Monday, March 17, 2014

Chicks that wear Green

What a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's day.   Wear green and ride with the ladies. Just about everyone had some green on to celebrate the holiday.  We had a great turn out for tonight's Monday ride.  It was great to see Chris, Karen and the elusive Jeri again and fun to meet some new riders, Dawn and Emily.

Nope, you won't find us drinking green beer.  We've decided getting together to ride is more fun than being in the gym. 

Since it is still getting dark at right about 7 pm (and sometimes even darker when I forget to take off my sunglasses), we are keeping the mileage short.  Tonight we took the Walnut Trail to Jeffery and headed back south to the San Diego Creek Trail.  We would have continued on to San Canyon, but the construction isn't complete yet.  (not that it has stopped us in the past  but there was breakfast on the line during that ride).

The chicks are riding strong and itching to get some good straight aways in to really push the legs.  It's great to ride along and hearing everyone chatting, sharing tips and encouraging each other.  It's going to be a great season.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Chicks that love Daylight Savings Time

Everyone else was complaining because we had one less hour of sleep.  But those of us who remembered our fun evening rides were excited that the time had finally come.   We had 14 chicks and two men tonight on our first ride of the season.

We welcomed back our long time friends who we hadn't seen in a while - Suzanne and Becky, as well as some that went MIA late last season - Jenifer.  We met new friends Shannon, Andy and Dawn.  This fun social ride reminds us of why we started riding and why it's fun to just get out and spin the legs.

Our early in the season rides will be fairly short and mostly on trails as we take advantage of the waning sunset.Tonight was a quick little jaunt up to Peters Canyon.  We didn't make it all the way to the reservoir but had a blast on our downhill back to the park.

Monday's will be an official OCW ride.  We will meet most Wednesdays as long as there is interest, knowing there are other competing rides held at the same time.  This Wednesday will be Strawberry Farms route.  Invite a friend.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Chicks that ride Charity Rides

Many riders started riding seriously because they signed up for a distance charity event and needed to train to get ready (think Team in Training, MS etc).   Being able to support a cause that you believe in is  certainly a great way to start, but I find I don’t want to override my welcome on family and friends more than once every two years or so to do fund raising and get pledges.  Although, I do my share of donating to people I meet that are really pushing themselves to train for an event that is outside of their comfort zone.
However, there are many smaller charity rides that can be fun to do as a group.   Many of these are sponsored by a local bike shop.  During the summer many of us did the “Ride 2 Recovery” ( that was put on by A Road Bike 4 You bike shop.  It was a great day and they are a great organization.

More recently a group of the chicks (and their supportive men) decided to have a fun Sunday ride and participated in Rock ‘n Road Cyclery’s “Poker Ride” benefitting Bikes for Boobs (  They are a non-profit organization who provides funding to breast centers globally through their Mammograms in Action Grant Program as a "last resort" resource for thousands of people who do not qualify for government funding or other charitable resources in the detection of breast cancer.

The event fee was only $25 and the full registration went to Bikes for Boobs organization. Some of us (ok, four of us) had done the Hill Climbing ride the day before but we were up and ready to ride at 8 a.m. on Sunday.  (Some team members who will remain nameless decided to stay home in bed).  We decided to don our pink club jerseys which did get the attention of other riders getting ready.  Rock ‘n Road actually has a pretty active Women’s group (Rock ‘n Road Divas) and I heard one passing comment saying, “Hey, where are our Divas?”  I did notice there was a very few women that showed up to do the ride.

The goal of the Poker ride is to visit all four of the Rock ‘n Road Cyclery shops and draw a playing card at each stop.  The person with the best poker hand at the end of the ride is the winner.   We had called the shop prior to the ride to get important details (like, what are they serving for lunch? – Mexican) and were told that there would NOT be a route/cue sheet.  Julie Morey took that as a challenge to create our own route.  It turned out the day of the ride, the store did have some slips which were full 8 ½ x 11 size, a separate one for each shop to shop portion, but we were eager to try out our route.

The ride started at the Rock ‘n Road in Mission Viejo and our first trek was up through Santiago Canyon to the Anaheim Hills Store.  This was the hilliest and longest part of our ride and some riders, Kat Liem, Paul and Cyndi Nelson, decided to do Cannon (both ways) to cut out a little mileage and take on the challenge. 

Steve Nelson and I met up with Kurt Richardson and Chris Carrier at the Anaheim Hills store and decided to wait for the rest of the “Pinks” to finish our ride.   Lisa Fair, who had finished her very first century, Amtrak, a few weeks before, rode up passing the other girls even though she had started late at 8:30.  Since Sheryl Malkin along with Gordi and Julie Morey had stopped for a quick “comfort break”, Pat Herold was the next to arrive.  The comfort break must have been needed since Gordi decided to attack Modjeska Canyon grade, the back way, on his way through the canyon.  Pat was having shifter problems.  I think it was contagious from Terry Kessler’s bike the day before.  We warned them not to park their bikes so close to each other.

The bike shop put Pat’s bike on the work stand and adjusted her cables while we waited.   Then the rest of the group arrived in time to put Sheryl’s bike on the work stand to work on her bent back derailleur. All the employees were very welcoming and helpful.  They had water for refilling bottles and wonderful much needed restrooms, for the ones that hadn’t taken a comfort break along the road.  While waiting on the bike adjustments a lady had parked her car and came running over to us after noticing our Pink Jerseys very exciting asking, “Are you woman’s group who rides?”   I told her about our normal Saturday rides and provided her information on the “Ride Like a Pro” program when she seemed a little concerned about our average speed and ride distances.

After drawing the next cards for our hand, we took off together in search of the Irvine Rock ‘n Road Store.   This trek was a little shorter and only had the small grade along Irvine Blvd which seemed easy after Saturday’s hill climbing ride.  The Irvine store had more water, and frosted sugar cookies to enjoy before we were off to the next store – Laguna Niguel off of La Paz road.

We had some great down hills on this trek but I kept thinking we were going to have to climb back up all of that to get back to Mission Viejo.  After the Laguna Niguel store with 55 miles under our tires, we still had another 8 miles left to get back to the starting point (and our Mexican food lunch).  It turns our Kat had the best poker hand with a Flush and went home with the top prize of a brand new Garmin 810 bundle.
So for a small registration fee which went to the charity (they raised over $2000) we had good fellowship, promoted the club, got stronger riding and had lunch.  It made for a great day.

During the month of October many stores that carry Trek will be having fun family oriented charity rides for Breast Cancer Awareness.  Some of us will be attending Two Wheel One Planet’s ride on October 12th which has a 10 mile and 25 mile option.  Again the full registration fee goes toward Breast Cancer Awareness.  Jax’s in Long Beach is sponsoring a ride as well.  These are great events to introduce to new riders or friends who “think” they might want to start riding.
OCW also supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as part of our annual Spring Metric.

Instead of just cranking out miles every week, why not give each crank a purpose by riding for charity. Maybe it’s time for you to think about finding and signing up for an event.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chicks that conquer challenges

Some great evening rides we have been having recently.  Welcome to Kat our newest (to the group) rider.  Our last couple of rides have been some great challenges that everyone approaches with a smile.  Last Monday's "bring a friend ride", Susan, Jeri and Jessy joined us.  Jeri and Jessy haven't ridden in a while and we split the group into two.  The faster, longer riding chicks and the "time to get the legs going again" chicks.

The longer riders ended being faced with a challenge of a flat tire.   We haven't had one of those in a while and since our "wrench" (Steve) was riding with the short length riders, the chicks were on their own to get the flat changed and meet up with the group.  They were successful however and we met them back at the park.  Funny we haven't seen Susan back since..hmmm...


The next evening we did another round through the Jeffrey open space.  The chicks were challenged with a very quick fast pace which helped increased average speed and everyone continued to work on accelerating off of a stop.   This is a great ride with a bid of steady up hill but some great downhill fun.  Irvine Boulevard construction has been completed and road was much smoother than our last time on this route.

Since then it's been very hot.   Although we need to do some hill training, it's still quite miserably hot at the start of our rides, so this Monday we decided to do Peter's Canyon to the top and back enjoying our well deserved downhill back.  Since this was Jessy's last ride with the chicks before returning to New Zealand we wanted to make it enjoyable to her.  She still felt like she was playing catch up for most of the way there.  Although Julie got some great photos of her riding and chatting with her parents.
View from the top of Lemon Heights Drive

Although I said "to the top" I meant to Peter's Park gate but Cyndi wanted to take on the challenge of  the hill climb of Cedar Grove Park to Skyline (600 ft of elevation gain in 1 miles).  Kat chased her down and we all thought they were going to stop halfway and when they didn't Jen, Julie, Steve and Theresa accepted the challenge and continued the climb as well.   Completing this Challenge put 4 chicks on the Strava leader board.  Cyndi with a 5th overall for all women, Theresa 6th and Julie 7th.   We also were all put on the leader board for the Park to Peters Gate segment. Cyndi in 2nd place, Theresa in 3rd, Maleia in 4th and Julie in 5th.  (and there are more than 20 women riders on this segment challenge).
Jen & Cyndi after the harrowing downhill.."is that my brakes I smell?"

What will the next challenge be?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Chicks that volunteer

I know that Cyndi and Terri did a 45 mile ride in Orange County, but a few of us drove up to Onyx Summit in Big Bear to volunteer for a rest stop for OCW's annual Ride Around the Bear.  We helped with set up and then cut fruit, make sure the snacks were stocked, kept water cool and mixed gatorade.   Over 300 riders (and not many of them women) started early in the morning in Redlands and climbed up the mountain, rode around the lake and climbed the summit to Onyx.

Some years it can be quite cold in the summit climb and downhill after, but this year it was hot hot hot and all the riders were appreciative of the easy ups for little bit of shade and time to refuel and refill water bottles.

We were quite surprise to see our friend, Sylvia Maddock, come riding in with one of the last groups.  We had been following her cycling escapades as she is working toward earning her triple crown. She is nothing but smiles even after that tough hot climb.

From this point it is 60 miles into the ride and the rest of the way is mostly downhill with one little climbing section.   It made for a fun day and we feel it's great way to give back in appreciation to all the volunteers that work the Amtrak when we ride that ride later in the fall.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Chicks that Ride.

Tonight, after we admired Cyndi's new gear, we decided to explored some new territory and two new chicks joined us - Julie and Jennifer.  These ladies have been riding on Saturday's with the OCW women's training group and were ready to go.  Jennifer rode from her house to meet us (racing by not one, but two trains) and Julie showed up in a beautiful Japanese print jersey.

We took Peter's Canyon north heading East on Hicks Canyon and everyone pushed through the 1, 2 and 3% (deceivingly flat looking) steady climb as we made our way through the houses to Portola.  Cyndi and our token "wrench", Steve then led the group on the climb up Portola with Cyndi taking an 8th on the Strava leader board. That Giro gear must make her faster.  I wonder if we all can get a Chicks discount?

Sandy who has only just started cycling in the last couple of months and Becky who has missed her ride training for the last couple of weeks were able to maintain a great pace and were never far behind.

We made a big circle down Portola Springs to Modjeska and then back along Irvine Boulevard, where we headed South through the Jeffery Open Space trail.   Steve and I talked about how even 5 years ago many of these roads and certainly the trail weren't even there and definitely not paved.   There was minimal traffic and some pretty rolling hills.  The trail wound it's way through a nice green welcoming park.   Then we completed our look west on Trabucco and joining up Yale down to catch the Walnut trail back to Harvard.

We ended up with a quick 19 mile ride with some steady (but doable) climbing and made some new friends.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chicks that win contests...

Did you hear about Cyndi's new Giro gear?    Cyndi joined us this season and started riding with almost all hand-me-downs.  She bought Pat's Fuji hybrid, wore her son's old cracked helmet, her mother-in-law's 90's arm warmers and old men's cycling gloves.  She still managed to blow us away on the hills and the flats.

Cyndi in her old gear
It was time for her to upgrade her gear especially after she started riding her newly acquired Carbon Trek Madone 4.5.   Not one to turn down shopping for bike accessories, Theresa almost had her talked into shopping for a new helmet, when Cyndi said she wait for an upcoming birthday.  Theresa saw a Facebook promotion for a Giro Women's Gear Makeover and quickly submitted a nomination.

You can read the nomination here: Giro Women's Gear Makeover
There were a lot of very deserving women and Cyndi claimed she never wins anything. After the initial excitement and dreaming (like what if we won the lotto....) she went back to fitting in her weekday and weekend rides among all her other busy day-to-day activities.
Cyndi looking sharp in her new Giro gear

Amazingly Cyndi was one of the two women picked for the Giro Gear makeover and before she knew it she was looking through the online catalog and picking styles, colors and sizes for a new helmet, new shoes, socks and gloves.  She wasn't disappointed, when her new gear was shipped to her and she was excited to try them out for the next club ride.  She appreciated the small details on the craftsmanship of the soft "Monica" gloves and ratchet closing on her new "Factress" shoes.  After wearing her matte white and Silver "Aeon" helmet, she realizes she will never settle for men's gear again. 

Next time you see Cyndi ask her about her new gear and next time you are in your LBS, check out the Women's Giro gear.  (you can see some of their line at