Getting Back in the Saddle

In between moving, looking for a job, and exploring my new outdoor playground, there hasn’t been much time to sit down and write. Not the worst problem to have, but a snowy day is a much needed respite because my body could use a break after all the running around I’ve had in the past few weeks. It seems as though everything fun started happening all at once this month–a handful of sunny spring days on skis, my first rock climbs in approximately a year, as well as some very tentative first mountain bike rides since my injury in mid-October. Road rides too, enjoying the bike path and some relatively quiet roads here on the south shore of Tahoe. All of these things are very promising, but I’m not sure if I’ll be in racing shape by early June for the first race in the California Enduro Series at Peavine Mountain just over a month away. Nor am I sure if I’ll have a bike to race by then; my only mountain bike at the moment is my trusty old hardtail single speed, which in any other year I would be tempted try an enduro race on anyhow, but in my current state would probably DNF given less than a month to get in gear. I may go to the Fears, Tears, and Beers in mid-June and race the sport class just for fun, since I have wanted to try that race for several years now, but we shall see.

Meadow pedal, and discovering an old barn 🙂
Rock climbing right over there!

However, this brings me to some rather exciting news: thanks to Facebook I was able to reconnect with a childhood friend who has gotten into designing and building bicycles in his machine shop near where I grew up in Washington. He has just built and taken some rides on his first frame, and it sounds like a success so far. Him needing some good test riders, and myself needing a bike, this is a perfect opportunity to help a friend out for both of us. I’ll still have to scrounge parts to build up the frame, but it will be so RAD to ride a bike hand built by a friend and hopefully get his still-unnamed company some publicity when I start winning races (at least that’s the plan). It may not be done by next month, but that may be better in the long run so I can forget about racing for a while longer and work on building more fitness to avoid an embarrassing re-entry into racing.
The other exciting announcement I have is being chosen as an ambassador for Dirty Jane, an online retailer for women’s mountain bike gear that has been tested and approved by female shredders. It’s sometimes hard to find clothing and body armor that actually fits us, so being able to find it all in one place is pretty neat. Dirty Jane’s mission is to build an active, helpful community of women riders to provide inspiration and grow participation in mountain biking, and I am happy to add my knowledge and skills!

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