Apparently this is life

In looking at this site the other day, I noticed that the page about the dogs has yet to be updated. How do I write Scout out of the plot here? It’s one thing to add a paragraph about Tanner and how he is so wonderful except for the part where I can now touch concrete through over a dozen holes in the bedroom carpet. It’s an entirely different matter to turn everything about Scout into the past tense and then cap his bio off with “…and now he’s dead.”

I like to say it that way for the shock value; not for you, but for me. Something about putting it so bluntly makes it feel like bludgeoning myself over the head with a watermelon in a pillowcase. In the days right after he died, I’d say it over and over in different ways like some weird chant. “He’s dead. HE’s dead. He’s DEAD. Dead. DEAD.” It still didn’t make it any more real.

Having Tanner around has made everything better, though, partly because he’s so sweet and partly because he’s incredibly distracting. He didn’t know anything when he first came home – for example, walking on a leash was a complete shock – and everything was a teaching moment. No, we don’t pee on the walls. Yes, that is your food. No, we are not out to get you. Yes, Kobe probably is.

I still can’t figure out how to convince him that inanimate objects aren’t scary. He’s terrified of trash cans, plastic bags, dumpsters, jackets, shopping carts, strollers, tents, boxes, etc. and when confronted with any of these, he drops to the ground or tries to bolt. Tanner panicked so badly in front of the neighborhood dumpster the other day that he shot out of his harness and sprinted into the woods. It was breathtakingly awful; my heart dropped out of my butt and I had a crying meltdown while trying to catch him. When I finally grabbed him, I never wanted to let go.

He’s a handful and a full-time project, but that’s what I needed to stop crying over Scout at inappropriate times (at the grocery store, during races, at a pop-up taco party). Now it’s hard to leave home for trips because (a) Tanner increases his destruction tenfold and (b) I’m reminded of every moment I missed with Scout because my own plans mattered more. Kobe seems a hundred years older than he did a year ago and it feels like every second with him should be savored, even when he is shrieking like an indignant parrot because Tanner is annoying him by breathing. He’ll be 13 soon; I thought he and Scout would both live forever and since I was clearly wrong about that, now it feels like every day is going to be it.

That’s morbid. But frankly, living each day like it might be the last isn’t a terrible philosophy. If I don’t have that cake because calories and don’t call my parents because busy and don’t take the dogs to the park because lazy, at some point I’m going to wish I had. Tanner is destroying my condo one bite at a time, but I don’t really give a shit because he’s also proof that life goes on and that sometimes epic disaster can be followed by boundless joy. All that said, I’m not quite ready to put Scout into the past tense yet. He can live on here for just a little longer.

2015 Destructosaur2015 Tanner

Posted on in Family, Life, Sadness, The Pets 3 Comments

LinkedIn: Strava for Female Pros

Yesterday was exhausting; a 3:15am alarm woke me in Logan, UT so I could get a 6am flight home out of Salt Lake City. By the time 10pm rolled around, I was cranky, borderline incoherent, and overly emotional about things like the dog wanting to pee on too many shrubs. It was an ideal night for an early bedtime, except that as 11pm came and went, I was on my LinkedIn page updating my profile to more accurately reflect my non-bicycle accomplishments. Or, summarized more honestly: to make it clear that I’M A BAWSS, YO.

Frankly, I don’t give two shits about LinkedIn. It’s like Facebook but even less interesting because people don’t overshare or rant inappropriately. I would rather watch my nails grow than review my LinkedIn newsfeed and fewer things elicit less excitement than finding out that a colleague wants to connect online. I hardly even want to connect with my colleagues in real life and I’m getting paid to do that. But suddenly LinkedIn seemed crucial, because it was the only way to validate publicly that I’m, like, smart and skilled and stuff.

It seems pathetic to admit this, but oversharing is pretty much the reigning style guide here. Somebody said something recently that made it feel like I needed to point out that I do more than just ride a bike. There is a mentality in this sport that women are a second act to the main show of the men, but it generally brings me some comfort to know that most professional men are just cyclists while most professional women are cyclists and something (coaches, dietitians, scientists, doctors, lawyers, so on). It’s no surprise that this is the most popular 140-character sentiment I’ve ever shared:

Tweet
While I don’t have a PhD, I do have a career off the bike that I’ve worked to establish and grow over the last decade. I am proud to be a professional cyclist, but that’s not my only job and I’m discontent to let somebody think all I can do with authority is pedal. Thanks to the nature of women’s cycling, it’s rare to find a professional female racer who is not also well-educated, already enmeshed in a separate career, or both. It’s basically a necessity to survive in a sport that offers minimal pay and no long-term security.

So I took my frustration to my LinkedIn page last night and spent too much time tweaking the content to prove something that I’m irritated about needing to prove in the first place. The irony is that the audience I’m trying to educate is the least likely to even notice or care; as long as I’m pedaling with boobs, that’s going to be what they recognize.

Okay. You can’t win them all. That’s the story of racing, right? You keep entering races and fighting knowing that more often than not, you’re not going to win. Instead of an extra hour of sleep, I fought the good fight on LinkedIn. (Dumber words were never spoken.) At least the next time I feel marginalized by some idiot or I get crushed on a climb, I can totally be like, “OMG WHATEVER, have you seen my LinkedIn?!”

Posted on in Cycling, Employment, Life Comments Off on LinkedIn: Strava for Female Pros

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!

New Kid on the Block

We got another dog.

I couldn’t decide whether to say “I” or “we” there because while he is definitely our dog, the half-baked planning and dogged (zing!) obsessiveness around getting another Shiba Inu were all mine.

Searching for another Shiba to adopt became my life’s sole focus shortly after Scout died. Early on, people asked if we were going to get another one and I recoiled in horror at the very idea of trying to replace Scout. The body wasn’t even cold yet! JESUS, PEOPLE.

But then I found myself in the Pets section on Craigslist, looking for a dog to adopt. Also Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, Petango, various county/city animal shelters, SPCA sites, the Humane Society, and every Shiba Inu rescue group in America. It was psychotic; I’d search every site and then start all over again automatically because maybe the right dog had been listed since the last search…eleven minutes ago.

I knew without a doubt that I wanted to rescue a needy dog rather than getting a puppy. I also knew that it had to be another Shiba because the breed is well suited to our lifestyle. We live in a condo, I do not enjoy drool, I like emo dogs with holier-than-thou attitudes who prefer to spend their time writing poetry and cleaning their feet. While there are many wonderful dog breeds out there that are great for other people, I know we can keep a Shiba genuinely happy.

However, it turned out to be really difficult to find one to adopt. As soon as I’d locate one on a shelter site and make an inquiry, I’d get a response saying the dog had found a home. You know things are getting desperate when you’re like, DAMNIT, the damn dog at XYZ shelter found a damn loving family, damnit! 

After a few weeks of compulsive searching, I found an available 8-month-old boy in Tennessee. I arranged to meet the owner’s driver at a gas station off the highway halfway between our homes to collect the nameless dog, and a nine-hour road trip later, I was back home with Tanner. He was filthy from living outside, Kobe hated him instantly, and he peed in the house within hours. And with that auspicious beginning, I knew our family was just a little closer to whole again.

Tanner is not impressedDriving around with the boys
Tanner peeks over Tanner is freaking adorable

Posted on in Family, Life, The Pets 2 Comments