Saturday, December 27, 2008

savage revenge

so i didn't bring my bike to ohio this year because a) it was going to cost me $200 [as opposed to $25 last year...the ghetto airline "skybus" went out of business...probably because they only charged $25 roundtrip for bicycles], and b) it was 1 degree with negative 20 something windchill.

but now it is some crazy heat wave and in the high 50s or something like i am sad i don't have my bike. i can't believe one day it is 1 degree and two days later is 58. (and there is my obligatory discussion of weather, as everyone loves to talk about the weather, especially when they don't have anything better to talk about. and right now, i don't have anything better to talk about.)

the folks at the local YMCA are real nice and when i tried to see if i could buy a one week pass, they just gave me a week of free guest passes. thanks! the YMCA at lake anna just opened up about a year ago and it is very nice. there are these stationary bikes that were more like a video game. so i sat down and went past the beginner, intermediate, and advanced "routes"-- right to the CHALLENGING routes. then i found the hardest one on that page: SAVAGE REVENGE.

so there were a lot of things really savage about SAVAGE REVENGE. first, was the fact that all the mock cyclist were riding in the snow capped mountains with short sleeves and shorts. only one lady had on some pink knee warmers. second, were the trolls that would throw snowballs at you.

i saw the "winning times" at the bottom of the screen and i was all set to crush it. some dude had 55 minutes. i could beat that. after all, i ride real bikes. AND i am in barberton, ohio. i wasn't really worried about my competition and was hoping to eternalize myself on the winners board at the lake anna YMCA.

so i started my route and after a minute, everyone was passing me. i mean everyone. and not just passing me slowly, but flying by me. then i realized two things about these stationary bikes. 1) you need to steer them, as i was wondering why i kept riding in the gutter. 2) you also need to shift -- and there are like 30 different gears so even 3 shifts feels like nothing. okay, so i figured this out in the first five minutes. then i started passing people, and then started throwing hooks to people to see if i could cause crashes... but the people just disappear when you hit then, so then i started to just ride straight through people. after a few minutes of this, i was exhausted and still way behind, clear that i wasn't going to get the high score. so i did what any good person would do.

i started over.

don't judge me. i wanted to school SAVAGE REVENGE. and five minutes into the new round, i was already 3 minutes behind. i finished a just little bit off the leader 1 hour 39 minutes, slightly behind the record of 0 hours 55 minutes. while i saw how they were 30 minutes or whatever ahead of me, i started thinking about ben jacque mayne and wondered how he could do on savage revenge. maybe he could get on the leaders board. i would be curious. it's not like i wasn't trying. i was. i was trying real hard. i just don't think i was savage enough. it is pretty hard to get beat by 45 minutes on a 55 minute course.

so, as i was sucking, i started to try to figure out why i sucked so bad. when i was spinning around 80-90 rpms on a flatish part, i was only going about 6mph. then when i'd shift up to number 25 or something HUGE, going at 30 rpms, i would be flying. so i came to the conclusion that these "expresso fitness" bikes are biased toward fat gear mashers. not that all gear mashers are fat...but i am just bitter about getting beat by 45 minutes on 55 minute course.

so when i got home i googled the company who makes the bikes: i found out some interesting things:
  • that 55 minute dude actually doesn't live in barberton. these bikes are hooked up to the internet and that guy is from minnesota. it makes me feel better knowing that it was at least a transnational competition.
  • there is this whole forum where people shit talk each other about the stationary bikes.
  • this one dude - get this - who biked 180 miles in one day on these bikes. apparently, they have these competitions where they clock miles and times and get free t-shirts if they win.
i don't really know how i feel about this thing, but i will probably register my free account when i try it again tonight so i can maybe get on the leader board. i will try the 25 rpm strategy. but maybe a shorter route like "farmer's bluff." cause even with the fun video game-like setup of this thing-- and me riding through people like a ghost - it still got kind of boring.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

keirin cut in hard economic times

so considering rock racing has been on the news a bunch this week, i figured the PR guy would be really happy to get an email from me in his inbox. (cause i am sure he doesn't feel like dealing with any other PR requests and would much rather write me.)
dear sean,

hello! wow - you must have been very busy this week with all of the rumors floating around about rock racing folding. you definitely have the hardest PR job of all the cycling teams and i commend you for always being so classy subsiding all the drama, while still being able to have time for little people like me. it really means a lot! THANKS!

so i have not let my keirin cut jean dream die. in fact, the need - i think - is going to be even greater for me this year. you see, last year at this time my quads were at 58cm and grew to 63cm by season end. that is almost a 9% growth! so now, i am busy pumping a bunch of iron and getting HUGE...but don't worry, not scary body builder huge-- i am a quaint mid-westerner.... so now, my off-season quads are at 61cm, and if they grow in-season by around 9% again-- that means they could be up to 66cm by years end. which means, i am definitely going to be needing some help with my jeans!

so, sean, i realize that economic times are tough and it is quite a risky time to embark on a new product line....

however, i believe the wide support of keirin cut is very clear. especially if they were priced a little less than rock & republic traditional line and marketed toward athletes, i think keirin cut could really be the saving grace to R&R.

plus, economic times are bad which indicate a main reason women's quads will get bigger, even the typical skinny jean wearers.... less disposable income, means less rec drugs. and without cocaine, those girls' quads will be certain to grow. so, it isn't even just the athletes...

there are thousands and thousands of athletic women out there who can't find big quad/small waist jeans. my gorilla marketing techniques have exposed hundreds to me alone.... even these women in australia have come to know about my campaign.

like i said, times are tough. and my modeling services are free. you can find many beautiful pictures of me on my blog. see, here is me next to a maxim model. not so impressive, i realize, but i hope your make up artists can do the trick. and if they can't, they can just photograph my bottom half. my modeling services are pretty cheap. and i bet i could find some cyclist friends to also offer some cheap modeling services. in fact, for pay i am sure we would all be happy with just some free keirin cut jeans and a night on the town in LA. (also, i volunteer to wear my keirin cut jeans on the podium at every wednesday night omnium. typically we don't podium presentations there, but i am sure rick adams would make an exception for this worthy cause.)

well, sean, i do hope that the R&R and rock racing downsizing is not true. it isn't too late to think of an emergency business plan revival. and i am just the person to spearhead the effort. i will be happy to send you and michael ball by resume and references, along with any measurement you need to make a prototype keirin cut.

i am looking forward to the spring keirin cut line!

hugs and kisses,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

15 psi

so sunday at the track pete billington threatened me: "every self-deprecating comment you make, i am taking 5 psi out of your tires."  

i know exactly what you are thinking: "didn't track workout get rained out sunday?!"   well, pete, gio and i ended up waiting it out and popped in to get a quick workout in before the clouds opened again.  let me just say, it was perfect track training weather.  brrrrr.

now, back to pete billington. within 2 laps of the initial threat, i lost 15 psi.  so i knew i had to be very careful for the rest of the workout.  so i put my game face on.

i can't help my self deprecating comments.  first, they are funny.  second, i am from the midwest and excessive modesty is what we do. and third, no one likes arrogance; people like self deprecation a lot more.  case in point?  i did a little facebook research.  i have 542 friends.  kieran cox has 65.

so, like i said, after the warmup, i had already lost 15psi.  so i decided to channel kieran cox energy for the workout.  i channelled all the "kieran-ism" i could think of.  [i.e. show me the DATA.... NO ONE can come around me.... ALWAYS take the motor in the keirin...i am so fast because i go to the PORT....IMHO (with the H being somewhat ironic)... or insert any other appositive, really.]  i can make fun of kieran because we are friends, or i hope he is okay with me making fun of him.  this mentality would certainly result in my success-- and by success i mean, not losing any more tire pressure.   

the whole workout is unimportant, except effort number three where billington jumped and i was right on his wheel without getting run off it (!!!) and then proceeded to pass him!  it was awesome. gio gave the whoop whoop while it was happening.  and billington is a class act and we did the fist pump after the effort.  

normal beth newell would say something along the lines of: "oh, i was lucky i stayed with you on that jump," or "you drove in from santa barbara at 3am last night..." or some other relevant piece of information that would probably be the cause of why i could actually stay with him on one of those jumps.  but, i wasn't being my logical self.  i was preserving my psi.  i was channelling kieran cox.  so i made no such comment and proceeded to gloat and talk shit.  

so, for the record books.....
  • december 14, 2008= beth newell jumps with and then passes pete billington in flying 2 lap
and while we are at it....
  • june 27, 2007= beth newell beats nole studley in wednesday night omnium.  (in both scratch races and point race)
  • august 22, 2008= beth newell passes steve pelaez in a sprint during a warm-up training session at ADT
and i think that is all i have.  i am avoiding psi reduction.

and today my quads are at 61.25cm.  a small reduction.

Friday, December 12, 2008


this afternoon was our holiday party at work. as such, i did not bike in today... and as such, i took a shower this morning. this required me "blow drying" my hair so i wouldn't be wet hair girl at work.

so all i get all day at work is: "oh, you look so nice today" blah blah blah, "your hair" blah blah blah, "why don't you wear it like that more often?" blah blah blah. the first person, it was kind of nice. as was the second and third. and then it got a little over the top. damn, i must look like shit normally.... especially considering i didn't look that nice today. i just wore my hair down. i didn't put on any make up. and i didn't wear particularly nice clothes either.
and then i realized what a piece of crap i must look like everyday. it isn't like i can wear my hair down when it is all helmet sweaty. anyway, the only person who didn't say anything is my boss, cause she is cool and doesn't recognize stuff like that (so she says). but then she told me the executive director asked her: "who is that?" (as i was apparently walking to the bathroom) and she gives him a weird look and says to him: "beth....?" and the ED goes: "oh! i didn't even recognize her."

now c'mon. a pony tail isn't like a face mask. but maybe i haven't cut my hair in so long that i really had the "cousin itt" look going on today, and that is why everyone said i am looking so good.

well, i am going to go sit in a dark room now.

oh yeah, and my quads at 61.5cm

Sunday, December 07, 2008

DIY Chamois Cream

so there was a time when i didn't know that something called "chamois cream" existed. and you know what my life was like?

the summer of 2007. i had just acquired my second pair of cycling shorts. i wasn't feeling so hot, needless to say.

so the first time i heard about "chamois cream" was from fred. if you don't know who fred is, he is kinda my mr. miyagi of biking. we'd get up a few mornings and we'd do laps around lake merritt. this was in the summer of 2006. this was actually before i owned any cycling shorts. but i knew cyclists were supposed to wear i'd put on my running spandex (sans chamois) and hoped that no one knew the difference.

well, when we were biking home one morning fred says something along the lines of: "bethie, so we need to talk about hygiene. so, if you don't keep yourself clean you can get these sores. and in my day i didn't have a doctor so i'd lacerate them with a knife."

i couldn't really tell you what was more weird... have a 65 year old talk to me about sores in my personal area.... or the lacerating things with a knife part...

but moreover, i really didn't understand what the hell he was talking about. it was kind of like the sex talk my mom gave me. it took about three years later for me to have the: oh, that's what sex is! realization, as things weren't quite clear from the sex talk. so anyway, after this talk, fred gave me an old tube of "chamois cream" that was probably sitting around his apartment since 1972. i just threw it in my closet, cause i really didn't want to be using any ointment of an old man's...even if it was a gift.

so december ('06) rolls along and i was convinced i finally contracted one of those saddle sores. but it turns out it was actually hemorrhoid.... as you can tell, the "sex talk" wasn't quite clear enough for me. uh, yeah. if you care to read about that story, here it is.

fast forward to summer '07 (the picture above). i guess i finally figured out the difference between a hemorrhoid and a saddle sore. so i dug up that old ointment the old man gave me. i don't think it helped at all...

december '07 i went to ADT with some women and jen coler gave me a slather of something called "assos chamois cream." this changed my life.

i love assos chamois cream more than anything. the thick consistency....the hint of menthol. yes, i think assos chamois cream is better than sex. "bold statement?" you say? well, maybe so. but it is pretty awesome. and maybe i'm just not very good at sex. (hi mom!)

anyway, back to the title of the post. last week i ran out of my assos chamois cream. and that shit is expensive, so i knew i had to make due with some stuff around my house:

chamois cream DIY style!

now, i am all about the DIY. this is partly because i really liked watching "this old house" when i was little. and also because i of course went through my riot grrrl punk rock phase probably a few years too late to be cool.

so the first few days i tried some expired sun tan lotion as chamois cream. this seemed logical..... not that i would need the SPF or anything, but it seemed like suntan lotion would be safe for that region. the SPF 30 wasn't bad, but not great. i'd say it was a bit too runny of consistency.

by friday it was clear that i really needed some real chamois cream. i was at work and i thinking about my ride home... knowing i really needed some more balmy substance for application.

my friend told me try "bag balm" so i went to long's drug store during lunch and looked around for it. but i couldn't find it. so i asked the sales clerk "where is the bag balm?" and she gave me a weird look and asked what it was used for. ....and i really didn't know what it was conventionally used for.... just what i wanted to use it for. so i kinda explained and she was a bit weired out and told me: "i don't think we carry that" and clearly thought i was sick pervo.

so i walked around long's drug stores.... looking in different isles and trying to pick my poison. something had to be appropriate.

i came across the diaper isle.... specifically, the diaper rash cream. there was one in a jug for $5.95 called "balmex." i picked it up happy about my new find. in fact, i thought i had discovered the new assos chamois cream for 1/4 the price. balmex had vitamin E and was proven to fight diaper rash. if it was good enough for babies, it had to be good enough for me.

i was quite excited for the application.... so when it was time to bike home, i eagerly opened the jar in the bathroom expecting to shove my finger tips into the cool mentholy cream like assos chamois cream. except this was a bit more balmy. maybe balmy isn't even the right word. perhaps sticky peice of shit is a better word.

so i scooped up a chunk and let me just say balmex doesn't exactly spread. it is kind of more like the consistency of a glue stick. and i knew that this should would be a bitch to get off. let me just say, balmex didn't do crap regarding the chaffing. first off, balmex is not the type of chamois cream you should use when you plan a ride date with someone. and second, in fact, balmex should not be used by any resident of california, considering we are in a water shortage at the moment, and removing balmex is not an easy endeavor. it is not only non-functional as a chamois cream...but it is also problematic in other ways.

so, moral of the story: while i am all about the DIY ethic -- rock on kathleen hanna -- balmex is no assos chamois cream. it could never be, as a product intended for diaper rash could never have the sophistication to invoke the neutrality that swiss menthol invokes on your saddle contact region.

Friday, December 05, 2008

nothing of significance

so i wish i had something to write about, but i don't. i was hoping that clicking on the "new post" icon would summons the blog muse and suddenly i would filled with a moderately funny incident that i would elaborate on so it would become very funny. but alas, no muse.

however, it is friday and i do need to post my quad update from yesterday. 61.5cm. and while we are at it, i forgot to post last week, and yes, it too was at 61.5cm. it seems that despite finishing day number 9 in the weight room, my quads have not increased two fold like i had hoped. but, at least i can be a total bad ass and do one-armed push ups now. and by one-armed push ups, i mean girl push ups. or because i don't believe in sexism, "modified push-ups."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

sometimes.... need to actually have accomplishments to make it in the sports section of the newspaper.

but other times.... just need to chug beer while being on a bike.

thank's san jose metro for reporting on all of our talents!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

rock & republic on facebook

my roommate just sent me a link to become friends with rock & republic on facebook. you should too! and while you are at it, i would write something about how requests for big quaded keirin cut jeans shouldn't be ignored.

i briefly looked through a few pages of R&Rs other friends.... and let me say, i am not exactly of the typical demographic. big surprise, i know.

Monday, December 01, 2008

"even though you can't drink beer, you still look good"

this is what karla told me today after i sent her a video of the final goldsprint. (i am not putting the link at the top of this post to lure you to read to the end.)

so i will back track because i can't tell a short story and like to give superfluous information. some people hate this babbling nature about me. but those people don't talk to me anymore.

saturday were qualifiers for goldsprints...let me just say, i made my way down to the bike expo on DebbieB. (now my track bike that used to go fast in circles is now being ridden around town cause my commuter frame was stripped.) riding DebbieB with tennis shoes on flat pedals totally sucks balls! fixed gear riding down hills without toe clips is not very fun at all and i looked like a big slow spinning panzy getting to the bike expo. but, i posted a so-so qualifying time of 22.4...(far off my sports basement best of 21.5 last march) . finals were the next day. sunday i went to the track in the morning and did a shitload of jumps which was perhaps not the best preparation for my goldsprint finals. but, back to the title of my post.

sunday as i am making my way to the bike expo, i am crossing the street and a bunch of dudes are being dudes and hanging outside the liquor store and start jeering me, as i am wearing stretchy pants cause i can't do those goldsprints in jeans (obviously!). generally speaking, jeering is quite uncomfortable.....especially when it is 6 dudes standing outside a liquor store at dusk. but this time it was actually pretty hilarious, as some guy hollered at me that "you must run a lot" and i just kind of awkwardly laughed as i was waiting for the stop light. then the guy goes...."cross country or sprinter?" which really made me laugh, to which i responded: "sprinter" and he goes: "yeahhhh, i could tell." then the crosswalk thankfully turned and i made my way into the expo. typically, i know, it is best not to engage with such jeering on street corners at dusk in front of liquor stores...(hi mom!)...but compliments are pretty few and far between these days, so you gotta take what you can get.

so there were sadly only 4 of us girls in the finals. we had an elimination so we did three rounds. rubi, maurice's super cute and sweet girlfriend, and i went first. she was a total sport for doing the goldsprints and had a good first time showing. the next round it was me, karla, and arena-- a super cool cross racer with sheila moon's team. she still had on her hot-t-t-t skinsuit on from the race earlier in the day. i was feeling super slow and sluggish from the jumps at the track in the morning, and was going about a second slower than the day before-23s blah...but had enough juice to get me to the final with karla. the final i knew i was done for, as i didn't have my spin...and it was going to be 1000m instead of 500m. but i was still going to put up a fight.

i had never done a 1000m goldsprint, so i figured i was going to ride it like a match sprint and let her take an early lead...(cause you can see the dial measuring your distance) and then with 250 to go punch it. tactics are real important in goldsprints, as is the draft effect. so i did just that and with 250 to go i punched it and made up a bunch of time and saw our dials overlap just for the finished. and by golly, we tied. 47.99 seconds. this was pretty remarkable and horrific, because tying in goldsprints means beer sprints. amanda seigle killed me last time i had to do this. and i karla was going to kill me too.

but this time instead of chugging the beer, murphy made us shotgun. now, i have never shotgun a beer in my life...

now, i know what you are thinking. "what?!?! have never shotgun a beer?!?! you are from the midwest! why are you such a disappointment to your geographic region?!" i know. i am a disappointment. a huge, huge disappointment. i am even embarrassed for me. and sadly, i have to live with me. every. single. day.

some people might blame this on why i never learned to chug beer in high school....

maybe true. but i do not want to alienate people of the cloth... and i don't really need any divine backlash right now, so i am going to stick with to my typical scapegoat for why i am so lame:

(but look at those cool pinwheels we did!)

so long story short is murphy had to give a little lesson to me on how to shotgun... and karla handed my ass to me with a cherry on top. ready for the photo essay of how that went?

beth: i am screwed.
karla: mwhaha

karla: some killer shotgunning form
beth: some terrible shotgunning form

karla: finishes beer, begins 500m sprint
beth: about 1/4 done with the beer.

karla: what the fuck is wrong with you?
beth: still going.

karla: almost done with the sprint
beth: oh my god i am going to puke

karla: this is funny how much you suck
beth: this is funny how much i suck

as promised, here is the video of the whole shenanigan.

so to decide who wins the bike, the best man (maurice) and best woman (karla) had to shotgun a beer. karla was totally going to school it. because she is a rock star. but just so you can see how awesome karla is, please observe the amount of beer maurice got all over himself.

here is the video of karla being an expert shotgunner. because karla is super classy and wonderful, she gave maurice the bike. in return he promised to get us tickets to see him in the nutcracker ballet in december.

and like karla said: "even though you can't drink beer, you still look good." but i think the moral of the story is karla is definitely 100 times more date worthy. (and for that reason, i slipped her number to the guys at the liquor store on our way home.)

thanks mark c. and annamarie for the awesome pictures. their full flickr set can be found here. thanks again!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

reminicing... lawn bowling

i just saw this picture of shelley & cari at the world cups. more exciting, though, were the lawn bowlers. melbourne must be my dream-- lawn bowling and track racing in one spot!

i have gotten a lot more readers since last year. so, if you are new, you may not recall my amazing story about lawn bowling with the oakland lawn bowling club. i suggest you read my old post. i promise you won't regret it. and if you already read it last year, i suggest reading it again, because it is still delightful and educational the second time around.

lawn bowling: better than bocce ball.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


just wanted to give a shout out to my friend evan. his project that he started this spring for youth speaks, a spoken word program for high schoolers, was just in the SF chronicle. check out the article.

evan did portraits of all the youth poets and these are displayed on street corners and in BART stations all over san francisco. moreover, under each portrait is a phone number -- and if you call the number there is a voice recording of that youth's poem.

check out his website for "somewhere in the advance of nowhere: youth, imagination, and transformation." here, you can see all of the portraits and listen to the audio. the location/street corners of the portraits is listed when you click on the smaller images. also, there is a description of the project.

a lot of you will be in SF this weekend, for the bike expo and the golden gate cross race-- so, if you have some free time, jot down a few of the locations of the murals and take a little city bike ride to see them in person. (there are about 4 in the 16th & mission bart station-- and a lot are in that neighborhood.) it will definitely be worth it. they are pretty amazing as you can see from the website, but more amazing in person. he is such an amazing artist.

thanks evan!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

distraction needed

looking at my blog is even making me sad, so let me quickly try to change the topic.

and what a better distrcation than thinking how about hot vicky pendleton is. i will not make a big shrine on my blog for her. that is only reserved for people i know and love. all one need do is google images: victoria pendleton or vicky pendleton.

but i will pull out one image of VP doing a deadlift or starting a clean or something like that.

mmm, yeah.

i have been weight lifting for 2.5 weeks. so now i will share with you some expert information about her form.

1. please observe the orange line. vicky's back is very flat with a slight arch. she is also wearing a pretty hot form fitting top.

2. please observe the hot pink box.vicky's shoulders are rolled back, which allow for the flat and slightly arched back in number 1. this rolled back shoulders also probably improves her cleavage, but we weren't so lucky to have frontal view.

3. please observe the yellow circle. i saved the best for last. vicky p's hips are pushed back. this is good for many reasons, but mostly because it is hot to look at. i suppose it also results in a clean line between her toes to her knees or something like that... but i am pretty sure we all just prefer to look at her butt instead.
and for those of you who are way too good to objectify vicky p.... (p.s. i don't care if you are better than me), here is a really awesome interview of her that came out about a month ago. i found it quite touching and thoughtful... and if you are into all that sport psychology mumbo jumbo, i am sure you will especially like it...

but really, i just like looking at her google images.


for being so pissy yesterday.
and sorry for dropping the f-bomb way too many times per capita. (mom, don't read yesterdays post)
thanks for the kind words and nice emails everyone.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i still have my kickstand

so first off, yes i was stupid. i knew it was stupid at the time, but that didn't stop me.

meeting in downtown oakland. biked there, locked up my bike. boss wanted me to go back to office in san leandro; i drove with her. she drove me home. but i was lazy and didn't get my bike at night. i figured the front wheel might be gone. but i wasn't expecting to step out of BART and see the whole fucking thing stripped down. like all stripped down except the cranks. so, yeah, i know i was stupid. i don't need at dispariging shaking of the head, as i know i got what was coming to me as i was playing russian roulette. but it still sucks. i hate this fall. it sucks. it just fucking sucks.

but, i mean, it was fucking stripped. yeah, yeah, i knew the wheels were gone, and seat and seat post... the chain was also gone. and my flat pedals. and my handlebars. and also that awesome black leather handlebar cover-- that was stitched on the handlebar instead of tape in a crisscross pattern.....that i can never get back. i loved that leather stitched on the handlebars. it was so... classy... and my really awesome yellow cable housing. that was pimp.

i unlocked my stripped bike and slung over my shoulder and began walking home. a couple minutes later it registered that the fork was gone. the fork?!? come the fuck on! this is my beautiful royal blue motobecane with a beautiful matching royal blue steel fork, and now no fork. front and rear derraileurs were gone too...whatever, that is disposible. but that fork. my cranks were still there. and my kick stand. thanks. i appreciate it. then i looked back at my rear triangle and the whole fucking one side is bashed in. who knows if that can be bent out or if it is even worth it. even the frame is trashed.... i wish the whole bike was just taken so this lovely machine wasn't put in so much misery. it is almost worse carrying home the thing in shambles, wondering if you can even ever make it whole again.

the financial impact of this bike isn't significant. i bought it for $70 in 2005. but it was my first bike with gears. it was the first bike i rode more than 5 miles on. it was also the first bike i rode more than 40 miles on. this was the bike that i commuted on. and it was the bike i discovered bike riding as a form of exercise on. you can go really far on a bike-- like bike to different cities--with your own two legs....way out to castro valley and up redwood road. i did that all the first time on this bike.

so i hope someone likes that pretty blue fork and those handlebars that are laced up with that black leather. and that totally sweet yellow cable housing. but i bet they wish they had the fucking kick stand. i love my kick stand.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

buy my pies!

yes, buy my pies! this is tomorrow at RTWC #3 at hellyer. high noon warmup. 2pm racing. pie buying, til they go.
  • 6x kentucky derby pies. (these are chocolate chip gooie goodness pies)
  • 1x pan of brownies (not as good as jen coler brownies, but i can't compete with the master)
today i wanted to test ride fancy bikes. i couldn't go test ride fancy bikes at a bike shop where they know me, cause, well, they know i can't afford a $5,000 bike. so, i had to find a hidden bike shop where they wouldn't know me.

i went to cyclepath in pleasanton. i chose this shop cause their website looked like it was a big shop with lots of bikes and there were some cervellos there. ooo la la. that is a pretty fancy bike to test ride for shits.

i don't know anyone in pleasanton and my guilt-level was fairly i didn't have a relationship with that shop. that, and i was a bit annoyed with pleaanton in general, cause i had to deal with a frustrating situation regarding valley care hospital which, let me just say, if you don't have health insurance, go to a different hospital.

so i go into cyclepath, and who works there other than dell from fremont bike club! see, my whole plan screwed. i met dell last summer when i went to do larry's sprints in fremont. we hadn't seen each other in awhile and he is helping another customer and i am waiting and he gives me a funny look and goes: "i know you, beth, right?" then the customer who he was helping goes: "beth bikes!?! i read your blog!" and then i got kind of embarrassed. and realized that even in pleasanton i cannot hide under the rug to test ride fancy bikes.

so, as i knew dell, i had to actually test ride bikes in my price range. that was okay. but, he did let me take the cervello out for a spin after i test rode bikes i could afford! and it was AWESOME. i thought about not coming back.... all i left in the shop was my wallet, cell phone, car keys, house keys, and bag. and those things all total less than $5,000-- so really, it would have been a win-win for me. except dell knew me. so, that wouldn't have been cool. maybe i should go out to lodi next time.

right as i was leaving for the cervello test ride, john from EMC2 who always kicks my ass at the track showed up. he is coming tomorrow and is going to kick my ass again. he didn't quite recognize me and i through him off, cause i was wearing a proman jersey they gave me when i rode with them at alpenrose....because, i figured if i was going to test ride a cervello, i needed to look super-official.... but then all these people at the shop knew i wasn't riding on that team, so then i ended up just feeling like a big poser.

moral of the story: even if you borrow fancy diamonds for a gala ball, people will recognize you as the mailman and ask you why you are at the gala ball and wearing some cheap cubic zirconium. to which you make a remark that don't believe in blood diamonds, then secretly feel bad because you are wearing blood diamonds.

right? it is exactly like that.

oh yeah, quads yesterday were 61.5cm.

anyway, buy my pies. they are baking now. peace.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

baby ruuuuuuth

i wish i was just being a smart aleck and making an obnoxious quote of one my all time favorite movies.... but no, i just ate a baby ruth candy bar. it was a lot more gross than i remember.

so blah blah blah i'm a big fat loser these days and go to bed early and get up early to ride my bike. 5:45am up and 5:55am out. i don't need anymore time. put on the chamois, brush the teeth, put in the contacts, helmet on, and out the door. no need to dilly dally. breakfast you ask? fuck that shit. it isn't worth the 10 extra minutes. i don't start thinking about breakfast until about an hour and a half into the ride. then i get hungry. but then work is only a half hour away, and in that half hour i can have some happy little hallucinations about breakfast.

like today. my hallucination included getting into work and eating yogurt, kashi, and bananas. then i remembered reality: i finished the yogurt and bananas. and dry kashi is just plain masochistic. so, i'd just go to the grocery store and getting more yogurt, bananas, and more lunch rations, as i was running very thin. all was great, except that i would be another day that smelly coworker. whatever.

so i get into work and as i am changing i reach into my back pocket of my jersey and pull out my cell phone, house keys, and.... and that was it. wallet? wallet? jesusfingchrist. (sorry mom).

this is not a good thing to happen around 8am. i was very hungry. so i did what any good person would do. i eat my lunch. 2 slices bread, hummus, cheese, lettuce, and fake baloney. (i had also ran out of avocado and tomato, which i was going to buy this morning...but i guess not!) anyway, lunch made a lovely breakfast. but then i shot myself in the foot for actual lunch. that was the last of the hummus, lettuce, and fake baloney. left in my lunch bag in the refrigerator was 2 slices of cheddar cheese and bread. it was going to be a long day.....

and then i remembered now i couldn't BART home because i didn't have my wallet, so i'd have to bike another friggin' 15 miles home. it was going to be a longer day.......

lunch i ate my bread and cheese, and i have done my best to scrounge some other foodstuffs today:
-a banana left over from a meeting
-a cherry jolly rancher in a coworkers candy bowl

then i found a dollar in my desk drawer. this made me very happy! so i went to long's drug store across the street. what can i get for a dollar?! i felt like skipping in the store.

then i remembered it was only a dollar. i could have gotten some 2 for one powder Jell-O in a box.... or duncan hines cake mix..... but then i remembered i had to pay tax..... so i needed something under 92 cents or so, just to be safe and not embarrass myself at the checkout. i couldn't even get a little bad of chips, cause those are 99 cents... so i went to the candy bar isle, cause that was my only option. something with peanuts made the most sense. i was down to snickers and baby ruth. now, the option should have been obvious. snickers. but, i thought there were more actual peanuts in baby ruth bars. and then i looked at the nutrition facts, cause really, i like empirical evidence. both have 280 calories. but a baby ruth bar is 2.10 oz, while a snickers bar is 2.07 oz. i am clearly a bargain shopper. but, i made a bad decision, cause that baby ruth bar was nasty. like, really nasty.

so, why don't i just borrow money from someone at work? a sensible question. but i don't want to be beholden on coworkers. plus, i won't be back here til monday, and in these times of economic distress, i don't think i can take the inflation.

on another note, let's talk about my pants, as it seems to be a topic of much interest to me and the world. so my pants were getting super baggy. like saggy ass baggy. quads shrinking, made for loose pant legs. i was normal again! then i started lifting. no problem at all in the quad area though. my pants were still loose in the legs. but yesterday i noticed a new problem with my slacks. the pocket buckle. i have squatter's ass. my ass is getting huuuge. and now my pockets are buckling out. this doesn't bode well, as i have only been lifting for two weeks. what can i say, i am becoming a bisexual boy's dream come true.

this post had potential to be funny, but my execution is off. apologies for the poor writing. i hope to get back on form soon. congratulations to making it to the end. i owe you. i even got bored writing it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

thank god for roommates

so my desire to live by myself has been increasing exponentially this past year.  not because i don't love my roommates (i do!) or because i don't love my apartment (i do!)... but for some unknown desire that makes no actual logical reason.  i don't ever act on this urge because i know that the second i lived alone bad things would happen... like i'd become a hermit and call meals on wheels and ask if they deliver to people in their twenties.

so at these times i let reality set in and think of all the reasons it is good to have my roommates... (apart from the touchy feely crap and the financial reasons):
-i eat more than my fair share of food
-i use their computers
-i drive their cars
-i wear their clothes when mine are all dirty and i am too lazy to do laundry
-i rely on their shampoo, tooth paste, and contact solution (as i never purchase my own personal hygiene products) 
-i encroach on their social life and usurp their friends because i don't have any of my own
now, please don't think i am a total dead weight.  i do contribute sometimes, albeit in meager ways.  i clean, cook, pay the electric bill, take out the trash, get along with the neighbors.  yeah.  and i also open jars.  Rrrrrrr.  

this weekend i found another reason i need my roommates around.

so in health care we sometimes talk about ADLs, which are Activities of Daily Living.  An inability to perform these renders one dependent on others, resulting in a self-care deficit. These ADLs are measured and used to determine functioning and often have implications relating to disability or elder care benefits.  There are six ADLs:
  1. bathing: receives no assistance or assistance in bathing just one part of the body.
  2. toileting: goes to toilet, uses toilet, arranges clothes, and returns without assistance.  (may use cane/walker for support)
  3. transferring: moves in and out of bed and chair without assistance (may use cane or walker)
  4. continence: controls bowel and bladder by self
  5. dressing: gets clothes and dresses without assistance
  6. feeding: feeds self without assistance
In addition to ADLs to determine dependence, health researchers also look at something called IADLs, which are Instrument Activities of Daily Living.  These are used to render a person's ability to live independently. Above and beyond ADLs, these measurements are often used to determine the need for assisted living or home health workers for the elderly.  
  1. Ability to use telephone
  2. Shopping
  3. Food preparation
  4. Housekeeping
  5. Laundry
  6. Mode of transportation
  7. Responsible of own medications
  8. Ability to handle finances
When considering my ability to live independently, I find it useful to evaluate myself in these IADL measurements.  As it turns out (as I will detail below), I am fairly dependent on my roommates.
  1. telephone- i always let my cell phone die and/or never answer my phone so i rely on them for contact with the outside world.
  2. shopping- i didn't pull my grocery store weight in september
  3. food prep- lily is a better cook than me
  4. housekeeping- betsy loves cleaning the bathtub
  5. laundry- thanks for the black socks lily!
  6. transportation- well, i have a car now, but i spent years and years of taking lily's 
  7. medications- i am a vitamin steeler, mwahaha
  8. finances- i take betsy's quarters from her change jar when i need change for parking meters
so, yeah, these IADL independent living measurements tell me i shouldn't live alone....although, functionally speaking, there is nothing rendering me unable to do these things.  


i need roommates to perform my basic ADLs.

so yesterday, i am trying to take off my sweatshirt.  and i am so sore I start living it over my head and just can't pull it off.  and not in the way you can't pull off your shirt cause your head is stuck in the armhole... but unable to take it off cause i can't move my arms any higher.  weight lifting's a bitch.  

so there i am with my sweatshirt half off, arms half in the air, and i can't raise them anymore.  so i wimper: "lily.... betsy.... help."  and then someone comes by and raises the sweatshirt over my head.  

ADLs. dressing.  definitely not looking for a studio anytime soon....

Friday, November 07, 2008

update 3: putsying along

so usually i am pretty down on the time change. i get very sad when it gets dark so early.  i guess with my old age i think i am going to turn into a pumpkin being out past dark. and when it is dark at 4 or 5pm, i promptly get home, put on the tea kettle, and begin crocheting pot holders or something like that.  seasonal depression kinda started a bit early this year, so i was quite fearful "fall forward" was going to kick me while i was already down.

at times like these, trickery is necessary.  i was determined to beat the time change.   so i thought if i tricked myself to stay in the old time zone, i can easily get up at 5:30, because it is actually 6:30. then i can extend my commute to work by an hour and go ride to work via redwood rd and lake chabot.   so this week i've putsied to work the long way three days.  by the time i get home and eat, i am very sleepy.  and there is no use fighting it because, after all, it is dark.  i don't care if the clock says 9:15.  that is really 10:15.  and there is no reason to stay awake.  so, one week out and i've beat day light savings.

today i had off work, so i thought i'd putsy along with fred.  i wanted to go for a long ride, but he said he ran out of geritol so he said we could only do 3 or 4 hours.  i really wanted to ride out by the oil refineries, cause i hadn't been there in a while...and that is longer than a 4 hr ride round trip, especially when i will be putsying with the old guy. but god bless BART, because we can take the train out to pleasant hill.  so we are to meet at 8:30.  
8:30 i open my door, sit on my steps and put on my shoes and helmet.
8:32 i stand in the street.  no fred.  i wait a few minutes. 
8:34 i go down the street to ring his buzzer on his apartment.  no fred.  
8:38 was he at bart?  were we supposed to meet at BART?  we do that sometimes. he's probably waiting at BART for me and pissed i am late!   
8:39 i bike down to 19th st.  
8:44 i arrive at 19th st. no fred outside.  i go in.  no fred inside.  wait wait wait.
8:54. my train comes.  no fred.  i guess i should get on the train.  
9: 17 i get to pleasant hill.  i call fred.  no answer.  uh oh.  he is pissed.  i don't know how i missed him, but it is probably my fault and he is going to mad. 
fred gets mad at me and dumps me every fall for one thing or another. this happened both in 2006 and 2007.  i told him this october i was not going to see him much so he wouldn't dump me. october came and went, so i figured we were okay.  nope.   i lost him before we even started our ride.  he is probably mad and totally not going to talk to me for a month.  this was one was totally my fault.

riding out on franklin canyon road rules.  but it would have been better with fred because he would have told me good stories.  and then the birds would have chirped and he'd have known all the names of the different birds.  so i putsied along, thinking about fred.  passed the oil refineries.  i only ever see them on the weekend when they are lying still, not when the smoke stacks are working in full force. so strangely pretty. and then i thought about how everyone likes riding up in marin and i was all excited to see the smoke stacks and oil refineries.  it is kinda beautiful...ya know, in that eastern european bloc kinda way.  rolled into rodeo, hercules, no fred.  it was nice out so i decided to go around the bears, then meandered my way back home. 

got home, called fred.  where were you?  where were YOU?  i was outside at 8:30.  I was outside at 8:30. i went to your apartment.  i went to YOUR apartment. i went to BART.  I went to BART.  i don't know how we missed each other.  i blame day light savings...even though it is almost a week out.  sad we didn't putsy together, but lucky me i didn't get dumped and he is still talking to me.  he even said: "maybe next friday" so that means i am safe.

i've putsied a lot this week and my quads haven't shrunk at all: 60.5cm. now it is all about minimizing losses.  but not for long.  in one hour i am going to pump some iron and get HUUUUUUGE.  so i need to rest now and eat some raw eggs.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

update 2: atrophy's a bitch

so i have been getting hate mail about my blog and my lack of updates. well, perhaps hate mail is a bit strong, but i have had some disgruntled readers. (how do i know? i was told so both in person and on email.) yeah, so what if i have seen my readership plummet. what's your point? maybe i want it that way. that someecard says it all. i crack under pressure to be in a good mood and amusing. leave me alone. i have been very busy lately between work, doing laundry, sitting around feeling sorry myself, cleaning, listening to the 96.5FM "love songs after dark" jingle, and entertaining illusions of grandeur. but now it is november, so i guess i should get back in the swing of things.

i always say my blog is for strangers, as none of my in-person friends actually read my senseless babble. or so i thought. but then monday i got a call from my dear friend from college who i hadn't spoken with in way too long, maybe two years. in that conversation of catching up with what has happened in the past 2 years, the addition of biking into my life has been a major change worth, i suppose, some warrant? so i brought it up, to which he replies: "yes! this is the only thing i know about you because i read your blog sometimes. actually, i don't really understand anything you are writing about...but i like the pictures." .... i like the pictures too! but i like pictures and text in general. that probably dates back to my middle school comic book obsession with "the new mutants." if you are moderately well versed in marvel comics, they would be the predecessors to x-force, basically teenage x-men who are just getting their powers and don't know how to control them and have all these awkward adolescence moments... but i digress back to my friend who was actually reading blog..... i got kinda sad that my real human friend was trying to keep up with my life and didn't understand anything because of my bike jargon. sorry gabe! i guess the people who get my blog are people who think of me as "the bridget jones of the velodrome" (which i discovered someone referred to me as, while looking at a link that was coming to my blog) -- which is really pretty amusing in real-time, given my rant about bridget jones to my real life friends a couple years ago....past beth wouldn't be very happy with present beth's image. but what can you do. i would have much preferred a reference to illyana rasputin, but she was kind of deranged, although she was always my favorite new mutant character.

well, that was quite a digression from the title of this post: atrophy is a bitch.

i know the real reason people read here is to keep up to date on my quad measurements, which i have been slacking on posting. so, here is a review.
sept 25- 63cm
oct 2- 63cm

then i stopped biking.

oct 9- 63cm
oct 16- 61.75cm
oct 23- 61.50cm
oct 30- 60.5cm
can you believe that shit?

so i went to the gym saturday to try and correct this embarrassment and i realized what a weak ass i am. it is really kind of pathetic. now i am again shuffling along like an old lady and people at work keep giving me funny looks. the only good thing is, because my steps are so tiny, my pedometer count has been through the roof because it takes me twice as many steps to get anywhere.

you know what else? my jeans are fitting again. let me say this: MICHAEL BALL YOU DROPPED THE F*ING BALL! (PUN INTENDED!) my keirin cut jeans will likely never be made by rock & republic...and even if his nice PR guy sean contacts me again, my quads are back in the range of normal folks and probably don't need special jeans any longer.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

bloc vote with jayne street

each year my roommates and i make a handy voter guide. this is edition number three.

year 1 was very a fairly simple email sent to our friends. due to our incredible research and wit in this first edition of the jayne st voter guide, we received very good feedback and demands to continue this in subsequent years. thus, we made this our civic duty for other elections.

year 2 we upped the ante a little bit and sent out a very impressive word document with three columns and a watermark that said: "jayne st voter guide". it looked pretty official.

and so, we are onto year 3. this year we also created our beautiful word document with watermark (that some of you might be lucky enough to get in an email), and we also decided to post our voter guide on "the" so our amazing guide could be accessible to a wider audience.

JAYNE ST. VOTER GUIDE - CLICK HERE! (also click to join our voting block!)

if you care about our process, we spend many nights reading about the different candidates, proposition, local measures, etc. this year we invited a couple of trust worthy jayne st allies to join our process. we research materials sent in the mail, endorsements, just about every other voter guide we can find, and articles written in the local papers. we then talk about each ballot measure/candidate and decide upon how we shall vote. we sometimes do not reach consensus, and in such cases we do not give an endorsement.

we find the most valuable part of our voter guide not necessarily the specific stances (up or down, so-in-so or so-in-so), but rather the reasons and considerations we give to certain broader political and societal issues. we send this out to people, not just to bloc vote with us (although that is cool if you do), but also to promote greater dialogue on issues. for instance, with proposition 5, although we support decriminalization and further rehabilitative services, we spent a very long time thinking about what it means to place drug rehabilitation programs under the department of corrections and the impacts this has on the prison industrial complex. although we did not reach consensus on this issue, it was a valuable discussion, and we hope that such considerations accompany your thought process when deciding how to vote.

thanks for reading and hope you vote tuesday, if you are able to vote and live in the U.S. (because i realize i do have an international readership! thank you- i am flattered really!) also, this guide is mostly relevant to california, and more specifically, bay area voters)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

update 1: exercise

so i have been severely slacking on the blogging. sometimes i have these little internal blog posts that i think i write, but i guess they just exist in my head, because i do not see them in my archives. in general, i need to keep reality check, because in addition to fake writing of blog posts, i think a lot of things go in my happy place that are not so much grounded in my temporal existence.

so since nationals, let me give a few high points in life. [ i will avoid the low points because i do not need anyone emailing me my favorite "cry for help" category of someecards: "the small of fresh country air makes me want to jump off a cliff" or "i like playing cards with no one" or " i usually set aside sunday nights for debilitating self-pity." trust me, i've seen them all. ]

some people find the need to compulsively exercise and stay in shape. i am not one of them. in fact, good thing for my heart and overall health that i enjoy competitive sports, because otherwise i would be big, fat, out-of-shape, with congestive heart failure, diabetes, and hypertension. i missed exercising for approximately one day when i decided to go for a run. this was interesting. i did my standard 3 mile loop that i used to do regularly when i ran. it included going up the hill of death (jean ave, by the rose garden). i didn't go terribly fast, but still couldn't walk for the next three days. well, i could walk, but only in incredibly small steps like an old woman with a handbag stuffed with stolen sugar packets. you think i am kidding. i am sure i could have run again, but then i thought: why?

i don't enjoy it all that much any longer. i laughed as i was getting ready to go running. i put on my standard ratty old umbros from 8th grade and an old t-shirt. then i realized it might be cold, so i went through my closet to find some long pants. these were some kinda cute spandexy pants my friend had given me. then as i was rummaging through my closet, i ran across this cute nike tank top nike gave me when i was doing test product for them, which i had never worn, cause i don't run anymore. so i put it on, tied my shoes, and then as i was running VERY SLOW i realized i had become that woman that i always made fun of when i was an actual runner in high school and college: the slow woman in a cute outfit shuffling along at a slow clip. my track/xcountry friends and i would always laugh about these OLD women in these official getups going so slow. that was me. whatever. sometimes you sell out.

so i kinda sorta went running for less than 25 minutes one day. and i kinda sorta went on a mountain bike ride where i probably spent more time off the bike than on it. and on that same day i kinda sorta went on a really slow road ride where i represented like a true track rider with my incredible descending skills.

next piece of exercise were some goldsprints. for my new readers, these are some roller races with a fixed fork. my friend morgan wanted a track bike, so i was going to win her one. maybe i was a bit too cocky and sure of myself, figuring that of course i would win because i am undefeated and must be fast now that i took two full weeks off since track nationals. well, i lost. "cause, if you aren't first, your last." actually, i was second, with a poor time for myself. i felt bad for about 5 seconds that i lost cause i didn't win morgan that bike frame. but then i remembered two important things: 1) i lost to martina who is PRO. in fact, she should be embarrassed that she only beat me by a tenth of a second! 2) it would have cost mogan more to build that bike up than get a stock track bike from a store.

in review, we have:
1x 25min run
1x mtn bike ride/walk
1x 1.5hr rd ride where descending hill took longer than climbing hill
2x 22 sec gold sprints

of course i am ready for some racing at the track. ESPECIALLY, when the night before it is proceeded by a riveting game of big buck hunter. let me just say, i didn't feel so good getting up and getting to the track. then i had to find all my shit that i had just left sitting around the house since nationals. using a chainwhip hungover is almost as bad trying to do a race hungover. but, back to buckhunter. karla is my conspirator in this game. except i guess she wasn't as big as a lush as i was, although, she agreed that the HUGE hill up college ave toward broadway was WAY WORSE than any hill at the redlands classic.

so, anyway, the warmup was pretty awful. especially when hernando shook me from behind. that wasn't cool. before my race, i got my number pinned on by BJM. sure, other people were around and offered after they realized i had asked a superpro to pin on my number, but i told them i wanted a professional pin job. and now when i meet with michael ball about my keirin cut jeans, i am just going to say: "don't you know how important i am? ben jacque-mayne pins my number on." boom. who could argue with that logic.

so i signed up for the B scratch race. it hurt. i knew we were going slow, but anytime the pace got high and i had to get out of my saddle, well, that upward movement made me not feel good so i sat back down. that whole 12 minute race or whatever eternity it was, i just kept thinking: "you shot a doe!" and was hoping the video game would cut me off, but it it didn't. i kept getting dropped and thought i could get lapped, but then the stupid pack would keep slowing down so i would have to get back on. finally, i really gave up and got lapped. that was the best part of that day. then i changed clothes and opted out of the points race and instead ate a banana, a few apples, salad, and steered clear of that beer. yeah, i probably socialized a bit too, but i didn't feel much like talking.

well, i do have other pieces of news... but that will wait for another post, cause this one is already too long.

oh, but before i go-- check me out--

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

top reasons to go to hellyer on saturday afternoon

so saturday afternoon is shelley's second fundraiser for her world cups. before i go into some excellent reasons to attend, let me first give you the details:
who: you and all of your friends
what: ride the world cup fundraiser (scratch race & points racing, bbq, beer, raffle galore!)
where: hellyer park velodrome
when: 2 hr warmup at noon, 2pm races start
why: cause shelley needs some money to pay for international plane tickets and international cuisine delicacies.
alright, so now to the reasons why you should attend:
5. see shelley adorned in a brand new stars and stripes jersey before it gets all old and faded because she never takes it off

4. this is probably your best chance to get an exclusive rob evan action shot-- where he will make you look fast in the photo, even if you are off the back. then you can change your profile picture on facebook and feel all pro and badass, even though you aren't.

3. like advertised, these races are part fundraiser and part training for shelley. so even if you are totally a slow-ass like myself, if you show up and put in one balls to the wall effort you can logically take all the credit for shelley kicking butt at the world cups.

2. i looked at the cylcocross schedule and see that mcclaren park is the next day. RTWC provides an excellent opportunity for a either a quick tune up ride OR an opportunity to get completely wasted on the free beer being given out and giving yourself a total legit excuse why not to show up at that crazy mother f-ing hilly cross race the next day.

1. word on the street is adam duvendeck will be there and will be making out with everyone.
so, for further details, please check out the spiffy ride the world cups website. see you there!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

pro cyclists and beth

so like i said, i met lots of famous people in los angeles.

here is me and meg kickin' it with floyd landis.

and here is me kickin' it with taylor phinney. in fact, i was giving him a pump up talk right before that 1:03 kilo.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

the amusing parts of last week

first let me just say: root canal = peice of cake! i love my dentist. if you need a dentist in oakland, i highly suggest kenneth louie. the root canal was so awesome i fell asleep (i just had localized anesthetics) during it and think i woke myself up snoring as he was poking needles in my mouth. then my mouth was numb for a bit, but that was it.

so michiko and i had a date to make sure i got some donuts and beer. except it was actually chocolate cake and a cocktail, but same difference. i love it when she is unemployed!

so i realized i was big debbie downer in my nationals post and forgot to mention some of the funny highlights of the trip:
  • tuesday morning. car trip down = i sat awkwardly in the back seat because gio was PMSing.
  • tuesday afternoon. quick track workout, nothing of note.
  • ride to passedena from track. candy feed. dude eating big bag of candy in traffic. megan points out this phenomenon, gio rolls up to minivan, i roll down window and ask for some candy. we get some gumballs! don't ever say LA traffic sucks.
  • pete shows up tuesday night. 5 hours from marin. i drove with him to track almost everyday cause a) he has a race car, and b) he has awesome heated seats, which meant i didn't need to warmup as much before racing.
  • wednesday i go to track and watch some racing. (no races for me that day) coolest part? i saw taylor phinney doing tai chi right before his races. i don't know why it was so funny, but it just was.
  • then johnny the moto driver asked me how fast i wanted him to drive the moto during the keirin. it is always good to get in good with the moto driver.
  • then we spotted floyd landis sitting away from everyone. johnny said he'd introduce megan and me.
  • so we got our picture taken with floyd and a funny candid shot. i didn't care so much to ask floyd many questions about his life. if i really cared, i would have read his book. so instead i rattled on and on to him about my blog, measuring my quads, and my attempts to get michael ball to make keirin cut jeans. he was very nice and seemed amused and said he would check out my blog...yeah, i've heard that one before....
  • so that night we ate some lasagna i had made. gio really liked the lasagna. i mean, really liked it. so much so that pete, megan, and i were all very uncomfortable at the dinner table and wanted to excuse ourselves to leave him alone with the ricotta cheese. italians.
  • brian and steve showed up wednesday night. thus, i devised a friendly bet....brian and steve were shacking up, and megan and i were shacking up. (gio and pete were on the air mattresses). the bet was as follows: whoever did the best on the days events would win the bed for that night. highest place wins; partner freerides. this actually worked out well for me, cause megan is a badass and i was planning on free riding. pelaez was really into the bet, and we proceeded to shit talk about it before every race for the rest of the week. as steve said: "okay, whatever motivates you beth!"
  • thursday, like i said in my previous post i did some racing, 500m & scratch qualifiers. seeing shelley win the scratch race was the coolest thing ever. megan got second in team pursuit, so we won the bed. and so began the quoting of talladega nights. shake 'n bake!
  • friday we went to breakfast at pie 'n burger. gio and brian had pie. i did not, although it did look good.
  • at breakfast, pelaez told us about his lifting routine.... "i bench the bar... actually, just benching just the bar is actually harder... ya know, because of concentric muscle motion..." for awhile gio, pete, brian, and i just looked at him...wondering if he was serious. then we realized how full of it that dude is and proceeded to make fun of his weak "45 lb bar" self.
  • did a lot of racing friday night...keirins, scratch races. my first keirin round i ended up winning cause everyone pretty much crashed or got relegated. it was just like you-tube.
  • pete and i left the track together and pete told me how brian and steve are just like the odd couple. that night we had dinner and brian insisted on getting a pint of gelato so he could do well in the points race. megan got 5th in her pursuit, so we won the bed that night. podium=totally bed worthy.
  • saturday i found another reason to hate sarah palin. that bitch was speaking at the home depot soccer stadium, so we had to park far away and carry our shit far into the building. brian earned a few points in my book cause -- cause he totally flipped her off right as she was looking at him. apparently roman didn't think this was so appropriate, but that is totally why roman went to law school, and why brian is totally punk rock.
  • saturday was a short day for me with my 200m. i went to the stands to watch, cause you get a better view. megan wasn't racing and i definitely didn't win the bed for us, but steve was flying out that night, so they let us have it.
  • sunday we went back to pie 'n burger for breakfast, but no pie for me. maybe that was my problem. i met jennie reed and sarah hammer and got some autographs on a t-shirt with some cheesy quotes.
  • the car ride home was awesome. megan told some good jokes to some guys working at the rest stop. actually, she laughed at anything i said, even though it wasn't funny. that really boosted my self-esteem. then i realized we only had 1 hour left of our car trip, and i had neglected to play all of my awesome road trip CDs i had brought along... so i quickly did some DJing of some sweet en vogue & salt 'n pepper to conclude our trip.
there are likely other funny things i missed, but that was a quick re-cap. i think we should all take up tai chi.

oh, and for for my memory books, here are my pictures on cyclingnews. thanks rob for photoing me to make me feel important. and for taking pictures of me before i was off the back.

Monday, October 06, 2008

back from nats

so i made it back alive. i guess that counts for something.

the week was really up and down for me...i am typically pretty even-keeled and happy-go-lucky about things, so it was really rough and atypical. i was a total fucking lame ass and broke down in tears during two warm-ups before the racing even started, and a couple of times in the porta-potties, which, let's just be real-- is pretty fucking gross and pathetic. big thanks to matt martinez for saving my ass multiple times.

that all said, it was a bunch of fun hanging out with the people i traveled with. megan is just awesome (and not just because she laughs at all my jokes even when they aren't funny). brian peterson is most definitely the highest quality person i have met this past year: is so considerate, has so much integrity, and is both wise and funny, a rare combination. steve pelaez, let's be honest, steve is kind of a dead weight to travel with, but he is just so hilarious and entertaining, i don't even notice. pete billington, great guy and awesome to talk with. gio, well, never cook gio lasagna because he will make everyone very uncomfortable at the dinner table. we had six of us staying at stephanie's house, which she so graciously let us stay at, and it was awesome hanging out and getting to know each other. i felt very lucky and privileged to spend time with such awesome people this past week.

that all said, i went down there to race, not hang out, and with that, i was extremely disappointed in myself. i knew the mass start stuff would be more difficult because i had never been in that situation before. so i was focusing on my timed events because i knew that would be something concrete for my first year.

thursday i had the 500 and scratch qualifiers. my 500 was pretty much what i have been doing recently. i was very disappointed in myself, because this is what i was training for. i guess the scratch qualifier was my best race of the weekend, just because i held my position the last few laps and was able to make it into the final.

friday i had keirins and scratch final. the first keirin round was totally stacked with fast people. i figured i'd be going to the rep, but i ended up winning this heat because everyone else pretty much crashed or got relegated. i pulled the pole position. before the motor pulled off, there was movement behind me and two people went down. only three of us left in the heat, one of whom passed me, but she was relegated. i hope you are healing well jen! round 2 i was in okay position when the moto was on, but then the person in front of me went underneath and then i tried to catch a different wheel, and when someone came up on me...and then there was a bunch of wheel scraping in front of me, i totally backed off, and when you hesitate a moment, you're screwed. then i went in the 7-12 final and pulled the pole again, but totally got passed by everyone. it sucked and i just wasn't aggressive enough. scratch finals i was just out of my league riding...just not used to that level of aggressive riding and didn't have the guts to stay where i needed to be with a couple of laps to go, so i rolled in at the back of the pack.

saturday sucked more, as my 200m time fucking sucked. yeah, my ramp up maybe wasn't perfect, but i was about .4 off my goal time, and a different ramp up wouldn't have made that much of a difference. i was 9th, so i didn't make the tournament and was done for the day.

sunday was the team sprint with lynn from portland. i didn't want to get dropped on her, so i was pretty much on her wheel, but not right away... but my second lap was terrible and i was really disappointed with my speed.

i know i sound like a big debbie downer. i wasn't expecting amazing results or anything- my goals were very reachable and small, and i am just upset at myself. blah blah blah 'it was my first nationals'...'i've really improved a lot this year'...these are all things i know, but doesn't change the fact that i rode poorly. i don't really need or want any encouragement from anyone, i am just disappointed in myself and am venting.

all that bitching aside, as i said, i had a great time with the folks i was with. amazing folks and i feel very lucky to have spent time with them this week. it was awesome seeing shelley win the scratch race and i felt very privileged to see her excitement first hand after she has been working hard for so long. it was very awesome. i learned a bunch and am happy i had the experience. and it was also good to see some people from other tracks who i have met along the way. despite being upset at myself, i am very happy i went this week and would do it again in a heart beat.

Monday, September 29, 2008

terror alert: green/blue

here is a picture of me the first time i stepped into the ADT center last year:

we will call that the wimper of terror, as i walked up to turn 1/2 and stared straight down the bank and my pulse started beating like i was finished with a sprint.

after that stupid move, i learned the cardinal rule of going to steep tracks: don't walk to the top until you are done! i followed this rule at portland. (although i was still scared pretty shitless out there as well.) but after the weekend races were done, i walked to turn 3/4 and almost shat my pants looking at the angle going down and was quite amazed with how i actually rode my bike on it for the whole weekend. perhaps the lesson learned is: don't think about it, just do what you do.

well, this is all moot. the point is, when i went to blaine the other week, it was super easy and i think my anxiety of those steep tracks is significantly less. nevertheless, i thought this picture of terror would be funny to post right as i am about to leave for nationals. cause, while i may not feel that way about the track anymore, perhaps that is how i should feel about the whole experience.

but actually.... my terror level at the moment is probably green or blue. this i guess is good. to be honest i thought i'd defintiely be orange or red right about now. maybe i will rise in the next few days, as my racing starts thursday...but i don't really think i'll get above yellow. all in all, i've felt surprisingly un-overwhelmed about the whole thing. (knock on wood)

this moment is one where i am really happy i am unattached, because no one gives a shit about how i do. and as my sole unattached teammate michiko told me this weekend: "the only thing i care about is that you put your quad measurement on your blog every thursday!" (which i have been slacking on, but it was 63cm last thursday). so if that is the amount of outside pressure i get, i can certainly handle it.

this moment is also a time where it is especially nice being new and being my first time going to nationals... kind of just take it all in, do my best, and see what it is like. i have a couple small and modest personal goals for the week and am leaving it at that. getting good results (well, at least for someone like me), takes years and years of training, and is a very slow process. so i am just going to spin my midget gear heart out, and see what it is all like.

my schedule is as follows:
thursday- 500m, scratch qualifiers
friday- keirin, ?scratch finals?
saturday- 200m, sprints?
sunday- team sprint

i don't know if i will be able to post updates, cause i will not be brining a computer with me... but i bet fixedgear fever will be doing those live updates and i will be sure to write a funny debreif [i promise it will be funny, unlike this post] of the whole experience upon my return.... BEFORE my root canal!