Saturday, July 06, 2013

2013 road season (yes, this is a crappy title)

After winning an awesome sombrero, I knew that what awaited the next few months would be pretty anticlimactic in comparison. I was pleasantly mistaken, when a couple weeks later I got to race Merco Cycling Classic in Merced.  While this wasn’t an NRC race, it may as well have been, because all the big teams showed up and it was totally baller.  It was our team’s first race, and I quickly bonded with all the new members as 5 of us were crammed in a trailer.  If that wasn't enough bonding, we also discovered that we filled the septic tank after the first morning.  Having just come off track, I was totally ready for 4 day stage race with some long road races. (sarcastic font)  Well, ready I was, bitches, and I totally won the last stage after being in two long breaks that day. 

BreatheRight, FTW!

This is a pretty terrible picture.  After seeing it, I learned two important lessons: One, don’t have stage line fright and take your damn hands off the bars, even if you are in bumblefuck with no spectators, because a hiding photographer might catch you.  Two, more importantly, always, *always* remember to remove your breatheright before the finish line.  This photo made for an amazing snapchat, which I can’t share here because it is inappropriate and probably sponsor incorrect. . . so instead, I just posted the original.

We left right from Merco for a Kurt Stockton team (boot)camp.  The highlight of the camp was definitely the use of race radios.  Prior to camp, I was a race radio virgin.  So of course the first thing I did was start playing the penis game.  This quickly turned into sharing other words, like STDs or creative obscenities.  It also made me realize I’d be fine chamoising up with any of my new teammates, as their originality in the dirty word department was pretty much  off the charts.  I’d definitely do anything for these gals.  I know that there has been a lot of controversy about eliminating race radios.  All I know is that I would be a way better racer if I had my teammates whispering things like “pubic lice” to me during steep climbs.

This picture has nothing to do with my previous paragraph, but it was taken at team camp and is awesome.

From Merco, I think I went home for about a week, then back down South to San Dimas, then back home for a week only to drop my chain in my favorite NorCal race Copperopolis that I will hopefully win before a turn 40, then back down South for Redlands.  I got pretty friendly with the I-5 that month.  Our team had a pretty rockstar Redlands, with AP winning GC and three (!!) stages, and the team getting the overall GC.  We all suffered real good for that weekend, so we had burgers and beer at Eureka burger – in chamois – post Sunset loop.  This proved for an awesome time biking back to the host house – up Cajon yet again – where of course Robin Farina got out of hand and crashed in the driveway. 

Off to Eureka Burger!

From Redlands, we all flew out East to do a quick recon on the nationals course, Charlotte crit, then AP and I stayed for track camp.  I always like going to Charlotte because Robin owns a bike shop there, Uptown Cycles, and our team always gets tons of special treatment.  Plus, I get to ride with the best ride leader ever, Vance.  I’d say more but words wouldn’t do him justice.

Alexis Ryan is a badass even on cruiser with her socks.

Giodorna velodrome is Rock Hill is awesome.  This picture is pretty mediocre, but it does show my bling bike, so I am keeping it in.   

Southerns are so hospitable – the town of Rock Hill gave us this goodie bag for our training camp!

AP made me do bike drills everyday, but she then let me have wine too, so it was cool.

The highlight of my track camp was dropping AP in warmup jumps the first day, to which she shockingly said: “Beth, you dropped me!” to which I responded, “Can you say that again”  I will probably never drop Alison Powers again, so I wanted etch it in my mind.  (That is why I am sharing it publicly.)

I flew home and went straight to Sea Otter.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t race, cause I missed the first day and it was a stage race.  Michael was working and I wasn’t going to be home long, so I wanted to see him.  As an added bonus, the riding in Monterey is pretty sweet, so I had fun exploring.  Also, I snuck into the expo and totally scored some free swag.  NOW Energy Bar totally hooked me up filling my ENTIRE backpack with the new A3 bars.  

Sponsor shot.

I had a late change in my race schedule, so instead of doing Joe Martin and Gila, I headed back to the Southeast for Speedweek.  It was cool to see how all the towns in the South really come out for the races.  It was also cool to see how there is a whole ‘nother group of racers doing the crit circuits.  As for the racing, I will be honest, I pretty much sucked and had a bad attitude, until the last day I did where there was a hill in the course.  That was a fun crit.  When I signed into that race, I noticed there was an ice cream shop at the start/finish line that specialized in hot fudge sundaes.  So, I raced with my debit card in my pocket, and high tailed from the finish line (I *think* I did the cool down lap), dragging my track compatriot Cari Higgins with me.  The good thing about trackies is you always know they will eat ice cream with you.   I have no photos from Speedweek, probably because I was “PMSing” for two weeks straight and didn’t take any.
I then was home two weeks, which was awesome, and got to race my hometown course, Berkeley Hills.  I didn’t win, as had stupidly let a break up, but had a great burst of speed up the final hill for third.  I was pretty jazzed with my form, as road nationals was hilly.  Then I unfortunately did this.

Falling on a bike definitely sucks, but I will contend that falling in the bathtub can suck just as bad.  How does one fall in the bathtub?  I believe it starts with over lathering your luffa and ends with trying to scrub your feet, and landing on your bum.  As I hit deck, I immediately knew I was screwed.  I laid there for a minute and then had to yell for help to get up.   You know you are old when you are lying on the bath tub floor, hollering for someone to help you get up.  Luckily Michael didn’t take out his hearing aids.   The next few days weren’t so good, but I was hoping I could at least be useful at nationals.  H­­ow exactly do you tell your team director: “sorry, I slipped on soap in the bathtub and hurt myself, so I am probably going to be shit for this race, and likely shit for the next 6 weeks as well.”  ­­AP got third in the road race, by no help of mine, save perhaps the first 15 miles, then I sucked wheel the rest of the way in.  The race was awesome and course cool.  I am looking forward to it next year for sure.  Month before I will plan to just take baths, so there is no where to fall.

I was home for the month of June and couldn’t really race.  I did my best to rehab and not lose fitness, but was pretty nervous as I was scheduled to go to France with the national team for some stage races.  I get nervous pretty easily and I think probably the most frequent thing Michael hears from me is: “I’m out of shape,” even when that is just a preposterous comment.  Michael was confident that all I needed to do was heal up, then train really hard for 5 days, then I’d be find.  I was skeptical of course like I always am, but it worked and I felt in good shape going to France. 
In addition to my 5 days of training, I also had an additional 6 days of race prep, which I will refer to as dante’s inferno.  It started on Friday and Saturday with the Hellyer Velodrome Challenge, averaging in the high 90s.  Sunday with the Lodi Cycle Fest criterium, I think it was 105.  And then ended with Davis 4th of July criterium on Wednesay, probably 108.  It was so hot, you could feel the heat radiating off the concrete during the crits.  I had some highs and lows during those days, but it was good for me.  Robin won Davis crit and Olivia was third, so that was really good day for us.  After the race, I dunked my head in cooler at the finish line.  If I thought racing a 1 hour criterium was unbearable in the heat, the real award goes to Michael who announced three days straight (including a 10ish hour day in Lodi), worked the office for 2 days, then announced for 10+hours on Wednesday.  Yikes.  When I got to France a few days later, the hot French summers felt pretty cool, so I think the dante inferno block was a racing success.

This is Dan Smith from SportVelo coaching.  He always sponsors the Women’s Points race at the HVC, giving us generous and fun prizes.  I got a bike fit and insoles made by Dan a few years ago and it was awesome – so check them out.

This is Bess Hernandez-Jones.  She not only promoted the Hellyer Velodrome Challenge this year, but also kept Hellyer running with all of her hardwork all summer.  She is awesome and we in NorCal are really lucky to have her volunteer so much!

We got to do one the first 4k women’s team pursuit ever in the USA. 

Korina, Natlie, Jen and me – these are the coolest ladies ever!  Best part was we got these awesome Hellyer wrenches that Judd Kincaid made special for the event!

My friend Martina won the Lodi Crit, including that huge bottle of wine.  This is her getting interviewed, where I think she told the reporter that she would school lebron james on a bike.

Amanda Seigle won 4th of July last year.  She is not only the Davis hometown hero, but arguably one of the coolest ladies in NorCal.  Alex Chiu took this photo, which is sweet.  Alex’s photos are sweet and you should all buy some, because they are only $5 and are awesome.

This is me in Davis.  It is very, very hot if you can’t tell from my face.  I wish I had a photo of us after the race, but I can’t find one.

Well, that was pretty much my U.S. road season.  It was short and fun and rest of year is lots of international racing and track!


Aussie kev said...

I had never thought about radios being used for fun !!!!
and 4km with only three people would be hideous, your always near the front !!!
Excellent peice of writing

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