Monday, December 7, 2009

I really didn't think I looked like an ax murderer...

After a really craptastic day at work, I decided to go for a run thru the high end section of Richmond. I still haven't gotten fully back in the running mode, and am full in weenie bike mode. So I had on tights, a long sleeve shirt and my garish Rostello light winter jacket. Yeah, I looked like a Christmas tree. Colorful.

As I got down by St Christophers Private School, I saw this Mercedes SUV swerve but run over something that looked like glass. As I got closer, I saw a box, and glass. Something just wasn't right.

Once I got there, I realized... not glass... roofing nails.

All those Muffy Soccer Mom's, picking up thier private school kids... rolling down that hill over roofing nails... Ok, I'm evil, but not that evil. So I started to try to get the Muffettes to stop...

Stops? Stop for the crazy woman in mis-matched running gear? Heaven forbid! You would have thought that I was an axe murderer. Or Ted Bundy. Although, Ted Bundy didn't have any trouble getting women to stop for him...

I did manage to get a couple little old ladies to stop. But they looked really scared until I told them why I was waiving them off. At this point I just got pissed and went on with my run.

On my way back there was a nice man out with a push broom trying to sweep the nails out of the road. I stopped to tell him of my earlier travails... and dodged a few cars who were determined to run our asses over. He said that he was about done trying to be nice. People just wouldn't slow down even though he was under a street light.

So if you hear of a slew of flat tires in Richmond tommorrow, don't feel sorry for the people. Us serial killers tried to warn them...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The new meaning of "EPIC"

I officiated today at the Virginia cyclocross champs at Darden Towe... great course, great promoter and finally, real little Belgian kind of weather. You know what I'm talking about, 30 something degrees, snow on top of slop, and a course the consistency of baby bad stuff.

Yeah, epic.

Good thing for me that I've replenished my truck after J hijacked it and cleaned it out. I had on tights, chinos, 3 shirts, a hat, a heavy jacket, gloves, wool socks and rubber rain boots. I still froze. Next time I'm putting those battery operated hunter's socks in the bike kit bag. I might as well have left the gloves at home as I couldn't write and wear them at the same time.

If there was ever a course where bike handling played a tremendous role, it was this one. If you could ride smoothly on slop, you had a great day. If you couldn't, you didn't. If you had a pit bike... you had a huge advantage. If you didn't you carried 10 lbs of ice, mud and "stuff" jammed into your brakes, deraileurs etc... There were some very talented riders out there that had a field day, and many who suffered big time. I salute you all. Just showing up on the line took a level of commitment that most racers didn't have.

First thing I did when I left the course was jack up the heat... then I stopped at the Everyday Cafe and ran my hands under hot water for a few minutes, then got a huge hot chocolate. Bet you most people did something similar. I may never be warm again.

And Glenda Craddock... you rock. You were so awsome out there and I was very, very proud of you. No way I could have kept up with you in the slop today. Gold star, girl. Big gold star.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Adventures with Karen & Gina, or why I will never stay at Motel 6 again...

Ok, I don't need much in a hotel. It has to be clean. It has to be safe. It can't have bugs. Just like with bike equipment pick 2 out of 3. Clean and safe, Safe and Bug free, etc...

Gina is my dog George's handler. We went on a typical Karen adventure to the Brittany Nationals in Ft Smith, Arkansas... yeah, on the Oklahoma border. Gina got to my house at 9:30 pm, and we drove straight thru, taking turns sleeping and walking dogs.

Thursday at 4 pm we arrived. Beat. We set up our equipment at the dog show site and headed to Cracker Barrel for a kick ass $8.99 turkey day dinner. Turkey, ham, veggies, stuffing, a drink and PIE! I may never cook again.

And then things got bad. Saturday night, after showing all day, we got back to Motel 6 about 1o pm. There were motocross racers in the parking lot getting a bit too wild. Two single women, 9 dogs, and a bunch of very drunk, and drugged up guys... It was not good. Then really not good.

At 10:30 they started beating on the van to make the dogs bark. Gina went out to see what was going on and one of the drunk slobs yelled at her..."What are you looking at, bitch!" They then told us that they could drink in public, they could do whatever they wanted and that I could get my liberal friends out and they'd shoot them...

So we called the front desk. The guys were not just harassing us, scaring the dogs, but also breaking glass everywhere... front desk said that they'd send a security guard...

Ten minutes later... no security guard so I called again. Finally an elderly man came, and when the guys told him that they didnt have to go in their rooms and that they'd get out a gun and start shooting people, he told us that we all should get along. Then he left. Fast.

So being dumb, I called the front desk again, and asked them to call the police. They told me they would. Not. Yeah, not.

So we sat up all night... afraid to pack up to leave as we would have to exit thru the very drugged up people. And the hotel did NOTHING to protect us.

At 5 am I went to the front desk to file a formal complaint. The receptionist looked at me like I was stupid. I guess that kind of behaviour is to be expected at Motel 6. We had planned on staying one more night before heading home, but I drove past Memphis, and got a little no-tell motel somewhere between Memphis and Knoxville.... it was quiet, it was clean, and no bugs.

Me, I'm never staying at Motel 6 again. They don't give a rats ass about their guests.

But George... made it to the very last cut at the Nationals... so close. I was so proud of him and Gina. The motel may have sucked... but Gina and George rocked the house.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Everyday is precious

Every once in awhile something happens to make you do a reassessment. On Saturday, my Bobdog started limping and couldn't put his left hind foot down. Sunday, it was worse. It wasn't broken, and I was convinced he had torn his ACL.

Ok, ACL surgery in a dog is about $2500... you suck it up for your buds.

So I asked Cliff to take him to the vets for me as I am swamped at work.

ACL? Heck no. The vet called me and asked me about Bob's prior surgery on that left leg. No clue. Bob was a rescue dog, and many of you have been charmed by Bobtricks during the cool weather races. Pins and plates? That was a new one for me....

Of course, that wasn't the problem. Seems that Bob has been over using his left leg to compensate for the problem in his right leg. And the over use irritated those pins and plates in the left leg. What was wrong in the right leg... yeah, the BIG C. No, the really big C. As in Bone Cancer. Bone Cancer as in if you can you amputate the limb for pain control, not a cure. Bone Cancer as in 2 months maybe before the pain gets so bad...

So now I'm working on pain management schedules. The idea of a life without Bobwaddle... Bob running thru every trick in the repertoire until he gets the one that gets the treat... Bob that makes everyone smile...

Yeah, pain management. Every day is precious.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why yes I can find that date...

It's funny the little uses a blog has. Here is my latest use for a blog... a way to track when dogs try to bite me! No kidding!

I went out on the bike. Its friggin' beautiful outside, and about 70+ degrees. Amazing. I was having a great time, doing my usual winter alone ride.

And then...

See over a year ago I was repeatedly getting chased by this lab/border collie type dog. Then the dog started lying in wait for me, and there were several instances where I had close calls with cars trying hard not to get bit by "Blackie."

One day it got to be too much, and I saw someone up at the house and turned around and rode up the driveway and then used my bike as a matador's cape to keep the dog from biting me. I handle dogs. Don't try this at home.

The owner was obviously well to do and quite openly told me that she KNEW that the dog was going after cyclists. It wasn't until after I explained gross negligence, punitive damages and the like that she took more than a passing interest. All this time said dog was doing its darnedest to bite me.

They promised to keep the dog out of the road. And for about 6 months it worked.

Last April 25th the dog almost got me and I called animal control. How do I know, because I came home and wrote about it in the blog. I just looked up the date to give to animal control this time. Seems they have a new computer system, and wouldn't have the logs from the spring.

This info will at least help them determine if the officer who went out in the spring did his job and gave the owners a warning, if he did, they can file criminal charges against the owners. If he didn't... they have to give the owners a warning and then the NEXT time they can file criminal charges. What cant they do? They cant have the dog listed as a dangerous dog because so far my sprinting skills have saved me from actually getting bit.

I'd just as soon not get bit, thank you.

So just a word to the wise... if you are on Hanover Rd, just down from Pinhook in Goochland on the great bike way... watch out for "Blackie" at Windy Hill. But if you do get bit...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sleepy Saturdays

The great thing for today was getting a disc of photos in the mail. Thats George winning the first of two groups last week. Damn, he looks good. Photos are fun.

Me, I got on the bike and about a mile into the ride, it started to rain. I thought about going back, but then decided that it was a warm rain, and I needed the ride. It ended up being a great ride, all the way up until I flatted with 2 miles to go.

I thought about just walking home, but the other thing about the ride was that I saw a tremendous amount of snakes out for their final hurrah of the year. Snakes, including water moccasins. Since the roads out here are too narrow to walk on, and I'd have to walk in the grass. Not happening with all snakes, so I called for the sag wagon.

The rest of the day... will be spent cleaning the bike. And maybe a nap!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Meet the new foster kid... Casey

Say hey to Casey, just a little tacker, at 4 months old. His owners were very nice people, who like a lot of people, didn't do research before buying a puppy. Brittany puppies are ACTIVE. As a hunting breed that is bred to cover large swaths of land to find birds, you really can't expect to have the just lay on the couch and be invisible.

Ok, you can expect it, but it ain't gonna happen.


I met his family in Fredericksburg, and soon we were off down the road. This puppy rings a bell to go outside. No kidding. At four months. The whole time we were talking, he sat in my lap very quietly. Hyper? Not on your life.

So Casey will be living at Camp Runamuck for the next few weeks until I find him the right home. I'll be getting him neutered, and I'm sure that my dogs will be teaching him all kinds of bad behaviors in no short order.


These two guys are Tom and Jerry... two Brittany brothers that were dumped in Atlanta. Brittany Rescue has a huge network, and a boarding kennel owner is fostering them right now. She says that they are two of the nicest Brittanys she's ever seen. Small, HAPPY, and just damn glad to be with you.
Got a lot of love in your heart? How about adopting Tom and Jerry together. They're like Double Mint Gum... double the pleasure, double the fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

And sometimes you just go splat...

Today Cliff and I rode up to DC to do the Women Have a Heart 5 mile tt in DC. Yeah, we were wait listed, but guaranteed to ride. Maybe. Kinda sorta. Not. After having to dog jog all over DC to get to the Verizon Center, we finally made it only to be told that we would not be able to ride. And then, maybe we could ride. I was afraid of this. After driving 2.5 hours to get there, I didn't want to just go home though.

Plus I had already given the parking garage guys a show. Hey, you drive 2.5 hours, with the rest stops closed... Cliff kept telling me that it was fine, fine, then HURRY UP! When you gotta pee, you gotta pee. Sorry, that's the way it is.

So we went out and rode with the family ride on completely closed streets (completely closed except for people walking blind...) How cool is it to ride in your nation's capitol, in front of the capitol!! Seriously cool.

And then they let me ride. But Cliff couldn't ride. Ok, just one more nail in the coffin.

And then I looked at the wonderful start house that was built for this event... and thought, oh, this will be bad. Guaranteed someone is going to crash off that puppy. High, with a steep and narrow ramp. Oh, yeah. Someone is going down.

Poor guy in front of me... I was watching him in the house and he was kinda sorta really sideways as he was being held. I knew it was going to happen... and it did. He went off, somersaulted and did a facer. Oh, you know that hurt.

And then it was my turn. And yep, I went off, went off... tried to save it, but knew it was a lost cause, and somersaulted and managed to do a good tuck and roll. I understand from the spectators that it was a gnarly thing to watch. Film at 11...

Wouldn't you know, that my handlebars were bent down, and I couldn't jerk them up, so the officials said that they would give me a re-start. Then I was told that I couldn't re-start, and then I was told that I could. This as the paramedics were trying to convince me to go to the hospital.

So I did restart. From the ground. And I didn't use a holder. It was an awsome thing to ride a tt in downtown DC.

So Mimi, you are not the only one to cartwheel off a start house. I now have joined your illustrious company. And now I get to go see if I can get some of the grime off in the tub. If you are hearing a terrible shrieking noise... its probably me.

Cool event, but I now remember that I completely hate DC. Traffic is bad, scenery is great, and I always find a way to go boom.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The wholecheck experience

Whole Foods opened up here earlier in the year. Ok, its pricey, but if you need good stuff, you know that you can get it there, no muss, no fuss.

Plus they have that neat Enoteca wine bar... I really like the idea of trying with a decent enough size sample before I buy.

My Dad came to visit last week and Cliff and I took him to dinner on Friday. Being the ultimate cheapskate, we took him to Wholecheck. Why? Because on Fridays, the one near me does 5 for $5. Except its not 5 its 10... 5 nice size food samples and 5 1/4 glasses of wine for $5, and if you bring the wine glass back, the next time its $4. Yeah, $4.00. Ok, its not 5 food samples, either. They do food samples all over the store, and I swear we ate about a pound of really killer cheese, too.

Dad is in his 70's and does a great job cooking and stuff, but that food bar, and the $4.00 dinner, he was impressed. I think I have a new convert.

So did we buy anything else from Wholecheck? Hell no. Stuffed, we drove across the street to get stuff to cook for Saturday dinner. Sure couldn't beat that $4.00 check though...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Intervention

I have my self contained survival unit, aka "the Queencab." It's great. It is completely supplied in case of nuclear war, alien invasion, or group ride. However, every once in awhile, the interior gets to a toxic overload level.

And my team does an intervention.

I get back from a team business meeting which resulted in my missing the team ride this morning. As soon as I get home, J pulls up in the driveway, hands me her keys and steals my truck. She has promised to return it to me Monday morning.

Ok. I understand. I've hit the tipping point.

So I humbly thanked her and went to go get dressed to go for a ride.

Only problem... my self contained survival unit is gone, and J's dinky ass little car has an ancient pump with the wrong valve thingie on it.

So my ride is tanked.

See, I'm right, and they are wrong. You really DO need all that stuff that is in my truck.

Big sigh.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

To test or not to test...

There is a raging debate going on over at Slowtwitch.com right now. Seems that if you get a Kona slot as an age grouper that you will now have to sign a waiver, and be subject to out of and in competition testing just like the pros. (And since apparently the governing body has never seen fit to look into TUE's for age groupers, you can imagine some of the teeth gnashing that is causing...)

Me, I think its a great thing. I think everyone who competes should be tested at some point in time. I remember one year at the Pittsburgh Marathon, a local high school coach placed in the money and was tested. And failed. He let out a cry that he shouldn't be subjected to the testing that the pros go thru, since he wasn't a pro. (and I think he may have lost his coaching position...)

I also remember a little ethnic running enclave from the DC area who used to pop out to races that had money but no drug testing. As they didn't live in their home country, they were not subject to out of competition testing, and since they didn't do races here that did drug testing, they weren't subject to in competition testing. It was quite a little scam, but there wasn't much anyone was going to do about it. Drug testing is expensive.

One of my friends had an agent whose husband was eventually busted... Oh, the stories she would tell from some of the houses she stayed in. Drugs being sterilized on the stove...

But if you think that age groupers don't dope, you are in Lala Land. One of my former co-workers was on a pub team softball team... He told me what he took. And I told him that his balls were going to shrink to the size of marbles...

Do I think age groupers should be tested. Yep. People put too much time and effort to have some crappy cheater take away what they rightly earned. I don't agree with the whole rules apply to some people and not others. Its wrong. If you test positive, the results should be public, your peers should know. JMHO... what do you think?

Friday, September 4, 2009

The portable survival kit

Welcome to the Labor Day weekend. As usual, I'm one of the only ones actually working today. Well, me and J. Sharon is getting her truck fixed, but never fear, she has both a laptop and a crackberry. The crackberry to send thousands of emails, and the laptop to play Mafia Wars. The only problem, is that Sharon's new bike is ready, and she is still stuck getting her truck fixed. Oh, second problem, her new bike is ready, she is still stuck getting her truck fixed and she is HUNGRY.

Now if she drove a self-contained survival unit like I do, she would be fine. I have a Toyota Queen Cab. It is built to hold one person. In a pinch, one person and four dogs, (one Doberman in the back and 1 Brittany and 2 black fluffy things in the passenger seat.) In the survival unit there is at least one bike, a pump, 3 pairs of bike shoes, crocs, 2-3 helmets, 6-10 pairs of gloves- none of which match, socks in all states of disrepair, a blanket or three, medical kits (notice the s), books, Wine Spectator in case I'm really thirsty, a camera in case there is something cool or you hit me, a bike trainer, a trainer mat, gas container *full*, money, and enough food and drinks to last a small family turned over in a ditch for a month.

When aliens hit the planet, and we have to flee into the hills... you will all be sorry. Me and my survival kit are packed and ready to go. Too bad there is no room for you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GamJams Review- New Favorite Helmet


If I had to pick one bike related THING this year that I really need, want and cant ride without, it would be the Specialized Sworks Helmet.

Specialized isn't even our sponsor this year, and this is still the helmet that I want on my head. It has a great locking system, that is easily adjustable. This is a good feature as I go from hair, to my every 3 year near crew cut and back. Believe it or not, hair has volume. I need a helmet that breathes, that is durable, and that you can clean up a bit. I really don't like helmets that hold that wonderful funk smell. My dogs do, but they don't wear helmets.





I'm sure that next year this will be my new favorite helmet. I can't wait until it gets here. Even as a favorite though, I doubt I'll be wearing it much and will still need that go-to helmet, the Specialized one.




Of course, my next favorite new "thing" this year is my new teammate, Pam. I've already got Thing One, and I've got Thing Two. Pam is going to have to be my favorite Thing Three. She sure is our favorite little pocket rocket, and we predict that she will be Kevin Dillard's new favorite subject, you know, after Eurotrash J.



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Go Bernard Lagat!

It's funny... America is the land of immigrants, but in track and field, this guy gets no love. He came to America to go to college and has lived here ever since. In every interview, he is the classiest guy who ever spoke. He praises his teammates, congratulates all around him, and thanks his country, USA.

Today's 5000 meters... what a fabulous race. Usually the Kenyans box him in to punish him for changing citizenship. Today, running with stitches in his legs from being spiked, he just positioned himself correctly and the sea parted. Stride for stride with Bekele... two great champions heading to the line, I was riveted.

Bernard Lagat, class act, and American. You cant always win, but you can put forth the best effort to try. And immediately afterward, he went to hug his teammates.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thing 2 is a 3!!

We met Sharon a year or so ago at one of the Speedway races. All alone, in her Army kit, looking like a lost puppy. You wouldnt think that that face hides a killer instinct, but you'd be wrong.
Now that's the face we know and love. The take no prisoners, ride until you barf on your competition, and if you cant throw up on them, burp on them.
So congratualations! Colsweatsalot, aka Burpsalot Kitty, or Thing 2, has now been upgraded to a 3! With lots and lots of hard work, and a ride 'til you puke approach and good things do come!

Monday, August 17, 2009

How hot is it?

I get stopped on the road to help out strangers all the time. I bet you do, too. Yeah, I've shared my water with perfect strangers, but they usually are taller than my knee.

What happens when it''s 120 degrees in Australia? Koala's beg for water.

You wouldn't turn down a mate would ya?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Trying to keep cool- Reivew of the Aspen Cool Collar

Some things you just know work. That's my Brittany, George... about to go into the show ring on a stinkin' hot day. What's that pretty blue blanket on him? That's a cool blanket. You soak it in ice water, which these crystals in the blanket suck up and it acts like a portable air conditioner.

I dont say it works. George says it works. George LOVES his cool blanket...

So when I got offered the chance to try out the Aspen Cool Collar, I was all over it. I'm a tough reviewer, but I pretty much already was sold on the concept.
Why? Well, because of George. Then because of Deena Drossin. Deena is a hero of mine. In case you don't know who she is, she is the chick who currently holds the US record in the marathon, and took the bronze medal at the Athens Olympics. When everyone else was out warming up, Deena had on an ice vest. And when the race really mattered, Deena was flying.
Then you have the Garmin guys with ice socks down their backs. I do something similar with a Camelbak at tt's. A little fluid, lots of ice. Its initially a pretty shocking thing, but anything you can do to keep your core cool, is good.
So how do the Cool Collars work? Pretty good with a few tweeks. This is one size fits all, so unless you have a huge neck, it will be loose. That's not so bad, on a hot day you don't want anything strangling you. Other than that, it works. Put it on, it cools you down. Put it back in the ice chest to cool it down again and it works again.
The instructions that come with it are a bit skimpy, so here is a Karen Cool Collar 101:
1. it looks very thin. When you soak it for a half hour, it plumps up like a sausage. That's what it should look like.
2. put it in your cooler or frig. You want it cold.
3. when it cools down, give it a quick soak in ice water to refresh it.
4. You can use it while riding, but I think it dries out in the wind and then becomes a bit irritating. Its better to keep you cool before riding, and to cool you off when you get off the bike.
Would I buy one... yep. Its been stinkin' hot and I've used it almost every day. George approves. Could it be better? Yes, but not at $15.00. Cheap is GOOD.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fighting the good fight

I have "issues" with dying. Not really being dead, but the whole indignity and suffering that sometimes goes along with the process of dying. What my Mom went thru, I would never have put my dogs thru. I sure as all get out don't want to go thru it myself. Modern medicine may be wonderful, but it sure does have some pitfalls.

Every once in awhile though, someone's process and acts of selflessness inspire others to do really great things. Thousands and thousands of people have followed Susan and Elden's struggles with cancer. From the desire to do something good, Fatcyclist raised over $500,000 for the battle against cancer.

Susan fought hard, and is now at rest. The fight goes on, and if you have some $$ to spare, you might even win a really sweet new Orbea. So head over to www.fatcyclist.com. Buy lots of chances to win, and help Fatty defeat cancer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gam Jams Sock Review

I love socks. Unfortunately, so does my dog Bob. Bob loves stinky socks, and follows me around when I get back from a ride to get HIS socks. He doesn't chew them up, he just carries them, and lays with them in his face so that he can breathe in the wonderful odors.

He is a seriously warped little dog.

My favorite socks... Sock Guy. They actually fit my feet, and every now and again I get them on sale. As many people have noticed... when the sock fairies take a sock back to never never land, I end up with mis-matched socks. Ergo the Hottie-Bitch combo. I do have to be careful not to mix and match lions and zebras, ala Garanimals. It is a rare day that I am ever color coordinated.
What do I wear most? Decente Socks. Why? Because Probikekit had an awesome sale, they were like $3.00 and buy one get one free. Oh, and free shipping. I think I bought 30 pairs of them. Now I'm sure to have a match, even if they don't actually match any of my bike kits. They do the job, they last ok, they fit pretty good, and Bob's happy, they still stink.

In the winter, I found a few pairs of long Cannondale wool socks on a clearance table. Man, they are some kind of wonderful. They are thin enough to wear under bike shoes, and warm enough and breathe enough to wear when its cold. They wick sweat away very well, which is super important for when I have booties on. Did I mention they were on sale? I would buy those socks full price. You know, if I had to. They also pass the Bob test, which Bob thinks is MOST important.
Socks I hate... Defeet... Not only are they very overpriced, but the women's sizes are off, and within a few wears my toes poke holes in them. Any sock that doesn't last is not worth it. Expensive socks that don't last... just not right.
In the summertime, I only wear short cuffs. Why? Because I try to draw the line (forgive the pun) at the number of tan lines that decorate my body. Its bad enough that I have a farmer's tan, then the bike short lines, and the watch lines. High water marks on the calves are just bad.
Next winter though, baby I want a couple pairs of Gamjams socks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A charming Encounter... NOT

I am a very blessed person. I remind myself all the time, just in case I get too big for my britches. You never know when the rug will get pulled out from underneath you, so you better count your blessings when you can.

One of the biggest of my blessings is that I live in a rural county, with mostly gracious people. Some are incredibly wealthy. Some are incredibly poor. For the most part, the people where I live, rich or poor, are just plain, good people.

When you City folks are getting honked at, screamed at, and run over by people in a hurry who are texting something wildly important... I generally get waived at. On the rare occasion that I get a flat, chances are good that I'll have a few people stop and offer to help me out. Chances are that those people will know Cliff or be related to him. I swear he is related to everyone out here.

Yeah, I get the occasional car that passes too close. I believe its accidental, and almost never on purpose. Truck mirrors hang out a bit farther than most people think. Occasionally I'll amost get taken out by a trailer... same thing. They are longer than most people think.

Today I'm out on an easy ride to loosen up the legs before tomorrow's tt. Just an easy spin, on a very quiet road, beside some of the most expensive real estate in the county. Horses, dogs, deer... my favorite road. 150' before I make a left hand turn and I'm in the left hand lane. And suddenly I have a car about 2" off my rear wheel. Revving his motor... Very angry.

Unlike most cars, my bike does have a turn signal... I'm on the double yellow line, with my arm out indicating that I'm turning left, and this guy is trying to pass me. As I turned left, he yelled at me, "Stupid bitch, get on the fucking bike path!"

Uh, I must have missed something. In Goochland we don't have bike paths, bike lanes, and now that I think of it, a good many of our roads aren't even striped.

No, I didn't waive at him, ring a bell at him, and unfortunately did not get his tag number.

Cliff called me and I told him. He asked me if I would recognize the guy again or if I could give him a better description of the car. No, I can't. And no, I don't really want to know who this person is. And yes, I bet it would be easy for Cliff to find out.

Couldn't you just see it... being introduced to this guy at some event and knowing that he is the jerk that was screaming at me. Couldn't you just picture it... as I'm shaking his hand in front of his family... " Oh, yes! But we have met before! Allow me to refresh your memory of a lovely summer day when you so robustly told me " Stupid bitch, get on the fucking bike path!" And what would I say to the wife? "Oh, you must be soooo proud to have such a fine example of manhood for your own..."

Nope, think I'll pass on figuring out who our hero is. My mouth gets me in enough trouble as it is.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Fungus Factories

Ok, I admit it... I have a phobia. It's not spiders, or bug, or easy things like that. I actually think spiders are pretty cool. I have a fungus phobia.

Yeah, fungus. I am terrified of your slimy ass water bottles that rot in the back of your car, but you continue to drink out of. Ewwwwwwwwwww. I see you, with black floaty stuff swimming around in your bottles, and I get the cold clammies.

The worst? Gatorfunk bottles. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. All those germies and fungi just living the life of Riley in your bottle after you have continuously bathed them all summer in sugary sweetness. Uh, wash your bottle every now and again? Paleeeeze?

Maybe even worse, camelbaks. I've started using a camelbak bladder for time trials and I live in fear of the little assassins that are hiding in the tubing ready to smack me into the er with some variant of Dengue fever, gut rot, or some other esoteric crud.

When J and I did Bike VA a few years ago we were some of the few souls that escaped the food poisoning epidemic. I told J... no eating out of community bowls, no eating food that wasn't wrapped... and no drinking from anyone's water. We carried our own wash stuff, and we hit convenience stores where we could. (and almost died out there in WVA when the century day was MUCH longer than 100 miles and we bypassed a questionable looking stop only to run out of food and water when there was nothing to be had on the route...) But we didn't get sick, didn't go to the er, and felt pretty smug later.

So help me. Wash your bottles. Like all the time. If they have floaties in them... throw the bottles AWAY. EEEEEEeeeeewwwwww. I get the willies just thinking about it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bullshit Bingo


Yesterday my boss got a motivation catalog... go to www.baudville.com. I thought I was going to die of laughter. It was full of "Successories" unbelievably stupid things to give to employees, in lieu of money, to show them that you really appreciate and value them and all the overtime they work. My favorite...this little card that tells them what great job they did, with a removable button so that everyone in the office could instantly tell that they're special.
I was laughing so hard that I almost fell off my ball. My boss did NOT think it was funny.
And then of course I had to waste more time by emailing that stuff to all my friends. And my buddy, Swinging Balls Battle sent me this back...
"Boy this was timely. We spent 3.5 hours discussing diversity and inclusion today. Specifically hot they related to the workplace in terms of missing opportunities. I'm all for that. But the new buzzword is 'engagement.'
Anyone remember "Bullshit Bingo"? Often called 'Buzzword Bingo?" You have a list of words that you take to a meeting. You mark them off as they're used. First one to complete a line stands up and shouts, "Bullshit!" Other than being a career limiting move, it's pretty damn funny. Anyway, I found my old sheet for this. Cool words. Remember 'empowerment?' How about 'paradigm?'
Sure you do! Play it with me now... 'engagement', 'inclusion', 'divirsity'. Bullshit! See, wasn't that fun!"
Yes, you too can have fun at work. Add in continuous improvement, and other words and play along.
I'm so glad that my friends are as warped as I am. Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Time to burn in hell

Last night was the chicks ride, with the addition of our honorary chicklets... Bill an Cliff.

Carolyn, Cliff and I were motoring after coming up a nice hill, and as we slowed to take a breath... Cliff spied puppies in the woods. At first we thought there were two puppies... then we found two more.

Too bad they were so skittish... I couldn't get them to come to me. But, I can tell you, they LOVE Natures Path Peanut Butter bars. (I do, too!) So we fed them all we had, and called animal control to bring out the traps. Maybe we'll have luck today and get the little guys someplace where they wont get smooshed by a car or eaten by coyotes.

Yes, we have coyotes. And yes, they will eat puppies. Cats as well. One of the DNR guys told me a few years ago that Louisa Counties feral cat problem had "resolved." As in... eaten. Coyotes think cats are quite tasty.

So to the people who throw puppies out to die... there is a place for you. Its nice and warm.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seat bag review- just the nutz

At our Sprint into Spring race this year, my teammate Bill Battle forgot to take off his seat bag. I promised him that I would torment him for the rest of his life about it, and I always live up to my promises....

The bag was not well attached to the bike, and swung back and forth... kind of in a mesmerizing way... that brought to mind a set of, you know, testicles. I had to bring his significant other over to take a look, and Carolyn immediately went into hysterical laughter as the bag (balls) swung back and forth, back and forth.

So now, whenever I think of bike bags, that's the first thing that pops into my mind... a set of brass ones, swinging wildly.

In general, I don't use a bike bag. That's what jersey pockets are for. I do have one, a cheap Performance brand monstrosity that I can carry a small family in. I only use that for really long rides where stores are few. If I need something, I've taken one tip from the tri-geeks, and use a Bento Box on the top tube. Trust me, if I want a gel, or a chapstick, or fresh gum... I want it where I can grab it. The Bento box sits on the top tube and is much more accessible than any bike bag.

Now close your eyes and think of Bill Battle... you see swinging testicles now don't you...



Monday, July 20, 2009

Trinity of Terror

Thats what Hany called us at Roanoke... but J and I were thinking... maybe we need cute names like the Vanderkitten girls. You know, like "Mitten Kitten." Then maybe guys will buy us stuff, and think we're cute and all that stuff.

So here we go, the new names for the Trinity of Terror...


Burpsalot Kitten
Rabid Spitty Kitty


Snotty Kitty
Think it will sell?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rats its gnats redux

Welcome to the Ides of July... or Gnat Season.

Now if you are NOT a dedicated mouth breather like me, gnat season is probably not a big thing. But for the septum deranged like me, gnat season means an extra source of protein on every ride. At least for the month of July...

To make matters worse, I chew gum. Yeah, eeeeewwwwwww....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Got Skilz?

Craig Dodson at the ID3 crits, courtesy of Hany Hosny

I had one of my usually weekly chats with Carolyn Goble yesterday and we were talking about one of my new proteges, Pam Webb. Pam is a killer find, beautiful, talented, and a soon to be rock star on the bike. What does Pam lack? Skills. But she is a perfect student, she really wants to learn, and you can see her sharp little mind just spinning as we discuss things.

I love Pam and I cant wait for her to kick my ass. It will be soon, I assure you.

What was mind blowing was Carolyn's comments about the training that RABA, Team Natures Path, and Craig Dodson of Richmond Pro set up to help RABA with the serious increase in bad crashes they were having on group rides. TNP set it up, and Craig came and gave a great skills class.

Problem was, few people came, and those people who did, were not the problem children.

When Carolyn asked people why they didn't come, they generally told her that they didn't need skills training, they knew everything!

I was floored. I told Carolyn that its a rare pro who doesn't continue to work on their skills. I go out and do skills training all the time! I can't think of ANYONE who couldn't use even better skills.

Trust me, I've been on RABA rides where I have been scared to death by how people ride. I told Carolyn that its rare that I get scared in a race, it happens, but on a group ride, especially with strong people with no skills, it happens all the time.

So thanks Craig for teaching the class. Lets hope next time more people show up, and actually learn something. It sure would make the roads a bit safer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Computer review

I admit to being a bit of a Luddite... I'm about 10 years behind everyone else, and if anything technologically goes bad... I start searching for a 12 year old.

On my tt bike, I was perfectly happy with any computer that showed speed, average and time. Except that I typically use a Hed Trispoke up front, and while carpet tape USUALLY holds a computer magnet... on 3 race occasions, it didn't.

Funny thing, that. What is really grand is that on the days that I didn't have a computer, I rode about the same speed as I would ride with one, and once rode faster. Much faster. (I think it has something to do with all the predict your mile time stuff I did when I was a runner...)

To solve the computer thing, I bought a Garmin 305 for the tt bike. Problem, you have to charge it for pretty much every ride. Since the Garmin has to be charged, I have left it at home, on the charger, when it should have been on the bike at a race. That's strike one. Strike two is that the little computer really likes to have its data downloaded into your PC. Except that I'm a Luddite, and I just don't do that.

Garmin has replaced my 305. Multiple times. Those guys at Garmin are just wonderful. I'm still not going to down load the data, and the 305 will continue to lock up after a few hundred rides. And I'm sure the nice guys at Garmin will continue to replace it.

I finally got tired of charging a computer for the road bike, and just got a cheap Cat Eye Strada. Know what I hate... those little arrows that tell you that you are going faster than your average, or slower than the average. I have to turn that sucker over when I go out for an easy ride, as my competitive nature makes me want to keep that arrow pointing up.

What do I need in a computer... average speed, time, distance and current speed. I do miss an old Specialized computer that I had years ago... it told you the current temp. Like you really needed a computer to tell you that it was stinking hot, when you could look down and see the tar bubbling on the road. I may not be a sophisticated geek, but I am a geek. I loved knowing that it was really 115 degrees on the road... you know, where we ride. Too bad I knocked that sucker off the handlebar one day and we could never find it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The weekend in pictures

Every once in awhile you need to race in the rain. Rain has this way of making you humble... as you take a technical corner and then all of a sudden your rear wheel slides, and you are kissing pavement. Col. Sweatsalot ate it on the first corner, the site of many a bangemup all day. Notice the little kisses on her knee...

But J, who swears that she isn't the best in corners, went thru all day, with nary a slip or slide. J is, as always, our saving grace. She towed Sharon back up to the pack after she was able to get to the pit for her free lap.
I missed my pedal in the rain, don't you hate it when that happens, and slowed to see if Sharon was ok, only to miss my only hope of ever making it back to the field. So I rode most of the day all by my lonesome, except for the one lap that I was able to hook a ride with J and Emily Joyner... just as our group got a prime lap. That was the last I saw J. I was finally able to hook up with a Velobella girl, right before the end.
You know, it can get very lonely out there... J giving Sharon the limo treatment...
All in all it was a great weekend. Maybe not the most successful weekend that we've had, but the racing was hot, Roanoke as always was wonderful, and the people were grand. I may eventually get my bike back from the shop, sooner or later!
Stratton's Keirin Culture shop was fun, and we had a blast at his beer bash. The restaurant recommendation to Issac's was good too. All 4 of us ate for about $40. Saturday we hit the Blue Star with Ruth Stornetta and had a great dinner on the patio. We talked to the masses every day. Bike racing is a welcome sport in Roanoke.
If you'd like to see more of how the weekend went, head over to our buddy Hany's website and take a peek. And no, those are not photo shopped pictures... Hany just does great work. go to www.hanyhosnyphotography.com I understand that if you buy photos soon, he'll give you a discount. So don't be cheap, show a brother some love.
Hany is trying to hook me up with the fountain of youth... www.capoeirava.com I'm thinking of giving them a try. I may have to quit my job first though. So if you have any spare cash laying around after buying a few hundred of Hany's photos... send it my way. As flat footed as I am, I may have to live at the studio to learn how to MOVE again!



Sunday, July 5, 2009

Killer Bee and the Twins

Have you ever stopped to talk to spectators at a race?

We were walking back down to the race to watch the 1-3 men after we raced. We got to the downhill corner, and were stopped by a couple who were watching the race with a whole lot of enthusiasm. What did they want to know? They wanted to know if it was ok to cheer for the riders, because they really enjoyed the race, but didn't want to break any one's concentration... 'cause they looked so intense...

At which point J started screaming at the guys so loud that the lady was startled (and I think maybe peed herself, you know, just a little.) We told them that yeah, it was cool to scream their appreciation, and that the riders DO hear it, and it helps when you are deep in the land of pain.

At that point, the lady told us that they were rooting for the Killer Bee and the Twins! And here they came! They had no concept of teams, and thought that the "Twins" must be brothers or something. Yeah, kind of... those were the Richmond Pro Guys, and the Killer Bee- was killing everyone... Ben King.

So then we got to explain how racing is like chess, with all kinds of strategy. They listened with rapt attention. They loved it.

And they said that they were going to come out to today's race. We'll see... its raining.

But that cat 1-3 men's race... was the best race in the state all year. Bar none.

We were peppered with questions from passers by when we were on the trainers. Questions when we were walking. Questions, questions, questions. We loved it. And we answered them all, no matter how long it took.

Roanoke- probably one of the best places to race you'll ever find... fabulous courses, great people, killer restaurants, and ... the Killer Bee and the Twins.

Friday, July 3, 2009

On the road again...

Monday I zipped out from home to Kentucky for Masters Nats. I can end the suspense now, I did not win the tt...

But on the way I did manage to break out my handy dandy magic coupon book to score some good hotel deals. El Cheapo Delux here... not paying 130 or whatever it was to stay at the race headquarters. Especially when said race headquarters really didn't seem to offer anything to the racers. My newest find... Microtel. There was a coupon for every stop I made and I don't think I paid over $40 for a room. The rooms were pretty new, clean and quiet. I cant ask for much more than that.

I lived out of the cooler, funny how with free continental breakfast, and a cooler you can do that. I did stop at my other go to place though... Tamarac- the tourist trap in Beckley, WVA. The Greenbrier has a cafeteria there, and you can eat like a Queen for about $8. No kidding. Pan fried trout, fresh green beans and mushroom, roast potatoes. Yum.

After the race I went over to the Kentucky Horse Park to pal around with Cigar and Funnycide. I had a day to kill, and thought that I might as well do something fun. If you are ever in Lexington, its a well spent $15, and next year, they get the World Equestrian Games, the first time that they have ever been held outside of Europe.

Ok, the highlights of the race... getting to hang with all my friends who decided to come out and ride with the best of the best. Dennis, Tony, Marc & Marnie, Mimi.. yeah they were all there. Thank God that Tony had at least brought stuff as I ended up using his trainer. I'm not the only one... Dennis did, too. And Tony did TRY to give me a heads up on both the turn around and how short the course was. Too bad I really wasn't letting stuff sink in!

Tuesday I rode the course about 11:30 am. Yeah, during the high wind warning. Too say that there were points that I really thought I should get off my bike... understatement. And right there I decided to not use the tri-spoke and just use a regular wheel. With the wind, and the bridges over gorges... it was scary. So scary that I only rode the course one time, not the two that I had planned. And to be honest, I really wasn't paying attention to markings, I was trying to stay on the bike.

Tuesday night I went in to Louisville early to get my bike measured. I knew that it wouldn't pass, but was very confident of a morphological exemption. First ref, the not official measurer, agreed... I was about 1-2 cm off with the saddle. So I waited, but never fear, I had my shoes for the exemption.

Uh, next ref... said I was fine. So I made him measure the bike again. Nope, fine. I told him, that when I measured it it wasn't fine, when the other guy measured it, it wasn't fine. Nope, fine.

Now the Natures Pearl guys had to zip out to Lowes to buy a hacksaw for their handlebar extensions... I was worried for them.

Get to the race on Wed and the wind has died down, but there is a good chance for tstorms later in the day. Oh, and the race is delayed, rumor being that no one figured on the amount of traffic on the HIGHWAY that they were using. Oh, I'd be sooo embarrassed. Not nearly as embarrassed as if the other rumor I was hearing came to pass, that they were going to have to cancel the tt. Yeah, cancel the Masters National TT. Yeah, that would be bad.

But the race went off. And when it was my turn to go, the same ref who measured me twice the night before did not pass my bike. But yes, I did get the morph exemption, and then I rode like crap. 1000 miles, multiple days in hotels, and I stunk.

I did get to see Cigar the next day though.

So now we're in Roanoke, and the girls just got here for the Mill Mt Hill Climb tonight. If I didn't like the hills on the tt course, I'm really not going to like Mill Mt. I'll get up though, and maybe with the girlies around me I'll actually sleep tonight.

Onward and upward!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Raisin Hope at Reston

A long time ago, in a land far, far away I once did head injury rehab. Really. When I graduated college, I wanted to do a few years of what I called "Peace Corps" work and went to work at Easter Seal in Baltimore retraining people with head injuries to go back to work, or re-learn how to function again.

Most of my clients... young people. And more than a few of them were injured in bike accidents.

So this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

If you get a chance, head on over to Gamjams.net --- http://www.gamjams.net/2009/06/10-questions-with-saul-raisin.html and read Mike's article on Saul Raisin and the Reston Race this weekend.

Every day that I went to work at Easter Seal I knew that I was making a difference in someone's life. The incredible advances that have happened since then... make me feel like I was working in the dark ages. So go ahead and take a peak, you might learn something, too!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

I'm home. Semi-unpacked and about to hop in the tub to chill out with a good book and a bottle of wine.

Low lights of the State TT... 3 riders DQ'd for drafting... all of them juniors. Several more reports of other adults drafting, but unfortunately not in front of the officials that I had on the course. Deep sigh. Cheating is stealing, and it just sucks.

Oh, and there was the bad crash between Maria and Brenna... two great people. Maria has 30 stitches in her face and a broken tt bike... Brenna luckily escaped a bit better off. When I saw the riders down, my first thought was that sick feeling that it was two juniors and they must be dead. Not that having it be Maria and Brenna was better, but they weren't dead, and it wasn't a kid. Oh, geez. I bet my cortisol level is past the roof...

And then there is the driver who is going to sue me after a cyclist changed lanes and forced her off the road. Nice.

But this was probably our best run event. My team was everywhere, doing everything and I absolutely knew that I could still ride when Mark Pye took charge. Mark is THE MAN... and even painted a skull and cross bones in front of the bad way thru the bridge, and took the time to lay out with arrows the best way thru some pot holes. Many kisses... many.

And if you missed your start time... it wasn't because of the whip bitch. Julie was cracking the whip, getting everyone lined up. Those of you who were late... some of you 15 + minutes late... mirror time.

Mike, Christine, Steve, and Frank (who had just had spine surgery....) they rock. Big time. Again, everything that needed to be done... done.

Sharon and James, did the registration, and kept all the paperwork in line. And then some... Poor Sharon is in Texas, and still working on our tt.

Steve, Brent, Mark, Bill... kept all the cars as close together as possible... this is a small area.

And the turn around crew... Cliff, Scott, Steve and Jake. They kept everyone safe. These guys would have taken on a car, and did, to keep riders safe.

Paula and Dave... ran every errand and called numbers to the chief ref. All day. In the sun. And it was HOT.

There are more people... because there is always so much to do. Like Carolyn Goble who volunteer officiated... so that we could try to even the playing field against people drafting... to Gilbert, Danielle and Jessie who always do such an outstanding job. Mille grazie.

Oh, lets also thank Mother Nature... who gave us the glorious wind... which pushed riders to the breaking point. I know, my bike was airborne on several occasions. The Hed Trispoke was probably NOT the wise choice on a day with such wicked cross winds.

Thanks everyone for coming. And I hope that you like the prizes, from the Natures Path bars and bags, Contes gift cards, Wawa gift card, Chipotle (YUM!) cards, Fiorucci meat bags, and all the other swag. Much of which was donated by Julie... so if you got other swag, and if you got a junior swag bag, I bet you got stuff that Julie's fast little feet won for you. So say thanks to those who give so much back to our sport.

I'm going to go pass out now.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

TNP State Sr. Crit

Wow. What a cool course... I heard it all day. It snaked, it went up, it went down, and the 180...Wow. You missed it... you really missed something great. Natures Path, and Carolyn Goble and Dennis Ranier in particular get gold stars for putting on such a great first time race.

Maybe if we are all good, we'll get to do it again!

So how'd it work for me... Doo doo. The cat 4 women raced at 8 something this morning and Colsweatsalot was doing Army stuff at Ft Hood all week and got in at 12:30 last night. A wee case of food poisoning on top of it... and lets just say that the girls who sucked her wheel, got covered in something not nice as she barfed her way around the course. I sent her to Patient Worst to get an IV, which the nurse refused to give her since her heart rate was "normal." Uh, normal for a fat chain-smoker, but not normal for Sharon. Grrr....

Then the debate about what to do with the 4 entry 40+ womens field. Yeah, we wanted to combine the cat 1-3 race with it, but the chance of bad weather, and having this be the state championship... we didnt want the 1-3's to have to race 2 hours later. So the 40+ women raced later, with now 5 women.

The wind picked up. The wind gusted. And the first 90 degree turn with straw bales... I got blown sideways into a straw bale. I spent the next 3 laps turning myself inside out trying to catch back on in the wind before deciding that it wasnt worth killing myself... and I still averaged a faster ride than the 1-3 race. Go figure.

The good thing of the day... Julie smoked the 40+ race and won. See what happens when she doesnt have to drag my lazy ass around?

I'm back home, gonna hop in the tub and then finish up stuff for the state time trial. Want to really see carnage? I'm hearing a 35 mph wind out of the north-west tommorrow... which means a killer tailwind heading down 301, and a bitch of a head wind coming back. We'll be picking up bodies off the side of the road for days.

Good thing we start and stop at the rescue squad... huh?

Friday, June 19, 2009

TGIF

Race registration for our TT closed at 6 pm. So I got out on the bike after zipping the info to James, so that I could get a ride in and relax.

Not.

Ring, ring, ring, ring... Help, I went to register and registration is CLOSED!!!

Yep, thats the funny thing. You put your info on bike reg 6 weeks in advance, and then send tons of reminder emails. Beg people to register. Tell them that when they play the EBAY game that bad things can happen... And still people are shocked when they go to register with 20 seconds to go, that bad things can happen.

How could anyone have thought of that!!!!

Nope, you are not getting in. Sorry, I feel for you. Really.

I got home and then spent the rest of the night stuffing packets. A little vino... Bravo tv, and a cat who thinks he should be a "prize." (no you cant have Fuzzy.)

Thank God its Friday. I'll have twenty emails begging this morning. The answer is no, but I do feel for you. Don't do it again. Enter early, make a girl's life easier.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Running over Mickey

We save turtles, heck, we even save snakes... and once a tractor trailer went by us and blew an Indigo Bunting out of the sky and Cliff snagged it out of rushing traffic and held it until it regained consciousness and flew away...

Tonight, I saved my first mouse.

Cliff, J and I went out to West Creek to ride the Natures Path course and to pick up, and drop off race stuff. Of course as soon as we got there it started to rain. Thats ok, we ride in the rain. And then the phone calls about the race started and well... I might as well have stayed home. The joys of race promotion.

I finally decided that I really didn't want to loose yet another cell phone due to "moisture", so we headed back to the truck to ditch the phone. We went under one tree where a mother red tail hawk was trying to encourage junior to take the leap, and then went under a bridge where J and Cliff almost ran over a small brown lump in the road.

Being slow as shi* I got a better view of the lump. Said lump was a baby field mouse, cowering in the road, trying not to get smooshed by said instruments of death...

So I turned around and scooped up the little tacker... Cute beady little eyes... tiny little body with his heart beating a thousand beats a second. And then Cliff said, "Yuck, you touched it? Thats nasty! Eeeeewwwww." This from the man who has carried sick kittens for miles in his jersey.

Yeah, I touched him, and then put him in the woods. Cute little Mickey... soon to be snake food.

And then we went back to the truck and drank a bottle to celebrate the little sucker. Poor Mickey, he may end up snake food, but no bikes were going to run him over tonight.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The weekend so far...

Ok, so the good things first... after my ride this morning, I zipped up to Waynesboro to watch Georgie show. He took a group 3, and I got to be there to watch. Then I got to go for a run with him. Happiness is getting to see my dog, watching him look so grand and happy, and just getting to snuggle a bit.


Then I found out that the kid who got run over and his head cut up at Ride Sally Ride... Jake King. I've said it before-Jake is the future of cycling. I'm going to be crippled up and I'll bore people to death with tales of how I knew Jake when he was a scrawny little kid, with a fierce pained look on his face as he demolished the junior fields. Heal quick Jake, you have racer's legs to rip off...


And then I read an email from Mike May... and I was flattered. Yeah, I'll do it, but it will be a secret until it comes out. Just that it was so timely, with the state tt in 3 weeks, and me going into my psycho-bitch phase that happens every year about this time as I make sure that everything and anything that needs to be done to make this a SAFE and FAIR race happens.


Life is good.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thanks Matt

If you've ever been to a race in the Richmond area and have had a crash, it was probably Matt who stitched you up. Matt who scrubbed you, consoled you, and laughed with you about how cyclists just seem to fall down, go boom.

He not only saves us when we race, but he saves me in real life.

Trust me to show up to the race on Sunday to cheer my girls on since I felt like crap. Matt of course asks me how I'm doing, and I tell him. Which results in him sending in orders for a ct scan the next day. I was sure that I had an ovarian cyst rupture, Matt wasnt so sure and was not about to let me go septic. So he told me not to come into the office, just to call and get the referral.

Then I spend the rest of the day volunteer officiating to help out, and watched Matt stitching and scrubbing torn up cyclists, all day.

Yeah, turns out that J's original diagnosis was right, but Matt was right to make me go get it checked out. And then Matt just called me, at 7pm, to let me know that once all the contrast dye and sludge stuff passes, that I'm good to go again. You know, as soon as I can move away from the bathroom...

So thanks Matt, for always taking care of us less than bright cyclists... its a tough job, but someone has to do it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hair today...

So what do you do when you have a craptastic day at work...

I go torment poor Korean hair stylists.

It takes me a couple years to grow enough hair to donate. In the mean time I suffer thru having to wear a cap to bed because fine, Norwegian hair is NOT prone to getting long and you have to baby it. Oh, and you have to use massive amounts of really expensive conditioners, and forget about cutting it for years...

Ok, that part is not so bad. I seriously detest going to get my hair cut. And I really hate PAYING to get my hair cut. Although that part is probably cheaper than all the expensive conditioners it takes to get this kind of hair to grow...

And not to mention the fact that Cliff says that my hair makes his face itch...

So, after a few glasses of vino, I headed for the mall and did the walk up routine at a nice salon... "Um, do you have someone who can do a walk up?" Now, I knew full well who you get when you walk up. You get a young, right out of school stylist, who probably can't speak English. In this salon, she will be Korean. Which is fine with me, I've know lots of very talented Korean stylists, and Sharon will tell you, there are fabulous Korean tailors.

So I go back with this tiny Korean lady, and she painfully asks me what I need done. And I told her that I was going to donate my hair, and needed it all cut off...

"Scuze me?" said with a panicked look in her eyes...

So I told her again, that I was going to donate my hair, that we had to cut off at least 8", but the more we could snag, the better...

"Scuze me?" she said, looking like a snake had her by the throat and she was begging anyone within hearing to save her...

So I reached over, patted her hand and told her that I was not crazy, that I was cutting off all my hair and just wanted enough left that I didn't look Gay... not that there was anything wrong with being Gay, but that I really didn't want Gay hair...

At this point I thought she was going to faint.

So I picked up some bands and started to show her how to do it, and then had to keep moving the band closer to my head as she kept moving them out... in the end I looked like Pipi Longstocking, but with less freckles.

Now if I had had one more glass of vino, or if she had been American... after she whacked off that first pony tail, I would have let out a wail and cried out that I couldn't believe what she had done to me. But that would have been really mean. I did think about it though.

In the end, I had to talk her thru it, but I ended up with J hair. It looks fine. It will grow out. You know, in about 3 years.... But maybe, someone who needs it, will get a head of K hair... and her boyfriend won't tell her that it makes his face itch. Just maybe...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Centuries... Mafia Style

I use century rides as either a great way to get in mega shape, or at the end of the year as a great way to wind down a race season. Like that Greg Lemond quote, they never get easier, you just get faster. At least sometimes they do.

Today we were given a great gift, a Mafia escort to mile 30 and change... Having Don Vito himself, Pave' Maria, Rat and little Frankie give us the plush puppy ride... priceless. Having Maria give us French lessons, classic. Merci Buckets.

Of course, after that stop, we were on our own. The air was soupy, cloudy and windy. Not ideal conditions, but at least the sun wasn't blazing on us. And then it did.

I've had some bad rides, but today, After about mile 50+, I sucked. It is incredible how it happens... suddenly the legs just don't go. By mile 70 some, I was on my last dregs and suffering greatly. Then we ate pbj sandwiches, and suddenly things were better. To bad there were so many hills left... as long as we were on the flat, I was fine. As soon as we turned up, I was off the back.

But I made it in. Saved two turtles including what must have been a fresh hatchling. I think J has poison oak now as she took the little tacker and put him in the woods and has these cool bumps all over her legs at the finish. There is a price to pay for being good, and J is always the best of us.

Ride to Provide... raised money for the Fan Free Clinic. It was one of the hardest, best rides we've done. We'll be back, but maybe not after doing a hard 100, and some hard workouts the week before!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Big people, little jobs...

There are no small jobs...
And at the Sprint into Spring... no shortage of people ready to jump in and do the little things that needed to be done.
Thanks, Cliff, Steve and Tom for pushing water out of that one corner for HOURS. Its nice to know that my guys step up to the plate when needed, before you can even ask them!
Thanks Kevin Dillard for the photos!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Plasma 3

Aw geez, now they've gone and done it... just make a bike that has me drooling all over...

At the Tour of California there were a lot of comments about the fact that the Scott sponsored Team High Road were not riding the Scott Plasma 2, but a variation of their test bike with Giant.

Now we know why... and man, I want, I want, I want.

I think the P4 looks nice, but I doubt that I could ride it. I bet I could make myself ride this one. And because I'd believe that I would be faster, I would be faster.

I saw photos earlier today and wish I had saved them all. All of a sudden, tt bikes are getting wildly creative. The front end on this bike is not to be believed.

Well, she'll be at the Giro... and it will be right interesting to see how she handles. I hear the tt course there is wild as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stinky Shooz

If you are gonna race in the rain... you better dry your shooz.

Sunday's women's cat 1-3 race was in a deluge. As soon as the 1-3 race was over, of course it dried out. Danielle and Gilbert wanted another official on the other side of the race course, so I got off my bike, threw it on the rack, and got into an officials shirt and khaki shorts and headed to the other side of the course.

Oh, yeah... I threw the shooz in the back of the truck.

Now like every card carrying woman I have multiple pairs of shooz, so Monday when I went out for a ride I just grabbed a spare.

Tuesday it poured and I didn't get to ride.

Wednesday J and Cliff came over and I grabbed yet another pair of shooz. Oh, yeah, and it rained on us again....

When we got back from dinner I saw the shooz I wore on Sunday... and then smelled them. And passed out. Or close to it.... But I did take the insole out. And water literally did come off of it.

Word to the wise. If you are gonna race in the rain... you gotta dry out your shooz. Otherwise the smell will create a hazmat situation. Honest.

How J rules racing in photos...

J giving our new find instructions prior to the race. Christine is a great mtn biker and is gonna rule crits, too!
J showing Col. Sweatsalot how to scowl and look fierce...


J has scowling down pat...

The finish line after J launched her girls on the back side... We wanna be like J!


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sprint into Spring


You gotta hand it to her, Col. Sweatsalot puts on a fine race. Things ran smooth, there was tons of help, games for the kids to play, a bike raffle, race announcers (Mark King, you should go pro...), top notch officiating, and more prizes, swag and primes than you see at anything other than an NRC race. Natures Path bars, Chipotle gift cards, Wawa Gift Cards and more...

Of course, there was that pesky little shower that seemed to dump 3' of water on the women's 1-3 race and the mens 3/4 race... but for all the water, the course was not slick, and the water was soon gone. Gone in one corner thanks to Cliff, Steve, and Tom, who pushed the water off the course between each lap for 3 races. They rock, big time.

A special thanks to our buddy Kevin Dillard who made the trip south to photograph our race. We love Kevin. I'm sure the photos will be up in a day or two... patience.

Of course I would be terribly remiss not to salute the big race of the day... the under 10 junior race, and especially the little 2 year old rider, Luke, on his Trek training wheel bike who made it around the WHOLE mile long course, up and down. The entire crowd was on their feet, with Gilbert ringing the bell for this little future champion. All around the course his Mom ran beside him telling him that he was a BIKE RIDER. I just wanted to eat him up.

And the hardest working domestique of the day... my bud J. She pulled my lazy ass around the field and set me up again... but I could just manage to get 3rd in the 40+ race. All that work for me. Sharon took full advantage of it, and threw her bike to take 1rst in the 4 race. Sharon rocks.

Then J did her best to help our buddy Pave Maria in the 1-3 race. Selfless, but wickedly fast, thats our Julie.

And what about Jake in the 1-3 race, who attacked, and attacked, and attacked, and attacked and finally on about the 100th go, got the right guy to go with him and just obliterated the field. One too many attacks and Jake had to settle for second, but I think he's going to be upgrading here to a 2 soon. Jake is a monster.

So another great race in the books, and when I finish the books I think we'll have a few thousand to donate the welfare fund for the soldiers on the base. Its all good.

Now I'm going to bed. Before 6-almost 10 pm with 2 races, and half the day officiating. I'm whooped.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wintergreen Congrats

As a non-climber, I can sincerely say that I had my best day ever on the mountain... I was the STARTER! The 30 seconds between riders was tough, but I think I got thru it relatively unscathed. I sure looked fresher than just about anyone on the top, thats for sure.

There were some wicked fast times up there with both Dee Dee Winfield and Jeremiah Bishop breaking the course records. I heard that the air was soupy mid-way, but I cant imagine that it was anything near as bad as the headwind and heat from last year.

So congrats to C'vill Racing and all their volunteers for putting on such an epic sufferfest... I volunteer to be the starter again next year!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dumb Ass Award

Down here in Va, the lists have been burning up with people demanding satisfaction for the lack of prosecution of motorists when they hit cyclists. I'm all for it.

But to be fair, I'm going to start handing out dumb ass awards...

So award one goes to the cyclist in the yellow jersey on Hugenot Rd today about 12:15. FYI, Hugenot is being repaved and there is one lane open in each direction. No problem for our hero... he made his own lane and was just zipping up the line of cars. There was some debris on the left side of the lane, so I started to swing right, and if I hadn't have gotten a glimpse of the jerk would have nailed him.

Uh, its a two lane road. A work zone. One lane was closed. Just because you are on your bike doesn't mean the rules don't apply...

Kind of like the two motorcyclists on 64 E a week ago... who decided that since both lanes were going slow, that they'd just make their own lane up the middle.

We call you... organ donors.

You know its bad when another cyclist calls you out.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The other side of races:

You know, the race promotion side! Good ole Sharon is the real promoter, mover, and shaker behind our Sprint into Spring race, I'm just the money bags who has to deal with the Army bureaucracy. Bless her heart, she took 3 days off work to deal with the last minute stuff for the race and wouldn't you know it, she had to be in meetings (you know, for WORK!) on her days off when she was going to get stuff done.

So I love the panic emails that I get from her Crackberry when she remembers something vitally important mid-meeting.

Some how, some way, everything will work out just fine. It always does.

This is going on while I'm doing the pre-work for the State Senior TT. I get the flier up earlier than everyone else, and suddenly I have multiple emails asking when the race will be up on Bikereg. Damn, the race isn't until mid-June. I know no one is going to enter that early! I can't get people to enter until the last possible moment!

This year there is no tandem category at our tt. I really tried, honest I did. Every year I'd work over the RATS (Richmond Area Tandem Society?) and every year they'd swear that they were going to enter. Yes, it really does cost to have the category. I never charged extra for the tandems, even though I'd pay per rider fees. And with the category at the end of the day, with a big break from the last single rider (to discourage um... drafting...) I paid thru the nose for police.

So if you want your category at races... enter. Don't bemoan the fact that there isn't a 80+ category if no 80+ riders ever enter. This year I added a 70+ category as I know that they are out there. So if you'd like to see it again, ENTER!