Miles of Life ~ My life as a donut Kylie Donia

Archive for the ‘mountain biking’ Category

satisfying end to a weekend

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Mike and I went for a mountain bike ride this afternoon.

We got kinda stuck. Ended up in an orchard. Fenced. And the fence topped with barb wire. So we ended up hiking and bushwacking our way out (going back how we came is too easy ;).

And Mike’s pedal fell off.

Good times 🙂

definitely a memoriable memorial weekend

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I took full advantage of the 3 day weekend — the first one I’ve had since classes started in January.

Saturday Mike, the mountain bikes and I all climbed our way up the same basic route we did back in December. It was still beautiful and fun. We went a bit farther this time, and made it all the way to the summit of the fire road. And again froze our asses off on the way down. It took forever in warm water in the shower to get my toenails not blue. And I might never listen to Mike about when to bring my cold-weather gloves again. But about 22 miles and 6000 ft of climbing kicked off the weekend right.

Sunday started with a pretty relaxed 30 mile loop on bike paths, basically flat (just under 1000ft of climbing). Then some shopping for a dress for one of my sister’s wedding in a couple weeks. A fun dinner, and then a nice evening 4.5 mi run.

Monday no alarm clocks were allowed. And we relaxed in the morning. But got out the door barely before noon for a great climby loop chasing Mike or sometimes riding with him — 71 miles and a bit under 10,000ft of climbing. Knowing it was going to be a long day of climbing, I just spun up pretty much everything, relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous views from the ridge road and seeing down the valleys. I loved the miles and miles with no cars, since about 20 of the miles each way were on roads that are currently closed to cars (ok currently closed — but lots of bikers still play up there). And the french dip sandwich at the turn around, complete with a fire to dry off and thaw a bit from that last cloud, also rocked. Oh yeah, and on the final stretch, I got a bit playful and I think Mike got tired of me finding sprint points 😉 I just knew I could make it home from there!

And thanks to Marky, a nice little run followed the ride. Just 20 minutes, 2.2 miles, but there weren’t really any completely flat parts.

So I earned my spaghetti! 🙂

Oh and the “song” stuck in my head lately? “It’s too cold for holes in my arse… it’s too cold for holes!!” (inspired by a pair of bike shorts that were torn on a fence).

not a bad weekend!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Saturday was a 5k. The same course I set a PR on last year. I went faster 🙂 23:44! Although their times were a bit odd in that I was in a group and they have no one right by me — my watch had me at 23:19 and a 7:21 pace since the course is long, but also didn’t have the 5 seconds of getting to the start line. Either way, a PR. And yeah, it kinda hurt. But it was a beautiful course, and I’ll take it! Official stats:

23:44 (7:38 pace) — 282/3015 overall, 43/1505 women, 8/171 W25-29

Sunday was Mike’s and my first off-road tri, and from there we were going to head to Redlands and see some of the Redlands Classic bike race on our bikes, so Saturday night we packed up the car and the bikes had a sleepover in the car (which left our house looking a bit empty).

The mountain bike race was chosen since Mike won an entry by winning the Redlands Tri, and since I have wanted to do one for a couple years we went for it. Although it was a bit confusing at the start (missing Mike’s early reg and no one sure what we needed to fill out) we got registered and got a great spot set up in transition. Wetsuits on, and down to the beach. There were only 2 waves (it was a pretty small local race) and Mike’s was off fairly quickly. Supposed to be 5 minutes after, my wave was bumped to 20 minutes after. I watched Mike come out of the water in second 🙂 and got ready to go. And our start time was bumped back by another 20 minutes. So much for that well-planned gel and warm-up! About 20 minutes later, we suddenly we had a 30 second warning, just enough time to wipe the fog out of my goggles, and we were off. I had a pretty good swim, and felt my spotting was not as bad as usual.

It has been a while since I had to wiggle out of a wetsuit on my own! I made it, pulled on bike shoes and a helmet and was off in about 5th or so according to one of the race guys telling us things. I passed a couple other women early in the loop, and later was passed by a couple. Oh, and in one section, there were TALL weeds, taller than me on my bike, with just barely a path through them. One of the weeds caught my handlebars and pulled me into the weeds. Where I didn’t fall over since they were strong, and just had to pull out of them and keep going. And then I made it up and over a curb without pausing (I still feel like I have TONS of mtb skills work to do!). One loop down, off the bike at the dismount, run through the TA, and then back on the bike at the mount line for loop 2. Weird, but it worked (there was a one loop race as well).

Second (and final) loop about 10 miles into the race I could feel that PR from the day before. My legs were tiring fast! The 2 women I had just in sight moved well ahead, and I started wondering how that hilly 3.2 mile run would feel. But first things first, and I kept pedaling. And found that I had launched one of my 2 gels, so I had one and wouldn’t have one at the start of the run. Oh well, keep moving. As I came around the final turn there was Mike (and a camera)!

Back into transition, and a nice smooth change into the run gear. My mtb shoes are so hard to get off! I will have to try out my new ones (with a tongue instead of elastic) next time.

I got off the bike in about 7th place Mike thought, and I started my run. My plan was to enjoy it. There were some pretty trails, and I knew my legs were fairly shot. Someone forgot to tell my competitive side though! It was a tough course, with the first part having tons of climbing. I guess the ultra training has helped — feeling pretty bad I still passed the 2 women right in front of me! And then later another one that had passed me on the bike, and into a fun little single track, and with .8 miles to go I could see another. But she had a decent lead, so I didn’t think I’d make it. Then she walked a hill, and I went for it and made it past. Since most of the climbing and harder downhills were all in the first half, this last mile was a lot of fun. Almost done, around a turn, and again Mike. He was chatting, so I had to talk for him to see me. But he still got a picture as I told him that if I beat him to the finish line he owed me lunch *and* dinner (he already owed me lunch).

He did beat me to the line, but still ended up buying me dinner. He’s that awesome.

The other nice thing about a first off-road tri is the automatic PR! 🙂 Although I didn’t do too shabby:

2:29:36 — 53/112 overall, 5/20 women, 2/5 W25-29

After the race we hung out for quite a while waiting for results. They still had nothing, and finally announced that they’d have to mail out the awards and weren’t going to get them done that day. It was chipped timed, but they were having computer issues. Honestly, I’m not so impressed with the race organization. For how expensive it was, I expected better. While I had a lot of fun, it was so behind schedule and disappointing to not get results, so I’m not sure if I’d do it again. When they announced results would be online this evening, we left, and headed to Redlands and had a nice easy 11ish mile ride around the Redlands Classic course. With In N Out burgers on the way, and then great Thai food before heading home.

Mike had a great race as well and was 2nd or 3rd overall! He says 3rd, but right now results have him 2nd. So the results might all change — oh, and it now says splits won’t be available until Wednesday night. So there are definitely some issues still there.

Oh… and for those of you still wondering how Oceanside was, Mike did a great job and I got some great photos. It’s all over on his blog, and I don’t have the energy to type it up now 🙂 But I had fun cheering for people and hanging out with Marky and crew.

Best Weekend EVER

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I spent Tuesday through Thursday in San Diego with Cervelo getting to test ride their bikes and see their wind tunnel testing and engineering presentations.

Then Mike and I went for an early morning mtn bike ride Saturday. We ended up ditching the bikes in a bush and hiking up to a favorite waterfall (yeah, in bike shoes). And I left wearing….

!!!!! Yup, he proposed You know you have found the right one when the proposal comes during a ride in almost-rain, early morning light, with helmet hair, and on a fun unplanned side trail

More pics

Morn After Rainfall – a tale of a mountain bike ride

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

[youtube p0W_yRZcTT4]

Adventures at Big Bear Lake

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Having no set training schedule for the day, and a 3 day weekend, and Mike’s new mountain bike still being too clean, we decided to head up to Big Bear Lake for some kayaking and mountain biking on Sunday.

However, we didn’t count on fires closing the road up on the side of the mountain near us. So the 1.5 or 2 hour drive got about 30-45 minutes longer as we went up the back instead.

And although we knew there was a chance of thunder storms for the afternoon, we didn’t realize how much rain there would be! We each had a long sleeved running shirt, and while we hung out at the bike shop (getting some new rim tape on my bike, and generally chatting with the folks there that I haven’t seen in a while). But it cleared up eventually. Although we didn’t want to risk the lightning in the kayak situation, the day and the trails were PERFECT for a ride.

We started with some fire road climbing, armed with a small map with only a couple main fire roads and 2 of the more popular trails.

We of course stopped for a few photo shots on the way.

And then we of course missed the turn for one of the trails we had hoped to take, and instead took one that we found. We had a GPS, so weren’t too worried about getting lost. We could always retrace our steps.

And we found some great views!

Some sections were a bit less rideable than others… but we just kept seeing what was over the next hill.

We did end up hitting the fire road that the other trail would have taken us to, as well as finding some fun sections to play on along the way.

And some of the fire road sections were gorgeous! If you look closely, you can see me on the fire road.

Then we ended up at my favorite single track in the world: 1E01 — what I picture when I think of mountain biking.

Some sections are a bit more technical than others. There was some rutted sections, and some rocky ones. Some drops to go off. Some of everything, but nothing impossible for me.

Although I did wipe out once… a rutted section between a rock and a tree, I avoided the rock, hit the rut, and clipped the tree with my handle bars. Oops… probably should have gone over the rock although it looked a bit big — it would have been more comfy than doing a handstand with my bike still attached to my feet! It was a slow motion fall, and I didn’t smack my head against the next giant rock since I saw that coming! Only some bruises though, so it’s ok. Really, without any wipeouts, I’d wonder if I was trying hard enough stuff or was going to easy. Mike saw it, but didn’t have the camera ready in time. Next time!

But it was an awesome day! We made it down without further crazy adventure and then packed the bikes back up.

Before driving down the mountain though we had to try to get ahold of the bike shop guys… as we realized my phone had been left in there and they closed about 10 minutes before we realized it. Unfortunately, they actually locked the keys in the shop that day. So it took a bit of time for them to hunt down a spare, but they found it, I got the phone, and we were on our way home. Right as the rain started up again!

smiling lobster

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Another great weekend for riding!

Saturday I checked out a fireroad I had seen on a map. It connected to my favorite loop, and cut out some of the busier road sections. And it worked, and was a good ride. I did have to walk one hill. But that just means it’s a new nemisis hill. Which is good — since I conquered the old one! Ok, not perfectly yet. It’s a very sharp uturn to a downhill, to a left through a stream and up a hill. If I set up at the top, I can make it. It will truely be conquered once I can just ride right through the whole thing.

Sunday was back on the road chasing Mike. This time on his tri bike getting those muscles ready for racing again. Did the loop of bike paths down to the beach and back to the hills. 80 miles. And over 80 degrees out! We both forgot sunscreen, so ended up with tan lines already, and February has just started! My nose and arms and legs were a bit red… but it was still a fun ride!

I gave my legs a bit of a rest from pounding last week, and should be back out on a long run this Wednesday. And I’ve been in the pool, but nothing too exciting to report. I really like having swim workouts planned with me and my goals and abilities as their only target audience. It makes it hard to cheat on them since I know they are right for me!

putting the tough in Thanksgiving workouts

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Because it is just a different kind of tough. First there is the motivation tough — the whole family is around, and the kitchen smells great, and you get to put on those damn running clothes and go off and sweat. I spent a few of the days over the break out near Tucson at my brother’s house. I got to spend time with Ethan (2.5 year old nephew) and meet Luke (3 week old nephew), as well as with my bro Ryan and his wife and her family. My mom and her boy also made it out for a while. So it was a good visit in general.

But now back to the tough… first in running…

Run 1: I mention I think I will go for a run, and Ryan asked “you gonna take him?” looking at Ethan, who is being a bit of a pain. “Sure!” I said, not sure if he was joking or not, but willing to if he wasn’t. He wasn’t. He asked Ethan if he wanted to go for a ride, and he was excited to join me. So out came the baby jogger stroller (Jeep brand and complete with a steering wheel, horn, and shifter for the midget). While Ryan added air to its tires, Ethan and I found a jacket for him, and put his mini-pancakes into one of the cup holders by the steering wheel (I’m not kidding… it was a pretty tricked out ride ;)). Ethan and I had fun — I let him pick at intersections if we should turn or go straight, and he honked at each car that passed us. We looked at Chrismas lights (and to his delight even found a train made out of them) and got to see a big moving truck unpacking. He was a good partner, too. Lasted about 30 minutes and then was ready to head home, which made for a pretty perfect 40 minute run. What, you might ask, was tough about it? Oh, well, you see… I’m not used to running with a baby jogger. Throw in a development that is on the edge of Tucson and some streets without sidewalks and instead with sand. And let’s make that loose sand. And there is that whole heavy 2.5 yr old in the stroller, wanted faster :), and then there was a hill. Complete with the loose sand. It was an awesome run, but there were some not-so-aerobic bursts in there :). Good times though.

Run 2: Ethan wants to start with me on his bike. I got it for his birthday last year, and it is complete with a handle so I can steer and push while he pedals at his own rate. We just did a half mile (one loop of the block), but it was much harder to handle than the stroller. His grandma arrived while we were out and he wanted to go play with her, and I set off to finish the day on my own. I found a dirt trail for about 2 blocks, and then headed into the dirt roads. They were a grid, and with my trusty GPS I knew I could run whereever and know how far and how to get home. So I just explored. What, you might ask, made this run hard? Well… it was hot. That wasn’t too bad, since it had been warm in Southern CA lately as well, so it was only a bit hotter than I was used to, but it was also afternoon, while most of my runs lately had been morning or evening. So the sun was that much more direct. Then a mile in there was the flying thing that was circling me and harassing me and then got caught in my hair! A bit (ok or more than a bit) freaked out I shook my head and swatted it with my hand, just for it to sting me in the side of the finger. Not just a little sting or anything, either. A big one! Big enough that when I removed the barb (yes, it looked much like the small round pokey things plants have) my hand actually bled. So I sucked on my finger, spit, and continued running hoping I had gotten all the poison out 😉 Happily for all I did manage to return to my brother’s alive and in time for turkey and (most importantly) stuffing!

I flew home the next day (right as my dad and Wendy arrived) and just in time for biking. I biked to Mike that evening, and then the next morning I joined him and Rich and John on their beach ride at Mike’s encouragement. “You can just hang on at the back the whole time… it’s flat!” Well it was flat, and I was able to hold on… but right at my 85% HR line for much of the 1.25 hours I was with all of them! On the way back I just went on my own, letting them go harder and without worrying about me, and then Mike came back and finished with me once we hit the splitting off point for the others.

Sunday was less tough, and more fun… a short run (although I lost Mike on it as we were confused about where we planned to go — most of the high HR was mental reasons). We grabbed some left over Thanksgiving food, and then onto mountain bikes for a crappy ride! I mean that in the best of ways… we did both my favorite areas (including a trail I call “tour de toilets” and one I know for the porta potty at the start) connecting them with a tour de sewers/drainage ditches/something slimey and wet. Good times!!

feeling like Lisa

Thursday, October 12th, 2006

It’s a week off for me — the doc’s orders were no swimming, biking, or running for a week as the gash is sealed shut with steristrips. I can do abs and upper body stuff though. It’s tough when I was working on getting into a more regular pattern of working out, but as I’ve learned I really should let things heal right the first time. On that note I should remember to actually schedule and go to the foot MRI soon 😉

But feeling like Lisa… yes, I am. (Pre-knee) I was doing a few short runs, and getting them back to a frequency point. And… I posted a mtn biking picture at and it’s currently one of the featured/front page pics 🙂

for teh winz

Monday, October 9th, 2006

So the mtn bike race was a blast!

Got there in plenty of time and signed the waiver. Then ran into a girl from work who I didn’t know would be racing. Then spent a while just chatting with people and waiting for it to be close to time.

Finally made my way to the start line (a short bike from the car). On the way, found that my front brake was rubbing worse than ever! So I just unhooked it. Seemed like the best plan — the ride to the start was uphill 😉 However, it didn’t seem like a good plan for the whole race. I knew some of the single track sections, and that I’d want a brake for ’em! Actually, I was a bit worried about one of the single track sections. It was part of a run I had done a few weeks before with Paul, and it wasn’t really runable for me (up or down) and we’d be riding down it — plenty of loose sand, rocks, and ruts. But it was near the end of the race, and I’m still getting to the start line… so more on that later.

Anyways, made it up to the start area, turned into the parking lot/warmup area, and found myself facing Mike (not my Mike, but another cute one I know through Foothill Cyclery and who worked there some and helped get my tubeless tires to bead when the other shop guy was having trouble with them). He is a semi-pro (qualified for pro and will be upgrading for next season) mtn biker, so I was wondering if I’d see him there. Said hi, talked a bit, and then he fixed my brake! Yay! It only took a second and an adjustment on a single screw. So yes, I had a front brake for the race, which was a good thing!

Soon enough it was time to line up. The beginner women were the last wave (with the Jr riders). An uphill start with a climb from 7000′ of elevation to 7600′ in just over 2.5 miles. Only the very start was steep, and then it was fireroads and nothing too technical. Next was a bit of rolling hills, and in that part, at about mile 4, there was a guy riding that I was stronger than (as his heat was 2 or more minutes before mine). He was in the middle of the fire road, a bit to the left, and staying there. So I called out “on your right!” and went to pass him. I got to where my handlebars were even with his, and he pulled to the right and hit me, throwing me off the bike! Getting up, I hear him say “You pushed me into soft sand!” All I had to say to him was “On your right doesn’t mean go right! Be careful!”. I got up, and rode off, leaving him behind and not wanting to deal with it. There were 2 packed sections on the road there — one to his left, one to his right. If he had hit me as I started passing, or had swerved in front of me as I called on your right, I wouldn’t have minded as much, as then it would have been just bad timing for my pass. But the fact that I was even with him meant I had been passing (it was a big uphill) and that he’d had time to register my “on your right”. Plus there was a track clear on his left! So I put it down to him having poor handling skills and picking a bad line. He hit sand, jerked in reaction, and hit me next to him — instead of seeing sand, knowing I was on his right, and picking the packed line to the left. Either way, my knee got to pour blood for the next 14 miles (and a while after that as well — I think it has mostly stopped now though — still got a doc apt for it in a bit).

But I just kept riding. I love the section of single track that was coming up, and had a blast going down it. Passed a few more people, and knew I was in front of the only people I knew were in my class. During that single track, I also passed Roger, who then caught back up to me on the climb (first part paved, then dirt) that followed. We chatted a bit (turns out he knows people I work with) and just enjoyed the views and beautiful day (while working our butts off). We soon met up with Mark as well, who I had been parked next to and chatted with some before the race. The three of us ended up riding somewhat together for the rest of the race, alternating who was where, and chatting on occasion. We enjoyed some great single track climbs and rollers and generally had a great time. I hit a bush, and missed the good line on a climbing turn after a view distracted me) and they mocked me for it. Fun times 🙂

As we approached the end, I was still feeling pretty good so I pushed it a bit on a climb and they fell a bit behind. Then it was onto a gorgeous single track that rolled through trees and was just technical enough to keep you focused. But I knew what was coming, and it soon did: the trail that had been scary on foot. The first downhill section with loose sand and rocks I rode down, telling myself it wasn’t that bad and couldn’t be quite the part we ran yet. But some how I was able to keep telling myself that down the whole trail. I walked 2 or 3 little sections, mostly because my arms were shaky from breaking so much and trying to be relaxed. But each time I climbed right back on and got going again. Suddenly there was tape, and people, and I heard “don’t let him pass you here!” so I pushed a bit, and crossed the finish, turning to see Mark right behind me.

After cheering Roger in a few minutes back, we road back down to the registration and parking area, put bikes away, changed, and went to check results and awards and food.

So a single crash and some great views and fun people made for a good day. As a bonus I was first in my class (out of 4)! Woo! I got a medal! I was about 20 minutes in front of the next person in it. And then as an extra bonus the manager of a team I talked with about a year and a half ago (shortly before crashing and breaking things) was there and told me to get back in touch with him as he is trying to build up his women’s team for next year.

And then, more bonus, there was a raffle with the big prize being a cruiser bike and I won it! But I didn’t win it… which is ok. I had seen it as I was there, and was surprised that was the prize at a mtb race (and am not a big fan of that style of bikes). They called my number and I thought I heard it, but I was in the middle of talking with the team guy and trying to clean my knee out, so by the time a friend poked me and said it was me and for the bike and I got to the front another number was called. So instead they gave me a consolation prize of a set of Kenda tires. Which I will get more use out of perhaps (although they aren’t tubeless ones, so we’ll see).

But yeah, a good day, and hopefully I’ll be doing more in the future!
GPS of my race is up at motionbased.