Friday, August 22, 2008

An end to my morning zen....

I went for my usual morning ride on Wednesday. Something was wrong. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then, I realized the previously quiet roads of Mountain View and Los Altos were jam-packed to the gills with cars. What was going on?

Then, I realized. These were no ordinary cars. No. They were almost entirely SUVs...and minivans...all driven by a particular demographic - white women in their early 30's to mid-40's. And, they were diving into certain driveways with no sign of yielding to me, the lowly bicyclist that stood between them and their prize. I can't blame them. If I'd just spent the last 12 weeks trying to entertain miniature people, I'd be driving like a bat out of hell to ditch them for 6 hours on someone else's doorstep, too....

Yes, it's "Back to School" which signals an end to the peaceful morning ride season. Only 9 more months till June!

Monday, August 18, 2008

back in the saddle

Well, I finally got back out and raced. It was a series of time trials at the track run pursuit style. The distances were 500m, 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k. I figured if it was just me and another sprinter on the track at the same time I would only have myself to blame for an injury! I had never done pursuit on the track, so I was looking forward to learning a new style of racing and laying down some hideously slow benchmark times that should be easy to beat next season! I figured I'd be hideously slow since I've never done a holding (non-throw) start on the track and because I haven't done anything resembling a maximal effort in a couple of months.

Of course, they had to start with the shortest event, so there was no time to ease into the whole holder thing. My first start was a comedy of errors. Somehow despite telling myself and being told by the holder to head down track, I headed up for a couple pedal strokes and then had to correct it the right direction. I'd just gotten that sorted out when I caught my shorts on the saddle on one of the strokes and had to sort of sit and disentangle myself before continuing with the standing portion of the sprint. About 100 meters in I finally caught my stride. I ended with 50.4 seconds. I look forward to killing that number in the near future.

The next event was 1k. I actually got a good start despite having some issues relaxing with my holder. I kept tipping to one side or the other, but somehow managed to start in a straight line. I finished in 1:40. I know, not that impressive, but not horrible either! Too bad this isn't a real track event for the ladies!

In the 2k, they put me up against Linda Elgart. And, in the next flight they put Cathy against Karen Brems. Hmmmm. Could anyone think of a possible pairing that might be better? I totally got lapped, and blew. My time was a truly glacial 3:48. By the time they finished the 2k events, it was 6:00 p.m. and I was STARVING! So, we called it a night and went out for some Afghani food.

I had a good time and LOVE my new shallow drop handle bars. Yay! Rick even got me some pink bar tape to make the bike extra-festive. I also wore the fabulous knee high striped socks that my mom and dad sent for my b-day. Cool socks always make racing more fun!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Finally some Olympic athletes with some meat on their bones!

I'll admit it. I'm an Olympic junkie. I'll pretty much watch any contest that's on - except for maybe boxing and shooting. However, I'll also admit that after watching 3 weeks of Le Tour back to back with 3 weeks of Olympics, I start having body image issues. Or, maybe just image issues. I want to be ripped and nimble and graceful like the gymnasts. I am none of the above. I'd like to dance uphill on my bike, with a BMI of 20 and arms so small I could wrap my fingers around the top - but no. I'd like to prance around confidently in about 6 square inches of bikini while running and frolicking about like the beach volleyball gals. I'm afraid one dig would have my chest pouring out all over the sand, though. And the thought of my belly flab jiggling all over in high def....well that's not a good picture.

So, imagine my surprise when the Belgian beach volleyball team of Liesbet Van Breedam and Liesbeth Mouha struts out to go head to head with Walsh and May. I mean those girls are big, and strong. And, they still look good in their bikinis (albeit significantly more substantial than Walsh). And, the blocker, Mouha, is like 6'4" and 195 lbs. Finally, a real athlete with a BMI resembling mine and an even bigger stature. And, the best part is that they actually gave May and Walsh a run for their money in the first set - putting them to 5 set points. And, one of them went for a dig and ended up with a cleavage-full of sand. A real athlete with some cleavage! Yee haw! Maybe there is hope for me yet!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Phredly appearance on the Spectrum ride

So Saturday I got up super-early to meet a good friend who needed to chat for a hike. I decided that rather than driving to the preserve and then hiking and then coming home and changing into bike clothes for a bike ride, I would combine the two. It is about a 45 minute-1 hour ride to the preserve depending which route is taken. Perfect - a 1.5 hour ride and a 1 hour hike. That will be a good day.

So, I put the hiking shoes in my saddle bag (on the retro-Mondonico) and a lock. And, since I didn't want to look like an idiot hiking around the preserve in pink and black kit, I decided to wear a wool base layer and baggies with my tri shorts underneath. And, I wore my Keen cycling sandals that I use for commuting since those can be locked up to the bike with the helmet. I looked pretty much like the picture above.

So, fast forward a couple hours. It's now about 9:10 and I'm plummeting downhill from the preserve toward Foothill Blvd. I see the Spectrum ride pouring out from Homestead on to Foothill. I decide to close the gap (never a bad time for some race practice, right?). I drill it up to 27 mph in the little ring at some ridiculous RPM (not sure what since I don't measure much on that bike), wind whistling through my saddle bag and the little laces on my sandals going clippity clap at double my RPM. I surge past a few guys who are dangling off the back already and park myself on the inside next to an SJBC guy in the last 2/3 of the pack. Fortunately, my turn was only a couple miles up the road - otherwise I would have completely blown. I'm sure the guys were a little amused with the chica on steel bike with saddle bag, sandals and a wool t-shirt sitting in. They were also probably worried I'd take them all out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting a longer leash

Well, we spent lovely morning on Monday with the x-ray technician and a lovely morning this morning with the orthopedic surgeon. The good news is that the rickster is getting a longer leash! He'll probably still feel a bit too tethered to me, but at least he'll get a chance to make a little mischief.

Stationary trainer = YES
Driving = YES (if supervised at first and in-town to start)
Weaning off crutches = YES (starting with one on the left and moving to none as he chooses)
Travel = YES (in late October - Hawaii, here we come!)

Cycling on the road = NO (Maybe in time for Thanksgiving, though!)

Meanwhile, in other news....

We're planning to take the momma and papa to Quebec next Sept. to ride the "Route Verte" for her 60th b-day - just in time to see the fall colors. The "Route Verte" guide just came today so we can start strategizing. Also, the route was just named by National Geographic as the best cycling trail in the world. So, I'm getting pretty excited about it.