Friday, October 23, 2009

i love mail!

I think I started blogging about 2.5 to 3 years ago. The first few posts were actually back logged, cause I stupidly thought some things were very important to document.

Up until last December, I had no email linked to my blog, so people had no way of contacting me…except through the comments! (which I love- so thanks for commenting, it really makes it all worthwhile) The lack of email was intentional-- I was afraid of internet crazies, being new to blogging and online personas.

However, sometime last year, I figured I better get the so someone else didn’t co-opt my really creative internet persona. Some physical therapist in upstate new york had already taken the URL Whatever-- I wasn’t going to pay for a hosting address anyway, as, in my humble opinion, the quality of blog writing typically goes down when someone moves from blogspot to wordpress. (even though the pictures are usually a lot prettier, if that is your thing.) Anyway, point is, in December I intelligently secured the email address and would occasionally get an email. Like the one from Lionel, the French body builder included with an awesome picture.

But, let’s be honest. I only check the email address about once every month. And 99% of the emails are about increasing my penis size or doing electronic money transfers to Uganda.

Actually, in 6 months, I’ve only gotten 26 emails. And 7 of those were from people I actually knew, who must not have had my real email address.

The other day I checked my beth bikes email and thought I’d share a few.

First is from Simon, a new East Bay blogger. Welcome to blogging! Some say bike blogging is dead, but goonies never say die. I am re-invigorated on blogging after a summer-off hiatus. It is exponentially more fun than facebook, I promise!

Hey there, Beth Bikes
I've been working on a little bike blog out here in the East Bay, and after many sad reports saying I have zero viewers. (trunc.)

He just wants some readers, so please check him out. He seems like a nice guy because of his very polite and friendly email. Mostly though, I’d like you to check out his saddle sore post. It RULES and is quite helpful! Everyone knows I love this topic and have written some great posts on this. Here is an old favorite.

Simon sent this email on October 19th. It was quite serendipitous timing had I checked my email regularly. So about on Tuesday October 20th, my saddle sore had reached a point of extraordinary discomfort. I would give details about where it was, but let me just say I think I would have been a great picture display for a health class photo. Definitely the worst one I have ever had. I had my pap appointment on Wednesday and figured the gyn would get her panties all tied in a knot by the sore. But, I don’t even think she saw it. How that is possible, I don't know, cause it was *right there*. I guess sometimes they just stick you in those stirrups and look inside, making sure my uterus isn't titled or something, without noticing the elephant in the room. I wasn’t going to point it out to her, that's for sure. Anyway, Wednesday was a very uncomfortable day for me. It wasn’t so much hurting when I moved, but pretty much a mild pain all the time. Holy Jesus. But something great happened at work on Thursday and I think the bloody thing just popped, and now it is a pretty manageable saddle sore. Anyway, had I read Simon's extraordinarily useful post about lancing (see link above!), I most definitely would have taken some matters into my own hands. So this baby is getting bookmarked.Word.

Other mail? Well, like I said, I don't get much. There are the random quad emails. Mostly, probably, from people who google images ‘biggest quads.’

  • “I like your quads” – this is all that was said. Thank you for the compliment.
  • Or the one from Richard that said: “Huge fan! Are you still training your quads? Can I have a more recent pic showing them off?” – uhhh, yes I am still training them, no you can't have a picture.
  • Or all (sic: two) the nice people that linked me that BBC scientific article demonstrating that people with big quads over 60cm in girth are less likely to have diabetes! yay for big quads!

Lastly, there was the very heartfelt email from a woman who got bad road rash on her face and found my blog and wanted a recent picture of me to see my scars. I have kinda an ugly face sometimes, but I don’t think I have any scars, minus a droopy right lip, but I think that is mostly because a stitch was left inside because the guy who took them out was kind of senile. But we had a nice email exchange, nevertheless, about wound care, face scaring, and a general life peptalk. The internet is weird, huh?

I also occasionally get other subliminal messages… like refrigerator magnets that spell out “beth bikes sucks” when i took my blogging vacation…

some people can never be pleased. i started blogging again and what do i hear: your blog post was pretty long, you cant go into hiding for ever and then just give us readers the monster serving and expect us to take it.......our tolerance is down! whatever stern. you better drive me to the track tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

kövér calves

so if it wasn't bad enough that i can't find jeans to fit my massive quads -- R.I.P. keirin cut dream -- apparently it is not only my quads that are too big.

a few weeks ago rubi posted some ORANGE & yellow (my two favorite colors) argyle knee socks on my facebook wall, with a note saying: "you need these." need is perhaps a strong word, but i clicked on the ebay link and they were only 99 cents with no shipping charges, so i figured i would bid. let me first say, that i have never really had much luck on ebay. being the closeted competitive type, i don't think anonymous auctioning is really a good thing for me. moreover, i kind of have maybe had a tendency to "bid" on multiples of the same thing, thinking-- oh, that won't win...and then having to buy both them. the time i bought two broken digital cameras. ....or the time i bought two old saddles that hurt my ass more than the old saddle from 1972 than fred gave me. well, i guess that only happened twice. but, those were my first (and only) two experiences on ebay and i decided that ebay and i weren't a good fit, and i laid off it.

that is, until rubi told me to buy these socks. yellow and orange. and knee high. those of you not from hellyer park velodrome might wonder why on earth someone would want knee high argyle socks. well, that reason would be the one the only maurice monge. known affectionately as mo-mo. maurice likes to race in these, and probably why his girlfriend rubi was looking through argyle knee socks on the internet. when she ran across these obnoxious ones, she thought of me.


so i bid on the socks. i put a maximum bid of $2.37, but i won them at 99 cents. i also saw some other socks the same seller had, and bought some low-cut argyle socks, also bid $2.37, and won those at $1.27, as someone else had bid, but I guess $1.26 was too much for her for socks.

a few days later I got the socks in the mail. the low-cut ones were very cute, and the knee highs were just as hideous as the pattern in the picture indicates. i immediately tried them on and couldn't get them over my gigantic ..... calves?

are we kidding here?

it's not just my quads? it's also my calves?!? i mean, they were socks. so they stretched. so i *could* get them on. but they kinda squeezed and there was a big bulge above the cuff that turned bright red, as i was getting circulation cut off to my lower leg.


i, however, cannot blame biking for this one. i blame freshman through senior year in high school where i got a little bit obsessed doing that stupid calf raise machine in the gym after track practice.

i would put a picture of me in the socks here, but both digital cameras "i won!" are broke.

i'd like to say this is a new problem. but it's not.

perhaps the most traumatic story about my calves dates back age twenty. i was in college and "studying a broad" for a semester in budapest. we took a week long class trip to transylvania. not the dracula part... but the "greater hungary" part of romania, cause there is a political party focused on reclaiming romanian land from pre-world war i (cause it all used to be hungary during the austria-hungarian empire). but, i digress. we spent our time in mostly one village and looked at a bunch of churches and tromped around the village killing chickens and chatting with romanian motorhead fans and watching 20 person wine harvesting parades and getting drunk off palinka and wine, but mostly palinka.

so one evening before the wine festival dance we went to kati neni's tiszta szoba. this translates to something like "fancy room" or is basically where a family keeps all their heirlooms and nice decorative things that have been passed down through the ages -- all the dowry stuffs. kati neni had some costumes...errrrrr, traditional decorative clothing, that she wanted us americans to try on. now there were only about 12 of us in that program- cause who really decides to study abroad in hungary anyway. i think we were 6 & 6 boys and girls and somehow i was the lucky girl who got volunteered for this to try on the girl outfit.

i didn't want to. trust me.

erzabeth made me. she was our coordinator. i tried to get krisztina or stephanie to do it, but i always give off the "little joiner" attitude so i won! of course.

so kati neni started putting on all these layers and layer and layers of clothes on me...petticoats and more petticoats. and there was a corset in the back and the thing was too small and i thought i was going to die. it was heavy. it was hot. it was tight! i was kinda short of breath. so, yeah, i definitely gained some weight over there on my dumpling, sour cream, and beer diet- but these outfits are meant for 13 year olds!

so although it was all a bit uncomfortable, everything fit well enough. until the boots. they wouldn't go over my calves. not even close. and then kati neni started making fun of me. "kövér kövér.... kislány kövér" (fat, fat, fat girl). she went on and on, but my hungarian was spotty at best. i'm sure other people who were better at the language understood her jeers, but i did not, and it was probably for the best.

now, the connotation of kövér in hungarian isn't really so nice. plump, portly, corpulent. ...and i guess it was a bit of a soft spot, cause i had gained a lot of weight because of the sour cream, dumpling, and beer diet. and also, i cracked my knee cap running the 2nd week there and couldn't run or really do anything physical and was waiting to have surgery.

but, nevertheless, i can definitely take people making fun of me. but it was a bit different having a little old hungarian lady making fun of me in front of all of my classmates...when i was dressed like a fool...then, all of them starting to make fun of me. add that to the above paragraph, and i wasn't really laughing with them on the inside.

too make matters worse, she pulled out the men's boots. but i don't really think they were men's boots. i think they were teenage boys boots. they didn't fit either.

and everyone laughed louder and louder. kövér kövér kövér kövér kövér

and i couldn't really breath and was really hot and all those beads were actually kind of heavy and i really wanted to start crying and curl up in the fetal position and feel sorry for my kövér fat self who got fat on dumplings and sour cream, but couldn't really cause crying over being kövér would not only be super pathetic, but also really rude, cause kati neni was very nice for having us in her house and showing us her tiszta szoba and letting us try on her clothes. i knew that. i just didn't want to be the one trying them on.

so kati neni got out another pair of men's boots and i put those on, and they fit my calves, but not my feet cause i have fairly small feet. size 7. or 38 biking shoes.

they let me take off my clothes and we went to the wine festival, which felt like a junior high dance. except all the boys got to wear jeans and motorhead tshirts and the girls had to wear kati neni type dresses. then my boy space friends and i ducked out and went to the one bar in town. and they knew i felt bad so bought me too much palinka. aand i drunk away my kövérness on cheap distilled pear liquor that cost 20 cents a shot and smoked cigarettes and drank more palinka. and then i blacked out and apparently puked all over kati neni's chicken coup at 3am or something. which demonstrates i am a good, respectful american tourist.

here is me and kati neni

so yesterday i went on a long bike ride and was really lazy when i came home and started for 3 minutes to go through my pile of papers and came across a business card (from the argyle sock guy) and somehow ended up on ebay again (bad idea!) looking at all his socks.

i mean, it was a *good* deal.

for real here, i don't really understand what makes "athletic socks" athletic socks. biking socks, biking socks. running socks, running socks. in my humble opinion it is all a bunch of malarky about "breathable" and "elastic form fitting" so someone can go and charge $4, $5, $6/pair for some sweatshop labor. my socks were probably sweatshop labor too, but i take some solace knowing that they were only marked up 100%, as opposed to 400%, 500%, or 600%.

so, in my post-ride, lazy state, i went on ebay--which i swore off given my stupidity with it in the past--i started looking at socks. oh those are nice for work. those are nice for biking. martini glasses & olives? my sister-in-love will love these for christmas. lemons? maybe that will give my roommate a hint that she should make her lemon pound cake more often. jesus saves socks? my mom will love those!

so i bid on....uhhhhhh..... 22 pairs of socks.

really, i don't blame ebay so much as mozilla firefox for creating web browsers that let you open up 20 plus tabs in one browser, which creates problems for me in multiple areas of professional and personal life, because you can research endlessly without actually reading anything, with minimal clutter on your computer screen.

my decision making process for maximum bidding was really high tech. $1.47 if i kinda liked them. $1.87 if i really liked them. and $1.07 if i could take them or leave them. i figured i'd win 7 or 8 pairs.

...or 20...

really?! i WON them all but 2?!

and so we learn again.

i got most them all for 99cents. and so somehow i just spent $21.23 on--- twenty friggin' pairs of socks.

at least i got a headstart on christmas. so, MOM IF YOU ARE READING: DON'T GET ME SOCKS FOR CHRISTMAS! underwear, okay i suppose, but socks: no.

so, if any of you are looking for socks, i highly suggest the dean clark store in san francisco. he ships free on ebay. has a 99.9% customer satisfaction rate. and you will probably be able to get any sock you want for less than a dollar, shipping included. we're talking women's low cut socks, women's low cut argyles, terry cloth socks, and if you like to pretend you are in jr. high school again, toe socks.

as for the knee high socks you might want to lay off unless you have calves like kati neni. i mean, i guess you will only waste 99 cents, but if they don't fit, we don't have 30 cents shots and your neighbors might care a little bit more than the chickens did.

Monday, October 12, 2009


so the following conversation kind of makes you feel stupid...
me: well, i kinda got hit by a car on tuesday.
them: oh no, are you okay? what happened?
me: well, actually, i kind of hit the car.
them: oh... [with the dumbass look on them]
so maybe the car was backing out of a driveway...
or maybe the car was turning into a driveway...
or maybe the car was just sitting half in the driveway and the shoulder for quite awhile, and i neglected to notice the BIG RED TRUCK right in front of my face...

either way, i did not notice it and t-boned that baby.

so, yeah, the dumbass looks are totally justified in my opinion.

this experience taught me a couple of do nots, both as a motorist and biker.

DO NOT- for motorist:
-look at the dent in your car that bike made, when girl is crying hysterically on sidewalk.
-continue to tell the girl she is "okay" when she is crying hysterically and cannot talk.

DO NOT- for biker:
-change a flat tire and then break your CO2 cartridge, and then get the bright idea to still bike 5 more miles to work on a wobbly wheel, tire with 10psi, all whilst being uber-safe because you are still crying hysterically biking in four plus lanes of busy traffic.
-neglect to eat A LOT of food before going to the emergency room, because they will inevitably keep you there for 7 plus hours and not let you eat or drink, and then lot let you eat upon discharge because they might want you back the next day.

but you know what i did learn from the whole experience:
DO go to the ER with your single female roommate (not with a male), as i think it results not only in better care, but also i've determined the kaiser oakland ER is definitely the hotspot to pick up cute, sensitive medical professionals: dr boddle, dr davis, cute curly haired resident, dr amin, dr macy, sam the cute radiologist technician, that other cute radiologist technican, that other cute guy who took a little too much blood and had trouble finding my vein. jesus christ. maybe it was because i was feeling helpless or hit my head or something...but why aren't there more craigslist missed connections from the ER!?!?

fucking HIPAA.

[note to those concerned: no worries, i am okay. nothing wrong with me at all! ride on, baby.]

Friday, October 09, 2009

season's done-- tour de french fry

yes, i realize it perhaps might be slightly ironic that i decide to resume my blog after i missed writing about half my season... ya know:
-the glories of the american velodrome challenge (slash, i crashed)
-fun times at the alpenrose velodrome challenge (slash my niece who did the kiddie kilo was faster than me)
-my stella
r performance at the FSA grand prix mis
s 'n out (slash, the real highlight of that week was how i attend a bbq with jennie reed)
-getting my ass kicked at the ADT qualifi
er race (slash, how i stayed in a REALITY TV SHOW HOUSE!)
-getting heat stroke at state's (slas
h, that sucks)
-and perhaps some other hellyer fun times (slash, nope, no fun to be had at hellyer)

wow, i really missed out on some good blog posts. but i can't look back too much. last week was nationals. i guess it went pretty well. blah blah blah. i am kind of bored with talking about it. but, in case anyone is curious, i measured cristin walker's quads and she clocks in
at 61.75cm. whoa mama.....

billington and i had talked about our drive home from LA extensively over the week: we were going to do a taste test of fast food establishment french fries. a "tour de french f
ries" if you will. don't judge us. it was glorious.

*stop 1* -- carl's j

we were excited about the tour, but perhaps went off the gate a little fast. we ordered two types of fries at carl's jr. cause, well, they had two kinds on the menu. and we had to figure out which was the best. first we had the crisscross cut fries. we thought these would be good, but we a bit disappointed. they were a bit on the cold side. and not so crispy. overall flavor and salt was okay, but the tempature and mushy factor did not bode so well. i mean, we picked up some cream
y ranch sauce, which of course made it slide down okay, but they weren't like the chick fillet waffle fries or anything.

next, we had the regular cut fries. now people, carl's jr regular cut fries pretty much rock! they had the skins on, the salt level was perfect, they were a bit on the thick side (in a good way) and the crisp to potato ratio was right on. i was pretty happy with this french fry and wanted to order so
me more, but billington luckily stopped me.
thanks pete.

about 5 minutes later in the car, we both felt pretty ill. fuck, that was a lot of grease. i wasn't used to it. i got a bit delirious, but thankfully had my awesome CD case on me, so i popped in "best of en vogue" (...and by "best of" i mean, the album should have only been 5 so
ngs not 15...) and i forgot about my heart burn.

about 20 minutes later we saw a sign for a burger king. now, we both wanted to stop, cause we needed to continue the tour. and burger king establishments are hard to come by. however, we couldn't do it. so we continued on. 'no, you're never gonna get it....' except about an hour later we stopped again. 'time for a break down.'

*stop 2* -- in 'n out

of course we knew we'd like these. i mean, it's in 'n out! we got one fry and they were yummy. crispy, hot, thin cut. salt level was pretty good. however, it just wasn't what we thought it'd be. we were both shocked to say it, but we liked carl's jr better. regular cut, not the criss

at this point, we didn't feel so good. well, i felt better than pete cause he was dumb enough to get a milk shake. WTF!?!!?! we passed another sign for burger king, but kept driving. it wasn't going to happen. pete perhaps wasn't so much feeling the AC/DC at this moment, so i took him back to his washington youth and popped in the pearl job. then he told me a probably fake story about eddie vedder in a allyway.

at this point, i thought 3 was good enough for a tour. like a mini weekend stage race. i didn't really care to do any more than that. but, a few hours passed, i got hungry, and pete called me weak sauce, i was getting all sentimental rocking out to power ballads, so we pu
lled over for gas and got some more fries. we saw a wendy's but both concurred that wendy's fries suck and we didn't care to include them in tour, because we already knew we hated them. every rose does has it's thorn. (and that would wendy's.)

*stop 3* -- jack 'n the box

when i normally go to jack 'n the box...which is every tuesday and thursday and friday for lunch...i get the curly fries. but we didn't think curly fries were an appropriate barometer for measuring french fry taste testing. so we got the regular cut. and blech. they were nasty. they looked yummy. with the potato skin on, thicker cut. they almost looked like carl's jr fries. but they didn't taste like it. they just tasted like grease. soggy grease. i was quite disappointed i didn't get the jalapeno poppers instead.

*stop 5* -- mccdonald's

we immediately left jack 'n the box and drove straight to the mccdonald's drive threw. i mean, we felt like shit at this point, but we couldn't do a french fry tour without mccdonalds...cause they are kind of like the gold standard of french fries.

they were so-so. i'd say better than jack 'n the box, worse than carl's jr criss cross. they were also greasy and poorly salted, like jack 'n the box. but they were crispier and hot enough. just the overall flavor was bad. they would have been fine with ketchup, but a good fry needs to be good independent of dipping sauces.

and so, we didn't see a burger king, and popped in joshua tree and rocked out to with or without you, veering onto the 580 west. next time bk, next time.