Friday, March 30, 2007

Thoughts after a margarita

Sea Otter is coming up.

I could care less about the all of the otter machinations and overbooked races.

But it is a fun party. At least at the bella booth. And especially when Vanderkitten joins us, because he brings good tunes and good fun.

This year I totally wanna make a roller disco party out of it.

I'll even bring extra skates for anyone that wants to give it a try.

You know you wanna.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Cheese and Chocolate and Fish Stories

There is just waaay too much cheese and chocolate in this house. My mom must think I am still 10. I even got an easter basket. All packed full of german chocolate bunnies and that funny green plastic grass.


I was gonna post a camera phone pic of some Koi in a fountain that I took. The Koi come flapping out of the water when they see you because they think you have fish food. Its the entertainment highlight of Community Hospital in Monterey.

But the phone is in the car and Theo took off all sudden like to buy cat food. He said he needed to get cat food immediately because he was out. And he rushed off.

I was just in the garage checking out my bike and there is a giant bag of cat food out there.

I realized that in all my medicine questionings last night with my mom, that I didn't ask if it was okay for him to be out driving alone. I mean, I think its okay. But I'm not sure. He usually doesn't know what day of the week it is, and apparently doesn't know where the extra cat food is, but I am hoping his sense of direction is still intact.

Crap, I hope I didn't blow it already. "Don't worry about Theo, mom, I will take care of him". Thats what I said when she was wheeled in to surgery all nervous. I'd hate to have to tell her I lost him within a few hours. Oops.

Her surgery went well. Surgeons are strange people. The doc came out and said "well I got one of them and it was BIG!" before he even said hi or anything. Then he proceeded to demonstrate exactly how big by showing us most of the top of his thumb. "this big....maybe bigger", he said almost proudly.

I wanted to know how the surgery went, how she was doing, what the prognosis was, where the bathrooms were...but no. After waiting nervously in the waiting room for word of the operation, we get the surgical equivalent of a fish story.

Turns out the operation did go fine, but one was too tricky to get this time and another was discovered after the big thumbsized one was removed. So she will need to do this a few more times. Barring any nasty complications, she should be able to come home tomorrow. And the best news, he saw no signs of anything invasive.

Okay...whew...there's Theo. Okay. Everything's cool.

I'm going to sneak a few minutes on the bike. Clear the head, burn the chocolate bunnies and work up an appetite for dinner. I'd like to head over to my favorite funky japanese restaurant in Seaside. I have this craving for sushi.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wiggly chin writings

I burst out into tears on my drive to work today.

It came slowly at first, and then, once my emotions saw that the door had been cracked open, it turned into a good old fashioned bawl.

I was listening to the radio when it was announced that Tony Snow has stage 4 colon cancer that spread to his liver. I am no fan of the current administration and I really have no connections to Tony Snow, except for this:

Snow announced last week that he would be undergoing surgery to remove the growth in his lower right pelvis. He said initial tests were negative for cancer and that he was having the surgery out of ``an aggressive sense of caution.'' Snow, who lost his mother to colon cancer when he was 17, said he had been getting a checkup every 10 weeks.

My mother is going in for just such surgery tomorrow.

Her colon was removed almost 20 years ago. Her mother died of colon cancer when my mom was still a teen.

My mom, despite (or maybe because of) her silly happy I'm just here for the party personality, is one of the strongest people I know. She's a god damn rock when she needs to be. She is one of those people that amazes the doctors and nurses with her stubborn no time for pity recovery. And I have been nothing but optimistic about tomorrow's surgery.

But that Snow report revealed that somewhere in me, I am scared.

Scared because I adore my mother and she is the only blood relative (that I know) on this continent and the thought of losing her completely freaks me out. And scared because I have a 1 in 2 chance of the same fate. And I have been really really bad about getting my check ups lately.

Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths. It is also one of the most "curable" if caught early.

I am going to make that stupid appointment today.

And for the rest of the week, I'll be at my mom's. I think she has dial up and (gasp) AOL, so not sure how much onlining we'll be able to do.

But we will make time for some riding and enjoying in between. Because it has to be enjoyed, this gift.

Monday, March 26, 2007


If I press this little spot on my quad, right above the inside of my knee, it hurts.

I took a "rest" from racing this weekend. And I am more hobbled this Monday than most. But its that sweet kind of tired.
What a long weekend.

I decided to get away a little this weekend. No plans, no meeting times, no obligations. Each morning I got up when I wanted and decided where I wanted to ride by nothing but circumstance and plain ol "what do I feel like?".

On Saturday I awoke to thick fog and drizzle. So I hung out for a bit with some bella blend and watched the emmas terrorize each other. There was laundry, dishes and bella work to be done and I did none of them. Just sipped yummy coffee and watched kitties.

Eventually I decided that I wanted to go mountain biking, but I wanted to do it in the sun. I headed out and drove near UCSC and it was socked in with drippy fog. I kept driving. The sun appeared in San Jose and a glance up at the hills looked good so I headed for Skeggs.

Once I got to Skeggs, however, the fog was raging. Skeggs was right at the meeting point of fog and sun which made it windy and eerie. So be it. Nothing better for a solo mtb ride than eerie creepy fog.

Solo mtb rides.

Not the smartest thing.
Especially for a woman.
Especially for a particularly clutzy woman.
Especially for a particularly clutzy woman who neglects to tell anyone where she is.

But sometimes thats what I do.

I like being alone. ...I think I actually need to be alone sometimes. Just me and my thoughts and my own selfish whims. No one to attend to or care about, but me. No one else's schedule but mine. Its nice sometimes.

And for a while it was. But then it started not to be. I'm sort of boring, I decided.

I was just heading back in to end my ride, when, sitting in the only spot of sunshine in the whole park, I spotted several roaring meese. They looked cheery and there was sunshine there. And so I glommed on to their ride for a bonus rip rouring fun little time down Manzanita. Damn, I love that trail. With the luxury of people around, I got to zipzip down it all retarded like. I think I was on the edge of disaster the whole time down and man, that made me smile. And seeing someone come back all strong after being hit by a car last year (Go Julie), well that made me smile too.

On Sunday, I missed the boat on a road ride I was going to do, and I wasn't about to spend another day with my boring self, so last minute decision was made to hook up with a ride I had seen on the TWW list. They are always fun. And the bonus was that Gin was going to put down the weights and the home theater stuff and the dozen other excuses he has for not riding, and ride.

Who could miss that? I headed out, did a loop on my own and then met up with the crazy TWW crew for a thank you may I please have another.

We ripped and railed and threw ourselves down vertical beaches. I have to admit that I got into the boy jousting with Gin a little. Just a little. It was a silly good time.

And near the end of the ride I was done. So done. I was so done that at one point on the long crawl home, a sheepdog came out and looked as if he was going to bite my ankle. And I pretty much didn't care. Moving, or speeding up, or caring, would have taken too much energy. Bite me.

I hurried home to take care of a little "family" emergency. But managed to capture a few moments with a beer and some sunshine on the front porch, and shot the shit with Brenty. He was so worried and anxious to get on the plane to see his wife. That man loves him some Jen. Jen's injuries aside, it was sort of beautiful to witness his concern, his genuine love. Its amazing how, once you find that love yourself, its so much easier to spot and admire in others.

There was no question that even though I was dirty, hungry and tired, that I was going to take him to the airport. Stat.

And so I did.

I arrived home a couple of hours later with just enough time and energy for a "how was your weekend" exchange with Michael before crashing out cold. As much as we missed each other, thats all we, each with our own adventures that weekend, could muster.

When I get off work, its straight home. We've got some make up time to cover, and I have this little spot on my quad, right above the inside of my knee...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rocky Roads

Oh man.
That title makes me think of ice cream.
Its been forever since I've had Rocky Road ice cream. Is that even a flavor anymore?

I hope so.

Pic is via camera phone from today's lunch ride. When I get mad at my boss or my job or the stupid microwave at work that burns my popcorn, I will have to come back here and look at that pic.

After a morning of process improvement meetings, I headed out at lunch to do some improvin of a more important kind. Mostly that of turning right on a switchback. Thats gotta be more important than flow charting accounts payable.


I can turn left real good, but I can't turn right. And there are 4 of those suckers on this little downhill trail I do at lunch. Since I had conquered all the little uphill rocky things last week, I was determined to conquer at least one of those righty tighty switchbacks.

And to my surprise I made all but one of them! I just had to commit without worrying about plonking over and falling on a rock. I committed, I flowed and I turned right.

Yay for me. Go with the flow.

Speaking of spaceballs

I really shouldn't complain about this but

I hate when I click on my in box and it says I have 3 new messages and I get all happy because I think that one of them is a love note from my honey and when I open the inbox I find out its just the comments I wrote moments before on my own blog posts.


My favorite pair of jeans finally ripped through. And in a spot thats not so good. Damn. Now I have to be very careful at work or else. I think maybe I need to go home early.

Why I don't time trial

Thursday, March 22, 2007


there, thats better

I may look forward to the road races, and the chance to use some brain with the brawn, the comraderie of teammates, the super high efforts, the sheer speed of thin tires and efficient carbon.

I may be giddy with delight over the silly muddy grace of cyclocross and all its related sufferings and partyings and people watchings.

But my heart will always be for the mountain bike. My first love. It is on the mountain bike that I attain moments of sheer joy. Joy that makes me yelp out loud. Hitting a berm so that it shoots you out and lines you up for the next but in that exhilerating moment between them you catch a glimpse of hills and grass and the far beyond.

So good to come home to.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Ssshhh...don't tell but

I am sneaking out of work early today with some coworkers to ummm...test product. And they need an accountant there.

Seeing how its the first day of spring and all.

I'll post this instead

Its not that I haven't been blogging, I just have not posted my blogs.

They all really sucked. At least more than this one anyway.

When I re-read them, it felt like a damn therapy session. This is babble, not "group".

Now that I have finally emerged from the longest marathon PMS session, I feel fit to print again. I swear, though, this weekend, I felt like a damn water balloon that someone left on the spigot too long. All bloated, shapeless, and squishy.

So anyway, that picture, at the top up there, I love it.

Not just because of the lighting and the loveliness of it. But because thats our "elite" team. And they have on different helmets and different jerseys and (you can't see this part) different shorts.

And I know that would freak some teams out to have a picture of their team out on the waves like that.

But it makes me happy.

Velo Bella doesn't have much funding. And we split our wee wee funds between three pro teams (road, mtb, cyclocross). We make it work somehow and we get by on spunk and creativity. Its tough and the women deserve more, much more support than we are able to provide.

The women currently on our team are not on the team because of the all goodies we can provide them. They don't smile for the camera, take the free bike, and then behave like an entitled spoiled petulant child (like unfortunately some "pros" in this sport do)

They are on this team because they love racing their bikes, like the freedom to make their own racing decisions, like racing with some kick ass teammates, and enjoy sharing the sport and motivating others.

If I could, I would give them a bazillion dollars so they could be treated like the quality racers and people they are. But instead, I will give them my cheers when I am on the sidelines and everything I have left in my legs when I am in their race.

But maybe I will get them all some new helmets too.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

While I eat my bagel

Bored too?

Come and roam around Cyclingnews with me. You know, when you wander over there and lazily click on the stuff besides just the latest news? Maybe clickety click on a diary or tech report or some track race results just to go thigh shopping?

Let's see whats out there today....

Oh. This is a good one to start with. Oopsie! I'm not sure how professional riders wearing radios in a high profile Pro Tour stage race do NOT know that there is a break up the road. Zabel wouldn't have done that.

I could spend entirely too long of a time clicking on the photos here. This stuff's almost as eye candy as a sprinter's thigh. I really should have played hooky from work and gone to this. Damn (slap slap). Keep clicking and see if you can find Sheila.

And I don't care what "they" try to tell us. Its NORBA National. Thats what its called. There is a 20 year history in that terminology that resonates with people. A history that reminds them of Kamikaze and neon jerseys and legends like Julie, Ned, and Tomac. A nitty gritty rough and tumble independent history that people are honored to be a part of. Why confuse people with something generic and watered down? Just let them call it that. Play off of it and build from it. Is there no room for passion in marketing?

This whole Unibet as pawn in Protour battle stuff is silly. The UCI, the ProTour management and whomever makes the laws in France should all be ashamed of themselves. I cannot even keep up with whats going on. But everyone is acting like a stubborn teenaged girl who rolls her eyes too much. And someone needs to give the Unibet lawyer the memo about the green ties.

Ina is such a bad ass.

And finally, its time for some thigh meat and drumsticks. And for that, lets scour the results for a track race....ah, this will do just nicely

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

As the hormones rumble about

I hate PMS.

I don't get cramps or headaches or nausea. But I get so damn emotional. I hate being emotional. I am truly unprepared for how to deal with it, these emotion thingies.

I thought a good spate of viscervals would purge the hormonal storm, but it didn't. Those just made my legs hurt.

I bet ice cream would help. And not that lip balm teaser stuff, and not those goofball city ici foo foo flavors like Spiced Mango Banana...but some good old fashioned chocolate and vanilla (the kind with the little vanilla beans). And maybe some fudgy sauce, but even thats not necessary. As long as its served 10 minutes out of the fridge and with a big spoon.

I need a hug.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wild Mornings at the Dukes Hotet

Start the drum beats for Zamora/Landpark, because I am inspired.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wild Nights at the Dukes Hotet

Ever since I moved into my funky big house in the redwoods, I have had company of some sort.

I've had three great roommates as well as the occasional "just need a place to stay for a few weeks" folks, and of course, host housing for whatever, and then of course, there is my honey who I can't stand to be apart from all day at work, let alone a full night.

I have a house that is waaaay to big for me. I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought it. But I love that I can open it to my friends. I love the silly name accidentally given to it when Ali and Jeni painted a sign for me and sort of messed up on the spelling.

But my roommate moved out last weekend, Brent and Jen flew up to Bend to do a walkthrough on their house, and my Michael is away at a stage race.

At some point yesterday during the drive home from the races (maybe in the 5 minutes that we weren't talking about food) I realized that for the first time, in a long time, I would have the Dukes Hotet to myself. (Well, me and the Emmas)


All to myself.

What to do about that?

I could make a pot of tea, gather up the cats and a fuzzy blanket, and read in the comforting quiet of the living room.

I could find a real funky red and color my hair and walk around the house with hair dye and a green avocado mask and then maybe even take a long bath.

I could rearrange all the furniture in the living room and build something from Ikea.

I could pull out the chocolate cookbook and pick something decadent to make and make it and serve it to myself with a luscious little port. And then write naughty poetry.

I could pop in the Napolean Dynamite video, pull back the rug and replay the dance scene over and over until I memorized all the moves.

All kinds of things to do when alone.

A night of luxury.

....Instead, I was asleep by 8:00

Friday, March 09, 2007

Via camera phone from Fresno

its only 14

No, really, it was. Clickie on the link.

When is International Men's Day? Do they have a calendar?

I have a teammate who is so very wise.

She can say more with a whisper than I ever could hope to yell.


And this is my first weekend apart from Michael since we met.

Those of you who have been married for some time are probably rolling your eyes right now, but I misssss him.

And, I hope he has a kick ass time.

He's dedicated so much of his time to our team. And scribblins to women's cycling. Its fun to see him go kick up his heels. His love of this sport is so damn contagious.

Someone better send me some damn CVC reports.

And Laura and I are gonna paaaaaarty.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

In the Pisser

I was going to post this last night. But as I was sitting there on the couch innocently tippie typing away, Jen, who was on the couch doing the same, randomly blurted out:

"I sprinted with my butt today"

And its a little hard to type after you snortle wine up your nose, so I am a day late with this.


Sometimes a workout, just doesn't work out.

Yesterday's workout called for 1 minute intervals. I like these. I like them because they look funny on the Garmin graphing thingie.

The day was gorgeous. All sunshine, green grass and butterflies. I dawdled quite a bit on my warm up, even stopping to check out some goats that were running around and playing.

I may have dawdled too much and soon felt the urge to pee. I tried to ignore it, but the road was bumpy. I began to look around for a place to go, but I was in an area of nicely fenced off rural homes and very few trees.

I decided to try my intervals anyway. If nothing else it might take my mind of the urge and it might get me to the porta potty by the reservoir faster.

I set off and pedaled...but it just wasn't working. Neither my legs nor my heart would cooperate. My bladder was asserting its authority. Loudly.

Now my workout goal was reduced to "Get to the porta potty!" And then the legs kicked in. And I pedaled as quick as I could, to the big blue box in the distance. As I got closer, the urge grew stronger.

I zipped into the parking lot and pulled up in front of the porta, only to discover that the door was broken off. Ack! And about five cars (some with people in them) in the little parking lot in full view.

I really really had to go. I peeked into the porta and found that aside from the broken door, everything was in good shape. It was clean and full of TP. I stepped inside and sort of wrangled the door so that it leaned against the opening. This was tough to do, because a lean too much on one side, meant that the car people could see in on the other side and vice versa.

After a little bit of futzing around, I finally got it just right.

And awwwwww.....finally, relief was mine.

Happy that emergency was over with, I sort of hopped up a little too briskly to reach for the t.p. And just as I was standing there, halfway levitating over the bowl and halfway reaching for paper, with my lycra down below my knees, the damn door crashed down onto the ground with a big thud.

Door on ground, I had a lovely toilet side view of the lake and all the cars.

I have no idea if the car people saw me. I just scrambled on getting myself covered up and out of there. As quick as I could.

But not before taking a picture. of course.

And I cancelled my intervals.


NO blog update? Unanswered emails? Ignored phone calls? Unwatered plants? Stuff still laying around where it ought not? Checking account not reconciled? Remodel on hold? Car still rusting away in my yard?


Having a blast racing because I am finally making some time to train and travel?

Hell yeah!

Okay, so lots of shit is falling through the cracks. And sometimes if I think about it too much it freaks me out. Too much left undone. Too many other things that could be done better.

But there is yet another reminder in my life of how fragile and beautiful our lives and health are. And so, some fun and living life with a big ol smile and wide eyes must take priority.

It must.

This weekend I had the most fun racing in a long time. And I have been saying that for the last few weekends.

The last few weekends have been great, but this past weekend, even with the carnage....was just crazy yeehaw fun the whole time. I loved every damn minute of it. Every scary, every suffering, every confusing, every jubilant minute of it.

There was a moment in our race on Sunday, when Soni attacked into a corner. Holy shit! She went into that corner soo hard. I had to lay full pedal to the outside and pull up on the pedal on the inside to carve that baby as I followed the train that followed her. I almost broke out in yipppee yehaws right there. If you had descended down San Bruno with us over a year ago, you would know why I thought this moment was thrilling beyond the physical fun of hitting a turn at Mach 80.

There was another moment, when at the base of the little hill and at a moment of pause I said in my head "Attack!" And sure as shit, Ryan exploded up the hill to create the winning break. Lil Ninja!

There was this other moment, when I thought my legs hurt too much. I had done so much work attacking earlier. I earned a pass to drift back on the last hill. No one would fault me for that. And at the moment of driftback, I slapped myself silly, charged up the hill and pulled myself and 3 bellas to the finish line near the front of the chasing pack (and unknowingly away from danger). Tracy's frantic but giddy with glee "go Sabine GOOOOO!!" will stay with me each time I sprint now.

And so, bank deposits, messy garage, blog posts, tune ups, chores, checklists, will all have to take a backseat for a bit. Just a bit. Some living must come first.

It must.