Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone out there a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Hope everyone had a good day of friends and family, good food and good times. I know I did!

Monday, December 15, 2008


Oh yeah - Kyle's home for Christmas break. YEA!


I really wanted to write up about the past weekend, but the brain is foggier than normal and is doing good to keep up with the auto-pilot body support system.

Sooo... instead I'm going to do the Cliff Notes version.

Couple weeks ago during our morning coffee at Starbucks David V asked if I wanted to do the 6hr race at Boulder with him as a co-ed team. I told him that my Saturday mornings where taken with Alan's Team in Training (TnT) mountain bike group. Well, I mentioned it to Alan and he said I could if I wanted. Well, we haven't ridden Boulder in about a year, so I wanted to ride the trail and see how I did on it. (See 12/07 post below for details.) Last week I informed David of my awe inspiring lap times and he said he was OK with the times since he was going to be single-speeding and he hasn't been riding that much lately. Thus team "Kitchen Pass" was born.

Fast forward to 6:30 Saturday morning and I'm picking David up and we're on our way to breakfast and a good long ride for the day.

The start lap is about a mile on the road, then 5 miles on trail. Since David is on the SS we decide that I'll take the first lap, then we'll alternate from there. Oh, we have a ankle band timing chip that we share - so that has to be traded off each lap. When David comes in from his first lap he's shaking and huffing & puffing so I make the mistake of asking "are we racing?" and the answer was "of course".

Anyway - we put in 7 laps (6 full + 1/2 lap start) with David doing 3 laps and averaging an hour per lap; after the start lap I get 3 more laps at 1:05 for the 1st full lap up to just under 1:08 for the final lap. We finished 3rd, just over a minute behind the 2nd place team and unfortunately about 13 minutes behind the 1st place team.

By 5:00 we've got our money (YEA!!! - we got less than 1/2 our entry fee back, but it's better than nothing) and head home. I've two hours to get cleaned up and ready for the cycling club's year end/Christmas party... piece o' cake.

Go do party stuff for the next 3 hours. Go home and SLEEP because the next morning we're riding Boulder - that's right, returning to the scene of the crime for more punishment. Sleep wasn't as good and restful as I was hoping for, but at least we didn't get up really early.

Sunday - get up, load up, eat and head back out to Boulder. Alan is meeting some of his riding buddies and I meet up with Jen as we are both just out for an easy spin. About 1/4 of the way into the second lap I tell Jen to "put butter and jelly on me - I'm toast!". I just want to finish the ride and go rest. We cut the out the longer climbs and shorten the ride. Jen goes out for another lap and I head to the car to wait for Alan.

The guys finish up their ride and we grab some lunch then head home. We get the car unloaded and Alan gets a phone call from one of his TnT mentors that he could use help working a concession stand at the Cowboys game. I'm in need for some fundraising money (more on that in it's own post) so I grab a quick shower, change into some TnT gear and head out to Texas Stadium for about 5 hours of standing.

Needless to say, it was a busy, busy weekend and this old lady is tired.

At 9:50 it is way past my bed time. Later ZZZZzzzzzzz

Thursday, December 11, 2008

20 minutes of Epicness

Tuesday nights have been cyclocross (CX) and short track (ST) race night the last couple of weeks. CX is a fringe sport within a fringe sport that usually occurs in the fall and winter. Road and mountain bike racing is pretty much over and this gives bike racers the opportunity to continue racing. Cold and wet conditions are a given, since it's a winter sport. This is from last year's CX National race:

Needless to say we don't see that ^ type of weather condition in Dallas very often, especially early in December.

Tuesday started off nice enough, cool but not cold. As the day went on the temperatures dropped instead of warming up, and the wind picked up for good measure. By 4:00 it was windy and in the low 40s, and I was looking for a good reason not to race. Alan had his excuse all lined up - his bike was in the shop. I wasn't so lucky and I'm too stubborn... no, pig-headed... to use "it's cold" as an excuse.

We get there, bundle up and help with course set up. Soon it's time for the first CX race ("C" class). Since it's a whooping windy, 35deg I put on more than several layers of cycling clothing, get on my bike and start warming up for my CX race which is up next. I still don't have a lot of grace and skill when it comes to getting on and off the bike (you would think with my lack of technical skills, that I would be smoother getting off the bike than I am)
so I look at the CX race as sprint-stop-sprint interval training.

The next race is the A's ST (same course as the CX, the course just by-passes the dismount sections). Pam and I ride in the back of the A race to trying to stay warm. As we're riding along I feel something on my face, I look up at the park lights and I see "stuff" coming down. Nope, not rain... it's either sleet or frozen rain! Riding into the wind with those pellets coming down stung. Time to put the visor back on my helmet.

By time we line up for the B/C ST race, it's windy, 32deg and snowing.

Yes, that's right... SNOWING.

Oh man - this is going to be AWESOME!

We take off and Pam gets the lead on me and I work to keep on her wheel. At least the icy pellets have changed to snow, so instead of getting stung in the face we get splatted with big wet flakes.

There's only a handful of spectators but every time we go by everyone's cheering for us and Alan is yelling for, and at, me to keep going. On the last lap I knew I had to make my move if I was going to take the lead. Alan yells "suck it up!" and that gives me the incentive I need. Coming into one of the last chicanes, I've closed the gap and try to pass Pam and one of the guys
but my line is too wide and I get squeezed out,
when we come out of the final tight turn I'm rubbing the guy's wheel, and he's trying turn tight so he doesn't take Pam down - Mike (photo dude) yells out "now, that's racing!".

I got to find a way to get around this guy so I can get Pam. We get to the start straight and the guy powers past Pam. I know I need to get around the guy if I'm going to hold off Pam. I sprint past Pam and catch up to the guy right before we come up on the short climb to the sidewalk. I start yelling that he's in my line and I need around him NOW. I squeeze him off, get up onto the sidewalk, then turn back down onto the field. A slight downhill with a tail wind is all I need. I get to the last turns around the trash cans and I know I'm home free to the finish line.

It was a great race and Pam kept me working hard!

Post race pics



***Race pics are courtesy of commiebike***

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We went to Boulder today, first time we've been out there in over a year. There's a lot of fun single-track out there, climbs that challenge me and downhills that take me out of my comfort zone and onto my feet.

The first lap was a easy reconnoiter lap, just checking it out and to see how well I remember the trail.

So, I'm riding along checking it out and get to the service road that we cross a couple time and see that they've added some blocks and re-routed what is normally a two-way traffic section... cool. Turn off the road to go back into the trail and I see something new and unexpected PhotobucketWHAT THE...????

Now why would they build a raised bridge to cross a dry gully? Come on Mr. Trail Steward, was this really necessary? sigh I back up to get a running start and go up and over. I mutter under my breath for the next mile or so, then get back into the fun of riding my mountain bike and the bridge becomes a thing of the past as I get lost in the joy of riding the swoopy dips and twisty trails.

The trail continues to roll under my wheels and as I come up a small climb I see Photobucket and in the words of the infamous Emily Litella think to myself "Oh, that's very different... Never mind."

Any way, finish my first lap with an impressive time of 1:22 for 10 miles. Next lap I know what to expect on the trail and ride a bit harder, taking 12 minutes off my lap time. Don't think my body is completely recovered yet, but I'm getting closer.

On a final note, I think I may need some new riding socks... what do you think?
Why is that my favorite socks are the ones to holes in them?
...and NO, they weren't like this when I started my ride!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cold weather bites.

Cold & windy just plain sucks.

Just thought I'd let everyone know.

Wake me when it's warm again.