Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The holidays are a time to spend with family and reflect back... My parents, grandmother, brother, his gf, and all said persons pups joined us for Thanksgiving with the Hubby's family.  It was a tight squeeze in our house... but the dogs were great! :-)  It was wonderful to have the family around and have my mom here to help me put up our Christmas Tree... only the 2nd one for the Hubby & me.  But 5 days with 3 extra adults and 4 extra dogs in one's house can be a little trying.  We were very happy to have our house back after the holiday.

The following week we had our entire P3C3 crew over for a Pizza Festa... we cleaned and cleaned... we prep'd & prep'd... and they descended on our abode.  I was tossing dough and adding toppings, the hubby was grilling two at a time... and the peeps... mangiavano mangiavano... but apparently not enough because we had pizza coming out of our ears for a week. We ended up throwing most away... along with quite a bit of veggies and cheese... but a great time was had by all and we'll make it our annual Christmas party from here on... I mean, who doesn't like pizza?

The following night we participated in the Annual Greenville Poinsett Christmas Parade where we decorated our bikes with lights and rode in the parade to promote the P3C3 mission. It was wonderful to see the streets of downtown lined 10 deep in many spots with adults and children... screaming out... "Merry Christmas!".  I'll definitely do it again next year... and dress up more than my bike!

The following weekend, we had a company Christmas Party and more guests visit us from out of town for a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party benefiting Camp Opportunity.  It was great fun... but once again, we cleaned and cleaned to have guests stay over... and then we slept and slept at the end of the weekend.

This past weekend, the weekend before Christmas... we gloriously had nothing to do... so we stayed in, watched movies, went riding, grabbed dinner with friends, and had a Christmas party with my cycling teammates (okay... so maybe we had some things to do)... and now... it's the work week and we're completely unmotivated and ready to head to Florida for Christmas.

But in all this, we have something else that makes us look back and think.  I have an opportunity for some great wandering... to the other side of the world.  And if we go... it will be with the hubby and puppy, leaving all our friends and family here in the states... not knowing when we might return.  We would miss watching our nieces and nephews grow up... miss spending time with our parents and grandparents as they get older.  Miss our friends here, but for the opportunity of a lifetime.

The career move would be great, this is what we went to school for... however is it worth starting over? Leaving family and friends... not being a few hours away from family who may become ill? Will we start a family over there and our family miss out on it? So many questions, and some will be answered today.  The biggest one I can think of... will I enter my parents house in Florida filled with brothers, sisters, parents, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews... and for Christmas tell them we're moving to the other side of the world?

I can't worry about this for now... I must pray for guidance... and ride my bike!  It's amazing how clearly some of my thoughts can come on the bike... and how I can talk to God as I struggle up a mountain!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking back

One year ago the hubby & I were riding in a Saturday morning shop ride out at the old Carolina Triathlon on Woodruff Rd (now Ride On)... Riding with the B group I was in my normal position... at the back of the front 10 riders... but ahead of the rear riders... always working to bridge up.  At the end of the ride I met one of the ladies who had stayed with the front group... she said they were starting a women's team and asked if I wanted to be on it... Me? A rider of 3 months join a team??  The key was could I do it while traveling? Would I be able to keep up with them while only training on the weekends?? I said yes, we exchanged emails & numbers... and I went through the application process, was accepted, and thanks to that morning ride... one year later I'm a different rider.

The person I met that day would go on to be my new team manager and friend!  I was accepted onto the GHS Every Woman Cycling Team... which would be a way for me to really grow in cycling and meet new people in Greenville.  While we were enjoying cycling... this new team gave both the hubby and I an in with the cycling culture here in Greenville.  It gave me people to call up at a moment's notice to ride... especially with my crazy schedule... over this past year I was never at a loss for people to ride with on a Friday afternoon...  It gave me a team of people who were striving for the same goals and trying to be better human beings.

Since that day I've clocked countless hours on my bike, never been left behind on a ride, rode farther and longer than I ever have... and had more fun that I could ever have imagined.  I am so thankful to the ladies of GHS Every Woman for taking me in and making both the hubby and I a part of Greenville's wonderful cycling community

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A long time coming...

So it's been a while since I last blogged... and still haven't decided to share this with anyone. Much has changed since July.

Cycling - My husband and I were able to raise over $10,000 for the Palemetto Peloton Project's Challenge to Conquer Cancer ride. For more information about this life changing experience in which we partook see: www.ridetoaustin.com .

Upon our return we were exhausted both physically and emotionally, so what did we do? We slept, ate, and slept and ate some more. There's something about your days constantly being shifted for an entire week, and riding 6 hours shifts that makes you awake around the clock, tired around the clock, and constantly hungry! That's not something you can just flip a switch and say, "Okay... no more!"

So as our bodies began to adjust to the lack of riding I began to think about my commitment to riding. I'm an incredibly competitive person... have been my entire life. I was drawn into road cycling through it's charitable aspects, mainly to raise money for cancer research and those fighting cancer. But it has grown from that into a passion and something I truly enjoy. So, with my work schedule, how can I get better?

That's where work comes into play. It was a blessing in disguise but while on our way home from Austin, I received a call to not return to my L.A. project. Surprised and thankful at the same time I realized that I needed the break from traveling, so no big deal. I relaxed at home with the hubby and puppy, did weekday rides, Monday night pub runs... etc.

After the first week (it only takes 1 these days) , my boss and others started to get worried. In this day and age you want to be on a project... the longer the better! Alas, the friendships and network I'd developed did not fail me and I've been able to stay busy with other endeavors and stay off the "bench" while at the same time on it.

This only could go so far and others continued to worry, I however continued to not worry... stay patient and continue to do what was necessary - the work I've been tasked to do... as well as search for opportunities around the globe to use my skill-set. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." (Phil 4:6) - So that's what I've been doing... my request? To have more time at home in Greenville. More time with the hubby... and time to actually get to know my cycling friends (they are amazing people) vs being the one who just rides with them!

And what do you know? It worked... or more so... He works! I've been picked up for a remote (read - work from home) project for the next 4 months! I'll grab an open cubicle at one of our local offices... and when one of our cycling buddies asks the hubby, "where's your wife?" during a weekday ride... He can for the first time answer, "just over there!"

So, if you recall (it was a while back so you may not) I had this great segue from cycling into work... but haven't really provided the connection. In order to be more competitive at cycling... I need to be on the bike more. That could not happen while traveling. Alas that is no longer an excuse! I use the word excuse because now I've got to do something about this. Commit to hours on the bike, hours in the gym... and get my body onto a real training schedule.

So, it's been a long time coming, but here goes nothing!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Projects & Mowbray Mtn...

I have a love hate relationship with my project... and Mowbray Mtn. The first sometimes affects the latter...

1 - This project is both a godsend and hell on earth at times. I love 90% of the people I work with... really. I've made some amazing friends and great business contacts over the past year. That being said, the 10% of whom I can not stand... make the most noise and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out. Which leads to a difficult decision. I have the opportunity to leave this project and join another one where I would have more of a managerial role. A bit of a quandry and the pros & cons with either decision are:

Current Project -
Pro - Those 90%
Con - Those 10%
Pro - I can bring my kicka$$ new Madone 5.5 w/ SRAM Force every week w/ the hope to ride w/ the local bike club
Con - Most of the time my beautiful new bike just sits in the hotel room b/c of the work day never ending
Pro -
4 hours driving distance from home meaning I can change my schedule rather easily to be here early or go home early...
Con - Atlanta Monday morning & Thur evening traffic
Pro - Hotel is awesome and right next to a great gym
Con - Losing airline status/miles
Pro - Relatively easy role
Con - Too easy role
Pro - Met some great locals who I ride and hang out with
Con - Ever changing scope
Pro - Get to see how my company & this customer shutdown a project
Con - Project may never end
Pro - Customer really likes me and mentioned they'll pay extra to keep me
Con - Working weekends / Can't ever make weekend plans w/ hubby & friends (&)
Con - Constantly packing for multiple weeks b/c never know if I'll have to work the weekend

New Project:
Pro - Mgmt Role
Con - On the Left Coast
Pro - San Diego rocks!
Con - Flying to CA every week
Pro - Great riding
Con - Can't ride my new Madone
Pro - Can ship my old Madone 4.5 there (hence why I bought the new Madone)
Con - Thursday night red-eyes
Pro - More miles and better airline status
Con - More hours clocked in a plane
Pro - Can sleep while on a flight... can't do that currently while driving...
Con - One less night at home w/ the hubby

Pro - New Client
Con - New Client could be as difficult as current one
Pro - Project is from the new group I belong to at work
Con - Could be short-term and then have me on the bench
Pro - Could be long-term and a real career booster
Con - Unknown regarding the folks I'll be working with
Pro - More consistent than current project
Pro - My manager's manager's manager had me in mind to go to this project

Okay... lots of pros and cons... and they aren't exactly one for one... I'm leaning toward staying... but really torn...

2 - Mowbray Mtn... when I do get away from work at a reasonable hour on Tuesdays... I join the local bike club for a 34 mile jaunt... through some rollers and up to... Mowbray Mtn. A 3 mile 6-7% grade climb that at 8 or 9 am would be perfectly fine... but by the time I'm at the base of the climb... which is normally 6:45 pm... I might feel like a million bucks... or I might want to just go to bed... The last two weeks... it's been the latter. But... when asked the question, "You climbing tonight?" Is there any other answer other than, "of course..."??? If someone asks you, you have to do it... right? Only if you avoid the question can you get out of it with some slight hint of dignity... Mowbray Mtn wouldn't be such a bear if it weren't 1 - the steepest at the very beginning and 3/4 the way in... 2 - After a full 10 hour day at work... 3 - In an environment that is humid as hell... alas... It's a good climb... would probably be considered a Cat1 or 2... Not nearly as long as climbs like Caesar's Head, but definitely steeper... and rather depressing when I'm passed by Cat 1-3 riders who blast past me going double my speed... but... at least there are those who pass me at the beginning, whom I catch up to and pass at the end b/c I saved some energy... now that is a wonderful feeling!

Anyway... this note has been rather informational in nature and not a lot of prose to it... I'll work harder next time... towards the end of the work week my brain tends to just blurt out information rather than think in full sentences! Maybe this weekend after rest, hubby & puppy time, a few rides, and perhaps a trip to see the new Harry Potter... I'll be ready for the real world again...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Customers, Weather, and why I'm here

I'm new to this whole blogging thing but have been thinking about it for a while now. First things first, Hi, I'm the Wandering Cyclist! If it's a weekday you'll find me in some part of the US working for a customer hoping that the weather holds, the customer is nice, and I can get out of work at a reasonable hour to ride my bike with the local bike club. If it's a weekend, I'm either riding with my hubby/cycling team/fundraising team, or I'm unpacking, packing, working, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, doing yard work, doing laundry or relaxing. So, as you can see... Monday through Thursday the options are simple, work, ride, eat, sleep. The weekends however... are a complete mess. This is my life and I love it!

For work... I wander... however as of today I've been on the same project for precisely 1 year. Not typical and especially not bad given the current economy. It started slow and was only suppose to be a short-term gig... that turned into 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and now... will probably end up at 13 months. Where to next? Possibly the left coast (did I mention I'm an East Coast gal?)... I'm sure with future blogs you'll hear me drone on and on about customers, the late nights, 6 12's, etc, but I'll try to keep the complaining to a minimum. After all, what do I have to complain about? More about that to come in future blogs...

So where does the "Cyclist" part of my name come from? Well, at the end of August I'll have had my road bike for 1 year... and I'm looking forward to celebrating that event! Why? Cycling changed my life, saved my marriage, and gave me a theme. A good friend who was a runner took up cycling and convinced me to try it. I was already mountain biking and enjoying the heck out of that... so why not get a roadie and see what this "it" sport is all about? It didn't take long to jump head first into this crazy two-wheeling society and convince the hubby to do so as well. Cycling has a rather high barrier to entry, however some really great local bike shops make it rather painless... and sites like bonktown.com feed the need to get all the right gear.

So... here I am... the Wandering Cyclist... sharing my journey