Thursday, August 31, 2006

Eating up all my blog time

%^$$%##@ Surf City is eating up all my blog time.

I spent a very long lunch hour checking out another possible venue.

I like imagining cross courses and figuring out how to piece it all together.

I just wish there wasn't the complications of traffic, parking, goat heads, and laws of physics.

All this cross course imagining has been getting to me though. I passed a cemetary in Morgan Hill the other day, and all I could think of as I passed the rolling green tombstoned hill was "damn, that would be a fun cross course".
And it would.

I also just have to accept that no cross course will have everything. Everything is: plenty of parking, road, double track, whoop dedoos, grass, no traffic crossing the course, no duckie poo poo, no hyperdermic needles and broken 40ounces, lots of undulating hills, scrambly run ups, no poison oak or goatheads, electricity, bathrooms, trees, and all for cheap ninety cheap.


Damn I love cross season.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Just a Tuesday

If my email box is full, its because my mom has learned how to attach pictures to email.

I tried to not teach her, but she figured it out. Damn AOL.

Now I am getting picture after picture from a trip to Hawaii. One at a time.

I love my mom to pieces, I really do. She's the best ever. But if I ever ever wear a dress that so perfectly blends in with a hotel bedspread, please just shoot me. Theo, on the other hand is just oozing style. I dig those scrunchy socks, the beret and the binoculars.

And mom, if you are reading this, I'm just kidding. I love all the Hawaii pictures. Really I do. And the dress is lovely.

No coffee incidents today to report. Thats because its just a Tuesday. Things don't ever really happen on Tuesday.

Zabel won the Vuelta stage today. Yes, a grand tour is going on right now and I haven't really blogged a thing about it. I want to be interested, but so far have not been. Zabel winning is cool. So maybe I will keep an eye on things. Just in case.

Last night, Michael and I spent a lot of time talking about illness, death, war, poverty, choices, genocide, hypocrisy, power mongering, greed. For several hours over wine, and carried even to toothbrushing and until we were too sleepy eyed to continue. Then after talking about the gassing of kurds, or the bombing of civilians, or Pol Pot or something horrific, Michael turns to me and says "Our sheets are dirty, we really need to wash them tomorrow".

Here's to hoping that the only thing you have to complain about in your lives are dirty sheets.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Let the Monday begin

Always a jolt to awaken and remember that I only live the bella lifestyle on the weekends.

SO anyway, its Monday at work and I am tired from all the racing, and the friend visiting, and the wine, and the kitty playing of the weekend. I decide that I just can't do decaf today. I need allcaf.

I shuffle over to the office coffee pot and give the top a good press. But instead of pouring out luscious brown go juice, it announces its emptiness with a series of air-y spurgles and gurgles.

Wah. Now I have to make a pot of coffee (which I don't mind) and wait as it brews for my cup of coffee (which I mind very much). I get mad at whomever took the last drop and walked away without making a new pot. "Who would do that?", I wonder to myself, "they need to go back to kindergarten".

I mumble something to myself about common courtesy and begin the making of a new pot. I decide to share my mumblings with a co-worker while I wait for it to brew. In her office, we kvetch about people who don't make a new pot even though it only takes 30 seconds. We move on to kvetch about those who don't clean the microwave after their burrito explodes, and those who take your half and half, and those who don't flush.

Now I am feeling quite superior because I am one of those who will make a new pot, and I always flush, and I've only stolen someone's else's half and half under dire and desperate circumstances (I was out and needed some dammit!).

With this air of courtesy superiority I head back to the coffee pot, my cup in hand ready for the coffee that I made.

And I stop right before the luscious brown go juice tidal waved over my danskos.

In front of me was a lake of coffee on the floor. The lake was being filled from a lovely brown waterfall cascading down the drawers and cabinets. The waterfall came from the coffee machine which was reliably spewing out coffee from under the filter basket.

Because I had not yet had my coffee it took me a moment to realize that the pot on the counter needed to be placed under the spewing filter basket. Seems as if during my mumblings of common courtesy blah blah blah I had forgotten a crucial coffee making step. And now, I not only had no coffee, but I had one hell of a mess to clean up.

So I cleaned it. And I finally got my cup of coffee. And my hands and clothes smell like coffee. And its only 4 days until Friday.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The easiest email I ever wrote

A potential sponsor of Surf City writes:

"We're looking for "whimsical" events...those that feel playful, amateur, clever. Given the competitive nature of this one, it's kind of a tough fit, but I'm wondering if you have elements of it that are sort of silly that could be capitalized on?"

Where to even begin?

And I didn't blog today because

I just (finally) downloaded Google Earth.

So cool.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Overheard tonight at the Dukes Hotet

"you need bootie hair"



Need a longer lunch hour

You know it's Cyclocross race planning season when there are no new posts here.

Lunch hour is now used up calling sponsors, park rangers, vanderkitties, and apple juice people.

We're going to check out a possible new venue tonight. If the place looks like, what I remember it looks like, it should be a good venue. Its not a golf course, but there is plenty of grass. (Note to mom: I mean lawn grass, not the mary-wana)

Speaking of mom....I wonder if we could have a beer garden at this venue...?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Name the Kitty

We're into our second week of the School of Silly Walks. We've found a little park, in downtown Corralitos to practice. Yes, I said downtown Corralitos.

My walks are quite silly. There is this one walk, its sort of a goosestep meets Velociraptor, that I am particularly retarded on. Out of the corner of my eyes, I can see Michael's smile of pity and the kids on the swings are giggling. The only silly walk I can do is the grapevine. I am all over that one. But thats more dance than run. Too bad we don't dance, instead of run, when dismounting in cyclocross.

And to add insult to injury, supposedly, all these years, I have been holding my arms wrong when running.

What I want to know is, how come in all my years of jr high and high school track, no one told me about my arms? I could have fixed it back then. But I am old and set in my ways. And this is how I run. I run like a bear with arms of their own free will, out reaching for butterflies or something.

Also, no one at high school track ever made me do these silly walks. Guess thats what happens when the girls track team has the chemistry teacher, or whoever else can fill in (sometimes Sister Rosalind), for their coach.

I am going to blame the Catholic Church for my inane ability to run like a bear that is reaching out for butterflies.

I would laugh right now, but my stomach is too sore from doing a zillion sit ups.

oh yeah...and the kitty still needs a name.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Squinting at Monday

How did I survive these last two years without a kitty in the house?

I drank 2 liters of water while at work today. And I still feel dehydrated and squeamish. I only drank like 4 glasses of wine (granted, they were pretty big glasses) and I am hungover today.

When did I become such a lightweight?

I gave my mom a link to the blog so that she could see the kitty pics. I'm not so sure I should have done that. Now she might be reading this. I can't write the things I want to write knowing my mom might be reading.

Hey mom, are you reading this right now? Well its all make believe. The whole thing, except the part about the kitty.

Georgie is leading some tour right now.

I want to care. But I don't.

I'm not sure if all the drug stuff left a bad taste in my mouth, or I am just generally bored by men's cycling right now. Maybe my interest will pick back up around Vuelta time. Just in time to do some spanish spandex oogling.

The US Crit championships were this weekend. Did you see the crash pic of Pic? Van Gilder's foot is all sticking out, guilty like. Of course, Pic says nothing negative. She hardly ever does. Yet I wonder, did Laura want that win badly enough to stick out a foot, Cinzano pump style?

Some inline skater chick won it instead.

And congrats to Brenda who got another top five finish at Crit nationals. Your time is coming girl.

I'm not drinking any wine tonight.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Cuter than a tick

Thursday, August 17, 2006

gross, Gross, GROSS!


only, like, the grossest thing ever.

I don't even want to type about it, because it stirs up ugly memories that I have already pushed away to the recesses.


But last night, while driving to the gas station after our weekly mountain bike ride, I felt a pinch behind my knee. I went to itch it, and when I felt something leggy back there I knew immediately what it was.

I wanted to stop the car, right then and there, and go running frantically through the streets screaming, "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!" . And if people stopped me and held me and tried to ask me what was wrong, I would just look at them and scream "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!, and run away.

It was all I could do to keep calm until I made it to the gas station, where Michael was following me. And when I got to the station, I got out of the car, calmly inserted my credit card and gas pump, and then went running over to him and more quietly said "ewww."

He knew immediately what was wrong and knew I just wanted that thing out of me. I didn't want any discussion about what was the best way, or does this hurt, or maybe we should go home first. I just wanted it the hell out of my leg. And after a quick curious glance, he did just that.

And it hurt. I'm sorry Migo. I didn't know they hurt like that when you pluck them.

I read somewhere that we should have saved the tick and put it in a jar with the date. Excuse me? Save it?? Hell no. Michael plucked that puppy off of me and it went flying somewhere into a puddle of gasoline I hope.

save it. Thats just nasty. I want no evidence that this disgusting incident ever happened.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gremlins, kitties and the piggly wiggly

Is there anything cuter than kittens?

There is, there is Jodie.

I rode down to the San Martin Animal Shelter today to look at their kitties (someone in the household is demanding a kitty). I wasn't taken by any of the kitties there, but I was taken by Jodie.

I don't need another dog. Oy...that would just be crazy talk. But if you do, and you live near enough to San Martin, you have to see Jodie. She is the sweetest, loveablest, dog I have seen in some time. And funny. Just a silly silly dog, made even sillier by her piggly wiggly like features. You know, how some dogs just come along and there is something magic about them? Thats Jodie.


I am real close to adopting a precocious little kitty I met yesterday named Gizmo. I didn't want a male, and Michael didn't want a Maine Coonish cat. But damn, this little shyte just took my notice.

I have this feeling that taking this kitty into our lives is asking for it. Gizmo is one of those cats that just go looking for trouble. Rambunctious and energetic, curious and intelligent, sweet and sensitive, but fiercely independent.

He should fit right in with the rest of the crew at Dukes Hotet.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Corral Hell

I am going to say this real quick and in a hushed tone, so that Laura and Tracie N don't hear me.

Because if they heard me, they might have me committed, or shot.




yes I did. Fun. At Patterson Pass. With the steep treeless climbs. And the lonely wind. And getting dropped by all the 4s.


Now that the season is almost nigh, I finally finally learned to let go of the expectations I put on myself this year. I mean, really let go. Because its easy to say and hard to really do.

And free of that, I truly enjoyed myself. The perspective shift was amazing. The climbs still pretty much sucked. And the wind did too. And the 4s did drop me. But instead of thinking "I'm getting dropped" I was thinking "wow, I hung on for a lot longer than I thought I would" Because I did.

But I don't think I want to do this ever race again.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Weaving through the trees, but not seeing them.
Eyes focused on the prey in front of me.
Good enough to eat.

If I can catch him.

Moving into his dust, and I am gaining.
He senses me and scoots faster.
But not fast enough.

I can almost taste him.

Unsheathing the claws, the catch is close
He has one last trick, and uses it.
Today is his lucky day.

He lets me catch him.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Weekend yippee

The weekend is only an hour away

and I am seriously craving some of this...

Not guilty

These little bloggie posts have been great brain breaks from work.

I can only stare at spreadsheets for so long. I have to pause to activate the other side of my brain again, if only for a few moments.

And, even though, I can whip out a bloggie post in about 5 minutes, and its really no different (its better actually) than a coffee break or a cigarette break that some take...sometimes I feel guilty for doing it at work.

I am the boss and all. Supposed to be setting a high standard, you know.

So I am in the midst of lowkey guilt trip as I tippy type a post (that I have not posted yet), and while thinking of the right word, I glance over to my side.

And I see that my colleague (another boss type) is engaged in a very rousing game of Solitaire.

Just for that I am posting two posts this afternoon.
With pics.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I see cross people

You know what the toughest part about putting on a cross race is?

Its not the advertising, or the sponsor procuring, or even dealing with USA Cycling.

Its finding a venue.

In this litigious society, people don't want crazy cyclists racing all over their grounds. They also are waaay too worried about what we'll do to their fine grass. But they are right on that front. We can "f" up some grass real good in a cross race.

Remember Napa during the monsoon? Those vineyards were thrashed. I wonder what the faces of the Domaine Chandon folks were when they arrived at the offices that Monday morning and saw the carnage left behind.

So, I have been spending time thinking about new venues for Surf City. Course design is the #1 priority for the series. We want to find cool places. But man, is that ever hard.

I find myself driving around and eyeing potential locations. I see potential cross courses everywhere. I can imagine the course streaking across some lot and into the trees, I can imagine the specators, I can eve hear the clanging bells. But sadly, most of those places are not available to us. And you know what I think would make an ideal location and there are a shitload of them around here?

Golf courses.

Man, I would love to throw a kick ass cross race on a golf course.

They have undulating elevation changes, woods to scamper in, cart paths to go fast on, sand traps to bog down in, and luscious green green grass to beat all to hell. We'd just need to make certain they stock their bars that day with plenty of Pabst.

So if you know of any golf courses, that would be willing to give up a day of earning ungodly green fees off of golfers, to allow a bunch of wacked out cyclists to careen around and generally make havoc with their hallowed grounds, let me know.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Honey, thats us

Stumbled on this on the Alto Velo list of all things. If it weren't smack dab in the middle of cross season, I can think of someone perfect for this.

Ballet San Jose looking for male extras
The dance company will open its 2006-2007 season with a new production of `Giselle'' and the production needs eight to 10 male volunteers to serve as extras. They will be part of the ballet's royal court and a hunting party, according to Ballet San Jose spokesman Lee Kopp.

Extras need to be between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall and weigh between 140 and 185 pounds with a waist size of between 28 and 35 inches. Extras would have to attend several rehearsals as well as the performances scheduled for Nov. 16 through Nov. 19 at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts.

``They generally attend three or four rehearsals,'' Kopp said. ``We try and keep it easy on them, about an hour each rehearsal.''

Extras would also have to attend costume fittings, according to Kopp.

Giselle, a 150-year old French ballet, tells the story of Albrecht and Giselle, whose love is put to the test by beautiful but deadly spirits with supernatural powers who force young men to dance to their deaths.

Dance to their deaths.

I think I've come close to doing that a few times. And its a blast each time. Michael and I would pass that test no problem. So would Laura (my other dance partner) and I. Laura and I may not have much horsepower on the bikes, but we can take on anyone on the dance floor, by gosh. Bring it. Well, except for maybe Brent, because his 80s dancing is off the hook.

I'm going to quench my mtb hankerings tonight. I think I am way overdue for some dance quenching too. I'll have to look up the possibilities. The kitchen is nice enough and all, but sometimes you need room to let loose.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Late afternoon sputterings

I rode by some grass farms in Morgan Hill today. Field after field of grass. As I watched the workers water and groom the grass, I had to pause and think. What kind of society are we that we expend such resources and devote such land to grow something that is not food? (or drug in case you were confused by what grass exactly I was talking about)

While others starve or struggle through drought, famine, war...we grow lovely green grass that is of no nutritional value to anyone.

But then, I like having green grass and laying on it on a summer's day, and spreading a picnic blankie atop it, and running cross courses over it.

Ahh..what to do about it, except recognize how lucky I am that I live in a place where I can ride my bike past grass farms.


Jens Voight is on his way to winning the Tour of Germany.

Did anyone even know there was a tour of Germany? Well there is. Oh sure, it doesn't have all the romance, flourish, and drama of the tours of Italy, France and Spain. But, I bet all the stages started on time.

So anyway, Jensy's winning, which is cool.


Flandis is spending time at his home in Murrieta. And his neighbors are supportive. I found this article about it surprising. Not in any of the Flandis stuff, but that Murrieta has a population of 92,000 people? When did that happen? Last time I was there it was a sleepy little community just out of the reach of the inland empire smog. A mix of old horsey ranch houses and a few new communities.

I spent time there, during my wilder days, in a house straight out of Scarface. It belonged to the boyfriend of a friend of mine. Turns out this boyfriend was a con-man but we didn't know it at the time. Or maybe we did and didn't care? Whichever, thats beside the point.

Anyway, it was this huge ridiculously ostentatious house amongst other ostentatious houses, on a golf course (I wonder if they used Morgan Hill grass?) community. And everyone there drove around in little customized golf carts. Some looked like fire engines while others looked like Rolls Royces. Grown men would drive around the streets in these little toy cars. It was very silly. But thats not the point either.

And our (I say "our" because we all sort of lived there) neighbor was Barry Bonds. Barry had a house with these huge wrought iron gates. The gates were decorated with two large baseball diamonds each with a "B" in them. For you non baseball folks out there, Barry Bonds is a baseball player that has been accused of, and has steadfastly denied, using steroids. But of course, thats not my point either. Just coincidence. I assure you.

I have no idea what my point was. But that pic is an actual pic of Barry's house. Amazing what you can find with a proper google search.


Why does Jesse/Andy have two first names?


Monday, August 07, 2006

oh yeah, we were gonna do this

It seems like only yesterday that Heather was mentioning this race to me.

And at that time I was actually sort of, half assed, considering it.

But new job and new love took hold of my focus. And the usual trappings of life sped time along. And in the whirl of it all, I forgot all about that silly idea.

Still, it would have been fun. Anyone who has ridden with Heather and I knows that we could probably actually finish that thing. I can ride for hours and hours on my mtb at the same tough little pace and feel strong at the end and the next day. And still be in a good mood.

Unfortunately I don't know the first thing about wilderness stuff, or riding in the rockies, or what to pack in my camelback. I'm a fair weather rider at heart. Throw a tube, a mini multi-tool, and some gummi bears (and maybe some bubbles) in my pocket and I am good to go.

Thats where Heather comes in. She has those most excellent Canadian honed wilderness skills. Or at least appears to, to a softie like me.

She hikes, ice climbs (brrrrrr), finishes Iron Man, and generally does stuff besides ride her bike all the time. I'm quite certain she knows how to start a fire, and she probably knows how to get water out of the desert and make a coat out of deer hide too. She's saved me many a times with that well stocked camelback of hers.

Hell, her wacked out (in a good way) brother crossed the Empty Quarter for crying out loud, so there's something in those genes.

Besides, we don't even come close to getting on each other's nerves or anything when we ride. Even when Heather, errrr..I mean we, get lost.

Anyway, we could do this thing. I bet.

As long as no one gave Heather the map.

And I had enough gummi bears.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I haven't ridden my mtb in over a week.

I know, that doesn't seem that long, but I was getting into a 3 times a week habit. And liking it.

Damn I love riding my mtb.

This is a lame post because thats all I can think of writing about right now. Maybe if I switch to caffeinated coffee I can come up with something better. You'll have to check back later and see.

But for now, I am staring out my window, at the hills in the distance, and twitching to do go bombing down them.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coffee break

I just found out that my boss had crystal surgery while he vacationing in Brazil. The CFO of a company, paid someone to wave crytals around his ears to fix his hearing and something unmentionable. He claims it worked. He was also still wearing his hearing aids. I fortunately have no details on the unmentionable.

Damn, I work in a crazy place.

Thats why I like it so much.

My old job wasn't crazy. It was professional and tough and would have been great for my career...except I don't want a career. At least not in the usual ladder climbing, glass ceiling breaking, hear me roaring, pantsuit wearing, 60 hour a week sense.

I'm smart, educated, capable...but mostly I just want to ride my bike and play. And spend time with my sweetie.

If I won the lottery, I would most definitely NOT continue working. Who are these people that answer that they would? I dont care if I had the best job in the whole wide world. I would quit it.

Sure, I would take that money and do something good and altruistic with it...but mostly I would just ride my bike and play. And spend time with my sweetie.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Trails to me

The Northern California/Nevada district championships are this weekend at Ft Ord.

The women's race is 60 miles.

In Ft Ord miles thats like 97 miles.

It doesn't matter which roads you take in Ft Ord, the racing there is hard. Wind, chip seal, rollers and ghosts of armies past haunt you.

I've done enough road races, practice crits, time trials and intervals in Ft Ord to last a lifetime, thank you very much.

Which means, while my honey races (if he feels better anyway) the road race, I'll be hitting the happy trails.


I think I can be credited/blamed for calling the happy trails the happy trails. Not even sure myself anymore. Only thing I am sure of is that the name stuck for a reason.

Ft Ord is full of intersecting, intertwining, unmarked, dippy doodle, yippyskippy singletrack. The climbs are never too long, the descents never too technical, but the singletrack and scenery is plentiful. And the routes are endless.

Ft Ord is part of the Bureau of Land Management and includes about a 100 miles of trails that are both marked and unmarked. The Army left behind many trails, foxholes, and weird little buildings and things. Its a creepy cool place.

The soil is sandy and so the trails are good all year long. Only slightly muddy in winter and only slightly sandy in summer.

If you passed by this land, by car, you would think it barren or boring. But its some of the most interesting habitat I've ever ridden in. The oaky, manzanitaish, meadows sit atop ancient sand dunes and are home to deer, eagles, bobcats, badgers, bunnies, roadrunners, pigs, owls, rattlesnakes, scorpions, coyote, turkeys, and mountain lions. Oh, the mountain lion stories I could tell you. We'll save those for another post.

Ft Ord hosts a gazillion memories for me. I lived there as an army brat and lived close to it for most of my young life. I remember the px, the commisary, the hospital and going "hunting" with my dad on the trails. I also remember the artillery going off over that place almost every night. It was like 4th of July almost daily during manuevers.

That damn place had such a hold on me that I bought my first house on the boundary of the ft ord lands. That meant the trails were at my doorstep. Ahhh....

Happy trails. I learned to mountain bike on those trails. I met my first mountain biking friends on those trails. I taught some to mountain bike on those trails. We gave birth to Velo Bella on those trails. I got scared out of my gourd and sloshed out of my mind on those trails.

I have so many excellent memories of happy trails. Many of them involve myself and Laura, on after work rides in dusk or dark, on our cross bikes, having the times of our lives. The times where you are lost in the joy of conversation with a dear friend, while pedaling around and goofing off. Acutely aware of the company and scenery, but not even noticing the time flying by.

How many times were we suprised that it was almost 9:00?
How many times did we get so cold that we could barely get to our cars?
How many world problems did we solve on those trails?
How many times did we spook each other with mountain lion stories?
How many times did we go "pooooft" into the sand?
How many times did we get lost?
How many times did we laugh so hard that we almost fell off of our bikes?

How many times did we save each other's sanity while gliding along the on our steelmen?

Eventually the fog and the promise of 6,000 homes to be developed on the former ft ord scared me away. I moved to the sunny rural slopes of Corralitos.

And although I love it here, I often miss those trails, the adventures, and the company of the best training partner and girlfriend I ever had.

Can't wait to hit those trails this Saturday.

Ft Ord Trail Map
BLM Ft Ord Site