Monday, April 27, 2009

Ken Woods RR & Campus Soak Fest

Its official – racing season has begun – made quite apparent with the first double-feature of the year… Ken Wood’s RR & Campus Crit. Goodbye lazy Sundays spent in my pj’s and hot cocoa in my hands….Goodbye sleeping in…..Hello early mornings and 3 hour naps on Saturday, and all the fears, cheers, jeers and beers that come with it.

Ken Wood’s was a great time – 20 degrees warmer than last year and only ½ the wind. We had an awesome 22 woman field, which is always fun to ride in, plus the fact that 4 of them were my teammates – Hollywood’s Hellians. Everyone rode awesome and we had an amazing finish with Madone charging up the final climb to take 3rd, myself in 8th, the OC surprising us all with a strong 10th place (just weeks after the little man arrived), Points was close in 11th, and BOB rolled in ahead of a couple competitors to take 16th in her 2nd race ever. Nice work ladies!!! Can’t wait for the next one.

After a hard effort, we hit the bar for burgers & beer and made our way home for a lazy night. Morning came early on Sunday, though, and we were back in the car for another round. We headed to the U for the Campus Crit as the skies opened up and dumped hours worth of rain on us. By the time we parked the car, the sky began to light up and the thunder was an ominous threat of cancellation. A little to wet for comfort, we sat inside the registration building and waited out the thunder & lightning for 2 hours. Luckily, it ceased, but the course was still flooded with many areas of standing water, creating more obstacles on the already sketchy course.

Unfortunately, the rain kept the races from reaching their full potential with extremely low participant numbers. In the women’s 4 race there were 3 of us…. And I was perfectly fine with taking 3rd – Both Points & Dano are experienced racers in the rain, whereas this was my first wet crit ever. Though I held a strong speed, my inability to corner as fast and as confidently hurt my chances of ever staying with them so I simply rode solo trying to get faster and faster as I went along and the nerves slowly receded.

Cold and wet, we stuck around to cheer on the small field of ½’s afterwards. Hwood rode awesome in the race; a total natural on the bike in adverse conditions. The rain started to come down so hard at one point that he actually had to ditch his glasses (prescription!) and you know this super-duper newly wed was right there to catch them as he rode by…. No matter how unskilled some might think I am, Ray!

Once it was all said & done, it was just so nice to run home and throw on the sweat pants and warm up!! I know we need the rain, but how about just from 11:00am-4:00pm Mon-Fri so I can get out an ride more, eh? Ha! Looks like that’ll be unlikely this week. But hey, it’s just the beginning….there’s a whole lotta racing yet to come!

Amping up for the year,
Kristy Kreme

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bueller? Bueller?

Time jets by so fast when you're flyin by the seat of your bib shorts! I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last blog. But, by the bags under my eyes, and the full memory card on my camera, it was definitely time NOT wasted.

To kick it off, we headed south w/ 10 other SC peeps for spring training in the Ozark Mtns in Arkansas. Luckily, the dumb-a$$ redneck encounters were minimal (see: being used as pellet gun target practice as we made a 3 mile, 11% grade climb on our bikes).... and even better yet, the riding was AMAZING! We'd start each day with a sweet 3 mile decent out of our secluded mtn side cabin, and then battle the wicked steep 3 mile climb at the end of the day. Each day had a minimun 4500 ft. of ascending (one day some of the guys did a century w/ 10K of climbing!). It was so much fun, and the best part was getting to know my teammates so much better and share a TON of great laughs!

By the way... if you see us on an episode of Cops in Kansas City, let me know! Let's just say, getting in a car accident in the middle of an ice strom w/ some RENOB fleeing the police is more than it's cracked up to be!

After we returned, it was Game On for Hwood and I at the shop, burning the midnight oil for a week straight just to catch up. As usual, though, we didn't let the lack of sleep keep us from yet another rockin' SURLY JONES show! This time, instead of just takin photos and partying the night away, I got to kick it in the VIP room and pull some light Roadie duty. Saweet! It was a great show - get out and see 'em soon! We snuck out shortly after 1:00AM to catch 5 z's, then rolled into the tax man's office w/ coffee in hand and a lot of fingers crossed. Hopefully Uncle Sam loves bike racers....

No, we didn't return home after that - once the paperwork was done we were Eastbound and Down for Hellians Training Camp in Prescott, WI. (yes, I think Hellians looks better with an A) The team is WICKED HUGE this year with 9 women sporting the Black n White! Pelatons everyware: BEWARE. Most fun wins!!! Arkansas was the perfect precursor to this training ride, helping me up the climbs time and time again. I can't wait for the racin' to begin.

The arms have officially been ripped off the fun meter! Next up, watch for me swingin those arms overhead, practicing my "whoo hoo's".

Kristy Kreme