December 13, 2008

Saturday at KCCX

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 4:03 pm

Ryan raced today in the Masters 30-34 race. See photos from the race & his report HERE. I doubled as photographer and pit crew, though I wasn’t totally successful at both- his rear tubeless tire burped flat and I had to give him a bike change. That went well, but instead of getting a replacement rear wheel from the SRAM neutral equipment, I wasn’t thinking, and just re-inflated the flat tire and handed his bike back off to him 1/2 a lap later. The re-inflation mostly worked, though it still burped a couple more times during the course of the race, leaving him with the unsettling feeling of not knowing how flat his tire was during the remainder of the race.

I did manage to snap a few other random shots:

On the trainer before the race

On the trainer before the race

Too much meat in the meat grinder! (wreck from the start line)

Too much meat in the meat grinder! (wreck from the start line)

To be on the Kona team, you must be over 6'2" tall and under 150 pounds

December 12, 2008

Fun with Kansas City Mud

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:02 pm

Ryan and I arrived at the cyclocross nationals venue around 10:30 thins morning. After checking in and getting our numbers, we suited up to ride during the 12:00-1:00 open course time. There was some rain earlier in the week, so the 1.6 mile course was a combination of both the greasy-slippery and sticky peanut butter types of mud. I guess now is a good time to mention… I’ve never really ridden in the mud.

Needless to say, I fell down a few times! The sun came out and the winds picked up, and the surface actually improved a bit during the hour that we rode, and by the time the masters women started racing, it was getting a lot faster. As long as there is no more rain between now & Sunday, it should be in great shape for my race Sunday morning.

Afterward, I took some photos of the women’s 30-34 and 35-39 race since Kym (Vantaggio) and Kristen Wentworth (former teammate from Kenda) were racing in their respective categories.

Here are a few photos:

Post-ride mud

Post-ride mud

The Legend

The Legend

Kym cornering- MTB style

Kym cornering- MTB style

Kristen @ full-speed over the barriers

Kristen @ full-speed over the barriers

Kristen in a sprint for the finishline

Kristen in a sprint for the finish line

December 8, 2008

Countdown to KCCX

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 5:11 pm

Ryan & I are leaving on Thursday for Cyclocross Nationals in Kansas City, MO. Last year, the weather was foul. It snowed several inches, and high temps were in the teens. The course was just a bunch of frozen, ice-covered ruts. This year, it looks like it will be warmer, with some rain chances thrown in. Sounds like a recipe for slop to me… luckily, I’ll be prepared:

Before- Kenda Kommando Clinchers (and Turbo)

Before- Kenda Kommando Clinchers (and Turbo)

Add one Stan's No-Tubes! CX Kit

Add one Stan's No Tubes! CX Kit

Hutchison Bulldog Tubeless!

Hutchison Bulldog Tubeless!

Sorry, I don’t have photos of the actual sealing process. It takes both hands and can get a tiny bit messy if you’re not careful. Stan’s site has some great video of the process, though.

November 30, 2008

Addition to my top 10 list of favorite things…

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike — Andrea @ 6:03 pm

Pristine, perfect bar tape in a color other than black (I think that black tape actually increases rolling resistance and take 5 watts off of your FTP).

I just wrapped the handlebars of Ryan’s Ridley CX bike after he replaced them following his carbon fiber mishap.


Hanging next to my cross-check:

November 24, 2008

Beat the Freak CX- Sunday Edition

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:44 am

Sunday was a nice learning experience.

When racers were called for the start of the singlespeed race, only one other entrant- p1/2 racer Jeremy Chandler, came to the line. I figured I was in for a beatdown & probable lapping at some point during the race, but he told me that riding alone was boring, and that he’d stick with me. It was actually a great experience- he gave me a wheel to follow through some tricky sections of the course where I’d tend to slow down, offered a little advice, and generally pushed me to ride as hard as possible. At one point, the race promoter yelled an offer of a $50 bonus to me if I beat him. I told Jeremy that if he let me win, I’d gladly split the bonus money. So, on the last lap, I buried myself. Once, in the wind, Jeremy offered a draft (I think I proposed marriage at that point), but otherwise, he rode behind/beside me and yelled at me to go faster. He let me take the race by a wheel. Later, at payout time, the $50 bonus was “forgotten,” so I gave Jeremy back the difference between 1st/2nd place prize money. He could have easily ridden off and left me on my own for the 45min race, but was nice enough to not only ride with me, but offer some help & encouragement, so I felt that it was the least I could do.

Here’s a shot that Ryan took from the sidelines:

As for my second race… it was a learning experience as well. I learned that if I want to kick some butt, don’t race earlier in the day! Not only did I finish DFL (unlike the Saturday, when I managed to pass a few of the men), I also got lapped by at least half the field within the last two laps of the race. It was all I could do to drag myself around the course for 5 laps!

There were a few people taking photos, so hopefully I’ll get a few up this week.

Ryan raced well in his races, though was a bit dissapointed to finish in 2nd place on both days.

November 22, 2008

Beat the Freak CX Race- Saturday Edition

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 4:33 pm

I was the sole CX 1/2/3 woman lining up today with the 1/2/3 men for a 45 minute race. I let the guys go ahead of me, but kept the DFL man in my sights. After a lap, I began to pass him. Of course, he sped up and passed me, only to be caught again within the next lap. I laughed at him little… he was a little miffed and said if he hadn’t just raced his ass off that he could easily beat me. Ah… the male ego (eyeroll). I managed to pull in a couple of other guys for a total of 3: a 1/2 and two cat 3s.

Tomorrow I plan on doubling up & racing the single speed category (I’m expecting similar results) along with my usual women’s race.

Here is some post-race mud hotness:

November 17, 2008

Outdoors, Inc. TN State Championship CX Race

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:20 am

AKA “My Unofficial Women’s SS State Championship Win”

I raced in my 3rd CX race ever yesterday (2nd if you’re only counting the “real” races). It was tough going, but pretty fun. Kym Flynn, an Expert MTB chick from Vantaggio in Chattanooga, was the only other CX 1/2/3 competing, and, not surprisingly, beating the snot out of me! I’ve been mainly base training the past month, and she’s been tearing up the TBRA CX scene, so my fitness for this race doesn’t quite compare :D Oh yeah… the singlespeed setup didn’t help, either. I ran a 42 x 17, which turned out to be just a tiny bit too big- the hills were very hard and I wasn’t spinning out on the flat sections, so I think I could have swung an 18t in the back and felt “just right.” Live & learn, right?

I did manage to pull off one of the funnier falls of the day… one steep section of course required either a run-up or a LOT of speed and determination. On my first lap, I wasn’t focused on the turn before the hill and stalled out, which resulted in the obligatory “waddle uphill while straddling the bike.” Next time around, I got a little too excited, pulled my front wheel off the ground, and tried to set it back down sideways… which doesn’t work too well. The resulting fall was laughed at by many! (myself included). Remaining laps were fine… I hauled a** around the turn and attacked the hill and made it over without a hitch- notice the lean in the photo below- you prettymuch had to maintain speed from the previous downhill in order to have enough momentum to make it up on the SS…

It sort of reminded me of a criterium at this point...

Ryan pulled off a 3rd place finish in the men’s CX3 category. I yelled my head off at him through most of the race and took a few photos until the camera batteries died. He also managed to make the front page of the local section of the Memphis newspaper in this photo:

Photos from the A & B races can be seen in his Gallery

Jd3 from the Roadbike Review forums was there taking som photos as well- you can see all of them in his forum post, but here are some highlights…

Valerie (CX4), KC (CX4), me, and Kym toe the line

Valerie (CX4), KC (CX4), me, and Kym toe the line

Tiny front triangle & abnormally long arms makes for plenty of suitcasing action

I screwed the subsequent re-mount up every lap

Jumping onto the abnormally large log barrier

November 9, 2008

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:56 pm

While I was home wrapping my handlebars and going on trail runs, Ryan was at the Hoss of Cross race… kicking a little ass :)

Read his race report HERE

Memphis Style

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike,Training — Andrea @ 7:45 am

In light of my neck issue and boredom, I figured that yesterday would be a good day to give my bike some new cables & housings (I wanted to flip the stem, too, which would leave me short on housing in the front). I’d also noticed recently that my awesome harlequin-pattern drop wrap was shifting around & not looking so hot, so I figured I’d re-wrap the bars, too.

The Harlequin:

I can’t have plain bar tape. I’ve decided that now. The new wrap is what I call “Memphis Style”

If I lived anywhere else, I wouldn’t do this…

November 7, 2008

Well, Crap

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike — Andrea @ 6:05 pm

So I’m sitting at my desk this morning. I stretch & yawn.

Then my neck tightens up. WTF??? I can’t lift my head up to a normal level without neck pain. In fact, I can’t turn my head side to side without neck pain. Holy crap! It hurts!

Fast forward a few hours. I got an appointment at Campbell Clinic with a PT friend. She pokes around on my neck and determines that I’ve got a rotated segment at C7 and T1, and it’s stuck in that position. After some manipulations, my range of motion is somewhat better, though nowhere near 100%. She sticks an Iontophoresis patch on my neck and gives me instructions… problem is, treatment doesn’t include a CX race this weekend (Hoss of Cross). She actually told me that riding a bike probably isn’t the best thing for it since it involves extension of the cervical spine.


Is someone trying to tell me something? Am I going to get injured every time I want to go to a croos race??? Last year, it was my toe the day before the Outdoors Mud Island race. Then my ankle the weekend before Chattanooga. I pulled a groin muscle the day before this years 3rd Cyclocrunk race, and now this…

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