Friday, March 22, 2013

Wreck and Replace


Barbie and I had a wreck. Thankfully, we were not on our bikes but the beloveds were totaled and we, luckily, were not hurt.

It all started on a beautiful morning in October, Barbie and I were coming off a PR high from the Augusta Half-Ironman. Our fancy tri bikes hadn't let us down but we wanted to ride our road bikes for an easy 40 miler, ha, this is no easy ride but we were going to take it easy. This was an organized ride sponsored by the American Stroke Association at Hanover Vineyards in Yadkinville, NC.

Poor Barbie's car was rear ended with our bikes on the back. My Bianchi went flying off the bike rack and Barbie’s Trek was mangled into the back of her SUV. The damage was pretty amazing, especially to her car.

We had a full house of witnesses because we were hit at the starting line.


Barbie and I on our new rides!
We've recovered from our bike loss and replaced our smashed bikes with new Trek's from Ken's Bike shop with the help of Charlie (aka Biking Boogie). Ends up that Barbie and I are once again twins. I saw what new hot rod she was buying and decided if it was good enough for her then bring it on! Boogie set us up on our bikes and over the weekend we struck out on a cold Sunday morning for a ride. As we were meandering through Sherwood Forest, we passed Boogie's childhood home.

Boogie in front of the very driveway where he learned to bicycle.

Boogie is quite the biker and has his own blog that is fun and informational. Check it out at

We finished our ride through Reynolda Gardens with the sun making a brief appearance. Boogie was a sport and we look forward to more rides with this expert!


Thursday, September 13, 2012


I’m not sure if this really is a Biking Bettys worthy blog but it has tickled me and thought I’d share.

As you know, Bro and I ride quite often and use at least 2 water bottles a ride times 2 rides a week which is 4 bottles times 2 for each of us equaling about 8 bottles per week which, hello, is a lot of bottles.

So I am getting ready for a ride and find myself scrounging for water bottles. Where are all of the bottles disappearing…knowing full well they are rolling around in the back seat of Bro’s car with mold and mildew growing in them.


So, here comes my son getting ready for lacrosse practice looking for a water bottle which he can’t find either because there are none except for some random lids that don’t fit anything. I’m watching him come up empty handed from the water bottle drawer and I’m ready for him to ask me what to do when he says, oh, I have some bottles in my lacrosse bag I should get out. The next thing I know he starts dumping armfuls of bottles in the sink and I can’t believe my eyes!
There were 11 water bottles in his bag!

Our water bottles have been in an equipment bag with stinky pads, gloves, pinnies and cleats. They don’t just stink; they reek of something more reminiscent of cat pee pee.

They have been disinfected, I hope, because we are using them like they are brand new. Salut!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Brown's Bruise

Owie! That's a beaut.

Barbie and I needed to do a long ride and we always love it when Brown comes along because she is always saying things that are very funny and she tempers Barbie and me when we start pushing the pace. On a long ride we don’t need speed we just need to do the miles. Brown pulls us back thus the ride is always more enjoyable.

We were probably 28 miles into our 50 mile ride and had stopped for a short respite (remember, Brown can’t drink and ride at the same time...we’re working on it). I don’t remember what the conversation was but Brown got twisted up and off balance on her bike with one foot clipped in. Before we could even begin to help her she started falling. It was one of those slow motion falls where you don’t know whether to get out of the way for fear she will take you down with her OR try and help her stay upright. I got out of the way! Barbie was not in her path so she just watched in wonder. I’m sorry, I knew I couldn’t help her and let’s be honest, save yourself! 

Here’s the crazy thing while the bike did go down, Brown DID NOT. She started hopping on one foot and shouting OH, OH, OH and before we knew it she had cleared the bike and was standing a few feet from it. If she had thrown her hands up like a gymnast nailing her dismount we surely would have gone down too, next time maybe. 

We started laughing so hard I almost fell over too. Tears rolling down all of our faces. It was just what we need to finish the last 22 miles which were all uphill, mind you!

This was literally two seconds before the fall. 
Look how happy Brown (right) is.

The next day at work Brown calls me to tell me about the bruise on her posterior and how it smarts like nobodies business. I ran right up to her office to lay eyes on the said bruise and couldn’t believe my eyes so I took a picture to share.  


Friday, September 7, 2012

Bakery Ride

I was laying on the couch reading the editor’s note in Bicycling (August) by Peter Flax and he mentioned his ride through a Mennonite community and I wanted to read more about his experience but he segue-wayed into his hot dog ride which I liked too but it wasn’t what I wanted to read. Then it hit me, wait a minute, I have my own experience with the Amish community. 

My first encounter was a couple of years ago when Barbie and I were on a very tough ride when we found ourselves passing a horse and buggy. It looked like a family coming back from church. The only thing I could see was a straw hat. We were shocked and found ourselves waving and saying hello as if we were star struck.

Fast forward two years, Bob and I decide to do the Bakery Ride. It’s a destination ride (which I love to do) where you ride to the Amish bakery (pray they are open) eat a fruit turnover and ride back. Barbie and I did this ride with Bro earlier in the spring but the bakery was closed. I was looking so forward to the turnover treat. Ahhhh! Anyway, Bob and I are having a great ride and about 18 miles into our ride, I look over and there is an Amish girl in full skirt to the ground along with apron and bonnet mowing the yard with a lawnmower nicer than mine at home and she is barefooted. I almost fell off the back of my bike and if it hadn’t been so politically incorrect, I would have stopped and taken her picture. I couldn’t believe my eyes on all levels. It was no less than 85 degrees at 9:00 a.m. in the morning. and SHE was mowing not HE.  What the??? This was totally freaking me out like I was in the twilight zone.

Bob and I were stunned when in the next instant we look up and here comes the oddest little cart with horse, it was not a buggy, but a love seat type of cart with two young girls holding the reigns. We waved and said hello and they waved.  As they passed, I turned around to give them the once over and the youngest of the two was doing the same thing to us. She was looking over her shoulder at this crazy lady in tight black pants and psychedelic jersey! Don’t you know she was thinking, HOW could you and WHY would you ride a bike in that get-up! Ha. Bob and I were so cracked up we had a hard time holding a straight line.  What a dichotomy in cultures and I’m sure there are plenty of pictures where the two have crossed but this would have been priceless.

We continued on our way around the bend and found the bakery. It is run by a family who are familiar with bikers and even the name of the ride. 

Wall of hats at the Amish bakery
Bob and I each had a turnover and relaxed on the front porch. The son of the owner was interested in our bikes and wanted to know all about the components. I asked if he rode much and he said just from farm to farm. He said they would never ride competitively against each other. He was as friendly as could be and I wanted to continue to talk with him but knew I would just embarrass myself with stupid questions. 

Bob and I cruised home and had a great ride fueled by sweet homemade goodness. What could be better than that?

Friday, June 1, 2012


This is getting to be a theme, male riders joining the Bettys. Maybe WE are special. Maybe we do have something to offer other than a pretty face. Maybe we can hang with the Bros.
I mentioned Bob in my very first post. He is a colleague of Brown and mine and more importanly an avid biker as well. (His name is really Joe but since he is riding with the Bettys we’ve nicknamed him. It sounds better too, the Biking Bettys and Bob, don’t you think?)

The year before last he decided every Friday would be a century ride (100 miles). I hope he does it again this summer because Barbie and I are interested in having a positive experience riding 100 miles. We did the Raven Rock Ramble with Barbie’s dad last year as our inaugural century ride and it was not pretty. In our defense we really didn’t train like we should have and paid dearly for the judgment lapse…never again.
He's back!

Back to Bob, he has taught me all I know about climbing hills. Barbie, on the other hand, is a mountain goat and knows how to work the hills.  I am like a baby lamb that would rather lay down in a meadow than grind up a hill.  So Bob has taken all the Bettys on a ride of nothing but hills to hone our skills.
So here is the secret, ATTACK the hill. As Bob likes to say, “Get after it!” Torture is how I would sum up the experience but incredible progress was the outcome. While I still dread seeing a hill just ahead, I can do it with less trepidation than before. If you are wondering where Brown stands with hills, let's just say she doesn't care  two cents about climbing hills or attacking them, for that matter, and is happy going at her own "pokey puppy" (her words not mine) pace to the top.
Barbie, Bob and I rode a 25 mile loop the other day and boy did it have some hills.  We haven’t ridden together in over a year because Bob broke his back. It wasn’t biking related but nonetheless still bad. Bob rode this challenging course (lots of hills) and there is no doubt about it,  he’s BACK !
So here’s to Bob for getting back in the saddle and re-joining the Bettys on our riding escapades.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Biking Bro

Biking Bro
From time to time the Bettys might bike with men folk. We have gleaned many a good tip from our male riders but there are times they can be a bit intimidating.
Please enter, Bro, who happens to be my husband and rider extraordinaire! He loves long and steep rides like Bridge to Bridge, Assault on Mt. Mitchell and Blood, Sweat and Gears (why would you do a ride that has blood and assault in the title?).  I’m just saying there might be some screws loose to sign up and pay for such a ride. Anyhoo, the bottom line is I can’t keep up with him and have NO desire to try. He has his Bros and I have my Bettys.  Just the other day, I was complaining about a hard and hilly route the Bettys always do and he said, “that route doesn’t have any hills.” Uh, excuse me. YES IT DOES! Hence our realities are very different.

 Bro preparing himself for the ride with the Bettys.

However, there are times our biking worlds come together like when he needs a recovery ride or he is desperate not to go by himself. 
That being said, Barbie and I planned a Sunday morning ride and because Bro didn’t get to ride on Saturday he decided to join us. I wish you could have seen Barbie’s eyes pop out of her head when we went to pick her up and Bro got out of the car to put her bike on the rack. WHAT???? The fear being, we are going to be going way too fast on this 40 mile ride and I will not be able to keep up.
So we started the sand-bagging with Bro immediately. We are going to be slow and you can go ahead of us and wait at the turns. We don’t have our climbing legs so just wait for us at the top. Whatever you do DON’T push us because we are going at our speed and our speed only! Got it?
So off we go, a 40 mile out and back bike ride. The weather was perfect and traffic was nil. I thought we were going fairly fast but notice Bro starts riding without his hands. This was disheartening for a couple of reasons,  A) because we are so slow he can continue to lead us without his hands on the handle bars and B) who has the balance to take your hands off of the bars? Barbie and I were a little in awe and little pissy too.

Barbie and Bro checking out the scenery.
Barbie and I are huffing and puffing especially up any type of incline. We get to the turnaround spot and I will have to say, I was dreading going back. I was done with the ride and tired out of my mind. Thankfully, the ride home was faster and not so boring. The scenery was even more beautiful on the way home. I wish you could get the full effect from this picture because it reminded me of how lucky we were to have such a picturesque area to ride.
We made it back to the car and Bro decided he hadn’t gone far or fast enough so he rode the 25 miles back home just to remind us who’s the Bro and who’s the Betty!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Bikes!

We have a new edition to the family; Black Betty has a new bike, not just any bike but a triathlon specific bike.  In honor of its size, we have changed Black Betty’s name to Barbie Betty because the bike is Barbie size (XS) and it’s even got some pink accents to make the true Barbie proud. Too bad you can't see the pink in the picture.
Barbie Betty's new Trek
The new bike is a Trek Speed Concept! Barbie tested this hot rod out a few weeks ago and she marveled at its smooth ride.
For example, our first “test” ride came after work on a beautiful spring afternoon. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect and the WIND was blowing at 15 mph (we don’t live at the beach). Ahhhhhh!  Barbie rode that bike in the aero position 95% of the time and acted like it was no big deal. FYI, she’s never ridden in the aero position before so this was a huge accomplishment especially since we were blown all over the place. While we only went 20 miles, it was a perfect testimony to the handling of this sweet ride. Needless to say, she bought it!

Barbie Betty practicing in the aero position

So you know what that means?
 I had to get one just like Barbie! So off I went to Ken’s Bike Shop and asked them to order me a Barbie bike too. Unfortunately, I am not Barbie size so mine is not cute (read XS) or pink. My size came in colors of black and silver, maybe I should be Black Betty?

Blonde Betty's Trek with Biking Bro (more on him to follow) in the background.

Anyway, my bike came in and the fitter at Ken’s, Charlie, is amazing. He took a ton of time with me, fitting me just right. He explained this was a process that took a lot of tweaking! I also have issues with the saddle and during the fitting alone, I went through 2 seats. Physiologically something must be haywire down there. Barbie and Brown NEVER have issues like me. I felt like Goldilocks trying out beds. This one is too soft, this one too hard, this hurts in the front and this one in the middle! Okay, so I have settled on a more narrow saddle that in and of itself looks like a torture device because of the misplaced curves but so far it is causing the least amount of pain. I am not saying this saddle is “the one” but it’s a contender.

This is the Bontrager Nebula Plus WSD

While it may sound like Barbie and I have, on a whim, decided to get new bikes, we have been looking for months and talking for a year about upgrading to a TT bike. We want and need all the help we can get speed wise from our bikes. These bikes will come in mighty handy in a triathlon and will put us hopefully, in the middle of the pack and not at the end of the pack.
Blonde Betty