Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Home Sweet Iowa

It's amazing how some good ole hometown fun and relaxation can completely erase my weekly stresses and frustration. Work has been wicked rough lately, so a mellow weekend with the Hendersons was just what I needed.

Jay and I headed south late Friday night, rolling into his hometown w/ just enough time to hit the hay and wake up with no alarm clocks! We grabbed coffee and breakfast at Hyvee and had some social time with Jay's folks before getting back on the road to watch the Snake Alley Crit. Within seconds of pulling in, we found everyone. Peter the CX Kid was easy to spot mid-Snake in the fab green Phloyd's Ph&%#'d Tee shirt. Lou and Ken were there, too, cheering and jeering with the best of them. MN came out hard, with Mean Dog, the Swanson Bros., and Dewey climbing the switch-backs with the best of them. Vegas flatted on a pothole, but the rest of the crew put on a good show, making it fun for cheering fans.

Jay and I cut out quick after the race to catch the last bit of daylight and an evening ride before dinner. The Iowa country side is spectacular, with rolling hills and electric-green fields for miles. We got in a great ride and were home in time to make some killer fajitas for his parents. Dinner was just tasty, and it was fabulous seeing D up and at'em.

Sunday was the Muscatine Crit....I'd never done a Crit before, so Jay talked me into it by calling it a "Circuit" race. Okay, so I'm not that blonde, only my highlights are....the crit was a 1 mile loop, so I was much more willing to do that then the ones I've seen so far. The day was beautiful, the air a perfect temp,....and dinner had been too spicy, so I couldn't stay out of the bathroom to save my life! There is nothing more painful than and upset stomach and having to find a way out of a skinsuit quickly, over and over again! So, sore, sick, and dehydrated, I rode up to the starting line. The race was fun aside from my guts, fast, a killer downhill with a wicked speed hump at the end ( I caught air every time! ). I rode hard with the group for the first couple laps, got dropped on the hill, caught back on, and then got split off with a slower group. After about a lap, I dropped the rest of the group and chased the leaders solo for the rest of the race. I finished with a hard sprint 13th of 23. It was a lot of fun and I learned even more about racing - cornering was my big lesson this race, and I couldn't be happier. Jay had a tough race as well, finishing farther back than he wanted to, but he was still having fun being out there.

Later that evening, after dinner w/ the 'rents, Jay and I headed for Scott Church Corner for a sweet Iowa City Wine Ride. It's an interesting reminder that you're growing up when your cycling booze rides start to include cheese, crackers, and napkins. We met up with Lu, Ken, and the gang at the park and drank an extraordinary amount of wine and nibbled on the large assortment of cheeses. Did you know Maytag makes a killer blue cheese? Yep, that's right, the washing machine Co. has supposedly mastered the secrets of Blue Cheese. It was the talk of the concrete picnic table.

The night was spectacular - warm, breezy, lightning bugs filling the fields around us. We hung out until the late hours of the evening, a dozen bottles of wine later, and rode out as a pack back to our beds. The ride was fast, fun, and furious on the pitch black country rode. We got home in great time, curled up together, and slept soundly with no alarm clocks.

The next morning was another road trip home, but our hearts were full of fond moments and memories shared.

There are moments lately when I actually stop and think solely about the fact that this is my new family (with John and Abby, who I've yet to meet). These wonderful people who welcome me with open arms and smiles are my new family, and I couldn't be happier. I can't believe how fortunate I am so know so many amazing and loving people. I truly am blessed.

Kristy Kreme

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

By Popular Demand.....

How on earth could I have missed pics from the Velodrome? Heck, I'm head over heals in love! What more can you expect?

So, after a great number of requests (2), I've got to give you the money shots.
Check out Timmer rockin the Velodrome on Saturday nite...
And Tainter...And, of course, SickBoy....
Nice work, guys! Keep up the great work!
Kristy Kreme

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cable Classic & %@#$'s Spring Cup

What a weekend!!!
It all started Friday night, as Jay and I headed up to Cable, WI to stay w/ "Best Rep" Rick at his super-spiffy cabin. The place was beautiful, and just the rest we needed before the Cable Off-Road Classic the next morning. Saturday morning was filled with excitement - this was to be my first Mountain Bike Race EVER!!! I was doing the 18 mile race with Rick, while Jay raced the 23 miler w/ the Chucker, G-reg, and super Dennis.

Just before the start, the skies leaked out a 10 minute rain - just enough to make the dusty trails tacky. Jay dropped me on the side of the road and pointed "onward" to the start. Actually, I knew where to go....this race came full circle, taking me back to the lodge I've seen many a 4th of July fireworks display as a kid, with my best friend since I was 10 yrs. old having a cabin on Lake Namekagen. Their family sold it last summer....and I never thought I'd be back, let alone w/ my fiancee, racing mountain bikes!

The trail was spectacular! Carpeted as far as you could see with lush green ferns, the rolling hills gave way to peaceful woods and preceded rocky downhills. 7 miles in, flying down a rocky desent on my fully-rigid single speed, my tail got wicked and started to swing out in front of me. In total slo-mo, I grabbed the brakes, completely stalling my bike on my front wheel, while swinging the back end behind me, clipping out my right foot, and landing gingerly, rubber-side down. It was absolutely shocking, and I took a moment to appreciate it before clipping back in and completing the race. I rode hard and had a blast, TT'ing it the last 2 miles to the finish and completely destroying a guy on the line that had passed me at the 200m mark! I found Jay, the Chucker, and G-reg at the finish and we headed out of town for some clean clothes. Later that afternoon, I came to find out that, not only did I get 9th out of the women's class, but 2nd place in my age category!!! Wowza! I was so stoked! Chucker got 1st in his age cat, and 8th overall, Greg got 12th in the overall, and Jay ....well, first time out of the top ten. As my mom said the other night: Tiger Woods had a slump when he fell in love too. :)

We headed home after some hang time and burgers with Rick and the fam, trying to catch the Sat. Night at the Velodrome to cheer on the black n white. NC Tainter, Timmer, and the Krusinator rode hard as we cheered beneath a dozen layers on the 40 degree night. Timmer was on fire!...as usual....and Tainter put up some great competition out there, stitches and all. After the races wrapped up, Timmer, Jay, and I grabbed some burgers, then all headed home.

Sunday morning came to early, but we headed out, fully amped for Mtn. Bike Race #2...the MNSCS Race #1. I rode the citizen race, 2 laps of some sweet flowing Single track on what else, but my Fully Rigid Single Speed, the Baloney Pony. The first lap ran well at a nice moderate pace. Jay kept popping up all over the course cheering me on (I love when he does that!) He even got a quik vid of me leading out a pack of guys thru the single track! As I started my second lap, Jay was there, shouting for me as I neared the single track letting me know that the gal I was "chasing" was not too far in front of me. Sweet, I thought, I'm in third!

Adrenaline kicked in hard, and I turned it up a notch. I saw flashes of blue between the trees on the trail ahead and I closed in. A mile or so in, I got on her wheel. She was riding a full suspension geared bike, and pushing a pace right at the edge of my comfort level, so I stayed on her wheel and prepped to beat her in a sprint on the open field. The trail was definitely dry and rigid, forcing me to struggle for control in spots. How bumpy was it, you ask? Just ask the Kreme Queen.

The second we left the single track, I heard her gearing down and pull a couple dozen yards in front of me. I caught up quick before the sharp left-right-combo, as she got away again w/ 150 m to go....I closed that gap so hard that I almost got her on the line....finishing a mere 5/10ths of a second behind her....for SECOND PLACE OVERALL!!! Wow!! It was so exhilirating that there was nothing to be disappointed about. Luckily, she was younger than me, so I still scored 1st in the 20-29 yr. old Women cat. Man, was that fun. I learned so much about trusting and pushing myself, and Jay got the finish on video! Check it out! First official podeum - raise it up!

Did you see that finish??

Jay rode his buns off, too, in the expert race. Of course, he got the hole-shot, charging off the line in style. It was so much fun, feeding him bottles and cheering hard! Jay was on the wheel of one guy coming out of the single track, and completely kicked it down, tearing away from him and finishing hard.

He got 16th overall, and 2nd in his age class. G-reg scored 4th overall and 3rd in his age cat in the Comp class. Silver Cycles and Peace Coffee both represented hard and strong out there on the trails with a number of great finishes, including the OC finishing 4th in her 1st Expert race. Nice job, racers! I hope you all had even a fraction of the fun I had!!

All I can say is that life is good, and riding my bike is so much fun.....doing it all with Jay - priceless.

Head over SPD's,
Kristy Kreme

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gluek Gone Bad & Some Super Time Trialin'

Warp speed wrap up!!!

I am finally back on the internet! Thank you NewEgg for getting me back into the blog-o-sphere. To celebrate, I'll give you the mighty quick summary of the latest races.

May 5th was the Gluek Road Race. I rode W Cat 4, riding harder and better than ever before! I was with the lead pack for the first 24 miles, then got dropped on the last lap when the sky opened up, dumping cold, stinging rain on me as I watched the field ride away. The sick thing was that I was riding at 30 mph when they rode away! I chased them all the way to the finish, ending up 13th of 20. I learned so much about myself and how hard I could push, that it was all worth it.

(Skinny Ski Rules!)

Jay was positioned to finish top 3 in the Men's 35+ when the guy in 3rd blew a tire on the wet pavement, causing a messy bike pile. Jay Cyclocrossed it onto the shoulder to avoid the accident, but couldn't dodge a bike flying through the air, sending him over his handlebars, bouncing off his back, and launched into a corn field. ATTN: HENDERSON FAMILY - JAY IS DOING FINE - NO SERIOUS INJURIES!!! Actually, he couldn't have crashed better (is that an oxymoron?). The corn field had been freshly plowed, allowing him to land quite gingerly in a field of soft soil, and most likely manure. He was able to get back on his bike after a quick self-evaluation, dropping 20 places to 25th.

The following weekend was the Bike Club TT. The weather was beautiful, the course a little more rolling than most of us liked, and the after-race hang out was fabulous! I wound up with my first official Top 10 ever! (top 10 in a field with more than 10 riders). I was 10th of 15 Women and 17th of 28 overall, finishing the 20K race in 41:26. Jay rode hard, but wasn't all feeling it, finishing with a time of 1:04. Timmer, on the other hand, DESTROYED the field!!! He is en fuego this year, blowing the field away at the Bike Club TT, finishing the 40K in 55:36, more than a minute faster than second place!
Great Job, Timmer!!!

This past Wednesday, we took over Black Dog Rd. again for the Black Dog Time Trials #2. The evening was a little cool, but fun and exciting as usual. In an attempt to keep my lunch down, I hit the trainers with the ipoder cranked. It definitely helped, because I got to the start calm and collected. (After puking at Gluek, I never want to go there again). I've been fightin off a mean cold, so little did I expect to actually improve on my time! I rode my a$$ off, sure, but I figured that me feeling like I was dragging meant that I was REALLY dragging.... I beat my time by 47 seconds! I finished in 19:30, winding up getting 1st of 3 in the Women's Stock Cat! My first time getting FIRST PLACE!!!! Holy &%$#!!! Overall for Women racers, I was 7th of 10. Wow! Black Dog has already been such a great tool to teach me - I have never pushed myself so hard before, and I've never believed I could keep it up for the entire race....now if I could only maintain that pace for a longer race.

Patience, Grasshopper.

Jay finished 7th in both the Men's 35+ and Men's Overall times. Nice job, sweetheart!!! It would have been spotless, except for the post-race Taco Bell purge. Eewww...glad I missed that one. :) Timmer, of course, had the fire lit, taking 1st place yet AGAIN! Way to go!

Since we were all having fun, and delirious from racing, we got out the chairs and beers for some great tailgating. Needing food, Jay called up Domino's, scoring us parking lot pizzas as the sun went down! I can't believe they delivered it to a freakin' parking lot, but man...that food was scarfed up so FAST!! Yummy, though. Much better than the Gu packs I had in my bag.

John & Jacki havin fun

My hungry man

Tonite, we're driving up to Cable, WI for the Cable Classics MTB Race. This will be my first official Mountain bike race...I hope the pony is ready! Speaking of which - I should be packing!

In love with riding, and riding in love,

Kristy Kreme

Office Antics

One of the greatest things ever created for white-collar office jobs was the Office Prank. Of course, there is an expansive variety of pranks to choose from, depending on your personal desire, cynisism, and dark side.

Needless to say, one of the primary things that gets me through work on somedays is to mess with someone else. At my work, I've seen (allegedly participated in) a number of minute or sneaky endeavors....spider in the drawer, boxing up someone's belongings as if they're getting fired, changing the key code on the door when someone goes on vacation....

Well, this time, I got Jeremy while he was out drinking on a boat for fishing opener.....

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Racing season has begun

On top of all the pre-marital bliss and planning in my life, I have realized that there is more excitement in the air.....this is my first full year of cycling!

For those of you who don't know, I bought my first bike in late August of 2006...and jumped into my first race (the Henderson Time Trials) one week later! Since then, I've kept myself quite entertained by racing cyclocross in the fall and the Ice Race in January on my SS Mtn bike. Now, we are full-swing into the 2007 season!

"Training" in Belgium was a blast....well, I don't know if I'd actually call it training, more like touring. Its not like I was watching my heart rate and doing sprints at 5:00 a.m.- I was checking out the scenery and having fun. But, then again, that's how I've done most of my races, too.

So far, I've gotten 3 races in already.
I did the Durand RR, placing 27th of 30 in the Women's Open field. This is amazing! Especially since my goal is simply to finish, with hopefully the bonus of learning something while doing it.

Last Saturday, I did the Ken Woods RR, placing 24th of 33 in Womens Cat 4. I learned how to Pace Line! It was so much fun : )

Last night was my first taste of the Black Dog TT. I had so much fun! I was super nervous at first, trying desperately not to spray Casper w/ regurgitated bananas. But racing it, I felt ON! I did it in 20:17, placing 2nd of 3 in the Women's Stock category! YOWZA! I had a blast. And, to top it all off, I got to finish the night tailgating with the Motley-est of all crews under the full moon... Jay, Timmer, Ronnie, Shad, Super-Linda, and the crew sat around laughing, enjoying snacks & bevies, and goofing off until bedtime. Silver Cycling & Hollywood Cycles put on a great race! Nice job Russ and friends.

This weekend is the Gluek RR on Saturday. 36 miles....oh, boy.... Sunday is what I'm really excited for though....brunch w/ Mom & the family, sharing stories, souveniers, and a little more engagement celebration. Uber fun! We haven't seen them since before we left for Europe and I am so very excited.

Have I said it lately that I am a very lucky woman? Life is wonderful, and the best part.....it has only just begun.