Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cannonball Century

The intrepid trio headed to Hartwood for one of our favorite centuries, The Cannonball. I think we've done all of the ones in the last 5 or so years except for the year they didnt have it as there was no race director. This is a really well run event. New for this year, no mass start, which I loved. Starting at the same time with everyone just seems to bring out the squirrely behavior that sets my nerves on edge.

The day started early with me rolling out of bed at 5 to say good bye to my Dad who would be heading back to Misery, um, Missouri. Then Cliff and I piled into his van to meet Julie who had reserved us a parking space in a premo spot. After changing,two people were waiving wildly at us, and neither of us could figure out who it was... then the man flashed us and we suddenly recognized the Scheels. Funny, they were the second bunch of Fat Froggers that I ran into this weekend as I ran into Genie in the bathroom at the Potomac Mills rest stop on Saturday. You just cant get away from that team, they're everywhere!

It was cold starting, about 45 and people went out waaay overdressed. I finally got some arm warmers, but they were off by mile 30. I felt bad for all the people in tights and jackets. Well... not that bad.

I felt worse for all the people who still "race" centuries. The route was great, the roads were not. This year it was pot hole city. Everywhere we went, the guys who had Zipp or other race wheels were using the sag trucks. A guy who latched onto us ended up with 4 flats. 4. That has to be a record. I swear, you really cant go fast if you are constantly changing tires. Ride fast, we do. We just do it on winter wheels and tires.

That guy who was with us was great. Nice, well mannered, and a strong puller. Being a tall guy, we really loved him when he went to the front as it was just like being behind a semi. The constant flats though, they had to go.

What was really funny was that after we got the last flat fixed, we were passed by two guys. We were about 12 miles or so from the end where everyone who was moving was working together. So, Cliff got behind them, and then they swerved to the left side of the road. Ok, fine, we get the picture, you dont want us with you! So Julie went to the front and put the hammer down. So what do the two guys do? Yep, latch onto the train! They sat on the back except for on the hills where they would swarm up, breaking up the pace line, and then would die before the top of the hill and latch back onto the back. They never worked. In the final mile they started to go to the front where our semi was pulling and I was behind him, Julie shut that down and the second of the two told the first to stop, that they couldn't win since they hadn't done any work. Rats. I was ready for them!

In the end it was about 3200' of climbing. I cant remember the number from my Garmin, or the time, or the average. Except for flat time, it was fast, but fun. Getting to see Susan and George over and over during the day was a blast, and I wish all the Froggies a great time with their "Biggest Looser" contest. I'm jealous as it sounds pretty competitive and I have a few to loose!

Monday, September 24, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things

Castelli Kiss Shorts- Wow. I just bought two pair, and not only do they fit like a glove and don't bind anywhere, but they also come in cool colors like red and royal blue. Nice.

Badger Balm- even your Princess Butt deserves a little TLC.

The New '08 Ultegra. Face it, I have small hands. Reaching shifters is a pain. The adjustable reach shifters were a good idea, but in reality, anything that is designed to shift both a double and triple is just not going to do either well. I have two bikes with the adjustable shifters and I hate them. The '08 stuff is not only lighter, but is designed to have a smaller reach over all. Thanks Shimano, you got this right.

Champion sunglasses at Target. They cost 15-20 bucks, do a good job, look good and when I loose them, I dont cry.

Terry Butterfly saddles- I've tried just about every saddle out there, and this is the absolute go-to for me. (for most women in fact.) Fizik might be the go to for guys, but I thought they were torture devices.

Ken Burns- Nobody does documentaries like this guy, and the new one on WWII last night had me in tears.

Tami Hoag, Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Diana Gabaldon- my favorite authors. (I read a lot)

Netflix- who has time to go to the movies, heck, who has time to watch movies? I can get a movie, like The Hard Road, and watch it over a week and then send it back without penalty.

Spanish Cava- Yum. After a century, with peaches, its just the best.

New bikes and old bikes- I love my new LaPierre.I certainly wouldnt have thought that I'd be comfortable on a scandium bike on a century, but I was. My Merlin Extralight has been my go to bike for years and is always there for me.

Specialized Shooz- they are comfortable, stiff and 1/2 the cost of Sidis.

Infinite- what a great company! For just about the same price as Accelerade(yuck), you can design your own sports drink, down to calories, sodium, caffine, protein, flavor and how strong the flavor. And the company stores your "design" for later use, and if you dont like your design, they'll redo it free.

Now I'm off to get paint for the doors, not a favorite thing, and then to take Cliff's bike to the doctors. Have a great day!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Amish 100

I'll start off the bat by saying that we tend to not like riding with people we don't know on centuries. Not because we're not friendly, but because as people get tired, their bad habits magnify. If I know you, I know what you'll probably do in a situation and can be prepared. If I don't know you, I don't know what your skill level is, and it's amazing how that can cause crashes and stuff. Hitting the pavement in my book is just all bad.

Ok, so the three musketeers (Snottie, Spittie, and Fartie... we used to have a fourth, but he turned into Workie) amassed for the start, later than the rest of the packs, but we had dinner reservations at 5 and didnt want to have to hang around for hours afterwards. Leonardtown is a beautiful little town that has been invaded by DC. Now its a beautiful little town, with tons of traffic. I know Leonardtown from my running days when I used to do a metric marathon there in prep for fall 'thons. It's just flat ass hilly.

So we started out on wet roads and humidity in the 90%s. First thing J asked was did I have my inhaler. Nope. But I did have extra glasses for her as she always forgets something. Things were pretty uneventful, we went uuuupppp and dooooowwwwn, and uuuuppp and doooowwwn, and sometimes up and down. It was beautiful. Traffic was baaad. Wide shoulders for the Amish carriages were great.

To make matters really funny, there was a huge, I mean HUGE motorcross race on the route. Nascar has nothing on this crowd. Well, we had to traverse on the same road that the people getting to the race did. But... we had that wide shoulder. So, Cliff went up ahead(J and I figured he was giving them all the finger as he went by), and J and I rode together. I never knew long hills could be so much fun. Lets just say that the favorite cold beverages were already being inbibed, and maybe a wee bit of the alternative cigarettes. Guys were hanging out vans, whooping and hollering at us. We were dying of laughter. This went on for MILES. Finally we had to make a left turn, and the cars were great about letting us in to go. That was a top ten in my week.

At mile 50 or so we got a passenger. The not nice kind. The kind that doesn't ask if he can join you, but does and then proceeds to wheel suck.Cliff dropped back and J and I took turns at the front doing 22, 23, 24 mph pulls. Unfortunately we couldn't drop him. Got to the stop, and it was clear that he was now "ours."

When we pulled out, J dropped back to talk to the dude. The net result was that she told him that he could stay with us, but we don't have passengers, he was going to have to work. At mile 70 or so, I noticed that he was in the small ring, cross chained to the hardest gear in the back and kept trying to shift to find more gears. Not a good sign...

At mile 89 rest stop we wanted to get in and out real quick. The stop was in a neighborhood on a chip seal road.Mounds of gravel at the entrance. I notice these things. Coming out, I stopped at the stop sign. Cliff stopped at the stop sign. J stopped at the stop sign and I looked back and I knew that dufus was going to crash. Yep, right into Cliff. Even landed on Cliff to soften the fall. Right onto Cliff's bad shoulder. Jammed the rear deraileur into the spokes, and while we got it so Cliff could ride the bike back, he had 2 gears and essentially no rear brake on the way in.

Yeah, and the jerk sucked off us, and then disappeared. Cliff is probably going to need a new derailueur, and I think his rim is bent. Nice.

But we made it with bonus miles to spare. Then got cleaned up and J treated us with some of her running "earnings" to dinner at Cafe des Artists in town. Nice place, good food, great wine list and all very reasonable. Not a bad way to end an eventful day!

Off to go ride, Ashland here I come!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Too Funny

Ok, so Jenn see's the blog this morning and emails me this photo from the Tour of Georgia. Thats Jenn and Floyd having a "moment". Now look a the tshirt on the guy in the middle. You just cant make this stuff up. Really.

Deep Sigh

Ok, so the Floyd decision came out yesterday. I don't know why its bothering me, it is exactly the decision that I thought they'd come to. After all its like a billion to 0 that you win in arbitration, now isn't it. Not that I think Floyd is innocent mind you... At some point though, I think that a decent rule of law should prevail. I really would rather have a quilty guy go free than have "the man" get to violate their own rules.

Really. I mean it. Crooks go free all the time. And when the evidence is mishandled, and the cops screw up, they should. Trust me, the crap really does sink to the bottom, and if we miss you this time, we'll catch you later. Or your associates will do you in. Same thing.

I do find it amusing that the people who make money off cycling are rarely the cyclists. Its the UCI officials, the race promoters, the team directors, the doctors and the like. Most pro cyclists are poor schleps from some impoverished back ground who will leave cycling as poor as they started. Yes, there are exceptions, but I bet the number of cyclists who make a million dollars a year is far fewer than the number of people who feed off cycling who make lots of money.

When J and I were at a Nike running camp, oh so many years ago, we got the USTF long distance chair drunk and pinned him about Reginia Jacobs. We had that deep gut bet the farm feeling that she was doping. I mean really, the rule of thumb is that at best you have 10 years to run fast from the time you start working at it. At close to 40, Regina was killing everyone. In bun huggers she was also starting to develop, um, a certain ... yeah, um, male looking appendage. What? Yeah, look. Funny how certain drugs can do funny stuff to the female anatomy. It was one of those, geez, am I seeing that? Dont look, have to look, dont look, have to look kind of things. All Jerry would say, was that she was no longer one of his favorite people.

Reginia of course got busted in the BALCO affair, quit the sport and now sells real estate and brags on her website about her records, national championships, and world medals.

Genevieve Jeanson has now admitted that she started taking EPO from 16 on. Her coach made her do it. This was after she proved that the EPO test that she got nailed by, was invalid, and got her suspension waived in a "you dont sue, we let you go away deal."

So I'm just not sure about anything right now. I am sure that if you are going to ruin someone's life, you better have your own act together. Its not good for the sport, its not ethical, its just plain not right. And if you are one of the schmucks who is cheating, you are stealing. And you suck.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

No, really, BREATHE!

Yesterday, someone's Mom died across from Virginia Center Commons. She was coming out of the shopping center that has Ukrops and Target and the like, and its a supers busy place with all the stuff there. I guess she was in a hurry, and just pulled out right in front of a large truck carrying drain pipe. Honey, trucks cant stop on a dime. Thats not a mistake that she will make again, and the poor truck driver will have to live with the accident on his mind forever. (she had the red light)
So slow down. Breathe. There really is NOWHERE you need to be that you should risk killing yourself or others to get to.
Which of course leads me to this morning. I pretty much have to come a little cross country to get to work. I'd ride my bike to work, but its illegal to ride a bike on the Wiley Bridge. River Road in the summer is fine, but after September, the kids at St. Christophers go back to school. Its a private school and there are no buses. I swear those Mom's will just about kill everyone to get their kid to school. That includes other kids. The speed limit there is 45 mph, which is too fast.
This morning, I had a Mom so close to my bumper that I couldnt see her headlights. She was literally trying to PUSH me down the road. I was sure that my bike rack was going to impale her. Breathe honey. Leave earlier. I wasn't going to vault over the cars in front of me, and I doubted that she could have done it, either, Landrover or no.
Maybe its just as well that Dottie cant take me to work. I'm sure that no one out there today would have minded a bit running over us to save a few minutes.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

They say its your birthday

Ok, so it was yesterday...

It's really funny, now that I race bikes, race horses and I now have something in common. No, not speed. It's birthdays! Bike racers and thoroughbreds may have a date of birth, but our ages start January 1 of every year. So I was 42 January 1, and 42 yesterday. Kinda takes the bang out of the second one now doesn't it! Although, no one gave me any stuff on January 1, which was kind of deflating.

Last night was the chick's ride, but with the end of the season, Greg and SanDee slumming in France, and Vendorfest at the office, attendance was way down. Excitement was way up. With just 4 of us, there were feints, attacks, accelerations on hills and a lot of laughter. I cant think of a better way to spend the day. It had better have been good, as I passed up dinner at Flemmings with one of my big law firms. Trust me, the booze was flowing there last night, and since the big partner in that firm also has a wine shop, I know that he was working the wine steward at Flemmings overtime. I may be the only one in this office without a hangover today.

So when you see me next year on January 1, dont forget the presents. I have a much better chance of actually going out and partying on the off season day, than the end of the season in September. And remember, I like wine. The good stuff. I bet Bruce can hook you up with some.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The State of the Art

I think that art work is a very personal thing. It's like porn, you know it when you see it, and what is art to you, may or may not be art to me. The works that speak most to me, tend to be those personal things, that bring me back to a certain place or time. I've been very lucky over the years to have some very talented friends, who have shared their talent with me.
When I lived in Baltimore, Bob Ray had his harem, and I was lucky enough to be in it! I think Bob still has the longest running streak on record, and he made his streak even harder by insisting on running a minimum of 5 miles per day. Bob ran in the rain, the snow, with a broken leg. Bob once delivered a baby on one of his runs! Bob also painted slate and I'm lucky enough to have one of his pieces in my house.
Herb Park was an up and coming wild life artist who had an outstanding Brittany bitch. Lucky for me, he fell in love with one of my top winning dogs, and not only gave me the pick of the litter between the two, he painted DD's portrait which now proudly hangs above the dresser in my bedroom. DD was a group winning show dog, had a hunting title, could snag a flying bird out of the air, and could completely make everyone fall in love with him. Having him die suddenly at age 9 was devistating. Having Herb's portrait be the first thing I see every morning brings my best buddy back to me on a daily basis.
The picture above is Fat Frogs flier, Glenda Craddock with Bobby and a portrait that she did for me. Glenda is the first cyclist artitst that I've met and I'll treasure this piece forever. I dont know how I've gotten so lucky to stumble on such talented people.
The latest piece that I have is an original comic by Jef Mallet. You know him as the creator of "Frazz." If you haven't been reading Frazz, you are missing out on some of the funniest stuff ever done about running, cycling, and tri stuff in general. He also writes the back column for Inside Triathalon, and is huge into community involvement. I got the work from a donation to one of his causes in Michigan, when he was going to do some crazy swim across the lake. (As in the BIG LAKE). Go to to see some of his work, or better yet, go to the book store and get a copy of his books. There is wildly funny stuff there.
I've been on the waiting list for two years to have Adelle Castillo do a portrait of Bobby and Petey, two of my rescue dogs. Petey, aka broken dog, was kicked to pieces and still has tons of pins in his rear holding his legs together. Adelle is a big supporter of BARK, one of the rescue organizations here, and where Petey came from. Part of her support is to make calendars every year with all the proceeds going to BARK. It gives me warm fuzzies to think that Petey can be the subject that brings in money to such a worthy cause.
And speaking of worthy causes... after reading BJ's post yesterday, I went on and started looking at the animal shelters on the peninsula. Now in Richmond, the euthanasia rate for adoptable dogs is 0. Yep, no adoptable dogs here were put down. This is a stellar achievement. Sadly, when I looked at Chesapeake, that is not the case there. They intake almost 6000 pets a year, and put down over half of them. I looked at the dogs in thier care. There are poms, chins, weiner dogs, labs, beagles, shepherds, poodles. There is even a dog that could be Petey's twin. If you are thinking about getting a dog, and are not interested in breeding or showing, call me. I'll help you find the right buddy. Dont rescue a dog to rescue a dog. Rescue a dog to have a friend for life.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Joys of Chipseal Season

Chip seal season usually starts in August and ends about mid- September, and if I'm lucky, my good friends at VDOT put out signs a few days prior to give poor slobs like me a wee bit of warning. Not this time. Wednesday the roads were fine, Thursday and Friday I had to take off as my hip is acting up again, and Saturday was carnage day.
This is actually a photo from last year during what I fondly call the chip seal wars. VDOT either hires Whitehall to do the work, or does it themselves. Whitehall does a great job, VDOT, not so much. This is of course a VDOT stretch of road. The same road that the station chief told me was fine, and didn't have any excess "flow" on. That was the story until I sent the photo to the acting head of VDOT, Tim Kaine, the newspaper, and just about every organization I could find. Before I got home from work, VDOT was sweeping roads. (Funny, thats kind of how I got them to repave Taylors Creek as well.) I now have a kind of a cold war going on with the station managers. They know who I am. I know who they are. They know that I only ask them to fix things that really need fixing, I'm reasonable about it, but know the person at the Times Dispatch who writes the Stuff to Fix column . Its a workable solution.
Unfortunately for the guys on the Contes shop ride, they dont seem to be more than passing familiar with chip seal season. This year, instead of using small gravel like in the photo, VDOT used gravel shards. Yep, just like glass shards. It rained Friday night. So they were wet, glass shards. I'm not exactly sure why all the guys insist on using race wheels, and tubular tires on a group ride, but they do. As you can imagine, the results were bad.
As Goddess of the Universe, I dont need to ride Zipps on a training ride. So I was fine. As soon as racing season is over, out come the heavy, kevlar tires. So as I was going down the hills from Holly Grove I was surprised at how small the group was. A few minutes later I saw group 2. Hmm. Very strange. 6 miles from home, I saw Pascal Fernandez, walking his bike. Yep, Zipp tubular wheels. Now it would have been about a 30 mile walk back to 3sports, so I told him that I'd be back with the truck, and took off for home.
So now Pascal owes me big time. His number is in my cell. I bet I rescue the guys again before this is over. I may end up with all the guys owing me, because you know they aren't going to give up any advantage they might have on that ride. Even if it means walking a very long way home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Princess Butt

You've heard of the movie The Princess Bride, then there is the princess and the pea, and the Princess Diana waive. Well, nothing as glamorous as that, I have what J calls, a "princess butt." Yes, its kind of like the princess and the pea, where my royal ass just has to have everything its way.

I am not alone in this. My hero, Oscar (Freire to you peasants) has an even bigger princess butt than me. Now I've had to have one saddle sore cut out, Oscar seems to have a standing appointment for the suckers. Darn. If you cant sit on the saddle, its a wee bit hard to win the World Championships, now isn't it. Of course, Oscar has won 3x, and is due up for win #4. Watching that one win, when he bunny hopped the median, and raced up the other side of the road, damn, he's the man.

My latest whinefest started the other day when it was like 99.99% humidity and I was dumb enough to go out in a new pair of shorts, with no chamois cream. All it takes is one little stitch that doesn't lay down perfectly flat, and whammo, I come back in with a 3" scrape that when I got in the tub put me in orbit. Since I ride everyday, that sucker has gotten bigger and bigger to the point that the princess butt is now covered in tegaderm. I'm going to have to buy stock in that stuff, I have a whole medicine cabinet full of it!

So if you see me sitting a wee bit gingerly on my throne, remember, I am a royal pain in the ass!

Newt points?

Long ago and far away J and I created "turtle points" kind of a K and J version of indulgences designed to reward us for saving all the little tackers that we know that God loves so much, that people keep squashing on the road. I use my points to make up for the fact that I cuss way too much. So last night went a long way to get me out of my perpetual deficit!
These little guys are about an inch long, maybe a centimeter wide. Aren't they beautiful! With the measly amount of rain that we got last night, the newts come out onto the "big rock" to warm up, where they meet a bad end. If the cars don't get them, the big rock does. When the asphalt dries, it dries these little guys, leaving newt mummies behind.
So poor Bill had to suffer thru having me stop over and over on the road last night to grab the little guys. They are very sweet, very calm, and probably pretty pissed when I take them off the warm asphalt and put them back in the woods. But, at least they get to live another day.
So if you go out for a ride, after the rain, keep an eye peeled for something that kinda sorta looks like a gold leaf on the road. You too might be able to gain a few turtle points for your efforts!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

oooooh, ahhhhhhh!

Ok, so when I really was despirate, I couldn't find any small frames. Ok, any small frames that I could afford. Give it a few weeks and whammo! Meet Oscar!
Thanks to Chris Hong for selling me his baby, and packing it with so much bubble wrap that my Dad will now not need to buy any for his move out here. Oscar got here in great shape, and I can't wait to get him built up.
Yes, Cliff is going to croak when he sees my new Spanish stud, but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!

Where were you?

I know exactly where I was. I was on the phone with my running buddy, Bob Wong. Yes, it's the same Bob Wong that little Bobdog, ratface is named after. Bob and I were doing jock talk, and were tormenting each other about how I was going to kick his ass on an upcoming run, no he was going to kick mine, and so forth.

One of my coworkers came back and told me that I had to get off the phone. NOW! That a plane had hit the World Trade Center. What? Get off the phone. RIGHT NOW! So I hung up on Bob and pulled up CNN. Then I got a tv out of a conference room, and turned it on in the lobby. For hours we all watched the horror and nightmares unfold. It remains the most singular day in my life.

Needless to say, no work was done on 9/11 in my office. When the Pentagon got hit, I wondered how many people I knew up there, and what was next. Then the towers collapsed and cell phone traffic up and down the east coast stopped. My friends at the Fed luckily had Blackberries which somehow still worked, so they could get word out that they were ok.

A few weeks later my friend Therese and I ran the Marine Corp Marathon. Goofy me, made US flag pins, and carried them in a butt pack as I ran. I stopped and gave all the soldiers I saw one, and thanked them for keeping us safe. And trust me, the race was just about the safest place in the world that day. There were sharp shooters everywhere, and everyone was locked and loaded. As I ran by the gaping hole in the Pentagon I had to stop and cry. There were desks hanging out the giant wound in the building and you knew that thats where somoneone's mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter had sat.

To this day I don't know what you take from an experience like this, except to live each day with meaning. All those people got up in the morning to do what we all do every day. Each one of them meant a whole world to someone else. I wish all their loved ones peace and serenity in the loving memory of their lost family members.

Monday, September 10, 2007

What exactly is old?

From today's Velonews live coverage of the Vuelta...

"4:54 PM In case you feel like whining
about your advancing years, here's a news item for you. Jeannie Longo has been named to the French squad for world's. The race in Stuttgart is just a month shy of Longo's 49th birthday. She's one of our heroes."

Damn straight. And if you ever want to read something hysterically funny, there is an old Velobella story on their website about when one of the Bella's hosted Jeannie's team. Jeannie came into her house, and then proceeded to clean, including the bathroom! Jeannie, you are welcome at my house any time. I'll even supply the cleaning materials! (by the way, the Velobella's website is some kind of funny in case you ever have an extra few hours on your hand to go surfing.)

And Bella girls... We want GRASSHOPPER! Dee Dee where are you?

Waiting to exhale

One of the things that I love most about cycling is that while a lot of us like to go fast, there are lots of people who like to go slow. There is room in the world for both styles of riding. While I dont think that I could ride a recumbant, I'm thrilled to death that they are out there for the people who need them. I also think that it would be really cool to do a slow, self-supported ride cross country, as long as self-supported ment staying in hotels.

What I dont like is people that can't relax and see the world for the cool place that it is. Hey, I used to speed like a deamon, but just dont anymore. There really isn't anyplace that I need to get to that I cant wake up 10 minutes earlier to get to at a relaxed pace. Yep, it means that I'm on the road before 5 am to get to the PLT type races, but I arrive without being stressed out.

Which brings me to the small problem that I have with people on Sunday mornings, who are late for church, who try to squash me like a bug when I'm out on my bike. Um, in VA, you have to give me 2' clearance. No, thats not 2' from the drivers window, but from the passenger side MIRROR! Lets look at it from a "What would Jesus do?" point of view. Think the thou shalt not kill means anyone except cyclists when you are LATE for church?

Other than that Sunday's ride was great. There was lifting fog, and the world looked like it was wrapped in fairy dust. At one point, the sun came thru at just the perfect angle, and my dew laden arm hair turned silver in the light. It was magic. The horses were happy, and would snort at me as I rode by, dogs were happy with the cool morning air and several ran nicely beside me with joy.

You know, come to think of it, too bad for the people who are in such a hurry. I'll take my Sunday on the slow side this time of year.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


After my ride last night I flipped on PBS and watched the funniest program of the year. Up in Cooperstown, NY there is a fierce competition to see who can grow the biggest pumpkins. I was laughing so hard that I thought that I'd cry. Of course I had to call Cliff and tell him to turn it on as well.

People would baby their pumpkins, giving them milk baths to increase the chances that they wouldn't get blossom end rot and split. They had surveillance cameras set up to keep the jealous competitors from vandalizing their pumpkins, and they did shot gun patrol to keep the dreaded wood chucks and mice at bay.

Every day the farmers go out and measure the pumpkins. They weigh them, build tents for them, and mist them with all kinds of concoctions. All leading to the big day, to see who has the biggest pumpkin.

So what does this have to do with bike racing? Ok, so those people were seriously weird. Come to think about it though, so are we. While bike weight doesn't mean that much to me, I do know that Dottie weighs 14.5 lbs, and that was certainly a plus when I was writing the check for her. We all know that I'd be much better off sitting on a 16 lb bike and loosing 20 lbs, but easy is better. I have friends who keep pushing to have the lightest bike possible. They weigh the parts when they get them and complain that the manufacturer says the part weighs x when really it weighs Y. They ride on parts that they are too heavy for, and then bitch when the parts break.

I know people (me) who regularly pass up high dollar meals with vendors in order to ride. I know people who have come late to weddings (thier own) because they had a race. Sheesh, I've even snuck out of weddings to go ride.

Yep, I'm glad those weird pumpkin people are out there. I sure wouldn't want anyone to take a hard look at me!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The chicks ride season 3

We're down to the last weeks of the chick's ride, and like the end of racing season, I'm getting bummed. Last night was the first night of the 5 minutes per week rule. Normally the ride starts at 6, and last night, it started at 5:55, next week 5:50, etc... Daylight gets to be a precious thing this time of year.
The funny thing that coincides with the lack of daylight is that everyone's fitness level goes thru the roof this time of year. We had our fastest ride of the season last night, I was told over 18 mph. After the racing season ended, I took off the computer on my bike so I didn't have a clue how fast we were going. When we started the season, we were averaging about 15 mph, so this is a great improvement! I felt it, after 3 hard days of riding this weekend I was looking forward to a rest day, but they weren't going to let me have one!
Next year I'm going to see about teaming up with the Trigirls and expanding the ride. The plan is to have multiple levels on the road so that we can have an "A" ride, "B" ride etc... There are some very talented women in that group, and maybe I can encourage some of them to bite the bullet and try a bike race!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Cruising for Labor Day

When you have little to no vacation time left for the year, 3 day weekends are a God send! For the last, I dont know, 10 years I've tried to save all my vaction time for Mom and from last summer thru this spring all my time, and FMLA time went to taking care of her. So it was a cram fest to try to get stuff done this weekend!
Sunday, Dottie dragged me out the door to tackle my infamous Hadensville Hill Ride. I haven't been able to do this since my surgery, except for once, which took me off the bike for weeks. So it was with a little worry that I headed out. I shouldnt have worried as the Dotmaster slayed the hills one after the other. It's incredible what taking 2 lbs off a bike will do for your hill climbing abilities! Now if I can only take a few (20) lbs off my frame! Hadensville is hill after hill of the long, steep variety on the way to Charlottesville.
Saturday night Cliff and I picked up branches until we were sick of it. The thunderstorm that killed Trixie caused all kinds of trees to fall, and Cliff will certainly have enough fire wood to last several years. I think its going to take several years to get the trails back to snuff! Now if I could just teach the boys how to clean trails. Dallas ought to be able to do that job!
Monday, Cliff decided to do the RABA Labor Day ride, which starts a few miles from my house, so of course we just rode there. Its been a long time since I got to see my friends at RABA, so in the few minutes we had before the start I had a lot of cramming to do! Then we were off, and the attrition started. There were probably 200 at the start, a fast group of about 20 went off the front, and within a few miles we were down to about 12. A few miles later, 10. It didnt take long until that was 8, and after a series of tough hills, about 6. It felt awsome to hang thru the hills, especially after doing Hadensville the day before.
So look out world, next year is going to be my year!