Thursday, May 31, 2007

While the Cat's Away

Fix up and move into upstairs bedrooms
Clean and organize garage
Throw a bunch of shit away while I have the chance
Visit Theo in hospital
Drink all the good tequila
Ride bike
Race mountain bike
Get painting estimates
Get carpet cleaned
Eat chocolate Boudini thingie
See that movie at the Rio
Get ready for clothing order arrival
Show up at work every now and then

So, how long is this stage race?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The antidote

I'm going to meet this little kitty tomorrow. His name is Norris. All things considered, probably a foster name I wouldn't change.

I know, I know, but he's not a little black kitty...but at least he's cuter than a gigantic pair of bull balls.

Great Balls of Fire


I was going to keep this performance enhancer to myself, sometimes when pop tarts aren't can rub these for a little testostorone effect, you know helps you grab the bull by the horns.

A pictoral analysis of my paralysis

Me sprinting when no one else is around:

Me sprinting when it matters

Friday, May 25, 2007

Show me the pink

I am Miss Kitty

I confess.

I have done things which I now regret and which I wouldn't do again. But it was just this one time. And I didn't intend to. And its someone else's fault but I take full responsibility.

Its just that Velo Bella management puts so much pressure on us for the wins. BAR points is all they care about. (Or is it BAT points?) We have families, lives, remodeling projects, margarita nights...but none of that matters.

The only thing that matters is beating Velo Girls in the BAR competition.

I am not going to name names, because this is my confession. I will just call her "Sienna". "Sienna" was the lynchpin of the BAT points operation. She was always there, with her perfectly cut apples and watermelon and hard boiled eggs in their perfect little tupperware. Day after day, no matter how long the stage, she had everything all perfect.

Too perfect.

No one can be that perfect. Not day after day. Eventually, the body breaks down, gives up, wants to sleep in, walk around the house with bedhead and wear fuzzy slippers. But not "Sienna". As the race grew on, she grew stronger. She even made cheese tortellini for crying out loud.

It was too much. I cracked under the pressure.

So, on the last stage I did not have oatmeal, or a bagel, like the rest of the team.

I had a...


Pop Tart


A ...this is very hard for me.....

....frosted strawberry pop tart.

But I did not toast it, and even though there are two to a package, I limited myself to one. And I didn't eat the dry corners. Oh, but the frosted part in the middle was so very good. And it gave me the wings I needed to win the stage and clinch the overall for the team.

And for one day, I finally got the glory. what price?

My handmade Liebold award with the little trees and the teeny padlock glued to the wood is in a box at home, you can come and collect it. What matters to me are my memories.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Just came across the wires

a better version

Monday, May 21, 2007

I think I just threw up a little

I got a sunburn on my new road rash skin


My level of fitness is directly proportional to the ridiculous overgrowth and weeds in our yard


My KONA road bike rocks the downhills. Be careful my ass, I did all this work to get up here, I am enjoying the carpet ride down. Yee fuckin haw.


After all the fun, excitement, drama, suffering that was Kern, we spent an anticlimactic afternoon packing up camp. I bent over to pick up some stuff, and suddenly found myself puking in the bushes. Cantaloupe and Heineken (maybe or maybe not in that order) Ah, so this is how it ends.


A long time ago (pre bella even), when Laura and I were beginner racers types, we dreamed of going to Kern. One year, we decided to go for it, to train for it. It was soooo intimidating....3 days of racing, 4 stages. How could we ever complete such a thing? So, we trained and trained. We met at night in East Garrison, and did intervals, and got hypothermic and scared by mountain lions. But we trained and pushed each other because we had to get tough if we were going to do a race like Kern.

And I don't remember exactly what happened, but it was probably life getting in the way like it does. And we didnt get to do Kern that year.

And life got so complicated. Work, bella, illness, injuries, houses, family....stuff. So complicated that suddenly we found ourselves unable to race at all.

And finally, six years later, and some changes, we both finally...FINALLY made it to Kern together.

It is no wonder that this year's Kern was magical.

It was a long time coming.



As quiet as I have been about winning the last stage, I am thrilled deep down inside where no one can see. In over 6 years of racing, I can count my road race wins on my one broken hand. I know that in the gigantic perspective of life, its such a silly thing...what with wars and poverty and illness....whats a damn bike race of old ladies in the middle of the cadillac desert? but still, its a small moment of satisfaction that I am selfishly grateful for. Thanks guys for this little memory trinket.


Kern race report is here
the race report is long and ho hum, but the replies are golden and well worth a click over there.


In slow, out fast.
Just like sex.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gone Racin'

See you in Kern

Relationship Test

So the Bella Buzz on the Boards is filled with Kern Stage racey talk. It's all top secret stuff so I can't share it. I have a very clearly defined mission, the message self destructed when I downloaded it which means I will rely on my trusty ol frijole. (frijole is what we call our brain in spanish which means bean) We have some key points to remember. (lots of pressure cuz I am the one on the team that can't find her keys...ever.) Anyway, should be fun! Its my first at Kern, third at stage racing if you count the Stick (Madera) two times 5 years apart.

I bought a new(used) Kona tt bike, so the novelty rule is in know how excited you were/are with a new romance. I have all sorts of fantasies worked up in this bike, its perfect for me right now, fits me, we get along...makes me laugh (busted my chops at Madera, but that is a whole 'nother blog), likes going fast. We are having a honeymoon period so to speak.

So, I stepped up our relationship, introduced my bike to my work buddies...Its bike week, so I thought it appropriate. Its never too early to learn about bikes. This week my world's collided, I usually compartamentalize my work life from my play life. I think as you age, that becomes less and less important. This week we read about bikes, wrote stories, studied the history about bikes, I even taught them how to draw bikes, had my racer husband come and visit with his track bike and road bike. The children have been captivated. What I didn't do was follow the state Reading First curriculum...something I won't be allowed to do in the future, thanks to No Bubble Left Behind Act of Bushy. Our school will most likely follow the path of the many poor schools in our district...yuk. Somewhere when no one was looking the thinking was stolen from the curriculum. They use words like fidelity and integrity when they mean we must teach only those materials offered by the state adopted publisher, because...those companies are selling off our schools (society) and dictating which books we can use to teach. And our Education Department sees nothing wrong with that because they are tied to funding. I took today off when the Reading First Coordinator is looking at our site...bad planning I suppose, racing Kern instead. The emperor wears no clothes and no one tells him. You think this discussion is for another site? there I've done it, collided both worlds.

My new Kona love will undergo another relationship test this weekend...the long overnight weekend stay in Bakingfields. I'll keep you posted if we still remain together. I am going with my warrior friend Sue and Miss M. If Warrior Sue doesn't inspire you to puke level, no one will.

I better get back to focusing on my mission now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fickle Fackle

I have been sooo unbelievably tired since Sunday.

Like, get the hell out of my way and let me sleep, tired.

I'm finally feeling halfway human today.


How come, whenever Michael suggests I do really crazy hard intervals, I want to go for a lolly gag ride? And when he suggests that I have an easy spin day or the day off, I want to crush it and do pukervals?

BY the way, "suggests" is how we roll. Its not easy, this lover as coach thing. Especially with two opinonated, independent, know it alls. We had some kinks in the beginning. I was so worried about letting him down that I didn't feel I could be honest. He needed to learn that in spite of my hard German exterior, I'm pretty mushy inside.

So, now, he suggests, and I try, and we always make certain we are honest with each other and in touch with perspective...after all, its just silly bike racing.

And funny thing, I haven't been this motivated, or this fit, in a long time.


I keep popping over to Cyclingnews to see if I can muster up some care about the Giro.

I'll let you know if I do. The only thing that concerns me right now is Simoni's goofy helmet straps.

And this Court TV stuff with the Landis case is a weird one. USADA has Greg Lemond as a witness. Why? That just seems so hokey.

Not as hokey, of course, as the interpreter who broke down under stress. At first I thought it was because the terminology in this case must be very specific. But then I read where the interpeter interpreted "day" as "hour".



I hate when I am stupid. Just hate it.


Speaking of interpreters....I am having a hard time getting these kitty rescue places to email me back. I've been sending off quick concise business-y emails about our search for a little black kitty. And usually get little to no response.

So, today, I wrote an email in kitty rescue people language. I used the phrase "forever home" and went on and on about our spoiled little kitty at home, and I used lots of cute little emoticons and smilies.


And I got a warm welcoming response within 5 minutes.


I loved the Rwandan team kit! I wonder if those boys even know how flair they are?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thank you!

I just wanted to thank the Bellas and Fellas that came and supported my husband's team VOS and their first ever crit in Downtown Salinas. A special thanks to those of you that volunteered, participated and supported the local businesses. We inconvenienced many businesses and hopefully they will see the long term benefits of showcasing our charming downtown area. So again thanks for coming, and making this event viable to the local community by patronizing their businesses. Supermom Eleice and her daughter both had a first time experience racing a crit. Her little girl is sooooo adorable (she is the far one with the winning pose). This is why we work so so hard at these events. By the way the team donated a portion of the proceeds to the local Kinship Center and a portion to the Steinbeck Center. I love that about us!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I am Zapatero

I just realized that the Giro starts this weekend.

I used to get all excited about the Giro.

Now I am having a hard time caring. Maybe I will get into it once it starts. I think I'm gonna cheer for Simoni just because I dig his shoes. And he wanted to kiss me at Interbike. And he has the world's best doping explanation with the aunt and the cocaine candy thing.

Confessing is all the rage now. And the headlines for their confessions are always the admission of the code name. Basso is Birillo, Scarponi is Zapatero. I want a blood bag name. It will be like Laura's coffee name, except it has to be ridiculously obvious.

I thought they were doing pet's names...but is Zapatero really Scarponi's dog's name? And I'm still not clear on whether Basso's mastiff is named Birillo or Terello. I hope his confession cleared this up. Lying about doping is one thing, but lying about your dog's name?

They should just keep changing their pet's name, like we do.

Basso's mastiff is going to be more famous than Hamilton's retriever.

And can we talk about Basso's lawyer, Massimo, for a minute. If any american lawyer walked in wearing that suit, his client would be hosed. Nothing screams dishonest more than pimp daddy pinstripes. But da yam, that is some fine tailoring.

So all of the Giro riders were tested. Except for those pulled from the roster at the last minute for critical reasons. Like not having the right clothes, or a cold. For real. It was announced that Belli would not be attending because he could not be fitted to the team's gear in time. Huh? They just figured this out? And Serguei Gonchar will be out because of a cold. A cold. I don't even skip a training ride because of a cold.

Earlier today, a coworker told me about someone who was fired, but kept trying to show up to work anyway, and would sit at her desk and work until someone made her leave.

So, I was thinking, what if one of the expelled riders did that? What would happen?

Rumor is that Zulle did this at the 98 Tour after the whole Festina thing went down. The story is that he would get up early and ride all of the stages beforehand. The media made a game of "Alex Spotting" and the organizers got all bent and had to ask Zulle to please go home.

Thats funny.


Here's some camphone pics just because I am out of kitty pics:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Kitty in a box

Because when you only have 3 minutes to post, you reach for a kitty pic.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Reaching New Heights of Buffoonery

I keep finding new and clever ways of crashing myself.

I wonder what I looked like, with one hand caught between my rear wheel and frame, index finger getting tire smooshed, foot trying to unclip...before coming to an abrupt stop and plunking over in the middle of the road.

...just as the Specialized ride, and my ex, some teenagers in a pickup, and our in house legal council, were headed in the other direction.

Sometimes rides that are meant to clear your head don't work out as planned.

Monday, May 07, 2007

CPA's look at the weekend

There are some books around here that need balancin...

Restful Weekend at Home:

60 miles of dirt
8,000 feet of climbing
7 hours in the saddle
4 Margaritas

Cat's Hill making the "economic" decision to exclude Cat 4 women to add 45+ 2/3/4 Men:

Cat 1/2/3 Women 27
45+ 2/3/4 Men 41
Total 68

Cat 1/2/3 Women 34
Cat 3/4 Women 37
Total 71

WADA Rules o the game:

Ivan Basso's likely suspension after admitting his guilt and perhaps giving information that could help in the arrest of others:
2 years

Jan Ullrich's likely suspension (if found guilty) after not admitting anything and denying everything:
2 years

Friday, May 04, 2007

Today's junk mail

This came in my mail today.


As if Sharper Image didn't already jump the shark.

This is sillier than those turkeys. Like, you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried. Yes, I would like to buy one of those ionic purifiers and a Donald Trump ribeye please.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Yesterday Night

I got out of work late last night, and almost didn't ride. Luckily this little park is about 5 minutes from my work...and in the glow of the low evening sun, was magical.

Except when I started to spook myself thinking about how mountain lions like to hunt in that glow...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Meanwhile back at the lazy e ranch

I'm lazy

but I'm not this knd of lazy

dead turkeys and chocolate chips

I saw a turkey get hit on the way to work today. He ran/flew right into the path of a truck. Feathers were everywhere and the little buggar wasn't quite dead. As I passed the scene, I made certain to avert my eyes so I wouldn't have that image burned in my head all day.

Then, as I rolled into town, the cop that was at the red light opposite me suddenly flicked on his lights and took off. He hit the uturn so hard so that he fishtailed radically to one side, then he overcorrected. He swerved several times and the last time I swear I saw wheels leave the ground. He finally corrected and sped away. I hope it was worth it.

And now, I am sitting here working away, but trying to find that window to ride in. Each time I make up my mind to go out, it starts to dump.

I am super excited to race right now. Its only May and I've raced 9 crits, 6 road races, 2 mountain bike races and 1 stage race. And I am hungry for more.

Its 5:00 now and there's finally the break in the weather I've been waiting for. Except now I don't know if I have the energy and motivation to pull off the sprintervals. I should head to Fremont for that pukefest workout Flandria goes to. But I won't.

I found a new way to stink up the workplace with the microwave. Allie came by to pick up some Fox downhill gear (yay to my work for sponsoring our amazing donwhill team!!) and brought some chocolate chip cookies as a thank you. They were the crunchy kind of choco chip cookies and I was in the mood for soft melty choco chip. I thought, that if I put them in the microwave for a few, that they would get all melty and yummy.

30 seconds of zapping turned them into a charred stinky mess.

I should go now.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

plagarizing myself

Does it count if I posted this somewhere else first?

This is stage 2. Stage 1 is here


After the crit in the morning, we only had a few hours before the start of the second Madera stage, a 10 mile flat time trial.

A time trial.

I don't like time trials. I just don't have that kind of discpline. To go as hard as you can when there are no other competitors or terrain changes to challenge you. I am, by nature, lazy and easily bored and there is no room for either in a TT.

The only thing I could dislike more than a time trial is a time trial in the scorching heat.

Of course, Madera set a 16 year record with temps in the upper 90s that afternoon. 98ish I think.

My goal for the TT was to just get the damn thing over with. But Michael "suggested" that I go at it as hard as I could because its a stage race and you just never know.


I decided I would try and go as hard as I could because Michael is cute, and it seemed like good heat training for Kern.

Thanks to Michael, I had some clip on bars for this TT. I practiced on them by rolling around on the road after the crit. Michael kept asking me if they fit. I dunno. If feeling like you are squatting on the john while reading the newpaper is how you're supposed to feel, then yeah, they fit just fine.

We set up a tent in the Almond orchard at the scenic TT site and Kim let me borrow her trainer. I broke a sweat just trying to set the damn thing up. I decided to roll over to the start line to get the official time (I am so pro). I noticed it was far cooler warming up on the road than the trainer, so I did that instead. WIth the heat, and the race of the morning, and my tendency towards the lazy, I decided a long trainer warm up was not necessary.

As my start time drew near, I stuffed ice in my bra and bottle and headed out.

I was 4th in the line up and really anxious to get started. I forgot that someone was holding the bike so I had one foot down at my start (I guess Im not pro after all)


GO! wait clip in, GO!.....wait hit start button on Garmin...then GO!

With heart rate as my guide (I am not pro enough to do the watt thingie) I followed Michael's (both Hernando and Hutchy) advice and got up to speed steadily. He did not want me to hit it until the 1st turn. I also knew that the heat would mean a higher heart rate than normal so I would aim for that. But its a dangerous balance because although the heat elevates heart rate as compared to the same effort in regular temps, your max is still your max and you can blow big time playing with that in the heat. Many a mushroom cloud over my head in mtb racing has taught me that lesson.

I also have the ability to run a long time just below my max, so thats what I intended to try out. Plus, looking at the hr monitor would sort of distract me from the monotony.

The first leg was a steady ramp up to the mid 180s (my max is about 195). The first turn took forEVER and I was wondering if I was making a mistake by not trying to go hard, sooner. I was almost relieved to see the first turn finally.

I brought my hr up to the high 180s on the second stretch. I also passed Linda (who of course shouted encouragement at me while I grunted) and a Left Coast gal. I was feeling pretty good here.

I made the turn onto the 3rd stretch, noticed I had about 10 mintes of riding left and decided to notch it up even higher. I did this whole stretch just a few beats below my max and held a steady 190.

But now I was starting to feel the heat, the work I did in the crit and the awkward position I had on the bike. My hr stayed the same, but my speed was dropping. My head was hot, my feet were hot, my eyeballs were hot. My muscles, which weren't used to powering the bike this way started to yell. I took a deep breath and decided to push through the pain. My forearms, which weren't used to being all bunched up together in prayer like position, started to burn and tremble. Deep breath, push through the pain. My hoohaw, which was having the life smooshed out of it from my funky perch on the saddle, said enough. Take a deep breath....and nope. Not pushing though this pain. That is my breaking point.

I raised up off the saddle and adjusted and readjusted and pulled on my chamois and seconds lost be damned, this was my hoohaw we were talking about here.

In the distance I spotted railroad arm blocking things (or whatever those are called) and I was gaining on the last rider who started in front of me. She had on a bear jersey and lots of aero thingies. Seeing this, lifted my spirits enough to take me to the last corner.

Michael (hutchy) told me I could rail the last corner, and so I did, but the tailwind he talked about, was not there. And the finish line tent was just a wee speck in the dusty distance. Goddamn that last stretch was forever away.

I couldn't sprint the last few meters, I only rolled a little faster. Gasping, sputtering, whimpering, salt evaporating....hardly human, I finally crossed the line. Glad to have that over with. But with the satisfaction of knowing that I truly did give that damn thing everything I had.

And when that happens, no matter what the results say, there is content satisfaction.

I have to say, throwing everything I had out there taught me nothing but HUGE respect for those who excel in this discipline. The woman who won our category went 2 and half minutes faster. And Jane Despot went a few minutes faster than that. That is just remarkable. And I now have an appreciation for the work it takes to do that.

Although we didn't know our results until after the road race (master 35+ results were all mucked up) it turns out I was 6th out of 16. Far better than the last place I expected to get. But, like, not enough for me to consider training for this stuff or anything. Soni was 5th, Laura missed her start and lots of other stuff, but she is damn tenacious and tore it up anyway, and Linda went hard, but also held a little something back so she could make some magic happen in the next day's road race.

We knew we were up against some TT specialists at Madera, so I think all of us were happy with our results and to have made it through the experience. Our goal at Madera was training, fun, and to do our damndest to take hold of the race when we could. And with that in mind, we rested up bella like (beer, margaritas, bibnapkins, giggles, and giant meatballs) for stage 3.