Having been introduced to the Body Paint Bibs and the Castelli Progetto X2 seatpad a couple of years ago now, I have truly seen the light! They are still going strong and I am still impressed. Of course I do tend to look after them (they take such good care of me!), and I do save them for my longer rides as opposed to my daily commute.
On deciding to add another pair to my kit drawer, I was super excited to try the new 2012 Body Paint 2.0. Expectations were running high, as my original Body Paints have been so great, and when expectations run high like that there is always some potential for disappointment. Not so with my new BodyPaint 2.0s! They are every bit as good as my other pair, and yes they are better still. It's not a night and day thing, obviously with product at this level improvements will be subtle, but the upgrades definitely add something and are certainly noticeable. I personally haven't wind-tunnel tested the aerodynamic dimpling yet, but these bibshorts definitely have the feel, comfort and quality that you know the very top-level pro riders are demanding and getting. On my first outing in the 2.0s, the hills still kicked my butt, and I need to dial in the position on my new bike, but these new Body Paints sure made me feel special! They feel every bit as comfortable and as fast as the copy and the look suggest. Simply put, they are the best bibshorts I have ever used.
Of course those of us here at Bicyclinghub.com are
happy.We ride our bikes, we talk about
riding our bikes, we dream about riding our bikes, and we have been known to
occasionally eat Voodoo Donuts while doing all three. (Not all at once, of
course).What could make us
happier?Well, the answer is quite
clear: making sure you, our customers, are happy!
So many of us go through life on auto-pilot, trapped in our
own little worlds, not really thinking about anything other than the immediate
task at hand.Perhaps we walk around
throughout the day with blinders on, navigating only within the small little
scope of what we are allowing ourselves to see.We may get the job done, but this also means that we miss what’s really
important in life.Certainly matters of
importance in life are ranked individually, but positive human interaction
really is what makes us all tick.How
much better is the day when you meet up with your best friend on your ride
home, bump into a favored office-mate while buying a Kombucha (or your favorite beverage) on your lunch
break, or even just sharing a smile with the cashier ringing up your
groceries?Not too long ago I was
walking into a local market and noticed the employee bringing in the grocery
carts from outside.He had the most
amazing circus-style mustache I had ever seen!It was incredible.I just had to
tell him.“Your mustache is great!I love it,” I uttered, as I smiled his
way.In responding, he said to me,
“that’s the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day.”Honestly?That was the nicest thing he
had heard all day?Astounding.I am certainly a glass half-full kind of gal,
but at that moment I decided that I was going to make a VERY conscious effort
to make as many people smile in a day as I possibly could.In fact, both my husband and I wake up on some
weekend days and create a competition, or a challenge, of sorts – EVERYONE we
see, we MUST make them smile!With some
folks it’s a no-brainer, but others can present a challenge.In either case, it makes for a great
day!Making others smile, really, really
makes us smile.In fact, watching others
feel happy makes my heart smile.I feel
Since those of us at Bicyclinghub.com are happy, that must
mean we make others happy, right?Well,
that IS right.We are in the business of
spreading happiness.We just recently
introduced a new position here.The
title is yet to be determined: Customer Happiness Specialist, Customer
Happiness Expert, Customer Happiness Superstar…These are just some of the
options.One Face Book fan even
suggested Customer Happiness Fairy Godmother.We’ll see about that one.Even
without an official decision on the title, you all get the picture.We want to make you happy – that’s what makes
us happy.Positive interaction is the
key.So, let’s do this together!Give us a call, send us an email, or even
smile at the person sitting next to you.Let’s spread happiness together!
Wednesday, April 18,
2012 was the seven month anniversary of a day I wish I could forget…
a day I wish never had happened. But it did happen, and I have to
live with that for the rest of my life.
On September 18, 2011, I
was riding my bicycle with friends on Mount Evans, the highest paved
road in North America. I had ridden this mountain many times before.
It was a place where one had to expect the unexpected, especially
when it came to Mother Nature. I had encountered high winds, rain,
hail, and snow. Once, lightning struck so close that the thunder
nearly knocked me off my bicycle. I could feel the surge of energy as
it hit beside me. I could smell the acrid odor of ozone in the
ionized air. The road was riddled with potholes and ruts, but I knew
every one of them. I always adjusted to conditions. As such, it
seemed my biggest hazards were motorists on the mountain, or perhaps
an angry mountain goat.
I was wrong.
On this day, I
encountered fierce winds on the mountain. This was no different than
what I had encountered on many other occasions. However, I wasn’t
feeling my best that day, so my boyfriend and I decided to turn back
a little early, as our other friends continued up the mountain
(although snow would prevent them from summiting either). We began
I was taking things
relatively easy compared to the aggressive descents I usually rode in
the mountains. However, I was frustrated at having to constantly
battle strong headwinds, unable to exceed 30 MPH (on the straight
sections, I usually would reach speeds of 45 MPH or more). I saw a
turn coming up, but had little concern. I knew it to be an easy
maneuver. On this one section, however, something was different that
day. Maybe it was a thermal eddy. Maybe something else. On the
straightaway, I was battling the headwind, and suddenly as I
approached the turn, I wasn’t. I remember sensing that to be odd…
winds on straight sections usually were constant and didn’t
reverse… but didn’t have time to dwell on the feeling. I applied
my brakes, and began to skid. How fast was I going?? I hadn’t
remembered getting over 30 mph, but a sudden tailwind had pushed me
to 52 MPH, according to my GPS cyclocomputer (which I checked later
on). I reduced pressure and pulled out of the skid, beginning to
make my turn. I was going too fast. I wouldn’t make it. I
attempted to fall on the incline, but suddenly those tail winds were
cross winds. I left the road and shouted in terror. Then… nothing.
I opened my eyes to find
myself on my back, on hard boulders. As my head cleared, I
recognized the terrain to be Mount Evans, and realized what must have
happened. I couldn’t see the road above me, so I knew I was as
invisible to it as it was to me. I had no idea how far down I was.
I shouted out for my boyfriend. No answer. I realized I must have
gotten away from him. He hadn’t seen me go over and had continued
down the mountain.
My other friends would
be heading down eventually, but I knew the wind in their ears would
drown out my cries for help. I could hear an occasional car above,
but it was cold. Their windows would be closed. My single hope was
if another cyclist was heading up the mountain and could hear me.
I tried to roll over,
and couldn’t. I tried to reach my cell phone in my back jersey
pocket, but my arms wouldn’t work right. I kept shouting. I grew
cold. Tired. At times, I stopped shouting, almost giving up. Then
I’d draw strength from those I loved and start shouting again. I
almost gave up hope. I knew I would likely die on the mountain.
Eventually, a cyclist
from Switzerland heard my cries and responded, sending for help. In
the meantime my boyfriend, Steve, was waiting at the base, worried
and wondering where I was. When he saw the paramedics heading up the
mountain, he knew, and had one of the park rangers give him a ride to
where I’d gone off the road. By then, my other friends had also
arrived on the scene, and were told by Mary (the lady from
Switzerland) that their friend was “down there.” They watched as
the paramedics cut my clothes away, stripping me naked. They watched
as a Flight for Life helicopter made the difficult landing on that
narrow road in those windy conditions. They watched as I was brought
back up the mountain- I’d fallen 30 feet- and loaded onto the
helicopter, before flying away to the nearest trauma center.
My injuries were severe.
I had nine spinal fractures, six of them relatively major. My rib
cage and right scapula were shattered. Both lungs were punctured,
with air and blood threatening to collapse them. My left kidney had
a grade IV laceration, and my spleen had a grade III one, resulting
in massive internal bleeding and a likelihood of losing those organs.
My helmet, however, saved my life- not only in preventing injury
greater than a severe concussion, but by allowing me to regain
consciousness to shout for help.
I was in ICU for 10
days, and in hospital nearly a month. Eventually, I required surgery
to remove bone fragments and damaged disks in my neck in order to
preserve the diminishing function of my left arm and hand, and
preferably to restore it.
I couldn’t work. My
pain was constant and severe. For several months, I was unable to
fully care for myself, which required me to give up my home of nearly
7 years. I could walk, but being up and about for anything more than
an hour exacerbates the pain. I would spend most of the 7 months
following my accident in bed. At present, I’m beginning treatments
at the pain clinic that involve epidural anti-inflammatory injections
(directly into the spine) and nerve blocks. I’m hoping for some
relief. In the meantime…
I refuse to be a victim.
Why merely survive, avoiding those things that increase the pain? I
want to live, and if it has to hurt, so be it. I wish it didn’t
hurt so much, but this is my lot, and it’s up to me to make the
best of it… and I can. I may not have faced worse pain, but I did
face worse odds 12 years ago when I was diagnosed with a disease I
was told would most likely be terminal… yet I recovered, had a
second chance to pursue my dream of being a physician, and eventually
was riding challenge events in excess of 100 miles across the
Colorado Rockies to prove that I had no limits. I beat the odds
then. What are my limits now?
Seven months to the day
after that catastrophic accident, I am back on my bicycle. Everyone
suggested I do something easy, but I knew I had to TRY something
else. It had to be a ride that meant something to me. I chose
Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado. Not only was this the first
major climb I did in 2009, it also feels like home to me. Ten
minutes by bicycle from where I lived, it was a training ride I did
more than any other.
I had doubts as to
whether I’d actually manage it. I wondered if I’d even make it
halfway. The distance isn’t extreme, but it’s unrelenting
uphill, the major climb in the final stage of the 2011 USA Pro
Cycling Challenge. I should have relied on my determination rather
than doubting. I succeeded in what to me felt like a monumental
accomplishment, albeit painful. I pedaled to the top of Lookout