Friday, September 28, 2007

Great Balls of Fire...

I like to go fast on my bike but this is a little crazy.


We've all been there. The toaster pops but the bread is barely warm enough to melt the butter. We pause for a second and then plunge the bread back in the toaster for round 2. We tell ourselves we'll monitor the progress and catch it before it's overdone. Sometimes we actually stop the toaster before the bread is burnt.

Last night I went to Hellyer Velodrome for my first track race. It was the last race of the season but I didn't want to wait for next spring to check out a 'real race'. I carpooled down with BikerBeth and we arrived with enough time to get a decent warm up. As this was my first real race at the track I lined up with the C group. Beth had warned me that the speed in the C race wasn't much different than the B's and the group waiting at the rail looked fast.
Off we went and I wasn't disappointed it was race on. The format was a 60 lap race with sprint points every 5 laps. The first few sprints were manageable and I think I was in the points each time. Then as we surged for the fourth sprint I was bumped onto the blue line. As I came back on the track I heard the rhythmic ping of an unhealthy rear wheel. My first thought was a broken spoke but after I made my way to the infield I found I had a safety pin in my rear tire.

I was bummed. I hadn't brought any spare anything and was bummed to have driven down for a ten minute race...warm bread. Our host, Larry, recommended finding a spare wheel and jumping in the B race. Luckily Maurice, our local pedal dancer, offered his extra rear wheel(thanks Maurice). After a scramble to change rear cogs I had a working bike race right as the B's were lining up.

After we were on the rail the A group decided they were going to join in. The plan was they would trail the pack for our 60 laps and then continue on for 60 more on their own. I wasn't sure how they would impact the race but told myself I would monitor my progress and swing off if things got too heated.
The biggest difference I noticed was in tactics. It took a few laps but I found some kind of rhythm and was able to hang in and participate in most of the race. I think I was in the points for a couple of the sprints. If I drifted to the back I could sit on the wheels of local pros BJM and RK (which in and of itself was pretty fun), who were waiting for their race, catch my breath for a few pedal turns and then get back in the mix. I'm sure I made more mistakes than I realize but I got caught up in the fun and finished the race making it an 80 lap night with 16 sprints and a few bridge attempts.

After we finished we all enjoyed the food and drink Larry provided while watching the A group mix it up (which mostly consisted of BJM toying with the rest of the field.) When I finally crawled in bed with a blood sugar headache and tired legs I realized I'd let the toast burn again!

Can't wait 'til next season!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Birthday Wrap..

We had a great time in Colorado and (believe it or not) there weren't any bikes involved. Ali's mom found this great B&B that had spectacular views of the Devil's Thumb area. The food was yummy, the house was peaceful and the beds were comfy. What more could you ask for?

The boys got in a little fishing and actually landed a few. Our guide Jeff was fantastic. I don't fish as much as I used to but I've done a enough float trips to know a great guide when one's paddling. Jeff was awesome.

While the boys were fishing the girls did a little riding...horseback riding that is. Sounds like the ranch hands needed a few lessons in customer service BUT they all enjoyed the scenery.

After the fishing and riding there was a little dual birthday celebration. The small gathering of friends and family was a great way to finish off a phenomenal day.

The next day we met my bro and sis-in-law for a little hike around Monarch Lake. Rumor has it there are Moose in them thar willows. They must have been napping when walked by but the lake was beautiful.

This was my first trip to Winter Park. It reminded me a little of Truckee but the town was much smaller. I would love to go back in the winter and check out the skating at Devil's Thumb. It looked like great terrain.

While we didn't bike there was a lot of bike talk. Turns out one of our hosts, John, worked in professional cycling for many years. One evening our conversation turned to Italy and we mentioned our great trip earlier this summer. Turns out John used to coach our Italy host Pat. Small world!

Now we're back home and happily staying put for the rest of the year.

Did someone say there's still one more points race at Hellyer?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Wildlife hunting

We spent our day in search of a moose.

But, after roaming the Rockies to no avail, we finally found one right in our living room!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Dad and Little M

We are in Winter Park, Colorado with loads of family to celebrate my dad's 65th birthday and little M's 10th birthday. Crazy, endless, mountain fun. My dad can't get enough of his "Old as Mud" hat he's proudly wearing here. And the box of flies were hand-tied by Mike, which I have to say, is the coolest present ever (and I'm not biased at all).

Monday, September 17, 2007

OTB Day 7

Le ouch.

Tonight was a little bit of this.

And a whole lot of that.

But luckily none of this.

And not yet any of that.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Relishing in being OTB

I learned today that Coach Lisa has hired an East Bay spy to make sure that I'm off the bike, all honest-to-goodness-like. It's great. She's a really fun spy to hang out with and being around her might make me 1/10 of the sprinter that she is. Her man Roman's track bike ended up at our house so she came over with him tonight to retrieve it. Honestly, I think it was all part of the spying ploy to see if the jeans I had on while out to coffee in the AM had stayed on me til the PM. Something about keeping my pants on. And she sounded so genuine when she asked me all sorts of questions about where I had hiked today. That was good, Martina, very sly about the spying.

But ANYhoo, YES, I am OTB (that's off the bike, to you yahoos). Mike headed off to the track on Saturday while I headed off to yoga class. I'm lovin it!

The week has provided all sort of OTB opportunities:

* Pilates class begins tomorrow night to get my abs all ripped in case we decide to elope in Hawaii.

* I am RUNNING. Unlike this budding triathlete, I'm not gonna strap the aerobars back on. But, I love the trails at dawn and look forward to a few more weeks of it. But, man oh man, do my ankles and shins get sore.

*And my friend Sarah and I got all girlie on Friday afternoon while trying on wedding dresses which was loads of fun.

* The Spanish Sherry and cheese tasting class on Thursday night was quite educational, but Mike and I decided that we prefer red wine to sherry. I mean, we knew that already, but now that we've been educated, we're sure of it. But yes those are 3 wine classes surrounding my plate of cheese, quince, and figs. A good night, eh?

I could get used to this!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last Piece

Thingie came.

Bike's done.

I'm goin.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Second Piece of the Puzzle

Wheels are done. Just need the little crank thingie and we'll be good to go.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Star Studded...Kitchen?

Got a call from the other day. They were looking for a 'Green' house to use in a video spot and wondered if we'd let them use ours. Turns out our major remodel from a couple of years ago has put us on the list of Commie Greeno Sympathizers. I try to do my part for the Greenos so I said sure.

The crew shows up right on time, I give them the low down on the 'green' parts of our kitchen and then get out of the way. The scene is a realtor walking a client (realtor's girlfriend) through a 'Green Home' discussing the benefits of green building.

I thought they would be interested in the tankless water heater, denim insulation or low-e windows. Who knew low flow toilets and Energy Star appliances were the real draw. (Although they did spend a lot of time in the front yard talking about the Solar Panels.)
We'll let you know if we make it to broad band.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Oh Mr. Postman...

Look what came in the mail today.


Ya Baby!


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Honeymoon ideas...

We're dreaming of where to go next summer.

What's the best cycling trip you've ever taken?


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What if...

You had a 7th grade student who on the 4th day of school zipped his head inside his backpack and refused to take it out for your entire 98 minute period?

Teaching is all about thinking on your feet. So what would YOU do?

Monday, September 03, 2007


What a day. Mike and I spent 12 hours working and racing today. We are pooped, but happy.

Our time was NOTHING compared to the Mints who actually organized today's race. All Mike and I did was volunteer.

It was taste of why I love our team so much:

* The tireless hours which so many Mints put into making the Giro such a special race.

* The hottest podium girls on this side of the Equator.

* Julie winning the 4s on a flier with one to go with Melissa grabbing 2nd by winning the field sprint.

*Laurie with her larger-than-life sprint upon hearing that the next prime was a cross frame. (After my prime winnings today I realized that I need to learn from Laurie how to listen for the RIGHT primes to sprint for).

*Jane, seeing a hole, turning to Jen with 1/2 lap to go, exclaiming that someone better take advantage of it, jumping on the backside to outsprint an extremely stacked field to take the win in the W P-1-2-3 race.

I fumbled the lead out (big time) in the 3s race so we ended up with a lot of primes, but no real results. I'm frustrated, but I'm still learning. I was worried about getting on the front too soon that by the time I made the move for the front, Starla had already jumped at the top of the hill and I spent the whole back side of the last lap with Laurie on my wheel, in the wind, fighting desperately to get around her and a few others. I made it to their wheels, but that was in the last corner. When they stood to sprint, I was done. My hesitation on the hill did me in.

I started the 1-2-3 race later on, only to find that I didn't have the legs to hang in for very long. Bella Ryan was behind me at one point when I was getting gapped and luckily saw the hole. I knew she was back there and would have felt terribly if I was the reason that she got dropped. When she came around me I jumped on her wheel and was able to stay in a bit longer, but then the writing was on the wall. As Pat always said in Italy this summer, I was "past my sell-by date."

I would happily write more about today if my brain weren't on emergency shut down mode at the moment. the easy Monday crossword puzzle...sleep. I think I need to give into the voices in my head.