Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ten Goals for 2009

1. Winter Fun
I am planning to take a little time off the bike to work on some other projects. I need to make some improvements around the home, but I also want to focus on my series of films called Vicious Valentines.

2. Running
I decided to cross train for a few months and chill out in the off-season. Last year I rode a lot in winter, and it isn't that fun so I thought I would mix it up. Or at least, instead of jumping on the trainer just go for a run.

I would love to do the Ronker's Trail Running Series, the Heart Mini marathon and perhaps be part of a 4 person team for the Flying Pig.

3. Grease Monkey
I would like to better understand bicycle mechanics and how to maintain and repair my bikes better.

4. More Group Rides
I really enjoyed the few I had with Joe, Rachel, Rebecca, Tony, Matt, Julie and members of the BioWheels team.

5. Road Racing
I might jump into the Cat 5's in a few races and get a feel for some sloppy road racing.

6. Tour of Scioto River Valley
This ride will happen May 9-10 with 100 miles of rolling hills each day. It is from Columbus to Portsmouth.

For the second year I will probably NOT do this ride. Something always comes up on the same day! Instead I will probably support THE-MTB-CX-GIRL on her quest to do a solo 12-hour mountain bike race.

But, I may train for this to get some early season form. In the future I would love to do this with a friend. It would also be cool to do the Ride Across Iowa with my friend Matt. Maybe 2010!

7. Young's Dairy Bike Tour
This is a charity July 25-26 that is about 83 miles per day. I could make it a four day cyclocation and ride up there and back.

8. CORA Harbin Park Time Trial Series
I really want to gain off-road skills in low pressure environment.

9. Mountain Bike Races
If I feel my skills are sufficient I wouldn't mind doing a few races off-road. Also, I want to support Bridget in her Endurance races and maybe we can turn a few of these weekends into some fun camping trips.

10. OVCX and CapCity Cross Series
September - December, aiming for more top-10 finishes in Men's C/ Category 4 Races. I may race in the B's in the Capcity to make life easier on Bridget and I — don't need to be at races so early and I get to race longer. I missed a lot of races this year and I hope I get to do almost every race next year.

Every gram counts

Inspired by a documentary about the cyclist from Texas who need not be named...I have been thinking about some goodies to lighten up the superfly. Sure, at 23 lbs. she is mighty light but I believe with some research and careful selection of weight loss vs. coin I think I can get her down below 22 lbs.

In addition to the weight of the bike I'll be watching what I eat. Not starving myself but thinking carefully about what I SHOULD be eating. Drinking season, both in regards to fatty Starbucks beverages and adult beverages is now over.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

Get out the Calculator!


As a typical boy (aside from the excessive body hair and the ability to speak in tongues) raised in the United States I was very into sports like Baseball, Basketball and Football. And since many of the sports in the US are tedious and difficult to watch I became fascinated with statistics.

So it is mildly interesting to look back and see what you have done — as well as to think about what I wish to accomplish in the new year.

2007
Cycling: 1139mi (began cycling in July), 189.27mi/mo avg, 262mi/mo max, longest ride 52.5mi (avg 16.36 mph)
Running: 432mi, 36mi/mo avg, longest run 8.3mi.

2008
Cycling: 3563mi 296mi/mo avg, 478mi/mo max, longest ride 71.5mi. (avg 17.09 mph)
Running: 73.67mi, 6.1mi/mo avg,longest run 6.4mi.

These numbers are somewhat impressive compared to the once overweight fatass that sat on the couch all the time, but extremely unimpressive compared to all my new acquaintances who bury my ass on every ride. This weird line of thought was inspired by my Nike+ log-in screen that displayed my rather unimpressive year as a runner.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Madone Flavor of the Day


Here is my most recent creation.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Current Training Regiment


This is how I'm getting on with my training...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas


Dear Santa,

Please bring me this.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Inspiration for 2009


An old webisode of the Two Johns' Podcast referenced this film from France, it is called Le Vélo de Ghislain Lambert. John G mentioned he had watched it while in France. The cinematography is stunning and I really love this era of cycling. I just purchased a used copy off Amazon, so Merry early Christmas to me!

UPDATE: My copy has arrived! There is only one problem...Amazon's description of the movie said there were English subtitles and unfortunately there are none! So I am using every ounce of my high school French to keep up, which is difficult because the visuals are so stunning and there are many thick accents, some belonging to cyclists that are Italian, etc.

I do love the film. It is a bittersweet story that is far from a Hollywood tale. While filled with many comedic moments it uses your laughter to draw you into a character that is very real and not always a good guy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What Bridget has been up to


Here is what I have been up too:

1) Looking for jobs in Graphic Design that do not exist right now. Trying to decide between going back to school or sticking it out. Starting a freelance gig on monday.

2) Running. A lot. Trail running is fun. I love to be able to just throw on some clothes and go. Still in love with my Montrail /Continental Divide™ GTX/ running shoes. Wish I could afford a new pair now as I have put a lot of miles on my current pair. No other shoe I have ever tried has kept my feet completely dry in the slush and snow. Man, I wish they made a cyclocross shoe.

3) Perfecting the chocolate chip cookie.

4) Reading the Omnivore's Dilemma. Certainly a good read for those interested in nutrition, farming, slow food, etc.

5) Dreaming of a Seven Cycles cyclocross frame. Dreaming of dry mountain bike trails and those warm summer days.

What Bridget has been up to


Here is what I have been up too:

1) Looking for jobs in Graphic Design that do not exist right now. Trying to decide between going back to school or sticking it out. Starting a freelance gig on monday.

2) Running. A lot. Trail running is fun. I love to be able to just throw on some clothes and go. Still in love with my Montrail /Continental Divide™ GTX/ running shoes. Wish I could afford a new pair now as I have put a lot of miles on my current pair. No other shoe I have ever tried has kept my feet completely dry in the slush and snow. Man, I wish they made a cyclocross shoe.

3) Perfecting the chocolate chip cookie.

4) Reading the Omnivore's Dilemma. Certainly a good read for those interested in nutrition, farming, slow food, etc.

5) Dreaming of a Seven Cycles cyclocross frame. Dreaming of dry mountain bike trails and those warm summer days.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coach + Power Meter = Faster

Here is a great excerpt from a VeloNews article (I couldn't agree more!):

Having a coach helps: This is another no-brainer, but it was all new to me. The obvious benefit is the guidance of someone smarter than you — and I expected that. But the unexpected part was the motivation that came from the relationship. Even if your mom, dad, wife, kids, friends and dog don’t give a bleep about how you did in the Wednesday night office park crit, your coach will. This may sound corny, but it really meant something to me. We all need fans.

Power meters also really help: I know they’re a serious investment, especially when you’d rather get a new pair of Zipps — or just spend your money on something besides bike shit. But denying their usefulness is like longing for the days when phones had cords. Used properly, power meters can help maximize training time, provide data that a coach can use to design future workouts, and give you a very specific indication of what you’re doing on the bike. Ten years from now, they’ll be as common as water bottle cages.

Both investments have been great for me. If anyone needs a great coach shoot me an email (male athletes only! :0))

Coach + Power Meter = Faster

Here is a great excerpt from a VeloNews article (I couldn't agree more!):

Having a coach helps: This is another no-brainer, but it was all new to me. The obvious benefit is the guidance of someone smarter than you — and I expected that. But the unexpected part was the motivation that came from the relationship. Even if your mom, dad, wife, kids, friends and dog don’t give a bleep about how you did in the Wednesday night office park crit, your coach will. This may sound corny, but it really meant something to me. We all need fans.

Power meters also really help: I know they’re a serious investment, especially when you’d rather get a new pair of Zipps — or just spend your money on something besides bike shit. But denying their usefulness is like longing for the days when phones had cords. Used properly, power meters can help maximize training time, provide data that a coach can use to design future workouts, and give you a very specific indication of what you’re doing on the bike. Ten years from now, they’ll be as common as water bottle cages.

Both investments have been great for me. If anyone needs a great coach shoot me an email (male athletes only! :0))

Monday, December 8, 2008

CX Wrap-up

My season came to a close at the final Cap City race. When the weather gets cold I loose my motivation to race. I still like riding in the cold I just can't seem to muster up the motivation to push myself really hard. So, my season ended in my worst finish of the season 6/10. I made a pretty big mistake by not warming up enough and although I got the early "holeshot" my legs quickly filled with junk and I was spun off the back. Ouch. The rest of the race I rode like a big baby. My season overall went pretty good, I would have liked to have had a win but I'll take the upgrade as it will set me up to get even faster and stronger next year.

Big time kudos to Andy J for really putting together an awesome series. Putting on races is a somewhat thankless job and involves a lot of labor so thanks again Andy.

So, fast forward to 2009 and I am setting up my evil, secret, training plan. My plan for next year though is to travel a little more and hit some more 12 Hour / Marathon races. I seem to enjoy those races the most. In the meantime, my new powertap computer came back, (thanks Saris) and I'll be running and working the very neglected core muscles.

CX Wrap-up

My season came to a close at the final Cap City race. When the weather gets cold I loose my motivation to race. I still like riding in the cold I just can't seem to muster up the motivation to push myself really hard. So, my season ended in my worst finish of the season 6/10. I made a pretty big mistake by not warming up enough and although I got the early "holeshot" my legs quickly filled with junk and I was spun off the back. Ouch. The rest of the race I rode like a big baby. My season overall went pretty good, I would have liked to have had a win but I'll take the upgrade as it will set me up to get even faster and stronger next year.

Big time kudos to Andy J for really putting together an awesome series. Putting on races is a somewhat thankless job and involves a lot of labor so thanks again Andy.

So, fast forward to 2009 and I am setting up my evil, secret, training plan. My plan for next year though is to travel a little more and hit some more 12 Hour / Marathon races. I seem to enjoy those races the most. In the meantime, my new powertap computer came back, (thanks Saris) and I'll be running and working the very neglected core muscles.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Recuperación a Caribe


Bridget and I ended our Cyclocross season early to join family for a little recovery time in Cozumel, Mexico. The weather was really beautiful, averaging between 70 to 80 fahrenheit with the perfect amount of humidity.

It is a quirky little tourist island across from Cancun. I really wanted to rent a bike and ride around the island, which would make a really fun day trip and you could stop at some archaeological sites, fresh coconut stands and restaurants. It would also be fun to check out the back streets of downtown San Miguel. But we relaxed instead. Perhaps next time!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cyclocross Lessons learned by the rookie

I thought I would sum up what I have gleaned from my first season of racing:

1st Race: Alum Creek, placed 9 out of 28 — don't underestimate yourself, practice helped, training pays and adrenaline is gooooooooooooood.

2nd Race: Harbin Park, placed 27 out of 46 — pre-ride the course and scout areas where you can accel, be cautious and ride smart in areas where you are less skilled. Use this and sensibly pass other riders.

3rd through 5th Races: Lobdell Frisbee Park, DNF, 18 out of 24, DNF — Double check your gear and pit gear is a must, the extra wheel set saved my day. Don't overdo racing! The adrenaline keeps the pain at bay, but you'll hurt the next day. Make sure you are adequately fueled. Also, I did well unintentionally marking and following the eventual winner of the C race (before I double flatted).

6th Race: Gun Club Cross, 29 out of 45 — Stay off the ground! The first crash ruins the day... Learn where my 80% feels like and race at that intensity. Over-exerted myself at times and it caused more slipups.

7th Race: Promotion Cross in Lexington, 16 out of 29 — need to start better, rode conservatively at my 80% and limited my sloppy handling. Practice paid off, stayed calm, need to work on more speed and harder starts.

8th Race: Lane Rd Ohio CX Championships: 12 out of 22— had a great start, warmed up with more intensity (a couple intervals after a pre-ride), I made an attack in the middle of the race but lost the spots due to loss of breath. Need to lock-in a preferred tire pressure for clinchers next year, ran it low again (around 40 psi) and it kept feeling like I might slide out on the turns.

I really had a great time and I only wish I could have done more races!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Live the Dream: Cumbant Training 2008


As the cold, wet winds blow into the Ohio Valley I can't help but reminisce about the cumbant training of my youth. Last year I took utmost caution to add the body weight, develop the still, steady pulse and slow-twitch fibers necessary for the sport of cumbant cycling.

As many of you are probably unaware, Cumbant Cycling is a sport of the future that combines long-chain bravura and short-chain machinery. While cruising at a slow speed gently slide your chassis back behind the saddle, inhale and fill your gut with bravery, pull your legs back and you will fly! It is so sweet and liberating! Stay calm, cool, collecting and you will enjoy twenty to thirty feet of pure ecstacy.


You're welcome. Now live the dream!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fit without a Bike


Today is my two year anniversary of using a fitness routine to lose weight and improve quality of life. Bridget was wonderful and bought me a Nike+ device for my birthday in 2006 and that was one of the best presents someone could have given me.

I was immediately excited to see my numbers and track miles and calories easily. I could even set goals and Nike+ would track my progress. I felt enabled to alter my life and after only a few months of running I was already training for a 15K race. Shortly after that I discovered cycling and as you can see from the chart above my running has pretty much tapered off.

I have run less than 80 miles this year after logging almost 450 in my first year alone. I am intending to get back into running in my third year — there were some pretty tedious rides last winter where the cold, dark, windy and dreery Ohio Valley winters made it really miserable to ride some days. So I plan to run more often and bike when I want to so I won't burn out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pure Bike Porn


She is a beauty. 20 lbs. of dualie goodness. I was looking forward to riding it but pounding rain & wind necessitated the cancelation of the demo day at England Idlewild Park. I guess I'll have to wait until spring to ride this beauty.

I'm looking forward to 2009 and hoping to do a few more endurance races. That is always my plan but it seems to get crushed by the reality that endurance racing can be really expensive and ultra time consuming. Right now I am helping a certain race director with the NUE sponsorship/marketing proposal so I suppose that is why I have been bitten by the bug. My goal this year is to kick off the season with the Cohutta 100K.

My final CX race will be this weekend. I am a fair weather CX racer and this last few cold weather races are killing me. I'm sorta glad this is the last one.

Pure Bike Porn


She is a beauty. 20 lbs. of dualie goodness. I was looking forward to riding it but pounding rain & wind necessitated the cancelation of the demo day at England Idlewild Park. I guess I'll have to wait until spring to ride this beauty.

I'm looking forward to 2009 and hoping to do a few more endurance races. That is always my plan but it seems to get crushed by the reality that endurance racing can be really expensive and ultra time consuming. Right now I am helping a certain race director with the NUE sponsorship/marketing proposal so I suppose that is why I have been bitten by the bug. My goal this year is to kick off the season with the Cohutta 100K.

My final CX race will be this weekend. I am a fair weather CX racer and this last few cold weather races are killing me. I'm sorta glad this is the last one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let's Get Physical

I've been reading the Joe Friel book for Road Cyclists, which helped, but this information seems more tailored for the Cross rider. Good thing I found it a week before my last race:

Monday: The Cross Sabbath
- 1hr Recovery ride or rest with lots of post-ride stretching, especially hamstrings, groin and lower back.
Tuesday
- AM Run 20-30 minutes.
- PM 1.5 hr road ride w/ short hard intervals.
Wednesday: Gettin Rad with a Hard Cross Workout
- Barriers and running transition practice with short technical race intervals.
- Short race endurance practice 15-40 minutes.
Thursday
- AM Run 20-30 minutes steady medium
- PM 2.5 hrs on road easy
Friday: Rest Day
- 1 hr spin very easy
- Stretch and hydrate
Saturday
- 1.5 hr cross or road ride with 2 x 5 minute medium intervals and 2-3 race intervals of 2-5 minutes each with 5 minute recoveries, open up them legs!
Sunday
- Race (including minimum 30 minute warm-up and stretching)

Of course this will vary between the OVCX and the CapCity series.

Warming up before the Race
- PreRide Course, scout difficult sections
- Watch previous race if you can
- Ride Trainer for 20 minutes: start slow and begin amping up,
almost reach maximum intensity, slow it down for two minutes, then lactic intensity for 2 minutes
- Stay warm, maybe pre-stretch

Running Program
Pre Season
10-50-minute runs beginning with walking the downhills and flat portions* and working toward steady threshold intervals with recoveries 3x/week.
Season
20-30-minute runs starting with 3 x 3-minute intervals at race pace 2x/week.
Peak
20-30 minute runs with short explosive uphill running bursts of 5 - 30 seconds 1x/week.

Link to the online article

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold, Slick and without Bourbon


Indian Summer has been replaced by the bare trees, grey skies, misting rain and wind of the Ohio Valley winters that usually last four months. But for racing enthusiasts it's just beginning to feel like cyclocross weather — where a little imagination transports you halfway across the globe to Belgium and Northern France.

The Promotion Cross at Lexington's Veterans Park tested some racers resolve but I enjoyed the challenge. After a few rough races I wanted to see if I could apply some things I have learned and observed. One of these things is handling, it seems that although my skills have really progress I still make a lot of silly mistakes that put me on the ground. I think one thing I do is take corners too aggressively, leaning in too far causing my rear wheel to slide out. Another thing I wanted to work on is referred to as "sensation" or the amount of effort you feel you are applying. Go too high and your woozy head causes you err, go too easy and you basically aren't racing. Lastly my starts are always bullocks, maybe my legs aren't strong enough for quick bursts of intensity, maybe I am too cautious, maybe I do not warm up correctly.

So again I bullocks the start — I think I was pretty much the last rider at the top of the asphalt hill before going into the course. After inadvertently following a wheel during the Lobdell race I felt I should mark Geoff from the Seven Hills team and see how he rides the course. Unfortunately he had an injury that began to bother him after the first set of barriers.

After about a lap I settled into a spot where I was part of a little race for the 15-17 spots inside the big race. I was second of the three riders and for awhile we were close together. Then on some single track the first rider slid on some mud and hit a chain link fence. Well, I watched him do it and took the same line and did the same. Unfortunately my front wheel slid under the fence and was caught for a moment. The third rider passed me, but I was able to regain the spot after a half lap or so. That first rider ended putting a gap onto us.

Well, with a couple laps to go the third rider sprinted up a run up and passed me. I was shouldering the bike while he ran it on the ground. I had a chance to pass again, and I should have. I gave him the spot and he ended up having something in the bank for the last lap and put about a 15 second gap on me. So in a race of three I ended up third.

I thought it was an interesting course — I really liked all the mud. Maybe a bit too much pavement but that was an interesting companion to all the single track. Three months ago I would have been so scared I would have crashed several times a lap. I love that I have learned so much due to Cyclocross.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CX Racing



It has been a little while since I updated the old blog. I have been busy searching for a new job and trying to train hard until early December when we are taking a little vacation. With my future so uncertain it is hard to focus on racing. I thought a C2 upgrade would give me some confidence but instead it has left me a bit confused. Should I pursue the cycling thing with vigor? Some days I think I could ride forever, that I'd be content riding bikes and working part-time jobs to make ends meet. Should I pursue my design career for a while and put cycling on the back burner? Uggh, it is driving me nuts.
Racing cyclocross has been fun this year. I am more fit now than I have ever been. I having been racing around at like 80-90% but I can't seem to make the mental leap to dig deep. Thus, I haven't won a single race. I have finished top 3 in all of my races except for one. Now is the time to gun it & go for it. I have two more chances in the OVCX to score a win.

CX Racing



It has been a little while since I updated the old blog. I have been busy searching for a new job and trying to train hard until early December when we are taking a little vacation. With my future so uncertain it is hard to focus on racing. I thought a C2 upgrade would give me some confidence but instead it has left me a bit confused. Should I pursue the cycling thing with vigor? Some days I think I could ride forever, that I'd be content riding bikes and working part-time jobs to make ends meet. Should I pursue my design career for a while and put cycling on the back burner? Uggh, it is driving me nuts.
Racing cyclocross has been fun this year. I am more fit now than I have ever been. I having been racing around at like 80-90% but I can't seem to make the mental leap to dig deep. Thus, I haven't won a single race. I have finished top 3 in all of my races except for one. Now is the time to gun it & go for it. I have two more chances in the OVCX to score a win.

Monday, November 10, 2008

CX Gear for Next Year

It may be interesting to go down to a single chainring up front — TJ and Tony from Biowheels are running a single with a device that won't allow the chain to drop off. This is a great idea if I plan to use this bike exclusively for cyclocross and not on the road.

So the list for Santa/Mommy & Daddy for Bday:
1. 42.5 for the Crank
2. Double chain guard for front chain ring
3. Carbon Fiber fork from Tony
4. New set of wheels?
5. Tubular tires

I also would not mind removing the handlebar brakes and only have the brakes in the shifters. This will take some weight off my bike as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Soul Ride with Lil Sis

From Road Rash Billiter

I didn't get to make it to the race today. Unfortunately my Grandmother is very ill and I spent the day with my family. A bike related highlight did happen later in the day as my sister and I took some vintage Three-Speeds out for a spin. My Father has an old "Robin Hood" bike and my Sister has an AMC.

So we went off for a ride that is typically my recovery route around my neighborhood. It was kind of chilly so I suggested we start climbing some hills to get the blood flowing. I said hey, let's all act like 1930s Tour de France. So we would sprint for hill top finishes and attack each other.

We varied from my typical route when we got into Mariemont. We ended up riding down where there are some public gardens. We rode around the dirt access road and it was somewhere between Cyclocross, Paris-Roubaix and mountain biking. It was just really fun to be going so crazy on those old bikes!

So Bridgie got to go to John Bryan today and she got third. I wish I could have been there hootin' at her.
It was nice to hang out with Lil Sis and be with my family in our difficult time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cat 2!


Well, it is official, I'm a category 2 cyclocross racer. Yeah, that means I'm sorta good, sorta an elite racer. It means I won't have to worry about signing up next year when I do some bigger races. I'll be racing with a class made up of mostly pros.

Pretty crazy that my cyclocross season has been really great while my MTB season left a lot to be desired. Now, if I could only win a CX race...not many more chances.

Cat 2!


Well, it is official, I'm a category 2 cyclocross racer. Yeah, that means I'm sorta good, sorta an elite racer. It means I won't have to worry about signing up next year when I do some bigger races. I'll be racing with a class made up of mostly pros.

Pretty crazy that my cyclocross season has been really great while my MTB season left a lot to be desired. Now, if I could only win a CX race...not many more chances.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thank God for Athletic Supporters


We had the Picnic in the Mud and I really want to thank my friends and family for coming out. I repaid them for their attendance by crashing over the barriers in front of them!

I did not have a good start. I didn't hear my name to get called up for a spot and wound up in the back row of over 40 riders. Had a great time commenting on everyone's butts. The first lap is always so bizaare, the riders are so bunched together we are practically like cattle and swerve or jam into the occasional rider falling off their bike.

After a lap or two I saw Tony ahead of me and I thought I would try to catch up. Maybe he was having a day, but he took off after I saw him. It turns out later he went down and was bunched up in other riders. I started passing a lot of riders in the straights before the sand pits. Unfortunately in the off-camber section after the sand my tire slid out and I fell over! And on top of it my chain fell off... I felt defeated as I watched ten riders pass me.

I felt my day was done. And on the turns my tire kept sliding out, I think it caused another wreck somewhere else. So I pitted and changed wheels, the next wheel having a much higher tire pressure. Then I was just trying to work on technique and have some fun. Unfortunately about this time is when I biffed it going over the barriers. I heard Chrissy yell "oh my god!"!!!! It was so funny. Although the chain rings ended up cutting into my leg and would leave scars for weeks!


It was so great to chill and eat a huge meal after a tough race where I burned a ton of calories. It was such a fun change of pace to have everyone show up and holler at you, and to do something different with my friends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out the VeloVote!


I rode my Jamis to the polls this morning. It was a good idea — the parking lot was full and the line was an hour long! It's really inspiring and exciting to see all these people energized and getting out to vote. I have voted every chance I could get since I was eighteen and my wait has only been five to ten minutes at the most. When I left there were two other bikes parked so I wasn't the only oddball.

I was inspired to create the icon above after seeing John G sporting a tee shirt with it at the race on Sunday. Sweet mixing of symbols.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My new Madone?


Trek has launched the new Project One site. It is an absolute blast to get on the site and to configure your dream ride.

Here is what I came up with.

My new Madone?


Trek has launched the new Project One site. It is an absolute blast to get on the site and to configure your dream ride.

Here is what I came up with.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Black and Blue

I've had a couple slip-ups on the bike lately and I am a bit sore. I slipped trying to remount my bike last night and the cantilever brake tore into my quad and bruised it. Tonight I slipped in a turn and bruised my knee.

So I was thinking to myself that it is ironic that my kit and bike is black and blue and I am all bruised. Then I started thinking... I always thought the 'Baumer poster from the Royal Tenenbaums was AWESOME! So I decided to make an over the top parody.

My Hero:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mr GoodBody


Nutritionist Monique Ryan shares some meal plans and thoughts about
cyclocross nutrition.
http://www.velonews.com/print.php?article=83912

Cyclocross season has begun and your race calendar is set. Your diet may require a few adjustments for the shorter, but often very high intensity rides. Fueling and hydration strategies may also need adjustment for cooler weather training, and a well-practiced nutrition plan for race day is the strong finishing touch to your race preparation. For review on nutritional adjustments for cyclocross, refer to the previous FeedZone posting.

To help you implement some of the guidelines provided, we have developed a few menus for training, on-bike fueling, carbo-loading, and race day nutrition. These menus are outlined for 140-pound female and 165-pound male cyclocross racers.

165-lb. male cyclocross racer

Meal Plan for 90 minutes of high-intensity training
Late afternoon training

Daily: 3,300 calories: 520 g carbohydrate, 130 g protein, 77 g fat

Breakfast
Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup
Wheat germ, 3 Tbsp.
Orange juice, 8 ounces
Raisins, 2 Tbsp.
Banana, 1 small
Yogurt, plain, 8 ounces

Snack
Apple, 1 medium
Almonds, 24

Lunch
Turkey, 4 ounces
Low fat cheese, 1 ounce
Whole grain bread, 2 slices
Pasta salad, 1 cup
Vegetable salad, 1 cup

Pre-ride snack
Yogurt, 8 ounces
Granola, ½ cup (one-half)
Peach, 1 medium

Immediately before ride
Gel, 1 packet

During ride
Sports drink: 32 ounces per hour
3 Carbohydrate blocks at 45 minutes

Recovery snack
Energy bar, 1medium sized
Sports drink, 20 ounces

Dinner
Salmon, 6 ounces
Wild rice, 1.5 cups
Steamed asparagus, 1 cup
Olive oil, 1 tbsp.
Berries, 1 cup

A 140-lb cyclocross racer could reduce this menu to 2,700 calories by reducing the breakfast juice from 8 ounces to 4 ounces eliminating the pasta salad at lunch reducing the granola at the afternoon snack from one-half to one-
fourth of a cup. Reducing the salmon dinner portion from 6 ounces to 4 ounces. Reducing the wild rice portion from 1.5 cups to two-thirds of a cup. Consuming 24 ounces of a sports drink per hour.

This menus is intended as a general outline. Calorie, carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirements are individual to each cyclocross racer based on their current body weight and that day's training.

Meal Plan for carbo-loading the day before race day
Light day training or rest day
3,000 calories: 500 g carbohydrate,

Breakfast
Cereal, 1.5 cups
Milk, 8 ounces
Banana, 1 large
Juice, 12 ounces

Snack
Yogurt, 8 ounces
Raisins, 2 Tbsp.
Mueslix, ½ cup

Lunch
Burrito:
Wrap, 1 large
Chicken, 3 ounces
Rice, cooked, 2/3 cup (two-thirds)
Salsa, ½ cup
Avocado, 4 slices

Snack
Energy bar, 1 medium
Peach, 1 medium

Dinner
Rice, cooked, 2 cups
Shrimp, 6 ounces
Cooked vegetables, 1 cup
Olive oil, 3 tsp.

Dessert
Sorbet, 1 cup
Berries, 1 cup

For racers aiming for 600 g of carbohydrate, add in a high carbohydrate sports supplement and another energy bar as needed. Racers aiming for 450 g of carbohydrate can eliminate the afternoon snack.

Pre-race meal
Three hours before your start

Cereal, 1.5 ounces
Milk, dairy or soy, 8 ounces
Juice, 8 ounces
Toast, 2 slices
Jam, 2 Tbsp.

This meal provides 170 g of carbohydrate, ample to boost liver glycogen stores and maintain blood glucose levels during your warm-up. It is also advised to hydrate with a sports drink in the hours before the race. You can also consume a sports drink during your warm-up. Because of the high intensity of cyclocross racing make sure that you stop drinking in the 45 to 60 minutes before the start, or at whatever time is appropriate for your to empty your stomach and bladder. A lot of racers like to pop a carbohydrate source like a gel or blocks fifteen minutes before the start to boost blood glucose levels. Since the races are short and intense, it is not likely that there will be adequate time to drink a sports drink. You can keep a block or gel on hand to boost blood glucose levels as needed during the race. Practice this carbohydrate replacement during training.

Fluid and carbohydrate replacement during training

Fluid requirements can change during cooler weather training, though insulating clothing and tough rides can still result in significant sweat losses. While you might feel the bonk more swiftly when training in colder weather due to higher energy needs and efforts to stay warm, hydration can still slow your pace.

This is a good time in the season to refine your hydration strategies. Before and after training check your weight in the buff. Keep track of how much fluid you consume during training. Assuming that you don't stop for a bladder break during the ride, add up your fluid losses and intake. Each pound of weight lost during training equals 16 ounces of fluid lost from sweating and not replaced during training. For accuracy, it is best that

For example, you may go out for a one hour ride and consume 24 ounces of fluid. After training for one hour, you determine that you have lost one-half a pound. This half-pound weight loss equals 8 ounces of fluid. When added to the 24 ounces of fluid consumed during training, this equate to 32 ounces of sweat loss per hour.


Rocking the Protein

150 lb. x 0.45 grams protein = 68 grams of protein 150 lb. x 0.54
grams protein = 81 grams of protein This means you should get 68-81
grams of protein per day.

So, what does this mean in terms of real food? Because little protein comes from vegetables, you'll need to be aware of other foods from which you can obtain the protein you need. By eating regularly from the foods on the list below, you'll get more than enough. Remember, too, that combining several foods in one recipe--as we've done in the Veggie Lasagna on the right--makes it easier. This recipe alone provides a hearty 21 grams of protein per serving!

8 oz. milk/yogurt = 8 grams of protein
1 cup tempeh = 31 grams
1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw vegetables = 2 grams
1 cup cooked beans = 16 grams
1/2 cup tofu = 8 grams
1 large egg = 7 grams
2 Tbs. peanut butter = 8 grams
1 cup low-fat ricotta/cottage cheese = 28 grams
1 oz. nuts = 6 grams
1 cup regular trail mix = 21 grams

The Meat—Calories—Fat(g)—Carbs(g)—Protein(g)
Scallops 74.8—0.6—2—14.3
Hormel Vegetarian Chili w/Beans 83—0.3—15.4—4.8
Lobster 83.3—0.5—1.1—17.4
Cod 89.3—0.7—0—19.4
Meatless Sausage Patty 97.3—6.9—3.7—7
Canned Tuna (w/water) 98.6—0.7—0—21.7
Pot Roast 104.6—3.1—0—18.1
Red Kidney Beans (1/2 cup) 108.8—0.4—20—6.7
Chicken Breast (no skin) 110—1.2—0—23.1
Lamb Chops 112.3—4.2—0—17.4
Black Beans (1/2 cup) 113.5—0.5—20.4—7.6
Black Bean Burger (1 patty) 114.7—0.8—15.2—11.8
Pinto Beans (1/2 cup) 117.1—0.4—21.9—7
Turkey Breast (w/skin) 126—3.5—0—22.2
Salmon 126.7—3.8—0—21.7
Beef Liver 136.9—4.2—2.9—20.7
Hot Dog (1 small, no bun) 141.8—12.8—0.8—5.4
Mussels 146.2—3.8—6.3—20.2
Whitefish 146.2—6.4—0—20.8
Veal 148.8—5.9—0—22.4
Buffalo Wings * (3) 152—9—1.5—16.4
Ham 155—9—2.6—14.9
Canned Tuna (w/oil) 168.3—7—0—24.8
Pork Chops 169.2—7.7—0—23.4
Sirloin Steak 171.7—6.8—0—25.8
Chicken Breast (w/ skin) 172—9.3—0—20.9
Bacon (5 slices) 182.4—15.6—0.2—9.6
Tofu, Firm 182.7—11—5.4—19.9
Breaded Catfish 195—11.3—6.8—15.3
Tenderloin 227.1—17.9—0—15.3
Ground Turkey 235—13.2—0—27.4
Chicken Tenders 253—16—15—12
Bratwurst 256—22—1.8—12
Ground Beef 263.7—22.6—0—14.1
Bologna 266—24.3—0.7—10.2
Fish Sticks 272—12.2—23.8—15.7
Italian Sausage 346—31.3—0.7—14.3

Protein Research
Protein Chart

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cap City #4 Lobdell Frisbee Park


Yesterday we joined the 7 Hills gang for a carpool up to Columbus for the Cap City race. WIth a majority of the crew doing the B and C races we left bright and early at 8am from the mall parking lot. This meant James and I had to get up a 6:30 that morning. Yikes!

James did the C race, flatted twice, then did pretty good in the B race and then sat in for the A race. He was certainly under the influence of "3 race" Dan Ramsey. Needless to say, he is also nuts about cyclocross. I have created a hurdling monster. The 7 hills crew faired well with numerous podium finishes from Susan, Jeni, Mike, etc.

The good news was that I had PLENTY of time to warm-up and to pre-ride the course. The course was at a frisbee golf park so there were was some good elevation change. I tend to have good races when there are some decent run-ups and some tight corners. The start was fine for me, I was riding exactly where I wanted to be, in the top 3. After the first hurdles I settled into second. At the run-up though I could really lay on the gas. I'm not quite sure why but for me the skill of running with the bike is something I can do exceptionally well. Too bad run-ups are often rare in CX races. Anyhow, so the rest of the race involved me and Julie Sroka going back and forth. She would catch me on the shorter rises, I'd catch her everytime on the run-up and in the corners. A late race acceleration by Julie and the second to last lap left me feeling a bit flat but I made up some good time and finished only 2-3 sec. down. Always a bridesmaid.

The course was fun, payouts for us ladies were pretty great, the veggie dog cart was a nice touch, so I'm super psyched for the next few races. Big time thanks to my pal Andy Johnson and crew for putting on another great race.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Three starts and two DNFs

Today was almost my day. In my C race I got off to a slow start but worked my way up through the field at a descent rate. By my second lap I was somewhere around 7th or 8th place but after a run-up in the beginning of my third lap my tire flatted on remount. I then ran my bike about a mile until the pit, where I changed my back wheel and took off again. On the remount out of the pit my front tire began to sound odd but at that point I was in major denial... Coming into the next turn my tire decided it was time for an intervention and I completely wiped out. So I DNFed. The mechanic from the Trek store bent my derailleur back into place and let me know that my back up wheel set was about 30 psi when it should have been at least 40 for clinchers. It turns out that maybe my home pump is inaccurate...

So I decided to race the B race. It was rather uneventful and my results weren't nearly as good because I was a little out of energy at that point. Also, the B races are just that much faster... So I felt thirsty and hungry. Then Dan Ramsey was like "let's ride the A race". So we did it... after the run-up I realised it wasn't a good idea. I felt tapped. I think it was my third lap that my legs really cramped after the run-up and I knew I was done for the day.

But it was really, really fun. C'est la vie...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who wears the Spandex in this house?


Clearly it is Bridget.

Sunday we both raced Biowheel's UCI Cyclocross Race at Harbin Park. All of the luck that I had in my first race was not there from the instant the starter pistol went off (where I was fumbling to shove my water back into my jersey). I registered late and in UCI races this means you are gridded farther back on the starting line. I sat in patiently for a bit too long and attempted to re-tap the Little Fiery Bernard Hinault in my heart. My legs began to churn. I gained places. This was a race for me. I've lost the weight. I've climbed the hills. I love grass. Oh wait, I also hate sand. So my first ride through the sand wasn't so great. But I kept pushing. I begin to corner aggressively. And on an off-camber corner my pedal clips the ground and I fall over. Racers pass. Tony from Biowheels passes from the 35+ race that started behind me. I'm back up. Maybe he can be the white rabbit and I can be a greyhound? I climb. I push through the grass.

I come upon a downhill section through some trees that is followed by a blind sharp right hand turn. It was here I went a bit too fast. I came to the blind turn to find another rider who had wrecked. To avoid him I turned too sharply. I began to slide. I collided with the fallen rider as he was trying to get back up. More riders pass. I quickly get up. My chain is off. More riders pass. The chain is fixed and I am back up. I ride up through single track and begin riding downhill towards a dismount where I will shoulder my bike uphill. But my cleat gets stuck in the pedal and I go down again. I get and begin pushing my bike. I hear CLINK CLINK CLINK. I think I have a broken spoke so I stop and inspect the back wheel. I walk the bike a bit. Inspect it again. Time is passing. I realize that my chain had dropped again but perhaps my spokes are okay. On I race again.

The rest of the race I rode okay. I never made it uphill through the sand — one lap I was only a pedal stroke away. One lap my cleat come out too late before the barriers and my bike hits the barrier. At times I was strong. At times I thought I would puke. There is always another race...

Road Rash Billiter lap times
Prologue: 2:02.4
Lap 1: 11:45.1
Lap 2: 9:37.0
Lap 3: 9:39.7
Lap 4: 9:37.6
Total: 42:42.03
I finished 27th out of 46 riders. I think even if I rode more consistently and did not lose the two minutes in the first lap I still would have only placed 20th or so.

Bjet lap times
Prologue: 2:07.7
Lap 1: 9:04.1
Lap 2: 9:08.0
Lap 3: 9:01.6
Total: 29:21.58


Two fast Trekkies...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cincinnati UCI CX Festival



This weekend was huge for Cincinnati with 3 UCI Cyclocross events; 2 C2 races and one C1 race. I decided I'd be doing 2/3 with a day of "rest" between the events. I was able to support my two friends doing their voluntary race promotion; Nick Tinsler (Darkhorse Cycling, Cyclostampede) and Mitch Graham (Biowheels, C1 Race). A big thanks goes out to those guys (and their entire teams) for working their butts off to get the races together. It is no small task and I'm sure all those behind it would rather be riding rather than figuring out where to lay the caution tape.

Friday's event set the tone for the weekend and was a lot of fun. I decided to forgo the $60 charge for a UCI license and raced the 3/4's instead. I am licensed as a 3 until I can get my 1/2 upgrade. With a lot of accomplished racers also signed up I was going to get some good competition. I had nearly 10 racers in my class. The start was pretty fast and I was feeling pretty sore from Thursday and I fell back to like 5th before climbing back up to 3rd. My friend Teri and I went back and forth and we finally started to make some time on 4th on the final lap when Teri surged ahead. I came up a bit short at the end of the race on the sprint and finished 3rd. The course was a bit narly. I don't mind that so much but when it is rut after rut after rut it takes a toll on the body.

Saturday my husband James & I spent our time at Harbin helping to get the course set-up. We put up a lot of steaks and caution tape. I think I picked up like 1,000 twigs and stuff off the ground up there.

Sunday was a big field for me. I started with 23 other women in my class. I got a pretty good start; in the top 5. I lost a few spots and then quickly gained them back. I at one point was riding in 2nd and saw 1st place rider Nicole starting to fade a bit. I needed another 15 min that I didn't have in the 30 min. race. I was happy to finish in the top 3 though. I'm consistent, that is for sure.

The Women's / Men's elite races were really fun to watch. The Katie Compton/Georgia Gould duel was exciting to watch. The highlight though was yesterday when it came down to a sprint finish between Powers/Bishop. Bishop, came up short with a broken chain and had to run it in. I think if not for that mechanical he would have won it.

A big thanks goes out to Lane at the Trek Store for helping me get the tubeless set-up ready. It was without a doubt VERY helpful this weekend.

Cincinnati UCI CX Festival



This weekend was huge for Cincinnati with 3 UCI Cyclocross events; 2 C2 races and one C1 race. I decided I'd be doing 2/3 with a day of "rest" between the events. I was able to support my two friends doing their voluntary race promotion; Nick Tinsler (Darkhorse Cycling, Cyclostampede) and Mitch Graham (Biowheels, C1 Race). A big thanks goes out to those guys (and their entire teams) for working their butts off to get the races together. It is no small task and I'm sure all those behind it would rather be riding rather than figuring out where to lay the caution tape.

Friday's event set the tone for the weekend and was a lot of fun. I decided to forgo the $60 charge for a UCI license and raced the 3/4's instead. I am licensed as a 3 until I can get my 1/2 upgrade. With a lot of accomplished racers also signed up I was going to get some good competition. I had nearly 10 racers in my class. The start was pretty fast and I was feeling pretty sore from Thursday and I fell back to like 5th before climbing back up to 3rd. My friend Teri and I went back and forth and we finally started to make some time on 4th on the final lap when Teri surged ahead. I came up a bit short at the end of the race on the sprint and finished 3rd. The course was a bit narly. I don't mind that so much but when it is rut after rut after rut it takes a toll on the body.

Saturday my husband James & I spent our time at Harbin helping to get the course set-up. We put up a lot of steaks and caution tape. I think I picked up like 1,000 twigs and stuff off the ground up there.

Sunday was a big field for me. I started with 23 other women in my class. I got a pretty good start; in the top 5. I lost a few spots and then quickly gained them back. I at one point was riding in 2nd and saw 1st place rider Nicole starting to fade a bit. I needed another 15 min that I didn't have in the 30 min. race. I was happy to finish in the top 3 though. I'm consistent, that is for sure.

The Women's / Men's elite races were really fun to watch. The Katie Compton/Georgia Gould duel was exciting to watch. The highlight though was yesterday when it came down to a sprint finish between Powers/Bishop. Bishop, came up short with a broken chain and had to run it in. I think if not for that mechanical he would have won it.

A big thanks goes out to Lane at the Trek Store for helping me get the tubeless set-up ready. It was without a doubt VERY helpful this weekend.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why I can't sleep some nights...



I saw this at Joe's blog and it was a reality I wish did not exist.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cap City #2

Well it was another sweet event put on by my own team, per usual my buddy Andy Johnson made it happen. Chris, the guy who sponsors my sorry behind was also there, of course he arrived in style in a giant green monster truck. It looks like a blast to drive.

It was also my hubby, James' first race ever! He crushed it coming in 9/out of 20 something. He was out there riding his little behind off every lap. He looked solid on the hurdles and he was riding nice & aggressive. He is hooked on racing now - awesome!

I had a good race trading places with a few other women & making it to the last sprint finish where I made the horrible mistake of trying to shift my Sram equipped cyclocross bike like my shimano equipped road bike. DUH! Ah well, I'll get it next time. I did score a few points for my cx upgrade. I'm a point short of halfway. The next few races it looks like I'll be focusing mearly on not getting lapped as some super fast women will be coming into town.

On a side note; USA cycling announced some new cats for MTB racing. I'll be a C1. No more semi-pro limbo land category for the men.

Cap City #2

Well it was another sweet event put on by my own team, per usual my buddy Andy Johnson made it happen. Chris, the guy who sponsors my sorry behind was also there, of course he arrived in style in a giant green monster truck. It looks like a blast to drive.

It was also my hubby, James' first race ever! He crushed it coming in 9/out of 20 something. He was out there riding his little behind off every lap. He looked solid on the hurdles and he was riding nice & aggressive. He is hooked on racing now - awesome!

I had a good race trading places with a few other women & making it to the last sprint finish where I made the horrible mistake of trying to shift my Sram equipped cyclocross bike like my shimano equipped road bike. DUH! Ah well, I'll get it next time. I did score a few points for my cx upgrade. I'm a point short of halfway. The next few races it looks like I'll be focusing mearly on not getting lapped as some super fast women will be coming into town.

On a side note; USA cycling announced some new cats for MTB racing. I'll be a C1. No more semi-pro limbo land category for the men.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Life as Pack-Fill



Why did I do it? "Today in the middle of Ohio twenty-eight adult men wear spandex and line up for the start of a C race. It means nothing..." my mind would repeat as a mantra to soothe the nerves. But there I was at the Alum Creek cross race, feeling a bit between Christmas morning and a visit to the dentist.

I've never raced before. I usually ride alone out of caution (since I find myself often enough on the pavement I am guessing my company doesn't prefer misery) and haven't had many group rides. Days before my mind would rattle off nightmare scenarios — sometimes involving public humiliation and a set of barriers sometimes and accident where someone else would be injured.

So the gun went off and away we went and suddenly on a narrow grassy race course I was ride three abreast approaching a sand barrier. It was insane. The grass was so bumpy and everything was happening so fast. The sand came. Everyone jumped off their bikes (no one tried to ride, or maybe they did and failed causing a traffic jam). After the sand I was courteous and gave this guy "the hole shot" to some single track along the beach. Later in the first lap I was still courteous and let a guy ahead of me. About thirty seconds later it happened...

I realized I could ride faster. Perhaps it was the adrenaline. The novelty wore off and I began to feel comfortable. My legs began to pump and I maniacly advanced through the field. All the fears about less-than-flawless bike handling and lack of technique were pushed aside as my nervous caution became a near hazardous quest for places. There were times I was barely on the bike — the mud and sand clogging my cleats as I charged through obstacles. At one point I shifted to the big ring to hammer through the pavement to make up time and I had pedaled the entire lap in that ring. I felt like I would puke.

And then after a few laps I settled in. I was surrounded by riders who's lap times were similar to mine although we had particular strengths that would make the gaps between us ebb and flow. The adrenaline wore off a bit and I paced myself so I would not "pop". At the end of the day I placed ninth out of the twenty-eight riders. I was lucky.

Here are the results!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pass the saddle cream please...


I am trying to organize a picnic for my friends so they can come out and watch Bridget and I race. There will be a race the second of November on the Gatch Family Farm. It is called the Gun Club Cross Race and it is part of the Ohio Valley series. This will be really fun and hopefully entertaining for our friends. I created the poster seen above as a fun promotional device to intrigue my friends. I will post directions here when I get them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ever wondered?

I have been looking online for the past few months for some other female cyclists powerfiles. Needless to say, I could not find much. So, I got a spam mail from Saris which I sometimes read, sometimes just delete. Well, in there is an article and some powerfiles posted by a female road pro:

http://www.saris.com/athletes/PermaLink,guid,2a6ff413-a939-4a3e-bf64-0d1422602f4f.aspx

Sorry, blogger is screwed up today or I'd make it a real link.

Ever wondered?

I have been looking online for the past few months for some other female cyclists powerfiles. Needless to say, I could not find much. So, I got a spam mail from Saris which I sometimes read, sometimes just delete. Well, in there is an article and some powerfiles posted by a female road pro:

http://www.saris.com/athletes/PermaLink,guid,2a6ff413-a939-4a3e-bf64-0d1422602f4f.aspx

Sorry, blogger is screwed up today or I'd make it a real link.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Cyclocross Weekend



OH man am I whipped today! I did the double; with two days of kick ass cyclocross racing in Ohio. My husband James joined me for the fun in Columbus, starting with the Cap City Cyclocross Series, and then Loveland for the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series.

The Cap City race was nearly 2 hours away but well worth the drive. The course was tough, real tough. The temps hit well around 80, the ground was still tacky, and of course there was like 100% humidity. I'm not a big sweaty person but just warming up I was sweating buckets. We lined up with 7 women, which is a good turnout for us ladies. My teammate Amanda crushed the start, just totally hammering into the singletrack section. She was off the front fast with 2 other ladies not far behind. I rode as hard as I could but my legs felt flat and I think I was underfueled. I bonked pretty hard about halfway and was pretty miserable for the rest of the race. Leah and I traded places a bunch of times but I could never manage to crank it up a notch. I finished 4/7 and my teammate Amanda rode strong into 1st. Yeah A!

The next day I was hurtin when I woke up. I couldn't eat, I was really dehydrated and just lacked energy. My husband was going to try to make the C4 race so we ran around in the morning but ended up getting there pretty late. Some snags at the registration made him even later. So, he decided not to race. He will however, make his debut at the Alum Creek race. That left me with plenty of time to warm up. So I cruised around on the loveland bike trail at like 10 mph just warming up ever so slow. I still felt crappy though and I almost sat the race out. I figured I'd try to get in a few laps and if I didn't feel good I'd just DNF...well, all the sudden I felt really good. I hit some of the hurdles and made some gaps and then made some more gaps on the big monster hill. I found myself in 2nd for a lap or two. Wow, it was really surreal. Amanda and I rode together a lot with the Biowheels Amanda not far back and Leah not far back either. Bio Amanda made a move in the last lap and my energy went from high to bonk and I was lucky to finish 3rd. Amanda, my teammate came in 4th. Sweet. Actually, I thought we had snagged 2nd & 3rd but someone had gone off the front early on. I thought we had passed her. Oh well, I was happy with 3rd.

The mens 1/2 race was totally insane - a windstorm whipped through and the poor guys were spending 99% of the time just trying to stay upright. We are without power in our house still since some trees ripped out the power lines. Insane.

My Cyclocross Weekend



OH man am I whipped today! I did the double; with two days of kick ass cyclocross racing in Ohio. My husband James joined me for the fun in Columbus, starting with the Cap City Cyclocross Series, and then Loveland for the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series.

The Cap City race was nearly 2 hours away but well worth the drive. The course was tough, real tough. The temps hit well around 80, the ground was still tacky, and of course there was like 100% humidity. I'm not a big sweaty person but just warming up I was sweating buckets. We lined up with 7 women, which is a good turnout for us ladies. My teammate Amanda crushed the start, just totally hammering into the singletrack section. She was off the front fast with 2 other ladies not far behind. I rode as hard as I could but my legs felt flat and I think I was underfueled. I bonked pretty hard about halfway and was pretty miserable for the rest of the race. Leah and I traded places a bunch of times but I could never manage to crank it up a notch. I finished 4/7 and my teammate Amanda rode strong into 1st. Yeah A!

The next day I was hurtin when I woke up. I couldn't eat, I was really dehydrated and just lacked energy. My husband was going to try to make the C4 race so we ran around in the morning but ended up getting there pretty late. Some snags at the registration made him even later. So, he decided not to race. He will however, make his debut at the Alum Creek race. That left me with plenty of time to warm up. So I cruised around on the loveland bike trail at like 10 mph just warming up ever so slow. I still felt crappy though and I almost sat the race out. I figured I'd try to get in a few laps and if I didn't feel good I'd just DNF...well, all the sudden I felt really good. I hit some of the hurdles and made some gaps and then made some more gaps on the big monster hill. I found myself in 2nd for a lap or two. Wow, it was really surreal. Amanda and I rode together a lot with the Biowheels Amanda not far back and Leah not far back either. Bio Amanda made a move in the last lap and my energy went from high to bonk and I was lucky to finish 3rd. Amanda, my teammate came in 4th. Sweet. Actually, I thought we had snagged 2nd & 3rd but someone had gone off the front early on. I thought we had passed her. Oh well, I was happy with 3rd.

The mens 1/2 race was totally insane - a windstorm whipped through and the poor guys were spending 99% of the time just trying to stay upright. We are without power in our house still since some trees ripped out the power lines. Insane.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What is there to like about Cyclocross?


I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is a race promoter and endurance racer. He was scratching his head trying to figure out why someone would choose a cyclocross race over a mountain bike race. Good question. I was scratching my head over that one too. Then I came up with the reasons l do like cyclocross:

1) The races are short therefore you can usually make it home in time to actually get household chores done, or spend time with the family.

2) Our local series requires a lot less driving time. At the most I'll spend 2 hours in the car to get to a race. Not bad; if I want some good MTB competition I have to drive 6-7 hours down south. Otherwise I'm racing the same women I have raced 1,000x's before.

3) Spectator friendly...unlike a MTB race friends or family can see you pass by every ten minutes or so.

4) Skillz - for those of us who after like 4-5 years of cyclocross have mastered the barriers and run-ups it actually starts to get fun when you can make gaps.

5) The Cap City Cyclocross series is super awesome to us women. Discounted entries, awesome paybacks, makes it a series I'll be following for sure. My friend Andy also designed a kick-ass series leader jersey. My sponsor is also the series sponsor and will be raffling away a Trek X01 cyclocross bike at the end of the series. NICE!

Well, that is my little rant. Bring on the cowbell!

PS - I did get my Xo2 and she is sweet. Only 18 lbs. stock. Awesome. Rival = awesome. Race XLite wheels = sweetness.

What is there to like about Cyclocross?


I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who is a race promoter and endurance racer. He was scratching his head trying to figure out why someone would choose a cyclocross race over a mountain bike race. Good question. I was scratching my head over that one too. Then I came up with the reasons l do like cyclocross:

1) The races are short therefore you can usually make it home in time to actually get household chores done, or spend time with the family.

2) Our local series requires a lot less driving time. At the most I'll spend 2 hours in the car to get to a race. Not bad; if I want some good MTB competition I have to drive 6-7 hours down south. Otherwise I'm racing the same women I have raced 1,000x's before.

3) Spectator friendly...unlike a MTB race friends or family can see you pass by every ten minutes or so.

4) Skillz - for those of us who after like 4-5 years of cyclocross have mastered the barriers and run-ups it actually starts to get fun when you can make gaps.

5) The Cap City Cyclocross series is super awesome to us women. Discounted entries, awesome paybacks, makes it a series I'll be following for sure. My friend Andy also designed a kick-ass series leader jersey. My sponsor is also the series sponsor and will be raffling away a Trek X01 cyclocross bike at the end of the series. NICE!

Well, that is my little rant. Bring on the cowbell!

PS - I did get my Xo2 and she is sweet. Only 18 lbs. stock. Awesome. Rival = awesome. Race XLite wheels = sweetness.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I hear cowbells in my future


Since I look up to my dear Bridget so much I have decided to begin racing cyclocross too! I just purchased a Redline Conquest and I have only just begun training.

Cyclocross is a sport of technique and fitness. It's a bit mile steeplechase with a bike — a bike that is somewhere between a rod bike and a mountain bike. Because much of the race coarse is on grass it is much more physically taxing than road racing. The race course are much more compact and very spectator friendly. Throw in obstacles that a cyclist must efficiently mount, hurdle and remount his bike along with some mud and you have a killer sport.

Here are some races coming up, in the end I think I will just tag along with Bridget and see what happens!

LOCAL CROSS SERIES
9/13 Cap City #1 - Infirmary Mound Park in Licking County
9/14 OVCX #1 - Loveland, Ohio "Cyclocross at Riverview Park"
9/27 Cap City #2 - Alum Creek State Park Beach Bonanza
9/28 OVCX #2 - Louisville, Kentucky "Tour de Louisville"

10/4 Cap City #3–Lobdell Park Awesome Course
10/10 OVCX #3 - Burlington Kentucky "Darkhorse Cyclo Stampede"
10/11 OVCX #4 Middletown, Ohio "Java Johnny's Lionhearts International"
10/12 OVCX #5 Fairfield, Ohio "Bio-Wheels / United Dairy Farmers Harbin Park International"
10/19 Cap City #4 - Lobdell Frisbee Park in Licking County

11/1 Cap City #5 - Uncle Steve's in Marysville
11/2 OVCX #6 - Cincinnati, Ohio "Gun Club Cross"
11/9 Cap City #6 - John Bryan State Park
11/16 OVCX #8 - Lexington, Kentucky "Promotion Cross"
11/23 Cap City #7 - Lane Rd - State Champs
11/30 OVCX #8 - Louisville, Kentucky "Storm the Greens Cyclocross"

12/7 - Indianapolis, Indiana "Brookside Cyclocross Cup"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Let's get Medical


It's been a bit rough lately. After my trip to Höchst I ended up at a bar in Rödelheim where Stefan, Marcus and I had some beers. There must have been something wrong with the tenth one because I felt very disoriented and sick afterwards. On my ride back to the hotel I didn't see a bump in the sidewalk and I crashed. I messed up my shoulder (it still smarts limited mobility if I raise my arm straight out to the side — but it is slowly getting better) and I really skinned my knee (after I had skinned it in London!). So about a week after I got back to the States I was Mountain biking and I reskinned the knee and packed dirt into it!

So I decided to race Cyclocross this year so I threw my clipless pedals back on my Marin "Palisades Trail" and we went Mountain Biking with Joe and Rachel. I must have had my seat up too high because the front of my knee felt weak and the back of my calf was a little sore. The next day I did a recovery ride and my knee still felt bad. I was silly and all week long kept pushing myself to get prepared for cross. That Thursday Bridget and I rode intervals up Kuglar Mill hill and I thought "hey, it's not going to get any better anytime soon, just suffer through it". So I pushed my bum knee with no fitness up Kuglar three times and I felt horrible the next day. And on Saturday my legs were mush — no energy and my left calf and front of the left knee were killing me!

So Sunday I was silly enough to buy some Old Spinster-style support hosery as a poor man's version of compression tights and decided to take it easy for a while. I also looked up my heart rate zones for future reference:

Recovery: Below 112 BPM
Zone 1: 112 - 122 BPM — Burn the fat
Zone 2: 122 - 140 BPM — Firm low-stress base
Zone 3: 140 - 153 BPM — Aerobic zone good for endurance
Zone 4: 153 - 166 BPM — Anaerobic zone for typical race performances
Zone 5: 166 - 176 BPM — Raising Anaerobic threshold done in time trial
Zone 6: 176 - 187 BPM — Red line zone and Fast-twitch training

I feel I need to work on my fitness and seek workouts that use these zones to improve my race performances. Tootles for now — sorry to rant about my conditions like some gramma...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Caesar Creek - A race gone terribly right


Wow! What can I say about Caesar Creek other than I was darn lucky that day. I let the other women take the early lead because I know the trail so well I knew a super hard start wasn't a great tactic. I held it nice steady from the start and rode pretty easy behind 2nd place for the first few miles. Rather than take an aggressive pass I rode a bike length or 2 behind. Sure enough, on the first technical section she slipped up enough for me to crank it up a notch and put in a gap. When riding at Caesar Creek it is such an advantage to know the trail and to know when to shift, how to pick the lines, and what junk is just better to walk. It was also important that day to stay cool as temps were in the 90s. Thankfully, I decided the night before to fill the Camelbak up with 2X's the energy drink and then I threw it in the freezer. Cold, strong energy drink = one cool Bridget.

Anyhow, back to the race, I passed Christina on the next creek crossing. Then she passed me on the second root section. Then I passed her no less than 10 sec. later! Hilarious! We were both laughing about how narly the trail was. So, I guess sometime soon after Christina broke a chain. She didn't have the tools to fix it so she had to wait by the side of the trail until someone offered up some tools. Man, she has bad luck. I think that is the 4-5 race where something like that has happened to her bike.
After the last pass, I found myself surprisingly in first for the first lap. My hubby James was there which was awesome. He was a great cheerleader. My lead stayed strong for the rest of the race and I won my first OMBC race ever! Sweet! It was a pretty darn good feeling. Biowheels put up some awesome paybacks for the expert winners! 2x's sweeter! Thanks guys.

Caesar Creek - A race gone terribly right


Wow! What can I say about Caesar Creek other than I was darn lucky that day. I let the other women take the early lead because I know the trail so well I knew a super hard start wasn't a great tactic. I held it nice steady from the start and rode pretty easy behind 2nd place for the first few miles. Rather than take an aggressive pass I rode a bike length or 2 behind. Sure enough, on the first technical section she slipped up enough for me to crank it up a notch and put in a gap. When riding at Caesar Creek it is such an advantage to know the trail and to know when to shift, how to pick the lines, and what junk is just better to walk. It was also important that day to stay cool as temps were in the 90s. Thankfully, I decided the night before to fill the Camelbak up with 2X's the energy drink and then I threw it in the freezer. Cold, strong energy drink = one cool Bridget.

Anyhow, back to the race, I passed Christina on the next creek crossing. Then she passed me on the second root section. Then I passed her no less than 10 sec. later! Hilarious! We were both laughing about how narly the trail was. So, I guess sometime soon after Christina broke a chain. She didn't have the tools to fix it so she had to wait by the side of the trail until someone offered up some tools. Man, she has bad luck. I think that is the 4-5 race where something like that has happened to her bike.
After the last pass, I found myself surprisingly in first for the first lap. My hubby James was there which was awesome. He was a great cheerleader. My lead stayed strong for the rest of the race and I won my first OMBC race ever! Sweet! It was a pretty darn good feeling. Biowheels put up some awesome paybacks for the expert winners! 2x's sweeter! Thanks guys.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Ride along the Nidda to Hoechst


One night after work Annett, Stefan and I went to a small picturesque village named Höchst. We rode along a small river named the Nidda — a quaint little river (or perhaps a canal) lined by bike paths and features little lakes and small dams and locks along the way.



Höchst began as a medieval town at a highpoint where the Nidda and the Main rivers meet. We rode past a fortified wall and through a gate to get to little restaurant loaded with "gemütlich" where we drank and had a nice meal. I enjoyed the Leberkaase with a fried egg and potato as well as several hefeweizens.



Here is a map of our ride along the Nidda.