November 3, 2010

Did I mention…

Filed under: Product Reviews — Andrea @ 6:39 pm

That Ibex wool stuff is on my top 10 list of favorite things in the world?

During my usual 3 hour Wednesday ride, it was a misty start, a dreary middle, and the final hour was in the rain. Temps hovered in the high 50s, but I didn’t really feel too cold because I was nearly head to toe in wool- socks, knee warmers, shorts, base layer, and arm warmers. My toes were not too happy, but otherwise, I was comfortable.

Need. More.

November 2, 2010

Decisions, decisions…

Filed under: Bike Racing,Trail Riding — Andrea @ 5:27 am

I’m going to be getting a new MTB this winter. Ever since I saw the first photos of the Air9 Carbon, I’ve wanted one. Not only is it dead freaking sexy, but also the frame is compatible with gears or SS because the BB shell is sized to accept various inserts from EBB to BB30.

There’s a problem, though- Outdoors, Inc. does not sell Niner Bikes.

Don’t get me wrong- I can find a place to buy my precious A9C, but the thing is, I can get something like the Scott Scale 29 RC for a good bit less through the Outdoors employee purchase program. Other than a 15mm thru-axle/fox fork, it comes prettymuch kitted out how I would build the A9C if I were to do such a thing as ride one of those crazy geared bikes. The problem is those pesky gears- the Scott isn’t really made to be a SS frame. I know there are conversion options (I’d probably try something like the White Eccentric ENO hub), but I’m still hesitant.

The Air 9 Carbon is just dead freaking sexy…


I haven’t computed the exact cost of each one, but I know for sure the Scott would be a smaller hit to the pocket book- even if I had to build up a separate SS rear wheel. I’m having a hard time selling myself on that idea, though, because I have LOVED my Niners, and the A9C has been my dream bike for more than a hot minute.

What does The Brickhouse Readership think?

Edit to add: Of course, I’d love it if Outdoors would sell Niner. However, there is already a shop in town that sells Niners, so they aren’t really looking to add another dealer in the same area.

Spookycross #1 and 2

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 5:01 am

There’s not much I can say about Spookycross seeing as no other 1/2/3 women showed up. Day 1, I raced in the A race as scheduled and ended up in the back of the pack with mostly older masters men. Day 2, race officials allowed me to race in the B race, where I duked it out with some cat 4 men.

Side note: Dear USA Cycling- Please allow non-USAC-licensed athletes to compete as cat 3s. It works for Cross Country Mountain Bike racing (unlicensed individuals may compete as a cat 2 or 3 without prior race history), so how about extending that over to cyclocross (allow unlicensed individuals to compete as 4s or 3s)? Having guys dubbed “the best triathletes in Memphis” racing in the cat 4 race is just dumb. They shouldn’t have to purchase a license and go through the upgrade process just to compete in one or two CX races per year without looking like sandbaggers. /Rant

And when I say duked it out, I mean it- Miles Cooley and I tried to break each other. I could gap him on the singletrack section, but he’d catch back on and try to pass on the “power” sections. We leapfrogged for most of the race until he dropped off. About that time, I passed a guy that decided he wanted to stay on my wheel. In the final stretch of the last lap (a dismount into the Shelby Farms Amphitheater followed by a runup on the stairs on the other side), he attempted to pass me up the stairs just before the finish line. Too bad my bike was in his way, or he might have beaten me. All’s fair in love and cyclocross…

Here’s a link to video of me in the amphitheater from Saturday:!/video/video.php?v=454211594145

I also have a few nice photos, courtesy of OutCast from MSTA:

November 1, 2010

Cyclocrunk #3

Filed under: Bike Racing — Andrea @ 5:17 am

I took the final tuesday of Cyclocrunk off to allow my strained hip adductor to heal for the “payout” race this weekend. The Cyclocrunk series ended with my teammate Casey Malone taking the race win over Bikes Plus owner Karen Malgorski. As a result, Karen and I tied for the series win…


Not that Casey wouldn’t have raced her heart out otherwise, but if she hadn’t turned herself inside out for the win on the final race night, Karen would have taken sole ownership of the overall award. I thought she deserved some crunkness:


Later on, at the after party, my one remaining piece of crunk winnings was stolen by Robyn (on the left in the photo below), the manager of the Union Outdoors store (though I’m hoping to get it back today when I go to work).


Essentially, all of the Cyclocrunk hardware was taken away that night by hot lesbians. Gangsta indeed…


October 30, 2010

Ibex El Fito Bib Knickers

Filed under: Product Reviews — Andrea @ 6:35 am

Yesterday morning was my first cold ride of the season. The temperature was around 40 when I headed to Shelby Farms for a quick pre-ride of the Spookycross course, so I figured it’d be a good time to test out a new pair of Ibex knickers and base layer that I got earlier in the week.

First impression- holy crap! Finally, a winter knicker that doesn’t make me look like a fleece sausage! I’m not usually one to post lame mirror pics of myself, but I was impressed enough at the fit that I took a couple:



I wore a thermal long sleeve over this, and, other than my hands (as usual), I was comfortable after about 5 minutes of riding. You can’t see in these photos, but the knickers have a windproof layer on the knees that not only keeps them warm, it also feels like it’d make them more durable for off-road riding (the knee warmers have a similar construction, and they aren’t showing any wear after a full season of use. Very impressed.)

What I like most about wool is that it has such a wide range of comfortable wearing temperature- perfect for days that start out cold and warm up while you’re riding. I’ve been wearing the Ibex bib shorts for all of my morning rides that start in the 50s and end up in the 70s.

Highly Recommended!

October 25, 2010

Calamity Janes

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

Check out CalamityJanes- a site designed by Emily Brock to help women who are interested in the sport of endurance MTB racing. I did a little writeup about how I got started with endurance races, but it will eventually include more information and resources designed to help women who may not be sure how to get started. Put it in your bookmarks and keep checking back!

Off Time

Filed under: Training — Andrea @ 5:53 am

I don’t have much to write about, so here’s a photo of what I did on my “day off” a couple of weeks ago. The funny thing about your dad taking your photo while you’re unloading wood from the trailer is that you’re unloading wood from the trailer, and he’s taking photos…


In other news, I’ve been craving the Syllamo Trails lately. From what I’ve heard, some of my favorite sections have been severely effd up by logging, and I’d like to check it out for myself. It won’t be too long since Aaron, my coworker, has put in his two weeks so that he can go be an AutoZone suit. He’s agreed to work weekends at the shop so I won’t have to anymore… or atleast until he gets tired of working 7 days a week. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

Along the same lines, OUTDOORS NEEDS MECHANICS! If you’re interested, go to a store and get a job app today!

Other random things…

I got my ears stretched up a size on Friday. I’m rocking the 6g now. I plan on stopping somewhere around a 0. Micheal Crites is still the best piercer in town.

My hip adductor injury is feeling much better, but in the interest of not re-injuring it, I won’t be racing the 3rd Cyclocrunk race. Hopefully I can hold on to my title as “Queen of Crunk” by winning 2 of the 3 races while making sure I’m totally healed for Spookycross next weekend. There’s a costume contest- any suggestions from the peanut gallery?

Yesterday I came close to bonking on my training ride, and my new saddle and the headwind was making me hurt all over. I had to drink a cup of HTFU to finish off the last half hour of my interval. Note to self… how about some food next time?

October 21, 2010

Cyclocrunk #2

Filed under: Bike Racing,Training — Andrea @ 6:12 am

After racing in a slightly subdued manner at last week’s Crunk, my instructions for this week were to warm up well, “take the governor off” and see what happens. I decided that in order to get a good warmup, I’d ride from home and utilize the new Greenline that Memphians are going nuts for right now (that’s a whole ‘nother discussion…)

The ride in was good. It took right at an hour, and my legs felt nice when I arrived at Tobey Park. I signed in and decided to get in a couple of laps before the race. Then, something bad happened. Remember the torn hip adductor from last year’s Fools Gold megawreck? It came back at the first barrier. I tried to jog it off, but all to no avail. It was hurting full force. I briefly entertained the thought of not racing, but then noticed some competition showing up. My pride overtook my common sense, and I lined up next to Russ Griffin, who unfortunately seemed to be suffering from a similar ailment.

With the signal to go, I sprinted for my bike and went out full-force. If you want to have a good first lap at Crunk, you have to, lest you get stuck behind the 13 year old with the walmart mountain bike (nothing against those kids… I just don’t want to be behind them). I just hammered as hard as I could and ignored the pain.

Initially, that strategy worked. I was ahead of a group of guys that had beaten me last week, and I was putting time on them. Two laps in, I stacked it into a set of high-speed barriers. I was in traffic, and I was going at a high enough rate of speed that I hit the ground, slid, and jumped up fast enough that I never actually quit moving (I know, because I couldn’t find the speed drop around that time on my Garmin). That hurt. I gritted my teeth and kept the hammer down.

Thanks to Michael Carpenter for the photos…


Hurtin’ (Matt dubbed this the “Baby-eating Face”)

Then, with 3 laps to go, Implosion.

In the space of half a lap, I went from hammer to nail. My legs raised the white flag, threw in a towel, then used their last bit of energy to kick the bucket. Russ lapped me (luckily, that ment 2 laps to go), which was expected. Then I started getting passed like I was sitting still. The group I’d been holding off flew by me like I was on concrete tires, as did about 11ty billion other people. People that I had lapped flew by me. It was bad.

Luckily, Jeanie and Karen didn’t catch me. Good thing I had put in a good starting effort- they don’t mess around…



Looking back, I probably bonked a little. I’d eaten a PB&J after work around 5:00, and nothing since. That, combined with an effort I haven’t been training for AT ALL lately added up to certain leg-death. I’m really happy with the effort up until then. Also, watching some video clips that Chris Irving put together, I realized that my form over the barriers is pretty damn good. Everyone always talks about how smooth Russ is over barriers, and I like to think that my form seems similar (albeit proportionally slower) with the addition of a little more “hop” since I don’t have legs quite as long as his



As far as the injured adductor goes, it f*cking sucks. I had to skip my usual Wednesday workout, and today won’t be much better- it was going to be some CX drills and lifting, but it’s shaping up to be a light ride this morning in hopes that I can keep healing with no re-injury.

Oh yeah, and speaking of things that Fool’s Gold has eff’d up, I tried to fix my Formula R1’s last night… they’re still $600 paperweights. I’ll post my awesome bleeding/cleaning rig later once I see what Formula has to offer as far as customer service.

October 18, 2010


Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:17 pm

Mountain View… I see you, too!

October 17, 2010

And now, for something completely different…

Filed under: non-bike — Andrea @ 8:21 pm

Yeah, not an original post title, but here are some artsy photos of Matt shaving his head:

« Older PostsNewer Posts »

Powered by WordPress