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June 30, 2016

APPsolutely Strava

In the month of June, I gave myself a challenge to bike as much as possible and log a minimum of 100 miles a week to get in shape. When sharing my challenge with friends and coworkers, I was able to get others to take part in my challenge and rally friendly competition.

So, how did we track our challenge? Strava, of course! Strava is a tracking platform for swimmers, bikers and runners to log miles, track times and share your street (and pool) cred with the rest of the world. It's a GPS based app the tracks your endurance activities and routes and shares them with your friends. You can title your rides, add images, give thumbs-up and comment on posts. This app takes something as mundane as tracking miles and turns it into an interactive media tool. If you are a swimmer, biker and / or runner, I highly recommend you start tracking your workouts with Strava.

As the month comes to a close, I am beyond proud of myself that I out rode my competition and logged 444 miles for the month of June! That's 32 hrs on my bike, Holy Moly! Can't wait to see what I do over the next few months.

June 26, 2016

Lutsen 39er

Look at me, what a bad ass! This weekend I participated in my very fist bike race, the Lusten 99er. With options to race a 19, 39, 69 and 99 mile race, I safely chose the 39er as my first race to partake in. I was joined by 599 others in my category to climb well over 2,000 feet and take on terrain of gravel, pavement, single track, double track, mud and your traditional mountain bike technical trails. Did I mention we climbed a ton? 

Since it was my first bike race, I gave myself a goal to finish within 4 hours. I completely surprised myself and finished at 3:33, placing 5th in my category! Overall, I was the 311th to cross the line out of 600 (not terrible) and finished with a smile on my face. I love pushing myself out of my comfort zone and trying new things. I'm looking forward to many more bike races in the very near future.

As a first time mountain bike racer, here are a few tips that I will share:
  1. Carry a Camelback or any other type of hydration pack. It is much easier than constantly reaching down for your water bottle. Drink often! 
  2. Eat every hour. Either set a timer or watch your computer to tell you when to eat. Have your food prepared, either bags ripped open or a snack bag on the front of your handlebars (this is what I need for next time). I made a rookie mistake and packed KIND bars that casually got soggy and broke apart in my back pockets, resulting in a mess and less food for me.
  3. If you have a Garmin or any other type of computer, don't obsess over it. Use it as a tool when you need it but don't constantly watch the miles go by or elevation climb or you can / will psych yourself out and the race will seem to go so slow. I made the mistake of looking at mine go over 39 miles and became very pissy and angry that I was still racing... 
  4. Be proud. The best thing about any race is finishing it and realizing what you have just accomplished. If you're sore immediately following or the next day, that's great too because you know your pushed yourself.
  5. Have fun with it! As competitive as I am, I went into the race knowing I wasn't going to win but wanted to set a few mini goals but most importantly have fun so I would want to do it again. Mission accomplished! 
Leah and I are so proud after crushing the race!

This is the video that motivated me to sign up. I wanted to get a whole new perspective in Minnesota by going down trails that would open new doors and perspectives of the state.

June 5, 2016


A Poster Party for People who like Bikes

Established in 2007, ArtCrank is now a staple for cyclists and art lovers in Minneapolis. The event features local artists who express their art and passion through bikes and unites a community together. This year, ArtCrank was held at Fulton Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis where Fulton beer was flowing, local food trucks were cranking and the cyclists of the Twin Cities were brought together to celebrate it all.

As I mentioned previous posts, cyclists run the streets and city of Minneapolis. We have been number one of the Bicycling's Top City list for years now and its easy to see that it's the people that make this happen. I am proud to be involved in this scene.

There are now 10 shows across the country and even one in London. Check out ArtCrank's Events Page here. If your city does not have an upcoming event scheduled, you can request one.

June 1, 2016

June Challange

Happy June 1st! Summer is upon us and so is getting our asses back into shape! I have a few BIG things coming up in July that I am bursting at the seams excited about and one of them involves a ton of riding in the mountains of Tahoe. With that said, I have to start riding everyday and build these legs for optimal performance. Along with biking I want to start running again so I can complete my 2nd half marathon this fall.

I am slightly behind with technology on this one, but I just started using Strava to track my rides and runs. I highly recommend if you enjoy riding or running that you use Strava to track your workouts.

My goals for June are the following:
100 miles a week for biking
10 miles a week for running

Here is the newest gear I purchased to begin my tracking. Please note: you can order both devices from your local bike shop and begin tracking your miles now! Follow me on Strava and let's cheer each other on and build miles together.

Garmin, Forerunner 25

Edge Explore 1000

All images from Garmin.com