Friday, June 29, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Lordy...I need to get out more.
Michael and I went to a concert last night. Its the first time we have spent time amongst the non-cycling populace in a long long time. And all I can say is, we need to get out more. If nothing else, so that when we do, its not such a shock.
I was like someone from Coon Rapids that you just plopped into New York City. Practically tripping over my own feet as I looked up at the skyscrapers.
My life has been so insulated, that I kept thinking I saw cycling people I knew in the crowd. Yep, I was certain I saw both Carmen D'Aluisio and Mary Ellen Ash. Of course, it wasn't them, just hallucinations from my stunted brain.
And man, I thought cycling people were weird, but people people are weirder.
I wish I had my camera.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Although this hardly makes up for it...
Damn self involved sport.
And Damn selfish me.
Once in a while I have to kick myself because I really am a terrrible friend.
My friend Jen even stopped calling me for rides. I was actually thinking of that the other day...wondering exactly when it was that she stopped trying. I am so bad, that I didn't even know when, I just knew that sometime along the way, she stopped.
I was outside on my porch last night, enjoying the sunshine and the calm redwood breezes, and a rare uncommitted moment, with my beer and rice cakes (they cancel each other out) when the familiar Cal Trans truck lurched up my driveway.
She pulled up, hopped out the truck, gave a big smile and mosied over (Jen doesn't walk, she moseys)and sat herself right next to me on the swing. I offered her some beer and rice cakes (she only accepted the beer) and we just chatted away as if our riding times had never been interrupted.
Jen is probably one of the best damn mountain bike riders I have ever had the priviledge of riding with. Smooth, effortless,and so subdued you hardly know how fast she's going, until suddenly, with only a tiny wisp of dirt to acknowledge her presence, she's gone.
And although she can ride circles around me, and many other people, I never ever sniff a hint of competitiveness, inpatience, or ego from her. She doesn't care that she is fast, and you are or aren't. She doesn't care that I wear bright shiny flaired out pink girly lycra and she wears muted wools and mismatched socks, she just cares about having fun riding her bike. Are we having fun? yes? Then it must be good. The moment.
And so it was with our conversation. I did not detect a sniff of disappointment or resentment or anything other than how cool it was to be swinging on the front porch in the redwoody sunshine, sipping beers and chatting with a friend. The moment.
And while my honey waited calmly inside, and the sushi got cold (or warm or whatever it is that mediocre take out sushi gets when you leave it on the plate too long)Jen and I swung, sipped and chatted away the deep summer evening.
My friend Kenny returned from Australia. I was so sad when he left...but he's been back for a couple of months now and I still haven't seen or ridden with him.
I might have to pop in for a surprise visit soon.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Tonight's Pre-Race Training Plan:
1. Sneak out of work about 15 min early
2. Hit up some close but fun singletrack
3. Make sure new brake pads are not on backwards
4. Buy some beer
5. Buy some burritos
6. Head over to Hellyer and put feet up
7. Drink beer
8. Eat burritos
9. Place bets with Fahrid on the Miss and Out.
10. Get in some quality quad and calf oogling.
I hope someone is bringing the tunes.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Give up the Funk
To a certain B group rider at the San Jose Twilight crits....please do not wear your jersey without washing it first. Letting it sit in the car all week, crusted up from the last Tuesday Twilight, and then putting it on again, is oh so incredibly wrong.
Its very hard to breathe in that workout (oh, and yeah, its a workout not a real race, but thats another blog) what with the smog and the working hard and all. Each breath of air is deep and precious. When I am maxed out on that hill, the last thing I need is a big gulp of funk.
Now, I am no funk sissy. Being in sports for so long, you get used to men working out smells. I was a gym rat and an intramural hockey player, so I know funk. (Egaads, hockey players are the worst. Gym rats actually aren't bad because most of them are pretty vain, but hockey players make an art out of funknasty)So anyhoo, I can handle a little funk, but last night's funk was soooo bad, I truly had to hold my breath at times, which is not the best way to ride a crit.
But it did get me to thinking about stinky cyclists in general. And I came up with a top ten list of the funkiest cyclists. Some of these are based on my actual knowledge, and some are based on my imagination...
10. Sean Eadie
Who knows thats going on in that big nasty beard
9. Ludo Dierckxsens
He seems like he just eats, sleeps, trains and everything else is just a bother.
8. Team Rwanda
I know, I'm a total bitch for picking on that team what with its altruistic mission and everything Rwanda has been through...but dayamn..them boys are steenky.
7. Roberto Gaggioli
Oh, you just know it.
6. Santiago Botero
Stage racers should not have that much body hair.
5. Alexi Grewal
Just so I can get bonus points for posting this picture
4. The dude in the B group at the San Jose Twilight Crit last night
3. Steve Tilford
Steve acts like he only has two jerseys in his entire wardrobe
2. Anyone racing RAAM solo
1. Jeannie Longo
She may have scrubbed my toilet, but....
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Some Nevada City pics
Nevada City Classic was this weekend. Cutie patootie little historic town that comes out for the race and adds to its charm.
Michael and Dan got away just before the halfway point and came in together to go 1-2. Michael crashed hard here last year, at a time when his form was on fire. The crash was bad enough that he didn't really recover in time for Nationals. I really wanted him to win this year. I don't often tell him when I want him to win. But this time I told him. Michael and Dan are such a deadly force. Its been fun watching them learn how to race with each other to maximize their strengths.
There was some yelling going on in the chase group. Chris looks amused.
Tony! Get out of my way! I am trying to get to the finish line!
Damn...didn't make it in time
Zooming in on what I missed
Sarah, Stella, and Barb start the climb
Shelly launches. She went with about 3/4 of the race left to finish. And held it solo for the win. Super impressive.
Her teammates did not know she was out there (???) and almost brought her back.
Bella clusters. Sarah, Stella and Barb rode together until Sarah dropped her chain. As they rode by, I called them the cyclocross mafia. Then I remembered that Shelly is also a crosser. And so is Sarah Maile. And Rachel Lloyd. You can smell cx in the air at Nevada City.
Michael cheers on Natasha. And all the women actually. His genuine enthusiasm for our sport is so sexy.
I love this picture of Virgina. Clickie on it so you can see her face. It says it all.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Ever since daylight savings ended, I've been telling myself that I am going to get up earlier (so I can go to work earlier, so I can get out of work earlier). And each morning I say "maybe tomorrow". Well, today I woke up earlier...with plenty of time. Time to play with the kitties, time to futz with the clothing order, time to poke around the internet, time to daze out the window....and I was later to work this morning than I have been in a while.
I lost one of my green Danskos today. I don't think its really lost, but I can't find it. I had them on today before I changed for my lunch ride, but when I came back, I could only find one. And I had to rush back in to work, so I didn't have too much time to look. Luckily I keep flip flops in my car, and I work in a place that sells flip flops so no one cares. But its totally bugging me that I could lose a Dansko like that. Like, where could it go?
My poor toaster is an explosion of bikes, gear that I carry around hoping to drop off to team members someday, junk mail, and the random crap of life.
While looking for my Danskos, I saw a puddle of melted chocolate on the floor of the toaster. I have no idea how it got there. But, I wasn't suprised.
Riding in Morgan Hill today was like riding around while blow drying my hair. So when Ann F whispered the location of a secret stash of It's Its...well, lets just say ITs Was.
Last nights little crit practice was tough. So tough that afterwards I had that funky metallic taste in my mouth, kept coughing, and had a mini anxiety attack. There is no way I could push myself that hard by myself, but ask me to chase some boys around? NO problem.
After the crit, Michael and I went in search of food at the nearest strip mall thingie. We were gonna hit up one of those gringo mexican places, but noticed they didn't sell beer. Then we were gonna hit up a chinese restaurant and it didn't look like they sold beer either. We were standing there on the sidewalk freaking out because we were hungry but really wanted beer. And I wondered...are we like total alcoholics that we can't even eat a simple dinner without booze? Should we be worried?
But it turns out the chinese place did sell beer...and after a hard evening's workout and a rare weeknight with my honey, that beer was satisfying and so worth the sidewalk freakout.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Yesterday on my lunch ride, I stormed straight into the wind all mad with guilt. Guilt from driving alllll the way to Sattley and not racing the TT. My lunch ride was gonna be all about penance and I had just the gnarly headwind to scream my act of contrition to.
But racing just wasn't a good option this weekend. Those other time trials were short enough that I could fake them. Who cares that I never ever practice time trial stuff when its only a half hour? Thats like the time Laura talked me into doing a 5K run. I don't run, but it was just 5k and so it didn't really matter. But a 10K would have killed me. And a 40K time trial would have done the same, and it would have done it in the ugliest of ways.
And of course, come Monday morning, I felt all guilty about it.
So I am roaring into the wind, on the flattest, straightest, chipsealiest, headwindiest road in Morgan Hill, making a beeline for the smog of San Jose. I am thinking about how I will tear it up on the way back too, when I spot a cute little fruit stand.
"No time for cute little fruit stands when you are suffering!" said my guilt.
"But fruit is good for you" said me.
And I stopped and bought a bag of pluots. But the pluots didn't fit into my jersey pockets. I needed to eat some. And I did and they were soooo good. I stuffed the rest into my pockets and headed back to work all ready to crank out some more suffering. But those pluots in my back pockets kept bouncing around, and they were so yummy and sweet. And with the tailwind, it was easy to ride, eat, and pitch the pit.
And they were pretty much all gone by the time I got back to work.
So, if 10 years from now, you spot a bunch of pluot trees by the side of Hale Ave, you know why.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Has it really been a week?
Damn, I am so discombobulated.
I think I broke my brain.
Remember that list of all those things I was gonna do? Yeah, well, that didn't happen.
But I did get around to moving us up and out of the basement and so thats nice. It was awesome falling asleep to moonlight and owl hoots and waking up this morning to sunshine and birdy chirps. Although it would be nice if the damn birds didn't start so early.
But this moving thing just cracked all sorts of holes in my "system". My "system" is what keeps me, the epitome of absentmindedness, from completely coming apart at the seams. I always put my keys, glasses, credit cards, and all those other little things in daily life, in the same EXACT location. Because, if I don't, it will be an hour long frantic search party.
So I have the new places for all my stuff, but I am not in tuned with it yet. And, this morning, when I arrived at work, I realized that I did not have any money or credit cards or riding clothes.
And the toaster is on E.
And I live about 35 miles from work.
And its gorgeous outside and I really really wanted to ride today. And I suppose I would like to get home somehow too.
Fortunately, I think I have a plan.
I have a little bit of cash in my saddle bag for just in casies. The only bummer will be that I actually have to go inside the gas station to ask to buy $5 worth of gas with a crumpled up old bill.
And I am picking up some bike clothes for Michael today from work for a photo shoot thingie he's doing this weekend and I can wear those on my ride. The only bummer there is that they are baggies. I look ridiculous in baggies. And they might be too small. I suppose tight baggies is even more ridiculous.
I hope I have my bike.