Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Hobbit Feet

Yes, I am alive. I have forgotten to blog because, well, some days I don't sit down and it's hard to blog standing up. It might not be if I had a standing desk but I don't. So I blog on the couch.

Since our big snowmobile trip life has been quite exciting. We dog sat. Somehow I managed to turn a golden retriever into a vicious attack dog in three days. Not that Eddie wasn't able to charm her after she tried valiantly to keep him away from me when he came home dressed in bike clothes. (Bike clothes are apparently terrifying to dogs!)

I took the trophy to Red Squirrel's big 5-0 party. We had to pose for pics since he was the first winner of the trophy.
Somehow the trophy ended up in my nose.
What do you expect after a few drinks?

I don't have a picture because I figured busting out the phone for this moment would be weird, but I was elected a delegate for my area and I get to go the the Republican MN state convention. Yes, I realize they would never have elected me had they seen the above picture. What they don't know won't kill them.

I made Easter dessert and it didn't suck. Big E even said it was better than the first time I made it for Pop. (Sorry Pop, I'll have to give it another go for you.)

Somewhere in there I also moved out of my office and began getting my new one ready. I have three more days to make this into a massage room.

Anything is possible with a little drywall tape, joint compound and paint. Oh yes, and carpet. I will learn how to lay carpet in the oddest shaped room on the planet. I've always been geometry challenged so this should be exciting.

I also finally shaved my hobbit feet.
I know. Miracles do happen. You're welcome, Big E. Now that I have girlified my feet for you I expect nightly foot rubs.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hot Tubs and Snowmobiles

You'd think at the age of 44 there wouldn't be that many new things for me to try. However, considering that I didn't grow up around a wide variety motorized vehicles and Big E is a lover of all things with wheels, I'm beginning to think the opportunities for me to try something new and fast are never-ending.

What started as a "fishing weekend" at the Grand Ely Lodge (which I won in a raffle) quickly turned into a snowmobile weekend when we learned that the ice houses had to be brought in due to slush. Believe it or not, even though I grew up in the great white north, I'd never actually driven a snowmobile so Big E jumped at the chance to borrow a buddy's sled and loan me his to scare the crap out of myself for a weekend.

After a slippery drive in what just might prove to be the last snow of the season, we arrived at our hot tub suite (courtesy of my winning ticket) late Friday afternoon.
I conquered my fear of driving on frozen lakes while simultaneously learning to drive a snowmobile in the dark with Big E on the back. Of course, I learned later that the sense of security I felt with him on the back was actually more like a false sense. According to him, had I missed a corner, there probably wasn't much he could've done. What can I say? Sometimes a false sense of security is all I need to push myself. Not that I really went all that fast in the dark.

We hit the trails again the next day, me trailing behind gradually gaining confidence as the day went on and I didn't crash into any trees...or buildings. I learned a few things in the process:

1- A snowmobile is not like a bike. You have to keep the gas on on the downhills or you'll stop. Duh.

2- I can go 60...but Big E can go 100.

3- I'm willing to hit a big bump at 35mph and catch air once by accident, but I will probably never do it on purpose.

4- Frozen lakes make me drive faster...because I really want to be off them and onto land.

Of course, I had a blast. How could I not love ripping around in the snow on a sunny day?

Of course, I had to remind Big E that since my first snowmobiling trip involved having a hot tub in my room, I now think this is what all snowmobiling will be like.

The bar for winter fun has been set...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Big Fat Hillside Trophy

The wheels of my bikes have perhaps spent more hours at Hillside than any other trail. They have certainly experienced more types of racing there than anywhere else. Considering the number of firsts that have happened for me there- my first winter race, my first night race, my first 24 hour race, my first time trial, my first short track, my first enduro- I can confidently say that I have also probably faced more fear on that trail than I have in any other place on my bike.

Along the way there have been many uncomfortable moments- insecurity when I know I'll be lapped, terror at the prospect of riding downhill as fast as I can, nausea after unwisely downing nearly an entire pint of ice cream in the middle of a race, dehydration when bottles froze in the winter and when temps reached 90 in a 24 hour race. I've come in dead last there more than once, but it's also one of the places where I've been able to gut out some of my few wins, made possible by the fact that Rich, Jeremie, Sue, David and the crew always stayed committed to putting on races that reward scrappiness (also known as the persistence of those who don't have a lot of skill or speed) as much as they do speed. In other words- they've perfected the art of putting on races that, as the PIC put it last year, "make you question who you are." Personally, I think that's a good thing because, in the end, you end up somehow better or stronger or at least more self-aware-even if your ass is raw, your stomach hurts and your knees are bloody.

Every year, the above trophy goes to the person who has accrued the most points for the year at Hillside. You get to keep the trophy for the year, your name goes on the back but you have to return it the following year. We chicks have never won it. Even though we've gone from sometimes only having 1-2 of us at a race to once having 20+, there still simply weren't enough of us for anyone to rack up enough points to beat the guys and there was only one trophy. This year, since the men's winner was a repeat of last year, Rich decided to add a women's class. Apparently, yours truly gutted out enough laps on that trail to take it home.

Rumor has it I'm supposed to "share" it with the men's winner. However, I was also told that the original idea for this trophy was that whoever had it for the year was supposed to take it around and take pictures of it. That said, Mr. Colbert is going to have to chase me around a bit if he wants possession of it because I plan to tote that heavy-ass trophy all over the place and pose with it. As someone put it at dinner, "She no longer poses for pictures without the trophy."

Funny how some things come when you most need them. After a rough end to last year's racing, I'm now ready to find some new adventures so I can keep the spirit of this thing alive.....and take its picture in some really cool places. (Of course, Big E has already become my "trophy sherpa" since I can barely lift the thing myself.)