...fasten your race chains


Xciting News for FASTGRRRLZ !


We want to give a fast shout-out to Vesselin Velev; our first non-relative, non-boyfriend, non-Shirefolk, completely unprompted reader! Thank you Vess !

Because we are so excited by the rapid growth of fastgrrrlz, B.Chan and I have decided to highlight one lucky person a week with a Reader of the Week award ! Yay! Good luck everyone!


And now I must get ready to deliver... More to come later on fastgrrrlz.


Well, it is snowing. Again. Seeing as this will be my last midwest winter for a looooong time, I have decided to adopt a new outlook on the freezing temperatures and snow covered ground. I will no longer gripe about my eyelashes freezing together in the subzero temperatures, or the bit of frost bite on the tip of my nose. I will no longer view snow as a horrible disruption of my training plans. Nor will I bitch about snow slowing my commute or drastically increasing the possibility of being pinned under a bus or other motorized vehicle piloted by an ignorant individual who has not yet discovered the joys of commuting in winter.

Rather, I will wake up every morning and be thankful for Pearl Izumi Lobster Gloves, being able to wear two pairs of tights under my pants, balaclavas and Smart Wool. I will relish the opportunity to ride my cyclocross bike across the illinois tundra, lift in the state of the art weight facility at the ARC, and watch endless hours of Sex in the City while riding the trainer.

And so it shall be.


I hate Illinois.



29er love

The XCaliber rolls over everything!  I rode a lap at Kickapoo today and it was so fun!  I was a bit slow, but thats cool..  I still can't believe I can roll right over stumps and logs and stuff.  Mountain biking is so cool.  We stayed really warm even though it was probably below 20.  Ah  love it.  I'm so excited to ride more.  And tomorrow we are going to Bloomington to ride cross!  Its a great weekend.  Really.


Yesterday I woke up feeling tired and crappy so I cancelled my VO2 max appointment.  Must be fresh.  I wonder how B.Chan's VO2 test went today ?   I'm supposed to go Monday.  That means easy ride Sunday and lots of sleep and pasta.

Yesterday I lifted and Nick and I went for an hour ride.  Powertap is so cool! Ride harder ---> higher numbers.  Take it easier ---> lower numbers.  Awesome.  I finally got it working with my computer today, after installing and deleting the software at least 5 times.  The problem was that the CPU was not pushed all the way on the cradle....drrr.  All of the info from the ride yesterday was deleted so I have still yet to see what the PT can do.

Today I felt like I was getting flu sick, so I stayed home from delivering and slept.  I can't get sick !!!!  This afternoon Nick & I cut the bars on XCaliber and  I wrapped them and adjusted the brake/shift levers and stuff.  X looks hot!  Its so fun to ride.  It's a lot lighter riding than I expected, it rolls over anything, and the handling is awwwesome.  I'm so excited for mtn biking tomorrow at Kickapooo!

B.Chan how was the test?


VO2 max

Oh!  Im going to get my VO2 max umm Thursday.  Its a study with 3 sessions..starts thursday.  yay!  
kitty is licking my arm

Props to B.Chan:

Good job B.Chan on your rest day.  Rest up.  Rest those legs.  Good job.


-  I received my Powertap.  Tomorrow I will begin training with Power.  
-  I lifted weights.  15 reps, 5 sets, usually.
-  95% on Anatomy/Physiology Quiz #1 
-  Barack Obama is president of the U.S. of A.
-  Trying adzuki beans for dinner.
-  Attempting to sprout lentils.

What to look forward to tomorrow:

-  Training with Power.
-  Receiving hemp seed protein and chlorella in the mail; 1 lb each.
-  Receiving and assembling a mountain bike.
-  Sprouted lentils.
-  Barack Obama is president of the U.S. of A.

*kitty is getting so huge and fat! I can't grab him by the arm anymore without him screaming.


Day 1

Not to overshadow Miz Miles' achievement, but today was also the first day of my training plan. Which, coincidentally, also started with a rest day. It is going fabulously. This is going to be a great season.

Base 1: Day 1

Hi, this is the first day of my training plan. It's a rest day. It's going really well so far.


If I was a car, this is how much space I would take.


Pre-Peoria 4:00 am  !

C-c-c-cold again today.  I am staying in the home.  I DID order the X-Caliber this morning.  Offroad living starts next week.  

It's still cold.

My Mom made that scarf.


Drunken promises

(flashy dramatic title)

Tonight Nick and I went to County Market  for cake and wine.  

We ate pasta, my ear still aches, we drank wine, and I pried Nick about his "love life".  THEN we watched mountain biking videos and I got PSYCHED.

Tomorrow I am ordering the Xcaliber.

Now I will have another glass of wine and buy ogle the Eastons.

:disgusting product geek consumer kid YACK   \\\///\\\///\\\///  but hey  . . .   oh well


YES it is cold.  This morning it was -14 windchill -41 when I rode to Parkland.  My ear was bitten by frost.  It turned whitish and thawed when I sat in class, and now is red and achy.  Just the top though, and I don't need that part really.  My balaclava was all frosty and my eyelashes stuck together where my eyes teared up because of the headwind.  (Should have worn sunnies.)  I got to class and everyone stared at me.  

After class I went to the gym and lifted for a little over an hour.  Felt a lot stronger than last year when I decided to start lifting, so it wasn't as discouraging as I thought it would be.  

Today I learned how to create links.  Sometimes they are surprises!

It's Really Effing Cold.

It is -11 Degrees outside. Great.


yay to Champaign Crit and putting tires on properly for better performance in snow !

Champaign Crit !!  Yes!  So excited.

Nice job B Chan, nice post. 

Last night I made my training plan.  It starts next Monday (rest day!) Jan. 19th.  I'm peaking at Quad Cities; hoping to Cat up.  Then I guess I'll peak again for Proctor and maybe Elk Grove and then for the last big one after that.  

Last night it snowed again..  I delivered today on Poprad and found, to my surprise, that putting the tires on properly--the tread in the right direction--greatly improved my performance in snow!  I didn't fishtail quite as much and actually did not crash at all.  Most of the time I was faster than cars.  I find that it takes a lot more energy to ride in snow because I have to concentrate more, and keep my core tighter and actually think about my form...  the moment I become lazy I start losing control of the bike.  Its great practice.  

I would like to commend Axel on his work at the bike shop--it looks great!  Maybe it just looks fresh and new, but really I think it is organized better and there is less clutter and less unsightly overpriced 80's stuff for sale.  When left unattended, the shop slips back into an un-hip decade and collects dust.  Good job Axel.  You and B.Chan have so many great ideas for the/a bike shop; I am always impressed.  Pink tires?  Yes please!

Yesterday I started school!  Anatomy and physiology.  Oh, so quotidian...   I find the topic so easy to visualize because it is so relevant to my daily life.  Before when I was in school I was a weird studying spaz machine; now my life is much more balanced, calm, and healthy...  I want to know how my muscles work and how my body uses energy and everything!  It's exciting!  We'll see if I say that in a few weeks though.  

Champaign Crit

Word on the street is that its back for July 2009. Get pumped.



Its been a while since I chimed in here, but Miz Miles has been doing a good job of keeping everyone up to date on whats been going down in the C-U.

Several thoughts/comments on recent posts and other activities:

1. Slumdog Millionaire was relatively entertaining. Not the best movie I've ever seen, but I think its supposed to be over the top, sticking with the spirit of Bollywood productions. In any case, it was much better than the other movie I viewed in theaters during break, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Read: awful.

2. Looking back on the Peoria trip, it was kinda fun. Had I been better prepared I think there would have been a little less melt down on my part. Thanks to my comrades for putting up with me. And to Chevrolet for designing the Impala.

3. We need to make some serious goals for the season. Which is fast upon us! I believe collegiate starts the last weekend in February. I feel horribly unprepared, but isn't getting prepared for the real season what collegiate racing is all about?

4. Additionally we have been on a crafting rampage. Tuesday we decoupaged the kitchen shelf. And a couple nights ago we bedazzled helmets. I think it all looks marvelous.

5. Also, Kitty is getting huge. But more snuggly.

6. Last weekend Axel and I went to The Big City to see Blue Man Group. On the way up we looked at a bunch of different bike shops to see how they are laid out and what they are selling. First stop was Rapid Transit Cycleshop in Wicker Park which was the favorite of the trip due to its friendly mechanics and overall chill vibe. Next we went to Upgrade Cycle Works which had some hot. hot. hot. Felts. Finally we squeezed in a trip to YoJimbo's Garage, which was also way cool, but a little too fixie/track oriented for my ideal kind of shop. (I must say however, they had some hot pink tubulars that I will be keeping an eye out for in the future!) And props to YoJimbo's for starting and maintaining the TrackCats program. The next day we stopped by Turin, always a classic, and Axel almost bought some shoes. Maybe next time. After Turin we hopped on the El and found the new Michigan Avenue Windy City Trek Boutique. It was about what I expected. Lots of Trek. Supposedly its a green shop. Whatever that means.

The neatest thing about these shops were their use of space. Most of the shops are very small and are forced to use all their space from floor to ceiling. I like that feeling of density. And the feeling of needing to look for things. It makes shopping fun.

7. Other than that, I've been enjoying break. There's been lots of trainer riding while screening Transition2 as well as Sex in the City. I hate Sex in the City and I hate myself for watching it. The women in that movie are so stereotypical, their clothing is over the top and I have a great deal of difficulty relating to their characters in anyway. Sarah Jessica Parker (is that her name?) resembles a horse. Yet I can't seem to stop. If anyone has any DVD suggestions, please let me know.

That's all I can think of for now. Time to go ride the trainer. Again.


team garbage

yesterday axel brought home 2 croissants, a calzone, a loaf of bread, and some jam pastry thing  YUM !  We are going back for more tonight and then to Murphy's to "eat our catch" as Sochacki said.  yay yay yay.  so lets see the week...a few days ago we went to see Slumdog Millionaire, which I thought was fairly entertaining, until my friend Mike called it a typical overdone hollywood movie set in bombay...yeah..  it's all wrong in a lot of ways.  on the way to the theatre, B.Chan and Axel went down on the tandem.  Umm  then after the movie we went out and got trashed and left our bikes downtown.  The next day I meant to go get my bike but I couldn't really get up ...  i did ride the trainer for 2 hours though um then i think we got the bikes the next day?  luckily nothing was stolen.  schtolen.  i delivered yesterday and today.  want to buy a mountain bike.  the fisher Xcaliber.  lets see    this is boring.  sochacki is talking to me.  he asked me if being me is anything like being Ollie (the kitten)?  Because I am easily entertained?  No, Sochacki, my life is not exactly the life of a kitten.  ehh he lacerated his liver while dirt jumping.  Ow. Ow. Ow.  I am so scared of crashing.   (!!!!!!!!!!!)


We made it to Peoria!  We left at 4:00 am ...it was cold.  Somewhere before Bloomington, the sun began to rise.  The reflection of the sun behind us onto the frosty fields made it look like the tundra; this is when we promised each other that we would never ride across Siberia.  It was warming up when we got into Bloomington and we stopped at a Starbucks to fix my flat and eat something.  It was cold again when we started riding, but it warmed up more and we stayed pretty warm for the rest of the day.  On of our riders had a sore tendon issue, making riding super uncomfortable, and we realized that the whole ride--Peoria and back--was not going to happen.  I think we were all somewhat relieved!  We had a decent tailwind, enough so that turning around was our least attractive option, so after some phone calls and debate, we decided to ride the 15 miles into Peoria and the 20-25 more miles across town to the airport where we would rent a car and drive back to Champaign.  By this time I was feeling great because we hadn't really pushed it too hard all day.  I think riding back would have been no problem at all physically, but it would have gotten a bit cold when the sun went down.  We ended up packing 4 bikes and 4 people and Axel's huge-ass bum bag into a Chevy Impala...  a century; not a terrible way to end 2008.

Lets see... other than that, I've been riding a bit: a short 1 hour ride with Nick the day after the would-be epic ride, a 2.5 hour ride with Dan to Centerville, a longish trainer ride, a shortish trainer ride, some delivering...  yeah.  Next up: I am going to buy a mountain bike.  Gary Fisher XCaliber.  Nick convinced me (easily) to race MTN.  Kegs?  Woods?  Anyone?  Ok off to deliver.