Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good things

Sunday my Garmin kept dying. I thought maybe I hadn't charged it properly, so I came home and checked everything out. It was all fine. Then I recharged the sucker, just in case. Went out for a ride on Monday, and within two minutes it was dead again. Rebooted, and two minutes later it was dead again.

So I called Garmin support this morning. After a twenty minute hold I got a tech who had me clear the unit. I'll ride tonight and if it does it again, they gave me a tech number, told me to let them know that I was sending it, and they'd send me a new one within a week.

No muss, no fuss, just plain good customer service. Not only do they have good products, and well trained people, they also sponsor a certain bike racing team. Why would you buy from anyone else!

Then comes the best part of Summer... tomato sandwiches. Fresh from my garden, big, fat beef steak tomatoes... a little pepper, Miracle Whip on whole wheat toast. Make it even better with colby cheese and bacon. Or just plain tomatoes with pepper. Caprese salad- tomatoes, basil mozzarella and olive oil. Tomatoes rule. Thank God for the garden. I'd go broke without it.

I'll even salute the doe who keeps eating all my peaches. She really does liven things up, but caring is sharing. I'd like to get one or two peaches this year!

The last good thing for the day.... is a mixed blessing. Ricco admits to drug use and they don't have to have a long, drawn out mess before they hang him. I really hate to see people dragged thru the mud, and sometimes I question the tactics used to catch the cheats. But I have to admire a rider who when they are caught admits to what they did. And yes, I think there should be two levels of punishment for those who fess up and help clean up the sport and for those who force big trials.

I'm off to buy a converter box for the tv. One more gadget for the technologically stupid...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Inspector Gadget

I will admit to a love-hate relationship with gadgets. Last week I was treated to dinner by one of my favorite law firms, and the "rainmaker" had the new I-phone. I was in love. That sucker seemed to know what you wanted it to do, before you knew. Or maybe it's user actually knew how to use the sucker. Me, I generally figure out how to do about 10% of what my gizmos can do. Like I can use my cell phone, but for the life of me I can't pick up call waiting. It's especially problematic when I'm calling J, and she is calling me. Since we are both phone stupid... we have to wait until we both hang up and try to call each other again.

So you can imagine my frustration trying to get to the State Age Graded TT. There is one stinking exit that always gets me. And Cliff bought me a Garmin for Christmas since I'm always getting lost. I frustrate the hell out of the lady in the box and she is always, "recalculating." That one exit is 15B, for which there is a sign that says 15B over exit 13. (Why, I don't know.) Today it got me. So after waiting 30 minutes at the Monitor Merrimac, my cushion that I always give myself was rapidly evaporating. When I took exit 13, instead of 15B, and the Garmin lady had to start "recalculating" I knew we were going to be in trouble. After some round and rounds, Bill and I made it. He got my bike ready while I signed in.

Ok, that's Garmin #1. Then I have the Garmin 305 for the bike that I bought when the silly magnets kept falling off my Hed Tri-spokes. Without a magnet, you'd think I'd be safe. You know, except for that little tree problem that Garmin's have. Go under a tree line stretch, and the satellite link gets lost and all of a sudden the mileage readings start going all over the place. First 22, then 9, 17, etc... Except today, it just decided to keep shutting off. So I'm riding as hard as I can, trying to reboot the damn thing, while not hitting any of the craters in the road, and riding hard. Reboot, reset, reboot, reset.

Oh, and top that off with smoke from the Dismal Swamp fires, a dead deer, and generalized Dismal Swamp rot. I was sure I was having a suck-fest kind of day. So I kept pumping, and decided the hell with gadgets, I'd go with the flow.

The 4th chick I passed... I thought that maybe I might not suck but so much. Then one of the guys passed me, and I used him as a marker. I got the Garmin going again when we hit blue sky, and I know that I was going 28 mph when I crossed the line. Ending up 58:13 for a new pr by a minute.

And Maria decided to do better this week too, leaving me still some 90 seconds plus in the hole. One day, I'm going to be as fast as Maria.

Bill decided to kill the course today by a minute as well, but Sharon, for her birthday took a whopping 6 minutes off her best time. Just wait til she actually gets a tt bike, and maybe some decent wheels. I think Sonya pr'd as well. Needless to say, the ride home was a happy one, with no gadget failures.

Next up is the State Masters Road Race and I hear it's a bear. Ruth told me she's riding it as well. So somehow I've got to transform myself into a climber by next week. I'm not sure that there is a gadget for that!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

They're out there

Sunday at Bryan Park J and I were treated to a mother hawk teaching her kids how to fly. I think we could have watched the show all day. Just think of a parent trying to teach a kid to jump off the high dive... there was a whole lot of shouting, pleading, cajoling, threatening, and then flying off in disgust... (while shouting, pleading, cajoling) Then the more precocious kid decided to show up the sibling, and took off! Of course this left said sibling, screaming how unfair the whole deal was. And then he had to take off too.

It was a great show. Hey, I'm a geek, what can I say.

James always laughs that I only see dead critters. Its not true. I see live stuff all the time. Sometimes I see bears, lots of foxes, coyotes on occasion. The memorable dead stuff are the beasties that I know are out there, that are better at hiding. Like bobcats. I only get to see them when they've been hit by cars. I'd just as soon not see them that way, thank you.

Last night I got to see about 30 wild turkeys and their pults, a sight that since the coyotes have started to move in I don't get to see very often. The coyotes are also doing a serious number on the poor foxes, and pretty much the feral cats in Louisa and Goochland are going the way of the passenger pigeon. Thats not a bad thing in my opinion. Feral cats do a bad number on the native critter population.

What I didn't see last night, but certainly felt, was the onslaught of the horse flies. Sheesh, they have to be all bite and brain. I have no idea how they know exactly where to bite you and when, so that you can't get back at them. For me, it was on the butt, twice, on the big hill on my ride. First time I almost fell off the bike. You would have thought that would have made me climb faster, and you'd be wrong. It made me climb swinging my arms like a lunatic.

I don't know why people ride with Ipods and stuff. I have all the additional stimulation I need just by looking.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sport Kilts

Look, they even come in military colors! Sorry, Brian didn't send me a photo of Gilbert sporting his.
(although I bet most of the guys are just closet exhibitionists, and really do want everyone to see what is peaking out under the towel...

Thanks for short towels?

We had a wonderful weekend of racing in Central Virginia. Thanks so much to our friends at Natures Path (esp. to Carolyn in her first stint as a race director) and to Braden and the crew at Carytown Bikes for the circuit race on Sunday. Braden, I hope you heal fast with no complications after your crash!

Random thoughts from the weekend...

If you use the port a potty, please make sure you actually get said material in the hole. This is not rocket science, and your cycling buddies have to use said house of ... after you. If you miss the hole, you need to go back to pre-school for potty training, but first you need to clean up after yourself.

As a race director you can control a whole lot of what happens on race day. You can not prevent people from doing dumb stuff. IE you can not prevent people who live on the course from starting fires. I always expect "stuff" to happen, but even I'll admit that that one was a first!

Short towels... this one is from Sharon.... Guys, if you are going to do the shorts shimmy, get a full size or larger towel. And make sure that the "opening" isn't at the front. Unless of course you really want everyone to see your little pony package. In that case, be a man and just strip naked for all to see like my Irish soccer (football) friends do. I wont give you a list of all the guys' packages I've seen, as after a bike race they don't tend to be all that memorable, anyway...

We have a great bunch of people at bike races... (ok, a few jerks, too) Thanks to Dr Marc for checking out whatever that red streak and down my arm was (celulitis.) J wanted me to have the arm amputated and Marc, being the voice of reason, thought that maybe we should wait a day or two to do that, and try antibiotics first. Which he then called in for me... To Gwynne, Emily, Rhonda and Tom for helping me through the pesky asthma attack. Rhonda, I hope I didn't scare your kids too bad. Who would have thought there'd be a fire on the course!

Biggest thought... yes, you can put on a race. If Carolyn Goble can step up to the plate, and in a few months pull a really nice race out of her bag of tricks, you can as well. Good job, Carolyn. And when you get out of your post-race coma, we'll have a drink together!

Oh, well, another great weekend over. Ya'll be good out there!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gettin' jiggy with it

Julie sent me this this morning:

Powerful Women's Motto:Live your life in such a way
that when your feet hit the floor
in the morning,
Satan shudders & says...

'Oh CRAP....she's awake!!


Life is short, when my time comes I want the only regret to be that I worked too damn much. Which I have to do, in order to do all the cool things that I get to do. I don't want to regret that I didn't do something, hadn't been something. And I sure as hell would rather try and fail, then sit on the sidelines and say, "I can't do that." BS!

What to me is really cool is that I am surrounded by women who are a true force of nature. J shows up and everyone says, "Oh, shit!" Sharon just makes things happen by her very presence. Katie gets everyone to laugh, Jenn makes everyone look good, and Sonya kills you on the mountain bike. None of them say, "I can't do that." They all stand up and say, "Me first!"

So look out world. A whole new generation of women are coming.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Throw rocks at 'em

Alas, another one bites the dust... Ass wipe. Or rather, presumed ass wipe. It's unfortunate that in cycling the news leaks before the B sample is tested- although I can't for the life of me understand why it takes months to test a B sample, either.

I hate to say it, but I really couldn't care less about this years Tour. The best riders aren't there, and those who are there are still getting caught. This is the 3rd so far. Funny how there were no riders caught at the Giro...

At some point you have to question where pro cycling is going. Ricco's team didn't just pull him from the race, they pulled out of the race, and if rumours are true, have pulled the team from RACING. IE everyone is out, maybe for forever? Is this really what it's going to take?

Cheaters just plain suck. Big team cheaters, little team cheaters. Like the people who cut the course on marathons... (and boy do I have photos of people doing that... I may just get rich someday blackmailing the jerks.) Cheating is stealing. It takes away from those people who do things on the up and up, and it makes a mockery of sport. To have people, like Ricco, rub your face in it... stick their tongue out at you while they are cheating is just plain, I don't know, crazy? Sociopathic?

I think I'm going to finally get to watch 3:10 to Yuma. I just don't care who wins this dog and pony show.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Counting your life in dog's lives

My team mate Sharon and I we're probably separated at birth. She's my sister, just like J. Somehow, deep in your soul, you just know when you are reunited with family.

So yesterday, I knew bad things were amiss. You just feel it. And I knew what it was. Like me, Sharon has a bunch of dogs. Bunch for her is two, but they make up for my numbers, with sheer size. Sharon has Great Danes. Great Danes are what we in dogs call "heart ache breeds." Heart ache because you love them sooo much, and they are here for such a short time. 6 on a Great Dane is an old dog. 9 is a Great Dane life span. If you are lucky.

I called Sharon in the afternoon and left her a message, and she called me back when I was out on the bike. We cried and cried. Poor Mischief had gone downhill in a very short time, was in terrible pain, and yesterday, it was time. Sharon would have given a kidney for that dog, but there are some things, no matter how tough you are, that you just can't fix. The best people know when it's time, and give the ultimate gift of peace.

I know that when the time comes that I'm going to have a pack of dogs waiting for me. I told Sharon that you can measure your life in a lot of ways, I measure mine, in dog's lives. Dates and times might get fuzzy, but the memory and love of my best buddies are with me always. They steal that little piece of your heart and remain there always. For months after DD died, I would hear him scratch at my bedroom door in the middle of the night, and I'd get up to let him in. I like to think that he was there to comfort me, until I could make it on my own.

So, Mischief, until we get there... please look up DD, Chrissy, Bart, Woody, Ginger, oh and Sam, and Tilly. They'll keep you company. We're coming soon enough, just wait for us!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Where was Chris Horner When I needed him...

I saw this photo and started laughing my butt off. After Chris Horner did his job at the Cascade Classic, he came upon a rider in distress and gave him a ride.
Chris, where were you all the times that I needed a ride? Like Wintergreen most years, or heck, Mill Mountain this year? Yeah, I might take up a little more room on a bike seat, but at least no one would question your sexuality with me on the back!

Well, DUH!

You gotta clicky on the link. Did you know that kids should be encouraged to walk or bike to school?

Wow! What a news flash! If I had kids, I'd pull them away from their Playstation and march them right out the door!

Why in the world is this news. Kids are fat. Kids are fat because they lead sedentary lives. Schools are some of the most dangerous places around in the mornings and afternoons because you have a mix of parents trying to pick up their kids, buses trying to take kids to stops 1/2 mile away and the rare kid who will actually walk home. Try dodging that maze!

I live in the country. Most houses near me are on 3-5 +acres. However, around the corner from me are some small shacks with kids. The bus stops at EVERY driveway. The driveways are less than 20' apart. I can understand not making the kids walk the 5-7 miles to school from my road, but not walking 20' to a group bus stop?

Goochland just got a VDOT grant to put in sidewalks from the courthouse to the schools. I know that Jake Helmbolt is working tirelessly to get more counties in the Commonwealth to make walking/biking to school safer. Maybe if more kids walked, the actual dangers around the school (being struck by a harried parent trying to do 9 things at once) would diminish. And maybe the BMI of the average 5th grader would drop a little bit.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bad happenings...

Everyone has heard about the horrific road rage crash out in California. What I think is particularly disturbing about the incident, besides the fact that the guy was an ER Doc and tried to kill the cyclists and then refused them aid, was that apparently this was the second time he had done it that had been reported to the police. The first police report had his car description and license plate number, and the police didn't follow thru.

Maybe if they had, two guys wouldn't be in the hospital right now...

There is no excuse for this behavior. From anyone. I hope his medical license is revoked, he looses his shirt, and spends some time getting his a-hole stretched.

Apparently the residents of the canyon have some good reason to be unhappy with cyclists though. Come on, lets be honest here. Residents reported being spit on by cyclists, and cyclists doing other bad things.

Cyclists doing bad things? Noooooo....

I had a ton of emails this morning about a ride last night. I wasn't there folks, I was getting wined and dined by one of my law firms.

All I can tell you is this... the only person's behavior I can control is my own. I can choose to ride with jerks or not. I choose not to. You can also choose not to ride with people who's behavior bothers you. When no one will ride with the jerks, maybe they'll get the hint.

If you want to race your bike, race your bike. Train hard, but training rides are NOT races. When on the road, obey the rules of the road. Act courteously. Maybe a lot of motorists treat cyclists bad because cyclists treat motorists bad. Or not.

The next person who tells me to tell others to ride nice... unless you get an agreement from the group, that the Divine Miss K can bring my training shock collar, it is not going to happen. Sorry, those people don't want to ride better, they are too busy holding on for dear life. I agree a little zap might be effective, but I think it's illegal for me to strap the shock collar on them without their permission!

Just remember, if you are on a ride where unsafe behavior is occurring, and the ride causes people not on the ride to get hurt... you are going to get sued as well. You are complicit by being there. People don't like cyclists, and people sit on juries. Hope you have a LARGE umbrella policy just in case.

I'm just sayin', you know?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hany Hosny Rocks!

I emailed Hany and asked him if I could put these up on the blog. Aren't they INCREDIBLE! Thats me and J at Roanoke. Geez, you can almost smell us! (dont try, it would be bad)
I think this was when I sent J up the road to get a prime. She looks like she could rocket off the page....
Me, so fast you cant even see me...
And Sharon giving Mill Mountain the what for...

You can see more of his incredible work at

and if you see something you like, show a brother some love and buy a few.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I could eat a cow

You know how it goes, sometimes you just get deeply hungry. You know, the I'm so hungry I could eat a cow hungry. Just run up to one, grab it by the butt and sink your teeth in ala lioness type hungry.(not really, have you seen what cow's butts look like? But you get the idea...)

Coming back from Blacksburg on Sunday I told J that we HAD to stop at Cracker Barrel. I was just going to get one of those grilled chicken on a salad things. Yeah, but then she had to ask about biscuits, oh, and apple butter. So then I ordered french fries, too. And we waited... and waited for the food to come. All around us people were getting platters of fried chicken.

Do you know how good fried chicken smells? Some days around here you can smell Ukrops fried chicken for miles. It literally pulls you into the store. Karen, eat me, I'm fried... grease is good for you!

I thought I was going to have to beat up someone and steal their food. It was a close call.

Finally, the salads came and we wolfed them down. Good, but not enough. Not even the french fries helped.

I made a huge batch of brownies for everyone, and didn't eat any of them. Maybe I should have eaten brownies. I don't know. All I know is that I'm still so hungry that I could attack a cow. And that oatmeal I had for breakfast is just not cutting it.

Bossy, be very, very worried...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Photogs Rock

Cycling is some kinda cool. You race your butt off, drive for hours, get home, and then get to live it all over again days later when the list serve posts start popping up with all the cool photos that the family members have taken. If I haven't said it before, THANKS! Mega Thanks!

Here is Jake on a bike instead of "on his toes" getting his first crit win. I took one look at that course and knew that it had Jake written all over it. Maybe there is something to massive doses of caffeine and those really weird compression tights after all.

Julie sticking it to Mill Mountain. Thats such a good photo that you can pretty much see the fillet o'leg scars that run half way down her quad to her calf.
Col. Sharon, never, ever giving up. Even though her bike wouldn't stay in any particular gear. If you were an insurgent, would you want her coming after you? I thought not.

Some day I'm going to have to prove that I'm worthy of those new wheels! This was me, practicing looking good climbing, cause Lord knows, I'm not! I must have fooled a few people because guys were coming up to me after the race Sunday telling me that they had no idea I could climb like that. (I can't, it was a stunt double.)

So for all of you who go to races, take great photos and then throw them out for everyone to share, we love you!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Just Where Was That Star?

That's what Maria asked J back at the registration area. If you haven't done Mill Mountain before, you are totally anoxic when you get to the top. Maria was right at the base of the star, and never saw it.

Me, well, I know where the star is. It's way up there...

So how did that climb go? Like a broken record, not too good. First was the nausea, probably caused by the knowledge of what was to come. Then about 1/2 mile into the climb, I went to shift, the chain dropped, wrapped around the rear derailleur, and whammo, down she goes. Between that, the fact that the seat was now at a 90% angle, and the front brake was jammed in, my day was done. I took off the shoes and walked, ran it up the mountain.

J at the meantime, motored up in 12 something taking 4th overall. Sharon rode her new Orbea up and despite not being able to get the gear to stay in anyone gear got up just fine. Me, I had sore feet, but got up a little different way.

Sunday was a blast. We headed down to Va Tech to do the crit there. Crap, there was a mean climb on that one, too! Technical turns, climbs, it was a gas.

Too bad I had no gas left. Poor J and Sharon tried to get me going, but it was just not going to happen. When I finally unleashed J she was able to get up for money, and a nice tire prime. I got a "pass the hat" prime of $15, which was a pleasant surprise which got us a little farther down the road on the way home. We were even able to take a shower after the race. I wish all race courses could be done so well. (Maybe without that pesky hill thing, though...)

The funniest thing of the weekend... listening to NPR on the way home trying to dodge the holiday traffic. Terri Gross was interviewing this German guy who sings show tunes... he grew up listening to dubbed tunes. He told Terry that he always thought that Judy Garland was singing "I want to be a porn star", and couldn't imagine why it was so. Now, whenever I hear that song, I'm going to be thinking, "I want to be a porn star."

The best thing, watching little Jake King annihilate the field on Sunday. He is going to be a superstar. Teeth gritting, out of the saddle, attacking every corner... I want to ride like Jake!

The saddest thing- its a tie... little Brook Stallings going down in the Jr race, and the jerks in the green Subaru who were throwing their trash out the window as they left the parking lot. Brook, you are going to be just fine. The guys in the Subaru, will suck forever.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

We Got Fans

Friday I pack up the Queen Cab to schlep me and J to the 3 days of racing in Roanoke. Where's J? She is in F'burg winning the 8k up there and getting us gas money. So she sets all kinds of lead foot records getting to my house so that we could get on the road, and we zipped down to Big Lick.

Now this was a race done right. Tired of going round and round at a speedway? This was a genuine, downtown, 5 corner, technical in your face kind of race. I loved it. Didn't like the sprinkles that kept falling, but they stayed away for our race, so it was all good.

Right from the gun the little Team 19 and BMW girls hammered it out. I overcooked the second corner and had to sit up or go into a wall. That gave J a chance to bridge up to me and then the two of us did our infamous 2 chick time trial trying to reel the break back. We got good feedback, first they were 21 seconds, then 19, then 18... At one point we got them to 8 seconds, but the wear and tear of the day was getting to be too much. We are a game bunch though, and any time we could badger someone into working with us, we did. If you are thinking about just sitting on with me and J, forget about it. The abuse you'll take is not worth it, trust me.

What we did get was a bunch of nice primes, oh, and a couple of really nice checks which will go a long way to paying for the tiny Hampton Inn room we got for 4 people, and 5 bikes. That, and the fan club.

Fan Club?

Right after the race, as we are trying not to die, this guy runs up and starts patting me on the back, and telling me that "I'm HIS girl." Seems he and his buddies had been watching me and J ride the course all day at every chance we could get, and they just thought we were WONDERFUL. Out there working it, working it, never giving up. Yep, that's what he thought, and he just had to come over and meet HIS GIRL. I think copious amounts of alcohol might have played a wee bit into his exuberance, but what the hay. Us 40 somethings can use all the fans we can get.

Thanks especially to the guys who we adore, like Big Sugar Daddy Ben who took us all out to dinner at the Blue Star, one of the sponsors. (I'll even forgive Maria for looking like something that stepped out of Vogue, making us look like ugly step sisters...) Oh, and Noni's husband who saved us with bottles of water, James and Jake for all the tips, and the biggest hug to Bob for writing us the checks.

Stay tuned for more reasons why all things vertical are BAD.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Goin' to the mountains

I came in to the office today after 3 days off to find 393 emails. That doesn't count the few thousand that are in my junk folder, some of which probably contain suit papers and other do NOW stuff. I'm here for a few hours and then me and the girls head down to Roanoke for a fun 3 days of racing on Mill Mountain.

Unfortunately for me, this isn't the Tour, and there will be no Tifosi out there giving me pushes the whole way up. I am still vertically challenged, and while Mill Mountain might be short, it sure makes up for it quickly.

I bought a new swim suit, got a good book, and I'm hoping to work on my cyclists tan while we are down there. Wearing a sundress with about 8 different tan lines (or lack of tan lines) may id you as a cyclist, but it also just looks dorky. (of course after a glass or three of wine, who cares?) I'm bringing the wine, so I may recover from the whole swimsuit experience.

The Mafia sent me a picture of the post ride libations from last week. Geez, what a bunch of cuties in that picture... hmmm, I may have to come back and bring some more girlies to balance things out!