September 23, 2008

Pearl Izumi, WTF were you thinking?!?

Filed under: Bike Racing,Product Reviews,Training — Andrea @ 9:51 am

So I’m flipping through Velonews and I come across an ad for Pearl Izumi clothing. However, the ad tells me nothing about the clothes, because it’s essentially (for lack of a better term) faceless tits in a jersey (see photo below… warning- may be offensive to some). Now, I’m not one to get worked up over some nudity in most situations, but this is blatant “sex sells” advertising. It’s objectifying and disrespectful. I find it to be somewhat of a slap in the face to the women like myself who take their sport very seriously, and don’t care to be percieved as some sort of jersey-meat for the purpose of advertising.

I’ve emailed both Pearl Izumi and Velonews about the lack of taste in their advertising, and have encouraged others to do the same. Somehow, I doubt it will change anything. I’m “voting with my wallet” as well. Looks like I’ll be sending those gloves back that I just ordered. I encourage anyone who thinks that women in jerseys deserve better to do the same thing.

A scan of the page in question (courtesy of Mimi from the Team Estrogen web forum- I’ve made it small on purpose. Click for full-size):

September 15, 2008

My “Other” Appreciation Post

Filed under: Bike Racing,non-bike — Andrea @ 8:41 pm

I generally suck at pinning my number on to my jersey, but luckily Ryan is nice enough to do it for me before he races…

He’s been strong this year, but the last couple of races, he’s been more aggressive, which is awesome. Here he is in the Oak Ridge cat 3 criterium- with only a few laps to go, he attacked and went for a solo bridge to the 1st chase group back from the leading group of 3. It was hot.

He went for a similar move at Pepper Place last weekend in the P/1/2/3 crit, and, I fully believe it would have stuck if he hadn’t raced his butt off in the cat 3 crit earlier.

September 14, 2008

Pepper Place Report

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 11:56 am

A.K.A. Chase Debbie Milne around for 50 more minutes to finish off your season…

Tough race! Deppie and Lauren from Probike worked together to put me through the wringer. I didn’t trust anyone else to chase down Debbie’s attacks (don’t get me wrong- there were some strong riders out there, but I figured it was too much of a risk of letting her go if I was to sit up & wait for someone else to try and do it), so I volunteered myself to chase them all down… which included each of the numerous primes and various other random times throughout the race. Each time, Lauren would stick to my wheel with the rest of the field trailing behind her. I left covering other attacks up to the rest of the field, which helped me recover a bit in order to counter when they were caught. None of my counter-attacks stuck, though. I don’t know for sure, but I think that either Lauren or Debbie pulled me back every time.

With 3 laps to go, a $150 gambler’s prime was announced. Debbie and Lauren both attacked and started to pull away. I chased, but the combination of fatigue and their ability to work/rest together was more than I could match. By the time we rounded the 4th corner, I knew they were gone, so I pulled off & tried to sit up. I wasn’t surprised when noone wanted to take over the chase or let me pull through. Woohoo!

So, what do you do with 2 laps to go when the rest of the pack wants to hang you out to dry? Attack like Hell!!! I caught my breath for a second then went for it. The effort reminded me of the Kilo TT from Edgar Soto- my eyes crossed and my vision blurred, and, as I rounded turn 2, I looked back, and had a workable gap. I put my head down and did my best to ignore the screaming pain in my legs. Luckily, my teammate Leigh Farabaugh ran enough interference for me in the pack to let me stay away for 3rd place. Good thing, too, because the earlier chases would have meant certain death if I’d tried to sprint against the group!

Afterwards, we gathered at the podium for some photos. Oh yeah- I forgot to mention, Floyd Landis was there, and I (politely) insisted that he be our podium boy… we got to kiss him on the cheek & all. It was pretty fun. Notice in the first photo at Debbie Milne blushing…

Hopefully I’ll be able to hunt down a few photos that other folks took during the race. Usually Ryan takes some, but he was warming up for the p/1/2/3 mens race that started right after mine.

And with that, the road season is officially over. It was fun, but I’m ready to relax and go play in the mud for a while.

September 13, 2008

The End of Season#2

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 9:50 am

I’m packing to leave soon for my last race of the season- the Pepper Place Criterium. It’s also the last race I’m going to for the SEW Series. There is one more added to the schedule that’s been labeled as the “SEW Criterium Championship,” ( I didn’t know that there was going to be a championship) but it’s in October… I’ve been racing since March 1st. After today, I’m done for a while.

It’s been fun. I kicked some butt, though I had mine kicked more often. I’m looking forward to not taking things so seriously for a day or two :D

September 10, 2008

Oak Ridge TT Photos

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 7:37 am

Here are a few good shots of some of the w1/2/3 racers from the link that was posted as a comment on my race report:

September 8, 2008


Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 7:31 am

To avoid the risk of bringing unwanted internet drama to my blog, I’ve edited my original post to include less b*tching and just photos…

…and just say, that next year, I’m going to race a few cat 3 men’s races where trading pulls isn’t such a big deal and I can get my butt kicked even harder.

For more photos of the w 1/2/3 crit and the men’s cat 3 and 4 races, you can go to Ryan’s blog photo gallery. He’s also posted his own race report… Preview: I was jumping up & down screaming and nearly causing a scene during his crit… I’m rather proud of him :)

September 6, 2008

Oak Ridge Velo Fall Classic Race Report

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:08 pm

My quest for the TBRA BAR Points award has brought me to what has to be Tennessee’s hub of bad Karma. Until relatively recently, Oak Ridge “didn’t exist”(think Area 51, but instead of studying aliens, they make nukes). This city is just weird. Apparently, a good portion of the older buildings don’t have addresses (the city didn’t exist a while back, remember?)

Anyways- this is how the race went-

Time Trial
Luckily, the distance of the TT was reduced from 14 to 8 miles. The shortened race allowed me to use Ryan’s disk wheel, which was nice on the somewhat flat course. I felt good during the race and ended up rolling a 19:29, which got me a win (pretty awesome considering that more than 30 seconds back, 2nd place was Rebecca Larson- Aaron’s pro rider who has kicked my butt pretty handily in previous TTs).

Road Race
The road race was tough. We made two laps (45 miles) around a course that included two 200ft+ climbs, numerous smaller leg-burners, and winds from every direction but tail. The first lap was somewhat uneventful. We set a quick tempo and saved the attacks for lap 2. During the 2nd lap, there were some nice attacks, but nothing stuck (including my two attempts). After clearing the worst of the on-course hills & attacks, we once again started a rotating paceline for the final 10 or so miles. When it came time to sprint, I managed to react quickly to Rebecca’s go to the line. However, my effort wasn’t enough to catch her (honestly- she’s a fabulous sprinter… I don’t have too much of a chance in a short, head-to-head matchup like today). I really wanted to attack early for the finish to try to avoid that very situation, but the approach to the finish wasn’t marked, and the race bible’s description of the finish location was unclear, so Ryan and I couldn’t locate it on our earlier pre-drive. Nevertheless, I still held off the remainder of the small pack for 2nd place.

…didn’t go off until 6:50 in the afternoon. I’m not going to complain too much, though, because the promoter did give the women a kickass payout, so he can have us race whatever time of the day he wants.
Since only 5 of us showed up, the official asked us at the line if we minded shortening our race. Everyone agreed that 30 minutes would be fine, so off we went. There were some early attacks and break attempts, but everything ended up staying together for the duration of the race. I ended up staying on the front for most of the race. I’m not sure what the strategy of the other racers was in leaving me up there, because I swore I’d either rest behind them, or rest up front going 17 mph… which I did half the time I was there.
…more on that later, though. Fast forward to the last lap of the race. I had it in my head about where I’d launch for the finish when all of a sudden, Shalini Zabaneh, who (no offense to her) hadn’t been very aggressive in previous races, made a surprise attack for the line from well before turn 3 of 4 (Hey- That’s my move!!!) Luckily, I was listening for early attacks from behind and was able to jump, though it wasn’t quite fast enough to grab her wheel (unfortunately, Rebecca Larson was able to grab on from her spot near the back of the line). Rebecca ended up sprinting around Shalini in the straightaway, leaving her in 2nd, and me in 3rd. I’m just glad I was able to hold off the pack and keep that spot. From where I was in the straightaway, I was cheering Shalini on in my head in hopes that she’d pull out an upset victory (although I think she was still really happy with 2nd).

I held on to 2nd in the omnium, and, because of an awesome race promoter giving the P 1/2/3 women a respectable purse, this ended up being the most profitable race of the season for me. One more before the official start of the off season!

September 3, 2008

Velonews photos

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 9:02 pm

It just so happens that out of the few photos that Velonews took of the 10K, the only ones of the whole peloton featured me tucked in deep within the pack… in otherwords, invisible!

However, I did my share of workup front once the breakgot away… I’m the green blob near the front in these two photos…

September 1, 2008

10k Classic Race Report

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:27 pm

Racing a 10k bike race is, well, almost fun.

We had a closed course that ran a 6.2 mile stretch of Atlanta’s Cobb Parkway (a littlebit like Germantown Parkway in Memphis, except with hills). I’m not gonna lie- the hills were intimidating when we drove the course. They weren’t particulatly steep, but they just looked BIG.

The start was down hill, and the first mile was sketchy. Everyone wanted a good position for the first hill, and a few of the girls threatened to put you into the curb if you tried to pass to the right side of the pack. I don’t really remember the middle few miles, but somewhere in there, three riders got off the front- a TIBCO rider (Lauren Franges), a Cheerwine rider (Robin Farina), and another rider (who I didn’t catch the team/name of).
The 3-person break started to dissolve, and I bridged to the latter mentioned rider. The TIBCO and Cheerwine riders remained away (but not together). I pulled through, and a couple in the pack were sort of trying to bridge, but didn’t seem too willing to put in a hard effort. I was close to the front, so when they pulled off and started looking for someone else to do the work, I attacked. Without looking back, I aimed for Robin’s rear wheel and started to reel her in. I caught her about halfway up the hill- she looked over her shoulder, looked at me, and said “GO.” I glanced back, saw that the pack hadn’t come with me, and went with all I had with Robin on my wheel. We made it under the 200m marker in 2nd and 3rd place (Lauren was too far ahead to catch). I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but at some point before the finish, the two of us were swarmed by the pack, and Lauren won the race. Robin ended up 18th and I was 21st.

I’ve never been that close to a podium in a big race. It’s a crazy feeling, and I’m looking forward to trying again. The highlight of my day was probably when Robin approached me after the race and complimented my effort. I’d rather try to go for the glory and get 21st than sit in the pack and finish a few spots earlier, so I am stoked to get the opportunity to go for it.

Photos are popping up on Velonews. I’ll post a few once I’ve found some good ones.

August 29, 2008

Atlanta Bound

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 8:24 pm

After I go for a ride in the morning, I’ll be heading off to Atlanta for my last NRC race of the season, the US 10k Classic

I’ve never been in a 6.2 mile bike race before, so I’m not too sure what to expect. All I know is that it’s going to be really damn fast, and I should sprint when I get to the giant chicken… updates to follow! Maybe even some more random car photos.

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