Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Spin Mafia Ride

Today was it, the day that the girls affectionately known as "Ham on Wheels" had to meet up with the Mafia boys to deliver the goods. All good, except for the fact that the air was soupy thick, the heat was rising, and dumb ass me, left my inhaler at home. Sense a wee bit of anxiety here?

I knew things were going to go good when the ride behavior announcement happened. I really don't know why more rides don't do this. And, do it up front. How hard is it to state what the behaviour is on a particular ride? Don't want people riding on the wrong side of the road? Say so! (That Thursday night ride I did sure as hell could have been improved by a few people riding safer, let me tell you!)

Anyways, the Spin Mafia guys and gals were wonderful. Julie got one of those rare flats, and Cliff and I dropped back to help her. We got a little up the road and the phone rang, and Katie told us that she was dropping back. Before we got to her, Mafia John was there to pace us back up to her, and Maria/Gwynne. Riding behind John... words can't express. He is smooth, oh, so smooth. It was like riding on rails. Good on you John, the Rostello girls LOOOOVE you!

Come on now... how many rides would send a trusted lieutenant back to shepherd the newbies on the ride back into the fold? Now I know Powhattan, but I really doubt that I could have remembered how to get back to the start point from where we were!

And thanks Don for the entertaining dog chase! It's not often that we get harassed by such a fierce guardian of his domain. Mighty mite little dog made damn sure that we kept going while his back up looked on from a safer vantage point, on the porch.

All I needed for a perfect day, was a push to get my big butt up that last hill. Criminy, it's just mean to go up, then slow, then turn left, and go up MORE! Protection should come with pushes, you know?

Thanks, ya'll for a wonderful morning. The Rostello girls tip our helmets to you!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Behold The Power of Meat

So last night we go out and do a nice ride thru the wilds of Goochland, Hanover, and Louisa. All good. Ok, maybe the smoke from those fires in NC wasn't good... We had a minor dog chase, some good company, and had some nice fast stretches.

We get back to Camp Runamuck and the guys abandon us. Yeah, left me and J high and dry. So what are two lonely women left on their own going to do? Yep, we went off to the Barrelthief for a nice dinner, and some luscious wine. What is really cool about this place is that it is a full service wine store, complete with 12 special wines a week that you can do tastings of. Just pop in, and drink away... They have a small kitchen that puts out really nice salads, small plates and sandwiches. Best yet, you see a bottle of wine that you like, and you can drink it there- no inflated restaurant wine prices and NO corkage fee.

Yum. You got to try this lovely rose' 2007 C. dePeyrassol Cd Provence Rose'. Light, luscious, just off -sweet. It went perfectly with my mango/shrimp skewers and J's veggie wrap. Being the respectful people we are, we both had a glass out of the bottle and got the rest of the bottle bagged to go.

Have I mentioned that Julie has a serious need for speed? Or that her right foot weighs more than her whole body? There we were, laughing on the phone with Cliff, cruising down Broad St (45 mph) and J looks at me, tells Cliff that she was about to get a ticket, and hands me the phone. Yep, there is J, going 65. So I pick up that wrapped up bottle of wine, put it in the back seat under her bike, and we prepare to get nailed for 20 mph over the speed limit...

And then, the miracle happens. I don't know how the boys did it, but somehow my protection has extended to J. I think it must have been the BUBBLES that she brought to the TT. I know the guys liked that. Or maybe it was that J is helping me bring the payoff on Saturday. Whatever it was, there was J, about to pull over, and all of a sudden the cop pulls over a mini van to our left that was going much slower than she was!

So boys, I don't know how you infiltrated the Henrico police, but I guess that protection is really paying off. J is going to pick up something extra for the ride on Saturday. Knowing her, this could be scary. If we had known that you all could keep her from getting traffic tickets, we'd have brought out the Fiorucci meat MUCH EARLIER!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Da boyz whose names end in vowels

Now that the tt is over, I have to pay my debts... See I was offered protection by the Spin Mafia if I brought them the meat. You know, just a case of the good stuff, could like fall off da truck... So now I have to pay up.

Saturday I'm heading out with J and Katie, and bringing my own version of mapquest with me (Cliff) because I don't know Dogpatch all that well. I figure, they throw me in with da fishes I'm gonna have to have someone come back around and fish me out. Either that, or take care of the dogs for me!

Now Julie tried to bargain with the boyz at the tt... she took a look down and asked them if maybe they shouldn't be bringin' the meat? Big talk for such a little slip of a thing, huh? I think this was maybe after she was plying them with the bubbles, I'm not sure.

Maybe we'll have to bring some more bubbles with us. Bubbles, salami, it all goes good together, and if we have suitable inducement for them maybe they'll let us (me) hang around them the whole ride! Some of us are more hill challenged than others, you know!

So guys, I'm comin out. Saturday 8 am. I'm bringin da meat.

Da Pictures

Graphics Goddess Jenn: Doesn't she look FIERCE! She's trying out the Julie look...
Whip Bitch Julie... Trust me, if you missed your start time, it was your fault with Julie around.
Katie and our future rock star, Kylie. She is really my daughter but we let everyone think she is Katies...
Mark Pye schlepping signs... there are no little jobs and we ended up getting most of the signs back! Good thing, signs are EXPENSIVE!
Bringing home da MEAT! From all the empty wrappers we found, most of the meat didn't make it home!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Fat Lady Sings

Well, it's over. Geez, I'm tired.

Now that I have had a nights sleep, I'm thinking about next year all ready. Sick, aren't I...

Of course, it is the State Time Trial. Except for the turn around crew/officials stopping or slowing Laura Cook, I think things pretty well went off without a hitch. Poor Laura, there was a junior rider missing on course, she was wearing a yellow skin suit, Laura was too, so they thought that tiny little Laura was the junior until it was too late. (and yes, the junior rider was found.)

Me, I was able to turn over registration to River City racing the day of, and they did a rockin' good job. Julie's husband Dave helped Bill and Jenn do awards. Cliff and crew managed the turn around, and everything just kind of happened around me.

Which was good as I really wanted to do a good time. Try that after not sleeping for days.... I gave it my all, and got 2nd. Sharon said that she looked up at me as I went by, I was probably breathing so hard that she could hear me for miles. I was pushing a huge gear, and totally in the moment. I hope I was able to say something other than gak, or something equally unpronounceable. I had everything I had on the line.

Other people were able to say things, and there were all kind of "Go KAREN's" coming from all over the course. How other people can ride, breathe and speak is beyond me. I was not capable of it. Thanks for the encouragement guys. It really helped.

As soon as I got off the bike, Sally Swann gave me water, then a water bottle so that I could go out on the tandem with Neal. God love Neal. He literally got in from the tt course, grabbed a bottle and made a drink and we were on the road. No kidding. Gilbert was screaming for us to get on the line NOW!

So there we were... two very, very tired puppies, who had never ridden together. Neal is a fabulous partner. We started like two pros, and promptly died very shortly there after. I don't know how Bill Collins was able to ride this course last year, twice, and do both efforts under an hour. Heck, Neal and I got passed by the "fresh" tandem team in about 30 seconds. On the way back, instead of enjoying the tail wind we were enjoying serious cramps, butt aches, and fatigue.

Neal was some of the best company that I've ever bonked with. I'd ride with him again, any day. I bet he is a big enough masochist to do it again, too. Neal, you rule the world!

I zipped into the rescue squad( more like waddled) and sat down to start writing checks to get the police off the clock. Five checks, that's what I immediately had to write. It took ten to do it right. I was soooo tired. The poor officer had to watch me fumble thru check after check trying to get it right.

Then James insisted that I had to get up and change as I was drooling all over the table. I thought I was going to have to call for help. I couldn't get the shoes off. James did hold off on telling me that my shirt was on backwards for a little while, though. He also got a wash rag and cleaned me up. Thanks, stinky older brother. Not many people would get near someone who smelled as bad as I did, at least not voluntarily.

There are all kinds of wonderful stories, and great pictures out there. Blogspot wouldn't take photos this morning but we'll get some posted. Until then, go to and get a gander at BJ's.

I wish I could go take a nap. Work calls,

Friday, June 20, 2008

Rain Sunday?

It is really cool when you develop such a good relationship with the police dept that is going to keep the riders safe that they call you to let you know what is going on. Sheriff Bell has alerted me to road hazards, the need for an additional deputy (we have 4 on an out and back course), and that it may rain on Sunday. My big goal is always a safe race. Having an additional deputy is what I need, if I need it. So paying for it is no biggie. Rain happens. We ride in rain.

There is a lot of guff going on about races, cancellations and late fees. Putting on races is hard. No municipality wants us. As someone who used to work for the Virginia Municipal League I can tell you a bunch of reasons why. Buy me a nice Merlot someday and I'll talk your ear off. It doesn't help, either, that our events tend to last all day. Running stuff, except marathons, are over and done with pretty quick. The complaint calls are minimal. And since running races tend to concretely raise money for a charity that makes things go down a bit easier.

So there's one down. Its hard to get permits/permission to hold a race.

So where can you have races? That's becoming obvious... car race tracks. The added benefits are the courses have bathrooms, are contained, and don't require police. Trust me, it costs a whole lot less to put on a race on a race track than on an open road. I pay for the rescue squad, 4 port a potties (that makes 6 bathrooms, as I hate no bathrooms/smelly bathrooms), 4 deputies, plus officials, fees, etc... Its expensive.

I love racing at Langley and Southside Speedway. I don't want to only race at Langley and Southside Speedway. I bet you don't, either.

Wouldn't you like some nice road races in the Virginia district? Yeah? Well they cost a ton of money. Want to loose your shirt? Put on a road race. It's not just the police, moto- refs are hard to come by and the insurance is pretty dear. I can tell you of at least one club that has lost thousands of dollars on a road race.

So what do we do about it. I don't know. But I can tell you as a promoter that it really helps if people enter earlier. As we get later in the season, entries always drop off. It's a really scary thing to be looking the week before a race and see 50 entries, when your expenses will be in the multi-thousand dollar range. Some nights I sweat buckets. As with the NP team time trial last year, you have to have a point in time where you decide if the race will be a go or not. If your entries are that low, and your costs will be that high... you do the math. I realize that everyone has families, etc... try entering an Ironman the day of. Hah! They close a year in advance!

So this year I have no prize money. I have, for the last year, scoured the earth for prizes. And I like to think that I have some really nice, useful ones. The value for prizes in every category will be well above the stated amount. I couldn't risk loosing my shirt on money though. Not because I'm greedy, but because I cant bankrupt the club. Times are tough, sponsors come and go, and if you are going to be a going concern, you had better remember that.

Entry fees for bike races are actually pretty low. Don't think so? Go look at tri prices, or go to the Richmond Sportsbackers and take a gander at home much the running races are. Or how about your local mountain bike race... is it about $40 now? Its probably on a public park, with no police, and minimal costs.

What can we as bike racers do? Support races. Support promoters, and help them out. Sharon from my club is going to try to help Andy Winch get a course at Ft Eustis. She is already got a race in the works for us on Ft Lee. If we dont support each other, and support the races that cost so darn much to put on, those very races will go away. And I bet we look for someone else to blame. If you want races at the end of the year, support them as much as you do the ones in March.

just my two cents...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ouch! Frank goes over

Watch past the finish line shots of cutie Frank Schleck kissing his medal... that is some kind of a nasty fall down the embankment!

Good things

You know you really can get caught up in the nastiness of life if you don't watch out. Directing races is one of the most masochistic things that I do. Every year I swear that I will never do it again. And then... one person says something really nice, and it makes it all better. Thanks Stratton! Stratton told me to listen to everybody and then tell them to go do something that is probably not physically possible. Tom Houff told me to keep the 10.00 as my team was so great. Andy sent me an atta girl... You guys make life good, ya hear?
The next best thing that is happening is my new squeeze, George. George flies in from Denver tomorrow and I'll be rushing off to the airport to sweep him off his little feet. Isn't he just about the most handsome thing you ever saw? George comes from Magic Brittanys- his mom is a multi Best in Show winner, his Dad is a multi- best in show winner. His uncle is Jester, the gorgeous dog that won the sporting group at Westminster 2x in a row. And when the stress of bike racing season is over, George and I will be heading back to the show ring to see what he can do. He won and Award of Merit and Winners at the Brittany Nationals, so I'm expecting that he is going to take the world by storm.

And, not only did UPS deliver my new Zipps yesterday, no one stole them off the porch where they were left! Is life good or what!
Breathe in, breathe out. Wax on, Wax off.
We love you, Maria. All of us are sending powerful vibes your way. Catch one, why don't you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Go Shawn!

For the self-proclaimed best looking guy in the peloton:

Using opinions, scientific methods, darts and voodoo, we've determined that Shawn Deal of the Fiorucci/ Cycor Cycling Club will be wearing the Hefler Performance Coaching Blue Collar Jersey on day 1 of the Kazane Racing Working Man's Classic. To attend these races, according to members of Fiorucci/Cycor, Shawn is cutting his military work, driving from the penisula and putting national security at risk. If evil-doers have Bikereg, Homeland Security may have a say in this jersey. Please pick up the jersey at registration. And remember, with many worthy candidates, the judges are fickle. RIDE HARD. It'll be a great day to race.

Tom Houff, member of Hefler Performance Coaching

Ride hard, Shawn. You have an image to uphold!

Monday, June 16, 2008

More weekend winners

I'm always in awe of the talented mountain bikers on our team. That's Paula who will rip your legs off and smile at you when she hands them back. To make it worse, she can do it on a road bike or a mountain bike. Paula was 1rst Expert Woman at the Urban Assault.
That's Paula flying over a berm. If that had been me, the next shot would have been of me going over, and over and over and over ala Wiley Coyote. That's why I stick to the road pretty much. For me it's just safer!
What an awsome looking bunch! Who says Mtn bikers have to be scruffy?
Tom Richeson showing how to decend thru rocks. Tom usually blows everyone wheels off. This day he broke his chain, FIXED it on the trail and still managed to come in 3rd Expert 40+. I can fix a flat. Usually. Anyone who can do this stuff, on the trail, in the heat of competition is an ace in my book. (Tom has this wicked little giggle thing he does... you just know that there are all kinds of evil thoughts going on in that head of his!)
I think that was Paula's husband Frank. I could be wrong. Frank is another one of those do it all kind of guys. He was 5th Expert 40+.

Way to go guys and gals. Tom Doyle also punched his ticket to Hawaii in the Richmond Xterra Championships winning the 60-64 men's division. Kristin won the junior women 10-14 race at the Farm Bureau Crit, I won the women's keirin- Sharon was 2nd, Sharon won the women's cat 4 race, I was 2nd 40+. I think we had some other nice placements in there as well.

Congratulations ya'll!

Sharon takes the WIN!

Yep, that's Col. Sharon racing in her new team Rostello colors. You've been seeing her all Spring racing for Team Army. And watching her get dropped race after race. What you don't get to see is how hard Sharon works week in and week out. Sharon is always first to me to ask, "Ok, coach, what's the plan? What's my job?"

She is also first to me on every training ride to ask what her goal is on the day. If I tell her job is to attack the pack on every hill... when we get to every hill, there she goes. If I tell her her job is to stay in the front 1/3 of the pack and stay out of trouble, that's where she'd be. I have to tell her exactly how many interval sets to do, because she is always going to try to squeeze one more in.

What happens when you are smart and you work that hard? You win! That's Sharon after crossing the line first at the Farm Bureau crit!
What was even nicer were the comments that she got. My favorite was from team mate Shawn that went something like: "F' THAT! How do you go from lapped to first?" And of course from the '08 cat 4 women's star, Noni, who gave Sharon the biggest hug and expressed what we all feel... that no one has worked harder, and deserved it more.
All this after I badgered her to get on her track bike as we got them to combine the women's keirin with the guys. I think she got two or 3 1/4 mile laps of warm up in before she had to be on the line and almost beat me.
Congratulations Sharon. Noni is right. No one deserves it more!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Christmas in June

Yesterday I was working on the prizes for the State Time Trial next Sunday in Stoney Creek. There are days I get a little overwhelmed. I admit it. Ok, a lot overwhelmed.

At lunchtime I zip down to Fiorucci Foods in Colonial Heights. I had asked Carey for prize bags for the time trial. When I got there, she had 50 bags, beautifully packaged waiting for me. She even had thought out in advance and knew that I needed shelf stable product. Fiorucci is a small, family owned Italian specialty meat company. They know cycling. Thank God for them. They have made my life so much easier. I’ll be working with Carey to bring them out to some cycling events near you for tasting days. Ask for their products at your deli counter. And if you go by Walmart, you can pick up their Rostello brand ham in Walmart’s deli case as well.

After work, I pull into the parking lot of Crump Park for the Thursday night World Championships. First to me was Julie, bringing me a car load full of prizes from our good friend, Sally Snead of Stellina Imports- Alan North America. I had asked Sally off the cuff if she could give me a tire or two, maybe a few water bottles. What she gave me was a car load of stuff- from fancy carbon fibre end plugs, to boxes of handle bar tape, water bottles, a set of tubular tires, and 2 wind jackets. Overwhelmed doesn’t exactly cut it.

By the way, you know Sally. She races here in VA (not this year due to back surgery) for River City Racing- Marshall Mechanical. She is also the importer of Challenge tires, and those killer Alan bikes that you see the boys of Richmond Pro Cycling and Ann Hardy/Emily Helmbolt riding. She’ll be working at the registration table, and her husband, Chris will be riding. Please say hi to them on Sunday!

Not to be outdone, Jenn then came up with boxes of stuff from Endorphin Fitness for the junior riders. Even if your child isn’t entered, we have temporary tattoos for them. Michael has an excellent junior program at Endorphin and is a prime mover in getting kids on bikes. Michael will also be out no the course transporting junior riders back from their finish line. You know Michael’s excellent coaches, one of whom is Craig from Richmond Pro Cycling! Michael will have a tent at the race. Please stop by and talk to him about his great programs for both juniors and us Seniors!

Oh, and Jackie Starkey of Therapeutic Sports Massage! How could I forget Jackie who was the one who rushed to me to help out! Jackie is giving us 4 gift certificates for massages. She and her crew will be at the time trial doing massage for $1 per minute. Before you jump back in your car to go home, do your legs a favor and loosen them up. Having a massage from a talented cyclist is the nicest thing you can do for a hard working body.

And coming on Sunday, Chip Goble, of Natures Path will be giving us those fabulous NP grocery bags (save the planet ban plastic bags!) and yummy bars for everyone! I’m seriously addicted, and I know you are, too!

Julie normally crashes at my house since she comes out to ride from Hooterville (Tappahannock). Happily I had to send her home last night. There was simply no room at the Inn with all the stuff I have in her room. I may have to leave my bike at home on Sunday. I’m not sure how I’m going to transport all this stuff.

Times are tough. Not just for us, but for businesses who sponsor us. I barely had to ask before these businesses leaped at the chance to help us out. When you choose which businesses to patronize, I hope you choose the ones that choose to support cycling. And when you do, I hope you tell them the reason why you chose them. They need to know! There is no such thing as the moral majority- it’s the vocal majority. Be part of the noise!

Thanks for all your support! And I hope everyone rides really fast next Sunday at Stoney Creek!

Karen Hanson
Rostello presented by Fiorucci

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Power tap w/open pro wheel for sale

I picked this up on Sunday, and WON a set of Zipp 404 w/power tap yesterday. I don’t feel like taking the ones I bought from Performance back (Open Pro wheels with Power tap hub and computer), so if you want them, here’s the deal -
Price with tax/shipping would be almost $1075. I got them for 20% off,had points, and don’t want to have to drive into town.

So if you want them, $800 firm, let me know. I’ll be at Langley on Sunday, GFTL and of course, since I’m the race director, at the Fiorucci State TT on the 22nd.

CycleOps PowerTap 7005p Cyclocomputer w/ Mavic Open Pro Wheel - I am NOT selling the Zipps!

All because this Zipp is what I'm going to have now! Thanks Pacific Health Labs. Thanks US Postal Service for delivering MOST of the post cards that I sent. Did you know that contests ask for 3 x5 " post cards, but the US Postal Service requires that mail be at least 3.5 x 5.5"?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008




You have won the Zipp 404 Powertap Wheels!
In addition you have won a year supply of Accelerade, Endurox R4 and Accel Gel.
We would also like to use your name in a quick email signifying your win. We would only use your name and state - nothing else.
Please call ASAP to confirm that the above is OK and to discuss prize details.

Matt Vecchione

I entered this contest like 1000 x. I'm not kidding. Like 1000 postcards, and then some online entries. I just got off the phone with Matt, he's having Zipp call me to get me the wheels (OMG!!!!) and he is putting my fruit punch flavored year supply of Accelrade and Endurox in the mail along with the Chocolate Caffine gels.

OMG. I knew I was going to win. And it happened. I'm going to be totally worthless for the rest of the day.

Please go buy some Acclerade. Maybe a box or two of gels. Tell them I sent you.

I won, I won, I won, I won!

Oh, man, I won!

Good News

Yes, life is good.

For those of you who were worried about Christina's foundling at the PLT race, I'm happy to report that my team mate, and fellow softie, Mark Pye took her.

She is now living the life of luxury, and will soon forget what it was like to be cold, lonely and full of punctures and infection. If only this could be the case for all the little kitties out there!

Be a sport, spay or neuter your cat. Lets get the ones out there into homes before we dump more out.

Thanks Mark. I love you most of all.

A Sad Ride

I got home last night and decided to go out on an easy ride. It was probably 97 degrees, code orange ozone air, the works. 100 meters after I started, James called. I was standing in the shade just running water. I looked down at my two water bottles and decided to go for it anyway, knowing that I was going to be drinking all night to make up for it.

Nope, this isn't another how hot is it ride report. Everyone knows how hot it is. This is a I hate stupid people report.

A few weeks ago I took the extension around Holy Grove and as I came back to Taylors Creek a really nice English Setter trotted across the road in front of me. I gave Cliff a call and told him that since it was probably one of his relatives he might want to tell them their dog was gonna get smushed if it kept doing that.

Well last night, there the dog was. Someone had hit it, and then picked him up and carefully laid him out in the yard. I stopped the bike and just howled.

I have an acre fenced in for the dogs. $1500 for the posts and gates, and some of my team mates (Bill) came over and helped string 4' goat fencing. My house needs a new roof. My dogs got a play yard. Next project is to build a dog run in shed, like for horses, just in case it rains while I'm out. My dogs don't run free.

Stupid people just piss me off. If you are going to have an animal, take care of it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

PLT Swelterfest

This is what you look like at the start line of a 22.6 mile tt on a caustically hot day. Good thing BJ wasn't taking photos at the finish line, as I'm sure that I looked a whole lot worse for wear crossing the line. Welcome back BJ, even if it's only in a photog role. As good as you looked, you too will be back kicking my ass in no time!

The girls in the tt group really are a cool bunch. Fat Frog's Glenda was talking smack with me at the start line right before this photo. I'm not what Pete calls one of those "weensie" girls, so I told Glenda that if she thought she was going to pass me she should know that I used to run cross country. Cross country is a contact sport. I told her that I'd just hip check her and she'd end up in a ditch. Or covered in snot. I had enough Vicks smeared on to get me thru the swamp that I was pretty sure that my sinus's were going to be free flowing.

It is hard to know what you can do under adverse conditions. It either goes well, or really bad. For me, it went really well. A 30 second pr, and second place. For my team mate Bill Battle, it went great as he took like 3 minutes off his best time. Bill has lost a ton of weight, and has been training like a fiend. It shows, and he goes!

Super Maria positively stomped me. I think she beat me by two minutes. That's what I call a good old fashioned butt kicking. I keep coming though!

Jenn at the start- on the way to a good day 1:09
Col. Sharon on her way to her first ever tt, after a scorcher of a day at the Beach the day before...
Not every day can be text book. I tell everyone that police are there to direct traffic, not bikers. Poor Sonya took a wrong turn on the way back in which cost her big time. That's ok, she was 2nd at the crit championships the day before. Sonya rocks!

And the best news of the day? The little kitten that Christina's dog brought home has found a home. Be a pal, please spay and neuter your cats. There are waay too many homeless cats out there, there are low or no cost clinics everywhere. The Richmond SPCA every spring does FREE spay neuters. This little guy is lucky, there are thousands in shelters right now who wont be.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Tough Girl

Last night due to the heat and upcoming weekend races we did a team ride. You know how those, we'll ride easy rides can some times get a wee bit fast? Well, this one at the beginning sure did. There are some tough hill series on this ride, and for Jenn, the ride was going to be a stretch.

But you know what they say, "That that does not kill us, makes us strong." Its hard to explain to people that that is how cycling goes. You don't get better unless you ride with faster people. I won't say better people, because fast and better are not the same. They are just faster. And faster makes you work harder, and because you work harder, you get better. You also hurt, really, really bad. Really bad.

So kudos to Jenn. She had her doubts. I told her that if she expressed them one more time I was going to have to break out the belt. And in the end... she did it! Tough girl. And by toughing it out, she will get better.

I'm really proud of you, Jenn. Leaps and bounds...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Richmond Biking in da newz

It's funny how the Richmond metro area has a love/hate relationship with bikes. I think the City has pretty much figured out that outdoor sports are something that brings in tourists and $$. At the same time, they don't actually seem to want to support biking.

From the latest fiasco over the purchase of the property for the Richmond end of the Capitol to Capitol Trail- still on hold and who knows if the owner will continue to hold off any other takers until the City figures things out, to delays on trail usage/maint agreements, etc... there are things you can certainly complain about.

But... downtown Richmond has some of the best bike trails around. There are fire roads for newbies all the way up to Buttermilk Heights for the more experienced folks. Not to mention all the cool kayaking possibilities in the area. Richmond is an outdoor person's mecca. Where else can you see Eagles nesting, get in some good white water, and mountain bike in a capitol city? Why Juneau Alaska. Richmond is a lot closer. Warmer, too.

So if you come to Richmond, and stay in a hotel, or eat in a restaurant, tell the purveyor why you are there. Want to see support for biking in Richmond? Make it an economic issue. The Sportsbackers have done a great job of showing the economic impact of the Richmond Marathon on the local community. Maybe that's what us bikers have to do-show that we are an economic force.

Anyway, good job Richmond-More on the fabulous trails in the City. Great job in your on-going efforts to improve mountain biking and the trails. You all ROCK! I'm glad to see your efforts covered in the paper.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So It's A Little Wet...

Last night as I was rushing home, it started to sprinkle. Then it stopped.

We got to the ride, and it looked a little "iffy", nothing bad though. It certainly wasn't supposed to rain. So what do you do in that situation? Well, you ride, silly! Only 4 of us were stupid enough to actually go out despite much consternation and teeth gnashing in the parking lot. The way I figure it, it rains. If you lived in Seattle and never rode in the rain, you'd never ride.

So off we went, and about 3 miles in it started to rain. Then it rained harder, and then it rained harder still. Oh, and then it stopped! And then it rained more, and harder yet. At some point we had a pow wow and decided to slow the ride down and leave a huge gap between riders. Good move. I didn't have brakes.

You forget what it's like to ride in the rain like that. How the asphalt heats the water on the road to the temperature of bath water... how the grit gets in your eyes, your teeth, your hair... How after awhile, the best fitting bike shorts become diapers that need to be changed... How your brakes are there for show and don't actually do anything until suddenly they do...

We got back in all smiles from the adventure just in time for the real lightning to hit. I was standing talking to Nature's Path Maria stretching my arms over my head when a huge bolt hit nearby, and all the hair stood up on my arms, and I could feel tingling all the way down them. That was time, exit stage left. The drive home was likewise full of fireworks as the van either got hit or the power line over the van... BOOM!

So what am I doing tonight? Cleaning da bike. Drying the shoes. Laughing about getting wet, and smiling that I have friends dumb enough to ride in the rain with me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No, It's not funny

Ok, by now everyone has heard about the tragedy in Mexico where an American stoned on Cocaine plows into a group of cyclists. As of now, two people are dead, and several others are in critical condition.

What is really gross is the comments that I am hearing from non-cyclists. Wow, Cool, Yeah, baby, toss those faggots! Think I'm kidding, go to your local Craigslist and click on rants and raves. Heck, I even heard some off color stuff here in my office, and everyone knows I'm a cyclist.

So I pulled up photo 2. This one got a little grimmer reaction from folks.

That's a paramedic kneeling in blood. See that nice shoe? Is there a foot attached? Those weren't stunt dummies, those were PEOPLE.

You can say all you want about the asswipe who did this terrible thing. What I find even more disgusting is the cavalier attitude that people have towards cyclists getting killed. These are people. Just like you, just like me. Can you look me in the eye and wish that on me? Really? Do you really think that the act of riding a bike is so horrendous that you would wish that on me?

I sat up last night watching the Green Mile again last night and have a serious case of what Jenn calls "cranky pants." There is a reason why I have a slew of dogs, they are much nicer than most of the people I know. Mean people suck.