Monday, August 4, 2014

It's a Funny Feeling

Let's be honest, I've been riding my bike more this year than the last 3 years COMBINED. While that's sad for the last couple of summers, it's great for this one. And this girl. 

Thanks to some riding buddies who are calm and patient, I've been able to get out and ride more in the city whereas before even the thought of riding in Buckhead scared the living daylights out of me. I've encouraged myself when I really, REALLY don't want to ride and would prefer to go home after a long day and drink a glass of wine. I've pushed myself to go a little further than I felt I could. I faced some fears.

Riding over I-285 during rush hour traffic giggling because I was having a way better time than those commuters!

I was out this evening by myself on a local rail-to-trail and it was glorious. The trail was quiet with very few people on it, the weather was great and I just felt good! I trucked along at my best pace yet and kept thinking to myself how cycling can really be therapy. It's great to get out on my own sometimes and work through some of those thoughts rolling around in my head. It's even better to get off that bike all sweaty knowing I gave it my all!

I finally feel like I've been re-bitten by the bicycle bug and I couldn't be happier, y'all!!




Now to convince my husband that I NEED a new bike.... ;-)


Tonight's ride on the Silver Comet

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lately

Puppy bow ties




Memories in music
Coldplay Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends 2008
Adele Live from Soho 2009
Madonna Confessions on a Dance Floor 2005

This...aka as Pure Joy!







Thursday, July 24, 2014

Take Off the Kid Gloves!

I've been away! Work has me busy and I got to travel to California last week for a little bit of "work" and a little bit of play, so I'm just now trying to catch up on life.  Missed y'all...

Last week I attended Specialized Bicycles annual dealer event. This is where dealers are educated on all the brand new products and ideas for the upcoming sales year. I was out 2 years ago in Utah and this year the event was held in Monterey, CA! That's a stone's throw from my birthplace and family...I HAD to go, right?! I can't not get almost giddy when surrounded by the sport that I'm passionate about along with 600 other people who have that same passion. We sit through presentations, go through the trade show and meet other dealers to talk about business trends, etc. It's a big ole bike lovin' week (with beer included) and it's heaven in my eyes. 

So after the women's product presentation, the question of whether I was offended by how women's merchandise in the cycling industry is presented and sold came up from a male shop owner. It went something like this,

Dude: "How do you feel about this women's stuff and how they sell it to you?"

H: "What do you mean?"

Dude: "I would think it's offensive to a woman. Why do they think you need to be treated with kid gloves? Pink and purple and 'women's only' clinics & rides, women's product in a separate and shorter presentation? Yes, you're women, but you aren't SO different that you can't join in with the rest of us."

H: "Well...I'd never thought of it that way. You have a point, actually."

Obviously this is his opinion and we weren't going to get into any debate over it. But I couldn't help but think that maybe there's SOME truth in what he said. I mean, I've never been a big fan of sitting through women's product presentations because teal and purple on bikes that will NEVER fit me annoys me (re: I ride the biggest men's bike they make), but I figured that was just me being, well, me.

I'm told that the women's market in cycling is growing rapidly. I'm not seeing it. I'm told that if I break women's product out in a separate area on my sales floor and hold women's only events that they will come in droves. Nope. I'm a freaking woman and I don't understand why I (like MANY other shops) am not seeing this big "boom" in women's business.

And then I heard a quote that made me chuckle at it's undeniable truth:

"Women LOVE pink. Unless they don't. They LOVE all women's group rides. Unless they don't. They love bicycle products are marketed just for them. Unless they DON'T."

It's true. We're opinionated and those opinions vary in vast directions. And that makes me wonder what we're doing wrong and how my shop can crack the code. I want women on bikes more than anyone, but I haven't been super successful at it.

So, maybe....just MAYBE I should try something different in my own store. I'm not quite sure what that thing is just yet, but my wheels are spinning. Pun intended. 

What do you think? I'd love to hear your suggestions and opinions. We can only get better right?

Now, go ride a bike ladies!!!


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Grenada - Trip in Review

We had a fabulous time in Grenada! How can you not, though? The weather was great even though they had just started their rainy season, the island was beautiful and rich in history and the people were absolutely lovely. This was a trip that didn't necessarily meet our expectations (we wanted LOTS of beach), but it also gave us some pleasant surprises. I've learned that being flexible on vacation can lead to some great things!

Grenada isn't a big country and there's literally one U.S. flight that arrives to the island per day so we started and ended our trip with 7+ hour layovers in the beautiful Miami Airport. *thank GOD for the admirals club!* We had a great, relaxing first few days where we lounged by the pool and drank and ate all we wanted! Gotta love an all inclusive.




On day 4, the air conditioner in our room went kaput and we were upgraded to the most amazing room we've ever stayed in!! Fourth floor with a separate bedroom and infinity pool on the balcony!! While Sandals always has nice rooms, we like spending the majority of our time out and about and on the resort, however, THIS Sandals stepped up their guest rooms and we found ourselves just wanting to stay in.  

Infinity pool bliss!

The view from our bedroom!




The only excursion we had planned outside of the resort was a day long sail boat tour. We did this on our honeymoon and fell in love, so it was booked weeks in advance of our trip. It did not disappoint! We spent the day with Captain Al and his first mate, Kenny. They were so fun and it was nice to watch how well the worked together. We sat and enjoyed the most beautiful day we had on the island while sailing between the Caribbean and Atlantic. It was a perfect day for sailing and it was nice to see J in a state of euphoria on this gorgeous catamaran. We had a quick lunch stop to swim and have a delicious BBQ lunch then took off heading North so that we could snorkel around the under water sculpture garden. We didn't want to leave and, as always, dreamed of learning to sail so we could travel the world. We may settle for a several day trip on a sail boat in the future, but that's all to be determined!

Rum punch!!




Our days were spent lounging by the pool or beach and our nights were spent enjoying really yummy food and the night life on the resort. We met an English couple at the pool bar one evening and once we got to talking, they told us about a bus tour that we HAD to take before we left. It had come recommended from friends of theirs, they loved it and recommended it to us. A couple of days later, we were picked up at 9a for a day long tour of Grenada. It was just the 2 of us and our guide, AJ for 8 hours and it was one of the biggest highlights of the trip! We got a full history of Grenada, learned of all the local plants, got to see the rain forest, nutmeg factory, rum distillery, waterfall, crater lake and even enjoyed a special, local lunch because we requested it. It was so educational and a great way to see the island. We learned quickly how dynamic this little island with 100,000 residents was and how breathtakingly beautiful it is! I reviewed it on Trip Advisor if you're interested. 






The trip was amazing. After a very long last several months, it was nice to escape and hit "reset". No cell phones, no internet, just the 2 of us together exploring a new world. We are so lucky to be able to take these trips. It's our hobby and our love to travel. Our daily lives are spent working toward our next big adventure and it's something that we really treasure. 

Grenada didn't disappoint and we're already looking forward to the next big trip!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grenada!

We just got back from an awesome holiday in the lovely country of Grenada.  We're currently experiencing "back to reality depression" as we're back to the real world of laundry, work and all of those other "grown up" things we're supposed to do.

I'm going to do my best to do a few blog posts about our 11 day adventure complete with pictures!  I've got just over 1,000 to sift through, so bare with me.

Here are some highlights though:

- After 3 days of a broken air conditioner, we were upgraded to an absolutely GORGEOUS room complete with infinity pool.  On the 4th floor.  They aren't joking around at Sandals La Source Grenada!

- We had another fabulous sail boat charter.  It was just J, myself and the 2 crew members on a beautiful boat called the Timshell.  

- Grenada is so rich in history and we learned all about it on a day long tour of the entire island!  I'm talking rum distillery tours, waterfalls in the rain forest, fruit growing on the side of the road...

We ate, we drank, we relaxed.  It was a great vacation and I can't wait to share it with you!!



Stay tuned...