Sunday, June 29, 2008


so, there we have it.  first crash of '08.

all in the safety of my own backyard.

and i wasn't wearing gloves or a helmet....doh. sometimes it is really the little things that trip me up.  like for instance when i went to LA in april.  i spent about two hours extremely anxious wondering how the hell you are supposed to ride up the rail and grab hold for the beginning of the mass start races, if the minimum speed was 19mph. back to my crash today.  riding rollers in public pretty much terrifies me as well.  i like to do it in the safety of my door way.  where it feels like i am enclosed in a little cage.  and i put the rollers up flush with the right door frame.  and i lean on the door with my right elbow and then i eventually sit up straight and don't lean anymore.  this is a very easy roller method.

but, shit, it scares my shit thinking about riding them in public with people watching me... and away from the safety of my little door frame....

i am going to portland in a couple weeks and need to bring my rollers. this makes me very nervous. anyway, of course, there are about fifty things i should be nervous about riding at alpenrose.  shit, anytime someone says to you: "i can't wait to see you ride at alpenrose" with a heh heh heh look in their eyes, you know it can't be good.  so, yeah, maybe i should be worrying about these steep banks, tight turns, kinda bumpy three days in a row.... but, nope.   i am worried about getting on and off these rollers in public, under that little tent, next to that flimsy metal pole that will collapse the whole tent if i fall on it.

so today, on a very beautiful day, where i could have gone for a pretty 1-2 hour spin with friends... i opted instead to ride my rollers in my backyard.  why?  i need practice.  bad.

so i set them up in the closest simulation as i could.  i put a lawn chair next to the rollers.  i made myself a little work out which included things like.  right hand on the chair; right hand on the bars, water, rinse, repeat.  that was pretty much every minute for forty-five minutes.  then every 5 minute increment, i came to a complete stop (but stayed on the rollers) and then started again, right hand on chair, right hand on bar.  then every 10 minutes i did the full get off/get on.   the whole, 'straddle bike, clip left foot in, stand on tippy toes, move front wheel on top of the roller, awkwardly stand on the metal bar of the roller on your tippy toes, try not to fall off, hold your breath as you hoist yourself up on the chair/sit down on saddle/clip right foot in/hope front wheel stays somewhat straight/and pray you don't fall off. (i hate this part the most!) then start biking, right hand on chair, then right hand on bar.  

[you see, this is a lot harder than my doorway method where i can hold on for dear life on the doorway...but in race warmup simulation, there is no doorway, just a flimsy i need to learn the one hand starting method, as well as the graceful get on method.]

anyway--- i wiped it.  i wiped it good sometime around minute 20.  i was on my second interval of the full get on/get off.  i just got on, kinda, and then started to pedal right off the side and fell right over.  the thing about crashing on rollers, is it is kind of terrifying, as it happens so slow... and you have about 10 seconds where you see it coming, freak out, can't do anything, and then slowly tip over very slowly....  my ugly knee is now a little bit uglier, and has some patio rash.  and i should have warn my gloves, cause now i have a black 'n blue on my palm.  

it is pretty embarrassing falling off your rollers.  but i needed to keep i did.  right hand on chair, right hand on bar.  then my left hand fell asleep. then i felt blood rolling down my leg.  then my CD player started skipping and i didn't want to get off between intervals, so i just let it skip for 3 minutes straight.    

despite this big roller crash, i think i may have improved a tiny bit and now am a little bit better at the hand move.  but, shit, i am real nervous about the roller warmup/cool down in portland.  beware: if you are going to portland, please store your carbon wheels and carbon bikes away from me.  i don't want to be responsible for crashing on your shit on the infield.  but i have about two to three weeks to, i am going to be doing some patio practice on my off/on--and hopefully won't totally crash like a nitwit in front of everyone.  shit.  this is nerve racking.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

podium quad stance analysis

so, alas, i have finally lost all the paper IKEA tape measures that sabine gave me last year. some of them ripped so i threw them away. some i gave away. some ripped and i taped them back together. some i lost. and i brought my final one to AVC- and now i can't find it. and i didn't even get to measure the olympians' quads. punked! but andrew from minnesota did request a measurement, and he was rockin' at 58cm. so i am glad at least it got put to use. man, i asked for one thing for christmas from my mom: a tape measure. and what did i get instead? a pair of orange panties.... well, i am not going to complain about that.

so, this all means that when i went to measure today, i had to go back to the original method of string and metal tape measure. i came out ahead, at 62.5cm. i don't want to get too excited though, because perhaps there is device fallacy. and i did measure right after i came home from sprinting uphill, so this could be an unfair case of muscle bloating... so, that is why i am putting that number in italics. i don't quite trust the accuracy.

speaking of quads, i would like to take breif analysis of the podium shot from sprints. i was going to do this for the men's podium as well, however, i couldn't find a podium picture i could poach and if someone would like to give me one, i will be happy to make fun of the boys too.

not to be self-congratulatory or anything, but my quads look pretty huge in this picture. becky lang's also look pretty huge. i think one thing that is creating this huge quad image is definitely the stance-- our legs are squeezed together, which makes the bulge in the hip seem much for drastic. contrast this to the next two. jen featheringill has the wide stance. from my memory, her quads are definitely large-- but standing wide legged is creating a slimming effect. not that there is anything wrong with that, i'm just not into slimming effects. so, too, check out jen tripplet's stance, which we will call the knee cock. this also has a slimming effect, however in a different way than the wide stance. it makes the lower quad (not the part we measure) slim down, which then appears to make the upper quad smaller as well. again, if that is what you are going for, that's fine. but just not my style.... lastly we have andrea fisk and amara boursaw. as you can tell, this is hard to see here. it is because andrea is not on a step here and is shorter than jen to begin with, so we get more of a waist shot. and it looks like mara has a slight wide stance, but nothing like featheringills..... of course, people, stand on the podium how you like. but just be weary that stance creates an optical illusion which effects how big people see your quads.

and, hey, don't sweat the stance. even pros mess up sometimes. here is a picture i got from last years AVC with jennie reed. matias, who i barely knew at the time, followed instructions perfectly getting a picture of our quads. i think jennie and matias may have been a bit creeped out, but, whatever. this one is for the memory books--my quads next to a world champions!

jennie sporting the wide stance, me with the cocked leg. poor form all around.

and just cause the diablo hill climb was this past weekend, i thought i'd remember that day last year. until i met michiko a few months before i thought i was a great climber. and until we did the diablo hillcimb, i thought michiko was a great climber. well, we definitely had fun at that one. nothing like reppin' the ghetto sharpie/t-shirt patch, baby!

Monday, June 23, 2008

avc weekend wrap up

so when driving to the track with joe fineman on friday, i sheepishly asked him: "joe. if i don't get on the podium this weekend, can i still get a double kiss?" (cause joe was the podium boy) he kindly said "of course." but i very happily didn't need a charity case, and got myself four joe fineman kisses. (kinda really only 2, cause he does the double kiss...but you get my drift).

let me just say this. it was hot. now that that was said, i will continue on.

friday night i just the keirin. my first race sucked balls, but me and karla had some fun whacking each other fighting for last wheel, duh! this meant if i wanted to go to the finals, i had to rep in. a bit nerve racking, but, i figured at least i was getting my monies worth, right? matt martinez whispered some secrets in my ear, along with a little pep talk which was much needed. 'confidence' i think is the key word. i kind of lack it on the line sometimes, which makes me not get position where i know i need to go. anyway, the rep round went well, and i luckily held it off to the line. i heard mary ellen make some noise behind me and thought to myself: "oh shit, it's the mary ellen sprint grunt!" and that gave me enough fear to get a few extra rpms to make it to the line. the final was 8 of us, and i slotted in near the middle, but because of some moving around in front of me, i think i ended up fighting for 4th wheel. i was pretty happy i held my spot, and then right after lady in red moved back, i thought i was clear so i was riding a little wide, and in slips jen triplett on my inside. need to stay on my toes a little better. long story short, is i was a little bit too patient in this race. i was waiting for a move from the back to hop on, that came on the late side (just enough time for her, not enough time for her and then me!) by that time, i couldn't move up all that much..... so, if/maybe i could have gotten a position or two higher on the moto, i think i could have maybe placed a bit higher...but i was pretty satisfied with 6th place, but more happy that i just handled myself well at that speed in the pack. oh yes, thanks to fred, alice, & michiko for coming to watch! here are some keirin videos. here is the rep round. and here is the final.

garrett lau took this picture during the keirin rep round

and here is a picture mara took at the start of the keirin. check out her website-- lots of photos there.
and here is the same shot seconds later that rob took. i thought they were both cool, so i couldn't decide which to post.

got home way late, slept minimally, and woke up really early to get back to the track for the sprints. had my best time in the 200m (13.22) so that was a nice start to the day. it was the 4th fastest time. in the 3-up, i just barely won. that meant i didn't have to rep. that was nice. in the 2nd round, i took the lead and held andrea at my hip and even did a tiny bit of that flicky business. just before one lap to go, she jumped, and i raced to beat her to the pole and began a 1 lap drag race. i was in better position, as she was riding wide. but she had more in her and beat me to the line by a bit. i was a bit bummed, cause i wanted to make the semis...but, i didn't make a tactical boo boo--just not as fast as her on a long sprint like that. so, i was happy that i didn't do anything wrong. we had a 4-up to place 5-8. i led this out, and was a bit worried this wasn't a great idea with 4 people. i rolled into the poll and slowly ramped it up. in turn 3/4, i felt someone coming around and i just thought: "not on my track!" and got some more energy to hold it off. really had to have some local rep on the podium, and that was some extra motivation on the homestretch.

here are a couple of photos mara took during the match sprints.

2-up (duh!)

and jenny took this picture making fun of my stuff.

i was super cooked. steven woo took a picture of the bracket-- and no wonder i was tired. i sprinted four times in the mid-13s-- that is faster than i ever had sprinted before... all in a matter of a few hours.

i went to that awesome veggie vietnamese restaurant (di da-- down senter road) and had some good food before the night session and ended up making friends with everyone in the restaurant. everyone was so chatty! they were all insisting they had seen me at some tibetan buddhist temple in san jose. but i kept saying it must have been another white girl, cause i live in oakland. but they didn't believe me. then back to the track....

the miss n out, i just wasn't in the race at all. i didn't have much energy and not much i figured i'd just stick myself in the middle and see how long i can go before getting pulled. it wasn't long, and i didn't do much to get out of position.

a couple of my friends were there-- my xc/track runner friends brittany and rachel from college. and also mel & laura. so, i wanted to at least be respectable in the scratch race. i also needed some major mojo, so i put on as much orange as i could find-- arm warmers and those booties i won from friday night. this served a good purpose, as it was easy for my friends to see me.

as i said, i was pretty cooked from the sprints. wasn't really expecting four sprints to make me so tired, but i think being in the sun and not sleeping much, etc, made me more tired than i realized. i pretty much just sucked wheels the whole scratch race. shelley and larsyn lapped the field, so on four to go, there was an attack as they got back in the field. i was in mediocre position, but did some weaving to get back with the front pack drilling the pace. with three to go, i was too many wheels back in the paceline and only slowly moving up... on bell lap, i was still too far back, and just said f-it, as i didn't have time to follow wheels anymore and moved in and out some and took some really wide turns in the curve to move up. i was with the finish sprint, but unfortunately on the tail end. i was coming up strong, and couldn't tell if i nipped someone for 5th in the sprint. (this would have put me in 6th, as someone else had lapped the field, but wasn't in the sprint finish). they told me i had 6th, so i was pretty happy-- i couldn't believe i had moved up and actually passed someone at the line to place. so i waited around and around for the awards ceremony in my stupid spandex. then 5 minutes before, justin said there was a mixup, that they forgot about someone, and i was 7th. no biggie really, i just wanted my chamois off! then justin pulled my line on me, telling me: "7th is the new dfl". jerk face.

here is me with my mojo orange on

so, then i was in my chamois and hanan is the little joiner and talked me into doing the flying lap with her and megan. i can always get my arm twisted to do another race, so i did. i can't remember how fast i went, but even if i did remember, the number would have no significance to me whatsoever. i guess i now hold a record, because a) they haven't competition timed women in the flying lap, and/or b) they can't find the actual record. haha. i take cheap wins anyway i can. my only regret is joe fineman didn't give me a kiss for this one. punked!! finally i was done. i decided to pull the team unattached moto: "cool down, schmool down"-- and shit, did i pay for that one the next day! stupid! note to self: don't do a lap sprint and then not cool down. maybe it wasn't the lap sprint. maybe it was just the whole weekend. but, whatever. i blame hanan. i cursed her name as i was laying on my couch crying late sunday morning.

saturday night, when i got back to oakland, mel, laura, and i went to get a drink. i was pretty wasted after my one drink. but, i took some advice someone gave me, and decided not to blog drunk.

well this is getting way too long. here are some wrap up points from the weekend, and some things i forgot to add.
  • the out of town girls were awesome! especially jen triplett. she told me i can stick my chamois in the microwave if i don't have time to wash them. i dunno about that one...but, i thought it was worth noting.
  • i was pretty satisfied with how i raced. of course, i think about how i could have maybe done something a little different to get one or two places higher...but, all in all, i'm satisfied and working on not being negative or down on myself (which is the june moto, btw). mostly, i was happy i felt pretty comfortable and think i was a bit better than normal feeling good in the pack.
  • i geared up for the weekend (86" for keirin, 84" for everything else)...but know that was still pretty tiny compared to what other people were riding. maybe if i can get my quads even bigger, they will be able to spin the bigger gear, and i will do better (well, maybe...)
  • confidence is really the key word of the weekend. i usually don't have a ton while riding, and especially didn't during the beginning of the weekend.. staying confident and positive is sometimes the biggest challenge - just thinking i should be there.
well, i am sure i forgot something, but i'm going to bed. excuse the boring race report. one of these days, i will be funny again.

anyone else...?

this is pretty much how i felt about the weekend.

maybe at some point i will regain my senses to actually report on what the hell happened this weekend.

Friday, June 20, 2008


yay!   it is today!   i am so excited!!!  (thus my use of elementary school style exclamation points!)

too bad jennie reed isn't coming for a rematch... that was too funny.  

well, hope to see y'all down there.  i think women's keirin is up first, so we'll be sure to leave the track hot-t-t-t-t-t.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

important AVC prep

so, with only one more day til AVC, i am feeling pretty good about things. i have spent this week (and a bit of last week), doing some really, really important things to prep. these included:

  • making my shoes pretty. i got a silver sharpie & a black sharpie, and now my shoes look brand new.
  • also, it is time to bring out the orange tennis shoes. they aren't looking so hot these days, as they are very old and worn. but it is a big weekend, so i need to bring my lucky shoes, whether or not they are in good or bad condition. this spring, i got an inferior pair of orange sneakers that i don't like so much (but that didn't come with orange shoe laces, so of course i pulled the swap), the other day i put back my neon orange shoe laces in my old ratty etonic orange sneakers. i'm feeling good about it.
  • measured my quads, and i am at 61.5cm. that means that i grew 1/2 centimeter this week alone. not quite 2cm, but not bad.
  • i suckered fred into re-glueing my tire, so i don't get yelled at again.

SHIT. is that all I have gotten done? how have a squandered all my freetime?!?!?! you know what i need to do tonight?

  • wash my skinsuit...go to the grocery store...pack my food up for the next two days, so i don't have to deal with that at 6am saturday my friends directions...change my chainring....put a 16t on my wheel for warmup--and hope chain length is okay....get clothes together for two days...blah, blah, blah...ahhhh, i should really make a real list.
  • and i need to go and get new gloves, cause in addition to me having more holes in the palms than fabric (to which kelly b can attest), i somehow lost one at work on now i just have one holey glove.
  • but i really do need to remember my tape measure! not only is robin horowitz telling me i am going to have to get pictures of the pros all measuring their quads........BUT, i even got word this morning from Andrew from MN inquiring about the all-important quad measuring schedule! whoa. who knew that this craze is known outside of the ncnca? well, i will bring mine. and if you have a spare tape measure, that would be great, cause mine is made of paper and all torn up.

well, should be a super fun weekend. pretty excited to get s l a u g h t e r e d ! but first i have a lot to do tonight.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

screw you honda civic & yay brittany is in town!

so me and the roomie drove into work today, so my quads could rest and grow 2cm before the weekend. but of course there was some douchebag honda civic driver. honda civic driver's need to get over their civics. they all want to marry them. betsy used to drive a civic, until she flipped it over twice while taking those turns a bit too tight in livermore by the horsies. now she is rockin' some shitty taurus, and ever since then honda civic drivers have been total pricks to her. what, you think just cause your car is clearly superior, you can be a total douchebag?

so today this douchebag civic man, totally through a flick and moved up a couple of positions in the neutral lap. it was way lame. so i spent the next ten minutes berating this guy and almost got us into an accident cause betsy was laughing too hard.
  • "i know you look way cool with your oakley's and hair gel, but re-applying hair gel on the freeway is not a wise move, buddy."
  • "maybe you should crank up that john mayer."
  • "why don't you take that civic down to eastmont mall saturday night to see what that shit's really made of!" [for all you silicon valley readers, who aren't privy to sideshows, here is a definition.]
well, it continued, but i won't bore you with my shit talking.

so this weekend should be a lot of fun. robin put up this website with some good information for the AVC this weekend. thanks for the shout out and the picture of me with messy hair! i hope i am always known as the messy hair girl with big quads.

you know what totally rocks about this weekend?! my girl brittany is coming in from wisconsin and is going to see my race on saturday night!!! i can't tell you how excited i am! bj and i ran track together and she is one badass miler, 800m runner... really any distance...shit! she'd hand off to me in the 4x4 and can throw down the meanest kick going into turn 4 that you will ever see. the girl can finish a race like none other.

we like this picture of brittany cause 1) she is wearing buns, and 2) she looks really patriotic

so it looks like bj has a bike...rockin' it out running sorts and tennis shoes like i did two short years ago. damn, if this girl ever started bike racing, i'd be seriously scared at the amount of damage she could do. she is probably one of the most phenomenal athletes i have known [NCAA woman of the year, in connecticut], so incredibly smart [physician in training at u wisconsin], hilarious, midwestern, damn i could go on and on.... be sure to find her on saturday night and be nice to her. you will also enjoy sitting next to her cause she is an awesome yeller and can probably tell you some funny stories of me raising a muck while running.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

mediocre weekend at the track, but some good practice

so, dearest oakland homie, laura, wrote a most excellent pescadero race report, which i believe is the best race report you will have read in the next three months.

so, i can tell you about my weekend. be warned, i just had a whole glass and a half of wine, and am TOTALLY WASTED. i just told my roommate betsy how much i loved her, so i must be drunk. she just brought me a big glass of water plus a multivitamin, so i wouldn't be hung over tomorrow.

well, this weekend did not go quite as stellar as i wanted. but i did have some good practice. i did some of the practice match sprints on saturday. and i sunday i did some TTs. here are some highlights of the weekend.
  • annabelle handed my ass to me on a platter in a loving way that only she can. and she just rules so much. she gave me a ton of help and rode each race different, so i could practice different things, and de-briefed with me ton.
  • then i raced lorraine's husband kelly and then mark rodamaker was messing me and let me think i could beat him, until he passed me and told me in the warmup circle how fast we went, and how in the heat previous race he went 5mph faster. then i felt like a big lame-o.
  • then i practiced some after the sprint tournament and learned to throw a hook. and by learn to 'throw a hook', i mean, invite the person next to me out for tea and crumpets cause i am a big sissy... which everyone knows!
  • then me and alicia went to di da (down senter rd) for veggie vietnamese food and it was an amazing filling $10 meal for both of us! (for those dumb jocks out there, that meant $5/person.)
  • then on the way home my legs hurt and were crampy and i canceled going for a walk with my friend, cause i needed to sit on my couch instead. and my legs hurt all saturday night and i sat around feeling sorry for myself.
  • sunday my legs didn't hurt anymore, but they weren't as fast as i wanted them. i went up to a big girl gear.....well, perhaps that more means teenage-girl gear, and plopped on the 84". whoooo.
  • except boo hoo, i was slower. lots slower. that sucked balls. well, the second half of my 200m totally rocked. and if my first half matched my second half, i would be jumping up and down out of glee. ...but low-and-behold, half number one was 7/10 of a second slower than half two, which is quite a lot....
  • so, i did a second 200m for shits and figured it would be way better. so did things different. but everything turned out exactly the same. so that blew chunks too.
  • then i put back on my little spinny gear and did a 500m and had a mediocre start, but not as bad as previous starts. i did pretty good keeping my speed up throughout and was satisfied with this time, 40.98. that means nothing to any of you, nor to me. but i will write it down, so i can document things for myself. but i like this race a lot...cause it is kinda like a 400m run, except about about 20 seconds less of pain....and that is always when the 400m got to be not so fun.
  • then i waited around a loooong time.
  • but i did get to talk to allison shanks, who is from new zealand, and going to ride the 3k pursuit in the beijing olympics! how cool is that, that she came out to this day?! she was very, very nice and i hope she kicks some major ass. she was really cool to watch too. and she had this trainer that looked like it was from outer space.
  • then i talked cece into doing the team sprint with me. despite some false starts and an early exchange, we did pretty well. this event is super fun and i hope to do it again. we rode like a 54.5, but they docked us like a second for all of our mistakes. whatever, not like that time means anything to me at all. i only did it once before with alicia and we buffed the start like it was our job. but, i really enjoyed doing the team sprint and hope to do it again soon.
okay. well, i think i am now hung over. i have a headache. anytime i drink now, i get an instant hangover. that is why i rarely drink these days.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

reason number 48903 why laura is awesome

so, as many of you may know, i am kind of in love with someecards. i found this one this past week and sent it to laura and carol...cause it was pretty fitting. (but mwahaha, i just told everyone!)

now, reason number 48903 why laura is amazing. she sent this back to me.

genius. pure genius.

Friday, June 13, 2008

ding ding for friday bells

ringing bells was pretty good cause i got to have minimal interaction with people. mel took a few races, so i could go to the bathroom and eat some potato salad, but other than that, i was a ringing machine. mike hardaway showed me a pretty good technique so i could get more bang for my buck....all in all, i think the key is having a loose wrist.

so here is the quick and dirty beth's race report--

p/1/2 /3 races. the second points race was definitely the race of the night. i don't know if anyone was really paying attention to the race, but it was a damn good race to watch. i, of course, paid excellent attention, cause i really had to stay on top of the lap cards, which can actually get a bit tricky...especially when some riders lap the field, and then there is another break being between the lapped riders and the main really need to stay on your toes with who is in front and what lap it is on. so, lap card turning isn't necessarily a job for just a cute face with no brains. you really need to stay on it. and stayed on it i did, alright.

well, enough about lap cards, actually to the race. well, basically it was like this. brian peterson is a rockstar. rode really smart and was a pleasure to watch. this was probably my favorite points race to watch. perhaps it was a combination of it being pretty close, and a combination of me paying really, really good attention. i can't give you anymore details, really, cause i didn't really know the other people's names in the sorry about that, but it was sweet. (even though brian didn't have on his white booties, he still looked fast!)

miss n outs are always fun to watch. but wtf was up with mccook's relegation? what was it for? ? i was confused. c'mon....can't take the heat, get out the kitchen... but what do i know? i only ring bells. but i really don't know what it was called for.

women's racing, well, it is funny to not be in your own race. julie nevitt rode a really smart race and unleashed her kickin' sprint at the right times, which gave her a clear victory. hanan took some strong flyers off the front that really turned a bunch of heads. but my head was turned the most none other than someone i share names with!!! how cool is that? beth welliver (is that right? please correct me if i am wrong). this was her first track race. she really nailed down a sweet attack that stuck for a long time and got a huge gap on the field. it was awesome. totally impressive. in the chariot race, hanan may as well have won by a straightaway. some serious, serious top end sprinting in those legs, that i know i am going to watching from behind very, very soon! should be fun!

and i will conclude by saying: sweet attack from the gun, justin, for the start of the 3/4 points race.

oh, i forgot the best part. larry nolan's daughter sung the national anthem to start the night off-- what an amazing, amazing set of pipes she has and a gorgeous voice! real talent. really awesome her to share it with us tonight. it really was a perfect start.

well, that was my night!

sadie hawkins and dear abby

so my friend sam has a weekly fix w/out dix girly bike ride around oakland. this week she is having a sadie hawkins themed ride. (e.g. girls invite boys)

in high school, i didn't go to many school dances cause i was lame. but my senior year, i did ask someone to sadie hawkins. (now this boy lives with his boyfriend in san francisco...i was really good at picking them!) anyway, i don't have a date for this sadie hawkins bike ride and think i will sit at home and watch my roommate knit (because i cannot knit myself). but, that is not the point of this post. geez, i am so self-absorbed sometimes. [you: sometimes? me: see, i said it for you. so you don't have to make that comment.]

anyway, this post is about sam's dilemma. sam said that this is a dress up affair. she recently posted this letter on a forum, so i am going to respond, because i have always wanted have an advice column!

Dear Abby,

Next Wednesday is Sadie Hawkins. I finally got the nerve to ask a boy I think is cute. To my surprise he said yes. I am torn between my love of looking and acting more ridiculous then I should and acting and looking cute (which I never feel I pull off very well, doesn't match my personality). The hardest part is the ridiculous dress was given to me as a present (in all seriousness) by a family relative who thought of me when they saw shoulder pads and a thousand beads attached to a black dress.

Please help me figure out the right dress to wear.


cutely riduiculous

Dear cutely ridiculous,

First off, congratulations on this guy saying "yes." Either this person likes your ridiculousness or he doesn't know you at all and thinks you are cute. (Probably not both though, because, let's be honest, people never like your personality and your looks). It is clear from your letter that you want to wear the ridiculous dress and just needed some affirmation. Well, I am not Abby; I am Beth. That means I won't give you any advice, because I don't want you to be responsible for ruining your life. And we all know that life without a man is the equivalent of ruined. However, I will give you some things to think about.

Two key words popped out at me in your letter. 1) shoulder pads. The good thing about shoulder pads is they make your boobs look bigger. No matter how anarchist this dude seems, he still likes boobs. So if you are typical cyclist, shoulder pads could be a good thing, despite the dress looking ridiculous. 2) thousand of beads: nothing says sensual like a hand running over a series of cheap plastic beads, as you are both track standing at a red light. he has mad skillz and can track stand no handed, so he reaches over for a little gropey-grope on the corner of hollis and powell, only to feel the rough surface of beads covering your bosom, perhaps scratching his delicate trickster hands. the light turns green.

just think about it.

good luck with your decision.

-Beth (the new Abby)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

PMS, AVC, I can't think of a third accronym

i am going to preemptively apologize for this blog post being boring. i have not been particularly funny this week. i will blame PMS, but i don't know if that is quite accurate....I think I use PMS so often as an excuse of my bad mood, that I must get my period every other week..... i don't really know what to write about, but i need to report on my quads, which are still at 61.0cm for those who actually care. hopefully i will think of something, let's see here......
  • this week marked my 1 year anniversary with debbie B. isn't that sweet? if you want to read my really silly post about when i first got her, you can here. but i wouldn't suggest it. it is definitely not funny. i sound like i am 10 years old. in fact, i wasted some time last weekend reading some of these first track racing posts, and in all of them i sound like i am ten years old. i don't find it cute at all; i find it pathetic and naive.
  • i hope everyone is excited about friday night racing! spoooooktacular. i am going to go down with mel and help my adopt-a-team, team oakland. i will not be racing, so i cannot be socially awkward and just go round and round the warm-up circle to avoid talking to people. but hopefully i will find a job that will allow me the same level of interaction. (maybe standing with the official on turn 4?) please don't bother me asking me why i am not racing. i told you, i have PMS!
  • what is quite exciting is the AVC is right around the corner! yay! have you seen robin's cool blog?! it is really awesome, definitely check it out. this race will be lots and lots of fun! i am totally excited to get my ass handed to me-- and then cry in the bathroom and have the automatic flush keep going off, amidst sobbing spasms., hopefully i won't cry uncontrollably this year.... i was a bit traumatized last year friday night, as i was in way over my head, and didn't really know what to do. but i made it out alive, only pissed a couple of people off, got my picture taken with an olympian and world champion, and somehow didn't cause an accident - so count your blessings, eh? anyway, i am pretty excited for the race. it will be neat to see some out-of-town women who were here last year, and be interesting to see how i measure up after a year. well, i hope that people will come and watch on friday night and saturday! should be a blast.
alright, well, see, it looks like i always have something stupid to diarrhea-of-the-mouth about.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

quad talk

so, finally, after weeks and weeks and weeks of first shrinkage, then stagnancy, i had a bit of quad growth..... 61.0cm....praise jesus!   

i was starting to get worried that this whole experiment was completely pointless.  you see, we are fast approaching my 1 year mark of quad measurements....and if i am the same, or only marginally larger after a full year of riding my bike and training, that will be quite disappointing.  what good has all this training done if my quads are only 1/4 of a centimeter larger in a years time?!  sure, perhaps i am "faster" now... but who cares if you are fast if your quads are small...other than the officials (or perhaps teams, but i am unattached, so no one cares about me)

at the end of the day, bike racing is fun if you get whooped or do the whooping.  on the other hand, quads are objectively bigger or smaller at the end of each day... and bigger quads correlate to increased positive self-perception and self-esteem.  so, that is why i really hope i am significantly bigger for my one year mark.

perhaps big quads don't always contribute to positive self-esteem.... some people try to make you feel bad about your big quads.  for instance: 
  • pants companies that have an unfavorable quad-to-waist-line ratio.  that is NOT cool. in this case, i suggest wearing skirts.  but not tight ones. one's that balloon out.  if you can find one with a petifor, that would be ideal....cause the more poof the better.
  • some stick leg people might make comments about how BIG your legs are.  but they don't say "big" in a nice way that connotes STRONG.  they say it in a way that connotes FAT. don't pay attention to such negativity.  and don't retaliate by making fun of their stick legs.  that isn't classy.  instead, change the subject to the weather... their preferred brands of chamois cream.
  • your roommates or significant other might also tease you about your big quads.  in such cases, i like to get back at them by pulling out a sharpie and drawing a big MEAN FACE on my quads.  the hugeness of your quads plus the mean face drawn in marker, typically scares your roommates/significant other so much, that he/she/they won't make fun of your quads any longer.
well, those are some pointers on how to deal with quad negativity.  but enough with the negativity, let's talk about being positive.  we can all do our part to promote quad love by inserting a few phrases to compliment those with whom you are warming up and cooling down near.  i will give a few examples, but i encourage you to think of your own.
  • "hello_____.  your quads are looking so big, that they are really rivaling ___[insert your favorite local whose quads are huge.]"
  • "hi_____.  your quads look enormous, and it isn't just because of the cut of the design on  your skinsuit."
  • "bonjour ____.  ca va?  j'aime votre grande cuisse!  oo la la!"
you know where else there will be some good quad watching?  at AVC.  there will be some famous quads.  it will be amazing.  the racing is on june 20 & 21st, so be sure to come at night to watch some of the finest quads this side of the mississippi.  [which phrase doesn't quite work on the west coast, but i don't care.]  AVC will be a blast, and hopefully we can even get a few famous measurements!  and if you are a local and racing, REGISTER ALREADY!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

tuesday spinning.... like i never have before....

so after getting repeated flack from fresnoakland (couJUSTINgh), i returned for some tuesday night racing. this week was scratch racing, which is pretty boring compared to points racing, in my opinion. i was planning on riding the Bs today for a couple of reasons: a) B is for Beth, b) wanted to get some practice in the pack, c) hoping mark patten would tow me around the whole night, and d) see a), and e) get used to some bigger field sizes. larry always says during check-in: "have a goal for tonight's racing", and mine was to: a) hang on for dear life, b) not crash, and c) get used to bigger field sizes and riding in a pack. i felt pretty satisfied with my goals.

so the first race was 30 laps that was crazy fast. i mean, i think i had ridden fast races before, but this was fast the whole bloody time. i would like to report that i think i have finally experienced the sensation of "spinning out." people seem to say this a lot, but i never know what they are talking about. up until this point, i never felt like i needed a bigger gear to keep up. but this first race yesterday, after 20 laps or so spinning so much, i just couldn't keeping spinning so much to stay with the pace, and then slipped off the back. i probably spent a little too much time bridging gaps early on, which i know now...but i don't think it really mattered much. it was just hard to spin so quick. after i got dropped with about 10 to go, me and two other dudes nearly chased back on, but then with 3 to go it picked up just as we were close and fell back off the pack. anyway, this was an exciting day in my personal track history because i reached a point where i probably could have utilized a bigger gear.

the second race was 40 laps and much more civilized and slow. i knew it was slower cause i had no problem whatsoever with my gear this time. going in, i wasn't really planning on finishing the race...just going to stay in until i got dropped, but that didn't happen, so i finished. my plan this race was not to spend anytime at the front at all...considering i got dropped last race. so i didn't. i also tried to stay in the mix as much as possible to get better riding with people. the funny thing about riding with B men is they are such gentlemen; "oh sure, honey, go ahead in front of me." "yes, please, beth, get on my wheel and i will help you." "oh you want in? okay, here you go!" and that is pretty much how it goes. i am certainly not complaining it is just kinda funny. well, basically what happened at the end is i was lucky and in good position. i am usually in bad position with 2 to go, so it was probably about time that i just happened to be in good position. donut king jumped with 2 to go. then i let some ICCC dude pull me back. as he was fading going into the bell lap, i went around him and jumped out of turn 2. then i guess i kinda led out john, but that was cool by me. i kinda got swarmed by everyone and their mom on the homestretch, but i ended up fourth, so that was cool. i knew i had to sprint early, cause they were all faster than me to begin with. after the race, brian peterson said to me: "good jump, beth". i would just like to note that the words "good", "jump", and "beth" were all used in the same sentence .... that is without an imperative proceeding it, i.e. "you need a good jump, beth". anyway, i will take that complement with a grain of salt because, a) brian peterson is very polite and kind, and b) i jumped past the donut king who just goes surfing nowadays.

alright, well that was some tuesday track racing reportage. major props to sabina for being off the front FOREVER in the second race. she was suffering good and didn't even flinch when i yelled at her: "SUCK IT UP, WOMAN!" it was a rockin' break for sure.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

reminder: voting day

just a reminder to vote today!

i hope that means NO on prop 98 and YES on 99. (those are the ones rent control.)

oakland rant here....
and if you live in oakland-- yay for nancy nadel. sean sullivan is a total asshole who is running solely on a platform of more cops. i kinda had an altercation with one of his canvassers who came to our door a week ago. i typically try to be non-confrontational, but this dude sucks so much.

i was quite upfront with his canvasser and said: "no one in this house is voting for sean sullivan, so we do not want your flyer." he asked me why, so i matter of factly told him that i did not agree with his platform on policing....which is his only platform! well, his canvasser tried to reply by saying how sean sullivan supports "community policing." now this really ticked me off, cause this is very manipulative use of language and his canvasser was trying to act like he supported things he did not. at this point i began my little tirade about "if by 'community policing' you mean putting more cops in the community" and it continued from there. anyway, i don't like this guy.
anyway, i think the majority of readership is not from the east excuse this post. but, regardless, remember to vote today!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

weekend shenanigans

friday night fun: a photo essay. (thanks garret, kurt, and ken for letting me pirate these photos.)

so friday night the velogirls & hernando through an AWESOME race. it was a bunch of fun. to highlight women, they made us do SIX races in a couple of hours. that was particularly mean, i think. especially considering we had approximately 10 minutes between the points race and first keirin.

points racing. this was a fun race. shelley didn't come out to hurt us this week, so we hurt ourselves. or perhaps i hurt myself by going off the front for awhile. i hurt myself pretty good cause after the race my lower abdomen hurt like i had period cramps, except i didn't cause it isn't that time on my menstrual cycle. so i sat down on a bench and moaned and complained to the poor people sitting at my picnic table for ten solid minutes about how it felt like i had period cramps...whoa is me..... and then it was time to do a keirin. yow. no rest for the weary. anyway, here are some points racing pictures.

mary checking out my hot armwarmers.

my hot armwarmers again. i wear these so it is easy to find myself in the pictures on flickr.

as the photo caption said: "beth smiling, mary not"

"mary smiling, beth not." mary also looks kinda stoned here. (you might need to click on it go get the full affect)

so then we did our first keirin. i did totally shitty, and it wasn't even because of the mystery abdomen cramps. i just let myself get boxed in, pushed around like a pingpong ball, and then rolled into the finish line without ever really sprinting. i was not happy. but thankfully we had four more races with which to redeem myself. next we had two chariot races.

this was our first chariot race. i don't really like chariot races, but i am not going to complain about how stupid they are, cause i won both of them. i say they require no skill or brains, so maybe that is why i won both of them....

alright, so in the next series of pictures, i would like readers to observe my ugly face. again, you might need to click on them so they aren't blogger blurry from shrinking them.

i kinda look like i am going to cry.

here i am going to bite someone's head off.

and perhaps this one i am thinking about taking a dump.

well, this face isn't particularly funny, but i do look a little shell shocked.

okay, so after these chariot races, it was time for another keirin, and i was a bit more ready for this one. took the moto and just rode it nicely and rode it wide when the moto came off, and kicked it before the folks behind it a sixth sense, or call it incessantly looking behind you. whatever!

i was particularly privileged in this race, cause kelly & mary were fighting for my wheel, which i think prevented them from sling shotting around.

now.... the real interesting part about the keirin, i didn't realize until later when i watched the instant replay on that cool streaming video. you can fast forward to minute 35:30 on page 2. WTF?! hernandez spent half the race berrating my dating life. and i quote: "it is the orange armwarmers that are keeping her out of the dating pool." if that wasn't creul enough, you want to know what prize he gave me?! matching orange booties. if that is what you think, you must really have it in for me.

and just to make it worse, LOOK at the pictures of the person who is telling me armwarmers are keeping me single.

ummmm..... yeah.............

so, post that keirin, i'm just chillin and cooling down, and hernando makes me go in the 3/4 miss 'n out. as i roll up to the rail i get this one: "newell, i just want you here for eye candy." well, after a motivational speech like that, i obliged and got out pretty early. it is important to know your place.

so the dude's racing was pretty sweet -- really fun match sprints to watch all night! so the best picture of the night is below:

gio copping a feel. who can blame him?

on that note, i couldn't fall asleep until to 3:30am. i woke up very tired, and figured i'd roll down to the oakland scrape for my recovery ride. i chilled out like a rockstar in the alley cat... stopping at most red lights..... only going down a street the wrong way people directions...going super slow....getting lost a bunch.... it was super chill and i was having a nice time rolling easy around time, leisurely stopping at the checkpoints.

look at all these people! yow!

so the promoters of scrape were awesome and got a ton of prizes-- so all 180 entrants (or something crazy like that!) got something! i had to leave early, so i couldn't stick around for my prize, but i told grey to pick something "useful" out for me. how surprised was i when i got a call that i was the third women (and i rolled right in with the second and fourth. sam, becca, and i were chillin' rolling around together.) i got a sweet rickshaw messenger bag and this pretty bling bling trophy with a bike on it. (i will put it in my wood paneled room.) not bad for a chill ride around town. i just got my bag today, and it is pretty awesome! the promoter of the race i think (??) makes the rickshaw bags, and it was really, really nice! so if you are in the market for a bag-- i totally, totally suggest you picking up one of these! he also made these hats for the oakland scrape.... except them aren't ready yet, so we will get to pick them up at a later date. but just so you can see his awesome craftsmanship, i am going to post a picture of the model hats. neat huh? love the cranes!

so... sunday i went on a chill ride with the team oakland girls. it was pretty sweet cause there were actually a lot of us. started out with mel, laura, marie, and me. then we picked up lauren and morgan on the way. i didn't ride with them all that long, cause i am a lame, lazy track rider who can't pedal for hours...and mel had some crazy long ride planned....but it was fun to chill with them for at least a few minutes before i turned around.