Team Tinkerham

A blog about bicycling and other misadventures.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Oh dearest.

Something I discovered, when you're frantically training for an athletic event-- you don't have a lot of spare time for meandering posts. I attribute my lack of posting to either having my butt on a bike saddle, or my butt at the YMCA, or having my butt at the office.

Last Saturday was the Spring Breakaway ride. My second attempt at a metric century (100km, or 65 miles roughly). The first time I got lost. The second time we had brutal, brutal 30mph headwinds about 3/4 of the route. I don't know exactly what the mathematical ratio is to effort perceived/exerted to headwinds= distance. All I know is that the wind made it super duper hard!! I sagged about 9 miles out of sheer exhaustion in the middle of the ride. Surprisingly though, I got off at the next rest stop and started pedaling away. Most people did not do that once they got on the sag wagon. They rode it all the way to the finish line.

After Mister and I hit the last rest stop (he caught up with me, as they made him sag-- he was dead last because of my snail pace)-- we traveled onward. Some dude came pedaling up behind us. He quickly panted (to Mister), asking how much further it was. Mister said "7or 8 miles, or so". The guy sped up and got ahead of us. He started doing what, I have a bad habit of doing which is - pedal pedal, coasttttt, pedal pedal, coastttttt. Turning around to keep checking to see where Mister and I were. Finally, a light bulb goes off in Mister's brain.

"That guy is worried about beating you, Lady!" duh. That happens frequently. People who are on their last wind, as long as they beat the fat chick they're happy. Guess what guys, I spend anywhere from 6-10 hours a week cycling or exercising. I'm not in great shape-- but I can now go the distance on a bike!! So, I let the guy wear himself out trying to beat me. Then I pulled out my last little bit of strength, and took off ahead of him, while my drling Mister distracted him and chatted him. I am pleased to report that, indeed, the fat chick beat the guy. We were at the car loading our bikes by the time he pulled into view! Muahhahahaah.

The perverse lesson that I learned is that, there are always people better on the bikes than you-- and there will always be someone that I am better than. *snort*
I, too, have people that I peg in a crowd and determine I need to beat them-- without them ever knowing. I'm particularly guilty of that with old people at the YMCA. It is slightly sick that I'm willing to compete with a Grandpa at the Y-- but tht's just how I roll. Adorable CW thinks that is messed up, but bah! Everyone does it.

Next rides coming up (look for me on the long routes, so you can beat me without me ever knowing!!)-- Tour de Houston and Katy Ram Challenge.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My apologies, for my wayward ways

I have been running around like crzy since the start of the new year. I completed 45 miles on the Frost 50 ride. It lifted my spirits immensely. 1 year previous I barely completed 17 miles.

Been doing a few long rides here and there. A couple weeks go I was going to do my irst metric century, but I got lost! I only completed 36 miles-- before my truck magically appeared in the horizon. Next weekend we have another ride in the same area-- I'm hoping I don't get lost again.

I finally opened a little store on Etsy!!
Check it out. All proceeds go to MS Society!

I joined the YMCA, and seem to be making progress there. It just got too cold here for voluntary outdoor activity. I got a team jersey for Sun and Ski Sports, lemme tell you that I look like a neon sausage!

Lastly, I should be getting a triple crank and clipless pedals in the next couple of weeks. I'm a big kid now!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Last minute tax deduction?

If you're looking for a last minute tax deduction, may I humbly suggest the MS Society?
Here is a link so that you can donate a little money to the cause.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Ipod Christmas!!!

Mister and I gave up our YMCA membership because we were flat out not going. We might get a trainer so we can train at home on crappy weather days. The only thing I think I will miss might be a spinning class or two.

Mister got me an Ipod Nano for Christmas. It's pretty spiff. I know it probably isn't a good idea to cycle in traffic with the earbuds in-- so I found this thingy from iHome. It is a portable speaker set that looks like it takes up a water bottle cage worth of space. I'm not sure how much it weighs or how well it works, but it is an idea. I think I found some other speaker accessory possibilities. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to be in and out of traffic with headphones on.

I am, however, comfortable enough to wear them out on the closed trail in the park. It is a closed loop for cyclists and annoying roller bladers. I also decided I wanted a good playlist or when I'm out there. I came across playlists at and also at Fitness Magazine's website

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I sure did.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

We went out and donated bicycles to kids today. a total of about 18, 000 bikes were given away all over Houston. Our group personally gave away about 4,000 bicycles. There was a core group of about 4 of us that were dedicated to adjusting all 4000 bikes to the kids sizes and doing minor repairs. It poured or the first 2 hours we were out there.

I am exhausted and bruised. I spent 6 straight hours on my feet bent over at a 90 degree angle wrenching, ratcheting, lifting, and fixing bikes. I was the only female with tools, and I swear to you I almost killed me some menfolk. The male volumteers would tell me HOW to do it. Would take the bikes away from me to do it. I I yelled for folks to come to me for adjustments, they'd walk to the Mister first if we were next to eachother. It was an INTERESTING social experiment. I had 8 yr old boys telling me how to do it. It was an exercise in patience, too. It was also pretty dangerous. They warned us that when we ran out of bikes, we would need to haul ass out of the neighborhood. Some of the other locations almost had riots.

I was pretty disenheartened when I realized some of the "volunteers" thought they deserved a bike, and basically stole one. It made me sick. I ddin't relize what was going on until too late. There were also kids that came through several times getting several bikes, and then selling them to the crowd.OVerall, I am so glad i did it. I hope my skills with a wrench made the people realize that a girl is just as handy. Hopefully my bruised hand will recoup nicely over christmas. The meat of my palm is one giant red bruise.

I really think they should have had water and food out there for us-- or else told us to bring a snack and plenty of water. I am so dehydrated and having horrible back spasms.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My first bike ride

So in January 2007 I did my first big event ride. I was absolutely terrified. I had the wrong type of bike (a single speed cruiser), and was totally unprepared. I dsent the email below to my friends regarding this epic bike ride. This was before i blew out my ACL in March.

The spacing is jacked up-- but I'm lazy.

Yesterday I had my first big ride (that I had been training for) and it was kinda like I was in the special olympics. I swear.Most of my fears came true, but they weren't that bad...It was 40 degrees and windy, in other words, totally miserable for bike riding. Half the course you had to pedal into the wind (and I had a LOT of trouble)Mister wiped out on the first corner, then came from behind, and beat me by a good 1.5hrs. He was going so fast bc it was so cold, and he was just wearing shorts and a tshirt.He told me I wouldn't be the only one on a cruiser bike, but he LIED. I was the only one on a bike without gears (which totally sucks in the wind!!!), I was the fattest person out there, and yes, I was DEAD LAST.I couldn't figure out why this truck was inching behind me until I asked them what the problem was.... It is to protect the last rider from getting nailed. I kept having to stop, and ppl would come up and ask if I was ok. It was really embarrassing. Every single person on the 20 mile route passed me. But when I finally made it to the finish line (as everyone was packing up and leaving) they all cheered for me. People who were driving away rolled down there windows and stuff, too.At one point I did start to cry bc the weather sucked, I was tired, and I felt dumb.But it was worth it, and I can't wait to do it again.I completed an athletic event. An event, even my scrawny husband had trouble with!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Been a little while!

Time flies when you're traveling, eating like a pig-- and generally getting ready for Festivus type things. I've been on a few 20 mile training rides, nothing major or hardcore. I really need to light a fire under my butt-- as I've got 3 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day to get my ass in shape. I'm terrified, quite frankly.

Tomorrow we're planning a ride, but the weather is supposed to be kind of nasty-- so I suspect it will be bagged. I won't ride in 40 degrees and raining.

Some cool events I am slobbering over in anticipation-- Wednesday Dec 19th, we're going to the Elves and More Bike Build session. Their mission is really bad ass. They build bikes, and then will be delivering them to randomly chosen neighborhoods on Dec 22nd. I will also assist in the delivery. I am wayyyyyy excited.

I've been on the receiving end of charity in Christmases past-- so I love when I have an opportunity to give back. I will also learn how to build a bike on Wednesdy night. They're very short on this year's budget-- it only takes $40 to get a kid one of these bikes. If you have a little bit of extra cash, maybe think about checking out their website and dropping them a few dollars. I know bicycling has revolutionized my life. Maybe a bike can change a child's?

Warm wishes to all!! Happy cycling!!