Monday, March 21, 2011

Look Ma! No poles!

Spring ski season is in full swing, and there's still lots of fun to be had at Blue Mountain, as confirmed yesterday by G and I on my inaugural shred.

It went way better than I expected, and I managed to survive the chair lift, the one-footed pushing business, linking turns, riding in a straight line AND even a cat track leading to a BLUE SQUARE. It was a big day.

Admittedly, I started out slow. Very slow. But my patient coach/boyfriend helped me figure out how to link up my turns without falling on my arse every time. By my third run, I'd improved so much I could actually feel the wind on my face! Wow! I'm not breaking any speed records yet, but I already can't wait to get back out there and keep going.

Huge thanks to G and SBC for being such amazing enablers. It's so much fun to be "new" at something again!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Now I just need to learn how to snowboard ...

G brought home these beauties for me last night and I couldn't be more stoked!

Hopefully we'll get to get in a couple more turns before the snow's all gone for 2011. However, adding to their allure, these boots are actually from the future! Model year 2012 -- so maybe it's okay if I don't get to ride them til next season.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New look!

Updated the aesthetics around here to match the spring in the air. I didn't take the header-photo -- the original is from -- but I have spotted crocuses and other new sprouts of my own. It's a sure sign of Spring. So amazing to wake up to sunshine and birds singing again.
C'mon Spring! Keep on coming. I don't want to have to buy an April metropass! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Pineapple Project - Potting!

Welcome back to the Pineapple Project!!

A lot of progress over the past few weeks. One of our babies is growing at a much faster rate than the other, but I'm confident both will hit their stride. But for now, it's clear one at least has outgrown its cup.

As you can see with Pineapple B, (should we name them?), roots have begun, but they're a little bit stubborn.

On the other hand, over here in Pineapple A's cup, things are moving along like gangbusters. I hoped that we would be able to move these two along at the same pace, but I realize now that's silly. Afterall, we're all different -- we all grow at our own rate.

So the next step is to pot Pineapple A while Pineapple B has been moved to a sunnier spot by the window to help him get the vitamins he needs.

We got an 8" porous clay pot for their first home. I broke an old pot to get a pottery shard to cover the hole in the bottom, and then put a two inch layer of "stones". Actually, I used styrofoam packing-chips since they are cheaper, easier to find in the winter, and do the same thing. Then, I mixed some perlite and cactus potting soil, so that 1/3 of the mix contained perlite. Perlite helps lighten the soil.

Next, I dug a nice little hole for the Pineapple's humungous root system and then patted down the soil around him so he is nice and snug in his new home. I watered him, and I've been watering him enough to keep the soil moist at all times. so far that's meant every day! Have to be careful not to overwater though.

Hopefully in a few weeks, the roots will have grabbed on and we'll start to see some new leaves and such.

For now, we're keeping an eye on Pineapple B, and soon we hope to have them both in their new homes. Thanks for checking in!

Friday, March 11, 2011

My New Race Shoes

Picked these up from the shop last night ... can't wait to test them out! Hurry up spring!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Hill In Spain

Thanks to Rick for sending this amazing clip. Seriously, this video has everything. Even a bit with a dog (everybody loves a bit with a dog ...).

A Hill in Spain from chris akrigg on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gladwell and the Bike Show

Bike Show weekend has come and gone. Highlights included helping ladies learn more about WSD, chilling with the Sweet Pete's gang, getting to visit with Kona-Matt, a great socializing event including free beer (where WERE you?!) at the new "B-Side" store which is so beautiful -- go! And then to close it all off, an unexpected dinner invitation chez Chico's urban pied-de-terre. I have a lot of great times to thank Chico Racing for, and it was awesome to add another to the list.

Anyway, I am reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink at the moment, and came across an interesting section that might explain why actually SELLING A BIKE wasn't featured on the highlights reel.

Time and time again, I would explain the difference between hydro-forming and carbon. I would talk about how Trek has shortened up their top tubes and set the steer tube a little taller while Giant has opted for a slightly longer option. We'd go over fit and specs, and talk about why 105 is a great groupo to get started. We'd chat and laugh, she'd smile at me and eagerly bring over her friends or husband to see the two-wheeled object of her affection. And then the inevitable, abrupt, "okay-thanks-bye".

I chalked it up to it being my first time in a saleperson situation -- i must be missing the necessary skills to seal the deal. But talking to others at the show, I found out the phenomenon is actually quite common.

Gladwell might have the answer!

He talks about an experiment conducted by researcher Sheena Iyengar involving a tasting booth offering exotic jams in an upscale grocery store. Sometimes she offered six different kinds for sampling, sometimes 24.

You might think that the more choices you offer a consumer, the better chance you have of hitting their wants/needs on the head, thus sampling leads to buying. But it turns out the opposite was true. Gladwell reports, "thirty percent of those who stopped by the six-choice booth ended up buying some jam, while only 3 percent of those who stopped by the bigger booth bought anything."

In fairness, jam is a snap decision, whereas buying a bike is something you nerd out on for a fair number of hours of screen time, scouring the internet for reviews (or maybe that's just me). But I still think there's something there. It's hard to buy a bike at the bike show because there are so many choices. And it's not like jam, where you could just relax and buy every flavour without much financial recourse. Chances are you can only choose ONE bike. Gladwell goes on to say, "If you are given too many choices, if you are forced to consider much more than your unconscious is comfortable with, you get paralyzed."

So that's my academic excuse for why I was unable to seal the deal at the bike show. On the bright side, I met a lot of ladies interested in picking up cycling, and that's a good thing! Hopefully they'll remember our pretty Sweet Pete's booth and visit us when they're ready.