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!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The New Specialized Transition?

Front view: Damn, its hard to find a bike in that picture!
Side View
Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but I sure do love tt bikes. Every year, our friends come up with the latest and the greatest go-fast machines. Taller, skinnier, thicker, thinner, sloped, not sloped, sharp edges, smooth edges, you could drive yourself silly trying to keep up.
Cervelo P3 is the best bike in the world because Spartacus rides one and hands out whoop ass to everyone. Then he rides a Specialized and beats everyone on the Cervelo P3 (cuz for some reason no pros are riding the P4...). So does the fact that he still is fast on the new bike make the new bike a better bike than the old bike? Or could it possibly be that he smokes everyone else because he is just fast as shi*?
I have this theory... sometimes when people buy that $10,000 bike, they BELIEVE it will make them faster. So they train harder, and voila they are faster! Hey, if a placebo works, go for it!
When the MIT study came out I bet a lot of manufacturer's jaws dropped... an aero helmet, worn correctly, gives the same time advantage as a disc wheel. So why do so many people shell out a ton of money for disc wheels, but ride in a regular helmet?
And the uber-expensive disc wheels? If they are so good, then why when the fine folks at Cervelo were designing the new P4 did they design the bike so that those wheels won't fit? Cervelo says that their bike doesn't need them. Can anybody really show that the sub-9 disc is really an advantage? If so, how much of one? Is it really $1500 more aero than a $500 Renn disc? Or how about a Hed Jet wheel with a disc cover... at least there you get a wheel you can do crits on and a wheel that becomes a disc wheel. All at a fraction of the cost.
I love all the new bikes. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't ride anything that low, and I'm pretty sure that 99% of the tt bike market couldn't either. (Which is why most people sell their P3's or put a ton of spacers under the bars) They sure are pretty, and I'm sure that whatever Spartacus rides that he will hand the competition his can of whoop ass.
I think I'll keep my out of date Scott, and bank that money for bad times.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hero to Zero

Yesterday was the Van Dessel Crit in Waynesboro. Waynesboro is a wonderful town, with a rich history of outdoorsiness. (is that a word?) I've done some cool races there, running, tris and crits. The community is always super supportive. Thanks to the Van Dessel Team for bringing bike racing back to this cool town!

Unfortunately for me, different courses for different horses. This course is not for me. It goes up, then up, then turns left, and goes up, and turns left again to go up AGAIN. Then you get the cool screaming downhill, a turn to a flat stretch and then you get to do it all over again.

At least we raced at 6 pm. By then the clouds were coming in, the wind was picking up and the heat was dissipating some. All of us were cameling up... drinking as much as we could pre-race as the carnage in the early races was generally due to dehydration.

J ran a 10k in Fredericksburg in her usual blistering fashion, so I knew that she wasn't going to have a lot in the tank. Sharon officiated all day. And me, like I said, not my kind of course. I made it around... just barely, and at least can say that I got a good, hard work out in as Rachel and crew lapped me out there!

It was good to watch our friends at Natures Path completely control and dominate the men's 1-3 race. If you wanted to explain team tactics to someone, that was the race to watch. Good show guys!

We rolled in at home after 10 pm, and this is going to be a very sleepy day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I've love dogs... but....

It really is dog owners that SUCK! Just the bad dog owners.

A year ago I had a talk with a RICH lady down the street from me. I was having to out sprint her dog on almost a daily basis, and the dog was getting peeved that it wasn't getting to bite me. And the dog was getting smarter... and laying in wait. Nice thing about riding at the same time of day... it puts the smart dogs on a schedule. Dogs love schedules.

So I stopped and talked to her one day. The whole time I was talking to her I had to use the bike as a shield to keep said dog from making me into a Scoobysnack. She admitted to me that she KNEW the dog was going after cyclists, but she didn't like keeping the dog penned up.

Well, after about 15 minutes of listening to this crap I told her what I did for a living. I told her that she was on notice, that failing to do anything about this situation was the definition of gross negligence, and that if I got bit, or heard of anyone else getting bit, that I'd do everything I could to make sure that she payed for it.

That seemed to have gotten her attention. The dog "disappeared." I thought that maybe she took it to animal control, or locked it up, or something.

He's back. I was out tooling around this morning doing an easy 30 before Waynesboro tomorrow. The pollen is so thick out here that I couldn't sprint if my life depended on it anyway... So of course, as I rode by her house, the dog jumped out of the brush and missed me by about an inch, I swerved, almost crashed and if there had been a car coming the other way... I'd be dead. So I'm screaming BAD DOG!!! BAD DOG!!! and I know the lady heard me and didn't do anything.

I'm waiting for animal control to call me back. This is going to be over. Today. Dogs I can deal with. Bad owners...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Go George!

George is now sitting at #13 in the country... moving on up! As much as I love having him out with Gina, and as much as he LOVES her, I sure do miss my running buddy.
He's in Delaware this weekend... Maine next weekend. I swear that dog is traveling more than me these days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Oh, man, oh, man, oh, man

Sharon just called and we're going to FRANCE! She WON THE GRAND PRIZE at the AMGEN Tour of California, and we're going to France for the last week of the Tour d'France, airfare, hotel, meals, VIP, FRONT ROW...


Life is GOOD!!!!

Get em before they get you...

There is something to be said for just blowing up the bad guys. I'd imagine that it has a real deterrent effect, especially when I keep hearing these funny reports about how Somali women are flocking to Mogadishu to marry pirates. Maybe if the odds of them actually coming back with $$ are changed a bit, the pirates will think twice about attacking ships.
No really... just maybe...
Oh, well. It has been Navy kind of weather every night so far. Monday it was thunderstorms and tornadoes. Last night it was hail and thunderstorms. I know that it hailed at my house earlier today, but I BELIEVE that God is going to let me ride outside tonight. I need my fix, really, really bad...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The weekend in review...

Saturday was a good day. J came over and rode at O'Dark Thirty with me so that we could get to the club picnic. After a few miles of snuffling, gagging, spitting and other nastiness I looked down at my tires... which were formerly black. Today, pollen yellow-green. Pollen, its just evil.

The picnic though, was grand. Our friends at Fiorucci hosted us at their plant in Colonial Heights. While Cliff and I were waiting for Carey to show up, turkeys flew over our head... in a business park. Carey later told me that they occasionally get bobcats in the compound. Too cool.

Gregg and Sandee arranged a group photo shoot and video for the Fiorucci website. I'm sure it will be up later in the season so go take a look. Fiorucci is not only a great company to work with, but they have great products as well. Give 'em a try. As usual, they will be donating prize bags of their wonderful products for the State Time trial. So plan on being fast that day, those bags are worth about $25 each.

Saturday night I went out to buy tomato plants for the garden. Oh, man! Someone has figured out that the country is in a recession and everyone is going to be planting gardens this year. The cost of plants is thru the roof. I got pissed and went to a small farmers market and bought my plants. If Home Depot and Lowes are going to jack up their prices, I'll just take my business elsewhere. So there... pffft....

Sunday was the Casey Auto Crit... but run backwards this year. The course was both safer and faster in this direction, so good call JRVS.

I must be getting a bad rep... when the officials meet you on the line and ask you where your inhaler is... you got a problem. The pollen was knee deep and there was lovely wisteria growing and blooming all along the course. I knew I was in trouble... and so did the officials. Lucky for me I carry a pot of Vicks in the truck. I smeared so much of it on my face that no pollen was going to enter these lungs. of course I was living in fear that I'd forget and wipe my nose or something, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

How'd it go? The Rostello girls just rocked. 4 laps to go, we were all up front, organizing the train, and being safe. J lead us out and took 5th, I was 1rst 40+ and Col. Sweatsalot was 2nd cat 4. You gotta love it when a plan comes to fruition. This was after J had gotten run off the course not once, but twice by the same rider. Not cool.

I do have a world's record to hand out... to the rider in our race who gave us five different reasons she didn't win. The question is... are the five reasons cumulative... or does one supersede the others. The five reasons were given over a span of about an hour... and when the next one was given, the preceding one was apparently forgotten. I'm sure that if we had hung around a few minutes longer there would have been a 6th and 7th reason... maybe more. By now I'm sure that there was a solar flare that disrupted the electrical charge of the earth or something. Keep 'em coming, it's highly amusing. We do give bonus points for creativity... so keep trying...

And congrats to Gregg... I got a call when I was out planting green beans... 8th in the big cat 4 field, and wisely rode AHEAD of the two crashes. There is a reason why the top pros ride at the front of the peloton.

And BEST WISHES and SUPER SPEEDY RECOVERY to Wes King. Wes, you are NOT the Natures Path guy that we expect to see kissing asphalt. J and I were on the side road and let the ambulance onto the course for the crash. We had no idea it was for you. Take the drugs, don't worry, be happy.

And the biggest hugs and congrats to our adopted team mate Eli Hunt and her hubby Roger. Preggers! Man, are we happy for you both. Roger, I would have kissed you, but the Vicks on my face, just gross, you know?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Suit Happy?

There has been some interesting discussion on the MABRA list about what clubs have to do to put on a "fun" event. It sounds easy, and heck the bike couriers and scofflaws do "Slaughterama" and other races all the time. All those races are "unofficial", have no police, no permits and from what I've seen, are generally dangerous as hell.

But you never hear about law suits from those events. I say little wonder, most of those people have nothing to get in a suit. If they were sued, they would either just declare bankruptcy or not pay a judgment. There really is something to be said about blood, turnips, and all that.

Lots of us though have houses, cars, real jobs, and stuff. For us, getting sued can have some real meat to it. And you'd be surprised at what you can be sued for. And you'd be surprised at how hard it can be to get out of a suit. And you might be surprised that your home owners carrier wont cover you for some things. Like racing... but that's up to you to look at your own insurance policy.

The people who think that they cant be sued in an under the table event... that only the cyclist involved in a crash would be sued... Uh, you are probably wrong. The more people invited to the party, the greater the opportunity for the plaintiff to recover. So if you have any of your little fingers in the event, you can be sued. Heck, even if you don't have any of your little fingers in the event, you may be able to be sued. If they can keep you in a suit is another matter, but you wouldn't care because suits have a nasty habit of taking over your life.

And while we're at it... remember that cyclists who get hit by negligent drivers sue those drivers. Sometimes. Sometimes they win. Sometimes they loose. Its just fair that if cyclists are negligent and cause bad accidents to innocent drivers that those same drivers get to sue the cyclist. And if you are a promoter who puts on an unsafe event, sanctioned or otherwise, that puts the public at risk... well, its just fair that you get it, too.

So when we as promoters are putting on an event... safety is always job one. Down the road is a fair event, etc... and in the top five, you better be thinking about what can happen if you aren't putting on a safe event. And that includes club rides, training rides, and anything else.

There are plenty of attorneys who race bikes. When in doubt ask one. And anytime you want to be regaled with stories of incredible suits, just ask me...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Paying for two seats...

I don't know about you all, but I hate to fly.

Its not just the lost baggage... I've gotten to the point that I can get away with almost never checking a bag.

Its not just the delays and cancellations that leave you stranded...

And it sure isn't that they don't feed you on planes. I never ate that crap anyway.

For me, its having to absolutely defend my territory, aka my seat. Airline seats are not huge, and as a woman, big guys think that my space is their space. So the first thing I do is put the arm rest down and put my arm on it. That defines that this is MY SPACE. That is YOUR SPACE. The fact that you cant fit in YOUR space is by definition YOUR problem.

Except it never works out that way...

Today another airline announced that the large Marge's of the world are going to have to cough up the $$ for an extra seat if they cant fit in their seat. From my perspective, its not just the obese people, though. Ever see a 6'6" guy try to fit into an economy seat? Butt wise they fit. Leg wise, no chance.

There has got to be a better way. Maybe they have first class seats, cattle car seats, and for a little extra money, wide-body or leg room seats. Heck if the airline can charge you $5 for a hot beer, they ought to be able to figure out how to charge extra for a little more space.

Just my opinion. But I think that the airlines are in the business of making people be as miserable as possible, so I may not exactly be objective here...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It'll move you to tears...

Criminy, I watched it this morning after hearing about it on the way in to work. I dont watch all the Idol shows, who has the time.

But watching this train wreck of a person walk out on stage, and then to hear the angels sing... I admit it. I cried.

If you only have one moment in the sun, I sure hope its like the one that lady got.

Bravo. God was having a particularly good day when he made that lady.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter will be a little late...

Did the Easter Bunny skip your house this morning? Tell the kids he's gonna be a wee bit late...
Seems J was riding out near Tappahannock this morning, when Peter Cottontail decided that life was just too rough, what with having to carry around all that candy for all those screaming kids and all...
So Peter decided to end it all in a death by bicycle scenario. J sends her condolences to little children everywhere...


I got back in from my ride to the news that Capt. Phillips was rescued... Go Navy. And all the bad guys are now shark food. I hope the sharks dont get too bad a tummy ache.

What a wonderful Easter present for all of America.

Warm fuzzies all around.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter

Well whats an Easter post without the random puppy, kitty and bunny shots? It would be sad, so sad. So here's George, posing pretty after snarfing down a good snack. BTW: Georgie is in Perry GA this week royally kicking booty... I miss him something fierce, but he looooves to show, loves the applause and TREATS and all the fanfare. Go George!

And just cuz you cant slight the bunnies and kitties out there...

Twins, separated at birth...
What am I doing for Easter? I'm going to ride my bike, thank you. I'm hoping for a nice long one on Sunday after I clean the sludge off it on Saturday. (Its supposed to rain on Saturday, so I'm going to wait until after I ride to clean it. ) To say the Orbea is skanky would be an understatement. J thinks that we've both been suffering so much this week because our bikes are mad at us.
I believe her. It couldn't possibly be because I SUCK. That would be an outrageous thing to think.
Sunday I'm also going to finish up the pre-work on the veggie garden. I usually don't plant until April 16th. Before that you can get frost, and nothing is going to grow until the soil gets warm, anyway. I'm dreaming of fresh tomatoes. Oh, and squash, and peppers! Fresh basil. Basil and tomatoes. Geez... I'm starving.
Happy Easter. Hope the bun-buns bring you something wonderful.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm TTing away...

I ditched the diet for the weekend. Ok, not exactly ditched... I just ate non-boxed food like chicken, veggies, and fruit. Racing on no calories is not exactly the way to win big. Not that carrying around junk is a way to win big, either.

The Canal TT course is beautiful. Where else can you get a drag strip, closed course, along a beautiful canal? Not to mention that the trip down was full of such wonderful sights as the pelicans coming in for a landing on the river. If that's not something that will get you out of bed at 5 am, I'm not sure what will.

I've been without a computer at home for about a month now so Sharon had to tell me my start time. Normally I'm really anal about the details, but did I check when I got to the race? Nope. I also didn't bring the necessities of TT'ing, like chamois cream, gum, extra water, etc... Lucky for me I have Sharon.

No, really lucky for me I have Sharon. I was out warming up thinking that my start time was 9:20 and hers was 9:12. I was going to zip in and yell for her at the start when I found out that nope, MY TIME WAS 9:12. I've never missed a tt start and my love for my team mate kept that streak alive.

Did I mention there were more 40+ women entered than cat 1-2 men? Who says women wont race. It was AWESOME. Kudo's to BJ and the Vanderkitties... I just love it when anyone does anything that brings more women to this sport. I told BJ that when I used to direct and promote Women's Distance Festival races to bring women into the sport, that it was almost always women 30++ who were my first timers. They were not normal runners, were at a point in their lives that they decided to do SOMETHING to change their lives. They needed lots of support, but in the end, they become lifers. So KUDOS. I'm awful proud of you all.

The TT was good for me. With a hard week of dieting, and spotty training the distance played up to what I do best... riding by analysis. I went out relatively easy with the goal of building from the turn around and crushing the last few miles. I was really happy with what I did. What time did I ride? No idea. I'm sure that I was 2nd or 3rd, but we'll see...

Thanks to Brian (Stormyworld) who saved my butt during my "barking seal" routine after the race. Yes, the asthma has been giving me fits, but at least it waited until I crossed the line to rear its ugly head. And yes, I'm going to start leaving a drop bag with an inhaler at finish lines from now on. (and yes, today my chest feels like a bus landed on it. ..)

Thanks to the Pyeman for doing all the great things that he does, like suffering thru taking my booties off my feet. I know that was a bad job. Love ya man, mean it. We really do only hurt the ones we love.

Thanks also to Sharon who went over to the PLT course with me so that I could get some more miles in. Now if there was ever a place that is going to set off an asthma attack, its out there. The swamp was all the way up to the road, and just looked slimy as all get out. It didn't seem to be bothering the ducks, geese, turtles and SNAKES in it that we saw though!

6 miles in to that ride, the hunger pains started knocking... and never let up until we finally got to the VA Diner at 1. While everyone there was eating fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and collard greens, Sweatsalot and I were eating grilled chicken and salad. Dieting is NOT fun.

And while everyone thinks that bike racing pulls families apart... watching the Tour of Flanders I had to call my Dad. He would always laugh at me and tell me how flat Belgium is. Hah, so I called him when Devolder was just crushing the field and told him to turn on VS to see the Belgian "flatland..." Getting to share the experience with my Dad... "PRICELESS...."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 3, 2 lbs and gut lock

One of my attorneys in Florida went on Nutrisystem and just raved about it. I think he's lost about 50 lbs., was never hungry and trust me, he doesn't exercise. Since time is my biggest problem- I decided to give this stuff a whirl. With food in a box, that doesn't even have to be refrigerated, I really have no excuses.

Started Monday, and I've lost two pounds. The food isnt bad. Ok, the minestrone soup is really bad... the chocolate cake snack is actually pretty good. So that balances out. Yeah, the chicken breast patty smells until you heat it up. That kind of turned my Princess Gut a bit. But you have to add your own veggies and fruit which is just fine with me. The garden is tilled and the seeds have sprouted on the kitchen table under the grow lights...

What I'm not digging... gut lock. You'd think with the amount of fiber this stuff packs that we'd have some kind of movement... but you'd be wrong. Something is going to have to give here soon or the TT on Sunday is going to be another exercise in pain.

Nothing ever comes easy. Lunch today is fettuccine in a dehydrated soup container. I bet thats just yummy! And trust me, that picture of Nutrisystem pizza... it doesn't look like that in real life.