i found a blog post i started in february-- so i figured that would be where i would begin my 2011 season wrap-up. i actually have a lot to wrap-up. i didn't really blog about any races in 2011 (except my drug test at nationals). between all the stage race days and track days, i think i had almost 80 race days.... so, mostly as a way to waste time in my illness, i will open up my usa cycling profile and re-live some memories of 2011. maybe i'll throw some pictures in if i really get bored tonight.... but that is asking a lot.
now, the usa cycling profile is used for a few important purposes:
- find out the age of that person that you might potentially be romantically interested in. this is, of course, the most important use of the usacycling.org/results page. of course, you can sometimes lie to yourself, as this displays "racing age," not "actual age" - but it is still fairly accurate. having a mechanism like this is extremely important in a sport where you: a) often see people in helmets, which can hide indications of age, such as baldness, and b) cyclists' skin wrinkle early because of sun exposure and lack of moisturizer. the usacycling.org/results is really an excellent service that USAC provides to cycling singles everywhere. (not that i am a cycling single, but at one time i was, and greatly appreciated this stalking service).
- sniff out the competition - it is quite helpful seeing how your competitors are doing. or if you are going to a race with no one you know, see what you have yourself matched up against. however, let's be honest on how i really use the results.... looking up races i didn't do, and saying: "oh, i totally beat that girl in a sprint once a few years ago at the early bird criterium when we were cat4s, so had i showed up, i totally would have won." you can really find anything you want, and thus, everything can be a morale booster.
- provide painful memories of missed opportunities in races - yes, it tracks all those bad results that you want to forget about... like that time i clipped my pedal as a cat4 and got 13th in crit... or that time where hanging out on the sidelines just looked more fun than riding in circles... yep, it is all there... forever...
it really doesn't get better than that.
okay, onto the 2011 wrap-up
san bruno hill climb
for most people, january 1st typically starts with a hangover. except my boyfriend loves to register me for the san bruno hill climb on jan 1 every year. "merry christmas, beth!" uh...thanks! guess we have no new years eve plans! well, i can't actually say i am bummed, because i never really do anything cool for new years eve...
the first race of the year is always a pain, because it is really hard to pack the race bag.
i was actually looking forward to the hill climb last january, because word on the street was that it was a big mass start. that meant i would be able to race my favorite competition: OLD MEN. nothing makes me go faster up a hill, than seeing some old guys in the distance. and given that there are a lot of masters men racers in cycling who sign up for timed events, i was looking forward to picking off the slow ones on the climb and saying "on your left" in the most girly voice i can muster.
however, my whole race plan imploded when they actually started us by category at 2 minute increments. bummer although i didn't get to race along side any men, i at least still had my time. and, as such, i want to mention that i beat ralf medloff. he wasn't too happy about it, so i wanted to announce it to the internets. please note also: his bike was *way* pimped out. lastly, i would like to note that he failed to bring a pump to the race. what kind of professional mechanic is that!?
this here is a very bad picture. unfortunately the photographer missed the total rockstar shot of me holding the girl scout cookies in the air with the "WHOOO!" face, and unfortunately caught me mid motion with a stupid look. oh well, next time.
san jose time trial
not an official usac event, but i pinned on a number and filled out a waiver, so it counts. this is a cool series the san jose bike club puts on - a type of winter training series. the TT course was hard. 15 miles. but there were hills and really turny decents. given that this was my first time racing on a time trial bike, and that i hadn't ever used it on anything more than a 1-2% grade, this proved very tricky.
i was totally planning on beating my boyfriend. we talked shit about it forever. however, out he comes and takes me to a technical course with a decent, that of course i sucked on, and he put mad time into me.
no worries, though, SJBC had my back.
to make their TT series more fun, they give people handicaps. and cause i was a girl, i got a handicap, and my boyfriend didn't - resulting in my just beating him. HA! cheap win, maybe, but i don't care!
2011 - the rest of it
okay. that gets me through, like january 8th. and i am already petering out. i am never going to finish before the clock strikes midnight at this pace. now i will resort to bullet points for the remainder of the 2011 bicycle racing year.
- early bird road race - i somehow got dragged to this race, despite being told by my master's men track team there is a hill in it. i didn't really listen to them, because one has to be hesitant listening to trackies who talk about hills. a little bump suddenly becomes a hill. having officially turned roadie, i wasn't going to be scared away. plus, i had just won a hill climb, right? this time, though, they weren't lying. i was the only chick who showed, so instead of making me ride alone, they let me start with the 35+ 1/2/3. this was fun, because i got to race with my boyfriend. he won. le sigh. but i kicked all of his teammates asses. score!
- snelling - the highlight of my snelling was being in a break with erinne willock & ali powers. i thought this was pretty rad - as they were like, real professional. and when i saw the photographer on top of a little bump - i made sure to go to the front so i had a cool picture with some PROs. unfortunately our break did not stay away and i barely survived sucking wheels the rest of the race. that is okay, i got a cool photo for life that i can tell people was at a big time race, and not .. snelling...
- then there were some stage races: merco and madera. i actually discovered i thought time trialing was fun. unfortunately, i kinda stink at it. (i think my fever is going up, because i am getting a bit delusional in my recollections of "likes"). merco was super fun and i really liked the first stage. madera was okay. the roads seem to get more and more crap each year. and this year, i flatted about 2 miles from the finish, so that sucked.
- redlands - i guest rode at my first NRC race. it was very hot and i was very overwhelmed and couldn't figure out how to get a bottle in the feed zone. (okay, now i am getting tired and not so funny...in fact, i can't even recall the stupid shit any longer. but i am almost to april and i must push through)
- chico stage race - another really fun race! it was going awesome until the gravel section in the road race. the crit was also going awesome until i crashed myself out being in a two person break off the front with 1.5 laps to go. how do i crash myself out when there is only one other person? i don't think i have to answer that. it's my blog, afterall. but i took it like a grownup and threw my bike in front of a little kid.
- copperopolis, wente, berkeley hills: it was the battle of breen/newell vs. werner. the aussie superstar pretty much owned us...but luckily we at least got things right at wente. and that race had the best prizes, so that is what matters. that's the race sponsored by a vineyard, and werner isn't even old enough to drink.
- crits: there were some dumb crits that i got roped into doing that i didn't do too well at. (this line might be copy/pasted at several points throughout this bullet pointed list)
- mutual of enumclaw - a super fun stage race i went to up in washington. i was trying to win the nature valley grand prix qualifer spot...but didn't. i had a great time racing regardless and at least had a stage win. if you are ever up there during this time of year - definitely do this race! also, i finally got to have the beer "mac & jack's african amber" i had been dreaming about for three years when i had once in seattle...
- mt hamilton - goonies never say die. i went from off the front to off the back several times, but molly v-h and i never said die - and i ended up third. i consider this race, perhaps, my biggest accomplishment for the whole year. susannah and i were a bunch of crazies and biked back to the start in san jose... to put in a full 100 miles. ouch.
- testarosa velodrome challenge: pascale schnieder (swiss champion in everything) pretty much put on a track clinic for the rest of us. but it was still a really fun race and i felt good sensations for the track season ahead.
- mt hood: officially my favorite race of the year. the courses were awesome and painful and just finishing the last stage felt like an accomplishment. had a fun time guest riding with metromint team.
- taleo criterium: small but fun race where i won a prize of a palm reading (yet to be cashed in)
- nature valley grand prix: had a super fun time guest riding with the vanderkitten team for my second nrc race. i think that first criterium was the hardest race i had ever done. holy mother. i rode behind the world champion, which, in the words of nacho libre, was: pretty sweeeet.
- lodi criterium - i was solo for about 35 minutes or so, but it all paid off because i won a bottle wine that i can't even bench press it is so big. it has yet to be cracked open, as we are too lame to have a party
- alpenrose velodrome challenge - one of my favorite races of the year! i came a few seconds off the track pursuit record (next year!), did a scratch race not so well...then the rest of the events got rained out. super bummer.
- cascade cycling classic - my third nrc race, and this was my favorite by far. except the day where i got a little hypoxic from the elevation. oddly enough my worst stage was the prologue - the stage that most resembles the pursuit....explain that one to me.
- mt diablo hill climb - that was pretty stupid in retrospect
- some more crits - see crit line above.
- tuesday and friday night world track championships - they usually started off with a junior attacking really hard in the first lap of the race (who inevidably ended up pulling out about 20 laps later). i actually had a chance of placing with the men when the races were long enough.
- LAVRA race - i went to a track race in LA and ended up riding with the men and getting third in the points race for lapping with a couple others. that was cool, but i still hate LA.
- track nationals - that went pretty good for me, but i already wrote about that.
okay, i am out. michael is making me drink a glass of water...because he is still going to make me race san bruno tomorrow. considering i get winded walking to the bathroom, let's just say i am not so thrilled about it. at least my pathetic crawling up the hill will make for a good blog post. hey, not every year can start off as awesome as it did last year... thank god i at least screen captured it.