Crit Nationals

I headed toward Chicago a few days early to pick Jess up and spend a night there with her. Uncle Mike hooked it up for a hotel in the City and we spent Thursday afternoon and evening walking around Chicago before we crashed in our executive suite!

a sweet moon and the farris wheel I road last time I was in Chicago

another nice sunset

Then it was a short drive over to Downer's Grove for crit nationals. The racing went well...my energy and time to write a full on race report is lacking at the moment so a few pictures will have to do. I will say Theresa finished 2nd!...which we are happy about, although we of course would have rather taken 1st...can't take the drive to do better out of us athletes! I got a bit out of position in the last few laps and upon attempting to advance my spot I skidded sideways through a corner but was able to straighten myself out after throwing the back of my bike into some hay bails...although I stayed up it completely killed my momentum and I was only able to make my way back to a 24th place finish. So for now we've got the silver medal and we will be aiming for an upgrade next year!

LVG and myself early in the race

Theresa and Brook for the final sprint...if you look real hard you can see me coming up the left side of the photo trying to fight back a few more spots

Upon our return to Philly I spent a few nights at the team house before going back to pack up my Kutztown life.

We went to breakfast around the corner from the Philly house a super cool place called Honey's!

they had a breakfast called "Nutella & Strawberry stuffed French Toast"...that's all that needs to be said!

Home for a tease...

When you travel a lot it can be so nice to just get home. After California Nationals I got to fly back to MI for just a few days before it was time to head off to Chicago for Crit Nationals. I fully enjoyed sleeping in my own bed out in the country, with the engulfing sound of crickets ringing in my ears...I didn't realize how much I missed it until I had it back!

My first day back I had an amazing ride during which I almost felt as if I was in a different element. My life streamed through my head and I couldn't believe what a lucky girl I am. I noticed every minute detail of what was happening around me and just felt so fortunate and blessed. I was inspired to write in detail but with everything else going on and spending what little time I had with family I never got around to it. Things aren't quite as fresh in my mind anymore but I'm digging for a few details. I headed out for an easy spin later in the day because the early hours had disappeared before me. I headed toward Clarkston avoiding main roads as much as possible. I road through a quite neighborhood where there were a few kids out playing and a few men who seemed passionately at work on what they considered precious cars. I was on the back road into the town when I saw numerous deer who were so beautiful and so lost at the same time. They hardly got out of my way, I assume as a result of their acclimation to a people filled society. I took a detour into one of the wealthy neighborhoods where I used to work and spend hours of my time with one of my favorite clients, who were refreshingly down to earth...unfortunately they were not in. I pedaled off and headed for town again. I was spinning easily and just enjoying the beautiful weather as a few families on bikes passed along the sidewalk. I cruised through a park and saw couples on the benches and kids playing. I noticed there was a dad pushing his little girls on swings, but he was on the phone...I thought how lucky I was to have a dad that played with my sister and I and taught us so much, spent so much of his time coaching us, and just being there, never distracted by such things as cell phones...of course he usually doesn't have his on or doesn't hear it but that is not what I'm getting at. Both my mom and dad gave my sister and I all the quality time we could ever ask for! Even now they support us both in everything we do and their support and compassion for helping us chase what we are after is absolutely priceless. Thank you! I love you!

Now for a few funny pictures! My friend Don came over and we caught up on life and went for a ride on his moto bike! Don didn't have an extra helmet so my sister and I went searching in the garage...um...yeah! Here is what we found...

a catchers hemlet...

and dad's old football helmet...

So clearly the best option was my bike helmet!...haha

and we were off

Notably we went to get a treat at the French Laundry and then dropped in a few shops around Fenton. We found a bracelet that says "Find your passion. Take chances." and before I could get it Don already had! The message is so appropriate of this time in my life and I've gotten many compliments on it.

The next day my long time friend Teddy came to visit for lunch! I was so good to see him and quite funny to talk about old times and all the fun we always had! This guy never forgets my birthday...no matter what! We might go 6 months without speaking a word to each other but low and behold every July 5th I'm sure to get a call and a cheery greeting! Thanks Teddy! Your genuine and true believe in me means soo much!

It was soon time to hit the road again but I left knowing I would be back soon to get a little more quality time in 'my' bed!


Where is the sun setting?

Ok, it is more like where will I be when the sun is setting! I've noticed I kind of have a lot of sunset pictures lately...and I've also noticed they are almost all taken from completely different locations. This stream of pictures and thought will take you from Kutztown to Altoona, to Banner Elk, to Charlotte, to California and everywhere in between...

So I end up out on a recovery ride with some of the girls around Kutztown and find out that Altoona is the coming weekend and the crit will have a good field and good prize money. I'm suppose to be meeting Scott to get to NC where I have racing the next weekend (our racing calenders have been similar), so I consult and make plans to get to Altoona.

Altonna's crit course is a pretty technical and cool one. I didn't do as well as I would have liked but I got 7th and it was alright. More exciting though were the people I went with, we had a good time! A very nice girl named Kate comes with her husband and "puppy" to pick up my new friend Davina and I!

This is me and Kate with her "puppy", Major...quite the appropriate name!

Major is huge and not even full grown

look at those cute little paws...awww

Kate, myself and Davina after the races before they leave me at this gas station to await my ride...this waiting at gas stations for rides thing became quite frequent...

So then I'm finally headed to NC, by way of Banner Elk for a few days and then to Charlotte for weekend of racing.

On the way to NC

Across the Mason Dixon Line

Scott had packed up his sweet old Honda SL100! So fun...I'm jealous. I'm on the market for a bike by the way...anyone have any great ideas? I looked at a pretty sweet Honda CB350 the other day...well at least it looked sweet in my computer! But seriously I'm looking, so keep an eye out and let me know!!!

What a wonderful place to enjoy a cup of coffee!

And I'm greatful for my time there although it seemed all to quickly time to move on.

Headed to Charlotte...I wait at another gas station to be picked up by the team.

Once with Gary I catch this sunset

and at a coffee shop before one of our race days we see this sign!!!

we tried really hard to find a little kid to use cause we wanted that puppy!!!

It was a fairly good weekend of racing in Charlotte area...learned a lot and had a good time with the team! I then got to catch up with one of my old collegiate team mates a bit. Thanks again to Sam and his whole family for letting me crash a night and getting me to the airport!...that was sooo nice!!!

And another day at the airport with destination California...

I spent the first few nights at Kevin and Joslyn's apartment. Somehow I didn't get any pictures with them :( Recently married and loving life it was great to see them even for a short time and catch up on life a bit! I love you guys!!! Hugs and kisses!

Oh. I almost forgot to share with you...I got a GPS! Yes, it was because I NEEDED it!

Some of California is beautiful, but it is awfully brown...I like my green! Here are a few pictures from the road.

So after I leave Kevin's house I end up heading to meet up with my friend Jackie at the host house she is at. This where the GPS comes in super handy! In any case there must have been an angel or many of them watching over me because I end up in an amazing host house with amazing people! I literally felt like a princess all week, no joke!

The first night I got there John and Marica took us out to this beautiful restaurant that has a view of the entire Orange County!

On the way up the hill

Jackie and I

The view

Amazing food...
appetizers anyone?

and dinners...

this cool fireplace upon exit

A HUGE thanks to John and Marica!!!

The took us to that amazing dinner but John continued the tradition through the whole week and served us incredible food! It was like a fairy tale.

Friday night before the road race the neighborhood had a BBQ for the riders!

this is our bikes taking over a section of garage

You know how I said living a fairy tale...well this was the meal place in front of me immediately after I had come down from my shower following the road race...

where are my magic shoes?...I must have some around here someplace...

As if everything John and Marica had done already wasn't enough, they invited us to a ballet our final night there...how cool. I should mention John was a professional golfer and Marica a professional Dancer!

So we get ready and head to the Ballet!

Myself and Jackie!

headed in


Marica and Jackie

After the show we head out to get desert

Cool name

We went to Habanas and they had these cool candles

Banana Desert...soo good

Check out this water fountain

and one last picture for the new friends!!!

Thanks again! You guys rock!