Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend Adventures

Okay, well, I've been meaning to write a Surf City report, and I haven't gotten to it 'cause I'm lame like that. What can I say, it's been a busy week. Between school, work, Outlaw 'Cross, Halloween, and early voting it's been one hell of a week. So I think that if I put it off any longer in the hopes of writing the most badassest report ever I'll never get to it, so . . . abridged version!

Last saturday I picked up my friend Harry and drove down to Genoa, NV for the second race in the Sagebrush Cyclocross series. It's an awesome little town and the locals come out and build a mud pit with a couple barriers in it every year. There was only one other Women's A, Joan Gregg, who I routinely watch ride away from me, and a couple of B's who were racing at the same time as us, and we were all racing with the men's B's. Anyway, long story short, Joan kicked my butt again. I had a pretty good start, and felt decent for the first 2 laps, and then started fading. I backed off a little, but it still just kept getting worse. By the last lap I was having a hard time just turning over the pedals on the little climbs. Ouch. I attributed my disfunction to a hard week of riding and weight training (uhh, taper???). Joan beat me by like, 5 minutes, and I was just glad she didn't lap me. My one small dignity was in still finishing ahead of the women's B's, and beating a couple of the dudes, too. Still, it was not pretty.

I drove Harry (who had gotten a flat on the line, fixed it, and then flatted with one lap to go!) back to Reno and headed over the hill to my pop's house in Grass Valley. Got a good, if brief night's sleep, and headed down to Santa Cruz at the painful hour of 4:30 AM. Again, long story short, I had a blast down at Surf City. I saw lots of Bellas I haven't had the pleasure of seeing since Kern (seems like an eternity ago!) or, in the case of the Kitty People, Mt. Hamilton. I dressed up as Dorothy for the costume race, and led out the Kiddie 'Cross race, which was by far the highlight of my weekend! Sabine, I mean, uh, Stevil, :), told the kids to, "Follow Dorothy!" It was adorable. Anyway, then I raced the costume race, accompanied by none other than Jesus Christ, and a large gang of Mexican wrestlers. That was hilarious!!! Jesus kept blessing people as he rode by - I think I'm saved! Anyway, yeah, it was great.

Which brings us to the "serious" race of the day. I was lined up in the second row before the start of the Women's A race. Barb showed up after everyone had lined up and we scooted over for her (second row for Barbarella? that doesn't seem right . . .) but ended up squished in there like sardines. When we took off the girl to my right bumped me, and I bumped the girl on my left, and after a considerable amount of jostling, a couple of people went down. I barely managed to stay up, but I had to put a foot down and come to a complete halt. When all was said and done I was, uh, pretty much in last. Poor Barb was just a couple of people in front of me, but because of all our second row antics she was pretty far away from the front of the race. We got to the rideable run-up, and you know how it is when one person gets off so the rest have to??? Well, yeah, it was a total pile-up as everyone tried to funnel up the hill. I was pretty much just standing holding my bike and waiting for people go get moving when I saw Barb running around people in a crazy outside line. I was pretty much expecting to have a lousy race based on how I'd felt the preceeding day, so I didn't see much point in following her. As things got sorted out, tho, I felt pretty good. I kept catching and passing people! Unfortunately after I'd put in a supreme effort to pass a couple of girls I took a slight wrong turn and had to stop and get back on course. D'oh! They got back in front of me, and I had to get around again. Ah well, stupidity must be punished, right? Anyway, ultimately I ended up with a girl named Kelly (that's what all the people who were cheering for her kept yelling, anyway) and stayed with her for the rest of the race. I was sitting on her wheel feeling pretty decent, but I saw a couple of girls ahead of us who I thought I might be able to catch so I took the lead. That was probably a mistake. She was pretty comfortable on my wheel, so with a lap and a half to go I let her take the lead, hoping I could rest up and maybe win a sprint. Well, it didn't work out that way, when she got a little gap on me and I couldn't bridge back up as we rode through the swirly of mayhem (I loooooved the swirly!!!). So she beat me, but it was a damn good race, and I was happy that I felt better than the day before.

I had to get going right after my race to get home and finish some homework I had due that night. Lame. And it's a looong drive. But the race was totally worth it, which isn't always how I feel after such drives.

Uhh, no more typing. Off to ride the bike . . .

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Funny sh*t.

Some folks, including my significant other, are in North Carolina at Collegiate MTB nationals. One of the guys who went has started a UNR cycling team blog - and he just happens to be one of the funniest people I've ever had the pleasure to drink with. He's got some hilarious posts going on as a narrative to their adventure, and I highly encourage anyone to read them. Here is nationals post no. 1:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The view from up here.

Legs - need to shave one of these days.

Ginormous pile of laundry - really ought to put away.

Rear wheel - desperately out of true, really need to rebuild it as my rim has a flat spot.
In other news, I've eaten an entire 24" loaf of french bread in the last 24 hours. Hmm, I guess that's 1"/hr. That's not so bad, but I've been generously topping each bite with butter or olive oil, and occasinally both. At least my coat will be nice and shiny.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Who says we don't have fall colors in Reno???

I had lovely long ride today, by myself, but lovely nonetheless. We're having the nicest fall weather!!! Cool enough that you can wear a sweater (not while riding, of course) but warm enough that your face doesn't go numb on descents. And the colors!!! As the photos will demonstrate, we DO get pretty fall colors in Reno. Sure, maybe it's not as spectacular as in Vermont or NH or wherever, but it's really nice anyway. The pictures don't do it justice. Mostly cause you can see the stupid sign for the stupid gated community. Hmph.

Anyway, back to my ride! I had an equally enjoyable solo ride yesterday, too, with some fun TT intervals and some exploring out in Lemon Valley and Stead. Now, Lemon Valley and Stead are a little shady in places (think Meth Lab shady) but it has a totally different feel from all the ritzy planned communities I was riding through today - different in a good way. Anyway, both days I was listening to an oddly thought provoking mix of Coldplay, Moby, Bad Religion and Steve Earle, and generally feeling very existential. I'm sitting at home eating leftover spanakopita (I have a slight obsession with all things phyllo dough right now) and feeling major Bike Love. Maybe a nap . . .

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rookie move?

^^^ Clearly my sunglasses run under my helmet straps.^^^
Is this photographic evidence of my rookie-ness???

So - I've recently heard people talking about what a fred you are if you wear your sunglasses under your helmet straps. Is this true? Why has no one told me about this until now? Is it because they've been giggling about what a lame-oh I am behind my back? Or are they just elitest snobs with no idea what they're talking about? Well I started looking around the interweb for pictures of "pros" - you know, since I'm so P-R-O and all that. (insert hysterical laughter here)

Pictures of Katie Compton, Georgia Gould and Gunn Rita all appeared to have their sunglasses over their helmet straps. Proman ladies Shelley Olds and Rachel Lloyd appeared to have them under their helmet straps. Now I'm really confused. Basically that's like, if Ghandi and the Dalai Lama gave me conflicting notions of how to build a peaceful society. Does that analogy make sense????
Perhaps a better question is: Do I even give a good god damn if people think I'm lame because of how I wear my sunglasses??? I think we both know the answer to that.


So, out on my ride on Saturday I saw this really cool bird by the side of the road. I'm pretty sure it's a blue heron. It was enourmous!!! So I was standing there with my bike taking a picture of it and some old dude almost ran me over. I have poor impulse control, so I yelled at him, and the bird took off. It was pretty neat, really. Okay, that's all I got.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sagebrush CX #1!!!

A friend who I credit for singlehandedly getting me into racing bikes took this picture this weekend. It's a sweet picture, except it makes my butt look rather large and lumpy.

Our local Reno cyclocross series had it's first race on Saturday! I loves me some good racing without the driving. And it was snowing all day Friday so there was the promise of some mud! Sadly, that possibility didn't come to fruition. I guess 1/4 inch of precipitation after 4 months of zilch rainfall isn't enough to make for sloppy conditions. Bummer. But it was freaking freezing, so at least we had that going for us!

It was a fun course (Shawn, who puts on the series, always finds fun courses for us) with some weird little turns in the deep sand, two sets of barriers (one on a nasty little run up), and a longer paved climb. We don't have many ladies who race 'cross around here, so, as is typical, I was the only A. They race us with the men's B category, and they ran the women's Bs at the same time. Off the line I was actually in the lead, and am pretty sure I coulda gotten the hole shot (I'm getting good at that, finally!) but I chickend out 'cause it was into one of those loose downhill sandy turns and I didn't want to crash and get run over by 15 big dudes. Ouch. So, what can I say, I'm a wus. Like, it woulda been different if it was just women, but dudes get all agro. I guess the lesson is to work on riding my 'cross bike through loose tight turns so I'm not such a wus. Anywho! Everything was going pretty well (I was ahead of all the B's women and quite a few guys) until probably my on my third lap through the barriers. I set my bike down too hard and dropped my chain, but didn't notice. As I was jumping on I nailed my leg on my pedal and just barely stayed upright. Then I went to start pedaling and that's when I realized I had no chain. D'oh! So I had to get back off and get my chain back on. Such a rookie move! Anyway, there's this one dude here in Reno who's a very good and experience 'cross racer, but not as strong as me, and he caught up to me while I was dickin' around with my chain. Long story short, he beat me. I was stronger on the climbs and though the flat stuff, but he kept punking me in the sandy turns. Weak. But all in all I had a good race, I just need to spend some more hours on my 'cross bike working on my skillz. I won tho! Ha! Easy to do when there's no competition, but it's good practice.

Anywho, I was looking at pictures from the CCCX race at Laguna Seca on Sunday and I soooo wish I had gone! But, really, it's like a 6 hour drive from Reno, which woulda sucked. But the course looked wicked fun!!!

Speaking of courses that looked fun, I think next year I'm defintely going to try to race in Gloucester! I mean, I'll get whupped, but that's okay. For anyone who doesn't know, Gloucester is where I've spent the last two summers - my boyfriend is from there. So when I see pictures of people racing around Stage Fort Park I think - oh! That's where I sat to watch the fireworks this summer! And I want to go race there because it feels like my home away from Reno. And it was sooo cool to see teammate Amy Dombroski dominate both races! So, next year. I just need to start saving my pennies for my plane ticket now . . .

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Clothing inventory for today's ride, Oct. 12:
-Leg warmers
-Knee Warmers
-2 pairs of socks
-Shoe covers
-Under shirt
-Long Sleeved Jersey
-Extremely warm winter riding jacket
-Warm gloves
-Glove liners
If you think this sounds like overkill you should see my the thermometer in my back yard.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Catch up.

After much deliberation I've decided to not do anything this weekend. I was signed up to do the Lake Tahoe Xterra, but bailed on that 'cause I'm getting over a cold and it's freezing and windy outside. 30 minutes in a freezing and turbulent lake followed by a 25 mile mountain bike ride followed by a 3 mile run sounds like pneumonia or mono or something like that to me.

Then I was going to go down to race 'cross in Sacramento tomorrow. I decided to pull the plug on that, too. Mostly 'cause I don't feel like driving. Anyway, I'm pretty stoked that I have the whoooole weekend to myself. I'm going to do a couple good rides, get caught up on some homework, tidy up the house, and finish building my single-speed.

Hooray for weekends! I think I'm going to bake some cookies . . .

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cough, hack.

I got sick this weekend. I was fending it off all last week, barely hanging in there through Cross Vegas, and only avoiding it because I slept most of Thursday and Friday. And then the weekend roles around, and the UNR Collegiate MTB race. We hosted it up at Sky Tavern - the site of my previous poor performance on numerous occasions. Actually, last year (it snowed the night before) I did pretty well, and came in 3rd. As a matter of fact, I was faster (only just) than the girl who won this year, and beat me by a whopping 12 minutes, Maureen. What can I say? She's an animal and my endurance is shaky at best. Anywho, the field was waaay thinner this year, and I got 2nd. I was pretty stoked, given that the preceeding week had only seen me on my bike for 45 minutes of agony.
Anyway, that night I started feeling all lousy and now I'm sick.
On Sunday we raced the short track. I got the hole shot again! Damn I'm getting good at that. Me and Maureen lapped everyone else a couple of times. I was pretty stoked I could hang with her for most of the race, but she dropped me at the end. Actually she dropped me a couple of times, but for the first couple I was able to catch back up. It was some good racing, even though it was just 1 on 1.
Here's a pic of when I was leading.

In other news, Barack Obama spoke at UNR on Tuesday. I missed it, cause I'm pretty dumb, but from what I hear it was pretty stellar and exciting. Not that I need any convincing, of course, but it would have been neat to see the future pres speak at my school. (That's what we call reasonable optimism.)