...fasten your race chains


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!