Tag Archives: Big Ring

Planes, Trains and Automobiles – re-imagined

Again with the timing of appropriateness.

Twelve years ago yesterday, after about a month and a half of tinkering with the idea, Big Ring and I made our togetherness official. For 12 years, he has been my number one cheerleader, my number one support, my number one bestest friend of all. The things he has done for me, the love he has given me, the specialness of him, I cannot imagine life without his hand in mine.

And the story I share today is a perfect example of his greatness.

Let’s go back about five or six months. Back to those strained months before I got into dietetics.

I told Big Ring if I got in he would have to throw me a party, a big party, a huge party. This was going to be a party for me, but also very much for everyone that helped me. And there were a lot: those who helped edit my resume and cover letter;  who helped with the interview preparation; who took Little Ring so I could study; who helped me study; who repeatedly gave me confidence boosts; listened to me rant; acted as shoulders to cry on; even that one person who provided a word that my brain refused to grasp on its own.

Yes, I did lose a few friendships along this journey, as was mentioned in the last post, but there were so many others who became strong pillars for me. So many who I appreciate and love for all they have done. And I wanted to thank them in a huge way.

But the thing is, Big Ring, he’s not so much about the party scene, and planning a party, oh man, that’s like nightmare causing for the man. He offered an alternative:

“What if we went on a trip?” he suggested.

Dear friends and family, travel always wins!

Big Ring told me he was taking me away on a little adventure. He didn’t tell me where, he didn’t tell me what, he just told me the dates, and promised me oodles of fun. Trust me, he said.

Last month, his plan was executed.

I’m not the greatest at handling surprises. I’m not the greatest at letting go of control. It was a mystery right up to departure day, and it was a mystery every moment of every day of the tour. It drove me absolutely bonkers… and gave Big Ring great amounts of glee.

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Day 1 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: We stayed at the Opus Hotel, where we stayed 12 years prior, and went to the Queen concert as well as dinner at Chambar, a restaurant I hadn’t been to in years, but recall the last time drooling over the lamb. This time I got halibut, which wasn’t as tasty as the lamb of my memories, but the atmosphere and company were perfect.

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Day 2 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: We had breakfast at Musette, a cycling café in the heart of the city and watched stage 3 of the Tour de France. Again, with the atmosphere. The café had recently reopened after an extended closure. The tables were made using wood from the track of an old velodrome that was demolished in Antwerp. There were booths patterned after the shower stalls of the velodrome in Paris where the Paris Roubaix, a spring classic, finishes. The table flags were bib numbers from the Tour and the Giro d’Italia.

So much character.

And sitting there, eating my oatmeal (oh man, that oatmeal was good!!!) with morning cyclists all around me so enthused about the outcome of the stage, excitement all around, it was just a really perfect way to start the day.

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From there we walked along the Seawall for about an hour before picking up our suitcases and heading to the waterfront where we caught a HELICOPTER (!!!) and flew to Victoria.

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I’ve been on a blimp, I’ve been on a float plane, I’ve been on a stunt plane, but never a helicopter. It was awesome. It was a perfect day, and because it was a holiday, and he wasn’t having to worry about work schedules, the captain took us along the longer, scenic route.

So freaking beautiful.

The ride was only about 45 minutes. There was a guy next to me who I am sure had flown helicopters multiple times because he nodded off instantly. But me, I couldn’t stop looking out the window. I couldn’t wipe the amazed smile off my face.

A helicopter!!!

Day 3 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: We rented cruiser bikes from the hotel that we were staying at (The Oswego: super cute) and rode along the Galloping Goose trail. I was channeling my inner Euro as I rode in a skirt with a baguette in the basket. I totally loved it!

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And Big Ring pretended he was racing against Ryder Hesjedal 😀

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Those bikes were crazy heavy so I was pretty impressed with the 25 km ride we did. And I only had one skirt flying up incident… of course, it was right in downtown Victoria, a nicely congested area of people all around! Oops! There was also an incident of the baguette flying out of the basket subsequently getting run over by the bike. And yet, when we pulled it out of the paper bag for a picnic lunch a short while later, it did not look any worse for wear!

My favourite part of Victoria was Munro Books; I got completely lost in that bookstore. It was inside a beautiful heritage building, and the books were displayed so perfectly, with old wooden chairs situated throughout giving you an opportunity to flip through the pages. I didn’t feel rushed. I didn’t feel obligated to buy (although I did on my second return to the shop.) It wasn’t just the books capturing my eye, but the scenery and friendly atmosphere too. Everything about this place said “stay”.

Big Ring and I were also really drawn to Fan Tan Alley, a super narrow alley, just three to six feet wide and 240 feet long, that’s located in Chinatown. Going in, I didn’t know the history. The initial draw was an artisan ice cream shop we’d read about that turned out to be as good as its review. But the history of the building, the hidden nooks and crannies, the cute little shops, and the fact the alleyway was smaller than the width of my outstretched arms all had me wanting to learn more.

Fan Tan Alley was a hotspot for gambling clubs and opium factories in the early 1900s!

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Day 4 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: We travelled from Victoria to Seattle by ferry.

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I was soon discovering this trip was as much about the locations as it was about the modes of transportation. First we had the helicopter, then the ferry, what would be next?

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Day 5 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: We went to a baseball game. It was long. Really long. At one point I said to Big Ring: Baseball is like the Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going and going and …

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It is funny, though, the last time the two of us were at a Mariners game was 13 years ago when we were both working for the local news media, and hadn’t even yet developed a proper friendship, and were sent on assignment to cover local boy Justin Morneau’s intro to the big leagues. Needless to say, this time was MUCH different. Big Ring was not on the field shooting, and I was not in the men’s locker room blushing, or the press box dodging fly balls that landed in one journalist’s soda cup!

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Day 6 of the Katie Got Into Dietetics Mystery Tour: Homeward bound – on a train!

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Seriously, this trip was like planes, trains and automobiles – re-imagined!

And that, my dear readers, is the way this man loves me ❤

 

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Lonely in Cycleville

We were about 2.5 hours into a nearly 3.5 hour ride when we entered the trail head. Big Ring had been chatting about this path for the last 20 minutes or so, a look of mischief on his face the entire time. I didn’t know what I was in for; I’d never ridden trails before, and knowing my husband, I was picturing crazy, straight-up, steep, dirt climbs coming my way. We were near my recent running grounds, I knew this because there was a huge sign we’d passed announcing Burnaby Lake, and as soon as we came upon the path, Big Ring asked if I’d run here before. Without pondering it over, I right away said No, the road we’d just come off didn’t look familiar at all. But then, a few pedals in I thought, Hey, maybe, nah, could it be, maybe, no, yes, yes I think it is – yes, it is! YES! Seriously, I was saying all that out loud, and mostly to myself. A huge smile on my face when I realized it was the Central Valley Greenway that pretty much I’ve been doing speed intervals on every Thursday for the past year!

I run here. I ride here.

I run here. I ride here.

I wish I could say that smile held true for the entire ride.

I can run for hours and feel confident with nearly every stride I take (well, maybe not these days with this dang injury) . But get me on a bike and my confidence shoots out the window.

Last week was my first ride upon Holly Go-Quickly in 2 years. I was nervous as heck. You know how they always relate things to It’s like riding a bike, well, for me, like riding a bike is almost like mastering bloody chemistry. If I’m not doing it, I forget it. So the night before the intended first ride (with a friend, not Big Ring) I was incessantly grilling Big Ring about shifting gears – How do I know it’s in the big ring? how do I get it back down to the little ring? is there a clutch? Yes folks, I did ask if there was a clutch.

His response, with a smirk in his eyes, was: You’ll be fine; it’s like… riding a bike.

Oh crud.

Please clouds, give me cycling strength.

Please clouds, give me cycling strength.

I got on Holly Go-Quickly, I clipped into her pedals, and I rode, oh did I ride. For like all of one minute. Living in New West we face hills every which way we go, and so the first hill, two seconds into the ride, I tried gearing down into the little ring, but instead beefed up to a harder gear – right at the bloody tip of the ascent!!! – and my legs got all weak and shaky, and my brain all wigged out. Out popped my right foot, down to the ground it went, and a waddle bike walk up the hill we went.

Well that was a cruddy start!

I don’t remember it being this difficult before. I remember wanting to climb hills, cursing them in the moment, but feeling immense pride at conquering them in the end. I remember loving the wind whipping my face with every descent. I remember enjoying the chase of Big Ring, who always rode ahead, and loving the thrill of those few times I actually passed him (regardless of whether he let me or not). I remember at times feeling frustrated with my lack of speed when my legs grew tired, but more over I remember loving nearly every moment of every ride, even the bloody hard ones – hello Horseshoe Bay!

But the last two rides for me were, well, they weren’t exactly love. I liked them, I liked them a lot, but I struggled. Wow, did I struggle. I struggled to keep up, I struggled to feel comfortable and at ease with Holly Go-Quickly’s swiftness, I struggled to push hard, I struggled with my confidence.

Lonely cyclist alert.

Lonely cyclist alert.

Last week I discovered my neighbour chick just bought a new Cannondale, hers the more muscular version of mine. I’d contemplated sticking a note to her door, welcoming her to the world of Cannondale love, and signing off with a friendly Hey, we should ride together.

Now, I’m not so sure.

It wasn't all unhappies :)

It wasn’t all unhappies 🙂

YESTERDAY’S 2nd RIDE in 2 years:
10:30 a.m. BG before: 8.8
Temp. basal: -100% (4 hours)
Time: 3:24:34
Distance: 51:68 km
BG: @60 min: 6.6 (1/2 box raisins) @90 min: 9.1 (lunch: Granville Island sandwich and Chocolate Arts ice cream bar) @140 min: 4.0 (Larabar)
3 p.m. BG after: 5.6
Temp. basal: +100% (1 hour)

Yep, that is chocolate in my teeth – worth every tasty bite!

Yep, that is chocolate in my teeth – worth every tasty bite!

Weird aside: Following my aqua jog session the other day my hands and arms felt like they were moving through a mass of thick cobwebs. Seriously, every time I moved them, I could feel the hairs moving. I thought my blood sugars were low, you know that tingly feeling, but nope, they were perfectly awesome. It was the creepiest thing ever!

T-minus 29 days until Global Heroes Medtronic Twin Cities 10 Mile. I will conquer this.

Beer-licious birthday

Another year has passed and Big Ring is still alive!

Last Thursday was Big Ring’s birthday and we celebrated over three days: presents on Thursday; cake and friends on Friday; and my I-Only-Cook-Once-A-Year Birthday Feast on Saturday.

Because this year had beer prominence for us throughout (a craft brewery opened up five minutes down the road; several of Big Ring’s rides with his riding group this summer had beer stops along the way; and when my Belgian cousins (Hi Martin and Cristal!) came for a visit, we designed a beer tasting with several stops throughout the Lower Mainland for them to compare their top-notch beers with our local ones), I decided to make Big Ring’s birthday a beer-themed birthday.

What goes with beer?

Salty snacks. Cheeses and salamis. Chocolate stout cake. Growlers of beer. Bottles of beer. Even beer floats. Yes folks, we had beer floats! And, last but definitely not least, great friends who love great beer!150110bdayFor the finale on Saturday, I put together a pasta with clams feast. And I think it actually turned out really well, it had a nice, spicy kick, and was a heck of a lot less complicated than other meals I’ve attempted (I’m looking at you Lasagna 2012!) and something we both agreed we’d like to try again.

There was, however, a slight blip in the cooking process – just one! Midway through eating, Big Ring got a funny look on his face, and I was like, stomach dropped, oh crud, what the hell did I do? “Did you, uhm, use cilantro in this?”

That’s why I kept smelling cilantro! The recipe called for fresh parsley, but I have no idea the difference between the two, so it seems I pulled out the cilantro instead of the parsley. Oops. Good thing we both like cilantro 🙂 🙂 🙂

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SUNDAY RUN DAY:
• 8:45 a.m. BG before: 10.8
• Carbs: 1/2 banana (no bolus)
• Temp. basal: -50 per cent
• Workout: 85′ easy, 25′ at half marathon pace (5:10-5:35 min/km)
• Time: 1:50:11
• Distance: 17.96 km
• Average pace: 6.08 min/km
• Run BG: @30′ 4.1 (turned basal off); @60′ 3.3; @70′ 4.2
• Fuel: 6 shot blocks and 2 400 mL homemade sports drink
11:30 a.m. 7.7
• Temp. basal: +100% 2.5 hours

The run was great, but the BGs sucked. My legs felt great, I felt strong, I was able to kick up my pace when I needed to and maintain it for the duration, which was fantastic. But holy hell, what the eff is going on with my blood sugars. This is like 3 or 4 weeks now where the only day they go crazy high after breakfast is Sunday Run Day and where they bottom right the eff out 30 minutes into the bloody run. I know with this run I got distracted between the 30 minutes and 60 minutes where I wasn’t drinking enough of my sports drink, but that does not account for the bottoming out at 30 minutes. And the post-breakfast highs, what the hell? I’m pretty sure I’m not stressing about these runs, so what the frick is going on? Ugh!

Refusing the iBert bike seat

Oh man, the laughter that shot out of me the other night, I swear it shook the building!

It was the night of my last blog post. I had been walking around for days giggling manically; Big Ring knew something was up and was a little, dare I say, frightened. After posting my blog, I refused to leave his side until he read it. At first I waited patiently, but for some reason the guy was not interested in his computer, he was more interested in the real estate porn on the TV. I thought I was gonna pee my pants, I’d been waiting so long, but there was no way I was gonna leave the room and have him read it without me seeing his reaction! After what seemed like forever, he finally shuffled over to his computer, and started clicking on his million or so bookmarks. As soon as I saw my blog pop on his screen, I could feel the evil excitement bubbling in my belly, and could barely contain the laughter within me. I watched as he slowly scrolled down, reciting the words silently in my head. And then, when that shot of the green iBert on the beautiful Bianchi appeared, I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I was snorting like a fat little pug! His eyes shot open, his mouth tried forming words, but for a moment, it was just flabbergasted silence. And then, just as fast as he lost his words, he regained them:

“Not going to happen!” he said. A cavalcade of reasons why came flooding out of his mouth fast and furious. Some of them genuine observations and concerns, but most, big fat lies:

  • “It’s like putting steer horns on the hood of a Ferrari!”
  • “It’s $1,200!”
  • “It’s banned in Canada!”
  • “It’s not suitable for carbon-fibre bikes!”
  • “Could you imagine if Jens Voigt had one of those? He’d have to have SIX strapped to his bike!”
  • “It may be suitable for some road bikes, but it’s not for Lapierres; says that right at the bottom of the page!”
  • “You wouldn’t be able to see your Garmin with that, and if you can’t see your Garmin, there’s no point in riding your bike!”
  • “Mark Cavendish has a kid and you don’t see him riding around with one those!”
  • “The entire nation of France would lay a serious whoop ass on us if we did that to the Lapierre!”

I kid you not, the excuses were coming out of him faster than vomit after a night of tequila! Apparently he really doesn’t want iBert messing with his beloved mistress. Can I blame him? Not really, but uhm, I’ve been saddled with BOB, so really, how is this any different? I’m just saying!

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How dare I even think to mess with his beloved mistress!

YESTERDAY’S RUN:
5:30 p.m. BG before: 9.0
Temp. basal: none
Time: 30 minutes – 10 warmup/10 tempo/10 cool down
6:30 p.m BG after: 7.6

And if you missed it, “BOB” replied to my last post in the comments section 😉

Trick or Cycle

Happy Halloween from Princess and the Rings!

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Little Ring dressed up as Babby Merckx (Eddy Merckx’ long lost brother from another mother ;)) what did you dress up as?

New cyclist on the block

Oh yes he did…

So the other day Big Ring came charging up the stairs, bubbles of excitement bursting out of him. He had a surprise, something he wanted to keep a secret, but something that was so brilliant, he just could not hold it in any longer than the mere seconds he already had.

“Guess what I got for Little Ring,” he shouted, a beaming smile on his face.
“What?” I asked.
“Guess!”
“A new book?”
“Nope.”
“A 60-inch plasma?”
“Nope.”
“A rocket ship that would put Superman in the dirt?”
“Nope.”
He looked at me like I should have known, like I was crazy for guessing the guesses I had guessed, and when he couldn’t take it anymore, he blurted the surprise out…
“I GOT HIM A BABY CYCLING SUIT!!!”

Yep, you read that correctly. My baby is just over a month old and already has his first cycling suit, with back pockets (for the bottles and wipes of course) and sponsors (including Babble and Eat-Poo-Ride) to boot.


Look out Cav, there’s a new cyclist on the block!

Can you guess what Little Ring’s going to be for Halloween 😀

In other crazy parent kid news: Not only has Little Ring somehow learned how to use the iPad and send his mama emails while she’s sleeping (I kid you not, I got an email from my kid) he is also the newest member on Twitter. And let me just say, he’s pretty insightful (and hilarious) for such a little guy whose life circulates around eat, sleep and poop.

Follow the little guy at @TheLittleRing1 and prepare to have your mind blown 😉

For the love of Vespa

Seven years ago, when I first saw that pastel pink Vespa (a princess in her own right) in the display window of a shop downtown, I was instantly in love. How could I not be? Her cupcake pink hue, her gleaming chrome, her style – I had to have her. And every opportunity I got, I would go down and stare at that little princess, envisioning myself atop her, with a smile that could only be accented by Marilyn red lipstick, and a rosy glow on my wind-flushed cheeks. The logistics of my commute, however, just didn’t work for a Vespa lifestyle. And soon, my pink princess was sold.

Fast forward a few years and the love for the Vespa hit me again, smack hard in the face. Big Ring and I were in Nice at the time, checking out an Italian festival. While his eyes were drawn to the shiny red Fiats on display, mine were instantly magnetized to the sparkling red Vespa in the centre of the courtyard. Ohhh she was a beauty.

Visions of me in a short red flowing skirt, white top, scarf around my neck, red sunglasses and a red and white helmet on my head danced before my eyes. And I kid you not, it was as though I had reverted back to a five-year-old with exclamations of “I want! I want! I want!”

But again, the sound person in this relationship (take note, that is not me) reminded me of my hour plus commute to work and noted that we live in one if the rainiest places on earth, regrettably flushing that stylish dream down the hole 😦

But then, earlier this week, she came back full force by way of a black beauty named Bellina.


MacGuiver, Super Stylish NYC Girl and Bellina

This weekend, our New York friends (who are more truck-driving nomads than New Yorkians these days) came into town for a quick lunch visit between loads. Rather than come in on their big rig, which admittedly would be a nightmare to park in our community, they spun in on their Vespa beauty. And instantly they became the object of my envy.


Ohhh, you better believe I was getting on her 😀

One day, my friends, one day…