Saturday, March 29, 2008

Over-rated things

At my level there are many things that I think are over rated... The Zipp Sub-9 disc wheel which I'm sure is great, but at $1000+ more than my Renn 575 disc I think I'll take the extra cash and actually buy gas so I can go to races. (maybe train a bit more, too...) When I bought the Orbea (used) I outfitted it with Ultegra vs. Dura Ace. Same reason. The cost- benifit ratio just didn't justify the extra cost. If I'm going to save some weight, I better put the fork down first, and spend money later. Plus, I've seen what happens when people start getting weight crazy on their bikes... (right, Bill?)

One thing that just plain isn't over-rated is breathing. Years ago when I was a pretty competitive local runner a couple friends of mine were training during the worst summer in Virginia for Ozone. 5 pm, every day we were out cranking out the miles in 95 degree plus code orange/red ozone days. By October I had this little man who sat on my chest everyday. Finally I called my PCP and told him that I thought I was dying. Since I'm not much of one for doctors, he called me in immediately.

Since then, all of my buddies who I was running with that summer have come down with sudden onset acute asthma. Most stopped running. Me, I'm on Advair every day, even though I try unsuccessfully every year to get off of it. I have to face it, its just not going to happen.

Like everyone with Asthma, I have triggers. For me, its pollen, and mold. The alergist swears I'm not allergic, that I have reactions to particulate. Like what the hell is the difference?!!! I knew that this year was going to be bad because of how mild the winter was, and as always, I haven't been disappointed. I finally got on the bike this week today. I think I averaged about 13 mph, for 17 miles, and thought I was going to die. I've been holding down the sofa for the better part of the week, and finally got some prednisone to try to get the lung swelling to go down. Pretty much everyone has been happy that the vocal cords also swelled so the voice was the first to go.

I'm really missing the whole easy breathing thing, but as with everything, this too shall pass... or kill me. I'm hoping for the pass part. So if you all see Katie, Sonya and J tommorrow at Jeff Cup, give them some good words. I'll be home, sulking on the sofa.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Greetings from the Spokesdog

Saturday, the nice folks at Contes hosted the Rostello presented by Fiorucci team. The atmosphere was decidedly like Christmas with packages of new kits, helmets, shoes and BIKES everywhere! To say the store was packed would be a definite understatement!

This is a picture of me with Felix's son, Luke. Within minutes I had him adequately trained to give me cookies on demand. He's a bright young man with a serious desire to go fast. Also pictured is Mom's smelly older brother James, Tom Doyle, Jenn Roman and James' hottie daughter, Kristin- last years Omnium winner...

Here is a picture of my whole team. I'm working on training them as well...
And here is a picture of the women's team that I co-direct with Karen. Aren't they a sharp looking bunch of bellisima! Of course, being the Cassanova that I am there was plenty of hugs and kisses to go around. Ah- ladies...

The guys were out in force, too, with braggadoccio all around. Gregg trotted out his flashy new Specialized Tarmac with that devastatingly chic carbon and gold styling. I think he's going to have to ride really fast to be on such a bike! I did get a little worried when Mom grabbed the bike and took off in her best "ride it like you stole it" routine. I was pretty sure that I was going to have to hitch a ride home to the casa! I think Luke may also be getting a fast new ride as I spied Felix trotting back a Specialized junior bike to the back room... Like I said, just like Christmas!

Only one thing could finish off such a day as this... a nice anti-pasta platter (highlighted of course with my favorite Fiorucci Genoa Salami), a nice vino rosa on the Veranda with my ladies on a chase lounge rubbing my belly... ah, to be me...

But not everyone is as lucky as me, and it would be remiss of me not to add that some of the most fabulosa dogs (such as myself) have at one time or another been an unfortunate vagabond. I myself spent a brief period of time during my gypsy years on the street and then enchanted Mom at the Richmond City Animal Shelter. I bet your next spokesdog is anxiously awaiting you there for you, too!

Chow(I hope!)


(aka Bobdog)


Sunday, March 23, 2008


This morning's ride was probably one of the most miserable ones that I've had in I don't know how long... 33 degrees with a head wind (strong) the whole stinkin 24 miles hilly miles to Hadensville. I thought Cliff's fingers were going to fall off. Needless to say, the ride back was a death march. I've pretty much lost my voice now, and somehow lost 4 lbs on the ride. (lets hope they stay lost...)

So now I'm cooking "Stuff" and watching Milan- San Remo. Stuff is my idea of the perfect recipe. Cliff and I debate all the time who came up with it. I'll concede that to him. I think I perfected it, but he disagrees.

What makes "stuff" so good? Probably the fact that you can alter it in a million ways. Don't like onions? Leave them out. Got to much zucchini or squash? Add them. Depending on what I have, is how I make stuff. I like mine thicker for burritos, Cliff makes a kind of soup. It's that variable. Its also a gold mine of fiber, anti-oxidants and all the stuff that keeps you healthy and full of rocket fuel. (yes, it also gives you that...)


2 quart bags of stewed tomatoes and hot peppers (or several cans of Rotelle diced tomatoes and jalapenos.) I grow tomatoes and put up a freezer full a season...

One large onion
several green, red or orange peppers (or cheat like Cliff does and get the Hanover bag of onions and peppers.... I have knife skills and chop quick so...)

Kunzler Black beans (canned, whatever version you like, I like the hot kind with lime juice.)
Kunzler refried vegetarian black beans. (Cliff puts in another can of whole beans, I like mine thicker...)

I bag frozen corn

Box of Mexican Rice if you like it... (I tried brown rice before, not the best result...)

Jar of hot salsa.

Now you can do variations, adding zucchini, Squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, etc...

Cook for about 45 minutes at a simmer. Longer is better as the flavors come together. Cook with the lid off if you want it thick for burritos, with the lid on for soup. If it gets too thick, add a little water.

I usually serve with sun dried tomato tortillas and cheddar cheese... Yum. It feeds an army of cyclists, all of whom will come back for more.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Graphics Artist Gold Mine

I've said it before, I'll say it again, the day we found Jenn was a stellar day for Cycor. Besides being a really sweet person, with gobs of talent, she has the fabulous ability to make me laugh. If that was all she did, it would be enough. That's Jenn at Sunny Hutchins learning how to go round and round with me...

Even though she had a wicked cold this weekend, she still came out to cheer us on at the Dismal Slog. Every time I looked over- there she was with a camera in hand taking snaps.
There is speedy Sonya, in her Team Rostello kit (which of course was designed by Jenn...) If you want a laugh, go to and click on Gallery for a bunch of Jenn's photos from the warm-up for the race. I'm not sure if my favorite is the magic blue booties, or the one of me and Sonya discussing exactly how wonderful Jenn is.

Because I'm a sharing kind of person, I'll let you know that wonderful Jenn is a graphics artist, paying off college expenses. Not only does she do fabulous work, but she is not expensive. If you'd like to update your team kit and make it phat, or redo your website or marketing materials... give Jenn a shout. Her email is on the website.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Dismal Slog

Well thats what Saturday looked like.... I can only hope to God that there are no pictures of the Sufferfest that made up Dismal Slog. Gilbert Craven came up to me after the race and told me that from the amount of white gunk on my face that I must have done all that I could.

I did. Criminy, I've never given birth before (Thank you God) but it must be something like that course. Women give birth all the time, and for some strange reason they forget and do it all over again. Just like Dismal Dash. Every year I swear that I'll never do that race again, and every year I show up just so that I can make myself suffer all over again.

Poor Sonya had to put up with the "thou shalt not be late" Karen stuff. I picked her up at 6:15 am for the drive down and we got to the race course about 8 am. We started at 11 or so. Yeah, but there was no chance that we were going to miss the race because of a car snafu. It has happened before. So if you drive with me, plan on being early to the event.

The sun was shining until we pulled into the parking lot. It came back out at 3 pm. It was ffffffreeeezing on the course. Oh, and it started to drizzle while we were out there. Tie that in with mega winds, and you have the Ultimate in torture. Sonya said that on the way back she decided that she would have rather have a toothpick stuck in her tear duct than continue. I was kind of hoping that a truck would hit me so that I could say that I gave it my all until I got creamed.

It probably didn't help that BJ blew by me on that gorgous new bike of hers. That course is flat and I could see her for a long time pulling away from me. ...

Come next year I'm sure to be out there toeing the line again. But maybe next year I won't be pulling a bus behind me on the way back in!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Major Turtle Points

Most of you know that I'm on a mission: I'm bound and determined to get a bike for a little girl. What you may not know is that so many people have helped me out in a big way. Ben Brown brought me brakes this morning, Dennis Ranier is giving me 9 speed DURA ACE cranks, J is helping with $$. Mario is having a team mate drop off a bike that I'm buying from him at Jeff Cup. I love it when a plan comes to fruition. This is probably the funniest thing I've done in I don't know how long.

For everyone who has offered to help: I especially need a set of 9 speed shifters 105 or better. If you have some, let me know. But... Evelyn at Artemis has this really cool juniors program, and trust me, she could use EVERYTHING you got. (Evelyn is another one of my heroes.)

So where did I pick up the stuff? Why at the coolest little race course, the VB Smackdown at Sleepyhole. And how did Miss Karen do? Why I sucked big time, thank you very much.

Geez, it's been a coon's age since I've seen little Rachel Warner. She's all grown up now, and racing Cat 1 for Juice Plus. Nice of her to bring down fellow leg ripper-offer Amity Elliot. Tie that in with a couple squirrely-girlies on a very narrow course, with a significant wind on the back stetch and you have pop goes the weasel for Ms. Karen.

15 feet. Crap, thats what it was. I get bumped, I loose a wheel, and as soon as there was daylight in the windy backstretch I was a gonner. Pop! Poor Jane tried to work with me, but the speed just toasted her. So then I was on my own, riding my guts out, with no hope of catching back on. Crap.

So I passed lapped riders until about 8 to go and decided to sit up and wait for the pack. No sense in killing tommorrows adventure at Dismal Dash by overcooking today. When the sprint came I just sat up and rolled across.

I am mega proud of my little cat 4 girls. Sonya was 2nd, and Kat made is around clean in her first crit. It does get better Kat, I promise! Not only that, but Kristin was rocking it in the juniors winning the junior women 10-12. I had to run and couldnt get the guys results.

And for those of you suckered in by Biker Bj and her winter blahs... ha ha, she fooled you. BJ looked as amazing as ever. Just not as amazing as Ben's wife, Maria... taking a dip in the 40+ end of the pool.

Its going to be fun tommorrow. Wind, maybe rain... and BJ, Maria and Janet Edgerton. I just cant wait!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wine and Water

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine and to those who don't:

As Ben Franklin said: In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria. In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink 1 liter of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than 1 kilo of Escherichia coli, (E. Coli) - bacteria found in feces. In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop. However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine, beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Remember: Water = Poop, Wine = Health Therefore, it's better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of crap .There is no need to thank me for this valuable information: I'm doing it as a public service.

(this was sent to me this morning with the suggestion that I go imbibe a few...)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Peeing in the Pool

There is always somebody, you know the double chip dipper, the stealth farter or the guy at the party who pees in the pool who ruins the party for everyone. You know they know they shouldn't do it, but what the heck, they do it anyway.

Now this isn't really about urine. Its about sponsors and cycling. You know, those swell people and companies that give us money and products so that we can do what we love to do. I love sponsors. I love our sponsors Rostello/Fiorucci Foods (Italian meats and ham... yum), Ritchey, Advanced Ortho, Endorphin Fitness, Fast Signs, Contes... They are the best. I also love your sponsors. And being a savvy person, I have a tendency to write to them or tell them when I buy something that I bought it because they sponsor YOU!

I buy Colavita Olive Oil. I buy Cooking Light Magazine. And I've told them that I do it because they sponsor kick ass Tina Pic. (and they've all written back to me to thank me, including Tina Pic. ) I'd buy Cheerwine if I could find it in Richmond. And I buy Natures Path bars and cereal.

So when a team mate of mine sent me the following letter from CyclingNews about Richmond Pro Racing, I was stunned. I hope you will be, too...

"Pro" Cycling Teams
After reading today's news I just had to write in to ask.... what's the deal with everyone slapping the "pro" tag on their team name? (See "Richmond gets new pro cycling team") I believe that there are only 17 UCI teams registered in the USA. These teams are not "Pro".
In fact they are by definition, according to both the UCI and USA Cycling web page, amateur teams. I believe these teams are defrauding the public and their sponsors. After reading today's news I felt compelled to visit the team's website. A quick call to the marketing department at the teams main sponsor confirmed my theory... they didn't even realize what "product" they had been sold. They were shocked to here they were not actually sponsoring a "professional team".
I have no doubt that these teams have good riders but adding the letters pro does not make you a professional team. Someone needs to put their foot down on this before we have Cat 5 Pro Team's, Junior Pro Team's, Masters Pro's Teams.
Chris Nelson Richmond, VA, USAFriday, March 7, 2008

This is what I wrote back to CyclingNews:

Wow! Way to go Chris… you took it upon yourself to call the marketing person to tell them how they had been sold a bill of goods. Um, did you perchance give Craig a call first since he lives in Richmond, and can be seen everywhere? Do you know – really know what their deal is? Did you care? Wow, you da man.

As the women’s team manager of another one of the small teams in the Richmond area I can tell you that getting sponsors is hard. Loosing them is easy. Sponsors like it when people tell them nice things. They really hate it when someone calls them to jack them up for being good guys and supporting the sport we claim to love.

But you da man. Funny though, when I tried to look you up on USA cycling you don’t have a license number. So then I browsed the Virginia cycling BAR results, and surprise, didn’t find you there, either. Seems to me that a big man, who knows what a pro team is, would have some kind of results. Right?

Yeah, Richmond Pro Cycling… a really cool bunch of Cat 1,2 guys who do this for a living, but like MOST pro riders in the world, they work second jobs to support themselves. The program is progressive offering both housing and medical. Still not up to your standards? Pro does not mean Discovery Channel. If it did, well there would be what two pro teams in the US?

Thanks Chris for making cycling in my region better.

Karen Hanson
Womens Team Manager
Rostello Presented by Fiorucci

I can't imagine doing something like that that harms the sport as a whole. I think this guy just decided to stick pins in someone. I don't know why. I also think that he went to Team Natures Path's website... you know the AMATEUR team. Richmond Pro Cycling has Natures Path as a sponsor, but they are not Team Natures Path. But what the diff... why would you do your best to try to turn off a sponsor for cycling. A sponsor for anyone?

The way I figure it, any sponsor in this sport helps the sport as a whole. My sponsor, your sponsor. And - the more sponsors there are in a sport, the better and more lucrative the sport will be. The more cycling teams there are, the better the sport will be. And I particularly want Richmond Pro Cycling and Team Natures Path here in my fair city because the more cyclists there are, the more opportunities for cycling there will be. Not to mention that teams put on races, and I'm getting tired of driving to the beach all the time!

So if you haven't hugged a sponsor today. Do it for the sport. There's no telling what kind of jerks are calling them up giving them the negs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2 cyclists killed in CA- SI Article

When I first read about the accident I was stunned. Not that it happened, but by the newspaper articles that came out immediately afterwards. The deputy apparently fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the double yellow lines, but the papers made it sound like the cyclists were at fault. I don't know why I was stunned... isn't that the way most bike accidents are portrayed? Give a hand to SI- really, email them to thank them for publishing this:

Share the road
The latest deaths of cyclists should open drivers' eyes
Posted: Tuesday March 11, 2008 2:57PM; Updated: Tuesday March 11, 2008 5:06PM
Kristy Gough was training for pre-Olympic time-trial races in the final hours of her life.
Courtesy of Garrett Lau

Before it degenerates into a rant, and then a plea, this must first serve as a memorial. I was greeted Monday by this above-the-fold headline in the San Francisco Chronicle: SANTA CLARA DEPUTY SHERIFF VEERS INTO CYCLISTS KILLING 2.
On a bluebird Sunday morning, a rookie Santa Clara County deputy sheriff crossed over a double-yellow line and plowed into a trio of cyclists near Cupertino. Matt Peterson died instantly. Kristianna Gough was airlifted to Stanford University Hospital, where she died several hours later. Christopher Knapp was upgraded from critical to stable condition on Monday.
Peterson, 30, was described by friends as an "adrenaline junkie" who'd done a 24-hour mountain bike race in pouring rain in Whistler, British Columbia, and an Ironman triathlon in Lake Placid, N.Y. Eight days before he died, he won his division of the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic in Merced, Calif. The Chronicle quoted a friend of his recalling, "You couldn't have a leisurely ride with Matt. It turned into what we call a 'hammer fest.' Matt's driving the pace and everyone else is just hanging on."
Gough, 31, was a champion triathlete and super strong rider who'd recently gone over to the road full time, winning all but one of the bike races she had entered. The San Jose Mercury News reported that she aspired to compete in the Olympics, and was training in the last hours of her life, for pre-Olympic time-trial races next weekend in Visalia. The paper also noted that one of her legs was severed in the crash.
Witnesses said the moment of impact was preceded by no screeching of brakes. When it came to rest, the squad car was entirely in the wrong lane. A cyclist who came upon the carnage quoted the disoriented deputy as saying things like, "I must have fallen asleep," and "My life is over." (The deputy was placed on paid leave.)
Sunday's tragedy occurred not far from where another cyclist was run down in 1996. Jeffrey Steinwedel, 46, died in 1996 when he was hit and run over by a double-truck hauling gravel. The driver denied involvement, until investigators found fibers from Steinwedel's clothing and paint from his bike on the truck.
It happened 13 hours before a man driving in San Francisco struck a woman on her bike. She suffered life-threatening injuries, but did not die. The driver fled the scene, but later turned himself in.
It happened the day after friends of Beth Dunn gathered outside a Peet's Coffee & Tea in Ventura to dedicate a bike rack to her. Dunn, a local grocery clerk, was riding her bike last July when she was hit by a truck and killed. The driver fled the scene, but later turned himself in.
It happened two weeks after Martin Palma-Perez was run over and killed by a construction truck at an intersection in Santa Ana, Calif.
It happened 8 1/2 years after my San Anselmo neighbor, Cecy Krone, was crushed against a rock embankment on Nicasio Valley Road by a drunken driver. Krone was killed by Michele Young, a woman with a previous DUI whose blood alcohol level that morning was more than twice the legal limit. (Young, who was driving with her 10-year-old son in the passenger seat, pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter and child endangerment and was sentenced to six years in prison.)
It happened eight years and three months after Kirk Ross, also of San Anselmo, was killed on the same road, struck from behind by a 71-year-old woman who'd fallen asleep at the wheel.
It happened two months after I was grazed by a blue sedan while riding northwest on Broadway Boulevard in Fairfax. I was at the far right edge of the road. The car didn't stop. I overtook it, and was attempting to open the passenger door at approximately 15 mph when a very distraught woman rolled down the window and tearfully explained that she was just coming from visiting her husband in the hospital, and that she "didn't even see me."
I cooled off immediately; I'd been under the impression that she strafed me on purpose. After calming her down, I had a great ride -- around the Nicasio Reservoir, past memorials of Cecy Krone and Kirk Ross.
Later, I thought to myself: I'm rocking electric blue Lycra shorts and an orange jersey, not because I'm color blind, but because I want cars to see me! How could she miss me?
Nearly every cyclist in America has similar stories. We beseech you: Start seeing bicycles.
After reading about the deaths of Gough and Peterson on Monday morning, I headed out Bolinas-Fairfax Road around 2:30 that afternoon. Fifty-five minutes later, near the end of the gorgeous, redwood-intensive climb up to Ridgecrest Road, I had an encounter with a white pickup. (I don't know what it is about guys in pickups.)
Just before he passed me, this man veered way over the centerline -- half the truck was in my lane. He was smiling. I don't know if he did it on purpose or not. After negotiating the switchback, he had to drive below me. I was still shouting at him as he drove away. His female passenger shot me a retaliatory bird out the window. I found a fist-sized rock and dropped it in one of my pockets, just in case he decided to come back.
Having cooled off, I feel compelled to reach out to motorists, and assure them: I know, I know -- if you don't make it to your kid's after-school care center in, like, 10 minutes, you'll be charged extra!
You're right, I probably DON'T know how valuable your time is. I know you've been delayed in the past by inconsiderate cyclists riding two or three abreast, and that you've seen bikers run stop signs, as if they were above the law. So have I. They are in the minority. Together, let's try to convince them to ride more safely.
In the meantime, if you need to pass me, and no vehicle is approaching from the other direction -- if we have the road to ourselves, in other words -- do me a favor. Miss me by more than, say, a foot. I know your car-handling skills (or your pickup-handling skills) are well above average, and that I was never in any danger, but do it for me anyway.
True, this courtesy may result in your left tires touching the little reflectors in the middle of the road. I have some excellent news that may surprise you: it is highly UNLIKELY that the little reflectors will throw your car out of alignment.
If you need to pass me and another car IS coming from the other direction, you can either: A) pass me at precisely that moment, even though it will mean you come dangerously close to me forcing me to hail you with a one-digit salute, or B) touch your brakes, wait for the oncoming car to go by, THEN pass. Yes, this could result in a delay to you of up to three seconds, but think of the excellent karma you'll be creating for yourself.
And an interesting fact you may not have known: Riding bikes on the road is legal in America -- even encouraged!
I live in a part of the country where traffic is expected to increase 250 percent in the next 20 years. We live on a planet whose addiction to fossil fuels has created problems that might be alleviated if people rode their bikes more often.
Bicycles are part of the solution. Start seeing bicycles.


I just finished this book last night. Jeremy Schaap of course works for ESPN and wrote Cinderella Man. If you have a few hours to kill, this is a good one to jump into.

Ok, so what does Jessie Owens, the Hitler Olympics, and track and field have to do with cycling?

Lots. What is really interesting in this book, and track and field history in general, is how big fat cats made lots of money off silly guys willing to turn themselves inside out for the glory of sport and country. I remember when Steve Prefontaine took on the whole AAU about prize money. Steve was living on food stamps in a travel trailer trying not to starve, while the AAU elite traveled first class. Imagine working for years at a full time job (running) without getting paid, then watching someone else living the high life while telling you that you aren't doing enough.

On the boat ride to Germany, the stars of the show traveled in steerage. The US Olympic committee had state rooms. After the Olympics, Jessie and his fellow athletes were expected to pay for the privilege of going to the games by racing all over Europe, where they got no money, and the AAU/Olympic committees racked in the bucks. When Jessie protested after months of the dog and pony show, he was suspended and his track and field career was over.

So what has this got to do with cycling? That whole stupid mess between the ASO and the UCI. Don't you just wish that Fat Cats Prudhomme and McQuaid would just duke it out like men in an alley somewhere? I mean really boys! For once lets take a gander about what all this is supposed to be about. It's not about you, but a bunch of people who want to ride their bikes, really, really fast. All this bickering certainly isn't good for cyclists or cycling. Hincappe couldn't ride Paris Nice because he was afraid of suspension, the riders who are riding don't know if they will be suspended, and last year's Tour champion isn't invited to the show. It's time for Fat Cats to put the interest of cycling first, not their own interests.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cycor does Hilbert

While I was doing a hill ride on Sunday, my team mates were down the way at Camp Hilbert doing another gnarly mountain bike race. I like my mountain bike, but since I rarely get to ride her, Boo Boo lives at Cliffs on the off chance that I'll have time to ride while I'm there. Trust me, it doesn't happen much...

There are some great pictures here: that first one is team mate Brad. I would have stolen the picts but they are protected so you'll have to click on the linky thing.

Kudo's to Sonya Gagnon in her first mountain bike race winning the women's beginner race! You are going to be a rock star! And Tom Richeson smokin' the men's masters race. (Tom comes out and rides his single speed with the girls some times just to keep us honest.) Paula was in third in the Pro/expert race until a stick in the deraileur necessitated a repair where our bud Carol Ensor slipped past her. Steve Hein was 7th in the Clydesdale, and Brad Turner was 6th in the whopper beginner men race.

Everyone looked like they had so much fun that I'm itching to give it a try again at some point. My first, and last mountain bike race was at Lodi Farm, and after crashing there 12 times the fun kind of went out of it! Since I'm a slow learner.... (yeah, right!) Congrats everyone!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Yin and Yang

Saturday I went in to work to make up for all the time I spent Friday getting the MRA of my hip. Working on a Saturday sucks, but at least this day was raining and windy. Except that by 11 am the rain had stopped and the wind hadn't started... So I went home, and when the sun came out I went out to haul mulch around. By noon, it was sunny and dead calm. So despite the high wind warnings I did what any crazy cyclist would do.

Yep, I went in and got the bike. Now the last time I went out despite the weatherman's dire reports I got hooked up in the worst thunderstorms/tornadoes to hit central VA in years, and while hiding under a tree to get away from the trees crashing around me got my bike crunched for my troubles. I'm a slow learner.

So I headed out, got 1.5 miles from the house when the wind started. One second I was on one side of the road, then the next I was teetering on the ditch on the other side. Oh, and then the deluge started. Somehow I made it home, for a grand total of a little less than 4 miles. Yep, and then the sun came out again...

Which was a good thing that I got home at that point as Citi Bank called to let me know that someone in the UK had my credit card number and was apparently starting a band. It's always nice to help out the band you know. Too bad they had to have my credit card to do it with. This is the second time this has happened, last time some turkey in Mexico charged $35,000 on my card.

Sunday I was bound and determined to make up for days off the bike. So J and Cliff came over to ride with me on my hill ride. Since I'm essentially doing one legged drills up hills now I'm sure this was loads of fun for them. Even more fun for me as I'm trying to force that left leg to do some of the work. I swear it would be easier to just get it over with and clip out with that leg!

When I finally got to Hadensville, J and Cliff were at the picnic tables waiting for me. I pulled in, and almost got creamed by a pick up truck that was trying not to hit a parked motorcycle. I bet seeing me 2" from his grill made his hiney pucker... it sure did mine! I mean crap, if I was going to get hit, why not hit me as I was suffering up all those hills? Hitting me as I get to the store and have a chance to go pee is just not fair!

It was close, but there was no paint exchange. The motorcyclist kept yelling at me, "They never see us, man! Never see us! F'ers just blind, man. Just blind!" You got that right, brother, got that right.

Hope your weekend was exciting as well!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hip Saga Part Deux

So yesterday I go to the hospital to get my hip MRA, which necessitates a day off work. (I came in early anyway.) When I get to MRI registration the lady looks at me and says "They just called about you." Phrases like this are usually followed by something bad, and she was bound and determined not to disapppoint... "You are only scheduled for the Arthrogram, not an MRI."

This was followed by a half hour round and round the bunny field conversation that had me doing my best yoga breathing. Me, "Uh, I have a copy of the order that was faxed to you and it clearly shows that they asked for the arthrogram, and then the MRI." Her, "Thats not what they asked for when they called in." Me, "They didn't call in, they faxed over the order, here it is." Me, "Mam, I appreciate how hard your job is, but I have what they faxed to you, the arthogram means nothing without the MRI, I need that MRI today, who should I talk to so we can clear this up..." Round and round and round and round.

Finally someone else came out, said, "Hey, we'll just reschedule some things and it will all be fine. " I was on my best behaviour. I almost stuck my tongue out at the scheduling woman, but I didn't. I won, I could be gracious in victory.

When I finally got back for the arthrogram, the radiologist came in and tried the talking to me to calm me down thing. I'm usually really good about stuff. I figure the ole bod is just a huge hunk of meat, and getting thru stuff with as little muss and fuss is the way to go. Yep, up until he stabbed me with that big ass needle with no warning. I kicked him in the head. Bam!

I really think that medical people should have to spend a week with a large animal vet. I'm serious. I used to give shots, sew critters up, etc... and there are certain ways that you do things. Giving a shot to a nervous 1400 lb horse? You talk to them. I was also very fond of the tap, tap method of giving shots... As you are talking to them, just tap, tap the place you are going to give a shot in with your index finger. Tap, tap, shot. It takes all the surprise out of the equation and everyone comes out more or less intact. (Unless it was gelding day, and then someone would come out with the ultimate equipment change.)

Needless to say, after kicking the nice radiologist in the head they got two xray techs to hold me down. I probably wouldn't have kicked him again, honest...

So I now have a week to worry about the MRI before the next Ortho appointment. I talked my way into looking at the scans, and in my untrained opinion they look pretty good. I usually look for what is NOT supposed to be there, you know, the irregularities that would suggest bad stuff.

So everyone keep your fingers crossed. No tears, no tears, no tears.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hi Ho Hip MRA we go

Its funny how life some times deals out cards. Last year I had my hip MRA yesterday. The day after my Mom died. This year it's going to be today. You just cant count your chickens around here, some things stay the same, some things change, and for the life of me, you just never know which way its going to go.

January I was doing great, climbing like a fiend, well, ok, maybe not that good. But I was climbing better than I have in years. Then I get thrown into a wall in the bathroom at the Atlanta airport by a big heifer who couldn't control her luggage. Wench didn't even apologize. I blew it off and figured I was just sore. By the time I got off the plane I could barely walk. Rats.

So now two months later the preliminary diagnosis is another hip labral tear. I could just cry.

The hip MRA is a pretty cool thing. They give you a bunch of Novocaine shots, then take a turkey baster sized syringe with a needle the size of an awl, then under the direction of the radiologist fish that thing inside the hip socket. And to make it better, I get to watch it all happen on the monitor! It's one of those really sick things that you just have to watch. The feeling when they squirt all that juice in the socket is just not to be missed...

I'm going to way lay the MRI tech after they get the films and beg him to let me look at them. I'm no radiologist, but even I can look for the what shouldn't be here thing. If I see a jagged edge, I'm f'd. If I don't, I have hope.

So lets hope that hip socket is smooth as a baby's butt. I think my boss's sanity depends on it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Felix's Angels

The new team kits came in last Thursday, just in time for the Sunny Hutchin's race. Felix got all of us ladies together for lunch, and surprised us with the snazzy new duds. Look cool, don't we. The little Munchkin in Pink is our soon to be secret weapon, Kylie. You know, my daughter. (Katie claims her but we all know that she is MINE!)

Felix is the coolest thing. For a guy who hasn't raced a bike in years, he has totally dedicated himself to this team. Thru thick and thin, he's out there beating the bushes to make sure that his "Angels" have the very best stuff he can. So here's to you Felix- from your biggest fans! If you want to see some cool photos from the race, head on out to Here is my favorite, J doing her best Eurotrash model pose... Just bitchin' isn't she...
And for one of those rare photos... Here is a picture of me, all bundled up chasing the break away down and pulling the entire field back. Coulda used a wee bit of help there girls... I was working for J, and the only thing I was interested in was bringing the break back and resting for the prime- snazzy glasses. Of course the prime came about a lap after I pulled the break back, and all I could get was second on the line. Rats.
J and Katie at the start talking strategy. Don't they look grand? Both of them can just flat ass rip your legs off! It's going to be a great season, and we're psyched (or psycho) ready to go!