Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gold Nugget route pre-ride

This year, the Gold Nugget Triathlon (GNT) returns to Elmendorf AFB for the bike portion of the race. Tight base security can make it a challenge for women who want to train by pre-riding the course but don't have ties to the local military bases. I spoke with Lisa Keller, one of the organizers of the event, and she told me the options: 1) if you know someone on base, they can host you as you ride the course; 2) the Tri Club is organizing a pre-ride, so you can check their site to find out more about joining them; or 3) we will be offering a pre-ride the Wednesday before the race.

The important details:
Bonnie has volunteered to coordinate this ride because she has base access (huge thank-you, Bonnie!). However, she needs to provide a list of rider names to the people at the gate one week before the ride. If your name is not on the list, you cannot ride on base. We plan to have a second ride leader available to accommodate those who show up whose names aren't on the list with an alternate route on the Glen Highway Trail and Arctic Valley Road.

If you're doing the pre-ride, be sure to bring your identification so you can show it at the gate if asked. Please email us by the end of the day on May 4 with the following info: name as it appears on your driver's license; license number; email address; and phone number. Bonnie will contact you with instructions before the day of the ride. Space is limited, so send your information to: alaskadirtdivas at sign yahoo dot com

Alright, you may now install your aerobars!

posted by rose

*this post was updated to provide more detailed information about base access. - rose

Friday, April 16, 2010

Diva ride ratings

In an attempt to describe the challenge levels of the rides this year, I've put together a list of features you might anticipate on each ride. If you have comments or suggestions to improve the descriptions, please let me know by posting a comment at the end of this post. Here goes:

Damsel (Easy) - relatively flat terrain with some hills; smooth, wide trail with few obstacles. Easy rides are mostly limited to paved rides and a few early dirt rides unless otherwise noted on the schedule.
Cardio challenge: mild to moderate.

Princess (Moderate) - mix of level, rolling terrain and some steep hills; some roots and other obstacles (rocks, sand, wooden structures) on the trail; some technical sections; frequent regroupings after technical sections or at major intersections. Includes a mix of wider trails and some singletrack. Many dirt trail rides will fit this category.
Cardio challenge: moderate to strenuous.

Diva (Difficult) - steep hills; roots and other obstacles on the trail, including rocks, sand, wooden structures; steep descents; Includes lots of singletrack; faster pace; and more mileage.
Cardio challenge: strenuous to moderate.

When looking at the early season road rides, note that I would consider the Bike For Women preride to be a Damsel ride because, despite the hills, it's on pavement. Yet it would have a moderate cardio challenge due to those hills.

Soon, all the rides listed on this site and on the members-only Yahoo site will have a rating applied to their descriptions. I hope this will help experienced and new riders decide which rides are best for you. I appreciate any feedback you have.

posted by rose

Friday, April 9, 2010

Divas in the morning

Seven of us rolled out of bed very early this morning to volunteer at the KSKA fund drive this morning. We didn't get any air time, but the people in the studio, including the infamous Bede Trantina, did mention us several times as the "Dirt Divas, mountain bike enthusiasts." We were mostly clean this morning but we did tell one of the on-air fundraisers that sometimes we live up to our club's name and come home muddy after a ride. One Diva said that her husband hoses her off in the driveway before letting her into the house. The rest of us weren't sure if that's because she gets dirty or fiesty. Guess who?

We answered calls from 28 generous people who support public radio. They pledged over $4700 in the time we were there. Answering the calls was fun, whether it was a former governor, someone we knew, or just a stranger who agrees that KSKA makes their life better. Maybe Jamie can talk a few of us into getting up early, some of us on our day off, to answer phones when the fall pledge drive comes around.

Yippee ... it's Friday!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

getting ready

It's April First. Is your bike ready for the season?

I ask because in the fall, you don't always know when a ride will be the last of the year. Just the other day when I went for a spin on the snow bike, I wasn't thinking at the time it would be my last snow ride, but now that another four days of melting have passed, I think it was. Kind of sad in a way because it'll be a long time until the next ride where I can't hear or see a car. I'll miss riding in the woods, but it's something to look forward to in June (sigh).

Dear Bicycle,
Sorry about the crust of dried mud
on your downtube. I promise to clean
you before I take you out this spring.
Affectionately, Muddy Girl.

As I ponder these upcoming dirt trail rides, I'm reminded of all the things I need to do so my mountain bike will be ready for dirt. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I'll need to brush off the crust from last fall, find the seat bag and check its contents to make sure I have all the tools I need, plus make sure the spare tube is good and that I have some patches. I'll have to repeat the process on the road bike. (By the way, how many Divas are racing in the Bike for Women?) A little bit of preparation out in the garage on these sloppy days will mean a bit less stress when I'm getting ready for that first Divas ride in a few weeks.

Ready for any emergency?

If your bike needs to be tuned up, hurry down to your favorite shop so you can have it back in time for the first ride. Things have really been picking up, which is why if you stop in at Paramount this weekend, you might just see me working. Yes, it's so busy that I agreed to lend a hand. It should be fun seeing customers I haven't seen in months.

One more encouraging note, I went for a ride with Lynn C. the other day. We rode around the south side of Lake Hood and out past Point Woronzof. The route was mostly dry and some of the road shoulders had been swept. We had a great ride in the sunshine. In a few weeks, we'll all be out there for the first official ride. In the mean time, I'd encourage you to check it out. It feels great to start the season with a few miles already on your legs!

See you on the 7th at the Annual Meeting.

posted by Rose