Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sunset...New Year's Eve

Couldn't be more appropriate to have the highlight of this day be centered around the bike (on the dirt! yahoo...). Here's to a wonderful New Year filled with lots of love, peace, adventure ..and happiness for all. :)

Thanks to the guys for taking me on such an epic ride!

GOT SKILLS........(wow)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweet Sixteen

Well here we are.

Myles turned the big "16" yesterday. It hasn't always been easy being a mom, and things haven't always been perfect(especially the teen years ahem)......but my life as "mother" is more special than anything I know. hands down.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

more than a good day :)

Thanks to Joe Lawwill for putting the group ride together, and props to Joe for taking all the great pics!I was a total newbie to The San Juan Trail and Cocktail Rock, but you can bet I'll be getting out there more often! :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

"MYCO-DIESEL" ..... wahoo.

Here is some great news that a friend shared with me and now I am sharing with you!

Introducing Myco-Diesel:
A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds directly from cellulose has been discovered living in trees in the Patagonian rainforest.

"These are the first organisms that have been found that make many of the ingredients of diesel," said Professor Gary Strobel from Montana State University. "This is a major discovery."

The discovery may offer an alternative to fossil fuels, said Strobel, MSU professor of plant sciences and plant pathology, who travels the world looking for exotic plants that may contain beneficial microbes. The find is even bigger, he said, than his 1993 discovery of fungus that contained the anticancer drug taxol.

Strobel's paper, published in the November issue of the journal "Microbiology," is based on his discovery of the unique properties of the Patagonian fungus, called Gliocladium roseum.
Professor Gary Strobel in the Patagonian rainforest (Photos courtesy Gary Strobel)

"Gliocladium roseum lives inside the Ulmo tree in the Patagonian rainforest," Strobel begins, telling the story of how he and his team learned that they had found an entirely new source of fuel.

"We were trying to discover totally novel fungi in this tree by exposing its tissues to the volatile antibiotics of the fungus Muscodor albus," Strobel recounts. "Quite unexpectedly, G. roseum grew in the presence of these gases when almost all other fungi were killed. It was also making volatile antibiotics."

"Then when we examined the gas composition of G. roseum, we were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives. The results were totally unexpected and very exciting and almost every hair on my arms stood on end!"

Strobel calls the fuel produced by the fungus "myco-diesel," from the Greek-derived root word for the study of fungi - mycology.

"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Strobel. "The fungus can even make these diesel compounds from cellulose, which would make it a better source of biofuel than anything we use at the moment."

Intense research into ways of making ethanol fuel directly from cellulose now is taking place in public, private and university labs, and several companies are producing demonstration scale cellulosic ethanol from wood waste, from municipal solid waste and from agricultural residue.

Nearly 430 million tons of plant waste are produced from U.S. farmland alone every year, material that scientists are learning to convert to biofuel.

In current biofuel production, this waste is treated with enzymes called cellulases that turn the cellulose into sugar. Microbes then ferment the sugar into ethanol that can be used as a fuel.

"We were very excited to discover that G. roseum can digest cellulose," Strobel said. "Although the fungus makes less myco-diesel when it feeds on cellulose compared to sugars, new developments in fermentation technology and genetic manipulation could help improve the yield."

"When crops are used to make biofuel they have to be processed before they can be turned into useful compounds by microbes," said Strobel. "G. roseum can make myco-diesel directly from cellulose, the main compound found in plants and paper."
Culture plate of Gliocladium roseum, a fungus that produces myco-diesel hydrocarbons

In the rainforest, G. roseum produces lots of long chain hydrocarbons and other biological molecules. When the researchers grew it in the lab, it produced fuel that is even more similar to the diesel we put in our cars.

The majority of hydrocarbons found naturally occur in crude oil, where decomposed organic matter provides carbon and hydrogen. When bonded, these elements can form seemingly limitless chains of molecules.

Professor Strobel, who travels the world looking for exotic plants that may contain beneficial microbes, says his discovery brings into question our knowledge of the way fossil fuels are made.

The accepted theory is that crude oil, which is used to make diesel, is formed from the remains of dead plants and animals that have been exposed to heat and pressure for millions of years.

Strobel speculates, "If fungi like this are producing myco-diesel all over the rainforest, they may have contributed to the formation of fossil fuels."

Strobel is the lead author of the paper published in "Microbiology." His MSU co-authors are Berk Knighton and Tom Livinghouse in the Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Katreena Kluck and Yuhao Ren in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology.

Other co-authors are Meghan Griffin and Daniel Spakowicz from Yale University and Joe Sears from the Center for Lab Services in Pasco, Washington.

Researchers in government agencies and private industry have already shown interest in the fungi. A team to conduct further research has been established between MSU's College of Engineering and researchers at Yale University.

One member of the team is Strobel's son, Scott, who is chairman of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor. The MSU-Yale team will investigate a variety of questions, including the genetic makeup of Gliocladium roseum.

Scott Strobel said his team is already screening the fungus' genome. Besides determining the complete genetic makeup of the fungus, they will run a series of genetic and biochemical tests to identify the genes responsible for its diesel-making properties.

"The broader question is, what is responsible for the production of these compounds," Scott Strobel said. "If you can identify that, you can hopefully scale it up so you end up with better efficiency of production."

Scientists in a variety of disciplines may be able to combine their talents to optimize production and find a way to turn what is essentially a vapor into a burnable, liquid fuel.
WOW...this really cool, really awesome, and really amazing! Go Gary!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

M.I.A. ...Birth name --Mathangi Arulpragasam Born--17 July 1977

Just a little diddy I found on the web about one girl that I look up to. (besides...we have the same birthday, and that's just cool) ;)

M.I.A. has done more and seen more than most up-and-coming rap stars. In a lucrative musical genre that still flatters itself as being oppressed, M.I.A. stands out. Coming to Britain as a refugee with nothing, she flourished despite a difficult adolescence. She's also done more with herself than put out a hit record and some singles, which are no mean feats either; M.I.A. earned an art degree and impressed with her collages and documentary filmmaking.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I have an attitude....are you surprised?

seriously though, I do have a thing or two to say about the hub-ub of having or shall we now say... "not having" a three day stage race at the upcoming TOC.

My little miss brenda opinion will have to wait though...

I'm too tired to write about it considering I woke up Monday morning in Santa Rosa Tuesday morning in Huntington Beach and this morning in Las Vegas.
I lost count of the shops I have visited, but you can bet I got in the gym...twice.

Making it happen.

made me think of Helen

As Helen Keller said... "Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all."

That's what I was thinking when I went wall riding today in Vegas on my Angel....
That there two-foot wide water drainage thing just sort of jumped out of nowhere, I swear I didn't see it on my way to the gym when I was getting all cocky dropping in from the highest point of the wall (trust me this banking was steeper than The ADT Center Velodrome). Honestly, I'm not sure how the heck I managed to skirt across that giant trough thing as I was dropping in at speed, my hands all the way out on the bull horns, in sneakers on Ultegra pedals...(not clipped in!), but somehow I made it over that big 'ol gap in one piece. All I got out of it was a rear flat.


I guess it is a good thing I haven't gone "fixie" yet with my Lager, I would have definitely lost some skin with those antics....

full circle....

my mother just told me an amazing story about the day her mother died. special moments like these will not be forgotten.....

Monday, December 01, 2008


making it happen........

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Cat Cali

He makes me smile, so patient and so sweet. Such a little talker too.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Late night walks with animals, adventures in "dumpster diving", and a wonderful nighttime read.

Here I am doing the dog (and cat) walk after hours. It was intended to be a short walk. I was cold! Notice the hood does get chilly here in Huntington Beach you know!

I was also a little tired. I had fallen asleep sitting up in my chair waiting for a phone call that never came. Time had ticked on by though, and still had a job to do for the animals of the house. I got my act together for the sake of the little dog Dyani, who NEEDS her daily dose of fresh air and sniffs and smells. I called the cat to join us (Cali loves to come along), and off we went for a short little walk.
I took the first "turn for home" option, as I intended this to be a short little adventure. I was already feeling a little spaced out and ready for bed. Heck...(I was thinking) the pets will be just fine with a short walk we went a short ways, and rounded the turn back towards the house. By the's trash/recyling night in our neighborhood so all the cans are out ready for the big trucks to scoot along and scoop up all the waste and recyclables.

I spotted something of interest next to one of the cans sitting curbside, I didn't exactly dumpster dive for this little gem, but I definitely took one good look at what I was seeing and immediately thought...YES...I want that. Well what I saw and wanted wasn't exactly a little gem, it was a 6ft tall, solid wood shelf unit with a heavy built, sturdy base. The solid wood and sturdiness of this piece sure did mean it was going to be HEAVY to carry home. But after assessing my options, like trying to drag it along the grass (no good) I figured out how would I leverage my body with this big old beast and make it another full block home. I decided to give it a go. Thank goodness only one car came along to see me and my antics. I tried a few different carrying positions, and at one point I ended up practically carrying this gigantic thing on my head. Don't forget I still have the dog on a leash, too. I literally worked up this remarkably intense heat in my body within two minutes of carting this thing home.....! After a few stops to reposition myself, and untangle the dog leash from my ankles, I actually made it home with the thing. And now...I have a new shelf unit that needs a little TLC but hey....reduce reuse recycle, right.
It will be put to good use.

It's a welcome addition to the scene.

After lugging that thing a little bit of a long way though, I came home a little charged up, no longer as tired as I was when I left the house, and so I decided to get on the web and read into a few topics that interest me.

I like what I found.

The article below was too good in it's entirety for me to end up butchering it by attempting to explain the content, so I just decided to copy and paste the whole darn thing into the post.

Hope you will find it to be as much of a good read as I have.
Good Nite.


Ethics and Virtue
Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer

For many of us, the fundamental question of ethics is, "What should I do?" or "How should I act?" Ethics is supposed to provide us with "moral principles" or universal rules that tell us what to do. Many people, for example, read passionate adherents of the moral principle of utilitarianism: "Everyone is obligated to do whatever will achieve the greatest good for the greatest number." Others are just as devoted to the basic principle of Immanuel Kant: "Everyone is obligated to act only in ways that respect the human dignity and moral rights of all persons."

Moral principles like these focus primarily on people's actions and doings. We "apply" them by asking what these principles require of us in particular circumstances, e.g., when considering whether to lie or to commit suicide. We also apply them when we ask what they require of us as professionals, e.g., lawyers, doctors, or business people, or what they require of our social policies and institutions. In the last decade, dozens of ethics centers and programs devoted to "business ethics", "legal ethics", "medical ethics", and "ethics in public policy" have sprung up. These centers are designed to examine the implications moral principles have for our lives.

But are moral principles all that ethics consists of? Critics have rightly claimed that this emphasis on moral principles smacks of a thoughtless and slavish worship of rules, as if the moral life was a matter of scrupulously checking our every action against a table of do's and don'ts. Fortunately, this obsession with principles and rules has been recently challenged by several ethicists who argue that the emphasis on principles ignores a fundamental component of ethics--virtue. These ethicists point our that by focusing on what people should do or how people should act, the "moral principles approach" neglects the more important issue--what people should be. In other words, the fundamental question of ethics is not "What should I do?" but "What kind of person should I be?"

According to "virtue ethics", there are certain ideals, such as excellence or dedication to the common good, toward which we should strive and which allow the full development of our humanity. These ideals are discovered through thoughtful reflection on what we as human beings have the potential to become.

"Virtues" are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop this potential. They enable us to pursue the ideals we have adopted. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues.

How does a person develop virtues? Virtues are developed through learning and through practice. As the ancient philosopher Aristotle suggested, a person can improve his or her character by practicing self-discipline, while a good character can be corrupted by repeated self-indulgence. Just as the ability to run a marathon develops through much training and practice, so too does our capacity to be fair, to be courageous, or to be compassionate.

Virtues are habits. That is, once they are acquired, they become characteristic of a person. For example, a person who has developed the virtue of generosity is often referred to as a generous person because he or she tends to be generous in all circumstances. Moreover, a person who has developed virtues will be naturally disposed to act in ways that are consistent with moral principles. The virtuous person is the ethical person.

At the heart of the virtue approach to ethics is the idea of "community". A person's character traits are not developed in isolation, but within and by the communities to which he or she belongs, including family, school, and other private and public associations. As people grow and mature, their personalities are deeply affected by the values that their communities prize, by the personality traits that their communities encourage, and by the role models that their communities put forth for imitation through traditional stories, fiction, movies, television, and so on. The virtue approach urges us to pay attention to the contours of our communities and the habits of character they encourage and instill.

The moral life, then, is not simply a matter of following moral rules and of learning to apply them to specific situations. The moral life is also a matter of trying to determine the kind of people we should be and of attending to the development of character within our communities and ourselves.

Out in the world

The beauty of simplicity......

Main Street Cyclery --Seal Beach, Ca.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Pedal pedal pedal, breathe breathe, pedal.

So here we are well into a busy active Autumn with the holidays just around the corner (heck how did that happen!!). I have made a choice lately to keep the skinny tires hanging on the hook, and have been taken instead to the great pleasure and joy of spending time in the woods and on the dirt rediscovering the world of mountain biking in all it's beauty and wonder. It's been a refreshing change getting off the pavement, and up into the hills exploring new places and new trails. It's like soul food. I'm feeling a little fitness coming on too, which is incredibly good news for me. Good for me in a way that goes far beyond the obvious athletic gains that are so easily visible from consistent activity.

I know I am not the only one who experiences this, but over the years I have often recognized that there is a distinct parallel with my level of fitness and my ability to create the quality of life that I strive for. I have also been completely aware of the fact that there will come a tipping point for me (that isn't so pretty!), if I am not keen to stay in touch with my core values, and remain on the path of taking care of my physical well-being.

As a matter of fact (a bit of reminiscence for me since I am just finishing my first annual cycle in bicycle industry sales), I was thinking today about what a difference a year makes. Just last November.....a month or two into this new position as "sales rep", my new boss came to spend a few days with me in my territory. We had literally been on the go from early morning until well into the evening for two straight days. My life had been jam packed with activity and change for weeks and weeks on end. No joke.

So there we were, finishing up day two of three busy days together.
As I was dropping him off at his hotel after a very full day of travel, he says to me "Okay....see you at 8am." ( was after 9pm already). I remember this moment very clearly. I was in the driver's seat, slightly amped from two straight days of race-like highway driving, just having buzzed around my territory like a hummingbird on sugar, introduced to new roads, new areas of my work territory and the new language of this entirely "new to me position" that I had literally launched into without ANY training.

Never mind the fact that I had just completely uprooted myself from a home of eleven years in a community that I had lived for the last twenty. That was all part of the grand adventure though ...I and was totally into opening up new doors in my life. However, I found myself suddenly getting lost trying to normal things like find gas stations that carried diesel for instance and I became instantly aware of the fact that I would have to go through grand procedures to find the health food store, the bank, highway entrances and exits ...etc etc etc. I was coming from a place where I could do most of those things in my sleep. Here, EVERYTHING was completely new (to me) and I was totally spinning in the whirlwind of change.

I had been a living like a sponge, soaking up a life in a whole new world, and had been completely committed to not missing a beat, and making sure to get the most out of every moment.

However...I was coming to a place of information overload, I was also on day three without any physical activity (funny how there are some of us in the world who think that three days without sweating is like an eternity). I could feel the anxious swell rising up inside of me, like an orchestra preparing for the crescendo. my boss continues on, completely unaware of the swell, he rallys me for another day of action packed travel.

I couldn't go on.

I looked at him from the driver's seat of my car and boldly told him "No.. 8:30 is too early".

He looked at me, slightly stunned and at a loss for words. I think at that moment he was saying to himself..."who does this this little "rookie" junior sales rep think she is challenging my itinerary and agenda"....

He challenged back and said to me that 8:30 was NOT too early.

I took pause. Then said (in a calm voice).......
"Roy, I need to go for a run in the morning. Here's the deal. When Brenda exercises, Brenda is happy. When Brenda is happy, she does her job more effectively."

(in other words, Hellllooooooo....I NEED physical activity in my life!!)

We went around and around for a minute, but I was adamant about my situation, position, feeling....whatever you want to call it. He was equally pressing with his opinion..."no you don't need...blah blah blah...exercise blah blah blah to do your job well blah blah blah".

Little did he know that run was absolutely going to happen.

And it did.

And as the story went, we hashed it out, compromised our agenda... and met at 9am ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Think about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My inbox

Got an email this morning that made me smile.

My faraway friend Benny Ma (our former Lipton Soigneur)said..

"I'm actually rediscovering how much fun it is to ride my commuter bike around the streets of NYC. Makes you wonder if the word "bicycle" really means life."

I'm right there with ya Benny, right there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


On Yoga

“Without intention, all these postures, these breathing practices, meditations, and the like can become little more than ineffectual gestures. When animated by intention, however, the simplest movement, the briefest meditation, and the contents of one breath cycle are made potent.” Donna Farhi

Donna Farhi--I studied with her at Oberlin College about ten years ago. She was a fantastic teacher who taught me to explore my practice in a way like never before. After working with her, I found my grace as teacher and guide.

I will be back on the mat teaching in January......

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hip style...


How's that for sweet?

This swanky hotel down here in SoCal has decided to outfit each guest room with a bike for guests to use during their stay. Even sweeter that they chose The Lager, a bike from our SE BIKES line (and one my of my brother's designs), as the bike of choice for their guests. In my humble opinion, bikes definitely belong on the road (or dirt!), but I have to admit...that one looks pretty hot hanging on the wall like a piece of art. Nice going a rider, racer, all around great brother, and (at least in my mind)...accomplished "artist".


Sunday, November 09, 2008

There's nothing like dancing the night away with good friends!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Introducing Lily .... a bright little light!

Recently (and completely out of the blue), I received an email and photo from Lily's dad, Jim. It was a real treat to get this email and photo.

Here is the story....
This picture was taken after The CSC Invitational in 2007.
Let me explain a little bit about this day, leading up to the moment I met Lily.

I had a very frustrating race (all my Lipton teammates were up in Montreal). After this race was over, I realized that I REALLY love racing with a team and not alone(!), and just how spoiled I had become by being on Victory Brewing and Lipton, racing with some of the best riders in the world! I was all on my own on a day where there were strong teams represented in a race that had always been hotly contested....and historically, a break was known to go up the road.
Prior to this race, we Lipton ladies had just completed a round of three weeks of racing in Europe. We had a great racing streak (and an amazing trip!), and all of us were gaining some great form from that "block" of racing.
I, personally, was anxious to get back to some U.S. racing (criteriums especially!), so I asked to be left off of the Montreal roster, and took it upon myself to race a bunch of east coast criteriums ---solo.

In this particular race, the break went early. I went after it and bridged up with one rider (playing defense)in tow. I caught the break in a hard, lap and a half effort, only to have Laura Van Gilder attack...just as I was making contact (she is such a savvy rider!!). She got off the front at that moment, and took Rebecca Larson with her.

That would be the race.

I was pretty knackered at a crucial moment...and ultimately, missed the move of the day! The rest of us in the break were reabsorbed by the pack shortly thereafter, and although I felt strong and capable in the race, and made several unsuccessful attempts to bring back the pair...I would not have a fruitful day of racing. If my memory serves me correctly, it seemed that the field was just letting them go. And the two teams defending were doing a great job at that! Anyway....long story short, I left the course feeling a bit bothered by the outcome of the race on a day that I knew I had good legs.

Then.... along comes Lily.

This smiling, jubilant, little lady... shining brightly in the crowd (always big crowds at CSC). Her dad asked if he could take our picture together. Our conversation was brief, but Lily made me smile. It made me happy again....just to see so much excitement coming out of this little gal, and her pure love for bicycles.

That's what it's all simple.

Meeting Lily reminded me to check myself, and my attitude. She made my day. I left the course with a smile on my face after all (little did she know what an impact she had on me!). I was happy that I met a new little gal who loved bikes as much as I do, and happy to have the life I have. I am a bike racer, and that's a dream come true....regardless of the day's outcome.

I hear from Lily's dad that she is super pumped about getting a new bike for xmas this year. That Rocks. Go Lily Go!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And it went like this...

Three hours on that thing....and I DID too pedal!

And you know what else,
even though I'm not a gambling woman, I am willing to bet something pounds of organic, fair-trade espresso, or many bottles of tasty Russian River pinot noir, that I was one of the best stokers that captain has ever had along for a ride.

Oh wait a second, did I say "one" of the best?
Sorry...I meant to say "the" best.


Thursday, October 30, 2008


I think it's safe to say that I go through suitcases like some people go through running shoes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An interesting tale.

In the last two days I have seen my share of a different side of Vegas than most of us see during Interbike. I have seen plenty of hookers and thugs, thugs getting busted by cops, hookers looking for the trick, cops pulling over people with movie cameras to document the moment(!), lots and lots of cops and sirens in action actually, casinos, tourists, normal people, some not so normal people, Starbucks everywhere, Whole Foods to save my gluten free life (and to save my gut from any major drama like recently), running for shade by the middle of the day because it's so darn hot, but then freezing my arse off indoors because everyone keeps the A/C on so high indoors.....then add to that about ten very different, very unique visits with Las Vegas area bike shops and two visits to two "new to me" 24 hr fitness centers and there you have it. A work trip to Vegas. Big girl style....all by herself. I didn't even get lost that much!
Crossing my fingers I will actually get to ride my bike here before i leave off to bed I go. it's an EARLY start....but something tells me there are some nice places to ride outside of town, and I need to learn about them because I will be back here in December (and then again about every 6-8 weeks), and it would be nice to be familiar with and enjoy the outdoors and not just do gym time!

It'll be a miracle if I make that early of a start considering how long my days have been, but it sure would be a great way to end the trip!

One thing I know for sure....I will be more than ready for the weekend come friday! And I couldn't be happier that the time change if finally coming!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First true love...

This little Ibis Mojo is not my first bike, nor will it be my last....but it is definitely the first racing bike I have ever fallen in love with. I finally found my way back on the little thing last weekend and hit up some "new to me" dirt trails in a "new to me park" (with new friends down here in SoCal). On this day, I was reminded just how special this bike is to me.

We rode some pretty tough trails (and I think I may have been the only hardtailer on most of the tough ones we rode) however, funny thing is... even with the fact that the travel on my old fork was basically non-existent, my tire tread was minimal, one of my wheels in my wheel set has a nice dent in it to the point where I had to place a tube in the tubeless wheel, yaddi yaddi ya, you get the point, right? ...honestly, even with all of that I have to say, once I got going on her ("White Lightning" is my bike's name) I was in total and complete trust that I could handle the trails, regardless of how tough they were, and regardless of all the "issues" with my bike. I felt like I was hopping on a horse that had been my friend for life!

It was such an amazing day....I love that bike.
In all was from riding this bike (in Annadel State Park) that I developed the skills, the confidence, and the fitness that enabled me to go on to become a fearless little criterium racer in the pro peloton.

There are only two other bikes that have a place in my heart like that one. The first one being my little pink Stingray, that I taught myself to ride when I was about six-years old (I can still remember the first moment I made it around the corner in front of my house without having to put my foot down!...little did I know what love I would have for corners later on as a professional rider!!). And the other bike being this little 24" wheel Schwinn road bike my dad got for me when I said I didn't want to race BMX anymore, but I still wanted my own bike. I remember loving being in the big ring and loving being on the road, and loving going really, really fast (a feeling that you just couldn't get on a bmx bike!). I was far too young, and out of the loop to know that the bike I was riding was a style of bike that was actually being raced (by women!) but had I known....who knows what could have or would have happened! I think I was about twelve when I got that bike and I remember thinking how cool it was when my dad put a MotoFox sticker on it (a bmx thing). So that was my bike's name "The Green Fox" would be over twenty years before I got back onto a road bike, and even a couple more before I ever raced one....but that little road bike and some of the moments I had riding it are forever embedded into my brain --the feeling of high speed, and the wind in my face, and the urge to race cars (lol), and the pressure in my legs from using big gears, and most notably, the pure freedom that I felt when on two wheels.....those are the things that make me realize, (like so many people) I have loved bikes practically my whole life, to the point where I almost feel bad when someone tells me they don't ride bikes, because I know, as many others do, the pure joy that can from riding at any age and in any fashion. Okay...sappy bike love story over :)

word to the world on two wheels

Saturday, October 25, 2008

This is one of those days....

...where i have gained a little perspective.

it took having a heart to heart conversation with someone very special, and all i can say is that i am forever grateful that there are some pretty amazing and wonderful people in my life to help me by simply listening and then giving me such valuable feedback! the subject is not exactly's more or less a reminder to believe in, support, and value the people in our lives that sometimes we take for granted!

making that comment is probably a little more personal than a typical brenda blog post...but hey, i don't have any concerns about sharing my feelings when compelled to do so. there you have it. other news, last night i had a tough evening of major tummy cramps (miss super sensitive ate something that didn't go over so well!). essentially i didn't sleep a wink and ended up missing an event that i had planned on attending with one of my bike shop dealers. i feel horrible about missing something i committed to, but at some point...i had to choose between a little rest for the wicked, or run out on another terror mission and risk crashing and burning in the very near future, especially considering that my life has been rolling along at the speed of light lately!

so as i lay there at 5am this morning, the smart side of me's time to rest and heal, and hope that the bike shop dealer will understand. something tells me this was all meant to be, but trust me....i did not like to fail on a commitment, nor did i like to be buckled over with stomach cramps for half the night....just to learn a lesson! it's been a way more than busy time for me with work and the point where i work very hard to add in all the other normal elements of life, like spending time at "home", getting to exercise, see and talk with friends and loved ones etc etc etc...

fortunately, i am pretty in tune with myself, and can usually see that brick wall from a distance away...thus thankfully, i have usually been able make sure i don't go slamming into it!!

so...i'm going to sit back...take in a little sunshine, spend some time on two wheels, spend some time with special peeps and then get back on a roll come Monday.

the word of the weekend: Rejuvenation.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Along the way....I met Maya

So it was a normal day for me. I was parking my car to head in to see one of my dealers, Ira's Bike shop in Arroyo Grande.

Suddenly, just a few feet away from me, I saw this young gal have a pretty bad crash on her bike. It was a nasty crash, actually, and I immediately went to her aid. I basically had to run after her and tell her to stop (the adrenaline and embarrassment of the crash made her just get up and attempt to take off on her bike!)I convinced her to get off her bike, have a seat on the curb, and then I worked on calming her down by asking her to take a few deep breaths, and telling her she could trust me, because I too, was a bike rider and I knew what it was like to crash (little did she know how many times!!). We made our way over to the nearby public restroom to clean her up and we called her Mom. I stayed with her til her Mom could get out of work and come take her to the Emergency Room. In the meantime, I congratulated her for her bravery, and for wearing a helmet, and of course I showed her all my scars from the bunches of crashes I have had over the years.....but told her I still love to ride bike, even after all my crashes.

So...her Mom came, they hugged, they packed up the bike and off they went to see the doctor. That was that. Or so I thought.

This week Maya's mother called me and our conversation nearly brought me to tears. She told me about Maya and how shy she is, and how this was a big step in life that they were taking to have her start riding her bike to and from school (I think Maya must be about twelve or thirteen years old...and just learned to pedal on two wheels a year ago or so). Sandy, Maya's mom, told me that the day after the accident she told Maya that she didn't have to ride her bike to school anymore if she didn't want to and Maya looked at her and said...."Mom, that is the best part of my day."

.....that's the part that almost brought me to tears. How cool is that. What a trooper. Below is an email I received from Maya just recently. It made my day.

I think I have made a new friend :)

Hi It's Maya. Thank you soooo much for helping me on last Tuesday. I went to the urgent care and they gave me stitches. The wound under my nose is healing, but the one on my knee hurts the most. I'm feeling better, and Ira fixed my bike.
If you hadn't been there, a lot of bad things could have happened.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

okay...maybe I am bragging a little....but c'mon we are talking about a teenager here!

I just can't help it, my son continues to blow my mind.

Our most recent conversation consisted of him telling me how excited he was to go on a field trip to The main PG&E Facility in San Francisco, where he and his classmates were going to learn about the PG&E plant, and what they are doing to become more environmentally active. Myles, went on to tell me (once again) that he wants to make a life and a career in the realm of environmental sustainable is this really my baby saying all of this unprompted to his mama?!(maybe we will build a straw bale house together someday!)

...and in nearly the same five minutes, he starts to ask me serious nutrition questions, and actually asked my advice in the area of how to best replenish his body after hard workouts because he wants to do it right, and be as fit as he can possibly be. And get this....he called me an expert in the area, and someone he really trusts that can help him become the best athlete he can be.

awwwww... super big sigh and pitter patter goes the heart.

We won't talk about how "he forgot" to call me, and how I waited til I was practically sound asleep to hear from him!!....because at this point, none of that matters. I'm just thrilled with the topics of conversation we are having lately.

Thank you to the universe.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weddings, bike rides, and new special people.

The funny thing about the cycling community is that most bike racer weddings typically take place in the fall, when we get to actually have the "off-season"! It's pretty funny how many road cyclists will go down in history as being married in the month of October!! Recently, I have had the pleasure of attending two special bike racer weddings...two weekends in a row. It was a lot of effort on my part to make both events work into my life, considering the logistics of work and travel and this being the big "pre-season" sales time for the cycling industry etc etc....but I couldn't be more happy about making the effort to be present and part of both of these lovely celebrations. Both wedding locations were beautiful, both couples were amazing, and the folks who attended the two events were some of the coolest people I know.....hands down. Naturally, I also met a bunch of wonderful people as well. Of course both wedding weekends also included a road ride ---I mean naturally, you bring your bike to a wedding, right!? LOL

So this last wedding, which was Saturday, took place in Escondido, it was a great time indeed. Early in the day I went on one of the most beautiful Southern California road rides I have been on since moving here a year ago. And thank goodness, all I had to do was arrive in Carlsbad....suit up and follow his wheel, and his plan. Life made easy :) Along the route, I rode something called Harmony Grade and it reminded me a bit of the beautiful (almost unknown roads) outside of the Fresno area where we once had a pro-women's stage race. Anyway, we pretty much went up and down and up again (and up again and again and again!) for the whole entire ride....which was actually a welcome change from the area I typically ride out of here in central Orange County. I will definitely plan to take advantage of the Carlsbad area for winter riding now that I know a little more about those roads!
Again...I can't say enough that it is worth the extra effort to squeeze good times into life, even when work is all consuming!! Both weekends were just incredible and have left me completely satisfied and rejuvenated! (By the way...I did get to spend time with my main man Myles during my first wedding weekend trip...that was the greatest gift any mom can ask for...time with her teenage son!)

So one interesting note about the weddings: considering most of us see and spend so much time together on bikes, and rarely do we call for occasions to dress up, it practically goes without saying that it was fun to see (at both weddings) everyone all decked out in cool threads. Cyclists sure do "clean up" nicely!

Weddings are so cool.

Anyway, onto a little pictorial:...

Kat and Janelle all smiles...
go to for more great pics from this day! (Meredith has an amazing camera!)

Thea and Dirk Copeland....pure joy

A typical site during a ride....climb climb climb and by the way...PROOF(!) that Bluv does do hills ;-)

Thursday, October 09, 2008


"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."
– Diane Ackerman

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I feel a little bit like that girl in the picture.....

Been sleeping like a rock lately. The days are long, the brain is full and there is no end in sight. Interbike was a whirlwind (always is) and contrary to popular believe I only went out one evening and it was for the Sinclair Imports Party....really a great time with lots of new and old friends and I think we danced enough to officially call it a workout!! I did get in a nice long run one day at the show (which was a miracle), but the rest of my time was spent working the floor like the superstar sales chick I am (juuust kidding)...but really it was non-stop. Came home from Interbike with the chore of moving all of my home office stuff from one room to another in the house, not the greatest timing considering all the post Interbike follow-ups I need to be organized with, plus getting strategy down with existing dealers.....ahhh did i really say i was a girl who loves challenge?! lol Meanwhile, car registration is due, gotta keep my daily work outs to stay fit and feeling good, gotta do all the usual stuff like eat shower and laundry...and have I mentioned I am coming down to the wire with my 2007 taxes at the same time I need to send in a few months worth of expense reports to my company.....last minute brenda does it once again. But here's the deal... I have finally hired an assistant to help me with my books each month for expense and gas and mileage reports. You have no idea what a great investment this will be.......yippeeee...

Ps) cool things are coming down the pipeline for our 2009 women's team so please stay tuned. cheers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Praise to my main man Myles....

My baby is in "The Green Academy" (a pilot program being run at his high school and the only one of it's kind in the U.S.). He is absolutely loving it and is already planning his career in the world of "green living" ...... I'm so thankful he gets it at such a young age and I'm also very thankful for the teachers he has, they must be exceptional! Can you imagine having conversations with your teenage son about solar panels, and bio-fuels etc etc...?!

Meanwhile...he is on the football team, is holding a 3.0, and is part of kickin' little rap band that actually has some pretty cool beats and lyrics!

Go Myles go! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Loads to share from Interbike...

....but at the moment the biggest news for me is that I slept 24hrs over the last two nights, which just might be a record for me! Let's hope that's enough to catch up on the twelve hours of sleep I had during the whole show. Does that make it even now???

I can feel myself coming back to normal finally, and once I get completely unpacked and organized, I will update you on the show. WOW(!)we have cool things happening in the bike industry.....I just love it! More to come about our brands and the cool new things and announcements, but overall I have to say that I believe anyone who rides a bike is already a happier person than those who do not! So spread the word and get your friends and family members out on a's a beautiful, beautiful thing and one of the most amazing inventions ever. Even for all the craziness and stress of business that goes down at the show, it never fails that I leave Vegas feeling super fortunate to be part of this industry!

Cheers to all ...and as always, word to the bike.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Two reasons that I know it's Fall

1.) I am running on a regular basis (well...errr lets call it "jogging")
2.) I switched from white wine to red and appreciate every sip :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I named her "Angel"

SE LAGER in Cool White....and she's all mine in a 47cm.
(click on the picture to get a better view).

Gotta build her up this weekend.

I think I'll plan to get a few different sets of Velocity rims in different colors and then just change them out to suit my mood ---which changes often by the way, lol. But keeps life colorful to change, right?
So...for the rims, I'm thinking a teal set, a purple set, a green set and well maybe a set of powder gray mags (but it seems to only be cool to sport one of those at a time, so I'd be mixing in the colored velocity rim...sounds hot hey.). I might even go on and get a different seat to change it up at times, but the one that comes on it is checkerboard with a lightning bolt.....that's hard to beat for now :)

so hey...
when was the last time your brother designed the bike you ride?
mine did ;)

Me and Angel are gonna go places together....

Monday, September 15, 2008


contrary to popular belief....i am still alive.
promise i will be better at updating soon. gotta remember it's pre-season here in the cycling industry and there is not a minute to spare right now! i did just get to go see my baby up in santa rosa this weekend though.
lets see.... in 48hrs i drove to norcal, watched a varsity high school football game (was too late to watch myles play in the jv game thanks to bay area traffic), went to dinner downtown with myles and his sweet girlfriend, went to sleep, woke up and went straight to the flying goat (ahhhhhhh....that espresso was a treat), went for a spin in kenwood, met myles at his football practice, had a chit-chat with his coach, showered, went to lunch with myles, stopped by my old house and sifted through some stuff, packed my car to the gills, drove to san francisco...raced the san francisco twilight(!), showered again (at the nearest 24hr fitness), hung out with one of my best girlfriends, met up with the race peeps, went out dancing, ended the night with a couple of tacos in the castro way past dinnertime ahem...and went to bed by 3am.

then was up at 8:30 and was straight to union street for breakfast with the gang.
one tasty meal and two double espressos later i was back on the road to socal.

got home in time for an hour run.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008


it's a beautiful thing when you represent bicycles named after such a spectacular feature of the planet....

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe,and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
-Christopher Robin to Pooh

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


ASI Annual Sales Meeting -- Philadelphia,P.A.

super proud.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SE BIKES is Sizzlin HOT!

This is just one of the many cool bikes we are rollin' out for 2009. Fuji, Kestrel, and SE Bikes are all going to blow your mind!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rollin, Drivin, Jetsettin

Doing a whole lot of all three!!

...Just got back from a little getaway weekend in Austin, and yep it got hot hot hot again! I like that place every time I visit's just such a relaxing break from the movin and shakin that goes on over here in SoCal. And as for moving and shaking...dang!...I didn't even feel the earthquake! oh well....I got enough excitement in my life right now that it would be really nice if we could keep ground shaking to a minimum. lol.

Leaving for Philly tomorrow. Stay tuned....

ps) still haven't found my camera battery! (i feel like Chrissy..hahaha)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cheers to "the ride"

Spent the entire day in the saddle on Saturday. That was a first for me in a long, long time. We rode from Santa Monica to Simi Valley ...and back. Like my friend said when we decided to change our route, "this ride just went from good to epic!"

He was not kidding!
What a day.

...and we still had the legs to sprint the Santa Monica City Limit sign at the end of the day. It was a photo finish ;)

On another good friend Meredith Miller came over to Huntington Beach for a few days and we were fortunate enough to get to spend some time together both on and off the bike!! That was great.
I love it when the special people in my life come here to visit :) :)

Needless to say, the last few day have been good, or shall I say... darn right epic!

Rock On.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Well now...

I like the elements and all, and I have come to appreciate the forces of nature living along the coast here, but when the wind makes you work just as hard on the downhill as the up, it's just a little bit of a bummer.

..especially since I am the type of rider who pretty much suffers through climbing for two reasons:

1.)simply so that i can enjoy the views from the top.


2.) so that i can experience the thrill of the descending!

i'm simple. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Metal Flower

....tough and delicate all at the same time. thats me. lol.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For real.

I sleep on an air mattress. Hang on though....before you make assumptions about my air matress sleeping set-up, let me say something....this airbed is one deluxe suite of pumped up plastic! I'm pretty certain that if all of our race trip host-housing folks had these kind of air mattresses when we came to stay....we might never leave!

chek it out:

It's a double decker queen bed thing, that in reality could easily double as a raft if ever there were a flood. Or..has anyone done that afternoon raft ride in Tempe Arizona? This bed could be the highlight of the river! I am sure we could fit a couple coolers, a boom box and half a dozen peeps on it.

The only problem is that this airbed now has a slow leak. My son and his friends decided to see if they could double bounce me off the bed one day and that was that. The next morning I woke up in a marshmallow for a bed. I wake up that way every morning now. lol.

This is when it would be nice to have an assistant go and get me another one of these super deluxe, every home should have one for guests kind of thing...cuz man, lately I'm way to busy for these minor details!

Ok ok ok though enough is enough... I'll get one ordered this weekend.
No more marshmallow mornings....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quote of the Day

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
– Aristotle

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More from Austin. Next time I go there, I'm getting a pair of cowgirl boots!

Here is a nice selection of pics from our off-the-bike time in Austin. Thanks to Rick Kent for taking so many pics through the weekend.

I wish all race trips were like this one!! ;)

The folks in Austin really made a big, big deal about bringing the race to their town and thanks to Michael Ball of Rock Racing....the event received some great sponsorship and the name of the event became "Austin Rocks"....and let me tell ya, it sure did! My teammate Jen McRae, and my good friend and former teammate Kate Sherwin both live in Austin, so I have a darn good reason to go back real real soon.

People talk about Austin being this and that with music scene being so great, and with Lancy Pants opening a store etc etc...but for me, it will always be a special place just because that weekend was so wonderful. True that. It will be hard to repeat that kind of good time anytime soon, that's for sure.

Anyway, other than that.....we had Manhattan Beach, not the best weekend for me on many levels. The race was actually a bit of a buzz kill because it just never seemed to get aggressive enough, thus leaving everyone and their mum to feel like a sprinter come the end of the race (so typical hey). We pulled off third with Jen, which is great (never complain about podiums!)....but we know we can be on that top step. That is the goal. The best thing to come out of that race was the awesome host housing and support we received from my good friend and client Jim Manton of Sand Canyon Cyclery. He and his family and friends took really great care of my team, and to top it all off, we did a women's ride out of his shop that turned out to be a highlight for us all! Very cool stuff :) the Manhattan Beach race, I went right into a week long visit with my special, main man, Myles (sorry no pics yet cuz i lost the silly cord to upload!). Myles came here with two friends for a week. Ahem. Thats' right, three teenage boys for a week of Summer break! Talk about tiring a little mama It was all about driving, and riding bikes, and sightseeing, and beaches and movies and girls hahaha! Jeez I could hardly keep up with these guys! Myles is just such a sweetheart though, even with the challenges of him being a teen!

I love him bunches and miss him every single day that he is not with me.....

So thats that. There's the update. Actually been training my arse off too (like I said in my other post!). I've been logging a bunch of miles on the bike in new places, with new people, and finally feeling like I am able to explore this new territory of mine on the bike ---and not just in the car!

Okay....just keepin' it fresh and keepin' it real (and throwing in a cold one here and there too!)


Thursday, July 10, 2008


...notice the time of this post. i am turning over a new leaf here and am actually going to do an early (really early!!) ride today. i have NO idea what has gotten into me ;)

cheers, ciao, and word to the bike.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Slacker Alert!

ok....i'll be be back this weekend! been in a bit of a frenzy with all the life stuff....but trust me i got good reports coming --and pics too!!

Hope you all have a happy day off people.
(thats pretty much my term for the 4th!)

btw--- my favorite memories from the 4th of July Holiday are the times that we decorated our bikes (we all and my brothers) and rode them in the parade in our home town. it was "cool" to show off that we rode bikes!! hahaha...who would have ever known what was to come. I tell ya, I think I was just as proud as the mayor in that parade....riding along on my bike.

I knew I had something special beneath me...something very special.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer speed!

Does anyone else ever notice how fast the pace of life is when "summer" comes???
It's like this for me every year, and this year is no exception!
Anyway, we just raced in Austin Texas and I can't tell you how cool that trip was because I would have to write a book, and at the moment I do not have time to write a race report but here is a pic that sort of sums it all up :)