Monday, June 30, 2008

Gate City Grind

These are the only 2 pictures I got before my batteries died. More coming soon that I'll steal from BG, James and Rios.. . .

This is Kara trying out her new Lithia saddle in the hotel room. Sitting on it wasn't enough so I snapped her picture as she rode across the room (I was laying on the bed). I'm not sure why she was brushing her teeth at the time!

The race. . .

Stage 1 17 mile circuit- 2 laps

This looked like a great course for me- except for the 2 hills in each lap. I knew if I could just hang on through those four climbs I'd be in the sprint finish. The pack took off right from the get go with 14 Cat 4 women, 2 juniors and Margaret racing 35+.

As we started the first climb the juniors started squabbling with Jamie. Kara saw the opportunity and broke away, keeping the pace high up the hill. We caught her on the gradual descent and Jamie immediately countered. Ski Utah organized, got on the front and blocked. Melanie from WW attempted to bridge and the rest of the field followed. As soon as Melanie pulled off looking for some help the pack immediately slowed. It seemed no one else wanted to do the work. It quickly became evident that we wouldn't even have to get up front to block because Jamie was easily getting away as the field panicked if they weren't on a wheel. This pattern continued with Melanie working her buns off up front with no help. Finally, she pulled off and yelled, "work like you want 1st place!"

After 10 miles alone Jamie slowed and let the pack catch her on the climb. After strategizing with Margaret she pulled up next to me and told me I was going to attack at the top of the climb at the turn. Since I was too hypoxic to talk I just nodded my head. I was really thinking about puking not attacking. I had managed to stay in the pack for 3 climbs. We made the turn and I went. Not hard like an attack should be. It was weak but my team was sitting three abreast slowing the field. Damn them! I was so tired I really wanted to be caught. Finally Diane jumped and caught me. As she zipped past me bringing the field with her she said, "we're not going to let you do that again!" I am assuming that she was referring to Bear Lake. No worries. I surely didn't have 10 mile TT in me. I was just hoping to hang on for the next climb.

With me caught Margaret and Kara launched the next counter attack. Melanie popped off the back this time. I hung on for the rollers and tried to gain as much momentum as I could for the short steep climb. I had made it through all four climbs. Now I just needed to recover for the sprint finish. As usual with a couple of miles to go the field got antsy. This slowing allowed Mel to catch us. By this time we were down to only 9 riders. Just before the 200 meter mark Margaret shot up the right side and headed for an early sprint. It paid off. She crossed the finish line first. I tried to grab her wheel but was cut off by one of the 15 year olds. I managed to find a new line and crossed the line in 5th. At least I wasn't down any time going into the TT.

Stage 2- 6.4 mile TT

Kara, Kris and I were all a little crabby. None of us like TTs, especially in the heat. So when Kris said her coach told her she needed to warm up for 45 minutes Kara replied with, "maybe if your coach was out here in 104 degree heat racing against 15 year olds he could tell you what to do."

Let's just say despite a good warm up on my part, my legs felt like lead and my HR wouldn't go up. I lost 2 minutes on GC.

Stage 3- Super cool crit course

Oooooh I was so ramped up for this course. Jamie was 1 second in the lead on GC. We had big plans for attacking, making the field work, and setting her up for the time bonus priem as well as the win. I couldn't wait to be up front flying through the turns, standing and pedaling out of each turn and thinning the field. Sometimes the body just doesn't cooperate.

Immediately off the finish line I could see the girl second in GC powering up. I wasn't going to let her go so I jumped and got a good gap. The field caught pretty quickly and up the hill Diane attacked. I slid to the back of the pack and hung on for a few more laps before the accordian effect finally blew me off the back. I worked with some other dropped riders but I was no help to Jamie. Margaret managed to stay up front to help and win the prize priem of a floor pump. Jamie got the time priem for a 10 second bonus but she sprinted in at 3rd for a second place GC finish. Still it was a pretty nice race for her last event as a Cat 4. We'll miss having you in our field, Jamie! Tear up the 1/2/3s!

I finished 9th in the GC. Maybe 8th if I'd bothered to protest my crit results. But after sitting under the Reynolds tent helping the team to finish off 2 coolers full of beer I didn't really care anymore. Overall, it was a fun, exhausting, great weekend. Way better than pulling weeds huh Rios?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What a difference a year makes. . .

I can't believe it has been a year since Gate City. This year is so different:

Last year: Ice paid for my hotel room that I stayed in by myself
This year: Sharing a room and the cost with two teammates

Last year: I drove with a bolster on my lap, under my arm in an effort to force my elbow to bend beyond 90 degrees.
This year: Thank God the elbow bends so I can drink while on my bike

Last year:I followed the Men's 45+ around the road course in my Jeep
This year: I'll be chasing the Cat 4 women around on my bike

Last year: I stood at the turn around of the TT
This year: I hope to gracefully execute the turn around at the TT

Last year: My heart broke when the Women's 4 field lined up for the crit. I wanted to be out there racing so bad
This year: I hope to kick butt at that same crit

Last year: Mitch tore the bumper off my car
This year: I still haven't bothered to get it fixed.

Last year: I made great friends Holly, Rachel, Richard and Missy
This year: They are still great friends but dang am I happy to be racing!!

Monday, June 23, 2008


I was just starting to feel good about my Time trialing when I looked online and saw this:

Men's Time Trial 75-79
1, Roland Jeppson, Providence, 27:36.

Women's Time Trial Master 35-39
1, Shanna Matheson, West Valley City, 28:58

Beat by a little old man. . . . . dopers. . . ;)

In better news I may have inspired someone. Super cross country cyclist Asta may get into racing when she finishes riding her bike to Virginia. Training with 50lbs of panniers up Cedar Breaks will make her dang fast up those hills. Watch out Portland women!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


All the bling. 4 Golds and 1 Silver.

The only part of the hill climb that didn't suck. There was a nice little downhill right before the grade turned 10 +. The paramedics should really have been at the top. That was where I wanted to puke.

This is me wearing Road Race and overall Omnium Gold.

Saturday I started the road race already knowing I had Gold. Michelle King was up suffering in the Uintahs and the rest of my competition didn't bother showing up. We started in a big pack of men and women ages 29-49. We had recreational riders, juniors and Cat 123 men in our group. The pace started out fast as we headed up toward the climb. As usual I hung on just fine until the grade got steady and steep and then I drifted back and off the pack. Some of the women were able to hang on longer but eventually got dropped by the men too. Alisha said they were in the women and childrens pack.

I found another guy and we worked together. I'd pull on the less steep sections and I'd get on his wheel when the grade went up. Once we crested the top and turned around we had a serious headwind. We worked together until we hit the flats but then I lost him. I soloed in about 15 minutes off the main field. I was happy with my performance. I averaged almost 20 mph for 40 miles on a race with a big climb.

While descending I saw the guy on the handbike still climbing. I had been beating myself up for not being able to hang with the pack but when I saw him I decided I really don't have a reason to feel sorry for myself.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Friends

This is Asta and Blair. On their way to Virginia on their bikes. It was fun to meet them and talk to them about their travels. Hopefully they have made it over Cedar Breaks and are setting up camp in Panguitch. I'm pretty jealous! What a way to see the country. One day, when I have a few less responsibilities I'll give it a try. I've added a link to their blog on the right. Check out their awesome adventures.

Friday, June 20, 2008

USG pictures

The crit was a great course! Alisha, Michelle and I had our own little race with the rest of the women's field strung out all over.

Ahhhh the Time Trial. Still not my favorite event but I think I'm getting the hang of it. I was able to keep my HR right at lactate for the whole race. I've just got to keep working on my sustainable power.

Silver Medal

Pics coming soon. . . Today was the criterium. This is the one race I really thought I had Gold. But when I got there I saw that I was going to have some real competition this race in the form of Michelle KIng with Paul Tracy cycling out of Las Vegas. I have raced against Michelle before and she kicks butt. She said her team decided to stop and do the crit on their way to the High Uintahs Classic. I'm glad they did, it made for some great racing.

We had 12 women at the start line. Alisha Welch jumped out right from the start and I followed. Michelle was right behind me. Immediately we lost the rest of the field. Alisha is super strong and Michelle and I were happy to let her pull us around for a lot of the race. We each tried a couple of attacks but all were immediately shut down. The final two laps were at a good pace. As we rounded the final corner I was still sitting third wheel. I jumped out of the saddle but it was too late. Michelle attempted to come around Alisha but the straight was too short. I should have moved up before the turn because by the time I finished cornering they were already sprinting. I got third in the race but because Alisha is not in my age group I got Silver behind Michelle. It was so much fun! We lapped everyone else in the field except for one.

We stuck around and watched the rest of the crits. In the Master's men 35+ a guy from Paul Tracy got in a solo break. The field was so disorganized that his lead kept getting longer despite me yelling the time gap to them. He eventually lapped the field and set his teammate up to sprint for Silver. It was impressive racing. Unfortunately, there was a crash in that race and the next one as racers came around the final turn at full speed trying to set up for the sprint.

Now were back at camp and we have new campers next to us. Two sisters (siblings not nuns) traveling from San Francisco to Virginia on their bikes. Today they rode from Milford. Each girl has about 40 lbs of gear packed in panniers on a steel road frame. Tomorrow they tackle Cedar Breaks- OUCH!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

2 for 2

Well so far I'm two for two. Golds in both of my worst events. Hill climbing and TTing. That pretty much sums up the competition. I met one of my competitors today and she seemed a bit freaked that I race on a team. Then tonight at the TT I saw a competitor wearing a camelback (it was only ten miles.)

But i have to say it was pretty fun. I started behind the old men in both races. So on the hill climb I passed the girl on flat pedals wearing skater shoes, then I passed about 4 guys in their 70's. I don't care it still feels good to pass someone. Tonight in the TT I passed the same old men and some Juniors. Miss thang Tara who started a minute behind me passed right at the end. Dang I've got to get this girl to race!

Tomorrow is the crit! I'm excited because I love crits but a bit scared given the caliber of riders I've seen out here. I'll just need to stay up front or just go off the front. Either way I'm planning on another Gold Medal!

Update on the campers. We still haven't figured out the weird pedophile situation. Now we have a typical 2 and half kids kind of American family and some bikers (the kind with the engine). Their beer is looking good. We do have another cyclist here at the campground. He did the Marathon route and this is his first foray into racing. He DNF'd the hill climb. Bummer of a first race.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Roughing it

Well here we are in good ole' Cedar City Utah. I opted to miss the painfully steep climbs of the High Uintahs classic road race and chose to do the Utah summer games. We decided to save money and camp but both my son and I needed to attend school so here we are at the KOA camping out with our laptops. Lucky Austin gets to do an audio presentation pretty soon.

The KOA is good entertainment though. Next to us we have a man with a long beard wearing a kilt, a tie die shirt and flip up sunglasses. He is traveling with a young Asian man and 2 very young women both dressed like it is 40 degrees. I'd swear one of them is Elizabeth Smart except that she's been found.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Very Elusive. . .

It is seriously easier to buy drugs or nuclear warheads online than it is to purchase this saddle. Every place says that you cannot buy it online because you need to be measured for it. Whaaaat? What exactly are you going to measure? Let's just go with I've had two kids.

So I saw somewhere online that Sunrise Cyclery in Logan had this saddle. After the race Saturday Kara, Kris and I headed over to see if we could snag it. The nice young man came over and Kara asked to see the women's saddles. He pulled this saddle off the rack that must have been 10 inches wide and 4 inches deep and weighed at least 5 lbs. I glared at him and Kara laughed hysterically. Still no Lithia. I guess I'll swing by St. George this weekend and pick up a couple at the shop where I bought my first one. I'd better stock up because I'll never find it again I'm sure. My other option is to go with the saddle that my friend Diane just bought. It kind of resembles a small bedpan.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Ouch! That hurt.

Little Mountain RR State Championships were yesterday. They marked the end of a 3 week training overload filled with increasingly longer intervals at threshold. The goal is to break out of my usual short bursts of intensity that make me a good sprinter and teach my body to endure longer intense efforts which will make me a better time trialist and hill climber. Sometimes you have to get worse before you get better. In other words, I had pretty low expectations for this race.

The first lap was a blast! Good old fun pack racing. I survived the first small climb with the pack. After the descent Jamie broke away in an effort to make the field work. Once we caught her I counter attacked and teammate Kris came with me. I expected us to be caught sooner but once again the other teams were saving themselves, hoping Ski Utah would do the work. Then we hit THE hill.

Immediately the pack was strung out. I could see Jamie and Bre holding their own up front. I powered up until there was no power left then sat and spun my way up. The air was stagnat (that's how it goes when you're not even moving fast enough to create a breeze) and it got hot. My calves started cramping and I really thought about quitting. Instead I took a couple of endurolytes and downed some water. Kara caught me and we worked together to catch Kris and Allison, a mountain biker with Revolution. The four of us worked together until the hill once again separated us. By the last time up the hill I was fried. I watched Kara and Kris climb away from me. I hoped to catch them at the top but my right tricep was on fire and I was unable to stay aero and in the drops so the wind slowed me further. I finished 12th out of 14. About what I expected.

Breanne and Jamie along with Allison (Kuhl) managed to dump the rest of the field. Breanne finished first and Jamie pulled off another spot on the podium with 3rd. It is with mixed emotions that I report both Jamie and Breanne are close, if not there, to the 30 USAcycling points that will force them to upgrade. On one hand I am a bit happy to see them move up and give some of us a chance to float to the top. But I am sad too. It has been so much fun having them at every race. This is the first year I've had teammates that work together so well. They have worked for me and I have been thrilled to contribute to their race whenever I can. It will be great to have more Ski Utah women in the 123s and I know the Lauras will be happy to have thier help. I don't doubt that they will both continue to kick some serious ASS!

Monday, June 9, 2008

RAAM 2008

This is a race that I find fascinating. After finishing Lotoja I decided that 12 hours and 26 minutes was the longest continuous amount of time I ever wanted to spend on a bike. But last year at the PAC tour I got to meet several amazing RAAM finishers and record holders. Lon Handleman still holds the Tandem record from the early 90's. I met Caterina "Cat" Berge and got to hear stories about how she couldn't feel her hands for two weeks after the race. I watched videos of Lon and Susan Notorangolo literally dozing off taking turns riding stoker on their tandem. Amazing!

Anyway. . . 2008 RAAM is underway. The mental and physical suffering these people will undergo for a bike race is truly inspirational. I've added a link to a RAAM blog at the right. Check it out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The craziest route ever

First here is a picture of my race yesterday. There I am sitting right where I wanted to be. Which is where I was for most of the race. I'm still trying to figure out what happened. Anyway, in my self loathing I forgot to mention that once again my team kicked butt! Kara led Breanne out for the win and Jamie pulled off third. The rest of the team did great as well and we ended up with 6 trophies!

That brings me to today and the frustrations continue . . .

Plan A was to head out with some teammates for a nice long ride since yesterday's crit was so short. We were planning to meet at Canyon Bicycles on Wasatch at 9. At 9:10 I figured I had missed an email since I went to bed so early last night. With no idea where they were I went with plan B. I drove over to my friend Doug's (AKA the Big Bad Wolf if you did Little Red) birthday ride at Murray Park.

When I got there they had already headed out. By this time I just wanted to ride. I knew they were headed up Emigration so I jumped on my bike and headed that way. About half way up I saw them coming down. I turned around and chased. I caught them on Wasatch. I was feeling good so I pushed it along Wasatch and since I had missed part of the Emigration climb when we hit the bottom of Old Mill Road I turned around and headed back up, 2 more times.

I cruised back to Murray park feeling good but hungry. Doug's wife had yummy BBQ ready and beer. About this time I realized that I had somewhere lost my car key out of my pocket. So I finished my beer and got back on my bike. I headed home to pick up my spare key. When I got there I started the mower for my 13 year old and rode back to Murray park once again to get my car.

Out of all that I managed to get in almost 60 miles and a few good climbs. I did not get a whole lot of yard work done but at least the lawn is mowed.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sugar. . ah honey honey

Sugarhouse crit. Well what can I say but #$%@!! I felt this was one I could do well at. I thought I had done every thing right, food, sleep, a good warm up. Who knows? I was feeling great for most of the race. Hanging on fine with the pack, chasing any surges then suddenly with four laps to go it was like a switch flipped. Suddenly I had no energy. I thought for sure I had a flat on my rear tire. I caught a teammate and she assured me that my tire was fine. I was just powerless. I spun my way in for a disappointing 11th.

So I think what it comes down to is that my fitness is just not where it needs to be. I pushed hard this week working on intervals at lactate. I took Friday off but maybe it just wasn't enough recovery. But I'll just keep plugging away. I'll keep trying to balance two kids, two jobs, school, training and racing. I know there is more in me. Watch out world. . . you haven't seen the best of me yet!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An early humpday. . .

Well at least that it what it feels like. I made it over the one year hump of my crash. I had told a teammate about it being my one year anniversary and she said she was thinking about that this afternoon when she saw a guy on a bike get hit by a car! Maybe tonight would have been a good night to go do what normal women do and shop or go see Sex in the City.

But off to RMR I went. I felt great but I was struggling mentally. I hung on for a while, but off the back. I was getting yo-yoed and having to work harder than if I just got up and stayed in the pack. Finally I didn't want to chase and I sat up to work with a slower group. I'm glad I did because there were a couple of crashes and on my last lap the ambulance was coming around the corner towards us and that was enough for me to call it quits.

RMR is a good workout and good pack experience so I'll keep doing it. But some nights it is just scary! I can't wait for Sugarhouse this weekend. Back to riding with the women. Back to good solid racing that isn't nerve wracking and best of all none of the women have ever spit on me!

I guess I should just be grateful that I'm not in the ER tonight telling them that no they cannot scrub out my road rash on my broken elbow until I get some drugs!

Whew! That was close. . .

I was just suddenly reminded of why I do not have a credit card. If I did I would have bought the Pinarello (full carbon/Ultegra) on Chainlove for $1100. WTF!?! Maybe I would have bought 2!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I heart Scottie!

Is it finally true? Have I found my cyclocross stallion? Yes, yes, yes!! Third time is the charm.

First I had my heart set on a great deal on a Felt . . . . see previous post about waiting on a man. .

Then I found my beloved Poprad. Beautiful steel carbon mix, Ultegra/105 components but when I got him he was huge! He reminded me of this horse I once loved- Bud Light. Bud Light was a beautiful blonde stallion. Big watery brown eyes pleaded for us to go for a ride in the Uintahs. I'd have to lift my knee to my chin to put my foot in the stirrup. Once in the saddle I couldn't stand in the stirrups because his back was so wide. After a ride I'd feel beat up and sore. He was strong, fast and so sweet but he was just too big.

Fortunately, I have a teammate that is 5'11. She is an awesome athlete and is going to kick butt at cross. The Poprad fits her great. So with her buying it from me I had the money to go in search of yet another cross bike.

The first shop I went in I was thrilled to be greeted by "socks". This guy not only races cross he kicks some serious Ass at it. We talked about ordering the Poprad in a smaller size but with Greg's comments about Lance, Trek has dumped the Lemond line and it is nearly impossible to get stuff from Lemond. I looked at a Rocky Mountain but they didn't have anything small enough in the store and Socks was uncomfortable selling me something I didn't get to try out first. After my experience with the Poprad I felt the same.

So I headed to shop #2. They also sell the Rocky Mountain but again didn't have any in stock. The comment "if you were actually going to race cross" also turned me off. Here is a small tip to people working in shops that actually want to sell stuff. I have money to spend. If you make me happy I may spend tens of thousands of dollars in your shop. Please do not assume that because I have big boobs and blond hair that I am not an athlete, that I do not race or that I am looking for a basket for my beach cruiser.

Off to shop #3. I decided to take the lead on this one. I found a sales person and told him, I raced cross last season, I plan to race it again this season, these are the components I want and this is how much I have to spend. It may have also helped that a friend in the shop congratulated me on winning Bear Lake. Aaaaaah respect!

So they let me take Scottie out for a nice ride. We went to the park and I practiced my mounts and dismounts. We rode on asphalt, dirt trails and grass. The reach was a bit long but that could easily be fixed by a shorter stem. Only the first date and I was falling fast and hard. Back at the shop they swapped out the stem, put on smaller handlebars and Scottie and I left and I even spent about $300 less that I had planned. Looks like I've found a shop where I will be spending future tax returns and any other seemingly disposable income I might find.