Tag Archives: Jens Voigt

Cycling in America

Not long after crossing the border, with my lactic-acid filled legs pushing Holly Goquickly’s pedals, classic American anthem style music began to fill my ears. Not full songs, just blips; it was as though my mind was switching stations until it found the perfect tune.

Born In the USA… nope.
Jack and Diane… nope.
Don’t Stop Believin’… ohhh yeah.

“Just a small town girl, livin’ in a cycling world…” 😀

So last week Big Ring started his annual Tour de France holidays where he spends two weeks waking up super early to watch the Tour live (because apparently watching it on the PVR isn’t the same) and then getting on his bike for hours and hours after. And on Saturday, thanks to my super awesome parents for looking after Little Ring, the two of us, and our respective lovelies, hit the roads together.

We debated riding through the familiarity of the Valley, or towards the beach in White Rock,  but for this ride, those locales just didn’t seem adventurous enough. And so, we decided to pedal new terrain – by way of America.

Much easier to cross the border on a bike than in a car 😀

My parents live about 20 km from the border so it wasn’t too far a stretch to get to, and we’d been hemming and hawing about heading out that way for some time, and so, when we saw the forecast for Saturday – HOT! – Big Ring did some research, found a route that would take us to the base of Mt. Baker and back, including a stop at a Dutch bakery for lunch in between..

I sure hope these directions are right!

Big Ring We may have underestimated how long it would take to ride such a distance, approximately 95 km, with a 45-minute stop for lunch, a lunch that had a super tasty sandwich, but a very UNWISE cookie that caused both blood sugar drama from too much insulin (hello lows) and major belly issues from the sweetness battling the scorching sun above.

For the most part, bakeries and cyling go hand-in-hand… at least in my world they do!

We journeyed along quiet country roads, passed by windmills, and corn fields, and happy faced barns, and tractor-based sprinklers. We could see the mountain in the distance, and with the strong breeze consistently splashing our face, it would have been a much welcomed rest stop.


Unfortunately time was our enemy. At the border of Lynden and Everson, Big Ring made an executive decision to cut the ride short. However, one wrong turn had us off the comfortably quiet roads and onto a major thoroughfare. And let me just say, having cars buzzing you every second, squeezing you to the curb, sure does blow your speed confidence. Instead of picking up the speed, I majorly slowed down, which was also around the time my belly and blood sugars started wreaking havoc 😦


  • 11:45 a.m. BG before: 5.2
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: Vega pre-workout energizer (16g) no bolus
  • Distance: 76.82 km
  • Time: 3:42:58
  • Average speed: 20.7 km/h
  • Fuel: @12:30 p.m. BG 6.2 (1/4 PB and honey sandwich) @1:30 p.m. BG 8.0 (Sandwich and cookie with full bolus) @3 p.m. BG 3.8 (energy bar) @3:45 p.m. BG 3.6 (1/2 PB and honey sandwich and Swedish Fish)
  • 4:45 p.m. BG after: 7.2

The majority of this ride was what Big Ring called a sprinter’s stage, fairly flat. But the last 20 km, there were some impressive hills to conquer. At one point, I was crying out “No more! No more! My legs have no more gas!” To which Big Ring responded: “You know what to tell them…”


By the time I rolled into my parents driveway, a good minute or two behind Big Ring, my feet were throbbing, my legs were jello, and I honestly had no idea how I was to get off Holly Goquickly! And yet, not even an hour later, I was begging Big Ring for another go at making it to the mountain’s base.

Will I never learn 😉

Some days…

Some days, the last thing you want to do is pull yourself out of bed when the 5 a.m. alarm shrieks from across the room.

Some days, the hardest thing is squeezing into your sports bra, putting on your shorts, and lacing up your sneakers.

Some days, the thought of a 35-minute tempo run feels as though a marathon was looking back at you.

Some days was today.

When the alarm sounded, I was dead to the world. My eyes were stuck shut, my body felt as though it was the mass of 5,000 tonnes and my head as though it had vice grips securing it to my pillow. The thought of a tempo run was not at all welcomed.

I dragged my sorry self out of bed. I trudged to the washroom with my clothes and gear. I soft stepped down the stairs (no waking Little Ring allowed!). I grumble-whispered Good Morning to a smiling Big Ring, who was already up watching this morning’s stage of the tour, laced up my shoes, and slumped out the door.

I started running, but my eyes were still sticky with sleep and my legs felt like they were slugging through mud. It was as though a moody black cloud were hovering just above. This was going to be a long, painful run.

But then, there it was, my savior. Without even a thought, without a debate, or a weighing of the pros and cons, I ran full on through that ice cold line of sprinklers. And that there changed my run. It was as though I had a drunk a 2L bottle of Jolt!

Instant caffeine!


  • 5 a.m. BG before: 3.5
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: granola bar (15g) no bolus
  • Distance: 6:36 km — 5′ warmup/25′ tempo/5′ cool down
  • Average tempo pace: 5:15 min/km
  • Time: 35:10
  • 6 a.m. BG after: 7.5
  • Temp. basal: +50% for 0.5 hours

For a run that started out so poor, it ended up being so super awesome! I was able to keep my tempo pace within the average (5:00-5:15 min/km) and when I felt my legs slowing, which inevitably I did, I gave them my best Jens Voigt “Shut up legs!” – and they ACTUALLY listened!

So there you go folks, sometimes what seems like a bloody awful idea (5 a.m., can I really be blamed!) can end up being a super freaking awesome reality!

This morning’s sunrise!

And not only was it a great run, it was a smart run. With today’s temperatures again rising into the high 20s, I was quite pleased – and relieved – about getting my run out of the way first thing when the temperatures were still somewhat bearable. And for every runner I passed midday sweating through that scorching sun, of which there were plenty, I felt a pang of sorryness for them, but, uhm, sorry guys, there may have also been a bit of silent gloating going on too.

And with the run out of the way, I was able to spend the rest of the day touring our beautiful city, carefree and fancy free, with my two favourite Rings 😀


How do you get yourself out of the door when you’re faced with those evil Some Day moments?

I will conquer you!!!

So yesterday, I got the biggest, dustiest, slice of humble pie handed to me by Big Ring and his bike; admittedly, I kind of deserved it.

I wanted to show Big Ring how awesome Holly Goquickly was on the hills. And I could have shown him respectfully, but no, that’s not me and my silly competitive way. In the first 5 km of the 60 km ride, on the second giant hill of the day, I was coming up quickly on his heels. In good fun, I shouted out “Come on pokey, what’s the hold up?” The next hill, I got up on my pedals and kicked them into overdrive. As I swept past Big Ring and Lapierre, I shouted out “Eat my dust sucker!!!”

Big Ring eating my dust 😉

But the thing is, you don’t challenge Big Ring in his element and expect not to be challenged back. For the remainder of the ride I was eating his dust! But I didn’t let it break me, nope. Every time he became but a dot in my peripheral vision, I’d get the voice of Jens Voigt in my head – “Shut up legs! Do what I tell you!” – and I’d speed up until I was back on his wheel again. Coach NZ, you would have been so proud 😀

For our ride, we opted for farmland instead of the city.


While we spent the majority of the day chasing llamas, cows, and breastfeeding foals, climbing tree-lined hills and zooming down into gulleys, it was the final hill of the day that had all my focus. It’s a hill I know well; a hill I spent many of my elementary days walking and cycling to and from my childhood BFF’s house; a hill Big Ring climbed on our wedding day; a hill that nearly killed me the last time I tried riding up it; a hill we call Killer Hill!

But yesterday, it never once occurred to me that I would not conquer this hill. I had confidence. I knew Holly Goquickly’s capabilities. I knew my capabilities. I knew I could get up that hill. And as soon as we turned onto the street of Killer Hill, I started chanting my mantras loud and strong:

I will kill you Killer Hill!
I will conquer you!
I will get to the top!
I will be on my bike!
I will not stop!

As we drew closer, I slowed my pace, my fingers twitching at the ready to shift into the lower gear. I started climbing. Straight up, it got tough real fast. I stood on my pedals, my torso curved forward, my head and chest so far over my handlebars, I had no idea how I was not going over them. I started zigzagging, felt like I was on the Alpes D’huez, I was doing it, I was climbing, I was breaking that hill, the negative thoughts were nowhere to be found. Six hundred metres to go, 500, 400… and then, it happened. I had zigzagged too far left, went into the other lane, thought oh crap, probably shouldn’t do that given the winding road and the blind spots, and the fact cars coming the other way would not see me in time, I pulled my handlebars right, a little too right, I was headed straight for the ditch, I couldn’t pull myself back – OH CRUD! Note: I said something far worse and far louder than that when my shaking feet unclipped inches from the ditch and I knew there was no getting back on that bike. I had just 3-400 metres to go. Are you freaking kidding me 😦

With Holly Goquickly under me, I waddled up to my childhood BFF’s house where I climbed back on (cursing the entire way) and completed the hill.

I so wanted this photo to be a victory fist bump in the air photo, but I had to opt for my best Thomas Voeckler tongue out impersonation instead.


  • 10:30 a.m. BG before: 6.4
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: Zbar 1/2 hour prior, no bolus (18g)
  • Distance: 60.37 km
  • Time: 2:50:25
  • Average speed: 21.3 km/hr
  • Fuel (no bolus): @11:15 (4.3) 2 peanut butter and honey quarters and half a tube of Pocket Fuel nut butter. @11:50 (6.4) half a tube of Pocket Fuel nut butter. @12:45 (5.2) 2 peanut butter and honey quarters.
  • 3 p.m. BG after: 4.2

Killer Hill, I will one day conquer you!

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!

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

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 😉