...fasten your race chains



Taught muhself how to ride them this evening. So fun! Nothing like the incentive of avoid chipped teeth whilst falling off of them to beat the boredom of indoor training. Why didn't anyone tell me about this before?????


Historical Research

I've been looking at a lot of historical advertisements lately. Look at this gem I found from an 1895 Philadelphia Inquirer....


Season's Greetings

The Model Home's first attempt at a family photo.

More pictorial evidence to come....


It's November and I have fresh tan lines!

Maybe global warming isn't so bad?


Watch the Teaser! (Below)

A few updates also:

Dan and I are all settled in PDX. We are both on Ironclad now and are living in a green (as in the color) 3577 with a couple of teammates. Our living room is filled with bikes :-)

I continue to ride my bike and Dan only moves sometimes, but when he DOES get on a bike he goes pretty fast, and sometimes wins, with the help of the rest of the boys.

I quit my job and am back in school getting pre-reqs for a master's degree in Occupational Therapy. I'm at the tip of a gigantic iceberg in terms of discovering how wonderful and interesting OT is, but its an exciting feeling, and I think I might have finally found my "CALLING". Well, I made a decision, and that's an important first step. The biggest challenge will be getting into school. Hummmm.

The last year, for me, was spent sleep-deprived in a raincloud. I did make a lot of friends and joined a racing team that has basically become my family. However, the longish commute out of town wore on me and I got stressed, irritable, had a constant cold, and fell out of love with everything. I don't know how I rode a bike at all, but I did alright in races, though not as well as I'd have liked, and I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.

Being back in school is fabulous. I'll need to find a job shortly, but it feels good to just re-center. I look forward to doing better in races and to just have more fun!


1) Kettlebells are the hottest way to get swoll.

2) Acupuncture clears your head and makes you more friendly toward the world.

3) When racing cyclocross:
a. Pre-ride the course.
b. Start behind/next to the fastest person and go out hard.
c. Put in several hard efforts in order to pass people, preferably
before a technical portion of the course in order to control the pace and
slow them down.
d. Slow down before a slick/weird corner, block the person you just passed, and
sprint out of the corner. Bye Bye!

4) Eat steak the week before your period.

Okay! Homework time!

The Teaser!

Chan, while your team was out guzzling Heed, we were busy working on this:


Life Updates from BCHAN

It's been a while...

Since last post (back in July??? whoa...) I have:

1. Gone back to skool. At first I was really dreading this. but so far gradskool year 2 has been a LOT more enjoyable. I've got a pretty good thesis topic, and my studio is fun. We'll see how I feel about this in a month or so once the craze of finals sets in.....

2. Accepted an offer to ride for this team in 2011. More on this later! SO EXCITED. RAR!!!

3. Moved to a new 'hood in Philly. I won't go into much detail here, but if any of you are Arrested Development fans, I am basically living in the Model Home.

4. Went to Austin, TX for a conference.
In addition to learning lots, networking, and attending some swanky parties, I hung out with pedi-cab drivers (pilots? peddlers?) and ate korean tacos from the food carts. And I rented a bike from Mellow Johnny's and went for a pretty sweet ride. fun times.

5. Discovered the joys of foam rollers and amino acids in recover drinks.

6. Got my first real bike fit. It rocks.

zoom zoom.


hi hi!  new improved view?

well, i exist.  thanks for the call to attention, b. chan.

i am busy setting up job shadowing with OTs, and am getting ready to go to school.  it's an unseasonably warm and sunny rest day.  more on life updates later.

blogging has fallen out of fashion, and i received brand new XTR pedals for my birthday 2 days ago!
well, hopefully y'all haven't deleted us off your google reader. There have been some exciting biking/school developments lately and it looks like I'll be reviving this thing....

more to come soon! but in the mean time, back to studio.

BCHAN, signing off.


Looks like someone has a new jersey...

I'm sorry, but I have to brag a little bit for my absentee co-blogger....


It's really blazing hot.

Also, I am in love with Fabian Cancellara.

That is all.


First Race Back!!

Heart House Crit, women's open. Flat, six-corner, hot as heeeeelllll with a bit o' wind. Drove with one of my favs in these parts. Witnessed some 4/5s get into an almost-fist-fight as I warmed up. Rode pretty aggressively considering today was essentially the end of week 1 of training. Finish-wise, meh. 5th maybe? Cramped in the sprint. Must eat bananas.

I had so much fun. I could feel myself grinning as I took corners. I love bike racing again. Doing it all again tomorrow :)

I'm so happy.




(seriously, I just changed the hub batteries all.by.myself. and it seems to be working!)

Well after nearly dying of food poisoning in Paris, I'm back and working for the summer in the Iladelph. Philly is really great in the summer-- lots of art festivals, outdoor movies, markets etc. I had my first Water Ice experience last week, and if we were still doing Likes and Gripes Tuesdays here, it would definitely be on the "Like" list.

Been doing some riding, but real training starts tomorrow with, as all real training does, a rest day. There have been some good races in these parts the last couple weekends and it's pretty frustrating knowing that I can't do them if I want to maintain any sort of self respect on a bike. I'm thinking I'll cave and race next weekend though. Patience has never been my thing....


Taking a break....

Dobar don!

I'm taking a few weeks off the bike to do a summer course/project in Montenegro with Penn. Today I sat on a pebble beach and collected sea glass between dips in the Adriatic Sea and a plate of fresh seafood. Not feeling very fast currently, but I've got all summer to be a bike racer. Life is good.


New Plan!

1. Go to Montenegro on Saturday.
2. Come back. Be beastly fast.
3. Win GMSR in September.
4. GILA!
5. JizzleMIZZLE? Yes.

Glad I figured that one out....gchats with A.Miles are so productive.


Well, this weekend's races sucked. I'm full of allergy induced snot and flem. And a bit burned out on collegiate racing.


It doesn't matter because I'm going to Collegiate Nationals next next weekend.

See y'all in Madison!!!!


First USCF of the season: Lower Providence Crit 1/2/3

Sunday was my USCF PA debut. The race was the w1/2/3 Lower Providence Crit, an hourish-mostly-flat-four-corners-with-a-bit-of-wind bchan kind of race. 30+ ladies at the start line, and I was really effing scared going into it because there were lots of legit fast girls that showed up from local pro/semi pro teams and I just had no idea what to expect from the fields out here in general. I had 3 teammates, which made me feel a LOT better, and we had a brief team meeting before the race to talk about who to mark etc.

So, I spent some time dicking around in the pack, bridged to one early break with fast girls that didn't stick. With about 8 laps to go and sitting mid pack, I saw two girls go who were joined by two more. I was sitting a bit too far back in the pack, but I ejected myself and bridged to the break while my teammates blocked things up in the pack. We dropped one of the girls, but the break stuck!!! With 1 to go in the last corner, a 2 person chase caught us, and one girl flew by me and scared the crap out of me. I lost focus just long enough for another girl to jump. But I was able to close enough to end up 3rd!!!!! With legit fast people!!!!!

So things learned/to work on: I botched the sprint, for sure. My handling is getting a lot better, but I also have to learn how to move through the pack without forcing it. I burnt a lot of matches doing that, and it needs to stop. Also, having multiple teammates to work with and to block and counter things in the pack is really fun :)

In collegiate news, the fair ladies and gents of PENN CYCLING are going to take a run at the ECCC omnium this weekend. 60+ mile road race, crit and a nasty hill climb TTT for me. It's going to be a brutal weekend, and I can't wait!!! RAR!!!

Okay, time to go do the skool thang....


I did the local USCF race this weekend. As such, "Things Girls Say During Bike Races" is on hiatus until next weekend when I will inevitably be able to gather more material.

Race report to come.... it went well :)


Things Girls Say During Bike Races, v.3

Fashion faux pas during the circuit:

"Oh my gawd, I can totally see your panty line!"

"I always wear panties under my bibs. Don't you??"


I learned something this past weekend about cornering:

If you just take the same lines that the fast, smart girls take, then you'll be just fine!

Why didn't anyone tell me this before???


Things Girls Say During Bike Races, issue 2

What to say when cornering:

"Slowing....Still slowing.... Breaking...I guess kinda breaking....Almost stopping...Well I guess, I'm like, kinda still breaking, but pretty much stopping..."

How to lead out a teammate:

"Soooo we were like, getting sooo close to the line and I knew [name withheld] was somewhere behind me, and I was like speeding up and speeding up, and then like, I said APPLES and [teammate] just came right around me and was going so fast and she won!"

On bicycle color schemes:

Girl 1: Oh Em Gee. You are like, totally rocking the 80s colors on your bike. I just looooove the hot pink decals and green tires!

Girl 2: Oh I know, right??? These tires were my boyfriend's and I said to him, 'can I have those? because they'd look soo super cute on my bike' and he was just like, 'yeah okay' and now I have them! Isn't that great?!


Threshold Test!

Yesterday was 70 and sunny and the day of my Threshold test.  After lingering over breakfast for 2 hours I rode out to Sauvie Island (flat, slightly windy to a non-midwesterner) and did a 20 minute TT.  I warmed up for 20 minutes and did a couple of spin ups and max efforts, and then started the test.  Only once did I have to pull out in front of a car so as not to slow down..

I'm not really sure how to do these things, so I just gradually pushed harder and tried to go all out on the last 5 minutes.  It hurt pretty bad at the end.  Of course I always think when it is over that I could have gone harder, but could I have really?  I guess one only knows after doing a lot of these same types of efforts.

My average watts were 202, or 4.05 Watts/kg.  (There Morgan, some numbers!  Never posted those before.)  Not sure how the number stack up but I'll see what coach says.  I think they are not excellent, but not bad, and certainly fine for a the first Threshold test of the season (?)  Looking back, I really think I could at least average 210W.. !!

The rest of the day was too nice to rest, so I rode home (45 minutes in the wind, stopped for a lemonade) and ate some food, then went back out with Dan, Clint and Kristin.  Clint is Dan's boss at the Hub and Kristin is his fiance and my teammate. Kristin's got quite the story...  Last season, she was in a crash on the last lap of a crit, and suffered a freak brain injury that left her in a coma.  After a crazy few months and some therapy, she's about back to normal.  Talk about a strong lady :-)  She's pretty amazing.  She's back on her bike now and doing well!  We climbed up SW Montgomery onto Skyline yesterday and she dropped me on all of the descents, which I am still a little scared of.  She kept saying "anona--look THROUGH the turn!  look where you want to go!" which helps, but sometimes I just look at the ground....  oops.  It was a good ride.  We could see four (maybe even five!) snow-capped mountain peaks!  And two dead snakes!

We were going to ride at 9 this morning, but it didn't happen :-)  We've got all day... no races this weekend!


Race Weekend Recap

March 13-14
Grant's Tomb Crit:
First trip to NYC. If the weather is always like that there I never want to go again. It was about 35 degrees, raining, sustained 40mph winds. The original course flooded, so they rerouted it into a tear drop. A girl got blown off her bike into me. I was saturated in freezing cold water and couldn't move, much less race well, but I finished it. I'm going to forget this one ever happened....
Steven's Duck County Circuit:
Surprisingly, this was probably one of the best races I have ever done. Roller-y circuit race about an hour and haiif norf of NYC. One kicker of a climb, other than that rolling. I made the break with four (five?) other girls!! We formed a rotating pace line and it was so smooth. Then the attacks from within the group started coming, but somehow I held on until the final climb. Finished 5th. Same result as the prior weekend, but I raced much better this time around.

March 20-21
PHILLY PHLYER Day 1: TTT and Circuit
Did the TTT with my fellow Penn Cycling ladies, Rebecca and Ali. We almost killed a goose. Next up was the circuit, which was in Fairmount Park. Awesome course! Little bit of climbing, some technical spots, some long straights. I didn't have the legs to chase Harvard and MIT when they went off the front, but I had some luck stringing the pack out on the last lap's back stretch until the field was neutralized at the bridge due to an earlier crash that required an ambulance. Bummer. It was pretty much a drag race to the final climb after that, and I managed to sit third/fourth wheel out of the the climb which would normally have been awesome positioning for the final sprint on the last straight away until I my calves cramped up something awful coming out of the traffic circle. I ended up 6th. Harumph. Must have more electrolytes.
L shaped crit, and I had awful positioning to start out. The awful positioning was exacerbated by some pretty horrific bike handling by my competitors (I realize I'm not the best handler out there, but if you cross from my inside to my outside and back to my inside over the course of one turn there are some issues...). I worked my way up slowly but at about 3 to go a girl crashed in front of me and I went right over her. I'm okay, and so is the bike. Just some missing skin, a swollen knee, and I'll probably have to re-glue a tire on my rear wheel, but it could have been much much worse. And I managed to bend my hoods back into shape and finish the race so I'm still in contention for collegiate nationals. Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhh!!!!

who was that random person who posted that message?

SO daylight savings time is awesome!  I've left work every day this week and ridden home in gorgeous weather, and had plenty of daylight left over.  There are so many cyclists out.  I'm on a rest week so I've been taking it easy.  Saturday I do my first TEST.  Today i rode home in shorts & a shorts sleeve jersey, no hat, no booties :-)  love it..



And the word of the day is: FROLLER !  (thnx Chan.)

All the cyclists out here seem get it on with their froller daily.  You really just roll all over this big foam log (roller) and it hurts really bad at first, and then it feels good.  People say it's like a deep tissue massage.  It hurts like hell at first, especially if you are covered in bruises all the time like I am (I run into stuff...yesterday I spilled Dan's beer twice in 10 minutes because I just ran into it while walking around the apartment..) but it's worth it.  They say you get used to it.  


naps !

after yesterday's race, we went to Nicholas and ate reaaaaaally good food: vegan Mezza platter with hummous, tabouli, falafel, pita, some other sauce, a hot chick pea garlicky dish and lentils & rice :-)  Then Dan & I went home and took a 2 hour nap!  I woke up, ate the leftovers, and felt completely refreshed !!!  I hadn't recovered that fast in a while.  I rode to the grocery store and my legs felt almost fresh enough to race.  I realized that this feeling was due to 1) immediate post-race protein  2) big healthy vegan protein rich meal  3)foam roller use  4)nap.

Last year, I would regularly do twoadays (lift then ride) and I rode a whole lot.  This year I'm riding a lot also - frequently two rides a day - and working more, and I'm constantly fatigued.  I've been wondering what the heeeeelll is wrong with me, and I think it's just that I need more sleep!  Last year I'd get a nap in every day while I was training hard, but I never have time.  In an ideal world I'd take one at midday or the afternoon, but oh well...  so kids, if you have time NAP !

Today I was in the warehouse packing, which sucks because I stand all day (the day after racing) but is good because I listen to podcasts!  Today I listened to the new This American Life, the Moth, a short story by Vonnegut that wasn't very good, and half of The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Monday edification ..


omg omg so much to catch up on !

A catch-up on the last month in bicycle racing and bicycle riding:

Sublime Sublimity Circuit Race, a weekend in February:

Hilly-as-hell ~60 mile race.  On antibiotics.  Could barely hold normal tempo pace.  Got dropped.  Almost quit.  Caught up with Dawn.  Dawn helps me get through the race.  Dawn and I finally finish, and hold hands over the line.  Smiles!  Oucccchhhhhhhh.  The good news: my teammate Anna wins the 4's!  (She's an amazing animal.)

lalalallallaalala I get depressed, I think I'm slow.... and then

Ironclad Training camp in Kennewick, WA!  We all drove up to Kennewick in a borrowed party RV and stayed with our lovely teammate Eva and her underpants model roommate boytoy.  She cooked for us and gave us laughs :-)  We went for a wet gritty ride Friday and a gorgeous long ride along the gorge to Pendleton on Saturday.  Sunday we rode and drank bloody marys and had pushup contests.  It was a crazy ride home in the RV...  Check out pictures here.

Last Sunday:  Banana Belt #2 at Hagg Lake outside of Portland.  It was my first only 3's race, and much easier than the 1/2/3 races that I'd done.  It was a weird race: mentally draining but not physically difficult.  The course is rolly with a couple mild climbs, but not really hilly (managed to stay in the big ring the whole time).  The beastly strong girl who won BB1 and a couple of previous races ran the show and pulled us around b/c we were too hesitant to do much.  We did 4 laps--44 miles--and came to an uphill finished where I powered through and came in 3rd.  Good finish!  I wished I had thrown a good attack, but was happy with the placing.  Used the race wheels and they made me fast.  Ate raw fish the day before too, mua ha ha...

I started a new training plan with a coach last week.  He's real good at bikes.  Going to get fast and strong and good at bikes too.  Excited.  Stage races.  (I don't blog anymore because I can't be bothered to form complete sentences.)  

I purchased a foam roller.  Coupled with chalk-o-late soy protein, freshly speared fish, sprouted quinoa, kelp, and quality shuteye, my recovery will be revolutionized.  

Today: Banana Belt #3.  Los Legs were sore from yesterday's 2X20's.  We were going the opposite way from last week; a downhill finish and not as many p-pow-power bumpin climbs.  Threw a counter attack on a hill and got caught just as the field was neutralized for the men's 1/2 field to pass.  Opportune time for neutralization, as it allowed me to suck down an absolutely disgusting mint chocolate gu and wash it down with water before I had time to puke.  The rest of the lap was fine.  On the first hill of the last lap, my chain fell off and I had to stop and get off the bike and put it back on.  Took me two tries.  Pedal pedal pedal ("wha happened...!  I almos caught the breakawayyyyyyyy...!") and I finally caught up with the group.  Someone attacked and I held on.  Second wind.  Recover.  Okay.  I felt good, so I attacked on the first part of the last climb leading into the downhill finish.  They caught me.  I caught on. Attack up the second steeper bump.  Ow.....goodbye....and I lost them.  Then I went downhill and finished alone and it was disappointing. 

Things I have learned:

1) Nicholas Restaurant: Go there, it's delicious and you get a lot of food and it can be vegan if you want.

2) Eat more food.

3) Eat more and more food.

3) Eat more food.

3) Eat more food.

4) Shower smoothies are a good idea.  Just because you are all wet and naked doesn't mean you should not be eating.

No but seriously...  lately I've been a little weird and crazy b/c my job takes up a lot of time and I didn't know how to manage my training.  I didn't even have a training plan!  And so I decided to get a coach so I can have someone else tell me what to do and figure out the damn schedule.  And now I have some focus.  So yes, today my legs hurt and I made a dumb attack and I have no jump, but all this training will pay off.  So when mid-June rolls around and it's time for los all important epic stages races, I'll be ready.  Because really I just wanna race le bike and have fun and be really good at stage racing.  That's all.  

And Dan and I are thinking about getting a futon.  


Here's to you, Mr. Upper Dublin Police Man

Mile 35, Upper Dublin Township, near Temple's Ambler Campus. A red truck with Harley Davidson bumper stickers aggressively cuts us off and flips the bird as he speeds by. My buddy Brad waves 'hi'. The driver continues to wave his arms around. Seconds later we hear sirens and an Upper Dublin Police SUV speeds by and pulls the guy over. We roll by and smile. Police man gives us a small salute.

Sometimes there is justice in the cycling world.


Collegiate Season Opener: Rutgers Frozen Toes Race Weeked

So I did in fact race this past weekend with the UPENN team. Saturday was a 2.8 mile ITT and a 40 minute crit and Sunday was a 60 minute circuit race.

Saturday was cold and windy, but flat. I rolled to the line much colder than I should have been for such a short crit. The riders were sent off 20 seconds apart, I think. I watched the girl from Harvard go out and was so nervous-- TTs are definitely not my thing! All I could think of was "catch Harvard" the whole time I was riding, and a little past the first turn around point I did! That was a relief because I knew I wouldn't be last place at the point. Catty, yes. But a confidence booster nonetheless.

Immediately after finishing the TTs the team packed up our vans and migrated to the crit course. It was about 1 mile, lots of crappy pavement and potholes, with four turns, only one of which was nasty due to gravel. After watching the eight other races before mine (ECCC conference is HUGE) it was time to warm up. I got a good warm up in, rolled around a bit and then it was time to race. My goal for this race: not to get dropped. About 30 other girls lined up and we started out. I didn't race with a pow tap or computer, but people said it was really fast. I spent some time trying to feel the field out- who was strong, who would or wouldn't work etc. I also spent a lot of time being scared of the sketchy corner and loosing a lot of ground. GRRR! Anyways, 2 girls got away and it came down to a field sprint. I got boxed before the last sketchy corner and figured it would be best not to crash out on a risky move the first weekend up. Overall I finished 4th in the TT and 6th in the WomenA Crit.

Sunday was the circuit. I was feeling a little more confident in my abilities after the previous day, but also a little sickly. The race was mostly flat with a couple slow climbs and crappy pavement. I tried one attack, but it was poorly placed as far as the course went and didn't stick. With 5 laps to go, the same two girls plus a few others who got away the day before got away again (I have a feeling this is going to happen every weekend...). I was on the wrong side of the field at that point, and by the time I had freed myself they were gone. I chased a bit and was able to at least thin the huge field out a little, but with 2 (maybe 3? or maybe she was just didn't get it...) girls with representation in the break we weren't bringing them back. I ended up winning the mini-field sprint which put me in 5th place. Hooray!

Lessons learned and things to improve on for next week:

1. Some things, as far as women's racing goes, never change. Namely the fact that girls say some really dumb things during races. After the break got away in the crit with 4 laps to go, one girl in the chase group looks around and says something along the lines of "Sooo, who wants to form a break group?". At which point I looked at her and said "Did you seriously just say that?". To which she replied, "Yeah, I know. Totally not secret, right! Hehehe". WTF?

2. Bring real food to races. Clif Bars are good, but not something to subsist on.

3. Think think think about when the moves are going to happen, where on the course they are going to happen, and who is going to initiate them. I can not out ride the field anymore. I have to race smart!

Penn is currently sitting 3rd in the ECCC, and 1st in the D1 category, ahead of perennial powerhouses UVM and Penn State U. Can we keep it up???


sooo apparently I'm racing this weekend????


Sweet Cherry Pie

So here it is!  The Cherry Pie Road Race report !!!  My very first road race in Oregon, and first race w/Ironclad.

I left early b/c my teammates are 4s (for now) and their race was a few hours before mine.  Dave (team manager) and I went to the finish to watch our 3 ladies come in.  Anna came in 1st with a sizable lead in her very first bike race ever.  She looked pretty elated.  I've never watched a teammate ride across the line 1st, so this was a pretty exciting thing.  She apparently got away after her second attack, with 10 miles to go in the race, and hammered away alone until the end!  Stephanie came in close after Anna, and Lana right after that.  Lana has been racing for a while, but this was Steph's first road race (since we aren't counting the time she flatted a few minutes after the start of the road race she did last year.)  So good spirits all around.  The team win pumped me up for my race too.

OOoooooh just watched the men's olympic speed skate short track race AAAAAAH so great!

So my race was two laps of 26 miles.  1/2's, 3's and Masters raced together.  We were mostly 3's, with 4 2s and a couple of Masters.  The course was rolling hills, no sharp turns, nothing sketchy, and a big uphill finish.  At the start Dave was giving me the lowdown on all the chicks lining up.  This being on a team thing is pretty alright..!  I was nervous as hell at first and felt awkward on my bike.  But I found that I had no problem moving around in the pack and felt pretty comfortable riding bar to bar--sooooo happy I went to Superweek!!!  I was also kind of concerned that I'd realize I should be a Cat 4 and not a Cat 3 out here in Oregon.  Weather was great--50's, no rain, overcast.  Oh, I can't grab my bottles very well... after I changed from Am Classics to the Bat cage because I thought they looked cool, the cages are stiff... must practice that....uh...such..a...doofus...

The beginning of the first lap was fairly slow and we kept together.  Toward the middle or end of the first lap, one girl got away.  Dave had told me that she was really strong.  She didn't have any teammates so we let her go..  Oops.  At the end of the 1st lap, I made sure I was toward the front, and stayed on a wheel up the hill so I could catch the the break.  Caught the break without much trouble, and I guess we dropped about 1/3 to half the field. 

I felt good going into lap 2, much less nervous and more comfortable and agile on the bike.  Three Cat 2 teammates seemed to be running the show.  The ten of us got to work putting on a strong chase after the girl who got away.  We had a sweet rotating paceline going.  Why don't we practice this more?  It was so fast and efficient, but since I'm rusty on those moves I think it took me a while to realize what I needed to do to maximize recovery time.  I'll get it though, next race.  About halfway through the lap i started to feel it.  I ate some and drank and tried to catch every second of recovery I could.  By the last 1/4 of the race, I felt like I was going to die.  Or puke.  Or fall over.  Or never EVER race bikes again.

We kept coming up on riders from the men's field thinking it was the chick who got away, and then we'd be disappointed and speed up the chase.  I remember at one point almost losing the draft, and then realizing that if I didn't catch it I'd get dropped, so it was either do or die.  We got to the small hill before the finish hill, and I held on, and then went to the finish hill and I wanted to stop...  I couldn't get out of the saddle.  I was so tired... I don't remember anything, just pushing too hard at the beginning of the hill, and then getting too tired to carry it out, and letting a girl pass me.  I heard my team cheering and couldn't think about anything other than puking or falling over.  Then it was over and I was sooooo relieved....  !  I came in top ten, maybe 7th in the 3's but the results aren't up yet.  We never caught the girl who got away--she was amazing !!!!!!!!!  And she's a 3, and last year was a 4.  Wow.

And for some reason I want to keep racing bikes!?  I never dig that deep.  I know that's what bike racing is about, but it so hard for me to go as hard as I possibly can...I have to find a real good reason within myself.  So after yesterday's race, I feel like I've achieved a lot just by getting to that point.  And, by staying with the top half of the 3's and the 2's.  (I'm a real Cat 3! )  So next race, I know I can get there if I'm willing to hurt! Yay!  The last time I felt like that was Snake Alley, but I won that race.  It's kind of a refreshing feeling to see where I am now and where I want to be.   The road spread out in front of me...  It was a great start to the season (ugh, remember hillsboro!?)  AND I can't wait until the other Ironcladdies cat up!  what can we do then?!?


No snow here !

whoa that's a lot of snow !  It's been a bearable 45-50 degrees here in PDX lately, with a few scattered showers  :-)  Seriously kids, west coast winters are the way to go.  If you can manage to fly out of your airport, we have an extra bed (and we'd find a mattress for it before you come!).

Amos is so cute !  He has a hilarious look on his face.  Has Axel been cooking special anti-inflammatory meals for him?

Let the chalky soy protein cravings begin!  My first road race, Cherry Pie, is Saturday.  I'm a bit nervous!  I don't have teammates in my race yet--that will change soon--so I am racing alone.  It's about 50 miles, not too hilly, but a nice hill at the finish I guess.  I'm excited.  AAaaarg.  It's February !  Race report to come, I promise.  It's going to be great fun to go with my team and warm up under a tent and have a spot for all our food and bags and stuff.  It'll be a bit of a change from the Race Corolla and not knowing who has the keys.

Yesterday I freaked out a little about my life and what I'm doing with it.  To use a lame cliche, it seems that I've put all of my eggs in one basket..... and that basket is a bike handlebar basket.  I just want to race bikes.  I'd do more things, but with working a normal job, I don't find the energy to do more than go to work and ride (Or rather, ride to work) and then eat good food and get enough sleep.   I've decided to get into some other things though--volunteering and maybe some community classes-- but more about that later when I actually do something.  I was feeling down yesterday, but then I got on my bike this morning and everything was good.  And I think when racing gets more crazy things will be different.  Good different.

M time for bed. Niiight..


CAT lady

Some of my favorite felines:


...Conjures memories of race vans and warm ups.

I <3 Stouts.

And now a recent addition to the list of favorite felines:

Golden Cheetah.

Developed in part my fellow snowed in cyclist to south, Dr. Jamie K, Golden Cheetah is a software package that allows you to download and analyze Schmower Schmap data. I've been playing around with a bit this evening and it's got some excellent features. Best part is, it is released under an Open Source License. Try it out. It's pretty sweet. And way to go JamieK!!



C & B

I really can't take this anymore...


Snowed in

Not a whole lot of bike riding on the east coast; I am snowed in and it sucks.

Philly apparently experienced one of the largest snow storms in its history last night and during the day today. I was at my team's cocktail party last night up in Germantown and it was a really slick and snowy drive back. Not cool. This morning I had to walk the whole 2 miles to campus from our apartment for a meeting (an unfathomable distance for someone who is used to jumping on her bike and being there in 15 minutes) only to find that all sources of caffeine were closed due to the State of Emergency that had been declared due to the massive amounts of snow. Not. Cool.

Lucky for me, I have a new toy to play with. I recently purchased a Nikon D90 (yay for technology loans!!!) but aside from using it to create our new banner, I hadn't had much time to run it through its paces until today. I am smitten. Though I easily could have purchased a set of carbon wheels for the wheel barrow of cash I dropped on the camera, it will allow me to continue to develop my photo skillz (which will hopefully help me land the job that will pay for carbon wheels...).

Week 1 of training went okay. Not great. The combination of the added time it takes to get to decent roads out here and the diminished time I can to devote to riding is frustrating. I need to get into a get-up-early-and-get-your-ass-out-the-door routine if I'm going to do this training thing properly. And it needs to stop snowing. Seriously.
so. much. snow.





This is what I did at work today:
swimmin swimmin swimmin. Courtesy Denver of TE for the foto... We have fun sometimes :-)

Barely made it to work because i forgot to set the alarm. Good thing Dan's alarm went off for a ride he ended up skipping. I was out the door in a flash and made it just fine.

Did some jumps tonight on the trainer; 3 x 5 of lotsa power fast feet few second hard jumps. As usual, I didn't think it would be that hard and...it was. It didn't help that I was having trouble concentrating. Tomorrow maybe I'll hammer on the way to work and practice some lotsa power hard fast feet up the hills. If my legs aren't tired. I know shouldn't do it two days in a row... but uh uhh sometimes sometimes, well I'm just not organized with my training right now. I'm just getting into a routine. It will help now that I'm on a team and the season's starting and there's some structure.

Last night I ordered these bars. Tastes like PB&J ! Now I need to get on some drink. We're sponsored by OS BUUUUT the drink has fructose in it... My beef with fructose is that after a few days the simple sugars start eating away at my teeth. Yes..I know...but seriously... I had to give up the gatorade on our trip to Portland because my teeth hurt so bad. The teeth can't handle that for a season... So we'll see, maybe I'll have to opt for one of the leading competitors. See Axel, it still holds that I can't give up my teeth for cycling. If flossing cuts into my training time, so be it. I will never cut the handle off my toothbrush to save weight. Um yeah, so teeth...right, time for bed, bye...


Chan: let's just take the pepto pink out of the banner and get rid of the ads because we've only made $6.00 in the past year. (?)
ugly, ugly, ugly, colores.
HOI! So i just joined Ironclad woot the team, the bicycling team :-) it's going to be funnnnn

but now i have to go to sleep because i am an old, old, old woman now.


Tis the Season!

Hoi. My non-base training started today with, as all good training schedules should, a day of rest. It went well. Tomorrow I'll actually ride. I'm pretty excited. Up until this past weekend we had pretty decent weather out here considering it is January (Mid 30s-upper 40s?) which allowed me to get some good rides in. And I've been doing about as much trainer work as I can handle without going nuts!

I had my first Sturdy Girl team training session last weekend. Despite showing up way late (for those of you who have never attempted to drive in New Jersey I would suggest building at least 15 minutes of getting lost time per 5 miles traveled into your itinerary) it went pretty well. There are some strong ladies on my team and I am pretty sure I will learn a lot about riding with a team of more than A.Miles.

As for the collegiate racing scene, I am trying to get a women's team together for an occasional ride. I don't think there are any other A's to race with, but I can't get anyone to upgrade to race with me if I don't coerce them into riding and trying out racing first! The weather needs to cooperate a little bit more before we can get a good group going, though....

The semester is only 3 weeks underway and I am already swamped with projects, papers and proposals. I got to choose my classes this semester and they are a lot more exciting and geared towards what I want to do when I get out of here. It's finally beginning to feel like I'm in graduate school and not just continuing to slave away as an undergrad, which is a good feeling. But there's also a lot of responsibility that comes with it. Sometimes I freak and think about giving up riding, but then I come to my senses and remember that riding keeps me balanced. Everything in moderation.

On Thursday Axel and I are going to see David Byrne, author of The Bicycle Diaries, speak at an urban sustainability forum at the Academy of Natural Sciences. I'm pretty excited. Then Friday is my team's fundraiser cocktail party and the Penn team's potluck dinner. Yay!


MMm ciclistos...

So i didnt say a whole lot about much about HOW WHAT the group rides are like out here. First of all, they are TEAM rides that I'm talking about. TEAMS. You seem to have to get invited, but once you are there, everyone is really cool. Fenders are a must. Unlike in the midwest, where everyone complains about the gravel-y sound of rocks up in your fender on a ride, in Portland you look like kind of a douchebagette if you don't have a fender. I didn't use a fender on Sunday (it was peeling the paint off Mad One) but it was sunny. Poprad is getting fenders, and will be the choice ride for any un-sunny day.

On the first group ride Dan and I went on, there was a dude on a fixie. IMAGINE a fixie mixed up with GEARED bicycles! I never saw that in the midwest either.. He climbed the long hill also, which impressed the hell out of me. Then he dropped off and went his own way. Very nice.

There is a lot of climbing here. On Sunday we made a point to ride on Sauvie Island, where it is flat. The cars buzzed us and flipped us off and yelled---it was outside of portland by a few miles. You have to ride somewhere else to get away from hills, which is kind of funny when I'm used to riding somewhere else to ride up the SAME hill multiple times. Everyday I ride up a few steep hills on the way to work, so it seems like no big deal anymore.

I rode with Ironclad Cycling , which the team I'm thinking of joining soon. All of the women are Cat 4s, but half of them are catting up soon probably. They ride together a lot, and race well as a team, which are both pretty important to me. I'll be the only 3 on the team for now. That's fine, because right now I guess I'm just seeing what Oregon racing is like in general. I really liked everyone on the team ride and the vibe was great, so yeaaaaa.... noice, all good ;-) I was extremely impressed when Dave pulled out a hamm's tallboy before the hill climb !!!!


today i got a new pair of knickers; the 1st pair of knickers, wooooooooot, sugoi, sould be noice..
i you go to Teamestrogen's website you can see my new career blossoming as an athletic apparel model. see if you can spot it. ha !

sunday is a ride 'round Hagg (?) Lake with Ironclad; a preview for the Bananabelt series. I like bananas, maybe Ill do well? It's supposed to be hilly. Everyone out here is telling me " OH Such-and-such race is..well..it's hilly...uhh" and I secretly but not so secretly say WOOOOOOOO YES HILLY! while they say Uhhhhh hilly... sounds fun. Of course, there are a fair amount of crits here too, and some strong crit riders, and apparently it doesn't rain all summer like I thought it might.

I can't wait till road bicycle racing season. Can you tell? Starts in two weeks... !!!!!!!!!!

My new dream, as of this morning's commute, is to get strong enough to lead Daniel out in the weekly men's 3 PIR races. We'd be such a good team if we could get that together. I don't think, though, that if he is strong enough to win a race that I'd be able to keep up.

Ahh tomorrow I think I'll ride, but I need to make it a priority to go shopping for essentials, like toothpaste and floss, and powertap hub batteries. I forget these errands when I just ride all weekend. Last weekend I rode a lot of hours and moved, so I got nothing done except for some new muscle and more space. But no new groceries. Ohh Dan says we can do taxes now!

Ok goodnite. Dan downloaded the NIN discography so I guess I'm in for the most depressing sleep ever. Happy trails.....


PDX group rides !


Last Sunday Dan & I went on our 1st Portland group ride with Team Beer. (Dan's new boss is on the team.) Mid 40s and misty. We met at Bakery Bar (best scones in pdx. and cakes. and food made out of eggs.) and rode west out of the city on Cornell. The first climb was long.... there was a guy on a fixie with us too, and he made it. Can't imagine doing that ! We turned onto Thompson and climbed up that. Maybe Cornell doesn't go up...I can't remember. In any case, Thompson was the long climb. I kept up with the guys until the very end, and they got to the top a couple of meters ahead of me. Then we rode along Skyline--gorgeous road!!--and up Old Germantown. I can't remember then--maybe back to Skyline?--but we climbed more, and then went back down to the city. It was a fun,fun ride !

I saw this huge salamander going up Germantown and thought it was a dinosaur. You know when you're climbing, and you're working so hard that everything you look at looks really big? Well I saw this salamander under me (didn't squash it!) and it looked like this. I also spotted dozens of sweet VW busses. The view from Skyline is so pretty, you can see the low mountains near the coast if it is clear-ish.

Dan & I agreed that it's really nice to be riding with other people, not just each other. But when we are climbing we always fall into the same pace.. it's cute :-)

The week went by like always... rode to work in the morning, and home from work once. It stayed light out halfway through my commute home, and I arrived only 10 minutes later than I would have had I taken the MAX. Woot. I used my work desktop calculator nrrrrrrr and realized I ride a lot of hours a week with this commute. Yay for the suburbs.

Today I went on my 1st group ride with Ironclad. I was supposed to go last Saturday but was sick (and followed Axel's advice and got better by Sunday thx Axel now how to I get cankles?) I'd like to maybe join the team if things go well and we all like each other :-) and so far I like what I see! A few of us met at Dave's and rode out to Sauvie Island, where we met up with a few other people. There were maybe 20 of us? 15? There were 6 or 7 women. Everyone was really cool and friendly and we rode around the island twice at a conversational pace. Sauvie Island is great because it's right next to Portland, but it's all farms and kind of redneck. Just like home... except for the nude beach. Then we raced up Newberry(?), which is a 2 mile climb up the west hills. The guys raced up, and then the girls. Winners got sweet prizes. Mile one was steep as hell and hard. Mile 2 mellowed a bit and was much more manageable; there was a slight downhill spot where I could spin my legs a bit before climbing again. I made it up first among the women AND won one of these! After the hill we were all pretty much toasted, so we descended back to Portland and stopped at a cafe in NE. Mm vegan chili.. Then home. I'd been gone from about 10:45 to almost dark and Dan-o was worried! Fun fun fun day. I love bikes. Oh, the view of Mt. Hood from Germantown was GORGEOUS! It was HUGE and glowing white. That's what she said..

Other news: Dan & I are moving to a one bedroom apartment downstairs! It's in the same building, but on the 1st floor ( NO MORE HAULING THE BIKES UP!) and the unit is at least two times larger than our place now. We already moved the bikes & tires & stand & wheels & trainer etc and it looks like a team lives there or something. Tomorrow we'll move the rest of the stuff and get some hooks for the bikes. I'm pretty excited to have a regular sized fridge and stove !!!!

Oiii goodnite.



Home made bread by Axel. I'm so proud!

Topped with a little protein for a post-ride snack.


Oki, I'm just messing around with the colors... we'll find something that pleases the eye eventually...

I sweated out the toxins, am eating a lot, and am staying warm, as per Axel's advice.

Ooh technicolor! this color reminds me of a cat sweatshirt I had in 2nd grade.


i want to start blogging again


I'm sick with a cold ugh.

Portland has been treating us great; high 40's and getting used to the rain. Beautiful rides, views of Mt. Hood on clear days, lots of green grass and daffodils in January, vegan food everywhere, early morning commutes to work ^_^

The racing scene has be a bit perplexed. You don't even have to train out here during the summer, there are so many races. (Though Joach would not condone this.) I'm contemplating joining a certain team if it turns out to be a good fit for all. Group ride tomorrow at 11 (not too early!!!!!) and I hope I'm fit enough to go by then. We'll see.

I started doing plyometrics at lunch, and I've felt the burn all week. Trying to increase my POWER! I'm pretty strong and light and fit, but I'm not super quick. My jump is awful. My sprint is worse. So, I'm trying to work on it by doing some plyometric exercises and sprint workouts (forthcoming..). I'm optimistic!

Also I'm following this easy training plan to work up to doing 100 BOY pushups. My upper body is hella weak, and I found myself being slowed down over barriers during cross season when my bike got heavy and caked with mud. Monday my max was 3 pushups, and now it's 10 ! Wooooooooot

Ok...and I ordered a pair of running shoes. Saucony running shoes; like, real running shoes, not the flat footed kind you wear for fashion. Got to start running for this sprint triathlon I'm doing with everyone at work in May. More about that later....

Um, so I've been resting since i woke up and still sick.. now I will make a kale honey ginger emergenC orange smoothie and try to get well. uh. welcome back to fastgrrrlz...



Axel decided he needed a little change in his life to ring in the new year. So I gave him a haircut.

Business in the front.

Party in the back.

Post holiday update coming soon. Until then, Happy New Year!