Sunday, March 30, 2008

Road Trip - Jeff Cup

Long Sunday. Guys left for breakfast at 5:45 am. I rose at 6:30, showered and went to the race with the guys as their sherpa. Perfect timing with registration, pinned numbers on jerseys and it started sleeting. It continued until right before the roll out to the start. Three big races started at 9 a.m. Fifty to seventy miles of racing; guys all hanging out in their cars in their street clothes until the absolute last minute to step outside into Belgian weather. The parking lot was filled with cackles of laughter. I stood in the porta potty line so my guys would stay warm and dry. ‘Tis the season for unpredictable weather. Brad and Keith’s race rolled to the start and I followed. Scatter-brained, I ran back and forth from the car with the essentials one at a time. Water, vest, … Duh! Needed to have the camera, water, gels, clothing, etc. in a bag.

I drove back to the hotel for towels for my guys to wipe down after the race. I think I have too much going on as I forgot to pack some essentials for an overnight trip. I will have to update one of my vacation packing lists to make it a bike racing list. I switched bags so you know, stuff everywhere. Forgot pump, towels, non-cycling munchies, clear lens, tea bags, enough water, warm clothes, car phone charger, lipstick, etc. It started to sleet again while the guys raced. Check out Keith’s blog later when he has a chance to post.

My race started at 1 pm. Huge field of 60+ with the collegiate A riders. Still freakin’ cold and sleeting a bit. Okay, maybe it switched to a sprinkle. I joked about warming up being over-rated. So we neutral roll to the start but you know how that goes. We make it safely to the start line and we go. Someone jumped right away and I went with her. Whoa! “What the hell am I thinking?!” No more joking about warming up being over-rated. I eventually survived (first I raced Jeff Cup in 2002 I broke my collarbone as we race with the 50/60+ men and I got into a bumping match with a guy over a woman’s wheel. Tried to come back in 2003 and the race got snowed out. Third time is a charm). My teammate Lorena took the field sprint with some distance between her and the pack. Woo Hoo! I did everything I could from the back. I sent good vibes to my mates covering the front while I watched from behind.

A.M. radio entertained us for the first half of the drive home with basketball and NASCAR. I talked about logistics of getting my car to the shop tomorrow for regular check up. Brad mentioned I need new tires after 37,000 miles. Brad bragged about being at 40,000 with his original tires. Keith is like; you guys can’t mess around with tires. He owns a body shop and said most accident happens because of worn tires, especially in the rain.

Our van had a leaking tire this past year and Brad noticed his car started to act up. We stop, checked the air and bought French fries. Another 45 minutes the steering wheel started to shake. Long story – story, we did a NASCAR pit stop and thought for sure that we were staying in Winchester, VA and getting drunk on 40s. We pulled into a local gas station with a garage but no mechanic at 6 pm on a Sunday. We made some calls and no luck. Brad and Keith decided to pull off the front tires with the hope that would fix the problem. Luckily, the station had one of those thing-a-ma-jigs that jacks the car up but the easy way (hydraulic car jack, I know!) Did the right tire and the guys drove around while I sat with all the bags and bike wheels in the station parking lot reading and taking in the highway fumes. No good. Crap! So off with the left. Bingo! We examined the tire and saw a dip in the middle – broken cord. Thirty minutes later and we laughed about getting off at the right exit as there was a Hampton Inn, strip malls on either end of the intersection and 40s at the mini-market next door. Stuff to do, beers to get hammered on. Keith busted on Brad as he bragged about all the miles on his tires.

Moral of the story, check your treads. (And check your air once a month. I too, had an issue with a leaking tire a few months ago.)

8:45, almost home as I killed time reading while I could and switched to blogging, maximizing my time stuck in the car for a few more hours. Wish I would have remembered to grab my camera cables to download pictures, too.

Kirkwood Pictures

Lancaster County sports fans (Little guys were to help mom clean the equipment but they ran from breakfast to check out the bike race)

40+ Breakway
Headwind stretch where I heard cat 1/2/3s talking about hearing the 9 o'clock races in their 39/23!

Mayhem for the sprint finish for the 40+ race. Juniors were lined up on the left of the road for roll outs, the ambulance sat at the 50 meter mark because the next racers would not move, people everywhere!

Whoa Teddy! Congrats to Ted Inoue. Spinners Cycling 2nd & 3rd ("The Dirty Double"; Spittal & Wilson). Wilson will blog about the Kirkwood race later. We dragged him to race Jeff Cup so no time for him to blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kirkwood Road Race

I ventured south (Lancaster County, PA) with the Spinners Cycling guys to tool around before driving 5 hours for the Jefferson Cup on Sunday, March 30th.

I have been saying; "What was I thinking?!" way too much lately. Wake at 6 am, temperatures below freezing, and the trees were dancing. People were in parkas at registration. The Amish were bundled in their wool.

I managed to drag my carcass out of the warm, toasty car and suited up to ride the course by myself as the guys warmed up for their 9 am 40+ race. In the sub-freezing temperatures, I decided to ride the 7-mile course backwards and take pictures of the morning racers.
It looked brutal. Even the Amish were faster than the guys. Details to come later.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Beauty of Little People

I usually cannot stand "fwd" emails, so I hit delete. For some reason I opened this one and ended up keeping the video on my desktop.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness

I have completed my first bracket, ever. This guy had a great bracket to complete.

At this point, the three Cinderella schools through a wrench in my numbers, especially with my final four having Connecticut. We are watching the games with me yelling as the scores go up and down.

I just looked at my bracket for the umpteenth time and I have a typo! While watching the Wisconsin game, I had them winning the first round but not winning the second round. But who they loose to is wrong on my bracket as USC lost to Kansas State. I guess I want Kansas St to win the second round as I have them listed to play Davidson/Georgetown. Oh, but it doesn't matter as I have Gonzaga in the third round. Grrrr.

I was hoping to do well without knowing much about the sport let alone about the teams. We shall see when it comes down to the Final Two-my picks: Louisville vs Texas.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Frida Kahlo - Philadelphia Art Museum

As we waited to wait in line for the exhibition two weeks ago, we walked around the museum checking out other works of art. Of course the first painting I noticed is of a bike race! Antonio Ruiz, 1987-1964, Mexican Bike Race. A beautiful ceramic fireplace - I want to say from France. Once our time slot opened, we entered the Frida exhibition. Brad lasted three minutes as there were too many people in one space. He was having issues all day as he was breaking museum rules left and right. (No umbrellas, cannot talk on the cell phone, no sitting on the step-ledge...) I tried to be creative by starting in the middle of the exhibition but it didn't really work. I eventually went back to the beginning and tried to do a power preview of the artwork. The first part were original photographs rarely displayed of Frida's early life with family. The later rooms mingled photographs with Frida's paintings.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Birthday

After I did the hot tub last night trying to soak away all the stiffness, I ended staying up too late reading blogs.

I was overheated after the hot tub and showering so I finished a History Channel program. While I watched tv, I read about people doing hill repeats, riding forever and having a great time, lifting, spinning, eating gobbs of hard boiled eggs while trying to complete a cleansing diet, ...

I threw the lights on the bike and went out again for a two hour ride to keep up with the Jones. Ha! One of our strong men in Lancaster has his birthday today (Happy B-day Stick!). Just ride the bike. Use big gears, ride hard, just ride the bike.

He will be riding 61 miles today as I chug my tea missing his morning ride. I will saddle up again to catch the afternoon ride. Cheers to those of us that love the bike, in all its forms.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

New Teammates

It's like being in love, you do stupid things like ride for 5 hours in the wind. I cracked the last hour so silly 70s music filled my head. "Oooo. You wait a long time for me. Oooo, you wait a long time."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Distraction in the Western Atlantic Sector of the Southern Ocean

One of my bike racing buddies is off in the Southern Ocean researching and possibly pedaling an ancient exercise bike on the boat. I requested pictures of the bike and stories about the food.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

DQ & I'm Not Talking About Ice Cream

We raced the 60 mile, Fork Shoals Road Race on March 1st in Greenville, SC. It was a great, 15 mile, rolling course with some windy sections.

Basically, I got popped so I got ready to video the finish of Brad's race. It came down to a group finish with Brad winning. As we waited for an hour for the results to be posted we found out that Brad and the second place finisher, Mac Cannon, got DQ'd! Yellow Line rule.

I think it all went down at the final left turn to the finish. Mac was off the front, and as the pack made the left Brad attacked at the top, and I assume the both must have cut the turn by a few feet to make the turn.

Oh well, I guess that is the luck of the draw. Most of the race, the pack took all the turns by crossing over the yellow line to make the turns safely and it was not big deal. The officials did relegate guys that crossed the yellow line on the straight aways but did not DQ them. I guess it was tough for the officials to "relegate" Mac and Brad in the final stretch to the finish; "Beep, beep!! Hey, go to the back of the screaming-mad-pack of sprinting men because you crossed the yellow line." would not have gone over well and could have been very dangerous.

I harassed Brad enough on our ten hour drive from the race that there was no stopping for ice cream at a DQ and thank goodness. I just googled the vanilla milk shake I had last week; f*ck! Large vanilla milk shake, calories-1130 calories from fat-260. Damn. I had malted milk powder so that probably added another 100 calories and I didn't share much of it, either.