Monday, October 29, 2007

Octoberfest Ride - The Mini

Be warned. My first iMovie with the GoPro - soon to be helmet camera (waiting for the helmet mount to be produced).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Octoberfest Ride 2007

We rode in a NW headwind for an hour-twenty to arrive at the trail head of Colebrook Road for a 1 p.m. departure.

My plan was to ride to the meeting place and maybe the first bar then turn around and ride home.

We rode west to T.J. Rockwells for our first stop. Brad gave me sh*t as we hopped on the bikes to the Black Gryphon as I whined; "It's only a quarter mile up the road." And the guys chimed in that the rest of the stops are on our way home, too.

We bee-lined on the main drag from the EndZone Bar to Henningan's Bowling Alley. From there, Brad reeled me in and said we are going home! We did not have anyone to pick us up unless Rob's wife was given a call after their last stop at Bube's Brewery.

With a tailwind/crosswind from the west, we cruised home bleary-eyed. Brad kept me at my limit while I mumbled in my head about his pace. I watched my computer go from 24, 27 to 30. I could sense the smirk on his face as we pedaled in silence. I never quit or yelled at him. He did the right thing. We did not need to play with the boys any longer and we needed to ride as fast as I could. We rode for about three hours for 51+ miles, not including all our stops. I was glad to be home, making a shopping list for the week.

A mini movie is forthcoming. The last clip is all I saw for the ride to Colebrook and the ride home. I am not sure if the guys want Brad to ride any more Octoberfests. Octoberfest is for fun riding. The HMB rides are for hammering.

My legs are going to pay for the fun as we did not ride all week because of the rain. Trainers? I am the only one that rides a trainer and I don't touch the thing until late winter, if I absolutely must.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The SNL I missed while I was on vacation.

No, I am not a Bon Jovi fan. (Maybe back in the 80s I was)
Yes, I was in high school in the mid 1980s.
No, I really don't like the music from the 1980s. (Okay, maybe a few tunes)
Yes, I love to make fun of the 1980s.
No way the fashion is making a come back. I burned all my leggings, cut-off sweat shirts and bangles.

The SNL video cracked me up! (and I used to be a gymnast)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

John J. Jeffries

I took myself out on a date night after a long day at work on Tuesday. Initially, I was going to eat at Carrabba's and eat my favourite bread and olive oil dip with a wood-fired pizza and beer (I love carbs) but somehow I steered towards the Lancaster Arts Hotel.

I could not talk Brad into trying it out lately as the restaurant is pricey so I said; "What the hell. It might be a while until I can drag him out to eat at JJJ". The name of the restaurant within the hotel is called the John J. Jeffries. I just got back from vacation and decided to splurge one more time on me. (Denial that I am not on vacation anymore.) The best part is the restaurant is all about sustainability. The chefs purchase almost everything locally, farm-raised, organic, no pesticides, no steroids, etc. If you are every in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you must dine here. They also take care of their full-time employees by providing health care and family-style meals from 4:30 to 5 for the restaurant employees working the evening shift. The bartender told me the restaurant thinks about everything they use right down to the trash bags and pens. Any unused drinking water is poured into a bucket and used to water the plants. My kind of living. "Food with a conscience."

I had a local brew on tap, Stoudts Triple Abbey. Great for the first couple sips but then it got bitter. I must have been thirsty. I had two appetizers for my dinner; cauliflower and leek soup (with saffron and sumac reduction) and Mac and Belly (penne, aged cheddar, Bavarian Swiss and pork confit).

The bartender knew I had no idea what I was ordering and what kind of portions I would receive when I asked if I could have the Mac and Belly without the "belly" - pork confit. He recommended that I have the "pork confit" with my Mac. I am glad I did as the portion was an appetizer size. Mmm. Pork fat! Every dish had a great presentation. Homemade bread from A Loaf of Bread with fresh butter came with the soup.

I heard the fresh press coffees are incredible. Brad and I drink fresh press coffees at home often. I don't know what it was but the Mexican Chiapas Fair Trade Fresh Press Decaf Coffee was pipping hot and delicious. Of course I had to order dessert. The Brulee'd Maple Goat Cheese Cheesecake (with carmel sauce and gala apples compote) caught my eye.

As I sat at the bar having my meal, I thought the music selection was odd for what I considered an upscale restaurant. I loved it, though. Remakes of the Who, the Beatles, live Neil Young and then Romeo Void played. The bartender probably thought I was hitting on him when I asked about the music selection as "Never Say Never" played. I just thought it was an eclectic mix of music. He mentioned it was someone's Ipod section. Interesting. I am not sure if the music also played in the restaurant. I was too embarrassed to ask anymore questions.

Despite the small portions, I left content with a full belly. I did have appetizers so I should not complain. I had to unbutton my pants as I drove home. The budda belly has returned tonight as my cats have been trying to sit on my belly while I post (the computer occupies my lap). I may post another time about the behaviors of my cats. They are peculiar.

Okay, I will quickly post about my cats. I call them retarded but in a nice way. Just tonight, they had been pacing the house waiting for me to come home. Brad would talk to them like kids letting them know I would be home soon. (How do they know what he/we are saying?!) When I do arrive home, their eyes widen and they run around the house like the easter bunny just came in with a basket full of pure Belgian chocolates. They follow me where ever I go. So as I sit here and post, they have been walking around, circling my chair, sitting on my receipts on the side table, knocking off my notes, pens, etc., letting me know that they exist. They are just silly cats ready for bed and they will not go to bed until both of us are in bed. It is three hours past my bedtime so I must - as the Amish say; "outen the lights".


After mountain biking in the morning on Wednesday, I filled up my travel mug with wine and we traveled to Flagstaff for a little excursion to the Lowell Observatory.

We took the scenic drive north on 89A. I bought some sterling silver jewelry at a Oak Creek Vista (elev. 6,419 feet) then we continued to Flagstaff.I got to stop at my favorite coffee shop for some beans and chai. We roamed Flagstaff window shopping for an hour + and met for dinner at the Mountain Oasis.

I had shiitake spring rolls, light alfredo pasta with shrimp and indulged with a key lime cheesecake for dessert.

The village of Oak Creek Canyon has less artificial light at night than Flagstaff so the night sky is more beautiful. We did get to look through a telescope but I forget what star cluster I got to gaze at.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Waning Vacation

We almost crammed in a lot on Friday as it was our last day in Sedona but we did not. The guys each went off on their own to take pictures, hike, bike or sleep on a rock. Us women wanted to rock and roll one more time on the mountain bikes. We did the same trails from our first day but came back on Llama and part of Bell Rock Pathway differently. We just soaked in the sun and had a fabulous ride for two hours.

We rode North on Bell Rock Pathway to Little Horse trail, got turned around a bit, carried/walked the bikes up some rocky trails and eventually found our way to the Llama trail heading south. I fell more than ever and eventually had the rental bike on top of me with my head towards the bottom of the climb - stuck under the bike. Laughing but stuck. Here is Little Bell Rock off of the Llama Trail.We shopped the main strip of Sedona in the afternoon. In the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, Brad and I grabbed some margaritas and chips after walking the cobble-stoned walkways and through arched entryways of some galleries. This trip, we did not see any Javelinas, just artsy ones.

I think they are the cutest little buggers. When I saw them in Phoenix in 2005, I jumped out of the van running towards them to take a picture. I had everyone concerned. Although, I think the poor javelinas were more scare of me than me of them. I felt sorry for them as they were roaming in an industrial park. So much pavement, not much livable natural environment. (whan, whan)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jerome, AZ - Copper Mine Town

Monday afternoon we took a drive to our favorite town (climb), Jerome, AZ. Last time we visited Brad's mom in February 2005, we brought our road bikes and road to Jerome from the Village of Oak Creek. It took us about an hour and a half to hit the base of the climb of Mingus Mountain. This time we drove the 100 + switchbacks to the top; 7200' (picture from 2005 - Connor Hotel) The town has lots of character.

We spent the day shopping (me-eating), in Jerome. My favorite restaurant of the vacation was the Red Rooster Cafe. I had a special; the Southwest Quiche with a side of salad. I had creamy feta dressing. Wow-amazing. I worried that I would be stuffed and could not eat any homemade desserts. As I mentioned earlier, the little blackboard listed four fabulous desserts. Stoked that I had room for at least two desserts, I restrained myself and ordered the four-berry crumb pie. Karen had an apple bread pudding. I don't like bread pudding, but I would have eaten that bread pudding. It came out hot and gooey. I had the second to last slice of four-berry crumb pie. I made the table to the right of me cry as they tried to order a slice after I moaned and groaned about how wonderful the pie was and there were none left by the time they ordered dessert. The table to our left had ordered the last slice of pie. They too had some bread pudding. I think our table was very expressive about our desserts. Gotta love it when you have dessert for lunch.

Karen and I wanted to have some peach cobbler but held off to maybe come back for "dinner". I forgot to read the fine print as the restaurant closed at 3 p.m. and we finished lunch at 2 p.m. The desserts were going fast so it was probably good for our waistlines. Oh, but do I regret not ordering the peach cobbler and homemade something-so-yummy-and-probably gooey-brownie for later. I think we would have wiped that dessert blackboard clean, with pleasure.

Checking off the To Do list - Mt. Bike Everyday

Thursday, we packed the van with six bikes and riders, four crammed in the back to ride the Jim Thompson Trail. This was the only ride we had to have transportation. Thank goodness as I lost some hair in the back of the van. (Probably from all the farting and drinking I had been doing all week!) Ha! I could not resist. Come on. We're human, right?

The trails on our out and back ride: Wilson Canyon, Jim Thompson, dirt road to Jordan to Teacup. Teacup had winding paths with drop-offs so we bagged it and turned around.

Can you see the guy on the top of the rock? It may be hard in the blog but he his on that little ledge. Amazing.

I pooped out again after 3 hours of riding and took the road-Jordan Road to the tourist stretch of Oak Creek Canyon's Uptown Sedona and had a malted vanilla milkshake with Brad as we waited an hour for our buddies to ride back the trail. Our ride after we split from our friends took us 5 maybe 6 minutes and it was all downhill. Here is the other pooper in the Plaza.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Turkey Creek Trail

Wednesday we road the road-Verde Valley School Road to Turkey Creek Trail; an out and back ride from the house. It was a nice open trail, not much rock climbing until a few miles from the summit. Again, I pooped out and turned around about a mile from top after I popped off my bike one too many times on a rocky uphill.

The dual suspension bike was to blame! Ha! Not quite. I was just a little weak in the upper body and tired from wanting to ride EVERYDAY. I really did, Sedona and the Red Rocks are so beautiful. I was so tired I bombed the downhills more than I would normally. I hate walking. And I consider myself a climber - oh yea, my blog title. I kept my belly in check with drinking about two bottles of red wine a day, ate at least four pastries/desserts a day - Oh desserts. I did not write about Jerome, AZ, yet did I?

That was our Monday excursion after our early morning run and ride. Hmmm. Four Berry Crumb Pie. When the blackboard reads "homemade desserts", I am having one of each! I should have but did not.

So Wednesday's three hour ride was mellow like the big-eared Mule Deer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Since I cannot truly take a rest day, I rode my mountain bike to the Desert Flour Bakery on Tuesday. I bought a belly-load of pastries, muffins and bread. My backpack was filled with cinnamon nut buns, chocolate croissants, almond croissants, strawberry cream croissant, a dozen rugula cookies, jam-filled shortbreads, cranberry nut, blueberry and banana nut muffins and a loaf of rosemary walnut bread.

I wanted a few snacks for our hike. Thank goddess I made the trip to the bakery as our hike lasted over four and half hours. I jokingly packed the cinnamon nut buns and a croissant. Who wants to eat gels and cliff bars when we have pastries?! We devoured them two hours into our hike on Airport Loop Trail. We think the vortex made our pastry break on the rocks magical.

We hiked with a lot of consultation with the Sedona Trail Map (Emmitt Barks Cartography), each other and anything else that would guide us. We crossed Red Rocks Crossing through the Crescent Moon Picnic Area, traveled the road for a while to a dirt road that led us to the Ridge Trail. We somehow ended up on Table Top Trail and finally came upon the Airport Loop. We were hiking N and took the Airport Loop clockwise. I am directionally challenged so don't trust what I say but I think we hiked that loop NE. We had fantastic views, especially when the loop headed S. Hopefully my pictures will tell a story.

I am not really a hiker, especially after 4 and 1/2+ hours. That may be a WHOLE different post in itself (hence, feet in very cold and refreshing stream! Great recovery for the next day as I will need it.)

Jack's Canyon

Monday should have been a rest day. I ran with Karen on Bell Rock Pathway to Courthouse to Big Park Loop. Doing the adventure race ill-prepared for the run trashed my left ankle and right knee/IT ban. Even on a trail, I lasted 15 minutes and had to walk. I jogged and walked for an hour. The morning light and silence was incredible.

We saw a jack rabbit with the biggest ears. I will post some pictures when I return home but no jack rabbit as I did not jog with a camera.

Karen and I jumped on the bikes to ride with the guys to do Hot loop. It is supposed to be a climb through Jack's Canyon but we could not find the trail head for mountain bikes.

Karen and I were tired after our run and the ride on the road to Jack's Canyon so we decided to ride the loop we ran in the morning (Monday). Our bodies quivered like jello as I could barely ride an easy trail. At one point my wheel got stuck between two rocks and I just fell over, wedging my knee between the frame and a rock. I have a nice shiner on my knee. We eventually made it back to the bike shop to ask for tune-ups for the rest of the week. Thank you Absolute Bikes as I tweaked my rear derailleur on my fall.

In Jack's Canyon in search of the trail head we did see five beautiful coyotes. Brad and I have been the only ones who hear the coyote songs at 4 a.m. each morning. Our room with a sliding glass door that we leave open faces Jack's Canyon. I pop up at 3:59 a.m. and wake Brad up to listen to the coyotes. Early Tuesday morning they started singing at 1:24 a.m. We think they cornered a dog or some animal as we heard howling, yipping, dog barks and it went on for half an hour. It got a little eerie after a while.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Arrived Friday evening, October 12, 2007. Dragged our bums into Brad's mother's home in the lovely Village of Oak Creek around 11 pm AZ time after a Costco stop for LOTS of wine and dinner at a steakhouse.

We rented mountain bikes at Absolute Bikes Saturday morning. Road trails the last two days. I am in HEAVEN and I am a die-hard roadie.

Saturday: Easy trail to acclimate and to keep all six of us together. We rode Bell Rock Trail to the end where there was a trail system map (and bathroom). Rode back Bell Rock Trail to Little Horse Trail ?? to Chapel Trail. A bit too much walking up rocky, sandy trails and I asked to head back home. Road Llama Trail back to Bell Rock. Two hour ride. Just awesome.

Sunday, rode Bell Rock Trail to Templeton Trail to the dirt road of Verde Valley School Road. Off of Verde Valley Road Karen, Barb and I turned off to do the Baldwin Trail loop counter clockwise. I could have ridden ALL day. Just fabulous weather and amazing rocks jutting out of the earth. We were riding/walking our bikes/taking pictures for five hours. Again, heaven.

Heaven includes lots of wine after the rides. Thank goddess for my typing skills as after five glasses of Oregon Pinot (Erath) and something Syrah (Waterbrook-Columbia Valley), my fingers are a bit numb.

I must go as they are calling me for the prayer before a fabulous Cuban dinner Nancy (Brad's mother) has prepared for Sunday night football! Okay, she prepared an awesome meal to introduce us to her neighbor, Rob, who owns a roofing company. His second home is here in Sedona next door and Bob and Karen are staying in his guest room.

Cheers and blessed be.

I am back for a respite. Pulled pork, black beans and rice (lots of olive oil and a bit of cilantro), sauteed plantains soaked in rum and the guys switched from the flowing red wine to rum and coke with lime with dinner.

After our ride today I was talking of running early in the morning tomorrow so we can do a long climbing ride around 8 a.m. with the guys over at Jack Canyon. Hummm. Luckily I am able to correct all my typos as I go. Not sure if I will be able to do a long, challenging mountain biking ride but my heart wants to keep on riding.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Homey Life

I am 5' so the kitchen counters are too high for me. I bought cheapy shoes that add 3" to my height. We also got a new hot water heater that I have too hot because I am a germ-a-phob. Hence, the fashionable dish gloves and sexy kitchen shoes. Meow!

One item checked off the honey do list - painting the "cappuccino-in-bed"; room. We take care of our guests. The color we use: Behr's Sage.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Off Season 2007

It is the off season for road racing when Brad has a "honey do" list for me, I watch baseball because it is the playoffs and football plays in the background as I cook in the kitchen. It is the off season as I am not a "fan" of any of the teams that played tonight.

I agonized watching the Indians beat the Yankees 6 - 4. Agonized as it went WAY past my bedtime; woohoo Indians! While I was up, I thought I would finish the Monday night football game. I catched the last 18 seconds with the Cowboys down 22-24 to the Bills. Nike Folk came up BIG having to kick TWO 50+ yard field goals back-to-back because of the timeout rule. Since I did not watch the game, you can read about it here. Or listen to AM sports radio. Brad got me into listening to sports radio years ago when Lance was on Jim Rome's show, the Jungle. I actually cannot stand Rome's program but I enjoy Out of Bounds on Fox with Craig Shemon & James Washington as my background noise at work. They LOVE football season and that is when I mostly listen to their show. I also turn them on when some big sports story breaks or if it is a Major Championship.

Interbike Day 3

Jenette and I made one more visit to the Expo to return the Felt with many thanks. We checked out the CyFac booth to get fitted for bikes. It will be interesting to see how off we may be with the bikes we ride.

Jdub's flight left at 5 p.m. so we were off to the hotel for her 2:30 shuttle to the airport. I then ran back to Interbike one last time to win a camera from GoPro.

Not enough business cards could help me win but screaming, "GoPro!" and jumping up and down would do just fine. They mixed up their drawings with noise. Whoever screamed the loudest, longest, most obnoxious, got picked. Yeah!! GoPro gave out many cameras that they would have to send mine and others to us lucky winners!

Had a fabulous end of Interbike at the Aquaknox in the Venetian before other East Coasters had to catch their red-eye flights. I know I would not want to fly drunk.

Once everyone left around 10 p.m. (my flight was on Saturday), I hobbled back to my hotel room. Wow. Vegas is not for me. Too many drunk people and I was sort of one of them. I two-fisted with water as I knew I was on my own eventually. I became an old maid and turned in at midnight.

My flight home got delayed and I was bumped to a later flight. The winds in Vegas howled at 35+ mph. We took off around 3 p.m. and I thought I was going to die. I felt like I was in a martini shaker. The plane twisted, dropped and rocked for at least three hours. The flights do not offer meals anymore, which is fine because they sucked in the past, so I bought a wrap for my dinner home. I had no idea that I would barely be able to eat it. Oh, and because I got bumped, my cush aisle seat became a middle seat in the last row with a baby in the other last row. We were shaken and stirred; along with fumes. I felt badly for the guy next to me. He was hungover and the martini flight back to Philly did not sit well with him. Thank goodness he was able to watch a movie and sleep. If he got sick, all hell would break loose. That would be why I could not fly drunk. With the kind of flight I had, I would have been obnoxious, silly or sick. I am bad enough sober. So we got free drinks, not because of the baby but because of the sucky last row. Since I was going to die, I had a Heineken?! Go figure. The guy next to me got his own liter of water; no little plastic cup, the whole bottle. The baby did better than I. I cried and screamed at least three times.

I survived and drove home tired and hungry so I ate the cookies I forgot for my plane trip to Vegas. The parents on my shuttle said, "My kids eat 6-month old crumbs out of the car all the time. You will be fine eating five day old cookies!" So I munched and boy were they tasty.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Interbike - Day 2, School Girl Gitty

I returned alone to Interbike on Thursday morning to see if I could borrow a bike for the last race of the season for the USA Crit Series. As I hung out in the lobby, I met John G. from Felt, told him about my situation and asked him about what floor bikes he had at Interbike. When the show opened at 9 a.m., he told me to talk to Dave K. He would know if they had anything available for me. Both gentleman were super helpful and friendly and the convention center filled for the busiest day of the show. Dave told me to come back around noon and he would let me know if they had a bike available. Felt had a trailer from the outdoor demos many blocks away storing demo bikes and Dave thought there might be a "small" road frame for me.

I wandered the show again, picked up more swag and as I walked around the media center, I saw Mario Cipollini. I about peed my pants and I called my best buddy at home. She squelled on the other end of the phone and screamed, get me an autograph!! I'm like "there's no way. He's protected in the Media Center." I did not know how long I could linger as I had to work on getting a bike for the crit. So I hovered for a while. And since I did not really pee my pants, I decided to go to the bathroom and chance missing Cippo. I returned with Mario getting ready to leave the Media Center. Woohoo! I hit the lottery. I danced around like a little school girl waiting for Mario to exit. It was all for my buddy at home. Really. She loves Mario; me not so much. Although, meeting Mario was one of my highlights of Interbike. The other was Stuey saying "You do not have a belly." We got autographed posters the other day and I asked if he could sign it to "Bellie". :-) I just melted when he said I did not have a belly! Jenette just laughed her arse off at me the whole time.

Could my eyes get any bigger?! I wanted to grabbed his butt but I am a silly old American.

Another highlight - riding the strip in Vegas, before and after the race. Here we are on our way to the Mandalay Bay parking lot crit. We were a site on the strip. Jdub heard people say, "picture, picture" "gimme your camera!"

Back to the bike situation, Felt came through big time! THANKS FELT!! After my exciting encounter with Mario, I skipped through Interbike to the Felt booth like a girl skipping through a field of flowers. It was before noon but I was a bit anixous about finding out if they had a bike for me or not. Otherwise, my back-up plan was to rent a bike from a local shop. The bike Felt let me borrow was at the Saris booth, displayed on the roof racks. It took me a while to work out the logistics and with trust and super friendly people, I was off and riding a Felt. Check the link; the bike I raced was a 2008 Felt FW2, 700cx47. Dave thought I should be on a 45 but all they had was a 47. I knew it would be fine as I have been racing bikes for the last 7 years on bikes a smig too big. I would have like a shorter stem but I did not want to mess with switching out any parts.

I ran back to the hotel to work on adjusting the bike and slap on my pedals. Jdub was relaxing for the evening's main event. I gave her more swag and showed her Mario. I reminded us to drink, drink, drink. It was unseasonably hot and it's usual dryness. I went to my people to borrow tools. They thought I wanted to do my own repairs in our room. "What room are you in? We come fix it." No, no. I'm working on a bike. Tape measure in hand and a wrench, I am off like superwoman. When I return the tools in my race kit and bike, I looked like superwoman to these guys.

USA Crit Finals: Parking lot crit at Madalay Bay. I hate parking lot crits. Since we were the first race of the evening, we had the course to warm up on. FW2 sailed on this course. We dialed in the course lap after lap. No brakes course. It actually was a pretty awesome course. We lined up with rock star music and super star call ups. Jdub raced well just on the end of the main pack for the first few laps then settled in with the top third. I surfed the tail feeling comfortable; that deceivingly comfortable feel. Three laps later, I tell myself to move my ass up. Riders left and right were getting popped from the tail. The pace was hard and fast, but I fought my way to stay in the race, still surfing on the whipping tail. It took me half the race to get on the end of the pack, probably because the tail snapped.

The FW2 was a sweet ride. No brakes unless some silly goose of a woman hit her brakes or flicked her bike through the turns. I used the course to my advantage, mainly racing on the left side. I felt like I was on a roller coaster and in control. For example, I would coast into the first left turn after the s/f and roll up the left side of the pack into the top third of the pack a couple times. It would be the third turn that women would fight for position and I would filter back. Then I would use the sweeping right bend to roll up again into good position, taking a tight left turn like a race car driver, inside left, jumping out of the next left turn. Sweet. No brakes just floating the turns and rolling up in good position. It was somewhat magical because it was Vegas at night and my FW2 rode awesome. With three to go, after that third turn where those women kept fighting for position, someone crashed on the right in front of me. I luckily kept racing on the left side of the pack and the FW2 guided me around the meyhem. My heart jumped out of my chest as I could not afford to crash a full carbon bike. Cheerwine dominated the race and buried themselves for their rockstar, Laura VanGilder. Jdub and I survived crashes and she duked it out in the sprint for the finish. Check out Cyclingnews for a race report from the front end.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Interbike - Day One

Breakfast on the way to the Sands Expo Center was a Starbucks and an almond croissant. Being well rested, Jenette followed my lead. We took the long way to the expo center through the construction site along the way. The short cut was through the Venetian - but even shorter, especially since we were staying in the ghetto part of our hotel, was through the parking garages of the Imperial Palace and the Sands. I would find that sweet short cut on Thursday.

Off to will call for our badges, grabbed Show Daily magazines and maps for the exhibit. I scanned the floor for superstars and spotted Lynne Bessette. She would go on to win Cross Vegas in style. We sadly missed the event.

I buzzed around for all the free swag (I am the swag queen and major pro-cyclist groupie) and dragged Jdub with me. Later for the Vegas crit, she would be dragging me around!

We walked back to the hotel, grabbing lunch along the way at a Chipotle. Our legs throbbed from all the walking and standing. Jenette had some work she had to address and as she was making phone calls, I flipped through the show daily. Then I came across the full page add for FREE BEER and CAMERA from GoProCamera at 3 p.m. daily.

Brad wanted a helmet camera since the spring. He saw one in Excel Sports for $250. If I could get a helmet camera, it would be the best swag and surprise from my honey. I paced as Jdub worked the phone. She was to come with me to the show but the time ticked by and it was 2:55. Jdub was cool with me leaving as her back was trashed from all the swagging in the morning. She knew I had too much caffeine and she would not be able to keep up with my crazy energy.

I was off and running. Literally. I went through the Venetian as I didn't know about the garage shortcut yet. I arrived at the GoPro booth by 3:15, sweaty. They drew business cards for cameras and I had not dropped one in the "helmet" for the day. I hung out for the sales pitch and would come back Thursday BEFORE the crit.

I would wander for the next two hours as this was when the beer began to flow. I picked up more bags, bottles and multi-tools as I waited in line for beer. I met Magnus Backstedt. Most stands had American beer or a "light" beer like Heineken. The Speedplay booth had BELGIAN ale. I was so excited they had Belgian ale (and did not realized it was for staff only), I think I startled the guy tapping the beer. Doaph!

I checked out the Polar booth as they were giving away computers to the highest wattage male and female for the day. I watched in amazement as guys pushed the gears for two minutes. There was only one woman who had done the challenge so I had a 50/50 chance to win a Polar computer. The bike was too big for me as the "small" tri frame had too long of a seat post so the seat could not be lowered. Plus, I would have not touched an average of 400+ watts for two minutes as that was what the other woman clocked. Whew! I did not want to ride hard after a few beers in front of a bunch of people.

Just before the first day on Interbike ended, I decided to take a chance to see if one of the bike companies would loan me a bike for tomorrow's race. My bike did not arrive and initially I was going to rent one from Las Vegas Cyclery. Kurt from Kinetic rolled me around on a
four-seater surrey. We rocked as the convention hall emptied. His rock and roll trainer also rocked. It was very cool to spin out the legs from all the walking on a trainer that was smooth and allowed the bike to rock back and forth. It felt like I was on rollers. We rolled to Colnago, Redline, Hawley Co. (Storck). They did not have frames small enough for me. Kurt gave me names of other sales managers to check in with Thursday morning.

It was 7 and we needed to eat. I had not organized a ride for Jdub and I to see VegasCross and I regret it. We had dinner at the Imperial Palace "Mings" and headed to the party of the evening - sponsored by Sinclair Imports (Thanks Rob for the passes). We stood in a huge line to enter a dark and thomping, pole dancing club. Humm. Not quite our scene. If we found our buddies to hang out with and socialize, it was too loud and dark to enjoy each other's company. We spotted Phil Liggett and Magnus. I heard Mario was there, too. We spent $15 for two 4oz Evians. Chugged them and left.