...fasten your race chains


Collegiate Racing RAR!

ECCC schedule for Spring 2010 has been posted. Looks like nationals are in Madison, Wisconsin. I just can't seem to get out of the Midwest....


hoi !

raining in portland and contemplating whether i want to ride all the way to work or take the max...

cross race was so so fun on sunday!  more details later....  i crashed into someone's team tent at the start, but luckily missed the people warming up on trainers.. my rear wheel fell off in what brambly part of the course.  i  ended up 11th in the race which isn't too fabulous, but it was fun.  i think i ended up 11th in the series b.Chan.  and my front tire is completely flat and both hubs are super loose and my bike is generally all wobbly...  

oh but time for work.  ugh.  train or training?  


ditto my dear-o !

Aw purrrfect; I read wanted: bikewife as I make peanut butter toast and coffee on Sunday morning while google-image-ing keyboard cat tattoos.  Dan snores away... He's not going to the cross race today because he doesn't have a bike--you wouldn't know that from glancing in our studio apartment--and because I guess he had a honkin' time playing dominos last night with the guys (well, his only guy friend here, Ryan).  

My bike-y friend Anna might come to the race today, but it's up in the air.  She's yet to catch cross fever...never even been to a race...and sure won't be compulsively yelling ARE YOU READY FOR CROSS SEASON anytime soon.  Don't get me wrong, Anna's no lame-o.  She's a really hip girl and has been commuting by bike longer than I have, is always ecstatic about our huge climb on the way to work, hates cars as much as anybody: she's thoroughly bike-y, an absolute joy to ride with, and I am ever-so-grateful that we are friends, but that's not really the problem.  It's just difficult to coerce her into racing her bike because I know what's best for her and because I want camaraderie.  With a bikewife the difficulty goes away, because you do know what's best for the bikewife!  (Recall Superweek B.Chan?  I pretended to let you languish over the decision making process, but I was ready to throw myself and the Eastons under that Corolla).  Anna and I will get to this point, but we're not there yet.

There are plenty of people in the city of Portland eating peanut butter toast and stalking their competitors this morning, I'm sure of it.  Plenty of girls, potential wives.  I spotted some yesterday clomping around River City and a couple riding across the bridge, and up the hill to Washington Park.  And standing on the start line I am surrounded by cool chicks who hate cross at that cold and rainy moment, but who actually love it.  The potential for everlasting love is inevitable, as they probably also love the road or the trail and could introduce me to new frontiers like track racing.  However, regardless of my plumage--as attractive of a mate I try to make myself--the bikewife doesn't bite yet...because it can't.

The prerequisites for love go beyond displays of wooly argyle socks and foam dinosaur cutouts, and they are deeper than good race results and compression tights.  We've yet to come across a squash graveyard.  We haven't stuffed a pumpkin in your legwarmer and bounced it home.  We haven't spent the day modpodging vulgarities all over the kitchen.  We haven't lived in a van for a week in the woods, pretending we were pros and eating weird flavored peanuts from Aldi.  We don't talk non-stop smack about a girl who we are afraid of, about the squirrelly chick on the giant (really?), about other teams' conspiracy theories.  We haven't bedazzled our helmets or stuffed our messenger bags full of dumpster bread.  We can't share Heed and soy protein.  The local all-dude bike club is pretty indifferent to our existence.  No one with whom to obsess about Lipsmacker and Tibco, no one who thinks pink aero shoecovers are actually kind of sort of cute even though they are pink..

SO I stalk alone.  And get queasy from eating peanut butter alone.  And I'll probably go to this race... alone.  

Smile!  I'M READY FOR CROSS SEASON!  It's not a big deal.  I miss my bikewife dearly, and would like to find a new one, but it will happen.  It just takes time.  But it will happen, B.Chan!  You'll find someone who can stuff two pumpkins in one warmer!  But for now, it's fun to pretend to be a rogue competitor, sabotaging the CrossCrusade women's B's top 10.  Mua ha ha ha ha......    !!!  

(It's the last CrossCrusade race today and I've been doing alright...solid top 10's and today I am digging deep.  I am sitting 12th in the series, after missing the first three races, and at least a couple of the top women have catted up.  This doesn't really mean a whole lot, but it's fun!  I'm not a points calculator because I don't care that much, but maybe I can get top 10 in the series at least.  We'll see.  The only actual impetus for wanting to do well is that I'd like to show that I am a good enough racer to get on a developmental team.  Other than that, I just want to play in the mud.)


Wanted: 1 "Bike Wife"

Job Vacancy: "Bike Wife"

Company/Organization: B.CHAN

Description: A Bike Wife is analogous to the "work spouse" commonly found in office or similar professional settings. However, as the title suggests, this position is related to cycling and the lifestyle associated with riding, training and racing. In fact, it has nothing to do with an office. This position has become available due to the recent separation and relocation of my former Bike Wife, MizMiles.

Skillz: Candidate must live in Philadelphia, preferably West Philadelphia. Candidates must be highly motivational, receptive to goal setting, and occasional devious behavior. Candidate must be willing to ride with me both indoors and outdoors as I build a massive base this winter on my way to conquering the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to the ability to generate a multitude of contractions, successful candidates will readily create and implement unique phrases similar in quality to "ARE YOU READY FOR CROSS SEASON?!" and "HOI!!". Special consideration is given to those candidates who enjoy blasting M.I.A., making energy bars, commuting by bike, and/or camping in EuroVans.

Compensation: Depends on experience.

Reply to: BCHAN


Updates from Philly


Fall in Philly has been kinda strange so far. October was supposedly one of the rainiest Octobers Philly has had in years. Now November is here and it has been 65+ ever since. Definitely can not complain about riding in shorts and a short sleeve jersey this time of year.

I attempted to race cyclocross last weekend. The race was the Cat and Kitten Cross race in New Jersey and we drove through a really pretty area to get there. Apparently the race was the wedding reception of a Kelley Benefits guy and a chic from VanderKitten. How cool is that?! I went with the Penn Cycling team. We managed to get properly lost and missed my race. Fortunately the race promoters were really nice and let me ride the men's B race. I wish I had been able to get to mine on time because the course was fun. Nothing too exciting, but lots of technical switch back type things and TONS of mud. After one lap my bike must have weighed 50 lbs. Well maybe not really, but it was really really hard to pedal!

I wasn't able to race on Halloween, which I heard was ridiculous. But it's okay because I was having fun and getting paid to ride my bike. One of the cool things about work study jobs here at Penn is that they allow you to work with some really cool non profits. I had the great fortune of getting hooked up with Neighborhood Bike Works back in September. I get to ride with the road racing team on Fridays, help the kids fix their bikes on Mondays and on Saturdays I lead the Mountain Bike Club ride. I haven't worked directly with kids for a long time and I had sort of forgotten how much fun it can be. The kids are great (for the most part) and its cool to see them get stronger each week. Sometimes I feel like cycling can be intimidating and cyclists can be elitists jerks, so its refreshing to work with kids who don't care about their V02 maxes or watts/kg or yearly mileage and instead just want to ride bikes and go FAST.

Last week I started lifting again. Ugh! So sore!!! Lifting really helped me a lot last season though, so I'm planning on sticking with it.

In other, un-cycling related news, I adopted a kitten last week. His name is Amos. He's a sweetie pie. Got a little bit of a cold/cough, but that should be cleared up soon.

and more pics here. And for those of you who were wondering, yes, I am well on my way to becoming a batty old cat lady.

Other than that, things are pretty much the ush. Skool is hard. It gets dark really early. Axel got a job at Eastern Mountain Sports. He seems to like it. They're moving him to Morristown NJ next week, so we'll see how that goes....

Back to homework. Kthxbai!!!


yay to a new kitteh

So apparently Chan & Axel have a new kitteh.  B's Picasa pictures show him to be ever so cute too.  Oh oh how I want to pet their new kitteh !  What is kitteh's name?

Today Dan & I are going to race cross at Portland International Raceway for the Cross Crusade's penultimate series race.  Well, I am going to race because Dan's derailleur flew into his spokes on the way to the now non-existent farmer's market last wednesday.  He tried to put the der. from his road bike on, but it turns out that he needs a new chain and hanger.  Poor dude.  I'm going to race.  The flu has been going around at work though, and last friday I felt pukey.  Saturday I stayed in all day and rested, and felt fine, and today I can't tell how I feel!  I might be feeling hot, but that might be because I've been wearing wool baselayers and the heat is on.... and I might be pukey, but it might be because I ate oatmeal in the morning.... or maybe this is all pms, or maybe I am nervous about racing...  ugh, in any case, I've been drinking a lot of tea.  In any case, I am racing today and I am going to have a blast and maybe even do well.

Speaking of cross, last weekend was amaaaaazing.  Epic (for me, but I've only lived in Oregon for about a month!).  Dan and I rented a car and drove to Astoria, on the coast.  Actually the car was a Camry, and quite pleasant and even gave me a bit of a soft spot for cars, as it was cozy and warm and sure beat leaving at 8:00 pm Friday night to ride our bikes to Astoria with the gear on our backs.  The race was at the fairgrounds, and it had rained a lot, leaving the place a muddy mess.  When we rolled in, a group of about 4 older dudes dressed as Borat were racing.  Yes, they were wearing the neon green thong.  And yes, one of them at least experienced a wardrobe malfunction, though I only heard about it.  Sunday was "official costume day" because it was tradition, even though Saturday was real Halloween.  Dan and I only dressed up on Sunday.  

Before my race Saturday, it poured for about 5 minutes, and all the women's Bs ran under tents.  Then it cleared up and our race was on!  Lots of fresh mud!  I actually got a call up, which came as a pleasant surprise.  We went down a screaming hill at the start, the kind of slick hill you can't brake on and that you slide all over the place at the bottom, where it turns, but your tires catch you and you keep pedaling like nothing happened because you have to climb another hill.  That was a fun part.  We wove in and out of stables (or something stable-y) which was slick, and there was a longish climb that you had to dismount in the middle of usually because it got too slick, and a few short climbs that you could get up if you got enough momentum.  On one of these shorties, a girl crashed in front of me, and I crashed into her and our bikes got tangled, and when we thought we had them free they got tangled again... oh the laughs.  There was a technical part with lots of turns and hills where I kept crashing into the chain-link fence.  And then the finish line that was easy to sprint to, except that each time I sprinted to it I found I had one more lap.  Ahh!  It was a hard race for me, and a lot of fun.  I got 7th!  Dan ended up mid-pack that day.  He was at the very back of the starting line-up and passed people the entire time, so he did pretty decently.  

After the race, we watched the A's for a bit, drank a couple of beers, and got some dinner at a cheesy and expensive restaurant because we were too tired to go find the restaurant we were actually looking for.  Dan ordered a burger with Habaneros and couldn't finish it because it was so hot!  He was almost crying.  He couldn't finish his beer.  We counted, and there were 8 entire habaneros on the burger.  Why he ordered it...?  We went to our campsite at the gorgeous piney state park and crawled into our tent at 7:30.  Yep, we slept for 15 hours that night!

Costume day!  I put together a dinosaur costume with the remains of the padded foam from my Madone box and we got some funky clothes from the Goodwill.  Dan wore a dalmatian print silk blouse with flowy purple pants and foam puppy ears.  We called him a "Circus Pup".  (???)  We blended right in.  Dan flatted on his second lap, which really sucked because he had gotten a good start for once, and was moving right up.  It's hard in the B's because there are so many strong dudes.  Oh well..  The course was different today, but equally muddy and fun and insane and hard.  There were guys dressed in orange suits who acted as human barriers and race rules said we had to go over them just like they were real (non-human) barriers!  How many times did they get kicked in the balls?  I had gotten a better warm-up Sunday than Saturday and was more used to my tires and bike.  (Saturday was my first race on Poprad for the season!  Also, I am racing my EC90's with hot new grayish tubies that Dan got me for my birthday!)  Sunday it was easier to see who was who: I knew Wonder Woman was in front, so I tried to catch her, for example.  I spent the race chasing the blue/pink fairy and not letting Wonder Woman #2 and Mrs. Claus get me.  Costumes are so much easier for me to spot than team kits.  All team kits look the same.....well, except for that notorious joker skull!   I ended up 4th on Sunday!

The A's race was a lot of fun to watch.  We hung out for a while and then drove home.  What a great weekend.  Oh, you have to check out the cross pictures at pdxcross.  They are beautiful black and white photos that really capture the spirit of cross.  Y'all are missing out..

So yeah, everything is going well.  Dan is applying for a head mechanic job at the moment.  I'm enjoying my new job as well!  The early mornings are fine now, and the commute is pretty fun.  One afternoon last week, Anna and I rode by Nike headquarters and met with 7 other people commuting home from work!  The nine of us continued to Portland together, and I ended up riding with two other people almost all the way home.  There is certainly a camaraderie here!  My new job is pretty fun, I really like my co-workers and boss and the office has a really comfortable atmosphere.  There isn't a real feeling of hierarchy within their system, which is nice.  Anna and I are new, but our jobs seem to be important to the company, after all, we make sure that people get their money back on returns!  Everyone is so helpful at teaching us things, and I enjoy the pace of the job.  One funny thing is that some of the regulars at Champaign Cycle also shop online at TE!  When I discovered this it made me happy... the shop regulars are people I kind of miss!  

So here's to fastgrrrlz :-)