Thursday, October 25, 2007

meat head

i am not biking this week and i have been particularly restless, so today i decided i'd go to the gym to pump some iron.

i went at lunch at work when a couple of my friends were going to some yoga class. this was good for me because it gave me an hour limit. i don't know what it is, but the weight room can be like a black hole, in the sense that i want to do every single possible lift when i get there.

this began sometime in high school, when, after track or xc practice, i'd always be there 30 minutes later than everyone else. (i just don't know how people did all their exercises on their list so quickly.)

my fondest memory of the weight room was in 10th grade. our teachers were on a prolonged strike, for a couple of months. (this kinda ruled.) my electives were canceled, so in the afternoon i didn't have cooking, gym, or band. one day, my friend loren and i went to the weight room. i hadn't lifted in about 8 months (since last years track season, and this was before we started our season that year). i think we were pumping iron for over two hours. the next day, my arms wouldn't stop pulsating. in fact, i couldn't straighten my arms for over a week; they were stuck at 145 degrees.

in college i was probably just as dumb. my track coach my freshman year was an idiot and had us lift four days a week before our running workouts. (i feel okay calling him an idiot because he got fired mid-season for embezzling money from the team....) anyway, mondays we'd do about 15 lower body lifts/exercises. then we'd go upstairs to the indoor track and do sprint drills. then we'd do a bunch of crazy plyometric box jumping. then we'd strap weighted vests on and we'd do 200m repeats until we fell over. then, to top it off, he'd put us in these harnesses attached to dog sleds with weights on them and we'd have to do 55m sprints pulling the sleds. we'd get out of practice so late, we'd quickly shower, put on our street clothes and have to run to the cafeteria before the doors closed so we could eat dinner. my hair used to freeze in little icicles.

today i went in the weight room with no plan, other than to not do lower body. a couple months ago i met this really cool guy paul who used to be a body builder. in fact, he used to be mr. california and mr. usa! (cool huh?) i had asked him about weight lifting when i met him and he gave me some cool advice. i guess he used to weight lift with arnold schwartzenegger (pre governor biz) and he said that they'd just go in the weight room, look around at the machines, do what they felt they needed to do on that day. he told me to take this approach with lifting and biking generally: doing what i feel my body needs to do that and being done when it feels like it. that sounds great to me, because i don't really plan anything too well. so today i walked in the weight room with that attitude- just looked around and started doing lifts. whatever lifts i wanted. some i did more reps than others. some more sets than others. some i did lower weight higher reps, some i tried to use a bit more weight. i think i made pretty good decisions: thinking about riding a bike, what muscles are weak, etc.

that made it sound like the weight room is a peaceful place. it can be. but it is also a weird place. i mean....this, for example. why? nothing is grosser than a thick neck. dudes really need to lay off this thing. it is totally ruining their game. i often want to tell guys this, but i haven't quite found the right words. ("thick necks are fucking disgusting" isn't quite it.)

now, there are lots of meat heads in the weight room who grunt a lot. oh yeah muscle man, you gonna really do that power clean with all that weight on there? well, i'm gonna totally school your shit and do these lat raises with 10lbs. what? what? eat it. (that is my internal monologue, or something along those lines, as i do not always do lat raises.)

i only had an hour to get jacked, so that was good to have a limit of time. if i was there any longer, seeing all those muscle men doing the power lifts would have made me want to do them, and i shouldn't be doing them. but, shit, i love power lifts. it is sweet to be a chick doing power lifts really good in the gym with a bunch of meat heads. my form got pretty sweet when i was in college cause my work study job was the "towel girl" at the athletic center. my boss was the equipment manager and when i wasn't folding towels, organizing football butt pads, or folding wrestling uniforms, he'd take me to the weight room to do power lifts. (how sweet was that, on the clock!) he used to be a football coach, so he'd make me do the cleans, good mornings, dead lifts, squats, and that wacko one where you'd squat and then lift the bar over your head. then sometimes i would go back at peak lifting hours to show off my skillz....right when all the wrestlers were in there. it was especially fun to do power lifts in front of all those lame-o ass girls on the elliptical machine....gag me. but i digress.....

anyway, i came back to work after being very sensible today in the weight room. while walking back, i ran into the IT guy at my office and he asked where i was. i told him i was "gettin' jaaaaacked" and then showed him my arm muscle. he pulled out some IT-guy gadget and took this picture.

yeah, pretty puny i know. :(

oh, my quads are puny too: 58.75cm.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

calling all hellyer women.....

I am trying to organize a Hellyer women trip to the ADT Center in Carson on November 17th (or alternatively/also on December 8th).

Each month at ADT, they have a women's only session to get certified to ride on the steep-o banking. This fall, Momentum Cycling is also hosting a series of training races. This would be a great time to go, because we could hit up the women's session from 12-2, then the training races from 3-6. I have been wanting to try riding on that track all summer, so this sounds like it will be a great way to give it a try.

I was hoping to get a big crew of Hellyer women to road trip to LA for some track riding and whatever else goes on in Los Angeles. (I have never been to LA...and my knowledge of it comes from Pretty Woman and hopefully someone will come who is a bit more saavy than that).

Anyway, if you are free the weekend of Nov 17th (and/or Dec 8th... maybe we can organize two groups if there is enough interest/date conflicts), please shoot me an email sometime this week. Then we can figure out rides, when to leave, where to stay, road trip music, celeb sightings, pillow fights in our underwear, and other important things.

Thanks-- I think this could really be blast if we get a big group! Anyway, email me if you want to go and we'll get everything figured out from there. Thanks!

(if you don't have my email, leave yours in my comment section and I'll include you in my list.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

please, someone answer my question:

how do you get a flat when you are on your rollers?
i'm totally perplexed, but i flatted on my rollers this evening....

oh yeah, other cool roller news was i totally went no hands for 15 seconds. then i rolled right off the side of the rollers into my door frame. but it was totally sweet for 14 seconds.

oh yeah, and the quad measurment is at 59.0cm. muscle atrophy rules. [sarcastic font]

Monday, October 15, 2007

i'm a sissy with an STI shifter

saturday i went to ed litton's shop in point richmond to pick up my bike. he was very nice to fix it for me so quickly - and such a nice man! he said i didn't need new dropouts, so that is good and just bent it back. he also bent my frame, cause he said it was crooked and out of line (yipes!!!)

the coolest thing, though, was seeing all of his bikes. he was way cool and spent a long time teaching me some bicycle history. he even let me ride a bike that was made in the 1930s or 40s! the bike belonged to a man named Oscar who opened American Cyclery bike shop in SF. the Olympia (?) bike was way cool--- all stripped down and it had something called cambio corsa shifting. it works like this: you pull up the top lever, this pretty much undoes the quick release on the wheel. then you back pedal and move the bottom lever, which moves the chain to a new cog. then you lock your top and bottom lever up and forward pedal. voila! sound easy? it's not! i think i spent two or three minutes just trying to shift once in while riding around the parking lot, swerving all over the place. i can't believe that people used to race while doing that!

the derailleur gods must be pissed off at me, cause when i got home from picking up my road frame (which went in because of my derailleur hanger), i went for a ride on my cross bike. i guess my 10,000 falls have caught up with me cause my derailleur is whack, so i had to cut my ride short. (i think that it might be bent too. i need to learn to fall to the left side) after tinkering around for a couple hours, i was so mad i almost threw my bike against my wall. i couldn't deal with shifting frustration anymore, so sunday i took my track bike out and had a wonderful ride not messing around with that shifting shit.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

thursday quad measurment and other random mublings that are probably really boring to read, so i'd go to someone else's blog!

michiko forgave me for missing her big cyclocross debut and let me go for a ride with her today. except she let me go riding with her on her interval day,
so that was my big payback. ow-eeee! i definitely won't miss her races anymore...or who knows what bike torture she'll have planned for me next?! i thought the intervals were kinda fun in that sucky way, so i figured i got out easy on the karma...but no. i was silly crossing the trolly track and made out with the pavement. but on the ups now i have matching knee holes in my knee warmers. that means i can make matching orange patches on them!

i did have an excuse for missing michiko's big 3rd place finish. the night before the cross race i went to san jose for mary maroon's birthday race. saturday afternoon i called mary to say happy bday and she invited me to san jose that night, saying i could beat up on all the street fixie boys during the sprints in her b-day alley cat. this sounded like fun. at that moment, i was feeling sorry myself dabbing hydrogen peroxide on all my bruises that i got that morning when grey tried to teach me to ride my bike. beating boys in sprints was just the confidence booster i needed.

i made a snap decision. in 5 minutes i packed my bookbag, hopped on my bike, was out the door, and rode BART to Milbrae, got on caltrain, randomly saw bennet on the train!

this is how happy i was to see bennet on caltrain! (if you can see his big smile here!)

3 hours later, i arrived in san jose. sadly there was no race cause there weren't enough people...but all was okay cause i got to see maurice do a track stand no hands for several minutes and then face plant at a stop light. the next morning the plan was to bike from san jose to san francisco/brisbane for the cross race. me and mary showed up at maurice's house. he came out in a neon red and black skinsuit. hot-t-t-t. what a nice bday present for mary! we looked like a crazy group of three biking...maurice in skinsuit, me with my clunky bookbag... (i guess mary looked pretty normal.) we were flying up north, sprinting at all the town signs, they were being messenger showoffs drafting off cars and giving me near heart attacks. (in fact, this was me hanging out with cool messengers weekend. i was hoping grey, mary, or maurice would grab hold to a car michael j fox style like in back to the future...but no such luck.) i was nervous about our time, but at 1:30 we were 5 miles away and i knew i'd make the start of michiko's race. then we were going up a little hill, i was trying to be a tuff girl and keep it in my big ring, then shifted down, and quickly unclipped realizing my derailleur was stuck in my spokes. yikes. my derailleur hanger was pretty bent.
no picture of maurice in that skinsuit, but i assure you
it will draw the crowds for track racing next year! come one, come all!
mary works at a bike shop, so she said she could make my bike single speed and i could still make it...but the chain was stuck pretty good in my cog. they were playing tug-of-war with my bike. some dude stopped on the side of the road and pulled out a hammer the size of my head to "fix my bike." no thanks, sir! i don't want you to bend my wheel spokes! well, i clearly was screwed. we bungy corded my wheel to my bike with a tube and i shouldered my bike to colma bart, about a mile away (i was very lucky we were so close!) still, it is hard to shoulder your bike that long!

that night i dismantled my bike (hopefully i didn't lose any screws). tuesday i took my bike to ed litton who is either going to replace my derailleur hanger, or bend it. good thing i have a STEEL bike! while i am sad about me and gunnar's weeks of separation, i am focusing on other important things: like how to pimp her out for next year......

my quads really aren't that strong; i had bent the hanger twice before during my january crashes, so i guess it was weak.

well, the real point of the post. my quads today measure in at 59.0cm...smaller, but they can still bend (previously bent) steel!

so, for my bike update... i am down a road bike, having an argument with adjusting the brakes on my cross bike, re-geared and put a brake on my track bike, and salvaged my commuter bike from the u-lock. sheeesh. too eventful of a bike week for sure! .....and how the hell did i go from one bike to four bikes this past year?!?!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

beth vs. kryptonite

beth: 1, kryptonite: 0.

yesterday i successfully stole my bike. upon leaving my eye doctor appointment the other day, i had an altercation with my bike lock, bent my key, and had to walk 3 miles home. i returned later with some household oil and my spare key. still wouldn't open. then i went back with some DW-40, and it still wouldn't open. i was wondering if in fact my spare key was my spare key...and sadly realized it wasn't. i had successfully broken my only key and my poor old motobecane was hangin' out all alone on grand avenue in oakland for a couple of days. i surly thought someone would steal either my bell, yellow cable housing, or kickstand...but i was very lucky.

i got fred's hacksaw and headed down there yesterday. and fifteen minutes later sawed through that kryptonite shit. i was really surprised it didn't take me longer.

i guess steeling bikes is a lot easier than i thought. yikes!

(this is a video someone shared with me. yikes. i guess i used method #2. but he only took 6 minutes....but i am guessing a chain is easier to cut?)

Friday, October 05, 2007

my new nemesis

october 4th, 2007 marks the day of my new nemesis. it has been awhile since i have had a nemesis. i had one in middle school and then one in college, but since then, life has been....what can i say? ... empty? but now i have evil BARTman.

let me set the record straight. i hate taking my bike on BART, especially while wearing my biking clothes. (this is mostly because people are creepy, as evident by one particular sketch weekend.)

because of annoying commuting hour restrictions, it is very difficult for me to BART to work with my bike. that is why i usually "casually carpool" into SF (basically organized hitchhiking for people to get in the carpool lane and not pay the bridge toll). but anytime i want to bike directly afterwork (like when i go riding w/ michiko in marin, or when i was going to the tuesday sprints in fremont)...i have to get on BART by 6:51. sometimes i'd be late and instead get on the 6:55 train, and the guy at the kiosk never cared. that is because these times are completely senseless and arbitrary, as the trains are EMPTY at this hour.

anyway, three weeks ago my nemesis turned me away because i was five minutes late. (he was new at the kiosk.) as he was giving a ridiculously hard time, we both watched about 5 other bikers go in and down the stairs to the train, none of which was stopped. interesting that they were all in street clothes, and i was the only one in my spandex (cause i work way out in laurel heights and have some big hills to go up on the way to work and get really sweaty.) he was actually nice that day and called other stations to see which i could go to-- but it was pointless because the time restrictions are the same. i apologized, but he would not let me in. but he conveniently left his kiosk right when i was walking up the stairs to go for a smoke break, and then i snuck on that train.

well, yesterday this happened again. except this time he was mean. really, really mean. i was walking into the station about 15 feet behind another biker (in street clothes). he let that guy through and then yelled at me. I pointed out that someone was right in front of me and he said: "i'm not talking about them, i'm talking about you." then he said some more nasty things to me. he let me downstairs "that time" but said "next time you aren't getting in here." all this and the train was empty.

i really don't know why this guy has a vendetta against me imparticular, as he isn't stopping anyone else. the first time, i was very apologetic. i mean, it is 6:55 in the morning, why could you possibly care to yell at someone? it can't be that his boss is giving him hardtime, because he isn't enforcing the rules with everyone...just me. i'm just trying to get to work an hour and a half early, cut me some slack! there is plenty of room in the train cars. other bikers are going downstairs left and right. i am very sorry i look like a fool in my spandex, but i am self-conscious enough about it on BART...why am i the only one you stop?

yes, in all fairness, i should have left my house 5-10 minutes earlier. he is just doing his job. but i don't see why i am the only one who gets shit, when so many other bikers go right by him no problem. BARTman is my new nemesis.

well, after i finally got to work, i left early and went biking with michiko in marin. we were totally flying, going like 10 mph in a tailwind. those old guys with baskets on their bikes could barely keep up with us. when i got home, i measured my quads, and just as i predicted, 59.75cm. looks like i am on the downs. which means some of my pants will stop looking like spandex too...well, maybe at least for a couple of months.