You may have noticed (and if you don’t, just lie to me and tell me you do) that things look different around here. My blogging friend Janice, in addition to being a fitness-mom-blogger herself, is also a part-time designer and WordPress expert, and the woman behind Just Janice Designs. When I cried “I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW WORDPRESS WORKS!”, Janice came to my rescue. There was a slew of issues I had on my “please fix my blog” wishlist, and Janice was able to fix them in minutes. Her latest WordPress theme creation, Fashionista, was exactly what I wanted (and I’m no fashionista): a clean, more professional look. To say I’m thrilled would be an understatement. (You can view the before and after screenshots HERE). Janice offers a wide variety of services, from blog migrations (because lets face it, switching to self hosting is terrifying), to WordPress support and redesign. If you’ve been looking to take the next step with your blog, or simply have a few issues you need to have cleared up, I would HIGHLY recommend Janice.
Now, to completely change the topic: let’s talk about how winter in Vermont is inevitable and unavoidable. There is a small window of time between “end of summer” and “blizzard season” where those of us in the North-East try to hoard every last waning second of sunshine and unfrozen ground. Most people call this season Autumn or Fall, and associate it with quaint orange and red things like pumpkins, foliage, and apple cider. Around here I like to think of it more as “panic season”, as we frantically and almost maniacally try to squeeze in every non-snowy outdoor activity we possibly can, all while making sure to put the snow tires on our cars and that awful heat saving plastic on our windows. Because like it or not, the snow is coming, quite literally any minute now. And in my experience, winter never creeps up on you… it hits you like a frozen freight train.
So even though we finally had a weekend without a scheduled race, the sunshine and lack of precipitation (of any type) meant sitting around was simply NOT an option. Saturday afternoon I took pleasure in the fact that I could hang my laundry on the clothesline one last time…but only the tech gear, because it was too cold for anything else to thoroughly dry. I put in a few lazy running miles in, and then an hour or so later put in a few more. Night time brought cold air, room temperature beer, and a hot roaring fire, as a bunch of great friends joined us for a night Hash trail. So, I put in a few more running miles. Followed by lots of laughs, some delicious food, and muuuuuuccch rejoicing.
The next morning we awoke to our neighborhood transformed into cyclocross central. It turns out the Vermont State Cyclocross Championships were just down the road. I’ll shamelessly admit that I became positively giddy when I stepped out on my front porch to hear cowbells and cheering off in the distance; I’m sure any endurance sports junkie can probably relate.
I’m not a huge fan of cycling in general. Traffic terrifies me and I fall…a lot. But cyclocross, now this is a sport I could get into…assuming I can finally master the art of clipping in and out of my pedals without a full 45 seconds worth of fumbling effort. The best way I can describe cyclocross is obstacle course racing ON a bike. No, there aren’t any rope climbs or monkey bars, but there are indeed obstacles, most of which you have to actually remove yourself from your bicycle (hence my need for a faster clip/unclipping skills). Also: copious amounts of mud and dirt.
A few weeks ago Geoff had joined the local cyclocross practice, but had to quit two weeks in due to a hilarious and unfortunate “undercarriage” injury. But for the hot moment where he was aiming to compete, I dutifully internet researched this new sport, as a good girlfriend should. Rumor on the internet streets was that the cyclocross community is notorious for silly costumes and “hand ups” of the finer things in life, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon. I had also read that USAC had recently made such hand ups illegal, thus I wasn’t surprised to not see any. I was, however, greatly disappointed that I didn’t see one single costume. Geoff assured me that he has never heard of such shenanigans in his extensive cycling career; I assured him he has clearly been hanging out with the wrong group of cyclists all along.
But I digress.
Beer and costumes aside, cyclocross still appears to be a ton of fun…and quite frankly pretty crazy. So I’m putting that on my to-do list.
But probably not before the snow falls…