7.24.2014

2014 Rapha #Womens100

Bikes are an amazing adventure. 
When you love them, they love you back. 
My bike is the most trustworthy relationship I have. 


On July 20th - 7, 680 women across the world were united by one thing: bikes. All of these women pledged to ride 100 km (roughly 65 miles). Some women were new to the sport, some women were seasoned veterans. The mission: create awareness for women's cycling. The #Womens100 is an movement that Rapha, has lead the charge on. 5-months ago, during The Calling, I learned exactly what the 100 was - one of my girlfriends had previously mentioned it to me, but, we never committed to it. To tell you the honest to god truth - I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to hang - I quickly backed away from the idea of riding 65 miles. I told myself (and my friend Katie) that we would do it next year. 

Next year came, this year I knew that I had no excuses - and had some responsibility too. I needed to inspire women to get out there and pedal. I will admit, I had no clue where to start - generally I play a game of chase the boys - but being brought together with a core group of women at The Calling was truly inspirational. We were given the opportunity to bounce ideas off each other and to chat over the months building up to the event. 

I was given the wonderful opportunity to work with the eccentric people of Bike Effect. The energy that Alison expels can make anyone excited. Every time I clip-clop into the store there is always a warm welcome, bright smiles and a hug - Bike Effect is full of passion, obsession and excitement towards cycling. 


Sunday was an early morning. Like I have done many mornings in a row, I rose in Laguna just as the sun was coming up and the inversion was still low. The smell of the ocean was intense, and the condensation hit you like a brick wall as soon as the door was opened. All I could think was: please let it be a nice day! The drive up to LA was rough - it was one of those days were it didn't seem like there was enough coffee in the world - but - as the sun started to peek out of the clouds as I approached Santa Monica, my heart started to flutter and the excitement started to build. Today was the day - the #Womens100 was finally here! As if the day couldn't get any better...I got an upfront parking spot :) And, there was Alison - bright and bubbly as could be...with donuts. Am I dreaming? The women started to fill up the sidewalk and shop - the energy was insane. It was so wonderful to see how many ladies were committed to this ride. As we rolled down the PCH I had the opportunity to talk with many of these beautiful individuals and learn their amazing stories of cycling and how it has impacted them, and their passion for the sport. 

My lovely fellow ambassador Kelton Wright, and I decided that we would each lead a separate ride. One full of climbing...which I took on (see my link below to see the route) - and one that was slightly longer and would be at a much more enjoyable pace. Kelton always has an open ear, and is my relationship question go-to. What she has to say and the guidance she provides means oodles to me. Kelton is a true inspiration, when I first met her at The Calling - she had only been riding a road bike for 18-months, mainly for commuting purposes too. If I am not mistaken, her first time on clip-in pedals was our first day at camp. To see how she has improved, and grown to love cycling is absolutely amazing.  Kelton has an amazing blog, where she tells her cycling tales - if you want to put a smile on your face, go check out her blog. 

Jenn, who has started Machines for Freedom, was another great and inspirational person to pedal with. She is an extremely STRONG rider, and is dedicated to making a difference in women's cycling. Jenn is trying to pave the way for the perfect women's cycling clothing - you can currently purchase caps and bidons from her site. I think that Machines for Freedom has a very bright future - and I can wait to watch them grow and hear all about the adventures to come. 

Tracy Chandler, my gosh, this girl can ride! Rarely to I come across other women who like to push it up climbs and still chit-chat the entire time. She has become my on the bike/gossip/boyfriend advice confidant. Tracy just got back from a Fireflies tour in Europe, where she had the opportunity/challenge to climb some of the most amazing mountains the Alps have to offer. 


Last but certainly the not least, the most inspirational person that came out on the ride was Lucie. Over the last few months that I have been poking around Bike Effect I had noticed a quite younger girl.  Always sporting a big ole' smile and riding right by the side of her dad. It reminded me of my first few years on a bike - the dad training program. Finally, during the Women's 100 we had a proper introduction and I learned that Lucie was just 14 years old and training a few days a week to do the 550-fireflies ride in September. Let's be honest, she is a true inspiration - She is my hero. Looking back on my youth,  wish I would have found road biking at the young of an age. 

Our ride went through Malibu canyon, to Rockstore, then down Mulholland back to Santa Monica to end at Bike Effect. We past plenty of other women out on bikes that day, which brought a gigantic smile to my face. We were so lucky to have a handful of gentlemen there to assist through the small issues that we encounters...like flat tires. We were even more lucky to have Alison out on Mulholland and Decker waiting for us with rice cakes, water and other delicious treats. 


The #Womens100 is a day that I will never forget. I am extremely honored that I was able to spend it with some of the most influential and inspiring women on bikes. After seeing so many women united by bikes it inspired me to push the movement of women in cycling even further, and promote it even harder. There is absolutely nothing that a girl can't do...

For those of you who did complete the #Womend100, don't forget to register to receive a roundel, click here.



Sending Love from SoCal - time to gear up for the Rapha Gentlemen's Race in Boulder - keep track of the adventure (and the many more to come) by following me on Instagram: @ereederreadsanereader

Xx



7.21.2014

Use it & Abuse it: THANK YOU!

One of my favorite phrases, aside from 'at least I am not normal' - is THANK YOU.

It is one of the most simplistic, non-costly gifts you can give a person. You know how they say that smiling is contagious? Well, NEWSFLASH so is saying thank you. When you utter the words you can completely turn someones day around - you are acknowledging them. And, at the end of the day...we all just want to be acknowledged. 

We are human, we thrive off acknowledgement.

Seriously, the only reason we do half the s**t we do is to that other people around us see what we are doing/impress others. How boring would we be if we just sat in our rooms all day and didn't interface with anyone? Let me tell you, I already get bored alone so I can only imagine...no bikes? Yikes! 

The other day, I was interviewed for a new-hire video - one of the pieces of advice I honestly gave was: make baked goods, walk around the office. Hand those cookies, cupcakes, brownies or whatever confection-esque treat you have made out to people and introduce yourself - with a smile. (essentially the same idea as saying thank you, you are acknowledging the person - chances are, sometime down the road they will remember you and another round of thank yous and you're welcomes will be exchanged). Secret of the day: baked goods...well, normally - a strong Microsoft and Adobe skill set around the office tend to help too :)  

I think I have thank you vomit (or perhaps it is just passive-aggressiveness, which is only a new characteristic that I have acquired and to tell you the truth: I don't really like it) - sometimes I just feel like I need to tell the person that I am hanging out with thank you. Most of the time the reaction is funny - the person you are thanking is normally completely thrown off. But, really...why not just randomly thank someone - or - even compliment them?

Today was a perfect example, I received an e-mail from several dynamic women that I spent some time on bikes with over the weekend. Everyone was thanking each other for the company, the skill and technical abilities that we all brought, the energy, the friendships and handwork. It was an amazing chain to read - it was like glitter bursting off the screen. Is this real?!

Send a thank you in the mail...yes, the mail with a stamp - even handwritten. Send a thank you e-mail, or a text...hey, better yet - just call the person! Think about how amazing you feel when someone says thank you to you. If you don't get that warm fuzzy special feeling, maybe you need to slow down and take in what is going on around you.

Trust me, the last thing you want is for someone to do countless efforts of kindness - and then not to be thanked.

With all this being said, thank your for reading my rant. Please remember to tell the people around you and that do stuff for your thank you - it REALLY could just change their day.

Sending Love from SoCal,

Xx

7.16.2014

Thoughts of the day...

"The ego is never satisfied. No matter how much stuff we buy, no matter how many arguments we win or delicious meals we consume, the ego never feels complete" Tolle, expressed in Dan Harris's 10% Happier. 

"Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy. Because many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get the next moment. And image living your whole life like that, where always this moment is never quite right, not good enough because you need to get to the next one. That is continuous stress..." Tolle, expressed in Dan Harris's 10% Happier. 

Here I go reading self help books again...

Xx

7.02.2014

A Word About Adventure

A word about Adventure:

Yesterday I was told I was "half type-A personality; half gypsy". 
I then realized the gypsy in me has been deprived lately; scaling and slithering through the concrete desert of Orange County. Holed up in a room that doesn't feel like home, or playing desk jockey (which is oddly the only comforting thing I can find). 
This gypsy wants adventure, this gypsy wants to feel valuable, find confirmation, and most importantly feel loved. I have not even felt remotely close to myself - no giggles, no bouncing off the walls-full of energy, no interest in a really long ride, no urge to check things of the SoCal Bucket List 2.0. 

So, I have come to the conclusion (with a little help from some very influential folks): 
We cannot let other peoples decisions limit us. They are their decisions. One must not substitute doing, for being. 

With that being said, I let my nervous-searching-for-a-purpose-self come out of its shell today - bought a ticket to the Mid-West in search of something new for the weekend. This will be the essence of a 48-hour adventure - hopefully I will have some good words to share here, time to get budreeder.com rolling again. 

Until then, be smart and safe this weekend. 

Sending Love, 

Xx