Saturday, December 27, 2008

savage revenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

i started over.

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

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

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

Thursday, December 18, 2008

keirin cut in hard economic times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i am looking forward to the spring keirin cut line!

hugs and kisses,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

15 psi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 12, 2008


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

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

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

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

oh yeah, and my quads at 61.5cm

Sunday, December 07, 2008

DIY Chamois Cream

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chamois cream DIY style!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 05, 2008

nothing of significance

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

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

Thursday, December 04, 2008

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

rock & republic on facebook

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

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

Monday, December 01, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(but look at those cool pinwheels we did!)

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

beth: i am screwed.
karla: mwhaha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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