Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
The house we are staying in is beautiful, a utopia right in the middle of the city. Our host's have the most amazing succulent plant collection I have ever seen... and I can't wait to start my NEXT plant collection which was almost extinct after the move west. I definitely need more green in my room on Euclid Circle.
Today we prerode the TT course for the weekend's race: http://www.tucsonbicycleclassic.com/ . check it out! I think it will be a fun weekend.
Monday, March 24, 2008
WATCH THIS:It is the last corner of the crit in Visalia. About 20+ riders hit the pavement. ouch. You'll even see a nice close up of Clare picking herself up after a hard hit to the pavement.
ciao... off to climb up to Ward.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
At Sequoia this weekend, the fields were stacked—the announcer summed it up nicely by saying “this is the strongest field we’ve seen in a long time.” With a good chunk of money at stake, many national and world champions showed up ready to throw down.
A 40k course that took us through some of the most amazing scenery in Central California. Before I get too much into how the race actually went, I’ll tell you all that the green hills/mountains, were blanketed in yellow flowers—it was absolutely amazing! We pre-rode the course so we were able to enjoy it too! Yesterday, we got there early enough to have some time to hang out and prepare for the race- after a decent warm up, my start time was at 1:22. Kristen Armstrong started 2:30 behind me… She ended up passing me after 16 minutes and absolutely killing it. She was 4 min 30 seconds ahead of 2nd place, and would have placed in the top 20 for the men’s race. It was wild, she sounded like a freight train coming up behind me—Anyhow, I rode hard and tried as hard as I could. I definitely tried to keep it positive—it was a very tough course mentally, with two substantial climbs. I finished in the ‘top 50’ (50th), which wasn’t the best; however I need to keep everything in perspective! And keep everything positive! As I mentioned earlier, it was a very strong field and this is my 2nd race of the season.
This morning, I felt pretty good. My legs weren’t really hurting, however, I could tell that I worked hard yesterday, but in a good way. I had a nice 40 min warm up on the rollers listening to the band Slightly Stupid. (As dumb as the band name sounds… it is actually pretty cool). Our race was at 1:30 just after a run/walk. We lined up and they did the call up. Needless to say… mistake #1 for me: I moved back when the race promoter asked me to— to make room for the call up. I’m so nice. Anyhow they did the call up and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you all that I was a little impressed at the line up. After that, they allow everyone else to move up towards the start line. Everyone is always crammed in like sardines. The official blew the whistle and we were off. I (and everyone around me) clipped in successfully—and we went for the first corner. Immediately within the first lap, I realized that I was in the back... right where I started. Not just in the back a little… but in the BACK. So I could hear Missy saying “move up… move up.” So I did, in the first few laps, I managed to move up about 10 places and I thought that was good… well it isn’t... mistake #2. I needed to just keep on moving up places. The next thing I knew, I was on the back again. WTF! so I move up again… and then found my self in the back again. Not to mention, I was sprinting around the corners, moving up 1-2 places and then hitting the breaks… sprint, move up 1…. hit the breaks… repeat…. sprint, sprint, move up… hit the breaks… repeat. Sprint, move up, think “I really think that this is not good,” hit the breaks around the corner, sprint out of the corner… get gapped… close the gap… sprint to catch up (no breaking around the corners anymore because I have room not to break…)… close the gap… get gapped… react to the attack that probably happened 20 seconds before…finally get gapped enough for total discouragement… next move: take a right instead of a left! Take a nice cruise through some downtown Visalia neighborhoods… answer some questions about what race is going on … in which I have to answer “the Women’s Pro-1-2” I’m still all geared up and I’m certain that they are wondering why I’m not racing… I find myself going back to see Missy. I did notice that there were 2 other women riding around that should have also been racing… sadly, that makes me feel a bit better… Get the keys. Change and watch the rest of the race. Not the best race today for me, but I will get better, and not make the same mistakes.
The rest of the race was crazy. Clare and Cari were looking very strong and working hard. They both got caught up in a huge crash with 70% of the field involved. Cari’s ran over a couple pretty big bumps and ended up having her seat come loose and point straight up to the sky—I’m positive it was knocked loose from her earlier crash—she went to get it fixed for a free lap and the official wouldn’t let her back in. Total bummer. Clare on the other hand crashed a grand total of 3 times… got back in and STILL finished with the main field (well almost). She was caught up in a massive crash on the very last corner of the last lap and didn’t end up crossing the line. Laura Van Gilder slid out in the corner when she was sitting on the 4th wheel getting ready for her sprint finis—she went down, and since the field was so strung out… it took a while, but I’d say that 25 people there ended up hitting the deck. I found some of the EMS guys to come over and clean Clare up. The guy radioed to the officials that Clare was 2% road rashed. Meaning that 2% of her body is alllll scabbed up. Her nicely healing skin from last week is now scraped up AGAIN, and she is glad that she joined the frequent bandage buyer club at the local drug store.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
On Thursday, I had a job interview at www.ubikes.com and ended up getting the job! So whenever I get my schedule all ready for scheduling, I can start working. It will be really nice to have a couple extra $$.
Today we're doing the Time Trial at the www.sequoiaclassic.org . Just for the record a time trial is a race against the clock. Each participant starts anywhere 30 secs to 1 min apart-- the racers job: go as hard as possible with out blowing up. The person who finishes the selected course the fastest wins. Today, I start around 1:30pm. Kristin Armstrong (time trial world champ) starts only a couple mins behind me... chances are that I'll probably see her out on the course! The course is absolutely beautiful-- the Central Valley of CA looks a lot like the green hills of Ireland. I'll post some pictures when I get them from Cari!
Check it out, you can even see the start list and he course profile: http://www.sequoiaclassic.org/tt.htm
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Max Temperature: 68 °F / 20 °C
Min Temperature: 33 °F / 1 °C
Monday, March 10, 2008
Cari picked up Clare and I to head down to Denver’s City Park. It was a nice spring afternoon, but a little on the chilly side. The wind was calm and did not turn out to be a major factor in the race. We lined up at the start/finish (indicated by the white arrow) for the Women’s open race along with about 35-40 other women. The course was interesting with 2 major turns and 3 roundabouts.
Clare wanted to animate the field and just after the first few laps she attacked. After a few more laps the group came back together. This is where the race became a completely different race for me! I found myself working very hard, but moving backwards in the field. I was thinking that ‘I must be unfit!’—or— that I really needed to do more speed work! As we got further into the race, I was beginning to feel more and more sketchy going around the roundabouts… I kept thinking that my tire was going to roll off of the rim! FINALLY, after the 2nd roundabout, I glanced down and realized that my tire was completely flat. Hmm…. no wonder why I felt sketchy in those crazy corners! That is when I leapt off of my bike hoofed it to the wheel pit. If you look at the aerial photo... you will see that it was a long mad dash (through a ton of goose poo)! As I ran up, the announcer was aware that I was coming and was nice enough to explain EXACTLY what I had to do and also EXACTLY what Missy and I were doing to the crowd…. fun to listen to, but kind of distracting… especially when he told everyone to look at how my legs were shaking while I was waiting to get back in the race AND also how bad they must feel after running across the field! Missy had to tell me to calm down J I was pretty excited! Thanks Missy—she’s solid as a rock! Success—we changed the wheel and I got right back in the field.
As soon as I rolled back into the pack, Cari had just attacked. Two other riders were with her—and there was a 3-4 second gap between the break and the field. Since Cari was already in the break, I held up and settled in the front of the field with Clare—now our job was to block, to protect Cari. There were only a couple attempts to bridge the gap, but we stopped them and brought the field back together. With 4 laps to go, I almost got taken out by a rider who ended up crashing pretty bad. She faltered while going around the first round about and I noticed her starting to totter, so I took the corner wide… on her way down, she bumped me in the thigh! I thought I was going to hit the pavement, but safely made it around the next tight corner. phew.
Long story short… Cari played the last lap smart and was patient--- she made the other girl chase down the girl who attacked… Cari stuck on her wheel and took ‘em alllllll at the line. Nice work Cari! The team work was awesome! J
Sequoia is coming up on Saturday and Sunday. Missy, Cari, Clare and I are flying out on Friday morning. Gabe is driving out to Boulder to hang out with some friends for the weekend! He’ll pick me up from the DIA on Monday and we’re heading on a short excursion to visit his Aunt and also some sweet powder!! This will be my first powder ‘out west’ in over 5 years! I’m really looking forward to it…. AND for all those who are wondering, I AM bringing my rollers and Gabe and I have already been looking at a nice route for my long training day on that Wednesday (before we hit the powpow).
Sunday, March 9, 2008
(photo obtained from:http://www.vorb.org.nz/ftopicp-1582196.html )
Friday, March 7, 2008
Indoor training at it's best! My new room in the basement of Dr. Dance's house... stay tune for more photos of our basement, and indoor training! Oh yeah.
Last SATURDAY, Clare's first ride in Boulder-- she crashed hard coming down from Ward. The road crews put plenty of gravel/sand on the corners and she took one a little aggressively and had to slam on the breaks... and the bike went right out from under her. OUCH. All I can say is that she is one tough cookie! She is awesome. Stay tuned for pics.... it is nasty. Remember to wear gloves. Safety first.
Tomorrow is the Frostbite Time Trial-- Sunday is the DU crit. fun fun. More updates coming soon!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Again, riding with the crew--- on the left is Greg-- team mom and Cari's husband. Fun ride! After, Greg gave me a bicycling tour of Boulder and the UC-Boulder campus. It was beautiful, and I'm excited to live here!
Meet Amante. Amante is the coffee shop that many rides start at in North Boulder. I don't know the girl in the back of the photo... but it looks like she is posing.
Yesterday March 5 in Boulder, we did our workouts inside and ventured out to run some errands.This photo is from last night... we went for an evening americano-- and get this... this morning Clare informed me that I bought decaffeinated beans the other day. We have been fooled, and not drinking 'real' coffee in the mornings. Bummer! I thought something was fishy!
Yesterday we went to target to get some towel hooks for the back of our bathroom door and we found these ridiculous pants on the super duper reduced price rack. We figured they were perfect lounge pants. And, after one night, I'm happy to report they are.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Okay, for those of you who have time for a laugh... watch this. you won't be disappointed... probably about 10 mins. Gabe (the narrator), his bro Ryan (Sherpa), and his friend Weiss (Steel Bodingsworth) made this video not too long ago.
Let me know what you think of the video! :)
Until tomorrow-- ciao.