Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Iowa

Five of us from SCSU, me, Fred, Jeff, Spencer and Lucas, went to the Old Capitol Crit race weekend in Iowa City. We drove two cars and compared to the first trip, this one was a luxury with ample space. The RR was on Saturday, my field did 3 laps. There were 28 cat4 women total, 5 of us were collegiate racers. It was windy, but at least there was sunshine and temps in the 40s! It was a hard race, I finished 9th overall and 2nd in collegiate to Caitlan from St. Olaf. She's awesome! On the last lap I threw my spare waterbottle in the feedzone. Diedre later told me it landed in a huge puddle in the ditch splashing water everywhere. I went back after the race and couldn't find it. I can't believe someone waded into the ditch for my waterbottle. I wouldn't have used it again anyway, being it was soaked in Iowa ditch water, but I don't like to litter.
Sunday was the crit. I liked the course a lot, it had a fast downhill with a right hand turn at the bottom, straightened out for a block, then right turn into an uphill, then a few more turns, repeat. This time the field was smaller, 16(?), 6th overall then 2nd in collegiate to Caitlan.

Iowa was the last weekend of collegiate racing. I'm sad to see it go. Surely there is more racing this season, but now some of us are going separate ways at the end of this semester. I only did three weekends of collegiate racing, but a lot can happen in three weekends. It's been a blur of teammate's banana hammocks and flashing of various body parts, threatening scantily clothing raids, getting pulled over by the po-po, miles of singing, plenty of post-race beers, plenty of laughs.

Here's a couple of pictures of the UM/MSU weekend, from Diedre.
Left to Right: Diedre, Megan, me, Jenny, Mariah, Caitlan, and Caitlan's teammate.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nasty Worms

Last Friday, three SCSU cars rolled out of St. Cloud for another weekend of collegiate racing. We had a full team: Mariah, Jenny, Fred, Jonathan, Spencer, Jeff, and I, plus two St. John's riders, Mason and Matt. Jake and Darren joined us Saturday night.

Saturday was the RR and ITT in Plainview. I've never raced there before so I was looking forward to it. In my field (C/D) we did the course 3 times, and it has a huge hill. On the second lap Mariah crashed along with 2 other girls. The last time up the hill was really hard, the finish wasn't too far off after the climb. Megan from UM was so strong, completely pulling away from everyone. I hung on for third behind Caitlan from St. Olaf. My teammate, Jenny, finished with an impressive 5th for her first ever RR. There were so many nasty worms, getting everywhere, I had to wipe them off my glasses, and face a few times during the race; sticking to shoes; everyone had a stack of worms on top of their brakes. My bike was making some strange squeak in a few gears, Megan said it sounded like a telephone.

Two hours after the RR finish was the ITT. I ate and fell asleep in the car and woke up with enough time to warm up and ride with Mariah to the start. Mariah started in front of me and only a mile in she had a flat...tough luck. I got 2nd, placed in the middle of a UM sandwich.

Then it was onward to Mankato. More miles on the road with Jeff and Mason, more miles of entertainment; Jeff with his endless stories and watching Mason eat the paper that straws are packaged in.

The girls' C/D crit was at 8am...in a parking lot nonetheless. I have to admit I wasn't crazy about the idea of racing in a parking lot, but it wore on me.
It was still wet out, at least there weren't any nasty worms. On the last corner I was out front, I heard someone clip a pedal and go down behind me, turns out it was Diedre from UM. Luckily she was ok and so was her bike. I got 1st and Mariah got 3rd. I am so proud of Mariah and Jenny, it was their first weekend of road racing and they did so well. Mariah had bad luck on Saturday, but she said the crit was the 'funnest thing she's ever done on a bike'. She's already done some mtb races, so I hope there's more bike racing in the future for her and Jenny. It was so fun to have an actual female team to race with.

The team was awesome with all their support. Jake and Darren weren't racing till later that afternoon, but they were out there, 8am in the freezing air cheering everyone on. It was funny watching Mariah and Jenny resisting cheering in their xc skier language 'heya, heya, heya'!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grrl Ride

Yesterday Jenny, Mariah and I had a nice ladies ride. Jenny turned back early because she did a massive xc ski dryland training session earlier that morning. Mariah and I rode out to do the hill on the Marty RR course. It's the hill that has 2 or 3 false summits depending on what side you ride up. You get to what you think is the top then there's a teaser bump that says, 'haha, look there's more!'.
Mariah was killing me on the downhills. We would both start at the top at the same time, just coasting, then soon enough she was a wheel ahead of me, then exponentially a bike length. She sank like a rock! I couldn't get aero enough so finally I started pedaling just to keep up. It was fun.

Had more fun at Kyia's, too. She's a great cook and knows how to pick the perfect wine with dinner, Kris presented a bottle of Polish vodka to help with my evening study session, then he proceded to open up a large bottle of Flat Earth's Cygnus X-1 Porter that I brought over. Like a good neighbor.

Yeah it was a windy ride today. Check out the isobars--stacked!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Movin' On Up

Moving on Up to the Eastside
I moved last week. While getting ready for the move, I was sorting through old stuff and came across a picture that someone gave me. I was ready to toss the picture when the matting split and behind the old picture was an image of the barefoot Zola Budd and Mary Decker in the LA 1984 Olympic 3000m final. What a find! I'm just glad it wasn't a post-collision picture of Mary Decker crying and flailing on the track infield.
Who else rocked LA 1984? Joan Benoit winning the women's first Olympic marathon.


This is almost like the one I have. Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated



Photo Credit: www.eok.ee


Photo Credit: www.aletik.org

Well, my new place will be like slumming it compared to the place I've had for the last few months at Evel's parents. No more BBC America, which means no more Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and BBC News. No more Fox Soccer Channel. It's back to earth living with roommates. The best thing though is now I'm living on the Mississippi and neighbors with Evel and Kyia. Block part-tay!

Racing season is officially here. I raced last weekend at the KSU race in Manhattan, KS for first collegiate race of the season. There was 6 of us from SCSU, Jeff, Jake, Jonathan, Spencer, Fred, and I.
My field was small, 7 girls. Deidre and Megan from UM attacked early on and I was the only one to go with. We went 1-2-3 in the RR, it was Deidre, me, Megan. In the crit on Sunday, Deidre and I had a super close sprint finish. I thought Deidre got it, but results were I got the W. The UM girls were super fun to race with. I didn't do the TTT because I didn't have any female teammates this weekend, and our team found out afterwards that I could have raced with the guys. Oh well, easy come easy go. I may have been good for a couple of hard pulls then I would have fell off, but whatever.
Overall our team did pretty well. Jonathan got second in his RR. Spence was utterly de-virginized as it was his first RR, first crit, and first TTT...all in one weekend. They make me so proud!