Wednesday, April 30, 2008

ADT photos and tuesday night scratch race

thanks glen and claire for taking some pictures! and thanks rick for sending them my way.

be sure to always have your number on before getting on this track, otherwise you will get yelled at: "HEY UNATTACHED!" somehow that made it all the better

this is me waiting for a jump during one of our races.

this is me probably doing the same thing.

here is me looking very serious.

here is me looking serious, and this girl looking very happy.

and this is just a picture of my riding at some point in the day.

last night were larry's scratch races. i think the most exciting part of the night was when my bike fell of the hood of mike's car and was hanging on by the wheel. it was pretty funny just looking out the side window and seeing my bike dangling. i couldn't help but laugh. we were luckily not on the freeway and all was fine!

anyway, we did two 30 lap scratch races. it was terribly windy and i had a hard time turning over my whooping 82" gear. after the race, i was wondering if i accidentally put my 14 cog on the back...nope, i am just that weak sauce. both the ladies races were a blast. first race i was gracious enough to give a killer two lap lead out to the VBs. second race, i was a bit smarter. both races were pretty fun, as stuff was going on the whole time. i was a bit disappointed in myself, however. the last couple of races - both at ADT and that saturday omnium a couple weeks ago - i felt like i was really aware and seeing things, and quickly my peripheral vision had expanded or something. yesterday, though, i felt like i regressed to seventh grade and just wasn't there- slow to respond, not seeing stuff, and i just don't think i was riding very comfortably out there, as i have been lately. well, that was some touchy, feely race reportage.....anyway, it was some good, quick racing with ali, sabina, erica, linda, sarah, et al. this race was way more entertaining than at ADT. after our women's races, i hopped in the men's B/C 40 lap race just to ride some more. like a big ninny, i put myself in stupid ass position right before the jump and missed it, so chilled on a paceline for the remainder of the race to get some training in. then mike and ali drove me home and we ate some chex mix. mmm, chex mix...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

top 10 songs that would be amazing to listen to in a cop car

well, this CD actually wasn't in that CD case (... in fact, it hasn't even been made...), but i hope this will serve some amusement nonetheless......

top 10 songs that would be amazing to listen to in a cop car:

10. “Today (was a Good Day)” by Ice Cube – There’s really only one line about cops in this song (“saw the police and they rolled right past me”), but it’s still a great song to listen to while driving (especially if the car has hydraulics – I’m guessing Cornell’s probably does).

9. “Police and Thieves” by the Clash – This is kind of a cheap one. I really don’t even know what it’s about, but it would sound super cool and it has “police” in the title. Double points if you (the thief) convinces them (the cops) to do a coordinated dance motion to the "oh yeah" part in the chorus.

8. “Pancho and Lefty” by Townes Van Zandt – Not sure why I chose this song (probably something to do with the line about the “Federales”). Nevertheless, it's a great "road trip with your new buddy" song.

7. “The Law is for Protection of the People” by Kris Kristofferson – The irony would be so thick you could cut it with a knife.

6. “Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest – This one would be higher on the list if this were “Top 10 Songs to Listen to While Committing Police Brutality”.

5. “Roxanne” by The Police – Really any song by the Police would be appropriate. Besides, they all sound the same since they’re all sung by that annoying wuss who calls himself Sting (sorry, there’s a lot of history between me and the Stinger).

4. “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won)” by The Dead Kennedys – This version of the classic song would be ideal because they changed the lyrics to “I am the law so I won”. You should sing along while pointing at yourself with both thumbs.

3. “Radar Love” by Golden Earring – Possibly the greatest driving song of all time. It could only be enhanced by red and blue flashing lights, a spotlight, and an actual radar gun (see if he has one).

2. “Bad Boys” by Inner Circle – Some might argue that this pick is too obvious; however, I believe that driving in a cop car while listening to this song could easily be the most hilarious three minutes of your (or anyone’s) life.

1. “F--- tha Police” by NWA – Don’t think I really have to explain this one.

additions to this list would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, April 28, 2008

darwinian evolution

my dear roommate betsy told me this evening: "if darwin's rules applied, you'd be dead- cause your instincts are bad."

i laughed for a good fifteen minutes. this, as much as anything, serves an excellent way for me to re-cap my trip to LA this weekend, where i went down to ADT to do some race/TTs
  • poor instinct #1- i should never assume my wallet is in the pocket i left it in after going to the bathroom, only to find out it is gone 3 hours later, ouch....along with the $200 cash that i just withdrew from the ATM to make money transactions easier this week, double ouch.
  • poor instinct #2- i will never trust officials to be my holders unless i know them.
  • poor instinct #3- just because i am exhausted and tired does not mean i will actually sleep. (okay, perhaps that isn't an instinct...but i will leave it here anyway)
  • poor instinct #4- that fucking awesome CD case that i made up to DJ the last road trip to LA wasn't where i thought i left it. instead, i turned over my room til 1:30am just to find nothing. now, i know it is the glove box of karla's car, from 5 months ago. stellar.
  • poor instinct #5- just because i was fast friday for a pre-ride, did not mean i was fast saturday. i had an awful day.
  • poor instinct #6- a faster track does not mean going faster. i was ready to have a bunch of PRs. however, instead i went slower.... lots slower.
  • poor instinct #7- forgot to pedal after buffing my 500tt start, which gave me officially the slowest 125m split of everyone (even people who finished 5 seconds slower than me). that hurts. also even though gio told me to be careful about not soft pedaling in the centripetal force in the curves-- i totally did just that.
  • poor instinct #8- while all the women (and people in general) are super friendly and encouraging at hellyer, i shouldn't have assumed this would be the case everywhere. some people might not think my skinsuit is funny. some people just snubbed me, even after i went out of my way to be friendly and small talked. so, i shouldn't assume all people to be welcoming of visitors.
  • poor instinct #9- although people might be empirically faster than me, that doesn't necessarily mean they want to race faster than me (or will even ever pull through at a medium pace).
  • poor instinct #10- coffee at 9pm will not necessarily give you a caffeine high, especially if it is weak-ass coffee. (okay, not an instinct again, but a false assumption)
  • poor instinct #11- the clutch is a bit further away from my left foot than i think it is
  • poor instinct #12- don't let someone fall asleep while they leave a stupid book on tape in the CD player that plays twice during the hours of 11:30pm and 1:30am. (well, not an instinct again, but poor judgment)
well, there were several other poor instincts of the weekend, but that is from the top of my head.

anyway, trip to LA was a TTs pretty much sucked balls. the 45 lap scratch race was no fun at all to race. a field size of six sucks- especially when the racing is so negative. the 48 lap points race was better, but that was just cause i decided to fuck it and do whatever the hell i wanted, and treat it more like an open training session than a race. anyway, although i wasn't particularly happy with anything-- it wasn't a waste. i definitely learned some good stuff, by doing the wrong thing...and it was good practice on that track. getting used to a 250m was harder than i thought...but i have a lot of time to mull things over before i go down there again, and am confident next time will be better. anyway, that was this weekend. sorry this isn't very funny, but i am not particularly jovial at the moment.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

for real... in all honesty....

everyone i know (...or don't know...) thinks i might be a little obsessed with quads. this is true. for many years - even before i started measuring them - i loved to talk about strong quads.

but, in all honesty, you know what i really think the sexiest body part is?

the forearm.

i know, i know. not so exciting. i can't tell you what it is about forearms that i think is really hot...or what makes a hot vs. not forearm. in her interview, karla mentioned that us midwesterners are reserved, prudish, and wholesome (well, perhaps those are my words, nevertheless)... perhaps that has something to do about my attraction to forearms... back in ohio, sometime in the 9 months of winter, where we were all bundled up with turtlenecks and sweaters... if i was lucky guys would roll up their long sleeved shirt a few times, exposing their pastey white forearm. ....perhaps that is the etiology of my puritan forearm attraction.

while i think forearms are sexy, i have never had nice forearms... just kinda blah and fleshy. but today i looked at my forearms, and they were a bit better than blah. i think i even saw a tiny tiny muscle in the upper forearm and perhaps even-- if you squinted very, very hard - the beginning of an indentation line. i guess man-handling my handlebars as of late has had some rewards.

now, regarding this picture above...please note, i am not all for measuring forearms.... honestly, i just google imaged "forearm" it was the fifth picture that came up. i had to use it. quite serendipitous, really.

speaking of which, the quad measurement for week is: 60.75cm

Monday, April 21, 2008

saturday track happenings

when i got down to hellyer, peter bohl insisted they do some measuring of my bike and then weigh it. i weighed in at 8.3 kilos-- not too shabby, sans derailleur, brakes, and all that other road bike stuff. really, that is just a number; i had no clue what this meant and if this was good or bad, so i took 8.3 kg as prerogative to say "i won" and proceed to jump up and down. (but that usually isn't so smart in your bike cleats, fyi.)

racing was a blast this saturday. fast fast fast. i put on a smaller gear this week, and felt ten times faster. maybe next time i should take off another 4" and go to 78". sprinting is way more fun whilst spinning your brains out.

keirin was a blast. it was starla's (from dolce vita) first track race-- and it was blast racing the keirin with her. the 45 yr old men typically let the ladies take whatever position they want, and never make us shove around for anything... so it was really fun to actually push and fight for position and stuff. i thought it was even ten times more awesome cause the keirin was starla's first track race, and she just got in there all aggressive and was kicking major ass. it will be a blast racing with her this year! i am very excited!

next up was the scratch race, which was pretty uneventful...except the last couple laps where i thankfully got on the right wheel. i wouldn't give myself much credit for that though, cause i think the dude whose wheel i caught yelled something along the lines of "get on my wheel, i am attacking now!" perhaps that wasn't his exact words, but he definitely yelled something, so that makes it easy for stupid people like me who sometimes miss moves. thanks dude for the heads up and the ride. i sprinted pretty hard in that race, and then you might as well have stuck a fork in me.

the last two races, win 'n out and points race, i was done for. i am sure it wasn't pretty watching me. actually i can guarantee it. negative snap. suddenly my 82 inch gear felt like a 92 inch gear. near the end of the points race, i even though: "damn, i can't turn this gear -- it is HUGE" and then i felt like a big lame-o, cause i remembered, "no, beth, it is not huge. you geared down dumbass. you are just weak sauce." just as i was contemplating the mystery of my gear, little hanan blew by me so fast that her tiny butt got even more tiny in less than a second. that was a hell of a kick. but the real awesomeness of that points race was AliDot absolutely killing it with a sweet attack the last several laps -- that even if everyone wanted to -- we could never have chased down cause she was so strong and fast. it was pretty rockin'.

anyway, fun day for sure. kinda funny how you can feel on top of the world for two races, and then like a piece of crap for the next two...but that is really the nice thing about track. you can usually leave at least feeling happy about one race, and just forget the other ones even happened if you did crappy. well, that is me. i try to be optimistic and ignore my shortcomings.

then i went home and took justin to the marymaroon burrito place. i say that because she took me and alicia there once, so i now call it her burrito shop. he was weak and did not finish his burrito. i pretty much felt like crap the rest of the day and on sunday too--but on sunday i did run into panda on tunnel rd and got to see the pink lady! long live the pink lady!

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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

practice makes perfect

i am practicing my shelley olds suffer face.

i am doing pretty good, huh?

saturday- benefit party - cycles of change

A benefit party for Cycles of Change, an East Bay youth bicycle education organization

Saturday, April 19th @ Station 40
3030b 16th St x Mission St ; SF

Bike Stuff Raffle and Auction! including a set of hand-made panniers!
Live Music from 8-10pm with Freeways, Schüle and others
Dancing from 10-1am with DJ Durt and Blank Black
All night sales of Vintage Bikes, Bike Crafts, Drinks, and Homemade Veggie Tamales

Sliding Scale Donation: $5-$10

Big Thanks to Left Coast Cyclery, Montano Velo, Tip Top Bike Shop, Cyclesport, and others!!

Cycles of Change is a bicycle education program aimed at reversing the root causes of youth violence. In introducing a dual-component program of mechanics workshops and bicycle-based adventures, our mission is to promote cycling as a primary means of safe, enjoyable, accessible, inexpensive, healthy, and sustainable transportation for as many area residents as possible. Cycles operates in Middle School sites in Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, and Union City -- engaging neighborhood youth with its exciting program of adventure rides and hands-on mechanics, providing beginners’ ride safety training, advanced bicycle adventures, bicycle restoration workshops, and environmental science programs for hundreds of East Bay youth.

If you cannot attend, they are also looking for donations of tools, kids bikes, and other items. These are tax deductible, and can be given to me to deliver. Also a great place to volunteer if you live in the area.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

track hack vs. tuburculosis

track hack: [trāk hāk] n. to cough harshly, usually in short and repeated spasms, after fiercely exercising on a paved, circular racing course.

tubuerculosis: [too-bur-kyuh-loh-sis] n. A bacterial infection that is most often found in the lung(pulmonary TB) but can spread to other parts of the body (extrapulmonary TB). Caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, slow-growing bacteria that thrives in areas of the body that are rich in blood and oxygen, such as the lungs. Highly contagious, it spreads when a person who has active disease exhales air that contains TB-causing bacteria and another person inhales the bacteria from the air. Symptoms include: ongoing cough that brings up thick, cloudy, and sometimes bloody mucus from the lungs (sputum); fatigue and weight loss; night sweats and fever; rapid heartbeat; swelling in the neck (when lymph nodes in the neck are infected); shortness of breath and chest pain (in rare cases). Treatment is often successful, though the process is long. Treatment time averages between 6 and 9 months, using a series of different antibiotic medications.
While I fully support health education materials on the internet, be skeptical and beware of those handy "diagnosis calculators." I do not have TB, despite what the internet says.

Somehow the gods shone down on me yesterday afternoon-- between the warm-up and the car ride home with alicia -- my cough subsided [enter angel music]. It was like the eye of the storm. However, in the morning I woke the whole house hacking; during the warmup, luckily everyone was on the track and missed me gagging up phelgm on the infield. And then poor Alicia witnessed me hacking and losing my voice in the car ride home. That evening I had a friend's birthday party which was "dress up" (and i had 10 minutes from getting home to leaving, so I smelt like match sprint all evening, although with a pretty red dress on). During the birthday party, I had to excuse myself for fifteen minutes and walk outside to hunch over in an uncontrollable coughing fit on the sidewalk. Having coughing fits in a dress is quite amusing. I pretended I was Nicole Kiddman in Moulin Rouge... except I didn't have a have blood coming out of my lungs-- just some pretty yellow phlegm. And I didn't have a hanky either to catch the phlegm, so I just wiped it on my pretty red dress. I am quite lady like.

Well, given that before/after story, you should be expecting a post of me telling you how I tried really hard at the match sprints, but sometimes you just have to except illness and rest.

Naw. I did pretty well. That was my best 200m time by a good amount, and I did okay on the match sprints too. (Except that three up-- that was moronic to a T) Certainly need a bit more learning to control the front of the bike cause I finally have on a *real track fork* (no more road fork, so Peter can stop yelling at me!)- but that will come with practice and time. But, beautiful day at the track. Fast times. Good folks. Improved tan lines.

So moral of the story is-- sure get sick the week of a race, just spend it sleeping 10 hours a day, not riding... do a crappy tune-up ride the day before, and then you will be ready to go fast. But don't really plan anything social the night after because you will be an embarrassment to be seen in public, even if you are wearing a pretty red dress.

I was quite light hearted about my TB comments- but please do not let that undermine my concern for this serious public health issue. Worldwide, each year 8 million people are infected by TB, and 2 million die of this disease. More than 2 billion people, almost one-third of the world’s population, are infected with the microbes that cause TB. The spread of HIV worldwide, has lead to additional TB deaths, due to people infected having a weakened immune system. TB treatment is quite rigorous, requiring 6-12 months on antibiotics; many do not complete the treatment, due to shortages of medicines and medical personnel in developing countries, civil disruptions, and socioeconomic barriers for patients. As a result, strains of TB have developed and spread which are drug resistant and very difficult to treat, causing many more death. To my wide readership in Silicon Valley [and others with large amounts of disposable income], I highly suggest large donations be made to Partner's in Health. This organization is devoted to infectious disease control worldwide, and Paul Farmer, who started the organization -- well, I cannot even say enough about the excellent work he does. If you do not know much about him, I highly suggest reading this book -- Mountains Beyond Mountains -- Educational, inspiring, and wonderfully written to boot.

Friday, April 11, 2008

to keep the quad stalkers happy


i blame the shrinking on the cough.

more next week i promise. i have no energy to be funny. plus, there is nothing funny about gargling salt water.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

karla kingsley.....

heaviest bike in the peloton!! 8.6 kilograms.

and she still kickin' ass and takin' names at redlands.

wooop woooop!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

nearly thursday... tingle tingle tingle

yesterday - tuesday - by the time i made it home i wanted to cut off my legs, cause i kept sprinting up this stupid hill. perhaps that is a bit dramatic. my good friend michelle is a nutritionist and told me to eat protein and carbs 30 minutes upon getting home. so i had a glass of milk and a left over brownie from my bbq. i followed her instructions really well. carbs and protein, ya? then my legs tingled all night. then this morning, i really didn't want to go to work. not cause i didn't want to work, but cause i didn't want to bike to work, cause i was tingling so much (that, and it was a bit chilly). but all was fine when i got there, and when i got home and my legs weren't tingling anymore, so i measured... and, whoa: 61.25cm i knew they were going to be bigger, but i didn't expect by that much. i even had my roommate double check, to make sure i wasn't putting the tape measure all crooked and shit to cheat. but, nope. 61.25cm. looks like skirt season will begin early, as skirts easily adjust to expanding quads.

i wish i had some other news to share with the masses, but i don't. i am quite a bore these days. you should really stop reading this stupid website. i'm losing my creativity.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

horse vs. bike

so me and the roomie (betsy) often contemplate who would win if we had a horse vs. bike competition. she rides horses all pretty-like over hurdles and stuff (although i don't think they call them hurdles...) she doesn't do the kentucky-derby type of riding.

anyway, yesterday i decided to look at andreas' website. when i see him and his jersey at the track, i always think: i should check out his website, but always forget anytime i am at a computer. but i remembered yesterday, and found a section entitled: "horse vs. bicycle". finally, an answer. bikes rule. i was excited to rub it in betsy's face.

i informed betsy that my bike is better than her horse, and she sent me an email this morning that said: "can your bike do this though?" and attached these two pictures.


of other humor on the bike vs. horse, check this out!

amazing. my favorite part is the "oo la la" when the horse enters the peloton.