Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Put out a few new pieces at Hollywood Cycles this week! Quiet Girl Designs Don't forget the lovely lady cyclist in your life come Christmas!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
For the first time, the event added Friday night races under the lights. My race, though starting at 4:00, wasn't under the lights but was still exceptionally AWESOME!!! The course was slick with mud and my expectations were low. But, none the less, when I toed the line I punched it for the hole shot anyways. Bully for me, all the practice on my technical skills this year paid off and I was able to hold my lead and keep it.
After every mud pit, I'd punch it....every hill, I RAN..... every turn, I powered out of it.....all the way to the finish. Lap after lap, I recharged my battery as the announcers brought light to my progress. I fed off my husband's cheers from various places along the course. For the first time, I was in a position to win Jingle Cross, and I wasn't going to let it go. So I didn't. All the way to the finish line, my best challenge to date - Jeannie Fleck was on my tail and forced me to push through the pain. (THANK YOU!!!!) And for the very first time, I kept her at bay and was able to raise up my hands in victory!!! Yowza! What a race.
Jay was a lucky one, racing after dusk under the huge lights that surrounded the course. He rocked, showcasing his wicked skills as others went down....(not our video, but WAY AWESOME!)
Jacki kicked it under the lights as well, finishing strong in the women's 2/3 race. Nice work OC.
Friday night, we stayed up a little too late, making Saturday's race a little slow. With nothing in my legs, I struggled through the first 1/2 of the race just trying to wake up. By the 2nd half, my body finally figured out what I was asking for and woke up, allowing me to move up from 8th to 4th in just 2 laps, but it wasn't enough to get me on the podium. Jeannie, though, rocked the house for the win, and Points finished right behind me in 5th.
Jay rocked a bitchin 5th place single speed race and we cut out early to spend some time with the family. His bro flew in from NY to help us move their Ma & Pa into a new place, so we ditched the fun to help the fam instead. Luckily, we got our work done before too late and were able to bust out to the Team Skin party in DT Iowa City. Just when I thought I hadn't had enough...my fave Iowa girls drug me out onto the dance floor...
John, of course, had a BLAST!Heck, we all had fun!!!Come Sunday morning, I was happy the season was over and was ready to have some fun. Per my fave Iowa ladies' invite, I joined the Single Speed race....and we did it in style! Speedo Single Speed that is!!! Say it with me now.... "B1+ch Please!!!!"
Still thawin' out,
Monday, November 23, 2009
After taking 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the women's Cat 4's race, Amy, Jacki, and I saddled up for the women's open race just an hour later. It was awesome! And, somehow, the first race was warm-up enough to help me ride this course faster than I did earlier in the day.
Trying to work with one of my fave SHEroes, I was able to seal myself a top 10 finish in my first ever elite women's race! It was sweet! Just a taste of next year, eh?
To keep the fun rolling, I got to watch my awesome hubby KILL IT during the hole-shot challenge!!!
As the first race of the day, the temps hovered around a bone-chilling 30 degrees. As one of the only races I've pre-registered for all year, I found myself getting the third call-up and on the front line at the start of the race. The bummer was the women's/men's/jr's mixed start - causing quite the chaos for the first 1/2 a lap of the race. I did everything in me to get the hole-shot, but had to sacrifice a few spots to keep from getting driven into a pole by some testosterony men.
I battled through the waves of people to take the lead in the women's field by the time we got out of the sand pit and kept hold of it lap after lap. For the first time ever, I was RUNNING up the stair case, rather than suffering up it at a walking pace. When we popped out of the woods, I attacked down the hill onto the dirt path as fast as I could.
With one lap to go, Jeanie Fleck (an uber-strong duathlete that had my number for the last couple weeks) caught me and put 5 seconds on my by the time we got out of the woods. I knew I had to make a move, so I bombed the decent as fast as I could and dropped it into a harder gear to launch one of my greatest attacks ever. In less than 100 yards, I closed the gap and was right there on her wheel, ready to tackle the last 2 barriers and sandpit before the finish.
Neck and neck, we got to the sand and she dismounted and took the inside line... the same line I'd been flying across all day as I rode my bike through the sand. Instinct took me out left and I tried to ride around her....
Sadly, my bike stalled out in a deep section of sand and I had to dismount. By the time my bike was shouldered, she was remounting on the other side and sprinting for the line. Any chance I had sunk in the sand with my wheel, and I slowly crossed the line for 2nd. Jeanie was waiting for me after the finish with arms out wide - we embraced with huge grins that stretched our faces as we reminisced about the preceding race. It was AMAZING!!!
Happiest 2nd place finisher ever,
But my hubby still made me go.
And so I grumbled and fussed and wined and pouted....
I did a warm up lap at half pace and broke a sweat with the last of the fluids left in my body. It was not the way you want to start a race.... but I toed the line anyway. When the whistle blew, Desta, Zoe, and I pulled the pack down the start stretch. Desta pulled out in front and I filed in line to make our way through the first of the obstacles. Unfortunately, the first 180 was sloppy and she went down and, at the pace we were haulin, a number of us rode into the back of her. Luckily, we all got up and got on our way. Zoe had pulled out ahead at that time, but Points took her place in chase mode, heading for the first log and grinder climb.
I got back on the lead ladies by the base of the hill, and pulled solidly into 2nd by the time we reached the top, grinding in my lowest gear and forcing every last pound into my pedals. The decent was gnarly and we flew down it and back onto the open field as my husband's cheers and screams filled my ears. For some reason, the exhaustion seemed to have disappeared as we flew over the barriers and across the field.
I rode to my limit lap after lap, trying to stay with Zoe as she led the way. Half way through the race, Zoe missed the remount after the creek and I was able to get away. Each turn after that, I pulled out of every turn and obstacle, dancing on my pedals and trying desperately to grow a gap on Zoe and the rest of the field. By the final lap, I had a good lead and focused on riding safe and smart. As I darted down the final stretch, I knew I was all alone so I took a moment to steady Sassy Frassy and threw both hands up in victory!!!!
It was only my 2nd all out ladies win and the first time I've ever been able to get both hands up in the air on a cross bike (I'm clutzy). I'm still soaring!!!!
The Hellians all did great - aside from Desta's unfortunate ankle sprain that later required surgery (heal up chica!). I've never been on such an awesome team with such wonderful gals (and guys for that matter). BLEED SILVER!!
Lovin' the cyclin' life,
Hwood and I joined Teri, Randy, and the crue to catch KISS's most recent stop in Minneapolis. Thanks to Randy's bud Chuck, we got hooked up with some wicked close band seats... eight rows from Tommy Thayer's side and close enough to sweat each time the pillars of flames shot up from the stage! The seats were so good, Brian Setzer (Stray Cats, Brian Setzer Orchestra) was just a few seats away!Being it was my first KISS show ever, I was a little hesitant, wondering if the guys still had it in them to melt my face off.... Consider this gal's face fully melted. We were so close to the action, I had to tear my face away from the stage to look over the sold out crowd. Rows of singing fans stretched out as far as the eye could see.Even after the 2 bike races each of us did earlier that day, Hwood and I danced and sang along to every verse. Fists pumped in the air to the beat as heads threw back in excitement. To add to the spoils, our group had 2 all-access passes to share and Jay and I made our way to the stage. The security crew parted as we descended from our seats, lighting the way for us to join the fun up front..... just in time for "Rock n' Roll All Night".
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Hwood built it up for me with a super aggressive dropped stem position to imitate my road position. On top of that, it feels like it's a continuation of myself, responding gracefully w/ every shift of my body weight and turn of the wheel. Anyways, enough wazzing out....
So, Sunday I took ole Sassy Frassy out to Hudson for the Big Ring Flyer. My only goal was to hang with Zoe, hoping to take 2nd to her if I could in the end since she's been beating up on the women in our field all season so far.
From the blow of the whistle, I launched my attack, holding on as long as I could. Before I knew it, the field was splintered and stretched out in a single file line behind me through the twists and turns.With every ounce of energy I had, I kept launching attacks and tried to keep the pace high as Zoe stayed steadily on my wheel and Terra threatened us both in third.
With only 2 laps to go, Terra started to fade, but Zoe came around me as fresh as a daisy. Worried, I attempted to mark her every move while I frantically tried to recover before she could sneak away. Around a sharp right turn, Zoe lost her traction and went down. I delicately steered around her head and slowed my pace, encouraging Zoe to get up and get on my wheel. Seconds later, I realized I was racing, and focused back on the task at hand: GO!!!
At every opening, I was out of the saddle and charging as hard as I could. Flying over the barriers. Pedaling through every corner.
I did everything I could not to let up....and when I came to the final stretch, I was all alone. I raised up my arm in a salute to my hubby (still working on the no-handed riding on grass).
I still can barely believe that I pulled it off! B1+ch, Puh-LEEZ!
The first race, women's 4, started fast and furious. I fudged my start by not getting clipped in until I had dropped back to 6th or 7th place after a call-up start. By the time I got my rhythm on, I got blocked at the first barrier and watched the lead 2 women ride away into the shadows. I tried to find them, but only moved myself into third, never finding a way to close the gap.
At one section with a long out-n-back, I could see the ladies far in front of me, but never had the gas to throw down a couple insane laps to bridge it. My teammate, Points, and I worked together to the finish to take 2nd and 3rd in the Women's 4's. Terra-the-Jet took first, and Zoe the Junior Dynamo, whooped us all yet again.
But hell, I loved every minute of it! And what fun is the weekend if you're not ridin over fallen apples and partyin' it up on the podium like this?.....
Yeah, that's right... like Ice Cube said "today was a good day"
Ridin and rhymin
With minutes to the start, we toed the line, with the majority of the women in back (since we've had a separate start and call-ups each race). Unlucky for us, they reduced it to a mass start w/ riders getting pulled if they were lapped - no matter by who or when. We were in a tizzy to say the least (but I'm not one to say who's to blame - it was what it was.....and I think it actually helped me!). Us ladies are pretty used to getting lapped by the male leaders, so it was disheartening to think we wouldn't get to ride the full race.
Fortunately, the threat was enough to get me to the finish line in first for my category!!! Still, I came in behind the Junior Dynamo, but I'll never complain. I rode my veil off and loved the moment I got to solute my hubby and cross the line w/ the arm in the air! Love ya babe - thanks for being the best hubby, coach, teammate, and friend in the world!
Sure, Zoe-the-super-junior beat me, but since we're different categories, it's still a win! WHOOHOO!!!! And, if I could figure out my computer (see a pattern here?), I'd attach an awesome podium shot, but I'm a PC and I can't find my photo drive.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
We spent Sunday up at Spirit Mtn. for the Powder Monkey Mtn Bike Race. It was my 3 Sport appearance, but one I was ready for. No post-wedding-reception-hangover, no swine flu...just proper sleep and diet and ready to ride.
Jay and I loaded up with the Chucker, Lady Death Rider, and MSH and headed north early to get me to the dirt church on time. It was a hot one, but I was amped to ride. Though my technical skills are still pretty elementary, my roady-fitness is still a strong ally, helping me close gaps with more experienced riders on all the climbs, flowing trail sections, and dirt roads.
I kept a constant stream of advice from Jay, Kyia, and the Crue playing in my mind on repeat throughout the 3 lap sweat fest. Sure, I took more spills into the brush and trees than ever before, but I was taking on elements I've never dared ride before. I know I'm new. I know I need more time and experience. So I used that awareness to push the limits and see what I could learn in the short time I had that day.
Riding down stacked boulders and over the rock and log gardens was a ton easier than my more fearful self once though. And the falls didn't hurt nearly as much as I anticipated. It was so amazing. And to top it all off, I still clinched a 5th place finish, 2nd in my age group!!!! Everyone with me now...B1+CH PLEASE!
With this new 'habit' in my system, I may have to take my bike off road next season. Moving up to a Cat 3 on the raod next year will probably find me at back at the cabooze again, so why not mix it up and focus on the dirt? I dunno..... we'll see. But it sounds pretty nice right now!
Maybe I'm just missing Cyclocross so much right now that this is my intermediate fix. My nicotine patch of sorts. Ether way, I'm lovin' it.
The new dirty girl on the block
As the first time riding w/ anyone else on the road since my crash at State, I was oddly nervous and hesitant to get in Jay's draft. I knew it was crazy to feel that way - there is no other wheel out there I could trust more to ride than his - but I still had to fight my way through the fear.
Since Jay can TT way faster than I can, I sat in his draft for the entirety. My max speed in the draft equals the max effort he can pull me at, making us even that much more a perfect pair. The first couple of miles, I struggled to relax in his draft and let it pull me in. I knew the wind would tire me and I tried to force myself closer, focusing my site on his rear derailleur.
As the adrenaline pulsed through my veins and flooded my muscles, the fear dissipated and I closed the gap. In a daze, I watched the rear wheel and rode at my limit. When he shifted, so did I. Jay rode the perfect pace, never faltering, never wavering...consistent and steady. We flowed steady through the turn-around and regained our pace quickly as we tackled the immediate hill.
Settling in again, Jay raised it to an 11, and my legs were happy to oblige. With 2 miles to go, Jay turned it up again, blowing out all the carbon and stealing every second from the clock that we could. Into the final turn, my hubby stayed wide and allowed me to come through for the final finishing push. Head down, I dropped another gear and drove my heals into the pedals. Silence filled my ears and my vision tunneled in on the line.
We screamed over it at 28 mph, in our new best course time ever!!! Shaving more than 3 minutes off our time from 2008, we finished in 34:25 on the 15 mile course, winnig the Mixed Gender category for the very first time!!!! It was awesome. And for the first time, we also won the ice-cream bet with Silver Steve & C-Ray. B1+ch please! (thanks for the breakfast substitute, Steve!)
Time-trialing in love,
And so, to get myself in the right frame of mind, I couldn't help but look back at some of my fave times..... this one's an oldie, but goodie.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Unfortunately for me, the next day's cross country event was full of obstacles that were well above my experience. Still, I finished. Albeit 20 minutes after the leader, I finished. Finishing 6th in the cx-country, I took 5th in the overall and couldn't have been more satisfied. I put forth a good hard effort, got dirty and bled a little along the way, and learned a couple new tricks while I was at it.
With the rest of the 612-crew hanging out for another night of good food and friends, Jay and I decided to stay one more night. We joined the group for a FABULOUS roast beef dinner, followed by a full moon lit bonfire. The Kenwoods group invited us to their campsite for a low-key fireside after party. I don't think I've laughed that hard in ages. Thanks!!!
After one last night in our quiet suite, Jay and I rose for breakfast and good-byes. We happily beat the Labor Day traffic during our morning drive and returned home fully relaxed and content. Huge thanks to the Richard's family for running such a wonderful home-away-from-home and making a 3-day weekend so memorable.
The state road race championships were held in Henderson, MN this year - the same course as the Sibley Road Race, so I was stoked! Visions of Championship titles danced in my head as I readied myself for the day's endeavor. With my rockin' new bike and a great season beneath my belt, I felt confident about putting my best effort forward. Unbeknownst to me, the story doesn't always play out as you think.
The field of women was a mix of solo riders, void of any power teams and filled only with single riders and friend-alliances. The pace started off hot, though, with some new 40+ riders driving the pace at the beginning. We got an ugly pace line together to try to keep it fast and did what we could at the top of the ridge. About a mile out from the fast descent, an attack happened and split the field in 2. My little princess knew what to do instantly, and helped me make the 7-gal break.
Since it was only the first lap, we made our way down the 40+ mph descent with caution, being smart around the 90-degree turn at the bottom with nothing to prove. Unsuspectingly, not 200m after the corner, a gal rubbed another's wheels and caused the entire group to split and tumble before me. With teh confidence of my cyclocross experience, I tried to steer my bike to the shoulder to avoid the crash in front of me. The momentum was too great for both my breaks and my intentions, sending me sliding out sideways into the ditch. "Protect the bike....protect the bike" were the only words I could hear, pressing against the inside of my skull in a panicked scream. Dust flew up around me as I laid it down in the ditch. When I sat up, I saw Lisa laying face down on the road.
I scrambled from the ditch and ran to her, as I heard her scared voice ask "why do I see blood?". I tried to reassure her as the other's came and I untangled her feet from her front wheel gingerly. Her face was bleeding, but none of us would know how bad it was till later. (luckily, she was alive and able to be repaired - my best wishes are with you, Lisa!). When I looked back the road, I noticed Megan was also down, suffering from a lot of road rash and having been run over by at least 2 other cyclists. Once a car came by (don't get me started on how pissed I am that we didn't have an official follow-car), the severly injured were taken away and the rest began to return to their bikes.
With blood flowing freely from my right knee, I grabbed my bike and saw no marks. Whew - I saved the bike. Skin will heal. When I climbed on, my rear wheel bottomed out on the blood-stained road....WTF?! My tubular was completely flat. I spun the wheel only to find a 3-inch long hole that ripped through every layer of the rubber. (again, no follow car, no wheels).
Tears flooded my eyes as the realization hit. There were still 23 miles to go, a long fast decent, and 2 miles of climbing before I could be done. And 6 miles to go to get to the car for my spare wheel.... I haven't quit a race in 3 years [knock on wood].
Michelle, luckily, was there to tell me to ride. Very simply - ride. So I did. I watched the field as the road away from me. 14 mph was all I could get it to before the rear wheel would begin to slide out on me (thank heavans for tubulars). Heck, I rode a 15 mile mountain bike race on a single speed with a rear flat....this one might take all day, but I could do it. Sure, I could ride 6 miles back to the car, try to replace my rear wheel on my own (I'm married to a bike mechanic, but that doesn't mean I know what to do), then ride 3 miles back to the race course, and do a solo 18 miles to the finish.... sure, I'm German, I'm stubborn, and it's what I do.
After 2 miles alone, our junior rider's dad, Neil, and Dag came upon me and offered me a wheel. I couldn't have been a more greatful person if I tried. After mere seconds, they had me back on the road and ready to finish yet another race. After a short while, I came upon one of the junior women from our field, Annie, riding solo. I joined her in a ride to finish, and couldn't be happier.
There's something so great about meeting new people - especially the women. I love to get to know these fabulous gals, and it was great to meet such an enthusiastic young lady. We spent the next 20 miles getting to know each other, discussing our passions with cycling, and enjoying the lovely day in front of us. It was everything to remind me how very much I love this sport. Thanks, Annie!!! It was such a joy. And happy belated birthday!!! Can't wait to see you out there next year.
When we made the climb for the final time, Jay found me 1/2 way after he had finished. Knowing how badly I wanted to be there for a sprint-finish, he asked me what was wrong. I showed him the trail of blood down my shin and left it at that. As my hubby-of-the-year always does, he reminded me how proud he was of me for finishing, and seemed pretty impressed that the Princess made it out unscathed. What more can you ask for than unconditional love and support? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Lucky in love and road rash,
Thursday, September 10, 2009
So: A couple weekends ago, Jay, Chucker and I loaded up the Cruck and headed north late on Friday to pre-register for the Pre-Fat, a mtn bike race in Spooner, WI to ready the crowds for September's Chequamegon Fat Tire 40 mile mtn bike race. As we flew north down the dark roads (at the speed limit, of course), we counted down the minutes until pre-registration ended....btw, awesome to have pre-reg at a bar the night before! Dual purpose: register & carbo load on barley sodas!!!
So, maybe 30-40 miles outside of Seeley and right on pace to arrive 1 minute before pre-reg closed, the tail-lights in front of us strangely disappeared up ahead the dark country highway. Knowing that something was wrong, Jay flicked on the high beams in time to see a doe w/ buck close behind crossing in front of us from the left. In full control, he brought the car to a crawl, missing the doe as she passed in front of us. The buck, as they are known so well to do, froze in the middle of the road trying to figure out if he wanted to fight us or the white sedan bearing down on him from the on-coming lane.
Jay veared onto the right shoulder just in time for the buck to choose us, hip-checking the front end of the Cruck, and running off to the limits of our headlights and then disappeared into the night.
With the lights still in tact, Jay steered back onto the road to continue our adventure even though my jaw still rested nicely on the floor mats. Through protest, Jay tried to calm me down as we continued on our way from the dark highway to our bar/grill destination. The car drove perfectly fine aside from all the preceding events, giving Jay more fodder to soothe me with. Reluctantly, I sat quietly in the back and stared into the darkness outside my window.
When we finally arrived, I was the first to jump from the car and see the deer imprint on our front quarter-panel. Surprisingly, even to me, that was the only damage the lil Cruck sustained.
Lucky for us.
Unlucky for us, they closed registration early, so only the barley soda half of our plan was accomplished. After we filled our bellies, we headed off to sleep at Rob O's super cabin in the woods. May I say GORGEOUS!? After a full night's rest, we all rose early to return to the Sawmill to register and ready ourselves for the sloppy ride to come.
By 9:00AM, I toed the line as the mist surrounded us and the clouds kept the warmth at bay. Once the horn finally rang, the peace and quiet of the north woods ceased as hundreds of mountain bike riders charged the road, jockying for ideal place for the single-track to come. The roady in me took the reigns and I found myself as the women's leader and top-10 overall as we left the road to enter the gloomy shade of the trails.
In the quiet of the trails, I heard only the whoosh of the wind and my breath as I battled the confines of my lungs. Like never before, I charged the course with my road-race intensity, filling my ears with the sound of my bounding heart. It was so intense, keeping the energy high and the speed even higher as I wove along the fire roads and trails. I've never felt so alive in a mountain bike race as I did that day.
Zoe passed me along the way, and I tried with all I had to hang on. Unfortunately for me, I was flatlining big time and needed to recover and she slipped out of sight and into the shadows. Trying not lose any further positions, I charged through the mud and the brush mile after mile. I attacked the hills in my big ring. I rode, hands pulling on my bar ends, as the men around me walked. I rode so hard I couldnt' image ever going faster. As the 1K sign appeared before me, I dropped into the hardest gear I could turn and sprinted for the finish.
Sounds behind me faded until the only thing I could see was the finish line before me. The only sound - a quiet, undecypherable murmur from the crowd mixed with the rushing air from my lungs.
Crossing the line, I sealed a 2nd place finish, just minutes behind Zoe and elated beyond my wildest dreams. Jay was still out on the course, so a silent smile was shared with my bike as I returned to the car for clean clothes and a moment to take it all in.
Was I becoming a Mtn biker? By skill level, not so much. By complete joy, hells yeah!
I took my place on the podium with pride (right). By far, that was my best mtn bike race to date. And I'm sure it's going to be hard to beat.... it's the dirt, the time trial, the silence, and the sound of my own heart beating....it's the way it fills the woods around me and makes the energy blur and vibrate to the point you can almost touch it..... and yet it's completely indescribable.
Still surprising even myself,
Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I finally got the super computer back and it's better than ever...trouble is, I can't seem to find the time to upload the darn pictures in my camera. More racin' this weekend, so I know I've got to ASAP. What's been going on otherwise?
Birchwood Road Race was a blast! I rocked out a 2nd place Cat 4 finish (3rd overall to Tessy "the Widower Maker" and the OC was pretty Boss Hog if ya ask me!). Not only was the finish hot, but I got to tear it up for the first time on my new bike. LOVE IT!!!! Dude, if you've never ridden a BMC, do it! (Just make sure you can afford to buy it on the spot though - there'll be no turning back!) He/she doesn't have a name yet, but it'll come in time. As for now, Casper is getting some rest and re-vamping to be my new commuter bike.
A weekend wouldn't be complete without multiple bike races, so Jay and I hit the Velodrome on Sunday for the State TT Championships. We spent 8+ hours there, for 6 minutes each of racing....kind of a drag, but it was great to see my super fast hubby bring home 2 gold medals for his wins!!! I wasn't so lucky, being the only 'non-track-gal' that day. Fortunately, my hard efforts still earned me a second place finish in the Time Trialist of the Year (TTY) competition. It kinda bummed me out to take second, since winning it was my one major goal this year, but I took second to Teresa, and there's no shame in that!
This past weekend was the Albany road race - wicked fast and a super hill to stretch the field out on! My BMC was ready to fly as I joined the diner's club for the very first time....yep, that's right....Kwood's gotta dinner-plate-sized chain ring on the front finally. Compact crank gone, 53 teeth hungry for speed coming through. I was nervous at first, but grew more and more confident as we tackled the rollers and hills. The speed was the highest average MPH our category has done all season and it was awesome! Up the climb for the final time, I worked my way through the crowd til Heather G., Heidi D., and I made a gap on the field before the feed zone. With ROY points already settled for the season, I was happy to roll in after them for third. A great race and a great podium finish to close out the road season.
Speaking of seasons, it was an awesome feat met that I had never planned on - winning the Cat 4 women's Rider of the Year! I came out and threw down for every race and it truly paid off. Whodathunk that was ever gonna be me? I'm still fllying high with that one!
Other than that, Jay got me out to Murphy for my first time ever. Me and the Tomac took it easy on the first lap as I tried to get my bearings and remember how to maneuver w/ a mtn bike. At the end of the first lap, Jay and Timmer returned to the car for water and to get in some extra miles while I started on my second lap (they had to wait up for me a lot on the first lap).
This time, though, I was ready. The Tomac & I FLEW through the trails like I've never done before. Big ringin' it up and down the trail was awesome as I listened to my breathing get faster and felt the blood pumping ferociously through my body. Even in the dozen or so mtn bike races I've done, I've never felt so fast, so intense, so alive. Fishtailing around corners only amplified the excitement, increasing the blood flow and force in my weightless legs. The trees were nothing but a lush green blur on the edges of my peripheral vision. The sound of snapping branches and other riders in the distance was like velvet in my ears....soothing, soft, and inviting. Breathless, I brought my bike to a screeching halt at the end of the trail, and waited.
The boys were set out to catch me before my lap had ended, but never did succeed. So I continued to wait..... 15 minutes later they finally came by, Jay excited that I kept him off so long. I felt so exuberant, I couldn't stop from smiling. We drilled it all the way to the car, and I have never had so much fun. The sound of Jay's joy mixed with the wind on my face made me go faster and faster until we returned to the parking lot. How could I have forgotten how much fun mountain biking is?? How did I go all year w/ only one Mtn bike race? Someone needs to do something about that ASAP!
Until then, party on, ride hard, and have fun!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Mini summary in the last, what, 2 weeks? B1tc# please! Did my first mountain bike race of the year last weekend at Buck Hill. Not only that, but the first one on a geared mountain bike EVER plus first time in the Sport Class! The single speeder in me took the reigns and I kept it in my big chain ring for the entire race, even w/ a massive hangover and no food in my system from the preceding 24 hours (rough nite). I wasn't much for racing - still haven't figured that one out - but I trudged through it and still managed a 10th place finish in the women's category!
Jay and I replaced the floors in our living room, kitchen and bathroom and they look so freakin awesome! Once i get my computer back, that'll be the first pics I post! Busted my elbow open, though, while pulling some base boards out in the bathroom.... didn't even catch it on anything sharp, the board just gave way and with the speed my elbow was traveling (20+ mph), it burst open on impact with the side of the toilet like a boxer's eye! Instantly I was a soaking wet puddle as I saw the blood and tried desparately not to pass out. It must've been half an hour before I would let Jay touch it to clean it off as I fought off the darkness and the sickness that came along with it.
Good news was that I didn't break it - just messed up the tendons and nerves a bit. And turns out Jay's pretty awesome w/ a butterfly tape job - kept me from getting stitches! Thanks babe!
Ahh, what else? Capitol Crit was good - third place finish was nice, with my teammate in 2nd! Nice work OC!
Oh, yeah - DUDE! State TT Championships were hard, painful, and miserable! I rode off the darn road TWICE due to the massive wind. And before that, I wore a hole through all but the final layer of my tubulars when I slid out, almost missing one of the first turns. Still managed to pull it in for a 2nd place Cat 4 finish, and 7 minutes faster than my goal! Lucky for me, the gal who won the 4's was from Wisconsin, making yours truly the new Cat 4 Women's State TT Champ!!!! B1tc# Please! I'm so absolutely floored!
Other than that, life's been a crazy whirlwind of activity! Maybe not having the computer has been good - giving me more time to go out and play in the real world! But you better believe there'll be a bunch of pics once it's back in action. My poor camera is burstin at the bolts.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Last weekend, was the Tour of Granite Country in Albany, MN. Hwood and I loaded up the car with all the bikes and headed north for some fun racing and chillin at the hotel fully loaded with our favorite peeps.
We kicked it off with the road race. The pace was so slow for the first 10 miles, but when we hit the big climb, the race finally began. The group of 11 splintered, with 6 gals charging off the front after cresting the hill. I sat in 7th, off the back but on full pursuit solo as we decended. My compact crank that helped me up the hill didn't have enough to close the gap on the decent as I spun my legs in my 12, just wishing I had an 11 on the rear. After 2 miles of diggin in, I finally completed the bridge as they turned into a cross-wind. The 7 of us formed a pace line and drove it to the finish. When we got to the climb for the final lap, my legs were in better shape than earlier and I was able to cross the line in 4th place.
That evening, after some time watching the Tour and a much-needed nap, Jay and I joined the rest of the Mpls Mafia for some small town bowling action. It was a riot - 'nuff said. But Emily needs to watch her potty mouth! Again...'nuff said!
The next morning was bright with a gentle breeze as we readied ourselves for the 8 mile TT. Even though my legs were pretty tired, I was able to get them up to cadence pretty quickly. With only my minute gal out there in front of me, I rode inside my head and focused on the sound of my cranks turning. Luckily, I caught her at the turn around or else I would never have seen it..... there was no one there, a line across the road, and cones on the edges of the road... not at all how a turn-around should be....dare I say Jankey? (BTW, I hate that word, but just had to whip it out). My heart-rate spiked HUGE after my mini-"is this the turn around"-freakout, so I had to focus to bring it down fast. I settled back into my rhythm and kept it goin til the finish. With everything I had left in my legs, I sprinted across the line to grab every second I could.
Once the results finally came out, I found out that I won!!! Yeah - my 3rd TT win this year!!!! I was so jazzed, but had only an hour or so to prep for the hour long circuit race. Sitting on the trainer, I tried to clear my head and think about how I was going to ride, especially without the rest of the Hellians with me. When the time came, I rolled up to the start and joined in the fun.
Each lap was only 5.5 miles long, but our first one still took 20 minutes! Since no one out there had a team with them (other than D & Z), so everyone just looked at each other to pull at the front. I wanted to throw my hands up at the finish, so when it came time for the sprint points at the end of lap one, I sat up but made sure to maintain contact with the top gals. The 2nd lap was faster and everyone was able to get into a rotation to keep the momentum going. When we crossed the line the next time, I was certain to cross in 3rd to get a 3 pt bonus.
In the third and final lap, the pace increased and we kept the rotation moving. In my head I kept playing out a sprint finish.....I wanted to raise 'em up....I was wearing the Anitfreeze Hoshovd glasses.....and I felt GREAT!
We took our last turn and looked down the 1 mile stretch to the line. I was sitting in 8th position of 8. My lead-out train didn't even know they'd been commissioned to take me to the line....I think I forgot to send out the memo. Sprints started to go off early and petered out quickly and I made sure to be in a slipstream for all of them. With 1K to go, the sprints were going off full forces and I stayed on the wheels of the gals who'd been taking all the bonuses. As this rider or that rider slowed, I grabbed the next fastest wheel until there was just one bike in front of me. Still not yet up to my full speed, she began to slow on the climb and I knew it was time.
I gave my trusty levers a double click and came out of her draft in an instant. I could hear Jay shouting "all the way to the line"..."raise 'em up".....I charged with everything I had in my legs and came across the line with no one else. I sat up and RAISED 'EM UP for my first circuit race win ever!!! It was amazing!!! I'm still super jazzed about it and am super stoked that my awesome hubby got video of the full monty! Thanks a ton babe! Unfortunately, the computer's in the shop, so you'll have to wait for my Cavendish unleashing.
All in all, great weekend!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
GP/SPBRC had a full team out there, with 6 strong women leading the pace as a bunch of us miss-matched gals tried to maintain contact. Half way into the race, Teresa "the widower maker" Moriarty went of the front with Heidi "the lightning bolt" Dahlmen and the field began to look around. 3 of the GP gals rode off the front of the peloton in pursuit, and I took a caboose sling shot for a solo pursuit to the group. I closed the gap quick and jumped in their slipstream but I believe a few riders followed suit not far behind.
GP continued to sport some great team tactics, sending gals up from the back to take a pull, as I tried not to fade any farther back than 5th wheel. With just a couple laps to go, I watched at the red n' green lined up their riders for a lead-out and positioned myself in the line up.
On our final lap, in turn three, I made sure I was sitting 5th wheel and ready to take the tight turn for the 2 block sprint. The line was secure and fast, and I used the 4 ladies in front of me as my lead out crew in the absence of my own team. I was able to pass three of them as I pushed my bike and my body to the limit, but only got w/in a 1/2 wheel length from the field sprint victory to Kit Oslin. Finishing 4th overall, I was overjoyed to know that 2 of the women in front of me were racing 40+!!! 2nd place finish....b1+ch please!!!!!
I was so overjoyed (and still am!). What a race - no teammates, no rest, no stopping and no regrets. I played the game right, making sure I knew what was going on at all times and being ready to answer it. Sure, I would've loved to be off the front w/ Tessy.... but I'm not gonna complain about a great finish - 2nd is the best I've ever done at Hopkins, and I'm luvin it.
Thanks to all the Hopkins, Silver, and racing crowd for cheerin'! It was so awesome. And thanks to my super hubby for the awesome confidence and encouragement. Hellians, I missed ya!
Waitin' to move from 2 to 1,
Silver lined up at the start w/ our largest field ever - some 18+ guys and gals, ready to rock! Being a citizen race, the guys & gals, old & young all start in one massive group at a time. In recent years, we've had a strong tailwind start to drive the beginning speeds up to 40 mph, but luckily this year was a slight head-wind, so speeds didn't seem to get over 30-35 mph for the first 2 miles.
After a strong double race in Northfield the day before, I was struggling hard to stay with the main group. 12 miles in, though, the fight was over and I was off the back and unable to close the gap. I tried for miles to get back on, digging in at 26.5 mph in the crosswind, but wasn't able to pull it off. Instead, I spent the last 13 miles of the course in a solo time trial effort to the finish. It was lonely and hard, but I pulled it off and was able to come across the line in 4th in the women's field. The best was my teammate Jacki "the OC" pulled off the victory with Madone close behind in 2nd.
Jay pulled off the overall victory for the first time.... the win that has elluded him for so many years was finally his, and he was able to bring home his own "Spam" trophy! He was trying so hard and wanted it so bad that I was so proud to roll across the line and see the smile on his face! If ya didn't know, babe, I am so proud of you!! Actually, I am super proud of all our Silver winners..... Not only do we have treats and chip timing, but there were trophies for the overall winnners, and plaques for the top-3 in each age group!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In our race, the Cat 4 / 40+ race, we held the majority with 4 Hellians mounted up. The pace was steady at the start, as the women looked around for who was gonna drive the pace. My teammate, OC, took the lead and amped it up a notch for most of a lap and the field settled in behind her. Feeling jazzed, I pulled up in front of her to take a pull and dry and drop some riders.
We came across the front and took the turn up the hill and, as I looked around for the first time, I saw that the only person with me was Teresa Moriarty! I had only meant to speed things up, not break away. But there was no time to explain, so we charged up the hill and kept going. A little while later, Teresa looked back at me and asked if I wanted to wait for my teammate and i said sure. We let off the gas and waited for the OC, but to my surprise, it was Swigs in hot pursuit.
We had a pretty rough lookin' pace line goin but we kept the speed up and the gap continued to grow. Unfortunately, something I'd eaten that day wasn't playing nice, and I spent a couple laps dry-heaving over my shoulder on the backside of the course. Luckily, Teresa's an awesome teacher and mentor, and helped me get my heart rate and breathing under control so we wouldn't lose our breakaway. With 4 laps to go, I was fully recovered and loving the fact that the field was no longer in sight.
As we neared the final laps the light drizzle began to accumulate and made the final turn a little slick. Ready and hungy for the final sprint, I dove into the final turn on Teresa's wheel, only to feel my own wheel slide out from under me, pulling me in slow-mo to the curb on the far side of the road. Luckily, my good ole Vitorria's grabbed some road and I regained control. Unfortunately, though, it was not enough to hold off my compatriots. I finished 3rd in the sprint, but 2nd in my category!!! What a finish!!! I've never done so well at Northfield before - I'm usually the lapped rider out there. Yuk. It felt so great!
So very great indeed, my brain shut down and rolled to the start line for the Women's Open race as well. I had no intention of trying to compete with these women - MN's Best of the Best. But, I knew it would be great practice and training for the next one. Sure enough, by the 2nd lap, I was flying solo. Lucky for me, with only 12 in our field, the officials were nice enough not to pull me as I got lapped. I rode as hard as I could for some 28 laps, but was fortunate enough to be joined by Bonnie "Turbo" Donzella after a hard effort.
Lap after lap, we got in a rotation and kept the tempo up til the finish. My favorite part about riding with the veteran ladies is the wealth of information they have to share! Both of my races that day made me a better rider, either by how to take care of myself, breathing, cornering, to climbing. Thank you so much Bonnie & Teresa!!! I am so honored to get to learn from you!
Fallin' in love with the Pain Cave,
Thursday, July 2, 2009
After we cleaned up, we got ourselves geared up for Phase 2: rockin out with Surly Jones at Wyatt Earp's in Ramsey. What better way to kick it off, than with a nice cold Duvel? The last time I had one of these, it was 80 degrees out and we were watching the evening approach from the backyard of a Gite in France just a week after we got engaged.... ah, Europe.
The show ROCKED like never before as the band came out with all pistons firing from the first set on. It is hard to describe, but a ton of fun was had. This was already startin out as the best birthday EVER!
The fun bus
Jay is the best!We're not intoxicated, we're rockin' out!
Not to mention the Motley Crew that made it a point to throw some meat on the grill and hang out with us til sundown.
Even better than that was my hubby's ROCKIN' THIRD PLACE FINISH!!!
James "I didn't even break a sweat" Tainter won the State Championships, with Pete 'Pure Genious' Hanna in 2nd. Jimmer Cullen won the race, but bein' a cheese head, he didn't get the title. Hwood rocked out 78 laps that day, takin' on the 35+ AND the 1/2's. Way to go babe!! You impress the $hit out of me! We headed out to House of Pizza for a great post-race meal w/ my mom & step-dad & Caveman. Yum.
Though I still don't want it to end, I have to admit the celebration has ceased and life as we know it has returned to normal. But I'll never deny that this was the greatest birthday ever! I thank my family a ton for making me feel special, and my wonderful husband Jay for making ALL of my birthday wishes come true. Thanks babe, I love you!
Feelin' like a princess,