...fasten your race chains


No upgrade..

I didn't get the upgrade.  Honestly, I'm a weak candidate for it I guess.  I've only placed well in 2 USCF races, giving me 9 points total.

O'Fallon road race for me. Feeling the pressing need to start winning races.

The tricky thing is there are seldom enough women to get enough points ugh   this is so annoying.  


Nice wrap-up B.Chan!

I've been doing some stalking, and I'm astonished at the detail of some people's race reports.  How do people remember which lap they are on and what their position was?  This tells me that I need to pay more attention.  

Working together at the Quad Cities race was awesome.  We did a great job of shutting down Ms. Sarah Huang pretty early on.  Too bad we didn't remember that Maura was in the race: I think we could have caught her had we anticipated her attack earlier.  A good race anyhow...    Maura, 1st place, said our kits were a tad scary.  Agreed.

Back to the Wednesday night ride tonight.  We didn't make any effort to keep up with the guys after we turned out of Monticello toward Champaign.  Seasonal allergies make me feel like I have the lung capacity of a chain smoker, and I was hacking the whole ride out.  I guess I'll trade snow in for pollen any day though.  I'm excited to get back into Build 1 & 2 modes: longer rides (including endurance! My fave!) and working on my weaknesses.

Becky and I are each ranked number 1 in our zip codes.  Morgan: during your recovery, you can rest assured that you are still number 1 in Bement.  :-)


Memorial Day Weekend Wrap Up

Snake Alley: Technical difficulties resulted in me climbing two laps in my big ring. I was pissed. We'll leave it at that.

Melon City Crit: I was feeling a lot better. I was in the main group kinda tucked in, and trying to slow things up for A.Miles' attacks until there was a massive crash right in front of me. One girl slid out and there was a pile up from there. I ended up going over a curb, sliding sideways (but still upright!) down a grassy area, somehow re-aligned my bike and was able to grab onto a tree before tumbling down a ravine on the side of the course. I was pretty shaken, but I unclipped, turned my bike around and rode back onto the course. I rode a lap or two by myself, not sure of where I was race-wise. I got caught by what I guess was the chase group and we worked it a bit. At the last lap I attacked up the hill right after the speed bump and put in some room on the group. I was dying by the top of the hill and thought for sure I was a goner. But I put in one last hard effort and was able to maintain my gap for 8th. I wasn't happy with my placement, but I was really glad my off-road experience didn't end with me lying at the bottom of that ravine. Apparently I am ready for CROSS season.

Quad City Crit: So let's face it-- I'm neither a climber, nor a masochist (although I think the former is really just a subgroup of the later) so I wasn't exactly looking forward to the first two races of the weekend. But Quad Cities is pancake flat and pretty technical so I was PUMPED for Monday's race. Anona went hard from the gun, but then slowed up on the back stretch when a certain small rider who is known for not working got on her wheel. Luckily, I was on said certain small person's wheel and attacked right when Anona eased up. I think between A.Miles' move and mine we managed to string the pack out most effectively. I can't remember the order of events after this, but I spent some time out by myself, then I was in a group of about 6 or so with Anona, and several other STRONG girls from Chicago. About half way through the race when Anona was at the front pulling into a corner she had to swerve to avoid a lollygaging racer that we were lapping. This broke the pack up and I attacked again, followed by Anona. We were together for a while, but I was gased at this point and A.Miles soloed off to try to catch Mesa. I spent about two laps by myself and then was caught by one rider from Cuttin Crew, L'Equipe Bouldogue Tout Noir, and Flatlandia respectively, with two laps to go. From my extensive blog and race result stalking I knew that the battle for third was going to be NUTS, but I really wanted to win the sprint. I got a good spot going into the second to last corner, took the outside line on the last corner and sprinted to the line. 3rd Place. Whooooo!

Bike racing is so much fun :)



I won !

Race report:  I went as hard as I could from the start and did not slow down.  No braking on the downhill.  There was a girl on my wheel for two laps, but I dropped her on the downhills.  After that...who knows?  I just rode as hard as I could.  I felt horrible at the top of the hill, but good on the downhill.  On the last lap, at the top of the snake, I shifted up and rode crazy fast on the downhill and thought to myself "I'm going to win Snake Alley!"  It was the best feeling ever.  On the flat part before the finish I was sure I had it...and then I crossed the finish line and wow...  my first win!

This was the race I've been training for and I wanted it so bad...  so it worked out perfectly.  :-)  I won a remote control snake too!  And a brick!  And some $$$  wooot

Last night Dan and I zoomed to a wedding in Bloomington, leaving us a bit tired this morning.  Melon City Crit did not go as well as I had hoped.  I finished 7th and B.Chan finished 8th.  The race is hard.  There is no time for recovery and attacks just didn't work.  The race was lively and I was in a pretty good place most of the time.B.Chan was on the front for a bit, and i tried to attack and get away, but there was no way around.  Jannette Rho and I got away toward the end of the race, but we just couldn't stay away.  I tried attacking on the first corner three times, and got a little gap, but was always caught on the uphill.  At one lap to go I was going to try to attack toward the end, and I felt good and optimistic but then....something DUMB happened.  An official pointed for everyone to move left (there was a crash and an ambulance, but I didn't see this at the time) and the girls in front of me all TURNED LEFT OFF THE COURSE.  I turned with them to avoid crash.  It was a so confusing, and I was pretty pissed at the official and at the girls in front..but that stuff happens, and its confusing.  Ugh.  So I was the last in my group of 7 to turn, so they got a few seconds on me and then I raced to catch them on the uphill, caught them, spent all my energy, and was useless in the sprint for finish.  Bummer.  Better luck tomorrow.  The girls who got 2nd and 3rd yesterday crashed and I really hope they are ok.  They were so fun !  

B.Chan will tell about her races too.


Monsters of the Midway !

I attacked at Monsters and it worked!  Woot!

Saturday morning Alex & I drove up to Chicago to race Monsters.  As we got into the city, it was drizzling and gray outside and I was worried about rainy slick conditions.  Right after we parked the car the sun started peeking out and it dried up.  I registered for the 3/4 race and felt a little regret as I watched the girls I normally would race with go off in the 4/5 race.  I thought that I was going to get my ass kicked....   There was a crash at the end of the 4/5 race though, and I was thankful to have avoided that.  Hope no one was hurt.  

I lined up with the rest of the women to race and felt pretty good.  My nerves have gotten so much better!  The course was flat and rectangular; four wide corners and a slight head wind on the far straight away.  We went around about five times, and each time someone would throw and attack and I'd chase her down with a couple of other girls at the front.  After going around a few times like this I realized that I must have been as strong as the women throwing the attacks if I caught them every time, so I HAD to attack.  I waited until a few seconds after someone attacked on the head wind section and ZING jumped around the pack on the right side.  This was about halfway through the race I think.  

I went as hard as I could and fought the urge to look behind me.  Nearing the third corner, I heard a girl shout "get on my wheel!" and I leapt on.  Only one person had caught me!  Now we were going as hard as we could, trying not to let the pack catch us.  I recovered for a minute and then took a hard pull.  We hammered around a couple more laps and realized that we had gotten away.  Now I was tired.  

Whewwww so happy to see the one lap to go sign.  Or maybe it was 2 laps.  Well...few laps anyhow.  I was feeling good and recovered...and thus made a stupid mistake that cost me the race.  With one lap to go I decided that I was strong enough to drop the other rider, Jessica, on the head wind section.  I was scared of the sprint and thought it would be better to lose her early.  She took a pull and I went for it.  I was definitely not sure of myself, and when I looked around she had caught me.  I pulled for a second longer, laid off, tried to get on her wheel, and after we rounded the last corner she sprinted toward the finish.  

Second place.   (!!!!!!!)  I am thrilled at how the race went.  Save the stupid mistake toward the end, I raced smart.  It was a BIG mistake though!  I learned, and I'll be less hasty next time.  Everyone I talked to after the race thought it was an exciting race :-)  Good job to Jessica of..I forgot the team because I can't read kits.. !


Today is a Good Day

Good news from Miz Miles, but I'll let her tell...

I graduated today. It was fun. Bittersweet, I suppose, but I'm ready to start the next big adventure.

Now I'm back in Skokie until Monday. I'm going on the Laurel Park cycling club ride tomorrow morning which is usually good for a hoot and a holler. Then it's back to CU to prep crazy style for SNAKE and the other Memorial Day weekend races. Then I have to move out of my house, then it's my birthday, then it's party time and then it's time to find an apartment in Philly. And of course there will be lots and lots of bike riding and racing. Oh man, oh man, this summer is going to FLY.


Likes & Gripes !


1) Hills at Kickapoo at 7:30!
2) Dipping into public artwork dreams
3) Okara burgers
5) CSA starts tomorrow!  Fresh greens!


1) Um m m  m mmm m   m     m     m      (weirdo anonymous posters)
2) The missing elastic in my cycling cap that makes it not fit as snugly as it should.
3) Tony Almeida in 24. So mean, so cruel..

AAAAND I'm digging at the bottom of the barrel for GRIPES because it's so sunny outside!

B.CHan & I did Hill repeats this morning at Kickapoo:  Hissssssss...........

Now I'm off to study for my exam.  Easy Peasy Lemon Squeazzzy ^_^


Eagle Creek Park Crit.

Grumble grumble 3:30 early moon still out dark.. ahhh

At 8:00 the women (about 20 of us?) lined up at the start behind the Citizens category, and the official asked us if we preferred to go off at the same time or 20 seconds after or if we wanted to race with them at all. I wasn't shy about saying that I thought the women should get their own race, but some other girl butted in and said "but then we can work with them!" I shut up because I thought that other girls actually wanted to race with the Citizens... whatever...I wasn't going to be the bitchy one.  

B.Chan and I took the lead and soft pedaled around for a lap (2?).  I thought I felt great despite the short warm-up...but it was hard to tell that early on.  I was a lot more in tune with what was going on than I was at Hillsboro.  I was listening for the sound of a wheel or for someone to shift; I was trying to anticipate an attack.  The first girl went and I got on her wheel and caught her and the field followed.  I think there were a couple other attacks--nothing amazing--and I followed those every time and no one got away.

Seriously I am horrible at race reports because I can't actually remember what happened..

So somewhere early on, when a couple other girls and I were at the front a girl attacked and got away.  I started to chase, and hesitated, and then stayed with the pack.  Maybe if I hadn't hesitated I would have caught her, but I doubt it because she was really strong.  I decided to let her go rather than waste all of my energy.  As we were coming around the end of the lap I found myself with two girls at the front and I said "hey--let's catch her!" and they laughed at me and said "Um, she's our teammate!"   ^_^  Ohh.... "I'm in a bad place right now" I said... 

(Tip:  Know who is working together.  Look at the kits and remember how many girls are on one team, etc..)

Soon we caught the Citizens category.  It wasn't so bad at first, and I got on one guy's wheel and recovered for a few minutes.  When the whole pack of dudes were going up the hill I attacked around them.  I thought this would be confusing and break up the women, and I really just wanted to get away from those guys.  It worked, but the women followed and then the men caught on them and soon we were all together again.  

The next few laps were sketchy as hell.  I felt like I was playing defense, trying to stay out of the way of other racers.  I'm not super confident about cornering yet or about riding in big packs.  When I can trust other riders it's not bad at all, but how am I supposed to confidently keep my line when I see that you CAN'T keep yours?  At this point I had plenty of energy and was just waiting for the last lap.  I thought that attacking and getting away from this group would be to my advantage, but every time I thought about doing it something sketchy happened.  As we were crossing the finish with 3 laps to go a girl next to me crashed and some guy flipped over her.. ayyyyyy  I wanted this to be over!

At the last hill on the last lap, I sprinted as much as I could to the finish and got fourth.  I had a lot of energy left, but the whole thing was such a clusterf*ck that I felt that an inevitable crash was not worth 2nd place.  

Overall I felt super strong and I felt that I could have gone harder.  I didn't make stupid mistakes:  i stayed off the front, sucked a lot of wheel, chased down attacks, and was alert and ready.  I also didn't get that nervous or frustrated!  I need some work on my handling, but that comes with experience, and I think I did well not to crash in this race.  The 1,2,3 place women were Cat. 2 so that's a big confidence booster.  However, I have no idea what kind of Cat. 4 girls didn't show up at this race!  ABR is really shitty though... more later....must go to work..


Eagle Creek

A.Miles and I raced the Eagle Creek crit in Indianapolis this morning. We woke up at 3:30am to get there in time for our 8:00am race and STILL were only able to get in a 10 minute warm up.

I'll spare y'all the details because A.Miles' account will likely be more entertaining. In short, I felt flat today. Not good, but not bad either. And this was reflected in my performance. I got dropped and then somehow scrambled back up to the field. We're not just talking about dangling off the back. Nope, it was probably about half a lap dropped. I always wonder what possesses me to do these things-- if I just sat on to begin with I wouldn't have to expend the energy required to chase and catch back on. Idiot.

We got back to Champaign by noon. I convinced Axel to go for a ride with me and I worked on my sprinting form. I'm getting the body positioning and coordination part more, but now I have to practice practice practice to make sure its instinct when it comes time to sprint.

I'm a little worried now for the Memorial Day Weekend races. I was pretty pleased with the first few races I did this season, but between today's race and the Wisconsin weekend a while back I'm beginning to loose confidence. I guess the only thing to do is to train smart, eat well and sleep lots. The good thing is that I am done with school now, so I can focus on riding and taking good care of myself.

Speaking of which, I'm graduating next weekend. Haha!



Yesterday after my Nervous System practical, Dan and I went out on a ride. As we were leaving Champaign, he said "let's so a century!" Of course I agreed...long rides are my guilty pleasure.  So we set out trying to do a 5 hour century.  Speaking Spanish only.  There was no wind.  

At mile 23 I had to slow Mr. Penner down because he was going over 23 mph and it hurt to keep up.   Keep it between 20 and 22... He didn't have a computer so he thought he was keeping it at 20.. oh oh oh

Dan started bonking at mile 46.  I felt alright, but we were almost out of water.  We rode North toward C-U and went for 10 miles without water until we got to Villa Grove and filled up.  The water tasted like a pool on a mid-summer evening...

After Villa Grove we met with Joseph and rode back to Champaign.  I'm feeling goood..
And now the Wednesday night fights..  Not as big a group as last week.  B.Chan rolled up just after we left.  After we turned back toward Champaign, Karl attacked and it broke the group up a bit.  This time I made sure to get in a good position--on Greg's wheel, on the non-windy side of the echelon so I wouldn't get guttered.  I kept up, following Thomas and staying on Ponder's wheel for a while.  After a bit I was struggling to keep up with them, so I dropped back and waited for everyone else who got dropped.  We formed a pretty good chase group and caught up to the lead when they stopped for what we thought was a flat.  A few of us kept going back to town.  I felt strong up until the end.  When we got back to Burwash, we learned that there had been a crash in the lead group.  ?? What happened?  Hope no one was hurt..

MMmm quinoa.


Sunday morning Dan & I were going to race at the Fat & SKinny Tire Festival buuuuuut we accidently slept in. My race was to go off at 10 something and the race was 4 hours away AND there is a time change, so we were scheduled to leave by 4:00 am. Dan's cousin was in town so we went out for a drink and ended up going to bed at 1:30...only a couple of hours before we were supposed to wake up. Uhhh... so first I was pissed but then I calmed down... We went out to Kickapoo and rode around the park a bit and then did hill repeats. 10 X up the longer steep-ish hill. Set a new 1 minute max. I started climbing in a bigger gear after Dan said I should try it, and the first time my watts were worse, and then they improved a lot, so I guess I'll start doing that more often.

Yesterday felt great in the morning and went harder than usual on my "recovery" ride. I feel recovered now though, so it wasn't a bad thing. Today we are going on a long ride and I plan on taking it easier and just getting some miles in.

Good job Mike and everyone else who went to Calvin's Challenge! It was Mike's first race (besides Alley Cat races) and he did really well, beating his goal of 200 miles in 12 hours and placing 4th in his category. All on an old skool Nishiki TT bike--the kind with the small (24" ?) front wheel and the slanted top tube, and a fixie at that. I knew Mike would make it 12 hours, but I'm pleased that he did so well and survived with enough zeal to want to do more races and even ride the Nishiki around town (it's his commuter now also!). Cool guy Mr. Pennington :-) Last night at the shop he showed me how to cut my chain off and install a new chain for my fixie. It's simple, and now I know how to do it! I had to get rid of my half-link chain booooo but now I guess I'm riding safer and my cog's saved. Thanks Mr. P.

ALSO Congrats B.Chan on finishing school! (!!!!!!!!!!!) And with honors of every sort...! Good job! And you look remarkably unscathed at the end of it... Undergrad.....check.

Last night I had a dream that I found a new bamboo bike for $90.

I am posting a picture of my sister on her Gary Fisher Simple City 3 because it's so cute !