Feb 27, 2012

The Clif Bar Verdict!

The poll ran for five days on the Lex Albrecht Facebook page.  The goal: to find out just which delicious Clif Bar flavour is the most popular amongst all of you, amongst all of us!  The verdict: White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut or Coconut Chocolate Chip (which were categorized together) came out on top
The funny thing is...those are my favorites too!

A few other Clif products that I've been using lately are the Clif Shot Rocks (make it simple to dial-in your protein intake to the exact levels that you need), and Clif Shot gels (tasty, and conveniently packaged in small narrow sachets that won't slice the sides of your mouth).  Clif has a whole line of products made with mainly organic ingredients that make fueling activity easy, healthy, and more than palatable.  Check them out on their website...or, if you see me out on the road, I might just have some to share!

Feb 22, 2012

Join In On the Clif Bar Poll!

On the Lex Albrecht Facebook Fan Page, there is a new poll up and running.  Join in, and share with everyone what your favorite Clif Bar flavor is.  Clif Bars are made with whole organic ingredients.  They taste great, and are easy to find in grocery stores, sport stores, and even convenience stores. Clif Bar is an excellent performance nutrition product that everyone can feel good about eating. 

Click HERE to vote.  Which one is your favorite?

(Mine is White Chocolate Macadamia Nut!)

Feb 20, 2012

Équipe Vélo Mauricie

Ce soir après une belle sortie en ski de fond au Parc de la Mauricie, j'ai eu le plaisir de renconter et de parler avec plusieurs athlètes et quelques parents de l'Équipe Vélo Mauricie à Trois-Rivières à leur soirée annuelle d'information.

L'équipe est en période de récrutement d'athlètes entre 7 et 16 ans qui veulent apprendre comment faire du vélo de route, et de la compétition.  Le vélo de route est un sport pour tout le monde, de tout niveau.  Ça ne prend qu'un vélo, et le goût d'avoir du plaisir.  Vélo Mauricie est commandité par la boutique Passion Vélos Trois-Rivières (www.passionvelostr.com), alors si ce n'est que le vélo qu'il vous manque, contactez Passion Vélos Trois-Rivières et ça leur fera un plasir de vous aider à en trouver un.

Vélo Mauricie offre une occasion parfaite aux jeunes et leurs parents, de s'initier au cyclisme dans un environnement amicable.  Yannick Bedard, un athlète avec l'équipe Eqoi-Gaspésien (http://veloptimum.net/velonouvelles/12/COMM/2fev/EkoiGaspesien20.htm) est l'entraineur (niveau 3) de l'équipe.  Il est également étudiant en kinésiologie à l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Yannick travaille avec Vélo Mauricie pour une troisième saison.  Il partage son expertise et sa passion pour le vélo de route avec les athlètes qui ont la chance de travailler avec lui (je parle des athlètes de l'équipe Vélo Mauricie, bien sûr!).

Si vous êtes interessé à faire partie de l'équipe ou pour plus de renseingments, contactez Serge, le président du club à : velomauricie@gmail.com
Vous pouvez suivre Vélo Maurice sur Twitter: @evmteam
Ils sont également présents sur Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.149699555061388.21527.100000640324929&type=1

Je suis très fière d'être nommé marraine de l'équipe Vélo Mauricie et j'ai hâte de suivre les exploits des athlètes au cours de la prochaine saison!  On va s'amuser! WAHOO!!!

Feb 19, 2012

LAX to YQB and a New Member of My Carry-On Family

Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies ran a training camp for the men's and women's teams in Southern California.  It was a a first chance for the entire groups to ride Orbea road bicycles together, meet a few sponsors, learn about equipment, experiment a bit with new ride and recovery food products from Clif, and test the legs on some long rides, hilly rides, fast rides, and...a coffee shop ride as well.  Just one.

After 10 days I returned to the LAX airport.  This is what I made sure to have in my Thule backpack that I carried aboard:

A couple of airplane snacks.  Apples, lettuce and tomato that I made into a makeshift salad.  Produce is priced at a fortune-and-a-half at airports.  I like to think ahead and beat them at their own game.  (I threw in a can of herring as well...of course.  The finest travel food known to Lexkind.)

My toothbrush.  Hey, having dirty teeth on a cross country flight is not fun.

Earplugs and earbuds.  I want to watch the TV shows onboard, and when I'm sick of them, I want to sleep! 

Compex: I made sure to have my Compex muscle stimulator nearby in the Thule backpack.  I tried to use it discretely.  It was my first, but NOT last time using the Compex on a plane.  My legs felt awesome when I landed back in Quebec.  The Compex not only helped with recovery, but it kept the blood flowing through my legs during the flight.  A new member of my official carry-on family.   I made a quick video of me using it...how can you not want one of these puppies!

Feb 11, 2012

How We Roll, How We Fuel, How We Pack, How We Find Our Bikes...

This is how we roll.  The team van and the Acura TSX Sportwagon team car with the training bikes on the roof.  There's plenty of room for all of us inside.  The van stays in the parking lot, and the team car follows us on our rides.  There's no need for tube changing on a ride or in a race because when someone gets a flat, Jeremy, or Rachel, or Adrian hops out of the Acura with a fresh HED wheel from the trunk, and swaps it. 
In the car, there's a magical box of Clif food (Bars, Shot Blocks, Shots, etc.) for re-fueling, and bottles of Clif Electrolyte drink in the cooler to keep us hydrated under the Cali sun.  We went through a lot of bottles on our long climbs...long as in over one hour going up.  I love it.

This is how we pack: Thule backpacks in the car with our ride gear, and post ride clothes and food.  The Thule backpack is as tough as anything which is good because I don't have time for handling this kind of gear with gentle caresses and a tender touch. Haha!
All of our race and training bikes are labeled with our names.  We've all got our own unique set-ups, and we we all had the opportunity to chose whichever Selle Italia saddle we wanted, but it's so much faster and easier to find our own machine when our names are written on the top tube.
I always step away from the group to turn my bike computer on so my heart rate strap synchs with my own device. 

Then, we pedal, and we love it.

Feb 10, 2012

The Second Day in the Saddle.

This is a shot from the pre-ride chat before heading out on the Orbea Orcas.  It was the second ride of the Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies training camp in Southern California. 
Photo: Sam Weibe

The weather was gorgeous.  The sky was blue and the sun was shining strong the entire day.  The temperature was in the high 20's.

The Acura TSX Sportwagon Optum Pro Cycling team car followed us along the coast and up into the hillier mainland.  Everything is in bloom here.  Sometimes it smells like spring, sometimes it smells like summer, and when we get home, it smells like ocean.  We all stopped just before arriving home to grab coffees and enjoy the sun. 

As soon as we reached homebase though, I set my bike aside, took off the bike shoes, and ran to the beach in the backyard.  We pretty much all did.  The waves were huge and the water was refreshing.  What a perfect way to end a perfect ride.  That was the second day in the saddle.  Give me more!

There are more pictures of our day on the Optum Pro Cycling website : www.optumprocycling.com

Feb 9, 2012

Optum Pro Cycling Cruises in the Acura TSX Sportwagon

I got a ride in one of the team cars for the first time today.  I volunteered to take the backseat of the Acura TSX Sportwagon decked out in Optum Pro Cycling colours, and enjoyed the new car smell while the sun beamed through the sunroof.  I love sunroofs.  I don't know why people drive with the window shade closed though.  I never got that.

My teammate Kristen navigated, and Carmen handled the car like it was nobody's business.  She had to, or else we were going to be late for the team meeting.  We had important errands to run and we couldn't put them off until later.

The opinions were unanimous.  The car is slick.  It rides smooth, and it's decked out with nice features.  I like the reverse-cam screen that lights up when the car backs up.  A perfect feature for a cycling team car because I've seen people drive over bicycle frames and wheels before.  I got my trike run over by a neighbour when I was a kid too.  I'll never forget it.  He didn't have a car like ours. What's more is that the trunk closes all by itself, which is perfect for when our hands, or our soigneur Jeremy's hands, or our director Rachel's hands...are full of: Clif bars, clothes, bike parts, etc.!

Our team director (Rachel) was the last one to drive the team Acura TSX Sportwagon before us.  Rachel had left the AC switched to on, as well as the seat warmers.  My teammates found this pretty ironic.  Regardless, Carmen said she would drive with heated seats always if she could.  So she did.

This is "only" team camp, but I think this car is going to look even slicker (as in: off-the-wall HOT) when it'll have bikes on the Thule roof racks, coolers of bottles in the backseat, and tons of spare wheelsets in the trunk when it's in the race caravan, chasing the peloton through some wild racecourses.  It's got the room and the guts to do all of that. 

The Acura TSX Sportwagon is an awesome cycling team car.  It's on 4 wheels, we're on 2, but it's an integral member of the team.  Welcome abord.

Feb 7, 2012

Ventura California is Where We're At!

Toodle-oo snowy Québec.  I enjoyed a final day of cross country skiing in the Parc National de la Mauricie.  Then, a little bit of riding on the Kinetic trainer, and then I headed off to the airport.

On the plane, I did it again- I slept through the take off.  The next thing I knew, I was awake and we were in the air.  It's such a weird feeling but since I've been making a habit of it, I'm surely going to get used to it soon.  My timing was good because the flight attendant was almost ready to offer me a drink.  I took the same thing as always: decaf coffee and club soda on the side.

I arrived at LAX this afternoon, greeted by some of my teammates. We hopped in the Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies van and headed to Ventura, California.  I'm looking forward to cruising to the grocery store in one of the new Acuras decaled out in Optum colours, it's the next thing on our game plan!

This is what we arrived to see (pretty darn nice for a team training camp home base!)

Feb 6, 2012

Carnaval à Québec

 Quand j'avais 8 ans j'ai appris sur le Carnaval dans mon cours de français à l'école.  Depuis ce moment, je rêvais à y aller éventuellement.

Je voulais voir le Bonhomme Carnaval, glisser, gouter à la tire d'érable...

Bientôt, ça va faire 7 ans que je demeure au Québec, et je viens tout juste d'aller au Carnaval pour la première fois de ma vie.  J'ai évité la tire, mais j'ai fait plein d'autres affaires.  J'ai vu la parade, et je suis même allée faire un tour dans la grande roue.

Alors, ça fait une autre chose que je peux cocher sur ma liste de trucs à faire pendant ma vie!  Quelle sera la prochaine?  À voir. 
Il faisait tellement froid pendant la parade que j'avais peur de perdre des orteils, mais j'ai réussi à voir le Bonhomme Carnaval quand même.  Ca va faire changement d'aller rouler avec mes co-équipières en Californie à partir de demain.  J'adore où je demeure, mais je dois avouer que j'ai quand même hâte d'aller tester les jambes au soleil!

Feb 3, 2012

Lex Albrecht is Sponsored by Nuheat

I am both grateful and sincerely proud to be able to say that I am sponsored by Nuheat for the 2012 road cycling season.

I will not forget when I first learned about Nuheat a few years ago. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mr. John Rose, the CEO of Nuheat on a flight across the country.  He told me about Nuheat's innovative  products, company culture, and community involvement.  He shared the story of how Nuheat helped their employee Wesley build a community changing well in his native country in Africa.  He told me about his support of the Canuck Place Children's Hospice, and he spoke to me about flying the flags of Nuheat's employees' native countries in front of the Nuheat office.   John also told me about the hobby and educational allowances available to Nuheat employees intended to encourage healthy lifestyles and personal development away from the deskwork.  Learning about Nuheat's radiant flooring system and it's plethora of possible applications impressed me, but hearing about Nuheat's presence in the community and their approach towards how they treat their own employees and their unequivocal corporate culture, really had me in awe.

Check out some of the community events that Nuheat staff participate in:  Nuheat In the Community Events

Being a full time professional cyclist requires a lot of determination, commitment, and some sacrifices.  The reality is that money is extremely tight for the majority of us in the peloton, and even with a strict budget paying rent and buying groceries can be a challenge.  So why do I do it?  I love riding, I love racing, and I believe in myself.  I want to see how far I can go.  As a professional cyclist, personal sponsorship, in addition to all of the team sponsorship, makes all the difference in achieving my dreams and endeavors.  

I am both grateful and sincerely proud to be able to say that I am sponsored by Nuheat for the 2012 road cycling season.   Thank you Nuheat!

Feb 2, 2012

Lex à la radio avec René Pothier

Écoutez "C'est juste un jeu" à la radio satellite Sirius Sport Extra de Radio Canada avec René Pothier demain, le 3 février 2012. Je serai aux ondes à 16h40...pour parler du VÉLO!
Sports Extra

Back in My Livingroom

Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies had a spectacular team launch at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis Minnesota.  The venue was gorgeous, and the event was very well put together.  The presentation took place on a theatre stage painted in azure blue, a complementary colour to Optum Orange.  Our new jerseys looked sharp up there...I sure thought so anyways!  Check out the team website.  The photos section has some nice images of the launch.  www.optumprocycling.com  Cyclingnews also published a great article about the women's side of things: Cyclingnews Article on Women's Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

I flew back into the snowy world of Québec City on Tuesday night.  I had a great time in Minnesota (a word that I apparently pronounce like I'm from there...or from Canada), but I'm happy to be back on my Kinetic trainer in my own living room, pedaling the way I like to at this time of year. 

Next Tuesday, I'll be up before the roosters on another flight.  Destination: Team Camp in Ventura, California.  I'll be making the best of the remainder of the days I have here at home, but rest assured, I'll be happy to pack up my Thule luggage and take off for another trip in only a couple of days.