Tuesday, May 11, 2010

life in review: volume 5--april showers

yes, as suspected, i am still behind. thus, this is going to be a flury-wrap up of the entire month.

week 1: copperopolis.

actually, i already wrote about this. ha! one down!

week 2: 4 criteriums, 2 days-- whee!

okay, so it went like this....

saturday-- apple pie criterium.
the pie i won was kind of un-noteworthy. probably because i only ate one piece of it, and my roommates ate the rest. grrr. but, what i will forever remember this day for was my excellent luck with water bottles.

yes, that's right. water bottles.

in the morning, while leaving for the race, i filled up 7 water bottles for me and michael for the day... i had two races, he had one...i figured that would cover it. upon arriving to the race, i realized i had left them on the kitchen table. typical.

but the cycling community is really wonderful. 3 acts of generosity saved me.
  1. anthony eng pretty much is clutch, and gave me a bottle right off the bat when i got there.
  2. then there was this company called Skweet handing out their product, a water bottle cleaner. the guy was really nice and gave me a couple of bottles! (he really ate up my sad story of leaving my bottles at home.) i initially was drawn to them not only because i needed a bottle, but also because the monkey was cute and i like orange. little did i know how cool the product was! i found that out days later.
so, i occasionally might have a problem with forgetting to wash out my bottles.... ya know, leaving leftover lean1 in them for a couple of days. lean1 is yummy when you drink it, but it is not so appetizing when you leave the residue on the bottom of your water bottle for 3 days....or a week....and little chunks of chocolate turn black colored..... not that i do that or anything.... anyway, mixing crap in my water bottles at times leave the risk of water tasting a bit...uh, funky? i was interested to try out this skweet stuff, as it claimed to clean that residue out. so, i mixed the powder in, it made it all fizzy noise (which at least gave the impression that it was doing something) and then i let is sit over night. the next day the couple of my "problem bottles" were usable again. this made me happy and feel less bad about my (occasionally) bad cleaning habits.

anyway, thanks skweet for the water bottles and the free sample powders. i appreciated your help at the race, so i hope someone buys some of your product who reads this, cause it is A+ and it works!
3. last, and perhaps most exciting-- janelle kellman was parked next to me in the parking lot, and on the way out she gave me a ROCK RACING WATER BOTTLE!!! it was definitely the best thing i won that day! it is now my favorite and most coveted water bottle. so, hands off, bitches.
alright- the racing....all in all, i was pretty happy with my day racing in the corporate park.

race 1 --3/4 race. there were a lot of us, so i stayed at the front and kept it fast for a lot of the race. i wasn't planning on winning a bunch of primes, but i just kept on being near the front and no one was really going for them, so i figured i'd get them. i like free stuff! i think i won 3 out of 5 primes. the bad part was the 2 i didn't win, were the really cool things, like bars. so be it. (i have lots of individual packets of muscle cream if you want any). as for the finish, i ended up leading out the sprint from turn 3/chicane things. it was about to balloon and slow down, so i figured i'd just jump 600m early to keep it strung out. i figured i'd was giving someone a sweet leadout who was on my wheel, but she didn't come off it, so i won! yay! pie!

there were lots of people taking pictures, so i have even more cool pictures of me with my dopey race face. apparently it never changes, whether the pace is slow or fast, if i am sprinting or sitting in. what can i say, i am consistently dopey looking.

leading, looking dopey

sitting in, dopey

doing something, dopey

sprinting, also dopey.

after the race, i cooled down with this cool junior, taylor, from the track. she told me: "beth i kept trying to be on your wheel during the race." and i said: "good taylor, i was probably a good person to be on." and then she said: "yeah, cause i knew michael would get a picture of you, and i wanted to get in a picture." i thought that was pretty much the best race strategy ever. and, in fact, i am using it for my race strategy for the upcoming weekend of the tour of california race.

race 2 --1/2/3 race. this was a pretty fast and fun race! i actually did a mediocre-to-not-bad job at staying at the front. it is much harder to do this in the 1/2/3 races, than the 3/4 race. unfortunately, i pretty much sucked the last 2 laps, as i realized you can't exactly move from the back to the front, so i placed poorly and didn't sprint. that was a bummer, cause sprinting is the fun, but all in all a good day. (especially given that rock racing water bottle score after that race!)
sunday- menlo park grand prix
the velo girls always put on a fun race, and my boyfriend was on the microphone, so i figured this was the perfect time to steal his white skinsuit and wear it for the race. my kits still hadn't come in, so, i thought i'd style it up a bit.

it was cold, but i couldn't wear black knee warmers with a white skinsuit, so i just sucked it up.

i learned one important thing after the race about wearing a white skinsuit. that is, my boyfriend looks better in it.


i even chose a grainy picture, because the blurry picture makes me look better.... but, 'nuf said.

alright, let's talk about the race.

first race- cat3. i was pretty non-motivated for the first race. honestly, i had one goal for the race: win the GU prime. last year, the velo girls had sweet primes, one of them being A WHOLE BOX OF GU! i really wanted this prime, again, so i was going to win it. i didn't care about anything else. i listened attentively at the beginning and it was going to be prime #5. this is where things got a bit messed up. cause the first prime was a single prime. the second prime was a 2 place prime. and the third prime, was a 2 place prime. than meant i needed to get 2nd in the prime to get my GU. this was much more complicated, but i figured it was like a reverse win 'n out, and i am a track rider, so it should be fine. i went early, leading out at a good clip, so someone would pass me at the line and i would get 2nd. my plan was working perfectly, emily mattheu from 3rd pillar came around very strong just before the line, and i was so stoked until i realized to late someone else was also coming around me too and took that GU! i could't believe i buffed up my master plan for the GU. it was a total fail. anyway, that crappiness just got crappier for the finish. i didn't move up on the last lap and missed the jump on the sprint, coming out the corner last and the emily was way up the road. super long and fast sprint- props. i got 2nd still, which sucks, but not as much as not winning the GU. that was really the big loss of the race.

race 2-- 1/2/3 race. somewhere between the 3s finish and the 1/2/3 start it started pouring. yes, i did realize i had on the white skinsuit. but i had already committed at that point. go for broke. or go for the gold. or whatever that phrase is.... anyway, i had never raced in the rain, so i was a bit nervous....

the race started and in the 2nd turn of the race, someone slid out next to me. the people in front of me (about 15 or so) were hauling, and then there were lots of people stuck behind the crash. it was a crappy way to start the race, but i chased to get on the front of the pack. it seemed right when i got there, there was an attack, and off goes the group of 5 who won the race. our chase group was about 10 or so, and it was pretty fast and it was nerve racking riding fast like that in the rain.

this is me in the rain in the white skinsuit next to someone famous!

it was a bummer our group didn't work more smoothly together, because the rest of the pack caught us with a couple of laps to go. i say it was a bummer, mostly, because i was a bit sissy as it was, and felt better with less people, and got even more nervous riding with a bigger pack in the rain. as suspected, i had a hard time positioning myself for the sprint, and came around the last corner poorly placed. then i was a big sissy and couldn't figure out how to wiggle through people. ya know, in my mind there was no way to wiggle through all the traffic in front of me...however, the actual photo shows a pretty clear shot. funny how i remember things....

sissy-- see straight ahead.

anyway, it was pretty bad day on the bike for me, and it was cold and i was wet, and was happy to go home....many hours later, as michael was announcing.

week 3-- track is back

some time the third week in april, i went back to the track. my first night back was a tuesday night points race. EEEEK. let me just say i have become a roadie.....

i was so scared for the first race, i went off the front with someone at the whistle cause i didn't want to ride in a 30 person pack. uh huh. i know, i am lame.

but what was more lame, was how i couldn't stand up on my track bike. i tried a couple of time... for about 2 pedal strokes, then i was all fumbly and had to sit down. i am teaching a women's track clinic in a month, so i better figure out how to ride this thing again.

here is proof of me being a sissy on a saturday omnium, leaving a ridiculously huge amount of space between me and hunter. i better learn to htfu out there soon!

anyway, i did tuesday night race with the B men, and a saturday omnium with the B men. let me just say: B men are B men for a reason. now my first night back shelley evans was out there killin' it in A's... and let me say, she's got some cronies in the A's. me? no cronies. those B men are mean. they chase me down immediately and shove me around. i couldn't beleive how much i was bumping elbows.

last week, i did my first A's race the other week, and suddenly had some cronies in the field. mostly, that was eric balfus, who made sure i didn't get dropped and closed gaps for me. but everyone was nice to me and there was no shoving me around. so, i determined that A men are better than B men.

anyway, i've gotten to the track a few times. a tuesday night race. a saturday race. a tuesday practice. a sunday practice. a wednesday night race. i am happy to report i can now stand up on my bike. it only took 5 sessions back. yikes.

week 4-- wente weekend

so sometime between week 3 and 4 of april, i upgraded a category. i really didn't want to, cause i think cat3 is the best category, as you can race wherever you want and can race twice a day..... but people kept giving me shit, and i am a pushover. plus, i needed to turn in my upgrade so i could race the sacto grand prix with the wells fargo team. so i guess that was legitimate reason.

wente rr
so saturday i did the wente rr in livermore. not much noteworthy here. i put myself in bad position on the second time up the hill, then when it exploded there was no way i could catch up to the front group. so, i was in a loser group the rest of the day for a very long time. we worked okay together, but it is hard to get excited about racing for 14th place. so, yeah, that stunk. i felt really good that day, so i was bummed i was a nitwit where i should have known better and bummed i just wasn't good enough to catch up.

wente crit
so m was announcing, and my race wasn't until the afternoon...and i didn't really want to sit around all day, so i was going to BART to dublin, then bike to the race. i used the trustworthy google bike maps.

all was great grand, until a road ended and i had to jump a barrier. this was fine and i got back on the road i needed to be one. but a few miles later, i hit another snafu-- there was a big sign that said: "no through traffic", but i ignored it because i was a bike, and we ignore things like that.

when i got to the big fence, i figured no problem, i can jump that, and proceeded to go over to it... until i saw the *very big* security guard. he wasn't having any of it. i tried to tell him i needed to get over to stanley rd, which was only 2 miles through...but he didn't care, and said that there was no alternate route, and this was private property, and blah blah blah. and i tried to tell him i had a bike race to win, but he didn't seem to care.

so i back tracked on my bicycle, and went down some dead-end type of streets...and, well, didn't really know what to do. i called a few friends who i thought might be by a computer, but no dice.

then i had a couple minute cry session.

and then i gathered myself to think of the next step and come up with a logical solution.

yes, that is right. i text messaged facebook.

what has the world come to?

i was hoping someone would call me with directions. and, wow, within a few minutes susannah breen called me and was to my rescue. she tried to give me directions, but the roads were not looking good, so she said she & mark would pick me up and take me to the race! it was so wonderfully nice! they are just so amazing!

i rolled around for an hour, half-assing some warmup efforts and getting sunburnt, cause, of course, my lotion was in the car, which was at the race.

by the time i made it to the race, i had about 30 minutes. i was pretty much toasted and exhausted. i ate 2 GUs and tried to compile myself.

race started, and it was pretty slow. i felt really out of it and was having a hard time focusing. there were lots of crashes. i got caught behind 2 of them, and that last one resulted in a restart. when we restarted, it was 5 to go, and i did a better job staying near the front. had an okay sprint, but it wasn't good enough, and i photo finished, but was still the loser.

loser shot, see top. doesn't even look close.

bah. you can watch this cool video of the finish and me attempting to roadie sprint.

so, there we have it. that is about it for april. now i am all caught up, because i didn't race for the first 2 weeks of may!


Anonymous said...

i don't see no video. sad face.

Anonymous said...

A men > B men >>> C men. Just sayin'

Ted said...

You always have a crony when I'm in the B field. You just have to slow down a bit so I can help.