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For the last eight years, the group ride that leaves my driveway (quite convenient for me) has done a spring century ride. In 2002 I think there were five of us that decided to do a century in March because four

of us were training for Ironman Utah and one person was training for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race.


The tradition stuck and we decided to name it the VE100 because we try to ride on the weekend closest to the Vernal Equinox. This year we rode our VE100 on Saturday March 21. It was the warmest VE100 conditions we had seen in eight years. Thirteen people left my driveway (below) and eleven people had the

time to complete the entire 100 miles.


Before the photo, I apologize for not remembering everyone’s last names. You can help me out by posting yours to the comment section. Left to right: Ilka Archambault, Jim Damman, Todd Singiser, Brian LN?,

Bill Frielingsdorf, Kevin Havel, Bruce Runnels, Greg LN?, Scott Ellis, Frank Dumont, Chris Luttet, and Mike O'Brien.


Just five short days later, there was a blizzard in Colorado that shut several roads down and dropped the visibility so much I ended up bagging my trail run. Due to the ground blizzards, I couldn't see my next step. Below is a photo of the front of my house again and a shot across the street. Driving home, shortly before I took the photos, I could not see a stop light that was in front of me about 100 yards or so.







One week after the VE100, eleven of us went on a ride around Horsetooth Reservoir and stopped for a bio-break and some refueling. The day was so stunning someone said, “Wish I had my camera.”


Then I remembered I had my phone with me. Voila!


On a crisp, but beautiful riding day, you can see Dave Smith, Dave McClure, Peter Stackhouse, Jeff Bruno, Carl Ciacci and Mike O’Brien.















Colorado weather is just great!



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My favorite yogurt

Posted by Gale Bernhardt Mar 25, 2009

When I was in Greece for Olympic-related trips, I fell in love with their yogurt. I would have their yogurt and honey for breakfast every morning. It was the BEST. I suspected it was full-fat, but I didn't really care because I wouldn't be eating it every day for the rest of my life so a splurge was in order.


What made it so good? It was thick and creamy - a consistency similar to sour cream rather than typical yogurts I was used to having in the US.




I was able to find good Greek yogurt in some of the other European countries as well. I tried several brands, but one particular brand gave my taste buds more happiness than others. About six weeks ago I found that very brand of Greek yogurt, Fage, in a local health food store. I was really happy. Then I found it stocked at my local King Soopers - more happiness! 




Now that I find I can have it every day for the foreseeable future, I choose the 2% variety. I like it with cinnamon and a spoon full of Mom's cherry-peach preserves mixed in.




If you love yogurt and don't like thin, runny yogurt, see if Fage is stocked in your local market. (No, I am not a Fage spokesperson, just a big fan.) 



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As promised, photos from what is now titled Women’s Weekend in Winter Park. Apparently the addition of “wild” on the front of the title made spam filters ditch important e-mail notices about the events for the weekend.


The first photo is Mari Bergstrom skate skiing at Devil's Thumb Ranch. Eons ago, we taught downhill skiing lessons at a now closed resort called “Ski Estes Park” (aka “Hidden Valley”). There are two sets of groomed trails that can be seen, the corduroy-looking path is for skate skiing and the two-track path laid down next to the corduroy is for classic skiing. Skate skiing, as you might imagine, is similar to an ice skating movement. The motion for classic skiing is mostly in two paths parallel to the line of your hip, knee and ankle.












We did take a lesson, which helps speed the learning process significantly. I didn’t need any special clothes for the sport, I just wore a combination of gear I have for running, mountain biking and winter road riding. (Below).



The third photo shows the Saturday snowmobile gang, all dressed up in special gear. The place we rented snowmobiles (On The Trail Snowmobile Rental) set me up with a snowmobile suit (just like the black suits some of the women are wearing), boots, helmet and goggles. Some of the women have their own snowmobile gear, reserved for that sport because you do get a little stinky from the exhaust. Much of what we rode was packed-snow roads that lead us to play areas.



Some of the play areas were huge meadows and one of the play areas at the top (dang, I can’t remember the name) was for high marking that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog. It is hard to get a perspective of how steep and high the mountain is in the photo below, so I’ve given you a few marks. Mari is standing about eight feet left of me. The group of people in the foreground are about 150 to 200 yards in front of us. The white arrow at the top of the photo (I think you can click on the photo to get it to enlarge) is pointing to a tiny spot that is a snowmobiler doing the high marking maneuver. The cornices of snow on the right side of the photo mark the area where winter avalanches have punished high-markers. (No, none of us went to the top of the mountain to high mark.)












The final photo is the Friday night tapas meal. With one personal chef in the group and at least two other women that looooooove to

cook, it wasn’t hard to find great food. I was happy to be a food sampler (particularly the mango chutney ribs), because we all know what happens when too many cooks are in the kitchen. ..







(Left to right is Barb, Pat, Mari, Christie, LaDawn, Mo and Ingrid. )



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I have so much stuff backlogged to write about. Where to start? I’ll start back a couple of weekends.


The weekend of 3/13-15 was Women’s Weekend at Winter Park, Colorado organized by my long-time pal (high school buddy and college roomie) Mari Bergstrom (Huyler). Mari and I went skate skiing at Devil’s Thumb on Friday while the rest of the gang drove up. On Saturday, seven of us went snowmobiling. I’ll post photos later this week.


It was the snowmobile adventure that got me thinking about “risky” behavior and why some people want to push the throttle to the handle of the machine to see how fast it will go on the flats. This was in spite of warnings from the rental place that some of the big meadows have under-snow rivers that are open in small areas and hard to see at high speeds. Hitting one of these can cause the rider to auger the nose of the machine into the river and send the rider flying into the air or smashing into the front of the snowmobile – usually breaking body and equipment. Other riders liked to explore through the trees on fresh snow, not always certain of what is under the snow. Some tried “high marking” or driving the snowmobile directly up a relatively steep slope, then arching a turn downhill (avoiding tipping the machine over to the downhill side, getting it into an multiple-count side roll) to get a free-falling feeling for a few moments. Of course some try to go higher on the steep hill than anyone else. (Hence “high marking”.) Still others were perfectly happy staying on hard-packed trails and riding at speeds that were fast enough to give them a rush.


Actual experience on the snowmobile is not always the predictor for who will try different risky moves. I also suspect that the ones that tried so-called risky moves didn’t view them as all that risky. Or, maybe they did.


It turns out that scientists have found that risky behavior is part of our gene pool. There is a great article in the April issue of Outside magazine (one of my favorite magazines) this month titled “This is your brain on adventure.” A scientist from the University of Denver says, “Risk taking was important for the species and the individual.” Well, for some individuals anyway.


They have a nifty online test so you can find out your risk score. I did notice two of the questions were the same. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not. While many people consider any high score a good score, recall that the annual Darwin Awards are given to “salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidently remove themselves from it.”


In the front of the magazine, is a key noting that 0-2  is a range for miniature golfers, while a score of 10 is for base jumpers.


I took the test twice and by answering the duplicate question different and going with a coin flip on another answer, I scored 8. I went back via another e-mail address (can’t take the test twice with the same ISP number) answering the duplicate question the same and taking the other answer on the coin flip question and scored a 9. I think the 8 is a more realistic evaluation for my riskiness.


You? What was your score?

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A friend forwarded this video made by the Iowa Bike Coalition. Note that the Iowa law states:


Stop at the marked stop line or


before entering the crosswalk or




before your vehicle enters the intersection.








Bicycle riders often get a bad rap – are motorists really any better? 



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For folks that have vision problems during the swimming, Speedo offers 11 off-the-shelf prescription goggles. A couple of swimmers in my masters group use them and word is the googles work work great. If you don’t know what prescription level you need, some

stores will let you try on different goggles until you find one that works for you.



I had to share this nifty find for swimmers that have trouble seeing the board or the clock during workouts - or - have trouble sighting during a triathlon. 



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In the past few months I’ve had several new riders show up for the Sunday ride that rolls out from my front door. Some of them have asked about learning how to ride with a group. I’ve assembled a few past stories for them and thought you’d like to review the tips too.


Basic  skills for group riding


10 tips for riding organized tours



Should you participate in group rides year-round?



10 secrets for riding in a peloton in a race



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Let me know your opinion on the best in-ear headphones on this community message board.









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In 2008, The International Triathlon Union (ITU) partnered with SPORTFIVE and UPSOLUT (companies owned by the French media conglomerate, Lagadère Group ), to increase the level of ITU racing and the sponsorship. Dextro Energy will be the title sponsor of the series, known as the Dextro Energy – ITU World Championship Series.


The World Championship  Series will be seven events and a Grand Final, where the world’s best triathletes compete head-to-head for rankings and prize money. Each of the races will be modeled after the highly successful Hamburg event that draws huge numbers of spectators. In 2007, the World Championships held in Hamburg drew 7.7 million live TV viewers and in excess of 80 million viewers in total. Taking this model to a global market is one goal of the SPORTFIVE  Group. You can find more information on the media and marketing rights here.


For the elite athletes, this means that a record $3.5-million USD (double that awarded in previous years) will be at stake for top-level prize money and the year-end bonus pool will be three-times greater in 2009 than in previous years. There is guaranteed live international high-definition television coverage, which brings more value to sponsors, athletes and the  viewing audience.



To say this a very exciting time for the sport is an enormous understatement. Stay tuned as series kicks off May 10th in Singapore.




Series information



Prize money increase press release



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