March 26, 2006

Baby ORCA's Maiden Voyage

I love the new bike. It only took 4 build sessions to complete :) Who knew that there was a bike that actually wants me to go up hill! The only drawback is getting used to a new bike, but I should have it dialed in soon enough. All of the power goes to the bike and she's so responsive. I rode with Chuck's team this morning, since I knew it would be mellow and they were heading up to the Woodland course, where next week's Piece of Cake race will be. It's hard to tell if it's the Bontrager wheels, the cranks, the bike, or a mix of the 3. All I know it that it feels good to feel strong, to be one of the first up a hill, and to enjoy the ride. Check out the new bike frame and fork at

March 19, 2006

Mason Lake #3

Well, after 5 years of racing, I finally won my first road race.

Thankfully, we had a couple more women today than last week- 16. I wish ladies like Suz, Mindy, Martha, and Amara would have ridden with us, but as we rolled out, I took inventory and noticed at least two other tall women over 150 pounds, so I was looking forward to some sprinter, attack action.

The first lap was like most... good tempo, settling in, not much for attacks. Any attempt was more to poke the bunch to do something, as the one to take off only went hard for a few seconds. No one was going to let what happened last week happen again. Various players took jumps. I did a lot of chasing, but always tried to be second or third in the chase.

Lap 2... lap 3.... much of the same.... Overall the tempo was good, a little slow at times, but not too slow. Then again, no team had riders up the road. I spent a lot of time out front, but never felt that I was working too much. I was comfortable in my new fuzzy Nike arm and leg warmers. My Gleukos mix was perfect (usually it's not), and best of all.... I felt very snappy! I got in on 3 or 4 small groups to try to break off, but we always got caught. After last week, I think that maybe, kinda, my safety orange jersey wouldn't be allowed to get far.

About 3 miles from the finish, the official rolls up next to us with the following announcement: "Ok, so there's a crash at the 200 meter mark and the ambulance is still there, so we're going to let you continue, BUT, you're going to be neutral after the final turn and around the ambulance. Then we'll let you go." Then I overhead someone say something about them not allowing any breakaways between here and there.

Alright sprinters- when have you EVER been served an ending like that??? They may have well said, 'if you are not a sprinter, you have no chance, because at least one woman in your group can go from zero to fast with a couple of snaps.' I had already been out front for a couple of miles. I stayed where I was, and on the yellow line, in case someone thought about coming to cuddle. Finally, we make that last left, and sure enough there's an ambulance on the other side of the road right around 200m. mark. The lead car slooooooowed us down to that perfect, I- feel-like-a-sling-shot-pulled-back speed. Around the ambulance the lead car finally flew ahead. Me and the woman to my left jumped. She got going first. I thought about waiting to get behind her, but we had little road left. Click, click and I was gone. The Beardsleys were screaming bloody murder at me, so I thought someone was close, but turned out I had a couple of bike lengths.

Today the results were posted and I took the overall series win as well. I thought there might be a series prize, but my response email from the promoter replied with a curt, "no prizes, no BAR points." Oh well, I still won.

My bike is here. Well, sort of. All of the parts of my bike are in the city of Vancouver. The Godfrey house has been delivery central. Lucky for me, Steven said he'd build up my bike. No races next weekend- two the next.

March 11, 2006

Mason Lake Road Race #2
Happy Birthday to Me!!!

"There' us.... us- us SPRINTERS. I found a great 12 mile race course for the hill challenged and it's not pancake flat. There are a few rollers, but it's all big ring stuff. The last kilo is a blast, with a monster descent and hairy lef turn.

We began with 13. 5 wore the turquoise of the Group Health gang and another 5 wore Ti-Cycles kits. So there were 3 of us without teammates- me, an Excel rider, and one from Whitman. The three of us communicated a bit throughout the race, to work together when we had to.

I regretted my little warm up within the first few miles. There were constant attacks, as the 2 teams took turns sneding off riders. I had to do a bit of work to help keep everyone together and there were too many blockers to sit in behind anyone. I tried to only follow the other two odd riders. Eventually, around the beginning of lap 2, a couple of riders got away. Guess what teams they were on? For quite awhile they were a constant 200- 400 meters away. I thought we'd eventually get them back, but with so much security in the field, they were able to stay and create a bigger gap. Any effort the odd three tried to attack was shut down quickly.

From there, we settled into a mellow race- a very sprinter race. We'd roll around 18 mph- la, la, la. Check out the scenery, la, la, la- then BAM- an attack. Reel it in and la, la, la again. Think "points race with a field of sprinters." I jumped a few times just to keep it going, as did a couple of other anxious riders. In the last 5 miles there were many attacks and counters. I rode it smart, riding on the center line and looking over right shoulder. Whenever someone went, I was up to get their wheel. It was pretty fun, as I felt that I was in control, flubbing up some team plans in the process.

We flew down the hill at the kilo mark. I think I was about 3rd or 4th at this point. I continued to be a part of every attempt to breakaway. Around the last left corner, I was in the wrong spot- second behind a blocker on the right side. Luckily, the girl to my left jumped. I was able to get 4th behind her. Girl #3 couldn't stay on, so I came around her. I was perfectly sitting in 3rd just before the 200m. mark. The lead out Ti-Cycle woman did good work, getting me (us) up to speed. She pulled off to let her teammate (us) go and huffed "sh*t", then yelled "Go Tia!!!" as I flew by on Tia's wheel. I still had gas in the tank and with a little less then 200m. to go, I came around her. It may have been a little soon, but I held her off to win the field sprint by a bike length.

I'm happy overall, however, I wish those two hadn't gotten away. I can't complain about my best road race result- 3rd place. So what if it was flat with a few rollers. And when this sprinter girl says "rollers," you know its true. Shoot, my driveway is a climb!

March 5, 2006

Banana Belt #1

The weather threatened to bring rain this morning. Luckily, we'd get a little sprinkling, but the wet came from the upsplash of the huge field- of 14. I guess that's not the smallest 1/2/3 race I've ridden, but I wish that there were more places to hide and hang out. The race included Kori, Laurel, Andrea, and Shari. Darien made it out to race today as well as a couple of old teammates, Lollie and Allison. There's this girl from Byrne Specialty Gas team that I need to hone in on next time.

We started out mellow, like usual. I even spent about half of the first lap in front, with a tail wind on the back side. Although, I was up front, I wasn't working at all, else I wouldn't have been there. There wasn't a lot of chit chatter today, thankfully. I'm not that into catching up and talking about my work and all that. I just want to ride my bike, mostly.

The first two laps continued, without an attack or any trouble up the hills. About half way through lap three both Laurel and Kori launched little attacks, but nothing to stick really. I yo- yo'd off the back, then got back in the mix, then to the back, and so on. By the time we hit the steeper hill, I was pretty tired from chasing here and there, and was just hoping to tempo up the hill and be able to stay on. Unfortunately for me, the climbers of the group were hoping to finally shake us sprinters, like brushing the crumbs off their laps. There were 11 riders. I was 10th up the hill, with Lollie there to yell at me to get on. Her and I worked together to chase on, which we did, and were together again by the finish line bell ringing. I was just hoping that it would all stay mellow, but by the next roller... I rolled right off.

Georgann and I worked together and caught Bridgett, who helped up catch up to Allison. By then I had recovered enough to help out, but knew that I'd probably be the first of us across the line. According to my counting skills, we were 8-11. Up the hill for the final time, I felt confident that I could win a sprint. I got impatient down the final descent, and took off around Georgeann. I'm not really sure if they chased or not, but I was able ot sit up across the line.

Overall, I'm happy with the race, but wish I would have started up the hill on lap 3 from the front, so I could have reacted to Kori's attack. Andrea outsprinted Kori for the win, Doug got 5th in the 1/2 race,a nd Steven got 6th in the 3s. Charbie won her race (again.) I'm looking forward to Mason Lake next week.

March 3, 2006

Push Yourself

"If you don't screw a screw too tight ten times, you'll never know how far you can screw."
- Bjarne Riis

I think this means to train how you want to race. Don't hold back in training to "save" for tomorrow. Push it EVERY time.

OK, worked for 2 hours to change the colors on this page. Didn't save and "Safari unexpectedly quit." I almost unexpectedly threw the computer across the room. But after a couple more hours and watching "Night At the Roxbury," I have achieved some fun colors for a while. Is the orange hard to read?