|Pic by Jenny Scott. Pretty much what all my dreams are made of.|
That was a lie.
I couldn't help myself. It's an addiction, I swear! I seriously can't say no, especially when my friend Earl dangles a Cannondale tandem in my face and I've always wanted to try a tandem bicycle! It was quickly decided that we would race the Lowell 50 on his 26" tandem bicycle (complete with a fenders, a rear rack, a bell, and his family's Burley attachment...)
Earl and I did one shake down ride on the tandem before race day. We went out for a 30 mile ride from his house and I laughed hysterically the entire time. Riding a tandem is SO MUCH FUN! The Lowell 50 is a gravel road race that takes off outside of Grand Rapids, and they have two distance options: 34 miles or 57 miles. While we were out on our test ride, we decided to hit up some single track at Cannonsburg Ski Hill. Both of us were literally shrieking, screaming, and giggling with joy! Earl is a super fast dude who races for the Founders team, and I am so lucky he let me ride with him! What a riot. Race day came around and we had a good laugh at the start when we looked around and realized we were the only tandem on a 26". We were definitely the only tandem with a banana peel hooked to the rear rack, most definitely the shortest duo on a tandem, and most likely the shortest two people straddling a bike at the start line. One other tandem team, in a matching kit, asked us how many races we've done together. When we cheerily answered that it was our first race we could see them thinking, "aw, how cute!"
|Thanks for the photo, Jack!|
Earl and I somehow managed to maintain nearly a 21mph average for 57 miles. We came in 17th overall at the Lowell 50 and 1st place tandem by over a half hour! Needless to say, I LOVED IT, I loved dinging my bell, and I cannot wait to race another tandem race with Earl! (Barry Roubaix, perhaps?!)
|Terrible at barriers.|
|Photo by Patrick Helsel|
|What a BEIST!|
|Jane Van Hof was totally there.|
Speaking of the community here, we had a 45NRTH Ride Groomed event at the GRBC East Paris location and we were able to raise quite a bit of dough for the WMMBA to earmark towards grooming fat bike trails this winter! The amount of pride I feel when I think about GRBC and 45NRTH and all that they do for the community is ridiculous. It feels so good to be in cahoots with such incredibly brands and shops (including all the good folks at Velocity USA - thanks you guys for organizing group rides, for all the hangs, and supporting Skirts in the Dirt!) and I feel incredibly lucky any time I think about who my teammates, coworkers, or sponsors are!
I was able to do an interview with Andrea Pirkey on Mountain Bike Radio recently about fat biking and winter riding, too. Thanks Ben, Andrea, and Mountain Bike Radio!
Last weekend, Dan and I headed up to the Upper Peninsula for 45NRTH and Blackrocks Brewery's Winter Kick Off Party. We drove up and met up with all of team 45NRTH and a few other friends up in Marquette, Michigan. Holy cow. I've never had six pack abs before in my entire life, but I'm pretty sure after laughing so much this past weekend that I'm the closest I've ever been to having one! We did team photos, we hung out, we drank beers, we goofed off, there was a UPCross cyclocross race, we rode incredibly rocky single track that had me laughing out of nervousness because it was the most technical stuff I've ever ridden (the UP is a whole other animal of riding! I can't wait to go back!) and we got to hang out in beautiful Marquette, Michigan.
|30 mins of cross was enough for me after having had a few beers...|
|Photo by 45NRTH|
|We also got Christmas Card photos by Katy Batdorff.. stay tuned to see our cards!|