Who is Sue and what is Suelandia?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cold calls

Hey people.  It's almost the middle of November, and I've ridden in shorts and a t-shirt the last two days.  Crazy!  We've been so lucky this fall, but winter is coming.  Last year I tried riding the trail in the snow and it was pretty much a ~fail~, although I'm told that last year the snow conditions were especially bad for "skinny tires" like Penny's.  This year I'm determined to make it work.

Here I am last winter giving Penny a big hug.  I missed riding so much I'd go down to the garage sometimes and just practice track stands (where you try to balance on the bike with it standing still).  It kind of helped when it came time to actually ride in the spring; my balance was way better.  

 This year I'm looking into different tires.  Bike-store-guy-Al tells me it will be tricky, because Penny's frame is narrow, but he's noodling.  I looked at what they call a ~fat bike~ there-- bikes made for snow-- but they start at $1500!  Just one tire is $150!  Not happening for me.  Maybe if I am able to figure out snow riding and really have fun at it for a couple years I'll be motivated to save up, but that's a lot of dough for me.

I did invest in better gear this year though-- check out my new helmet and goggles.  I reasoned that with a boarding helmet that is insulated and has ear warmers etc, I wouldn't have to try to cram my bike helmet over a hat like last year.  Also, when I rode last year the wind was freezing on my face, so-- goggles.  I can wear them x-skiing too.  See the mitts?  These are my new "trigger mitts".  They let me hold onto the bars and use the brakes too.  Last year it was sort of either or.  Didn't help the success factor.  This year if nothing else I'm going to ride on the snowmobile trails in the state forest.  My fingers are crossed for either hardly any snow, or hard packed stuff.

I have really become interested in getting more women into biking etc.  Last year, or the year before (they go fast) I tried this by starting something called ~the danger girls adventure club~, which wasn't biking specific, just a way to get a group of gals who like doing stuff outside and being kind of goofy.  But only two girls joined (and one was T-Pam), and this guy who calls himself "danger Josh".  ~disbanded~

Here is sis leading her little wolf pack of naughty boys in the Halloween bike parade she organized benefiting her local Humane Society down in Texaco.  Earlier this year she rode in her first organized ride-- a 30 miler to S. Padre Island.  Woo Sis!  She would have joined for sure.

She said the boys swarmed around her as they rode, asking if they could just bomb down the road and not stay in their position in the parade line-up.  It was tough reining them in, but fun.  Part of her wanted to just let them go wild I think.

On the MTB forum I look at there is a women's only section, but it never gets updated, and the gals who post all seem to know each other and I think they are all racers.  I'm still not confident enough to approach most of them other than to say "hi" and "way to be awesome!"  I'm not really that great of an athlete, I just want to have fun.  I'd like to follow around some better riders to learn, but am afraid they'd be frustrated by my lameness.  I'm still thinking of ways to expand my tribe of riders.  I'm thrilled, of course, to have a couple new recruits, but would love to have a whole gang of chicks to ride with.  ~Chainring Chickas~  Still scheming for next year.  Maybe I'll try to get something going again.

I've been thinking lately, about how lucky I am in the friend department.  For a while I went through this thing where I felt very periphery.  I had friends, but had this big "nobody gets me" thing and felt lonely.  I know this is just a thing I go through sometimes, and is mostly in my head, but it still feels real while it's happening.  Now I look around and I'm surrounded by so many ultra cool women-- all quite different, but seriously, I am so lucky.

One really good bud, Linda, made me a very special gift for my birthday-- which was back in June, so this is uber late, but I've wanted to show it off for a long time now.  This was what she gave me--  Just the box is cool.

Inside was this-- a book she MADE for me, tied with the little cord with a little metal bird.  ~Perfect~

 She spent a whole year photographing stuff she knew I'd be especially into-- cool rusty stuff.

 I love this book so much.  I was floored she'd taken so much time and knew my heart so well.

Whenever I look at it I get inspired.  I wish I had all these goodies in real life-- the cool stuff I could make!  It has me dreaming of horses right now.

Recently we went on another junk expedition, a favorite activity of ours, and both went totally gaga over this little trike.  We were like the trike paparazzi, blocking the aisle taking a zillion pics of the primo rust.

It's gotten pretty hard to impress me with weirdness now, but sometimes things like this doll head still grab me.  

Or this-- "Yes, I'd like the ornament of an old lady, in a highchair, who's apparently soiled herself."  WTH?

 Linda spotted this idea and I'm totally stealing it for the door going into our garage.  It functions as the entrance to our house all winter.  This will be a great way to fancy it up a bit.

Lately a lot of friends have cropped-up in my life, some old, some brand new.  I'm not sure what is going on, but I really like the feeling of being surrounded by friends.  Sorry this post is kind of random.  I guess I'm thinking of the inevitability of winter and how sometimes I feel the need to prepare for it, find ways to ward off the blues etc.  This time around I feel a shift coming, but am not dreading it.  It just seems like another season, with different fun activities, and cool pals to do them with.  :)


Samantha Leigh said...

My love! You are awesome! And I will be one of your chainring chickas!!! :)

Side note, if you have a spare set of tires for Penny (like something nobby) you can buy a box of self-tapping drywall screws and make your very own studded tires!! It's a breeze, baby! It's what Jeff and I ride with!

irishk said...

You are in a wonderful place! Good for you. It's a fine thing to love your life and be present in its fullness. It can be lonely to be a unicorn in a world full of llamas, but it can be magnificent as well. I celebrate your unicorn-ness :-) Kathleen

pseudosu said...

Oh yay! I was hoping you'd sign on to the ~chainring chicka~ gang. Seriously-- I'm thinking of starting an emailing list or forum thread or something next year. I've thought about the studs and may go that route. But first step is trying tires that are a little fatter, with a more open blocky tread pattern.

Don't you mean uinicorniness?? haha. :) Glad to have you in ~my tribe~ hon!

Linda G. said...

Wow. The Big Book of Beautiful Rust. What a lovely, lovely gift. Also, totally cool helmet and gloves.

Maery Rose said...

That book is amazing! What an awesome gift!

I get into that same funk about friends. Which is why I'm so glad I've met up and gotten to know better such a great group of women. I've never had friends like I have now. Hoping for one dry day this weekend to try the trail, but also game for the next weekend. I don't think we'll get real snow for awhile but I properly shouldn't have said that. Spinning in circle and throwing salt over my shoulder...

Oh, and I've missed the bizarre antique shop discoveries. Thanks for throwing in a few photos. I feel better now.

pseudosu said...

Linda G-
I know. I love that book. As for the helmet, a lot of this *gear* serves the dual purpose of covering up my horrible tangled hair. ~win win~

I'm the same right now. Some of these gals have always been there- on my team, and some are coming out of my past, and then there are some like you who are brand new. I'm starting to get the feeling I've chased for a while now, of actually having a tribe.

As for riding this weekend-- fingers crossed. I'm going this morning before the rain moves in.