Cycling

Turns out there is more silver lining than cloud

For my birthday last October, my dear friend Ivy gave me a necklace:


It was more than just a piece of jewelry; it was a reminder and a life philosophy. Get shit done. Keep going. Don’t let anything stop you.

There was a moment last November when I almost forgot that. Everything felt broken and insurmountable. I sat alone in my apartment in Seattle and wept at the mess I’d made of my life. In that instant, I couldn’t figure out how to begin untangling the wreckage of an entirely derailed life plan.

But then I got up off the couch and did. One step at a time, one day at a time, with the help of my tirelessly loving family and friends. I got shit done. Now it’s time for the next step. I just left home to go on the road for the season.

I often write something here when a chapter of life comes to a close; it’s my way of processing things. When I thought of this time and what I’d say about the 10 weeks prior, originally it was going to be depressing as hell. “I spent all winter being cranky, training indoors, and doing work, WAHH WAHHH.” But while mentally drafting a recap of this past winter, I realized that’s not what actually happened.

Well. Not entirely. I was definitely irritable far too often. As Andrew delicately said, “I think you do too much and give too many fucks, and when it comes to anything beyond that, you don’t have any fucks left to give.”

I’m going to start a GoFundMe for fucks. Please help me overcome this critical shortage.

It was definitely a difficult period and there have been many moments when I felt lost or mired under disappointment and hurt. I spent a not insignificant amount of time eating Veggie Straws in my bathrobe watching old MTV shows. But in retrospect, this has also been one of the most productive, strongest times of my life. I guess I didn’t see how much was happening until it was time to stop and leave.

It started with a bike race at the beginning of December that reminded me how much I love this sport and want to keep racing. After that, training kicked off hard and provided a place to put my feelings and attention every day. It didn’t matter how shitty I felt; when it was time to train, I threw everything into the workouts. It paid off; testing with my coach last week showed the best numbers I’ve ever put out. While I love to complain at length about indoor riding, this winter it saved me.


Off the bike, I fixed all of the minor problems on my beloved M Coupe, got it detailed and ready to sell, and then decided to keep it because why the hell not. I moved out of my condo, fixed it up, put it on the market, and signed a contract to sell it. The relief of unloading that place after nearly nine years and being free to call anywhere home is huge. In the process of ditching my Seattle apartment and my Reston condo, I also got rid of boxes and boxes of stuff I no longer want or need. There’s something liberating about being able to fit all of your worldly possessions in one large closet. (There is something distinctly less liberating about telling people you live in a closet at your parents’ house.)

I also kept up with my plans to keep traveling, and spent a few weekends wandering all over Philadelphia and Charleston, seeing and eating everything. Back home, I caught up with friends, met some wonderful new people, visited new places, and even decided ice skating would be a good idea (wrong). Most excitingly, after fifteen years of fussing with glasses and contacts, I finally got laser eye surgery and can see perfectly. IT IS AMAZING. As the eye doctor said during my final check up last Thursday, “Your flaps look good.”

There’s an uncomfortable compliment.

Finally, between work and running the team and training, I also started writing a regular column for Peloton Magazine and launched a podcast, The Dirt Field Recordings, with the help of Bill Schieken (aka CXHairs). I’ve wanted to do more creative projects for a long time but always felt like those ideas got pushed to the side because there were too many other tasks to do. In rebuilding life into what I want it to be, those things finally became priorities. We only get one shot at life and nobody dies being really glad they knocked out their to-do list.

Things still hurt. There are still moments when I feel lost. But living a full life means accepting that with the good comes the bad and from the bad, there can also come good. This past winter wasn’t what I expected or thought I wanted, but in the end it was so much better.

Lindsay Bayer Brett Rothmeyer

Photo by Brett Rothmeyer.

Lindsay Bayer Bruce Buckley

Photo by Bruce Buckley.

Posted on in Cycling, Employment, Family, Friends, Life, Sadness, Travel 1 Comment

On exiting 2016 like a bat out of hell

What a year! I will forever look back on 2016 as the year that overflowed with joyful moments like slamming into the ground repeatedly, getting my heart pulverized, and finding out we’d elected Trump. What a time to be alive! And yet, in the wake of a year of sometimes crippling defeats, I have never felt more alive, excited, and ready to plunge ahead.

So many things happened in the last 12 months. We launched Hagens Berman | Supermint and had an incredible season of highs and lows, victories and learning experiences, and a roller coaster of thrills that took the team all over North America and to Italy for the Giro Rosa. (Meanwhile, I went to Canada. So that’s basically my 2016 life choices in a nutshell.) It still feels surreal, yet we’re now well underway towards our second season.

In my own cycling career, I raced hard, crashed harder, stubbornly kept going even harder than that, and then retired. It seemed like a good idea at the moment, sort of like jäegerbombs or that time I pierced my nose. But like any good pro cyclist, I quickly unretired and kept training because that is what we do.

Off the bike, I drove back and forth across America a time or four, in the way that other people run to the grocery store. Oh, you need something in California? BRB. I don’t regret the experience – I love a good roadtrip and the thrill of motorpacing behind my car for three hours along the highway – but maybe the next time a guy suggests I move across the country for him, I’ll just pack a carry-on and fly. Because there’s a good chance it’ll be a short trip anyway.

Which brings me to that little thorn in the side of 2016, the Great Shocking Heartbreak Adventure. I rearranged my life for a dude that turned out to be not what he seemed, or maybe exactly what he seemed had I been willing to be less delusional. I made a serious of bad decisions that culminated in realizing abruptly that I was a sucker and the unfortunate owner of a fully-furnished and now entirely unnecessary home in Seattle. So I cried and screamed WHYYYYYY at the heavens and then moved back across the country and cut my losses.

Now it’s the end of the year and a great time to reflect on a number of valuable lessons to take into 2017 and beyond. Let us all learn from my foibles so that at least some of us can avoid the joy that is letting somebody break your rib AND your heart.


1. If you are not sure about a new living arrangement, stick to Ikea options. It makes bailing in a hurry much less painful and expensive; nobody weeps over the loss of a particleboard bed frame.

2. Say yes to adventures that make you feel anxious. Say no to people that make you feel anxious. It’s a great idea to step outside your comfort zone to explore the world and branch out personally. But if somebody tries to tell you, “no, really, you LIKE this,” and your gut says you don’t, listen to it.

3. Consider refundable plane tickets. After retiring, I bought a plane ticket to Japan for a 3-week adventure in January. Hooray spontaneity! Then I unretired and need to spend January training. Changing that ticket to a trip after the season ends was an unpleasantly expensive undertaking. Lesson? For big trips, it might be worth building in flexibility.

4. If you are looking for a way to spend all of your time and money, start a professional cycling team. This requires no explanation.

5. Money can buy neither love nor happiness. “But it can buy a bicycle and that’s basically the same thing!” Oh, please. Seriously, though, if you think you can throw money at yourself or somebody you love in hopes of making everything better/happier, just stop. It doesn’t work. (Or throw it at me instead.)

6. Always do your workout. You’ll rarely regret it. Getting up and moving when all I want to do is read the Internet and eat Veggie Straws never fails to make me feel better. And besides, the Veggie Straws are always there waiting when I’m done.

7.  Compromise is key to making any relationship – personal or business – successful. But compromise by definition is mutual. Be willing to give, but not everything all the time.

8. There are three things on which you should never budge: How much you’re comfortable spending, how much you’re comfortable drinking, and what saddle you ride. Your butt deserves better.

9. If you find yourself Googling “is this the right person for me?” you can stop right there because you have your answer.

10. There is always time to stop for coffee or a snack. Life is short and nobody ever dies saying, “Thank god I never made time to sit and eat ice cream.”

11. Sometimes stopping entirely is the only way to move forward. This is hard for me to accept because I stubbornly refuse to back down under any circumstance, even while losing a fight with a tiger that is poisonous and covered in angry wasps. But I wish I’d sat out the Gila race after I got a concussion, and I wish I’d given my body time to recover from the crash at North Star, and I wish I’d walked away from the relationship that made me feel badly long before it imploded. A well-timed cease and desist would have made all the difference many times over.

12. Instead of trying to have what you want, want what you already have. I’m perpetually discontent and always chasing more in life, and frankly after 32 years of this, I can tell you it’s not doing me any favors. Don’t make the same mistake. Chances are, you already have everything you need to be happy.


There were a lot of painful moments this year, but perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Maybe I needed to learn hard lessons in cycling to make me a healthier, wiser athlete. Maybe I needed to get my heart trampled by a guy to figure out how to be smarter and stronger (and more careful with the concept of joint checking). Maybe I needed to walk away from everything I’ve worked for to realize just how badly I still want it.

All any of us can do is weather the shitty times, learn from them, and keep going forward. I am so happy to be here now, surrounded by people that make me feel lucky to be alive, doing things that make me excited to wake up each day. There is no better way to start a new year.

Posted on in Cycling, Employment, Family, Friends, Life, Sadness, Travel 1 Comment

On Handling Bad Times Like A Pro Or Something

Things have been unraveling since I slammed into the ground during the first North Star Grand Prix crit on June 15.

Lindsay Bayer Bokanev ER VisitWhen the crash happened and I was cleared by the hospital and the stage was neutralized, I went back into the race the following day like nothing had gone wrong. I did that stage and all the others after it, limping along stubbornly and pushing my body so hard. There was no logic in what I was doing but I couldn’t stop and wouldn’t let anybody around me say otherwise. That mindset is my greatest gift and curse as an athlete – I never stop.

But I should have. Then, or in the days after, but I didn’t. I tried to race and then started another cross-country drive out west. I called that drive my “time off” but who the hell is ridiculous enough to think driving 5-6 hours a day for a week is restful? Apparently me. So I made it to Missoula, MT “fresh and ready to train” except that I was still in so much pain and my body wasn’t functioning.

To properly recover, I took a day off. Literally one freaking day, and then I was back on the bike pushing. When my body balked and the pain increased, I got annoyed and pushed harder. Off the bike, I kept up with corework every morning despite my mid-back being in perpetual spasm. There were so many signs that I needed to stop moving but I just couldn’t. I sobbed through intervals that were sub-par at best, ate far too many salads to compensate for what I thought was not enough hard training, and bludgeoned myself mentally around the clock for not getting it together. There was also another visit to the ER to rule out the possibility that the lump in my leg post-crash was a blood clot.

Then once I’d concluded my refreshing rest in Missoula – which was at least made enjoyable by time with my teammate Ivy and her wonderful family – I packed up the car again and drove to Seattle. Signed a lease, set up an apartment from scratch, and started a whole new life with completely new routines in a new place. Three days later, I left to race BC Superweek.

It’s weird how I didn’t feel fresh and ready.
Lindsay Bayer BokanevThen my heart kept acting up with arrhythmia episodes and my back kept aching and the first race was crap and so I decided to stop. But of course I still kept riding because insanity knows no bounds, and then the Gastown Grand Prix came around and I couldn’t bring myself to sit out another race. So I lined up and actually raced the crap out of that event. It was great – I didn’t feel good at all but it didn’t matter one bit. I ended feeling a bit like myself again and ready to focus on the next step – a block of cyclocross racing!

So I took one day off to rest and then started running. Started off gradually with a nice easy FIVE MILES which is somewhere near the upper limit of the farthest I’ve ever run. I ran for consecutive days and then started riding again a day later and are you getting the gist here? I never stopped moving, despite injury, travel, fatigue, burnout, and major life changes.

Lindsay Bayer Heartrate MonitorAlong the way, things in my personal life took a nosedive. There was anxiety and emotional times coupled with stress from work and meeting all sorts of obligations and deadlines. To figure out my heart issues, I had to wear an annoying, uncomfortable three-lead heart monitor at all times and carry a stupid device that looked like a clunky beeper from 1993. I lashed out during rides, dropped out of a local weeknight crit, and struggled to figure out who I was and what I was doing if I wasn’t a successful professional cyclist. What do you do when the biggest thing that defines you and your life goals stops having meaning?

It was more than just my body not cooperating. This season has been tough personally, with the concussion at Gila, the illness during Tour of California, and the crash at North Star. Racing while running a team and holding a full-time office job was harder than I expected (dude, duh). I’ve also seen friends and fellow racers get decimated by this sport and come away badly injured. It’s hard to think “oh, this is TOTALLY worth it” when you’re in the ER for the second time in weeks because you slammed your body into pavement. I started questioning why I kept going and what I wanted out of my life and the sport. What mattered the most? What sacrifices were just not worth it anymore?

Things have started to settle down now. My injuries have faded, riding a bike feels good again, and my personal and professional lives have stabilized into feeling mostly manageable. I stumbled through some of the hardest times I’ve ever faced, doubled my antidepressant, leaned on the best friends and parents a person could have, and then gradually stumbled back towards feeling okay. That’s where I am now. Mostly healthy, mostly okay, mostly focused on what lies ahead.

Lindsay Bayer Bokanev
This sport is so demanding and costly and sometimes now I’m not sure it’s worth the price. But it’s also been the greatest love of my life. I started in June 2007 and haven’t been able to stop since, despite a hundred setbacks. So for now, while I’m still unsteady and uncertain, I’m trying to focus on the love part and just keep moving forward until the rest of the plans and motivation fall into place.

I talk to a lot of other athletes about their experiences in training and competing and it often seems like we all see these setbacks and doubts as a deviation from the road to being a great competitor. But that’s not correct. Part of being a professional at anything is learning to see the crappy times as a real part of the process, not a detour. I’ve never felt more like a professional athlete than now, when I am able to accept that shit happens and I can still keep moving forward and that it is actually all part of the plan.

Lindsay Bayer Jono Coulter Bokanev

Posted on in Cycling, Family, Life, Sadness, Travel 3 Comments

In which I uprooted my life and moved into my car

I’m sitting in a stranger’s living room now, doing my laundry in his washer with my feet up on his ottoman. I’ve never met the guy before but I’m going to sleep in his bed tonight and go through his cabinets to find a pot to boil water in the morning. After breakfast, I’m going to pack up my things, get in my car, and relocate for the weekend to another city I’ve never visited.

This is basically my every day. Tonight it’s Cory’s house, last night it was Chelsie’s, for a week before that it was Ayman’s, before that it was Angie, and Alice, and Gretchen and so on. The year started with me living in a studio in Tucson that I was subletting from a guy I never met named…..David? Michael? Can’t recall. But for three months, I used his dishes and sheets and towels, lounged on his couch, scribbled notes on his decorative chalkboard.

His, mine, hers, anybody’s – it stopped mattering a while ago. When I left home at the end of last December, I didn’t know when I’d be back. Andrew and I had reached a point where we were happier apart than together and I needed to relocate to warmer weather to train. I packed the Chevy, took Tanner along for the ride, and moved west. When the race season started, I left the Tucson apartment and moved around California, staying in various places sometimes with Tanner, sometimes without. Eventually I drove all the way back east for a block of races in Winston-Salem, Philly, and Northern Virginia, but then it was back on the road to Minnesota to race North Star. Now I’m driving to Seattle by way of some time in Montana, will race in Vancouver and Bend in July, and then figure it out from there.

Tanner is still in California, living in Redlands with the most amazing dogsitter on the planet. She spoils him rotten with hikes and runs and adventures and games and I’d feel inadequate by comparison except she’s so much better than me at dog mothering that we’re not even comparable. Apples and oranges.

2016 Redlands Tanner Crit 2
My father asked me the other day if I’m tired of traveling and I realized no, I’m not tired of it anymore because it no longer feels like traveling. Sometimes I miss the concept of “home” but it no longer feels weird or inconvenient to live out of a suitcase. I’m still a creature of habit – breakfast is the same every day, core work happens every morning, I follow the same bedtime routine every night – but it’s possible to have those routines in a perpetually shifting area code. Home becomes a concept defined by certain comforts; my same pajamas, my morning coffee ritual, my family and friends instantly accessible by phone (and spread all over the country themselves anyway).

It helps that I have a car here. People mock my seeming aversion to air travel (and yes, I loathe airports and airplanes and delays and boarding passes and seatback pockets) but it’s so nice to be able to have my “house” available everywhere. All of my cycling stuff and snacks and spare toiletries and winter clothes and cooking supplies are parked outside and make it easier to live comfortably and feel settled anywhere. My car is organized sort of like a Container Store fantasy: there are drawers and bins and even hanging fabric shelves that make storing and finding things easy.

If you put something out of place in my car, I will stab you.

So this is my life now. I travel around, use Airbnb to find places to stay, see places across the country I’ve never visited, and still carry out some semblance of a typical life with training and working. Sometimes that looks almost normal: I wake up, do work, go for a ride, do more work, go to bed in the same place. Other times that looks odd: I wake up, motorpace for 2 hours behind the car while somebody knocks out a chunk of that day’s required drive, work from my laptop in the car, and spend the night in a stranger’s home in a town beside the highway. The basics are always the same. Wake, work, ride. And eat. I do a lot of eating, from my sack of food in the car to roadside grocery store stops to interesting local places.

I went back to Virginia for a little over a week at the end of May and while it was good to be back and wonderful to see my parents, Andrew, and friends, it also didn’t ignite any real desire to stay. When it was time to go, the only thing that felt hard to leave was the people. Home isn’t a specific place anymore.

This lifestyle will probably get tiring at some point. Not knowing where I’m going to sleep in a week and continually getting used to new pillows can be tiring. I’ve eaten hardboiled eggs every day for the past 10 days because it’s more convenient than cooking in new kitchens. I don’t actually like hardboiled eggs.

But for the moment, I am happy. My life feels like perpetual good luck, even during the difficult, stressful, or lonely times. Andrew is my best friend and family rolled into one. I’m dating somebody great. My dogs are happy. My team is awesome. The bruises from last week’s crash are starting to fade. If this is the best my life ever gets, then I am pretty damn lucky.

2016 Road Trip
Ten Things I Have Learned About Living On The Road:

  1. Pack light. If you think you need it, you’re probably wrong.
  2. You can wear the same outfit over and over as long as it smells clean.
  3. Always have silverware on hand. Andrew got me this and it’s the best thing ever.
  4. Yogurt and eggs can spend all day in a car. Spinach is iffy. Fish and pickled onions are a hard no.
  5. Pack everything in the same place all the time so you don’t constantly lose things.
  6. Don’t worry about looking stupid when you’re savoring your surroundings. I hugged a metal sheep yesterday to take a photo. People drove past and probably stared. Who cares? Now I have a photo of me and a metal sheep. That’s worth a lot more than my dignity.
  7. Add “hipster” into your Yelp searches to find the really good coffee, food, beer, and wine places.
  8. Always have a jacket/sweatshirt and sandals accessible.
  9. Never assume you are home alone. It is likely you will regret it.
  10. Hold tight to certain routines each day that help maintain a sense of balance and normalcy. Let go of everything else.
Posted on in Cycling, Family, Friends, Life, Travel Comments Off on In which I uprooted my life and moved into my car

Once More Across The Continental Divide

In other news, I have relocated from Virginia to Tucson, AZ. It was so enjoyable to drive across America last year that I decided to do it again, only faster and this time with a dog. On December 28, I packed up the Chevy, put some bikes on the roof, stuffed Tanner in the back, and got on the highway. This trip, unlike the last fun, adventurous one, was all about efficiency. I had to be in Tucson by 1:30pm on December 31 to sign my lease before the office closed for the holiday, so I skipped luxuries like sightseeing, regular meals, and peeing in favor of driving as much as possible.

The highlights were few and far between:

  1. Tanner threw up only once. However, he waited until the moment we pulled up to a New Mexico border checkpoint to do so. Turns out he’d eaten a rock that didn’t agree with his stomach. There was a moment where I considered saving the rock as a souvenir before remembering that I am not a freak who collects fingernail clippings.
  2. I launched the new team from the road. Thank god I have four hands, two cell phones, and a laptop.
  3. I rode my bike alongside a highway in rural Texas and did not die. While that sounds ill-advised in theory, I knew it was safe because nobody is unfortunate enough to be killed somewhere that depressing.
  4. There was a dental floss pick on the bedside table at my Airbnb in Nashville, so I slept with the blissful reassurance that the previous occupant practiced good oral hygiene.
  5. I  learned that leaving a box of picked onions from the Whole Foods taco bar in your car for 12 hours is the perfect way to make sure you hate food.

It was close, but I arrived at the leasing office last Thursday with 20 minutes to spare. By 3pm on New Year’s Eve, I was settled snugly in my new studio, which is like an apartment where everything spent too long in the dryer on high. I bought a standard baking pan that is 3″ too wide for the oven and if I stretch out fully, my feet hang off the bed. But it’s home until March 14, or until my neighbors complain about my riding the trainer on the balcony or Tanner doing 4-meter sprints around the house at midnight.

Tanner Pees In Rural Virginia

This lovely, scenic spot was one of many options for places we could be murdered on the side of the road.

Late Night Fun On The Trainer

Tanner cannot understand why the hell I’m riding the trainer at 9pm on the front porch of an Airbnb in Nashville. Neither can I.

Apple Mishap

Make sure your window is open before throwing an apple core out onto the highway.

We Mess With Texas - Lindsay Bayer and Tanner

Not pictured: the snow on the ground in Texas.

Texas Sunset

Texas looked best after the sun went down.

Arizona Train

Outrunning a train on the final stretch of highway.

Home Sweet Home-ish

At long last, we’re “home” in Tucson.

Posted on in Cycling, Life, The Pets, Travel 2 Comments

In The Wild

It’s my off season from cycling and because rest is challenging, I’ve been running for fun. Other than the constant joint aches and slight limp, it’s great! Highly recommend.

I flew out to Colorado last night for a friend’s wedding and decided to start today with a nice brisk jog. It went really well for the first minute and then the shooting pains started in my back and I had to revert to an aggressive power walk. It was discouraging – who wants to walk for exercise?! – but then the road turned from pavement to gravel to dirt and my interest was piqued. When I hit a NO TRESPASSING – GOVERNMENT PROPERTY sign, I knew shit was about to get real. My best moments in life have involved prohibitive signage.

A little over an hour of hiking and climbing later, I was at the summit. It was incredible. So much beauty and solitude…so many sweeping vistas…so much poor planning. I had no food or water, had neglected to apply sunscreen to anywhere except my face, and had abandoned my sweatshirt somewhere around the base of the mountain. #someregrets

I was slightly concerned about the situation and figured the quickest way down the mountain was over the side. That sounds stupid here but it’s not like I did a tuck and roll over a vertical face; I just sort of bypassed all the switchbacks and implemented an efficient slithering technique. After only a few missteps and some spilled blood, I was off the mountain and headed home.

Finding the sweatshirt again required using the car.

In conclusion, it would appear that I am less Daniel Boone and more Cheryl Strayed, but it was a worthwhile and wonderful adventure. What was supposed to have been a 30-minute run turned into a 2.25-hour hike and, despite being hungry, cold, and sunburned by the time I made it home, my first thought was that I couldn’t wait to do it again tomorrow. With water.

IMG_7077

These elk were sitting so casually that I couldn’t help but inch closer and closer for a better photo. By the time I was 15 feet away from the one with the huge antlers, something clicked and I finally understood how those “Tourist Gored By Bison At Yellowstone” headlines happen.

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The wildlife is friendly around here!

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Okay, um, HELLO. Typically I expect somebody to at least buy me a drink first.

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Now he’s just being overly forward.

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This tree doesn’t miss a thing.

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Obligatory scenic vista. I climbed forever to get this shot and it’s not even that impressive in the photo.

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More trees. Trying to pretend I’m the next Ansel Adams, only less gifted and with impractical footwear.

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This moment – reaching the top of the mountain and standing amidst the clouds – was a worthwhile reward. Well, that and not getting eaten by a bear or collapsing from dehydration.

Posted on in Life, Travel Comments Off on In The Wild

Putting the super in Superweek

Lindsay Bayer Gastown Roadkill

I needed a little break during the race.

Victory!

Michelle won bourbon bingo at dinner after the Gastown Grand Prix and earned a round of six shots for our table.

Wrenches at Gastown

These guys keep the pit sexy.

Burnaby Pre-Race

Hanging out at team base before the Giro di Burnaby.

Jessy

Jessy was envious of my bloody arm, so she got one of her own.

BMW Team Ride

Out for another morning spin with the team. We paint with ALL the colors of the wind.

BMW Team at Coffee

The team at a pre-crit coffee stop.

White Rock Haircut

It seemed like a fun idea to let my teammate cut my hair before the White Rock crit. Yes, we are standing in front of a salon.

Sunset in Ladner

One final evening at our lovely host house.

At the beach!

After the road race in White Rock, Suzanna and I went to the beach. I did not pack a swimsuit.

White Rock Beach

Suzanna found a crab.

2015 Chasing Seagulls

I tried to grab a seagull but was not quick enough on my feet. That is what happens after eight races.

Posted on in Cycling, Friends, Life, Travel 1 Comment

O Canada!

Polka Dot Jersey Bike Shop

One of the guys at the Polka Dot Jersey Bike Shop in Seattle was kind enough to lend me his bike for a few hours. It was great, but not nearly as cool as the helmet from 1992 I borrowed from our host’s garage.

Crossing the Border

I promised not to make jokes when it came time to cross the border, but when the border patrol officer asked why Zanna and I weren’t staying together, “She snores,” slipped out before I could filter. He was not amused.

Lindsay Bayer BMW Happy Tooth

New kit, new bike, new van, same fun. Or as Kingery captioned this photo, “Look…a butterfly!”

2015 Delta White Spot Road Race Lindsay Bayer

Oh right, I’m up here in Canada to race. Look! Racing!

2015 Vittoria Shoe Models

This photo brought to you in part by every color ever. I am crazy in love with these neon orange Vittoria shoes because it’s like Halloween exploded on my feet.

2015 Host Pups

While they’re not tiny pink pigs, Hunter and Dexter make great companions at the host house. Dexter likes to steal my shoes from under the kitchen table, even if he already has a mouthful of tennis ball.

Ride to the Beach

Our extremely intense team training session today consisted of a spin to the beach.

 Team at the Beach

Wait, you don’t wear your helmet at the beach?

BMW Happy Tooth Team Dinner

Team dinners remind me of Thanksgiving. Tons of food, lots of laughs, a surplus of alcohol, and everybody is a little quirky and a lot lovable.

Posted on in Cycling, Friends, Life, Travel Comments Off on O Canada!

These are a few of my favorite things

Over the past six weeks, I spent a lot of time living with a family in Yucaipa, CA that were old friends of our team director. You may know them as the family with the pig. While I fell in love with the pig instantly, it didn’t take much longer to become deeply attached to the entire family. Jamie, Pete, and their three daughters started to feel like my own family and I spent so long there that I’m probably one step shy of being added to the mortgage. It was a privilege to spend so much time with them, to join in family dinners, do school and sports practice pick-ups and drop-offs, and to feel like I had found a home on the opposite side of the country. I’ve missed them since the moment I drove away last week and cannot wait to go back.

2015 Chapman Heights

My home away from home in Yucaipa, CA. It’s a beautiful place.

2015 Maisy Has Fun

Until recently, I didn’t know that my favorite hobby is sitting in the grass watching a small pig run around.

2015 Shenanigans

The perpetually rambunctious and wonderful Hilary and Hallie.

2015 Bacon Bit

The bacon bit and I spent some quality time together by the fireplace.

2015 Hilary and Me 2

This is the greatest 8-year-old on the planet, even if she refuses to eat her vegetables.

2015 Beautiful Yucaipa

The scenery on a typical ride around Yucaipa.

2015 Hallie and Me

Hallie is a sassy firecracker of a kid.

2015 Pic PB Portrait 1

A family photo shoot for Pic’s Really Good Peanut Butter. I can’t get enough of that peanut butter, this pig, or those people.

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Tucson –> San Dimas –> Redlands

2015 Courteney Drives the Civic

On the drive from Tucson to San Dimas, Courteney realized what I meant when I said the Civic was basic.

2015 Zanna on the TT Course

Suzanna flew into California to join us in racing San Dimas. We had a lovely evening spin previewing the San Dimas TT course, which would have been my favorite ever if it didn’t go uphill for 4.25 miles.

2015 Courteney Turns 24

Courteney struggled with the idea of turning 24 last month or, as she put it, getting old. Dude, I have shirts older than that.

2015 Pepper Pillow Fight

This is what really happens when girls go wild.

2015 Peppers Recovery Ride

The three of us had quite a bit of fun at San Dimas. From the racing to the adventures at our Airbnb house, the laughs never stopped. Okay, so there wasn’t actually much laughing during the racing. Maybe just some barfing and a few tears. I also stole a bottle from the feed zone because I was desperate.

2015 A Tree Grows in San Dimas

After one of the stages, I bonked so hard that I hugged a house plant, cried, and accidentally insulted our roommate. That kicked off a spree of tree-hugging.

2015 Post San Dimas Stage 3

I was cranky after crashing out of the crit at one lap to go, so Courteney cheered me up with a spin on the TT bike. The girl really knows how to live it up! Apparently this is what old people do for fun.

2015 Sweet Pig

This pig. Holy shitballs.

2015 Redlands Rest Day

Courteney was served up on a platter for my rest day entertainment. Then I roadtripped to Super Target with Zanna and two boxes of hair dye later, I accidentally have black hair.

2015 Greatest Pet Ever...And Pig

We spend a large part of each day taking photos of the pig. Even when the pig has gas, she is adorable. Same with Courteney.

2015 Easter Bucket

I couldn’t be home for Easter so my wonderful parents mailed Easter to me.

2015 Egg Hunt

Our host family set up an Easter egg hunt for their daughters and the three of us. I found 11 eggs, a lemon, and an old tennis ball.

2015 Easter Baskets 2

We also got Easter baskets! It’s hard to be away from home for a holiday, but our hosts made us feel like part of their family and it ended up being a very enjoyable day. I also won $14 on my scratch-off lottery tickets. That’s more than I won in my last race.

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