Hot or Not: 2012 Year in Review!

Well, it's not really a Hot or Not. Sorry for the false advertising.

Once again having travelled through the years, sleeping through the all important fireworks, I have decided to cut out the "Not" section and just have a "Hot" list to round out a huge year for us. I have written a 2012 in review following this. We don't have a thanksgiving celebration here in Aus, but I would like to use this post to write a few things that I am thankful for...

2013: Hot!

1. The Lefmann-Beck micro-human

Yep, Elva tops the list. Kids do funny things to you; even the most un-maternal of people can turn into soppy eyed schmucks when they've successfully procreated.
Elva Mae rides her bike!

Of course, we think we have made the pinnacle in cuteness in our micro-human. No doubt those of you with micro-humans of your own think the same...

2. Not being pregnant

Many people said that I did pregnancy very well. Which, I think, means I didn't turn into an absolute barge (just a relative one) and only gained around 10–12kg. However, I was the angstiest person to be around the whole time. I hated it!

This is me, aka: Walrus guts on Elva's birthday.
The advantage of having said micro-human is that I am no longer a walrus. This is a win. I am much nicer to be around, and I can ride my bike a lot further and in anger once more. Despite it being tough going the first few months (yeah, sure, i'll race the sunny series without doing any rides longer than will be fine...).

3. The zen of singlespeeding

Having some time to 'just ride' my bike this year has been really good. While it meant I have delayed getting to my goals earlier, it's been a nice way to get back into riding quickly without too much stress.

Singlespeeding is truly awesome. I write several posts about it's awesomeness every year. It's you, the bike, one gear. The oneness of bike is really meditative.
SSawesome. Ripped from Parbs.

4. Bizarre new fondness for road riding

Usually I would do anything to reschedule my scheduled roadie rides for something more fulfilling, usually including knobby tyres, trees and dirt. The last week in December Aido and I headed up the Sunny Coast and took only the roadies.

Funnerest detour ever...
We did four rides, three of which were together. We're still together so something works. We hit up some naaaasty but fun 20%+ gradient burgs, some long, undulating endurance km's and a hilly moderate length endurance ride. It was bizarre...but I didn't hate it!

Maybe I am getting fitter, though I think it's likely due to the 'time out' I was allowed over Festivus, as nanny Barbie was a willing babysitter. 20%+ road climb? No probs. Long road km's? Sure thing. It's a good time to be out in the sun (wearing sunscreen of course...) on the bike.

I think now Elva feeds only 2-3 times a day I am less depended on, and we are both free-er to be our own little people. Win!

5. Coffee coffee coffeee coooffeeeeee! Wheee!

Yeah need I say more? Best legal high out there!

2012 in review

2012 has, all in all, been a pretty awesome year. Without having to stress myself out with uni...or even working very much, it's been a transitional year from uni student, bike racer, multiple-job worker, wife to mum, recreational rider, back to bike racer, casual worker and wife (still, phew!).

The year started with January. Six months pregnant (and a bit more), we were in Sydney and I hauled my fat guts round the northern beaches and Awaba still riding trails. Already pretty over being pregnant, I still had a way to go before riding bikes properly again could be a reality!

February had me counting down the days to my expected due date, and doing rain dances in hope that Elva wouldn't be overdue. I was working as a casual paramedic...and despite having fat guts I still had to tell my partners at the start of shift that I was pregnant. Heavily pregnant. Expectation for fitness is low in public service, and in addition to a baggy green suit meant that most paramedic partners I worked with perhaps just thought I was fat. Good for the self esteem, not! February also saw Aido manage a top 10 in Elite Men at National Champs. On a singlespeed.

March simply crept. I was ready to go. So over it all. But thank fuck Elva Mae made a slightly early appearance and I could be my own person again (warts and all birth story here). A few days post-birth I had my first ride back on the SS. It's amazing how the hills feel so much better (than when pregnant) when you're suddenly dropped about 10kg. And how lean my thighs appear in the photo—that's what not doing serious riding and a week off the bike does to me!

April was spent getting in the groove, managing with little sleep and adjusting to parental life. Sleep deprivation began to really hurt about a month after her arrival.

May I started to begin to feel a bit more human. A new roadie, coffee, and a bit of sleep helped. Elva rolled over, and I caught it on camera first up at 6 weeks. Both mothers day and my first race back happened. I also blogged on feminism and the first Hot or Not was posted. My second race, and first successful one happened in May at Karingal. I managed a podes, not bad for a fatty mumma!

June saw the launch of the Strong Women Series, (and here), as well as Hot or Not.

July had more Strong Women and the third state series race at Samford. July also saw me do a road TT, which was wicked fun.

Hitting a pothole (metaphorically...) in August saw riding take a hit as I was seriously anaemic without knowing it. Lovely Jo was our Strong Woman of the month.

September I managed to go and race a CX event at Murrarie. I wasn't 100% sold on the racing, I love MTB too much I think! This month I also did the Pleasure and Pain 100km in a team with Aido, and somehow managed to win the Flight Centre Half Epic, despite still being really under par with my fitness. The month finished with State Champs at Adare, where there was a glimmer of my old riding self. For two laps. Unfortunately the race was four, but it's a process and I was getting there!

October we visited my Nan—Elva May—for her 90th, and I decided to do a long race on my singlespeed with a month or so of training.

November saw me race the BSMC 4hr Enduro solo on the singlespeed in preparation for the Highland Fling down south. It was a really, really hard race. I then travelled south like a single solo woman without a baby to race the Fling, and managed a 5th overall in the Singlespeed class. And I finished the race feeling fresh and awesome—weird! November was an awesome month really as I got my NEW BIKE! Which was, like, the most awesome thing ever.

December, Aido and I raced the 3+3 in a team and took it out. I got unexpectedly sick (again) but at least it was a recovery week!

So that's 2012 in review! All good really. A lot of racing for a new mum, but I wouldn't have it any other way.