Tag Archives: Chocolate Arts

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.

Ask and you shall receive…

I had an absolutely fantastic day yesterday. I didn’t run a super fast race, didn’t get a lingering hug from Andy Schleck, didn’t become a chemistry genius, or get a solid night sleep – all of which would have been pretty darn spectacular – but I did get something that was absolutely out of this world.

Yesterday’s tale starts with a text I got from Big Ring on Friday informing me that instead of going for a ride, he had opted for a city day, and in that city day a scrumdiliumptious cherry chocolate ice cream bar from Chocolate Arts was included. Instantly I was jealous.

Let me tell you, these bars are friggin amazing! They’re handcrafted from locally made, and super pure, Avalon dairy cream and free range eggs, topped on a perfectly sweet brownie base, and dipped in decadent chocolate. Their flavours, almost all of which are seasonal, also use locally produced, organic fruits and herbs. In the last two years I’ve enjoyed lemon basil, raspberry, rhubarb (my favourite!) and cherry.

Not surprising, I sent a rapid-fire text back to Big Ring informing him of our plans for a city day on Monday, which would include a bratwurst on a bun with sauerkraut from Granville Island (that’s been my crazy preggers craving) and a stop off at Chocolate Arts for a bar. Obviously!

But on Sunday afternoon, it dawned on us that the chocolate artisans may be taking a holiday too. I Googled their hours and sure enough it said it was closed. Nooooo! But because I’m a desperate pregnant chick (with seemingly no shame) in need of her ice cream, I emailed the company asking if they really were closed. I mean really, it’s only BC day. A few hours later, I had a response in my inbox: Yep, they were closed 😦

But Greg, who owns the shop with his wife, is so totally amazing. When he realized I was preggers, in need of my ice cream (a craving he could relate to with his own wife) he told me to come on down, they’d open the shop up, no problem. Oh! My! Gawd! Seriously, how often does that happen?

I guess there are benefits to this medicine ball attached to my belly after all 😉

Hiking the vacation away

Well, that time has come. The holiday is officially over and tomorrow I am back at work, and a long day at work at that 😦

I’ve got to admit, going into this holiday, I was a little concerned it would be a bore; it’s the first holiday Big Ring and I have had where we haven’t traveled anywhere … we like to consider ourselves jet setters 😀 But we made a pact to try new things, get outside, not sit at home. And the weather was perfect.


Belcarra: Trying to smile when you’re huffing and puffing is no easy task let me just say!

So, while I didn’t tour the Amalfi Coast, or eat Neopolitan pizza in Naples, or drool over Mark Cavendish while watching a live stage of the Giro D’Italia – I did tour several hiking trails of the West Coast (10 hikes in 2 weeks to be exact!); I did eat wood-fired funghi pizza at Nicli Pizzeria in Gastown, of which the owner was born in Naples, and imports ingredients from Italy; I did watch Cavendish fly to his third win in Stage 13 of the Giro – on the computer mind you; and I did eat the most delectable rhubarb (made with fresh, organic rhubarb!) ice cream bar, covered in dark chocolate – oh yum!


(My apologies for the crap quality… damn compression!)

So no, it was not a bore of a holiday, it was a gloriously rich one. But still, my mind has been working in overdrive these past two weeks planning our next European adventure 😀

In the name of Lance

Labour Day weekend is one of my most favourite long weekends. The sun is almost always shining, Mario and I almost always go for a ride, and there’s almost always ice cream, sorbetto, and chocolate involved.

This year’s Labour Day did not disappoint. We had ice cream and sorbetto galore, a long ride through the best parts of Vancouver, a warm, late-night, outdoorsy dinner with great friends, a leisurely walk along False Creek, and an impromptu shopping spree in Yaletown that involved new oxford heels (on sale!) and a new pretty girl felt hat, circa 1920s, with the style code: Princess. How serendipitous 😀


If you are to listen to one thing I say, listen to this: Go and get one of these ice cream bars, preferably the lemon-basil flavour. Oh. My. Goodness. Heaven … also known as Chocolate Arts.

I also registered for the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo this weekend – in a volunteering capacity, that is. (No way in hell you would get me riding 160 kilometes in one day!) Even before I signed Mario up for this ride back in January, I had my eyes set on volunteering for the gig, not so much to give back, but more so in fulfilling a love-struck dream of being on Levi Leipheimer’s or McDreamy’s or even Lance’s detail (Hey! You never know!) And so I had kept my eyes posted for months, regularly hounding the organizers for updates. When I received notification last Monday that registration would finally open on Friday, I made a mental note: Do not forget. I FORGOT!!!

Didn’t remember until Saturday morning and by that time the VIP tent was already full 😦 So, I opted for the next best thing: bike marshaling from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. And given that Lance and Levi are super duper fast they’re sure to swing their bikes by during that time, so I’ll have a drool moment yet 😀 And my shift will be done before Mario crosses the finish line, so I’ll be able to cheer my voice hoarse for him as well. A good day indeed.


Oh yes please 😉

How did you spend your Labour Day long weekend?