Don't Make Change too Complicated: Just Begin!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When Your Eye Doctor is a Cyclist

Cece went to her annual eye exam.  When she saw the doctor, the conversation went like this:

What rides did you do this past year?

How did your training go?

Are you getting outdoors now or are you indoors on the trainer?  When will you move indoors?  You like to ride in the rain and wind?

How did you hurt your shoulder (Cece to the Dr.)

Are you still able to ride?
Can you see your cycle computer with your sunglasses on?

Are the sun glasses protecting your eyes when you look out and over at the road?

Are your eyes drying out from the wind?

As you can tell, there was a lot to discuss.... and Cece giggled at the unique pre-exam questioning! Yes, they finally got around to the computer work and the looking from the computer to the paper....and the "can you see this?" ..."which is better"  questioning...but it is nice to have a Dr. who understands your cycling passion and can help you to see as well as possible given those sometimes extreme rides!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Glory of the Cottonwoods : Beauty Unsurpassed

There are just some days that nothing will soothe you except  nature.  And so , on the day after Cece had to orchestrate the comings and goings of her staff and medically fragile clients during a multi-hour SWAT team stand off, Cece took the afternoon off to find solace...and....she knew what would soothe her.

On her way to work,  she saw the glistening cottonwoods along the Bosque as she crossed the Montano Bridge.  She saw the glimmer of leaves and thought they resembled gold coins flickering in the sun.  She has been riding on her trainer indoors lately or not riding along the Bosque...and she thought that morning, on her drive in,  that she should see the beauty along the way with her own eyes  She did not want to miss the color before it darkened.. So off she went to ride a 22 mile loop.
As she rode along, even when this guy passed her, she did not care.  She was soaking in the beauty.  It was like a trip down memory lane.  She has been riding her beloved bosque for many years now and she rides it  all year round.  She sees the seasons change and she feels like she knows every inch of this land....every turn, every tree...she is able to notice the small changes too.  When she met Kind Daniel of the Open Space he showed her which tree to watch for the eagle when it gets a bit cooler and  he showed her a picture that he took of it last year.
Today, she was remembering....
She remembered a berry fight she had with her friend Gilbert as he took her riding off road.  They shot the berries  at each other like kids....and rides with college kids and men in the army who taught her to go fast on the corners, rides with the team along this path to get to another path toward a hellish climb, then socializing with friends as we rode....meeting new friends...surprising friends along the it seemed sentimental to her as she remembered her friend Tom and how he taught her, years ago,  to shift and how he made her laugh.....and how none of them could hear....
The memories were as alive as the fluttering of all the leaves...and the memories spoke to Cece.  The old trees were speaking to her and reminding her to have gratitude for all the paths she has ridden down.
You never know where they will take you....

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Laugh on a Monday? 7:31 am

Add sweat and suffering to this laughter!
Riding the drops and grinding through a grueling workout guessed it...Troy Jacobson.  Sweat is pooling and puddling on my glasses.  Drip, drip drip I pushed through interval sets going harder,  softer, slower and faster...with a 15 second break....up and down the gears and chain rings I went pooling sweat for over an hour.  Then all of a sudden the sets were over and we got a break.  "Guess what?" Troy said, "This time the sets will be similar except you will get a little more rest....meaning 20 seconds instead of 15 seconds." That is when  I bust out laughing! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Wild Women and Water! What Fun!

Put a bunch of wild women with a lot of water and what do you get?  Hmm.....Let me see.
 It was a beautiful and warm day in the North Valley of Albuquerque.  The sun was out...there was no was a perfect day to......
Wash our bikes!  Yes, that is right!  Women Riding Well, the cycling club,  had a bike washing party at one of the member's homes in the North Valley.  It is so much more fun to get wet and wash your bike with friends!  Cece's bike, Little Red,  was absolutely filthy. She was sure she would get the prize for the most filthy bike!   To show you just how filthy it was,  she embarrassingly presents this photo.  Too many rides after the monsoon rains.  Dirty!  Dirty! 
It was a big job to clean her up real pretty!  At first when she began, Cece could not really see the dirt, but then she met  Diane...who became her assistant...well really she was the bike Cece cleaned the drive train, Diane "passed" her and gave her the green light to move on to the next part of the bike.  These women take cleaning a bike VERY seriously.
She looks nice, but she can spot dirt a mile away!  LOL!  Actually, she taught Cece how to see dirt!
A fun time was had by all and  our bikes have passed the Margie, Diane and Debbie "White Glove" test.  Here is a pic of Debbie:

That is all she would allow!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Virtual Boyfriend

Every woman should have at least one virtual boyfriend.  Cece has several and they really come in handy!    She has the men at her bike shop...and of course...she has Troy Jacobson!  And she called on Troy today to fill a void!

Cece has spent most of the week at the ER with her client. She had to hop out of bed at 7am and go to the ER and finally hours later, she dragged home.  She had intended to cycle, but it was raining...and thus went her week.  Lots of stress and little ability to exercise.

So finally, today,  she called upon her virtual man...Troy.  Before she could do so though,. she had to put in a different rear sprocket so her bike would fit on her trainer....and thus she began her suffer fest!
 It was oddly comforting to feel the sweat begin to drip drip drip down her face and puddle up her begin to feel her jersey get cool and wet and to hear the incessant clapping of her virtual man  shouting, "push, push push."

As a curse  escaped her lips,  she did not have to worry about insulting her virtual man...see...everyone should have a virtual boyfriend...or two!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chase the Balloons Ride: October 1, 2011

The ride started early on Saturday morning at 7am.  This was the opening day of Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque.  The ride promised many sightings of balloons and many opportunities for photo ops.  Actually they say this is the most photographed yearly event in the world!  The weather was a bit brisk, but comfortable with little wind!  Ideal weather! 

There was a rolling start ...and they were off!

The sun was just coming up and there was a beautiful silhouette over the river with the mountains as backdrop.
As it got lighter, we got a better view.

 A fun ride in the beauty of New Mexico!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Can You See Us Now?"

High Desert Yoga and The Duke City Wheelmen sponsored the annual "Can You See US now?" ride in honor of cyclists who were killed by cars. Since they have been keeping track, 114 cyclists have been killed in New Mexico alone!  There are many Ghost Bikes around town to honor these fallen cyclists.
Each cyclist was given a number for their back and on that number was the name of one of the cyclists who had been killed by an automobile.  This is Cece's number and her name.
 A crowd of over  600 cyclists gathered at High Desert Yoga to register and organize for the ride.  While  waiting, Cece met a man named Abel who had a prosthetic leg.  She watched him with interest as he put his  cycling leg on and as he spoke to  a man about how his bike was specially outfitted for the leg.  Cece knew that if she did not go over and talk to him, she would regret it later, so over she went.  It turned out that Able is a wounded warrior and cycles with a team called "Amputees Across America" that is sponsored by Health South.  They cycle across America doing various rides and bring attention to the fact that you can still be active and healthy and happy even if you have lost a leg with the help of a prosthesis.  Abel told Cece that their goal is to get 2 more amputees on the team each year.
After an evening full of surprises and a grueling yoga class that morning at High Desert, Cece should have been soaking in a hot tub, but she was happily at this ride and looking forward to riding with 600+ cyclists down Rt 66 in Albuquerque.

The police support was outstanding!  Yesterday a friend told Cece that the Duke City Wheelmen had requested 40 officers and Cece bets that there were probably that many cops present...on motorcycles, along the way and directing traffic to keep the cyclist safe.  Thank you APD!
And...with much fanfare and flourish....we were off.  The police guided us down Central Avenue (Rt. 66) and there were many spectators along the way clapping and cheering us on. We arrived at Tiguex Park without incident and proceeded to have a peaceful gathering that got quite emotional as the names of those killed were read one by one.  There was  a man who was dressed in white with a white face painted on... that symbolized the Ghost Bike and the cyclists who had been killed.  He read the names.
This ride was meant to call attention to the fact that cyclists share the road with vehicles.  The show of numbers and the phrase "Can you See US Now"  was a powerful reminder of this fact and also that so many have died as a result of not being seen.  Let us hope that not one more cyclist is killed by a vehicle.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On Call and On the Bike!

The Two Italians!
The last time Cece was on call it was a 5 day Labor Day Weekend and she got a resentment.  The crises kept coming and she was stuck indoors or in her gym the whole 5 days. She did not dare to venture forth on her bike because every other moment she had a crisis to deal with. She could not carry the on call book and a notebook and schedules etc.  But,  she resolved that the next on call,  things would be different! 

This weekend  came all too quickly, but Cece still had had time to figure out her plan. Friday early morning she rode.  Then she waited to see how things would go Friday night and Saturday.  She watched the weather and plotted her strategy!  Saturday was a disaster!  She had to fire someone and there was police involvement.  The Verizon phone network was down because they were upgrading (?) to 4G and in New Mexico they had failed.  Each call was either lost, dropped or she could not hear the other person.  Cece was stressed out.

She determined that she would go to a party  of cycling friends that evening and she did that, but her friends saw that she had developed this strange appendage hanging out of  her ear...oh was the phone. In and out of the house she went...looking toward the sky trying to get better coverage...standing in the middle of the street trying to avoid the coverage of the ancient cottonwoods lining the North Valley along the Rio Grande.

No exercise,.  No freedom!  URGH.  Cece was just about growling!  But she was developing her plan.  Come Sunday morning she planned that if she did not get any calls by 9am and things were calm, she would be off on her bike!  She checked the Weather Underground 
perfect weather,,little wind.  Her plan was forming.  She called the other on call....across the city and told him she was going out on her bike.  Cece is in charge of the Westside of the city and her friend the east.  She checked in to make sure all was calm on his end too. It was.

She looked in her closet for a jersey that had very deep back pockets and found a hot pink jersey by Terry with flames on the sleeves...perfect.  She took the volume of schedules and things she would need if she got a phone call and rolled them up in a tight roll and taped the edges.  That went into a back pocket along with a note pad and pen.  The phone went into the bento box and she was off...finding matching  pink watermelon socks to complete her pinkness on her way out the door!

She wanted to climb some hills today and that necessitated venturing out a bit from the city...but not too far that she could not get back quickly if she got an emergency call!.  Off she went. Climb she did.

On the way back a little skinny girl passed her and that pissed Cece off.  It was on.  She put on the speed and caught that girl and they battled all the way back to where they both had inadvertently started from.  A nice challenge for 2 women who were not at all competitive!  LOL.

As Cece pulled into the parking lot and dismounted her bike, her phone rang. She answered with a breathless smile...what good timing!  She was back to work, but this time without a resentment!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Horse Power...67 the new 40!

At the end of a 75 mile bike ride today in the 98 degree heat of the day, these famous words were heard:

Friend #1."Well, what should we do now?  "

Friend #2:  "Oh!  I thought we might go bowling!" 

Cece could not believe her ears and burst out laughing! 

The woman who said she thought she might go bowling is 67 years old. She also has a horse on her under seat bag.  When Cece asked her about the  horse, she replied, "That's my horse power."  And so it was!

Cece was the support vehicle for a group of people who were riding with Team in Training and are training for the Honolulu century at the end of September.  As Cece took stock of the group of riders at a rest stop, she realized that she was the youngest at 53.  The median age of the other 5 riders was 64!  Cece decided right on the spot that the middle and late 60's is the new 40.  Lately she is surrounded by people in this age bracket and she is awed by their  fitness and superb health and stamina.  These are people who have worked hard to take care of their  minds, bodies and spirits and have chosen an active healthy life style in order to prolong their health and happiness. 

And so it was that on this day, Cece supported this group of 60+ year olds on a 75 mile cycling adventure that would take them almost to the bowels of hell and back...she says this not because they had any trouble at all...just that it was so blasted hot with no shade that it certainly felt like they must be approaching the heat of  hell itself!

Down the Bosque trail they went.  Then up up up Rio Bravo to the Snakes....7% grade climb anyone?
Then they cycled all the way down to Los Lunas  with a few loops and dalliances along the way.  Cows anyone  (In honor of Ellie's Bovineophobia!)
All along the way there were flat flats and more flats!   There was so much debris on the roads that the tires  really took a beating.  Clark got many flats, but his last flat ended him up with some good Karma.  A man and his wife saw that Clark had a flat and stopped to help him giving him a floor pump.   It turns out that this man's brother had leukemia and Clark, being an oncologist, had helped his brother and admitted him into the hospital.  A chance meeting?  Good Karma in action as Catherine said!

There was not a drop of shade to be had, but Ona took a breather on the cool grass in Los Lunas and a much deserved rest break!
And  Finally, we had to tell all the cows, that Ellie was not with us on the ride today! 

It was a difficult ride in the difficult heat , but all had a wonderful time and did a fantastic  job coping with the heat in their own ways and pulling off a tricky ride that was a great challenge!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Her Time Has Come! Iron Will in the Water.

Diana Nyad is in the water at last...swimming from Cuba to the Florida Keys.  As of this writing she is 22.5 hours into the swim which has the potential for 60+ hours of swimming.  Good Luck Diana! You can check  her blog for updates at this link.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Succeed or Fail on Your Own Terms

When you are out there cycling it is you, your bike and the road.  It is a challenge as to how you will handle yourself in any given situation.  You are alone.  If you fall and get hurt, how do you handle that?  If you have a will you cope with that? If the weather changes, are your prepared for that?   If you have a steep up how do your propel yourself up that?  No one will save you, rescue you and fix the problems.  It is you, your bike and the road.
 Cece has  had this experience several times while on the bike.  Once during a century she struggled to continue after her damaged shoulder gave out at mile  47 after she was hit and run.  She pushed on.. pedal stroke after pedal stroke  as the pain got worse.  She realized, it was she and her bike and the road...just the three of them...stroke after stroke.  What would she do?  How was the pain speaking to her?  How would she go on?  In this situation, she was able to make it until mile 71 and then got off her bike sobbing because the shoulder had collapsed and she could hold on to the handle bars no longer.

A friend told Cece a story about a fall he had on the bike and how he  could barely hold on after his wrists were injured and he still had 8 miles to go to get home.  Somehow he was able to ride those 8 miles and get to his vehicle.  How did he conquer this pain and move on?  It was he,his bike and the road.

On a 96 degree day in Moab during the Moab century tour after almost being thrown off a cliff by a huge RV, Cece had to go on to finish her ride.  It was so deadly hot and there was no water on  the course.  Her friend had collapsed and she was left to ride many miles by herself in the heat without any water.  She knew that she had to go on.  She had to finish.  It was Cece , her bike and the road.

And so, as Cece watched Cadel Evans in the Tour power up those hills and set the pace and pull the peloton up the Alps, Cece had this feeling that for Cadel it was he, his bike and the road. He as making his destiny. He was determined that he would do it and he would succeed...and he was determined...she could see it on his face. This is what he had trained for...come for...worked for.. In the time trail chute, he was in a zen like state,.  He was focused, he was still and he was breathing in a paced way.  He
was in the zone.  Cadel knew what he had to do and he was reviewing that in his mind.

As she watched him in the time trial, Cece was  cheering him on...shouting at her computer,clapping her hands,  shouting out affirmations, telling him to stick to his take risks, but not thoughtless ones...and as she watched him,   it was another situation of man, the bike and the road,  No one else could do it.  It was succeed or fail right there...on two wheels spinning.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Santa Fe Triathlon..or..."Where is Ayoub?"

When Cece and Stephanie arrived in Sante Fe for the triathlon, they were surprised to meet so many friends...some they had not seen for over 3 years!

But it was not long until people started to come up to Cece and ask her if she was racing and if Ayoub was on her team again this year.  People were  scoping out the competition.  You see Ayoub is an elite Moroccan runner who is here in New Mexico training and  staying with one of Cece's friends.  He was a ringer for their team coming in with a low 15 minute 5K...which  he himself was not pleased with...the rest of us were...but he was not!  LOL.    People were very nervous that he would blow them out of the water once again.  Cece assured them that she was a spectator this year and she had no Ayoub and she watched each person suck in air in relief!

The fastest runner came in at 17+ and was  on a team.  Cece watched them the entire day.. The cyclist lost time for the team, but the swimmer made up time in the pool and they were able to come in 2nd place overall and first place for the co-ed teams. It was nice to watch the race and cheer her friends on.    Cece has the competitive bug once again and she is currently recruiting friends for the all women's tri in Rio Rancho  at the end of August.  It is called  Live , Love , Tri.

Everyone did well and had a great time! 


Friday, July 8, 2011

Little Boy Down...A Cautionary Tale

As Cece left her office on Friday afternoon, she was later leaving than usual and was faced with rush hour traffic in the city.  What to do?  She contemplated the various routes she could take home.  Too much traffic.  Too much construction.  That road is a parking lot at this hour.  So, she finally settled on going home the scenic route on Rio Grande Blvd....much slower, but more restful.

As she drove north on Rio Grande, as she approached Matthew and the COOP, she noticed a little boy half in the road, lying on his back with his bike flattened out alongside him.  Was he hit by a car?   The little boy was not moving.  Cece called 911 and reported this and worked to turn her car around given the median in the middle of the road.

Once on the scene she saw the boy move and sit up.  She got out of her car and spoke to the boy.  He wanted water.  Cece only had hot water in her camel back bottle in her car.  But, he said he wanted that.  It turned out that this was Johnny.  He looked about 9 years old, but he was a 17 year old boy with spina bifida.    As they waited for the paramedics and his auntie to come, she discovered that he had not eaten and had had nothing to drink as he rode his bike in the 97 degree heat in Albuquerque in the late afternoon sun.  His eyes were bleary and not well focused and he poured water over his head.   The paramedics arrived and  it turned out that he was exhausted and dehydrated and had heat stroke and had collapsed on the road because he just could not go on to get home.

Cece will never forget her ride in the Moab Century Tour last year when it was 96 degrees and there was no more water on the course with 20 miles to go on the ride back in to the finish. It was extremely difficult riding and many went down.

This is a good reminder to ride early in the morning if possible when there is this type of eat and hydrate well and be prepared with more water than you think you will need.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Girls and Legs!

Can you guess whose legs these are?  The other morning when we met,  we asked this man on a commuter bike to take a pic of us and he asked us if we wanted the sexy legs in the pic.  Cece told him "just the boobs" and off we went!    But today, Cece herself took the legs!
This reminded her of another "leg shot" that was taken pre-century ride when we all decided to wear stillettos or as high as we could for a poignant leg shot!.
And this remidned her  of another leg shot that was taken pre-triathlon in  Santa Fe.
 Anyway, this am we took another picture too.  Ellie and Stephanie did a long climbing route and Cece and Jamey did a casual talk and bond ride with a few hills thrown in for good measure.  The friends all met togehter at first then the groups split.  What fun!
Here is the perfect triathlon team!The Shark will need more coffee though!