12.15.2013

Just Busta' Move (or a Wrist…)

The Annual Epic Ride - way better than any department holiday party. Just a great group of rad employees who are genuinely invested in ripping on mountain bikes. This was my third year participating in the ride - I swear every year it gets better and better (perhaps because I become more acquainted with the trail).
Pre-ride get together

So he thinks….

Get in the VAN! 

We always start at an ungodly early hour for December. Sometimes we climb the hard way, other times we take the easy climb. There is anywhere from 15 - 30 riders. The importance of learning knowing how to properly layer is ever so important - especially this year…we hit 38 degrees, ice and thick frost (which is unheard of in Orange County). The invention level is always insane.

Trollin through the ice (photo: Blick)
On the climb there are 2 stopping points. 4-corners, and the top of Joplin. No matter what it is always freezing in these two places. This year was no different.

The best ride snack. YUM!

Smile & Inversion
Every year there is always me and a zagillion other dudes. Luckily, for the last 2 years Anneke Beerten has joined. Talk about a talented rider…

From a few weekends ago...
The dirt was epic again. All of this rain has really done wonders for the trails - I decided to take it "easy" since my riding partner in crime declined from the ride. All for one, and one for all. 

I guess you could say I am notorious for wrist injuries. Why? I literally have no clue - bad luck maybe…BUT on the easiest section of the trail I caught my front wheel and landed all crazy off a baby 2 foot drop. Of course, I ended up putting my wrist down weird…and now it is all messed up. Surprise…
So, after some icing, ibuprofen-ing, taping and x-raying I am semi back to normal. Still waiting on the final consensus… Tried riding a few times and it was an epic failure - not solely because of my wrist but also because I just purchased Speedplay pedals and they are not working with my new road shoes - perhaps it is a blessing in disguise. So…lots of trail running for the time being…

Can't wait until next year - hopefully I will be on a 5-inch bike by then. Just a thought...

Sending Love,

Xx

Cheerio Gents!

About a month ago I did one of the craziest things I have ever done…the Rapha Gentlemen's Race. It was 103 miles, and about 14,000 feet of climbing. It was intense, and honestly one of the best days on a bike I have ever experienced. Since the ride, every time I get on my bike I get excited thinking about the next Gentlemen's ride or extra super duper long endurance race…call me crazy…

You can find the Rapha write-up of our adventure, by clicking here.

Climb on. (props to Rapha

The Boys Club + Me. Wheelies for days (props to Rapha
Rapha did a fantastic job putting together a video of our journey…with a cameo of this girl!



….Okay, so I may or may not have watched the video on replay for a solid 2 hours. Talk about magnificent product placement for both Rapha and Oakley!

Honestly, this was one of the most amazing days on a bike ever - I was able to ride in a very dynamic team - the importance of nutrition was quickly established - carrying spare parts turned into a bike puzzle (what fits where) - and the beer at the end was well deserved. I wouldn't have traded anything for the day I spend in the saddle on November 9th.

Sending Love,

Xx

12.01.2013

48-Hours to Live || Orange County Pedalfest

Holy cow, November has flown by! Have I mentioned that I LOVE bikes? Once again, I was on a roll with blogging and then it came to a screeching halt. Maybe because I was super duper busy?

  • Rapha Gentlemen's Race
  • My Birthday 
  • Riding with Cavendish
  • Annual Thanksgiving Ride, AND cooking a dinner for 3 plus a dog
  • Mom's Birthday
I swear, there was something going on almost every weekend. This is how I should be spending my 20 somethings…

I believe we last left off with the Gentlemen's Race. It is probably easier for me to share pictures than babble, so…enjoy! 

Started brainstorming on a new bike. Clearly, my friend that is an engineer walked me through this… 

The best ride snack ever. I could eat Starburst for daysssssss
The only photo that I have from my birthday. A group of my fellow ride homies got together and celebrated the big 2-7  with brunch and endless schooners. So much fun!
Road soda or Rode hard for this soda? On 100 mile Saturday's,  I never feel guilty about what I consume. 
Checked out this awesome little place in Santa Ana, The Grilled Cheese Spot, the food was amazing!
Spence and I spilt two of their specials, and a basket of O-rings. Let's just say we both rolled out of there… 

Had the pleasure of riding with Mark Cavendish, this was one of the most memorable ride days I've had…right next to the Gentlemen's Race & Downieville Classic (yes, I did just compare riding with Cav to Downieville)

Post Ride smiles. 

Swung by Fizik North America on Friday, walked out with a fresh pair of road shoes. 

Went to Los Angeles, and hung out with some old friends. Why, yes I am sporting Leather & Camo. 

Romped around on mountain bikes with some fast chicks…on San Juan…right after it rained. 
Once again, I had the pleasure of riding with Cav. 

Riding with friends is SO much better. 

Then, I hung with The Boys Club and rode some gnarly downhill on my little 3" XC bike. 

I've been consulting the Magic 8-Ball a lot lately 

#LunchTimeEscape

We got a new toy in our house. I have no clue how to use it. 

Thanksgiving was celebrated with the annual road bike & coffee ride. We only made it 88 because I need to get back to my turkey. Such a wonderful day! 

The best turn in Orange County  
My Thanksgiving Guests. Gus, Henry & Spencer. 

Popped open a nice bottle of wine and dove right in.
Bacon/Bourbon Turkey, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Brown Butter Pecan Green Beans, Creamy Fennel Casserole, Honey Dijion Brussel Sprouts. Yum, full! 

Glamor Shots by Liz 

Went bowling on Friday. Did I mention I kicked ass?

San Juan Saturday's with The Boys Club. 
So - life has been pretty rad. 
The sit-up and push-up challenge starts again tonight (right after I finish my glass of wine).

Sending Love from SoCal. Xx

11.17.2013

Ipsy Box #1 | November

So, Ipsy is another $10 subscription bag that for some reason I think I need. Ispy is more makeup focused than BirchBox - in the makeup world I am trying to branch out and try new products…let's face it red lip stick and black smokey eyes all the time gets old. So, finally after 2 months of waiting (and almost canceling) I finally was given a subscription.
Instead of being delivered in a cute little box like Birch - Ispy is delivered in a makeup bag…changing depending on the theme every month. So, I am pretty pumped on the baggy…gold snake skin! YES! Note: I already have enough makeup bags around my house to give one to every single person on my block - however - I keep finding myself piling more and more into our house. Strange addiction. This months Ipsy theme was GLAM IT UP (hence the gold snake skin bag and the goodies inside of it). I am  super pumped that everything in the bag was a full size sample, totally worth the $10.

Be a Bombshell - Lip Crayon in Hot Damn, $14.00
 Just wore this out to brunch with my girlfriend Katie. I loved it - it was a good color, it was light and didn't smudge. I do wish it would have lasted longer (then again I was eating…what can you expect?). Really look forward to flaunting this more often.
BH Cosmetics - Galaxy Chic  Baked Eyeshadow in Neptune, $ various
Since I had brown eyes I have always been told to use blues and purples for eye shadow. I completely object to this idea..well..until I got this blue and then I mixed it with a little bit of black and it all the sudden became a shade I will wear. Oh, and if you look close enough in the photo above, you can get 20% off on BH Cosmetics using the code above.  
Pixie -  Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, $18.00
I dig all bronzers and blush.  I received the Subtly Suntouched which has been a good winter/fall time bronzer. Perfect timing too…I had just accidentally dropped my last bronzer and it is crumbling all over the place making a gigantic mess. The color I received has a very subtle simmer to it, and doesn't make me feel like I belong on the Jersey Shore.

Starlooks - Gem Eye Pencil in Topaz, $14.00
 I am a newbie to the makeup scene I guess…I haven't quiet grasped how I am supposed to use this bad  boy. However, the color is cool…I am sure that I will be able to get fancy with this next time I am gearing up for a night out on the town with the ladies.

EM Michelle Phan - Lash Gallery Dramatic Volume Mascara in Black, $20.00
 Conveniently, I had just ran out of  mascara - this couldn't had arrived at a much better time. This stuff goes on really smoothly - the brush doesn't get a bunch of guck on it. This might sound weird, but, it also smells good? Errrmmmmm… With two layers of this mascara I am ready to go.

Nailtini - Nail Lacquer in Champagne, $13.00
Did you read my previous blog about my November BirchBox? Remember I said I received the same exact color in my Ipsy? See…told you! I used this one when I last painted my nails. Super happy with the results - plus it has lasted without chipping for almost 4 nails (this includes a few rough days on the bike). I hope that I get my Nailtini samples in the future to feed my nail polish addiction…


So, overall thoughts of my first Ipsy? Happy. Looking forward to the next bag to see what other goods come my way and figure out if this subscription is worth it or not…

Sending Love,
Xx

Birchbox # 3 || November

You know what is a bummer? When there is a national holiday and the post office is closed on the day you think your Birchbox is going to arrive. ha! I decided I am going to stop tracking my subscription boxes just so I stop getting let down when I come from from work and don't see it sitting on the table.
So, my November BirchBox finally arrived (on the same day as my Ipsy - that is worthy of a different post). This time I did not immediately rip into the box, I actually went and started to make dinner and then eventually got to opening the box.
This months theme was More Good aka getting ready for holiday season (deep breath, are the holidays already here?!?). This months box contained the following:

Chella - Highlighter Pencil, $18.00
This little highlighter has actually been pretty useful for lighting up the smokey eye - eye shadow that I like to do. I haven't used it for the suggested purposes of blending into brow bones, cheekbones and along lip yet…
Color Club - Cocktail Hour Collection, $8.00
Oddly enough, my Ispy came with the exact same color from a different brand. I really like this color - it is nice and subtle - these days I am into the neutral colored nail polishes rather than the loud/bright ones. What is this world coming to?!?! ha!
Ghiradelli Chocolate Bar - Mint Chocolate Flavor, $N/A
This was an add into the box this month. Let's just say I was STOKED to see some chocolate in there - I love Ghiradelli, I am a sucker for buying the truffles that are merchandised at checkout lines in the store…honestly, who doesn't do that though?
Juicy Couture - Viva La Juicy Noir, $90 for 3.4 oz. 
Not a huge Juicy fan. It reminds me of two things: 1 being 16 year old girls and the other being the Glendale Galleria. Samples like this come in really handy when it comes to keeping a coverup scent in the car (aka, after I go riding and need to mask that). Okay, so I admit I did once own a bottle of Juicy perfume - I was also 18 and a sorority girl.
LA FRESH - Oil Free FAce Cleanser /Scented, $9.99
 I haven't had the chance to use this year. Like all face products I am slightly tentative since it has to do with my face and sensitive skin. There is nothing worse that walking around with a giant something on your face because you switched products - I like to stick to the basics aka Witch Hazel and water. I will admit at I did really enjoy the sample of Egyptian Magic that I received back in my September box.
Tiossan - Body Cream, $38.00
I haven't had a chance to use this yet. It is so darn dry here that my body just sucks up lotion - so I tend to go for more inexpensive stuff (that I can buy in bulk sizes at Target) since I go through so much of it. I absolutely love the packaging of this - and the smell of the cream isn't horrible either. Who knows, maybe I will finally find a cream that I can't live without…

Overall, I am pretty happy with this box - really looking forward to the December box.

Sending Love, Xx

11.13.2013

48-Hours to Live :: 2013 Rapha Gentlemen's Ride, LA Edition

This last weekend was a big weekend for me, on Saturday I participated in the Rapha Gentlemen's Race (Check out #RGR on Instagram). So, I would like to preface this blog with saying it is really hard to put into words the experience that I had during this race/ride - it was literally the BEST DAY EVER. Also, I like to ramble…

To start it off, a big huge props to the handful of women who stepped up to the plate and showed everyone that gentlemen's rides are not just for gentlemen. It was awesome to see a group of badass chicks enduring this course just as well…if not better…than the dudes. It was extremely inspirational to see you out there.  Way to go!!! 

During the first week of October I received an e-mail from a fellow co-work (whom, I must mention is a totally badass), asking if I was interested in doing something called the Gentlemen's ride, I naively answered with a quick YES! I had no clue what it was, but, it had to do with bikes and riding up hill so I was instantly in.

After a weekend out in the desert doing my crazy little mountain biker thing at Rampage, it was time to get serious. It was time to trade in the baggies, for some spandex...Time to start riding my butt off (literally). Every moment I could get out on my road bike, I was out there. Saturdays started to consist of walking up - coffee - carbs - 100 miles - more carbs - stretch - sleep. I will admit, it was pretty rad to jump on my bike and just go; nothing to worry about (with the exception of making it home). Truth be told, I am looking forward to 100 this Saturday - no, I am not just stoping because the ride is over, I want to do more RGR's sooooo badly. It was getting down to the wire, I went out on my last weekend 100 and had a really crumby day on the bike - I felt completely defeated and I am sure my teammates were questioning my skills (this event is comprised of a 6 person team - this six person team happened to be made out of 5 extremely strong and talented male riders and me!) - after a few days off the bike, and a lot of soft pedaling on the days I did ride I was as ready as I could be. T-minus one week to take off, I would walk the halls at work and people would say Are you ready? I would try to confidently answer back YES but that was only a facade; every time the ride was brought  up my heart would flutter with anxiety. Let's just say I was told I was off my rocker more than once while training for this - my response? At least I'm not normal! 

Life just got easier thanks to Blick & the boys at Surf City Cyclery

They say never change anything on your bike the day before a race, well, that is not applicable to me...
One last pre-ride with the boys. 
Earlier in the week we had changed my 9 speed / 23 cassette to a 9 speed / 27 cassette (thank goodness!). By Friday I had a fresh set of rubber, a new chain, more spare tubes & CO2 cartiridges than a bike shop, a box full of Hammer Nutrition products, a box of waffles, a kick ass pair of Oakley Radarlocks, 2 bottles of grape flavored Pedialyte, and a small dose of anxiety mixed with a shot of nerves, and some freshly painted finger nails.

Breakfast of Champions. 
Saturday morning snuck up on me a lot faster than expected. I found myself getting all Rachel Ray in the kitchen at 4:30 in the morning. Fresh coffee, a few waffles, a few eggs…a tamale? While reading the news and listening to jams...Why not! I fashionably rolled out of the door promptly at 6:15 with one of my team members/ bike to work colleagues. After finally succumbing to Siri's directions we made it to Gold Road Brewing aka the primary colors buildings in Glendale, CA. The street was lined with cars and people on bikes flew back and forth down the center of the road - the common meeting spot ended up being the Porta Loos. For some reason I thought that 45 minutes would be ample time for getting ready…well…try riding a small bike frame and trying to fit 3 spare tubes with a saddle pack on there, and food for an 8 hour ride in a two pocket jersey along with a pump. It was like doing a puzzle, too earlier for this! After almost missing my teams start because I had failed to put air in my tires the night before and was busy shoving one last waffle in my mouth...we were off (on time too! I am only a disaster half the time).



We bobbed and weaved throughout Glendale and up towards the mountains. I kept looking up to the terrain that laid ahead thinking, that is where our cue card is taking us... About 4 days before the race I learned that the course would consist of a hefty dirt portion (which I was fine with), 14,000 feet of climbing ( umm were they secretly flying us to the base of a 14er in Colorado?) all over 100ish miles. This was also a self-service ride…yes, that means you carry your own crap (luckily Bike Effect had set up a few support stations just before & after the most grueling section of the race aka the dirt). We hit the Angeles National Forest signs and it only meant one thing: Go Time - legs don't fail me now! As we started to follow the road up I knew that these little legs were going to be just fine, I was jamming and so was the rest of the team. By the time we hit the dirt I was so excited! The morale was high, and we were ready to rally…dirt is my thing. I have also come to the conclusion that my brain was turned off half of the time.

The Gents & I

Have you ever tried to climb some skinny tires up a non-maintained dirt road? Try it sometime…you are in for a good time. Chances are your bike handled skills will become exponentially better. You will quickly learn you can no longer depend on climbing out of your saddle, you don't have dependable knobbies for traction. Chances are you are digging for gears that no longer exist, trying to figure out how to make the strain easier. I would compare some parts of the course like riding your bike on the beach: sand and soft spots everywhere with softball sizes rocks scattered all around - honestly, that was part of the fun. The last communication e-mail we received from Rapha said simply this: The paved section behind the gate is technically paved, but the mountain roads in Peru are in better shape. Now, I haven't ever been to Peru, but, when I read this I had a feeling that there would be potholes larger enough for me to fit in- I was right. Tip: it's easier to go into technical stuff with speed instead of approaching it slow, that is a little mountain bike trick I have - perhaps it is just because I am young and dumb. At one point I told a teammate that I was more comfortable on the dirt than I was riding the white line on the side of the road.
Let's face it, it was only a matter of time before the team started flatting on this type of terrain it was inevitable…good thing we were prepared for this because it did not happen just once, but about 5 times. At one point, I knew my legs couldn't stand still much longer so I left the boys to dabble with their tire/tube issue. Because of our mechanical stops it had almost become a game of cat and mouse with some of the other teams. Like I said, I took off and planned on meeting everyone at the top of the climb...quickly found my pace and started going - Up, Up and Away! I had a few extra boosts of confidence when I would pass/catch up to teams of guys and hear that I was crushing it - honestly, thank you for boosting my ego that day and make me keep charging. I also want to thank the team who offered me a shot of whiskey...tempting...but I am glad I stuck to water. It seemed like around every corner there was another surprise climb, the view was insane, the lack of oxygen was real at 6K feet - hard to actually believe that you were in Los Angeles. I wish I would have been able to get more photos, but, I was nervous my phone might die and I wanted it for safety reasons…let's just say my Instagram (@ereederreadsanereader) feed is lacking.

I found this on the inter web from the ride, I got to take in this view all day. NBD. 

Rolling. 
Aside from riding the dirt the second best part of this ride was the decent. Go try it for yourself sometime…fresh pavement, flowy turns you could layover and not need to touch the brakes. Gosh, I wish I had another 20 lbs on me to shoot me down the road just a tad faster. I will leave it at that, I don't want you to drool on your keyboard…

Coco-cola, generally not in the top things I consume. Actually, I don't think I had touched a coke since I stopped racing a few years ago. Well, the one that I had around mile 70 had never tasted so good. Seriously…

Saturday was a true test of skill, stamina and team dynamic. I am happy to say that our team finished together right before the sun started to set. I am so proud of everyone who took on this challenge. One word: Rockstars! We were welcomed back by a crew sipping on craft beers, which we quickly joined and watched the other teams roll in. Still waiting on the official results, and hopefully a rad little flick and some photos.

Ride Stats

  • 103 miles
  • 13,907 ft
  • 7 hours 43 minutes moving time


High-five!

Sending Love from SoCal. Xx