Sunday, May 31, 2009

girls rule, boys drool

so what's better than getting 2nd place?

well, getting 1st place.

.....but, what's next best?

getting 2nd place to a bunch of boys.

bahaha. sure, the field was a bit smaller than normal and many of the heavy hitters weren't there to beat up on me, but all in all, it was still a pretty solid day, so that is good.

this was the last "get ready for summer" race at the track promoted by rick adams. what a blast they have been! we started off with the keirin, and my goal was to *make it* to the finals. that didn't happen. but, i rode a really good first round, which i determine because i got 3rd in my heat of 6, and was right by 2nd place guy... this put me in the rep. our rep round was with 8 people, and i let myself get pushed around a bunch, and that stunk, so i didn't make it to the final. but at least i had an okay first we had the scratch race. someone was off the front for a long time, then we caught him, and then mateo made an attack with a few laps to go. he held it off for the win, just barely as sam had a very good last 2 laps. i was lucky to be in pretty good position the last couple of laps, and while i couldn't hang on sam's wheel, i did get on some davis guys wheel, who then i came around to get 3rd.....then was the miss 'n out. for some reason, i have been doing pretty good at this race recently, despite it originally being my worst race. it started off blisteringly fast, but then eased up, and i was sitting in good position, had to play the devil a couple of times, but made it thankfully to the last 3. i knew the guys who i were riding with were faster than me, so i was hoping i could take them long-- thinking they might be tired, so i jumped on the bell lap for a long lap sprint, and held them off-- so that was rad!

last up was the madison.

tim brennan was my partner for the race. i got us the awesome polka dotted jerseys for us-- and asked him what our team name was....which he replied: team beth? i said that wasn't okay, cause that is reserved for me and welliver. so i decided i'd call us: team shit-talkers, cause that is pretty much was do with tim-- threaten him and tell him how i am going to beat tim in the keirin.... although i never do, that doesn't stop me from shit-talking.

we did a couple of madison throws for practice and then were ready to rock 'n roll.

i started off the race and was okay, then i threw him in, and that was fine, then he threw me in, and i was on some wheels still, and i come around and tim is just sittin' and chillin' at the wall, and i'm like, "tim!" so that means i have to go like another lap or something....and i am totally gassed out to begin with, and everyone else is exchanging, and then i pop off the back. so when i come through the next time, tim is going super slow at the rail, and i am feeling pretty damn desperate at this time and probably displayed my most ever agro-race persona: "TIM- GO FASTER! TIIIIIIM--- COME DOWN!!!!!" and probably yelled more. this of course happened right at the start-finish line, so everyone heard me scream at the top of my lungs at him, and i could hear matt and rick make fun of me on the microphone. he thankfully didn't forget anymore exchanges. however, we were off the back at that point, so we just exchanged cleanly and had fun. before the race rick told me that i was in 2nd place for the omnium, but was very close to first, if i beat sam in the madison. however, tim and i got last place. which was okay, cause although we sucked, we at least looked good with the polka dotted jerseys. so that was my sunday race.

saturday i also raced-- goldenstate criterium. well, to be honest, the race kinda sucked. sucked in the sense that is was crazy fast and i think we were single file for most of it, so if felt more like a 40 minute motopacing session, rather than a race where anything happened. there were only 12 of us and we averaged 25mph, which is pretty crazy. marley smith is pretty much an ox on wheels and really wouldn't let anyone else take a pull, as she just hammered away at the front. and she still won every preme and took the win! wow, it was so amazing! i was in good position into the last turn, on the inside, but had to tap my brakes cause i started to get pinched by someone. and then i guess i was in some stupid big gear, and everything felt slow-mo after i tapped by brakes, being in that stupid big gear, so i pretty much sucked and got 4th. more notable, though, was i got home and was so incredibly wiped-- i felt like such a big piece of shit, so i took a nap, and woke up feeling like more shit (if that was possible), and then i slept 10 hours last night. that crit really took it out of me, but i felt great this morning and happily could put in a good track race with the boys (and cece and ashley!) - so i am glad saturday didn't totally cook me, like i thought it did.

Friday, May 29, 2009


do you ever feel cheated? when you take the orange juice out of the refrigerator and all that pours out is a measly half inch of crappy pulp.

...or like when you find out your post-college boyfriend is cheating on you with a freshman.

...or like when you carry the trash down to the garage, only to find that your trash can is full from your neighbor and you have get your hands all nasty questionably squeezing things in.

i could go on-- obviously.  

but you know what i feel cheated about this week?  my quads.  i measured and they are at a pathetic 59cm.  what gives?

do you know what i've been doing to my quads lately? i have been squatting massing amounts of weights, i have been deadlifting like 165 pounds, i've been jumping up on boxes 38 inches high.  all this, and my quads are 59cm?!

totally bogus.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

hats and far west championship

we all rolled into socal with one goal in mind: hellyer clean up. i think between burger continental and the far west championships, we accomplished that.


i knew it was going to be an incredibly fun trip-- i mean, with the one, two punch of studley and maurice-- how couldn't it be?

hanan and ben arrived at my house friday morning, setting the tone for an amazing road trip, outfitted in some pretty absurd hats. hanan was so kind as to bring a whole bag of hat selections. i was given the wwi-type hat, affixed with ear flaps. we loaded the car and headed out on our way. the first gas-fill up stop was pretty awesome. not only did we make friends with someone else who had an incredible hat, but hanan and i also took in the amazing central valley scenery.

please observe awesome hat.

the rest of the car ride was extremely eventful, as we spent approximately 4 hours playing "shoot, fuck, or marry". yes, there were some amazing combination that led to thought provoking conversations. those, however, will be left within the pickup.

after arriving at steph's house, we found an amazing restaurant called burger continental. from the outside, you'd think it was just a burger place...but you walk in and you see the most amazing middle eastern salad bar, which comes with every huge proportioned meal. there wsa also a band that rocked the three level keyboard. and just when we didn't think it could get any better, the belly dancer came out! i am still in awe of how much food i ate that night. it was heroic. my rationale? stock piling for the next day.

the race:

let me just say-- the far west championship was awesome! alfred nash is not only a great organizer, but sweet announcer. we were super bummed by the crappy turnout. i don't know why more people wouldn't go to the race-- it ruled! our field size was only five, and then men's was 7 or 8. but those small fields didn't stop us from racing hard. it was an international omnium, which meant the events were a 200, scratch, 2k, points, 500-- and you tried to accumulate the least amount of points.

our field was comprised of hanan, me, jen reither - a woman who races with the nrc vanderkitten team, and two sprinter women, cj and shane who i met before. it was going to be some good racing.

i was pleasantly surprised by my 200m-13.37, cause it was a new track and i have been sprinting really slow recently. this time got me first.

hanan and i pretty much worked it over in the mass start events. in the scratch race, i attacked early and then hanan countered and stayed out there forever, as i was blocking for her. when we did catch, it was about 3-4 to go, and i countered and launched a big attack, staying away to the finish. at this point, i was the leader with two first places.

however, i was pretty nervous about the pursuit-- cause, i have no clue how to do these things. i only had done one other 2k (at last years international omnium) and have never practiced my pacing. i was the only one without aero bars for this event. the guy with pistols tatooed on his calves let me borrow his aero helmet. thanks! i just focused on not going out to hard and keeping it steady, then tried to pick it up the last three laps. it really helped having ben, maurice, hanan, and nole yell at me in all the turns. my time was a 2:51, which i don't really know how that is, but it got me 2nd in the pursuit. jen came in first with a 2:50. after i saw her time, i was super happy, cause she looked really fast when i was watching her! and i know she is legit, after i saw her bridge up to the break at the ToC crit this year.

before the points race, hanan was not the happiest camper and almost threw in the towel, as she was having some mechanical issues. she couldn't get her aero bars off her bike because of some compression nut problem, and all of our boys were racing their points race. no fear, we got the announcer to solicit some help, and we fixed hanan's bars. there was no way i was going let her punk out on racing when our field size was so pathetic. i was in pretty good shape to win the omnium at that point (with two firsts and a second), unless something crazy happened, so figured i'd try to move hanan up in her placings. points racing is pretty fun, when you are trying to get other people points. hanan, jen, and i got away from the field pretty early on. i spent the whole race pretty much riding jen up and down the track, so hanan could get a clean attack and get away for the sprint laps. it was pretty fun, but i don't think i made a friend in the process. hanan won that race and i got second, surprisingly considering i wasn't even paying attention to my points.

my 500m was start was not very good, and i felt pretty sluggish sprinting, but still had a 40.8, which i can't complain about after that long day. that was okay for 2nd in that event. so i got first overall, which was really cool-- cause i've had a plauge of second places this year!

the boys did equally as well-- (except for their 200m). ben won the omnium, with maurice in 3rd and nole in 4th. the crazy, thing, though, was how close it was. had nole gotten a couple places higher in an event, he would have been first. jimmy watkins got second place. he pretty much owned them in the 200m and the match sprints the boys decided to join. that was kind of cool to watch. nole and jimmy lapped the field in the scratch race. then in the points race, nole cleaned up and won it. ben and maurice got lots of 2nd and 3rds throughout the day to get them on the podium, while jimmy won three events and got near last in the 2k and points race. the guys' kilo times were all within hundreths of a second from each other. all in all, definitely a great day for hellyer!

here are our awesome podium shots. note the hats.

jen reither had a pretty awesome skirt. and i didn't even have to tell her it was "crazy hat" podium picture. she definitely gets awesome points in my book.

and there isn't much to say about this picture except gawk at maurice's hands.

the after party

so after we totally cleaned up at the omnium, we did what we had to do. go eat at burger continental. it was equally as awesome. maurice danced and showed up the belly dancer, which was pretty awesome. not to mention our totally rockin' waitress who told us a bar to go to.

i won't give too many details of the after party - because i can't really remember them - but i would just like to put in a plug for skins. even after a day of hard racing, if you go out to party-- you should definitely rock the skins under the skirt. in the dark of a bar, it kinda looks like that skirt and leggings look. i believe the skins allowed me to do crazy-ass dance moves, that otherwise would have been impossible. i know because hanan kept telling me: "wow! how do you move so fast!?!" i would like to say it is because of evenings at thursday's bar & lounge in akron, ohio. i may be the worst dancer in the world, but i do have mad heart. i even challenged some guys to a pushup contest on the dance floor, but of course, skins had nothing to do with that. the only downside of skins-- which they really should work on their technology-- is i had a crazy amount of drunken bruises the next day. oops.

conclusion to a weekend of champions

we went to pie & burger for breakfast, where maurice had the whole restaurant laughing in the elegant way he excused himself from the table to go to the bathroom. (read: did the splits over nole's head). then we began the journey home. for some dumbass reason, i had pre-reged for the memorial day crit on monday, and my motivation to do a stupid crit after such a fun weekend was pretty nominal. what can i say about memorial day crit? it was an excellent recovery ride.

and that is the conclusion to the weekend of the far west championship.  many thanks to my excellent travel companions! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

press release

you may have seen this:
PROMAN Sends Hanan Alves Hyde and Christen King to Encino Far West Championships

Hanan Alves Hyde, winner of the 2008 Martinez Criterium and the 2007 Western Collegiate Championship Criterium, and Christen King, 2007 Scratch Race National Track Champion, have been named by the The PROMAN Women's Cycling Team as participants in the John Fitzpatrick and Dave Staub Memorial Far West Championships, to be held May 23rd & 24th at the Encino Velodrome.

Details about the John Fitzpatrick and Dave Staub Memorial Far West Championships are available at http://EncinoVelodrome.Org/FarWest
unfortunately, they edited out the next paragraphs. posting here for all those disgruntled by the popular press.....
Accompanying Alves-Hyde will be her roommate Ben Stern, driver of the yellow bus and owner of the only aero-helmet. This helmet will be shared by five people for three time trials each over the course of the weekend. (Yes, that is fifteen races in that hat, my friends) Accompanying Alves-Hyde and Stern in the yellow bus, will be Beth Newell. Alves-Hyde and Newell will be leg wrestling on Friday morning to determine who will be sitting bitch the entire six hours down to LA. Newell is also known for her world-famous quads and for beating Nole Studley during his first race at Hellyer velodrome back in July 2007. Studley will also be joining this crew and looks to clean up during the mass start races with his sausage-like physique. The final person to be traveling with Alves-Hyde, Stern, Newell, and Studley will be Maurice "twinkle toes" Monge. You may remember him from his stellar performance in the Nutcracker, or perhaps for how fast he is delivering pizza's on his bike. If not, then you surely remember him for his red spandex shorts, which he will hopefully be wearing for the Far West. Alves-Hyde, Monge, Newell, Stern, and Studley represent 90% of Hellyer's population between the ages of 20 and 30. And they look forward to some SoCal asswhooping to honor their elders this weekend, who will sadly not be accompanying them.

Friday, May 15, 2009

looking dopey

let's view some famous garrett lau action and glamor shots!

image 1: madison, fail.
here is karla throwing me in. brian peterson will not be happy because i am so far away from karla. sorry brian! also to observe is karla's amazing grimace. it is like she is throwing in 200lb person. and yes, garret is right, i do look kind dopey.

image 2: the madison "oh shit" shot
here is me throwing in karla. please observe my "oh shit" face.

image 3: miss 'n out miracleso this is apparently when there were 6 of us left in the race. as you can see i am sitting last place about 5m from the line. somehow i didn't get elimated, so that is why we are calling this the miss 'n out miracle shot.

image 4: the protypical garrett lau glamour shot
yes, this is the glamour shot without paying $29.95 at the mall. but somehow, yes, even i can look a bit dopey in a glamour shot.

and just in from garrett: "Also, the 'glamour shot' is a different aspect ratio than the original, so it makes your face look fat."


Thursday, May 14, 2009


well i completed my first madison today!

actually, that is only a half truth. i kinda sort did a madison with mary last year during the get ready for summer series, but i am not really counting that, because i was scared to death during that race and didn't actually take my hands off the bars once--so i d
on't think that counts.

it was a total blast. kingsley was my partner and it was an awesome person to duo with! i mean, of the 40 laps race... we maybe finished 35 laps... perhaps 30... but we didn't crash and didn't do anything sketch, so i would call that a success. in fact, karla even got a shout out by rick adams on the microphone, on how nicely she was passing over and catching a wheel.

it was super fun -- and i felt that with each exchange i was grimmicing and grunting more and more...however, i guess that is not the case.

garrett lau was there to take some pictures and he just told me: "In the madison, I got two sharp photos of your exchanges. In both of them, you have a dopey expression."

i guess even when i think i am making a cool face, i still look dopey.

here is a mosaic picture jenny oh took of us before the race. we are wearing the cheetah jersies. rick had this whole cool bag of whacky jersies for us to wear! they were so cool i want to wear them all the time.

i loved it! not much more else to say!

oh yeah, we did do other races....... let's see....

20lap points race- i was a *huge* sissy-- as i attempted to ride a big gear (well, 90" big for me!) and my butt hurt real bad and i felt so incredibly sluggish and couldn't turn it over at all. so i pulled out and switched it. scratch race- 88" made me much happier and i moved okay around the pack and contested the final sprint to get fourth...with mateo passing me right at the line. next time, gadget! miss n out- i hate this race, but have been doing better at it. stayed near the front riding wheels, played devil a few times when in bad spots and moved back up to the front. made it to the top 3, then wasn't aggressive enough in the last sprint, so got 3rd, but was happy with that. that race still stresses me out! snowball- never had done this, and i definitely made some major tactical errors, and only got three points... so not so good. don't know what i placed in the omnium, but i got a fourth and a third, so that has got to count for something and is better than normal for me.... to end off the night, we did the madison, which i already talked about. wow, five races-- wednesday nights just cram it all in!

i will post the pictures of me looking dopey when garrett uploads them this weekend. then you can all make fun of me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

yay yay yay!

register now for this years american velodrome challenge! it is going to be *awesome*!

Registration is now open for Hellyer's American Velodrome Challenge, June 26-27. Registration for the 2009 AVC is first-come, first-serve.

This year's AVC has three races where cash prizes for each race is $1800 with $1000 going to the winner:
  • Peckham Memorial Men's Points Race
  • Concept Cyclery Women's Point Race
  • Montano Velo Men's Keirin.
The total cash prizes for the weekend is $14,475 with $6,600 for the men, $5,475 for the women, $1,400 for the master and an additional $1000 in the Madison.

To see race announcement:

Unfortunately, we really do have strict field limits. So register now.

Rick Adams

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

friday night fun is back

to say i was a tad stressed when i showed up is an understatement....was running late...and i was quite anxious about all the beginner women doing their races. bow bow track gods, everything went great and the women rode totally awesome. shit, i got tired mentoring they went so fast! the turnout was so big that they broke the beginner women's group into two. i think like 15 or 16 (out of 20) of the clinic women showed up-- along with some others-- so that was awesome. there were something like 22 women between the two beginner that definitely exceeded my expectations. but, i wasn't really surprised. i mean, track is so much fun! people naturally get hooked on it.

in the first group, leah ricci lead, every sprint in the points race, and most often held on for points. that girl is a power house and isn't afraid to take some mean risks and put her self out there--i am super excited to see her race this year. and loren uscilowski- the awesome tri-greek- is just going to put the hurt down all year, for sure. she rode awesome on friday night, winning the win 'n out-- and also awesome at the tuesday points race the week before. i think one of my favorite parts of the night was when morgan leigh (my o-town homegirl, who i've been trying to get out to the track a whole year now) totally went all out for a sprint in the win 'n out- when there was someone way up track. i gave her a cookie on the way home for that one. there are a ton of other strong notables, who i am pumped to see racing this year- alissa maglaty, kimi sudbrink, carol hockridge, lisa tepper....will be fun to see this group be duking it out all year for sure.

the second group was equally as awesome. it has been sweet seeing things come together so well for lala this year. the floodgate has opened full force and her sprint is totally something to be reckoned with. she laid down an awesome sprint at the wente crit, and was looking really good on friday night too. annabell got some of her SJBC women out there, which has been awesome to see. i also cannot be happier to see rubi ramirez racing-- it has been a real pleasure to get to know her more and i have mad love for that girl. but, if there is one person i am most most happy about coming out to the track, it is alicia halpern (tienni duro). alicia and i started riding bikes right at the same time, and we met on a group ride at the end of 2006. yes, it accidently was a juniors group ride... and yes alicia was the one who asked me what high school i went to.... on friday night, we had a good laugh about that day we met, and then i confessed to her about my subsequent hemorrhoid because of that ride with her team. anyway, alicia is just too awesome to do justice here... awesome bike handler, so smart, interested in food justice, totally interesting person, just downright really awesome girl ... and i am so stoked she is liking track and even more stoked when she says something on the drive home like: "yeah, i think track is what i need right now to focus isn't about power-to-weight's just about raw power!" hells yeah, girl!

so, as for my races, now that i've blabbed forever.... well, hats off to hanan who was a total rockstar all night, for sure! some crazy speed was coming out of her legs, and there was nothing i could do about it. trust me, i tried. in that points race i tried sprinting from the back, from the front, slowing the pace down, speeding the pace up...and nothing really mattered. it was totally impressive to see her utter domination all night! it definitely was a blast to sprinting balls-out against her so many times in one night-- fun stuff! while hanan pretty much schooled me in seven sprints throughout the night, i will say i won being for the "cookie preme"-- good to know i can always find the extra motivation to go fast when it *really* matters.... two being the forty dollars in the miss 'n out-- of which, right before the race i hear my roommates start yelling at me: "newell-- you better win that--we need groceries--you are eating too much food" so, out of the fear of roommate backlash, i did all i could to get my shit together and win it. when we got down to three, i channelled my inner-annabell and attempted to not be a dumb match sprinter, like i normally am.

anyway, friday night was a total blast. bummed i am missing the next one, but i am heading down south for the encino far west race-- but i'll be thinking of y'all for sure! so happy the real biking racing season has finally started!

***and thanks garret lau for the totally awesome pictures! you alway make me feel pro, even though i am soooo amateur.***

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

tire woes

so believe it or not i got *two* flats at the track this weekend.  one on saturday (front wheel), one on sunday (rear wheel).  i don't really know how that happens, considering we are on a track, not biking through west oakland.

anyway, major bummer cause those are my tubulars.  and i don't really have clincher wheels.  for some reason, i sold those clincher wheels i won during goldsprints, and now i am really re-thinking that sell.  i figured: fred made me these awesome tied and soldered wheels on some old matrix rims, and that was enough to have. and now a year later, i get two flats and am rethinking that sell. where did that $300 go anyway? into the abyss of my bank account.

how often do you replace those things anyway?  i rode on them a year-- was i due for a flat?  or was i short changed with some extra tread wanting get worn away.  typically, i like to run my tires right down to the casing - ask brian peterson.  some call that stupid, some call that economical.

speaking of economical, i begged steve pelaez for his old tires.  and steve owes me because: a) he didn't beat kieran in the keirin, and b) he always eats my food at races.  so he told me he is bringing his old tires for me friday night.  then i thought about gluing them....

man, lets talk about gluing tubulars.  i love fucking around with my bike and messing up everything up and creating a bigger problem than i started with.  actually, i am the queen of tinkering things into worse shape... but tubulars kind of scare me to death to fuck up...  i admit i have little sense when in comes to mechanics, but i have sense enough not to try gluing tires by myself.  i even watched the velonews demo- and decided i shouldn't mess around.  

so fred has glued my tires before.  but then someone told me they weren't on enough.  plus, i haven't hung out with fred since mid-march, so i don't think it is really appropriate to ask him to glue my tires.  and when i took one to the bike shop to glue last year, it was way more money than i had expected... and if i take two... yikes.  i don't even want to think about it.  at least i have some free used tires.  what i really need is a boyfriend to glue my tires-- woe is me!

so as i am contemplating my tire dilemma and bumming out i don't have a boyfriend to glue my tires... i figured: dude, beth bikes! is famous.  people should want to glue my tires!  gluing my tires totally builds street cred.  trust me. if i ask, i will have a waiting list of people to glue my tires.

unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

i put a nice request on facebook:  "okay, who wants to glue pelaez's old tires on my wheels? i make an excellent lasagna (or other request), which is at least worth the astounding cost of getting a shop to do that."

and you know what kind of response i get?  crap.  nada.  well someone wrote me some crappy haiku poem that had nothing to do with my request.  i thought, maybe, if i write a cool haiku poem back, someone will be motivated to help a girl out.  so i write:

glue, tubulars, fun
three layer lasagna- YUM
i need mastik one

but, unfortunately, my poem was no good.  

so, my lovely blog readers....if you want to glue my tires, i will be very thankful. i am very nice.  and i make a very good lasagna. (i can even provide you references for that if you don't believe me.)  

and if you live in britain, no need to reply.  i don't think the shipping is really worth it. and plus, the lasagna isn't good frozen from air mail. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

(not) winning five points.

so when my coach sent me a text message yesterday: "tuesday night racing instead of wed night?" i hemmed and hawed and then gave him a call.
"so, uh, why do you want me to do tuesday instead of wednesday?"

"i think you will get more pack riding experience...etc, etc.  what races are on wednesday, anyway?"

"chariot, scratch, win n out, miss n out"

"yeah, i think tuesday will be better for you"

"...........uhhhh, o....kay"
normally, i wouldn't really care.  but let's be honest, the real reason i was giving the change in schedule a second thought was because our yearly NACHO POTLUCK was occurring at work on tuesday--and the thought of gorging on nachos and then doing two 40-lap points races didn't sound all that appealing.  

but, i obeyed orders.  

plus, i like a challenge. and nachos for lunch would be a new challenge.  so while i was originally bummed, in fact, i started getting a little bit excited about it-- after i thought about it more.

you see, when i was a track & field runner in college-- one season i decided to do cross country, "for training."  now, why i thought this was a good idea is beyond me, considering i was a 400m runner, cross country only kills your fast twitch... but i thought it'd be fun to be a 3-season athlete, and i always liked the distance runners, and they always seemed to have much more fun going on long runs, compared to doing hell interval repeats in circles every single day.  so i ran my ass off that summer, doing something stupid like 12 miles sunday runs...and then was still the slowest person on the JV team (except during "speed work" day).  

anyway, i was like the amazon woman on the cross country team.  those girls were tiny.  probably because about fifty percent of the team was "vegan with a gluten allergy" -- and, i'm guessing that isn't just cause i went to some hippy school on the east coast....  so when i'd see a few teammates at lunch time, some just ate baby carrots or celery of something like that, cause, ya know, don't want to mess up your stomach for a workout FOUR hours later.  so, before interval day, i used to make a point of eating in the locker room just before we'd go warmup. at first it was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, then i'd up my anti each week-- ice cream bar, pie, it didn't really matter.  i got adventurous!
the first few weeks, intervals were a little extra unpleasant.  but i was surprised at how after a few weeks of such diligent training, nothing -- i mean nothing -- phased me.  a couple teammates thought it was disgusting, but mostly it became a joke and a challenge.  still, i am a firm believer that you can train your stomach to digest anything before exercise, it just takes persistence and consistent training, like anything.

but i never tried nachos.

granted, i had many hours of digestion before racing starting.  but the combo of the chips, fake cheese, refried beans, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, and non-alcoholic margaritas seemed intriguing, to say the least.  so i didn't hold back at the nacho potluck.  and you know what?  i didn't even notice during the race.  so i won.

well, actually, i didn't win.  (by winning above, i mean i beat the nachos...not actually, anyone in the race.)   i think i scored a whopping ONE point all evening.  

except for the five points i scored in my own imaginary world.  so when the pace slowed down going into 'bell lap'- i popped it out of turn four, and to my surprise i am sprinting really hard down the back stretch and no one is coming around me.... so i just ramp it up even more around the turn, and i come out of turn four totally gassed--- but i really wanted to win that sprint, so i put in an extra little effort and no one is coming around... but i kinda hear something in my delusional sprinting state-- and i look up at the lap cards and it says "6" -- and yes, indeed, larry was ringing the bell.... 

what a dumb shit -- sprinting a lap early.  well, i was totally gassed at that point, as i poured everything into my sprint... so when the actual sprint started, i could do nothing but get dusted and dropped with 5 laps to go, like a big nitwit. so, all i can say about the whole evening is:
a) i got one point, and
b) the nachos didn't make me puke
so i suppose i can call it a successful evening.


oh yeah, i forgot the best part of the night.  simmons comes up to me and asks me if i know when we are getting our new team kits. i say i don't know, but i hope soon, cause i look like a club rider in this jersey.  (i am wearing john's old jersey, which, is a bit baggy on me to the least)  then simmons looks at me and says, yeah that is huge!  you need to get a boob job.  i inquire if this is covered under team sponsorship.

women's beginner clinic re-cap

i started riding at the track in 2007. i remember my first beginner session vividly....

my old man neighbor friend, mr. miyagi.... errrrr, fred, convinced me to go to the track.

we met the summer before in 2006 and he was convinced i should start racing track bikes... because, apparently my skill of riding a 1972 motobecane 10-speed with flat pedals, a t-shirt, and running shorts said "track racer" to him!

we drove down one morning and fred was scared shitless. me, i didn't really know what to expect, as i don't think i even knew how to pronouce " vē'lə-drōm' " correctly, but fred was definitely scared shitless. terry shaw was the instructor, after not winning the saturday morning beginner session warm-up, i rolled off the track and had the "OH SHIT!!!!!" moment. i am rolling down toward the infield, wondering how the hell i am going to stop this thing. so i do the only thing i know how to do. i make a soft plea, which quickly turned into an outright holler...

fred. fred! FREEEEEEED!

and he grabbed my handlebars so i could jump off.

and that is my most vivid memory about my first saturday morning beginner session....that, and getting out first in the australian pursuit.....and having so incredibly much fun, i couldn't wait to go back.....

so when annabell and i decided to put on this women's beginner clinic-- to get a bunch of new women ready for track racing-- that is what i remembered we'd have to tell people how to do first.... how to get off your bike. that, or riding up to the rail and grabbing on. it was really a toss up.

we spent two days at the track, and somehow all my prayers for the rain to hold off mostly worked out. saturday, we had 2 hours of rain in the morning, but it cleared up and we got in some riding before lunch, and a lot of riding in the afternoon. sunday i woke up to steady rain in my window, and driving down to the track it was raining a ton. and somehow when i got to milpitas, the rain clouds were still looming, but no rain. and i got to hellyer, and one of the women there told me it was raining in santa cruz....and all i could think is how we were boxed in with rain clouds... but somehow the weather gods cooperated and we got no rain in our little track bubble all day.

and the women were total rock stars riding all up and down the banking, in packs, and it was so cool to see! we did about a bizillion drills. and annabell is pretty much the coolest woman i know and such a good coach and ran the weekend perfectly. and shelley olds! came out on sunday afternoon and gave an awesome talk about racing internationally and her experiences of how she got into track racing, and then we did some mock races and the girls were awesome racers. and everyone seemed totally stoked about track racing by the end -- because, how can't you be?!?! and i hope we get a lot of new women who will start racing this summer!

i don't think i've ever seen so many women at the rail or on the track at it was definitely an exciting weekend. thanks to all the volunteers-- annabell, donna, cathy, stephanie, julie, and shelley -- you guys rock! and thanks mostly to all the women who signed up for the clinic and gave it a go!

and i am happy to report they are all rock stars at getting off their bikes.

hi mom!