Friday, January 25, 2008

Settlin' in at the OTC

Arrived at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs at about 4:30, and am already lovin' it. Drove here with Michelle Grainger, a former pro racer and personal coach and trainer in Boulder (check out her website at, and it was great fun getting to know her better.

We settled into our dorm rooms on the complex, and then two of Michelle's friends picked us up at the security gate out front (yup...we have security cards to get in and out) and took us to a great Indian restaurant for dinner. Here we are with our bellies nice and full.
Then, we returned to the complex to relax for a bit before heading to bed. Michelle's been here many times before, so she showed me around a bit, and we walked through the cafeteria. Lo and behold, along a wall of pictures, I saw this photo...
This is Stephen Abbas, and he won a silver medal in wrestling at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. This was just a few years after he was MY STUDENT in CFS 39 at Fresno State. How cool is that?! While he was in my class, he won the NCAA National Championship in wrestling, and I embarrassed him when he returned to class by projecting a transparency of a newspaper article about him (back before I used PowerPoint...) up on the board so the class could congratulate him. The class he was in was one of those where there is a special chemistry between the students, and I still have fond memories of them. Of course, it's highly unlikely that learning about child and adolescent development from me helped him at the Olympics, but, well, a former prof can dream, can't she?!!

The Enhancing Leadership in Women's Cycling Conference kicks off bright and early tomorrow morning, so I've got to hit the hay. I'll fall asleep wondering just which Olympic hopefuls and athletes have slept in this bed before me...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

As Close as I'll Get to Being an Olympian

Leaving the Bubble tomorrow for a weekend in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Training Center. Yah, they're woo-ing me in an attempt to get me to participate in Beijing on the cycling team this summer. I think the air quality is going to be too bad, though, so I'm going to pass.

Ok, seriously, I'm headed to the Springs tomorrow to attend USA Cycling's Enhancing Leadership in Women's Cycling Conference at the Olympic Training Center. I'm covering it for, and you can check out the preview article here:
Hanging out at the Olympic Training Center with cycling coaches from all over the country -- what more could a girl ask for?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gotta Love Those Brits...

Perhaps it's my Scottish roots, I don't know, but I've become obsessed with television programs from the United Kingdom. Of late, I've become addicted to Coupling, a British sitcom about six friends that is described as across between Friends, Seinfield, and Sex in the City; Monarch of the Glen, a Scottish drama/comedy about a modern day family in the Highlands trying to save their family castle; Ballykiss Angel, a drama/comedy about an English priest who is assigned to a small Irish village with all its quirky inhabitants; and Hotel Babylon, a drama/comedy about the management and staff at a 5-star London hotel. And with the inexpensive convenience of Netflix, I'm able to watch them all commercial-free and without paying for BBC America on cable! Life is good....

Seems I'm about to add to my list, thanks to Pat in Texas, who just sent me this You Tube video from Man Stroke Woman, a comedy sketch show from England.

"Man Cold"

And apparently they believe in equality when it comes to making fun of both sexes...
"Wedding Cake"

Yes, I've already put the first season of "Man Stroke Woman" in my Netflix queue...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Leading Men"

Happened across this great article on the Slipstream / Chipotle team today...well worth the read.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bikers on Skiis...and Snowshoes

When in California, I'll race as a Velo Bella -- how could I not?
But, here in Colorado, I'll be racing with Velo-One, a co-ed team based out of Ft. Collins, just over an hour from Boulder.
I absolutely love racing in Bella colors, so why would I do this?
1) I've not been able to find any Colorado Bellas who race road.
2) It's lonely in races without teammates.
3) I have a few friends who invited me to join Velo-One.
4) They're a great group of folks who get together for lotsa socializing, even off the bike.
LIKE SNOWSHOEING! Well, cross country skiing, really.

Two weeks ago, two team members, Stacy and Ruth, organized a cross country ski trip, but since I don't have cross country skiis....I snowshoed.
I met the group at a great little coffee shop, Starry Night, in Ft. Collins in the morning, and we carpooled west through Poudre Canyon on Route 14.
When we left Ft. Collins, it was only slightly overcast, with no sign of snow on the ground or elsewhere. As the cars climbed further into the canyon, though, eventually it was snowing and completely socked in. When we arrived at the Zimmerman Lake Trailhead just over an hour after we left town, the snow was really coming down, and it was W-I-N-D-Y. Of course,
But, everyone assured me that most of the trail we'd be on would be in the trees, so it'd be pleasant. And they weren't kidding. Well, only slightly.
Here I am at the trailhead.
Don't you like my cute little wool hat and my new jacket? Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Er, I mean, thanks, Santa...
And a nice Ski Patrol-dude took this photo of all of us before we headed out...
Heading up the trail....
Ruth, an incredibly strong rider (you should see her climb), is also great on skiis.
Here we momentarily lost the trail due to the rapidly falling snow and the wind -- and we'd inadvertantly followed the tracks of a group of Ski Patrol who were headed out to camp for the night -- but Ruth and Catherine led us back to the right trail.
Ruth has dark hair and is not wearing a hat here.

Stacy and Catherine are clearly hating this adventure... are me and Ruth.
The way up to Zimmerman Lake (and it was almost all UP) was in the trees most of the way, but once to the lake, we were in the open, and it quickly became very cold
with wild snow flurries.
Jeremiah Johnson and Jedediah Smith ain't got nothin' on us!
I hope you don't have to be from the Eastern Sierras to get that...
We'd intended to go all the way around the lake, but when the wind got to be too much, we simply headed back to the shelter of the trees, and made our way back down to the cars.
On the way back, we decided we hadn't had enough, so we all agreed that we'd warm up in the cars, and then drive a mile or two down the road to the Sawmill Trailhead, and do that trail as well. Here, at the beginning of the Sawmill trail, a few folks stopped to wax their skiis, as the fresh snow was sticking to them.
This trail was also beautiful, and much more protected than the Zimmerman Trail.
The way out was completely up -- a great workout again -- and therefore, the way back was all down. I had no trouble keeping up with everyone on the climbing, but on the descent, they quickly left me in the dust/powder.
Hmmm, kind of like when I race...
It was so calm and beautiful, and we all regrouped at the bottom.
Can't wait 'til the next trip!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Christmas Abundance

Drove to California for Christmas, as I needed to get some things out of storage in big brother Jim's sporting goods store's warehouse to bring back to Colorado. Really important things like my trainer, so I can ride my bike in the comfort of my living room while the Colorado weather's raging outside. So, of course, I drove through a little weather on December 20th when I headed West. On the way, spent the night in Fruita with Will and Joanne -- thanks again!
The whole fam was in Bridgeport. Jim and Dad treated us to crawfish that they'd ordered from Mississippi. Brought back memories of the crawdads that Jim and Bill used to catch in Walker River across from Mom and Dad's house when we were growing up. Just as tastey, too.
Littlest nieces Emma and Lacey looked like this when me and big brother Jim sucked crawfish brains. I'm thinking they're not going to be trying that anytime soon...
Of course, lots of time was spent playing with all four nieces, and this night, Alyssa and Emma enjoyed a tent in the living room. A bit of a static electricity display ensued.
And y'all thought I did pilates to be stronger on the bike...
I stayed with Jim, Missy, and Lacey at their house so that Bill, Cathy, and their three girls could take over Mom and Dad's house. The seasonal pancakes were definitely a perk.
We celebrated Christmas on the 24th since Bill and Cathy had to leave that night, so on the 23rd, we decided to open stockings. The nieces approved.
Abbey and Alyssa surrounded by their stocking booty.
Missy, Lacey, and Jim enjoyed stockings on the couch.
Bill and Emma intent on their loot.
Stockings for Grandpa and Grandma, too.
The adults exchange names for stockings, and all of us pitch in to fill the kids' stockings. Alyssa still loves Spiderman, so I got her these fingerpuppets. Note her red cheeks; that's a Niederer trait, as mom's mom always had those, too. Must be the German in us.
Aaaaahhh....stocking excitement over, Bill helps Emma get ready for bed.
Back at Jim and Missy's the next morning, got this shot of their Christmas tree before heading up to Mom and Dad's for the real festivities. Odd, yes...Missy thought the poor little guy probably always wanted to be a Christmas tree but would never get the chance.
Lacey Joy in her "Christmas Day" outfit, ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa's. She didn't like the hat much, so wouldn't let us get a picture from the front. You get the idea, though.
Told you she didn't like the hat.
Tried to get a shot of all the nieces up at Mom and Dad's, but Lacey would still have none of it. Got Bill and Cathy's girls to cooperate, though, in all their holiday finery.
Of course, it's not all serious-ness...
And then it was time for presents.
Who got Dad the tp?!!
The latest biker chick in the family!
Alyssa enjoys a gift from Grandma and Grandpa.
Bill and Cathy got Lacey a little rocking!
Abbey and Alyssa try out Emma's new wheels.
A Reid tradition -- catching z's after gifts are opened.
And another Reid tradition -- prime rib
and Yorkshire Pudding for dinner.
Mom outdid herself yet again.
And my Christmas tradition --
taking a pic with all the nieces.
Bill, Cathy, and their girls left right after this. On Christmas Day, we had leftovers, and Lacey showed me "squishy face."
Jim and Lacey have a new little game...

...yet another adrenaline junkie is born.
On the 27th, I headed back to Colorado and spent a few days with friends Carla and Daniel along the way in Spring Creek, Nevada (outside Elko). Carla trains horses, and this is one of her beauties.
I had intended on leaving Spring Creek on the 29th for the final miles to Boulder, but stayed until the 30th thinking that I'd miss the worst of a storm that stretched across Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. I made it about 7 hours into the drive before having to hole up in Evanston, Wyoming for the night because I-80 was closed there due to storm conditions. Finally made it back to Boulder on the 31st at 6:00 p.m. after crossing Wyoming in a raging wind storm. Happy New Year!