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Archive for the ‘velo love’ Category

Remember this?  My vintage Hawthorne cruiser from the Alameda Flea Market the first Sunday of the month?  The newest addition to my bike collection got a facelift today, just in time for playa lift-off on Monday morning!

I spent a lot of time in JoAnn Fabrics yesterday, I knew I wanted to cover the old seat and I maybe should have done something more practical but that’s almost never the case with me.  I fell in-love with this pink and green brocade fabric and the matching pink tassels.  And the very first thing I was certain about was that the frame had to be “bling-ed.”  Instead of encrusting the entire thing (which mostly had to do with my hot glued finger tips and lack of time) I picked spots to highlight with various shaped and colored bling, throwing in a matching pink sparkle here and there.  I created the ribbon streamers with tiny ribbons and a quick knot – these remind me of the real ones I had on my very first bike as a kid!

One thing I did not have on my childhood bike but that I had to have on this one is skulls, lots of blingy skulls! I hot glued one on the handlebars for sure and then picked up a few for the tire valves at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito.

Of course I have the Divine Electric mudflap girl sticker on the back; I added a little bit of bling to it and I think my new playa cruiser is ready to go!

 

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Yesterday I added a THIRD BIKE to my collection and today I’m taking note of all three and how very different they are. I feel like each one represents a part of me: meet my multiple personality bike collection!

My very first bike, purchased about four years ago, is a serious bike and it’s gotten more and more serious as it’s gotten older.  It’s my training/race bike.  She has many, many hard miles to brag about and exactly 10 criterium races under her belt from a successful racing season last year.  Race wheels, fancy components, a worked-in saddle, cages that hold my pretty pink Mike’s Bikes bottles, a Bar Fly with a Garmin that tells me exactly what my heart is doing while I’m riding…you get the picture.  It’s my version of Marin “cool kid” and I love her dearly as we’ve suffered some really, really great fun together over the last four years!

My second bike came with no expectations of racing, or going hard for that matter.  It’s my Bianchi cruiser, an essential item for fun times and happy living in the Lito! She is a sassy Italian girl who sports a silvery flask instead of a water bottle and happily takes me to tacos, Micheladas and ice cream dripping out of freshly baked waffle cones in downtown Sausalito.  Our short jaunts usually involve me wearing matching red shoes and going as fast…or as slow…as I wish!  She has fat tires and a really fluffy seat, AND A KICK STAND!  We ride into the postcard together and she is parked, like a perfect accessory, in my groovy pad!

The newest addition to my collection is my brand-new, vintage “Playa Bike!”  I found her yesterday at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and I am madly in-love!  While she’s a tad bit naked at the moment, she does have a basket and for some reason this makes me giddy!  Imagine the goodies we can carry with us in the basket!  Like my other cruiser she comes with very little expectation, except to cruise.  The main difference is that her whole purpose will be to get me around the playa during Burning Man in a few weeks.  Together she and I will romp and play – and be.  I knew right away that I wanted an old lady for this part, something with age and grace and style versus something new and funky.  She has the perfect old-school charm I was looking for and I’m planning on giving her the playa spunk she needs to be my playmate!

 

(See my love. lust. butterflies. facebook page for the behind-the-scenes story on my vintage bike shopping at the market yesterday, I got a GREAT deal on her!)

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In an ideal world when you need custom shirts you plan ahead and order them; there are lots and lots of really great, inexpensive options online that are fast and easy.  Sometimes my ideas come to me at the last-minute as was the case on Saturday when I decided it would be fun to make t-shirts for me and some of my friends to cheer on my boyfriend at the San Rafael Twilight Criterium bike race.

I thought I’d share my DIY project with you so that you know just how easy it is to make quick customized shirts, and I’m including a few tips that I’ve learned the hard way.

HOW TO:  I bought the iron-on transfer paper pictured above at Office Depot, be sure to get the “stretchable” transfer paper if you are creating a shirt with any stretch.  This paper is specifically for inkjet printers, be sure to get the type of paper for your printer.  I printed the image (which didn’t need to be reversed, be sure to check your image to see if you need to reverse it for design purposes) onto the iron-on paper, trimmed it and ironed it on – it was THAT simple!

Yep, I was born with the “Martha gene.”

THANK YOU to my fab cheer posse for helping me cheer!  And, I wouldn’t be an A+ cheerleader if I didn’t tell you where you could find out more about Divine Electric NorCal Racing, would I?

Check it out on facebook too!

 

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I’ve passed over this sprint line about a hundred times on various rides but never noticed it before.  Partly because I don’t ride with the group that sprints to it each week but mostly because I’m always paying attention to other things at this point in my ride.  Last weekend I made a point to find it and pause.

It makes me think about how fast we are all going and whether or not we are taking time to really notice things around us – and appreciate them.  Sometimes we get so set on the destination or distracted by the various options that we forget to enjoy the ride (pun intended).  I think the “ride” is where the good stuff is and if you are like most people when you get to the destination you think, “now what?” anyway.

I’m thinking about the ride today and taking it really slow right now, enjoying where I am at this moment in time and not rushing past any little parts.  I’m really good at indulging in those parts but it takes slowing down to really appreciate them.

Get slow with me, will ya?

 

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Found myself completely distracted today.  Happily distracted.  My early morning routine consists of a quick run-through of several media outlets and blogs.  This morning’s news about Kristin Armstrong’s broken clavicle from the Prologue start of the Exergy Tour in her hometown yesterday made my heart sink.  It should come as no surprise to hear that Kristin inspires me, she inspires a lot of female cyclists.  She inspires me because of her age, she’s 39 and still kicking major ass in the peloton.  Arguably the best in the female pro cycling field today.

The good news is Kristin is one tough cookie, she was out of her early morning surgery (plus one screw in her shoulder) and at the finish line before the race ended today…WOW.  And, she should be back on her bike training in about a week so her Olympic hopes are still in tact.  I’m certain she’ll come back with even more vigor, if that’s even possible.

The news about Kristin sparked my curiosity about the outcome of today’s stage without her in the field…so I watched it live. I watched nearly 100 women, from 18 different countries, race 74.7 miles in 3 hours and 16 minutes – it was absolutely amazing!  I have a crush on Tayler Wiles who led an early break that stuck for most of the race.  I snapped this shot of the break while I was watching, amazed and inspired by the sheer power and athleticism of these girls.

Today’s stage was full of drama and incredibly captivating right down to the sprint finish.  I loved watching the girls that I know, racing in the big leagues, and the girls I look up to.  I don’t have the words to describe how inspired I feel…

Ride like the wind tomorrow in the TT girlies…well actually, ride FASTER than the wind!

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‘My good friend Georgie,’ or “Big George” as Phil Liggett and others call him, is one of the most recognized cyclists – IN THE WORLD.  And this is for good reason.  To say his list of accolades is impressive is a major understatement.  He is the only American cyclist to win the Ghent-Wevelgem and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne classics.  He has competed in the Tour de France fifteen times, assisting some major big shots to overall wins (Armstrong, Contador, Evans).  In 2005 he finished second at Paris-Roubaix…and the list goes on.

I first met George last year when my team was given the privilege of a VIP meet and greet before the Livermore Stage of the Amgen Tour of California.  It was such a big deal to me as I was starting my first racing season and so enamored.  He was charming and incredibly accommodating which impressed me – I’m the girl who wants nothing to do with anyone the morning of a race.  Each member of the BMC team that we met that day was gracious and friendly.  And then they got on their bikes and raced.

I walked away with my new Specialized helmet signed by all of them and I raced with it on my noggin for good juju last year.

So this year, when I learned that the second stage of the ATOC was starting just minutes from my apartment (ON MY BIRTHDAY) I reached out to my new friend who manages PR for the team with a special request – and it was granted, in such a huge way.

That’s me with Georgie a year later, on my birthday! I asked him if he remembered me and he said, “of course I do.”  I felt like a giddy 16-year-old groupie and this was the best gift I could have ever gotten on my 41st birthday!

(I want to thank my good friends Bob Cullinan, for taking the first photo above last year and Mark Nelson for taking my birthday gift picture!  Thank you, thank you!)

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“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” – John F. Kennedy

It’s true, and it’s one of my new-found loves since moving to Marin.  Strange because I was surrounded by cyclists in college, home of Breaking Away, and many of my cycling friends from Bloomington are real Cutters.  I never rode a Hilly Hundred or trained for Little 5… I guess timing is everything.  Couple that with the fact that I live in paradise and a quick ride outside of my apartment in any direction feels like an instant vacation.

I want to add a few things to JFK’s sentiment above as I’m reflecting on a really perfect ride I had with my dear friend last weekend.  (That’s us pictured above at Cibo, and that’s cutie Karla who makes one of the most delicious mochas in all of the land!)  Few things compare to the simple pleasure of riding a bike…in paradise, on a sunny day, with a dear friend.

If Mt. Tam could talk I’m sure she’d have lots to say.  We made our way up at a steady pace, solving all of the problems of the world.  It was a bare arms and legs ride, a treat that Marin cyclists revel in.  And at the top we sat in the warm sunshine and took in our reward…

 

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