Friday, March 28, 2008

Nature's gym.

Instead of lifting weights this week (god, I've become a meathead - not what I invisioned for myself when I was in high school!) I planted a tree. I guess that makes me a tree-hugging meathead. Isn't she pretty? Okay, I know she doesn't look like much right now, but soon she'll be covered in flowers. She's an Eastern Redbud. And my muscles are way more sore after digging in the hard hard ground of Reno then they are after I go to the gym.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


(Riley runs away from the ocean)

Sooo . . . Copperopolis! My dad's been telling me about this race for years, long before I had any inclination to race it. He remembered the bad pavement (he popped two tires and cracked a rim on the descent) but greatly underrepresented the climb. Ouch. Honestly, I've climbed so little this year and have been feeling woefully inadequate in the climbing department. But, it wasn't that bad. Okay, yes, the climb was hard, and I almost had to get off and walk on the last lap, but for the first two it wasn't that bad. I was at the front going up it the first time. Trying to set a pace that would keep the real climbers from getting bored but wouldn't destroy me in the first 10 miles of the race. And it worked! We shed a couple of people and the pace was kept fairly high going around through the flat stuff (which isn't actually very flat). Then the pro 1/2 men caught us on the gnar descent and it was utter chaos. Girls got dropped because they were slowing up a little bit to let the men go by, who were weaving in and out of us with a general disregard for the sanctity of life. After all was said and done, going into lap two we were down to 7. About halfway up the second climb three girls put the hammer down. I couldn't hang with them, but three of us kept the gap pretty small. We worked pretty hard to catch the three off the front, but to no avail. Anyway, the last lap was pure hell, but it was lovely out there and all in all I was happy with my race. I think I ended up 7th. I lost two spots on the last lap, and I was sorry to see 6th slip away because I would have won like, 5 bucks.

Cody makes me a sandwich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and I eat it. Wow, what exciting photography.
Other note on Copperopolis: Salt Springs Campground is sweet. We rolled in there to see just one other couple. They were sooo happy to see us - they were expecting some sort of Copperopolis Chainsaw Massacre during the night, and they were glad we'd be there to hear them scream. But really, other than the dude on the 4wheeler spraying some weird pesticide on the irrigation ditch, it was a really nice place to camp, and the lady who runs it was super friendly. Also, I was the only Bella in the 3s, but happy to see so many others out there riding strong in their respective categories, and also coming out as support.

Anyway, we headed down to Santa Cruz after the race - myself, my dog, and my guy. We met up with my very dear friend (since we were 6!) and her man, who live in San Francisco, and camped and ate food and beer and cookies. Next day we went for a walk on the boardwalk and introduced the puppy to the ocean. He like it until a wave knocked him over, then he kept running toward the water and running away from it as the waves came in. Later in the afternoon me and Cody went up to UCSC and checked out the trails there. It was way fun. We seem to have a knack for finding the gnar stuff, though, cause the first descent we rode was the sketchiest thing I saw all weekend. But we got in a couple of loops out there and it was way fun, and then we got ice cream. The next day we headed out to Demo for a big day of riding. I've only ever ridden there when it was slimy and slippery, so it was a different sort of ride with the dust. Again, hella fun, followed by a long drive back to Reno.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Okay, just one more chocolate egg.

My mom gave us this big bag of Hershey's dark chocolate eggs (did you know Easter was this Sunday? I didn't.). And . . . I made brownies last night. I think I've had enough chocolate. No more. When I get dropped on saturday at Copperopolis we'll all know why. No. Bad.

See this coool windchime that Cody made? He decided to put it on ebay. Check it out. It's really neat-oh if you're a bike geek and it definitely helps if you're a little bit tone deaf (it's hard to tune carbon fiber). He made one last summer from Cervelo Soloist tubing. Someone asked us if the pitch was Campy compatable. Haha. I said yes, but told him he could run SRAM on it, too.
Okay, off to not eat more chocolate.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Land Park and Zamora - or, good excuses to eat ice cream

See how stoked I am to ride in 30 mph winds?

So! After leaving Reno at 6am, chaining up my poor little truck, and driving through the snow to meet up with my dad in Grass Valley, I managed to arrive at Land Park in Sacramento with plenty of time to warm up and register and talk to the ladies. There were, um, four Bellas in the 1,2,3s. Katie, Soni, Ryan and myself. We were all pretty active and rode well and put in attacks. I attacked at one point and opened up a few feet of real estate between myself and the pack, but immediately cracked (ouch) and was caught. We chatted prior to the race about setting up Ryan for the finish. As we were going into the last lap I found myself next to Soni totally blocked out from attacking or doing anything worth while. I managed to reposition myself into the top ten-ish as we approached the last turn, but realized upon looking around that there was no one around me to lead out. And . . . I let myself get bullied in the last turn and lost about 10 places, then lost a few more in the sprint. But I was happy to see Ryan sprinting ahead of me. It was fun, though, and I was proud to see all the Bellas riding so strong and aggressively. Plus, it was gorgeous down there. It's hard to be unhappy on a day like that.
I thought I had a really good idea of where the Zamora road race was, having raced the course two years ago as a collegiate race, but I was wrong, and failed to print out directions. As it turned out though, I didn't want to warm up in the damn wind anyway, so getting there on time would have been just silly. I feel that driving around on farming roads telling my dad, "Oh, it's out this way, I'm sure. See, this is right where the climb is . . . oh, wait . . . hmm . . . maybe we should have turned right back there . . ." But, we found it. Whew! There were four of us again - myself, Katie, Soni, and Sarah. Did I mention it was windy? Oh, I didn't? Well, it was windy!!! As I'm sure the others will attest to. I was feeling pretty good, but picked the wrong wheel heading up the KOM climb, which is more of a hill than a mountain. So . . . a little gap opened up between the girl in front of me and the pack, and then I was flailing around in the wind with an ever growing gap between myself and where I wanted to be. There was a small group behind me, so I slowed up a little bit so they could catch on, and then started hammering. It ended up being just me and one other girl, who I told, "We can catch them!" even though I didn't think that was very likely. But, low and behold, we did. And on the head-wind stretch no less! But when we came to the KOM hill again, I was off the back. Again. Hmm. This time there was clearly no catching back on. I TT'd it for about half a lap, then caught up to two girls who'd also gotten dropped, then we broke apart on the KOM hill again. Damn. Almost a whole lap in the wind by myself before I was caught by a group of 4 who were hammering to stay away from a larger group behind them. So, we hammered to the finish and I ended up 2nd in the sprint, which was more of a long fast wind-out before the line. Sarah was with the lead group, and I think Katie and Soni were with the larger group behind me. It was a hard day! And anyone racing out there is tough tough tough. I'm super proud of my teammates.
On a side note, at Snelling, which was my last race, I think the biggest problem (other than my legs, my lungs, my back, and the supposed "cold" that I claim to have had) was just getting bummed out by riding in the wind and not being able to stick with the lead group. Today I was determined to stay positive and happy and not get crabby, and it worked! I was even happy when I was TTing into the head wind trying to keep my speed above 12 mph. Haha. Really though, it made all the difference. And then I drank a milk shake. Mmmm . . . milk shake . . .

Friday, March 14, 2008

I'm going to have to talk about it eventually, but be warned of overly verbose sentiments contained within.

Like everybody in our extended cycling community, I've been deeply saddened by the death of Kristy Gough and Mike Peterson. I raced with Kristy at Snelling. Okay, not with so much with as far, far behind. Besides the sadness, there's also a feeling of vulnerability. People with such strength and vitality as Kristy, and Mike, possessed, seem almost invincible to me. Like superheros. Yet in reality, regardless of our strength and lust for life, we're all mortal. None of us can stop a speeding car. Scary. I'm feeling something like survivor's guilt. That's stupid - I wasn't there, I didn't know them, and there's no way our places could have been switched. But still the emotion is there, tangled up in a confusion of sadness and a desire to have known them. Stupid, again, but the truth. What I take from this isn't some dire lesson about vigilence on the bike and the fragility of life, although those are worthy lessons. My lesson is that each person is worth knowing. The hearts of those who have shown so much love and empathy and support to the friends and family of Matt and Kristy would be equally warm were the loss any other member of our community, and we would in turn greive for each of them. It's a brilliant yet sad reminder of how much love humans have to give. Sometimes its easy to forget. So I hope everyone is well and safe tonight. I hope that the memorial ride tomorrow is healing. I know that in the moment of silence before the Land Park crit tomorrow that we'll remember Matt and Kristy and be thankful for what we have.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday already?

The weekend really goes by way too quickly. And with daylight savings time it felt like I was waking up at 5:30 instead of 6:30 this morning, but I love the added daylight, so I'm not complaining. Much. :)
Got out for another mountain bike ride yesterday. I crashed hella hard in the first 10 minutes. I always get back on my mountain bike after a winter on the road and feel cocky and crash hard. That definitely slowed me down though. It's hard to crash on Peavine without hitting a rock, and I landed with my fore arm on a big boulder. Ouch. But we ended up riding for 3 hours after that, so I guess I'm not too bad off. A little stiff today.
I'm experimenting with my breakfast this morning. I have had, as a general rule, oatmeal almost every single morning for the last 3 years. Unless I'm getting fancy and make pancakes and bacon (mmmmm . . . bacon) on the weekend. But the longer I eat oatmeal the less it keeps me full. And I've been training a lot, so I feel like my nutritional needs are a little greater (I'm a nutrition major, back off). Soooooo, I purchased wheat germ and ground flax seed (out of the bulk bins at Winco - I love the bulk bins, even though I'm not crazy about Winco) and am adding it to my normal walnuts, raisins, brown sugar and milk. I don't fuck around when it comes to breakfast.
I've spent the morning reading the race reports from this weekend (Menlo Park, Stanford collegiate) and I can't wait for this weekend. Hopefully we'll have a big Bella turnout and some good racings!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Paws and Fat Tires

I finally got outside again! I'm so paranoid about getting sick again that I've been hitting the trainer/rollers hardcore, but I actually got out on my mountain bike today. Yay Mountain Bike! The snow's finally melting from the mountain and it's really muddy at all, just a few little spots here and there. Cathartic, after presumably failing my microbiology lab practical.

There's sooo many dirt bike/ATV tracks going up Keystone canyon, it sucks! I'm all for that shit in the places they're supposed to be (of which there are plenty!), but the canyon is not one of them! The single track is all flattened and it messes with the erosion. Weak. Is vigilante justice the answer? I think so. They're messing up my trail.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I wish I had some brownies.

I rode yesterday, which was a mistake. I could hardly stop coughing for the whole 2 hours I was out, and then I felt lousy the rest of the day. Soooo, no ride today. I went walking with the dog, and I intended to take some cool picture to post on my blog, but Cody has my camera (in Death Valley, lucky jerk) so no luck there. I'm curious to see how Merco went for everybody today, and again tomorrow. This pro tri girl who keeps winning these races needs to get her damn upgrade and let the rest of us have it out. That sounded hostile, but it isn't, really. Just hoping I'm healthy in two weeks for Land Park. Just as a quick note about my picture there, I wouldn't think it was so funny if I wasn't sure the cat made it out okay.