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Finding the Silver Lining
in Silverado, CA!
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On April 5th, Nikki temporarily moved down to Silverado, CA, a small community in Orange County that was mined for silver in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She stayed with her good friend, Larissa Connors, and her family so that she would not be alone during Quarantine. She lived there until the Connors moved up North for good to be closer to their child's grandparents. The time with Larissa ended up being a major silver lining in this wacky, unfathomable situation! 

I Rode My Bike More Than I Ever Have!

With no races on the calendar, I have been working closely with my coach to build a bigger base and work on some of my shortcomings. In all, I rode 81 hours and 54 seconds-- this included everything from days with no riding to epic rides with way too much climbing! Most of my rides were on my Pivot Vault with 30c slicks and a couple of big days were completed on my Pivot LES hardtail. Regardless of the bike choice, we often found ourselves on dirt at some point during the ride. We rode by the ocean, over mountain ranges (and back again), and ended our last adventure on top of the infamous Baldy Ski Resort, a ride that was 78 miles long with 9,500 feet of climbing!

I Climbed... A Lot!

If there is one thing about Larissa that stands out, it's that she LOVES to climb. Alas, our weekend routes were usually more than 6,000 feet of climbing and always included steep climbs where it is hardly possible to turn over the crank. In total, I climbed 73,598 feet. I had never climbed 20k in a week before, so I went big and rode 25,016 feet the week of May 4th to May 10th!

Busy with Work So We Can Get #morekidsonbikes!

I am fortunate to still be working with SoCal NICA as the Program Coordinator. I am also fortunate to have a friend that brings me coffee and breakfast while I am on 7 a.m. conference calls! Even though our season got canceled, we have been hard at work behind-the-scenes to make sure that our season in 2021 will be the best yet! My co-worker and I recently re-did our website and I am on a Creative committee with the National staff to launch a Spring campaign and Evergreen branding campaign. I absolutely love my job and I can't wait to be back at the races watching kids give it their all!

And We Had Fun Off the Bike, too!

For me, part of loving the bike so much is also loving what I do off the bike. I am a positive person, but these times are still very challenging. I figure just like my race mindset, the more gratefulness and happiness I can create in my mind, the less I will slip into dark places. I love to cook and Larissa and I spent a lot of time finding recipes that used ingredients already in the fridge or pantry. Every night as we took our first bite, we looked at each other with excitement and said, "how did we make the best meal yet during Quarantine?!" On Fridays, we got fancy and made #FancyFriday posts on our Instagram stories. With so much chamois time, it feels nice to wear a dress and get fancy! We also went on a lot of hikes with our dogs and baby Addy. The area is really beautiful and I find I am able to notice smaller details when traveling at slower speeds. 
 
I am so thankful to have a friend who pushes me to me my best, laughs at my silly jokes, and makes times like these positive. I am back home in Idyllwild and I already miss being in Silverado. Luckily, looking back at these pictures and memories will always make me smile!
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