Thursday, April 17, 2008

karla kingsley interview!!!

Karla Kingsley grew up in Michigan, went to college in New Hampshire, moved to Minnesota, then to the Bay Area. She races bikes--road, mountain, track, cross--and works in environmental justice. Crits are her "thing." People like her for her dry, witty humor and her freakishly tiny calves. She eats meat and prefers to be the inside spoon. Edit: Karla would like to recognize the supreme awesomeness of Grumpy's Little Guy Racing, her former team, and regrets not being able to throw down at Blaine with them weekly.

hello karla! The other weekend you completed the Redlands Classic bicycle race.

Karla: hello! that is correct.

B: Can you briefly describe this race, for all of the 45 year old men who read this blog.

K: hmmm, well. first, there is an uphill time trial for 5k. the next day there was a sweet 70 miles circuit race, again with hills. then a pretty flat, technical crit. and then a fricking hilly road.
what do 45-year old men like to know? I’m interested in the interests of that particular demographic, so that I can adjust my report.

B: 45-year old men want pictures of you in your underwear. do have any?

K: let me check quickly. Yes. I do!! But no you cannot post that shit on your blog.

B: Sorry readership, I tried. You can instead leave your digits in the comments sections and maybe karla will give you a call.

K: I think that's a fair compromise.

B: anyway, back to redlands...So this is like a hot-shot race with all the pro women who get paid to race their bikes. So, NRC, some women’s cycling prestige series…blah blah blah.

K: yah, no shit, right? I felt a bit out-classed if you know what I mean.

B: So, you are not a pro and squeeze in your 20hr/wk training with your 40 hr work week. Maybe I can recruit some folks to help you out with that. What if some 45 year old silicon valley men wanted to sponsor you-- how much would you take as a salary?

K: Ooooh, that's a great questions. depends.

B: we could go to the mall to one of those digital picture kiosks that make shirts, and get a big picture of their face on your team their big head digitally imposed -- instead of things like CLIF BAR written across your jersey.

K: Yeah. Here's the straight-up deal:

their face and my face, in a photo, all over my kit

their company name, on my shorts. across the butt if they want.

and knee and arm warmers of there chosen color/design.


B: how much?

K: All this for only $50,000/year plus travel, food, and equipment expenses. Probably under $100,000 total. A deal, right??

B: very reasonable. applicants please put some information in the comment section and we will get back to you.

now, back to Redlands again. what was the hardest part of the weekend?

K: The hardest part..... hmmmm, surprisingly, I think i'll have to say about minute number 25 of the crit.

B: interesting. You are a crit specialist. I thought you would’ve said the hilly road races or something. What happened there?

K: See, in the circuit and road races, I knew I wasn't going to be with the proseys in the front group. So it was OK to get dropped off a bit. But the crit.... hot damn, that's my thing, you know? It was SOOOO fast though, and there was just NO way I was going to let myself get dropped. And at 25 minute the pain had begun. it was just as hard and painful after that, but with every passing minute I knew the end was nearer.

It was like the Port of Oakland on estrogen

B: amazing, like the port of Oakland on estrogen. but i bet the girls didn't hit on you after the race.

K: Yeah.... it's true. the girls didn't want to hit on me so much.

B: bummer. that aaron's team is hot.

So, i have never done a stage race before. what did you do between finishing the race...and then waiting for the race the next day

K: you maybe have never done a stage race, but you would be damn good at the in between parts! Just like me! EAT AND SLEEP!

B: I do other stuff ya know. Like, blog.

K: Actually it was a bit more that that. I went home to lounge on the floor and stretch and ice my huge quads, and then my personal masseuse would go to work on my legs.

B: personal masseuse? some of the port guys were hanging out in the echo's trunk, eh?

K: then we would have a lovely, supportive team meeting every evening (I had a rockin team), where we could talk about goals and life and girly stuff.

B: and pillow fight? in your underwear? do you have pictures of that?

K: I will choose to ignore the pillow-fight-in-underwear question because I don't think it's appropriate for 45-y-o ears.

oh, did I say personal masseuse? I'm sorry, that was a different team. I had to rub my own fricking legs.

B: my friend has a foam roller i bet you could borrow.

so during the uphill time trial the first day, they do something called a "weigh in", correct?

K: anyway -- yeah, one of the best parts of my race was before it started. at the beginning of the TT. they weighed our bikes and measured them, according to UCI rules. I looked away as the official weighed it, but then I just couldn't resist.

"so, uhhh, is it the heaviest one yet?

he said, "uhh, yup, right at 8.6 kg."

B: that is about 19.6 pounds, yeah?

K: oh god no, not that much!

it's only like 19

B: what size frame do you need? perhaps a 45 year old man cannot become your 100k/year sponsor, but can afford a frame and put a sticker on it with his name on it: mike+karla=4ever

K: when I go through the sponsorship applicants and pick a winner, I will work out the bike size with him/her.

B: okay, so if you could have pushed someone off of her bike and stolen it (either for the bike, or because you didn't like this person), who would've been, and what bike was she riding?

K: Oh hot damn. that's easy.

B: ?!

K: I would have pushed over the girl that crashed me out on the last day. she didn't notice the course markings and made a right hand turn right into me where there was no turn required. Popped the little ultegra caps off my shifters.

B: i hear you can buy dura ace caps for your shifters if you wanna be a poser.

K: Oooooh, good tip. although, I prefer to appear hardcore and poor. I would have taken her bike for sure.

B: rocky complex, huh? no shame in that for sure.

so a lot of big-name teams were at redlands: high road, aaron's, cheerwine, to name a few. now, whose jersey do you like the best?

K: oh, into the style game now. fun fun. def not highroad. not so much on the cheerwine either. colavita just has too many colors. aaron's has something good going, but not the best.

B: yeah, i dig the aaron's jerseys... but maybe it is just cause all those women are especially hot. have you seen their website?

K: rock racing.... um, comments withheld. tibco and VAC also have solid jerseys.

B: i was super into VACs jersey last year, but i am they went down a notch for me.

K: ah, yes, I actually liked their last years design better. but I think the winner would be vanderkitten. for "most improved." I have to say, those pink and brown plaid kits were hard to look at early season, but design 2 is nice.

B: i agree. I think that plaid design was scandalous, for my taste. but i am from the midwest. as are you.

K: yes, exactly. I'm a bit prudish on many fronts. maybe you should do a post for the californians, explaining the prudeness of the Midwest. and it's other fine virtues!

B: that is a great idea. i will do that very soon. so, let's talk midwest. a few years back you went to superweek. was it a different vibe than redlands?

K: oh superweek. yes, it was different. not so much the pro racers, but all the rest of it, yes. you know, those midwesterners are all just so nice :) except when you ride a bike on "their" roads -- roads are for cars, you know.

B: mmm yes. and i bet there were more applebee's. and groundrounds. and bob evan's.

K: oh the applebee's. the bob evans. the kum n gos.

B: i used to work at bob evan's! (somehow i bet that doesn't surprise you.)

K: Nice. I applied to work at perkins' family restaurant and was rejected. WTF?

B: Well, at least you got into Dartmouth.

K: put this one up there. the most amazing thing is: IT'S NOT A JOKE. There really are Kum and Gos

B: did you work there?

K: unfortunatley no.

B: so you have raced bikes in three parts of the U.S. 2? years at Dartmouth, 2? year in Minnesota, and now you are starting your second year in California. Please discuss the bike culture in the three regions?

K: OK. bike racing. I did one year at dartmouth -- just collegiate. It was quite cordial, since you see the exact same gals every weekend. That was pretty much just a big ole learning experience for me, and I did just one or two uscf races.

As for culture, it seemed like people weren't overly friendly -- guarded. east coast, you know.

B: are new englanders assholes?

K: Most of them. I was when I lived there, for sure. You just can't help it. it's in the air, really. then I went to Minnesota for a year. minnesota was so lovely to race in though. The racing in MN is high quality, fun, and great great people. everyone knew everyone, and everyone keeps up on their blog, esp during the winter.

B: except you.....jab jab


B: okay, okay. now you are here and have a life. unlike me.

K: I do not have a life now, I just train a shit-ton.

B: and now the culture in norcal?

K: and norcal -- well, peeps are definitely friendly, but still seem a bit clique-y sometimes. Like, if you don't get introduced by someone who's already "in" they aren't as likely as a minnesotan to just start chatting you up.
(I could tell YOU weren't a native Californian, for example) But I LOVE racing in Cali!

B: what part of the country do you think people have bigger quads?

K: there are some HUGE upper thighs in the midwest. oh wait, those aren't bike racers though. do you mean bike racers? or people in general?

B: whatever. I don’t judge.

K: people in general, you can't beat the minneapolis airport.

B: so you mentioned you don’t have a life, cause you just train a shit ton. you have a lot of secret training. including riding with me some thursdays. is this your secret?

K: yes, thursday is secret training. we do sneaky things on thursday.

B: our sneaky training may or may not involve sprinting from flying bullets and crack dealers.

K: thursday is a good day for bullet dodging, pollution training, and more.

B: so, back to redlands. so, please tell everyone the real heroics of the weekend--your toyota echo came through in a crunch, again. any good stories or memories?

K: oh geez, the echo. Nothing as remarkable as the ADT trip. we merely had 3 girls and 3 bikes and 3 trainers and all our gear for the weekend. luckily Elis and ME are both pint-sized, so I squished them in among the crap. the echo has also been christened "Golden Rod."

B: Golden Rod?

K: true.

B: did you all pee on each other with your arm warmers on? Do you have pictures of that? i am trying to get my readership up.

K: you are disgusting and I am ending this interview

B: wait wait. I have a few more very important questions.

K: okay, okay.

B: are you single?

K: am I single? that depends on who is asking.

B: i am asking. [wink, wink]

K: Yes! I'm am single. I have been a decent girlfriend in the past and I come with references.

B: Yeah, i wish that you could check references of people you want to date. i have great references myself.

K: no kidding! I've learned one thing though -- it's always a good idea to ask if your date is actually single.

B: they could be skeezy, engaged, working at a bike shop, and hit on every girl in the east bay that rides a bike! And cause we are from Midwest, this type of behavior is just unfathomable. So, good pointer, sister.We should all remember that one.

K: yes, that type of thing is something to be avoided.

B: Do you have any crushes at the moment?

K: I have ongoing crushes. always. If there are any under 45-y-o guys that read your blog, tell them they can also apply for a date. Really, though, I'm just waiting for tom boonen to ask me out.

B: overrated. what about alejandro valverde?! hot and underrated. Now, do said crushes shave their legs?

K: eh not my type. but seriously, yes, my crushes must shave their legs.

B: so what teams do said your crushes ride for?

K: oh, you are getting sneaky now.

B: are any of these crushes "more than a crush" [nudge, nudge]?

K: :) not yet. nudge nudge.

B: yet. that is the word for a real champion. that is why i would want her on my team. so have you gotten any bling bling pro contracts yet?

K: I've gotten, cough cough a few offers [couh cough]. but nothing is settled yet ;)

B: i know, negotiation is a bitch…. Especially when they are flying you to Europe… and you are deciding between racing abroad or being on the US national team….a lot of pressure, ya know.

K: Yeah, SOOO many options. I have to make sure not to undersell myself, yes. How about you? You've been throwing down at the track. 13.6????? what what?

B: this is about you. not me.

K: Oh. sorry.

B: So, i must ask... apart from los gatos, who is your favorite norcal team?

K: my fav norcal team is hands down Team Oakland. Maybe that's just because they all like to pretend they are my big brother -- it's like this:

hey like to lay the smack down on Tuesday nights at the port of Oak, they don't give an inch, and they make fun of me (like any good brother would) if I don't go to the front and take pulls. But then they offer me rides to races, lend me bling bike stuff, call me and worry about me.

they are all such lovely lovely fellas. tear.

B: It is really cause they want to look at your butt. But, yeah, Team Oakland. Nice guys for sure. (And woman too!) Perhaps i will make sure all the dating applicants go through TO. They got your back.

K: yes, date applicants can go through TO

B: so, before i let you go.. i must ask. quads?

K: quads -- let me get a measure quick. 58.5cm. damn.

B: that is okay. my quads might be bigger, but you still can push a bigger gear.... i think it is all crap anyway, unfortunately....

alright. there we have it folks.

karla kingsley.

fast, kind, funny, works non-profit, ivy league smarts, midwestern humility, down to earth, fun to hang with, hard worker, and 58.5cm of babe… I can go on and on. i am her agent, so men and pro-teams, contact me. road, track, cross, 24-hr mountain bike races... i bet she could even do bmx for you if you wanted.

Beth Newell is an interviewer, q&a/how-to-manual writer, playwright, stupid anecdote storyteller, and otherwise professional blogger. She also rides bikes sometimes, but preferably one with only one gear cause she is a bad shifter. Her quads are 60.5cm as of April 17th.


CyclistRick said...

Who are these 45 yo guys reading your blog? Darn youngsters! And a 19lb bike is light; I spend a lot of time on the bike dubbed 'the 50lb bike' by occasional riding partners.

Cheflandria said...

fun and silly interview...good read!

now i want an autograph.

Audra Marie said...

Beth, you need a column in Cycling News...have you ever noticed how DRY those columns are???


Gawdddamn I miss racing. I am so out of bike shape.


Oh yeah, nice Team Oakland Shout-out!

karla said...

yes, Beth is a spanking interviewer. let me know, beth, if you ever need references when applying to reporting jobs.

Super said...

All that reading and not one mention of the Stars!

shoot. the little guy is disappointed.

Mike Hardy said...

+1 on the interview for sure. I'm happy I'll be able to say "I knew her when..."

And hell yeah we (TO) are going to give Karla a hard time if she's not hitting the wind on Tuesday. She cranks out more power than all but about 3 of us. Fact. Get up there and drill it, yo!

Shame about the whole leg-shaving thing though, I'm tellin' ya, shaved legs aren't everything - not that it matters much for me ;-)

chatterbox said...

that was a hoot! Thanks.

BTW, I now think it was you that did the 2007 Team Kit review as guest blogger over at Hernando's.

bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

I also hear she's a cuddler.

Long live the Rod.

tjh said...

All good things come from Mi-tten land!

..and dont' forget Karla rolls a cross rig like butta too!

Jessica said...

A+ Karla is rad. Beth, hope to meet you some day- i get the radness vibe from your writing.

r o c k.
keep on doin whatchurdoin ladies!

twinkiepatissier said...

ah, this is the first time to see the team kit close enough to get inspired with a team code: cran jell-o.

WarrenG said...

....lots and lots of jell-o shots.

Anonymous said...

I think you should feature an interview with a single, Bay area cyclist every week as a way to try and hook up single Bay area cyclists with each other.

Nothing like low key, two wheel match making!

Who is next? Maybe you can alternate between men and women. I think you should put a call out to single male cyclists for your next interview.

Beth said...

uh, anon...thanks for the suggestion, but... my blog is not a dating service-- maybe try

Super Rookie said...

Thanks for the shout outs.

You are now welcome in Blaine once again!

Laura said...

You are tres funny. And I lovelovelove the "unattached" wetsuit or speedsuit or whatever it's called. Did someone make it for you? Or is that something they make you wear, like a scarlet letter "A" or something? PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THE 45YO MAN REFERENCE! Who are we talking about!?!

GoBigGreen said...

If only i were a tad ( ok alot) younger KK and I would have been sorority sisters ( say it isnt so!) at Dartmouth...
We miss her here in the midwest!