Tips and Advice

This grid shows all of the posts I’ve written that are tagged as cycling tips or advice. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact me and let me know what information you’d like added to the site!

I’ve been quiet since May, quietly working back towards health and smarter cycling, and I have news. I started radio
I didn’t go to the start line of the Almanzo yesterday. I’m ok with my decision if I think about
The last week or two have been a whirlwind, but in a GOOD way. I’m piling on the training hours
I tend to oscillate between extremes, either living with the accelerator slammed down or jamming on the brake. If you’ve
I’ve been quiet lately. Quiet enough that my dad messaged me and asked what was up, quiet enough that a
I was motoring along steadily on the trainer like the diesel I am, and suddenly my power output dropped to
18 months after lumbar spinal fusion, I finally feel like I'm on a steady upward trend. More miles, weight loss,
I went into this week not knowing how the Jesse James 100 miler would go. I was out of town
Last weekend I decided that I should go on my former normal Saturday morning group ride and try to get
I'm scared of riding right now. If I'm too busy to ride, I don't have to test my body. If
I'm in the middle of an elimination diet. Even though it's thoroughly irritating to execute properly, I'm learning great things.
Somehow I managed to have one of my worst rides, and one of my best rides, all within a span
A group of 9 intrepid cyclists headed out in the extreme heat to tackle riding 300 miles across Northern Iowa
I have an upcoming crazy / stupid / bad idea ride coming up. It's one of those rides that makes
Time flies when you're busy. On some level I knew that the spring was quickly evaporating, and work travel combined
I have been hiding for a few weeks, and it's time to talk.  One of my goals of this blog
Unbeknownst to me, I had chosen to ride a route that contained a Strava segment called "meth teeth" in southern
I had been itching for a long ride for months, maybe even a year, and I decided it was time
I bet a lot of you don't know that 5 years ago I had back to back right foot surgeries
I'm a little scared to say it out loud, but my first attempts at actual training are going really dang
gravel smile race
Deciding what to wear while cycling in inclement weather is tricky. It can take a lot of trial and error
gravel smile race
What a difference a year can make. It was this time last year when I started falling down the stairs,
I pedaled ahead, and Little Man kept dinging his bike bell 3 times, what he had declared as his "I
At the end of my post-op appointment, I tentatively asked the surgeon "How much biking is too much biking?" He
What can you do to modify the fit of a bicycle you already own? What can you change for comfort?
I know exactly why I told pretty much no one that I was having surgery until a few days prior.
Amazon deals abound, and you can get in on it too.
The odd “numb and painful leg” mystery has been solved! I'm having surgery today to fix the issue with my
Here are two other bike measurements that can dramatically affect how far away the bars feel when you're sitting on
Frame size unfortunately means almost NOTHING when selecting a bike. Read more to find out what numbers are a little
Welcome! Click here to read more about me, my background, and my purpose for blogging.
Bike riding hasn't been good to me lately, so my fitness in that area is sliding. The lack of riding
I don't know how NOT to fight and push for answers, so the search continues
"You cannot selectively numb emotion. You can't say I don't want to feel [this], I'm going to have a couple
I never even saw the breakdown coming. I had a number of beautiful weeks in November and December of what
...I can look back on the year and know that I constantly pushed to my limits almost every single damn
Back, after a 2 month writing hiatus. I try not to force myself to write if I have nothing to
I announced to my boyfriend that I had a new set of restrictions, or rather, a rewinding or revoking of
When I was a brand new cyclist, I didn't dare show up to a ride if I thought there was
The Filthy 50 events did NOT disappoint. I got to race with my 8yo for the first time, and we
I'm determined to keep pushing myself forward and not letting suggested limitations or timelines hold me back. I will listen
"Interesting," I thought, "my left big toe feels a little tingly. Hmmmm. Well, it's cold outside, maybe I'm just cold?
I wanted to know what I could do to lower the load on my spine going forward. The surgeon looked
I'm at that place in recovery where I don't hit "major milestones" every three days like I did closer to
Man, where do I even start with this story (bike thieves, loss, and karma)? Or the other important thing I
A few people asked how I survive long trainer rides, so I wrote about the general things I think about
I'm exactly two months out from spinal fusion, and already I can ride more than I could before surgery. Check
How to build your own PVC bike rack: a blog including plans, specs, and final results
This post covers how I train for "long distance" or multi-day rides, covering training plans, nutrition, gear, and recovery!
When you can't do much actual riding, you have too much time on your hands to sit around and dream
spine titanium hardware lumbar fusion
I'm 5 weeks post spinal fusion - it's been a bumpy road but in general my trajectory is up!
I've been in my head a lot lately during my recovery process, and one of the things that struck me
I have a DAMn secret to share (the DAMn race is just over 2 weeks away!!) but first let's go
I'm one of the people who have high pain tolerance, who run snow marathons on shattered heels and just deal
... I have seen over and over again that sometimes, stepping out into the unknown with purpose brings you the
A write-up of how I prepared for spinal fusion surgery
medications for spine surgery
I had an intuitive friend basically call my bluff the other day. She asked via email, "Your [Facebook] posts sound
spine surgery recovery bike trainer
"Competitive Recovery" should be a sport! I'm ready and raring to go when it comes to beating my surgeon's estimates
Surgery preparation is in full swing!! Restaurants, drinking with friends, house reorganization -- the list is long!
I awoke this morning in a haze. I hadn't slept well, again, due to pain and general non-exertion.  I tell
I've dubbed my Garmin Vivosmart HR my "anti-fitness" tracker. I use the step count as kind of a quota or
I don't have news. I naively was hoping for news today, but nope. Instead I'll ramble about my fragile emotional
spine titanium hardware lumbar fusion
Apparently I'll be in a world of hurt after spine surgery. I can expect a multi-day hospital stay, AND my
I've decided to proceed with surgery to fix the isthmic spondylolisthesis. This post better explains what in the heck is
I'm still supposed to try and spend 20 hours a day on my back, so I've had to do a
The words come at night, when I can't sleep. I can't sleep mostly because I can't exercise, and I haven't
"Maybe you should just stop riding your bike offroad from now on." I'm sitting across from Spine Surgeon #2, and
"Mountain biking is all about getting dirty, having fun, falling down and getting hurt. Actually no, not getting hurt. Just
ragnarok bikes bike rack
I'm a known hypochondriac. It's funny because I can ignore aches and low level pains for ever, but once I
Alexander 380 rematch
Annotated Alexander cue sheets with resupply points marked!
gravel smile race
This year the short course was just what I needed - I did well, tested my ailing lungs, and we
Want to go on a long cycling journey of your own creation but don't know where to start? This post
sedona mtb
It's 7:30 on a Friday night and I'm wearing a fuzzy adult onesie, eating cheese, and drinking wine. However, as
a church at dusk on a beautiful gravel road
Confession: I haven't ridden outdoors since I crashed my bike on Black Friday. This is odd for me because I'm
mtb mountain bike dock singlespeed
Kindness. A concept that I can easily extend to others when they are hurting, but I have so much trouble
Alexander 380 fall gravel
My tired legs were fading fast and I found myself counting 5 pedal strokes at a time, then 4, then
Alexander 380 bridge gravel
I trudged up Oriole, hating the course, hating its maker, and hating the stupid idea of biking 380 miles of
Alexander 380 rematch
I had a gnawing deep down after not finishing the Alexander 380 this spring due to an ill-timed mechanical, and
I have a score to settle. You know those races, rides, or routes that haunt you because you KNOW you
Every so often, I get restless. Ok, well, I get restless a lot. I am goal oriented to a fault
Lutsen 99er
Lutsen. The muddy, spectacular beast. 99 miles of XC MTB racing.  This year the mud, muck, and stream crossings were
Lutsen 99er
I've gone missing for the last month, but it was on purpose.  I participated in a few AMAZING bike rides
(This is the second half of my Alexander 380 story, the 380 mile gravel race that is the "big brother"
Alexander gear pile
The Alexander 380.  The little known big brother of its famous baby sibling Almanzo and the middle child, the still
After last week's mental implosion, I was afraid to toe the line again this weekend at another local gravel event.
When I scoped out my spring race schedule, I was quite surprised to see that the Ragnarok 105 fit perfectly
ultracycling road bikes
Planning something is one of my favorite things to do regardless of WHAT I'm planning.  I especially like planning new cycling
s-works MTB shoes
I haven't decided if I'm tenacious or stubborn. To me, it appears the delineating characteristic of "stubborn" is the part
I felt more hyper at work (full caffeine coffee will do that to a girl..) and I felt slightly angry
I had it coming to me.  I wrote a blog post extolling the benefits of rest and recovery, listening to
sunset gravel
I’ve spent the last few months brainstorming all the various things that could go wrong [at the Alexander 380] and
CIRREM is a legendary 100K gravel race in central Iowa, always held in the end of February. I was back
I was itching for a long ride outdoors. I woke up feeling more introverted than usual and also a tad
The Fatbike Frozen Forty is a 40 mile winter adventure in Minnesota on snowy singletrack. I decided that my goal
Finding your first bike, the first one you truly love, is a monumental decision but one that will change your