Thursday, February 28, 2008

amanda seigle: the people's hero

February 19th, 2008....

perhaps going all the way to sacramento on a weeknight to bike a total of 2.5-3 minutes sounds a bit absurd.

but when there are some pimpin' cane creek track wheels on the line, it seemed like a good idea. yeah, yeah. company schmopany. fun schmun. i was on a mission. i think i excel in goldsprints because they require no skill--and i am great at skill-less things.

i had procrastinated writing this post, as i had so many possible things to write about. i could have written a blog post entitled: "mike hernandez: testimonial or tabloid?" as i heard a fraction of his life story in the car ride up, and believe that testimonial or tabloid would be an accurate description. i could have written a blog post titled: "goldsprints: a boring race report", which would have been a play-by-play of the sprints...culminating in the final where i was being screamed at by every tattoo covered bike punk with shirts made out of beer tabs in sacramento - right as i hit that lactic acid wall. or i could have written a blog post entitled: "i'm not in my early twenties anymore" and talk about how i had the worst hangover of my life-- all because of one, yes, I said one, beer.

however, these all pale in comparison to the true story of the evening. that is, "amanda seigle: the people's hero."

now, some might say amanda seigle is their hero cause at that ride the world cups #3 at the track in february she totally kicked major ass, raced the B's race and placed third against all those fast 30yr old men. or some might say amanda seigle is their hero cause she totally stayed in that pro-crit at the tour of california the whole time. i watched that crit and just watching it made me tired. those are both commendable. however, it truly underscores her amazingness, which i feel like i witnessed a bit more the night february 18th.

scene: sprint number 4. amanda vs. me. we had already done 3 sprints that were very hard. we get up on the rollers and murphy informs us we won't be doing 500m sprints, but 750m. oof. then, he informs us we must chug a beer first. and not like some coors light, PBR, carbonated piss in a can beer.... but a microbrew pale ale! of course, who doesn't love pale ale?! but it isn't exactly the beer of choice to chug right before you are going to sprint your brains out til you puke.

i knew i was done for.

amanda is an expert racer pulling the bluff card: "oh i can't chug." but i didn't buy it. i've raced enough years never to believe any f-ing thing anyone tells you while on the line... "oh, i haven't been training." "oh, i was up late last night." "oh, i did hard ride yesterday." all that those things mean is that person next to you has been training their brains out to crush your little poor self for ions... and they are just trying to crush your morale more. so when amanda said: "i can't chug" i knew she was just trying to pull one over my eyes, but how could i buy it? dude--- she's at Davis. chugging is like the mandatory minor for everyone. we won't talk about my poor performance. it was pathetic. i am a shame to the midwest-- a shame to akron, ohio which founded alcoholics anonymous. yet, my poor performance should not overshadow her exceptional ability. if i practiced chugging for years, i wouldn't be able to touch that girl. it was remarkable. and then, after having downed that whole 16oz beer--- then, she pulled off a killer 750m sprint, as if that beer pumped some hydraulic power system into her veins. i had never seen anything like it. amanda seigle, truly a class act and my new hero. (i hope that once i post this, this blog post comes up first when i google her)

well, what are my quads like today. well, let me see--59.75cm. that is growth. and we are all happy about that. so that means i should eat a cookie.

never thought i'd be that person---

riding my bike with a cup of coffee...... this morning i couldn't help myself.

so yesterday after a meeting, i really wanted some coffee. i love coffee. but like all things i love, i think it is important to deprive myself of them....cause i grew up in the church and am into flagellation and all that shit. some (loosely followed) coffee rules:
  • coffee is best had on monday and fridays only, unless their is social coffee hangout, in which coffee on saturday and sunday is okay
  • coffee during or before biking should only be had if people buy you coffee (like the old men alameda boys). it is okay afterwards
  • coffee had on tuesday, wednesday, thursday is okay on occassion. but if you have it on both of those days, then no friday coffee.
  • coffee will be had black or with cream. no sugar, ever.
  • coffee should not be drunk past 3pm, ever, unless you having an espresso/beer simultaneously...which you can do this up until 6pm.
  • as for espresso drinks, americanos or espressos are only what to be ordered. those milky drinks are just too much
  • coffee should not be drunk until at least 2 hours after waking up, and at least 8 hours before bedtime.
  • most of all, coffee should be enjoyed always and never needed
these are the very important rules i give myself, depriving myself of the beverage i love so i do not get addicted to it. i love being a coffee lightweight. i am very caffeine sensitive and love that feeling of being overly alter and getting all twitchy and having huge sweat stains on my underarms of my shirts.

well, yesterday, i had a meeting and really wanted some coffee. i am flexible, and so long as things don't become habits, that is okay. i stopped at a little place in alameda between my meeting and going to my office. and that double americano fucked me up. i sipped it all day and by 5pm i was twitching at my desk. it was awesome. i love that feeling. but it was so so good, it was all i thought about this morning.... that amazing feeling of being overly alter. i left my house early and got onto the alameda island quickly, and it was just a short detour..... and then i was biking to work with coffee cup in hand.

now, having a full cup of coffee and biking is a lot harder that i thought! how do people do it with such grace? i need to ride my rollers more often, cause i certainly have not perfected the smoothness of coffee cup and bike ride. at every stupid pothole a little more of my beloved beverage popped out the top, dribbling right on my head tube. when i got to work (albeit, i had drank some on the way), i had just over a half a cup left. :( in the scheme of life, this was probably a good thing. i feel twitchy right now and i still have lots left. that dude at the coffee shop is messin' me up. i cannot succumb to going there anymore. just on special days.... cause otherwise, i am dead meat.

yes, i am slacking on my blog. the pressure of production is getting overwhelming. here are some quad updates for the last two weeks. todays quad measurement will come tomorrow, where i promise i will finally write all about the roller races. i know all of you have been waiting anxiously.
Feb 14th: 59.5cm
Feb 21st: 59.5cm

Thursday, February 21, 2008

it's nice when your genius gets noticed.....

thanks cyclingnews!
14:33 PST
We've gotten a suggestion that we run a "most loved rider" jersey award for riders with the most fan mail. That's a great idea - we'll be sure to secure Necco, makers of the conversation hearts popular at Valentine's day - to be the sponsor! Look for the rider with "Lover Boy" inside a bright blue heart on his back next year.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

magic numbers

some of you might think that 59.75 is the magic number (as that was my quad measurement last thursday).

well, you are mistaken. it is 95,275. that is the final world count of my book. by my book, i mean my bosses book. that book being-- total cure: restructuring american health care. don't try to buy it on you can't until fall. and, if you are thinking it will be amusing like my blog, think again. it is dry. very, very dry. unfortunately, my boss doesn't have the same charming sense of humor as i do and put lots of stupid jokes in that i tried to edit out...but they would always creep back in-- in a battle of track changes. i gave up. because i am a quitter.

the other magic number of the week is 46. that is, 46 hours i worked on the book between thursday and sunday. that is a lot in four days. especially considering i only worked 6 hours saturday. that was my day off. i went to the track race. more on that in a moment.

the third magic number is 2. 2 being: i am finished with my book and just emailed it to the publisher and my 2 roommates are asleep, so i can neither jump on the couch and scream, nor can they drink and hoot and holler with me. 2 also being 2 buck chuck. nothing says: harvard university press like 2 buck chuck. (i am celebrating high society, writing this blog post. cause i am lame and everyone is asleep and my eyes are in a sick computer glaze and when i finally stepped into the sunlight today at 5:00, the non LCD light hurt my eyes.)

alright, back to saturday. 12. 12 laps too many. when i saw 12 i did not think: "ooo, sprint lap coming up-- get in good position." i thought: "in less than 10 minutes i can have a beer." man, that was brutal. i thought this fund raiser race was going to be a leisurely jaunt around the track....or at least halfway civilized. i wasn't expecting all these fast dudes kicking my ass. geez, i'm a girl- can't you go slower for me? and what was with all those disc wheels in the C race? boooooooo! i am going to start chanting that at the next race i am in. that was like my first long points race when joe fineman started "booing" julie granshaw for attacking after the first lap of the race. and he was in the race. that was pretty awesome. people should boo more often at competitors. i should have booed that person who passed me on the blue line, but instead i made some lame-o "whoa", then threw an elbow. next time i am head butting. but honestly, i have such a small head, i think head butting would really hard for me, because my neck has to travel a lot longer... ya know, that whole fulcrum thing.

well, the race finished and i took a lap around the warp-up circle as a cool down. i just really wanted that beer. big mistake. beer neither hydrates, nor does one lap around the cool down circle do anything for the hurt all those mean men gave to me. (just remember beating up on girls has never got anyone laid...unless your into that, but i'm really not)

after the race, me and alicia went to this awesome vegetarian vietnamese restaurant. it was way cheap and very good. mmmmmm. it is called di da, located 2597 senter road. this is good for you to note. i will tell you why. an anecdote: last year during AVC saturday, i was very hungry and had a melted peanut butter sandwich that was sitting in the hot sun all day. during the break, i thought it a good idea to eat a burrito. a whole big super one. now, i am a very good eater and pride myself on being able to digest and exercise simultaneously. i honed this skill very hard while running, and once ate 7 pieces of pie before doing 10 400m repeats. that was sick. (as in awesome sick, not as in gross sick. it was my junior year in high school and it was "pi day" in math class, as in 3.14159 day-- and i ate every kind....cherry, apple, pecan, chocolate silk, derby, etc.) anyway back to AVC, those burritos are big, and, while my stomach wasn't upset, i really thought i was going to shit my pants during that scratch race. luckily, i made it out and didn't shit my chamois. so, next time. don't go buritto. go to di da. probably a better decision. and they have all that yummy fake meat that tastes so much like meat it makes you wonder.

i wish some pictures were posted so i could put a picture of me in my hot new skinsuit. you are all soooo jealous. as michiko say: it's the crate and barrel look. the only downside, is i totally got my period right during the warmup. the upside is, though, those chamois are already colored red. the design is pretty crate and barrel-esque. i wish they had picked this design. it was way cooler.

"Make a statement: this racer is not for sale. This blank template displays all the opportunities you took to say no. No to The Man, and no to the commercialization of your effort. It is also a good way to break the ice with that guy who owns the roofing company whom you've been eyeing to sponsor your team, 'You see this spot here? It's for you.' "

Speaking of which, I need to go to bed so I can get up at 6am to go to job #1 to print & FedEx, then to job #2. Someone pointed out to me that in this time of recession, that it is crazy i have two jobs. What can I say, I I am not a team player. I like to hoard things: like jobs. Hmm, that is 5.5 hrs of sleep. Probably not worth 5 hrs to finish this $2 bottle of wine. By myself. Nothing like being pathetic on a Sunday night.

Friday, February 01, 2008

the art of snot rocketing

i got a yucky cold and have been laying around my house mostly this week. the highlights included: a) i woke up wednesday morning with my left nostril clogged, but my right one clear... the two previous days it was flip-flopped, b) leaving my house on wednesday, moving the trash cans from the curb to the garage. this was my interval training for the week and got me super tired, so i then took a nap.

i went back to work, and rode my bike to work cause i thought i was feeling up to it. i was pretty much crawling along at snails pace, but that doesn't mean i can't practice important skills. given my congested state, this was the perfect opportunity to work on snot rockets.

i am not new to snot rockets. i started doing them 12 years ago. i distinctly remember my first attempt. i was out for a run in the freezing cold some january day in ohio, running along hudson-aurora rd. i had my walkman (which is weird, cause i hate exercising outside with music; i prefer zoning out and daydreaming) and put my finger on one side of my nose to give a honk... but i was pretty much a big pansy about it, so the snot dripped down all onto the wires of my earphones, and a big yellow glob landed on my fast forward button. then it probably turned into one yellow, snotty icicle-- that i had to pick off my earphone and fast forward button when i got home.

but i got better. lots better. when i ran cross country, i pretty much sucked compared to all the distance runners. but i could always out snot rocket them.

so when i snot rocketed on the bike for the first time, i figured it would be about the same. but, it is a bit more difficult. first, you have to ride with one hand. at first this was a problem for me. but no longer (i can even go no hands, but i haven't tired no hands snot rocketing...maybe for my trip home). second, you're going a lot faster, so it isn't quite so easy to make a clean break. third, when you are riding in group it is a lot easier to hit someone face on. while running, it is easy to just move to the right or left a little. but if you are in a paceline, you might not be able to go into traffic, or there might be a crosswind and you still might launch it into someone's face. over the past year and half, i practice snot rocketing.... but it isn't really cold here, so you don't get the residual snot effect like you do where there are actual cold winters where your hair freezes in icicles if you go out of the house with wet hair. but today was perfect opportunity to snot rocket away, and have one intense session honing skills.

now, i have long since perfected snot rocketing so i don't snot all over myself. that is no problem. but, i think there are some other strategical areas where one can snot rocket for purpose; however, aim of the snot is key.
  • getting that creepy guy off your wheel who just wants to check out your ass. this is a perfect opportunity to snot rocket. if you hit him, that is awesome. if you hit his garmin gps computer, that is even better. if you miss altogether, maybe he will be discussed at your femininity and thus move on.
  • there are occasionally some annoying drivers who are less than polite on purpose. (the key words here are on purpose. this move should only be saved for extenuating circumstances) blowing the snot rocket to hit the windshield is obviously the goal. however, to get into such a strategic location, you have to be directly in front of the car, not on the right side of the road...unless there is some crazy cross wind. nevertheless, you might be able to get the door handle, which will leave a nice little surprise when they get home or to work.
strategic snot rocketing is just that. strategic. it should not be over-used, as then it is no longer strategic. when not to snot rocket?
  • you're totally trying to attack and some bitch is just hanging on your wheel, so you hunk out a big wad of snot on her! YEAH! No. FYI- that is not so classy.
  • some old couple is hobbling across the street, right in the middle of your interval! instead of trying to run them over with your bike, you take the nicer option of just getting a little snot on them. Dude, that is not cool. You'll probably cause them to get some staff infection or something.
  • some punk kids in their scraper are sideshowing all over the road. you get in the middle of the road to snot 'em out. (i included the urban dictionary link for all you silicon valley readers, who might be a little out on the times....) are you a fucking moron? get your spandex self outta there and stop trying to get a good deal on your bags. and fyi, don't come dressed like that next time you want your fix. find some hippy dippy in berkeley who is going to overcharge you.
i am happy to report that i arrived to work today with the clearest sinuses i've had in a week. and my quads are 59.25cm.