Category Archives: Biking

All the Guilts

I get all the guilts. It’s probably my Catholic upbringing. Thanks mom. Maybe the new Pope will change this practice? At any rate, whenever the triplets tear apart Lego structures or knock over a tower, I like to tell them “nothing is permanent” Maybe they’ll be Buddhists.

#1. Mom guilt – obviously. Is there a mom that doesn’t get this? I recently met my goal of exclusive breast milk for a year though and this has relieved a bit of the guilt. Now most of the guilt comes from simply not having enough time to spend with the triplets because I’m either working, doing adult chores, or trying to get outside and do something fun.

Here are my kids, under-dressed, in the snow, one is crying. I’m smiling. Mom guilt just looking at this photo.

A video proving I’m into “free-range parenting”

#2. Skier guilt – this is also commonly called FOMO or fear of missing out and it doesn’t just apply to skiing but that was fresh on my mind this winter. This guilt manifests itself with the following internal thoughts, “there’s good snow out there, I should ski it!” or “I haven’t skied Tallac this year yet” or “Lines are filled in here in Tahoe that haven’t been for years and I haven’t skied any of them!” Just thinking about this is overwhelming, makes we want to run to my car, get my ski stuff together, and drive to the end of Fallen Leaf lake and ski Halls of the Gods.

By the way, I did ski Tallac this year in a last minute skier guilt induced mission!

I also skied one of the Emerald Bay chutes which I’d never skied. See, writing is cathartic!

#3. Environmental guilt – Triplets increased my carbon footprint. No doubt about it. Shear time constraints have forced me to drive more. Shear number of family members have forced us to own bigger cars. At least I didn’t fly anywhere this year to ski. Every year I want to compost and I can’t seem to get it together. Oh yeah and SO MANY DIAPERS = SO MUCH GUILT!

I biked to work two times this spring! The bad thing about this is, see Scout back there, I just found out she has 2 partially torn ACLs… probably from biking and skiing… more mom guilt!

By the way, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is now free to watch on-line!

#4. Community guilt – Attending that community meeting, friend’s social gathering, fundraiser, etc. is going to send me off the deep end. Sometimes I have to go to bed at 8:30. Other times I have to use the time between 8:30 and 9:30 to obsessively prepare wholesome food to assuage mom guilt as described above.

#5. Work guilt – I don’t have much to add about this except that in busy periods I wish I could do more work. Doing more work leads to more #1, #2, and #4 guilts – maybe a bit less #3 guilt since my job is to help improve the environment. Is that a catch 22? Or is it ironic? Damn it Alanis! I bet Buddhism holds the answer.

#6. Non-paleo guilt – I just ate 3 cookies while writing this post.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling, Tahoe, Triplets

Introducing the Tahoe Triplets

One of the reasons I have not been regularly blogging is because I found out in early September that I was pregnant with triplets and it has been a bit overwhelming. We went through many of the stages of grief I guess – not because we were sad, just because it was quite shocking news to receive. While we were trying to have a baby, we weren’t trying to have 3 at once! After the news was broken to us at the 10 week ultrasound, I mourned the loss of skiing through my 7th month of pregnancy and really, just being a normal pregnant person! We’ve totally accepted the triplets now and are even excited (terrified, but excited!). It is quite a unique and special thing to have “spontaneous triplets.” Look that up if you feel the need to ask “are they natural?” It’s like being part of a special club? I think! Anyway, because I miss the old days of adventuring, I thought I’d make a list of all the cool things the triplets have done in utero:

1st Trimester

  • Rode Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Van Sickle, and the Bench
  • Downhill mountain biking at Northstar

I opted not to hit this jump at Northstar, but this girl styled it! I started practicing turning down unnecessary risk pretty early since that has never been easy for me!

  • 3rd Place at the 4th Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon

The start of this years Angora Lakes Triathlon

  • A lot of sailing on Lake Tahoe
  • Learned to be a pretty good waterskier!

I got to waterski about 8 times this summer/fall and really started to improve!

  • Wakesurfed

Surfing Lake Tahoe is always fun!

  • Whitewater kayaked a few Class 3 runs

This is my pal Amanda hitting up Hospital Bar on the South Fork American… I had hit the same line 30 seconds earlier.

  • Rode the Downieville Downhill

Riding the technical section of the Downieville Downhill the day before I found out about the triplets.

  • 3 day backpacking trip in the Hoover Wilderness

2nd Trimester

  • Ran 4 miles in the Chicago Marathon

I’m all smiles here, but a few hours later I realized I wouldn’t be running a lot during this pregnancy!

  • Surfed in Santa Cruz

Surfing at the hook on a mellow wave day. Best part was the sea otters swimming nearby!

  • Sailed in the SF Bay

Rachael Burks and I sailing in the San Francisco Bay. Photo by my buddy Greg Marsden!

  • Road bike ride in the Oakland Hills
  • Skied at Mammoth, Heavenly, and Kirkwood (7 resort days)

We hit Mammoth on opening day so I could ski as early in the pregnancy as possible! My jacket still fits in this photo!

  • Backcountry skis at Carson Pass and Echo Lakes
  • Swam a lot of yards – still doing this!
  • Mountain biked Corral loop, Tahoe Mountain, and Powerlines

Evening ride with preggo partner in crime Nira on Tahoe Mountain.

I still have a few weeks till my 3rd trimester as technically I’m 25 weeks pregnant, but things happen a lot faster with triplets. They say add anywhere from 10-14 weeks so if that is true, I look and feel like someone due in about a week! The goal is to make it as close to 36 weeks as possible. Most pregnancies are 40 weeks. I’m slowing down quite a bit and walking and swimming seem to feel the best at this point. But at this point, the triplets have been exposed to quite the variety of outdoor sports and should be pretty well rounded athletes! I’ve been debating whether or not to start a triplet specific blog or just momentarily cover this journey here. I think the most interesting thing will be the comeback so I’m leaning towards business as usual on If you have an opinion, let me know!

This is me just 10 days ago and just under 24 weeks along. Yep, super pregnant!


Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling, Sailing, Skiing, Tahoe, Whitewater

Check, Check, Chhh…..

A few new goals have been checked off and a few haven’t even been started. Let’s start by reflecting on the good news!

Goal #1: Race in an Enduro Race. I did this! This past Saturday I participated in the Battle Born Enduro Race in Reno and placed 3rd overall in Women’s Sport. I was terrified heading into this race. I don’t have a dropper post. I didn’t understand the format. But, once I started riding all this went away and the race was kind of like riding with 400 friends. It started with an 8 mile climb which I was happy to get out of the way having climbed Mt. Shasta the previous day. I nonchalantly waited in line for stage 1 once I reached the top. I told the guy I was about to shred the course and then took off when they said “go” 30 seconds after the nice kid in front of me. 15 seconds into the ride I crashed… hard! Like the kind of crash that happens so fast that you didn’t know you were crashing until you sat up with broken sunglasses, a jacked up bike, and blood dripping from your knees and elbows. Stunned, I spit out some dirt and started riding trying to keep space between me and the competitor behind me. Yep, not a great way to start a race and I’m pretty sure it affected my mindset the rest of the day as I thought “do not crash” on the next 3 stages. Anyway, I learned to let more air out of my tires and wear my fricking knee pads! I’m also toying with the idea of signing up for another race, mostly because I’m feeling competitive and want to do better! Here is a write up on the race and the results.

Front and center at the start of the race for this photo!

A shot I found on the web before my crash. Looking reasonably strong 10 seconds into the race :)

Looking reasonably strong 10 seconds into the race. 5 seconds from now, those sunglasses would be toast!

Goal #2: Ski a new volcano. I did this just 2 days before racing the Battle Born Enduro. Wednesday afternoon, I left work, bee lined to Bend accompanied by my friend and fellow Nature’s Bakery Ambassador Will and met up with my friend Ashley to ski the South Sister. We got a leisurely start on Thursday around 8 AM from the North Cascade Hwy. Will and I were amazed at how much snow was still present at just over 5,000′. We knocked out the 5,000+ foot climb on beautiful warm and windless day and found ourselves at the summit around 1 PM. We had scoped a smooth chute on the way up and took off towards it skiing perfectly smooth corn for over 2,500′. That put huge smiles on all of our faces. This was my 99th day of skiing in the 2013-14 season… I had skied 100 days a year since 2008-09 and was eager to keep it going! Shasta would be next! So prior to racing my mountain bike on Saturday, I’d hike and ski over 12,000 vertical feet. Sure enough, I was exhausted Saturday morning, but I raced my bike and also sailed on Lake Tahoe. I can rest in my office chair on Monday.

Ashley on the way up with Mt. Bachelor in the background

We skied a chute you can’t really see here but Ashley is stoked anyway!

Here’s a little video clip of the perfect corn we found on the South Sister.

The next day, we’re were up early to climb Mt. Shasta (photo by Tim)

On my way down a super smooth section of the Wintun glacier on Shasta

Tim finds some great California corn!

Will B ready to take those snow fingers as far as they’ll go.

So goals are getting checked off, but I still have quite a few to go. Setting and achieving goals, however arbitrary they are, is incredibly satisfying. However, failing or knowing when to hold back is a valuable lesson we are taught many times in the mountains and only by making an attempt do we continue to be students of life. June is rad so far, but I better get to the pool tonight if I want to have a chance at this Teton Picnic thing!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling

Kenya Trip: Lake Naivasha

The fourth American member of our group rolled in and we headed to the main matatu station in the morning to catch a bus to Lake Naivasha. The matatu had an amazing interior and friendly patrons. I sat in the back with a family of 5 ranging from age 4 to 20. The 4 year old sat on my lap much of the ride and spoke to me in Swahili while I chatted with the college student about her pursuit of a degree in international business. This was my favorite matatu ride of the trip!

Snapped this shot before the matatu was fully loaded!

As we departed Nairobi, we had a great view of the Rift Valley, the birthplace of mankind. Making it to Naivasha, we had a $2 meal of chips masala (French fries with spices) and then were picked up by the son of the owner of the house we rented – a beautiful house with a view of Lake Naivasha from the roof patio.

Sunset from the roof patio over Lake Naivasha.

We made plans to bike in Hell’s Gate National Park the next day and do a boat safari the following day. Since we had Cindy, our plan was to eat traditional Kenyan meals each night. The first night we had Ugali, a favorite of many Kenyans. It is a finer and whiter version of polenta that you form into cups and eat vegetables with your hands. The 2nd night we had a chapati making party which is now my favorite Kenyan food – Ugali, not so much!

Cindy making ugali and Dan doing his best to help

We rented bikes on the road to Hells Gate to have our first National Park experience of the trip. National parks are expensive in Kenya and you pay in US dollars. This one was $25 per day. The bikes were $10 for the day, no deposit required and were a selection of Walmart and Kmart bikes. We were told if we got a flat tire or any other mechanical problem, just find another bike on the side of the road and take that one. HA!

The finest selection!

So, we were off on a 10 km ride past zebras, gazelles, water buffalo, and warthogs. We stayed on the lookout for giraffes, but didn’t see any and end our ride at a short hike into the gorge which was a bit disappointing in that there was trash in multiple places. I’d skip that if I were you!

Biking with Zebras

Beautiful zebras

In the Hell’s Gate Gorge

Biking back, we got to ride “brown pow” as the rain came down and didn’t stop until we were back at the park gate. The rain seemed to make the zebras shine though and in Africa rain is a blessing, so we were off to a great start.

Brown pow is a blessing

The next day we caught a boat out to Lake Naivasha to look for hippos. We spotted some right away and wondered if they’d attack us in our suspect vessel.

Shhhhh…. do not wake this guy up!

Being on the lake was beautiful, trees grew directly out of the water and the Africa sky reflected on the still water. We also spotted water buck which are really cute, wildebeest, water buffalo, and colorful birds.

Pretty scenic out here.

Just some super cute water bucks

The 1 hour boat safari was only about $8 per person and definitely worth it. Naivasha is a quick Nairobi get away that is definitely worthy of a visit.

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Filed under Biking, Travel

Adventurous Friends

If you get a chance, check out this blog on my friend Adrianne’s bicycle trip from Kyrgyzstan to Mongolia. It’s an incredible adventure and their writing really brings it to life. Inspired!

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Filed under Biking, Travel

3rd Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon RESULTS!

I’ve finally gotten around to compiling the results. I’m not sure they are perfect but everyone who participates knows that this event is about (1) having fun (2) pushing yourself and (3) bragging rights among friends. I think the most fun thing is the slight competitive spirit everyone has when there are no prizes and not much training. At the finish line I heard friends ribbing each other – “you were beating me, but then I passed you on the run,” etc. My husband asked me what my favorite part of the event is and I said that it’s the end, when everyone keeps saying how much fun they had! When I first did this event with just one other friend, I knew more people needed to get in on it, so I am elated that we continue to grow each year!

Congrats to the men’s winner – Lee Collins, the women’s winner for the 3rd year in a row – Lauren Lindley, the Masters winner – Terry Daniels, and the Youth winner – Marin Underhill!

A sample of some of the great photos that came out of the event.

The start (Photo by Gretchen Eichar)

The bike (Photo by Gretchen Eichar)

The run (photo by Gretchen)

The men’s champion – Lee Collins (photo by Gretchen)

The swim (photo by Gretchen)

Women's champion - Lauren Lindley (photo by Court Brock)

Women’s champion – Lauren Lindley (photo by Court Brock)

The cliff jumps (photo by Court Brock

The cliff jumps (photo by Court Brock

Happy swimmer (photo by Gretchen)

The finish (photo by Officer Underhill)

So without further ado…

1 Lee Collins – 1:04:50
2 Dane Shannon – 1:14:07
3 Terry Daniels – 1:34:39, Masters Winner!
4 Dan Sussman – 1:36:39
5 Adam Muskovitz – 1:40:21, **SWAN DIVE!
6 Scott Mitchell – 1:52:31
7 Andrew Peter Klotz – 2:03:55

1 Lauren Lindley – 1:14:08, 3 time champ!
2 Patricia Sussman – 1:22:36
3 Meghan Kelly – 1:31:25
4 Michelle Kelly – 1:34:25, *on a mtn bike!
5 Raina Blasser – 1:35:08
6 Melanie Shasha – 1:35:40
7 Michelle Sweeney – 1:35:55
8 Rachel Sigman – 1:38:37
9 Erica Harris – 1:39:02
10 Karen Fink – 1:39:05
11 Jessica Star – 1:40:21
12 Debra Scolnick – 1:41:12
13 Mandi Winnicki – 1:42:56
14 Liz Lundholm – 1:43:59
15 Jenn Boyd – 1:44:12
16 Arica Davis – 1:47:37
17 Tara Chitwood – 1:51:58
18 Judy Weber – 1:52:04
19 Madelyn Rios – 1:52:04
20 Sarah Jones – 1:54:30
21 Allison Wall – 1:54:38
22 Sierra Bertolone-Smith – 1:54:38
23 Claudia Bertolone-Smith – 1:54:38
24 Jade Star – 1:56:50
25 Ali Warren – 2:01:25
26 Marin Underhill – 2:01:25, Youngest Competitor
27 Maggie Levi – 2:03:40
28 Lyndsay Bryant – 2:03:40
29 Virginia Evans – 2:04:02
30 Amanda McRae – 2:06:48

To see all the photos from the event, go here.

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Filed under Biking, Fake Triathlons, Tahoe

It’s that time of year again!

Time for the 3rd Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon! See you at Kiva Beach at 10 AM August 3rd! Read a recap from last year here.
Angora Flier Color

Open to anyone!

Last year’s top 4 talk about what it takes!


Filed under Biking, Tahoe

The North

I love traveling North. It must come from growing up in Michigan where the best place to go was “Up North” in both summer and winter. In the summer, “Up North” meant long days on the lake, boating, swimming, playing, and ice cream to end the day. In the winter, we went north to ski the massive 400′ vertical of Boyne or Crystal Mountain to really push our limits! A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to head north to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. As soon as we passed Reno, I felt the excitement of my youth.

Stop 1: Burney Falls

Breathtaking. Why have I never stopped here?

Stop 2: McKenzie River Trail

We bike by this beauty and countless others on 26 miles of singletrack.

Stop 3: Mt Hood for summer skiing

Pat skiing smooth summer corn.

Pat skiing smooth summer corn.

Stop 4: Seattle for the Sounders Game and brunch with old friends

Seattle Sounders may have best soccer fans in America.

Rooftop brunch with Greta and Lynette!

Rooftop brunch with Greta and Lynette!

Stop 5: Bellingham BBQs and biking

 Watermelon cheers on 4th of July

Watermelon cheers on 4th of July

Bringing home the donuts in Bellingham, WA

Stop 6: Whistler aka Outdoor Disneyland

Downhill mtn biking is taken to a whole new level at Whistler

Downhill mtn biking is taken to a whole new level at Whistler

Stop 7: Sushi in Vancouver

Vancouver is known for it good but inexpensive sushi. Here we received pink for girls and blue for boys!

Vancouver is known for it good but inexpensive sushi. Here we received pink for girls and blue for boys!

Stop 8: North Cascades National Park

So green up north in the Cascades.

Stop 9: Hart’s Pass, Highest Road in Washington State

PK taking in the view above Hart’s Pass

This lookout was made to mimic the original height of the mountain which was blown off by the military.

Jumping for joy in one of my favorite places of the trip!

Stop 10: Glacier National Park

Lake McDonald sunset

This place is rad

Mountain goats near Logan Pass

The happy couple

Awesome sky over the Many Glacier Hotel

Stop 11: Missoula for our actual anniversary!
Missoula sunset before delicious ice cream at the Big Dipper. YUM!

Missoula sunset before delicious ice cream at the Big Dipper. YUM!

Stop 12: Bitteroot fly fishing
Trout hunting in Montana

Trout hunting in Montana

Stop 13: Boise, ID to visit our friend Kellee and her new adorable baby!
(sadly, I took no photos, but it was awesome!)

Final stop: Tahoe – always nice to come back and feels a lot like “Up North.”

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Filed under Biking, Travel

Help South Lake Tahoe Improve Trails!!!

I hate to admit it, but biking season is right around the corner.

Juliana enjoying the view around each corner from the Flume Trail on Tahoe’s East Shore.

Readers and friends, can you help my home South Lake Tahoe win a $30,000 grant? It’s easy, just visit and under “Flow Trail Projects” select Corral Trail in South Lake Tahoe, CA! Encourage your friends and family and share this on their Facebook page! Last day to vote is April 12. Thank you!!!!

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Filed under Biking, Fundraising, Tahoe

Tahoe’s Split Personality Disorder

November and I have a love-hate relationship. I usually get incredibly antsy about winter in a month where it usually snows enough to make it cold and icy on the mountain bike trials, but not enough to ski. This November weekend changed that relationship. In fact, the options were plentiful and almost equally enticing. The mountain biking was as good as it’s been all year. The temperature mid-day was perfect for climbing or hiking. And I even heard reports of powder skiing above 8000′, easily accessible near Carson Pass. While snow is always hard for me to turn down, I know winter is coming and so I opted to bask in the sunshine and hit the tacky dirt and warm rock. It turned out to be one of my favorite weekends in Tahoe in my least favorite month! I might have to revise those rankings.

Taylor taking in the view near the Van Sickle Trail

Taylor on the Van Sickle decent

Friends on the top of Castle Rock

Taylor at the end of her lead on Castle Rock

Juliana making some moves up Castle Rock – a 5.8 Sport Climb

The author near the top of the climb. Stellar views of Lake Tahoe await.

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Filed under Biking, Tahoe