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…

November 5, 2008

More Change for You!

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:01 am addition to the results of our presidential election:

Next year I’ll be riding for Metro Volkswagen Cycling. I’m looking forward to hitting the road & racing my butt off with Shannon Koch and the gals in 2009!

It goes without saying that I thank my 2008 sponsor, Team Kenda Tire. Paul Forsythe, my teammates- especially the local ones I got to race with a few times: Molly & Lee (you guys ROCK!), the team sponsors… it was a great 2008 season! My choice to move on was not an easy one, but I feel like a smaller, more concentrated team may be where I belong. I wish you all the best.

October 18, 2008

Lucky Number 13

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 6:21 pm

Ryan and I ventured out to Marion, Arkansas this morning to race the Tour de Heart. There were a lot of Memphis Velo guys out as well as some other local racers and recreational riders. The women’s field was pretty small, but nothing to sneeze at… somehow I ended up with bib number 13- woohoo!!!

The first lap (of two 16 mile laps) was pretty uneventful, and the race stayed together. However, a few miles into the 2nd lap, David Lasig of Marx & Bensdorf soloed off the front (as he had in the previous year!) Chasing ensued. I got into the chase group, and we had a good rotation going. Luckily, none of the other ladies were able to make the bridge. I stayed in the group until 1 mile to go, where I dropped off the back & cruised in for a solo finish.

Ryan ended up 3rd in his age group, and I was 1st overall (which included a sweet trophy and $100 cash). In the past, I’ve used the cash for sushi dinner, but it just so happened that I needed new pedals for my CX bike, so I spent it on that instead. Of course I had to go try them out at Shelby Farms and managed at least one “unclipped dismount fall.” It’s all good, though. I might be finally getting the hang of this remounting thing…

October 15, 2008

First CX Race on the Surly

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 7:04 am

Last night was the 2nd race of the local Cyclocrunk series (didn’t go to the first one). I finally had a chance to try out my SS Surly Crosscheck!

The LeMans-style start was fun. I didn’t have any problems finding my bike in the mass of over 40 others because of my spiffy white handlebar tape! The course itself was really tough- not because of terrain, but because there were soooo many barriers- a single at the start, followed by a triple and three more doubles spread out across the park. Oh yeah- and all of the barriers except for the triple were more than regulation height. I felt really good about my dismounts. They were all fast and at the absolute last possible second. The place where I lost the most time was re-mounting- my inexperience combined with the height of most of the barriers made it difficult for me to maintain momentum and get a good remount. I also managed to jab my forearm with the nose of my saddle every time I lifted it over a barrier. Today I’ve got a pretty impressive bruise, and my forearm is remeniscent of Popyeye’s. I definitely need to work on my off-bike handling & remounting technique.

All in all, it was fun. I feel a little bit like I’ve been run over by a bus, but it’s OK. I did manage to finish ahead of the few other ladies that showed up, which is cool. Hopefully some photos will be up soon… Hopefully they aren’t the ones where I’m walking over barriers, either!

September 25, 2008

Saddles (again)

Filed under: Bike Racing,Training — Andrea @ 10:06 am

I’ve been through a few more, so here’s my updated list:

Fizik Arione
Terry Zero
Terry Butterfly
Terry Falcon X
Specialized Toupe 143
Selle Anatomica Titanico (kept it for a while, but it stretched too much and looked absolutely horrible)
Brooks B17 champion special
WTB Speed She
Specialized Jett 155
Selle San Marco Glamour Aspide
Fizik Vitesse
Koobi Xenon
SMP Glider
Terry Butterfly (again- tried a newer one just to make sure)
Specialized Ruby 155
Bontrager Inform 150
Selle Italia SLR Gelflow (current saddle- haven’t ridden longer than an hour yet)

All of these but the last one (so far) have caused some sort of issue- most of the ones with cutouts have given me severe saddle sores on the sides of the cutout. The ones without a cutout (both Fiziks and the Brooks) caused horrible soft tissue pain. The soft ones (Butterfly, Bontrager, Zero) seem the worst about saddle sores (though the Bontrager wasn’t as bad since it has a large “dent” rather than a cutout). None of them after the An-Atomica caused sitbone soreness. I guessing by then, my butt had toughened up. I’m really tired of dealing with pain on rides over 35-40 miles. It sucks. I’ve lanced countless saddle sores and spent countless hours suffering while I ride.I’m hoping the SLR is the answer, but at this point, I’ve lost all hope!!!

If you manufacture saddles, and you’re reading this… please… help me…

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