Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Bella is a Billy

And while the Bellas were being hammered at Mt. Ham this weekend, I chose to rush the infamous frat of the Hillbillies.

There isn't much to it really, all you do is call out the Byrd shit on the road and drink beer after the ride.

Don Byrd is one of the head honchos of this gang of billies and they are a bunch of fun lovin good ol'boys. They had me smilin ear to ear all weekend with comments like "Hey there isn't enough mustard to cover that hot dog!" or Bobbyboy rolling up to us in his bright orange Independent with a brand new barbieQ in the back ready to take it to the Peak for us. (Don had this three day HillyBilly stage ride planned for the Billies this weekend.)

Day 1 was the Pebble Beach group ride, Day 2 was Catch-ow-a loop of Carmel Valley, Day 3 was Freemount's Peak, thats how I became a bonafide Lillybilly. (That and all the beer drinkin training Sabine had me do early on in my career.) I didn't know she was preppin me for this gang.

I have been rollin with these guys all weekend. I vote all Bellas become honorary members of this crew because they show us nothing but love. Don and Pazzo even polished and refurbished our lovely Fair Lady. A favor given to us because of their fond memories of riding with Sabine. They made me promise we wouldn't ride her on flat tires, worn spokes or let her rust anymore. As a matter of fact I plan on plunkin that baby on the Kona bike rack so those mechanics can show her some love every once in a while. She would look great with the Queen Zingers.

And the Hillbillies really do go on pie rides! I thought Sabine was just trying to get me to go on long rides when she would tell me these tales since in the three years of riding with her I never did get to stop for fresh pies. I only got to stop if she or I were suffering from heat stroke. I even thought she meant it as code for a girls' ride. Next weekend they are going for a real pie ride.

Haa....Haa I love the Billies even if their ears stick out of their helmets from all the inbreedin. I absatatootly love them.

Isn't Morgen such a camera hog blog dog?


weather girl

Dark thoughts spread lazily,
as if riding on tendrils of fog.
Slowly encroaching,
seeking out new valleys.
Replacing their sunshine,
with a damp darkness that bites to the bone.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Tweety birdy kind of morning

Lots of Memorial Day Traffic on the roads already this morning.

Boats and campers and SUVs all packed with groceries and families setting out for a long weekend adventure somewhere other than home.

As I drove into work this morning,
passing the cool stately redwoods,
passing the rambling apple orchards,
passing the bright flower nurseries,
stopping at the one stop sign,
smelling the strawberry ocean air,

I couldn't help but realize I already live where I would want to go.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

If Baked Cheetos were crack

I would be so busted

Stupid Adventures of Me

I couldn't ride at lunch today, and its all Kern County's fault.

The Kern County Stage Race anyway.

By the end of the 2nd stage, on the first day, all of my brain cells were fried. Well, not all. As the ones that tell me I am hungry or thirsy or have to go to the bathroom kept working. But all other cells were zapped out mush.

So, its no surprise that sometime during the 2nd day, when I was about to rest for the afternoon, that I realized that I could not find my wallet.

We tore Sputnik apart to look for it. Hmm..actually Michael tore Sputnik apart while I lay on the hotel bed and meekly asked if he would pretty please.

Then we tore my bags apart.

Then we tore the hotel room apart, which is hard to do when one is still lazily floundering in the bed.

Then I called Macaroni Grill and Target (the previous evening's stops).

Then we went (and yes, I crawled along too this time) back for one last look in Sputnik.

Finally I had to admit that my wallet was gone. Time to call the bank and cancel the cards. Do you know how hard it is to do that with a zapped out mush brain? It took every ounce of concentration to find the numbers and call the people. But I did it and successfully canceled the cards. My replacement cards would arrive at home in about 5 days.

And now I had ten minutes of rest left before it was time to get ready for dinner.

I gruntily rolled out of bed and opened up one of my bags to choose that evening's tshirt. And lo and behold, right there was the wallet. Michael and I both checked the very same bag about 4 times each. But there it was. Complete with now useless bank cards.

We survived the weekend on my cash and Michael's charm. Or maybe it was Michael's cash and my charm. Whichever. We survived.

Return home. Back to the real world.

The real world. The one I survive in with a debit card always neatly tucked in my pocket.

Now I can't get cash, or gas, or wine, or the oil change that I went to get done at lunch and waited in line for a while before remembering that I did not have a card.

And the computer I want is on sale, ending yesterday.

I plunder my emergency box and find a credit card that hasn't been canceled. Yay! And I order me up a fine little cheap PC laptop (Agast! I did not buy a Mac).

And this morning there's an email from Dell telling me that the order was held because my card was declined and I have to call them.

Call them? You mean talk to someone? Whats the use of ordering online if I have to actually interact with a human?

Sigh. Before heading out for my lunch ride I call them and after some time on hold "Lisa"* tells me to call my bank. I call my bank and after some time on hold, they tell me that they put the card on security hold and I need to proove I am who I say I am. So I give them my pin#. But thats not enough. So I tell them the last 4 digits of my ss# (I always have to say all the numbers in my head to remember what the last 4 are) and I tell them my address and I tell them my mother's maiden name.


Its not enough.

They also want to know how and when I made my last credit card payment. But I never use the stupid card so I can't remember. Then they want to know my checking account number, but I don't have checks with me at work so I can't give them that. Now they are getting suspicious. Mind you, this is the same credit card that once when it was stolen someone went to 10 gas stations within an hour (buying $50 phone cards) and the card was not stopped.

But I want to buy a laptop and I call and give them my intimate secrets and its no go.

I start raising a fuss. She puts me on hold. For a while. She finally comes back and asks for my previous address. Luckily its been 3 days since the race so I have enough brain cells to remember it. And they release the security hold.

I call back Dell and talk to "Steve"*. Pay for my computer. Hang up the phone.

Lunch is over.

Stupid stage race.

*I have no problem with Indian call centers. But what I don't like is that they have to use fake american names. I realize why, and I think its that reason that annoys me so.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Econ 101

I have officially pronounced my laptop dead.

Its 7 years old. Its missing the "t" key. Its all garbled up with work software I don't need but can't get rid of. The USB connector is broken. And the death knell was some nasty malicious software it picked up during my travels in Bakersfield.

Now I have to bite the bullet and buy something else. I'd really rather not as I hate spending money on anything but bike stuff and food. And as I went searching for computers and looking at prices, I couldn't help but realize how I was evaluating the cost. All prices were relative to something bike.

That fancy laptop with all the cool bells and whistles for $2,500? No way. Thats more than a Campy Record Carbon gruppo for crying out loud.

The middle of the road solid performer laptop for $1,200? No way. I could buy Michael a custom frame with all the weird angles and measurements he likes.

The good for web browsing and photo editing laptop for $700? Hmmm....but I could buy that 36" Fox Fork for my Dawg with that.

The cheapie bargain laptop for $500? Wheelset? laptop? Wheelset? Laptop?

Ah, poo. Who needs a "t" key anyway.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dear Specialized Yahoos

Dear Specialized Yahoos,

I am usually far more diplomatic, but see, I've had a tough weekend so this is how it will go today:

You guys are idiots.

You are because I say so.

And I know this because I saw it with my own eyes today while I was climbing east up Willow. I knew you guys would be coming, so I made extra sure to stay safely to the right of the road.

A lot of good that did me.

Seems as if a few of you were dropped just so slightly on the climb on the ohter side and you needed to rail the descent to get back on.

Rail the descent. ON a friggen LUNCH RIDE.

You were not in the Giro. You are not Salvodelli. You are some Specialized sales rep something or another on a daily goddamn lunch ride.

And yet, it was so important for you to touch back up to the first 4 or so guys, that you had to come into the oncoming lane to do it. Now, I have cut my share of the corner too. But I was as far to the right as possible on the road, even riding to the right of the fog line, and I still almost got hit by you out of control wannabes. Not once, not twice, but about half a dozen or so stupidly close calls.

Neither your descending skills nor your silly red S tires are that good.

Now, you may not give a hoot if you crash and end up a drooling lemonhead the rest of your life, but I do. So leave me some room on the road. Even if you don't think I am there, just ride assuming that I am.

And you may not care if you piss off the local traffic, but I do. I enjoy riding where cyclists are welcome and would appreciate if you didn't selfishly mess that up for the considerate cyclists who ride here.

Finally, you may want to take a lesson from the first 4 or so guys descending today. They did not cut as far into the oncoming lane, yet they descended faster and smoother than the rest of you silly boys (yes, silly boys). They also called me out to the riders behind them. They are faster and they have more consideration and class. Go figure. And, take notes.

Best of luck on winning the next lunch ride.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ay Papi am I ever tired

I have a great pic to go with this post, but its at home and I am not.

I really don't feel like working today.
But I don't feel like blogging either.

I certainly don't feel like riding my bike.

I don't feel like doing chores or going to the bank.

I don't want to check my voicemail.

I don't want to deal with the pesky spamware my laptop caught in Bakersfield.

I don't ever want to live in Bakersfield.

I don't want a yip yip dog.

I don't want to put water in my windshield wiper thingie.

I don't want to renew my driver's license.

I don't want to drink decaf.

I don't want to type this.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Popcorn Kernals

Today's race ended about 5 hours ago.

Its taken me this long to feel normal again.

Well, almost normal.
If any if us were normal, we probably wouldn't have paid someone so that we could torture ourselves in the Kernal County heat all weekend.

I'm really in no mood to write a race report. You'll have to go here if you want to know the low down.

I only wanted to pop out a quick blog to spread some love. First, by thanking my teammates. I have seen so many acts of strength, selflessness, and silliness this weekend. They all inspire me and make me laugh.

And I want to thank our awesome support crew of Michael, Jeff and Tyler. They are all unbelieveable. And treat us as if we were World Cup queens. 3 bike racers, giving up a weekend of racing and riding to help out a bunch of whacky gals. Mmm now thats sexy.

Michael's selflessness especially has kept me in this race. I wanted to quit about 40 times yesterday and twice today. But his goofy encouragement and no pressure "you can do it" keep me chugging along. Because seeing his great big smile of pride and congratulations at the end of a race is the best prize.

well, that and the ice cream.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oooo.... oh.

This looks fun.

Damn schedule conflicts.

Stupid schedules.

I need to stop looking at these schedules and get something done anyway.

Like try out TT bars for the first time the day before a TT race.

and eat pie.

You two are in trouble

you left me alone in the house,
with pie.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blog Fodder

So I had a conversation the other night with my favorite person about competitiveness.

It started out by me saying I am not very competitive at races. I am not agressive, I don't think about winning, I don't even do a decent warm up.

But he reminded me that he has seen my competitiveness, and yes, I can be that.

I suppose he took the connotation as negative, but for me, competitiveness has a neutral connotation. There are times when I admire someone's competitive drive, and there are times when perspective gets lost.

In a country driven by greedy capitalistic actions, its no wonder that competitiveness gets a bad rap. There's not a whole lot about competitiveness thats kumbayaish. And the mere definition of the word smacks a little negative:
To strive against another or others to attain a goal

Strive against others. Sort of harsh.

But thats what we all do by racing. And its a damn load of fun. And we show up each week to do it and some even dedicate a considerable amount of our free time trying to encourage others to do it.

So can it be all that bad?

And if I am not competitive, what am I doing showing up each week to races?

Blah blah blah blah...I can't remember exactly where we went with the conversation that night.

But thats because I was mostly just trying to get lucky.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


You can find more Cat's Hill pics here

Tit for tat

Swanton TT

Cat's Hill

Speaking of Brain Sprain

Conversation with myself while climbing East Dunne today:

Ugh. This is pretty steep. Pretty friggen (I probably actually said fuckin) steep. Hmmm..I wonder how steep it is?

Beep beep beep (thats the noise my cyclocomputer thingie makes as I whirl through the eighty pieces of data it gives you) beep beep.

Is that all? Jeez this feels like more than 7%.
Okay, this part is way steep, its gotta be more than 7%.

Am I ok? Why does this feel like so much more than 6%?

oooo...honeysuckle...smells pretty.

Okay, huff puff...this part....huff puff....has to...gasp wheeze...be more than 6%.

huff gasp
wheeze puff

4 lousy fuckin (no kidding myself this time) percent?

beep, beep, beep.

It was on miles per hour.

It was 12% by the way.

Email of the week #12

Dear Velo Bellas,

I'm over here in Iraq and have to ride my stationary bike on the roof. But I love you cycling babes and can't wait to get back and go for a ride with you!

Take care,


Hey Captain. You keep sending us pics of you training on a hot roof while wearing all that gear in the midst of a war and all...how am I gonna complain about riding in the cool comfort of my bedroom while sipping a slurpee and listening to Moby?

Have a safe duty so you can get home and do some real riding soon. Your riding buddies miss you beating them up on Saturday mornings.

Nice legs by the way.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Brain sprain

The doc tells me that I sprained my hip.

That just sounds weird to me. I know the hip is a joint (or two) and all. But for some reason that sounds funny. Sort of like saying that I sprained my skull. Which I think I have done.

But weird or not, its a 2nd degree sprain. I don't even know how many degrees there are in spraindom, so I have no idea what that means. But I don't like the sound of it one bit.

So now I gotta do stretches and get lots of massages (yummy). And I'm not supposed to walk. Oops.

I also really need to take oV's spycam into the doc's office with me next time. That way I can do an xbunnyish post of the goofy gym shorts they make me wear. I kind of like the shorts actually. I may have to find a way to ummm accidentally wear them out.

And all this laughing at myself is my way of coping with not being able to race Cat's Hill. I finally got brave enough to want to do this race....and I really wanted to do it. Once I make up my mind about something, I'm good to go and gung ho.

But now I am just gung hobble.

I tell you what though. Watching Sarah come back and do the race that she couldn't finish a year ago...that was nice. She's such a fighter. Solid. I am glad she's back and I want to unhobble myself so I can get back there and race with her.

My goals have had the rug pulled out from them lately. I wanted to finish Sea Otter - Bzzzzt. I wanted to race at MTB Nationals - Bzzzt. I wanted to race Morgan Hill - Bzzzt. I wanted to race Cat's Hill - Bzzzzt.

So now I am left sort of goal less and lost.
And the injury means I am just riding, not training.
And I am going to Kern just for the experience and bellaship of it all.
And I am having the best time lately.
Just riding.

But I gotta get me some new goals soon.
And some new gym shorts.

Like a big pizza pie

From yesterday's stage,

All Basso all the time.

Except I ain't posting any of his podium pictures seeing as how he choose to wear a damn baclava on stage. Simoni needs to teach him the art of podium style, no matter what the circumstance.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Meow mix

More later....

Friday, May 12, 2006

When the moon hits your eye

A warm sprintey day. Good Giro fun. Enjoy today's coverage, cuz I ain't doing this schtick on the weekend...

This picture weirds me out. Jan is looking all sunglassed and serious, while Gonchar/Honchar looks sweetly sublime. And, maybe I'm just a perv, but does Gonchar/Honchar have man boobies?

New head of the CIA? President of Enron? Chrysler Chairman? Member of Parliament? Blue Brothers Wannabe?

And you thought he couldn't get any sexier.

Today's finish foto of the day. I love looking at the faces of those that didn't win. I have no idea what kind of face Bettini is making, but I don't trust it. Not one bit.

Today's podium photo. And, oh, what have we here? Is that what Pollack looks like? I suppose with a name like Olaf, he had to be a cutie. Hmmm..we will have to keep our little girly eyes on him.

Simoni is so stylie. Check him out. Check out what he did with that towel. He so deserves a better looking kit.

Comedy: Act 3

So, after trying to qualify for Nationals at Sea Otter and getting buzzkilled by promotors who don't give a rat's ass and officials who can't tell time, Micheal and I decide to head to an AMBC race instead.

We qualify and we have a good time, so that was nice.

Then we hear that Nationals won't be at Mammoth. Cripes! But thats okay, because a few of the other venues sound interesting. Their press release states that the date will not change. We'll just switch our travel plans a little.

But now they announce that the MTB Nationals (which are a nationals event for Masters racers as well as Pros) has been moved to the same weekend as Masters Road Nationals.

Well, thats brilliant.

Do they read their own press releases?

Do the guys on the NORBA side of the hall even talk to the guys on the USCF side?


Fuckit. The MTB venue is at Sonoma, which I hear sucks and its the Sea Otter folks, and I am not all that keen on giving them my money anyway.

See you in Pennsylvannia.
And at Downieville (the real championships)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Men in Uniforms

I was worried that there wouldn't be enough good pics of the Giro today. Its team time trial day and I figured that would mean lots of pics of guys in the same kit riding around in space ball helmets. Fun for one or two pics, maybe...but not a whole blog's worth.

A little searchin brought up some decent goods for today after all.

Here is a team time trial photo. No need to post anymore pics of this because all the other teams sort of looked like this too, just different colored shirts and booties and spaceballs. Well, except for Euskatel. They probably didn't look like this.

And no time trial blog o mine would be complete without a wide angle spaceball photo

Why does this pic

Remind me of this?

Basso Photo of the day. Fine little bubbly that he is.

And I had a hard time choosing the podium photo of the day. Serguei Gonchar (Didn't his name used to be Sergey Honchar?) is one animated little fella in pink. Here he has some kind of Al Bundy happy scratchy belly thing going on.

And here he is making one hell of a scrunched up kissy face

The drama of the day was Mattias Kessler falling off at 300meters to go and causing TMobile to lose the stage by one second. But I couldn't find a pic of that. So here's a pic of Scott Norwood. Accck! A football reference.

And the scenery photo of the day. For obvious reasons.