faster...

With one lap to go, I knew I had to ride hard, but I had to ride smart, only taking risks as I needed to, listening to my breaths and turning off my brain.  your legs don't hurt... you are NOT tired... you are NOT done... if you go faster, you can get onto the podium.... pain is temporary

Crossing the line with dirt in my teeth and air struggling it's way down my throat, I kiss my ring to salute my husband waiting on the other side.  Thanks for the support, the beautiful bike so reliable and light, for believing in me....  I did it - I rode my way onto the 3's podium at my season debut - bitch, puh-leeze!!  Third freakin' place!  Jay wrapped his exhausted arms around me and I chewed through each dusty breath and our faces ached with stretched smiles as we relished in our dueling 3rd place finishes... wow..

It was such an amazing finish, but it was the race itself that I loved most, not the podium photo at the end.  The entire race was full of enjoyment - it was the pure ecstasy of my favorite bike racing all over again, after a long year off the bike full of no sleep, illness, injury and work... it was like another addition to this chapter of life, and a reminder of the joys in my life.  Man, I wish my family could have been there to see me, but I know there's many more to come.

Happy to be back in the saddle... again
Kristy Kreme

Sunday, September 16, 2012

National Lampoon's Chequamegon Vacation

Little did we know when we woke up Friday morning, that our names had somehow changed to the Griswold's overnight and we were in for a day that was far from normal.

To kick things off, we closed up the shop and loaded the car and the lil Scamp to head up north to camp and watch the Chequamegon Fat Tire Race.  Before we left town, we were excited to join my Dad in celebrating his retirement after 31 great years at Scherer Bros. Lumber.  I felt like a kid again, seeing so many familiar faces from my childhood, or my teen years when I worked three summers there.  It was so fun to watch my dad with his friends, laughing and telling stories... it was obvious that he was going to be missed... and that he was really going to miss being there.

As the party winded down, we said our good-byes and hit the road. Time: 11:30 AM. We stopped for gas before we left town, only to find one of the tires on the camper was flat.   Thinking nothing of it, we topped off the gas tank and filled up the tire and kept on our way.  Leaving early was AWESOME!  We planned on setting up camp, then heading off to meet up with Timmer and the crue for a great ride, followed by dinner at the Sawmill.  That is, until we crossed the border into Grantsburg....

Going up the hill out of the St Croix River Valley, the car started to misbehave.  The RPM's soared, but there was no power to accompany them.  We crested the hill and looked for anything that resembled an auto shop.  We found one quickly and begged for their advice.  He popped the hood, checked all the gauges and fluids, then gave us the sad news that he thought our tranny was starting to go.  After some deliberation, he guessed we could keep it under 50mph and make it to Hayward to salvage our vacation.  So, we turned off the overdrive and settled in for a long ride to the finish.

Time: 12:45 PM.

Jay drove the cruck gingerly down the road, and the three of us held our collective breath in silence, hoping to make it to Hayward with no more troubles.  We only made it 5 miles.  The car was pissed at us, and I really don't know what we did.  So, in a moment of clarity, I told Jay to pull into a gas station and unhook the camper.  "Let's head back to the city, rent a truck somewhere, and finish out our vacation".  DEAL!  We unhooked the Scamp, let the gas station know we'd be back in a couple hours, and headed back West.

We crossed into MN but the car was still mad... this was going to be a LONG drive home.  To top it off, we found out there's laws against towing with rental cars, Uhaul rented off their last truck, Dad's truck was packed for his trip hunting.. we were gonna have to go all the way back to the cities and find a car.  We only made it just south of Rush City before it sounded like a spray can was being used on the other side of the steering column.  Jay pulled onto the shoulder and, after a moment of unplanned silence, we called up AAA.  Just then, Dad called me back to check on us with the family mechanic on the line .... we described the problem and texted him a picture of a hole Jay found that we didn't think was there before.  New plan... get towed back to our point of origin (Dad's former place of work), drop of car for mechanic to pick up, wait for Dad to pick us up and bring us home, find a new vehicle at home, start over and go back to Hayward.

Time: a blur.

The tow driver was awesome and we had fun conversation all the way back to the metro area.  We could have done away with the road construction and rush-hour delays, but all in all, we were keeping it together just fine.  Dad met us in perfect time, got us home, where we found DMC's fabulous Envoy waiting for us - THANKS DMC!!!!  Kinda perfect that Jay had taken him to the airport some 12 hours prior and the hitch was ready to go.  Wait... wrong size ball.  No prob... we had highjacked the hitch from our car, and we just needed to drive to the bike shop on the way out of town to switch them out.  Oh yeah, and the power source was different... off to O'Reilly for a converter.  We hugged Dad goodbye and thanked him for his rescue and party leftovers, loaded up the Envoy, and prepped for our trip back up north.

Time:  6:30 PM... yeah, 7 HOURS LATER!

We got back to Grantsburg, and Rosco and I took a short walk while Jay hooked up the camper.  Poor puppy had been in the car for 9 hours by this time.  Once done, he drove over to us to pick us up, but there were no running lights on the camper.  Dude, forget something?  Nope... the cables were about 2ft. too short.  Now I started to come a little unglued.  I'd taken all the bike blinkies out of the bags since we weren't going to need them.. DOH!  Reluctantly, we pulled onto the road.. only 10 miles to Siren.. there's got to be a gas station still open with some sort of solution.  Cars behind us kept flashing their brights at us and I tried NOT to freak out that we were driving in total darkness with no brake lights or signals on a camper with MN plates, in a WI car under someone else's name.. we're f'd.

We found a Holiday with some keychain blinkie lights and duct tape and fashioned up some redneck tail lights.  Before we pulled away, we noticed the wheel had gone flat yet again and filled it up.  48 miles to the KOA.  Time:  9:30 PM.  Jay drove just under the speed limit with the brights on and we feverishly searched out deer, figuring that would the the ultimate frosting to our Griswold-esque cake.  Somehow, though, we made it to the KOA with no road kill or further issues, and were pleased to find Ann and KK chillin' by a fire.  We made it!  Time: 10:59 PM.  Oi!

We chilled by the fire to unwind and shared our day's adventure with our friends.  We were happy to have arrived, but even happier that this was the first year we'd decided NOT to race, so there was no worry about lack of riding or sleep.  Come morning, we were able to begin anew and enjoy the vacation we'd looked so forward to.  Jay and I rode out to Fire Tower Hill and had an awesome couple hours cheering on the racers, giving Coke hand-ups, and a strong push down the hill for the tired few.

Afterwards, we headed back down the trail to Telemark to drink beers and exchange stories with the finishers before retiring to the KOA.  Jay wanted a few more miles on the bike, so him and KK headed out and me and the ladies decided to have a cocktail hour at the Turks Inn.  Wow!  Can't even describe it... go there!
We spent the evening with our friends by the fire, listening to tales of the day's race and reminisced on years previous.  When the sandman landed in my lap, we headed off to bed to fall asleep to a movie, but the last thing I remember was the first couple lines.. I was OUT instantly.  Come morning, though, we were all back together, sharing in a fabulous community breakfast on the fire including french baguettes with olive oil, 18 scrambled eggs, fresh breakfast burritos and smoothies in some killer Monster glasses.. it was perfect!  
You could tell no one wanted to leave... but the best part of it all was stepping back a moment and finding that it held a heavy amount of nostalgia for me...  I remember that, as a kid, my dad and I spent the summer weekends camping and at a friend's cabin hanging out, all the kids within a couple years of each other, all playing together as the parents hung out... just now, I'm the adult, watching the kids play and drinking beers by the fire with my friends.  It was one of the most sentimental moments of the whole weekend, and it reminded me of what a great choice we'd made to buy our Scamp.. for these moments.

Trying to keep the fun going, we loaded up our gear and Scamp and headed off to OO to get in some riding before sitting in traffic on the way home.  It was awesome!  We even ran into Jason McCartney on our ride - super pro, old friend of Jay's - so fun!  When we got back, we took Rosco on a sweet loop of single track ... he FLEW!  (video to come soon... just too tired to figure it all out right now)

We cleaned ourselves up, grabbed a bite at the Sawmill, then headed home with smiles on our face.  Luckily, we found a sweet patch-solution at the gas station in Hayward, that filled our camper's flat and kept it going all the way home.  Throw in NO TRAFFIC, and it was a sweet ride home.

Looking back on it, all the troubles were nothing but little hurdles.  Thank heavens we hadn't started out of town at 5:00pm or so... then we would have had to bag the trip.  And thankfully we weren't racing so there was nothing really major to freak out about... well, until we get the mechanic's bill, but why let it harsh my mellow right now?  :o)

Yet another amazing weekend with friends,
Kristy Kreme

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wurkin' on a comeback

So, after taking a whole 8 months off of bike racing (not exactly by choice.. more by necessity), Jay and I decided to head up to the great N Wisconsin to take on the Pre-Fat mountain bike race.  We stayed at our favorite KOA and set up shop for a great weekend of Scamping and riding.

We got up a little later than we planned, so our first night was low-key with dinner at the Sawmill Saloon and a quiet night at the campground with our pal Mark K. and the best lil traveler, Rosco.  Morning came early, but it felt great to tie a number on again.

When the horn sounded, I took to the road from three rows back, holding tight to the leaders from the start.   As we climbed the first hills a mile in, I was sitting as the women's leader, but my lack of base miles soon reminded me of how much I've 'trained' without knowing it over the last few years.  Three miles in and the ladies began catching me, but I kept turning over the gears as best I could.  Although my climbing speed wasn't where I wanted it to be, I flew down the descents faster than I'd ever done before.... I guess all the winter riding and minimal summer single-track riding I've done this year is paying off.

At one point, Big Daddy Don and his tandem from hell came by me (they'd had some ragin' technical problems), so I jumped on and pushed myself to ride at their pace.  It was awesome letting go of the brakes and screaming down the ski trails and, to my pleasure, their pace on the climbs was a mellow enough pace for me to recover.

As we climbed the last path to the finishing straight-away, my final reserves fired and I screamed to the finish to take 10th and 1st in my age group.  It was awesome!  Jay had a great race too and, once he finished, we returned to the campsite for a restful night of relaxation.

To our surprise, it was Pet Weekend at the KOA and the fun was endless.   Jay, Rosco, and I went to watch the agility contest only to find out there were still openings for contestants.  As Jay and I pointed feverishly at one another, the crowd giggled and I snatched everything out of his hands to force him to do it.  They were a hoot!  Sure, he had to drag Rosco through the weave, but it was the awesome golf-clap they received when Rosco jumped over the bar that was most fun.

Although they did it in great time, Rosco & Jay finished 4th... but I'm sure the awards went to the kids just cuz they were kids, since 2nd place literally dragged his dog through EVERY obstacle.  :o)  Either way, we put the tired puppy to bed and slipped off into the warm breeze for a rematch of putt putt golf.

Defending Champ - Kristy Kreme - won by 4 strokes Sept. 2011
Challenger - Hollywood

The temps were warm and the breeze was gentle on our skin as we took to the 18-hole course at twilight.  Its silly I'm sure, but these moments make me feel like newlyweds or maybe even newly-dating all over again.  Maybe it's the 'silly' in it that makes everything feel so light and so free... and it's definitely why I love camping and playing like kids at our favorite KOA's!

Anyways, the game was close through the first nine, but then I came on!  Sure, he can ride a bike better than me with one leg, a flat tire, and no chain... but my papa taught me how to putt!  What?  Three holes in one?  Bitch, please!!!  Yeah, not only did I beat last year's score, but I wiped the floor with my beloved and we had a great time doing it!  Thanks, KOA!

Yeah, it was hard to leave come the next morning... early albeit, so I could make it to work by ten... but we know it won't be long til we sneak away again and make another memorable weekend out of trees, dirt, and the great outdoors.

Thanks to our Scamp that has taken us to so many new places, thanks to the KOA for awesome memories, thanks to a crazy bee in my bonnet that told me to by a bike in the first place, but most importantly, thanks to my husband for all the adventures and joy we share... no matter how big or small.  My heart overflows with love and joy..

Simply put.... Happy,
Kristy Kreme

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Weekend to Remember

Friday we spent the day in Iowa City with Dorothy, remembering the life of Bob Henderson.  I can’t believe it’s been two years already...  the pain of losing him still weighs deeply on my heart, and I can still close my eyes and hear him sing Johnny Cash’s “Boy Named Sue” to me on the last night we spent together as I held his hand in the middle of the night as everyone slept.  It was one of those moments that only I will remember, and will absolutely never forget.  It’s hard to know that such a kind heart no longer walks the face of this earth, but I feel so blessed to have walked along side it.

To start things off, we took Dot to the Village Inn for breakfast, before running errands and picking up flowers on the way to the cemetery.  Dorothy picked out two beautiful red roses to symbolize two years, two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and I’m guessing, too few years together.  

It was the most perfect summer day.  The sun was beaming, but the temps were comfortable, and a gentle breeze kept the heat from our skin.  We had a moment of silence at the cemetery, each remembering our piece of Bob in our own way, taking in the magnitude of the day, swallowing each piece as best we could.

Afterwards, we returned to her home for some time with friends, and Jay and I took time out for  a ride.  Jay took me down to the reservoir some 10 miles away...  last time we’d done that was in Bob’s Corvair on a hot summer night when we were still dating.  We took some time off the bike for a swim, first time in our 6 years together.  

With all of the emotions floating in the air today, it’s easy to see how our time swimming together felt so special.  It was like we were first dating all over again...  I floated along in his arms as he playfully pulled me along in the water, arms wrapped tightly around his neck as the water got deeper and deeper.  It may have been only a half hour or so, but time stood still as we waded and swam in the small lake .... taking in the summer sun and my odd realization that a ‘different’ life is not a bad life at all.

The remainder of the ride reminded me of how much I’ve missed the road this season, with my legs challenged half way home.  Oh well, I would give it all up a hundred times over as long as it meant I got to have another day like today.  

Once home, rested, and showered, we gathered up Dorothy for a lovely dinner and movie night out, just the three of us.  It was a lovely evening, and the perfect finale to the week.  As I listened to Jay softly snore away in the Scamp and Rosco twitched as he dreamed at our feet, I was pleasantly reminded of the greatest choices I’ve made in life.  Surrounded by two heart beats that make my life the most splendid life to live, I can’t deny that I pinch myself often.  Life isn’t about money and titles and expense accounts...  life is about the moments you enjoy, taking deep breaths, looking up at the stars, listening to your family and friends laugh, and loving all that you have in life.

It’s short.. make the most of it.

Kristy Kreme

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ready for the next chapter in life

For the last 10 years, I've given it a go as a corporate employee, but am excited to say that I am on the final countdown to a new type of work life.  With only one week to go at my current job, I'm happy to say I've decided to follow my heart and accept the responsibilities of being part-owner and Shop Manager of Hollywood Cycles!

Yep, you know it!  Rather than living in Cube World, punching the clock to pay the bills, I've decided to pursuit a different path in life by joining Jay at the shop.  Rather than punching the clock for nameless faces, I'm excited to be working for something that's ours... helping make Jay's dream live on and succeed!

Current dress code:  Business Casual
New dress code:  Whatever I damn well please!  Did someone say Kat von D?!  That girl knows what she's doing... there is nothing I like to wear more than a bikini top and a tank!  Bitch please!

Current office laws:  No pets allowed
New office laws:  No going to work without Rosco!!!  Whoohooo!

Current Food & Beverage Rules:  No drinking at work or lunch
New Food & Beverage Rules:  Have 2 beers as you wait for takeout at Matt's Bar and sound the alarm if the shop fridge is low on beers or Mountain Dews

Current HR Rules:  No consorting with management
New HR Rules:   Romantic encounters make work life better!

Not to say that I didn't enjoy what I've been doing for the last three years - I learned a TON, and I'm positive that the skills I learned have given me the confidence to make this change - but I feel it in my heart and soul that this is the path for me.  That the world has realigned the planets so I could be something bigger than a spreadsheet or service call.  I will now be able to make an impact in the world that I live every day and the people I love to be with.

Come down and see me starting July 23rd!  I'm sure my first week will be spent cleaning up after my cleanliness-allergic hubby, but I don't think you'll find a bigger smile on anyone's face!  Thanks to my super hubby, Jay, for supporting (and encouraging) this life changing decision!

Now I just have to figure out my new title.  Shop Manager?  Or, my favorite suggestion from my friend Leslie... the CHIC.... Chief Hellian In Charge!  Bitch please!

Pinching myself,
Kristy Kreme

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Glory Days

As a kid, I remember listening to the likes of Paul Simon, Three Dog Night, and the Boss, Bruce Springstein.  Still to this day, I love the song "Glory Days", but find total content in disagreeing with the song's image of high school years being the "Glory Days" to reminisce back on in adulthood.

Not me... I'm living my glory days.  HS was just a chapter of my book-smarts years... but each year since I've chosen to run my life the way I want have been the glory days, taking me on more adventures than I had in the first 26 years of life.  HS did not define my life or the years that I'd reflect upon.  Heck, I rarely look back - what good does it do?    It's the present, these days and months, and years I love and live to the fullest.  Now is the time to create stories to tell, and I'm not afraid of running with it.  All I need is my family, my friends, my bff & hubby Jay, the puppy and the scamp... mix in the great outdoors, some bevies , music, and maybe some bikes, and you've got all the mixin's for a Bitchin' Life cocktail.

And what better way to do it this summer than an awesome, relaxing weekend of camping and riding to celebrate yet another year of being alive!  Jay and I took Rosco & the Scamp out to Black River Falls, WI for three days of campin' in style at a beautiful KOA.   It was the most wonderful time away.. relaxing in the sun with the puppy, bonfires, sleeping with the windows open, and of course, riding! It was my first time back on the bike after 3 weeks due to throwing out my back out riding Leb at the beginning of June (hence not a lot of 'adventures' to write about lately).

Jay dialed up the camping fun by building Rosco a white-picket-pen so he could run around without his leash.  He loves laying in the sun, but also likes to run into the camper and nap if he gets too warm.  Now he's got the freedom of roaming around as we lounge around.

 Then, we met up with Pip & Devon for my first experience at Levis Mound mtn. bike trails.  The trails were beautiful and extremely breath taking on the Sidewinder Trail as we rode inches from the cliff edges... seriously breath-taking.... my fear of heights wasn't helping, so I walked a lot!
 Me and Pip... check out my new 'birthday suit'!  Another wonderful gift from my hubby.  Love you, Monkey!

 The trails were fun, but got the best of me as my back started to get sore from the rocks and body English needed to navigate some sections.  I relaxed all evening and things improved.  We took Rosco for a walk around the campground, watched the sunset, and enjoyed awesome food by the bonfire.

The next morning, Jay took me for a nice road ride on some extremely quiet and remote country roads. The first 5 miles were a challenge, my back not wanting to relax enough for me to bend much or get my speed up.  Luckily, Jay's super patient and never complained.  Once we got warmed up, my back loosened and we were clipping along at a good 20mph, enjoying the sun and the view together.  It was awesome!  I totally want to go back and ride it again.  Double Bonus, my back felt great for the rest of the day!

Jay still had the bug for Levis, so we went back later that day so he could get a ride in.  Rosco and I walked the ski trails while he rode and got an awesome video of the Sidewinder Trail... check out those drop-offs!

It was so hard to leave Monday morning and you could tell by how slowly we packed it all back up.  I love camping with my boys.  Can't wait to go again.

Living my glory days,
Kristy Kreme

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hairball in Hastings

Friday nite, Jay took me out on a double date with Cave & Kristie to grab some food, beers, and a killer Hairball show down in Hastings.  Dinner was tasty and the company was great.  The best part came after...

Jay was the King of the knight, acting as sober cab to get us to the show and back safely.  Anxious to rock out, I twitched in anticipation, holding back on the "are we there yet's" as we made our way down to Hastings.  Once we finally arrived, we exited the car to find the show having just begun on a fabulous outdoor stage!  I haven't been to an outdoor concert since I saw Paul Simon & Bob Dylan in Canal Park 13 years ago... awesome!

The summer air was warm and inviting, and a gentle breeze kept the bugs at bay and the jackets off, allowing us to enjoy the show in our favorite summer wear.  There were VIP lanyards awaiting us at the ticket table, and we quickly grabbed a beer and made our way to the front of the crowd.  Jay taught me how to move to the front long ago, and I have gotten to the point where any spot more than 2 rows from the stage just doesn't do it for me any more.  I didn't come here to watch douche bags and whatnots dance in front of me, I came to see the band... so stand outta my way Too-Much-Hairspray or Bathed-In-Aqua-DiGio... I came to rock out!

Back to the concert.

We made our way to the very front and stood directly in front of Freaky.  The sound was so loud it wrapped us up and helped us roll around in every rise and fall in the music.  The drums came through so thick, I thought each slam on the base drum would interrupt my own cardiac rhythm... oh my, I love that feeling!  It was as if the music passed right through you, the songs melting away the constraints of your body and becoming one with you.

Freaky, as always, was electric.  And there's something about watching my loved ones do amazing things that just seems to breathe life into my soul.  As if being able to watch fills me with the same energy that they're experiencing.  Maybe its the current state of my existence and the life I love and live every day, but there was something about the music and the night air that made me feel that, if only I could breathe in deep enough, I could fill myself with the energy in the air, become a part of it, and open a new door in life.

The music played on for hours, but the excitement never waned, only built up into a frenzy of strangers singing every word to every song.  From KISS, to Poison, Queen and AC/DC, the crowd followed every beat and we danced freely to every sound.  For the first time since I threw out my back a week prior, the pain wasn't constantly nagging me, telling me to lay down.  Maybe it was the movement of swaying to the music that helped keep it loose, whatever it was, I will take two.

The music played on and we were far from done.  Cannons filled the air with confetti as they rocked out some Queen tunes, and I spent a moment or two simply looking up and watching as they fumbled their way to the ground.  I watched as time seemed to slow and everything around me became united.  It felt as though my eyes were a camera recording the live performance... watching confetti flutter across the ground as Freddie Mercury lulled the crowd.... any way the wind blows.....

The show ended to the crowd's disappointment, and we slipped backstage to say hi to the band.  The guys were charged and sharing laughs and stories with us as the fans chanted in protest at the end of the night.  We happily caught up with our friends before slowly making our way back to the car.  Jay was sweet to drive us all home as the black night sky hung outside the windows and we eased back into relaxation and looked forward to sleep.

It was an amazing night... one of those concerts I'll look back on fondly years from now... not exactly remembering each song that played, but the feeling the night left us with.  I never feel like I can describe a Hairball show as splendidly as I experience it, but I hope this helps.  Thank you, Randy, for inviting us to come enjoy this with you!!!  I can't wait to do it again!

Still floating amongst the clouds...
Kristy Kreme

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hot Summer Ride

Yesterday, as Jay headed out to a race, I gathered my things and jumped on my bike for some quality time in the sun and warmth before going to work.  I headed west, towards Lake Minnetonka... no real path or destination in mind, just doing anything to avoid the Greenway or the lakes.

The wind was a pain in the rear, but the ride was awesome.  It was one of those rides where I was thinking of all the wonderful things around me that I wanted to get back and write about, blended up with some personal goals, thoughts of my family, and of course more bike rides.  

Along my way, somewhere in deep thought, I caught something out of the corner of my eye that startled me.  I kept going, but had to turn around to see if it was real...
It didn't move, not even when I stopped, not even an ear twitch... but my heart still raced as I took the picture.  Titillated, I headed on down the road.  

I hadn't made it more than a couple miles before I came across another 4-legged friend, running along the road.  A Husky apparently snuck out of the house, and was trotting down Mcginty with owner slowly riding a bike behind it, leash in one hand, phone to her ear with the other.  Considering the number of cars I'd seen on the road already, I passed the woman as she weaved back and forth, half of the time calling to the dog, the other half panicking into the phone.  I rode up to the dog who didn't care if I called it a bad dog or tried to bribe it with Gu packets, so I herded it off of Mcginty and onto a side road.  Luckily, there was a pole that looked like it really needed to be peed on, so I got my window to get off my bike and bribe the nice puppy into greeting me.  I grabbed his collar and started walking me back home.  It felt awesome!

Near death experience with a fake coyote.... check
Reunite rogue puppy and owner..... check
Commence ride.

I got into downtown Wayzata, peacefully watching the streets full of families, walkers, and bikers galore.  I wasn't ready to be done... so I wondered... can I make it around Lake Mtka and get home in time for work?  I cranked up the speed and hunkered down for a big hard effort.  My legs still resist me some, but they gave in eventually and let me play.  I got out to Orono and stopped to check the map to see if it was at all feasible.  Unfortunately, the clock said I had 45 min. to get home... maybe another day.  So, I turned around and raced myself home, stopping only to refill my bottles.

I got home with enough time to take Rosco for a mile long walk, and even he started to get exhausted from the heat.  Lucky  for him, he got to go home and nap.  This girl had 6 hours of walking ahead of her.  But, I made some moolah, hung out with my friends, and I had a front row seat for the wicked thunderstorm storm.... after clearing the patio in a frantic, wet, rush.  :o)

Now, my legs are still buzzing and I wish I could get out and ride.  Tomorrow, friend. Today, I've got things to do.  

Livin' the dream,
Kristy Kreme

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Double Down at the Dog

Last Saturday, we dug out the time trial bikes and helmets for the first TT of the year down at the Farmdog Time Trial in Eureka Township.  Not only had the bikes withstood the big shop move, but had to wake them up from being apart so long... pretty sure the last time I'd been on El Gato was last July or August.  So, needless to say, we not only needed to put some air in the tires, but I actually had to dust her off before hoping on the trainer.

Once I got out on the road, I remembered how much I love time trials... how much I love El Gato.  She's steady, responsive, light, and sneaky quiet.  

My March legs didn't really enjoy me trying to pull off a May legs cadence, but I asked them too anyway.  It was a struggle against the wind and my out-of-season body, but I pulled it off.  My time was about a minute slower than I would like it to be, at 0:23:02.9, but I had to remind myself that I haven't even spent 150 miles in the saddle yet this spring... it'll come.  

Jay looked and rode great, as always.  Working like a dog at all hours of the day and night hasn't kept Jay from riding when he can and nothing can keep him from his pain cave.  Awesome job Hollywood!

Then, on this past Wednesday, we hit the Farmdog TT to tackle the course again.  The winds were almost non-existant, but the real question was if it was going to be a help, or a hinderance.  Yeah, no headwind to fight, but no tailwind to push you on.  Either way, we took the challenge and fought it out again.  I was able to shave off some time, finishing in 0:23:00.2, with a goal yet this summer to take off another 30-60 seconds.. I've got some work to do.

But, when it comes down to it, I'm still doing something I love with my best friend & hubby, and hanging out with my friends while exercising.  Add in a couple beers after the race and a warm, summer sunset with my puppy in my lap, and you have all the wonderful things that make life great.  Only thing we're missing is family and the Scamp.  :oD

Loving Life,
Kristy Kreme