Saturday, October 24, 2009

Trio: Biking Resume

Some things you should know about Trio, our next blog to be featured on the Biking Resume section. First off is that she has a mad countdown going for yearly miles spent biking. She's currently at, um...swallow... 6906 miles for the year. For reels. Miles not kilometers.

You should also know that they're not leisurely-checking-out-the-scenery miles. They're like a seven stage mountain bike race on --get this--- a single speed, rigid frame. Oh yeah, and she always seems to be rocking bikes that have just the right amount of pink.


Trio's Biking Resume

More pics here and here

Road, Mountain, Cross, or Everything

Everything, I started out with a mountain bike, bought a road bike, now have a cross bike. I just love being on a bike!

How long have you been biking?

I bought a bike in 2001 as I lived in the peaks, then rode it maybe four times a year. November 2006 I went on a girls mountain bike ride, walked up and down all the hills and loved it, I haven't looked back since!


Yes but more for the fun of it, I'll never be fast enough or dedicated enough to be the best!

Favorite type of trail

Up on the moors with no one around!

Favorite ride

Leaving my house winding up Winter Hill linking singletrack, blast down the belmont descent, drink in pub with friends then spin home downhill for pizza.

Or everyday I ride over the motorway on the way to work and see the queues of traffic, it is a smug but nice feeling!

Worst ride

Battling a headwind for 40miles on the way to southport and getting there and finding all the chippys closed! I was very close to crying when I found one open!

Worst crash

I tend to forget crashes, but riding some wonky steps, flying over the bars jumping back on the bike and having to stop 20 seconds later as I was so dizzy was bad! Oh and falling on the track hurt as well!

Worst bonk

My first long ride, Penrith Merida in 2007, longest ride before 40km, 83km in the lakes no problem. I knew little about what to eat or drink, finishing was such a mental battle, but made me realise endurance riding is fun!

Craziest thing you’ve ever done on a bike

Rode across Manchester, 30 miles to go for a nightride, didn't seem crazy till I was riding back at gone midnight on a singlespeed mountain bike!

Favorite bike food

Chocolate Cake!

In three words describe why you love biking

The freedom! (I know only two!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Back to Biking

After picking up my mountain bike from the shop late last night, I couldn’t wait to get her on the trails this morning. I woke up early, coffeed-up and hit some nearby trails. With the weather in the high 40’s it was pretty chilly starting off. It’s always better to start mountain biking cold, so I unpacked my bike, tightened up my straps and took off pretty quickly.

Fall Knickers

Flying down the trails, there was hardly a soul in sight. The thick layer of leaves that have fallen from the trees make things a little slick and a little tricky, since you can’t see all the rocks and roots underneath.

Yellow Fall

So I took it easy, getting a feel for the trails covered in leaves and for a mountain bike that actually has working rear brakes. It’s pretty amazing let me tell you. They don’t even squeak. Here are a few other random thoughts about fall riding:

  • Foggy eyeglasses can actually be a good thing. They keep you from walking obstacles, since you plain old don’t know that they are coming.
  • Shirts that ride up in the back while biking may be the most annoying things in the world.
  • Leaving water in your camelback for extended periods of time makes it taste nasty. It also assists the hose in sprouting spontaneous leaks, giving you a free shower.
  • Being able to breathe out your nose really helps on the hills. I attribute this to the Aleve cold and sinus I took prior to riding.
  • While a thick layer of leaves gives you an animal alert system at all times (think about how loud a chipmunk sounds on crinkly old leaves), it does not aid you in staying on the actual trail. I consider this feature of fall riding a bonus cognitive challenge while exercising.
New Rear Brakes

My new brakes. In case you were wondering.

This is Called a Freak Out

We had Misty, our lovely mixed breed-mainly-German-Short-Haired-Pointer for several months before we picked up on one of her favorite things to do. We'd take her for a long walk in the woods, she'd run around sniffing things and enjoying life, and then when we turned around to head back she'd go ape-sh%^ crazy running around in circles.

She go flying around, dodging in between trees, and dig at the dirt. She also lets out an occasional growl. Not to be mean, but she does it because she is excited. Since discovering that she has this little episode while walking we've deemed it "the freak out." As we head off in the car to a local trail, we'll ask her "wanna have a freak out?" Her answer is always, of course, yes.

This is what is sort of looks like:

She's Somewhere in here

She's somewhere in here.


Up- there she is.

Here she comes

Here she comes.

The Run Down

Freak out round one.

She's Somewhere in here

She's back in- hoping to scrounge up some birds.

Freak Out

Glimpse of Misty.

Freak Out

She might have found something here.

Freak out

Whew! It looks there is nothing in her mouth. I may decide to take her home after she rolls around in deer do-do, but I might have to draw the line with dead animals in her mouth.

One more round

Here she goes again

There's always time for one more round- according to Misty.

Tea and Cake: Biking Resume

Thanks Kate for being the first bike resume into Betty Mountain Girl! Check out Kate's blog, Tea and Cake or her flickr stream here. Kate's always off partaking in crazy races, long rides, and, of course, eating cake. In fact, I think I spy a red velvet on a rock climbing trip here. Very nice!

So, you may be wondering- what is this biking resume thing? It's quite simple and I encourage you to send yours in. Check out this post for more details. Basically, just send in your resume to me via email (bettymountaingirl----gmail) with some pics, or links to pics, and I'll feature a handful of them right here.
From Tea & Cake

Ms. Tea & Cake Panda

Ms. Tea & Cake's Bike

Road, Mountain, Cross, or Everything

All bike are good but rigid single speed is best!

How long have you been biking?

As a 'grown up' I've been getting muddy for the past 3 years. Always had a bmx as kid then progressed to mtb. Then discovered booze and stuff and stopped all forms of activity for some time.


Yeh, but I certainly don't 'compete'. Just like the challenege

Favorite type of trail

Rocky, technical wilderness with big views and big grins

Favorite ride

With friends on a journey with at least one cafe stop but I also love the mid week night rides. short, speedy, singletrack affairs but again it's the friends that make it.

Worst ride

Worst crash

I'm probably not trying hard enough but I haven't really properly crashed since I was a kid-still have the scares to prove it!

Worst bonk

Luckily it came right at the end of a race and for the first (and last!) time I was waiting to get onto the podium. came over really faint and sickie, had to sit down despite the wet mud on the floor and then needed 'assistance' to get back up again

Craziest thing you’ve ever done on a bike an adult probably riding for 24 hrs in the middle of winter in the north of scotland. as a kid taking it in turns to bunny hop over each other. I was on the floor and my cousin didn't quiet make it, I then had a very painful hip for weeks!

Favorite bike food

Homemade cake/flapjacks and jelly babies

In three words describe why you love biking

freedom. outdoors. speed

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Biking Resume

Bit of Betty Flying By

Road, Mountain, Cross, or Everything

Mainly mountain bike, but I just picked up road biking (more seriously) this year.

How long have you been biking?

Always a hard question to answer. Technically, I’ve always gotten around on two wheels. I’ve been mountain biking more seriously (like 3 times a week or more) for the past thirteen years. I’ve never had an off year or taken a year off from biking. I love it that bad.



Favorite type of trail

Lots of technical- give me rocks, give me roots, tight winding trees- and make it relentless. Sometimes I like fast, smooth and tighter trails, but I like the technical trails more.

Favorite ride

Four or five closely matched friends. A rooty, rocky 25 plus miles of trails. And endless daylight.

Worst ride

Probably when I was in college and got set up with a group of guys mountain biking for the week. I was painfully out of shape. I bonked. It sucked. I cried a little.

Worst crash

Actually I am going to go with the spill I had this summer. I went down really fast. You know how sometimes you have all day before you hit the ground? Well, not this time. I hit the ground, my bike, and a rock before I knew what really hit me. As I started to go over the handlebars my ribcage got caught first, my knee, elbow, and part of my face hit the rest of the bike followed by a rock. Ouch.

Worst bonk

My worst bonk is a long story. Check it out here.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done on a bike

Rode a friend’s off a dock once.

Favorite bike food

I mainly go with gu’s and energy bars while biking. After biking I love to have ice cream.

In three words describe why you love biking

Beating the boys.


What's your biking resume like? Why don't you answer the questions and send along your favorite snappy photo (or photos) of yourself biking to me? Here's my email: bettymountaingirl (at) gmail (dot) com. Don't worry if your not a crazy racer or you have only been biking for a few years- I think it would be fun to have a show and tell. Guys are welcome too!

Jacket Love

You know how some girls like to buy purses or shoes? You know you've seen them on TV or maybe you live with someone with a 50 plus shoe collection. Well, I have a thing for jackets, specifically high functioning, technical outerwear with style. I'll culled some of my favorites here. See what you think!

I really like the Mountain Laurel Collection from LL Bean this year, in particular this jacket. What you can't really see from this photo is that there is an all over textured pattern on the jacket. I think the textured pattern, plus the trim are great little details that help make the jacket special. Price tag doesn't hurt either! ($79)

P.S. Love the soft shell pants in this collection too!

Nau is the best new outdoor clothing company that you probably haven't heard of. Their clothing is exceptionally stylish- I particularly love the asymmetrical look. The quality of their clothing is very high (I'm lucky enough to live nearby to a store with their items), but a bit fitted. It's all part of the look really. Just maybe not the best for actually hiking.

You should know that I really have a thing for Marmot. I am in love really. I have several of their rain shells and soft shells, each for over the past five years- and you can't even tell it! They wear exceptionally well and really look killer. I've picked this one as my next Marmot jacket.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hunting Season

The hunting season is upon us again. The one time of year that I spend considerable time deciding if I will brave the elements. Sure I complain a lot when it is buggy, hot, or too cold, but in the end I suffer through it with a smile. Hearing gunshots over your shoulder is a whole different ball game.

Misty Flying by the Leaves

My attempts at avoiding being shot by overzealous hunters are mainly by wearing bright colors. I wear my bright yellow cycling clothes and Misty dons this little orange Ruff Wear vest.

Misty on Trail

When we bought it the guy at EMS said, "You have a dog?"

"Yup," I answered. "It's a dog vest, ya know."

"Right," he said. "Except last week we had a couple who were trying to put it on like it was a running vest. Just wanted to check and make sure you actually had a dog."

We both agreed that those people shouldn't be allowed to run anywhere near a road.

Fall Walk

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tips to Keep from Being Bikeless

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently bikeless. While my current bike-misfortune is due to faulty components, I have had my share of self induced bikelessness. Self induced bikelessness is basically when you should’ve known better. Here’s some shouldn’t-have-done-that advice that may keep you from the plague of bikelessness.


Lube your Chain- A little

This is such a foolish mistake that took me years to finally figure out. You need to lube your chain to keep it running well and avoid that seriously annoying squeak noise. But… you don’t need to lube it every ride or even every week. Just lube your chain when you notice a little bit of noise. Just use a little bit of lube (I like Pedro’s lubes). And wipe off the excess.

I’m going to say that again because it’s pretty darned important. Wipe off the excess.

Too much bike lube is a wicked rooky mistake. Sure you’ll never squeak. But you’ll go through gears, chains, and derualliers pretty quickly from over lubing.

Keep an eye on your tires

Your tires are pretty crucial to forward momentum and there are a few things you can do to keep them in shape. First off is to make sure that they are always trued. Do this by lifting up your bike or flipping it over and spinning the wheels. Do they wobble slightly? Take them in to be trued. This helps prevent the seriously more expensive problem of bent rims.

Also, keep a constant eye on your tire pressure. Once you start it will be easy to obsess over your tire pressure. Too much and you’ll bounce around a lot of technical trails. Too little and you’ll bog out on the straight always. Check what your pressure is on your wheel and figure out what works for you. Your weight is a factor in this. I’m on the lighter side so I can run on a lower PSI. If you are heavier you’ll want to run on the high end of the suggested PSI.

Keep it clean

A clean bike during peak mud season sounds like an oxymoron. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at keeping my mountain bike clean. But, it’s really important and worth mentioning. Basically the more mud that gets into your brakes and chain areas the more mechanicals you are opening yourself up for.

My Muddy Jamis Dakota Sport

I’ve seen that some people take a hose to their bikes to keep it clean. This isn’t really the best option either since it shoots water into every nook and cranny of your bike making it near impossible to completely dry off.

I used to have a bike buddy who would meticulously clean off her bike post every ride. First she’d start at the chain and wipe it down with one of those handy brush/ hook things. Then she’d do the wheels, then the frame and so on. By the time she finished her bike was shiny clean and she had spent probably 45 minutes cleaning it off. It was way more work than I could put into it, but you know what? She hardly ever had mechanicals- so maybe there may be something to say about crazy cleaning.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being Bikeless

I am currently bikeless.

This, for many avid cyclists is basically your worst nightmare. That both bikes should end up in the shop at the same time- and for weeks.

First my shifter on my Jamis Satellite road bike went. I didn’t think this would be that big of a deal. Last time I broke a shifter on my mountain bike (after years and years of use) it ended up being around $85 for the fix. Well, it turns out that road bike shifters are, ahem, seriously more expensive. When the bike shop was dropping prices like $275 on me I dropped my jaw.

Jamis Women’s Satellite Road Bike

$275? Ouch. That was basically half of what the bike cost me and I had only bought it in July. Luckily, I’ve found my newest favorite bike shop and they’re working with Shimano to get me one new shifter under warranty.

Fast forward to now. It’s about three or four weeks later and I am still eagerly awaiting the return of my road bike. Turns out Shimano is either the slowest moving company in the world or they really have no stock right now. I am leaning on the side of niceness and think that they just plain old don’t have inventory.

Being without my speedy little road bike wasn’t too much of a worry at first since I still had my trusty Jamis Dakota Sport mountain bike. Right. Except the part where I am five miles into a fifteen mile ride and discover I have no rear brakes. I carefully make my way back to my car and shoot over to the bike shop.

“No problem,” they tell me. “We’ll bleed your brakes and replace the disc pads and you’ll be like new. What’s that horrible squeaking sound?"

“Oh,” I say. “It’s been like that ever since I bought it. The shop I brought it from first told me to ride it more and it would just stop making that sound. Then they told me that some people’s brakes will just make that sound.”

Misty and Bike

Fast forward to now, two weeks later where I am still without my mountain bike because it turns out that Shimano had a recall on those brakes. Turns out something with the caliper allows the mineral oil to leak out, thus the no brakes thing, thus the squeaky noise from the get-go thing.

So I am currently bikeless, during possibly the best biking season of the year. I go about my day feeling like I’ve forgotten something really important all the time. You know that feeling when you leave some place and you feel like you forgot something important like your purse, or like your kid? That’s basically how I am feeling right now being bikeless.

I do have one solution to this problem though- I need more bikes!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


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