For Girl Dog, September started with a limp, a little extra swing in her goofy gait. But it got worse, and so into the vet we went. Arthritis? At best.

Exam, drugs, no improvement. We returned for X-rays, knowing already what we didn’t want to know. 

We received confirmation in the scan above. The white areas on the joint are not supposed to be there, nor are the shadows. Cancer of the bone. 

WIth bone cancer, the only cure is to amputate. It would buy us months, and Girl Dog…I understood the phrase “quality of life” all of a sudden, all too well. 

We have opted for palliative care only. With luck, we have until the end of September with her. All of my energies are focussed on making her happy until it’s time to let her go, and on making the transition as easy as possible for Boy Dog. We’ll all be lonely.

I have cancelled all my travel for the month of September. I do not regret this; I owe her at least this much. I will be absent from CrossVegas, the Trek CXC Cup, and Gloucester. Instead, we will go to the Upper Peninsula, we will sneak her big bites of our meals, we will do whatever Girl Dog likes.

We have so little time. It will be over before I know it, maybe sooner than I believe. I will see you, too soon, in October. 

Just the #PROTIP(S)

On the right way to do the best job at the bike race: 



Yo, I’ma let you finish, but never, ever forget that you are representing the race, its sponsors, and the sport of bike racing at all times. AT ALL TIMES! 

Know what’s happening in the race. Who are the big names? Who’s local? Listen to the onstage announcers, watch every day’s stage recap, and if you aren’t already familiar with bike racing, do a little research into the sport. 

Be familiar with race operations and the rest of the crew. Who’s your stage manager? Where are the day’s jerseys? Are the flowers here? Where’s volunteer sign-in? (You will get asked that a lot.) 



If you are given the opportunity to choose your podium dresses, remember that it will be hot/rainy/freezing/windy, and you will be outside onstage. Nothing too short, nothing that will fly up in the wind, nothing that will show sweat or wrinkle. Now is not the time to experiment. 

If you are working with a partner, mirror your hair–if your chignon rests on the right side of your head, your partner’s should rest on the left. Same goes for your accessories–flowers, scarves, jaunty top-hats. Looking at your partner should be just like looking into a mirror. 

How do you look from behind, head to toe? Remember that you will be seen from behind a fair percentage of the time you are onstage, and groom yourself accordingly. I am talking to you, girl-who-thinks-she-can-get-away-with-halfassing-her-flatiron-job.



Have your jerseys, flowers, trophies, everything you will need while you’re onstage double-checked and in place. If you have a stage assistant, this makes things easier. If not, set everything up so it will be within reach onstage well before the ceremony begins. 

Know your VIPs & dignitaries and which award they are presenting. Instruct them on what they will do onstage in two simple sentences BEFORE you are onstage. ”After I zip the jersey, you will stand with the rider for photos for about five seconds. Then please step to the side for a moment so we can do the podium photo.” If they need a quick demo on how to put a jersey on a rider, now is a great time to do it. 

Spit out your gum! 

Check yourself one last time…how do you look? Awesome? SMILE! This is going to be fun.



This is not about you! This is about tradition, celebration, and recognition of the riders, the sponsors, and the sport. 

Podium hands never touch, never push, and never point. An open, graceful hand and a smile work just as well to guide people, and they are so much more telegenic. I cannot stress this enough: No. Touching

When you give the rider anything–trophy, flowers, plushie–present it, don’t just shove it at him/her. This is why it is an awards presentation. Both hands on the item you are handing over, smile, and say something both quick and nice like “Great ride!” or “Well done!” 

Jerseys should be presented from the side, like a matador. One presenter, one zipper. (If you’re lucky, you’ll get velcro instead of a zipper.)

Podiums will generally be first, second, and third on the day’s stage and the race classification leaders. Second & third place on the day receive flowers and Euro-style kisses (left cheek, then right cheek), then should be podium-handed onto the podium. The stage winner and classification leaders receive flowers/trophies/jerseys, Euro-style kisses, AND podium photos.

For podium photos, clasp hands with your partner behind the rider. Lean in, plant the kiss, then squeeze her hand to signal that it’s time to lean out and smile for photos. Keep your other hand by your side or on your hip and both feet on the ground. 

After the last presentation, remember that you’re offstage, not off-duty–there are plenty of spectators, media, and race staff around. Think carefully before you get too sassy on social media. Now go get some dinner, and rest up–you did a great job. 

Eight handwritten letters, on vellum, in pen, against a window. No filter, in more ways than one.


Hoogerland—fuggin’ legend. There was that *brief* moment where you thought he was gonna make the gap, especially after ditching Cunego. But, alas…

Source: CyclingTips Blog/Cor Vos

Miss Piggy On Beauty





What are your top beauty tips?

Start out perfect and don’t change a thing. Always accentuate your best features by pointing at them. And conceal your flaws by sucker punching anyone who has the audacity to mention them.

Never too old to learn from the Muppets.

And this:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” - Miss Piggy

(via backonpointe)

Albert McWilliams: You're Going to Kill Someone ›

Belle & Small

Me & Stu Bone, CrossVegas2012. 


Loren Rowney does her best #Peter Sagan impression. #pinch #redlandsclassic (via johnvalenzuela on Instagram)

(via cyclocosm)

moviebarcodeThe Lorax (2012)

It’s reasonably safe to say that I may be the only girl in the world who both objectifies the Dudes of professional cycling and hostesses podiums. So today, I find myself with a rather singular point of view. I’d been turning over in my mind the idea of writing a response-from-the-podium to Alison Tetrick’s spot-on podium rules, and then de Ronde van Vlaanderen happened. Not de Ronde itself, exactly, but its podium. Well, not the podium, precisely. The pinch. Sagan’s grabby little hand has forced my own.


Now, a lot of people are making quite the big deal over all this. But before you stop reading this post to Internet-cry “That’s because it’s a big deal!”, know that I wholeheartedly agree with you. No one should ever be touched without consent. For those of you who apologised for, made light of, or otherwise excused the pinch on Sagan’s behalf, I am glad that I know now what kind of person you are. For those of you trying to draw correlations between Sagan’s idiocy and other issues of gender parity in professional cycling, sponsorships, and airtime, not today.


As a podium hostess, I like to say that I have the best job at the bike race, and nothing that I saw this weekend changed that. But it’s the wave of comments brushing off Sagan’s behavior as ‘just having a laugh’ that make me think I might be doing the best job at the bike race in front of the worst people in the industry. 


As I once said in an interview, hostessing a podium is about honoring tradition. See, cycling’s podium kisses are our Gatorade bath, our kissing of the Stanley Cup, our garland of roses. These traditions have earned, and deserve, the utmost respect from all involved. Those of us who hostess podiums do so with equal enthusiasm for both sexes’ accomplishments. (And if I may editorialize for a moment, I will say that the women’s podiums are frequently my favorites…) I am here because I love the sport of cycling, I love taking part in celebratory ceremony, I love making winners feel special, and happen to look like $1M doing it because that’s part of my job: Celebration. Not objectification. 


They say it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask for permission, but the grace of forgiveness doesn’t mean what you did will be forgotten. Proceed with caution.