Beat the Freak Cyclocross #3 and #4

Traveled back to Fayetteville, TN over the weekend for some more cyclocross action.

Once again, on Saturday, conditions were not perfect. Some would call it typical Belgian Cyclocross weather- mud, temps in the mid 40’s, damp air, and wind. OK, so some people call this perfect cyclocross weather. I guess it could be much worse…

I lined up with a small group of Cat 3 men (including Ryan). No other women showed up for the 1/2/3 race, so I figured I’d test my legs against the guys. I ended up doing pretty well- Ryan won, and I finished 3rd- only about 10 seconds back from a guy that I tried my damnedest to pull back for the last 4 laps of the race. It would have been cool for us to get a 1-2, but I still turned in some good lap times and felt like I’d left everything out on the course.

Sunday was a gorgeous day. The skies cleared, temps were in the 50s, and the ground dried out a little bit. The course was nice, too- only one set of barriers! Ryan had upgraded overnight, so I raced against 3 other guys. I was hoping that the guy I’d almost beaten on Saturday would show up for round #2, but he was absent. Two of the guys were overnight 4-3 upgrades, so I had no idea how I’d fare against them. I had a couple of changes I wanted to make to my strategy- I decided I’d try to spin less, and I wanted to use a different “lifting” form with my bike over the barriers.

Both things made me a little bit faster- the bigger gear got my heart rate down a little, and lifting the bike so that I was flicking the wheels out to the side meant that I didn’t have to lift/jump as high over the barriers. That will be a nice skill to remember whenever I have a barrier to hop w/out much traffic around :) Even with my best effort, I still only managed a 3rd place. Once again, though, it was a hard-fought 3rd. I was dead by the time I finished!

Hopefully I can put that type of effort out next weekend @ the USGP race in Louisville. I’ll be testing the legs out against a much bigger group than what I’m used to, so it should be interesting.

Tonight- more Cyclocrunk!!!!

X.0 version 2.0

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you may remember this post. It’s the one where I killed my SRAM X.0 rear derailleur exactly one week after getting my Jet9. The guys at the shop told me that it wasn’t worth rebuilding, so I just ordered a couple of new X.9 ones as a replacement & emergency backup.I never checked the price of the X.0 rebuild because based on what they’d told me, the rebuild was either impossible or incredibly expensive.

Fast forward to now.

I’m waiting on a new Air9 frame (might be as late as the end of the month before it shows up), and I’ve been buying some key replacement parts to lighten the componentry of the future build. I have been eyeballing a medium cage X.0 derailleur, but then remembered that I had a busted long cage one in the garage. After a few minutes of searching, I found a medium rebuild kit for $76. Not bad!

So today, I fixed it! Now I’ve got a sweet, barely used SRAM X.0 medium cage derailleur that’s saving me a nice chunk of grams from the X.9. It also looks pretty damn cool…



X.0 (yer doin’ it wrong)


Rebuilt X.0


More Cyclocrunk, etc.

Not a whole lot going on right now. Tonight is the 2nd installment of the 3-race Cyclocrunk series. Looks like it’s gonna be muddier than last week. It should be interesting since I offered a nice helping of extra credit to one of my classes if any of the students want to show up and watch or participate in the race. They seemed excited. I’m not sure if it was excitement for the race or excitement at the potential for free beer (the race promoter takes the accumulated entry money and opens a bar tab with it) at Young Ave. Deli next week…

It should be painful. Yesterday I started the first of many weight training sessions for the off-season, and, even though I kept the weight stupidly light, today my legs are uber-sore. My goal is to get into the weightroom 2-3 mornings per week through winter. For the next few weeks, I’ll be focusing on muscular endurance in order to prepare to move on to a more strength-focused phase sometime around December. Yesterday’s workout went something like this:

Speed Squat 3×15
Walking Lunge 3×15 (reps per leg)
Dips 3×15
Pullups (used a large rubber band to assist) 3×10, 8, 8
Anterior-concentric, Lateral-eccentric Shoulder raises 3×15
Cable pull w/oblique twist 3×15
Physio ball crunches (holding 8# med ball) 3×15

I tried my best to only take ~30sec rest between sets. It was pretty tough, but only because I’ve been out of the weightroom all summer since the first set of bruised ribs I aquired while demo-ing a MTB back in late March.

Once I get through the three classic periodzation preperatory stages (endurance/hypertrophy, basic strength, max strength/power), I’ll probably switch to a more “unconventional” Cross-fit style program (see link in the sidebar) modified to complement the on-bike training I’ll be doing in late winter.

Cyclocrunk #1

Yes, this is a bit belated.

Ryan and I headed to midtown last week for the local cyclocross training series (Cyclocrunk) held @ Tobey Park.

The course included 9 barriers- 8 of which were obviously taller than the 40cm “legal” height, 1 going downhill, and 2 sets just far enough apart that you could almost ride between them, but not quite. Oh yeah- and a sand pit.

Otherwise, the course was pretty easy. Following a LeMans start, I spent the next 40 minutes riding pretty damn hard. I ended up somewhere around 8th overall (1st for the 3 or 4 women that showed up). I beat a few guys that were obviously faster than me last year, so that was nice.

We’ll race again the next two Tuesdays. Barring injury (my previously torn hip adductor started to ache a bit w/ the repeated dismounts), I should end up being the 2009 “Queen of Crunk.” Wooha!

Here are a couple of photos, courtesy of Micheal Carpenter @ Switch Creative:



12 Hours of Stank!

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to go to a 12 hour race that’s ~10 miles from your house, so I was excited to enter the 12 Hours of Stank @ Nesbit Park in Bartlett. Since I’ve been in post-season break mode since Oak Ridge, I wasn’t feeling particularly ready for a 12 hour solo race. No worries, though, because Carter, Ryan, and I decided to form a relay team.

We couldn’t have asked for better race-day weather (ok, so I was a little bit cold, but I can’t really complain). We decided that I’d ride the opening lap since I’d likely have the fastest lap times. Even with a slip up on some Blue Trail roots (first of several falls of the day), I still managed a lap time of close to 53 minutes.

At the start line (side note… dang, I look skinny here!):


We swapped single laps all day. Unfortunately, Ryan had a flat tire on one lap and a broken chain during the next. The time it took to repair those mechanicals meant that we’d each complete 4 laps (otherwise, I would have gone out for a 5th sometime before the cutoff of 9:00pm).

Steve is my co-pilot:


Even so, we still won the Co-ed 3-person relay division of the race (ok, I’ll admit- we were the only entry… though I still think we kicked a little butt!)

Post race photo:

Bike Parts!

Eventually, I’ll have an Air9 frame… when? No idea. So, in the meantime, I’ll just post (in true Weight Weenie style) parts that I’ve bought to lighten up my current set of components that were on the Jet9:

SRAM Red Front Derailleur:


SPEEN Umlenker Top-Pull Adapter:




X.0 Grip Shift (+cables):


I’ve got Easton Carbon bars, too, but I didn’t take a photo.

Oh yeah, and Ryan, Carter, and I raced as a relay team in the 12 hours of Stank yesterday… I’ll write up a report tomorrow at some point…

Moment of Silence

Text messge transcript from a friend out in Cali who happens to be friends w/the guys @ Niner:

HW: Yo. Did Jens have Bikes Plus stickies on it?If so, I’m totally holding your rear triangle.
Me: OMG Yes!!!
HW: :P
Me: You can go ahead and overnight that Air frame to me- K THX!
HW: Wish I could
Me: That’s pretty cool that you got to play with my bike. Is it taken apart and thrown in the scrap pile now?
HW: I didn’t want to say anything but yeah, pretty much scrap piled. And I could only find the rear. They’re hammering the frames to death even if they’re new. Sad to watch.

Yes. Jens is gone.

Air9 coming soon…

Eventually, at least. Jens arrived at Niner for disassembly and destruction yesterday. The Air9 should ship out sometime this week and arrive a week after the ship date. I figured since I’ll eventually end up with two frames that I’d go ahead & purchase a few new parts for the Air build. SO… here’s the list:

SRAM X.0 Grip Shifters
Speen Umlenker (converts bottom pull FD into top pull)
Blackspire 24t and 36t chainrings
Middleburn 6mm chainring bolts (red)
Easton Monkey Lite Carbon low-rise bars
Thompson 31.8mm x 410mm setback seatpost
Still need a new cassette & chain… waiting to snipe those on flEbay

I’ll post some photos once I get motivated enough to get the camera out. I’m hoping to have somewhat of a light build. The next big purchase will likely be a set of Stan’s ZTR Race wheels. Stay tuned…

Beat the Freak Cyclocross #1 and #2

I know, I know… I’ve been slacking on writing my race reports. It was a really good weekend…

Saturday was all about rain. About halfway to Fayettville, it started, and it didn’t stop until much later in the afternoon. When we arrived at the race course, it was coming down pretty hard, and soon enough, parts of the course were under more than a foot of water. The entire thing was a mud pit.

Only one other woman (Kim Bishop) showed up to race the 1/2/3 race, and we lined up with the cat 3 men. I got off to a slightly sluggish start, but managed to pass her early in the first lap. From there, I just worked on picking off the guys. The course was good for me- the mud was either deep or greasy, so I used all of the mud-riding skills I learned during the 1st lap of DSG (the 12 hour race that went horribly wrong back in May). I ended up coming in 5th overall (against 10 men). Sweet!

Photos (Courtesy of Tina Freeman):





Conditions on Sunday were not nearly as harsh. The sun was actually out, and a little bit of the mud had dried up. The course was less technical, but did include a sand pit. I lined up with the same group as the previous race. This time, my start was much better- I entered the first part of the course flawlessly tucked up in the middle of the group. There was still a lot of mud & soft grass as well as a nasty sand pit, but some parts of the course were hard and fast. I passed a lot of guys. A couple of them (Ryan included) had mechanical issues. Because of that, I ended up finishing 2nd overall. Woohoo! I like beating up on the guys a little bit :)

Here’s me in the sand & over some barriers:



I’m amazed at how much of a difference a nice bike makes! The BH Carbon is a cyclocross machine (though, unlike the Surly, it’s no fun to ride on singletrack because of the stiffness). I’m really excited for the entire season, but even moreso for what’s coming up in January- Yesterday on Facebook I saw that Eddie O’Dea (55nine Performance) is making preparations for Southern Cross. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I experienced an episode of Epic Fail when I lost that race to Carey Lowery in the final runup before the finish line.

Yeah. That race and I have unfinished business.

Weekend Prep

I’m about to do a little packing & hit the hay since Ryan & I are leaving in the morning for Fayetteville and the Beat the Freak cyclocross races. It’s been interesting to ready my food for the weekend since I’m still doing the “daniel fast” thing for two more weeks. I figured I’d post up a couple of roadworthy recipes:

Trail Mix:
1 can cashews
1 bag wasabi edamame (I think that “wasabi powder” is OK as an ingredient…)
Unsweetened dried Apricots, chopped

Toss all of those into a Ziploc bag, shake up, and enjoy.

Brown Rice & Lentil Curry:
1 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils
1 box Pacific veggie broth
Red curry paste

Bring the broth to a boil and add the rice. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the lentils and a tablespoon of red curry paste (you can add more later if you want). Cover back up & simmer for 20 more minutes. Eat as is or add to vegetables or an Ezekiel-brand sandwich wrap (they’re yeast & sugar free) with some spinach & other “burrito” filling of your choice.

Along with those, some of my other staples include peanut butter & rice cakes, protein shakes, soy-crisps, Larabars, and various whole fruits.