Sunday, April 27, 2008
This week has been jam-packed with exciting things, though hardly the model for pro recovery of abundant sleep, stretching, and couch-lounging with book in hand! My model for bike racing is that of the multi-dimensional life, but I am guessing most of us can relate to the feeling of having dodged a bullet with recovery when you really extend and still pull off a decent race, don't get sick, don't leave your bike wheel in the race parking lot as a result of sleep deprivation, etc. For instance I've been helping some of the undergraduates in the environmental policy class I TA craft research papers. Their curiosity, optimism and work ethic is so motivating. Sometimes more is more. On Friday I ended up in Boston, went for a ride on the once-familiar terrain of the bike path, Concord Ave, and out past Hanscom field. I had somehow forgotten Boston is a major city - there is so much traffic there - and compared to New Haven there are so many cyclists that convention seemed to be not to wave at other riders. I actually got into a argument with a driver this week in New Haven: the car flew by me from behind scarily close, then almost rear-ended the car ahead, they were really driving crazily. I was so scared I was mad, so I chased them down (rarely a good idea) and yelled "you almost hit me!" But we were all too worked up and the driver was yelling "you are on a bike, you can avoid me!" and "you are on the wrong side of the road, you are supposed to be riding against traffic!" both of which are obviously insane. And now the funny part: I was screaming at them "be careful, I don't want you to kill someone!" And they were screaming at me "be careful, this is a very dangerous road!." I think under different conditions we could identify some common goals... Anyway, I showed up at Sturbridge dragging (glad I was racing since if training I would have gone 10mph). But we had a pretty good race on a cool new course. Racing without teammates, my hope was for us to have a selection that resulted in a small group forming, to prevent a scenario of my needing to cover everything if one team (Terry or Radical Media) decided to fire off attack after attack, especially on the run into the finish. I was not strong enough and it was so windy that we ended up with I think eight in the final group, but I embraced patience on the final climb, sat in, and was able to pull it off. I definitely got lucky since the 34-11 was not the optimal gear for the downhill sprint at the top of this climb. I had to sit down I was spinning so frantically! I heard later 2nd place finisher Denise Ramsden dropped her chain - this bad luck comes around, goes around. Now for the best part: I picked up my world-traveled bike bag from Tom Stevens, which presented an opportunity to inquire about what had been tipped as the best Tom Stevens story ever: the BIRD PRIME. One year, Tom was racing one of the Quad Cities Criteriums, Moline Illinois, a .4-mile loop on a 100k race. And there was a bird drafting the field, flying up, then dive-bombing back down right on the shoulders of the riders and into the draft when it lost ground. Well, the crowd and the announcer starting rooting for the bird. And they passed around a hat for a crowd prime. After the race, it was announced that Tom had won "the bird prime," with a photo showing Tom just edging out the bird. $180! Today I am going to ride 10mph. I am glad it's cloudy because my eyelids got sunburned yesterday. Does Tifosi make goggles? On Wednesday I start my crit-racing extravaganza in Walterboro, South Carolina. Attached is a photo taken by Barry Koblenz at Battenkill, when I was being patient on the first real climb, following Kathleen and trailed closely by Mary Zider and Natasha Elliot.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Be careful what you wish for with this animal training model because the Powertap is in the garage in
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Redlands crit today and Brenda pulled off 3rd place! HOT DAMN. In the morning she was talking about sitting in the "sprinter lounge" all day then making it first to the corner that mattered. And she did it, full time job and non tip-top fitness and rough day yesterday. Rock on. Kirsten finished the race looking like a coal miner from all the soot. Betina had rockstar positioning all day only to be held up by a freak crash in turn 1 on the last lap and perhaps get time gapped. Bitter given that she and Kirsten can do some major leap-frogging in the gc tomorrow. Me, I wallowed for the first half of the race, just not far enough up to do anything, then found my legs. And here's the funny part: with 8-to-go I jumped (following the attack spot of one Amy Dombrowski) for what I thought was a $225 prime, got a gap and went solo for 1.5 laps, then stuck on a couple who tried to bridge before we got resorbed. Maybe I really should have saved the effort for the finish. I just need more guts. But the punch line... the prime was for Rock Racing jeans. Mara held the lead, Alex Wrubelski snatched the sprint jersey from Kat, and you can bet that Sunset will be a battle, starting with the neutral. And in other team news, not to steal the thunder, Laura Bowles won her first time trial ever! It's a huge accomplishment given her habit of getting distracted by thoughts of passing butterflies during time trials.