Monday, March 30, 2009
saturday morning was the brisbane criterium. i had turned in my upgrade on monday evening at 10pm, and on tuesday morning at 8:30am, casey had sent me my approval. wow. that man is on top of it! so, i registered for the criterium on saturday with the women 3s. on tuesday night, i did about a half a shitload of standing starts on bay farm island. i know it was some good work on my part because wednesday i woke up with matching black 'n blues on my lower forearm, where my bars were hitting my arm. anyway, after my standing starts, i rolled home and saw the team oakland boys sitting in the buritto shop, so i stopped in to say HI, and tommyC and keiran gave talked to me for about 30 minutes about how to ride that crit course. i almost fell asleep, but i stayed awake cause i was eating all of their chips.
so when i showed up on saturday and pre-rode crit the course, i was amazed two people could talk so much about something that takes approximately 2 minutes to ride around. as for the actual race, we had a tiny tiny tiny field. no one had any teammates except the dolce girls, who kept sending people off the front all race. that made it fun. i mostly sat in, except i made one attack, mostly just to stretch out my legs again. the details of the end aren't all that clear, but bev and some other girl were off the front on the last lap. then things got strung out, and i guess we realed one girl in, but bev with still up the road. i followed two girls around the corner and then won the sprint. bev won the race, which was awesome. they gave me some thin mints, which was a bad idea, because i am PMSing and have eaten way too many of them.
saturday afternoon my friend grey decided it was about time i learn to go downhill. except going downhill requires going up, and i didn't feel like doing that after a race. so i think i went about the pace of old dude with a 250mm headtube. i think all in all we had about 3.5 hours of chamois time, and maybe 45 minutes of ride time.
and then sunday i went to the track for some presumed torture, but it wasn't really wasn't bad at all. in fact, i ran my slow poke coach off my wheel. he told me not to blog about this fact. he can tell me what to do all he wants, but i can still blog what i want to. but that wasn't the highlight of the track.....the highlight of the day happened much earlier:
so there i am standing on the infield and i hear some voice on the far end of the track, by the two containers.
"ARRHHHHHHHH" yells some scary man with a beard.
i do not pay attention to this, and continue changing my chain ring. then the bearded man bellows out again, but louder:
i am a bit scared, but continue on. but i have preminition that this has to do with me, but i am ignoring it, because i am scared. then another yell comes out, this time much gruffer and more clear.
"BETH!" except this doesn't look very intimidating in print, and unfortuantely, i cannot find the proper font to indicate the tone of voice. it was drill-sergeant like.
so i am shocked and look over and i realize it is john simmons who has the beard now and is yelling at me, waiving a bag in the air. and my heart skips about 8 beats, and i get scared that john simmons hates me and break out in a run across the track infield, and he again yells me:
"WHAT?! ARE YOU A RUNNER NOW?!"
"no sir. thank you very much." and i take the plastic bag from him (which are his old jersies from the cycling team i am joining, veritas- but more on that in another post)
then i see john smile and give one of those "heh, heh, heh" laughs, but i just take my clothes and sheepishly run back across the lawn.
i try on simmon's jersey and again am reminded what big muscles he has. i have a lot of work ahead.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
the question of the day, however, is why has my inspiration been thwarted so much as of late. and not just my inspiration, i mean everyone's inspiration. i thought long and hard about this: why has blogging been so crappy recently? i'm not just talking about me, i'm talking about e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. well, i really am not creative enough for e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. to be an acronym--so i do not know why i wrote it like that, other than to be silly, but i will not go back an edit, as i like to write by the seat of pants. but, regardless, i have a few culprits:
i first blame facebook. sure, facebook is good for a few things. for instance, getting wished "happy birthday" by someone you haven't spoken to since you were seventeen. that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. but in no way can it be a substitute for the great care and thoughtfulness that goes into a blog post. this deserves some more attention, however, i will get back to it in a moment. let me first name my other culprits.
next, i blame norcalcyclingnews sucking. sorry, hernando, you know i love you. but there is directly correlation of your blog sucking and everyone elses' blogs sucking. i cannot blame you entirely, of course. everyone is to blame for being so lame in the absence of a charismatic leader. (i am sure i could get a little sociology on all y'all, but i'll spare it) let's just say that the suckage of cycling blogs has an uncanny resemblance to the rise and fall of fascism in the 20th century.
third, i blame twitter. i think it is stupid. why? well, this goes hand-in-hand with the facebook complaint, so you can refer both to text above and below.
fourth, i blame the influx of iphones and blackberries. this, is two fold: first, when people are using their iphones all the time, they do not have patience to read a very long and clever blog post like mine. similarly, when people are using their iphones and blackberries as their main source of internet connection, they have little time to write a nice, cohesive blog post, because people only write crappy one line emails with an absurd amount of spelling errors with those devices.
fifth, i blame everyone for not writing comments. when people don't comment, i feel like no one is reading, so i stop writing posts. i lose my momentum. i think this is pretty universal.
okay, back to numero uno: facebook. updating your "status" on facebook through either a witty -- or completely unwitty -- sentence produces instant satisfaction. because likely one of your 600-odd friends will say something in response to it, even if it is something as stupid, such as: "beth is brushing her teeth with tarter control toothpaste." first of all, we must note that most of these are lies, because not many are actually doing their status. sure, i may have been brushing my teeth 5 minutes ago, but no one ever writes a status message, such as: "beth is updating her status message" which would be most accurate. but, i realize, that is a bit nitpicky. my point is- there is definitely a sense of instant gratification, but it is quite soulless and never leaves me feeling proud of my work. the next day, i never think: "awesome status update beth! you got that one right!"
in contrast, sometimes i work very hard writing a nice blog post and craft it while i am sitting home at night all alone feeling sorry for myself. i read it through, change some things around (but never anything grammatical... obviously). then i publish and feel a nice sense of accomplishment for having completed something cohesive. and for a good hour while i am writing and re-writing, i forget to feel sorry for myself. (yet, when i am looking on facebook, i pretty much always feel sorry for myself.)
and i think i just answered my own question on why people have stopped blogging in turn for stupid status message updates on facebook: lots of people's blogs were merely just long status messages with no point at all, and so now they have found a much more appropriate medium. but then there are people who wrote quite wonderful blog posts, and have since stopped almost completely.
perhaps i should shake my cane on the rocking chair outside on the front porch, decreeing: "remember 2007...."
well, times change. who can keep up with social media? but i just ask those reading this to get a little nostalgic about 2007. maybe try it again. it could be like trying on your old jeans that are stuck in the back of the closet and realizing you still like them.
okay, that is the end of my lecture. the reason this post started was because i got inspired.
i got inspired from some fan mail. this was the most amazing fan mail i have ever received. (also included was a photograph, but i will not include for anonymity sake.)
Hi Beth,My name is Lionel, I'm a 32 years old french guy. As a personal trainer and journalist for an european fitness and bodybuilding magazine, I've always been interested in sport... and muscle. I've been lifting weights for 15 years. I discovered your blog and loved the way you talk about your quads. It's so rare for a girl to enjoy her muscular thighs! I really appreciated your way of thinking. So I wanted to congratulate you both for that and for the motivation you show in improving. I had written an article, a few years ago, about the french national speed cycling team, including famous names like Florian Rousseau. I had asked them about their thighs size ;)Do you still train on the bike? Do you also lift weights? What is your quads size now? If you want, I can help you increasing your quads size with some weight programs, as I've always been obsessed with my thighs and learnt a lot about how to effectively train them. I'm also famous in my gym for being a sadistic trainer specialized in legs workout :)I hope you'll get this message and I hope to have a reply from you because I really founf you unique.Lionel
wow lionel- i greatly appreciate the email. so many people are above writing emails these days-- so i always greatly appreciate it when people have the care to take five minutes to actually write a couple of paragraphs in a cohesive fashion. so, i will write you back, i just want to take some time to formulate the correct response. expect something, lionel, in the next couple of days.
and everyone else, thanks very much for getting to the end. i am sure i could have said it all a lot faster, like: "beth just got some crazy fan mail" - but that wouldn't have quite said it.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Thurs--Daniel in the Scratchand the kiwi ali shanks just made it to the gold medal pursuit final-- she came to hellyer last year and is super-nice! go ali!
Fri--Shelley in the Scratch
Sat--Daniel and Colby in the Madison
Sun--Shelley in the Points
of sprinting news, some chick from lithuania just set a 500m world record and beat anna meares and vickyP. well, she's not just some chick from lithuania, simona krupeckaite, she did get silver medal in the sprints at beijing. but you probably didn't notice because of vickyP's complete domination.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
upon completition of lap one, we heard our first bell for a prime. lady in blue and some other mere mortal rolled off the front and got a little gap. i felt content letting them dangle off the front that lap, cause what ever stays away in the cat4 field? but then a lap later, i felt like it was about time to reel them back in, considering i probably saw the 9-to-go card at that point. so for the next twenty or so minutes i worked really hard and totally exhausted myself. the lady in blue was such an ox that she ran the other girl off her wheel quite quickly, who came back into the pack. the lady in blue must not have felt the gusts of wind, as she kept gaining time on the field, despite a very hard effort. with three to go, i knew it was totally helpless, and sat in and tried to recover for the sprint. people jumped far too early, and i rode wheels and popped around at the end. i timed my sprint a bit too close for comfort, but at least it made for an exciting last couple of seconds. after the race i got to shake the lady in blue's hand, who was wearing a blue jacket over her blue jersey. i believe i said something very awesome to her like: "please, let me shake your hand, lady in blue." well, i didn't really say the 'lady in blue' part, but i did think it. i am happy to say that the lady in blue was quite gracious and classy. i hope to see more of the lady in blue.
as for the next day, i got talked into going to hanford criterium. despite the incredible long drive, it was quite a fun affair! i got to race with the big girls. not THE big girls-- cause they were probably in southern california getting ready for redlands, but there were some big girls to race with, as it was an open women's field. i was kind of nervous being a lowly cat4, but it was a perfect first race cause the field was small and the course was just lots of turns, which didn't make it fast or anything. i think we were doing 30 laps, and for the first 5 laps i just sat at the back to get a feel for things. then i moved into the middle and felt okay. no one yelled at me, so i take that as a good sign, especially considering i looked afool wearing a bunch of flowers.
Friday, March 20, 2009
GOOD LUCK SHELLEY AND DANIEL!!!!!!
being on the track got me quite excited for the season.... and mostly excited for AVC!!! it is june 26&27-- so mark your calendars.
Elite Men: $6,600Elite Women: $5,400Masters: $1,400Madison: $1,000Total: $14,400
Concept Cyclery to Sponsor Women’s Points Race at AVC
The American Velodrome Challenge, June 26th and 27th announces that Concept Cyclery, Morgan Hill, is proudly sponsoring the Women’s Points Race enabling equal prize list as the men’s with $1000 cash to the winner. Shelley Olds was excited, stating, "I wouldn't miss racing at my hometown track for the AVC. It is the best track racing we have in the United States. I will be looking to defend my points race title from last year."
Bruce Hollibaugh, Concept Cyclery’s owner said “sponsoring the AVC helps our community prosper and sponsoring the Women Points Race aligns with our many successful women customers.” Let Amy and Elliott with their Nordstrom like service help you to embrace the bike.
Concept Cyclery is located at 1295 E Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Hey Beth,I really like your blogspot; very inspirational and humorous. I have been road biking for a long time, and just started competitively. i am ridiculously lean, and was wondering what strategies you use as a cyclist for growing your stems. As a quad enthusiast, i was hoping you'd let me know. Many thanks!Nick
dear nick,since you have been riding bikes a long time, you probably know that if you want a larger stem, you probably need to get a bike with a shorter top tube.cheers,beth
Friday, March 06, 2009
BB: Hello LindsAy. Thanks for doing an interview with beth bikes! I tried google stalking you to get some material for this interview, but unfortunately your name – “lindsay myers” -- is fairly common, so I couldn’t come up with any dirt. Apologies for going into this cold. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background? Where did you grow up? How did you end up in the bay area?
LM: The majority of my growing up years were spent in Bishop, CA. When I was in high school my parents moved to Chico. So I've always been in California. The last couple years I've been in Napa going to college.
BB: For a college student, you are a slow typer. So what are you studying? What year are you in school?
LM: Haha, instant messaging was all the rage in Jr. High. That's where I learned to type....apparently not fast enough for you, though.
BB: It is okay. I have high standards.
LM: I am a sophomore in school. I'm considering talking to the academic dean and seeing if I can work on getting a degree in bike racing. I'll let you know how it goes.
BB: That is awesome. You must go to one of those liberal arts schools; they you do anything there. So speaking of bike racing, how did you get into that?
LM: I remember mountain biking down Mammoth Mountain when I probably five, so I've always ridden a bike. I started riding on the road more in high school when my Dad bought me a road bike.
BB: So when did you start the racing thing?
LM: Last year.
BB: You lie.
LM: I do not lie. I did Challenge Road Race in 2007. (That was in September) That was my first race.
BB: What was that like for you? What do you most remember about your first racing experience?
LM: In line with a lot of the Velo Promo races, it was kinda of in the middle of nowhere. I got uber lost on the way out there, barely making my start time. There were four women in the cat 4 field I think. I won the 4's category and was feeling pretty good about myself. Looking back on it, when I was up against four other women, it probably wasn't that much of an accomplishment.
BB: What did your t-shirt look like? And when did you last wear it?
LM: Well it was EXTRA LARGE. Can't remember what it looks like because it hasn't been seen since I was unpacking from the race. But I do appreciate the shirts...thanks VP.
BB: So what was your most memorable road race your first year racing (in 2008)?
LM: The circuit race at Cascade. I'm going to count the circuit as a road race if you don't mind.
BB: Of course. Anything you like. This is your interview! (And, anyway, anything longer than 20 minutes is a road race to me).
So the Cascade circuit race was a race with all the pros and stuff in Bend, Oregon. That was your first race with all the famous people. What was most memorable thing about it?
LM: I almost dropped out on the first lap but stuck it out and was in the final sprint. Most memorable because it REALLY HURT.
BB: Bike racing sometimes involves a pain you wish you could forget. So let's talk about your team, Sugar CRM. The question I really have is: what is your fat salary?
LM: I get some pretty sweet "action wipes". It's enough for me. You should try them.
BB: Whoa. Awesome. What is an "action wipe" exactly?
LM: Baby wipes for cyclists.
BB: Ahh. I was kinda hoping for something juicy. So tell me a bit about your teammates. I do know some of them. Do YOU think they are they crazy? And was there any hazing involved at team camp?
LM: I think MaryEllen is the most crazy. I stayed at her house during training camp and she told me all about how Canadians are better than everybody else.
No hazing at camp. Just eating. A LOT of eating.
BB: So no doing shots and then running outside in your sports bras and bibs, doing a cyclocross mount, bunny hopping some of the cat 4s, and then ending in a bike throw? That is too bad. That is how I would run a team camp.
LM: They try not to advocate under aged drinking.
BB: Oh yes, under age drinking. How old are you?
BB: 19 19, or racing age 19?
LM: 19, racing age 20.
BB: So, are you looking for people to buy you alcohol? I bet I can find a few older readers from Napa who read this thing who could buy you some Mad Dog 20/20.
LM: Nah, I'm good on the alcohol situation. I have plenty stored up from winning some races. But it's STORED. Of course.
BB: Of course! So back to team camp. Your DS is Liza Rachetto. Was she cracking the whip at team camp?
LM: chop chop. We couldn't hang at the coffee shop too long. Then she got in the car and followed us while we did lead outs.
BB: Ouch. Did she also give you bottles from the car? Have you gotten to practice all that team car stuff? Or will that all be new to you in Europe?
LM: No bottles. We got some chocolate soy milk after though.
BB: So talk to me a little about Europe and how that transpired? What races will you be doing, who will you be racing with, where will you be living, etc.
LM: Liza told me about a trip Jim Miller was putting together. I applied for it, didn't expect to get to go, but it worked out! So I'm going to be a college drop out...I leave for Europe in April. I'll start up school in fall again though. Most of the races will be in France. I just got the list of races and only one of them is outside of France. I'll be racing with five other women who are in the same program. We'll be living in Limoux.
BB: Awesome! So how is your French?
LM: I don't know enough French to say "none"
BB: “Pas du tout.”
So let’s try this one. What if someone says this to you: “vooo lay vooo kooo shay ay vek mwah, si swaaah?”
LM: I'll take you as my translator
BB: Excellent. So do you know any of the other women going? Who is going to be your roommate?
LM: Jerika Hutchinson and Allison Starnes are both from Norcal. I actually get MY OWN ROOM!!!
BB: Does that mean no US Development Team pillow fights?
LM: Roommates aren't required for pillow fights. There will be pillow fights.
BB: We expect you to win. So let's hear a little bit about your personal life. Some fools once told me that my blog should be a dating service for 45 year old men from Silicon Valley and women half their age. I think this is because they were too cheap for E-Harmony. But, in the interest of my my readers: Are you single?
LM: I am single. 45 might be too old though. I'd have to consider it. Maybe if it came with some sponsorship.
BB: Of course. A cute button like yourself should at least get a Dura Ace groupo, in addition to flowers and a free dinner on a first date. But, in all seriousness, don't worry about those masters men. I will personally slander any of them if they try to mess with you.
LM: Great. Thank you.
BB: Of course. So, what was your prom dress like last year?
LM: You're assuming I went to prom. That would require wearing a froofy dress. I feel a little more comfortable in a chamois.
BB: So talking about chamois, let me ask you about your favorite team kit, other than Sugar CRMs.
LM: That's tough. VAC was good last year. I think they've got a little pink going this year though. I'd say Tibco looks good.
BB: So Lindsay, a part of beth bikes! is I like to measure my quads every week. Do you have a tape measure handy? What do your quads measure?
LM: How big of quads determine thunder thighs? Just a minute, I'll measure. 50 cm. What do you think? Can I make it as a bike racer? From your professional quad measurer opinion?
BB: I think I should be taking advice from you. And I am glad you are a roadie.
BB: So you will be at the Menlo Park Grand Prix this Sunday, correct? For all of my money bags 45-year old male readers, what do you think the perfect pre-race nutrition?
LM: Grape Nuts. Every time.
BB: And by Grape Nuts, you really mean….double chocolate chip brownies with fudge icing?
LM: Yeah. It's basically the same.
BB: [bake sale, nudge, nudge….] So those brownies.... or Grandma Myers's fruit nut bars.....or the funfetti cupcakes… those will insure a podium spot, right?
LM: Of course. People are being really nice making baked goods to sell. I can't believe how supportive people are being and helping out.
BB: What would you suggest to readers as the perfect recovery after their crit on Sunday?
LM: I'm becoming partial to chocolate soymilk that Liza always has.
BB: Chocolate soy milk AND the lemon bars at your bake sale table, right?
LM: Of course.
BB: Everything being sold will be the perfect 3:1 carbs to protein ratio for recovery, correct?
LM: Yeah, no one should worry about bringing any food. We've got you covered.
BB: Well, Lindsay, on behalf of the Norcal computer dork bloggers, we are all very excited for your trip to Europe and can't wait to get fat eating baked goods on your behalf. Is there anything else you would like to share or tell readers today?
LM: Ya'll are pretty nice for being supportive of bike racing and helping me out. I really appreciate it. Race hard on Sunday so you don't feel bad about eating all the very chocolatey fattening SUGARy foods. (I also think there will be some trail mix and energy bars. for anybody who's interested.)
BB: Well, thank you again, Lindsay, for supporting alternative media and choosing beth bikes! as your first interview, instead of something cliché like Cyclingnews.
Beth Newell is an interviewer, Keirin Cut campaign manager, playwright, stupid anecdote storyteller, and otherwise amateur blogger. She also rides bikes sometimes, but preferably one with only one gear cause she is a bad shifter. Her quads are 60.75cm as of March 5, 2009.