2.26.2016

Look Ma' Im Zwifting

So I am sure you are involved in the bike community the slightest bit you have heard about Zwift

If you haven't Zwift is essentially an interactive bike riding video game. Remember Nintendo Wii - circa 2006 ( I was in college)  - people claimed it could keep you healthy + actively in-shape...yeah, okay! Well, Zwift is like a Wii but totally badass and truly active.

The program is run through a few ANT+ pieces, a download, a computer and you on your training pedaling your ass off. Zwift supplies you with an interactive video platform, so you can actually see those around you riding too (in avatar form), gives you status from the day AND can sync to your StravaHmmmm, guess who has been QOM of the day for her last two rides? THIS GIRL!



I have only been Zwift-ing for several sessions now - but - so far it has made a huge difference with winter riding. I will admit I do miss watching my wild animal documentaries and food network shows - however, this program gives you the feeling of REALLY riding your bike.

I may or may not have gotten a little too into the ride yesterday while going for the acclaimed Libby Hill and started to feel my training tip when I tried to power through a corner. Ha! 

Interested in trying Zwift? It is super easy, as long as you have a trainer, and ANT+ Dongle (speed + cadence sensor too) - you can download the program to your computer and ride for free for 14 days or x-amount of kms.

**major plus if you are a premium strava user, because you get TWO-MONTHS free!

Now - go Zwiftly!

2.24.2016

Gee, thanks for the reminder.

I am going to go with the old saying: if I had a dollar for every time....

Since committing to racing Cape Epic back in August of 2015 not a day seems to go by where someone doesn't decide that they have to remind me that I am going to participate in one of the hardest mountain bike marathon races in the world - actually, it is so hard that it is one of the 5 races in the globe that has been categorized as a UCI hors cat├ęgories - basically that means HARD - like really f**king hard. I like hard - well, I hate the thought of it, but, when the time comes and the bullhorn goes off - I am ready.

First, thanks for constantly reminding me of what I (yes, me) personally committed to - like seriously do you think it slipped my mind from the time I went to be last night + this morning? No.


Just so that you get a true gist of the comments I hear - and we will start off with my favorite:

- Are you going to take your bike? ..........
 
- Do you even know how to mountain bike - you're a roadie right? Good one, is this a joke? If you are still wondering what the answer to that is: my background is in mountain biking. 

- Your luggage is going to be SO expensive, flying with a bike is really expensive. Again.......

- Are you in shape?  Well, I am more in shape than a couch potato I know that much. 

-Which lenses are you going to use? Really haven't put an ounce of thought into this year. Hopefully I remember to pack glasses - since that is a common piece of equipment I forget - almost every trip.

- Do you think you'll finish? Are you kidding me, what kind of question is that?! 
 
Are you going on a Safari - just to put a general answer out there, for the 500 times I hear this a day. Gosh, I would love to do this - but don't have any plans so far. 

- I've done a stage race. That's great, I hope you learned a lot about yourself when you did it and you felt very rewarded at the end. 

- You are going to be in so much pain. Like so uncomfortable, I can't even imagine. First, thank you for the reminder - but, have you done this race before? No, then why are you telling me? 

- Those pedals suck. Be ready for them to break. Funny you say that, because I have NEVER had a pair of these pedals break on me...so let's just hope that luck continues. 

- You are going to be SO exhausted after the flight down there. Oh, I am? That's funny - because you and I travel so much together you know how my body handles international travel. 

- There are a lot of poison snakes down there. Again, thanks for the reminder, the photos + the YouTube videos of black mambas. 

- You aren't going to want to look at a bike for a month after the race. Welp, sucks for me because literally a week an a half after I land in the state I have a 200 mile team camp ride to go on. 

- What are you going to do for food, you shouldn't use gel. Are you a nutritionist now? 

- And of course, just one more time: Do you know how sore you're going to be? No, but, I can imagine. And, how would you know?

Ha, okay really you have to admit the questions have to make you laugh a little bit.

Looking forward to sharing other fun experiences with you along the way!

Xx


2.23.2016

The Thrills of Packing

After almost a year of traveling the world, thanks to my job - you'd think I would have this packing thing down...wrong. Actually, today just thinking about all the little gadgets that need to make it into my bag for Cape Epic I basically had a panic attack. It is better to be over prepared, rather than under prepared - right?

Something that folks are constantly reminding me is that we will be in pain - geez thanks, like I forgot. So, when you are being haunted by the constant thought of aches - what else would you do except for make sure that holistically,  you are ready to herbally treat EV-REY-THING. Thanks to our good friend Mia in Chicago we are going to Africa in style with all the Chinese medicines one could dream of (and I am planning on bringing a carry-on worth of ibuprofen, which I understand is not an herbal remedy)!

For those of you interested in what type of mobile medicine cabinet we will be toting around the greater Cape Town area, this post will be your fav! If you are a fellow athlete going, just come knock on our tent door + we will get your sorted.


Arnicare: You guessed it! This stuff is made from Arnica - you don't want to get this sh*t in your eyes. Arnica is said to relieve muscle soreness + aches - it reduces swelling and can take that lovely purplebrown color out of bruises, I have a feeling I will be swimming in this stuff the morning of day-eight.

Narayan Gel: Personally, I am just a fan of how this stuff smells. Narayan gel is also a sore muscle cure. Unlike Arnicare, this topical is made from essential oils. They say it is also acts as a stress relief - like the hippie dippie version of Xanax! 

Ching Wan Hung: is one of the gifts Mia sent to us. Supposedly it smells like sesame oil + can help alleviates small blisters, and burns. These are the unfortunate things that we could encounter on our feet + palms after miles and miles of gyrating on rocks + dirt.

Pain Relieving Patches: I remember being a wee-one in Vermont and my parents using Tiger Balm. Growing up around the balm + loving the pungent smell, it has turned into something that I seldom travel without. Because we are going to be required to move around after the race finish daily (food, blog, massage, meetings, mechanic fixes, etc) I wanted to make sure that if I needed something to say affixed it would...the answer? Patches! Due to my bum wrist I am sure I will be using these a lot.

Mad Alchemy Chamois Cream: This might be the MOST important thing that we are carrying to South Africa. If you are a cyclist you know the importance of chamois cream, and how miserable your day can end up if you forget it. Mad Alchemy is a small body care product company out of Colorado - they believe is making everything pure + natural. Phew!

The Honest Company, Healing Balm: Early on I was given a tip of mixing diaper cream + chamois cream together and using on your golden parts. Thanks to the addition of babies to Adam's family I had a great idea of mixing the two together and then putting in reusable baby food pouches. Healing Balm is an assistance for dry or chaffed skin...let's be real riding a bike isn't all sparkles + unicorns. 

Bao He Wan: This is another amazing Mia gift. This is a remedy for upset stomachs - I will admit that one of my biggest concerns about this endeavor is gut rot (another glorious potential plague of this race). A lot of individuals are said not to finish due to digestive issues from the the amount of sugars + salt loss that your body goes through.

Suan Zao: Sleeping normally isn't an issue for me, just ask Adam. However, put me in a tent that could potentially be surrounded by a family of black mamba, hyenas and other safari animals - I could see nerves keeping me awake - Suan Zao is a Chinese herbal sleep remedy.

Salt Sticks: This is a product that has was invented by an athlete. Salt loss for endurance athletes can be a huge issue - Salt sticks are a quick fix to minimizing cramps, and all the other horrible junk that can come from low electrolyte levels. In the past before big 120+ mile races I chug grape flavored pedialyte like it is going out of style - however, that isn't going to be an option while we are in Africa.

This is just a handful of the stuff we are carrying over with us - as I get deeper into packing I hope to share more info with you!

Sending Love,

Xx

2.22.2016

Epic-ly Epic


Photo by Kevin Scott Batchelor

The days are starting to blur together. I have been trying to squeeze in as much sleep as possible these last few days - I know that my body is going to be screaming for it come half way through the race.

We just had a successful fundraising event over the weekend, thanks to Mosaic Cycles letting us jump in on their event. The excitement was so high, the whiskey was good - and the community support left my heart fluttering as I slipped into bed that night. We also found out that night that I may have a future in raffle + silent auction announcing.

In less than 2-weeks Lentine and I will be hoping on a plane that will take us to a land that neither of us have every visited before. The last minute jitters and to-do lists are growing by the second.

This trip wouldn't be possible with out all the love + support of our friends, families and companies we have partnered with.

My goal is going to be to blog everyday while I am down there - I am saying this now, but on day 5 of the race I don't know if that will be an actuality. So - be sure to check back every now and then to see what we are up to.

A huge thank you to the companies that have given us a helping hand so far - this dream could not have come a reality without you:
Oakley + Trek Bicycles + Nuun + Skoop + Skratch Labs + Coola Suncare + Vermarc + Qhubeka World Bicycle Relief + GoPro + Mad Alchemy + Butter +Rapha + The Athletic Community

If you haven't donated yet, and are still interested we have two different sites you can visit:
 
  1. Our World Bicycle Relief page will be open throughout the race - so you can keep donating those bikes! 
  2. Our Go Fund Me page will close just before the race starts (March 13th). 
Thank you for all of your love!

Xx

2.18.2016

Coming in Hot: Cape Epic

In just 13 short days my teammate Lentine and I will be departing for South Africa. In 23 days, Cape Epic starts. It is crazy how the time has flown by!


Tomorrow night (Friday, 2/19) we have are making our last ditch effort at fundraising in Boulder, Colorado. So: Bike riding, beer guzzling, curry eating, fundraising fanatics in the Denver/Boulder area - THIS FRIDAY come check out the shindig going off at Mosaic Cycles - where you can see some of their sweetest bike builds before they head to NAHBS along with, Skratch Labs + the Little Curry Shop's Biju will be cooking up some mean grub. Ohhhh, and there will be a fundraiser and silent auction for Team Epic Everyday - aka myself + Lentine. The fun starts at 530. 

Stay tuned to budreeder.com as I will be giving daily reports of how things are going in Cape Town - and hopefully filling your bellies with laugher along the way! 

If you haven't followed us yet, make sure you do: @epiceveryday@ereederreadsanereader + @LentineAlexis

Sending love + a touch of nervousness - 

Xx