Time, Bike, Karen – all flying by!

I promised to update my blog awhile ago, but have been caught up in preparation efforts.  I promise to be more diligent once I get rolling.

48 hours until the start of the 2014 Woman Tours Southern Tier Cross Country adventure.  I am currently aboard Southwest about an hour outside of San Diego!  Amazing  – they corral you like sheep, but you can access the internet so I guess it makes it better somehow.

Bike Fit

I consider myself somewhat of a novice when it comes to cycling, and I have been looking for a bike shop that wasn’t trying to sell me a bike that didn’t fit my needs, or run by salespeople who did not know how to talk to a crazy woman who just got off the couch 4 years ago and wanted to start cycling for fun and fitness, not for performance or racing.  I was pleased to hook up with the folks at Papa Wheelies in Portsmouth and they have been great to work with.  I made a few changes to my bike this fall to prepare me for multiple day, extended mileage and a number of climbs with the hope to recover each day and make it 3100+ miles.   In addition to a new cassette – which gives me a lower gear for climbing, I had new tires put on — they are a bit more rugged than typical road tires and hopefully will help save me from a few tire changes.

I also had a full bike fitting – which was fascinating.  The entire process took over 2 hours and Josh put me through a number of tests and assessments.   It was fun (?) to lay on a massage table in the middle of the bike shop surrounded by bikes left, right, center and from ceiling as he checked my leg resistance  and alignment from several different “poses”.  Nothing like laying on your side with your generous ham hock in the air mid aisle for all the world to see.  I brought Sweet Ruby in and we put  her on the trainer and he measured, and scoped and even used a laser level to view my alignment.  Another tool was the use of a video camera -where he collected footage when I first arrived and then after we made adjustments.    It was an investment for sure, but one which I hope will continue to pay off by providing comfort, and good form that will minimize injuries over time.

Papa Wheelies also assisted in packing and shipping the bike to San Diego through a company called Bike Flights. $70 bucks to ship her across country to Bernie’s Bike Shop- no internet for Sweet Ruby. She will be reassembled and we will be reunited tomorrow for a bit of a shake down ride before we roll out on Friday.

Josh modifying handlebars for the best fit

Josh modifying handlebars for the best fit

Sweet Ruby ready for her check up

Sweet Ruby ready for her check up

Karen Fit

I finished up with Charlene, my personal trainer on Tuesday.  The last several months working with her has helped me to make the best of work that I do not enjoy, or am not a natural at or gifted. Please note that I once fell off the sidewalk on a walking fieldtrip and wrecked my ankle, not to mention the famous Broken Nose by softball incident in 8th grade.    Charlene made sweating fun – and I have not said that in awhile.. wink wink.   I hope all of our work will pay off and give me the strength that I need to make it up a few of those climbs.  I am built for the descent – gravity is my friend on the downhill.   But like any great reward, you have to do the hard work first, to reap the rewards.

Multiple Send Off’s, Generous Village, Overwhelmed by it all.

Over the last few weeks, I have gained a glimmer of insight into what it must be to be a rock star on their  final tour.   I promise that this is not my final tour, and I will return!   First, the send off by Joanne and Kathy that included an auction fundraiser for Make-A-Wish — WOW !  Thanks to all that shared in that day – those who donated goods and services, and to the “village people” who bought stuff they likely did not need, for twice the price!   Great job by our young, professional auctioneer, Dan Chute.  It is so great to give someone an opportunity to show their stuff – nice work Dan!     Second send off was just Saturday night, and I admittedly had to recover from a tequila shot or two that found its way down my gullet… so much for all that training… I blame Paul O.    I was so happy to see so many old friends and I thank all of you for your support.  Can someone let me know if Darren Ball ever made it out of that corner – he arrived, staked his claim in the corner and never seemed to leave his spot.

Crowd packed in at The Tomko's

Crowd packed in at The Tomko’s

We make wishes auction. So much fun

We make wishes auction. So much fun

Product and services from many generous donors

Product and services from many generous donors

What struck me about both events is that I am so fortunate to have lived these 50 years with so many wonderful people.  All aspects of my life have been represented, not just at the send off’s- but with calls, posts, cards and hugs.  Grade School, Junior High, High School, Travel era, Payments era, Real Estate era, Twisted Sistahs, and so much  more.   My heart is full with love and gratitude to all of you, especially my sisters, Kathy and Joanne for their unwavering faith in me and love.

Alright – time to power down to land in San Diego – and the weather looks to be a hell of a lot better than home !



4 thoughts on “Time, Bike, Karen – all flying by!

  1. Happy landing in CA and a great read as always Karen. The first of many I am sure, travel safe my friend and know so many respect and admire what you are doing on this glorious journey.

  2. Praying for a happy and safe journey for all of you and, again, Mom said “have them all stop by here (at her house) and I will by them ALL lunch.” and she would. She has not changed a bit. She is a saint and would LOVE to see you Karen.

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