Sunday, June 27, 2010


Photo Credit to Allan Crawford.

I don't really look like I'm suffering that bad (I was). What I like about this picture is that you can see the reflection of my hands and bars in my sunglasses if you look carefully.

Woot! I finally won one. Okay, so there were only a handful of us, and it was a local race, but damnit, I won. I've been dreading this hill climb since I first decided to do it. Not because I dread hill climb TTs (well, maybe a little) but because this particular climb - starting by Incline Village, up Country Club Dr., then onto Mt. Rose Hwy to the summit - has never quite agreed with me. I think it might be those brutally steep sections on Country Club, or maybe the loooooong straight aways on the highway. Either way, I've always felt fairly miserable while climbing up it.

In all honesty, I was fairly miserable whilst climbing up it today.

But in the end I prevailed, beating an incredibly skinny girl by ONE second. One. Do you know what I was thinking about for the last mile? I was thinking about how ever second counts, and how I missed the podium at the district time trial by six. One second. And she was damn skinny, too. And I had some Hostess Chocolate Donettes yesterday. Okay, I should probably lay off the snack cakes, but seriously, this is cool. And since this course has never been run before I "technically" set a women's course record. I'm going to say it again - I set a course record, in a hill climb. Ahhhh . . . that's nice. Gotta savor it because I don't hesitate to think that it's the last time I'll be able to make that claim.

So . . . things are coming together! I ended last weekend on a high note, after NOT GETTING LAPPED!!! at Nevada City. First time I've done that race that I've finished on the lead lap. Boooya. Anyway, that was followed by a kind of rough week, with lots of owies from my crash, and just feeling generally kind of bummed. But right now I'm feeling pretty good about things. I have a two day mini-break from bikes starting tomorrow, then some hard stuff coming up to tune up before what will undoubtedly be the hardest 6 days of my life, so far. Dun dun dun . . . . Cascade! Stoked.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Right now I'm so totally stoked on life and what's to come that it's difficult to contain. Or maybe I've just had too much caffeine? A definitely possibility.

Three weekends of racing coming up - hill climb followed by crit followed by hill climb - then my folks bought me tickets for my birthday to go see Neil Young here in Reno the weekend after that, and then Cascade! Sooooooo stoked! And Cody will be home somewhere in the middle of all that.

All this is helping me ignore the lingering ouchiness of my crash last Friday. While I emerged road rash-less, I got a nasty tire burn on the back of my leg from the girl who hit me (my bad, my bad entirely). And while I've never had road rash as big as what's on my leg, I'd venture to say that the tire burn hurts significantly worse than the road rash I have had. I mean, it's a burn, right? it hurts like a burn. And it's all scabby and nasty and it hurts when I sit down because it's on the back of my upper thigh. Ick. And I landed on my head in such a way that my neck is all spasmed.

But the point of this post wasn't to bitch about my owwies, but to talk about how freaking stoked I am. Yay bike racing and travel and great music and awesome company! Sorry, I'm just being annoying now. Over and out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TdN and NC Pics

I've got a good suffer face going on here. In fact, in all of the NC pics I look like I'm about to die., while a lot of the girls around me look super chill. I don't think I was necessarily suffering MORE than them, I just have a pretty intense suffer face.

I like TTs again . . . I think. Anyway, can't pack up the TT bike for the year yet, gotta race it at Cascade!

Game on!

At some point I'll write a report about Tour de Nez and Nevada City, or maybe I'll just post some photos or something, but not today. The news for today is that I have been convinced to try my luck at Cascade after all. All it took was a little flattery, and a little begging for time off. Cascade is a go.

At some point during the Reno criterium on Friday I had a funny thought that I can't remember now. It triggered a Seinfeld reference in my head, which I also can't remember. What I CAN remember is thinking - this is during a really tough crit, mind you - that every event in my life can be related to either an episode of the Simpsons, Seinfeld, or Mystery Science Theater 3000. Some of you may think that is incredibly lame, but I think it's incredibly awesome.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Not the first time . . .

. . . and it won't be the last. That I fail to achieve a season goal, that is. Last year I failed to get enough points to get my upgrade, and this year I failed to break an hour at the district time trial. I don't have a lot to say about it, really. I didn't have a good race, my power was really inconsistent, and I need to work out some issues with my TT bike fit. Issues that I didn't notice until after 30 kilometers of hard pedaling. It happens. Move on. I'm frustrated by my inability to put together a good time trial in the past couple months, but I'm happy that I was, at the very least, faster than last year. And my legs are totally fried right now so I guess I went hard. After this post I'm done talking about it.

Looking forward to next year - if I'm still around these here parts and I figure the district TT into my schedule, my goal will NOT be to break an hour. I had my chance on that one, and I didn't do it, moving on. My goal next year will be to break 59 minutes. The self-lecture goes thus, "Oh yeah? You can't pull your s#*t together to go under an hour? Try 59 minutes, see how you like that." Yeah, I talk to myself a lot. 'Specially during time trials.

Moving on.

Oh yeah, how about the barn board backdrop? I think it appealed to me because Cody is in Gloucester until July 6 and I wish I were there too so I could just ride and swim and race Fitchburg and not have to worry about work and bills and stuff. Oh yeah, and the house has barn board walls in one of the rooms. I think it was a poor choice of interior decor (the house was only built 3 years ago) but the motif still reminds me of Gloucester. I know, sometimes I don't make a lot of sense. Until next time . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mt. Minty

The Team!

Warming up for the TT. My bike is sexy.

Start of the TT - it was so windy they discontinued use of the starting ramp.

The support crew relaxing after the queen stage. Cody won the beer drinking GC.

Before the start of a very wet crit that lasted about 9 minutes for me!

Ahh . . . a day off. After arriving home at 3 AM on Monday morning after 6 days away from home, then working on Monday and Tuesday, it's awfully nice to just be able to sit on my ass, drink coffee, and write a race report. Oh yeah, and I guess I'll do laundry or something at some point today. Maybe.

I survived Mt. Hood! Hells yeah. Okay, so I was 2nd to last in GC, that's OK! You know why? Because my teammate-for-the-weekend won! And I don't think I'm being inappropriate when I say that I sacrificed a number of places during the Queen Stage of the race so that my teammates could arrive at the final long-ass climb with rockstar legs. I mean, I really hate that coulda-woulda-shoulda stuff, but I'm confident in my assertion nonetheless. Whatever.

So, where's to begin?

Last tuesday Cody and I loaded up the Jetta and drove North. We arrived at our intial destination in Bend, Oregon, and found the house of our friend, Lizzy F'in English. Just so happens that her S.O. is Adam F'in Craig, so crashing at their house is an experience worth its own blogpost at some point. Let's just say that their garage is Off-The-F'in-Hook. Anyway, long story short, Lizzy took us out for a spin on the mountain bike (I borrowed one of her bikes) on some totally ripping Bend singletrack, followed by dinner. Good times.

Next day we loaded back up to rain, reloaded the car, and drove further North, arriving at our Motel 6 in The Dalles around lunch. People keep asking me why we stayed in The Dalles instead of Hood River, since The Dalles is kind of ghetto and is about 17 miles from Hood. Let me just say this - good luck finding a cheap hotel in Hood River. I prerode much of the time trial course (in the rain) and then drove to Hood River for our pre-race team meeting, and for the distribution of Metromint kits.
The next day was stage 1 - a 52 mile road race with about 3600 feet of climbing. Doesn't sound too bad, right? The plan for the day was to keep everything together and preserve all of our GC options, since we had 3 girls that could take it. Unfortunately I was dropped after about 8 miles. To be fair, the climbing started on mile 1. And it was fast. And there were attacks. I was doing fine, moving up, responding. And then I was spit out the back. D'oh! We rallied a group of 5 of us and pulled fast for the rest of the race, finishing only 9 minutes down on the main pack, which finished in a field sprint. I felt decent for most of it, but didn't eat enough and bonked on the 2nd climb of the day with about 1 K to the top. I hung on, but just barely. Our group was 7 by the finish and I won the sprint for 39th. Wow. The day had been pretty nice, but about 1 minute after I finished the rain started. Oh, Oregon. This is why I live in the desert. Good timing, anyway.

Stage 2 was a 18.9 mile time trial on probably the most difficult course I've tackled. The climbs, the wind, the descents, the kamikaze squirrel that almost took me out . . . it was tough. And to top it off I didn't have a very good day. It started out OK, and then I was passed by my 30 second girl and my moral took a digger. Then on the climb I was passed by my 1 minute girl. Then the rest of the race was a struggle to keep my power above 200 watts. Seriously suck. Plus I just wasn't digging that Metromint chamois, so to top off my suckiness I was seriously uncomfortable. I finished the race and went back to the hotel where I proceeded to feel sorry for myself for the rest of the day. At least until I learned that my teammate Molly had WON and taken over the GC lead! That boosted my moral significantly. Heather finished 5th and Jane 7th. We had the GC lead and some serious contenders in the top 10, so who cares about my lousy race?

Stage 3 was the queen stage - a monstrous road race with 8600 feet of climbing over 72 miles. And we had GC to protect. The plan was for myself and another girl to patrol the front before the first climb of the day, which came about 20 miles into the race. I had my job. I could do my job, and then when I got dropped I could be content in the fact that I'd helped the team. As it turned out, I lasted quite a bit longer than 20 miles. So, the race started with a long, not particularly steep descent. I worked my way towards the front and sat on teammate Amanda's wheel while she made sure nothing went off the front. Then we had a pee break, which I was actually pretty happy about. Some Hagens Berman girls were like "what's a pee break?" and didn't want to stop. Seriously? You've never heard of a pee break? Anyway, Molly pulled rank on them and told them that if the race leader called for a pee break it was customary to accomodate them. Radical. Anyway, after that I found myself at the back again. I was trying to edge up the road without much luck. Then the attacks started. I saw Amanda at the front chasing and thought "crap! That should be me up there, Amanda has to cover the 2nd part of the race!" So I gunned it to the front and helped chase. Mission accomplished. Then we hit the climb, and I found myself on the front, again with Amanda. What's the best way to make sure you don't get dropped on the climb? I say set the pace. So we set the pace up the 5 mile climb to discourage attacks and keep things moving at a pace that I could just sustain. It felt great to lead a climb at a race like Mt. Hood. There were no QOM points for the women, but the signs were still there from the Pro men's race. Myself and Sue Butler "sprinted" for it, and I "beat" her - just for fun. People laughed, it was good times. This was followed by a fast descent, and then we hit some kickers before the real climbing began. At that point I was on the back, hoping for the best. I got gapped off a few times but chased back on. Finally I cracked, about 40 miles into the race. I knew that I'd done my job well and I trusted my teammates to finish it off. So for the next 30 miles I rode through some beautiful Oregon forest, up some long ass climbs, and was perfectly content knowing that the time cut was 30%. As it turned out, Molly held onto the lead. Yay!

The next day it was raining. A lot. And we had a crit to race. The organizers decided that the crit would not be counted for GC, as the conditions could be considered unsafe. A number of girls opted out of racing. Metromint took the line, however, out of respect to the yellow jersey. It was really wet for our race. From what I hear, ours was the wettest of the day. Great. Without getting into a whole lot of unnecessary and demoralizing detail, only one of us finished, but none of us crashed. Molly won the overall. Life was good.

Me and Cody drove home after the awards ceremony. I should say, actually, that I drove to Bend, then slept almost all the way from Bend to Reno, while Cody stayed awake driving until 3 AM. Whatta guy!

One last thing - if in Hood River I totally recommend Dirty Fingers Bike Shop - the guys there were awesome in helping Cody find places to ride, and it seemed like a great bike shop. I do not, however, recommend Salmon Cyclery in The Dalles - that guy was utterly unhelpful, a jerk, and a total tool.