...fasten your race chains


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????